oldmapTravel writer Andrea Granahan’s blog includes accounts of rounding Cape Horn, learning temple values in a Balinese banjar (“Laughter is also considered an offering to the gods and most of the dramas included bawdy humor to provoke it.”), and tips for making long-distance traveling more comfortable.

onefinestayThanks to Kaye McKinzie for the link to One Fine Stay, a boutique, luxury, un-hotel experience for travelers to London and New York. It’s like an upscale AirBNB—here’s how it works:

Onefinestay gives you the chance to stay in an unhotel—someone’s place while they’re out of town. You get to live their life for a few days and nights. See what they’d see and, if you like, do what they’d do.

“You get all the advantages of a hotel, like the nice smelly stuff in small bottles. And with none of the downsides, like somebody bothering you at 8.53 a.m. to fold your toilet paper into a triangle.

“We’ve sifted through some of the most decadent, elegant, quirky and surprising houses and apartments,

pogueDavid Pogue’s New York Times article suggests using the airline’s own app (especially Delta’s) for storing your boarding pass, early check-in, changing seats, tracking your luggage, and more. Use FlightTrack Pro (“This app is almost a miracle”) and Apple’s Passbook app for organizing information. More ideas in the article: Use the Airlines App and Other Tips for Flying Efficiency


underpantsGizmag blogger Dave Parrack reports on Adventure Underwear.

“There’s a big world out there to explore, but traveling brings with it certain risks, with tourists often targeted by pickpockets and other criminal types. It is therefore essential for travelers to keep their valuables close at all times, and where could be better to store your worldly possessions than

logitechLast fall Gizmag blogger Dave LeClair told us about Logitech’s forthcoming HD camera specifically geared towards vloggers. It’s now on the market.

“It actually integrates with a Mac’s existing webcam, so it can serve as a second perspective to bring more professional quality to live streamers and video bloggers.

“The camera also works with iPhone and iPad for controlling and previewing videos. This is designed to make it easier to

“If you feel as if every mosquito in a 50-mile radius has you locked in its sights, while your friends are rarely bitten, you could be right. Up to 20 percent of us are highly alluring to mosquitoes—and scientists have discovered some surprising reasons.” Lisa Collier Cool explains why some people can’t seem to get away from mosquitoes. Hint: It has to do with the full moon and beer-drinking, vampire-like, blood-type-O, mothers to be. Really.


What is a Gap Year?

A gap year is a structured period of time when students take a break from formal education to increase self-awareness, challenge comfort zones, and experiment with possible careers.  Typically these are achieved by a combination of traveling, volunteering, interning, or working. A gap year experience can last from two months up to two years and is taken between high school graduation and the Junior year of their higher degree.

“If you’re a claustrophobic insomniac, the GoSleep sleeping pods probably won’t be of much interest to you, but for international travelers fighting with jet lag and tight schedules, being able to rent a private place to kip for an hour can be godsend. Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced last week that it has installed ten of the Finnish-designed GoSleep pods at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide passengers with individual sleeping quarters while waiting for flights.” Read the rest of the article at Gizmag.com.GoSleep

Travelers-200x300“The savviest of travelers understand the security requirements and plan ahead. In the United States, airport security is run by the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security as well as technological research, response to national disasters and terrorism, and intelligence analysis.” These tips reflect TSA policies as of November 2012.

spacepizzaOk, so this isn’t exactly a travel tip, but we do need to be aware of what’s coming: the 3-D printer, “your all-in-one solution to lunar habitat-building, gun-making and space pizza preparation! Now, the latter has grabbed the attention of NASA, which has approved a $125,000 grant for a mechanical engineer to develop a prototype of his universal food synthesizer based on 3-D printing technology.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life,” he said. “The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.”


“Every year around this time, we find that many travelers are still looking to plan last-minute trips for the Spring and Summer seasons. To help narrow the options, we reached out to our network of top partners and highlighted special deals exclusively for the Indagare community.”

Resorts with offers include: Mii amo (Sedona, Arizona), Maroma (Riviera Maya, Mexico), Four Seasons (Costa Rica), Parrot Cay (Turks & Caicos), Le Royal Monceau (Raffles Paris), Shutters (Santa Monica, California), El Encanto (Santa Barbara), La Samanna (St. Martin), Laucala (Fiji), Claridge’s (London).

For more information, click here: Special Offers.

Mosquito biteThanks to Anne Sigmon for her post on Jungle Pants: Twelve tips for avoiding mosquitos–and the serious diseases they carry. Anne also provides a link to Tipnut’s Over 40 Mosquito Bite Itch Relief Tips.

April 20, 2011
12:00 pm
April 27, 2011
12:00 pm
May 4, 2011
12:00 pm

The San Francisco Waterfront Challenge, a new weekly “identify-the-photo” game, is giving prizes to waterfront-savvy locals and visitors. The challenge starts at noon on Wednesday, on April 20th. The photo challenge is a celebration of San Francisco’s lively waterfront and a promotion for the San Francisco Waterfront website and mobile application.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each Wednesday at noon for the next for six months, a photo taken somewhere along San Francisco’s waterfront, from the Golden Gate Bridge to AT&T Park, will be posted online at San Francisco Waterfront. SF Waterfront Challenge rules are on the website.

