Top 5 travel fashion trends for summer 2011

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at what travelers will be wearing as temperatures rise and vacations abound. Before you know it, schools will be out, beaches will be packed and road trips will be in full effect. So, what are the hot fashion trends for tourists and travelers alike? We attended fashion shows from Milan to Albuquerque so that we could report back on the styles that will have everyone looking chic, sassy and, of course, functional as they hit the road for summer fun. Grab some sunscreen, a good book and your camera because we’re going to have you looking your best. These are the Top 5 travel fashion trends for summer 2011.

1. Mankinis
Long the style in Europe, swim briefs are ready to hit the shores of the good ol’ US of A. They dry fast, allow your thighs to breathe and their snug fit keeps sand away from all of your naughty bits. While most American men used to shy away from these skimpy briefs, sensibilities have changed over the years and the time has come smuggle those Yankee plums.

2. Socks & Sandals
For years, Germans have understood the secret to comfort during travel. Finally, however, their fashion-forward ways have caught on in the States. Sandals can cause blisters, awkward tan lines and injuries to exposed toes. By adding a sock layer between your feet and the sandals, you eliminate chafing, create one easy-to-manage tan line and protect yourself from injuries. Beyond that, a fashionable pair of socks can dress up any sandals when it’s time to transition into your evening affairs.

3. Fanny Packs
Whether you’re out for a day of sightseeing, on a hike or just hitting the hottest clubs, you’ll want your hands free to take pictures, keep your balance or grind with anonymous dance partners. Fanny packs (or bum bags to many of you) are convenient, practical and suit any fashion sense. There are rugged lumbar packs for hiking, exquisite designer fanny packs from Louis Vuitton for formal occasions and styles for everything in between. Your passport, money, hotel key and map will fit perfectly in a handsome fanny pack and you’ll turn any sidewalk into a fashion runway.

4. Shirts emblazoned with the name of the place you’re visiting
People love to get souvenirs but most of what we bring home is just schlock that takes up room in our homes. The most practical souvenir is the one that you can wear at any time – including during that very trip. That’s why fashionistas the world over are sporting stylish shirts purchased at airports, gift shops and amusement parks. Showing off logos and name brands is so passé. Today, it’s not about who you’re wearing, it’s about where you’ve been. Do you love NY? Then show it off! Been to DisneyWorld? Let the world know! Checked out the Anne Frank House? Good for you.

5. Everything that these ladies are wearing

Russia breeds petite lap giraffes

Allergic to cats? Can’t commit to walking a dog several times a day? The petite lap giraffe may be for you. Developed and bred on a farm outside Krasnodar in Southern Russia, these little longnecks are perfect for people with pet allergies, small children, or just a taste for tiny opulence.

The lap giraffes need a diet of bonsai tree leaves and filtered water, and prefer to be inside with air conditioning. They are ideal for travelers as they are under 11 pounds, under the weight requirement for many airlines. Plus, think of the adventure you’ll have traveling to Sokoblovsky Farms near the Black Sea! Click here to get on the waiting list for your own little Vladimir or Svetlana and happy travels with your petite lap giraffe!

25 newly-discovered travel destinations from

If you’ve checked out Wanderfly, the new travel planning and booking service that suggests destinations and activities based on your interests, you know they’ve come up with some unique and untouristy destinations. Now they’ve gone beyond the beaten tourist track with 25 newly-discovered travel destinations. Why just see the Great Wall of China when you could see a whole city full of kittens in China (far greater if you ask us!)?! Fan of Dolly Parton? Thousands go to Dollywood, why not relax on a man-made archipelago in the shape of Dolly and Kenny Rogers at Islands in the Stream in Dubai? Can’t get enough of that rascal Charlie Sheen? Intrepid adventurers can get inside his brain and see what all that tiger’s blood does.

The Wanderfly researchers teamed up with Whim Quarterly to unearth these new places and the best activities to do. The new destinations were chosen for their interactive experiences to give travelers the most authentic experience. “We challenge any traveler to find even a single destination that can compare to these unearthed gems,” says Wanderfly co-founder Christy Liu. “Paris? London? Cleveland? With respect to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they all pale in comparison to such places as ObeCity, Funkytown, and Your Mom’s House.”

For more on these exciting new discoveries, visit and click the crazy kitten on the home page and then Get Going. But hurry, some of these destinations may only be available on April 1st.

The Ugly Truth: Gadling’s revolutionary new video series to launch in May

With the goal of improving its cross-platform social media presence, Gadling proudly announces the Ugly Truth, a new video series hell-bent on capturing the viler dimensions of the travel blogger lifestyle.

