"Anse Lazio" by TravelPod member oandb

Making TravelPod Better: August 2015 edition

Autumn is nearly upon and August has come and gone, so here’s a list of some of the most important things we improved on TravelPod last month:

  • We’ve (finally) removed the flash requirement for all of our photo-uploads, so you can now upload profile photos, trip photos, and do mass-uploading of blog photos directly from your mobile device!
  • The TravelPod iOS app has been updated to work with iOS 9. The new version hasn’t yet been released, but should be out in time for iOS9’s autumn release.
  • Blog photos now occupy the full width of the display when reading on mobile devices.
  • Comment-notification emails now include image thumbnails and snippets of blog content to provide a little more context.
  • As usual, we’ve also made a number of bug fixes and visual tweaks.

TravelPod is a big site, and we absolutely depend on your input for deciding what to give the most love. Please keep sending your feedback and tell us how we’re doing and what you’d like us to do better.

** Photo by TravelPod member oandb

TravelPod Buzz
Screenshot 2015-06-26 14.34.23

A Year of TravelPod Travel Blogs

With new TravelPod blogs appearing every day as our members travel the world, we thought it would be interesting to see what what all the blogs from one year would look like when we mapped them out together. You can watch the results in the video below, as a year’s worth of blog entries unfolds in 1.5 minutes. To build this, we made every entry a dot based on its location and used lines to connect entries within trips. Viewed all together, the result is kind of magical, and some obvious trends emerge. Lots of travel between Europe and Australia, for example, and the vast distances covered by travelers in Asia, South America, and Africa.

It’s great to see the wide variety of trips being saved and shared on TravelPod. Keep traveling!

This visualization was produced using Processing.
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Holi

Holi: A Burst of Color

Who wouldn’t love taking a day to fling handfuls of colored powder and water at friends and strangers alike in a jubilant celebration of spring, forgiveness, and renewal? Perhaps that’s why the ancient Hindu festival known as Holi is celebrated not only in South Asia where it originated, but throughout the world as well.

Luckily for us, TravelPod bloggers risk their cameras during the color fest and have grabbed some great shots for us over the years!

If you have any great photos of Holi, be sure to start up a TravelPod blog and share! We may be able to feature some more Holi shots in a future post.


Photo credit: TravelPod member allmytravels


Photo credit: TravelPod member hanjolo


Photo credit: TravelPod member tsd-india


Photo credit: TravelPod member ginenneandrob


Photo credit: TravelPod member comfortsontour

Photo credit: TravelPod member simoncardnell


Photo credit: TravelPod member hanjolo

Some participants even take before and after photos.

Photo credit: TravelPod member lou-and-ian


Photo credit: TravelPod member hanjolo

Photo credit: TravelPod member hanjolo

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Top 5 South American Cities for Travel Bloggers in 2014

TravelPod members share their adventures from incredible destinations all around the globe, and South America is of course no exception. While our bloggers usually find themselves in tiny villages, jungle trails, and salt flats, they eventually make their way to the great cities as well for some urban exploration.

Following are quick glimpses of the five most popular South American cities among TravelPod bloggers based on 2014 trips. Be sure to check the links for the latest and greatest photos from these travel hotspots.

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Not only a leader among TravelPod members, this capital city is in fact the most visited city in South America! A thriving arts scene and a high standard of living make BA one of the great cities of the world.


Photo credit: TravelPod member mattyjordan


Sunday San Talmo Markets
Photo credit: TravelPod member fae-neilvsworld


La Boca
Photo credit: TravelPod member mattyjordan

Check out more photos from Buenos Aires on TravelPod.

2. Santiago, Chile

Santiago, on the Mapocho River, has a third of the population of Buenos Aires and is growing quickly.


Inside the main cathedral of Santiago
Photo credit: TravelPod member ericjon97


Wine cellar
Photo credit: TravelPod member ericjon97


Fresh strawberries from the market
Photo Credit: TravelPod member the5wynns

See more photos from Santiago on TravelPod.

3. Cusco, Peru

If you’re looking for Incan history, you’ll find it here in Cusco, which served as the Inca capital until the Spanish conquest.


Photo credit: TravelPod member pietrasanta


Photo credit: TravelPod member ellengoeseast


Cusco at night
Photo credit: TravelPod member jamieking


Photo credit: TravelPod member ellengoeseast
Find more photos from trips to Cusco on TravelPod.

4. Lima, Peru

Another Inca city before the Spanish arrived, Lima was once a religious center. It’s now a city with more than 10 million residents and a thriving tourism and arts scene.


