Make Traveling During the 2020 Holiday Season Easier

The TSA released a list of winter travel tips, helping Americans navigate traveling during this holiday season. Globe Aware wants to make sure our volunteers are up to date and safe when it comes to any winter travel.


5 Tips From the TSA to Make Traveling During the 2020 Holiday Season a Little Easier

Leave your wrapping paper behind.

BY ALISON FOX
DECEMBER 08, 2020

Travel+Leisure

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a list of winter travel tips on Monday, helping Americans navigate flying during the COVID-19 pandemic, just in time for a potential holiday rush.

With advice from mask-wearing and reducing contact, to more familiar tips surrounding how to wrap gifts for loved ones, the agency focused on how to expedite the security process. The tips come as the agency screened a record more than 3 million passengers at airports around Thanksgiving, despite experts saying people shouldn’t travel.

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2021 Travel Optimism

According to research, the pandemic has driven a large shift in traveler preferences, and understanding these changes is critical to tourism recovery efforts. Globe Aware is ready to meet the pent-up demand of volunteers, especially since one in two travelers are optimistic about taking a trip next year.


An Optimistic Sign for Travel in 2021

FEATURES & ADVICE
JANEEN CHRISTOFF
DECEMBER 11, 2020

Americans have hope for travel in 2021.

One in two travelers is optimistic about taking a trip in the next 12 months, according to research from Expedia.

More than half (53 percent) of Americans who usually take a vacation have not done so since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, nearly 31 percent are dreaming of travel and actively planning for 2021.

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After COVID-19: The Future of Travel and Sustainable Tourism

Two experts recently analyzed the effects of the pandemic on travel behavior and found out that people are likely to skip major cities and vacation for longer going forward. Post-quarantine and -lockdown, travelers seem more concerned about sustainability and the need to support local businesses, something Globe Aware programs specialize in!


Future Travel and Sustainable Tourism after COVID-19: STUDY by Tea Ceremony Kyoto Maikoya

December 7, 2020
yahoo! finance

KYOTO, Japan, Dec. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Kimono Tea Ceremony Maikoya and Samurai & Ninja Museum, two key experience providers from Japan, recently studied and analyzed the effects of the pandemic on travel behavior in depth and found out that people are likely to skip major cities and vacation for longer going forward. Post-quarantine and -lockdown, travelers generally seem more concerned about sustainability and the need to support local businesses. However, the only lasting changes may come with extra safety precautions and sustainable travel choices, with other aspects reverting more or less back to normal.

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Gift Travel Products Made By Women

As small business owners have been hit hard by the pandemic-related economic brunt, consider their products and services as holiday gift options. Globe Aware encourages the support of small businesses.


Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Travel Products Made By Women

By Michele Herrmann
Contributor
Travel

As small business owners have been hit hard by the pandemic-related economic brunt, consider their products and services as holiday gift options. In buying what they make to give to others, it’s a way of giving back by financially supporting them in return. Here are our gift suggestions for travel-related or inspired products by women business owners and entrepreneurs.

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The Tickle Bar in Dallas, TX is open for business

‘Tickle Bar’ now open in Texas. No, it’s not a fetish thing, it’s about relaxation

BY TJ MACIAS
DECEMBER 02, 2020

The Tickle Bar in Dallas, TX is open for business.

A new Dallas spa has a unique draw that appears to walk a fine line.

It’s called “The Tickle Bar” and the owner, Kimberly Haley-Coleman, says it’s about relaxation, not fetishes.

The concept came to her when thinking up a new idea to generate income and continue to employ people in Globe Aware, her nonprofit organization that “offers global volunteer vacations that combine personal travel with work assisting foreign communities,” the Dallas Observer said.

And yes, the concept is exactly what the name suggests.

“I thought, ‘I wish I could get somebody to tickle my back. Why don’t people do that?’ So I decided I’m going to freakin’ do it,” she says. “Who knows if it’s going to work, but I’m going to do it.”

According to the Advocate Magazine, “guests can choose from two basic services: hair play or back tickle. The 25- or 50-minute sessions incorporate a variety of shiver-inducing strokes to release tension from the body using fingers, feather dusters, makeup brushes and more. If you’re especially ticklish, try the basic scratch for relaxation with a firmer touch.”

The Tickle Bar website, which includes the phrase “Get Tickled Pink,” also features the sound of a woman’s soft giggle.

Haley-Coleman told the Observer that she is steering into the skid when it comes to the “prurient interest” associated with tickling.

