Your Ultimate Pre-Travel Checklist For 2022

travel backpack

Experts in the tourism industry suggest that 2022 will see many people make up for lost vacations despite the prevalence of the Omicron variant and other COVID-related issues. A recent report illustrates this as many Americans plan to travel overseas this year. However, traveling can be stressful, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or seasoned globe trotter. Fortunately, this ultimate pre-travel checklist can make your 2022 trips more convenient.

 

  • Get travel insurance

 

Travel insurance is essential when traveling overseas as it can cover several emergencies such as medical insurance coverage, lost baggage, journey termination, and so on. It can also be used for domestic travels by helping you deal with unexpected medical costs and reimbursement for canceled trips or stolen property. However, be sure to do ample research on various plans before you purchase one to ensure you receive sufficient coverage for an affordable price.

 

  • Pack a medical and first aid kit

 

In today’s health climate, safeguarding your health is important. Therefore, it is important to pack a travel medical kit. During your travel, finding various medications or emergency items may be challenging. For example, if you need medical help or get injured while hiking up a mountain. It is advisable to travel with items you need in an emergency to help treat at least minor injuries and illnesses. For your first aid kit, you can consider a thermometer, pain-relievers, Band-Aids, sanitizers or disinfectants, nose masks, and so on. So be sure to pack one.

 

  • Essential paperwork

 

Paperwork is essential for domestic and international travel, and you want to prioritize carrying along with your vital documents. Your travel documents can come in handy in any last-minute emergencies. Travel documents such as visa, passport, ID proof, state travel documents, hotel booking receipt, Covid-19 vaccination certificate, and other travel documents may be required. It is recommended to carry the originals of your travel documents. However, making copies is an excellent idea if the original documents get lost.

 

  • Pre-book your accommodation

 

Your type of vacation should determine the type of accommodation you need, although it is recommended to take at least a night’s accommodation reservation. It can be hard to get accommodation when you are not familiar with a location or don’t have a place to stay. Even if you are familiar with the location, finding a rental upon arrival may come with some anxiety, so it is best to pre-book at least for a night. Booking your accommodation makes it easy to find rental accommodation or a hotel with your preferred features or location. 

 

  • Financial planning

 

It is common to see travelers spend much of the time searching for the cheapest flight discounts, affordable accommodation, and so on. However, they fail to do one thing that matters most – planning their finances. Your finances should be a vital part of your travel checklist, so you’ll need to take cues to properly manage your finances. You can’t afford to have financial problems disrupt your travel experience.

If you are planning on traveling anytime soon, you may want to consider using this checklist to ensure you have a smooth and stress-free process.

Travel Destinations Do Not Have to Be Far From Home

Traveling for vacation is a great way to enjoy some time off and see new places. However, not everyone has the money or time to travel far from home. Fortunately, there are plenty of exciting destinations that don’t require you to spend hours on a plane to get there. Luckily, you can find some great destinations near you.

1. Visit a Local Park

There are many fantastic parks located near major cities. These parks offer great hiking trails, beautiful scenery, nature reserves, and plenty of relaxing places. Pack a lunch and find a good spot.

2. Visit a Nearby City or Town

If you’re looking for a change of pace, consider visiting a city or town that’s located close to where you live. You will find museums, historic sites, and nature attractions, such as aquariums. For example, check out things to do in Gulfport, Mississippi. There are many great cities to visit within driving distance of major American cities. Some interesting destinations include Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Boston.

3. Take a Road Trip

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, consider taking a road trip. There are many great destinations to explore within driving distance of your home. Exciting options include the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the Rocky Mountains.

4. Attend a Local Fair or Festival

Many towns host street festivals throughout the year. These are great places to eat delicious food, see live music acts, and simply have fun! Examples include the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis and Taste of Chicago in Chicago.

5. See Some Live Theater or Concerts at an Entertainment Venue Near You

There are many theaters and concert halls located throughout North America where you can enjoy all sorts of performances for a reasonable price. Good examples include Carnegie Hall in New York City, Massey Hall in Toronto, and The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

6. Visit a Nearby Historical Site

There are many sites of historical significance located near major cities. These sites offer great tours explaining their history and providing interesting facts about their construction. Examples include Mount Vernon in Washington, D.C., Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, and Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico.

