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What you need to pack for a trip to the White Continent

Antarctica gear guide: What you need to pack for a trip to the White Continent

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Travel Job: Get Paid to Make TikToks on a Trip to Budapest

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Coach Hughes and the Lions Look For First WCC Victory on Nor Cal Road Trip

Game 1:
LMU Lions (5-8, 0-3 WCC) vs. Santa Clara Broncos (8-5, 2-1 WCC)
Jan. 20, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. PST | Santa Clara, Calif. | Leavey Center
Stream: WCC Network
Series History*: LMU leads 21-19 (overall) and SCU leads 10-9 (in Santa Clara)
Last Meeting: Santa Clara 83, LMU 68 [3/6/21 at WCC Tournament Round 3]

Game 2:

LMU Lions (5-8, 0-3 WCC) vs. San Francisco Dons (7-10, 1-4 WCC)

Jan. 22, 2022 | 2:00 p.m. PST | San Francisco, Calif. | War Memorial Gym

Stream: WCC Network

Series History*: LMU leads 25-19 (overall) and 10-8 (in San Francisco)

Last Meeting: San Francisco 84, LMU 66 [1/30/21 at LMU]

*Listed series record dates back to the 2001-2002 season

LOS ANGELES – Following 21 days off, four postponed games, and a tough 0-3 start to conference play, the Lions will look to bounce back this week with a pair of games in the Bay Area.

The Lions will get their first shot at a victory on Thursday when they take on the Santa Clara Broncos, a matchup that is always a tight battle. Over the last 15 meetings, the Lions have won eight, with a stretch of three wins from 2017-2018. The Broncos have taken the last two matchups, including a win in round three of last year’s WCC Tournament.

Ariel Johnson will also be looking for a bounce back game after a tough shooting night against BYU. The senior is averaging 13.5 points per game on 44% from the field. Last season, Johnson shinned in her first trip to the Broncos, finishing with 19 points on 6-8 from the field, six free throws, and eight boards.

Under Head Coach Aarika Hughes, the Lions have adopted a fast-paced offense and quick rotations, both traits of the Broncos and their Head Coach, Bill Carr. With both teams moving up and down the court with pace, the Lions will need to watch for Lindsey VanAllen and Merle Wiehl in transition. The pair lead the Broncos in points per game with 16.8 and 12.8 respectively and are shooting over 40% from the field.

Following Thursday’s contest, the Lions will travel 48 miles up highway 101 for their first meeting with San Francisco this season. The Saturday matinee will feature two squads hungry to get back to .500 on the year.

Aspyn Adams is no stranger to the Dons, as she tied the LMU record for most threes in a game with seven triples during her freshman season. Due to missing all of last season with an injury, this will be Adam’s first time seeing the Dons since her record-breaking night. 

The junior has struggled from distance at times this season, but found her rhythm in the Lions’ win over Texas State, hitting four three-pointers.

The ace for the Dons is no secret to anyone in the WCC, as Ioanna Krimili has been making noise since her freshman season as well. The redshirt-sophomore is averaging 17.3 points per game and has scored over 20 in six games, including a season high 34 at Nevada.

Last time out against the Lions, Krimili had 29 points, 20 of which came in the first half. A shift in the defense to a box and one silenced Krimili in the third, but she returned to form in the fourth, hitting three buckets from downtown. 

The Lions will be looking to slow Krimili’s roll early to avoid another dominant performance by the Dons

A pair of wins would bring the Lions within one game of .500 in conference play and on the year. Both games can be seen on the WCC Network, with tip-off scheduled for 6 pm in Santa Clara and 2 pm in San Francisco.

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Why your flight time could change months before a trip

But closer to the date of a flight, rescheduling might be necessary because of concerns about whether enough flight attendants or pilots will be available, or because a certain type of plane needs to be grounded, as happened with the Boeing 737 Max, Mann said.

