Boing Boing 

How you can hack credit cards for cheaper travel

Travel credit cards are crucial to reducing your travel costs and making life easier. These credit cards can get you free stuff and cheap flights, help you save on exchange rates, avoid fees, and make you money.

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A tour through New Zealand's amazing steampunk town

We went to Oamaru, New Zealand to see the blue penguins (and they were super cute), but it was the town’s dedication to Steampunk that really got us fired up.

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Sacred Journey – The trippiest travel photo book you will ever see

Sacred Journey: The Ganges to the Himalayas is the trippiest travel photo book I have ever seen, and I’ve seen them all. David Howard took a spiritual trip to India and Nepal, hanging out with the naked sadhus and poor pilgrims at the holy sites along the way. He photographed his subjects and then photoshopped them into hallucinogenic collages. The images are hyper real, their sharpness too sharp, the scales of subjects mixed, with no distinction between background and foreground. They vibrate on the page, almost hurting your eyes. But your retina compels you to study the multi-dimensional pictures, and dive into the disorientation. Howard captures the feeling of being on a trip in India and Nepal better than anything else I’ve seen or read. These are postcards from the edge of coherence. It is a deeply personal journal, and for that reason one of my favorites, even though I am glad I was not on his bus.

See sample pages of Sacred Journey: The Ganges to the Himalayas at Wink.

Coach-minus: a new low in high-flying travel


An unnamed airline is said to be planning a "coach-minus" service that features smaller, more crowded seats. They say they're providing cheaper tickets to passengers who demand it.

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Blackpool's Broadway Hotel fines guests £100 for negative review


The hotel had no running water, miswired electrical outlets, and a contract with fine-print that said that they'd charge your credit card £100 if you posted a negative review on the Web.

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Luxury South African safari train where work is forbidden


The 3-day, $2750/person Rovos Rail train safari from Pretoria to Durban is pulled by 1930s steam trains; features giant, luxurious staterooms with their own bathtubs; offers high tea; and, true to its Edwardian time-warp, passengers are prohibited from working in public areas, lest this break the atmosphere of idle wealth and privilege.

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PSA: Escaping from Gogo's roach-motel business model

Last month, during my many-city book tour, I signed up for Gogo's in-flight wifi service. Today I discovered that it's much harder to get shut of it.

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Gorgeous time-lapse video of Europe

Andrew Walker's beautiful time-lapse clips of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic are a real treat for desk-chair travelers like me. "Moment Abroad"

The Majesty of Easter Island

As a young boy, Tom Fassbender remembers being fascinated by Easter Island while watching In Search Of, but he never thought he’d have the chance to actually visit the place — then his family decided to travel around the world.

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Cybercrooks sell stolen rewards points at 99.9% discount

Enough Hilton Hhonors points to cover $1200 worth of stays can be bought for $12, and the crooks who're inside your account can use your associated credit-card to buy more points and more hotel rooms for themselves.

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Pocket-sized travel-laundry gadget


The Scrubba is a washtub, washboard, soaker and dry-rack that collapses down and fits in your pocket, and can also serve as a drybag for camping trips.

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Anti-bedbug luggage uses heating elements to bake your stuff

Thermalstrike's heated luggage has plug-in elements that heat the contents of your bag to 140F before you unpack them, which should theoretically kill any bedbugs that hitched a ride home with you from the road (remember to take out your toiletries and electronics first!).

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Free Di Filippo story inspired ancient Italian city of Matera


Author Paul Di Filippo did a residency for Matera, a legendary, ancient Italian city and wrote "Chasing the Queen of Sassi" based on his experience of the region.

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Managing expectations on a trip around the world

When Tom Fassbender took a trip around the world with his family, he wasn’t naive enough to think that it was going to be a year of easy adventure full of laughs and endless fun.

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Great stuff to see before it's obliterated by climate change


There's at least 33 things you should do, see and eat before climate change turns them into sad memories, from Kennedy Spaceport to Las Vegas to the Sydney Opera House.

