5 Odor-Free Active Travel Clothing Lines For Women

After you’ve been traveling for a long period of time, there invariably comes the day when your suitcase starts to … well, it starts to stink.

That’s where a new generation of breathable, odor-free clothing comes in. Brands like Ibex, Patagonia, PrAna, Icebreaker and Horny Toad are coming out with exciting new fabrics like Ibex’s Synergy (a blend of merino wool and GOTS-certified organic cotton), PrAna’s Bliss (a nylon-spandex blend with UV protection) and Horny Toad’s Samba (a wrinkle-free blend of Tencel, organic cotton and spandex). Such fabrics were particularly developed for versatility and multiple wears – perfect for the pack-and-go nature of the road.

A bonus? In addition to keeping you free from sweat, the brands highlighted below are also sweatshop-free and committed to ethical and sustainable production. Read on and prepare to have your packing routine revolutionized.


Vermont-based Ibex describes itself as a “hiking-before-dawn,” “bike-to-work,” “coffee-in-front-of-the-woodstove” kind of company. Sounds like our kind of people!

Beyond that, Ibex produces a thoughtfully designed collection of activewear made from wool and natural fibers. Its new spring collection features a brand new fabric called “Synergy,” made from a blend of about 49% GOTS-certified organic cotton, 48% New Zealand merino wool and 4% Lycra. In particular, the merino wool helps your body manage moisture, regulate temperature and resist odors, while the cotton provides comfort and support, and the Lycra adds a touch of stretch.

Favorites: Synergy X Tank, Synergy Fit Pant

  • Synergy X Tank by Ibex
  • Synergy Fit Pant by Ibex
  • Women's Light Flyer Jacket
  • Women's Triolet Jacket by Patagonia
  • Bliss Capri by PrAna
  • Bliss Skirt by PrAana


Patagonia has developed a reputation for producing quality outdoors apparel with minimal harm to people and the environment. Perhaps its most popular outerwear collection features GORE-TEX – an innovative nylon fabric that is waterproof, windproof and breathable.

The GORE-TEX technology was invented in 1976, and the versatile fabric has since been used for consumer, industrial and medical purposes. GORE-TEX is particularly well suited as an outer lining for outdoors gear, since the fabric allows for superior protection against the wind and rain, while staying breathable. Patagonia’s more lightweight GORE-TEX products, like the Women’s Light Flyer Jacket, pack easily and make a smooth transition from the city to the mountains.

Favorites: Women’s Light Flyer Jacket, Women’s Triolet Jacket


initially started out creating clothing for climbing and yoga, but after discovering that their garments worked in multiple scenarios, the California-based company changed its focus to creating “products with a purpose.”

Its new product line features the new “Bliss” fabric – a light, wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying blend of 94% nylon and 6% Spandex, with a UPF rating of 40+ for sun protection. It is perfectly suited for travel bottoms, and the line currently includes capris, knickers, shorts, skirts and skorts.

Favorites: Bliss Capri, Bliss Skirt


Merino wool is one of those wonder fibers that can adapt to nearly every environment. Icebreaker‘s Merino is particularly good for travel, with ultra fine fibers to cut the itchiness generally associated with wool. When it’s cold out, the merino uses moisture to generate heat, but when it’s warm, the merino transports moisture away from the skin to be evaporated. The result is a breathable, lightweight fabric that is also odor-resistant.

Icebreaker’s line includes pieces for hiking, snow sports and fitness; check out its “Travel Lifestyle” vertical for versatile travel-friendly gear in fun, bright colors.

Favorites: Siren Tank, Villa Wrap

Horny Toad

Clothes from Santa Barbara-based Horny Toad are designed to be “an expression of ease” – just the kind of clothing we want to be wearing when we travel.

