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Road Trip! European Edition

Road trips and European vacations are pretty much the two best kinds of vacations out there. So why not combine the two?!

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Everyone loves a good road trip. There’s just something about getting the hell out of town and hitting the open road that makes you feel alive. But it can also be a fun and entertaining element of a European vacation! Here are some of the best road trip options in all of Europe.

GERMAN ALPINE ROAD, GERMANY

If you’ve ever been a fan of The Sound of Music, then this is the European road trip for you! The incredible combination of snow-peaked mountains and lush greenery will have you shaking your head in amazement every mile along the way. Some of the highlights include King Ludwig’s castle, Lake Constance, and Benediktbeuern Abbey.

RING ROAD, ICELAND

Thanks to its breathtaking views and delightfully cold weather, Iceland is quickly becoming one of the hottest vacation destinations in all of Europe. And if you want to get a road trip in while you’re there, Ring Road is the place to go. This whole trip can be done in just about 12-14 hours but has plenty of amazing volcanoes, icebergs, and hot springs along the way.

ITALIAN LAKES AND THE DOLOMITES, ITALY

What else can you say about Italy at this point? It’s just an incredible country that everyone needs to experience at least once. And what better way to do it that with a countryside road trip! This one is best enjoyed when given ample time, even as much as a full week. There are countless perfect lakes and quaint as they come villages along the drive. Just be sure to do it in the summer, and the area starts to see snow in the fall.

RING OF KERRY, IRELAND

Similar to Iceland, Ireland is a very popular vacation destination these days thanks to its incredible views and bundle-up-worthy weather. Sure, there are great Irish cities like Dublin, but if you really want to experience Ireland you should hit the Ring of Kerry in the southern part of the country. It’s only about 180 miles long, but you’ll see enough waterfalls, mountains, and castles to make you feel like you really did Ireland right.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE TO CASTELLANE, FRANCE

It’s no surprise that France is a beautiful and vacation-worthy country. But the drive from Aix-en-Provence to Castellane is rarely talked about as a must-see… and it should be. The incredible fields of lavender alone make it beyond worth it, but then once you’ve made it to the unbelievable beauty of Verdon Gorge you’ll be happy with your choice. Just be prepared, some of the mountain passes include some very narrow and winding roads!

NORTH COAST 500, SCOTLAND

This route is named as such because it covers a whopping 516 miles. But nearly every one of them is worth it if you want to have a great road trip experience during your trip to Scotland. You’ll catch plenty of lochs, mountains, rolling glens, and, of course, a few castles. There are even some amazing whiskey distilleries along the way. But you stop in one of those be sure you’re just grabbing some whiskey for later when you’re not driving.

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Travel

The Coolest Innovations Amongst Airlines Coming This Year

It’s getting harder for airlines to keep customers satisfied so expect some really exciting perks on airlines in the near future.

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The competition between airlines has never been more intense than it is now and we consumers are about to be the beneficiaries. Competition brings better deals, innovative designs and exciting new technology. It’s getting harder for these airlines to keep customers satisfied so expect some really exciting perks on airlines in the near future. We should see these new inventions being tested in the next few months and rolling out across the board by early 2018. Let’s see what all the hype is about.

 

Text Seats

Imagine being able to text freely while soaring in an airplane, without the flight attendant reprimanding you. Well, welcome to the future. Alaska Airlines just merged with Virgin America and is celebrating by introducing an exciting new feature to all of its flights, free texting! Yep, with their free Gogo Wi-Fi, you can text using apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Since this feature doesn’t use too much data, this innovation is actually pretty cheap for the airlines.

 

Picture Boarding Passes

What if you can totally ditch your boarding pass from now on… and instead just use your face? Wow, talk about innovation. JetBlue is partnering with tech company SITA to introduce facial recognition software where you no longer will need a boarding pass. The software would use your passport or another certified image in the Custom’s database to check you in, simple as that.

