5 Things That Are Actually Going Well In The Travel Industry – Forbes

The 4th of July is a season of celebration, so the halfway point of the year seems an opportune moment to take a break from headlines of doom and gloom (higher fares! fewer reward points! smaller airline seats!) for some honest-to-goodness good news from the travel industry. Read on, and you’ll see that the first half of 2015 hasn’t been all bad.

1 – Smaller Carry-on Guidelines Rescinded. In June, the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) first announced, then hedged on, then suspended its initiative to standardize carry-on baggage sizes across the world’s airlines. Called Cabin OK, it would have pegged a standard carry-on suitcase at 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches (or 55 x 35 x 20 cm).

Cabin OK may have been well-intentioned – “The current variety of cabin bag size policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers,” IATA wrote, citing complications arising from gate-checking bags – but the new standards could have been a nightmare. You see, IATA consulted with aircraft and luggage manufacturers about Cabin OK, but someone left out the passengers, who would have had to downsize their carry-ons by an annoyingly small margin, from 22 x 14 x 9 inches, the standard on U.S. airlines.

Smaller luggage sizes were announced as aircraft manufacturers are introducing larger overhead luggage bins, like on this Airbus A350. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

IATA had always said that airlines could choose whether or not to follow the guidelines, and U.S. airlines wasted no time in rejecting them. IATA then followed suit, rescinding Cabin OK. It says it’s currently reassessing the situation.

2 – Ride-sharing Takes Off. In major markets across the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015, “An average 46 percent of all total paid car rides were through Uber,” according to Certify, which helps companies manage expenses. That’s up from 15 percent a year earlier, while the percentage of rides in taxis, limos and shuttles fell from 85 percent to 53 percent over the same period.

This is great news for riders, who get easier access to transport through smartphone apps, cheaper fares, and, in many cases, newer, nicer cars and friendlier drivers. Ride share drivers get to make extra cash, using their own cars and on their own schedules. It’s also forced taxi providers in many markets to get busy with their own apps.

An ancillary benefit for society: the spotlight on cheap, convenient transportation has helped reduce the incidence of drunk driving. Uber has teamed with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to raise awareness at peak times like Super Bowl and 4th of July weekends.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2015/06/30/5-things-that-are-actually-going-well-in-the-travel-industry/

Fourth of July travel guide | PennLive.com

There will not be lane restrictions in midstate road construction areas over the July 4 weekend, said Greg Penny, District 8 spokesman. Work on Route 581 at the 10th Street bridge will resume on the weekends of July 11 and 18, he said.

An exception is I-81 in Schuylkill County, where there is a major construction project from Exit 90 (Lebanon County line) to Exit 104 (Ravine Route 125), where backups have been occurring, Penny said.

Northbound lanes of I-81 are shifted to the southbound side of the road, with only one lane of travel in each direction for about eight miles. “The earlier you get on the road the better,” said Ron Young, spokesman for PennDOT District 5.

Heading further north on I-81 there are also several construction projects at Exit 178 and 190-191, but no lanes will be closed over the holiday weekend. Volunteers will be offering coffee at rest areas in this region along I-81 in Luzerne, Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties.

There are also restrictions on Route 322/22, where work continues in the Lewistown area. A crossover limits travel to one lane in each direction, with a 10-foot width restriction. There are also lane restrictions in Juniata County from Thompsontown to Port Royal, said Marla Fannin, District 2 spokeswoman.

In the Philadelphia area there are three construction projects on I-95 between Vine Street and Cottman Avenue, said spokesman Gene Blaum. But there will be no lane closures for the holiday weekend, from 6 a.m. July 3 through 9 a.m. July 6.

On I-80, Mifflinville bridge work in Columbia County will stop Thursday morning and resume Monday morning, said a District 3 spokesman.

Pennsylvania state police will be conducting enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers and those who drink and drive during the holiday weekend.

