This Beer Company Wants To Pay You To Explore National Parks

Plus 4 other travel tidbits the Journy HQ is talking about this week.

By Jacqueline Parisi

25 September 2020

1. Want to travel the world while drinking beer? Michelob ULTRA will pay you to do just that.

The title? Chief Exploration Officer (CEO), charged with traveling the country for six months to "rep" the American beer company by posting photos to the company's social media accounts. Over the course of half a year, one lucky beer buff will be paid $50,000 (plus expenses, including gas) to travel to Yosemite, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Saguaro, and Big Bend in a comfortable, well-equipped camper van.

READ MORE: 5 Of The Best Socially Distant Getaways Along The West Coast

2. You can now work for up to three months in Aruba

If transporting your WFH setup to paradise sounds like something you'd be interested in, look no further than Aruba. With a new "Workation" program, US passport holders are granted stays in this idyllic Caribbean island for up to three months. The perks? Unbeatable deals at some of Aruba's best hotels (including properties with kitchens), villas, and condos—plus complimentary WiFi, breakfast, and all-inclusive food and beverage options. You'll also be granted discounts on local experiences around the island to fill up your weekends with socially distant adventure.

3. NYC will now let restaurants add a 10% COVID surcharge to the bill

The charge, which will be applied before tax and exclude take-out or delivery, will be allowed up to 90 days after the yet-to-be-determined date when indoor dining is fully restored. The goal? Help restaurants weather the fiscal strain of the pandemic by increasing revenue without raising food prices. But not all restaurant owners are jumping at the opportunity, which some predict will discourage tipping as customers assume that some of the money will go towards employees (it won't). Others, like Nick Criscitelli, owner of Da Nico Ristorante in Little Italy, are opposed to the idea of charging extra for loyal customers who may be struggling financially as well.

"Our customers are all families, so why should we change them any extra? It's hard for them to come out now."

READ MORE: The Best Pizza In New York City: A Complete Guide [2020]

4. Costa Rica has officially designated its 30th National Park on the site of a former prison

From 1873 - 1991, this 1.8 square mile patch of land 60 miles from San José and a 40-minute boat ride from Puntarenas served as a penal island housing Latin American's most notorious prisoners. Fast forward to today, and it's a tranquil park with ample trails for visitors to spot howler monkeys, deer, and pheasants—along with former prison buildings that have been designated as cultural heritage sites (and are available for tours). By designating this land off the Pacific coast of the Gulf of Nicoya as Costa Rica's 30th National Park, officials hope to encourage visitors to discover the region's hidden gems while encouraging sustainable tourism and contributing to the socioeconomic development of the country.

READ MORE: A Secret Chef Haven In Costa Rica

5. Hawaii is reopening to tourists starting October 15

...and eliminating their 14-day quarantine mandate IF you test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival via an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) performed using a nasal swab. This is the latest attempt at reopening after the August 1 pre-travel testing program failed to contain the spread.

"Mass testing, contact tracing, and pre-travel testing programs are key measures I've long supported," said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, in a September 16 press release. "Their implementation, along with a vaccination plan for when they become available, will be critical to our success in managing the coronavirus."  

Saguaro National Park | Tuscon, Arizona