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Where do bags go after the TSA takes them?

They go to Alabama, writes intrepid and daring sock smuggler Dan Lewis.

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How We Decided to Travel Around the World

“Most people think that taking a family of four on a trip around the world for an entire year would require a long discussion and some careful consideration,” says Tom Fassbender. “But for us, the decision was made with the speed of a single text message.”

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Video: How to pack for one night

Dave Hax on "How To Pack for 1 Night."

How to survive travel


Some bloody good advice: get there really early, opt out of the pornoscanner, bring a white flu mask, headphones and a set of noise-cancellers.

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The horrible seating configuration Airbus wants to patent

airbus-bike-seats-leg-room

Here's the patent application. The "good" news: It's just conceptual. Regulators wouldn't let Ryanair sell standing room tickets, so maybe this would be banned as well?

Superefficient campstove that charges your phone while it boils water, using only twigs


The superefficient Biolite woodstove will boil water in minutes from twigs and charge your phone while it does it.

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An American in Yemen: unlikely and wonderful tourism


Polish-American software developer Maciej Cegłowski decided to take a holiday in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a, home to breathtaking, 600-year-old skyscrapers that look like gingerbread houses.

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Supercomputing center in a beautiful, deconsecrated church


Allison writes, "The Barcelona Supercomputing Center is not only gorgeous with its soaring ceilings, it also was an instrumental site for developing modern microchip technology."

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China sends high-profile dissidents on forced luxury holidays


China spends even more on internal "stability maintenance" and security than it does on its army. Some of that incredible budget goes to forced holidays for dissidents that get them out of the way during events like the 25th anniversary of Tienanmen Square. It's called "being traveled."

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Folding, 90 micron-thick blankets that fit in your pocket


Matador pocket-blankets are 90-micron-thick nylon blankets with weighted corners to keep them from blowing away and stitched fold-lines for easy refolding.

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What it's like to take a 36-hour sleeper train from LA to Seattle

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, which it bills as “A Grand West Coast Train Adventure,” is its last remaining full-service sleeper train. The Coast Starlight is home to what would have previously been standard: a dining car, an observation car with floor-to ceiling windows, a movie theater, and a full slate of entertainment options, including the two complimentary wine tastings. Nicole Dieker takes the trip.

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Japanese arcade recreates gritty walled city of Kowloon


Kawasaki's Warehouse arcade, near Yokohama, is a fantastically detailed, gritty recreation of the old walled city of Kowloon, near Hong Kong. The Tokyo Times photos depict a place that's like a fevered Gibson dream, and note that there's an accompanying, spooky soundscape. This is going on my must-see list for our next Japan trip.

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Exaggeration postcards: sight-gags-by-mail

Retronaut rounds up a series of "exaggeration postcards" from 1907-1967, representing a golden era of visual-comedy-by-mail. Hard to characterize the Texas Jackalope card as an "exaggeration," though -- it's more of an out-and-out lie (albeit a beautiful one).

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How to request your US Border file (and what you're likely to get)


Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency for his own travel records, including the notoriously comprehensive "Passenger Name Record" -- what he got was '72 pages of shit,' a redacted jumble of arbitrarily collected and retained nonsense. He didn't get his PNR. If you want to give it a try, he's signposted the procedure.

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Singapore's Changi airport is pretty awesome


Bren, a self-confessed "noodle fanatic," has written a guide to the delights of Singapore's Changi airport, which he calls "Disneyland for backpackers." It is certainly a nice airport, the best airport ever built on the site of a notorious death-camp, but Bren misses its best feature: the outdoor rooftop pool. I always try make Singapore my stopover when I fly to Australia, and do an hour's worth of nighttime lengths in the pool before re-boarding. I like his play on William Gibson's classic moniker for S'pore, too: Disneyland With the Death Penalty."

Changi really does rock: butterfly gardens, cheap amazing food, great electronics, cheap massage, free Playstations, and free movie-theaters!

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