Tag Archives: holidays

Travel agencies urge Chicagoans to ‘book now’ – NBC Chicago | Instant News


With vaccinations well advanced and news that European countries could be opened to vaccinated travelers by the summer, Chicago travel agencies have been the busiest for a year. Lynn Farrell, president of Windy City Travel, says business has grown about 40% over the past month. “We have records of people going to Europe,” Farrell said. “What we did was create scenarios for them that if we had to pivot, we could pivot. According to Farrell, the main destinations are Hawaii, Montana, Greece, Croatia and Mexico. Much of the surge comes as vaccinated travelers begin to “get back to normal” or catch up on canceled travel plans in 2020. In fact, travel demand is so high that many destinations are reporting a fallout. shortage of rental cars. If you can find a rental car, be prepared to shell out more money than you expect. “Over 4,000 people arrive on Maui every day. There aren’t a lot of cars, ”Farrell said. Sunset Travel and Cruise, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, always advises travelers to purchase travel insurance. Even as some destinations are reopening, others are facing new waves of COVID-19 cases. .



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Travel Guides Reveal Weird, Wonderful and Dark ‘Secrets’ | Characteristics | Instant News


Reduced heads. A nudist resort. George McFly’s footprints. If spring draws you outside for warm-weather adventures just this side of the weird and the unusual, look no further than your own backyard. The Louis Reedy Press-based editor makes it fun to have a stay at home, treasure-hunting for all kinds of weird, wonderful, and obscure sights and sensations – some hidden in plain sight – with his series of secret guides. (Full disclosure: This writer is the author of “Secret Cincinnati.”) Here are some of the latest titles in the series, with writers sharing their thoughts on the really weird in their backyard. Author Anastasia “Stasha” Mills Healy shows off the lengths The “secret” authors embark on their quest for history through an excursion to the Thimble Islands. “I felt like I was in a spy movie, standing alone at the end of a dock, out of season, with no one around, looking out on the horizon, waiting for a contact that I didn’t ‘had never met to take me to a remote island, “she said.” I should have worn a fedora and a trench coat and talked up my sleeve! “The Contact, a Thimble Islands owner,” graciously said spent the afternoon with Healy, showing her around her two homes, sharing information and answering questions. “He put me back on the dock several hours later,” she said. “No debriefing required.” The bizarre: The 360-acre Solair Recreation League is a nudist resort in Woodstock, Connecticut with a private lake with beach, swimming pool, tennis courts and hiking trails, and accommodations that include cabins, recreational vehicles “Solair’s 350 members certainly wouldn’t call it ‘weird’,” Healy said. “But for the uninitiated, walking around naked on a Sunday sundae with your kids and a bunch of other families would be just that.” The Wonderful: Sleep in accommodations designed by an architect like an actual 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH3F helicopter at the luxury Winvian Resort in Morris, Connecticut. As if that wasn’t unusual enough, the back of the helicopter includes a TV, sofa and fridge, so you can grab a cold one, kick up your feet and watch the news in your own private helicopter. next to your bed and your hot tub, ”Healy said. The Obscure: On the little-known island of Enders, the grounds of a spiritual retreat are open to the public and programs – from the sacred history of the bagpipe to silent retreats – and private rooms or dormitories are available for overnight guests. Ryan Roenfeld’s book is one of the final titles in the “Secret” series, with delivery starting May 15th. in downtown Omaha holds over tha n 500,000 volumes and a scalp – that of William Thompson, who lost it in a fight with the Cheyenne in 1867. “You can’t verify it,” Roenfeld said. “But can make a reservation to take a look.” The Wonderful: The intersection of North 24th and Lake Streets in Omaha is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An