6 Selfie Stick Variations Every Traveler Needs Right Now

Oct 12, 2015 by

Selfie sticks: Love ‘em or hate ‘em (and boy do some people hate them), they’re becoming a legitimate trend for world travelers and homebodies alike. At no point has this been more apparent than with the recent creation of the selfie spoon, which allows anyone aspiring to Instagram fame to simultaneously showcase their meal and their own face as they consume it.

In the spirit of adding selfie capabilities to previously un-selfie-fied objects, we’ve come up with several proposals for selfie sticks that every world traveler shouldn’t have to live without.

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1. The Suitcase Selfie Stick

It’s a selfie stick, it’s a suitcase, it’s the selfie suitcase! This suitcase comes fully equipped with a selfie stick jutting out of its handle. Travelers will be thrilled to document that elusive, dramatic moment when they grasp the suitcase with their travel-ready hands before striding off into the unknown. The premium version includes a home manicure kit to keep users’ hands adequately photogenic come selfie time.

2. The Graffiti Selfie Stick

Given that some disrespectful tourists have decided it’s totally reasonable to carve their name into the Colosseum or tag graffiti in America’s national parks, it’s about time they had the option to record themselves in the act. The Graffiti Selfie Stick boasts a can of spray paint on the end so users can smile for the camera as they scrawl their names across every historical artifact or natural wonder they encounter on their travels. To facilitate running away from law enforcement, the stick easily collapses into the palm of a hand.

3. The Hotel Bed Selfie Stick

Those sleepy Instagram shots from beds in far-off places just got a whole lot easier to execute. The Hotel Bed Selfie Stick consists of a selfie stick sturdily mounted to the headboard of a queen-sized bed that’s ingeniously and generically designed to match most hotel rooms’ décor. Of course, you’ll need to pay extra to check this product, but it’ll be worth it once you arrive at your hotel, hit the sheets, and awake underneath a camera so perfectly positioned that when you smile, the world will see just how happy you are to be on vacation.

4. The Theme Park Selfie Stick

Whether at a waterpark in Orlando, a themed ride at Disneyland, or a roller coaster in Texas, no trip to an amusement park is complete without adequate photographic documentation. That’s where the Theme Park Selfie Stick comes into play. The stick comes securely mounted to a shoulder harness that can be worn at all times, so you can document your screaming face on a roller coaster just as easily as your satisfied smile after consuming a plateful of fries and cotton candy. Just be sure to follow all selfie stick length requirements on rides.

5. The Backpack Selfie Stick

Any solo traveler who’s set out to backpack around the world knows how tough it can be to document the journey without a helpful pal snapping photos. Despair no more, because the Backpack Selfie Stick is here to save the day. The stick comes fully integrated into the top of a backpack that’s just barely small enough to qualify as a carry-on. It’ll document your struggles as you attempt to hoist the overloaded pack into the overhead bin, maneuver it into crowded subway cars, and drag it up the three long flights to your shared room at a hostel (perhaps while quietly cursing your inability to pack light). Ahh, memories!

6. The Skyline Selfie Stick

The selfie-in-front-of-a-pretty-skyline is quite possibly the most essential photo in any traveler’s memory box. While obtaining these images is already facilitated by the original selfie stick, the problem is that standard options only showcase a small sliver of what is clearly a skyline worthy of more expansive ogling. Enter the Skyline Selfie Stick. Thirty feet wide and ten feet tall, the stick allows ambitious travelers to capture an image at least 40,000% larger than one taken from a standard selfie stick. Thirty-foot-wide phone sold separately.

It’s hard to imagine the travel industry has survived this long without these critical innovations. Here’s hoping someone develops a prototype for these models, stat. And if we left any essential selfie stick innovations out? Let us know on Facebookor Twitter!

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 29, 2015

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Better in September: Off-Season Gems of the Jersey Shore

Oct 10, 2015 by

New Jersey natives have a saying about the shore: It’s better in September. The summer crowds are long gone, leaving miles of white sand beaches to enjoy in peace. The waves of the Atlantic are at their warmest in autumn, drawing surfers and locals back to the beach for the best swimming of the year. There are also lots of special events to enjoy. Whether you choose to stay at a luxurious Atlantic City hotel or a cottage in Cape May, head “down the shore” in the fall for a better beach experience.

