Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
As we travel the world, or even to town for groceries, the most dangerous thing we do is hop in a car. In Israel, more people die in auto accidents, than terrorist bombings.
Whether it’s left side driving, pedestrian dangers or confusing kilometers with miles, it’s good to be familiar with the road culture of the land you drive. If you live in the US, everything is pretty standardized as far as signage, road marking and laws. Even if you stay on North America, you could find yourself challenged with a flashing green light or making a left turn from the right lane.
There’s an organization called the Association for Safe International Road Travel that tracks the safety of roads around the world. ASIRT was founded in 1995 after 22 passengers were killed in a bus crash in Turkey. That appears to be the tip of the iceberg in driving issues. Bad roads are often the problem, but so is local driver’s ignorance of traffic laws and stop lights. Poorly maintained and dangerous busses mixed with narrow mountain roads and no guardrails sound like an opening for a scary movie, rather than busy highway overseas. In his book, Don't Go There!, Peter Greenberg describes roads in rural Russia that are unmarked, un-maintained, unfinished and suddenly ending at the edge of a cliff.
In November 2009, Michael R. Bloomberg announced some good news for ASIRT. Bloomberg has donated $125-million to six organizations, including ASIRT to help reduce road deaths and injuries around the world.
The US State Department says it’s not just ground transportation that can get you in trouble. Kidnapping and assault can be a problem. The convenience of ATMs has added a new trick for the crooked. You get kidnapped, taken to an ATM, forced to take out the daily maximum withdrawal, then held till midnight, so you can get the next day’s maximum cash, then you are dumped somewhere.
The State Department has some excellent travel information on their website, including these tips to avoid kidnapping and assault.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and be alert for possible surveillance upon leaving or returning to your vehicle, home, or office.
- Never enter a car without checking the rear seat to ensure that it is empty.
- Do not develop predictable patterns. If possible, exchange company cars or swap with coworkers occasionally.
- Know the location of police, hospital, military, and government buildings should you need immediate assistance.
- Avoid trips to remote areas, particularly after dark.
- Select well-traveled streets as much as possible.
- Keep vehicles well-maintained at all times to avoid breakdowns.
- When driving, remember to keep automobile doors locked and windows rolled up (if possible).
- Be constantly alert to road conditions and surroundings.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- Carry a 3 x 5 card printed with important phrases in the local language.
- Report all suspicious activity to the company or embassy security contact, if applicable.
ASIRT also sells Road Travel Reports on their website at asirt.org. A Road Travel Report on Canada would probably tell you the flashing green light means a pedestrian controlled intersection in British Columbia or right‑of‑way to turn left in Ontario and Quebec.
Be careful out there!Links
US State Dept Travel Tips
Driving in Europe 101
Don't Go There!
Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
A Drive on the Wild Side: Twenty extreme driving adventures from around the world
Survival Driving: Staying Alive on the World's Most Dangerous Roads
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
~A boy with cerebral palsy who only has control of his right hand. They were able to fit him in a chair with all control on the right, just like it was made for him.
~A young man brought his little brother by putting him in a basket on his bike and riding 5 miles.
~A sweet 76 year old lady received a chair. In return, Laura received many kisses on the cheek.
~A little girl with cerebral palsy also got a chair; even though it wasn’t perfect for her they got the tools out and made it work.
Even the ladies have been challenged to get with the tools and not let the guys have all the fun.
Three guys, who previously got chairs in another area, took a overnight 12-hour bus ride to come and help.
Laura is very thankful for your prayers; she knows that is the reason for her freedom from stomach, back and sleeping problems.
Contact World Access Project for more information on how you can help.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
There are 16 in the group. Laura knows several as she has done their travel arrangements. A few are from Mexico who may help with translation. They’ve split up into teams. Some learn to interview and help figure out the best assistive device for the user. They also have walkers, and crutches along with the 50 wheelchairs. They even have brought parts for repairs.
One member of the group has brought her husband wheelchair to giveaway. He husband passed away recently and is looking forward to meeting the recipient of his chair. I hope they are ready with tissues for the tears.
They start giving out wheelchairs, crutches, walkers and canes Monday.
View Larger Map
Guidebooks about Puerto Vallarta
Saturday, October 10, 2009
To distribute 50 wheelchairs to the impoverished in the area this week, World Access Project is partnering with an organization called Children of the Dump. Many poor families live in the area around a huge dump outside the sunny streets of Puerto Vallarta. The poor had to live off scraps they found in the dump. The Children of the Dump organization runs a school and provides 600 meals a day. Their School of Champions teaches computer skills, math and English to those who have no resources to such training.
Thanks to their work, and financial help from Canadians, Americans and Mexicans, there are no longer children living or working in the dump. However, due to the fear of H1N1 virus and the down turned economy, many have lost their tourism based jobs. Tourism is the major industry bringing in about 2.2 million a year.
Please help World Access Project and Children of the Dump financially. You can even help the people by bringing your tourist dollars to Puerto Vallarta, and of course we can help you with that at All the World Travel. They do have 345 days of sun a year! Email us or call 360-266-8747.
More on Laura’s mission trip to Puerto Vallarta coming up here, as well as tweets on Twitter.
Support World Access Project here.
Contact World Access Project here.
Support Children of the Dump here.
Contact Children of the Dump here.
Contact All the World Travel here.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
They don’t fly people, just their pets. It’s certainly not unusual for people to travel with pets, whether a small one under the seat or the larger hounds in cargo. But what is a niche for Pet Airways is that instead of pets being shipped like a suitcase, or crammed under the seat, they are cared for in the main cabin. Attendants check on them, making sure they are both drinking and… a-hem… "getting potty breaks". Pets can even check in days early if needed. This is a real vacation saver for those families where a vacation wouldn’t be the same without their pet. Some just plain miss Bowser or worry if Fluffly is being cared for properly.
Right now, Pet Airways only flies between New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. They hope to expand to other cities soon. Pet Airways seemed to be a hit right away as there was so much traffic to their website, their internet servers went down.
Our poor kitties had traumatic flights to and from Alaska. Waiting on the tarmac in the snow, getting a cage shaped crease on kitty’s nose, and being in the cargo hold when a dog got loose in the hold. It's nice to see a better way for them to fly. Pet Airways even keeps dogs and cats in separate areas.
Pet Airways closed in 2011.
Books about Traveling with your Pet
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Back when the restrictions were tighter, I knew someone who packed a needlepoint kit to keep her busy on the flight. The TSA agent found her grandmothers little scissors in the kit, and said she could not carry that on. The agent was nice enough to let her take it back to a shipping kiosk to ship it home. If she hadn’t arrived extra early, her grandma’s scissors would have been lost.
The latest carryon requirements are always on their website at tsa.gov. Recorded information is also available at the TSA’s Contact Center number at 1-866-289-9673. If it’s still confusing, our customers can call us at 360-266-8747 for more information.
For your convenience, we’ll also keep that TSA link on our website at alltheworldtravel.com. We also have a selection of TSA approved items available at our new GO Store. They include the new “TSA approved” laptop computer cases. These cases were designed so the laptops do not need to be removed for x-ray. Please take a look. The GO Store is powered by Amazon, so all charges, returns, and other customer service needs are handled through them.
The TSA have moved their carryon baggage information to this page. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items
Wednesday, July 1, 2009