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Developed Vaccine Brings Hope to Avid Travelers

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Travelers hope that a developed vaccine becomes available soon so that they can, once again, easily visit various places all around the world.

Travel has been heavily affected by the ensuing pandemic. Easy entry to various countries has become a difficult pursuit especially since massive lockdowns have been imposed to halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, the news of a possibly developed vaccine brings a welcome breath of sigh.

Both companies hope to be authorized to commercially sell the developed vaccine within US territory before the end of November. Representatives plan to manufacture about 50 million doses prior to the end of 2020 and produce 1.3 billion vials next year.

Recently, several pharmaceutical companies, BioNTech and Pfizer, announced that a developed vaccine may be 90% effective against COVID-19 infection. This assumption was obtained from the collaboration’s third stage testing of the said vaccine. A couple of weeks after, the vaccine was observed to be even higher in efficacy, reaching 95%.

Consequently, Moderna announced that their developed vaccine against the virus is 95% effective, as well. In the UK, a vaccine produced by the joint efforts of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been deemed 70% effective—a percentage that can even reach 90% as it gets further modified to reach its highest potential.

These updates are now providing hope as various countries grapple with the debilitating impacts of the pandemic, both economic- and health-wise.

Specifically, a developed vaccine—one that may be proven 100% effective against the novel coronavirus—can boost the economy. Likewise, an effective vaccine can result in a boom in the tourism industry which has been drastically decreased due to the necessity of restricted border entry in various countries around the world.

Explaining the ill impact of the pandemic on tourism, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development approximates that earnings from tourism will decrease by 80% this year.

Countries with a huge bulk of their GDP relying on tourism have had to make do with lesser income due to the need for lockdowns and social distancing protocols. Currently, it is predicted that it will take several years before these countries get to experience a resurgence of tourism in their territories. An effective, developed vaccine can help expedite this boon, however.

China, for example, is seen as an excellent epitome of that yearned-for tourism rebound. Since the country was able to immediately control the spread of the virus, they were able to restore air travel—enabling almost 90% of pre-COVID-19 air traffic.

“I believe that the main priority of the tourism industry is to get people travelling again safely by giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing and contact tracing are possible and reliable prior to having a vaccine programme,” asserts Aileen Clemente, the chairman and president of Philippine firm Rajah Travel Corporation, citing that a developed vaccine is not the sole solution for travel resurgence. “As we all know, the vaccine programme will take a while to roll out to all parts of the world, so pre- and post-vaccine programmes should be concurrently available,” continues Clemente.

Nonetheless, it is the hope of many that a developed vaccine becomes immediately available to the public so that a new normal can finally emerge—and easy traveling can be, once again, experienced.  

Destinations

Thai Government Wants Tourists to Wear Digital Wristbands

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Tourists will be required to wear digital wristbands in Thailand. This will enable the Thai government to easily track their health status while touring the said Southeast Asian country.

To sever possible COVID-19 transmission, Thailand plans to require would-be tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country. This mandate will allow the government to track their whereabouts including their health as they visit Thailand’s different traveler destinations.

Last month, the said Southeast Asian nation opened its borders to a group of Chinese visitors—the first ever arrival since April when Thailand halted inbound travels to control COVID-19 transmission. The country has been doing quite well in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Hence, it has been reluctant to reopen its doors to visitors wanting to explore its various tourist spots.

The recent October group of Shanghai tourists were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, especially since they planned to stay within the country for a month. They were also relegated to a government-accredited hotel.

Nevertheless, aside from the automatic quarantine period, recent Thailand updates assert that the nation now plans to mandate all approved, incoming tourists to wear digital wristbands, “Smart Bands” as they are called. These devices will help the government track the tourists, particularly their health, as they visit the different places within the country.

The said digital device measures the body temperature of the wearer which will, then, notify nearby health centers. Tourists who wear digital wristbands will also be able to ask for help should they ever get lost while touring the country.

Not all would-be visitors will be able to enter Thailand, however. At present, only visitors from low-risk areas will be given a Special Tourist Visa. This visa can be obtained by paying 2,000 Baht ($64.25).

Additionally, a would-be tourist needs to have a “fit-to-fly certificate” from a certified doctor, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, and a health insurance policy of at least $100,000 that will cover COVID-19 treatment within the country.

If you plan to travel to Thailand, you must be able to secure these requirements before buying your ticket. See to it that you will be coming from a country that is enlisted as a low-risk area by the Thailand government. You should also obtain the necessary “fit-to-fly certificate” from your doctor, have a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before your flight, and an insurance policy of the above-stated amount before you can apply for the said Special Tourist Visa.

As of writing, Thailand has only less than 4,000 total COVID-19 cases, a far cry from the overall COVID-19 cases worldwide that has already reached more than 46 million. Hence, the Thai government strictly monitors tourists who are allowed to enter their borders. The planned mandate to require tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country will greatly help control possible COVID-19 transmission which may be brought on by the gradual reopening of its borders.

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Destinations

Visit the World’s Happiest Countries

I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

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According to some smart people Norway is the world’s happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. SO apparently being freezing cold 9 months out of the year equals happiness. I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

How do you judge a country’s’ happiness? Well the smart people at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have figured some way out. Working for the United Nations the SDSN used tons of data and statistics to come to their findings. The main factors used were Happiness, Caring, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Income, Generosity and Good Governance.

