Text TSA if you need anything (Ok, not literally anything)

You can now text TSA for your urgent packing questions.

Author | Kaylen Achong

TSA is throwing a bone to the last-minute packer in your life by introducing a mobile texting option to help travelers with last-minute travel packing questions.

If you’re in the midst of packing and need to know what you can or can’t bring, ‘AskTSA’ is now at your beck and call, in addition to the agency’s social media accounts and “What Can I Bring?” website.

You can text “Travel” to AskTSA (275872) for answers to your packing queries. Automated responses are provided 24 hours a day, and TSA experts are available from 8 am to 6 pm EST. 

Users can choose from the following topics to get started: TSA PreCheck, What’s Allowed, Identification, Medical Questions, Damages/Claims, and Other.

Travelers interested in getting answers from the “What’s Allowed” section, for example, will choose between “Carryon” or “Checked” luggage, followed by the following topics to help specify your needs: E-Cigarettes, Electronics, Firearms, Flammable Aerosols, Food, Grooming Items, Knives, Lighters and More.

With this new texting option, travelers can finish their packing with the confidence that their suitcases won’t be rummaged through. But in my experience, those forgotten nail clippers at the bottom of your bag means they probably still will be.

Stats: 2023 Will Mark Full Recovery of International Travel

By Newsdesk Dec 20, 2022 12:16pm

Next year will see international travel recover at a faster pace despite increasing prices, as travelers shake concerns from the pandemic and plan bigger trips, according to recent research by travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth.com, which analyzed booking trends to identify five key 2023 travel predictions. 

Here’s what it had to share:

1. 2023 Will Mark the Full Recovery of International Travel

Nearly 90 percent of insured travel was for international destinations, marking the first time international travel matched pre-pandemic levels. Squaremouth anticipates a high demand for international trips to continue in 2023.

2. Antarctica Will Be a Top Destination for the First Time in 2023

With international travel back, bigger trips to more adventurous destinations will trend in 2023. Preliminary 2023 trip data shows Antarctica is a top destination for the first time ever. Other top destinations early in 2023 include IsraelCosta RicaFranceSpain, and Japan

Squaremouth.com

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3. Travelers Primed to Spend at Least 25 Percent More on Travel  

With lingering economic uncertainties, travelers are becoming more budget-conscious and changing their spending habits. That said, travel is getting more expensive, and will continue to increase in 2023. Travelers spent an average of 25.53 percent more on trips in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic figures. Of all age cohorts, Millennials are feeling the most price pressure, spending an average of 40 percent more on trips compared to 2019.   

4. Older Travelers Return

Older travelers have returned to pre-pandemic numbers going into 2023. Squaremouth expects Millennials and Gen Z will continue to purchase travel insurance at a higher rate than 2019.

Over 60 percent of travel insurance buyers are born before 1980, which includes Generation X and Baby Boomers; collectively, this group is expected to spend over $2 billion on travel in 2023. Throughout the pandemic, these demographics saw the largest drop-off. At the same time, Millennials and Gen Z grew their market share of travel insurance purchases by over 15 percent

5. Travelers Will Worry Less About Coronavirus and More About Airlines

Due to aviation-related travel disruptions in 2022, trip cancelation and travel delays are becoming bigger concerns for travelers going into 2023. Searches for travel insurance including COVID-related coverage dropped by around 2 percent in 2022, while searches for “Cancel for Any Reason” dropped by nearly 3 percent from 2021, and almost 9 percent compared to 2020. Trip delay coverage had the biggest increase of all searches, due in part to airline flight cancelation issues.

Methodology: Squaremouth analytics compared travel insurance policy sales for trips being insured between January 1 and December 5, 2022. To determine the top insured destinations for 2023, Squaremouth analytics analyzed all plans purchased by December 5, 2022, for travel between January 1 and December 31, 2023. 


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Airport Marriott….Atlanta GA

been there…..done that…..

Expect an effortless blend of style and service at Atlanta Airport Marriott. This modern hotel sits on 14 acres of scenic grounds near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Take advantage of their free airport shuttle, available 24 hours a day.

