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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FEATURED STORY: Greek Ports on Seabourn


Yahsu from Athens! We’re finishing up with our incredible seven-day Aegean cruise on Seabourn’s newest ship, The Odyssey (if you missed it, here’s the first part of the story). This unforgettable trip began touring around Istanbul (and here’s that story) and last week, we visited some of Turkey’s most famous ports including Kusadasi (to see Ephesus) and Bodrum. Today, we’ll hit some of Greece’s magical ports like Santorini and we’ll end up at a hotel in Athens that overlooks the Acropolis. Not a bad week, eh? Read on ...

http://www.johnnyjet.com/folder/archive/WheresJohnny09302009.html

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

British Airways Launches All-Business-Class Service


Today British Airways (BA) will launch the first long haul, all-business-class service flight between New York and London City Airport (LCY). This is a very interesting move from BA and here are the advantages I see emerging from this new service.


1. They’re flying in and out of LCY, which is ideally located in East London -- home to Canary Wharf, ExCel London and The O2 arena.


2. The airport is so small, passengers can check-in for their flight just 15 minutes before departure.


3. On the twice-daily route, BA will be using two uniquely configured Airbus A318s with just 32 fully flat beds and in-flight dining prepared by Roast restaurant, based at London’s Borough Market.


4. Since the planes are so small, they’ll need to stop at Shannon Airport in the west of Ireland to refuel. The good news is that customers will be able to use the Department of Homeland Security’s pre-clearance (one of the few countries to offer it) so when they land at JFK Airport, they’ll be treated as domestic arrivals.


5. Arriving UK customers will be able to enjoy complimentary Health Club access at the Marriott West Quay to freshen up before heading into their meeting or office.


BONUS: The flights will bear British Airways’ most prestigious flight numbers, BA001 to BA004, formerly used by the Concorde. Aviation enthusiasts like me are sure to get a kick out of that!


Note: The service is offered six days a week as London City airport is closed from 12:40pm on Saturday to 11:00am on Sunday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

# TRAVEL PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: ShaveMate.com


  • ShaveMate.com
    I have packing down to such an art that there's not much I forget, even when I pack 10 minutes before a trip. However, the one thing I find myself calling down to the hotel's front desk or going to a convenience store for is toothpaste or shaving cream. Well, if you're like me then this week's product should help you not forget the latter. The ShaveMate is the first razor to come with real shaving cream right inside the handle. They offer the Titan 6 for men and Diva 6 for women and unlike traditional disposable razors, these are not cheap; they have six blades and boast flex- neck technology that maintains pressure for a smooth, clean shave. They retail for $3.99 apiece and the shaving cream lasts for a week if you shave every day (which I do not). What's really nice about them is they have less then 3oz of liquid so you can pop them right into your carry-on.
  • Saturday, September 26, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: HelpAReporter.com (HARO)

    HelpAReporter.com (HARO)
    This week I'm attending the Twitter conference in L.A. with some of the biggest names on Twitter like its founder Biz Stone, self-help guru Tony Robbins and Tony Hawk. However, one of the less famous speakers but a social media expert as well, is my friend Peter Shankman. For those of you who don't know, Peter has a very helpful website and newsletter not only for industry people like travel writers and PR people but for the general public as well. The basic premise behind HARO is this: Everyone is an expert at something so if you want to Help A Reporter Out, sign up to the largest FREE email newsletter. It has every topic imaginable, from travel to business to finance to Kanye West to Family Guy! What's also helpful about Peter is that he flies so much, he offers some great travel tips so check out his tools of the travel trade.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    FEATURED STORY: Czech Republic: Prague

    Czech Republic: Prague
    A vacation in Prague and Karlovy Vary can provide something for everyone.
    By Ramona Zacharias

    You know when you build a place up in your imagination, so much so that when you actually go there, it can't possibly be as incredible as you imagined? Well, that is definitely not the case with Prague. Not only did this stunning city meet all my expectations, it repeatedly exceeded them over the few days I spent there. Walking down one cobblestone street, I would swear I'd never seen such a striking scene; that is, until I turned the corner and took a look down the next alleyway. Faced with an overwhelming number of possibilities and a relatively short period of time, we were lucky to have a fantastic tour guide who could steer us in the right direction. Read on...

