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AMAZING AZAMARA

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Article by: Les Leibowitz - Cruiseplanners

When it comes to cruising, the question I’m asked more than any other is “what is your favorite cruise”? My wife Carolyn has an analogy that she likes to use to respond to that question. She says cruising is like pizza, not everyone likes the same. Each person has their individual taste and opinion as to which pizzeria makes the best slice. Cruising follows that same path; everyone has their favorite cruise line and ship. To complicate things even more, there’s different levels of luxury that people like when they travel, and like pizza it can divide a household.

Carolyn and I started cruising when adventure on a ship was considered shuffle board and ping pong tournaments. Now it’s rock climbing walls, bumper cars, ice skating, surfing, and more. Cruising has become a resort at sea with the added value that families want. For people that don’t want all of that, others options exist. We recently tried a new cruise experience, new to us anyway. We sailed Azamara Cruise Line’s “Azamara Journey” one of three ships in the Azamara fleet. As a part of the Royal Caribbean family of brands, its known as a Boutique Luxury Cruise line with concierge style service, and included amenities such as beverages and gratuities. Azamara’s smaller ships only accommodate approximately six hundred guests per sailing allowing longer stays, and more overnights in ports that the larger ships can’t access. Unlike the massive floating cities that today’s newer ships have become, the much smaller ships of Azamara have a lower guest to staff ratio providing you with the personal comforts of a luxury vacation that have become lost by its larger sisters. The Captain along with many of the senior officers can be spotted all around the ship daily making sure that their guests are being well attended to.

Azamara doesn’t sail the typical seven-night loop week after week. Their ships sail longer and more unique itineraries ranging from ten nights to seventeen nights and even longer. Azamara is also know for their signature events including a white night deck party with dinner and dancing, and their “Azamazing evening” where the entire ship is immersed in local culture on a complimentary one of a kind shore excursion. Step onboard, and there are no flashing neon lights, or bold colored upholstered furniture, no loud music or crowded bars in the lobby. Instead, there is a simple décor of light-colored walls, dark wood trim, glass accents, and beautiful staircases wrapped with black wrought iron rails topped with shiny brass rail caps reminiscent of classic ocean liners. The staterooms are also beautiful and simply decorated right down to the fresh vase of flowers.

Dining options are plentiful with an array of choices. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dining room, the buffet or in the two specialty restaurants. There are no set dining seating’s so you can eat at your leisure. We never experienced a wait and were able to sit at a table of our choice either for two or with others. A very talented group of professional singers, dancers and musicians perform at different times in different venues throughout the cruise. This is definitely not the cruise for a family looking for all the bells and whistles of adventure, the average age of the Azamara guest is fifty-eight years young and above. They market to the retiree with schedule flexibility. However, if you are outside of their target age, know cruising and enjoy a peaceful voyage surrounded by local culture then you will certainly enjoy Azamara as we did.

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Out2News January Travel Destination Breckenridge Colorado

Long ago transformed from a gold mining town to a skiing mecca, Breckenridge nevertheless retains much of its 19th-century charm, especially in the downtown area, where shops and restaurants occupy carefully preserved Victorian buildings. Still, the main attraction by a long shot is Breckenridge Ski Resort, one of North America’s most popular spots for winter recreation. With more than 2,200 skiable acres and around 150 trails, Breck has something for everybody. Expert slalomers and snowboarders will find plenty of challenges, but the resort is best known for its accessibility—nearly half of the trails are marked beginner or intermediate. That makes this a great option for families. And its proximity to other Rocky Mountain slopes at Keystone (15 miles away), Vail (37 miles), and elsewhere gives vacationers plenty of good reasons to put a multiresort ski pass to use.

Breckenridge is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Summit County, Colorado, United States.[8] The town population was 4,540 at the 2010 United States Census. The town also has many part-time residents, as many people have vacation homes in the area. The town is located at the base of the Tenmile Range.

