Destination: Las Vegas
by Eva Holland | 07.29.09 | 4:18 PM ET
Here’s an unexpected bit of cross-cultural synergy. This summer’s funniest travel movie involving a Vegas bachelor party, Mike Tyson, and a tiger—OK, OK, this summer’s only travel movie involving all of the above—is getting its very own Bollywood remake.
After he had time to think it over, Get the Big Picture’s Colin Boyd decided he approves. “You’ve seen ‘The Hangover,’ right? It’s full of non sequiturs from Mike Tyson to the chicken to the tiger in the bathroom to the baby to the missing tooth,” he writes. “And where better to find humorous non sequiturs than Bollywood?”
by Eva Holland | 06.17.09 | 12:49 PM ET
Lovers of film and travel, fear not: If “The Hangover”—you know, the one about the messy/hilarious aftermath of a Vegas boys’ getaway?—left you wanting more, you don’t have long to wait. A sequel, with star Bradley Cooper signed on, is already in the works. It’s a likely bet for box office success—Cooper’s only concern, apparently, is how they’ll top the first installment. “We’ve gotta go to space or something,” a skeptical Popwrap blogger quotes him as saying.
Sure, Bradley. Logistical issues aside, space certainly tops Vegas. Or you could just go to Macau.
by Alexander Basek | 06.02.09 | 10:20 AM ET
It’s easy to ignore the language surrounding hotel stays. Spas have therapists and there’s a concierge or a butler for your pillow and your bath. In fact, it gets to be difficult when you need something but don’t know whom you’re supposed to talk to about it. Does an order for ice fall under the purview of the cooling concierge or the cocktail consultant? We may never know the answer.
by Rob Verger | 04.24.09 | 10:18 AM ET
There are a few truisms about the airline industry today.
First: It’s no fun to be in the airline business at the moment.
Second: It’s more fun if you’re a passenger, because fares are cheap—although no one is sure how long they’ll stay that way.
For example, JetBlue advertised (via @JetBlue) some $29 one-way fares yesterday, although restrictions included the fact that the low fares were only good for travel on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. (As for the latest development in a la carte fees: Delta just announced it will start charging $50 for a second checked bag on international flights.)
Third: as demand slows and the national system becomes less stressed, things seem to be operating more smoothly.
by Jenna Schnuer | 04.23.09 | 3:48 PM ET
Fifteen years ago, when nobody else was really servicing the community, writer Candy Harrington ditched traditional travel writing and launched Emerging Horizons, a travel magazine for people with disabilities.
“Back then most of my friends and colleagues thought I was a few fries short of a happy meal for making such a drastic change,” says Harrington. Silly colleagues. Other travel magazines come and go but Emerging Horizons is still running strong, and Harrington also writes books, articles for magazines and websites, and a blog on the subject.
We checked in with her to find out about the state of accessible travel in America—and some of her favorite accessible travel adventures around the 50.
by Alexander Basek | 04.03.09 | 2:09 PM ET
by Rob Verger | 03.18.09 | 4:06 PM ET
Have you heard the fantastic pre-flight rap that one Southwest Airlines flight attendant has been doing?
The flight attendant, David Holmes, was recently the subject of a short interview at the Middle Seat Terminal. It’s worth a read.
Here’s my favorite part of the rap, which is performed to the beat of the passengers stomping and clapping:
Before we leave
Our advice is
Put away your electronic devices
Fasten your seat belt
Then put your trays up
Press the button
to make the seat back raise up
The expressions on the passengers’ faces are just as entertaining as the rap is itself. Video below.
by Eva Holland | 03.11.09 | 3:46 PM ET
We’ve written before about crime novels being a prime source for vivid place-based writing. But how about traveling vicariously through the now-ubiquitous crime show? I’d argue that television travel can be just as effective and enjoyable.
Of course, a forty-four minute episode doesn’t allow for the same richness and depth of detail as you’d find in a book, but you can pack a lot of local color—both sights and sounds—into even the briefest street scene. Think of the all-powerful CSI franchise: from the juicy opening shots of the Las Vegas strip or the Manhattan skyline—sorry Miami, I just can’t handle Horatio—to the plot lines often derived from existing local traditions, quirks or trends (think the original CSI’s frequent tributes to Vegas’ wild mob-ruled past), each of the shows is deeply rooted in its host city. And while the main story lines are certainly glitzed up and sensationalized (not to mention acted out by improbably attractive law enforcement officers), you can still pick up a lot of legit local detail from them: I first heard of narcocorridos in a CSI episode about the Mexican community in Las Vegas, and saw handball played for the first time in an episode of CSI: NY—now, walking around Queens during my stay here, I see the game being played daily.
by Eva Holland | 03.11.09 | 12:52 PM ET
Over at the Los Angeles Times daily deal blog, Jen Leo has a breakdown of Vegas hotel bargains by price—and the low end starts at just $6.25 per night. The list ranges from less than $10 to a little over $100 per night, and there are some surprising deals. The Excalibur for $24 per night? That’s about how much an off-strip hostel bunk will cost you, too. (I know which one I’d choose.)
by Michael Yessis | 03.02.09 | 9:06 AM ET
- A major snowstorm in the eastern U.S. has disrupted travel throughout the country.
