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Puerto Rico is reopen for tourists

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After closing itself off to non-essential travel back in July, it looks like Puerto Rico has once again opened itself up to tourism. And since the island is officially a U.S. territory, Americans don’t have to worry about getting a passport or a visa to visit.

Because of the enhanced risk to those who live in places that are reopening, it’s vital that travelers observe all health and safety regulations in the places they’re visiting. In Puerto Rico, that means proving you’re Covid-free at the airport upon arrival, wearing your mask whenever you’re in public and social distancing at all times. Here are some things to be aware of if you’re planning a trip to the island anytime soon.

New Health and Safety Procedures at the Airport, Hotels, Attractions

Puerto Rico’s plan to keep its residents safe starts upon arrival in San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), where mask-wearing is mandatory, thermographic cameras monitor passengers’ temperatures and visitors must fill out a Puerto Rico Health Department travel declaration form, provide proof of a negative molecular Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before their flight, and obtain an Airport Exit Confirmation QR Code. If you arrive before your test results come in, you’ll be required to remain in quarantine until they do, otherwise, you’ll need to quarantine for 14 days or the length of the trip if it’s shorter than that. Anyone showing symptoms upon arrival will be tested at the airport by the Puerto Rico National Guard and must quarantine for 14 days or until they can produce a negative result via a locally administered test. You’ll also need to cover any expenses regarding accommodations, medical treatment or testing.

Once on the island, wear your face mask anytime you’re in public—that means over your nose and mouth whether you’re indoors or outdoors—or face fines for not following the rules. There’s an island-wide curfew in effect through October 16, so make sure you’re back in your hotel between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Restaurants, museums, malls and retail shops are operating at 50% capacity, while theaters, casinos, gyms and hotel pools are operating at 25% capacity. Bars, clubs, cafés and other event venues are closed until further notice. Hair salons and spas are currently open, as are golf courses, so just stick to your own group. Hotels have their own rules when it comes to sanitizing, social distancing, mask-wearing and conducting temperature checks, and anyone with a temperature higher than 100.3 degrees won’t be allowed to enter. Recreational boat use is allowed as long as you stay 15 feet from others, though tourists are no longer allowed to take a ferry to the nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra.


In the spirit of visiting Puerto Rico as safely and responsibly as possible, here are six socially distanced activities you can do there. 

Aerial view over San Juan Old Town, Puerto Rico. ©John and Tina Reid/Getty Image

1. Take a Tour of Old San Juan 

While Castillo San Felipe del Morro is closed until further notice, there are still plenty of interesting things to do in Old San Juan, whether you decide to go solo with one of GPSmyCity’s audio tours or with a group. Covid-compliant historical walking tours are available through Viator from $41 per person. San Juan Food Tours aims to keep patrons safe on its three-hour Flavors of Old San Juan tour (from $94 per person) and two-hour Rum Runners Craft Cocktail Tour (from $49 per person), while Spoon has similar health and safety protocols in place for its food and cocktail themed walking tours, ranging from $75 to $99 per person. To see San Juan from the water, East Island Excursions offers tours from $79 per person for daytime sailings or $95 per person for sunset sailings as long as guests fill out a health questionnaire before boarding. 


Misty jungle path through the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. ©Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock

2. Get Back to Nature in El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque National Forest is open but you’ll need to reserve an entry ticket online for $2 per vehicle ahead of time to visit the La Mina Recreation Area on Rd 191. Time slots between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. can be booked up to 30 days in advance. Note that La Mina Falls and Big Tree Trail will be closed for construction until 2022. Remember to keep your mask on and stay at least six feet from anyone outside your group.


3. Hike to Cueva Ventana (Window Cave)

If you’re staying on the western side of the island or looking for an easy day trip from San Juan, Aventura Cueva Ventana (or Window Cave) near Arecibo is a fun place to go hiking, see petroglyphs and stone carvings left behind by Puerto Rico’s earliest inhabitants and check out the views from the cave’s window-esque opening. Tickets are $19 per person and there’s a $2 discount if you visit Wednesday to Friday. All visitors must comply with stringent hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing measures at all times.


