Will travel costs change as vaccines roll out?


The cost of travel will slowly rebound from historic lows as more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations and book long-deferred trips, according to industry experts.

This time last year, air traffic in the U.S. plummeted, with 95 percent fewer travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in April 2020 compared with April 2019. This reduced demand led to a corresponding decrease in airfare prices.

The average cost of a domestic round-trip ticket in the second quarter of 2020 dropped 28 percent from the same period in 2019, down to $259, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Few travelers were monitoring these prices at the time since so few were booking flights. But now, with COVID-19 vaccinations opening the possibility of travel to millions more Americans each week, prices are once again set to change.

If you’re one of those would-be travelers, experts cautiously advise booking your travel soon. Much remains uncertain, but prices are unlikely to return to 2020 levels.

Flight demand set to take off

Experts who track travel deals and consumer interest say demand for airplane seats is likely to increase, driving prices back up.

Domestic airfare prices are expected to rise 4-5 percent every month until summer 2021, said Adit Damodaran, an economist with Hopper, a travel search tool. “A lot of that is based on the vaccination rollout.”

And this increased demand might combine with decreased supply. Airlines scaled back routes and flight frequency in 2020, parking aircraft and furloughing staff. They may be slow to return capacity to pre-pandemic levels, even as bookings pick up steam.

“Airlines are burning so much cash, so what we’re seeing is that they’re slowly expanding supply,” said Jesse Neugarten, who founded the flight deal newsletter Dollar Flight Club. “If we have to shut down travel again, they don’t want to get caught in a similar situation as they did in 2020.”

Hotel prices may rise slowly

Hotel prices have also dropped during the pandemic, though not as uniformly. Room rates in February in New York City were down 37 percent year-over-year according to Hopper’s data, while small-town hotels saw only a 5 percent dip. This reflects a larger exodus from crowded cities during the pandemic. This pattern could reverse as vaccinated travelers flock back into metropolitan areas later in 2021, driving prices up.

But tourism accounts for only part of travel demand. Business travel, which has all but ceased during the pandemic, will likely be slower to return. This could keep hotel prices low throughout 2021, especially in large cities. It could also suppress airfare prices somewhat, even as more tourists take to the skies.

Booking flexibility likely to continue

Neugarten, who tracks flight deals, points to a changing travel landscape that extends beyond considerations of supply and demand. The pandemic changed how airlines and hotels handle flexibility, with many eliminating change and cancellation fees altogether. This, in turn, has changed the logic for how and when to book travel.

“I’m not going to book last-minute because I can get a good deal if I’m booking three months in advance,” Neugarten said. “There’s a lot of incentive to book a deal now because of the flexibility.”

Furthermore, the travel trends that mark a typical year remain in flux. Memorial Day and July Fourth travel could follow unusual trends, especially in terms of when bookings will occur.

“The traditional events of the year in travel are simply not happening, so there isn’t the same ‘best time to book’ that we would normally see,” said Mark Crossey, travel expert for Skyscanner, a flight search tool.

And then there is the question of international travel. Many countries have limited tourists, particularly from the U.S., and these restrictions may remain even as more travelers receive vaccinations.

“We’re not expecting an increase in prices for international airfare until May,” said Damodaran. And changing prices are unlikely to be geographically uniform, as countries update their policies one by one. Damodaran noted that Hopper is seeing the strongest interest in Caribbean and Latin American destinations.

Uncertainties abound. Vaccine distribution hiccups could dampen prices, as could surges in COVID-19 variants. Flexible booking options, although good for customers, could lead to mass rebookings later in the year. And volatile oil markets could impact airfare prices, as they do in normal years.

Despite these unknowns, experts remain cautiously confident that those looking to book 2021 travel should do so sooner rather than later. Greater flexibility reduces the risk of changing plans, and increased travel demand is unlikely to drive prices below current levels.

“I booked a one-way (flight) to Portugal in July for $109,” Neugarten says. “We’ll see if I get the vaccination before. If not, I’ll push it out.”

— By Sam Kemmis

Kemmis is a travel rewards expert at NerdWallet specializing in airline and hotel loyalty programs. He is the founder of MyTravelNerd, a personalized travel newsletter. His work has been featured by Fast Company, The Points Guy and The Onion.

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Will travel costs change as vaccines roll out?


(NerdWallet) – The cost of travel will slowly rebound from historic lows as more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations and book long-deferred trips, according to industry experts.

