ALL POSTS IN [This Week in Travel]

This Week in Travel

There are not 1, not 2, but 3 Guiness World Record attempts in This Week in Photos – find out who’ll set the next record. There’s some history-making in our travel news roundup as well, at least where your smartphone or tablet is concerned on your next flight.

Soon you won’t have to put down that book on your iPad as your plane hits the tarmac thanks to a decision by the FAA to allow the use of electronic devices for the duration of flights. While this does mean you can play games and work on drafting a blog post about your trip, it does not give you the freedom to pass time by calling Grandma or texting a friend – voice calls and use of data plans will remain banned aboard flights.

Virgin Airlines is joining the recent trend of high-quality in-flight safety videos (if you haven’t seen Air New Zealand’s video featuring Betty White you must catch up), releasing an information music video led by G.I. Joe and Step Up 2 director Jon M. Chu. The video brings together dancers, singers and choreographers from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, and is a little catchy (I may or may not be humming the tune as I write this).

Gadling reports that the Leaning Tower of Pisa, isn’t “leaning” as much as it once was. The iconic bell tower is standing up a little straighter these days due to a massive restoration project. A new study out this week says that the tower has straightened by 1 inch (2.5cm) since 2001.

Still haven’t booked Thanksgiving travel? It’s not too late, but you’re going to need to be creative. Johnny Jet has rounded up 10 ways to find cheap Thanksgiving travel that could be your key to saving some money this holiday season.

Diplo, Prince George, the Red Sox and even Frankenstein make an appearance in this week in photos. See what some of our favorite blogs, including Buzzfeed and Nomadic Matt, have in store in this week in travel.

Do you have plans on where you’re going to hide during the zombie apocalypse? A viral post on Buzzfeed featured a town in Australia that is so far away from civilization that outer space is, in fact, the closest destination. You might want a buddy for companionship if you find yourself traveling to Western Australia anytime soon.

Two Boy Scout leaders were removed from their positions after a trip to Utah went awry last week. During a visit to Goblin Valley State Park, the leaders pushed over an ancient rock formation that is about 170 million years old and posted a video of their actions on Facebook. The leaders said that the rock formation was loose and they feared it was “dangerous” to the safety of the scouts. Park authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident.

Are you a “travel hacker?” Nomadic Matt says you should look into it. Travel hacking is a term used to describe those savvy frequent fliers who strategically use their “miles” to get free flights. While it may sound complicated and not worth the hassle, he says that’s not an excuse and that with a few tips you can be racking up free transportation in no time.

If you think that the person you shared a taxi with was a little rude or wild and crazy…you haven’t seen anything yet. VICE has “exposed” some of the unbelievable behavior that takes place in taxis these days. After watching this video, you’re going to want to give a cab driver a hug.

The International Balloon Fiesta floats into Albuquerque, NM, a sea of pink washed over the NFL and toasts were made at Oktoberfest in this week in photos. Not to be outdone, Betty White makes an adorable appearance in this week’s travel news roundup.

Whether you need to review your safety guidelines or not, take a 4-minute break from work and watch this video from Air New Zealand featuring none other than 91-year-old Betty White, explaining  “safety old school style.”

Unfortunately you have to wait a little longer to see if you will be able to keep your electronic devices on during flights. Due to the government shutdown, the highly anticipated ruling from the Federal Aviation Administration on in-flight use of electronic devices has been delayed because of the required furloughing of 15,000 FAA workers.

And if you’re looking to take traveling to the next level, this week Nomadic Matt has 27 golden rules for “becoming a master traveler.” The tips –- which he says will give you “expert ninja-like knowledge” of travel — include getting a no-fee ATM card, using tourist boards, avoiding taxis and traveling alone at least once.

If you’re one of the many pet lovers who faces the difficult dilemma of finding a place to board your pet that’s both safe and convenient, airports are looking to help you out. Several airports across the nation including New Orleans International, Houston JFK and Chicago Midway have opened on-site pet boarding “resorts” that are open 24 hours a day. Now you can pamper your pooches with “pawdicures” and even have them meet you curbside when your plane lands.