7. Go Camping or Hiking at a Nearby Park or Forest

Many parks and forests across the United States host campsites and trails for people to enjoy nature and get away from it all. Some great locations include Yosemite National Park in California, Cincinnati Nature Center in Ohio, and Zions National Park in Utah.

8. Attend a Free Lecture or Event at Your Local Library

Libraries offer a variety of free events and lectures throughout the year. These are great ways to learn about new things and meet new people. A few examples include author readings, cooking classes, and history lectures.

9. Take a Day Trip to a Nearby Amusement Park or Water Park

If you’re looking for a fun day trip with your family or friends, consider visiting an amusement park or water park that’s located close by. There are many great options to choose from, and most parks offer discounted tickets if you purchase them in advance. Good examples include Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, and Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas.

10. Take a Day Trip in a National Park

Take a day trip to go hiking or sightseeing at a nearby state or national park. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, consider taking a day trip to one of your local state or national parks. There’s so much beauty outside of our doorstep, and it’s essential to take advantage of it as often as we can. Some great examples include Yosemite Park in California, Acadia National Park in Maine, and Olympic National Park in Washington State.

11. Take a Guided Tour of the City You Live In

Most cities offer free guided tours for people interested in learning more about their history. Some good examples include Gracie Mansion Tours in New York City, Angels Flight Railway Tour in Los Angeles, and Ghosts and Gravestones Historical Pub Crawl in Savannah, Georgia.

12. See a Play at Your Local Theater Company

Many theaters across North America host plays throughout the year. These are a great way to support your local arts community, and most plays are very affordable. Examples include the Toronto Centre for the Arts; Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York; and Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

While it can be challenging to find the time and money for expensive trips, the secret is simple: live well within your means. This allows you to save up enough money for these short getaways throughout the year. Make a list of places you would like to see. Consider seeing new places from this list each month. Safe travels!

New Winter Service: Jet to Barbados to Escape the Cold with United Airlines

bridge barbados
On December 5, United Airlines inaugural flight from Newark (EWR) to Barbados (BGI) took off, providing a new seasonal direct flight for travelers in need of a tropical respite this winter. This exciting weekly service comes right after an historic move where Barbados officially became a republic on November 30th. Travelers can expect a certain flare in the air as locals revel in Bajan pride this December and all next year.
For “only in Barbados” experiences, the island recently became the only Caribbean nation with nighttime horse racing at the newly illuminated racetrack in Garrison Savannah, just outside Bridgetown. Visitors can enjoy this overlooked local tradition by attending a race on December 11 or December 27 (Boxing Day) which is Barbados’s final day of horse racing and has been a tradition for decades. A great way to close out the Christmas holiday!! Garrison Savannah hosts prestigious racing events throughout the year with four racing seasons including January-April (Spring Season). As the birthplace of rum, visitors can sip away on distillery tours at Mount Gay Rum and go on gastronomic adventures with the island also being the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Stop by the new QP Bistro & Quattro Passi at The Cliff restaurants where Michelin-starred Chef Antonio Mellino will bring the flavors of Italy to Barbados or for a local seafood delight, visit the world-renowned Oistins Fish Fry.
 
The island prides itself on offering five-star immersive experiences that goes well beyond its outstanding hotels – check out the new Sandals Royal Barbados expansion (July 2021) and the new wellness-centric O2 Beach Club & Resort (November 2021). From the luxurious West Coast, rugged East Coast, buzzing South Coast and quiet North Coast, couples, families, and individuals can come to reconnect with themselves and each other through a variety of niche activities that complement the island’s beautiful sun, sand & sea offerings.
COVID-19 safety protocols continue to be of the upmost importance to the island. As of October 24, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result no longer need to be required to take a second COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Barbados or observe a quarantine period. Prior to travel, get tested faster and safer at home via a trusted-partner, Stage Zero.

Top 8 Countries To Visit (And Why)

There’s nothing akin to the experiences you can have when you are traveling the world. These 8 countries are incredibly stunning and each offers its own unique experiences.

