TRAVEL NEWS

Do You Really Need Rental Car Insurance? Or Is It a Huge Waste of Money?

Rental car insurance doesn’t have to be the mysterious threat we make it out to be.

If you’ve ever rented a car, you know that inevitable moment when the rental car associate begins to pressure you to sign up for all the different kinds of insurance. Should you sign it? Rental car insurance used to feel like a lose-lose situation. It was that expensive add-on that made me feel duped when I signed up for it and anxious when I didn’t. Having had my fair share of disastrous rental car experiences, I am now one of those people who reads all the terms and conditions before signing waivers. If you’re wondering whether or not you should buy the car insurance from the rental car company, let these 10 points be your guide (but not your legal advice).

Where Can You Travel? What’s Open? What’s Closed? Here’s the Current Status for All 50 States

The states are starting to reopen. But is it wise to venture out?

[Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that originally ran on May 19.] Disclaimer: This is meant to be a general overview of how each state is reopening. It is not intended to provide every last detail regarding guidelines and restrictions; please refer to the government website of each state for specifics. In addition, please remember that even if a state has been given the green light for a category of businesses to reopen, individual businesses may choose to remain closed. As such, please be sure to contact each business or site before visiting to ensure that it is open. As the United States begins to relax its shelter-in-place orders and some emerge from their homes, many are counting the days when we can get back out there and travel, even if it’s by car to a neighboring community or state. But as we know, a very different landscape awaits out there than the one we left earlier this winter at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There are things travelers must consider that we never did before, including social distancing and personal sanitization. The big question is: Is it safe to travel in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pretty clear in its stance. It’s recommended that you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential. Social distancing still needs to be practiced, especially if you are in a higher risk category or an older adult. You shouldn’t travel if you feel sick, or travel with someone who is sick. And you need to protect yourself and others by knowing how to prevent the virus from spreading.  Perhaps the most hopeful advice comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. According to him, summer travel “can be in the cards.” He urges caution, since we risk COVID-19 spreading rapidly if proper precautions are not taken. “When infections start to rear their heads again,” he says, “we have to put in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact trace, and make sure we don’t have those spikes we have now.” As long as we’re aware that “getting back to normal is not like a light switch that you turn on and off,” he says, we should be able to get back to some sort of normalcy. So the answer is: We’re not quite there yet. The best thing to do is pay attention to the several-phase reopening plans that each state has developed, outlining when hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, outdoor areas, etc., should be open for business and what precautions they must take. Some states are freer than others—and that’s something to consider. Do you really want to be on a beach where social distancing guidelines aren’t being maintained? It’s a whole new world that we’ll be navigating, literally. The guidelines are fast-changing and it’s hard to keep up, but here’s where they stand today, state by state.          

10 Places That Exist Because of the New Deal

Explore the continued legacy of the programs that helped lift America out of the Great Depression.

When the United States was reeling from the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt put forth a series of federally funded programs, reforms, and policies tasked with putting the country on the road to recovery. Some of the most visible legacies are the places and works of art that wouldn’t have existed without funding from agencies that were created to provide skilled workers and artisans with employment. These projects not only helped mitigate the Great Depression, but they continue to be important parts of the country’s communities and infrastructure almost 100 years later.

Want to Move Abroad? These 10 Things Will Make It Less Intimidating

With some careful planning, you can minimize the stress of moving to a new country.

How many times have you scrolled through articles and social media posts filled with picture-perfect anecdotes and about moving abroad and thought, “That could be my life” or “It’s time to get out of here”? What you don’t see is the anxiety, indecisiveness, regrets, and general miscalculations and mistakes that happen behind the scenes. Moving to a new country not only takes guts, but it also takes a great amount of determination, effort, flexibility, and planning to have a successful move. First, no matter what cost of living estimate or expectations people share with you, you’re bound to incur unexpected fees or inconveniences, for example fluctuating costs of accommodation, food, recreational activities, taxes, medical expenses as well as maintaining a home. Creating a solid game plan will alleviate pre-move jitters and help you keep calm should issues arise.

Gods, Easels, and Graffiti: Asias 10 Best Art Villages

Discover Asia's most fascinating artist communities.

Walls are splashed with intricate graffiti, streets are lined with sculptures, back alleys brim with creative studios, and artists seem to be at work in every nook and around each corner. All across the continent, particular neighborhoods have become hubs for artists. Some of these communities have a history stretching back more than 500 years, while others have formed recently. From the Kolkata community that crafts Hindu gods to Seoul’s revitalized art village, Hanoi’s town of wooden idol craftsmen, and Bangkok’s canal of painters–here are 10 of Asia’s most interesting art enclaves.