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South Alabama guard Turbo Jones expected to be available for Louisiana trip

South Alabama point guard Tyrell “Turbo” Jones is expected to be available when the Jaguars travel to Louisiana on Thursday, coach Richie Riley said.

Jones, an Auburn transfer, has been sidelined since Nov. 13 with a foot injury that required surgery. The Jaguars (12-5, 2-2 Sun Belt Conference) have played their last 15 games without their best ball-handler, forcing shooting guards Charles Manning, Jay Jay Chandler and Alex Anderson to rotate at the point.

Jones averaged five points, four rebounds and three assists in the two games in which did play prior to the injury, totaling 35 minutes in games vs. Spring Hill and Wichita State. His status for Thursday will be determined by how he looks in practice Tuesday and Wednesday, Riley said.

“He’s not done anything in two months,” Riley said. “Along with his ability as a handler, I think he’ll make an impact defensively. A lot of it depends on how he is today in practice and (Wednesday), and just a gut feel of ‘is he ready or not?’ Obviously, we don’t want to rush him. But having him cleared and available is a huge bonus for us.”

After dropping its first two Sun Belt games amid a COVID outbreak on the team, South Alabama swept Georgia State and Georgia Southern last week with a nearly full-strength roster. Guard Diante Smith — averaging 8.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season — sat out both of those games, but was set to return to practice on Tuesday.

With Jones, Smith and others out at various times this season due to injury and illness, the Jaguars have relied on contributions from players who were expected to play smaller roles this season. Anderson, a true freshman, has started 12 of 17 games, while big men Lance Thomas and Marshall Kearing has taken on extended minutes.

“It’s improved our depth,” Riley said. “Lance Thomas is playing the best he’s played coming back from injury. Marshall Kearing has strung together some good games and earned a ton of trust; he’s in our starting lineup right now. Having those guys in our frontcourt, stepping up and being able to impact winning has been huge. And then you bring back Diante Smith, whose played high minutes for us, we’ve missed him the last two games.

“And then Turbo Jones, who is a true point guard, we obviously have missed that. Having guys out has cost us some games, but it has been a blessing in disguise because it’s allowed guys to get out there and get comfortable. It’s increased our depth.”

South Alabama forward Javon Franklin has also been an impact player in his first year since transferring from Auburn, averaging 11.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He’s joined with Thomas and Kearing to give the Jaguars three viable players in the low post, and with Manning (Sun Belt-best 17.5 points per game) and Chandler (15.2) to give the Jaguars three reliable scorers.

But if there’s one team that can match South Alabama’s size up front, it’s Louisiana (8-7, 3-2). Arizona transfer Jordan Brown is averaging 14.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, while holdover Theo Akwuba — who, like Brown, is 6-foot-11 — is averaging 10.4 points and 8.8 rebounds in just nine games.

“They’re a team that has been affected by COVID and injuries like we have,” Riley said. “They’ve not been able to be a whole (team) throughout the season, and that’s affected their play. But I think they’re the most talented team in our league. Jordan Brown … has had an incredible year. He’s one of the better front-court players, not only in our league, but in all of basketball at (the mid-major) level.

“They’ve got other guys back too. Theo Akwuba is an elite rim-protector. He really hurt us on the offensive glass in the conference tournament. Their size on the interior is certainly a challenge. They also mix that in with pretty good guard play.”

Tip-off for South Alabama-Louisiana is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, La. The Jaguars also travel to Louisiana-Monroe (10-8, 2-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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She canceled her Iceland trip in time. Where’s her refund?

DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: I had to cancel a trip to Iceland when my fully vaccinated daughter and her boyfriend, who was supposed to travel with us, contracted COVID-19. I had to cancel all the prepaid components of our trip, which required many emails and phone calls. I was within the cancellation window for all the components of our vacation.

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter ...
Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter 

Most refunds were prompt. But I’m having trouble with the Blue Lagoon, a resort hotel, and a snorkeling trip. The Blue Lagoon will not respond to any inquiries, even though I received confirmation of cancellation. I have not seen a refund from them.

