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5 Ways to Support Local Businesses

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Spring Greetings from the Staff at Traveling Boy

Trust you are all well and dealing with this dread virus appropriately. Due to State of California mandate, T-Boy has been quarantined, but we’re all alive and well working in our home offices. We have designated this Spring to think of those who suffer from great sorry and misfortune. Here are some of our favorite charities.

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5 Ways to Support Small Businesses from Home During the Pandemic

Courtesy Caroline Morse Teel, SmarterTravel

Small businesses are really hurting during this time of isolation. Here are five simple and safe ways you can help support them so that they’ll still be there for you when the pandemic is over. (And remember — the best way you can help small business is by staying home, so that we can end this isolation period faster.)

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T-Boy’s BEST Virtual Vacations

You may not be traveling to far-away places in the immediate future, but we can bring them to you. Here’s a series of T-Boy’s virtual trips, and we hope you’ll be able to go there and to other distant destinations soon.

Virtual Sicily

Greek temple ruins

It happens all the time with Overseas Adventure Travel. I start out expecting to write about the trip itself – in this case, Sicily’s Ancient Landscapes & Timeless Traditions – and I end up writing about all the things that are not on the itinerary.

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Corona Virus Travel Updates – Live Blog

Courtesy Big 7 Travel Team

Coronavirus
Photo courtesy of Big 7 Travel Team1

As the coronavirus situation is ongoing, we will be updating this live blog with current travel advice, quarantines, flight cancellations and travel industry news. Check back daily for new updates and send any coronavirus travel news tips to sarah@bigsevenmedia.com

LIVE BLOG

Some Airlines Approve Face Masks for Flight Attendants

American and Southwest airlines will allow flight attendants to wear face masks during flights. Flight attendant unions are also requesting temperature checks of crew and passengers before flights, increased cleanings, and blocking off some seats to avoid congestion around restrooms.

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Survey: 4 in 10 Say Business Travel Will Return in 3 Months

According to a poll by the Global Business Travel Association, 40% of respondents believe business travel will come back within three months, while 17% think it will take six months before normal plans resume. The survey reported that 89% of business trips scheduled for March have been canceled.

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7 Common Myths About Traveling Africa Dispelled

Courtesy Nomadic Mike, Sand in My Suitcase

When I told my friends about my first solo trip to Africa, they thought I was crazy. “What about Ebola?” “You can’t travel to Africa alone! It’s too dangerous!” “You’re going to get eaten by a lion or something!”

This is a common reaction from those who have not been to the continent and are used to seeing it portrayed in a very negative light in the news and popular culture.

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Walls Made of Ancient Human Leg Bones Found Beneath Belgian Church

The macabre creations are likely the product of an overcrowded cemetery cleared out hundreds of years ago

By Katherine J. Wu, smithsonianmag.com

human bones beneath Saint Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium
Archaeologists uncovered nine walls made of human bones beneath Saint Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. (© Copyright Ruben Willaert bvba)

More than 100 billion people have died since the Homo sapiens lineage first appeared roughly 50,000 years ago. And with so many bodies to bury, civilizations have repeatedly run out of convenient places to put them.

But humans are a resourceful bunch. To make room for new graves, the residents of Ghent, Belgium, apparently dug up some old burial grounds and assembled the bones interred within into nine walls. As Alan Hope reports for the Brussels Times, archaeologists conducting excavations ahead of construction of a cathedral’s new visitor’s center have now unearthed the remnants of these ghastly architectural feats.

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Airports Warn of Chaos with Looming Real ID License Deadline

WASHINGTON — The nation’s airports are warning of chaos for passengers if the White House doesn’t postpone the looming Real ID deadline.

Without a special Real ID driver’s license or card, airline passengers will be required to present a passport, military ID or Global Entry card to pass through security, even for domestic flights, starting in October.

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Gender, Age Reveal Travel Safety Concern Differences

By Bill McIntyre, Global Rescue

woman travel safety

Gender and age drive the biggest distinction among travelers, according to results of the 2020 Annual Global Rescue Travel Safety Survey. The survey reveals unexpected travel safety concerns between the sexes and among the generations.

Men are about 50% more concerned about family travel than women. Travelers are very concerned about travel to the Middle East, but respondents between the ages of 40-59 are a third more concerned than their younger counterparts.

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7 Hidden Benefits of Cruising That Might Surprise You

Courtesy Albom Adventures

Are you wondering if a cruise holiday is right for you? While there are all the obvious benefits that come from a nearly all-inclusive vacation with a pre-planned destination itinerary, there are also many hidden benefits of cruising that might surprise you.

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How to Take Your Own Passport Photo

Courtesy, Caroline Morse Teel, SmarterTravel

taking a passport photo

After paying $15 to have an awkward photoshoot in the aisle of a CVS, only to have my passport photos rejected twice (once for being too dark and once for being too bright), I decided there had to be a better way to take your own passport photo. Turns out, snapping your own passport photo is easier, cheaper, and much more convenient than going to a “professional” (a.k.a., the cashier at your local drugstore). Here’s a few tips:

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Together in Spirit – The Best Friends Animal Society

At the core of Best Friends Animal Society’s work is the dream that one day animals will no longer be killed in America’s shelters.

