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St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Will Be The Worst For These 3 Zodiac Signs

Besides being a cultural and religious holiday, March 17, 2020 also happens to be a day marked by many astrological shifts. So don’t be surprised when I say St. Patrick’s Day 2020 won’t be so lucky for some zodiac signs, regardless of its celebratory significance.

The lucky vs. unlucky St. Patrick’s Day superstition is pretty much all in the mind, though, so instead of panicking about what could go wrong during the Irish celebration, consider the astrology. For instance, the moon sets the emotional tone of the day and the moon is going to be in harmony with Venus, so it’s not the end of the world.

Something else to look forward to is, Mercury will be direct, which always feels like a breath of fresh air, after a long perplexing retro phase.

As for the bad news, Mercury — the planet of communication — will have already re-entered Pisces. Swift and savvy, the clever messenger planet doesn’t feel comfortable while traveling through Pisces’ mutable waters. That’s why Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are bound to have the worst March 17 — but, again, it doesn’t signify anything bad about St. Patrick’s Day itself.

Gemini: You Could Feel Restless And Insecure

Overthinking is probably one of the things you struggle with the most, Gemini. The good news is, you’re a professional at detaching from your emotions. However, things change when the moon’s traveling through your eighth house of sex, transformation, and intimate unions. There’s a cluster of celestial energy here, so you’re somewhat used to the feels, but even then, it’s a challenging lunation for a day like St. Paddy’s when everyone’s out celebrating.

In harmony with Venus — via your secretive 12th house of secrets and karma — you could be dealing with some unfinished relationship business, despite Mercury stationing direct. Get it over with and take it easy. There’s always next year.

Libra: You Probably Won’t Be In The Mood To Go Out

Home is where you heart is this St. Patrick’s Day, Libra. There’s a lot happening on the home front for you these days, and with the moon lingering over this area of your chart, hanging at the local bar for green beer will probably be the last thing on your mind. Don’t sweat it. I know how much you enjoy being around your tribe, but if there’s anything this moon is trying to show you, it’s put your emotions first.

Your planetary ruler, Venus, will be in harmony with the moon, which isn’t bad news. Although, it’s important to recognize her positioning. In this case, she will be traveling through your auspicious eighth house of intimate unions and all things taboo. Face your fears once and for all, Libra.

Aquarius: You’re Likely Feeling More Introspective

Everyone always expects you to show up, Aquarius. Your eccentric and freedom-loving spirit is naturally magnetic, but more importantly, it always brings everyone together. I’m not saying your St. Patrick’s Day celebration is canceled, but you might want to do something more intimate at home where you have control of the situation. Tell your closest besties to bring the drinks and hook it up with the snacks and food coloring.

Venus will be in harmony with la luna, and sitting over your domestic fourth house of home, family, and emotional foundation. You’re not necessarily the emotional type, but you may very well give everyone a glimpse of your softer side.

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Epic luxury holidays near and far in 2020 – A Luxury Travel Blog

There’s no need to avoid making holiday plans in 2020 – and with a slight shift in focus, it might even become one of your best holidays yet. On a luxury yacht charter you are in control of your destinations – where you visit, how much time you spend there and whether you even set foot on land at all. You could spend a week or longer in the romantic Maldives and Seychelles, where it’s only your footprints that are pressed into the golden sands, and there’s no other signs of civilisation for miles.

Instead of trying to fill your short stay with all of the top-recommended attractions, spend quality time reconnecting with family and friends and get to know the environment for its own beauty. There are tons of activities, from water sports and sunbathing to hiking and biking along trails, rock climbing and even paragliding.

Private transportation

From the moment you leave your front door to the moment you return, you can choose to take private transport all the way: A limousine can ferry your group and your baggage to a private jet, and from the airport, it’s even possible to take a helicopter to your yacht. Your personalised itinerary can also have transport arranged for the places you visit during your holiday so that you’re never waiting anywhere for long and have as much time as possible at your destination.

