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Friday, April 20, 2012

Super Useful Travel Links 4.20.12

There have been many cool things happening in the travel world this month, and some not even related to travel, but I've tried to narrow down the most fun and useful links for you, otherwise, I could easily post this series twice a week instead of twice a month. Enjoy and hopefully these will help you out on your own travels and planning.

Am I the only one who kinda wishes they can take their gaming console on the road with them? Dustin at Too Many Adapters has given me new options. Play classic Nintendo or arcade games anywhere you go. Say what? It’s true. You can download some of your favorites to your iPad, play on your Android phone or even bring your Wiimote and play on your laptop. I love it and I’m sharing the love with you. Get your kids addicted to Super Mario Bros or SpyHunter by using their downtime boredom against them. Those are so much better than Call of Duty. (As in they are less graphic. Who worries about the effect of pixelated mushrooms on children? Nobody, because they are fun!)

I've had no less than three people asking me about travel rewards credit cards...this week. Which one is the best? Where can I compare them? Did I get the wrong one? Well, I don't have all the answers, because I'm lame like that when it comes to credit card info, but I happened upon this useful article on CBS News that tells you the 10 Best Travel Rewards Cards. I have heard good things about the Capital One Venture Card, so now there is further proof that it is an all-around great card, but there are 9 more that might fit your life and travel style, so give it a read.

I'm such a fan of hop-on hop-off bus tours, which is funny, because I've never actually been ON one. Next time I'm in a new city that has one at a reasonable price, I will get me some tickets. Perhaps in one of these ten cities that Viator names that have the best hop-on hop-off tours. I particularly intrigued that the island of Malta has one. I've been dying to go there. Coincidence? I think not!

Who's ever forgotten something you needed on vacation? Guilty over here. In the last few years I've forgotten socks (luckily, there was the pair being worn and ONE pair stuffed in a corner of the suitcase), but a lot of washing at night was happening, and the iPod charging tip to my iGo. Oddly, we couldn't find either of those things where we were traveling. Maybe if we'd had this app, we wouldn't have had that problem...except for when we couldn't charge our iPod touch. Goodzer can help you find things you need, wherever you are, and includes pricing, too. Now that's a crazy good app. It only works in the U.S. right now, but it's possible they will expand it to other big tourist destinations.

Ever been scammed on vacation? If not, try to keep it that way by keeping up with the latest scams happening. Don't get all your valuable stolen while an "apologetic" clumsy diner tries to clean up the drink, food they spilled on you, or get taken for a ride (literally) by a fake cab driver. Here's what to look for an how to avoid falling victim. 

Alaska Airlines is one of my preferred airlines and that's why it's so nice to hear that they have taken traveling with your pet to a whole new level. While I haven't actually taken my poor little dog on the plane yet (mostly because I think she might have a heart attack and she probably would rather spend a week or two with her "Grammy"), if I do, Alaska will probably be her first experience with it. Banfield pet hospitals and Alaska have partnered together to make travel with your pet even easier. With a check-up and more when you book a flight for your pet, you will know your animal is happy and healthy. What's more, is the new regulations Alaska has put in place for animal carriers going into the cargo hold. They want you to have peace of mind that your pet is safe, even when you can't see them.

Are you on the lookout for unusual things to do in a city? It might be a tour, but not your everyday tour where there are 50 people and a guide that gives the same version 42 times a week? Well, check out Gidsy, where you can find tours and other cool stuff to do in a city with real people. Yes, I know those normal tour guides are "real", but so rarely are they personable. Why not let a local show you around their city or teach you to make chutney or walk you around the farmers' market to get ingredients for your cooking class that will end your tour? You can find all those things and more there in 6 major cities around the world (so far). Thanks to T+L for their spotlight on Gidsy.

Do you love the idea of cruising (visiting a bunch of different destinations), but don't really want t to spend time on a boat? Check out this new service from a site called Mauiva Aircruise. They bring you the same experience, but you travel by air instead of a ship. It's a definite splurge, and you could almost do it yourself for the same price or cheaper, but you do get to fly on a private jet this way. While the pricing isn't right, the idea is a fairly cool one, considering it can include all your meals and activities.

If you owe the IRS, you better stop saving for vacation and start using that money to pay them back. If a new bill passes through the House, your passport could be suspended for delinquent tax repayment.

So many people balk at my suggestion of carry-on travel, but I think it's just because they think they will totally miss something if they don't bring it. Lou from Zen Habits explains the art of ultra-light packing for his whole family. While I don't think I could get away with so little, it's inspirational. And if they can pack only one extra outfit, then you can surely fit a week's worth of clothing in a regular size carry-on. Just sayin'.

I hope you're enjoying this new series, as I am having a great time collecting links and finally getting to share them, too. Did you find something you wanted to share lately? Paste it in the comments!

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