This is how to take a long vacation (and survive)

Are you ready for a long vacation? Jeffrey Blaustein and his wife, Marilyn, are.

Their next getaway is a five-week road trip from Amherst, Mass., to St. George Island off Florida’s Panhandle. That’s half an eternity compared with the average number of vacation days — nine per year — that Americans use for travel, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Travel Association.
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How to solve any travel problem now

If you’re reading this, then something has probably gone wrong with your trip. Maybe your airline canceled your flight or your hotel lost your reservation. It’s happening a lot during the pandemic. And you need to know how to solve your travel problem.

I’m here to help. I write the nationally syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, and over more than two decades of consumer advocacy, I’ve helped resolve tens of thousands of trips that went wrong. (By the way, I also pen a column called Problem Solved, which helps all other consumer complaints.)
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How do I prove I’ve had a COVID-19 shot?

With several coronavirus vaccines now in circulation, travelers want to know how to prove they’ve had a COVID-19 shot.

Traditionally, travelers have flashed a Yellow Card, or Carte Jaune, a medical passport issued by the World Health Organization. It’s an official record that some countries require for entrance. The Carte Jaune can document vaccination against diseases ranging from cholera and yellow fever to such childhood illnesses as rubella.

Will there soon be a similar card for COVID-19? And, if so, will it allow you to travel any sooner?
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Here are the most common travel problems — and solutions

I’ve spent my entire career helping people avoid travel trouble. As the Washington Post’s Navigator columnist, I know where the land mines are buried.

Here are the most common travel problems — and solutions:

  • I’ll show you how to get a refund for an airline ticket.
  • I’ll help you book the best room at any hotel. If you can’t, I can help you get an upgrade at no extra expense.
  • I’ll make sure you avoid the worst car rental problem ever: a bogus damage bill.

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This is what travelers should expect in 2021

What should travelers expect in 2021? More uncertainty.

And I can say that with a lot of certainty.

No one knows when the vaccines will be fully distributed or the coronavirus pandemic will end. No one knows when authorities will lift travel bans. And while you can plan all the trips you want now, no one knows if or when you’ll actually be able to take them.

It’s all up in the air.
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