Home Travel News Iceland is Open, Covid Resort Bubbles

Iceland is Open, Covid Resort Bubbles

Curated by Ed Boitano

Random Acts of Canine Kindness

Cedric the Dog takes a well-deserved break after an ill-fated attempt to shut down a mask-burning rally in Idaho.

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. – Harry S. Truman

MORE Dog Quotations

Covid-19 Direct Relief

Covid-19 Direct Relief addresses the courage of health workers on the front lines, honoring them with meaningful support, and the people most at risk in this pandemic are cared for — regardless of politics, religion, or ability to pay.

DONATE to DIRECT RELIEF

JetBlue Plane with Mint Business Class Suites

Courtesy of Business Insider

JetBlue Airways plane

JetBlue Airways’ swanky new business class suites have landed.

The New York-based carrier marked another milestone towards launching flights to London having taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo with the upgraded business class seats that flyers will enjoy on transatlantic flights later this year.

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Airlines Testing Touchless Technologies to Ease COVID-19 Concerns

device for Biometric Facial Recognition photo
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers take biometric photos of passengers prior to boarding a flight at Houston International Airport on February 12, Seen here is the device for the Biometric Facial Recognition photo. PHOTO COURTESY OF U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, PUBLIC DOMAIN, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Courtesy: Mina KajiGio Benitez & Sam Sweeney

As air travel hits record numbers since the pandemic began, U.S. airlines are testing and implementing new technologies aimed at reducing contact — both with surfaces and with people.

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Germ Protection: Pack this Next Time You Have to Go Through TSA

Nakefits

Nakefits are lightweight, waterproof sole protectors that adhere to your feet and stay on for hours to protect you from germs, fungal infections, slipping and hot surfaces. Pop them on before going through TSA to give your feet protection. Or take them on a trip and pop them on before entering the hotel spa or sauna, taking a barefoot yoga class, or using the pool or hot tub. Available in a range of sizes suitable for children and adults, Nakefits can be easily removed without any pinching, peeling, or irritation of the skin. For further information, visit NakeFit USA.

Health Passports: The Future Of Travel?

Courtesy: Justin Hayward, Simple Flying

yellow fever certificate
Some countries have required yellow fever certificates for decades. PHOTO BY DVORTYGIRL, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0.
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See Europe in Luxury With This Historic Train’s Stunning New Suites and Routes

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
PHOTO BY ROGER CARVELL, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 3.0

Courtesy: Stacey Leasca, travelandleisure.com

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will now take travelers to more places in Europe than ever before.

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Most Stressed States

Baltimore Pride parade
Maryland leads the pack as the US’ most stressed state. PHOTO BY TEDEYTAN, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 2.0

It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other, from COVID-19, to a very tough election season, the US has seen one of its most stressful years on record. With this in mind CT Shirts have analyzed Google Search data and cross referenced it with population and average household income to reveal the most stressed states.

SEE KEY FINDINGS

The Complete List of All U.S. National Parks

Courtesy of Madeline Bilis

The United States just added a new national park to its roster of incredible public lands: New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. This West Virginia park runs along 53 miles of the New River and encompasses over 70,000 acres of the beautiful wooded gorge.  Plus, it offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, and whitewater rafting.

New River Gorge National River
PHOTO BY MALIK AHAMED FROM COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 2.0

Its addition to the long list of U.S. national parks made us wonder — just how many national parks are there?

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PHOTO BY DEB ROSKAMP

COVID-19 Has Been Smoldering in Rural America for Months. How Did We Miss It?

A dangerous combination of limited resources, stigma, and politics made the coronavirus difficult to track in rural areas, allowing its spread to go largely unnoticed all summer.

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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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How to Stay Safe While Traveling

the writer's room at Bear Springs Hotel
PHOTO COURTESY OF GREG ARAGON

With travel set to resume as coronavirus restrictions ease, travelers should inform themselves about the cleaning procedures at hotels and Airbnb properties before choosing the best option for them. Ask about cleaning protocols, be on the lookout for red flags such as accumulations of dirt and grime, and inspect surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, recommends Brian Sansoni of the American Cleaning Institute.

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JetBlue CEO Anticipates Improvements to Make Travel Safer

In an interview with CNBC, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said widespread testing will be essential to make passengers feel secure and allow air travel to recover from the coronavirus crisis. “We’ve got to make sure that they’re safe from a health standpoint,” he said, predicting that the epidemic will result in permanent changes in cleaning and screening procedures that will make aircraft and airports safer.

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Being on the ground in over 180 countries means you get the full story.

 

Iceland Opens to All Vaccinated Travelers — No Testing Required

Get your passport ready!

Grundarfjörður, Iceland
Mt. Kirkjufell, Grundarfjörður, Iceland. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF JOE DESOUSA via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Courtesy: Stefanie Waldek

As the pandemic appears to be winding down, travel restrictions are finally being lifted, meaning your chance to travel the world once more is right around the corner.

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Covid ‘Resort Bubbles’ — The Next Step For Safe Travel?

Courtesy: Ramsey Qubein

With many countries or states already requiring a negative test to travel, the concept of a resort bubble provides one more layer of assurance as more Americans demonstrate comfort in traveling to destinations that make visitors feel safe.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Nassau, Bahamas
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas successfully rolled out a resort bubble. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAND HYATT BAHA MAR.

