Tag Archives: bedbugs

the SUNDAY TRAVEL DIGEST

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

SINGAPORE ON THE DOWN LOW?
From across the Pacific Ocean, a piece of good — and potentially really good — news from the airline industry.

The BBC is reporting that Singapore Airlines is planning to start up a low-budget, long-haul carrier to compete with the likes of Australia’s Qantas and Malaysia’s AirAsia.

Not much yet in the way of details, but if SA plans to operate any of these flights to the United States, that’s great news.

Why? Because Singapore Airlines has a reputation for some of the best in-flight service in the entire airline world, a standard they’ve maintained since the 1970s.

Read the full BBC story here.

If their low-fare version even approaches the standard of the parent airline, and they operate from Pacific Coast airports here in the States, American vacationers may have a really good reason to fly west.

IBIT will be watching this one closely.

BUZZKILL IN THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam is about to become a little less popular with a certain category of tourist.

Reuters is reporting that the Netherlands is banning foreigners from visiting its famous “coffee shops,” where you go not for a cup of coffee, but to legally blaze up on marijuana.

You can read the full Reuters story here.

No worries, though. If all else fails, you probably can walk slowly enough past the many coffee shops in Amsterdam to give yourself a perfectly satisfactory “contact high,” if that’s your thing.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other reasons to visit Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, without risking a close encounter with the munchies.

from the Telegraph (London UK)
Amsterdam — the basics.

LET PARIS TURN YOUR HEAD
I found this panoramic view of Paris on the city’s official Web site. It was shot from the top of the Church of St. Sulpice, in the 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank. But before you click on the link to enjoy this gorgeous view, a couple of instructions:

  1. This image moves, 360 degrees.
  2. To make it move faster, move your cursor to the left or right.
  3. To make it stop, move your cursor to the center.

The site itself has French and English versions, and both are worth exploring if you’re planning or even contemplating a visit to the City of Light.

Ready? Okay, enjoy the view.

If this church seems familiar to you, it might be because you saw it in the film “The DaVinci Code.” Here’s an equally panoramic look inside. The full-screen mode is spectacular.



And now, here’s this week’s Digest:

AIR
from Christopher Elliott
The airlines’ version of musical chairs can not only blow up your trip plans, but cost you hundreds of dollars.

from the Associated Press via msnbc
On the other hand, if you booked your summer airfares early, only to see a decrease in the price after you booked, you actually may be in for a refund. As soon as you regain consciousness, check with your airline

from Reuters via msnbc
The TSA, the folks who protect us from infants and 6-year-old girls on airplanes, say that new tests now show that the radiation emitted from those controversial full-body scanners is not dangerous.

LAND
from msnbc
Maybe Amtrak should send a thank-you note to the airlines for making flying so miserable and the oil companies for their ridiculously high gas prices. Why? Because thanks is large part top them, Americans are riding the rails in record numbers.

from Frommer’s
Speaking of gas, there are hotels across America so desperate for your business this summer that they’re giving out rebates, including free gas cards. SLIDESHOW

from USA Today
For those New Yorkers who think their city is Number One in everything, you can now add a new category: bedbugs. So say the folks at Terminix, who presumably know a few things about insect pests

SEA
from BBC Travel
Cruises for people who don’t like cruises.

from USA Today
The latest gimmick from Royal Caribbean: An all-you-can-DRINK package. Am I the only one who thinks this might not be the best idea for a cruise ship?

from BBC News
While cruise lines withdraw from other European ports, Belfast is set for a boom in cruise tourism.

AFRICA
from LonelyPlanet
An introduction to the foods of Ethiopia. Think of it as a wake-up call for your tastebuds. Utensils not required.

from The Citizen (Tanzania)
Is the tourism glass half-empty or half-full for Tanzania? The CEO of one of the world’s largest travel companies says the country has the potential to be one of Africa’s greatest travel destinations, but is being outperformed by its more aggressive competitors, even tiny Mauritius.

from Business Daily (Nigeria)
The president of ECOWAS, the regional body of 15 West African countries, describes air travel among the ECOWAS member countries as “harrowing,” says the group is looking for ways to improve air, marine transport within the region.

