Find and buy the at-home rapid tests with these tips


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Searching for an at-home COVID test? It may seem daunting, but it is possible to find testing kits in stores and online with some tools, determination and sometimes luck in the face of ongoing shortages.

Some are using the same tactics to find the tests that are being used to score the hard-to-find PS5 and Xbox Series X video game consoles: Following Twitter and social media accounts that blast when the tests are back in-stock.

There are also apps and websites that alert consumers when new tests arrive.

And there’s Eli Coustan, a 14-year-old from the Evanston suburb of Chicago, who has made it his mission to help people find at-home tests.

COVID tests: How to get free at-home COVID-19 tests with insurance reimbursement

►COVID quarantine and isolation guide: What to know and what to have at home

The ninth-grader said he started his website Findacovidtest.org at the end of December after seeing how difficult it was to find the at-home tests.

“I had created a site to find vaccines earlier in the pandemic and knew that I would be able to use a lot of similar technology to create something to find at-home tests you can order online and get shipped,” Eli told USA TODAY, adding he started ILVaccine.org in February 2021 after he saw how hard it was for his grandparents to get appointments.

Tips to find at-home COVID tests

Your mileage may vary but here are tips to help you find at-home COVID tests and other items that are shortage items.

In-stock alerts

For shopping online, alerts or notifications whether from store apps or third-party sites or apps are one of the best ways to find available inventory when it restocks.

Target has in-stock alerts that you can sign up for with its app. Apps, including Hot Stock, also can send you notifications. The app is free but there’s an option to pay $5.49 to receive notifications for up to 10 products.

Eli says his site automatically updates every five to 10 minutes and site visitors can sign up for text notifications.

The site tracks COVID tests online inventory at Amazon, CVS, Costco, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club and more and you can select the brand of test you’re interested in. 

♦ Shopping tip: Once you get an alert, you’ll need to act fast as supplies will go fast and it can take multiple attempts.

►Save better, spend better:  Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here

►COVID test prices: Prices up at Walmart, Kroger as at-home rapid tests remain hard to find

Check in-store test inventory with apps and Google Shopping

Before heading to a brick-and-mortar Target, Walmart or another retailer, you can get a better idea of store inventory by checking store websites or apps. But similar to ordering online, the inventory can quickly change.

Google Shopping also allows shoppers to check in-store inventory from home. Find local stores that carry the products you are looking for from Google Shopping and select the “in stock” filter to see only the nearby stores that have it on their shelves.

Shortages 2022: Grocery stores still have empty shelves amid supply chain disruptions, omicron and winter storms

►FDA warning: FDA warns against using unapproved COVID-19 tests because of a ‘high risk of false results’

Follow restock Twitter accounts for COVID test updates

According to a Vice story Thursday, several PS5 restock accounts on Twitter have started to post alerts about the COVID-19 test availability.

Here are three Twitter accounts to watch for test updates:

How to get free home COVID tests with insurance

With insurance companies now covering the over-the-counter tests as of Saturday, there will be new motivation to find tests. Many will be free after insurance reimbursement.

Private health plans are required to cover the over-the-counter tests at up to $12 per test. Consumers can either get the testing kits at no cost at participating pharmacies that their plan sets up or submit receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company.

Learn more about how to get insurance reimbursement here.

►MLK Day 2022: Stock market, most banks closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while stores, restaurants open

Order free tests at COVIDtests.gov starting Wednesday 

Americans can start ordering free COVID-19 tests starting Wednesday from the Biden administration’s new website. Reimbursement isn’t required and shipping is free.

The website for ordering is COVIDtests.gov and the site says “Every home in the U.S. can soon order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests.”

The tests, part of the administration’s purchase of 500 million tests last month to help tackle a record surge in infections, will be mailed to homes within seven to 12 days, according to an official who briefed reporters.

Contributing: Courtney Subramanian, USA TODAY; Associated Press

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group

More shortages?

