Top 5 Free Travel Apps for the iPad

The iBooks store from Apple (Photo credit:
The iBooks Store from Apple (Photo Credit:

With its light-weight body, intuitive touch screen and multi-media features, the iPad is shaping up to be a handy gadget for avid travelers.

Strikingly similar to the iPhone, I don’t think it’s as revolutionary as advertising would suggest, but, with tons of entertaining features to kill time at an airport, I can certainly see the value for those like me who spend a lot of time trapped in transit.

Not only can you can surf the web, check your email, store your photos, watch high-quality videos, surf YouTube, listen to music through iTunes and read thousands of e-books with the mere flick of a finger, but you can access a growing amount of travel apps made exclusively for iPad.

There are new iPad travel apps being launched everyday, but here are some of the best:

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2010 Summer Music Festivals

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 3
MANCHESTER, TN – JUNE 16: Fans dance as the sun goes down on the third day of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 16, 2007 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Jeff Gentner/Getty Images)

With summer vacation quickly approaching, many soon-to-be travelers are weighing their holiday options. For those music lovers, check out this top five list of popular music festivals taking place this summer:

1. Named best festival by Rolling Stone Magazine, Bonnaroo is a four-day, multi-stage camping festival hosted on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. The party gets under way June 10-13, rain or shine, with dozens of bands, including Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Norah Jones and Thievery Corporation. It costs around $250 for a four-day pass that includes camping and parking

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How To Use Twitter to Find Travel Deals

Are you a Twitter Addict?
Photo Credit:
Are you a Twitter Addict?

Newsflash. The 140 character social networking phenomenon can be used for more than just telling the world what you had for breakfast this morning. Twitter is a great way to scope out online travel deals and stay in the loop about last minute specials. Here are a few tips to tweeting your way to cheaper travel:

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Top 5 World’s Most Inspiring Journeys

Connect with Mother Nature by swimming with Whale Sharks in Mozambique
Connect with Mother Nature by swimming with whale sharks in Mozambique

The 5th century philosopher St. Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  For those looking to read all the “chapters” this world has to offer, consider booking a holiday with an inspirational element. There are plenty of places to inspire, from the tops of Machu Picchu, to the rose-red rock of Petra’s canyon-like Siq, from gorilla trekking in the Ugandan mountainside, to living with holy men in the divinely-inspired churches of Northern Ethiopia.

On the hunt for purpose, here are my top five spiritual experiences that may align the chakras, soothe the mind, bring us closer to nature or, if we’re really lucky, give us insight into to the meaning of life.

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Toilet Restaurant in Taiwan

The Modern Toilet restaurant in the heart of Taipei’s Shilin district
The Modern Toilet restaurant in the heart of Taipei’s Shilin district

I never thought I’d be caught eating out of a toilet bowl, but there I was, scooping out chunks of brown stuff from a lime green loo. The loose watery goo looked remarkably like you-know-what, but I tried not to think about it. Instead, I chose to wash the slop down with yellow liquid served from a plastic bed pan.

This is a typical lunch at the Modern Toilet restaurant, a kitschy café in the heart of Taipei’s Shilin district.

It’s fair to say that the restaurant’s theme is crap. The décor is bathroom-like: blue tiles, toilet paper dispensers, mirrors along the wall and shower curtains hung from the ceilings. Guests sit on toilets (seats down boys) and eat over sink-style tables.

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In Chicago this weekend?

The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, Mar 20-21, 2010
The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, March 20-21, 2010

If you’re in the Windy City this weekend, check out the Chicago Tribune Travel & Adventure show! On Sunday, March 21 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm, I’ll be talking about my adventures around the world, through 80 countries across six continents.  I’ll share tips and tricks for maximizing your independent travel and boosting your cultural experiences while cutting the costs.

Here’s a brief description from the travel show’s official website:

“The world’s largest travel and adventure show – the Travel & Adventure Show – gathers hundreds of captivating destinations from exotic India to captivating Cayman and exciting, activities: a huge scuba pool, kayak demonstrations, an aerial zip line, a rope adventure course, cultural performers and much more. The Travel & Adventure Show is THE place to kick off the winter blahs and plan that ultimate vacation.”

In terms of presenters, I’m in good company – renowned travel writer Arthur Frommer; Captain Keith Colburn, fishing vessel Wizard from Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and Zac Sunderland, the youngest to solo circumnavigate the world.

For more details and tickets, check out:

Hope to see you there!

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Around The World with Julia Dimon: Check out the video!

Julia prepares to eat moriche worm, a delicacy in the remote jungles of Venezuela

I’ve been around the world four times, to over 80 countries, across six continents. Here are some of the video highlights: learning how to fight like a gladiator in Rome, overlooking the inspiring vista of Chile’s Atacama desert, spending a night of ‘torture’ in a Latvian prison, sucking back the Sour Toe Cocktail in Yukon and, of course, eating Moriche worm in the jungles of Venezuela. Check out my compilation video of my adventures around the world, and enjoy!

What are some of your own travel highlights? Leave me a comment below!

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Chaotic Khao San: Bangkok’s Infamous Backpacker Road

Khao San Road at Night, a frenzy of backpackers, booze and bright lights
Bangkok’s Khao San Road at night

Khao San Road is an affront to the senses.  For the fresh-off-the-plane traveler, a visit to this part of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, may have you wondering what the hell you got yourself into.

It’s a frenetic scene of neon signs, drunk backpackers and scantily-clad promo girls (who may or may not be transvestites), but Khao San is also the crux of the budget traveler scene, where hostels, tour operators and sarong shops converge.

It’s the ultimate backpacker hub for the budget South East Asian traveler. This strip is where you can book overland trips to Laos, find cheap flights to Vietnam or get your visa for Cambodia. Chances are good that, if you’re going through Bangkok, you’ll end up on Khao San Road.

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