This time last year, air traffic in the U.S. plummeted, with 95% fewer travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in April 2020 compared with April 2019. This reduced demand led to a corresponding decrease in airfare prices.

The average cost of a domestic round-trip ticket in the second quarter of 2020 dropped 28% from the same period in 2019, down to $259, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Few travelers were monitoring these prices at the time since so few were booking flights. But now, with COVID-19 vaccinations opening the possibility of travel to millions more Americans each week, prices are once again set to change.

If you’re one of those would-be travelers, experts cautiously advise booking your travel soon. Much remains uncertain, but prices are unlikely to return to 2020 levels.

Flight demand set to take off

Experts who track travel deals and consumer interest say demand for airplane seats is likely to increase, driving prices back up.

Domestic airfare prices are expected to rise 4%-5% every month until summer 2021, said Adit Damodaran, an economist with Hopper, a travel search tool. “A lot of that is based on the vaccination rollout.”

And this increased demand might combine with decreased supply. Airlines scaled back routes and flight frequency in 2020, parking aircraft and furloughing staff. They may be slow to return capacity to pre-pandemic levels, even as bookings pick up steam.

“Airlines are burning so much cash, so what we’re seeing is that they’re slowly expanding supply,” said Jesse Neugarten, who founded the flight deal newsletter Dollar Flight Club. “If we have to shut down travel again, they don’t want to get caught in a similar situation as they did in 2020.”

Hotel prices may rise slowly

Hotel prices have also dropped during the pandemic, though not as uniformly. Room rates in February in New York City were down 37% year-over-year according to Hopper’s data, while small-town hotels saw only a 5% dip. This reflects a larger exodus from crowded cities during the pandemic. This pattern could reverse as vaccinated travelers flock back into metropolitan areas later in 2021, driving prices up.

But tourism accounts for only part of travel demand. Business travel, which has all but ceased during the pandemic, will likely be slower to return. This could keep hotel prices low throughout 2021, especially in large cities. It could also suppress airfare prices somewhat, even as more tourists take to the skies.

Booking flexibility likely to continue

Neugarten, who tracks flight deals, points to a changing travel landscape that extends beyond considerations of supply and demand. The pandemic changed how airlines and hotels handle flexibility, with many eliminating change and cancellation fees altogether. This, in turn, has changed the logic for how and when to book travel.

“I’m not going to book last-minute because I can get a good deal if I’m booking three months in advance,” Neugarten said. “There’s a lot of incentive to book a deal now because of the flexibility.”

Furthermore, the travel trends that mark a typical year remain in flux. Memorial Day and July Fourth travel could follow unusual trends, especially in terms of when bookings will occur.

“The traditional events of the year in travel are simply not happening, so there isn’t the same ‘best time to book’ that we would normally see,” said Mark Crossey, travel expert for Skyscanner, a flight search tool.

And then there is the question of international travel. Many countries have limited tourists, particularly from the U.S., and these restrictions may remain even as more travelers receive vaccinations.

“We’re not expecting an increase in prices for international airfare until May,” said Damodaran. And changing prices are unlikely to be geographically uniform, as countries update their policies one by one. Damodaran noted that Hopper is seeing the strongest interest in Caribbean and Latin American destinations.

Uncertainties abound. Vaccine distribution hiccups could dampen prices, as could surges in COVID-19 variants. Flexible booking options, although good for customers, could lead to mass rebookings later in the year. And volatile oil markets could impact airfare prices, as they do in normal years.

Despite these unknowns, experts remain cautiously confident that those looking to book 2021 travel should do so sooner rather than later. Greater flexibility reduces the risk of changing plans, and increased travel demand is unlikely to drive prices below current levels.

“I booked a one-way (flight) to Portugal in July for $109,” Neugarten says. “We’ll see if I get the vaccination before. If not, I’ll push it out.”

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

More From NerdWallet

Sam Kemmis writes for NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif.

The article Will Travel Costs Change as Vaccines Roll Out? originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Copyright 2021 NerdWallet via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



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Airlines are making it more expensive to change or cancel travel plans


Many major airlines are in the process of phasing out “Peace of Mind” waivers which were instituted at the start of the pandemic and allowed flyers to change or cancel a flight without any fees.

According to Zach Griff, a senior reporter and travel analyst with The Points Guy, before the pandemic, it used to be around $200 dollars to change a flight but airlines suspended the fees and in August United became the first major airline to permanently eliminate change fees. American and Delta soon followed.

