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Rundown for the Week of March 21, 2003

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The Savvy Traveler Weblog
by Diana Nyad

"We're at war now -- and travel is a huge issue, as security has moved up to Code Orange. We realize the simple acts of turning on the TV or opening your local newspaper can be enough to turn your thoughts away from where you should travel to if you should travel at all. But even in times of war, our jobs and loved ones and the allure of faraway places beckon us to leave the house...and go somewhere else. So, the best bet is to be a well-informed traveler.

There are many places to get information on travel warnings and alerts. For information on the ground, it's helpful to have access to English-language foreign newspapers for stories not reported in American media -- and to see how countries view Americans abroad. For a different perspective, look at online bulletin boards, where travelers themselves offer suggestions and advice.

Details on biological/chemical attacks are available on government Web sites and a host of other online destinations. With this information, you'll be able to better assess the threats.

Since this is an uncertain time, if you end up traveling, you'll want to be able to stay in touch with family and friends. Usually, you can rent a mobile phone wherever you go. And, if you have a laptop computer, you can take advantage of WiFi zones (wireless Internet) to send e-mails.

If you do decide to travel, you might discover deals since airlines have been going through their worst slump ever. But since airlines are condensing their schedules now, when they feel people are ready to travel again, they'll most likely offer better deals.

Airlines have a new set of policies on cancellations and refunds for purchased tickets, so it's a good idea to know how these can affect you.

And, it's worthwhile to check out news sites that report on what's going on in the travel industry so you can figure out what airlines are headed toward Chapter 11 and what routes are being cut.

OK, so let's say now you've found a great deal, purchased your tickets and are on your way to the airport...What should you expect? First thing you'll notice is the enhanced security -- something that will make lines at the baggage scanners longer. There are also many new restrictions on what you can bring on the plane.

Since February was already the lowest month in decades for the 10 major U.S. airlines, many flights are getting canceled. What should you do if you find yourself stranded at the airport? You could visit one of the airport clubs and lounges. A good travel agent could help here as well.

Just remember, travel is an option -- just take appropriate precautions.

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...
Tips for Traveling in Troubled Times: The war is affecting how we feel about travel. Many don't know if they should book or cancel trips. We got a bit of perspective...

Real Audio Listen in RealAudio Interview with Joe Sharkey, "On The Road" columnist for The New York Times

Real Audio Listen in RealAudio Travel Insurance interview with Sam Halpern, executive vice president of www.WorldTravelCenter.com

Real Audio Listen in RealAudio Interview with Transportation Security Administration spokesman Brian Turmail

Real Audio Listen in RealAudio Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome interview with Dr. Alan Spira, medical director of the Travel Medicine Center in Beverly Hills, Calif.


www.tsa.gov: Transportation Security Administration's Checked Bag Screening Process
johnnyjet.com: Travel portal with current info. on weather, airport, flight status and other useful travel tools
www.josentme.com: Travel info. for business travelers

www.cdc.gov: Centers for Disease Control
www.who.int: World Health Organization
www.healthytravel.com: Dr. Alan Spira's Travel Medicine Health Center

www.worldtravelcenter.com: World Travel Center
www.travelguard.com: Travel Guard
www.mnui.com: MultiNational Underwriters
www.utravelpro.com: Universal Travel Protection (UTP)
www.travelex.com: Travelex
www.travelinsured.com: Travel Insured

Also, explore the extensive list of online resources that we've compiled for you.

Interview with author Salman Rushdie

Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
Salman Rushdie knows what it's like to have the freedom of travel taken away. We revisit this interview with him from last year.

  • The interview with Salmon Rushdie first aired on October 11, 2002. Click here for links and the original broadcast audio.
  • Comfort Food on the Lower East Side by Naomi Lewin and Jeff Lunden

    Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
    Since many are staying close to home, here's a trip dedicated to comfort: the comfort foods of Jewish delicatessens on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

    Related Media:
      Slideshow of Jeff and Naomi's deli tour

    Katz's Delicatessen: History, some photos and online store offering knishes, kugels, deli meats and T-shirts featuring their famous tag line, "Send a salami to your boy in the Army."
    www.knishery.com: Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
    www.russanddaughters.com: Russ & Daughters, world famous caviar, premium smoked fish and specialty foods
    www.babka.com : Delancey Dessert Company
    www.lowereastsideny.com: Online business and entertainment directory for New York's Lower East Side
    hometown.aol.com/delanceypickle/: Guss' Pickels

    De Gullah Roots Tour by Jeff Biggers

    Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
    When Jeff Biggers traveled to St. Helena, an island off S. Carolina, it seemed more like a trip to a foreign land...than a drive down the Eastern Seaboard.

