We’re excited to celebrate the reopening of California! Today we’re bringing you the top headlines in California travel and tempting you to come visit with travel deals you won’t be able to resist. As San Diego locals we’re sharing exactly what it’s like in this vacation destination now that restrictions have been lifted and tourists are invited back.
California is Reopen! [News Stories & Travel Deals] – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast today, we’re diving into really exciting news of California is reopening and sharing some deals from our home state.
3 (1m 10s):
This is going to be our first news episode since we have officially become a tripod. If you remember, we mentioned that we were going to start putting more news oriented Travel Deals, just any travel news in general, out there. And what bigger news than really California is reopening, right? It’s been a long, long time since we closed down in March of 2020, supposedly. Now we are officially reopened. There are a few asterisks up there. We’re going to talk about those, but for the most part reopen, and it’s exciting news because California is an amazing state, beautiful and a big tourist area. I think we’re like the eighth largest economy in the world if we were our own country. So this is big, big news, everybody.
1 (1m 51s):
So since it’s so new word, have a lot to talk about some of the lifted restrictions and you know, it’s really funny because we just came off a weekend trip to Zion national park in Utah. And we also were in Nevada, in Las Vegas for a little bit too. And we got a taste of what it’s like to walk around freely without a mask. And it was so liberating and we had a really good time. It was almost awkward too, because we know we’re from California. And like, it felt weird to get up, you know, at the restaurant without a mass to go to the bathroom,
2 (2m 23s):
Breaking the rules or something.
1 (2m 25s):
Yeah. I felt like I felt like a rule breaker. So now that we’re back in California and things are changing, we want to really dive into that.
3 (2m 33s):
Yeah. And the first day that California reopened, which was June 15th, we’re now here a week past that time, I had gone into Costco without a mask and it just felt so weird, but so liberating at the same time. And you know, like Brittany had said, we were just in Utah and it was definitely a little bit weird, but you know, different states, different rules. I’m kind of used to that when we travel. But to do that in Costco here in California, it was just like mind blowing to me and really, really excited
2 (3m 2s):
By the way. I’m so excited to finally be able to put out an episode on Zion national park.
3 (3m 8s):
Yes. Coming up. So that was
2 (3m 11s):
Such an epic trip.
3 (3m 12s):
I thought you were going to say you were excited to go to the gym without a mask because I saw your personal story, not on Travel Squad, Kim of you just smiling in the gym without a mask.
2 (3m 22s):
Yeah. It was amazing. They put out an email that masks had been lifted, signed a waiver saying I was vaccinated and he’s like, take it off. And so I did. And it was amazing. It’s funny though, in California, since the mask rules were lifted, it’s been a little like, do I take it off? Do I not take it off? Do I keep it on? Are we allowed to take it off? So there’s been a lot of like figuring it out still, even though the masks have been lifted, there’s still little they’re
1 (3m 51s):
Little asterix, like
2 (3m 53s):
Exactly. You know,
1 (3m 54s):
Read the small print or the fine
2 (3m 56s):
Print. There’s fine print. Yes.
3 (3m 58s):
But for the most part off, but I feel like a lot of people I’m still seeing her wearing them, but I’m sure as time moves on, we’re going to hit everybody up.
2 (4m 5s):
Absolutely. I mean, people didn’t just start wearing masks one day and all of a sudden, so same, same with that being said, let’s take you through the top headlines in California, travel and tempt you to come visit with travel deals. You will not be able to resist.
3 (4m 19s):
Well, the first big story is what we were just talking about. California is Reopen. I think it was about 453 days. If I have the statistic, correct.
2 (4m 28s):
Are you counting?
3 (4m 29s):
I was not counting. And I saw this number. That’s a fact. Yes. We’ve actually had an argument before Brittany, you and I have, what are the differences between a statistic and a fact, I don’t want to get into that here on the episode. So the fact remains that we were 453 days in some sort of stay at home order or restriction locked down with masks or limited capacity. So that technically is officially over. We are technically open to full capacity for restaurants and all sorts of other things. The one exception which we’re going to get a little bit later here is big events, which we’ll talk about shortly. But for the most part open season
2 (5m 9s):
Open season two, like the shackles are coming off. So there were a lot of restrictions in California. It was a hard 453 days out here, but there is a lot of things that went away. The first of those being the California statewide tiered system by county, and they were using our data on positivity rates and hospitalization rates and a couple of other statistics to determine what tier of open we could be capacity. We could be the tier system no longer exists. Every part of California is Reopen.