Since ski trails were first cut in 1961, Breckenridge Ski Resort has made the town a popular destination for skiers. Summer in Breckenridge attracts outdoor enthusiasts with hiking trails, wildflowers, fly-fishing in the Blue River, mountain biking, nearby Lake Dillon for boating, white water rafting, three alpine slides, a roller coaster, and many shops and restaurants up and down Main Street. The historic buildings along Main Street with their clapboard and log exteriors add to the charm of the town. Since 1981, Breckenridge hosts the Breckenridge Festival of Film in September.In January each year since the 21st century there is a Backcountry Film Festival.That is held about the same time as the Ullr Fest, a week of celebrating snow and honoring the Norse god Ullr. There are many summer activities, including an annual Fourth of July parade.

Every January, the International Snow Sculpture Championships are held in Breckenridge, where sculptors from around the world compete to create works of art from twenty ton blocks of snow. The annual winter Ullr Fest parade pays homage to the Norse god of snow Ullr. The Backcountry Film Fest began in the 21st century, which happens in January.That is held about the same time as the Ullr Fest.

Since winter of 2008-2009, the Freeway Terrain Park on Peak 8 hosts the Winter Dew Tour in December, featuring the biggest names in extreme snowboarding and skiing. Other events held on the mountain include the annual Imperial Challenge, Breck's version of a triathlon, The 5 Peaks, North America's longest ski mountaineering race, the Breck Ascent Series, with races up the mountain, as well as other competitions, festivals, and the annual Spring Fever month-long celebration at the end of the ski season with festivities and other celebrations around spring skiing.

 

There Are So Many Benefits of Traveling?!

Traveling

Article by: Pete R.

Everyone keeps saying how important it is to travel. So what's all this fuss about?

The benefits of traveling are not just a one-time thing: traveling changes you physically and psychologically. Having little time or money isn't a valid excuse. You can fly for cheap very easily. If you have a full-time job and a family, you can still travel on the weekends or holidays, even with a baby.

Here are some of the main benefits of traveling. And I'm sure that once you get started, you'll find some more yourself!

Traveling Improves Your Health
Traveling Disconnects You From Your Daily Life
Traveling Makes You Smarter
Traveling Improves Your Understanding of Other Cultures
Traveling Makes You More Interesting
Traveling Allows You to Try Amazing Food
Traveling Makes You Feel Like An Adventurer
Traveling Expands Your (Real) Social Network
Traveling Creates Lifetime Memories
Traveling Makes You Love Your Home Even More

Final Words On the Benefits of Traveling

Traveling Doesn't Make You Feel (As) Bad For Spending Money

There is (yet) another one by Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” Cliché as this may sound, the money you spend on travel, is an investment in yourself. Travel doesn't make you feel as bad for spending money.

And one last benefit of traveling: it might provide some money when your flight is disrupted!

FDOT Treasure Coast Traffic Report January 10 through January 17, 2020

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS MARTIN COUNTY

1. Kanner Highway / State Road 76 from south of Pratt Whitney Road (County Road 711) to SW Jack James Drive
Description: Kanner Highway is being widened from south of Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive. Work on this 1.94-mile project includes: reconstructing Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road from a two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway with a raised median and curb & gutter; adding seven-foot-wide bicycle lanes from CR 711 to Locks Road; adding a 12-foot-wide shared use path on the east side of Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road; adding a six-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side of Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road; installing drainage features that will improve drainage; and resurfacing Kanner Highway from Locks Road to SW Jack James Drive. Access points and turn lanes will be provided throughout the corridor at the following locations: there will be turn lanes at the two signalized intersections CR 711 and Locks Road; full median openings will be at Mary Drive, Tropical Avenue, and SW Old Royal Drive; and a left-turn-only median opening will be located at Beverly Terrace.
Cost/Completion: $12,892,088.57. Completion is expected in summer 2021.
Traffic Impact:
• The speed limit on Kanner Highway from south of Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive has been temporarily reduced from 50 MPH to 45 MPH. This speed limit reduction will be in place through the end of the project.
• One lane in either direction of Kanner Highway from Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive will be closed intermittently Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for earthwork, paving, and drainage operations. For lane closures on Kanner Highway where there is only one existing lane in each direction, two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Pratt Whitney Road at the Kanner Highway intersection will be closed intermittently Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for earthwork, paving, and drainage operations. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.
2. I-95 Lighting and Roadway Improvements Project
Description: The I-95 lighting and roadway improvements project runs from south of the Martin County rest area to south of State Road 714/Martin Highway. Work on this 5-mile project includes: installing lighting along I-95; lengthening the I-95 entrance ramp auxiliary lane from the Martin County northbound rest area; milling & resurfacing along northbound I-95 at the Martin County northbound rest area to tie into the reconstructed auxiliary lane; and milling & resurfacing of the existing pavement and placing overbuild along southbound I-95 where needed for cross slope corrections.
Cost/Completion: $5,985,000. Completion is expected in summer 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• Two southbound lanes of I-95 will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for paving.
• Intermittent shoulder closures along I-95 will occur in both directions Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to install highway lighting.
• Up to two northbound lanes of I-95 approximately three miles north of High Meadow Avenue / Exit 102 at the Martin County rest area may be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for roadway construction. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