intersection? “It was the subject of a song by Mississippi bluesman Big Joe Williams.” The Obscure: In 1866, Civil War soldier and Irish Revolutionary General John O’Neill invaded Canada with over 1000 Fenians (Irish Republican Brotherhood) to encourage the cause of Irish independence. Her grave and memorial, dedicated in 1911 by Eamon de Valera, President of the Republic of Ireland, can be found in the Cemetery of the Holy Sepulcher. Author Janice Oberding and her husband, Bill, were lost in Lone Mountain Cemetery in the search for the grave of Mark Twain’s niece, Jennie Clemens. When a herd of deer suddenly appeared, Oberding felt certain they were there to help. “We like to think that they took pity on us and tried to show us the way,” she says. ? Find one in the Curiosity Collection (Taxidermy Animals, Fertility Statues) at the Wilbur D. May Museum in Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Regional Park The Marvelous: Writer and humorist Mark Twain in 1863 , named Steamboat Hot Springs for its resemblance to a steamboat. “When he wasn’t causing trouble in Virginia City, he enjoyed escaping and soothing his quivering nerves here,” Oberding said. The Obscure: The artist who carved the four presidential faces at Mount Rushmore is linked to Omaha. “Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created a statue of John Mackay in 1908,” said Oberding. “Mackay was one of the four so-called Bonanza kings who drew their wealth from mining for silver in the nearby town of Virginia City. ” Find it at the ATV on the Nevada Reno University campus. Delivery begins May 15 for this new title, written by Jeremy Pugh and Mary Brown Malouf. The Strange: Fate? Maybe. Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., a self-taught foreign artist, stonemason, Mormon bishop, and local businessman, created an odd sculpture garden in his backyard in the mid-20th century. Filled with original biblical and Mormon-themed pieces, it’s calls “Gilgal,” a word that means “stone circle” in Hebrew and a place name in the Book of Mormon. 45 years ago, in a desert location near Lucin, Utah, a ghost town The solar tunnels may look like industrial waste, but they are aligned at different solar times. (The authors recommend filling up with gasoline, bringing food, and alerting people to your route before making the trek.) The obscure: see the handprints of the actor dec al Crispin Glover in front of the Tower Theater. And not just his handprints, but also his footprints. And not just his own, but Howard’s “Dr. Johnny Fever ”(“ WKRP in Cincinnati ”) Hesseman as well. All because of a 1992 gem of a cult classic called “Rubin and Ed”. Author Joann Hill has met many fascinating people while researching his book, including Robert Hoffman, aka HOFF the Harmonica Man, who has the largest collection of harmonica cases in the world. “HOFF’s collection, exceeding 500 cases, is proudly featured in my book,” said Hill. “I am so happy that our paths have crossed.” The bizarre: A model lived for 42 days in a glass cube built atop the colossal and iconic Big Chair that stands 19 feet tall in DC’s Anacostia neighborhood. The cube is long gone, but the chair remains a popular photo stop. The Marvelous: A Carousel Horse Linked to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his “I Have A Dream” speech? August 28, 1963 – the day King gave the speech during the March on Washington – Gwynn Oak Amusement Park just outside Baltimore ended segregation, and an 11 month old girl named Sharon Langley became the first black child to ride the carousel. . He is now in Washington, DC and called the carousel on the National Mall. The Obscure: Meet suffragist Alice Stokes Paul, abolitionist Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the lyrics to “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and other famous women with the Call Box art project downtown. Inoperative emergency call boxes have been transformed into art installations and historical markers honoring famous women throughout history. Travel and lifestyle author and writer Kathy Witt believes you should never come to the end of your to-do list; there is too much to see and do in the world. Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency. .