Its “Samba” line is particularly good for the road, with a knit fabric made from a blend of 48% Tencel, 48% organic cotton and 4% spandex. Tencel is a sustainable fiber made from eucalyptus trees, which is manufactured in a closed-loop system where nearly 100% of byproducts are recovered. But more importantly for travelers, Tencel helps to maintain body temperature, while preventing moisture from growing, for garments that dry easily and can be worn again and again.

Favorites: Conversion Dress, Chaka Skirt

[Photo Credit: PrAna, Icebreaker]

Filed under: Gear, North America, United States, Ecotourism, What’s in Your Pack?, Women’s Travel

Article source: http://www.gadling.com/2013/03/31/5-odor-free-active-travel-clothing-lines-for-women/

Report: Chatwing Introduces Chat Software as Client Inquiry Tool to Travel …

Chatwing reaches out to travel niche by launching its newest chat app. This embeddable tool can improve a travel website’s online presence by over 60%.

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 31, 2013

During the early onset of 2013, the travel niche boomed with over thousands of active users. These users are always seeking for vacation hotspots, cultural information, and airline guides. Chatwing.com recently created a chat app that can serve as a useful inquiry tool for websites in the travel niche. The application has advanced social media leverage, so users can widen their networks with relative ease. It also encourages real-time communication so data travels at a fast rate.

The Chatwing chatroom offers flexibility due to its login options. People can use their Facebook accounts as a log in option, and they can send invitations to other users in the chatroom. Chatwing’s developers ensure that the Facebook login option can lead to over 60% growth in any travel website. Twitter is also a considered method, wherein users can pick up and discuss useful travel trends. Recently, the company has added Google and Yahoo! log in methods for those who want instant email access.

Chatwing also has a chatroom linking option wherein the user can share his chat lounge with other users within a certain niche or group. This is commonly dubbed as a ‘chat network’ and the developers are planning to add more in the coming months. The developers also stated that they will add a travel chat network, depending on user feedbacks. The overall speed of the chatbox is not compromised, no matter how many chat networks are active.

Aside from a travel inquiry tool, the Chatwing app can be used in any known online marketing process. Now, travel website owners can grow their subscriber groups with the connectivity rate offered by the Chatwing tool. The chat app is also subjected to many updates every now and then – this is to ensure that the platform will always work efficiently.

About Chatwing.com

Chatwing.com specializes in the new field of website chat. Over years, the Chatwing team has introduced live chat widget for hundreds and thousands of blogs. The Chatwing application bridges people from many parts of the world, creating global synergy through the Internet. The shout box can be installed in just seconds, and it can be used for varying purposes such as leisure and Internet marketing. It also allows a user to customize the size, color, and name of the widget. Chatwing is 100% free for everyone.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2013/3/prweb10555469.htm

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Report-Chatwing-Introduces-Chat-Software-as-4398015.php

Mountain-lovers look at Leavenworth beyond the lederhosen

LEAVENWORTH, Chelan County — Shane Wilder sits at his computer screen, clicking through footage of two lanky young men climbing Mount Stuart, the craggy Cascades peak 13 miles southwest of town. His clip will be part of a movie premiering April 6 at the inaugural Leavenworth International Film Festival. And despite the popular impressions of Leavenworth gleaned from a drive along Highway 2, lederhosen and faux-German architecture are nowhere to be seen in the footage.

Wilder, an outdoors photographer who moved to Leavenworth 15 years ago, founded and runs the local recreation-film hub, www.Icicle.tv. His site plays host to summer footage of stand-up paddling, kayaking and rock climbing, in addition to snow sports in the winter and periodic updates from the town of Leavenworth. The screening of adventure-sports films is an outgrowth of enthusiasm for his online project. Wilder doubles as the driving force behind the new film festival, with outdoor-themed movies to be hosted at the downtown Festhalle.

He sees the area’s move toward more alpine recreation as long overdue. And he’s not upset that so many recent arrivals to this town, pop. 2,000, are following — sometimes literally — in his footsteps.

