National plan your vacation day: it’s never too early

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – January 31, 2023 is plan your vacation day, but it’s never too late to plan your next vacation.

As the world re-opened in 2022, the number of travelers booking flights through the American Automobile Association (AAA) jumped more than 150%. The number of travelers booking cruises and tours, mostly to international destinations, exploded as well, and all indications are that the upward trend will continue in 2023.

Almost 30% of respondents to a recent survey by Destination Analysts said they would likely travel outside the United States this year.

“Travel bookings continue to climb. There is not only pent-up demand, but the dollars saved during the pandemic are now being invested in more extravagant travel. As an example, many of our cruise partners tell AAA that Black Friday was their number one day for bookings ever.”

Lori Weaver Hawkins, AAA Blue Grass

National Plan Your Vacation Day is a reminder for people to actually plan a vacation and then take it. American workers left an average of four work days – 29% of time off – on the books. Leaving those days unused is like leaving money on the table.

At the same time, 64% of people say they need a vacation. Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months—ranked even higher than travel discounts or deals.

On National Vacation Day, January 31, use #PlanForVacation on social media to join the national conversation encouraging Americans to map out their time off for the year ahead.

AAA has also compiled a list of tips to help anyone planning a trip this year.

Here are AAA’s Six

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5 Best travel tips when planning a family vacation this spring

After weeks of cold weather, families have one thing on their minds: spring break! Prepare your memorable getaway and plan for the unexpected with CAA North & East Ontario’s helpful travel tips.

There’s nothing like a family vacation, and for many Canadian travellers, spring break is the perfect time for a warm-weather escape or European getaway.

Patricia Marques, Managing Director of Retail & Call Centre Sales & Operations at CAA North & East Ontario, offers an insider’s edge on the best family-friendly destinations and advice to make your trip more enjoyable and safer.

What are some popular family-friendly destinations to visit?

Patricia Marques: “If you’re dreaming of fun in the sun with a few thrills, Orlando is one of the best family vacation spots in the U.S. (there’s a good reason this Florida city is known as the world capital of theme parks).

But if you’re looking for a trip that’s good for the whole family, consider taking a cruise. Royal Caribbean Cruises is packed with activities and entertainment to keep the kids happy, as well as onboard amenities for the parents and grandparents.

Plus, CAA Members get exclusive travel benefits when they book with their CAA Travel Consultant! Springtime is also a great season for European getaways. You’ll enjoy fewer crowds and beat the summer heat. There are many European travel spots that offer kid-friendly things to see, do and eat.

When travelling with your family, how important is it to get travel insurance?

PM: “Families are full of surprises, and vacations can be, too. Travel insurance covers the unexpected, so there’s less to worry about. If you or your child gets sick before you leave, trip cancellation insurance is there to recoup your expenses.

And CAA’s Cancel for Any Other Reason¹ policy allows you to cancel your

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The latest advice on travel to Thailand following a Foreign Office update

British holidaymakers who are due to travel to Thailand may have noted an update to the country’s Foreign Office advice page.

“Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in tourist destinations across Thailand,” reads the FCDO update under the safety and security section.

This update may appear alarming to some travellers, such as those planning a first time visit to the country or a solo trip. However, travel experts and tour operators offer reassurance and context.

Here is what you should know about the latest changes to advice on travel to Thailand.

What is the Foreign Office advice?

There is no warning against travel to Thailand, but the FCDO recommends reading its advice before travelling.

The full update on the risk of attacks in the country reads: “Serious crimes take place throughout Thailand, and sometimes British nationals are affected. Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in tourist destinations across Thailand.

“These are particularly common during full moon parties and other similar events and late at night near bars. Drink spiking and drug assisted sexual assault have been reported in tourist destinations around Thailand, with both male and female victims.

“Be careful about taking drinks from strangers or leaving your drinks unattended. Crimes involving guns take place in Thailand, and foreign nationals have sometimes been victims of gun crime.”

More on Travel News

What do experts say about the update?

Tour operators and travel agents offer some context to the FCDO update on crime in Thailand.

Ashley Quint, director at travel agency TimeTravel World, says: “As the world has reopened following the pandemic, old problems like the recent advice in Thailand have reappeared – however, it’s still relatively rare”.

He adds: “If possible, I would always suggest being with a trusted, known person, or preferably a

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What travel insurance is and why it can help you avoid vacation headaches

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Meltdowns in air travel systems and major weather interruptions create chaos and stress when people are trying to travel.

These days when you are ready to travel, it’s like a roll of the dice. One never knows if they’re going to be lucky or unlucky.

“You just don’t know when you leave for the airport what’s going to happen,’’ Stan Sandberg said, the co-founder of the website

A recent survey indicates 42 percent of us have experienced a travel delay within the last year.

Steve Sbraccia/CBS 17

The most recent aviation problem was last week’s massive ground stop that shut down every airport in the country for hours delaying hundreds of thousands of passengers, such as Tammara Williams.

“Our flight is set to land in Miami after our flight takes off to Costa Rica,” she said on Wednesday.