    FEATURED STORY: Turkish Ports of Call on Seabourn

    Yahsu from the Greek Islands! We left off last week from Seabourn's newest masterpiece the Odyssey where I told you all about this luxury 450-passenger yacht, which debuted in late June. Unfortunately, I didn't get to tell you about all the ports of call on our seven-day Aegean cruise so we'll explore the Turkish ports this week and the Greek ports next week. If you want to see some of Turkey's most popular destinations (including Ephesus and Bodrum) then you'd better grab your walking shoes, sunscreen and hat - we're going sightseeing Johnny Jet- style. To give you even a more of a feel for what it's like, we're including a dozen unedited mini videos. Let me know if you like them! Read on ...

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Tony Robbins on Twitter

    Twitter Conference L.A.

    What a crazy day I had yesterday! I was up early (6:40am) and drove up to the Skirball Center which is a small conference facility near the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I was there for the140: Twitter Conference L.A.” (http://140tc.com). Speakers included Biz Stone (Founder of Twitter), LeVar Burton, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Tony Hawk, The Iron Sheik, Tucker Max, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (He called in via Skype – lame, I know), Tyrese, Guy Kawasaki, Loni Love iJustine, iJustine, @Adventure Girl and many others including Tony Robbins who spoke today! The conference was limited to just over 400 attendees so it was nice and intimate.

    However, my day got weird when I went to the Romance Marketplace at The Beverly Hills Hotel put on by Destinations Wedding Magazine (www.destinationweddingmag.com). The event was great but when I was waiting for the valet I saw a man with a huge camera -- hmm… I thought it was bizarre security let Paparazzi onto hotel property. But it turned out he wasn’t the Pap when his shiny new Mercedes pulled up and a tall beautiful blonde wearing a skimpy dress jumped in. Two minutes later as I was pulling out on to busy Sunset Avenue I saw the guy taking pictures of the girl next to the BH Hotel sign. I knew something was up by the girl’s mischievous look and sure enough she lifted her skirt up for a more interesting shot. She was completely naked so she must’ve been a port star doing a risqué photo shoot – only in L.A.

    Later I went back to the conference to see the celebrity panel and see who their surprise guest was. It turned out to be Pee Wee Frickin’ Herman! He showed up to make his first tweet ever—how crazy is that? For play by play of tweets from conference attendees – including mine log on to Twitter and search #140TC or click this http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23140TC.

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: OhDontForget.com

    OhDontForget.com
    As longtime readers know, one of my favorite websites when traveling domestically is Wakerupper.com. They send free wake up calls to your phone when in North America. Well, here's a site that's similar but offers a different twist on this concept. Instead of calling your phone, OhDontForget.com sends you text messages with reminders. It's perfect not only when I'm traveling (like oh, don't forget to check-in for your flight tomorrow!) but also when I'm hanging out at home (like oh, don't forget to pick up dry cleaning so you have clean clothes for your trip!). I know most people carry Blackberries and iPhones these days but who wants to deal with (or even knows how to figure out) their calendars and reminders. OhDontForget.com is simple to use. Just log on and type in your cell number. Then enter in the date and time, then put your reminder message: Johnny - don't forget Natalie's birthday, you dumb*ss! It's free and easy and there's no registration required. Perfect!

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Seabourn Odyssey 7 Day Aegean Cruise

    # TRAVEL PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: iFlyz.com

    iFlyz.com
  • This is for all you travelers who combat plane boredom by watching movies or TV shows on an iPhone or iPod while flying but are sick and tired of having to keep changing hands because your arm gets tired. If you fall into this category, then listen up. Here's an ingenious product that won't take up any more space in you carry-on and will allow you to go hands-free without having a glare. Just attach your iPod to the suction cup's adjustable gooseneck end and lock the adjustable clamp on the side of your tray table and you're good to go! Cost: $29.95. I know, it's kind of steep unless you fly a lot.
  • Thursday, September 17, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: FlightCaster.com

    FlightCaster.com
    Doesn't it just drive you nuts when you show up early for your flight and it's delayed -- especially those early morning flights? It irks me even more to know that I could have had a couple more hours sleep if the airline just had the courtesy to notify me if it was obvious there was going to be a delay (they have all of our contact info). I know most of the time when the delays keep getting longer, it's not the gate agent's fault and shockingly, I usually get updated departure info before they do since I sign up to the airline's flight paging service.

