Tag: making

Hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays on Valentine’s Day for making a baby

Let’s travel back in time to February 14 — Valentine’s Day.

a person riding on the back of a truck

© Courtesy of Hotel Zed/Flytographer

A hip little hotel in British Columbia offered couples the chance to win 18 years of free accommodations if, roughly nine months following their Hotel Zed stay, they had a baby.

Nicole and Alexander Beshinsky and their three-and-half-year-old son are getting ready to welcome a new member to the family.

The Kelowna-based couple took advantage of Hotel Zed’s “Nooner” special this past February 14. Although Hotel Zed, which also has locations in Victoria and Tofino, has offered the four-hour “Nooner” special for the past five years, 2020 was the first year of this particular promotion.

a person sitting on a couch

© Courtesy of Hotel Zed/Flytographer

The deal, which encouraged couples to check in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for some nookie, followed some post-coital ping-pong in the lounge or perhaps a sexy soak in the outdoor hot tub, was a first for the Beshinskys.

It was also their first time staying at Hotel Zed.

The couple say they don’t even always get a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day, owing to work conflicts and other challenges. Nicole calls the Nooner package “a great Valentine’s idea for parents because it makes childcare a little easier.”

Indeed, Hotel Zed CEO Mandy Farmer came up with the original Nooner idea when her kids were little, and she was struggling to find quality, child-free time with her husband. The prospect of a romantic tryst on February 14 was more appealing to her than a bouquet of carnations or a box of chocolates, so she took the idea to the board and they ran with it.

As to 2020’s baby-making incentive? Well, it seemed like a fun twist — the holiday is notoriously known for engagements, so why not conceptions?

“I don’t think we’re going to convince someone who’s not thinking about having a baby to have a baby. But if you’re serious about expanding your family, why wouldn’t you try?” Farmer asks. “If you succeed, you’ll win a way to celebrate your baby’s conception for the next 18 years.”

In addition to the 18 years of free stays, the Beshinsky family also lucked out with a free photo shoot so excited about their campaign’s results was the hotel.

Via email, Nicole said: “We had been trying to get pregnant for almost two years, so we thought we would raise stakes with the contest. Apparently all we needed was a little competition!”

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Americans making holiday travel plans amid COVID-19: Report

As health officials warn of the risks of Thanksgiving travel, more than half of Americans still plan to venture away from home, according to a new survey.

The website Tripadvisor says 56% of people intend to take trips for the holiday this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, a report released last week shows.

“The way in which consumers travel, however, will look very different from past years,” Christopher Hsi, consumer market research lead analyst for Tripadvisor, said in a news release. “This year, we can expect shorter trips with smaller groups of people for more intimate, close knit gatherings.”

The number of U.S. residents planning to go on Thanksgiving trips is down 14% compared to last year, and travelers are expected to steer clear of big cities, results show. Also, road tripping is the most popular option, with about three-fourths of people in the survey saying they plan to get to their destinations by car.

AAA also expects most travelers to take road trips, saying the mode of transportation allows families to make flexible plans.

“The wait-and-see travel trend continues to impact final travel decisions, especially for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said last week in a news release.

The travel company estimated in mid-October that 50 million people would pack their bags this Thanksgiving, a 10% drop from last year. But there could be even fewer travelers as coronavirus cases climb and officials share travel warnings and restrictions, according to AAA.

The predictions come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says staying home offers the best protection against COVID-19. Sharing an intimate Thanksgiving dinner with people you live with is among the activities that carry the lowest risk for transmitting the disease, while gathering with people from outside your household has a higher risk, according to health officials.

For those who decide to travel, it’s best to wait at least 14 days after potential exposure to the coronavirus, the CDC says.

While on the trip, experts recommend everyone wash their hands, practice social distancing and wear a face mask at transit centers. For car rides, AAA suggests bringing food to avoid stops.

To come up with its travel predictions, AAA says it teamed up with IHS Markit to study coronavirus-related rules, travel prices, jobs and other factors.

For its survey, Tripadvisor says it collected responses from roughly 400 people between Oct. 16-20, a company spokesperson told Fox Business.

Follow more of our reporting on Full coverage of coronavirus in Washington

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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South Florida van rental company making a comeback

Business is booming for South Florida’s van vacation rental company Ondevan as more and more locals seek auto escapes.

