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Fly in a private jet for less than commercial

December 23, 2014 in post then categories by admin

Guy sits browsing his smartphone as he sits in a window seat in a small plane

Tired of crowded airports and all the hassle that goes along with them? And jamming into coach seats along with the rest of the sardines?

Would you rather dodge the lines, stretch out in a roomy seat seat on a private jet instead? It’s not as farfetched as it might seem.

Sure, that’s the way celebrities and executives fly, but it is becoming easier and more affordable to go private. Consider that you can travel from suburban New York City to the Bahamas for $179 a person. Or from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas for $124 a person.

Last-Minute Deals looked at the private jet market and found plenty of opportunities for travelers to fly on private planes for less than $200. Last-minute deals or traveling as a group give you the best chance to get a good deal., for example, helps travelers find last-minute deals on private jets starting at $536 for an entire plan, typically for four to six passengers. Today, for instance, there’s a flight for six for $536 from Augusta, Maine, to White Plains, New York. That’s less than $100 per person.

The key to the opportunity, one industry executive told MarketWatch, is that a lot of private planes are being underused or could fly empty going from one destination to another.

So, this is a chance to get some money from passengers rather than none. In other words, it’s good for the private plane operators and good for the travelers. The flip side: You could get somewhere on a private plane, but then be on the hook to find another way back.

Clearly, last-minute deals are not ideal for most travelers. So, the alternative to that is finding a carrier such as Flite Air Taxi, which will sell you all the seats on a flight, allowing costs as low as $541 a person from New York to Martha’s Vineyard, for example. You’ll need six people and pay a total of $3,250. Also, consider checking out, which compares prices of charter flights. You seen it here at

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10 American Spots To Visit In 2015 Might Surprise You But Go There Anyway

December 16, 2014 in post then categories by admin

It’s time to book a vacation… on to Queens.

That is, at least according to the fine folks at Lonely Planet, who have released their “Best in the US 2015” list. While there are plenty of good reasons to always go to New Orleans, the same can’t be said for western South Dakota or even the Mount Shasta region in California. Sure, they’re beautiful and sure they’re different, but why is 2015 their year? S

Never fear, we’ll tell you.

  • Queens, New York
    Queens Tourism Council
    Yes, Queens isn’t new by any means, but with a large Chinatown in Flushing and a revived Rockaway, Lonely Planet really wants you to go here in 2015.
  • Western South Dakota
    South Dakota Department of Tourism
    2015 is a big year for the state. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, when the park’s 1,300 buffalos move to their winter grazing territory. It’s also the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the largest annual meeting of motorcycle enthusiasts in the world.
  • New Orleans
    New Orleans CVB
    2015 marks 10 years since Katrina. That’s reason enough for us.
  • Colorado River Region
    Terry Kruse/Moment/Getty Images
    The theory being: see it before it goes the way of commercialization.
  • North Conway, New Hampshire
    Mount Valley Washington Chamber of Commerce
    Along with several neighboring villages, the town, which sits not far from the Maine border, is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2015. So yeah, there’s that.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
    Jason Lavengood/
    There’s always good cultural reason to go to Indianapolis: the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library or the Zoo’s new International Orangutan Center. But 2015 marks the debut of BlueIndy, America’s largest electric car sharing program. The belovedChildren’s Museum of Indianapolis marks its 90th birthday next year, too.
  • Greenville, South Carolina
    Steve Faucette/VisitGreenvilleSC
    This southern town, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has quite a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast. It starts in Falls Park on the Reedy and leads to the revitalized Main Street. There’s bike-sharing and local shops aplenty in this tucked-away charmer.
  • Oakland, California
    Greg Linhares/City of Oakland
    San Francisco’s prices have driven many to the more affordable Oakland, which is now home to quirky (and delicious) restaurants and Oakland’s Art Murmur, which occurs on the first Friday of every month when art galleries open their doors and food trucks line the streets.
  • Duluth, Minnesota
    Jodi Jacobson/E+/Getty Images
    Yes, this place is an outdoorsman’s dream, but 2015 is all about hometown boy Bob Dylan. His Highway 61 Revisited turns 50 in 2015, which is sure to bring fans out in droves.
  • Mount Shasta Region, California
    Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
    We’re not entirely sure why Mount Shasta and environs is having a moment in 2015, but it sure looks like a hiker’s paradise to us!

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How To Survive a Long Flight Effortlessly

December 16, 2014 in post then categories by admin



I think it’s safe to say that no one enjoys long-haul flights. No one. But here’s how to safely survive a couple of days trapped in an aluminum canister with your sanity intact.

Some flights pass by in the blink of an eye; some drag on forever. The good news is that some flights are better than others and there are things that will help mitigate the journey along the way. Don’t also underestimate the power of dread; long-haul flights are intimidating if you travel infrequently, but it’s not nearly as bad as you think it is after the hundredth time.

Search for the best Flight Hotel and Car Rental Deals right here at

I’ve definitely flown my fair share, including some rough routes. The worst flight I’ve ever endured involved a 12-hour flight from Hong Kong to Istanbul, followed by another 13-hour flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles. Instead of traditionally flying over the Pacific, I basically flew in the other direction. The layover was eight hours long. (It was cheap and it was for the holidays, what can I say?)

It should be noted that this advice mostly applies to people who are flying international long-haul flights in economy class. If you’re in business class, you might want to take your glass of wine and hang out on a different part of this site.


Like on any flight, a good seat is paramount. On a transcontinental or transoceanic flight, though, trust me, you want an aisle seat. No matter how much you hate it, there is no way anyone can avoid the airplane bathroom over a 12-hour period.

If you’re sitting in an airplane that has a three-row configuration — where there is a section of seats on the left side of the plane, followed by a middle section, and section on the right side — you should opt for one of the aisle seats in the middle section in particular. Though it may not seem obvious, this seat has several advantages.

Most importantly, it gives you easy access to the aisle and bathroom while also giving the people sitting in the middle seats two options to get to the aisle. This should automatically reduce your chances of getting climbed over (or having to politely exit your seat so others can get out) by 50 percent or somewhat significantly. The aisle seats toward the left and right section of the plane don’t have this advantage.

Example of a three-row config on a UA 777-200.

This logic doesn’t necessarily work with all seat configurations, such as those in a 2-4-2 layout where the odds are pretty much equal for either side. Instead, it is much, much more common to get a plane with a 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 seat configuration. You can bet the airlines are trying to cram in as many passengers as they can.


It’s actually quite important to keep the blood flowing while you’re sitting down for ages. Though it hasn’t happened to me personally, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher suffered a transient ischemic attack, or a “mini stroke,” on a plane en route to Hong Kong a couple of years ago when blood temporarily stopped flowing to her brain.

For those concerned, some of the foreign carriers are pretty good at demonstrating in-flight exercises in their safety videos (CNN also has an instructional airline yogaarticle, who knew?). I always use bathroom breaks as a periodic opportunity to stretch my legs and either hang out in the back of the galley, at least for a few minutes, or walk down the aisle once or twice.

