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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  • @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.

  • Today on The World on Wheels...of all the reports we've done, this is the first one that got me "detained" by law enforcement. This is where you don't want to end up staying when you're in L.A., The Dungeons of Los Angeles: http://tinyurl.com/79efcy6
    IMG00471-20111116-0947.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…
  • Darryl, sorry I almost missed your question. The answer is, there was no security, no gate, no nothing. You could actually see someone off. And get this: that airport is for a city of 1.1 million people. Maybe one day some madman like the guy who just tried to blow out windows in the White House or the kid who shot Ronald Reagan (What -- to impress Jody Foster!?!?) will wreak havoc in a New Zealand Airport, but until then, this sure was pleasant.

    By the way, make sure you've seen Kaleel Sakakeeny's blog on this very subject: http://www.tripatini.com/profiles/blogs/billions-spent-but-are-we-a...

  • Peter,

     

    Yeah. I shared a villa in Tuscany with the head of security for a major NA airport. He told me of the mistake that lead to finding a handgun in a passenger's carry on. This was after the no-liquid ban went into effect. They had to re-calibrate their scanning equipment so that it would detect liquids. It so happened a man foolishly had a large bottom of shampoo in his carry on. The agents opened his bag and that's how they found the gun. My friend was shocked that the equipment - at least then - couldn't scan for both liquids and metals. 

  • You are experience what we call 'security theater'.  This means that we create a series of obstacles that provide you with the impression that we are doing something when in reality, we are doing nothing (except giving you a hassle).   Peter Tarlow

  • I have wondered whether the effectiveness of the security matches the level of inconvenience. 

     

    I flew through Newark to Madrid and was allowed through security with a bottle of water. I had completely forgotten it was there and only discovered it when I was on the aircraft. A business associate who is Lebanese, so "looks" Middle Eastern, even though he was born in Canada and an actual practicing Christian, flew Halifax to Toronto, Toronto to Vancouver. Vancouver to LA. LA to Chicago, Chicago to Toronto, Toronto to Halifax. He went through airport security in Halifax, Vancouver, LA and Chicago and no one saw the eight-inch hunting knife in his carry on. (It was in a side pocket he rarely opened and forgotten about it.) The tails are endless.

     

    By the way North, the article I read mentioned how 17 known terrorists had travelled 24 times through eight US airports with the highest level of detection programs in place. Christ, the Customs guy in Halifax can tell me when I've last been in the US and where I went, how come 17 terrorists aren't, oh say stopped and arrested?

  • Now Republicans are blasting TSA, and they raise an interesting question. According to CNN, "Ten years after its formation, the Transportation Security Administration got the type of birthday card no one wants to receive -- a blistering report from Republican lawmakers who said the agency is "bloated" and "inefficient" and has done little, if anything, to improve aviation security.

    Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, a longtime critic who has fought to privatize TSA screening jobs, said Congress never intended the agency it created in November 2001 to "mushroom" into a workforce of 65,000 employees, "top heavy" with bureaucrats.

    "I can tell you, in our wildest dreams ... no one ever envisioned 4,000 administrative personnel in Washington, D.C., making on average ... almost $104,000, and then nearly another 10,000 out in the field," Mica said.

    But the most scathing comment came from Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia.

    "Americans have spent nearly $60 billion funding TSA and they are no safer today than they were before 9/11," Broun said."

    Are we, in fact, no safer than we were before 9/11? 

  • Remember that US airport security is reactive in nature rather than pro-active. it is based on the principle that we combat whatever last happened.  On another matter I have just returned from Las Vegas where I was planning our 2012 Tourism Security and safety conference (May 13-16). Information will soon follow, I urge you to attend if this topic interests you.  Peter

  • Ed,

     

    I prefer to think of the suit as socialist orange - I'm trying to break out of my capitalist box - and keep it 'fer good'. Who knows, someday I might get to appear on Hoggers.

     

    I don't fly much in the US. Most of my travel is to and within Europe and the UK. And I find US security much less stringent. Time consuming, yes. And I have always been surprised by how casual I have found JFK and Newark. I expected that after 9/11 they would be the epicenter for tight, tight cntrols. Gawd, the last time I flew from Nova Scotia to Newark I had to have TWO hand searches in Halifax to get on the US-bound plane. That's okay, I'm not dating much ...

  • You've had better luck finding lax security personnel than I have, Allan. If it's not your red suit, then it's my mustache. All the SATW board members, who live near different gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada, were surprised by the airport's nonchalance.

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