3. Jensen Beach Boulevard Shoulder Widening and Resurfacing Project, from U.S. 1 to Savannah Road
Description: Jensen Beach Boulevard/State Road 732 is being resurfaced and the shoulder is being widened from U.S. 1 to Savannah Road/County Road 723. The improvements include: milling and resurfacing the existing roadway; widening and restriping pavement to provide dedicated bike lanes; upgrading current drainage; installing new guardrail at NE Pinecrest Lakes Boulevard; improving sidewalks to provide American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps; improving signing and pavement markings; replacing the existing span wire signal system at US 1 with a mast arm signal system; upgrading pedestrian signals at signalized intersections; and providing intersection lighting at the SR 732 and US 1 intersection and enhancing lighting at other signalized intersections.
Cost/Completion: $5,272,134. Completion is expected in summer 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of Jensen Beach Boulevard will be intermittently closed Sunday through Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Jan. 2020 for roadway shoulder widening.
• One lane in each direction of Jensen Beach Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 2020 for roadway work.
• Single lane closures may occur at the U.S. 1 and Jensen Beach Boulevard intersection Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. for mast arm work.
• The week of Jan. 13, intermittent sidewalk closures will occur on U.S. 1 at the Jensen Beach Boulevard intersection to facilitate signal work. Advance warning signs will be in place and pedestrians will be detoured to the nearest signalized intersection.
• The sidewalk along the north side of Jensen Beach Boulevard from U.S. 1 to Goldenrod Road is closed. Pedestrians should utilize the sidewalk on the south side of Jensen Beach Boulevard, crossing at signalized intersections.
• The sidewalk along the south side of Jensen Beach Boulevard from Goldenrod Road to Savannah Road is closed through January 2020. Pedestrians should utilize the sidewalk on the north side of Jensen Beach Boulevard, crossing at signalized intersections.
• Traffic on Jensen Beach Boulevard is shifted to the inside median through January 2020 to facilitate outside widening, lighting, sidewalk, signal, and drainage work.
• Two lanes in either direction of U.S. 1 at the Jensen Beach Boulevard intersection will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to install signal mast arms. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

4. U.S. 1 Shoulder Widening and Resurfacing Project, from South of SE Heritage Boulevard to North of SE Salerno Road
Description: U.S. 1 is undergoing a shoulder widening and resurfacing project from south of SE Heritage Boulevard to north of SE Salerno Road. The improvements include: milling and resurfacing of all travel lanes, turn lanes, and shoulders; widening the shoulders to accommodate 7-foot buffered bicycle lanes; addressing pavement failures at Cove Road and Salerno Road; upgrading sidewalk and pedestrian ramps to meet American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards; upgrading signing and pavement markings; installing new pedestrian countdown signal heads at multiple signalized intersections; upgrading traffic controller cabinets at all signalized intersections; and installing lighting improvements at Salerno Road and Cove Road intersections.
Cost/Completion: $8,446,060. Completion is expected in spring 2021.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for shoulder widening.
• Intermittent lane closures will occur at the U.S. 1/Salerno Road and U.S. 1/Cove Road intersections Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for pipe cleaning. During this time, turning lanes may be closed but traffic will still be able to make turns utilizing the through travel lane.
• Intermittent sidewalk closures will occur on the east side of U.S. 1 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pedestrians should cross at the nearest signalized intersection and follow the detour signage in place. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

5. Palm City Bridge in Palm City
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of the Palm City Bridge will be closed Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Feb. 2020 to replace bridge lighting. For more information, please contact Ken Kroll at 786-877-3834.

