Eclipse Chasers Travel Far and Pack Traditions: Orange Pants and Dinky Doo

For Mandie Adams, the total solar eclipse on Dec. 4 will be the 12th one she’s seen. It will also be the 12th for her teddy bear, Dinky Doo.

Seeing it won’t be easy. The eclipse will be visible only on a sliver of Earth in Antarctica, the South Orkney Islands and the surrounding ocean. Ms. Adams, a rental-property owner who lives in Southend-on-Sea, England, flew from London to Madrid to Buenos Aires to the town of Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina. From there, she will board a 15-day eclipse cruise, which sails through the notoriously turbulent Drake’s Passage, to see just under 2 minutes of total eclipse darkness—if there aren’t clouds.

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Laura Whitmore shares her biggest exercise tip: ‘Always pack trainers’

The presenter is a huge fan of exercises you can incorporate into your day (Picture: Dare 2b)

Laura Whitmore is a presenter, best known for hosting Love Island on ITV 2.

She began her career as a video jockey at MTV and went on to present the reality show Survival Of The Fittest on ITV 2.

Away from broadcasting Laura is an author and model.

Her first book, No One Can Change Your Life Except You, was published in March and this month she launched her own autumn/winter sportswear collection in conjunction with Dare 2b, the leading sports brand.

What are your favourite exercises?

I love yoga and exercise that I can incorporate into my day such as walking the dog and running for a train.

Normally, I always have a pair of trainers in my bag because I travel a lot, and so no matter what country I’m in I can throw them on and go for a run or walk.

I remember working in Mexico years ago, doing behind the scenes at night on a James Bond film. I didn’t have time to see the city, but I got up super-early the next day and put on my trainers for a run around it.

What are your secret vices?

Drinking rosé wine, a lot, especially during the first lockdown!

Laura’s latest fitness goal is to get back into a routine (Picture: Dare 2b)

Any unfulfilled fitness aims?

During lockdown last year, I was loving my daily walks, but as soon as lockdown was over, I stopped doing them.

My fitness aim would be to go back to basics and keep up the routines that I adopted during lockdown, just to feel good and get energy. The more active I am the more energy I have.

How did the lockdowns impact you?

They made me feel very grateful for nature and for living near a park because going for a walk or walking the dog in nature became such an integral part of my day.

How do you relax?

With a bath. I love a bath and could be in it for an hour, until I’m shrivelled like a prune!

Any mood-boosting tips?

Just getting active by going out in the fresh air for a walk or a run, can change your mood drastically. I love sticking on a pair of headphones and listening to an uplifting podcast, while running or walking.

I do that especially if I’m getting stressed at work. Just removing myself from work, revives me.

Keeping active helps Laura cope with stress (Picture: Dare 2b)

How has your working life contributed to a healthier you?

My working life has not necessarily contributed to a healthier me because when you’re freelance you can end up working 24 hours a day and so it’s good to take a break. In fact, it’s important to take a break for the sake of your health.

What sportswear do you like to exercise in?

I like practical sportswear that you can layer up and mix and match, that is comfortable, and makes you feel good. [It’s for this reason that] I love Dare 2b.

You can layer everything from the sports bras to the vests and the fleeces to the gilets. Probably one of my favourite Dare 2b pieces are the rain macs because they’re so light and the hooded little jerseys ‘cos they’re great for layering.

Sometimes I feel like wearing all black [sportswear], but other times it’s nice to have a pop of colour to brighten my mood,

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing

MORE : Food as fuel: How to know if you’re eating enough for your exercise regime

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Pack Your Patience As Holiday Travel Rush Officially Gets Underway – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — If you’re traveling over the holiday weekend, airport officials have three words for you “get there early.”

According to AAA, airports across the country, including here in South Florida, will see near pre-pandemic levels of travelers.

READ MORE: FDA Authorizes COVID Vaccine Boosters For All Adults

AAA predicts more than 53 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, pointing to a sharp rebound in Thanksgiving travel.

The busy holiday travel season kicks off Friday, November 19, and runs until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

At Miami International Airport, longs lines began to form as early 5:30 a.m. Friday, the first day of the expected holiday travel rush.