3 (5m 41s):
Yeah. And that was one of the confusing things. Like you said, one county to the next, I remember last year around 4th of July, as a matter of fact, San Diego at that time was actually doing really good. We weren’t in a very restrictive tiered system, but orange county to the north was. And do you remember seeing the photos of the traffic? Everyone from orange county was trying to come to San Diego so they could actually go to the beach because the beach was open here in San Diego, but it was closed in orange county.
2 (6m 6s):
Why was it closed? Because they were in a more strict tier earlier and they broke the rules and kept the beach open. Can you believe the beaches in California were closed? I can’t believe that is insane to me. You weren’t allowed to sit down on the beach, but anyway, they
1 (6m 20s):
Broke each hours.
2 (6m 22s):
He was like,
1 (6m 23s):
Oh, you can only go in these certain hours.
3 (6m 26s):
I remember when the beach opened here in San Diego, Brittany, we ended up going, it was only during certain hours, which is actually stupid and counterintuitive because you would think, okay, if people are wanting to get outside and do something, most people are going to go at the limited time and you have more people there. But we went to core natto to go walking on the beach and it was just a cluster. Fuck, pardon my expression there of just chaos. So it made it tricky. Even as California is traveling within the state. You didn’t know the restrictions. If we wanted to go somewhere else, did we know, is it going to be indoor dining or outdoor only, or is everything still to go? So made it a little bit confusing, but that is gone. Tiered system is away
1 (7m 4s):
And social distancing has gone away. So you no longer have to keep six feet away from anyone else. I remember even just like recording here at home, we were trying to like distance from each other in my ninja malls, living room,
2 (7m 18s):
Even more masks while recording.
3 (7m 21s):
And that was early on too, before, you know, everyone kind of got the comfort factor or I should say the fatigue factor and was just like, eh, but you know, we tried our part, but it wore thin after a while. That’s not kid ourselves on that. And Kim, you know, we talked about restaurants and I know you’re excited too, because you were saying about how long we’ve had to wait. Well, you didn’t say this on the year, but you said it to us. Like you were so stoked that now you could get reservations. Cause sometimes it’s like two, three hours because of the limited capacity inside. So that’s gone and most important for you. Bars are open.
2 (7m 52s):
Yeah. This entire quarantine since March 17th, 2020 bars that do not serve food were closed in California.
1 (8m 1s):
That’s a lot of places
2 (8m 2s):
Just let that sink in. That’s crazy. And some bars would start selling food. It was actually required to purchase food with your drinks that has gone now to let’s say,
1 (8m 12s):
But the good that did come with it. Now more places that were like partnering with taco trucks or other food trucks. So that is a nice perk that you can get your food and your drink in one place if you wanted to, but it’s not required.
2 (8m 24s):
That’s true. I did go to a brewery in Chula Vista and it was just beer. But when you bought your beer, you also had to buy a ticket, which got you a taco at the taco shop, like on the corner of the street.
1 (8m 37s):
That’s a good solution,
3 (8m 39s):
Solid deal and sanction,
2 (8m 40s):
Just like our hotel in Xi’an last weekend, where their kitchen had burned down. So they gave us a ticket to go to that restaurant across the street, get food
3 (8m 49s):
Restaurant, by the way, and all the more exciting to talk about the zine episode to rave upon that
2 (8m 54s):
Restaurant. I got, I cannot wait to say what happened with the breakfast
3 (8m 59s):
Now, as we said earlier, things are open there’s those little asterisks and caveats. One of those little caveats of the no mask requirement is technically let’s not kid ourselves an honor system code, which we know some people are going to violate. I mean, that’s the reality of it, but technically masks are supposed to be required for people who aren’t fully vaccinated in certain settings. But no one is sitting here checking out the door. No one’s sick and making sure that people really are, or aren’t it’s on an honor system. Again, keep in mind asterisk. We’re going to get to something later where that’s going to come into play, but no masks,
2 (9m 31s):
3 (9m 32s):
Unless you’re vaccinated honor system code.
2 (9m 34s):
Right? Yeah. And then for most places, for all places, they say you can be at complete full capacity, both indoors and outdoors. According to the San Diego Tribune article, I was reading today. And if you guys can believe it, we also had curfew restrictions. I know a lot of other places did too, but we no longer have those just FYI. So you can party all night long, baby.
3 (9m 53s):
Oh yeah. All the way until 2:00 AM. When they have last call for alcohol and here in
2 (9m 57s):
1 (9m 59s):
I don’t know if Kim is actually going to party all night long. She’s been a grandma since we hit quarantine and COVID,
3 (10m 4s):
I don’t think there’s quarantine COVID I think it was 30. And then Kim’s kind of just got a little bit downhill.
