“The number one tip if you want to save money for flights is flexibility. If you can be flexible with one thing and what I mean by that either your destination or dates you can probably get a good price,” Barry Choi of moneywehave.com.
The personal finance and travel expert says the day you fly and time of your flight can make a difference in price.
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Choi says very early morning flights or late afternoon departures are sometimes less expensive.
“Even flying a Tuesday through Thursday is traditionally cheaper than flying Friday through Monday,” Choi explained.
Travellers may also want to consider a stopover rather than a direct flight which could save you hundreds of dollars.
A break in a flight itinerary may also be a great way to see another city.
“Let’s say you want to go to Paris. You can fly to any city in Europe and maybe take a discount carrier or possibly a train and it could save you money,” Choi said.
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“It may take you longer to get there, but at the same time that stopover is an opportunity to see more of Europe.”
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To offset higher fares, watch for Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel deals, he added.
“As a travel expert and travel deal hunter I always look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Choi said.
“To me, travel is one of the best deals to be had. The thing is you have to be ready to pounce on those deals because usually they even have travel Tuesday and as soon as those deals are gone, they are gone. So if you are ready to commit, book right away.”
Choi also recommends signing up for price alerts and joining travel related mailing lists to score deals.
Also, if you’re in the market for a new credit card, now might be a good time to apply for one.
“With travel coming back credit card companies want to entice you to sign up for their card. I’m seeing welcome bonuses that are worth hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars these days and these bonuses are the highest I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“So it’s a good time to sign up for a new credit card if you are looking for one.”
The Scottish Government has announced it is to
mirror new rules for arrivals that are due to come into force in England on 4 October. It
will mean fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Scotland from countries that do not appear on the UK government red list can skip both the pre-departure and the day 8 Covid test.
However, the Government has said it will consider
how additional safeguards and surveillance of inward travel can be
implemented to guard against the importation of new variants. It said details would be set out in due course and that any measures would be at no cost to travellers.
Scotland’s cabinet secretary for net zero, energy
and transport, Michael Matheson, said: “We have concerns that the UK Government’s
proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test for some
travellers could weaken our ability to protect the public health of
“However, we also recognise that not having UK-wide
alignment causes significant practical problems and creates disadvantages for
Scottish businesses. Also, if non-alignment led to travellers to Scotland
choosing to route through airports elsewhere in the UK, the public health
benefits of testing would be undermined in any event.
“We have urgently considered all these implications,
weighing any possible impact on the public health and the logistical realities.
After liaising at length with stakeholders from the aviation sector to
understand the impact of adopting a different approach in Scotland, we have
reluctantly concluded that, for practical reasons, alignment with the UK is the
Joanne Dooey, president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said, The removal of the pre departure in-destination test and the change to an initial lateral flow test on arrival back in Scotland is hugely welcome, but the delays which Scottish travellers experience with the confirmation of these changes does nothing to instil confidence to travel to and from Scotland.”
“Our outbound travel industry is an important sector for the whole Scottish economy supporting 26,000 jobs and delivering almost £1.5 billion in economic spend. Going forward, it needs support and it needs consistency.”
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said, “Testing
requirements have been a huge barrier to foreign travel for many people,
stalling the travel industry’s recovery, so it is really welcome news that
Scotland plans to relax testing requirements, in line with those in England,
“A consistent approach across all four nations is
crucial to ensure consumers understand the rules and feel confident to travel
again, which will enable the travel industry to get back on its feet, and we
made this clear in a letter to the devolved administrations this week. While it
is encouraging the Northern Ireland Executive will also drop pre-departure
tests, we urge them to go further and remove the requirement for day two PCR
tests as well and want the Welsh Government to take the same approach.”
He added: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
Speaking in New York, Boris Johnson was questioned by Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby over his previous comments that we shouldn’t ‘hold our breath’ on the lifting of US travel ban – suggesting he wasn’t expecting the announcement.
