Weekly Roundup Friday 1 November 2013

The best travel coffee mug ever?  Possibly so!
The best travel coffee mug ever? Possibly so!  And possibly yours, if you contribute in this year’s annual fundraising drive.

Good morning

This week sees very little newsletter – perhaps unfortunate in light of my also starting our annual fundraising appeal this week!  But you might understand the appropriate application of my time when you see the magnificent totality of this year’s fundraising appeal – we’ve definitely taken things ‘to the next level’ with a wonderful range of rewards being offered back to those of you who kindly choose to help out.

The fund-raising and what’s in it for you this year is described in more detail in the following article, but can I make two comments.

First, to focus on one of the items being given away in return for generous contributions.  It is a Travel Insider Travel Mug – a stainless steel (inside and out) insulated coffee mug that holds an extra-large 18 ounces of coffee, with a discreet Travel Insider logo on it.  I searched high and low for the definitive and truly best travel mug (cheap mugs are easy to find, but to find a truly good one that you’d appreciate and treasure – that’s a much harder task), and I think this truly qualifies.  I really like this mug, and I hope you will too.

Second, each year invariably sees some readers go way ‘above and beyond’ in terms of the generosity of their response.  I remember one year when a reader sent in $50 with a note wishing he could send in more, but apologizing for not doing so due to being unemployed and money being tight.  Wow.  I returned his payment, but was stunned at such kindness.  I subsequently got to meet him on a Travel Insider tour, and he was just as nice in person as he was in email.

This year I’ve already had one person set a new high water mark for kindness.  This person – note I’m not saying ‘reader’ – unsubscribed earlier in the year, but due to my inefficiency with the mailing list, continued to get my occasional emails to our supporters.

In response to the most recent email, he reminded me again that he had unsubscribed, so suggested gently I remove him from the mailing list.  But – and here’s the stunning thing.  He also sent in $200!

Now, you might say that was the desperate act of someone struggling to get off my mailing list any which way!  But, think about it – a person who no longer reads the newsletter sent in $200.  I’m not suggesting that people who continue to read the newsletter should do the same, but can’t you at least faintly echo his kindness with an appropriate and lesser amount?

Here’s the link to contribute from.

I’m still rolling out all the details and descriptions of the various items on offer, but there’s now enough for you to get a good understanding of what is happening and how, and I hope to get the rest sorted out today (Friday).  Oh – needless to say, if you’d like to add something to the items on offer, do let me know!

There’s also an article below that arose out of a discussion with a reader about ‘Why don’t they make hybrid/electric powered planes?’.  This reader really likes his Chevy Volt, and that was the start of an interesting analysis about why indeed they don’t, and probably never will make hybrid passenger planes.

Now, please, don’t go feeling shortchanged this week.  There’s a ton of travel and technology news – and of course, a wonderful piece of ‘cross-over’ news about both travel and technology – the FAA’s Thursday announcement liberalizing their restrictions on the use of electronic devices on planes.  Here’s a great summary of what is now being permitted, with the new rules potentially already being in effect.

Just think.  In five or even fewer years time, we’ll marvel back to the days prior to now, when irrational baseless fears restricted our use of electronics on planes for no good reason.

The one thing missing from the FAA announcement?  Any sort of abject apology for taking so many years (possibly even decades) to catch up with the real world of harmless consumer electronics and robustly safe airplane avionics.

Oh yes – and, at long last, Google has finally announced its lovely new Nexus 5 phone.  I’m definitely getting one.  Goodbye, iPhone and hello, Nexus.

All the other news I mentioned is waiting for you over on our News site (and can also be received in a free email every morning if you wish as well). Sure, it’s missing the commentary and analysis that you normally enjoy here (and will get again next week), but it does give you a great heads-up for what’s happening.

Lastly this week, here’s an interesting test on your general knowledge on a specific subject (if you know what I mean).  You can decide whether to be proud or embarrassed about either a high or low score.

I hope you had a great Halloween full of treats not tricks, and until next week, please enjoy safe travels






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