Confused about which countries you can travel to during the COVID-19 pandemic? Everyone is because the rules are constantly changing with the shifting rates of infection and vaccination around the world.
Kayak has created a useful, colour-coded map that quickly illustrates which countries are open, which have some restrictions and which are totally off limits.
The tool is useful for anyone as you can set your country of origin and it updates the map depending on where you are travelling from.
As I write this, only a handful of countries are fully open to Canadian travellers, but there are plenty of places that will let you in with enough testing and quarantining if you are truly determined to go there.
I’m more of a You Gotta Eat Here guy, but I have probably watched more Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes than I care to admit. That’s why I’ve got lists of restaurants featured on both shows programmed into my GPS for when I’m on road trips in Canada and the United States.
Both shows are Food Network staples and feature amiable hosts discovering local eateries across the continent. On their recommendation, I’ve eaten at some holes in the wall that I never would have known about and they are among some of my most memorable dining experiences.
TV Food Maps is a website that helps you pinpoint restaurants spotlighted not in those two shows, but in dozens of others. It has an extensive searchable database that helps you locate some amazing dining establishments. There’s even a road trip tool to help you plot places to visit while enroute from Point A to Point B. There are also some pre-populated itineraries such as a map of the best restos along Interstate 95, for example.
If you like food, travel and road tripping, then TV Food Maps is worth a stop.
While travel is slowing coming back, most of us are still stuck at home which means virtual experiences are one of the few ways to still experience the world. Slow TV is a fantastic resource that catalogues a host of languorous videos that let you view the world in a laid back way.
Take a first-person evening walk through the streets of Tokyo or a leafy hike along a British Columbia trail. These videos are relaxing and eye-opening portals into life in other places.
Since they are long and not narrated in any way, these videos might not hold your attention from start to finish, but they are nice to have on in the background while you’re working at your computer. I like to run mine on a second monitor while I’m doing other work then, when I need a distraction, watch what’s going on in another part of the world and dream of the day that I get to see it in person.
Canadian travel tech company sherpa˚ has developed a Travel Reopening Map that lets travellers search for destinations open to travel and the COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for both outgoing and return routes.
To power the map, sherpa˚ processes data from thousands of sources, including governments, airlines, airports, tourism boards, public forums and media outlets.
“International travel is an important part of our global economy and human experience; yet, planning travel in a global pandemic is a challenge,” said sherpa° CEO, Max Tremaine in a press release announcing the tool.
“Our team’s mission was to deliver a digital solution that closes the information gap with the real-time accuracy travellers need to make informed decisions and travel confidently.”
The map-based UI is customizable and can be integrated into partners’ websites and apps via embeddable widgets, API or white-label web apps in a number of languages.
American Airlines was the first partner to launch the map.
How good are you at guessing the identity of a city from a first-person video? City Guesser is a fun website that lets you test that skill. You have the choice of worldwide videos or clips from specific countries like Canada and the United States or more general geographic areas like Europe.
For added challenge, the site offers different levels of difficulty and lets you keep track of your streaks. There’s even a multiplayer version so you can challenge your skills against others.