AMERICAS/CARIBBEAN
from USA Today
With European airfares expected to go sky-high this summer, this might be the perfct year fior a fly/drive vacation to one of America’s beautiful national parks. Like Yosemite, for instance.

from BootsnAll
Speaking of the national parks, they can get pretty crowded during the summer. Here are five of the most heavily visited one, and tips for how to avoid the mobs.

ASIA/PACIFIC
from OnUrWayTravel
When I say China, you say…beach? Does the Middle Kingdom have the world’s most overlooked seashore?

from Globetrooper
The ins and outs of booking a train trip in India, which has one of the largest — and most heavily used — rail networks in the world.

EUROPE
from Jaunted
Five things NOT to do in Venice.

from VisitBritainSuperblog
Canal travel in Britain. Maybe not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the UK. The waterways are narrow. The travel is slow. The views range from serene to spectacular.

from GO! Overseas
Andrea Moran of San Francisco breaks down the unwritten rules for getting over in Paris. I’ve looked at each one of them, and they’re pretty much dead-on.

from A Luxury Travel Blog
Barcelona is already arguably Spain’s biggest travel destination. Is it now becoming a foodie destination, as well?

the SUNDAY TRAVEL DIGEST

The good, bad and bizarre from the world’s best travel media

Santa Barbara sunset
Santa Barbara at sunset | © Greg Gross

DON’T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE!
No, this is not a flashback to some distant period in travel history. From the grungiest hostel to the toniest five-star hotel, bedbugs can be an issue when you travel. The best way to escape the annoying little critters? Evade them!

I know vampires are all the rages these days on movies and television but these particular little bloodsuckers are utterly uncool.

They’re turning up in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, in Canada and Europe. They turn up in libraries and lawyers’ offices. They turn up in the Empire State Building.

And if you travel, there’s a chance the may turn up where you sleep at night.

“They” are bedbugs, and you won’t just find them in beds. That’s just the one place where they might be the most annoying. They’ve been on a comeback worldwide since the 1990s and (stop me if you’ve heard this before), they’re increasingly resistant to pesticides.

New York City has just about gone to DEFCON-5 on the little blood-sucking so-and-so’s, to the point of bringing in beagles to track them down.

Don’t believe me? Check out this video. I don’t make this stuff up!

And to think, all Snoopy had to contend with was the Red Baron.

(If you’re thinking about using this as an excuse to eschew travel and stay home, forget about it. If the Bedbug Brigade hasn’t reached your hometown already, there’s a good chance its en route.)

MSNBC and CBS Moneywatch have tips for how you can avoid or protect yourself form bedbug infestations when you travel. There’s even an anti-bedbug app for your iPhone, which you can find courtesy of the folks at Smarter Travel.

For most travelers, the key is avoidance, and there are ways to do that. Don’t let these miniature multi-legged Draculas spoil your travels!

And now, today’s Digest:

Among the other entertaining and useful items you’ll find this week on the BBC Fast:Track site is a video tutorial on how to bargain. Haggling, bartering, call it what you want, but in open-air markets and other shops around world, you’ll be doing a lot of it. These guys show you how to get merchants to make you an offer you can’t refuse.

from USA Today
Think you travel light? Consider what author, travel writer and profesional vagabond Rolf Potts is planning: 12 countries, 42 days, zero bags. That’s right. Nothing.

from the Los Angeles Times
And speaking of money, the LAT takes us through the yin and yang of travel expense, offering up two slide showss& mdash; one on the world’s least expensive cities and the other on the world’s most expensive cities. Just for fun, check out both, and see which listy has the most destinations that most intrigue you. You just might shock yourself.

AFRICA
from allAfrica.com
A Nigerian air carrier is trying to establish direct trans-Atlantic flights between that West African nation and South America.

AMERICAS
from BBC Travel
How to do Chicago — comedy, jazz, blues and how to make one perfect day in the Windy City. In conjunction with the folks at Lonely Planet.

from the New York Times
Next month, Mexico celebrates its hard-won independence from Spain. The NYT’s Johnathan Kandell takes you to three towns that played pivotal roles in that bloody struggle. Today, they are picturesque peaceful destinations for travelers.

ASIA
from CNN
The CNN peeps are trying out an Asia beta site that is packed with interesting pieces on nearly every part of the Orient. If Asia travel interests you, prepare to spend some time on this site.

EUROPE
from the New York Times
What makes a backpacking journey across Lahemma National Park in Estonia akin to trying to walk across the world’s largest sponge?