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A Whole Host of Travel Disclosures, Events, or New Travel Services Can Have an Impact on Your Own Next Vacation

In a recent announcement, the U.S. State Department has found a slight improvement--a very slight improvement--in safety conditions for American tourists going to Mexico. Twenty of the 31 Mexican states are still found to be either unsafe or iffy in terms of safety. But all of the major Mexican resorts and heavily-visited urban areas and attractions—Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula, the Maya Riviera and Playa del Carmen, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, San Miguel de Allende, Cabo San Lucas, and Mexico City itself, have been found to be safe for your next vacation. 
 
But don't venture outside those areas, advises our State Department--in the regions around Mexico City, Acapulco and other resorts, drug-related violence continues unabated. As for areas of Mexico alongside the Texas border, those are the worst for American tourists, who venture there at considerable risk of being robbed, hurt or killed. 
 
The lifting of martial law in Thailand raises hopes that stability and calm may be returning to that attractive nation. But watchful waiting is still advised.  And whether opposition forces have been reassured of democratic peacefulness is still an open question. In other words, no one can yet argue for certain that tourists to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, are risk-free....More and more museums and cities are prohibiting tourists from carrying "selfie sticks"—rods that permit you to take a dramatic "selfie" photograph from a greater distance than arms' length....Prior to embarking on your next international trip, scan your passport to insure that it has at least six months' of remaining validity; some nations (like Hungary) will turn you away on arrival, and place you on the next flight home, if your passport is just a few weeks away from becoming invalid....Complete descriptions of virtually every boat plying the rivers of this world are now found on a website called CruiseCompete.com; it's one of the few places where you can get comprehensive details about a river cruise you may be considering.
 
Very few tour operators to China will warn you in advance about not drinking the tap water there, or eating fresh foods that have been washed in water; serious problems have arisen about the potability of Chinese water supplies, and it's best to drink only bottled water or water that has first been boiled (like in tea or soup)....Websites inviting you to take a meal in the private home of persons living in foreign cities are rapidly increasing in number. EatWith.com, the former champion, has now been joined by Feastly.com and Cookening.com. Here's a potent new means of meeting people or viewing the authentic life of the destination (or having a darn good meal, of local specialties, to boot!).
 
In placing its new Apple Watch on sale (a tiny computer in the shape of a wristwatch), Apple has placed a great deal of emphasis on the device's use by travelers: the Watch will tell you about daily hotel bargains, it will advise you how to get from point A to point B, it will open your hotel room door and pay your hotel bill, and perform a whole host of other travel-related functions. I've now seen the Watch at an Apple store, and can confirm that it does in fact perform those travel-related services. 
 
But for the life of me, I can't find a travel service performed by the Apple Watch that isn't already supplied on an Apple iPhone (or by an app downloaded into an iPhone). And since the display area of an iPhone is five or six times the size of the tiny, inch-wide display of an Apple Watch (the Watch being virtually unreadable by any hawk-eye over the age of 20), what possible travel-related reason is there for purchasing an expensive Apple Watch?
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