Share what items you are having a hard time finding and how inflation is hitting your wallet on the form below. If you don’t see a form, click here





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Spain holidays: Travel influencers find Mallorca’s little-known spots | Travel News | Travel


Mallorca is known as “King of the Balearics” and is a firm favourite with British travellers year in, year out. Travel influencers Emily and Nic visited four beaches, which they described as “the most perfectly hidden beaches.”

Camp de Mar

The couple visited Camp de Mar, a family beach in southwest Mallorca, close to Andratx.

The area has had some famous residents, including Claudia Schiffer.

Visitors can enjoy the 180m wide beach, featuring a small wooden footbridge taking them out to a rock islet called La Illeta, where a cabana serves food and drink.

Cala Molins

This beach is one of three in the small resort in north-eastern Mallorca, Cala San Vicente.

The small beach is only 50m wide, but there is a restaurant and changing and toilet facilities.

The small inlet is surrounded by gorgeous rock formations, hills and trees, and is a quiet sheltered spot.

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Cala Deia

This small cove beach in the Tramuntana Mountains sits in northwest Mallorca.

The couple ate at a restaurant here looking out at a secluded bay. Here they praised the “incredible ‘pinch me’ view and food at the restaurant, Ca’s Patro March.

Nick said of the view: “It’s actually insane. You see this place on Instagram and you don’t actually appreciate how beautiful it is. It’s incredible.”

The beach, known for its beauty, is popular with locals. However, bear in mind this is not a sand beach.

The most popular region of Spain for holidays were ranked recently, with the Canaries coming top. 

The islands saw over 1 million tourists in November, last year, followed by second most popular location Andalucia, at just under half a million.

Britons were the largest market in both regions, with over 300,000 in the Canaries and 93,000 in Andalucia.

In total, 597,548 Britons travelled to Spain for a holiday in November.





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How to find covid tests abroad for new U.S. flight rules


As you plan your international trip, factor getting your coronavirus test into your itinerary. Depending on where you’re visiting, it may be very easy to find one. Big cities and popular tourism destinations should have plenty of options, but finding a test might be more difficult if you’re off the beaten path.



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Find sun and seclusion by beach-hopping on Puerto Rico’s west coast


My rental car shook violently as it slowly crept down the bumpy dirt road along the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico. When the road ended, I set out on foot up a dirt path that led to the gray-and-white Los Morrillos lighthouse, built on the edge of a cliff in 1882. The windows and doorways were the same shade of turquoise as the water crashing into the rust-red sandstone cliffs below.

The lighthouse was my first stop along Puerto Rico’s west coast in early November. After spending a few days of my first trip to the island exploring Old San Juan and nearby tourist sites, I fled the cruise-ship crowds and congested highways for the remote west coast’s narrow two-lane roads and secluded beaches. My goal was to explore this less-crowded part of the island, known for surfing, hilly terrain and an endless surplus of sunny, 80-degree days. Learning to surf was another priority, but rough seas with waves too big for my novice skill level crushed those plans. Instead of a surfing trip, this would become a relaxing 10-day beach and hiking trip.

From the eastern side of the lighthouse, I could see stretched out below a pristine, crescent-shaped beach that belonged in a Jimmy Buffett song. I walked across the undeveloped, tree-lined beach and followed a trail up another set of cliffs to photograph the lighthouse from across the bay. Then, I couldn’t resist a dip in the water to cool off. Even though a dozen people were on the beach, it still felt isolated. It was only Day 1, and I had already found my favorite beach in western Puerto Rico: La Playuela.

After another bone-rattling drive, I stopped at the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats and walked along the catwalks between reddish-pink salt ponds. The 1,249-acre area was added to the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge in 1999 and includes trails for biking and hiking around the two main lagoons, Fraternidad and Candelaria. A private operator harvests the salt, which is left behind when the water evaporates from exposure to the sun, wind and heat. The lagoons are home to a variety of microorganisms, including Dunaliella salina, an alga responsible for the red hue.

