Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from Shanghai

The Blue Tree © Kimberly 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

1950's Napoli

Bikinis, Wheels, Psalms and Trousers
Posted by Emiana
Thursday, December 21, 2006

There is a Flickr member named Agedsenator who has a fabulous collection of photos of Naples and its environs that he took in the 1950s ... His photos are poetic, thrilling, exotic, funny, moving and melancholy. They are always filled with history, heart and soul and often look like a still from an Italian realist film.

here for complete post.

Click here to view agedsenator's photography on Flickr.

Monday, December 18, 2006

No snow for Europe

Concern over Europe 'snow crisis'
Unseasonably warm conditions across Europe are being greeted with a mixture of disbelief and despair by those who normally rely on cold winters. James Cove and James Rodgers assess the winter weather.
BBC News
Published: 2006/12/17 10:47:40 GMT

Many resorts have had to postpone their openings and the main ski races have been cancelled because of a lack of snow.

It has been the warmest December since records began in 1879.

here for complete article.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How early is too early at Heathrow?

Passengers told 'don't be early'
British Airways is warning Christmas passengers at Heathrow not to be "too early" for flights because they are causing congestion at the airport.
BBC News
Published: 2006/12/16 16:26:02 GMT

Passengers should not turn up more than two hours before short-haul flights and three hours before long-hauls, BA said.

here for complete article.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Baggage Allowances on Flights (Delta Airlines)

Looking into carry-on allowances for an upcoming flight Delta flight (London - Atlanta), I came across this potentially useful info ...

Baggage Allowances on Flights

Regardless of where you're going, you’ll want to make sure what you’re bringing isn’t more than what’s allowed. Here are the rules:

Carry-on Baggage
Checked Baggage
General Conditions of Acceptance

Click here for Delta's "Baggage Allowances on Flights" webpage.

Underwater wedding in Saipan

Underwater Grotto Wedding
posted by Saipan Chamoale
The Saipan Blog
Friday, November 17, 2006

The couple didn't know that King Neptune would help them tie the knot. When they jumped in the water, King Neptune was already sitting at the bottom. He motioned them to follow him to the underwater chapel.

here to read the complete post.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Extended stay in the UK? Read this book!

Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox is mandatory reading for any non-English residents of England - or anyone planning an extended stay in the UK. I wish I'd read this years ago!

Really I don't see why anthropologists feel they have to travel to remote corners of the world and get dysentery and malaria in order to study strange tribal cultures with bizarre beliefs and mysterious customs, when the weirdest, most puzzling tribe of all is right her on our doorstep.
- Kate Fox

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Applying TSA's 3-1-1 to holiday travel

Traveling to/from/within the United States this holiday season? Here are some TSA (Transport Security Administration) Holiday 3-1-1 Tips:

Knowing that holiday travel brings inexperienced and infrequent travelers to airports, we’d like to provide holiday-specific 3-1-1 information to help you get through the security checkpoints smoothly and quickly.

TSA’s 3-1-1 program means:
- Liquids, aerosols and gels must be in containers three ounces or less,
- Items must be put in a one quart, clear plastic zip-top bag, and
- Only one zip-top bag per passenger.

Do not wrap gifts.
If a security officer needs to inspect a package they may have to unwrap your gift. Please wrap gifts after arriving at your destination.

Apply 3-1-1 to gifts.
3-1-1 isn’t just about shampoo and toothpaste. Food items such as jams, salsas, sauces, syrups and dips will not be allowed through the checkpoint unless they are in containers three ounces or less and in the passenger’s one quart zip-top bag. This applies to gift items including lotions, creams, scented oil, liquid soaps, perfumes, and even snow globes, that are in excess of three ounces -- even if they are in sealed gift packs. We suggest you ship these items prior to your trip or put them in your checked baggage.

Any of these items WILL be allowed on the plane IF you purchase them after the security checkpoint. TSA allows liquid items purchased after the checkpoint onto planes because these items have been previously screened.

Know what items are prohibited on planes.
A gift you plan to bring in your carry-on bag might be on TSA’s Prohibited Item list. These items delay the screening process for you and other passengers. If you’re not sure which items are allowed,
click here to see the list of prohibited items.

Arrive on time.
Check with your carrier for suggested arrival times. You must have a boarding pass and valid government photo ID to enter the security checkpoint. Give yourself adequate time to check your baggage and move through security.