2 (10m 9s):
Oh, okay. So takes a grandma to know a gram. I guess
1 (10m 14s):
I will fully own up to my grandma’s data. And I know what grandma, when I see one,
3 (10m 19s):
One thing I do want to say though, is masks are still required in certain places. But these other than what I said, unless you’re not vaccinated, which again is honor system. This is not California. These are federal mandates. If you’re traveling to California, now that it’s open, if you’re flying on the plane, I’m sure, you know, you’re still gonna have to wear it when you’re in the airport here in California, regardless of what airport that is, you’re going to wear it. Buses, trains, mass transportation, those type of places still require the face covering. So do keep that in mind.
1 (10m 49s):
And there are some individual businesses or counties that can still require face coverings if they want to. So you might see a sign saying that they heard choosing to partake in that and you do want to be respectful of their choices of business.
3 (11m 1s):
It’s like no shirt, no shoes, no service, right? Any business now can still dictate that. But we will see if that happens. I don’t know if it will. I haven’t seen it yet.
2 (11m 11s):
The first week since it’s been, I’ve seen it go both ways, Costco with their sign ready that said no mass, if you’re vaccinated. And then there’s some like the hotel that’s connected to my gym and the hotel is connected to my office. Building both still are requiring mask.
3 (11m 28s):
I’ve really feel like it’s going to be more smaller mom pop shops that may Institute that that’s my hunch, but I could be completely wrong in that we shall see. But I think in time, it’s going to be really going. But you know, now that we’ve shared the big news of California reopening, you’re going to come to the state. Where are you going to go? There’s so many great places, but for me, I can’t talk about California and tourism without talking about Disneyland or amusement parks. I think that’s one of the big draws to the state. It’s like our rival Florida on the east coast is probably kind of why I’m like, oh, in Florida. Cause I’ve repped, Cali real hard on the amusement parks. So big, big news regarding amusement parks and capacity and mask restrictions for those.
3 (12m 8s):
Once you ladies dig into that a little bit.
1 (12m 10s):
So that brings us to our second story where we’re talking about Disneyland and the amusement parks. So all of the theme parks will be allowed to return to full capacity. I mean, Disneyland was shut down for months.
2 (12m 22s):
Damn I should have gone before.
3 (12m 24s):
Not even months over a year,
1 (12m 26s):
Over a year over year, the last time Disneyland shut down was wind Jamal.
3 (12m 31s):
I think it was for nine 11. And quite honestly, before that I had only closed maybe like two or three other times when JFK was shot. I think there was another incident. I forgot what it was, but I mean, it had only closed a handful of times voluntarily. These ones were in voluntarily, technically at first I believe Disneyland and the amusement parks made the decision to close. When I think they thought it was maybe going to be a week, two weeks and then the restrictions came in. But finally we were able to open a while ago for the amusement parks. I believe it was actually April 1st. Was it not
2 (13m 6s):
April fool’s day?
3 (13m 7s):
I think it was. I think it was.
1 (13m 10s):
But a lot of the places we’re only allowing Californians to visit these
3 (13m 14s):
Parks. Not all, a lot of places, all the places
2 (13m 17s):
That, you know, you hear all the time from other states like, oh, you California people it’s like, all right, then we’re going to keep our California to ourselves.
3 (13m 26s):
Yeah. So, I mean, it would have been fun to go to the amusement parks. Then they had limited capacity. I think it was like 25%. Could you imagine Disneyland at 25% capacity or any other newsroom part for that matter? So those restrictions on capacity are gone. Masks are no longer required and out-of-state visitors are welcome now. I mean, I think that’s the craziest thing that really, when they opened, they restricted people who could come and they really checked. You had to have reservations in place. They actually made sure
1 (13m 52s):
You still have to have reservations.
3 (13m 54s):
Yeah. But with that, they made sure you were actually a California resident. So
2 (13m 58s):
It’s funny too, because it would have been nice to go when it was 25%, but we probably wouldn’t have been able to get tickets anyway, because they were prioritizing people that had already purchased them before it closed. So there’s no way we were going.
1 (14m 11s):
I was also reading something that said that all though it was open and there was only 25% capacity. That didn’t mean every ride was open. So
2 (14m 21s):
That would be such a bummer to go. And your favorite ride is
1 (14m 23s):
Closed. So then you’re able to ride less rights than those lines back up. You might not necessarily be able to get through the park any faster due to those lines.
