Going on a trip with a bunch of friends and family always sounds like a great idea until it is time for you to plan the vacation. Do you really want to figure out travel, accommodations, and meals for a giant group? I don’t. I have enough trouble trying to figure out meals at home for myself, let alone an entire group out on vacation.
Some vacations are perfect for large groups, while others just prove to be a giant headache. Traveling with a bunch of people is always a great time though, and if it is your task to plan everything all that stress will truly pay off when you’re somewhere awesome with a bunch of your favorite people.
We’ve decided to make your life easier by taking the stress out of planning the large travel by giving you our favorite destinations we always choose when traveling with a large group.
Maine Windjammer Cruises
Take up to 40 people on a giant sailing ship and you will be sure to give everyone a trip to remember. The Maine Windjammer Cruises offer three-to-six day sailing cruises depending on the weather which is great for groups. On board everyone gets to enjoy delectable fresh baked goods and, of course, it wouldn’t be a Maine company if they didn’t offer their passengers a lobster bake. When you’re done cramming your gullet full of lobster and snacks then you can enjoy your time swimming off the ship or learning how to sail one of these massive ships. Or if you’re feeling lazy, just enjoy the beautiful water and the wildlife that accompanies the unreal scenery.
Riding roller coasters is something everyone can get behind and there’s no better place to do that than in the entertainment-filled Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is great because it isn’t jam-packed like other parks and they offer fantastic group rates. YOu can either ride coasters all day, hit the water park, or if your group is full of energy try to hit both. You can please anyone at Busch Gardens from grandpas to babies with their awesome rides and great shows it is sure to be a hit with everyone in your large group.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Ditch the cars and head to Mackinac Island in Michigan for a lot of old-school fun that has to be seen to be believed. You and your group will arrive by ferry and can get around the car-free island by carriages or bikes. On this island, you can see beautiful shops and galleries and eat some of the most delicious fudge you’ve ever tasted. Trust us, it’s amazing. Even if someone in your group hates islands, once they taste the fudge they’ll be feeling a-ok. The cute boutiques and shops are guaranteed to keep any group large or small busy for hours and the charm this island holds is absolutely undeniable. Traveling in a large group can sound like a bad idea but if you pick the right destination it will be a trip of majestic wonder.
Tracking COVID-19 Restrictions by Country Using an Interactive Tool
Skyscanner develops an interactive tool that provides travelers with information regarding the different travel restrictions per country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a multitude of travel restrictions all around the world to contain the transmission of the deadly virus. Americans are now peppered with so many travel-abroad regulations due to the rapid—and seemingly unending—increase in cases. If you plan to make a trip abroad, it can be difficult to obtain relevant and up-to-date information on the specific travel requirements for either your state of origin or your intended destination. This is because these requirements are regularly updated and modified depending on the COVID-19 situation at the moment.
More and more countries, however, are providing detailed travel restrictions and monitoring tools. Skyscanner’s interactive COVID-19 travel map is, by far, one of the most sophisticated ones. The tool is in its beta version and can be perused via Skyscanner’s website. The map can be used to check the different travel restrictions of the different countries represented. Countries are color-coded, displaying those with low, moderate, and heavy travel restrictions which are in green, yellow, and red, respectively. Countries that do not have data, however, are colored gray. A user’s specific country of origin is colored gray, as well, during a search.
You can click through the different destinations. You can also scroll through the list of suggested destinations provided. By doing so, you can find out about the travel restrictions per country and even check the latest updates in terms of current COVID-19 cases, the rate of transmission, the difference in case numbers as compared to the previous week, and so on. You are also offered the option to sign up for email notifications as regards succeeding COVID-19 updates regarding a particular country.
The said Skyscanner tool was introduced in November. It makes use of data obtained from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the updates on travel restrictions plus COVID-19 case rates from the John Hopkins University.
