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Aerial view of Arctic melting “pond” looks stunningly gorgeous

August 4, 2014

Having traveled to Iceland recently and gazing at the Jökulsárlón “icebergs”, I cannot marvel enough at the gorgeous turquoise color of the frozen water. And now NASA posted this picture of a splotch of that gorgeous color, when ice melts on the surface of the ice covering the Arctic.

singlemeltpond_pho_2014197

A digital camera on NASA’s ER-2 airplane captured this top-down view of a melt pond atop a glacier in southeastern Alaska on July 16, 2014. Chunks of ice float on the pond’s turquoise water.

An ER-2, a civilian version of the Air Force’s U2-S reconnaissance plane—was flying at 64,000 feet (20,000 meters), about twice as high as a commercial jet when it captured this stunning image.

Read more at NASA’s Earth Observatory website.



Inform your arrival time to hotel for quick check-in

August 1, 2014

Front_desk-hotel
Standard check-in times around the world are between 2-3pm, and while you may arrive at the hotel past the check-in time, there are chances that your room may not be ready. But if you let your hotel know your arrival time at the time of booking, then you will find your room ready for check-in when you get there.

The Luxury Travel Blog says that:

Tired after a long flight you are required to leave your bags with Concierge whilst waiting for your room to become available, when all you probably want is a power nap and a shower. The key here is providing your arrival time upon making your reservation. All hotels will employ a ‘Rooms Controller’ who, yes you guessed it, controls the rooms! It is their job to, ahead of time, look at the expected arrival times of all guests and pre-assign rooms to ensure as smooth a check-in experience as possible. If you don’t provide this information you will fall into a pool of people who are assumed to be arriving after 2pm and as such no special arrangements will be made for your room.

So make sure not to get stuck in the waiting line by letting the Room Controller plan their “making sure guests’ preferences are met.”



Book last minute air travel with Flight Tonight

July 30, 2014

FlightTonightLink: iTunes
Cost: Free

Bang for buck: It’s free!
Ease of use:
The looks:

We all know that HotelTonight is one of the best apps for last minute hotel bookings, and now Flight Tonight does the same for last-minute air travel. Just enter your departure airport on the app, and Flight Tonight will show you all the trips you could take tonight!

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Get free SIM card with selected Eurail pass this summer

July 16, 2014

eurail_sim_hVisiting Europe and have a Eurail Pass? Then make sure to get the free Eurail Roaming SIM card and stay connected with friends and family while traveling in Europe.

The first 2,500 Eurail Select and Global Pass customers who register their pass purchase on www.eurail-roaming.com can apply for a Eurail Free Roaming SIM Card. This offer is valid on all categories and classes of the passes purchased from July 17 to September 30, 2014, or as long as supplies last.

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Travel tip: Sit here on an airplane for least turbulence

July 14, 2014

Scared of turbulence in an airplane? Get a seat in the middle of the plane along the wings. They have the least amount of bounce when flying because it has more structural support.

The last rows shake the most during the entire flight.

Also see: all our travel tips

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Travel tip: Forget voltages & adapters, charge devices using USB with this trick

July 14, 2014

Voltages around the world differ from country to country, and so does plug system; and if you have a device that charges using a USB then you can plug it into the back of a TV.

Most new flat-screen TVs have an extra USB output built-in the system. Agreed that not all hotels have televisions, or may not have the latest ones, but if you happen to have one then don’t worry about using an adapter or voltage converter. Just use the USB outlet to charge the devices.

Also see: all our travel tips

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TravAbled provides accessible locations with reviews & ratings

July 7, 2014

Looking for hotels, facilities, stores or restaurants that are disabled-access friendly? Check out TravAbled offering trusted advice from firsthand travelers that have been on the spot and gathered information, offering a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools.

Registered users can search for accessible locations, add comments, photos, ratings and evaluate the level of accessibility or gather information and multimedia for the desired destination, along with marking the locations they have visited with their wheelchairs, scooters or power chairs

Categories like hotels, food & drinks, shops & leisure, transport and attractions help users access accessible locations around the world.



Keep your devices on for security clearance at airports for U.S. flights

July 7, 2014

Last week, we reported that the U.S. DHS is implementing additional security checks on some international airports with nonstop flights to the country, citing concerns that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

The U.S. aviation security has now announced of a new regulation last weekend whereby all users carrying cellular phones of laptops/tablets must be able to turn on their device during security clearance.

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Top10Hotels – iOS travel app review

July 4, 2014

Top10HotelsLink: iTunes
Cost: Free

Bang for buck: It’s free!
Ease of use:
The looks:

A simple app that shows the top 10 hotels in the selected city. The selection can change based on your style of boutique, budget, luxury, etc.; or select ‘all’ to display the complete list.

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U.S. to implement additional security procedures at certain airports

July 3, 2014

DHS_CheckThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security would increase security at overseas airports with nonstop flights to the country, citing concerns that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

The new security measures would be required at airports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East that have direct flights. The list of airports or countries affected by this change was not disclosed.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has directed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement the measures in the coming days. The move comes during the summer travel season and days before the July 4 holiday.

This means that you will have to go through additional inspections of shoes and property. A lot of airports, currently, have security measures in place for U.S.-bound flights, in addition to the ones applied by the country’s authorities, but this change takes that additional security procedure through an “enhanced” level.

If you’re flying to U.S. airports directly, then make sure to reach earlier than you normally do and brace yourself for these new procedures.

We will update the list of airports/countries when we hear more.



In pictures: Aerial view of airports around the world

July 2, 2014

Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

These images are taken from Satellite (aerial) view on Google Maps of airports around the world.

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How to reach the Hollywood sign

June 26, 2014

Tourist at the Hollywood SignAs you near the Hollywood sign, you will see signs that it is not accessible to public, which is not entirely true! Although you may go way up to a point where you can take pictures with the sign very close in the backdrop, but authorities have closed reaching behind the sign with vehicles. We have seen a lot of pictures taken by people when they hike all the up to the sign.

To be able to access with the directions below, you will have to drive to the most visited intersection in Los Angeles – Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – called the Times Square of Los Angeles. From there, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the Hollywood sign (ok, maybe 30 during weekend peak hours). Here’s how you reach there:

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Watch this spectacular time-lapse video of Hawaii volcanoes

June 25, 2014

Luong_TimeLapse

Photographer QT Luong has captured the volcanoes and landscapes of Hawaii in this stunning time-lapse video he recorded in 2013. He has photographed each of the 59 U.S. national parks, and shot most of this spectacular “sea-to-summit” project in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. “One of the most mesmerizing spectacles of nature I’ve witnessed is lava flowing to the ocean as clouds of steam rise from the meeting of fire and water,” he writes.

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TripList – iOS travel app review

June 25, 2014

TripList iOS travel app reviewLink: iTunes
Cost: Free

Bang for buck: It’s free!
Ease of use:
The looks:

Packing light is something we always recommend and there are tons of packing-list apps in the iOS world. Adding to that list is the free, ad supported, not-all-features-available version of TripList, but if you fancy everything in an app then there’s the TripList PRO for $2.99.

Having a sleek, iOS7-looking app, TripList will allow you to create and manage your own, custom travel packing lists. You can also select one from their template in-built.

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Retiring? The United Arab Emirates may be the place to go

June 25, 2014

UAE-expats-retirementAccording to Her Majesty’s Government, more than 100.000 citizens of the U.K. currently live in the United Arab Emirates.[1] While relatively few of these expats are retirees, there is an increasing trend towards older expats picking locations such as Dubai as the place to spend their later years. Let’s examine a few of the reasons that might be so.

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