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the SUNDAY TRAVEL DIGEST 9.25.11

A roundup of the good, the bad and the bizarre from the world’s best travel media.

Water show, Bellagio hotel-casino, Las Vegas | © G. Gross

SORE SHOULDER?
When it comes to air travel between the United States and Europe, especially flying west from the Old World to the new, the “shoulder season” may no longer be quite “all that.”

My friend, Porsche, an American expat in London and a blogger in her own right (Spinster’s Compass), has been having an helluva time trying to find a decent airfare to get home during the pre-Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday months.

Fuel costs to the airlines — and the fuel surcharges with which they’re hitting passengers — no doubt play a major role in raising ticket prices. Post 9/11 fees to pay for extra airport security are a factor, as well.

But there may be still other reasons why, to paraphrase Jimmy MacMillan, the fares are too damn high!

IBIT will investigate.

Meanwhile, if you can delay your European travel until deep into the winter — say, January or february — the Godfather of Travel, Arthur Frommer, suggests you check out the Irish national airline, Aer Lingus, for potential bargain fares.

DON’T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE
When it comes to dealing with bedbugs, some travelers are finding out the hard way that the cure can be worse than the disease.

Fatally worse.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting that consumers’ use of do-it-yourself pesticide treatments to fight the annoying little bed biters is proving to be more unhealthful than the bugs themselves.

Prolonged contact in beds with the poisons have led to score of people getting sick since 2010, and at least one person has died, the CDC reports.

Not only that, but these do-it-yourself chemical treatments seldom really work, anyway, according to the experts.

On the other hand, if you can delay your travel until deep in the heart of winter — say, January/February, there may be bargains to be had, especially going to Europe from the East Coast.

Meanwhile, if you’re traveling in bedbug country, your bed may not be the only thing you have to worry about. There’s a company called BugZip that sells sealed, zippered bags designed to keep the little nasties from crawling into your luggage and coming home with you.

At the very least, you should never leave any of your bags open when you travel. When you put something in or take something out, close it back, immediately.



And now, here’s this week’s Digest:

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AIR
from msnbc
Onboard wi-fi. Power outlets at every seat. Live satellite TV. In-flight programming you can download to your iPod. Welcome to the future of in-flight entertainment.

from USA Today
Don’t think airline baggage fees can affect you on international flights? Guess again, especially if you’re one of those folks who packs too much.

from CNN
Can an airline take away your frequent flier miles if you complain too much?

LAND
from the Wall Street Journal
Don’t look now, but there’s a new generational of jet-setters taking off to see the world. Okay, go ahead and look!

from Electric Bike Tour Company
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on an electric bike, cruise down to Sausalito, return to San Francisco by ferry. With no big hills to climb, you don’t need an electric bike, but what the heck.

from Frommer’s
Nine great cities in the world to take a culinary vacation or attend a cooking school. Yes, travel can be delicious. SLIDESHOW

from National Geographic
And speaking of delicious, the NatGeo folks serve up a list of ten places around the world featuring some terrific annual food festivals. Any foodies in the house? Road trip! SLIDESHOW

from Lonely Planet
Thinking about doing a volunteer vacation overseas? The folks at Lonely Planet say there are some things you need to think about before you go. Ten things, to be exact.

SEA
from Capital Jazz
A jazz and soul music cruise set for Halloween week out of Miami aboard Carnival Valor, with stops in Jamaica, Mexico and Belize.

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AFRICA
from Shabait.com (Eritrea)
Peace and development in the East African nationao of Eritrea is drawing positive comments from foreign visitors.

from the Art of Backpacking
Three ways to immerse yourself in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

from the Daily Nation (Kenya) via allAfrica.com
It’s not just about safaris anymore. Kenya is developing into a hub for international sports tourism, a place where world-class athletes and wanna-bes alike come to train.

from the ​Daily Champion (Nigeria) via allAfrica.com
Nigeria’s Arik Air has won Category 1 status from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. It will now be allowed to fly Nigerian-registered aircraft to the United States with Nigerian flight crews. They’re pretty proud.

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AMERICAS/CARIBBEAN
from the New York Times
Brazil is no longer the cheap travel destination it once was, but in Rio de Janeiro, corner juice bars that double as restaurants are a cheap, tasty and healthy way to stay on budget.

from the Travel Channel
Hotels in Boston that give you the most bang for your buck. At least, these guys think so.

from the New York Times
Exploring the rugged natural beauty of Maine by bike tour.

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ASIA/PACIFIC
from Wikipedia and Wikitravel
What do you do when the world’s largest city has no more room to grow? If you’re Tokyo, you build some artificial islands, fill them with ultramodern architecture, amusement parks, shopping and eateries, and call it all Odaiba, aka Tokyo Waterfront City.

from the Press Trust of India via MSN News
If you’re visiting India sometime in the future and you hear Russian being spoken, it won’t be an accident. India is looking to double Russian tourist visits.

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EUROPE
from the National Geographic
Belgian waffles…in Belgium! What a concept!

from As We Travel
Must-dos and sees in Sicily.

from Hike Bike Travel
Doing France with your family by bike? Some tips to make it fun — or at least bearable — for everybody.

from USA Today
Got a layover in London? Don’t just hang around the airport. There are plenty of short, fun tours to help you pass the time.

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