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For the handicapped, taking a trip by air can be a truly harrowing experience. This is why many of our physically impaired citizens just don’t do it. It is often too difficult for them. And this is a shame, a sad state of affairs, because it arbitrarily and unnecessarily, narrows their world. However, just as we mentioned in our article about those who are handicapped when it comes to walking, there are also services available, and things the visually and hearing impaired can do to ease the burden of traveling. This is true, even if they have to travel alone. And they have definite rights under the law in this regard. Airlines must obey them.
The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) of 2009 stipulates definite rules for those with disabilities and their right to access to airports and flights on airlines. The ACAA delineates exactly what information the airlines are required to give you. Continue reading
If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium—now there is a blast from the past, as far as movies go. The year, 1969, to be exact, and it starred Suzanne Pleshette, and Ian McShane, among others. More importantly, was the premise of the show. It was a comedy about Americans taking a whirlwind tour of Europe. Depending on what day it was, told the increasingly confused tourists what country and/or city they were supposed to in at any given moment. Apparently, so fast was the tour, so quick were the changes for the tourists, they just couldn’t keep it all straight in their minds.
Why do I bring this up now? Well, that movie was based on the real-life problems many tourists had and still have, in some cases, in going on packaged tours to Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Tours, and the groups that composed them, came to have very bad connotations for many travelers. And well-seasoned travelers began to avoid them like the very plague. In fact, a distinct and certain snobbery has set in these days. Where it is still okay to take cruises en masse to places (because of the luxury aspects of such type of travel), tours tend to be looked down upon as unworthy of any real traveler, Tours are often considered to be fraught with too many problems, such as traveling too fast, too far, too organized, no spontaneity, and fellow travelers that can drive you crazy and from whom you just can never seem to get away. Continue reading
We’ve all been hearing about it lately. The buzz is almost nonstop. Health insurance—should it be a requirement, or not? One estimate says that roughly some forty million Americans do not have health insurance and that’s a major problem, no doubt. So, of course, various groups are pushing to have such insurance supplied, and require us all to have it. Good or bad idea? I leave it to you to decide. But did you know that when you travel abroad, this can be just as much of a problem? Health insurance is fast becoming a big issue for international travelers these days. (‘’)For instance, are you aware that some countries require visitors to have proof of health insurance just to gain entry into their country? Some cruise lines also demand this, as do other types of tourist companies and organizations. Students studying in foreign countries often are required to have insurance. The same applies to many business people working in other nations. More and more, it seems, we travelers must have required travel insurance. Continue reading
Like most travelers who have traveled widely, I’ve developed a strong liking for certain places. Don’t get me wrong, I love practically everywhere I go, but sometimes one discovers certain destinations with which they just fall in love, For me, one of the best of these is the United Kingdom. And since so many people recently have asked me what they should see and do while there, I thought I’d devote this article to my favorite places in England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland I’ll save for another time, when I do the Republic of Ireland (Eire), as well.
So, whether you are traveling to Britain for the first time, or have been there before, you may find this article of some interest. And some of these pointers can be used for practically anywhere you go, so even if the United Kingdom isn’t your “cup of tea,” they should still work in principle for your travel destinations.
When Americans travel, we often take many things for granted, including ease of going places without a bunch of bothersome restrictions. We come by this attitude naturally. Being able to move freely through all fifty states of the United States, we get used to the idea that this is our “right.” And yes, we know that when we travel abroad we need a passport. But this is something we’re a little less used to having to do all the time, because, until very recently, some countries, such as Canada and Mexico, did not require us to have a passport. Now they do.
But things have changed even more radically over the last ten years than that. Where once we didn’t need passports to travel to some places, now we have to have them for everywhere. This isn’t just so we can get into those countries. It is also so we can get back into our own! Try to reenter the United States without a passport, and good luck! But again, most of us know that passports are now “a must” whenever we travel anywhere outside of America. Continue reading
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I’ve said it before; flying can be a difficult business these days. Therefore, it is often with a sigh of satisfaction and relief that we board our flights, sit in our assigned seats, knowing we finally “made it,” and are on our way.
Or are we? What about those canceled flights that happen every so often, sometimes to us? It does occur, and quite a bit, especially lately, because airlines are trying to save money. If a flight isn’t sufficiently booked, they just cancel them more often than not. Coming home to America from Europe, I had one canceled. I had to take another flight the following day. No warning, no communication to me to this effect—the flight was just canceled. If I hadn’t called to confirm my return flight, I wouldn’t have even known about it. And did the airline pay for my extra overnight stay, and rearrange my (out of necessity) new connecting flight for me? Not hardly! So you see, this sort of thing can and does happen. Somehow, it’s always us consumers-as-passengers who take it on the chin, who somehow pay for it in the end.