Posts By :

Greg Ellifritz

Don’t Use Airport USB Chargers

Don’t Use Airport USB Chargers 790 300 Greg Ellifritz

Don’t plug your phone into any random airport charging stations.  Several of my friends in high places working for three-letter federal agencies overseas have given me the same advice.  In addition to hackers, you also have to worry about your host country’s government spying on you and stealing your data/texts/emails.


Government spying via the use of fake charging outlets is incredibly common in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries.


Why airport USB charging stations are actually dangerous

Weird Russian Guns

Weird Russian Guns 400 324 Greg Ellifritz


Curious Russian handguns that have never been imported into the USA.  If you do any travel in Russia or Eastern Europe, it might be a good idea to do some research and see how these things work.


Russian Revolvers & Longarms In US:

Healthy Third World Travel

Healthy Third World Travel 1000 667 Greg Ellifritz


A longer article about precautions to take when traveling in India.  The recommendations are actually very good for any third world travel destination.  The one suggestion I take issue with is the author’s advice to avoid street foods.  If chosen correctly, I think third world street foods are actually a healthier option than eating in most restaurants.  The street food is usually fresh and cooked right in front of you.  Cooking carts are less likely to be infested with rats or insects than restaurant kitchens.


Look for food that is being cooked fresh and isn’t sitting around.  Look for a line of local residents buying the food.  You’ll be fine.


How to Stay Healthy While Traveling in India

Everything is Delayed

Everything is Delayed 1920 1245 Greg Ellifritz

Although I haven’t been out of the country since my Ecuador adventure a couple months ago, I have been traveling quite a bit within the USA.


In the last two months I attempted to drive to a music festival in New York (until my car broke down).  I also flew to Dallas, Texas to teach a couple classes.  After my Dallas classes, I drove to Austin to spend a few days finding a new place to live.  I was home for two days and then drove to Nashville for a training class.  I drove straight from Nashville to southern Ohio for a hiking/camping getaway.


Every one of my trips was negatively affected by massive staff shortages.


When my car broke down on the way to New York, I had it towed to a garage I regularly use.  It was a Friday.  The manager told me that half of their techs had either quit or were out with Covid.  He couldn’t get me in until the following Wednesday.


I ended up fixing the car myself in the garage’s parking lot, but it took so long I missed the concert I was going to attend.


When I got to the airport for my flight to Dallas, the bag check line was massive.  You guessed it.  The airline was short staffed.


The TSA screening line was hundreds of meters long (Pre-check saved me).  When I got to the metal detector I asked the screener about the line.  The TSA is short staffed too.


All the airport restaurants had huge lines.  There weren’t enough servers to allow full seating in the restaurants.


As I was teaching a gun class, I flew with firearms.  They don’t come out on the baggage conveyor belt, but instead are delivered by a person to the baggage office.  That process normally takes 10-15 minutes.  I waited nearly an hour.  When the guy came with my checked guns he explained that the airports was extremely short staffed and while he normally only serviced three luggage belts, he was doing all the work for the entire terminal.


I got my guns and went to wait for the bus to the rental car building.  It was another 40 minute wait (normally less than 10 minutes).  The airport was short bus drivers.


The rental car lines were massive.  Some had more than 50 people waiting.  It took an hour to get a pre-booked rental car.  The car rental staff complained that they were running with approximately half of their normal employees.


I visited eight different apartment complexes in Texas looking for a new place to live.  Staff missed my appointments.  Some leasing offices were completely without workers and closed down.  I spoke to two employees who couldn’t answer my questions because they were temporary workers  who had only been hired the day before.


In Nashville, several of the restaurants I went to visit were temporarily closed due to lack of staff.  The service was exceptionally slow in the restaurants that were open because they only had 20% of their normal wait staff working.


Even Uber in Nashville took far longer than usual.  When a friend had to leave the class to go to the airport, it took the Uber app almost 15 minutes just to match him with an available driver.


Some of the roadside rests between Ohio and Tennessee had sections that were closed down.  Entire wings in the restroom facilities were closed.  The state couldn’t find the staff to keep the entire building cleaned.


Despite all of the closures and delays, there is some good news for travelers.  In two of the three hotels where I stayed (including my favorite quirky Ruby Hotel in Round Rock) daily room cleaning had resumed.  Hopefully, uncleaned rooms as remnant of Covid-19 will rapidly disappear.


The point of this article is to illustrate the fact that almost everything in the travel industry is pretty screwed up right now.  Don’t expect any semblance of smooth sailing for your next adventure.  Plan for everything to take significantly longer than you expect.  Be flexible, because some of your destinations will likely be crowded, closed, or operating with limited services.


I think travelers will have a rocky road for quite some time to come.

Digital Security

Digital Security 690 493 Greg Ellifritz

This article offers good digital security advice for travelers or anyone who uses digital technology outside of the confines of their own home.

Working online as you travel? Protect your shit!

Securing a Hotel Room

Securing a Hotel Room 1000 512 Greg Ellifritz

When most of you travel, you stay in a hotel or rental house.  Have you ever considered how you might best secure your rented dwelling?  The following article provides you some good tips and is worth your read.


Checking In: Securing Your Hotel Room Against Attacks and Intrusion



Travel Apps

Travel Apps 690 388 Greg Ellifritz

This might be a useful app for those of you who spend a lot of time in foreign airports.  $1.99 is a good insurance policy if you don’t have a foreign data package and a long layover.


WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide


Speaking of traveling Apps, this article gives you some unique alternatives to booking your accommodations on AirB&B.



Manners and Situational Awareness

Manners and Situational Awareness 768 386 Greg Ellifritz

If you want to enjoy your travel experiences, it’s important not to offend your hosts either on purpose or through ignorance.  It’s also important to understand that not everyone in your chosen destination will be friendly to foreign travelers.

The article below offers some excellent tips that may help you avoid problems in other countries when you are traveling.

Travelling Abroad: Mind Your Manners While Staying Alert


These are good tips to help keep you from getting your head bashed in when traveling.


The “educational beatdown” is still a part of many cultures.  “10 Unique Etiquette Tips To Use Around the World” is a useful read as well.




Hotel Room Safety

Hotel Room Safety 877 491 Greg Ellifritz

There are some very slick hotel room security hacks in this piece.  They are useful no matter if you are traveling domestically or internationally.  Check out the article.

Just The Tip: Hotel Room Security




A War Zone Pocket Dump

A War Zone Pocket Dump 660 495 Greg Ellifritz

Robert Young Pelton is a hero of mine.  He’s an author and war journalist who has traveled to most of the world’s third world shitholes to report the news.

This article describes Pelton’s everyday carry gear when traveling in the developing world.

Specialist Carry: War Zone Reporter


You will also want to check out his books and his handy low profile carry knife.  I have one of those and it is as indestructible as a tank.