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Coronavirus & the Generational Divide

The pandemic is revealing an unexpected, dangerous attitude among older Americans and their behavior during the outbreak. “Coronavirus & the Generational Divide” by Anna Christensen is now available.

Ms. Christensen is a wilderness first aid expert and author, explains that the demographic at the greatest statistical risk for death by the virus are precisely the people who are the least concerned, most apt to break voluntary quarantine, and unlikely to use telemedecine. See Ms.Christensen’s bio and books.

Contact Bill McIntyre for a copy of “Coronavirus & the Generational Divide” a 500-word column.  There is no fee to publish the column.

US Passenger Flights Reportedly Might Shut Down

US airlines are working on plans for a voluntary shutdown of nearly all domestic passenger flights, sources say. The government reportedly is considering mandating a shutdown because the coronavirus pandemic makes operating the air traffic control system difficult.

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8 Things to Disinfect Every Time You Fly

Courtesy Sherri Gardner

disinfecting plane interior
Photo courtesy of Business Insider

It’s an open secret that airplanes, and airports, are some of the germiest places you visit. From the bins you put your carry-ons in to the seatback pocket, flying exposes you to more germs and pathogens than you might expect.

Website TravelMath conducted a study in 2011 that found most high touch surfaces in airports and on airplanes are dirtier than your home. While Canadian Broadcasting Company show “Marketplace” did a 2018 examination of the dirtiest surfaces on an airplane after taking samples from 18 planes from three major Canadian airlines.

The results from each study vary but they picked up enough bacteria (including E. coli) to convince you to wipe down these germy surfaces.

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Just Two Fifths of Americans Use Their Time Off Work to Go on Vacation

Courtesy Calum McCloskey, 10 Yetis

stressed man
An example of a stressed Yankee. Photo courtesy of 10 Yetis

51% of Americans did not use up their allotted vacation last year, and even less intend to this year

  • Having too much work to complete was the main reason for not using all vacation time
  • Just two fifths of Americans used their time off work to go on vacation
  • 16% of Americans take time off work to do work

The study was undertaken by the team behind flight-comparison site www.us.jetcost.com, who surveyed more than 4,000 Americans over the age of 18 on how they use their vacation time. All respondents were in full-time employment at the time of the survey.

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Safari Pioneer Geoffrey Kent Talks About Old and New Adventures in Africa

Courtesy Christine Ajudua

safari pioneer Geoffrey Kent
Geoffrey Kent. Photo courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent

Twenty-five years ago, The Lion King introduced the African savanna to many a Westerner; it also inspired real-world travel to the continent. Ditto on this past summer’s reboot: The Kenya Tourism Board has since reported a rise in safari bookings to locations that inspired the film, from the Aberdare National Park waterfalls (see romantic backdrop for Nala and Simba’s reunion) to Hell’s Gate National Park (its formations served as a model for Pride Rock). In fact, the original idea for the film was developed in the bush, specifically on a trip that DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg — then chairman of Walt Disney Studios — took with Geoffrey Kent.

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Three U.S. Planes Lost During World War II Found in Pacific Lagoon

Project Recover, a nonprofit dedicated to locating MIA service members, identified the planes’ location

By Theresa Machemer, smithsonianmag.com

coral-covered propeller of a U.S. SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber, Truk Lagoon
A coral-covered propeller of a U.S. SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber stands on the sea floor in Truk Lagoon. (© University of Delaware / Courtesy of Dr. Mark Moline)

Researchers from Project Recover, a joint endeavor of the University of Delaware and the University of California, San Diego, that aims to “find and repatriate Americans missing in action since World War II,” recently located the wreckage of three U.S. military aircraft lost during a February 1944 battle in the conflict’s Pacific theater.

The team discovered the two SBD-5 Dauntless dive bombers and one TBM/F-1 Avenger while searching Truk Lagoon in the Chuuk State of Micronesia, per a statement. Seventy-six years ago, the body of water was the site of Operation Hailstone, a two-day Allied air assault on a Japanese naval base. More than 50 Japanese ships and 230 total aircraft, 30 of which were American, were lost in the depths of the lagoon during the skirmish.

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How to Avoid the Worst Seat on the Plane

Courtesy Sarah Schlichter, SmarterTravel

airplane seats

We’ve all been there. Make sure it never happens again with these simple tips.

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I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

Courtesy Allie Conti

While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited.

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11 Endangered Bucket List Destinations (And How to Visit Them Responsibly)

Courtesy of Mariana Zapata, SmarterTravel

Antarctica penguin

Climate change and overtourism make daily headlines now and are stark reminders that some of the most beautiful places in the world are at risk of disappearing. For many travelers, the natural response to this is “last chance tourism,” or a rush to see endangered places while they’re still here. But before writing obituaries for these endangered destinations, consider instead taking actionable steps before and during your trip to keep them from disappearing. Here are 11 at-risk destinations and what you can do to help preserve them.

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