Everything with you everywhere you go

Being away from civilisation doesn’t mean that you are deprived from modern entertainment, and depending on what vessel you choose, you could have much more than just a TV in the cabins: a dedicated indoor or outdoor cinema, a spa massage room complete with sauna and steam room, or even a golf tee with biodegradable balls are all possibilities above and beyond the typical sunbeds and Jacuzzi.

Your yacht is your transport, entertainment centre and accommodation all rolled into one. And with a professional chef preparing every one of your meals while you savour the sunshine or play games together, the only time you might want to leave is to have a private beach party or to explore along the coast with the water toys.

Distant shores

The world of luxury yachting has opened up significantly over the past decade, and there are expedition yachts travelling as far south as Antarctica and up to the beautiful wildernesses of Greenland & Svalbard. When you want to leave all your cares far, far behind, then these destinations are a great way to see rare sights and spend quality time with family and friends.

Alaska is an awe-inspiring landscape home to the stunning blue-white Hubbard Glacier and the incredible Misty Fjords in the Tongass National Forest. Brown bears, otters and eagles call this land home and you can kayak and hike along the coast to connect with this powerful place in-person. Once you’re back on board, warm up with facilities such as a hammam or sauna, or dip into the Jacuzzi on deck to continue gazing at this chilly wonderland in perfect warmth and serenity.

Greenland & Svalbard has its own marvels, including natural hot springs, fresh-fallen powdery snow for dog-sledding and other winter sports, kayaking amongst glaciers and the mesmeric Northern Lights that are best experienced at the end of summer into the early autumn.

Indonesia is arguably the world’s best Scuba diving destination with various sites for all ability levels and richly rewarding encounters with brightly coloured species. The innumerable islands also make it possible to spend time on the beach without ever encountering another group of people, and the same can be said for the archipelagos in French Polynesia.

The Galapagos Islands are perhaps the most alluring: Home to exotic creatures such as the Galapagos Turtle, marine iguana and the unusual blue footed booby. The Galapagos is a treat for photographers and painters as well as water sports lovers who will want to swim with golden cownose rays, king angelfish and possibly even the Galapagos penguins as they explore thriving coral reefs that have been untouched by human habitation.

Doorstep delights

It might be time to dispel the notion that you have to cross the world for a sensational and satisfying holiday, and instead discover why visitors the world over come to your own shores.

The Mediterranean is certainly the world’s favourite yacht charter grounds come summer, but Northern Europe has its own treasures that entice a steady stream of visitors into the Baltic Sea: The Norwegian Fjords have spectacular waterfalls made from melting winter ice, and there are isle and islets where you will be able to rest upon the beach and enjoy snorkelling and other water sports in complete privacy.

History lovers and children with active imaginations will be enthralled by the imposing ruins of castles and watchtowers along the shores, and when you want to step ashore and see more of the towns and cities, there are local beer festivals, markets, and boutique shops to be done. Antwerp is famous for its diamond district – and the delectable Belgian chocolates are enough to tempt you to spend a day in port. Across the English Channel, the Cornish coast is well known to the nation for its picturesque scenery, warm summer weather and golden sand beaches that can compete with any in France. Snorkel and Scuba dive in clean clear seas, and for a treat, have Devonshire scones in one of the quaint Cornish villages.

 

New England is gorgeous at any time of the year, but a visit between summer and autumn will capture the fine weather for time at the beach, and for exploring the Acadia National Park and the art and brewery trails by bike. Fishing enthusiasts and Scuba divers also have much to keep them occupied, while kayakers can use the towering lighthouses as landmarks as they paddle along the coast.

The Caribbean & Bahamas have a plethora of islands to make your own over the summer, however Bermuda is gorgeous alternative laced with pink sand beaches, turquoise waters and fantastic spots for water sports away from the rest of the world.

Don’t miss out on the sunniest days of the year and make 2020 your best holiday with loved ones yet.

Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.

