Best Travel News and Deals – January 26, 2009 – Better Deals for Solo Travel, Vacation in Haiti?, Finding Bedbugs, Avoid Travel Hassles, Amazing Race

by brian on January 26, 2010

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.

Ship comes in for solo travelers, industry says

I think that all travel related companies, not just cruise lines, have to look at single/solo travelers as a source of revenue going forward. Penalizing them because they don’t have a significant other or family will drive people to independent travel. That means booking accommodations themselves over the Internet and avoiding the single supplement fees altogether.

You want to make things easier for someone to book with you, not harder.

Cold sheets? Hire a HUMAN ‘bed-warmer’

Really? How long does it take you to warm up a cold bed when you jump into it? Paying someone to ‘pre-heat’ the bed for you? Can I get a job like that?

Royal Caribbean makes a tough, difficult decision

Initially I was against this, but after seeing that the Haitian government wanted them to return I was more at ease about it. But I would feel queasy about playing on a beach with an alcoholic beverage in my hand while bodies are still being pulled the ruins of a country’s capital 100 miles away. You can’t feel good about that.

Travel Video of the Week
Nice video on what to do when you first arrive in a hotel room. More important, the telltale signs of bedbugs. Important, get a sleep sack, whether you are staying in a hostel or hotel. You don’t want to leave with bite marks or rashes.

Also disinfectant wipes for the TV remote control, telephone, alarm clock and other surfaces neglected by hotel cleaning staff. The TV remote was one of the ‘germy’ things in the room. (‘germy’ is not a word, but you know what I mean)

One thing I always remembered: Don’t use the water glasses in the bathroom without throughly cleaning them yourself. Those routinely get ignored by hotel cleaning staff.

“Fleshmob” against virtual strip-search machines at Berlin airport

The first video is of protesters against the full body imaging scanners. The second video shows what you see with the machines. This will give a fair idea of what screeners will be able to see when you walk through the machines. Not great, but not horrible either.

Frequent fliers might ask what kind of radiation is used and what dosage? If you don’t want to go through the machine, is that an option? What kind of full body pat down/groping/fondling will you be subjected to?

TSA lies again about what the strip-search machines see

More on the scanners and what they can see. What are the alternatives? I think at least the United States, a nation of dog and cat lovers, we could get a mass of drug and explosive sniffing dogs for the airports. Both for baggage (which is neglected) and passengers.

For Travelers in Danger, Someone to Swoop In

I talk a lot about travel insurance, and these are first hand stories of travelers in trouble getting pulled from the fire by paid services that can go anywhere in the world. The crisis in Haiti is the most recent example of private citizens, corporate employees and non-profit organizations paying for on-demand evacuation.

The gulf between the haves and the have nots is even more defined by the people who can afford a service like this and those who are left behind with injury or have no way of leaving an affected area.

Want fast action on a travel complaint? Try DOT’s new site

An option for anyone who has a LEGITIMATE issue with a US based airline or travel website. When repeated emails and calls (if they even have a phone number for you to call) are not answered, this could be your last resort.

Worst International Travel Hassles (and How to Prevent Them)

Some things that cause us headaches when we head overseas. I talked about Project Visa before to find out about visa requirements before you leave your home country. Some other things to be concerned about are not having your passport expire within 6 months of visiting a country. Also having blank facing pages in a passport for visa stamps. Some countries are sticklers for that.

TSA’s finest hour: Planting fake drugs in carry-on bags “as a joke”

This is one of those “What was he thinking?” moments. TSA agent plants a bag of white substance on a traveler as a joke. The female traveler broke down in tears thinking she was going to be hauled away before the agent admitted he played her. That is a really bad joke.

If she yelled out “BOMB!” she’d probably be arrested for disorderly conduct, interrogated and strip searched.

Fortunately, the TSA agent lost his job with more possibly to come.

Amazing Race Casting Call

All you ‘Race’ fans who talk about applying, but never do it, this is your chance to apply for Season 17. My application this past year fell into the abyss of reality television rejects, but that’s OK. At least we tried.

Give it a shot and see what happens.

Woofing: a howling success – Willing Workers on Organic Farms

Talking about ‘WWOOFing’ program, where you work in a foreign country for room and board. Many a round the world traveler or long term traveler who stays in one country has used this to explore a location, save money and get up and close with local culture.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Indian Hotel Search February 1, 2010 at 6:17 PM

So many things in a single post.You are really a hard worker.Your work shows your passion towards travel.Thanks for sharing the deals.I prefer solo travel as i don't have to compromise for anything.


Cannes Rental February 16, 2010 at 3:02 AM

You explanation is excellent and clear. I was impressed with this post and am looking forward to reading more from you ….

Bookmarked this.. ;) Thanks for sharing…


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