New crowd looks to hills

From the mountain bikers who ride trails beneath summer lifts at Stevens Pass, to the whitewater kayakers flooding the town with spring’s high water, Leavenworth is attracting a new crowd of residents and visitors for whom natural architecture — that of the mountains, canyons and rock crags — matters a whole lot more than the Bavarian facades that have made tourism the town’s main industry.

These young adventurers aren’t interested in the antique shops and polka music downtown, but in finding a way to make ends meet living on the Cascades’ eastern fringe.

“I find myself driving over here at least twice a month in spring and fall,” says Graham Zimmerman, a rock climber and self-described “mountain-obsessive” based in Edmonds. “It’s got everything for a climber, from bouldering to big peaks, and the weather is icing on the cake.”

But for many like Zimmerman, Leavenworth’s downside is the lack of jobs beyond seasonal, service-industry work in the tourist trade. Many of the town’s new residents work in the medical field, either at the newly renovated Cascade Medical Center in downtown Leavenworth, or for one of the two hospitals in nearby Wenatchee. But for others, the recreation and social scene are worth sacrificing job prospects.

“Leavenworth is Washington’s only mountain town,” says semiprofessional skier Tom Murphy, when explaining the impetus for his December move to the area.

Murphy has been a longtime kayak guide during the summers but spends his winters chasing snow.

“There are great outdoor recreation options in every season, rafting and climbing and biking in the warmer months and phenomenal skiing and mountaineering in the winter.”

Educated and well-traveled

Murphy embodies many of Leavenworth’s enthusiastic new residents. He’s college-educated, well-traveled, and chose to make recreation opportunities and a community his priorities in finding a new home. “The proximity to activity might be the lure but the people that live there are the hook.”

And the people of Leavenworth are active in making the most of their community and environments through social organizations:

• The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (www.skileavenworth.com) is a nonprofit that manages the area’s network of nordic ski trails in the winter, with terrain groomed for classic and skate-skiing, as well as marked routes designed for snowshoes.

• The Leavenworth Mountain Association (http://leavenworthma.blogspot.com) is a recently-formed community nonprofit that hosts presenters and educators to encourage safe participation in everything from alpine rock-climbing to backcountry snowboarding. The 11-member board of directors is currently working toward creating a beacon park, for practicing use of avalanche transceivers in winter, and an indoor climbing gym to facilitate year-round training.

Leavenworth’s business scene has reflected this change in recent years. A downtown bike store now stands amid the antique shops and German bakeries that tour groups have come to expect. Das Rad Haus (German for “The bike shop”) hosts weekly rides during summer months, with shin guards, not lederhosen, the standard outfit on display (www.dasradhaus.com).

But during much of the year, especially the shoulder seasons for traditional tourism — like right now — the Icicle Brewing Company exists as the unofficial hangout for those reveling over a day’s exploits or seeking partners for a new adventure. Since opening their doors in the spring of 2011, owners Oliver and Pam Brulotte have made a point to host skiing, climbing and recreation-themed movies and presenters at no cost to the public. Following a vacation to Germany with their three children, the Brulottes, who already owned a local restaurant, realized that a brewery could be a family destination back home. Their Tuesday evening “leisure nights” now attract as many children as beer drinkers with the community coming down for all-ages music, free popcorn and projects to benefit local charities. And, “There’s nothing more Bavarian than the idea of having a brewery in your own town,” say the owners.

Especially if your town, and the alpine attractions nearby, comprise the Northwest’s increasingly authentic Bavaria.

Climber and freelance writer Blake Herrington lived in towns across Washington before moving to Leavenworth in 2011. See his outdoor blog at BlakeClimbs.blogspot.com. See more of Leavenworth photographer Garrett Grove’s work at www.garrettgrove.com.

Article source: http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2020654174_leavenworthoutdoorsxml.html

ISU professor seeks to improve travel for blind in BN

NORMAL — You might think Cary Supalo would be busy enough just teaching at Illinois State University.

