Lillard scores 30, Trail Blazers rout Spurs 124-102


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 30 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the San Antonio Spurs 124-102…

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 30 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the San Antonio Spurs 124-102 on Saturday night, moving closer to an outright playoff spot.

CJ McCollum added 27 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 17 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which has won seven of eight.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 20 points and Lonnie Walker added 18 for the Spurs.

Lillard hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers a 90-75 lead going into the fourth quarter and Portland led by as many as 26 points in the period. Neither Lillard nor Nurkic played in the fourth.

Both teams were playing the second of back-to-backs. Portland solidified its hold on sixth place in the Western Conference with a 106-101 victory Friday night over the Lakers, which gave the Blazers the tiebreaker against their foe.

The Blazers moved within one-half game of fifth-place Dallas in the West. The top six teams avoid the NBA’s new play-in tournament.

“Now it’s just go time,” Nurkic said.

Portland is coming together in the closing stretch of the regular season after faltering last month with 10 losses in a 13-game span.

“I feel like every team has to go through that at some point of the season, to really find ourselves and know what you have to do,” said Norman Powell, who finished with 18 points. “I think after that we’ve been able to put together multiple games of high-level basketball, top to bottom.”

San Antonio, coming off a 113-104 victory over Sacramento, has lost six of seven but is 10th in the West, two games ahead of New Orleans for the final play-in spot.

“We are playing for something. I hope everyone in the locker room understands that,” said Dejounte Murray, who scored 15 points. “ I think we’re a better team than what the record shows.”

Portland was without Carmelo Anthony, who has a right ankle sprain. The 10-time All-Star, who is averaging 13.5 points off the bench, hadn’t missed a game this season.

McCollum’s 3-pointer gave the Blazers a 36-34 lead midway through the second quarter. He added another 3 after Enes Kanter’s layup.

Lillard’s 3-pointer stretched the lead to 52-43 and he finished the opening half with 21 points. Portland led 57-47 at the break.

“I think we’ve been playing good basketball for a while. And tonight was just another one,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I didn’t think we got loose with the game, even though we had a lead, especially in the third quarter when we were able to build the lead up.”

TIP-INS

Spurs: Dropped two of three games against the Blazers this season. The Spurs were outrebounded 63-40, including 18-7 on the offensive end. “The offensive rebounds were just ridiculous. I think at one point it was like 20-2,” Murray said. “It was tough. We’ve got to play better.”

Trail Blazers: Hosted fans at the Moda Center for the second time. The team can bring in about 10% of capacity, roughly 1,900 people. … Stotts won his 399th game with the Blazers. … Portland’s 63 rebounds were a season high.

30 FOR 30

Lillard has scored 30 or more points in five straight games. He ranks third in the league with 32 30-point or better games.

QUOTABLE

“There’s been so many ups and downs, injuries, this whole COVID situation, travel,” DeRozan said. “You can find every excuse in the world but we’re still sitting here trying to figure out a way to continue playing.”

UP NEXT

Spurs: Host Milwaukee on Monday.

Trail Blazers: Host Houston on Monday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.





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U.S. sets pandemic high for air travel | News


About 1.64 million people were screened at U.S. airports Thursday, the busiest day for air travel since March 2020, the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

The previous pandemic high for air travel was reached just four days earlier and with the Mother’s Day weekend on the way, this record is likely to be surpassed quickly as well.

Air travel has yet to return to anywhere near the typical levels seen before COVID-19 brought flights almost to a standstill. In April and May, airport crowds were down about 40 percent compared with the same period in 2019, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. Airlines began to register a pronounced uptick in bookings around mid-February, which they attribute partly to the nation’s massive vaccine rollout. Leisure destinations such as beach towns and mountain regions have been the most popular.

Cities favored by business travelers have lagged behind.

Airline stocks rose Friday, with American, Delta, United and Southwest all gaining between 2 percent and 3 percent in afternoon trading.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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My Money: Buying a home is unattainable; I’m saving to spend


Hayley Jordan is saving to travel.

ROSA WOODS

Hayley Jordan is saving to travel.