DIVE.IS, the snorkeling tour company, claims they never received my emails to cancel. They later responded to my inquiries via email — so the company must be receiving them — and also via Facebook. They said their tech team would “look into it,” but that was more than a week ago, and I have heard nothing since.

I contacted them again but have received no response. I’m just wondering what else I can do to get results from a company in Iceland. I have told them that we will rebook someday, so I want to be able to do business with them again. I am worried that both of these companies will just ghost me, and I have no recourse.

Can you help me get a refund of my prepaid Blue Lagoon and snorkeling tickets?

— Kim Josund, Lake Forest Park, Washington

ANSWER: Both the hotel and the tour operator should have promptly acknowledged your cancellation and returned your money.

And I realize you’ve heard this before, but it merits repeating: Things got a little crazy during the pandemic when it came to refunds. Companies that normally respond to a refund request quickly have taken weeks or months to respond. There’s no excuse for that.

Let’s take these cases one by one. Blue Lagoon appeared to be in business during the time of your visit but apparently deprioritized refund requests. So, when you contacted it, the hotel just put your request on the back burner. You were, indeed, within the cancellation window. You kept a paper trail of your correspondence with the resort, even though no one responded.

It was just a matter of being persistent and polite with Blue Lagoon. That’s really difficult when you’re dealing with a large cancellation like yours. And frankly, you shouldn’t have to wait for a refund. They took your money in a few seconds — is it asking too much to return it in a timely manner?

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Holiday travel idea: A California road trip to Palm Springs

By Rachel Schnalzer
Design and illustrations by Jade Cuevas

Good morning, fellow Escapists. There’s nothing quite like the holidays in Southern California: the kitschy and offbeat sight of colorful lights on a palm tree, the spectacle of surfing Santas, the Beach Boys’ Christmas tunes on repeat all month long.

In many ways, the delight of spending the holidays in the Golden State gets kicked into overdrive the farther east you venture. In this edition of Escapes, you’ll find inspiration for a road trip across California’s interior, from a historic Riverside hotel decked out in decorations to the sometimes-snowy trails of Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Where are you exploring this December? What are your favorite holiday activities in California? Let me know, so I can pass them along to fellow readers.

Enjoy holiday decor — amid lots of history — in Riverside

The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights, covering an entire city block in downtown Riverside, is a no-brainer for anyone traveling to or from the California desert in search of some holiday cheer.

Times features writer Jeanette Marantos included the nearly 150-year-old inn and spa’s impressive decorations on her list of the 26 best holiday light displays in and around Los Angeles.

Enjoying the Mission Inn’s exterior lights is free, but for an enhanced experience, you can make a reservation to tour the property. The 75-minute walking tours, which detail the National Historic Landmark’s history, cost $25 for adults and $5 for children ages 11 and under.

While you’re in town, stop by the Main Street Pedestrian Mall near the Mission Inn for more Christmas lights.

Can’t get enough of the holiday season at the Mission Inn? Spend more time amid the glow by booking a stay. Rooms start at $379 during the holiday season, Marantos reports.

Also, Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds suggests visitors book dinner at the Mission Inn Restaurant, where main dishes range from $21-$54. “You may land at a patio table, surrounded by domes, towers, arches and buttresses, augmented for the season by angels, gnomes and polar bears, many of which move like the animatronic President Lincoln in Disneyland,” he writes in the winter edition of his 40 best California experiences list.

An illustration of the Mission Inn.

(Jess Miller / For The Times)

A wild holiday celebration in Palm Desert

The next Yuletide lights display on the agenda is 70 miles east on Interstate 10. On your way, keep your eyes open for the Cabazon Dinosaurs, decked out in Santa Claus outfits and red noses. If you have an extra day to spare, you might consider adding the beloved road trip destination to your itinerary.

At Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ WildLights display, you’ll find a herd of life-size, glowing animal lanterns, model trains running on more than 3,300 feet of track and a million-plus colorful holiday lights.