This Week in Photos

The US government shut down for the first time in 17 years, thwarting tourists’ plans in Washington, DC — but it was business as usual for the rest of the world in this week in photos. Whether you’re trying to salvage your vacation — or trying to forget the whole thing — our favorite travel bloggers came to the rescue.

If you had a trip planned to one of the nation’s nearly 400 national parks, historic sites and monuments in the near future, you’re most likely working on rescheduling your vacation. The Daily Traveler has put together a list of government shutdown alternatives featuring ways to visit historic sites and still get a dose of history to work around the indefinite closing of the nation’s national monuments and parks this week.

When it comes to planning your next trip, Nomadic Matt has 17 easy tips to help with the process. Stemming from his personal experiences, Matt’s helpful tips include everything from picking a destination and planning activities to automating your bills and telling your credit card companies you’re traveling.

When you’re tight on money for the trip you’re planning, Johnny Jet suggests that travelers remember there’s always a couch to stay on if you can’t afford a hotel. Couchsurfing.org matches adventurous travelers with hosts that open their homes to strangers looking to explore the globe.

If you’re flying this fall and find that the airplane seats are a little too close for comfort, know you’re not alone. According to a post on Gadling, 9 out of 10 passengers would like to see reclining airplane seats banned. Next time, look behind before you recline.

This Week in Photos

Fashion week continues in Milan, Team USA surprises at America’s Cup and Breaking Bad has 2 reasons to celebrate in this week in photos. While you’re holding your breath for Sunday’s Breaking Bad finale … here are our favorite travel blog posts of the week to keep you occupied.

Gadling suggests thanks to climate change, a country might not be around for much longer. Read more about the Maldives “expiration date.”

Never stayed in a hostel? Swear by them? Nomadic Matt reveals 6 ways to avoid staying in a bad one. Take note.

Budget Travel explains how you can house-sit your way around the world. We’d be game to try.

Johnny Jet plans the perfect long layover at LAX. He says “if your layover is three hours or more, jump in a taxi and take a mini vacation” to Manhattan Beach, CA.

Finally in other California posts, Camels & Chocolate prescribes a perfect day in San Francisco. Start with a stroll through the Haight…

Sun Catcher

Here she comes … Miss America … and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Dalai Lama — all in this week in photos. There are more familiar faces in our weekly travel news roundup, so let’s get to it.

Gadling has the scoop on how you can spend your next vacation with your favorite celebrities, including Britney Spears, Jackie Chen and Daniel Craig.

 The Daily Traveler got a first look at Jet Blue’s premium lie-flat “suite” seats — and provided pictures as proof.

We’ve already established Nomadic Matt is our type of traveler. This week, he brings us this gem about a 70-year-old couple who bucked tradition and traveled the world.

Our friends at Fathom Away got to play Cinderella for a night in Venice at the Aman Canal Grande Venice.

Last, but not least, Wired brings us the curious case of the 103-year-old car phone.

This Week in Photos

It may be the last week of summer, but things didn’t slow down in This Week in Photos from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington to the twerk seen ’round the world at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. While Miley successfully stole the spotlight in Brooklyn, here are some of the travel headlines that got our attention this week.

Gadling has a roundup of strange laws that can get you locked up abroad, which is entertaining and useful. At least now you know where it’s illegal to feed pigeons or chew gum on public transit.

Skift.com reports that we’re headed toward a regional pilot shortage — and why it may actually benefit business travelers.

CNTraveler brings us the wackiest travel accessories this week. Portable infrared sauna anyone? Hey, it’s only $400!

There’s a new restaurant critic on the block and it’s none other than rapper-turned-Yelp-reviewer Wale. DCist has some of his best reviews while on tour, including this gem about Mr. Chow’s in Beverly Hills, CA: “Pretty sure the Chicken Satay is made with crack.”

We’ll leave you with the most inspiring video we’ve seen this week. Watch Buzzfeed’s “Facts That Will Make You Want to Travel.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

This Week in Photos

It’s the dog days of summer in This Week in Photos. While the Obamas welcome another adorable Portuguese Water Dog to the White House, our favorite travel blogs add to your end-of-summer amusement.

Mashable brings you the 10 people to avoid at amusement parks. We can’t decide if #2 or #7 bothers us more.

