By a nice coincidence following our last post on travel safety, two new surveys are out that try to identify the safest countries in the world, with implications for travelers as well as residents.
One, called the Global Peace Index 2018, comes from the Institute for Economics and Peace. It looks at 23 relevant statistics for 163 countries — including political terrorism, murder rates, and deaths from internal conflicts — and ranked them for overall safety.
The second, from the Gallup polling organization, takes a different tack: Gallup went straight to nearly 150,000 residents of 142 countries and asked them how safe they felt, based on factors such as their own experiences with crime and their attitudes toward local policing.
The results, as you might imagine, were quite different, though one country… Continue reading
The other day I received a press release promoting what sounded like a wonderful five-star hotel in an exotic location, said to be the finest accommodation in its city.
Along with various five-star amenities such as a state-of-the-art spa and gym, six restaurants including one with panoramic views, tennis courts, and indoor pool, it promised to serve as a base for tourists exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites, taking river cruises, visiting museums, and marveling at spectacular evening performances.
The only potential downside? The name says it all: it’s the Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, serving the capital of Sudan, a nation wracked by terrorist violence and crime in recent years, including reported attacks against Westerners in Khartoum itself.
The U.S. State Department doesn’t mince words: if you plan to travel to Sudan, the department warns in an extraordinary… Continue reading
According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, there was a four percent decline in the number of international visitors to the U.S. during the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016.
And according to a recent International Trade Report released by the Commerce Department, spending by international travelers to the U.S. decreased by 3.3 percent through November 2017 compared to November 2016. Total spending by international travelers to the U.S. came to $246 billion, according to figures from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), a trade group representing travel industry members.
That 3.3 percent decrease translates to a $4.6 billion loss to the U.S. economy as well as 40,000 jobs in tourism-related industries (hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operators, travel agencies, etc.)
But the ripple effects… Continue reading
This concludes our four-part series containing 50 tips about How to Travel Cheaply. In today’s guest post, Jesse Miller looks at how you can save money on sightseeing and entertainment, how to manage your money while traveling, and adds some safety tips that can have financial ramifications as well.
By Jesse Miller
Sightseeing & Entertainment Tips
1. Be Picky.
Plan to visit your top two or three sites instead of taking a whirlwind tour of all the attractions your destination has to offer. By doing so, you can spend as much time as you’d like connecting with these areas while eliminating rushing around from one tourist spot to the next.
While at these locations,… Continue reading
For baby boomers, saving money on accommodations can be tougher than for young travelers.
Dormitory-style hostels and CouchSurfing may have much less appeal than for those in their 20s or 30s.
Camping — at least the type (unlike “glamping” or glamorous camping) that leaves you trying to get a decent night’s sleep in a bag on the ground — can be tough on the back (with legitimate concerns that you might not be able to straighten up at all in the morning).
But, as guest poster Jesse Miller contends, “It’s still possible to enjoy a five-star housing experience without paying a five-star price.” The key, Miller says, “is to live like the locals do. This means avoiding more traditional options (such as pricey hotels and resorts) and immersing yourself in opportunities to interact with the… Continue reading
Leading-edge baby boomers — those born in the late 1940s — are now edging into their 70s, and with that inevitably come new challenges when we travel, no matter how healthy we are.
Much as we may hate to admit it (and I’m a prime offender in this regard), we may walk a bit slower, require assistance from time to time, and need to take care of ourselves a bit more.
Flying and airports can be especially vexing, and so I was struck by this piece by Bay Area freelance journalist Scott Morris from the excellent website caring.com that’s filled with tips on how to make the flying and airport experience a bit smoother.
Here’s Scott on a topic of interest to anyone who flies, but especially to older travelers:
By Scott Morris
Flying can be difficult… Continue reading
Note: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts on traveling with a medical condition by British writer Laura Miller. In this post, Laura provides advice on flying with a medical condition and obtaining the right vaccinations and visas for your trip.
By Laura Miller
Flying with a medical condition
While traveling with many medical conditions is generally safe, airlines do have the right to deny passengers who could suffer complications in the air.
For those travelling by plane, the most common in-flight problems are:
• Neurologic events
• Cardiac events
• Respiratory events
• Gastrointestinal events
• Vasovagal syncope (fainting)
If you’re worried about the risk of being denied passage, it’s worth speaking to your doctor to ask for medical clearance. Consider if any of the following apply:
• You could compromise the safety of… Continue reading
Note: This is the third in our series of Traveling with a Medical Condition, written by British journalist Laura Miller. Today Laura offers specific tips for traveling with cancer, a heart condition, or dementia.
By Laura Miller
Traveling with cancer
There’s no reason why a cancer diagnosis should limit your traveling. You’ll still want to see the world for the same reasons as everyone else and cancer shouldn’t be the barrier.
It’s not unusual for people with cancer to book up a holiday at the end of their treatment. On the other hand, others will have no qualms about leaving the country after being told the bad news.
However, it’s important to speak to your doctor and get their opinion before arranging a trip. You’ll then know the ins… Continue reading
Unless you’ve been camping in the desert or just can’t face listening to the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard the story about the greatest PR disaster to befall an airline since, well, maybe ever.
And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer airline: United, or — as I fondly call them — Untied Airlines.
To briefly recap: On a recent flight scheduled from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville, Kentucky, United Airlines’ employees called in airport police to forcibly eject a 69-year-old baby boomer named David Dao, a physician who lives in Kentucky.
His crime? He refused to give up his seat and deplane when United decided that he and three other passengers picked “at random” had to leave to make room for an airline crew that needed to get to Louisville.
The punishment? The police officers literally dragged… Continue reading