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Use your Covid travel vouchers before they expire | Instant News



In 2020, when the world suddenly shut down, most people postponed or canceled all of their plans due to the coronavirus crisis. Many have received vouchers or credits valid for a later date. Now, a year later, those credits have likely expired – or are about to be. More than half of all adults, or about 54%, who have spent money on activities canceled due to pandemic have already lost those funds, according to a Read more about personal finance: Here’s where Americans plan to go this summer 38% of Americans would forgo sex to travel again Vacation could rebound this year Fewer received partial refunds, although this varies by type of purchase. About 35% of people who canceled short-term home rentals got some of their money, but not all, less than a quarter of adults were partially reimbursed for canceled flights, sporting events, concerts, theater tickets or hotel stays, Bankrate found. many consumers accepted credits or vouchers rather than refunds, often valid for up to a year, few expected it to be this long before the country started to open up again. “If you’re not ready to use it, ask for an extension or make a plan for a few months,” he says. Many airlines and hotels have relaxed their policies and waived fees. At Frontier Airlines, for example, credits for future travel originally required travelers to rebook within 90 days. The airline later changed this policy and the credits are now valid for up to one year, in addition, flights can currently be booked until April 2022 and the low-budget carrier is offering changes at no cost. More than half of U.S. consumers plan to take a vacation later this year, so it’s a great time to book, Rossman added. the availability of vaccines against Covid-19, while the cost of plane tickets and hotel stays remain low. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can travel safely to the United States, but warns international travel poses additional risks.) “There are a lot of great deals out there right now,” he said. Rossman said. “The longer you wait, the more likely prices are to rise or things fill up.” Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube. .