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Favourite hidden spots in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Winning tip: Walks on the wild side, Portugal

My friend and I wanted to do some winter walking where the weather was sunny. We found the GR15 walking route in the eastern Algarve from Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the coast inland to Alcoutim following the Guadiana river. There are also smaller routes off the GR15. Absolutely stunning views and unspoiled. We stayed in Almada D’Ouro at Casa Da Paz – a beautiful B&B with views on to the river and just one two-bedroom suite (from £70). We had a bedroom each. A fantastic breakfast with fruit, ham, cheeses and eggs is included. A fire in the evening. A great host.
Massimo

Readers’ tips: send a tip for a chance to win a £200 Sawday’s stay

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print, and the best entry each week (as chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet) wins £200 towards a stay at one of 3,000-plus Sawday’s properties in the UK and Europe. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Lapland paradise, Sweden

If you’re torn between a Lapland adventure but need your skiing fix, Luleå in northern Sweden offers the best of both worlds. Stay close to the frozen Baltic to experience husky rides, reindeer and northern lights, then take an hour’s drive to the small ski resort of Storklinten. This is where the locals head for a weekend of downhill or cross-country skiing, have lunch around a bonfire and enjoy perfect snow and luxuriously empty slopes.
Treat yourself to a night at the Tree Hotel or stay at the resort in one of the stylish cabins in the woods (Bear Lodge is great for families).
Victoria Bailie

Intoxicating lounge bar, Gozo, Malta

Meaning “little room” in Maltese, “Gebuba” is both a Tardis and an Aladdin’s cave. Somehow your affable host, Govann, has squeezed more than 500 international beers and ciders, countless spirits and a sizable collection of wines into a space no bigger than the average sitting room. Malta’s sister island, Gozo, isn’t exactly blessed with bountiful hostelries, so if you’re in the mood for a liquid epicurean adventure after a hard day at the beach there really is only one place to go. Head to San Pietru u San Paul square in the village of Nadur , in front of the beautiful church, and choose your tipple.
On Facebook
Peter Winfield

Beaches and anchovies, Italy

Cetara is a tiny town on the Amalfi Coast, past the hectic streets and restaurants of Sorrento and Positano. Famed for its anchovies, Cetara is a relaxing place to enjoy the delights of the Amalfi region without feeling like you need to finish your spaghetti alle vongole in record time! The beach is a perfect size, easy to access, and you’re never more than a stone’s throw from a restaurant. There’s a wide range of eateries offering fresh local seafood, pasta and pizza. I’d recommend Ristorante Acquapazza on Corso Garibaldi, where the owner kindly let us sit and drink during the evening and offered us a tasting of his notoriously delicious five-year-old marinated anchovies.
Lewis

Perched on the edge of Europe, Greece

Finikounda, on the south-west tip of the Peloponnese, is literally at the edge of Europe. A scenic 90-minute bus ride south from Kalamata, it is a peaceful, authentic village, with Greeks outnumbering British visitors. Its cobbled main street runs adjacent to the curve of the blue flag beach, with several tavernas on the seaward side. Watch the moon rise over the bay as you enjoy delicious, homely Greek food and robust local wines for half the price you would pay on the islands. The sporadic transport links soon force a revelation –that significant delight lies in just “being” there.
Anthony Hulse

Fabadas and fishing villages, Asturias

Fishing villages along the rough Cantabrian coast are worth the effort it takes to get there. One of the most breathtaking is Lastres. Jump off a bus at the top of the village and stumble down its steep, breezy streets. At Restaurante Marbella on Calle Corea it’s worth the short wait for a seat on the terrace that juts out from the back, with the mountains and sea stretching either side. A hearty fabada (Asturian bean stew) and a bottle of sidra are perfect for sharing. The compact sandy beach at the bottom of the town is ideal for a post-lunch nap as the sun dips towards the hills.
Matt

Mountain hideaway, Slovenia

With three sides dominated by the Julian Alps and a steep mountain pass providing the only road access, Drežnica is not a place many stumble across by chance. Relax, a bright-yellow new-build holiday home with a heartwarming wood-chip boiler and uber-modern amenities, somehow fits perfectly into the mountainside setting. Slovenians are famously hospitable, and our wonderful hosts brought us fresh cow’s milk, and a delicious homemade dessert. Its an easy walk to Slap Kozjak, where the water tumbles 50m towards the emerald-green Soca river. And the foodie paradise of Kobarid is just 8km away.
On Airbnb, sleeps 5, from around €110 a night
Nigel Hamilton

