Week in Travel: Germans told to keep safe after defeating Canada at ice hockey

A 93-year-old grandmother moves to Kenya to help orphans, while the German passport loses its position as the world’s strongest, and Chrissy Teigen takes an “emotional support casserole” on a plane

The Japanese and Singaporean passports are now equally as strong as Germany’s, new stats from the Henley Passport Index reveal.

Japanese and Singaporean passports are now more powerful than German travel documents — Shutterstock Germans Canada ice hockey
Japanese and Singaporean passports are now more powerful than German travel documents — Shutterstock

Germany used to lead the world ranking, with the highest number of countries offering holders visa-free travel.

Now, the situation has changed as the Japanese and Singaporeans can also travel hassle-free to 180 countries. With 179 countries, the German passport has dropped to second place.

Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, Spain and South Korea all take third, as their citizens can visit 178 countries with visa-free access.

Henley’s Passport Index, updated in real time, compares “exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research,” Henley said.

In another ranking, the Global Passport Index that bases its methodology on different data sources, first place is held by Singapore and South Korea, while second is taken by Germany and Japan.  

93-year-old Italian grandmother decides to change the world and moves to Kenya

It is never too late to dedicate yourself to good, as a 93-year-old grandmother from Italy has proven.

Nonna Irma, from Noventa Vicentina in Veneto, has decided to set off to Kenya where she aims to volunteer in an orphanage.

Her granddaughter, Elisa Coltro, described the incredible decision in her Facebook post with photos sent from her mother, who is accompanying Irma on her journey.

“This is my grandma Irma, a young lady of 93, who set off for Kenya tonight,” Coltro wrote in the post.

“Not to some tourist resort to be waited on hand and foot, but to go to a village of children, in an orphanage. I’m showing her to you because I believe that all of us should always keep a dash of recklessness in order to live and not just survive. Look at her… Who’s stopping her? I love her.”

Germany issues travel advisory after ice hockey team beats Canada in Olympic’s semi-finals

Along with Czech snowboard legend, Ester Ledecká, who managed to win a race in a different discipline to her speciality, the German ice hockey team was surely one of the biggest surprises at this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The German hockey players, who were considered to be outsiders, managed to beat the legendary Canadian team in the semi-finals.

Following the unexpected success, the German foreign office issued a travel advisory to German emigrants.

“Germans in Canada should exercise a high degree of empathy. Be nice, don’t gloat, give hugs, buy rounds of hot chocolate,” they wrote in a tweet.

“Just imagine how you would feel if Canada beat us in soccer,” they added.

Canada didn’t wait long to deliver a witty response to the diplomatic advice.

“Thanks @GermanyDiplo. Congrats on your first shot at gold! We remember our first gold medal match in #IceHockey like it was yesterday… 1920 to be exact,” Foreign Policy CAN posted.

Chrissy Teigen takes “emotional support casserole” on American Airlines flight

Emotional support animals have become something all travellers have become used to. Apart from other advantages, having a cat or dog by your side can radically decrease anxiety from flying.

But model Chrissy Teigen has taken the supporting companion to another dimension.

For her flight with American Airlines, she decided to take what she refers to as “emotional support casserole” instead of her carry-on.

“If I don’t have a carry-on, can I bring a large ceramic casserole dish of scalloped potatoes on the plane?” she asked the carrier on Twitter on Saturday.

In the exchange of replies, Teigen finally managed to get approval to take her potato on board. After the approval, she documented the whole cooking process.

However, we have heard stories with a slightly less happy ending recently, concerning emotional support peacocks, and a hamster.