The move essentially replaced the Peace of Mind waiver which most major airlines are trying to phase out by the end of May.   

PANDEMIC TRAVEL WAIVERS SET TO EXPIRE:
• American 3/31
• Frontier 3/31
• Spirit 4/5
• United 4/30
• Delta 4/30
• Alaska 4/30
• Hawaiian 4/30
• Jet Blue 5/31

LOW BUDGET AIRLINE INFORMATION:
• Allegiant Air – Open-ended waiver
• Sun Country – Pre-pandemic fees since Summer 2020
• Southwest – Does not charge fees

There are exceptions including basic economy tickets which will revert to non-refundable and non-changeable

Griff adds there’s another positive by-product of the pandemic–the prices of refundable tickets are much, much more reasonable.

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!

“Before the pandemic, these fairs used to be astronomical,” says Griff. “So New York to London was maybe a $1000 round trip and regular coach, but around $10,000 round trip refundable coach. So what they’ve done and they’ve really, really, really reigned in on some of those super extreme high fares.”

According to Griff, a flight from New York to LA with a major airline could cost as little as $50 to upgrade to a fully refundable fare.  

“I’m looking at tickets for myself just to go from New York to LA and with United, it was only $50 more to purchase a fully refundable ticket. And in my mind that was like, ‘Oh for $50, I’m basically buying myself COVID insurance because if I got sick? Or what if I have to change my flight?'” 

And that money would go right back on his card.

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Shopping for flights? Change fees and other pre-pandemic penalties are back or returning soon on cheapest tickets – USA TODAY



Shopping for flights? Change fees and other pre-pandemic penalties are back or returning soon on cheapest tickets  USA TODAY



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How to repair cracked skin as temperatures change, according to dermatologists


Washing your hands is very important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and when coupled with cold weather, all that hand-washing can come at a cost: dry, cracked skin.

Alcohol-based formulas and soaps can take a toll on your skin after awhile, especially when washing your hands several times a day.

For some tips to keep your skin in tact, we spoke to New Jersey-based dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt, who’s board-certified and the Medical Director of BAXT CosMedical in Paramus.

“Severe hand and wrist dryness from over-washing is a condition I see multiple times a day during the coronavirus pandemic,” Dr. Baxt told NJ Advance Media. “To prevent it, it requires using moisturizer every time the hands are washed.”

Dr. Baxt recommends the following products, depending on severity.

Severe

“If the skin is very cracked and raw, the thing to use is an ointment such as Vaseline, Aquaphor or Vanicream,” Dr. Baxt said. “These tend to be a bit greasy, so sometimes it is hard to use them many times a day, but at the very least twice a day — morning and evening.”

All three products are readily available at big retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or your local drug stores.

Moderate

“The next level down would be a cream — Neutrogena Norweigan formula is a popular option, but any moisturizing cream would be good as an alternative to the ointment if it is too greasy,” Dr. Baxt said. “Lotions are good, but often too thin in this scenario.”

One other very popular hand cream product out there is O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream, which is less than $8.

Maintenance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds each time, but if your hands need a break from harsh soaps, hand sanitizer is an alternative.

“Once it’s healed, I actually recommend hand sanitizer as a less drying alternative to constant washing with soap,” Dr. Baxt said.

The most popular hand sanitizer brands are Purell and Germ-X, which offer bottles in bulk as well as travel sizes.

Other skincare tips

Dr. Anjali Mahto, a dermatologist in London, has been posting skincare tips on Instagram throughout the pandemic. Two skincare tips Mahto gives are to use an anti-microbial hand wash and to wear a “hand mask” at bed in the form of cotton gloves.

If you don’t want to wear gloves while sleeping, there is a lotion called Gloves In A Bottle that creates a pair of “invisible gloves.”

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Nicolette Accardi can be reached at naccardi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter: @N_Accardi. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips





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Here are 8 ways travel will change after the pandemic


With coronavirus cases continuing to spike in America and abroad, travelers with a United States passport remain grounded. To date, just nine countries are open to Americans without restrictions. If Belarus, Serbia, Zambia or any of the other six countries on that list aren’t in the cards, then travelers itching to get on an international flight will have to wait.

How long is still unknown. Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, notes that the pandemic “decimated” the $8 trillion global travel industry overnight. “Those essential pillars of 21st-century global travel—open borders, open destinations, and visa-free travel—won’t return in the short term or even medium term,” she says.

