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Hello! It’s the (un)official first long weekend of summer in Canada and I’m off to ol’ Blighty this week. This means I will, temporarily, be your faithful foreign correspondent. While packing, repacking, and paring down my packing, I wrote about my final thoughts – and lack of conclusion – about my trip to Haiti. Spoiler: this trip changed how I’ll approach the rest of the world as long as I travel. Thanks for reading The Packing List!
Travel news you can use
- American airports are bringing in clowns and therapy animals to distract passengers from long, long, long TSA screening lines. You win this round, TSA.
- Things are starting to turn around for the TSA. Wait, maybe not. Yes, that was a corpse* you saw going through passenger screening at the Atlanta airport recently. (*Don’t worry, long TSA waits aren’t turning living people into non-living people.)
- Some of the details are USA-specific, but there’s lots of great information for every traveler in this start-to-finish guide for speeding through airport security.
- Everyone’s got ideas for fixing long TSA lines, so here’s mine: throw money at the problem, hire more people, and stop wasting time randomly screening travelers – like children, seniors, and yours truly – who pose no risk whatsoever.
- Two tarantulas from the Dominican Republic heard about the Canadian government’s millennial travel program and hopped aboard a flight from Punta Cana to Montreal.
- Thailand will close the island of Koh Tachai to tourists to mitigate the effects of excessive tourism and, with any luck, recover from the damage. Hear me now and believe me later, we’re going to start hearing more stories like this.
- It seems there has been an increase in people bringing credit card knivesthrough security screening at Canadian airports. Could you not, please? Which is, of course, the most Canadian way to make that request.
- How many times do people need to be told: enjoy wildlife at a distance and don’t assume you know better than nature. The same week the bison was declared the United States’ first national mammal, two Canadian visitors to Yellowstone National Park demonstrated Canada exports embarrassing amounts of clueless.
- Could Canadians stop destroying Yellowstone National Park, please?
- Here’s how old I am: I think sending recent high school grads on graduation trips to party islands with random companies and no adult supervision is a terrible, terrible idea.
- Beijing Capital International Airport is piloting a pink-themed women-only security screening line. The vaguely paternalistic rationale makes me feel icky, but if it gets me through security faster, I’ll take it as a victory for womankind.
- The CEO of Expedia thinks Facebook will be the next big thing in online travel booking, the stuff of my cold-sweat clown-dominated fever dreams.
- How does a Paris guidebook from 1897 hold up? If you’ve been, you know.
- Food is one of the best ways to learn about a place, so keep these 16 lessons from a year of eating and traveling around the world in mind on your next great journey.
- Take a stunning photographic journey through places forgotten by the rest of the world.
- The AirBNB of my dreams: Julia Child’s house in Provence.
- Confession: I didn’t enjoy visiting the Louvre. This artist painted her experience, which looks similar to mine, with WAY MORE people taking selfies.
- I am INTO this New York vs Montreal bagel battle. Always Montreal. Always Fairmount Bagels.
- Did you book a non-refundable hotel room and then your plans changed? Maybe there’s hope for re-selling it on the secondary market.
- Had I been gone a few days longer, I would have had enough time to squeeze in a side trip to Paris before flying home from London. Plane? Train? Bus? This article helps you decide the fastest/cheapest/best way to get there (and back).
- Shake up your South America travel planning with a trip to Paraguay. This is definitely one of the lesser-known destinations for Westerners, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.
- Two math majors are going to show you how to see the cities of America, one day at a time. They’ve started with Washington, DC, and you can follow their progress.
- I think most women benefit from a solo travel experience. If you’re striking out on your own for the first time, keep these tips in mind for safe, unforgettable experiences.
- Intrepid Travel has launched a series of “digital detox” tours. They’re not paying me to say this (but they can!): what a fantastic idea!
- HomeAway has launched a contest for the upcoming UEFA Euro football (or, ahem, soccer) tournament in France. The prize: a night in a pop-up apartment in the Eiffel Tower. They’re not paying me to say this (but they can!): holy (BLEEP), that’s next-level travel fantasy and almost impossible to contemplate. The contest is only for Americans, good luck!
- A new, immersive visitor experience is coming to New Zealand in 2017 celebrating one of my favourite things in sport: the All Blacks rugby team. Visitors will learn about rugby, how the All Blacks prepare, history, and the importance of the Maori culture to New Zealand’s game. And, of course, all about the haka.
- This “bundle packing” method was definitely a new one for me. Basically,everything gets folded into a rectangular brick which somehow fits into a carry-on suitcase. Your mileage may vary, but I’m going to stick with packing cubes and Ranger rolls.
- What are Ranger rolls? A total game-changer.
- Eagle Creek has put together these 13 unmistakable signs you’re an expert traveler. They’re not paying me to say this (but they can!): I am a die-hard fan of their packing cubes.
- Away, the “smart” suitcase is being called an affordable alternative, is another entrant in the rapidly-crowding market of suitcases that do a bunch things in addition to carrying all of your stuff. I’m a backpack traveler, and will need more a compelling reason to go back to a suitcase. Bonus: a mathematical formula for packing your carry-on.
Zipping the suitcase
That’s all for now from the London bureau – please share your London suggestions for high tea and craft beer! 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!