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Archive for international driving

Bears and Unicorns in Bolivia

By Linda Tancs

Located in the so-called Elbow of the Andes, Bolivia’s Amboró National Park is a place of tremendous ecological diversity. In fact, its location features the convergence of three ecosystems: the high-altitude Andes altiplano, the dry Chaco region and the lush pampas of the Amazon Basin. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the fauna varies widely as well and includes some rarities. For instance, spectacled bears roam there, the only wild bear remaining in South America. You’ll also find the horned curassow, a rare bird species. Its trademark blue “horn” above the orange bill is responsible for the nickname, “unicorn bird.” Several tours are available to guide you through this immense region. If traveling independently, it’s best to hire a local guide.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Britain’s Oldest Cliff Lift

By Linda Tancs

A fashionable resort in Victorian times, Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire has everything one might expect of a seaside destination: sweeping beaches, cliffs, big skies, surf and seabirds. Yet one thing distinguishes it from other beachy hangouts—the Cliff Lift, Britain’s oldest working water-balanced cliff tramway. Linking the town with the pier 120 feet below, each of two trams runs on a parallel track and is fitted underneath with a water tank that performs the operation of balance and gravity as the car makes its way down the incline. The trip takes 55 seconds. The tram is open on weekends from March to October and daily during peak season.

Petrol Costs Wallop Travelers

By Linda Tancs

The economy may yield more hotel vacancies in Europe than one would otherwise expect, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the cost of petrol, averaging over seven U.S. dollars per gallon in countries like France and Italy.  And if you’d bank on using plastic to settle the bill, consider this:  your card must have a computer chip in it, technology increasingly adopted in Europe to combat credit and debit card fraud.  The use of the card is effectuated by verifying a PIN (personal identification number).   It does not appear that any U.S. credit and debit cards currently possess this “chip and PIN” technology for use in Europe.  The solution?  Buy your petrol with cash on weekdays when an attendant is usually present, and avoid the chip and PIN conundrum you’ll likely encounter on weekends.



 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

On The Road Again

By Linda Tancs

A bit of advice for the intrepid international traveler unafraid to take to the open road:  make sure the driving permit is legit.  An international driving permit (IDP) is only available from two legitimate sources:  the American Automobile Association ( or the American Automobile Touring Alliance ( 

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