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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.

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. 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.

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