Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bedbugs, Barcelona and Baby Wipes

Three quick links for a combination of must-read articles and must-book deals.

Don't Let 'Em Bite
One of my favorite travel writers, Andrea Sachs of the Washington Post, has a terrific article out all about the scourge that's keeping hotel managers up nights. I'm talking, of course, about bedbugs, a growing problem across the United States (but particularly in my home town of New York City. Oy!) Obviously, the number of people getting them in hotels is still relatively small, but because people are constantly checking into and out of hotels, they're good breeding ground for the little pests.

In the piece, Andrea has a video and some helpful written advice on how to check one's room and protect your suitcase so you don't accidentally bring the scourge home with you. See the link above for the complete article.

Impressive BCN Deal
Parc Guell Grotto, Barcelona
Sceptre Tours is branching out well beyond its core Ireland business it seems and announced an impressive deal to Barcelona today. It will be charging just $699 plus tax (about $140) for airfare and a six-night stay in the dazzling city of Barcelona for travel between Nov 1 and Feb 28 (with some blackout dates). Lowest rates are from New York City, though there are also deals to be had from Boston, Miami and Chicago. While the "5-star" hotel is quite poorly located (at the top of Tibadao, which means it will have great views but will be a schlep to most of the city's tourist sites) the package as a whole is quite well-priced. Click here for full details. 

One note: the offer gives the option of adding a rental car which seems superfluous in a city with such terrific public transportation. I'd skip that add-on.

Plane Air
My final suggestion today is that you take a look at Barbara Peterson's recent New York Times piece on the non-link between illness and re-circulated air on planes. Seems that scientists are finding that you're no more likely to get germs through circulating air aboard a plane as you would be in an office. The reasons why are detailed in the piece.

Of course, you can get sick from your plane ride. The pressurization, and drieness of the air can give passengers a mild bout of altitude sickness, according to Peterson.

Touch an area on which viruses have taken up residence (your tray table, perhaps or the door to the loo or an overhead compartment) and then touch your fingers to your nose and mouth and you're going to get sick. In fact, I'm guessing that's what may have happened to me on my flight back from Barcelona on Tuesday, so I'm going to sign off now and drink some more throat coat before my plane ride tomorrow (when I guess I can infect someone else in revenge with my germs).

Good night and don't let the bedbugs bite (especially if you're in a hotel!)

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