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.

We’re just days away from the start of June and the unofficial start to the summer holiday travel season. 

We know for many people it’s been a bit since they last traveled and with so much uncertainty in the world, we realized a lot of people may have questions heading into this summer season.

So we put out a call for questions on our social media. You asked and our Lonely Planet experts have now answered. Check out some of the questions you had as well as our expert tips for summer travel 2022. 

By the way, if you need an idea of where to go, I just spent my weekend in Moab, Utah. Home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, an ideal place for adventure enthusiasts. 

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. © Melissa Yeager/Lonely Planet

Travel to the United States

If you’re planning a visit to the United States this year, know that the cost to apply with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) has gone up to $21 from $14. 

The US still requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day prior to travel from all arriving travelers. Here’s how you can meet that requirement. 

Transportation news

London’s long-awaited Elizabeth Line or Crossrail opened this week to much fanfare. The new, high-speed line is opening in phases but should shave travel time significantly. It’s estimated it could take as little as 38 minutes to travel from London Heathrow into the city when that part of the line opens this fall, an hour less than the current travel time. 

Crossrail place in Canary Wharf, London
Crossrail place in Canary Wharf, London © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Meanwhile, some good news for your transit budget if you’re headed to Germany. The country introduced a new 9 euro monthly transit ticket which will allow you to take advantage of unlimited U-Bahn, S-Bahn, regional trains, buses and trams. The ticket doesn’t include long-distances trains like the IC or the country’s high-speed ICE train, but here’s how you can get one and use it to your advantage.

Inspiration for outdoor adventures

With summertime upon us, maybe you’re starting to plan a beach vacation. 

If you need some inspiration for where to set up your beach chair, check out our travel guides. From 12 secret beaches in the US to the best beaches in places like Croatia or Tenerife or the best surf spots in the Caribbean, we have a lot of suggestions to find your place in the sun. 

If you’d rather be in the mountains, Switzerland has a new 300km hiking trail called the ViaBerna that treks through the country’s scenic landscape. 

And if you need some inspiration to put your boots on and get hiking, check out the story o the first all-Black team to summit Mount Everest. 

Pride month starts June 1

June 1 kicks off the start of Pride Month and we have some ideas to celebrate. From the best pride celebrations in Europe and the United States to some of the most LGTBQ friendly cities in South America to plan your next trip.

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