Best Travel News and Deals – December 29, 2009 – Discount Tokyo, Free Tours, Airline Blunders, 100 Reasons to Travel Around the World

by brian on December 29, 2009

Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by
If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.
I’ve got my opinion on the ‘Crotchbomber’ of Northwest Flight 253 as I am calling him, that I will be sharing later on this week. Meantime know that:

The restrictions on getting out of your seat an hour before landing, no blankets one hour before landing and other restrictions have been lifted or placed at the discretion of the captain on board.

Apparently he got on board without a passport – FAIL
Apparently he is on an American watch list, but not the specific list that would have barred him getting on the flight to Detroit – FAIL
But the list may not have mattered since he didn’t have a passport. Did he use his real name when buying the ticket and checking in? And who was the well dressed man who was trying to get him on the flight without a passport?
More questions than answers at this point…

Global Greeter Network

If you want to meet a local in a country you visit and get a personal tour of the sites, many times for free, check this website. Volunteers meet with visitors and take them to spots of interest around town. Great advantage is the personal nature of the tours, the ability to get your questions and concerns answered and being able to veer off-course and see what you want without worrying about a group.

For more options try searching for city volunteer guide. So for instance for Tokyo use Google and look for ‘tokyo volunteer guide’ without the single quotes. Lots of options appear.

Travel Video of the Week – Cocaine Factory
I talked previously about visiting a drug lab in Colombia. Leave it to Youtube to provide a video of a lab visit. In this case, it is nothing more than a lone farmer who does it to support his family. I had this vision of dozens of workers sitting at tables doing the work. Miami Vice style Hollywood images influenced my impression of it. Or more than likely that the lone farmer and the organized labs co-exist and this video is only one view.

Phuket post-tsunami: A second wave of greed?

I went to Thailand and did not even think about the tsunami that struck the region. I did know that if I suddenly see the water disappear from the beaches to run for the highest possible land point. 5 years since, 230,000 lives lost in a matter of hours and the region is still recovering from it.

Safety of food at airports spotty

The point: Airlines are no safer than your typical restaurant or cafe anywhere in the world. Another reason to bring something to eat from home…if you can get it through airport security.

100 Reasons to Travel the World

I like
10. Realize That You Do Not Need Much To Survive


100. You Only Live Once

Both true sentiments that I realized while I was on the road. I’m sure a few of the other 98 will appeal to you. Take a gander.

The dark side of Dubai

The oasis of the desert built from the ground up is on many travel wish lists. But there is an underbelly of exploitation and deception at the heart of the country’s meteoric growth. I would still love to visit and find out for myself.

When traveling overseas, is extra medical insurance a good idea?

A blocked bladder? Bronchitis? A punctured colon? All things that have happened to everyday tourists like you and me while abroad.

Just a simple $100 payment for a travel insurance policy ensured that someone got a first class ticket home with a nurse accompanying them after becoming ill. The best $100 spent on a vacation!

An Uninvited Guest

For those of you with squemish stomachs: Imagine the movie Aliens with the alien popping out of the soldier’s stomach. But not from the stomach and much less harrowing.

I know many people have an issue with using DEET in insect repellents. Has anyone used any products that are DEET-free that are just as effective?

Top 10 Airline Blunders of 2009

I don’t consdier the Hudson River landing a blunder since it was an accident not caused by human error. But everything else on this list definitely counts. Last I saw the pilots who overshot the Minneapolis were still appealing their suspension. I have no idea how they are going to talk anyone into giving them back their licenses.

The phrase “lack of situational awareness” should NEVER be mentioned by people piloting a jet with hundred of passengers over major metropolitan areas. Never.

Deals hidden in Japan’s alleys and on subways

I always like these articles on big cities and ways to save. I think they are valuable to folks who want to see the major metropolitan areas of the world, without blowing their entire budget in 2 days.

One thing to definitely do is to buy your Japan Rail train tickets BEFORE you leave your home country for great discounts. The Shinkansen (bullet train) is something everyone should try to experience. I was so caught up in Tokyo that I didn’t take it. Next time around…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Candice December 30, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Ewwww, I couldn't help but read "An Uninvited Guest." I can't believe the girl handled it so well, I would have been losing my mind.


brian December 30, 2009 at 9:24 PM

At the end of the day it wasn't that bad but the fact that she could see it moving…creepy!


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