Home Eclectic Stuff Sunscreen Bans, Women Travel, Polanski’s J’Accuse

Sunscreen Bans, Women Travel, Polanski’s J’Accuse

5 Easy Ways to Secure Your Hotel Room

Inexpensive, portable safety devices to take with you when you travel
Courtesy by David Dean

Are you worried about the security of your hotel room when you travel? You never really know who else has a key to your room, or how good the locks and deadbolts actually are. Luckily, there are several easy, inexpensive ways to secure the room more effectively. Here are five of the best.


Two Thirds Of Americans Worry About Work Whilst On Vacation

Courtesy Calum McCloskey, 10 Yetis Digital

New research has found the biggest worries that Americans have whilst on vacation, with the weather, accommodation, spending money and arguments all making the top five, with almost two thirds confessing to also worrying about work whilst away.

Traditionally, American small farmers find it difficult to take carefree vacations due to the endless four-season work on the farm. Photograph by Deb Roskamp

As well as determining the biggest worries that Americans have on vacation, with work featuring quite heavily for many, the biggest worries Americans have at the airport were also revealed, with fear of a flight being delayed or cancelled, luggage getting lost or damaged and missing the flight from being late topping the list.



Beth Whitman here. I’m the founder of WanderTours and am your (mostly) fearless leader.

Beth Whitman

I escort groups on most of our trips – the exception being photography trips and yoga retreats where professionals are there to guide and teach you. After my first book was released, Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo, women started asking me to bring them along on my travels. Wanting them to travel independently – as I had done for nearly 20 years up to that point – I was reluctant at first. But I recognized that not everyone has the energy, time or sometimes even the desire to plan their own travels. So I led my first tour to Bhutan in 2008.


6 Destinations with Sunscreen Bans, and What You Need to Know

Courtesy Shannon McMahon, SmarterTravel

sea turtle in Hawaii
The reef-rich state of Hawaii voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the reef-damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate beginning in 2021.

Think the plastic straws you gave up sipping from are bad for our oceans? It’s time to consider the same about the sunscreen you use. Non-biodegradable sunscreens that contain harsh chemicals like oxybenzone have been proven to be toxic to coral reefs and other sea life. But travelers haven’t been as quick to widely abandon them for a natural alternative — so now some destinations are enacting sunscreen bans themselves.

Here are some of the most popular destinations that have banned non-biodegradable sunscreens, and how you can switch to a responsible alternative.


Survey: Only About One-Third of Americans Say They Sleep Better in Hotels

Majority Believe Mattress is Less Comfortable Than at Home

As millions of Americans head out on vacation this summer looking for rest and relaxation, it’s likely that two-thirds of them won’t sleep as well as they do at home.


Secrets the Cruise Lines Don’t Tell You

Courtesy Erika Silverstein, Cruise Critic

Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park. Photo courtesy of Deb Roskamp

Cruise ship life can be a little mysterious. Your choices aren’t always spelled out in black and white. 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 onboard.


Protect Yourself Against Airport Checkpoint Theft

Airport theft is becoming a major problem for travelers, so make sure to get to your destination with all your items intact.


7 Things You Should Always Wear on a Plane

Courtesy Caroline Costellos

Be the best-dressed (and most comfortable) person in the cabin with our guide to in-flight apparel.

Hard Day's Night 2017

Question: Which two Beatles are left-handed?

Scroll down for the answer

How to Disinfect Your Airplane Seat

landing plane


Virtual Reality Helps Japan’s Elderly Travel the World

CNN Travel

Traveling from the canals of Venice to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a group of elderly people in Japan is seeing the world – without even leaving their seats. It’s all thanks to virtual reality, as well as a team at the University of Tokyo led by Kenta Toshima.


How to Renew a Passport in 24 Hours

Courtesy Shannon McMahon

taking a passport photo

By partnering with an existing service called RushMyPassport, FedEx is facilitating a nationwide solution for those who need very fast passport renewal.


Half of Americans Would Take a Job With No Paid Time Off for a Higher Salary

Meanwhile, One in Three Workers Would Give Up Some Pay for Unlimited Vacation

Half (49 percent) of working Americans would accept a job with no vacation time if they were paid more, according to the 11th annual Vacation Confidence Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance. Millennials (63 percent, compared to 47 percent of Gen X’ers and 32 percent of Baby Boomers) and men (57 percent, versus 41 percent of women) are the most likely to sacrifice paid time off for higher salaries.


Pickpocket-Proof Clothing: 10 Garments to Protect Your Stuff

Courtesy Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Aday’s Throw It Higher Leggings

Nothing sours a trip like having your belongings stolen by a pickpocket. But chances are, if you travel frequently — or just happen to be unlucky — a sticky-fingered stranger will one day secretly separate you from your stuff. Since traveling sans cash, credit cards, and other valuables isn’t an option for most of us, I’ve rounded up a passel of pickpocket-proof clothing and accessories that’ll make you less of a target for thieves.


The Best Navigation Tools to Keep You on Track on a Car Trip, Here or Abroad

Courtesy Catharine Hamm, L.A. Times

navigation tools
Choose the navigation methods that work for you. Image Credits: LA Times (latimes.com)

Abbey Road album cover art

Beatle Beat Trivia Answers

Question: Name the Two Beatles who are left-handed.

Answer: Paul and Ringo who are alive and well, and left-handed.

Travel’s Unspoken Taboo – Pooping Your Pants!

walking on the road to Monument Valley

Listen to excruciatingly funny tales from traglamorous selfies, sometimes s**** gets real! But no-one wants to talk about every traveler’s worst nightmare – until now.

