With over 7,000 flights cancelled worldwide, there were major disruptions across several airline carriers over Memorial Day Weekend.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With over 7,000 flights cancelled worldwide, there were major disruptions across several airline carriers over Memorial Day Weekend. Amid the disruptions, a travel agent is offering advice before your next trip.
“Right now travel…it’s actually been booming pretty good,” Chad Dodson said. “I think that’s part of the problem that people have been running into with cancellations and delays. I think it was a little unexpected.”
Chad Dodson is a travel agent and owner of Time To Go Travel in Calabash. After COVID restrictions were lifted, he says many people were itching to travel. That, coupled with staffing issues and severe weather, has led to lots of air travel disruptions. Dodson says it’s important to have a backup plan for 24 hours before and after your trip.
“There are no guarantees when it comes to airlines, period. That’s kind of irritating because you have set times to be there at a certain time, get to another plane at a certain time, babysitting, whatever may happen,” Dodson said.
If something does cause your flight to be cancelled or delayed, Dodson says not to count on the airline to cover your hotel or food expenses. While some do provide vouchers for the inconvenience, it’s not a guarantee.
In Wilmington, ILM had no delays or cancellations listed on their website on Tuesday. Kristina Carlson was at the airport to pick up her son and says he had a minor delay in his trip, but only by a few minutes. She is a frequent flyer herself and says she’s no stranger to travel troubles and is planning a business trip to Toronto this weekend.
She booked her trip a while back and got an email on Sunday that her trip was cancelled. She called Delta and they told her the trip was not in fact cancelled and put her back on the original flight. However, this morning, things changed.
“I got another email saying that part of my trip had been cancelled. So, rather than going to Wilmington, Atlanta, Atlanta, Toronto. I’ll go Wilmington, Atlanta, Atlanta, New York, New York, Toronto. And get in with just minutes to spare for my meeting,” Carlson said.
Carlson says she typically doesn’t have issues with Delta and she remains hopeful that all goes well for her upcoming trip.
“Travel is always stressful,” she said. “I’ve been doing it so long, I just always assume something will go wrong and then when it doesn’t it feels better!”
So, when you pack the essentials for your upcoming trip, don’t forget a little patience and kindness.
“Don’t be scared of travelling. Always be nice to whoever you’re dealing with because you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” Dodson said.
For more information on Time To Go Travel, visit their Facebook page.
After two years of COVID-related cancellations and rebookings, couples are ready to tie the knot surrounded by their family and friends.
According to a new NerdWallet survey over 50% of Americans plan to attend a wedding in 2022.
However, being a wedding guest can be expensive when you add up travel, lodging, and getting a gift.
About 4 in 10 Americans said they have skipped or considered skipping a wedding because they could not afford it.
Wedding Guest Budgeting Tips
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Summer travel continues to make a strong comeback this year, with many finally taking the big trips they’ve put off since COVID. As the prices of gas and airfare skyrocket, you may be watching your wallet, but officials with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says it’s also important to keep an eye on your belongings and the way you travel.
“Make sure you plan your route the right way carefully so that someone knows which route you’re taking, so just in case there is a wreck and you’re unconscious they’ll know who to call and about where to call,” Calcasieu Parish Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory said.
State troopers also recommend a proactive approach by practicing “heads up driving.” That means looking further down the road, instead of only at the vehicle in front of you.
If you’re in a rush, authorities say you may forget the most basic yet vital item on the list – securing your home. Always double-check doors, windows and entry points to make sure they are secure, and lock all valuables away. While more and more people have security cameras installed, it’s still smart to tell a trusted person about your trip.
“The most important thing they can do is get to know their neighbor,” Guillory said. “Make sure that you’re neighbor is aware that you are going out of town and that no cars should be there and ask your neighbor to help keep a watch for your house.”
You can also call the sheriff’s office to alert them of your getaway, and a deputy will be sent out to patrol your home periodically.
Lastly, keep an eye on your kids in crowded areas like airports and rest stops while traveling.
Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.
GREAT FALLS — April is National Car Care Month, and Memorial Day – the unofficial beginning of summer and the summer travel season – is just a few weeks away.
Mechanics say this is the time to get your car into the shop. There are several things you need to have checked out to make sure your car is ready to hit the road and mechanics were already very busy.
Inside Gear Grabbers Garage in Great Falls, there was no shortage of work to do Thursday.
“Most people are quite a ways out. Lack of help and just the way things are,” Gear Grabbers Garage owner Luke Cote said.
The backup could get worse once summer travel gets into full swing.
“Our business really picks up about Memorial Day and on Fridays,” Cote explains. “When you get your oil changed, make sure that they’re checking your coolant. If it’s due to be changed, change it out.”
Tire tread and wheel bearings are also important to check.
“Wheel bearings on trailers especially. There’s a lot more traffic on the highway all summer long. A lot more horse trailers, boats. Make sure your wheel bearings are packed or at least inspected,” said Cote.
Another reason to get your car inspected for the summer travel season early, parts may be hard to come by.
“Just a break job on certain vehicles that before you could get them right now, it takes three or four days to get break parts anymore,” said Troy Weninger, Carnahan’s Towing and Repair Shop Manager.
When you do hit the road keep an eye on your gas gauge.
“We do see a lot of fuel pumps during the summer. I always tell people ‘Keep your tank full as much as you can.’ A lot of vehicles nowadays, the fuel pumps are in the tank. So fuel does help cool the electric motors of the fuel pump,” said Weninger.
Click here for more car-care tips on the AAA website.
MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Our tip James Halstead’s dividend record raises the floor
The last time flooring group James Halstead failed to raise its dividend was when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. That was in the mid-1970s, some 45 years ago.
The board juggled payments last year in response to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, but was ultimately able to raise the dividend to a new record of 14.25p, marking almost half a century of unbroken growth.
The decision reflects Halstead’s culture as a family-style business that combines financial conservatism and product innovation.
Founded in 1915, the business is still run by a scion of the original family, Mark Halstead, and still operates out of Greater Manchester.
Set in stone: The last time flooring group James Halstead failed to raise its dividend was when Harold Wilson (pictured) was Prime Minister
Today Halstead’s floors are sold to customers right across the globe, all the way from Scott Base in Antarctica to Svalbard Hotells in northern Norway.
The company invented vinyl sheet flooring, known as Polyflor, in the 1940s and this remains the cornerstone of its success, used in schools, stations, offices, shops and homes in 180 countries worldwide.
Hospitals are major customers too. About a quarter of Halstead’s revenue comes from the healthcare sector and virtually every NHS trust uses its flooring, as do hundreds of Covid-care and vaccination facilities worldwide.
A focus on healthcare helped Halstead to withstand the worst effects of the pandemic, while its ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances allowed the firm to gain market share from larger rivals.
In a trading update earlier this month, Halstead said he expected record results for the year to June 30, 2021, with analysts looking for a 7 per cent increase in sales to £255million and an 11 per cent rise in profits to £49million.
Further growth should be forthcoming this year and beyond. The group has been making strong gains in America, with medical facilities particularly attracted to the firm’s hard-wearing and well-priced vinyl flooring.
Other international markets are in Halstead’s sights, too. Overseas expansion was curtailed during the pandemic, but is gradually regaining momentum and should deliver results as travel becomes less challenging.
Closer to home, Halstead’s luxury vinyl tiles, which look like wood or stone, are increasingly popular among homeowners, not just in kitchens and bathrooms but also in home offices and gyms.
Like most manufacturers, the group has been hit by a shortage of raw materials, as well as higher shipping costs and absenteeism among employees exposed to the coronavirus.
While these may create some short-term issues, the firm’s long-term prospects remain robust.
Midas verdict: Midas recommended James Halstead shares in November 2018 at £3.72. They have risen 55 per cent since then to £5.50 and should continue to gain ground. A proud British business with a global reputation, Halstead has repaid shareholders handsomely. A strong, long-term hold.
