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Hello! In North America, the days are getting longer (thanks for nothing, Daylight Savings Time), and spring is well on its way. It’s the perfect time to hunker down and get planning summer travel. I’m heading back across the pond for my first visit to Scotland, and I’m very excited about it. Scotland! Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!
Travel news you can use
- Well, isn’t this interesting? The Canada Border Services Agency is under investigation by the federal Privacy Commissioner over officers possibly overstepping their bounds with demands to inspect (and sometimes confiscate) the digital devices of travelers.
- In a story that will haunt my dreams, an Australian woman received burns to her face when the headphones she was wearing on flight from Beijing to Melbourne caught fire as she slept.
- Barack Obama continues living his best post-presidential life by going far, far away to French Polynesia.
- The Economist reviews some public comments on the US government’s consultation on allowing phone calls on planes, and finds most people think the idea is terrible. Finally, some unity in the world.
- Iceland is considering a new tourist tax to counter the effects of surging visitor numbers. Just take my money, Iceland.
- A cold snap in Washington, DC has killed off a noticeable amount of the city’s cherry blossoms at peak bloom, normally, a hopeful harbinger of spring. NOOOOOO!
- This week in US travel discrimination news:
- Travel Ban 2.0 is already in trouble, after a judge in Hawaii issued an order halting implementation (and another one in Maryland agreed).
- The Girl Guides of Canada have stopped trips to the United States, to ensure “no girl gets left behind” at the border. I’m a GGC alum and pretty proud of the stance they’ve taken in support of inclusion.
- The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music/arts/culture/cool people festival has seen a whole whack of international artists encounter visa issues on arrival, due to visa confusion and, in some cases, bad, bad advice.
- The name of your favourite clothing may be inspired by the place it originated.
- I’m fascinated by Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, because they are attempting an economic transition through high-end tourism.
- A ridiculous summary of all of the things big hotel chains think Millennials want. I’m from GenX and all of this sounds absurd. Get off my lawn!
- I was delighted to sign on to AirBNB recently and be asked to agree with its corporate diversity pledge before continuing:
Planning your next trip
- Eleven of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Okay, next year it is!
- Facebook has introduced city guides in its mobile app. I don’t use the FB app, so someone else can tell me if it’s any good.
- 25 life-changing holidays where you’ll learn something: from another language to dancing.
- Some reasonable tips for staying on budget while traveling. I’ll add this boring, but helpful, suggestion, actually keep track of your expenditures in an app or notebook. If you’re having a £3 coffee three times a day, that’s CAD$100 in a week.
- I love this Washington Post feature where real-life travelers recount some of their favourite itineraries. This week, one that I did over two trips: Andalucia in southern Spain and Morocco.
- Fancy a night sleeping in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin? You could win a night for 2 through AirBNB. This isn’t #sponcon, I just really want to do it but won’t be in Ireland this year, so someone else should benefit.
Packing lists and tips
- I just got a new backpack for this year’s Caminho Portuguese, the Osprey Sirrus 36. I’ll be writing about what makes a great Camino de Santiago backpack soon.
- Pack your bag like you’re in the military for maximum packing greatness. I completely agree as a strict believer in Ranger rolls, the mandated packing method of the US Army Rangers. (ArmyGringo’s YouTube videos are particularly helpful.)
- If you’d like a travel pillow with a built-in hood and sleep mask, I’ve got some great news.
Zipping the suitcase
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!