We’re asking Kiwis how they manage their finances and their tips for success. Wellingtonian Hayley Jordan, 29, is on a good salary now but it’s taken her some time to become adept at managing her money.

Salary band: $80k+

Employment status: FT with a side hustle

Living situation: Rent alone

Belong to KiwiSaver? Yes

Have a student loan? Yes

Have a credit card? Yes

READ MORE:
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What’s your current financial goal and how do you plan to get there?

Saving for a 3-6 month trip in Europe. I lived in the UK from 2018-2020 and had to come back due to Covid. So I want to go back and do the travel properly when the world opens up again. I’m trying to save for this with a portion of my salary each fortnight as well as open up an investment account to boost these savings.

Tell us how you divvy up your paycheck

37 per cent of income on rent; 8 per cent on bills including phone, Internet, power, petrol, insurance; 15 per cent on food; 10 per cent in emergency savings; 10 per cent on debt payments (credit card, loan from a friend) 20 per cent on spending or unexpected costs (want to start investing but need emergency savings and debt paid off first).

Your best financial tip?

Start investing! I wish I had started earlier. Property is completely out of reach for me, I will never save enough on my own salary (even with a KiwiSaver) to be able to afford a deposit. My family is lower income and always has been, for generations, so we have no property to pass on. My parents rent as well. Investing is the only way I can see myself gaining any amount of money quicker than my salary – savings accounts are a joke for their interest rates. I hope that with investing I may have something to add to my KiwiSaver to buy a home in 10-20 years (if houses aren’t $2m by then!).

Hayley Jordan has had a run of financial bad luck, but is working hard to be debt free, and saving for more travel.

ROSA WOODS/Stuff

Hayley Jordan has had a run of financial bad luck, but is working hard to be debt free, and saving for more travel.

Your biggest financial risk or mistake?

Moving to the UK was my biggest financial risk. Salaries are lower there (I took a $20k paycut) and I had to pay my own taxes for the first six months as a nomad remote worker/contractor. I chose the wrong accountant and they messed me over with the taxes and I suddenly had a £3500 tax bill that I had to pay in one month. I was saving taxes to the side of my pay, but not enough because my accountant gave me the wrong advice.

I had to borrow that money from a very generous friend who is letting me pay it off when I can. I feel terribly guilty , and went into even further debt trying to get back from the UK to New Zealand during Covid. Flights were £2k one way. I’m in a bit of hole at the moment that I’m trying to work my way out of, it feels a bit hopeless, and the patience of my friend is the only thing keeping me asleep at night!

Your biggest financial win?

My job – I get paid well, and I work really hard. I’m trying my best to upgrade my living circumstances by advancing my career. I’m the first person in my family to ever go to university and get a corporate job, so I’m trying really hard to make it all worth it and raise my family out of the lower-income bracket.

Your money philosophy?

I have chronic health issues which means I may not have a long, quality, able-bodied life. With this filter across everything, I am less tied to the future, which is both a freedom and a hindrance. I often think what’s the point in having a retirement fund if I probably won’t live that long anyway! It means my money philosophy is centred around my human experience – I will spend whatever I want to get the experiences I want to feel fulfilled in my lifetime. This means a lot of travel and a lot less savings.

Financial research website Moneyhub has compiled the 12 ‘Sacred Rules’ of credti cards every cardholder should follow, if they don’t want to fall victim to easy, and expensive, consumer debt.

How have you learned about personal finances?

I am not good with money – very little financial literacy. I come from a family where we’ve struggled with money and I haven’t had a lot of money lessons growing up. It’s no fault of my parents as they can’t teach what they don’t know themselves. I didn’t realise how privileged some of my peers are to have parents who have family trusts or property investments, or they’ve been involved with the family business or investments while growing up. I had no access to this type of learning, and I can see friends/peers who did and have a much stronger foundation of saving/investing/spending wisely.

Your biggest money lesson?

Don’t get into credit card debt! My parents told me don’t ever get into credit card debt! I’ve held true to this as much as possible. I have a credit card now, but it’s only for emergencies.

