This is a combo Gadget Alert, Website Tip and Travel Blog Tip. Thanks to the social wonders of Twitter I met a cool blogger that manages a great travel blog called Shore Trips. the blog is an offshoot of Coastal Living – which happens to be one of my favorite reads – and offers coastal travel tips and tidbits.
The post below from Shore Trips is a great tip on a travel eTailer, a special offer and a cool travel gadget. No wonder I like this blog…
The Sassy Traveler, a travel goods eTailer, is offering a free gift (plus $1.50 shipping) to anyone that signs up for a new account. The Belle Hop personal safety alarm is a portable, device that lets out a 91 decibel screech when activated. It’s tiny and recommended for joggers or walkers.
Add the alarm to your shopping cart and register at the store. Use the discount coupon code “alarm” at checkout, and the $8.99 price should be deducted.
The goal of course, is to get you to check out their site. It’s clearly the place to go if you want a rollaboard decorated with animal-print patterns. Bet you’ll be the only one with a giraffe suitcase on your next flight.
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If you like keeping up with various travel blogs or even blogs regarding other topics for that matter, then you need to check out Alltop.com. Alltop is an “online magazine rack” of popular topics from travel to food to well, you name it. From the site’s homepage you can browse content based on the topics that you’re interested in. Once you choose your interests the site will collect stories from the best websites and blogs related to your chosen topics.
Alltop has a great selection of travel reads including some of my favorites such as The Perrin Post, Johnny Jet’s eNewsletter and many, many more that I have just discovered and love reading. It is a great way to keep up with the latest travel news or just getting fun and useful tips. Also, if you set up a user name and login you can cull down the results to just the blogs that you want to follow.
BTW, The World Wide Will made it onto Alltop’s travel page this week so when you are picking your favorites to keep up with, do not forget to choose it. New content is added to the bottom of the page so keep scrolling.
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From the Front Lines is a World Wide Will exclusive series of best travel tips from the people who make travel what it is, the ones on the front lines. People like James G. Little. James has been a member of The Peninsula Beverly Hills team since the hotel’s opening in 1991. He has been a member of Les Clefs d’Or since 1996 and has been featured in numerous publications such as The Los Angeles Times, L.A. Confidential, and Condé Nast Traveler. Mr. Little was also honored in 2003 by GQ Europe as ‘The Best Concierge in the World.’
When traveling to a new hotel for the first time, take a moment to contact the hotel in advance and notify them of any special requests or preferences you may have. Many high-end hotels go out of the way to customize the experience for their guests. So, if you have a particular magazine or newspaper request, a certain type of drink you like or even need a bed board or extra pillows, let the hotel know in advance and everything can be waiting for you upon arrival.
Chumby is possibly the coolest thing I have run across in sometime. It takes your favorite parts of the Internet and delivers them to you in a friendly, always-on, always-fresh format. It’s a window into your Internet life that lives outside your desktop, so content like weather, news, celebrity gossip, podcasts, music, and more has a place to play away from your world of documents and spreadsheets. And to top it off, there is no monthly subscription fee.
Chumby connects to your wireless network and uses your computer to create a line-up of favorites from over 800 widgets in 30 different categories, with new ones arriving all the time. In fact, stay tuned for a new World Wide Will widget that is coming soon to a Chumby near you.
Which brings me to why Chumby is so cool for travelers. You can get Weather, Metro Schedule Updates, Share Photos, even listen to Internet radio stations all in a handy little device that is no bigger than an alarm clock. Oh, did I mention that you can use it as an alarm clock? You just plug it in and let your Chumby do its thing—streaming everything you like, from sports scores to travel tips, from video clips to interactive games, from photos to trivia. You can also connect and chat with other Chumby owners.
One important thing to keep in mind if you travel with your Chumby. It only works via wireless so there is no hard line connection port. Meaning if you plan on taking it with you, then you will need to check out your hotel’s Internet services and make sure they provide Wi-Fi.
Interested? You can get more information and buy your very own Chumby at www.chumby.com. The device is reasonably priced too at $189.90 including tax. Think about it – I have seen digital picture frames at Wal-Mart that cost more and they just show photos. Chumby will stream your pictures AND let you know if it is going to rain this weekend when you are at the beach.
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Rudy Maxa is a contributing editor with National Geographic Traveler magazine and one of America’s premier consumer travel broadcasters on public radio and television. You may know him as “The Savvy Traveler” on public radio’s business show, “Marketplace.”
