Best and Worst Times to Travel – NECN


Memorial Day Weekend is expected to be both busy and expensive this year with inflation driving up travel costs.

It’s not great timing for the unofficial start of summer, which kicks off this coming weekend. Nearly 40 million people are expected to travel ahead of the long weekend, which is up 4% from last year. Add that on top of the skyrocketing prices for gas, airfare car rentals, and you have yourself a pretty big headache.

Average domestic flight prices are up 46% from 2019. Some flights are already sold out for weeks and, unfortunately, things are not much better on the ground.

It’s hard not to notice the skyrocketing cost of fuel with people thinking about driving during the upcoming summer vacation — or even driving to the corner store. A gallon of regular gas in Massachusetts is now $4.47, according to AAA — up 17 cents from last week. A year ago, it was $2.89.

Gas prices are expected to average close to $4.65 by next weekend, which is a 51% increase over last year. So how do you make the best of it and try to avoid all the stress if you’re driving? The worst roads in the region area to travel are the Expressway south and Purchase Street from Route 24, according to AAA.

The times that you want to avoid driving are Thursday and Friday between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. The best time to drive is early in the morning before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

For those who are heading home Monday, the best time to drive is after 11 a.m. because the traffic will be worse in the afternoon. For those who are flying, experts suggest booking midweek and early morning flights as well.



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Solo Travel Tips: 6 Best Tips for Women Traveling Alone | Safety



Traveling solo can be empowering and rewarding, offering moments of self-discovery and deep reflection. Understandably some women are intimated to travel alone, with the key concern being safety. With careful planning, however, and the right mindset, you can minimize the risks to ensure a rewarding safe travel experience.


Here is my top advice for women traveling solo, from a woman who does it time and time again:

  1. First and foremost, book a trip with a reputable tour operator. Even if they are a bit higher – you can’t compromise safety.
  2. Do guided tours and, better yet, private tours if you can. Not only does it provide access to unique places and people, but it supports the local economy and encourages communities to value tourism. Guided tours ensure that you are in the right places, and not a naïve tourist who could potentially be taken advantage of.
  3. Consider forgoing the larger properties and choose to stay at smaller boutique/owner run properties. This usually allows for a more attentive experience from the staff and you almost feel like you become part of the family. You may feel safer and more secure in this environment and that the property is looking out for you. In big hotels, it is easy to become lost in the crowd.
  4. Share your full travel itinerary with someone back home in advance. Make sure they understand the potential time differences when trying to get hold of you and know where you are daily.
  5. Consider scheduled road transfers vs. Uber or public transportation unless it’s well established like in larger cities such as LondonParis or New York. Book scheduled road transfers through a reputable operator always.
  6. Schedule “check-ins” with your loved ones back home. It helps alleviate concerns as well as making them part of your experience. It also ensures that they are on track with your whereabouts at all times.


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Military spouse blogger shares top trips and tips for European travel with kids – Military Travel


A foreign land. Three young children. A rollercoaster pandemic.  

After nearly two years in Germany, Air Force spouse Jessica Lynn could list plenty of reasons to stay close to home. Yet, she remains determined to explore new placeswhile encouraging other OCONUS families to safely do the same.  

“It can be so scary moving to a new place,” she said, “but rip off the Band-Aid of your comfort zone and see what you can see.” 

Stationed in Geilenkirchen, Germany, since June 2020, Jessica Lynn is always on the lookout for the next adventure with her husband, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, and three kids (ages 5, 7 and 9). Due to the current hassles of air travel, most of their getaways have been road trips to nearby Austria, the Netherlands and quaint German villages 

READ: 30 travel deals for military families

Highlights so far include Wernigerode, Germany, where their family visited Rapunzel’s tower, and Normandy, France, where they spent four days exploring the infamous landing site of American troops during WWII 

Julia (9), Madilyn (7) and Logan (5) sit on the steps of the Rathaus (town hall), in Wernigerode, Germany.

For Jessica Lynn, writing about travel is nothing new. In college, she started her first blog while studying abroad in England 

“It was just a way to keep in touch with friends and family,” she said.  

The blog’s focus shifted once she started dating her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Kenny, who was already in the Air Force. Knowing very little about the military, Jessica Lynn started writing about their long-distance relationship from a fresh perspective. These journal-style entries drew in readers from outside her personal network.  

I started gaining followers, which was such a new concept back then when you would write just to write,” she said.  

A few years later, she left a beloved job at a magazine in New Mexico to get married and move to Georgia

Logan examines the intricate ceiling at Schloss Benrath (the Pink Palace) near Düsseldorf, Germany.

the first of six duty stations with Kenny, including Italy and Germany. 

Today Jessica Lynn shares posts about family friendly destinations, captivating reels from their adventures and PCS tips for military families with thousands of followers across Pinterest and Instagram 

“I really enjoy connecting through my words and helping other military spouses and girlfriends,” she said. “I’ve moved to new bases already knowing people there because they’ve read my posts. It’s rewarding to hear that something I’ve written has helped someone or made an impact.” 

