No matter where you go -- whether across the globe or across your state/province -- you need to keep eyes open & wits about you. We discuss destinations, measures, techniques -- anything that will help you get back home safe & sound!

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Most of Europe safe to travel despite the conflict in Ukraine

Whenever a situation like the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine arises, some folks - and this is true especially in the USA - get skittish about travel anywhere within a thousand miles of the trouble. And in fact flight bookings have plummeted especially to surrounding countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland, by 30 to 50 percent. But the website SchengenVisaInfo.com recently published a reminder that most of Europe - with the obvious exception of the countries involved - Russia and…

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Is this the strongest proof yet that flying is safe in the pandemic era?

The respected, more-than-half-century-old Frommers travel media company recently reported on a U.S. Department of Defense study conducted with United Airlines, provides encouraging results about airline cabins and coronavirus when proper protocols are followed - yes, even on full flights. Check it out:https://www.frommers.com/blogs/arthur-frommer-online/blog_posts/is-this-the-strongest-proof-yet-flying-is-safe-see-these-new-military-grade-tests

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Protecting yourself against cybercrime while traveling

Every September 27, travelers celebrate International World Tourism Day. The tourism landscape has changed immensely since the first such celebration in 1980, with the Internet becoming inevitable for travelers and travel agents.  According to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), in 2018 84  percent of travelers booked their holiday through bundling sites like Expedia or Kayak instead of contacting hotels and airlines. This counts for 1.176 billion travelers. Most travelers would agree…

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Our blogger's list of 9 safest African countries to visit

Trаvеlіng to a fоrеіgn lаnd usually involves a certain amount of wаrіnеѕѕ аnd unсеrtаіntу - but especially when vіѕіtіng developing соuntrіеѕ whеrе a mаjоr роrtіоn of thе population live undеr the роvеrtу lіnе. But уоu know what's ѕаd? Tо let thеѕе uncertainties ѕtор уоu from еxрlоrіng fascinating new parts of the world. Africa is perhaps the continent that inspires the most wariness due to widespread poverty, corruption, wars, and other travails. But with exceptions where there's actual civil…

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  • Normally Lonely Planet is fairly adventurous and forgiving when it comes to destinations in the developing world. But even they currently not recommending travel to Venezuela, despite its cheapness and the many amazing natural and other attributes of the country, because of the security situation: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/venezuela
    Venezuela travel - Lonely Planet
    Explore Venezuela holidays and discover the best time and places to visit.
  • A disturbing piece just came out in Vice about the rape of a 21-year-old U.S. woman in Punjab province is derailing a narrative concocted by some Western influencers (including women) a country rated among the world's most dangerous by the World Economic Forum is safe, for women as well: https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxnj5n/arabela-arpi-pakistan-gang-r...
    This American Blogger Was Showing an ‘Unseen’ Pakistan. Then She Was Gang Raped.
    The audacious assault of an American woman in Pakistan is disrupting a narrative created by Western influencers that the country is safe for women.
  • Staying safe while traveling is obviously a major concern of many, and the news website Skift, which does a great job of covering all aspects of the international travel industry, just came out with this sobering look by Lebawit Lily Girma at how all the mass shootings, hate crimes and other dysfunction in the U.S. may pose a challenge for getting tourists to come visit. And I post it here because I'm quoted. Sad but true... 😥 https://skift.com/2022/06/15/the-troubling-new-reality-for-u-s-tour...
    Gun Violence Creates a Troubling New Reality for U.S. Tourism's Hard Sell
    ”Breaking news: USA hoping to increase tourism with gifts at border entries!” reads the headline on a sketch of a U.S. border patrol officer handing…
  • More details from AFAR magazine about many travelers - especially in the U.S. - taking a "wait-and-see" attitude toward travel to Europe, but experts say that with the obvious exception of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, such caution is unwarranted: https://www.afar.com/magazine/is-europe-safe-for-travel
    Is Europe Travel Safe During Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?
    The Russian-led war in Ukraine has some U.S. travelers wondering if it is safe to travel to Europe. Security experts weigh in on whether there is cau…
  • The biggest travel safety tip I can give you? Use common sense. More? See our report today at The World on Wheels on what you can do to travel safely and secure your home while you're gone. We'd also like to see your tips in the comments so we can include them in an update: http://tinyurl.com/aebgj7u
    800px-Metro_barcelona.jpg?width=300

    The World on Wheels
    An ongoing adventure of travel and living while using a wheelchair. Tim has been disabled from birth. Darryl is his father and caregiver who travel…
  • Thanks Ed, this is a fascinating recount. I am not surprised by the reaction of embassy and high commission staff. I don't hold much hope for what those of us who travel can expect from them.

    That was an interesting comment about the layers of paint. I'm doing a cruise in March. I shall now look at paint build up around my lifeboat.

  • A colleague forwarded me this from a friend who was on the Costa Concordia:

    Your Gordon Lightfoot rendition of the Concordia disaster was right on. You are a talent.  

    We did not have to swim to the port of Giglio from the beached ship.  Rather we experienced a horrendous boarding onto a lifeboat which was navigated by untrained cook and cabin staff, who were as frightened as we passengers. No official officer crew in sight as we soon learned that the Captain and his sr. crew had left. 

    The launching of the lifeboat was difficult as it required hacking off layers of paint to release the mechanism that moves the lifeboat away from the ship after which it can be lowered to the sea.  These maneuvers resulted in much pitching and screaming along with directions to move to certain parts of the boat to counter the shifting.  We were afraid that the lifeboat launch was going to kill us all and it nearly did including a near miss crash of our boat onto the top of another lifeboat launching from the deck below and having exactly the same problems we were having.

    We finally made it to the water which was rough and pitchy and for some reason our "navigator" kept circling our fallen cruise ship rather than heading straight to shore.  Many passengers threw up due to the heavy waves.  It was only after a man insisted that we go directly to shore because his wife needed immediate medical attention that we finally got to shore. 

    We were dumped off onto this island of 700 inhabitants - no direction as to where to go and we just walked around watching our cruise ship tilt more and more  eventually laying on its side like a beached whale as one BBC newscaster described it.  We ended up being bused to the upper area of the hillious island and to a cold, cold stone church with one bathroom and hard wooden pews-no blankets, food and heat.  Others from the ship were bussed to other sites where there were better facilities, food and warmth.  As in life some ended with better and some with worse experiences. 

    We tried to rest bu;t soon were told that a bus would return and take us back to the port for a ferry ride to a port that was north of Rome but on land not an island.  The open ferry ride was cold, cold and 2 hours long.  

    When we embarked [I think she means "disembarked"] we were met by what seemed like the entire rescue , ETS, red-cross of Rome.  We were given warm blankets and hot tea - those of us who had injuries were treated. We then boarded buses fro a 3 hr. ride to Rome Airport and the Hilton where we were given rooms. 

    That was the end of a twelve hour ordeal.  But our challenges were just beginning as Costa was inept at making arrangements to get us home.  Our passports had been collected at the beginning of our cruise and the U.S. Embassy was not helpful.  Embassies of Germany, Spain, Argentina, Australia, Philippines and Netherlands were present to help their citizens, but our embassy was MIA.

    Can't write anymore- am getting weary and jittery just thinking about it. 

  • Now here's an interesting thought, recently discussed on our blog: are vacation rentals safer than hotels?

  • @Ed...today, I never left the secure zone changing planes in Atlanta, yet I had to go through security again.  I never thought TSA or DHS should have ever been invented. Too much panic after 9/11.  Security wasn't the problem then, the terrorists did not sneak anything illegal on the plane, they just exploited our mindset and complacency. Good article.

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