Best Market in Town: My favorite food market is the Borough Market tucked under train tracks near London Bridge on the Tate Modern side of the Thames, hard right by the Globe Theater. Any market that’s been around since the 1st century AD (when the Romans tied on the feedbag there while sacking London) has to be good, and this one is. The guy selling shellfish dives for ‘em himself. There’s a vast offering of fresh breads, meats (including whole Iberico hams), fish, handmade chocolates, vegetables, fruits and desserts. Go early and take coffee at the Monmouth Coffee Co. where you may sit at a community table and (for about $4.50) dig into unlimited great bread and butter and jams with your java. Order freshly shucked oysters at the Wright Bros. storefront next door, and don’t miss the eye-popping cheese shop around the corner at Neal’s Yard Dairy. It’s open Thursday and Friday afternoons, but get there before opening at 9 on Saturday mornings to beat the crush. More: boroughmarket.org.uk.
Five-Star Museum: For my money, it’s the Cabinet War Rooms (Clive Steps, King Charles Street, Westminster), the underground headquarters where Winston Churchill & Co. orchestrated the British response to German attacks on the UK during World War II. The communications room, Churchill’s quarters, and maps and charts of military defeats and victories bring that era alive to visitors of all ages. The admission is steep, about $23 for adults, but it’s worth every pound and the price includes an audio headset. Details: http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/detail/439238.
Favorite Restaurants: Above the Borough Market is Roast (enter off Stoney St., tel. 020 7940 1300), a spacious, airy restaurant that features roasted meats and other delectables from the market it overlooks. Brunch is also served on weekends. For exquisite Italian, I favor Cecconi’s (5a Burlington Gardens, tel. 0871 332 8585), a polished, elegant dining room perfect for a serious business lunch or romantic dinner just off Bond Street. Book lunch or dinner at the reasonably priced Boisdale of Belgravia (15 Eccleston St., Belgravia, tel. 020 7730 6920), and you’ll feel like a member of a London private club. Take a cigar and single malt upstairs in the rooftop garden to complete the experience. Tom’s Kitchen (27 Cale St. in Chelsea, tel. 020 7349 0202) is a brasserie brought to you by Michelin-starred chef Tom Aiken with menu items such as seven-hour braised lamb shoulder with onions and balsamic vinegar ($60 for two). Relaxed, lively and open for all three meals, this is a great hang spot in Chelsea. I hesitate to recommend Chez Bruce (2 Bellevue Rd, overlooking Wandsworth Common, tel. 020 8672 0114) because it’s so difficult to score a reservation. But if you call 30 days ahead early in the morning (London time), you might get lucky and be able to enjoy this simple but cozy eatery with two floors and a sophisticated but satisfying menu of French dishes. I haven’t been able to get in recently—let me know how you did it.
Tops for Browsing: The Camden Market in Camden Town used to be a bit of a secret, but judging from the seemingly thousands of small booths and stores that now collectively call themselves a “market,” this place has been discovered. No matter—you can still find bootleg copies of concerts by The Cure, every imaginable kind of clothing, handicrafts, jewelry and, yes, there’s food of every ethnic stripe, as well. Plus, just admiring the crowd—from Goth to Sloane Rangers—is worth a visit. Spend a day, have a funky lunch at the nearby Lock Tavern (35 Clark Farm Rd.). Teens will love this neighborhood, and so will you. Tell any cabbie, “Camden Market” or take the tube. For more information check out camdentown.co.uk.
Favorite Walk: Take a stroll on the Southbank (the side of the Thames with the London Eye) from Borough Market to Waterloo Station. You’ll walk along the river and encounter any number of cafes where you can linger for coffee, lunch or cocktails. Or all three. If you want to move faster, rent a bike at Gabriel’s Wharf (on the other side of the Thames between OXO Tower Wharf and the London Television Centre—ask anyone) and cycle over the Westminster Bridge and to quiet neighborhoods. Bike rental details: londonbicycle.com.
Best Place for Hot Chocolate: Beat cold and damp London weather with a stellar cup of rich hot chocolate at The Wolseley (160 Piccadilly, tel. 020 7499 6996), just a couple of blocks off Piccadilly Circus. This informal but hip eatery had earlier lives as a car dealership and then a Barclay’s Bank. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a limited number of reservations accepted. Walk-ins wait in turn, but you can order hot chocolate in the open seating area to the right as you enter.keep looking »