Like the Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights, WildLights also earned a spot on Marantos’ list of the 26 best holiday light displays in and around Los Angeles.

If you go, make sure to snap a photo in the Palm Desert zoo’s tunnel of lights and explore the newly opened pathways available to guests. Though the holiday lights are the main event, visitors to WildLights may catch a glimpse of some animals, too.

WildLights is open to the public from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 10-11, 17-24 and 26-30. Admission costs $16 for adult nonmembers and $12 for children ages 3-12.

Life-size lantern figures of giraffes and a cheetah.

Illuminated creatures at WildLights at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

(The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens)

Soar nearly 6,000 feet up Mt. San Jacinto

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which claims to offer the world’s largest rotating tram car, is a desert favorite — especially in the colder months.

“Where can you travel from California desert floor to a snowy mountaintop in 10 minutes? Only on this tram in winter,” writes Reynolds in his recent winter experiences roundup.

The rotating gondolas offer visitors a 360-degree view of Chino Canyon as they ascend 2.5 miles to Mountain Station, at a brisk 8,516 feet.

Bring an extra layer if you’re planning to explore Mt. San Jacinto State Park up top (which you should). It’s usually 30 to 40 degrees cooler than at Valley Station, Reynolds reports.

Plenty of hiking trails can be accessed from Mountain Station, as well as a few dining (and drinking) options for those who get hungry or wish to turn the experience into a date night. The Pines Café, a cafeteria, is open for lunch and dinner, while the Lookout Lounge serves beer, wine and cocktails until 8 p.m. Peaks is more upscale but open only for lunch right now, Reynolds writes.

Travelers, beware: If your heart is set on spotting snow at Mountain Station, make sure to check the weather before booking a ticket. Once enough snow has covered the ground, visitors to Mountain Station can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes at the Winter Adventure Center atop the mountain.

Parking costs $10, and tram rides cost $28.95 for adults.

Care to add a bit more Christmas magic to your weekend? Tram-riders can catch choirs from local high schools performing holiday tunes on the Pines Café stage at Mountain Station at 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10-12.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway gondola ascends to Mountain Station.

Since 1963, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has connected the dry desert (altitude 2,643 feet) and the frequently snowy upper slopes of Mt. San Jacinto (8,516 feet) in a journey of 10 minutes.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

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Drive the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway to Idyllwild

At this point, you’ve experienced a lot of holiday cheer. You could turn around and take Interstate 10 back to L.A., content with a weekend well-spent amid holiday lights and Christmas carols.

Or you could spend an afternoon cruising the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway to Idyllwild, a cozy town cradled in the San Jacinto Mountains — also on Reynolds’ list of the 40 best winter California experiences.

Visitors can easily spend a weekend (or longer) in Idyllwild exploring its trails and downtown. If you’re crunched for time and hoping to maximize the town’s holiday vibes, make a beeline to the Candy Cupboard, which has been offering caramel apples, taffy, chocolate and more treats for the last 40 years.

If travelers encounter winter weather on the mountain and want to spend time playing in the snow, “the Idyllwild Nature Center (open Thursday through Sunday, about a mile northwest of town) is one place to start,” Reynolds reports.

While taking a swing around Idyllwild, keep your eyes peeled for a golden retriever named Max — he’s the mayor and may be downtown greeting constituents and travelers alike while you’re there.

A forest with mountains and a sunset in the background.

