Best Travel News and Deals – December 15, 2009 – Gap Year to Get in an Ivy, Frequent Flyer Tips, Using a Bidet, Swim with Crocs, Win Trip to Africa

by brian on December 15, 2009

Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by
If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.

Want to Get Into Harvard? Take the Year Off

You’ve got to differentiate yourself from all the high testing valedictorians from all over the world. Take off a year to travel and volunteer. The admissions office will be impressed and you’ll be a year older and much more mature than your fellow freshmen.

Ten cool and unusual hotels in New York
From loyal reader Karen

Hip. Funky. Fresh. For Karen, who will not go within 500 feet of a hostel, this is what gets her going. The counterpart to the stylish, boutique HOSTEL is the stylish, boutique HOTEL.

The Global Dinner Network

The Global Dinner Network is a community for WOMEN travelers who want to network. Women meeting men over meals can sometimes be misconstrued and this is a way for women to network hassle free in a new location.

From the website:
The GDN is not only about meeting up for dinner – meet for lunch or coffee, use it for business networking or to find women with similar interests, e.g. running, yoga, theatre or cinema, clubbing..

Miles for Nothing: How the Government Helped Frequent Fliers Make a Mint

Credit cards and frequent flier miles go hand in hand. Because of that close relationship, there will come an occasion or two where you can get over on the airlines. This may be one of them.

If you’re really into flying, you’ve got to sign up at Flyer Talk, where frequent flyers dissect all the frequent flyer programs, talk about their favorite planes and airports and generally geek out on anything commercial aviation related.

Airport Architecture: The Most Beautiful Terminals in the World
From loyal reader Karen – Karen, you know you need to stop sending me links and just write a post for me…

Honestly I never looked at the aestheics of an airport. I’m more concerned about getting on the flight…and the food court beforehand. But for those of you who can appreciate the lighting and style of large structures, check it out.

Tune In, Tokyo

Great story mixed in with practical tips on saving in Tokyo. But know that you won’t be able to get into every bar you go to. Some are designated Japanese only, and they will politely tell you the places is full or reserved even when it is perfectly clear that the place is not.

Going Deep for the Cheap in New York

Two in a row. Now the other notoriously expensive city, New York. I actually met Matt Gross, AKA @frugaltraveler, writer of this article in SoHo a few weeks ago. Does that mean I’m a name dropper now???

Baffled by bidets

I will raise my hand and claim: I’m sure I have washed my hands in one of these things.

Watch the video and be informed.

5 totally badass travel experiences

Get your James Bond fix by examining coke labs and swimming with crocs. I totally forget Cambodia had the gun ranges where you could fire off weapons, or else I would have done it when I was there. Something about the cocaine labs feel wrong, especially since the drug trade has been responsible for deaths all over the world. Still would be interesting. I would do it for the curiosity factor.

Win A Trip to Africa

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist with the New York Times, is offering a college/university student the opportunity to travel to Africa. This is not a pleasure trip, this would be work, but work that you probably can’t get anywhere else this summer. What a fantastic opportunity.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel December 15, 2009 at 8:45 AM

Awesome — those 5 totally badass travel experiences were great! Thanks for sharing!


brian December 15, 2009 at 5:04 PM

That article caught my eye too. Who doesnt want to play out their secret agent dreams. I like these too because they are relatively inexpensive and definite conversation starters.

"Yeah, so what did you do last week?"

*all nonchalant*
"I was in Colombia, inspecting a coke lab…"

Guaranteed convo starter!


mina December 15, 2009 at 7:07 PM

That 80's style bidet video is awesome! I've noticed that they're usually out in the open though, which would make me too embarrassed to use them. I think the entire world should get high-tech Japanese toilets.

I've posted a little response in our comment section re: your comment! How quickly did the Cipro work for you?


brian December 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM

You know even though I was in Tokyo, I don't think I ever experienced a high tech Japanese toilet. It talks to you, flushes itself and all that.

I answered your question back on your blog. Cipro – almost immediately for me.


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