Dress the part.
Metal in your clothing may set off the walk-through metal detector. Pack coins, keys, jewelry, belt buckles and other metal items in your carry-on bag. Shoes must be removed and screened by TSA, so wear shoes you can easily take on and off to speed the process. Winter coats, blazers, suit jackets and bulky sweaters also must be removed and put in the bin for screening.
Learn more about the screening experience, dressing the part, and what to expect.

Be considerate and save jokes for after the checkpoint.
Our security officers are working to keep bombs off of airplanes. Please follow their directions. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated, and will result in delays and possibly missed flights.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Farting passenger causes emergency landing

Flatulence leads US jet to divert
An American Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Nashville after passengers reported the smell of sulphur from burning matches.
BBC News
Published: 2006/12/06 13:15:32 GMT

The matches were found on the seat of a woman who had attempted to conceal the odour of flatulence with the matches, Nashville airport authorities said.

here for the complete article.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What (not) to carry-on your flight this holiday season

America's TSA (Transport Security Administration) has this "3-1-1" advice for how to prepare your carry-on items for flights:

3 –1–1 for carry-ons =

3 ounce bottle or less;
1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag;
1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.

One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Click here for more information.
here for the TSA's 3-1-1 for carry-ons wallet card (pdf).
here for the TSA's 3-1-1 for carry-ons brochure (pdf).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More about the coup in Fiji

Military Coup in Fiji
David Stanley
South Pacific Travel Blog
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

For now, Fiji is still quite safe to visit, and if it were me, I wouldn't hesitate to go, travel advisories or no travel advisories. But then again, I've gone to a lot of places many people would never think of visiting.

here to read the complete post.

WePlanYourTrip gift certificates

Just in time for the holidays ...

WePlanYourTrip Gift Certificates! The perfect gift for the person who has everything.

Give the gift of WePlanYourTrip's unique
services to loved ones, parents, children, friends, employees, clients or business associates.

Services include:

- Custom Itineraries
- Destination Recommendations
- General Travel Research

Click here to visit WePlanYourTrip online.
here to go to the online order form to purchase your Gift Certificate.

Military seizes control of government in Fiji

Fiji military chief stages coup
Fiji's military commander has seized control of the country, marking the fourth coup in two decades.
BBC News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 10:45 GMT

Australia, Britain and New Zealand had advised their citizens to stay away and warned of dire social, economic and diplomatic consequences if the military completed its coup.

here to read the complete article.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Emiana's Paris weekend

Emiana went to Paris for a weekend last month and all I got was this lousy link to her fabulous photos.

Photography by Emiana © 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

70,000 year old shrine found in Botswana

Python shrine found in Botswana
Monsters and Critics
Dec 2, 2006, 20:30 GMT

A Norway-based archaeologist has found a cave in Botswana that appears to be a 70,000-year-old religious shrine.

here to read the complete article.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Coop's La Carrera adventure

Think you're living life in the fast lane - having one adventure after the next and that life couldn't be much more fun? Me neither. That's why I like reading Positive Ape Index, a blog by artist Coop, which has been especially juicy reading since his coverage of his participation in the renowned vintage auto racing event La Carrera Panamericana 2006.

What is perhaps more amazing than the amount of fun Coop has is the fact that he takes the time to share his experiences with his fans. Click here to get started viewing his image-heavy La Carrera blog posts.

Click here to visit La Carrera Panamericana's official site.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

How to post comments

Last week, during a social gathering, a few folks had some really kind (unsolicited) things to say about the Tiki Chris blogs. That was cool to hear! Thanks.

What was also mentioned was that at least one reader wasn't sure how to leave comments on the blogs. The reader said he had tried and was unable to do so. Other folks have mentioned the same problem to me in the past.

Of course, I'm all for more comments and hate to think that readers eager to communicate are giving up in frustration. So, here are a few steps,which should explain how to leave comments on any of the Tiki Chris blogs:

1. Click on the word "comments" in the white field directly below the post you want to comment on (if there are no comments for the post, there will be a "0" in front of the word "comments." If there are already comments for this post, there will not be a "0" but a number reflecting how many times people have commented on the post).

2. Upon clicking, you will be directed to a new page. At the upper right side of this page, you should see the words "Leave your comment" with a blank field beneath it. The blank field is where you can type your comment.

3. Beneath the comment field are three identity options:

- Blogger username:
Your display name will appear, along with a link to your profile and your photo (if you have one).
- Other:
You can enter your name and a link to your website, without having to have a Blogger account.
- Anonymous:
No identifying information is displayed. The comment is credited to "Anonymous" without a link.

After choosing an identity, click "PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT" to have it published or "PREVIEW" to see what your comment will look like.

