Registration for NYC’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour Opens Jan. 26

TD Five Boro Bike Tour cyclists take over the Queensboro Bridge on their way from Manhattan to Queens. For the annual biketour, thousands of cyclists ride 40 miles of car-free streets through all five boroughs © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Registration for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour will open on Wednesday, January 26 at 12 PM EDT.

And on May 1, 40 miles of NYC streets will turn into bike lanes only. Pedal with tens of thousands of other biking enthusiasts through every borough, completely car-free, while supporting Bike New York’s mission to transform the city through cycling.

Standard registration for adults and youths costs $112, $23 of which is a tax-deductible charitable donation to Bike New York to fund our free bike education programs. Standard registration includes:

  • Rider Identification Kit (bib & bike plate) – this is your key to enter and participate in the Tour
  • Snacks and entertainment at rest areas along the route
  • Fully supported route with additional water stops
  • Access to free bike repair along the route provided by Trek
  • Access to SAG (Support and Gear) vehicles
  • Entry to the Finish Festival on Staten Island
  • Digital finisher certificate
  • Free photos provided by Amazon

VIP registration for adults and youths costs $350, $76.50 of which is a tax-deductible charitable donation to Bike New York to fund our free bike education programs. VIP registration includes:

  • All standard registration perks
  • Guaranteed placement in the first start wave
  • Limited-edition TD Five Boro Bike Tour jersey designed by Bike New York and Primal Wear
  • Custom, limited-edition Tour-branded Manhattan Portage bag
  • Breakfast and entertainment at the Start
  • Timed climb over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
  • Access to exclusive VIP lounge and gourmet lunch at the Finish Festival

The cost of charity registration depends on your selected charity. Charity registration includes:

  • All standard registration perks
  • Guaranteed placement in the first start wave
  • Breakfast at the Start
  • Lunch at the Finish Festival
  • The satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped further the cause of Bike New York and your chosen charity
  • Whatever other perks are offered by your selected charity

 A list of Charity Partners will be provided in the coming days, so check frequently.

Bike New York is New York City’s leading proponent of cycling and the go-to resource for anyone planning to saddle up and hit the streets.

Produced in conjunction with the City of New York, the TD Five Boro Bike tour is a charitable ride that funds free bike education programs reaching thousands of New Yorkers each year. For the latest updates on TDFBBT news, follow on social, www.bike.nyc.

See highlights of the 2021 TD Five Boro Biketour:

TD FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR, ‘A TRULY NEW YORK CITY EXPERIENCE IN A TRULY UNUSUAL YEAR’

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National Plan for Vacation Day is Jan 25: Battle Burnout by Taking Time to Plan

Family at Grand Teton National Park. January 25, 2022 is National Plan for Vacation Day. “After nearly two years of living with the pandemic, Americans are in serious need of the reset that a vacation offers, no matter how near or far it may take you,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity to sit down with family and friends and make plans for much-needed time off for the rest of the year.” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

After nearly two years of pandemic-related stressors, Americans workers are burned out—and new data proves it.

To help battle burnout and spur Americans to take some much-needed vacation, thousands of travel organizations around the United States are highlighting the annual National Plan for Vacation Day (NPVD) on January 25 to encourage Americans to plan all of their time off for the year at the start of the year.

More than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely burned out. Further, more than half (53%) of remote workers are working more hours now than they were in the office and 61% find it more difficult to unplug from work and take a vacation.

Despite the latest wave of the pandemic, data from Destination Analysts found that the majority of Americans polled are in a “ready to travel” state of mind and are eager to plan a trip: 

  • 81% of Americans are excited to plan a vacation in the next six months
  • Nearly six in 10 (59%) agree that travel is more important than ever and 61% plan to make travel a top budget priority in 2022

Historically, NPVD was intended to help address the problem of Americans failing to utilize all of their earned time off each year, however, the challenges of the pandemic have given NPVD new significance: a time to plan ahead for brighter days and to unplug from the stressors of daily life. 

