usa – Do I need an ESTA or Visa as a spouse of a US citizen, traveling from the UK?

My husband is a US citizen and I am a Canadian citizen. We both live in the UK and are planning to travel to the US in September. I believe I am eligble to travel to the US (from the UK) because we are ‘close family members’ and can provide our marriage certificate. However I am unsure about what documentation I need, and whether it’s a ESTA or visa or nothing at all. We will only be in the US for 5 days.
Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.

covid 19 – Can I enter Spain with a Ukrainian passport traveling from a non-EU country?

NB: Travel is currently ill-advised unless you’re fully vaccinated due to very high cases levels all around the world. Consider postponing your trip or instead traveling to a country where you can get vaccinated locally, such as the US, if you haven’t been vaccinated just yet.

Flying directly to Spain? No, unless you’ve been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine (which aren’t available in Cuba yet, as they’re using local ones instead?) as described by @mlc. But there’s always the Croatia loophole, which has been available for more than a year now to gain access to any EU country regardless of your residency. Croatia is visa-free for Ukrainian citizens so this option will work for you.

According to IATA, the following foreign citizens may enter Spain:

passengers arriving from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden or Switzerland;

So passengers traveling from Ukraine are not included unless there’s residents. However there’s a “loophole” where you can first enter Croatia and then fly to any EU country of your choosing. The IATA page has the following requirements for Croatia:

  • passengers traveling as tourists with proof of paid accommodation;

The Croatian National Tourist Board confirms this:

Third-country nationals not covered by the above mentioned points may
enter the Republic of Croatia from third countries if they are:

  • persons who travel for tourist reasons and have confirmation of paid accommodation in a hotel, camp, private renter or rented vessel
    and other form of tourist accommodation or are owners of houses or
    vessels in the Republic of Croatia;

Persons referred to in items 7,
8, and 9 will be allowed to enter the Republic of Croatia with:

  • Presentation of a certificate of negative PCR or rapid antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 listed on the Joint List of Rapid Antigen Tests
    Mutually Recognized by the Member States of the European Union,
    published by the European Commission, if the test result is not older
    than 48 hours testing until arrival at the border crossing.

So what you could do is fly from Cuba to Croatia (I’m seeing an Air France flight that could work, as France still allows for transit), stay there for a day and then fly to Spain. Note that you’ll need a COVID test in both Cuba and Croatia. On the way back you could just fly straight from Spain to Cuba.

customs and immigration – Can I enter Spain with an Ukrainian passport traveling from a non-EU country?

I have dual citizenship (Cuban and Ukrainian) and I currently reside in Cuba. I don’t have a Ukrainian residency.

Since July 27th, Ukraine is included in the list of countries that are not considered at risk for Spain. This can be checked here.

Do I have to be a Ukrainian resident to be able to enter Spain? Would coming from Cuba disallow me from entering Spain?

usa – EU citizen traveling to the UK after Aug 2, 2021; vaccinated for COVID-19 in the US. Will I have to quarantine?

I am an EU citizen that has been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the US, and I will visit the UK on Aug 4, 2021, from an amber list country ( I saw that the UK will drop the quarantine requirement for those that have been vaccinated in the EU or US and are arriving after 4am on Aug 2, 2021 from an amber list country.


However, it says in the link above that

Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US

My question: Since I am not a US resident, what is going to happen in my case? Can I avoid quarantine? Does anyone know if there is a way to ask the UK authorities this question?

Thank you very much!

traveling salesman – Can the “closest neighbor” algorithm get arbitrarily bad in TSP?

Let’s consider the following simple algorithm for attacking the Travelling Salesman Problem:

Choose the pair of cities $(A,B)$ where $Aneq B$ and the distance between $A, B$ is minimal amongst all the distances of the cities. Start with $A$, then visit $B$, then in each step visit the nearest city not visited already, until there is no more city left.

Given $kin mathbb{N}$, is there a setting of cities such that the total distance travelled is more than $k$ times the distance travelled in an optimal solution?

usa – traveling within the US with a cactus in carryon

I’ll be flying domestically within the US from a part of the country where cacti are common to one where they aren’t. As a small token gift I’d like to bring a small prickly pear cactus from my yard. These cacti are covered in small spines and could possibly be used as a weapon, albeit not a very effective one. I won’t be checking any bags so unfortunately it would have to travel in my carryon.

