Around-The-World Travel

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Amazing Race 32, Episode 1 (Travel during the pandemic)

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Port of Spain, Trinidad (Trinidad & Tobago) - Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago) Travel during the coronavirus pandemic Season 32 of The Amazing Race, which premiered today -- almost two years after it was filmed -- on CBS-TV in the USA, has both planned and unplanned... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 October 2020, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Amazing Race 31, Episode 1

Hermosa Beach, CA (USA) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Narita (Japan) - Tokyo (Japan) There were fears that the The Amazing Race might have come to an end when broadcasts of the latest season, filmed last summer, were postponed repeatedly. But then the new season was moved forward abruptly... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2019, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

BBC "Race Across the World"

It's been more than a year since the final episode of Season 30 of The Amazing Race was broadcast. Season 31 was filmed months ago, but isn't scheduled to premiere until 22 May 2019. If you are looking for a fix of travel "reality" television in the meantime, I recommend... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 March 2019, 16:00 ( 4:00 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 31 December 2018

Some highlights from my year of travel

[Liberec, Czechia] My work for the Identity Project and my volunteer commitments to the National Writers Union left me relatively little time to write about my own travels this year, which included two months bicycling in Germany and several nearby European countries, and a week in Athens. As I've... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 December 2018, 23:30 (11:30 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 5 October 2018

A review of the Gemini PDA

[Is this the best mobile data communicator for travellers? Or just the smallest one with a usable keyboard?] In September 2017, I wrote one of the first hands-on reviews of the prototype and plans for the Gemini PDA after I was part of a small meet-up in San Francisco... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 October 2018, 10:12 (10:12 AM) | Comments (14)

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 7

Harare (Zimbabwe) - Manama (Bahrain) - Chiang Mai (Thailand) This week The Amazing Race passed through Bahrain. Bahrain is a small desert island city-state, but the teams of travellers faced unexpected difficulties finding their way around, both driving and on foot. I've had some of these same problems finding my... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 February 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 6

Prague (Czech Republic) - Harare (Zimbabwe) - Marondera (Zimbabwe) - Harare (Zimbabwe) There was a new twist on this week's episode of the The Amazing Race. For part of the episode, the teams had to swap partners, so that each of the racers had to complete one of their assigned... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 February 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 5

Les Baux (France) - Marseille (France) - Prague (Czech Republic) Product placements on The Amazing Race are usually just extra advertisements for whichever brand of car the racers have been provided to drive from Point A to Point B, or the prize for the pair of racers that finishes first... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 4

Tangiers (Morocco) - Nice (France) - St. Tropez (France) - Les Baux (France) - Arles (France) - Les Baux (France) [Looking back toward the Mediterranean coast from the Isles du Frioul, near Marseilles, Provence.] The Amazing Race 30 spent this double episode exploring Provence, in the south of France. The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 3

Antwerp (Belgium) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Tangiers (Morocco) This week's episode of The Amazing Race 30 gave the contestants on the reality-TV show a test of their dead reckoning ability in a souk in Tangiers. After having a destination pointed out to them from one rooftop to another, how quickly... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 2

Reykjavik (Iceland) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Antwerp (Belgium) This episode of The Amazing Race, like the previous one, featured helicopter shots of spectacular Icelandic scenery. They helped show why Icelandic tourism marketers have been so successful in recent years in changing perceptions of the country as an aviation hub. Flying... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Amazing Race 30, Episode 1

New York, NY (USA) - Reykjavik (Iceland) Stopovers in Iceland and other stopover possibilities on flights to and from the USA Season 30 of The Amazing Race started with the cast members having to fly from New York City to Reykjavik, Iceland. The teams of cometitors in The Amazing Race... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 January 2018, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Bicycling the Danube, Part 3: Highlights and Lowlights

Cycling the Danube (Part 3 of 3): Part 1: Pros and Cons Part 2: Practicalities Part 3: Highlights and Lowlights Places to Visit Places to Stay Detours from the Danube Family History In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I talked about why you might (or might... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 January 2018, 14:00 ( 2:00 PM) | Comments (1)

Bicycling the Danube, Part 2: Practicalities

Cycling the Danube (Part 2 of 3): Part 1: Pros and Cons Part 2: Practicalities Countries, Routes, and Signs Choices of Route and Direction Weather and Seasons Paper Maps Telephone and Internet Digital Maps Other Web Sites and Apps Language Money Food Water and Toilets Dogs, Insects, and Other... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 January 2018, 13:00 ( 1:00 PM) | Comments (2)

Bicycling the Danube, Part 1: Pros and Cons

[A "Radler" in German can mean either either a bicyclist or a mildly-alcoholic drink consisting of half beer and half lemonade.] Cycling the Danube (Part 1 of 3): Part 1: Pros and Cons Why Bicycle the Danube? Why Not? Part 2: Practicalities Part 3: Highlights and Lowlights My partner... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 January 2018, 12:00 (12:00 PM) | Comments (6)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Digital devices for world travellers

[Some of the mini-laptops and handheld computers I've used in my travels around the world since 1995. Back row, left to right: Gateway 2000 Handbook 486, Asus Eee PC 901, Panasonic Let's Note CF-R7. Front row, left to right: Psion netBook / Psion Series 7, Psion 5mx, Psion Revo... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 September 2017, 18:53 ( 6:53 PM) | Comments (22)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 10

Seoul (Korea) - Incheon (Korea) - Chicago, IL (USA) - Joliet, IL (USA)- Chicago, IL (USA) [Old and new in Seoul: Sungnyemun (Namdaemun) Gate is one of the original gates in the wall surrounding the fortress-city of Seoul. Most of the wall is long gone, and the gate is now... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 June 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 9

Ninh Binh (Vietnam) - Hanoi (Vietnam) - Incheon (Korea) - Seoul (Korea) [Some of the airlines serving Incheon International Airport in January 2002. This way to the check-in counters for Miat Mongolian Airlines to Ulaanbataar, SAT Airlines to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Dalavia to Khabarovsk, Mahan Air to Tehran, Uzkekistan Airways to Tashkent,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 May 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 8

Athens (Greece) - Corinth (Greece) - Athens (Greece) - Hanoi (Vietnam) - Ninh Binh (Vietnam) [Typical foot-rowboats near Ninh Binh, Vietnam] [Cast members on The Amazing Race 29 had to row boats like these using their feet, rather than their hands, on the oars. Rowing with your feet leaves your... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 May 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 7

Venice (Italy) - Bari (Italy) - Patras (Greece) - Arahova (Greece) - Athens (Greece) [A market street in Thessaloniki, Greece]... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 May 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 6

Lake Como (Italy) - Venice (Italy) The "streets" of the old city of Venice are mostly too narrow for cars or trucks. Transportation and deliveries are by water along the canals, or by foot and handcart. As one of their tasks in this episode of The Amazing Race 29, each... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 May 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 5

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) - Alesund (Norway) - Oslo (Norway) - Milan (Italy) - Lake Como (Italy) There's more than one way to travel -- or to accomplish almost any travel task. That's one of the lessons of this season of The Amazing Race, in which each of the travellers... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 April 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 4

Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) I've written before, when the The Amazing Race passed through Tanzania, about my own visit to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in 2008. If we judged places by events, we would have left with bad impressions of Dar, Zanzibar, and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 April 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 3

São Paulo (Brazil) - Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) - Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) [A travel writer on "vacation": working on my laptop in the shade of a palm tree at a beach resort on the east coast of Zanzibar. I'll have more on The Amazing Race 29 in Dar es... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 April 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 2

Panama City (Panama) - São Paulo (Brazil) My feelings about São Paulo are considerably more mixed, and in some respects more favorable, than you might infer from some of my past mentions of the megalopolis. On the good side, São Paulo is one of those urban agglomerations that is so... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 April 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Amazing Race 29, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Panama City (Panama) This season of The Amazing Race has a cast composed entirely of "blind date" travelling couples who met their partners for the first time at the starting line of the reality-TV race around the world. Whatever lessons the remainder of the season... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 March 2017, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Monday, 27 February 2017

FAQs about travel in the time of Trump

President Trump's emphasis on control of travel and borders has prompted a surge of interest in freedom of movement as a civil liberties and human rights issue. Here are some of my FAQs and analyses of this issue over the last month for the Identity Project: FAQ: What should you... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 February 2017, 17:23 ( 5:23 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 12 December 2016

Notes from Amsterdam, Brussels, and Istanbul

["Hasbrouck" is a French Huguenot name, presumably of Flemish etymology, meaning "Rabbit Marsh" or, as a Belgian customs man once told me, "Swamp of the Bunnies". It's spelled differently in France, South Africa, the USA, and the Netherlands. One evening on the way back to my hostel from a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 December 2016, 20:13 ( 8:13 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 12

Shenzhen (China) - Guangzhou (China) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Santa Barbara, CA (USA) The final three teams on The Amazing Race 28 managed to make their way back to the USA this week, despite not being allowed to bring their smartphones or any any other Internet-connected devices with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 May 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 11

Bali (Indonesia) - Shenzhen (China) [Highrises under construction in 2005 along the north (Shenzhen) side of the channel separating the Hong Kong "Special Administrative Region" from the Shenzhen "Special Economic Zone". The area of the New Territories on the Hong Kong side of the channel (behind me) is open farmland,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 May 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 10

Bali (Indonesia) - Nusa Lembongan (Indonesia) - Nusa Ceningan (Indonesia) - Bali (Indonesia) In this episode, The Amazing Race 18 crossed from Bali to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, two of a cluster of smaller islands between Bali and the next "major" island (or at least, next island with scheduled... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 April 2016, 06:37 ( 6:37 AM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 9

Dubai (U.A.E.) - Bali (Indonesia) For those who don't have a sense of comparative scale, the island of Bali in Indonesia is about four times as large as O'ahu (Honolulu), with a similar overall population density and development similarly concentrated in a coastal fringe around the volcano that dominates the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 April 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 8

Tbilisi (Georgia) - Dubai (U.A.E.) Dubai is constantly under construction, as host Phil Keoghan noted at the start of this episode of The Amazing Race 28. As I pointed out when the reality-TV show first visited Dubai in 2009, that can make it hard to find an up-to-date map, recognize... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 April 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Saturday, 9 April 2016

More news about blocking of money transfers

Hard on the heels of last month's report of the bank that blocked a request for a check to a dog-walker because the dog's name ("Dash") on the memo line of the check resembled the Arabic acronym "Daesh" for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) comes a new... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 April 2016, 21:10 ( 9:10 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 7

Garni (Armenia) - Yerevan (Armenia) - Tbilisi (Georgia) - Mtskheta (Georgia) - Tbilisi (Georgia) When you hear, "Georgia", do you think, "wine"? If not, why not? Georgia is about to host the UN World Tourism Organization's First Global Conference on Wine Tourism later this year. Perhaps that's one of the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 6

Chamonix (France) - Yerevan (Armenia) - Hatsavan (Armenia) - Garni (Armenia) Armenia threw the teams of travellers on The Amazing Race 28 for a loop. None of the racers had been there before, and some of them seemed quite uncertain where "Armenia" is located. Armenia is a landlocked country in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 April 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Places in the news: Brussels and Buenos Aires

[National Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism in Buenos Aires, visited yesterday by US President Obama] News and events, even on the other side of the world, have more impact when we can relate them to our own experiences. In the last few days, I've been thinking a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 March 2016, 19:46 ( 7:46 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 11 March 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 5

Chamonix (France) When I interviewed people trying out for The Amazing Race at a casting call in San Francisco last year, I was surprised by how many of them were more interested in the chance to take part in activities specially staged for the reality-TV show than the chance to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 March 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 10 March 2016

7 On Your Side: "When an airline loses your luggage"

I was interviewed on KGO-TV news in San Francisco last night in a "7 On Your Side" feature about "lost" airline luggage. I think they did a good job on the story (congrats to producer Randall Yip behind the camera). But as usual, there was more to be said... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 March 2016, 11:06 (11:06 AM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 4

Cartagena (Colombia) - Geneva (Switzerland) - Chamonix (France) [The giant "Broken Chair" on the plaza across the street from the flagpoles in front of the "Palais des Nations" in Geneva. The broken-off leg is at the left rear, mostly hidden from this angle.] The Amazing Race has been to Geneva... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 March 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 3

Cartagena (Colombia) In this episode of The Amazing Race, the travellers got to work a job that is common around the world, but almost nonexistent in the USA: bus conductor. "Outside the First World," as I note in The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World, "All buses have... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 February 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 2

Ciudad México, D.F. (Mexico) - Cartagena (Colombia) This episode of The Amazing Race 28 began with host Phil Keoghan teasing Youtuber Blair and her father Dr. Scott about his carrying a curling iron and blow dryer for her on their reality-TV race around the world. It's easy to laugh at... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 February 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 12 February 2016

The Amazing Race 28, Episode 1

USA - Ciudad México, D.F. (Mexico) - Teotihuacan, D.F. (Mexico) - Ciudad México, D.F. (Mexico) The Amazing Race 28 got off to an unpromising start in Mexico, no thanks to a casting decision by the producers of the reality-TV show. The teams of racers on The Amazing Race have included... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 February 2016, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (6)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Oakland incident highlights risks for absentee landlords

A couple who rented their Oakland home on Airbnb while they were out of town over New Year's Eve were called home early by neighbors alarmed at the large wild party going on in the house. Police arrived before the homeowners, who found garbage, blood, and damaged furniture and other... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 January 2016, 22:32 (10:32 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 11 December 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 12

Macau SAR (China) - Hong Kong SAR (China) - New York, NY (USA) - Elmont, NY (USA - Southampton, NY (USA) Diana and Justin, the self-styled "Green Team", were edged out in the final leg of this season of The Amazing Race when they lost track of their priorities for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 December 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 11

Agra (India) - Hong Kong SAR (China) - Macau SAR (China) There were no bicycles on The Amazing Race 27 this week in Hong Kong and Macau, for a change. But the reality-TV travel show did return to a topic I raised a couple of episodes ago and have discussed... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 December 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 10

Agra (India) I couldn't get away from talking about bicycling while covering The Amazing Race, even if I wanted to. As I've noted often, and as anyone trying out for a spot in the cast of the reality-TV travel show should keep in mind, host and co-producer Phil Keoghan is... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 November 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 9

Krakow (Poland) - New Delhi (India) - Agra (India) "We have to rely on them to find it because there's no Google here," Justin says to his partner while they wait for their rickshaw-wallah to confer with a bystander about the location of their next clue on The Amazing Race... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 November 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 8

The Hague (Netherlands) - Krakow (Poland) The first time The Amazing Race visited Poland, the reality-TV travel show visited the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. This season, the racers were sent to the Krakow municipal historical museum at Oscar Schindler's Enamel Factory, where more than a thousand and Jews... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 November 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 7

Paris (France) - Rotterdam (Netherlands) - The Hague (Netherlands) [River traffic under the bridges of central Rotterdam.] At the mouth of the Rhine River, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and the busiest port in Europe. But like many "second cities", it's largely overlooked by tourists. One... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 November 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 5

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) This leg of The Amazing Race 27 in Zimbabwe was decided not by a sprint but by a slow and careful walk by the racers, each of whom had to carry a basket of fruit on their head along the path to the finish line. Alongside the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 October 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 4

San Antonio de Areco (Argentina) - Buenos Aires (Argentina) - Livingstone (Zambia) - Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) [The high-rises of Palermo overlook the Beaux-Arts Pista Central of La Rural in Buenos Aires] This week the teams on The Amazing Race 27 had to make their way by bus from San Antonio... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 October 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 3

Buenos Aires (Argentina) - San Antonio de Areco (Argentina) [La Soñada Posada, along RP14 in La Población, Córdoba Province] This week The Amazing Race 27 left Buenos Aires for San Antonio de Areco, which has branded itself as the leading destination in Argentina for "gaucho tourism". If you ask a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 October 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 2

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Buenos Aires (Argentina) Sites of memory of state terrorism in Argentina ["2 km ahead: Pilar Highway Patrol station, former clandestine center of detention and torture"] Both The Amazing Race and my partner and I returned to Argentina this June after an absence of several years.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 October 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Bicycle components for touring in Argentina

