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AirBnB pulls 80% of their Japan listings, leaving thousands of vacationers in the lurch

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As I wrote in my popular "20 Things I Learned Being An AirBnB Host" post:
AirBnB very carefully dances around the legality of their service and puts the onus on YOU to be in compliance with the law. In their quest to "disrupt" the hotel industry, you're the front line infantry  In anticipation (and protest?) of a new Japanese law requiring hosts to obtain a permit from their local authorities, AirBnB pulled all non-compliant listings almost no warning. Thousands of travelers are now scrambling to find new accommodations. This is what being their "front line infantry" looks like.

They've very much played the victim in the press, but they had plenty of time (over a year!) to provide hosts with tools and assistance to obtain the necessary permits.

Luckily, Japan has its own homegrown AirBnB alternative that only lists hosts with the proper permits – StayJapan.com

If you're looking for a hotel or ryokan, I'm also a big fan of Japan I Can – they…

Trip Report: Singapore Airlines A380 Frankfurt to New York in Business Class (FRA - JFK)

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ProsGreat foodAmazing serviceStaff are super vigilant about cleaning the lavatories A380 feels very spacious and quietEspresso machine onboard (and staff willing to use it) 30MB of free Wi-Fi included with a Business Class ticket3 door boarding is very calm and orderly ConsThe flight is very early (8:30am departure, meaning a 6:00am check in)The flip-over bed is extra inconvenient on a daytime flight where you might want more fluidity between the sleep and sit positions  TipsBack of the plane (row 96) feels very private, despite the proximity to the galley and lavsThe middle two seats are great for couples, but you won't have window accessThe back of Business Class is known for being much colder than the front "Book the Cook" feature lets you choose your meals from a huge menuThe Frankfurt airport has a high-speed rail terminal so you can easily arrive from other parts of GermanyDisable your phone's app auto-updates and Facebook/Instagram's video auto-play sett…

Trip Report: Singapore Airlines A380 New York to Frankfurt in Business Class (JFK-FRA)

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ProsWell-timed flight (10am arrival into Frankfurt)Great foodAmazing serviceA380 feels very spacious and quietEspresso machine onboard (and staff willing to use it) 30MB of free Wi-Fi included with a Business Class ticket TSA Prechek ConsNo pajamas The flip-over bed is a little inconvenient, but the staff are super helpful about making the bed up for you  TipsBack of the plane (row 96) feels very private, despite the proximity to the galley and lavsThe middle two seats are great for couples The back of Business Class is known for being much colder than the front "Book the Cook" feature lets you choose your meals from a huge menuThe Frankfurt airport has a high-speed rail terminal so easily reach other parts of Germany (Baden Baden is only an hour away, hint hintDisable your phone's app auto-updates and Facebook/Instagram's video auto-play settings before boarding the flight so you can maximize the free 30MB of internet.Download a copy of Crazy Rich Asians to rea…

Provigil for Jetlag

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Jetlag can put a major damper on several days of an overseas trip, and few people I know are truly happy with the typical solutions. 

We've tried many approaches and have generally found that the Argonne Laboratories' plan of strategically-timed fasting works really well. The idea is that you fast for 10-ish hours during the hours when you'd be sleeping in the target timezone. Yes, it means being "hangry" for a bit and occasionally skipping an airplane meal, but it beats wasting a whole day of your trip being exhausted and sleepy and mentally checked out. 



Sometimes the fasting schedule clicks really well with your travel plans, and occasionally it doesn't. Our return trip from Frankfurt was poorly-timed so I decided to try another approach I'd read about – Provigil. It's a prescription drug that keeps you awake without any type of stimulants. It can keep you awake for 10 or so hours, so it's important to time your dose correctly vis-a-vis y…

Visiting Petra

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We recently visited Petra. It was amazing! Here's a few tips about visiting. 


Jordan While Jordan is very much an Islamic, Arab country, it's much more open than many of its neighbors. Homosexuality is legal, they're ranked as the 3rd "freest" Arab country, and they create 75% of the internet's Arabic-language content. Due to their long history with England, lots of people speak English. The crime rate is comparable or lower than most of the US and Europe, but avoid the Syria and Iraq borders.

Jordan is officially an "upper middle income country" – and in my own folksy and biased opinion, it felt a lot like being in Mexico for me. There are shiny cities with skyscrapers and western hotels and great hospitals, but once you're out in the countryside it gets a lot more rustic. You'll see lots of agriculture (hooray for roadside fruit stands!) and occasional animal herding, so yes, you might have to stop you car so a man in a shemagh talking o…