Traveling soon but don’t have enough time to read up on cultural norms and travel tips? These four smartphone apps are designed to help business travelers steer clear of trouble abroad. The Air Force Culture Guide Designed by the Air Force to help its officers adjust to life abroad, this app focuses on cultural etiquette around the world. With categories such as Personal Space and Eye Contact, Conversational Topics, Natural Hazards, and Dining Customs, this app is a sure-fire way to avoid cultural faux pas. Timeshifter Anyone who has ever suffered from jet lag could benefit from the trick that Timeshifter’s developer Dr. Steven Lockley has discovered: carefully managing light exposure days before the trip can make a huge difference in avoiding jet lag. The app takes into account your departing and arriving airports, times of each flight, and whether the user is an early bird or night owl to create a personalized hourly schedule telling you when to seek or avoid light, when to nap, and when to incorporate caffeine. Binaural Another way to avoid a disturbance in your sleep schedule while travelling is to download Binaural. The app aids restful sleep and drowns out distracting noises by emitting soundwaves designed to boost concentration and relaxation. GlobeTips Unsure about tipping practices in other countries? This app is designed to help travelers from the U.S. avoid inadvertently over- or under-tipping in foreign locales. The app features a built-in receipt-scanner complete with a GPS that calculates the exact amount of tip to be paid in accordance with local customs.Read more
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With the holiday season approaching as quickly as ever, it may be tricky to come up with a gift idea ingenious enough for the experienced traveler on your list. Look no further-- here is a list of gadgets perfect for any tech-savvy adventurer. Beats Solo 3 Every frequent flier needs a nice pair of headphones. Not only are these trendy, but they have great sound quality and do a great job of blocking out noise. Foxnovo Wi-Fi Smart Plugs These easy-to-use plugs enable you to turn on any appliance remotely. Perfect for turning on the lights to give the illusion that someone is home --when they’re not. Anker PowerCore Portable Charger Now that we depend on our technology to guide us when visiting new places, there’s nothing worse than having your device run out of power when you’re lost. This portable charger has enough juice to charge iPhones 5 times, and can even charge iPads and tablets. Oscaurt Anti-Theft Backpack The first thing every great backpacker needs is a great backpack-- not only does this one feature hidden pockets that dissuade pickpockets, but it also includes a USB charging port, night safety feature, and a luggage strap that attaches to your suitcase. Fitbit Smart Watch Know anyone who is always on the road AND never misses a workout? This smartwatch is the perfect way to count steps, watch calories, and ultimately get the most out of any workout--even the ones composed of wandering city streets or doing lunges in the airport. GoPro HERO7 Silver Every adventurer needs a waterproof action camera. GoPro’s HERO7 shoots in 4K video and takes photos in 10MP, beyond which it has a voice-control capability so that you can always get a great shot --even when your hands are full. Fire HD 8 Tablet Every traveler needs a light, compact tablet that is portable enough to take virtually everywhere. This tablet is small, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive, making it the perfect gift for any traveler on your list.Read more
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting paid to travel, you might want to fill out an application with Dream Jobbing. Dream Jobbing is a combination Production Company/Job Search and Technology Platform. They recently teamed up with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to launch a search for someone to be filmed traveling around Thailand, showcasing off-the-beaten path destinations and experiences. According to the press release, they’re looking for a U.S.-based millennial with “an adventurous spirit.” Whoever gets the “job” will have his/her Thailand journey filmed for a TV documentary called The Local Traveler in Thailand. Interested applicants need to upload a short video (60 seconds or less) telling the organizers a bit about themselves and why they would be the perfect “local traveler in Thailand.” The application process opened on November 1 and will continue through the end of the year. The selected candidate will travel to Thailand for two to three weeks sometime between January and February 2019. She or he will receive round-trip airfare, all in-country expenses, a per diem, and a salary. The “job” will be to tell the story of Thailand while discovering local Thai experiences. There is no set itinerary yet, but under consideration are: a meeting with an up-and-coming chef in Bangkok; a visit to Pang Oong lake and the temple city of Wat Phrathat Doi Kongmu, a homestay in a local fishing village in the southern province of Chumphon(where visitors work with t he community on coral and sea horse rehabilitation in exchange for room and board), etc. Wherever, the promotional video clearly states “no hotels.” The Tourist Authority of Thailand said that its hope is that this will be an opportunity to showcase parts of the country and activities that are not yet on many traveler's radars.Read more
Considering the news coming out of the White House these days it seems appropriate to chat about toilets, and who knew??: there are International Toilet Tourism Awards. Travelwirenews reports that six toilets have won the coveted titles in 2018. Submissions were received from destinations across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The toilets were judged for their design, quirkiness, location, accessibility, and economic contribution to their locality. And the winners are: Best Design: The Saskatchewan Science Centre, Saskatchewan, Canada. The design for the newly refurbished 2nd floor restroom was inspired by the boreal forests of northern Saskatchewan; the restroom is complete with floor-to-ceiling visuals of the deep forest and audio of birdsong and woodland sounds. Best Economic Contributor: The Cummins Mosaic Loo, Cummins, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, Australia. The local community converted a former railway station into a public loo with personality. Due to word of mouth, tourists now seek out the restrooms, which feature statues, mosaics, and paintings reflecting a more genteel bygone era from the early 20th century; the local businesses now benefit from tourists visiting the old-fashioned toilets in the center of town. Best Location: Hotel La Jolla, La Jolla, California. Sitting on the 11th floor, the restroom offers a breathtaking view of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Best Accessible Toilet: Brisbane Airport, Queensland, Australia. The airport's upgraded accessible toilets have been designed to exceed accessibility legislation and make travel accessible to thousands of people with disabilities. Dedicated changing facilities allow for specialized equipment such as an adult changing table, a hoist, and a toilet with removable hand rails for people with severe disabilities. The airport even has an indoor loo for guide dogs. Quirkiest Experience: Bowl Plaza, Lucas, Kansas, United States. Bowl Plaza offers a public restroom with bling! It took four years to build and is now a major attraction in Lucas, the small town, grassroots arts capital of Kansas. The walls of the bathroom are covered inside and out detailed mosaics created by local residents and artists, and the entire building is shaped like a toilet tank. The entrance is even designed to look like a raised toilet lid with benches that represent the curved toilet seat. Winner for Overall Contribution to Toilet Tourism: The James Bond Toilets at Piz Gloria, Murren, Switzerland. Located at 2970m at the top of Mt. Schilthorn in Switzerland, the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant and visitor center has embraced a James Bond theme ever since the location was used as Blofeld's Lair in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". The toilet experience has James Bond audiovisual effects: Bond girl Diana Rigg appears in the mirror when men wash their hands. There's a sign for men in the toilet saying "Shake, Don't Stir" and "Aim Like James". The ladies' room has music and a shot ringing out as an image of James Bond appears in the mirror beside a bullet hole, as well as an audio of Bond saying "Tonight, my place- just the two of us".Read more
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