You haven’t met Supalo.

“He’s always on the go,” said John Bauer, chairman of ISU’s chemistry department. “He’s really dynamic and externally focused and energetic.”

Blind since age 7, Supalo wants to form a local not-for-profit similar to the National Federation of the Blind.

He loves to travel.

He has ideas for improving public transportation in Bloomington-Normal and sought an appointment to the Connect Transit Board. That wasn’t available, but there was an opening on the Normal Human Relations Commission.

“Generally, we fill that position with people who advocate for racial or gender issues,” said Mayor Chris Koos.

But discrimination because of disability also is prohibited under Normal’s Municipal Code.

“This looked like a good fit,” Koos said.

Supalo shared his ideas at a public forum about the need for expanded bus service, including Sundays.

“For this community to continue its growth, it needs to empower its residents who don’t have cars,” he said.

His transportation interests aren’t limited to buses. He also would like United Airlines to serve the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Supalo has traveled all over the world.

On a recent trip to France, he visited the home of Louis Braille, who famously devised a system of raised dots to represent letters to enable the blind to read and write. On display was the first Braille writing device in the world.

“They let me touch it. They let me hold it in my hands,” Supalo said.

He is hoping to travel to Kenya this summer, on a trip organized through that nation’s Education Ministry, to work with teachers at the Thika School for the Blind on methods for teaching science.

Talking about travel challenges, he mentioned near-silent hybrid-electric cars and speculated that being hit by a vehicle is one way he might “meet my demise.”

“But I don’t let that stop me from doing what I want to do,” Supalo said. “I want to keep learning, keep helping people.”

Article source: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/education/isu-professor-seeks-to-improve-travel-for-blind-in-b/article_9e925d86-9986-11e2-b727-001a4bcf887a.html

It’s Your Money: Travel to Europe on a budget

The cost of a European vacation might seem daunting. But with some careful planning, you can travel to Europe for little more than the cost of a domestic vacation.

Two major factors in saving money on European travel are when and where to go. Several countries, such as Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Poland, can be considerably less expensive than others.

If you are trying to save money, avoid Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark and Luxemburg. Consider avoiding the big tourist cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Geneva, Rome and Venice until you have more money to spend.

You can reap tremendous savings by avoiding travel during the peak summer season. Airfares and lodging prices are generally highest between mid-May and mid-September. You can find great deals on airfare and lodging between October and April. You can also save money by flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Additionally, you can save money by flying across the Atlantic into less popular European cities. Once you arrive in Europe, you can take a train or a discount European airline to your target destination. It is also easier to use frequent flyer miles for flights to less popular destinations. Frequent flyer miles can be a great way to save money on air travel.

Once in Europe, it is inexpensive to get around using trains, buses, subways and discount airlines. If you have a long distance to travel, consider a sleeping train or a discount airline such as easyJet or RyanAir. You will be pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive airfare within Europe can be. A sleeper car enables you to cover large distances while you sleep and save the cost of a hotel for the night.

There are places that you just can’t reach by train or bus. In this instance, rent a car for a day or two to visit these special out-of-the-way places.

Save money on lodging by staying at an apartment, bed and breakfast or locally owned hotel. You can get better deals by staying in small towns or just outside the city center. There are numerous resources on the Internet to research and read reviews on lodging options. Some of my favorite online resources include TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com), VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner, www.vrbo.com), Fodor’s (www.fodors.com) and Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door (www.ricksteves.com).

Finally, don’t pay unnecessary fees to convert money or to pay for travel expenses. Many credit cards charge between 1 to 3 percent on European purchases. Use a credit card such as Capital One that doesn’t charge extra fees for European purchases.

Generally, you can get the best exchange rate on local currency by using your ATM card at a major European bank. With ATMs, you are charged a fee every time you pull out money, so minimize your transactions. Avoid Change Bureaus; they usually have unfavorable exchange rates.

