International Travel News Update - Travel Squad Podcast

International Travel News Update

In this episode we cover the latest headlines in international travel news and share a few of the best deals to save on your next trip. In this episode we talk about Canada reopening to Americans and the world, NYC requiring vaccinations for all indoor activity, COVID tests still required to fly back into the U.S., an update on cruising resuming, and countries that will actually pay for part of your trip to visit.

The Latest International Travel News You’ll Want to Know- Episode Transcript

2 (58s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re talking about the latest headlines in worldwide travel news.

1 (1m 6s):
The world is just in a constant state of back and forth closing, reopening, closing all over again, repetition. So it’s really tough to keep up with the most up-to-date news. And so we want to touch base and dive into that and how it pertains to travel and regulations. So today we’re going to dive into those travel topics and headlines and how things stand right now.

3 (1m 28s):
I feel like every time I’m listening to the news, now I’m hearing a different thing about travel and regulations, right? And I, the only one are you ladies hearing that too, right? It’s so really tough to keep up with it. So I’m actually really excited about this episode to share it with you guys. Now, keep in mind if you’re listening to this episode a week late and an aren’t kept up to date on travel Tuesday, listening to this. I mean, things could change by then, right? But some of these things that we’re going to talk about are current news. I don’t foresee a couple of these things changing, but it very well could be. So do keep that in mind, but nonetheless, travel news coming your way right now in the day and age of COVID and the variant kicking back up.

2 (2m 6s):
Yeah. I was just traveling internationally actually last weekend. And it was so different than San Diego with masks and precautions and the airport and everything like that. I also sent you guys a tick talk the other day. Remember it was, it was kind of saying insider info. The, he is about to shut down Bloomberg and routers have been alerted. And then two days later, another tick talk where he’s like back it

3 (2m 30s):
Up, back it up.

2 (2m 32s):
It’s not closing. True. True. That could definitely change. So let’s get into it. Let’s take you through some of these top headlines in worldwide travel news and tempt you to come with some travel deals that you will not be able to resist.

3 (2m 46s):
I love a travel deal. So I’m excited to get to that also

2 (2m 48s):
Big D love those deals,

3 (2m 50s):
Those deals.

1 (2m 50s):
So the first headline we’re going to talk about is Canada’s reopening and Canada has been closed to American tourists since March of 2020. It’s been 17 months. And they’re finally starting to open back up again.

3 (3m 4s):
Yeah, I’m really excited about this. So basically as of August 9th, American tourists who have been fully vaccinated within at least 14 days of the time they arrive in Canada will be allowed to enter without quarantine also. So I’m really excited about this. I love Canada. Last year. One of our COVID trips was up into Washington. We were in, in an area in port Angeles that looks right over into Canada. You can catch a ferry. We were thinking if we were here a non COVID times, we’d be hopping over on that ferry, go into Canada, go into Victoria, Vancouver. I’m really excited to go. I love Canada and they have some great national parks. We’ve done a lot of exploring of national parks here during COVID, but I’m excited to get to Canada.

2 (3m 44s):
Oh my God.

1 (3m 45s):
We want to go to bam. And then when we were in glacier national park, glacier national park actually touches the Canadian border and it extends into a national park into Canada, but that was closed while we were in glacier. So that’d be really cool to see too.

2 (3m 58s):
Two of my friends were just in Banff last weekend. Oh. And they were posting pictures. It looks beautiful.

3 (4m 4s):
So they’re one of the first Americans in, I mean, it was as of August 9th, right?

2 (4m 8s):
Yes. I cannot wait to go to Banff. I cannot wait to do high tea in Victoria. Walk across the suspension bridge in Vancouver.

1 (4m 16s):
That was really

2 (4m 16s):
Fun. Montreal Quebec. Oh my gosh. I have a lot of plans for Canada.

3 (4m 20s):
I love Canada. I mean, we here in San Diego, we’re very fortunate that we’re close to Mexico and visit our other neighbor. We’re a little further from our neighbor to the north, but now with it, Rebecca, open something close international wise versus going overseas in a sense, this is a really good trip for a lot of people, especially if you live close to the border to Canada.

2 (4m 40s):
And we said, this is for American citizens only, but what about people who don’t live in America?

1 (4m 45s):
Kim? That’s a really great question. So fully vaccinated travelers from other countries outside of the U S can enter Canada starting September 7th. So just right around the corner,

2 (4m 54s):
At least that’s the plan right now, right? I mean, yeah.

3 (4m 56s):
Okay. The plan, as of now, it could definitely change that as true. So in order to get into Canada, like we said, you have to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before you enter, you can fly into Canada. The land border is also open people who are fully vaccinated and traveling with children that aren’t of the age yet that the FDA has approved the vaccine for can enter a Canada. So as long as they’re going with their guardians and adults who are vaccinated, so there’s no restrictions on that also. But I was reading more about the entry requirements. And obviously we just touched upon the vaccine entry requirements. However, they said, even though a quarantine is not required, they still expect you to present them with a quarantine plan.

3 (5m 38s):
If you have to. So if you’re going to go, you should definitely do a little bit of research of, Hey, this is where I’m going to be going. I would stay at this hotel, maybe show in some sort of way, you actually have the funds to take care of yourself in terms of like money in the bank to pay for the hotel food, et cetera. I don’t, and haven’t heard much about that, but that is listed on there. As you have to have a quarantine plant, if they require it of you

1 (6m 0s):
And you also have to use the arrive can app through like web or mobile to upload your vaccination information.