If you click "PREVIEW" you must then click "edit comment" or "publish this comment" to continue.

That's it! However, please note that your comment will not appear immediately on the blog. All comments must be approved by me before appearing. I'm usually pretty speedy with most comments appearing well within 24 hours of being submitted.

Click here for more help.

Tiki Chris

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A brief survey

Click here to take a quick (one page, eight easy questions) survey about this blog and others administered by Tiki Chris.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Changes to hand baggage restrictions from 6th November 2006

The UK's Department for Transport has announced that from Monday 6 November, passengers may now carry a limited quantity of liquids (ie. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams and foodstuffs) in their hand baggage when going through UK airport security checkpoints. To avoid any unnecessary delays, it is advised that passengers continue to pack permitted liquid items in their checked in baggage.

If you need to carry liquid items onboard, please read the following requirements with care to ensure you arrive at the airport prepared.

What can be taken and how it needs to be packed:

- All liquids must be in individual containers not greater than 100ml capacity.

- All containers must be placed in one transparent re-sealable bag (such as 'ziplock' bags or bags with pressable seals), no larger than 20cm x 20cm (8" x 8") in size and not larger that one litre in capacity. The containers must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be fastened closed.
Only one transparent re-sealable bag per passenger is allowed. Larger bags or bags that are non-sealable, such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed.

- The one transparent re-sealable bag must fit into your single piece of hand luggage.

- Each passenger must remove their clear plastic bag from their hand baggage and place it in on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening.

- Liquids in containers of more than 100ml capacity must be packed in your checked in baggage.

Remember that 'liquids' include:

- all drinks, including water, soup and syrups;
- creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara etc;
- sprays and pressurized containers including shaving foam and spray deodorants
pastes, including toothpastes;
- gels, including hair, shower gel and lip gloss;
- any other solutions and items of similar consistency.

Essential medicines and baby food may be permitted in larger quantities above the 100ml limit, but will be subject to the authentication that is already currently required. Cabin baggage size remains unchanged - You are restricted to carrying only one item (in addition to the re-sealable liquids bag) through the airport search point. Cabin baggage must not exceed a maximum length of 56 cm, width of 36 cm and depth of 23 cm including wheels, handles, side pockets etc.

Duty Free Liquids

You may take onboard liquid items of any size that are purchased after the security check in the Departure lounge (sometimes referred to as 'Airside') at any EU airport.

Most duty free or similar purchases will be given to you in a special sealed bag. Do not open this bag until you have reached your final destination. You should also retain your proof of purchase throughout your journey. You will be required to show it at all transfer points.
Please note restrictions apply to duty free purchases made on return journeys where passengers change flights at an EU airport. These are explained in detail in the next section.

Special information for transit passengers

If your journey involves changing flights at any EU airport, special restrictions apply. You may only take liquid duty free purchases above 100ml through the security check point at your connecting airport if they have been purchased at another EU airport or in Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, or onboard an aircraft operated by an EU carrier or a carrier of Iceland, Norway or Switzerland. You will need to show proof of purchase to demonstrate this. Liquid purchases of more than 100ml bought from other airports or onboard other airlines may only be carried as checked in baggage on the connecting flight.

The member states of the European Union are:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tuba player's Carnegie Hall debut December 13

Øystein Baadsvik with Niklas Sivelöv
Wednesday December 13, 2006
Weill Recital Hall
Carnegie Hall
57th Street at 7th Avenue
New York

here for Øystein Baadsvik's website.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Click

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Time to Move to Tonga?

Tonga Island Real Estate
David Stanley
South Pacific Travel Blog

"Our mission is to move Tonga from 'Backpackers are the way to go' to the tourism, golf, and residential property development country that Tonga has the potential to be."

here for the complete post.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The new national cocktail of Nicaragua: el Macuá

Managua Journal: Hold the Mojito and Margarita, Nicaragua Has el Macuá
Photography by Miguel Alvarez for The New York Times
New York Times
October 5, 2006

... one part white rum, one part guava juice, with a half-portion of lemon juice and some sugar and ice ...

here to read the complete article.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New regulations for air travel in Europe

New Regulations Coming In
Sky News
Updated: 18:25, Thursday October 05, 2006

New rules governing what people can take on planes have been approved by the European Commission.

here to read the complete article.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New passport rules for Americans

New Passport Rules May Mean Delays
Image by Peter Kuper
New York Times
October 1, 2006

For years, an American adult needed only a valid driver's license and birth certificate to go back and forth between the States and
Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Panama and most Caribbean islands. Children needed just birth certificates. But as of Jan. 8, passports will be required for almost everyone entering the United States through airports and seaports, no matter where they are coming from. The same requirement will go into effect for land crossings from Canada or Mexico on Jan. 1, 2008.

here to read the complete article.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Kong: monstrously fun shopping in Mexico City

Kong Design Store & Gallery is a relatively new (opened this year) retail space at the corner of Colima 143 and Córdoba st. in la colonia Roma, Mexico City. The shop is owned by Hula+Hula (Quique Ollervides & Cha!), Clarisa Moura, and well known artist, Dr. Alderete.

