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Hello! Winter travel holiday deals are flowing like Christmas cheer, so it’s time to start thinking about 2017 travel plans. I’ve added a trip to London in early summer to join my new BFF Adele at Wembley Stadium, along with 90,000 other friends. Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!
Travel news you can use
- Carnival’s Princess Cruise Lines has been fined USD$40 million for dumping bilge – oily waste water – since 2005. This Fox News article about the case uses a picture of Guy Fieri, which is brilliant. Carnival is also partnering with The New Celebrity Apprentice, so, yeah.
- That Carnival story was barely reported by travel industry media. Isn’t that interesting?
- Ancillary revenue for airlines, like additional fees for advance seat selection and checked baggage, is projected to be around USD$67 billion worldwide in 2016.
- Airlines really stepped up during the wildfire in Fort McMurray earlier this year, and Canada’s Westjet Airlines kept the good vibes going to giving the families of Fort Mac free flights at the city’s holiday kick-off. Let’s go back and look at these pictures of dogs on airplanes during the evacuation.
- AirBNB has agreed to limit rentals in Amsterdam and London, which is kind of inconvenient for my summer travel plans, but better for residents of those cities seeking housing that is currently being used exclusively for holiday rentals.
- AirBNB also made nice with New York state by dropping its lawsuit, on the condition the state fines hosts and not the company itself. Nice, AirBNB, real nice.
- In news that will vastly improve flights, Netflix has added offline viewing to the platform. This increases the possibility I will finally finish several of the shows I started bingeing in the summer.
- For Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, national parks will be free with a Discovery Pass. Being both “frugal” and outdoorsy, Canadians promptly crashed the website on the first day the could get the passes.
- Belgian beer has been added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- The US Drug Enforcement Agency was paying baggage handlers at Amtrak and airlines, TSA employees, and other workers to report on things they found in the luggage of passengers, which is, at a minimum, a huge violation of privacy.
- The next American president’s pick to head the US Department of Transportation is staunchly pro-business, which could be bad news for expected advances in consumer protections for travelers.
- Instagram has released the top 20 most-Instagrammed locations for 2016: we’re all very, very basic.
- Because tourists need to be told, Iceland showing them how to take better, safer selfies at some of their stunningly beautiful (but kind of dangerous) natural wonders.
- This Guardian long read about an American father’s plan to make his daughter a princess by claiming an unclaimed strip of land in Africa – and what happened next – is the Foreign Press Association’s travel/tourism story of the year.
- The strange case of how tour guides in other countries learn to deal with Americans and their expectations.
- Science says, “Spending money on experiences like travel makes you happier than buying things.” Thank you, science!
Get to know Christmas around the world!
- Google is kicking off the holidays with a Santa tracker site that gets new, fun content daily, including this map of Christmas traditions around the world.
- Christmas Iceland-style involves a lot of time with family and friends, an epic fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, and feasts until early January.
- Speaking of Icelandic Christmas, get to know the Yule Lads, a sometimes nightmare-inducing collection of burglers who try to break into your house every night. I got an ornament of the Sausage Swiper for my Christmas tree!
- Catalunya, the area of Spain around Barcelona, probably as the best Christmas traditions of all, featuring caganers – characters who hide out and “fertilize the ground” – in nativity scenes and Tió de Nadal, a log that children beat with a stick until he poops presents. I made my own Tió from a Pringles tube, a fun holiday craft idea!
Planning your next trip
- Holiday travel is just a couple of weeks away. These tips will help you find flights, save your luggage, and survive the ordeal of air travel overall. If you’re going somewhere by air this holiday season, be prepared!
- If you’re in New York before the end of January, check out this exhibition that tells the 400-year story of what gives the city its spirit.
- Travel planning is a bit quiet this week, but there end-of-year lists will start rolling out soon.
Packing lists and tips
- Worried about losing your bag while traveling over the holidays? I go back to this pitch to take nothing – go bag-free!
- Everything packing-related on the internet is still focused on Christmas gift ideas – get on it!
Zipping the suitcase
So, are you planning your 2017 travel? Can you tell I’m ready to pack my bag and go right now? 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 here on http://bitesizedtravel.ca. See you next week!