The Packing List #39 – January 8, 2017 – 2017, Here We Come!

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Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were delightful and you’re ready for a new year of travel, adventure, and packing less than you did last year. I posted my 2016 travel year in review just before year-end, but now I’m ready to pack that away and see what 2017 holds for all of us. Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!

Travel news you can use

  • Friday’s shooting at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale airport had some specific impacts for Canadian travelers, since it occurred in the terminal used by Air Canada.
  • The United States is going to start requesting social media information from incoming visitors, through their electronic travel authorization system. What could possibly go wrong?
  • A new deal signed between Westjet and its pilots included enhanced wide-body aircraft provisions, which means clear skies (at least for the next little while) for WJ’s overseas expansion plans.
  • This week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw Carnival Cruise Lines present its entry into the wearable tech world: the Ocean Medallion, which will basically let the ship and its staff follow your every movement and attend to your every wish.
  • After a series of news stories about terrible airline customer service, a passenger rights advocate recommends recording your interactions.
  • Starting January 2018, a number of US state driver’s licenses will not be compliant with the REAL ID Act and will not be legal ID for domestic air travel identification. Check the status of your state!
  • People are complaining about communications for Canada’s newish Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), despite the months of coverage preceding implementation, and the existence of Google. If you Google “visit Canada,” it’s the first result. Failure to plan makes for easy news!
  • Delightful comedian Kumail Nanjiani live-tweeted a terrible neighbour passenger on a recent flight, one who insisted on removing his pants and just being a terrible person. Can we agree none of this is acceptable in 2017?
  • An unfortunate baggage handler got trapped in the cargo hold, and unexpectedly flew from Charlotte, NC to Washington, DC.

Nifty finds

  • If you like fun Google Easter eggs and you’re a Sherlock fan, go to Google Maps, look up Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Cafe, North Gower Street, London, UK, zoom in and drop the little yellow guy right inside the cafe. Or try this link directly.
  • The French Embassy in the United States posted about these forthcoming bubble-shaped water taxis that will start testing this spring. Cannot wait to ride one of these bad boys past the Eiffel Tower.
  • Fivethirtyeight has done the analysis you need to figure out the best value (time and money) for getting from the airport into the city in a set of major American cities.

 Planning your next trip

  • Kick off your 2017 travel year with these nine resolutions, including packing lighter, taking better photos, and unplugging.
  • I treat the New York Times’ list of 52 places to see as a place to explore some wish fulfillment. Top of this year’s list: Canada because it’s our 150 birthday! Come visit us in the true north, strong and free! Our currency is terrible – you’ll get a steal!
  • The Guardian’s list of places to see is particularly helpful to me, since I’m going back to the UK in 2017 and want to explore beyond London. Also, Canada!
  • After a pretty strange 2016, why not make 2017 the year you drop everything and run away?
  • Another piece, this time in The Economist’s leisure magazine, about discovering the legendary hospitality of Iran.

Packing lists and tips

Zipping the suitcase

Tell me what you think about the newsletter or ask for Canadian travel tips by sending a message directly to Find out more about where I travel here on See you next week!

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