“Even though it isn’t, if it gives me a double-take, I’m going to take that,” she said to the Observer. “Because when they look twice they’re going to see that it’s people like me, an over-50 woman, who is the client, not the 20-year-old fraternity guy looking for a happy ending.”

Tickle Bar Opening in Dallas

There’s a Tickle Bar Opening in Dallas. Yeah, You Heard Us

BRITTANY NUNN
DALLAS OBSERVER
DECEMBER 2, 2020

Remember the back tickles you loved as a kid, the black magic your mom used to put you straight to sleep? How about the times you almost dozed off while someone played with your hair? Are you relaxed just thinking about it?

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Holiday Travel Tips from an Infectious Disease Specialist

Two of the biggest travel holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are just around the corner, and travelers are debating whether they should meet up with friends and family. An infectious disease specialist encourages everyone to assess what they consider is an acceptable amount of risk in their lives, and follow precautions accordingly.


Holiday Travel Tips From an Infectious Disease Specialist

From Getting a Flu Shot to Quarantining Before Gathering, Catherine Le, MD, Says the 2020 Holidays Are All About Reducing Risk

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19, 2020) — With the two biggest travel holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – around the corner, many are debating whether they should gather with family and friends as usual.

“There is no easy solution,” says Cedars-Sinai infectious disease specialist Catherine Le, MD. “When my patients ask me if it’s safe to travel or spend time together with loved ones, I talk to them about risk mitigation and encourage them to find what they consider is an acceptable amount of risk in their lives.”

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Trending Travel Destinations for 2021

This year is coming quickly coming to an end, and there are some hopeful signs for travel and Globe Aware volunteers. This includes more widely available testing, safe destination openings without needing travelers to quarantine for long, and new vaccines on the horizon.


11 Trending Destinations for 2021, According to Internet Searches

Expedia’s 2021 Travel Trends report breaks down the most-searched destinations.

November 11, 2020

BY JESSICA PUCKETT

As 2020 winds to a close, there are hopeful signs for travel amid the pandemic: Tests for COVID-19 are more widely available, destinations are finding ways to safely reopen without needing travelers to quarantine for two weeks, and a vaccine might finally be on the horizon.

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With a Covid-19 vaccine on the horizon, what does this mean for travel?

On November 9 it was announced that one of the candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, was over 90% in preventing volunteers from contracting the virus. This is great news for Globe Aware, our communities & volunteers, and look forward to safe travels in 2021 for everyone.


How a Covid-19 vaccine could change travel for good

Julia Buckley
CNN
16th November 2020

It was the good news that gave the world hope.

On November 9 it was announced that one of the candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, was over 90% effective in preventing volunteers from contracting the virus.

The beleaguered travel industry immediately got a boost, with airline and cruise company share prices rallying, and tour operators seeing upticks in searches and bookings for 2021. Finally, it feels as if vacations might be in our future.

But will travel post-vaccine go back to how things were, or has your vacation been irrevocably changed?

For starters, it’ll be a while before we know the answer to that, says travel specialist Dr. Felicity Nicholson, lead doctor at Trailfinders Travel Clinic in the UK.

“I think it’s just a matter of time before things come back to some degree of normality, but it’ll take quite a long time,” she says.

“At the moment, travel is way down the pecking order of vaccination.” She says that countries will first be looking to vaccinate the vulnerable, then healthworkers and keyworkers, before making inroads into the general population. That’s not to mention the practical issues around the transportation and storage of the Pfizer vaccination, meaning that if that’s the one that wins the race, it could take even longer to distribute.

“We should be encouraged but understand it’s unlikely to be as rapid as governments are suggesting,” she says.

“If they can find a way to transport it properly (it needs to be stored at minus 70 C, or minus 94 F), it could be early next year before things start to get going. Countries whose economies are based on tourism will be desperate to get people back and moving, but most people (in the travel industry) aren’t hopeful that things will really pick up until the fall of 2021.”

And don’t assume that once a vaccination program starts rolling out, you can jump on the next plane, whether or not you’ve had it. Nicholson reckons that proof of vaccination might become advisory, or even mandatory, for destinations.

An international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP) — which travelers must carry to enter certain countries which mandate a yellow fever vaccination, or to exit those with high polio risk — could be the next addition to your travel kit.

“I think we’ll have a formal certificate, either online or on paper, showing that you’ve been vaccinated at a recognized, accredited clinic, as we do for yellow fever,” she says.

“It’ll be the destination demanding it — and that could be everyone.

“Most countries where there’s a vulnerable or older population will certainly be demanding proof because we know how devastating the disease can be.”

Making up for lost time

So, you’ve had your jab, and are carrying your certificate — what next?