The Daily Traveler rounds up the worst airline names after AirAsia’s Japanese arm rebranded itself as Vanilla Air. Our personal favorites are Wizz Air and Song & Ted. Yours?

Kids, they’re cute and all, but admit it: You’re never psyched to see you’re sitting next to a toddler (and his parents) on a 13-hour flight. Would you pay to upgrade to a kid-free cabin? Skift has more on Singapore Airlines and AirAsia’s newly launched “quiet zones.”

What do a trip to Belize and Breaking Bad have in common? Gadling explains.

To solve a question we’ve all wondered while wandering the airport terminal: How can you get into an airline club lounge without becoming a member? Johnny Jet has the answer.

This Week in Photos

On the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, no one paid better tribute to The King than fans in Denmark at the opening of Graceland Randers, a copy of his mansion in Memphis, TN. But wait, there’s more Elvis and extraterrestrials in This Week in Photos – and in the travel world at large — so let’s get to it.

A 60-foot-wide Florida sinkhole swallowed parts of a resort near Disney World, CNN reports. In what sounds like the plot of a scary movie, guests of the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont were forced out of their rooms as one 3-story building collapsed and another slowly sank.

Privacy advocates may be less than thrilled that Google search will pull information from your email for smarter results, but as Mashable explains it could especially benefit travelers. For example, a simple search for “What’s my flight status?” will yield real-time information about your flight based on data from your email, Google Calendar and Google+.

Think we couldn’t pack in more conspiracy theories this week? Think again. The CIA finally acknowledges the existence of Area 51 in Nevada in newly-released declassified documents. ABC News has more on Area 51 from the CIA spy plane documents.

The Frugal Traveler has the inside scoop for Memphis on the cheap. He only had to eat through 8 BBQ joints, search for the best Elvis souvenir under $10 and take in a minor league baseball game to find it.

And for more “on the nose” travel news, Gadling has a roundup of the top 10 most outrageous hotel fees, including an “energy surcharge” and a fee for an extra set of clean towels or sheets (seriously?!).

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

After 68 years, locals in Hiroshima, Japan, lit lanterns to remember the lives lost during the 1945 bombing of the city. Aside from this reflective, solemn event, this week had its share of fun events, including the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in England, the Medellin Flower Festival in Colombia, and the Stiletto Run in Spain. Take a look at the other events and destinations that we highlighted in this week in photos.

Check out more travel buzz on our radar this week:

US Evacuation and Travel Alerts: The Chicago Tribune reported that the US has ordered the evacuation of non-essential staff from its consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, warning US citizens not to travel to the country. Last Friday, the US issued a worldwide travel alert for US citizens traveling abroad due to an unspecified al Qaeda threat. Nearly 20 embassies in North Africa and the Middle East have closed until Aug. 31.

JetBlue Reveals New First Class Seats: Known for shuttling vacationers from Northeast cities to the warmth of Florida and the Caribbean, JetBlue will take strides to attract business travelers. Sources at Jaunted report that starting next year, the airline will offer 16 lie-flat seats on flights between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s the first time the carrier will have a second class of service.

Running of the Bulls in the US: Yep, you read that right. Promoters Brad Scudder and Rob Dickens have arranged bull runs in 10 cities around the US for people who can’t afford to take the trip to Pamplona, Spain. Already 20,000 Americans have put down $35 for an adrenaline rush that comes with running in front of a group of angry bulls that can reach speeds of 35 mph. According to Yahoo Travel, the first US bull run is scheduled to kick off on Aug. 24 at a drag-racing strip south of Richmond, VA.

“Love Boat” Sails to Final Destination: Turkey will be the new home to the iconic MS Pacific also known as “The Love Boat.” According to Gadling, the 42-year-old ship was purchased for 2.5 million euro by a Turkish ship recycling company, where it will be stripped for metal and parts.

Breaking Bad Fuels Albuquerque Tourism Boom: Even after the popular TV show has ended, fans may still be able to pick up bags of “Breaking Bad Candy” — blue-tinged crystals made of rock candy — at the Candy Lady shop in Albuquerque, NM. Not only has the show helped to create new revenue streams for local businesses, but according to Skift, the long-term tourism growth will be dependent on the city’s support in attracting future film projects.


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