 

Hawaiian Vibes

Hawaiian Airlines is going back to its roots, as a truly Hawaiian airline. They redesigned their airplanes to feature native materials and fabrics while creating an island vibe. Expect fishing nets and native Hawaiian Language on the signage. If this doesn’t get you in the island spirit, nothing will.

 

Supersonic is BACK

The Concorde made its last transatlantic flight in 2003 and we thought supersonic technology was about to take off, but nearly 15 years later and nothing. Until now, when Virgin Galactic is partnering up with startup BOOM Technologies to develop and produce the first supersonic passenger jet in years. The planes should make the New York to London trip in less than three hours. Expect test flights later this year and airplanes should go into production in 2018.

 

Picture Check Bags

Delta is introducing its own facial recognition software, to help speed up the check-in and baggage processes. This technology will speed up the laborious process and free up gate agents top actually help people. The tests run all summer at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

 

VR is a reality

Virtual Reality is fast becoming an actual reality with airlines implementing the technology to attract a higher end clientele. Lufthansa is using VR headsets to help lure passengers into their more expensive Premium economy class, which offers more legroom, and VR headsets for entertainment.

 

Lounges becoming shared office space

Say bye to the airline lounges you have become accustomed to, and say hello to more business traveler friendly, shared workstations of the future. Lounges are transitioning to these as a way to lure more business travelers into their circle of airlines.

The future is excitingly here now and we should all be excited for what’s about to happen to the airline industry.

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Destinations

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.  

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European Beach Vacations for the Budget Traveler

If you want to save big on your summer holiday, try visiting one of these seven cheaper destinations for all the bang with half the buck.

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Summer isn’t officially here yet on the calendar but someone should tell the weather because it’s hot out there. Time to plan and book your summer vacations so let’s look into where the best deals are for your European beach trip. The hotspots are always busy and not very affordable so maybe we will skip Barcelona, Marseille and the other trendy destinations. If you want to save big on your summer holiday, try visiting one of these seven cheaper destinations for all the bang with half the buck.

 

Malta

Sure Malta isn’t as cheap as you may wish, but it’s still much more affordable than hotspots like Lisbon or Sorrento. Head to Sliema for a hip beach town filled with designer shops and trendy cafes that won’t totally break your budget. The nightlife is wild and fun and the beaches are gorgeous.

  

Portugal

Obviously, major beach cities like Lisbon will break your budget wide open, but Portugal has plenty of affordable alternatives. Try Algarve, just down the road from popular Lisbon but nearly half the cost. Enjoy over 300 sunny days a year, warm waters and some of the best surf on the Atlantic coast. This small beach region is a gem and should be visited even if only for a few days.

 

Cyprus

The ancient Mediterranean beach city of Paphos in Cyprus is the perfect beach destination. Enjoy ancient ruins of the Greco-Roman empires while basking in the warm sun. The city comes alive in the warm summer months and visitors will enjoy the variety of restaurants, castles, and monasteries the old town region has to offer.

Greece

Greece is the Mecca of Mediterranean beaches and many are extremely expensive, so let’s find an affordable one. Try Cephalonia, a small island that rivals Crete for cheapness. Get the most out of your European beach vacation at this Greek island and have the best trip possible.

 

Bulgaria

OK, hear me out; maybe try a beach destination that isn’t on the ocean. Head to the resort town of Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and save huge on your summer vacation. The Black Sea isn’t salty and has very mild waves; so expect a lake type of vibe with a party atmosphere. The nightlife here gets rowdy and the bars along the beach stay open late.

 

Croatia

No longer a well-kept secret, Croatia is now a hotspot for vacationing Europeans. Instead of hitting the hot islands or capital city, try Porec for your budget summer vacation in style. The city is a throwback with rustic architecture and an old town that features cobblestone streets.   The water and beaches are great and the weather couldn’t be better.

 

Italy

Everyone wants to visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy, but few of us can afford such a luxurious trip. Instead try to visit the Puglia region, which is much less crowded and offers some really great deals. Check out the resort town of Otranto, which features huge rock pools and rustic beaches. The stone buildings will bring you back in time and the cheap prices will bring you back.


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