Here's what the four owners have to say about Kong:

At Kong we like t-shirts, records, toys, badges, books, comic books, magazines, furniture, photographs, posters and rock & roll. We like to design, look at and own things that make us happy... Things from around the globe, and of course from Mexico. Kong is a store and a gallery where we pretend to exhibit the best hand picked shows featuring illustration, poster graphics, design, street art, etc.

Click here to visit Kong online.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Guide to design and pop culture in Tokyo

Thanks to a tip from a good friend, I learned about this great blog by Jean Snow, who "lives and breathes design and pop culture in Tokyo -- sustained by an unhealthy addiction to magazines and frequent visits to his favorites cafes." Among Jean's impressive list of doings is his recently started new podcast series called Tokyo Boy, "which are recordings done while out and about in the city, recorded on my iPod with the iTalk recorder."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vanuatu is "fun"

The Original Bali Hai

New York Times
August 27, 2006

I'm pleased to report that these islands are indeed full of nodding palms and crisp reefs and all that tropical eye candy that makes for a great brochure. But more than that, the place is interesting. And fun. And stunningly hospitable.

here for the rest of the article.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ribble Valley slideshow

In my last post, I wrote about a recent trip to England's Ribble Valley and promised to post more pics. Here they are. Most of these photographs were taken at the Chipping Show. Chipping is a Ribble Valley village that hosts an annual farming show for the locals to show off their stuff. The event was fun and incredibly photogenic.

All photographs by Emilia Simonelli © 2006

"... a bucolic piece of gently lilting countryside in northwest England ..."

Most of these photographs were taken at the Chipping Show. Chipping is a Ribble Valley village that hosts an annual farming show for the locals to show off their stuff. The event was great fun and incredibly photogenic.

The Chipping Show seems to have been a big hit with the locals.

A popular tent at the show was the poultry tent.

And what would a trip to an English agricultural show be without the ubiquitous sheep?

Where to have your tipple in the Ribble

My wife and I had the great pleasure of spending the past bank holiday weekend with some very good friends at their home in the Ribble Valley, a bucolic piece of gently lilting countryside in northwest England that (at least to my American expat eyes) is about as English as anywhere on this green island. In fact, at times the people and situations we encountered were so extraordinarily English that our hosts joked that they had called central casting before we came to arrange the “sets” for our visit.

And indeed, the “sets” often seemed perfectly arranged: folks in country casual ambling about with their dogs … flocks upon flocks of sheep grazing for our viewing pleasure … pub after pub (after pub) providing some of the finest ales (all local) that this writer has ever tasted.

Yes, we were in good hands when it came to our pub visits. Actually, one of our two hosts has dedicated an entire blog to the many pubs of the Ribble Valley. His blog, Ribble Valley Pubs, is a brilliant (and honest) resource for anyone ever fancying a proper pint in a proper pub in this lovely corner of Lancashire.

Ah, only a three hour train ride from London’s Euston Station but, in every sense, a world away. I already look forward to my next pastoral getaway to the Ribble Valley and, for once, hope that not too many people read one of my posts.

Expect more photos soon!

Friday, August 25, 2006

UK tourist attractions get unhealthy diagnosis from "mum"

Tourist attractions 'unhealthy'
Fast food remains top of the menu at major tourist attractions across the country, a report has found.
BBC News
Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK

A "secret mum", who visited 14 top attractions for the Soil Association, found most sites were failing to provide healthy food and drink choices.

here to read the full article.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Take that, Protestant work ethic!

Holidaying Pope criticises overwork
The Herald
August 21 2006

During his traditional weekly appearance to bless the faithful, Benedict XVI quoted from writings of St Bernard in the 12th century meant for popes of his time on the subject of overwork.

here to read the full article.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How to pack for your flight (for the time being anyway)

Baggage advice for UK passengers
BBC News
Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK

here to read the full article.

(A similar entry has been posted at ontoLondon)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Workers to strike at London airport?

