This is normally an occasional Monday feature, but yesterday sort of blew up when my son had to stay home with an allergic reaction to his staph infection medication.  Isn’t parenting fun? :)

The Americas

**  In some circumstances, the Amish in the US use telephones.  Take a look at just how they do it….  And for you trailer/RV fans, how about these beautiful Amish-built teardrop trailers?  I want one!

**  Do you have time on your hands and want to drive from Florida to points north?  In the spring, Hertz starts the annual one-way rental car migration to get ready for summer travel.  The good deal is that they need bodies to drive those cars.  Is that you? If not, there’s always cycling in Florida.

**  Apparently, the latest hot foodie/dining city is….Cleveland, Ohio.  The US is full of surprises; Lonely Planet says that even the presidential campaigns are fun, and in the dead of winter, the place to be is yep, Chicago.

**  There’s still time for Valentine’s Day: try one of the 5 romantic destinations in the US South, or maybe you’ll get lucky with the Eagles….standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.

**  Visiting California?  Tech video pioneer Robert Scoble blogs about the interesting things you’ll find in the entrepreneurial neighborhood of Palo Alto, and the Traveling Mamas have tips for a budget vacation in high-end Santa Barbara.

Europe

**  Writer, researcher and PhD candidate danah boyd is an expert in how preteens/teens use social media, so she got an invite to the prestigious Davos (Switzerland) World Economic Forum and an introduction to some of the strange-but-true absurdities of Davos. From her lodging description, it sounds like a Swiss igloo would be a better hotel.

**  I’ve written before on PT about the hazards of driving on the “wrong” side of the road, for those who are used to the other side.  An enterprising hotel near Galway, Ireland is offering a bit of driver training for the orientation-impaired.

Middle East & Africa

**  Thomas Swick nails it with his impressions of Mumbai: the gateway to India.

**  I was struck by the honesty of a post on the US State Dept blog Dipnotes, written by a Foreign Service Officer who lost everything in the chaos of an embassy evacuation in Chad.  Embassy evacuations of staff and citizens was a mission that I trained for while in the Navy.

**  A look at how current problems in country are affecting people in the beach tourism industry in Kenya.

Asia & Australia/New Zealand

**  The UK’s Guardian offers 10 of the best ways to see China in 2008.

**  You get what you pay for with tailors in Vietnam,  there’s a great lesser-known ski spot in Japan and even the experienced traveler wrestles with discombobulation in Tokyo.  New Zealand-based blogger Liz Lewis highlights the beautifully-photographed Eating Asia blog.

**  Once you pay for the flight to get there, I found top 10 affordable pads in New Zealand.

Antarctica

**  Follow my Twitter friend Colin Browning and his Mom on their adventures way down under, in the Antarctic Blog.

Worldwide/General

**  You want real, you want authentic, but just HOW real and authentic?  A discussion on Budget Travel about “poverty tourism.”

**  No kidding — savvy business travelers are learning that there’s a lot of good travel information in blogs, so they’re reading them.  Hotels and airlines are figuring it out as well, so they’re jumping on the blog bandwagon.  Do their blogs have a genuine, human voice, or are they seen as just a marketing tool?

**  There’s hope for the rest of us:  a budget hotel building boom is afoot and youth hostels are getting a makeover (hint, they aren’t just for “youth” anymore.)

**  Blog carnival goodies:  our post about the Alfa Brewery in Limburg, the Netherlands was featured in the Life Lessons of a Military Wife carnival. Thank you!

**  Finally, the David Armano from the Logic+Emotion blog has HAD it with stupid hotel room sinks.