Traded on: AIM Ticker: JHD Contact: jameshalstead.com or 0161 767 2500
Winning tip: A zen Christmas with disco karaoke, Japan
One Christmas, I went to a zen meditation retreat in Oita, on the southernmost Kyushu island, because I was feeling very burned out. The meditation retreat, as you would imagine, was pretty relaxed and the resident monk and I got along very well. Oita is famous for its fugu – the poisonous puffer fish – and for Christmas dinner, I took the only other person at the retreat and the monk into the city for a fugu feast. After a visit to a karaoke bar where we sang I Will Survive, the three of us rounded our Christmas off at a whisky bar before riding the train back to the temple to meditate before bed. Best Christmas ever!
Festive fireworks on the beach, Bangkok
In Bangkok over Christmas, we decided to head to the island of Ko Chang. A five-hour drive was livened up by the karaoke machine in the back of the taxi. Our hotel’s attempt at roast turkey – served beachside – was not a great success. Fireworks and dancing at the Sabay Bar on White Sand beach that night were more like it. And splashing out on a speedboat back to the mainland on Boxing Day was a fun end to the trip.
The belénes of Granada, Spain
Arriving late by bus, still wearing ski gear, we trundled our cabin bags over the cobbles in search of our rented apartment in the heart of medieval Granada. It was Christmas Eve. Everyone was out: drinking cava, sharing tapas or queuing to see the belénes, the nativity scenes set up in all the plazas. We went to midnight mass in the Cathedral, and on Christmas morning, climbed up to the viewpoint at the Albaicín, the old Moorish quarter. From there, the Alhambra looked sublime against its backdrop of snow-capped peaks, the same mountains we had skied down just the day before.
Romance on the 102nd floor, New York
New York, 2009. Baggage handlers kindly mislaid our luggage, making our engagement more problematic than I’d have liked, but the snow and the scenery and the gasp of “really?” when I popped the question atop the Empire State Building on Christmas morning, followed by a Christmas dinner of burgers in the Diamond District, more than made up for it. There really is no other place like it, certainly not at Christmas. Visiting the Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, taking a horse ride through Central Park – they all sound like cliches but were simply magical moments we’d recommend everyone experience. We spent a lot on phone calls to the airline, but who cares?
A bushveld feast, South Africa
We had a family holiday at Shimuweni, a remote bushveld camp down a small dirt track in the Kruger national park, self-catering. After a day of drizzle we spent an hour trying to extract ourselves from the mud before sundown. No Christmas dinner has ever been quite such fun as a spatchcocked chicken masquerading as a turkey, green peppers (the only greens in the camp shop) as sprouts, baked potatoes cooked direct in the embers and some barbecued pineapple for pudding. Having hidden tinsel and a few tiny gifts in our hand luggage the whole trip, pulling them out to my parents’ utter surprise was entirely worth it.
Retreading the missionary path, India
For Christmas in 2016, my family and I went on a trip to southern India to see where my mum spent six years of her childhood in the 60s when her dad was a missionary. It was a fascinating trip and surprisingly Christmassy in a weird and wonderful way – a whole cooked turkey with the head and neck still on, anyone? At the Christmas Day church service Mum bumped into a friend who she used to play with when she was a child, and we swam in the sea at Kovalam beach just as she did with her family all those years ago.
A wondrous walk, Jordan
Our twist on Christmas was set in Jordan and began with a sleepless night on Christmas Eve in a wind-battered tent – although “tent” was a loose term for the patchy tarpaulins we used for shelter, and a structural collapse occurred at 3am. Despite the mishaps, Christmas morning began in style with a sip of prosecco and a bite of Mum’s homemade Christmas cake for all. Once clad in festive antlers, we set off on a walk through the mountains to the majestic monastery in Petra. Festive greetings from home and an unusual Christmas dinner, consisting of a cucumber, an orange and flatbread, rounded off a brilliant Christmas Day in one of the wonders of the world.