When asked whether he had been caught out by the US president acting unilaterally, Mr Johnson insisted “we’ve done it faster than we expected”.
Addressing the House of Commons, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “In 2020 the only weapon we had to fight the spread of COVID was simply to keep people apart.”
But as one “of the world’s most vaccinated countries”, with more than eight out of 10 people now jabbed, he says that “we must use that to our advantage to restore freedoms that were by necessity lost over the past 18 months”.
He continued: “Vaccinated Britons will be able to travel into the US from early November, reciprocating the policy that we introduced this summer and this is a testament to the hard work and progress of the expert working group set up at the G7 to restart transatlantic travel.”
Vaccines, he said, “mean the emphasis can now shift to an individual’s status instead”.
Excellent news for travellers from the UK to the US. Important for our economic recovery, families and trade 🇬🇧🇺🇸
Newly-appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: “Excellent news for travellers from the UK to the US. Important for our economic recovery, families and trade.”
British ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce, said: “We are grateful the US has recognised the progress the UK has made against COVID-19, including high vaccination rates and declining cases.
“This decision means that more Brits can reunite with loved ones in the United States, more British holidaymakers can spend their hard-earned pounds in the American tourism sector, and more business activity can boost both of our economies.”
However, President Biden will tighten rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who now need to be tested within a day of their departure from the US as well as on their return.
Those fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine.
Airlines will be required to collect contacting tracing information – including phone numbers and email addresses – from international travellers.
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George Eustice has warned that lifting travels restrictions too quickly could end up with England back in full lockdown
Following the announcements, companies reliant on international travel saw their shares rise. Aeroplane engine maker Rolls-Royce saw shares climb by 5%, while SSP, whose brands such as Upper Crust and Ritazza operate at transport hubs, rose 6%.
In Europe, Air-France KLM and Lufthansa also enjoyed a share price bounce.
And easyJet, despite not being a transatlantic aviation player, nonetheless saw sharp gains, jumping by 9%.
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said it was a “historic moment”.
“Our customers should now feel that the world is reopening to them and they can book their trips with confidence,” he added.
… This decision means that more Brits can reunite with loved ones in the United States, more British holidaymakers can spend their hard-earned pounds in the American tourism sector, and more business activity can boost both of our economies. 2/2
Good news for Indian travellers wanting to visit the UK! Starting October 1, those travelling to the UK from India will not have to take the super expensive RT PCR Coronavirus tests. The UK government is thinking of a way out. In the coming days, the UK might drop quarantine restrictions for the countries in its amber category. And now that India is also a part of the amber list, most probably the PCR tests would also stop.
The UK has divided countries into three categories, Red, Amber and Red zone. And as per reports, From October 1, the amber category might be dropped. But still, there’s no clarity on the accepted vaccines for Indian travellers. The country is not considering people who are fully vaccinated with Covidshield. Though AstraZeneca, a widely used vaccine in the UK and India’s Covishield are manufactured by the same Serum Institute, the Indian vaccine is still not approved by the UK government.
According to the existing rules in the UK, if a person is not vaccinated in the UK, US or Europe, he/she will have to be quarantined and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 after arriving in the country. But now Indians are hoping that from October 1, travelling to the UK will get easier and hassle free.
As now, Indians wanting to travel to the UK will have to follow the below mentioned rules:
1. RT PCR test to be done three days before boarding the flight.
2. Reach the UK and take a PCR test on the second and then again on the eighth day of the arrival. All these tests should be booked in advance.
3. If a person is fully vaccinated in India, a 10-day home quarantine is mandatory. The rule is not applicable for people under 18 years.