“This was a surprise, I think everybody is surprised for this long [line],” said Melanie Noreaga, traveling to Puerto Rico.

READ MORE: Miami-Dade Schools No Longer Mandating Masks, Parental Opt-Out Form Eliminated

Anxious passengers at MIA expressed confusion at the long lines, telling CBS4 News they were directed to go to TSA checkpoint three to check-in for all gates. At the time, two other available check-in points had not opened yet.

Travelers who arrived at least two hours early that were stuck in long lines before TSA opened additional screening areas, told CBS4 News they were nervous about getting to their flights on time despite their early arrival.

“We did, but it’s ridiculous,” said Ralph Hernandez, who was headed to Cancun. “It’s ridiculous because they have two other checkpoints that they are not using and they’re sending everybody here. It doesn’t make sense” added Hernandez.

Just before 6:30 am TSA officials at MIA opened up another checkpoint for general passengers for all gates, creating less congestion at checkpoint three.

Travelers that spoke to CBS4 News say prior to the opening of other TSA checkpoints, the lines they saw were the longest they’ve ever since while traveling.

MORE NEWS: CVS To Close 900 Stores Over The Next Three Years

“Yeah, I’ve never seen it like this before this is a first for me,” said Noreaga.

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The most important thing you can pack for holiday travel this year is patience

Let me be clear, dear reader. People are traveling again. They’re partying like it’s 2019. But while the travelers have returned, staffing levels have not. This is not a drill: Reserve your rental cars ASAP. Get to the airport early. Read all the details of COVID-19 testing requirements for restaurants, bars, amusement parks, stadiums, or any country on your itinerary, and then read them again. Read the cancellation policy for your airline. Hopefully your experience will be smoother than Nicole Kidman’s forehead, but just in case, you need to be ready.

“It may sound cliche, but one of the most important things to pack this holiday season is your patience,” said Brian Hoyt, head of global communications at Tripadvisor. “You know the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are some of the busiest air travel days of the year, that will certainly be the case again. But we’re really going through this period of a tourism reset. We’re going to have a lot more chaotic days this season.”

One sector that has been hit particularly hard by staffing levels is the airlines. American Airlines and Southwest were both recently hammered by a combination of bad weather and staffing shortages. American announced last week that it is increasing pay for flight attendants to avert more cancellations and to appease angry passengers.

“With the airlines there’s recently been a lot of issues around staffing, and there are challenges there,” said Jonathan Kletzel, transportation and logistics leader for PwC. “I think that’s an addressable problem. Can it be addressed in time for the holidays? That’s a big question mark.”

According to Michael Taylor, practice lead for travel intelligence at J.D. Power, airline staffing shortages aren’t simply a matter of hiring more people.

“It’s rehiring and retraining,” Taylor said. “If a pilot hasn’t flown an aircraft in a year, they’re not going to just hop back into a 737 and merrily go down the runway. The airline and the FAA would like to check them out again, but they don’t build that many flight simulators. So you’ve got a backlog of those. It’s not as rigorous, but it’s the same thing with airline crew.”

It’s a perfect storm of staffing shortages and increased travel demand. A survey of 1,800 travelers from OAG, a company that provides flight information, intelligence, and analytics for airports, found that passenger counts were up 81 percent from June to August compared with the same period in 2020. The company anticipates the trend will continue through the holidays. Zeta Global, a marketing technology company, found that travel in 2021 is up 94 percent over 2020. But the 1,000 people surveyed by Zeta said that driving will still be their primary means of transportation for this holiday season, and that they’d still prefer to stay close to home.

Also, remember there isn’t simply an increase in domestic travel, but now you’ll be facing off against international travelers as well.

You have a few options in the event your flight is canceled — such as sitting in a corner at the airport and crying — but experts recommend taking a more productive approach.

“I’ve actually given this advice to my friends and colleagues,” Kletzel said. “First of all, download and familiarize yourself with the digital apps and the airline websites. Because if something does go wrong, the odds of being able to get in-person assistance is going to be fairly limited, so digital is going to be key.”

After getting to know your airline digitally, he said to start looking at the cancellation and change policies of airlines, hotels, and car rentals. He also recommends, if possible, buying status with an airline.

