What Is It: An oblong inflatable travel pillow designed to help you achieve some peace in a cramped coach seat.
Price and Where to Buy: I bought mine on Amazon for $29.95; the product is eligible for free Super Saver Shipping. You can also order it directly from on the Travelrest website for the same price, but you'll have to pay extra for shipping.
Pros: I have the ability to sleep on planes. I'm often in dreamland accepting a Pulitzer before the plane's wheels have folded back into the undercarriage. But I consistently wake up 40 minutes or an hour later—depending on how badly my body is contorted in my seat—with a throbbing neck and my face on someone's iPad.
For a while I was making like Linus and bringing a full-size bed pillow onto planes; this worked like a dream, but was slightly embarrassing. My pillow-toting tendency was not something I would necessarily reveal, say, in a blog post on the Internet. (Whoops.) My Linus phase had to end.
So I grew up and ordered the Travelrest, which appears to be the best selling travel pillow on Amazon. Faceless masses, you did not let me down. On an 11:55 p.m. red-eye from New York's JFK to Guayaquil, Ecuador, I fell asleep on the pillow a few moments after take-off and woke up six hours later as the plane circled for landing. It was the travel equivalent of hitting for the cycle....read more»
Sarah Ferris is a DC native and two-time NYC transplant exploring her love of all things pickled or baked with chocolate chips. Follow her perilous culinary school journey on her blog, Bunintended.
Having quit my stable job several months ago to follow the proverbial dream, I am back living in NYC, a culinary student and test kitchen intern, on a serious budget. The Big Apple can be an expensive place to eat, but with a few tips and tricks, along with some of my suggestions, you can easily have some of the tastiest bites this city offers....read more»
Who: Travel Editor Caroline Morse traveled alone to Colorado for the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference, and squeezed in some sightseeing while she was there.
Where I Went: Denver, Keystone, and Estes Park, Colorado.
When: June 14-17
High Points: The absolute high point of my trip (literally and figuratively) was a bike tour of Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road. I booked through New Venture Cycling, and for just $75, they provided me with a bike, helmet, water bottle, tour guide, support van, and picnic.
They drive bikers up to the top of the road, and then take you on a guided tour down. It's a 26-mile route (with an optional seven miles through town at the end) and it's mostly all downhill. Which is good, because I struggled on the tiniest inclines due to the altitude. Our guide was fantastic, pointing out local wildlife and sites, and our support driver was also great. (The support van carries the bike up to the top, and follows riders down, so participants can leave bags and cameras, etc. inside.) At the end, they even give you a delicious picnic—with fresh fruits, veggies, bagels, and more. If you have time, definitely go on the extra seven miles at the end, which goes past a beautiful lake.
I also enjoyed biking in Denver—I took advantage of B-cycle, Denver's bike sharing program. There are automated racks all over the city, and you can rent bikes at one location and return them to another. It costs $8 for a 24-hour pass. Denver also has a great network of trails—I rode the one along Cherry Creek, which has beautiful views. I also stopped to enjoy Confluence Park and had fun watching people tube the man-made rapids....read more»
"Shower them with miles; starve them for seats." Although I first ascribed that mantra to the big airlines last year, it has actually improved a bit—at least for some airlines, in some cases. IdeaWorks recently released its third annual report on the availability of frequent-flyer seats, and a few lines made some marked improvements over last year.
As before, IdeaWorks studied seat availability at the lower or "saver" award level on 23 airlines. They made 6,680 test bookings in March 2012 for two seats on popular routes in June through October, and the results showed a substantial spread among the individual lines. ...read more»
The new Citi HHonors Reserve Visa Signature credit card offers some features that you might like—but mainly if you stay at Hilton hotels often enough to take advantage. You can earn free stays relatively easily, and the card provides some useful upgrade possibilities and foreign travel benefits. But if you aren't fond of Hiltons, you can do better with other credit cards. ...read more»
One look at London's skyline, and it's clear that the city is shifting east. Once a rundown wasteland, East London now glistens with gardens, greenery, and state-of-the-art construction. Skyscrapers punctuate the skyline while a tangle of new Tube lines makes it a quick and easy trip from the center of town.
Much of the revitalization is thanks to the 2012 Olympic Games, which are taking place through August 12. But even after the summer games are safely tucked away in the record books, their legacy will live on in East London. While definitely not Jolly Olde England, this area—stretching from the Olympic Park south to the bustling Docklands district—offers a break from quaint, touristy London and a refreshing look at the British version of a 21st-century city.
The gleaming new Olympic Park is located about seven miles northeast of downtown London in an area called Stratford. Filling the Lea Valley, Stratford was once the site of derelict factories, mountains of discarded tires, and Europe's biggest refrigerator dump. But in preparation for the Olympics, this area has been gutted and rebuilt. Half a million trees were planted, and 1.4 million tons of dirt were cleansed of arsenic, lead, and other toxic chemicals—a reminder of this site's dirty industrial past. ...read more»
A few juicy news tidbits caught my eye this week, including one story about an overdressed (not in the way you think) Disney World guest and a piece about a guy who went to Cuba—and paid dearly for it. Plus, find out what's scrolling on Matt Gross's iPad.
We're Reading What Matt Gross Is Reading
Here's a meta twist on our weekly roundup of stuff to read: Matt Gross, former Frugal Traveler at The New York Times (now replaced by Seth Kugel, whose name just so happens to rhyme with his title), posted a list of his favorite travel blogs this week. This excites us, as awesome travel blogs don't necessarily pop up in the top of search results when one Googles "awesome travel blogs." ...read more»