Showing posts with label how to travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to travel. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Travel: The New Normal Must Haves

Post-COVID-19 Travel:

The New Normal

TRAVEL MUST HAVES

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.

I am an Amazon Associate and these links will earn me commission


As regions around the world alternately quarantine and reopen, travelers are cautiously exploring their regions, in staycations and/or road trips. Safety is still important, so stock up on these must haves:


1. Keep a head start on your health with your own no-touch thermometer.
                   

2. Avoid touching public surfaces such as doors, keypads and screens with a no-touch tool.                      


3. Slip these convenient size hand sanitizers right into your pocket.

                           

4. Face masks have become mandatory in many US states and publuc places. Be healthy and fashionable. Try these, with replaceable filters.

                                

5. Throw a pack of hand sanitizer wipes in the bag to freshen up.

                          

6. Feel a little safer with little ones on the potty with these extra large toilet seat covers.

                            

7. Stay hydrated with a metal water bottle that stays cold all day.


8. Get a metal drinking straw for the each member of the family.

9. Carry your own shopping bags that can double as packing bags.           

10. Always travel with a small first aid kit, even when there isn't a pandemic.



                      

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The NYC Traveler: Staycation Projects

 Staycation Projects 




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Happy Travels!

 For the latest updates for all travel click these links:

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.


The COVID-19 2019-2020 pandemic crisis required folks worldwide to quarantine at home for weeks, sometimes months. All of a sudden, despite businesses and academic institutions requiring us to work from home, we actually had some time on our hands. We can now do all of those projects we wanted to do, if we had the time, if you will pardon the pun.


1. Learn a new language. Whether travel resumes full time in the near future or just for personal achievement, it's always cool to be able to say a few words in another tongue. Our personal favorite is Pimsleur. Although they now offer subscriptions like other companies, such as Babbel and Rosetta Stone, they still offer MP3 downloads so that you can own the course permanently.

Indira Ghandi Airport, India


2. Get in shape. While we were reacquainting ourselves with our kitchens and gyms were closed, we realized that we had to figure out exercising on our own. You'll want to look good when you get to the beach. Apps such as Nike, Adidas, Strava, My Fitness Pal and about a thousand others have lessons, coaches and even virtual competitions. Lace up and go.


Jamaica, West Indies


3. Become a gourmet. Look like an expert when you resume fine dining. Practice at home. Cooking shows abound but you can start with the Cooking Channel or the Food Network. Of course, there are many apps, check out with Yum,  Epicurious and Allrecipes. 


Creme Brulee in Paris, France


4. Become an artist. Travel art is more than sunset photos. Post and/or sell your artwork on Shutterstock (photography), Soundcloud (music), Etsy (artistic creations), Wattpad (writing), Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Want to learn something? Try TakeLessons. For kids, try DIY.org

Greece


5. Discover your home again. If you really miss traveling and staying at resorts and hotels, bring a little bit of it home with you. When hotels upgrade, they sell their stuff to liquidators: Hotel Liquidators and Resort Furniture Liquidators are just two.


Grace Bay Resort, Turks and Caicos


Photos and text copyright by Marcia Crayton, 2020, All Rights Reserved


Sunday, January 13, 2019

The NYC Traveler: Beat the Winter Blues

BEAT THE WINTER BLUES


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.

Scroll down to the very bottom to click the social media icons and share this article. Happy Travels!



January blues is documented as a real condition, and experts say it's different than Seasonal Affective Disorder (which is caused by a lack of sunlight). Some say it is the let down after the hype of the holiday season. However, no matter the reason or the cause (the blues or lack of sunlight): you feel blah, and that's a fact. This is why many people plan for a trip in January. But what if you are not able to travel? Read on.




It is this writer's opinion that you can plan for the January blues and get through the month to focus on the rest of the year. If your depression is serious, please seek a medical professional.




1. You can make resolutions, just make a few and phase them in. Make your goals realistic. Better yet, celebrate your new year at different times: maybe the beginning of spring, the start of summer or in September. Don't forget several religions and ethnicities have their own days of renewal.




2. Take a day trip: If you live in a cold weather region, you have two choices: embrace it or escape it. Winter sports are in full peak season. There may be some reservations still available for overnight stays but many resorts have day passes to enjoy skiing, ice skating, snow tubing, riding a snowmobile, etc. The Northeast of the USA is extremely popular (the Berkshires in Massachusetts, upstate New York, the Poconos in Pennsylvania and all over Vermont, just for starters).




3. Did you save money during the holidays? Then, become a snowbird. Escape to warmer regions. Winter cruises or Caribbean weekend getaways are popular. But for the Northern Hemisphere, the real challenge is to totally escape winter and head where it is truly summer: Australia, Chile, South Africa. Anything below the equator reverses the seasons. 




4. Become a tourist in your area: now is the time to see concerts, shows (the ice skating shows are popular this time of year), movies and museum exhibits. Brunch on weekends, join a gym or stream workouts in your home. 