2 (6m 8s):
You know, when I was just in Mexico, we didn’t have to upload vaccine information, but you did have to scan this QR code in the airport and answer all of these COVID related questions and show them that you filled this form out before you can go through.

3 (6m 21s):
Was that in order to get on the plane and fly or just

2 (6m 24s):
To get into the airport

3 (6m 25s):
Just to get into the airport. Okay. Cause you cross here using CBX, which is the American terminal into the Tijuana. So that’s why I’m curious what that was specifically. Cause if you’re just going into Mexico via land, you don’t have to do that. So that’s why I was like, is it for the flight? But you’re saying that yeah,

2 (6m 40s):
You don’t have to take a test or anything like that, but you do have to fill that form out. What’s funny though, is the U S does not require a form to get back in,

1 (6m 48s):
Which is interesting.

3 (6m 50s):
One thing I just want to mention real quick on Canada here, you’ve said it, Brittany, but you do have to do that. Arrive can app, which is their national app to upload the vaccine status. So just in case someone didn’t hear that, we mentioned it. So want to reiterate that as a must, you can’t just show up and expect to get in that as a requirement also.

2 (7m 8s):
And I know we’re all like really excited to go to Canada, but because it has been closed for so long, there were no flights to Canada. So they’re slowly bringing back more flights. So if you don’t see any right now, just give it some time and the airlines are going to be adding more

1 (7m 22s):
Good to know.

3 (7m 23s):
I could imagine they’re going to be cheap too, to encourage people to come. At least the airlines, maybe Canada really doesn’t want us there, even though they’re opening, but the airlines, their businesses, they’re probably going to be cheap, encouraging people to come. So keep an eye out for

2 (7m 35s):
That. Okay. Just might get to Canada. This

3 (7m 38s):
GA we have international flights from San Diego to Canada. Let’s see if they bring that route back soon.

2 (7m 43s):
It was actually a goal of mine last year to go. When I set my new year’s resolutions goals before I knew COVID was happening and I wanted to take a solo trip to Vancouver,

1 (7m 53s):
Vancouver is very beautiful. You’ll definitely enjoy it there. But you know, we were planning a squad trip for me. So if our other plans don’t work out, maybe we’ll go to Canada and may

3 (8m 2s):
Change

1 (8m 3s):
To Canada. I

2 (8m 4s):
Hope so.

3 (8m 5s):
Yes. All right. So moving on, we’re going from Canada back here to the United States with a little bit of travel news, New York city is requiring proof of vaccination to pretty much attend anything that’s inside from dining to sporting events, to conferences, et cetera. So I guess New York is really the first city in the U S that’s out and about. You have to have a vaccine passport and

2 (8m 26s):
It’s a lot of places, coffee shops, restaurants, museums, theaters, casino,

3 (8m 33s):
Bars, nightclubs, any place with live music, the zoo, even, even though the zoo was probably outdoors. There’s some indoor stuff, but even the zoo, right? So they’re getting hardcore for it over there. And this vaccine passport implementation is going into effect as of September 13th. So coming right up,

1 (8m 50s):
How do you have to show proof? Is it an app? Do you have to show your card?

2 (8m 53s):
Like they are coming out with a digital, you know, when we were kind of discovering this news, they were still putting things in place to get organized on that, but it will be a digital system.

3 (9m 4s):
Yeah. And since it’s coming, as of September 13th, things can obviously change up until that point, but from what I’ve been able to see online and read in several articles of this, that online system that you’re talking about, Kim it’s specifically, the states Excelsior pass app, or the city of New York city has one called the NYC. COVID safe app. And from my understanding, basically since those are New York city and New York state apps, it’s able to check with state database records for vaccine. So you could put in your name, social address, it’ll find you and verify, and there you are on it. If we’re calming or anybody else who’s not from New York. I don’t know yet if those apps can access national database stuff.

3 (9m 45s):
So from what I’m seeing, if you are a non native new Yorker, you probably need to bring your vaccination card with you cause that’s really going to be your only improve.

2 (9m 54s):
Yeah. And it makes sense. New York city was one of the hardest hit cities in the United States for COVID. It’s also one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States and maybe even the world. So it’s extreme, but it’s also a little bit warranted. I think,

1 (10m 7s):
You know, I always wonder like how accurately do they check the vaccination card? Like, is it just like a little flash and they check in your ID? I actually recently saw someone post on my social media things saying, you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve needed a fake ID. I was like, okay,

2 (10m 26s):
I can’t be that hard to fake. If people are making passports out there, it’s just a cardboard piece of paper.

3 (10m 31s):
Well, I mean, people are making passports are professionals. I don’t know how much those professionals are going to get into the vaccine card game. But I did read an article separate from New York that was showing like customs and border patrol and TSA for other places, they are actually better trained than, I guess, security balancers are places at these places in New York where they’re going to be looking. They’re actually seen an uptick of fake vaccine cards. And they say, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s actually really easy to find it. But who’s to say, and I’m not saying this in a sense of encouragement to use a fake one because you definitely shouldn’t. But baby, they’re good. Not going to be able to tell so much in New York because it’s not a trained professional government. I’d be like, yes, this is fake, right.

2 (11m 13s):
I have a feeling this is going to become more prevalent around the U S at least I think especially like San Francisco, LA LA is already requiring vaccines for indoor events of a thousand or more people. They just announced that I think San Diego also announced that today. And so it’s coming. I, I think it’s coming.

3 (11m 35s):
I think it’s coming too. And even if it stays for COVID, I feel like everything is going to be going digital anyway. I mean, it’s already starting to happen with money and other types of things. And so it’s happening. That’s the reality.