 Fuel up for a day of sightseeing in Atlanta at VOYA Bistro or linger over a delicious dinner at Bentleys Steakhouse, two of five hotel dining outlets. 

Then unwind in stylish, soundproof hotel rooms with plush bedding, marble bathrooms, smart TVs, balconies, and views of our hotel pool.

Nicely Appointed Bathroom

Adequate Work Space

Combination Indoor/Outdoor Pool

If you’re looking for things to do near our airport hotel, you’re in luck. From small-town coffee shops and breweries to nearby event venues and museums, Atlanta Airport Marriott puts you close. Utilize the digital concierge to explore before you head out.

InteleTravel Hotel Inspection Form

First Impression of Hotel………………………………. ( Curb appeal is outstanding )

Accessibility Of Front Entrance…………………….. ( Drive very accessible)

Lobby Appearance and Size …………………………. ( Hugh Open Lobby )

Number of Elevators …………………………………….. ( Nice and roomy )

Number of Available Bellstaff ……………………….. ( On Point )

Number of Staff at Front Desk ………………………. ( Available & Efficient )

Appearance and Diversity of Dining Areas …….. ( On-site Coffee Shop, and Restaurants)

Appearance and Diversity of Entertainment ……. ( Weekend Entertainment )

Closeness to Restaurants, Shops, etc. ……………… ( Restaurants on Site / Shopping UA)

Closeness to Public Transportation …………………. ( Airport Shuttle (public trans @airport Uber/Lyft)

Appearance/Apparent Safety of Neighborhood … ( Suburban)

Size of Guest Rooms …………………………………….. ( Spacious )

Appearance of Guest Rooms ………………………….. ( Very Nice)

How I See It…..

Wonderful Stay, Very Comfortable.

BOOK YOUR STAY @ https://willielumpkin.inteletravel.com

Gentilly Festival 2022

Gentilly….New Orleans

My personal “Holy Trinity” derives from my LOVE of Travel, Music, and Photography. It is always heavenly when I get to experience them all together. This years festival in Gentilly took me to the 5th level.

Magnificent Backdrop

I love the challenges and the opportunities afforded by daytime festivals. The challenges afforded by Natural Light (contrast ly backgrounds, dark shadows, extreme highlights, etc.), view obstructions (people, staff, equipment, etc), and equipment choices.


Nomatic

In modern cinema, (movies, tv, concerts, etc) I have noticed that contrast is now sometimes flaunted. In the past it seems that solid color clothing or the subject appeared against contrast ly backgrounds. Now I see a lot of contrast against contrast.

It seems to me that my first generation Z6 coupled with my NIKKOR 18-300 mm; 2.8 DX telephoto lens did a pretty good job with this extremally contrast ly shot. The depth blur seems to have made the difference. What do you think?



Photographic Art

“I AM” constantly looking for the shot within the shot. When you find them they can sometimes turn into some amazing ART!


Get Seasons | Desktop by Rebecca Stice as Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets
Professional Dancer In The Making

Although the subject gets lost in the background, “I AM” still drawn into the frozen action. Face is still illuminated showing her Big Beautiful smile!



The SPIRIT in me saw this. I try to find “perspectives” from within. You gotta feel it! Also I think this color palette is unique and very pleasing to me.


Unlimited Photo Storage

As mentioned above there are always challenges. When shooting concerts my biggest personal challenge is to get all the band members it a single frame. Showing all in the midst of their personal performance mode is difficult yet magical.



Do What YOU Do ……& Love IT

This is how I now live my life. After living 40 plus years involved in the ownership and management of my family own business I finally get to do what I love to do. “I AM” so thankful and grateful.

I spent the day working with my first generation Z6 coupled with my f mount NIKKOR 2.8; 18-300mm DX telephoto lens. I think it does a pretty good job even though it is not a full frame lens.

Being older I have to consider the amount of walking and standing. One camera body, one lens, my cell phone plus extra batteries, and storage is ideal. When I shoot festivals this represents my go to equipment.

HEALTH-WEALTH & LOVE!