6. U.S. 1 from Jensen Beach Boulevard to Westmoreland Boulevard in Jensen Beach
Traffic Impact:
• One southbound lane of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for utility work. For more information, please contact Steve Jungjohan at 772-882-5084.

7. Martin Highway from Martin Downs Boulevard to I-95 in Palm City
Traffic Impact:
• The eastbound shoulder of Martin Highway will be closed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for utility work. For more information, please contact Steve Jungjohan at 772-882-5084.

8. U.S. 1 from Sunset Boulevard to Westmoreland Boulevard in Jensen Beach
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of U.S. 1 at the intersections of Sunset Boulevard, Goldenrod Road, Eugenia Street and Westmoreland Boulevard will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. through Jan. 31 for soil borings for light poles foundation. For more information, please contact Juan Valencia at 786-436-6811.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

9. Midway Road Widening Project, from S. 25th Street to U.S. 1
Description: This 1.8-mile project includes: reconstructing the existing two-lane Midway Road to a four-lane, divided highway with a raised median; installing a new signal at Sunrise Boulevard; constructing a new bridge over the North Fork St. Lucie River; constructing a 6-foot sidewalk on the north side and a 12-foot multi-purpose trail on the south side Midway Road; constructing 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the roadway; reconstruction of S. 25th Street approximately 1000’ to the south & north of Midway Road; reconstruction of Sunrise Boulevard from W. 1st Street to Charlotta Street; reconstruction of Oleander Avenue from W. 2nd Street to Merritt’s Ditch; drainage improvements, including constructing 6 retention ponds at 5 locations; and signage, signalization, and lighting improvements.
Cost/Completion: $26.85 million. Completion is expected in fall 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in either direction of Midway Road between 25th Street and U.S. 1 may be closed Monday through Friday except from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for drainage activities, signalization, bridge work, and embankment/excavation. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Oleander Avenue between West 1st Street and just north of Midway Road by Merritt’s Ditch may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage activities and signalization. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Sunrise Boulevard between West 1st Street and Augusta Street may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage activities, embankment, and signalization. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in each direction of 25th St. from 1,200’ north to 500’ south of Midway Road may have daytime and nighttime lane closures Monday through Friday except for between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for drainage work.
• One lane in either direction of Melville Road just south of Midway Road may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage. A flag crew will maintain two-way traffic.
• One lane in either direction of U.S. 1 at Midway Road may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for signalization and lighting.
• Eastbound and westbound traffic on Midway Road from 25th Street to Oleander Avenue is shifted to the north on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the south.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on Oleander Avenue from 2nd Street to Merritt’s Ditch is shifted to the west on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the east.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on Sunrise Boulevard from 2nd Street to Charlotta Street is shifted to the west on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the east.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on 25th Street from Canoe Creek Lane to approximately 1,000 feet north of Midway Road is shifted to the east to facilitate roadway construction to the west.
10. Peter P. Cobb Bridge (SR A1A) Rehabilitation and Observation Walk Replacement Project
Description: The Peter P. Cobb Bridge rehabilitation and observation walk replacement project over the Intracoastal Waterway in the City of Ft. Pierce includes replacing the existing observation walkways, installing scour countermeasures along the channel bottom under the bridge, and making repairs to deteriorated concrete on the bridge pier columns.
Cost/Completion: $9.9 million. Completion is expected in spring 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• The northwest catwalk is closed for demolition & reconstruction through the end of the project, spring 2020. During this time, the catwalk will not be accessible to the public.
• The sidewalk that runs under the west side of Peter P. Cobb Bridge is closed for repair work. Pedestrians should cross SR A1A / Seaway Drive at Indian River Drive.
• The southeast catwalk is closed for demolition & reconstruction through the end of the project, spring 2020. During this time, the catwalk will not be accessible to the public. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