[The Malvinas [Falkland] Islands are Argentine! And there's a tire repair and bicycle shop just across the road.] When you are choosing what to bring on any trip, it's important to consider both what's appropriate for local conditions and what's locally available if you need to replace it. If... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 September 2015, 11:00 (11:00 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Bicycle touring in Argentina

My partner and I spent June and July of 2015 (southern hemisphere winter) bicycling across Argentina, west to east, from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. tl;dr summary: We had a good trip, and we would recommend it and do it again ourselves (with some different preparations and expectations). But travelling... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 September 2015, 14:50 ( 2:50 PM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 1

Venice, CA (USA) - Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) One of the reasons I love to fly is the view from the air. You can learn a lot from an airplane window that you can't readily discern from the ground. The first military uses of balloons and airplanes were for reconnaissance,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 September 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Air travel predictions come true: luggage locks and interline ticketing

Two predictions I made a decade or longer ago have come true this week, one about the farcically insecure "TSA-approved" luggage locks, and the other marking a much more significant milestone in the anti-consumer balkanization of the airline industry. (1) Master keys for TSA-approved "Travel Sentry" luggage locks made public.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2015, 10:34 (10:34 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The news from Las Rosas

It's mid-summer in the northern hemisphere, mid-winter where I'm currently travelling in Argentina. Today I'm in Las Rosas in the province of Santa Fe, a town unlikely to be mentioned in any guidebook although large enough to have at least three hotels for local business visitors. It's the sort... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 July 2015, 04:33 ( 4:33 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Snapshots from my visit to Palmyra in 2008

The month I spent in Syria was one of the highlights of my most recent trip around the world in 2007-2008. [We spent an entire day exploring the Roman city of Palmyra, most of the time without a single other person in sight.] There were bureaucratic hassles, but these were... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 May 2015, 16:49 ( 4:49 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 11

Trujillo (Peru) - DFW Airport, TX (USA) - Arlington, TX (USA) - Dallas, TX (USA) One of the unrealities of The Amazing Race as a "reality" television show is that members of the cast have been forbidden to have cameras, phones, or most other electronic devices. I'm old enough to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 May 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 10

Otuzco (Peru) - Trujillo (Peru) - Huanchaco (Peru) The highlight of this episode of The Amazing Race 26 was a visit to the site of Chan Chan (near Trujillo on the coast of northern Peru), once the largest city in the Americas and largest adobe (mud-brick) city in the world.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 May 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 9

Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Trujillo (Peru) - Otuzco (Peru) One of the benefits of travelling to many different places is gaining enough perspective to tell which activities, ways of doing things, foods, etc. are really characteristic of the specific place where you first encounter them, and which are actually common around... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 May 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 8

[The line of people waiting to audition for The Amazing Race extended around the corner for two blocks.] Goanikontes (Namibia) - Windhoek (Namibia) - Johannesburg (South Africa) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) As soon as the contestants on The Amazing Race 26 got into taxis at Schiphol Airport (a waste of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 April 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 7

Cap Ferrat (France) - Nice (France) - Windhoek (Namibia) - Erindi (Namibia) - Spitzkoppe (Namibia) - Swakopmund (Namibia) - Dorob National Park (Namibia) - Goanikontes (Namibia) Namibia, as host Phil Keoghan pointed out near the start of this week's episode of The Amazing Race 26, is the least densely populated... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 6

Schliersee (Germany) - Munich (Germany) - Nice (France) - Monaco (Monaco) - Èze (France) - Cap Ferrat (France) Jackie and Jeff, the team eliminated from The Amazing Race 26 this week, were one of the "blind date" couples brought together at the starting line of the race around the world... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 April 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 5

Bangkok (Thailand) - Munich (Germany) - Schliersee (Germany) Some travellers might not interpret being sent to a Bavarian beer garden as a "challenge", even if I'm in the dissenting faction that would argue for Belgium as the best destination for beer tourism. There were other challenges for the cast of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 April 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 4

Phuket (Thailand) - Bangkok (Thailand) The teams of travellers on The Amazing Race 26 were given a weird array of tasks this week, most of which had little relevance to normal visitor activities. My friends with more experience and knowledge than I have about travel in Thailand found the episode... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 March 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 3 (Update on how to apply for "The Amazing Race")

Nagano (Japan) - Phuket (Thailand) This season's broadcasts of "The Amazing Race", at least on the San Francisco TV station I've been watching, have featured repeated advertisements for auditions next month for contestants on future seasons of the reality-TV travel show. If you want to take your own trip around... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 March 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 2

Tokyo (Japan) - Nagano (Japan) The obvious question posed by this season of The Amazing Race is how much the cast of dating couples and "blind date" couples matched up by the producers of the TV show, and meeting each other at the starting line, has to do with the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 February 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Amazing Race 26, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Tokyo (Japan) When the first season of "The Amazing Race" launched in 2001, the producers of the reality-TV show thought of it as a "relationship" show about pairs of travellers, not a travel show. On September 6th, the morning after the first episode was broadcast,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 February 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 12

Manila (Philippines) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) As has become the norm, The Amazing Race 25 was decided in the final episode by a test of the racers' memory of the sequence of places they had visited. It's tempting to make fun of people who travel around the world while... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 December 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 11

Manila (Philippines) In this episode of The Amazing Race 25, the contestants faced a cycling challenge whose difficulty was a consequence -- in a not so obvious way -- of the economic conditions in the Philippines that I talked about last week. As I've noted previously, the on-screen host and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 December 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 10

Singapore (Singapore) - Manila (Philippines) [Overseas job postings in the window of a labor broker in Cebu, Philippines] Do you remember the first time you came face-to-face with Third World or Fourth World poverty? For people who grew up in the First World, such a moment is often one of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 December 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 9

Malta (Malta) - Singapore (Singapore) In this episode, The Amazing Race 25 made its way from one island city-state, Malta, to another, Singapore. As in Malta, the proximity of much poorer neighboring countries makes immigration and border controls a political, economic, and social issue in Singapore in ways that tourists... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 November 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 8

Palermo (Italy) - Malta (Malta) "Where's Malta?" asked several of the teams on The Amazing Race 25 when they got the clues directing them to the island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. One team speculated that Malta might be in Spain, Italy, or Greece before they got around to considering... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 November 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 7

Marrakesh (Morocco) - Palermo (Italy) "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." (Not.) There are some things that happen during the filming of The Amazing Race that television viewers never see. Each episode of the reality-TV race around the world is separated from the next by a 12-hour (or occasionally... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 November 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 31 October 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 6

Marrakesh (Morocco) This week, many of the contestants on The Amazing Race 25 continued to have trouble finding their way around Marrakesh, both on foot in the center of the city and driving product-placement cars into the outlying mountains. The team that lost the most time to missed turns and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 October 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 5

Copenhagen (Denmark) - Marrakesh (Morocco) Former bike messengers Alli and Kym finished first again in this leg of The Amazing Race 25 after yet another task that required making deliveries by bicycle. This week each racer had to secure several bundles of freshly-tanned goatskins with bungee cords on top of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 October 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Kashmir, self-determination, and human rights

Presentation as part of a panel on "Kashmiris: A Forgotten People" (Cornell University, 2 October 2014) (printable PDF version) [Panel, left to right: Edward Hasbrouck, Saiba Varma, Ahmad Rafiqi, Arnav Sahu] Who am I to talk about Kashmir? I'm an activist for peace and justice, and a travel journalist. I... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 October 2014, 07:55 ( 7:55 AM) | Comments (7)

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 3

Oxford, England (U.K.) - Aberdeen, Scotland (U.K.) - Shetland Islands, Scotland (U.K.) [National Cycle Network Route 1, Northumberland coast, England, U.K.] The first clue given to the teams in this leg of The Amazing Race 25 sent them north on an all-day train ride from Oxford, England, to Aberdeen, Scotland,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 October 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Peak Travel: Envisioning a post-air-travel age

One of the more disruptive consequences of peak oil is likely to be peak air travel. What does peak air travel mean? Why is it likely? Why haven't you already heard more about it? And what business and investment opportunities does this coming disruption create? I've been writing about the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 October 2014, 21:42 ( 9:42 PM) | Comments (6)

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 2

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USA) - London, England (U.K.) - Oxford, England (U.K.) Once again, as has often been the case on The Amazing Race, the potentially decisive choice in this episode was the one that none of the teams of racers made: taking the Heathrow Express train from... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 October 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Amazing Race 25, Episode 1

New York, NY (USA) - St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USA) ["Hey mister customs man, there's a flea in my passport!"] I got a new personal radio tracking beacon this month. I'll be carrying it with me, wherever I go, whenever I leave the USA for the next ten years.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 September 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (13)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Business and pleasure in Cancún at the TBEX travel bloggers' conference

[San Miguelito archeological site in the hotel zone, Cancún] I was in Cancún last week for the TBEX conference of travel bloggers. Blogging is a fairly solitary activity, and not everyone understands what it means to be a professional blogger or travel writer. I write about independent do-it-yourself travel,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 September 2014, 07:54 ( 7:54 AM) | Comments (11)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Responsible and sustainable travel

I'm in Cancún, Mexico, this week at the annual TBEX conference of travel bloggers. I've been interested in TBEX for several years as a venue at which to meet other professional travel bloggers. But each of the previous times I've registered, other things have come up, and I've had to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 September 2014, 07:20 ( 7:20 AM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A visit to Hazebrouck

["Hazebrouck en Flandre." Jersey ("maillot") of the Hazebrouck-based CCFVL cycling club.] One of the unexpected high points of my summer bicycle trip from the Swiss Alps to the Scottish Highlands was a visit to the town of Hazebrouck in French Flanders, from which my family name is [most likely]... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 September 2014, 11:27 (11:27 AM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 15 August 2014

"Disobedient Objects" exhibit at the V&A museum in London

I'm honored to have my photo of a "wiphala" (above; click photo for larger version) included in an exhibit of Disobedient Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London through 1 February 2015: From a Suffragette tea service to protest robots, this exhibition is the first to examine... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 August 2014, 09:03 ( 9:03 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Speaking at SXSW Eco in Austin, 6-8 Oct. 2014

I've accepted an invitation to speak at the South By Southwest Eco conference on sustainability in Austin, TX, 6-8 October 2014: "Peak Travel" : Envisioning the Post-Air Travel Age The aviation industry hopes to obtain enough cheap biofuel to sustain air travel without diverting land, water, or labor from food... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 July 2014, 16:24 ( 4:24 PM) | Comments (6)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

T-Mobile USA international roaming prices

I've leaving tonight for two months in at least six countries in Europe. I'm taking my smartphone, and I plan to use it the same way I do in the USA, maybe more. That's a big change. Most cellphone and wireless data prices for international roaming have been, and still... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 June 2014, 07:46 ( 7:46 AM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bill Dalton on "The Founding of Moon Publications"

Many large publishers started as self-publishing ventures by individual writers, but that pattern is especially dominant in publishers of guidebooks for independent international travellers. Arthur Frommer ("Europe on $5 A Day"), Tony and Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet), Hilary and Geoge Bradt (Bradt Travel Guides), and Bill Dalton (Indonesia Handbook and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 May 2014, 09:24 ( 9:24 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 12

Cheshire, England (UK) - Las Vegas, NV (USA) - Henderson, NV (USA) - Las Vegas, NV (USA) At the conclusion of The Amazing Race 24, one member of each pair of racers had to jump out of a helicopter and parachute (in tandem with an instructor/guide) onto the infield of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 May 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 11

Seville (Spain) - London, England (UK) - Liverpool, England (UK) - Wrexham, Wales (UK) - Cheshire, England (UK) The most difficult challenge for the racers in this episode of The Amazing Race 24 was to recite a passage of poetry -- in Welsh. I don't know how likely you are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 May 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 10 (European Bicycle Touring Resources)

Mt. Titlis (Switzerland) - Seville (Spain) European Bicycle Touring Resources I was in Switzerland, Belgium, and the UK on business in March, and I'll be back in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK in June and July on a bicycling trip. We're flying with our bicycles to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 May 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 9

Orvieto (Italy) - Chiasso (Switzerland) - Altdorf (Switzerland) - Lucerne (Switzerland) - Oberrickenbach (Switzerland) - Engelberg (Switzerland) - Mt. Titlis (Switzerland) This week the cast of The Amazing Race 24 had to perform a task that lurks behind the scenes of every episode of the race, but that we never... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 April 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 8

Rome (Italy) - Bagnoregio (Italy) - Orvieto (Italy) Last week the contestants on The Amazing Race 24 had to do arithmetic in Roman numerals -- not a challenge that's likely to confront real world travellers.(There are two different ways of writing each of the decimal digits, "European" and "Arabic", as... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 April 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 5

Batu Caves (Malaysia) - Colombo (Sri Lanka) - Galle (Sri Lanka) - Colombo (Sri Lanka) As with Malaysia, this is the second time, and the first in a decade, that The Amazing Race has visited Sri Lanka. It hasn't been easy for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, or for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 March 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 4

Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) - Batu Caves (Malaysia) The Amazing Race went to Borneo this week, for the second time in the history of the race. As when the race first visited Borneo a decade ago, the racers' gateway to the island was the city of Kota... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 March 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 3

Guangzhou (China) - Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) This leg of The Amazing Race 24 began, as the previous leg had ended, on the tree-lined pedestrianized main street of Shamian Island in Guangzhou, flanked by what were once the banks, consulates, and similar edifices at the center of the European colonial and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 March 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 2

Guangzhou (China) This season of The Amazing Race has an All-Star cast of racers on their second or third reality-TV trip around the world. So we expected to see the lessons of travel experience on display. At the starting line, however, one member of the cast failed the final medical... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 March 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Amazing Race 24, Episode 1

Santa Clarita, CA (USA) - Guangzhou (China) This is the third "All-Star" season of The Amazing Race. As in seasons 11 and 18, all of the cast members have been in previous seasons of the show. This gives us, the travel voyeurs in the reality-TV viewing audience, a chance to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 February 2014, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Why would an airline pilot divert a flight to seek asylum?

On Sunday night in San Francisco (early morning on Monday in Geneva), I listened live and followed reports on Twitter (where the story was reported hours before mainstream media figured out what going on) as an Ethiopian Airlines flight, originally destined for Rome and then Milan, landed in Geneva with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 February 2014, 16:56 ( 4:56 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

"Have travelers lost the class war?"

