Americans finally ready to travel as airfare prices peak — 7 tricks to score deals


After a long and at times stressful year, Ilyse Rykus and her husband David are eagerly looking forward to their trip to the Pacific Northwest this August.

The couple are traveling with David’s parents, who take an annual trip to Oregon to visit family in the area — everyone has been vaccinated, offering them all peace of mind. One of David’s uncles died of COVID-19, making the trip even more meaningful.

“We have never joined them, but considering all that has happened this past year we thought being with family was a good move,” Rykus, who lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., said.

But the vacation also represents an opportunity to cut loose — Rykus is turning 30 this summer, and during the trip she will be visiting places she’s never been to before. “My husband and I don’t get to go on many trips together, so when we do we try to make the best out of it,” she said. “It will be exciting to explore with the people I love.”

‘It will be exciting to explore with the people I love.’


— Ilyse Rykus, who lives in West Palm Beach, Fla. with her husband David.

Like many other Americans, Rykus and her husband have been able to save up for their travels, and the couple is planning to use credit-card points they had saved for almost two years to pay for their flights. Family in the hospitality business also helped the couple score deals on hotels.

Tourists from outside the European Union who have been fully vaccinated should be allowed in, ambassadors from the 27-member bloc countries agreed Wednesday. The EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will advise on the list of countries and the requirements.

Research indicates that this will be the summer of “revenge travel.” A recent survey from Charles Schwab
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+1.59%

found that traveling was the top item on people’s spending lists, with 40% of people citing it as something they want to dole out cash on. Another 24% of people said they want to go on an extended vacation.

Those findings echo other research showing how eager Americans are to hit the road — or skies. A study released in late April by travel website Skyscanner found that more travelers were booking trips in May and June of this year than in 2019.

Another poll from research firm Ipsos
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+4.66%

found that half of Americans planning to travel are looking to go on a road trip, while 40% were planning getaways involving flights.

‘Summer is always the most expensive time of year to travel.’


— Scott Keyes, founder of travel website Scott’s Cheap Flights

Even in a normal year, it’s not always the cheapest to travel during the warmer months. “Summer is always the most expensive time of year to travel because you’ve got nice weather and you’ve got students, teachers and parents with kids in school who can only travel during these times,” said Scott Keyes, founder of travel website Scott’s Cheap Flights.

But this isn’t a normal year. Many people were forced to cancel trips over the past year because of the pandemic, and plenty of them are sitting on travel credits they are itching to use.

Airlines and other travel operators are working to ramp up operations in response to the higher demand, but that takes time. And air carriers will be cautious to bring more planes back into service to offer more flights, just in case the pandemic takes another turn for the worse and travel demand subsides again.

As a result, experts have warned that it could quickly become expensive to travel this summer. The most recent report on consumer prices from the U.S. government showed a record increase in the price of airfare, for instance.

That long-awaited summer vacation doesn’t need to break the bank. Here are tips from financial and travel experts on how to save money on your post-pandemic getaways:

Book sooner rather than later

This may seem obvious, but summer is right around the corner. And while last-minute deals can arise, they aren’t guaranteed. The more time you give yourself to research the prices of hotels, airfare and activities, the more likely you are to snatch up the best possible deal.

“If you wait until Memorial Day to book your summer flights, the odds of being able to get something cheap still then aren’t good at all,” Keyes said. He noted that there are still cheap fares available, such as round-trip flights between the U.S. and Athens, Greece, for $560.

But waiting too long can cost you. If you know where and when you want to go, start to monitor the cost of airfare to that destination so that you can recognize a good deal and scoop it up quickly.

Credit-card points and airline miles could soon lose value

Another reason not to wait: Airline miles and credit-card points could soon lose value. With so many people sitting on unused points and miles from last year, airlines have incentive to reduce how much those are worth, said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at LendingTree
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-2.29%
.

“It’ll likely happen slowly and gradually, but I do think it is likely to happen, so consumers’ best move is to use those points they have sooner rather than later,” Schulz said.

Do your trip planning in reverse

When booking a trip, most people start off by thinking about where they want to go and when, and only begin to consider the price at the end of the decision-making process. Instead, Keyes suggests a reverse approach.

“By setting price as the last priority, it’s not surprising that we end up with some pretty expensive flights,” he said. Instead, he recommends seeing which flights are cheapest out of your local airport, and then figuring out which destination seems the most appealing and then figuring out when you’ll travel.

