Friday, March 25, 2011

Google Makes Traveling a Breeze

Google MapsIf you are one that loves to travel, then you are most likely fully aware of the immense amount of resources that that are available to you through the internet. There are tons of things on the internet that can assist you with your travels, but it is best not to overlook one of the more basic sources of information and that is Google.

Google's search box is capable of putting incredible amounts of information at your fingertips without ever going to another website. Have an inquiry about the weather where you will be traveling? Type in the name of the place where you are going along with the word weather and you can get the current temperature and conditions for that day as well as a four day forecast.

Google also offers you instant currency conversions. Type the amount of money and the currency in the Google search box and you will get an instant conversion to dollars, unless you specify another currency. You can do all of this without having to ever go to a currency converting website.

Google searches also allow you to track flights without the need of going to the airline or airport's website. Type in the name of a plane and you will get results on tracking the craft from one location to another and about departure time and arrival time.

Want to access the World time instantly? Oh yeah, Google can do that too. Type in "time Sydney" or "Sydney time" and the current time in Sydney, Australia is given. Google Maps is also an incredible resource. Type in your destination and hit search and, after clicking on the right destination, you will receive a map on the right side of the screen and pictures on the left. You can even get the famous "Street View" if you want it.

By clicking "Search Nearby" in Google Maps, you can find almost anything you desire that is around your destination. Whatever you type in will pop up with a distance measure from your location. Searching for hotels gives you the names of the places as well as check-in and check-out times, photos and the hotel's address and phone number.

Need help with a foreign language? Try out Google Translate. Simply find the language in the drop down box which you want translated and the language you want it translated to, type in your word and hit "Translate". It's as simple as that.

So the next time you are planning on traveling, keep things simple. Use Google and the tools provided there and I guarantee that your trip will go as smoothly as possible.

Source: Yahoo! News - Some tips for using Google for travel information

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Friday, March 11, 2011

United States Government Warns U.S. Citizens About Traveling to Japan After Record Earthquake

Japan earthquakeThe whole word is reeling from the aftermath of the monster earthquake that shook Japan today. In the aftermath of the 8.9 quake, the Department of State has issued a nationwide alert to United States citizens to avoid traveling to Japan from now until April 1st. The State Department said in a statement that they "strongly urge U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time."

The earthquake, which hit at 2:46 p.m., is the biggest one to hit Japan in nearly a century. The epicenter of the quake was offshore about 231 miles away from Tokyo and sparked fires in at least 80 different locations. This prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue tsunami warnings to at least 50 countries and territories.

Tokyo's Narita International Airport, which was closed, is currently trying to deal with over 13,000 backlogged passengers that were delayed as a result of the earthquake according to the Bloomberg News.

No planes are allowed to land at the Narita International Airport though nine planes are scheduled to leave. Public transportation, including trains and subways, are closed in the Tokyo area with services interrupted in other areas. Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which is the second busiest airport in Asia, resumed flights after an initial shutdown.

Between 200 and 300 people have been reported dead in the coastal city of Sendai according to the Kyodo News Agency of Japan. However, the death toll is estimated to rise as few casualty counts have come in from the worst-hit areas. The unfortunate thing is that due to the magnitude of this quake strong aftershocks are likely to occur for weeks.

The U.S. government is telling all U.S. citizens in Japan to contact family and friends in the United States to confirm their well-being as soon as possible by any means at their disposal including social media like Facebook and Twitter.

U.S. citizens can also contact the Department of State at and are also urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program online or in person at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates.

Source: AOL Travel - U.S. Issues Alert about Traveling to Japan after Earthquake is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!