Jane Young is a Certified Financial
Planner and can be reached at

Article source: http://www.gazette.com/articles/money-152854-travel-save.html

Vilanova to travel with Barcelona squad for Paris Saint-Germain clash

The Blaugrana coach has completed his cancer treatment after spending the last two months in New York and will travel with the club for its Champions League quarterfinal match.

Barcelona has announced that manager Tito Vilanova will travel to France with the squad for the Blaugrana’s Champions League quarterfinal clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old Vilanova has been out of action ever since he was diagnosed with cancer in his parotid gland for a second time in December. He subsequently traveled to New York a month later to begin chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment following surgery.

The Catalan club has now confirmed that Vilanova will make the trip to Parc des Princes along with the rest of the team, although he is not yet expected to resume his managerial duties. Vilanova’s assistant Jordi Roura, who has filled in during the coach’s absence, will hold Barca’s press conference prior to the European encounter and should also oversee the side’s pursuit of a first-leg advantage.

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Article source: http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/1956/europe/2013/03/31/3867621/vilanova-to-travel-with-barcelona-squad-for-paris-saint

Travel Solutions: $55 in taxes should have been refunded by Hotels.com

Q: We booked a 10-day vacation package in Cancun, Mexico, through Hotels.com that included air, hotel and a rental car. Taxes were included in the price of the rental car.

When we arrived at the Hertz rental counter, we were told there was an additional tax of about $55. I paid the additional tax at checkout, expecting to be reimbursed from Hotels.com.

I’ve written two emails to Hotels.com, but both have gone unanswered. When I called the company, a representative told me the $55 charge was a “deposit” that would be returned to me. But a call to Hertz confirmed it was a tax and no refund was due.

I have booked 12 to 15 rooms through Hotels.com, had good service and would consider myself a good customer. That is why I can’t understand why they would ignore my email and lie to me over the phone. There is not a lot of money at stake here, but I would at least like to receive a reply as to why I am not being reimbursed. – Wayne Enquist, Fergus Falls, Minn.

A: If Hotels.com said taxes on your rental car were included, then they should have been included, of course. You sent me a copy of your confirmation, and sure enough – they were.

When your itinerary doesn’t match reality, one of your options is taking the matter up with your online agency when you return. But it isn’t your only choice, nor should it be your first one.

When Hertz asked you to fork over another $55, you should have phoned Hotels.com. At the very least they could have made a notation in your record, so that when you followed up after returning to the States, they’d know about the problem.

But ideally, someone at Hotels.com could have made a quick call to Hertz and sorted this out before you returned the rental car. Remember, you probably had 10 days before the $55 charge was applied to your credit card – that’s plenty of time to get this sorted out.

Sending a brief, polite email to Hotels.com once you returned was a good idea, and I have no idea why it didn’t respond. Normally, when you send an email through its website, companies like Hotels.com send an automatic response and assign your query a tracking number.

I’m not surprised by the subsequent phone problems. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Hotels.com representative was lying to you. He probably had no idea what the $55 was for, or was confused. But the bottom line is, the $55 was yours.

If Hotels.com continued ignoring you, I think you might have taken up this case with your credit card. A competent bank would have found a good reason to reverse the charge.

I contacted Hotels.com on your behalf, and it refunded the taxes and fees that should have been included in the vacation price.