    However, before I leave the house, I now log on to FlightCaster.com, which recently launched. FlightCaster predicts flight delays by using a proprietary advanced algorithm that scours data on every domestic flight for the past 10 years and matches it to real-time conditions. They help travelers determine if they should change itineraries, notify colleagues or alter their plans before anyone else. The service is free if you log on to the web - remember it works best six hours or less prior to departure -- or you can pay $4.99 for their iPhone and Blackberry apps.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Tokbox.com

  • Tokbox.com
    A few weeks ago, I wrote about SeV's incredible clothing line that's perfect for travelers since all of their apparel has multiple (like 28) hidden pockets and built-in wires . It's perfect to thwart thieves. I bring it up because the owner of the company, Scott Jordan, sent me a video message via email to thank me for the business my write-up drove to their website; it's always nice to know people take my advice. This was the first time I've ever received a video message so I tooled around the website that he sent it through and I found a goldmine.

    Tokbox is a free service and users don't have to register to play inbound messages. However, if you want to be able to send them yourself (messages can be up to 10 minutes in length!) or have a video chat with up to 20 friends, you'll need to spend about 30 seconds to register. It's all free and as far as I can tell, there are no annoying ads. All they want is your name, email address and age. Then, voila! You're good to go. Once I logged on, I watched a two-minute video demonstration, which was helpful and then I started inviting my friends to sign up so we can chat. TIP:: It's better when everyone uses headphones so you don't get a lot of background noise. So for those days you don't feel like typing, do what Scott Jordan does and send a video email message. I would send you one right now but I'm working in bed on my laptop (as I do every morning) and I haven't combed my hair or put on my clothes yet.
  • Monday, September 14, 2009

    # TRAVEL VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Extreme Base Jumping in Wingsuits


  • Extreme Base Jumping in Wingsuits
    Okay, I thought I'd seen it all when it comes to adventure travel, from bungee jumping, and riverboarding to zorbing -- you name it. But after seeing this video, I realized that no sport I've ever seen comes anywhere close to these numb-nuts in wingsuits. After jumping off of thousand-foot-high cliffs, they soar through the air like Superman, wearing specially made suits that look like the body composition of a flying squirrel. One of the daredevils in this video flies so close to the mountain that he could reach out and touch it if his hand wouldn't instantly snap off. This is one adventure activity I can safely say I will never participate in. Would you?
  • Friday, September 11, 2009

    # TRAVEL PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: PrintYourCanvas.com


  • PrintYourCanvas.com
    Here's a perfect way to honor that unbelievable photo you took on your last vacation. Instead of keeping it hidden in a photo album or on an obscure page on your Facebook profile, you can now have it reprinted on canvas in all different styles so you can hang it proudly on the wall. The whole process is fascinating and it's easy and affordable. Users upload (or you can email or send snail mail) their photo and the website's professional artists will either paint it by hand in oils or a digital editor will manipulate it into one of several recognizable artistic styles from Pop Art, Lichtenstein, Che, Opie, Graphic or like Obama's campaign poster. Sizes range from 12" x 16" to 40" x 60". Prices start at just $55 and go up to $149. Customers pay only a 20% deposit and then pay in full after an online review process. The whole process takes a little over a week and the finished pieces are shipped flat or rolled anywhere in the world.
  • Thursday, September 10, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: WhereItsAt.com

    WhereItsAt.com
    Are you fascinated with pop culture and curious about where your favorite TV shows and movies were filmed? Growing up, two of my favorite shows were Happy Days and The Brady Bunch. I knew the Brady Bunch house was located in a suburb of Los Angeles but I had no idea the Happy Days house, which was supposed to be in Milwaukee, was located there too. The same goes for the home in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. That house was in Long Beach and WhereItsAt.com supplies the actual addresses of these pop culture houses and hundreds more. The good news is that not all shows or movies were filmed in L.A. In fact, many weren't and I just looked up my hometown of Norwalk, CT and learned they used Lockwood- Mathews Mansion as the location of the men's club in the 2004 film Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman. In all, WhereItsAt.com has 286 spots and they can be sorted by city, region, movie, gangsters and ghouls, album covers, music mania and even the late John Hughes' movie locations. Read on...

    FEATURED STORY: Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium

    Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium
    A down under experience like no other for certified divers.
    By Sue Richter

    Las Vegas has many oxymorons ... but scuba diving in Sin City may take the cake. Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium scuba program opened in June 2009, to certified divers for a down under experience like no other. Read on...

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    FEATURED STORY: TOUR OF ISTANBUL

    Merhaba from Turkey! Last week, my story about arriving in Istanbul and staying at the city's most famous hotel was getting so long, that I decided to save the best for last - the city tour. If you want to see Istanbul through the eyes of a professional and private tour guide (who won't bleed your bank account), then come along with us to learn about this fascinating city.

