Tag: Avoid

12 Major Mistakes to Avoid on a Florida Vacation, According to a Lifelong Resident

You don’t have to be a travel expert to plan a trip to Florida, but there are some insider tips to know before embarking on a vacation to the Sunshine State. For starters, Florida isn’t all beaches and theme parks, though there’s nothing wrong with hitting both of those spots during your getaway. As a lifelong resident, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. Read on for 12 mistakes to avoid on your next Florida vacation.



a sunset over a body of water: Danita Delimont/Getty Images


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1. Only Spending Time at the Beach



a sunset over a body of water: The biggest and most common mistakes travelers make in Florida — and how to avoid them.


© Danita Delimont/Getty Images
The biggest and most common mistakes travelers make in Florida — and how to avoid them.

There’s no doubt that Florida’s beaches are world-class. However, failing to venture beyond the coast and deeper into Florida’s vast array of offerings is one of the biggest mistakes visitors can make.

Inland Florida will impress even the most outdoorsy and adventurous of nature lovers — there’s abundant wildlife in the Everglades, state parks, even an underwater national park — and the state is peppered from coast to coast with museums, festivals, and other unique experiences.

Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales boasts 250 acres of lush gardens plus a bell tower, the historic streets of St. Augustine transport visitors back in time, Lion Country Safari in the Palm Beaches is akin to embarking on a self-driven African safari, and quaint towns like Mount Dora beckon with hometown charm. You can even watch a NASA rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center.

The beach is a highlight of any Florida vacation, but don’t miss out on all the offshore adventures that await, too.

2. Or, Conversely, Not Spending Any Time at the Beach

If you plan a trip to Florida with no beach day on the itinerary, you’re doing it wrong. There’s a lot to love about the state beyond its sandy stretches, but that doesn’t mean you should leave the beach out of your vacation altogether. The beach is one of Florida’s main attractions and skipping it will leave your trip will incomplete. Plus, with over 600 miles of beaches in Florida, you’re guaranteed to find one that’s perfect for you.

3. Assuming It’s Always Warm and Sunny

Yes, Florida is the Sunshine State, but the weather isn’t always perfect. Winters can get chilly, especially in northern Florida, and in the summer months, expect a thunderstorm every afternoon like clockwork. It’s a fact of life during Florida summers, and it doesn’t have to dampen your plans — these squalls form, storm, and pass, usually departing as quickly and unexpectedly as they arrive. Just don’t forget to factor them in, and be prepared to adjust your plans accordingly.

4. Forgetting Sunscreen

It’s not always sunny in Florida, but due to the state’s location near the equator, the sun’s rays are powerful, even on overcast and cloudy days. Getting a sunburn is a quick, painful, and entirely avoidable way

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Government urged to implement strict rules to avoid Christmas travel ‘chaos’



a car driving on a highway: Cars pass a Covid warning sign on the eastbound M8 motorway in Glasgow ahead of the introduction of further coronavirus restrictions on November 20, 2020. - Swathes of western and central Scotland prepared to enter a three-week period of restrictions this evening. From 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) non-essential shops, hospitality, gyms and beauty salons will shut in 11 council areas including the most populous city of Glasgow. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)


Cars pass a Covid warning sign on the eastbound M8 motorway in Glasgow ahead of the introduction of further coronavirus restrictions on November 20, 2020. – Swathes of western and central Scotland prepared to enter a three-week period of restrictions this evening. From 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) non-essential shops, hospitality, gyms and beauty salons will shut in 11 council areas including the most populous city of Glasgow. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)





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The government has been asked to implement a “comprehensive travel plan” to avoid a rise in coronavirus infections among people going home for Christmas.

Labour has suggested that peak rail fares are suspended and mass coronavirus testing administered to transport workers ahead of the festive season.

Under the government’s current plans, travel rules will be eased from December 23 to 27 and three households will be allowed to mix in a bubble for these five days.

But Labour has urged transport secretary Grant Shapps to present a detailed plan to Parliament in order to “keep families safe”.



Social distance sign at Leeds train station at the start of a four week national lockdown for England. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)


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Social distance sign at Leeds train station at the start of a four week national lockdown for England. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Labour shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “Families will be looking forward to travelling to see one another this Christmas after a really tough year.

“However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus still poses a very serious risk to people’s health.

“That’s why ministers need to come to Parliament on Monday with a comprehensive travel plan to ensure families travelling across the country are kept safe and chaos on our roads and rail network is avoided.

Read moreThe Tier 3 COVID lockdown rules explainedThe Tier 2 COVID lockdown rules explainedWhat tier are you in? Full list of lockdown areas

“This is too important for the Government to ignore or leave until to the last minute. This is about protecting lives and livelihoods.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said on Friday that Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy had been appointed as a Christmas travel tsar.

