Travel – Friend Plans Sun, 25 Jul 2021 07:27:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Travel – Friend Plans 32 32 Prospects for summer tourism in Europe clouded by variations and rules Sun, 25 Jul 2021 06:30:21 +0000

LONDON (AP) – Chaos and confusion over travel rules and measures to contain new virus outbreaks are contributing to another cruel summer for the European tourism industry.

Popular destination countries are grappling with a wave of COVID-19 variants, but the mosaic and last-minute nature of the effort as peak season kicks off threatens to derail another summer.

In France, the most visited country in the world, visitors to cultural and tourist sites were faced this week with a new requirement for a special COVID-19 pass.

To get the pass, which comes in paper or digital form, people must prove that they are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from an infection, or produce a negative virus test. Use of the pass could expand to restaurants and cafes next month.

Italy said on Thursday that people will need a similar pass to access museums and cinemas, dine at restaurants and cafes, and enter swimming pools, casinos and a range of other venues.

At the Eiffel Tower, unprepared tourists lined up for quick virus tests so they could get the pass to visit the Paris monument. Johnny Nielsen, who came from Denmark with his wife and two children, wondered about the usefulness of the French rules.

“If I get tested now I can go, but then I (might) have a corona in the queue here,” Nielsen said, although he added that they wouldn’t change their plans to. because of that.

Juan Truque, a tourist from Miami, said he was not vaccinated but had taken a test to be able to travel to France via Spain with his mother.

“Now they make you wear masks and do similar things that are forced on you. For me, these are violations of your freedom. he said.

Europe’s vital travel and tourism industry is desperate to catch up after a catastrophic 2020. International tourist arrivals to Europe fell nearly 70% last year, and for the first five months of this year, they are down 85%, according to UN World Figures from the Tourism Organization.

American, Japanese and Chinese travelers are not convinced that it will be possible to visit and move freely in Europe, the European Travel Commission has said. International arrivals are expected to remain at nearly half of their 2019 level this year, although domestic demand will help fill the gap.

The UK statistics office has suspended its monthly data on international passengers as it said there were not enough people arriving “to provide solid estimates.”

The United States this week raised its travel warning for Britain to the highest level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans to avoid travel to the country due to the risk of contracting COVID-19 variants, while the US State Department has raised its alert level to “do not not travel ”compared to the previous less serious“ reconsider the trip ”advisory.

Recommendations are constantly revised and non-binding, although they may affect group travel and insurance rates. Britain’s warning has fluctuated several times this year already.

However, some countries are showing signs of a rebound.

Spain, the second most visited country in the world, received 3.2 million tourists from January to May, a tenth of the amount for the same period of 2019. But visits jumped in June with 2.3 million ‘arrivals, the best monthly figure since the start of the pandemic, although it still represents only 75% of the figure of two years ago.

Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, acknowledged that the European Union’s deployment in June of its digital passport for the COVID-19 vaccine had “a positive impact” on foreign arrivals. That, and the UK’s decision to allow non-essential travel, “has allowed us to start the 2021 summer season on the best footing,” he said.

The EU’s app allows residents on the block to show that they have been vaccinated, tested negative or cured of the virus.

In Greece, where COVID-19 infections are also on the rise, authorities have openly expressed concern that slowing vaccination rates could hurt the struggling tourism industry, a mainstay of the economy. . Authorities have tightened restrictions on tourists and unvaccinated residents, banning their entry to all indoor dining and entertainment venues.

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis urged the travel industry to show courage.

“It is very important that we do not give the impression that we have lost control of the pandemic,” Georgiadis said last week.

Some countries have sparked chaos with last minute changes to entry rules.

Denmark’s decision to put Britain on its ‘red’ list of countries with tighter travel restrictions has shaken London resident Richard Moorby’s vacation plans.

Moorby had originally planned to go to Copenhagen in August to meet his Danish wife and their two children to visit his in-laws – as they did last summer. But under the current rules, Moorby could not have traveled separately as he is not Danish. Instead, they planned to travel together, which they said would be allowed even after the change – but they missed the fine print of the ad banning non-Danes from ‘red list’ countries. , including the United Kingdom, to visit without a valid purpose, which does not include tourism.