  • When you gotta go in a Nepalese temple! Do the Gods smile on this backpacker?
  • Terror at 30,000 feet – explosive decompression of the worst kind!
  • Go for launch, recreating how the Apollo astronauts wentin space.

Polanski’s J’Accuse (aka An Officer and a Spy) Showcased at Venice Film Festival

Courtesy Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

a scene from Roman Polanski’s J’Accuse

Not everyone is happy about Roman Polanski having a new film in competition in Venice — especially since the festival only has two women directors competing this year. Some commentators have considered it an act of some chutzpah for Polanski to make a film about a historic case of unjust accusation and punishment — J’Accuse (aka An Officer and a Spy), his account of the Dreyfus case which divided France in the 1890s. In reality, it would be seriously stretching a point to interpret Polanski’s new film as being in any direct way about his own experience, although his depiction of Dreyfus’s exile on Devil’s Island certainly rhymes with his concern with the pain of isolation, from The Tenant to The Pianist.


10 New Women Only Travel Escapes to Take in 2019

Courtesy Shannon McMahon, SmarterTravel

lady traveler at Dubrovnik
The world’s largest women-only travel company, Wild Women Expeditions is offering five new 2019 trips to Borneo’s volcanoes and islands, Morocco’s Atlantic coast and Atlas Mountains, and Croatia’s Mediterranean coast and Dalmatian islands — all of which promise female trip leaders.

Not sure you’re a group travel person? If you’re a woman seeking a new, authentic, and sustainable way to see your dream destination, women-only travel operators can take your trip to new heights. Group options like tours catering to those who identify as female can take you across the globe in a more inspiring and authentic way than the average tour does. And in the post-#MeToo era, the number of women-only travel possibilities has skyrocketed.


One In Five American Millennials Go On Vacation To Take Pictures For Social Media

beach selfie

  • 11% of American millennials say the main reason for going on vacation is to get pictures for social media, with it being a top factor for as many as one in five
  • Two thirds upload pictures to social media whilst on holiday
  • The average millennial spends 40 minutes per day on vacation taking social media pictures

D.C. Sues Marriott Over Hidden Resort Fees ‘Pricing Deception’

Courtesy Ed Perkins

Japanese cherry tree blossoms

The first real action to prevent hotels from posting false low-ball prices on initial rate searches, also known as hidden “resort fees,” is finally underway. The Attorney General of the District of Columbia asked the D.C. Superior Court for injunctive relief against Marriott (the world’s largest hotel chain) for violations of the District’s consumer protections against deceptive advertising. And it could mean a lot for the future of hotel pricing.

Deb's Poetry Break

On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

By John Keats

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Send Deb your favorite travel poems

Random Acts of Canine Kindness

Cedric the Dog takes a well-deserved break after an ill fated attempt to shut down a white supremacist rally in Wyoming.

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. – Harry S. Truman

MORE Dog Quotations

Top Museums in Rome

Capitoline Museums, Rome
Capitoline Museums. Photo courtesy of Jensens/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Rome’s museums contain everything from ancient sculpture to modern art, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. In order to appreciate all of the various different kinds of art Rome’s museums have to offer, visitors will need more than one day – perhaps a day per museum of interest. Plan to take your time so you can fully absorb all the amazing world history these museums have on display.


Discovering St Helena: Explore Life On One of the Most Remote Islands in the World

Diana’s Peak National Park, St. Helena
Diana’s Peak National Park, St. Helena. Photo courtesy of St. Helena Tourism

1,200 miles from Africa and 1,800 miles from South America lays a fascinating remote volcanic island named St Helena. Almost entirely cut-off from the outside world, the island has often sparked interest by historian enthusiasts drawn to the island’s rich history, allowing them a glimpse into its role in fighting the slave trade, acting as a Boer prisoner of war site and the notorious home and prison of Napoleon, who was exiled to the island.


7 Common Travel Crises and How to Conquer Them

Courtesy Denise Caiazzo, Travel Planners International

travel luggage

Travel advisors are well-equipped to handle just about anything travel-related. Give them a destination, a budget, and a few key interests, and they can whip up an entirely personalized itinerary that will make a client feel over-the-moon, as they make their travel dreams come true.

But what happens when an unforeseen travel nightmare occurs? We’re talking, “I can’t find my passport and I leave for my trip in a week!” or “Surprise, a bad storm hit, and all flights are canceled.”


Behind the Bucket List: What Americans Really Want in Travel

Courtesy Tours.com

what Americans really want in travel

What do Americans want when it comes to Bucket List travel? A group from Provisional Living wanted to find out not only what’s on those lists, but why and how they got there. What they found was pretty revealing.


Are Airlines Tracking Your Flight Searches (and Raising Prices)?

Courtesy Caroline Morse Teel

flight searches

Ms. Caroline Morse Teel, Senior Editor of SmarterTravel, investigates whether or not searching for airfare makes the price go up. Also: perfume on a plane, tipping when gratuities are included, who can sit in an exit row, and more.


How to Complain Effectively at a Hotel

Courtesy Charlyn Keating

Demand satisfaction when you have a valid complaint

How to Complain Effectively at a Hotel
(Click to enlarge) Photo courtesy of TripSavvy 2018

7 Travel Gadgets You Don’t Need & What to Buy Instead

Courtesy Nevin Spearman‎

u-shaped neck-supportive pillow

There are all sorts of gadgets out there that promise to make traveling easier but often fall short. Some are cheaply made and fall apart after one trip. Others are just impractical, a realization that only comes after lugging them around the globe. Below are some of the not-so-great travel gadgets we’ve either purchased ourselves or have spotted in the wild, and the handy alternatives that you may find more useful.

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