1 (11m 47s):
Well, what was interesting is we are prepping for a trip to Ecuador and Jamal and I have just recently gotten our yellow fever vaccinations to go to Ecuador. And they looked them all up in the system and they said, oh, let’s look at your previous vaccines. Jamal didn’t grow up in the Kaiser system. So he never even had like his old vaccinations in them. They were able to look him up and say, actually your Hep a is pretty old. You should probably get a booster.

2 (12m 10s):
Wow.

3 (12m 11s):
There is a vaccine database. And this was obviously before COVID where they’ve started to share that amongst medical groups and everything like that. So they were able to see from old doctors and old medical groups that I never transferred records my vaccine status. So medical groups, avid, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an apps and other things. I mean, it’s scary. Maybe it’s dystopian. We’re not here to discuss that necessarily. But if you don’t see the writing on the wall, I don’t know what else to tell you. That’s where it’s going.

2 (12m 39s):
Number three, here applies to anyone coming into the us, whether you’re from another country or you’re actually a us resident. And that is that we are requiring a COVID negative test within three days of coming in, or you won’t be allowed in the country. You’ll be denied at the,

1 (12m 56s):
And the only exception is that you have to show proof of recovery that you’ve had. COVID, that’s the only way you can get around this requirement because,

2 (13m 6s):
And interesting. And if you are in the U S and you’re traveling amongst states, definitely check what state you’re going to because Hawaii, for example, still has the three-day COVID test requirement. So even if you’re say in New York city and then going to Hawaii, you’re going to need another test.

3 (13m 20s):
Yeah. And I just want to back up just a tad bit, Kim, when you were saying it applies to anyone coming to the U S and even us residents, I want to specify that even includes citizens. So not just like green card residents and people who have ease as citizens of the United States,

2 (13m 34s):
Anybody coming in this country show it.

3 (13m 38s):
I’m a plane though. Land crossing is exempt. We know this, we live close to Mexico. We’ve crossed the border by land walked across. It’s not a requirement, but if you are coming back in the U S via plane, you need that negative COVID test.

2 (13m 50s):
Yeah. It’s funny. Actually, like I said, I was just in Mexico last weekend, went to one a Watteau and we crossed by CVX by land. So it’s kind of like a connected airport where you can pay to cross into the Tijuana airport. So we walked over that and then we flew coming back. We technically flew back, but we landed in Tiawana and walked across. And in that case, we still did not have to show a negative test.

3 (14m 12s):
Like I said, land crossing. It’s only flights back into the unit.

2 (14m 16s):
Yeah. Chelsea was sending me screenshots of the CDC website saying, oh, we need to take a test. And I’m like, no, we don’t actually,

1 (14m 22s):
Because it’s not an airplane. You were doing land crossing. And a lot of resorts actually in Mexico, over on the Mexico subject, a lot of the resorts have testing there in the resorts because they want to encourage people to come and they want to make the testing really accessible to people as well.

3 (14m 39s):
Yeah. And as you’re mentioning Mexico also touching base on what you were saying about my vaccine going and Ecuador, we’re going to Ecuador. And so it’s a guided tour. So we don’t really have time to leave. Go get a negative COVID test, take it. That’s at the appropriate time to be within three days of arrival. Right? So we called our tour company gate one, shout out gate one, can’t rep them enough. And they advised us that on our guided tour, they are going to make sure at the appropriate time, we actually have an opportunity to take our COVID tests. However, with them, we are responsible as the travelers for the cost. They’re not providing it. They’re just making sure that we have the opportunity to take it.

3 (15m 20s):
So if you’re going internationally, going to be by flying, make sure logistically you know, that you’re going to be able to take that COVID test. Otherwise you’re not getting back and get the results. Yes. Otherwise you’re not getting back in the U S

2 (15m 31s):
That’s true. And I was looking up Ecuador around the COVID tests and us embassy has made a partnership with Ecuador to keep the price of a COVID test. I think around $35, when this first became a rule, it’s been a rule for quite a few months now. And their speculation is if it’s going to stay or not, but for now, it’s staying in. When it was first enacted tests were like a couple hundred dollars. And they were very hard to find.

1 (15m 54s):
Yeah, I know that, you know, like we were just talking about Hawaii even. And there was like a family of four that went to Hawaii that I knew. And they said like, these paid almost a thousand dollars.

2 (16m 2s):
Yeah. Chelsea and Mikey went and they paid 200 bucks each for their test in Hawaii.

1 (16m 6s):
Yeah. To just get tested. And it’s like, if you test positive, then you can even go on your vacation either.

2 (16m 12s):
Yeah. And they were also hard to find, but now you’ll commonly find them in the airport. So it’s much more convenient, much more cost-effective.

3 (16m 20s):
Yeah. And that’s all travelers, unless you are two years or younger.

1 (16m 24s):
And what’s interesting, Jamal and I have Kaiser. And so I’m going to actually use this, but they told me that if any place is requiring a payment for a COVID test, that all I have to do is bring a receipt and they’ll reimburse me.

2 (16m 35s):
Interesting.

1 (16m 36s):
So I’m gonna try that out, see if it actually works or not, but I’m interested

2 (16m 40s):
Submit a claim to your insurance. It’s worth a shot.

3 (16m 43s):
We shall see. I think the government is subsidizing a lot of COVID costs. So that’s probably one of the things that they are still, probably now doing. So that’s why they advised us. When we spoke with the Kaiser travel clinic to do it, they didn’t say it was for sure, but they said there’s a high likelihood that that might very well be the case. So if you are a Kaiser member out there in the U S keep that little squad tip with you.