“Either way, it was going to be a bit of a non-vacation,” Moorby said. But “it went from ‘We would have a great holiday in Denmark’ to ‘Well maybe I can pretty much get there’ to ‘I can’t even travel’.”

Meanwhile, the UK government unexpectedly announced that travelers from France would still have to self-isolate for up to 10 days amid concerns over the beta variant, frustrating travelers and angering the tourism industry and the French government.

Emma and Ben Heywood, UK owners of adventure travel company Undiscovered Montenegro, said booking requests were on the rise after the UK government said in the same announcement it would stop advising against travel to countries of its “orange list” and abandoned the self-isolation rule for returning travelers.

The couple said bookings last summer dropped to 10% of their usual level, but are now at 30% and are increasing rapidly. Montenegro has a relatively low infection rate and relaxed entry requirements.

“It’s so hard to keep everyone up to date on what’s required to go where, with so many countries and so many different rules involved,” said Ben Heywood.

“It’s a total minefield. Half of the emails I answer now are from people saying, “We really want to come. What do we have to do?'”


Alex Turnbull in Paris, Joseph Wilson in Barcelona, ​​Spain, and Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece, contributed to this report.

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Caribbean tourism organization expresses optimism about travel this summer and beyond Fri, 23 Jul 2021 18:28:28 +0000

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said it was “cautiously optimistic” about an increase in visitors this summer and beyond.

“With the 2021 summer season underway, there is growing evidence in the market that pent-up demand is returning much sooner and at a much faster rate than forecasters predicted,” the director said. technical.


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“While at first glance, a 60% drop in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year, may seem bleak, a closer look would suggest that the Caribbean is starting to reverse the trend that started in the end of March 2020. This is evidenced by a decrease in the levels of decline that the Caribbean has been registering for the past fifteen months.

“The first quarter of 2020 was the last period of regular travel levels, when 7.3 million overnight international visitors (tourist arrivals) visited the region. In January and February 2021, arrivals to the region fell by just over 71% compared to the same two months last year. “

Nevertheless, the 16.5% drop in the number of visitors to the Caribbean in March 2021 compared to March 2020 “is an indication of a level of reversal of the downward trend in the number of tourist arrivals”, said the CTO.

Additionally, April 2021 arrival data from 12 CTO destinations also boosts confidence, with countries reporting higher arrivals than in April 2020.

Likewise, tourist arrivals have rebounded in destinations reporting data for May, ”the CTO said.

Airline partners in the region are also expressing their confidence in a resumption of business. “During our recent round of online chats, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle and American Airlines Vice President of Caribbean Sales Christine Valls spoke of the great interest in travel to the region.” , said the technical director. said, adding that American noted that it unveiled five new Caribbean routes this summer and will add a sixth route in November.

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The art of traveling with your four-legged companion Thu, 22 Jul 2021 01:36:44 +0000

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Summer means travel for many families, including pets. From planes to trains to cars, 8 News Now shows you how to get around safely with your four-legged friend.

“She has traveled all over the world,” owner Karel Bouley told us of her pet. “Literally has a European passport; she travels everywhere.

Dog owner Mary Tully said, “We always have rooms that accept dogs. I walk them around and take them to the beach or wherever we go.

Traveling with your pets can be fun, but it can also get complicated.

According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 67% of households own a pet. The US Travel Association reports that 37% of pet owners, like Bouley, take their pets with them when flying or traveling by car.

“She’s harnessed in the front seat because they’re like children; they can fly anywhere, ”Bouley said. “You don’t want that to happen.”

When making the trip, don’t forget about safety. Kendra George, Senior Associate at PetSmart Pet Hotels, shared some travel tips.

“Dehydration can be very dangerous. We also make a harness that can be attached to the car, ”she said. “We have dog car seats. If they’re bigger, you can get a cooling pad on the back.

If you are traveling, keep in mind that airlines have different policies and fees. Most only allow dogs and cats; you must also provide current vaccinations.

“For air travel, I would suggest giving the animals supplements or asking your vet to prescribe anti-stress supplements,” George told us.

But if the going gets tough, there are several options around the valley, like daycare or overnight boarding. Jason McCollum owns Adventure Pet Resort and says his business is equipped with cameras, on-site training, and grooming.

“We have calls all the time from people dropping them off for a few hours throughout the day,” he explained. “Since we have 24 hours, we work a lot with the medical industry. ”

Your pooch will be pampered while you are away, relaxing in a kennel or a suite.

“I wouldn’t travel without her. She’s the best little travel companion I can have, ”said Bouley. “Traveling is stressful. She helps relieve him, plus she brings so many smiles.

Trains and buses also have their own pet policies. Our best advice is to keep your pets in mind when planning your next getaway. Last minute arrangements can get expensive.

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Will travel restrictions at the border be lifted? Mixed opinions on the pending decision Wed, 21 Jul 2021 05:13:59 +0000

SAN YSIDRO, Calif .– The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce on Wednesday whether travel restrictions will be lifted along the country’s borders with Canada and Mexico.

From now on, the United States is restricting inbound land border crossings from its neighboring countries to “essential travel,” including people traveling for work, medical purposes and to attend educational institutions. The restrictions were put in place last year to limit the spread of COVID-19 amid the outbreak of the global pandemic.

U.S. officials have extended travel restrictions several times since the early months of the pandemic, but local leaders, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, have called on the federal government to reconsider its decision.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Gloria called for the restrictions to be lifted because residents of San Diegan are increasingly vaccinated against the virus and because of the estimated $ 50 million affected by the virus. restrictions on the regional economy since March 2020.

“This is having an extremely negative impact on the San Diego economy,” Gloria said.

This sentiment is also shared in San Ysidro, especially since 95% of business customers on San Ysidro Boulevard come from Mexico, according to the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. The chamber says some 200 businesses have gone out of business since the restrictions were put in place.

However, not everyone is in favor of their removal yet.

Tijuana resident Gabriela Castro entered San Ysidro on Tuesday to visit her bank and planned to return directly to Mexico. She argues that the restrictions should remain as they are for now.

“We have a lot of problems with COVID-19,” Castro said, “and I think it’s safer for everyone to stay at home.”

A visiting couple from Ohio said they wanted to visit Mexico and were not clear on the rules.

“We looked at it before we came and it looked like they were technically limited to essential travel and the Americans’ return home was essential travel, so we felt pretty comfortable, that would be nice,” said Karl Wohlwend.

For them and others, crossing south to Mexico was easy. They took their temperature and continued on their way.

“Oh my gosh the food was great,” said Mollie Flora. “The people were amazing walking and seeing it all was amazing. It was great.”

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This 4 in 1 container holds all my travel toiletries Tue, 20 Jul 2021 19:47:35 +0000

The older I get, the more products I use. This poses a problem when I am packing for travel – and as the designer behind Katie talks about travel – I take a lot of travel. Despite my best efforts, my toiletries always end up taking up more space than my shoes and clothes put together. Then when I finally get to my destination, I usually find out that at least one thing has leaked and made a total mess.

Fortunately, I have found a smart and affordable solution. Here is why this 4-in-1 waterproof toilet container is this travel writer’s best travel hack in 2021.

It saves space

For just $ 16, about the cost of a sandwich at the airport, I received two of these cleverly designed containers, each of which contains four refillable dispensers. At 1.4 ounces each, the dispensers are TSA approved and the perfect size to pack in carry-on luggage. They obviously take up a fraction of the space that my full-size products would normally take up, but I’ve also noticed that they actually save more space than most travel-size products.

Indeed, while traditional travel-size products are short, big and round, these dispensers are long, thin and triangular. Together, like slices of pie, the four form a circle that takes up much less space than four round bottles. Instead of having multiple bulky containers of liquids or gels floating around my bag, I now only have one container to keep everything in one place.

Katie jackson

It saves you money

Even if I had to go the travel size route, these products don’t come cheap. The best value for money is to buy my products in a larger size and distribute what I need for my trip. Amazon has a lot of containers that attempt to do this, but I went for this 4 in 1 container because of all the five star reviews I had read – a critic going so far as to say, “I don’t know how I traveled without this for so long!”

I also save money because I no longer have to deal with unwanted mess – that is, wasted products. (The worst part is when my favorite sunless self-tanner leaks.) Each dispenser has a traditional pump cover that you press to squeeze out the product, but the container’s durable ABS shell and waterproof cover prevent the pump from dying. ‘being inadvertently rushed by loose luggage items.