[TWA "Ambassadors Club" membership certificate presented to my grandfather, L.P. Hasbrouck, in 1953. Click image for full-sized version.] Thanks to Christopher Elliott for mentioning the unmentionable -- "class" -- in an article in USA Today on "the growing rift between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in travel": As always, the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 February 2014, 17:04 ( 5:04 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 9

Bandung (Indonesia) [Belo Horizonte, Brazil, as seen from our hotel room.] The same destination can be very different things to different visitors. When I visited Bandung -- a story I told in The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace and in one of my columns about an earlier... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 December 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 8

Al Ain (UAE) - Bandung (Indonesia) This week the cast and crew of The Amazing Race 23 had to make about as long and awkward a journey as any within (depending on how you define it) a single continent: from Al Ain (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula in far West... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 November 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 7 (FAQ: Riding Skills for Bicycle Travel)

Abu Dhabi (UAE) - Al Ain (UAE) FAQ: Riding Skills for Bicycle Travel This week the teams on The Amazing Race 23 "made their way" (in product-placement SUVs, fittingly for visitors to the oil sheikhdoms) from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain, and then to the mountaintop luxury resort hotel next... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 November 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 6 (FAQ: International Bicycle Travel)

Vienna (Austria) - Abu Dhabi (UAE) FAQ: International Bicycle Travel In this week's episode, for the first time in 23 seasons (several of which have included visits to places where mosques are major tourist attractions), The Amazing Race visited a mosque. There's a common misperception that non-Muslims aren't allowed in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 November 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 5 (FAQ: Buying a Touring Bicycle)

Gdansk (Poland) - Vienna (Austria) FAQ: Buying a Touring Bicycle Intro ("The Amazing Race", Poland, and travel by bicycle) FAQ about buying a touring bike Viewers of the most recent episode of The Amazing Race 23 may have been surprised that it took the racers 22 hours to cross Poland... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 November 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (13)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 4

Sintra (Portugal) - Bodø (Norway) - Svolvær (Norway) - Henningsvær (Norway) - Bøstad (Norway) - Svolvær (Norway) - Trondheim (Norway) - Gdansk (Poland) In northern Norway at the middle of the latest two-part episode of The Amazing Race 23, host Phil Keoghan handed each team a clue directing them to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 October 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 3

San Alfonso (Chile) - Santiago (Chile) - Lisbon (Portugal) - Sintra (Portugal) Portugal made the short list of places I liked best among those I visited for the first time on my most recent trip around the world: If you are wondering where you can still afford to travel in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 October 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 2 (FAQ: Travel by Bicycle)

Iquique (Chile) - Santiago (Chile) - San Alfonso (Chile) FAQ: Travel by Bicycle Phil Keoghan, the host of The Amazing Race, is a serious bicyclist, and has used his influence as co-producer of the reality-TV show to get the racers onto bicycles at some point in almost every season. In... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 October 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Amazing Race 23, Episode 1

Los Angeles County, CA (USA) - Iquique (Chile) The Amazing Race 23 started on a Hollywood Western movie set outside Los Angeles. But the "reality" TV show got more real, and more interesting, once the racers got to the city of Iquique on the Pacific coast of northern Chile. Chile's... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 September 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 19 August 2013

USA approves new "long forms" for some passport applicants

Two years ago, I was the first to report (in an article cross-posted at Consumertraveler.com and on the Identity Project blog at PapersPlease.org) on an impossibie new "long form" that the U.S. Department of State proposed to require be completed by some (but not all) applicants for USA passports. It... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 August 2013, 18:08 ( 6:08 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The ride to the Atlantic ends in the Hub

[A taste of home: Chowder and smelts for lunch at the "No Name Restaurant" on Boston's Fish Pier.] Our (partial) transcontinental bicycle journey ended today on the waterfront in Boston, exactly two months and more than 2600 miles (4200 km) after an airport shuttle from Denver dropped us off... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 July 2013, 11:07 (11:07 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Amazing Race Canada

[A rare moment when some sun broke through the storm clouds as we approached Toronto on the Waterfront Trail. Torrential rain resumed as we reached the vicinity of the CN Tower, visible in the background. More rain fell in the next 48 hours than ever before in such a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 July 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

From the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River

[Crossing the Mississippi from Dubuque, IA, into Wisconsin] As we came down the Mississippi River bluffs into Dubuque, Iowa, this morning, my bicycle odometer registered my thousandth mile since we started out from Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the eastern slope of the Rockies, three weeks ago on May 31th. We're... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 June 2013, 21:43 ( 9:43 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Now departing for Cheyenne, Omaha, and points east

This evening my partner, Ruth, and I are flying from San Francisco to Denver, where we'll get a shuttle from the airport to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Our bicycles are waiting for us at a bike shop in Cheyenne, where we shipped them ahead to have them reassembled and ready to ride.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 May 2013, 08:40 ( 8:40 AM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Matching of TripAdvisor and LinkedIn photos outs Accor hotel executive as shill

Travel industry news site Tnooz has the story on an executive of the Accor hotel chain who was posting reviews of hotels on TripAdvisor.com without mentioning his affiliation. Tnooz mentions that this violated TripAdvisor's rules. What may be more important is that it appears to have violated the FTC's rules... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 May 2013, 06:46 ( 6:46 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 27 May 2013

A train trip to Portland

[Dawn on Mt. Shasta from the Amtrak "Coast Starlight", 13 May 2013] I took the train up to Portland and back earlier this month to cover a hearing in the matter of John Brennan, the Naked American Hero who took off all his clothes at a TSA checkpoint at... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 May 2013, 18:22 ( 6:22 PM) | Comments (6)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 10 (season finale)

Edinburgh, Scotland (U.K.) - Stranraer, Scotland (U.K.) - Belfast, Northern Ireland (U.K.) - Liverpool, England (U.K.) - London, England (U.K.) - Washington, DC (USA) - Mt. Vernon, VA (USA) Ten years and twenty seasons of The Amazing Race separate my own visit to Northern Ireland in 2002, which I mentioned... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 May 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Bad DHS idea of the day: Fees for crossing the USA-Canada land border

As part of its latest budget request, the US Department of Homeland Security has asked Congress to fund a study of the "feasibility" of charging "user fees" for the cost of "security screening" for people crossing the land border between the USA and Canada. As is often the case with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 April 2013, 06:00 ( 6:00 AM) | Comments (6)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 8

Grindelwald (Switzerland) - Dresden (Germany) - Berlin (Germany) [The new U.S.-built Berlin Wall, with its sentry boxes, extending out from one wing of the Brandenburg Gate, near right, around the new U.S. Embassy, at rear] This week The Amazing Race 22 sent the racers to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 April 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 6

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park (Botswana) - Maun (Botswana) This week the teams on The Amazing Race 22 confronted the difficulties of driving themselves, in rented SUVs, in and around the town of Maun, Botswana. Maun is a large town, not a city. But as the gateway to the Okavango Delta,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 March 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5

Hanoi (Vietnam) - Maun (Botswana) - Makgadikgadi Pans National Park (Botswana) This week's episode of The Amazing Race 22 was preceded by an apology by host Phil Keoghan to "veterans, particularly those who served in Vietnam, as well as to their families and any viewers who were offended by the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 4

Bukit Peninsula, Bali (Indonesia) - Hanoi (Vietnam) The producers of The Amazing Race seem to have concluded over the years that most viewers are uninterested in the details of how the contestants in the race, without advance reservations, find airline routes and schedules and get seats on flights between destinations... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 March 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 3

Bora Bora (French Polynesia) - Papeete (French Polynesia) - Auckland (New Zealand) - Christchurch (New Zealand) - Denpasar, Bali (Indonesia) - Ubud, Bali (Indonesia) - Bukit Peninsula, Bali (Indonesia) The Amazing Race 22 continues to provide case studies in travel under adverse conditions. At the end of a double leg... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 March 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 2

Bora Bora (French Polynesia) Jamil and Idries were eliminated from The Amazing Race 22 this week because they couldn't swim. They didn't drown. The TV production team had lifeguards standing by to help them when they started swallowing water. Eventually they completed the second of the two choices of diving... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 February 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Papeete (French Polynesia) - Bora Bora (French Polynesia) The Amazing Race 22 got off to a rocky start, but one that confronted the cast of the reality-TV show with an issue that's common for real travellers: What do you do when travel isn't fun? A... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 February 2013, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Megabus will try again in California

Why does the USA, with such a good road system (which provides a huge government subsidy to road transportation operators including truck and bus companies) have such bad long-distance bus service? Is it because for so long Greyhound and Trailways had a duopoly, and then merged to become the sole... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 December 2012, 07:11 ( 7:11 AM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 10 (season finale)

Palma de Mallorca (Spain) - Barcelona (Spain) - Tours (France) - Loire Valley (France) - Paris (France) - New York, NY (USA) [Part of the vast, grand, but unused Canfranc train station at the Spanish portal of the Somport rail tunnel through the Pyrenees. This should be the main passenger... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 December 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 8

Moscow (Russia) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Ransdorp (Netherlands) Before Ryan and Abbie were eliminated for coming in last in this week's episode of The Amazing Race 21, two other teams of racers who had come to see them as friends and travel companions were shown agonizing over whether to leave... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 November 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 7

Istanbul (Turkey) - Moscow (Russia) [The fastest scheduled connections from Istanbul to Moscow, visible on the CRS display in the TV show but not suggested by a competing airline or attempted by any of the racers: Ukrainian airline Aerosvit (VV) via Borispol Airport, Kiev (KBP) .] The most difficult task... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 November 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 6

Sonargaon (Bangladesh) - Istanbul (Turkey) Getting around censorware and Internet blocking Istanbul was introduced this week on The Amazing Race 21 as the place "where the Bosporus strait separates Europe from Asia". That's true enough, geographically speaking. It's also true, more significantly, in a cultural sense, and whether Istanbul seems... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 November 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 5

Dhaka (Bangladesh) - Sonargaon (Bangladesh) Travel in places where there are no tourists I was disappointed that the producers of The Amazing Race 21 seemed to have gone out of their way to make Bangladesh look unattractive. But I was pleased that they ventured to a country where there are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 October 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 4

Bangil (Indonesia) - Dhaka (Bangladesh) This week's episode of The Amazing Race 21 began where last week's episode had finished: in the courtyard of a high school in the town of Bangil, outside Surabaya, Indonesia. In light of the current focus of attention on the upcoming US presidential election, the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 October 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 3

Surabaya (Indonesia) - Bangil (Indonesia) Smartphones for international travel: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Digital maps for international travel Surabaya is one of those cities that is both large, diverse, and of significant national importance and centrality in a large country, yet a destination for very few... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 October 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 2

Shanghai (China) - Surabaya (Indonesia) Smartphones for international travel: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Choosing and buying a smartphone for international travel [Left: Nokia C7 (T-Mobile USA "Astound"). Right: Nokia 5230 (T-Mobile USA "Nuron"). Putting your own photo on your home screen, as I've done on the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 October 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (8)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Amazing Race 21, Episode 1

Pasadena, CA (USA) - Shanghai (China) Smartphones for international travel: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 "Will my smartphone work abroad?" [Some of my SIM cards from around the world. Each of these is associated with a different phone number and service plan with a different carrier in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 September 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Speaking at "One World Travel Mart" in San Francisco on September 29th

I'll be kicking off the San Francisco travel show at OneWorld Travel Mart with the opening keynote on How to Travel Around the World on Saturday morning, September 29th, from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a booksigning at the Books, Inc. onsite travel bookstore from noon to 1 p.m.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2012, 12:53 (12:53 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 11 (Season Finale)

Cochin, Kerala (India) - Hiroshima (Japan) - Osaka (Japan) - Honolulu, HI (USA) The last visit of The Amazing Race to Japan was broadcast on 6 March 2011, just days before the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdown that disrupted infrastructure and scared away foreign visitors... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 May 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 10

Cochin, Kerala (India) The two most recent episodes of The Amazing Race 20 in India have highlighted some of fairly typical medical hazards of travel in tropical Third and Fourth World countries. Mark nearly collapsed from heat exhaustion after several hours of physical activity standing outdoors under full sun in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 April 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 9

Lake Manyara (Tanzania) - Kilimanjaro Airport (Tanzania) - Cochin, Kerala (India) I've often said that one of the benefits of taking a trip around the world is obtaining a less distorted mental map of the world. One of the things I've liked best about The Amazing Race is that the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 April 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 8

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania) - Karatu (Tanzania) - Mto Wa Mbu (Tanzania) - Lake Manyara (Tanzania) [Queen of Sheba's Pool, Axum, Ethiopia] This week the teams on The Amazing Race 20 got a taste of something that's a daily necessity for at least a billion people around the world: waiting... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 April 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 7

Baku (Azerbaijan) - Kilimanjaro Airport (Tanzania) - Arusha (Tanzania) - Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania) "We're going to Africa!", not, "We're going to Tanzania", was the reaction of most of the teams on The Amazing Race 20 when they were told to find flights to Kilimanjaro Airport. Perhaps that's understandable. "Africa"... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 6

Schwangau-Horn (Germany) - Munich (Germany) - Baku (Azerbaijan) Where in the world is Azerbaijan? That depends on your perspective. Some of the teams on "The Amazing Race 20" thought they were going to Africa when they read the clue sending them from Germany to Baku. But even if you know... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 March 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 5

Turin (Italy) - Ehrwald (Austria) - Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) - Hohenschwangau (Germany) - Füssen (Germany) - Schwangau-Horn (Germany) Slovenian train leaving for Ljubljana from Meidling station, Vienna (Austria) Despite a visit to Mad Ludwig's castle at Neuschwanstein -- the best place in Bavaria to find long lines and crowds of other... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 4

Asunción (Paraguay) - Turin (Italy) Ten years of Euros The most difficult challenge for the teams on The Amazing Race 20 this week in Turin was a clue in the form of an Italian 2-euro-cent coin, which they had to figure out meant they were supposed to find their next... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 March 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Another "Passport Day" tomorrow

The US State Department is having its third annual Passport Day tomorrow, Saturday, 10 March 2012. As on the previous "Passport Days" in 2010 and 2011, this will be the one day a year when you can apply for a passport at one of the regional State Department passport offices... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 March 2012, 12:45 (12:45 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 3

Buenos Aires (Argentina) - Asunción (Paraguay) It took 20 seasons of the reality-TV show before The Amazing Race finally made it to Paraguay this week. That's par for the course: Paraguay is one of the South American countries (especially among those that are readily accessible from other more popular tourist... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 March 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 2

Cafayate (Argentina) - Salta (Argentina) - Buenos Aires (Argentina) [photo by Ruth Radetsky] This week on The Amazing Race 20 in northwest Argentina, the teams were sent off into the hills to gather firewood or construct a solar stove (in either case to boil water for mate, one presumes). That's... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 February 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Amazing Race 20, Episode 1

Santa Ynez, CA (USA) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Salta (Argentina) - Cafayate (Argentine) The route of the first episode of season 20 of The Amazing Race this week was billed by CBS as being from "Santa Barbara, California, to Santa Barbara, Argentina". In reality, the race started in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 February 2012, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 6 February 2012

US State Dept. finalizes passport fee increases, continues to ignore human rights complaints

On February 2, 2012, the State Department published a final rule in the Federal Register setting fees for issuance and renewal of U.S. passports and related consular services. Contrary to some press reports, this rule didn't actually increase the current fees. It merely "finalizes" the fee increases that have already... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 February 2012, 06:01 ( 6:01 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Is the advertised price too good to be true? No. (Part 2 of 2)

Yersterday I analyzed a deceptive travel deal that was much less of a discount from the regular price than it was advertised to be. Today I'll look at the flip side of the coin: What happens when you are offered a price that's much more of a deal than... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 January 2012, 21:16 ( 9:16 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Is the advertised price too good to be true? Yes. (Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes an advertised "sale" price isn't as much of a deal as it's made out to be. Other times, the price you are offered turns out to be such a good deal that the seller doesn't want to honor it. This week, I have reports on recent examples of both... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 January 2012, 18:33 ( 6:33 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Watch for a check like this in the mail!

If you used a US-issued VISA or MasterCard, or a VISA or MasterCard-branded ATM card, to make purchases or withdraw cash in foreign currency between 1996 and 2006, look for a check like the one below in your mail this week. Mine was delivered yesterday, so yours might have been... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 January 2012, 07:25 ( 7:25 AM) | Comments (7)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 11

Panama City (Panama) - Atlanta (Georgia) "Reisefreiheit" (Freedom to Travel) Ironically, the final episode in which The Amazing Race 19 returned home to the USA from Panama was broadcast on the same day that Manuel Noriega, the dictator deposed and kidnapped to imprisonment in Florida during the US invasion of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 December 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 10

Brussels (Belgium) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Panama City (Panama) The outcome of this week's episode of The Amazing Race 19 was determined by yet another challenge in identifying the signal amid the noise: The racers were told that their clue could be found somewhere on the patterned and printed costumes... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 December 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 9

Copenhagen (Denmark) - Billund (Denmark) - Hamburg (Germany) - Brussels (Belgium) - Ghent (Belgium) - Geraardsbergen (Belgium) - Beersel (Belgium) - Brussels (Belgium) After 19 seasons, The Amazing Race finally made it to Belgium. But at least they did it right, spending almost all of a two-part episode visiting both... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 November 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 8

Senga Bay (Malawi) - Copenhagen (Denmark) The Amazing Race 19 moved on from Africa to Europe this week without looking back. But if you tried to follow in the footsteps of the "reality" TV show, you'd probably have brought back more than just memories, souvenirs, and photos from your visit... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 November 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 7

Lilongwe (Malawi) - Salima (Malawi) - Senga Bay (Malawi) This week's episode of The Amazing Race 19 was a lesson in Africa, poverty, and bicycling. First the teams of racers made their way by bus from Lilongwe (the capital and one of the two major cities of Malawi) along the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 November 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 6

Bangkok (Thailand) - Lilongwe (Malawi) I was in Europe for the last two weeks while The Amazing Race 19 made its way from Borobudur (Indonesia) through Phuket and Bangkok (Thailand) to this week's destination of Lilongwe (Malawi). The biggest issue for the racers in these places, however, was one they... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 October 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 3

Yogyakarta (Indonesia) - Salakmalang (Indonesia) - Borobudur (Indonesia) As The Amazing Race has gone to more and more obscure small countries (Oman, Estonia) as well as large countries little visited by foreign tourists (Bangladesh), Indonesia has stood out more and more as by far the most populous as well as... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 October 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 2

Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) - Jakarta (Indonesia) - Yogyakarta (Indonesia) Getting from Taipei, Taiwan, to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, presented a potentially more interesting challenge for the cast of The Amazing Race 19 than anything the teams of travellers had to do once they got to Jogja. Yogyakarta is a substantial... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 October 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) The producers of The Amazing Race seem to be choosing the cast more and more for celebrity or potential celebrity, with fewer and fewer ordinary travellers in the race. This is, of course, a for-profit production whose goal is to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 September 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 16 September 2011

"Passport Day in the USA" tomorrow

It's Passport Day in the USA again tomorrow, Saturday, 17 September 2011. It's a good deal, but not as good as in previous years. That means that you can apply for a new or renewal passport in person at Passport Agency offices or other locations without an appointment, without having... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 September 2011, 16:27 ( 4:27 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Is travel safer today than 10 years ago? No.

