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Pets in the cabin

On flights of less than ten hours, many airlines will allow small cats or dogs to be taken with the passenger in the cabin (except travel to the UK and Hong Kong). Generally, the airline will only allow one pet per passenger and a maximum of two pets per cabin. The container for the pet must fit under the seat in front of you and must have a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation. The Sherpa, Bergan and SturdiBag pet carriers are all airline compliant as long as the carrier is the proper size for your pet.

If you are purchasing a container, make sure that it meets these minimum requirements:

  • The container must be large enough for the animal(s) to stand, turn around, and lie down.
  • The kennel must be made of a sturdy plastic.
  • The container must have a secure, spring loaded, all around locking system with the pins extending beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door.
  • Although this is not an IATA requirement, many airlines are now requiring steel crate hardware instead of plastic fasteners. We would recommend that you use this hardware on your pet’s crate to be sure there will be no problems.
  • Both water and food bowls must be attached to the inside of the front door and be refillable from the outside of the container without opening the door.
  • The container must have ventilation on all sides for international travel and three sides minimum for domestic travel.
  • The container must have LIVE ANIMAL stickers on the top and sides in letters at least one inch tall.
  • NO WHEELS. If the container has wheels, they should be removed or taped securely so that the kennel cannot roll.
  • The container must be identified with your pet’s name and owner’s contact information. The best way to do this is to attach your pet’s information to the outside of the crate.
  • Make sure to attach an extra copy of your pet’s health certificate to the container.

Tully's mom caught the couple in the throes of unbridled plane passion on video, and showed that the rest of the cabin seemed unaware of the shenanigans.

According to the Daily Mail, Silver Airways confirmed the video was taken on one of its flights. They had not yet confirmed that the video was authentic, but did note that the airline did not condone the behavior.

“We are taking this very seriously and working to determine the legitimacy of the video and specific flight information,” airline spokeswoman Misty Stoller told the New York Post.

Tully's mom, for her part, seemed less offended and more amused.

The couple's faces are not visible, and that's probably for the best. Although their behavior is clearly not ok on several levels, they aren't the first to push the limits of in-flight propriety. In March, two passengers were found in the lavatory in a compromising position on a Virgin Atlantic flight. Last year, two passengers who had been strangers before the flight were caught in the act on a Delta flight.

People who work on U.S. flight crews have higher rates of certain types of cancer, according to a new study out of Harvard.

Not only are flight crews more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, the longer they work in the field, the higher the risk of developing it becomes, researchers from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health wrote in the Environmental Health journal.

More than 5,000 flight attendants participated in the study. About 15 percent of the participants reported ever having been diagnosed with cancer, a higher prevalence than the general population.

“Consistent with previous studies, we report a higher lifetime prevalence of breast, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers among flight crew relative to the general population,” Dr. Irina Mordukhovich, corresponding author of the study, said in a statement. “This is striking given the low rates of overweight and smoking in this occupational group.”


​While the job itself may not inherently breed higher risks of cancer, working in a plane involves “exposures to known and probable carcinogens including cosmic ionizing radiation, circadian rhythm disruption, and possible chemical contaminants in the aircraft cabin,” according to the study.

Each five-year increase spent working as a flight attendant increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer among women and higher risk of breast cancer in women who had never had children or those who had had three or more. Job tenure didn’t have any visible correlation with thyroid cancer or melanoma, however those who worked in planes before smoking was banned in 1998 reported higher rates of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Researchers hope that the study’s conclusions can be used to “minimize the adverse exposures and cancers common among cabin crew.”

“It was a beautiful reminder, in this time of too much awfulness, that there are still good, good people who are willing to look out for each other,” Scribner added.

Daly was originally supposed to be on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles, but it was canceled and she ended up on a flight to Portland with Cook. According to the Boston Globe, she likes to think it was meant to be.

According to Scribner’s post, Alaska Airlines has gotten in contact with Daly and Cook about the happy incident.

Pack for Whatever Comes Next

Packing the right items is key to the perfect summer road trip. In addition to necessities like your wallet, phone, clothes and keys, you'll certainly be glad you brought these 17 items along for the journey.


