G8, G20 and Canada Travel

June 7, 2010 on 10:07 am | In Canada travel, Travel Safety, country travel information, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

The G8 and G20 summits will be held in Canada later this month. The G8 and G20 are conferences named loosely for the number of countries invited to attend and are a forum where strategies for the world’s economies are discussed.

The G8 Summit will be held on June 25 and 26 in Muskoka at the Deerhurst Resort near Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, about 220 kilometers north of Toronto. The G20 meeting will be held in Toronto on June 26 and 27 and a portion of the center city will be closed to casual visitors. See this article from CityTV.com for a map of the area that will be cordoned off in Toronto and this site from the Toronto Sun for a good explanation of the backgrounds of the G8 and G20.

The G8 site is remote and the security for the event should not be a difficulty for most tourists, except those vacationing in the area. The section of downtown Toronto that is being secured is more heavily traveled and may inconvenience tourists visiting the city during the G20 meeting. Our advice, avoid Tornonto and the Huntsville areas until after the twin conferences have left town. Numerous demonstrations are expected and violence has been a common strategy for those protesting these meetings.

Once the meetings are over, however, it really is a delightful time of year to visit Canada, especially Ontario.

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Snow in Rome?

February 12, 2010 on 7:49 am | In Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, country travel information, rome travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel weather warning | 1 Comment

Today Rome experienced a rare snowfall that closed the Coliseum and a local airport. Although the amount of snow was minor, more may fall in the next 24 to 36 hours. See this article from Bloomberg in Business Week for more details.

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Europe Not This Week – Part 2

December 22, 2009 on 10:30 pm | In Europe travel, ThereArePlaces.com, country travel information, personal travel, things travelers need to know, travel, travel news, travel restrictions, travel warnings | Comments Off

Well, its been travel hell in Europe this week and its does not look like the situation will markedly improve until next week at the earliest. Seems like it’s a Dickens’ Christmas for travelers on the continent and in the UK – “Bah, Humbug!”

If you have a choice, delay travel to Europe until after Christmas. If you do not have a choice, be prepared for delays, lines and the usual travel problems that pop-up when the weather “breaks” transportation systems.

There was some good news as the Eurostar is, once again, running the Channel Tunnel, although the backlog of passengers is so large that the company is not accepting new reservations until after Christmas. Here are three stories on the weather troubles from the BBC, Wall Street Journal, and Deutshce Welle.

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Athens and Copenhagen – Not This Week!

December 6, 2009 on 9:26 pm | In Denmark travel, Greece Travel, country travel information, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

As you may know, Athens was the scene of violent demonstrations this weekend on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of a teenager by the police. The death has become a cause for what has been labeled in the International press as “a student anarchist movement.” We are not sure how the classify the unrest, other than to note our recommendation the travelers avoid central Athens during the next week. Check with news sources in Athens for more detailed information.

Another location to avoid for next two weeks is Copenhagen, as the city is hosting the international Summit On Climate Change. By all accounts the city is brimming with security, in addition to the 15,000 delegates and 100 world leaders who will attend over the next two weeks. See this article by the BBC for detailed information. It is expected that there will be numerous demonstrations in Copenhagen by those dissatisfied the both the status quo and the pace of the talks, since it is not expected that any major agreements will be signed during the meeting.

Our recommendations is that travelers who want to see Copenhagen, but have nothing to do with the Climate Summit avoid the city until the Summit has ended. Hotel rooms are in short supply, restuarant service will be slow, the crowds will be huge and the demonstrations could get ugly.

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Human Swine Flu – A Pandemic?

April 25, 2009 on 11:21 pm | In Mexico travel, country travel information, personal travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

Last Tuesday we wrote about the possibility that the Avian Flu was still lurking and the potential problems that it could cause for travelers.  It appears we were focused on both the wrong geography and the wrong “carrier”. 

Late last week it was revealed that there appears to be a previously unknown variation of the swine flu that has combined into a form that can be communicated to humans.  In Mexico, mainly  in Mexico City, it appears that 81 have died of the flu and over 1300 may be infected.  In addition, according to the CDC 8 cases of swine influenza have surfaced in the western and southern US, although, as of this date, no fatalities have been recorded.

International organizations are worried the this particular strain of the flu could become a pandemic.  A pandemic is a flu that can 1) infect humans, 2) be easily spread between people and 3) for which there is no immunity.   The last pandemic in 1968 (the Hong Kong Flu) resulted in over a million deaths, while the two other 20th century pandemics resulted in over 50 million deaths. 

See this article from the BBC for more information on the flu.

Until the threat situation in Mexico becomes clear, we receommend avoiding travel to Mexico City.  Until more details are known, it might be prudent to reconsider any immediate travel anywhere in Mexico.  Of course, these are issues that all travelers must decide for themselves. 

If you must travel to Mexico, wash your hands frequently during travel, avoid groups of people (hard to avoid when flying) and contact with people (hand shakes, etc.).  Finally, wear a mask.  Yes, it looks silly but is very effective in thwarting the influenza.

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It’s Time For A Visit To The United Kingdom!

March 15, 2009 on 11:27 am | In Europe travel, London travel, Scotland travel, UK Travel, United Kingdom, Wales Travel, country travel information | Comments Off

One of the world’s most interesting travel destinations is the …United Kingdom.  Yes, that’s right.  Unfortunately, it seems as if the UK has fallen out of favor with some travelers, but we find it a delightful place that is full of unique attractions, interesting cultures and beautiful landscapes.  What’s more, for many visitors the language is relatively easy to understand (remember we mentioned the language, not the accents).

If you have not been to the UK, you should take a look at our Guide to its best places to visit. We even have a separate guide that explores the wonders of Scotland.  In addition, we recently added a new piece on the Best Castles to Visit in Wales, England and Scotland.

