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jan 05 2009

Obama admiration in Hawaii, D.C., and Kenya

Did you know that…

…in Hawaii…

Barack Obama watchers can take a do-it-yourself tour of the president-elects's childhood haunts by using a map from Obamasneighborhood.com; or hop on a two-and-a-half-hour bus tour that passes his grade school, the Baskin-Robbins where he once worked, and several picnic spots that he loved (Guides of Oahu, $40 per person, obamatourhawaii.com). Between now and April 15, the gentleman who runs the tour is offering a 1-hour highlight version for free for up to 25 people once a day. This offer is for people who want to go on the tour but can't afford the fee for themselves and their family. (It is the guide's response to one of Obama's recent speeches saying that people need to give back to their community.)

…and in Washington, D.C.…

a ride-sharing service has been launched to match car drivers with prospective passengers to the presidential inauguration in Washington on January 20. Register at obamainaugurationrideshare.com. A minimum $25 deposit is required to post the offer of a ride or to make a request. "A real human" acts as a matchmaker, reviewing the online listing and helping to put riders in touch with drivers, reports Travel Weekly. Of course, craigslist is another option. (Find more on inauguration travel at Jaunted's relevant page.)

…and in Kenya…

officials are seeing a travel boost due to the "Obama effect." Visits are up 12 percent. And the excellent tour operator 2Afrika has put tours (and safaris elsewhere in Africa) on sale. Kenya, one of Africa's most popular and best-known tourism destinations, made headlines early in 2008 for a contested election that sparked riots in outlying slums of Nairobi and other areas of the country not typically on safari itineraries. But the country has since stabilized enough for tourism, says the U.S. State Department.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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