The main point? It’s important to keep moving


In the days leading up to the flight, I would stick to fairly light and healthy meals. There’s nothing worse than sitting with a Mexican burrito like a stone in your stomach when you’re trapped in an aluminized tube of claustrophobia. When you combine this with large periods of no movement, you’re going to feel pretty gross.

Though some people suggest skipping the meal service to combat jet lag, this depends on your own personal discipline. (I have a particularly strong sense of smell and the olfactory cues kick in my hunger pangs. Even watching The Food Network is sometimes a form of masochism.) Airlines actually tend to serve more correct portions — think Asian and European sizes — so I just generally take whatever the flight attendant puts in front of me. However, if that’s not going to be enough, pack something that’s easy to snack on.

During the meal service is when the aisle seat particularly comes in handy. Once the food is served and half of the plane begins to digest their food, you can be sure that the bathroom is going to be pretty popular soon. Don’t forget the fact you’re most likely on a pretty big-ass plane, which means there are lots of people on board. If you wait too long to do your business, you run the risk of being uncomfortable in your seat while everyone uses the loo.

In fact, there is an opportune time to go. There should be a fairly short window when the flight attendants have served the food and are no longing blocking the path to the bathroom just right before the meal trays are collected. Now, for some reason, people like to wait until the trays are collected before getting up from your seat. This is actually your golden opportunity, should you choose to take it.

Though it’s annoying to hold up your tray table and set it back down to get to the aisle, it’s going to be a lot more annoying waiting for six people to finish using the bathroom. Going to the bathroom during this in-between time ensures you won’t have to wait later, and even better, it means that you still have a relatively clean bathroom before everyone else has used it. This is especially true if this just happens to occur after the first meal service.


Especially because international flights usually serve free booze, people often resort to alcohol to help them sleep. Unfortunately, not only is alcohol a depressant, it’s also a dehydrating agent, so I actually generally discourage drinking on the plane. When you combine this with the pressurized cabin of an airplane, its effects can be amplified. I also can personally tell you this as someone who once fainted in the middle of an aisle during a 9-hour flight from Singapore to Australia.

In terms of tangible objects, investing in a cheap eye mask and earplugs work magic, and I do mean *magic* in terms of improving the quality of your sleep and regulating your circadian rhythm by limiting light. Travel pillows do considerably less in comparison; pillows are one of those things you’re better off using the complimentary one onboard. Not only are most airline pillows sufficient, you’ll also have one less thing to carry on the plane with you.

 This guy has the right idea.This guy has the right idea. (Edward Simpson / Flickr)

Getting to actual sleep is a far trickier business. Some people swear by complete sleep deprivation; I prefer to do things a little bit less drastically, especially if you have to work in the days preceding the trip. That said, shortening your normal sleep by a few hours does help. (Last-minute packing does wonders!) It’s not necessary, however, to feel like you need to get on the time zone of your destination immediately. This will either occur eventually or not at all.

In frequent traveler circles, some people like to cite melatonin as one of the more natural remedies for visiting the Sandman. The truth is, though, this is really dependent on how your body reacts to it like any other drug. While I’ve had poor results, I know others who swear by it. I would prefer melatonin if it actually worked for me, but the alternative is using more traditional over-the-counter sleeping aids.

Though Ambien is one of the more popular sleeping-pill brands, I’ve had excellent results with Unisom. It knocks me out faster than a light on even half the suggested dosage. For a flight, I would suggest to take only a quarter of a pill. Personally, I’m not sure if I would try a sleeping aid for the first time on a flight without knowing how it affects me beforehand. (Its active ingredient is doxylamine succinate but clearly check with your doctor before trying it. It can also leave users slightly groggy.)

Unfortunately, there is a small segment of the population that just won’t be able to sleep on a plane, no matter what they do. This does happen to me from time to time, and I can tell you that it’s anything but fun. Torture is staring at the plane’s current route on the in-flight entertainment system in pure silence.

Jet Lag

Everything starts from the minute you book the flight. If it’s inevitable that you’re going to have a flight with a connection, try booking the connection at the end. Nothing is more draining than beginning a 12-hour flight after you’ve spent three or five hours flying across the country just to get to the hardest portion of it. This may or may not be possible depending on where you live – travelers that live in major hub cities often have the most choices.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to reverse the connection so it happens at the end, this puts the hardest part, the long-haul portion, upfront. Not only will you have more energy to deal with the most taxing part of the flight, but by the time you make the connection, you’ll be exhausted. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s actually not: by the time you reach the connection, you’ll end up sleeping through most if not the entire second leg. Most of the time, I end up passing the time in a wonderful, pure state of black unconsciousness.

The main thing I look at, besides connection points and costs, when booking flights more than anything else is the arrival time. One of the most important factors in beating jet lag has to do with remembering that it’s a lot easier to go to bed later than to wake up earlier. Keeping this in mind, flights that have a late afternoon or nighttime arrival are preferred. If you arrive earlier, all it means is that you’ll have to stay up a whole lot longer. (The key is to keep moving when you arrive until you have to go to bed; once you start resting, it’s game over.)

To get a good idea of when I should be sleeping on the plane, I usually immediately change the time settings to my destination on my phone once the aircraft is en route. Though it’s pretty tempting to pass the whole flight in a complete state of unconsciousness, sleeping the entire time can mess up your internal clock just as much.

The cabin crew is pretty good at giving visual cues during a flight; for instance, they’ll dim the cabin lights when it’s a good time to rest or turn them completely on and be in-your-face during specific intervals. The point is to not be deterred if you can’t sync your body exactly, but to sleep proportionately when you need to. Even if the best you can do is to flip flop the waking and sleeping portions of the flight, it will still help overcome serious jetlag.

If you’re on a long-haul flight, the chances are pretty high that we’re looking at a minimum time zone shift of six to twelve hours (unless you’re traveling north-to-south or south-to-north). If I sleep for half or up to three-quarters of the flight to anticipate an approximately 12-hour time zone change, I consider that a job well done. I find 6-hour time zone changes–give or take a few hours–are the hardest to acclimate to. If you’re flying east to Europe from the U.S. East Coast, you’ll run into these.

In a nutshell…

The thing about most of these tips is that what may work for another person may be completely different, but like anything, it’s only over time and with lots of practice does someone get used to flying long distance. Still, many of the strategies I mentioned can cut down significantly on the stress of flying. The important thing to remember is that, thankfully, the flight does eventually end.

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Some Very Cool Hotels You’ve Never Seen In The US

October 19, 2014 in post then categories by admin


By: Matt Meltzer


Unless your name happens to be Arthur Fonzarelli (in which case, that’s crazy!), it’s hard to define the word “cool.” And even harder to apply the label to hotels, when “cool” could mean historic, or trendy, or that the place is actually a decommissioned Coast Guard helicopter with a full-service bar… in your room!

But since we’re not above doing hard work, we tried to figure out just how each state would define cool, and then applied that spirit to their hotels. In the end, we came up with what we think is each state’s coolest, most emblematic hotel. Or we were wildly off. You decide.




