Travel News for the Week of November 17

By November 17, 2019Blog

Hi Everyone,

How do you carry your money when you travel?   Everyone has a different philosophy.  Some people like to deal with cash only and therefore carry a lot of money.  Others, like us, carry a minimum amount of money and rely on our credit cards or ATM machines.   Either way, it is important to protect your valuables.  Smarter Travel gives us a few good tips:

  • Divide your Money:  Carry some on your person and some in a bag, or if you are traveling with someone, split your money between you.
  • On Body Storage:  Under clothing accessories can be helpful.  Neck pouches, money belts, pockets built into underwear, socks, or undershirts are also useful.  Keep small denominations accessible so the you are not rummaging under your clothes to get to your cash.
  • Trim your Wallet:  Before leaving for your trip, clean out your wallet.  You will not need your library card, department store cards, etc. Take out everything except the necessities so if you do lose your wallet or it gets stolen, you’ll have less to replace.  By the way, take a picture of the front and back of your credit cards and email them to yourself so that if you lose one, you will have that 800 number to call to report the problem.
  • If you are traveling in a place known for pickpockets consider getting a cheap wallet that looks real enough to keep in your pocket or bag.  Pad the wallet with some small bills and slip in one or two of those sample credit cards you get with offers in the mail.   It also gives you something to throw if you feel threatened by someone who wants your wallet.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 99 million Americans do not have a READ ID license or passport.   The Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to try to move the process for applying for the REAL ID online.   Without either a REAL ID or a passport, you will not be able to board an airplane as of October 1 next year. 

People who travel with me know that I never drink the water on a flight unless it is bottled water.   Now,  a new study confirms my fears.  The 2019 Airline Water Study conducted by and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center investigated 11major airlines and 12 regional airlines, scoring them 0-5 (5 being the best) on the quality of water they provide onboard.   The scores were based on 10 criteria, including airline fleet size, the presence of coliform bacteria  or E. Coli in the water, and the amount of times they’ve violated the federal government’s  Aircraft Drinking Water Rule  which was implemented in 2011 and requires airlines to provide safe drinking water to all passengers and staff.  Study scores of 3 or higher suggest the water is safe enough to drink-only 2 of the 11 major airlines sampled achieved this score, along with just one of the 12 regional airlines.  Alaska Airlines(3.3) and Allegiant (3.3) win the top spots with the safest water and Hawaiian Airlines finishes number 2 (3.1).  Spirit and Jet Blue tied for lowest score. (1).  Is this a definitive study?   It’s difficult to know, but I err on the side of caution.   In order to protect yourself, the study suggests never drinking water served on a plane unless it is bottled and sealed.   This includes coffee and tea served on board.   They also suggest not washing your hands in the aircraft bathroom, and instead bring along your own hand sanitizer.  To see the full results search for Airline Water Study 2019.

Did you know?   This November marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall signifying freedom and peace.  


May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:    Taking waitlist requests.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  Call for availability.

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.  Ready for deposit.

June 16-26  Shrines of Italy   This pilgrimage will visit The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, San Giovanni Rotundo, Tomb of Padre Pio, Abbey of Santissima Trinita, Madonna del Rosario Sanctuary, Vatican City with Papal Audience, Christian Rome City Tour,  St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and St. Peter’s Basilica.   Deposit now. Early booking discount is in effect.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.    Ready for deposit.

September 12-23, 2020     Discovering Poland     We’ll visit Warsaw, Gdansk, Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow.  Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.


January 24- February 8, 2021 Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from  Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco.  We will visit Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal Full Transit;  Fuerte Amador (Panama City); Puntarenas, Costa Rica;  San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragu; and  Cabo San Lucas before disembarking in  San Francisco.  Taking deposits.

April, 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

September 10, 2021 Rhine, Moselle, and Blissful Baden-Baden    Spend 2 nights in the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden and then board your ship for a cruise up the Rhine and Moselle rivers.  We will visit Strasbourg, Speyer, Frankfurt, Rudesheim, Boppard, Cochem Bernkastel and Trier before returning home from  Frankfurt.  We are taking names now with room requests and will will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!