As we all know, traveling can be nasty business; sometimes getting there can be half the fun, but getting there seems to cause more than half of the health issues. A significant number of travelers who go abroad for more than two weeks fall ill – an estimated 10 million travelers every year get “traveler’s diarrhea.” The trouble usually starts on the plane or in the airport; you’d be skeeved out by the some of the things you can find on planes and in airports. At USA Today, Harriet Baskas reports that Charles Gerba, a.k.a. Dr. Germ, warns travelers that lavatories on airplanes are just about the filthiest places on Earth. So, in the interest of starting your trip without an unhealthy dose of E. Coli, Dr. Gerba recommends traveling with hand sanitizer in your carry on and using it in flight.

At the other end of the flight experience spectrum is being pampered like a VIP. British Airways is taking steps to do just that. The New York Times’ Emily Brennan reports that BA is copying the approach of high-end restaurants by storing traveler preferences for frequent fliers. The airline is using iPads to allow flight attendants to quickly call up data customer data about favorite drinks, foods and other preferences. All designed to make the flight a little more comfortable, so you arrive at your destination a little more relaxed.

New parents laugh at the concept of relaxation, especially while traveling. As the holiday travel season approaches, planes will be filled with unhappy babies. That escalates the tension of flying for many, especially new parents. Gadling’s Meg Nesterov has some tips for surviving that first flight with your infant. An extra set of hands is one way to make the trip a little smoother. The Wall Street Journal’s Andrea Peterson writes about travel nannies, a fairly expensive option that might be worth it for adults trying to have a little R&R.

If you feel like you’ve already hit the world’s cultural hot spots, CNN has a list for you – under the radar cultural destinations. It isn’t quite fair to call these “second tier” destinations because there is so much to do for the culturally inclined.

If you prefer adventure, the New York Times’ Stephanie Rosenbloom shows you some websites that will help you create your own adventure. It doesn’t get any more adventurous than the Sahara. At CNN, Mark Eveleigh writes about spending three weeks in the desert with the nomadic Taureg people. The important lessons he learned include how to survive in the Sahara for a week-and-a-half with just three dates to eat.

And, finally, if you don’t want to be too extreme but you do want to get into some wilderness, why not spend some time helping the pandas in China?

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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