What money is used along the route for this trip. Greece, Montenegro and Italy all use the euro. Croatia, however, uses Kunas. Below is a convenient conversion chart that we'll also put in the travelers' handbook we send you. There are ATM machines all over the place, so bring several hundred dollars, and plan to use a credit card to get access. Some restaurants and shops require cash only. Fortunately, every where we've gone along this route loves tourists and everyone was very polite and helpful. Americans haven't discovered Croatia but Croatia loves America. Utah Jazz are the favorite NBA team because of Croatian who have played for the Jazz. In addition, everyone knows Kresimir Cosic, a revered national hero, played for BYU.
By Elizabeth Stoddard
Having just returned this afternoon from our whirlwind trip through Croatia, we want to let you know the covid test required by the US is really not a big deal. We discovered at the Zagreb airport when we were heading home that we could have had the 15 minute rapid antigen test there for about $15. So don't worry about bringing a kit with you and dealing with the online video confirmation. We'll be checking on the other airports to be sure they offer the same service as the Zagreb airport and will report back to you weeks before departure on the latest requirements as well since everything is changing so rapidly.
Tourists, Rejoice! Italy, Greece Relax COVID-19 Restrictions
For travelers going to southern Europe, summer vacations just got a whole lot easier.
By Associated Press May 1, 2022, at 3:06 p.m. By NICOLE WINFIELD and DEMETRIS NELLAS, Associated Press
ROME (AP) —
Italy and Greece relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday before Europe's peak summer tourist season, in a sign that life was increasingly returning to normal.
Greece’s civil aviation authority announced that it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights except for the wearing of face masks during flights and at airports. Previously, air travelers were required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery from the disease.
As of Sunday, visitors to Italy no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated online ordeal required at airport check-in.
Italy also did away with the health pass that had been required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues. The green pass, which showed proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus or a recent negative test, is still required to access hospitals and nursing homes.
Some indoor mask mandates in Italy also ended, including inside supermarkets, workplaces and stores. Masks are still required on public transport, in cinemas and in all health care facilities and nursing homes.
“It was needed,” said Claudio Civitelli, a Rome resident having his morning coffee at a bar near the Trevi Fountain. Until Sunday, patrons had to wear a mask to enter bars and restaurants, though they could remove them to eat and drink. “We have waited more than two years.”
At a nearby table, Andrea Bichler, an Italian tourist from Trentino Alto-Adige, sat with friends, all without masks.
“It’s much better,” Bichler said. “Let’s say it’s a return to life, a free life.”
In Greece, where tourism accounts for about 20% of its GNP, enforcing the rules had already fallen off prior to Sunday. On the tourist island of Mykonos, revelers flooded beaches, bars and restaurant the previous weekend for the Orthodox Easter holiday. Some owners said business was the best they had seen in years and expected that to continue for the long May Day weekend.
Vaccination certificates in Greece were abolished, not permanently, but from May 1 to August 31 and it will be determined in August whether to bring them back. Also suspended were restrictions on the number of customers in indoor spaces. But masks are still required indoors and in vehicles in Greece, and experts recommend using them outdoors in crowded situations like concerts.
Business owners said many unvaccinated people were among those enjoying the end of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We saw again old customers whom we hadn’t seen since November,” when vaccination certificates first became mandatory, Michalis Epitropidis, general secretary of the association of restaurant, cafe and bar owners in Thessaloniki, told the Associated Press. “By punishing the unvaccinated, the state was punishing us.”
Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, was a hotbed of militant vaccine denialism and protests against COVID-19 restrictions.
Like Italy, Greece saw tourism revenues plunge in 2020 and only partially rebound in 2021. Greece is now hoping for a record tourism year in 2022 — and so does neighboring Albania, where restrictions were also lifted Sunday.
Public health officials say masks still remain highly recommended in Italy for all indoor activities, and private companies can still require them.
Given that the virus is still circulating, “we should keep up the vaccine campaign, including boosters, and keep up behavior inspired by prudence: wearing masks indoors or in crowded places or wherever there’s a risk of contagion,” said Dr. Giovanni Rezza, in charge of prevention at the health ministry.
NOTE: on Montenegro
Daily information about the COVID-19 situation in Montenegro can be found at https://www.covidodgovor.me/ and the current Montenegro government measures can be found at: https://www.gov.me/en/article/covid-19-measures-and-recommendations.