It saves my sanity

A few years ago I bought one of those empty plastic bottle travel kits. The problem was, I didn’t label them. Because so much of what I use, like my go-to moisturizer, is fragrance-free, I can’t identify them all by smell. And trying to determine what they are based on consistency is almost impossible.

What I love about this container is that it comes with pre-labeled stickers for things like shampoo, conditioner, day cream, night cream and more. Granted, some labels are misspelled (or I need to learn what “foreground water” is) and the stickers can be difficult to peel off the label pad. But once they’re on, they’re on for good.

In addition, the container has a small side window that shows which bottle is in the dispensing position. To change the dispensing positions all I have to do is rotate the waterproof cover, which has a built-in button that I can press when I’m ready to use the products inside. In other words, I don’t need to remove the cover until the dispensers need to be refilled. I also don’t have to worry about losing multiple lids or caps.

Courtesy of Katie Jackson

It saves the environment

As I travel for a living, I try to be more aware of the carbon footprint I leave behind. For example, the first time I tested this container, I was staying at the Element Bozeman. As a LEED certified property, this is the most sustainable hotel I have ever visited in Montana. I would have felt hypocritical if I had wrapped mini disposable plastic bottles instead of this eco-friendly, BPA-free tool.

It saves you time and energy

With this container, I only have one thing that I need to remember to bring with me in the shower. Few things are worse than being in the middle of the shower or the bath than reaching for your conditioner to remind you that it’s always in your bag outside the bathroom door.

If you are now convinced that you have improperly packaged your toiletries for too long, look on the bright side: at least you don’t need to spend time trying to find a solution. I have tried and tested this container for you. The eloquent results like “Just grab and go! Are 100% true.

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Demand for European Travel Boosts EasyJet’s Summer Return Tue, 20 Jul 2021 08:48:00 +0000

  • Increase in summer capacity to 60% in Q4 against 17% in Q3
  • EasyJet shifts capacity to EU as UK lags behind
  • Shows third quarter loss of 318 million stg due to restrictions
  • Equities up 2%

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – EasyJet (EZJ.L) plans to fly 60% of its pre-pandemic capacity in July-September as travel resumes in mainland Europe and Britain is expected to catch up its delay in the coming weeks.

The British airline has said it is confident about demand for summer and fall, releasing its most dynamic update since the pandemic began nearly a year and a half ago, and allowing it to increase its capacity to just 17% of 2019 levels in March. June.

Support for the trip has so far been led by the European Union, easyJet said, causing it to move planes from Britain to markets such as Scandinavia and Holland.

Two-thirds of bookings currently come from the rest of Europe, while normally its business is split evenly between Britain and the mainland, but easyJet expects travel rules for fully vaccinated Britons to be now relaxed.

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that UK demand will follow the same pattern we are seeing outside the UK in mainland Europe,” Managing Director Johan Lundgren told reporters on Tuesday.

Lundgren has been one of the most vocal critics of the UK’s approach to travel over the past two months, slamming last-minute changes that have resulted in massive bookings increases and cancellations.

Britain should add more countries to its “green list” of low-risk destinations, Lundgren said.

Asked about fears that quarantine might be reintroduced for Britons returning from Spain, as it has recently been for France, he said easyJet was flexible. Read more

“We have organized ourselves to face changing demands,” he said.

EasyJet shares traded up 2% to 785 pence at 08:45 GMT. The stock has lost around 20% of its value over the past month amid concerns over the impact of strict travel rules in the UK.

The airline’s plan for more flights in July-September, when it tends to make almost all of its profits, is reflected in competitors such as Ryanair (RYA.I) and Wizz Air (WIZZ. L).

EasyJet, which has laid off staff, downsized its fleet and taken on new debt to survive, said it was well positioned financially, with 2.9 billion pounds ($ 4 billion) in cash, and had reduces its costs to improve its cash consumption rate. .

But he said limited visibility and lingering uncertainty meant he couldn’t provide advice for the rest of the year. For the three months ended June 30, easyJet recorded a pre-tax loss of £ 318 million.

($ 1 = 0.7324 pounds)

Reporting by Sarah Young Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Coral Springs Girls Travel Basketball Team Ranked # 1 in the Country • Coral Springs Talk Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:08:22 +0000

By: Matt Rothman

It’s been an incredible run for a local women’s travel basketball team in Coral Springs, currently ranked number one.