Tranquil wildlife haven, Lithuania

Nida is the last of the four former fishermen’s villages on the Curonian Spit – a thin strip of land in Lithuania with the Baltic Sea on one side and the Curonian Lagoon on the other. Through most of the year, it’s a tranquil haven for fishermen, visiting artists and the many animals that inhabit the spit (all of it is a nature reserve). During the summer, it gets busy as the tourists arrive for the sandy beaches, electronic music and jazz festivals, and the regatta. Ferry and environmental charge for a car with passengers around €30.
Agne

Pirates’ lookout, Mallorca

Away from Alcúdia’s stunning 6km white beach, are two sandy coves – Mal Pas and S’illot; with arguably the clearest water on the island, these are ideal for snorkelling. Or you could continue through aromatic pine forests to the peaceful Ermita de la Victoria. But for unbeatable island views, follow the footpath behind the hermitage for Mirador de Penya del Migdia. There are chains on tougher parts of the path, while far below is the blue only the Med can be. Spring is perfect as autumn can be rainy – less than ideal for walking along cliff edges. No idea how they got the cannon to the top!
Antony

Fairy chimneys, French Pyrenees

Forty minutes’ drive inland from Argelès on France’s Côte Vermeille, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, lies Ille-sur-Têt and Les Orgues. Free parking and a €5 ticket gives access to a meandering dust track. It’s an easy 15-minute walk, enhanced by quirky metal sculptures, before you arrive at the main event: stunning rock formations, the likes of which can’t be seen outside the US or Turkey. Les Orgues translates as “organ pipes”, which might best describe these extraordinary sand and clay structures; children might prefer “fairy chimneys”. Take water if visiting during the summer and enjoy a cooling drink at the cafe at the bottom. A small giftshop sells honey and other artisanal produce.
Dawn Taylor

Looking for a holiday with a difference? Browse Guardian Holidays to see a range of fantastic trips

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What does coronavirus mean for holidays, travel insurance and gigs?

If I buy travel insurance now for a holiday I have just booked, will it cover me going forward?

Yes. The Association of British Insurers confirmed this week that someone booking a holiday to Spain in, say, June, and buying travel insurance would be covered for cancellation, but only if the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) later advised against travel to the country. The insurance has to have been bought before a country was declared off limits.

That said, Money would not be surprised if insurers – faced with a deluge of claims in the future – started to argue that the virus was a known problem when the policy was bought. Force majeure may be used to avoid paying out, although when we examined several major travel policy terms and conditions this week, we were not able to identify such get-out clauses. MB

Will travel insurance cover me if I cancel my holiday?

In most cases, no. Insurers’ cancellation cover will only kick in if the FCO advises against all but essential travel. This happened for China, parts of South Korea and the area of northern Italy in lockdown. However, if you are travelling to another destination that is not covered by the advice – and you don’t feel you want to travel because of the risk – your travel insurance will not cover your losses. MB

What travel insurance policy should I buy?

One of the problems faced by travellers has been the fact that airlines have been cancelling flights. While they will refund the cost of the ticket, holidaymakers have been left holding unrefundable hotel and car hire bookings. The better travel policies offer “travel disruption cover”, which will often pick up the pieces in such circumstances.

After Flybe’s collapse this week and the warnings that other airlines may be in the same boat, buyers need to opt for a policy that offers scheduled airline failure (SAF). About half of travel policies sold in the UK offer SAF as standard, with a further 19% offering it as an add-on according to Defaqto. In the current climate it would be a mistake not to buy a policy that included it.

MoneySavingExpert did an in-depth investigation into which policies are currently the best buys. It highlighted the AA (Silver) cover policy, which will cover you if your flight or hotel is cancelled. This costs about £29 for a 35-year-old’s annual European policy, £141 for a family worldwide. It also favours Nationwide’s travel cover for those with its FlexPlus account. MB

I’m over 70, and my doctor has advised me not to travel. What’s my position?