3 (14m 33s):
You know what that reminds me of it’s one of my biggest pet peeves about amusement parks in general is sometimes when you go during off season, especially a place that’s like specifically rollercoasters, you know, sometimes they’ll have like two, three trains, but turning slow season, they’ll have one train running. So it still keeps aligned for you even though like, if there’s less people and you had the trains you could get through. But anyway, I mean, we’re talking about Disneyland, which we love, but let’s not forget all the classics here in California. All the originals that Florida has taken and stolen, we’re talking universal studios. We’re talking SeaWorld over here, Lego land and a California classic Knottsberry farm. All of these big major music parks, no capacity limits, no mask requirements,
1 (15m 13s):
3 (15m 13s):
Distancing, physical distancing, only caveat is these are on reservation system just because there’s pent up demand. So they don’t want people coming and then have it be sold out. And pat people not be able to get in. So I’m really trying to go to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry farm sometime soon.
2 (15m 28s):
I want to go to Knott’s Berry farm or universal studios really soon.
3 (15m 32s):
Let’s make a trip out of it. I am so I’m so ready. You know, the other day, Brittany and I were looking for Disneyland tickets. It was hard to find we didn’t find any, but hopefully we could find it. So some of the other places
1 (15m 41s):
And all of these places are not requiring proof of any vaccinations
3 (15m 46s):
On our system. Like we said,
1 (15m 47s):
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2 (17m 1s):
All right, story. Number three is about mega events and this ranges from concerts to sports and any other type of mega events
3 (17m 11s):
And even conventions for that matter. I mean, we have the San Diego convention center here at Comicons here. It’s been delayed twice already. They didn’t have it last year. They thought they were maybe going to have it last year. They canceled it as well. So this includes conventions. Also
2 (17m 24s):
The San Diego Comic-Con was postponed until November of this year during Thanksgiving week.
3 (17m 30s):
But I also heard, even though it was postponed, most of it is still going to be in a virtual format. And not really in-person. I think they’ve decided that regardless of what the COVID situation is at that time. So I think they’ll still have some in-person stuff, but most of it’s going to be on an online virtual format from my understanding.
2 (17m 48s):
1 (17m 49s):
So you might be wondering how many people qualify as a mega event. And so it’s broken down by if it’s indoor or outdoor. So a mega event for an indoor setting would be an event that draws a 5,000 people or more so indoor sporting events like basketball or indoor concerts or conventions, things like that. And then the outdoor is if it draws more than 10,000 people outdoors and it’s like parades festivals, outdoor concerts, fairs, all those sorts of things.
2 (18m 20s):
Do you have any idea if this is a California specific rule?
3 (18m 25s):
I believe it is.
2 (18m 27s):
So this is one restriction that’s technically still in place. We’re not completely free,
3 (18m 31s):
Right? Like we said, asterix and caveats. And as we got further here, so with the 5,000, what they are requiring, if it is indoors, technically mega event under their definition is that people either must be vaccinated and show proof to attend. They have to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours. So those events of 5,000 people that are indoors, they are going to be somehow forcing your hand to show that you are either vaccinated or negative for COVID those 10,000 for outdoor events. Again, baseball games, football games, outdoor concerts, splash house for you, Kim, I know that’s outdoors. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. But the state is requesting that those type of events of 10,000 or more outdoors do request that people show proof of vaccination are negative, but it is not a requirement, but they’re putting that caveat out there.
3 (19m 23s):
Like, Hey, we want you to do this, but it’s not required.
1 (19m 25s):
And so for either indoor or outdoor, if you’re fully vaccinated in either situation, you do not have to wear a mask. And then in the indoor mega event, if you’re un-vaccinated, you have to wear a mask. Even if you show a negative COVID-19 test, so one, you have to show your negative COVID-19 tests and then you still have to wear a mask. After that. Interesting outdoor, it says it’s required, but I don’t know how they’re going to really mandate that if they’re not really checking for proof of vaccination. So I feel like that’s more on our system
3 (19m 55s):
And those restrictions are supposedly supposed to stay in place from our opening June 15th, all the way to October 1st year 2021. But who knows? I mean, this is California. I hope not, but it could be extended beyond that. But the fact that it’s even open and we could have these types of events is exciting. I know you’re excited for concerts and outdoor type of events to come back. I mentioned splash house splash house happening this year. Okay.
2 (20m 17s):
Flash house. They just put out an announcement that they’re coming back with two weekends in August.
1 (20m 22s):
So hard hitting question. Are you going to get a splash tattoos?
