Jody’s Travels


 

There are still many places where you cannot drink the tap water. Buying bottled water during a whole trip is obviously not very green, consider in investing in a water filter and you can create your own safe water right from the tap.

In many places choosing to eat locally over eating at familiar chains can save you money and save the planet as local, small businesses tend to be greener by nature. Also, you’ll get to experience much more of the culture and more of your money many stay in the local economy. Ask other tourists and hotel staff for recommendations.

Slow down your rate of travel, if you are on multi-destination adventure, many studies have shown that choosing passenger vehicle travel or trains for medium and long distances is far greener than jet setting.

Lastly, hang up that sign asking your room not to be serviced every day. Think of all the resources involved in cleaning the room and the linens, it is much more than the average person would use at home on a regular basis.

Happy, safe and greener travels!

Read More

To be sure, customs officials see some bizarre things in their line of work. However, an unexpected batch of hundreds of live tarantulas might be a new one.

A package shipped from Poland and opened by Philippines customs contained an amazing seven hundred and fifty seven live tarantulas hidden inside boxes of cookies and oatmeal that had been gift wrapped to conceal their creepy content. Of the five hundred some spiders, babies were found plastic vials with air holes while adults where in larger plastic containers.

The shipment was valued at bout $5,900 (that’s for the tarantulas, not the cookies) by the Philippine Bureau of Customs when they examined the contraband at a mail exchange center near the Manila airport. The Filipino man who came to claim his so-declared “collection items he was arrested on the spot.

This is not the first in a recent barrage of illegal wildlife smuggling in the Philippines. While the country requires permits to trade and possess such creatures as tarantulas, as one might suspect this doesn’t do much to stop persistent black-market traders. Reports of hundreds of incidents come just from Manila where larger and more exotic wildlife like iguanas, chameleons and bearded dragons are regularly found being smuggled illegally.

Read More

A Brief History of Motel 6


Posted By on Mar 27, 2019

Probably one of the most iconic motel chains in America is Motel 6. But how did they start? Who invented them? And, frankly, what’s up with their name?

Paul Greene and William Becker were two contractors who had worked together on low-cost housing projects. They wanted to try their low-price handy-skills in another sector however—hospitality. Their goal was simple—build a motel chain that could unbelievably low prices, but that could still maintain a high profit margin.

Greene and Becker started the planning phase of what would become Motel 6 around 1960 and they originally wanted to charge the crazy-low rate of $4 a room. Through research they found out this price would be too low, still in the planning stages they raised the theoretical rate to $5 and eventually came up with the figure of $6 a room (you can probably see where this is going). In their figuration they found this rate was still low enough to attract guests (no kidding! Good luck finding a $60 room these days) and still pay for the land leases, building costs and operational costs like janitorial supplies and employees.

Their first motel opened just two years later in 1962 in Satna Barbara, California. And, wait for it, they named it Motel 6. But give some credit to Greene and Baker, the marketing is simple and direct. Customers know what it is and how much it costs all in a simple and easy to remember name: Motel 6. It probably even ranked as one of the best values in the would of hotels and motels at the time.

While that brilliant marketing isn’t as relevant now, the chain is still known to be affordable. And no motel chain in America, Motel 6 included, can boast a national flat room rate. In 2017 a room at the Motel 6 ran from about forty dollars a night in Oak Creek, Wisconsin to about one-hundred and fifty a night at a location in proximity to the Newark Liberty International Airport. $6 would have been worth about forty-eight dollars in 2017, so proportionally to inflation their prices are about the same.

Consider what some hotels charge these days, even at its most expensive, Motel 6 is still a pretty good deal.

Read More

It is hard to believe, but an alarming number of deadly accidents are caused each year by people trying to get the ultimate selfie. Given the popularity of the ubiquitous selfie, maybe it isn’t so hard to believe after all.

Some researchers are now calling for what they call “no-selfie zones” at tourist locations all over the world. The reason? To prevent tourists from engaging in risky behavior trying to get that gold medal selfie.

Research found in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that 259 people died while taking a selfie in an approximately six-year period between 2011 and 2017. The age range who scored highest for risky behavior were 20 to 29 years old and almost 73% male.

One recent example is a man who tried to snap a selfie while perched precariously above the very swollen Potomac River in Maryland. The decision nearly turned deadly when the man fell into the Potomac’s dangerous waters and had to be rescued by strangers who just happened to be nearby.

Read More

Two tourists who were scheduled to travel around the moon and back via a SpaceX rocket will have to wait until 2019 (at least). James Gleeson, SpaceX spokesperson, confirmed the delays in the trip that was first announced last year. No date was given for when the trip might happen.

According to Gleeson, SpaceX is still planning on flying private citizens around the moon. The company, owned by Elon Musk, hasn’t offered very specific reasoning behind the delay beyond technical and production challenges.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket only launched in February and it was delayed several times of the past few years.
Musk announced the mission in August 2017 and it will be the first manned moon mission since the last Apollo mission in 1972—46 years ago.

If and when the mission does launch, it will be in the SpaceX Dragon V2 space vehicle—this vehicle hasn’t yet gone through thorough testing, however. The mission won’t land on the moon, but would come very close as it circles around it.

Read More

Flaws in the design of the “smart” luggage made by Bluesmart Inc. is causing the company to close its doors. Several major airlines have banned the luggage due to its lithium batteries—which could ignite and set fire to cargo compartments.

The company was started in 2014 with an impressive $2 million crowdfunding campaign.

The lithium batteries in question powered a GPS that users could track through their cellphones—which is the major selling point of the luggage. The batteries, however, also acted as a charging station for other devices, auto-locking mechanisms and a scale the weighs the bag.

The design flaw isn’t so much the lithium battery itself—other manufacturers have stayed in business as their designs avoided the issue—but the fact that to remove a Bluesmart battery one has to remove four screws and unplug at least three wires. The other makers’ batteries are easily removed.

Overall, these kinds of smart bags become just normal luggage without a power source to run features like the GPS tracking.

The company has already come out and stated they won’t be responding to any requests for refunds or replacements and will not honor any warranties.

Read More