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Fourth of July Travel
Record Breaking 4th of July Travel Numbers

Airports across the United States are gearing up for a record-breaking Fourth of July travel weekend, with predictions indicating it could be the busiest yet. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently set a new single-day record with 2.99 million passengers, and anticipates even higher volumes this week. At Philadelphia International Airport, there's an 8% increase in passengers, prompting TSA officials to advise travelers to arrive well ahead of their departure times to accommodate parking, rental car returns, and security checks. Similarly, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has seen a 5% rise in travel volumes, with TSA urging travelers to thoroughly check their carry-on bags for prohibited items before arrival.

According to Hopper, the busiest travel days are expected to be today, July 3, 7, and 8, with airports like Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Denver forecasted to handle the most travelers. This surge in air travel coincides with increased scrutiny on Boeing's quality control following an incident involving a 737 Max jet earlier this year. Despite these concerns, air travel remains the safest mode of transportation. To mitigate stress and delays, the TSA recommends passengers streamline their security processes by preparing their belongings and documents in advance.

As a general rule, airlines must provide travelers with a refund or rebook them on another flight if their flight is canceled. The regulations regarding flight delays are more complex and you're safer being covered for this if you booked travel insurance that covers trip delay. Airlines are mandated to issue full refunds instead of vouchers and to be transparent about fees. This U.S. Department of Transportation chart provides a comprehensive list of airline cancellation and delay policies.

As always, we suggest getting travel insurance before your trip, a wise decision that can protect you from unexpected disruptions and provide reassurance throughout your journey. Explore our plans and get a quote with us now!

Hurricane Beryl
Hurricane Season Starts Strong with Beryl

With its warm tropical climate and stunningly blue waters, the Caribbean is a paradise for travelers. However, the region is currently facing an exceptionally severe hurricane season, with the climate emergency intensifying these extreme conditions. Hurricane Beryl has intensified into a Category 5 storm, the earliest on record, causing significant destruction as it moves across the Caribbean. The hurricane, with sustained winds of 160 mph, made landfall on Grenada's Carriacou Island with winds of 150 mph, becoming the strongest hurricane to pass through the Grenadines since records began, according to data from NOOA.

The storm's unprecedented strength is attributed to unusually warm ocean temperatures, highlighting concerns about an intense hurricane season driven by climate change. Experts emphasized that Beryl's early intensification is a result of these anomalously warm conditions, which are typically seen later in the season. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Beryl to maintain its strength as it moves towards Jamaica, potentially causing significant storm surges and further destruction.

In response to the hurricane, emergency measures have been enacted across affected regions. Grenada declared a state of emergency, with widespread closures and power outages affecting 95% of the island. Airports in Barbados, Grenada, and Saint Lucia were closed, disrupting travel plans for many, and leaving many others stranded on the islands to ride out the storm.

This hurricane season is already an active one, with Tropical Storm Chris making landfall near Tuxpan, Mexico, along the Gulf Coast early Monday. Beryl's unusual activity signals a concerning beginning to a season that forecasters predict will be hyperactive, potentially indicating more extreme weather events ahead.

RELATED READING: Bad Weather Travel Insurance

Taiwan Pass
Tai-wanderlust: Explore more with the New 'Taiwan Pass'

The Taiwan Tourism Administration has introduced the 'Taiwan Pass' to boost tourism. This limited-time package, for two travelers, offers unlimited five-day travel on Taiwan Railways until September 30. It is available to both Taiwanese residents and non-residents. The pass includes options for regional metro services and round-trip tickets on select Taiwan Tourist Shuttle routes to popular destinations like Cingjing Farm, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, and Kenting.

Travelers must purchase the pass from outlets like Klook or Lion Travel and activate it via the Taiwan Pass app by November 30. Additionally, due to a recent earthquake in Hualien County, travelers on the Eastern Line must reserve trips between Toucheng and Dawu stations through the app.

The Taiwan Pass aims to stimulate tourism and economic activity with its flexible and comprehensive offerings, appealing to a wide range of travelers interested in exploring Taiwan's diverse attractions and cultural heritage. If you are interested in traveling to Taiwan, visit the Taiwan Pass website to learn more.

Honest Pricing Law
The Era of Transparent Pricing

Starting July 1, businesses in California, including hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and cruise lines, must adhere to the "Honest Pricing Law" (SB 478). This law mandates price transparency, requiring that customers see the total cost of goods, services, and experiences upfront, excluding state taxes and shipping costs. This aims to eliminate hidden fees that have been a growing issue, particularly in the travel industry. Companies were informed well in advance, and many, like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, have started adjusting their pricing displays to include all additional charges.

The new law affects all sectors of the travel industry in California, from Airbnb rentals to cruise fares and tours, ensuring a fair and transparent pricing system. Cruise lines such as Carnival, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line are implementing this practice across their entire operations, not just in California. While advertised rates may appear higher, the overall cost to travelers remains unchanged, with all previously hidden fees now included in the displayed price.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta emphasized the importance of clear and honest communication with consumers, allowing them to make informed financial decisions. The implementation of this law coincides with the U.S. House of Representatives passing the federal No Hidden FEES Act, which, if approved by the Senate, will extend similar pricing transparency requirements to lodging businesses nationwide.

Discover Award-Winning Destinations in the Caribbean and the Americas
Discover Award-Winning Destinations in the Caribbean and Americas

If you’re still wondering where and how you want to spend your next holiday, here are some ideas as The World Travel Awards 2024 have announced their winners for the Caribbean and The Americas.

Jamaica was a standout, winning the titles of Caribbean’s Leading Destination, Leading Cruise Destination, and Leading Tourist Board. Turks & Caicos claimed the title of the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination, while The Bahamas was recognized as the Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination. St. Vincent & The Grenadines earned the title of Caribbean’s Leading Nature Destination. (Just be sure you stay up to date on weather patterns and hurricanes happening in the area as you plan your trip and get ready to travel!)

In North America, Las Vegas was named Leading Meetings & Conference Destination, Santa Monica took Leading Beach Destination, and Miami Beach was awarded Leading City Destination.

In Mexico and Central America, Tulum was recognized as the Leading Beach Destination, Cozumel as the Leading Island Destination, and Costa Rica as the Leading Destination. Peru won multiple accolades in South America, including Leading Destination, Leading Culinary Destination, and Machu Picchu was named Leading Tourist Attraction. Chile was noted for its achievements in adventure and green tourism, winning titles such as South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination and Leading Green Destination. Cartagena de Indias in Colombia was chosen as South America’s Leading Honeymoon Destination.

Wherever you are headed, be sure to get travel insurance. Take a look at our different plans and get a quote with us today!

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