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We’re all tired of being cooped up and with widespread distribution of vaccines, everyone is looking forward to a summer getaway. It looks like many people this year are saying “Beach please!” and with good reasons: You spend more time outdoors where it is easier social distance.We’ve all been indoors for too long and the Vitamin D that sunshine brings is even better when mixed with Vitamin Sea.Beach vacations offer a wide variety of activities and interesting food options. Here are some tips from our friends at SceptreVacations to make sure you pack like a pro for a seaside (or lakeside) escape:
First, Get Organized
With a variety of activities, you need to think about how to organize your bags to make the most of your space. Packing cubes and compressions bags can help you save both space and time. They make unpacking easy as you can just slip them straight into the drawers of your hotel dresser.If you are having a more mobile vacations where you are driving from one spot to another, compression also means fewer bags to load and unload at each stop. Plastic storage bags that can be sealed are your friends as well. Especially for things like extra masks and liquid containers of your favorite sunscreen or apres-soleil balm.
Your Basic Beach Packing LIst
If your goal is to settle on the beach and just chill. Here is the minimum list of things to bring along:
If you are planning on doing some exploring, sight-seeing or enjoying some evening dining away from you hotel you will want to also take:• Comfortable walking shoes
• An umbrella
• An underwater digital camera (if you find yourself snorkeling or diving)
• Self-filtering water bottle
• An insulated cooler bag
Pandemic Era Basics
Even with vaccines becoming widespread, masks are not going away any time soon. While the ability to social distance may allow you to uncover your face for some of the time (nobody really wants the “raccoon face tan” that wearing a mask full time could bring), you will be required to wear a mask in any settings where people gather.
Here are what you need to bring with you:
Washable Reusable Masks
Many travelers may think they will pick up some masks when on vacation. After all, they are pretty much available everywhere. But vacation destinations could be swamped by lots of people thinking the same thing and supplies could become limited.
DISPOSABLE MASKS IN SEALED PLASTIC BAGS
A few extra masks will come in handy if you don’t have time to wash and dry all of your reusable masks after a day at the beach and before an evening out.
SANITIZERS AND WIPES
It’s always a good idea to have some sanitizing gel on hand to quickly make sure your hands are easily cleaned. Wipes are rapidly becoming must have travel accessories as wiping down any area you will be touching over time such as airline seat backs, hotel faucets and doorknobs, and that TV remote).
COPIES OF YOUR DOCUMENTATION.
It is always wise to have a photocopy of your passport when traveling overseas.It is also a good idea to take clear photos of your documents and keep them on your phone. Having a copy has helped many people if they lose their original when it comes to getting a temporary replacement at a local consulate.In this day and age where proof of vaccination, negative Covid test, or existence of anti-bodies could make the difference between entry and denial for various venues, having an extra copy could save the day. If you are traveling as a couple, make a copy and keep one in each other’s carry-ons.
Ready to say 'beach, please!'?
Navigating the new challenges of COVID travel may seem like a daunting task. But with a little careful planning (and the help of your wonderful travel agent) you will be rewarded with your long-awaited paradise! Our friends at Centrav pieced together some of the top things to be mindful of when traveling in the age of COVID.
1. Missed connections
Missed connections are difficult during any trip, but they can be even trickier during the COVID era. If you miss your connecting flight and get stuck in a country that was not your final destination you might not be able to leave the airport. Build in a little extra time than you normally would in order to make all your flights. Know the COVID regulations for every country and city on your itinerary, not just your final destination
2. Schedule changes
Schedule changes are right up there with missed connections. However, in this case, airline schedule changes are totally out of your (and your travel agent’s) control. What causes airline schedule changes? In a normal travel climate, schedule changes happen due to weather, staffing issues, mechanical failures and so much more. It’s complicated coordinating thousands of flight times, codeshares, and routes. Add COVID to the mix and things just get more complicated. As the demand for travel increases, new flights are added regularly. This causes everything to shift a bit. You can avoid frustrations by checking your flight status frequently and arriving at the airport early.
Check out Centrav's full guide to airline schedule changes here
3. Different/changing COVID travel regulations
COVID travel regulations don’t just change by country. They change by province and even by city. We should know this well from observing the state mask mandates here in the US. But it is important to remember that other countries are also working through the details just like we are. One city at your destination may not have mask requirements while another not only requires masks but requires a specific kind of mask. Write down every place you will visit and double-check requirements as you approach your departure date. Things can change at any time.
