Travel Docs Access/Costlier Brazil/Electric Cruise Ship

Nomadico issue #63

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

Travel Docs on Your Phone

On my recent four-month trip in Europe, I must have had 50 travel tickets and confirmations to keep track of between flights, ferries, trains, buses, hotel rooms, and apartment rentals. It never felt overwhelming though because I use the TripIt app (free) for all of the confirmations that come by e-mail and Dropbox (free and paid plans) for everything that’s a PDF or jpg. For the latter I just send them to a folder called “Travel Docs” and they’re always available on the phone.

Visiting Brazil Gets Costlier

Four countries in South America used to have a reciprocal visa fee whereby they charged you what your country charged their citizens to enter. For Americans, that meant forking over $160 per person before even getting out of the airport and with Brazil, there was a bureaucratic maze to navigate on top of it. (Just for spite, they would take your fingerprints on paper and then throw them away.) Only Bolivia is in that camp currently since Argentina and Chile dropped the scheme last decade and saw their tourism numbers soar as a result. Brazil’s new leftist president is touting “fairness” over business though and will reinstate the reciprocal fee in October, with the added hassle of potential visitors having to visit an embassy or consulate in person for an interview. It looks like the largest country in South America will be the only one with declining tourism numbers next year. See the details here, which also impact Australians, Canadians, and Japanese.

It’s Doubly Hot in Portugal

In the original Portuguese-speaking country, business is booming. If it feels like half the people you know have gone to Portugal or are planning a trip there, you may not be far off. The country is on track to smash visitor records as tourism spending is up 80% and “For just January through February, the number of U.S. visitors to Portugal increased 26 percent over 2019 figures.” You may want to hold off until autumn though: one Portuguese town hit 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) this month and wildfires have hit several areas.

An Electric Cruise Ship in 2030

Speaking of global warming…. we’ve covered electric planes and the return of blimps in the past, but we’re especially encouraged by this electric cruise ship announced by Norway’s Hurtigruten Expeditions, a company that has been running hybrid ships already since 2019. This 500-passenger ship is slick and high-tech, with retractable, adjustable sails covered with 1,500 square meters of solar panels. While in port, the ships can recharge with clean energy since 98% of Norway’s electricity supply is from renewables. See the details and renderings here.


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