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Marriott International Introduces Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy, Responding to Growing Consumer Demand As Travelers Increasingly Blend Work and Leisure

NOVEMBER 9, 2022

 — BETHESDA, MD

New offering expected to spur development opportunities globally

Marriott International, Inc., today announced its expansion into apartment-style accommodations with the launch of Apartments by Marriott BonvoyTM. The company is seizing upon growing consumer interest among families and friends seeking more space for stays, propelled by the blending of work and leisure travel, and the desire among younger travelers for wider accommodations options.

Marriott is building upon its 26 years of experience with Marriott Executive Apartments, its serviced-apartment brand in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. With the introduction of Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy, the company expects it will enhance portfolio growth globally and bring the serviced-apartment concept to Marriott guests in the U.S. and Canada.

“Travelers planning vacations and long business trips today are seeking more choice in accommodations, and the introduction of Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy responds to those trends while offering developers a premium product backed by our trusted name and distribution platform,” said Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott International. “With Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy, guests will be able to shop a wider array of accommodation options within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio, growing their loyalty to the portfolio and its range of brand offerings.”

Marriott plans to introduce Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy in the upper-upscale and luxury segments, distinguished from Marriott’s existing extended-stay brands, with distinctly designed products that reflect the local neighborhood for independent travelers seeking more space and residential amenities. Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy will feature a separate living room and bedroom, full kitchen, and in-unit washer and dryer, but will be differentiated from Marriott’s existing extended-stay brands by not providing certain traditional hotel services such as food and beverage, meeting spaces, and retail. Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy is anticipated to offer developers the flexibility to build new properties or convert existing properties, with a design approach similar to the company’s successful Autograph Collection and Tribute Portfolio lodging brands, which offer consumers independent, uniquely distinguished hotel experiences. Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy will be backed by Marriott’s powerful reservations engine and Marriott Bonvoy, the company’s award-winning travel program with 173 million members.

Among travel consumers and Marriott Bonvoy members, there is a growing desire for premium accommodations that provide home-like amenities as travelers combine work and leisure trips to reconnect with family and friends. According to Phocuswright’s research, three of the top five reasons for selecting an apartment-style rental are more room or space, access to a full kitchen and laundry, and a home-like feel.1

Prospective developers can learn more about Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy and all the company’s brands on Marriott’s development website. Offer and sale by prospectus only.

[1] Through the Roof: U.S. Short Term Rentals 2021, Phocuswright, January 2022

Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of United States federal securities laws, including statements related to planned new product offerings; demand trends for certain types of lodging products; growth plans and expectations for the new product offering; expectations regarding growth in customer loyalty; and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous evolving risks and uncertainties that we may not be able to accurately predict or assess, including the risk factors that we identify in our U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K or Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release and undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc., (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of nearly 8,200 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 138 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.Marriott.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact
John Wolf
Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs
Marriott International
John.Wolf@Marriott.com

Explora Journeys Unveils Onboard Entertainment and Enrichment Programs

By NewsdeskNov 30, 2022 11:41am

Explora JourneysExplora ILuxury CruisesCruise Information

Explora I (Explora Journeys)

Explora Journeys has unveiled its program of onboard entertainment and activities. Guests can explore seven onboard venues offering a range of entertainment options. Instead of a single main event, they can freely enjoy any experience they wish whenever they choose.

Guests can enjoy pre-and post-dinner poolside chill-outs in the Astern Lounge or contemporary pop inspired by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox in the Explora Lounge. They can head to the Journeys Lounge for a laidback, candlelit evening of music inspired by the route the ship is sailing. There is also always music to accompany a coffee or a drink in the Lobby Bar.

Explora Journeys has unveiled its program of onboard entertainment and activities. Guests can explore seven onboard venues offering a range of entertainment options. Instead of a single main event, they can freely enjoy any experience they wish whenever they choose.

Guests can enjoy pre-and post-dinner poolside chill-outs in the Astern Lounge or contemporary pop inspired by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox in the Explora Lounge. They can head to the Journeys Lounge for a laidback, candlelit evening of music inspired by the route the ship is sailing. There is also always music to accompany a coffee or a drink in the Lobby Bar.

