Johnny Jet's Travel Blog

Travel blog featuring best travel sites, travel deals, travel guides, effective travel tips, daily stories with up-to-date travel information, travel pictures, travel webcams. For more, visit my travel portal, www.johnnyjet.com.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Travel Writer Chris Rubin Dies at 49

I just learned that one of my travel writer colleagues Chris Rubin died on August 15 due to complications from cancer. He was 49. I first met Chris on a press trip to New Zealand back in March 2006. He later found out that he was feeling ill on that trip because he had a rare vascular cancer called epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. In June 2006, he underwent a liver transplant. Chris was a trooper and still managed to do most of the activities on the trip, including Zorbing and taking a helicopter to the top of a volcano (Chris is pictured far right). Chris was a well-respected journalist who had written for The Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Robb Report, Travel & Leisure, as well as being the LA editor for Gayot Publications. Rubin is survived by his wife, Deborah Calla, a film writer-producer; father Stanley, a film writer-producer; mother Kathleen Hughes Rubin, an actress; sister Angie, a music editor; brother John, a documentary filmmaker and brother Michael. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 25th which would have been four days after Rubin’s 50th birthday.

Help For Zoom Passengers

Following the news that Zoom Airlines (zoom.com) has suspended operations, VirginAtlantic.com and BritishAirways.com are offering affected Zoom passengers special one-way fares on selected routes between the US and London. For journeys from New York, Boston or Washington, D.C. to London Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic is offering passengers a special one-way Economy fare of $299, from Miami and Chicago to London Heathrow for $349, from Orlando to London Gatwick for $349 and from Los Angeles to London Heathrow for $399. The fare includes all taxes and charges, is subject to availability and can be booked through US reservations or at the airport ticket desks.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: TheEtiquetteEffect.com

TheEtiquetteEffect.com
When I hit the road, the thing that irks me most is rude travelers. Maybe a website like this will help to teach people some manners when they take to the skies. The website is sponsored by Hyatt Place, who partnered with etiquette expert Anna Post (great great granddaughter of Emily Post), and is designed to provide travelers and today’s professionals with contemporary etiquette advice needed to gain a competitive edge. TheEtiquetteEffect.com supplies tips, FAQs, and advice so check it out or pass it on to your oblivious seatmate.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: National Anthems From All Over The World

National Anthems From All Over The World
Sadly, the Olympics are over now but one of the things I loved most about watching them was hearing national anthems from all over the world. And now, thanks to the New York Times, you can listen to the national anthems of 27 different nations. This page offers up both the history of each anthem and a link to listen online. BTW: I think that the United States has the best national anthem by far but perhaps I’m just biased. Take a listen to others from around the world and decide for yourself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Jacob's Cure & Chief Executive Air

Chief Executive Air (http://www.chiefexecair.com/), an exclusive private aviation company, has created the ‘Fly For A Cure' charity jet program whereby clients associated with a particular cause will have a percentage of their total trip cost donated back to that non-profit organization. To launch the program, Chief Executive Air has partnered with New York-based Jacob's Cure (http://www.jacobscure.org/), a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising money to support and promote cutting-edge research to develop a cure for Canavan Disease, a rare, fatal brain disorder in children.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Belkin’s Mini Surge Protector

Belkin’s Mini Surge Protector
Instead of always featuring a travel website, I sometimes write about a cool and useful travel product. This one is right at the top of that list. In a recent story, I mentioned that I’d discovered bringing a surge protector with me overseas makes my life on the road so much easier. Well, it just got even easier with Belkin’s new mini surge protector. It weighs just under seven ounces and is about five inches long. Not only is this smaller than the ones you normally find in stores, but it doesn’t come with a clumsy cord. The plug is attached to a three-outlet surge protector and a built-in, two-port USB charger. Score! So instead of combing your hotel room walls for multiple outlets and bringing a mess of electrical adapters, all you need is the mini surge protector and one adapter and you’ll be able to power up and/or charge your laptop, camera, cell phone, iPod … all at one time. In the event that the device fails during a surge and you do end up killing some expensive equipment, Belkin provides a $75,000 equipment warranty. It’s available for $24.99 at Belkin.com or for $19.99 at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Detailed Airline Statistics

Detailed Airline Statistics
This website has been around for a while. Almost too long perhaps, considering it still lists a number of airlines that aren’t even in operation anymore ... ahem, Aloha, America West, TWA. However, it’s still very useful especially for people who like to do their homework and check up on airports, airlines, or even specific flights for on-time departures, arrivals, airborne time, cancellations and even diversions. Each month, all of this data is reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The data covers nonstop scheduled-service flights between points within the United States (including territories) since January 1995. I find the most useful information to be the statistics on recent flights’ average departure delays, average taxi-out time and average scheduled departures. Just sort by airport, airline, month, day and year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Mysmartpac.com