Websites like Skyscanner
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and Google
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-3.04%

offer ways of exploring the vast range of options in this manner. Of course, for that strategy to work, people will need to be flexible about when they want to travel.

Take advantage of $0 change fees

Don’t be afraid to change your travel plans if a better deal comes along. In the wake of the pandemic, the vast majority of airlines began waiving flight-change fees so people could amend their travel plans because of the pandemic. Those policies still remain in place with many airlines, so if you see a better price come along, look into whether it will be free to switch. Any savings will be returned to you in a voucher for future travel, Keyes said.

Make the most out of flight vouchers

Nadine Marie Burns, CEO and president of advisory firm A New Path Financial, and her husband had three trips cancelled due to the pandemic. Like many people, they received vouchers for their unused flights. With travel opening up again, Burns began to work on putting together some trips herself.

Eventually she called her airline, Delta
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,
and the customer service agent helped her book a first-class trip to Reno, Nevada, for her and her husband using their e-vouchers and points. “Sometimes there is a mastery about putting the puzzle together when we all seem to have so many different pieces such as e-tickets, points, companion fares and more,” Burns said.

Of course, people need to keep the fine print of any remaining flight vouchers in mind. Many of the vouchers come with an expiration date, said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media and Airfarewatchdog. In most cases, travelers need to book their trips by that date, but can travel after it.

Flight vouchers from cancelled trips often carry expiration dates.

“A cool trick we have used successfully is to book a flexible ticket with the voucher and you can change at a future date if needed, so you can maintain control past the expiration date,” Staab said.

Use rewards credit cards wisely

Many people were able to save money throughout the pandemic and pay down their credit-card debt, boosting their credit scores along the way. That could make now a prime time to take advantage of a rewards credit-card.

“The credit card space is incredibly competitive at the moment, and that’s good for consumers looking for deals,” Schulz said. “Issuers know that an explosion of pent-up spending is coming, and they’re offering good deals on new cards in hopes of capturing as much of that spend as possible.”

It’s easy to find big sign-up bonuses for new credit cards, but there’s a risk: Credit cards can cause people to spend beyond their means. Given the high interest rates credit cards carry compared to other loans, it wouldn’t be worth it to try to save money with one if you end up accruing a large amount of debt. Shoppers should aim to pay their balance in full every payment cycle to avoid paying high amounts of interest.

Spending more could actually save you money

Spending a little bit more money on a trip can give you peace of mind should plans change. Remember how airlines are letting people change their flights free of charge? In many cases, that policy doesn’t apply to so-called “basic economy” fares, which are the cheapest tickets you can purchase.

“If you’re booking a couple months out and then traveling internationally, it can often be worth the extra $30 or $40 because that gives you flexibility to be able to change your dates,” Keyes said.

In that same vein, travelers may want to consider investing in travel insurance, particularly for international trips, given that border-entry policies are very much subject to change as the pandemic continues.

“Plenty of credit cards offer at least some form of travel insurance, and that can be helpful,” Schulz said. “However, if you want maximum protection, you should consider paying a little extra for it.”



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Unvaccinated Americans will face stricter testing under Biden's international travel rules – The Washington Post



Unvaccinated Americans will face stricter testing under Biden’s international travel rules  The Washington Post



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Dating scams in 2020 cost $300 million, targeted older Americans: FTC


Do you know the cost of love? OK, true love’s cost may be immeasurable, but the cost of romance scams totaled at least $304 million in 2020.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, says the Federal Trade Commission, because many victims of romance scams are embarrassed to come forward. 

One woman who did, Kate Kleinert, a widower in Pennsylvania, told the Senate Special Committee on Aging last month how she got caught up in a romance scam that cost her about $39,000 – and her pride.

After getting a friend request on Facebook in August 2020 from a man, Kleinert began corresponding with him on another app. “Tony” said he was working in Iraq on a contract with the United Nations and after he asked, she sent gift cards to him and his children.

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He planned to meet her in Philadelphia in December but didn’t show. Then someone purporting to be Tony’s lawyer called saying he needed $20,000 for Tony’s bail. “The lawyer told me to do whatever I could – put a mortgage on my house, borrow it from someone in my family,” she testified. “I couldn’t do it.”

Eventually, “I was living off my credit cards and he was getting what I took from Social Security and my pension,” she said.