Dusk settles over the landscape as seen near the Black Mountain Lookout in Idyllwild.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

What I’m reading

  • Love visiting holiday light displays? Lots of places — from the Lucent sculpture in Chicago to the “Sea of Stars” in the Maldives — sparkle even outside the Christmas season. Jonathan Carey provides a list of 15 twinkling destinations in Atlas Obscura.
  • A “land grab” by the Skunk Train, a popular tourist attraction in Mendocino County, has ignited a fight with the city of Fort Bragg, Eric Ting reports in SFGate.
  • What happens when outdoor recreation starts to pull people onto tribal lands? “The Navajo Rangers program presents a microcosm of the concerns that arise,” writes Elizabeth Miller in the Colorado Sun.
  • “Lagos, there’s no place on earth like it,” says Yvonne Orji, one of the stars of HBO’s “Insecure,” in Condé Nast Traveler. She breaks down the “chaotic amazingness” of Nigeria’s largest city, as well as the importance of taking it easy while traveling.
  • What’s it like to spend a year “slow-traveling” in a van from Mexico up to Alaska? Scott McMurren profiles a couple’s journey across the West in the Anchorage Daily News.

📸 Photo of the week

Adam Thomson surfs while wearing a Santa Claus hat.

Adam Thomson, dressed as Santa Claus, enjoys surfing just north of the Newport Pier.

(Drew A. Kelley / For the Daily Pilot)

🎸 Road song

Song: “Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong

Favorite lyric: “From Coney Island to the Sunset Strip / Somebody’s gonna make a happy trip tonight / While the moon is bright.”

Where to play it: Cruising North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs

A Polaroid-style illustration of North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

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Beavers overcome travel woes, sweep Arizona trip to open second half | News, Sports, Jobs

Ryan Ladika/MDN
Jared Hamm scored two goals and notched four total points in the Beavers’ three games against GCU and Arizona last weekend.

“It was kind of the day from hell, for sure, in terms of travel.”

Head coach Wyatt Waselenchuk’s Minot State men’s hockey team was expecting a challenge from its second half-opening road trip through Arizona, but perhaps not until the Beavers actually stepped foot on the ice.

That the second-ranked Beavers completed their three-game sweep of Grand Canyon University and No. 15 University of Arizona coming off 26 consecutive days off was impressive enough. Not even two hours removed from a travel fiasco in arriving in Arizona did Minot State hit the Arizona Ice Arcadia rink for its matchup with the Lopes.

After the team’s flights out of Bismarck the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 5 were canceled, the Beavers scrambled by bus to fly out of Minneapolis early Thursday morning. Half the team caught a connection in Houston and the other half in Chicago. The Chicago group, including Waselenchuk, experienced more technical issues and was forced to de-plane after sitting on the tarmac for two hours.

Finally, after arriving in Phoenix at 4 p.m. Jan. 6 and leaving the airport an hour later, the reunited Beavers reached GCU for a delayed start time past the 7 p.m. hour.

All things considered, Waselenchuk could not have asked for much more out of his team that night. The Beavers shut the Lopes out by a 4-0 final score, peppering netminder Scott Kasaboski with 54 total shots while allowing Riley Wallace to face 27, including just nine and six in the final two periods of play. Sophomore Carter Barley potted his first hat trick and fourth multi-goal effort of the season, and Justin Metcalf added a third-period insurance tally to put the game out of reach.

“I think that we worked really hard. I was proud of our group,” Waselenchuk said. “Obviously having three weeks off, systematically we could definitely clean some things up. Overall, we had a really good effort through three tough games.”

Barley’s first goal of the night marked the first of three in two games for the Minot State power play, a group that had struggled away from the Maysa Arena in the first half. Reece Henry and Jared Hamm added consecutive goals on the man advantage during the Beavers’ Jan. 7 win against Arizona, improving on a power play that had cashed in on just five of 22 chances on the road entering the road trip.

“I think that we have so much skill and we’re so offensive-minded that my thought process is not to over-coach that,” Waselenchuk said of the power play. “The best power plays in the game of hockey are the ones that are creative, and players are making plays. I think we’re just kind of overthinking things.”

The Beavers also exercised a skill that will prove beneficial for inevitable challenging matchups in the national tournament this spring. Minot State fell behind in both matchups with the Wildcats last weekend and clawed its way back to top Arizona in both games, by respective 3-1 and 3-2 final scores.

“That’s been my message from day one, is we’re never too high and we’re never too low,” Waselenchuk continued. “You’re never out of a game, and you’re always working to protect your lead, and you don’t do that by just sitting back.”

