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Frosted Flakes: The Death of Travel Agencies?

One of the world’s oldest travel agencies went belly up this week.

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Photo by Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Greetings from Huaraz, Peru! I’m doing the Friday Flakes this week because yesterday I was finishing up the 4-day Santa Cruz trek through the Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range. It rained a lot on the first two days but the views still made the trek more than worth it. Anyways I’m not going to talk a lot about Peru this week. With Thomas Cook going bankrupt this week, I think the perfect time to talk about the future of travel agencies. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of great articles to read in today’s flakes.

I remember as a kid going to the local AAA and flipping through the Rand McNally Atlas of the US States while my parents picked up the latest regional guidebooks and TripTiks for the next big road trip. Those memories seem like forever again as we have now reached a digital age filled with a myriad of travel blog posts, booking websites and budget airlines.

Have we reached the beginning of the end for travel agencies? I think so. Nowadays all it takes is a few clicks to research the best places to do in a city, book a cheap flight ticket or check the hours of a popular museum. Travel agencies and companies have no choice to change their business model away from storefronts or risk going out of business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of travel agents is predicted to decline 6% between 2018-2028, which is partially related to the popularity of using the Internet to book your next vacation.

However, I think the number of independent travel agents who work from home or remotely will remain steady especially for those who have a niche in a certain region or destination. The days of the road atlases and TripTiks have faded away.

When was the last time you went to AAA or a licensed travel agency to book your vacation? Do you still prefer to order guidebooks for travel destinations? Do you have fond memories of making trips to AAA or your local travel agency? Have you ever been affected by a bankrupt airline or travel company? I’m curious I am looking forward to reading your thoughts and/or stories on this subject in the comments. Anyways...onto Flakes.

Frosted Flakes

Gabrielle Union Will Be Guest Picker on ESPN College GameDay | Football | Corn Nation

The award winning actress will be in town before the Nebraska takes on Ohio State at 6:30pm CST on ABC. ESPN College GameDay will start at 8:00am CST and will conclude at 11:00am. Gabrielle should be on roughly around 10:50am or so for the final picks of the day.

Reviewing an 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team | Football | Corn Nation

Let’s be honest here: Ohio State has shown themselves to be a dominant playoff contender thus far through four games. They are a heavy favorite to win Saturday night for good reason. If Nebraska plays a clean game on Saturday night, they could be competitive with the Buckeyes.

Nebrasketball Player Profile: Jervay Green | Basketball | Corn Nation

Green committed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers last fall and initially wavered after Miles was fired. After Hoiberg made a point to visit the day after he was hired and subsequently hosted Green on an official visit to Lincoln, Jervay stayed committed to Nebraska and arrives as the first big recruiting win of the Hoiberg era.

Nebraska Will Announce Plan For New Football Facility Friday | Football | Omaha World-Herald

The athletic department also sent a note to media outlets Thursday about a “major announcement” to be made in the East Stadium Plaza at 1:30 p.m. Friday. A press conference announcing the project had been widely expected this week, as Athletic Director Bill Moos hinted at an imminent announcement Wednesday night during a radio show.

Frost Anticipates B1G Test Against OSU | Football |

“It’s up to us to try to keep the game close as long as we can, and the longer the game’s close, the more the crowd can have an impact on the game,” Frost said. “It’s gotta be us. It’s gotta be the coaches, the players, the fans, everybody. I hope on big plays and big downs there’s a lot of noise in there and the crowd can get us a play or two.”

Scott Frost is Hoping to Find Out Just How Far Along His Huskers Are | Football | Hail Varsity

“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind where this program is going,” he said. “The improvements we’ve made, that we continue to make. We’ve got some really good seniors on this team but the majority of our good players are young still so we’ve got a ton of room to grow, and we’re heading in that direction.”

After a Recent Jump-Start, Can Huskers Keep Ground Game Going Against Buckeyes | Football | Lincoln Journal Star

Through Nebraska’s first two games of the season, its offense accounted for a total of 10 rushes of 10 or more yards in 90 attempts. The Huskers’ lone rush attempt of 20 or more yards came compliments of sophomore Maurice Washington against Colorado.

Unleashed Robinson Living Up To Expectations | Football |

Robinson’s versatility is a big reason he was able to lead the Huskers from despair. He’s primarily a receiver, but when running backs Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills left the game with injuries, coaches had no qualms in turning to Robinson, who’s trained at both positions.

Huskers Edged By Wildcats, 1-0 | Soccer |

Despite outshooting Northwestern by a 14-3 margin, Nebraska dropped a 1-0 decision to the Wildcats at Hibner Stadium on Thursday night.

Nebraska Volleyball Begins Pursuit of ‘One of the Hardest Championships in College Sports’ | Volleyball | Lincoln Journal Star

It’s the start of a 10-week stretch where Nebraska will play 20 conference matches. “Fun” will be weeks when Nebraska may have to play two top-10 opponents in one week, weeks with back-to-back matches and a few late-night flights home from the East Coast.

Huskers Offense Can Be A Ferrari, But It’s Not Hitting on All Cylinders Yet | Volleyball | Hail Varsity

“The service aces, serves in the net, letting them get on those runs,” Hames said. “In Nebraska volleyball we play fast, we go after it, we’re relentless on defense. I think we’ve seen a little bit of the defensive side but we haven’t really seen it from the offense, just like going after it and attacking it, so I think if we see more of the attack from the offensive side it will look a lot more like a red Ferrari.”

