Statue of Liberty

Statue of LibertyYou may have heard – the U.S. government shut down this week. Putting politics aside, let’s take a look at what that means for travelers. If you’re traveling in the States, federal parks and monuments are closed for the time being. At the New York Times, Stephanie Rosenbloom reports that you’ll still be able to get your passport or visa, but you should pay attention to the State Department website for news and updates. As it is wont to do, the Twitterverse went off the deep end over the shutdown; Gadling’s Anna Brones reports on the absurdity.

Forget the shutdown; you know what’s scary? Giant killer hornets marauding through China. No lie. The Guardian’’s Tania Branigan reports that dozens of people have died this year after being stung by these monstrous menaces. At CNN, Dr. Mike Leahy tries to scare you by naming 10 of the world’s deadliest critters. While getting bitten or stung to death might be a remote possibility, travelers who are putting together their travel first aid kit should include an anti-histamine to help guard against especially virulent bug bites.

The trend of retiring abroad has grown significantly in recent years. As communications devices and the Internet have made it easier to stay in touch with people halfway around the world, grandparents are feeling less anxious about leaving behind family and moving to some exotic locale for their golden years. This week, a new study was released that looked at the countries that provide the best economic and social wellbeing for seniors. Expat Health’s Bryony Ashcroft reports that, when it comes to the health of seniors, Switzerland is the best country for old men (and women).

A little secret about international travel is that some passports are better than others. For instance, a U.S. passport provides just about unlimited access to foreign travel. Others, such as passports from Nepal and Lebanon, don’t exactly provide for easy entry into another nation. At Gadling, Reena Ganga tells us about a new study that looks at the best and worst passports to have when it comes to traveling freely around the world.

When you travel to Paris, you’re typically not real focused on eating healthy and sticking to a diet. For people with gluten sensitivity, Paris might seem like an impossible test of willpower, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Neilson reports that it actually is possible to go on a gluten-free culinary journey through the culinary wonders of Paris

It happens – you grab your hair gel and head to the airport, only to realize when you’re in the security line that the container is 3.2 ounces, and it won’t be making the trip with you. You’re now facing a week with floppy hair. But fear not! At Conde Nast Traveler, Tara Abell reports on the new vending machines offering TSA-friendly toiletries.  We live in wonderful times, don’t we?

Photo courtesy of IB TImes.

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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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