The team, called Bad Girls 16U, won 12 of 14 tournaments throughout the season and secured two second places. Their last two wins came at the US Amateur State Championship in Port Charlotte, where the team went 4-0. In their last game, they beat the Jupiter Jaguars 61-44. They also just picked up a tournament victory at Coral Springs City Gym on Sunday.

Head Coach Don Colloway, a 35-year Coral Springs resident, wants them to play competitively.

“Our team is made up of great girls,” said coach Calloway. “Our number one priority is grades. On the pitch, however, we win with a lot of attacking and formidable defense. “

Offensively, ninth-grade Ermani Lewis averages 24 points per game. Both sophomores Carissa Marthy and Meadow Henningsen have double-digit average.

The Bad Girls also have freshman McKenzie Topkin, who is a double-double machine. She averages over ten rebounds and assists per game.

Defensively, Rhael Sayers, Jourdin Gayle, Madisun Hill, Emilee Carreras, Carla Kravitz are essential, according to coach Calloway, to keep their opponents off the board.

They are also hoping for the return of sophomore Cynthia Pierre-Louis in their next tournament after recovering from an ACL tear. The Bad Girls will travel to Orlando July 23-25 ​​for the national tournament.

The basketball team is also asking for help to fund training and tournaments for the remainder of the season.

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Matt rothman
Matt rothman

Matt Rothman graduated in 2018 from Florida Gulf Coast University and received his BA in Journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.

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Lappish tourism industry expects travel surge after restrictions eased Sun, 18 Jul 2021 19:21:24 +0000

To put the situation in context, the municipality of Inari has experienced a tourism boom over the past decade. Since 2010, the number of people flying to Ivalo Airport has almost doubled and in 2019, more than 230,000 people have flown to the airport. This is a significant sum for a municipality which is the largest in Finland in size, but which has only 6,900 permanent inhabitants.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the number of people flying to Ivalo airport fell 52% in 2020 compared to 2019, bearing in mind that some travel was still taking place in early 2020.

When the world shut down last year, it looked in many ways like a throwback to 20 years ago, when winter tourism had yet to reach its peak. The village roads, which would normally buzz with visitors from all over the world, were completely empty. Souvenir shops were closed and hotels remained empty – even normally distant Finns avoided each other even more. All newly developed businesses remained closed.

One of the business owners who have felt the effects is Mari Lappalainen, owner of Nellim Wilderness Hotels and Safaris. Lappalainen and her husband have four hotels in the municipality of Inari and had just completed construction of a large resort in the village of Inari – just in time for the pandemic. Lappalainen confirms that the past year has also been a big blow to their business. “A lot of our guests, especially in winter, come from abroad and now we haven’t had any,” says Lappalainen. “We had Finnish guests, which is good, but it had a big impact on our sales,” she continues.

Mari Lappalainen owns the business in Lapland. Photo: Nellim Wilderness Hotels and Safaris

Lappalainen says the entire tourism industry in Lapland has been kept in a state of uncertainty and the ever-changing restrictions and lack of government support have left many business owners in awe. “I would have expected the government to stick to its decisions. Instead, the government announcements have been very weak and we have to ask ourselves what is going on, ”Lappalainen said.

Inari city manager Toni K Laine echoes Lappalainen’s thoughts. He agrees that the travel rules were unclear, even for Finns themselves, let alone potential foreign travelers. “I hope the government will draft a clear model for arriving in the country – by the fall the rules will be clear for everyone,” Laine says of his hopes for the next winter season, which is fast approaching. not.


Photo: Nellim Wilderness Hotels and Safaris

Summer brought some relief to the situation – domestic travelers who would normally vacation around the world appeared to have made it to Lapland. Many people who had never been so in the North, saw their chance to finally explore their country of origin a little more. Many establishments have seen their busiest summer in a long time – but the relief was only small compared to last year’s losses. “We cannot fill our places with Finns alone. We have so much capacity here, the services here were built with the idea that we will have foreign tourists, ”explains Lappalainen. In addition, Finnish internal restrictions have changed throughout the year and put business owners in a difficult position where they are completely unable to plan for their future.