4. Kids under 11 are not required to take the tests before travel. They’ll be tested on the second day of their arrival.
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My family and I are deep into our second summer of staycations, and, given that a weekend in a static caravan in Filey now costs more than a month on Mustique, we’re having theproper, stay-at-home kind. But how can you relax when assailed by tedious life admin, dirty laundry and the ominous damp patch on the wall, without a hint of away-from-it-all exoticism to get you in the mood? I have no idea. My usual at-home “downtime” consists of scrolling through Twitter to top up my cortisol levels or staring guiltily at the garden I’m too lazy and clueless to tend. Even my chickens, usually excellent stress-busters, are embroiled in some sort of intractable avian psychodrama. I obviously need help, so I asked some experts, then tested their home relaxation tips, to find out if it really is possible to have a relaxing holiday at home.
The life coach
The Austrian holistic life coach Heidi Hauer trained with the terrifying French business school Insead: I bet she doesn’t have a teetering pile of unopened post by her front door. Nor would she consider gnawing a melted, then resolidified, golem of cheap chocolate to be “me time”. Her main tip? “Be super-specific about what days you are on holiday and what days you’re hanging around at home.” Delineating days for chores and days for relaxing avoids that frustrating, not-really-on-holiday staycation feeling: “The clearer you set boundaries with regards to your time, the better.” Hauer also suggests a preparatory tidy up and fresh flowers to give home a holiday feel.
“I am on holiday this week,” I declare to my family, then confuse them by spending hours vigorously clearing the sitting room of unopened boxes from our move (four months ago). I bring in some hardy surviving flowers from the garden, which, combined with an unprecedentedly uncluttered eyeline, prove a surprisingly powerful mood booster.
In the name of boundaries, I pay my 19-year-old son to do some gardening and cook dinner. That means I feel annoyed, not guilty, that the roses aren’t deadheaded. We eat at 9.30pm, but his roast potatoes are excellent.
Hauer also suggests listing your favourite holiday activities to ensure you do them at home. Mine (viewing saints’ bones and eating local cakes) are resistant to home application. I like trying new cafes too, so I insist my husband accompany me to our nearest one. It’s a shopping centre Costa – not quite the desired “local gem” vibe – but the terrace offers an excellent view of the Marks & Spencer car park.
The verdict: The day is humdrum, but the benefits last all week. 6/10.
This is supposed to suit people who find meditation impossible. Since my every attempt at meditation ends in grinding teeth and making mental shopping lists, I’m keen to try it.
“The good thing about sound therapy is that it’s a passive type of relaxation,” says therapist Farzana Ali. “Your practitioner does the hard work for you.” Using bowls, gongs and chimes, Ali creates a soundscape. “Your brain resonance can’t help – through a process of sympathetic resonance – matching up to the sound waves it’s hearing. It takes you to a more alpha-dominant brainwave state.” (That’s the good, relaxed, kind.)
Poor Ali has a challenge on her hands: I hate sound, yes even most music. I often fantasise about holidaying on an uninhabited Nordic island, but would probably get annoyed by the waves.
Bravely, she suggests a couple of recordings. Lights off, headphones in, eyes shut and legs up as recommended, I take a morning break to listen to the first. After a few guided breaths, Ali starts to play. My sound-phobe’s vocabulary can’t really describe the low, continuous sound that resonates in my chest, joined intermittently by a higher one, but I’ll go with “not unpleasant”. Actually, I quite like it and listen again that afternoon.
In bed last thing, I try Ali’s “gratitude sound bath”, which has a greater range of sounds, again over a low resonant one. I find the sensation calming: no one is more surprised than me.
The verdict: Good vibrations. 7/10.
Looking at water is relaxing, and so is yoga (except the kind with bare-chested ostentatiously head-standing men), so the two combined must be relaxation nirvana. Tom Harvey (AKA “Stretch”) of Ocean Flow Yoga, which offers yoga classes streamed from a spot overlooking Fistral Beach in Cornwall, doesn’t disagree: “Watching the colours of the ocean and the sky as people practise from their mat at home can really help to boost relaxation levels. The soft blues and greys and greens are very calming.”
I try a recorded “flow” class: the exquisite, empty beach and instructor Jen’s soft Cornish burr are a huge improvement on the blank walls and robotic voice of my usual yoga app.
