Tag: Travel SafetyView All Tags
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We were robbed. It may have happened just over a year ago, but we still live with the effects (like a fear that comes while biking and we hear a moped motor approaching). Read the full story, but also take away whatever knowledge you can from our horrible experience in order to prevent it happening to you while away from home.
Only a few days ago, Lifehacker posted a brilliant list of tips for travelers toting nice cameras, including how to deter would-be thieves. In this vein, we're revisiting our own 8 safety tips to avoid being mugged abroad:
South Korea Travel / Travel Tips / Seoul Travel / ICN / GMP / Travel Safety / → All Tags
At Seoul's Gyeongbokgung Palace
Forget "Gangnam Style" for a moment and consider what influence the tiny country of South Korea has on the planet. Own anything by Samsung or LG? Ever tried Taekwondo or tasted Red Mango yogurt? These are all Korean contributions to the world. Finally more airlines are figuring out that Seoul is awesome enough to warrant nonstop flightslike American Airlines' nonstop from Dallas-Ft. Worth starting tomorrow (May 9).
If you're not scared off by North Korea's threatsand you shouldn't be because everything is progressing normal as pie in South Koreaand you're hopping a flight to ICN soon, then there are a few steps you can take to prepare for a trip to Seoul:
· Register with the State Department's STEP Program
STEP, or "Smart Traveler Enrollment Program," used to by the less jazzy title of "State Department Travel Registration," but its function is still the sameto make the US embassies to which you're traveling aware of your presence. Should there be a weather disaster, civil unrest, or other emergency occurrence, the embassy will have your contact information and know that you're likely in need of assistance along with other American in the country. In times of peace and sunny weather, the program occasionally sends an email with the latest travel alert news on the destination.
We actually register with STEP for any trip we take lasting over one week, or to any country with even the least bit of weirdness.
You’re probably familiar with the airline safety video, as it does its best to describe the importance of seatbelts, oxygen masks, and a timely exit in case of an emergency. Now there might be an additional safety briefing for those heading over to Hawaii, as some state officials want to reiterate the importance of staying safe in and around the water.
Since the ocean isn’t exactly a swimming pool, there are obviously risks involved due to waves, swells, and riptides. Drowning deaths aren’t a statistic that anyone is especially fond of, and that’s especially the case on the island of Kauai, where drownings have spiked this year. Now some lawmakers are proposing some rules and regulations that would encourage airlines to play some additional safety videos during the flight.
Travel Safety / Crimes / Peru Travel / Cusco Travel / Lima Travel / Machu Picchu Travel / → All Tags
Airfares from the US to Lima, Peru have been shockingly low latelywe're talking $500 roundtrip on a route that's typically at least $800and some of the reason is likely due to a (now lifted) travel warning from the US Embassy in Peru to Americans traveling in the Machu Picchu/Cusco area.
This week that warning ended, after a couple feared to have been kidnapped was actually found, happily traveling still, just through areas with no internet access. There is a rebel group (named Shining Path) still threatening the area in general, but the situation is once again safe for tourism.
In just the last year, America has made some great strides in LGBT communities with the advancement of multiple states' marriage equality laws and the 'Big O' announcing his support for all gay Americans. Now it's the State Department's turn to get in on the gay ol' fun.
When it comes to gay rights, there are places way better at it than the USwe're looking at you Tel Avivand on the flip side, there are nations who fail miserably. The folks we elected into office have opened up an info portal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travelers to visit, to ensure that international travels are smooth.
Hopefully the winter holidays included some travel to wipe the dust off your passport, but you should think about keeping your passport nice whether your traveling or not. These things are valid for ten years. Ten years. That means that at no point in ten years can you spill coffee or especially Kool-Aid all over it.
Our three tips for passport care:
· Don't underestimate the power of a passport cover
Maybe this is common sense, but you'd be surprised how often we see travelers carrying their passports willy-nilly while walking through the airport. Get a passport cover...for several reasons. The "duh" reason is that it helps prolong the life of your passport, saving it from minor spills and whatnot. Other reasons for getting a cover include easy spotting it in your bag, keeping entry documents together, and not being obvious about your nationality. Just do know that you will have to remove your passport from the cover for inspection at immigration, customs, etc.
We have several passport cases, from basic and clear to leather and filled with pockets. Still, we've never found anything more easy to use than a larger wallet, where we stick the passport in the slot once used for a checkbook.
