Smart, Safe, Sustainable: 3 tips to help corporates travel with confidence | Festival


While the demand for travel is returning, there’s no doubt that remobilisation during recent global events requires a holistic approach in order to successfully rebound and build a sustainable future. Particularly in light of the fact that U.S. Travelers are more concerned about costs than covid for the first time since the pandemic, which makes sense with record high inflation, soaring energy prices and now a potential food crisisIf travel is to reach the predicted 38% increase in 2022, it needs to adopt seamless, safe and sustainable travel protocols. From planning all the way to arrival, the global mobility sector will expect a smarter travel experience.

Here are three top tips for corporates to consider:

Enhancing guest experience with technology-first solutionsThe need for tech-first solutions in the corporate travel market has been long overdue. 1.3 million people are set to travel for work every week, so if corporates are to lean back into international travel, technology is key to bolstering sector-wide confidence. However, this can’t be achieved in a vacuum.With 89% of hospitality operators already investing in technology in 2021, it’s clear tomorrow’s traveller wants more from their trips. Larger spaces and properties with WFH-ready amenities, safety & security and accessibility features are just some of the recurring requests that are now a must have for many. Whilst businesses want to spend half the time travelling, they are now looking to double their experience. All-encompassing online platforms are fast becoming a go-to portal for reaching this travel utopia.In contrast to legacy GDS systems, all-in-one interfaces allow for corporate travellers to access a broader range of efficient resources that aggregate rich content from the supply chain faster, to enhance customer satisfaction. For example AltoVita has created new sustainability and safety features (in partnership with Breezeway) to enrich its content and offer more choice when it comes to global mobility.Value the vetting process to boost safety and securitySafety and security are taking a newfound meaning in 2022, one that lies at the heart of the corporate travel agenda. With 62% of travelers citing concerns over the conflict in Ukraine, the focus on security is stronger than ever. This is not to say that corporate travel has to be avoided, in fact, travel expenditure is set to soar to 1.7 trillion by the end of the year. Instead, corporates ought to be supported by end-to-end processes, which can be provided by bespoke technology platforms, to ensure that demand is matched with a duty of care.While as consumers we’re all used to using providers like AirBnb, the global mobility sector needs more from a booking experience, where the supply chain is seamlessly connected in order to maximise guest experience, safety and security through a range of different vetting and verification stages. Quality control procedures are redefining the legacy processes that have previously dominated the corporate travel market. Using a multi-layered vetting approach guarantees that operators can deliver hospitality services that have the right management protocols. Conducting proprietary pre-inspections or checking off an exhaustive list of questions that have to be answered by operators before listing, eliminates the scope for booking issues and ensures that operators can be proactive in handling issues.Providing scalable infrastructure that is tied to a digitally driven multi-layered property verification system, not only gives corporate travellers peace of mind but also ensures that employees are protected from booking to arrival. Traveling with confidence is right at your fingertips, within just a few clicks.So, with holistic measures in place, safety and security no longer have to take the back seat when it comes to corporate travel. Prioritising security is the new north star to navigating quality assurance, compliance, and duty of care. However, without the seamless integration of cloud technology, safety certificates, or safety-reviewed evidence, travel will be compromised.Empower corporates with ease through a filtered approachWhen the right technology is in place, it’s just as easy to make a sustainable choice as it is to make a standard one. However, without real sustainable practice behind it, the corporate travel industry will remain an arbitrator of corporate greenwashing.Combining smart and safe solutions can help bridge this gap between corporate travel and sustainability. With 87% of travellers becoming more travel conscious, all-in-one platforms now offer an easy route to making the more mindful decision. Implementing a wide selection of sustainable practices driven by modular filter technology will ensure that corporates can easily find accommodation that aligns with their personal and company-wide ESG goals.If corporates are to engage in real environmental change, accommodation choice is important. This is where sustainable solutions play a pivotal role. Opting for solutions that provide safety and sustainable filter options can influence industry change and encourage individual environmental responsibility. Equally, other features like geotagging technology, which AltoVita has recently added to its platform, can be leveraged to promote sustainable travel and eliminate the risk of industry-wide greenwashing.Using filtered content systems also offers an effective way to empower local communities wherever you relocate, with recycling, and carbon emissions per property tools. Ultimately, this will help to futureproof the global mobility sector long-term too.