Visit the ontoLondon blog for information about a potential strike at Stansted Airport over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

here to read the post.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JFK to Tahiti direct? For the time being anyway

Recently, I've become a regular reader of South Pacific Travel Blog, "an island travel blog with news and views from the South Pacific," which is maintained by travel writer David Stanley. Below I reference his latest post about Air Tahiti dropping its thrice weekly JFK-Papeete direct flights.

New York Flights Threatened
by David Stanley
South Pacific Travel Blog
Thursday August 17, 2006

A good part of the problem lies with American immigration regulations ...

Click here to read the full post.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

BBC article outlines new UK flight security measures

Baggage advice for UK passengers
Published: 2006/08/12 09:23:01 GMT

The arrangements, announced by the Department for Transport, apply to all passengers starting their journey at a UK airport, and to those transferring between flights at a British airport.

here to read the full article.
More about this article at Londonist.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Take my vacation, please!

Please Don’t Make Me Go on Vacation
Photograph by Kirk Condyles for The New York Times
New York Times
Published: August 10, 2006

A study released last year by the Families and Work Institute found that American workers have on average 16.6 paid vacation days but that more than one-third of employees (36 percent) did not plan to use their full vacation.

here to read the full article.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Travel jouralists en mass: Santiago, Chile

By Renata Stepanov (
Santiago Times
July 20, 2006

Santiago de Chile will host the world’s largest gathering of travel journalists from October 18 to 23, an event that some likened to “bringing the World Cup to Chile.”

Read the full article:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Visiting Kauai? Tour the island's only organic coffee farm.

Although the Kona coast of the big island of Hawai'i is most well known for producing coffee, the first Hawaiian island to commericially produce coffee was Kauai back in 1831. Today, visitors to Kauai's Blair Estate have an opportunity to take a first hand look at how coffee was produced in Hawaii before the turn of the 20th century.

The Blair Estate offers free guided farm tours of aproximately one hour in length. In addition to the tour, visitors are treated to a free coffee cupping and a visit with the farm hair sheep. Visitors are also able to purchase
all the Estate's 100% Hawaiian grown coffees, macadamia nuts, honey, chocolates, jams, jellies and gifts. As this is a family operated farm, please contact the Estate for weekly tour times.

Blair Estate coffee is organically grown, hand picked, fermented, sun-dried and fresh roasted daily.
Visit for more details.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

MySpace dream destination results

The results (all three of them!) from our MySpace friends dream destinations poll are in. Thanks for your interest.

MySpace friend Jen had this to say:
hi we plan your trip! my dream destination is ... tahiti.

MySpace friend Carrie Rae wrote:
I've been dying to visit Minorca (or is it Menorca? I've seen it spelled both ways.) since I started reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels.

And, MySpace friend Mindy responded with this:
Hmmm... well you helped me reach what would have been my choice until about 8/9 months ago. Since I have reached my first dream destination, I think my next dream destination is Austrailia, to see the Great Barrier Reef. Other than that I would have to say... what I bet many people would want... a secluded tropical island with a a fine white sandy beach, a comfortable little beach hut stocked with great food so I don't have to go out and find food. Since I love the water and sea creatures I would need some great snorkeling right off the beach and maybe on another part of this island some great waves for surfing! Absolutely no hustle and bustle of a city or even a large town!
So, it looks like islands are the hot destination for 2006 (or at least for the three folks who chimed in for our poll).

To visit our MySpace profile:


Need help planning a trip to your dream destination? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Luxury Travel Fair in London 29 June - 2 July 2006

The last weekend of June, Conde Nast Traveller with British Airways is to present 'ultimate showcase of the very best and most unique travel experiences from around the world,' with a multitude of exhibitors from across the globe.

From the fair's website:

... Whether looking for the perfect castle in Scotland to spend a romantic winter weekend, a six-star deluxe cruise around the world, the funkiest boutique hotel in New York or a private snow covered chalet in the Alps, The Luxury Travel Fair will have everything for everyone who loves to travel ... This must attend Fair for all those with a passion for travel, adventure, culture and new ideas, promises to be bold and original, thrilling all those who attend ...

Read more:

Opening Times:
Thursday 29 June: 10.00 - 6.00
Friday 30 June: 10.00 - 6.00
Saturday 1 July: 10.00 - 6.00
Sunday 2 July: 10.00 - 5.00
Olympia 2, Olympia Exhibition Centre, London

For travel information:

Need help planning your next luxurious excursion? Let
WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Easter Island Travelogue

Full of color photos, The Law of the Island: A Rapa Nui Travelogue is a 22-page travelogue about a recent adventure to Easter Island, where the only thing more enigmatic than the island's mysterious stone statues is the cast of intriguing characters who reside on - or travel across the globe to visit - the most remotely inhabited island in the world.