In the case of the ground stop, passengers had the right to a refund for their ticket but that doesn’t cover the expenses of missing connections and delayed vacations.

That is where travel-insurance/” data-type=”URL” data-id=””travel insurance would have helped.

“There are a couple of coverages that would apply in this instance,’’ Sandberg said. “The first is trip delay coverage. It will provide a reimbursement for the extra costs associated with delays that might be hotel, food and transportation. The second is trip interruption coverage where the delay is so bad you’re not going to be able to take the trip or miss 50 percent of the trip or more.”

Because the price of travel insurance is based on the cost of the trip, before you purchase, it’s best to compare shop using a site such as to figure out

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Here’s what to do when an airline loses your luggage and how to mitigate travel headaches before you get to the airport

Airplane travelers waiting for luggage from a conveyor belt.

Airplane travelers waiting for luggage from a conveyor belt.izusek/Getty Images

  • Airline travel in recent months has been wrought with stories of lost or ruined luggage, delays, and cancellations.

  • Reports of lost luggage in 2022 have soared by at least 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

  • If an airline loses your luggage, here’s what to do and how to mitigate resulting travel headaches.

Amid the holiday surge in flight delays and cancellations, a deadly winter storm that left over 2,700 Southwest flights grounded the day after Christmas has travelers reporting an ‘Armageddon of luggage‘ where baggage takes hours to claim — if it arrives at all.

Claims of lost luggage have spiked in 2022, increasing by 30% compared to 2019 claims over the same period, Insider previously reported. In August alone — the most recent data — US airlines lost, delayed, or damaged 254,502 bags, according to a report from The Department of Transportation.

Here’s what you should do if an airline loses your luggage, as well as a few tips on how to minimize the damage ahead of time.

Report missing luggage ASAP

Report missing luggage immediately.

Report missing luggage immediately.Hinterhaus Productions via Getty Images

Some airlines allow you to track your checked luggage from the airline’s app, which can be a great way to keep tabs on your bags while you travel. But what happens when you go to baggage claim and your checked bag never comes around the carousel?

Experts recommend reporting your missing luggage as soon as you realize it did not reach its destination. Find your airline’s baggage desk, file a claim, and ask for a copy or a receipt for your records.

Ask for reimbursements and free delivery of lost luggage

When you check in for a flight, the fees for checked bags can

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President Akufo-Addo affirms belief in Kenpong Travel and Tour

The Management of Kenpong Travel and Tours Limited led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, has paid a working visit to president Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo.

The purpose of the visit by Ghana’s official travel agent for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to the Jubilee House earlier this was to seek the blessings of the president in their quest to mobilize Ghanaians to go and support the Black Stars in the Gulf Region.

They also informed the President who is the number one supporter of the Black Stars about the packages they have secured for Ghanaians as the official travel agent for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Kenpong Travel and Tours before their visit to the Jubilee had previously paid a courtesy call on former presidents, John Agyakum Kufour and John Dramani Mahama.

Below are travel packages available for Ghanaians as announced by Kenpong Travel and Tour ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The Platinum package:

Also known as category A, the Platinum package which is the highest tier available comes with a business class flight ticket, accommodation (single occupancy in a four or five-star hotel room or villa), three Category One tickets for Ghana matches, COVID-19 testing, travel insurance, medicals, internal transport and a police report, which is a requirement for entry into Qatar for the tournament.

However, the price also depends on whether you want to be fed during your stay or not.

A platinum ticket with feeding will cost $10,610 while the platinum tickets without food will be sold at $9,210.

Gold package:

The gold package was categorized into A ($8,020) and B ($6,620) respectively.

The package includes an economy class flight ticket, accommodation (single occupancy in a four or five-star hotel room or villa), three Category

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Travel Insurance Brands Aren’t What They Used To Be: Here’s How To Compete

Lauren Gumport is the Vice President of Communications & Brand at travel disruptor Faye.

There’s been a glow-up in travel insurance. The outdated, clunky policies for trips, only perhaps once used by our parents for adventures with hefty price tags, have finally evolved into something much more delightful and easier to look at.

Well, sort of.

Though some legacy players have failed to modernize, and in many ways digitize, several of their processes (on claims and such), new players have entered the scene and are presenting much more easy-to-understand coverage options than their predecessors. In short: They’ve managed to better communicate to today’s consumers about what their trip protection actually protects while also offering more modern coverage that addresses today’s travelers—such as 24/7 support via a variety of channels.

Travel insurance brands that actually want to speak with customers: imagine that.

What This Should Look Like

These new providers that emerged following the onslaught of travel issues that occurred during Covid-19 but have found success given the chaos surrounding travel have now have finally addressed many pain points of the travel insurance ecosystem. If your travel brand wants to follow in their footsteps, consider:

• Creating a simple purchase process: Travel insurance providers should simplify the purchase process and take out all paperwork that once used to be involved. Make sure customers can get coverage as quickly as possible by answering a handful of questions: from the destination to who’s going to trip dates and total estimated trip cost.