Iceland

If you ever want to climb a glacier in one of the most breathtaking countries in the world, then look no further. The landscape of Iceland is beautiful with volcanic black sand beaches and some of the most epic waterfalls to behold. There is also the possibility of seeing the northern lights if you are there at the right time of year and get lucky.

Cambodia

The Kingdom Of Wonder is home to many ancient temples, most famously the Angkor Wat Complex which is just outside of the small city of Siem Reap in the north-western area of the country. The country is rich with history and many guided tours are available to educate on the often tumultuous history of the Kingdom.

Ireland

Affectionately known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland has been a favorite destination for many world travelers. The cliffs of Moher in Galway should be one of the destinations on the list with its more than impressive scenery. If you get up to Northern Ireland you can visit the Giant’s Causeway or the Dark Hedges that was featured in the TV Show The Game Of Thrones.

Australia

Among the multitude of things to do and see, horse racing is one of the highlights of the sporting world in Australia. If you can get information on The Championships betting tips, for example, you have a better chance of scoring a win during the Sydney Autumn Festival which is one of Australia’s most popular horse racing events.

Egypt

One of the most ancient civilizations in the world, Egypt is home to the world-famous Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. That alone should be enough to get you there. However, there are a lot of other things to do while you are there. Perusing the markets is great for an experience as well as visiting the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.

Thailand

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles for good reason. The country is a lot more geographically diverse than you might think. Up north in Chiang Mai is a revered mountain known as Doi Sutep, while down south hosts multiple islands that have been a haven for backpackers.

Italy

Italy has spawned many geniuses throughout its history. So, if you are a history buff Italy is the place for you. Rome especially has a prolific history that is well documented. Take yourself to Rome where the colosseum still stands after nearly 2000 years or you can make your way up to Pisa to see the world-famous Leaning Tower. Travel further north and visit Venice while you still can and take a ride on the gondolas.

Mexico

Even if you don’t speak the language you can experience a great adventure in the country that should no doubt include Chichen Itsa, aside from the cheap tequila and stunning beaches. Diving is a major drawcard for Mexico with Tulum playing host to incredible cenotes that cannot be found anywhere in the world.

Every type of travel offers inspiration so whether you choose one of these countries or something else that holds an appeal for you, the important thing is getting out there to explore the world in the first place.

Best Island Destinations To Visit Before The Year Ends

best vacation

Your toes digging into sea-soaked sand, the fresh breeze blowing through your hair and caressing your face, sun rays kissing your skin, and the sound of the waves dancing in your ears – that’s what a perfect trip to an island offers. Who doesn’t love the affordable luxury of a relaxing time on a balmy, beautiful, tropical island? Yes, the year is drawing to an end, and winter is already here, but if you want to enjoy a wonderful time on a beautiful island destination, then here are the best options to visit before the year ends. 

 

  • Milos, Greece

 

Nestled in the middle of the Cycladic islands is a welcoming location for any traveler looking to escape from a fast-paced life. Aside from the stunning picturesque beaches and sparkling waters, another thing that makes this location an ideal travel destination is the friendly locals. 

While enjoying the top-level local hospitality, you can also stroll through the quaint villages or spoil yourself at the Milos Cove. Here you can soak your body in private pools and enjoy the fantastic view of the Aegean. 

 

  • Mauritius

 

Fancy a trip to Africa? Then why not visit Mauritius? If you’d like to escape the cold of winter, visit this island in the Indian ocean to enjoy a snow-free island experience. You can check out the lost continent buried under waves or enjoy the warm escape from the winter’s cold. One sight you wouldn’t want to miss when you visit Mauritius is the “underground waterfall,” which offers a visually spectacular runoff of silt and sand. 

 

  • Seychelles

 

Seychelles is one of the world’s top island holiday destinations in Africa and offers another warm escape from the cold weather that plagues the month of December. Seychelles has an all-around tropical climate, with some of the warmest oceans and softest sands you can ever find in any part of the world. This dreamy location is an archipelago of 115 islands also perfectly resting in the middle of the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. Seychelles offers many exotic sights and sounds, ranging from private piers to mouthwatering local delicacies. 

