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Toting everything from sewing machines to human skulls, these flyers took left TSA agents scratching their heads. What strange items have our Globe Aware volunteers packed in their luggage!?


 

From bats to skeletons, travelers have actually flown with these 13 strange items fit for Halloween

Ashley Kosciolek
Oct 26 2021

Last month, I was preparing to pack for a Disney cruise — one of Disney Cruise Line‘s Halloween on the High Seas sailings — and I needed to find out if I would be allowed to fly with a lightsaber to complete my costume.

Cue TSA’s hilarious answer to that question: “Sadly, the technology doesn’t currently exist to create a real lightsaber. However, you can pack a toy lightsaber in your carry-on or checked bag. May the force be with you.”

That got me wondering about other weird stuff people have flown with. I polled members of The Points Guy’s TPG Lounge on Facebook, and some of the answers were so fun — and seasonally appropriate — that I had to share them. Toting everything from sewing machines to human skulls, these flyers took “spooky szn” to a whole new level — and left TSA agents scratching their heads.

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Decorations and creepy bric-a-brac

Grinning jack-o-lanterns: “I live in the U.S. Virgin Islands but spend time in Connecticut during the summer,” TPG Lounge member Jenn Manes shares. “I had to fly back to the island for a quick, 24-hour work thing at the end of July. I didn’t need to bring much, so I packed my suitcase with Halloween decorations.”

Skeletal replicas: Jill Greenblatt, Ophir Marko and Jerri Tolson Tryon have made it through security with replicas of skeletons and even a fake human head. While Greenblatt — who was working on a play where the skeleton was a prop — says she didn’t get a second look from TSA, Marko, who brought a child-size skeleton home for his children, and Tolson Tryon both had their bags searched. “It was used to demonstrate radiography [when] I was selling radiography film for DuPont,” Tolson Tryon elaborates. “I got some second (and third … and supervisor) looks. [I] carried it on the plane in what appeared to be a bowling ball bag.”

Goth memorabilia: For his tale of odd cargo, Dan Eskenazi takes a stroll down memory lane: “[I’m] from Salem, haven’t lived at home in years. [Recently] went through some totes [from] when I was goth. Found some cool Halloween-type stuff and filled my carry-on. Got weird looks when scanned by security.” The haul? He tells us it included tarot cards, three voodoo dolls and a devil’s puppet head, among other items.

Dollies dearest: Darlene Crouthamel says she was stopped on her way to a vintage doll convention because of the voice boxes inside the dolls she was carrying. “… I … had Chatty Cathy talking dolls in my carry-on and had to explain to TSA what they were because their talking mechanisms look suspicious in X-ray,” she remembers. When asked if they started conversing inside her bag, she says, “Only when I pulled the string to demonstrate. However, we’ve had some mysteriously talk on their own here at the house.” Cue the goosebumps.

Candy

Cauldron Cakes: Now that we’ve covered the decorations, what’s Halloween without a bit of candy — especially the magical kind? “I brought Cauldron Cakes from Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the TSA agents were properly stumped by them in the X-ray,” Chelsie Spacke tells us.

Gummy bears: I’m a sucker for gummy bears, so this one catches my attention — particularly as Drew Tipton tells us that he lugged 50 pounds of them back to the U.S. from abroad. “I was bringing them back because my wife used to work with disadvantaged kids,” he explains. “She used them as treats because I got all sorts of different ones that you can’t get here stateside.”

Extra-large trick-or-treat bags: Angie Clouse brings us the story of a treat-filled (albeit embarrassing) trip home from Disney with her daughter Lauren. “My college-aged daughter and I had been to the Disney Halloween party. Her backpack and carry-on were filled with only candy. She’d been flirting with the guy behind her in the TSA line — until she had to empty bags to go through the screener, which took up three TSA bins.”

Costumes

Weapons (real and fake): Pre-9/11, weapons — such as the replica Fiji war club Katie Isaacson took with her on a flight — were allowed as carry-ons. Thankfully, Mieke Lisuk realized she had to check the authentic six-foot-long, hand-carved hunting spear she brought back from Borneo. But Lynn LaChance Solak wasn’t so lucky: “I bought my son-in-law a decorative fiberglass steampunk pistol in Key West. Really not sure what I was thinking, but I thought it would be OK to pack it in my carry-on…. Of course [TSA] said I couldn’t … so I had to turn around and go purchase a small piece of luggage at an airport gift shop and check it in.”

