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Jen Leo

TRAVEL
December 13, 2009
Are you buying a gift for a traveler who has everything or wants nothing? Step away from the neck pillow and look for something fun, unusual and/or handcrafted at UncommonGoods.com. What's hot: Once someone is labeled a traveler, that person inevitably gets gifts that are never used. Spare your traveling friends (or yourself) and head to UncommonGoods.com's Travel section for gifts that are both humorous and handy. I found pop-up towelettes ($12), a solar-powered backpack ($230)
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October 19, 2008 | Jen Leo
Don't you hate it when travel gets in the way of watching the big game? You can liven up any trip with SportsFanLive.com, a website that helps you meet up with other fans who are excited about watching the same game. What's hot: I was immediately drawn to the FanFinder. Here's how it works: Enter your favorite team, date and the ZIP Code you'll be traveling to, and a Google map displays sports bars that will be showing your game. I swapped "pizza" for "sports bar" and found new results.
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August 10, 2008 | Jen Leo
It's easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement and fervor of the Olympics, which began Friday. But what's the best way for parents to tie in some educational travel elements about China while they're stuck to the boob tube? National Geographic Kids ( www.kids.nationalgeographic.com) has a "Kids-Eye View of Beijing" for the Olympics. What's hot: David, a 12-year-old American who lives in Beijing, is blogging at least twice a week.
TRAVEL
August 3, 2008 | Jen Leo
If reading a guidebook to find the trendiest restaurants and nightclubs is too archaic for you, Thrillist.com can help you maintain your hipster image. What's hot: Getting its free daily e-mail newsletter and feeling cooler every time you read it. Even better: taking your friends to the latest happening sushi joint in L.A. Thrillist has city-specific information on what to do and what to buy in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Boston. Las Vegas gets a weekly mention.
TRAVEL
August 17, 2008 | Jen Leo
Kayak.com, the travel website aggregator, has a new gas calculator in its car rental section so travelers can figure out the total cost of renting a car, not just the daily rates. What's hot: Kayak's Fuel Cost Calculator considers a vehicle's mileage by using data from its manufacturer and info from FuelEconomy.gov. Input the miles you think you'll drive each day and it adjusts the cost of the daily rate in the search result.
TRAVEL
October 12, 2008 | Jen Leo
If eco-trips make you feel like a more responsible traveler, wait until you try sustainable travel. WholeTravel.com, still in beta, expands on the notion of caring about the environment and wildlife by listing accommodations that also interact with nearby communities, support the local culture and make efforts to educate customers about sustainability.
TRAVEL
May 2, 2010 | By Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times
If you're packing for a trip, save yourself a headache or two and visit Pitstopsforkids.com before you zip up that last bag and throw it in the car. What's hot: This travel resource is written for parents by parents, because who knows better than a parent when a kid's naughty alter ego might emerge? Pit Stops for Kids is not just for road trips. The site reviews airport play spaces, parks besides and kid-friendly motels and restaurants you would encounter on the interstate.
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August 31, 2008 | Jen Leo
The map-centric HappyMedian.com, recently listed in PC Magazine's "Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites," plots destinations for friends in various locations to meet, whether they're angling for a restaurant, coffeehouse, movie theater or other venue. What's hot: In trying to find a middle ground, users can enter up to four addresses, and they'll get more than one destination in the search results. Locals and travelers who know the area can quickly decide among towns and then flip among types of meeting spots from a pull-down menu.
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March 15, 2009 | Jen Leo
Love Vegas? How about the Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Vegas, otherwise known as Primm? No? Would you feel differently if your room were less than $50 a night -- and we mean way less? The deal: Buffalo Bill's -- the place with the roller coaster and the buffalo-shaped pool -- is 48 miles southwest of the Vegas Strip in Primm, the first place you hit in Nevada after crossing the California state line. You can grab a room here for $6.
TRAVEL
October 25, 2010
TrimbleOutdoors.com is an online mobile trip-planning tool for outdoors lovers. Never heard of the company? Trimble has been in the GPS business since 1978. What's hot: A massive network of hiking and bicycling recommendations. Use your GPS-enabled smart phone to find great trails, geo-cache or manage your workout performance. From the website, you can find detailed trips shared by other adventurers. Or you can create your own, whether you're up for a run, a hike or a day of mountain or road cycling.
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