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Rundown for the Week of March 28, 2003

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The Savvy Traveler Weblog
by Diana Nyad

"With the war continuing in Iraq, as travelers, we're all coping with big changes in travel. For some, "Where should I go?" now has been shortened to, "Should I go?"

There are plenty of things you need to know to be a traveler these days. That's where we come in, because when you have the right information, you can make informed decisions on if you should travel and what precautions you should take if you do. Below are links that can help:

Want to know what governments are saying about traveling now? Check out travel warnings and alerts. Also, get details on biological/chemical attacks
Need information on the ground? Get access to English-language foreign newspapers for stories not reported in U.S. media.
Newspapers not giving you the perspective you're looking for? Check out The Savvy Traveler bulletin board and other online bulletin boards, where travelers themselves offer suggestions and advice.
Get ways to stay in touch with family and friends while you're traveling, such as renting a mobile phone abroad and taking advantage of WiFi zones (wireless Internet) to send e-mails.
The latest on airline policies on cancellations and refunds..
Like to know what to expect at the airport? Get information on enhanced security at airports. And, learn what you can bring on the plane.
What if I get stranded when my flight's cancelled? Check out airport clubs and lounges.
Need someone in your corner in case reservations get screwed up? Find a well-connected travel agent.

Now, for some of you, finding out the latest about what airlines are heading for Chapter 11 or what flights are getting cut on a daily basis is essential information. You could be a stockholder in a big airline or you have thousands and thousands of frequent flier miles, or maybe you're just a travel industry news junkie -- regardless, here's a way to find out the most recent travel industry news. It's good to be informed, since many of you are postponing or canceling immediate travel plans, which has thrown the travel industry into crisis.

Remember, travel is an option -- just be informed.

In the next few weeks, we'll be collecting more resources to help you make decisions about travel. "

--Diana Nyad
host, The Savvy Traveler

»This Week's Show...

State of the Tourist Industry Interview with Marketplace Morning Report Host Tess Vigeland

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Host Diana Nyad and Marketplace Morning Report host Tess Vigeland talk about airline losses and how normally over-booked hotels are becoming “ghost towns.”

Links:
Savvy Traveler Web Resources: Links to travel industry news
Two great Web sites for current travel industry news: www.airlines.org and www.tia.org

Online Bulletin Boards Interview with Don George

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There’s one easy way to hear from, and even talk to, people on the ground in places you’re curious about: via Internet bulletin boards. But perhaps you’re not a cyber-wizard. Good thing Don George, the global travel editor from Lonely Planet, is here to help us navigate our way through the Web of travel bulletin boards.

Bulletin Board Web Resources:
Savvy Traveler Web Resources: Peruse the dozens of useful Web links we collected to help you with travel during these uncertain times.
Savvy Traveler Bulletin Board: Share your travel tips, get recommendations from fellow travelers, or tell us about your favorite places away from home.

Travel Agents in Your Corner Interview with Sandee Litwin

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With cancellation policies and other travel company rules changing on nearly a daily basis, a travel agent can come in and save you when you’re miles away and things go wrong. Sandee Litwin of Litwin Travel says agents are invaluable to travelers because they’ve built up solid relationships in all areas of travel.

Links:
www.litwintravel.com: Web site for Sandee Litwin and Litwin Travel

FIND A TRAVEL AGENT ONLINE:
Institute of Certified Travel Agents: Their search tool for finding a certified travel professional
www.locateatravelagency.com: Great tool for finding a travel agent in your neighborhood
ASTA: American Societey of Travel Agents
travel.americanexpress.com: American Express' Web site for travel information

ALSO MENTIONED
WorldCell.com: Cellphones for overseas use

Tourist updates from Paris, London and Rome

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Springtime in big European cities usually means a bump of about 25% in tourism -- but bookings for flights from the States to Europe are down some 40% now. That means the usual crowds at the Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower are pretty thin. We hear from three reporters on the ground in Europe today.

Fix My Trip with Christopher Elliott

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Diana Nyad and our troubleshooter Christopher Elliott talk about the travel issues and worries that arise when you're at home watching tank movements on CNN: namely, cancellation policies for airlines, hotels, trains, car rentals and cruises.

Do you have a trip that needs fixin'?
If you've exhausted every possible remedy and still can't resolve your travel problem, we might be able to help. Tell us what happened to you and what you've done to resolve it. Include dates, names and your contact numbers.

Due to the volume of mail we receive, we're not able to "fix" every trip submitted, but if we select yours to feature on the show, our Travel Troubleshooter, Christopher Elliott, will give you a ring. E-mail us: fixmytrip@savvytraveler.org. You can also visit Christopher Elliott on the Web at www.elliott.org.

Links:
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE
insuremytrip.com: Compare travel insurance policies from the major providers in the industry
www.worldtravelcenter.com: Instant online travel insurance
Savvy Traveler Web links from 03/21/2003
And...Recent Airline Policy Changes: Downloadable Microsoft Word Document

LAST MINUTE TRAVEL WEB SITES RECOMMEDED BY CHRISTOPHER
www.priceline.com
www.hotwired.com
www.lastminutetravel.com

Edmund White's Paris

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Author and Stateside Francophile Edmund White has spent years living in Paris. He has even written two books about his experiences there, “Our Paris” and “The Flaneur.” His love of the country is apparent.

Listen to the original broadcast:
Edmund White's Paris: Originally aired September 20, 2002. Listen to the audio and browse his Web site.

Mass Tourism by Naomi Lewin

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Reporter Naomi Lewin takes us into some old houses of worship in Spain. But she went a step further than just gazing at the stained glass windows: Naomi visited the churches during mass for the locals.

Listen to the Original Broadcast:
Mass Tourism originally aired on July 6, 2001. Click here for audio and script.

Sound Travels: Naxi Orchestra, Lijiang, China

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This week, we take you as far from the modern world as possible -- just by listening to simple sounds. Jake Chance recorded music that dates back to the Chinese Ming Dynasty in Lijiang, China, on the eastern edge of the Himalayas. The music is more than 100 years old.

Related Media:
www.terragalleria.com: Online photo gallery of Naxi musicians, people, costumes and instruments.
http://www.elijiang.com/: Pictures of Lijiang Provence, its culture, people and local travel informaiton

Deal of the Week: Stowe Weekend of Hope

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One in three people alive in the US today will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives--whether the disease hits them or a close family member.

For two years, we've made the Vermont Cancer Network's annual "Stowe Weekend of Hope Cancer Event" our deal of the week, and the third annual weekend occurs May 2-4. And once again local hotels are donating hundreds of free rooms to attendees who come to Stowe, Vermont, to attend educational workshops, hear from leading cancer researchers, and to celebrate life and love with family members.

Click here for more info.

To find out more about this deal:
www.stowehope.com: Web site for the Stowe Weekend of Hope. Or, for more info., call 800-GO-STOWE.

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