Sweden

Scandinavian countries were well represented on this list with all their countries placing in the top 10. Sweden ties for 9th place and is such a wonderful place to visit. Stockholm has some amazing attractions and interesting architecture. Come for the Scenery and stay for their happiness.

 

Australia

Tied for 9th place is the happy people down under. Throw another shrimp on the barbie and drink a Fosters with some real happy folk. Check out the amazing Great Barrier Reef and scuba dive with thousands of animal varieties. Australia is a wonderful place to visit and see why everyone is so happy.

 

New Zealand

Australia’s neighbor and rival is number 8 on the happiness list. The kiwis are a boisterous and happy people known for being welcoming and helpful. The landscape in New Zealand is second to none and offers epic views at every turn. Incredible sailing and waters ports dominate the beaches and hikes and white water rafting are inland favorites.

 

Canada

We all knew Canadians were a happy people and they rank 7th on this list. Celebrating their 150th anniversary as a nation this year, there should be plenty of celebrations going on.   Check out Prince Edward Island where the independence from Great Britain was first discussed.

 

Netherlands

The Dutch are a happy people and their country is one of the best to visit. Celebrating their rich history, The Danish people have plenty to be happy about. Check out the Van Gogh museum or take a tour in the Heineken Brewery. Check out their famed marijuana coffee shops or stroll down the beautiful canals.

 

Finland

Scandinavia represents again with Finland and the 5th spot. A favorite winter sports destination, Finland is as beautiful during the summer. Check out their wonderful lakes and take in some beautiful landscapes.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss are always neutral but you shouldn’t be neutral about visiting the fourth happiest country on Earth. Enjoy the amazing mountains and outdoor activities in this natural playground. The Swiss have been at the top of this list since it’s inception.

 

Iceland

The island nation off on its own in the Atlantic Ocean is the third happiest country. Outdoor activities, the Northern Lights and some incredible thermal pools make Iceland an awesome destination. Reykjavik is an international city with huge attractions and natural beauty, outside the city offers the most intense experiences.

 

Denmark

Number two on the list is the happy people of Denmark. Copenhagen is my favorite European city and it is a must visit. Check out the tall ships and the cute coastal architecture all around Copenhagen.

 

Norway

The happiest country on the planet is Norway. The Scandinavian country has the happiest people and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. All you have to do is see one fjord in person and you’ll understand natural beauty. The people of Norway are healthier and happier than anywhere on Earth. See why everyone is so happy and experience it for yourself.

 

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Destinations

Travel the World for FREE

Yes, you can travel the world for free if you exchange your hard work and time for the cause. Here are some interesting ways to travel for free, so get planning and decide where you want to visit.

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Have you ever daydreamed about traveling the world? If so, you most likely came to the realization that global travel is out of your reach financially, but what if it wasn’t? There are creative ways to finance vacations that only require a little elbow grease or some imaginative ideas. Yes, you can travel the world for free if you exchange your hard work and time for the cause. Here are some interesting ways to travel for free, so get planning and decide where you want to visit.

 

Points

Obviously if you travel a lot anyway for business or use your rewards credit card often you can redeem points or miles. This is probably the most popular way people travel for virtually free. Of course you need to accrue all these points or miles so necessarily this isn’t free. Plus we aren’t all lucky enough to travel for business or have the money in the first place to earn points. So let’s explore some more imaginative methods to financial freedom while traveling.

 

Contest Winner

Sure winning contests require a high amount of luck unless you play the odds. Enter as many contests that offer travel rewards as possible. I know people who consider this a part time job they enter so many contests but also travel for free all the time. Search the internet for contests and start entering. Most of them do it just for your information, so get an email account specifically for the contests and hopefully you can win something awesome.

 

Promote

Find companies that are looking for people to spread the word about them. These grassroots campaigns are gaining popularity and all they ask in return are blog posts or instagram pictures. Seek these companies out and offer up your services. Maybe a Cruise line wants you to go to retirement homes passing out flyers on weekends. This type of part time or seasonal employment can earn you free trips in return. I’d gladly give up a few hours here and there to earn a free cruise.

 

Couch Surf

It may not be glamorous but couch surfing is a recent phenomenon that is taking off. Websites like Couchsurfing.com offer the opportunity for like-minded people to open up their homes to travelers in exchange for the same in return. A large online community has continued to grow over the last few years, so check it out. This is a great way to stay for free while you are traveling. Now you just have to get there.

 

Shill for the company

Many travel companies will hook you up if you get a few other people to pay for their services. So if you sell vacation packages to a few co-workers, that company will give you a free trip in return. Sure, you’ll have to sell a little bit but the rewards are completely worth it. I guess nothing in life is truly free.

 

Go Fund Me

OK, I know this may be overused lately but Crowdsourcing platforms like GoFundMe.com or IndieGoGo.com allow people to start a fund for certain causes. Maybe your brother has a hard life and needs a vacation but you can’t afford it yourself, you create an account on one of these websites and ask people to each give a small amount. This can quickly snowball where 100 people each give $5; you suddenly have a significant amount of money.

 

So now you have ideas about how to travel for free, so get out there and start enjoying travel.

 

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