I love this sturdy, way-clever, thin-as-paper, easy-to-conceal travel wallet.  The linked article includes easy do-it-yourself instructions. Make several before your next trip, and stash your cash safely.

To take your mobile phone along or not? Does your next  destination use CDMA or TDMA? AMPS? TACS? Here’s a site for travelers listing what phone systems work where.

Unsure about the electrical system at your next destination? Few other countries use the 120 volt system that is standard in the US and Canada. Libya and Aruba are close, at 127 volts, as are the Dominican Republic at 110 and El Salvador at 115. Turkmenistan is on 220, 230 is standard for the EU, and Australia uses 240.

Here’s a handy source for information about electrical systems around the world: the Global Electric and Phone Directory.

Travel writers and photographers Laurie Weed and Jak Wonderly (yes, they both do both) are back from nearly six months in Mexico. The lived and traveled in a VW Westie, and by the end of the trip had become experts at setting up camp. Here’s how.

Amphitheater made from recycled automobilesSuzie Rodriguez and I (Laurie McAndish King) are developing an iPhone app about the San Francisco Waterfront. We’re having great fun doing this “work” as we write about some of our favorite places and discover hidden gems. One of my favorites so far is the public amphitheater pictured here; it’s made from recycled automobile hoods!

We expect the app to be available in a month or so; in the meantime, here’s a link to the Facebook page we set up to let people know what we’re up to and gather ideas about the best places to include. We’d sure appreciate it if you’d visit the page and “like” us. Thanks!

Thanks to Alan Ruffalo for this link to a NOAA map that lets you mouse over areas of the US to learn current weather at local airports: temp, relative humidity, dew point, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, visibility, precipitation, more.

September 14, 2010
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

The Peace Corps will be 50 years old in 2011. What better way to celebrate than to volunteer?

Become a grassroots entrepreneur in one of 77 countries as a Peace Corps volunteer. RSVP now and come to this Marin County orientation session to start your journey:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
6:30PM to 8:00PM
Fairfax Library
2097 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Fairfax, CA 94930

Contact: Peace Corps San Francisco Regional Office:
(510) 452-8444 or sfevents@peacecorps.gov

This looks like a great idea for visiting out-of-towners: Carried Away offers small, customized tours of the San Francisco Bay Area. “Book an unconventional outing with Carried Away and experience San Francisco and the Bay Area in a completely new and different way. Each outing is designed to surprise and delight. We want you to have fun and feel great – to have the best day ever.”

You’re guaranteed lots of personal attention from Carried Away founders Vikki and Dianne, long-time Bay area residents who are known for knowing — and going! Introductory pricing is good through August, 2010.

BennyTraveling soon to a country where you don’t speak the language? There are many helpful posts on Benny Lewis’ FluentIn3Months.com, “a how-to guide and story of becoming fluent in any language quickly. After over seven years of travelling and learning languages I have picked up quite a lot of short-cuts, unconventional learning techniques, and a pretty good mentality that has hugely helped me to learn these languages, and earn the title of ‘polyglot’. This site is for sharing these tips so that others may also live their dreams of being able to speak other languages!”

Posts include these:

foster-sf-app-coverI have a huge amount of admiration for Lee Foster’s travel writing and photography, technological savvy, and “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy. Like the rest of us, Lee has been affected by the downturn in publishing. But he did something about it: he turned one of his books, San Francisco Photography Guide, into an iPhone application and released it in the Apple iTunes App Store (it costs just $1.99). It “assists users to create, collect, and enjoy their own postcard perfect photos and memories of San Francisco. Lee presents his top 100 views of The City, from vistas to iconic details, and shows the user how to duplicate them. The app has Lee’s comments on how to make the photo and why the view is significant, even if you only want to enjoy the view and not photograph it. Interactive maps show what photos/views can be savored in a given neighborhood.”

firstaidI’m getting ready to take a trip, and pulled out some notes about what first aid items to bring along. I am not a  doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but here’s a basic list complied by one. Of course your own list will depend on where you’ll be, and what your individual needs are. Be sure to check with your health care provider (you could use the notes below as a discussion guide).

  • Antibiotic to use for treatment for travelers’ diarrhea (item number 1 on the list for a good reason?).

UV Disinfector

December 27, 2009 | 1 Comment


Has anyone tried a product like this? I’ve seen UV disinfectors for $95, and for $19.95 (wonder what the difference is…?), and they seem like a useful item to travel with these days. According to the instructions, they use “the same technology hospitals use to sanitize,” killing 99% of germs [mold and] and bacteria with ultraviolet light—no chemicals. The UV sanitizer pictured at left runs on batteries and is about 20″ long.

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