More Sports

For a Crew of More Than 100, a Look at the Week Leading Up to “College GameDay” | Sports | Lincoln Journal Star

By Wednesday, some of the setup crew was in Lincoln, and by Thursday afternoon the stage and nearby demonstration football field were in place. When it’s all ready to go on Saturday morning, there will be 15 cameras, 25 microphones, two video boards, and a DJ booth.

Soccer At The Edge Of The World | Sports | New York Times

Greenland crowns its national champion in the shortest season on earth, a year’s worth of matches, injuries, controversies and celebrations crammed into a single week.

How Two Kentucky Farmers Became Kings Of Croquet, The Sport That Never Wanted Them | Sports | Deadspin

The Kentucky version of croquet has little in common with the backyard, are-the-burgers-ready version most familiar to Americans. Modern croquet was born in 19th-century Britain, with roots in an older French game called roque.

Why Grandmasters Like Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana Lose Weight Playing Chess | Chess | ESPN

In October 2018, Polar, a U.S.-based company that tracks heart rates, monitored chess players during a tournament and found that 21-year-old Russian grandmaster Mikhail Antipov had burned 560 calories in two hours of sitting and playing chess -- or roughly what Roger Federer would burn in an hour of singles tennis.

Travel and More

Thomas Cook Travel Company Collapses, Stranding Thousands | Travel | New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of vacationers were left stranded when one of the world’s oldest tour companies, Thomas Cook, abruptly announced Monday, with some of its flights still in the air, that it was going out of business.

Thomas Cook: What Went Wrong At The Holiday Firm? | Business | BBC

Founded in Market Harborough in 1841 by businessman Thomas Cook, the fledgling company organised railway outings for members of the local temperance movement.

The Best Places to Travel in October | Travel | Travel and Leisure

October is a good time for a change of scenery as well as a wardrobe switchover. Many destinations are ideal in October, and it’s a pleasure to travel when nearly everyone else is back to school or work.

The Most Popular International Travel Destinations in All 50 States | Travel | Travel and Leisure

No matter where you dream of going, you’re likely not alone. Most people in America tend to travel to Mexico, Canada and Europe when they pull out their passports, according to data compiled by Orbitz.

Confessions of a Group Tour Guide | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

The tours were physically active (with plenty of walking) and the days were long: a pre-dawn drive from Rome to Pompeii to catch the first light (and tour) before the sun grew unbearable, then an afternoon in Capri, hiking around the island. Yet it was often the older travelers who surprised me the most.

The Most Instagrammable Hotels in the United States | Travel | National Geographic

In cities from New York to San Francisco, these boutique lodgings feature eye-popping designs that need #nofilter.

Undertourism: These Destinations Want Your Attention | Travel | National Geographic

‘Undertourism’ is the increasingly common marketing tactic being used by less-frequented destinations. Come here, they say, because we’re not as crowded as the neighbors. Visit us, and you won’t have to queue for your Instagram likes.

Discover Why KLM is Replacing its Brussels Flight With a High-Speed Train | Travel | Lonely Planet

The move will see one of the five daily flights on the Brussels-Schiphol route being reduced to four, with the train service starting as a replacement. KLM has also said that it intends to gradually cut back the number of flights further over time.

Paris Tests ‘Flying Water Taxis’ As Eco-Friendly Public Transport | Travel | Lonely Planet

The boat can fit four passengers at a time and, if approved, can be booked on a smartphone app. Bypassing road traffic, the SeaBubbles can hover 20 inches above water to prevent any sea-sickness, sudden movements or waves rolling. It can also travel at speeds of up to 17 mph.

China’s Sprawling, Futuristic Mega Airport Has Opened | Travel | Lonely Planet

Nicknamed “the starfish” by local media due to the site’s unusual shape, Beijing’s Daxing airport has long corridors that stretch out from the main central hub and measures more than 700,000 square metres.

What I Learned Documenting the Last Male Northern White Rhino’s Death | Animals | National Geographic

On that winter’s day, Sudan was one of only eight northern white rhinos left alive on the planet. A century ago there were hundreds of thousands of rhinos in Africa. By the early 1980s, hunting had reduced their numbers to around 19,000.

Dinosaur Fossils Are Turning Up In Homes and Offices Of Wealthy Collectors | History | National Geographic

At a motel in the middle of Tucson, Arizona, a head and neck surgeon in cowboy boots and blue jeans is sitting by the pool and rhapsodizing about fossilized skulls. He brought one along in his carry-on luggage on the flight into town, and he’s plainly thrilled by the perfect state of the braincase and the openings where cranial nerves once ran.

Lord of the Rings TV Series to be filmed in New Zealand | Film | Lonely Planet

Middle-Earth will return to New Zealand as Amazon Studios confirmed that it will shoot the new Lord of the Rings television series there.

The Honeybee’s Most Fearsome Enemy | Science | Undark

California’s beekeepers were worried they wouldn’t have enough bees to pollinate the almond bloom, their biggest money-making event of the year. Gene Brandi, a California beekeeper and the former president of the American Beekeeping Federation, said winter losses were “as bad or worse than I believe it’s been.”

How Women In Poverty Are Supplying America’s Market For Hair | World | NBC News

Third-world poverty pushes Cambodian women to sell their hair, feeding demands for first-world vanity.

Ship of Horrors: Life and Death on the Lawless High Seas | World | The Guardian

From bullying and sexual assault to squalid living conditions and forced labor, working at sea can be a grim business – and one deep-sea fishing fleet is particularly notorious.