Suspicious, photo-taking "Middle Eastern" men were visually impaired tourists

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A leaked Vancouver internal police bulletin sent the city into a tizz when they learned that the cops were trying to locate three "Middle-Eastern" men who'd been taking a suspicious amount of photographs of a shopping mall. Read the rest

TSA threatens to stop accepting driver's licenses from nine states as of Jan 10

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When Congress passed the 2005 Real ID act -- mandating easy sharing (and intrinsic insecurity) -- of driver's license data, they insisted compliance by states with the rules would be voluntary. Read the rest

What's in Patti Smith's bag?

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Legendary poet and high priestess of punk Patti Smith posted photos and details of what she packed for a recent tour.

Smith is on tour right now, playing her iconic album Horses in its entirety (and then some), and I hope to catch one of her always-incendiary and inspiring performances.

I always travel light. Besides my dungarees and my trusty Ann Demeulemeester black jackets, everything can be washed in a sink in a hotel room and laid out on a windowsill to dry. For instance 7 tee shirts (including 4 electric lady teeshirts) and 7 pairs of bee socks.

The worse part, besides saying goodbye to my daughter Jesse, is picking out what books to take. I decide this will be essentially a Haruki Murakami tour. So I will take several of his books including the three volume IQ84 to reread. He is a good writer to reread as he sets your mind to daydreaming while you are reading him. thus i always miss stuff.

I inventory Moleskin notebooks. seven small tubes of Weleda salt toothpaste. witch hazel wipes. Loquat leaf tea bags for cough. essentials like that. I guess I am ready.

Read the rest

Video about a $32,000 plane trip from NYC to Abu Dhabi

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Brian Kelly (aka The Points Guy) reviewed what it was like to fly Etihad's Residence suite from New York JFK to Abu Dhabi. His "seat" was a three-cabin suite.

Etihad forgot to load his baggage on the flight. Read the rest

Marriott removing desks from its hotel rooms "because Millennials"

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Yahoo sport columnist Dan Wetzel checked into a Marriott, something he does a lot, and was bewildered to discover that his room didn't have a desk. When he called down to the reception, he discovered that the whole chain was gradually removing its desks, because some consultants told them that Millennials like to chill on couches with their phones, not sit at desks like square-ass Old People. Read the rest

HOWTO pack a suit so it doesn't wrinkle

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If you have to travel with a suit and don't fancy ironing it when you arrive, you can use one of two methods (depending on the size of your suitcase) to pack it so that it unpacks ready to wear. Read the rest

Man follows girlfriend through Southeast Asia with videocamera

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JohanKaos and his girlfriend took a trip through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and created an entertaining video. Where is that place where they walked into the mouth of a giant stone head? Read the rest

One second of video for each day spent on a 333-day trip around the world

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My friend Tom Fassbender took a year off to go on a round-the-world trip with his family. He wrote a bunch of excellent dispatches for Boing Boing, which you can read here. He got back to the US a couple of months ago and just finished editing this video that has over 300 one-second clips of the trip.

One of the things I'd planned on doing during our trip was to shoot one second of video for each day we were traveling. I'd done little projects of this nature on short weekend trips (like this one to Julian, California), but this was taking that idea to a whole new level of commitment. However, the project didn't work out exactly as I'd planned. As anyone who's traveled the world will tell you, some days are spent doing pretty much nothing, while others are spent packed with all sorts of activities. So some days I had no clips. Other days I had many clips to sort through.

But these things have a tendency to even out, and in the end, after culling the duplicate clips and the clips that just didn't work, I ended up with 337 clips for a 333-day trip, which is close enough. Here's the finished, edited movie.

[via] Read the rest

You think holiday air travel sucks? Try flying while disabled. On American Airlines.

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Air travel is degrading, stressful, and humiliating enough as it is, so imagine doing it when you can’t get up and walk off the plane.

Pick-pocketed in Ho Chi Minh City: A cautionary tale

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Although we hoped it wouldn't happen, we knew that being pick-pocketed on our Trip Around the World was a very real possibility. We tried to always be careful, especially in crowded places, but we just weren't careful enough in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you've ever visited Vietnam or even seen videos on YouTube, you know the streets are filled with an endless flow of motorbike traffic. There are plenty of cars on the road, too, but, as it was explained to us, Vietnam has an import tax of 200% on automobiles while motorbikes are bought and sold from flyers on the walls of cafes and restaurants for $200. And that means there are a lot more motorbikes than cars traversing the streets of Vietnam.