“I know it’s an additional cost,” Kletzel said. “But if you’re generally concerned about this, having status with an airline then puts you at the front of the line when there is a cancellation for the booking accommodation.”

Alaska Airlines planes are shown with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this year. One way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day.
Alaska Airlines planes are shown with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this year. One way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day. Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Another important way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day. Bad weather often creates a domino effect, and cancellations build throughout the day. Other simple steps can help save your sanity, such as making sure all of your devices are charged before you get to the airport, given the scarcity of power outlets in some terminals.

No matter how perfectly everything is planned, it doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan. Kletzel even suggests a driving back-up plan. If your destination can be reached in 6, 8, or 10 hours by car, sometimes it’s more efficient to drive than fly if flight cancellations are stretched over days.

But (and this is where I’ll again cry wolf again, and mean it), remember that rental cars are not as plentiful as they were pre-pandemic. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Another tip — and rental car companies will not like this — but book from more than one company just to make sure. There’s no penalty for bailing on a rental.

In May, there was a long line to rent cars at Miami International Airport. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off.
In May, there was a long line to rent cars at Miami International Airport. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off.Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

“The shortage is acute in destination markets,” Taylor said. “There’s a shortage of cars, as we all know. Companies sold a lot of their fleets during the height of the pandemic because they wanted to conserve cash. But then demand came back faster than anybody expected. It’s not really anybody’s fault.”

Because you’ll potentially be facing large crowds out there, and COVID-19 loves large crowds, is it worth traveling at all?

“I think people need to travel,” said Dr. Teresa Bartlett, who advises companies and institutions on medical strategies and best practices. “They need it for their mental health. They need to see their family and their friends and have vacations and experience life.”

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask over your mouth and nose, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.

But first and foremost, just be nice to people. Don’t start punching fellow passengers or flight attendants. Don’t push, don’t yell, and smile a lot.

“Be nice to the employees,” Kletzel said. “People are just trying to do a job. In general, the nicer you are to the staff at the hotels and the employees at the airport, the better your chances of coming through the experience feeling good about the holidays.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.

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Travel experts warn to pack patience this holiday season | Coronavirus

After the COVID-19 pandemic kept many from vacationing or visiting family last holiday season, travel experts are expecting big numbers this year.

Chad Cotter, the general manager at TotallyTrips in St. Joseph, said several factors have caused travel demand to increase recently. In fact, he said, the travel industry has seen record sales.

“We are having better sales than we did in 2019, and it’s kind of that perfect storm of all those things coming together,” Cotter said.

He said not being able to travel last year has many people tired of being cooped up and ready to get back out. On top of this, people who planned to travel in 2020 received credits from canceled trips that need to be used before the end of 2021. Some people also have stimulus money to spend.

Nick Chabarria, AAA spokesperson at the St. Louis regional headquarters, said the demand for travel is back and that will be especially true through the holidays.

“People are wanting to travel more,” Chabarria said. “In fact, just October bookings for AAA travel are up about 30% from 2019 numbers at that time. So that means travel is back to where it was prior to the pandemic, and even then some.”

Both Cotter and Chabarria said travelers can expect large crowds at airports. Cotter said extra health regulations and travel restrictions will contribute to longer lines.

“The airlines are having to check those and police that basically before people get on the flights,” Cotter said. “You do need to allow more time at the airports because it is going slower because of the extra stuff the airlines are having to check.”

Chabarria also said airports will be more crowded than what had been seen this summer due to the U.S. opening travel back up to foreign guests.

“The biggest thing that we could tell folks is pack your patience when you’re at the airport or if you’re on the roads,” Chabarria said.

Along with an increase in travelers, prices also are expected to go up. People are booking holiday trips earlier than ever before, leaving fewer open seats on airplanes, rooms in hotels or keys to rental cars. Chabarria said when demand goes up, the prices will follow.

One of Chabarria’s tips to avoid headaches is to book early. AAA even recommends booking rental cars before airline tickets due to shortages. Booking early like this gives travelers the best options and more time to prepare when a flight cancellation occurs.

Another tip is to know the cancellation procedures. Both Cotter and Chabarria advise purchasing travel insurance that allows cancellations for any reason. This ensures that if someone gets sick or COVID-19 numbers begin to rise, a trip can be canceled easily.

