Thursday, August 17, 2017

Travel Tip: Where People Are Traveling To See The Solar Eclipse


If you haven’t already heard, there’s going to be a total eclipse of the sun on August 21.
If you plan properly, you can be in a perfect position to catch it.
In fact, 81 percent of the U.S. population lives within 600 miles of the path of the eclipse.
It’s actually a 70-mile wide route that goes from South Carolina to Oregon.
If you happen to be in a place called Hopkinsville, Kentucky, you won’t be alone.
More than 50,000 people are expected to be there to watch it.
It’s supposed to be the best place to watch.
But there are many other options.
Royal Caribbean will have a ship cruising the Bahamas that will have a great view.
Also, check out Amtrak—many of its 500 routes actually intersect the path of the eclipse.
If you’re flying, don’t just go to the major airports, go to the alternate airports anywhere from South Carolina to Oregon.
To put this into some historical perspective, the last time a total eclipse literally crossed the U.S. was 99 years ago.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Airberlin Bankrupt : Etihad Airways Issues A Statement. Flights Will Continue On Current Schedule.


Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest carrier, has filed for bankruptcy today. This came after Etihad Airways announced all financial support.
The airline, which has accumulated debt for almost a decade, reported a record loss of 782m euros in 2016.
Flights will continue to operate thanks to a transitional loan of 150m euros from the German government.
It means: All flights from airberlin and NIKI are operating and the current flight schedule as well as booked flights are valid. airberlin and NIKI are continuing to accept future bookings.
Negotiations between airberlin and Lufthansa among others are continuing and are expected to finalize.
Air Berlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann said: “We’re working hard on this situation to do what is the best for the company, our clients.
 In the meantime UAE based Etihad Airways issued a statement:
“We have been informed that airberlin has filed for administration.
“This development is extremely disappointing for all parties, especially as Etihad has provided extensive support to airberlin for its previous liquidity challenges and restructuring efforts over the past six years.
“In April this year, Etihad provided EUR 250 million of additional funding to airberlin as well as supporting the airline to explore strategic options for the business. However, airberlin’s business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions.
“Under these circumstances, as a minority shareholder, Etihad cannot offer funding that would further increase our financial exposure. We remain open to helping find a commercially viable solution for all parties.
“We expect airberlin operations to continue during administration. We have a commercial relationship with airberlin across a range of areas, including codeshare operations, and we will support airberlin’s management during these difficult times.
“Germany is an important market for Etihad and Abu Dhabi, and we remain committed to providing comprehensive air links as a key enabler of trade and tourism.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

7 Zika-Free Beach Destinations to Visit in 2017-2018 #ZikaFreeDestinations


When word of the Zika outbreak first hit newsstands in 2015, headlines made it really easy to keep track of destinations that posed a threat. Now that 2 years have passed, staying in the know has become more of a personal task. Here, we’ve done the research for you and cleared 7 tropical destinations that—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—are blissfully zika-free and safe to travel to this summer.
By Chelsea Stuart

1

Seychelles

Floating out in the Indian Ocean, just off the eastern coast of Africa (not too far from Mauritius, Madagascar, and Réunion), lies the 115-island archipelago of Seychelles. While most visitors head for resort-dotted Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue to sleep amongst granite cliffs, lush jungles, rare wildlife, and postcard-perfect beaches, Félicité—one of La Digue’s satellite islands—offers all that with a side of privacy. Full disclosure: a stay at Six Senses Zil Pasyon—Félicité's one and only resort—comes at an admittedly hefty cost, but the resort is as utopian as they come with 30 private-infinity-pool villas. The thatched roof digs are more than spacious—each larger than the size of your average NYC 3-bedroom, seriously— are serviced by a dedicated butler, and work understated, eco-conscious interiors.
See All Seychelles Hotels
2

Bermuda

Day in and day out, Bermuda can hold its own against any Caribbean isle (see: 21 miles of pink-sand beaches, pastel colonial towns, and crystal caves). But when it comes to the best tropical spots to visit now, the British territory comes out an even clearer winner since it’s entirely sans outbreak and the same sadly can't be said for the Bahamas, Jamaica, or U.S. Virgin Islands. Check in at The Loren at Pink Beach, a sleek 45-suite boutique that just opened its aesthetically-pleasing doors this April. The Atlantic-fronting property wows with ultra-modern architecture, understated, Euro-inspired interiors, two beachfront pools, and a contemporary spa with signature treatments like the Loren Massage which utilizes salt stones from the Himalayan Mountains.
See All Bermuda Hotels
3

Hawaii

On the south shore of Maui, Wailea has no trouble attracting travelers with cove-like golden beaches, championship golf courses, and glam, A-lister-frequented resorts. While the spot has no shortage of family-friendly properties, if you’re looking for something that airs more on the side of romance, the mod Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is our go-to. Cascading infinity pools, the lavish apothecary-style Āwili Spa and Salon, pied-à-terre-inspired guestrooms (some with their own private lanai), and hand-rolled sushi and sashimi at Morimoto simply have us sold.
See All Hawaii Hotels
4

