Summary of “Toys Are Taking Vacations and Seeing the World”

Azuma grew up, but as she got older, she rediscovered a passion for soft toys.
Azuma isn’t alone-lots of adults make toys a centerpiece of their travel dispatches.
She then identified some common trends, such as the desire to “Accumulate travel culture capital” by sharing pics of toys posed in world tourism hotspots.
Something about pictures of toys by famous world landmarks makes a certain breed of traveler feel particularly worldly-the familiar and the foreign together, as if it is the most natural thing in the world.
Clients ship their toys to Azuma, and they stay with her for two or three weeks, during which time their adventures are promptly reported back to their owners via social media posts.
“From poses to accompanying captions, there was a clear trend of toys appearing to experience travel. The toys were photographed worried about missing public transport, deciding on their next meal and, of course, posing in front of famous tourist sites,” she explains.
Traveling toys are often pictured engaging in human activities, instead of just seeing the sites.
In addition to the agencies in Japan and France, there is now Toy Voyagers, a website that connects traveling toys with hosts, and Omanimali, a toy-passport-issuing organization based in Germany.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Misery of Company”

Apparently my absence prevented everyone from doing anything, because we weren’t all together to make a group decision, and Organizer Lady was pissed.
Which made no sense, given that the group’s decisions were always just a disguised version of her telling us what she wanted to do, and no one argued.
We were all women, college friends in our twenties, getting together in groups that usually started with two people having an idea for a trip, then inviting friends who also invited friends, so that on any given trip you’d probably know half the people fairly well and the other half in name only.
Rigatoni Weekend is when I gave up and officially decided that my answer to group trip invitations going forward would be an across-the-board hell no.
The one who made all the decisions without having to check with anyone else or uncomfortably stretch my budget to fit the group dynamic.
I know now that the right kind of group travel lets anyone involved make decisions and might include smaller groups splitting off for various activities, with some people doing solo adventures and catching up for dinner.
Or maybe not! It just takes time to find your group, and there might be different groups, depending on the kind of trip.
In May, I did my first group travel trip in years: to Miami, where we all had a wonderful time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 ways to take a virtual summer vacation if you’re stuck in an office”

Sure, we’d all love to be jet-setting around the world, living out the summer travel fantasies that are only attainable for influencers with all their expenses paid and the 0.000001%.
You’re stuck behind a desk, aggressively swiping through your friends’ vacation Insta stories.
That’s where planning a virtual vacation comes in.
The level of “Realness” might vary – for example, Google Maps can use Street View to take you on a virtual safari of in South Africa, but you’ll probably need a VR headset to get the full experience of Hamilton Island, Australia’s breathtaking helicopter island tour video.
You can also use an app like Ascape, which describes itself as “The #1 travel agency for virtual reality trips.” The app hosts a multitude of 360 scenic virtual video and photo tours, with plenty of international options.
Similar to virtual vacation destinations, but more nebulous in their exact locations, ambient nature scenes and sound videos will give you hours of calming material without the risk of sunburn or sand infiltrating the crevices of your smartphone.
Have you ever sat at the bottom of a swimming pool lit by neon lights, but instead of water the pool is filled with peach soda? Or hung out in a small town by the beach in 1953 eating ice cream in the hazy, salty air with your gf, who is also alien? No? Well even if you haven’t experienced those emotions IRL, they exist as extremely specific summer playlists that capture the most unrelatable of relatable moods.
Yes, everyone needs a digital detox once and while, but taking a virtual vacation can show you that the internet is sometimes a calming, mood-lifting place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to be a better tourist”