While domestic tourism has brought much needed relief to the region, it is not enough to sustain the tourism economy on its own. Accommodation services such as cabin rentals have been popular among domestic travelers, they are less likely to use services such as tours or husky rides, for example. But Lappalainen sees Finnish tourists as a welcome addition to summer and winter travelers: “Finnish tourists are loyal enough that they usually come back to the same place year after year,” she says.

Despite difficult times, Lappalainen is confident in the future “Now that the restrictions are lifted and the vaccinations are taking place, I have a firm belief that people will start moving around the world again,” she said. “I believe there will be a big tourist boom,” she continues. Lappalainen believes people will be eager to travel after restrictions are eased and Finland will be seen as a safe travel destination.

According to city manager Laine, next winter will be a turning point for the Lappish tourist industry. If international travel is not allowed for the next season, which is only a few months away, local businesses will be even more affected. According to Laine, Inari’s businesses have survived relatively well so far. But if winter travel does not continue, bankruptcies will be inevitable for some. This will of course have a direct impact on employment in the region.

“So much work has been done to build Lapland’s brand and its success in tourism, and this cannot be supported by domestic travelers alone,” Laine explains.

Worst-case scenarios aside, Laine and Lappalainen expect a surge in travelers after restrictions are eased. As municipal manager, Laine is in close contact with traders in the area and confirms that there is already a lot of interest for the next winter season. If the pandemic situation continues to improve and Finland will welcome foreign tourists for next winter, it is possible that businesses in the region will survive with a relatively small amount of damage from the pandemic. However, if the country remains closed for the next season, the Lapp tourist landscape could change dramatically.

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Navigating through crowds at travel and airports is like riding a bicycle (which you could rent instead of a car) Sat, 17 Jul 2021 20:51:06 +0000

Is it okay to travel again?

Based on the crowd at the airport, travelers respond with their feet. People are on the move and service providers are struggling to keep up.

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest and Juneau, I visited four airports, flew for two airlines, relaxed in two airport lounges, and helped my sister to celebrate his birthday. That last part makes me one of many travelers flying to see friends or relatives after more than a year of pandemic-induced closures.

For the outbound flight, the prices were quite high between Anchorage and Seattle. But after I signed up for Delta’s American Express card (and spent the required $ 2,000), I had 70,000 points to use.

Delta sells tickets to Seattle for as little as 5,500 miles. But because rental cars are too expensive, I booked a mile ticket to Eugene, Oregon. Right now, you can get a basic economy ticket for 6,000 miles. It costs almost double the cost to get a “Comfort +” seat with more legroom.

Arriving early for my 5:55 am flight, I looked up at the Sleeping Lady Lounge at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It’s upstairs, behind the bronze statue of the late Senator Ted Stevens, between Halls B and C.

Delta Air Lines has installed a pop-up SkyClub in the lounge. So, if you have a subscription, you can have a drink and a few snacks while enjoying a beautiful view of the planes. You can also enter if you have the Delta “Reserve” American Express card. The cost is $ 550 per year.

Window seat at the new Delta SkyClub pop-up at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. (Scott McMurren)

Just down the hall, the Alaska Airlines lounge is a great way to escape airport noise, even though it was very uncrowded at 5 a.m. If you are not a member of the lounge, you can enter with a Priority Pass membership as long as it is not crowded. The Alaska Lounge has espresso drinks, which I really missed at the Delta Lounge. Most high-end credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve that I carry, offer a Priority Pass card as a perk. You can also access the Alaska Lounge for $ 25 if you load it onto the Alaska Airlines Visa card.

Delta and Alaska both fly from Anchorage to Seattle, so Delta’s plane was familiar. The big difference is the television in the back of the seat. There is a great selection of TV shows, movies, music, and games. I could see the biggest screens in first class. Alaska Airlines no longer offers portable media tablets, but instead offers a selection of entertainment to stream to your own phone, tablet or computer.

Upon arrival at Sea-Tac Airport, it was crowded and noisy. I didn’t want to pay the daily rate to visit the posh Delta SkyClub near gate A1. There are showers and plenty of comfortable seating. But my Priority Pass card allowed me to enter The Club at Sea-Tac in Hall A, next to my connecting flight.

If you are traveling with Alaska Airlines, the Priority Pass card gives you access to all three Alaska lounges, although there are capacity limits. In addition, no Priority Pass member is admitted after 8 p.m.