What is the biggest challenge when it comes to achieving your financial goals?

Delayed gratification and seeing the bigger picture. I struggle to imagine a future, being retired and with a secure financial future and a home. Half because I don’t believe I’ll get there (health wise) and half because I think some of that might be out of reach for me. I’m single, I’m from a “poor” family and our family don’t own property. That’s why my goal is closer than that – travel around Europe and spend all my money! At least I’ll die fulfilled and happy.



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Goa under curfew till May 23


COVID-19 in India: Goa under curfew till May 23

Goa, travellers’ favourite beach state, will be under strict curfew for 15 days, starting today. The state government has announced the curfew to contain the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the government has also announced that visitors from other states to Goa essentially need to carry either a negative COVID-19 report or certificate of vaccination.

Further, to curb the outbreak, gatherings, including weddings, will also stand cancelled during the curfew period.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also stated that there would be no restrictions on pharmacies and other medical facilities. Grocery stores in the state will remain open from 9 AM to 1 PM during the curfew. The curfew will remain in force till May 23. Mr Sawant took stock of the COVID-19 situation in the state via video conferencing with MLAs of the state. He has expressed that interests of all the stakeholders have been taken into account.

Mr Sawant stated that, “The positivity rate and death rate are increasing in the state. There is no shortage of oxygen and medicines in the state. ”

Reportedly, a considerable number of people were spotted loitering outside even as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state. Close to 4000 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths were reported in the state on Thursday.





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COVID-19 update: The UK will reopen travel to limited destinations from May 17, Britain


COVID-19 update: The UK will reopen travel to limited destinations from May 17

Britain is all set to restart international travel from May 17 but to only limited destinations (quarantine-free holidays). The countries that have made it to the green list include Israel, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The announcement was made by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Shapps said, “Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year”

However, popular tourist destinations like France, Spain, Italy, the United States and Greece couldn’t make it to the list. If a Briton visits these nations, he/she will require self-isolation on return to the UK.

The secretary further said, “The only route out of this pandemic is a careful, prudent and responsible one. The reason there aren’t more places on the list is there aren’t more places that are in the fortunate position that the U.K. has got itself in.”

There are a few measures that one will have to take for green list travel. It will require travellers taking two tests for COVID-19. One will be taken right before arrival back into the UK and one within two days of returning to the country.

But the countries where Britons wish to travel will still have their own entry rules. For example, the US has banned Britons from entering the country.





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WDWNT Daily Recap (5/8/21): ‘Festival of the Lion King’ Returns, Club Cool Floor, Crazy Harmonious Fountain Testing, Digital Tip Boards at Animal Kingdom, and More – wdwnt.com



WDWNT Daily Recap (5/8/21): ‘Festival of the Lion King’ Returns, Club Cool Floor, Crazy Harmonious Fountain Testing, Digital Tip Boards at Animal Kingdom, and More  wdwnt.com



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What COVID-era travel changes are likely here to stay?


(NerdWallet) – The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the world works, eats, communicates and, yes, how it travels. Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen a myriad of changes in the travel industry, from in-flight meal service adjustments to the outright banning of travel to certain regions, and everything in between.

Even as the vaccine rollout continues in the U.S. and around the world, the travel experience you knew in 2019 won’t be the travel experience you encounter in 2021.

But the question now is: Which of these changes are simply pandemic-era sidesteps and which will stay around for good? As our travel writers survey the landscape of the travel world, here’s what they think will stick and not go back to pre-pandemic “normal.”ADVERTISING

Sally: Workcations

Workcations caught on during the pandemic due to the boom in remote work, and they likely won’t go away. The premise is simple: Book accomodations for longer than usual, but still work eight hours in your (virtual) office. Instead of a long-weekend tropical beach trip, you spend two weeks there.

You get to wake up to a sunny coastline. Rather than taking your dog on a mundane morning walk around the neighborhood, you’re now strolling in a warm sun and ocean breeze. Plus, you have two full weekends of enjoying the beach and general out-of-the-house relaxing — not to mention free evenings once you close your laptop for the day.

