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Travel insurance: more expensive with age?

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If you’re 60 or older and would like to travel abroad, you’ll need to make room in your budget for travel insurance. However, the cost increases as you get older. Here’s what you should know.

The price of protection
An insurance policy that costs $1,000 for a 65-year-old couple can easily double in price for a 75-year-old couple. This augmentation will typically occur even if there aren’t any pre-existing health conditions. Insurance providers tend to assign a much higher level of risk to certain age brackets.

How to shop around
Given the high cost of travel insurance, it’s essential that you shop around when planning your trip. Unsurprisingly, your overall health will have an impact on the kind of coverage you can get. This also applies to the basic travel insurance offered by credit card providers, the terms of which may change once you reach a certain age.


The best thing to do before booking a trip is to speak to an insurance broker so they can help you get the best policy available.

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This summer, visit attractions that are close to home!

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If you want to go on a vacation this year without venturing far, consider making your summer holiday a staycation. You can explore new destinations in your own backyard and revisit your favorite nearby attractions. This type of getaway doesn’t require passports or packing, and it can be just as exciting as vacationing abroad.

Whether you plan to travel by yourself, with a partner, or with your family, there’s no shortage of destinations. Keep an eye out for monuments, parks, art galleries, museums, public markets, entertainment venues, and other local attractions to explore.

Vacationing in your neck of the woods is a fun, easy, and affordable way to enjoy your time off. Visit your municipality’s website to learn more about what your region has to offer.

 

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Virtual tourism: Discover the world from home!

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Do you dream of traveling around the world to discover different cultures, incredible monuments, and amazing works of art? If your finances, the pandemic, or other concerns are preventing you from taking a trip, virtual tourism may be right for you. This year for National Travel and Tourism Week, consider giving it a try.

What is it?
Virtual trips can take many forms. They can involve watching a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) movie or using a special application that works with Google Street View technology. Other platforms offer VR tours, allowing you to put on a helmet that gives you the experience of being somewhere else. Additionally, the video game industry is creating immersive games that allow players to explore different places and times.

What can you see?
If you enjoy the arts, you can use Google Arts & Culture and similar applications to browse museums as if you were there. It’s a chance to admire popular paintings up close. For those who prefer the outdoors, there are several national parks around the world you can visit thanks to live image feeds. As for historical periods, Ubisoft’s Discovery Tour offers video games that let players explore Ancient Greece or Egypt.

What are the benefits?
Virtual tourism allows you to visit cultural and historical sites at your leisure, free of charge or at a low cost, without having to leave your living room. You can explore places that are normally accessible to the public as well as many that aren’t. Discover ancient art at the Lascaux Cave or, thanks to 3D modeling, monuments that are now destroyed.


There are many places to explore using virtual technologies. All you need to do is choose your next destination.

National Travel and Tourism Week takes place from May 2 to 8, 2021. Visit the U.S. Travel Association’s website (ustravel.org) for more information.

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China travel is out this year, but you can still prepare

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Maybe you’re dreaming of your vacation to the ancient cities of China.

The bad news is that travel restrictions make it unlikely to arrange this year, but you’ll have plenty of time to plan for a trip of a lifetime to a country that offers a dramatic contrast to many western countries.

Most travel advisors recommend hiring a reputable guide or participating in a tour, and there’s a reason for that.

Language is a major issue. You can try learning some Mandarin, the most widely spoken Chinese dialect, on a language app. But people spend decades learning to actually communicate in Mandarin. It’s not like learning Spanish. At least English speakers know the alphabet. At a minimum, some words are familiar. But Mandarin has five different tones, so the word ‘ma’ can mean mom or horse. For English speakers, even distinguishing the tones may elude them for years. So, while you can try language apps, they might only give you a command of some basic words, which might be helpful.


Although Mandarin is the oldest continuously used language, every part of China has different dialects. Your collection of Mandarin words may not be understood by everyone.

Even hand signals are different. You can hold up your index finger to indicate one. But be sure not to bend it, because that might mean eight to the person you are speaking to. Or it might mean one. Just depends on where in China you are.

Be careful about taking pictures or videos. If you see a demonstration of some sort, walk away. Never take a photo.

No matter where you go, always carry the name and address of your hotel in Chinese characters on a slip of paper, even if you have a guide. You must also carry your passport everywhere, so make absolutely sure you have digital copies and photocopies of all your documents.

Beware of the traffic. In a country so fond of rules and behavior norms, traffic in China (and many places in Asia) is weirdly chaotic. Don’t trust the green pedestrian lights at crossings. Look before you walk.

Taxis must be hailed from a marked taxi stand. Be sure the meter is on and get ready for a wild ride, according to Intrepid Travel.

Finally, right now, the only people who can travel are in the diplomatic service, airline crews, people from China with family, and people who are going to China to work. A negative COVID test is required, along with a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

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Vaccine passport may boost travel industry

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The global travel industry is still reeling from worldwide coronavirus travel restrictions.

According to CNN, the world remains largely locked down, and if the current travel restrictions continue, 2021 demand could recover to just 38 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic levels. While this would represent an improvement over 2020, when international travel demand was just a quarter of the previous year, it’s still a devastating number for the travel industry.

