Welcome to Friday Around the Planet, a roundup of some of the travel-related news and inspiration you might have missed over the past week.

The temperatures are starting to rise in the Northern Hemisphere, ushering in the start of spring. The return of milder weather also means the return of festival season.

After two years of cancelations due to the pandemic, several beloved spring festivals are bringing back their in-person celebration. Just this week, we saw the return of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland.

In the US, the countdown has begun for when the cherry blossoms will bloom in Washington, DC, as the National Cherry Blossom Festival brings back its in-person celebrations later this month.

Cherry Blossom Sunrise over Tidal Basin
Cherry blossom sunrise with Washington Monument over Tidal Basin, Washington, DC, USA. © Lingxiao Xie / Getty
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Entry requirement changes

Along with the return of in-person events, we've also seen countries beginning to reduce travel restrictions and make visiting easier. 

New Zealand is moving up its timeline for foreigners to visit. Australians will be able to enter starting April 12 and citizens from 60 visa waiver countries will be able to enter starting May 1. (While you’re waiting for the borders to open, check out the best neighborhoods and the best museums in Auckland.) 

Here are some of the other countries that have made changes to travel restrictions and requirements this week:

Canada to drop pre-arrival COVID-19 test starting April 1 
UK lifts all remaining COVID-19 restrictions
Greece no longer requires travelers to complete its passenger locator form
France suspends health pass rule 

Destinations to inspire your travel plans

If St. Patrick’s Day inspired you to start planning a trip to Ireland, check out these 8 ways that Dublin has changed since the pandemic.

Want to experience life on a ranch or working farm? From a vineyard in South Africa to a ranch in Nebraska, here are 10 agritourism farm stays from around the world to check out. 

Or maybe you’d like to see India by rail? From quick 10 minute hops to adventures over four days, here are some of India’s best train trips. 

 Here are some other places Lonely Planet writers have highlighted this week that might inspire your future travels:

This island in Croatia is now home to one of Europe’s best stargazing towns
Best national parks in Colombia 
10 picture-perfect waterfalls in the US
Where to find the USA’s 12 newest National Parks
The 10 least visited US national parks
8 best neighborhoods in Seville for flamenco, tapas and Moorish architecture
This mobile pass will lead you to the best hikes in Palm Springs
Japan on a budget

And, if you missed it last Friday, check out the history-making journey of the first all-Black climbing team preparing to summit Mt. Everest. 

You might also like:

How to interpret the CDC's COVID-19 travel advisories
March Calendar Alert: These US National Parks release permits and tickets this month
A new sleeper train will connect these European cities in time for summer travel 

Safety recommendations and restrictions during a pandemic can change rapidly. Lonely Planet recommends that travelers always check with local authorities for up-to-date guidance before traveling during Covid-19.

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