Category Archives: Vacation Tips

Lots of Americans have a fear of flying. There are ways to overcome the anxiety disorder.

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By Sarah Vander Schaaff

Tami Augen Rhodes needed to fly to Washington. An invitation to a black-tie event at the Supreme Court was an opportunity the 49-year-old lawyer in Tampa did not want to miss. But Rhodes had not flown since she was 35, when an escalating dislike of flying grew into a firm phobia.

Desperate to get to Washington without resorting to a long train ride, Rhodes called into a weekly group-telephone chat run by Tom Bunn, a former Air Force and commercial airline pilot and licensed clinical social worker who runs a program for fearful fliers.

Bunn asked her what she was afraid of.

“I started crying,” Rhodes recalled. She told the group what worried her. “I am afraid of dying.”

Fear of flying, or aviophobia, is an anxiety disorder. About 40 percent of the general population reports some fear of flying, and 2.5 percent have what is classified as a clinical phobia, one in which a person avoids flying or does so with significant distress.

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Mexico’s Playa Bagdad mixes sun, sand and drug trafficking

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MARIA VERZA, Associated Press

PLAYA BAGDAD, Mexico (AP) — At the very eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border there’s a long strip of sand where the Rio Grande meets the sea. It is called Playa Bagdad — or ‘Bagdad Beach.’

Unlike the Tijuana-Imperial Beach border on the western end, here there are no steel pilings marching out to sea to stop migrants from swimming, wading or paddling across to the United States.

In Playa Bagdad, which is spelled ‘Playa Baghdad’ by the Drug Enforcement Agency, it’s apparently unnecessary: This is a beach for drugs and crime, not migrants.

As attention focuses on the migrant crisis along the border that has drawn harsh rhetoric and actions from President Donald Trump, Playa Bagdad seems to have escaped notice.

Here, there are no walls or border guards, just miles of dunes and Gulf coast beaches marked only by simple wooden huts or awnings held up by sticks.

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8 Travel Space Saver Bags – No Vacuum or Pump Needed – for Clothes – Reusable – Luggage Compression – Set of 4 L and 4 M Sacks – Transparent

  • 4 large size – 28×20 inch (70×50 centimeter) and 4 medium size – 24×16 inch (60×40 centimeter). 180 DAY WARRANTY! If you don’t like the space saver organizers, we’ll buy them back!
  • Vacuum storage bags. Three times more clothes in your luggage: suitcase or backpack. For your clothes, towels, blankets
  • The compression bags are airtight, and they protect your clothes from odors, bugs, moths, dust or dampness
  • You don’t need a vacuum or pump to have vacuum packaging for clothing to use the plastic bags. All you need is to zip the roll up suction bags for travel and roll in order to push air out through the valves at the bottom of the bag.
  • The Chestnut space saver bags are perfect for clothing storage, towels, sheets and pillowcases at home for seasonal storage: at your country house, in your car, or at survival camp during a zombie attack. Can be used as a dirty clothes organizer.

Nepal mulls minimum Everest criteria after deadly season

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Climbers wanting to take on Mount Everest will first have to tackle another Nepal mountain of at least 6,500 metres (21,325 feet) under new proposals by a committee seeking to improve safety on the world’s highest peak.

The requirement is being proposed after a deadly traffic-clogged season saw 11 climbers die on Everest, which some experts blamed on inexperience.

“These recommendations have been made to ensure the quality and safety of Nepal’s mountaineering tourism,” Ghanshyam Upadhayay, tourism ministry official and head of the committee told AFP.

The committee also proposed a fee of at least $35,000 for Everest and $20,000 for other mountains over 8,000 metres, amid criticism that cost-cutting by expedition organisers was jeopardising climbers’ safety.

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US lays out enforcement priorities for animals on planes


The government is telling airlines and passengers how it will enforce rules governing animals that people bring on planes.

The Transportation Department said Thursday that airline employees can bar any animal they consider a safety threat. Airlines, however, can be punished if they ban an entire dog or cat breed, such as pit bulls.

The department’s enforcement office said that it doesn’t plan to stop airlines from asking passengers “reasonable” questions about a service animal’s vaccinations, training and behavior. Airlines can require advance notice if passengers plan to bring an emotional support animal — several already do — but can’t impose the same requirement for service animals such as guide dogs for the blind.

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FILE – In this April 1, 2017 file photo, a service dog strolls through the isle inside a United Airlines plane at Newark Liberty International Airport while taking part in a training exercise in Newark, N.J. The government is telling airlines and passengers how it will enforce rules governing animals that people bring on planes. The Transportation Department said Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, that airline employees can bar any animal they consider a safety threat. Airlines, however, can be punished if they ban an entire dog or cat breed, such as pit bulls. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)


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Rome Fines Tourists for Sitting on Famed Spanish Steps as Police Enforce New Restrictions

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Tourists hoping to create the famous ice cream scene from Roman Holiday are in for some disappointment.

The city of Rome has banned people from sitting on the Spanish Steps, a popular tourist destination, and doing so could earn visitors up to a €400 fine, or about $450, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

While the rule is one of several meant to “guarantee decorum” that took effect in July, police officers began patrolling the monument for violators this week.

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WHY THE UK SHOULD BE YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE TRAVEL DESTINATION

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For all the charm of a far-away island or a sultry jungle wilderness, when it comes to travel, long-haul isn’t necessarily the most appealing option any more. Whether it’s the debate surrounding the flight-shaming movement or the uncertainty of Brexit that has us pinned to home turf, there are more reasons than ever before to staycation.

But staying put doesn’t have to mean staying sedentary. Here’s how you can embark on a great adventure without even leaving the country.

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Skylon Tower: Ride To The Top. Book Now.

 
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Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises’ brand-new, billion-dollar cruise ship

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Behold the Edge, Celebrity Cruises’ brand-new, billion-dollar baby, Yes, that’s what it costs to build a cruise ship these days, often even more.

Thirty million people are expected to go on cruises in 2019, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. That’s in spite of well-publicized outbreaks of disease at sea, freak accidents, even tragedies – like the toddler who fell to her death earlier this month.

The number of cruise ship passengers is up more than 12 million from a decade ago. ‘We’re still just scratching the surface,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity’s parent company. He knows a growth industry when he sees one.

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The price tag for the new Celebrity Edge cruise ship, operated by Celebrity Cruises: $1 billion. CBS NEWS

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GEEK ROAD TRIP: 10 NERDY HOTELS THAT’LL TURN VACATION INTO A FANDOM PILGRIMAGE

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A good hotel offers entrée to new experiences while providing some of the comforts of home; a great hotel does all that while also fulfilling some kind of fantasy. To satisfy most typical travelers, that largely involves offering them the temporary illusion of being filthy rich, with servants at their beck and call in vast and luxurious quarters.

For true geeks, however, the fantasy can be a little bit — or a whole lot — different. Luckily, like every other major industry out there, the hotel sector has taken note of the spending power wielded by nerds and their families. That’s led to a boom in rooms aimed at satisfying the geek desire to be totally surrounded with tasteful thematic decorations and tchotchkes that transport them to their favorite fictional worlds, from the moment they wake up all the way through the time they place their heads on their officially licensed pillowcases.

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Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, Athens

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