Ready to head outdoors and take in the fresh air and awe-inspiring views? Here are six ways to get out into nature this summer and have fun doing it.
1. Hiking. Head into the woods for a day of walking through the wilderness. Hiking trails are easily found all across the country, so pick one that matches your skill level and enjoy the excursion.
2. Horseback riding. Riding is a great way to connect with an animal while tramping through the woods with friends.
3. Camping. What better way to get back to nature than with a few days of camping? Escape the hustle and bustle of modern life so you can enjoy sleeping under the stars.
4. Kayaking. This type of paddling is ideal for most outdoor explorers, whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a relaxing afternoon on the water.
5. Cycling. If you’re looking for a way to combine sightseeing with exercise, use bike paths and trails to explore a region’s must-see treasures.
6. Bird watching. Find a quiet spot on a bird reserve and keep your eyes peeled. This is the perfect way to spot birds and other animals in their natural habitat. If you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded by seeing a variety of wildlife.
Large parks are among the best places to participate in these activities. Consider spending time exploring national and state parks in your area this summer. All of this is our own backyard.
Virginians would accept no less than $265 each in airline compensation for flight cancellations, survey reveals.
Within just the first six months of 2022, nearly a quarter (24%) of U.S. flights have been delayed, of which the consequences have been exacerbated due to the surge in travel demand (dubbed ‘revenge travel‘) following pandemic restrictions being eased. By July, more flight cancellations had occurred than there were throughout the entirety of 2021. The Department of Transportation has said airlines should bear the brunt of the blame due to flight overscheduling, followed by confusing guidelines on compensating passengers in refunds or vouchers for these inconveniences.
The cancellation cost revealed… FamilyDestinationsGuide.com surveyed 3,014 travelers and asked, hypothetically: ‘If an airline was to bump you off a flight, how much compensation would you accept to do so?’
Unfortunately for airlines, it seems this inconvenience caused to passengers doesn’t come cheap. The average traveler from Virginia said they would accept an amount no less than $265 to compensate for the inconvenience of having their booking canceled or rescheduled on a different flight. This compares to a national average of $283.
When broken down across states, this figure was highest in Alaska, where the average traveler would accept no less than $534 for the inconvenience caused by a flight cancellation or rebooking. Comparatively, travelers in Delaware appear to be more understanding of these kinds of cancellations and would accept an amount of just $86.
The Department of Transportation is creating a website that aims to provide travelers with an explanation of each airline’s policies when it comes to flight delays and cancellations, making it easier for passengers to understand their rights. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, has also called these travel disruptions “unacceptable,” saying that U.S. airlines should offer meal vouchers to passengers suffering flight delays and hotel lodging accommodations for those stranded overnight. Despite this, more than half (65%) of respondents said they don’t believe the department is doing enough to help travelers in this regard.
According to Department of Transportation data, 3.2% of domestic flights were canceled by U.S. air carriers within the first six months of 2022. Given this, 61% of travelers said they believe flight cancellations have become the new norm. And given how these delays and cancellations have increased exponentially over the past few years, 69% also said they’re not optimistic that the travel situation will improve this year.
On a scale from 1 to 10 (with one being the least confident), the average traveler ranked themselves an average 5 in terms of being confident that their flight will not be delayed.
This explains why 53% also said that due to the increasing number of air carrier delays and cancellations, they’re actually more likely to travel to their destination by road instead of avoiding the risk of airport travel inconveniences completely. It seems the fuel cost is cheaper than the cost of inconvenience caused by airlines – and that’s saying something!
‘The Department of Transportation is essentially telling U.S. carriers that they need to do far more to support passengers when they are forced to endure delays and cancellations due to flight overscheduling,’ says Rose Ackermann at FamilyDestinationsGuide.com. ‘The department’s upcoming website launch aims to compile all information about airline guidelines in this regard, making it more accessible for travelers to understand their rights regarding compensation and refunds. Before booking your vacation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your chosen airline’s policies in terms of cancellations and delays. This may help you plan the rest of your trip accordingly, in case any of these inconveniences occur, thus alleviating the stress of having to deal with too much hassle on your holiday.’
5 ideas for a dream retirement vacation
One of the best things about retirement is that you can use your free time to take the luxurious vacation you’ve always wanted at any time of year. If you’re ready to unwind and take a break from your routine, here are five vacation ideas that may inspire you.
1. Trip. Treat yourself to a complete change of scenery and discover another country’s culture, landscapes, and flavors.
2. Road trip. Travel from one end of your country or state to the other. Visit all the places you never got to see during your working years.
3. Festival. Go to a festival of your choice. Whether you’re passionate about music, classic cars, or art, let loose and enjoy yourself.