    Read on...

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Flu Clinic Locator

  • Flu Clinic Locator
    The media hype is beginning to swell again over H1N1 or the Swine Flu. Health officials are predicting a rough winter ahead and one way to combat that is by getting a flu shot. I get one every year and it's not always expensive. To find out where the upcoming flu clinics will be in your area, you can use the American Lung Association's online Flu Clinic Locator. Flu shots usually become available in late September. TIP: The best way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands often, sneeze in your elbow and use antibacterial wipes to disinfect your airline seat, hotel room, rental car, etc.
  • Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    TRAVEL VIDEO OF THE WEEK: United Breaks Guitars Song 2


  • United Breaks Guitars Song 2
    I'm sure you've seen (we featured it back in July) or at least heard about the United Breaks Guitars video. It took the web and United Airlines by storm in a very short time. It was a song written and performed by Dave Carrol who is in a Canadian band called Sons of Maxwell. Dave and his band were on a United Airlines flight from Halifax to Omaha via Chicago and he witnessed the baggage handlers toss his $3,500 Taylor guitar, which in turn damaged it. When United gave Dave the run-around for almost a year, he promised the last person to finally say "no" to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that he would write and produce three songs about his experience and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. Well, United snickered and it came back to bite them in the a**. What I love about the web is that it gives us little guys the power to make the big guys (major airlines) accountable. The first video received over 5 million views on YouTube! That was just the beginning because song number two was released a couple of weeks ago and it's a major production full of volunteers who were upset with United as well. Here's Dave's full story and songs one and two.


  • Friday, September 04, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: ShuttleFare.com

    ShuttleFare.com
    Here's a handy website for travelers looking to book an airport shuttle. Instead of going to multiple sites to get a price quote, you can just log on to ShuttleFare and input your airport and where you want to be dropped off or picked up. It searches a variety of transportation companies including those offered by SuperShuttle and Go.

    Thursday, September 03, 2009

    WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Traxo.com

    Traxo.com is new travel website that probably does the best job at finding out if any of your business or personal contacts will be in the same place at the same time as you. But it requires you to upload either all your frequent flier/hotel/car loyalty numbers and their passwords or your sign-ins to airline websites, online travel agencies, hotel and car rental websites ONE time using Traxo's centralized dashboard. In return, Traxo will create itineraries, alerting you if your plans overlap with your any of your contacts to avoid missed connections. You will never have to manually enter trip details or constantly forward travel confirmation emails to create a trip itinerary - Traxo will compile it all for you. What's unique is that if a trip is cancelled or modified, Traxo automatically makes the update(s). It also has an area to write reviews so you can easily seek advice from your trusted friends (you can automatically upload your Facebook or address book contacts) that have been to a destination before. This must make the folks at those review sites shake in their boots since on their sites, you don't know who is telling the truth or not.

    Destination: Governors Island, NYC

    Having lived within the 23 square miles of Manhattan for the better part of the past 10 years, it might surprise you to know that I have not visited many of the spaces and places that make New York such an interesting and exciting destination – both to reside in and to visit. What seems like a good idea in theory (new exhibit at the Guggenheim, for example) always falls by the wayside in the face of daily life (errands) in a bustling city. So, this past weekend, my husband and I decided to make like a tourist (or, an adventurous city dweller) and visit Governors Island. Located off the southernmost tip of Manhattan, the island was once home to the US Army and, more recently, the US Coast Guard, but today the island serves as a lazy destination for city folk and their visitors. Read on...

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    Ciragan Palace Istanbul

    On the plane ride over, I read in my Frommer’s Turkey guidebook and in a Conde Nast Traveler article that The Çiragan Palace Kempinski Hotel is one of, if not the, nicest places to stay in Istanbul. What makes it so special, besides its long history, service and amenities, is its location. It’s the only hotel located directly on the European shores of the Bosphorus. Read on...

    Arriving In Istanbul

    Last week we left off after just touching down in Istanbul from Frankfurt. I didn’t have time to tell you that all of the gates were full so the pilot parked the 737 on the tarmac next to all the other homeless aircrafts. We then deplaned using the stairs like a colony of ants, on to a hot crowded bus that took us on a short ride to the terminal. The bus was a bit of a bummer because when you’re sitting up front, it defeats one of its main perks – getting a head start to immigration. At this airport, the tip is to be the last one on the bus so you’ll be the first one off. Read on...