Freaky fashion: TPG Lounge moderator Gloria Lee laments what can go wrong when you decide to dress festively to fly. In her case, the ensemble included a jack-o-lantern dress, purple and black striped tights, and an orange and black fascinator. “Got stuck in the airport overnight on 10/31 due to bad storms,” she says. “‘Super cute’ on 10/31 turns into ‘walk of shame’ on 11/1.”

Sewing machine: Impressively, Laurene Christensen didn’t bring a costume on her flight, but she did bring an entire sewing machine to a conference (in her checked luggage) in order to make one for her daughter in her downtime while she was there. Now that’s dedication.

Remains

Shrunken head: So far, most of the items on this list have been quirky, rather than spooky, but these last few are what’s left of beings that were once animate — both people and animals. For starters, Heather L. Arnold told us the strangest thing she ever took on a plane was an “Antiques Roadshow”-bound shrunken head. Yikes!

Taxidermic bat: “I brought home a [taxidermic] bat in my carry-on … earlier this year,” Becki Hyde shared. And she’s not the only one. At least two others — including Eskenazi, who mentions a mounted bat as part of his goth collection — say they also flew with them.

Cremains: Out of the several hundred answers I received, cremains was the single most common, with more than a dozen people saying they transported their loved ones’ ashes to their final resting places. Most were human, but some were what was left of furry friends, too. Sadly, it wasn’t smooth sailing for all of them. “In spite of a letter from the crematorium and [the ashes’] passing easily through the X-ray, the TSA folks still insisted on sifting through the ashes to make sure no contraband was inside the case,” remembers Dean Mazurek.

Globe Aware volunteers can learn these helpful tips for their first volunteer vacation in Cuba, as the country prepares to resume international tourism.


 

Top 6 Helpful Travel Tips for Your First Visit To Cuba

The island nation of Cuba is a place that many tourists would like to experience. Although the country is open for tourists, it has many specific requirements for travel. There are many things you need to know before you visit this unique country. Read on to get these helpful travel tips for your first visit to Cuba.

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The Best Time to Visit Cuba
The best time to visit Cuba would be the shoulder season between December through April. The prices for accommodations and tours would be considerably less than the peak season. The weather will also be warm and mild during this time.

What You Need To Arrive in Cuba
Visitors to Cuba will need a visa to enter the country. For Americans, the visa process is complex, and you can enter Cuba if you fit into a specific category.

Canadian tourists travelling to Cuba must fill out a tourist visa, also known as a tourist card. The card is usually provided by tour companies or airlines. If you go to Cuba on your own, you can obtain it from a Cuban government office.

Before you board your plane, you will need to show evidence of a departing flight from Cuba.

Appropriate travel insurance is a must before traveling to Cuba. You may be asked to show proof of insurance at the airport.

It is best to have hard copies of all your travel related documents on you. This includes hotel reservations, travel insurance, tour bookings, etc.

Using Your Cell and WIFI in Cuba
Some cell phone providers are now providing specific roaming packages for Cuba. Check with your provider to see what travel packages may be offered.

Cuba does not have free WIFI. You will need to purchase a card called ETECSA. This is a small scratch card that you use to access network hotspots in the cities. Some hotels do sell cards for up to five hours of internet service, but they will usually only offer this to their guests. Even with this, the internet service in the country is very slow, and it may interfere if you have work to do online.

There are not any US websites that will work in Cuba. Do all your travel research well in advance before your trip, and print any useful information, maps, etc. for easy reference.

Most travel websites such as Booking.com, etc. will not work in Cuba. It is highly recommended that you book all accommodation and activities well in advance to make your trip as pleasant as possible.

Money Matters in Cuba
Make a travel alert with your bank that you will be traveling to Cuba.

The easiest way to withdrawal money from your bank account with your card is to go to a CADECA. These are places for currency exchange and are located in many hotels.

Debit and credit cards from US banks will not work in Cuba. Hotels do not have credit card machines, and transactions are usually done over the phone. Your best bet is to go to a CADECA and get cash to pay your bill. It is good to note that credit cards including Visa and Mastercard and banks cards that have their logos will work as long as they are not issued by US banks.

Cuba has a modestly expanding network of ATMs but make sure to bring enough cash for times you can’t locate a bank machine.

Other Tips For Your First Visit to Cuba
It is not recommended that you drink the tap water in Cuba. Keep a supply of bottled water handy for consumption.

The options for buying groceries in Cuba is limited. Most supermarkets have limited supplies consisting mostly of canned goods, pasta, and bread. Your best bet for fresh fruit and vegetables is to find a local street market.

