21
Apr

Extraordinary Ecotourism: How To Make This An Earth Day To Remember

by Alan Rider
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Sitting here on the eve of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, I know you’re already being bombarded with endless suggestions on how to mark the occasion, from local Earth Day celebrations designed to raise awareness of the planet’s plight to simple environmentally-friendly lifestyle changes you can make to show Mother Nature some love. Unfortunately, based on prior experience, I also know that most of our friends and neighbors are likely to have forgotten all about the subject by this time next week.
Which is why I’m suggesting that you spend just a few minutes on this Earth Day considering a handful of once-in-a-lifetime adventures that offer the opportunity to feel [...]

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19
Apr

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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16
Apr

5 “Prudent” Ways To Blow Your Tax Refund

by Alan Rider
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Not that you could tell it from the checks I had to write to the U.S. Treasury yesterday, but the Internal Revenue Service says the average American’s tax refund has actually grown by about 10 percent compared to last year. Which means there will be an awful lot of folks with an extra $3,000 or so burning a hole in their pockets over the next few months.
Now, I understand that prudence probably dictates it’d be wise to bank all that dough for a rainy day. But, honestly, that doesn’t sound like very much fun now, does it?
So here’s my compromise: Five affordable once-in-a-lifetime adventures you’ll be talking [...]

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14
Apr

Tanks For The Memories: 2 Unforgettable Tank-Driving Adventures

by Alan Rider
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Of all the extraordinary experiences I’ve had over the years, the chance to take the controls of a 55-ton British Chieftain battle tank has to be among the most memorable.
Unfortunately, the Dallas-based operation that gave me that opportunity is no longer in business. The good news, however, is that I’ve found a couple places that still allow ordinary civilians to have similar tank-driving adventures:
Lazer Tanks
This small mom-and-pop shop located just north of Reno, Nevada is now the only place in North America where individuals and small groups can spend time in the driver’s seat of Cold War classics including a Soviet-era T-55 battle tank and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle.
Tanks-A-Lot
Think [...]

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12
Apr

Never A Dull Moment: These 3 Unique Events Will Give You Lots Of Tales To Tell

by Alan Rider
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Even if this is your first visit to XTRORD.com, it won’t take long for you to figure out that this isn’t your typical “travel” website. No stale tales of traditional vacation destinations or generic activities like cruising. No “hot tips” about new low airfares to Europe or last-minute discounts to some mega-resort in the Caribbean. Mainly because that stuff bores me to tears.
Instead, you’ll find these pages filled with reports of truly extraordinary experiences you never knew existed. The kind of once-in-a-lifetime adventures that will give you great stories to tell for years to come.
Which brings me to a handful of upcoming events that seem [...]

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09
Apr

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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07
Apr

Adventures In Aviation: Zeppelin Flights

by Alan Rider
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In a world where many people have come to view flying as an ordeal to be endured, there are still lots of us for whom the act of leaving terra firma behind remains an adventure to be savored. If you’re one of us, you owe it to yourself to book a seat on the first zeppelin to take to the skies above the U.S. in more than 70 years.
The company responsible for the zeppelin’s return to America, Airship Ventures, offers one- and two-hour flight-seeing tours around San Francisco Bay in the 246-foot helium-filled Eureka, as well as occasional cross-country flights as they reposition the zeppelin for tours in [...]

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