Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, there are some things you need to know before you go abroad. From cultural and etiquette differences to what to do in an emergency, here are the latest updates every traveler should know!
Ensure you’re ready for your trip by taking these key steps: – Registering with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with your destination country’s local embassy.
Airline Safety Updates
Airline safety is a priority for the airlines, as well as the regulators who oversee them. That’s why there are so many freely available tools that travelers can use to evaluate an airline’s performance in this area.
The National Transportation Safety Board says recent incidents involving planes that came perilously close to each other are a wake-up call. It is “necessary for all of us to remain vigilant so that these occurrences do not lead to something worse, like another airplane crash or serious injuries to passengers,” the board’s chair said in a statement.
During the past year, six runway incursions made headlines, with planes at airport landing and taking off procedures coming within seconds or less of each other. The incidents are being investigated by the NTSB, including one in which a Delta Air Lines flight nearly crossed paths with an American Airlines jet at JFK International Airport. Another involved a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Airlines jet at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas.
Of course, turbulence is a regular feature of flying, and the airline industry is working hard to ensure that such conditions are not dangerous. And while some travelers are concerned about the frequency of such incidents, experts say they can be expected to happen less often than in years past.
On the other hand, some travelers worry that the FAA is not sufficiently ensuring airlines’ compliance with safety standards. The agency has come under fire for not hiring enough air traffic controllers and safety specialists, as well as failing to keep up with modernizing technology. This is especially concerning after two deadly crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes in 2018 and 2019.
Regardless, the FAA says it has taken steps to improve its oversight. It recently re-invented the Safety Assurance System (SAS), which is an interactive online database that draws safety data from a wide variety of sources and allows inspectors to tailor their checks to each airline’s unique operation. It is also allowing airlines to register as IOSA-compliant, which indicates that they have undergone an in-depth airline safety audit.
As the name implies, security updates are software fixes primarily focused on improving overall device and program security. Hackers are always looking for ways to break into your personal devices and computer programs, so it’s critical that you download and install patches regularly to help curb these threats. Patches can find loopholes, prevent toehold attacks, and avoid long-term infection among many other benefits.
Because these updates are primarily aimed at protecting your data, it’s important that you only download them from trusted vendor websites or directly from your device. Many programs offer automatic update options, so you can set them to check for and download updates on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to periodically visit your program or device manufacturer’s website to manually check for and download updates as well.
Most manufacturers will provide a timeline for how long you can expect to receive security updates for your products and devices. Generally, these timelines are two to three years, but they can vary from one product line to another. It’s important to consider these timelines when choosing your next smart device or smartphone.
For instance, Google’s Pixel series offers five years of security updates, which is much longer than the typical two- to three-year commitment that other Android OEMs make for their own devices.
Each month, Google releases a security update that includes multiple fixes for vulnerabilities and exploits found across the entire Android platform. These fixes are then bundled together and distributed to Android OEMs like Samsung, LG, and OnePlus, who add their own updates for device-specific issues or exclude certain patches that don’t apply to them. As a result, it typically takes some time for these updates to reach your device from the original developer, but they are essential in keeping you safe and secure. This is especially true because hackers are constantly trying to take advantage of system vulnerabilities and loopholes, and these vulnerabilities will continue to be used by attackers until they are patched. Therefore, it’s vital to update your phone and other devices as soon as possible.
COVID-19 Testing Requirements
When you travel, you may be required to test for the coronavirus (Covid-19). This testing is usually done if you are traveling from a country with a high rate of cases. You may also be tested before or after an event that is known to have a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission or if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The test is generally done with a nucleic acid amplification or antigen test that has been given an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, as these tests are most likely to be accepted by destinations that have COVID-19 entry requirements. A list of approved tests is available on the CDC website.
While the requirement to show a negative test result before traveling remains in place, it’s important to remember that the vaccine can help keep you healthy and protect you against serious disease. Vaccination and staying up to date on boosters are the best ways to protect yourself.
The Covid-19 virus is spread through droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze. You can be infected by being within six feet of an ill person or breathing in the air where an infected person has been. You can also be infected by touching an object or surface that has COVID-19 on it.
For travelers, it’s important to follow all state, tribal and local restrictions, as well as national requirements, when planning your trip. You can find up to date information about all travel requirements and restrictions at the CDC’s COVID-19 webpage.
Several states, including New York, have relaxed COVID-19 entry requirements for foreign visitors. For example, the Broadway League has decided to allow theaters to decide on a month-to-month basis whether or not to require audience members to wear masks.
The Wadsworth Center, NYS Public Health Laboratory, continues to provide testing for Covid-19 for select sample collection entities such as State agency run congregational settings with vulnerable populations and local health departments during the outbreak. To request testing, sample collection entities must be pre-approved by Wadsworth Center through the sample submission process.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just planning your first trip, there are plenty of tips to help make your trip more enjoyable. These tips will help you save money and get the most out of your time on vacation.
Plan ahead for your trip by researching your destination and preparing your belongings. It’s also a good idea to check the State Department’s website for country updates and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Taking these precautions will ensure that your trip is a safe and unforgettable experience.
Don’t act lost when you are in a foreign city or unfamiliar area. This could make you an easy target for robbery or other crimes. If you’re confused, keep calm and ask someone nearby for directions.
Staying healthy while traveling is important, especially since you’re often out of your normal routine. Try to do some light exercise like a morning run or yoga before starting your day, and use an application to track the number of steps you take each day.
Remember, the best tip of all is to have fun! Be open to new experiences, and don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll only regret it if you never do!