• Avoiding confusing package names: Rather than making them choose from gold, silver and bronze packages—or ones with other fancy names—offer comprehensive packages that take the confusing elements out of protecting upcoming adventures. For example, offer whole-trip travel insurance that protects their entire trip.

• Creating clear content: It’s

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Watch beautiful video of Kenpong Travel and Tours packages for 2022 World Cup

Former President John Dramani Mahama with CEO of Kenpong Group play videoFormer President John Dramani Mahama with CEO of Kenpong Group

As the official and only accredited Travel and Tour company for the 2022 World Cup, Kenpong Travel and Tours has set out to mobilize supporters for the Black Stars who are making a return to the World Cup after missing out on the 2018 edition.

In furtherance of their objective of ensuring that as many Ghanaians as possible visit Qatar for the festival, Kenpong Travel and Tours have rolled out affordable yet tailored packages for Ghanaians.

The packages include the Platinum package, which is the highest tier available, will cost $10,610 for Category A(with feeding) and $9,210 (without feeding).

Both packages also include a business class flight ticket, accommodation (single occupancy in a four or five-star hotel room or villa), three Category One tickets for Ghana matches, COVID-19 testing, travel insurance, medicals, internal transport and a police report, which is a requirement for entry into Qatar for the tournament.

The Gold package, which costs $8,020 (Category A) and $6,620 (Category B), includes an economy class flight ticket, accommodation (single occupancy in a four or five-star hotel room or villa), three Category Two tickets for Ghana matches, COVID-19 testing, travel insurance, medicals, internal transport and a police report.

The Silver Package costs $6,900 (Category A) and $5,500 (Category B) and includes an economy class flight ticket, accommodation (double occupancy), three Category Two tickets for Ghana matches, COVID-19 testing, travel insurance, medicals, internal transport and a police report.

The Bronze Package also costs $6,110 (Category A) and $4,710 (Category B) and includes an economy class flight ticket, accommodation (3-4 persons to a room), three Category Two tickets for Ghana matches, COVID-19 testing, travel insurance, medicals, internal transport and a police report.

According to Qatar Airways, a Boeing 777-900

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It’s Your Money: 9 tips to enjoying international travel without wasting money

NEWS: Lots of people were ready to travel once COVID restrictions were lifted, but rising costs are getting in the way of a lot of travelers’ plans this summer, according to Destination Analysts, a website that focuses on travel trends.

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU: Maybe planning an international trip was all that got you through the pandemic years, and now you’re locked in, despite rising costs. Or maybe you’re taking a trip now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased, rising costs be damned. (Or maybe you’re hate-reading this because, with inflation, you can’t even afford to drive to the next state to your traditional beach rental this year).

If you’re a seasoned world traveler, then today’s column isn’t for you. This is for the occasional, or even once-in-a-lifetime, traveler. Travel has changed a lot, even in the last few years. We’re going to take a look at some simple tips to be smart about your travel expenses. 

According to Destination Analysts, the number of travelers who feel they’re better off this year than last year dropped from 33.6 percent to 31 percent between the first and second quarter of this year. Still, 43.4 percent think they’ll be better off next year, up from 42.8 percent. Travel decisions have definitely been affected by the downward trend in people’s finances. But more are still traveling internationally than a year ago. If you’re like me and my sister, who have been planning a trip for two years, you’re channeling the woman with the meat tenderizer on the Kayak commercial: “I am not canceling this vacation!”

With that in mind, here are some tips to make your money go further:

1) It’s all about the plastic

In 1995, my sister and I took a 10-day trip to the UK. Before

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Three Ways For Travel Brands To Earn Customer Loyalty

Lauren Gumport is the Director of Communications & Brand at travel insurance disruptor Faye.

If you’re one of the 73% of Americans ValuePenguin found have summer travel plans, you’re likely vexed by the rise in costs amid the complete chaos occurring at airports—from widespread cancellations to pilot shortages. All the while, we’re surrounded by news of layoffs and a possible impending recession.

At a time when it seems empathy from travel brands is the answer, many are doing the opposite by implementing clear—dare I say greedy—monetization strategies that seem geared toward taking advantage of a year of “revenge travel” in which many may be willing to shell out more cash to make up for trips canceled during the peak of the pandemic.

Case in point: Some airlines are now not only charging for checked luggage but also pieces you can carry on. And in an effort to persuade more travelers to opt into their rewards programs, some may encourage sign-ups as a way to promise no-fee carry-ons and the ability to board earlier so your bag isn’t checked against your will. And who wants a checked bag these days given the pileup that just happened at Heathrow?

All of this—the prices, the lines and so on—is unlikely to deter travel. I know many people are planning to take a trip (or two) this summer regardless of unpleasant flights. And this means consumer loyalty is up for grabs. So rather than alienating those looking to take to the skies without going for broke, travel brands can use this as an opportunity to showcase empathy, transparency and clear terms to mitigate much of the conflict and confusion that we’re seeing occur worldwide this season. In doing so, they’ll create brand cheerleaders for life.

Here are three examples of

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