An alternative white Christmas, Bolivia
My most unusual Christmas Day was on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia – white, but salt, not snow. We visited the Salt Hotel, then drove over packed salt to walk on a island with weird cactuses everywhere. Then it was on to a very basic hostel – no electricity (cold showers) and unisex dorms with cast-iron bunk beds – for a dinner of spag bol reheated over a gas cylinder burner and carols by candlelight. After a short night, Boxing Day saw us visiting the amazing Sol de Mañana geysers before heading to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, which was like a wild west film set.
Viennese whirlwind, Austria
With no plans on Christmas morning we searched for an impromptu mini-break and chose three nights in Vienna, departing Stansted at 8pm. No traffic, no queues, last train into the city, and a taxi around the Ringstrasse – illuminated golden bright on a silent night – for chocolate in bed as the clock struck midnight. Cafe Hawelka, Wiener wurst, Christmas markets, ice skating, Belvedere Museum Klimts, the ferris wheel at Prater, feeling giggly after gluhwein, looking for the Third Man aboard a clanking tram … Vienna simply dazzles at Christmas. Sometimes the unexpected presents are the best.
Mastering the haka, New Zealand
Taking part in a local haka contest – and winning it – on Christmas Day on a New Zealand beach was the last thing I expected to do during my backpacking trip around the world. While sunbathing on Piha beach near Lion Rock, just outside Auckland, I was invited to learn the ceremonial dance so decided to go for it along with several other tourists. My terrific trainer, Ari (whose name apparently means Lion of God), should take all the credit for my prize – a large live sheep and a Māori tattoo on my shoulder. Strictly Come Dancing it certainly wasn’t, but a Christmas with a difference it sure was.
Winning tip: When Jesus fixed my Jeep, Chile
Our all-girls group’s plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve while camping and stargazing in Chile’s eerie Atacama Desert almost went wrong. Thanks to Jesus, it all worked out. Our tight budget led us to rent a Jeep from a backstreet car-hire firm in San Pedro. Result – a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, a friendly group of locals led by the aptly named Jesus, who had some mechanical knowledge, were also heading out to the desert and stopped to help us. Result: a shared trip, wine, food, campfires and songs in English and Spanish under the mystical Atacama skies to see out and welcome in the year in a stunning setting and with great company.
Cold night with hot music, New Orleans
One New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s, my partner and I were housesitting a friend’s shack in New Orleans. The temperature had plunged to -5C, remarkable for Nola. Totally unprepared for this unusual cold, we put on our onesie long johns and walked to Mid-City Lanes Rock‘n’Bowl. We rented a lane, ordered po’ boys (a Louisiana sandwich) and beers, bowled, and wandered downstairs to hear legendary local singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin (sadly no longer with us). Around 10pm, the Iguanas came onstage and the bowling lanes were overrun with revellers juggling food, drinks and kids while dancing to the Latin-tinged R&B groove music. New Year’s Eve, but just a normal night a Noo Or-lins.
Donna J Hall
Out with the old, Bologna
To see in 2019 we went to beautiful Bologna where there is a traditional burning of a huge effigy of a man – known as the vecchione (the old one) – in the square at midnight. This symbolises the discarding of all the bad things that happened in the old year and the welcoming in of the new. The night starts with dancing and music where people of all ages drink and enjoy life. As the clock struck 12 we hugged and the flames engulfed the wooden figure as confetti fell from the sky and balloons bounced over the crowd.
A Méri old evening, France
In Méribel for New Year’s Eve, a couple from our chalet invites us to the local bar. We are a mixed bunch; some of us in snow boots, some dressed very fashionably. The champagne flows, glasses are raised, then raised again as the mellow sounds of a saxophonist flood the room. The fire crackles, while outside the crescent moon hangs amid twinkling stars; this is paradise. Later, we head to the village square where vin chaud is served by chalet staff as we watch expert skiers descend carrying lanterns while fireworks burst above them. The hour is upon us as we gather around a tree and welcome in the new year. Perfect.