The tool is an initiative that resulted from Skyscanner’s American survey as regards attitudes toward the different travel restrictions imposed which prevented easy trips locally and internationally. Out of the 1,000 respondents, about 51% mentioned that they did not have adequate confidence on the knowledge they had about the travel restrictions of the places they wanted to visit. Despite this fact, many Americans have been found to be browsing through international airfare.
“People want to travel and we know there is pent-up demand from the searches we are seeing for flights and for more information; but confidence has been hit by the lack of consistency between countries worldwide regarding measures and restrictions,” shares U.S. travel expert for Skyscanner, Mark Crossey. “Consumers just don’t understand the complex rules and are crying out for transparent, detailed information,” Crossey adds.
Crossey points out, however, that there are only a few countries that offer quarantine-free visits. At the moment, merely 13 countries are indicated as green. 212 countries are colored orange or even red. He asserts that the Skyscanner tool is only a piece of the solution. Countries all over the world must have a standard set of travel restrictions including testing protocols and quarantine procedures before travelling can become easier.
Top 10 Reasons to Conceal Carry a Gun
Have you ever thought about getting your concealed carry license? Then you’ve come to the right place.
A concealed carry license allows you to legally carry a concealed weapon (usually a handgun) on your person in public.
Though some states have more restrictive concealed carry laws than others, all states permit some level of concealed carry.
If you’re on the edge about whether or not to get your concealed carry permit, here are ten reasons why you should:
1. It helps you protect yourself
The most obvious reason to get a concealed carry permit is that it helps you protect yourself.
Sure, there are many other self-defense methods, like martial arts, knives, and pepper spray, but few are as effective as a concealed gun. It can help you stop a violent crime in a matter of seconds.
In addition, concealed carry can help you make up for physical disadvantages. If you are elderly or female, for example, having a gun may be the only way you can stop a larger attacker.
2. It helps you protect your family and others
On top of protecting yourself, concealed carrying helps you protect your loved ones.
As a parent or spouse, you have a serious responsibility to protect your family from harm. You never know when an attacker will strike, and it’s best to be prepared for the worst by having a gun on you.
As a concealed carrier, you may also find yourself in situations where you are the only one in a position to protect others, including strangers. You become the sheepdog that protects the sheep (regular citizens) from the wolves (criminals).
3. Violent crime is a real threat
Though violent crime in the U.S. has been steadily falling since the 1990s, it’s still a real threat.
In 2019, over 1 million violent crimes were committed across the country. That’s an estimated 366.7 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.
The world can be a dangerous place. But by having a concealed firearm, you will be able to protect yourself and others in the event that you witness (or become victim to) violence.
4. You’ll be less dependent on the police
The average police response time to 911 calls varies by area and the type of crime, but generally, it can take up to 10 minutes for help to arrive.
In the meantime, you still need to protect yourself. And when it comes to violent crime, every second counts. A concealed firearm could be all that stands between you and death (or worse).
Besides, contrary to popular belief, the police don’t have a legal duty to protect you unless you are in their custody. Your safety is ultimately your own responsibility.
5. It helps deter violent crime
Criminals are less likely to commit crimes when they think there could be an armed citizen nearby.
By carrying a concealed weapon, you help deter crime anywhere you go. In some cases, showing your gun will be enough to stop the violence.
This is also part of the reason why the U.S. has never been invaded or subject to a tyrannical government—its citizens are armed.
6. It provides valuable training in firearm safety and self-defense
To earn your concealed carry license, you must take and pass a firearms course, which covers gun safety, rules, maintenance, and self-defense (among other things).
This is a great opportunity to gain valuable gun training. It will teach you how to properly handle your concealed firearm and how to use it in self-defense as a last resort.
And it won’t take much time. Most concealed carry classes are a one-time full-day event that you can knock out on a weekend.
7. It gives you a tactical advantage
When you conceal carry, you gain a tactical advantage against criminals. Since they don’t know that you’re carrying a gun, you can catch them off guard and leverage the element of surprise.