Well, you might be off on the trip of a lifetime, according to tour operators.

John Bevan, CEO of Dnata Travel Group, which owns brands Travelbag, Travel Republic and Netflights as well as trade brand Gold Medal, says that there’s been a noticeable uptick in bookings since news of the vaccine was announced.

And of those who can afford to go abroad next year, many are splashing out, he says, with the average booking value increasing by about 20% this week, compared to pre-Covid times. “People didn’t get a vacation this year, so they’re treating themselves. They’re booking higher category rooms, and we’re seeing more family groups, too,” he says. Netflights just took a booking for a group of 19 people to go to Dubai for Easter 2021.

Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury tour operator Black Tomato, agrees.

“People have desperately missed the chance to travel, and want something to look forward to,” he says. “They’re saying, ‘That first trip, I’m going to make it special’.”

The demand for something out of the ordinary is so strong that in October the company launched a new lineup of once-in-a-lifetime trips, Journeys to Come — anything from seeing the solar eclipse in Patagonia to swimming with whales under the midnight sun in Iceland. “We wanted to create something to make people say, ‘That’ll get me through these challenging times’,” he says.

Winning destinations

Interestingly, in what he thinks might be a “Biden bounce,” Bevan says his brands have seen a triple-digit growth in trips to the US for next year, from May onwards. The Maldives and the UAE are other popular destinations for Europeans wanting to escape next year — he earmarks Dubai in particular as a destination that’s working hard to get tourists safely back, and also predicts the Caribbean will do very well.

However, he thinks Australia and New Zealand will be off-limits until the last quarter of 2021.

Marchant says his clients are starting to look towards Asia — although he thinks that the typical country-hopping trip through Southeast Asia will be off the cards for a while, because of the bureaucracy of testing and certificates at every border or on every flight.

“Instead of hopping around, I think people will just go to a couple of places and really immerse themselves, and I think that’s really positive,” he says. “There’ll be a shift in how people enjoy places — it won’t be just box-ticking anymore.”

For the same reason, he thinks that multiple weekend breaks will be replaced by longer, two-week trips.

Bucket list safaris

However, it’s not all plain sailing yet. According to Nigel Vere Nicoll, president of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), the trade body for travel to sub-Saharan Africa, the biggest problem with travel in 2021 won’t have anything to do with a vaccine — it’ll be to do with flight availability.

This is particularly the case for this part of the continent, which has just three main international hubs: Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Johannesburg. South African Airways, based at the latter, are currently not flying, while Kenya Airways is hoping for a cash injection from the government. Ethiopian Airlines, however, is expanding.

“From there, you have to get an extra flight and domestic airlines have cut back,” says Vere Nicoll. “And airlines won’t increase flights unless they’re sure there’s enough business. It’ll take time but we have to support them.

“The vaccine is a very, very exciting step — the first brick in rebuilding everything — but I can’t see it rolling out until the middle of next year.” For what it’s worth, he doesn’t think African countries — which have emerged relatively unscathed by the pandemic — will mandate the vaccine for travelers.

Safari destinations have been particularly hard hit by the collapse of tourism, with poaching on the rise in national parks, and economic devastation for those working in lodges.

And “grossly unfair” travel bans from the likes of the UK government — who impose a two-week quarantine on travelers coming from any African country, most of which have seen under 1,000 deaths from the virus, compared to the UK’s 50,000 — haven’t helped.

And yet, Vere Nicoll says that the future could be bright for those looking for the holiday of a lifetime. “The Great Migration was better this year than it has been for years, and there are great initiatives going on — people have used this time to get tourism ready for when we come.” And, of course, a safari trip is largely outdoors.

Champing at the bit to get to Europe

Are there any destinations which have been so marred by the virus that we won’t want to go there for a while?

Despite the US heading up the league table of Covid-19 deaths, from John Bevan’s data it appears that visitors are keen to get there — he thinks that could be optimism regarding the Biden administration’s pledge to curb the virus.

But he warns that Europe, which has been in the center of the pandemic, may not be so attractive to travelers from countries who’ve controlled it better.

However, Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), disagrees.

“The response to being told you can’t do something is to want to do it, so if you’ve not been to Europe for a year, you’ll want to go to Europe,” he says.

“You’ll never see it this empty, you’ll never see prices this competitive, you’ll never have this experience again. There’s real latent demand.”

He says that tour operators are already looking at a relatively good year, with plenty of trips postponed from 2020 to 2021, and search engine data showing big interest in travel to Europe from other continents.

And with numbers not expected to recover until 2022, the continent will be emptier than it has been in many of our lifetimes.

