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The 12 best day trips in the US Southwest

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Rugged. Beautiful. And fun. The Southwest is the ultimate playground, luring adventurers with red-rock canyons, Wild West legends and the kicky delights of green chile stew. Day trips in this region conjure up visions of vast desert landscapes, rodeos, and lake adventures.

Editor’s note: Please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government advice.

Best day trips from Austin

Fredericksburg
With a wealth of events, wineries and in-town attractions, it’s often hard to decide how to best spend a day in Fredericksburg. It was settled by some of Texas’ first German immigrant families, and the European frontier ethos shines through in the architecture and history of the town itself. Further afield, vineyard tours are a hit with groups on weekend trips from Austin. 1hr 30min by car.

Fall foliage on the river at Guadalupe State Park ©Richard A McMillin/Shutterstock

Guadalupe River
There’s no better respite from the Central Texas summer than jumping in the water, and few places could beat the Guadalupe River; specifically, drifting down its course on an inner tube. Head to Guadalupe River State Park for a family friendly float (plus campsites and hiking), or look for local private operators that offer a more party-focused experience on the river. 1hr 30min by car.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg
The 425ft high pink granite dome of Enchanted Rock towers over the surrounding Central Texas hills. The popular Summit Hike tracks past vernal pools and rock fissures to panoramic views from the top. Queues form at the State Park gate as early as 8am on busy weekends, but campers with confirmed reservations cruise straight on through and into the park. 1hr 40min by car.

Best day trips from Dallas

Cattle on the street of Forth Worth StockyardsThe daily Texas longhorn cattledrive through the Stockyard streets ©typhoonski/Getty Images

Fort Worth
Famous as being “Where the West Begins,” Fort Worth still has the cowboy feel. It first rose to prominence during the great open-range cattle drives of the late 19th century. These days, the legendary Stockyards are the prime visitor destination, hosting twice-daily mini-cattle drives and rodeos every weekend. Downtown is bursting with restaurants and bars, while the Cultural District boasts three amazing art museums. 40min by car.

Waco, Texas
In this college town, Magnolia Market at the Silos draws more visitors than the Alamo. Once you’ve shopped, played and eaten at ‘Fixer-Upper’ duo Chip and Joanna Gaines’ biggest renovation project, stroll Baylor’s 1000-acre campus or stand-up paddle straight through town on the Brazos River. 1hr 30min by car.

Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park is a good place to start your lake adventure. Take an interpretive hike through the cypress forest on the lake’s western edge. Or, in summer, rent a canoe. The park has some great little cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the riverside tent sites are pretty sweet. 2hr 30min by car.

Best day trips from Phoenix

Saguaro National Park
Saguaros are icons of the American Southwest, and an entire cactus army of these majestic, ribbed sentinels is protected in this desert playground. Saguaro National Park is divided into east and west units, separated by 30 miles and Tucson itself. Both sections – the Rincon Mountain District in the east and Tucson Mountain District in the west – are filled with trails and desert flora; if you only visit one, make it the spectacular western half. 1hr 40min by car.

shutterstockRF_413207977.jpgWatch the desert sunset in Sedona ©aaronj9/Shutterstock

Sedona
Nestled amid striking red sandstone formations, Sedona’s truly spectacular landscape has long attracted spiritual seekers, artists and healers. Outdoorsy adventurers have begun to see the light as well: there are some inimitable thrills to be had hiking, mountain biking and climbing amid these desert spires. Red Rock State Park has 5 miles of well-marked, interconnecting trails in gorgeous red-rock country. 2hr by car.

shutterstockRF_522864037.jpgHistoric train station in Flagstaff at sunset ©Nick Fox/Shutterstock

Flagstaff
The laid-back charms of Flagstaff, the home of Northern Arizona University, are many; from a pedestrian-friendly historic downtown, bedecked with vintage neon, to hiking and skiing in the country’s largest ponderosa pine forest. 2hr 30min by car.

Best day trips from Las Vegas

500px Photo ID: 6224684 - Rocky desert landscape at sunset, Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area, Las, Vegas, Nevada, USADesert landscape at sunset at the Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area ©Dean Pennalad/500px

Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock’s dramatic vistas are revered by Las Vegas locals and adored by visitors from around the world. Formed by extreme tectonic forces, it’s thought the canyon, whose 3000ft red rock escarpment rises sharply from the valley floor, was formed around 65 million years ago. A 13-mile, one-way scenic loop drive offers mesmerizing vistas of the canyon’s most striking features. Hiking trails and rock-climbing routes radiate from roadside parking areas. 30min by car.