“Although it is a green alga, it creates a large amount of carotenoids (beta-carotene) to survive and protect themselves against the intense light,” Ana Roman, deputy project leader at the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said in an email. “High concentrations of carotenoids (red-orange pigment) are what creates the pink color effect in the salt flat ponds.”

The water of the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats has a reddish hue because of an alga called Dunaliella salina.

The water of the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats has a reddish hue because of an alga called Dunaliella salina.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

This alga is a critical food source for brine shrimp and other salt-tolerant species, which attract migratory shorebirds. The salt flats, with their prevalence of food, are one of the most important stopover points for these birds in the entire Caribbean. Cabo Rojo’s lucrative salt-collection business has resulted in several historical conflicts, according to Roman. There have been numerous ownership and exploitation issues involving not only the Spanish, who colonized the island after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493, but also the British and Dutch, among others. In 1769, a bloody fight broke out between local communities over land ownership of the salt flats, leading the area to be named El Combate, which translates to “the battle.”

For another history lesson, I visited the sleepy town of San Germán, the second-oldest city on the island, after San Juan, known for its well-preserved colonial Creole architecture. Founded on the coast in 1511, it was moved inland to avoid plundering pirates in 1573 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The centerpiece is the 1692 Iglesia de Porta Coeli, one of the oldest church structures in the Americas, which was originally used as a monastery chapel but now houses a small museum.

After a morning of exploring, I drove about 13 miles to Joyuda, a three-mile strip of seaside seafood restaurants known as the Gourmet Golden Mile, for lunch. I snagged a table on the shaded waterfront patio at Náutica by Poly’s and ordered a delicious conch mofongo relleno, fried mashed plantains stuffed with conch and served in a tomato-based sauce. By the time I finished my meal, there wasn’t an empty seat on the patio, and the hum of both English and Spanish conversations filled the air.

The ocean got rougher as I headed north to Rincón, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic. The surfing haven covers about eight miles of coastline and skyrocketed to fame after hosting the 1968 World Surfing Championships, which earned it a mention in a Beach Boys song.

Domes Beach in Puerto Rico is a popular surfing spot in Rincón.

Domes Beach, named after a defunct, dome-shaped nuclear facility that dominates the skyline, is a popular surfing spot in Rincón.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Because winter is peak surfing season, I watched experienced surfers ride large waves at Domes Beach, named after a defunct, dome-shaped nuclear facility that dominates the skyline. By 8 a.m., the parking lot was already overflowing, and there were 27 surfers in the water. Like many of Rincón’s beaches, Domes is a small, secluded, palm-tree-lined strip of golden sand stretched between cliffs and rocky outcroppings. One of the few exceptions is the seemingly endless Sandy Beach, which is bordered by rows of hotels and restaurants.

Another highlight was the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, home to the endangered reef-building elkhorn coral, as well as colorful marine life including parrotfish and blue tangs. The reserve encompasses three beaches and is an excellent snorkeling spot during the summer, when the water is calmer. The most photogenic of the three beaches is Steps, known for a mysterious set of concrete stairs sitting at the edge of the beach.

The beaches weren’t the only thing worth visiting in Rincón; the craft beer at Rincón Beer Co., fish tacos at Jack’s Shack and Sunday brunch at the English Rose were also pluses.

Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla has a party beach vibe.

Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla has a party beach vibe.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Despite congested parking lots, the Rincón beaches never felt crowded. That changed when I drove about 14 miles north to Aguadilla’s Crash Boat Beach, famous for a uniquely shaped blue pier once used to dock rescue boats that were sent out to save downed pilots from the nearby U.S. air base. Food stalls filled the parking lot, and speakers were blaring. This was the party beach packed with locals and a few tourists.

