Each time I read through posts for Gadling Take Five, I look for those that may have been missed by readers. I also look for posts that may fit together in some sort of cosmic theme. It’s often hard to choose five. While browsing the offerings this week, it seems this was a week of great ideas. This week I found a gold mine.
Here are ten great ideas:
- When Alison was at Litquake in San Francisco she discovered The Bookmobile, a former actual Bookmobile that has been turned into an experiential gathering place for readers, if you will. If you see the Bookmobile somewhere along the Lincoln Highway this year, step inside. You might encounter a famous author driving it. The material being gathered during the Bookmobile’s journey will be turned into a documentary.
- A good idea worth considering is reducing the number of traffic signs. Although Aaron is a swell driver, he’s given some thought to how he might be better at it if there were fewer signs to distract him. There is research to prove him right. Fewer signs have been shown to decrease accidents.
- As world travelers, we’re often introduced to problems we wouldn’t have been otherwise. In Tibet, blindness is a problem. In Sean’s post on the Planeterra Foundation, you can read more about the organization’s wonderful idea to tackle blindness and how you might get involved.
- Kraig, who knows a thing or two about adventure travel, highlights the reasons why hiking the Continental Divide Trail is a good idea. In the case of hiking this trail, Kraig suggests a good idea is to plan for extremes. For example, on one section there’s a lack of water. On another, you’ll be on the look out for grizzles.
- Here are two airlines with great ideas. KLM is giving away personalized luggage tags. Scott tells you how to get them. Virgin America is considering testing out this good idea. Those without carry-ons can board first. Alison did think about how this good idea might not be so good after all.
- If you’re on a long flight, Tom has come up with great ideas for how to be more productive. Since one of my favorite things to do on a plane is zone out, Tom’s tips are extra handy.
- For anyone looking for where to have a destination wedding. Look no further than St. Maarten. Katie has the scoop on why having a wedding on this island is a great idea. It’s free.
- You probably came across Annie’s post on 10 things not to forget to pack when you go on a trip. Pajamas is one of them, something I consistently forget.
- Here’s a good idea that might be a bit weird. I found out about GoGirl, a device that helps women pee like men.
- And here’s a shout out to Heather’s grand idea even though it’s already found great press. It’s such a great idea, I had to include it. Heather has turned Laviator into a household word. I still have yet to become a Laviator. It’s probably because of my tendency to zone out on a plane. One of these days, though–one of these days.
During this week, the start of Gadling’s 5th birthday celebration, we’ve also highlighted aspects of eco-friendly travel and have continued to ferret out travel bargains. Brenda found a screaming deal on a trip to China. Heather’s weighed in on how to get free beer from a flight attendant and provides a reminder as to what NOT to do as well. I haven’t been given free beer on a flight, but I have been given free wine.
Here five other posts that cover subjects from sports to destinations to eats. This week was filled with such goodies, it was hard to pick.
- Although it may not be the cheapest destination to reach, Alice Springs, Australia has much to offer. Mike was fortunate enough to see this Outback location from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. Lucky him!
- In one of the most creative ways to fund travel that I’ve heard about in awhile–if ever, Daniel Seddiqui lined up 50 jobs in 50 states. Katie’s post highlights how Daniel did it and gives just enough of a taste to make us want more details about Seddiqui’s grand idea. We’ll have to wait for his book. Here’s hoping he’ll send it Gadling’s way when he’s done.
- One of the great things about traveling is being exposed to the variety of ways in which people entertain themselves around the world. Grant found an amazing video of people playing Sepak Takraw in Thailand, something he relates to volleyball and hackey sack with an acrobatic twist.
- Sepak Takraw isn’t the only unusual aspect of Asia we’ve highlighted this week. Catherine found out about a dwarf village in China. This village near Kunming is actually a theme park where 80 dwarf residents perform musical numbers. I have to say, this place sounds odd, but very intriguing. Catherine’s wondering if she should go there after she moves to Kunming in the next couple of weeks. I’m wondering how can she not?