Kleinert, who eventually learned the pictures sent by Tony were of a doctor in Spain, said she testified over frustration at an inability to get justice and “it’s so devastating and many people have been through this but not spoken about it.”

Romance scams continue to climb, and over the last three years people have reported losing more money on them than any other fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. These scams, typically run on dating apps and over social media, increased among all age groups with losses of $304 million, up about 50% from 2019, the FTC says.

Age is just a number to romance scammers, who bilked older adults (aged 60-up) out of more than $139 million during 2020. That’s 65% more than in 2019, when reported losses were nearly $84 million, finds “Protecting Older Consumers, 2020-2021, A Report of the Federal Trade Commission,” released earlier this week.    

Among all scams the FTC tracks, romance scams made up the highest reported losses for those aged 60-79. And those aged 70 and older reported the highest median losses from romance scams: $9,475.80.

Opportunities for romance scammers have risen during the pandemic as older adults spent more time on social media. “It doesn’t always mean they’re looking for love, it’s that they just report that the scammer starts with an unexpected friend request or a message,” said Patti Poss, a senior attorney in the FTC’s consumer protection bureau.

“Scammers are very sophisticated. And no one should be embarrassed that this happened,” she said. “They know what they’re doing, to be able to tell these stories, develop a relationship and get people’s money. You may not think you’re sending something to a stranger because it is somebody that you think you know at that point.”

Romance scammers: How to spot them

Know where scammers lurk. Romance scammers typically create fake profiles on dating sites and apps such as Ashley Madison, Grindr, Match and Tinder. They also target users on Instagram and Facebook, the FTC says. AARP even chronicled a case where a 75-year-old woman was conned out of about $137,000 by a romance scammer she met on Words With Friends.

Scammers live where and do what? Some signs your online paramour isn’t all they propose to be include the claim that they reside outside the U.S. or are working on an oil rig, with the military, or are a doctor with an international organization.

They want to get personal – to a point. A scammer will want to connect with you off the dating site, perhaps by email, phone or text. But they don’t necessarily want to meet in person. 

Scammers eventually ask for money. After they build trust with their potential victims – to do so they may connect online several times a day, the FTC says – they may ask for money to help with an emergency such as travel, medical care or other expenses. In payment, they may ask for money to be sent by wire transfer using Western Union or MoneyGram. Bank transfers and payments accounted for nearly one-third of reported romance scam losses by older adults at $31 million, and romance scammers reportedly took another $12 million in cryptocurrency.

Credit card or gift card scams.

Many romance fraud victims said scammers used the coronavirus pandemic to explain requests for money or their inability to meet in person, the FTC says. Older adults reported losses of $10.5 million on romance scams related to COVID-19.

Cryptocurrency could come into play. The FBI has seen an increase in crimes where the romance scammer seeks to help you invest in or trade cryptocurrency. Once signed up, the victim may be able to withdraw some funds, as a sign of trust. But as bigger investments are urged – often you have to act fast, they say – all communication might break off. 

The Senate Aging Committee has a report on scams targeting seniors including romance scams on its website.

FTC tips on dealing with romance scammers 

Stop talking. If you think you may be dealing with a romance scammer stop communicating with them immediately.

Don’t give out personal information. Don’t discuss your financial status to those you don’t know or cannot trust. Do not give anyone your banking information, Social Security Number, copies of your ID or passport, or any other sensitive data.

Money changes everything. Never send funds to or trust investments suggested by someone you have solely met online.

Ask a friend or family member. Talk through the situation with someone you trust and listen to them.

Do some homework. Use Google or another search engine to see if other people have reported such scammers. For instance, type in “oil rig scammer.” You can also use the person’s photo on Google Image. Select search by image (click the little camera) and upload the person’s photo. If it appears under several names, they are likely a scammer.

Report them. You can report scammers to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Also notify the website or app where you connected with the scammer.

Gimme my money. If you paid a scammer with a gift card, contact the card issuer and tell them the situation and ask for a refund.

Prize, sweepstakes, and lottery scams were the top fraud reported by adults 80 and over, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Other scams: prizes and imposters  

Older adults also lost $69 million in 2020 from prize, sweepstakes and lottery scams (this was the top fraud reported by adults 80 and over), according to FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, a database of fraud reports filed directly by consumers and to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Business imposter scams increased from $34 million in 2019 to $65 million in 2020. Government imposter scams amounted to $58 million.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.