Last year, there were 326 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from June 27 through July 6. That was from 256 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities in 2013. Also during the holiday period last year there were 85 drug-related crashes and four fatalities, an increase from 69 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2013.



Article source: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/fourth_of_july_travel_guide.html

How to travel for cheap – Business Insider

Patrick Martin SchroederPatrick Martin Schroeder climbs Mt. Fuji in Japan.

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Wish that you could afford to travel more?

According to Patrick Martin Schroeder, you can.

For the past eight years, he’s traveled around the world and  spent approximately $45,000 in the process, which averages out to just $15 per day.

To date, he’s visited 125 countries, including all of North America, South America, and Europe.

You can view a full map of his travels on his website and see photos from his adventures on his Facebook page.

Recently, he shared his tips and tricks in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussion.

Here are his tips for aspiring budget travelers:

1. Expensive countries make it easier to spend less. 

As counterintuitive as it sounds, being in a country with a high cost of living forces travelers to seek out the most affordable options. 

“In Europe I’d go camping and couchsurfing all the time out of necessity, but here in Asia I’d happily pay for accommodation, because it’s cheaper,” he writes“But of course that adds up and in the end I pay more.”

2. Couchsurfing is your friend.

Patrick Martin SchroederThe Itsukushima Shrine in Hatsukaichi, Japan.

Over the course of the six months he spent in the US and Canada, Schroeder didn’t spend a single dollar on accommodations.

He recommends using both Couchsurfing.org and Warmshowers.org to find places to stay for free in foreign countries.

3. Use a little-known search engine for flights.

Using ITA Software’s Matrix Airfare Search can help you find the cheapest flights.

Some flexibility in your travel plans also helps. “Search by month, it will give you all prices for 30 days in a row. Pick the cheapest,” he recommends.

If you’re looking for more insight on how to save money on airfare, read 23 secrets to booking cheap flights.

4. You don’t need to save a lot of money to get started.

Patrick Martin SchroederA cathedral in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Schroeder admits that he’s lucky — after saving up money to travel around the world for a year, he ended up inheriting a house, and renting it out is his main source of income.

But even if that hadn’t happened, he says, he’d still be out exploring the world.

Traveling costs him under $6,000 a year, and he estimates that he could work for just three months to save that amount.

If you’re looking for a similar adventure, he recommends getting started with a small savings goal. ”Start saving $20 a week. If you do that for a year, you have $1,000, which is enough for 2-3 months.”

Patrick Martin SchroederCliffs overlooking Famara on Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.

5. Look for out-of-the way destinations.

Anyone looking to travel on a budget should look for places that have little to no tourism, Schroeder told Business Insider. 

“It’s not so much about the destination itself, but that the people living there will perceive you differently,” he explains. “If the locals are used to rich westerners that spend a lot of money, they see you as a business opportunity. But if they barely come in contact with foreigners, then their curiosity wins and you will get a much more personal contact. You will be a guest, not a walking ATM.”

Destinations that he recommends include the Andaman Islands, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Djibouti, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

6. Get worldwide health insurance.

Patrick Martin SchroederA mosque in Brunei Darussalam.

Schroeder doesn’t count insurance when calculating his $15-a-day budget.

He told Business Insider that he pays 300 euros (approximately $334 USD) per year for a worldwide plan that allows him to visit a doctor in any country that he’s visiting, just in case something goes wrong.

7. Carry enough cash for a month.

Once you get off the beaten tourist track, you probably won’t be able to use your credit card.

Schroeder makes sure to enough enough cash on hand to cover a month’s worth of expenses — which, on his $15-a-day budget, comes to $450. Although carrying large amounts of cash can be risky, he writes, “The world is far safer than most people assume.”

8. Try touring the world by bike.

Patrick Martin SchroederSchroeder with his bike in Japan.

Often, the most expensive part of any trip is transportation.

Schroeder takes flights only when absolutely necessary, and travels from country to country on his bike.