Here’s what to expect:

Activities

  • Ombré Sunsets: Guests can hone their photography skills in the Explora Lounge.
  • The Spirit of Whiskey: A tutorial from mixologists in the Malt Whiskey Bar, where guests try their hand at making signature drinks.
  • Melodic Master Class: Resident artists will share their talents and discuss songwriting, improvisation, and composition.

Events

  • Captain’s Log… Secrets of the Sail: Guests join the captain or bridge officers on a walk around the deck.
  • Bal Mythos: At the stroke of midnight, guests can don handcrafted masks of local deities and dance to the resident Bacchus Band and singers.
  • Midnight Wayfinder: With guitar music and storytelling under the stars or around the Conservatory Pool, guests learn how sailors have long relied on the sea, wind, and stars to bring them safely to shore.
  • Inferno: A nod to the glamour of Manhattan’s Studio 54Soul Train and Europe’s 1970s discos, where guests can enjoy cocktails and dance the night away.

Experiences

  • An Evening by Candlelight: Guest musicians and vocalists perform in the main lounges, creating a range of experiences from classical music to movie soundtracks.
  • Decadence: The themes of this experience switch from lounge to lounge, with live music and immersive performances.
  • Le Jazz: Guests on journeys that include France can enjoy a Parisian jazz club experience, accompanied by French martinis and canapés.
  • Let the Good Times Roll: Jiving to New Orleans jazz cabaret is an essential part of the Caribbean itinerary, with a French Creole menu, absinthe cocktails, and music.

Rituals

  • Ocean State of Mind: Every morning, guests can participate in guided meditations against a backdrop of sky and ocean.
  • Sundial Salutation: This twice-daily, movement-based wellness ritual is held in the morning and at sunset.
  • Midday Melodies: Every day onboard Explora I, the Atrium comes alive with acoustic music.
  • Sunset Aperitivo: Signature drinks and canapés associated with the ports of call are served in the bars and lounges, each with its own sonic vibe.
  • Moonrise: Every 28 days, guests clad in shades of silver and ivory gather to honor the full moon, sipping signature cocktails and dancing to live music.

Enrichment

  • The Book Club: Occasional journeys will have a particular book relating to the region in which the ship is sailing, culminating in a reading with the author.
  • Single Origin: Led by a barista, guests get familiar with local coffee cultures through tastings relevant to the countries they visit.
  • Artisanal: Courses on destination-themed crafts representative of local heritage, from textiles and tapestries to baskets and chocolate making, are taught by a local expert.
  • Dance the Day Away: On select journeys, guests can enjoy an afternoon of learning some of the region’s movement culture, accompanied by local dance music. Sessions are led by local experts, resident artists, and the international host.
  • The Creative’s Journey: Behind-the-scenes stories and iconic moments in stage and cinema are discovered through talks by resident and guest artists, together with other prolific talents. Among them are writers, directors, producers, actors, musicians, choreographers, costumiers, and set and lighting designers.

For more information, visit explorajourneys.com.

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Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeps on his bicycle by Dmitry Rukhlenko

Best street photography destinations in the world

  • AuthorKav Dadfar
  • Reading Time4-5 mins

Street photography can provide some of the most engaging photos. So here are 10 of the best street photography destinations in the world…

1 Fez (Morocco)

Market in Morocco. Photo by Irene – f/3.5 | ISO 320 | 1/25s

This historic northeastern Moroccan city is one best locations in the world for street photography enthusiasts. Whilst the architecture is also of interest, for street photographers, nothing will beat wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage old town (or medina).

As you amble around the narrow maze-like passageways, you’ll be treated to locals going about their daily lives, artisans making products and shopkeepers haggling with shoppers on everything from carpets and souvenirs to pottery and lamps. The only challenge will be being able to capture sharp images as the narrow streets are fairly dark, so you will have to raise your ISO accordingly to have a fast enough shutter speed for handheld photography.

2 New Delhi (India)

DELHI, INDIA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeping on his bicycle in the street of New Delhi, India. Cycle rickshaws were used in Kolkata starting about 1930 and are now common in rural and urban areas of India.