©watcherFF/Getty Images

4. Explore Bioluminescent Bay by Kayak
On the eastern end of the island, Island Kayaking runs guided tours (from $53 per person) to Bioluminescent Bay near Fajardo. You’ll be organized into kayaks per group—as in, you won’t be seated with strangers—masks must be worn throughout the tour and anyone with a temperature over 100.4 won’t be allowed to join. Their two-hour Glowing Bay Adventure tour takes you through a mangrove forest out to the bay, where tiny creatures called pyrodiniums bahamenses light up all around you whenever you move your paddle and kayak.


5. Visit a Rum Distillery
While the Bacardi Rum Factory has halted its tours now, another historic rum distillery, Ron de Barrilito, is open. Rum tasting tours and mixology classes, available from $80 per person, must be booked ahead of time online as the number of guests will be limited to allow for social distancing.


6. Head to the Beach or Condado Lagoon

If you’re a fan of sunbathing, surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or other recreational beach activities, it really boils down to this: stay with your own group, remain at least six feet from others and keep your mask on whenever you’re not in the water.

Military tank left behind on Culebra Beach. ©Tinapat Kotumrongsak/Shutterstock

Title: Puerto Rico is reopen for tourists
Sourced From: www.budgettravel.com/article/puerto-rico-is-reopen-for-tourists
Published Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2020 19:50:20 +0000

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday

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Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.

Conclusion

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/iLTbl2wK9RE/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile

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A surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion is underway right now, where members can purchase miles with up to 50% bonus. The current promotion of up to 50% bonus is applicable on minimum purchase of 30K miles, on transactions completed by December 23, 2020.

ALASKA MILEAGE PLAN – UP TO 50% BONUS MILES

Link to Promotion

 

This promotion is tiered with 40% bonus on purchase of up to 29k miles. Minimum purchase of 30K miles is required for the 50% bonus. The bonus tiers look like this;

  • Buy 3,000 – 29,000 miles, get a 40% bonus
  • Buy 30,000 – 100,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

With a 50% bonus, this promotion yields 1.83 cents per mile – a decent value. Note that Alaska MileagePlan has has 60% bonus promotions in the past, which yield 1.72 cents per mile. The current promotion can be maximized by purchasing 100K miles, for a total of 150,000 Alaska miles;

Recall that Alaska airlines will not be joining OneWorld alliance until March 31, 2021, which means a window to leverage the sweet spots in the program. In its current state, Alaska miles are one of the most valuable airlines currency in the market and come with great airline partners and routing sweet spots (including stopover on on-way awards) – couple of examples;

  • Cathay Pacific from North America to Asia (Cathay Pacific Business Class on 777-300ER review 2018), o/w for 30K/35K/50K/70K across all cabins
  • Fiji Airways (no first class) and Qantas from North America to Australia, o/w for 55k in Business or 70K in First Class
  • American Airlines from North America to Europe, o/w for 22.5K/57.5K across Econ and Business

If you plan on purchasing miles, I recommend using them in a short turnaround, because there is a good chance we see some devaluations as the generous Alaska MileagePlan joins OneWorld.

Additional Terms and Conditions of the promotion

  • Transactions must be completed between 6:00 AM PST November 13, 2020 and 11:59 PM PST December 23, 2020 to be eligible for bonus miles.

  • Miles are purchased from Points.com Inc. for a cost of $27.50 per 1,000 miles, plus GST/HST for Canadian residents. QST will be charged to Quebec residents.

  • Miles are non-refundable and do not count toward MVP and MVP/Gold status.

  • You may purchase and gift Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in increments of 1,000 miles up to 60,000 miles, and in increments of 5,000 miles up to a maximum of 100,000 miles per transaction.

  • MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member (Elite Member) accounts have no annual limit on the number of miles which may be purchased or gifted through Points.com. If you are not an Elite Member, your account may only be credited up to a maximum total of 150,000 miles acquired through Points.com in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you.

  • Offer is subject to change and all terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan Program apply.

 

By: Points Miles and Bling
Title: Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/surprise-alaska-50-bonus-promotion-buy-miles-at-1-83-cents-per-mile/
Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 18:05:04 +0000

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Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review

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Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.