He told Business Insider that he’s gone through six bikes in the past eight years while traveling and paid 800 euros (~$892 USD) for the first, 100 euros (~$111 USD) for the second, and 400 euros (~$446 USD) for the third.

Since then, he’s attracted sponsors, and got his last three bikes for free.

And since bicycling doesn’t cost anything, he can spend most of his daily budget on food.

Patrick Martin SchroederA street market in Central Asia.

9. The hardest part is leaving your comfort zone.

Once you’re on the road, living without familiar luxuries becomes easy, Schroeder says. But getting out of your routine to start traveling can be a challenge, particularly when it mean giving up creature comforts. “As a huge nerd, the hardest thing to give up was my gaming PC and fast internet connection,” he told Business Insider, adding that he also misses having access to western supermarkets and a refrigerator. He wrote on Reddit that he periodically returns home to Germany, but tries to keep those visits short. “When I start treating luxuries like a kitchen, running hot water, fast internet, etc as standard, THEN I LEAVE.”

Article source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-travel-for-cheap-2015-6

Greece travel Q&A: Tourists urged to bring cash – USA Today

Tourists travelling to Greece have been advised to avoid relying on cards and that cash will be the best form of currency as the country enters a week of political and economic uncertainty.

Greece is close to a financial collapse with the stock exchange closed and banks shut all week after the European Central Bank (ECB) said that further credit to the nation was being refused after the eurozone rejected the latest bailout extension pleas from Greek politicians.

With new proposals put forward by creditors, the Greek people will go to the polls on Sunday to have their say on whether they agree with the latest round of austerity proposals. Having already overwhelmingly backed the anti-austerity, ultra left party Syriza in January, the future of Greece’s place in the eurozone looks uncertain.

What’s the problem?

The ECB has said it will not extend emergency funding to Greece, thus forcing all banks to close this week with the government saying it needing to protect their liquidity. Currently, residents can only withdraw $66 a day this week. The administration of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must pay $1.8 billion to the IMF by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. That is also the day when the country’s current bailout package expires, with the new austerity proposal offered by the eurozone yet to be agreed upon by Greece, after the government said it had to take the matter to the people in a referendum on 5 July.

What has the British Foreign Office said?

The latest advice reads: “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services — including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs — throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice. Make sure you have enough euros in cash to cover emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays.”

What does this mean for holidaymakers?

The $66 restriction on withdrawals does not apply to people who hold bank cards from outside of Greece, but still, the main warning is that it may be difficult to find a reliable, working ATM.

Furthermore, this should not be a problem for large numbers of people going to Greece, as many have already paid for most of their costs. The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) told tourists to take enough cash in case of emergencies, but a spokesman said, “50% of the people on package holidays in Greece will be on all-inclusive deals where the vast majority of their expenses are paid up front.”

What happens for holidaymakers who are in Greece after the result of the referendum? British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Greece will have to leave the euro if Greece votes no, but regardless of the outcome, tourists should not worry. The Independent’s travel expert Simon Calder said even if Greece crashed out of the euro and reinstated the drachma, the effect on holidaymakers would be “marginal.”

He said, “Hotels will no doubt continue to quote rates, and accept payment, in euros for the benefit of visitors from the single currency area — particularly Germany and Italy. It’s possible that prices may change by a few percent, but there should be no dramatic changes to fret about.”

What has the Greek government said?

The Greek government informs those visiting or about to visit Greece, that the announced measures restricting the movement of capital do not affect in any way those who wish to make transactions or ATM withdrawals using debit or credit cards issued abroad.

“It should be noted that there is ample availability of both fuel and all products and services that ensure a smooth and fun stay for the visitors in every city, region and the islands.”

The Minister for Tourism, Elena Kountoura has reiterated that “Greek tourism remains high in the preferences of our visitors.”

“The tourists who are already here and those who are planning to come, will not be affected in any way by the events and will continue to enjoy their holiday in Greece with absolutely no problem.”

Should I cancel my vacation?

Simon Calder would not advise cancelling a holiday — he’s even planning to go there himself this summer.

Despite the political and economic turmoil, Calder says, “It is likely to be an excellent summer to holiday in Greece, because some of the expected visitors may mistakenly stay away — potentially lowering holiday prices and increasing availability for the rest of us. June is particularly smart (as are May and September) because the temperature will be perfect and the islands uncrowded.

“Indeed, if there is one certainty about Greece in 2015, it is this: that millions of travelers will enjoy superb holidays there. Life goes on.”

This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared in The Independent. The content was created separately from USA TODAY.


Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/06/30/greece-travel-tourists-cash/29505425/

Top Fourth Of July Destinations: Expert Advice For Summer Holiday Travel

If you’re traveling anywhere during the Fourth of July weekend, you’ve probably spent countless hours looking for the best deal. Procrastinators and travelers looking for last-minute deals are in luck, because July Fourth travel is cheaper this year than last. Priceline.com notes domestic airfare is an average $14 cheaper than last year, while international travel is actually more expensive. Luckily, hotel deals are plentiful this time of year, and travelers can find real value on top Fourth of July destinations.

Chicago leads Priceline‘s Top 25 Fourth of July destinations even though the average daily hotel rates (ADR) are up at $72 — $223 in 2015 compared to $151 in 2014. Las Vegas is in second place and features cheaper hotels in 2015 ($100) than last year ($120). Washington ($153 vs. $135); Orlando, Florida ($109 vs. $100); and San Diego, California ($177 vs. $174) round out the top five.

“Good news for travelers is that the average domestic airfares for the 4th of July weekend are down slightly…and gasoline prices are also lower this year than last…so there are savings to be had whether traveling by plane or car,” Priceline’s travel editor Brian Ek said to International Business Times.

If you’re looking for some value, travelers should head to Montreal. The city is ranked #1 on Priceline’s “Best Bang for Your Buck Spots for July 4th, 2015″ list. Montreal’s ADR is $27 cheaper than last year ($122 vs. $149). Las Vegas is second on this list, followed by Paris ($197 vs. $234); Rome ($135 vs. $154); and Austin, Texas ($118 vs. $131).

If you want to get some serious savings, Ek suggests utilizing “opaque” pricing — securing deals that don’t reveal the exact itinerary until after you reserve the flight. Airfare and hotel packages are a good bet as are apps and email coupons. “You may find cheaper fares if you fly on July 4th, after the peak holiday air demand has been satisfied.  Also, price out 2-, 3-, and 4-day itineraries around the holiday as fares could vary quite a bit,” Ek said.

If Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, Orlando, Florida, or New York seem too pricey, Ek suggest St. Louis, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as alternatives. St. Louis is a Midwest city that offers many of the same attractions as Chicago, but with fewer crowds. The same applies for Philadelphia, which can stand in for New York or Washington, notes Ek.

There are also a few rules of thumb to follow when booking a trip. “Generally, airfares are the lowest if you make your reservation at least 21 days in advance of departure day.  Once you hit that 21-day window, fares typically start to escalate. And, the most expensive days to reserve airfare are usually within seven days of departure,” Ek said. You could, however, save on hotels when booking last minute, as there are more rooms are available and businesses could offer discounts to fill empty rooms. “For the holiday weekend, in particular, many hotels will have rooms available the night of July Fourth, so waiting to book [at the] last minute may save you more money,” Ek said.

Article source: http://www.ibtimes.com/pulse/top-fourth-july-destinations-expert-advice-summer-holiday-travel-1988493

AAA Michigan: 1.4M expected to travel Fourth of July | WOODTV.com

In this Wednesday, May 6, 2015, file photo, cars line up as an attendant pumps gas at a station in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says about 1.4 million state residents are expected to travel this Fourth of July, the most since 2007.

The Dearborn-based auto club says its projections are for Michigan residents traveling 50 miles or more from home between Wednesday and Sunday. The number of travelers would be a 0.7 percent increase over last year’s total.