Keep a plentiful supply of prescriptions and your usual over the counter medications with you. If you get sick in any way, you will probably not be able to any of this medication anywhere on the island.

In Cuba, there is usually an attendant at most public bathrooms. Keep a few coins handy to pay the attendant for use of the facility.

More Tips for Cuba Travel
The power plugs in Cuba are the 110v receptacles that are standard in North America.

Tipping is common and expected in Cuba. Most people that work in the service industry have very low salaries and rely on the tips from tourists to support their families.

Be aware of people that may try to con you by pretending to be helpful. Some of these people would expect payment for restaurant recommendations or directions. As always do not flaunt luxury jewelry and signs of wealth.

Be prepared to spend time waiting in lines during your trip to Cuba. Life still moves very slowly here, so it does not matter whether you are waiting for currency exchange or purchasing goods, you will be waiting on line for it.

Entry Requirements: All international arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken less than 72 hours before arrival to Cuba at the port of entry. All travelers will also be required to fill out a health declaration card before being allowed entry in Cuba. Travelers will also be subject to a PCR test at the port of entry and a mandatory period of self-isolation (at your hotel) until they receive the result of the PCR test.

Each year, travelers weigh in on their favorite international cities, and the results of our survey reflect the kinds of places you longed to visit when you couldn’t travel. Globe Aware is delighted to see Merida, Mexico included on the list and recommend our volunteer vacation there to everyone!


 

The Best Cities in the World: 2021 Readers' Choice Awards

The places inspiring your return to travel.

BY VALERIE MARINO
Condé Nast Traveler
October 5, 2021

Each year, readers weigh in on their favorite international cities, big and small, and it’s always exciting to witness which trending locales can rise to the top and compete with the old stalwarts. As the world has begun to reopen, the results of our 34th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey reflect the kinds of places you longed to visit when you couldn’t travel and the ones you returned to first once you could. Over 800,000 of you filled out our survey, and while we’re always curious about where you’ve been and where you’re going, we’re especially excited to learn about the truly memorable cities that sparked your imagination and stayed with you when your next trip seemed out of reach. Here are the cities you loved most this year.

From historical sites to local art, signature dishes to sun-washed beaches, there’s something for everyone among these small international cities.

10. Kralendijk, Bonaire
Divers and snorkelers will be familiar with the lure of Kralendijk, the capital of the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. The Bonaire National Marine Park is the world’s oldest marine reserve and spans the entire coast with more than 85 dive sites, but you’ll find just as much color and beauty on land. The compact downtown is home to traditional architecture, unique shops along Kaya Grandi, and the Bonaire Museum of Natural History (entry is free, but donations are welcome), with its collection of shells, coral, and local artifacts.

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9. Galway, Ireland
A popular home base for day trips to the Aran Islands or the Cliffs of Moher, Galway is a worthy destination in its own right. The bustling university town in Western Ireland blends the historic—you’ll see remnants of medieval stone walls weaving through downtown—with the contemporary, and its thriving art and music communities earned the city the title of European Capital of Culture in 2020. Its vibrant food scene spans from pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants, with plenty of fresh seafood thanks to the city’s location between the River Corrib and Galway Bay, and its wide range of lodging options includes cozy B&Bs and the avant-garde g Hotel and Spa.

8. Reykjavik, Iceland
What is there to say about Reykjavik that hasn’t been splashed across your Instagram feed in recent years? While the ultra-cheap flights might be a thing of the past, there’s still plenty to see and experience in the Icelandic capital, including the otherworldly lagoons, hot springs, and active volcanoes right in the city's backyard. Airbnb is often the best choice for lodging, but venture east of the city to the 5 Million Star Hotel (known as The Bubble Hotel for its transparent bubble rooms) for an experience you won’t find elsewhere. The toughest decision is when to visit. You’ll find the best weather (and 21 hours of sunlight) from June to August, but peak season for the magical Northern Lights is from September through March.

7. Cambridge, United Kingdom
A city that seems locked in time thanks to the architecture of the world-famous university at its heart, Cambridge offers an idyllic setting with its cobblestone streets, green spaces, and magnificent buildings. Pop into one of the city’s pubs (there are more than 100 to choose from) to pull a pint, or tuck into the “world’s stickiest” Chelsea buns at Fitzbillies. King’s College Chapel, the most recognizable building in town, puts on a show as a stunning example of Gothic architecture, as do The Backs, the postcard-perfect gardens found behind Cambridge’s colleges.