Mire Flores, Lima
Photo credit: TravelPod member katyflo


Photo credit: TravelPod member ebzh


Central Lima by night
Photo credit: TravelPod member jdtrip

Be sure to check out photos from recent trips to Lima on TravelPod.

5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

There’s a reason why almost 3 million travelers find their way to Rio each year: beach life, arts, culture, Carnival, and beach life all come to mind. Did we mention the beaches?


Lapa sterps take 2
Photo credit: TravelPod member mattyjordan


Coucher de soleil sur le Corcovado
Photo credit: TravelPod member marie-claude.g


Rio from Christ the Redeemer
Photo credit: TravelPod member spoonball


Sunday at the beach
Photo credit: TravelPod member eoinshirl

See more photos from Rio de Janeiro on TravelPod.

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10 Classic Leaning Tower of Pisa Photos

Pisa’s famous bell tower has been leaning since its construction began in the 12th century. For all we know, this tower would have toppled years ago had it not been for the valiant efforts of fearless travellers doing their part to hold it up–and snapping a photo while they’re at it. Naturally, TravelPod members are eager to help, as you’ll see below. Here isyour guide to the many ways you can get a great photo of yourself doing your part!

The Classic Save
Just helping out a tower about to fall!


Photo credit: TravelPod member europeinajar

The Finger Save
Useful in an emergency when no one else is around.


Photo credit: TravelPod member marmarwong

The Finger Push
The more mischievous cousin of the Finger Save. This one makes us very nervous.


Photo credit: TravelPod member iancarmen

The Hug
If there was ever a tower that needed a hug, it’s this one.


Photo credit: TravelPod member ashnbrieurope

The Team Save
Some things can’t be handled by just one person!


Photo credit: TravelPod member daisylou71

The Top Grab
A little to the right, please.


Photo credit :TravelPod member bigbanana

The Bollard Stand
Yes, that is what they’re called, and yes, that is why they were put there.


Photo credit: TravelPod member trishfr

The “Where Do You Want This?”
Anywhere is fine but whatever you do don’t drop it!


Photo credit: TravelPod member chris-roisin

The Header
Technically more difficult than it seems, this move may in fact draw a whistle from the ref.


Photo credit: TravelPod member edevalla

The Remote Save
Surprisingly, this one is not as common, but we like the resourcefulness!


Photo credit: TravelPod member dylanandliz

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Writing the blog in Jarnem camp

How to Write a Great Travel Blog

So you’re all set for your next big adventure: the tickets have been purchased, your itinerary has been carefully planned out (or not!), and your new luggage is just waiting for you to start packing!

On this trip, you’d like to keep a great travel blog to share your adventure with friends, family members, and anyone else who loves a good travel story. So, what are the best ways to go about it? Here are some quick tips from TravelPod:

1. Start yesterday!

People love to read about the trip even before it starts. What is motivating you to go exploring? What are your plans and expectations? Often your readers have travelled to the same country or faced similar issues and can offer great advice before the trip starts for real. Remember, when it comes to travelling, information is key, and your readers may have lots of it to share.

A couple of entries during the planning phase of your trip will also help you get the hang of blogging while you’re still on home turf. You don’t want any technical surprises while you’re out on the road, so learn the ins and outs now.

2. Set up your blog on TravelPod.

TravelPod is the oldest free travel blogging platform around, and we have tons of experience to help you get the most out of your trip without requiring you to have any technical expertise or a friend-of-a-friend who is “good with computers.” During the TravelPod blog setup, you can create an itinerary showing where you plan to be on every day. This can help you organize your blogging and is a great way to start planning your trip.

Once your blog is set up, figure out how you’re going to update your blog. For example, TravelPod can be updated using any connected web browser, an iPhone or iPad via the iOS app, or even by sending posts as emails to a special email address. Pick the method that is right for you. Remember, you may not have access to mobile data or wi-fi many times during your trip. If blogging when you are offline is important to you, have a plan to either type your blogs into a note-taking app for transfer later, or use TravelPod’s iOS app, which works offline and synchs back to the blog when you have wi-fi access again.

3. Try to write every day.

Even a short post will help keep your readers interested and up to date on your journey. Also, it will make remembering your trip all the better many years from now if you can see what you did and what you thought about it on any day in your trip.

4. Include highlights and try to be as descriptive as possible.

The highlights will be the moments that stood out to you as something you’d want to tell a story about later. More mundane facts about the day, such as what you wore or what time breakfast was served, may seem more interesting while you’re writing them than they will to the average reader. Now, if you accidentally wore shorts and sandals to a formal wedding because you misread the invitation, that is definitely a highlight!