 

PREMISE

For the most part, I’ve been stuck inside since March, due to COVID-19. I’ve had to cancel plenty of travel plans, and have been cooped up in my place due to my pre-existing condition making COVID a higher threat for people like me. While I have been daydreaming and planning future trips – late in 2021, hopefully – I’ve been trying to improve my knowledge base and read more. The author reached out and asked if I’d do a review, and I said I’d be happy to read and review. I purchased The Modern Sapien on Amazon for $2.99 for Kindle, and there is also a paperback and Kindle Unlimited subscription option.

Per the author, The Modern Sapien “…takes place in future phoenix, and is a satirical take on the way we live. It’s sci fi cyberpunk.” Sounds good to me, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, alternative history, and the like from authors like Robert Conroy or Harry Turtledove, so this should be a fun review. I’m writing this as I read through it, which is something I have not done before.

Cover art from Amazon

 

Initial Thoughts

I’m not even 10% into the book, and it lives up to what he said – satirical take on the way we live. Set ~80 years in the future, the EU has launched their neucular arsenal against what’s left of the United States, based in Phoenix, and people are not only not afraid, they welcome the destruction. Lots of discussion about warring hash-tags and selfies and the misery olympics, between presumably better-off people of Phoenix ‘almost’ dying and having conniptions, and the “poverty-stricken Malawi” saying welcome-to-my-everyday-life in Africa. Definitely a very reputation-oriented culture in this book, which reminded me of the episode “Majority Rule” by FOX’s Orville by Seth McFarlane, where citizens rate each other and appearance is everything.
The book’s structure of data entries from various character’s point of view is a bit jarring, not entirely setting the stage for readers to grasp. Who is this person, why is this person the perspective that is important – is not entirely clear. Similar to the World War Z book where it’s told from different person’s perspectives, perhaps later in the book they’ll tie together somehow.
Modern Sapien paints a fantastical, disparate picture of the world 80 years in the future, due to the devastation from something called the “Seattle Hack” led by evil villain Jeff Bezos, and how companies became conglomerates and their own city-states to survive. There’s a online universe called the Nexus, which is similar to the Oasis from Ready Player One or the Matrix virtual reality, but with the real-life costs of the movie Surrogates, where the humans still need nutrients to survive. It is strongly anti-consumerism, I think, highlighting the reverence and honor paid to the Red Solo cup for example, as a goal to be achieved – everyone wants an authentically created one, rather than a “fabricated” product.
A quarter of the way in, the book starts to explain the setting. I’m a bit confused why it’s brought up here, when it should have been at the beginning, but I just shrug and move on.
I learned a lot more about encryption than I cared or needed to know, but interesting nonetheless, at a very basic level.

Relatable

While it is sci-fi and futuristic, it is relatable, such as when the Japanese kid at his graduation party (called adulting party) gets mobbed by far off relatives he barely knows, or is forced by his parents to make small talk and say hello to people he just could not care about. I certainly understand that feeling, as growing up I was told to go say hi to this person or talk to that person, and I just hated feeling like a talking, dancing monkey.

There’s a very good Handmaid’s Tale vibe of sacrificing freedoms for security with protection military and drones. Give up your guns, and everyone is safe (thanks to the drones)

Very distinct sci-fi vibe, maybe steampunk I could see as well.

 

Themes

As I’m progressing through the book I’m getting a very weird Brave New World vibe where everything, everyone has its place. The satire continues, as the author mocks vegetarians, war hawks, gun nuts, the younger generation, social media obsession, consumerism, religion, and many other topics. Very interesting, making me develop a mental ??? as I’m reading through it.

 

CONCLUSION

I did notice and do some double-takes over various typos in the book, which I assume an editor would have caught, which can change the wording or meaning of the sentences. That’s not ideal, but a good first effort. I would certainly read more about other books in the series once they are released, and for a reasonable $3 for 200+ pages, I’m pretty pleased with this purchase, sponsored or not. It boots you off to this parallel world where things are different, yet vaguely the same. I was not expecting some of the NSFW language or scenes I found in the book, so I wouldn’t prescribe it for young adults, but to each their own.

You can purchase a copy or learn more about the book on Amazon here.

 

 

Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.

Featured Image is from Pixabay. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

What do you think of my writing? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion

By: The Hotelion
Title: Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/the-modern-sapien-american-sci-fi-apocalyptic-book-review/
Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 01:41:35 +0000

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