Wine and jive, Cape Town
A sunset picnic on Table Mountain, washed down with silky-smooth Stellenbosch wines, was a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cape Town at the dawn of the new millennium. As the clock ticked towards midnight, I took the cable car down to the V&A Waterfront, looking down as the mountain tops of the 12 Apostles cast their dramatic shadows over the brooding Atlantic Ocean. An all-night open-air disco carried on the fun, welcoming in the new year for a crowd of all ages and races, with the then 81-year-old Nelson Mandela appearing on the big screen from his nearby home, jiving away, to join in the celebrations.
Salsa, sea lions and sculptures in San Diego
The welcome sunshine was not just a bonus for me, but also for the sea lions who were basking on the jetty. The Balloon Parade was a party open to everyone, and it was a friendly family atmosphere along with plenty of salsa moves. At sunset, stunning stone sculptures were silhouetted against the skyline. Standing on the boardwalk in Seaport Village was the perfect viewpoint for the midnight fireworks and their sparkling reflections in the sea. A great way to see in the new year – and all for free.
I found Paradise, Ethiopia
One year I spent 31 December at Paradise Lodge, overlooking Ethiopia’s Lake Chamo in the south-west of the country, where the individual tukuls (round huts) could be described as primitive or charmingly rustic, depending on your take. At the gala dinner we ate berbere-spiced wats (stews) and injera, a flatbread that reminded me of foam rubber in looks and taste. The music ranged from Amy Winehouse to traditional Ethiopian tunes, and a group of Indian visitors proved funky dancers whatever the beat. Midnight arrived, along with a huge cake, poppers, streamers and more dance music. The international partying continued until the early hours when I returned to what seemed like a palatial room.
Winning tip: A perfect ’stan
Covid willing, we’ll be heading to Kyrgyzstan. It’s at that perfect point where the infrastructure supports a great travel experience, but it’s not become spoiled by tourists. Bishkek is modern and vibrant, and in the stunning rural areas it’s possible to stay with nomads living the traditional life. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with delicious locally sourced food. Kyrgyz community-based tourism proved an affordable way to experience the life of horse-riding nomads living in yurts, and the money goes into the community itself.
Where the map takes us, Wester Ross
The west coast of Scotland is our wild goal. During the neverending house tidy of 2020, we found the Gairloch & Ullapool area OS map and pored over it – a bit of geography home learning for my son, who liked the wriggly contour lines and the consonant-heavy names of the lochs and mountains. We’ll take the high road to Gairloch to see orca and minke (Hebridean Whale Cruises, £64 adult, £35 child), stay in a wooden wigwam at Sands campsite (from £52pp), and walk to the beach humming the Skye boat song.
Island dream, Lundy
My son, daughter and I have been making lists of where we want to go since the first lockdown. We’ve booked a few days on Lundy for next August in the hope that it will be safe to travel again by then. It only involves a five-hour drive to Ilfracombe, Devon, and then a couple of hours on HMS Oldenburg (which for my three-year-old boy will be the holiday made before we even get there). We’ll stay in Castle Cottage, in the keep of a castle built by Henry III in 1250. There’s nothing to do but explore cliffs, beaches and lighthouses, and look for the crashed bomber plane in the heather. And there’s no internet.
All a-Twitter for York
I’d love to go to York and visit the Yorkshire Museum as their wonderful tweets – mainly about odd or mysterious items in their collection – have kept me entertained and brought history alive this year. A pint or two in the city’s ancient pubs and a wander home to characterful lodgings would just cap a cultural visit off nicely!
Mind-Boggling Whitby, North Yorkshire
Low cost and close to home, a stay with the YHA at Boggle Hole is always a welcome relief. A converted watermill with a reception, bar and cosy sitting room complete with a log fire and leather couches, it’s in a pebbled cove overlooking the sea, with wooded cliffs on either side. Go in spring or early autumn and the prices are as low as £29 a night. Walk across the sandy beach to Robin Hoods Bay or over the jagged cliffs to Ravenscar to see the seals.
