The traveler’s plea to the next U.S. president

If you’ve followed Gadling for any length of time, you’ve probably caught on that topics range from the serious to the not so serious–from the straight-forward to the downright loopy. Throughout the bounty are our thoughts and interpretations of what it means to be a traveler in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading just a few blocks from where you live to the farthest corners from where you were born. The point is movement outwards.

In this past year, there have been oodles of stories of travelers’ woes and concerns, many that have moved our readers to add comments. Problems with TSA, high gas prices that created a nose dive to vacation plans, shifting airline regulations, airline shutdowns, and reduced amenities on certain flights have lengthened the list of issues that might make a traveler say, “I have a bone to pick with somebody.”

Christopher Elliot who gave us tongue-in-cheek, but kind of serious, ideas for items a plane might ditch has been thinking again. In his essay, “Dear Mr. President” in this month’s issue of National Geographic Traveler he outlines the bones to pick issues–the ones that he would like to take up with the next U.S. president. As Elliot sees it travel related concerns can be divided into the following categories and have relevance to the bigger picture concerns of economics and freedom of movement.

Here they are:

  • Gas prices: High gas prices kept many people staying closer to home or not traveling at all. High fuel prices wrecked havoc on airlines.
  • A weak dollar: This made travel to Europe and other popular vacation hot spots incredibly expensive, thus many didn’t go there.
  • Struggling airlines: Airlines struggling to keep afloat have not been a picnic when it comes to flying.
  • Security hassles: Passport regulations, border issues, and TSA lines to name some have enticed people to just stay home.
  • Travel Restrictions: How about loosening those travel restrictions to Cuba for starters?

In conjunction with Elliot’s essay, and with the U.S. election today, Intelligent Travel is asking readers to present their own ideas on what the next president should consider when it comes to those issues that affect travelers. Here’s today’s section, and here’s yesterday’s where you can comment away. Or comment here, and we’ll pass on the message. [photo by d.c. John]