6. Bruges, Belgium
Close your eyes and picture a quaint European city, and Bruges just might be what comes to mind. One of the most famous and well-preserved cities on the continent, Bruges exudes charm from every cobblestone and canal. The Belfry of Bruges is hard to miss, towering 272 feet over the market square, but be warned that it’s a cramped 366 steps to the top if you choose to enjoy the view. For a more leisurely way to take in the sites, hit the water with a canal tour before sampling the wares at one of the city’s excellent breweries.

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik saw a massive spike in tourism after being featured as the filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, and while you won’t find any mad kings (or queens) here in real life, the beauty of this city at the edge of the Adriatic is very real. Wander the limestone streets and walk along the ancient city walls, or take a short ferry ride to the island of Lokrum. Here, you can hike through the botanical garden, catch a glimpse of the wild peacocks, and climb to the top of an abandoned 11th-century monastery for stunning panoramic views.

4. Siena, Italy
Traveler readers know better than to overlook the Tuscan city of Siena. All roads lead, quite literally, to the Piazza del Campo, built at the intersection of three main roads, and the square has served as the city’s social center for centuries. Just up the hill, admire the intricate marble mosaic floor of Il Duomo, one of the most ornate churches in Europe. Siena is known for its Gothic architecture, vibrant streets, and some of the best wines in Italy. Order a bottle of local wine with a plate of pici cacio e pepe at Antica Trattoria Papei, and don’t leave town without sampling ricciarelli, an almond cookie originating in Siena.

3. Salzburg, Austria
Classic Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, sits divided by the Salzach River: Its pedestrian Old City lines the left bank, and the (slightly) newer side is on the right. To drink like a local, head to Bräustübl zu Mülln, Austria’s largest beer hall, where beer is drawn directly from wooden barrels and can be enjoyed alongside traditional and regional specialties from the Schmankerlgang, an Old World food court of sorts. For a hotel stay involving gingerbread cookies, falling snow, and the fluffiest beds, look no further than Hotel Goldener Hirsch.

2. San Sebastián, Spain
San Sebastián has everything you could want from a seaside resort town—especially if you arrive hungry. Pintxo (or “small snack”) bar hopping is commonplace in Basque country, and you’ll find no shortage of options in Parte Vieja, the heart of the city. During the day, head to Playa de la Concha to lounge on the beach or take in surfer culture in Gros. A favorite vacation spot of Queen Maria Cristina in the late 1800s, San Sebastián has retained much of its splendor, which you’ll find in the breathtaking views from the top of Monte Igueldo.

1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Four hours northwest of Mexico City is the jewel of San Miguel de Allende. A hub for expat artists, this highland city is known for its Spanish Colonial architecture and colorful facades. You could spend hours browsing the galleries and pop-up shops at Fábrica La Aurora, a former textile factory that is now home to local artisans. The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is a hidden oasis in the heart of the city, with grand rooms featuring hand-carved furnishings and 360-degree views of the skyline from the rooftop tapas bar. For dinner, book the chef’s table at Aperi for one of the best dining experiences in the city, full of fresh flavors from the region.

Best Big Cities

Your favorite big international cities include destinations beloved for food, wine, architecture, and art. Some are classic travel spots that many have visited multiple times, while others are slightly less-touristed, but all are equally deserving of your attention.

10. Seoul, South Korea
A modern city with pockets of serene palaces and temples, Seoul is home to some of the most beautiful places in South Korea. At Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Gyeonghoeru pavilion remains almost exactly as it was when it was built back in 1395, while many of the traditional buildings at Bukchon Hanok Village now host tea houses and galleries. The city is also a shopper’s paradise, whether you’re stocking up on Korean beauty products or high-street fashion. When it comes to lodging, check in to the Park Hyatt Seoul for upscale convenience or La Casa Hotel for a boutique alternative.

9. Bangkok
Consistently ranked as one of the most-visited cities in the world, Bangkok has a multifaceted identity that blends history, culture, street style, and luxury like nowhere else. Take in its old-charm architecture in Chinatown or enjoy the view from the top of Wat Arun, one of the few temples in Thailand you can climb. Be sure to have a game plan when it comes to dining—the city has some fantastic street food stalls as well as modern and refined restaurants with opulent dining rooms. The capital's wide-ranging art scene, from a complex of perfectly preserved teak houses to the sprawling Bangkok National Museum, offers a chance to learn about Thai culture—and escape the sweltering heat.

