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Hello! This week was a roller-coaster for your faithful correspondent. I booked a trip to Canada’s West Coast for a reunion with my university friends AND managed to score tickets to Hamilton (yes, that Hamilton) for my birthday weekend in January. So, yeah, you’ll definitely be hearing more about that.
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Travel news you can use
- This week in TSA’s annus horribilis:
- If you’re flying out of Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), move in the week before you leave. Move your family *into* the airport because you’re going to be waiting in line that long for security. This video of the TSA screening line is positively unbearable.
- The TSA Administrator blamed math for this mess.
- The TSA also blames you for not being prepared to go through security. And for carrying guns, and water, and too much baggage.
- In late-breaking Friday afternoon news, US Homeland Security and the TSA announced an “aggressive plan” to address wait times. Until you keep reading and realize that nothing particularly helpful is announced on a Friday afternoon.
- 3,000 pieces of checked luggage were left behind at the Phoenix Airport after an equipment failure.
- Two hero Senators are asking airlines to waive checked baggage fees to cut down on carry-on luggage and speed up screening.
- What is even happening? A backgrounder.
- A Canadian tourist was punched by a man giving away free hugs in New York’s Times Square after she took photos of him, but didn’t give a tip. So, maybe don’t take pictures of people in Times Square without paying them.
- If you dream of a romantic journey on an overnight train in France, get on it. SNCF is ending night trains if they can’t make them more profitable.
- What is the deal with the Canadian government’s weird marketing campaign to get The Youths to travel in Canada? No, it is not free money for The Youths to travel. Yes, it is somehow related to Canada’s 150th birthday next year. But don’t ask follow up questions! Why do you hate Canada/The Youths?!
- Kingston Pen, the notorious, recently-closed Canadian prison built in 1835 – before Queen Victoria’s reign – will open for tours this summer.
- If you’re a Star Wars fan who is lucky enough to be visiting Ireland, swing through Donegal, where you might just see the Millennium Falcon being built.
- Among other things, the recent JD Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study revealed passengers are growing more “tolerant” of add-on fees. REMAIN VIGILANT, PEOPLE.
- Chinese police are joining their Italian counterparts on patrols at major tourist sites in Rome and Milan to make Chinese tourists feel safer. Yeah, no reason to be concerned about Chinese police patrolling outside of their borders.
- Anthony Bourdain knows food and travel: he doesn’t eat airplane food, is always chasing good spicy noodles, and, like me, wants to smuggle a jamón ibérico home after a trip to Spain. If eating and travelling go together like chocolate and peanut butter for you, check out this recent Bon Appétit podcast that’s a food lover’s guide to eating the world.
- Can the fear of flying be cured? Maybe.
- This week marked the third birthday of the Cronut, the delightful hybrid pastry by the delighful Dominique Ansel. He’s doubly delightful because he wished me a happy birthday on Twitter after I went to his SoHo bakery for a birthday treat.
- Around the world in 20 days! Two Washington Post reporters are taking an epic round-the-world trip, seven countries in 20 days.
- A TSA screening dog lived out his rock & roll dreams.
Mogrart is a real trooper when it comes to taking advantage of photo opportunities. He’s based out of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport where he works with Paul, his handler, to help keep our transportation systems safe. Rock on, Mogrart. Rock on. #tsacanines #DogsOfInstagram #WorkingDogs #IronMaiden
- Love Harry Potter? Check out a DIY guide to Edinburgh’s Harry Potter inspirations.
- Shady hotel booking sites are on the rise, check out these tips to avoid fraudulent bookings and surprise fees.
- There’s a distillery and pub at London’s Gatwick Airport, guess who’s going for a breakfast G&T or Red Snapper before her departure?
- If you’re new to solo travel or a solo traveler going to a city for the first time, these tips will help you hit the ground running and explore the city on your own with confidence.
- Italy’s Cinque Terre region is a favourite, make sure to follow these tips for finding the best views of each of the villages to make your visit unforgettable. And hike as much of it as possible. It is *glorious.*
- If you’re heading to Italy, check out this three-week rail itinerary. I followed a very similar route and highly, highly recommend.
- Now *this* is remote. A father-son travel duo share their adventure on one of the last Royal Mail Ships to St. Helena, the tiny island between Angola and Brazil in the South Altantic Ocean, home to an exiled Napoleon.
- Nine things to know before visiting a Buddhist temple. Also, don’t take a selfie with Buddha. No, it is never okay.
- While we’re on the topic, stop climbing on statues to take selfies.
- Another “ultimate” guide to packing light. This one is great if you need some tough love to pare down your packing.
- Add Google Translate to your phone before heading off, a recent update improved offline dictionaries – and the addition of that feature for iPhone users – and a “tap to translate” feature for Android users.
- I love packing challenges, but packing for a summer trip to Iceland is doing my head in. The last time I went in the summer, I didn’t have *nearly* enough layers, so I’m hoping to crack the code this time withpacking tips like these.
- Is your travel health kit up to date? Here’s a thorough kit list that may inspire you to refresh the bandages at the bottom of your suitcase.
Zipping the suitcase
Did I mention I got tickets to Hamilton? I know – I’m the worst. Tell me what you think about this week’s newsletter or any other travel-related topic by sending a message directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about where I travel on http://bitesizedtravel.ca. See you next week!