Ancestry travel on the rise
Traveling to discover one’s heritage or ancestry is not new, but companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com are inspiring more people to explore new places based on the information they find. Authentic Vacations has noticed a major upswing in demand for its custom genealogy tours. Ancestry travel is quickly fulfilling the demands of people looking to discover their roots, with Ireland and Scotland among the most requested destinations. Authentic makes it easy to craft heritage trips and provides customized journeys. Travelers can take advantage of the tour operator’s roster of curated travel packages, which can be tailored to individual needs, ensuring that travelers have access to the towns and villages most important to their heritage journey (authenticvacations.com/ancestry-tours).
Zika warnings eased
Health officials are easing warnings against travel to regions with Zika virus because the threat has diminished markedly. The World Health Organization designated Zika a global health emergency in 2016, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told women who were pregnant or might become pregnant to stay away from nearly 100 countries or regions. The mosquito-borne virus can cause severe birth defects. Last month, the CDC quietly downgraded its warning; a spokeswoman said the WHO will soon follow. Officials said the disease has died down in most of the world — although they think it is still circulating at a much lower level. Risk still exists in much of Southeast Asia and South Asia. The new CDC guidelines urge women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant to talk to their health care providers about potential Zika risks before traveling.
Home to superstar national parks Banff and Jasper and more than 600 lakes, the massive western Canadian province of Alberta is an outdoor adventurer’s dream destination. Visitors can expect snowy mountains, golden plains, evergreen forests and endless blue skies. All that, plus more than 300 days of sunshine each year, enabling great days on hiking trails and ski slopes. Canada’s fastest growing city, Calgary, offers the famous Calgary Stampede as well as the Heritage Park Historical Village, where period-clad staff spin tales of frontier life on the Canadian Prairies. Farther north, Edmonton serves as the provincial capital and is considered the cultural soul of the region. Expect galleries, theater, live music and shopping (travelalberta.com).
Points Guy: Delta is No. 1
Delta Air Lines is the best airline in the country. So says The Points Guy in its 2019 Best Airlines Annual Report. The site ranked Delta at No. 1 because it found that nearly 93 percent of its planes arrived on time, and gave it props for its vast network of lounges and cities served and its record of bumping few passengers. All of these accolades helped Delta rise two spots to dethrone two-time champ Alaska Airlines. Frontier Airlines fell five positions to No. 10 because of a poor on-time record, and Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant’s on-board offerings were deemed the weakest. Spirit fell two notches to No. 9, docked for “the stingiest” 28-inch average seat pitch. But Spirit had the best ratio of fare cost per mile flown for paying passengers. In October, Spirit ranked No. 1 for on-time performance, according to the Department of Transportation.