Mysmartpac.com
If you’re one of those travelers who still hasn’t mastered the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule, listen up. MySmartPac just made life a little easier for you. The site sells disposable personal care products that can be resealed and last for up to six uses. They use high-quality ingredients including sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera gel, vitamin E and shea butter. The boxes are made of about 30% postindustrial waste and the products are not tested on animals. Prices begin at $9.95.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: DestinationDinners.com

DestinationDinners.com
Here’s a website that’s perfect for sending a unique gift! For those of you who have friends that love food (moi) and cooking (pas moi) DestinationDinners.com might be right up your alley. Lisa Diamond, a self-proclaimed “culinary adventurer”, created the site in 2006. The website sells kits, which provide the ingredients and preparation instructions (and table setting suggestions!) for a delicious and authentic dish for four. It also comes with fun and educational facts about the food, etiquette and culture of each destination. The kits are customizable and sell for $25. The current available dishes include Chicken Garam Masala (Bangladesh), Bulgogi (Korea) and Jerk Chicken and Shrimp BBQ (Jamaica). Happy eating and cooking!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Carol Burnett Show- No Frills Airline

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCz8he36hsk
If you can spare nine minutes, this spoof of flying a no-frills airline will guarantee to make you laugh. I’m also sure that you’ll be thinking – wow! Carol Burnett really was way ahead of her time as this was created back in the ‘70s!

Friday, August 08, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: IanMorganCharles.Blogspot.com

IanMorganCharles.Blogspot.com
Ever since my mom passed away, I have been a big supporter of the American Cancer Society (Cancer.org). Now that my brother has been diagnosed, I’ve been re-motivated. Since we haven’t set up a foundation or a fundraising website, I thought I would start plugging friends’ or readers’ fundraising websites. (If you have one, please send the information over for possible inclusion). This week, we begin with my friend Sally’s husband’s site. Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. He’s 40 years old and is probably one of the most active, physically healthy people you’ll ever meet. He competes in six to eight triathlons a year, swims 10,000 yards a week, bikes 150 to 200 miles a week and runs 30+ miles a week. He’s incredibly young to have this disease and he needs your help to raise funds to develop proactive and effective drugs like Valcade and Revlimid and to test effective protocols. These drugs are his first line of defense and they are keeping him alive today. Please help him by making direct donations to his 2008 Fundraising Campaign for the Leukemia Cup Regatta. To donate, click here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Algormor.org

Algormor.org

Check this out. An IT guy wired his suitcase with a camera so he could find out exactly what goes on once he checked his bag for various domestic flights. The videos are pretty boring as they show a lot of time on conveyor belts and the camera vibrates a lot but it’s still interesting to see. Here’s a link to a slideshow that shows exactly how he did it (click ‘continue’ at the top of each page); the videos themselves can be found here.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: TakeAnyware.com

TakeAnyware.com
Okay, so let’s say you have to travel a lot for work and you’re worried about getting your vital information stolen. Your laptop has a password but does your flash drive? If sometimes you don’t want to lug your laptop on a trip or to a meeting, then all you need to do is get one of the brand spanking new Personal Pocket Safes. You can attach documents, images and even enter all your personal records. To access the information, just plug the USB port into any computer and quickly view your information after typing in your secret code. The good news is that intruders are locked out (time delay) with three incorrect PIN entry attempts, there’s no software to download and the Personal Pocket Safe is the size of a flash drive.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dedicated WEBSITE OF THE DAY: PetVacationHomes.com

Outer Banks NC Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals Homes near Nags Head North Carolina

PetVacationHomes.com – offers more than 20,000 individual accommodations, including 2,500 pet friendly vacation homes and another 18,000 pet friendly hotel rooms. Visitors to their web site can browse photos of dog and cat friendly accommodations including ocean front vacation rentals. Pet Vacation Homes features an updated data base of qualified accommodations where pets are welcome to fit any travel need. Pet Vacation Homes recently expanded its pet friendly rentals listings into Nags Heads and the Outer Banks North Carolina. To learn more, click on this link to their web site: Outer Banks NC Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals Homes near Nags Head North Carolina

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dedicated
WEBSITE OF THE DAY: VacationRentalPros.com

VacationRentalPros.com
Florida Vacation Rentals Ocean Front in Palm Coast, Venice and Siesta Key, FL

Vacation Rental Pros manages over 180 vacation rentals in the Florida area including Palm Coast, St. Augustine, Siesta Key and Venice Florida. Visitors to their web site can browse photos and virtual tours of rentals including ocean front and gulf front vacation rentals. Vacation Rental Pros features accommodations to fit any travel need and budget and has rentals that range from 3 bedroom ocean front luxury condos to 6 bedroom homes with heated pools. Vacation Rental Pros also features over 60 rentals that are pet friendly. To learn more, click on this link to their web site: Florida Vacation Rentals Ocean Front in Palm Coast, Venice and Siesta Key FL