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Hello! Who’s ready for the holidays? Okay, no? Who’s ready for a break? Yes! I had a busy week on the blog, with a post about my favourite holiday gift ideas for travelers, as well as a tale of how my craft beer tour of Vancouver ended in a tiki bar. Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!
Travel news you can use
- Because 2016 is the dumpster fire of bad news that will never end, there is a proposal before the US Department of Transportation that will permit phone calls (using wifi) in flight. If this goes ahead, I guarantee it will end very, very badly.
- @AskTSA is a Twitter feed where users can ask the TSA how to transport various items. As you might expect in 2016, it gets weird.
- Speaking of the TSA, go pick up your laptop if it’s one of the 70 that got left at Newark airport in October and November.
- Judge Reinhold may be the hero we need (stay with me) after he refused to let TSA agents perform a pat down after full-body machine screening and was arrested for disorderly conduct.
- Carnival Cruise Lines has raised the price of bottled water on its ships, for the second time this year and a year after it banned passengers from bringing their own water on board. And why would I ever want to go on a cruise?
- AirBNB scams increased significantly in 2016, with the most common ones including taking users to another website, emails scams, or fake sites that look like the platform. Remain vigilant!
- City government in New Orleans has forged a partnership with AirBNB, instead of a battle, but the compromise doesn’t really address the issues of noise and tourists encroaching on residential neighbourhoods.
- An uncertain future for Cuban-American relations, coupled with spiking hotel rates, could be softening demand from Americans in the Cuban travel sector.
- This “helpful” list of technical glitches in the American airspace is a grim sketch of an industry simply not able to maintain, manage, and upgrade its technology infrastructure.
- Okay, now some good news: fly out of San Francisco International Airport immediately, so you meet, greet, and fall in love with Lilou the passenger therapy pig.
- One of the biggest hits on my blog is the true story of how I won the Saturday Night Live ticket lottery (twice!). Here’s a British writer’s more recent account of staying up all night in line for standby SNL tickets. Hint: bring many, many layers.
- Friends already know I’m going to melt down over hugging alpacas in Peru, like this dad did.
Planning your next trip
- This Irish travel writer found out my greatest travel tip of all: go to NYC in January and February for a lower cost/fewer tourist adventure of a lifetime.
- Want to get from Point A to Point B with the smallest number of connections? Try going through one of these airports with a high “connectivity index.”
- Renowned traveler Rick Steves writes about the importance of picking up a little bit of the local language when you travel, despite his own admitted hopelessness in speaking other languages. “Vaulting over that pesky language barrier is always worth the leap.”
- Great, once you’ve decided to learn some of the local language, follow this guy’s advice and actually talk to people, instead of translating everything with your phone.
- If long walks like the Camino de Santiago, hikes, or any other long-distance trekking is in your travel plans for next year, start getting ready now. Walking a lot every day requires a fair amount of physical preparation and these tips form part of a great training program.
- Visiting Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice was a highlight of the trip, here’s handy guide to the best bookshops in the US to add to your travels.
Packing lists and tips
- Crowdfunding sites come through again, this time with a waterproof, inflatable backpack that comes with modular packing cube inserts.
- I normally avoid travel neck pillows, so why can’t I stop looking at this wraparound one made of memory foam?
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!