Another tip is to speak with a trusted travel advisor who knows the travel restrictions. Cotter said TotallyTrips has seen a large increase in clients this year because people don’t want to have to figure out the COVID-19 restrictions on their own.

“There’s so many things that if you don’t do what’s required of you, the airline can keep you from flying,” Cotter said. “So, it’s very important to book with a travel agent who knows those restrictions and can guide you and tell you what to do, not only going to the destination but also for coming back, too.”

Cotter said most U.S. states only require a general health screening, except for Hawaii. It and most other countries will require a negative COVID-19 test or a health questionnaire to be filled out. Anyone who leaves the country will also have to perform these acts before coming back to the United States.

He said the popular spot this year seems to be Florida, as a lot of travelers are choosing to stay domestic. But for those who do want to go international, Cotter said Mexico and the Dominican Republic have the lightest restrictions right now.

Chabarria said driving still seems to be the preferred method of travel this year, and the busiest travel dates are still right around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Mourners pack Gabby Petito’s funeral as parents give emotional eulogies

A large crowd of mourners packed a public funeral service for Gabby Petito, the slain 22-year-old travel blogger, on Sunday afternoon in Long Island, near where Petito grew up in Blue Point, New York.

The service was livestreamed online and showed the full length of a wall in a chapel at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home, decorated with photos of Petito. An altar at the front of the chapel was covered in flowers and memorial candles.

Petito’s parents and relatives sat in the front row of the chapel accepting condolences from friends, family and strangers.

A prayer card handed out to mourners contained a poem title “Let it be,” a phrase Petito had tattooed on her arm.

“Do not grieve for me for I am free. I am traveling a path the Lord has taken me,” the poem reads. “Be not burdened with times of sorrow. I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow. Perhaps my time seemed too brief. Do not lengthen it with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me the memories that will always be.”

During the service, Petito’s father, Joseph, and her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, former chief of the Blue Point Fire Department, spoke.

Joseph Petito described his daughter as having “ridiculously blue eyes” and told mourners that “her nature was always to smile and treat everybody kind.”

“I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby,” Petito said. “If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now.”

Jim Schmidt added that throughout his career as a firefighter he has had to arrange funerals and give eulogies but added, “not one of them has prepared me for this moment.”

He pointed out a photo behind him of Petito as a little girl and said, “I still see Gabby as this.”

“Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children. This is not how life is supposed to work,” Schmidt said.

He added, “Gabby, at 22 years old, helped teach me that you can always make money but you can’t make up for lost time. Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by, to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world as she did. To love and give love to all like she did.”

Petito’s mother spoke out the night before the funeral with a heartfelt message to supporters.

Nicole Schmidt posted a message on Facebook late Saturday night following a 12-day silence.

“As I scroll through all the posts, my heart is full of love,” Schmidt wrote. “I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you!!! Your support has been so overwhelming, and we are so filled with gratitude.”

Schmidt also posted a series of family photos of her daughter as well as images of Petito traveling, telling supporters, “Please know what you are all doing for us does not go unnoticed, and with all of you by our side, we will get #justiceforgabby.”

Petito’s body was discovered a week ago Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming after her family reported her missing on Sept. 11. She vanished while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who authorities are still searching for and have named a “person of interest” in her death, which has been ruled a homicide.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Laundrie stemming from his alleged unauthorized use of a debit card to withdraw $1,000 during the period in which Petito was missing, according to the Associated Press. The FBI has not disclosed whose card Laundrie allegedly used.

Joseph Petito announced Saturday the creation of The Gabby Petito Foundation, which he said will provide resources and guidance to families of missing children.

“No one should have to find their child on their own,” he wrote on Twitter, “we are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby.”

A vigil was held Saturday night in Florida for Petito.

People who were touched by her story gathered in North Port, Florida, outside the Laundrie home, attempting to convey a message to the family that they want justice for Petito.

Residents of Blue Point honored Petito on Friday night by lining streets in the city with thousands of memorial candles.

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Traveling This Memorial Day Weekend? Pack Patience.

Last year, for the first time in 20 years, AAA, the automobile owners group, declined to put out its annual Memorial Day travel forecast as the surging coronavirus pandemic kept many people close to home.