Is travel safer today than it was 10 years ago on 11 September 2001? No. Here's how and why: 1. Travel by land instead of by air. Some people switched from flying to driving or taking trains or buses because they became more afraid to fly after 11 September 2001.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 September 2011, 21:23 ( 9:23 PM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Amazing Race Australia

The Amazing Race reality-TV show has been broadcast worldwide, but the cast has always been limited to US citizens. I don't make the rules, but I presume that this was done both because the producers think that US viewers would prefer to watch fellow Americans, and to minimize the complications... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 May 2011, 19:12 ( 7:12 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 10

Zermatt (Switzerland) - Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Miami, FL (USA) - Key Largo, FL (USA) - Big Pine Key, FL (USA) - Marathon, FL (USA) - Pigeon Key, FL (USA) The Amazing Race 18 concluded on Mother's Day with winning sisters Jen and Kisha pledging to use part of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 May 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 9 (travel insurance)

Zermatt (Switzerland) Who can you call on for help when things go wrong in a foreign country? And what can they do? This week the remaining teams on The Amazing Race 18 got to act out some of the roles of Alpine emergency first responders. Carried by rescue helicopter to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 May 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 8

Salzburg (Austria) - Feldkirch (Austria) - Schaanwald (Liechtenstein) - Balzers (Liechtenstein) - Sargans (Switzerland) - Zermatt (Switzerland) This week the challenges for the cast of The Amazing Race 18 were all navigational: following road maps by moped 22 km from the Austria-Liechtenstein border to the other end of the of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 April 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 7

Varanasi (India) - Vienna (Austria) - Schallaburg (Austria) - Vienna (Austria) - Salzburg (Austria) Hofburg Palace, Vienna How many times do you have to go around the world before you start re-visiting the same destinations? That's really a matter of personal taste. You might need to pass through some of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 April 2011, 21:22 ( 9:22 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 6

Kolkata/Calcutta (India) - Varanasi (India) The key challenge for the teams in The Amazing Race 18 this week in Varanasi was mixing and shaping water buffalo manure and straw into patties to be used as cooking fuel, and slapping them up in rows on the wall of a house to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 April 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 8 April 2011

USA "Passport Day" scheduled for tomorrow CANCELLED

"Passport Day": in the USA, scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, 9 April 2011), has been cancelled because of the possibility of a partial shutdown of the Federal government starting at midnight tonight. In what was to have been the third such annual event the U.S. Department of State was going to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 April 2011, 11:41 (11:41 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 5 (Tea in China and India)

Kunming (China) - Kolkata/Calcutta (India) This week The Amazing Race 18 turned its attention to tea: The racers had to visit tea shops in China and India, carry a brick of tea from China to India, and correctly identify a particular tea they had tasted in Kunming from among hundreds... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 March 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 4 (two-part episode)

Kurihama (Japan) - Narita (Japan) - Kunming (China) - Lijiang (China) - Kunming (China) For the last two weeks, The Amazing Race 18 made its way through a two-part episode from Japan to China. At the same time, the events of the reality-TV show have taken a back seat, even... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 March 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 3

Broken Hill, N.S.W. (Australia) - Sydney, N.S.W. (Australia) - Narita (Japan) - Kamakuro (Japan) - Minamiashigara (Japan) - Kurihama (Japan) Fare and route maps and ticket vending machines, Narita (City) Rail Station (Click photo for higher-resolution version) This week's leg of The Amazing Race 18 began with all of the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 March 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (6)

Monday, 28 February 2011

Phil Keoghan of "The Amazing Race" reports from Christchurch after the earthquake

This morning Phil Keoghan, the host of The Amazing Race, did some real reporting on the CBS Early Show from his hometown on the aftermath of the earthquake last week in Christchurch, New Zealand: It's a fine piece, and worth watching in its entirety. (Off note: CBS misspelled "Keoghan" as... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 February 2011, 14:52 ( 2:52 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 2

Manly, N.S.W. (Australia) - Sydney, N.S.W. (Australia) - Broken Hill, N.S.W. (Australia) Murray River north of Murray Bridge The Amazing Race 18 headed off into the Outback this week to the mining town of Broken Hill near the New South Wales-South Australia provincial border. We passed south and west of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 February 2011, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

NBC Today Show looks into "shills" and fake reviews

An interview with me about "shills" and fake reviews for hotels, cruises, etc. on travel Web sites airs this morning at 7:40 a.m. on the TODAY show. Click here or click the picture of me below for the full segment: The quotes from me (starting at 5:00 of the segment;... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 February 2011, 01:00 ( 1:00 AM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Amazing Race 18, Episode 1

Palm Springs, CA (USA) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Sydney, N.S.W. (Australia) - Manly, N.S.W. (Australia) On the ferry to Parramatta The Amazing Race 18 kicked off via the Pacific, for only the 4th time, flying to Sydney and then taking the ferry across the harbor to the beach... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 February 2011, 21:03 ( 9:03 PM) | Comments (6)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What you see is what you get: Yemen

Street scene in Sana'a, Yemen (2008) Once I've visited a place, I pay more attention to news from and about that place. And that news seems more real: I have images, sights, smells, tastes, and sensations in my memories, maybe even tangible souvenirs on the shelves in my house,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 February 2011, 15:25 ( 3:25 PM) | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A new country to count

Only hard-core "country collectors" are likely to be in any hurry to visit Southern Sudan, but it seems worth noting that by the end of this year, if all goes well following the recent plebiscite, there will be one more generally-recognized independent country. Of course, many countries have declared their... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 February 2011, 13:24 ( 1:24 PM) | Comments (4)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Travel "shills" back in the news

I'm quoted in a lengthy story in the Guardian [U.K.] newspaper yesterday about the accuracy of hotel reviews: "Why TripAdvisor is getting a bad review". The focus of the story is on some U.K. hoteliers' threats to sue Tripadvisor.com for libel, but it mentions that: Not only is there a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 January 2011, 16:41 ( 4:41 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Holiday in Havana? Not yet.

Today the White house announced that President Obama has " directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security to take a series of steps" to ease some restrictions on travel to Cuba by "US persons", i.e US citizens and permanent residents (Green Card holders). Does this mean that, in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 January 2011, 16:20 ( 4:20 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 12 (Season Finale)

Seoul (Republic of Korea) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Long Beach, CA (USA) - Pasadena, CA (USA) - Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Beverly Hills, CA (USA) After they arrived at the finish line (don't you wish your trip around the world could end by coming "home" to a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 December 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 11

Hong Kong SAR (China) - Incheon (Republic of Korea) - Cheolwon (Republic of Korea) - Tongduchon (Republic of Korea) - Seoul (Republic of Korea) For the second time in 17 seasons The Amazing Race goes to Korea -- and for the second time, it looks at Korea solely through the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 December 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 10

Dhaka (Bangladesh) - Hong Kong SAR (China) The attraction of Hong Kong is the excitement, the nonstop action, the density of people, traffic, and skyscrapers, the sensory overload. Teams on "The Amazing Race" couldn't even pick out neon signs from the visual commotion on a main street. But not all... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 November 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 9

Muscat (Oman) - Dhaka (Bangladesh) One of the most welcoming sights in a tropical country is a sugar-cane press. So it's fitting that the first task for the contestants on The Amazing Race 17 was to prepare and drink a fresh-squeezed glass of cane juice. (Make mine with salt and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 November 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 8

St. Petersburg (Russia) - Muscat (Oman) - Jebel Shams (Oman) - Nizwa (Oman) - Muscat (Oman) This week's travel travails for the cast of The Amazing Race 17 in Oman centered on the lack of accurate maps and the difficulty of asking directions -- the same issues that we experienced... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 November 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 7

St. Petersburg (Russia) This week The Amazing Race 17 went to the circus in St. Petersburg, with the teams of travellers having to learn to perform their choice of a circus ring or carnival midway act. Russia and China may be known for their circuses, but you don't have to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 November 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 6

Narvik (Norway) - St. Petersburg (Russia) Once again this week on The Amazing Race 17 the teams faced challenges that were contrived for reality television but that had more in common than might be apparent with some of the tasks undertaken by real-world travellers. In a district of "dachas" on... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 October 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 5

Riksgränsen (Sweden/Norway border) - Narvik (Norway) This week on The Amazing Race 17, twenty-year vegetarian Kat and her partner Nat had to eat the meat of a whole sheep's head to win the "Fast Forward" and get ahead of all the other teams in the reality-TV race around the world.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 October 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 4 (Volunteering Abroad)

Dodowa (Ghana) - Kiruna (Sweden) - Jukkasjärvi (Sweden) - Poikkijärvi (Sweden) - Vassijaure (Sweden) - Riksgränsen (Sweden/Norway border) Before the start of this episode, the cast of The Amazing Race 17 spends an extra day at the "pit stop" in Ghana, volunteering their time and labor to help with renovations... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 October 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 3

Accra (Ghana - Dodowa (Ghana) With The Amazing Race 17 still in greater Accra (Ghana) this week, I talked with my old friend Matt Meyer about what it's been like for him to travel in Ghana, both on business and on multi-generational family vacations with his parents and children: EH:... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 October 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 2

Lenbury, Herts., England (UK) - Accra (Ghana) Monuments and memory: George Washington and Kwame Nkrumah Last week's drive-by photo op on The Amazing Race 17 was the racers' first stop in England: Stonehenge. This week it was their first stop in Ghana: the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra. But... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 October 2010, 18:23 ( 6:23 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Amazing Race 17, Episode 1

Gloucester, MA (USA) - Boston, MA (USA) - London, England (UK) - Stonehenge, England (UK) - Lenbury, Herts., England (UK) Viewers may have been disappointed to see the "Amazing Race" teams drive to the Stonehenge parking lot, collect their clue, and drive on, making their visit nothing more than a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 September 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Foreign tourists and travellers as witnesses for human rights

One of the important incidental roles that travellers can sometimes fulfill is as witnesses and messengers to the outside world of human rights violations. The known presence of such international witnesses, whose foreign passports and greater ability to escape the country often make them less vulnerable than local observers, can... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 September 2010, 14:42 ( 2:42 PM) | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

USA State Dept. brushes off critics, raises passport fees

Yesterday the USA Department of State published an interim final rule putting its previously proposed increases in passport and visa fees into effect as of July 13, 2010. The State Department admitted that more than 98% of the comments received from individual members of the public were opposed to the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 June 2010, 22:07 (10:07 PM) | Comments (3)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Bill in US Congress threatens availability of prepaid SIM cards

A bill introduced this week in the US Senate threatens to cut off online availability of prepaid mobile phone (cell phone) "SIM" cards. S.3427 is ostensibly intended to make it harder for terrorists and criminals to make phone calls anonymously. As I discuss in detail in an article today... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 May 2010, 17:09 ( 5:09 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 12

Pudong (China) - San Francisco, CA (USA) This week, The Amazing Race 16 returned to the USA from Shanghai, in an episode broadcast the same week that a Shanghai-based startup company launched a very promising, although as yet unproven, new concept in accommodations for future visitors to Shanghai, elsewhere in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 May 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 11

Shanghai (China) - Pudong (China) "Better City, Better Life" The real clue to what was going on in the latest episode of The Amazing Race 16 in Shanghai was the life-sized Gumby-like figure visible in front of one of the buildings in the establishing aerial shot at the start... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 May 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 10

Singapore (Singapore) - Shanghai (China) - Zhujiajiao (China) - Shanghai (China) This wasn't the first time that The Amazing Race was in Shanghai, and it wasn't the first time that the racers who had the most difficulty made the same mistake: failing to adapt their techniques for getting around to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 April 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 7

Épernay (France) - Mahé (Seychelles) - La Digue (Seychelles) - St. Pierre (Seychelles) - Praslin (Seychelles) Last week on The Amazing Race 16, Steve and Allison were saved from elimination after a fender-bender because they had taken Steve's wife's advice to bring some duct tape with them, just in case,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 March 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Passport Day in the USA this Saturday, March 27th

If you have a USA passport, listen up: This Saturday, March 27th, State Department passport offices in major cities across the USA, normally open only on weekdays and only by appointment, will be open on Saturday and with no appointments necessary for walk-in applications. If you're a USA citizen and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 March 2010, 18:14 ( 6:14 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 6

Wargemoulin-Hurlus (France) - Rheims (France) - Épernay (France) - Pierry (France) - Épernay (France) Throughout their time in France in the most recent two episodes, the contestants on The Amazing Race 16 have struggled to communicate with local people, leading to a series of route-finding mistakes. Is it really true... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 March 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (10)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 5

Hamburg (Germany) - Les Monthairons (France) - Sainte-Menehould (France) - Massiges (France) - Wargemoulin-Hurlus (France) Morse Code is probably among the least useful languages for world travellers. So the challenge that eliminated Heidi and Joe from The Amazing Race 16 -- transcribing a Morse code message while surrounded by the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 March 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The science and art of signage and "wayfinding"

If you were interested in my previous writing about the importance of designing signage from the point of view of the user (the traveller), and the problems that result when than isn't done -- unfortunately, the signs at SFO still have all the problems I identified in this article ten... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 March 2010, 13:27 ( 1:27 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Airlines, travel agencies, Congress join public outcry against passport fees

I don't think it's fair or legal for the government to charge you a fee to exercise your rights under the First Amendment and international human rights treaties to enter or leave the USA. Those rights are all but absolute, and rules that restrict or burden them, such as by... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 March 2010, 15:19 ( 3:19 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 4

San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) - Frankfurt (Germany) - Hamburg (Germany) You wouldn't have known it from how it was edited for television, but more of this week's episode of The Amazing Race 16 took place in the air than on the ground in Germany, and even more of it... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 March 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But is the airfare lower?

