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A MESSAGE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND TRAVEL 15 Mar 2020

Gateway Destinations continues to closely monitor the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak worldwide. As always, your safety and well-being is my top priority. As the situation continues to evolve, I understand that you may have concerns about your current and future travel plans.

On March 11, President Trump banned foreign nationals from many European countries from entering the U.S. Additionally, U.S. citizens arriving from these countries must fly in to the U.S. through 13 airports for screening and possible quarantine.  

Here is the full Department of State notice with the countries impacted and further details.

 The U.S. Department of State also issued a Level 3 Global Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to “Reconsider All Travel Abroad” for the present time. The full text of that statement can be found here. Both of these were followed by many short-term cancellations of cruise and land itineraries.

I know that the decision on your current and future travel plans is a very personal one, but I wanted to let you know that I am here to discuss any questions you may have and options that may be available to change or cancel your travels. If you are considering canceling, it is also important to contact your travel insurance provider to assess coverage. As you may have heard, most policies are not covering “Fear of Travel” due to Coronavirus.Additionally, I have been working closely with cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, and other travel service providers to promote your interests and many have changed their cancellation and or payment options to allow you more time to make your decision in this rapidly changing situation. It is important that you consider all factors when making such decisions, but your health and comfort level are paramount. Again, I am here to discuss and to help you ascertain all the options and factors you should be considering.  I encourage you to periodically check my Gateway Destinations Facebook page as well as I am updating it with information you may find helpful.

We all hope the situation stabilizes and resolves quickly, but while it is evolving it is important to refer to verified information sources. As recommended in my communication last month, please consult the following resources:

Thank you for trusting me as I planned your past travels.  I look forward to helping you navigate the current situation so we can hopefully plan extraordinary adventures worldwide again in the near future!

Categories : Blog, Travel Tips
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Avoid Getting a Cold or Flu on an Airplane 15 Jan 2020

With cold and flu season here, here are a couple of simple tips to use when flying commercially to minimize your risk of getting sick:
  • Stay hydrated – drink 8 oz. of water per hour
  • Wash hands often – use soap and hand sanitizer
  • Avoid using the tray table or restroom on short flights (otherwise, wipe down with sanitizer)
  • Avoid touching your face (especially nose, mouth & eyes)
  • Choose a window seat as less traffic moves around you who may be sick
  • Keep air vent open (but dress warmly!)
  • Load up on Vitamin C & consider adding a Zinc supplement and probiotic
  • Consider wearing a mask (especially if your neighbor is sick)

Stay healthy and Bon Voyage!

Categories : Blog, Travel Tips
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What Should You Do in Case of Flight Delays Due to Weather? 15 Dec 2019

As we know, Mother Nature can disrupt our travel plans especially if flights are involved.  Being “in the know” is your best defense.
  • Check the weather in your destination AND en route (e.g. connecting airports) starting several days before you depart.
  • Sign up for your airline’s notifications (text or email) and download their app so you will be notified immediately in case of a flight delay or cancellation.  Some airlines will automatically reschedule you or offer you an earlier,  later, or a different route to avoid the weather problem, which may be able to be done on their website or mobile app avoiding a lengthy attempt by phone.
  • If taking the trip is not critical, you may want to consider cancelling it if your flight is disrupted and instead, taking the airline’s full refund which they are obligated to do.
Categories : Blog, Travel Tips
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How Far in Advance Should I Make Travel Plans? 15 Nov 2019

I often get this question and have to say that it varies with your destination and travel dates but the quick answer is well in advance, especially if you are traveling to Europe.  Demand for Europe is at an all-time high so preferred hotel and cruise space fills up quickly.  Consider at least one year in advance and up to two years for a river cruise to obtain the best pricing and desired cabin location.  Popular ocean cruises should be reserved 8 – 10 months in advance for best pricing.  If a better price comes along later, rest assured I will be notified through my Cruise Tracking program and will reach out to the cruise line to request that this savings be extended to you.
Flights can’t be purchased until 11 months before travel and pricing can vary considerably based on the time of year and week (and other factors).  Rule of thumb is if you find a good price for your flight, buy it because it will likely increase!
Categories : Blog, Travel Tips
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Do You Need CLEAR or TSA Pre-Check, or Both? 15 Oct 2019

Have you been noticing CLEAR being promoted in your airport lately and wondering what it is all about?  It is simply a way to expedite confirming your identity and may be handy for frequent air travelers but it comes with a hefty price tag – $179 per year.  It does NOT replace TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry but can be used in conjunction with either one.  Simply go through the CLEAR line first and have your identity checked biometrically (fingerprint or iris scan), then go to the front of the regular security line or TSA Pre-Check line (if you also have this service as it will read it on your boarding pass).  There is no need to show your driver’s license or passport during this process.

Categories : Blog, Travel Tips
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