The Packing List #26 – September 18, 2016 – Summer school for sniffer dogs

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Hello! It’s been a terrific week in my world, kind of busy, but that’s okay, because I’m thisclose to my next exciting adventure: seeing Adele in Montreal. Hooray! We are well and truly back to school and I’m back to blogging. This week, I wrote about some of the highlights of my recent trip to Iceland, with the promise of more to come soon. Have a great week!

Travel news you can use

  • Sad news: bomb-sniffing dogs at US airports failed tests at 10 major airports 52 times in 15-month period. It’s okay! You’re all still very, very good dogs. You’re just going to have to go back to school for Advanced Sniffing.
  • Canada’s newest low-cost carrier, Newleaf, is suspending flights to four Western cities in November, but says they are going to resume flying there in December and that response to their service has been “overwhelming.” All I’ll say is this: if you book with these guys, make sure you have travel insurance or card coverage for, oh, I dunno, cessation of operation.
  • As of November 1, Americans will no longer be allowed to wear glasses in their passport photos. The Youths who run the US Department of State’s Twitter account are tweeting about how to land a “picture perfect passport.” Remember them? With their spring break tips for uggos? Good times.
  • With Brexit talks looking to get underway in January, what does Brexit mean for British passport holders? Electronic travel authorizations for everyone (video)!
  • A few weeks ago, I mentioned a story about two five-year olds that got switched on a JetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic and were sent to the wrong cities. Allegedly, it seems the airline tried to spend their way out of real trouble by offering a “gift” of $10,000, plus future flight credit. Whoops, too late, they already got the publicity!
  • This makes me happy. Representatives of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust (where I live) are hiking around Iceland (where I love) to see firsthand how Iceland’s astounding natural beauty fuels the insanely popular wilderness tourism industry.

Nifty finds


  • While you’re trying to game the plane ticket system, they’re gaming you. CNN delves into how airlines decide how much your seat will cost *you* and it’s only getting more customized.
  • Budget travelers and backpackers of all ages, bookmark this list of 50 cities you can visit for under $25/day. There are some great options here, and many that are close enough to assemble a terrific, two-week tour.
  • While we’re on the subject of Europe and transportation, do your homework to see if it’s cheaper to fly or take the train between well-connected cities. Oh, North America, why are you so vast and sparsely populated?
  • ‘Tis the season to browse holiday brochures and plan a winter getaway. That great deal on the page is often subject to all kinds of fees by the time you pay.
  • Why would you want to travel like a local? How do you start? Here are some great trips to getting to know a destination, and let you play resident in addition to playing tourist.
  • Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is underrated as a tourist destination (by Canadians most of all). Check it out!
  • Really want to see a city like a local? Take transit! You’ll see daily life up close and get to take in unbelievable sights, usually for a lot less money than a conventional tour. I’ve done this in Venice, Paris, London, Rome, and lots of other cities and heartily recommend!
  • Parks Canada threw the full contents of their winter brainstorming at the wall with these nifty new accommodation options at our national parks.


Zipping the suitcase

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