Maybe it’s worth examining why you want to travel in the first place.
To do your part, maybe it’s worth examining why you want to travel in the first place.
“The question is, do you want to go to a place – or show people you’ve been to the place?” says Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission.
Santander at the European Travel Commission agrees that blindly going through the motions without any research leads to a predictable trip: “You go to different places, but the experience is always the same: it’s an airport, which has the same shops, some trains, some of the monuments are different.” Plus, it makes the most famous sites more congested.
“If you’re going to Prague, instead of spending two days, spend a week – and don’t go to the tourist places. Go all around it,” Becker says.
The question is, do you want to go to a place – or show people you’ve been to the place? – Eduardo Santander.
“Rather than go on a big cruise in places like Venice, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, try going with smaller cruise ships. You may be going to these less-travelled places because smaller ships can go to smaller ports,” she suggests.
Over-tourism isn’t just flooding a place with more people than it can handle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Misery of Company”

Apparently my absence prevented everyone from doing anything, because we weren’t all together to make a group decision, and Organizer Lady was pissed.
Which made no sense, given that the group’s decisions were always just a disguised version of her telling us what she wanted to do, and no one argued.
We were all women, college friends in our twenties, getting together in groups that usually started with two people having an idea for a trip, then inviting friends who also invited friends, so that on any given trip you’d probably know half the people fairly well and the other half in name only.
Rigatoni Weekend is when I gave up and officially decided that my answer to group trip invitations going forward would be an across-the-board hell no.
The one who made all the decisions without having to check with anyone else or uncomfortably stretch my budget to fit the group dynamic.
I know now that the right kind of group travel lets anyone involved make decisions and might include smaller groups splitting off for various activities, with some people doing solo adventures and catching up for dinner.
Or maybe not! It just takes time to find your group, and there might be different groups, depending on the kind of trip.
In May, I did my first group travel trip in years: to Miami, where we all had a wonderful time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers”

The issue has been significant among environmental scientists for years; the Flying Less campaign, aimed at academia, has been running since 2015.
Maja Ros̩n, who lives in Sweden and gave up flying in 2008, had always kept quiet when friends talked about flying abroad on holidays Рuntil last year.
“If you keep flying, all your friends will as well. You contribute to the norm. But if you decide to give up flying or take a flight-free year, that makes others reflect. Change can happen fast as soon as enough people start acting. Before, people saw flying as an experience or something you do, it wasn’t in the category of consumption, but I think now people are starting to realise that by taking a flight they are a heavy consumer of fossil fuel.”
For the first couple of years, giving up flying felt like a loss, she says, but the train-travel website seat61.com has enabled them to plan more adventurous journeys.
“My family live in Northern Ireland, my husband’s family live in Germany and we live in York. We do see them, but we see them less frequently, for a longer time.” She admits they haven’t faced family commitments that would be simplified by flying.
“We have had mishaps, where we’ve had tiny children and missed a train connection and had to find last-minute accommodation in some city.” Heinemeyer felt a twinge of regret at missing her high school reunion in Canada, but otherwise not flying hasn’t felt like a sacrifice, she says.
Lewis McNeil, a project manager for the charity the Orchard Project, proved the viability of long-haul overland travel after he gave up flying in 2006.
“Not everybody has the time, or bosses who are willing to let people take longer to get places. But for those who can – and I think a lot more people can than realise – flying less is good; it’s enriching.” He is pessimistic that people will change voluntarily to the degree needed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do All These Things Before Traveling Internationally”

Bank of AmericaYou can set up a Bank of America travel notice on your mobile app or through your online account.
Wells FargoIf you want to take your Wells Fargo credit card with you, set up a Wells Fargo travel plans notice.
Click on “Manage Travel Plans,” which is under the “Manage Cards” section.
Saving on travel is all about flexibility, says the anonymous editor-in-chief of the luxury travel.
Get an international phone planAlways Buy an International Data Plan When You Travel Abroad. Last week a story emerged about a couple that was traveling in Bali and ended up in a scooter.
Verizon offers a similar service, Travel Pass, that costs $5 a day to extend your plan to Mexico and Canada and $10 per day for service in more than 100 other countries.
You can even apply for a duplicate passport if you’re someone who regularly travels abroad and tends to lose things.
If you travel internationally frequently, then Global Entry can.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Retail Changes When Algorithms Curate Everything We Buy”