The farther north I went, the rougher the water got; a riptide warning kept me out of the ocean for the rest of my trip. I decided to hike from Surfer’s Beach to Survival Beach, a sliver of shoreline accessible only by foot. I started my hike at the Surfer’s Beach parking lot and meandered through the tropical forest along a makeshift trail that spiderwebbed in all directions, staying on the path that hugged the coast. I shared the trail with a retired New England couple who moved to the island to perpetually escape winter.

The beautiful Survival Beach in Puerto Rico is only accessible by foot.

The beautiful Survival Beach is only accessible by foot.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Lizards scurried into the bushes as I made my way to a section of beach filled with giant rock formations and caves reminiscent of a scene from “The Goonies.” Then I entered the forest again and climbed upward along a tree-root-lined path until I caught a bird’s-eye view of the windswept sands of Survival Beach. Despite trying numerous trails, the tide prevented me from reaching it. Regardless, these beachside trails and secluded coves became one of my favorite aspects of Puerto Rico.

After the hike, I treated myself to the mango salad at Ola Lola’s Tiki Bar & Grille, a mint-green, open-air eatery on a narrow, tree-shaded road that became my regular lunch spot. It was the exact kind of bar my 20-year-old self dreamed of opening on a tropical island.

On my last morning in Puerto Rico, I went for an hourlong sunrise walk on the beach in Isabela, on the northwest coast. Aside from a lone jogger’s, my footprints were the only ones in the sand as I walked along the water’s edge, past towering hotels that soon faded into trees. The gently sloping shore was one of the most expansive beaches I had visited, wider than many roads. Every day of my west coast road trip was spent at a different beach, and the island’s large size — about 3,500 square miles — made it easier to escape crowds and find solitude than the smaller Caribbean islands I’ve visited, such as Saint Martin, Anguilla and Saint Barthélemy.

After my walk, I reluctantly climbed in my rental car and drove to the airport listening to Jimmy Buffett. As a beach lover who loathes cold weather, I could envision many more winter trips to the island’s laid-back west coast.

If you go

WHERE TO STAY

Combate Beach Resort: Carretera 3301 Km 2.7 Interior, Cabo Rojo; (787) 254-2358; combatebeach.com

This expansive beach resort offers a variety of spotless rooms that sleep one to six people. Amenities include private beach access, pools, a sand volleyball court and a half basketball court. Kayak and bike rentals available for a fee. If you stay for three nights, the fourth one is free with their yearlong promotion. Rooms from about $109 per night.

WHERE TO EAT

Rincón Beer Co.: 15 Calle Muñoz Rivera, Rincón; (787) 280-8866; rinconbeercompany.com

Located in a colorful town square, this brewery serves up delicious bites, such as burgers and fish tacos, as well as tasty craft brews. Open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Bar food from about $9, beers from $5.

Jack’s Shack: Rt. 4413 Km 0.5 Bo Puntas, Rincón (in front of Pools Beach); (939) 274-8066; facebook.com/jacksshackpr

The fish tacos from this food truck across from Pool’s Beach are some of the best in town. The owners focus on fresh, local ingredients. Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food about $9 to $12.

The English Rose (La Rosa Inglesa): 413 Carretera Bo, Rincón; (787) 823-4032; theenglishroserincon.com/eat

The go-to brunch spot in Rincón is a villa on a hilltop that serves up breakfast favorites and mimosas with fresh-squeezed juice. Reservations recommended. Open 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entrees from $10.50.

Ola Lola’s Tiki Bar & Grille: 332 Barrio Bajuras, Isabela; (715) 303-9938; olalolaspr.com

This mint-green, open-air tiki bar is a great place to grab a drink or a bite after a long day at the beach. Reservations recommended. Open 2 to 9 p.m.; closed Wednesday and Sunday. Cash or digital payment only. Entrees from $9, cocktails from $6.

The conch mofongo relleno from Náutica by Poly's in Joyuda.

The conch mofongo relleno from Nautica by Poly’s in Joyuda, a three-mile strip of seaside seafood restaurants known as the Gourmet Golden Mile.