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Coronavirus live updates: More Americans are getting their boosters than first vaccine doses


“How can I say this? How many people do you know …. because of what you’ve been through, a loss of a husband, wife, brother, mother, father, son, whatever … you’ve had something that’s really impacted you with covid,” Biden said at a CNN town hall event before a live audience in Baltimore.



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Top Travel Insurance Questions Answered as Americans Consider Holiday Plans | National News


WARWICK, R.I., Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Health officials are giving fully vaccinated Americans the go-ahead to gather for the holidays.  As US travelers set their 2021 holiday plans, InsureMyTrip Product Expert, Meghan Walch, is answering the most frequently asked questions.

The vast majority of questions are about the pandemic and what travel insurance will cover. In fact, of those researching Cancel For Any Reason coverage (CFAR) on InsureMyTrip.com between August 10, 2021October 14, 2021:

  • 86 percent are concerned about needing to cancel a trip due to travel changes around Covid-19 restrictions
  • 61 percent are concerned about needing to cancel due to fear of contracting Covid-19 

While Covid-19 remains a top concern for would-be travelers, Walch offers expert responses for the top questions received by the InsureMyTrip Customer Care Center:

Top Travel Insurance Questions For Holiday Travelers

Q: Does InsureMyTrip have policies that cover a required quarantine if I contract Covid-19 during a trip?   

A:  The short answer is “yes”. A physician ordered quarantine may be covered by travel insurance.   Comprehensive plans can help to reimburse you for additional accommodations if you are required by a physician to quarantine during a trip. 

Quarantine would need to be listed as a covered reason in a policy under Travel Delay and Trip Interruption coverage.  It is also important to understand how “quarantine” is defined in a policy, the coverage limits provided, and if it will cover certain situations such as self-isolation or stay-at-home orders.

Q: What happens if a county closes during a trip?

A:  A country closing prior to departure is not a covered reason under general Trip Cancellation coverage.  A policy with optional Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) may be the only way to have any coverage in the event you need to cancel your trip for this reason.  CFAR may allow you the most flexibility if canceling at least two days before you leave for a trip due to something other than a covered reason listed in the policy.  If borders and/or the country close while you are there, it may be best to seek help from the US embassy at your location and contact the assistance service provider listed on your policy.   They may be able to help you arrange emergency transportation (although at your own expense) back home.

Q: Who qualifies for Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage?

A:  There are several eligibility requirements for CFAR protection.  They may require travelers to insure 100% of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs.  CFAR coverage must be purchased as part of a comprehensive travel insurance plan, within 10-21 days after making the initial trip payment/deposit.  InsureMyTrip has a new tool that makes it easier for travelers to find out if they are eligible for CFAR. (see below for more information on CFAR)

Q: What happens if I contract a breakthrough Covid-19 infection on a trip?

A: Providers offering comprehensive travel insurance plans on InsureMyTrip.com may cover Covid-19 like any other covered, unforeseen illness.  So, if you contract Covid-19 before a trip and a physician confirms you are unable to travel, you may have coverage to cancel your trip.

If you become ill while on your trip, there may be coverage if you need to interrupt your trip.   Again, you would need proof from a doctor. 

Also, emergency medical benefits may be available to help reimburse expenses if you see a doctor or need to be hospitalized related to COVID-19. In all cases, your policy would have to be purchased prior to any covered issues becoming known. 

Travelers can contact InsureMyTrip at 1-800-487-4722 to reach a travel insurance expert.

Covid-19 Coverage Tool

Since Covid-19 is top of mind for travelers this holiday season, InsureMyTrip is offering new technology to help put their minds at ease.

A Covid-19 recommendation tool that has been added to InsureMyTrip’s quote process.  Once travel insurance recommendations pop up, travelers can click on the “Top picks for Covid-19” button and find all the plans that address pandemic-related travel concerns.  

MORE: COVID-19 & Travel Insurance Information Hub 

To schedule an interview with an expert or to request specific research data on holiday travel plans, please contact [email protected] 

Media Contact:

Meghan Kayata

[email protected] 

Cancel for Any Reason Coverage:

Cancel For Any Reason (also known as: CFAR) is an optional upgrade. CFAR offers the most trip cancellation flexibility and is the only option available to cover Covid-19 travel fear. Full terms of coverage will be listed in state-specific policy. If eligibility requirements are met, reimbursement is typically 50% – 75% of the insured prepaid non-refundable trip cost if all eligibility requirements are met (available in most states).