- GlobalPost began a five-part series about the favorite hotels of war correspondents.
- NPR says the “stimulus puts high-speed rail on the fast track.”
- Rome’s mayor announced an unorthodox way to fight “violence and thuggery” in the city. (via @theroadto)
- What can modern cities learn from slums?
- World Hum contributor Eric Lucas is dumbfounded that nobody tells the truth about Las Vegas.
- Some travelers are feeling guilty about traveling at all in this economic climate.
- Thailand thinks you’ll want to visit the country more if it has a signature cocktail. So it created the “Siam Sunrays.”
- Congrats to the winners of this year’s Solas Awards. David Torrey Peters took the grand prize for best travel story of the year.
by Michael Yessis | 02.18.09 | 8:31 AM ET
- It happened again: Another cruise ship ran aground in Antarctica.
- Las Vegas and Detroit finished 1-2 in a Forbes list of America’s emptiest cities.
- Inside the hardened, restless lives of business-travel nomads.
- Here’s a scathing takedown of the idea of Dubai. (via Kottke)
- Here’s another dancing guy. He doesn’t go around the world, though. Just to hallways and stairwells and such.
- Teresa Watanabe looks at African Americans who are being “called back to Africa by DNA.”
- JetBlue promises fare refunds if you lose your job—with some fine print.
- “Afghan Model” is coming to Emrooz TV.
- The Yankees are building a new vacation stadium in the Hamptons, complete with on-deck gazebos and yacht parking for the players. The Onion has exclusive video.
by Michael Yessis | 02.13.09 | 9:44 AM ET
- Continental flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, New York. Fifty people died.
- Looks like the stimulus bill might contain some extra funding for a high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
- How will the United States look after its economic tumble? It’s the cover story in the latest issue of The Atlantic.
- In Dubai, the economic climate has brought forth an exodus of expats.
- Don George writes that “the gifts of travel are precisely what we need in daunting times like these.”
- Tom O’Neill chronicles the journeys of three North Korean defectors through China, Laos and Thailand on the way to South Korea. (Via Passport)
- Brave New Traveler asks: When does budget travel become exploitation?
- Northwest Airlines says it will start serving peanuts again on its flights. Passengers worried about peanut allergies say they will start planning trips on airlines other than Northwest.
- Germany, the U.S. and China are among the countries fighting the international battle of Ferris wheels. The Great Orlando Wheel may have the best promo video ever.
by Eva Holland | 02.12.09 | 5:37 PM ET
In spite of the recent plunge in room prices, “cheap” isn’t necessarily the first word that comes to mind when you think of Vegas—“jaw-dropping excess” might be closer. But beyond the high-roller tables, celebrity-helmed restaurants and designer clothing stores, there are bargains to be found. The Traveling Mamas recently posted a handy list of “free or cheap” Las Vegas activities, and it includes some more unexpected fare, like the Broadacres Swap Meet or the Pinball Hall of Fame.
I visited Las Vegas for the first time this summer, and with the exception of a close call at the Jimmy Choo store in Caesars Palace (where a part of me tried to argue that happiness is, in fact, a $600 pair of boots) I managed fairly easily to keep a grip on my wallet. My favorite Vegas freebie? The collection of vintage neon signage on Fremont East, where the glory of the good old days (sort of) lives on.
by Michael Yessis | 02.12.09 | 10:04 AM ET
- Is slave history being “whitewashed” at some Southern plantations and museums?
- The Virginia Quarterly Review has opened its archives from 1975 through 2003. Among the stories unearthed: Richard O’Mara’s profile of “American Traveller” John Lloyd Stephens. (via Kottke)
- Here’s the story behind the shrinking of the Norman Foster-designed Harmon hotel in Las Vegas.
- Compared: Commuting in London, Delhi, Tokyo and Homer, Alaska.
- World Hum contributor Tom Bissell talks video games with Heather Chaplin.
- Several airlines are trying to take control of an upcoming emissions pact.
- Jossip is planning a cross-country tour of Bernie Madoff victims using the Madoff Map. Worst road trip ever?
- Can you imagine trying to clear customs with the Bob Marley suitcase?
by Alexander Basek | 02.04.09 | 3:49 PM ET
The New York Post’s recently released Destination Guide to Las Vegas is out, and it’s worth a read. Think of it as the first Vegas guide that addresses our new reality, both for visitors (who are now more budget-minded than ever) and for properties (who really, really want you to come to the desert, no matter what it takes).
Hotels in Las Vegas are in an interesting spot these days. Hotel companies there can make money outside of their rooms—it was their business model for many years—so properties are slashing prices left and right to get warm bodies in the beds. To anyone that can make it over there, especially during midweek, it means way more money to spend at Bill’s $3 roulette table. Yay! As for specific sleeps, the Post gives a now de rigeur nod to the Flamingo’s GO Rooms—they first discovered them, after all—as well as busting the Venetian as the hardest place to navigate on the Strip. No kidding. During my last visit I had to have a little old lady selling hotel-branded credit cards ferry me to the exit. Next time, I’m bringing a GPS.