2 (17m 1s):
It’s funny because Kaiser is an in-network provider. They don’t cover costs outside of network. So if Kaiser is doing it, you have to imagine there’s other insurance companies doing it too, possibly worth a shot.

1 (17m 13s):
It’s worth a shot.

3 (17m 14s):
All right, guys, flying across the Atlantic here. We’re going to go to Europe and talk about European union travel news. This goes back a little bit here about what you were saying, Kim, about sending us the Tik TOK. He was going to close, and then it didn’t close. And then maybe it is again. So I actually really want to discuss this. The European union has actually opened travel back up to us citizens as of June 18th, they put us on their safe list as an approved country to go. However, with COVID cases, rise in here in the United States, more specifically in the south, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, the whole, like they are considering again, putting a band back on place. So this news really pertains to anybody who already has plans to go to Europe.

3 (17m 59s):
So the European union is a block of 27 countries. So as a whole, they are thinking about putting a block on travel of American citizens to European union countries. However, each European union country can then decide to say, no, nevermind. I’m actually going to allow Americans to come. Some European union countries did this before the EU, as a whole lifted the entire ban. I think Greece, Italy opened up before all 27 was technically officially open. But the reason why I want to bring this up and talk about it as if you are going, and let’s just say, you’re going to Italy. And then the European union closes, but Italy stays open.

3 (18m 39s):
You can’t go anywhere else within Europe and the European union. If you’re in Italy and think, Hey, I’m in Europe, I’m good to go. I could travel between them freely because normally in normal times you can, that’s not the case. So if you have plans to go to another country or use transportation by train, since train is very popular over there, and it’s going through another European union country, and you’re trying to go to another one, that’s open, you’re blocked and locked and stuck in. So it’s really important to make sure that you are keeping up to date on if the EU as a whole does it. Cause they’re probably thinking that they are here. If cases continue to rise in the U S and what your individual country that should go into is doing

2 (19m 15s):
Blocked and locked,

3 (19m 17s):
Blocked, and locked.

1 (19m 18s):
You know, I wish in instances like this, where they’re like, okay, these states can’t come visit, but these other states you’re good to go. That’d be nice because we were doing that in the U S we

2 (19m 29s):
Worry.

1 (19m 29s):
Yes. And so it’s like, you know why I blocked the whole country when we’re not all affecting it? Why don’t we just block certain states?

2 (19m 37s):
Yeah. I wonder if the other parts of the world really see us as states though, they just see America as one country, even though we’re huge. And I’ve never even been to half of the states in this country

1 (19m 50s):
And there’s a lot going on. So I’m sure it would be a lot of work to have them look up like what the requirements would be. You know, where is the cutoff? And then keep that on an update on a weekly basis or whatnot. I mean,

2 (20m 2s):
Fake IDs, fake vaccination cards have a whole problem out there.

1 (20m 7s):
Someone really wants to go. They can probably try to make it work.

3 (20m 10s):
Yeah, it’s wild. When I was doing some reading on this topic of the EU, the articles that I saw were already saying that they are really shocked that the European union did not re-institute the ban because they have an official number of so many cases per thousand people. And if a country reaches that threshold, then the, you are blocked and we’re well over whatever that number is. So we should be technically based on their standards already locked out. They just didn’t do it. So they said within the next two weeks, it’s probably for sure going to happen, but who knows?

1 (20m 42s):
So we’re currently still in limbo, Rachel mall, like they haven’t made an official decision.

3 (20m 46s):
They have not an official decision, but by the time you listen to this, maybe one will come,

1 (20m 51s):
Hey, travelers, let’s take a quick detour to talk all about our Travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you. We now have six different trip itineraries one week in Kauai

2 (21m 2s):
And American Southwest weekend or road trip

3 (21m 4s):
A week in Yellowstone and grand Teton, national parks,

1 (21m 7s):
The road trip adventure featuring all three of Washington. State’s national parks,

3 (21m 12s):
Big island, Hawaii, and an Arizona road trip that features all three of Arizona’s national parks.

2 (21m 18s):
We are obsessed with these. These itineraries are 20 to 30 page PDF guides with every detail of the trip laid out. We’re talking where to fly into the exact route to take where to stay park entrance prices, where to eat and driving distance between attractions plus what things to see and do even the hikes we recommend and their mileage, and the time to allow for each one and so much more.

1 (21m 40s):
We have story highlights on our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, where you can see the full guides. We’ve done all of the research and have taken these exact trips, taking out all of the guesswork from the planning. So all that you have to do is show up and have fun

3 (21m 53s):
Purchase your comprehensive Travel Squad Podcast, itinerary on our website at Travel Squad, Podcast dot com, best of all, they’re on sale right now for $30. So travel on over and get yours today.

1 (22m 5s):
So we’ve country traveled and hopped, and we’ve gone back to the us and back outside, but now we’re gonna go on a cruise and give you a cruising update. Cause you know, we love our cruises cruise

2 (22m 16s):
In.

3 (22m 16s):
I love cruising. I actually said this many times in many episodes, maybe you guys will remember. I am waiting for the time when cruises are open here and they are starting to become open. So we do want to give you a few updates about that. And by the way, I’m just throwing it out. I’m ready to go on a cruise ladies.

2 (22m 32s):
I’m ready to. I mean, but I think it’s the time

3 (22m 36s):
It is now the time. So let’s get into some of those updates and we’ll talk about what we need to do to go on a cruise.

