Archive for January, 2008

Didn’t register in time to send a paper ballot to your state’s Super Tuesday primary? Take heart — January 31 is the final day to register for online voting in the Global Presidential Primary through Democrats Abroad. (It will still be possible to vote by mail or fax or even in person — in select cities on certain dates only — after today; however, internet voting is likely to be the easiest way for you to participate, especially if you live in a country without a DA chapter or don’t live in the capital of your country of residence.) Signing up takes only a few minutes of your time and ensures that your voice will be heard via 11 delegates at the national convention!

You can find more details here, and begin the registration process here. Be sure that you check the YES box next to “Do you want to participate in the Global Democratic Presidential Primary?” and fill in the necessary details in order to qualify for internet voting. Exercise your civil rights and vote!

[Note: Republicans don’t seem to have anything similar, otherwise I would gladly share that information here as well. If you’re a Republican and wish you were enfranchised, send the Republicans Abroad a message!]

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A recent comment to an older post on RyanAir’s online check-in policies has me mulling over the obvious benefits of carrying on vs. checking luggage when you travel. There are times when nothing but checked luggage will do (which I promise to cover in another post), but even if you’re a tried and true “heavy” traveler, I encourage you to read the following and consider the benefits of packing less and carrying on as much as possible.


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Welcome to the second Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Here you’ll find South American, African, and Middle Eastern (and Antarctic!) travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

A meagre turnout of quality posts this week means I’ve only got two articles to share on these fascinating areas of the globe. Have you shoestring travelers really nothing to write about these areas???

Norie Quintos of Intelligent Travel writes about rescheduling or postponing travel in the wake of political or social violence in her post Travel to Kenya, Despite Unrest. Norie outlines experienced advice for negotiating with your tour operators and making sure your travel insurance will cover you in such situations.

Those headed to Chile shouldn’t miss AJ Block‘s post Using Public Transportation in Santiago at Santiago Tourist. His post thoroughly details the changes to the transportation system since February 2007.

If you’d like to see your post on budget travel in South America, Africa or the Middle East in this carnival, submit using the online form found here. Readers, encourage your favorite regional bloggers to submit posts for next month! Our next carnival will be posted February 2, when we return to Europe. You can submit your posts for that carnival here.

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I know it seems like we just got back (here too, here too), but the blog’s off again . . . this time to Sweden, land of the suitcase-thieving dwarves?  Just another reason to keep your suitcase locked anytime it’s out of your hands.  Thanks to Courtney for the tip!  Back Wednesday.

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Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I discovered I have a friend competing in this year’s Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships. Yes, that is a hand folding an origami squirrel . . .The competition provides teams of four snow artists with large blocks of packed artificial snow; they then have five days to carve their masterpieces, using only hand tools. While the competition ends today with prizes awarded tomorrow, the sculptures will be on display in Breckenridge, Colorado, until February 4 (weather permitting). There are also ice sculptures on display for each of the event’s sponsors. The city is even providing free parking in certain areas and free public transportation to the display during this time.

You can follow the development of this year’s competition here, or check out this archive to see previous entries. While responsible for their own travel costs to Denver, teams are provided with free food and lodging during the competition. It may be too late for you to plan this year’s trip to Breckenridge, but it’s never too early to get together a team for next year and practice practice practice before the snow melts!

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A quick post between travels and loads of laundry . . . Expect budget reports on Venice and Malta next week.

If you’ve linked over to the blog from BlogHer or Vagabondish, welcome! On the BlogHer page, you may also have read the post by Barbara at Hole in the Donut about Traveling Safely which outlines hard-won advice about using money and dressing wisely and trusting your instincts about safety when you travel.

Safety is something I think about quite often as a (female) solo traveler. An experience in Venice this week reminded me of a number of precautions I take in addition to those described by Barbara (and myself here) to ensure that any unpleasantness doesn’t develop too far. Male or female, solo travelers are simply exposed to more risks — after the jump, a few more tips on being cautious and staying safe.


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Welcome to the second Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Asia, Oz. Here you’ll find Asian, Australian, New Zealand and Oceania travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Guilin, China

Photographic inspiration this week comes from Meredith Missroon (via Marilyn Terrell) at Intelligent Travel. “Our blog started a feature called Global Eye, where we pick photos submitted by people who join our Flickr pool This photo of a man walking in the rain along the Li River in Guilin, China, was too good to pass up.” You can find Meredith’s story about the photo at Global Eye: Guilin, China.

The geographical diversity award goes this week to Amy S Quinn, who encourages you to explore world Islamic culture with her post 25 Simply Amazing Mosques at the International Listings Blog. Color me impressed that I’ve been to two mosques on her list!

NE Asia

For a few more specific tips than I give in my own post on the subject, those interested in Beijing 2008 might want to read Mike’s How to save money on a trip to the Olympics posted at Beijing Olympic Games 2008.

Sheila Scarborough at one of my new favorite blogs, Perceptive Travel, writes about an offbeat museum south of Tokyo in her post Noodling around: the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum.

SE Asia

Chris presents a long and enlightening post on Javanese Food – a simple and healthy cuisine extraordinnaire at his blog nomad4ever.

Pete at THE RONIN TRAVELER has a couple suggestions for traveling on a falling dollar. His post, 7 Places To Visit for the Budget Traveler in 2008, would have you traveling to Asia and South America.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Asia, Oz using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Antartica. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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