Recent Posts by N

Turkey Resumes Visa Application Services for US Travelers

The Washington Post reports that after suspending visa services for Americans, the country has partially lifted this directive.  U.S. travelers can now apply for visas at Turkish embassies and consulates, including the mission at 2525 Massachusetts Ave NW in Washington. However, Americans are still restricted from obtaining a visa through two previously-available channels: the online system called e-Visa and visa booths at Turkish airports. To apply for a visa, one can start by filling out the online form and selecting a date for an in-person appointment with consular services. The next available appointment could be two weeks out, so it’s best to plan accordingly. For the interview, one must bring a bank statement, proof of travel insurance, a passport photo, a passport (valid for at least six months after time of entry), travel itinerary, and $160 in cash. The process takes about five business days.
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Passport Changes Are Coming in 2018

CondeNastTraveler reports that the passport renewal process is getting a complete overhaul, with hopes of moving from paper to digital in 2018. So what changes do you need to know about in order to leave the country in 2018? Currently, in order to check how far along your passport is in the application or renewal process, you have to check the State Department’s website. In 2018, you will instead receive status updates via email or SMS texts, keeping applicants as up-to-date as possible on their application status.  Additionally, a new platform will allow you to renew your passport online, eliminating the need for late-night trips to Walgreens to rush off your application the next morning.  Another drastic change coming in 2018 is that you may need a passport to fly domestically. Effective January 22, 2018, air travelers with a driver’s license that doesn’t meet Real ID Act requirements will have to use an alternative form of ID in order to board a domestic flight.  U.S. passport cards and passport books are both acceptable forms of ID, but if you don’t have either and are from a state that hasn’t been given an extension, you’d better apply for a passport now.
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App for Adventurers

What was once “off the beaten path” adventure travel (ie. Machu Picchu, Galapagos, etc.) has now become “relatively” commonplace for first world travelers. But the world still retains many spectacular secret treasures—and adventurers seeking to “discover” them may be interested in checking out a new app called “Hidden Place”. Hidden Place, a newly available Canadian app, is “listing the globe’s best kept secrets for adventurers”. As seasoned travelers, co-founders Jonathon Taillefer and Jonathon Léveillé came up with the idea for the app out of their own desire to share with others the exceptional, unknown places they visit. In the six months since its release, the app has become a “must-have tool for backpackers”.  For each spot listed, itineraries, pictures, descriptions, and reviews are available.   In coming weeks, Hidden Place will be updated to include a version that can be used without WIFI in order to access the application anywhere and anytime. And in order to preserve the magic of these hidden places and avoid the problem of “exposure”, the app’s “cool-down mode” temporarily removes popular spots from their lists.  For more info, you can check out the app here:
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Warm Weather Escapes

Here in New England it's starting to get chilly.  Perhaps it's time to start checking out some warm weather escapes? Here are a few destinations to consider: Caye Caulker -- a tiny island off the coast of Belize.  Very laid back and easy going.  No roads or cars, just bikes and a few motorized golf carts.  Good access to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve- some of the best snorkeling and diving ever.  I stayed at a VRBO but there are a few small hotels. Grenada -- also very laid back.  Terrible roads but the "buses" (overly crowded minivans) are cheap and frequent.  Some beautiful beaches and lovely, warm people. My favorite hotel was a small property in the north called Petite Anse. St. Lucia -- gorgeous, mountainous island - a little bit of Hawaii in the Caribbean.  I stayed at St. James Morgan Bay - my first experience at an all-inclusive and it was a good one. Also, while the regular rates tend to be a bit steep, they often have sales. Otherwise, I'd also recommend Calabash Cove or Ladera- a stay at either or both would be very special. Great locations for honeymooners. [caption id="attachment_2736" align="alignleft" width="225"] St. Lucia[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2737" align="alignright" width="225"] Grenada[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2735" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Caye Caulker[/caption]
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