West Cape May Tomato Festival

Labor Day weekend marks the end of the high tourist season on the Jersey Shore, but many families are already back to school by then, making it a less crowded time to hit the beach. Quaint Cape May celebrates the holiday with their quirky Tomato Festival in Wilbraham Park. The Garden State grows some of the best tomatoes in the country, and they are on display and ready for sampling here. Grab some to go and picnic on the beach in the afternoon.

The Miss America Pageant

Atlantic City is host to the grandmother of all pageants, the Miss America Pageant. This classic spectacle is held on the second weekend of September at Boardwalk Hall, home of the world’s largest pipe organ and a historic landmark in its own right. Stay at hotels like The Chelsea or TRYP by Windham, and you’ll be within walking distance of the pageant and related activities.


In 2015, Chowderfest is the first weekend in October, but Long Beach Island keeps the “Better in September” vibe alive for visitors to this popular event. Located in Beach Haven on the bay side, this event provides all-you-can-eat chowder tasting, live music, special events for kids and the biggest sidewalk sale on the shore. If you’re looking for deep discounts on beach fashions or surfing gear, you won’t find better prices anywhere, as local merchants prepare to close up shop for the year.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet afternoon in the dunes, some delicious food or the glamour of America’s original beauty pageant, the Jersey Shore in the fall is a great place to be. Give it a try, and soon you too can say with a knowing smile that it’s better in September!

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on October 6, 2015

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Feeling Adventurous? Here are the 7 Best Destinations for Adrenaline-Junkies

Oct 9, 2015 by

If your idea of thrilling travel has more to do with pumping adrenaline than restaurants and shopping, here are some of the best places on the planet to get your fill of excitement.

1. Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken is famous for its adventure sports and ability to set the pulse racing, and it’s not hard to see why. However you want to set your pulse racing, this town delivers. Interlaken offers white river rafting or canyoning, mountain biking or lake swimming, skydiving, Nordic walking, or paragliding! River rafting, horse riding and climbing are also on offer – and if you prefer something a little more sedate, there’s always mini-golf.

2. New Zealand

Well-known globally as a superb place for those who love nothing more than an adrenaline rush, New Zealand is the go-to country for skydiving, white-water rafting, mountain biking and a lot more. This nation also boasts the site of the world’s first bungee jumping location, Kawaru Bridge. Or try the Nevis swing, the world’s highest. And if you thought New Zealand had to mean backpacking and hostels, think again. There are plenty of comfortable but cheap hotels in Wellington, for example.

3. Toronto, Canada

Thrill seeking in this Canadian city? Do the EdgeWalk on Toronto’s CN Tower, the highest hands-free, full circle walk on the planet. Hundreds of feet above the city’s streets, your life is totally dependent on a safety harness. For something a little less intense, eat dinner in the dark or try the thrills of the roller coasters at Canada’s Wonderland. Who said Canada was boring? And you can enjoy it all affordably if you stay in one of the many cost-conscious Toronto hotels that this outstanding city has to offer.

4. San Francisco, California

If you’re staying in one of the many San Francisco hotels that dot the city, you can get your adrenaline buzz here too. Zoom way out over the city on a 10-metre rope swing at Billy Goat Hill, which hangs from a single eucalyptus tree in Glen Park, and get a stunning panoramic view as the land falls away. Meanwhile, Fort Funston is a top hang-gliding destination, and the San Francisco Bay is always full of kite surfers. There’s more to San Francisco than Fisherman’s Wharf!

5. Dubai, UAE

While you may have associated the Emirates with beaches and high-rise hotels in Dubai, this destination actually has a lot more to offer. Go bungee jumping, drive a racing car, drop into a shark tank, or try your hand at fly boarding or kite surfing. Even the water slides in Dubai, like the one at Wild Wadi Water Park, are more thrilling than average!

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on October 7, 2015

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Boutique Hotels Across Massachusetts

Oct 4, 2015 by

Boutique Hotels Across Massachusetts

There are so many areas within the continental United States that are known for their beautiful landscapes and historical cities. The state of Massachusetts in particular is perfect for all sorts of tourists and travelers. From its pristine beaches to its bustling cities to its scenic mountain ranges, Massachusetts has so much to offer. But planning a trip to the “Bay State” can be overwhelming; there are so many options when it comes to hotels and resorts. To help out, here is a list of luxurious – as well as affordable – boutique hotels that will help to make your stay in Massachusetts the trip of a lifetime.

