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Travel Path to Recovery, 12 Days of Christmas

Curated by Ed Boitano

The 12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

The 12 Days each traditionally celebrate a feast day for a saint and/or have different celebrations.


Charting the Adventure Travel Industry’s Path to Recovery

the Travel Industry's path to recovery

Written by Heather Kelly

Tripadvisor and Phocuswright recently released a joint report reviewing consumer travel behavioral trends throughout 2020: A Year in Travel: Charting the Travel Industry’s Path to Recovery (free and publicly available). This report analyzes search and click data on Tripadvisor’s website throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, offers insights based on how travelers’ attitudes to travel are changing, and looks at what these trends may mean for the future recovery of the travel industry. The findings correspond with research from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and offer additional insights into how the adventure travel industry can adapt to changing consumer preferences.


No Two Alike: The First Photos of Snowflakes

Courtesy of Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic

Published in 1923, these vintage images highlight the beauty and mystery of snow crystals.

In the late 1800s, a self-educated Vermont farmer by the name of Wilson Bentley made the first successful image, or “photomicrograph,” of a single snowflake. He used a bellows camera attached to a microscope.

Here are some of the very first photos of snowflakes.


8 Immune-Boosting Smoothies We Want to Sip All Day Long

Courtesy Mary Nunes


Whether it’s flu season, allergy season, or you’re just in the mood for a refreshing, flavorful drink, an immune-boosting smoothie is always a good idea. By snacking on something as easy and convenient as a smoothie, you can jam-pack your body with antioxidants, vitamins, and more superfoods that kick-start your immune system into gear. Smoothies are (rightfully) all the rage these days, as they are easy to make, totally filling, and can give your body a plethora of health benefits.


You Might be an American Traveling Abroad if…

Inspired by Jeff Foxworthy with assistance from the Alot Travel Team

If you wear a Baseball Cap while traveling abroad you might be an American tourist.

tourist with baseball cap

Baseball is the American pastime, right? At least, it was at one point, and it’s still thought of that way, even though we watch more pro football than baseball at this point.

Still, we love the caps, and we carry them around with us everywhere — including overseas, where they immediately mark us as Americans.


5 Things Science Says Will Make You Happier

Research-backed habits that will improve your outlook and positive attitude

By Nataly Kogan
Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD

happy friends

It’s easy to assume that things like money and a luxurious lifestyle lead to happiness, but research shows that it’s the more simple experiences — like practicing gratitude or spending time with friends — that promote a sunny outlook.

Whether you need to shift from negative thoughts or want to continue a streak of positivity, here are five ways to boost happiness every day.


“Heroes of Our America”: Reading a “Patriotic” History of the United States

By Alan J. Singer

Not long ago, history textbooks were written as patriotic fables. Examining one offers a warning about the cost of putting mythmaking ahead of historical learning

Heroes of Our America

Heroes of Our America (1952) was a history book for fourth graders published by the Iroquois Publishing Company of Syracuse, New York. Its co-authors were Gertrude and John Van Duyn Southworth. John Southworth, with Harvard and Columbia University degrees, taught at a number of schools in the New York metropolitan area and was president of the publishing company. Gertrude Southworth, his frequent co-author, was also his mother.

I picked it off my office shelf after Donald Trump called for teaching “patriotic history” in American schools as a defense against a mythical radical “left” conspiracy and to ensure that  “our youth will be taught to love America.” Heroes of Our America is an example of the kind of “patriotic history” Donald and I were both exposed to as children in the 1950s. I grabbed the book when it was discarded from the Hofstra University Curriculum Materials Center only a couple of years ago.



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Hawaii Offers Tourists Free Hotel Stays in Exchange for Volunteer Work

Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner gives a traditional blessing for crews and spectators
A Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner gives a traditional blessing for crews and spectators. PHOTO BY DEB ROSKAMP.

The program’s goal is to inspire mindful travel

Written by Stefanie Waldek

If gorgeous beaches, an incredible cultural history, and active volcanoes aren’t enough to convince you to visit Hawaii, perhaps the state’s voluntourism deal for tourists will nudge you across the line.

As of Oct. 15, Hawaii has eliminated the 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors who partake in the official pre-travel testing program, which now means that the state is able to promote the Mālama Hawai‘i initiative to tourists.


WNPA Recently Announced the Recipients of its Annual Awards

national parks

Western National Parks Association (WNPA), a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service (NPS) since 1938, recently announced the recipients of its annual awards. For over 30 years, WNPA has recognized individuals and organizations who make exceptional contributions to national parks and increase awareness of WNPA’s mission.


Dublin & Galway Selected Friendliest Cities in Europe

Grafton St., Dublin

It’s travel award season on the island of Ireland! In recent weeks, the island has been awarded a number of exciting accolades. Both Dublin and Galway have topped the Condé Nast friendliest cities in Europe list, while EPIC The Irish Immigration Museum has been awarded Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction by the World Travel Awards for the second year running.

Meanwhile, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel experts were wowed by the Burren Ecotourism Network’s community effort, naming them one of ten winners in the new ‘Community’ category of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2021. Ireland’s Burren Ecotourism Network has been named one of ten winners in the new ‘Community’ category of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2021.

What Americans Abroad Should Not Expect



The fluffy flour-based pancakes that American’s have come to love at breakfast time (or for brinner) just aren’t found abroad. French crêpes are too thin. The Japanese version (okonomiyaki) is too thick and most often topped with savory things like meat, seafood, and cabbage. Australian-style pancakes are too eggy and have sugar in the dough.


The Radical History of Corporate Sensitivity Training

By Beth Blum

Don Draper at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur
The modern-day human-resources practice is embodied by the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, which is best known today as where “Mad Men’s” Don Draper ends up. PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTINA MINTZ / AMC.

During these turbulent months, American corporations have responded to demands for racial justice by straining to showcase their sensitive sides. They’ve pledged, like Quaker Oats, to change offensive product names; they’ve scrambled, like Pradanascar, and Delta, to implement emergency sensitivity workshops; and they’ve opted, like most of the major publishing houses, to hire sensitivity readers to vet new manuscripts for racist representations. Not so at the Donald Trump White House.


The Future of History in the Pandemic Age

By Michael Creswell

Historians need to consider and prepare for changes to the profession that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic.

reading room of the Maritime Research Center, San Francisco
Reading Room of the Maritime Research Center, San Francisco. (NPS PHOTO/K. KVAM)

Attempting to predict the future is always perilous, and events frequently humble those who dare to try. Making predictions is especially hazardous for historians, who often struggle to explain the past. Peering into the future is not part of their professional training, and their efforts to do so are likely to fail.


The Pentagon is Missing the Big Picture on “Stars and Stripes”

By Mark T. Hauser

The Pentagon’s plan to scrap funding for the Stars and Stripes newspaper isn’t just an attack on a historic military institution. It’s ignoring the lessons the paper’s history offers for efficient operation and integrating military operations with the economic life of the nation.

copies of the Stars and Stripes being delivered to Marines of Task Force Tarawa
Copies of the Stars and Stripes being delivered to Marines of Task Force Tarawa during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April, 2003. U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO BY 1ST SERGEANT DAVID K. DISMUKES, PUBLIC DOMAIN, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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