     Caerphilly Castle in Wales

We have to admit that we always look forward to the time we can grab in London, as we never tire of its museums, galleries, pubs, shopping and assorted things to do.  It is a great city for walking and wandering and you every time we visit we find something new.  As many times as we have been in London, you would think that we would not be candidates for taking one  of the many “walking” tours offered, but we always find a new topic of interest to us and the guides are usually very informative and uniquely comical.

Outside of London, we find ourselves drawn to the beautiful Cotswolds, Bath and its Roman heritage, the Lake Country, York and its unique Viking heritage.  For some unexplained reason we are almost magnetically attracted to the many archaeological sites along Hadrian’s Wall.  In addition, Wales, its castles and unique coastal villages also seem to send us a beguiling message to visit as soon as we can. 

As for Scotland, well visiting Scotland is a reward in itself.  The sights, the culture, its painful, self-destructive history (including the story of Mary Queen of Scots), all intertwine to make a most interesting visit.  However, we usually spend as much time hiking around the Scottish countryside as we do anything else. In spring, summer and fall, Scotland can be a glorious place to visit.

Maybe it is time for you to think about visiting the UK?  We think it would be well worth your time to visit this dynamic collection of nations.  If you have kids, the UK is one of the easier places to tour, it offers a great deal of information about things and places they have likely heard in school and it is a kid-friendly destination.  Of course, it will give your kids a great deal of ammunition to ping you about concerning their adventures while you were driving on “the wrong side of the road”! If that worries you, we even have advice for “driving on the left“.

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ThereArePlaces News Release on Best Places To Visit in Mexico

February 13, 2009 on 1:36 pm | In Mexico travel, country travel information, travel news, vacation travel | Comments Off

Attached is our latest press release from ThereArePlaces.com that was published yesterday.

Cancun and the Riviera Maya or Cabo and the Mexican Riviera?

Popular Travel Website Highlights Mexico’s Best Places To Visit

Laguna Hills, CA 2/12/2009 09:43 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

ThereArePlaces announced today the launch of the 2009 edition of its online travel guide to the best places to visit in Mexico, a county that is widely considered one of the leading travel destinations in the world.  The Mexico Guide is focused on describing the leading destinations along the country’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts.  It provides details for visiting  Mexico’s Caribbean coast including  detailed coverage of Cancun, Chichen Itza, Cozumel, the Riviera Maya and the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba.  On the Pacific coast, the coverage is focused on the breathtaking Mexican Riviera, including, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo and Acapulco. The lavishly illustrated guide includes detailed, purpose-built maps to help explore Mexico’s coasts.

“Vacationing along Mexico’s shorelines is an increasingly popular choice with travelers from around the world,” said Mike Dobson, President of ThereArePlaces.  “The coastal areas of Mexico feature great weather, fantastic beaches, good diving, almost unlimited water sports, game fishing, interesting sightseeing and lodging to suit the needs of those looking for luxury or an eco-friendly approach to vacationing.”

About ThereArePlaces
ThereArePlaces  is a fast growing website that offers two distinctive sections: Vacation Destination Guides and a section on travel advice called “Things Travelers Need To Know.”  The Destination Guide section covers top destinations in forty of the world’s most popular countries for vacation travel. As put by the Company president Mike Dobson, “Our commitment is to provide travel advice that might help you take the journey of a lifetime.”

ThereArePlaces is a property of TeleMapics, LLC, a business focused on Geospatial Information, including travel, tourism, and other location based services (http://www.telemapics.com/).
http://www.thereareplaces.com/

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The European Union’s 112 Emergency Hotline

February 12, 2009 on 8:59 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Spain Travel, country travel information, travel news | Comments Off

In 1991, the European Union insituted a 112 emergency telephone helpline, but it has had a rocky history.  Service seems to be shaping up.  A current review of the system and some of its remaining problems has been published in DW-World.  The article might be of interest to you if you plan to travel in Europe, especially if you plan to drive in Europe.

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Wild Weather Continues in Europe

February 10, 2009 on 11:04 am | In France Travel, Spain Travel, UK Travel, country travel information, travel news | Comments Off

Yesterday, we reported on the storms expected to hit the UK and Europe and they appear to have been doozies, influencing air travel, land travel, ferries and most other conveyances that would be used by tourists.  Read this article from Bloomberg for all the details.

 

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UK Confuses Carry-On Luggage Restrictions!

January 8, 2008 on 5:12 pm | In London, United Kingdom, country travel information, personal travel | 4 Comments

Just when you thought it could not get any loonier, we have a topper.  On January 7th the Department of Transport in the UK lifted the one-bag limit that it had placed on travelers flying from airports in the UK. 

For example, last month we traveled to Munich through Heathrow, changing from an American Airlines flight to a Lufthansa flight at Heathrow.  We were prepared for the one bag limitation, but many of our fellow travelers were not and most had to check their second bag before they could board their connecting flight at Heathrow.

While the new rule change should have abolished this difficulty, it has not.  Instead, although the government has changed its policy, it allows the airports and airlines to establish their own policy regarding carry-on limits.  In other words, you cannot be sure that you can carry a second bag because the airport or airline may prohibit your carrying a second bag. 

For example airlines at Heathrow have the option of allowing you to take a second bag – although many have announced that they are keeping the one bag limitation.   As another example, Standsted Airport has decided not to change their existing policy limiting you to one bag of carry-on luggage.  The only way to try to figure this out is to call your airline’s service center and ask.

One potential shortcut is this article published by the BBC which lists the the policy by airport and airline. In the end, however, you will need to contact your airline to determine the specifics.

 

 

  

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