Roadside Emergency Kit

An emergency roadside assistance kit won't break the bank but it just might save the day in the event of a breakdown or accident. Pick one up from any big-box store and bring it along for long road trips.


​Mobile Hotspot

Be sure to pack a mobile hotspot so you can connect multiple devices to the Internet if you're traveling with the family or a group.


Water

Water is essential so it's a must for any successful road trip. Consider packing a reusable bottle to fill up at each pitstop to avoid a plastic pileup in your backseat.


Sunglasses

A comfortable pair of shades is crucial to combating the summer sun, especially if you're the one doing all of the driving. 


​Tissues or Napkins

Keep a pack of tissues or a stack of fast food restaurant napkins (they're free!) in your glove box for an inevitable runny nose or spill.


Snacks

Travel farther faster by packing easy-to-eat and energizing snacks like granola bars, nuts and fruit. Snacks are also a great way to keep your younger passengers happy. Plus, stopping for every snack or meal can get awfully tiresome.


​Cooler

Keep your favorite drinks and snacks cold and fresh in a travel cooler. Just remember to stop and add ice as needed.


​Plastic Bags

All of those extra plastic bags under your sink are perfect for rounding up dirty laundry or trash that can accumulate over the course of a long road trip so don't leave home without packing a few of them.


Sunscreen

Sunburn is no fun so be sure to pack your favorite sunscreen. It's always a good idea to apply some to your arms and face before you hit the road, especially if you're driving a convertible or cruising with the windows down.


Towel

You never know when a towel will come in handy. Use it to wipe away sweat, dry off at a rest stop, wipe up a spill or simply roll it up into a pillow for a nap.


​Umbrella

Keep yourself dry in the event of a downpour with a collapsible umbrella. This item can store easily and also provide much-needed shade from the sun during the summer months.


​Blanket

A blanket will be useful in and out of your vehicle as it can be used for sleeping as well as an impromptu picnic at the park or beach.


First Aid Kit

Like a roadside emergency kit, a first aid kit is a worthwhile investment for road trippers. This way you'll be prepared to treat not only nicks and scrapes but also more serious conditions.


​Bug Spray

All kinds of annoying bugs come out in the summer so make sure you're prepared to keep them at bay and avoid itchy bites by grabbing some bug spray with DEET. 


​Hand Sanitizer

Keep your hands clean after restroom stops with a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and reduce your chances of coming down with something during your drive.


​Air Freshener

No one enjoys riding around for hours in a smelly vehicle so spend a couple of dollars on your favorite scented air freshener ahead of your trip to ensure your ride doesn't offend you or your passengers.


Magic Tank Emergency Fuel

Running out of gas is more common than you think and a road trip through uncharted territory means you may not always know where the nearest gas station is located. Magic Tank emergency fuel provides peace of mind in the event you're running low or find yourself out of gas.

Love is in the air!

A couple who met on Match.com were married aboard their Southwest Airline flight in front of an entire airplane of witnesses.

Skylee Campbell, who shared videos of the moment on Facebook, caught the moment Michael and Renee, whose last names remain a mystery, got married in front of an entire plane of travelers heading toward Baltimore from Las Vegas.

Walking down the aisle of airplane seats to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” Renee smiled at her fiancé Michael and at the passengers quickly gathering their phones to capture the moment. She wore a white wedding dress, a white veil and a small yellow rose as she reached Michael, dancing the last few steps toward him.


​The flight’s pilot, according to Yahoo! Lifestyle, officiated their wedding through the intercom – and he wowed the crowd with his hilarious but yet emotional service.

“They met each other four years ago and this weekend decided to make it at least another four years,” the pilot joked, causing laughter among the surprised audience. “They met on a Match.com date — and yes, ladies and gentleman, it really does work.”

“They were in beautiful Baltimore when they met and it’s happily ever after from there,” he continued.


​In Campbell’s video, the pilot asked Michael to repeat the vows: “I, Michael, take you, Renee, to be my wife, my partner in life, and my travel companion when I become a Rapid Reward Member today, tomorrow and forever,” which referenced the airlines rewards program.

