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Posted by Victor Crew on

Travel Virtually to a New Point of View

Whether or not you are a travel junkie most of us have been, more or less, stuck at home during the pandemic. It is then no surprise that many of us may feel the need for a new point of view, literally. Traveling to achieve this may still not be possible, however one website is offering the chance virtually.

WindowSwap provides these different points of view by offering, 10 minutes at a time, streaming views or photos, from different users’ windows all around the world. You can even submit your own through their website. The view switches automatically every 10 minutes or you can choose to move on yourself at any time.

While perhaps not exciting to some viewed just on their laptop or phone, plenty of devices provide options to where one could stream these to you flat-screen TV. For those who have a dual monitor setup or using something like Firefox’s browser based Picture-In-Picture option WindowSwap can make for a calming view while you work and provide unique background noise instead of listening to the same old Spotify playlist, traffic or HVAC system you are used to.

While writing this I’ve visited Tokyo, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; Wales, U.K. and Glasgow Scotland.

Posted by Victor Crew on

When Healthcare and Hospitality Collaborate On a New Kind of Hotel

If you need to travel to Florida for some reason and this new hotel is convenient to your business, you might consider a new one that has opened. Hotel ELEO, which is located on the Univ. of Florida campus (Gainesville). With standard luxury accommodations like plush bedding, free Wi-Fi, and large screen HDTW. Along with all this the ELEO offers something else other hotels might not be able to offer—a higher level of trust when it comes to accommodations that keep guests safe from Covid-19.

The ELEO Hotel is run and owned by UF Health Shands who is a private, but not-for-profit hospital system that is part of Univ. of Florida Health. This is the Southeast’s most complete academic health center. Even though the main mission of the hotel is to serve patients and their families, the ELEO is opening to the public.

So, why is the ELEO Hotel a better bet than your standard hotel when it comes to Covid-19 safety? The relationship with Health Shands. Long before the pandemic, Health Shands and the ELEO Hotel developed a hospital-grade method of cleaning but applied to hotels.

Key members of the operation staff of the hotel have had extensive training at UF Health which they pass down to the staff.

Things like being mindful “high-touch” areas and not cross contaminating rooms are part of the special considerations the hotel staff, especially cleaning staff, are taught.

Rooms are sealed after they are cleaned and only the next guest will enter the room after it has been cleaned and sealed. Basic items like coffee mugs, pens, paper and other sundries will not be stored in the room. Of course basics like sanitizing stations, face mask requests, and touch technology options are all available as well.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Mallocra Island Resort Test Opening with New Covid-19 Precautions

Riu Concordia, a hotel chain on Spanish holiday island Mallorca, has been chosen to greet some of the 11k German tourists heading to the island as part of a pilot program to test Covid-19 precautions at hotels.

RIU Hotels have invested in many new protocols in the hopes of opening back up along with the rest of Spain’s economy.

The lobby will employ thermal camera scans of guests as the walk-in to catch guests who may have a fever. If a guest signals the system, the hotel receives a discrete alert.

At meals cutlery is safety sealed and guests are asked by numerous signage to remain two meters apart. Like much retail in the U.S. the hotel is also using directional arrows to control the flow of foot traffic. The attendants offer guests numerous opportunities for hand sanitizer use.

Guests will notice that cleaning staff are numerous and working around the clock to disinfect common areas.
Some guests will enjoy that limitations on the number of guests allowed at the pool or the beach. Unfortunately, the bars and clubs will be closed until further notice.

Riu Concordia, like Las Vegas, is one vacation destination experimenting with guest willing to leave home on how to safely offer vacation services to the willing.

Posted by Victor Crew on

American Cities All Travel Junkies Need to Visit

While there are many styles of vacations you can take your family on, many still favor the tried and true family road trip to destinations important to the history and culture of our country.

While many coastal cities, east and west, are significant to the birth and growth of America, Boston stands out as particularly significant to the early struggles of our great nation. Beacon Hill in Boston was home to the descendants of early English colonialists whose elegant, gas-lit streets are well worth wandering through. And of course no trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the famous Boston Harbor which includes a fantastic interactive museum and two replica 18th century vessels. Boston is also home to America’s first college, Harvard, which was established in 1636, student lead walking tours are available.

While the Big Apple has so much to offer one couldn’t possibly see it all in one trip, the historically minded will want to visit some particular locations: Ellis Island, landing spot of some 12 million immigrants is as fascinating as any place you might visit in the city and features a stunning museum; the Brooklyn Bridge is a must see landmark—it took 600 some workers 14 years to construct one of the world’s first steel wire suspension bridges which was the longest of its kind at completion in 1883; architectural buffs won’t want to miss Brooklyn Heights, one of the first areas of the city to be deemed a historic district.

While the Alamo is certainly a main point of interest, the entire city is a treasure trove of Spanish colonialism. The Alamo itself is one of only five missions that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (i.e., don’t miss!). The new River Walk Mission Reach Trail will allow you to explore the grounds and buildings in which priests and Native Americans worked and lived together.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Fayoum Oasis: One of Egypt’s Hidden Gems

While it may be difficult to imagine a desert oasis, they do actually exist and believe it or not in Egypt they are often far from the top tourist destinations.

However, just about two hours south west of Cairo lives the Fayoum Oasis which is arguably a hidden gem of the country. It is made up of lakes and canals. The large region is a great weekend or day spot as it is far slower paced than Cairo.

Many can’t imagine green farms, art and poetry, relaxation and meditation when they think of Egypt—but this is what Fayoum Oasis provides.

The area also includes a protected national park, Wadi El Rayan, that encompasses almost 700 square miles of land. It includes an upper and lower man-made lake separated by one Egypt’s largest waterfalls. The park also includes dunes, natural sulfur springs and mountains.

Visitors can also tour the strange and beautiful Wadi Al Hitan open air museum which includes a surreal depiction of the evolution of life. Wadi Al Hitan as been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005.

For the more adventurous you can visit the Magic Lake which changes color according to the time of day but is only accessible by ATV.

Fayoum Oasis is a must visit for those looking to deepen their Egyptian experience.