To explore more widely the new ways of working, why not join us on 9 June for the results of the Think Global People and Relocate Awards and the Future of Work Festival?


Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory



Source link

Reef safe sunscreen is good for the environment and your skin


Placeholder while article actions load

For customers taking a snorkeling expedition in Maui, PacWhale Eco-Adventures lists packing suggestions on its website. Among the essentials, there are hats, sunglasses, cameras and towels — but no mention of sunscreen. Hawaii bans some types of sunscreen, so the company instead details a policy that’s more about what not to bring: “We support the statewide ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate.”

Hawaii was the first state to enact such legislation, but it is not the only popular tourist destination to do so. If you’re planning on a vacation with lots of time in the water, it may be time to reevaluate your buying habits.

Key West, Aruba, Palau, Bonaire and national parks in Thailand are just some of the places to act since research has shown products containing the common sunscreen chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate can wash away from skin and damage coral reefs.

According to the National Park Service, each year about 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter reef areas — the majority concentrated in tourist hot spots.

There are still plenty of sunscreens to keep your skin safe — and the water cleaner — on vacation. Here are five tips from scientists and dermatologists on how to identify them.

Not all “reef safe” options are the real deal

More “reef safe” sunscreens are hitting the market to meet consumer demand, but that description isn’t a seal of approval. “‘Reef safe’ sunscreen is largely a marketing term,” says David Andrews, a senior scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. “It doesn’t have a definition by the FDA, so there is no standard for that.”

As you shop, it’s important to scan the ingredients. (Warning, we’re about to get into a bunch of chemical names that are easy to gloss over.) PacWhale Eco-Adventures recommends making sure the sunscreen is non-nano zinc oxide based and that does not contain the following ingredients of concern: oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

If you’re worried that any “reef safe” sunscreen is not effective, rest easy; there are good ones out there. “You’re not deciding between your skin and the coral reefs,” says Kenneth Howe, an associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital and dermatologist at UnionDerm. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Summer rentals are going fast. Here’s the best way to book a beach house this year.

Look for mineral (not chemical) sunscreens

There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens absorb UVA and UVB light, while mineral sunscreens physically block them with active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

While you can find chemical sunscreens that don’t have those environmentally-concerning ingredients, experts recommend choosing a mineral sunscreen instead.

“There is some conflicting evidence, but the best available information indicates that some of the mineral products like zinc oxide seem to be the least damaging to coral reefs,” Andrews says.

For Craig Downs, executive director of the nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Laboratory (HEL) who’s co-authored studies on sunscreen’s impact on coral reefs, says mineral options are also the way to go as their main ingredients (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are the only sunscreen ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“And there are some really nice mineral sunscreen products out there that apply as a white cream, but as you rub it in, the white disappears and it’s translucent,” Downs says in an email. “What is really fantastic about these ‘disappearing’ creams is that you can see what skin is being covered when you apply it, and what isn’t.”

6 Mexico vacations that check every travel style

Dermatologist-approved options

When Howe’s clients want a sunscreen recommendation for their beach vacation, “I really love the Elta MD sunscreen brand,” he says. “It’s very popular with dermatologists.”

Howe says Elta MD sunscreens offer strong UV protection but also feels nice to apply — not something most people think of when zinc oxide comes to mind.

Hamza D. Bhatti, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group who specializes in skin cancer, also vouches for Elta MD — particularly for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. “It has a little bit of niacinamide in it, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent any type of flare-up,” he says.