The Battle House Renaissance Hotel & Spa
Mobile, AL

With a badass name like The Battle House, you’d assume this place was some sort of Confederate headquarters during the Civil War. Turns out that while the historic hotel was indeed open during the war, it got the name from its founder, a guy named James Battle. Mildly disappointing, indeed, but it doesn’t make this spot — where Stephen Douglas stayed when Lincoln whipped him in the election of 1858 — any less awesome; the interior will make you feel like you’ve time-traveled back 150 years.



Ultima Thule Lodge
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, AK

It’s Alaska, so you know we’re not gonna tell you about some swanky joint in Anchorage with a killer brunch buffet. No, we’re gonna tell you about this luxury lodge that’s 100 miles from the nearest road, and only accessible by private plane. Here you’ll sit in the middle of the largest swath of protected land on the planet; you’ll hike, fish, and boat while your hosts spend the day cooking an epic meal that you’ll eat in a dining room full of oversized chairs, before retreating to your private, hillside cabin.



Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Court 
Bisbee, AZ

A lot of hotels will claim to “transport you back to another time,” but as soon as you flip on the TV and Real Housewives comes on, you become painfully aware it’s still 2014. Not so at this vintage trailer park, where not only have they adorned every trailer in perfect 1950s kitsch, but the radios only play music from that era, the TVs are black and white, and there’s nothing to read but words printed on old newspaper rife with cigarette ads. But don’t let the ads fool you; the only 21st-century advent at Shady Dell is a strict non-smoking policy.



Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Parthenon, AR

Don’t try to sound all “back-to-nature” when you tell friends you’re unleashing your inner caveman by staying in this lodge built into a real cave in the Ozarks. The place is actually a full-on house complete with Jacuzzi, five master bedrooms, satellite TV, and, oh yeah, a heliport. That’s one big cave. Obviously, Beckham Creek’s a popular spot for weddings, events, and celebrities who don’t want anyone to know they’re in Arkansas.



The Queen Mary
Long Beach, CA

We’re not really sure what else to say about this other than IT’S THE QUEEN FREAKING MARY. As in, the most famous cruise ship ever that didn’t crash into an iceberg. Yeah, that Queen Mary. And while this trans-Atlantic luxury liner from a bygone era now makes its permanent home in the LBC, it’s also a 346-room luxury hotel complete with a spa, shopping, and first-rate gym.



The Stanley Hotel
Estes Park, CO

Colorado’s got plenty of luxurious mountain resorts, but there’s only one so awesome it inspired Stephen King to write 200,000 words about it. This spot (named for the same guy who founded Stanley Steamer) is the hotel from The Shining, and while you might not run into a bartender who tells you to kill your family, there are enough rumored ghost stories in this place to make it a bonafide haunted landmark.



Litchfield Hills, CT

Try not to get the theme from Airwolf stuck in your head (because it will, GOD it will) when you check into this 118-acre resort in rural Connecticut, because of all their 18 themed cottages, the one you’re 100 percent going to stay in is the fully-restored 1968 Sea King Pelican HH3F helicopter. If somehow that’s not your thing, there’s also a log cabin, a treehouse, a greenhouse, and even something called the “secret society.”

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Absolutely Everyone You Need to Tip While Traveling

October 19, 2014 in post then categories by admin

By: Sophie-Claire Hoeller


It’s probably safe to say the idea of tipping the flight attendant has never crossed your mind, but apparently a whopping 30 percent of flyers have done it. How do you feel now, cheapskate?

While tipping in restaurants is a fairly black and white (albeit highly divisive) issue, the rules get blurred on vacation. Suddenly, there are outstretched hands everywhere, and you have no idea with whom to leave your money. The guy scrambling eggs? Really?

In an effort to make your next airport shuttle ride considerably less awkward, we asked national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas, Diane Gottsman, exactly who we should be tipping, and how much. And here’s what she said:

1. Skycaps

$1-$2 per bag. Unless you’re checking in curbside, in which case it’s $5 for one bag, $3 to $5 for each additional bag.

2. Host(ess)/Maitre D’

You don’t typically tip a hostess, but if they reserve you that special table overlooking the hibachi chef who also makes tableside guac — definitely slip ’em $10-$20.

More: What The Amount You Tip Says About You


Credit: Shutterstock

3. Flight attendants

Don’t tip them. They get paid a salary, and they’re not working for a gratuity or relying on tips to pay their rent.

4. Taxi driver

A minimum of 10-15 percent is average. Twenty percent and above for a driver who assists you with your heavy luggage.

5. Limo/town car driver

Some car companies include gratuity, but if you had a smooth ride and want to leave a favorable impression for the return trip home, feel free to throw them a little something extra. If a gratuity is not built in, tip 15-20 percent of the fare.

6. Shuttle driver

$1-$2 per person, depending on how much they assist with your bags.


7. Hotel doorman

There’s no tip required for a smile and a held door. However, if they perform a special service such as helping carry shopping bags from the taxi to the front desk, or holding an umbrella from the front door to the car, think about $2-$5.

8. Hotel bellman

Generally, $1-$2 per bag. Although, if you’re asking the bellman to lug your one Eddie Bauer duffle bag up to the 23rd floor, make it worth his trip and give him $5.

9. Hotel valet

$2-$5 when you pick up your car.




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How to Book Two Trips for the Price of One

October 19, 2014 in post then categories by admin

  One of the best arguments for using miles instead of cash to book your flights is that the routing rules are so much more flexible for award travel. Many loyalty programsallow you to add connections, stopovers and open jaws to your itinerary — meaning you can combine multiple trips into a single award. Don’t forget you can start your Travel search here at 

Using miles is frustrating for many travelers due to limited availability, and these tricks can make that puzzle more complicated. Most airlines’ search tools are designed to find simple round-trip awards. It will be your responsibility to find award availability and piece together the complete itinerary, which might then require calling an agent to book. But you should feel comfortable attempting these strategies knowing they are well within most programs’ official rules.


Use stopovers to visit cities along the way
The easiest way to visit more cities on a single trip is to add free layovers and stopovers. Stopovers are connections that exceed four hours on domestic itineraries or 24 hours on international itineraries. Anything shorter than that is a layover. You can have as many layovers as you want, and even leave the airport for a brief tour of the connecting destination. Some cities, such as ZurichHong Kong and Singapore, offer convenient transit options to the city center. Stopovers are more restricted, but you can spend several days or weeks in a city before you continue onward to your final destination.

Each airline has its own rules for stopovers. For example, Alaska Airlines permits a stopover on one-way awards — even for domestic travel — but United Airlines only allows a single stopover for international travel booked as part of a round-trip itinerary. But in general, all carriers require that travel be complete within 330 days of the original booking date, and visa limits may apply for any international city you visit.

Award travel is typically priced according to the geographic regions of your origin and destination, and going out of your way to make extra stops doesn’t usually cost extra. Some carriers are particularly generous by, for example, allowing travel from North America to Asia via Europe. Combined with a stopover, that would allow someone inNew York to add a free trip to Paris as part of an existing trip to Bangkok.