5. Get your house in order. Literally. Plan a project you need to do, roll up your sleeves, put on some music and clean out that closet, sort through old clothes, paint the bathroom, do all of those chores that you have been putting off. Or, start a new hobby: learn a language, play an instrument, take up an art. 

Plan for next January


How do you pay for these adventures to get you through the winter? You plan for it now for next year.

1. Watch your spending this year (even as you travel). Being thrifty through the year will feel great when you are on a mid-winter vacation. 



2. Use an app to help you save (but ignore the temptation to buy the debit card that may be offered). Acorns will round off your purchases up to the next dollar and put it into a small savings. You set the boundaries about how much you want to save by also scheduling small automatic deposits. 




3. Many banks and credit unions still have vacation clubs. Try not to link it to your checking (to avoid the temptation of dipping into it during the year). You will be surprised at home much $5 a week will look like at the end of the year.




4. In the middle of the year, think about a membership to your favorite local museum or botanical garden (after you have recovered from holiday expenses). You'll have someplace to go for the whole year.




5. Use a travel agent to plan big trips. You may be able to pay in installments. Cruises allow payments in installments, also. Planning a trip sets a goal and can help you look forward to something.

The key is to try to keep busy and to realize that January doesn't last forever. Only 31 days. Happy Travels!

Friday, October 12, 2018

The NYC Traveler: A Big Apple Summer

A BIG APPLE SUMMER:
WHAT TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

Scroll down to the very bottom and click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.


Summertime in the Big Apple

New Yorkers tend to be divided into two camps for touring their hometown: those who do and those who don't (and may not know how). If you find that you have to spend part or all of the summer in the Big Apple, check out these tips:

1. NYC Residents: Get NYC identification. There are many benefits, such as discounted annual museum memberships, entertainment tickets and park department membership discounts. There are also several companies that sell combo passes for multiple attractions. Click here for a list.




2. Get around town with public transportation. There are car services, but the best deal in town is still the MTA. Most residents already have the current way to pay, a MetroCard. There is a new system coming, OMNY. Check out the website to make sure that you have the one that suits your needs. Street Smart: Only buy a metro card from an official machine or at a ticket booth. Do not buy from anyone who approaches you at a station or on the street.




3. Ask a New Yorker if they have been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building and it is a good bet they may say no. So, New Yorkers, act like a tourist and take a look at the Official Guide to New York. You can pick up the print version in Grand Central or Penn Station or in the Times Square Information center



4. All of the NYC parks have summer activities. As per current COVID-19 restrictions, some annual events are not occurring but the parks are open. Grab a bicycle, and choose a borough (or two) to explore. Get the app or check out the calendar.



5. Explore memberships at the museums, gardens and zoos. Along with admission, you get discounts on dining, shopping and first peeks at new events and exhibits. Museums have too many works to display, so exhibits are changing constantly. Plus, they sponsor great events such as concerts, lectures Here are some of the more popular museums:





All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved, 2020


Monday, April 30, 2018

The NYC Traveler: Get TSA-Prechecked

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to provide legal consultation. All links were accurate at the time of publication and will be monitored accordingly. MC Enterprises takes no responsibility for the reader's application. Readers should go to either a TSA Enrollment Center or check with the TSA's website for current regulations and procedures. This article is an introduction to current information only.


  Latest COVID-19 Travel News




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Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 This review is my personal opinion, based on my experiences and research. 
I am an Amazon Associate.



Get TSA-Prechecked

Security checks, part of our lives even before 9/11/2001, is now considered an expected precursor to entering almost public location. Getting through airport security is especially frustrating because of all of the steps involved: have your boarding pass and ID in hand and at the same time take off your shoes, take out your laptop, no items in your pockets, no more than 3 ounces of liquids, creams or oils in bottles that fit into a 1 quart bag while perhaps juggling kids in tow. Whew!







TSA-Prechecked means you can keep your shoes and a light jacket on, your electronics and your clear bag of liquids can stay in your bag and you walk through...all for a fee of course.

The best way to be pre-checked for USA domestic flights is to pay the current fee of $85 for five years. If you fly often or if you don't like the long lines or inconvenience, this may be worth it. 




1. Pre-register online: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck or
https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/programs/precheck
2. Make an appointment at a center: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/map
3. Bring the necessary documents.
4. Be ready to scan your fingerprint.
5. Pay the fee, currently $85 for five years.
6. After a background check based on your application, you will receive an email and/or a letter with your Known Traveler Number (KTN). Unfortunately, you don’t get any type of card, so hold onto that email/letter. You can also look up your number.




There are new places to go outside of airports now, to make the process easier. These are sponsored by IDEMIA at their IdentoGO centers, which may includes some Staples stores. Check on the Identogo webssite. Also, some corporations are providing the service to apply through them.

Happy Travels!

