8 tips I wish I knew before traveling on my own to Egypt

8 tips I wish I knew before traveling on my own to Egypt

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8 tips to help you travel this Memorial Day Weekend

This summer, the travel season rebounds as industry experts predict more Americans will travel this summer than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

Passenger counts continue to increase across the nation as people begin leisurely traveling again. And with the Memorial Day weekend approaching, Phoenix Sky Harbor is expecting to see an increase in passengers, nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

READ ALSO: 10 Arizona resorts reveal inside tips to create perfect staycation

Travelers can expect continued safety protocols. Though masks are no longer mandated for travel, the CDC recommends mask-wearing while traveling. Phoenix Sky Harbor will have face coverings and other PPE items are available for purchase at airport shops and PPE vending machines. Hand-sanitizing stations are still available and other contactless processes will still be followed.

Here are a few tips from America’s Friendliest Airport® to help ease the stress of passengers returning to the sky.

Tip #1 – Pack a face covering and other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer. The Federal Mask Mandate has been lifted; however, the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks while flying to ensure the safety and well-being of the traveling public, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Some airlines may still require travelers to wear a mask. Check with your airline for specific requirements.

Tip #2 – Traveling internationally? Check your destination’s entry requirements. Some destinations may require a negative COVID-19 test for entry. COVID-19 testing is offered pre-security in Terminal 4 at Treat. The U.S. still also requires a negative test when returning on an international flight. Be sure to check with your airline and destination for specific information.

Tip #3– Reserve your parking in advance. Enjoy the convenience of Sky Harbor Discount Parking and save money while reserving your spot at any of our parking facilities.

Tip #4 – Double-check what’s in your bags. Make sure to look through your bags and review the TSA Prohibited Items List the night before your flight.

Tip #5 – Check the flight status with the airline before coming to the airport to catch a flight or to pick-up/drop-off loved ones. Flight status can be checked on the airline’s website or at skyharbor.com.

Tip #6 – Give yourself extra time. Arrive early and check security wait times online. If you are traveling domestically, arrive two hours before your flight, three hours if you are traveling internationally. Travelers can also check current TSA security checkpoint wait times on the homepage of skyharbor.com and on the flight information screens in the Airport once they arrive. Traveling in Terminal 4? You can use any security checkpoint to access your gate.

Tip #7 – Reduce your time in the security checkpoint line. Our PHX RESERVE program allows you to save your space and reduce the wait. Make a reservation up to three days before your flight departs. You’ll be provided with a time to enter a designated checkpoint lane where you’ll begin the standard security process. This program is open to travelers of any airline, though if you have TSA PreCheck, it’s recommended you use the TSA PreCheck Program. Learn more.

Tip #8 – Reserve your rental car in advance. No matter where you are traveling, it’s always a good idea to reserve your rental car in advance as vehicles may be limited for walk-up customers.

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8 Essential Tips For Your First Backpacking Trip

My love of backpacking began when I was a teenager. Unlike taking a day hike, backpacking offered adventure as you packed everything you need to spend a night or more in the woods on your back and spend the night sleeping under the stars next to a stream, a rushing waterfall, or on a rocky bluff, the sounds of nature surrounding you.

Over the years, life got in the way and there never seemed to be enough time to get away so my love of backpacking was pushed to the backburner. Now that I have retired, I have the time and want to try it again. Trouble is, I’m not that spry teenager anymore. My knees pop, snap, and ache. My back isn’t limber anymore. But the trail is calling. 

Backpacking is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated, take you to landscapes and nature that only a hiking trail can, and even challenge you. It can be as simple as spending one night on a trail in a local state park where they offer backcountry camping to something truly challenging like hiking the entire Appalachian Trail (A.T.) from Georgia to Maine. 

One thing is for certain: it is a fun, rewarding, and satisfying sport that those of us over 50 can enjoy far into our golden years.

MJ Eberhart (aka Nimblewill Nomad) became the oldest man to complete the Appalachian Trail.
MJ Eberhart (aka Nimblewill Nomad) became the oldest man to complete the Appalachian Trail in 2001

(Photo Credit: Joe Cuhaj)

Not convinced that you’re never too old to backpack? Well, a good friend of mine, M.J. Eberhart (better known by his hiking moniker, Nimblewill Nomad) recently completed hiking the A.T. from Alabama to Maine at the age of 83, becoming the oldest man to do so.

Here are eight tips to get you started on your own journey.

Man stands on top of rock overlooking rolling hills.
“One of the joys of backpacking – breathtaking views.”
(Photo Credit: Joe Cuhaj)

1. The Joy Of Backpacking Over 50

Besides exploring nature, there are many other benefits associated with backpacking:

  • Being physically active is good for your mind and body.
  • It improves your cardiovascular health.
  • Builds strong muscles.
  • Increases cognitive function.
  • It’s therapeutic, allowing you to get away from the everyday grind and immerse yourself in nature.
  • Builds confidence in yourself and your abilities. 

2. Getting In Shape 

Before you lace up those boots and set one foot on the trail, get to know your body and your physical condition, and don’t sugarcoat it. Be honest with yourself. Are you having some knee or back aches? Are you a bit overweight? How is your stamina?

Always start your adventure with your personal physician. Tell them what you are planning to do and get the low down on your physical condition. Be sure to ask their advice for preparing your body for the adventures ahead.

3. Start With The Basics 

If you have never taken even a day hike before, start by walking your neighborhood and gradually increase your distance.

When you’re ready to move on to something more challenging, take your walk to the nearest park or state park and take day hikes of varying degrees of difficulty. Again, begin with easy trails and work your way up to the more difficult but be sure to take hikes that have something of interest to spur you on like a waterfall, panoramic view, or history.

From there, it’s time to start taking easy overnight treks. Using the same process, build yourself up to longer stays in the woods. But before you can do that overnighter, you need to get some basic gear and do a little more planning.

4. Gear Basics 

You have to remember that you will be carrying everything you need on your back. Many people give up backpacking after their first trip because they carry literally everything — cast iron skillets, large four-person tents, radios, you name it. It’s not good and is usually the end of their backpacking adventures.

The idea is to strike a balance between packing light and still being comfortable. There is a science to buying the right gear for your adventure — tents, sleeping bags, food, etc. The American Hiking Society is one of the best sources for learning the intricacies involved in making the best choices for backpacking gear and making your first backpacking trip enjoyable and comfortable.

There are a few essentials you need to really focus on. The first is water, a backpacker’s best friend and worst enemy.

It’s the hiker’s best friend because drinking enough water on a hike is essential to keep you hydrated and healthy. It’s their worst enemy because it is very heavy to carry.

A good rule of thumb is to drink one half-liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures. Increase or decrease the amount depending on the hike’s difficulty and the outside temperature. Be sure to add electrolytes to your water to help with hydration.

Do not drink from any water source on the trail without first purifying it either through a filter or with chemicals. Illnesses from water-borne germs like giardia are not a laughing matter. While it is treatable and rarely fatal, the physical toll it takes on your body is not fun.

Talk with the local outfitter about water filters for your pack or water bottle. The go-to magazine for backpackers, Backpacker Magazine, does an annual review of the latest filters that will also help you make the right choice.

Always carry basic communications — a cell phone and GPS unit. Cell phones are OK to a point, but you are never sure if you will have a signal or not, and of course, the batteries die.

Don’t ever use your phone as a GPS device. Again, lack of signal is the problem and can leave you stranded out in the backcountry. It also drains batteries quickly. Instead, opt for a GPS device. Prices start at $100 for the basic Garmin GPS Map 64ST.

Even with a good GPS unit (and having learned how to use it), there is still one thing you should learn before your big adventure…

5. Learn Orienteering 

A GPS is good, but you can still lose the signal or the batteries can die. It’s a good idea to learn orienteering — the use of a traditional map and compass. Oh, and be sure to carry them with you on your hike.

National topographic maps for anywhere in the country are available online from the U.S. Geological Survey as well as local outfitters who can instruct you on the art of orienteering or guide you to someone who can teach you.

Campers stand around campfire.
Author, Joe, getting ready for a night on the trail with friends around a campfire.
(Photo Credit: Joe Cuhaj)

6. Make Informed Decisions About Your Trek 

As you see, planning is everything for a successful backpacking trip. But there is more to it than just the gear you carry.

Of course, you want to make your backpacking trip memorable and experience all that nature has to offer, but you need to know your limits.

Good trail guides and maps will tell you the degree of difficulty of a trail. But that is all subjective and usually is based on the author’s experience and condition, which may not be the same as yours.

With a good trail guide like those found on AllTrails or an app, you can look at the map and the accompanying elevation gain to get a sense of what kind of climbing you are in for on the hike you choose to take.

Also consider the length of the hike. Sure, the average person can walk 2 or 2.5-miles an hour on level ground, but add in climbing ridges and mountains and fording streams, and unless you are in top condition, your speed will drop significantly and a shorter distance overnight hike may be in order.

Locate water sources along the trail before you head out. Are there plenty of streams and springs where you can filter water? That will help lighten the load, but still always carry plenty with you. You never know when that water source will be dry.

7. Be Weather Wise

Check the weather before heading out. If severe storms are predicted, don’t chance it.

Hikers, walk across a wooden bridge into the woods.
“Take a day hike with your gear to try it out before doing an overnight backpacking trip.”
(Photo Credit: Joe Cuhaj)

8. Final Tips Before You Hit The Trail

Never hike alone. I have many backpacking friends who go solo, but it’s not a good idea. Emergencies happen on the trail and having someone with you could be the difference between life and death.

Pack along a first aid kit and know how to use it.

Wherever you go, let others know of your plans — when you will be at the trailhead, what route you are taking on the trail, where you will be spending the night, and what time they can expect you to return home.

Before going on your first overnight, consider doing a shakedown hike of your gear. Load your pack with everything you plan on taking with you and do a day hike through a local park or state park. Walk a distance. Is the pack comfortable or too heavy? Take the gear out and try it to make sure it works and that it is not too difficult to operate on the trail.

And with that, you are ready to lace up the boots, strap on the pack, grab the hiking poles, and take your first backpacking trip. Happy trails!

For more information on Camping, explore these articles:

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8 Google Travel Tips You Should Try Today

With summer vacations coming soon, travel season will be in full swing and more people will be planning their trips. If that’s you and you’re planning to drive or fly to your destination, use Google Maps and Google Flights for help.

Here’s why: Google Flights can help you track prices for any dates you plan on flying out. And if you’re heading to a new mall out of town, Google Maps can help you figure out how to steer clear of crowds. If you’re going on a spring break vacation trip and don’t know the airport well, Google Maps can easily help you find some food or coffee there. And if you’re driving separately to your destination, you can use Google Maps to let your friends and family know your whereabouts.

Keep reading and we’ll tell you all the ways Google can help make your vacations go smoothly.

See how much a flight will cost for any date you plan to leave

On May 2, Google announced a new feature that will let you find the best deal on flights heading to your destination. Now you can start tracking prices to find deals for any date, and Google will send you an email if it detects lower than typical prices in the next three to six months.

Just head to Google Flights on your browser and type in your destination. If you don’t have a specific date in mind for traveling, select Any dates to find the best deal.

Navigate through airports, malls and transit stations

If you need to quickly find a store in a large mall, Google Maps is expanding its Directory tab for all airports, malls and transit stations. This can help when you’re running around the airport trying to find a place to eat or grabbing a last-minute souvenir before catching your flight. The tab will tell you a destination’s business hours and what floor it’s on. You can look through restaurants, stores, lounges and parking lots.

Google Maps App on phone

Google Maps can tell you how busy a restaurant is.

Angela Lang/CNET

Browse Google Maps to see how busy a place is

Google added a new feature to its Google Maps’ busyness tool. Already you could search for a location, like a business, to see a chart that showed how crowded it is in real time. Now a new feature called Area Busyness lets you see when entire map areas are clogged with people. 

To use the new feature, you open the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone (or your computer’s browser) and move around the map to find a general area, say downtown, a riverwalk or a quaint nearby town. The busyness information will now automatically appear on the map, so you don’t need to specifically search for a place to see how crowded it is. Google Maps may say something like “Busy Area” and when you click for more details, it could say, for example, “As busy as it gets.”


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Track your trip itinerary in Google Maps 

Google Maps can chart your travels, but it can also quickly show you your flight, hotel, car rental and restaurant reservations, saving you the hassle of searching through your email for check-in times and confirmation numbers.

To see your upcoming reservations:

1. In Google Maps, tap Saved in the bottom menu row.

2. Tap Reservations. Here, you’ll see a list of upcoming reservations you’ve made that Maps has pulled from emails in Gmail.

3. Select an item to see more about the reservation, including date and location.

4. You can also search for “my reservations” in the Google Maps search box to see a list of what you’ve booked.

Make a restaurant reservation right in Google Maps

Planning a dinner night out with a large group can be a hassle, especially when you go at a busy hour. Google Maps can help you book a lunch or dinner reservation. Here’s how.

1. In Maps, tap the Restaurants button at the top of the map to see a list of places to eat.

2. Select a restaurant that looks good, and in the window that pops up, reserve a table or join a waitlist, if it gives you that option (not all do).

Remember you can use the busyness feature mentioned above to pick the least packed place. Also, note that some restaurants that are closed to dine-in may still allow delivery, curbside pickup or outdoor seating.

google maps logo on phone

Let friends and family know when you’ll arrive by sharing your location.

Angela Lang/CNET

Use Google Maps offline

Heading someplace remote where you may not have a mobile network connection? Google Maps can still give you directions when you’re offline.

1. Before you head out, search in Maps for the location where you’ll want directions.

2. In the location’s window, pull up the menu at the bottom. 

3. Scroll right through the tabs and tap Download, and then in the next window tap Download again. Maps will download a map to your phone for the area you selected.

Now, as you use Google Maps for directions in the area you downloaded a map for, when you lose your cellular connection Maps will switch to the offline map to guide you. Note that because you’re offline, Maps won’t be able to offer real-time traffic info.

Find EV charging spots and gas stations wherever you are

If you’re taking your electric vehicle out for shopping, dinner or a vacation, Google Maps can help you find EV charging stations on your route, along with estimated wait times for a charging port. You can also filter your search by connector type — such as J1772, CCS (Combo 1 or 2) and Tesla — to see just the stations that are compatible with your EV. Note you can also search for gas stations by following these same directions. (Here’s how you can save money at the pump.)

1. In Maps, scroll through the tabs on the top of the screen and tap More.

2. Scroll down to the Services section and select Electric vehicle charging

3. Maps will display nearby charging stations and how many are available.

4. Tap a charging station on the map to have Maps add it as a stop on your trip.

You can also use this trick to search for other places along your route, like a coffee shop.

Share your location through Google Maps

Is anything more frustrating during a group activity than when the group gets split up and no one can find each other? Google Maps can help bring you all back together.

1. In Google Maps, tap your profile icon in the top right corner and tap Location sharing.

2. Tap Share location and select who you want to share your location with and for how long you want to share it.

3. Tap Share, and Google Maps will send your location to everyone you’ve selected.

4. If you want to see someone else’s location, tap that person’s icon at the top of the window and then tap Request.

If, after all this, you’d rather stay home during summer break, here are the best new TV shows to watch across all the streaming services.

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South Africa A Tour of Zimbabwe 2022 – South Africa A vs Zimbabwe XI – 4th T20- 8 May 2022

South Africa A vs Zimbabwe XI – 4th T20

South Africa A vs Zimbabwe XI – 4th T20

©Cricket World


The 4th T20 match of the South Africa A Tour of Zimbabwe 2022 will take place on the 8th of May 2022 between South Africa A and Zimbabwe XI at the Harare Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe.

LIVE SCORES – Match 16- Athreya Cricket Club vs Eranakulam Cricket Club

Current Form South Africa A and Zimbabwe XI:


South Africa A have defeated Zimbabwe XI by 142 runs in the third T20 as well and gained a 3-0 lead in the 5 match T20 series.

Zimbabwe XI won the toss and elected to field first. South Africa A could not get off to a good start and lost 2 wickets for 28 runs. After this phase, Heinrich Klaasen came to the crease and he along with Ryan Rickelton smashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground. Heinrich Klaasen made 56 off 31 balls and just when he was looking dangerous, he lost his wicket. Ryan Rickelton was the next one to follow the suit and got out after making 47 in 35 deliveries. Once both these batters got out, the South Africa A innings started losing pace and didn’t look like they will get to a total past 200. There was good ball striking shown by the late order batters of South Africa A, and they got to a total of 184 for 8 in 20 overs.

For Zimbabwe XI, Tanaka Chivanga picked up 3 wickets for just 29 runs in his spell.

During the chase, Bjorn Fortuin removed Wesley Madhevere in the first over of the second innings. It triggered a collapse that we have not witnessed in recent times. One after the other, Zimbabwe XI batters chose the wrong shot to play and kept losing their wicket. South African bowlers kept it very tight throughout and kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. Zimbabwe XI got bowled out for 42 by the end of the 12th over, losing the match by 142 runs.

For South Africa A, Junior Dala picked up 3 wickets for 12 runs.

 Let’s have a look at the squads:

Zimbabwe XI

Richmond Mutumbami, Nyasha Mayavo, Prince Masvaure, Milton Shumba, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Kevin Kasuza, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Wesley Madhevere, Ernest Masuku, Tendai Chatara, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine

South Africa A

Heinrich Klaasen, Ryan Rickelton, Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Khaya Zondo, Tony de Zorzi, Lesiba Ngoepe, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jason Smith, Bjorn Fortuin, Lizaad Williams, Lutho Sipamla, Gerald Coetzee, Prenelan Subrayen, Daryn Dupavillon

Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions* – PrePlay

Who will win the toss? – South Africa A

Who will win?– South Africa A

Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa A) , Craig Ervine (Zimbabwe XI)

Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Daryn Dupavillon (South Africa A), Wellington Masakadza (Zimbabwe XI)

Most Sixes – Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa A), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe XI)

Player of the Match- Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa A)

Team Scores Batting first – South Africa A 180+, Zimbabwe XI 90+

Match Handicap: South Africa A

LIVE STREAMING South Africa A Tour of Zimbabwe 2022:

bet365’s live cricket streaming page which enables you to watch live cricket. (BeGambleAware 18+)  Live Cricket Streaming from bet365 requires a funded account or for customers to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. Geo-restrictions apply.

© Cricket World 2022

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8 Insider Tips To Have the Best Paris Experience Ever — Best Life

There’s a reason U.S. News & World Report voted Paris, France the best place to visit in Europe: It offers the perfect blend of beauty, art, culture, and cuisine. The City of Light attracts millions of tourists every year who are eager to experience the charm and romance its famous for. You can see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre firsthand, walk the Seine river and stroll across its many bridges, stay in the luxury hotels and eat at the restaurants written about by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, feast on Coq au vin and Steak Frites, and shop the Avenue des Champs Élysées (home to Chanel, Hermés, and Dior).

Since France (one of the strictest European countries in terms of Covid restrictions during the pandemic) recently relaxed requirements (anyone who is fully vaccinated can enter the country without taking a test, while unvaccinated individuals will need proof of a negative test), now is a great time to finally take that trip to Paris.

However, don’t make rookie mistakes. We rounded up some insider tips so you can take advantage of everything the city has to offer—from tourist attractions to under-the-radar experiences only locals and regulars know. And next, don’t miss the 10 Best Places to Travel Internationally This Spring.

French Sentence on Chalk Board with French Flag

Even if you aren’t fluent in French, Meghan Donovan, founder of Paris, Perfected, recommends learning some simple words. “While many Parisians speak English (and rather well), they prefer to be greeted in French and a little effort with some key phrases goes a long way,” she says. “I also recommend you download the Google Translate app. Download the French to English translations and pull the app up whenever you need a particular phrase or word.”

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Paris in the Fall

Melissa Lauret, a flight attendant at French Bee, points out that Paris has a lot to offer every season, depending on the experience you are seeking.

During spring, you will experience all the blooming flowers and vibrant greenery. She suggests checking out the Dock of La Seine “in order to take a little Parisian aperitif with friends and enjoy the soft air of Paris.”

In autumn, Lauret suggests taking a walk and sitting on park benches and visiting the squares of Paris, “because the trees dress with their most beautiful orange, red and yellow leaves, the air is calm, and the atmosphere is relaxing.”

“We love winter and holiday season to stroll in front of the mall Galeries Lafayette in the Ninth District of Paris. Every year, a spectacular and giant Christmas tree is set up in the center of the mall, and it’s beautifully colored and full of magic,” Lauret says.

Keep in mind that summer is the busiest season in Paris, which can translate to lots of crowds, especially in more touristy spots. Next Vacay recently compiled data of TikTok’s Top 10 Most-Watched attractions in 2022, deeming the Eiffel Tower ​​the third most popular attraction to visit in 2022 with a staggering 719.6 million TikTok views. They suggest booking a trip to the iconic Parisian landmark in the fall to avoid long lines. An added bonus? The mild fall weather provides a cozy experience (think: cashmere sweaters and hot chocolate).

The Ritz in Paris

Briony Raymond of luxury jewelry company Briony Raymond New York, spends a lot of time in the City of Light. She suggests splurging on a stay at one of two iconic Paris hotels, if possible. “Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world! I was lucky enough to live there for five years and now go back to visit any chance I get,” she says.

“My two favorite hotels are The Ritz when I’m with the kids, as they have a fabulous swimming pool (and it’s near all the great shopping on Faubourg Saint-Honoré), and the Four Seasons Hotel George V when I’m sans family.”

As for food and entertainment, Raymond also suggests a few iconic Paris spots. “I love to do dinner at Hotel Costes and lunch at L’Avenue. Musée d’Orsay is the dreamiest museum, packed with all my favorite impressionist paintings.”

READ THIS NEXT: The 10 Best American Cities Every Traveler Should See.

Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Sergii Molchenko/Shutterstock

Want to explore the city and make it an adventure? Miguel Teixeira, cabin crew director of French Bee airline, France’s first smart-cost, long-haul carrier, suggests allowing yourself to get lost in Paris. “I recommend walking the streets of Paris without following a map,” he says. “This will help with the jet lag and getting lost is actually a good idea for sightseeing.”

Two Women Holding a Map Near Notre Dame
Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

Gavin Miller, executive vice president of Travel Edge, stresses the importance of planning ahead if you want to experience all the city has to offer. “It’s impossible to embrace all that the City of Light offers in a single trip, but a thoughtful itinerary designed by professional travel advisors gives travelers a dazzling taste of Paris that travelers will never forget,” he says.

A few of his professional suggestions? Venture 65 feet below the city to discover the invisible history of Paris in the catacombs. If you love fashion, hit some of the best shopping districts in the world, like The Golden Triangle, Montmartre, or Marais, or, witness fashion Saturdays at Le Bristol.

“For the ‘CognoScenti,’ or person who loves perfume as defined by World of PAIRFUM, travelers can create their own distinct scents at the Musée du Parfum Fragonard,” Miller says.

You can also check out a little ballet at the Palais Garnier, learn pastry making from the best during a private pastry class at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu Academy, or take a leisurely stroll through the stunning Tuileries Garden.

“For dining, restaurants such as three-Michelin star Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen or Le Pre Catelan are not to be missed,” Miller says. However, make sure to book dinners at these swanky and popular eateries ahead of time. Finally, “make it a true Parisian evening with cocktails at L’Arc Paris, Guy Savoy, or Clown Bar, and an evening of jazz at Le Duc des Lombards.”

Cafe Montmartre in Paris
Premier Photo/Shutterstock

Chloé Abidos, a French Bee flight attendant, suggests finding some of the best foodie spots on social media. “If you have Instagram, go and search for #ParisFoodie, you’ll find tons of good spots to go.”

“I usually do that whenever I am going to a new city,” she adds. “I just have to change the name of the town and I sometimes find really famous restaurants and hidden gems, and I’m never disappointed.”

READ THIS NEXT: The Best Tourist Attraction In Every State.

View of Paris Opera House from Galleries Lafayette
Darya Kartukha/Shutterstock

Not every great city view costs money, says personal travel planner and blogger Suzanne Wolko, of  PhilaTravelGirl. “For Paris, one of my favorite spots is the (free) rooftop at Galleries Lafayette with views of the Paris Opera across the road and views of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.”

“Plus, the cafeteria is full of wonderful foods and snacks,” she says. “Fill up on food and views and then do the guided tour of the Opera House to see the Chagall ceiling.”

Parisian Street
Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Wolko also encourages making time to explore the city on your own. “The best experiences in Paris are usually the ones with no expectations and good walking shoes!” she says.

“I usually suggest booking two experiences a day and then leaving free time to wander the city and find something that interests you: food, architecture, people, the Seine, etc. I usually end up buying chocolate truffles and macarons along my impromptu tasting tour of the patisseries to find the best ones to bring home.”

For more insider travel tips, check out The 10 Best European Cities Every Traveler Needs to See.

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Airlines Dropping Mask Mandates: 8 Things Parents Need to Know When Traveling With Kids | Traveling With Kids

With airlines dropping mask mandates – many strangely in mid-air – some families with young children who are not able to get vaccinated yet are feeling a new round of anxiety. Here are a few tips for families trying to navigate these tricky travel scenarios:

  • I’ve always said bring a medical kit with you, ever since my 3-year-old daughter fell into “a very mean” cactus at Joshua Tree and we had to borrow a pair of tweezers from another family while she cried hysterically. Consider bringing a pack of face masks with your medical kit.

  • If you have young kids under the vaccination age or are going to see a compromised relative, the whole family should mask while traveling. N-95s or KN-95s are best at this point. While the parents may be vaccinated and at less risk, the same principle of the whole family wearing helmets while bike riding or skiing applies – the kids need to see the example.

  • Bring extra masks in case you find yourself in a situation where a seat neighbor is coughing often.

  • Have patience. Airlines have been struggling with staffing all year, and they will continue to struggle, likely more as more employees become sick now and they have to rotate crews and pilots. This will lead to delays and aggravation. Patience is a virtue.

  • Consider travel insurance. Make sure to get travel insurance in case of any hiccups, whether with COVID or airline delays.

  • To avoid delays, try to book the earlier flight you can. Delays tend to build later in the day. 

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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8 North Coast 500 tips you should know before heading on your epic roadtrip

The North Coast 500‘s peak season is fast approaching with travellers from around the world gearing up to take on the iconic Northern route.

Over the last couple of years, road trippers, campers and tourists have been kept away from the breathtaking 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland – but no more.

If you’re planning on hitting the road for the first time this summer, here are eight tips you should know before heading off on your epic trip.

The National: North Coast 500. Credit: TripadvisorNorth Coast 500. Credit: Tripadvisor

NC500 tips and tricks before you head on your road trip

1. Plan ahead

Sure one of the main points of a Scottish road trip is to be spontaneous and explore as you go but sometimes a little bit of planning can go a long way. 

Before hitting the road, we recommend having a rough idea of when you want to travel, for how long and what sights you simply can’t miss.

The stunning route is growing in popularity year on year so if you’re not one for wild camping, booking accommodation, a car and some attractions should be done well in advance.

Check out the NC500’s interactive map before heading off on your journey. 

You can search the route by region including the Black Isle, Caithness, Wester Ross and more. 

The handy map will help you narrow down what you’re looking for be it a hotel, campsite as well as dog-friendly attractions and different points of interest for you to discover.

Don’t get caught out scrambling to find a signal either, download the North Coast 500 phone app ahead of time.

The app lets you download your own digital copy of the NC500 map which is handy for when your wandering becomes lost.

2. Visit during the offseason to save money and avoid the crowds

Unsurprisingly, the NC500 is at its busiest during the summer from May to September – we can’t imagine why!

The summer months benefit from most of the attractions and businesses being open on the route. 

Not to mention, it is easier to spot the impressive variety of wildlife and the weather is (supposedly) better too. 

That being said, there are plenty of advantages to exploring the route in the offseason.

There will be fewer people to spoil your Instagram snaps and you might end up saving a little on your trip by not having to fork out for expensive hotel rates. 

The National: North Coast 500. Credit: TripadvisorNorth Coast 500. Credit: Tripadvisor

3. Plan for your NC500 drive to be at least 5 days

According to the North Coast 500 website, you should leave a minimum of 5 days to drive the scenic route.

Of course, like anything, the more time you have the more you’ll be able to see. 

The travel site recommends 7-10 days so that you have time to see all the major attractions, everything from Dunrobin Castle to the Fyrish monument. 

If you can’t spare that amount of time, there’s nothing stopping you from exploring one or two sections along the route and returning to discover some other spots at a later date.

READ MORE: Best beaches in Scotland – See the top 10 according to Tripadvisor reviews

READ MORE: 10 best places to play golf in Scotland according to Tripadvisor reviews

4. Choose a base as your starting point

516 miles is a lot of ground to cover so to help make the most of your trip, there are a couple of things you can do to make it more manageable.

As mentioned above, if you don’t have a lot of time you should break the route down into chunks and uncover the route region by region.

Alternatively, you can choose a spot along the route as your base.

This is where you would stay overnight for a comfortable place to sleep before taking off on daily adventures to somewhere new – repeating as many times as you like on your trip.

The National: North Coast 500. Credit: TripadvisorNorth Coast 500. Credit: Tripadvisor

5. Pack for the unpredictable

Unpredictable weather comes with the territory and even travelling the route in the summer months gives you no guarantee. 

Get your checklist at the ready and come prepared with plenty of layers, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable waterproof shoes.

If you’re planning on driving the route from May to September, you’ll also be joined by some merciless midges.

Come prepared with some repellent spray or lotion and you’ll thank us later!

Having a versatile wardrobe is important but there are a couple of other things you need to consider when packing your bags.

The NC500 website has a trusty Rough Guides North Coast 500 guidebook that you might be grateful to have in your glovebox which you can order from its online store alongside some official branded clothes. 

6. Become a member of the NC500 club

You can also become a member of the NC500 club and get access to tonnes of exciting benefits. 

For £15 a year, the annual traveller’s membership will give you several themed itineraries to browse as well as a discount card and monthly newsletter.

You’ll get your own Rough Guide to the North Coast 500 eBook and official NC500 map. 

Find out more about the traveller membership via the North Coast 500 website.

READ MORE: The 8 best hotels in Scotland according to Tripadvisor reviews

READ MORE: Best seafood restaurants in Scotland according to Tripadvisor reviews

7. Book your accommodation in advance but be up for anything 

Similar to the rest of the route, you should plan as much of your accommodation in advance as you can.

The official route website has rounded up some of the best B&Bs, hotels, log cabins and guest houses if you plan to explore the route without compromising on your luxuries. 

However, there is something with all tastes and budgets and you’ll also find plenty of choices of hostels, campsites and campervan pitches too. 

Of course, you can wild camp along the NC500 but you should be aware of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before you go. 

If you’re planning on taking in the tranquil rural landscape under the stars, we recommend having a couple of those hotel or hostel spots in your back pocket just in case!

8. Brush up on NC500 road safety guidelines

The NC500 is Scotland at its most beautiful with over 500 miles of stunning scenery and dramatic coastal landscapes to observe.

Despite how remote the route is, you will be sharing the roads with other tourists, locals, drivers, cyclists and of course, nature itself. 

The rural roads can be a challenge with lots of narrow bends to navigate, changing conditions and single track roads to be aware of. 

There are stretches of the route that are not suitable for larger vehicles like motorhomes, caravans and even inexperienced drivers.

For example, the NC500 team say the ‘Bealach Na Ba’ stretch has sharp bends and steep gradients which should not be used by these larger vehicles and instead, they should take the slip road up at the A896.

With this in mind, all drivers should look at the road safety guidelines for the NC500 ahead of their journey.

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The 8 Best Airport Hacks Every Expert Traveler Knows — Best Life

When it comes to travel, few places give folks more anxiety than the airport. Why? From flight delays to long security lines, there are a lot of hurdles to cross on the way to a destination. But airports don’t have to be scary or anxiety-inducing. When it comes to air travel, there are some go-to hacks you can use to make the most of your time… because, yes, you’ve earned this vacation!

As a travel writer, I can personally attest to these tips. Airports used to give me so much anxiety. Now, I love heading to even the busiest of airports because I know everything is going to be okay. Here are the best airport hacks from experts that you should commit to memory for your next trip.

RELATED: Never Forget to Do This Before Boarding, Flight Attendant Says.

TSA PreCheck Banner at the Airport
David Tran Photo/Shutterstock

Every day, between one and two million travelers are using TSA PreCheck, according to TSA. That means roughly 10 to 20 percent of all PreCheck users are utilizing their status daily since the program hit 10 million members back in 2020. Even if the waits are a little bit longer than they used to be, TSA still reports that wait times are one-third of those in regular security lines. When you don’t have to take your shoes off, unpack electronics, or remove liquids from your bag, PreCheck changes the whole experience of getting through security.

Plus many credit cards offer reimbursement for the application fee, so signing up doesn’t have many downsides.

RELATED: For more travel advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Global Entry Card Inside A U.S. Passport
Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock

In signing up for TSA PreCheck, you also have the option to register for Global Entry. Like PreCheck, many credit cards also reimburse the Global Entry fee as well. This handy feature allows you to bypass the often lengthy re-entry lines coming back to the United States. I can personally say I have never waited in a single line coming back to the States through customs since getting Global Entry—whereas my travel companions have waited upwards of 45 minutes to an hour at times.

Busy Security Line at Airport
Jim Lambert/Shutterstock

While several airports (like O’Hare) have their own security wait time estimates listed on their websites, TSA has its own system. With the MyTSA app, you can check wait times, what items are allowed through security, and even get help from agents. Knowing how long the security line might take will alleviate the stress of knowing how soon to arrive before your flight.

RELATED: Never Check Into a Hotel Without Requesting This, Experts Say.

Reserved Parking Space
Verity Snaps Photography/Shutterstock

As is the case with most aspects of travel, last-minute choices often mean higher price points. Although not specifically about airport parking, INRIX data found that Americans overpay for parking to the tune of $20 billion a year.

Waiting until you get to the airport to reserve parking might also mean the lot you wanted to park in could be full. Save yourself the hassle and a few dollars by booking your parking spot before you’re ready to fly.

Person Holding Phone Open to Airport Terminals

Running through the terminal to catch a short layover flight is stressful enough, let alone in an airport you may be unfamiliar with. Having an airport map downloaded for quick reference ensures that you’ll know where you’re going. Having the map saved to your phone can give you peace of mind (without worrying about having decent cellphone coverage).

Yes, technology in or around airports is still a tricky scenario. Case in point: AT&T announced in Jan. 2022 that their 5G rollout near airports was being delayed.

RELATED: The Most Walkable U.S. Cities in America for Seniors.

Full Airport Parking Lot

Not remembering where your car is is the worst part of parking in a big lot. And if you’ve been there, you’re not alone: A 2020 study by the University of York suggests that there’s no middle ground in site-specific memory. You either remember… or you don’t.

Luckily, there are several ways to ensure you aren’t pressing the car alarm button frantically, hoping to hear a familiar chirp. Taking a photo of where your car is, as well as its section information, can be a helpful trick. Another option is to drop a pin on the car’s location using your phone’s map feature. There are even phone apps dedicated to this purpose: Find My Car and GPS Vehicle Tracker are two good options.

Three Brightly Colored Suitcases

As of January 2022, the Department of Transportation reports that less than 1% of checked bags were mishandled (i.e. lost, delayed, damaged, or looted) that month. Although there’s not much you can do if and when an airline loses your luggage, keeping some tricks in mind can save you time at the baggage carousel.

When purchasing luggage, buy pieces that are brightly colored or patterned. If you have a suitcase already, try tying a ribbon on it or putting a noticeable cover over it. When there is a sea of black or single-color suitcases, yours will be easy to pick out from the crowd. Plus, if it doesn’t match the others around it, your bag is less likely to be accidentally taken by someone thinking it’s theirs.

Phone Open to a Flight Check In Screen

Checking in online for a flight allows you to bypass the check-in desk and head straight to security. That alone is a huge time saver for many passengers, especially if you’re traveling during a particularly busy time like the holidays or spring break. In fact, the Official Airline Guide suggests that passengers get used to this kind of technology and biometrics being the future of air travel.

There are even more perks to checking in early for a flight. Many airlines allow you to change seats for little or no additional fee starting 24 hours before departure. You can also see how full your flight is and even check the waitlist in a lot of cases. If you’re extra lucky, you might even get bumped to a better cabin!

RELATED: American Is Cutting Flights From These 4 Major Cities, Starting May 1.

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