Some news to take into account during your travel plans


Even when my mom threatened to drop us off at the next rest stop, we refused to stop asking the age-old question that plagues every summer vacation trip: “Are we there already?”

I often feel a bit like that kid sitting in the back as I plan a trip into a global pandemic. Yes! I see the borders opening up, I take note of the wearing of masks and the lack of social distancing, and I even rejoice that cruises and tours are resuming all around us. Things are definitely speeding up; my clients can’t wait to return. Yet the question remains: “Are we still there?”

Without a doubt, the road has been difficult and there will definitely be more bumps along the way, but my fear is that if we wait until all the bumps are ironed out, we could wait the rest of our lives! When Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of England, announced the lifting of the covid restrictions on July 19, he also added: “We are just going to have to learn to live with this virus”.

Maybe he’s right: it’s a day now.

After all, when the TSA reported that more people boarded planes on July 1 than on the same date in July 2019, it turns out to be ready or not, take-off is happening! The world has been in the doldrums for too long. Being arrested has not taught us patience. Instead, it sparked a fervent desire to go, see, and do while we can, and the world is waiting.

Whether you choose to tread carefully or go full blast, my fellow travel agents at Monroe Travel Service and I, who want and need your business, are thrilled, but may I share some travel thoughts for you to consider. during your trip:

* Sorry, there is no Tatoo this summer. With the wonderful spectacle of the Royal Military Tattoo officially canceled, expect the Edinburgh International Festival to take over the city from August 7-29. The festival will celebrate the best the country has to offer in theater, opera, dance and music, so if a trip to Scotland is on your radar, this event could be fun to add to your itinerary.

* If proof of antigen testing is still required to enter bars and restaurants in Denmark, then you must realize how the pandemic has brought all kinds of changes everywhere. For example, consider the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve on the island of Oahu. When Covid shut down Hawaii, Hawaiian sea turtles and monk seals returned and took over empty beaches. Now that Hawaii has reopened, the state has created a new reservation system limiting the number of daily visitors from 3,000 to just 720 each day at Hanauma Bay to keep the wildlife happy. As I said before, changes have taken place; maybe the world is handled differently. Call Monroe Travel Service. You need to know before you go.

* Ireland has suffered one of the longest blockages in Europe and is currently experiencing one of the slowest reopenings. While alfresco dining is now a possibility and pubs can finally be open until 11pm, you need to reconsider. The green island is too incredible not to take full advantage of it. Know just before you go.

* Fireworks returned to Disney Parks on July 4th, so once again you can expect to be wowed by pyrotechnics again in Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Unfortunately, there is still no word on the return of the catering or fastpass program for this year. Mickey’s 50th birthday party starts in October, plan your spring getaway now.

* Prepare to have fun: the VelociCoaster, Universal Orlando’s newest white-knuckle ride with a 53 mph roll, is a hit! Breathtaking, this one-of-a-kind roller coaster ride is exactly what all thrill seekers want. Plan to add Universal Studios to one of our Mickey’s Birthday fun packages.

* Beginning in October, many Las Vegas resorts will be offering “cannabis consumption lounges”. Yet, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, it will not be possible to smoke, eat or consume cannabis in casinos or in any of the 150,000 hotel rooms in this large city that is always ready to give you a good time.

* Big news on the hotel scene. With the grand opening of the new luxury Ritz Carlton, the Turks and Caicos Islands are getting better! On the other hand, if you fancy “losing weight” or just wanting to “change the latitude” then the brand new Margaritaville Resort in Nassau is a great getaway. Honestly, with the prices I see in Gulf Shores, Destin, and Area 30A, you should really be comparing vacation costs to Cabo, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, or the Caribbean. At Monroe Travel Service, we were able to offer an all-inclusive vacation with flights from Monroe for less than what the Gulf Coast wanted for a room only booked on July 4th.

* Other additions to the post-covid resort include the Dreams Royal Beach and Secrets Macao Beach in the Dominican Republic and the new Secrets Resort in St. Maarten. No passport? Next, discover the new Lovango Resort and Beach Club, located a short boat ride from St. John, in the Virgin Islands. This private island resort has received rave reviews as an all-new must-see resort in the American Caribbean.

* The Eiffel Tower – the most visited paid monument in the world with around 7 million visitors each year – is officially open again in Paris. However, there is a catch: no elevator is used. However, even if you want to bring the 674 floors to the 2nd floor observation level, you need to plan ahead. Reservations for major sites like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Versailles must be made in advance.

* The start of the cruise from Florida was very well received, but there might be an obstacle in the way for the unvaccinated. As you know, politics are serious business in Florida, and while most cruise lines have agreed to embrace Governor Desantis’ lawsuit and stop requiring all passengers to be vaccinated, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have come up with a game plan for the cruise. that the unvaccinated may want to review.

In short, the unvaccinated find that they are currently separated from the vaccinated. For example, while sailing the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas last week, the unvaccinated were prevented from enjoying some places, including the casino, spa, swimming pool, a few bars and restaurants, and a nightclub. They were also seated in a separate area during shows and had designated times to take advantage of the fitness center. Segregation has always been a problem. I’m afraid this will ruin a fun vacation, but whether or not you get vaccinated you should expect to adjust – on the ship and at stopovers. Things can and will change. Although we try to make sure you know this before you go, the situation is fluid. You have to be prepared to go with the flow.

* Good news: Spain is officially open to all Americans, vaccinated or not! Since June 28, all you have to do is complete a simple health questionnaire to enter this amazing country and obtain a secure QR code. No pre-test or quarantine covid test is required to enter, but, of course, you should remember that our country requires a negative covid test to be passed within 72 hours of your flight home.

* The new protocol of Italy, with all the countries of the European Union, is called the digital green certificate. This certificate can be easily acquired by presenting a fully vaccinated CDC white card certification, a negative rapid antigen or molecular PCR test performed within 48 hours of departure, or showing proof of recovery from Covid 19. Europe is at new tourist ready, but are you ready to go?

As Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changin”. You may not be “there” yet, but as a travel agent can I offer you some friendlier advice? Wherever there is for you, don’t just sit back and wait a little longer to make your plans. Until July 31, if you choose not to travel, the last minute cancellation policies for most tours and cruises are quite generous. Please call Monroe Travel Service soon and let’s explore the possibilities. We would love to help you be “there” when the time comes.

After all, I learned a long time ago that the longer we wait for the future, the shorter it will be!

Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service. Don’t talk to strangers! Call one of our travel counselors before finalizing your travel plans this year. Getting you there is a job we’ve been doing for over 30 years. Email [email protected] or call 318 323 3465. We would love to send you back !.


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