When COVID hit, Ondevan’s original clients — international tourists — disappeared, eliminating all bookings. Eight months later, about 80% of the company’s vacation vans are booked — almost reaching pre-pandemic levels. Locals, once infrequent bookers, now account for Ondevan’s entire clientele as COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout much of the world. The rebound is providing owner Omar Bendezú, 34, some reassurance that his small business will survive the economic downturn that has claimed so many others.

The company has maintained its fleet of 11 vans and kept its two part-time employees working throughout the pandemic.

“It’s going really well actually,” he said. “I’m feeling good. October, September were good, 60%. But November, December it’s doing really well.”

Bendezú and wife Haley Kirk launched the Hallandale Beach-based company in 2017, bringing #VanLife to South Florida. But until the pandemic, the camper-van vacation rental company remained largely unknown to locals.

After international travel shut down in March, Bendezú pivoted quickly, listing the company on a website promoting local businesses called Support Local Florida and tweaking the main message on the company’s website, which reads, “Let’s save travel together, book your trip with a local business.”

A $30,000 loan from the federal Small Business Administration with a year deferment and 30-year repayment schedule allowed Bendezú to keep up with insurance and storage payments and invest in local advertising.

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Ondevan camper vans come with cooking supplies and bedding, making them a more convenient option over tent camping, said Jojo Lee, 28, who stayed in three vans with 10 friends at the Chassahowitzka River Campground, an hour north of Tampa, in September. Luiz Cent

Since then, Bendezú has bought and sold several vans and added new features to the fleet to suit local preferences. Among the new perks: ceiling fans and plug-in capabilities for campsites with electricity.

One of the new vans — dubbed “Urpi” — has bunk beds allowing a family to live the van life, too. The other two most popular are “The Pro,” for its spacious interior, and “Tambo,” for its retro, Insta-friendly paint job.

It was social media that drew Miami’s Jojo Lee, 28, and her boyfriend to Ondevan for a birthday celebration trip in August. They rented “Scooby,” a bright yellow-and-blue painted van, for their central Florida adventure visiting Blue Hole Spring, St. Petersburg and Rainbow River. The biggest draw was the convenience, Lee said.

“It took camping to a whole new level,” she said. “Now it’s hard to go back to camping with a tent. All we had to bring was our clothes and food and that’s it. There were pots and pans, pillows. That made it so easy.” Nightly rental costs range from around $59 to $139, plus a $50 cleaning fee and $5 toll pass. The vans do not have bathrooms; some have sinks, and all come with camping essentials like stoves, utensils and lanterns.

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Rico Nasty On How Quarantine Impacted The Making Of Her ‘Nightmare Vacation’ Album

(AllHipHop News) 

A sea change is taking place. Over the last three years, several rappers have emerged with the potential to be part of a female Hip Hop renaissance not seen since Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Eve, and Lauryn Hill dominated urban radio in the 1990s.

Rico Nasty is often mentioned in the crop of emerging performers of the late 2010s/early 2020s that could add their names to the list of artists who are carrying the torch of their predecessors. The 23-year-old rising star was selected as a 2019 XXL Freshman, and she earned a Gold plaque for the “Smack A B####” single.


After releasing projects like Sugar Trap and Anger Management, the Maryland native is close to dropping Nightmare Vacation via Atlantic Records. Apple Music’s Zane Lowe caught up with Rico to talk about her upcoming debut studio LP which is due out on December 4. She made half of the album after the world shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel like I’m still the same boastful b-tch that I’ve always been. I just think the only difference now might’ve been, I had my ego shot down a little bit by quarantine and just by growing up in general,” Rico told Lowe. “So obviously, I just think this whole project, it was made during the time where this is probably the first time in my life where I wasn’t on 10, as far as confidence. Within myself, my personal life, normally everything’s great. And making this album just started getting real tricky balancing life.”

She continued, “That’s why I named it Nightmare Vacation because all the s### that I was scared of at one point, scared to do and scared to say, it just became my second nature. I want to say that s###, I don’t care if I hurt somebody’s feelings. I’m going to wear it. I don’t care if I get dirty looks. Just et cetera, et cetera, it goes on and on… Nightmare Vacation is really just about being yourself, your truest self, going through things that people tell you you can’t get out of and getting out of them, coming out a rockstar.”


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UK making good progress on travel testing to cut quarantine

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is making good progress with a plan to allow COVID-19 tests to cut a 14-day quarantine period for those returning from abroad, a change which could help fuel a travel recovery once current lockdowns end, the transport minister said.