Minot State will now prepare to trade the warmth of the desert for the frigid North Dakotan winter as it headlines a seven-game outdoor schedule on the University of Jamestown’s campus Jan. 21-22 for Hockey Day in North Dakota.

The Beavers faced the Jimmies in the event two years ago on Jan. 17, 2020, weathering a torrential blizzard and sub-zero temperatures that forced the cancelation of the scheduled high school games, all to come out on the losing end of a 14-round shootout that went in the record books as an official tie.

“Obviously we have a great in-state rival and they’re a fantastic team,” Waselenchuk said of the Jimmies. “To add even just a little bit more on the line, if you will, to give us a little extra motivation in terms of a pretty cool setup and scenario, and to get to do it in their backyard was of interest to me. I know that our guys are looking forward to it.”

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Planning your next family vacation or trip

In the first six months of 2021, consumers have lost over $375,000 to travel scams across North America – and over $190,000 of losses have occurred in the past two months, according to reports generated by BBB Scam Tracker

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in the United States, the 16-week period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend has historically been one of the busiest for traveling domestically, with 657 million long-distance trips made during this time in 2001. While still less than its pre-pandemic levels, air travel has seen a marked increase in recent months, with approximately 465,000 domestic flights recorded in March 2021 – a significant difference from the May 2020 all-time monthly low of approximately 180,000 flights.

When planning an event or looking for a good deal for a family vacation or getaway, BBB encourages people to plan ahead to save money, avoid scams, and travel safely. 

Scammers will often target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices. One place to begin an online search is BBB.org for finding reputable travel agencies, agents and websites.

BBB adds the following tips to help ensure an enjoyable vacation:

  • Plan ahead. Allow plenty of time to research hotels, flights, and the area where you will be staying. Typically, the earlier reservations are made, the better the deals and the lower the risk of the destination being booked solid. Making reservations in advance also locks in rates and prevents higher prices later during prime spring break, peak summer, or holiday travel seasons.
  • Avoid broad internet searches. Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into whichever search engine used can sometimes bring up-websites that look official, but are designed solely to rip people off.
  • Be alert for travel scams. Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a ‘free trip’ or websites offering prices that appear too good to be true. It’s easy to extend questionable offers like these, but the vast majority of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo – and out money. Learn more about travel scams here.
  • Do your homework. Ask family and friends to recommend a travel agent or travel website and visit BBB.org for free Business Profiles. Research the business and read customer reviews about any rentals under consideration. 
  • Get trip details in writing. Before making a final payment, get all the details of the trip in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels. Also, review and keep a copy of the airline’s and hotel’s cancellation and refund policies, as well as the cancellation policies of the travel agency or booking site used.
  • Consider travel insuranceTravel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage based on what type of plan purchased. Ask a lot of questions, and always read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s not.
  • Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if something should go wrong with the travel reservation.
  • Planning to travel internationally? Check to see if there are any advisories affecting Canada and the U.S. Travel Association for any issues that may impact the trip.

No matter when or where you are traveling, take extra precautions:

  • Wait to post on social media. It’s fun to post adventures with friends and family, but wait until getting back from the trip. Photos and social media posts of the family having a great time also lets thieves know the house is empty.
  • Check your home insurance. If your home will be unattended while away, make sure you know your responsibilities under your home insurance policy. Some policies do not cover damage if nobody checks on your home for a certain amount of time.
  • Share a copy of the itinerary with a family member or close friend. Include the contact information of someone joining you on your trip.
  • Take a map. People rely heavily on smartphones and GPS. Consider having an atlas or hard copy map just in case of technical difficulties.
  • Check the weather conditions where you will be traveling and pack appropriate supplies and clothing.
  • Avoid traveling alone. Use the buddy system and stick with the group.
  • Use a hotel safe to store extra cash and keep any valuables under lock and key.

Learn more about travel insurance.

Find advice in locating a travel agent.

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