But if you insist on being obstinate and refusing to follow very basic safety travel rules, keep reading while we explain to you how millions and millions of hotel rooms in the world not only can be broken into by a simple hack, but are now actually being broken into. Our sister blog HotelChatter has been covering the hack since it was revealed, warning in July that the threat existed and in October that it was worse than previously thought.
For months hotel chains did little to nothing to fix the problem, and now it's led to real people losing real laptops and become a full-blown travel safety issue. Someone should at the very least get kind of reprimanded, don't you think?
Bike Sharing / Safety / Travel Safety / Boston Travel / Bicycling / Green Travel / Bike Travel / → All Tags
With the appearance of bike sharing programs all over the place there’s also the need for bike safety re-education, and the city of Boston is getting ready to go all in. The police aren’t giving tickets to riders just yet for not wearing helmets, but there is quite the push to ensure that your head stays safe.
Residents and locals alike have made the city’s Hubway bike share system a hit, but now the increase in riders has resulted in a need for increased safety. Signups for Hubway encourage riders to buy a helmet, to always wear the helmet, and there are even safety classes from which to choose. The city has also started to blanket the bike lanes with signs reminding everyone what can happened to those who choose not to wear a helmet, and the results—which are not too pretty. Some of the signs show some pretty nasty injuries, and many have the tagline “And you think a helmet is uncomfortable?”
It's not too early to start a holiday wish list, right?
We've been flying a lot lately (duh) and though it's a mix of business and economy class seats, we find that space on an airplane is still never enough to get some work done in peace, with privacy. Another big duh.
And then we saw a commercial for a new product from 3M that solves at least some of this problem; their Privacy Patrol Screen Protectors shield laptop, smartphone and tablet screens from all sides except for straight-on. In their words, "anyone viewing your screen from a side angle will see a dark, blank screen while you still see a clear image."
This means no one but the direct user can read over your shoulder or sneak a peek at your email. We're thinking they'd be handy for when we're editing images (or tweeting about annoying people on our flight) and all the cabin lights are off and basically anyone within three rows of us can easily spy.
Everything is going fine and dandy as you get ready for the last little bit of your long-haul flight over to Australia; however, all of a sudden you see something odd down in the waters off the coast out your window. Something like this actually happened for some passengers aboard an Air Canada flight on its way down under, as the pilot and crew helped rescue a stranded sailor.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney took a temporary detour as it hoped to gain a glimpse of a solo sailor who activated an emergency beacon after some bad luck and bad weather left him stranded at sea. The Air Canada plane—a Boeing 777—dropped to about 5,000 feet as the crew asked passengers to help check out the scene out the window. Sure enough, thanks to some passenger-supplied binoculars, the crew spotted the distressed sailor and they were able to radio back the coordinates and other helpful tidbits of location information.
Travel Bans / Airport Security / Customs / US Travel / Passports / Lists / Airports / Travel Safety / Dangerous Travel / → All Tags
If you’re not happy with the souvenir options from the airport, there’s always thinking outside the box. Just be sure to watch where you shop, because some stuff that’s cool abroad isn’t as cool once you arrive at US Customs and Border Patrol. Here’s a list of some of the best stuff you just have to leave behind. Oh, and skip the bootleg purse or watch—those are banned too.
A couple from Seattle learned this the hard way recently, as they were detained at the border over their chocolate contraband. Kinder Eggs—popular pretty much everywhere but the US—aren’t allowed to be brought into the nifty fifty. Basically the issue is that the little toys inside the chocolate eggs are a choking hazard, and the FDA isn’t too cool with them because food with non-nutritive objects in it is a big fat nope. So for now keep your candy separate from your toys, and you’ll be okay.
Wander through an overseas liquor store and you might come across the green fairy, but just be sure that you consume what you need aboard—the real good stuff isn't looked kindly upon in the United States. Even though most absinthe isn’t the stuff of literary legend, anything with just the word "absinthe" on the label is questionable. According to Uncle Sam it’s also against the law to import any absinthe beverage especially if the label shows artwork or pictures hinting at hallucinogenic or mind-altering effects—bummer.
If you're headed out to the shores of Southern California this summer, be careful! Well, be careful anywhere, but it's not just giant sharks you have to watch out for here.
Officials say the warmer waters of the currents from the south are bringing the Black Sea Nettle and Purple Stripe Jellyfish to the San Diego area in record numbers.