However, he warns that “there’s no momentum in the market” — nobody traveling to Europe and inspiring people to follow them. Post-vaccine, it’ll all hinge on the airlines to lay on flights, and the destinations making sure they’re ready to go. “Cities bounce back fairly quickly but it may not be that straightforward,” he says.

Touchless travel

Even with a potential vaccine, John Bevan thinks that the travel experience itself will have changed — particularly at the airport, where he thinks airlines will move to a largely touchless experience.

On board, he thinks the Covid-induced rule of deplaning row by row will continue — and that’s a great thing.

“I flew on EasyJet to Greece in August and it was immaculate — they made us stay seated till the row in front had got off, and there wasn’t that horrendous bunfight. It was so calming,” he says.

And at the other end, he thinks the restrictions on buffets, with staff doling out the food, will stay “till people feel more comfortable.” Ditto keeping our personal space — “I think we’ll be more careful for a long time,” he says. “I can’t see us hugging or shaking hands with people we don’t know for quite a while.”

Flexibility is here to stay

One good thing to come out of the pandemic? Flexibility. Many deals on offer for 2021 are fully flexible, and it looks like that will continue, at least in the short to medium term.

“The industry has handled the refunds (from earlier in the pandemic) with various degrees of effectiveness, and I think the consumer is going to be far more mindful of what they’re booking and what they expect,” says Tom Marchant.

“Suppliers should be able to offer flexibility, and the customer will expect transparency.”

Under a new policy, Black Tomato is offering a full refund up to 30 days before departure on most new bookings — and although Marchant won’t be drawn on how long that’ll last, he says, “I don’t see it as a flash in the pan.”

Bevan agrees, and reckons flexibility is how the industry will recover. For the traveler, he says, the flexibility that airlines are currently offering means that there’s “not a huge amount of risk” for those wanting to book. His only caveat — he advises would-be travelers to book as soon as they see a deal with flexible terms, because airline capacity will still be low in 2021.

A wakeup call for us all

Other upsides might emerge from the pandemic, too.

Dr. Nicholson thinks that the resources poured into the vaccine effort will benefit the fight against other diseases — and predicts better vaccinations for viruses including Ebola.

And she thinks travelers’ own attitudes towards health while on the road will improve.

“People are much more aware of infectious diseases now,” she says, adding that, before the pandemic, the number of travelers who booked a pre-trip consultation was pretty low. “Before, they might have gone abroad without consulting anyone. (If the vaccine is mandatory) they’ll have to come in for a consultation and we can talk to them about other risks in that destination.

“In western countries, we tend to be cavalier, but perhaps people will respect how serious viruses can be now.

“Everyone’s had a wake-up call and learned about virology, and that can only help.”

Different Air Travel Options for Thanksgiving Holiday

Airlines in the U.S. are trying to be as varied as possible. They are offering potential travelers different options to fly during the upcoming all-important holiday season that starts Nov. 23 with Thanksgiving week.


US Carriers Offering Varied Options for Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

RICH THOMASELLI
NOVEMBER 10, 2020

U.S. airlines are trying to be as varied as possible, offering potential travelers different options to fly during the upcoming all-important holiday season that starts Nov. 23 with Thanksgiving week.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s has always been lucrative for the airlines, and many – United included – are hoping it continues to be just that in the face of a new surge of coronavirus cases across the country. Many carriers are projecting that the week of Nov. 23 will be its busiest since March, according to Fox Business.

United, in fact, says it’s adding more than 1,400 domestic flights during the week of Thanksgiving.

But it’s more than that. JetBlue is adding 25 flights from the New York Cita area to Florida, California and markets in the Caribbean including Port-au-Prince, San Juan, Santiago and Santo Domingo. American Airlines told FOX Business Monday that the carrier will also increase its flights from Nov. 24- 25 and Nov. 28 – 30.

“During the Thanksgiving holiday, we will increase our flying by approximately 15% compared to the rest of the month, from an average of 3,500 flights to more than 4,000 flights,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox Business.

Delta will also be increasing capacity around the holidays with over 3,800 peak-day flights during Thanksgiving.

Air travel has been picking up since dropping in April to just six percent of what capacity was at the time last year. it is now slowly on the rise but still only had 40 percent, and could use the much-needed boost that holiday travel would bring.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen that customers continue to gain confidence in booking travel, in response to expert medical research on the safety of air travel and Delta’s multi-layered approach of cleanliness, space and safer service through the Delta CareStandard,” a Delta spokesperson told FOX Business.

In addition, United will also monitor last minute bookings in the event that the company needs “to swap in larger aircraft” to accommodate for the last-minute demand.