You want to recreate what it felt like to be in the location you’re writing about, so I’m going to channel my 10th-grade writing teacher and remind you to use descriptive language in your entry. Descriptive words that recreate the sights, sounds, and even smells of your experience are like popcorn to the hungry travel blog reader. Get inventive if you must, but the more descriptive detail, the more your comments will fill up with praise.

5. Take photos and include the best ones.

In this day and age, every blog entry should have at least a couple of photos. Uploading photos is super easy if you are using the TravelPod mobile app, but you can also upload them using the web dashboard. If you’re using TravelPod’s email blogging feature, just include them as attachments to the entry email and TravelPod will take care of attaching them to the entry. Try to include photos that relate to the events you wrote about, if you can. This really helps make the whole blog entry more cohesive and satisfying to read. Include details you want to remember about the photos in the caption of the photo, such as the name of that great pool bartender. Don’t go overboard on the photos, though! After a while, looking at too many photos starts to feel like viewing someone’s three-volume wedding photo album. Safe bet: include your best shots, and leave them wanting more!

6. Review places you stay and visit.

TravelPod has tools for leaving reviews of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, and even attractions. By leaving a review you’re helping the next travellers to come after you, so take the time to share your thoughts. This is a great way to give back to the TravelPod community.

7. Wrap it up.

Remember that all important “Home at last!” entry at the end. Some great travel blogs end with a quick synopsis of the trip highlights, and perhaps a reflection on what you got out of the trip. For anyone interested in following in your footsteps, this is definitely the icing on the cake. Once you’re back you can continue to tweak and fine tune your blog, adding or removing photos and maybe filling in some blank days. Once it’s done, you can even order a printed book of your TravelPod blog for a tangible keepsake of the adventure.

Above all, relax and have fun writing your travel blog. If at any time it feels like a chore, take a break and enjoy the amazing sights and sounds going on all around you. The more you enjoy your trip and truly live in the moment, the better your blog will be whenever you choose to write!

Bon voyage from TravelPod!

Photo credit: TravelPod member alice-and-will (http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/alice-and-will/1/1371216741/tpod.html)
Follow me on Twitter: @frasercole
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Photo credit: TravelPod member vagabonddrift (http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/vagabonddrift/1/1425772800/tpod.html)

10 Hilarious Photos From Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni in southwest Bolivia is not only home to the worlds largest salt flats, but apparently also to the world’s largest concentration of travellers taking wacky perspective shots. Something about the light, the endless white salt deposits, and perhaps a fair bit of tradition has made the forced perspective photo a required activity for visitors to this ancient briny plateau.

TravelPod members visit Uyuni every year and we think they take some of the best forced perspective photos. Here are some fairly recent examples to inspire you to dust off your SLR and your miniature dinosaur toys and hit the road for Bolivia. Just remember to share the results on TravelPod!


Photo credit: TravelPod member djmorton

Photo credit: TravelPod member mic_hal

Photo credit: TravelPod member teamsharry

Photo credit: TravelPod member tylerdunn

Photo credit: TravelPod member tnanoble

Photo credit: TravelPod member ianandsarah2014

Photo credit: TravelPod member robandhannah

Photo credit: TravelPod member kate.alexandra

Photo credit: TravelPod member birck82

Photo credit: TravelPod member vagabonddrift
Follow me on Twitter: @frasercole
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Editor’s Choice – Great Museums for Your US Trip – Part 2

If you missed part 1 in our series about museums to visit on your USA summer trip, we’ve been going state-by-state to find some shining examples of can’t-miss museums to add to your vacation plans no matter where in the United States you’re headed. In part two of the series, we’re covering the remaining states from Montana to Wyoming and highlighting some of the best sites to see on your summer holiday. We’ve whittled it down to just one favorite per state, but rest assured that there is a wealth of things to do regardless of where you’re going. If you try out our recommendations or find your own travel gems, don’t forget to share your memories on your TravelPod blog! Part 2: Montana – Wyoming

