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Kayak’s new AR feature will tell you if your carry-on bag fits the overhead bin

Popular travel app Kayak has put augmented reality to clever use with a new feature that lets you measure the size of your carry-on bag using just your smartphone. Its updated iOS app now takes advantage of Apple’s ARKit technology to introduce a new Bag Measurement tool that will help you calculate your bag’s size so you can find out if it fits in the overhead bin – you know, before your trip. The tool is handy because the dimensions of permitted carry-on luggage can differ from airline to airline, Kayak explains, so it’s not as simple these days to figure out if your bag will fit. In the new Kayak iOS app, you can access the measurement tool through the Flight Search feature. The app will first prompt you to scan the floor in order to calibrate the measurements. Y...

Airbnb shows off new collaboration features that let co-travelers plan trips together

In recent years, Airbnb has been working to expand its business beyond accommodations, by becoming a more robust travel companion with features like guidebooks, suggested experiences, and full-service hospitality for high-end travelers with its still invite-only Airbnb Beyond, for example. Now the company is preparing even more trip-planning features, including support for adding co-travelers to trips and other collaboration features for group travel. Airbnb offered a sneak peek at these otherwise unannounced features at a recent tech talk given at company headquarters. “Trip planning is not necessarily complete unless you can share your trip with someone. So now we’re building features that let you add co-travelers – so you can add and share ideas, so you can add comments, so you can coll...

Travel giant Booking invests $500M in Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, has pulled in some strategic capital after Booking Holdings invested $500 million into its business. The deal will see Booking Holdings — which was formerly known as Priceline — work closely with Didi to offer its on-demand car services through its Booking.com apps via an integration. Likewise, Didi customers will have the option to book hotels through Booking.com and its sister site Agoda. The deal isn’t about money. Didi has said publicly that it has multiple billions of US dollars on its balance sheet, thanks to a gigantic $4 billion funding round that closed at the end of 2017 and a history of raising big in recent years. Instead, the tie-in helps on a strategic level. Besides Booking.com and Agoda, Booking also operates Kayak, Pricel...

Headout lands $10M Series A to help tourists book last-minute outings

Imagine being in a new city with a few hours to kill, but no idea what to do. Headout is a travel app that enables tourists to book outings at very short notice, in most cases on the same day. The startup announced today that it’s raised a $10 million Series A led by returning investors Nexus Venture Partners and Version One Ventures to support its ambitious growth targets. Over the next 18 months, co-founder and CEO Varun Khona says the startup wants to expand from 20 cities to 100 cities in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The app recently added French, German and Spanish in select markets and aims to have all of its inventory available in 12 languages by the end of next year. Its bookings includes sightseeing tours, museum tickets and shows. Headout’s Series A brings its tota...

Lyft makes it easier to track business travel expenses

Lyft announced today that taking a business trip and then actually turning in your travel receipts just got a whole lot easier. A new feature for business profiles will allow employers to create a direct connection between employee trips and travel managers in charge of their reimbursement. While this integrated functionality is not new for the ridesharing company, it is the smoothest it has ever been. In 2016, Lyft launched its business profiles to allow users the ability to easily share receipts via their work emails. Then, in the summer of 2017, the company announced in-app integration with expense management partners like Concur and Expensify to expedite the process further. Now, instead of emailing a receipt, people can choose from a pre-selected list of expense codes before their rid...

Online travel agency Exoticca bags $4.1M for market expansion

Barcelona-based online travel agency Exoticca — which sells “affordable luxury” holidays to popular destinations such as India, Kenya, Brazil, Thailand and South Africa — has closed a €3.5 million (~$4.1 million) Series A to expand into more markets. The lead investor is early-stage Madrid-based VC K Fund, with existing investors Sabadell Venture Capital and Grupo Palau also participating, along with new investors Nero Ventures, Palladium Corporate Venture and Smartech Capital. Exoticca was founded in 2013 and currently operates in three European markets: Spain, France and the U.K. The new funding will be put toward expanding that tally — with the German market next in line, and a launch into the U.S. and Canada also on the horizon. Funds will also be funneled into further developing the p...