Airport bosses welcomed the update from the minister, Grant Shapps, at an online conference but said more needed to be done. The top priority for them is that the government eliminates the requirement for quarantine through testing for the coronavirus.

“We’re making very good progress on a ‘test to release programme’ to launch once we’re out of this lockdown,” Shapps said on Monday. “Once we emerge from the lockdown, we can roll out new systems to help get people flying and travelling again.”

UK airports and airlines said that a shorter quarantine period was even more crucial after a new four-week lockdown imposed in England until Dec. 2 wiped out any of the remaining meagre income they were still making from low levels of travel during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have called for extra government help, asking for tax holidays from requirements such as air passenger duty and business rates.

But Shapps said the primary solution to aviation companies’ financial problems would be getting customers flying again, “ideally through the development of an effective vaccine”.

Separately, positive news about a Pfizer vaccine while the conference was being held boosted UK airline shares on Monday, with British Airways owner IAG <ICAG.L> and easyJet <EZJ.L> both up 30%.

The chief executive of Gatwick, Britain’s second biggest airport after London’s Heathrow, told the conference that he favoured an antigen test 72 hours before departure as a way to end the need for quarantine.

Shapps said that rapid actual-flow tests for the coronavirus being trialled in Liverpool which give results in less than an hour should be seen as an optimistic development. “Ultimately it could open the way for non-quarantined air travel.”

The government was also working with partner countries to consider pre-departure quarantine and testing options that would end the need for quarantine upon arrival at destination, he said.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Heinrich)

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Travel In India To Boom Again With 50% People Making Plans Already, Reveals Travel Survey By FICCI And Thrillophilia

NEW DELHI, Nov. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While the lockdown put a ban on travelling across India, it could not however curb people’s desire to explore new places. A recent survey conducted by FICCI and Thrillophilia across India, revealed that while more than 50% plan to travel in the next 2 months alone, 33% are making plans to travel twice of what they did in 2019 as the next year rolls in.

Conducted in October 2020 with most respondents belonging to major metropolitan cities in India, this survey was aimed towards understanding the post-COVID preferences of Indian travellers and covered aspects like safety measures, accommodations, modes of transport, etc. “It is interesting to know that 65% of respondents said they are comfortable travelling outside their states in flights or personal vehicles, and around 90% comfortable in exploring offbeat places in the mountains, beaches, smaller villages or towns, and alike. This can help the stakeholders of the travel industry to redesign their services in line with inclinations of the travellers, thus opening up opportunities for both new and old business avenues,” Mr Abhishek Daga, the co-founder of Thrillophilia quoted.

Elucidating on the survey, Mr Dilip Chenoy, the Secretary-General of FICCI, said, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry has changed the way travel and hospitality businesses have to function and manage their operations. We are looking at a tectonic shift in consumer behaviour pattern and the way of travelling. The future of travel, tourism and hospitality industry will be completely different with a new set of rules laying more emphasis on social distancing, safety, health and hygiene.”

While 43% of the travellers choose ‘need a weekend break’ which topped the list of reasons why people want to travel post-COVID, around 33% of travellers also said that they would go for a workation amidst nature for their first post-pandemic trip, albeit with their own closed group of friends or family. This adds to the glint of hope for the travel industry that has been taking the necessary precautions to ensure public safety.

“Thrillophilia has been looking for ways to help the travel industry recover from the adversities of this pandemic. Our work with FICCI to conduct this survey has given us some very compelling results that can prove to be a boon for those who have suffered losses during the pandemic. We have also been working closely with many state tourism boards in India to support local tourism and have brought 10,000+ experiences online in the last 5 months. Government’s proactiveness in ensuring safety for every individual has assured people of safety which plays an important role in lifting this industry and bringing it back to its feet,” Mr Daga added.

With the numbers showcasing optimism in every direction, it is not a distant dream for travellers across India to start venturing out, eventually helping businesses return to their former glory.

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Is international travel making a return? New health pass promises to kick-start global travel

A trip from Houston to any international destination can lead to an obstacle course of new requirements–from mandatory quarantine periods to pre-travel COVID-19 tests.  In fact, several countries now require documentation of a negative COVID-19 test for international travel.

A digital health passport may soon be a game-changer for global travel.