4. Added paperwork
Lots of paperwork! Every destination is requiring different information to make sure they can host travelers as safely as possible. Whether it’s COVID test results, health screening forms, vaccination records, or an account of where you plan to go during your stay, every trip will require more paperwork than in the past. No one loves to do paperwork, but it’s important to keep in mind that your host country is only doing this to make sure they can continue to welcome tourists all year long. No one wants travel to shut down again! The best way to handle the added paperwork? Research and read the fine print to know what you need. Keep printed copies AND digital files as a backup.
5. Advanced reservation
While most tourist sites and restaurants have been open in the United States for a while, many countries around the world have been slower to ease back on restrictions. Because of this, you may find things like restaurants, entertainment, and excursions operating at a very limited capacity and or allowing tourists by reservation only. This might prove to be very helpful if you love to plan your trip out anyway. But if you are more of a spontaneous traveler, it might take a little extra planning.
Have questions about booking your next travel adventure??
GREECE: OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Enjoy a wine tasting on a beach on Mykonos. Race your friends during a private sport event at an ancient stadium. Find peace and serenity at the Oracle of Delphi. There’s a lot more to Greece than the Acropolis and tantalizing cuisine.
INSIDER’S GUIDE TO ITALY
Do you feel like traveling to Italy but want to stay clear of the crowds? Italian travel specialist Dino T. explains how you can do just that during this Q&A session, giving you travel tips and insights to have an authentic Italian journey.
Make sure to visit a pearl farm, where nature’s ocean gems originate. Prolific in the turquoise lagoons of the Society and Tuamotus islands, they are home to one very special mollusk, the black-lipped oyster. This rock star is what gives Polynesian gems their world-renowned color. Farmers cultivate pearls by introducing an irritant into the body of the oyster. Slowly over time, the irritated mollusk secretes nacre and a pearl is formed. Each gem takes on the luster and shade unique to the interior shell of its host. You can tour pearl farms in Rangiroa or Huahine to watch, as step-by-step, gems form right before your eyes.
Keshi is a pearl that forms without a center nucleus (or bead). Sometimes the oyster takes the upper hand in the creative process, and a beautiful, natural amorphous pearl is born. Each completely unique, these gems have high luster with beautiful, wavy shapes. Fine jewelers say they sometimes wait for years to find two keshis close enough alike to make a pair of earrings.
This vacation package includes
This vacation package includes:
Experience the passion of Italy with a Globus Escape…without the crowds or high-season prices. You’ve heard about Italy—its mouth-watering cuisine, excellent wine, fabulous art, splendid beauty, ancient ruins, and remarkable architecture—now it’s your turn to experience it all! On this Italy escorted tour, get a taste of what the country has to offer and explore its most famous cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice.
2022 - Jan 23, 30 or Feb 6: $1,599/person*
2021 - Oct 31, Nov 14, Dec 5, or 2022-Feb 13,20,27: $1,709/person*
*Package includes round-trip trans-Atlantic air from BOS, CHI (MDW, ORD), or NYC (EWR, JFK, LGA). More gateways available for additional costs. Must be under deposit by May 7, 2021.
Take an exciting Caledonian adventure through the highlands from Edinburgh to Glasgow on this guided vacation in Scotland! Enjoy the moors even more by visiting during the off season, with fewer crowds and lower prices. Begin in Edinburgh to visit the Castle and admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels.
2021 - Dec 5 2022 - Jan 2, 23 : $1,199/person*
2021 - Oct 31, Nov 28 2022 - Feb 13, 20 : $1,309/person*
*Package price includes round-trip trans-Atlantic air from BOS or NYC (EWR, JFK, LGA). More gateways available for additional costs. Must be under deposit by April 30.
Experience the best of Portugal and take in the important cities of Lisbon and Porto, typical towns and villages, and the stunning north-west coastline. Throughout this tour, you’ll visit the must-see attractions, including the 16th-century Jeronimos Monastery. Often regarded as Lisbon’s most important landmark, it was traditional for Portuguese seafarers to pray in the chapel before their departure to the unknown.
2022 - Jan 15, 22, 29 or Feb 3, 5, 10 : $1,399/person*
2021 - Nov 25 2022 - Feb 12, 17, 19, 24, 26 : $1,459/person*
*Package price includes round-trip trans-Atlantic air from BOS, CHI (MDW, ORD), NYC (EWR, JFK, LGA). More gateways available for additional costs. Must be under deposit by April 30.