8. Porto, Portugal
Porto, sometimes called Oporto, is a known destination for wine connoisseurs, but there’s much more to this seaside city than its sweet port wine. The modern and traditional meet in Portugal's most creative city, where chefs, artists, and designers are bringing a new spirit to the its old-world appeal. Sites like the Igreja de São Francisco, an opulent display of Gothic architecture, are woven with displays of public art. There’s a similar blend of the modern and traditional at Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, Porto’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, where sea urchin crème brûlée is served with floor-to-ceiling ocean views in a building designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

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7. Marrakech, Morocco
The former imperial city of Marrakech is an experience for the senses. In the medina’s densely packed maze of alleyways, you’ll find spice markets, food stalls, and all sorts of vendors peddling their wares. Spend an afternoon in Sidi Ghanem, an industrial quarter lined with shops and workshops for artists and designers. While the city has long been known as a creative oasis for Europeans, it has more recently become a hub for Africa’s diasporic art world. Start with the Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden before making your way to Comptoir des Mines, an experimental gallery and residency for artists in the region.

6. Mérida, Mexico
The streets of Mérida are bursting with the colorful facades of Spanish colonial architecture, but the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan state is also steeped in Mayan history. Centrally located on the Yucatan Peninsula, the city is an easy day trip to UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the ancient cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, and the beaches on the Gulf shore in Progreso. Locals recommend visiting Fundación de Artistas, a nonprofit featuring art exhibits in a 19th-century home; Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, a modern cultural museum; and the traditional Yucatecan food at the super casual Manjar Blanco.

5. Istanbul
Trite but true: Istanbul is the city where east meets west. It would take several visits to see it all in this sprawling city, but the opulent ​​Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is an excellent choice for your home base with its ornately carved arches and an infinity pool overlooking the Bosphorus Strait. The Seraglio, formally known as Topkapı Palace, is top of the must-do list, as is the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Spend a day making your stomach very happy with a walking food tour, sampling kebabs, menemen, fresh figs, and rainbow-colored Turkish delight.

4. Singapore
We named Singapore one of the best places to visit in 2019 and Traveler readers agreed. Thanks to the direct flight from New York to Singapore (and the lure of Crazy Rich Asians), this bustling city-state is way more than a stopover. Singapore has a growing contemporary art scene, a new hotel seemingly every eight minutes, and a commitment to start-ups and innovation (just see the Supertree Grove, above). All of this is to say, if you visited once before, you may not even recognize it now. Want to relax after a day of exploring? Choose from 1,000 types of gin at Atlas bar, or check into Marina Bay Sands so you have access to that top-of-the-world infinity pool you've heard so much about. Come evening, dig into the city’s hawker culture—you can do a multi-country food crawl without ever leaving the hawker center.

3. Kyoto, Japan
You think you know Kyoto—after all, how much can change in an imperial capital, where you can visit 10th-century temples and pass young geishas in the street? Though it's still one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan, Kyoto has also been reborn following a 2011 earthquake. "Many artists moved to Kyoto, bringing a new energy," says Lucille Reyboz, cofounder of the Kyotographie photography festival; now the city’s leafy, machiya-lined streets are draws for their specialty crafts shops and chic concept stores. There's a thriving gin scene along with the sake scene, and, yes, about 100 Michelin-starred restaurants still. For an authentic meal without Michelin prices, try 200-year-old ryokan Kinmata.

2. Osaka, Japan
​​Japan’s second-largest city is often overshadowed by Tokyo and Kyoto, but there are plenty of reasons it’s become a destination in its own right. For starters, it’s one of the best food cities in all of Japan, thanks to must-eat regional specialities such as takoyaki (battered, fried octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (grilled savory pancakes with a variety of additions), and its baseball culture rivals that of New York or Boston, with similarly devoted legions of fans. Don’t miss Osaka Castle, where the eighth-floor outdoor deck provides unparalleled views.

1. Tokyo
A regular on our best cities list, Tokyo continues to thrill with its contradictions: ultra-modern, neon skyscrapers and tranquil temples, unmatchable street style and centuries-old etiquette. As we've said before, it's like a fever dream you don't want to wake up from. This Japanese capital has more Michelin stars than any other place on earth, and is—no surprise—one of the world’s best food destinations. For just a taste of what the city can offer, pull up a stool and dig deep into a bowl of inventive ramen at Kikanbo, or sample rare Japanese whiskey at Bar Ben Fiddich. Or simply let us plan your first trip for you.