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United Airlines is now testing out the digital CommonPass app for travelers. International travelers can take COVID-19 tests up to 72 hours pre-flight, and then input their results on the common-pass app. The results stored on the CommonPass app are then scanned at the gate and passengers are given the approval to board. This app effectively allows officials in the departing country and the international destination that passengers are virus-free.

“The COVID pandemic has brought down travel and tourism across the board,” said Troy Miller, Director, Field Operations New York, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Businesswire. “CBP is happy to observe the efforts and be a part of the solution to build confidence in air travel and are encouraged by this CommonPass pilot.”

On Thursday, United Airlines announced the world’s first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing program for select flights from Newark to London, in an attempt to guarantee that all customers test negative for COVID-19 right before departure.

This new digital passport could potentially help countries establish safe travel corridors between cities.

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Syracuse receiver doesn’t travel with team to Clemson after making obscene gesture in last week’s game

Syracuse wide receiver Taj Harris, one of the ACC’s leading receivers this season, did not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against No. 1 Clemson. 

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Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Dharamsala vacation pictures are making us jealous

Fatima Sana Shaikh looking at the camera

This year has been rather distressing and monotonous for most of us and all we want to do in a situation like this is leave behind all the tension and go on a vacation to the hills. Guess what, actress Fatima Sana Shaikh is doing exactly that. The Dangal actress shared several pictures from her trip to Dharamsala recently. The actress, who is on a trip to the hill station with her close friends, shared several envy-inducing photos on Instagram. “Aaj ki shaam kuch sundar si thi. 🙂 (sic),” Fatima wrote sharing several photos from her getaway. The actress is having a gala time with her friends and her continual updates from her vacation on Instagram is proof.

It appears, Fatima is in Dharamsala for quite some time now. She has been sharing photos of the picturesque landscapes with her fans on a regular basis. She shared her experience of meeting two girls while she was hiking in the countryside. “On our usual random hike we we met two very sweet girls, Sejal and Anshika. They took us to their village. Showed us around, introduced us to their families and made us the best chai,” she captioned the set of pictures.

Fatima Sana Shaikh is most popular for her role in Dangal, alongside Aamir Khan and Sanya Malhotra. She was also part of Thugs of Hindostan, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif. Fatima’s upcoming projects include Bhoot Police, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari and Ludo.

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How A Dog Hotel-Owner Is Making It Work After Losing 2/3 Of Her Customers

Bustle UK has switched up its regular money series How I Made It Work, to better reflect the uncertain financial times caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of women who’ve achieved financial stability discussing the lessons they’ve learnt, each piece focuses on a woman who has had her financial situation transformed by the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. They’ll share what their new normal looks like and how (if at all) they’re making it work.

This time, HIMIW hears from Rebecca Linnell, owner of The Country Dog Hotel in Somerset, which offers canine friends a place to stay when their owners go on holiday. During lockdown Linnell was unable to accept business and now, with people going on fewer holidays or opting to travel within the U.K. and take their dogs with them, she had to shut down a recently opened new location and lost £10,000 in the process. However, she is hoping a new doggy spa service will help keep the hotel going.

Age: 39

Location: Somerset

Occupation: Owner of a hotel for dogs

What was your working life like before the coronavirus outbreak?

Very busy every day and always fully booked with our dog guests.

How has the coronavirus outbreak changed your working life?

It has changed it a lot. We have had to adapt and pivot our business to reflect the new regulations and the decrease in bookings.

We will be using Facebook and Instagram a lot in the next few months to introduce our new service and reach as many people as possible and a new market of people who may have not used the hotel but would like to use our spa facility. Communication, community, and being able to connect are going to be the most important part for our new service and our business in the coming months.

How has the coronavirus outbreak changed your financial situation?

It has had a massive impact. For example, this weekend we had 15 dogs booked in and now we have five. Even if people are travelling it is now generally within the UK and they are taking their dogs with them. We have had to close our hotel in Windsor (which we only opened in March) and we lost £10,000 doing this alone.

Has the government made financial support available to people in your industry or situation?

Yes, they have but [the money offered] hasn’t been close to what we have lost.

Do you feel government measures have been sufficient for people in your industry or situation?

Financially, no.

How are you managing any changes in your financial or professional circumstances?

We are using our own savings and we are pivoting the business and opening a dog spa as people still need to have their dogs washed, for example, even if they are not going away.

We are exploding back onto Instagram and we will be making sure we connect with as many new people as possible. Social media will be invaluable to us especially as

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