Looking for somewhere to travel to this summer that’s warm and sunny, has amazing beaches and food, and cool architecture and history as well? This may be an enticement for you. Malta is offering foreign visitors up to 200 euros ($238.10) each if you stay at least three days on their little Mediterranean island and make your reservations directly through their hotels. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-04-09/covid-battered-malta-to-pay-tourists-who-visit-this-summer
There is a tier system to their scheme. If you stay at a five-star hotel you will get 100 euros from Malta’s Tourism Authority and 200 euros from the hotel where you’re staying. For people staying in a four-star hotel, you will get a total of 150 euros, and if you stay at a three-star hotel you will receive 100 euros total. If you stay on the smaller island of Gozo, you will receive 10% more (so 220, 165, and 110 euros, respectively).
If you need even more incentive, most COVID restrictions are expected to be lifted by June 1, and Malta has the highest vaccination rate in the European Union, with 42% of adults having had at least one dose. Finally, Malta’s positive test results is down to 1% after a sharp drop in new cases.
I’ve been to both Malta’s main island and the smaller island of Gozo and absolutely fell in love with both places. You can read all about my experience there in my posts here: Where in the World is Malta?, I Almost Missed a Bucket List Item in Malta- Gozo Salt Pans, Rabat/Mdina/Mġarr Area of Malta- Touring a Roman House, Temples, and Catacombs, Valletta Area of Malta- the Capital City, Harbour Area of Malta- A Palace, a Fort, and Temples, The Blue Grotto, Dingli Cliffs, and My Favorite Temples in Malta, Beaches of Malta- We Saved the Best for Last (Maybe). Now do you believe me that I love Malta? I could go on and on about Malta for days.
When you go to Malta, you can also bring a full-size bottle of sunscreen with you. As of April 7, 2021, travelers are no longer limited by how much sunscreen you can bring in your carry-on bag. Sunscreen has been added to the list of medically-approved liquids, gels, and aerosols that can be brought through TSA checkpoints. You are supposed to declare that you have a full-size bottle of sunscreen to the TSA agent before your bags are scanned. For people like me who only travel with carry-on bags and never check bags when I travel, this is great news. I no longer have to find a drugstore upon arrival to buy sunscreen and then toss whatever I don’t use by the end of the vacation. I can now just bring my own sunscreen from home, regardless of size. https://onemileatatime.com/tsa-sunscreen/
While I was still working on this post, TSA updated their policy on sunscreen once again, saying you couldn’t bring full-size bottles onboard after all. https://www.afar.com/magazine/tsa-says-full-size-sunscreen-bottles-not-allowed-in-carry-ons?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sshare On Monday, April 12, TSA said they made a mistake on their website and all sunscreen bottles larger than 3.4 ounces would have to be checked. I thought about just deleting that portion of this post, but then I decided to keep it and go off on a little rant.
When we flew to Tampa, Florida recently, we didn’t have to take our shoes off, pull our bag of liquids out of our carry-on bags, or go through the body scanner on the way to Tampa, but on the way back we did have to remove our shoes, we did not pull out liquids, but we did have to go through a body scanner. Also, my daughter’s small bag of bath salts got pulled out of her bag as suspicious on the way to Tampa but not on the way back to North Carolina. I once even had a race medal pulled out of my carry-on bag at the Boston airport for being a suspicious item. Boston of all places, where they hold the massive Boston Marathon every year with 30,000 runners, all receiving a medal after the race, and a huge chunk of them going through the airport with their medals.
My point is every single time I fly, I never know what to expect from TSA. The rules are so fluid and vary depending on the airport and the agents working. Maybe that’s part of their plan, to have everyone off-kilter, never knowing what to expect, nothing ever the same. I doubt it, however.
Anyway, start making plans to go to Malta this summer and have at least a portion of your hotel room paid for! Just make sure your sunscreen is less than 3.4 ounces or put it in your checked luggage.
Have you recently heard some travel news you found exciting and would like to share?