(Anna Mazurek / For The Washington Post)

Náutica by Poly’s: 4 PR-102, Cabo Rojo; (787) 381-7659; facebook.com/Rest.nautica

Located on Puerto Rico’s Gourmet Golden Mile in Joyuda, this waterfront restaurant serves up mouthwatering seafood dishes and local favorites. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Tuesday. Entrees from $14.

WHAT TO DO

Lighthouse of Los Morrillos: 301 PR Llanos Costa, Cabo Rojo; (787) 851-1025; caborojopr.net/faromorrillos.htm

A bumpy dirt road leads to a parking lot that’s a short walk to the historical lighthouse, which is closed for remodeling. Also accessible by foot. Road open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but hours can vary unexpectedly. Free.

Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge: Rd. 301 Km. 5.1 Bo. Corozo, Boquerón; (787) 851-7258; fws.gov/refuge/cabo_rojo

The highlights of this scenic wildlife refuge are the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats and hiking and biking trails. The main visitors center and the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats interpretive center are closed because of the pandemic; check website for closures. Ungated trails open daily 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.

MORE INFORMATION

Details: discoverpuertorico.com

Mazurek is a freelance writer. This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.





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2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



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2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



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2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



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How to find travel deals, from Black Friday to Travel Deal Tuesday


To offset some of the environmental toll of travel, give a sustainable gift. Climeworks develops, builds and runs direct air capture (DAC) machines in Iceland, which physically capture carbon dioxide from the air and store it safely. The company offers travel-themed packages to remove various amounts of carbon dioxide, like the Nordic Explorer, which removes 55 pounds of CO2 for $28.



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Man arrested after deputies find dead body inside travel trailer


LAKESIDE, Calif. (CNS) – A man is under arrest on suspicion of murdering another man whose body was found inside a travel trailer in Lakeside over the weekend, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday.

Ramon Sandoval, 30, was arrested just after 3 p.m. Saturday after sheriff’s deputies responded to a property in the 12100 block of state Route 67 for a report of a burglary.

Upon arrival, deputies found a stolen vehicle parked next to a house trailer, according to a sheriff’s department statement.

When deputies ordered the trailer’s occupants to step outside, Sandoval got out of the trailer and a dead man was found inside, the department stated.

Sandoval was initially booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and a probation violation, but is expected to be charged with murder in connection with the man’s death, the sheriff’s department said.

The victim’s cause of death is pending further evaluation, according to the sheriff’s department. His name is being withheld as homicide detectives and the medical examiner’s office are working to locate and notify his next of kin.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.



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How to find the world’s roomiest airplane seats


(CNN) — One of the greatest luxuries when we fly is space: the space to stretch out, relax, work and sleep while flying seven miles above the Earth at nearly the speed of sound.

These days, that’s international business class, with fully-flat beds longer than most people are tall. But some are roomier than others. So which airline will give you the biggest bang for your buck?

To be clear, we’re not talking about international first class suites here, the sort of space that can involve a separate bed and reclining (or even rotating) chair. Those are, in almost every case, so big that only a giant would need to worry about legroom or elbowroom.

We’re talking about long-haul business class, and here the amount of space can differ greatly: on the same Boeing 777 widebody airplane, you can find eight seats across (United Airlines’ domestic configuration) or four seats across (All Nippon Airways’ latest layout), and a variety of seats in between.

Oman Air's 787-8s and 787-9s offer extra space.

Oman Air’s 787-8s and 787-9s offer extra space.

Oman Air

As a rule, the fewer seats there are in a row, the more space you’ll have, so that’s one key thing to look out for.

We asked Jason Rabinowitz, head of airline research at ATPCO, an airline-owned company that maintains a database of almost every airplane seat and cabin flying, for more information about which seats are the roomiest.

“A whole host of factors can make a premium airline seat feel ‘big’ or ‘small.’ Different aircraft fuselage sizes will actually make it necessary for an airline to slightly slim down a seat than a passenger may be used to,” he says. “Several airlines have had to slightly slim down seats originally installed on the Boeing 777 for the Airbus A350.”