USA Today has an interesting report today by Charisse Jones, Some Canadians cross border to fly in U.S. The article is correct, as far as it goes: If you are travelling from somewhere in Canada near the US border to somewhere else in the US, it is often cheaper to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 March 2010, 08:51 ( 8:51 AM) | Comments (2)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Bill introduced in U.S. Congress to end Cuba travel ban

New legislative proposals have been introduced in the U.S. Senate and, today, in the House of Representatives to end the restrictions on travel to Cuba by citizens and residents of the USA. Unlike some previous bills, these are not limited to Cuban-Americans visitng family members, but would all anyone from... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2010, 22:40 (10:40 PM) | Comments (0)

"Edward Hasbrouck's World's Travel Worsts"

My nominations for the Titanic Awards ("celebrating the dubious achievements of travel") are posted today at TitanicAwards.com: Worst Airline: Emirates. Consistently incompetent and unhelpful staff at ticket counters and sales offices on 4 continents. Worst Toilet: A hole in the ground behind our "hotel" in Tashkurgan, Chinese-occupied East Turkestan, only... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2010, 22:28 (10:28 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 3 (Earthquake in Chile)

Puerto Varas (Chile) - San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) Tunel del Cristo Redentor, looking from Chile towards Argentina Watching The Amazing Race 16 make its way from Chile into Argentina in the episode broadcast this week, I couldn't help thinking about how what we've seen this season, which was filmed... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 February 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 26 February 2010

USA raising fees for both inbound and outbound travellers

Under a series of new laws and regulatory proposals, almost everyone travelling internationally to or from the USA -- US passport holders, visa-free foreign visitors, and foreigners with visas -- would have to pay more in government fees for the required credentials and/or permissions. Today the U.S. Senate passed the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 February 2010, 10:19 (10:19 AM) | Comments (7)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

USA ends Syria travel "warning" but keeps financial sanctions

The USA has withdrawn its official "warning" regarding travel to Syria by US citizens, but has kept in place all of its economic sanctions against certain Syrian nationals, including the Syrian government. Unfortunately, neither the official announcement that the warning has been withdrawn, nor the updated country-specific information for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 February 2010, 13:45 ( 1:45 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 2

Valparaiso (Chile) - Puerto Varas (Chile) Valparaíso narrowly missed my short list of a dozen favorite new destination discoveries from my last trip around the world: if I had let the list grow to a baker's dozen, it would have included Valpo. For what it's worth, the picture of me... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 February 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Amazing Race 16, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Santiago (Chile) - Valparaiso (Chile) The Amazing Race 16 kicked off with the challenge of getting from a park on the edge of downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by public transit. That's not nearly as difficult as the Angelenos in the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 February 2010, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Willie Weir in Oakland and Sacramento

When he isn't bicycling around the world, Willie Weir spends most of his time in and around Seattle. Next week Northern California travellers get a relatively rare chance to experience his unique and inspiring evangelism for independent travel at presentations at REI in Sacramento on Wednesday and Thursday nights and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 February 2010, 12:59 (12:59 PM) | Comments (0)

What to expect if you are going to the Olympics in Vancouver

A Canadian coalition led by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group has released a timely Report of the Information Clearinghouse on Border Controls and Infringements to Travellers' Rights on the human rights issues faced by travellers to and from Canada, based on two years of research and reports submitted to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 February 2010, 06:59 ( 6:59 AM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Appeals filed in credit/ATM card foreign currency fee lawsuit

As an objector to the unfair settlement (underpaying people who have lived abroad or travelled abroad for extended periods) of the class action lawsuit against banks and credit card companies for hiding their fees for foreign-currency transactions, I've received notice that several other objectors have appealed the District Court's approval... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 December 2009, 15:52 ( 3:52 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 11 (hotel price forecast)

Prague (Czech Republic) - Las Vegas, NV (USA) The Amazing Race 15 ended tonight in Las Vegas, thanks to "promotional consideration" from casino complexes that paid CBS to showcase them on the show. Why are Las Vegas casinos (and the hotels they operate "to give gamblers a place to rest... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 December 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 10

Prague (Czech Republic) Lessons in travel bureaucracy This week in Franz Kafka's home town, the cast of The Amazing Race 15 faced some of their most difficult challenges yet. Harlem Globetrotter teammates Nathaniel and Herbert were defeated by a bizarre task involving an anagram of "Franz" composed of letters provided... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 November 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 9

Keava (Estonia) - Prague (Czech Republic) Why we travel: A tale of two conferences As The Amazing Race 15 approaches the finish line, the remaining teams of travellers are becoming more and more focused on the footrace, to the exclusion of anything else about the places they pass through. This... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 November 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 8 (Health care reform & travel)

Haggvik (Sweden) - Tallinn (Estonia) - Keava (Estonia): USA health care reform, travellers, and expatriates Last week's episode pushed the contestants on The Amazing Race to their physical limits, leading me to explore the physical prerequisites for extended independent travel. This week's episode was almost equally grueling, and brings us... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 November 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Prelude to PhoCusWright 2009

I leave tomorrow for Orlando, Florida (my idea of hell, although it scarcely matters since all my time will be spent at the conference resort, the cheaper hotel where I'm staying, and in a rental car going back and forth between them on Orlando's miserable failure of a so-called transportation... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 14 November 2009, 11:57 (11:57 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Travel Forum in Boston on Friday, November 20th

I'm leading a workshop on travel writing in Boston next Friday as part of Hostelling International's Centennial celebration events. I know it's a weekday, but I think it will be worth the time if you can make it. Friday morning, there are workshops by experts in travel photography, travel technology,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 November 2009, 20:12 ( 8:12 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 7

Zoutkamp (Netherlands) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Stockholm (Sweden) - Häggvik (Sweden) Do you need to be young, strong, and physically fit to travel around the world? The short answer is, "No". But it does raise some issues, as we saw this week on The Amazing Race when the contestants faced... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 November 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Travelling in Mexico despite drug violence, swine flu

There's some useful advice, reports from travellers to Mexico, and quotes from yours truly to give perspective in Traveling in Mexico despite drug violence, H1N1 flu (by Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Sunday Travel section, 8 November 2009): Charles Pope ... visits Tijuana and Mexicali up to four times a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 November 2009, 17:00 ( 5:00 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Travellers short-changed in currency conversion fee decision

In a ruling issued 22 October 2009, the judge hearing the Federal class-action lawsuit against credit card companies for fraudulently hidden and/or inflated fees for credit, debit, and ATM transactions in foreign currencies has overruled all of the objections to the settlement and to the plan for allocating what's left... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 November 2009, 19:14 ( 7:14 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 6

Dubai (U.A.E.) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Afsluitdijk (Netherlands) - Groningen (Netherlands) - Vierhuizen de Marne (Netherlands) - Zoutkamp (Netherlands) The Amazing Race 15 spent the night at a resort on one of a complex of artificial islands in the Arabian Gulf in Dubai. The resort and the islands were prominently... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 November 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 5

Dubai (United Arab Emirates) This was one of the rare episodes of The Amazing Race spent entirely in a single city -- in this case Dubai -- without setting foot on a train or bus, much less an airplane. Did the racers like Dubai? That's hard to tell. The one... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 4

Phnom Penh (Cambodia) - Dubai (United Arab Emirates) This week's first clue directed the cast of The Amazing Race 15 to fly to the "Persian Gulf" to the site of the world's tallest building. That should have been enough to send racers who'd been studying geographic trivia directly to the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 3

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - Phnom Penh (Cambodia) The Amazing Race was back in Cambodia this week. I've talked before about landmines and the continuing issue they pose throughout Cambodia. If you are thinking about going to Cambodia, you can make your own decision as to whether that's a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 2

Cai Be (Vietnam) - My Tho (Vietnam) - Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Once again this week The Amazing Race managed to come up with tasks that were genuinely characteristic of the places the racers were visiting on their trip around the world, in this case Ho Chi Minh City,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 October 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Amazing Race 15, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Tokyo (Japan) - Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - Cai Be (Vietnam) The Amazing Race got off to its best start in years tonight. Even the hokiest-seeming challenges, such as the one that eliminated a team at the starting line, actually tested skills that are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 September 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 7 September 2009

"The Amazing Race 15" starts Sunday, 27 September 2009

The next season of The Amazing Race , the reality TV show about travel around the world, premieres in the USA with a 2-hour episode of The Amazing Race 15 on CBS-TV on Sunday evening, 27 September 2009 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT, 7-9 p.m. CT/MT). As I've been doing since the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 September 2009, 11:48 (11:48 AM) | Comments (6)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

How "Afar" do travellers want to go?

I've been reading the premiere issue of Afar Magazine magazine, whose launch I mentioned in a recent article, and thinking about the on-the-air argument about it that broke out between Arthur Frommer and his daughter and co-host Pauline Frommer on their radio show on WOR in New York. (Direct links:... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 September 2009, 22:56 (10:56 PM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

How "typical" is long-term travel?

When we think of international "travel", our instinct is to think of a short "vacation", or a business "trip". But when we travel abroad, outside of a few of the most-touristed places at the most-touristed times of the year, we often find that most of the other U.S. citizens we... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 September 2009, 19:59 ( 7:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Hostelling International - USA open houses

As a member of the honorary committee for Hostelling International - USA's ongoing anniversary celebrations marking 75 years of hostelling in the USA and 100 years of Hostelling International worldwide, I'd like to extend my personal invitation and encouragement to each of you to attend one of the many open... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 August 2009, 17:21 ( 5:21 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

New "experiential travel" magazine launches today: "Afar"

There's a section for "Travel magazines and Web sites for independent travellers" in the 100-page resource guide in the The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World . But almost all of the listings in this section change with each edition of my book. As I note in the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 August 2009, 12:59 (12:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Pecha Kucha for travellers

Along with Las Vegas, Hawai'i currently has some of the deepest discounts in the country on hotels and rental accommodations, if you can find airline tickets to get here for a good price. Occupancy is lower and discounts even deeper on the outer islands than on O'ahu, but that can... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 July 2009, 11:23 (11:23 AM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 17 July 2009

Google finally starts a travel guide service, sort of

Travel was one of the first, and is one of the largest, sectors of e-commerce. Almost all of Google's revenues come from the sale of online advertising. Not surprisingly, that has meant that sales of ads for online travel services are one of Google's largest revenue and profit centers, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 July 2009, 22:31 (10:31 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Your chance to be heard on fees for foreign currency card usage

If you've ever used an ATM card with a Visa or Mastercard logo issued in the USA to get cash in foreign currency (i.e. local currency, not U.S. dollars) from an ATM in another country; if you've ever paid for accommodations abroad in foreign currency, either with cash obtained from... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 July 2009, 14:31 ( 2:31 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Shills on travel Web sites

I'm quoted in the BBC's online magazine about the problems of shills (impostors associated with a business who pretend to be ordinary customers while talking up the company and/or talking down its competitors) on travel Web sites, a phenomenon I wrote about most recently here a few months ago. The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 July 2009, 09:05 ( 9:05 AM) | Comments (2)

Monday, 1 June 2009

"Today we're all prisoners in the USA"

I've posted an important alert today in the Identity Project blog about a change in U.S. government rules that could trap you inside (or outside) the borders of the USA, unable to leave the country or to return -- even if you're a U.S. citizen.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 June 2009, 00:01 (12:01 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Update on currency conversion fee lawsuit

Not much of substance has happened, but some additional documents (see below) have been filed in the class action lawsuit against credit card companies and banks for hiding their fees foreign-currency credit, debit, and ATM card transactions.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 May 2009, 10:53 (10:53 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 11

Beijing (China) - Maui, HI (USA) This season of The Amazing Race 14 ended in very much the same vein as the previous season, with a task in which the racers had to compete in recognizing images symbolizing places they had been in the month-long race around the world, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 May 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 10 (China travel and more on online hotel discounts)

Guilin (China) - Beijing (China) The latest two-part episode of The Amazing to Race 14 was spent entirely in China, punctuated by advertisements from online travel agency Travelocity.com for discounted hotel rates, and for part of the time with the teams of racers required to carry half-meter (18") high Travelocity... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 May 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (11)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 9 (Online hotel discounts)

Bangkok (Thailand) - Guangzhou (China) - Guilin (China) The most conspicuous feature of the last few broadcasts of The Amazing Race 14 has been the seemingly endless repetition of the same Travelocity.com advertisement for "Hundreds of hotels under $100". Is this for real? Is it really such a great deal?... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 April 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (8)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 8

Phuket (Thailand) - Bangkok (Thailand) Since Thailand isn't one of my favorite countries, nor Bangkok one of my favorite cities, and I've been in both only briefly, I thought it would be better to give you a chance to hear from people who know and like these places better than... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 April 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Aviation and the environment

I've been in Geneva this week for a conference on aviation and the environment; more specifically, on what the air transport industry (aircraft and engine manufacturers, aviation fuel suppliers, air traffic control agencies, airport operators, and of course airlines) are doing about the impact of aircraft emissions on global warming... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 April 2009, 07:41 ( 7:41 AM) | Comments (23)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 7

Jaipur (India) - Phuket (Thailand) I won't be able to watch this week's episode of The Amazing Race until I get home. I'm delighted, however, that one of my talented friends at Airtreks.com, "rate desk" expert David Derrick, was generous enough to accept my invitation to share his thoughts about... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

More crazy credit-card terms and conditions: Capital One

After getting notices of outrageous new terms and conditions from American Express and Bank of America and hearing about similar new terms for Paypal credit cards (see the comments) issued by GE Money Bank, I requested copies of the current terms and conditions for all of my current cards. I... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2009, 09:22 ( 9:22 AM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 6 (Flights in BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, and China)

Novosibirsk (Russia) - Moscow (Russia) - Jaipur (India) Last week's episode of The Amazing Race 14 provided an example of some of the issues that arise with rail travel in Russia, India, and China. If some of you were prompted to ask, "If it's so difficult to figure out railroad... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

NYTimes.com on changes to AmEx cardholder terms

The New York Times "Gadgetwise" blog kicks off its new security and privacy beat today with a feature on the changes in credit and charge card terms I've been reporting in recent weeks. As of now, the card issuers and card labels imposing similar terms include, for at least some... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2009, 15:34 ( 3:34 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 5 (Trains in Russia, India, and China)

Krasnoyarsk (Russia) - Novosibirsk (Russia) A certain amount of our time while travelling is spent, inevitably, in "waiting rooms". Quite often there is only one train or plane a day on a given route, and a connection between two such daily schedules may leave you a 1-hour layover, or a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Travel reading, travel writing, and the public library

[The Fells Branch of the Wellesley Free Library, where I got my first library card] I spent the weekend in Sacramento, where I was interviewed by Jeffrey Callison on Capital Public Radio's Insight show (the segment with me is from 20-35 minutes into the audio archive) and gave one of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 March 2009, 19:45 ( 7:45 PM) | Comments (3)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Cruise shills outed by their proud puppet-masters

Anita Dunham-Potter of Tripso.com reports this week on a marketing program disclosed by the Customer Insight Group, Inc. in which people were rewarded with free cruises and other perks for posting sufficiently prolific praise for their client, the Royal Caribbean cruise line, on CruiseCritic.com and other "travel communities, usenet groups,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 March 2009, 18:13 ( 6:13 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 4

Bran (Romania) - Moscow (Russia) - Krasnoyarsk (Russia) Sometimes you find yourself -- most often because it's on the way to somewhere else -- in a place where there are no tourists and there is nothing particularly "touristic" to do. Like, say, Krasnoyarsk. Unlike most travel agents, I've actually sold... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Say it ain't so, Chuck Schwab

Following my own advice after American Express cancelled my card, I applied to Charles Schwab Bank for a new credit card to use when travelling abroad. (I used to have a different Charles Schwab Bank credit card, but it had a 3% surcharge for foreign currency transactions, and the bank... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 March 2009, 07:38 ( 7:38 AM) | Comments (14)

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 3

Salzburg (Austria) - Munich (Germany) - Bucharest (Romania) - Brasov (Romania) - Bran (Romania) Why are we still in Europe, still making our way only slowly East, three weeks into the season of The Amazing Race 14 ? We'll tackle that question next week. But for now, let's look at... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

AmEx cancelled my card. Now what should I do?