- In Chicago, Felony Franks is an intriguing restaurant that hires ex-convicts to serve up the dogs and french fries. Tom also points to similar establishments doing good work while serving the public in San Francisco and Trenton, New Jersey.
And one more. Here’s some music for your weekend. In the “Top 10 travel-themed 50’s songs,” a follow-up to Jeremy’s post on the “Top 10 travel-themed ’80’s songs,” there are some songs you probably know. One song I didn’t know before has become my new favorite. “Wayward Wind” captures so much about how hard it is to pin a world traveler down.
We are halfway through Hotel Month at Gadling and have added blogger Katie Hammel who is afraid of flying but has not let that stopped her from becoming a world traveler.
Here are items you may have missed that might astonish, surprise you or give you pause.
- First up, Stephen’s post on Pet Airways. When I first heard about this airlines, I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. It’s not.
- Next, there’s Scott’s story about the family who left their son at a rest stop bench and had to drive back 200 miles to retrieve him.
- Mike discovered that not all people are thrilled with the risque Air New Zealand videos where body paint is a prominent feature.
- In the arena of natural wonder, Kraig has a post on the new geyser that erupted in Russia
- As a person who has been traveling through Montana, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico these last two weeks, Tom’s post on the fishing package deal at the Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa caught my eye. Very sweet. If you’re in the area, sort of, head to Bannack, a ghost town in Montana. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s a new month and we’ve started a few new series. With Gadlinks, we’re browsing other travel blogs to let you in on what caught our attention each day. Aaron and Brenda are at the helm of this one.
Also, Jon Bowermaster is back, but now he’s traveling where pirates tread on the Indian Ocean. You can follow him at Bowermaster’s Adventures.
We’ve also embarked on 10 passengers we love to hate series. Yes, “hate ” is a strong word. But, aren’t there certain passengers who drive you a bit bonkers? See who bugs us.
Here are five other posts to add to your travel news pleasure:
- If you’re thinking of a national park this summer, read Alison’s post on which parks are free and on what days. It’s good to know specifics. Even if you do have to pay for admission, national parks are terrific deals.
- Sean has been walking along the Thames near Oxford, a read that makes you want to take an English countryside stroll.
- Perhaps a trip along the Rio Grande Valley captures your fancy. Kraig knows how you might win one by stopping in a Patagonia store.
- And for anyone who wants to come to New York City, but wonders how safe it is, never fear, Tom has proof– thanks to Mayor Micheal Bloomburg, that the Big Apple is better than ever. I’m in NYC right now, and I’m much more comfortable walking here late at night than I am in Columbus, Ohio. There’s nothing wrong with Columbus at night, but here, the city is alive well after dark.
Wherever you are this weekend, I hope there’s something interesting going on to suit your fancy.
Sometimes a Gadling post grabs one’s attention and you think, “Gaad!”
- That’s what I thought when I read Scott’s post about the flesh eating bacteria that killed a man while he was on a cruise. I’m heading off on my first cruise in August. Naturally, a flesh-eating bacteria cruise story has impact.
- There are other posts that make a person ponder about life in general. That’s what happened when I read Tynan’s post on coping with travel disasters. His method is a make lemonade out of lemons version which serves him well.
- As you may have noticed we’re starting a new series on budget travel. This one involves places to drive to from somewhere else. Here are budget destinations so far: Scott has the scoop on Santa Claus, Indiana (from Chicago); Grant’s a whiz at Ann Arbor, Michigan (from Detroit) and Catherine knows about Puget Sound and San Juan Islands ( from Seattle.) There’s much more coming. Each of us have favorite spots that don’t cost a lot, but offer a wonderful time.
- If you’re looking for an interesting, blogging way to fund travel, check out Aaron’s post on Roads Scholarship. Think of it as a paid internship.
- For anyone heading to New York City, Jeremy’s post on fun and games offers a unique way to take in the urban scene through Bocce Ball, chess and more. As he points out, immigrant groups have brought their games with them to the Big Apple adding an international mix to what visitors can enjoy.