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The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Social Network

I’m a sucker for spokesanimals (I’m not sure there’s anyone who loves the Frontier Airlines crew as much as I do), so I was excited to hear that the gorillas of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park have started Tweeting and Facebooking their way to conservation funds. (Those opposable thumbs sure have come in handy!)

Check out the new Friend a Gorilla website and its Twitter and Facebook pages; the team behind them will be adding new features (like geo-tracking gorilla families) soon.

Surcharges, Higher Bag Fees as Holiday Travel Season Nears

Late last week, several major airlines quietly (well, they tried to do it quietly, but it didn’t work) added a $10 surcharge for flights November 29 and January 2 and 3. That’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the days when many travelers are returning from Christmas and New Year’s trips. In other words, three of the busiest travel days of the year. Will they add the surcharge to more dates? My guess is yes, and soon.

On-the-Road Fitness: Hotel Room Exercises

Hotel gyms run the gamut from sparkling to shoddy, and it’s not always easy to know what you’re getting into. One hotel might define “fitness center” as a muscled Olympian palace, while another interprets it as a humid single-machine cell. One offers a pool and personal trainers, while another won’t even throw in a towel. So how do you cope with the disparities? And what if there’s no gym at all?

Your best bet is to build an exercise routine that doesn’t involve a gym (or a hundred-pound suitcase). Work with the room around you and try these adaptations of standard gym exercises next time you’re on the road. And don’t worry–you don’t need to be an Olympic lifter to pull them off:

Enter to Win a $5,000 Volunteer Vacation Grant from Travelocity’s Travel for Good

Even if the economy is doing a little better, times are still very tough. We’ve all got stories about how this recession has affected us and many of us are still recovering from being laid off. And if you’re anything like me, the only thing that helps you re-focus on what’s really important when times are tough is helping others in need.

If you’ve ever wanted to take a volunteer vacation, you should apply for a $5,000 Change Ambassador grant from Travelocity’s Travel for Good program. The deadline for applications is September 30th and we choose two deserving do-gooders a quarter.