The problem is that when I start to follow along, I lose sight of the beach, instead eyeballing the overflowing laundry basket in downward dog and the loathed wallpaper in side plank. After 20 minutes, I resort to my usual yoga class pose: lying in “corpse”, scrolling through takeaway menus. The live beach class is more successful. I turn on my camera to prevent cheating and angle myself to get more of an eyeful of the seascape, staring at it during tough, twisty sequences.
I wouldn’t normally (ever) exercise on holiday – I consider it what my best friend calls “taking a gift horse to the glue factory” – but this is quite pleasant.
The verdict: A namastaycation. 6/10.
My normal holiday (and life) MO is aperitif-intensive, but a dehydrated, dread-ridden Negroni hangover is not a summer experience I wish to replicate.
“Having a drink is such a beautiful relaxation ritual,” says Camille Vidal, of the mindful drinking platform La Maison Wellness. “But alcohol has a counter-effect. You might feel in the moment that you are relaxing because it slows down the connections in your brain. But it’s a bit of a sticking plaster, which will not allow you to relax long-term. It will affect your sleep, and will not allow you to wake up the day after feeling energised and like your full self.” Vidal’s recipes are low- or no-alcohol, with relaxing bonus ingredients; I ask her to recommend a day of mindful drinking.
Supplies prove challenging. Even the big Sainsbury’s doesn’t stock Alain Millat white peach nectar, so I use a pouch of peach baby food instead in my Peach me I’m Dreaming. Another concoction requires a £39.99 “endorphin spirit” containing CBD, “nootropics” and “adaptogens”, but I meanly substitute a cheap can of allegedly CBD-based pop.
Despite this, I lovethe defiantly self-indulgent process of making elaborate mocktails, macerating grapefruit peel, brewing honey and lavender tea, juicing limes and garnishing huge glasses with watermelon wedges. I even shell out forVidal’s recommendation of booze-free Martini Vibrante, which tastes authentically bitter. A free bottle of Wild Life ultra-low alcohol wine with soothing lemon balm and miracle plant ashwagandha I wheedle from its Cornish makers is nicely refreshing, but my French husband is disgusted that it even exists.
Despite eating only salty, crispy things and hummus all day for the full aperitivo experience, I am probably the most hydrated I have been in my adult life. I’m peeing all night, but bouncily clear-headed the next day. Is this my “full self”? It’s alarming, but I like it.
The verdict: Juicy. 8/10.
How on earth can I capture that feeling of guiltless, total absorption in a book I only get on holiday, I ask the bibliotherapist Ella Berthoud. And what should I read?
I’m gripped by her recommendation of LP Hartley’s The Go-Between (“A fabulous classic set in a heatwave in 1901 … beautifully written and highly evocative”) and ditch the trashy thriller languishing on my Kindle for it. I’m disconcerted, however, when she suggests I Hula Hoop while reading. “It’s something I recommend to people if they are distractible. If you are doing something else with your body, it stills the voices in your mind.”
Dubious, I acquire a hoop and, using a HulaFit introductory tutorial, give it a go. My “hooping journey” as the instructor, Carla, calls it is neither elegant nor dignified, but I’m thrilled when I get the hoop to stay up. Reading, however, is farcical: I lose the rhythm if I even try holding a book. I fall back on another of Berthoud’s recommendations: comedian Mel Giedroyc reading her novel, The Best Things, on audiobook. “Gripping, funny, positive and life-enhancing,” is Berthoud’s review, and that goes for the Hula Hoop too. I laugh and manage 15 minutes of gyrating. Days later, the hoop is still calling me with its siren song. I keep sneaking off to try again.
