Ten Gestures That Are Innocent In The U.S. But Offensive In Other Countries

When travel to a different country, many people try to follow the rule of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” They may learn as many of theĀ social norms of the country as they can, and familiarize themselves in what’s considered appropriate behavior and what’s not, with the hope that they’re not looked down upon and/or don’t perpetuate the more negative stereotype of Americans.

Unfortunately, there are several gestures often used in the U.S. that can be horrible to do in some other countries. And it’s one thing to make sure you, for example, don’t blow your nose in public in Japan, but quite another to stop using a hand gesture that you possibly have habitually used all your life. For example…

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International Travel Without A Passport – It’s Starting

Technology has become huge in travel. You’ve got the ability to make reservations on your phone, have your boarding pass on your phone, programs such as CLEAR allow you to bypass the TSA lines and Global Entry lets you skip the regular line when returning to the U.S.

And now comes the next step – a pilot program will allow the citizens of two countries to enjoy international travel without having their passports.

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What Vaccines Do You Need If You’re Traveling Out Of The Country?

Sometimes international travel can be a breeze. Just have a plane ticket, a valid passport and sometimes maybe a visa or a visa waiver, and you’re free to go to almost any country you want. But sometimes you may be traveling to a country that may not have the same health care standards as where you live and you’ll need one or more vaccinations to ensure you’ll stay free of diseases and other health issues that may be present in the place you’re visiting. The issue becomes even more complicated if you’re traveling with children or if you yourself have a chronic disease or are immune-compromised or pregnant, among other issues.

So if you have to go somewhere internationally, what do you do, and how do you find out what steps in need to take, in terms of vaccinations, you should get before you travel?

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An Update On The Zika Virus: Is It Still Out There?

Zika was THE thing you read about in terms of travel during the summer months of 2016. Spread primarily by Aedes mosquitoes that bit during the daytime, the symptoms of the virus, if they had any at all, were relatively mild for most people – just a few days of fever, rash, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), muscle and joint pain, malaise (a general sense of feeling unwell, often with fatigue) and/or headache.

But if you contracted the Zika virus while pregnant, you ran the risk of your child having severe birth defects that included microcephaly (smaller than normal head, and intellectual disabilities) and other disabilities.

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Nearly 85 countries, mainly in South and Central America, but also some in Southeast Asia, as well as several states in the U.S. reported incidents of Zika that year, and it with the number of cases, it was considered an epidemic.

Transmission dropped significantly during the summers of 2017 and 2018, but cases continued each year – just at a lower level.

And then we come to the summer of 2019…

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And The Award For The Slowest Airport To Exit For International Arrivals Goes To…

If you’re on a domestic flight, you can usually taxi, gather your luggage and be on your way in a reasonable amount of time – figure 30 minutes, give or take, if all goes well.

If you’re coming in on an international flight though, you can add a significant amount of time to your wait, since you and your stuff have to go through customs/immigration.

Blacklane, a German chauffeur company that arranges airport transfers in over 300 cities, analyzed hundreds of thousands of its airport pickups over the course of 9 months. They compared when the flights arrived to when the passengers entered its vehicles and were able to determine the fastest and slowest airports in the world.

These are their findings for the 20 slowest international arrivals:

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