1 (22m 42s):
So there’s a ton of different cruise lines and everyone’s going to have a little bit different of restrictions or policies and whatnot. And so our favorite cruise line is a Royal Caribbean. So we’ve kind of dived right into them. And some of the things that they’re doing, they have both us domestic departures, as well as cruises outside of the U S in different countries. Like they have cruises departing out of Nassau in The Bahamas, south Hampton in the UK, Barcelona, Spain,

2 (23m 9s):
Speaking of Barcelona real quick, I recently saw that Spain is the safest country in the world.

1 (23m 16s):
I really want to go to,

3 (23m 17s):
That’s an interesting little tidbit of information, cause I’ve actually heard of Japan is one of the safest places

2 (23m 23s):
Panels in the top five. But yeah,

3 (23m 26s):
Interesting, good to know European union, as it stands now is open guys

2 (23m 31s):
Really bad to me

1 (23m 32s):
Too.

3 (23m 33s):
While you could take your cruise to parts out of Barcelona,

1 (23m 35s):
They even have ones out of Rome. Those are the ones that are open right now, as well as multiple us locations. Like some in Texas and some in Florida, I think even one out of like Baltimore. And then they have some opening up into late 20, 21 and 2022. Some that are coming out of where to Rico Singapore, Vancouver, Canada. We were just talking about Vancouver earlier today. So there’s a lot of cruise plans in the upcoming month and into early next year, which is really exciting to see. And we’re also seeing now that their cancellation policy is much more lenient. You can cancel up to 40 hours before your sale date and get a future credit good for one year.

1 (24m 16s):
And if you keep it for a cruising credit, they’re going to give you back 125%. Wow. Of your value.

3 (24m 23s):
So specifically we’re talking about Royal Caribbean, as it stands now. So many different cruise lines with different rules. We can’t go into them all, but that’s crazy. You cancel within 48 hours, you could get a 100% full refund. If you cancel and keep it as a cruise credit with them, you’re saying you get 125% of your money. What a deal.

2 (24m 41s):
That’s great. It’s almost like you should book and cancel

3 (24m 45s):
Travel hack right there.

1 (24m 47s):
Jamal. Now we’re just looking at cruises last night and with Royal Horian, it was like, you know, you pay full price for one and then your second person gets 60% off

3 (24m 57s):
Super good deals. When we were looking at it, like, I I’m really inspired to go on a cruise and I know how some people feel and think about it and think it’s just a Petri dish of so many people together and in a way it is. But if you are vaccinated again, anything is always about comfort factor, right? So I do think that these are really good trips because they have really, really good solid deals right now. I’m sure the majority of people that are going are vaccinated, they’re encouraging you to be,

2 (25m 23s):
Did you happen to see anything about extra precautions or taking onboard to make people feel safe and clean?

3 (25m 30s):
I am blown away by that. That is great question, Kim, I’m going to let nurse Brittany take this one because she was like really intrigued by what they had going on.

1 (25m 38s):
Yeah. So they have different cleaning protocols now. And then they actually upgraded all of their medical facilities on board. Now most ships have two doctors, four registered nurses. They have a critical care unit on board that has like negative air pressure so that the rest of the ship air circulation, isn’t mixed in with that for patients that do contract COVID-19 wall on the ship. So it’s intense how much they’ve upgraded and what they’ve changed. Obviously sanitation systems. And I was talking to someone in the cruise industry and they said that the standards are constantly changing. So of course they’re going have like tons of sanitation stations, but in some areas you might be required to socially distance a little bit, just really, depending on like what’s going on in the situation.

1 (26m 22s):
Some cruises haven’t booked you a hundred percent capacity.

2 (26m 26s):
That sounds amazing.

1 (26m 27s):
Right? Those are things too, where there’s going to be less people on board. So,

2 (26m 31s):
So the only thing I’m concerned about with cruising is that a big draw or the buffets. Now what’s up with that?

1 (26m 39s):
I don’t know what’s up with the buffets, but I hope they’re still going

3 (26m 42s):
Strong. I think they’re open. I don’t think that they’re closed. Maybe it’s a situation where the cruise ship workers are doing the scooping for you and not everybody touching. But I do think that they are open. I mean, that’s a classic cruising experiences, the buffet, although I really only like it for breakfast. I prefer the dining rooms for a dinner and lunch.

2 (27m 3s):
I

3 (27m 3s):
Know to each, to each their own. Right? Yeah.

2 (27m 5s):
I also like to be out there at 2:00 AM getting soft serve and pizza.

3 (27m 10s):
That’s a different type of thing that is not even a meal that is for sure. I’m going to the buffet and getting laid back. That’s a,

2 (27m 16s):
And if I’m like so full can’t move, I’m still going to get soft serve.

3 (27m 21s):
But going back a little bit to a couple of things, when you’re talking about other precautions that they’re taking, and I was talking about vaccines earlier and people who aren’t vaccinated. So Royal Caribbean specifically, if you are vaccinated and catch COVID while you’re on the cruise one, they’re going to give you a prorated amount. So if they have to tell you, Hey, you have COVID, we’re kicking you off the ship because that’s exactly what they’re going to do. And you were on the cruise for two days of a seven days, you’re getting five days worth of your money back. They are also giving you transportation that they are paying for you private jet to fly you back from that cruise port to where you need to go. So that type of protection is included.

3 (28m 3s):
If you’re vaccinated, if you are an unvaccinated individual, you have to actually purchase travel insurance because the cruise line Royal Caribbean is not going to cover that for you. They’re not going to take that risk of you catching it and paying to evacuate you on a private jet to get out of there if you’re not vaccinated. So I think that’s another thing too. That’s discouraging unvaccinated people from also going and a lot of places where they are cruising to whether it be in the Caribbean or elsewhere, do require you to be vaccinated to enter. So they’re saying you could come on, but you can’t even get off where we’re going. So there’s a lot of things, discouraging people who aren’t vaccinated from going on these things right now, just to give you also another sense of safety.

