The Importance of Travel Insurance
Americans spend nearly $2.8 billion on travel insurance each year, with the most common claim being trip cancellation or interruption.
Travel insurance allows for the peace of mind when you are away from home. But when not all insurance is equal or has the same coverage, things get complicated very quickly.
It is always important to read the fine print and ask questions to ensure the needs of your group are being met. There are plenty of stories available on the internet of less than pleasant experiences that all support investing in travel insurance.
Travel insurance is especially essential for groups traveling together because the world is not perfect. Bags get lost in transit, flights get delayed and occasionally people get sick. And with more people, there are more variables to account for.
Please let us know at Guardian how we can help your group travel plans go as smoothly as possible and what we can do to accommodate all of your needs.
The St. Louis City Museum
The St. Louis’ City Museum is brainchild of Bob Cassilly, an internationally- acclaimed artist and classically trained sculptor. The City Museum is housed in a 10- story, 600,000 repurposed warehouse at 750 N. 16th Street and mixes unique architectural aspects like playground features, recycled building materials, art sculptures.
Built in 1997, Cassilly and his crew of 20 artisans created the City Museum from building materials like bricks, concrete, stone, beams, and tiles in addition of planes, cranes, fire trucks, and even store fronts. It was built to feel like “a city within a city.”
There is no map for the City Museum as the layout and art installations are always changing. Make sure to take plenty of time to take it all in and explore as there are hidden exhibits behind doors and under the floor and even hanging up above your head.
This space is perfect for active groups and those seeking adventure and exploration. It even has a fun rooftop and weekly events like overnight sleepovers and special performances.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Right in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio and on the shore of Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the place to go for anyone remotely interested in music and rock and roll. Opened in 1983, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes the most important and influential artists and contributors of rock and roll and the entire history of the music genre.
The Hall of Fame was founded by a team of record executives, lawyers, and publishers and soon began inducting artists even before a location for the museum had been decided. Cleveland lobbied for the museum and with the public support, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame moved to the city.
Inside the museum, there are seven stories to explore and multiple galleries that highlight the roots of gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, folk, country and bluegrass, all of which have played an important role in rock and roll music. There are also city exhibits for Memphis, Detroit, London, Liverpool, San Francisco, LA, New York and Seattle, all of which had impacts on music. There are plenty of other galleries about specific artists and films galore too.
For the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you need at least two hours minimum to take all the information and history in. We highly recommend this attraction to history buffs and music aficionados.
Due to recent health and safety reports focusing on the Dominican Republic, many summer vacationers are opting to forgo visiting or entirely change their plans.
In addition to the heightened attention the country has been receiving recently, the US federal government has placed a level 2 travel advisory recommending those visiting “exercise increased caution.”
We recommend enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan (STEP) alert and emergency information program for anyone traveling abroad.
These abrupt changes have caused a drop of 74% in the tourism industry, one of the main industries of which the Dominican Republic heavily depends on.
Additionally, some airlines like Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways are waiving the change fee or allowing customers to receive credit for a future flight instead.
It is unclear how this trend will impact the Dominican Republic in the long run or how long it will take until Americans feel safe visiting again.
Geotagging is a relatively new term. It has been generated as a result of social media and the internet. According to definitions, geotagging refers to attaching geographical data to an internet post like a photo, video, etc. In other words, it is the “add location” feature that many social media platforms have.
In essence, it is how many internet users let their followers know exactly where they took that amazing photo of that utterly untouched beach on vacation. And although it sounds harmless, the reality is tagging a geographical location in a post is the reason behind many natural environments are being exploited.
Once a photo is posted with a geotag it is becoming very common that humans going to extreme lengths to use the nature photograph to be featured in someone else’s post.
Un an article written by USA Today tells of the Super Bloom of poppy fields in Walker Canyon, California and how the increased foot traffic of thousands of visitors to see the blooming flowers forced officials to shut it down. The poppies were growing up and down the sides of the canyon, and many visitors did not wear appropriate footwear and slid down the steep terrain, loosening boulders and crushing the flowers.
Stories like the poppy fields are popping up more and more frequently and conservationists are asking nature enthusiasts to stop geotagging specific locations. Instead, they suggest just tagging the region. Thus giving the post the mystique and protection it deserves and it forces people to go exploring on their own and enjoy getting lost in nature.
Today, June 25th would have been Anthony Bourdain’s 63rd birthday.
The travel connoisseur and famous road-less-taken adventurer passed away by suicide last June while filming his cult classic show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. To commemorate his life and attitude, his friends deemed today #BourdainDay day.
Please help us celebrate this day in his honor and take the time to try new life experiences as Anthony Bourdain did.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a relatively young company. But in a few short years, Airbnb has grown from a small startup to a large rental giant. And in the past few years, cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and many others have seen the effects of overtourism influenced by the company and other travel trends.
Recently Amsterdam’s city council released a letter in a bid to get the attention of Europe’s top court to change Airbnb to a “digital service provider” and not an “accommodation provider.”
The court agreed with the Amsterdam officials.
As it can be more financially profitable to turn apartments and homes in cities into Airbnb’s to temporarily host travelers than to lease to the average city dweller, where affordable housing is increasingly becoming an issue. Part of the issue also stems from rental properties increasing the carrying capacities of cities to the point of unsustainability.
Efforts such as Amsterdam’s have followed suit to other cities asking for more transparency from Airbnb so they can better enforce local laws and regulations on the rentals and prevent overtourism and promote sustainable travel.
According to the Voice of Student & Youth Travel, an organization that advocates for safe and professional student travel and their Student and Youth Travel Digest Study, teachers support student travel because it not only increases cultural awareness, but it impacts students’ personal development and positively effects education and career development.
From a teacher’s perspective, organized student travel is seen as being an extremely effective resource in comparison to computer-based learning.
Traveling can positively impact students by increasing their willingness to know, learn and explore by 60% in addition to increased levels of adaptability by 49% and increased levels of tolerance by 48%. But the most important effect of student group travel is the desire to travel more after taking just one trip.
Traveling helps children to become more independent and confident. Traveling teaches kids that the learning can be done anywhere and not only found inside a classroom and makes them better students in any kind of environment.
Guardian Music and Group Travel is a member of SYTA and has always supported organized student travel. Let us plan your student travel group adventure today!
With a reputation for being one of the most stunning places in the world, Greece has recently been named one of the Safest Destinations in the World for travelers in 2019.
The Greek Archipelago includes over 6,000 islands, of which only 227 are inhabited, each offering a different experience. People visit Mykonos for the beach resorts, Athens for the ancient history and other islands for the wonderful Mediterranean cuisine, iconic whitewashed buildings and waterfront views.
According to Rolf Freitag, the CEO of IPK International, a company that provides travel data and studies travel trends, “Thirty-eight percent of international travelers currently claim that political instability and terror threats will have an influence on their travel planning for 2019.”
As it turns out, when traveling, safety and one’s perception of safety is the most influential factor for those looking to travel internationally. A study conducted by CNN found that safety is the number one factor for 67% of travelers, followed by 60% for the price, and 58% for the reputation of the destination.
Get up close and personal with the Mardi Gras floats and decorations at Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World is one of the most famous attractions in New Orleans and makes every day feel like it is Mardi Gras!
Opened in 1984, Mardi Gras World, is a widely popular tourist attraction that aims to show people behind the scenes to the floats and float building. At Mardi Gras World, you can visit and see the floats being built year-round, try on costumes and taste traditional King Cake.
Mardi Gras World is the working studio of Kern Studios which got its start in 1932 when the first float was pulled by a mule on the back of a garbage wagon. After numerous requests from people to see the famous floats up close during the building, Kern Studios decided to open up to the public.
We highly recommend this location for groups of art lovers or art students as they focus on various creative outlets and sculpture-making. Mardi Gras World not only builds intricate floats for Mardi Gras, but creates works for other businesses and is responsible for building the giant cows for Chick-Fil-A's billboards.
Mardi Gras World is open 7 days a week* for visitors to come and take a tour of the 300,000 square feet space and learn the science behind the floats as well as see how the artists reuse and recycle the decorations.
*Mardi Gras World is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Mardi Gras Day