For more information:

Need help researching your trip to the far reaches of the earth? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Got teens will travel?

Travel With Teenagers: Options for Taking the Sullen Set Along
New York Times
Published: May 21, 2006

"Escaping from all the stress, tension and routine at home and sharing a new experience where everyone is on equal footing helps teens and parents to connect and see each other in a new way."

Read the full article:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

MySpace dream destination poll

WePlanYourTrip is conducting a rather unscientific poll of our MySpace friends to find out their dream destinations.

Results will be posted on this blog in a week's time (Tuesday 30 May 2006).
Find out more at our MySpace profile:


Need help planning a trip to your dream destination? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Think London's expensive? Try Oslo.

The country that's got it all - but is still saving for tomorrow
Patrick Collinson
The Guardian
Saturday May 20, 2006

Perhaps the shops are quiet because, unless you're on a Norwegian salary, the prices are eye-popping. Even the well-off Danish on day-trips gasp. Norwegians, meanwhile, pour over the Swedish border every weekend just to pick up groceries. And when they fill up their (heavily-taxed) cars, the price they pay at the pump is amongst the highest in Europe. Rather like whisky in Scotland, there's no discount on petrol just because they make it there.

Read the full article:

Friday, May 19, 2006

Eurostar hitched to DaVinci Code bandwagon

Eurostar Da Vinci Code Quest


Eurostar wants to boost their recognition with American travels, and as such, has decided to hit their train to the new Da Vinci Code movie. If the connection seems dubious to you, Eurostar believes US audiences will pine for the exotic movie (and rail) destinations of London and Paris.

Read the full report:

More about the Eurostar Quest:

Need help sorting out your own Eurostar quest? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ocean fun for the whole family on the Jersey Shore

Make a date for OCEAN FUN DAYS. The
New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium (NJMSC) has teamed up with New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) to offer two very special days of learning and hands-on fun all focused on the marine and coastal environment of New Jersey. OCEAN FUN DAYS will be held on Saturday May 20 at Island Beach State Park and on Sunday May 21 at NJMSC’s headquarters on Sandy Hook.

Free admission includes nature tours, games, educational displays and much more. Event hours are 11am to 3pm.

For more details:

The Mothership to land at Heathrow

World's biggest airbus heads for UK
Press Association
Thursday May 18, 2006 6:08 AM

The world's biggest passenger airliner, the giant 555-seater Airbus A380, is flying into Britain for the first time.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Which budget airline goes where?

Check out WhichBudget is Europe's largest directory of budget airlines. With so many airlines offering cheap flights and with the number of new destinations constantly increasing, just figuring out how to get from point A to point B can be an arduous task. WhichBudget makes that task a little less taxing by organizing budget airlines and their routes on one website.

The article below lists some advice from WhichBudget to further help 'you get the lowest possible fare.'

How to find cheap flights
Friday, 12 May 2006 10:14

... as with all bargain hunting, there is an art to bagging the cheapest seats.

Read the full article:

Overwhelmed with choices? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pacifika: New York Hawaiian Film Festival

In its fourth year, this festival runs May 19 through May 21. Twenty-five notable Pacific Islander films will be screened with hula nad live Polynesian music rounding out the event.

For more details click here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

See Hawai'i as Mark Twain once did

Mark Twain's Hawaii
(Photography by Ting-Li Wang)
New York Times
Published: May 14, 2006

Twain's Hawaii teemed with ship captains, whalers, missionaries, mosquitoes, fragrant thickets of flowers and thousands of cats.

Read the full article:

Need help planning your perfect Hawaiian adventure? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Trail Days

Good Times at a Backpackers' Paradise
(Photography by Collier too)
New York Times
Published: May 12, 2006

From May 19 to 21, Damascus [Virginia] will stage what has become probably the largest single gathering of hikers anywhere: an annual festival called Trail Days. Last year, despite a steady rain, an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people showed up for the celebration in a town with an official population of 1,094.

Read the full article:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Best-seller destinations

Want to visit locations mentioned in 'The Da Vinci Code?' The following article provides some tips:

Visit the places in 'Da Vinci Code'
By Roger Petterson
The Associated Press
Posted on Sun, May. 07, 2006

You've read the book and you're probably thinking of seeing the movie. So, why not combine a vacation in Europe with a personal visit to some of the real landmarks that figure so prominently in "The Da Vinci Code?"