A week ago today I reported on the announcement by American Express of new terms effective 2 April 2009 for personal AmEx cards issued in the USA, under which, in order to obtain or retain an AmEx card, you will have to "agree" that AmEx has your "consent" to send... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2009, 16:17 ( 4:17 PM) | Comments (11)

Lawsuit over fees for card use abroad still not settled

Almost a year has passed since I wrote about the pending class action lawsuit against credit card companies and banks for hiding the currency conversion and processing fees they've been charging whenever customers with credit, debit, and ATM cards issued in the USA use those cards outside the USA. "Where's... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 March 2009, 11:27 (11:27 AM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 2 (Flights within Europe)

Stechelberg (Switzerland) - Zürich (Switzerland) - Munich (Germany) - Ruhpolding (Germany) - Schaünau am Königssee (Germany) - Salzburg (Austria) Last week we had a lesson in European rail route planning. This week our focus will be on intra-European flights, starting with this lesson: If you're paying out of your own... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 February 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Urgent warning to American Express cardholders

If you have an American Express card, you need to take action now: Unless you cancel your card and close your account, or unless AmEx is persuaded to withdraw changes it has announced (effective 2 April 2009) to the terms of its agreement with cardholders, you will be deemed to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 February 2009, 12:52 (12:52 PM) | Comments (24)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Amazing Race 14, Episode 1 (Trains in Europe)

Los Alamitos, CA (USA) - Locarno (Switzerland) - Verzasca Dam (Switzerland) - Interlaken (Switzerland) - Stechelberg (Switzerland) This season of The Amazing Race began with a pair of challenges in European rail route planning, involving connecting trains and combinations of flights and trains. I've faced very similar problems on recent... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 February 2009, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (8)

Friday, 23 January 2009

My debut on Youtube

Cameras were prohibited, according to one of the Web pages advertising the event, at last Friday's Pecha Kucha night in Brussels, but some stranger in the crowd managed to record my presentation, "Around The World In 20 Questions", on their mobile phone, and has posted a grainy cell-phone video with... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 January 2009, 07:12 ( 7:12 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Reminder: Talk tonight in San Francisco

I'll speaking on World Travel in Troubled Economic Times at 7 p.m. tonight at Get Lost Books in San Francisco. My talk got a nice writeup in the San Francisco Bay Guardian as their pick of this week's events, as well as a plug on "7 × 7", and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 January 2009, 14:12 ( 2:12 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

How to request your travel records

[Excerpt from a simple Passenger Name Record (PNR) from the file about me kept by the CBP division of DHS. Click image for larger version. Most PNRs have more information than this. More examples and discussion of what information these records contain and how they are used.] By popular... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 January 2009, 09:57 ( 9:57 AM) | Comments (25)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Quick trip to Brussels

I'll be in Brussels and Paris from January 14th through 20th to participate in the annual conference on Computers, Privacy and Data Protection This year's theme is "Data Protection in a Profiled World", and I'll be talking about some of the issues with surveillance and control of travelers, and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 January 2009, 10:34 (10:34 AM) | Comments (0)

"World Travel In Troubled Economic Times"

I'll be speaking at Get Lost Travel Books in San Francisco on Thursday evening, January 22nd, on "World Travel In Troubled Economic Times": Jump-start your next international journey with this talk by Edward Hasbrouck author of "The Practical Nomad". Back in San Francisco after a 13 month, 6 continent, 80,000... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 January 2009, 07:20 ( 7:20 AM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

"The Amazing Race" resumes February 15th

I don't pick the schedule (or the contestants, despite hundreds of comments in my blog from people wanting to be in the cast), but The Amazing Race reality-TV show about travel around the world will be back for its next series much sooner than usual: the first episode of The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 January 2009, 17:03 ( 5:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New film about Kashmir: "Jashn-e-Azadi"

One of the best consequences of travel is a sense of connectedness with other places, or at least an awareness of their existence, that can linger or reassert itself long after you come home. I see a place name in in the news, and it conjures up sights, sounds, smells,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 January 2009, 06:02 ( 6:02 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 1 January 2009

OFAC, banks, and Syria travel sanctions

[Some of the World Heritage Sites in Aleppo, Syria: The Al-Madina souk (left) and the Umayyad Mosque (right). Update: These photos were taken during my visit in 2008. Both of these sites were heavily damaged in fighting in 2012 and 2013. Click images for news reports and current photos.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 January 2009, 11:22 (11:22 AM) | Comments (14)

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

China rolls back the worst of its visa rule changes

Earlier this year, I reported on a variety of changes made by the government of China, in the runup to the Olympics in Beijing, in its rules for foreign visitors. The most restrictive of those new rules, in its affect on independent tourists, has been rolled back: At least in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 December 2008, 21:08 ( 9:08 PM) | Comments (3)

Monday, 29 December 2008

More travel "reality" on primetime television

Throughout the seven years since the premiere of its first season on 5 September 2001, The Amazing Race has been the only travel program on primetime national broadcast television in the USA. Perhaps that's not surprisng: after 11 September 2001, the second episode of "The Amazing Race" was postponed for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 December 2008, 10:08 (10:08 AM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 11

Moscow (Russia) - Portland, OR (USA) - Newberg, OR (USA) - Cascade Locks, OR (USA) - Portland, OR (USA) As is often the case with a real-life trip around the world, the final episode of The Amazing Race 13 was a bit of a let-down. The scenery on a sunny... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 December 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 10

Moscow (Russia) The travellers on The Amazing Race 13 continued to struggle this week, making mistakes and showing a surprising lack of basic travel skills for teams that made it to the penultimate leg of the race around the world. Cyrillic is both one of the easiest (along with Greek)... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 November 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (7)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 9

Almaty (Kazakhstan) - Moscow (Russia) - Zhukovsky (Russia) - Moscow (Russia) Travel continues to have many common features throughout the countries that once constituted the "Soviet Union". Dual prices for foreigners and locals, and difficulties in communication and navigation, which plagued the contestants in The Amazing Race 13 in Kazakhstan... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 November 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 8

Delhi (India) - Almaty (Kazakhstan) Kazakhstan and the rest of the former USSR are hard (albeit rewarding) places for travel, as the racers find, but for very different reasons than India. This week in Almaty, (older pre-independence maps may show the Russified name "Alma Ata"), The Amazing Race 13 came... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 November 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

"Secure Flight" and the Right to Travel

I've been getting too many questions to answer individually about the regulations issued last week for the so-called Secure Flight program to require ID and permision for air travel in the USA: What does it mean? How will it work (and will it work)? When will it go into effect?... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 November 2008, 20:39 ( 8:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 7

Delhi (India) Why do so many foreign visitors have such extreme reactions to India? Some visitors stay in India for months at a time, and return again and again. At the same time, I suspect that more people experience major "culture shock" in India than anywhere else, and a significant... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 November 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (6)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

"Nine perfect ways to prepare for the End of Bush"

Sodomy and gratitude Nine perfect ways to prepare for the End of Bush. Can you believe it? by Mark Morford, SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle) columnist, 17 October 2008 1) Make new travel plans. Yes, the dollar has been gutted. Yes, a small espresso and a day-old sourdough baguette on the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 November 2008, 21:11 ( 9:11 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 6

Angkor Wat (Cambodia) - Delhi (India) This week The Amazing Race 13 went to India once again. In Delhi, they encounter, the "dhobi", long an object of curiosity and sometimes amusement for tourists and other foreigners: OUR DHOBI Our dhobi is a funny man; He likes to take my socks,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 November 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

"The Practical Nomad" in National Geographic magazines

Exit Strategy: Why You Need a Real Vacation (by Holly Morris, "National Geographic Adventure", November 2008): Q. I've been at a desk job for eight years and need a change. I want to break away and explore the world but don't know where to start. A. Life is meant to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 October 2008, 15:23 ( 3:23 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 5

Te Puke (New Zealand) - Siem Reap (Cambodia) - Angkor Wat (Cambodia) Should The Amazing Race 13 have gone to Cambodia? And should they have sent the racers to search the vast Angkor Wat complex for a particular temple, on foot, without giving them a landmine awareness briefing first, and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 October 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (9)

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 4

La Paz (Bolivia) - Auckland (New Zealand) - Te Puke (New Zealand) After giving us a refresher course last week in how not to travel from sea level to high altitude, this week The Amazing Race 13 reminded us yet again of how not to make your first attempt to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 October 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 3

Fortaleza, Ceará (Brazil) - La Paz (Bolivia) We've seen the effects of altitude in The Amazing Race before in Ethiopia and Chile . This week yet another team was eliminated from the race because they couldn't cope with the altitude -- roughly 4,000 meters or 13,000 feet above sea level... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 October 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 2

Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) - Fortaleza, Ceará (Brazil) Last week, The Amazing Race 13 was all about physical ability: the episode came down to a 200 vertical foot climb down a cargo net, followed by a run (with loaded packs, of course) along the waterfront to the boats to the finish... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 October 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Amazing Race 13, Episode 1

Los Angeles, CA (USA) - Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) The first leg of The Amazing Race 13 took the reality-TV racers from the Los Angeles Coliseum to the city of Salvador, in northeastern Brazil. As usual, the flight choices for the first leg (on American Airlines and United Airlines, we were... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2008, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (8)

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Some places I recommend

One of my most frequently asked questions is, "Where should I go on my next trip?" Usually, I refuse to answer, except to say that you should make your own choices, according to your own self-awareness of your own tastes, and not rely on my advice or that of anyone... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 September 2008, 10:43 (10:43 AM) | Comments (5)

Monday, 22 September 2008

"The Amazing Race" resumes this Sunday

The Amazing Race 13 premieres this Sunday, 28 September 2008, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, 7-8 p.m. Central and Mountain Time on CBS-TV in the USA. I was travelling and skipped season 12. If you're tempted to say, "You could have downloaded it as a bit torrent and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 September 2008, 19:50 ( 7:50 PM) | Comments (0)

New look

Yes, that's a new picture of yours truly in the sidebar -- a few years older than the last one, and with a lot less hair, thanks to the passage of time and a series of encounters with barbers around the world with whom I had few words in common.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 September 2008, 18:01 ( 6:01 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 11 August 2008

New China visa rules

The opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics have been accompanied by a lot of hype (some of it justified) about the new China, as well as a lot of bad press about the Chinese government's efforts to keep political activists and other "troublemakers" out of the spotlight, away from the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 August 2008, 01:14 ( 1:14 AM) | Comments (7)

Friday, 8 August 2008

Foreigners now need USA permission to leave their home countries

Since I got home, I've spent much of my time (aside from unpacking and moving back into our house from storage) analyzing the Electronic Sysem for Travel Authroization (ESTA) and preparing formal comments on the ESTA filed this week by the Identity Project. You can read the summary or our... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 August 2008, 17:00 ( 5:00 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 27 July 2008

There's no place like home

We slept in our own bed last night, for the first time in 13 months of travel around the world since we left our home in San Francisco in June 2007 . Since we got back to the USA in June 2008 we've driven almost 10,000 miles across North America... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 July 2008, 23:34 (11:34 PM) | Comments (2)

Monday, 9 June 2008

6 continents; 27 countries; 70,000 miles

We've been back home (sort of) in the San Francisco Bay Area this week for the first time in a year, visiting friends and family and getting organized for the next leg of our trip. We even went to our house to get some things out of storage, although someone... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 June 2008, 06:04 ( 6:04 AM) | Comments (5)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Nonstop flights between Asia and Latin America

Paul Lukacs has an interesting recent post updating some of my earlier comments on the (lack of) nonstop flights between Latin America and Asia. For the sake of completeness, there are a few flights and details he missed, although they in no way alter his, or my, conclusions about the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2008, 08:52 ( 8:52 AM) | Comments (11)

Sunday, 16 March 2008

AP and Chicago Tribune review new edition of "The Practical Nomad"

It's always fun to get good news from back home while travelling. In my case, the news that's reached me here in Sana'a, Yemen (a delightful place to visit, if you ever get the chance, with the first high-speed Internet connection we've had in weeks) is of a couple of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 March 2008, 09:42 ( 9:42 AM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 11 February 2008

Money for travellers from class action lawsuit

If you are from the USA, and reading this blog, you are probably eligible to get some money from a class action lawsuit you might not have heard about. You can get at least $25 for the asking (and maybe many times more) if at any time between 1996 and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 February 2008, 09:17 ( 9:17 AM) | Comments (6)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Back in Brussels

Six months into my current year-long trip around the world, I'm spending this week in Brussels (Belgium). Some of the high points of our trip so far include English House in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Potosi (Bolivia), driving across the Atacama Desert and down the desert coast of northern Chile, Brazilian... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 December 2007, 01:58 ( 1:58 AM) | Comments (3)

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Welcome to the students of English House, Buenos Aires

I've been too busy to write much since arriving in Buenos Aires almost a month ago. But today I must interrupt my own studies as a student of Spanish at ELEBAIRES (highly recommended for its excellent teachers), and my work for the Identity Project , to welcome the students of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 August 2007, 15:58 ( 3:58 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Air travel and global warming

Just before leaving the USA (on a jet plane) for my current trip around the world, I was interviewed at length for a story that has now been published in the Ottawa Citizen on the growing concern (more in the UK than, to date, in the USA) about the contribution... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 August 2007, 11:02 (11:02 AM) | Comments (12)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

We're off on a trip around the world!

I leave tomorrow with my partner Ruth Radetsky, who is taking a sabbatical from her job teaching high school, on a year-long trip around the world. We're headed for Silver Bay (New York, USA), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Recife (Brazil), Lisbon (Portugal), Aleppo (Syria), Istanbul (Turkey), Doha (Qatar), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Addis... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 June 2007, 16:29 ( 4:29 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 24 June 2007

USA government refuses to learn from passport problems

From the day they went into effect in January of this year, the new USA government rules requiring passports for all travel by air between the USA and Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean (even for citizens of the USA returning home from abroad) have been a disaster. I told them... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 June 2007, 10:36 (10:36 AM) | Comments (4)

Friday, 25 May 2007

Report from Iran

I've wanted to go to Isfahan for decades, ever since I first saw pictures of its architectural masterpieces, long before I'd ever set foot outside North America. As I've gotten to other places, Isfahan has been left near the top of my personal lifetime travel "wish list". Today I got... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 May 2007, 14:24 ( 2:24 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 6 May 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 12

Fort Soledad (U.S. Territory of Guam) - Honolulu, HI (USA) - Lanai, HI (USA) - Oakland, CA (USA) - San Francisco, CA (USA) The All-Star season of The Amazing Race finished this week once again in my adopted home town of San Francisco. The decisive final task required one member... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 May 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Sunday, 29 April 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 11

Macau SAR (China) - Andersen Air Force Base (U.S. Territory of Guam) - U.S. Naval Base Guam (U.S. Territory of Guam) - Fort Soledad (U.S. Territory of Guam) The growing popularity of The Amazing Race and its continued status as the only travel show on primetime national commercial broadcast television... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 April 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 22 April 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 10

Hong Kong SAR (China) - Macau SAR (China) This week's episode of The Amazing Race didn't cover much ground: it all took place within a small part of the Pearl River Delta region along the coast of China. It's an interesting region, with a hundred million or more people and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 April 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Saturday, 21 April 2007

"Bottom Line Personal" on travel insurance

There's an interview with me on "Travel Insurance: What You Need -- and Don't Need" in the May 2007 issue of Bottom Line Personal magazine. If you are looking for more detailed advice and suggested providers of insurance for travellers, see my FAQ on Travel Insurance and the chapter and... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 April 2007, 13:21 ( 1:21 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 6

Maputo (Mozambique) - Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) - Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Kikungwi, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) I said last week that I'd talk about the markets of Maputo, Mozambique, before the teams on The Amazing Race moved on. I have fond memories of those markets... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 5

Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) - Ushuaia (Argentina) - Maputo (Mozambique) I'm tempted to reminisce about my experiences in the markets of Maputo, Mozambique, the scene of The Amazing Race this week. But I'll leave that for next week. First, I have to talk about this week's airline routing... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 11 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 4

Petrohué (Chile) - Puerto Montt (Chile) - Punta Arenas (Chile) - Ushuaia (Argentina) - Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) Navigation is one of the few major challenges that real-world travel around the world and The Amazing Race consistently have in common. This week, the racers were given a compass,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 4 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 3

San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) - Puerto Montt (Chile) - Petrohué (Chile) When they plan their first trip around the world, most people imagine it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. By the time they get home, most of them are already thinking about doing it again. I'm no exception, and neither... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Sunday, 25 February 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 2

Cotopaxi National Park (Ecuador) - Santiago (Chile) - Calama (Chile) - Chuquicamata (Chile) - San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) I had hoped that the All-Star Edition of The Amazing Race , with a cast selected from participants in previous seasons of the reality-television show, would provide useful lessons about how... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 February 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