Watch: Shapps outlines new quarantine rules for international arrivals

The DfT also said it will publish measures aimed at easing travel disruption next week, which will take into account analysis of demand for advance train tickets and public surveys.

In the meantime, Shapps has urged people to plan their journeys “very carefully” and “where possible book well in advance”.

He said: “As some advance tickets go on sale and people begin to plan their journeys, we are closely assessing demand on the network and have already taken actions to minimise potential disruption.

“We are currently developing a plan focused on tackling disruption – including running longer trains and relaxing rules to allow more types of coaches to run.”

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COVID-19: Labour demands ‘comprehensive’ Christmas travel plan to help people avoid ‘chaos’ | Politics News

The government is being urged to suspend peak rail fares and introduce mass testing for transport staff, to help the country avoid travel “chaos” in the run up to Christmas.

Labour is demanding that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps present a “comprehensive travel plan” to the House of Commons next week that looks at the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions between 23 December and 27 December.

A temporary easing of restrictions has been agreed by the devolved administrations over Christmas, that will allow up to three households to mix in a single bubble.

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Virus ‘doesn’t know it’s Christmas’, says PM

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy was appointed as a Christmas travel tsar in the week, and will look at what impact the easing of the rules will have on the air, rail and road networks during the five days, and scrutinise their preparedness.

Labour says more than two million people used the rail network to travel over Christmas and New Year in previous years, while millions more took car journeys.

To minimise the risk of overcrowding in trains, the party has called on the government to temporarily scrap peak fares during the lockdown-eased period.

It is also encouraging the government to implement mass COVID-19 testing for transport workers such as train staff, bus drivers and highway employees.

As well as that, Labour has also argued that planned maintenance works on the East Coast Mainline, which runs between London and Edinburgh, via cities such as York and Newcastle, should be delayed until the 27 December, so people can return home safely.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) which runs the line said that planned engineering works will make alternative routes “very busy”.

Labour shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “Families will be looking forward to travelling to see one another this Christmas after a really tough year.

“However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus still poses a very serious risk to people’s health.

“That’s why ministers need to come to Parliament on Monday with a comprehensive travel plan to ensure families travelling across the country are kept safe and chaos on our roads and rail network is avoided.”

He added: “This is too important for the government to ignore or leave until to the last minute. This is about protecting lives and livelihoods.”

The Department for Transport will publish measures next week that will ease travel disruption over the Christmas period, which will use analysis of demand for advance rail tickets and public surveys.

Mr Shapps has urged the public to make plans “very carefully” and “where possible, book well in advance“.

He said: “As some advance tickets go on sale and people begin to plan their journeys, we are closely assessing demand on the network and have already taken actions to minimise potential disruption.

“We are currently developing a plan focused on tackling disruption – including running longer trains and relaxing rules to allow more types of coaches

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Denver’s mayor urged residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel. Then he flew cross-country to see family.

On Wednesday morning, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock urged residents to stay home and meet family online for Thanksgiving to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.



Michael Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized for flying to Mississippi to see his wife and daughter soon after urging residents to avoid holiday travel. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


© David Zalubowski/AP
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized for flying to Mississippi to see his wife and daughter soon after urging residents to avoid holiday travel. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“Pass the potatoes, not covid. Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners,” the Democrat tweeted. “Avoid travel, if you can.”

Then, less than an hour later, Hancock boarded a flight on his way to Mississippi for Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter, his spokesman Mike Strott confirmed to The Washington Post.

The move left critics blasting Hancock for appearing to ignore his own advice at a time when the coronavirus continues to rise precipitously in Colorado.

“Our Mayor has abandoned his city during one of the most critical times we needed leadership the most,” tweeted Tay Anderson, a Denver Board of Education member.

Hours later, amid mounting blowback on social media and from local politicians, the mayor apologized.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he tweeted.

Hancock is the latest politician blasted this month for seeming to skirt the same restrictions that have curtailed life for millions of Americans during the worsening pandemic. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) apologized after photos showed him at birthday party inside a high-end restaurant where no one at his table wore masks. And this week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) canceled plans to host his 89-year-old mother and two daughters in Albany for Thanksgiving after critics noted that he had spent days pleading with New Yorkers to avoid family gatherings for the holidays.

Hancock, a three-term mayor elected in 2011 and a vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, has been an advocate for coronavirus restrictions. He has pushed residents to wear masks and last week warned that another stay-at-home order might be needed if cases keep rising in Colorado, which has seen covid-related hospitalizations rise in the past week by almost 13 percent.

He has also been vocal about limiting holiday get-togethers. At a virtual news conference on Friday, he suggested residents buy a small turkey and celebrate with their immediate family only. “Maybe next year we can all be together again,” he said. “I’m asking, I’m urging, I’m pleading with everyone. Please stay home.”