Christopher Elliott is the author of “Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals” (Wiley). He’s also the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine and the co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers. Read more tips on his blog, elliott.org or email him at chris@elliott.org

Article source: http://azstarnet.com/lifestyles/travel-solutions-in-taxes-should-have-been-refunded-by-hotels/article_a615dced-2f36-59c4-bf6b-d1155995695d.html

Mursi should limit his foreign travel – Al

Although it is important that President Mohamed Mursi travels outside Egypt, staying in the country is more important. I do not want to undermine the value of his participation in different events along other presidents or his visits to capitals that Egypt must communicate with. I am also willing to speak out more than anyone else and call on the importance of his attendance of Arab League and African summits considering their importance to Egypt. I am also ready to accept the idea that the president does not go to these countries for the aim of tourism or for the sake of enjoying traveling across capitals. Even his companions have started to talk about the number of hours — not day– that each journey takes. I was told that his trip to South Africa took 18 hours and that he only stayed there for 16 hours. When he visited Turkey, he stayed there for 10 hours. His stay in Germany was no more than 10 hours and his visit to Tehran lasted no more than four hours. He spent 10 hours in Pakistan. His longest trip was to China as he spent there 48 hours. His second long trip was to India where he spent 36 hours.

I understand all this. I also do not deny that his trips have many benefits. I understood that the most important benefit achieved during Arab Summit meetings in Doha was the renewal of his confidence in Qatar’s support for the Egyptian Cabinet and his conviction of the negativity of other countries’ stance on that matter including countries that had promised to stand by Egypt in its economic crisis. Not to mention the countries that made no promises and said when the subject was raised “hopefully it will go well.”

During his participation in the BRICS summit in South Africa (which in addition to the latter includes Russia, China, India and Brazil), the most important thing that happened was holding an extended meeting (that lasted for two hours) with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Another important aspect was his meeting with presidents of African countries who attended the summit. This was considered part of an attempt to renew and reactivate Egyptian-African relations after they overcome the phase of recession in recent months.

I went into details of the positive effects of the president’s communication with foreign countries in order to show my conviction of its importance and so no one thinks I call for turning our back on other countries during the age of globalization where geographic boundaries fell. Despite this, I still think that as a rule, domestic policy is the most important. The country’s current disturbed situation doubles this importance. An entire attention towards the domestic situation does not mean disconnecting Egypt from what is happening beyond its borders, but it means that the president’s journeys to other countries must be limited. He should not travel unless it is certain that the aspired interest can only be achieved through his presence and that having the premier or ministers or envoys represent Egypt will not serve that aspired interest. I hope I do not have to bring attention that there is a difference between being present and attending. Being present is a physical condition distinguished by stillness. Attendance is a positive act distinguished by activity. There is also a presence that maybe equal to absence and only activity turns presence into a tangible attendance. When I call for President Mursi to stay in Egypt, I am talking about his presence represented in looking after achieving national consensus, stability and security and improving economy. I surely do not mean that he should just sit silently in his office observing what is going on. 

An entire attention towards the domestic situation does not mean disconnecting Egypt from what is happening beyond its borders, but it means that the president’s journeys to other countries must be limited.

Fahmy Howeidy

Domestic policy as a base

The president’s vision should be based on his people and not on only on his character regardless of the latter’s virtues. Those who receive him in any foreign event or capital respect him as much as his people are satisfied with him. It is not true that foreign policy is separated from domestic policy. The latter is the basis. It is a mirror that reflects the president. Foreign policy is a translation of domestic policy. Therefore, when security is threatened in Egypt and when economy is in crisis and as political chaos threatens to take over the country, those who receive him anywhere are just being courteous towards him. They don’t really appreciate him and perhaps they pity him more than they listen to him and perhaps they do not really take him seriously. When a president travels and leaves his country in distress, he is seen ill and hurt. The foreigners who sit before him do not see his features but his people’s features and they only hear his voice.

The mystical commends a man who is present even when he is not there (that is people miss him dearly and continue to look for him.) This is a phase we have not reached yet. But we want to avoid this situation of the man who is absent while he is present. The aim we currently aspire is that the president be present and not absent. Since President Mursi is preparing to travel to Sudan at the end of the week, I remind him that if traveling his seven benefits as they say, then staying in Egypt with the aspired presence at the current time has at least seventy benefits.

This article was first published in Al-Shorouk News on March 31.