What does that mean for the future of travel? Despite the turbulence, experts are seeing blue skies. Bruce Poon Tip, author of Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still and the founder of travel company G Adventures, says not only will we travel again, we’ll do it better. “I still believe travel can be the biggest distributor of wealth the world has ever seen,” he says. “This pause gives us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously.”

From a renewed commitment to sustainable tourism to creative ways to globetrot from home, here’s how travel authors, bloggers, and podcasters are navigating.

(Related: These 25 destinations inspire future journeys and remind us why we love to travel.)

Sustainability will be a driving force

One silver lining of the pandemic? Consumers are doubling down on sustainability. Becker predicts travelers will take on the role of “concerned citizens” demanding responsible travel policies. The industry will respond with active measures to prioritize a healthy world over profit margins. “Don’t be surprised if countries mandate ‘fly-free days’ and other measures to control climate change,” she says.

Take action: Reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing offsets with companies such as Cool Effect and by staying at certified green hotels. Check sites like Book Different, which rates accommodations for eco-friendliness.

(Related: Here’s how Greece is rethinking its once bustling tourism industry.)

Our journeys will become more inclusive

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the issue of representation to light in all industries, including travel. That’s overdue, says Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon. The award-winning journalist and TV host says she hopes the industry is moving toward meaningful change but worries that any change may be short-lived. “When the pandemic is past and the hashtags are no longer trending, will industry gatekeepers still be eager to attract, cater to, and celebrate travelers of color?” she writes in an email. “I’m cautiously optimistic but not completely convinced.”

Black Travel Alliance’s Martinique Lewis feels the industry is moving in the right direction and remains hopeful. She notes that companies are addressing the needs of diverse customers and says it’s about time. “For the first time they are considering what a trans female goes through not only when choosing what bathroom to go in at a restaurant, but when she checks into a hotel and her license shows a different person,” says Lewis. “Now plus-size travelers wanting to surf and scuba but can’t because the lack of wetsuits in their size are being acknowledged. Now blind travelers who still want to experience tours and extreme sports while on holiday are thought of.”

Take action: Visit one of the nearly 200 living history museums in the U.S., where historic interpreters portray figures from the past. They shed light on painful issues (such as racism in America) and hidden narratives (such as those of people of color, whose stories have been suppressed).

Small communities will play a bigger role

Travelers can make a difference in small towns that were already struggling economically before the pandemic. Caz Makepeace of Y Travel Blog says she and her family have always traveled slowly to lesser-known areas, “rather than racing through destinations.” Now she’s supporting these places by patronizing local businesses and donating to nonprofits.

Kate Newman of Travel for Difference suggests travelers focus on “global south” or developing countries that depend on tourism. “We need to diversify our locations to avoid mass tourism and focus on the places that really need it,” she says. “Seeing so many communities suffer during COVID-19 has brought [this issue] to light.”

Take action: Turn to sustainable tourism educational and advocacy nonprofit Impact Travel Alliance to learn how to empower locals and protect the environment.

We’ll seek quality over quantity

High-mileage travelers are putting more thought into their bucket lists. “COVID-19 has allowed me to rethink how and why I travel,” says Erick Prince of The Minority Nomad. “It’s given me the freedom to explore travel projects for passion instead of the paycheck.” Rather than focusing on paid gigs, the blogger, who lives in Thailand, says he’ll be embarking on a self-funded project to highlight off-the-beaten-track provinces in his adopted country.

Eulanda Osagiede, of Hey Dip Your Toes In, is putting the breaks on international trips, citing travel as a privilege many take for granted. “Privilege comes in many forms, and the act of recognizing our travel-related ones have called us to think about traveling more intentionally and less often—if ever the world begins to look similar to its pre-pandemic days.”

Take action: Check the Transformational Travel Council for resources and recommendations on operators who can help organize meaningful journeys.

The road trip will kick into high gear

For many, road trips may be the only feasible option for travel right now, and frequent fliers like Gabby Beckford of Packs Light are revving up. Driving across state lines can be just as exciting as flying across international borders; it’s about the mindset. “Road-tripping has shown me that the core of travel—curiosity, exposure to newness, and wonder—[is] a perspective, not a destination,” she says.

Take action: Plan a coronavirus-conscious trip to Colorado, home to superlative stargazing sites—and what may become the world’s largest Dark Sky reserve.