New USA passport rules frustrate last-minute travellers

Effective today, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires passports for all air travel between the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Today the New York Times reports on the problems the new rules has caused for would-be last-minute travellers from the USA, especially business travellers, who find... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 January 2007, 07:47 ( 7:47 AM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 15 December 2006

Congress, EU, and businesses question "targetting" of travellers

Questions are beginning to be asked by members of the U.S. Senate , the European Commission , the European Parliament , and business travellers about the illegal "Automated Targeting System" (ATS) that the USA Department of Homeland Security has already used to deny more than half a million people their... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 December 2006, 10:57 (10:57 AM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 10 December 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 12

Barcelona (Spain) - Paris (France) - Caen (France) - Bayeux (France) - Paris (France) - New York, NY (USA) - Garrison, NY (USA) (Warning to readers: If you didn't like last week's column because you didn't think it had enough to do with The Amazing Race television show, you probably... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 December 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Half a million people denied their right to travel

As I noted in one of my previous articles about the USA Department of Homeland Security's "Automated Targeting System" (ATS): I find it somewhat strange that the assignment of scores or "risk assessments" seems to have gotten more attention than the earlier DHS announcement of its intention to require individualized... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 December 2006, 16:45 ( 4:45 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 26 November 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 10

Kiev (Ukraine) - Ouarzazate (Morocco) - Idelssan (Morocco) - Ouarzazate (Morocco) This week the cast of travellers on The Amazing Race became the cast of a movie within the TV show, cheered on by a crowd of extras in a chariot race on a Moroccan movie studio's desert back lot.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 November 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 19 November 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 9

Antananarivo (Madagascar) - Helsinki (Finland) - Tampere (Finland) - Turku (Finland) - Lohja (Finland) - Helsinki (Finland) - Kiev (Ukraine) - Oster (Ukraine) - Kiev (Ukraine) Over the course of the most recent two-part episode, The Amazing Race 10 made its way to Ukraine. This was the first ex-Soviet country... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 November 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Sunday, 5 November 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 8

Bel Ombre (Mauritius) - Antananarivo (Madagascar) What do you do as a traveller when what you find doesn't match what you expect? That was the question faced by the contestants on The Amazing Race when they arrived in Antananarivo, the capital and sole international air gateway to the 1500 km... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 November 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 29 October 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 7

Kuwait City (Kuwait) - Plaine Magnien (Mauritius) - Grand Baie (Mauritius) - Case Noyale (Mauritius) - Bel Ombre (Mauritius) Viewers of the latest episode of The Amazing Race got a reprise of two travel lessons I talked about two weeks ago. The travellers set off from Kuwait City after midnight,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 October 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 22 October 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 6

Chennai, Tamil Nadu (India) - Kuwait City (Kuwait) It's flattering to know that for several seasons, contestants on "The Amazing Race" have been reading my columns on previous seasons as part of their preparations for the race. But I hope I'm not to blame for some of what happened this... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 October 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 15 October 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 5

Halong Bay (Vietnam) - Haiphong (Vietnam) - Hanoi (Vietnam) - Chennai, Tamil Nadu (India) - Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu (India) - Chennai, Tamil Nadu (India) After returning to the mainland from the island in Halong Bay where they stayed during their "pit stop" for food and sleep, The Amazing Race 10... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 October 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 1 October 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 3

Gachurt (Mongolia) - Ulan Bator (Mongolia) - Hanoi (Vietnam) - Vac (Vietnam) The first destination for the teams on "The Amazing Race" this week was the "Hanoi Hilton", where prisoners of war including U.S. Senator John McCain were confined and tortured during the "American War". (That's what the war is... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 October 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (4)

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Governments prepare to log travellers' movements on passport chips

Earlier this month -- before being sidetracked with other deadlines , the start of a new season of The Amazing Race , and major electrical work on my house that made it hard to get any work done for the last week -- I attended a Symposium on Machine-Readable Travel... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2006, 19:36 ( 7:36 PM) | Comments (4)

Passports for travel between the USA, Canada, Mexico, etc.

If the USA government has its way, all citizens of the USA -- regardless of age, dual citizenship, etc. -- will need U.S. passports for air travel between the USA and all other countries in the Western Hemisphere, effective 8 January 2007. No more trips by air or sea across... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 September 2006, 10:59 (10:59 AM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 24 September 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 2

Juyongguan (China) - Erenhot (China) - Ulan Bator (Mongolia) - Terelj National Park (Mongolia) - Gachurt (Mongolia) When they start to imagine their fantasy trip around the world, many people include a trip from Beijing to Moscow, by way of Mongolia, on the Trans-Siberian Railway. But it's typical of real-world... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 September 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Resources for solo travellers

Work & Family (by columnist Sue Shellenbarger, Wall Street Journal, 31 August 2006): Question: Regarding your column on couples traveling separately: Can you provide information for people who want to make solo trips, including adventure travel? Answer: The most comprehensive information on traveling alone can be found in books. "The... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 20 September 2006, 13:19 ( 1:19 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 17 September 2006

The Amazing Race 10, Episode 1

Seattle, WA (USA) - Beijing (China) - Juyongguan (China) As the teams in the new season of The Amazing Race prepared for the start of the race at Gasworks Park in Seattle, host Phil Keoghan told them -- and us, the viewers -- that there would be some surprises. And... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 September 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Friday, 18 August 2006

Freedom to travel as a human right

Several students at my introductory talk on "Travel Writing and the Travel Industry" at the 15th annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference this weekend asked about the sources I quoted on freedom to travel as a human right. The U.S. Constitution only hints at travel in the First... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 August 2006, 21:06 ( 9:06 PM) | Comments (9)

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Interview with Eons.com on "Travel around the world"

A new Web site for people over 50 years old, "Eons.com" ("everything over 50...") launched today. I'm only 46, but I'm inteviewed at length on how to travel around the world, as one of their first features on how to achieve your goals in life.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 August 2006, 20:14 ( 8:14 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 26 June 2006

New York Times on changing money

Practical Traveler: How to Get the Best Exchange Rate (by David A. Kelly, New York Times, Sunday Travel Section, 26 June 2006): Make sure you check ahead to learn what bank cards or traveler's checks will be accepted at your destination, and have a backup plan. "The main thing is... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 June 2006, 08:43 ( 8:43 AM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 29 April 2006

Window of opportunity for travel to North Korea (DPRK) by USA citizens

Surprisingly many people from the USA would like to visit the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is officially called. Why? Because it's there, because it's unknown, because they have family ties there, or simply because nobody else they know has been there. For my own reasons... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 April 2006, 11:15 (11:15 AM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 7

Patras (Greece) - Athens (Greece) - Muscat (Oman) - Sur (Oman) - Al Hawiyah (Oman) - Nizwa (Oman) It's not clear that the Amazing Racers had thought about how they might look to local people in Oman -- whether the Arab majority or the 20% minority of Pakistani expatriate, mostly... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 April 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 6

Siracusa (Italy) - Rome (Italy) - Athens (Greece) - Corinth (Greece) - Nemea (Greece) - Patras (Greece) Travelling couple Michelle and Lake, eliminated from The Amazing Race 9 this week, provide an object lesson in why it's useful whenever possible to learn how to recognize and pronounce (if it's more... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 April 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 5

Segesta (Italy) - Catania (Italy) - Siracusa (Italy) Leaving the "pit stop" in Sicily at the start of this week's episode of The Amazing Race , Jeremy and Eric are surprised that the driver of the first passing car they flag down stops and helps them with directions. In the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 April 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 4

Munich (Germany) - Palermo (Italy) - Castellammare del Golfo (Italy) - Segesta (Italy) Could you find the flights that would get you from Munich to Palermo arriving as soon as possible, and make reservations for yourself and a travelling companion, on a German-language Web site? That's what made the difference... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 March 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Jon Carroll on the educational value of a trip around the world

Endorsing a suggestion in an earlier article (available to paid subscribers only, unfortunately) by Nicholas Kristof, and endorsing what I've been saying for years, Jon Carroll devotes his column in the San Francisco Chronicle today to why every young person -- especially in the USA, where this happens less now... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 March 2006, 12:11 (12:11 PM) | Comments (3)

Sunday, 5 March 2006

Oregonian and Kansas City Star on "country collectors"

Country Collectors (by Dan Leeth, The [Portland] Oregonian, Sunday travel section, 5 March 2006; also in the Kansas City Star as The one with the most passport stamps wins ): Some people collect stamps. These people collect countries. Why? Because they're there. While some people collect postage stamps, travelers such... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 March 2006, 16:43 ( 4:43 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 28 February 2006

The Amazing Race 9, Episode 1

Denver, CO (USA) - São Paulo (Brazil) The Amazing Race is back! Back in São Paulo for the second time. (Don't be surprised if you've forgotten their first visit four years ago -- they didn't actually do much in São Paulo.) Back to teams of two adults, instead of teams... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 February 2006, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Downtown parking and land use priorities

Every day on my way from the BART train station to my office at Airtreks.com in a highrise building South of Market in downtown San Francisco (the most densely populated neighborhoood in the USA west of the Mississippi), I pass a 50-story residential condominium tower -- and included parking garage... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 February 2006, 21:23 ( 9:23 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 30 January 2006

Encrypted RFID passport data intercepted and cracked

A Dutch television news program has commissioned experiments by security research firm Riscure in which radio communications between the RFID chip in a prototype Dutch passport (using the same technology and encryption scheme recently adopted as an international standard and being deployed in USA passports) were intercepted, stored for analysis... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 January 2006, 12:03 (12:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 10

Absorokee, MT (USA) - Billings, MT (USA) - Montréal, Québec (Canada) - Toronto, Ontario (Canada) - Queenston, Ontario (Canada) - Lewiston, NY (USA) To the bitter end, tonight's final episode of the Family Edition of The Amazing Race was, like this whole season, a series of missed opportunities. Instead of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 13 December 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 9

Salt Lake City, UT (USA) - Park City, UT (USA) - Heber City, UT (USA) - Bonneville Salt Flats, UT (USA) - Garden City, UT (USA) - Big Pine, WY (USA) - Yellowstone National Park, WY (USA) - Dubois, WY (USA) - Cody, WY (USA) - Red Lodge, MT (USA)... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 December 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 7

Quepos (Costa Rica) - Grecia (Costa Rica) - Phoenix, AZ (USA) - Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, AZ (USA) - Mesa, AZ (USA) - Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (USA) - Page, AZ (USA) Perhaps it would be too much to expect the Family Edition of The Amazing Race reality television... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 November 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 6

Panama City (Panama) - San José (Costa Rica) - Parque Nacional Volcan Poás (Costa Rica) - Doka Coffee Estate (Costa Rica) - Jacó (Costa Rica) - Quepos (Costa Rica) "You Can't Get There From Here" (Special guest column by By Erin Van Rheenen, author of Living Abroad in Costa Rica... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 November 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 5 (RFID passports)

New Orleans, LA (USA) - Panama City (Panama) Just when the families on The Amazing Race 8 finally left the USA in tonight's episode, the USA Department of State today took the latest in its recent series of regulatory actions to make it more difficult for other families like them... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 October 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (7)

Friday, 7 October 2005

"Spot the Terrorist"

USA-EU dual citizen and fellow CFP-er Wendy Grossman has more on the new demands for passenger information by the USA government and airlines, as well as the latest USA plans for a Ministry of Silly Walks , in her net.wars column here and here : Spot the Terrorist ... Some... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 October 2005, 07:09 ( 7:09 AM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 27 September 2005

The Amazing Race 8 (Family Edition), Episode 1

New York, NY (USA) - Washington Crossing Historic Park, PA (USA) - Philadelphia, PA (USA) - Mount Joy, PA (USA) - Lancaster, PA (USA) The first episode of the first season of The Amazing Race took the teams of travellers from New York City all the way across the Atlantic... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 September 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Sunday, 25 September 2005

"The Amazing Race 8: Family Edition" broadcasts start this Tuesday; "The Amazing Race 1" on DVD

Broadcasts of The Amazing Race 8: Family Edition will begin this Tuesday night, 27 September 2005 (9-10 p.m. ET/PT, 8-9 p.m. CT/MT) on CBS-TV in the USA. I've posted a tentative broadcast schedule based on this starting date. Profiles of the cast members are on the CBS-TV Web site for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 September 2005, 09:37 ( 9:37 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Back from Southern Africa

Cape Point, Cape Peninsula National Park and World Heritage Site, South Africa I'm back from two weeks of vacation at Silver Bay and six weeks travelling in Africa, mostly in South Africa but also briefly in Swaziland, Mozambique, and Qatar. The trip was, above all, thought provoking. The slogan of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 August 2005, 05:50 ( 5:50 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

The Amazing Race 7, Episode 8

Jodhpur (India) - Istanbul (Turkey) Yet again in this episode of The Amazing Race the key to finishing first was finding "interline" connections between flights on different airlines (in this case, on Indian Airlines and Turkish Airlines from Delhi to Istanbul via Dubai) that arrived earlier than the sole direct... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 April 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

The Amazing Race 7, Episode 7

Khwai (Botswana) - Francistown (Botswana) - Mumbai (India) - Lucknow (India) - Jodhpur (India) There were two major lessons in this two-part episode, which was broadcast on 12 April 2005 and 19 April 2005. The first lesson -- which, unfortunately, the television producers didn't choose to show us -- concerned... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 April 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Deadlines loom for RFID tracking chips in USA passports

There's still time for USA citizens to get a new passport without an embedded RFID remote tracking chip -- but if you want one, you should apply at once. The Department of State is moving as fast as it can (slowed down only by technical difficulties -- RFID chips are... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 March 2005, 12:39 (12:39 PM) | Comments (5)

Friday, 18 March 2005

"Around the World in Eight Days"

No, the headline above is not a typo. Last month I arranged flights for a trip around the world in eight (8) days by USA Today travel reporter Laura Bly. She tells the story of her trip and how she planned it in today's Friday weekend travel section, concluding: While... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 18 March 2005, 00:58 (12:58 AM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 8 February 2005

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 11

Shanghai (China) - Xi'an (China) - Mt. Hua (China) - Xi'an (China) - Honolulu, HI (USA) - Chicago, Il (USA) The final double episode of this season of The Amazing Race was dominated by the racers' continued difficulties with coping and communicating in China. Watching the racers in some of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 8 February 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (5)

Tuesday, 1 February 2005

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 10

Sigiriya (Sri Lanka) - Shanghai (China) "We don't know how to communicate with them." That was the key problem for the contestants, none of whom appeared to speak or read any Chinese, throughout this episode of The Amazing Race in Shanghai. In cities, the racers have generally relied on taxis... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 February 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 9 (travel advice and lessons from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean)

Lalibela (Ethiopia) - Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Colombo (Sri Lanka) - Galle (Sri Lanka) - Kandy (Sri Lanka) - Dambulla (Sri Lanka) - Sigiriya (Sri Lanka) This weeks's episode of The Amazing Race was dedicated to those affected by the tsunami, especially in Sri Lanka where the reality-TV show was... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 January 2005, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Monday, 17 January 2005

Airport connections in Hong Kong

I might not otherwise have bothereed to mention it here, but after having previously complained about misleading advertising of the price of combined airport and city subway transit tickets in New York I feel obliged to report on my recent experience with very similarly misleading advertisements of the price of... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 January 2005, 22:52 (10:52 PM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 30 November 2004

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 3

Voss (Norway) - Stockholm (Sweden) - Häggvik (Sweden) - Stockholm (Sweden) OK, call me a whiner: Last week I complained that the current "reality" television contestants on The Amazing Race aren't like the real people who take trips around the world. This week my complaint is that the tasks the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 November 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 2

Grindavik (Iceland) - Oslo (Norway) - Holmenkollen (Norway) - Brandbu (Norway) - Honefoss (Norway) - Voss (Norway) Is this reality, or is this television?" That's the question everyone seems to be asking after the first couple of episodes of the new season of The Amazing Race , the reality-television show... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 November 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

The Amazing Race 6, Episode 1

Chicago, IL (USA) - Reykjavik (Iceland) - Hvolsvollur (Iceland) - Vatnajokoll Glacier (Iceland) - Breidarmerkur Lagoon (Iceland) - Grindavik (Iceland) From the start, this first episode of The Amazing Race 6 was a bit more complicated a production than usual -- both for the television show and for my column.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 November 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (2)

