We thought we would start the week with some travel news.
Whenever we have advance notification of demonstrations that might influence your daily travel plans we will note them here and identify them with the Travel Warning symbol shown below. This week’s demonstrations look like small stuff, but the Netherlands has been having its share of problems and the demonstrations in The Hague could lead to some fireworks.
We presume those of you traveling to Copenhagen, have been following the problems the Danes are having with the close-down of a house that had been used as free lodging by a variety of Danish citizens. Now, however, it appears that anarchists (at least that is what the press is calling them) have entered the fray. See this article for more information http://news.bostonherald.com/international/europe/view.bg?articleid=186306
There will be two minor demonstrations in the Netherlands this week. On March 8th and 9th demonstrators will be marching in The Hague. Crowds are expected at the Iranian Embassy on the 8th and at the embassies of the U.S., Turkey and Iraq on the 9th. For more information, see this link to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands.
Next, we have some more “official” information for you. Most travelers have some difficulty trying to figure out what their expenses might be on vacation because they are unfamiliar with the prices of goods and services in foreign countries. While we have seen a number of “private” studies that are sold to major corporations so that they can manage their travel expenses (and set employees expectations about what they can spend on food and lodging), we have seen few public documents.
While rooting around the travel section of the U.S. State Department website today (http://www,state,gov/travelandbusiness/ ) we uncovered these links to the governments per diem rates for foreign travel.
For an HTML version http://www.state.gov/m/a/als/prdm/78350.htm
For a downloadable Excel version http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/78449.xls
The table provides the per diem rates that U.S. employees and contractors are allowed to charge for hotels and for total per diem rates around the world in 2007. Some caution is in order for those unfamiliar with government rates, as many of the numbers look out of whack, mostly on the low side. However, they can give you some idea of the prices you may see in countries where it is hard to get comparative information.
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