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Medical experts share travel options for those vaccinated | Instant News



The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed vaccinated Americans to travel again, but some vaccinated travelers are staying on the fence to make summer plans. Is it finally safe to fly? What about visiting unvaccinated parents or traveling with young children? CNBC Global Traveler has asked medical professionals – all of whom are involved in treatment or research for Covid-19 – to share their travel plans this summer. Here are their answers, in their words. Summer Travel ‘Unlikely’ “I’m unlikely to travel this summer … I’m afraid the proliferation of variants, existing or new, sets the stage for a replay from last summer.” ebb and flow Covid-19 surge model. I’m also concerned that reluctance to vaccinate … or supply and access issues limit our ability to achieve herd immunity in the short term. “” We only have to look as far as recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in countries like Canada or states like Michigan to see how vaccine supply issues and the spread of variants can lead to a dangerous surge with great impact. “There is nothing wrong with waiting and seeing approaching right now. Mark CameronCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine”[My kids] are desperate to get out of the house and go to a theme park this summer, but it’s just not on our maps right now. I still believe that there will be relatively safe ways to travel this summer and that there is nothing wrong with waiting and seeing right now. “” Vaccinating fully, moving our bubble with us and maintaining the infection control measures that have kept us safe so far, even if not mandated, would be part of the plan. “- Mark Cameron, epidemiologist and associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University Home-to-home only – by car” I’m not traveling this summer except for a car trip from our home to New York at our home in the countryside. Under normal circumstances, we would travel a lot, including overseas. But this year we will be spending most of our time in our country house, as it is much easier to avoid close contact than in town or when traveling far away. “When we have to come to town, we’ll do it by car. And when we arrive, we’ll avoid public transportation, crowded places, and indoor activities. “Now is not the time to let go… William HaseltinePresident, Access Health International“ Being vaccinated hasn’t changed my behavior or my summer travel plans. There are new variants… which emerge regularly, and the vaccines will not be as effective against all of them. For this reason, I and all of my immediate family members take the same precautions after vaccination as we did before we were vaccinated. This includes avoiding unnecessary travel. “” When we have to go to public places, like the post office or the grocery store, we wear N95 masks and a face shield, a combination that has proven to be effective even in indoor health care settings significantly. . reduce the risk of infection. “” If some of our extended family have to travel during the summer, we will ask them not to visit us for at least two weeks after the trip – which includes adults who are vaccinated and children who are not. “” Now is not the time to abandon public health measures that can help us control the pandemic. “- William Haseltine, former professor at Harvard Medical School and current president of Access Health International; author of” Variants! The COVID-19 shape-shifting challenge “Yes, but in the same region” The family trip we are taking this summer will be semi-local. We plan to go to the Jersey Shore [to rent] an efficient apartment… enjoy the hike, the beach and the pool and bring our food with us. We are going to drive so that we can take everything easily. Dr Sharon Nachman said her family’s summer travel plans to the Jersey Shore were “the ease with which we could return in an emergency.” »Jon Lovette | Photographer’s Choice RF | Getty Images “By bringing our own food, we reduce the need to travel to overcrowded or unsafe areas. Looking at places that offered a variety of outdoor activities, we can get the fresh air and sun that we have been missing for several months. “”[My children] have all been vaccinated, but our grandchildren have not. With careful planning, we plan to visit and play with them this summer. “- Dr Sharon Nachman, Division Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Travel plans are undecided” I don’t have any concrete plans yet. I live in California and might decide to visit local destinations within driving distance with my husband for a few days just for a break. We can also decide to fly to Hawaii. Hawaii requires pre-departure and upon arrival testing. My husband and I are adults indeed and are both vaccinated now, and that’s part of the reason we’re comfortable with considering domestic travel at this point. We will definitely be wearing masks and goggles during the trip. “For longer flights, Dr Supriya Narasimhan said she would consider booking a business class ticket because” the empty middle seat is no longer there, the airlines make fewer trips, and many are quite full. “Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images” International travel is a whole other consideration. We would like to visit family in India this summer because we haven’t seen them for 18 months, but India is experiencing a surge. … People don’t reliably disguise themselves on flights and the era of empty middle seats is on. [in the] past, therefore contracting Covid during the trip is a very real risk, made more complex by the emergence of new variants. “” In the experience of my institution, post-vaccination Covid is rare, and we have not yet seen a severe case after vaccination. I am confident in our vaccines, but I will do my part to further reduce my risk by diligently masking myself when I am with other people. “- Dr Supriya Narasimhan, Chief Infectious Disease Officer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center My wife and I will be traveling by plane to visit relatives on the East Coast. We will wear masks and be mindful of maintaining social distancing throughout the terminal as well as on board. “” My wife and I are fully immunized, as are the family we will be visiting. The vaccine rollout and its impact on state-mandated pre- and post-travel testing and post-travel quarantines [were] crucial to our plans. If there had always been quarantine requirements, we would have delayed the trip until these were lifted – not because of fears of infection, but simply because of the practical implications. Dr. Charles Bailey said he plans to clean the surfaces of his flight, including the seat arms and controls, tray and seat pocket “lip.” Craig Hastings | Moment | Getty Images trip had included young children who had not yet been fully immunized, we would have considered the CDC’s recommendation for pre-trip and post-trip travel testing as well as the possible implications of a post-trip quarantine period in terms of concerns the dates of return to school. Checking out any requirements or expectations of schools they would return to in the fall would also have been a reasonable idea. “- Dr. Charles Bailey, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Providence St. Joseph Hospital and Providence Mission Hospital” Like many Americans, my family also plans to travel this summer. This summer, four of our family would love to travel to Lima, Peru, and take a trip to experience the many delights of this country, including historic Machu Picchu. Seventy-two hours before boarding the plane, we will take a Covid-19 PCR test to protect ourselves and others. “” Airports and public transport are expected to be more congested than last year. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all travelers be vaccinated. As health care providers, my wife and I are both fully immunized and our [adult] children will be vaccinated before our travel activities. “” It is important before making travel arrangements to any destination you are seeking … the rate of infectivity … should be less than 5%. “” Data can change quickly, and it’s important to follow current guidelines and recommendations from local authorities. “- Dr Ramon Tallaj, chairman of the board of Somos Community Care in New York Editor’s note: Peru is currently the subject of a level 4 Covid travel advisory by the CDC. According to the website of the CDC, travelers should avoid travel to Peru.