Berthoud’s other alarming suggestion is reading aloud. “If you’re reading aloud, you’re forced to go into that world together.” Emboldened by a (non-mindful) cocktail one evening, I insist everyone listen to me read from Sum, a collection of very short, philosophical stories by the neuroscientist David Eagleman (“Perfect for sharing with your teenage sons,” says Berthoud). It feels awkward – we’re not a “read aloud” kind of family – but they listen and apparently enjoy it.
It’s weird, and weirdly moving.
The verdict: Cock-a-hoop. 10/10.
I’m desperate to score a hot tub to create a DIY version of those French thalassotherapy spas where you’re sprayed with a riot hose then wrapped in a seaweed burrito by an unsmiling woman in a lab coat (my favourite kind of holiday). But if you want to amuse a hot tub renter this summer, ask to borrow one. “Fully booked until 31 October”, and “300-400% increase in demand” are sample responses. Thwarted, I resort to a £6 paddling pool: on a cold, windy day sitting in it is horrible, even with eight kettles of boiling water.
A bath it is. Suzanne Duckett, the author of Bathe: The Art of Finding Rest, Relaxation and Rejuvenation in a Busy World, and the founder of the wellness site Onolla, describes bathing as “a shortcut to finding peace and calm as a way to de-stress and be more mindful.” I love the idea of baths but am too restless to enjoy the reality and our cluttered bathroom is no serenity temple. Following Duckett’s advice, I heat the room, put on some Bach and light a fancy candle. I add Epsom salts (“an excellent source of magnesium, a miracle mineral that aids sleep and calms the nervous system”, says Duckett) and my own magic bullet: Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak, a bone-melting bath infusion, which should come with a warning about operating heavy machinery.
I get in. Then I get out three times: to trim the smoking candle wick, lock the door and turn off the extractor fan. I crank up Yo-Yo Ma, to hide the fact I have committed this unforgivable domestic crime from my husband (something, humidity, blah). Finally, I close my eyes and try to relax. I manage five minutes before cracking and reaching for my phone. “Does anyone want my water?” I text. “It’s full of expensive stuff!” The eldest does – he also needs a lift to Nando’s in 15 minutes, so I get out.
Despite this dismal performance, the heat and potions work their bizarre alchemy. I feel deeply, thoughtlessly switched off for hours, possibly endangering other road users and Nando’s patrons.
The verdict: Point deducted because my son left the candle burning, using approximately £8 of pricey wax. 9/10.
Trying out what others do to relax at home seems like a great idea until my call for “zero effort summer holiday meals” yields two inexplicable suggestions that I make my own soup. Despite this ominous sign, I persist, crowdsourcing a range of relaxation tips.
Radio Garden allows you to listen live to radio stations worldwide online. I try Maghreb pop from Casablanca, a financial talkshow from Lagos and Japanese hard rock: it’s brilliant and transporting.
Massaging in hand cream is OK, but makes my computer mouse greasy and I only manage 20 seconds before I get bored. “Lying flat on the floor”, “staring out of the window” and “fantasising about your enemies’ demise” basically describe my normal working routine.
People apparently watch videos to relax. I don’t mind Cooking Haru – a pleasingly neat Korean cookery channel with a light jazz soundtrack, silent Japanese travelogues or cows using scratching brushes. But night-time footage of cars in Dubai reminds me of the climate emergency, and autonomous sensory meridian response scalp massage is just weird. Finally, my whole week is ruined by watching a blackhead extraction so disgusting that even with a soundtrack of ethereal Renaissance polyphony (I’m combining it with another suggestion), I only manage 25 seconds and feel nauseated for hours.
The verdict: Hell is other people’s ideas. 2/10.
What have I learned? To Hula Hoop badly, for a start. But my most important takeaway (in addition to the Deliveroo mountain that sustains me all week) is that a staycation won’t feel like a holiday unless you commit to it. So turn off (blackhead videos), tune out and drop everything: if it works for me, it can work for anyone.
Pressure is building on the prime minister to radically redraw restrictions on foreign travel next week, in time for the final weeks of the summer holidays.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has made an unprecedented intervention before a crunch meeting on Thursday, writing to the prime minister to demand that the UK change its quarantine policy.