2 (20m 27s):
Definitely not getting a splash tattoo. And I actually might not even go because
3 (20m 32s):
This is like a shock to me.
2 (20m 34s):
Well, because the tickets again are prioritized by who had purchased them for 2020. So they may actually be sold out. And if you’re going to go to splash house, you have to stay at one of the sponsoring hotels that are part of the event. You don’t want to stay in like an Airbnb nearby and just buy a ticket. Like that’s not quite as fun.
1 (20m 52s):
So you think they’re already sold out.
2 (20m 53s):
They went on sale already. So who knows? I mean, we’ll see, I guess, but there are several other festivals that San Diego has announced specifically. And one of those is happening July 10th. It’s the San Diego bay fests, which has like dirty heads. And it has a bunch of other reggae artists. There is the blended festival, which is a new one that I would really like to go to. It’s in October, it’s a two day festival and it’s great because it’s actually a Friday evening and a Saturday, not a Saturday and a Sunday for these working ladies over here. I don’t want to be hung over on a Monday. And
3 (21m 25s):
Kim’s definitely over there.
2 (21m 28s):
I never liked being hung over, which is now I just don’t want to do it even more.
1 (21m 32s):
You know what super funny is, we’re recording again pretty soon. And Kim was like, let’s record early. And she wants to record at 8:00 AM, which is totally fine. But in her like prime, where she was harboring and hung over, she would never suggest that we record at eight ADM on a Sunday. It’s actually got her name
2 (21m 51s):
It’s Saturday. And I do prefer if I’m going to stay in Friday, it doesn’t matter. Anyway,
1 (21m 58s):
You’re going to stay in that. What you just know
2 (21m 60s):
That the thing is, if I were to have evening plans like dinner or whatever, I wouldn’t want to do it that early, but if I don’t have any plans and I have no problem getting up early, and the real reason is I’m trying to not double book myself here and be able to, after recording go have bay day for a friend’s birthday and live
1 (22m 23s):
A grandma Friday night to accommodate
2 (22m 26s):
3 (22m 27s):
I’m going to steer the conversation back a little bit. Cause I think we’ve rammed on Kim enough. I think our audience and our squaddies know that Kim over 30 is a different cannibal. She used to be. But one thing, just speaking to the mega events that’s coming to mind. And I really tried to find the answer for this myself and I really couldn’t find what it said. So obviously baseball, football, I think pretty much all of those types of stadiums here in California, because we have good weather as all outdoors for those are outdoor events. There’s no proof of vaccination required, only recommended et cetera. But what about basketball games? I could not find anything about basketball specifically, cause that’s all indoors or are going to make everybody that attends the basketball game at full capacity show, a negative test,
2 (23m 11s):
Or they make
1 (23m 12s):
An event include sporting events. There’s
2 (23m 15s):
More than 5,000 at a basketball game.
3 (23m 19s):
So we’re talking like 18 to 22,000 and basketball stadium. I mean, yes, Brittany. I mean, I get that though. Say that it’s a requirement, but I wonder the logistics of checking the tickets like that. How they will.
2 (23m 32s):
I have a thought on this because blended festival, they are going to be using a health pass by clear, you know, clear as also in the airport. So in clear, it’s like going to be an app on your phone. You can import your vaccine information or your COVID test information. And then you scan a QR code when you go in and it, it tells you
1 (23m 52s):
That would make sense because I did read some things saying that for the mega events, that right, when you buy your ticket, there’s going to be instructions on what type of tests that they would take and how you can show proof. So I think it’ll be an electric system.
2 (24m 5s):
Our last story is on electronic vaccine verification. And I thought this was so interesting. I was reading the San Francisco Chronicle article, which was talking all about this California wide electronic vaccine verification system. That’s coming very soon. Now. We don’t have all the details quite yet. They’re still emerging and coming out as our governor Newsome announces it, but he has made it specifically clear. It is not a vaccine passport.
3 (24m 32s):
Yeah, I think what back. Yeah, I know. I think what vaccine passport is when people hear it, they see this and they think, well of course this is a vaccine passport, but I think where they’re making the distinction is that vaccine passport is for all businesses and everything. This verification system is for businesses and maybe the negative events that want to participate in it. Right? So it’s like, again, no shoes, no shirt, no service, right? These businesses can decide if they want to do this or not.
2 (24m 59s):
Exactly. And it’s not a requirement, it’s an optional electronic version of your paper card. So if you’re going to an event that wants to see your paper card, this is the electronic version of it. So you don’t have to bring your card.