Around-the-world on a big budget

Fantastic journeys: Around the world for $40,000-plus
P-I Report
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Saturday, May 6, 2006

The staff learns what people want and need on their travels. Leviton says one scotch drinker likes to have Johnny Walker Black stocked in every hotel room -- a tall order in, say, Madagascar. So the staff plans ahead.

Full article:

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Affordable Europe for Americans on Budget?
From the New York Times:
Live well, spend less. It’s a nice concept — but one that’s often hard to pull off when you are an American tourist traveling through Europe and struggling to find ways to offset the weakness of the dollar. Here is some help: money-saving tips on everything from hotel rooms to cultural events from New York Times correspondents and contributors in 16 major European cities.
Need help planning your own grande tour? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Visiting Maui?
Here's a good site for finding info about this gorgeous island:
Overwhelmed by all the choices? Let WePlanYourTrip sort through the information and plan the ideal Hawaiian get-away for you.

Quaint hotel in Luanda, Angola
The below article describes the Soleme hotel in Luanda with loving detail. In fact, writer John Reed, FT's southern Africa correspondent, declares the Soleme to be his "favourite hotel in Angola - no, in Africa. No, in the world."
Hospitality warmer than the weather
By John Reed
Financial Times
FT Weekend Travel
Published: April 22 2006 03:00 Last updated: April 22 2006 03:00
Find Soleme on the web at

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another Rave Review for our Expert London Advice!

Thank you so much for putting together the wonderful itinerary for my two weekends in London. Your selections for points of interest were right up my alley, and I truly enjoyed my stay in the gorgeous city. My tired feet just kept on going, trying to take in the spirit of London. Armed with my itinerary and the AtoZ street map, I was one adventurous stranger in town. My all time favorite was the market you suggested. I wouldn't mind spending all day there. And the food! Yummy. My mouth was watering just thinking about it. The Underground was excellent. I'm glad you encouraged me to take advantage of it. Thank you again, and I look forward to another opportunity to request your service again.

Ocean, New Jersey

Saturday, April 01, 2006

New Book about Easter Island

The Law of the Island: A Rapa Nui Travelogue
by Chris Osburn
Photography by Emilia Osburn

Full of color photos, The Law of the Island is a 22-page travelogue about a recent adventure to Easter Island, where the only thing more enigmatic than the island's mysterious stone statues is the cast of intriguing characters who reside on - or travel across the globe to visit - the most remotely inhabited island in the world.

Copies of The Law of the Island cost $8 each (free shipping anywhere in the world).

To purchase The Law of the Island, click here.
Contact us for information about bulk purchases.

Monday, March 27, 2006

If you've seen one dramatic coastline, you've seen them all – NOT!

Book on Leprosy Settlement Draws Fire
New York Times
March 27, 2006

HONOLULU, March 23 — A new book about a dark chapter in Hawaiian history, when thousands of people with leprosy were forced to live on a remote outcropping of the island of Molokai, has upset some former patients of the settlement and raised delicate questions about how much deference should be paid to them.

Emilia came upon this article in today's New York Times. We both found it curious that the cover of John Tayman's The Colony doesn't even have a picture from Hawai'i on it. Rather, it " depicts a section of the Amalfi Coast in Italy." According to Tayman, "There were various covers that were under consideration ... Some of them were illustrations and paintings, some were photographs. This is a representative cliff. I think it's an arresting and beautiful image."

We see this (mis?)representative cover as a missed opportunity to capture the evocative and unique essence of Kalaupapa. The imposing sea cliffs of Moloka'i's north shore (where Kalaupapa is located) are the tallest in the world. In fact, that was the very reason for the establishment of this settlement – its remote inaccessibility. With its choppy and shark-infested waters providing no safe landing, Kalaupapa is a far cry from the serene Mediterranean Amalfi coast.

Perhaps, a more suitable photograph for the cover of Tayman's book might have been this one, taken by Emilia on our 2004 trip to Kalaupapa:

Interested in finding out how to get to Kalaupapa or anywhere else off Hawai'i's beaten track? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Friday, March 24, 2006

FT's “The art of business travel” Sponsored Report

Featuring in-depth articles, case studies and practical guidance, the Art of Business Travel will look at key issues, and offer tips on how to make the most of working on the move.