“After nearly two years of living with the pandemic, Americans are in serious need of the reset that a vacation offers, no matter how near or far it may take you,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity to sit down with family and friends and make plans for much-needed time off for the rest of the year.”

Even the simple act of planning a vacation can help to chase away the winter blues. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of planners reported being extremely or very happy anticipating and planning vacations for the coming year versus just four in 10 of non-planners.

However, work-related barriers—such as heavy workloads and staff shortages—are some of the top reasons preventing Americans from using their time off. 

“Rested and recharged workers create a better, more productive workplace,” Dow added. “I encourage business leaders and team members to make vacation planning a priority, particularly frontline employees who have been working harder than ever during the pandemic.”

Social media content for National Plan for Vacation Day will be tagged using #PlanForVacation.

Click here to see a fact sheet that includes more data on the importance of planning for vacation.

U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information.

Lindblad Expeditions to Sail 4 Ships in Alaska This Season to Meet Demand

Lindblad Expeditions will have all four of its U.S.-flagged vessels in Alaska this season—the 62-guest sister ships, National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, and the 100-guest sister ships, National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture – to meet demand.

New York, NY– After bringing more than 3,000 guests to Alaska in 2021, Lindblad Expeditions is heading towards another spirited season in 2022. Bookings have exceeded expectations and with the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird almost sold-out, Lindblad has added her sister ship, National Geographic Sea Lion—and a slate of additional departure dates, to meet demand.    

Lindblad will now have all four of its U.S.-flagged vessels in Alaska—the 62-guest sister ships, National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lionand the 100-guest sister ships, National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture—offering six separate itineraries ranging from 6-to-15 days. The season begins in May, offering the first guests the advantages of springtime in Alaska, and runs through September. 

All voyages will provide guests the wild, iconic Alaska experience Lindblad Expeditions has honed over nearly 40 years of expedition discovery.  Guests will witness the exhilarating wildness only accessible via small, nimble ships as they explore deep into remote Alaska—surrounded by extraordinary wildlife and epic landscapes.  Some will walk in silent old-growth forests, kayak in secluded coves, and search for foraging bears and soaring eagles.  Others will experience the thrilling spectacle of Alaska’s colossal glaciers, humpback whales, and breathtaking fjords.  

The Itineraries and starting rates (per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin) include:

  • The 6-day Wild Alaska Escape: Juneau to Ketchikan and Wild Alaska Escape: Sitka to Juneau voyages explore Alaska on an active, exciting expedition in the compact time frame of one work week.   Guests will hike through forests of towering trees, kayak long routes deep into glacially carved fjords, with opportunities for active adventure. Rates begin at $4,660. 
  • The 8-day Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness ventures into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife. Spend a full day in Glacier Bay National Park with insights from a park ranger and a Tlingit cultural interpreter. Rates begin at $7,340. 
  • The 14-day Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia uncovers the grand wildness of seldom-seen coasts and legendary national parks. Linger in the temperate rainforests and wildlife-rich channels of British Columbia and explore the breathtaking fjords and towering glaciers of Southeast Alaska. Rates begin at $10,640.
  • The 15-day A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii  explores some of the Pacific Northwest’s most wild and pristine regions between Sitka, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington. By special invitation, discover a nearly lost First Nations culture in the remote, moss-draped archipelago of Haida Gwaii.  Rates begin at $11,580
  • The 8-day Voyage to Great Bear Rainforest: Native Culture & Wildlife in the Land of the Spirit Bear sails into the narrow, winding fjords of northern British Columbia into the Great Bear Rainforest, domain of the rare Spirit Bear. One of National Geographic’s “Places of a Lifetime,” it stretches across the central and northern coast of British Columbia and encompasses a quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest. Rates begin at $5,400.   

Lindblad Expeditions is also offering guests the chance to reconnect with friends and family in Alaska: book three full-paying guests and bring a fourth person free on select departures. Guests can also receive free roundtrip airfare from Seattle to Alaska on select departures on Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness and Wild Alaska Escapes or free one-way airfare on select departures on Treasure of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia and A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii. Complimentary air is based on economy group flights and must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.

