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Travel Log: November 2004 Archives

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Really Relax Before You Fly

Our friend Rick sends us this story published in Incentive Mag last month, but who are we to complain since we left this weblog unattended for 10 days? Ah, the joys of business travel... But I disgress. The fact of the matter is:

"travelers leaving from, transferring through or arriving at the Jet Blue terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport will soon be able to spend some of that down time getting a facial or massage."

The service, provided by Oasis Day Spa, is now supposed to be available (I told you, it's old news) but a couple other airports already had similar facilities so this is decidedly a less than super fresh story. I'm exhausted by the heavy research that went into this post, I think I need to lay down and rest now. Work on my toes first, thanks.

Olivier Travers | November 23, 2004 | Trends | Permanent link | Comments (4)

Watch TV, Cry, Go Places

Korean soap stars
Let's go to that special place

The Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan reports (in English) about travel agencies cashing in on weepy melodramas. It turns out the South Korean TV drama series Winter Sonata is big in Japan. (What's with that phrase? Even Tom Waits wrote a song about it.) So big that thousands of people have traveled to South Korea to visit shooting locations. This has been going on for more than a year, and the tours are said to be sold out.

Another show called Autumn in my Heart (also known under a couple other names in English) is likewise getting a lot of attention from audiences in Malaysia and Singapore, with related travel opportunities to boot.

No doubt Kim Jong Il, an avid blogger and movie buff, will find similar ways to attract tourists to North Korea. The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang is ready to host them.

Olivier Travers | November 11, 2004 | Travel Ideas | Permanent link | Comments (6)

Official European Ski Season Opening

I'll be glad if I can finally pull a 360
I wish that was me

By way of Gadling I just found about Snowgo, a blog dedicated to snowboarding, which points to this list of European resort opening dates (ok, the list is actually 90% made of French stations). I'm posting this if only to share my excitement in expectation of spending a week in Serre Chevalier for Christmas. I've not snowboarded for a while but five full days should be enough to improve my level past "experimented wimp." Our 4-year old daughter is also pleased and she's already warning her grandfather on the phone about the snowballs she's going to throw at him (never mind that she last saw snow when she was a toddler and never made a snowball).

Let me tell you, there's just nothing quite like the Alps in winter to get me thrilled, but on my father's side people lived around Annecy at least for the last 350 years or so, so I'm not quite objective. (But then this is really one of the most beautiful regions on Earth.) Serre Chevalier is in the Southern French Alps which have the advantage of usually having more snow early in the season than my own Haute Savoie (that said, check out La Clusaz if you have the chance).

Here's a question if you made it this far: are you interested in ski-focused travel packages from BizNetTravel (not just in Europe), and if yes can you elaborate as to what would help you put together your dream ski vacation (use the comments, email or call us).

Olivier Travers | November 10, 2004 | News | Permanent link | Comments (8)

Post Bush Victory Emigrant Round-Up

No, the Bush administration is not yet rounding up liberals to ship them out of Jesusland to Canada 2.0, I'm simply talking about a link round-up (aka lazy blogging):

Olivier Travers | November 9, 2004 | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Watch That Hotel Bill

Chris Woodyard at USA Today (is it me or does he indeed look slightly like a thinner John Edwards?) explains that during the last few years, hotel prices on their way up met airfares on their way down. His logical conclusion is that you'd better pay attention to the overall cost of a business trip rather than be obsessed with just the price of your flight. And then there are plenty of costly extras like outrageous parking fees, telephone and internet bills that would make sense if the cabling was gold-plated, and $5 water bottles. According to the article it's now hard to find full-service hotels for less than $150 a night. What happened to American affordability?

Olivier Travers | November 8, 2004 | Trends | Permanent link | Comments (6)

Computing Biz Traveler Buying Guide


I have a great
selection of
machines for you

Bill Machrone at PC Magazine comes back from the future (the article is dated 11-16-04) to advise us on gear to take on the road. This lengthy guide covers at length notebooks, PDAs and smart phones, printers and projectors, accessories you shouldn't forget, and more. Did I mention the article is long? In fact it's not that long but making it seem so helps PC Mag bombard you with about 9.47 ads per word. Hey, they gotta pay those hefty time travel bills, but if you're cheap here's the print version with just one blinking ad.

Olivier Travers | November 5, 2004 | Advice | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Can't Get Enough Boring TV? Get It In the Air

inflight entertainment
This flight sure
is fun.

In a self-serving article, CNN reports that Virgin Blue will display live TV (broadcast via satellite) on seatback screens (CNN, self-serving? Nah.) The service will cost $5 and will be rolled out to all their flights in Australia next year. If you're convinced TV is neither innovative nor entertainment and you know it, clap your hands. Bonus points if you post in the comments the name of the DJ and song I'm paraphrasing. Hint: he's a native of an island we recently mentioned in our special deal section. How's that for a convoluted way to get you to check our special deals? And yes, googling it as well as querying Allmusic or Discogs is cheating.

Meanwhile Ryanair wants to introduce in-flight gambling in Europe. All Americans are left with is raising airline fuel costs because of obesity. You have to read that last article if only to ponder how the United States got to a point where a federal agency spends tax dollars to ponder such issues. I know the dollar is worth less and less but still. Expect the American capital to move from Washington, DC to Brussels, Belgium anytime soon now. For additional non-intentional self-inflected irony, enjoy the oft-repeated phrase "obesity epidemic." Fat is not spread by infection, ok?

Olivier Travers | November 5, 2004 | News | Permanent link | Comments (1)

Best WiFi Hotels (The Real Ones)

Our friends at HotelChatter worked hard to document and compile a list of the best hotel chains as far as wireless access is concerned. Check out their detailed post for details. Update: here's a follow-up post dedicated to the worst Wifi hotels.

Olivier Travers | November 3, 2004 | Best / Worst | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Frequent Flying Is a Privilege

Chris Cloud notes all is not well in frequent flyer programs, aka Nickel 'N' Dime Land:

"In March American Experess started charging a fee per point (up to $50) for transfer of Membership Awards points to frequent flier miles. Diner's Club also tacks on $.95 for every 1,000 miles redeemed throught its Club Rewards program."

Olivier Travers | November 1, 2004 | Trends | Permanent link | Comments (1)

Health Travel on the Rise

the pic and caption are just for good fun, ok?
Redone with parts from
12 different countries

A stream of articles during the last few weeks and months shows there's a growing trend to kill two birds with one stone and get some medical procedure done while traveling abroad. In some cases medical care is the main goal of the trip, leisure coming only as a bonus. Even accounting for the cost of flight and lodging there are significant savings to be made.

Western Europeans enjoy cheaper plastic surgery and dental work in Central Europe countries which have recently joined the European Union such as Poland and Hungary, since EU membership simplifies things from an insurance coverage perspective (Molvanîa however seems left behind again). Meanwhile, India and Thailand seem to attract significant attention from Asian and even American patients (it was not reported whether these were considered to be Benedict Arnolds by John Kerry). Don't forget to import your post-surgery drugs from Canada for a fully-globalized healthcare experience.

Now for the educational part:

Olivier Travers | November 1, 2004 | Travel Ideas | Permanent link | Comments (3)


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