Cape Codder Resort & Spa

The Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis is the perfect destination for everyone, especially those looking for a family friendly vacation. This resort features an outdoor heated pool, an indoor wave machine, and an arcade that is sure to keep the kids entertained. If you are a couple seeking a romantic getaway, don’t worry – the Cape Codder is perfect for you too! Enjoy an hour-long couple’s massage followed by a romantic dinner for two at one of the on-site restaurants.

Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort

Guests of the Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox can enjoy picturesque Berkshire Mountain views during their stay. Cross-country skiing trails and bicycling paths that intertwine throughout this 380-acre property make the Cranwell the perfect location for nature lovers. Travelers seeking a more restful and relaxing trip have many options available to them. Spend a day at the luxurious salon and spa, or hit the fairways of the historic 18-hole golf course while enjoying the spectacular mountain views.

Sea Crest Beach Hotel

For a true Cape Cod experience, visit the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth. Perfect for individuals, couples, and families, the Sea Crest offers high-class comfort for an affordable price. Take advantage of the many ocean activities available to guests, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and swimming – or just lounge under an umbrella and enjoy the sun and some fresh ocean air.

Red Jacket Beach Resort

Ocean lovers everywhere should visit the Red Jacket Beach Resort in South Yarmouth. Enjoy a peaceful day on the resort’s large private beach, or spend the day at sea exploring the beautiful waters of Nantucket Sound. With a variety of guest rooms, three heated pools, full-service restaurant and bar, a day spa, and indoor and outdoor activities, you’ll never want to leave this beach resort.

The Inn at Crystal Cove on Boston Harbor

Just a short trip from Downtown Boston, the Inn at Crystal Cove on Boston Harbor in Winthrop offers the best of both worlds. Explore the beaches of Boston Harbor, or take a trip to the city for some historical sightseeing. Some key features of this quaint inn include communal kitchens, on-site facilities for laundry, free parking, an extremely hospitable and friendly staff, and an affordable price. The wide variety of room types makes the Inn at Crystal Cove perfect for any type of traveler. Come see for yourself!

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The Best of Bangkok

Sep 28, 2015 by

The Best of Bangkok

Bangkok is a place like no other. Its tale is one of grandeur and glory, of a vibrant, sprawling underworld and fantastical palaces, colourful life, and transcendental creations. Linked by a meandering network of canals, its gaudy street sellers once stood in the shadow of shrines and sacred temples to call their wares. Holiday companies like Round The World Experts offer tailor-made holidays there, so it’s now easier than ever to plan a trip.

Today, it has grown to become a modern metropolis, but both the grandeur and the grit of its illustrious past still prevail. Adorned with magical palaces and fantastical floating markets, colourful back alleys, and a dazzling royal district, it is a place that must be seen to be believed, and if you’re fortunate enough to venture amongst its streets, here are just three of the places that you have to visit…

#1: The Grand Palace 

The Grand Palace is the heart of the breathtaking city of Bangkok. Built in 1782, it was home to the Thai royal family, their dazzling court, and the core of the government for over a century and a half. Today, its function is more ceremonial than autocratic, yet its beauty endures. A stunning ode to Thai architecture and craftsmanship, it is an exquisite confection of jewelled opulence, gold-capped domes, and breathtaking colours. Once seen, it can never be forgotten.

#2: Damnoen Saduak Market

Bangkok’s floating market is one of its most famous attractions, and for those fortunate enough to have visited it, it’s easy to understand why. It is like a scene from a storybook, delicate wooden boats piled high with brightly coloured tropical fruits. Ready-to-drink coconut juice is on sale for a pittance, and the vendors peer out from beneath traditional broad-brimmed hats. With local food cooked up on deck before your very eyes, a trip to Damnoen Saduak offers a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. 

#3: Wat Pho

For those looking to soak up a little Thai culture, a visit to some of the city’s beautiful temples is a must, and Wat Pho is the jewel in Bangkok’s crown. Tucked in behind the famed Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest temple complexes in the city. Famed for its leviathan statue, the reclining Buddha is a stunning ode to religion, decadence, and artistry. It’s well worth your time to explore the whole of the massive complex, as it’s also considered to be the leading school of massage in the country, and is a fantastic place to enjoy the traditional Thai experience.

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