I long for the wide expansiveness of Glasgow boulevards: west-facing, bathed in the golden glow of light glancing off sandstone. I long for the cobbled alleyways, armpit-piled bookshops, curiosity shops crammed with treasure; and also the glitzy, glassy, high street emporiums filled with unafforded luxuries. I long for views of the university, the Campsie Fells, the high flats, the rivers snaking through. And the tearooms, pubs, gastropubs, curry houses, Asian street food haunts, delis and restaraunts high end and greasy spoon. It’s only two hours away but has been impossibly out of reach. I long for full immersion, to be sated by all its gritty, impossibly romantic, unabashed grandeur.
Simply sublime, Cotswolds Way
In 2021 I want to carry on enjoying the benefits of the simple pleasures of travelling that 2020 led us to – like walking and talking. I want to walk the Cotswolds Way from Broadway to Bath, breathing in fresh air, wondering at big skies, scanning rolling hills in the distance while getting fitter without going to gyms or swimming in chlorinated pools or using mobile apps. Its 120 miles should take about a week, staying in village pubs along the way. Travel, like life, should be about connecting reality to your imagination by inspiration, which can come in the purest, most simple of forms.
My dream is to fulfil a Covid-delayed bucket-list trip to see the ultimate sporting underdog story, and take my football-crazy nine-year-old on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We will be travelling to see the Faroe Islands play an international match on home turf. They’re due to play Scotland on 12 October in a World Cup qualifier. Fly into the capital, Torshavn, and you can walk to the stadium. Hire a car for the full Faroes experience: it’s the bird-watching capital of Europe. Hotel Streym in Torshavn has Atlantic views and doubles from £90.
Harvest festival with a difference, Ukraine
It will take the best part of a day and a half but here’s my plan: a few buses, some trains and a flight from my home in the Ribble valley to Ukraine, crossing the Polish border at Przemyśl. I’m expecting Lviv to be “bruised but not broken” as the Ray Davies song goes, with coffee, cake and varenyky (dumpling) culture still largely intact. I plan to go in August for the Saviour of the Apple feast, an Eastern Orthodox celebration of harvest. The reason for going is not necessarily the destination or the festival but the sweet joy of a long journey to a foreign land and interaction with strangers at long last.
Totally ore-some, Mauritania
For 2021, I want to travel somewhere that is remote with low population density and gives me an adrenaline rush. After a bit of research, I’ve chosen to go on the iron ore train in Mauritania. The 700km journey on a cargo train from the north of the country to the west coast takes around 34 hours. This train is among the world’s longest and heaviest and riding it is totally free. From time to time, I look at the photos and videos of the journey on the internet and instantly get goosebumps. See for yourself. It’s total madness.
Venkata K C Tata
Silk Road: Samarkand to Baku
As we enter 2021 with unbridled hope and optimism for a better year filled with limitless freedom and a vaccinated global population, never have I wanted more to return to completing my journey of the Silk Road, started in 2019. Beginning in Xi’an and Kashgar, China, I headed west to Almaty, Kazakhstan, before crossing over into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. My trip allowed just enough time to reach dazzling Samarkand in Uzbekistan. My trip ended at the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, a breathtaking marvel from which I hope to restart my adventure in 2021. My aim is to reach Tehran, from where I will return to Baku, one of my favourite cities, for a deserved cup of coffee.
Mountain overload, Georgia
I want to be overwhelmed by Georgia’s Kazbegi region again. I want to get so exhausted by marvellous hikes – where I will not meet a soul – that the next day will be spent on a balcony with a book that gets little attention because the mountains take my breath away. I will only leave that balcony to eat terrific vegetarian Georgian food, with the same view. That balcony I left and want to return to is at Rooms Hotel, where doubles go for $100 – steep by Georgian standards but worth it and not as steep as those mountain slopes.