This report, sponsored by
Marriott Hotels & Resorts, consists of an introduction by Roger Bray and the following five articles:

More than a bed for the night
By Matthew Garrahan
From more comfortable beds and free technology to improved fitness facilities and better design, hotels are upping their services to their corporate clients

Better service at 10,000 feet
For many airlines, business travellers represent the key sector in an increasingly competitive market

Beating jet lag begins before take-off
A range of solutions hold out the hope of beating jet lag. But different solutions work for different travelers

Healthy body, healthy mind
Maintaining your fitness while on the road helps to improve business performance. From hotel spas to better food, staying healthy is easier than ever

Running on company time
A frequent traveller and runner offers some tips on where to pound the pavement when away from home – and how to get the most out of it

Access the report here:

Need help planning your business trip? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Perfect Hawaiian Honeymoon!
Here's a testimonial from Mindy and Mike - a newlywed couple whose honeymoon we had the great pleasure of planning for them:

WePlanYourTrip gave us the greatest wedding gift of all- the Perfect Honeymoon!
Not having to research and deal with all the hassle of planning a honeymoon after planning a wedding was a real relief. The very thorough and well thought out itinerary gave us just what we were looking for, a balanced trip of romance, excitement, and relaxation. All the great tips and interesting bits of history and facts about sites we saw along our way was a real treat. As we read the itinerary along our travels we felt like we had a personal tour guide with us the whole time. We really felt we were able to experience much more of the Hawaiian Islands than if we would have planned the trip on our own. Thank you so much for providing us with a wonderful honeymoon.

Mindy & Michael
Overwhelmed and swamped with planning your wedding? Give yourself a well deserved break and let WePlanYourTrip plan your perfect honeymoon. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Best Independently Published Handmade Comic Book Series Happen on the Road

Stuck at home with no plans to travel anytime soon and eager for an escapist fix?
About to embark upon a long haul flight and desperate for reading material?

Check out True Travel Tales.

TTT is an independently published handmade comic book series of "real-life travel adventures, with stories of Mexican lizard gods, sex in ancient temples, punk rockers on fire, accidental cliff-diving, and more." I discovered True Travel Tales while exhibiting at SPX for my own self-published work. Since then, I've seen TTT available at a few spots, such as Jim Hanley's Universe in Manhattan.

The most recent issue (of which I'm aware) is titled "TSUNAMI!" and recounts author/illustrator Justin Hall's journeys through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam from November 2004 to February 2005.

I've only read this tsunami issue of the series, and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick, light read but thoughtfully executed. I found the unique perspective of Hall's honest, firsthand accounts to be refreshing. His simple black ink panel artwork adequately transported me to the scenes of his stories and triggered memories of my own backpacker adventures.

To learn more about True Travel Tales - and to see sample pages from the series, visit

Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why Dubai?

Now that we've got your attention ...

We're not going anywhere near the hot button issue of whether Dubai Ports World should acquire five U.S. container terminals. However, since this tiny emirate is receiving so much attention, we thought now would be an interesting time to highlight just a little of what Dubai offers as a tourist destination:
  • The world's only 7 star hotel
    Burj Al Arab is the world's only 7 Star Hotel ... and probably the only one purposely designed to look like a billowing sail. You're free to take photos, from a distance of one kilometer, but access to the hotel is only granted to guests or those seeking lunch, dinner, or high tea.
  • Fantastic man-made island resorts
    The World is a man-made archipeligo resort of more than 250 artificial islands in the shape of a map of the earth. Nearby are the Palm Islands, three more resorts built upon large artificial islands, each in the shape of a palm tree topped with a crescent.
  • Shopping
    From traditional souqs to the most modern of western-style malls, Dubai is world renown as a shopping destination (tax free retail probably has something to do with this distinction). Most years, there's even a Shopping Festival.
  • More
    For your consideration is this Financial Times article:
    Dubai sees future as ally, entrepôt and playground
    By William Wallis
    March 7 2006

    Here's an excerpt from the article: "In four decades it has gone from being a pearl fishing and trading outpost to a regional centre for commerce, transport, tourism - and increasingly finance. City officials like to compare Dubai today to New York a century ago - a melting pot of creative endeavour."

Planning to visit Dubai? Let WePlanYourTrip help with the details. Simply contact us. We will be more than happy to assist with your trip planning and travel research.

Unseen Hotel Workers Highlighted in New York Times

On the Road: Tipping Is Part of Travel, So What About the Maid?
New York Times
March 7, 2006

"Perhaps because they were unseen, hotel maids were generally overlooked by many travelers until fairly recently."

This article discusses the practice of tipping hotel maids and includes a "Travel Business Minute" video on tipping etiquette.