1 (25m 11s):
Yeah. I don’t want to bring my car and I’d get dirty grow.
2 (25m 14s):
Right. I’m actually wondering if I have a picture on my phone of it. Is that an acceptable form of vaccine verification?
3 (25m 21s):
I think from what I read and again, like you said, the information we have on it is vague. They’re giving us some stuff, but it’s not fully rolled out. So we really don’t know. I think it’s going to have that information, but it’s going to be in the form of a QR code. Cause at the same time who was sitting here going to be like, oh, this is your name on it. Let me see your ID. I really think it’s going to have to be in some sort of scan QR code system to where it’s like, oh, this is on your phone. This is you. I’m sure there’s going to be ways to prevent you from actually even sharing it with somebody else. Right. But those details are still to be determined. So California is working on that again, an all voluntary system based on businesses that want to participate in it, on their own accord.
3 (26m 3s):
But I do think this is obviously going to apply to those mega events. Should it stay in place?
2 (26m 7s):
Not just businesses, but I can see it for travel too.
3 (26m 10s):
2 (26m 11s):
And California is not the first state to do this New York and Hawaii already have it. And there are several other states that are working on it. And there’s other countries in the world that already have it. The supporters of it at least say that it’s meant to improve public safety and make things quicker.
1 (26m 27s):
And when, when Jamal and I went to the Virgin islands in January of 2021, we did have to submit proof. And then they gave us a QR code, which we used when we landed at the airport. So I think it it’ll be really easily adaptable to other places, including travel
2 (26m 43s):
If it makes shorter than give it to me. Hell
1 (26m 45s):
Yeah. So we have just talked about some major news in California. Those were four stories for you, but now we’re going to get into some deals because what kind of Travel Squad Podcast episode, wouldn’t have some type of deals. We love our deals,
2 (27m 1s):
Deals, deals, deals.
3 (27m 2s):
We can’t give you an episode without something about how to fuck them hard. Can we, I don’t think so.
1 (27m 7s):
D so now we’re going to talk about Travel Deals to book. Now
2 (27m 12s):
There are several hotels in California and across the country that are having some major summer sales. So these should definitely entice you to book. The first one that we found was Marriott specifically, Marriott’s new Bonvoy escape steals. There are over a thousand hotels, not just California, but again, across the country. One of them that’s pretty interesting is the hotel Paseo in Palm Springs. It’s a beautiful, gorgeous staycation vacation escape hotel to stay in. But the deals that Marriott hotels are having right now are 25% off for the month of July. Nice. So
3 (27m 48s):
2 (27m 49s):
Get in there and book that up. If you like Marriott hotels,
1 (27m 52s):
And another hotel is a Hyatt hotel and they’re offering deals that are 10 to 25% off through September 30th. And all you have to do is book by the end of July. So you’ll get the savings if you book by July 31st and you have a whole month to do that.
2 (28m 7s):
And that one is the plan, your adventure deal.
3 (28m 9s):
Yeah. And real last short little deal here for you as Wyndham who doesn’t know the name, Windham and travel, they’re offering 25% off their stays. You do have to book by July 1st year. So a week left here for you to go ahead and make that. But there are great Wyndham Hyatt and Marriott properties all throughout is in the big cities and the small little staycation desert areas up in the mountain areas. So these are really great deals. If you kind of want that little bit of luxury staycation with that California vibe going so welcome,
2 (28m 38s):
There’s also a Kimpton hotel sale going on right now. I love Kimpton. Hotels are so beautiful. There’s one in Sacramento. There’s one down here in San Diego. There’s a gorgeous one in Santa Barbara and their sale that they’re doing right now is 15 to 25% off. And this one’s kind of correlated with how long you stay. So if you’re looking for a more extended stay of three nights or more, definitely stayed at Kimpton. It’s so luxurious.
1 (29m 1s):
So some third-party comparison sites and booking sites also have really good deals, Expedia being one of them, they have a lot of last-minute deals on the site, but you have to act really fast because they’re moving really, really quickly, but they’re having a sales at the Venetian resort in Las Vegas, the metropolitan Miami beach and the one hotel Western Hollywood. So go to Expedia, see what kind of awesome deals that they have in last minute deals are so fun because it’s kind of spontaneous and it’s a different feel than when you’re trying to plan something in advance.
3 (29m 33s):
Yeah. And I know what that Expedia deal that Bernie mentioned. She mentioned several places that weren’t in California, except for that last Hollywood one. All of these deals that we’re talking about from these major hotels chains do keep in mind. Again, these are nationwide sales that they’re having all across, but now that California is open. Do think of California when you come. I mean, I love vacation in California and I live in California. It’s so great.