Use open jaws to return to a second destination
Carriers tend to be more flexible with open jaws than stopovers. An open jaw refers to “returning” to a different city than the one you departed from. It can also mean returning from a different city than the one in which you arrived. It gets its name from the gap created when you draw the itinerary on a map: Instead of a closed loop, the angle looks like an open jaw. Assuming you want to return to your home airport, it’s a great way to explore a destination by land without returning to the exact city where you started (a tour of Europe, for example).


Combine rules for “free” one-way flights
Combining stopovers with an open jaw creates interesting opportunities. You’re not necessarily required to use a free stopover at your destination. Some people instead choose to stop at their home airport — or depending on the award rules, another airport nearby. (They still get to fly home from their destination, except that in the context of this itinerary “home” is really just a stop on a longer return journey.)

Imagine creating an open jaw itinerary to AsiaSan Francisco is the origin, Shanghai is the destination, but you know you need to go travel New York a month later. That return journey from Shanghai can be arranged to include a stopover in San Francisco, moving the actual “return city” to New York. After returning from Shanghai to San Francisco, you can head home for a month before you go back to the airport and continue on to New York for the second journey at no extra cost.

You would still need to book a one-way flight back home from New York to San Francisco, but many domestic fares are priced on a one-way basis anyway. You’ve saved half the cost of your future New York visit by planning ahead.

Nest awards to create complex itineraries
Stopovers and open jaws create opportunities to nest one award ticket within another. Cities that see infrequent service, such as Siem Reap, Cambodia, may have limited or no service depending on the network of airline partners available. As a result, it might make more sense to book an additional ticket, either paying cash or as a second award.

Consider a round-trip from San Francisco to Bali via Bangkok using miles from United Airlines. (You could be flying any of United’s partners and making additional connections as needed.) Bali is the destination, but Bangkok can be added as your one free stopover. Now you’ve got a chance to visit two destinations for the price of one. You can add a third destination by booking a round-trip fare on a discount carrier — in this case, Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Siem Reap. In this scenario, you would fly to Bangkok, see the sights, and return to the airport. But you would fly to Siem Reap on a different ticket before flying back to Bangkok and continuing the original journey to Bali.

These tricks don’t work on every airline. American Airlines recently changed its rules to prohibit stopovers even though their policies weren’t very generous to begin with. British Airways prices its awards separately for every individual segment, so it’s impossible to game the system.

For the programs that allow it, however, such rules can add exceptional value to your frequent flier miles. It’s not as simple as saying that one program charges more miles than another for a given award. Sometimes a few extra miles are well worth the added flexibility in deciding where you stop along the way.


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What You Think You Know About Hawaii Is Actually All Wrong

September 3, 2014 in post then categories by admin

More than a five hour flight from Los Angeles, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Hawaii is very much a part of the 50 states — and mainlanders unfortunately remind Hawaii’s residents of their ignorance often. Don’t be that person. Below, check out the biggest misconceptions about Hawaii.

“Aloha!” means “hello.”

car animated GIF

“Aloha” in Hawaiian actually means a combination of love, compassion and peace and the literal translation of “Aloha” is “the presence of breath.”

winnie the pooh animated GIF

This is a “Hawaiian shirt.”

hawaiian shirt

Wrong again. It’s actually called an “Aloha shirt” and in Hawaii, Aloha shirts are actually considered pretty cool.

movie animated GIF

Surfing is the paramount means of transportation. Even babies do it!

baby surfing

No, the people of Hawaii don’t surf to work every morning — vehicle traffic is actually a major problem on the island. On average, Honolulu residents waste about 58 hoursin traffic every year.

hawaii traffic

People who live in Hawaii are Hawaiian.

hula dancing

Nope, “Hawaiian” refers to Hawaiian natives who can follow their ancestry back to the Polynesian settlers who began populating the island around 300 CE.

hawaiian dancers

Americans need a passport to get there.

passport hawaii

Perhaps you dozed off during middle school American history class, but Hawaii became an official state, joining the union in 1959.

duh animated GIF

Spam. It’s what’s for dinner.

hormel spam

The people of Hawaii may consume more spam per capita than any other state, but they eat other stuff too.


Every night is luau night.


Luaus aren’t all that informal and for people who actually live in Hawaii, they’re a pretty rare occurrence. Locals like to keep things casual.

hawaii beach bar

“The Big Island” (Hawaii) is where most everyone lives.

no animated GIF

In fact, O’ahu is the most densely populated island (953,207 people) — nearly nine times “The Big Island.”
hawaii map

My cell phone won’t work in Hawaii. I need an international plan, right?

beach cellphone


obviously animated GIF

Hawaii In Photos

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How does the new Disney Fast Pass work?

August 19, 2014 in post then categories by admin


If you haven’t made a pilgrimage to the Most Magical Place on Earth recently, you may be surprised by some big changes.

The old FASTPASS system, introduced in 1999 to lessen wait times at popular attractions, was relatively straightforward. With no advance reservation system, determined park-goers would race to FASTPASS ticket machines as soon as the parks opened to secure a spot on their favorite rides.

The new FastPass+ system, which is a bit more complicated, allows for advance planning and opens up many more rides to the legacy system. We break it down for you below.

How do I get FastPass+?

By buying a ticket. FastPass+ is included in the price of admission for every day a ticket is purchased.

fastpass disney

How does FastPass+ work?

FastPass+ reservations can now be made way in advance… no more rope-drop runs to Space Mountain necessary. Disney Resort hotel guests can reserve FastPass+ tickets up to 60 days in advance, while all other ticket holders can do so 30 days in advance.

FastPass+ reservations can be made using the My Disney Experience planning pageor mobile app. After creating an account and linking their reservation, users can secure FastPass+ tickets for their favorite attractions.

If you don’t buy park tickets until you arrive at Disney World, or need to change your FastPass+ reservations, you can do so in two ways. Each park has a number of FastPass+ kiosks where you can make or change your reservations. Beware, the lines for these kiosks can be long. If you can, download the mobile app, which makes it possible to make and change reservations on the go, eliminating yet another line.

FastPass+ experiences work the same way as the legacy system. Each FastPass+ comes with a window of time you will be allowed to enter the ride. Arrive at the ride during that timeframe, get on the FastPass+ queue and enjoy.

fastpass kiosk

Do I need to have a MagicBand?

You can use FastPass+ without purchasing a MagicBand. The old paper park tickets have been replaced with RFID plastic, credit-card type tickets that are scanned at FastPass+ kiosks and at ride queues. MagicBands can be more convenient — no need to fish your ticket out of a wallet or pocket — but are not required. All Disney Resort hotel guests and Walt Disney World passholders are provided MagicBands.

test track

So, how many FastPass+ experiences do I get?

You can reserve up to three FastPass+ experiences at one theme park. That means if you plan on park-hopping, all your FastPass+ reservations can only be in one park. After using all three initial FastPass+ tickets, you can select another FastPass+ experience for the same day, based on availability. After using that one, you can select another, and so on. These additional selections must be made at a FastPass+ kiosk.


What attractions can I get a FastPass+ for?

