Travel News: Safest Neighborhoods for LGBTQ Travelers, TSA PreCheck May Get Faster, Yellowstone-Area Grizzlies Are Protected From Hunters

Rainbow pride flags in San Francisco's Castro DistrictRainbow pride flags decorate a Victorian-style building in San Francisco's Castro District
Edgar Hernandez/Dreamstime

It's no surprise, but still reason to celebrate: San Francisco's Castro District is one of the safest neighborhoods in the world for LGBTQ travelers.

There’s a great big world out there, and our latest “news you can use” may inspire a trip you never knew you needed.

From some of the coolest urban neighborhoods in the world to the wildest regions of the American west - not to mention the ever-exciting world of airport security - this week’s travel news is all about ensuring a rewarding experience for everyone.

SAFEST NEIGHBORHOODS FOR LGBTQ TRAVELERS

Although we’re not hand-wringing worrywarts when it comes to safety, we are strong advocates for travelers who may be at increased risk for discrimination or harm on the road. We welcome GeoSure’s new LGBTQ Safety ratings category on its award-winning travel-safety smartphone app (geosureglobal.com). The app now rates the “likelihood of harm or discrimination against LGBTQ persons or groups and level of caution required at location.”
Among the safest neighborhoods for LGBTQ travelers:

  1. Amsterdam’s Centrum neighborhood
  2. The Castro District in San Francisco
  3. Berlin’s Schönebergneighborhood
  4. Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood
  5. Tel Aviv’s City Center / Florentin neighborhood

Michael Becker, CEO of GeoSure, says “Whether traveling for business, leisure or study abroad, our singular focus is providing the most rapid safety awareness, granular to the neighborhood level, to help people have the smoothest trip experience possible.”

TSA PRECHECK MAY GET FASTER

If you’re the type of traveler who simply can’t get through airport security fast enough, Congress recently put aside its trademark partisan bickering to approve a bill that may help. The “PreCheck Is PreCheck Act of 2018” (yes, that’s the bill’s actual name, because apparently someone believes our attention spans can no longer accommodate further nuance or detail) aims to ensure that only TSA PreCheck members and their traveling companions younger than 12 and older than 75 are allowed to use the PreCheck line. If the Senate passes the bill and it is signed into law, will it make airport security more efficient? We’re guessing it may, but only for PreCheck members, who, after all, have ponied up the $85 fee and undergone a background check for the privilege of breezing through security). But by curtailing the common practice of allowing TSA agents to direct non-PreCheck members to PreCheck lines during periods of high congestion (and we know how some of you don’t care for that practice), the law could very well create more overall problems than it solves.

YELLOWSTONE-AREA GRIZZLIES ARE PROTECTED FROM HUNTERS

For those of us who love Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the recent decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the hunting of grizzly bears in Idaho and Wyoming was concerning. We applaud the ruling by a U.S. District Judge to restore protection under the Endangered Soecies Act, noting that opening up the region to grizzly hunting (known as de-listing) fails to take into account the impact on the species throughout the lower 48 states.

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