Note: coverages are governed by the specific plan certificate. Traditional travel insurance does not offer cancellation coverage for fear of travel, whether related to COVID-19 or not. Cancel For Any Reason is required.

About InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. We are committed to empowering travelers to make the best possible insurance decisions by leveraging our technology, data intelligence, and expertise. InsureMyTrip is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/top-travel-insurance-questions-answered-as-americans-consider-holiday-plans-301404793.html

SOURCE InsureMyTrip





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Nearly half of Americans want space travel but few would pay $100K for it: survey


Apparently, space travel is a popular desire among nearly half of American adults.

A new ValuePenguin survey conducted by Qualtrics interviewed 2,000 U.S. consumers on space tourism and found that 49% of Americans would like to space travel if money wasn’t an issue.

For most people though, the cost of commercial space travel is too high. Only one in five – 19% – of the survey’s respondents said they’d be willing to spend $100,000 or more to travel the galaxy.

Meanwhile, 21% of consumers said they’d be willing to take on debt to participate in the exclusive activity.

Twenty-three percent of the survey’s respondents said they’d choose a free space trip over being debt-free. Men and Gen Z (age 18 to 24) tied and led the charge with the highest number of respondents wanting space travel over debt wiping at 28%.

“I’m not surprised in the least that so many Americans want to travel to space. It’s been a fantasy for decades for millions of Americans, myself included,” LendingTree’s Chief Industry Analyst Matt Schulz told FOX Business, regarding the survey’s findings. “The truth, however, is that the crazy-high cost means that it will remain little more than a fantasy for all but the wealthiest Americans for years to come.”

He went on, “I am surprised that so many high-income Americans say they’d be willing to drop $100,000 or more on space travel. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, though. When it comes to spending, more and more people are prioritizing experiences over things, and traveling to space would just be the ultimate experience for those who can afford it.”

Three in five survey respondents said they think space travel should be accessible for everyone and roughly two in five (41%) said they think billionaires shouldn’t be spending as much money as they are on space travel.

In May, Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin auctioned off seats on its suborbital rocket New Shepard, which received a winning bid that was as high as $2.6 million. 

Three months later, Richard Branson’s space company Virgin Galactic began selling rocket plane seats starting at $450,000 per person, according to Reuters.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also made significant strides in pushing commercial space travel forward. In September, Musk joined three space tourists on a world-circling rocket, which didn’t have a professional astronaut onboard, the Associated Press reported at the time.

Musk reportedly spent millions of dollars to make the space mission happen, but the exact amount was undisclosed.

Going back to ValuePenguin’s survey, roughly one in four (24%) respondents believe space tourism isn’t ethical and could contribute to climate change.

Fifty-one percent of the survey’s respondents said they don’t want to travel in space. Of those who said no, 54% claimed they’re just not interested, 39% claimed they think space tourism is dangerous and 29% claimed that they’re scared of space travel.

Get updates on this story at FOXBusiness.com.



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Nearly 50% of Americans Want to Space Travel But Only 19% Would Shell Out $100,000 To Do So According to a ValuePenguin.com Survey


NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As space travel and space tourism continues to make headlines and more civilians vie for seats on the next launch, many Americans have strong feelings about going to space. 

According to a ValuePenguin survey of over 2,000 consumers, almost half want to go to space and some would even go into debt to do so; however, others think space tourism may not be ethical. 

Key findings:

  • 49% of Americans want to travel to space. Men are more interested in space travel than women (56% versus 44%), while interest in space tourism decreases with age (63% of Gen Zers versus 38% for baby boomers).
  • 28% of both men and Gen Zers would choose a free trip to space over being debt-free. Among all consumers, 23% opted for a trip to space rather than the ability to wipe out their debt.
  • Reality check: Of those consumers who want to travel to space, just 19% would shell out $100,000 or more to make it happen — and even that might not be enough. Seats on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo are estimated to start at a whopping $250,000 per person.
  • 60% of Americans agree that space travel should be accessible for everyone, not just those who can afford the exorbitant costs. On a similar note, 41% don’t think billionaires should be spending so much money on space travel.
  • About 1 in 4 (24%) don’t think space tourism is ethical. For example, some scientists fear that frequent space travel could give way to climate change, harming the environment through a high rate of emissions-per-passenger, as well as soot released by the rockets.

