Happy Monday to all our travel friends, both near and far. Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, so we’re passing them along.
- New York was one of the first states to be hit hard by the coronavirus. They shut down most indoor activities, including dining, theaters and gyms. New York also put into place a 14-day quarantine for visitors to the state if you were traveling from a location where COVID-19 cases were high. The list would change with states being added or removed as the numbers fluctuated. This made travel planning difficult as people didn’t know if they could take a trip if cases changed. New York will be changing its rules on November 4th, making them easier to understand, but more stringent for some visitors. COVID -19 testing will be required within three days of travel to New York State. Visitors will have to quarantine for 3 days and then can get a second test on the fourth day. If the second test is negative, there’s no need to continue to quarantine. There are exceptions for people leaving the state for less than 24 hours and for visiting New Jersey or Connecticut. With cases surging in most of the US, this new approach makes sense.
- United Airlines caught a bunch of negative attention by increasing the number of miles needed to book award tickets with partner airlines. Delta management must have been watching and decided the blowback wasn’t that bad so they’ve also increased the price for booking awards with partners for flights booked within 21 days of departure. Since Delta (and United) no longer have award point charts, they can make changes like this whenever they want, with no notice to members.
- Hotels have been cutting back on dining services even before the coronavirus. Many hotels have stopped offering room service, with food delivery apps picking up much of the slack. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some hotels are cutting back on all food services, citing safety concerns for guests. They’re instead giving guests a list of nearby restaurants. While some would see this as a negative, I see things differently. Many hotels have a restaurant or bar connected to the lobby and I’d rather if they’d keep the unmasked diners at a restaurant instead of at my hotel.
- One of the last places I look for hotel reviews is a hotel website. Some of these reviews are from guests who received an email post-stay, but more often they’re just lifted from a site like TripAdvisor. I have my own way to sort reviews from that site to filter out reviews that aren’t relevant. I found it interesting that Marriott hotels are no longer allowing new certified guest reviews on its websites. I checked two properties we’ve previously stayed at and for both of them, the most recent reviews are from March 2020. I imagine it’s because most reviews now focus on how well, or poorly, a property is doing with following COVID-19 protocols. They might feel this is an unfair way to judge a property, but actually it’s one of the things guests, including myself, care about the most when looking for a place to stay. It almost seems like they’re trying to hide something.
- Traveling to the United States may soon involve providing even more information to the US government. It’s rumored that visa applicants and people needing an ETSA when visiting from a country with a visa waiver will need to provide their fingerprints or other biometric information. It’s unknown what benefit there is to gathering this data but we do know that countries often institute similar programs against US travelers, such as the upcoming requirement for US pass holders to get an ETIAS before visiting an European Schengen-zone country.
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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary