SkyMall is Coming Back!

Lovers of weird tchotchkes can let out a huge sigh of relief: SkyMall is coming back!

There's just one problem—it's going to be a somewhat boring, more practical catalog. ScottVest, a former SkyMall advertiser, has plans to resurrect the company, but with a different business model. "We're going to include items in the magazine that people actually want to buy," CEO Scott Jordan told Yahoo! Travel.

“We’d not only include listings for, say, noise-canceling headphones, but also an article explaining how the technology actually works,” he said.

His partner, Jim Louderback, elaborated: “We’re going to make it an entertaining experience, a curated shopping journey targeted at real travelers and their interests.” Basically, an educational and practical catalog for frequent fliers. 

Yawn.

On the bright side, the company has some pretty innovative ideas for the magazine. Taking advantage of supply-chain solutions, purchases could be delivered to your hotel room just hours after your plane lands. “Say you want to buy a digital camera to use on your trip. The partnerships and technology are there to have it delivered to your hotel the next day after you arrive,” Jordan explained. “The magazine could include a link to an online photography course to purchase during the flight, so you’re an expert on the camera and some new techniques by the time you land.” This is no underwater cell phone, but still a pretty cool idea.

Speaking of underwater cell phones and other nonsensical goods, Louderback promises that the catalog will still include some gag items as a nod to the original catalog. “We want the readers to continue to have the experience of the unexpected, of wonder, of delight, so you’ll be seeing stuff like the next pet rock, the new fake Google Glass-type gag, whatever may tap into that month’s zeitgeist,” he said. 

The new and (arguably) improved SkyMall is slated to hit the seat back pockets this June, so keep an eye out! 

[h/t: Yahoo! Travel & TechTimes.com]

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The Best (and Worst) States for Summer Road Trips
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As we shared recently, the great American road trip is making a comeback, but some parts of the country are more suitable for hitting the open road than others. If you're interested in taking a road trip this summer but are stuck on figuring out the destination, WalletHub has got you covered: The financial advisory website analyzed factors like road conditions, gas prices, and concentration of activities to give you this map of the best states to explore by car.

Wyoming—home to the iconic road trip destination Yellowstone National Park—ranked No. 1 overall with a total score of 58.75 out of 100. It's followed by North Carolina in the No. 2 slot, Minnesota at No. 3, and Texas at No. 4. Coming in the last four slots are the three smallest states in America—Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut—and Hawaii, a state that's obviously difficult to reach by car.

But you shouldn't only look at the overall score if you're planning a road trip route: Some states that did poorly in one category excelled in others. California for example, came in 12th place overall, and ranked first when it came to activities and 41st in cost. So if you have an unlimited budget and want to fit as many fun stops into your vacation as possible, taking a trip up the West Coast may be the way to go. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi is a good place to travel if you're conscious of spending, ranking second in costs, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the quality of your trip, coming in 38th place for safety and 44th for activities.

Choosing the stops for your summer road trip is just the first step of the planning process. Once you have that covered, don't forget to pack these essentials.

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Netherlands Officials Want to Pay Residents to Bike to Work
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Thinking about relocating to the Netherlands? You might also want to bring a bike. Government officials are looking to compensate residents for helping solve their traffic congestion problem and they want businesses to pay residents to bike to work, as The Independent reports.

Owing to automobile logjams on roadways that keep drivers stuck in their cars and cost the economy billions of euros annually, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven recently told media that she's endorsing a program that would pay employees 19 cents for every kilometer (0.6 miles) they bike to work.

That doesn't sound like very much, but perhaps citizens who need to trek several miles each way would appreciate the cumulative boost in their weekly paychecks. For employers, the benefit would be a healthier workforce that might take fewer sick days and reduce parking needs.

Veldhoven says she also plans on designing a program that would assist employers in supplying workers with bicycles. The goal is to have 200,000 people opting for manual transportation over cars. If the program proceeds, it might find a receptive population. The Netherlands is already home to 22.5 million bikes, more than the 17.1 million people living there. In Amsterdam, a quarter of residents bike to work.

There's no timeline for implementing the pay-to-bike plan, but early trial studies indicate that the expense might not have to be a long-term prospect. Study subjects continued to bike to work even after the financial rewards stopped.

[h/t The Independent]

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