Last week, we warned you to avoid Egypt because of the violent military crackdown (still good advice). This week, The Philippines are global hot spot to avoid, but this time it’s Mother Nature wreaking havoc. Torrential rains have created chaos in the country, costing millions of dollars in damage, killed at least eight people and pretty much shut down the country. They’re drying out now, but push back that trip for a couple weeks if you can.
Let’s talk about the occasional agony of flying – long lines, lots of waiting, cramped seats; we typically book end fabulous trips with little bits of torture. Sometimes, the discomfort and/or anxiety is ratcheted up to distressingly memorable levels. For instance, when your flight is canceled or massively delayed. Often the airline will make amends of some sort by offering a refund. However, as the Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney reports, a chintzy refund can be even more infuriating than the actual delay was.
But there are ways to make flying far easier, particularly for frequent flyers. New York Times travel blogger Tanya Mohn reports on the expansion of the Global Entry program, which allows low-risk travelers to bypass customs agents for an easier path across the border. At the Wall Street Journal, Jack Nicas looks at United Airlines’ fairly secret and very high end Global Services Program. And the New York Times’ Stephanie Rosenbloom recommends hiring a private jet, if you can afford it. Ahh, luxury.
You know what’s a drag when you’re traveling? Cholera. At Vagabondish, Amanda Kendle lists the 10 nastiest travel diseases. It’s not a fun list. Get your inoculations!
Eradicating those diseases is a long term global goal. This week, the World Health Organization touched on part of the equation to get us there. Asian Age’s Teena Thacker reports on the WHO call for countries to invest in local research in order to develop a system of universal health coverage tailored to individual countries’ situations.
You may have heard the furor over Russia’s new law that, ostensibly, outlaws homosexuality. There has been some push for a boycott of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Jaunted has the latest on celebrities who are speaking out against the law and trying to diminish tourism to Russia. And, very seriously, LGBT travelers need to think twice before traveling to Russia.
On a far more kitschy level, CNN’s Simon Busch has the details on a London exhibition of Soviet era tourism posters.
Traveling foodies, rejoice. At BootsnAll, Stephanie Storke has a lengthy post about planning your around the world foodie trip. She has recommendations for Paris, Florence, Istanbul, Bangkok and Buenos Aries. She does not mention Venice, where, as Gadling tells us, the coffee can get really expensive really fast.
Photo from Mwebantu.com.