The possible exception to the above comes if your GP has advised you not to travel to a virus-affected area, in which case your travel insurance could kick in.

Axa said: “If your GP tells you not to travel to an [affected] area, you should contact us before your departure date, and you won’t be penalised.”

The normal conditions of declaring pre-existing conditions will apply. So, if you were told not to travel by your doctor because of an underlying lung problem that you had not declared when you bought the policy, you may find your claim turned down, or the payout reduced. Doctors may, in the current climate, take a very dim view of being asked to provide a letter to allow you to make such a claim. MB

I was due to travel to attend an event that has been cancelled – can I claim back my losses?

It depends. Those who bought tour packages to go to the Italy v England Six Nations rugby match in Rome on 14 March – which has been postponed – will be offered a full refund or tickets for the new date.

However, if you had put together your own package, buying a match ticket, and booking hotels and flights yourself, most travel policies are unlikely to pay up.

There are a few exceptions. Some insurers will pay up if you are forced to abandon the trip. For example, Barclays’ travel insurance states that it will pay up to £3,000 if “the area in which you are staying is affected by pandemic or epidemic influenza”.

Most reasonable people would think that Italy and a host of other areas have been affected, but the World Health Organization is yet to declare a pandemic. MB

I have a ski holiday booked in the Dolomites later this month. Can I get my money back?

The tour companies are, for now, sticking firmly to their terms and conditions. Only if you cancel at Crystal Ski (part of Tui) more than 70 days before departure do you get your money back – and then it’s minus the deposit. After that, there’s a sliding scale of fees: so if you cancel between 28 and 15 days prior to departure, you get just 10% of your money back; and if you cancel 14 days before it’s nothing back. It’s a similar picture at Inghams: you’ll get nothing back if you cancel within 21 days. Interestingly, both are still flying clients to northern Italy for ski trips, and are saying they will only offer refunds if FCO advice changes. You’d be mad to book right now. PC

I was about to book my summer holiday – should I still do it?

There’s little cost to delaying but if you really want to book, be smart about it. If buying a summer holiday package from Tui, for example, choose a no-deposit deal, then mark your calendar for 70 days before departure. Up to then, you can cancel and get your money back.But after that, you’ll start losing a lot of what you’ve paid.

Independent travellers should for now only book hotels and car hire with 100% cancellation rights. Many hotel groups, aware how worried holidaymakers are, have switched to 100% free cancellation. For example, Meliá, a big Spanish hotel chain, was this week offering all its rooms with free cancellation. Buy on the hotel’s own website, and, where possible, choose the pay-on-arrival option.

Flights are more tricky. Ryanair is notably tough if you choose to cancel, refusing to give any money back. If you must book now, just pay the bare minimum for the flight, and avoid the extras for “priority” or seat selection. You can add them later. You may also want to avoid the financially weaker airlines – the longer the crisis carries on, the more will go bust. Atol protection only applies if you buy the accommodation and flights from a travel agent at the same time.

The long-haul picture is brighter. Virgin Atlantic and BA have said they will waive flight change fees for new bookings this month, so you can buy and then postpone if needed. PC

Will the Ehic cover me in Europe if I need prolonged hospital care?

The Ehic – European health insurance card – is an EU-wide scheme that remains in force until the end of December this year, and gives you state-provided healthcare in the EU for free or at reduced cost until you return home. The UK has issued about 27m cards, and you can still apply for a free one: search for “NHS Ehic” on the internet and don’t fall for any of the dodgy websites that charge fees.

The Italian government has pledged to offer free access to Covid-19 treatment to all tourists, with the president of Tuscany, Enrico Rossi, telling daily Corriere della Sera this week “the Italian health system is free and for everyone”. PC

Will flights get cheaper?

They already are. Ryanair is currently selling flights from London to virtually everywhere in Italy for under £20 in June and under £30 in July. Flights to Rome for the Easter weekend start at £80 return, when usually they would be double or triple that price.

