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.

After a 30-month break in visits, I finally took my first transatlantic flight over to Europe since the beginning of the pandemic.

After landing in Paris, I ventured down to the wine region of Bordeaux where I sampled the red blends and delectable pastries the region is famous for while also checking out charming towns like Saint-Émilion and Cognac (yes, home of the liquor).  

Between the trains and the cobblestoned streets, it was fantastic to be traveling in Europe again—like seeing an old friend. 

I know there are many others anxious to get overseas as well. That pent-up demand for travel that everyone has talked about (for nearly as long as I have been away from Europe) is about to come true. Airlines are reporting solid bookings in June and July so make sure you book in advance and arrive at the airport with plenty of time to catch your flight. 

Planes, Trains and other logistics

Part of my trip to France was checking out French bee’s train + air package. An increasing number of airlines across Europe are offering this convenient way to book all your transit needs while also promoting sustainable travel. 

Train station in Bordeaux, France © Melissa Yeager/Lonely Planet

If you’re an American headed to Europe this summer, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you travel. 

By the way, are you an anywhere worker – a new generation of workers worldwide who thanks to remote opportunities, who aren’t tied to one place and thus work and travel? 

COVID-19 requirement news

The European Union announced this week that starting May 16, masks would no longer be required on flights and other public transportation, But don’t abandon your mask yet. Many countries (and some airlines) still require masks so check with both your airline and your destination before you depart. 

Meanwhile, worth a moment to read Bani Amor’s piece about why the removal of masks on flights is nothing to celebrate for some communities. 

In other COVID-19 related requirements news: Laos has reopened and is welcoming back international tourists 

Hiking to heal after COVID-19

Six months after a long case of COVID-19 that left him breathless for weeks, Richard Collett set out to hike the United Kingdom’s longest national traill. Check out his 630-mile journey to heal along the South West Coast Path. 

Richard Collett in front of Boscastle in Cornwall along the South West Coast Path © Richard Collett/Lonely Planet

Hikers wanting to experience the halcyon waters of Havasu Falls will have to wait until 2023. The Havasupai Tribal Council announced it would continue to keep its lands closed to visitors as it worked on “necessary repairs and enhancements to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for our valued guests”

For other hiking inspiration for your own hike, check out:

 Slovenia’s sustainable Green Capitals route which wanders through three travel hubs. 

Or these 6 hikes in the Poconos. 

Exhibits from around the planet

In terms of exhibits of note, Montréal in Canada  is welcoming a traveling techno exhibit that details the techno scene, from Detroit in the 1980s to West Berlin during the Cold War.

A new erotic art exhibit in Pompeii called ‘Art and Sensuality in the Houses of Pompeii’ may have you blushing. 70 provocative paintings, sculptures, and other decorative erotica found at the vast 66-hectare archaeological site are on exhibit together for the first time. The show runs until January 2023.

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