2 (28m 44s):
And when they say private jet, are we talking like five star luxury? Are we talking? Like,

3 (28m 49s):
I can’t imagine. So I don’t think they’re going to fly you out in style. And then you’re going to be sort of bubbly. I mean, people are working on that plane and they themselves are now exposed to you. If you are the one who have COVID right. But they’re not going to put you on a commercial airliner. They’re going to put you on whatever private accommodations that they can to get you back where you need to go. Right. So they didn’t say if I’m going to be flying in a stream streamer, a

2 (29m 16s):
Flax seeds. Nice comforter.

1 (29m 20s):
Yeah. So I’m really attempting to cruise because I mean, how can you go wrong? You can cancel up to 40 hours beforehand. Like you really can’t lose out because if you do catch COVID on the trip, then you get a prorated refund. The room prices are cheap right now. I just need to know if the Buffet’s open or not. Really.

3 (29m 36s):
Yeah. When we were looking at room prices there, sweets, we’re going for the price of like a normal, what a balcony would be in normal times, non COVID. And I’m just thinking to myself, how am I not supposed to do something like that and get a suite on a cruise ship. That’s normally four times the price of a normal room. And now it’s the average price of a normal room. That’s wild.

1 (29m 57s):
Yeah. And most cruise bathrooms, like you could barely turn around in the bathroom. And the suite we were looking at, it was a walk in tiled shower. And I was like, whoa. And even one of them had a built-in jacuzzi tub,

2 (30m 11s):
Too

3 (30m 12s):
Wild stuff. Get out there and cruise, if you’re comfortable with that, believe me, I’m ready to do it

2 (30m 17s):
On my trip this weekend, there was a nice tub in the hotel room and took a nice bubble bath. And so we’re looking at going back to want to watch those this year. And so we’re searching on Airbnb and Expedia hotels last night, specifically trying to find a place with a nice tub.

1 (30m 35s):
That’s very nice. I don’t know if I told you this Kim, but Jamal sent me an article on kind of off topic.

2 (30m 41s):
Oh, I don’t know if I want to hear this. Is it about nasty tubs? No. Okay.

3 (30m 46s):
I would ruin that illusion of hot Tufts for you,

1 (30m 48s):
Unlike things to do in TJ and whatnot, and it listed some of the best hotels. And so for Valentine’s day weekend, I booked a room that has a huge tub in the

2 (30m 58s):
Room. Oh, nice. I’ve stayed in one in TJ like that. Yeah.

1 (31m 1s):
I wonder if the same

2 (31m 1s):
One, what’s it called?

1 (31m 3s):
I don’t remember.

3 (31m 4s):
It’s like hotel Tiwan or something like that. I can’t remember what it is, but it’s one of the top three luxury hotels in Tijuana.

1 (31m 12s):
Yeah. So I’m really excited for that. I love places with nice bathtubs and like,

3 (31m 17s):
All right, ladies, before we get into the deals, deals, deals over here. Is there any last things we want to talk about about those top five that we went through and travel news here,

2 (31m 25s):
Even though it is still a bit uncertain, I am feeling better and stronger about the outlook of travel

1 (31m 33s):
Meet you. I mean, COVID only really slowed us down one month, but now we’re seeing it pick back up again when we were in Austin and like on our way out of San Diego, there was a huge line to get into security. So people are traveling, it’s looking upwards. So I’m excited.

3 (31m 48s):
I do believe that. But also at the same time, I also feel that with the increase in cases, it is actually making some people a little bit more timid, which I guess understandably. So I read an article that said a couple of days ago, TSA had the least amount of people go through security since like the height of winter travel started to pick up kind of beginning of June. So, I mean, is it Delta fears? Is it other stuff? I mean, who really knows on that? So I am optimistic just like you ladies, but we can’t ignore the reality of what’s going on right now.

2 (32m 21s):
Yeah, that’s true. I saw a tick tock on the same topic and it was saying that there was going to be a lot of sales coming out because of this reason I love

1 (32m 28s):
Sales,

2 (32m 29s):
Which that excites me as well, less crowds and cheaper prices.

3 (32m 34s):
Yeah. I’m excited just thinking about it. I have a couple flights here and I’m going to relook and see if my flights are on sale and get travel credits for it. That’s for sure.

1 (32m 43s):
Yeah. You know, when we took our trip to grand Tetons and Yellowstone in the middle of the pandemic, we were considering canceling it, but we stuck it out, but we rebooked all of our hotels because we were wondering like, how will that change things? And we got every single hotel that we rebooked at a much cheaper price. And we had the entire national park, both of them pretty much to ourselves,

3 (33m 3s):
Same with the rental car, same with our flight tickets. Cause they were on Southwest Scott travel credit back. So I mean, if you’re going to be traveling through this, you’re vaccinated feeling comfortable or even if you’re not vaccinated and doing your thing on that end of things. I mean, now’s a good time in that sense in terms of deals coming up because they really are. And I think that’s perfect leading right up here into deals.

2 (33m 23s):
All right, let’s give him the big D

3 (33m 24s):
Big D

1 (33m 27s):
Kim loves the big D.

2 (33m 29s):
So if you can believe this they’re actually countries that are paying you to come to them.

1 (33m 35s):
That’s crazy.