View full report: https://www.valuepenguin.com/travel/americans-space-travel

About ValuePenguin.com: ValuePenguin.com, part of LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), is a personal finance website that conducts in-depth research and provides objective analysis to help guide consumers to the best financial decisions. ValuePenguin focuses on value, assessing whether the return of a particular decision is worth the cost or risk of that option, and how this stacks up with the other possible choices they may have. For more information, please visit www.valuepenguin.com, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @ValuePenguin.

Media Contact:
Nadia Gonzalez 
[email protected]

SOURCE ValuePenguin.com



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US Health Agency Urges Americans to Refrain From Travelling to 4 More European Countries


American citizens have been advised to refrain from travelling to four European countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Belarus, Moldova – since they have registered an increase in COVID-19 infection cases.

According to the latest update of the Travel Advisory, which is reviewed every week based on other countries’ epidemiologic situations, the US Department of State has changed the travel advice against travel to the countries mentioned above from ‘Level Three: Reconsider Travel’ to ‘Level Four: Do Not Travel’.

This categorisation is the highest advisory level, meaning that persons travelling to one of these areas have a greater likelihood of being infected with the COVID-19 disease, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Consequently, the US health agency advises that everyone who must travel to one of the four countries is fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease with one of the vaccines that have been authorised for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to lower the risk of getting infected and developing symptoms.

Until now, FDA has approved only Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax), and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Bosnia and Herzegovina due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine,” the Department of State noted. The exact same advisory was issued for the three other countries too.

Figures provided by World Health Organization (WHO) show that since the beginning of the pandemic, Bosnia and Herzegovina has registered a total of 241,227 infection cases, 275 of them being reported only during the last 24 hours.

Belarus has identified 559,715 in total, of which 1,943 were reported during the last 24 hours, whereas Moldova has registered a total of 307,182 cases.

In contrast, Romania has registered 16,743 new cases during the last 24 hours, which is the highest number among all four countries, bringing the total number to 1,382,531.

Except for the four European countries, the same travel advisory has also been issued for Cambodia and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.

In addition, last week, the Department of State revealed that Americans are now also urged to refrain from travelling to Austria, Croatia, and Latvia since the countries have a ‘Do Not Travel’ alert.

On the other hand, the Department of State has revealed that the COVID-19 situation has improved in Spain as the country has been moved from Level Four to Level Three. The Czech Republic, the Faroe Islands, Gabon, South Korea, and Uganda have also moved to Level Three from Level Two.

Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the US would permit entry for Europeans vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines. This means that except for the vaccines that the US currently recognises, travellers from the EU vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac, will be permitted to enter the US territory once the entry ban is lifted.



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Many Americans Really Want to Travel to Space


Is space tourism ready for lift-off?

Research shows there is definite interest in traveling to space, but prohibitive price points make space experiences too far out of this world for most.

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The space race between VirginGalactic, SpaceX and Blue Origins has definitely boosted interest, new research from ValuePenguin found.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by ValuePigeon showed that almost half want to travel to space. However, just 19 percent are willing to fork over the Benjamins for the hefty $100,000-plus price tag.

The research also showed that men are more likely than women to want to travel to space, and older people are less likely to want to leave earth’s orbit than their younger counterparts. Fifty-six percent of men versus 44 percent of women would like to travel to space, and 63 percent of Gen-Zers would want to visit space versus 38 percent of baby boomers.

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The price tag makes space travel nearly unobtainable for most people. Of those consumers who want to travel to space, just 19 percent would shell out $100,000 or more to make it happen. That wouldn’t even buy one seat on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, however. Prices are estimated to start at $250,000 per person.

Probably not recommended by a financial advisor, but the research showed that 28 percent of both men and Gen-Zers would choose a free trip to space over being debt-free. Among all consumers, 23 percent opted for a trip to space rather than the ability to wipe out their debt.

Hopefully, consumer pressure will lead to lower prices. Sixty percent of Americans agree that space travel should be accessible for everyone, not just those who can afford the exorbitant costs.

Some think that traveling to space is unethical and that billionaires shouldn’t be spending money on it. According to ValuePenguin, even some scientists believe that it could further harm the earth’s atmosphere, harming the environment through a high rate of emissions-per-passenger.





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