Machu Picchu, at long last
Jesse Katayama had planned to end a journey around the world at Machu Picchu, the sprawling 15th-century Inca citadel high in the Andes Mountains. Then the coronavirus happened, stranding Katayama, a 26-year-old Japanese citizen, in Peru and shutting down tourism sites. Last Sunday, after a wait of seven months, Katayama finally got to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. And aside from a few guides, he got it all to himself. "After the lockdown, the first man to visit Machu Picchu is meeeeeee," he wrote in an Instagram post. Alejandro Neyra, Peru's culture minister, said that Katayama had been granted special access in recognition of his patience. "He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter," Neyra said. "The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country."
New York Times
Airbnb's mask mandate
Airbnb is requiring hosts to comply with enhanced cleaning procedures during the pandemic. The company also said that guests and hosts must wear masks and social distance when interacting. Hosts have until Nov. 20 to commit to the cleaning protocols, which include scrubbing floors and other surfaces with soap and water; washing linens on high heat; disinfecting high-touch items like doorknobs; and ventilating rooms. Hosts who don't comply may be suspended or removed from Airbnb.
Boomers not OK with travel
Hesitation is permeating the travel landscape for travelers 55 and older, according to the Baby Boomer Post COVID-19 Travel Survey by Coventry Direct. The survey found that 71% of baby boomers "feel either hesitant or very hesitant about getting on a plane in 2020." Sixty-seven percent said they have not taken any international trips this year, and 40% have not taken any domestic trips. Furthermore, 50% said they believed "the younger generations are being overly reckless with their traveling behavior in 2020." Forty percent said they were not planning any international trips in 2021, while 51% said they were planning one or two domestic trips next year.
Reopened in D.C.
Many of Washington, D.C.'s landmarks are returning to what resembles normal these days. The Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and parks in the Capitol Hill area are open. Tours of the Capitol, FBI and other buildings remain canceled. Smithsonian museums have reopened on limited days. The Washington Monument reopened Oct. 1. Four to eight people share the elevator to the top, where they have 10 minutes to enjoy the view. You need timed tickets available at 10 a.m. the day before you want to visit. The elevator is closed from 1 to 2 p.m. each day for cleaning.
Los Angeles Times
Many hotels now provide contactless check-in, allowing guests to register in advance to avoid passing credit cards back and forth and signing documents and to minimize time in the lobby. You can also go online to access boarding passes, to order carryout food and to reserve your space in line for any outing that requires a guaranteed reservation. Of course, you'll still want to capture your vacation memories on video or in still images. But it's no longer advisable to ask a stranger to snap a family picture. You'll have to take turns or bring along a selfie stick.