For a cheaper alternative, there is Neutrogena’s Sensitive Skin sunscreen, which Howe uses personally. His wife, who is a surfer constantly under harsh daylight, adds an extra layer of protection by using a sunscreen stick (she’s a fan of Shiseido’s Clear Sunscreen Stick). Not only is it easy to apply to a small area, but also it is good for travelers anxious about the liquids rule for carry-on bags on planes.

However, because our bodies aren’t perfectly flat surfaces, Bhatti says sunscreen sticks have drawbacks. “There are some rounded areas where you might not get the same amount of penetration,” he says, warning users to pay close attention to any sun-exposed nooks and crannies.

How to save money on road trips as gas prices soar

Ditch sunscreen sprays altogether

An easy rule of thumb for your sunscreen shopping: Avoid spray cans.

Downs says HEL recommends against aerosol or spray cans because they don’t guarantee even or sufficient application, especially outside. “The wind can drive as much as 90 percent from the can to the surrounding environment,” he says. “And that spray can travel at least a quarter of a mile away.”

If it’s not getting on your skin, it’s getting into your surroundings. “This is a source of environmental contamination,” Downs says.

There is also the concern of inhaling sunscreen spray. “That’s both inhalation of the ingredients in the product as well as of small particles of sunscreen,” Andrews says. “That’s of concern, especially when [researchers] found that some products out there [were] releasing particles that could be inhaled deep into the lungs.”

Seek shade and pack more coverups

While sunscreen can help travelers protect their skin from UV rays, it’s not the only way.

“We recommend sunscreen alongside really the use of hats, clothing and seeking shade,” Downs says.

Howe encourages people to find clothes with built-in UV protection. “I’ve worn a sun shirt for the past 20 years, and it doesn’t take me nearly as long to put on sunscreen,” he says. “I put it on the backs of my hands and everywhere that’s exposed from the neck up and my legs.”

You can shop for specialized garments that have a tight weave or have their threads coated to absorb and reflect more ultraviolet light (check out companies such as Coolibar or BloqUV).

To test your own clothes for sun protection, Howe has a simple tip. “If you hold it up to the light, and you can see a lot of light streaming through, it’s not going to work,” he says.



Source link

Travel tips to stay safe with testing for a stress-free summer holiday


Doctor shares a few health tips for travel that may help your family return healthy from that much needed summer break while keeping ‘unwelcome’ holiday presents away

Updated On May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

/

With the kids breaking for their summer vacation, a huge task for all parents is to plan a safe and enjoyable holiday. After two years of Covid-19 restrictions, travel is starting to feel a lot safer, especially with the increasing number of people getting vaccinated and even getting booster shots. Dr. Mangesh Tiwaskar, Editor in Chief of Journal of Association of Physicians of India shares a few tips that may help your family return healthy from that much needed break while keeping ‘unwelcome’ holiday presents away. (Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)

Updated on May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

With the kids breaking for their summer vacation, a huge task for all parents is to plan a safe and enjoyable holiday. After two years of Covid-19 restrictions, travel is starting to feel a lot safer, especially with the increasing number of people getting vaccinated and even getting booster shots. Dr. Mangesh Tiwaskar, Editor in Chief of Journal of Association of Physicians of India shares a few tips that may help your family return healthy from that much needed break while keeping ‘unwelcome’ holiday presents away. (Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)

/

1. Check the Covid-19 rates and restrictions before deciding on the holiday destination - The infection rate and restrictions at your destination is a big factor to consider. If you’re thinking of a location that’s red-hot with infection, your chances of becoming ill can rise, even if you’ve been vaccinated. Its best to check with someone living there or stay updated on infections in the area before you finalize the plan, to avoid any unwanted surprises upon arrival. Also, if you or those you’re traveling with have not yet been vaccinated, you may want to take a rapid antigen Covid-19 test before you leave to reduce the odds of unknowingly bringing the virus to your destination. (Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay )

Updated on May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

1. Check the Covid-19 rates and restrictions before deciding on the holiday destination – The infection rate and restrictions at your destination is a big factor to consider. If you’re thinking of a location that’s red-hot with infection, your chances of becoming ill can rise, even if you’ve been vaccinated. Its best to check with someone living there or stay updated on infections in the area before you finalize the plan, to avoid any unwanted surprises upon arrival. Also, if you or those you’re traveling with have not yet been vaccinated, you may want to take a rapid antigen Covid-19 test before you leave to reduce the odds of unknowingly bringing the virus to your destination. (Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay )

/

2. Carrying a Rapid Antigen Testing Kit as a part of your medicine bag - While travelling, with kids or even otherwise, a medicine kit is a must-have item in a travel bag. Let’s apply this ‘safety first’ mantra not just to our kids but all aspects of life to keep a check on our health. So, this holiday season, ensure you carry a Covid-19 self-test kit for a stress-free and safe holiday. Of course, while making this decision, the quality of the kit is a key factor as well. These kits, such as the Panbio Covid-19 antigen self-test kit, are readily available in pharmacies and online retailer sites and give you quick result in as little as 15 minutes. You can easily test on the go, especially if there is a sudden rise in the number of cases after you have arrived. This can help ensure you and your travelling group are safe. A self-test kit is an important travel partner, and even more so if you’re going to another country! (Photo by Cedrik Wesche on Unsplash)

Updated on May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

2. Carrying a Rapid Antigen Testing Kit as a part of your medicine bag – While travelling, with kids or even otherwise, a medicine kit is a must-have item in a travel bag. Let’s apply this ‘safety first’ mantra not just to our kids but all aspects of life to keep a check on our health. So, this holiday season, ensure you carry a Covid-19 self-test kit for a stress-free and safe holiday. Of course, while making this decision, the quality of the kit is a key factor as well. These kits, such as the Panbio Covid-19 antigen self-test kit, are readily available in pharmacies and online retailer sites and give you quick result in as little as 15 minutes. You can easily test on the go, especially if there is a sudden rise in the number of cases after you have arrived. This can help ensure you and your travelling group are safe. A self-test kit is an important travel partner, and even more so if you’re going to another country! (Photo by Cedrik Wesche on Unsplash)

/

3. Avoid crammed, indoor spaces - While finalizing your travel itinerary, ensure that you avoid indoor places crammed with people whose vaccination status is unknown. There may be vacation activities you always love to do – from karaoke cafes to theme parks with indoor rides – that may be wise to skip for now. These crowded gatherings away from fresh air may carry some Covid-19 risk. But if you visit a packed indoor space that you can’t resist, make sure to mask up and self-test when you return. (Image by Tasos Lekkas from Pixabay )

Updated on May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

3. Avoid crammed, indoor spaces – While finalizing your travel itinerary, ensure that you avoid indoor places crammed with people whose vaccination status is unknown. There may be vacation activities you always love to do – from karaoke cafes to theme parks with indoor rides – that may be wise to skip for now. These crowded gatherings away from fresh air may carry some Covid-19 risk. But if you visit a packed indoor space that you can’t resist, make sure to mask up and self-test when you return. (Image by Tasos Lekkas from Pixabay )

/

4. Don’t forget to relax! You deserve it - Yes! We are all due for a well-deserved break. For all of us, the stress from this pandemic means we yearn to travel more than ever now. For many of us, it’s been two years since we’ve taken a vacation or spent holidays with extended family. While you are on your first holiday away since the pandemic, it may take a while to fully unwind. That’s okay. Getting vaccinated and carrying a quality rapid antigen self-test kit can help you feel more confident, so you can allow yourself to enjoy the break, kick back and relax. (Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash)

