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Summer Roadtrip Vehicles: 6 New Models For 6 Different Kinds of Adventures

by Alan Rider
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With vacation season almost upon us, I asked my friend Keith Buglewicz, founder and editor-in-chief of FamilyCarReview.com and creator of the Family Friendliness Index, to put together a list of his favorite summer roadtrip vehicles for XTRORD.com readers planning to hit the highway in search of extraordinary experiences in the months ahead:
If you’re thinking about setting off in search of adventure this summer but worried your current vehicle may not be up to making the trip, I’ve got good news.  Automakers eager to spur sales are currently offering generous incentives, ranging from low-interest loans to generous cash-back offers, that make this a great time to trade in that old jalopy [...]

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Take Your Best Shot: National Geographic’s Ultimate Photo Contest

by Alan Rider
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In an era where any schmo with a cell phone can snap a blurry image and post it online for all the world to see, having one of your photographs published in the pages of National Geographic magazine still remains the gold standard for serious photographers everywhere.  If you agree, stop what you’re doing, dust off your camera gear, and take your best shot at the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest.
This third annual version of the competition, which ends June 30th, offers talented amateur photographers the chance to enter photos in six categories, including Animals/Wildlife, Nature, Travel, People/Cultures, Weather, and Action/Energy.  If you need a little inspiration, you can check out [...]

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Schlep No More: Ship Your Bags And Travel Like A Jetsetter

by Alan Rider
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If you fly as much as I do, you’ve probably gotten pretty good at traveling light (if not, check out this great packing resource before your next trip).  The fact is, however, that even after you’ve pared your packing list down to the bare essentials you’re still going to end up schlepping a couple of good-sized bags through security checkpoints, aircraft cabins, and rental car shuttles.
Which is where these two travel services come in.  A number of luggage shipping services will pick up your bag (some also handle oversize pieces like golf clubs and skis) at your home or office and deliver it directly to your hotel, allowing you [...]

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SeV Travel Vest: A Wearable Carry-On Bag

by Alan Rider
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It happens every Spring: The weather at your destination is a tad too warm for a coat, but not balmy enough that you feel comfortable traveling sans outerwear. My elegantly simple solution to this recurring dilemma? Scottevest’s Travel Vest.
Unlike similar vests that make you look like you just got off the bus from Dorkville, this thoughtfully-designed garment actually looks pretty stylish. In wearing it on dozens of trips over the past nine months, I’ve also found its combination of warmth and breathability kept me from both shivering and sweating.
The real beauty of this product, however, lies inside. As part of the company’s line of “technology-enabled clothing,” this [...]

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The BIG Picture: Website Offers Easy Way To Create 360-Degree Scrollable Panoramic Photos

by Alan Rider
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As someone who’s had more than his fair share of truly extraordinary experiences, I can tell you virtually all of them share one recurring problem. Namely that they’re filled with amazing moments that typical digital photos just can’t do justice.
Which is why I found myself intrigued by the free browser-based digital photo app just introduced by the folks at Dermandar.com. While it’s still a work in progress, the website makes it ridiculously easy for even the least tech-savvy traveler to create surprisingly high-quality, full-screen scrollable panoramic images without the need for special cameras, tripods, or software.
Just shoot a series of pics with any digital camera—even the one in [...]

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Cool Camps (Part 2): Why Let Kids Have All The Fun?

by Alan Rider
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If you read Part 1 of this series, which featured seven way-cool summer camps for kids, you may have come away wishing there were a way us grown-ups could get in on the fun. At least I know I did.

Which lead me to put together this list of adult-only “camps” that’ll give the tweens and teens in your life just as many reasons to be jealous:
Hollywood TV Star Fantasy Camp
Get ready for your close-up as you play your part in this “made-for-TV” crime drama.
Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camp
Five days of jamming in laid back settings ranging from small combos to big bands.
Camp Winnarainbow
Run away to join the [...]

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Sailing Through Airport Security: 2 Great Sources For Travel-Size Products

by Alan Rider

Going through the TSA security checkpoint in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, I ended up in line behind a tres chic young woman who began giving the screeners a heaping helping of attitude after they politely pointed out that she couldn’t carry-on the four full-size containers of shampoo, hair gel, and whatnot they’d extracted from her over-stuffed roll-aboard suitcase.
If this were an isolated incident, it probably wouldn’t even be worth mentioning.  But, as someone who flies 100,000-plus a year, I can tell you it’s something I see all the time.  Honestly, it’s a mystery to me that there could still be folks out there who haven’t gotten the [...]

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