Hello! Let’s just dive into it this week because I’m running very late due to the twin catastrophes of: 1) traveling during the time of the week I normally write; and, 2) figuring out how to make coffee after my coffee maker broke. Thanks for reading The Packing List, have a great week!
Travel news you can use
- Travelers to Canada from most countries are required to obtain an electronic travel authorization (eTA) prior to arrival. A rash of websites have sprung up that are straight-up scams, charging travelers up to $100 to apply for a $7 eTA. An eTA you can easily apply for online.
- I googled “canada eTa” and found way too many of these sites. Pro tip: if a site is asking you for American dollars to process a Canadian travel authorization, it is a scam.
- According to Canadian border authorities, women are the largest smugglers of cocaine at Canada’s airports. That should make your arrival interviews go faster, ladies.
- Some ground crew and baggage handlers are on strike at Toronto’s Pearson airport, Canada’s largest airport and the seventh circle of hell.
- Our friends at the TSA are introducing new screening requirements for devices larger than a mobile phone.
- Venice has instituted fines for bad tourist behaviour: attaching love locks, using (very expensive) transit without a valid ticket, and swimming in the canal, among other things.
- Thailand is introducing a new requirement for tourist visas, where visitors must demonstrate they have at least 20,000 baht on arrival. This move is an attempt to curb “begpacking,” where Western tourists beg for money to fund their time in Thailand and onward travel. To quote the kids, I cannot even.
- Portugal’s TAP Airlines has expanded its stopover program, allowing travelers to stay up to five days in the country at no extra cost. This is similar to Icelandair’s program, where travelers can stay up to a week, and is a very, very good idea.
- Kit Kat tourism is booming in Japan and I am obsessed:
Planning your next trip
- If you have to rush your visit, here’s a pretty solid 24 hours in Marrakech, Morocco: Jardin Majorelle, hammam, souks, then stay for the night market.
- Underground attractions in London are full of history and for hiding out from the weather.
- An updated list of all of the places you can’t take selfie sticks.
Packing lists and tips
- The minimalist business trip. YOU CAN DO IT.
- Are we at the end of free hand luggage and cabin bags?
- If so, it’s time to hone our packing skills and pack everything you need into a “personal item” sized bag.
- CATSA, Canada’s airport screening agency, has a new tool that helps you create a checklist for pre-travel things to do and what to pack in your bags.
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!