Today's travel intel
Beware of free wireless hot-spots. Many hotels and other public places offer free wireless Internet access. But travelers should be wary of such services. More and more crooks are using technology to trick laptops into opening themselves up to unsafe networks instead of legitimate ones. The danger: Your data can be quickly copied and misused. PC Magazine finds that the trick is hard to detect and is nearly foolproof. The solution is to never let your laptop automatically detect and log on to a wireless network. Instead, you should manually type in an access code that you request from a hotel or whomever is providing the free "wi-fi" service. Pay-for-access services, such as those offered by many coffeeshops, are less vulnerable to this problem because they require users to actively choose the wi-fi network they are logging into, instead of carelessly allowing their computer to tap into the strongest available signal. (hat-tip, WashingtonPost.com)
New space shuttle thrill ride opens soon. The Kennedy Space Center will open a new launch simulator on May 25. The so-called Shuttle Launch Experience allows 44 visitors at a time to feel and hear what it's like to be hurtled into space. Once "in orbit," the payload bay doors open to reveal a simulated view of the Earth. Tickets, which include a full run of the visitor center's exhibits, cost $38 per adult and $28 per child. (Given the high prices, you'll be glad to know that the visitor's center is not taxpayer-funded.) You must be at least 48-inches tall to ride the simulator. Facts about the new ride will soon be posted at the Kennedy Space Center website. For general tips and ideas on planning a vacation with your family, click here for Budget Travel's advice.
Flirting tips for single visitors to London. If you'd like to take a guided walking tour in London that offers the best techniques and spots for flirting, click here. The tour costs about $40 and includes practice sessions with random strangers. This tour could prove very popular. The Brits have the world's sexiest accent, as determined by a poll on BudgetTravel.com that received 2,092 responses. (info on the tour via Gadling)
Oops! This Just In's readers have pointed out that I was wrong to say that gas prices continue to "soar above $2 a gallon in many states" in my Monday post "Pain at the Pump". Turns out there's apparently nowhere in the U.S. where gas is for sale for less than $2 a gallon. I made the error by looking at reported gas prices at GasPriceWatch.com that were less than $2 a gallon in Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Kansas. But it turns out those prices are outdated, which I should have seen, given that the website reports the dates on which the prices are reported. I regret the error. Today's lowest price nationwide is $2.41 per gallon in High Point, N.C., and the highest is $3.89 per gallon in Needles, Calif., according to GasPriceWatch.com. The national average is now about $2.91 per gallon, higher than the $2.87 per gallon (according to a survey of 7,000 stations) that was reported earlier in the week.