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This Rocket Could Change Travel—and War

US, Australia successfully test 'hypersonic' speeds

(Newser) - A rocket went up over the Australian desert on May 18, but this successful test launch was no ordinary feat: The experimental rocket hit a speed of Mach 7.5—or 7.5 times the speed of sound—qualifying it for "hypersonic" status, reports Gizmodo . Military scientists from the... More »

Man Plans to Become 'Human Backpack' on Euro-Trip

Kevan Chandler will travel despite muscular dystrophy

(Newser) - Kevan Chandler's muscular dystrophy keeps him confined to a wheelchair, but he still plans to go backpacking in Europe with four friends this summer. The catch: Chandler himself will be a backpack. "These guys want to make this happen," says Chandler of his buddies, per CBS News... More »

10 Most Expensive New Year's Eve Cities

New York City doesn't come in until No. 8

(Newser) - Spending New Year's Eve in New York City? You may be surprised to know it's not the most expensive place you could be. (Though even its Olive Garden is pricey .) looked at the cheapest double room available from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 in 30... More »

Record One-Third in US Will Travel for Holidays

Growing labor market, cheap gas spurring Americans' wanderlust

(Newser) - An expanding labor market and the cheapest gas we've seen since 2009 have led to a record-setting number, the AAA travel group notes: 100.5 million people, or about one-third of the US population, will be traveling over the holidays, USA Today reports. That number, which represents folks who... More »

US Issues Terror Travel Warning

Militants in several groups may be planning to attack

(Newser) - Americans should be alert to the possible travel risks, especially during the holidays, following increased terrorist threats around the world, the State Department warned on Monday. A travel alert, which is to be in effect until Feb. 24, said current information suggests that militants with the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko... More »

Airbnb Halloween Offer: Sleep in 'World's Biggest Grave'

Contest winner gets a night in Paris catacombs

(Newser) - If your idea of a perfect Halloween involves spending the night with 6 million dead people, Airbnb has just the thing. It's offering up a free night in the Catacombs of Paris on Oct. 31 to the person who submits the best essay here . The winner will get a... More »

Husband, Wife Ask Kickstarter for $20K, Get $9M

It's the 'world's best travel jacket'

(Newser) - A new Kickstarter darling emerged this week—a jacket designed for travelers that has become the most successful clothing campaign in the crowdfunding site's history, reports UPI . In fact, by raising $9,192,055 in the campaign that ended yesterday, the "World's Best Travel Jacket" is the... More »

Meet a Man Who Has Traveled, Well, Everywhere

Don Parrish has been to almost every region of almost every country

(Newser) - Don Parrish knows his limits. Since the 70-year-old from Downers Grove, Ill., began traveling in the 1960s, he's been to many geographic subregions of all 193 countries currently recognized by the United Nations and is about to tick off all 321 territories listed by the Travelers' Century Club. (The... More »

Scientists Figure Out Why the Way Home Feels Shorter

Your brain may warp your memory of time passed

(Newser) - Ever wonder why getting to your destination seems to take forever, but the return trip passes in a flash? Japanese researchers this week shed light on the phenomenon. Writing in PLOS One , the team notes that "studies on the return trip effect have failed to confirm its existence in... More »

Man Tries Visiting Every Starbucks in the World

Software programmer wants to see them all

(Newser) - Hey, why not? A freelance software programmer has spent over $100,000 in an ongoing attempt to visit every Starbucks on the planet, the Telegraph reports. The notion came to Winter (formerly Rafael Lozano) as he sat in a Starbucks in Texas in 1997. "My original motive was simply... More »

Airfares Rise for 4th Year in a Row

Average price now at $363.42

(Newser) - If flying seems like an increasingly expensive option, you're not imagining things. Airfares rose for the fourth straight year in 2013, bringing the average domestic ticket, with tax, up to $363.42, according to an AP analysis of travel data. That's up 2% on the year and 12%... More »

The Unfriendliest City in the World is...

...Newark, according to 'Conde Nast Traveler' readers

(Newser) - Travel mag Conde Nast Traveler asked its readers to name (and shame) the friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the US and across the world. The "unfriendliest" winner was deemed to be Newark, NJ, with one reader saying he would not recommend as anything but "a cheaper/less busy airport... More »

US to Global Travelers: Beware

State Department urges caution throughout August

(Newser) - If you were planning to travel this month, the Obama administration thinks you should be nervous. The State Department today issued a global travel alert , warning US citizens that "al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations" may be planning to strike "in the period between now and the end of August.... More »

In France, Famed Island Is an Island No More

But France is trying to fix that for Mont-St-Michel

(Newser) - France is working on an unusual tourism project: turning one of the nation's most popular draws back into an island again. As the New York Times explains, Mont-St-Michel used to stand on its own off the coast until a misguided dam project in 1969 messed up the natural flow... More »

The World's Least-Visited Country Is...

Nauru ... yes, there is a country called Nauru

(Newser) - Haven't gotten around to visiting Nauru? Turns out you're not alone. The tiny island nation—and the world's smallest, at eight square miles—is the least-visited country on Earth, the Christian Science Monitor reports. A list of the world's least-popular vacation spots picked up by the... More »

Room Service Is Most Expensive in ...

Moscow, while New York is No. 9

(Newser) - Penny-pinching travelers in Moscow will want to avoid room service. In a TripAdvisor survey of four-star hotels around the world, the city ranks No. 1 in the cost of ordering in, reports the Telegraph . The survey calculated the price of having five items sent to your room, including sandwich and... More »

Google Kills Print Editions of Frommer's Guides: Report

Website Skift says no more will be published

(Newser) - Travelers hoping to pick up an updated Frommer's book before their next vacation appear to be out of luck: Travel site Skift reports that owner Google has killed the print versions of the trusty guides. Google bought Frommer's only five months ago from publisher John Wiley & Sons,... More »

Wikipedia Jumps Into Travel Fray With Wikivoyage

But is there room for yet another travel site?

(Newser) - Next week, the "beta" label will come off of the Wikimedia Foundation's bold new project Wikivoyage, a travel-centric spin on its user-generated formula. It's been up since September, but as a project-in-development, Skift reports, and like Wikipedia, the site will be free and carry no ads. It... More »

Snow Storm May Mess With Post-Christmas Travel

Midwest, East Coast brace for severe weather

(Newser) - Envy jolly old St. Nick: He gets to do all his flying tonight. Americans planning to fly home the day after Christmas, on the other hand, might be in trouble. A huge storm system that has already dumped rain and snow on the West Coast should hit the Midwest and... More »

Hackers' New Target: Hotel Room Locks

Easily exploitable bug goes public, and burglaries result

(Newser) - Forbes has a story sure to make travelers paranoid: It seems that burglars have begun taking advantage of a bug in the keycard locks used on hotel room doors. Several burglaries using the technique took place at the Houston Hyatt in September, and more are suspected at other Texas... More »

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