  1. Montana – Montana Museum of Art and Culture (Missoula)
  2. Nebraska – Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha) Blogger ModernNomad67 wrote “The Joslyn is well worth a stop on a cross country drive on I-80 or to be included in a Midwest travel itinerary.”
  3. Nevada – The Neon Museum (Las Vegas)
  4. New Hampshire – Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (Dover)
  5. New Jersey – The Old Barracks Museum (Trenton)
  6. New Mexico – New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe) Recommended for fans of the art style by johnrandall. “I got a great introduction into the Southwest school of art. I’ve always liked this style and I saw some of the greats on display.”
  7. New York – Museum of the City of New York (New York City)
  8. North Carolina – North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh)
  9. North Dakota – Fargo Air Museum (Fargo)
  10. Ohio – Taft Museum of Art (Cincinnati)
  11. Oklahoma – Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City) TravelPod user pndcadena loved the variety at the Science Museum, noting “There is literally everything under the sun for science-minded individuals. Interactive exhibits and unique displays make the museum a truly amazing educational experience”
  12. Oregon – Oregon Historical Society (Portland)
  13. Pennsylvania – The Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia) “The new building that housed the Barnes collections was beautiful!”, wrote roadscholarorg. “We had a lot of time there, but I confess I probably could have stayed another hour or two.”
  14. Rhode Island – Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence)
  15. South Carolina – Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia)
  16. South Dakota – South Dakota Art Museum (Brookings)
  17. Tennessee – National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis) TravelPod blogger tonestar described the museum as “by far one of the best museums I have ever been to in my life… The attention to detail was phenomenal and you had chills when you saw the Martin Luther stuff. I will never forget it as long as I live.”
  18. Texas – Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas) alaskalucas97 loved what the Perot museum had to offer. “This museum was too cool – everything from the solar system, to dinosaurs, to weather, robots, oil, animals…this museum had it all. It is absolutely NOT what I remember museums to be when I was a kid, No Way. It was totally cool, totally modern. Outstanding!!!!!”
  19. Utah – Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City)
  20. Vermont – Billings Farm & Museum (Woodstock)
    Blogger dseals included this operating dairy farm and museum in their visit to Woodstock and called it a “must see if visiting the area.”
  21. Virginia – Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond)
  22. Washington – Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle)
  23. West Virginia – Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of Western Virginia (Charleston)
  24. Wisconsin – The National Mustard Museum (Middleton)
  25. Wyoming – National Museum of Wildlife Art (Jackson) orlandoanne made sure to include the museum on her trip across the United States.

Looking for must-see museums from Alabama to Missouri? Check out Part 1 of our Editor’s Picks series.

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Editor’s Choice – Great Museums for Your US Trip – Part 1

Summer road trip season is right around the corner! Whether you drive, cycle, or fly, you may find yourself looking for a great museum to visit in the U.S., and we’ve got a list of options to get you thinking, planning, and hopefully fitting some great American culture into your trip.

In this two-part series, we’ll give you a jump start on summer museum season by highlighting a unique, intriguing, inspiring, or just plain fun museum option from every state in the USA. Of course, it’s difficult to pick one out of an entire state, but these choices are sure to give you a unique and memorable experience, and we highly recommend them. (In many cases, you can find out more by seeing what our members had to say.) If you’re able to work any of these great destinations into your itinerary, grab your comfortable shoes and get in line for your ticket.

And of course, don’t forget to share your visit on your TravelPod blog!

Part 1

  1. Alabama – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham)
    TravelPod member georgenpoli called BCRI the “highlight” of their Birmingham visit, and noted that “two hours is not enough” at this “top notch facility.”
  2. Alaska – Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center (Anchorage)
    Recommended by blogger louclaire as “a great introduction to Alaska.”
  3. Arizona – Children’s Museum of Phoenix (Phoenix)
  4. Arkansas – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville)
  5. California – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Los Angeles)
    According to nathantorpie this contains “one of the most extraordinary dinosaur exhibits” he has ever seen!
  6. Colorado – Clyfford Still Museum (Denver)
  7. Connecticut – New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain)
    Blogger modernnomad67 stopped by and took some pics.
  8. Delaware – Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Wilmington)
  9. Florida – The Dali Museum (St. Petersburg)
  10. Georgia – Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University (Atlanta)
  11. Hawaii – Bishop Museum (Honolulu)
    TravelPod member c.i.222 included it on his 2013 trip.
  12. Idaho – Idaho Potato Museum (Blackfoot)
  13. Illinois – National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago)
    Check out the blog entry and great photos from terredeshommes on TravelPod.
  14. Indiana – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Indianapolis)
  15. Iowa – Figge Art Museum (Davenport)
  16. Kansas – Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center (Hutchinson)
    TravelPod blogger cody_max made it a stop on his massive U.S. road trip.
  17. Kentucky – Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (Louisville)
    Michellejo86 and fellow travellers made it a part of their coast-to-coast US tour.
  18. Louisiana – The National WWII Museum (New Orleans)
  19. Maine – Portland Museum of Art (Portland)
    Stop by for a culture break like mndlx did, and be sure to take a tour of the Winslow Homer Studio.
  20. Maryland – Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (Baltimore)
  21. Massachusetts – Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum (Boston)
    Recommended by tannoreth, this eclectic museum is “like visiting all of Europe, China and Japan rolled into one.”
  22. Michigan – Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (East Lansing)
  23. Minnesota – Mill City Museum (Minneapolis)
  24. Mississippi – Delta Blues Museum (Clarksdale)
  25. Missouri – City Museum (St. Louis)
    To quote rmadventures: “Words and even the pictures we got can’t explain how awesome this place was!”