Find Lindblad on FacebookTwitter, InstagramYouTube and Pinterest.

Video: See what happens deep inside Alaska where Lindblad’s small ships roam

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Atlas Deploys Two Ships to Antarctica for Winter 2022-23; Travelers Save 20 Percent Plus Up to $2,000 When Booking with a Travel Advisor

Atlas Ocean Voyages, a luxe-adventure cruise company, will deploy two luxury expedition ships to Antarctica for the winter 2022-23 season.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Atlas Ocean Voyages will deploy two luxury expedition ships to Antarctica for the winter 2022-23 season. World Traveller will embark on her inaugural Antarctica season, while World Navigator will return to Antarctica for its second.

Travelers who make a new booking through a travel advisor by March 31, 2022, can save up to $2,000 per suite or stateroom on newly announced itineraries, as well as an additional 20 percent when paying in full.

The two ships offer a choice of 20 expeditions, ranging from nine- to twenty-night itineraries, sailing from November 2022 through March 2023. The two ships offer different kinds of expeditions: World Navigator sails shorter nine- to 11-night expeditions, while World Traveller offers extended immersive itineraries, ranging from 13 to 20 nights.

“Atlas Ocean Voyages brings travelers to remote and captivating destinations for once-in-a-lifetime and bucket-list experiences,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “In our brand’s second Antarctica season, we offer travelers a choice of two different Antarctica experiences by deploying both recently launched World Navigator and newly constructed World Traveller to the region. Whichever Atlas expedition ship travelers choose, our expert expedition teams will deliver fascinating context and unforgettable experiences on the Southern Continent.”

World Traveller will sail nine expeditions to Antarctica on 13-, 16- and 20-night itineraries for an in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Her inaugural Antarctica voyage departs on November 1, 2022, with a 17-night expedition from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests on this voyage, as well as those aboard the January 16 and February 18, 2023, expedition will visit and make select landings at the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula to catch sightings of a variety of penguins, including King, Rockhoppers, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Megellanic and Macaroni penguins. Travelers can also choose among three departures that cross the Antarctic Circle and join the Order of the Red Nose on the December 1 and 14, 2022, and February 5, 2023, expeditions. On the November 18, 2022, and January 3 and March 10, 2023, departures, World Traveller will bring guests to the Diego Ramirez Islands, Chile, which is situated in the Drake Passage. All World Traveller expeditions, except for the November 1, 2022, voyage will sail round-trip from Ushuaia.

World Navigator will sail 11 round-trip expeditions from Ushuaia on nine-, 11-, and 20-night itineraries starting on December 3, 2022. For the most accessible Antarctica expedition, travelers can choose among five, nine-night departures that feature some of the must-see sites throughout the South Shetland Islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula. Furthermore, World Navigator will also bring guests into the Antarctic Circle on 11-night expeditions departing January 10 and 30 and March 2, 2023. The December 12, 2022, expedition brings guests on a unique nine-night, Tierra Del Fuego expedition that visits Chile’s most awestriking and scenic fjord lands and glaciers. Furthermore, travelers can combine the Tierra Del Fuego expedition with the subsequent 20-night Antarctica immersive expedition, departing December 21, for an epic Tierra Del Fuego and Antarctica New Year’s expedition.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. World Navigator, Atlas’ first ship, has begun service and World Traveller will launch in July 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet by the end of 2023. At 9,930 GRTs, Atlas Ocean Voyages’ ships are Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified.

The luxe-adventure cruise brand welcomes travelers to ‘come back to something brand new’ in its ongoing marketing campaign “At Last… Atlas” (www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/itstime.)

For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages and World Traveller and World Navigator’s winter 2022-23 Antarctica season, visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

Travel Advisors can call 844-44-ATLAS (844-442-8527) to book.