Its forecast this year: Travel is back. More than 37 million people are expected to venture 50 or more miles away from home between May 27 and May 31, AAA said. That’s a 60 percent increase from the 23 million who actually traveled last year, the lowest on record since AAA began counting in 2000.

“Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president, in a statement. “This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer.”

The Transportation Security Administration essentially said the same thing at a news conference on Tuesday, when Darby LaJoye, the acting administrator of the T.S.A., warned of longer wait times at some security checkpoints at airports because of the increasing number of passengers. On Sunday, the T.S.A. screened more than 1.8 million people, the most since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

While the increasing numbers may be good news for the travel industry, which has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, for travelers they could make things complicated. AAA said that drivers in major cities should be prepared for road trips to be double or triple the length of a normal trip. So many ride-share drivers have stopped working that those relying on ride-sharing apps may face long wait times and prices that are multiples of their usual fares. Hotel rooms are booked up and many destinations are still struggling to hire staff, meaning that stays may be rocky.

Many Americans seem to have booked earlier this year, perhaps spurred by eagerness to get out of the house once they were fully vaccinated. A recent report by the travel technology company Amadeus found that, when the pandemic was at its height, most people were booking within a week of their expected travel, perhaps because it was so hard to make plans. But recently, same-day bookings have been falling, while those for stays 31 to 60 days out have increased. They now make up 11 percent of reservations, compared to 6 percent in the first week of 2021.

The result: a shortage of places to stay, especially in top destinations like the Outer Banks in North Carolina and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

“We have 19,000 guest rooms, and we expect them to be full this weekend,” said Bill DeSousa-Mauk, a spokesman for the Cape Cod Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I think we’ll have a completely sold out summer on the Cape this year,” he said. Lodging choices may also be limited because many people who own second homes on the Cape and rented them out in past years have moved, at least somewhat permanently, to the area.

Lee Nettles, the executive director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, said that the area, known for its more than 100 miles of shoreline, is also experiencing a shortage of rental properties.

“Our lodging partners are telling us that they’re getting really close to being sold out” for Memorial Day weekend, Mr. Nettles said. Those looking to stay in the Outer Banks should, he recommends, “contact your lodging providers as quickly as possible.”

The travel industry still has a ways to go. There are nearly six million fewer people traveling this weekend than did so in 2019, according to AAA, and air travel has yet to reach prepandemic levels, largely because business travel has not resumed. Big cities with hotels devoted to conventions are still experiencing low occupancy rates.

But those who are traveling may feel the crunch because of diminished capacity. Hosts on Airbnb have dropped off the platform, and Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, recently told CNBC that demand would “probably” outpace the number of available Airbnb listings as travel rebounds. He added that the company would need to add “millions more” hosts in the coming years to keep up.

Campers, too, should brace themselves for what experts said could be the busiest camping season ever, according to data analyzed by the e-commerce company Pattern. The company tracked consumer behavior in 2021 so far compared to the two previous years, and found that the demand for camping tents this spring is already up 97 percent compared to the same period in 2020 and 85 percent compared to 2019.

Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said that overnight lodging at many of the system’s top destinations, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, is nearly or fully booked through Labor Day. Campsite bookings through, the government’s reservations system, are up 73 percent compared to this time in 2019, she said.

“One of our top tips is to make sure folks have reservations before they hop in a car for that weekend road trip,” Ms. Anzelmo-Sarles said. “We don’t want people to show up and have nowhere to stay.”

This increased demand is coming at a time when many parks, hotels and food service establishments continue to experience staffing shortages. Over the past 15 months, many hospitality workers have been laid off or have left the industry, and seasonal workers from overseas have been unable to get into the United States.

Ms. Anzelmo-Sarles said travelers may see limited services in parks or in businesses in surrounding communities. And a survey of members of the American Hotel and Lodging Association found that 48 percent of hoteliers have closed or limited food and beverage and other hotel services because of a lack of staff.

The tourism bureaus in Cape Cod and on Michigan’s Mackinac Island said that Covid-19 restrictions have prevented the usual flood of foreign workers who typically help during their busiest seasons from arriving.

