Arranging a trip to the Caribbean online? There are lots of general travel websites—Travelocity, Expedia and Funjet Vacations among them—that cover the Caribbean along with the rest of the planet. But many of the best deals, and much of the most useful planning information, are found on websites that specialize in the Caribbean. Here are our countdown review of the five best:
A school in Jamaica doesn’t have enough pencils. A rural jobs program in Thailand needs cell phones. In South Africa, an orphanage could use more toys.
How do we know that? And what can you do about it? The answer to both those questions is the same—Stuff Your Rucksack.
SYR (as we aren’t sure anyone calls it) is a cool website that matches non profits lacking basic supplies with travelers willing to bring them.
You might think of Google Street View as that feature of Google Maps that let’s you look at ground level photographs of your childhood home, a new restaurant you are trying to locate or some other street-side destination. But for several years now, Google has been expanding Street View to all sorts of locations that, well, don’t have any streets. You can use Street View to climb up the Swiss Alps, trek in Antarctica or tour some of the world’s greatest art museums. And, now, you can also use Google Street View to explore along the Amazon River.
Flash deals—steep discounts offered for brief periods of time—are now the “in” thing online. The trend really caught on with Groupon (a Spot Cool Stuff favorite) and then spread to all sorts of competitors and specialty sites. We’re working on an overview of the best of them for our cool websites review blog. But there’s one website offering flash hotel and resort deals that we didn’t want to wait to write about: Snique Away.
Technically access to the site is “invitation only,” though that seems designed more to create an aura of exclusivity than it does to keep people out. Simply click on this link to get an invite through us.
There’s nothing funny about an airplane crash landing. But there is something funny about the crash landing preparedness cards that are a staple of airplane seat back pockets. At least there is at the Airtoons website.
Spot Cool Stuff is writing these words from one of our favorite coffee shops. We love this place’s drink selections, its vibe, its river views—and its free wifi. But there’s one problem: We can’t send emails from here. Or, at least we couldn’t until recently.
If you’ve used your laptop at a restaurant, library, hotel, airport or other place with a public internet connection chances are you’ve run into similar outgoing email issues. The problem is that some internet connections block particular outgoing ports and/or connections to SMTP servers. This isn’t an issue using website-based mail services like Gmail or Hotmail. It can be when using an email program like Outlook, Eudora or Mac Mail.
Happily, there’s an easy, efficient solution to these email troubles: SMTP2GO.
There are thousands of websites where you can research trip ideas (Spot Cool Stuff’s own travel blog not least among them) and hundreds of websites where you make your trip reservations—from general booking engines like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to niche sites like Cruise Direct, Mr & Mrs Smith and HostelBookers, to a site like Tripology that will hook you up with a travel specialist for free.
But what after your accommodations are booked, after your travel guidebook is bought, after your general itinerary is set and after you’ve left for your trip? What are some useful sites for while you are traveling?
Here is a selection of our favorites for doing the following from the road:
Pets can make absolutely wonderful travel companions. The process of finding pet-friendly accommodations, however, can be a less-than-wonderful experience. Fortunately there are several websites that specialize in helping your little Rover or Fluffy enjoy your vacation along with you.
Reviews of our three favorite: