What is BBB’s advice for travelling in a post-pandemic world?


Canadian consumers filed 1,655 complaints against travel-related services to Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2021, placing travel services as the industry with the second-highest complaints.


As of today, BBBs across Canada have received 1,164 complaints about travel-related services in 2022, a 200 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.


This is likely to be related to the increasing desire for travel after provincial governments lifted a series of COVID-19 restrictions. 


To ensure you have an enjoyable vacation, BBB encourages you to check out the following tips when planning a vacation or looking for a good deal for a getaway:


  • Plan ahead. Allow plenty of time to research hotels, flights, and the area where you will be staying. Typically, the earlier the reservations are made, the better the deals and the lower the destination’s risk of being booked solid. 
  • Look for reviews from credible sources. Nowadays, It is hard to identify fake reviews from the real ones. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals and more, check BBB.org for a list of trustworthy Accredited Businesses. Check their business profiles and verified customer reviews before you make up a decision. 
  • Consider a travel agency if you plan to travel internationally. Be sure to check the Government of Canada’s website for any advisories affecting Canada or any issues that may impact your trip. Meanwhile, it is wise to find a reliable travel agency near you to help you navigate the challenges and changing landscape of COVID-19.  
  • That great deal probably isn’t for real. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Always do your research first. If the hotel, travel or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious. Check BBB’s 5 top vacation scams to learn more about travel scams.
  • Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. Often, scam artists will link to Facebook.com instead of Facebook.com/THEIRCOMPANYNAME. If they have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence. 
  • Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. If you pay with a credit card, the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.
  • Get trip details in writing. Before making the final payment, get all the trip details in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels. Also, review and keep a copy of the airline’s and hotel’s cancellation and refund policies and the cancellation policies of the travel agency or booking site used.
  • Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance covers things like trip cancellation, delays or medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage based on what type of plan is purchased. Always ask questions and read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s not.
  • If you decide to camp in local areas, be sure to bring the right gear. Outdoor activities have become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you are looking for a tent, sleeping bag or cookware, check out BBB tips on buying camping gear


For more resources on planning a safe and joyful trip, visit BBB Travel and Leisure Resources.





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Tipping advice on European holidays – ‘more modest’ than other destinations | Travel News | Travel


Cody Candee, CEO and founder of Bounce, said: “Whilst tipping isn’t mandatory, it is typically polite.

“However, in some countries such as Japan, tipping is seen as unnecessary and can even be seen as an insult!

“It can be polite to tip taxi drivers, bus drivers and tour guides, but again this isn’t a requirement.

“Generally speaking these industries don’t offer significantly high wages and so tips are a great way to demonstrate that extra appreciation.





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Experts share their advice to enhance your sense of adventure


Travel is back and if you can’t wait to get out in the world again, we might be able to help and inspire you.

Join Good Housekeeping’s Deputy Editor and travel expert Emma Justice as she hosts a panel discussion on “How to Develop a Sense of Adventure” both at home and abroad in partnership with Travelbag.

Our travel experts and panellists will include former BBC Breakfast Presenter Louise Minchin, British explorer Belinda Kirk, author Jacki Hill-Murphy, and Lesley Rollo, the Managing Director of Travelbag.

The event will focus on the return of travel and why having a sense of adventure and discovering new places, people and cultures is important for our mental wellbeing.

Our four panellists will talk about why we love to explore the world (and some of the incredible adventures they’ve all been on) as well as the idea that you can still have adventures closer to home, if you learn how to switch on a more adventurous mindset and look at the world differently.

Historically, we’ve always travelled into the unknown and women have been at the forefront of that, so author and adventurer Jacki Hill-Murphy will talk about some of the most intrepid female explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Isabela Godin was the first woman to travel the length of the Amazon in 1769 in a dugout canoe, while Isabella Bird climbed over the Himalayas of Ladakh on a yak in 1889! Jacki will talk about their adventures and how she has followed in their footsteps and recreated some of their pioneering journey’s.

Former BBC Breakfast Presenter Louise Minchin, who is well known for her own sporting adventures as well as I’m A Celebrity!, is currently finishing her new book Adventures with Superwomen. In it she meets and writes about the inspiring women taking on the toughest challenges in sport and will discuss what she thinks it takes to achieve these.

Meanwhile, British explorer Belinda Kirk, who has walked across Nicaragua and searched for camels in China’s Desert of Death, will discuss her Adventure Revolution’ and her award-winning book of the same name.

Adventure Revolution: The life-changing power of choosing challenge

Piatkus
amazon.co.uk

£10.73

It’s all about the life-changing power of choosing challenge and she will explain how Good Housekeeping‘s readers can do the same.

Finally, if all that has inspired you to book your own big adventure, Lesley Rollo, who has worked in travel for 25 years and is the Managing Director of Travelbag, will also be sharing how you can make travelling to multiple destinations less daunting and make seemingly complex tailor made travels a reality.

Taking place on Saturday 25 June, the event is part of GH LIVE in partnership with Dyson, , a three-day festival of events to celebrate our 100th anniversary,

It will take place in the elegant setting of Carlton House Terrace, beautifully scented by Zoflora, in the heart of London’s St James’s.

Tickets costs £60 and include the talk, two drinks tokens and access to the GH Live House including the coffee and Champagne bar as well as a special anniversary goody bag to take home.

BOOK NOW


Good Housekeeping Live in partnership with Dyson is a three-day festival of events (23-25 June 2022) to celebrate our 100th anniversary.

We’re delighted to offer you the opportunity to join the Good Housekeeping team for a packed programme featuring some of our favourite stars, experts and authors, and encompassing live talks, masterclasses, cookery demonstrations and afternoon teas.

Other guests include Marian Keyes, Fern Britton, and Kelly Hoppen. We will also be holding talks and sharing tips on “How to create a sustainable kitchen” as well as tips on “How to get published“, among many others.

FULL LINE UP

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PGA Championship DFS picks 2022: PGA DFS lineup advice, sleepers & tips for DraftKings, FanDuel


We head to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club this week. This is the second major championship of the 2021-22 season and features 156 PGA Tour players and club professionals from across the country competing for the Wanamaker Trophy. As always, it’s an elite field of golfers offering up plenty of potential stud and sleeper picks for PGA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo.

Southern Hills was built in 1936 and has played host to seven major championships: Three U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships. It was the site of Tiger Woods’ 13th major victory, his 2007 PGA Championship at the prime age of 32. I don’t think anyone thought he’d only win two more majors over the next 15 years. Southern Hills also hosted the 2001 U.S. Open in which Tiger finished tied for 12th. In those two major championships, only a combined nine players finished with scores under par. These players will be tested, and just as important as making birdies, will be knowing when par is good enough.  

DOMINATE YOUR DFS CONTESTS: DFS Alarm Playbook PRO!

PGA DFS strategy for the PGA Championship 2022

The course went through a major overhaul in 2019 to prepare for this tournament. It will play as a Par 70 and stretch out as far as 7,556 yards from the championship tees. Augusta National is a very fair comparison course in that they both feature relatively wide fairways, small fast contoured greens (with sloped edges), right to left doglegs, big elevation changes, and strategically placed bunkers. I will key in on players that excel off-the-tee, approach, around the green/scrambling, bogey avoidance, putting and history in major championships.    

We will see temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s to begin the week, but remember that it will be more of a dry heat. There looks to be rain in the forecast for Friday afternoon/evening, which will cool things down for the players competing on the weekend. While rain doesn’t look like it will have a big impact this weekend, the wind will. Those midwestern winds will be in the mid-to-upper teens throughout the weekend. 

PGA Championship DFS picks 2022: Studs, sleepers, & values

The following is a preview of DFS Alarm’s PGA DFS Playbook. To have access to all of DFS Alarm’s PGA DFS tools, including full analysis, sample lineups, and more, get Playbook PRO

Scottie Scheffler (Yahoo: $49 | DraftKings: $11,400 | FanDuel: $12,000)

I really should not have to give you a lot of reasons to put Scheffler in your DFS lineup this weekend. He’s won four tournaments in four months, including the Masters. He is No. 1 in FedEx Cup points, ranks third in “Greens in Regulation,” 17th in “Strokes Gained: Approach,” 22nd in “Strokes Gained: Tee to Green,” 25th in “Strokes Gained: Putting,” and 33rd in “Bogey Avoidance.” No one deserves to be the top-priced player more than him, and I think he’ll reach his value this weekend.

Justin Thomas (Y: $44 | DK: $10,700 | FD: $11,700)

He is very quietly putting together a terrific season, albeit with no victories. Thomas has made 10 starts since the start of 2022, and he has six top-10 finishes, including the Masters and just last week at the Byron Nelson. JT fits this course perfectly, ranking top five in “Scrambling,” “Strokes Gained: Approach,” “Bogey Avoidance,” and “Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.” Also top 30 in both “Greens in Regulation” and “Strokes Gained: Off the Tee.” The putting will be key to his success; if he gets hot with the flat stick, watch out.  

Shane Lowry (Y: $33 | DK: $8,700 | FD: $10,700)

The Irishman has had a fantastic start to the season.  He has three top-five finishes (including the Masters) and another two top-15 finishes over his past seven starts. Besides not being a huge hitter off the tee, he fits the mold for success on this course perfectly. He currently ranks top 10 in “Scrambling,” “Strokes Gained: Approach,” “Bogey Avoidance” (first on Tour), and top 25 in both “Strokes Gained: Putting” and “Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.” We need smart course managers, and he’s one of the best playing on the PGA Tour.  

Marc Leishman (Y: $27 | DK: $7,700 | FD: $9,200)

Since Leishman missed the cut at the Open Championship in mid-July, he missed just two over his past 18 starts on the PGA Tour. He also has seven finishes of 21st or better. The big Aussie knows how to play at Augusta, making the cut in five straight trips with three top 15 finishes. Leishman is pretty consistent throughout the bag ranking top 50 in “Scrambling,” “Strokes Gained: Approach,” “Bogey Avoidance,” “Strokes Gained: Putting,” and “Greens in Regulation.” Leishman is especially attractive when the conditions are going to be windy.  

Alex Noren (Y: $23 | DK: $7,000 | FD: $8,500)

Noren has made the cut in nine of his past 10 starts and has five top-20 finishes in that span. Alex played his college golf at Oklahoma State and knows the terrain better than most in this field. He’s also one of the best course managers in the world, ranking top 12 in both “Bogey Avoidance” and “Scrambling.” He will never wow you off the tee, but he makes up for it in other ways, from his ball striking to his touch around the greens. He will likely be overlooked by most playing daily fantasy golf this weekend.

Tiger Woods (Y: $20 | DK: $8,200 | FD: $10,000)

I’m going to keep this short and sweet because there isn’t much left to say about Woods. We know how much he loves Augusta, and this course plays right into his strengths. You should put him in your lineups.

MORE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP DFS PICKS:

Rory McIlroy
Xander Schauffele
Joaquin Niemann
Talor Gooch
Robert Macintyre

For full analysis, including projected ownership percentage, sign up for DFS Alarm’s DFS Playbook PRO!





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Sri Lanka protests: Is it safe for tourists and what is the latest government advice?


Sri Lanka remains under a nationwide curfew after violent anti-government protests erupted across the country in March.

The island nation is a popular destination among backpackers and holidaymakers, so what does the security situation mean for travellers?

The UK is now advising against “all but essential travel” to the south-asian nation, in line with Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

As a result of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office update on Friday, Tui has cancelled all holidays to Sri Lanka until at least the end of the month.

The operator adds that “this advice does not apply to customers transiting through Sri Lanka’s international airport and customers currently in resort can continue to enjoy their holiday as planned.”

Here’s what you need to know about the country’s ongoing political and economic turmoil – and what to do if you’re currently in Sri Lanka or are planning a trip.  

What’s happening in Sri Lanka?

Over the last few months, an unprecedented economic crisis has led to shortages of essential goods like medicine and cooking gas, as well as widespread power cuts.

Mass demonstrations against the government broke out in late March, with protesters clashing with government supporters and armed police. More than 200 people have been injured and at least eight killed during the unrest.

A new interim Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was appointed on Thursday after Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on 9 May. But protesters are also calling for his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to step down. Thousands of people have been demonstrating outside his office in the capital, Colombo.

Protesters have also burned dozens of houses and cars belonging to senior politicians.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is bound up in its status as a major tourist destination. The country’s foreign currency reserves have virtually run dry, partly because of the dearth of tourist trade during the pandemic.

Wickremesinghe has proposed privatising the loss-making national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines in a bid to help stabilise the nation’s finances.

How to stay safe

The Sri Lankan government announced a “state of emergency” on 6 May. This means they have the authority to make security announcements – such as curfews – at short notice.

Make sure to check local news and official updates regularly, as well as referring to your own government’s travel advice.

Foreign governments, including the UK, have advised visitors already in Sri Lanka to avoid protest areas, as demonstrations have sometimes become violent and police have responded with tear gas and water cannons.

The protests have been centred around the capital, Colombo, with several violent incidents taking place in the Galle Face area. But be careful wherever you go, because unrest is present throughout the country.

Can you go out in Sri Lanka despite the curfew?

Under the curfew, going out and about is not allowed.

​​Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority has advised tourists to stay in their hotel or accommodation until their departure flight.

The authorities say travellers can show their passports and airline tickets to get past the curfew on their way to the airport.

It’s a good idea to check with your airline and taxi company before setting off, as widespread strikes may also cause disruption to journeys.

Will my holiday be cancelled?

Sri Lanka is often described as a “year-round destination” due to its warm climate, so many people may be planning a visit over the summer months.

Tui has decided to cancel all holidays until 31 May, in light of the stricter FCDO advice. “We will be proactively contacting all impacted customers in departure date order to discuss their options,” the operator said yesterday.

Despite the unrest, not all tour operators have not cancelled scheduled trips to the country, but some have changed itineraries to include more time at coastal resorts, which are further away from protest focal points. It’s always worth asking the company you booked with.

If you decide you want to cancel your holiday yourself, bear in mind that travel insurers are unlikely to cover you, especially if your home country has not advised against travel to Sri Lanka.

Are there still COVID-19 restrictions in Sri Lanka?

As well as the security situation, it’s also important to consider ongoing coronavirus restrictions in Sri Lanka.

Those who still wish to travel to the country need to fill out a Health Declaration Form and buy COVID-19 insurance for around €11.50.

Fully-vaccinated visitors don’t have to take a pre-departure PCR test, but unvaccinated travellers must take tests before departing and upon arrival.



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Holidaying with Jane McDonald: Star shares taxi advice to get the most out of Florida trip | Travel News | Travel


Jane joked that Miami is “the home of posing”. She added: “A lot of posing goes on in Miami.”

Tourists outnumber residents in Miami by 16 to one, making it one of the USA’s top destinations.

Jane added: “It’s lively, I’m not going to lie, it’s very lively. It’s the place to go, people promenade, they actually promenade up and down to be looked at.”

While Miami is known for its party scene, Jane opted to stay at the Grand Beach hotel in the quieter district of north Miami.





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Travel advice for graduation weekend


TOPEKA (KSNT) – With graduation weekend on the horizon for several schools across the state, there’s one thing you shouldn’t neglect – how you’ll get there.

Those traveling by car to celebrate the class of 2022 may want to plan ahead for those travel expenses.

According to Gasbuddy, a website that aggregates the prices of fuel from around the state, you could spend between $3.69 and $3.82 per gallon this weekend.

While we haven’t quite hit that $4 mark for regular fuel prices in the Topeka area, it doesn’t mean filling up your tank won’t hurt your wallet.

27 News met up with a father traveling from Texas to North Dakota to bring home his graduate. He’s got some advice for those looking to make treks big and small.

“There are a couple of apps that will tell you what fuel prices are in front of you,” Jim Bullis said. “Try and use those, it’ll save quite a bit of money especially if you’re driving 1,000 miles like we were this weekend it turns out to be a significant amount of fuel.” 

For many this weekend will be the first of many trips for the upcoming summer season.

If you’re planning on traveling, checking out what apps can help you save a bit on the road could make a huge difference in the long run.

Whether you’re traveling from the Big Apple to California or the Little Apple to Kansas City, have a safe graduation weekend on and off the road.



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Foreign Office changes advice on passport rules for EU travel


The Foreign Office has finally changed its advice on passport validity for travel to the EU after dozens of airline passengers were wrongly told they couldn’t fly.

Officials have changed the wording of travel advice to bring it into line with the European Commission.

It comes after The Independent reported the plight of passengers wrongly turned away at check-in by airlines because of the discrepancy.

The advice for Spain has been changed to tell UK travellers their passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the “date of issue”)
  • Valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (check the “expiry date”)

Advice on France, Italy and other EU and wider Schengen destinations is expected to be updated shortly.

Previously the FCDO travel advice for countries in the European Union and Schengen Area included the misleading statement: “For some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the three months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.”

The Independent made its own enquiries and received official confirmation correspondence from the European Commission last November.

On 10 November 2021, the correspondence was passed on to the Foreign Office with a request “to ensure that all communications from the UK government recognise the correct European Union position”.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “FCDO travel advice is kept under constant review to ensure British travellers are aware of the risks and have accurate information to help plan their trip.

“We welcome that the European Commission is now updating its guidance in regards to their rules affecting some UK passports”

The ambivalence in the UK government position has caused widespread confusion and distress.

It has also put extra pressure on HM Passport Office, with many travellers seeking early renewal of passports that were perfectly valid for travel to Europe.

Airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair previously used the Foreign Office travel advice as grounds for denying boarding to passengers who were perfectly entitled to travel. All the major airlines are now aligned with the European Commission rules; Ryanair was the last to fall into line.



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EU removes mask mandate advice for air travel


The EU is removing the recommendation that face masks should be mandatory at airports and onboard aircraft as the Covid-19 crisis continues to ease.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a joint statement on Wednesday (11 May) announcing the relaxation of the Aviation Health Safety Protocol on mask-wearing for air travel from 16 May.

However, the two agencies noted that wearing a mask is “still one of the best protections against the transmission of Covid-19”.

They have also relaxed some of the “more stringent” measures placed on airline operations, which the agencies said would “relieve the burden on the industry whilst still keeping appropriate measures in place”.

EASA executive director Patrick Ky added: “For many passengers and also aircrew members there is a strong desire for masks to no longer be a mandatory part of air travel. We are now at the start of that process. 

“Passengers should continue to comply with the requirements of their airline and, where preventive measures are optional, make responsible decisions and respect the choice of other passengers.”

ECDC director Andrea Ammon warned that risks “remain” for travellers despite the withdrawal of the recommendation on wearing masks.

“It is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, it [wearing masks] is one of the best methods of reducing transmission,” said Ammon. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

IATA’s director general Willie Walsh welcomed the move as “another important step along the road back to normality” for airline passengers.

“Travellers can look forward to freedom of choice on whether to wear a mask and they can travel with confidence knowing that many features of the aircraft cabin, such as high frequency air exchange and high efficiency filters, make it one of the safest indoor environments,” added Walsh.



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Travel experts share advice on preparing for covid-19 obstacles during vacation


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The number of Covid-19 cases has surged more than 50% in late April to early May and all but one state is seeing an increase in infections.

Covid-19 transmission levels are expected to create another uptick this summer as more travelers hit the roads, rails, and airways.

People are eager to get back to making summer plans which is the main reason for travel bookings climbing dramatically at the beginning of the year.

Even with mask restrictions lifted, AAA and local travel agents recommend doing some extra preparation before packing your bags.

Roanoke Uber Driver, Ebdulfadah Diljo makes frequent stops at the Roanoke-Blacksburg airport.

“Most people wear their masks but some say that for breathing it’s no good,” he said.

He says he’ll be picking up and dropping off all summer as plenty of travelers board their flights.

Before passengers hop on board, AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean highly recommends doing research on the covid-19 restrictions in the place you’re traveling to, especially if it’s outside of the country.

“The more information a traveler knows before they ever leave, the better off they are,” said Dean.

Although some restrictions are lifted, there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there. Dean says travelers insurance is the way to go when it comes to booking your trip.

“If there’s something that disrupts that, be another climb in cases or something else out of your control, that could be a way for you to get back some of the money for that trip,” he said.

It can be a lot to keep up with planning your actual vacation. He says that’s what travel agents are for.

A travel agent for Disney & Universal Destinations, Carrie Overstreet said, ” we have seen more people are starting to use travel agents because they know, especially things like cruises, there are so many covid restrictions still on cruise lines that they’re very afraid of what happens if I get to the port and I do test positive.”

She’s seen an increase in people booking flights out of Roanoke for this summer and even for the summer of 2023.
She says many families have less concerns about Covid-19, but it’s her job to inform them of any changes.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we’re here and we’re free to use, that our services are complimentary. So that’s one thing that I would definitely want everyone to know,” said Overstreet.

Overstreet says the main reason she’s seen Virginians canceling trips now Is high gas prices.



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