11. Kings Highway Widening Project, from South of State Road 70 to North of the I-95 Overpass
Description: Kings Highway / State Road 713 is being widened from south of State Road 70 to north of the I-95 overpass in the City of Ft. Pierce and unincorporated St. Lucie County. The improvements on this 3.417-mile project include: reconstructing the existing two-lane undivided Kings Highway with a newly constructed four‐lane divided roadway, relocating Canal No. 40 and Canal No. 32E to accommodate widening to the west, realigning Kings Highway at the intersection with Okeechobee Road which will improve the existing connection with the Turnpike, replacing existing culverts/swales and installing a closed drainage system and retention ponds, installing a new highway lighting system, and upgrading signalization with vehicle detection devices and ITS cameras. Features of the new roadway will include: a 30‐foot wide median with Type E Curb and Gutter (22‐foot-wide raised plus two four‐foot-wide paved inside shoulders), 6.5‐foot-wide outside shoulders which will also serve as buffered bicycle lanes, a 12‐foot-wide shared use path along the west side, and a 6‐foot-wide sidewalk along the east side.
Cost/Completion: $45,221,785.65. Completion is expected in fall 2022.
Traffic Impact:
• The speed limit on Kings Highway from south of Okeechobee Road / State Road 70 to north of the I-95 overpass has been temporarily reduced from 50 MPH to 40 MPH. This speed limit reduction will be in place through the end of the project.
• One lane in either direction of Kings Highway may be intermittently closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through fall 2022 for roadway work. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. During this time, intermittent side street closures may occur, maintaining two-way traffic at all times.
• Full Closure: Crossroads Parkway just east of Kings Highway is closed for reconstruction of Crossroads Parkway. This full closure is anticipated to be in place through April 2020, weather permitting. During this time, motorists heading north on Kings Highway should detour via Graham Road to South Jenkins Road to Okeechobee Road. Motorists heading southbound on Kings Highway should detour via Okeechobee Road. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

12. U.S. 1 from Veterans Memorial Parkway to Savanna Club Boulevard in Port St. Lucie
Traffic Impact:
• One southbound U.S. 1 to eastbound Village Green Drive left turn lane may be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 31 for construction activities.
• One lane in each direction of U.S. 1 from Savanna Club Boulevard to Veterans Memorial Parkway may be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 31 for construction activities.
• Two lanes in each direction of U.S. 1 from Savanna Club Boulevard to Walton Road may be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Jan. 31. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Beth Zsoka at 772-834-1298.

13. U.S. 1 from Westmoreland Boulevard to Port St. Lucie Boulevard in Port St. Lucie
Traffic Impact:
• One southbound lane of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for utility work. For more information, please contact Steve Jungjohan at 772-882-5084.

14. U.S. 1 at Prima Vista Boulevard in Port St. Lucie
Traffic Impact:
• One northbound U.S. 1 to westbound Prima Vista Boulevard left turn lane will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for drainage work. For more information, please contact Mark D'Annunzio at 772-288-0951.

15. U.S. 1 at Ohio Avenue in Ft. Pierce
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of U.S. 1 will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. for mast arm installation and signal work. For more information, please contact Benjamin Baummier at 863-763-7373.

A Real ID is a Form of Identification

As interesting as this may seem, so many people are still not aware of a deadline on the horizon for what is known as “Real ID”.  A Real ID is a form of Identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Travelers will be required to provide either a Real ID or another TSA approved form of Identification in order to fly after October 1, 2020.

The following is a recent article from the NY Times detailing what you need to know about the importance of the Real ID, and how to obtain them.

By Tariro Mzezewa

Oct. 2, 2019

Americans are not ready for the Real ID Act that goes into full effect a year from now, according to a survey released last week by the nonprofit trade group U.S. Travel Association.

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to increase security measures concerning state-issued personal identification cards, mainly driver’s licenses, that are often used to access airports and military bases and nuclear installations. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, only Real ID-compliant documentation will be accepted for boarding commercial flights, including domestic flights, and entering federal buildings and military bases.