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Utah’s Arches National Park Introduces Timed-Entry Program for Independent Travelers; Tour Operators Exempted

A new advance-reservation timed-ticket entry program is in effect at Arches National Park, Utah for independent travelers from April  3 through October 3. Tour operators, however, are not restricted. © Laini Miranda/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MOAB, UT – New admission protocols have gone into effect for visitors to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Visitors traveling on their own will have to make advance reservations through Recreation.gov. Under a timed entry system, each registered visitor (an individual, couple, group or family is covered under a single booking) will be assigned a one-hour time slot between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time. They will be able to enter the park anytime during that one-hour window.
 
The new timed-entry program will run from April 3 to Oct. 3, 2022. Reservations will open three months in advance. For example, visitors who hoped to go to the park in April needed to reserve a slot beginning Jan. 3, 2022. There will also be small numbers of last-minute tickets made available every day for the following day, since not everyone is able to plan their visit so far ahead.
 
Another good strategy is to leave the car behind and arrange to visit the park under the guidance of a professional tour operator. 

Moab Adventure Center, the go-to hub for all things adventure in the region, has arranged guided tours throughout the season and is not limited by these new restrictions. This will be a benefit for those who aren’t able to plan their park visit so far in advance.

Visitation grew to new heights in the 2021 season, the busiest year on record. Many people had to wait hours in line before being admitted. Others were turned away altogether and asked to come back the next day.
 
“Overall, we are very excited about the new system, and the changes it will bring. With the new system, the aim is to reduce the lines to get into the park, further enhancing the experience for everyone. The timed-entry system should keep the crowds at a manageable level at each point of interest, as well as parking lots and trailheads, making parking and access much more available and predictable,” said Cort Wright, Moab Adventure Center Manager.
 
The timed entry program does not apply to tour operators who have concessions contracts, such as Moab Adventure Center. The park will continue to accommodate travelers (even that same day) who book a guided tour through Moab Adventure Center. For details see https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours and https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park.
 
“If tourists miss getting a reservation or something unexpected comes up, Moab Adventure Center will always be able to get them in as long as we have a scheduled tour operating. We are not required to participate in the reservation process and are not limited by the restrictions placed on the public,” Wright added.
 
Wright recommended the following tours for first-time and repeat visitors to the region: 

“In addition to not having to worry about advance reservations or having to enter the park at an assigned hour, these guided tours have several other benefits. Our guests love the fact that they can sit back and enjoy the ride, taking in every view out the window vs. having to pay attention to roads and traffic. Guests also appreciate learning about the history and geology of the area from an experienced guide. It’s really a great way to see Arches National Park,” Wright explained.
 
Moab Adventure Center (https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/) is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call 435-259-7019 or 866-904-1163.

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TRIPS by Culture Trip Launches New Immersive, Experiential Tours with Special Deals, Discounts

Experience rural life in Vietnam and cycle through rice fields to experience farm life first hand with TRIPS by Culture © Laini Miranda/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip launched in September to offer multi-day small-group adventures with itineraries that combine immersive activities and distinctive places to stay, and experiences for the young at heart, the off-the-beaten path enthusiast, the culturally curious and those with the belief that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.  Behind TRIPS by Culture Trip is Culture Trip itself – the travel website and app for booking hand-picked places to stay, unique travel experiences and now also small-group adventures.

To kick off the new year, Culture Trip is also offering special deals and discounts now through January 31, 2022 including a $100 Culture Trip voucher when you book with TRIPS by Culture Trip; a $50 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $200 on a hotel; and a $20 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $100 on an experience. T&Cs apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places across the world.  TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, TRIPS itineraries often avoid areas of over tourism and aim to put local people at the center; the team is dedicated to avoiding unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.