Long-haul prices are also dropping. British Airways is currently offering London-New York returns at about £250 return through March, April, May and June. Google Flights’ “price graph” and Ryanair’s “fare finder” options are useful for showing the cheapest deals.

Airlines are reducing capacity and cancelling some flights, so don’t expect prices to fall much further.

I’ve paid £265 for a ticket to Glastonbury festival. What happens if it gets cancelled? And what if it goes ahead but I decide not to go?

With some countries imposing restrictions on large public gatherings, people are anxiously crossing their fingers and hoping Glastonbury will go ahead in June. On Wednesday this week, organisers said they could not confirm if the festival would definitely go ahead, and were continuing to plan for it while closely monitoring developments.

If the event is cancelled, you can expect a refund. The festival website states that after midnight on 7 May 2020, “no refunds will be made other than in the event of the cancellation of the festival. Booking fees and postage and packing charges are non-refundable.”

If you decide to cancel before that date, you will be reimbursed the value of your ticket, minus a £25 administration fee – so if you are worried, the good news is that you have got two months before you need to make a decision.

Some ticketholders will have bought TicketPlan refund protection, where refunds are provided if you cannot attend because of certain circumstances. RJ

I have tickets for a gig at a large venue. What happens if it gets cancelled?

The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (Star) says the UK government and deputy chief medical officer have advised that there is no clear reason for cancelling events. “Unless specific events have been cancelled by an artist or event organisers, all other events are scheduled to go ahead, and the standard policy will apply. Cancelled events are often rescheduled, but if you can’t make the new date or the event is cancelled completely, you are entitled to a refund of at least the face value of your ticket.”

Some events have already been cancelled – for example, early last month the Korean band Seventeen cancelled their gig at London’s Wembley Arena tomorrow (8 March) because of the outbreak. Regarding that gig, the Wembley website states: “All tickets will automatically be refunded from point of purchase.”

Some venues such as the O2 in London do have small print that says neither they nor the event organiser “will be liable to you … to the extent that any loss or failure … is caused by a force majeure event”.

It states that force majeure “means any cause beyond AEG’s or the organiser’s reasonable control”, which suggests venues/organisers could in theory use this clause to reject claims.

Keep a close eye on venue and ticket agency websites, especially before you set off – many are providing regular updates.

If you opt not to go, there are a number of fan-to-fan resale websites, including Twickets, where you can sell your tickets and hopefully recoup your outlay. RJ

‘Our insurer refused to pay despite travel restrictions’

A couple who were forced to abandon a rowing trip to American Samoa after the governor of the tiny Pacific island imposed a 14-day quarantine over coronavirus fears have been told by Barclays, their travel insurer, that they can’t claim for their lost flights.

John and Caroline Turnbull, from Woking, were due to take the trip of a lifetime in April to meet fellow rowing enthusiasts for a two-week tour of the little-known, remote American territory in the South Pacific Ocean.

Having booked expensive flights from London to Hawaii, and pricey business class tickets for the five-and-a-half-hour flight to Pago Pago on American Samoa, the couple, both in their 70s, say they have been forced to abandon the Samoa part of the trip to the island, after the governor banned all foreign nationals from landing on the island unless they have spent 14 days in Hawaii.

The island had already been battling a deadly measles outbreak that has killed more than 60 people.

“The ban effectively rendered our flights unusable. Hawaiian Airways won’t refund us, as it says that it is still operating the flight,” says John.

The couple had worldwide travel insurance provided by Barclays as an add-on to a bank account and duly claimed the £2,500 they had spent on the Hawaii to Samoa flights they could not use.

However, Barclays turned down the cancellation claim on the basis that the UK government has not advised against travel to the island.

After the Guardian’s intervention, Barclays took a second look at the case, and has now paid up.

“The initial decline decision was the correct given there is no cover in our policy for ‘closure of borders’. We have, however, reviewed the specifics of this case and have decided that the claim will be paid as a gesture of goodwill,” it said. MB

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