Valley of Fire State Park
A masterpiece of Southwest desert scenery, the Valley of Fire State Park contains 40,000 acres of red Aztec sandstone, petrified trees and ancient Native American petroglyphs (at Atlatl Rock). Dedicated in 1935, this was Nevada’s first designated state park. Its psychedelic landscape has been carved by wind and water over thousands of years. 50min by car.

Lost City Museum
Wander away from the big city to unearth some of the best art, culture and history on the continent in the most unexpected places. At the Lost City Museum, learn about the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans through reconstructed homes and the artifacts that were saved as this desert land developed. 1hr by car.

Title: The 12 best day trips in the US Southwest
Sourced From: www.budgettravel.com/article/the-12-best-day-trips-in-the-us-southwest
Published Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:00:20 +0000

 

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Package Delivery Tips When You’re Always on The Road

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Life on the road is awesome, but the challenge pops in when you want to receive a package. Since most nomads and full-time travellers do not have permanent addresses, their package deliveries can be daunting. Even if you use one of the most reliable delivery companies, you will still have to deal with the issue of your package drop zone if your location keeps on changing. To save you the hassle of finding an efficient delivery option, here is a list of some package delivery tips from Shift.online that you can adopt if you are always on the road.

4 Package Delivery Tips When You Are Always on the Road

Use Amazon Lockers

Amazon has become a popular online shopping store allowing for the shipping of products to different locations worldwide. Suppose you lead a nomad lifestyle and you happen to order products online from Amazon. In that case, you may have them delivered to your place of convenience despite lacking a permanent physical address. Such delivery is possible using Amazon lockers. Amazon lockers are convenience stores that hold your package for up to 3 days after delivery.

You can search for an Amazon locker near you and use it as your shipping address. Once the package arrives, all you need to do is visit the locker, scan the barcode and the locker door with your package will open up. Amazon lockers are a safe and convenient way to have your package delivered, but the drawback is; they only work for items ordered from Amazon stores.

Use a Family Member or Friend’s Address

If you plan to visit your friends or family during your road trips, you may consider using their address for deliveries. However, ensure that you consult with them first before the delivery. This is one of the most reliable and efficient package delivery options. It offers a high probability of your package landing in safe hands. If you need the package’s contents immediately, you may ask them to scan and forward it to you. Besides, it is important to inform them of the delivery date and time to avoid inconveniences.

Have Your Package Delivered To a Caravan Park

Most nomads usually rest and park their RVs in caravan parks while on the move. Therefore, if you already have a caravan park where you will spend a day or two, you may use it as your delivery drop zone. However, it is important to consult with the park’s management if they accept clients’ package deliveries. If the delivery company delivers your package before your arrival, it is essential to call and inform the caravan park of the delivery prior. Also, ensure that you get the address right to avoid wrong and delayed deliveries.

Get a Virtual Mailbox

If you receive loads of postal mail and do not want to lose track of them while you are on the move, this is the best option. A virtual mailbox or online mailbox works like a physical PO box except that a private company runs it. The private service provider can receive and manage packages and mails on your behalf. Besides, regardless of being on the move, you can create a physical address to give your clients a more professional image. This delivery option gives you immediate online access to your mails regardless of where you are.

After delivery, you can instruct the service provider to open the mails and scan the contents for easy online viewing. Additionally, you can request them to forward specific packages to another address, return the packages or mails to the sender or even deposit physical bank cheques to the bank. A virtual mailbox is an ideal option if most of your mails and other packages require immediate action.

Conclusion

Before setting out on your nomad lifestyle, always layout an ideal plan to receive your mails and other packages. Planning is necessary to avoid packages being delivered to your old address or even delayed deliveries.

If you are always on the move and find deliveries overwhelming, then the above delivery tips will help you. Adopt them and enjoy the convenience of safe, timely and secure package deliveries wherever you are.

The post Package Delivery Tips When You’re Always on The Road appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Package Delivery Tips When You’re Always on The Road
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/Th4fCkrRGes/package-delivery-tips-when-youre-always-on-the-road.html
Published Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 00:58:57 +0000

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https://vistagaze.com/vacation/cruise-ships-can-sail-again-with-strict-rules-heres-what-to-know/

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Cruise Ships Can Sail Again, With Strict Rules. Here’s What to Know.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday lifted its “no sail” order on U.S. cruise ships and set out a framework for how cruising could restart.

Under the new structure, cruise companies must demonstrate adherence to stringent health and safety protocols including extensive testing, quarantine measures and social distancing. If they meet these C.D.C. standards, first on a series of crew-only test sailings, they will eventually be allowed to resume passenger excursions.

The “no sail” order was originally issued on March 14 for all American cruises after it emerged that cruise ships played a major role in the initial outbreak of the coronavirus. The ships were remarkably efficient at spreading the virus: On board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan in February, each case of Covid-19 was transmitted to approximately 15 other people. In Wuhan, China — the original epicenter of the virus — one person transmitted the disease to about four other people, a recent study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine found.

In September, the C.D.C. recommended an extension to the policy until February amid reports of outbreaks on ships in other countries, but that advice was overruled by a White House coronavirus task force.

The restrictions on sailings have ravaged the cruise industry with companies reporting billions of dollars in losses as their fleets have remained idled in open waters or in ports. In recent months, cruise executives have been scrambling to put together teams of scientists and health experts to devise comprehensive safety protocols that will allow cruising to return, and they gave a lengthy list of suggestions to the C.D.C.

On Friday, the C.D.C. said the benefits of the new framework outweigh the costs of not allowing cruise ships to sail, providing flexibility for companies that have taken necessary precautions to mitigate risk, while continuing to prohibit operations for those that fail to implement the necessary measures.

Here’s how the decision will likely impact cruises in the coming months.

In short, not soon.

The first ships to sail in U.S. waters will be simulated voyages designed to test a vessel’s capabilities to implement health and safety protocols and prove the cruise line’s ability to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 onboard.

Cruise lines will not be allowed to commence passenger operations until they meet all the requirements and are granted a conditional Covid-19 sailing certificate issued by the C.D.C.

Most major cruise lines have announced that they will not resume operations until 2021.

The largest cruise companies, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC have canceled their sailings through the end of November. Last month, Carnival canceled all its 2020 cruises, except for those between Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., which are scheduled to restart in December.

The ships will be required to provide rapid laboratory testing of all passengers and crew on the day of embarkation and the day of disembarkation. Onboard testing capabilities will be developed in coordination with the C.D.C. to test all symptomatic travelers, including crew members and future passengers.

Under the new order, cruise ship operators must meet standards for hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing for passengers and crew as well as ship sanitation. Meal services and entertainment venues will be modified to ensure that physical distancing can be implemented.

For the test cruises, the C.D.C. said that masks are one of the measures that “may be required by C.D.C. technical instructions or orders,” but it does not lay out where and when they might be mandated. Mask use was included among the suggestions from the industry executives to the C.D.C.

Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 before boarding a cruise ship will not be permitted to board. Those who test positive onboard a ship will be isolated and then transferred to a dedicated facility on shore. All remaining passengers and nonessential crew will also be required to go into quarantine. In the spring, some passengers spent weeks confined to their staterooms after cases broke out on board their cruises.

Cruise operators are expected to have the proper medical equipment, expertise and training to treat severely ill passengers who contract Covid-19 while on board until they can be safety transferred to onshore medical facilities.

Initially shore excursions will be closely controlled and limited to private and domestic destinations. Cruise operators are devising protocols to vet vendors for onshore excursions to ensure that they comply with health and safety protocols that are applied on board ships. The measures include physical distancing, sanitation, personal protective equipment, personnel screening and training.

On a recent sailing by the Costa Diadema, a ship belonging to the Carnival Corporation’s Italian cruise operation, cases cropped up despite testing after passengers took shore excursions on the Greek Islands. The guests were asymptomatic and tested positive upon re-entry into Italy.

Under the C. D.C.’s new requirements, cruise ships will not be permitted to sail with an itinerary that lasts longer than seven days. This period may be shortened or lengthened based on public health considerations.

The health agency’s framework applies to cruise ships that intend to operate in U.S. waters.