Updated on May 25, 2022 03:27 PM IST

4. Don’t forget to relax! You deserve it – Yes! We are all due for a well-deserved break. For all of us, the stress from this pandemic means we yearn to travel more than ever now. For many of us, it’s been two years since we’ve taken a vacation or spent holidays with extended family. While you are on your first holiday away since the pandemic, it may take a while to fully unwind. That’s okay. Getting vaccinated and carrying a quality rapid antigen self-test kit can help you feel more confident, so you can allow yourself to enjoy the break, kick back and relax. (Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash)



Source link

Flight attendant hotel room tip to stay safe on holiday – replace room key | Travel News | Travel


As many Britons jet off on holiday for the first time since the pandemic, many may not have stayed in a hotel for a while. A former flight attendant has shared some useful tips for check-in.

Tiktok user (anjas.adventures) shared a video on TikTok with hotel tips they learnt from being cabin crew.

They said: “Never open your door without looking through the spy hole, it could be anyone!”

While hotels often have good security, it could be possible for people to enter the hotel if they aren’t staying there.

Other guests will also be able to walk around hotel hallways freely. While most people would never try to enter someone else’s room, it’s always a good idea to be safe.

READ MORE: Simon Calder shares essential tip amid passport chaos

Nearly all hotel rooms will have a spy hole in the door where guests will be able to check who is outside.

It’s a good idea to check the spy hole before opening the door to a stranger while on holiday.

They added: “Replace your room key with a spare card to keep on the air con and your things charging!”

Most hotel rooms will be operated with a key card which is kept in a slot by the door. This often controls the energy in the room such as lights.

DON’T MISS

The flight attendant said that replacing the room key with another card might keep appliances on while guests are out.

However, this may not work for every hotel and guests should also make sure they don’t forget their keycard if it isn’t in the slot.

It’s also a good idea to turn the air conditioner off if guests are heading out to preserve energy.

The flight attendant added: “Put something in the safe you won’t be able to leave your room without so you won’t forget about the rest of your stuff in there.”

The hotel room safe is the perfect place to store expensive belongings or important documents such as passports.

However, in the rush to pack after a holiday it can be easy to forget important belongings in the safe.

Hotels will be able to post items to guests if they leave them behind but it will be an unnecessary hassle for guests.

The flight attendant suggested guests keep an essential item they won’t be able to leave without in the safe.

If guests leave a shoe or phone charger in the safe while they’re in the room, they might not forget other items in the safe.

However, Hotels & Discounts, has recommended guests leave important items outside of the hotel safe.

It could be the most obvious place for a thief to search. The travel site recommended that guests hide items in a “hairbrush handle” or “lip balm”.

Guests should also take as few valuables as possible if they want to avoid losing an important item.





Source link

Segway-Ninebot Shares safe Travel Tips for Short Distance Urban Travel as Part of International Day of Families Celebration


The safety tips and advantages shared by Segway-Ninebot when travelling in urban areas:

  • Pay attention to the road ahead and do not be distracted by phones or other devices;
  • Wear protective accessories such as a helmet and elbow pads as well when riding an electric scooter, KickScooter, motorcycle or bicycle;
  • Place the cellphone on the phone holder to ensure hand-free directional assistance to avoid accidents;
  • Make effective use of anti-theft accessories for the belongings as well, such as using a password lock to secure the travel solutions.

“Electric KickScooters are already an immensely popular mode of transportation in major urban centers across Europe and the United States. At Segway-Ninebot, our core business has always been producing self-balancing electric personal transporters and electric KickScooters, of which we have produced more than 10 million. Additionally, our electric KickScooters are being used by shared device service providers that rely on Segway-Ninebot as a cornerstone for their business,” Wang Ye, Segway-Ninebot CEO commented. “Meanwhile in the terms of corporate social responsibility, over the past few years, short-distance transportation has been replacing fuel with electricity. Ninebot Internet of Vehicles Data Centre reports that by May 16th 2022, Segway-Ninebot has achieved a total accumulated riding distance of 5,359,063,428 km worldwide, reducing 258,306,857 kg-weight carbon emissions compare to motorcycle travel, which is equivalent to planting 14,430,551 trees.”