2 (33m 36s):
I mean, this is unheard of people. So one example of this is Sicily, which is offering different kinds of rebates and coupons if you come visit. So for Sicily specifically, the details that I’ve seen so far is that you have to be there at least three nights. I mean, who would want to spend less than three nights and Sicily, first of all, second there’s different qualifications that you have to meet and you can find them on the visit sicily.info website, but there’s different things like the three night stay there, specific tourist services that you have to select in order to qualify for the rebates. You can get a free entrance ticket to a cultural place. You can get a discount on national and international flights. And that starting in October, that is crazy.

1 (34m 19s):
Yeah. And right around the corner. Perfect timing.

3 (34m 21s):
Yeah. And basically on what you were saying, Kim, on those certain services, what you’re really meaning is like excursions guided tours and things like that. So through the visit Sicily website, basically, you know, they have their preferred vendors of hotels, guided tours, et cetera. So really they want you to book through them to get those. And those are the certain things that will qualify. But if they’re on there, these are the must do things of that region anyway, that you would probably be doing. So it’s not like they’re forcing your hand in a way, but you have to go through the appropriate steps and procedures in order to get those rebates and refunds to encourage you to go travel there. What a deal, why are we not going to Sicily right now?

2 (34m 60s):
Seriously, we could be making money off of traveling right now. I’m looking at flight prices right now.

3 (35m 7s):
Keep it on that same theme. Japan is also doing the same thing right now. They are encouraging you to go giving you discounts off of your total cost, including flights, hotels have certain coupons to do certain things. That’ll give you up to 15% off the total cost of what you spend at restaurants and certain places and events that you do. So just Google go to travel Japan, and you will be linked to the sites that have all the deals for Japan as well. So keeping them the same theme, which is shocking. I know Japan really didn’t want people to come for the Olympics. And yet here they are having tourists. But I think they imagined the people that are traveling internationally. They’re going to have more regulations on than they had with the Olympians and all the media that was coming there too.

3 (35m 49s):
But I know that was a whole debacle.

2 (35m 50s):
Yeah. So if you go to the go-to travel campaign, Japan website and you look at the details, what it says is that if you book through Japanese travel agencies or directly through hotels, or you go to RIAA con ins, these are the ones that are going to be eligible for the subsidiaries. And then these other discounts and vouchers are for different things like Jamal was saying. And it’s really essentially to encourage tourists, not just to come, but to explore all of the different things that are going there and kind of give you a little money booster there to help you out.

1 (36m 21s):
And Jamal and I have definitely been to Japan. We loved it. We spent 14 days there. We actually have two episodes on Japan, episode 42 and 43. So go back, listen to those. We have one specifically on Tokyo and then another on Kyoto and the surrounding area. But

2 (36m 36s):
By the way, the first part, one of that on Tokyo, I believe it is, is so fucking funny.

3 (36m 41s):
Well, part two is funny, but part one, I guess, is a little bit more funnier because I know what we talked about in there, but yeah, go listen to it, go get inspired for Japan. I tell Brittany all the time, I’m ready to go back to Japan. She won’t let me do it yet. Cause she likes to go places new, which I do too. But believe me, Japan is on my list of places to go back soon and fast that I’ve been to before, because I loved it that much. I know you guys will too. And with this deal, I mean, how can you not look into that possibility right now paying you to go or discounted to go what a deal.

2 (37m 10s):
That’s amazing. And then there’s also cheap flight sales going on here in the U S too. I just got an email today from Scott’s cheap flights. This is the free newsletter. I’m not a paid member and they were advertising $97 round trip, cross country flights.

1 (37m 26s):
That’s

2 (37m 26s):
Crazy insane. They had several different destinations, but one that caught my eye was San Diego to Chicago round trip for $97.

1 (37m 34s):
That is unheard of. That’s amazing. And I love Chicago. I actually just decided we were in Chicago this past July for Jamal’s birthday. And I realized that Chicago is my favorite us city.

2 (37m 46s):
I love Chicago. It’s beautiful.

3 (37m 49s):
I love Chicago too. But Chicago is not the only place that they’re having cheap flights, go check it out. I mean, if you’re a travel insider and junky, you know of Scott’s cheap flights, they always have good deals, but some of them are exceptional right now for the very reasons that we just talked about. People are doing cancellations. Don’t know if it’s going to get any worse, any better, but those airlines are definitely encouraging you. So you can find all sorts of good deals on there right now.

2 (38m 11s):
Yeah. And COVID is one thing to think about. Sure. But besides that, it’s an amazing time to travel with people, really encouraging you to come back flights that are going to be coming out, airlines really vying for your business instead of the other way around how it has been for years, I just flew, had the whole road in myself. There were three rows around us. Empty, got to lay down in the whole thing.

1 (38m 35s):
Wow.

2 (38m 36s):
Sales that are coming up because they want you to go less crowds. I mean, if you’re comfortable traveling, it really is a good time.

1 (38m 43s):
Yeah, it is. We had the best travel luck recently, Jamal and I actually forgot to check in for a flight.

2 (38m 49s):
Oh my God, how the hell did that happen?

3 (38m 51s):
Well, you forgot to check in for our Southwest flight. If any of you guys know how Southwest works, it’s in a sense on a first come first serve basis in terms of 24 hours before check-in you get a better boarding position, you guys are assigned seats. Yeah. We’re usually good. Okay.

2 (39m 5s):
No, you’re literally on the second hour changes over.

1 (39m 12s):
And so they have three sections, a, B and C, and each one goes up to like 60 and we got like C 27 and 28.

3 (39m 20s):
It was 28 and 29, but that’s irrelevant.

