The Packing List #7 – April 24, 2016 – Vacation planning in Westeros

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Hello! This week officially kicked off spring in my corner of the world. Sun, more sun, and not knowing how to dress for the day when leaving the house in the morning. Still, it beats snow! I hope you’re working on a long list of ideas to make spring and summer as endlessly fun as a boy-band song. Thanks for reading The Packing List, let’s do this:

Travel news you can use

  • The US Senate is being remarkably air traveler-friendly these days, considering they normally function as effectively as a sugar-fueled toddler room in a cut-rate pre-school. A bipartisan bill passed this week – which I read because I care about you – that has an entire section of consumer-friendly improvements including:
    • requiring airlines to automatically refund baggage fees if luggage is delayed or lost for more than 6 hours (domestic) or 12 hours (international flights), and refund other airline fees paid when the service was not delivered
    • stronger protections for consumers when airlines surprise them with unanticipated itinerary changes, including additional stops
    • adjoining seats for children traveling with a parent at no additional cost (or how children will be accommodated if an adjoining seat isn’t available)
    • more transparency for filing complaints with airlines – this means actually telling you how to do it
    • power to make regulations that will effectively ban talking on cellphones in-flight (hurrah!)
  • At the same time, some airlines are finding new ways to charge you to avoid the middle seat. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
  • The United Kingdom recently updated its travel advice to the LGBTI community for travelers heading to North Carolina and Mississippi, so it sounds like this mess isn’t going to be resolved any time soon.
  • France is looking to extend its state of emergency into the summer, to cover the Euro 2016 tournament (FUUUUUUTTBOOOOOLLLLLL) and the Tour de France. Travelers should plan for heightened security and longer lines, then, have an epically fun time.
  •  My glorious country celebrates its 150th birthday next year. Parks Canada is anticipating a dramatic increase in visitors and getting to workon how it’ll manage the crowds. I can’t get my head around anywhere in Canada being crowded. Even our Black Friday sales are spacious.
  • Lesson learned: in Canada, airlines can charge you to change an incorrect name on a ticket.
  • Aer Lingus is crushed it. Meet Planey McPlaneface.
  • Gibby Road hasn’t launched yet, but colour me curious. Locals “share” niche experiences with visitors to their cities – for cash money. Like the Uber of AirBNB! I don’t know how these start-up analogies work.
  • Speaking of AirBNB, their mobile app development is focusing oneliminating “drive-by tourism,” encouraging users to live like locals instead of joining the tourist hordes overwhelming major destinations <*cough* Venice *cough* Barcelona>
  • I am FURIOUS I did not think of the Savior Barbie satirical Instagramaccount that pillories voluntourists and their carefully curated social media accounts showing them “saving” Africa (or Haiti, in my more recent experience).

Nifty finds



  • Are “smart suitcases” here to stay? To me, they say, “I have too much money and don’t understand how airlines and airports destroy luggage!” However, if one of these companies want to prove me wrong, email me.
  • Expedia has put together a set of packing infographics I wouldn’t normally promote for free, but they’ve included my all-time favourite packing style – military rolls or “Ranger rolls.” Master it.
  • Long overland adventures, by bus, rail, van, car, whatever, can be more comfortable and entertaining using these 12 tips for what to bring on a long bus ride.

Zipping the suitcase

Now, go out and enjoy your day! Tell me what you think about this week’s newsletter or any other travel-related topic by sending a message directly to Find out more about where I travel on See you next week!

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