The Segway-Ninebot D series and C series electric KickScooters – with various cruising ranges, the highest with the D38E model goes up to 38 km – are available for both parents and kids. The three models, D38E, D28E and D18E, feature a reliable double braking system, anti-slip, comfortable and durable 10-inch air tyres and can commute through all types of terrains. The most powerful model can handle climbing angles up to 20%, and all three have a powerful LED headlight to ensure clear visibility in low lighting conditions. The newly designed kids electric KickScooter, C15E, has three riding modes and solid rubber tyres that offer better grip and anti-skid performance allowing a more confident ride. Ambient lights have also been embedded to lighten the mood of the ride.

Segway-Ninebot continues to provide a one-stop solution for all family travellers to explore undiscovered fun tours this summer. Segway-Ninebot is planning an exciting limited summer promotion for KickScooters D series and C15E. For promotion details, please visit shop.segway.com or the local retailer.

About Segway-Ninebot

Segway-Ninebot is a global enterprise in the fields of intelligent short-distance transportation and service robots. In 1999, Segway was established in Bedford NH, US, which is the world leader in commercial-grade, electric, self-balancing personal transportation. Ninebot is an intelligent short-distance transportation equipment operator integrating R&D, production, sales, and service, established in Beijing, 2012. As Segway and Ninebot completed a strategic combination in 2015, Segway-Ninebot came into being. At present, the company’s businesses are all around the world and have subsidiaries in Beijing, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Amsterdam, Krefeld, Seoul, Paris, Barcelona, Shanghai, Changzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, selling products in more than 225 countries and territories. With its world-renowned intellectual property, Segway-Ninebot will create more products that will lead users and the entire industry into the future.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1820582/Deliver_Delight_D38E_D28E_D18E_C15E_Summer_Sale.jpg  

SOURCE Segway Ninebot



Source link

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.



Source link

How safe is European travel?


Placeholder while article actions load

The Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens travel far beyond Eastern Europe. Gas prices are rising, and there’s a growing sense of unease about the upcoming travel season. So how do you protect your vacation from a distant war?

That’s what travelers such as Dawn Pick Benson are trying to figure out. She’s planning to visit Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and maybe Montenegro this summer. And she’s keeping a watchful eye on events in Eastern Europe.

Benson, a marketing strategist from Grand Rapids, Mich., monitors official sources, such as State Department travel advisories and news reports, and relies on an unofficial network of friends and contacts at her destinations. She’s already crossed Romania off the list, because it’s too close to the conflict.

“I would reconsider my trip if contacts in the region advised me to do so and if unrest spreads to areas closer to the locations I plan to be,” she says. “As of today, I’m still planning to travel.”

Many Americans are doing the same thing. A little less than half of U.S. travelers (47 percent) are holding off on their travel plans to Europe because they want to see how the war in Ukraine evolves, according to a survey by MMGY Global, a marketing agency that specializes in travel. Roughly the same amount of people (50 percent) say they’re concerned about possible delays and cancellations of flights, trains and cruises, as well as the potential for border closures.

Amy Boyle, a photographer from Chicago, started planning her trip by doing a deep dive on her destination, as well as by checking State Department advisories, local media and social media posts. Like Benson, she prefers going somewhere that she knows people on the ground. For her, that meant a trip starting in England this spring. So far, all of her research suggests her vacation will be safe.

“I don’t want to put myself or others at risk,” Boyle says. “But I also feel strongly that canceling all our travel plans will continue to hurt other countries’ economies as well as the growing importance for us as humans to connect in person again.”

Aside from research, what can you do to protect your vacation from war?

“Insurance, insurance, insurance,” says Laura Heidt, an insurance expert at Brownell Travel, a travel agency in Birmingham, Ala.

