Heading to a city with a public transit system? If so, you’re in luck! Many cities around the world have a cost-effective and reliable system of subway/metro, buses, light rails, and bike shares that can get you from A to B safety and often more quickly than a taxi or Uber/Lyft. For example, in NYC, Washington, DC, or London – the subway/metro/Tube is by far … Continue reading Public Transit
Whether you are traveling abroad for business, pleasure, or an educational adventure, it’s worth your while to take a few minutes and register with the U.S. State Department’s “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” or STEP. Essentially, the program lets the embassy responsible for the area(s) you will visit know that you are in-country. So, let’s say that there’s a terrible storm, political upheaval, or some type … Continue reading Registering with the Embassy
So a family friend is spending time in Beijing as a study abroad student. Amazing, I’m sure to be in the Chinese capitol for a few months to experience a totally different culture at an interesting time politically. So this student is suffering from some chest and lung issues. My mother, both concerned and curious why a young early 20-something would have chest pains, mentioned … Continue reading Beijing & Air
So it’s been a good while since I’ve posted – eek! The summer flew by (no pun intended) and now it’s October. Apparently taking three master’s program courses during the short summer semester makes the time disappear. Alas, I’m back. And, it’s that time of year when my parents say something to the affect of “So, we were thinking about going to (fill in European … Continue reading Frequent Flier Programs – Worth Your While?
If you are traveling to or through the European Union (EU), you should be aware that there is a “Passenger Bill of Rights” which advocates for passengers on air, rail, maritime, and road carriers. The guidelines are instituted at the EU-level and all EU carriers must abide by them by law. Sometimes, bureaucracy can be a good thing! Generally speaking, the rules apply to European-owned … Continue reading EU Traveler Rights
While traveling abroad, nothing drives me more crazy than not knowing how much things equal to in my home currency, US dollars. I’m one of those people who tries to understand exactly how much something is so that I can start to understand if things in the place I am visiting are generally more or less expensive than back at home. Some currencies, like the … Continue reading Currency Converters Are Wonderful
It’s never something you look forward to. Sometimes it just downright hurts. And the anti-vaxers out there say they’re dangerous. Depending on where you are traveling to, you’ll want…really, need…to get some shots. Things like hepatitis A or B, typhoid, polio, and yellow fever aren’t any fun and can be deadly, even in the age of modern medicine. Yes, these all still exist and can … Continue reading Shots? Who wants to get shots?!
With the craziness and anticipation surrounding the pending nuptials between Prince Harry and Ms. Markel, it made me think about my various trips to London. I’ll admit, it’s one of my favorite cities – it’s big, but livable – familiar, yet different – proper, but also laid back. This is also the time of year that many visitors make their way to the city from … Continue reading Cheers! Going to London?
The movies make embassy life look, well, absolutely fabulous. Swanky receptions, political intrigue, and world changing decisions being made daily by glamorous diplomats. So, like most things in life, the movies and reality are quite different. Though embassy life does have more than its fair share of receptions, most diplomats bore of the same bulk-purchased wine and small talk that go along with these social … Continue reading What does the Embassy do anyways?
This is a question I often got while living outside the U.S. Friends and family would come to visit and one of their first questions was “Will my hairdryer work there? Will I burn it out?” Totally reasonable questions. Since the U.S. is on 110v current and, well, just about everywhere else in the world is on 220v current, items which require electricity and wired … Continue reading Will my hairdryer work there?