Fully vaccinated travellers from England, as well as children, no longer need to quarantine on their return from amber-list countries, though many may still choose to shun holidays abroad because of the risk of sudden quarantine rules being imposed.
France has already been placed in an “amber plus” category, meaning home quarantine is still necessary for returning travellers.
The UK is also poised to lift restrictions on travellers who land in hubs in red list countries – which require strict hotel quarantine on arrival in the UK.
That change would mean that tourists travelling through popular layover hubs such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Dubai and Istanbul would not have to quarantine, even though countries such as Qatar, Turkey and the UAE remain on the red list.
Government sources said France was likely to be moved off the amber list in an announcement to be made on Thursday that will come into force from the following Monday – 9 August.
Spain, however, where Beta cases have risen by 14.2% in the past four weeks, is at risk of going on to the “amber-plus” list.
Sunak wrote to Johnson before Thursday’s meeting, as reported by the Sunday Times, and said UK border policy was “out of step with our international competitors”. The chancellor said there was little time to save the summer for tourism and hospitality sectors.
Discussions are under way about the creation of a watchlist for amber list countries once the requirement to quarantine is fully lifted for vaccinated travellers – which could mean new quarantine measures are imposed. Spain and Greece are thought to be at risk because of cases of the Beta variant.
A No 10 source said it was far too early to make a call about what the data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) would show on Thursday. Johnson is understood to be in favour of easing more restrictions on travellers.
The source said Johnson wanted to see travel eased where possible. “We haven’t even seen the data from the JBC yet. The PM was pushing for US/EU double-vaccine exemptions. For this week, it is just too early.”
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, last week defended the decision to put France on the “amber-plus” list, after the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, on Thursday suggested the variant’s prevalence on Réunion, a French overseas territory in the Indian Ocean, was partly to blame.
The JBC was also accused by the Office for Statistics Regulation of “not making the data and sources clear” to evidence the need for the drastic action.
Jim McMahon, the shadow transport secretary, said it was further evidence of chaos over the border policy.
“Rishi Sunak’s latest self-promotion campaign will just create more anxiety for people,” he said.
“Rather than brief the Sunday newspapers against each other, the Tories need to get a grip and bring this summer of chaos to an end.
“Not only have ministers failed to protect our borders, allowing Covid cases to rocket, they also refuse to be straight with the public and give them the information they need to book travel with confidence, with clear information on the direction of travel of infections in each country.
“Families who have booked holidays in good faith now risk losing out – 10-day quarantine is simply not an option for many people who are already struggling financially thanks to the pandemic.”
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Canada said Monday that it will begin easing restrictions on travel in and out of the country that have been in place since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic — news that will be welcome to organizers of this fall’s Toronto Film Festival, who have been planning an international event not knowing whether anybody outside the country would be able to attend.
The Canadian government said today that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will be allowed to enter the country beginning at 12:01 a.m. August 9 without having to quarantine for two weeks, as restrictions now mandate. The borders will open to fully vaccinated travelers beginning September 7.
More from Deadline
The festival runs September 9-18.
All foreign travelers would have to show proof of vaccination at least two weeks before arriving or they will need to quarantine. The vaccine must be authorized for use in Canada; so far that list includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.
Although the lifting of restrictions depends on continued progress in stopping the virus, that September 7 date comes two days before the kickoff of TIFF, the tastemaker fall festival that has been planning a hybrid in-person/virtual event for its 46th edition. Non-essential border crossings between the U.S. and Canada have been restricted since March 2020 when Covid took hold.
This year’s festival is expected to announced its Gala and Special Presentations lineups Tuesday — perfect timing for news like today’s as noted by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey.
Last month, TIFF primed the pump by setting Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho, Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman and Ted Melfi’s dramedy The Starling among the first official selections of this year. Last year, the event was mostly virtual because of the pandemic.