Abuja Travel Agents Who Used Hajj To Traffick 96 Nigerians To Saudi Arabia Arrested

     Tweet   The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested operators of two high flyer travel and tour Agencies based in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). They are: Mr. Ibrahim Wali, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Family Travel & Tour Limited and Mr Nasiru Musa Jubril, Chairman and Chief Executive of Divine Travel & Tour limited. They were arrested for alleged trafficking of 96 Nigerians to Saudi Arabia using the 2017 Hajj exercise. The red flags were raised recently by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in a letter of complaint against Family Travel & Tour Limited which applied for and got allocation to take 450 persons to Saudi Arabia during the 2017 Hajj Exercise. However, months after the Hajj operations e...

Michigan’s Blue Ice Is Absolutely Breathtaking!

If you live near the Straits of Mackinac which are located between Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsula, then you can see a natural phenomenon occurring there that doesn’t happen every day. When the conditions are right, the ice turns a beautiful shade of blue, which attracts visitors from all over to marvel at it. Some people may gather to stare at the icy creation, but most come from miles away to photograph the natural wonder. Both amateur and professional photographers alike find the massive, blue chunks of ice to be both inspiring and naturally artistic. What’s with the blue ice? Ice only appears blue when it is sufficiently consolidated so that air bubbles do not… Posted by Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Monday, January 15, 2018 Tori Burley, a photographer from Mackinaw ...

Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean Just Received a Major Change

The next time you go on the classic Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney World Orlando, you just might be doing a double-take during one scene in particular. That’s because the famous “redhead auction scene” that takes place about mid-way through the ride has received some modern upgrades, and we’re not just talking about mechanical, either. For years, people have complained that the wench auction was rather distasteful in a modern world where women are rapidly becoming more appreciated and more valued. In accordance with the feelings of their park guests, Disney Imagineers decided to spruce up this scene a bit. Rather than remove it altogether, though, Disney made the alterations while still retaining the scene’s original tone and essence. It’s still an auction, and you can still...

Man Risks His Life Rescuing a Trapped Owl

A Daring Attempt Source 1 He inched his way closer and closer to the great bird of prey as it raised its head back, ready to strike anything that reached towards it. The owl had become entwined in some fishing line, and it assumed that the man was here to take advantage of some helpless prey. Rescuing this bird would prove most difficult, and even potentially dangerous if he wasn’t careful…. Comments

The Challenging Training Process That Every Delta Flight Attendant Must Go Through

Delta Air Lines has always been considered among the more respectable airlines, and for good reason. They’ve built themselves on almost 90 years of high quality air travel, but that passenger comfort largely stems from the flight staff. Though it seems like a simple job — hand out pretzels and drinks and recite that safety procedure at the beginning of every flight — the Delta flight attendant position is anything but that, and is perhaps one of the most competitive jobs that exist. “I am told it’s harder to get invited to the Delta Flight Attendant training center than to get into Harvard University,” said Danny Elkins, a Delta employee since 1991, and he’s pretty spot on with that assessment. In 2016, only one percent of the 150,000 applicants were invited to partake in the training prog...

150 Georgians Used a Cave To Wait Out a Tornado

Earlier last week, many parts of Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia were swept by some heavy storms, which were marked by gale-force winds and baseball-sized hail. When one small town called Cave Spring located 70 miles northeast of Atlanta heard of tornado warnings in their area, they immediately knew where to go. 150 people retreated to the town’s claim to fame — a natural limestone cave which is a fairly popular tourist destination for its stalagmite formations and “Devil’s Stool” rock. As the people took shelter inside the cave to protect themselves from the tornado, some took photos and shared them. Source 1 Source 2 Many people in the south saw heavy damage from the storms, which ruined many homes and took away power for thousands of other houses. Fortunately for the people of Cave Spri...