One proposal for easing travel between countries is the so-called “vaccine passport,” which would provide documentation for individuals who have been vaccinated. President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order requesting that government agencies assess whether paper and digital vaccination documents would be feasible, according to the New York Times. Advocates hope that vaccine documentation would allow travelers to move without the need for quarantines, testing, and other restrictions.

According to the Irish Times, some airlines have already suggested that vaccine passports might eventually be required if they wish to fly. The bureaucratic hurdles are appeared steep, however, as individual countries are likely to set their own rules. But even in the early stages of vaccine passport development, it seems likely that travelers will carry their documentation in a digital wallet or as a paper QR code that can be scanned.


In an interview with the New York Times, Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, says that consistent rules are necessary to restart the tourism economy.

Tourism accounts for approximately 10 percent of the global GDP and a similar share of jobs, according to CNN, making the recovery of the travel industry all the more vital for the world’s economic health.

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Planning a summer vacation? What countries are open for travel?

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If you’ve got a serious case of cabin fever, you’re not alone. March marks a full year since anyone in the U.S. could travel without concern over COVID-19, and many Americans are itching to go somewhere.

But where to? Normally, March is borderline late for booking summer travel. This year, much is still unknown, including the most important question: Which countries will be open for travel?

As of late winter, U.S. News and World Report said that more than 50 countries were available, including a number of tropical locations like Bermuda and the Bahamas, plus popular destinations like Costa Rica, Chile, French Polynesia, Ireland, and Jamaica.

In most cases, travelers needed to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure (time frames varied) and in some cases, you will need a travel authorization letter. Some countries had additional protocols once tourists arrive, including quarantines, health screenings, or random testing.


If you’re making plans for summer, consider purchasing travel insurance, as countries may change their travel rules at the last minute. Also, visit the U.S. State Department’s website, which provides risk assessment by country, from Level 1 (take normal precautions) to Level 4 (Do Not Travel). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control website also has guidelines for travel.

Most countries also have their own websites devoted to travel guidelines, or you can check their embassy websites.

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4 tips for traveling alone

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One of the joys of retirement is the freedom to travel more often. In particular, taking a trip alone allows you to explore what and where you want on your own terms. Here are some tips for first-time solo travelers.

1. Test it out close to home
Before you book a month-long holiday on the other side of the world, go on one or shorter trips in your region. This will give you a sense of how you feel when you’re alone for several days in an unfamiliar location.

2. Start with “easy” destinations
Until you get accustomed to traveling alone, visit places where you can communicate in the local language, and easily access tourist attractions by public transportation.

3. Opt for a cruise or group tour
This type of trip can ease feelings of loneliness and vulnerability. You can choose from an array of packages and itineraries and select whether you want an all-inclusive experience or a more open-ended one with multiple city stops and free time to explore.


4. Connect with people
Travel provides you with the opportunity to interact with interesting people and make new friends. Whether you’re among tourists or mingling with the locals, be open to making new connections.

For help planning a vacation that meets your interests, needs, and budget, be sure to speak to a local travel agent.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jun
16
Wed
4:00 pm Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Jun 16 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Messy Makers and Art Adventures for Kids @ microWave Project
We are bringing back two of our most popular classes for the month of June, Messy Makers and Art Adventures! Messy Makers returns for the month of June on Wednesdays from 4-5 pm. With the warm weather[...]
6:30 pm Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
Jun 16 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Diamonds and Pearls Gala @ Holiday Inn & Suites
You’re invited to Reaching Out Now Leadership Program! Join us as we celebrate the resiliency of our girls. Our current girl leaders will continue to carry the torch, lighting the way for our future girl[...]
Jun
17
Thu
6:00 pm FRWRC WomanGathering @ ONLINE
FRWRC WomanGathering @ ONLINE
Jun 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
FRWRC WomanGathering @ ONLINE
CLICK HERE for link to attend. Host: Eka Kapiotis Guest Speaker: Mary Cook, microWave Project Topic: Art and Mindfulness: Creating small waves of change in our community through art. Free Event – Virtual via Zoom[...]
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Purceville Cannons Thursday, June 17th @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun
18
Fri
8:00 pm Ben-David Warner musical event @ Mountain View Music
Ben-David Warner musical event @ Mountain View Music
Jun 18 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ben-David Warner musical event @ Mountain View Music
Green Mantle Arts and Lecture Series is proud to present our first musical event for the summer, Ben-David Warner! Ben-David Warner IRISH AMERICANA FROM THE HEART OF VIRGINIA Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Ben-David Warner lives[...]
Jun
19
Sat
6:00 pm Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Jun 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Karaoke Sing-along @ Bushel Pub
Come join the sing-along and karaoke fun at Bushel Pub (inside the Apple House) on June 19, 2021, from 6pm-9pm.
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Woodstock River Bandits Saturday, June 19th @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun
20
Sun
1:00 pm A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
Jun 20 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
A Benefit for James @ Virginia Beer Museum
 
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 20 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects of beekeeping from hive[...]
Jun
21
Mon
9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jun 21 @ 9:00 am – Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]