The Ugly Truth series will revolutionize the sanitized travel show media with depictions of a host of things designed to provoke intense, visceral reactions from viewers.

There’s some great hardcore gross-out material, of course, and there are also plenty of examples of a newly-diagnosed condition referred to by doctors as TBRC (Travel Blogger Rage Syndrome).

“We’re excited to bring the more disgusting side of travel to the attention of Gadling’s audience,” says Gadling Editor-in-chief Grant Martin. “And really, who cares about boring travel news or how-to posts dealing with travel logistics, flight upgrade strategies, or museum discounts when you’ve got video footage of Meg Nesterov consumed by TBRC, beating a defenseless Turkish cat? Or a video of Jeremy Kressmann having eating one too many Big Macs in Thailand, losing his lunch in a tuk-tuk?”

Which Gadling writer chewed so much khat in East Africa last summer that he puked for days? We’ll tell you–better yet, we’ll show you.

Which Gadling writer had a torrid affair with the head of a major European national tourist board? We’ll show you that as well, with crystal-clear HD footage that leaves nothing–not even some unfortunate back acne–to the imagination.

There is also a mine of simply baffling, unclassifiable material on tap, like the dreamy sequence documenting the Gadling contributor so in love with the room’s décor at São Paulo’s Fasano that she arose from a nap to lick the edge of her desk.

Martin, again: “We’d really like to become the first place people turn to for disgusting travel videos, and we’re really pushing our stable of writers to take the lead by getting themselves into some truly gross situations. I can’t wait to see the enormous traffic these gems are going to get!”

And as for rumors that Martin’s recent TBRC episode involving an inefficient airport employee at Kastrup will appear in a The Ugly Truth episode to be released on June 17? “No comment.”

Check out the first installment of The Ugly Truth in early May.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

[Image: Flickr | Mike Burns]

Mountain biker set to ride up Everest

In the world of high altitude mountaineering, there are few challenges bigger than Mt. Everest. Standing 29,029 feet in height, it is the tallest peak on the planet, remaining unclimbed until 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay finally reached the summit. Since then, literally hundreds of climbers have stood on top of the mountain, but not a single mountain biker has ever managed to conquer it. One man hopes to change all that this year.

Bob “Gnarly” Goldstein has been riding mountain bikes for years. The 45-year old copier salesman from Topeka, Kansas says he just prefers them over other kinds of bikes, saying they are simply more comfortable to ride and “they can go anywhere!” Bob has taken his trusty Huffy Cyclone on a number of local trails and on vacation with him to Colorado, where it not only helped him to get around Boulder, but allowed him to enjoy the mountain scenery as well. Soon, he’ll turn his sights on the biggest mountain of them all.

With April now upon us, mountaineers and trekkers are descending on the capital of NepalKathmandu. The city is the last stop before heading into the Himalaya and Bob, and his trusty bike arrived there just yesterday. Soon he’ll begin his tune-up ride to Everest Base Camp, located at 17,600 feet. Once there, the real challenge will begin, as he intends to pedal all the way to the summit.

Goldstein knows that his task won’t be an easy one. He’ll have to navigate through the dreaded Khumbu Icefall, riding his Huffy across ladders precariously placed over crevasses in the glacier. Once on the other side, he’ll start the long, slow, grueling climb up the South Col and eventually to the top. “I’m pretty sure I’ll only be using the first three gears,” he says.While most climbers carry backpacks stuffed with layers of warm clothing, crampons, carabiners, and other climbing gear, Bob will have a few other items in his pack. He’ll be carrying spare inner tubes, a small tire pump, and special tools for changing a flat on the slopes. When asked by an incredulous Sherpa where he intended to carry his oxygen bottles, Goldstein replied “Duh! I have two bottle cages right on my bike dude!”

Bob says that he has been training his whole life for this opportunity. He regularly tackles some of the bigger hills in his home town, and his recent rides have gotten him off the pavement and onto the dirt trails as well. He’s even been practicing changing flat tires as quickly as possible, as the biting winds and sub-zero temperatures on Everest can turn those kinds of activities into brutal endeavors. Goldstein says he has no intention of losing a finger or toe due to frostbite, brought on by fixing a flat.

And after he suffers through all the pain and challenges of getting to the summit, Bob will be in for the ride of his life. He says he’s looking forward to “bombing” back down the mountain, and “catching big air” off the Hillary Step. “Which reminds me,” he adds hesitantly, “I need to go check my breaks.”

Good luck Bob! We’re cheering for you.