The Southeast Asian country is keen to welcome back international travelers, including Globe Aware volunteers, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies. Reducing the quarantine and adding tests would also be required and those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air.


Covid Travel Update: Thailand Keen to Reduce Quarantine Period For International Travellers

Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies, due to Covid-19, that caused a collapse in tourism.

September 24, 2021 
Nivedita REmail

International Travel News: Here is a piece of great news for international travellers! As countries have started to open their borders for foreign visitors, Thailand’s disease control committee has recently proposed halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals, amid delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist destinations from next month.Also Read - UK Further Relaxes Travel Guidelines, Allows Cheaper COVID Tests For Fully Vaccinated Tourists Including From India

The Southeast Asian country is keen to welcome back international travellers, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019. Also Read - International Flights: US to Allow Fully Vaccinated Foreign Passengers From THIS Date

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“Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travel and foreign students,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required. Also Read - 2021 Covid Outbreak in Delhi Shows Herd Immunity Against Delta Variant Difficult: Study

Under the proposal, to be presented to government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land.

Only Phuket and Samui islands currently waive quarantine for vaccinated tourists, as part of a pilot scheme, according to Reuters report.

Less than a quarter of the estimated 72 million people living in Thailand have been fully inoculated.

Thailand, one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world, is still fighting its most severe wave of coronavirus infections, which has accounted for about 99% of its 1.5 million cases and 15,884 deaths.

Globe Aware volunteers can soon start planning their volunteer vacations in India and Vietnam. India will begin granting tourist visas for the first time in 18 months and Vietnam plans to reopen tourist destinations from December to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed "low risk."


 

Travel news: India, Bali and Vietnam announce opening plans

Maureen O'Hare
CNN
October 9, 2021

(CNN) — This was a pretty good week for the world's wannabe jetsetters. The UK and Israel both cleared out their travel "red lists," while India, Bali and Vietnam all announced reopening plans.

Here are 10 things we learned in pandemic travel this week.

1. The UK cut its 'red list' to just seven countries...

The UK introduced a new system for international travel, relaxing testing requirements for many fully vaccinated travelers and designating destinations either "red" or "green."

From October 11, England is set to remove 47 countries from its red list, leaving only seven red destinations: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

The rules vary in the rest of the UK (that's Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.) Here's the CNN Travel lowdown on what travelers need to know.

2. ...But there was anger over its quarantine rules

There were accusations of discrimination at the start of October when the UK relaxed its inbound travel rules but fully vaccinated visitors from India and many African countries still faced mandatory quarantine in the UK.

The UK has now changed its restrictions so that from October 11, vaccine certificates will be accepted from close to 40 countries that were previously ineligible, including India, Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

The UK's recognized vaccines are Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), or formulations of these.

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3. The CDC lowered the risk category for France, Portugal and South Africa

There was good news for Argentina, France, Iceland, Lesotho, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal and South Africa, and for Americans keen to travel there.

All eight were moved from Level 4 -- the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s highest risk category -- down to Level 3 (which is still "High," FYI). This means the US travel advisory is to be fully vaccinated before traveling there, and to avoid nonessential travel if you're unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, six destinations have moved from Level 3 to Level 4 ("Very High") which means nonessential travel should be avoided by US citizens.

Those destinations are Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Latvia and New Caledonia.

4. India will start letting tourists in this month...

India will begin granting tourist visas for foreign visitors for the first time in 18 months, the country's government announced Thursday.

Tourists arriving by chartered flight will be able to do so from October 15, according to a press release from India's Ministry of Home Affairs. Other arrivals will be permitted from November 15, it said.

5. ...And Bali will gradually reopen too

The Indonesian island of Bali will reopen its airport to international arrivals on October 14, officials have announced.

Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar will begin welcoming arrivals from a select number of countries, according to Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia's minister of maritime affairs and investment.

However, he didn't clarify whether foreign tourists would be permitted. Here's what we know so far.

6. Vietnam plans to fully reopen by June 2022

Vietnam plans to reopen key tourist destinations from December to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed "low risk," Reuters reports, ahead of a full reopening targeted for June 2022.

The country announced in September that it would reopen the popular resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign tourists this month, but that reopening has been postponed until November.

Vietnam still has a way to go when it comes it vaccinating its population: Just over 13% are fully vaccinated, making it one of the lowest rates in Asia.

7. Soon New Zealand will only let foreign nationals enter if they're vaccinated

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the country is moving from eliminating Covid-19, amid a persistent outbreak of the Delta variant, and will instead transition to a strategy of 'living with the virus.'

