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Holiday 2022 Travel Update

Every month we report that travel is back and busier than ever, so what does that mean for the busiest travel day of the year? First and most importantly, flights are expected to be expensive and packed. With demand soaring, so are travel costs. This article from NPR, warns that time is running out for relatively inexpensive flights for the holidays.

Not only are flights going to be very expensive, but they will also be subject to delays due to the number of people who travel during the holidays. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel day out of the entire year, and this year, November 23 isn't looking to be any different.

If you can be flexible with your travel plans, it could help in multiple ways. Experts suggest completely avoiding traveling on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after the holiday. Choosing to come home on Friday, Monday, or Tuesday, is said to be your best bet for the return flights. You can read more about what to expect for the 2022 holiday season in our 2022 Thanksgiving & Holiday Travel blog.

The best way to protect yourself during these hectic travel times is a trip cancellation travel insurance plan that also includes coverage for trip interruption. This kind of coverage works best when purchased early, so get a quote from our team today!

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Congress Introduces a Bill to Reduce Visa Wait Times

Lengthy visa wait times are not only causing stress for travelers, but also for the travel and tourism industry as well. One survey from Skift showed that over 60% of Brazilian, Indian, and Mexican tourists say they will likely choose another country to visit if U.S. visa wait times exceed one year. As of right now, wait times for visitor visas are exceeding 400 days for first-time applicants from some of these top-source markets.

To combat this and help our tourism industry, U.S. Representatives María Elvira Salazar from Florida, and Susie Lee from Nevada introduced the Visitor Wait Time Reduction Act in Congress earlier this month. The bill’s main goal is to reduce the wait times for visitor visas. They plan to accomplish this by requiring the State Departments to outline specific steps to address the problem at each individual embassy or consulate where the wait time exceeds 100 days.

In an effort to directly reduce visa wait times for non-immigrant visas, staff from the State Department offices would be temporarily reassigned to diplomatic posts where they are experiencing wait times for appointments for over 300 days.

The State Department’s delay in issuing visas could prevent up to 6.6 million people from traveling in 2023, resulting in a loss of more than $11 million in spending. Read more about how this bill will help international travelers with their visa wait times.

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2022 FIFA World Cup

The 22nd annual FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar this year from November 20 to December 18, 2022. This will be the first World Cup that has not been held in May or June, due to the intense summer heat that Qatar faces. The first match of the games will be between Qatar and Ecuador in Al Khor.

How does the World Cup affect travelers? According to trip support company UAS, around 1.2 million fans are expected to travel to Qatar at some point during the World Cup to attend matches throughout the tournament. This volume of air traffic is going to put a significant strain on Hamad International Airport and Doha International Airport, the two main ports in Qatar. Hotel room availability is also predicted to be sparse.

Other than the obvious trip cancellation plan, if you’re heading out of your home country to attend the World Cup this year, a travel medical insurance plan is something you should highly consider. When you leave your home country, your traditional medical insurance could become invalid. Our plans pick up where that traditional coverage stops and covers you for sickness or injury while out of the country. We also have plans that cover both trip cancellation and travel medical. Our customer service reps are great at helping you decide what plan you need for your trip. Live chat with us today!

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Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 through October 15 in the United States. This month is used for reflection and recognition of the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the culture, history, and diversity of the United States.

So, where are the best spots to travel to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? A few popular spots include Guadalajara, Mexico, Chicago, Illinois, and even Tampa, Florida, pending no major damage from Hurricane Ian.

In Guadalajara, you can feel the rich history that lines the streets of the city. This is also considered the birthplace of mariachi music, and is one of the epicenters of tequila production for the world. Between the ornate churches such as the Guadalajara Cathedral and the largest indoor market in Latin America, you will always find something to do here!

Looking to celebrate stateside? Chicago is the place to be to indulge your taste buds. In some of the city's historically Latino neighborhoods, you’ll find traditional Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Ecuadorian cuisines everywhere you turn. To learn a little about Hispanic art, The National Museum of Mexican Art and the Somos Pilsen art mural are can’t-miss stops while in the city. Chichago will also host the 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival through the entirety of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Tampa makes this list because of its rich Cuban history, which can be seen at the Tampa Bay History Center. Cuban Pathways: The Exhibition follows 500 years of Cuban migration history to the Tampa Bay area and paints an incredible picture of how the Cuban community has influenced the area. And if you’re in town on October 9th, you'll get to enjoy Viva Tampa Bay, which is a Hispanic Heritage Festival hosting live music, vendors, and food!

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Día de los Muertos 2022

If you're looking to visit Mexico during one of its most cultural and colorful periods, now is the time to go! From late October through early November, Día de los Meurtos, or Day of the Dead, is when many people will gather to celebrate, not mourn, the lives of loved ones who have passed on. COVID-19 put a pause on the celebrations for a few years, but this year it is back and better than ever.

Check out our blog to learn more about how the dead are celebrated, along with other things to do while you are in Mexico!

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