And you won’t even have to burn any vacation days. The rental house has Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to videoconference and submit your digital assignments as usual.

It sounds all good, right? In many ways, it is: new scenery, the opportunity to try dozens of new restaurants, going through a larger percentage of your trip without jet lag. But it’s not necessarily all good. If you can work one day of your vacation, why not every day?

Too many vacation days already go unused. According to 2019 research from the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos, though employees earned an average of 23.9 days of paid time off in 2018, more than a quarter (27.2%) of them went unused — up from 25.9% in 2017.

A year of remote work showed us how feasible a workcation can be, but as that trend likely sticks, potentially even more vacation days will go unused.

While more days away from home could certainly be good, workcations can rob you of the benefits of fully unplugging, engaging and relaxing. It might be harder to enjoy the local delicacy on your breakfast plate if you’re also thinking about the tasks on your work plate.

Sam: Business travel decline

Business travel has always been a kind of weird idea. Do those well-dressed executives in first class really need to shuttle themselves around the world when a conference call could solve the same problem? The pandemic helped answer this question: Nope.

Granted, some professions require in-person interaction, but the vast majority does not. And as organizations reassess their budgets in 2022 and beyond, they might very well ask themselves, “Why were we spending so much on travel?” Business travel will certainly bounce back somewhat from its midpandemic nadir, but it will never be the same.

What will this mean for nonbusiness travelers? A lot, actually. Fewer business travelers mean less demand for popular air routes and downtown hotels. The first can be addressed by airlines reducing capacity on those routes, but the latter? Hotels built to house a steady stream of business travelers may remain below capacity for years.

Fewer business travelers also mean less competition for elite status and premium cabin upgrades. This shift could make it easier to snag these seats for leisure travelers with status or who book with points or miles.

Of course, institutional inertia is strong, and business travel could come roaring back once vaccines are widely distributed. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Elina: Airplane cleanliness standards

Before the pandemic, disparaging comments about airplane hygiene were commonplace. “Don’t drink the tea or coffee on airplanes.” “Tray tables are the dirtiest part of the plane.” And more.

However, as a result of COVID-19, airlines have implemented stringent cleanliness standards on aircrafts to assuage passenger worries about flying during the pandemic.

For example, United is providing hand sanitizer wipes to customers, along with requiring all crew and passengers over age 2 to wear a mask. The airline is disinfecting high-touch areas (like tray tables and armrests) more frequently to ensure cleaning standards meet or exceed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also using HEPA filters during the flight, among other efforts in cleanliness.

Delta is using antimicrobial lighting, electrostatic spraying and setting up hand sanitizer stations, in addition to many of the same processes as United.

Although masks may become voluntary once the pandemic is more under control, the stringent hygiene standards that airlines have adopted are likely here to stay. It seems like now more than ever, these companies need to be known for maintaining the highest level of sanitation and safety on board.

The bottom line

A lot has changed, and we’ll likely see more changes to the travel industry as 2021 progresses. Vaccine passports, the need for booster shots or other alterations remain a distinct possibility. If you want to be a savvy traveler during the COVID-19 era, be flexible, patient and — most importantly — safe.

More From NerdWallet

The article What COVID-Era Travel Changes Are Likely Here to Stay? originally appeared on NerdWallet.



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9 Travel Trends That Will Be Huge for Summer 2021 – PureWow


travel trends summer 2021 trains



Yevgen Timashov/Getty Images

6. Planes? That’s so 2019. We’re taking trains again

Weary travelers became even less motivated to jump on a plane during the ongoing pandemic when airlines ended their COVID-19 policies of blocking middle seats, and stories of packed planes are seemingly the norm again. Combined with deals (more on that below), rising vaccine numbers and increased concern and focus on the ways travelers can immediately reduce their carbon emissions, our crystal ball tells us train travel will be full steam ahead this summer.

Regardless of your vaccine status at that time, Amtrak’s trains are already equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every four to five minutes, a rep tells us, and right now, prospective passengers can also see the percentage of seats sold on their trains at the time of booking, allowing you to book less-crowded trains, or even swap out your ticket without incurring a fee.