“With everyone looking for that vacation or escape in 2022, here are some trips that many will never experience in their lifetime because, well, they didn’t know they could.”  Check these out:

●      Stay with a Bedouin Family in Jordan & sleep under the stars in the Valley of the Moon

Wild camping under the stars and staying with a Bedouin family in the breathtaking Wadi Rum — also known as the Valley of the Moon and as filming location for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker — is an unforgettable experience. On this trip, travelers also learn how to make Arabic coffee, cook a traditional meal with local Bedouins, milk camels and help shepherds herd their goats in the sunrise. Treks through rust-colored mountains, street food tours in Amman, and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra through a back door to avoid the crowds are also part of this itinerary. 9-day trip from $2,599*      per person

●      Explore Casablanca’s design with a local architect & stargaze with an astrologer

Before exploring the tangerine dunes of the Sahara’s Erg Chebbi, bedding down in a desert camp in a Berber-style tent with a canopy of twinkling stars above, and stargazing in the desert with local astrologer Astro Hamid, travelers get to explore Casablanca’s diverse and historically significant architecture together with a local architect. 13-day trip from $2,809*      per person

●  Experience rural life in Vietnam & cook with a gastronomy artisan

A trip to Mai Chau is unforgettable — a lush valley lined with rice paddies between forested mountains, inhabited by several ethnic groups in the Hoa Binh province. Here, the group will cycle through rice fields to a White Thai village to experience farm life first hand — including collecting food for buffalos and feeding them, while learning about the history and culture of the White Thai ethnic group, named after their white clothes. The trip also takes travelers to Hue where they will get to learn about the flavors and techniques behind the local cuisine through a market visit and cooking class with gastronomy artisan Ms. Huy12-day trip from $1,609* per person

●  Immerse yourself into Sri Lankan wildlife and culture & learn the ancient dances

This epic 12-day ‘Treasure Island’ adventure avoids the usual tourist areas for a glimpse of real Sri Lankan culture. Travelers get to visit a quieter, lesser-known side of Yala National Park — reducing the impact on the wildlife and environment. The park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world with plenty of elephants, monkeys, and crocodiles. Equally memorable will be seeing herds of wild elephants in Minneriya National Park, visiting a rural village school to learn about Sri Lankan education, and attending a dancing school in Lankathilaka, where a generational dancing master will teach the ancient art of dance in his own backyard. 12-day trip from $2,039* per person

● Learn taiko drumming and aikido & witness sumo wrestling training in Japan

As part of the ‘Japan Rising’ 12-day journey through the land of the rising sun, travelers get to learn from a local aikido expert this Japanese martial art that involves breathing, stretching and self-defense techniques. They also can witness sumo wrestling training to learn about the centuries old history of this traditional sport, and test their rhythm over a taiko drum — played in traditional performing arts and festivals in Japan — with a local expert instructor. 12-day trip from $4,239* per person

Naturally, TRIPS by Culture Trip has an extremely flexible and generous cancellation plan in place should Covid restrictions change your plans      , including rebooking for free up to 48 hours before departure and if TRIPS by Culture Trip cannot change your booking dates, they will refund the booking.  

To learn more and book TRIPS by Culture Trip, visit culturetrip.com/trips or call 678-967-4965.  

* Prices include the Local Insider; activities; accommodation based on two people sharing, with single occupancy available with a supplement; transport throughout the trip and a range of meals

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Ecuador President Conserves Ocean Around Galapagos While Marking Historic Milestone

(From left to right): Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition; President Ivan Duque of Colombia; President Guillermo Lassa of Ecuador; Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Sven Lindblad, Lindblad Expeditions; Niels Olsen Peet, Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism; former U.S. President Bill Clinton (photo supplied by Lindblad Expeditions).

NEW YORK — The decades-long effort to protect the Galapagos Islands realized an important milestone on January 14, 2022 when Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso signed a decree to conserve more than 23,000 square miles of ocean around the Galápagos Islands and beyond.  

The new Hermandad Marine Reserve expands the current Galapagos Marine Reserve by almost 50 percent and extends northwest to the Costa Rican maritime border. This swath of ocean will safeguard a migratory corridor known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway, which is used by sea turtles, sharks, whales, rays, and many other marine species.