With limited exceptions (see the Croatian Government’s Ministry of Interior Webpage), travelers must present one of the following (not all):
1. a PCR or a rapid antigen test not older than 72 hours (counting from the time of taking the test to arriving at the border crossing point)
2. OR a certificate of vaccination (any vaccine) whose final dose was more than 14 days prior to entry
3. OR a medical certificate confirming that the traveler has recovered from COVID-19 at least 12 days but no more than 180 days from the first positive test result to date of entry.
We found a great list of 46 things that can make traveling by plane more comfortable. The photos and ads are available in the link to the original article included here.
46 Plane Hacks That Will Make Any Flight Experience More Comfortable
By Ruby M August 17, 2021 https://morehackz.com/planehacks/
by Elizabeth Stoddard
Traveling internationally can be a nightmare these days. Covid has thrown so many curves to travelers - curves that can change on a dime. So unexpected restrictions, requirements and changes have become the norm. And perhaps that is one reason to travel with a small group now more than ever before - particularly with us, as I will explain.
We recently traveled to the Caribbean for a family vacation with Mark's ninety-nine year-old mother. Five of us left from Salt Lake City to New York on a flight that was delayed three hours so we arrived in the early morning hours. By that time, most baggage handlers had gone home so it took more than an hour to get our luggage and then we discovered we had to take a train to a station where the hotel could pick us up.
With a wheelchair and lots of luggage we managed to get halfway there when we finally realized that if we continued to the hotel we were likely to get one hour of sleep and then had to be back for our morning flight to St. Maartins. So we decided to turn around and go back to American Airlines where we could get an early start and be well ahead of the game for our next flight.
Or so we thought.
When we arrived at the AA departure terminal four hours before our flight and started the check in process we were informed that besides the covid test results, our vaccination record and airline tickets, St. Maartins required an online form that was to be filled out 12 hours before departure. To our shocked reaction, we were told we should have researched the destination and then we would have known about this form.
The cruise line we were traveling with and the airline had neglected to inform us of this additional hoop to jump through, so as a result, we had a tortured beginning to a wonderful trip. We missed two flights, the first day of the cruise and had to be re-routed through Miami with an unexpected night in a hotel there. In addition, we were required to purchase trip insurance. Then, since we were rerouted to St. Kitts, there was another totally different online form to be navigated (and both required uploaded photos of our test results and our vaccination records).
Then when we arrived in St. Kitts, Mark, mom and I were almost unable to enter as we had received spit pcr tests and St. Kitts requires nasal pcr test. Mark finally convinced the young man that we were going directly to the cruise ship and would not contaminate the islanders. And we finally joined the cruise.
So, the point to this long tortured diatribe is that we, your tour directors know what a pain international travel can be and we are here to remove the roadblocks ... as much as humanly possible. We are grateful to be aware that yes, there is a form to fill out to go to Croatia and there will be other forms and changing requirements. We are spending hours each day researching, planning and finding those who can be there to assist us in making your trip like traveling used to be.
So please don't worry. Be mindful and read all that we send you - we'll keep updates coming as needed, and you are welcome to call. Just know we are seasoned travelers who have recently experienced the horror of traveling and are determined to give you the information you will need to safely and serenely navigate this trip. Perhaps now more than ever it is good to go with a group and let us do the groundwork for you.
Besides, we are taking you to the best cruise you've never heard of - really, it has been on the bucket list for us and for the Proctors ever since we were there last time. It's a country rich in history, culture and beauty. And we're planning some additional activities you've never done before on an international trip - guaranteed.
By Mark Stoddard
Simply put, it will cost you less.
Some people want to use their Frequent Flyer numbers.
Others want to stop off in another country before or after our cruise.
Some want upgrades to better seat assignments.
If we include it in the cruise fare, we must take the price the airline is quoting now and add even more to cover the fare their quote at a later date. In addition, we'll have to use a route that may not appeal to you or fit your needs. Those routes change constantly and we can't control any of it.
Instead, we utilize our friends at Expedia Cruises, Lehi, who have large blocks of great fares with most major airlines. They work on commission and their fares are less than you could do on your own, so you save money doing it that way. And if anything goes wrong, Expedia is always available to find alternatives for you.
But, you may ask, other cruise lines offer FREE air.
Yes, they say that. That means they've increased their fares to cover the free air offer or, they offer a credit or discount amount (as we do) from your cruise fare to help offset the air. The language they use matters but if they're paying for something, you are as well.