80+ inches

Air Canada's spacious offerings can be found on its 777s, 787s and A330s.

Air Canada’s spacious offerings can be found on its 777s, 787s and A330s.

Air Canada

Space in economy is usually based on both how wide your seat is and how much space there is between any given point on your seat and that same point on the seat in front. That’s called “seat pitch,” and it’s a good comparator for legroom, but in business class, where seats usually overlap, pitch isn’t a great measurement.

ATPCO’s data measures bed length, but not seat width, which can be complicated to measure for a number of reasons: unlike economy class, there’s no “between the armrests” standard measurement, for a start.

But there are a few dozen combinations of airline and airplane where you’ll find more than 80 inches in bed length — that’s 6 feet, 8 inches or 203 centimeters in length.

It’s worth noting that these seats aren’t as wide as a bed all the way down, though — these measurements are from tip to toe, and to maximize space onboard most seats will taper above the shoulder and below the waist in a kind of teardrop shape.

The biggest seats stretch out to a whopping 87 inches in bed length — that’s 7 feet, 3 inches or 221 centimeters, which is tall enough for almost everyone.

Qantas offers spacious seats on its 787 Dreamliners.

Qantas offers spacious seats on its 787 Dreamliners.

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

These 87-inch seats can be found on board three airlines’ planes: Boeing 777s belonging to Air France, Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways. That’s not to say that every 777 belonging to these airlines has this size of seat, though, so make sure that you look carefully when booking.

Moving down the list come 84-inch seats (that’s 7 feet exactly or 213 centimeters) aboard South American carrier LATAM’s Boeing 777-300ER, and then 82-inch (6 feet 10 inches, 208 centimeters) seats from Garuda Indonesia (on its newer A330-300 and -900neo aircraft) and Oman Air (on its two kinds of A330).

Rounding out the 80-plus club comes a whole stack of airlines with seats at 80 inches (6 feet 8 inches or 203 centimeters). Again, these won’t be every one of the airplanes for each airline, so keep an eye out when you’re picking your flight.

The not-so-short list

• Air Canada: 777, 787 and A330

• Delta: A330-200 and A330-300

• Gulf Air: 787-9

• Malaysia Airlines: A330-200

• Oman Air: 787-8 and 787-9

• Qantas: A380 (2019 refit version) and 787-9

• Qatar Airways: A350 (Qsuites and previous seat) and A380

• Royal Air Maroc: 787

• Virgin Atlantic: A350 and 787-9

So how do you find the roomiest seats when booking?

Delta's Airbus A330-300 aircraft have 80-plus inch seats in biz class.

Delta’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft have 80-plus inch seats in biz class.

Pouya Dianat/Pouya Creative for Delta Air Lines

If you can find flights with those planes, you can look forward to a spacious flight. Otherwise, here are a few suggestions.

Make sure you’re going fully flat: almost all international business class sections these days feature fully flat beds, rather than the “sloping sleeper” or sleeperette angled lie-flat seats from the 1990s and early 2000s.

Look for seats without a neighbor, also known as “all aisle access,” “direct aisle access” or “pod” seats. These seats mean whoever’s in the window seat doesn’t need to climb over the aisle, and there’s usually extra elbow room too.

The roomiest sizes of these seats — and, indeed, most business class seats — tend to come on the larger planes like Boeing’s 777 and Airbus’ A350, rather than the smaller Boeing 787 and Airbus A330.

And don’t be afraid to have a good look at the cabin pictures.

“The overall cabin design may also create a feeling of openness,” says ATPCO’s Rabinowitz. “For instance, some airlines have removed the overhead bins from the center seating section in premium cabins, giving those seats a much more open feeling.

“Better lighting and more refined sidewalls and cabin finishings also work to give the appearance of a more open, spacious cabin.”

Top image credit: Virgin Atlantic



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