3 Bangkok (Thailand)

Old guy from Thailand. Photo by Ykä Kiukkonen – f/1.4 | ISO 3200 | 1/125s

The capital of Thailand might be famous for its temples and sky bars, but it is also a wonderful street photography destination. Walking along most streets will offer opportunities to photograph locals going about their day or even artisans and craftsman working in their shops. You will also see plenty of street food carts which are also great points of interest for street photographers.

But arguably, the best street photography location in Bangkok will be in Chinatown along Yaowarat Road in the Samphanthawong District. Visit at night and the neon signs will be shining bright and street food stalls and restaurants full of activity.

4 Hanoi (Vietnam)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sitting along the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Like most cities in this part of the world, you would expect plenty of street photography opportunities and you won’t be disappointed.

The Old Quarter is an explosion of activity and when you are not busy jumping out of the way of scooters, you’ll be looking in every direction for the next photo. What makes this location unique for street photography (besides the conical hats) is that the streets are busy from dawn to dusk. So you can shoot all day in a relatively small area.

5 Rome (Italy)

Trastevere street shadows. Photo by Richard Kendrick

The Eternal City is one of the most significant cities in the history of western civilisation. So much of its influence can be seen across Europe. The city itself is beautiful and worth a photography visit.

But beyond its museums, historic buildings and magnificent food, Rome also offers fantastic street photography opportunities. Whether its people whizzing about on their motorbikes, or locals chatting over an espresso, you won’t be disappointed with your street photos from Rome. Especially as your backdrops might just be some of those stunning famous buildings that we all know so well.

6 New York (USA)

Colourful street view in Manhattan. Photo by Perry van Munster – f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/125s

The Big Apple has always been a favourite location for photographers. Whether you are after cityscapes or food, NYC has it all. And naturally, it is also a great street photography location as well. From city executives on Wall Street to locals playing cards in Chinatown, New York is a city that is made for street photography.

7 Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Boca Juniors tattoo. Photo by Danny Last – f/1.8 | ISO 20 | 1/800s

Head to La Boca in Buenos Aries, and you can immerse yourself in two of Argentina’s biggest passions, tango and football! The colourful buildings will provide the backdrops for street performers who will go through their rendition of the tango. And when you have shot enough tango photos, turn your attention to football where street art of famous footballers and Argentina’s favourite player Diego Maradona is seemingly on every wall.

Just be very careful walking around La Boca alone as it’s a very dangerous place. My best advice would be to get yourself a local guide and be sure to leave before it’s dark!

8 London (England)

Black and white on Brick Lane. Photo by Don Ferguson – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/210s

It may not be an obvious choice when it comes to street photography, but London is a great city for anyone who wants to look beyond the famous monuments. Head to the East End of London for those gritty and authentic street photography opportunities.

But even in the centre of London, there are plenty of places where you can capture unique street photos. For example, Leake Street graffiti tunnel, the skate park in Waterloo, the Southbank, Camden, Soho and even the passages in Neil’s Yard off Covent Garden are all great places to explore and capture very different photos of London.

9 Istanbul (Turkey)

Istanbul lovers. Photo by Wangting – f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/1250s

Straddling two continents, Istanbul manages to offer both modern and old in the same city. The Old City is home to the famous and historic buildings that are so synonymous with this city. But there are also plenty of street photography possibilities.

One of the biggest and best places to visit is the Grand Bazaar which is one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world. Photography is challenging in the market due to the low light, but you will find that around most stalls there will be enough light for handheld photography at a fast enough shutter speed.

10 Havana (Cuba)

Street life in Havana. Photo by Mark Allison – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/100s

I have saved (possibly) the best street photography destination till last! No amount of time will be enough to capture everything that you possibly can in Havana. Every street in La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is picturesque and there is always a photo opportunity.

But even beyond Old Havana, for a street photographer, the photos don’t stop. In fact, I firmly believe that you can simply stand on any given street corner and end up with a ton of great photos by the end of the day. The best advice I can give anyone for photographing Havana is to simply walk around and take your time. Oh, and to take plenty of memory cards!

Author notes:

There are so many other great street photography locations that I could have included in this list. For example, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and even places like Tehran, Tokyo and Beijing could easily be on the list. But then that’s what is great about street photography. Every street in the world has the potential for great street photos.

Author
Kav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world.
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