  • De Gullah Roots Tour first aired on December 15, 2002 Click here for links, original broadcast audio and full text script.
  • Postcard: Labrador by Dave Karlotski

    Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
    Dave Karlotski always had a dream of hopping on his motorcycle and traveling until the money ran out. One day, he found $751 on the sidewalk -- and he did.

  • Labrador first aired on June 17, 2000. Click here for links, original broadcast audio and full text script.
  • Sound Travels: Tibetan Nuns

    Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
    Prayer seems appropriate this week...These nuns are praying in Tibet. Recorded by Jacob Penchansky.

    Deal of the Week: Car Rental for $9.99 / Day

    Real Audio Listen in RealAudio
    Our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, joins us with his Deal of the Week: a hot wheels deal on weekend car rentals from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

    Usually, it costs too much to rent a car these days, but since rental car companies have been in bad shape the last year or so -- mainly due to the downturn in business travel -- Enterprise Rent-A-Car is now offering $9.99-a-day rentals for economy or compact cars. The deal is only on weekends, beginning this weekend through April 14.

    Enterprise is also the country's largest car rental company now, and they want to be on your mind for everyday rentals, just as Hertz, Avis and the other big guys are.

    Any fine print?

    This offer is not good at Enterprise's airport locations or in the Boston metro area, Chicago, DC, San Francisco, and NYC and its boroughs and surrounding cities.

    Rudy's Warning: Most of the Enterprise offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, and they maintain regular business hours -- so, if you want to pick up a car past, say, 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, or return it on Sunday, you're out of luck. Consider this a Friday-thru-Sunday offer.


  • Go to www.enterprise.com and click on the "$9.99 Weekend Special" link in the left column.
  • Pay $119/year to buy mileage insurance at www.privilegeflyer.com
  • Travel Resources:

    State Department Travel Warnings: Country-by-country warnings
    www.dfat.gov.au: Australian Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade
    British Foreign & Commonwealth Office: UK government department responsible for foreign affairs
    www.whitehouse.gov/deptofhomeland Department of Homeland Security

    www.who.int/en: World Health Organization's international travel and health
    www.terrorismanswers.com: Responding to biological attacks
    www.ki4u.com: Chemical and biological attacks detection & response info.
    www.bt.cdc.gov: Centers for Disease Control's Public Health Emergency and Response info.

    Travels Toolbox section on travel agents

    thorntree.lonelyplanet.com: The Thorn Tree Travel Forum - Lonely Planet
    travel.roughguides.com: Rough Guides Community page
    www.frommers.com: Frommer's Community page
    gorp.com: Gorp adventure travel community
    www.etn.nl: ETN's Comments, Complaints, Compliments
    www.zeal.com: Zeal chat, forum, message boards
    www.complaints.com: Complaints.com
    www.passengerrights.com: PassengerRights.com

    www.airlinebiz.com: AirlineTravelBiz.com (consumer and industry news)
    biz.yahoo.com/news/airlines.html: Yahoo! Airline/aviation news
    news.airwise.com: Airwise (airline, airport and aviation industry news)
    www.afanet.org: Association of Flight Attendants news page
    www.newsreel.com: newsreel.com (comprehensive news service)
    www.nytimes.com: article: War Raises Air Fares, Hits Jobs, Flights (registration required)
    Air Transport Association (airline industry info. and news)
    Travel Industry Association "Travel Outlook"
    Travel Industry Association online resources
    www.internetnews.com: article: Travel sites brace for war

    Airline travel policy changes: Microsoft Word Document
    Cancellation policy updates from National Business Travel Association: PDF Document
    www.usatoday.com: article: Airlines to let passengers reschedule with no fee

    www.smarterliving.com: article: "Orange alert triggers increased airport security, flight restrictions"
    www.expedia.com: Expedia.com travel alerts and updates:
    www.orbitz.com: Orbitz "U.S.-Iraq: What travelers should know"
    www.navigant.com: Airport security info. from Navigant
    www.nytimes.com: Tips for the Business Traveler during Wartime (registration required)

    TSA: Transportation Security Administration "Travelers and Consumers" section (what you can take on the plane, security procedures, etc.)
    www2.faa.gov: FAA traveler's info.

    www.pyramid.ch: AirguideOnline.com Airline Clubs
    www.ewatravel.com: EWA Travel on airline club rooms
    businesstravel.about.com: Guide to airport clubs and lounges
    www.usatoday.com: article: Where to get business done on the go

    goeurope.about.com: Aggregate of Cell Phone Rental Services in Europe (from About.com)
    www.intouchusa.co: Cell Phone Rentals (US) - InTouch USA

    WiFi ZONES
    www.ezgoal.com: EZGoal Hotspots (locations offering wireless access)

    www.onlinenewspapers.com: Thousands of world newspapers
    www.refdesk.com: Newspaper U.S. and worldwide
    www.newhopepa.com: Foreign newspapers












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