1 (39m 23s):
And I was like, oh my gosh. I was like, you know, we’re going to be middle seats are probably not gonna even see each other. Like

3 (39m 30s):
I started giving her stuff out of my backpack that she would need separately from me while we were sitting at the terminal, I was like, just take it. We’re probably not going to be by each other.

1 (39m 39s):
So we walk onto the plane and we are like scoping up the seats. And there is an entire row in the back that has not been touched. So Jamal and I went and sat there and no one else sat with us.

3 (39m 50s):
There was about 15, 20 more people that got on the plane after us. And for C class on Southwest, we were in our own row with nobody with us. We got lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky. Yeah. But one thing I just want to say real quick about those cheap flights here specifically on Scott’s. I want to give a squat tip. We’ve said this many times before we sometimes let the sales dictate where we go look online, see a place within the U S here with one of these cheap flights where you’re comfortable going or want to go and just let that sale guide you. Sometimes the unsuspecting places are the places you have no thoughts of what it’s going to be like or things that you want to do.

3 (40m 32s):
You’d go there and you have a great time. We’ve had many trips in places that are like that. So now’s a good time to really just let the sale guide you and go, and you’re going to have a good time, like, don’t think, oh, I want to go here. And there’s no cheap flights go where a cheap flight is and be surprised and have a good time. You’re going to love it. Anyway.

1 (40m 49s):
You know, what’s really funny when you said that is we actually today got a request on our Instagram and someone DMD us and it was from Kim and reverse and she asked, so here’s a very general question. And she says, you may have talked about this on another episode where you talked about your jobs, but how do you decide where to go in the time you have? And so I responded back exactly that like a lot of the time, the sale dictates where we go. And although we have a list of places that we want to go to, we may be looking at several locations, like for a certain timeframe. And whatever’s cheapest is where we end up going that time.

2 (41m 20s):
Yeah. And I love to use Google flights and the calendar view you can look at. If I went on this day and came back on this day, here’s what the price would be. But if I move that two days or moved it up one day or did it a day shorter, or two days longer, you can really play with that and save $50, a hundred dollars or more

1 (41m 39s):
Amazing. So that kind of brings us to questions of the week. Cause that was kind of a real live question from one of our listeners today.

2 (41m 46s):
Our Instagram is at Travel Squad Podcast. You can DMS any of your questions and we will definitely get back to you.

3 (41m 52s):
All right. So questions of the week

2 (42m 1s):
We have one question today and this one is, does the squad like gate one or Southwest more? Ooh.

3 (42m 9s):
I was supposed to answer a question like that.

1 (42m 13s):
I mean, I really have a bias to Southwest because they constantly have cheap flights and we use them so much. Like I probably take one Southwest flight a month. That’s what we’re averaging right now. So I would have to go with the Southwest because of their deals that they have on the flight, the sales, I think they’re just a no bullshit airline. Like I love that you can check a bag for free. You can check

2 (42m 36s):
Two bags,

1 (42m 37s):
You can check two bags for free, but there’s like no hidden fees. You can cancel any time you can rebook. If there’s a better price, get the travel fund credit back. Like there’s so many perks to.

3 (42m 47s):
And if you just look in terms of ranking of us, domestic airline or Southwest, always ranks at the top in terms of like customer service and satisfaction. I mean, that’s not by accident. And the rates and fairs are probably some of the most competitive in industry too. So it’s hard not to, but in terms of like gate one, you know, I got to throw some love to gate one already did a little bit earlier. I mean, it’s kind of two different things. You’re asking me, which one do I love more, but awesome guided tours with gate one very affordable, depending on where you’re going. Even if it’s not like something that you would think is all super cheap, believe me, it’s going to be cheaper than if you were to going to do it on your own, get all the hotels, do the research, et cetera, great customer service. Also, I’ve never been on a gate, one experience that I haven’t absolutely loved, but just because I use Southwest more, I’m going to have to say Southwest also.

2 (43m 31s):
Yeah. I would say the same. I think Southwest has good snacks, especially on the longer flights. I was just going

1 (43m 38s):
To see their snack mix.

2 (43m 39s):
It’s good. It’s really good. The flight attendants are funny too. They save like funny jokes and stuff on the Intercom thing. So Southwest is great. And I also wouldn’t pit gate one, even though I love them and they’re awesome, but I want to try here and now travel to be with a younger group of people and do more young people. Things. Not that there’s all old people on gate, one trips or anything, nothing wrong with that at all. But I want to experience a young person’s group travel. You

1 (44m 7s):
Better go before you turn 35 right around the,

2 (44m 9s):
I still have a few years. Okay. I mean, probably about 10 years until that.

1 (44m 13s):
No.

3 (44m 15s):
Yeah. Here, now that you mentioned, can we have an upcoming interview with them in a couple episodes here, but we talked to them, the owners of the company, creators of it. It’s great. Think of this, almost like a hostile experience, but for group travel and what I mean by a hostile experiences, you know, when you’re younger and go places you stay in your, with that younger crowd, you meet people who are, like-minded like you, but take that vibe with you. And you are now traveling with them to each of your destinations going on, hikes, going out to dinner, doing this that. So that’s what I mean by that. And so,

2 (44m 47s):
I mean that like it’s low budget.

3 (44m 51s):
That is absolutely not what I mean. And that’s why I was trying to reiterate that more, the experience and comradery is what you get, not the low budget. Yeah. Thank you for specifying that. Okay.

2 (45m 0s):
Yeah. Like a nightclub is one of the excursions. Yeah. Sounds fun. All right. Well that’s our episode this week. Squaddies thank you so much for tuning in. Keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast and send us in your questions.

3 (45m 16s):
If you found the information, 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 podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (45m 29s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.