7. Procrastination has left the station

Current booking windows give us an interesting view into where travelers’ heads are at today when it comes to travel. According to Expedia, in 2020, booking windows shortened significantly as people were making more last-minute decisions or were only traveling out of sheer necessity. Now, they’re seeing booking windows lengthening again, nearing 2019’s levels. What this means is people are already making their summer travel plans, so if you procrastinate because you think “no one is really traveling right now,” you may risk missing out or end up paying more in popular, competitive destinations, or for those dream hotels or coveted direct flights you’ve bookmarked.

“What we know: Travel players spend a lot of time optimizing demand and supply by actively managing their pricing and, given the returning demand levels for both leisure and business travel, we expect them to try to maximize their profits from this returning demand,” Jason Guggenheim, Boston Consulting Group’s Global Head of Travel, tells us. “We do believe that, as business travel slowly returns over the summer and fall, airlines and hotels will see a shift to demand around their premium offerings, and this should impact their yield realization.” Translation: Yup, you guessed it—again, book ahead especially for premium seats or experiences, or you may risk paying hair-scratching rates for travel.

8. We’re traveling closer to home

As travelers return to the scene, get ready to see a lot of location-tagging on your ‘gram in Las Vegas, Orlando, Key West and Honolulu—naturally—as well as warm-weather destinations like Myrtle Beach, S.C., Destin, .F..L, Panama City Beach, F.L. and seasonal favorites like the Outer Banks, Cape Cod and the Jersey Shore.

Right now, search data from Expedia analyzed from March 1 to April 27, 2021 for destinations from June 1 to August 31, 2021, reveals short-haul international travelers are all about Mexico—which makes sense, when you consider it’s familiarity for most Americans and its closer-to-home location for a quick, post-vaccine trip. No surprise here, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos have all seen surges in searches on Expedia, likely due in part to the competitive nature of those markets and all the available deals for summer travel.

Another spot visitors are currently charmed by: Costa Rica. When examining the top ten most popular destinations for summertime travel, Costa Rica ranks sixth and is up 13 spots from 2019, KAYAK’s searches reveal. When compared to last month, search interest is up 24 percent for this Central American destination, with flight prices averaging about $407—not too shabby for a plane ride anywhere outside of the country.

Opening up to travelers earlier than many other destinations, Costa Rica is also popular for value and its ease of travel. In fact, many of the resorts quickly pivoted to offer on-site COVID-19 testing options for guests when, earlier this year, the U.S. announced it would require said tests for re-entry. Aside from giving travelers a sense of security in knowing they could return home with ease, Costa Rica’s government also requires travelers to purchase relatively inexpensive travel insurance that covers the cost of an extended stay should you test positive for the virus and subsequently need to quarantine.





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Luxury travel industry prepares for ‘revenge travel’ when restrictions lift | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca



Luxury travel industry prepares for ‘revenge travel’ when restrictions lift | Watch News Videos Online  Globalnews.ca



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The Benefits of Traveling During an Election Year


flagThis election year, as in many past election years, is full of uncertainties.

But one thing is fairly certain during national election years around the world.

Folks tend to travel less—and even more so when the race is considered really close.

That means it’s a buyer’s market for smart travelers.

If you combine that with the balance problem between foreign currencies, it’s an even better time to travel.

In the U.S., we’re starting to see a growing number of airfare deals.

These are not just on domestic flights, but on international flights as well.

When the departing and arriving country both happen to have elections, the discounts are even greater.

Consider Australia. Its election has been scheduled for July 2.

The U.S. Dollar is strong against the Australian Dollar. The result? Some of the lowest airfares in years.

Right now, a round trip ticket between Sydney and Los Angeles is being sold for $734 Australian Dollars.

That works out to just $534 U.S. Dollars.

You’ll also find similar deals between the U.S. and Europe.

So, no matter who you’re voting for in November, in an election year, travelers win.

For more information about money and travel, check out:

Keep reading for more travel tips.





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