So many! FastPass+ is now available for more attractions than ever, ensuring that guests of all ages get to experience the attractions they love. Guests can also reserve FastPass+ for parades, fireworks, character greetings and Fantasmic!, ensuring a prime spot without camping out way in advance.


How does the tier system work?

Currently, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios offer a tier system, to ensure FastPass+ tickets for extremely popular attractions are distributed evenly among park guests. For example, at Epcot, guests can choose one “Tier One” attraction and two “Tier Two” attractions. Tier One, for example, includes both Soarin’ and Test Track, so guests must choose between the two.

What about Annual Passholders?

Annual Passholders are allowed to plan seven days of FastPass+ selections within any 30-day period, applicable to one park per day. If staying at a Disney Resort hotel, Annual Passholders can make FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance.

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The Best Beaches On Earth See If You’ve Been To One

August 19, 2014 in post then categories by admin

Let’s face it…it ain’t summertime without at least spending a few days at the beach soaking up the rays and relaxing with family and friends. In the spirit of summer, we’ve gone to the travelers community at travel community to find the best beaches from around the world, those drops of white sand paradise that we yearn for all year round. From South Pacific desert islands to the coasts of Europe and Africa, here are the 40 best beaches on Earth. 1.) Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos  2014-08-12-ProvidencialesTurksCaicosDanielEstradaCastao.jpg Everyone who sets foot on the white sands of Grace Bay comes to the same conclusion: this is paradise. Not only is the beach incredibly long and relatively crowd-free, it’s also surrounded by reefs that’ll make any avid snorkeler drool. (Photo by Daniel E. Castaño) Click here for more photos of Grace Bay 2.) Navagio Beach, Greece  2014-08-12-ShipwreckBeachGreeceTerryBamforth.jpg Surrounded by white limestone cliffs and clear blue waters, Navagio Beach on the Greek isle of Zakynthos is undoubtedly the most famous beach in Greece, and perhaps the most photographed beach on Earth. One look and it’s not hard to see why! (Photo by Terry Bamforth) Click here for more photos of Navagio Beach 3.) Isola dei Conigli, Italy  2014-08-12-IsoladeiConigliLucioSassi.jpg Isola dei Conigli, a small islet off of Lampedusa, Italy, is home to some of the Med’s most dramatically beautiful beaches. While it’s becoming increasingly popular, its relative istolation and status as a protected nature reserve means that you can enjoy this island paradise in peace. (Photo by Lucio Sassi) Click here for more photos of Isola dei Conigli 4.) Jericoacoara, Brazil  2014-08-12-JericoacoaraBeachBrazilAlohaEvelinePadilha.jpg The golden sand dunes of Jericoacoara, Brazil are worth the trip, but the real reason most tourists visit is to take a dip in the warm waters of Lagoa do Paraiso, an impossibly-clear lagoon filled with public hammocks. Can you imagine a better place for an afternoon nap? (Photo by Aloha Eveline Padilha) Click here for more photos of Jericoacoara 5.) Matira Point, French Polynesia 2014-08-12-MatiraPointFrenchPolynesiaLoStampa.jpg Though Bora Bora is usually the haunt of celebs and jetsetters lounging on idyllic private beaches, there is a public beach that’s every bit as stunning: Matira. As one traveler put it: “Heaven exists, and it’s in the middle of the South Pacific.” (Photo by Lo Stampa) Click here for more photos of Matira Point 6.) Île Plate, Mauritius 2014-08-12-lePlateMauritiusChristophePibouleau.jpg Just off the northern tip of Mauritius, Robinson Crusoe wannabes will find Île Plate, a white-sand island paradise that’s also one of the country’s top spots for snorkelers and divers due to its unique conditions which attract reef sharks and other marine life (Photo by Christophe Pibouleou) Click here for more photos of Île Plate 7.) Ko Poda Beach, Thailand  2014-08-12-KohPodaThailandNaxos.jpg The iconic karsts, photogenic long-tail boats, and crystal-clear waters of Ko Poda have made the island synonymous with tropical paradise. The abundance of rocks, reefs, and fish also assure that the underwater views are just as spectacular as those from your beach chair. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of Ko Poda 8.) San Blas Islands, Panama  2014-08-12-SanBlasIslandsPanamaLari002.jpg Sure, these beaches are beautiful, but that means they’re also crowded, right? Well, not in the case of San Blas Islands, an archipelago and natural park in the Panamanian Caribbean. With over 400 beautiful islands, you’re sure to find your very own slice of desert island paradise. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of the San Blas Islands 9.) Los Roques, Venezuela 2014-08-12-LosRoquesVenezuelaNaxos.jpg Though long popular among European and Latin American travelers, Venezuela’s Los Roques Archipelago is still one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. The real magic happens when the tides recede and dozens of white-sand keys appear amid the colorful Caribbean reefs. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of Los Roques 10.) Anse Source D’Argent, Seychelles 2014-08-12-AnseSourceDArgentSeychellesLucioSassi.jpg Anse Source D’Argent is the classic Seychelles beach, pretty much guaranteeing it’s among the most beautiful in the world. To get there, you’ll pass through vanilla plantations and giant turtle reserves before finally reaching a series of paradisaical white sand coves divided by the islands’ trademark boulders. (Photo by Lucio Sassi) Click here for more photos of Anse Source D’Argent 11.) Maya Bay, Thailand 2014-08-12-MayaBayThailandTrevi.jpg Maya Bay’s beauty is such that it managed to outshine Leonardo DiCaprio and become the real star of 2000’s The Beach. While Maya Bay has experienced a boom in recent years, visitors in the off-season will still find the sheltered paradise made famous in the film. (Photo by Trevi) Click here for more photos of Maya Bay 12.) Ari Atoll, Maldives  Ok, so Ari Atoll isn’t a beach proper, but rather a group of coral island surrounding one of the Earth’s most beautiful lagoons. Rustic bungalows, bougainvillea, and nothing to do but eat, swim, and sprawl out on the fluffy white beach. There are over 20 islands with resorts, each more beautiful than the last! (Photo by Toy76) Click here for more photos of Ari Atoll 13.) Cala Luna, Italy 2014-08-12-CalaLunaItalyNaxos.jpg Cala Luna is one of the undisputed stars of Sardinia’s already legendary coast. Nestled within the bounds of the Gennargentu National Park, this white-sand beach is surrounded by fragrant pine forests, impossibly-turquoise water, and large beach caves perfect for an afternoon snooze in the shade. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of Cala Luna 14.) Île Aux Cerfs, Mauritius 2014-08-12-IleauxCerfsMauritiusRobertoGonzalez.jpg The uninhabited private island of Île Aux Cerfs has long been a favorite of the privacy-seeking jet-set, but the sheltered beaches and teeming reefs of this untouched island paradise are also open to day-trippers on inexpensive catamaran tours from the mainland. (Photo by Roberto Gonzalez) Click here for more photos of Île Aux Cerfs 15.) Sarakiniko Beach, Greece 2014-08-12-SarakinikoBeachGreeceNaxos.jpg The gleaming limestone shore of Greece’s Sarakiniko Beach makes it not only one of the prettiest beaches in Greece, but also one of the most unusual. The fact that it’s almost totally undeveloped means that you’ll also be able to enjoy the views without the crowds. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of Sarakiniko Beach 16.) Barbuda, Antigua & Barbuda 2014-08-12-BarbudaLucioSassi.jpg While neighboring Antigua usually attracts all the tourists, the small neighboring island of Barbuda is the choice for beach-lovers in the know. Why? Well, with Barbuda’s population at less than 2,000 inhabitants, visitors are sure to find plenty golden virgin sand all to themselves. (Photo by Lucio Sassi) Click here for more photos of Barbuda 17.) Bayahibe, Dominican Republic 2014-08-12-BayahibeDominicanRepublicNicolasMoreau.jpg The Dominican Republic has some of the Caribbean’s best beaches and nowhere is this more apparent than in Bayahibe, a small fishing village whose delightfully uncrowded beaches are surrounded by amazing reefs and plenty of snack bars serving up fresh lobster and coconut milk. (Photo by Nicolas Moreau) Click here for more photos of Bayahibe 18.) Oludeniz Beach, Turkey 2014-08-12-OludenizBeachTurkeyMoniqueRibeiro.jpg Looking for clean water and adventure? Then head to Oludeniz, the Turkish Riviera’s most famous stretch of sand. Oludeniz has also become popular with hang-gliders and sky-divers looking to catch a bird’s eye view of the stunning coastline and beautiful Blue Lagoon. (Photo by Monique Ribeiro) Click here for more photos of Oludeniz Beach 19.) South Beach, USA 2014-08-12-MiamiBeachUSAChiniCarpentier.jpg South Beach needs no introduction. Where else can you find a palm-lined white-sand beach backed up by the rich cultural offers and night-life of a city like Miami? Whether you want to people-watch, party, or work on your tan, South Beach is definitely the place to be. (Photo by Chini Carpenter) Click here for more photos of Miami 20.) Na Balam Beach, Mexico 2014-08-12-NaBalamMexicoMiguelEguido.jpg A good way to think of Mexico’s Na Balam Beach is as a huge natural swimming pool whose shallow crystalline waters are populated with friendly sea turtles and manta rays. Nice, huh? The fact that it’s only a short boat ride from the resorts of Cancun makes it all the better. (Photo by Miguel Eguido) Click here for more photos of Na Balam Beach 21.) White Beach, Philippines 2014-08-12-BoracayPhilippinesAngelCatalan.jpg The Philippines are experiencing a tourism boom thanks to incredible beaches like the aptly-named White Beach on the small island of Boracay. You can hit the nearby desert islands during the day and catch some of the nation’s leading DJ’s in the local clubs at night. (Photo by Angel Catalan) Click here for more photos of White Beach 22.) Anse Lazio, Seychelles 2014-08-12-AnseLazioSeychellesAntxokaGmez.jpg “This place doesn’t seem real,” is how one awe-struck traveler put it. Anse Lazio is the kind of place where time seems to stop and there’s nothing to do but take a stroll on the soft sand, lounge in the sun with a good book, or strap on the goggles and explore the crystal-blue bay. (Photo by Antxoka Gómez) Click here for more photos of Anse Lazio 23.) As Catedrais Beach, Spain 2014-08-12-CathedralBeachSpainJuanCarlosIbezEspinaco.jpg As Catedrais Beach in the Spanish region of Galicia is rightly famous for being one of the best beaches in the world. While the waters are cold, a low-tide visit to explore the rock arches, massive caves, and labyrinthine passageways is an experience you’ll never forget. (Photo by Juan Carlos Ibañez) Click here for more photos of As Catedrais Beach 24.) Nungwi Beach, Tanazania 2014-08-12-NungwiBeachTanzaniaColajet.jpg Nungwi Beach on Zanzibar’s northern coast has the perfect mix of natural beauty and culture. Aside from the gorgeous beaches and world-class reef diving, the view of the sun setting on the horizon while the tradition dhow boats bring in their catch is about as relaxing as it gets. (Photo by Colajet) Click here for more photos of Nungwi Beach 25.) Whitehaven Beach, Australia  Australia’s Whitehaven Beach is known for having pretty much the whitest sand on the planet (it’s almost pure silica, after all). As a virtually tourist-free UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also among the cleanest on the planet. This is bucket list material here, folks! (Photo by JC Mauguit) Click here for more photos of Whitehaven Beach 26.) Scala dei Turchi, Italy 2014-08-12-ScaladeiTurchiItalySilpan.jpg Sicily’s Scala dei Turchi is not your typical Mediterranean beach. Yes, it has southern Italy’s usual beautiful turquoise waters, but this particular beach is surrounded by pearly white limestone cliffs which form natural terraces. The sight when the sun hits needs to be seen to be believed. (Photo by Silpan) Click here for more photos of Scala dei Turchi 27.) Blue Lagoon, Malta  The Blue Lagoon on the Maltese island of Comino is one of those places you only thought existed in the South Pacific. The combo of white sand, clear water, and sunshine results in a huge natural swimming pool so turquoise it seems almost too good to be real (it is!). (Photo by Cristina Serrano) Click here for more photos of the Blue Lagoon 28.) Boulders Beach, South Africa 2014-08-12-BouldersBeachSouthAfricaJosemaLpez.jpg South Africa has its share of great beaches, but Boulders Beach in Table Mountain National Park is in a league of its own. Aside from the clear blue waters and namesake boulders, the beach is also home to a huge colony of playful African Penguins. (Photo by Josema Lopez) Click here for more photos of Boulders Beach 29.) Legzira Beach, Morocco 2014-08-12-LegziraBeachMoroccoZakariaAitWakrim.jpg Aside from being wind-swept and rugged, Morocco’s Altantic coast can also be striking beautiful. Just take Legzira Beach; years of heavy wind and waves have carved jaw-dropping arches and tunnels into the red cliffs and made the beach a haven for adventurous surfers. (Photo by Zakaria Ait Wakrim) Click here for more photos of Legzira Beach 30.) Vieques Island, Puerto Rico  The uninhabited island of Vieques, Puerto Rico is another of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. An off-limits military base until recently, Vieques and its virgin beaches are still delightfully undeveloped and waiting to be discovered by beach-goers willing to get off the beaten path. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of Vieques 31.) Twelve Apostles, Australia 2014-08-12-TwelveApostlesAustraliaNaxos.jpg The Twelve Apostles are rightfully one of the top spots along Australia’s Great Ocean Drive. While it’s not the ideal place to sprawl our with the sunscreen, the combination of cliffs, waves, and the 8 iconic stacks make it one the most epic beaches found anywhere. (Photo by Naxos) Click here for more photos of the Twelve Apostles 32.) Long Beach, Malaysia 2014-08-12-LongBeachRedangMalaysiaMacgreg.jpg Long Beach on the Malaysian island of Pulau Redang is the definition of tropical paradise: white sand, a bay full of sea turtles and small sharks, and plenty of flowers and palm trees. Add in inexpensive fresh fish and the fact that it’s still not thronged by tourists and yeah…paradise! (Photo by Macgreg) Click here for more photos of Long Beach 33.) Playa de Rodas, Spain 2014-08-12-PlayadeRodasSpainMachbel.jpg Despite being in the green, rainy region of Galicia, Playa de Rodas seems more like the South Pacific than Scotland. While the water is a bit chilly for those with tropical tastes, it’s perfectly transparent and surrounded by a long white-sand beach offering gorgeous views of the mainland. (Photo by Macbel) Click here for more photos of Playa de Rodas 34.) Orient Beach, Guadeloupe 2014-08-12-OrientBayGuadeloupeRobertoGonzalez.jpg Despite being one of the Caribbean’s most famous beaches, Orient Beach hasn’t lost any of its scenic charm and has managed to retain the virgin feel that earned the beach its popularity in the first place. It’s a piece of white-sand paradise wedged between the sea and sky! (Photo by Roberto Gonzalez) Click here for more photos of Orient Beach 35.) Lanikai Beach, USA 2014-08-12-LanikaiBeachHawaiiLucia.jpg You didn’t think we’d forget Hawaii, did you? Oahu’s Lanikai Beach is famous the world over for its beautiful water, laid-back atmosphere, and scenic view of the Na Mokulua islands on the horizon. Tip: visit during the week and you’ll have the place practically to yourself. (Photo by Lucia) Click here for more photos of Lanikai Beach 36.) Honeymoon Island, Cook Islands 2014-08-12-HoneymoonIslandCookIslandsUnCambioDeAires.jpg Despite the name, you don’t have to be a newlywed to enjoy this spectacular coral atoll. While the shady palms and nesting seabirds add a colorful touch, it’s the white beaches and immense mirror-like lagoon that’ll really help you forget the outside world. (Photo by Un Cambio de Aires) Click here for more photos of Honeymoon Island 37.) Byron Bay, Australia 2014-08-12-ByronBayAustraliaMarine.jpg Byron Bay in New South Wales is a place that just oozes “good vibes.” Long popular among surfers, the beach is now a haven for easy-going youth looking to relax on the sand or have a beach-side barbecue. Don’t miss the chance to kayak with the dolphins on Cape Byron. (Photo by Marine) Click here for more photos of Byron Bay 38.) Praia do Camilo, Portugal  2014-08-12-CamiloBeachPortugalFranciscoZurera.jpg When you reach the stairs leading to Praia do Camilo, it’s like stepping into a postcard. Set among the scenic cliffs and stacks of Portugal’s Algarve region, Praia do Camilo is the place to go to enjoy a quiet day in the sun or explore the famous Ponta de Piedade. (Photo by Francisco Zurera) Click here for more photos of Praia do Camilo 39.) Fernando de Noronha, Brazil 2014-08-12-FernandodeNorohaBrazilHernonLeao.jpg Simply put, the beach in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is breathtaking: the area is a protected park (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that’s a veritable Garden of Eden of marine and bird life. Oh, and the views of the rocky islands from the golden beaches are unbeatable. (Photo by Herlon Leao) Click here for more photos of Fernando de Noronha 40.) Calanque d’En Vau, France 2014-08-12-CalanquedEnVauFranceSophieP.jpg While not far from the ritzy resorts and packed beaches of the French Riviera, and sheltered cove of Calanque d’En Vau seems like it’s in another universe. The combination of crystal-blue Mediterranean waters, green pines, and gigantic cliffs is simple perfect. (Photo by Sophie P.)