Lindblad Expeditions has had an enduring connection to the islands, ever since Lars-Eric Lindblad brought the first citizen explorers to the archipelago and funded the very first Galapagos Park Rangers. Lindblad’s founder and Co-Chair of the Board, Sven Lindblad, who first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1967 as a 17-year-old, was honored to witness this historic moment alongside Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition; President Ivan Duque of Colombia; former President Bill Clinton; Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and other dignitaries.  

Following the ceremony, Sven Lindblad noted, “This is a really valuable and important step for marine protection…And hopefully these extensions will only get larger and larger over time. It’s been a tremendous joy. People have come from all over the world to celebrate what Galapagos has done. These islands are a jewel of our planet.” 

See Video of the Signing of the Marine Reserve Decree

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Jeopardy! And Lindblad Expeditions Launch ‘Explore Alaska Sweepstakes’

Set to take place weekdays January 17-28, 2022, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes will award 10 lucky winners and their guests an 8-day small ship adventure exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness aboard Lindblad Expeditions. Alaska, Katmai National Park (photo supplied by Lindblad Expeditions).

NEW YORK — JEOPARDY!and Lindblad Expeditions have teamed up again for a viewer promotion: set to take place weekdays January 17-28, 2022, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes will award 10 lucky winners and their guests an 8-day small ship adventure exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness.

Winners will discover iconic, wild Alaska on an expedition aboard one of Lindblad’s 100-guest sister ships, National Geographic Quest or National Geographic Ventureaccompanied by a team of naturalists, certified photo instructors, an undersea specialist and a wellness instructor. 

Nimble expedition ships will take guests into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife, where the bears forage, bald eagles soar, and whales spectacularly breach. They’ll Zodiac cruise amongst electric blue icebergs, kayak along the coast, witness calving glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park, and even explore the vibrant marine world through the lens of an undersea specialist.

To enter the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes, viewers are invited to tune-in to JEOPARDY! every weekday and enter the daily Final Jeopardy! category on the sweepstakes entry webpage here (which will be live on Monday). Then, they will be entered for a chance to win an expedition for two exploring authentic Alaskan coastal wilderness from the unique vantage of a small ship. Each winner and their guest will receive round-trip coach-class air transportation from the winner’s closest major gateway airport, $1,000 US spending cash, as well as all shipboard accommodations, meals (excluding alcoholic beverages), and activities for travel valid in 2022 or 2023. Check local listings for JEOPARDY! show times and stations.

The promotion is an outgrowth of a 17-year collaborative relationship between JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic to enlighten, engage, and excite viewers and travelers. Partners since 2005, Lindblad Expeditions’ fleet has served as a platform to take the late Alex Trebek and the JEOPARDY! Clue Crew all over the world, resulting in hundreds of clues in some of the planet’s wildest and most inspirational places including Antarctica, Galápagos, Baja & the Sea of Cortez, the high Arctic, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the wild fjords of Southeast Alaska, and many more. 

For more information visit us at www.expeditions.com.

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Celebrate ‘National Plan for Vacation Day’ JaNuary 25 with Monifi’s Top Saving Tips

Venice, Italy, is high on the list of travelers. January 25, 2022 is National Plan for Vacation Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Whether you’re saving for your next spring break trip, a getaway weekend, family trip, or anything in between, unexpected financial surprises are never an added expense you want during your vacation. Leading banking app, Monifi has put together their list of their top financial tips for saving for your next vacation in celebration of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 25th. 

The goal-based banking app, Monifi, makes it easy to save with features like personalized goals, its spend and save structure, and its trackable transaction tags so users can categorize their spending.

>> Set a Budget and Stick to It.

From the start, it’s important to be transparent with yourself and fellow attendees about what you are willing to save and splurge on. Creating a strict budget allows you to hold yourself accountable.

>> Plan, Plan, Plan.

Setting a firm plan early on for airfare, hotels, rentals, etc. allows you to not be surprised and unprepared for these vacation costs. Create a plan of when you will eat in or go out as well as attractions and experiences you will do each day. This is an easy way to know exactly what you need to save for. 

>> Create a Vacation Savings Fund. 