Dr. Fahmy Howeidy has worked in journalism since 1958 for Egypt’s Al-Ahram Foundation. He is currently the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Al-Ahram newspaper. Previously, Howeidy served as the Managing Editor of Kuwait’s Al-Arabi magazine and of Arabia magazine, which is published in London, UK in English. He is now fully dedicated to contributing to Al-Ahram and has a column each Tuesday published in six Arab countries in Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Majalla, and Al-Wafd Newspaper. Howeidy has had seventeen books published, including: The Quran and the Sultan, Awareness Forgery, In Order Not to be A Sedition, Islam in China, Iran from the Inside, Taliban, Establishing Due Rights, and The Crisis of Religious Awareness. Howeidy is a specialist in Arab and Islamic affairs.


Article source: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2013/03/31/Mursi-should-limit-his-foreign-travel.html

A family trip to Egypt after the Arab Spring

CAIRO — “We’re going to ancient Egypt,” I overheard my son, Luca, 7, tell a friend days before our trip to Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh. We had been reading books about pyramids and mummies, the sun god Ra, and the Great Sphinx of Giza, but it was only then that I realized that I had forgotten to tell him about modern day Egypt. In a sense, though, he was right: Most tourists go to Egypt to take in its ancient wonders.

While the country has seen its share of political turbulence since the Arab Spring rocked the very foundations of Cairo, the capital, just over two years ago, tourism is once again on the rise.

In a bid to bring tourists back to the city, the Pyramid of Chefren and six other ancient tombs on the Giza plateau have reopened. In the shadow of the pyramids, work is underway to complete the Grand Egyptian Museum by 2015. When it opens, this state-of-the-art complex will house the largest archeological museum in the world.

New hotels include Mövenpick Hotels Resorts, Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Hilton Hotels Resorts.

Continue reading below

We decided to test the choppy waters last fall after consulting the US State Department’s website and ensuring that Egypt was not on the Travel Warning list — as it had been in the aftermath of the uprising. As our guide, Hithem Samir from Memphis Tours, said, “Egypt does not need propaganda to have tourists. The history and artifacts speak for themselves.”

After visiting the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza, the mythical Sphinx, and riding on camels under the beating desert sun, we decided to escape the heat in the newly reopened burial chambers of the Pyramid of Khafre. Crouching down the claustrophobic stairs (only our daughter, Mia, 4, did not have to duck), we explored the spooky halls, hidden passageways, and subterranean chambers deep in the bowels of the world’s second largest pyramid.

The Egyptian Museum, close to Tahrir Square (the focal point of the 2011 revolution that still ignites from time to time, and has itself become a tourist attraction), is filled with all things pharoanic. The children’s favorite sections were the “Daily Life in Egypt” display; the Tutankhamen exhibit, with its treasure trove of King Tut’s artifacts and the famed golden mask unearthed in 1922; and the animal mummy room, where they tried to guess what the animal was before reading the explanation and got a sense of how animals were thought of as gods.

Caitlin Hurley

The author and her family visiting the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo.

A one-hour flight from Cairo and yet a world away from the bustle and grit of the capital, Sharm el Sheikh was our next stop. Dominated by swish, full-service hotels dotting the coast of this desert-like peninsula, Sharm is for Europeans and Russians what the Caribbean is to people in the United States: the perfect beach escape.

“I found Nemo,” shouted Luca through his snorkel, swallowing some of the warm, salty Red Sea in his excitement over the rainbow of marine life in the reef at the Ras Mohammed National Park, considered one of the best diving spots in the world. Accessible to us from various jetties along the nearly 500-yard-long beach at our hotel, the Grand Rotana Resort Spa, the calm azure waters belied the frenzy lurking just below the surface. From cute clown fish and fluorescent yellow butterfly fish to schools of brightly striped angelfish, it was like having a tropical aquarium at our disposal.

Every morning we set out for a snorkeling adventure, and with over 1,000 species of fish to spot, the ever-changing scene never failed to captivate us. Mia was too small to snorkel but she loved playing on the beach and wading in the shallow water.

Tourism in Sharm el Sheikh also took a big hit after the Arab Spring. Asmi Sami, the resident manager of the Grand Rotana, said tourism there was down by up to 70 percent in the aftermath of the uprising. He is, however, looking to 2013 as a comeback year.

Hotel guests were an interesting mix of string-bikini-sporting Russians and Europeans to more conservative guests from the Gulf States wearing burkinis. Whatever they wore, all seemed happy strolling the massive hotel complex, with its more than 2,200 palm trees, eight restaurants, meandering lagoon-like swimming pool, spa and fitness center, diving center, and kids’ club with nightly movies al fresco.

Options for excursions were plentiful, from quad bike rides through the Sinai desert to Bedouin camel safaris and glass-bottom boat trips. From Sharm you can make pilgrimages to nearby Mount Sinai, climbing to the top of Mount Moses before dawn to catch the sunrise over the desert, and to St. Catherine’s monastery, at the place where Moses is said to have encountered the burning bush.

After we left Egypt, political unrest and violent protests intensified. The State Department issued a travel alert (expiring May 4), asking US citizens to be aware of the “continuing possibility of political and social unrest, incidents of which have led to recent violence.”

To get up-to-date information, go to

Article source: http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/03/30/family-trip-egypt-after-arab-spring/n7hEp854HrKCx3WHgSjKkK/story.html

The ups and downs of flying with kids

Who says you can’t
travel on airplanes after you have children? My two, 7 and 4, have lived on four continents and been to about a dozen countries, collecting enough frequent flier points to go to the moon and back. Traveling is part and parcel of our diplomatic life, and the following is my hard-earned advice on flying with little ones.


Decide the lap baby issue

If your child is under 2 and you are traveling domestically or to Canada or Mexico, you can score a free lap seat flight. A lap seat fare for international travel is generally about 10 percent of the adult fare. The downside? Lap babies generally do not have a baggage allowance. Your child may be happier (and safer) onboard if you pay for a seat and settle her into a familiar car seat. If you are on a long-haul flight, call the airline to request a baby bassinet. Some companies, like American Airlines, do not allow you to reserve bassinets in advance, so get to the airport early to request one.

Preorder children’s meals

Many airlines, including United, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic, offer kids’ meals but they must be ordered in advance. Some airlines also offer bottle warming, diapers, and kids’ fun packs.


Babies traveling internationally need a passport. Check the US State Department website to see what documents are needed. www.travel.state.gov

Airline regulations

Many airlines request a proof of age (a birth certificate or passport works) for children, especially for those traveling on a discounted ticket. Most airlines will gate-check your stroller and bring it up to you between flights, but some check them until your final destination if they exceed size limitations for carry-on items. Others, including American, won’t gate-check strollers over 20 pounds, which includes most jogging strollers. Most airlines still permit early boarding for families, but United recently stopped this practice.



The Transportation Security Administration allows baby food, including formula, juice, and breast milk, to exceed the 3-ounce legal limit for liquids. Be sure to keep all baby food items separate for inspection and bring only as much as you need for your flight. Your stroller will need to be folded and put through security if it fits or it will be manually checked. And children age 12 and under no longer need to take off their shoes at security.


Eat up

That scream you sometimes hear from babies and small children after takeoff often means their ears are hurting. For babies, nursing, bottle feeding, or even sucking on a pacifier helps regulate the air pressure. For older kids, drinking water or juice or eating a chewy snack is helpful.

Bring entertainment

Essentials in our kids’ backpacks are their favorite snacks, arts and craft supplies, a go-to book, and a surprise toy or two. Portable DVD players and iPads with a new app or interactive book will help pass the hours.

Article source: http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/03/30/know-ups-and-downs-flying-with-kids/ZOw5jYSeWc8ef6L3O4O9vL/story.html