“At the moment, there are a lot of owners that are wiping down tables, busing tables, cleaning guest rooms, making beds, doing laundry, because they have to,” Mr. DeSousa-Mauk of the Cape Cod tourism bureau said.

“Logistically, will people who visit be happy coming and having to wait for dinner or if their room’s not ready when they arrive at the hotel?” he added.

But some people said they got ahead of the curve. Christian Asencio, the executive chef and general manager of the Chatham Squire in Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod, said he “thought ahead about the staffing issue” after facing it last year.

“We put up a bunch of ads,” he said. “I personally contacted chef friends from Maine and chef friends from Florida for seasonal cooks, and they were able to send me a whole army of cooks and servers.”

Bill Catania, who owns the Cape Codder Resort and Spa, in Hyannis, said that keeping a core staff helped him prepare for the surge in travelers over the last few weeks.

“Fortunately we had a strong base staff to start with, so we’re able to get it done. It’s just a lot harder to do,” Mr. Catania said, adding that accessibility to certain services has been limited and that he has set two- or three-night minimums on some rooms to minimize checkouts. “We basically allow the amount of business that our staff can handle.”

But it can be hard to balance that with guest expectations, said Jake Hatch, the director of sales and marketing at the Sanderling Resort in Duck, N.C., on the Outer Banks. The resort’s occupancy is at a record high, and it is charging higher than usual rates. At the same time, daily cleaning has been eliminated and its high-end restaurant, Kimball’s Kitchen, has been closed since the end of the summer season in 2019. It will finally open this weekend.

Mr. Hatch worries that guests will want more of a four-star resort. “That’s been a tough line for us to straddle,” he said.

Across the Outer Banks, he said, “it’ll be very noticeable around the island that everybody is short-staffed,” with longer waits and restaurants declining to take reservations.

“It’s still the same beautiful Outer Banks,” he said, but people should “just be patient as they can be with staff.”

Higher prices for ride shares may add to the misery. Susan Subracko, a mother of three who lives in Brooklyn, was trying to get to Kennedy International Airport in early May. She was forced to cancel two rides after the Lyft drivers did not arrive, and when she finally got a ride it cost $160 — about twice what she was originally quoted and $100 more than she usually pays. The company reimbursed her after she filed a complaint.

On her way home, there were no ride-share cars available and she instead waited two hours for a yellow cab. A Twitter user who goes by @sundeep recently shared a similar experience: His ride to J.F.K. cost him nearly $250 — about as much as the cost of his flight to San Francisco.

In April, Uber announced a $250 million driver stimulus to boost earnings for drivers and get them back on the road. Lyft is also providing incentives for drivers to meet the increased demand.

The national shortage of rental cars is another hurdle for travelers. Emily Armstrong, a community college instructor in Kansas City, Mo., said she and her husband booked a van for their family of six three weeks ahead of their 12-hour road trip to the Smoky Mountains on Saturday.

But when Ms. Armstrong called the rental company to ask for an earlier pickup, a customer service representative accidentally canceled their reservation and later told her there are no more similar vans available in her area. Instead, she said the family would either squeeze into their four-door sedan or have some of their children ride with relatives.

“I know this is a first-world problem, and we understand the shortage,” Ms. Armstrong said. “It was just kind of a surprise and caught us off guard.”

Adding to the tension for travelers are the conflicting feelings and differing regulations around mask usage and other Covid-19 rules. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that vaccinated travelers do not need to wear masks, but this does not necessarily apply everywhere. Masks are still required in airports and planes, for instance.

Tim Hygh, the executive director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, said that though regulations in Michigan have been relaxed, masks are still required on the ferry that takes people to the island. He added that “each business on the island is still adapting their own rules based on what they want to do for their employees and what they want for their visitors.”

The Federal Aviation Administration recently said that there has been a “disturbing increase” in the number of unruly passengers who have returned to the skies with the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The F.A.A. said this month that it had received more than 1,300 unruly-passenger reports from airlines since February. In the previous decade, the agency said, it took enforcement actions against 1,300 passengers total.

Earlier this week, a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight was arrested after getting into a physical altercation with a flight attendant, who, according to one passenger on the flight, had reminded the woman to wear her mask. The flight attendant lost two of her teeth, according to a letter from a union representative to the head of Southwest.