Using the Monifi app, users can create savings “buckets.” Earn interest on these personalized buckets to help you reach your financial goals faster. Stats show about 86% of people plan to pay for vacations, though 35% don’t save for it. No more dipping into other accounts or racking up credit card charges.

>> Recognize Potential Splurges.

Statistics show that 68% of people overspend when on vacation. Identifying the potential splurges like an expensive dinner, Uber rides, a coveted experience, etc. before your vacation will set you up for success. Having a savings net to lean back on is always beneficial for these costs. 

>> Get a Part Time Job or Side Hustle.

Find a part time job or side hustle to add a few hundred dollars into your bank account each month. Whether that’s nannying a few days a week, selling your unworn clothes online, dog walking, and everything in between. These small side gigs help you to not break the bank while saving.

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VISITED Travel App Helps Travelers Keep Track of Where They’ve Been, Where to Go

Got the travel bug? The travel app VISITED can help you keep track and plan where to go next. Is Venice on the list? © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

The mobile app development company, Arriving in High Heels Corporation, based in Toronto, Canada (arrivinginhighheels.com) has launched three new features in its VISITED travel app that are specifically designed to motivate travelers to find new experiences and help the travel industry recover from the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic.

“People are ready to travel again and VISITED is ready to get them excited about new opportunities and destinations,” Founder and CEO Anna Kayfitz said,  No other travel app has these three features.

The new features are Inspiration, Lists, and City Maps. Together they highlight those places not necessarily popular but worth a trip, as well as well-known tourist attractions. They allow travelers to swipe photos of famous and not so famous places to add to their own picture database of destinations they have experienced or want to visit. VISITED has over 1.2 million users.

For individual travelers, the VISITED Inspiration feature tracks personal travel stats, such as percentage of the world visited, number of countries and cities visited, as well as regions on a personal wish-list. The List feature names capitals of the world, wonders of the world, and art museums. Museums and other attractions are constantly added to provide even greater options to choose from. The City Maps feature is invaluable in planning upcoming itineraries.

The app enables travelers to keep personal stats on the number of countries visited, percentage  of the world or country seen by region, how you rank against other world travelers, number of cities visited, percentage of the world that you WANT to see vs. where you are in your travel journey.

For the travel industry, the VISITED app’s features present a sponsoring opportunity for hospitality related companies, “because we know where the users have been and where they want to go,” Kayfitz said. “This is also an opportunity to showcase travel products and destinations without losing the focus of the user.”

She is looking forward to seeing a resurgence in travel. “In the meantime, users can start planning their trips with VISITED, discovering places to go, things to do, and sites to see domestically and internationally.”

Kayfritz is the founder of Arriving In High Heels, a mobile app company, which she started 2014 and incorporated in 2017 converted it to a corporation. The company, now known as Arriving in High Heels Corporation, and has 3 apps including Visited, to help keep track of your travels;  X-Walk Fitness app, a Nordic walking app that tracks progress and lists the top 25 famous hikes and Pay-off Debt app that helps people get out of debt faster.

All her app ideas came from a personal need for them, Kayfitz said.

The idea for Visited, for example, “started while I was flying back from South Africa with my husband (then boyfriend, Brian). I would use a little notebook and make a list of all the countries I visited and places I still wanted to visit. When I could not remember a few smaller islands such as Curacao, I became frustrated and spent the enter long haul flight trying to remember the islands we had visited. Brian had mentioned there has to be an app for that. When we could not find one, Brian, who is an app developer decided to make one for me for my personal use. We launched it in iOS only. When we started seeing downloads coming in, we knew we had something. So, we slowly began working on it to make it the app it is today. We currently have 1.2 million plus users and are growing.

“My travel industry experience did not really impact the development of the app. I was always into travel. My parents would always visit new places while I was growing up and that started my interest in travel. When I had the chance at 18 to go abroad with a friend, we went on a tour to London, Paris, Rome, and that’s when the travel bug bit me.”