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in press conferences this week that the country is transitioning away from its Covid-19 elimination strategy and will start using vaccine certificates as early as next month.

From November 1, all foreign nationals entering New Zealand will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Air New Zealand, the country's flag carrier airline, has also announced that passengers on its international flights will need to be fully vaccinated from February 2022. Get the full details in our Covid travel guide to New Zealand.

8. Canada has issued a vaccine mandate for trains and planes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine mandate for rail and air travelers aged 12 and over, as well as for staff.

The mandate will start to be enforced by the end of October, with a short month-long grace period in which negative Covid-19 tests will be accepted. (More details here).

Over in South Asia, from the start of this month Pakistan has been requiring all air passengers aged 17 and over to be fully vaccinated.

9. Israel now lets its citizens travel anywhere

Venturing into the fairy chimneys begins a journey of discovery in this unusual place.

Israel has emptied out its "red" travel list, meaning Israeli citizens and residents can now travel anywhere in the world.

Until October 4, Israelis were still barred from traveling to Turkey, Bulgaria and Brazil because of high Covid rates.

Under current guidelines, travelers returning to Israel who have been vaccinated three times, or twice within the past six months, are only required to quarantine for 24 hours, or upon receipt of a negative PCR test -- whichever comes sooner.

Unvaccinated individuals or those whose second dose was more than six months ago are still required to quarantine for a full week or receive two negative PCR tests.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has also announced that it's working on plans to allow individual vaccinated tourists to visit the country from November. Currently it's only open to small groups of tourists or individuals visiting family members.

10. The airline industry is set to lose nearly $52 billion in 2021

Airlines will lose $51.8 billion in 2021, more than previously forecast, according to an updated outlook from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Net losses for 2020 were also revised higher, to $137.7 billion. More woes are expected next year too -- a $11.6 billion dollar loss is projected. The group expects the industry to return to profitability in 2023, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said October 4 at the group's annual meeting in Boston.

The other big news out of Boston is that the global group of 290 airlines agreed to a resolution committing them to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

CNN's Melissa Alonso, Pamela Boykoff, Matt Friedman, Hadas Gold, Swati Gupta, Marnie Hunter, Masrur Jamaluddin, Lilit Marcus, Francesca Street and Nimi Princewill contributed to this report.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:40

TODAY SHOW: Places to Reinvent Yourself

Globe Aware volunteers flying within the United States may soon need to prove they're likely COVID-free if a proposed bill becomes law. This is in hopes of reducing a potential surge this coming winter.


 

Domestic flyers may need to show proof of vaccination if Senate bill passes

BAILEY SCHULZ AND DAWN GILBERTSON
USA TODAY
September 30, 2021

Domestic flyers within the United States may soon need to prove they're likely COVID-free if a proposed bill Wednesday becomes law.

The U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act, introduced by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, would require all U.S. passengers to be fully vaccinated, fully recovered or test negative for the coronavirus before boarding a domestic flight.

"We know that air travel during the 2020 holiday season contributed to last winter’s devastating COVID-19 surge," Feinstein said in a Wednesday news release. "We simply cannot allow that to happen again."

vaccination 6576827 1920

While testing and or showing proof of vaccination is common for international air travel, domestic U.S. air passengers do not go through the same level of scrutiny.

The bill builds upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current air travel requirement, which has passengers traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery from COVID-19.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Public Health Association support the additional requirements for domestic air travel, according to the release.

"Vaccination is a critical strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccination requirements in multiple settings are an important mechanism to boost vaccination rates, prevent infections and hospitalizations and save lives," Barbara Alexander, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and professor of medicine and pathology at Duke University School of Medicine, said in the release.

Various health experts have expressed support for vaccine mandates on flights. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser and the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in an interview with The Skimm in September that passengers should also be subject to a vaccine mandate in order to fly.

When asked about travel restrictions in a COVID-19 briefing in September, Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response team coordinator, said nothing is off the table. He pointed to the government's move to double the fines for passengers who refuse to follow the federal mask mandate on planes and other public transportation.

But airlines say vaccine mandates could pose logistical issues, with airlines tasked with figuring out the vaccination status for millions of passengers. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said it would "bottleneck the domestic travel system" in an interview with "CBS This Morning" in late August.

The U.S. Travel Association, which promotes travel to the United States, released a statement against vaccine mandates for domestic flights on Sept. 13.

"U.S. Travel has long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel," Tori Emerson Barnes, the group's executive president said in a statement. "Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine."

