Coming Soon: The ‘Vaccine Passport’
If you haven't heard heard the term 'vaccine passport' it's very likely you'll hear it within the next few weeks. The idea of a digital record of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test result is gaining momentum with governments, travel companies, sporting event venues, and more.
However, there are questions and important challenges to be addressed before such a system could be put in place safely and securely. There is also the question of accessibility for those not having a smart phone.
The New York Times just published a lengthy article about a potential 'vaccine passport' you can read the full article here.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. Having a safe way to travel again - and sooner rather than later - will be key to so many affected industries. And, having to have vaccinations to travel is not a new thing. There are many destinations where you have to show proof of a vaccination prior to travel there. The difference with the Covid-19 vaccination is that it would be worldwide and required for places at home or across the globe. Not just for travel but potentially for getting in to an NFL game, attending a concert, or even going to work or school.
Love is in the Air: 5 Romantic Cities Around the World
Travel has a unique way of bringing us together by evoking feelings of lust, love and romance. From Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey, we recommend these five sensual cities for travelers looking to ignite a flame with that special someone.
Romance, romance everywhere, Paris is known by many as the most romantic city in the world. Lovebirds will find themselves enamored with Paris’ elegant architecture, intimate spaces and jazzy atmosphere. Of course the heartbeat of this urban fantasy is the historically charming Eiffel Tower where thousands of proposals take place each year amongst 20,000 sparkling lights that twinkle for five minutes on the hour, every hour. The passion of the City of Lights doesn’t stop at architectural beauty; it can also be tasted in the many dreamy pastry shops that line the cobblestone streets brimming with colorfully tempting French macaroons and fruity tarts.
What’s in a name? Well, in the city of Rome’s case, love. That’s right, if you reverse the word “Roma” you’re left with “amor” which translates to the Latin word love. An extraordinary mix of old and new, Rome is teeming with grand statues and impressive structures, the most famous of which is the magnificent Colosseum located in the city center. Couples will have no shortage of stops to gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes as a feast of magnificent fountains like Trevi Fountain and Fontana delle Tartarughe are sprinkled throughout town.
Kyoto’s natural beauty and laid-back vibe make it the perfect whimsical getaway for intrepid twosomes. Couples can capture their love with a photo shoot in Gion, Kyoto’s geisha district, where the cherry blossom trees come to full bloom each spring while wearing traditional Japanese garb. Even Kyoto’s ancient temples are romance-focused as the Jishu Shrine is often referred to as “the Cupid of Japan”. Here, visitors pray to various gods for new love, long-lasting relationships and even to keep promiscuity at bay. After sending out a prayer, sweethearts can put their love to the test by attempting to cross between two fortune telling “love stones” that when successfully crossed with one’s eyes closed will fulfill your deepest desires.
Istanbul is the city where Europe kisses Asia. Set alongside the beautiful Bosporus strait, these two continents come together in Istanbul making it a special place for romance. Couples will love immersing themselves in the exotic atmosphere of the city’s transcontinental Silk Road where they can explore famous sites like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. The culinary scene in Istanbul is largely influenced by the different cultures and peoples of the area. For a romantic dining experience, travelers must try Meze, translating to “small dishes,” for a chance to sample a variety of local specialties. A couples’ trip to Istanbul wouldn’t be complete without a stop at a traditional Turkish bath house for a sensual steam and massage sure to relax and invigorate the senses.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is for lovers, beautiful gardens, charming cathedrals and trendy hangouts, and it’s easy to see why some refer to this city as the Paris of South America. Couples can keep their flame burning bright with an intimate tango lesson at various studios in the city center. Got two left feet? Travelers can still experience the passion of tango by attending a tango show at Rojo Tango located inside the luxurious Faena Hotel. For a taste of Venice in Buenos Aires, lovebirds can take an hour-long gondola ride on the relaxing waters of Puerto Madero, a revamped dockside area surrounded by upscale dining and modern skyscrapers.
Original article Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass
What is REAL ID?
REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, is a federal law applicable to all states and all adults 18 and over.
REAL ID is a driver’s license or other form of state-issued identification card that meets the minimum security standards set forth by the federal government. It carries with it all the privileges of a standard license/identification.
A REAL ID will look almost exactly like your standard ID, however, it is marked with a gold star in a circle located in the upper portion of the card.
How do I get one?
You can apply for a REAL ID at any time. License/ID holders must apply in person (with required documentation) at an RMV/DMV office.
Your REAL ID card will be mailed to you several weeks after you have successfully applied. People planning to travel after October 1, 2021 should allow time for processing their application.
What are the REAL ID requirements?
All customers need documents showing United States citizenship or lawful presence, in addition to other identification documents, as required by federal and state law – even if you already have a state-issued driver’s license or ID card.
Each state has set its own standards as to what documents are accepted, so make sure you check with your state’s RMV/DMV office and have all the proper paperwork ahead of time. All documents need to be originals – photocopies will not be accepted.
The following categories of documents are all required:
Proof of identity
This can be in the form of a U.S. birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card, or foreign passport with an approved form I-94. If your current name doesn’t match the one that appears on your lawful presence document(s), you must prove your legal name change in order to qualify for a REAL ID driver’s license/ID card. If there are multiple name changes, documentation for each name change must be provided.
Proof of Social Security number
Social Security card, W-2, or pay-stub showing the full 9-digit Social Security number are all acceptable. Your social security number will be verified with the Social Security Administration.
You will need to show two documents proving your residency. Examples include a mortgage bill, utility bill, property tax bill, rental or lease agreement, or an employment/school document.
This list of documents is not inclusive. Documents other than the ones listed above may be accepted as proof of Social Security number and residency. For additional types of documents, visit your state’s RMV/DMV website.
Is REAL ID mandatory?
No, you are not required to own a REAL ID. It is not required to drive any motor vehicle or to vote. It is only required for domestic air travel, to enter federal buildings, and military sites that require identification. In fact, you can still fly domestically and enter federal buildings without it as long as you have another acceptable form of identification, such as a valid passport, permanent resident card, or U.S. Department of Defense ID.
AAA Real ID
AAA encourages everyone who wants a REAL ID not to wait until September or October 2021. Start gathering your documents now and avoid the last-minute rush. You can apply for a new driver license or ID card up to one year before expiration.
Original article featured on YourAAA Daily by author Andrew Sheldon