Home Travel News Polar Bears, Caribbean Safety, Smog

Polar Bears, Caribbean Safety, Smog

Happy August from the Staff at Traveling Boy

We have designated this summer to think of those who suffer from great sorry and misfortune. Here are some of our favorite charities.


Comment: Arctic Cruise Tourism and Polar Bear Encounters

Svalbard polar bear and cubs
Photo credit: Asgeir Helgestad/Arctic Light AS/VisitNorway.com

A recent and very unfortunate incident in Svalbard where a polar bear was killed in self-defense after attacking a man from a cruise vessel has engaged a lot of people around the world. The international media has given the incident considerable attention, and people in general are very engaged through social media.


The World’s Most-Polluted Destinations, in One Map

Courtesy SmarterTravel & World Health Organization

Paris smog

Air pollution does a lot more than cancel or postpone vacations — it kills millions of people worldwide every year, according to the World Health Organization. Some of the worst places for air pollution are also home to bucket-list-worthy sights. But missing them might be the least of your problems if smog ramps up during your visit: Symptoms of air pollution sickness include nausea, coughing, headache, itchy eyes — and air pollution can cause long-term breathing problems.


Secrets the Cruise Lines Don’t Tell You

Courtesy Cruise Critic

cruise ship in a Norwegian fjord

The more you cruise, the more you pick up on the unofficial secrets the cruise lines don’t tell you — which give you more options, let you save money and generally allow you to have a better time on board. Don’t miss out on these hidden gems.


How to Take Your Own Passport Photo

Courtesy, Caroline Morse Teel, SmarterTravel

taking a passport photo

After paying $15 to have an awkward photoshoot in the aisle of a CVS, only to have my passport photos rejected twice (once for being too dark and once for being too bright), I decided there had to be a better way to take your own passport photo. Turns out, snapping your own passport photo is easier, cheaper, and much more convenient than going to a “professional” (a.k.a., the cashier at your local drugstore). Here’s a few tips:


The Born Free Foundation logo

New Guidebook to Promote Animal-Friendly Tourism

Animal-loving travellers are now able to enjoy their holidays better equipped to avoid accidentally harming wildlife, with a new guidebook published by Horizon Guides in consultation with international wildlife charity Born Free.


10 Countries Where the Dollar Goes Furthest in 2018

Courtesy Jamie Moore, SmarterTravel

Great Pyramids, Egypt

Your hard-earned dollar can take you to some incredible places where favorable exchange rates and undervalued currencies get you more bang for your buck in 2018. While the greenback isn’t as strong as it was last year, the dollar goes further in several countries you might not have expected.


Top 25 Most Interesting Webcams

Selected from hundreds of nominees by a panel of EarthCam producers, EarthCam announces the most unique and compelling webcams of the year.


2018’s Best Frequent Flyer Programs

Delta airline plane on the ground
Delta SkyMiles is the best frequent flyer program for the third straight year

With U.S. airlines expected to carry more than 600 million passengers on domestic flights this year and credit card debt levels exploding, we can expect airfare savings to be increasingly important in the months ahead.


TSA says old driver’s licenses OK for air travel until 2020

Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mike England announced that driver’s licenses from all states will be acceptable identification for domestic US air travel until Oct. 1, 2020. Airport signs had previously warned that licenses from some states would no longer be acceptable as of Jan. 22, 2018.


JetBlue’s ‘All You Can Jet’ Pass Is Back

Courtesy Cynthia Drescher

Courtesy JetBlue

How many free flights can you fit into one year?

Buy one flight, get a full year of flights for free. It sounds crazy, but it’s true for the next two weeks, as JetBlue awards travelers who book even one ticket on their website with a chance to win one of three ‘All You Can Jet’ passes for 2018. Dubbed “AYCJ” for short, the pass allows for unlimited travel from February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. Hopefully winners are bursting with wanderlust, as these AYCJ passes will be valid for flights to the more than 100 cities on JetBlue’s route map, including international destinations like Mexico City, Grand Cayman, Bermuda, St. Lucia, and Cartagena, Colombia.