Compliant documentation includes passports (which are still required for international flights), passport cards and trusted traveler identification like Global Entry. But a majority of Americans turn to their driver’s licenses to pass through security for their domestic air travel, and only 42 percent of Americans hold passports.

Some 99 million Americans do not have the Real ID-compliant identification, the U.S. Travel Association said.

 Once the October deadline is passed, travelers will be turned away from airports when they cannot provide the approved identification at security checkpoints, potentially causing confusion and chaos.

“If Real ID went into effect tomorrow, almost 80,000 people trying to board a plane would be denied on Day 1,” the U.S. Travel Association said in a statement.

“This is significant not only because it will inconvenience travelers and create confusion at U.S. airports. It could do significant damage to our nation’s economy,” said Roger Dow, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association.

Many states, which oversee the task of issuing and processing driver’s licenses and many other forms of documents used to prove identification, were slow to adopt. Some have experienced delays, miscommunication with the federal government and technical glitches in their effort to issue Real IDs​ to residents​.

The Department of Homeland Security, tasked with implementing the Real ID Act, reminded Americans to get their Real IDs and acknowledged that significant progress has been made in issuing the IDs in less than two years​. Forty-seven states are currently issuing the IDs, up from 26 in January ​2017.

To receive a Real ID-compliant license, the Department of Homeland Security requires people to provide documentation showing their full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, two proofs of address of principal residence and lawful status. Licenses are still processed by the state; some states may require more information.

​Travelers also have the option of getting an Enhanced ID, ​which is Real ID-compliant and can be used for domestic travel, as well as for traveling from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries by sea or land, but not on flights. Enhanced IDs are only available to American citizens, while anyone with lawful​​ presence in the United States can get a Real ID​. ​​

Most Real ID licenses display a star in the top right corner, and Enhanced ID license have the word “Enhanced” printed across the top span.

The U.S. Travel Association is urging Americans to check their Real ID status at their state’s motor vehicle department. The organization is also asking states to encourage residents to upgrade their license sooner than later.

For more information visit the Department of Homeland Security website at www.dhs.gov.

Inventive Hotel Hacks for the Savvy Traveler

Article by: The Discoverer Blog
We can't deter chain hotels from serving sad scrambled eggs at continental breakfast or cap the amount of running kids around the fifth-floor hot tub, but we can alleviate some of the anguish. We know your king suite's not perfect. But a few weeks ago one Twitter user, Rick Klau, shared a genius hotel trick that spawned a brilliant thread of travelers sharing their best hotel tricks. Check out these eight inventive hotel hacks that won't stop trending on Twitter. You, savvy traveler, deserve only the best rest.

Keep the Curtains Closed With a Hanger

That tiny crack about a newspaper's width will make you wish you could gauge your eyes out at 3 a.m. when the cheap orange street lights are aglow beneath the same Chili's sign. @johnfein's solution is shutting the curtains with a hotel pen clip. Others chimed in sharing that binder clips, hair clips, safety pins, and clothespins do the trick too, if you can remember to bring them along. However, the two clips on the hanger in your closet will work too.

19 Aug Random Travel Tips

Best Fall Vacations

BEST FISHING IN FLORIDA!

19 AUG jACKSONVILLE

Jacksonville is where you go to get Kingfish. The Mackerel grow massive here and make for a tasty meal. You don’t have to be a professional angler to catch them, but you could sure use help of a local guide to get the big ones.

Want to spend a relaxing day with your kids and avoid the choppy seas? Our advice is to stay inshore. There are plenty of fisheries near the coastline where you can get Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, and Sheepshead. Backwater fishing here is legendary. You can get all the excitement within walking distance of downtown Jacksonville.

If you want to make a day of it, head offshore to snatch some Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna. These deep sea trips can end with an impressive catch. You don’t need to have the gear, nor the moves, as local charter captains will put you on fish in no time.

19 Aug Off the Water

When you’re not fishing: There’s a lot to do here besides fishing. Downtown Jacksonville is filled with shops and coffee houses. Make sure to visit Hemming Park where you can rest and savor the view. And if you like photography, the skyline will provide the perfect setting for your photos. Also, you should definitely visit the Riverwalk and enjoy the sunset.

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