 

  • The Maldives

 

The Maldives is yet another destination treasure that the Indian ocean has to offer. The Republic of Maldives is one of the most sought-after travel locations, as it offers more than 1,000 islands and a chain of 26 atolls. The main attractions on this exotic island destination are the overwater bungalows, unreal diving pleasures, and the spectacular world of coral reefs. Even with the coral reefs sadly facing a massive threat from bleaching, Maldives is still a go-to location worth having on your list. 

 

  • The Cayman Islands

 

If you’re looking for a luxurious escape with an abundance of activities, then the Cayman Islands is the spot for you. Before you make any plans, you can check out the Family Vacation Guide’s list of the best family resorts in the Cayman Islands. With beautiful weather, lots to see, great food, and beautiful people, the Cayman Islands will give you a relaxing break from the world you’re used to. 

Flight Cancellations and Updates- be on the lookout

If you are anything like me, you are glad that travel has resumed (even if you are trying to be really, really careful about going out and about again). Like so many other things, it may have “resumed” but a lot has changed. Along with about a zillion new or different rules and regulations (most are no big deal, just require some advanced knowledge. So be sure to check your airline’s requirements before you go, as well as that of any other travel info, such as accommodations) there have been other issues that have cropped up, such as staff shortages. Add that to regular air travel delights such as TSA making life interesting, and weather related fun and games, and I’d say it can be a challenge to fly- to put it mildly.
Have you had cancelled plans? I know I have. As well as new routes, new layovers, long lay overs, and more. Here is some current info about some of the most popular airlines in the USA, shared via “The Navigator”.
American Airlines canceled thousands of flights this weekend
American Airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights over the weekend and delayed over 1,000 others. The airline cited a combination of weather – high winds, specifically – and staffing shortages as the reason for the widespread disruptions.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/30/american-airlines-cancels-hundreds-of-weekend-flights.html
 
These issues come just a few weeks after Southwest had to cancel nearly 2,000 flights in one weekend for virtually the same combination of reasons. So what gives?
https://www.businessinsider.com/why-my-southwest-flight-was-canceled-bad-weather-in-florida-2021-10
 
As air travel has resumed, airlines continue to struggle with cancelations for a variety of factors, though one of the most impactful is staffing shortages. Most airlines significantly reduced their staff during the pandemic in order to stay afloat and are now having a difficult time dealing with setbacks as they rapidly try to bring on new hires.
 
With the holiday travel season on the horizon, we’ll be watching this situation closely. In the meantime, be sure to know when you’re entitled to a refund from your airline.
https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/refunds
 
I am sharing this information via “The Navigator”. 

3 Travel Methods, and Whether They’re for You

There are dozens of ways to travel if that appeals to you. If you own a vehicle, you can drive it across the country to visit relatives or take that much-deserved vacation. You might go solo, or perhaps you want the whole family to come with you.

You can also fly, which gets you where you’re going faster than most other options. You can be on the other side of the country in about six hours, flying from coast to coast. You might also use an RV, bike, or many other options.

In this article, though, we’ll talk about some less conventional travel methods. We’ll also talk about some potential drawbacks and benefits of each one.

Tour Buses

Tour bus travel appeals to some people, and not so much to others. One nice thing about tour buses is that if you decide you want to take one to a destination, you don’t have to drive. If you’re not the most confident driver, handing over the duty to someone else might appeal to you.

You can also meet some friendly people on tour buses. The group seems to form a loosely-knit family unit for the days you are together. You might even meet some lasting friends that you stay in touch with long after the trip concludes.

If you’re single, you might find a new significant other while on a tour bus. You also have plenty of opportunities to see sights along the way. Many tour buses stop at natural wonders, like the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore.

You also might get on one that goes to Vegas or Atlantic City. Senior gambling junkets like this are very popular, so if you’re in that age group, this might be for you.

On the other hand, tour bus crashes do occur sometimes. You never know if the driver will fall asleep at the wheel or allow their smartphone to distract them.

At the moment, Covid-19 is also a concern. The pandemic is not over, and even if you’re fully vaccinated, you might feel like now is not the right time to check out a tour bus vacation for that reason.