Mr. Hygh, of the Mackinac tourism bureau, urges visitors to be flexible and do their research ahead of traveling.

“Any time you’re in a time of transition, there’s going to be confusion and sometimes confusion can lead to anger,” he said. “I’m hoping everyone gives everyone else a break.”

Jackie Snow contributed reporting.

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Flight Attendants Reveal 13 Things You Should Always Pack In Your Carry-On

If you’ve flown recently and everything went smoothly from gate to gate, consider yourself lucky. Delayed and canceled flights seem to be more of the norm than the exception and challenges all airlines are experiencing. It’s draining for travelers, and especially the crews, so a passionate group of flight attendants with decades of experience shared their advice on what everyone should bring with them to the airport the next time you fly.

Blue water bottle on yellow background
(Maria Francesca Moccia /

1. Water Bottle

Drink refills are no longer guaranteed on flights, according to our flight attendant experts. If you want more than one serving, be sure to bring your own water bottle and fill it in the concourse before you board.

Travelers also need to be prepared to spend more time than usual in the concourse due to delays. $5 for a bottle of water adds up, so bring a bottle you can continue to refill once you’re through security.

2. Snacks

There are a few reasons for this tip. Not all food service locations are open at airports, and the ones that are may have long lines. Once on your flight, some airlines aren’t allowing passengers to purchase food; others only have enough snacks for one per passenger. If you’re someone who’s looking for extra pretzels or you want to buy a sandwich once on board, it’s important to know those options may not be available and to bring your own.

3. Tennis Ball

Sitting for an extended period of time isn’t good for anyone. This handy piece of sports equipment can be transformed into an aid for achy joints and muscles if you’re spending longer than anticipated on your plane or in the airport. Prevention magazine has a few tips on how to best use a tennis ball to get a little pain relief. 

They still come in cans of three. Bring the entire can, and you’ll have the most relaxed row on your flight.

4. Pillow And/Or Arm Floaties

I must admit, using a pillow that a stranger likely drooled all over the flight prior always felt gross to me, but to each their own. However, the days of using airline pillows are over. Airlines aren’t supplying them thanks to the pandemic. Not only will a pillow keep you comfortable on the plane, our flight attendants say if you’re booked on the last flight out for the day, there’s a chance you end up spending the night at the airport. If you don’t want to travel with a pillow, our flight attendants suggest bringing a child’s blow-up arm floaty to help with lower back support.

5. Light Blanket

I’d add to this a light sweater or cover-up, but the reason for this is the same as above: Airlines simply aren’t supplying blankets to flyers any more. If you get chilly when you fly, be sure to put something you know will keep you warm in your carry-on, or just wear it onto the plane. 

Blue fan on pink background
(artstore /

6. Fan

Keeping your cool during flight delays and cancelations can be tough, but a fan can help in the literal sense. You can go old school with a paper version or bring a portable one to use. You never know when you might be stuck on the tarmac without power — or if the vent above your seat will give you enough relief. 

7. Games And Toys

Keeping yourself, and those you’re traveling with, occupied during cancelations and delays is the key to keeping your sanity on the right side of that thin line. Grab UNO, Phase 10, or even just a deck of cards and put them in your carry-on. Budding artists may like a coloring book and crayons. Our flight attendants recommend hitting the dollar store before your trip to grab a few new toys you can surprise kids with during delays, just in case the other options aren’t satisfying at the moment.

8. Extra Movies And Books

This one doesn’t need much explanation. Load your device with whatever you use to keep yourself busy while flying and then add a few more to account for any possible delays or cancelations.

9. Headphones With A Cord

Wireless headphones and earbuds can last for hours, but bring a set of earpods that don’t need to be charged and can plug into your device just in case of the aforementioned delays and cancelations. 

Portable charger on purple background
(New Africa /

10. Portable Charger

Avoid that sinking feeling you get when your laptop, kindle, or tablet battery starts telling you it’s running low on a flight by investing in a portable charger. I’ve not only used it on airplanes, but also at theme parks and other locations where a plug-in charger just isn’t an option.