According to AAA Michigan, about 88 percent of Michigan travelers are expected drive to their destinations. About 63,000 people are projected to travel by air.

AAA Michigan says rising incomes and a strong employment market is driving more people to travel.

Article source: http://woodtv.com/2015/06/30/aaa-michigan-1-4m-expected-to-travel-fourth-of-july/

Future travel: Flying cars and space hotels – CBS News


Space tourism already exists for the multimillionaire set, but several private companies are working to bring it to the masses, including Virgin Galactic and Space X.

The world’s first space tourist, former NASA engineer Dennis Tito, paid $20 million in 2001 for his odyssey. Space Adventures, the only company currently providing human space missions to the world marketplace, has so far sent seven paying tourists in space through its relationship with the Russian Space Agency.

In addition to Tito, it has sent Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, (who has made two trips,) Richard Garriott and Guy Laliberté, according to a company spokeswoman. Combined, they’ve traveled more than 36 million miles in space, she said.

Its next launch, in September, was supposed to include Japanese advertising executive Satoshi Takamatsu, but the company announced that he has opted to delay his trip for two to four years. In May, soprano Sarah Brightman also postponed her trip.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic says it has has 700 people signed up in its “Future Astronauts” program, ranging in age from under 10 to over 90.

“Since the dawn of the space age, only 547 humans have traveled above the Earth’s atmosphere and into space,” the company says on its website. “Virgin Galactic is changing that. Our purpose is to become the spaceline for Earth; democratizing access to space for the benefit of life on Earth.”

Still in the test phase, Virgin Galactic’s program suffered a setback in 2014 when its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane crashed in the Mojave Desert and killed one of the pilots.

Elon Musk’s California-based SpaceX, a NASA contractor, builds and launches rockets and spacecraft with the “ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.” An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded Sunday as it was departing on a mission to resupply the International Space Station with food, equipment and experiments.

Once reliable technology exists to routinely shuttle more tourists into space, companies will likely once again start talking about building space hotels. A Spanish company earlier announced plans to open a Galactic Suite Space Resort, but it has already missed its targeted 2012 completion date.

Article source: http://www.cbsnews.com/media/future-travel-flying-cars-and-space-hotels/

How Did ABC News’ Nick Watt Finagle His Own Travel Channel Show?

ABC News correspondent Nick Watt‘s new Travel Channel show Watt’s World premieres Tuesday with back-to-back episodes at 10 p.m. ET. The Emmy-award winning journalist and producer has traveled to nearly 90 different countries while either traveling with his parents or reporting for Good Morning America and Nightline. Watt’s World takes him to the weirdest and most fascinating places, asking unique questions to locals.

Watt asks things like, why do Albanians hang stuffed animals outside their homes? Are the French really that rude? And is cuddling the newest profession in Portland? We give him a taste of his own medicine in 5 Questions.

TVNewser: You’re a correspondent for ABC News, so how did you finagle your own Travel Channel show?

Watt: I’m not entirely sure how this happened. For a start, my boss James Goldston didn’t throw me out of his office when I came in with the idea for a show that would see me stay the weekend with weird people. He’s pretty open-minded. That idea gradually morphed into traveling around the world to places I’ve always wanted to go. For example, I’ve wanted to visit Albania ever since I was a kid and saw the strange little mushroom bunkers dotted all over the then-Communist country. But I’d never found anyone else who would go with me, until now. It helps that ABC News now has its own production company, Lincoln Square, that is now producing shows for other channels.

TVNewser: What was the most bizarre thing you encountered while filming Watt’s World?

Watt: Maybe a boiling lake in Dominica, or a women’s prison actually in Venice, or a UFO enthusiast late at night on the slopes of Mount Shasta, California.

TVNewser: You’ve been to almost half of the countries on the planet. Which one has the worst food?