1 (29m 56s):
So in my email, I’ve been seeing lots of deals from airlines, Southwest being one of them. I love Southwest. And they are always having like two day sales. This last one that they just had was like 50% off sale prices. So I was actually able to score a really, really awesome deal. So from San Diego to Maui, I was able to book a flight with points originally a few weeks back. And I went to rebook it while they were having the sale. I got half of my points back, 5,000 points I got back. I have companion passage, Paul got his flight free. And then on the way, home from Maui to San Diego, the sale price was $104. You really can’t beat
2 (30m 37s):
That. It’s amazing.
1 (30m 38s):
So round trip for two people, we ended up spending $114 out of pocket.
2 (30m 45s):
3 (30m 47s):
So just general squad tip. Look at all the airlines deals right now. I mean, we’re seeing airline prices actually going up because they want to make up money that they lost. They see the pent up demand for travel, but minus Southwest, there’s always good deals to be found. You just got to go ahead and look for them. And that’s a good one that deal unfortunately has expired, but Southwest has them all the time. So keep your eyes peeled
2 (31m 9s):
Indefinitely, subscribe in your email to their newsletters because that’s where you’re going to see the deals. And then you can also subscribe to us or follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast. Because when we see those deals in our inboxes, we share them there for you.
3 (31m 23s):
All right, ladies, did any of you have any last little bit of input you want to talk about about California’s grand reopening?
1 (31m 30s):
Yes. I’m actually kind of disappointed that California is not having a state fair despite California reopening
2 (31m 36s):
Really while San Diego is having the San Diego county fair. So be going to that for the first time ever.
3 (31m 41s):
You haven’t been to the county fair here. Oh my gosh, Kim, what are you doing with yourself?
1 (31m 46s):
Like fairgrounds, but you haven’t been
2 (31m 49s):
There. This is my year.
3 (31m 50s):
Well, I would hope that California would have a state fair this year. I think the reason why we saw that they’re not having to is not because of COVID in the sense that they’re trying to prevent the event. They’re still using Cal expo in Sacramento, which is where they hold the fare for COVID testing and vaccination sites. So they are talking about like pushing it back potentially, but it is a tentative date. And that tentative date is supposedly September, which is ironic because that’s when they used to have it. But two years back, they moved it to July. And yeah. Why would you want the state fair July Sacramento and the heat now? I don’t think so, but so that’s been canceled because of that. But San Diego county fair is a good one.
3 (32m 31s):
I think I saw that a whole bunch of county fairs are still going on. Maybe a handful of counties, like five that I saw them cancel them. So you can definitely get some fair action in California too.
1 (32m 42s):
Are you gonna buy a mattress Kim at the fair?
2 (32m 45s):
I think you guys still need to get your new and improved larger mattress from the fair this year.
3 (32m 50s):
We’re suckers for mattresses at the fair. I know don’t touch us.
2 (32m 53s):
So the only last thought I want to leave our listeners with very important about California, a lot of things changed during the pandemic. One of those things was that California and San Diego were allowed to serve, to go alcohol. And that my friends is staying. Woo.
1 (33m 10s):
2 (33m 10s):
So come on down.
3 (33m 12s):
That is exciting news. And I also heard, this is not anything to do with the reopening. I heard this like late last year that the California legislature is trying to make it. So where all these restaurants that have the availability to do their outdoor pop-ups and not have any code requirements or like permits to keep those. So it’s been really nice here in San Diego and other cities to have that like Alfresco dining, like outdoors, the setups that makes me feel like I’m in Europe actually. And that I think is actually going to be stained because they’re trying to help businesses out and not have them have to have those permitted requirements to do the outdoor stuff. So that is something really exciting along with, to go booze that stain, maybe they’ll allow us to be like Vegas, new Orleans and a couple other cities and walk with those containers down the street.
3 (33m 56s):
I think that would be exciting. I’m not talking about getting sloppy out there, but there’s nothing more exciting and casual than walking with a drink and hat. I think it’s so fun.
2 (34m 3s):
Yeah, we did that in the airport actually last weekend, we weren’t supposed to leave the bar area with our drinks, but it was crazy. It was pandemonium over there. So we were actually helping out the system and went to go sit in our chairs in the waiting area.
3 (34m 16s):
Yeah. We let somebody else free blight drinks. There you
2 (34m 19s):
Go. So with that being said, it is my favorite time of the
3 (34m 23s):
Week questions of the week.
