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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LAX'S NEW SERVICE

LAX NEW SERVICE
I'm back in L.A. and a few major announcements took place this week at my home airport of Los Angeles International (LAX) that might be of interest to you. First, Continental just announced they're launching weekly nonstop service to Havana, Cuba. Unfortunately, at this time, only Cuban-Americans (100,000 live in California) can travel there as well as government officials, journalists, researchers and other groups.

VOLARIS
Another new service comes from Mexico's leading low-fare air carrier Volaris, which began its first international route with service from LAX to Toluca, Mexico. They will also soon be flying Oakland to Tijuana and they operate a modern fleet (average aircraft age is 2.3 years) of Airbus A320s. At Tuesday's press conference, they stated that beginning next year, Southwest Airlines will be in a code share agreement. What may matter to you, besides their low introductory rates, is that they're offering an on-time guarantee like nothing I've ever seen before. According to the CEO, Enrique Beltranena, if the plane arrives 30 minutes late, they'll refund the amount you paid for the flight -- even if it's due to a weather delay. I will believe it when I see it but I bet they'll be padding those flight times!

NEW SERVICE TO AUSTRALIA
The last bit of news is that Northwest has finally shifted all of their departures and arrivals from Terminal 2 to 5 (my cousin Willem was on their second to last flight out of T2). Also, Delta is launching nonstop service to Sydney on July 1, making the fares even cheaper to Australia. So now, travelers have four choices of nonstop service: Qantas, United, Delta and V Australia. Round-trip tickets can be had for as low as $710 R/T including taxes and fees. I just flew V Australia this week and their plane and service were simply amazing (more later). Good on ya, mates!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hamilton Island Update!


If you’re following me on Twitter, then you know I’m on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. Hamilton is the jumping off point for much of the Great Barrier Reef and it’s really like a fairy tale. It’s lush, quaint, has lorikeets and cockatoos flying around and everyone drives electric buggies (except workmen). The only thing I don’t like about this island is that they don’t recycle. But hopefully, that will all change when Ben Southall, the island’s new caretaker begins what Tourism Queensland bills as the Best Job in the World next week (July 1st). Ben beat out 35,000 applicants to earn the highly coveted six-month gig with a salary of about $100,000 USD.

Yesterday, I drove by Ben’s new luxurious three-bedroom villa (pictured above) with sweeping views that he will be sharing with his Canadian girlfriend Bre. Be sure to keep up with his adventures as he explores the islands of the Great Barrier Reef through a blog and video diaries. You can learn more about Ben on his current (blog) and follow his Queensland journey at IslandReefJob.com.

BTW: I just checked fares on V Australia. I flew down on V Australia last week and absolutely loved it! They're offering – get this – roundtrip fares for $721! That’s incredible and the 14-hour flight is a piece of cake as their crew and entertainment systems are amazing.

# TRAVEL VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The Miniature Wunderland

The Miniature Wunderland
We usually stray away from corporate videos but this one of Germany's model railroad is simply unbelievable. It's quickly become one of Germany's most popular attractions with over 5 million tourists and the video has received close to 2 million views on YouTube. The Miniature Wunderland, is the largest model railroad in the world and it's in Hamburg, Germany. It has 16,146 square feet of space with more than 10,000 train cars running around 6.8 miles of track. Watch the video to get a feel for this remarkable achievement but better yet, visit it in person if you can.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TRAVEL BOOK OF THE DAY: "The Third Tower Up from the Road"

"The Third Tower Up from the Road" is a humorous, offbeat, and insightful collection of travel essays from Kevin Dolgin’s popular McSweeney’s Internet Tendency column, “Kevin Dolgin Tells You About Places You Should Go.” The book celebrates the distinctive qualities of locations from all over the world, and each globetrotting essay focuses on a specific place, capturing the flavors and cultures through individual observations and exceptional experiences. Funny, irreverent, and insightful, the essays cover a wide range of places and interests, from unusual experiences and humorous traveler’s foibles to voyages that are intensely personal and moving. Buy at Amazon.com.

TRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY: The Craziest Intersection in the World

The Craziest Intersection in the World
I've never been to Vietnam but have always wanted to go. However, the one thing I'm not looking forward to is crossing the street. I thought India and Thailand were crazy but all my friends who have traveled there say Vietnam is worse by far! After seeing this video of the craziest intersection in the world, I'm not arguing. BTW: I hear the secret is to find a local who is crossing and shadow them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TRAVEL BOOK OF THE DAY: Moleskine City Notebook


Part journal, part guidebook, the Moleskine City Notebook is the first guidebook you write yourself. Plenty of space to write your own itinerary, aided by maps, pull-off tabs to mark your favorite spots and room to scribble. The collection totals 45 cities in the US, Europe and Asia.

Visit www.Moleskine.com/MoleskineCity for more.

TRAVEL PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: Nintendo DS-es Professor Layton and the Curious Village Game Do you love to pass time on the plane or in a car by playing

Nintendo DS-es Professor Layton and the Curious Village Game
Do you love to pass time on the plane or in a car by playing video games? I'm currently addicted to Spider Solitaire but many of my female friends are plugging away on their shiny new Nintendo DS-es with the hot game of the season: the puzzle-based game of Professor Layton. I recently read that Nintendo targets women travelers specifically between the ages of 25 and 34 because for some reason they can't resist visiting Professor Layton's town of St. Mystere to help solve the mysterious puzzle. There's more than 130 mini-game puzzles around every corner of the curious village so it may be the perfect stimulating activity for summer travel or business trips.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

jetBlue Now Flies From LAX to BOS and JFK


jetBlue’s award-winning service is now available from Burbank, Long Beach and LAX. The airline just started twice daily nonstop service from LAX and sale fares are as low as $109 between LAX and New York or Boston through June 26, 2009. At today's announcement, JetBlue's CEO Dave Barger made a (up to) $30,000 donation to support music education (www.VH1SaveTheMusic.com/JetBlue) in public schools in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Also on hand were fifth-graders from The Hooper Elementary School Mariachi Ensemble and when they sang La Cucaracha (The Mexican Cockroach Song) I almost spit my cake out. Another highlight, besides getting a tour of BetaBlue (their spacious Airbus A320 with WiFi), was carrying an oversize pair of scissors on the plane, making an announcement and meeting Los Angeles Dodgers legend Steve Garvey. For more info and JetBlue's schedule of service to/from LAX, click here.

TEL AVIV BEACH PARTY IN CENTRAL PARK


TEL AVIV BEACH PARTY IN CENTRAL PARK, JUNE 21. FREE EVENT!

I was just in Tel Aviv and I haven’t gotten around to writing my story (I’m backlogged). However, Tel Aviv is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year and they are bringing the fun (and sun) of the Mediterranean to Central Park (at the Naumberg Bandshell) this Sunday, June 21, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, for an all-day beach party extravaganza. And...it's free!


The Tel Aviv Beach Party in Central Park will feature:


-Tons and tons of sparkling white sand, replicating the Tel Aviv beachfront complete with lifeguard stands, umbrellas and beach chairs

-Traditional Israeli beach games including backgammon and matkot (Israeli beach paddle ball)

-An appearance by former Miss Israel, Sivan Klein and Israeli supermodel Esti Ginzburg

-Performances by Hativka 6, Israel's most famous reggae band; FLOW, a multi-lingual Israeli rock n' roll band; and DJ Hadar Marks

-A raffle to win a free Tel Aviv beach vacation at the Prima Hotel Tel Aviv.

-All-day ice-pop giveaways, free sunscreen, and more...


For more information, visit www.tlv100.co.il.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: RozSavage.com

RozSavage.com
Last week we featured the youngest guy sailing around the world by himself in a 36-foot boat. Well, I didn't think that was going to be topped but you can be the judge of that! So hold onto your pants as I tell you about 42- year old Roz Savage. The England native is attempting to ROW across the Pacific. She became the first woman to row across the Atlantic in 2005 and has written a book about it. She completed a trip from San Francisco to Hawaii in 99 days and a million strokes and now she's venturing to go from Hawaii to Australia! You can keep track of Roz in a number of places as she updates regularly on Blogger, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and iTunes using Solara Field Tracker GPS system. If you're wondering why someone would do something as crazy as this, it's to raise environmental awareness. More details about her can be found on YouTube.