The bill would also let the Secretary of Health and Human Services develop national COVID-19 vaccination standards and procedures for domestic air travel to prevent future outbreaks and have the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices make recommendations for vaccine use in health care settings.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

Globe Aware volunteers can be excited to learn that Machu Picchu has become the first international destination to obtain the carbon neutral certificate. This means the historical site is an environmentally friendly tourism spot.


 

Machu Picchu is now the world's first carbon neutral tourist destination!

TIMESOFINDIA.COM
|TRAVEL NEWS, PERU
Sep 30, 2021

Machu Picchu has become the first international destination to obtain the carbon neutral certificate. The certification was awarded to the Historic and Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu by the Green Initiative, which is an institution that seeks to promote green and environmentally friendly tourism. The Green Initiative positioned Machu Picchu as a global reference in terms of sustainability.

machu picchu 1631989 1920

As per the certification, it seeks to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions of the Inca citadel, with the intention of reducing 45 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2030 and reaching neutrality in 2050.

To achieve this certification, this popular tourist hotspot adopted several methods. Among all the other actions, Machu Picchu got the certification for installing the only organic waste treatment plant that exists in Peru, to transform garbage into natural coal as well as for having the transformation plant of oil that produces biodiesel and glycerin from vegetable oils, discarded from homes and restaurants in the area.

Apart from this, a reforestation process, led by the National Service of Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP), of one million trees in the spot will be in place to help mitigate climate change.

Another method to compensate for the impact of these emissions will be to purchase carbon credits, which incentivise entities to find solutions to reduce their emissions, thereby reducing the number of credits purchased over time. As per the reports, this mechanism will be overseen by the UN’s Climate Change model.

Thursday, 23 September 2021 16:43

Rising Stars: Meet Kimberly Haley-Coleman

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
VoyageDallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Haley-Coleman.

Hi Kimberly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?

My career has been circuitous, to say the least! From training on-air CNBC staff in financial tools, putting dead people into space with Space Services, working at museums and start-ups! But I found my true calling when I founded Globe Aware a couple of decades ago, organizing experiences that allowed people to have fun helping people. These short-term experiences in 26 countries are designed to give back, show participants a side of the culture they are visiting in a way they never would, but also to make a huge social impact in a short amount of time. Prior to Globe Aware, such experiences were primarily the domain of high school and college students or of churches or meant a 2.5 years Peace Corps commitment. Since then, the organization has grown in ways we could never have anticipated. For example, now corporations send their staff through us, using contribution matching, paid Volunteer Days Off, allowing tax deductions for portions the staff member pays for, etc. BUT THEN the pandemic. Borders closed, travel safety called into question, the world stopped, and I decided to temporarily pivot. And THAT is what led to my creating The Tickle Bar, America’s newest and most unique affordable luxury.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

As conditions around covid 19 have rolled up and down, so too have both my businesses. We have instituted new protocols and have had to keep up with changing requirements. We are doing things we never anticipated. The border situation and pandemic safety conditions change frequently, and we have been lucky to flourish in an uncertain market. Having rapid covid tests administered at our program locations prior to participants returning to the US or transferring program locations from one country to the next, it has NOT been a smooth road, but it has been enormously interesting and gratifying. It is such a privilege that I get to run businesses that provide joy to people at a time when people especially need it.

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Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?

As the mother of two teenagers going to the same high school, I did back when I lived in Lakewood, I feel lucky that my daughters get to bear witness to a business person learning how to adapt quickly to changing conditions. This generation, despite the setbacks and struggles, will be stronger than previous generations because of this. When the President declared the Travel Emergency in March of 2020, we did not wait to react. We had closed our Asia programs in January, then immediately started finding creative ways to cut costs. I went unpaid for quite a while, we applied for and received PPP rounds of funding, we created virtual programing to bring services to folks the world over as an alternative to our core businesses, and then we figured out how to fill a niche that people suddenly urgently needed. After months of severely limited human interaction, we created an affordable business to get safe, human, healing, nurturing touch. As a parent, as strange as it sounds, I am glad this all happened while they were still under my wing.

What makes you happy?

Like most people, my greatest source of joy is service. That can be providing the specialty homemade vegan dinners my eldest likes or planning and building a school in Laos. How could anything else compare to that? I think it’s a given, universal thing for which we all yearn.

Pricing:

  • Globe Aware programs run from $1000 t0 $1600 per week
  • Tickle Bar sessions (think of light back tracing your mom did on your back when you were growing up) from $25 and up

Contact Info:

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