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Mexico’s Horrific Island Of Dolls Will Haunt You

August 14, 2014 in post then categories by admin

isla de las munecas

isla de las munecas

doll island mexico


On a visit to Isla de las Munecas, you’ll see dolls — Barbies, babies, and mangled soft bodies — strewn from trees and fences, surrounding a small cabin where a photo of the late Santana hangs on a wall. Locals say the dolls sometimes move their eyes or swivel their heads, a sign of the young girl’s spirit coming back to life.

See for yourself by taking a ferry or gondola to the island from one of the wharfs in Mexico City. You’ll most likely have to ask your hired boat to make a stop there, as it’s not included on typical tour routes.

And when a tour is THIS eerie, we can understand why here at






doll island mexico

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Unexpectedly Awesome Places In Florida

August 7, 2014 in post then categories by admin

There’s a lot you probably don’t know about America’s 27th state. Sure, there are the usual stomping grounds of Disney World, St. Augustine, Miami and Daytona, but there are, surprisingly, still some spots that are relatively under-the-radar in the Sunshine State. So if you’re looking to add a little variety to your next vacation — whether it’s going to be about beach time or outdoor activities — we’ve got some options for you here at 1. Explore the totally awesome and gorgeous Ocala National Forest. ocala national forest Close to Orlando, Ocala offers over 600 lakes, streams, rivers and springs — the springs are perfect to swim, snorkel and dive in. 2. Try snorkeling in Molasses Reef. florida keys Make like the Beach Boys and head to Key Largo, where you can spot cool fish in North America’s only living coral reef. 3. Head to Mosquito Lagoon, formerly a prime viewing spot for space shuttle launches. mosquito lagoon florida 4. Drive over nothing but ocean on Florida’s 113-mile highway. the overseas highway Yes, you can get stuck in some traffic, but take a gander at those ocean views! 5. And check out some of the coolest graffiti street art while you’re in Miami. wynwood walls miami Basically the perfect minivan photo opp! 6. Soar into the sky in Pensacola. blue angels florida Watching the Blue Angels fly at breakneck speeds, incredibly low to the ground, ALL while upside down is something you’ll truly never forget. 7. Make like Cap’n Jack and set sail for Tortuga.  dry tortugas Dry Tortugas that is. You’ll have to use a pirate ship or plane to get to the islandsnestled just off the coast of Key West, which are the perfect spot for camping, snorkeling, or bird-watching. 8. Float on through Ichetucknee Springs. ichetucknee springs With super clear water and a pretty strong current, you don’t have to make any effort tubing or canoeing these waters. PERFECTION. 9. Stay in Mount Dora and paddle through Dora Canal. mount dora florida It’s the super cute Victorian town you never expected to see (or paddle through) in Florida. 10. Hang with some manatees in Crystal River.  crystal river florida If you’re looking to swim or snorkel with manatees, the only place in Florida to legally do so is Crystal River. Added bonus? It’s not Sea World. 11. Get your golf on in Fort Walton Beach.  fort walton beach Known for being “no fuss,” Fort Walton Beach has such pretty beaches, golf courses and emerald waters you’ll be left wondering where all the tourists are. 12. Hunt for treasure on the Space Coast. Read the rest of this entry →

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Travel Scams You Need To Look Out For

July 27, 2014 in post then categories by admin

Seasoned travelers know that safety is paramount — especially when you’re traveling alone. Even the most innocent-looking pizza menu or lost bracelet can double as a sneaky ploy to grab your money or passport.

The folks at have a compiled the most common scams you’ll encounter on your travels. While some scams are more common in certain areas, it should be noted that anything can happen anywhere — and that the majority of sidewalk flower salesmen are not crooks.

