Expat Adventures

Deborah Bernstein began her career as a journalist in upstate New York. She worked in the travel industry for more than two decades, representing airlines, international destinations and hotel companies. A former managing editor for Hotline and Hyatt’s Regency Magazine, her stories and photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. Deborah, who has lived in London and New York, has traveled to more than 45 countries and the list keeps growing. She now calls Belgium home.

National Strike to Disrupt Belgium Travel Feb. 13

Get ready for a travel headache if you are heading to Belgium on February 13. A national strike will cause disruptions in rail, bus and airline travel. The industrial action is the result of a breakdown in wage talks after three Belgian trade unions called for a general strike to protest “merger” wage increases. Brussels Airport is reporting the general strike is expected to affect services throughout Belgium, including transportation. They expect operations at the airport to be severely impacted. Expect flight cancellations, long delays, flight diversions and baggage delivery problems. There could even be demonstrations in the city...

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Kids Fly Free on Frontier

Kids fly free on Frontier Airlines — even young teens? Yep. You read it right. Frontier has launched a ‘Kid Fly Free’ promo for children 14 and younger traveling with an adult. But there’s a catch. You have to be a member of the airline Discount Den club, and you have to move fast since the promotion ends February 12. Committed to Families “Kids Fly Free shows our continued commitment to being America’s affordable and family-friendly airline,” said Barry Biffle, President and CEO of Frontier Airlines. “We’re the only airline going all out for families in this way –...

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Polar Vortex Grounds Flights, Makes Millions Miserable

The Polar Vortex is here! Bone-chilling temperatures in the Midwest are wreaking havoc for travellers and area residents.  Flight cancellations, historic wind chills and frostbite risks are making millions miserable today. The National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa, has a bleak message for anyone going outside: “Avoid taking deep breaths, and minimize talking.” Seriously!  Welcome to the Frozen Tundra Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport may be bearing the brunt of it when it comes to air travel with wind chill temperatures reaching 50 degrees below zero and 80 flight cancellations, according to Flight Aware.  Check out their Misery Map as...

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Family grounded for body odor

I’ve had more than a few flights where fellow travellers could have used a good shower or deodorant, but I’ve never seen a stinky passenger taken off a plane. On Wednesday night, a Michigan family with a 19-month-old baby was kicked off an American Airlines flight from Miami to Detroit after passengers and crew complained about their body odor.  Unexpected Exit The Detroit Free Press and NBC News reported that Michigan resident Yossi Adler was traveling with his wife and young child. The trio was returning home after vacationing in Miami when their travel plans took the unexpected turn. The...

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‘Absolute disaster’ as Tonga loses Internet access

If you are heading to Tonga in the next few weeks, get ready to step back in time. The fiber-optic cable connecting the country with the outside world was severed this week, so you may need a wad of cash, postage stamps and lots of patience. Paradise Lost Imagine yourself on a beautiful, tropical island in Polynesia. Sunshine…white sandy beaches…a tropical rainforest. Sounds like paradise, right? Well, if you need to communicate with the outside world, it’s more like paradise lost. Forget about international phone calls, debit card transactions and Internet services.  That’s because Tonga, a South Pacific country made up...

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Do You Hate Airport Security Lines? Try this App.

I’ve never been a fan of long lines. Whether it’s sitting in traffic, waiting in a cinema line that wraps around a building or queueing up in serpentine airport security lines. It just seems like a huge waste of precious time. That’s why apps like Waze are so popular. They community based GPS navigation app can save you time with live alerts on traffic and road conditions, driving directions, car accidents, police presence, hazards and more.  But why should these time-saving apps be just for the road?  Airport “Appiness” with MiFlight You’ll find a little airport “APPiness” with MiFlight™, a...

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HOTEL REVIEW: Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora, Tromso, Norway

Let’s face it. Scandinavia is not cheap, but you don’t have to break the bank to find a good hotel in Norway. Whether in the capital of Oslo or further afield, there are good options that won’t deplete your checking account.  This month, we traveled to Tromso, a two-hour flight north of Oslo in the Arctic circle. It’s a great place to start your hunt for the Northern Lights. Our base for the adventure was the Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora.  Near the Action The hotel’s location – Sjøgata 19-21 – couldn’t have been much better. Located on the harbor...

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Frontier Airlines At ‘Tipping’ Point

I remember decades ago when a cocky young man on an international flight called flight attendants, or “air hostesses,” nothing more than waitresses in the air. I was appalled. As a public relations executive with British Airways, I saw how hard these young men and women worked — and the often rude customers with whom they had to play nice. I respected and admired the BA flight attendants and understood the complexities of their job. Flight attendants are professionals. Yes, they are educated on methods to deal with difficult customers. But more importantly, they are safety experts. If you...

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Hotel Review: Moxy London Excel

You don’t have to be a millennial to love one of London’s newer millennial hang-outs, the Moxy London Excel.  Okay, so it’s not in the center of London’s tourism zone. That is a big negative for those wanting to do the regular Tower of London, Big Ben and changing of the guards run. The Dockside Light Rail (DLR) is about a five-minute walk from the hotel’s front door, but the trek to Buckingham Palace will take you about 45-55 minutes.  Where Is It? Moxy Excel London is in the city’s Docklands area. So, what’s nearby? The ExCeL exhibitions and...

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