By: Ceylan Yeginsu
Title: Cruise Ships Can Sail Again, With Strict Rules. Here’s What to Know.
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/travel/cruise-ships-new-rules.html
Published Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 22:50:01 +0000

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Cruise Ships May Set Sail on Sunday, but Only With Crew

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Cruise ships can prepare to set sail again beginning Sunday under a conditional order issued by U.S. health officials that aims to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission at sea by requiring a host of measures, including testing and quarantine, all designed to keep crews and passengers safe.

No ship will set sail with passengers immediately, and the cruise tourism industry may not rebound anytime soon. Under new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, companies must be certified to sail by proving they can operate safely with crews onboard. To do so, they must carry out a simulated journey, or a number of simulated journeys, with unpaid guest volunteers or crew members playing the role of passengers.

The simulated journeys must provide regular onboard activities such as meal service and entertainment in common areas of the ship, while providing enough space for social distancing. Ships will be required to have laboratory capacity to ensure that routine testing for the coronavirus can be carried out at regular intervals, as well as when anyone embarked or disembarked from the vessel. Both crew members and passengers will wear masks in public spaces.

Symptomatic travelers on the ship will have to be isolated, and remaining passengers quarantined, and the efforts will be evaluated by the agency in order for operators to obtain certification to sail with commercial passengers.

The C.D.C. outlined the phased approach, acknowledging in a statement: “Cruising safely and responsibly during a global pandemic is very challenging.”

The federal health agency had tried to extend until next February the no-sail order it had issued last March. But the White House blocked the order in an apparent attempt to avoid alienating the powerful tourism industry in Florida, one of the swing states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election on Tuesday.

“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing,” said Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C. “It will mitigate the risk of Covid-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live.”

The framework outlined by the C.D.C. built on a report issued on Sept. 21 by the Healthy Sail Panel, an alliance of industry leaders and nongovernmental experts convened by the Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which met over the course of several months, ultimately developing 74 recommendations. C.D.C. representatives acted as observers at the meetings, Dr. Martin Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine at the C.D.C., said.

The agency later used the framework to develop the guidelines for conditional sailing that include the phased approach to resuming operations, Dr. Cetron said.

Observers will monitor and evaluate the mock journeys to ensure adherence, he added. “If the outcome is not as desired, one has to ask: Is the plan not good enough, or is implementation not good enough?” Dr. Cetron said. “This is a virus that can be very unforgiving of a mistake."

“We all recognize this virus is a formidable foe, and we’re going to be living with it for a while, and we need to adapt our systems to have maximum impact,” he added.

Ships will have fewer guests than in the past, and both crew members and passengers would be required to wear masks and to maintain social distancing, Dr. Cetron said. At first, new crew members joining a ship would not only be tested before boarding, but also be quarantined for 14 days. The crew would also be quarantined for 14 days before disembarking.

The quarantines would not apply to passengers, however. The C.D.C. said passengers would instead be tested twice before boarding, he said. The guidelines will continue to be improved and “tweaked” along the way, he added.

The world’s major cruise lines have been idled for months under no-sail orders as the pandemic swept around the world, after tourists and crews aboard ships like the Diamond Princess docked and were stranded for weeks as infection rates soared onboard.

Many cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, had already announced they would not resume sailing until at least December. Some have canceled future sailings — Carnival Cruise, for example, has canceled all sailings through Dec. 31, as well as some sailings in 2021 and 2022. But with cases rising to record levels in the United States, and European countries initiating new lockdowns with surges of infections spreading, an imminent return to cruise-ship travel remains in doubt.

The no-sail order had been extended several times since March but is set to expire on Saturday.

The C.D.C.’s website says that scientific evidence suggests cruise ships — which bring travelers from around the world together to live in close quarters with crew members, where social distancing is hard to maintain — “pose a greater risk of Covid 19 transmission than other settings,” and that outbreaks onboard cruise ships “pose a risk for rapid spread of disease beyond the voyage and into communities across the globe.”

Asymptomatic and mild illnesses can easily go undetected, allowing for covert spread of the coronavirus, which spreads through microscopic droplets in the air. Even if cases are identified, isolation and quarantine are difficult.

One notorious example was the outbreak that occurred on the Diamond Princess after it took on a single infected passenger on Jan. 20. A month later, more than 700 of the 3,711 onboard tested positive. Thirty-seven people required intensive care, and nine died.

By: Roni Caryn Rabin
Title: Cruise Ships May Set Sail on Sunday, but Only With Crew
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/health/covid-cruise-ships-cdc.html
Published Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 22:02:15 +0000

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