The newlyweds began their new life together by dancing down the aisle and back to their seats to Chris Brown’s “Forever.”

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All we have to do is pack them in an airline-approved pet carrier, take them to the airport and check them in, just like we would a suitcase... right? Not quite! Not by a longshot!


Traveling from the United States to any foreign country requires doing your homework. VERY recent vaccinations must be administered by qualified veterinarians; paperwork must be picked up, completed and filed; all pets must be fitted with a microchip... and, yes, some types of microchips aren't acceptable and will result in your pet not being admitted into a foreign country. Certain breeds of dogs are not welcome anywhere; and will your pet require... a passport?


Yes; that's right, a pet passport. You're reading this correctly.


U.S. Travel Magazine has scoured some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations and, more importantly, the airports that service those cities. We've spoken with government inspectors who have the final say as to whether your furry family member will be allowed into their country. And you know something? Most of the inspectors with which we spoke are doctors and die-hard, down-to-the-bone pet lovers. And they're great people, too. They have a passion for the job they perform... and they're actually there to make your nerve-racking process of entering a new country easy, calmer and less stressful.


In future publications, we'll be highlighting several European airports and fill you in on what to expect, what to do before you leave home and what to bring with you. So, before you start booking that expensive international flight for you and the family, read this. Especially if your travel plans will be taking you to the indescribably beautiful country of...

Some of us prefer to take Fido or Fluffy with us when we hit the road on vacation. If it's a nearby jaunt, we'll pack them in a cat carrier and put them in the backseat of the family car, with litterbox and food and treats within arms reach. No problems; what could be easier?


But some of us feel the need to take our fur babies with us when we travel internationally. Now, for those inexperienced at such an adventure, it may SEEM to be a no-brainer. 

Etihad Airways has reportedly informed pilots they will be permitted to work for rival Emirates on a temporary basis for two years.

According to Reuters.com, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is downsizing operations after the airline reported a $1.5 billion annual loss, and the carrier’s business overhaul includes freeing up money by letting pilots work for the Dubai-based Emirates.

Emirates is currently dealing with a pilot shortage that has forced the airline to cancel flights this summer. Pilots who make the jump to Emirates were told they would be placed on a leave of absence, retain seniority at Etihad and receive their salary and full benefits from the Dubai airline.


​Pilots interested in the two-year move to Emirateswere told to register online and they would meet with their temporary employer at Etihad’s offices. An Etihad spokesman told Reuters the pilot exchange programs are common among airlines.

Etihad currently employs 2,200 pilots, but it was unclear how many would be permitted to work with Emirates over the next two years. In January, the two United Arab Emirates-based airlines also signed a security pact.

While talk of a merger has been denied by all parties involved, the government-run airlines have continued to work together in recent months.

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Pet insurance

Another important issue is pet insurance. Pet insurance can cover much of the expense of unexpected vet bills in case of an injury or illness, so the things you need to consider when choosing pet insurance are of a major importance:

Does the policy cover all chronic, congenital and hereditary conditions?
Is there a time limit on treatment per condition?
Is there a dollar limit on treatment per condition?
Are there flexible coverage options to fit your budget and needs exactly?
How well established is the company? How is it rated?

EU pet passports

European Union pet owners are now required to have pet passports when travelling with their animals. The passports, which are required before allowing an animal entry into an EU member state, are to include the pet’s microchip or tattoo number for identification, as well as other data such as records of all vaccinations and clinical examinations. When travelling, the pet owner must ensure that the rabies vaccination in the passport is valid or else renew

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For ten years, I lived above an establishment known as the L&L Tavern (3207 N Clark Street Chicago). To be honest, the L&L Tavern was less like an establishment and more like an institution...a total institution!

Located on the corner of Belmont and Clark—across the street from what was once known as the Punkin’ Donuts—this intersection served as a mecca for offbeat characters embracing nonconformity and a variety of alternative lifestyles.


​It’s no wonder why I was drawn to this bizarre crossroads of idiosyncrasy, as was Anthony Bourdain when he visited the L&L Tavern for a segment of his TravelChannel series, The Layover. In memory of the program’s host, bar owner Ken Frandsen tells me what it was like drinking with Anthony Bourdain.