We'd been in Vietnam for more than a week, so we'd gotten used to the intensity of Vietnamese street traffic. We even got really good at crossing the street with (almost) no fear. Despite this familiarity, we were still a little surprised when we left The Secret Garden (a well-regarded, somewhat hidden rooftop restaurant located up four flights of stairs in an alley off Pasteur Street) to walk to Fanny's, an ice cream parlor where we had a reservation to enjoy a fancy 14-scoop ice cream fondue platter.

It was New Year's Eve, and a massive number of people and motorbikes were clogging the city's streets like nothing we'd seen before. HCMC has a population of almost eight million people, and it felt like every one of them was either driving through the heart of District 1 on a motorbike or walking toward Công viên 23 Tháng 9 (Park September 23) to get a good view of the upcoming New Year's concert and fireworks show. Read the rest

Get a handy illuminated luggage scale for $7

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When I need to weigh luggage, I use a health scale. First I stand on the scale holding the piece of luggage, then I stand on the scale without holding the luggage. By employing an ancient sorcerer's spell, I can use these two numbers to magically calculate the weight of the luggage. With this handy little luggage scale, though, I no longer have to resort to witchcraft. Except I did use the incantation "47KSC7YA" to melt $3 of the price of the scale on Amazon, and got it for just $7. That's the last time I'll use magick, I promise. Read the rest

The Henty Wingman is my favorite travel bag

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I try to keep business travel as light, and fast as I can. The Henty Wingman is a bag that matches my style perfectly.

The Henty Wingman fits two or three sport coats, or two suits, in its garment pocket. There are also pockets for shoes, clothes and a waterproof section for your toiletries. I have no trouble packing for 3-4 days in this bag, and using it as my sole carry on. Once the bag is fully packed, it rolls up to something not much larger than a yoga mat.

Jackets, if carefully packed, come out pretty much as nice and crease free as they did from the dry cleaner. I suggest folding your shirts into a compressing packing envelope, and not hanging them with the jackets. Packing shirts in the garment bag does leave them with some light creases. Nothing hanging out in the bathroom while you shower won't fix, however.

The outside storage pocket fits my Kindle, iPad or even Macbook Air. I keep my chargers in there too, and I do not need to carry any other bags with me on short trips!

I've managed as much as a two week trip, living out of this bag, but it involved a lot of laundry at hotels. It is certainly light, easy to pack and the first bag I look for when I've got to run out of town. Like right now!

Henty Wingman Suit Bag via Amazon Read the rest

“An AirBnB for home-cooked meals” around the world gets $870K in funding

Traveling Spoon’s Stephanie Lawrence and Aashi Vel.

Traveling Spoon is the creation of Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence (shown in the photo above), who met in 2011 at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The platform they're building allows you to find awesome home-cooked cuisine around the world. The idea isn't to replace takeout or delivery services, but to help travelers experience amazing local food--foraged or farmed or hunted or farmers-marketed and prepared by skilled locals.

From the "About" page on their site:

Traveling Spoon is like having a friend’s mom cook you a home cooked meal in every country you visit. Traveling Spoon connects travelers with local, vetted hosts to share the joy of a homemade meal in their home and learn about their cultural and culinary traditions passed down through generations.

Are you kidding? I do this already, but it's a lot harder to coordinate by myself. I for one would use the shit out of this service.

From TechCrunch:

They’ve raised $870,000 from investors including the former CEO of Expedia Erik Blachford, George Butterfield, First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund, the Chennai Angels and Emily and Anjan Mitra, who own the DOSA restaurants in San Francisco. Bay Area food icon Alice Waters is also an advisor.

Someone's grinding chiles for salsa...

Sample country page on Traveling Spoon website: India. Read the rest

Watch this ice cream vendor in Turkey blow tourists' minds with magic

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This sidewalk sweets vendor in Istanbul loves playing tricks on customers. Watch one of them turn the tables on him.

Three-ounce silicone bottles to hold your goops when you travel

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This set of three 3-ounce travel bottles lets you transfer your favorite shampoo, lotion, and unguent into TSA-compliant squeezable tubes. The also have a suction cup so you can stick them to the shower wall in your hotel room and forget to pack them when you check-out. Read the rest

A travel pillow that might actually work

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I have a hard time sleeping on a plane. As soon as I nod off, my head drops and I startle myself awake. I've tried those horseshoe pillows but they don't work very well for me. The JetComfy is a travel pillow that looks like it might allow me to sleep comfortably on a plane. It's cushion on a pole that clamps to the arm rest. You rest your head on it and fall into a deep slumber. I hope that's what happens, at least. It also contains a USB battery to charge your devices and a compartment that holds a combination pen/stylus/light. Pre-sale cost is $65 on Kickstarter.

Read the rest

Which airport do you hate the most?

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Of the American contenders, Newark is the most-hated, though Turkey's Dalamar airport takes the international honors. Read the rest

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