11. Pen And Paper

Any woman with an affection for handbags likely has a few pens hanging out at the bottom of her purse. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t travel with a pen, add it to your list. Paperwork may be part of your flight experience if everything doesn’t go as smoothly as you hoped. You may also need to write down information announced over the intercom. Have a pen handy since the airline’s writing instruments could be in high demand.

12. Kindness And Patience

Tensions and delay times usually rise at about the same rate. Being kind to security folks, gate agents, the crew, and your fellow passengers is free, exerts less energy, and is just the right thing to do. Sermon over. 

13. Medicine, Keys, Important Documents

These items should always be in your carry-on in case your checked luggage gets lost, but our flight attendants say it’s even more critical to remember now, with the additional delays and cancelations happening. You don’t know if your luggage will end up where you do or how long you’ll be without it. 

Final Thoughts

Two more reminders: Arrive at the airport at least 1.5 hours before your flight (and even more depending on the airport), and all passengers are required to wear a mask, so don’t forget yours.

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Exactly What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation This Is Exactly What You Should Pack for a Tropical Vacation

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As a travel writer, I’ve had the good fortune of exploring more than 20 tropical destinations (and counting) over the years, and feel most at home whenever crystal clear blue water, soft sand, and ocean breezes are involved. I’ve traversed all four corners of the world, including dreamy spots like Fiji, the Dominican Republic, numerous Caribbean islands, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Hawaii — so it’s safe to say that I can certainly withstand a little heat and humidity without batting an eye.

My most recent getaway was to idyllic Turks  and Caicos, where I stayed at the award-winning Seven Stars Resort and Spa, a stunning property that is consistently lauded for its ideal location on breathtaking Grace Bay Beach, impeccable quality of food, service, and accommodations, dreamy spa treatments, and well-appointed guest rooms and suites. During my stay, I received countless compliments and inquiries on my strong packing game (what can I say, I have years of island hopping and spontaneous jet-setting experience), and wanted to share my best tips and editor-approved recommendations so you, too, can curate your carry-on like a pro. 

First, you have to start with the right gear. I’ve tested countless suitcases and toiletry bags over the years, and the options keep getting better and better. I’m currently obsessed with Lojel’s durable Small Cubo roller bag that comes in eye-catching colors and features a genius front compartment to safely and securely store your laptop, so your personal item isn’t nearly as heavy as it once was. Once you’ve landed, you’ll be beyond grateful for this pro tip: Pack a handheld portable fan that you can easily access. As soon as you’re standing in that overcrowded customs line inside a tiny airport, you’ll be grateful to have a self-controlled breeze that others will envy. Trust me on this one. 

Other items I’m currently coveting are practical in every way, and keep me sane while traveling. I’m a highly organized person who’s constantly looking for the next great thing in makeup bags, and this one from Kusshi is the answer to my packing prayers. There are compartments for absolutely everything, and it stands up nicely on a bathroom counter, so your cosmetics aren’t spilling over uncontrollably. I never leave home without a waterproof pouch for my phone, so I can capture memories IRL without worrying about water damage; and as someone who suffers from eczema (that unfortunately flares up more than ever when I’m in a hot and humid place), I’m beyond grateful for these brand new gummies from Embody that not only taste great, but  keep skin irritations and itchiness at bay. 

As for travel outfits, I’m a huge fan of Aday separates because they’re lightweight, space saving, and quick drying. Whether you’re muscling your way through a busy airport or soaking up the sun aboard a boat for an excursion, this travel-friendly line of packable separates won’t let you down. I also pack a few Uniqlo Airism tanks that have built-in bras. (Pro tip: This saves space on needing to bring bulky bras, and keeps you cool and supported all day.) 

For fun in the sun, I’m obsessed with anything and everything by Farm Rio to capture the vibrant island aesthetic, and never leave home without an oversized pair of Quay Australia sunglasses. They’re fashion-forward so they make a statement, but are very affordable, so if they go missing on the island, I won’t be devastated. As for swimwear, I am wildly obsessed with one-pieces from Andie Swim and Summersalt. Both of these styles are ultra flattering, durable, and look smashing when styled as bodysuits (just add a flowy skirt or dressy pair of shorts) for a day-to-night look that keeps you cool.

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