“We drank extensively,” says Ken, describing how he welcomed the film crew to partake in the madness of this institution in August of 2012, “[Bourdain] came in specifically to try Malort. We were known as a Malort bar.”

Malort is the name of an alcoholic beverage that’s only found in Chicago, where it’s infamous for having an absolutely wretched flavor. If my memories from my own hijinks at the L&L Tavern serve me correctly (and most of them don’t), I’d say Malort tastes like black licorice combined with bitter tears of regret that’s been hastily distilled in the toilet of a bus station on a hot summer’s day.


​Decades before Malort showed up on the scene at the L&L Tavern, along with creative patrons such as myself and Anthony Bourdain, this dive bar’s roster included a more twisted level of eccentrics. Two of the Chicago area’s most notorious serial killers were known to have been regulars, as well. Jeffrey Dahmer used the bar like a repository for new victims, while John Wayne Gacy was known for showing up in full clown costume.

That’s why the L&L Tavern has been coined the “Creepiest Bar in America”. In acceptance of its dark history, someone took a magic marker and scribbled this title across a sheet of white paper, which Ken has left adhered to the L&L Tavern’s front window for years. Indeed, Ken has a flair for the absurd when it comes to décor, for which he recalls Anthony Bourdain expressed great amusement.

“He thought this was super funny,” remarks Ken, pointing to the word ‘gullible’, which is literally written on the bar’s ceiling, “and he thought that this installation entitled 'Jesus Christ, That’s Good Beer' was great!”


​Ken is referring to a nativity scene, which portrays Mary and Joseph gazing upon baby Jesus while holding cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Ken also recalls how Bourdain complimented his collection of PBR memorabilia, deeming it as “impressive”.

“We drank some Malort, he did a shot, [and then] he was drinking Schlitzer. We’re the same age, so we actually got along pretty well,” Ken recalls, “He was quite delightful with a tremendous haircut.”

As was the case for everyone who revered Anthony Bourdain—whether it was on a personal, professional, or public figure level—the news of his passing came as a surprise to the L&L Tavern’s owner.

“I didn’t want to believe it, I thought it was a big joke,” comments Ken as he relates the sadness he’s experienced for the loss of this celebrated culinary travel writer and television personality, “He was beyond nice and went out of his way to tell me he was the luckiest man in the world."


​“In the last couple days, I’ve drank an enormous amount of Malort with the people coming by to salute him,” says Ken as he closes the bar and steps outside to Belmont and Clark, where a lot has changed since Bourdain’s visit six years ago, “I think most people who come by and admire the bar actually [do so] because they admired Anthony Bourdain.”

Remembering a Night of Drinks with Anthony Bourdain

Now millennials can add “bad tippers” to the roster of negative stereotypes they’re associated with.

According to a new study from creditcards.com, 10% of millennials do not tip at all when eating out. In contrast, only 3% of the older generations don’t tip.

Even when millennials do tip, the study found that the median gratuity is just 15%. This is under the national average, and significantly less than Gen-X, baby boomers, and the ‘Silent Generation,’ all of whom leave a median tip of between 18 and 20%.


​The same attitude applies to tipping those who provide services, such as Uber or Lyft drivers: 18% of millennials don’t tip them, even when provided with an option to do so. Nevertheless, close to 27% of the millennials surveyed suggested that they would prefer having a service charge included in items, thereby paying higher prices, and then doing away with tips.


​But it’s not just millennials who are unlikely fork over more than 15%. Parents with young children, lower wage earners, and the less educated tip less than the overall median of 18%.

So who are the most generous?

Older people are among the most generous, with close to 55% of those over 65 tipping 20% or more. Women also tend to leave bigger tips than men, a median of 20% compared to 16%. Those who are college-educated or hail from the Northeast or Midwest also tend to leave a median of a 20% tip—above the national average.

Couple Caught on Video Joining Mile High Club From Their Own Seats

Pet immigration rules for Spain

Your pet must have an ISO pet microchip inserted, and be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least 21 days prior to travel and not more than one year prior to travel. If your animal was vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted. If your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you will have to bring your own microchip scanner.

A USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must then complete the bi-lingual Annex II for Spain** for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the United States or Canada. If traveling from another country, the Governing Authority should endorse the form for you.

Pets entering Spain from a country with a high incidence of rabies, must have a Blood Titer Test one month after vaccination and three months prior to departure.


Restrictions

Unvaccinated pets (dogs and cats only) less than three months old may enter an EU country, but there are additional regulations that must be met. Certain aggressive breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry.

All other pets (birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals such as rodents and rabbits) are not subject to the regulations on the anti-rabies vaccination but may have to meet other requirements as to a limit on the number of animals and a certificate to accompany them with respect to other diseases. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the destination country.

Airline pet container requirements

The airline will normally insist that you acquire a special travelling container for the animal that is ventilated and allows the animal room to move and lie down. Label your pet’s kennel carefully and prominently so that it won’t get lost during the transit. Ensure that your pet has adequate food and water for the journey.

The rules regarding approved types of containers for cats, dogs, ferrets and birds flying in the cabin and as cargo were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and for the most part have been accepted by the world’s airlines. You should read the IATA requirements before you travel with your pet abroad.

There are certain Spanish rules for relocating pets to Spain, particularly proving they are healthy and are transported appropriately when travelling to Spain. Let's break them down for you... and please take notes. These are procedures that must be followed.

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A few useful tips…

Make sure you have a telephone number for emergency veterinary services in the place you are planning to visit with your pet.

In addition to fulfilling all the entry requirements, you should also bear in mind the following:

• Muzzles are obligatory in some Spanish regions. • Not all types of accommodation admit animals. • Most restaurants do not admit pets. • The municipal authorities determine the places, seasons and times when dogs are allowed to enter and stay on beaches.

Before you start your trip, it is advisable to check with your chosen accommodation and transport companies about their conditions for travelling with pets.

The World's Best Airports for Arriving with Your Pets


When you think of a typical Airbnb host, someone with a spare room in their house may come to mind — someone who's perhaps just looking to make some extra cash. And about 80 percent of Airbnb owners fit that bill. But some have taken Airbnb ownership to the extreme, raking in millions of dollars each year from their multiple listings.

The king of them all is a man in London who has 881 properties across the city. In the past year, he made $15.6 million from all of his properties, according to data from AirDNA.


​In London, there are currently 57,475 Airbnb listings available — meaning this man owns 1.5 percent of the city’s Airbnb market. AirDNA estimates that 24 percent of Airbnb hosts in London have multiple listings across the city.


​Another extreme example is a man who made $15.4 million through his 504 properties in Bali. Last year, a report from Forbes said that 75 people in the U.S. made more than a million dollars from their Airbnb listings. That's about one out of every 3,850 people.

AirDNA says this trend is growing — but people aren’t becoming overnight millionaires from the scheme.

“We’re seeing traditional property management companies operating as many as 1,000 listings,” AirDNA CEO Scott Shatford told The Telegraph. “These numbers don’t show a multimillionaire sitting on a gold mine. These are businesses that have emerged in this new economy, with hundreds of employees, managing other people’s second homes.”

Because it’s impossible for one man to operate almost 900 properties on his own, multiple owners are setting up their own businesses. There are even services to help people set up their own Airbnb management companies.

For those who choose Airbnb as a way to meet locals, this is a disconcerting trend. Travelers who want a one-on-one connection with their host should scour Airbnb before booking and ensure that their host only has one or a few listings. Otherwise the stay could quickly start to resemble something like a hotel.

Madrid, Spain

On Friday morning, June 8th, Anthony Bourdain, the beloved storyteller, gifted chef and iconic television host, died following an apparent suicide. He was 61 years old.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

If you or a loved one need help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Grieving friends, fans and followers of Bourdain quickly took to social media following the news of his passing to share their thoughts on just how deeply Bourdain has touched their lives either personally, or through their television screens.


