Is the Danube blue?

July 31st, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Is the Danube blue?

On a recent Uniworld cruise from Passau to Budapest on the Danube River, I was impressed by the idyllic and ever-changing landscape and quiet strength of the Danube River. Having just receded from a recent flood, the Danube was still flowing high making passage under some bridges exciting and a little challenging. It ran brown, muddy and swift from having flooded many of its banks along its journey to the Black Sea. Although not blue, the Danube was indeed beautiful as it cut through the rich landscape it has nourished for centuries.


The captain and crew expertly navigated the elegant and new River Beatrice from port to port, traversing through numerous locks. As Gateway Destinations is always striving to expand our knowledge base and keep abreast of vacation venues and supplier products, I was excited to join this 8-day cruise through four countries – Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary – including the beautiful wine-producing Wachau Valley. The ship was comfortable and beautiful, with excellent service and great food. Our cruise manager and concierge were particularly knowledgeable and helpful. I would highly recommend Uniworld Cruises and this itinerary to travelers seeking an intimate and relaxing journey through this area of Europe.


Munich Airport Train

July 8th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Munich Airport Train

If you happen to be traveling to Munich, Germany or know of someone traveling there (perhaps visiting Oberammergau in 2010?), consider taking a train from the airport to the central station in Munich versus a taxi. On a recent visit there, I found that it is easy, clean and inexpensive (currently 9 Euros per person one-way), and takes approximately 45 minutes. Take either Line 1 or 8 of the S-Bahn train which leaves on a regular basis.

Secure Flight Program

June 8th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Secure Flight Program

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Department of Homeland Security continues to phase in security procedures in order to lessen the threat of terrorism. Airlines are required to submit certain data to the TSA to check against their ?no fly? lists before a boarding pass can be issued. This information is being expanded to include the passenger?s full name, gender and date of birth for all commercial flights, and must be identical to that as shown on the photo identification to be presented at check-in. For international flights, a passenger’s citizenship, passport number, expiration date and issuing country must also be supplied. To facilitate check-in, travel agents are now beginning to request this information when making airline reservations.

Stricter ID Requirements for U.S. Entry

May 1st, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Stricter ID Requirements for U.S. Entry

Effective June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea (in addition to entry by air) must present a valid passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Other photo ID (such as a drivers license) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate) will no longer be allowed. Children under the age of 16 who are U.S. citizens, however, will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card. You can obtain more information at

Visa Requirements for Foreign Travel

April 12th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Visa Requirements for Foreign Travel

Make sure you check not only your passport expiration date in plenty of time prior to traveling to a foreign country, but also how many empty pages are left in it. Some countries require that your passport not expire for at least six months after the date your travel is completed. If a visa is required for one or more countries in which you are traveling, you may need additional pages added to your passport. Find out how to add pages at

Do I need a VISA?

March 12th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Do I need a VISA?

Need to know whether a visa is required by a country you plan to visit? And if so, how to obtain your visa? You can contact the consulate office for the country you are visiting or the US government website, To simplify the process, however, you might want to contact one of several companies that provide this service for a fee, such as Zierer Services, Requirements vary considerably by country, so allow ample time for processing.

Electrical Current Conversion Overseas

February 12th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Electrical Current Conversion Overseas

Have you ever been confused how to use your US electronic or electrical devices when preparing to travel overseas? There is a very informative and easy-to-understand website published by Lewis N Clark who sells travel accessories. Go to this website link, Lewis N Clark, and be sure to save it in your Favorites for future use.

Luggage on Air Travel

January 12th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Luggage on Air Travel

You may have already encountered or heard that many airlines are now charging for luggage – even for the first piece of checked luggage with some airlines. In some cases, the maximum weight has been lowered (for example – from 75 lbs. to 50 lbs.), over which a charge is made. Some airlines in Europe and other countries will not allow excess or overweight luggage to be transported at all. Therefore, consider weighing your luggage before leaving home so you can shift items between suitcases or even remove some unnecessary items. Inexpensive scales are now readily available in all luggage stores so you can quickly weigh your luggage.

Air Travel with Gifts

December 12th, 2008 / admin / Comments Off on Air Travel with Gifts

If you are traveling during the holidays via the airlines, do not wrap any gifts and place in your carry-on or checked baggage. All contents are subject to a security search and you may find your packages(s) unwrapped. You can easily pack gift wrapping supplies separately – just fold the required amount of wrapping paper and place in an outside zippered pocket to keep flat, along with wrapping tissue or ribbon you may need.

“Hidden Airline Fees”

November 12th, 2008 / admin / Comments Off on “Hidden Airline Fees”

In a continued effort to be competitive yet profitable, airlines are implementing ways to generate more income. This is particularly true on domestic flights but it is starting to happen on some international flights as well. For example, Allegiant Airlines charges for your carry-on bag if it is “oversized” (even though it may fit in the overhead compartment) and US Air now charges for bottled water and snacks. To avoid surprises you may not be prepared for, read your e-Ticket reservation carefully to be aware of charges for baggage or seat changes (in economy class) to a premium location, and go on-line or call the carrier to obtain more information.