Flight Blog

Jul 02 2020 Summer Travel Expectations: Then and Now BY sgf-adminTAGS

 

 

Last year, more than 250 million passengers traveled on US airlines throughout the summer. Parking lots were full, wait times were substantially longer, and everyone needed a little extra time to avoid missing their flight. This year, airports look different, due to everyone doing their best to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although wait times and parking lots are less of a hassle this year, there are still several important things to keep in mind if you’re preparing to fly this summer.

Arriving Early
Last summer, due to the volume of travelers, wait times to get through the ticket counter and security were longer than usual. This year, the airport has less traffic coming through, but social distancing and precautions taken in the TSA area can still cause a slower processing time through security. While we normally recommend arriving at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave, we understand that being in the airport that long isn’t appealing during a pandemic. We still suggest arriving at least one hour before your flight is scheduled to leave, and earlier than that if several flights are scheduled at the same time as yours.

Getting through the Security Checkpoint
We always recommend that travelers speed up the line at the security checkpoint by having their ID out and ready to show, placing all food in the conveyor bins for inspection, using travel-size containers for liquids and placing them all in one quart-sized bag for inspection, and removing all electronic devices from carry-on bags and placing them in the conveyor bins for visual inspection. This summer, we’d also like to remind travelers to maintain six feet of distance from others during the screening, and to move from the scanning area to a separate table to put things away after the screening. 

Planning Ahead
To minimize the time you spend going through the security checkpoint, apply for TSA PreCheck from the Transportation Security Administration. Flyers that are PreCheck approved do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets when going through the security checkpoint. More information here: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck. If you don’t have to check a bag, you can even bypass the ticket counter entirely as well by checking into your flight on your airline’s website, or mobile phone app. These tips will not only save you time, they’ll also limit your interpersonal interactions and aid in minimizing the risk of contributing to the spread of coronavirus. Be sure to remember your mask as well; their use is required by airlines, and recommended while within the airport.

Traveling this summer looks and feels different than usual, but there’s no reason it has to be more of a hassle. With good preparation and planning, your necessary summer travel plans via Springfield-Branson National Airport can be easily accomplished. We thank you for utilizing our airport to get where you have to go this summer, and we look forward to continuing to serve as your connection to the world of travel in the future.


Jun 17 2020 Take A Mini Vacation & Explore the Ozarks BY sgf-adminTAGS

 

 

Though restrictions are lifting and we’re able to go out and enjoy more activities and expand our social circles, concern about potentially spreading COVID-19 any further continues to keep people close to home. Luckily, here in Springfield, we’ve got the beauty and adventure of the Ozarks right in our own backyard. You won’t have to travel far for a mini-vacation full of fun!

Roaring River State Park
Scenic Roaring River State Park offers trails, camping, cabins, a swimming pool, a nature center, picnic sites and shelters, and dining. Though the availability of amenities can vary depending on state restrictions, the park is located just about an hour southwest of Springfield and you can easily prep for a day trip. We suggest packing sunscreen, bug spray, comfy shoes, swimming or floating supplies, and a picnic lunch for the family. Bring along some fishing supplies to join other avid trout fishers! 

Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum
If you’re interested in learning more about the natural history of the Ozarks, check out the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, featuring artifacts, images and interactive exhibits that walk you through the development of the Ozarks. The museum is located about an hour south of Springfield at Top of the Rock. You’ll likely pass through Branson on the way down, so you can stop by your family’s favorite locally owned Branson restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Known for the towering remains of an early 1900s European-style stone castle located on it’s grounds, Ha Ha Tonka State Park features majestic views of the Lake of the Ozarks and more than 15 miles of winding trails. Take your time and explore caves, a spring, a natural bridge and the lake. Ha Ha Tonka is a gorgeous spot for a picnic lunch as well!

Bridal Cave
Another great locale in the Camdenton area is the gorgeous Bridal Cave. A stalactite adorned Bridal Chapel is the star of the caves, but they also offer guided tours of the cave system, a rock shop, a sportswear shop, and observation decks. They even offer lantern tours Saturday nights Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends by reservation. Camdenton’s downtown is also less than 10 miles from the caves, offering a wide selection of artisan gifts and foods for sale in several small businesses.

Stockton State Park
If a day trip to the lake sounds ideal, check out the hidden gem of Stockton Lake at Stockton State Park. The clear waters of Stockton Lake inspire visitors to water ski, scuba dive, swim or fish. Two boat launches make it easy to get in the water, as does a swimming beach. Want to stay on land? The park is great for photographing wildlife, picnicking with the family, hiking or just reveling in the beauty of the Ozarks. The park also offers a range of lodging from campsites to cabins.

Whatever your choice of mini vacation, you’re sure to enjoy gorgeous sights wherever you travel in the Ozarks. And whenever you’re ready to go further, the Springfield-Branson National Airport will be here to help you get there, ready to serve as your connection to the world.

 

 


 

 

Though most travel plans for summer 2020 have had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can still experience a little bit of life abroad right in your own home. We’ve compiled a few ideas for how you can recreate some famous global getaways and enjoy a fantastic stay-home vacation.

Inspiration: Riviera Beach, Tulum, Mexico
There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than laying by the beach, reading a good book and enjoying a cool beverage. While the sands of Riviera Beach may be many miles away, you can bring a bit of beach-style ambience into your own backyard with the help of a beach chair, your favorite shades, and of course a good book. Want to take it up a notch? Hook up the sprinkler system or even bring home a sandbox for the kids to play in.

Inspiration: The Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Your dream vacation to Paris may be postponed, but you can still enjoy many of the artistic wonders the famous Louvre Museum has to offer via their online tours. For more art-immersion at home, consider setting up a virtual paint night with friends. Follow along to an online painting tutorial, or freehand paintings of the Eiffel tower and have a contest to see who can paint the most realistic, most creative, and funniest paintings! Be sure to follow Springfield Regional Arts Council on Facebook as well to see what the art community here in Springfield is up to, and visit our online gallery for a selection from the current installation of local artists’ work at the ArtPort.

Inspiration: Caffé Florian, Venice, Italy
Many travelers enjoy taking time during their trips to visit local coffeeshops and restaurants, enjoy the ambiance and get some work done. One of the most famous cafes in the world is the gorgeous Caffé Florian, one of the oldest cafes of Italy, historically frequented by writers, poets, and even Casanova. Recreate the ambience of this café at home with your favorite luxurious beverage, an espresso-inspired candle or two, and Spotify’s “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” playlist and get to work on your next piece of art.

Inspiration: Euphoria Retreat, Mystras, Greece
Vacations are a time for relaxation and rejuvenation and there’s no better way to reach that kind of tranquility than with a spa day! Take your inspiration from globally top-ranking Euphoria Retreat and treat yourself to an at-home spa day. Be sure to include a long soak in an Epsom salt bath, a healthy and well-balanced brunch, and gentle yoga or meditation. Get the kids involved by experimenting with homemade facemasks or bath bombs!

Inspiration: Mount John Observatory, South Island, New Zealand
On a clear night, you can see the whole universe from New Zealand's ultimate mountaintop stargazing experience at the world-renowned astronomical center: UC Mt John Observatory. Though the summit isn’t currently accessible due to the pandemic, you can recreate this experience in your own backyard or deck. Spread out a blanket, pull up a map of the stars, point out constellations and learn their stories. And don’t forget your telescope!

While restrictions are lifting and more options are available for travelers, it’s still a different world out there than it was before the pandemic, and the safest choice for now is continuing to stay home. However, when world travelers find themselves ready to go global again, we’ll be here and ready to serve as your connection to the world.