When Jessica Lynn isn’t blogging or traveling, you can find her cooking or researching the next destination on her family’s trip list, which for 2022 includes Paris, the Northern Lights, Canary Islands, Spain, Portugal and a Baltic cruise. She hopes to visit 10 new countries this year and plans to blog highlights and photos of each adventurealong with hard-earned tips for taking kids along. 

 



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Cruise tip: Cruise advice for passengers from cruise worker on Royal Caribbean island | Cruise | Travel


Sue said: “I am from the UK, so the tropical year-round climate of the Caribbean is just spectacular!

“We truly live in an idyllic location, white sandy beaches surrounded by crystal blue Caribbean waters.

“It’s a lush tropical escape where the climate is incredible, and we get to share this amazing island with our guests every day.”

Even tropical islands aren’t immune to the occasional bout of bad weather and Sue said: “Monitoring the weather becomes a fanatical focus!”





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Baltimore Sun letters to the editor: inspiring media critic, travel tip, Biden’s bungling of Afghanistan exit and Red Line revival | READER COMMENTARY


The economic exploitation sucked massive amounts of money out of the city and into the pockets of white bankers, real estate speculators and landlords, many of whom fled the city. Some of that money must be reinvested in the city, and the debt repaid, to restore the economic vitality of impoverished neighborhoods and the city’s residential and commercial density through projects like the Red Line.



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Tell us about a UK pick-your-own farm for the chance to win a holiday voucher | Travel


Few things scream summer more than strawberries and cream – and with DIY picking now in full swing (with social distancing measures in place), we want to hear about your favourite farms for filling your punnet.

Whether it’s strawberries, raspberries, cherries, rhubarb, blackberries – or anything else that’s in season, tell us where you love for a bit of pick-your-own and why. We promise not to tell if you follow the “one for the basket, two for me” technique!

If you have a relevant photo, do send it in – but it’s your words that will be judged for the competition.

Keep your tip to about 100 words

The best tip of the week, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will win a £200 voucher to stay at a Sawday’s property – the company has more than 3,000 in the UK and Europe. The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website, and maybe in the paper, too.

We’re sorry, but for legal reasons you must be a UK resident to enter this competition.

The competition closes on 22 June at 9am BST

Have a look at our past winners and other tips

Read the terms and conditions here

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.



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TSA at RSW prepared for greater passenger volumes, offers travel tips



FORT MYERS

The TSA has prepared for the continued surge in travelers at Southwest Florida International Airport and across the country with acrylic barriers and upgraded technology to reduce or eliminate physical contact between passengers and staff, according to a press release. The agency also has tips for people returning to air travel.

The first is to arrive early, two hours early. Remember that the doors to your plane are shut 15 to 20 minutes before the posted flight time and you might arrive just when there is a crowd to check a bag or go through security. TSA staff are screening record numbers of passengers at RSW, even higher than before the start of the pandemic

“The health and safety of our work force and the traveling public remain our critical mission,” said Robert McLaughlin, federal security director with the TSA at RSW. “I am impressed with the professionalism of our TSA employees and the remarkable teamwork with Lee County Port Authority and the Lee County Port Authority Police.”

The TSA has installed the latest checkpoint technology, CT 300s, as well as credential authentication technology, to reduce touchpoints. The CTs or computed tomography equipment uses complex algorithms to search for threats, allowing TSA officers to rotate the images, reducing the need to open bags. Passengers screened in the lanes with this new equipment do not need to remove their 311 bag or their electronics.

In the lanes with CAT machines, passengers are separated from TSA officers by acrylic barriers and can insert their own ID or passport. Boarding passes are not needed in those lanes. The equipment verifies passengers’ identity and confirms in real time that they are flying that day.

Face masks for both employees and passengers are required for all domestic transportation, including airport security screening checkpoints and throughout the airport. Since the implementation of the federal face mask mandate for travelers on Feb. 2 and the subsequent extension into September, masks are required regardless of any local or state easing of restrictions. Those who refuse to wear a mask face fines from the TSA and from the Federal Aviation Authority if the infraction occurs while flying. The TSA continues to work closely with all transportation partners to enable the highest security standards within a travel environment that helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Travelers should follow these six tips for getting through the TSA checkpoint as quickly and efficiently as possible:

  • Tip 1: Wear a face mask. You must. Face masks must be worn in the airport, on the plane and on all public conveyances and at stations, ports, or similar transportation hubs regardless of state and local laws.
  • Tip 2: Leave prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of physical contact with TSA officers at the checkpoint, verify if items are prohibited by using the “What Can I Bring?” page on the TSA website. Also, empty your pockets of your wallet, coins, phone and other permitted items into your own carry-on, not into the trays in the checkpoint. That will reduce touchpoints as well.
  • Tip 3: Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID card readily available. Follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.
  • Tip 4: No guns at checkpoints ever. Airline passengers can fly with firearms only in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared at check-in. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And know what the laws are on both sides of your trip.
  • Tip 5: Help is always available. Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at (866) 289-9673.
  • Tip 6: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck. “Travel with Ease” by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.

For additional information about TSA procedures during COVID-19, visit this webpage.



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