Thursday, 4 November 2004

Iran to join reciprocal fingerprinting of USA visitors

On the 25th anniversary of the takeover of the Embassy of the USA in Teheran, Iran , a bill to require fingerprinting of all USA citizens visiting Iran has been approved by a committee of Iran's parliament, and appears headed for enactment. Iran thus moves toward joining Brazil as the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 4 November 2004, 08:19 ( 8:19 AM) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Travel advice from Neal Stephenson

In the course of a long interview on Slashdot (particularly worth reading for Stephenson's perceptive typology of writers), Neal Stephenson was asked by a fan of his "travel novels" whether he has any "Travel tips for modern primitives?" and "Do you carry any sort of self-defense means in some places?"... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 October 2004, 13:38 ( 1:38 PM) | Comments (0)

Robert Young Pelton on "The Practical Nomad"

Robert Young Pelton (author of The World's Most Dangerous Places ), devotes his column this month in National Geographic Adventure magazine to, "the top five secrets ... that guidebook publishers don't want you to know about their products." In no particular order, but starting with, "(1) They're outdated." His advice?... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 October 2004, 11:57 (11:57 AM) | Comments (2)

Monday, 25 October 2004

Rick Steves on the value of travel

Travel can help mend a fractured world (USA Today, 17 October 2004) For many Americans, the critical question in this election season is, "How can we make America safer in the world?" Call me a girly man, but I think -- given the fact that Americans are outnumbered 20 to... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 October 2004, 15:06 ( 3:06 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

"Expats make better citizens of the world"

You might have noticed a recent addition to the sidebar of my blog: a link to the LivingAbroadInCostaRica.com Web site of my friend and fellow travel writer Erin Van Rheenen. Erin was the series editor for Moon Travel Handbooks and my editor for the second edition of "The Practical Nomad:... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 October 2004, 13:25 ( 1:25 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Take your own "21st Century Grand Tour"

This month's issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine is a 20th anniversary special issue on "The New Grand Tour -- A Travel Adventure for the 21st Century": A recent poll done with Yahoo! Travel found that American's top travel dream is an "around-the-world trip." Most people feel that this experience... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 October 2004, 10:08 (10:08 AM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 30 September 2004

India and Pakistan may allow each other's tourists

Going against the trend being set by the USA toward increasing governmental obstacles to international travel, Pakistan and India agreed earlier this month that they would begin issuing tourist visas to each other's citizens -- for the first time since the British colonies and feudal fiefdoms in South Asia were... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 30 September 2004, 15:33 ( 3:33 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 9 September 2004

Interview in Motionsickness magazine

The latest issue of Motionsickness magazine focuses on The San Francisco Connection , with features on several S.F. Bay Area travel writers and activists including an interview with yours truly . You can read excerpts (it's a fairly raw transcript) on the Web, but there's lots more good stuff in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 September 2004, 10:54 (10:54 AM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 6 September 2004

Willie Weir: "What Is Adventure?"

Willie Weir may be the most effective and inspiring advocate in the USA for international bicycle travel, but his message is about much more than bicycling. Check out his latest column from Adventure Cycling magazine: "What Is Adventure?" I think Willie overlooks an important distinction between perceived risk and actual... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 September 2004, 14:09 ( 2:09 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 1 September 2004

National Geographic Society panel 22 September

[Keith Bellows, Justin Guariglia, Edward Hasbrouck, and Linnea Lundgren. Photo by kind permission of Heather Boyer.] I'll be speaking at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, DC, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 22 September 2004, as part of a "National Geographic Live! Fantastic Journeys" panel discussion on A... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 1 September 2004, 12:16 (12:16 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 31 August 2004

The Amazing Race 5, Episode 9

Dubai (United Arab Emirates) - Kolkata, West Bengal (India) Starting during the first season, I've urged in my columns that the producers of The Amazing Race give the contestants less money, to cut down the extent to which the race hinges on the speed and recklessness of taxi drivers rather... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 31 August 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

The Amazing Race 5, Episode 8

Lake Manyara (Tanzania) - Kilimanjaro Airport (Tanzania) - Nairobi (Kenya) - Dubai (United Arab Emirates) I've tried to avoid criticizing the contestants on The Amazing Race, most of whom have limited international travel experience and all of whom are subject to being depicted in whatever manner the television show's producers... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 August 2004, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

The Amazing Race 5, Episode 6

Giza (Egypt) - Cairo (Egypt) - Luxor (Egypt) The most interesting lesson for world travellers in this week's episode of The Amazing Race may have been in the decision the racers weren't allowed to make for themselves: whether to travel by air, land, or water from the Great Pyramid at... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 10 August 2004, 23:51 (11:51 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 25 July 2004

"How to Travel Around the World" reviewed in the Chicago Tribune

The 3rd edition of The Practical Nomad: How To Travel Around the World (February 2004) is reviewed today in the travel section of the Chicago Tribune (registration and cookie acceptance required): THE RESOURCEFUL TRAVELER By Toni Stroud Tribune staff reporter Travel reference The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 25 July 2004, 12:40 (12:40 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11 July 2004

Road Trip Russia

The epigraph to my first book, The Practical Nomad: How To Travel Around the World , is San Francisco poet laureate Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Recipe for happiness in Khabarovsk or anyplace" ("One grand boulevard with trees / with one grand café in sun ..."). Khabarovsk isn't the equal of Vladivostok in... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 July 2004, 12:26 (12:26 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 July 2004

The world as viewed from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Canada

Europe: It's Closer Than We Think (from Reinvented.net )... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 July 2004, 13:56 ( 1:56 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 3 July 2004

"It's still a wonderful world."

The World Beckons, and American Travelers Can't Resist Jane Engle and Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, Sunday, 4 July 2004 free registration and cookie acceptance required In a turnaround from the travel slump after 9/11, overseas bookings and passport applications have surged this year.... Facing war, scorn, terrorism, a tentative... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 July 2004, 22:55 (10:55 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 7 June 2004

"Welcome to America"

The ever-vigilant Michael Froomkin spotted a reprint of the latest outrage in USA government treatment of foreign visitors, from the Guardian (UK) newspaper: When writer Elena Lappin flew to LA, she dreamed of a sunkissed, laid-back city. But that was before airport officials decided to detain her as a threat... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 June 2004, 14:29 ( 2:29 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 26 April 2004

Fare fraud on the Airtrain to JFK Airport

In New York last week for the Travelcom travel marketing, distribution, and technology conference and trade show, I had my first chance to ride the new Airtrain shuttle between the terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Howard Beach station on the New York City subway's A-train, and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 26 April 2004, 21:22 ( 9:22 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 24 March 2004

USA to world musicians and artists: "Keep out!"

Artists from all over the world are being refused entry to the US on security grounds. (The Guardian, UK) The insanely cumbersome process of entering America [as a performing artist] now goes something like this: first, the manager or producer or venue who wants to book a foreign artist must... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2004, 11:17 (11:17 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 12 March 2004

USA government commission seeks public comment on travel to Cuba

I received the following alert from my friend Christopher Baker, fellow member of the Bay Area Travel Writers and author of the definitive Moon Handbooks Cuba and Moon Handbooks Havana as well as other guidebooks, photography, and travel stories of Cuba and the Caribbean -- and perhaps the leading expert... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 March 2004, 13:13 ( 1:13 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

Most useful languages for world travel

A reader writes: I enjoy your blog, especially your focus on privacy issues, and your coverage of The Amazing Race. What do you consider to be the most useful languages for a world traveller to know? Certainly the most useful language to know, if you want to travel to a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 February 2004, 20:53 ( 8:53 PM) | Comments (20)

Tuesday, 27 January 2004

A few of our favorite places

Airtreks.com staff recommendations (from the January 2004 Airtreks.com monthly newsletter -- you can subscribe here at the lower left of the home page) Travelers often ask our consultants, "Where do you think we should go?" Usually, our answer is, "Wherever you like!" Each of you, like each of us, has... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 January 2004, 18:26 ( 6:26 PM) | Comments (0)

Hearings on US-VISIT, but ...

The Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security of the USA House Select Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on the US-VISIT program tomorrow, 28 January 2004. As I've discussed in previous articles , the US-VISIT prgram has come under intense worldwide criticism for subjecting foreign visitors, including tourists... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 27 January 2004, 14:42 ( 2:42 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 19 January 2004

How the USA honors the memory of M.L.K., Jr.

It's a national holiday today in the USA in honor of the birth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So what stirring story of the progress of American freedom and racial tolerance do I wake up to? French fury over US treatment of air staff (free registration and cookie... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 January 2004, 22:07 (10:07 PM) | Comments (0)

Saturday, 17 January 2004

Come to the USA from Europe to buy a car?

Americans taking a long trip through Europe, and in the market for a new car anyway, often used to arrange to purchase a European car direct from the manufacturer or a dealer in Europe, pick it up in Europe (perhaps directly at the factory), use it for their European travels,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 January 2004, 20:10 ( 8:10 PM) | Comments (6)

Friday, 16 January 2004

How to encourage visitors to come to the USA

I was (not?) amused to receive a press release today from the "Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce", informing me of the progress of the government's U.S. Promotion Campaign . The USA has been one of the few countries without a government department... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 January 2004, 15:26 ( 3:26 PM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 15 January 2004

"Brazil vs. US: The Finger Affair"

My favorite source of news and views from Brazil, by Brazilians, in English, Brazzil.com , weighs in with this perspective by José Gurgel on the fingerprinting, photographing, and other entry requirments for Brazilian citizens visiting the USA, and USA citizens visiting Brazil. Here are some excerpts, but it's well worth... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 15 January 2004, 16:43 ( 4:43 PM) | Comments (1)

Monday, 12 January 2004

"US loses its tourism allure"

Fewer and fewer Norwegians are opting to spend their holidays in the United States. A new survey indicates that half of all questioned view the US as an unattractive travel destination. (Aftenposten) Travel bureau Berg-Hansen commissioned the survey and was amazed by its results, reports newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv . "We... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 12 January 2004, 19:06 ( 7:06 PM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 9 January 2004

"Scenes From A Sad Airport"

Welcome to America. Please give us the finger. Smile for the camera. Now get the hell out. (by Mark Morford, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle's Web site, SF Gate) This is long, but worth reading all the way through -- it gets better as it goes on: It's OK,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 9 January 2004, 16:25 ( 4:25 PM) | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 6 January 2004

Beware of travellers bearing almanacs

FBI Intelligence Bulletin No. 102 (from Cryptome.org) FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY TO: Law Enforcement Agencies FROM: FBI Counterterrorism Division December 24, 2003 Threat Level: Orange (High). THE FBI INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN, DISSEMINATED ON A WEEKLY BASIS, PROVIDES LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH CURRENT, RELEVANT TERRORISM INFORMATION DEVELOPED FROM COUNTERTERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS AND ANALYSIS.... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 6 January 2004, 12:05 (12:05 PM) | Comments (0)

Monday, 5 January 2004

USA starts fingerprinting visitors. Brazil reciprocates.

Effective today, the USA is fingerprinting and photographing all visitors arriving or departing from the USA except short-term tourist visitors from a few mostly Western European countries, and will retain the digital images in a new US-VISIT database . Most countries have waived the usual international reciprocity of entry requirements... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 January 2004, 08:31 ( 8:31 AM) | Comments (8)

USA uses airline reservation data as basis for flight cancellations and interrogations

As I was driving to Los Angeles (it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Air France (AF) flights to LAX were being cancelled on the instigation of the USA Department of Homeland Security. By the time I got... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 January 2004, 07:53 ( 7:53 AM) | Comments (0)

Friday, 19 December 2003

Where's Hot, and Where's Not?

"The World's Top 20 Destinations for Air Trekkers" (Airtreks.com news release, 18 December 2003) Wanderlust is alive and well, according to complex international airfare specialists Airtreks.com , with continued strong interest in travel to every major region of the world. Following are the top 20 overseas destinations (outside the USA... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 19 December 2003, 09:36 ( 9:36 AM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 17 December 2003

More on EU passenger data transfers to the USA

I've been studying the full Communication from the Commission to the Council and the Parliament (thanks to EDRI for the link; the final document is essentially identical to the draft I received yesterday, and that was actually distributed at the meeting) concerning yesterday's meeting between the European Commission and the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 17 December 2003, 08:12 ( 8:12 AM) | Comments (1)

Thursday, 11 December 2003

DHS calls for proposals for US-VISIT visitor tracking system

As reported here , here , and here , the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published its request for proposals for the US-VISIT system database and tracking system for foreign visitors. The US-VISIT prime contract will cover the database itself, integration with other government and private information technology,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 December 2003, 15:59 ( 3:59 PM) | Comments (0)

Sunday, 7 December 2003

Focus on competition at PhoCusWright conference

As in years past, the 10th PhoCusWright Executive Conference in Orlando, Florida, 17-18 November 2003, brought together the CEO's of the most influential companies at the intersection of travel, technology, and the Internet, providing those of us who observe those industries with one of our most important annual opportunities for... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 7 December 2003, 09:10 ( 9:10 AM) | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 3 December 2003

UK follows USA into surveillance and control of airline passengers

Mimicking the CAPPS-II scheme in the USA, the UK government has mooted (in the UK sense of "to moot", meaning, "to propose", not the opposite USA sense of "to moot", meaning, "to render no longer relevant"; the difference is similar to the opposite UK and USA meanings of "to table")... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 3 December 2003, 08:07 ( 8:07 AM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 2 December 2003

Beware of confusing Philippine Pesos with USA quarters

People in more cosmopolitan countries than the USA are used to watching out for all sorts of different coins and currencies showing up in their change. (At least with paper money -- what the rest of the world calls "notes" and the USA calls "bills" -- most countries make it... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 2 December 2003, 15:35 ( 3:35 PM) | Comments (1)

Friday, 28 November 2003

EU to require passports for pets

Travelling with pets: Pet passports to be introduced in July 2004 The European Commission today adopted a Decision establishing a model passport which will allow pets and their owners to travel more easily within the European Union. New EU legislation comes into force in July 2004 which will mean all... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 28 November 2003, 08:31 ( 8:31 AM) | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003

"Key escrow" with TSA for airline luggage locks?

In a story apparently slated for general release tomorrow, Joe Sharkey gives advance notice in his column in today's New York Times that the USA Transportation Security Administration will cooperate in a program to sell special luggage locks to which the TSA will have either master keys or a master... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 11 November 2003, 20:44 ( 8:44 PM) | Comments (4)

Wednesday, 29 October 2003

USA welcome mat (not) for visitors

Testimony of John Marks, CEO of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America, U.S. House of Representatives, 10 July 2003 "Intentional or otherwise, a collection of rules and policies that discourages international visitors from coming to the U.S. also create a... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 29 October 2003, 21:09 ( 9:09 PM) | Comments (0)

Thursday, 23 October 2003

Talk tonight on Cuba travel

Curious about what today's vote by Congress to lift the ban on travel between the USA and Cuba might mean? There's a perfect opportunity to find out if you can get yourself to Walnut Creek, CA, tonight. I'm honored to consider myself a colleague, and to have the same publisher,... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 23 October 2003, 14:03 ( 2:03 PM) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 22 October 2003

International tourism to the USA still falling

Yesterday the USA Department of Commerce released its latest revised Forecast of International Travel to the United States, with actual, estimated, and predicted numbers of visitors from each regioin of the world for 2001 through 2007. Despite the upbeat tone of the DOC press release announcing the latest revisons, the... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 22 October 2003, 21:39 ( 9:39 PM) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 21 October 2003

Overseas? Dial home on the cheap

"Your own mobile phone is probably useless abroad. You have plenty of other options, some outrageously expensive and others almost free...." Read the full story from Bankrate.com or MSN Money. This is a surprisingly thorough survey of a complex topic: pricing options for mobile (cellular) phone use outside your home... (...Read Entire Entry)
Link | Posted by Edward, 21 October 2003, 16:26 ( 4:26 PM) | Comments (0)

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