(Related: Check out these eight epic drives across America.)

Travel advisors will become essential

Conde Nast Traveller sustainability editor Juliet Kinsman predicts a shift to booking travel through agents and established operators, noting their invaluable knowledge and industry connections. “I think what 2020 has shown and taught us is the expertise and financial protection of booking through a travel agent often outweighs the amount you pay in commission,” she says. Additionally, she hopes that consumers will look to agents who specialize in the environment. “Those who care about where they send their customers can intuitively cut through greenwash and really ensure every link in the supply chain is an honorable one,” she says.

Combine one silver aircraft hangar, two gargantuan 1980s Pin Art toys, a spark of silver screen, and you’re halfway to imagining this college campus on Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard, designed by Morphosis architects in 2008. Platforms and bridges connect dorms to classrooms, offices, cafés, and film labs. Certified LEED Gold, the building features automated sun-shade fins that open and close as needed for heat regulation.

Emerson Los Angeles

Combine one silver aircraft hangar, two gargantuan 1980s Pin Art toys, a spark of silver screen, and you’re halfway to imagining this college campus on Los Angeles’s Sunset Boulevard, designed by Morphosis architects in 2008. Platforms and bridges connect dorms to classrooms, offices, cafés, and film labs. Certified LEED Gold, the building features automated sun-shade fins that open and close as needed for heat regulation.

Photograph by Raimund Koch-View, Alamy Stock Photo

Take action: Find a travel advisor: The American Society of Travel Advisors maintains a database that allows travelers to search by destination, type of journey (such as eco-tourism or genealogy), and cohort (such as LGBTQ+ travelers). Virtuoso, a network of advisors specializing in luxury travel, can help with good deals, convenient itineraries, and tailored experiences.

We’ll appreciate staying closer to home

Some are discovering the benefits of travel even at home. Blogger Jessie Festa of Epicure & Culture and Jessie on a Journey normally travels internationally once a month. These days, online cultural cooking classes, games, and virtual experiences are helping her “to keep the spirit of travel alive by considering the feelings that travel elicits,” she says. Exchanging postcards with her extended travel community is another “beautiful way to ‘experience’ travel again, safely,” she adds.

“When we compare everything to being locked up indefinitely in our respective towers, a walk to the park can feel like travel,” says blogger Chris Mitchell of Traveling Mitch. “Now people are willing to see the magic in a meal on a patio at a restaurant down the street.”

Take action: Get outside, says the Norwegian concept “friluftsliv,” an idea of outdoor living that promises to make the pandemic’s colder months more bearable.

(Related: Here’s why walking is the ideal pandemic activity.)

Planning trips will become joyful again

Although some people are making the best of being grounded, this difficult period is reminding them that travel is important for boosting mental health and personal growth. There’s research to back it up. A 2013 survey of 483 U.S. adults found that travel improves empathy, energy, attention, and focus. Planning a trip is just as effective—a 2014 Cornell study showed that looking forward to travel substantially increases happiness, more than anticipating buying material goods.

Joanna Penn can attest to the healing benefits of both. The U.K.-based author and podcaster behind The Creative Penn and Books and Travel normally travels to research her books. “For me my writing life is all about what I learned when I travel,” she said in a recent podcast, “the ideas that come from being someplace new.” Her future trips will include walking the Camino de Santiago in 2022. Studying maps and determining a route makes her feel like she’s working toward a real goal. “I can expand my comfort zone without too much stress, especially if I accept that things might get canceled,” she said.

Take action: Plan a trip now, with inspiration from this essay on why travel should be considered an essential human activity.

Steve Brock is a writer and photographer located in the Seattle, Washington, area. Follow him on Instagram.





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Here are 8 ways travel will change after the pandemic


With coronavirus cases continuing to spike in America and abroad, travelers with a United States passport remain grounded. To date, just nine countries are open to Americans without restrictions. If Belarus, Serbia, Zambia or any of the other six countries on that list aren’t in the cards, then travelers itching to get on an international flight will have to wait.

How long is still unknown. Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, notes that the pandemic “decimated” the $8 trillion global travel industry overnight. “Those essential pillars of 21st-century global travel—open borders, open destinations, and visa-free travel—won’t return in the short term or even medium term,” she says.

What does that mean for the future of travel? Despite the turbulence, experts are seeing blue skies. Bruce Poon Tip, author of Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still and the founder of travel company G Adventures, says not only will we travel again, we’ll do it better. “I still believe travel can be the biggest distributor of wealth the world has ever seen,” he says. “This pause gives us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously.”

From a renewed commitment to sustainable tourism to creative ways to globetrot from home, here’s how travel authors, bloggers, and podcasters are navigating.

Sustainability will be a driving force

Tourists crowd St. ​Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy, in 2013. In the wake of the pandemic, experts predict there will be more interest in visiting less-crowded places.

One silver lining of the pandemic? Consumers are doubling down on sustainability. Becker predicts travelers will take on the role of “concerned citizens” demanding responsible travel policies. The industry will respond with active measures to prioritize a healthy world over profit margins. “Don’t be surprised if countries mandate ‘fly-free days’ and other measures to control climate change,” she says.

Take action: Reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing offsets with companies such as Cool Effect and by staying at certified green hotels. Check sites like Book Different, which rates accommodations for eco-friendliness.

Our journeys will become more inclusive

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the issue of representation to light in all industries, including travel. That’s overdue, says Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon. The award-winning journalist and TV host says she hopes the industry is moving toward meaningful change but worries that any change may be short-lived. “When the pandemic is past and the hashtags are no longer trending, will industry gatekeepers still be eager to attract, cater to, and celebrate travelers of color?” she writes in an email. “I’m cautiously optimistic but not completely convinced.”

Black Travel Alliance’s Martinique Lewis feels the industry is moving in the right direction and remains hopeful. She notes that companies are addressing the needs of diverse customers and says it’s about time. “For the first time they are considering what a trans female goes through not only when choosing what bathroom to go in at a restaurant, but when she checks into a hotel and her license shows a different person,” says Lewis. “Now plus-size travelers wanting to surf and scuba but can’t because the lack of wetsuits in their size are being acknowledged. Now blind travelers who still want to experience tours and extreme sports while on holiday are thought of.”

Take action: Visit one of the nearly 200 living history museums in the U.S., where historic interpreters portray figures from the past. They shed light on painful issues (such as racism in America) and hidden narratives (such as those of people of color, whose stories have been suppressed).

Small communities will play a bigger role

Travelers can make a difference in small towns that were already struggling economically before the pandemic. Caz Makepeace of Y Travel Blog says she and her family have always traveled slowly to lesser-known areas, “rather than racing through destinations.” Now she’s supporting these places by patronizing local businesses and donating to nonprofits.

Kate Newman of Travel for Difference suggests travelers focus on “global south” or developing countries that depend on tourism. “We need to diversify our locations to avoid mass tourism and focus on the places that really need it,” she says. “Seeing so many communities suffer during COVID-19 has brought [this issue] to light.”

Take action: Turn to sustainable tourism educational and advocacy nonprofit Impact Travel Alliance to learn how to empower locals and protect the environment.

We’ll seek quality over quantity

High-mileage travelers are putting more thought into their bucket lists. “COVID-19 has allowed me to rethink how and why I travel,” says Erick Prince of The Minority Nomad. “It’s given me the freedom to explore travel projects for passion instead of the paycheck.” Rather than focusing on paid gigs, the blogger, who lives in Thailand, says he’ll be embarking on a self-funded project to highlight off-the-beaten-track provinces in his adopted country.

Eulanda Osagiede, of Hey Dip Your Toes In, is putting the breaks on international trips, citing travel as a privilege many take for granted. “Privilege comes in many forms, and the act of recognizing our travel-related ones have called us to think about traveling more intentionally and less often—if ever the world begins to look similar to its pre-pandemic days.”

Take action: Check the Transformational Travel Council for resources and recommendations on operators who can help organize meaningful journeys.

The road trip will kick into high gear

For many, road trips may be the only feasible option for travel right now, and frequent fliers like Gabby Beckford of Packs Light are revving up. Driving across state lines can be just as exciting as flying across international borders; it’s about the mindset. “Road-tripping has shown me that the core of travel—curiosity, exposure to newness, and wonder—[is] a perspective, not a destination,” she says.

Take action: Plan a coronavirus-conscious trip to Colorado, home to superlative stargazing sites—and what may become the world’s largest Dark Sky reserve.