“I am shocked and deeply saddened,” Antoni Porowski, chef and “Queer Eye” cast member, wrote on Twitter. “RIP to a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man. ... Prayers for his loved ones.”


“Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123,” chef Gordon Ramsay shared.


“Anthony. One of my idols. Unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet. Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right. Horrible. Why why why. Be at peace now,” cookbook author Chrissy Teigen wrote


“I have to say I’m in total shock to hear that the amazing @Bourdain has just died he really broke the mould, pushed the culinary conversation, Rest in peace chef thoughts and love to all his family and close friends,” chef Jamie Oliver wrote on Twitter


“A piece of my heart is truly broken this morning. And the irony, the sad cruel irony is that the last year he’d never been happier. The rest of my heart aches for the 3 amazing women he left behind. Tony was a symphony. I wish everyone could have seen all of him. A true friend,” chef and host Andrew Zimmern tweeted.


​Samantha Brown, fellow travel host, expressed her shock and dismay.

Samantha Brown
✔@SamanthaBrown

Dear God No.

7:50 AM - Jun 8, 2018

1,179
215 people are talking about this

Passengers on a Silver Airways flight were shocked to find that the people seated behind them were joining the Mile High club — from their seats.

“My mom and dad were just trying to have a peaceful trip to Mexico and then they sent me this...” Twitter user Kiley Tully posted on Sunday.

There are three general rules: animals should be accompanied by their owners or representatives, must be duly identified and must have their accompanying animal health certificate, which should include a copy written in Spanish. Please take into account that all pets must be in possession of the correct veterinary certificate or passport, according to the species of animal.


If your pet is a dog, a cat or a ferret

Dogs, cats and ferrets that are less than 3 months old, and are therefore not vaccinated against rabies, are not allowed entry.Before entering Spain, your pet must fulfil a series of sanitary and identification requirements, which may vary according to the country of origin. You can consult these on the official website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, Food and the Environment.
(http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/ganaderia/legislacion/animales-compania-normativa-zoosanitaria.aspx).In most cases, your pet must be identified with a legible tattoo or microchip, and the valid passport must prove that it was vaccinated against rabies. The animal must not travel within 21 days after its first vaccination.


If your pet is a bird

Birds coming from non-European Union member states should comply with a series of control requirements for safety reasons (against bird flu). These are included on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment official website. In all cases the animal must have the veterinary certificate written at least in Spanish, issued within the past 10 days (for European Union member states), and signed and stamped by an official vet, with a declaration from the owner or their representative (for third countries). Poultry are not considered pets.


Other species

They must all have the corresponding veterinary certificate, written at least in Spanish, issued within 10 days before the trip. Also, if you come from a country outside the European Union, on the following link from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, you will find information regarding the entry of pets into Spain, by type of pet and country of origin.
(http://cexgan.magrama.es/Modulos05/Publico/InformacionMercados.aspx?proc=6) For the health certificate, please take into account that pets must be examined within 5 days before leaving the country of origin.

Spain

the pet's vaccination.


One aim of the European Pet Travel Scheme, which covers cats, dogs and even ferrets, rabbits and rodents, is to provide proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies, with the passport also setting out details of the pet’s tick and tapeworm treatment.


The EU Pet Passport contains the following information:

  • Name and address of animal owner
  • Description of the animal (breed, sex, age, color)
  • Number of microchip
  • Date of the rabies vaccination, period of validity of the vaccination, type of vaccine, name of manufacturer and production number
  • Address and signature of the veterinarian

People at home are increasingly using their voices to ask digital assistants for the latest weather report, to hail an Uber ride, or to play their favorite songs. Now, Amazon wants to help people do the same thing while traveling.

The company said on Tuesday that it would make its voice assistant, Alexa, available in hotels, vacation homes, and other kinds of rentals, starting with Marriott International hotel chains. Only two individual hotels will initially offer Alexa, but that number will grow over the next year to other properties including Aloft, Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott Hotels, St. Regis, and Westin Hotels, according to Yahoo Finance.