But just 30 minutes after tweeting his latest plea to avoid travel on Wednesday morning, Hancock boarded a flight, KUSA reported. Soon after, he was on his way to Houston for a layover before heading to Mississippi, where his daughter recently started a new job, he later tweeted.

After fierce backlash grew against his travels, Hancock offered a mea culpa and sought to explain his decision to fly despite his entreaties to avoid holiday travel,

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Denver mayor says he ‘should have’ shared Thanksgiving travel plans after urging people to ‘avoid unnecessary travel’

Denver’s mayor apologized for traveling out of state to visit family members only hours after telling residents of the Colorado city to “avoid travel.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, who was seen boarding a flight to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday said that although he warned residents of the Colorado capital to refrain from traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic, he decided “it would be safer” to travel to Mississippi to visit his daughter than have her come to Denver.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” Hancock wrote. “I have shared how my family canceled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”

Hancock was chastised online for his hypocritical decision and apologized for the travel plans after critics noted his office previously instructed residents to stay home for “all but essential travel.”

Hancock admitted that he allowed his emotions to get the better of his travel plans, which fly directly against his own health guidelines.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” Hancock added.

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Denver Mayor Flies to Texas for Thanksgiving After Urging City Residents to Avoid Travel Due to COVID



Michael Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock participates in a panel discussion during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 'Infrastructure Week' program May 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hancock boarded a fight on Wednesday despite warning Denver residents to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving.


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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock participates in a panel discussion during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Infrastructure Week’ program May 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hancock boarded a fight on Wednesday despite warning Denver residents to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock boarded a flight to Houston on Wednesday after urging city residents to avoid travel due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.

Moments before boarding the plane to Texas, Hancock tweeted “avoid travel, if you can,” “stay home as much as you can,” and “host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners” in a Thanksgiving post about slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

His spokeswoman confirmed to NBC affiliate KUSA on Wednesday that the mayor was traveling to visit his daughter in Mississippi, and that his wife was already there.

Hancock has said his family will be foregoing a large gathering this Thanksgiving, writing in an email to city staff that for his family, coronavirus precautions “means cancelling our traditional gathering of our extended family.”

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“As he has shared, the Mayor is not hosting his traditional large family dinner this year, but instead traveling alone to join his wife and daughter where the three of them will celebrate Thanksgiving at her residence instead of having them travel back to Denver,” the mayor’s spokesperson told KUSA.

Hancock’s assistant advised that he would be out of office from Wednesday to Friday, according to an email obtained by the network.

In an email to city staff, Hancock wrote: “As the holidays approach, we all long to be with our families with person, but with the continued rise in cases, I’m urging you to refrain from travel this Thanksgiving holiday.”

He also said anyone who travels out of state for the weekend should self-isolate for 14 days, including himself.

“Upon return, he will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine,” the mayor’s spokesperson said.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Denver. Last week, the city entered Colorado’s Level Red severe risk category. According to Denver Public Health, the city has reported 33,971 confirmed cases and 494 deaths as of Wednesday.

At a news conference with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Hancock said: “We need everyone to stay home.”

During a Tuesday briefing, Polis said that one in 41 Coloradans is currently infected with COVID-19, the highest figure the state has seen since the pandemic began in March.

Hancock is the latest public official to face backlash for traveling ahead of Thanksgiving despite encouraging constituents to do the opposite.

Earlier this week, New York

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School employees urged to avoid travel during upcoming mid-year vacation

The Shared Services Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has issued a circular calling upon school personnel to avoid travel during the upcoming mid-year vacation, according to a report in local Arabic daily Arrayah.

Addressed to schools, the circular has been issued based on the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the State to limit the spread of Covid-19, the ministry’s concern for the health and safety of children, students and employees, and in the light of another wave of the virus being seen in many places worldwide.

Employees have been advised not to travel in the said period so that they do not expose themselves to accountability as a result of not commencing work on the specified date.

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New York City mayor urges people to avoid travel this Thanksgiving

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to avoid traveling this Thanksgiving and celebrate with loved ones virtually — as the city and surrounding areas battle a continued rise in COVID-19 cases. 

He told people who are traveling to do so safely and follow the rules, and warned of financial penalties for violations.

De Blasio spoke as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo similarly urged caution. “This holiday season, we have to be smarter and different than we’ve handled past holiday seasons, because it’s not a normal holiday season,” Cuomo said Tuesday at a press conference.

The governor announced that COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are up 128% in three weeks. He said Monday an emergency facility will open on Staten Island for COVID-19 patients at the request of hospitals in the area seeing rising admissions.

“Staten Island has such an issue that it has triggered a hospital capacity issue. And the hospitals have contacted us and they say they need emergency beds on Staten Island,” Cuomo said, according to CBS New York. “Remember when we had to set up field hospitals, emergency hospitals for additional capacity? Well, that’s what we have to do on Staten Island.”