In contrast, when you open carry, criminals will see that you’re armed and may target you as a result.
8. It helps you save money and time on background checks
Whenever you buy a gun (perhaps with gun accessories) from a licensed firearm dealer, you are required to undergo a background check. This can take up to a few hours and cost you $25 to $50 every time you buy a new gun.
But if you have your concealed carry license, it shows that you’ve already passed a background check. So you can just show it to the dealer to have the background check requirement waived.
9. It teaches you to increase your situational awareness
Concealed carrying will help you improve your situational awareness. How? By instilling in you more responsibility toward others. You’ll learn to stay vigilant against potential threats and crimes so you can react quickly and properly.
10. It’s your second amendment right
Lastly, carrying a firearm is your constitutional right. The second amendment gives you the right to “keep and bear arms.”
That’s reason enough to conceal carry. Just make sure you also respect the serious responsibilities that come with carrying a gun.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, the choice to get your concealed carry license or not is up to you. It’s a huge responsibility, but also one that could potentially save your life and the lives of others.
Many states will also honor conceal carry permits from other states (aka reciprocity), allowing you to carry while traveling across the country.
Research your state’s conceal carry laws and then do what’s best for you and your family.
The Different Types of White Wine Explained
Have you tried to select a good white wine for a special meal, or as a gift, but get overwhelmed by the endless white wine options at your local winery?
So many different bottles, with different labels and categories, can be frustrating. While you might not want to become a wine connoisseur, you wish you had a little knowledge of the types of white wine and its flavors.
The guide below will introduce you to the basic types of white wine and how to pair them with food. Knowing your white wine options and how they affect your palate will help you make the perfect selection later.
Chardonnay might be considered the “go-to” white wine for casual gatherings, rather than for a large meal. But, Chardonnay is actually a very full-bodied wine, and best paired with creamy, heavier food.
There is a distinction between Chardonnay and Chablis. Chablis is a region in France where wine is made from the Chardonnay grape. Chablis is not usually cured in oak barrels, as is a lot of Chardonnay, so it has a much lighter taste and is often paired with light appetizers like raw oysters.
Pinot Grigio has really taken Chardonnay’s place as the “go-to” wine these days, due to it’s consistently dry, light, and slightly fruity flavor.
Lighter in color than Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio can be paired with pasta and heavy salads, as well as most seafood. A Pinot Grigio stands well all by itself as well.
Sauvignon white wines are on the dry side, with a tart taste. Certain varieties, particularly those from New Zealand, have a more fruity taste. Many describe the taste as having a slight hint of grapefruit or sour apple flavor.
This is a great stand-alone wine, but pairs well with cheese, and fresh seafood.
Moscato is a sparkling white wine that is often thought of as a “dessert” wine, due to its sweet flavor. But these days, Moscato is becoming a popular dinner wine, as it pairs well with spicy foods, and even with a refreshing summer salad. And, of course, you can pair it with your favorite dessert.
Moscato is lower in alcohol content as well, making it a good starter choice for someone new to drinking white wine.
Riesling is also a popular dessert wine, as it is quite sweet, though not as sweet as Moscato.
Again, pairing it with spicy Asian or Indian dishes is a great idea, or with fruity desserts.
From a region in Germany, Gewurztraminer is a great dry/sweet combination wine and is slightly fruity. This white wine is less popular in the United States, usually because the other wines listed here are more familiar.
If you are unsure whether to go to a dry wine or sweet one, try a bottle of Gewurztraminer and pair it with cinnamon-laden desserts, creamy bisque soups, or curry dishes.
Choosing from the Types of White Wine
With so many types of white wine, how do you choose?
First, decide if the wine will be paired with food, and if so, what kind of food, and work from there.
If the wine is a gift for someone else, find out if they prefer a dry or sweet white wine. If the wine is for you, choose one from each of the types of white wine, and have a tasting party!
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