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What are the most overrated places to travel? Travel writers share everything | Instant News



Bucket list destinations have high expectations – and often large crowds, too. While overtourism can wreak havoc on many vacation destinations, that’s not the only reason vacations miss the mark. Here, travel writers who contribute to CNBC’s Global Traveler share the worst disappointments of their professional careers. Stonehenge, United Kingdom “Although I can have my passport withdrawn for saying this as an Englishman, I found Stonehenge to be really disappointing.” It didn’t help. that at the time i was a university student working as a tour guide, so [I] had to convince 45 Americans on our bus that they were about to have a life-changing experience: seeing up close a 4,500-year-old testament to man’s relentless creativity, brilliance and spiritualism. in the rain, a collection of large, somewhat abandoned gray stones, about 30 meters away – as close as possible. A broken down truck on a busy road past the site didn’t really help with the mystical reveal. “- Chris Dwyer, UKHa Long Bay, Vietnam” The karst-strewn seascape of northern Vietnam is one of the country’s undisputed visual highlights, but the reality of the visit isn’t always so appealing. I have been there several times – first as a tourist and then on a mission – and struggled to see the charm of the destination despite its obvious beauty. Floating communities hawking “sticky” memorabilia and similarly constructed “identikit” boats are two critiques of travel writer Duncan Forgan. The famous Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Linh Pham | Getty Images “From identikit junks that block water to overwhelming excursions to mundane caves and floating communities selling sticky memorabilia, it’s a sightseeing experience that needs an upgrade.” – Duncan Forgan, United Kingdom Bhutan “Curious and fascinated by the stories about the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, did I go? [to Bhutan] to explore the culture and the country and photograph the Paro Tshechu festival. These religious dance festivals started in the 17th century and are definitely worth a visit. The festivities are held in monasteries across the country each year and last for five days. Buddhist monks perform 1300 year old dance rites wearing beautifully embroidered costumes and colorful masks. Although Bhutan performs well in its own internal index of ‘gross national happiness’ (a measure invented in Bhutan in the 1970s ), the country ranks 95 out of 156 countries in the 2019 United Nations World Happiness Report, a gap that Bhutanese media have argued is due to differences in the criteria and methodology of the survey. by Petra Loho “As Bhutan bans independent travel, a local tour guide and driver accompanied me on my trip Discussions with them revealed the lack of prospects Bhutan’s younger generation face – limitations in terms of education, no work, no money. ”I knew that moving freely between cities and changing the ad hoc route was not allowed. My two escorts even tried to keep me away from the main streets of the city. Ignoring their protests, I made my way down the small roads. Life there has revealed the disappointing truth of a carefully crafted image for the outside world. Instead of happiness, alcoholism, poverty and violence determine the fate of many people in Bhutan. “- Petra Loho, Austria Machu Picchu, Peru” It was a place I had always dreamed of: a lost city, in the Andes, hidden from the rest of the world. “I knew that there was no road connecting this Inca kingdom to the outside world, and that to get there, you had to take a train and then a bus, or walk the rugged Inca trail for 10 days. Lack of time. , I opted for the train from Cuzco. The locals selling overpriced trinkets in the aisles may have been a signal for me to adjust my expectations. Tourists visit the Machu Picchu complex on April 24, 2019. PABLO PORCIUNCULA BRUNE | AFP | Getty Images “The buses were packed with people who looked like me. Barely able to maneuver around each other, they made a few hairpin turns – choked by the exhaust fumes of others. vehicles – up to the top of the mountain. A crowd of vendors surrounded the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. “For a moment, a breathtaking view of the magnificence unfolded before me as if I had just woken up from ‘a dream – until a long line of people under the direction of a red flag The tour guide walked down the rocky staircase where I was standing, almost knocking me over. “Everywhere I walked, wherever I looked, there were people thronged, huddled together, waiting to squeeze through an archway or hallway to get the perfect selfie. People mingling was slow and laborious. , and all I wanted to do was jump off the narrow path we all had to follow. “I managed to escape the crowds to gaze at the landmarks and vistas for just a few minutes. a while before others come, trying to do the same. It was exhausting and demoralizing. When I finally sat down on the train, I felt relieved to be away from the masses, but sadly dissatisfied that I had barely experienced – and not even seen all of – the sacred “lost city of the Incas”. “- Kevin Cox, United States, Venice, Italy” The uniqueness of the atmospheric canals, medieval bridges and crumbling iconic palaces of this floating city puts Venice firmly on many lists. sailing the port of Venice on the last leg of a memorable Crystal Serenity Adriatic Antiquities cruise was a dream come true. Once landed in the sweltering heat of August – nostrils assaulted by the suffocating stench of ancient canals – and reality set in. The increase in the number of tourists to Venice has prompted the local government to control the ticket office for the city’s famous “vaporetto”, or water bus. Marco Secchi | Getty Images News | Getty Images “Long lines of hot and sweaty tourists waited for overpriced gondolas and vaporettos run by irritable workers in the tourism industry (not Venetians themselves – hardly anyone actually lives in Venice). C was a salutary reminder that I had broken a cardinal European rule. Travel: don’t visit big cities in summer! Choose April, May or even June. Or wait until things cooler in September or October. “- Verne Maree , South Africa Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto, Japan “The bamboo forests of Arashiyama have been weighed heavily by their Insta-worthy fame. Because everyone who strives for that perfect moment on social media is waiting for the groups to dissipate before taking their photos there, the crowds never disperse along the green expanses. Another reason to go to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – the area around Gioji Temple. Courtesy of Morgan Awyong “In all You honestly have seen similar bamboo swabs in Vietnam and China. But those looking for a dose of tranquility in Arashiyama can find it at the end of a trail: Gioji Temple has a moss garden, maple trees, and undisturbed bamboo groves. “- Morgan Awyong, Singapore Choquequirao, Peru” We were in Peru, a country that has treasures beyond measure. Even Machu Picchu, which is so excited you might think it could never live up to expectations, was utterly amazing. Our last adventure was a hike to Choquequirao, another ancient Inca site. “When we told the locals where we were going, they greeted the news in disbelief. We didn’t know, it’s a tough trip. [It’s] all uphill to get there, although normally the mountains are covered in clouds. Not this time. It was hot; the sun was fierce. Its rays bounced off the shale on the laces that burned our eyes. And it’s just warmer. Also, there was no time to linger because we were on a short timeline. It is the “only surviving image” of writer Carrie Hutchinson’s trip to Choquequirao after her computer “died” on her return from Peru, she said. At sunset, after two extremely difficult days, we arrived in Santa Rosa. In the distance we could see the doors. That’s when the guide told us that we wouldn’t have time to go to the ruins. It took another two hours. on foot, and he had to get us back to Cusco in less than 48 hours. “Disappointed? Oh, just a little. It would be great to come back someday, but this time I would make sure there was enough time to enjoy it.” – Carrie Hutchinson, Australia.



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