The governor also announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster zones across the state that establish some areas, including Upper Manhattan, as yellow zones, and move others from yellow to orange. 

Yellow means restaurants must close at 10 p.m. An orange zone means high risk, so non-essential businesses close. Dining moves to outdoor only and mass gatherings are limited to 10 people. 

It’s possible some areas on Staten Island could even move into a red zone, which means essential businesses only. 

New York City schools shut down last week after the city reached a 3% positivity rate. 

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‘All people’ should avoid travel on cruise ships, CDC warns

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has upped its warning on cruise ships, now advising that “all people avoid travel on cruise ships.”



a large ship in a body of water: The current sailing was carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, Sloan said.


© Gene Sloan/The Points Guy
The current sailing was carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, Sloan said.

The federal agency now classifies cruise travel as “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19” and clarifies that this includes river cruises and applies worldwide.

At the end of October, the CDC lifted its months-long ban on cruise ships operating in and out of US ports.

The agency then issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, a document outlining the detailed steps that cruise lines must implement before they can get permission to recommence regular voyages, including crew testing and successful “simulated voyages” designed “to replicate real world onboard conditions of cruising.”

While the majority of major cruise companies have canceled voyages in US waters until 2021, some voyages have recommenced elsewhere.

Cruise operations in the Mediterranean restarted over the summer, albeit with reduced passenger capacity and a more limited itinerary.

Earlier this month, SeaDream 1, the first cruise ship to depart from a Caribbean port since the spring, was hit by a slew of Covid cases, despite a pre-boarding testing policy. Seven passengers and two crew members tested positive for the virus.

The outbreak put into doubt the ability of testing alone to combat the spread of coronavirus on cruises.

As SeaDream 1 can only carry 112 guests, the ship didn’t have to follow the CDC’s advice on cruising — as well as rigorous testing, the CDC also advises compulsory mask-wearing and social distancing.

Passenger Gene Sloan, a senior reporter for cruise and travel at The Points Guy, who took the image of the SeaDream 1 above, told CNN that initially no passengers or crew members were wearing face masks on board. Crew told Sloan they weren’t necessary since the ship was a Covid-free “bubble.” A mask policy was reportedly later implemented.

SeaDream Yacht Club has since canceled the rest of its 2020 voyages.

The new CDC guidance specifies that “passengers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 3-5 days after your trip.”

Even if travelers test negative once they return home, they are advised to stay home for seven days. If they don’t get tested, they should stay home for 14 days.

The agency’s advice is that “for most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date.”

But despite CDC warnings, many cruise lovers are excited to cruising again. Major cruise line Royal Caribbean said its been inundated by travelers looking to sign up for its trial cruise scheme, which is still in its planning stages.

Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, said in a Facebook post that 100,000 people had registered interest so far.

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CDC pleads with Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel

NEW YORK (AP) — With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.

The Thanksgiving warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came as the White House coronavirus task force held a briefing for the first time in months and Vice President Mike Pence concluded it without responding to questions by reporters or urging Americans not to travel.

Other members of the task force — whose media briefings were a daily fixture during the early days of the outbreak — talked about the progress being made in the development of a vaccine.


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech will seek emergency government approval for their coronavirus vaccine on Friday. And infection disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci sought to reassure the public that the vaccine is safe while still encouraging Americans to wear masks.

The CDC’s Thanksgiving warning was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.

The CDC issued the recommendations just one week before Thanksgiving, at a time when diagnosed infections, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing across the country. In many areas, the health care system is being squeezed by a combination of sick patients filling up beds and medical workers falling ill themselves.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz cited more than 1 million new cases in the U.S. over the past week as the reason for the new guidance.

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household,” she said.

If families do decide to include returning college students, military members or others for turkey and stuffing, the CDC is recommending that the hosts take added precautions: Gatherings should be outdoors if possible, with people keeping 6 feet apart and wearing masks and just one person serving the food.

Whether Americans heed the warning is another matter. The deadly comeback by the virus has been blamed in part on pandemic fatigue, or people getting tired of masks and other precautions. And surges were seen last summer after Memorial Day and July Fourth, despite blunt warnings from health authorities.

The United States has had more than 11 million diagnosed infections and over 250,000 deaths from the coronavirus. CDC scientists believe that somewhere around 40% of people who are infected do not have obvious symptoms but can still spread the virus.

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CALIFORNIA CURFEW

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced the imposition of an overnight curfew on most residents as the most populous state tries to head off a virus case surge that officials fears could tax the state’s health care system.

What officials called a limited stay-at-home order requires nonessential residents to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Saturday. It lasts until Dec. 21 but could be extended. It covers 94% of the

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