Destination: Las Vegas

‘The Hangover’ Gets Bollywoodized

‘The Hangover’ Gets Bollywoodized Publicity still via IGN
Publicity still via IGN

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?”

Another Morning After: ‘Hangover’ Sequel en Route

Another Morning After: ‘Hangover’ Sequel en Route Photo by mandj98 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by mandj98 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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.

When the President Goes to Vegas: Hail Obama?

When the President Goes to Vegas: Hail Obama? Photo by Alexander Basek
Inside Caesars Palace. Photo by Alexander Basek

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.

Read More »

NPR Broadcasts From ‘The Troubled Skies’

Photo by Donald Verger

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.

Read More »

America the Accessible

America the Accessible Photo by Rick McCharles via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Rick McCharles via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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.

Read More »

Las Vegas Strip Tips

Do check out HotelChatter and Jaunted‘s glitzy new spawn, VegasChatter. Where else would you find out about an all-male revue at Hooters?

The Pre-Flight Flight Attendant Rap

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.

Read More »

From ‘CSI’ to ‘Castle’: Traveling the World, One Crime Show at a Time

From ‘CSI’ to ‘Castle’: Traveling the World, One Crime Show at a Time Photo by aturkus via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by aturkus via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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.

Read More »

Las Vegas Hotels for Every Tax Bracket

Las Vegas Hotels for Every Tax Bracket Photo by Mr Gus via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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.)

Morning Links: War Hotels, the Solas Awards and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Morning Links: JetBlue Fare Refunds, America’s Emptiest Cities and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Morning Links: Vegas to L.A. High-Speed Rail, ‘the Gifts of Travel’ and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Las Vegas: Cheap and Quirky Edition

Las Vegas: Cheap and Quirky Edition Photo by Eva Holland
Photo by Eva Holland

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.

Morning Links: John Lloyd Stephens, the Bob Marley Suitcase and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Destination: Anywhere (in Las Vegas)

Photo by Alexander Basek

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.