The Visited app, she said, “has opened my eyes to new destinations especially with the inspiration section of the app. Gathering the hundreds of photos that are currently in the app, it made me realize how much more of the world there is to see. It has also motivated me to check off even more countries I want to visit.”

Prior to developing Visited, she said, “I would discover new places by browsing the web, travel brochures, reading magazines and even talking to other travelers while abroad. I kept track of my travels and things I wanted to see in a journal. I hate to write, so it was just a simple continuing list or a drawn map of all the places I have visited. I used to love to check off top destinations, lists found in magazines, blogs to see what percentage I have seen. This is what we hoped to capture in our app. We also added the top 10 countries to visit based on where you live to inspire people to travel to easy to reach/popular destinations.”

The app doesn’t replace guidebooks, she maintained. “It is a complimentary app to these books. Guidebooks offer a way into a destination with detailed explanations, and insightful information while we offer a macro approach to travel to simply tick off places you want   to travel or have already visited.

“As an analyst I always start by asking the questions of why and so what? Since Visited was designed for my personal use at the beginning, I wanted the app to answer the following questions:

  • How many countries have I seen?
  • Many of our copy-cat competitor apps show you what percentage of the world you have seen. However, what use is that? I do not want to visit every country in the world although for some that may be their goal. However, I wanted to know what percentage of the world I WANT to visit and what percentage I have seen. So, we have included the metric that answers those two questions.
  • We also added the top 10 locations for people to visit from their home country. This allows users to discover easily accessible countries. This was done to inspire additional travel. For example, if Canada is their home country, Canadians will find plenty to see in destinations easy to visit in Canada. This answers the question what sites can I visit in my home country?
  • We also have a rank of how you compare to other international travelers.
  • We now allow users to count the UK as 4 countries vs 1, so., we now have the options for you to select it as 4 or 1. This will help answer the question how I count the number of countries I have visited.

“The app is designed to show your progress and to inspire you to complete your journeys.”

As to who the Visited app can benefit, she says, “Anyone that likes to travel regardless of their style of travel. They can be a once-a-year family trip traveler, a backpacker or someone who has rented an RV to visit every state. They will all benefit from using our app to keep track of their trips and get inspired to visit new locations. We find that it is a good reminder of all the places that you have been to, to make yourself feel better especially during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we added the list feature that lets you check of all the art museums, world wonders, and other lists to help keep up travel moral during the pandemic.”

Users can use the app to share their trips, by clicking an icon that pops up with all the different ways you can share – text, email, print, download as PDF, as well as via social media you have installed such as WhatsApp, Instagram.

Visited now has 1.2 plus million users. XWalk and Pay Off Debt are niche apps that were launched in the past 2 years; the number of users has been growing.

Travel apps have taken off with people getting back to traveling once again. According to Sensor Travel Apps 2021 report, U.S. Travel Apps surpassed 85 million downloads, growing 128%.

How to use Visited:

  • Download the app for free via App Store or Google Play Store
  • Sign up – with email – (email is required because this is a unique identifier to keep track of the data that the user has select that way if they change phones, they will always be able to get back to the selection).
  • Input where you live, countries visited and countries you wish to visit
  • The map will display the selections. You can then click on each country to see additional information such as regions and cities, and input notes for that destination.
  • If you click on cities (Paid Feature) you can select different cities by tapping on the country.
  • You can see on the) dashboard the top countries you visited, how you rank against other international travelers as well as the top 10 countries that are most visited from the country you live in.
  • You can swipe to see photos of places and add them to your wish or been list.
  • You can click on experiences and see the different lists such as capitals of the world, art museums or world wonders, etc. In addition, you can also see the percentage of the world you have visited. You can also tap on experiences (such as hiking, skiing) and can select all the countries you have been to and doing that activity. For example, if you select: Canada, the US, and Switzerland for skiing it will display the 3 countries where you skied. You can also select where you want to ski.

The app can be downloaded for free on iOS from the App Store and on Android from Google (due to copy-cats, the app is called Visited with the blue world icon and a yellow pin).

For more travel features, visit:

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