Alexa, available via Amazon’s Echo voice-controlled speaker, can answer trivia questions, control smarthome appliances, and shop at Amazon.com. The version for the hospitality industry lets guests ask questions about where they’re staying, control music, and connect with services offered in the hotel—including, one hopes, room service. Depending on room features, Alexa could control lights, heat and cooling, TV sets, and window shades.


The new service, called Alexa for Hospitality, doesn’t require or yet allow guests to login with an Amazon account, though the company said that would be available later as an option. After that is implemented, guests would be able to use music and audiobook subscriptions and purchases in compatible services, like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Audible.

For now, Echo can play music from services the hotel provides and from a guest devices via a Bluetooth wireless connection. But guests can’t shop at Amazon until they’re able to log in with their account.

Amazon notes that hotel managers, for example, would be unable to listen to what guests say to Alexa or its replies. The company says all data traveling between the Echo and its servers is secured, as well as any data stored on its servers, just like with its consumer offering.


Hoteliers can customize Alexa “skills,” the set of things that the service can provide answers for or actions.

Amazon, Apple, and Google are battling over primacy of their voice-based recognition systems, although Amazon and Google have been widely seen as ahead in sophistication and accuracy. Reuters reports that Marriott had considered both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. A Marriott spokesperson told Reuters that the test wasn’t head to head.

While the service will be an amenity for guests, it also has features that property managers may enjoy. For one, the maximum volume level can be set, ostensibly to keep a guest from saying, “Alexa, set your volume to 11,” bothering other guests. And the system can provide “administrator notifications if a device goes offline,” perhaps a polite way of describing a guest who finds the Echo so appealing that he or she takes it with them at check out.


This Story Originally Appeared On Fortune.

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And it's starting with Marriott.

The United States Supreme Court announced Tuesday it upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban, rejecting claims from advocacy groups that the decision would cause discrimination against Muslims.

According to The Associated Press, Trump’s travel ban to several Muslim-majority countries was upheld in a 5-4 decision, marking the Supreme Court’s first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.


Chief Justice John Roberts revealed the majority opinion, with the other justices agreeing the President had enough power to regulate immigration. The court originally allowed the travel ban to take effect in December as the court battle raged on.

Several lower courts ruled the travel ban was unconstitutional before the Supreme Court made their decision Tuesday.


​In response to the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday upholding President Trump’s travel ban, the United States Travel Association executive vice president Jonathan Grella issued the following statement:

"Now that the U.S. court system has set guidelines for the president's executive orders on immigration, we are hopeful that a coherent and durable set of policies can be put into place by the administration.”

"Today's decision should enable the White House to move on to a new messaging phase: making it clear that keeping bad actors out remains a priority, but making it equally clear that legitimate business and leisure travelers are as welcome and desired as ever in the United States.”

"The economic stakes around strong and healthy international travel are too high—and speak too squarely to the president's priorities of growing exports, jobs, and the GDP—for the welcome message not to become a featured part of the administration's calculus."


​Now that the Supreme Court has made its ruling, the U.S. Travel Association is "hopeful that a coherent and durable set of policies can be put into place by the administration."

"Today's decision should enable the White House to move on to a new messaging phase: making it clear that keeping bad actors out remains a priority, but making it equally clear that legitimate business and leisure travelers are as welcome and desired as ever in the United States, said U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for public affairs Jonathan Grella.

For those of us who own pets, there's no getting around it: they are our babies. Period. No doubt about it. We love them, adore them, take outrageous good care of them. We buy them expensive toys, clothes, the best food that money can buy. We worry about them when we go on vacation. And they love us back, unconditionally.


As my friend puts it, they're the best kind of kids to have: always glad to see you and they never ask for money.

Pet immigration rules for Spain

Your pet must have an ISO pet microchip inserted, and be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least 21 days prior to travel and not more than one year prior to travel. If your animal was vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted. If your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you will have to bring your own microchip scanner.

A USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must then complete the bi-lingual Annex II for Spain** for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the United States or Canada. If traveling from another country, the Governing Authority should endorse the form for you.

Pets entering Spain from a country with a high incidence of rabies, must have a Blood Titer Test one month after vaccination and three months prior to departure.