Together in Spirit – The Best Friends Animal Society

At the core of Best Friends Animal Society’s work is the dream that one day animals will no longer be killed in America’s shelters.


How To Stay Safe and Secure on Your Caribbean Vacation

Courtesy Robert Curley

Aruba Palm Beach
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Safety and security are always a concern when you travel, and a Caribbean vacation is no exception. It’s a fine line between relaxing and letting your guard down, so while it’s fine to chill out and have a good time on your island adventure, there are a few sensible precautions you should take before leaving home and once you arrive at your destination.


Whether it’s Domestic or International Travel in your future always best to consult first with the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE — BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS

UNESCO Designates Japan’s 18th World Cultural Heritage Set

The Hidden Christian Sites of Nagasaki

remains of semi-underground type huts at ruins of Hara Castle, Nagasaki
Remains of semi-underground type huts at ruins of Hara Castle (a picture taken during the excavation process)

UNESCO has designated a series of sites associated with the checkered history of Christians in 16th- to 19th-century Japan as the country’s 18th World Cultural Heritage Site. The “site” is comprised of 10 villages in northwest Kyushu, as well as the ruins of Hara Castle — originally built by the Portuguese — and St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the city of Nagasaki.


How Cruise Lines Innovate When They Keep Building the Same Type of Ship

Courtesy Hannah Sampson, Skift

Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas inspired awe — and many headlines — when it launched in 2009 as the world’s largest cruise ship with 2,742 staterooms, nearly two dozen restaurants, seven neighborhoods, and a Central Park.

race track at the Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Cruise Line expanded the race track on its newest ship, Norwegian Bliss. Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

More than eight years later, Royal Caribbean is still launching Oasis-class ships, and still commanding headlines for the latest “world’s largest cruise ship.” That would be Symphony of the Seas, the fourth and slightly larger version of Oasis, which started sailing earlier this year.


The World’s Most Popular Travel Experiences, According to TripAdvisor

Courtesy Carl Unger

high-speed Train

TripAdvisor recently released its 2018 Travel Trends Report, naming the most popular travel experiences, tours, and activities booked by its users last year. The data points to a shift toward non-traditional and experiential activities as travelers look to expand their options.


Countries That Require Visas for Americans

The State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) administers the Consular Information Program, which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings are vital parts of this program.


How to Fight Jet Lag

airliner taking off

Being outside during daylight, exercising early and avoiding caffeine, alcohol or nicotine before bedtime can help lessen the effects of jet lag after returning home across time zones. Complete recovery can take multiple days.


Volunteer Vacations with Projects Abroad

choosing a volunteer vacation abroad

Choosing a volunteer vacation abroad is an increasingly popular option among people looking to do meaningful work during their vacation or career break. You can spend as little as 1 week volunteering in over 30 different countries around the world with Projects Abroad. By spending your vacation as a volunteer with Projects Abroad, you are joining a community of fellow volunteers and local people in developing countries – working hard, traveling, and having a good time while contributing to long-term impact.


12 Things You Should Never Do in an Airport Security Line

Courtesy Neil Gladstone

Photo courtesy: pittaya/Flickr

If you’ve ever wondered whether airport agents perform a necessary function, take a look at the TSA Instagram account. You’ll find a stupefying collection of objects confiscated from passengers, including axes, crossbows, and handguns (and that’s just in the last few days). Acting foolishly, though, can get you delayed from a flight or even detained. To help explain what you shouldn’t do in an airport security line, we tapped Lewis Sage-Passant, a former British infantry officer who is trained in intelligence and has worked in security and crisis management for several corporations, including Goldman-Sachs. These days, he runs How Safe Is My Trip, a company that creates advisory reports for people going to risky destinations.


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