Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 (PVSA)
Any passenger vessel whose itinerary starts and ends at a US port without visiting a foreign port must be USA-made and have a USA crew.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America is the only cruise ship with an all USA crew as it is stationed full-time in Hawaii and does not have any way to visit a foreign port on its Hawaii-exclusive itineraries
The Exceptions and Workarounds
A passenger vessel visiting a US port may be foreign-made and/or have a foreign crew when...
Itinerary is roundtrip to/from the same US port
Itinerary starts and ends at different US ports
Coastwise penalty is $778/passenger
Source: US Customs and Border Protection
Santa Fe... Iceland... Australia!
Travel is all about the human experience. One reward for Matt and I as travel consultants is that we get to meet fascinating people, learn their stories and help connect them with the world.
Dr. Abi Blakeslee is one such connection. We first coordinated and arranged an independent Iceland hiking adventure for her mom, who also lives in Santa Fe. That was followed a few months later by a customized group trip for her mom to explore the six ancient ceramic kilns of Japan. Each trip was so enjoyable and easy that her mom recommended us to Abi... from Santa Fe to Iceland to Australia!
Abi has a Ph.D. in Clinical and Somatic Psychology which now has her venturing to Brisbane, Australia, to conduct Somatic Experiencing consultations. We have handled all her post-workshop travel holiday planning and this year it included a cruise up the Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and wonderful pics!
Brandon and Matt
What causes motion sickness?
Our brains perceive and process motion mostly by relying on signals received from our inner ears. Yes, it's all in our heads, but from a physical standpoint rather than mental. Vision and physical messages from below the neck are secondary in helping our brains determine motion.
Motion sickness most often occurs when our brains have to rely solely on the messages from our inner ear and don't have any cues from our eyes or bodies. It is also aggravated when we feel warm or hot, have a head cold other pressure-causing ailment (messes with the fluid in our inner ears), or have consumed lots of sugary drinks or sweets.
Here are the general rules for avoiding or at least minimizing motion sickness without using medications.
On the Plane
On the Road
Many airlines are now banning all 'smart' bags that have fixed Lithium batteries
Airlines and aviation safety experts continue to have a particular concern that any fire happening inside a pressurized aluminum tube loaded with people and jet fuel at 34,000 ft could have a potentially negative outcome.
The risk of fire is present when the battery is connected.
YES: Your smart bag may fly under these conditions
NO: Your smart bag is prohibited from flying under these conditions
Be Smart. Be Safe: Contact your respective airline(s) for complete, official details on all restricted items including smart bags before you travel. The information contained in this post is for general reference purposes only and is not official.
Online Search Engines VS Direct Airline Websites
What restrictions should I consider before purchasing a Basic Economy ticket?
Avoid Unpleasant Surprises: All airlines are not the same. Always read each respective airline's fare rules and restrictions before purchasing. Each of these is hyperlinked to its own Basic Economy page for your convenience.
Additional Basic Economy Notes
Very Limited Exceptions May Exist for...
Note: This information is not representative of all airlines, is not all-inclusive, was collected from the websites of listed airlines and is intended as general reference only, is subject to change without notice and is not guaranteed. Consult your airline or travel consultant for the most up-to-date policies and procedures prior to booking or purchasing any ticket. While we strive to provide the most accurate information, The Hill Guys Travel accepts no responsibility for your interpretation or actions taken as a result of reading this information. You accept full responsibility for your own actions as well as the consequences of those actions.
Beaches and Hikes on Kauai, Oh My!
Hawaii - The Aloha State
Hawaii Quick Facts
You can fly or cruise to the Hawaiian Islands. Either way, Hawaii is one of those destinations for which the more effort it takes to reach the more you will be rewarded once you get there!
Approximate Non-Stop Gate-to-Gate Times from the Mainland to Honolulu (HNL)
Returning to the US Mainland
Cruise Ships from California
Which island is the best? - It all depends on what you are looking to enjoy.
Hawaii has something for everyone. Here is what you'll find on each island regardless of which one(s) you choose to explore.
Here is a summary of the four top-visited islands:
Know the Facts Before You Book Your Next Flight
New TSA screening procedures require food items be removed from your carry-ons
8/26/17 - We were surprised at the Albuquerque International Sunport to learn that we would be required to remove all solid food and snacks from our carry-on bags before they went through x-ray. Yeah, it was a mess digging through our backpacks for all the loose granola bars, gum and mints we had haphazardly thrown in for our flights.
The polite TSA agent informed us that ABQ is one of the airports participating in the trial and this new procedure would go into effect nationwide within the next few months.
To clarify, food and snacks are NOT prohibited or restricted, but rather are not to stay in your bag for x-ray. Leaving them in will likely result in your bag getting pulled off the line for a manual search and swabbing for explosives residue and slowing you down.
Reduce the number of manual bag inspections that result from questionable x-ray images caused by solid food items and snacks.
The New Procedure
All solid food and snacks must be removed from your carry-on items (luggage, bags, purses, jackets, coats, etc.) and placed in a bin or bowl for x-ray. Yes, it may be in the same bin as your liquids and shoes, etc.
Here is an incomplete list of such items:
Recommendation to Be Prepared
Just like with your carry-on liquids, pack all your solid food and snacks into one clear baggy so that you may easily remove it from your bags and place it in the bin for screening and not slow down the process.
THANK YOU to all the folks who joined us at Taos Pride last weekend in support of diversity, community and equality.