Oceanic Cruises

If you love being out on the water, an ocean cruise might make sense. These cruises sometimes start in places like New York and let you sail off to the Caribbean or other exotic and desirable destinations.

On these cruises, you can get a luxury cabin if you can afford one. You can experience fine dining in one of the ship’s restaurants.

Some of these cruise ships also have veritable theme parks right there on the premises. There are swimming pools and even roller coasters or go-cart tracks on some of the largest and most elaborate ones.

As far as possible negatives, Covid-19 is a concern again. Some people don’t feel like now is the right time to mix with other individuals, even out on the water where you don’t necessarily have to crowd close together indoors.

You also might get seasick. You can always take medication to combat that, but some people are not comfortable out on the water, and nothing is ever likely to change that.

RV Traveling

RV travel splits the difference between camping and the traditional road trip. The road trip aspect comes from owning or renting a large vehicle and driving it along America’s byways and highways. You can also stop to camp at various sites around the country, though.

If you are a confident driver, you will have no problems maneuvering a massive vehicle such as this. You can easily take the whole family with you, and even some friends and neighbors if you like.

You can all enjoy stopping at roadside attractions and diners. You might park the RV and go for hikes in the woods, planning out a route so you can see and experience some natural and human-made wonders.

RVs are expensive, though, so buying one might not be in your budget right now. You can always rent one, but if you do, you may not feel so comfortable about driving it since you are probably not used to it.

RV rental or ownership isn’t a bad move these days, though, since the pandemic persists. If you drive an RV around the country, you can avoid direct human contact that’s essentially necessary with the other two options we’ve mentioned.

Take some time and think about whether any of these three sounds suitable for you.

The Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the World

Golf is arguably one of the oldest and most history-soaked sports available. Often stigmatized as been an event for the elite, in recent years people from all ages and of all backgrounds are beginning to see the potential and beauty of this sport. That being said, when you consider the breath-taking and exclusive aesthetics of some of the courses that people play on, it’s not surprising that so many people once believed it to be a sport purely for the upper class. Here is a list of some of the most breath-taking golf courses in the world. 

Augusta National, August, Georgia, USA

Tiger Woods was recently named as having one of the most iconic masters victories of all time and it was at the Augusta National where he won his first. Chances are, if you ask any golf fanatic for one course that they would like to play on the most in the entire world, they would say the Augusta National. 

It opened in 1933 and was originally designed by Alister Mackenzie, who as a result created one of the most scenic and beautiful golf courses you could ever visit. It is 18 holes surrounded by woodland and flora, which includes its now famous azaleas. 

Sentosa, Singapore 

On the coast of Singapore lies to the exclusive island of Sentosa, which contains on it two championship golf courses, both of which come equipped with not just clubs and flags, but the awe-inspiring views of Singapore’s glorious skyline. 

Whilst still feeling in the heart of a city, this course also comes with a contrasting sense of isolation as it hosts the elite tournaments of the Asia Pacific Amateur, HSBC Woman’s Champions and the Singapore Open. Widely regarded as one of Singapore’s greatest courses, the Serapong Course is on every golf enthusiasts bucket list; however, it should be noted the New Tanjong course is worth playing too. 

Cypress Point, Monterrey Peninsula, California, USA 

Another course in the USA, Cypress Point has a 16th hole which is arguably one of the most notorious in the world. On a completely remote island, surrounded by waves crashing against rocks and with the only crowd being the beautiful Californian sky, there’s no surprise so many golfers come to this course just to experience the 16th hole.

Opened in 1928 and designed (once again) by Alister MacKenzie and Robert Hunter, this course takes players breath away the minute they step onto the rough. Similarly to its neighboring course Pebble Beach, it plays alongside jagged coast lines all along the Pacific Ocean. What’s not to love? 

Conclusion 

These are merely three of the most beautiful courses in the world. Realistically, an entire book could be published that dives in to the beauty of some courses, the history of those who designed them and the history of the course itself. Other honorable mentions include the likes of Banff Springs, St Andrews, Ballybunion, Adare Manor, Swinley Forest, the Legend Golf Course in Entebeni in South Africa and Old Head in Ireland.