Be on your guard, but don’t forget to have fun, because the people you’ll meet are fundamentally good (except for the ones who snatch your credit card, of course).



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Strangest Things Ever Found by Airport Security

July 22, 2014 in post then categories by admin

Human-Skull Fragments

Carefully check your vacation purchases before heading to the airport. You never know when they may end up containing human-skull fragments. Passengers in Ft. Lauderdale were seriously delayed in 2013 when the clay pots they’d checked in their luggage were found to contain fragments of human skull. According to the TSA, the flyers claimed they didn’t realize that their souvenirs came with bonus body parts inside. The pieces weren’t considered a security threat by the TSA but were instead treated as evidence in a crime scene.


Nobody ever intends to pack fire (we hope), but you could accidentally start one in your luggage if you pack the wrong stuff. Take, for example, this incident in Atlantic City, when a flyer’s checked bag exploded into three-foot-high flames. The fire was caused by a combination of a leaking can of hair spray and a lighter, which sparked when the bag was being loaded onto the conveyor belt. Even if you’re not packing a lighter, it’s a good idea to stow all liquids and aerosols (like hair spray) in a plastic bag in case of leaks.

A Dead Body

Come on, people, Weekend at Bernie’s is a comedy, not a great source of inspiration to help you avoid paying extra to transport a corpse. We’re shocked at how many people have tried to pass off a body as a “sleeping” passenger, like the family that tried to haul a dead body through airport security in a wheelchair in order to avoid paying a fee, or the mother-and-daughter team that tried to smuggle a 91-year-old dead manonto a flight by putting him in sunglasses and dumping him in a wheelchair.


Did you know that cannonballs can retain their explosiveness for years and then randomly detonate on their own? Neither did we, but we still wouldn’t pack them in our luggage. (Think of the overweight fees alone.) And, unfortunately for the 290 passengers who were delayed at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in 2012, neither did the diver who tried to bring home an old cannonball he found near a shipwreck.

240 Live Fish

Hey, we’re not here to judge—maybe you went on an amazing snorkeling vacation and were overwhelmed with the urge to start your own aquarium. And maybe you couldn’t wait to get home to buy your new pets. That’s fine. Most airlines will actually let you ship your new fishy friends home via cargo. But don’t be that guy who decides to transport 240 fish in four large hard-sided suitcases—suitcases filled with nothing but water and fish.


G’day, mate! Bringing home a boomerang as a souvenir from Australia? You can carry it on Australian flights, but once aboard your U.S.-bound plane, you’ll need to transfer that boomerang to your checked baggage. It’s considered a deadly weapon stateside. Airport security has confiscated boomerangs in the past, so you’d better check it.2014-07-15-COVER_CloseupofTSAAgentInspectingBag580x382.jpg

Venomous Snakes

We bet the writers of The TSA Blog get some super-weird comments (maybe even weirder than the comments we get here)—which is probably what prompted this update to a story: “A container of dead venomous snakes was found in checked baggage at Newark (EWR). Updated 3/3/12 to add that dead snakes are not prohibited. The snakes were permitted to travel. The large liquid jar holding the snakes needed to be inspected due to an explosive-detection system alarm. No dead snakes were harmed during the making of this post. We just took advantage of the photo op.” So take note, travelers. You can totally pack your dead snakes, just be careful if you store them in liquid.

18 Severed Heads

Packing 18 severed heads in your luggage? Not a problem, as long as you have the right paperwork. Packing 18 severed heads in your luggage and then losing them? Totally a problem. In 2013, some misplaced human craniums made, um, headlineswhen they were misplaced at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. (They were medical specimens, and there was a mix-up with some paperwork.)

Security kept a cool head about the incident, though. As Brian Bell, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesman, told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Everybody here is, ‘Oh my gosh, you got a box of heads,’ and everybody thinks that it’s unheard of. It is a potentially legitimate medical shipment. We’ve seen it at various ports in the nation.”

A Baby

Parents: Please do not put your baby through an X-ray scanner. Airport security will probably notice that there is a living human inside there. One couple was busted at an airport in the United Arab Emirates when they tried to smuggle their young son (who did not have a visa) into the country by packing him inside a carry-on bag. Unsurprisingly, the jig was up when officials spotted the boy on X-ray.

Samurai Sword

Remember, people: If you’re in doubt about what you can bring on board a plane, you can always go to the TSA’s website or mobile app and use the “Can I Bring?” feature. Simply type in whatever you’re wondering about and you’ll get an immediate answer. This would have saved the person who tried to take a samurai sword aboard a plane at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier this month a lot of hassle.

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The Cheapest Time To Fly This Summer

July 5, 2014 in post then categories by admin

If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your travel plans by spending the least this summer, look no further.

Based on data from thousands of flights, the folks at have concluded that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly this summer. On average, you’ll save $64 if you fly on a summer Tuesday instead of a summer Sunday. It’s also better if you just avoid the month of July as a whole: you’ll save about $100 if you book your vacation for August instead.

For more destination-specific hacks, the team at Hopper figured out the best time to “fly and buy” this summer, narrowing down the cheapest weeks to take to the skies.

Because as Hopper says, “not all weeks are created equal for travel…”

flight deals6








If you’re headed to Chicago
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: $327
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re headed to Denver, Orlando, NYC or Las Vegas
Book a ticket for: Week of August 24
Average “good deal” price: Mid-high $300’s
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re going to Los Angeles
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: $404
Avoid the week of: June 29

If you’re going to San Francisco
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: $418
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re going to Seattle….
Book a ticket for: Week of August 24
Average “good deal” price: $432
Avoid the week of: June 29

If you’re going to Honolulu
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: $942
Avoid the week of: June 29

Planning a trip outside of the U.S.? Here are your top international weeks of travel.
punta cana

If you’re going to Cancun
Book a ticket for: Week of August 24
Average “good deal” price: $491
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re going to Montego Bay or Los Cabos
Book a ticket for: Week of August 10
Average “good deal” price: Mid $500’s
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re going to Punta Cana
Book a ticket for: Week of September 7
Average “good deal” price: $563
Avoid the week of: June 29

If you’re going to Dublin or Paris
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: Low $1000s
Avoid the week of: June 29

If you’re going to London
Book a ticket for: Week of August 31
Average “good deal” price: $1,282
Avoid the week of: September 7

If you’re going to Rome
Book a ticket for: Week of August 24
Average “good deal” price: $1,426
Avoid the week of: June 29

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by admin

All The Flight Patterns Across The North Atlantic In 2 Minutes, Very cool Video

July 5, 2014 in post then categories by admin

Every day, between two and three thousand flights traverse the North Atlantic on journeys from North America to Europe, or back again. watch this amazing video here @

Have you ever wondered how they all make it without getting tangled in each other?

Following their stunning time-lapse of European flight paths, air traffic control service NATS released a video condensing all its flights from one day in July into a single two-minute clip.

Watch in awe as hundreds of planes follow their predetermined “tracks” across the ocean, in a pattern so complex it looks like the little blue bulbs are dancing over each other in the sky.

Oh, the glory of flight. And the glory of the people who organize it for us!

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