Some high-mileage travelers say they plan to focus on meaningful experiences at out-of-the-way areas, like Chimney Tops in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Travel advisors will become essential

Conde Nast Traveller sustainability editor Juliet Kinsman predicts a shift to booking travel through agents and established operators, noting their invaluable knowledge and industry connections. “I think what 2020 has shown and taught us is the expertise and financial protection of booking through a travel agent often outweighs the amount you pay in commission,” she says. Additionally, she hopes that consumers will look to agents who specialize in the environment. “Those who care about where they send their customers can intuitively cut through greenwash and really ensure every link in the supply chain is an honorable one,” she says.

Take action: Find a travel advisor: The American Society of Travel Advisors maintains a database that allows travelers to search by destination, type of journey (such as eco-tourism or genealogy), and cohort (such as LGBTQ+ travelers). Virtuoso, a network of advisors specializing in luxury travel, can help with good deals, convenient itineraries, and tailored experiences.

We’ll appreciate staying closer to home

Some are discovering the benefits of travel even at home. Blogger Jessie Festa of Epicure & Culture and Jessie on a Journey normally travels internationally once a month. These days, online cultural cooking classes, games, and virtual experiences are helping her “to keep the spirit of travel alive by considering the feelings that travel elicits,” she says. Exchanging postcards with her extended travel community is another “beautiful way to ‘experience’ travel again, safely,” she adds.

“When we compare everything to being locked up indefinitely in our respective towers, a walk to the park can feel like travel,” says blogger Chris Mitchell of Traveling Mitch. “Now people are willing to see the magic in a meal on a patio at a restaurant down the street.”

Take action: Get outside, says the Norwegian concept “friluftsliv,” an idea of outdoor living that promises to make the pandemic’s colder months more bearable.

Planning trips will become joyful again

Although some people are making the best of being grounded, this difficult period is reminding them that travel is important for boosting mental health and personal growth. There’s research to back it up. A 2013 survey of 483 U.S. adults found that travel improves empathy, energy, attention, and focus. Planning a trip is just as effective—a 2014 Cornell study showed that looking forward to travel substantially increases happiness, more than anticipating buying material goods.

Joanna Penn can attest to the healing benefits of both. The U.K.-based author and podcaster behind The Creative Penn and Books and Travel normally travels to research her books. “For me my writing life is all about what I learned when I travel,” she said in a recent podcast, “the ideas that come from being someplace new.” Her future trips will include walking the Camino de Santiago in 2022. Studying maps and determining a route makes her feel like she’s working toward a real goal. “I can expand my comfort zone without too much stress, especially if I accept that things might get canceled,” she said.

Take action: Plan a trip now, with inspiration from this essay on why travel should be considered an essential human activity.

Steve Brock is a writer and photographer located in the Seattle, Washington, area. Follow him on
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Italy holidays: Latest FCO travel advice as Italian rules change amid covid – news | Travel News


“Pharmacies are widely available and are usually identified by a green cross.

“UK prescriptions are not accepted though you may be able to buy an equivalent medication from the pharmacy.

“Alternatively you can visit an Italian GP or Guardia Medica Turistica (where available) to obtain a local prescription.

“Prescription medicines are not free in Italy but with an EHIC or GHIC, and an Italian prescription, you will pay a reduced rate.”

The government advises getting a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK.





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iOS 14 pro tip: One setting change for better photos


Having a new kitten about means that I’m taking a lot more photos. But trying to get a good photo of something that continually moves and squirms (even when sleeping) is tricky.

And it was made all the harder because Apple hid a handy Camera app feature.

Must read: Ninja Cookie: This browser extension is the ultimate productivity hack

Prior to iOS 14, if you held down the shutter button in the Camera app, the iPhone would go into “burst mode,” taking a bunch of photos that allowed me to go back and find the best one.

But now in iOS 14, pressing and holding down the shutter button switches to video recording mode. That itself is a nice feature, but I want the old “burst mode” feature back.

It’s there, but again it’s hidden. And it’s also changed how it works.

Head over to Settings > Camera and you’ll see a setting called Use Volume Up for Burst.

Here's the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Here’s the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Now, rather than holding down the shutter button, I have to remember to hold down the volume up button.

But it’s nice to be able to quickly choose between shooting a burst of photos or shooting a quick video.

It’s a nice change. And I really like having a physical button to press on. It’s easier to find and gives me proper tactile feedback, unlike a button on a screen.

UPDATE: A reader sent me a note via Twitter (thanks, Wolfgang!) to point out that there’s another way to access “burst mode,” and that’s by pressing and holding down while simultaneously sliding the button to the left if in portrait mode or down if in landscape. 





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