Friday, June 12, 2009

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: TrendyTravelista.com

TrendyTravelista.com
Many of you have been asking for more information on the beautiful Natalie Bahadur, with whom I frequently travel. Well, here's your chance to learn more. Natalie works for a big media company in Canada and in addition to her writing articles and blogging for popular girly websites, she has now created her own blog -- mostly about her travels -- called TrendyTravelista.com. It's only been up for five weeks but her traffic has grown exceedingly quickly and her recent post on Things to do in Tel Aviv was just picked up by AOL so they are now linking directly to her stories. If you want to find out more on her latest travels, tastes and trends, be sure to check it out daily. It's mostly geared towards women but my male friends and family love it and she doesn't miss a post -- unlike me!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Guanacaste, Costa Rica Story

Pura vida from Guanacaste, Costa Rica! I'm down here for the grand opening of an incredible resort right on the Pacific: The JW Marriott Guanacaste. The great news for consumers (though perhaps not so much the owners!) is that because of the state of the economy, guests can get rooms here for a bargain. And I mean, a bargain! Just this past week, they were offering rooms for a third of the regular price: $95! And wait until you see this place. In addition, my sister GeorgieJet is also in Costa Rica and she's checking out the Lost Iguana Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Read on...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023)

Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023)
I usually don't get political but I just couldn't pass up this opportunity since it is travel- related and there's no cost to American taxpayers. The Travel Promotion Act will, for the first time, create a public-private partnership to promote travel to the United States, and help us compete with other countries by sending more welcoming messages to our friends around the world. So, take 30 seconds to urge your senator to vote YES on the Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023). The legislation will spur growth in America's travel community and in the U.S. economy. The U.S. Travel Association has set up a link (click here) that makes it super easy to tell your senator. Just enter your zip code and then on the next page, enter your name and address and click send. It literally took me 30 seconds.

Monday, June 08, 2009

WESBITE OF THE DAY: MarriottDealOfTheDay.com

Just this past week, I found a room at the 5 Star JW Marriott Guancaste for $95: a third of the regular price! Marriott's new Deal of the Day website offer up to 60% off leisure rates for their resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii and California. The deals are announced daily at 7am EDT, Monday through Friday and are only good for 24 hours. The last deal is scheduled to be announced June 14th but they might extend it since it's been so successful.

GeorgieJet in Costa Rica

Picture yourself in this postcard-perfect (and eco-friendly) destination.
By Geogette Diamandis

A week at the Lost Iguana Resort, tucked away in the rainforest at the base of the Arenal Volcano, was like a trek back into the primordial jungle. The view of the volcano, with a ring of clouds resting on its peak and framed by the large-leafed plants and flowers from my patio, was like a scene from the movie Jurassic Park, which makes sense because Costa Rica is the youngest land on the North American continent, being only three million years old. I am told that on a clear night, you can see the hot red lava of this active volcano!

Read On


VIDEO

Friday, June 05, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: GetYouHome.gov

GetYouHome.gov
This website has to be the ugliest and the most basic one we have ever featured - but there's method to our madness. You see, tougher ID requirements began June 1 for citizens returning to the United States. GetYouHome.gov breaks it down since the U.S. Government and, more specifically, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative department run it. This website informs citizens which entry cards they will now need when returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea. In some cases, you can use the new U.S. Passport Card or an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) instead of carrying your passport.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Missing Air France Jet


Every traveler's worst nightmare seems to have happened to AF447 as it flew from Rio (GIG) to Paris (CDG) last night. The Airbus A330-200 was just a few years old and the pilot had a lot of experience but it fell off radar over the Atlantic. The last communication was automated message of electrical failure and pressure loss as it hit turbulence traveling through a thunderstorm. For the latest here's a link to CNN and here's Air France's official press updates http://u.nu/7ws8