Restrictions

Unvaccinated pets (dogs and cats only) less than three months old may enter an EU country, but there are additional regulations that must be met. Certain aggressive breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry.

All other pets (birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals such as rodents and rabbits) are not subject to the regulations on the anti-rabies vaccination but may have to meet other requirements as to a limit on the number of animals and a certificate to accompany them with respect to other diseases. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the destination country.

Airline pet container requirements

The airline will normally insist that you acquire a special travelling container for the animal that is ventilated and allows the animal room to move and lie down. Label your pet’s kennel carefully and prominently so that it won’t get lost during the transit. Ensure that your pet has adequate food and water for the journey.

The rules regarding approved types of containers for cats, dogs, ferrets and birds flying in the cabin and as cargo were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and for the most part have been accepted by the world’s airlines. You should read the IATA requirements before you travel with your pet abroad.

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Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference to your fellow passengers.

While on an Alaska Airlines flight out of Boston last week, 15-year-old Clara Daly found herself in the unique position to help someone in need. Shortly after take off, a flight attendant asked if anyone knew sign language over the plane’s announcement system because the crew needed help communicating with another passenger, Tim Cook, who is both blind and deaf, the Boston Globe reported.

Daly had been studying American Sign Language and was eager to help.

Because of Cook’s challenges, Daly had to make signs into his hands in order to communicate, but it worked. Cook himself was traveling alone, so Daly periodically checked in on him during the flight.

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All we have to do is pack them in an airline-approved pet carrier, take them to the airport and check them in, just like we would a suitcase... right? Not quite! Not by a longshot!


Traveling from the United States to any foreign country requires doing your homework. VERY recent vaccinations must be administered by qualified veterinarians; paperwork must be picked up, completed and filed; all pets must be fitted with a microchip... and, yes, some types of microchips aren't acceptable and will result in your pet not being admitted into a foreign country. Certain breeds of dogs are not welcome anywhere; and will your pet require... a passport?


Yes; that's right, a pet passport. You're reading this correctly.


U.S. Travel Magazine has scoured some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations and, more importantly, the airports that service those cities. We've spoken with government inspectors who have the final say as to whether your furry family member will be allowed into their country. And you know something? Most of the inspectors with which we spoke are doctors and die-hard, down-to-the-bone pet lovers. And they're great people, too. They have a passion for the job they perform... and they're actually there to make your nerve-racking process of entering a new country easy, calmer and less stressful.


In future publications, we'll be highlighting several European airports and fill you in on what to expect, what to do before you leave home and what to bring with you. So, before you start booking that expensive international flight for you and the family, read this. Especially if your travel plans will be taking you to the outrageously beautiful city of​...

Visiting America’s national parks will forever change you. The remarkable beauty that these vast areas have to offer is almost impossible to truly describe — which is why people are often tempted to take a piece of the park home with them in the form of a plant, rock, or something more precious. But it should go without saying you should never, ever vandalize or steal from a national park. 


​Some people, it seems, didn't get that memo. And it’s become such an issue that rangers at Saguaro National Park in Arizona have been forced to put microchips in some of the park’s famed Saguaros, a variety of cactus that is capable of growing more than 40 feet tall and can live upwards of 200 years.


“It’s ironic that we set aside great places like Saguaro National Park and people think that they can just come take the iconic cactus for which the park is named,” Kevin Dahl, a program manager for the National Park Conservation Association in Arizona, told KTAR News. Dahl added that stealing the plants has become a lucrative business as a Saguaro can be sold for as much as $100 per foot.


​According to officials, a number of the cactus plants have been microchipped. However, they note that while the chips can identify a stolen plant, they cannot track them. But they are hopeful this new technique will deter thieves in the future.


​And though officials don’t have an exact count on how many of the plants have been stolen, they know the impact has been significant.

Pets are welcome in Spain but there are strict Spanish regulations relating to bringing pets into the country. If you plan to take a pet to Spain, it’s important to check the latest regulations. Make sure that you have the correct papers, not only for Spain, but for all the countries you will pass through to reach Spain. Be aware that regulations differ depending on the country you are travelling from. Here is the general information you will need when you decide to move to Spain with your pet.

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