Want the real low-down on REAL ID? It’s here…

picture of New York State REAL ID driver's license

This updates an earlier post on the topic….

Confused about exactly when  REAL ID kicks in?  Confused about the acceptability of your state’s driver’s license by the TSA for domestic air travel after January 22, 2018?

Don’t panic. 

You won’t be turned away at security with your long-standing  license or ID in hand.  If you live in one of the 20-odd states  just now issuing REAL ID driver’s licenses (New York is one of them), the Department of Homeland Security has granted extensions until the strict, we-mean-business deadline of October 1, 2020. Therefore you have a bit of time. 

Here is what you need to know about REAL ID… Continue reading “Want the real low-down on REAL ID? It’s here…”

REAL ID UPDATE: What you need to know

  • NOTE:  A more recent post on REAL ID can be found here.

The updated top line: your current driver’s license will remain valid as TSA-approved ID for boarding aircraft on domestic flights for a while.  The DHS  compliance deadline for states to provide REAL ID driver’s licenses is expected to be extended to October 2018.

Here’s the background and what you should know about REAL ID and the TSA security protocol.

Continue reading “REAL ID UPDATE: What you need to know”

Trip insurance: When is it the right choice?

It’s often a toss-up when booking flight: economize on the non-cancelable/refundable ticket or buy the more expensive cancellable/changeable option, within the airline’s “terms and conditions”.   For big trips, whether under the wing of tour companies or self-organized, the question of trip insurance looms larger; there’s more money at stake and more circumstances beyond one’s control that could give rise to a host of (expensive) travel nightmares. So, trip insurance? Here’s what to consider to make the right choice.

Continue reading “Trip insurance: When is it the right choice?”

Why I love to blog: 5 hopefully good reasons

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and my labor is this blog. The holiday honors those whose labor enabled a pretty nice life for many and, for the country, enormous economic advantage.  The day got me thinking about my own current labor. For the last sixteen months, during what otherwise would be described as “retirement”, I have labored at creating content for this travel-focused blog, 3 Score & More, the one that you’re reading now.  It’s unpaid labor; I’ve made nary a dime. It is sometimes very frustrating.  In the end, it is definitely a labor of love and here’s why….

Continue reading “Why I love to blog: 5 hopefully good reasons”

Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it

Mendoza is often associated with the other Argentinian M-word: Malbec. The region is indeed the heart of Argentina’s  prodigious wine production and the focus of many a trip. The wine tasting was certainly high on my list and I did plenty of it.

But there is more to explore: Mendoza is sophisticated yet laid-back; beautiful parks reflect the regions’ rich history and Spanish heritage. Culinary expertise pairs nicely with the renown wine. Traveling with the expertise of Yampu Tours, here’s how two friends and I caught the best of Mendoza, from Malbec to aflajores.

Continue reading “Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it”

The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos

Those of us in the U.S. expecting a partial solar eclipse on August 21st were duly warned:  looking directly at this phenomenon without special viewing glasses would result in certain damage to our eyes. Alternatively, we could use the “pinhole” method and track the sun and moon pas de deux through a small opening harmlessly casting the shadow play on to a flat surface.

Enter the lowly kitchen colander – repurposed to serve as a  “pinhole” device creating a repeated pattern of celestial beauty. Who knew?  Continue reading “The solar eclipse through a colander: 3 amazing photos”

How to experience the eclipse without the hassle

Solar eclipse 101: this is hysterical.

How will you experience this cosmic phenomenon?  Some tips follow… Continue reading “How to experience the eclipse without the hassle”

What is the most important travel accessory? Quality Sunglasses!

Arriving at Heathrow from JFK recently  I discovered that my prescription progressive sunglasses were missing. Simply gone without a trace and, despite follow-up with “Lost Articles”, beyond retrieval. I felt both guilty and reckless as I had no back-up.   It was tempting, as an act of penitence for losing track of an expensive item, to replace them with anything from the tourist kiosk or even go cold turkey for the duration. My most important travel accessory – quality sunglasses – were nowhere. This loss was more than a fashion thing.  It was a vision thing.

Continue reading “What is the most important travel accessory? Quality Sunglasses!”

How to travel with friends; 5 tips for a really great time

At its best traveling with friends, a best pal or a small group enriches the shared life experiences and the compatibility that brought you together in the first place.  Whether it’s an organized tour or your own planning with an agreed upon itinerary, accommodations, as you head out the big decisions are made.  But  living together 24/7 even in the short term can reveal surprises and stresses not evident in day-to-day interactions with your nearest and dearest. Following are some tips to help set expectations and ensure that the trip is indeed the wonderful memory your friendship deserves. Continue reading “How to travel with friends; 5 tips for a really great time”

First time in Buenos Aires? 5 Things I loved!

Magnificent corner building in Buenos Aires

Ah, Buenos Aires. The first time you visit any city,  you can’t do it all. Sometimes budget constraints limit options, or the allotted time slips away. Thanks to a great itinerary put together by Yampu Tours, I experienced some of the best of Buenos Aires in a way that made me want to return.  I’m sure I’ll go back for more…. Continue reading “First time in Buenos Aires? 5 Things I loved!”