Independent curating engines like these could trigger the next wave of disruption in retail.
The first stage of the digital shopping revolution saved consumers time and money by letting them buy things they already wanted without having to go to a traditional retail store.
A new generation of retail choice engines will work more clearly on behalf of customers by offering transparency, neutrality, and an unlimited catalog.
Just as flight intermediaries such as Google Flights, Hopper and Skyscanner find the lowest possible prices, agnostic digital retail curators could direct consumers to the retailer offering the best deals – or advise them to delay a purchase when a promotion is likely.
When this happens, we expect that retail curators will become an industry on their own, changing the structure of the retail sector and capturing a significant share of retail sales.
To be sure, technology advances and differences between travel and retail curators make direct comparisons difficult.
Digital retailers like Amazon and Alibaba are already blurring traditional retail boundaries and consumers have demonstrated a large and growing appetite for digital retail.
Of course, developing these engines for retail will probably be harder than it has been for travel.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Amtrak becoming like the airlines?”

In September 2017, shortly after Anderson’s arrival, the rail line launched a new marketing campaign entitled “Break the Travel Quo” that dissed air travel by touting Amtrak’s ample legroom and freedom to use electronic devices with no “Airplane mode.” The campaign took aim at airlines by specifically assailing other travel “Rules, restrictions, additional fees and shrinking legroom.” And that drumbeat has continued; just last month Amtrak posted an ad on Facebook touting “2 free checked bags” and “0 middle seats.”
A report from the Congressional Research Service in September 2017 titled “Amtrak: Overview” found the following: “By some measures, Amtrak is performing as well as or better than it ever has in its 47-year history. For example, it is carrying a near-record number of passengers, and its passenger load factor and its operating ratio are at the upper end of their historic ranges. On the other hand, Amtrak’s ridership is barely growing at a time when other transportation modes are seeing ridership increases.”
Average passenger loads for the domestic airline industry haven’t been below 58 percent since 1977; what’s more, there are no middle seats on Amtrak – yet.
“The railroad experience is moving in the direction of airline service.” He’s echoed by Kevin Mitchell, a frequent Amtrak rider and chairman of the Business Travel Coalition: “I believe that Amtrak and its customers are not faring well under the guidance of former airline executives. After the radical consolidation of the U.S. airline industry, the current crop of executives were schooled in increasing confusing fees and shrinking seats.”
Roomier accommodations on Amtrak was something I addressed here with “Train or plane? Which is the better choice?” and “Tale of the tape: Amtrak is more comfortable than airlines.” I noted Amtrak’s coach seats offer width of 23 inches and legroom “Pitch” of 39 inches between seats, and much more in premium classes.
Several riders have noted Amtrak offers another big advantage over the airlines: more liberal seating rules.
Currently, the rules for what you can tote onboard Amtrak are much more liberal than any airline’s: Each passenger is allowed two personal items at 25 pounds each and two carry-ons at 50 pounds each, for a total of 150 pounds.
“The Amtrak Board of Directors and Congress have the final say on these changes, unlike the airlines where changes are made by executives with the needs of investors put squarely in front of the needs of consumers.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why You Should Take Your Vacation in the Fall”

Fall isn’t just about wearing cute jackets-it’s about travel deals.
You know what all the places I went to had in common? They were hot as hell.
Some were a humid hot, some were a dry hot, some places were hot even though barely any buildings had air conditioning.
Even folks with children could enjoy a weekend getaway in the fall that includes fewer people competing to take a picture in front of whatever iconic mural you’ve found.
There are a lot of places that lower their ticket prices in autumn because they know fewer people are traveling and they want to attract customers.
“A lot of Europe is seasonal, so after Labor Day, prices go down – and they can go down as much as 40 percent,” says Stallings, who admits that fall and early spring are his favorite times to travel there.
Because fall is a less popular time to travel, many flights are considered off-peak, which means they’re cheaper.
If you’re convinced and about to book that vacay, keep one warning in mind: it is hurricane season in a number of places, so you probably want to invest some of those savings in travel insurance and pick a place less affected by rainy weather.

The orginal article.