2 (34m 32s):
All right. We have two questions this week. The first one is I think we may have answered a bit of this, but number one, how is this different than what it was like months before?
1 (34m 42s):
So different? I mean, months before social distancing was enforced and super required, stores were limiting capacity on how many people could go inside. That was happening for a while. I mean, there was a wait to go inside target sometimes like up to 30 minutes, which is,
3 (34m 57s):
And Costco at one point was like two hours. If you weren’t there an hour before it opened, if not even sooner, I mean, my gosh, you were waiting there all day to get inside. Cause they were limited it, although I will say this about Costco, I feel like our first reopening that we had, which was what may be like in may of last year, kind of like a little soft opening. They stopped that restriction of the amount of people in and forming the line. But other stores kept that in place for a lot, lot longer too. Some stores still actually have, I don’t want to name that store by name. I think you know which one I’m talking about camp, because he say you don’t go there sometimes, cause there’s
2 (35m 33s):
3 (35m 34s):
But I’m anxious to see if they’re going to be one of those that still partake in that, on the optional, on their own of things
2 (35m 42s):
We will see. And another big difference is that there’s a lot more people in California during the pandemic when things were more locked down, we saw a lot less tourists, a lot less activity, a lot less traffic. And that is definitely changed back.
3 (35m 58s):
Oh, I know. Well, when we had the beaches actually open, not like right at the beginning, but after a while there’s still less tourists. Right. It was really, really nice to not have them just as crowded. Right? You didn’t have the tourists. And I can’t tell you, I mean, if you’ve never experienced California traffic on the freeways, what a luxury it was to drive on the freeways without traffic. That was absolutely amazing. Here’s
1 (36m 21s):
My favorite part of this last
3 (36m 22s):
Year. I know it’s coming back. So lots of things are different, but ready to move on. And this next chapter in life and hopefully post COVID here in the U S and California for that matter.
2 (36m 34s):
Yeah, absolutely. And then our last question, number two is now that California is open. What is one city that you recommend visiting?
3 (36m 42s):
Ooh, that’s a tough question because there are so many great cities to visit in California. I mean, we’re limiting it to a city. I would even say some of our national parks, what we have nine, the amusement parks, which I love, but if we’re really, really going to go city, you know, are we talking big city? I’m going to give you a hidden gem. We’ve kind of mentioned this before. We haven’t had a full episode on it. I’m going to go with solving California. Ooh, right? East a little bit of Santa Barbara. It’s close enough to Santa Barbara that you have a Southern California town vibe beach calm. Nice. It also has that Spanish style like architecture in there. Then you go up into solving in the mountains. You have vineyards, you have wineries. But the main thing about solving is it is a small town that looks like you’re in Europe.
3 (37m 27s):
And what I mean by that is lots of Danish. People settled that area. So you have Danish windmills, Dana’s architecture. The whole town is like that. You have mom and pop shops that serve sweets and whole bunch of other things. And it’s a really cool California town that I would say you should check out.
1 (37m 43s):
So I’m just gonna go with San Diego. I feel like there’s so much to do in San Diego. You have the beach, you have the mountains, you have hiking. There is a lot of events that are going on within the city. It’s close to other really big towns and cities like LA, or you can pop down into Mexico and land crossing is open. So I think that our hometown is San Diego is a place I would recommend visiting.
2 (38m 9s):
Now, what would I say about California? Well, I want to say maybe I want to say San Francisco, but I also know they’re really liberal. So I don’t know exactly how open they will be for you guys. So scratch that. I’m just going to say Napa and the only selfish reason I’m saying this is because I’ve always wanted to go and it’s beautiful and wine. That’s all
3 (38m 35s):
Right here next to the border. And we have via to Guadalupe an hour away, which is like, Mexico’s Napa.
2 (38m 41s):
I have been there several times and I did go there during the pandemic and I’ve never been to Napa. So I think let’s plan a trip.
3 (38m 48s):
Well, you kind of gave a two for it because Napa is not too far from San Francisco. So if San Francisco doesn’t work out, you can hop on over to Napa and it will be open. I promise you those vineyards and wineries are going to be open. That is for sure.
2 (39m 0s):
All right, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week. Keep the adventures going with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your adventures and send us in your questions.
3 (39m 12s):
If you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcasts and tune in every Travel Tuesday for new episodes.
1 (39m 25s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we are interviewing Mandy and Garrett from connected family travel and they share some amazing tips on family budget travel.
2 (39m 34s):
Oh yeah. Stay tuned. That is such a good episode. Have a good week guys.
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