And not just any insurance. Most travel insurance policies are of the “named perils” type, which protects policyholders under limited circumstances, such as if you get sick on your trip or your airline loses your luggage. These policies usually exclude wars. But a “cancel for any reason” policy lets you cancel your vacation if you don’t feel safe and get 50 to 75 percent of your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses reimbursed.

“Cancel for any reason” insurance costs more than regular insurance — typically somewhere between 10 and 12 percent of the value of your trip. “But it’s worth it in uncertain times,” Heidt says.

Lisa Conway, chief underwriting officer at travel insurance company Battleface, says insurers don’t yet consider most European countries to be affected regions in terms of the war in Ukraine. But people planning summer vacations should take it into account.

“I recommend researching travel insurance options that give you the most flexibility and choice based on your specific needs,” she adds.

Annie Erling Gofus, a travel consultant with Wunderbird who specializes in booking trips to Central and Eastern Europe, says the biggest change she’s recommending to clients is that they add emergency evacuation plans to their travel insurance policies. Companies such as Medjet or Global Rescue can extract clients from a country if conditions become dangerous.

“If a client has a trip planned to Central Europe, I would suggest nonmedical evacuation coverage,” she says.

The real benefit of working with professionals such as Gofus is that they’ll be with you every step of the way. If something goes wrong, a competent travel adviser won’t rest until you get home safely.

But experts say it isn’t enough to check all the boxes on a destination, ensuring that the State Department, your travel adviser and local news reports agree that it’s safe for travel. It’s the “what if” that’s worth pondering. Specifically: What if the conflict spreads beyond Ukraine? What if the oil import ban doesn’t just lead to higher gas prices but also a full-blown energy crisis? Then there’s the wild card: the coronavirus. What if it flares up again this summer?

“Consider your destination carefully,” says Narendra Khatri, principal of Insubuy, a travel insurance company. “No one can say for sure exactly what this conflict may look like by summer.”

So is travel to Europe safe? That’s what I’ve been wondering, because it’s time for me to make arrangements to travel to Turkey and Greece this spring. Experts say it is — for now. Christine Petersen, CEO of SmarTours, a tour operator that offers tours in Europe, says you can safely visit Europe if you know where to go.

“A big mistake would be grouping all countries in the region together,” she says. “It can be a common mistake to have a knee-jerk reaction and halt travel plans to other areas in Eastern Europe — or even Western Europe.”

Ukraine and Russia are red zones, of course, says Harding Bush, a security operations manager for Global Rescue. Poland and Moldova are yellow zones. (Poland because of the refugee situation, and Moldova because experts say it may also get drawn into the conflict.) Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, while safer, should still be “at the bottom” of your list, he says.

“War,” he says, “is not a tourist attraction.”

Potential travelers should take local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC’s travel health notice webpage.



Source link

Planning a long road trip this Eid break in UAE? Here are tips to keep you safe


Dubai: With the long Eid Al Fitr break getting underway, residents are sure to embark on long inter-emirate road trips with friends and family.

Experts, however, have a word of caution. Here’s what they have to say as they share some practical tips to ensure that your journey is smooth and safe.

Naser Shashaa

Naser Shashaa, vice-president, Michelin Middle East and North Africa, told Gulf News: “Expect this Eid to see a large number of road travel to be with family and loved ones. For ultimate safe journey and peace of mind, we highly recommend checking your vehicle a couple of days prior to the road trip. Avoid checking your car the night before to avoid surprises.”

Start with tyre check

Shashaa also shared some practical tips — with a focus on tyre check — prior to the journey: “Start with a visual examination of the tyre condition. Check the tyre tread depth as a worn-out tread can result in loss of traction.”

“Also make sure to check the spare wheel and have it in top shape. The spare tyre is often overlooked, but in an emergency situation, it can make the difference between being stranded and delayed,” he added.