I was turned away from the lounges with my Priority Pass card, but not before the host offered to sell me a full price membership. In Seattle, Portland, and several other airports, Priority Pass is working with select restaurants to offer a $ 28 credit per person. In Seattle, there are two restaurants: Bambuza, a Vietnamese restaurant in the north terminal, and Trail Head BBQ in the main terminal. In Portland, Priority Pass works with the Capers Restaurant, which also has a nice wine bar.

There are other Priority Pass partner restaurants in Washington, DC, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The flight from Seattle to Eugene was on a Delta E-175 jet. I never flew to Eugene. The spray was super smooth and comfortable. Even though this is a regional jet, there was plenty of room for my carry-on in the overhead compartment. Alaska Airlines also flies the E-175s. Here in the state, Alaska flies the E-175 to Fairbanks, King Salmon and Dillingham. There are no intermediate seats.

Since rental cars were too expensive ($ 175 to $ 340 per day) at Eugene, I rented a bike from Bicycle Way of Life for $ 20 per day. The trails at Eugene are great. The land is fairly flat, as the Willamette River crosses the city. It’s a real city by bike.

On the return trip to Seattle, Alaska Airlines offers more flights, although they are all on the de Havilland Dash-8-400 (Q400) series. Planes are smaller than jets, and you have to leave your hand luggage on a cart outside. But Alaska has a wonderful tradition on the hour-long flight: free beer and wine.

Traveling from Seattle to Juneau only takes a two-hour flight. Alaska flights were super full. They weren’t full, but those last seats can cost a fortune. Delta has a daily flight that departs at 9 p.m. It’s not a bad time – and the rate was half the price. But the Delta flight back from Juneau to Seattle is difficult: 5 a.m.

On the plane, everyone still wears a mask. The same is true at every airport, on every shuttle, and on the Seattle light rail line from the airport to downtown. The TSA mask mandate runs until September 13.

Even though we are done with the pandemic, the pandemic is not yet done with us. COVID-related international travel restrictions are still ongoing, as there are many countries where very few people have received the vaccine. Here in the United States, the new delta variant of the coronavirus could confuse hopes of a rapid recovery.

In Juneau, there is a cruise ship docked at the dock where crew members are in quarantine after an outbreak of COVID-19 on board. So far, 10 people associated with the American Constellation cruise have tested positive.

In Los Angeles County, new indoor mask warrants are in effect, even if you have been vaccinated.

My last flight back from Juneau to Anchorage was very familiar to me. Alaska Airlines Flight 65, which flies from Seattle to Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg before landing in Juneau, was 2.5 hours late. The previous Juneau-Anchorage flight was unable to land due to the weather and continued to Anchorage. When we finally got on board, all the seats were occupied and it was raining outside. It was another normal day at the Juneau airport.

Once we got out of the clouds at about 10,000 feet the mountain tops were gorgeous. The view was wonderful from my seat by the window.

This tour taught me a few things. First, it felt good to travel, at least to the United States. Second, since I forgot how to pack, I packed too much. Third, finding a lounge at major airports is worth it, if only for a quieter environment. Finally, Alaskans have more options when it comes to air travel, which means lower prices and better service.

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Covid trip this week: 10 things we learned Sat, 17 Jul 2021 06:38:03 +0000

(CNN) – Saturday has arrived – which means it’s time again for CNN Travel to check the Destination Barometer and let you know where it’s hot, where it’s not, and where you’ll need your two shots.

Here are 10 things we learned on pandemic travel this week:

1. There is going to be a honeymoon boom

Bad news for fans of sweatpants and company logo t-shirts: you might be forced into formal wear sooner than you think.

The wedding industry is rebounding in the United States, with some jewelers reporting that sales of engagement rings have quadrupled year over year.
Customers are now on the hunt for engagement rings because they can “finally travel” and offer a vacation, Kyle Simon, co-founder of New York-based jewelry company Clear Cut, told CNN Business this week.

It’s time to dry clean those suits and dresses for those destination weddings.

2. There is still time to escape a return to the office

How far are you willing to go to avoid microwave chatter with your coworkers? Sicily perhaps? Maybe Sri Lanka?

