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Hello! Are you all spooked out and stuffed with candy? If you’re in North America, probably! It’s Hallowe’en tomorrow, which means it’s the season for jack o’ lanterns, little chocolate bars, and finding a costume that will fit over a snowsuit. Ask anyone who grew up in Canada about that last one. Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!
Travel news you can use
- AirBNB sent an email to users late Friday detailing their new Community Commitment to fight discrimination and bias. It will be in effect on November 1, 2016 and users will have to agree to the commitment when logging in to the web or mobile apps.
- A Canadian senator says it’s time for Canada to speed up and improve airport security screening. I expect the most common response to this piece will be “Canada has senators?” Yes, of both the hockey and non-hockey varieties.
- Delta Airlines is rolling out real-time luggage tracking. So, yes, you can watch your luggage arrive in real time, whether it arrives with you or goes off on a glorious adventure elsewhere.
- An article about Canadians changing their travel plans because of Zika ended with the realization that people aren’t really changing their travel plans because of Zika. Twist!
- A third runway for London’s Heathrow airport was approved this week, which means, if it happens, you should double the amount of time you need to make a connection there. So, like, four hours.
- Australia has reduced the price of its working holiday visa program, and increased the maximum age for the program, in an effort to attract more backpacker-aged young workers. Join me in saying, “Where was this 10 years ago, you jerks?”
- Depending on the airline, if it has wifi at all, it’s a pain. And expensive. And spotty. This post cracks the code on in-flight wifi if you have a bit of tech savvy, or an iPhone. Bookmark this along with the link I shared a couple of weeks ago that unlocks airport wifi passwords around the world.
- I spent a super spooky Hallowe’en in Salem, Massachusetts in 1998, and highly recommend their sometimes kitschy, sometimes scary brand of “witch tourism.”
- Could you travel like Anthony Bourdain? My favourite thing on this list is reading fiction set in the place you’re going. It gives a unique spin on sense of place and you may even recognize some of the places (or, if you’re lucky, the people) described in a book.
- Exciting news if you want to explore the streets of Havana, but have run out of vacation time. A Swedish company is working with Habaneros and Habaneras to make a Street View-style map of the city.
- According to recently-published research, some cold-hearted monsters have had it with some airlines’ flashy or funny safety videos. Air travel is a grotesque social experiment I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies these days. Often, the safety video is often the only joy to be had until arrival. In summary: stuff it, whiners.
Planning for your next trip
- ‘Tis the season for “best of” lists, and in the travel world, that kicks off with Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel series. In 2017, you’re in for some great travel adventures with countries like Canada (celebrating our 150th), cities, regions, and best value destinations. Venice as a value destination? What are you like, 2017?
- Atlas Obscura, the guide to global randomness you didn’t know you needed, is organizing a trip to Cuba in February. Get on it.
- The Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town is legendary for its history, culture, and brightly-painted buildings. While you’re there, stay for the delicious food, like Cape Malay curries and koeksisters (a very Capetonian take on a pastry like a North American doughnut).
- The best time of year to visit the best places in Italy. I went to a bunch of these places in September, and they were uniformly hot and crowded.
- Improving relations with the Western world means Iran is emerging as a tourism destination. It’s labour-intensive to arrange a visa and travel, but this former Londoner who returned to Iran takes readers on guided tour to prove the effort is worth it.
- Do you prefer chips over chocolate? If so, add one of these 24 places to pay homage to salt to your travel plans.
- When in Rome, go check out the Pope’s digs, then go check out his summer digs. Pope Francis doesn’t use the palatial getaway, so it’s been turned into a museum.
Packing lists and tips
- Traveling with jewelry presents some unique packing challenges so here are some unique solutions. I’ve used the saran wrap method for necklaces with great success – straws, less so.
- I talked about solid toiletries last week, one of the best ways to stick it to The Man who wants to crimp your packing style. Here are even more options to beat liquid carry-on limits.
- I have an overnight business trip coming up that will find me in a few different airports and meetings with strangers, which is different sort of travel than what I do these days. I couldn’t find a packing list for this predicament, so I guess I’ll make one. Stay tuned!
Zipping the suitcase
Send your leftover Hallowe’en candy to me! Tell me what you think about the newsletter 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!