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

The NYC Traveler in NYC: 5 Places NYC Locals Visit, Part 1

The NYC Traveler in NYC:

Hang Out in NYC Like a Local 
(Tourist spots we visit but we don't want to admit)

 Latest COVID-19 Travel News




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The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens



1. The Museums: New Yorkers might belong to museums as members or have free or discounted access with a NYC ID. Having a membership allows great flexibility, you don't have to feel rushed to see everything in one visit and you can attend special members only events. Take advantage of musical events, workshops, lectures and other events. It's like having a community center.


The MoMA: Museum of Modern Art

2. The Highline: take an old elevated train track, make use of the spaces underneath with great restaurants, add the Whitney Museum at one end and the number 7 train hub at the other, mix well and you have a nice way to spend an afternoon in most weather. Currently, you must reserve a timed entry to enjoy the park.


The elevated High Line, viewed from the street

3. The Parks: Tourists head to Central Park but locals hang out in their neighborhood parks which range from a one block square or triangle to acres and acres. Journey to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx; Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park, Kissena Park or Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens; Prospect Park or Carnarsie Pier in Brooklyn (along with the entire Coney Island area) and Latourette Park in Staten Island. Golf, swim, bicycle or just sit out under a tree. 


NYC Parks: Places to Go


Check the websites for festivals in NYC Parks

4. Greenwich Village: Below 14th (East and West), Manhattan does not have the square grid design of streets and avenues. Resembling our European city cousins, streets angle in and out, seemingly follow no set pattern and reveal delightful little nooks and crannies such as church gardens, boutiques, small theaters and sidewalk cafes. 



Father Demo Square, Bleecker Street and 6th Avenue

5. Our Street Fairs: Although the most neutral source of information should be the nyc.org website, on its Citywide Events page, it may not always be up-to-date. Searching NYC street fairs on the internet will yield the websites for the companies that seem to sponsor the generic fairs. But, when the real festivals occur, they draw the locals. Check for the latest information about NYC Events.



Happy Travels.

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). However, I am an Amazon Associate.


Intro to...Traveling to Cuba: Part 2

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Disclaimer:  This article is written as a personal narrative based on personal experiences from the perspective of a US citizen. It is not intended as legal, official or professional information. MC Photo and Travel, dba MC Enterprises does not assume responsibility for any persons using this information as the sole source for planning a trip to Cuba.

Latest COVID-19 Travel News




Scroll to the very bottom and click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

Our Cruise to Cuba
Currently, there are no cruises sailing from USA ports to Cuba. It is our hope this policy is changed soon. It's an amazing experience.
This information is intended for readers who are US citizens and is solely based on the author's personal experience


Norwegian Sky, docked in Havana, Cuba

There are 15 municipalities in Havana, Cuba. Cruise ships, currently not sailing from the United States, normally dock in Old Havana (Havana Vieja). The area is a curiosity because it seems as if it was abandoned and left to decay after the Revolution of 1959. The numerous old cars from that era add to the mystery. Some buildings are being preserved and the area is a World UNESCO Heritage Site. 

1. When I sailed in 2017, 3 cruise companies were sailing to Cuba: Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. They departed from Miami, Tampa and Port Canaveral. The port for Cuba will be Havana, which docks in Old Havana. Check the US Department of State website for the latest information regarding cruises to Cuba.




2. You can travel by airplane unless there is a restriction for safety and/or health concerns. Consult with a knowledgeable and reputable travel consultant who will give you truthful advice in your best interest regarding lodging. (When and if cruising resumes, choose an itinerary that has an overnight in Havana, if your main purpose is to visit Cuba. However, there are sailings that have Havana as a one day stop, just like any other port.).




3. 
Travel to Cuba for tourist reasons is not permitted. You must be there for a purpose as per your visa. You must travel under one of the 12 permitted licenses.



4.  Technically, you must have an itinerary to visit Cuba, but it can be self-made. Plan to visit places of interest for the entire time you are in port. Normally, cruise excursions would make this easy. I booked an evening walking tour through the cruise line. Tours are also for sale as you disembark, after you clear customs and exchange money. But, I planned my own activities and I was engaged the entire time I was off the ship.


Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro

5. Activities that I did in order to engage in people-to-people activities included a horse-drawn city tour, visiting a cigar shop, speaking with the locals at the flea market, enjoying the Coche Mambi (the 1910 presidential rail car), a gallery and other spots around Old Havana, including the famous Havana Club.


Coche Mambi rail car

6. Running joke: Ernest Hemingway, who did live in Cuba for about 7 years in the 1930's, apparently ate, slept and visited every location in and around the old Havana area. Every tourist attraction has a plaque that proclaims that ol' Ernie was there. 

Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway lived for 7 years

Do your research. If you use a travel agent, ask if he or she knows the latest information about visas, some of them do not arrange visas. When cruising resumes, make sure you will be able to communicate directly with the cruise line about traveling to Cuba. Buen viaje!

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All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved, 2020