The Italian town of Sambuca di Sicilia has just brought a new batch of abandoned houses to the market and a Sicilian getaway can be yours for just € 2. There are plans to open remote work centers to attract digital workers, Deputy Mayor Giuseppe Cacioppo told CNN Travel.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, has jumped on the digital nomad trend by launching long-term visas of up to a year to attract foreign visitors looking to work remotely while enjoying Sri Lanka’s sun and scenery. Lanka.

4. Ireland will finally reopen on Monday

It has endured one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe and a cyber attack delayed the introduction of the EU’s Covid digital certificate by almost three weeks, but Ireland will finally roll out the green carpet for international visitors on July 19.

Fully vaccinated travelers from non-EU countries, including the US and UK, will not need to undergo any testing or quarantine. (A 14-day self-quarantine or hotel quarantine will still apply to people without valid proof of vaccination or arriving from an “emergency brake” country).

5. Two old rivals are back in business

From 1884 to 1889, the 555-foot-tall Washington Monument – a white stone obelisk in the District of Columbia built to commemorate the first US President George Washington – was the tallest structure in the world.

And then came Gustave Eiffel and his new 984 foot wrought iron tower on the Champs de Mars in Paris. The Eiffel Tower held the title for 41 years, until honor returned to the New World with the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York.

The two iconic structures reopened to the public this week, with the Washington Monument welcoming visitors on Friday and the Eiffel Tower resuming operations on Friday.

6. Qatar is open to fully vaccinated travelers

The ultramodern skyline of Doha, the Qatari capital.

Courtesy of Qatar Tourism

Visitors who completed their Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson shots more than 14 days ago will be able to skip the quarantine but will still need to take a pre-travel Covid test and obtain clearance through the Ehteraz government website.
Once in the country, tourists can discover attractions such as the “ghost towns” of the northwest coast: abandoned 19th-century fishing villages showing what life was like before Qatar’s spectacular economic boom, fueled by by oil and gas.

7. Vacationing in Caribbean paradise just got a little easier

The swimming pool at Cap Juluca d'Anguilla, a Belmond hotel.

The swimming pool at Cap Juluca d’Anguilla, a Belmond hotel.

Richard James Taylor / Belmond Juluca Cap

The elegant Caribbean islands of Anguilla and Saint Kitts and Nevis have opened their doors to luxury a little further.

Anguilla now allows entry to fully vaccinated visitors – and only fully vaccinated visitors. This means that the doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 were topped up at least 21 days before arrival.

Saint Kitts and Nevis has reduced its self-quarantine period – or “Vacation in Place,” as they call it – from nine days to three, with testing on day four. Results should be within 12 hours.

The Cayman Islands, meanwhile, will cautiously welcome fully vaccinated travelers starting in September, as part of a five-phase plan. However, cruise ships are not expected to call there until at least January 2022.

8. Thousands of Australians are still stranded abroad

As the rest of the world suffered the lockdown after the lockdown, Australia was one of the success stories of the pandemic. By closing its borders, it was able to largely block the Covid-19.

The price to pay for keeping the virus at bay is that thousands of Australian families have been separated since early 2020. There are around 34,000 stranded Australian citizens who have registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as being stuck in abroad and wanting to return home.

Now that Australia’s limit on international arrivals has been halved to just 3,000 passengers per week by July 14 and air fares have skyrocketed, the outlook is even bleaker. CNN’s Hannah Ritchie reports.

9. Venice has – once again – banned downtown cruise ships

Cruise ships are the ex-bad boy Venice just doesn’t seem to be giving up.

First there was a ban. Then there was a pre-ban. And then – like Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” – they were back in town until further notice.

The latest twist is that cruise ships will now be banned from navigating downtown Venice from August 1.

Rather than pass in front of Saint Mark’s Square and go up the narrow Giudecca Canal, they will be diverted through the Venetian Lagoon and dock on the mainland, at the industrial port of Marghera.

10. Oil wrestling is back, baby

CNN’s Ivan Watson explores the ancient sport of wrestling that dates back hundreds of years.

Last year’s contest was canceled due to the pandemic, but you can’t hold back the greasy men.

The contestants, dressed only in olive oil and leather pants, fought for three days in hopes of winning the title of Baspehlivani, or chief wrestler. Ali Gurbuz of Antalya retained his title for another year.

CNN’s Alexis Benveniste, Julia Buckley, Silvia Marchetti, Hannah Ritchie and Dimitris Sideridis contributed to this story.

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