Curated by Ed Boitano
Europe Plans to Open the Door to Vaccinated Americans
Courtesy Eric Anderson, Times Union
The next best thing? Maybe you can fly to Paris and pretend you’re in Montreal.
While details remain sketchy, the head of the European Commission told the New York Times on Sunday that leisure travel to the European Union by fully vaccinated Americans could resume this summer.MORE
Random Acts of Canine Kindness
Cedric the Dog takes a well-deserved break after his failure to shut down a mask-burning rally in Boise, Idaho.
You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. – Harry S. TrumanMORE Dog Quotations
4 Things to Consider as You Start Traveling Again, According to Rick Steves
The legendary travel writer and TV personality shares tips for ethically returning to travel.
Courtesy Stacey Leasca
Rick Steves wants you to know that travel will make a comeback, it just might look a little different than you remember.
In April, Steves sat down for a wide-ranging interview about the future of travel with Fund for Education Abroad, an organization that provides scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population. And, as you may suspect, Steves is just as ready as the rest of us to get back out there and explore the world again.MORE
Amtrak’s Summer Sale Lets You Book a Private Room, and Bring a Friend for Free
Courtesy of Patrice J. Williams
Train travel is gaining in popularity — stress-free, eco-friendly travel that lets you sit back and enjoy scenic views? We’re on board. What’s even better is scoring a great deal on a train trip, and Amtrak is offering just that. The company just announced its private room sale. From now until April 16, if you book a Roomette for a summer trip, your guest travels for free.MORE
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’ 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.MORE
Airlines Testing Touchless Technologies to Ease COVID-19 ConcernsMORE
Germ Protection: Pack this Next Time You Have to Go Through TSA
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 FlyingMORE
See Europe in Luxury With This Historic Train’s Stunning New Suites and Routes
Courtesy: Stacey Leasca, travelandleisure.com
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will now take travelers to more places in Europe than ever before.MORE
Most Stressed States
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.
Its addition to the long list of U.S. national parks made us wonder — just how many national parks are there?MORE
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.MORE
How to Take Your Own Passport Photo
Courtesy: Caroline Morse Teel, SmarterTravel
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:MORE
How to Stay Safe While Traveling
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.MORE
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.MORE
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.)MORE
American Airlines Ramps Up Domestic Summer Schedule
American Airlines plans to operate more than 90% of the domestic schedule and 80% of the international capacity it flew in 2019 this summer, and it’s adding 150 new routes for the summer vacation season. “Throughout the pandemic, our trademark has been to build a schedule based on what customers tell us they want and need,” said Brian Znotins, vice president of network planning.
Travel to Europe: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country
Europe was one of the regions hardest hit by the novel coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, but after strict lockdowns, many countries saw steep declines in death and infection rates in the summer of 2020. However, many European countries struggled to bring down the second wave in December, which was followed by a third wave in March 2021.MORE
Americans Are Willing to Give Up Love and Chocolate for Travel
We’re catching flights, not feelings in 2021
Courtesy of Patrice J. Williams
Would you do anything for love? According to a recent study, travel-starved Americans are willing to give up L-O-V-E if it means they can hear those beautiful words: “This is your captain speaking.”
A recent survey conducted by Booking.com found that Americans are ready to hit the road and are finally seeing some light at the end of this year-long tunnel. More than 70 percent said the success of COVID-19 vaccines have them feeling hopeful and “optimistic,” while just over 60 percent have realized travel is crucial to their emotional well-being. It’s clear they’re ready; we’re ready. But how ready?MORE
Best Places to Go
Courtesy of Frommer’s
Frommer’s invited some of the most celebrated authors in the United States to tell us about their America, as part of their Best Places to Go series. These top-tier writers had free rein to select the destinations that they think define the United States and that shaped the nation they love. This year’s Best Places names the spots Americans should get to know — one day, once the pandemic is just a bad memory — to better understand their own heritage and legacy and, perhaps, to start the process of healing.MORE
Iceland Opens to All Vaccinated Travelers — No Testing Required
Get your passport ready!
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.MORE
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.
While Spring Break travel may earn the wrong kind of headlines, resort bubbles provide an alternative method of travel that can be effective.MORE
Cruises Might Not Return to These Ports After COVID-19
Key West and the Cayman Islands might implement cruise capacity restrictions
Courtesy Stefanie Waldek
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.MORE
TSA Explores Use of Ultraviolet Light to Disinfect Checkpoint Bins
Courtesy: Hazel King
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.MORE
Less Will be More in Post-Pandemic Travel: Airbnb Chief
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.MORE
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.MORE
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.
“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.”MORE
The 9 Most Anticipated New Cruise Ships of 2021
Courtesy Gene Sloan
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.
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.MORE
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
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.MORE
Exploring Japan’s Wellbeing Traditions to Inspire Post-Lockdown Restorative Travel
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.MORE
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