Watt: Every single country I’ve visited has great food and terrible food. Iraq is a perfect example. I once got so sick there on a gross piece of chicken that I was so violently ill I popped a hernia in my chest. But in Iraq I’ve also eaten one of the my favorite dishes on earth: 24–hour slow cooked stuffed peppers served with yoghurt. France is somewhat similar: they have amazing duck, croissants and buttery sauces. But they also have some of the skinniest, grossest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.

TVNewser: OK, so what’s your favorite meal and where do I find it?

Watt: The Crail Fish Bar in Fife, Scotland. Haddock and chips. I’m a sucker for fried food. I’m Scottish. It’s genetic. They cook the chips in beef fat. And they do very little with the fish. Vinegar, salt and brown sauce. Perfect. Plenty places around the world try to make fish and chips. But once you’ve eaten haddock and chips in Crail, you will spurn all imposters. The most surprising great meal was in Tirana, Albania. A couple of Albanians who lived in Pennsylvania for years recently returned and opened a place called D-Town. The chef, Niko, makes everything himself. He can’t find a sous chef in Tirana who he thinks is good enough. So he flies solo. And the food – American and Italian – is stunning and unexpected.

TVNewser: You’ve covered everything to the Academy Awards to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Do you prefer working on hard news or entertainment-based content?

Watt: Basically I like covering anything and everything. I’m not sure I could ever be a beat reporter. The closest I came was when I lived in London and covered the Royals a lot. And that’s part of the reason I upped sticks and moved to Los Angeles. I remember my parents were furious when they paid a lot of money when I was a teenager for a ‘potential career assessment’ and all the tester could tell them was, “Nick will have trouble working within a structured environment.” I like working on an ugly dog contest one day and an investigation the next. I would love to do more in-depth, meaningful investigations, but you can’t have everything.

Article source: http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/how-did-abc-news-nick-watt-finagle-his-own-travel-channel-show/265615

LOOK: DeAndre Levy’s offseason travel excursion is the best thing ever

DeAndre Levy, travel afficianado. (Instagram)

Back in March, we showed you a picture from the beginning of Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy’s offseason vacation. It was a picture of Levy standing on top of a moving plane. Look, here it is again:

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) onMar 29, 2015 at 9:32am PDT

Pretty awesome, right? Well, Levy’s vacation didn’t stop there. He’s been traveling to all kinds of cool locations (mostly in Chile, so far) and documenting things on his Instagram account along the way.

Rano Raraku

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) onApr 30, 2015 at 3:52pm PDT

Here he is overlooking Rano Raraku in Chile. Rano Raraku, according to Wikipedia, is “a volcanic crater formed of consolidated volcanic ash, or tuff, and located on the lower slopes of Terevaka in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island,” which sounds INCREDIBLE.

A young Hotu Matu’a. Ahu Tongariki. No photo could do this site justice.

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) onMay 17, 2015 at 5:21pm PDT

This is Levy in front of Ahu Tongariki, which “is the largest ahu on Easter Island,” according to my Google search. Here’s more via the Wikiedia description:

Its moai were toppled during the island’s civil wars and in the twentieth century the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami. It has since been restored and has fifteen moai including an 86 tonne moai that was the heaviest ever erected on the island. Ahu Tongariki is one kilometer from Rano Raraku and Poike in the Hotu-iti area of Rapa Nui National Park. All the moai here face sunset during Summer Solstice.

Levy also visited Moon Valley in San Pedro de Atacama.

Moon Valley. San Pedro de Atacama.

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) onJun 23, 2015 at 11:51am PDT

And made time to stop in Death Valley as well.

Death Valley. San Pedro de Atacama.

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) onJun 29, 2015 at 10:36am PDT

Levy looks like he’s having a terrific time traveling in Chile, and he’s definitely taking in some really cool sights. I’m looking forward to seeing where his travels take him next.

Article source: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25228512/look-deandre-levys-offseason-travel-excursion-is-the-best-thing-ever