Which laws drive you crazy overseas?

By | March 25th, 2014

coverIT’S HERE! The Worlds’s Smartest Traveler is now available. Get your own copy of the book that will change the way you travel.

Foreign traffic rules crank up chaos. In this week’s USA Today column, I talk about the hazards of driving overseas. You’ll want to read this provocative story before you cross the border.

Thank you, Keep Your Cooler. We’re grateful to our sponsors at Keep Your Cooler, which sell the best insulated cooler bags — the ideal travel accessory. You can find many exclusive styles and sizes on its site. They make perfect carry-ons.

Seen any airline-like hotel fees? In your recent travels, have you ever encountered a hotel fee looks like something an airline would have come up with? For example, one Las Vegas hotel has a fee for booking by phone. Many other properties have completely nonrefundable rooms. Do tell! Please email me. As always, don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation. Your answer may appear in a story.

This week’s highlights. Over on Souvenirist, check out our slide show on the riveting Italian Dolomites. The must-read story on Elliott is about a hotel refund that never materialized. There’s quite a discussion about this one. Oh, and you absolutely have to watch my new USA Today TV ad — it’s hilarious! If you’re interested in following along as my European road trip winds down this week, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Save the world. Please volunteer. Are you tired of just reading about the latest consumer problems? Do you want to do something about it? Well, now you can. We need volunteers to help build the content for a next-generation consumer organization. It’s gonna be big, and it launches in 2014. Here’s how to get involved.

Related story:   Are travel agents liable for selling bogus travel "insurance" policies?

What’s up on Souvenirist? Our new destination site is producing more top-flight content. We feature ways to bring New York City home to you. Get up close with the whales in Juneau, Alaska. And find out about a castle that’s at the heart of an ancient conflict.

What’s new on Elliott? Which airlines have the worst service? Our research director, Nancy Marine, has a few candidates. Is the American-US Airways merger delivering on its promises? I take an early look at this controversial deal. Also, what do you do when your vacation package is missing a component? And one word: Comcast. Did I get your attention?

What’s the latest on Consumer Traveler? Charlie Leocha talks about one of his favorite German destinations, Heidelberg. Also, we take a hard look at the TSA, CBP and ask: Who is profiting from the current arrangement? Ned Levi wonders what the demise of Windows XP means for travelers.

Let’s talk! The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me. Here’s my email address.

  • Alan Gore

    Just ran into a consumer problem on this very site: When I’m on my mobile (iPad mini Retina) and click on the “hazards of driving overseas” link above , the article immediately darkens as a huge Florida Beaches popup ad sits over the text. There is no Close button accessible from the mobile, so the article remains unreadable.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    One of the funniest foreign driving stories was Tom Hanks on Johnny Carson talking about his experience driving in Israel. He was stopped by a police officer and asked for his driver’s license. He didn’t have one so he handed the cop his passport. The cop screams “THIS IS NOT A DRIVER’S LICENSE! GIVE ME YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE!!!” So Hanks hands over his wife’s driver’s license and the cop yells “DIDN’T YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID? THIS IS YOUR WIFE’S DRIVER’S LICENSE! I NEED YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE!” So Hanks finally breaks down and says: “I’m the man. I have to drive.” and the cop shrugs and says: “Oh, ok. Move along.”

We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.