Greetings from Southern California!

My wife shot this amazing sunset photo yesterday with my one-year-old daughter. The air quality finally cleared up (here are some websites and apps to use to measure air quality) so we took the chance to get the kids outside for a little bit. It’s remarkable what a stroll on the beach can do to clear your mind and these days, I think everyone could use it.

Best. Beach. Toy. Ever.
Speaking of the beach, here’s a tip about a product that I think is going to be the hottest toy of the holidays this year. My family and I were at the beach a couple of weeks ago and saw some kids and their parents playing with a super cool surfer toy. My son was immediately enthralled by it and honestly, so was I. I made a mental note to get one for my son’s upcoming birthday but even if I didn’t have a young son, I might have just bought one for myself! Here’s my post about it, including a video of my son playing with it. Full disclosure: Like all products I list, my affiliate code is on the link so I do make a small referral fee if you purchase.

New Newsletter Design
If you receive my Daily Travel Tip newsletter (you can sign up here) then you know my wife talked me into redesigning my newsletter to keep things fresh and exciting. Natalie worked as a digital editor for a big magazine for 15 years before quitting and moving to California (we met on a press trip). Let me know how you like it!

A Heartfelt Thank You
Before I start with all the travel news of the week, I want to thank the five people who were kind enough to send in donations. Last week was the first time in my 25-year history of sending this weekly newsletter that I asked for donations (here’s the story) since, like for so many people, times have been difficult. I didn’t realize it’s been 25 years until I wrote that paragraph. Many content creators who offer free services, like this travel newsletter, have asked their readers to support them if they’re able to and I was deeply touched by the encouragement and kind words. I loved all the notes (both handwritten and emails), especially after I received a really nasty message from a woman in Victorville who wrote, “Long time follower, dropped you for getting too political this last week [on Instagram]. Lost any chance of receiving donations from me, too many other good travel advisors I can support.” It’s funny, she said she dropped me the week before, yet she still reads my newsletter. Anyway, Susan, if you’re still reading, I got nothing but love for you and appreciate the support you’ve given me in the past.

AA Kicks Passenger Off Plane When 2-Year-Old Son Refuses to Wear Face Mask
It’s happened again but this time on American Airlines (AA). A single mother from New Hampshire was kicked off an AA flight after her toddler refused to wear a mask. What do you think the airline should have done? Comment here.

American Airlines Credits Extended
Last week, I also wrote a piece called: How To Prevent American Airlines Miles From Expiring and Great News For Those Under 21. I forgot to mention that during my call to American Airlines, I asked if I could get an extension on my AA travel vouchers from flights I had booked in March, April and May. They were supposed to expire in December but the agent told me they’ve extended them all for everyone through the end of 2021. If you have flight credits, I would call just to confirm.

New CDC Study: Long Flights Increase Chances of COVID-19
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study this week that’s not good news for the airline industry or long-haul travel. The study focused on a 27-year old woman flying in business class on a 10-hour flight. But here’s why I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

United Airlines Offering Rapid COVID-19 Tests For SFO to Hawaii Flights
Great news for anyone planning on going to Hawaii when it opens up without a mandatory 14-day quarantine, as long as you get a COVID-19 test that produces a negative reading within 72-hours prior to your flight arrival.

Alaska Airlines Will Block Middle Seats Through November 30
More great news! Alaska Airlines has extended blocking middle seats through Thanksgiving. Here are all the airlines blocking middle seats.

My Appearance on the Today Show
Just after I sent last week’s newsletter, I got a call from The Today Show asking if I would do a Zoom interview to talk about holiday travel. You might think that it’s early to start booking travel for the holidays but traditionally, September is the time to start looking at flights and since this year is unlike any other, you’ll definitely want to know what your options are. Here’s a link to my segment and more importantly 2020 holiday travel planning tips.

10 Ways to Find Cheap Thanksgiving Flights
After I did the Today Show segment, I realized I needed to update my annual tips on 10 ways to find cheap Thanksgiving flights. After doing some research, I found that fares are significantly lower than last year. Here are some tips for even saving more money.

How to Save Big by Signing Up For Airfare Alerts
Of course, after updating the Thanksgiving article, I noticed some of the companies that offer fare alerts are out of business. So I did some more research! Airfare alerts save you from constantly having to price out tickets like a maniac. Seriously, I used to spend hours seeing if the fares on my desired flights had dropped. In fact, I still do once in a while just to make sure the fare alerts aren’t slacking … occasionally, they don’t pick up a flash sale. Here’s who tracks them and how to sign up for free.

Which U.S. Airlines Are Blocking Middle Seats During COVID-19
If you are traveling this fall then you will definitely want to fly one of these four airlines since they’re blocking the middle seats. Here are the airlines that have committed to doing so along with their end dates.

This Fall Foliage Map Shows When Leaves Will Change Colors
If you’re like me and are staying off of airplanes until there’s a dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases, a vaccine or accurate rapid testing, then you probably want to get your travel fix by driving. This fall foliage map will help you plan your road trips.

New Limited Time Offer
A 100,000-mile bonus, rewards on every purchase (up to 5x miles), TSA PreCheck, and more with this leading flexible credit card.

Airline and Airport News:

Cruise News:

  • Construction Begins on New Cruise Ship Due for Delivery in 2022
  • ‘Failing or close to it’: Environmental organization gives cruise industry poor report card
  • ‘Enough is enough’: Commissioners and execs urge CDC to let cruising resume
  • The cruise industry will implement these COVID-19 precautions: testing, masks, ventilation, more
  • See all the cruise news that’s got people talking this week…

Domestic News:

International Travel News:

  • The Taj Mahal opens its doors after six months (capacity reduced from 70,000 to 5,000 visitors a day)
  • Colombia’s cocaine plan: Legalize it
  • Australia-New Zealand travel not until March 2021 or later
  • People in England who refuse an order to self-isolate could be fined up to £10,000, the government has said.
  • Canadian snowbirds are divided about whether to make their southern migration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • See all the international travel news that’s got people talking this week…

Hotel and Lodging Travel News:

Miscellaneous Travel News:

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