Shashaa advised: “No matter how long the trip is, keep an eye on how much you pack and how much weight it will add on. An overloaded car might not be able to take the extra weight and perform at its full capacity, while also impacting the tyre performance.”

It is always advised to carry a puncture-repair kit with a tyre inflator. It is fairly easy to use and can be a saviour in an emergency situation.

Before the long road trip, go for a short drive the day before to make sure the car is not feeling odd in terms of handling. While on the drive, check if the car is pulling to one side. If it is, the alignment might be out of place. You need to get it checked and fixed.

‘Be extra careful, always’

P.M. Abdul Razak, operations manager at Emirates Driving Institute, has one cardinal rule while on the road: “Be extra careful, always.”

P.M. Abdul Razak

“The Eid holiday season is here. Our roads are expected to witness peak traffic as thousands of people from other emirates or countries take a break to spend some quality time with their loved ones. It is a time when drivers need to be extra careful on the roads. There is a significant surge in road accidents and fatalities during almost every holiday period,” Razak noted.

He continued: “Some of the causes of these accidents include heavy volume of traffic; drivers having fun with co-passengers while driving; people visiting from other emirates not being too familiar with the city and its roads. Another reason could be drowsiness and stress due to the long drive.”

Here are the safety reminders from Razak to enjoy the holiday trip:

1. Prepare the car

Perform a basic check to ensure the car is ready for a long drive. Check oil levels, wiper fluid, fuel level, and tyre condition. All passengers must buckle up and use an appropriate child safety seat for children.

2. Plan the trip

Leave plenty of extra time on your trip. Delays must be anticipated when driving long distances. Having extra time can help you stay relaxed. Remember, the shortest route is not necessarily the fastest route always. Aim to avoid roads that are prone to congestion during peak hours. 3. Pack smart

Make sure you have enough water, food, basic medical supplies and toiletries.

4. Share the task

Driving long distances can be tiring. So, try to take breaks and share the steering. Some are good at navigating, others may not read a map that well. Know who does what well and share the tasks by talent and preference.

5. Stay alert

Be aware that some drivers are unfamiliar with your city and its roads. These drivers may act surprisingly at the last moment, just before a junction or exit. Keep sufficient distance from vehicles.

6. Follow the rules and regulations

Strictly follow the rules and regulations, drive according to the road traffic condition within the speed limit, maintain safe distance always and stop your vehicle always at a safe place.

Tyre safety

Did you know tyre-related accidents contribute to around five per cent of UAE’s total traffic death toll? This is why it is very important that tyres must be procured, fitted and maintained properly.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recommends replacing tyres no later than five years, or earlier if the remaining tread depth is below 1.6mm. Tyres must also be replaced if there are other signs of wear or damage, for example, cracks or cuts in the sidewall, parts of the tread band are damaged, etc.

It is highly recommended that all four tyres are replaced at the same time, especially on permanent four-wheel drive vehicles to avoid mechanical damage. If only two tyres are replaced on a two-wheel drive vehicle, it is recommended that the new tyres be fitted to the rear axle for vehicle stability and safer handling.

Keep in mind: Use only reputable branded and certified tyres. Avoid fitting tyres that may be substandard and therefore potentially unsafe. Use the correct tyre type and dimension for your vehicle (refer to the vehicle owner’s manual or ask for expert advise if not sure).

Check tyre pressure at least once a month using a reliable or calibrated gauge. The recommended pressures are quoted in the vehicle owner’s manual or on a sticker usually attached to a door frame or fuel cover. Make sure that the pressures are checked when the tyres are ‘cold’, i.e. driven less than 3km before the check.

Avoid driving over or near hazardous objects that could damage the tyres and make them unsafe or unfit for service, for example, rocks, glass, potholes, kerbs etc. Regularly check the age of the spare tyre, condition and air pressure to avoid having a spare tyre that is unfit for use.



Source link

Is travel to Europe safe? What to know during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


War in Ukraine: What you need to know



Source link