Looking for our recommendation for Nebraska, Virginia, or maybe Tennessee? Check out Part 2 of the series, which features our Editor’s Picks from Montana to Wyoming!

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Osama vs Travel – The post 9/11 effect on travel

The 9/11 attacks have had a long lasting effect, particularly on travel. Here is a look how travel has changed in the past 10 years.

Osama vs Travel Infographic

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Airline news

TripWow and TravelPod get a mention on TV!

Wow! Did we ever get a great Christmas’s present this year!

The tried and trusted TravelPod was highlighted on a TV talk show, Steven and Chris. We’re thrilled that TravelPod can still turn people’s heads after 10 years.

But the main focus of the piece was on our new slideshow creation tool, TripAdvisor TripWow!

In the introduction, Chris mentions that he usually sits everyone down at home and bores them with his vacation pictures, to which the presenter answers:

“Well, you’re not going to bore anyone with this!”

Great stuff!! Glad you guys like it!

Watch the clip here!! The relevant bit starts at 35:30.

If you’re not in Canada, use this page to view the video.

Once you’re done watching be sure to head over to tripwow.tripadvisor.com to see what all the fuss is about.

Happy New Years!

Uncategorized

The TripWow travel slideshow experience

Remember the days when your Great Aunt Agatha back from her trip, invited everyone over and gathered around the slide projector to show off your photos?

Snore. Boring right?

Your dad could never get the screen set up properly, a lot of times the slides would be out of order and the projector jammed in the middle of it.

Luckily, with digital cameras and the miracle of the internet, we don’t have to deal with that anymore.

Introducing: The TripWow slideshow experience.

Preview Lucky's TripWow experience

Anyone with a Flickr, Facebook, Picasa or TravelPod account can create one.

(TravelPod members can click the top corner of any of their blog entries to create one)

Import your photos from any of these accounts, add some music to match and magically, you’ve created very own, cinematic slideshow experience.

This is not your grandma’s slideshow

TravelPod Buzz TravelPod Features

The best hotels in the world chosen by real travelers

Find out what millions of real travelers call the best hotels in the world!

Now in its 8th year, the Travelers’ Choice awards from TripAdvisor are the only hotel honors awarded by the world’s largest travel community, based on the trusted opinions of millions of real travelers.

This year’s award categories include Best Bargains, Best for Families, Best B&Bs and Inns, Best for Romance, Best Luxury, Best Service, and Best All-Inclusive. Plus, TripAdvisor has added two new categories for 2010: Trendiest and Best Relaxation & Spa.

Another new feature in 2010: Europeans’ Favorites, where TripAdvisor’s European members share their local insights on the best accommodations in Europe.

You can also browse travelers’ top 25 hotels by region: United States, Europe, India, China, and Japan.

See all the winners at TripAdvisor.com/TravelersChoice. Just one look and you’ll be packing your bags for a new adventure.

Get the list

Travel news

Ewww! Announcing TripAdvisor’s Dirtiest Hotels for 2010

Look out! TripAdvisor’s Dirtiest Hotels “awards” are back for 2010, and as disgusting as ever.

True to TripAdvisor’s promise to deliver the whole truth about travel – the good, the bad, and the ugly – TripAdvisor has identified the world’s most disturbingly dirty hotels, based on real reviews and photos by TripAdvisor travelers.

The “hall of shame” includes the ten filthiest hotels in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. From crusty carpets to broken fixtures, filthy bedding, unidentifiable stains, and bugs of every kind, what our members saw and smelled will shock you.

Check out the complete list, but be sure you’ve finished eating first. These hotels are not for the squeamish!

Get the dirt

Travel news

Connect TravelPod to multiple Facebook accounts

Are you traveling as a group?

Are you traveling as a couple or a family?

You can now log into TravelPod using many different Facebook accounts.

This allows several people to update a single blog.

As an added bonus, when you send an entry notification, it will be sent to the Facebook friends of all the accounts associated with the blog.

Just click the blue “Sign in with Facebook” button and connect your Facebook account to your TravelPod account by following the prompts.

It’s that easy.

TravelPod Features