Mauritius

South of the Seychelles and north of Reunion, Mauritius splays out off the east coast of Africa in an array of lush vegetation, placid turquoise lagoons, and coconut tree-lined Indian Ocean stretches. It’s all about leisure here, and the iconic (but surprisingly affordable) Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa—facing tranquil Trou d’Eau Douce Bay—offers every lavish diversion imaginable. Lounge on one of the resort’s idyllic—beach-butler-serviced—white shores, go for a cocktail at the trendy beach club, or indulge in a holistic Chinese treatment at CHI, The Spa. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always arrange for a private excursion to offshore islands Ilot Mangénie and Ile aux Cerfs. The first belongs to Le Touessrok, so you’ll be offered exclusive, guest-only access to the isle’s pristine beaches, while the latter gathers quite a crowd with its 18-hole Bernhard Langer-designed championship golf course.
See All Mauritius Hotels
5

French Polynesia

If geography isn’t your strong suit—no judgment!—let us spell this out for you. French Polynesia encompasses all the islands that have us most starry-eyed: Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, and more. Are these islands ultra-indulgent? Absolutely. But, don’t go crossing them off your list for purely budgetary reasons. Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort presents a veritable steal with swim-up, thatch-roofed overwater bungalows, romantic candlelit restaurants, and casual views of nearby Tahiti for less than $500. Just a couple islands to the west, Le Meridien Bora Bora also comes to bat with its own glass-bottom-floored bungalows, serene, feet-still-in-the-sand dining options, and daily—complimentary—Polynesian pirogue (flat-bottom boat) sailing expeditions.
*Though French Polynesia experienced a Zika outbreak in 2013, it has now been cleared by the CDC as Zika-free and safe to travel to
See All French Polynesia Hotels
6

New Zealand

Take a moment to summon every top-notch beach destination you can think of. Did New Zealand make the list? If not, you’re sorely missing out. The dramatic nation may be better known for its Middle Earth cameos, but with more than 9,000 miles of coast, it’s a swimming and surfing sanctuary. Head for the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs near Matauri Bay—one of NZ’s top summer havens thanks to crystal clear waters abutted by pristine white beaches. The striking lodge sits on 6,000 acres overlooking Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands—with 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean—and offers access to three private beaches, including the seashell- and coral-lined Pink Beach (which also hosts a weekly BBQ).
See All New Zealand Hotels
7

Canary Islands, Spain

Quaint seaside villages, trail-woven active volcanoes, and a killer tapas scene are just a few of the reasons we can’t free the Canaries from our travel-fiending minds. This summer, pack your bags for Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, or any of the rest as they’re all fair game when it comes to zika-free getaways. At Tenerife’s cliff-top Ritz-Carlton Abama, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in luxe rooms and suites make way for Atlantic-facing private balconies and furnished terraces. There are plenty of ways to spend a day in the sun; plop down along one of seven swimming pools, go for a round at the Dave Thomas-designed golf course, or devote ample time to the Atlantic shores of Guia de Isora.
See All Canary Islands Hotels

U.S. News & World Report Reveals 2017-18 Best Travel Rewards Programs


Marriott Rewards takes top spot in Best Hotel Rewards Programs; Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan continues reign as No. 1 in Best Airline Rewards Programs
U.S. News & World Report, publisher of Best Hotels, Best Cruise Lines and Best Vacations, today announced the 2017-18 Best Travel Rewards Programs. The annual rankings identify 26 hotel and airline loyalty programs with the most rewarding perks for everyday travelers. Marriott Rewards ranks No. 1 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs, while Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan holds on to the top spot in Best Airline Rewards Programs.
Marriott Rewards is No. 1 among the Best Hotel Rewards Programs due in part to the ease of earning points and its large network of hotels in popular destinations. The program offers complimentary Wi-Fi access and the ability to use points toward booking experiences such as sporting events and concerts. At No. 2, Wyndham Rewards continues to earn high marks for ease of earning a free night, member access to reduced room rates and the availability to earn points through two affiliated credit cards.
Soon to merge with the Virgin America Elevate program, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is the Best Airline Rewards Program for the third consecutive year. Its mileage-based earning structure makes it easier for travelers to earn miles at a faster pace than with revenue-based earning programs. Delta SkyMiles moves up to the No. 2 spot because of its competitive redemption rates for award flights and diversity of benefits, such as using miles for hotels stays, cabin upgrades, experiences and free flights.
"Today's travelers have so many rewards programs to choose from, comparing and contrasting them based on your specific needs can be a challenge," said Christine Smith, associate travel editor at U.S. News. "Our Best Travel Rewards Programs rankings emphasize the ease of earning points and miles, and redeeming them for free nights and flights, which everyday travelers identify as a top reason to join a loyalty program."
U.S. News ranks the Best Travel Rewards Programs in two categories: hotel loyalty programs and airline frequent flyer programs. The methodologies take into account membership benefits – such as free amenities, program-affiliated credit cards and redeemable experiences – network coverage and a strong emphasis on the ease of earning and redeeming free flights or nights. Additionally, U.S. News factors in property diversity for the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Airline Quality Rating scores for the Best Airline Rewards Programs.
2017-18 U.S. News Best Travel Rewards Programs


Hotel Rewards Programs                        
1. Marriott Rewards                                    
1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
2. Wyndham Rewards                                 
2. Delta SkyMiles
3. Choice Privileges                                      
3. JetBlue TrueBlue
4. World of Hyatt                                           
4. Southwest Rapid Rewards
5. Best Western Rewards                                
5. United MileagePlus 
For more information on the Best Travel Rewards Programs, visit FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #BestRewards.
About U.S. News & World ReportU.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 30 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report

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