Would it allowed to bring a cactus in my carryon or is it considered a banned item?

international travel – Traveling to the USA separate from my German husband…can he still get in?

According to the relevant Presidential Proclamation:

(a) Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:


(iii) any noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

There is no condition of residence or simultaneous travel.

Your husband will still require an ESTA (or other visa), and should have the required paperwork. Not sure exactly what paperwork, though, but I suppose some kind of proof of marriage + a copy of your US passport should do.

Note that I believe you will both need a recent negative PCR test even if fully vaccinated.

visas – Domestic Traveling while pending H1B extension

My H-1B visa expired on June 30, 2021, and my employer in the US applied for an extension on June 18, 2020. I have a trip within US next week, but my employer has not received the I-797 with the case number. I know that I’m allowed to stay and work in the US for at least 240 days, but I don’t have evidence of having submitted the extension. Can you tell me if it is a risk to travel and what evidence can I show to demonstrate that the extension was submitted? Thanks!

Traveling UK to USA Tomorrow ( left Greencard in USA)

I’m a British citizen who resides in the USA, packing now and realize I’ve come here without my Greencard. I did this once before and the airline was quite relaxed ( I’m Executive Platinum and first class check in desks are very different) and entry into the US was easy as I’m global entry, I didn’t have to show it to anyone.
Am due to travel tomorrow, wondered if

  1. Things are very different in the Covid era
  2. Is there anything I can bring to help,I have a photo of the card.
  3. If I’m denied boarding due to this, will it be easy enough to get them to put me on a flight on Monday, by which time I could perhaps courtier the card to me
  4. Are there any other options for getting the GC here before, I/e getting a friend to persuade someone at the US airport to bring it to London

air travel – How do you prevent somebody from stealing your luggage when traveling by air?

In principle, yes, this can happen. In practice, it is very rare. Speaking personally, in years of travelling, I have only ever once had someone try to walk off with my own luggage … and that was on a suburban bus on my way home. (I never did figure out if they were an opportunistic but incompetent thief, or just someone a bit drunk and confused.)

There are a couple of anti-theft measures that do appear sometimes. In some airports, there are baggage checks – people are stopped on their way out and asked to show the claim tickets for their bags. (You are given these with your boarding pass.). In some circumstances, you may also be stopped for customs inspection (when arriving from international flights), which would be a problem if your bags clearly did not belong to you.

There are other factors that help mean theft is mostly quite low-probability. The first is that most luggage isn’t really that valuable. It’s worth something to the owner, but to most other people it’s fifteen kilos of laundry, and 50:50 chance it’s not even clean laundry. If people are transporting valuables, they usually do so in their hand luggage – you won’t find many laptops or cameras in suitcases. You might get lucky… but you probably wouldn’t.

The second is that most baggage claim areas are not open to the public; everyone standing around is another passenger (or airport staff). Not that everyone who takes a plane is scrupulously honest – but it’s a lot of effort to go to to have a chance of stealing a suitcase!

Thirdly, most of the time, the reason there is a scrum at baggage collection is because all the passengers have arrived before the bags do. Everyone is looking out for their own bag and trying to get to it first. In these circumstances, you’d have to be a pretty bold thief to try and pick up a bag without the owner spotting and confronting you.

People picking up the wrong bag does happen, however, but mostly due to innocent confusion – especially if you all went to the same shop and bought the same range of luggage. The best approach here to make sure no-one gets your bag by accident is to make sure it is visibly yours – a popular approach is to put a brightly coloured address label on it, for example (always a good idea anyway in case it gets accidentally put on a plane to the wrong destination), or something like tying a coloured shoelace/ribbon around the handle.

So while your luggage being taken by someone else intentionally is not a very high risk, you can mitigate the chance of it happening by accident quite easily – just make sure your luggage is distinctive enough that someone else with the same suitcase won’t think “oh, that’s mine”.

Lastly, as I mentioned, you can carry high-value items in your hand luggage while putting your clothes, etc in the hold luggage. I think everyone would recommend this if possible – if your bag does get lost, much easier to deal with buying some new shirts than a new laptop.