While Spring Break travel may earn the wrong kind of headlines, resort bubbles provide an alternative method of travel that can be effective.

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Cruises Might Not Return to These Ports After COVID-19

Key West and the Cayman Islands might implement cruise capacity restrictions

Courtesy Stefanie Waldek

Majesty of the Seas at Key West
PHOTO BY PENNY HIGGINS FROM WILLIAMSON, NY, USA, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 2.0

As cruising remains in limbo due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s only one thing for sure: the industry won’t look the same when it comes back. While cruise lines will unquestionably have to rethink onboard programming (buffets, for instance, are a no-go), it looks like they might have to rethink their itineraries as well.

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TSA Explores Use of Ultraviolet Light to Disinfect Checkpoint Bins

Courtesy: Hazel King  

UV Sterilization of pipettes and tips in a Biosafety Cabinet
UV Sterilization of pipettes and tips in a Biosafety Cabinet. PHOTO BY ORLA KEOGH, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 4.0.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialing the use of new technology that uses ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light to disinfect airport checkpoint bins in a bid to provide safer checkpoint experiences and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses and bacteria.

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Less Will be More in Post-Pandemic Travel: Airbnb Chief

Airbnb

Smaller cities and more family time will gain favor over global tourism permanently in the wake of the pandemic, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicts. “They’re not yearning to see Times Square” after months of isolation from normal life, he observes.

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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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New Geothermal Lagoon to Open near Reykjavik, Iceland Along the Ocean’s Edge in Spring 2021

Pursuit recently introduced The Ritual at Sky Lagoon, a seven-step experience inspired by the traditions of Icelandic bathing culture. Exclusive to the oceanfront, geothermal lagoon located minutes from downtown Reykjavik, The Ritual at Sky Lagoon will combine the healing powers of warm and cold waters, warm steam, dry heat and fresh air.

Infinity Sky Lagoon, Iceland
Infinity Sky Lagoon, Iceland. PHOTO COURTESY OF CNW GROUP/PURSUIT.

“The Ritual at Sky Lagoon will provide guests with an immersive and holistic approach to relaxation and wellbeing,” says Dagny Petursdottir, General Manager, Sky Lagoon. “The rejuvenating and transformative experience will enable guests to connect with mind, body and spirit through the radiant powers of geothermal waters.”

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The 9 Most Anticipated New Cruise Ships of 2021

Courtesy Gene Sloan

MSC Virtuosa (MSC Cruises)
MSC Virtuosa will be a sister to the one-year-old MSC Grandiosa. PHOTO BY ND44, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Cruise lines may have canceled most of their sailings this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, so far, they haven’t canceled orders for new ships.

More than 20 new oceangoing vessels still are scheduled to debut in 2021, including at least a dozen from lines that market to North Americans.

In some cases, the ships will be arriving months behind schedule due to pandemic-related construction delays at the shipyards that are building them. Thanks to such delays, the arrival of a few ships that had been scheduled for delivery in 2021 will be pushed to 2022.

But it’ll be a big year for new cruise ships nevertheless.

Among the most notable newcomers will be Mardi Gras, the biggest ship ever for Carnival Cruise Line. Originally due to debut this year, it’s now scheduled to begin sailing in April.

There also will be major new ships coming from Royal Caribbean, Holland America, MSC Cruises and start-up line Virgin Voyages.

The precise dates when some of these ships will begin sailing still is up in the air. It’ll depend, in part, on when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clears cruise ships to begin sailing again in U.S. waters. But, in all cases, these vessels already are available for booking.

Here is a list of the 9 most notable new cruise ships arriving in 2021.

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JetBlue Passengers Will Be Able to Take an At-Home COVID-19 Test

No nasal swab required

Written by Stefanie Waldek, Courtesy of JetBlue

With COVID-19 testing restrictions impeding both domestic and international travel, JetBlue is providing its passengers an option that might help them travel more freely. The airline has announced a partnership with Vault Health to provide its passengers with easy access to an at-home COVID-19 test that could be used to enter specific destinations with coronavirus testing policies in place.

9 Tips for Traveling With Kids During the Pandemic

Alex Brouwer with students from his weekly English workshop
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX BROUWER

First tip: take a deep breath.

Courtesy of Wendy Altschuler, tripsavvy.com

Traveling with kids is often challenging even when there’s isn’t a pandemic to contend with. Kids require extra gear, entertainment, snacks, downtime, and a careful eye to make sure they’re safe while out and about. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative to practice social distancing, good hygiene, and to wear a mask when venturing through airports, getting food on the road, using public restrooms, or where there are groups of people present. Whether you’d like to plan for a road trip, a flight on a commercial airline, or a staycation in your own city, here are tips for traveling with kids during a pandemic.

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Exploring Japan’s Wellbeing Traditions to Inspire Post-Lockdown Restorative Travel

Beppu Onsen hot springs, Japan
Beppu Onsen has several hot springs varying in color and clarity for different ailments (© JNTO)

Recreate Japan’s onsens, find mindfulness through zen meditation and shakyo, and practice the technique of kintsugi from home

For would-be travelers dreaming of an escape to Japan post-lockdown, there are a variety of fun, interactive ways to recreate some of the country’s ancient wellbeing and mindfulness practices from afar. The below methods and products highlight how some of Japan’s oldest traditions, from onsens to the art of kintsugi, will help to inspire travelers to start planning their next restorative journey to Japan.

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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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