4. Cruise. Lounge on the sun deck, enjoy stress-free entertainment, and participate in excursions at the various ports of call.
5. Rental. Rent a cottage or villa in a picturesque location where you can practice various activities like hiking and swimming.
Don’t forget to ask about reduced rates for seniors to help you save some of your hard-earned money.
5 passport tips
If you intend to travel internationally, you’ll need a passport. Here are five valuable tips to avoid any travel headaches.
1. Inspect it
When you receive your new passport, ensure that all the information is correct. If everything looks good, sign it with a blue or black pen. If there’s an error, immediately report the mistake so the is¬sue can be fixed.
2. Store it
Keep your passport in a safe place. Ideally, it should be stored in a cool, dry place that’s not easy for others to access. You may also want to consider keeping your passport in a waterproof pouch.
3. Check it
Before planning a trip, make sure your passport isn’t damaged and that it’s still valid. You should also verify the expiry date. Some countries require your access to be good for several months after your departure date. Therefore, make sure your passport meets the entry and exit requirements for the country you want to visit.
4. Protect it
When you travel, keep your passport in a safe place and never leave it unattended. Additionally, don’t put any personal information in your passport absolutely necessary.
5. Report it
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, report the issue to the relevant authorities immediately. Once you get home, visit your nearest government office to apply for a new one.
Remember, if you need help understanding the passport and visa requirements for your destination country, you can ask your tour company representative or travel agent for help.
How to prepare for a solo trip
Traveling alone can be an empowering experience. Here are a few tips to help you make your trip a success.
Define your itinerary
Determine the duration of your trip. This will allow you to create your itinerary as well as choose your modes of transportation and select accommodations. Once these details are sorted, you can set a budget, create a schedule and make reservations.
Do some research
Gather relevant information to make your trip as hassle-free as possible. For example, find out if you need certain vaccinations or a visa to cross over borders. Additionally, look up the country’s currency and exchange rate, review local laws and customs and write down the contact information for the American embassy in the country you’re visiting.
Make the necessary calls
Call your bank to tell them you’re going on a trip. This will prevent you from having your credit card declined or blocked while you’re abroad. Additionally, you can take this opportunity to inquire about bank fees for withdrawals and payments. You should also purchase travel insurance and research international phone and internet plans.
To book your trip, reach out to a travel agent in your area.
5 good reasons to book your cruise early
If you’ve been dreaming of going on a cruise, here are five good reasons to book your trip today.
You’ll guarantee your spot
Cruise ships fill up quickly, especially those sailing to well-known destinations. Therefore, if you book early, you’ll be sure to get a seat.
You can choose your cabin
Booking your cruise in advance allows you to select a cabin that meets your needs and budget. Splurge on a suite or opt for a more budget-friendly interior cabin.
You can lock in the date
If you book your cruise early, you can choose the dates that suit you best. This is especially important if you have to take time off work or want to go on a cruise for a special occasion like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
You can take advantage of low rates
If you avoid waiting till the last minute to book your cruise, you’ll get a better price. Additionally, you’ll have more time to shop around for the best deal.
You can make flexible payments
If you book your cruise early, you won’t get stuck paying for the entire trip in one lump sum. You’ll be able to make monthly installments instead, which will allow you to budget for your vacation.
To arrange your next cruise, contact your local travel agency.
Traveling for English-only speakers
Do you long to visit far-flung destinations, but hold off on your travel plans because you only speak English? There’s no need to abandon your dreams — with a little planning, the world is still wide open and waiting for you.
According to Berlitz, English is the language most widely spoken in the world, with nearly twice as many non-native speakers (about 753 million) as native speakers (379 million). It’s the default language in international business, technology, and tourism, and in many urban areas around the world or popular tourist destinations, English speakers get around just fine. If you’re a novice traveler or nervous about language barriers, consider visiting one of these countries where English travels well.
- Belize: English and Spanish are the official languages in this beautiful Caribbean nation. About 82 percent of citizens are fluent in English, according to Travel Off Path.
- Nigeria: More than 500 languages are spoken in this large and diverse West African country, according to Fodor’s, but the state language is English and travelers get around well in the largest city, Lagos.
- Sweden: About 86 percent of Swedes speak English and most speak it well, according to Thrillist.
- India: Only 12 percent of the population speaks English (which is one of the official languages), according to Thrillist, but in India, that’s about 166 million people. You’ll find English speakers everywhere, especially in big cities.
- Malta: About 89 percent of citizens speak English in this sunny Mediterranean country, which is known for its great food and architecture, according to Thrillist.
If you dream of visiting a country with lower English fluency, don’t let the language barrier hold you back — learn a few useful phrases and download a translator app, or try a tour with a guide who knows the area and speaks the language. People get around language barriers all the time, and you can, too.