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Thursday Flakes: Retirement, Tree Hugging and a Cold Plunge

Lots of big news to discuss in this week’s Travel Flakes.

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Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

After all these years coaching, who knew that Pete Carroll and Nick Saban would end up retiring on the same day. Both guys will be inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame for their contributions to football. The offseason just got a lot more interesting. My predictions are that Dabo Swinney will be the next Alabama next coach and Dan Quinn will be the next Seahawks head coach.

This week there was another airline incident on Alaska Airlines and everyone got off the plane safe and sound. This was a bit more of a peculiar situation as a door plug completely flew off an Alaskan Airlines plane and ended up in someone’s backyard. Someone’s iPhone was also found completely intact in a random bush on the side of a road. I’m really curious to see how Boeing handles this situation because a lot of overhaul might have to be done.

Unlike Jon Johnston, I have never done a polar plunge. However, I have alternated between hot tubs and cold tubs and the spa polls. It does wonders for the immune system, improves your circulation and reduces soreness and inflammation. Maybe it’s something I should try doing more often in 2024.

Who do you think will be the next head coach for Alabama? Seattle Seahawks?

Would you feel comfortable getting on a Boeing 737 Max Plane after this week’s incident?

Have you ever done a cold plunge?

What are the craziest travel stories you have heard recently?

Do you have any road trips planned for 2024?

Would you participate in the World Tree Hugging Championships?

Feel free to answer some of these questions in the comments below. Anyways...onto Flakes.


Nebraska Women’s Basketball Preview: Illinois | Women’s Basketball | Corn Nation

The Huskers hope to get back on track Thursday night when the Fighting Illini come to Lincoln. Last time the Huskers and Illini met in Lincoln, Illinois won 72-64. (Shauna Green and I became real acquainted this game and because of that I might have caused us to lose, so I’m sorry Husker fans, I’ll be better.) Nebraska got revenge though on February 22, 2023, with a 90-57 win in Champaign.

Nebraska Football: Transfer Commit from the University of Florida | Football | Corn Nation

Mazzccua is not new to Matt Rhule as Rhule recruited the interior offensive lineman to Baylor. In fact, Nebraska was in the running for him last season but Mazzccua ended up choosing Florida over the Huskers. This is a great pickup as Mazzccua has a ton of experience. From the Florida Gator’s website it says that he started 11 of the 12 games last season and started 10 games at Baylor. In 2021, he played in nine games for Baylor.

How Many #1 Players From Each State Are in the 2024 Nebraska Recruiting Class? | Football | Corn Nation

So, would you be surprised to find out that Nebraska signed 12 players ranked #1 for their position in their state for the 2024 recruiting season? That’s right, these players are the best in their state at what they do. The trajectory of Cornhusker football depends on players with experience in being winners, leaders and champions.

Huskers Finish Second in Las Vegas | Bowling |

The Nebraska bowling team claimed a second-place finish at the Stormin’ Blue & White Vegas Classic on Wednesday and finished with an 11-1 overall record. After five baker total pinfall matches and five traditional matches on Monday and Tuesday, the Huskers bowled three best four-of-seven baker matches on Wednesday for the tournament title.

Huskers Ready for Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad | Women’s Gymnastics |

The No. 16 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team is set to compete in the first annual ESPN Events-hosted Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad meet this weekend. The meet is slated to start at 8 p.m. (CT) / 7 p.m. (MT) on Friday, Jan. 12. It will be televised on the ACC Network and will take place at the Maverik Arena in West Valley City, Utah. The Huskers will face off against Arizona, who has not competed yet this season, along with No. 28 Boise State and No. 33 North Carolina.

#4 NU Hosts #2 Iowa on BTN | Wrestling |

The No. 4 Nebraska wrestling (5-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will take on the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night at the Devaney Center in a Top Five Matchup. The dual begins at 6:30pm and will be televised nationally on BTN, with Tim Johnson and Shane Sparks on the call.


Should Travelers Be Worried About Boeing 737 Max 9 Groundings? | Travel | Travel Pulse

Departing from Portland, Oregon, for Ontario, California, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282—flown aboard a 737 Max 9—suffered the “in-flight departure of a mid-cabin door plug” as it was taking off on Friday. Fortunately, the 171 passengers and six crew members on board were returned safely to the Portland airport after a rapid cabin decompression.

Greece Implements New Tourism Tax | Travel | Travel Pulse

This new tax will partly replace the old bed tax and will vary in price depending on the season. However, the new climate tax will be associated with accommodations for tourists.

The Craziest Travel Stories From 2023 | Travel | Travel Pulse

2023 was another massive year for travel as demand to get away continued to surge. With record numbers of people venturing out over the past 12 months, there certainly was no shortage of downright crazy incidents that made the headlines.

Now is the Best Time to Book 2024 Travel | Travel | Travel + Leisure

January will be the cheapest time to purchase a ticket for this year with prices dropping 11 percent compared to last month, according to a study from Hopper shared with Travel + Leisure. In general, domestic ticket prices in 2024 will be lower than both last year and pre-pandemic levels for the first half of the year. Prices will then start to rise in the late spring ahead of spring break and the summer season.

These 3 Cities Require the Most Amount of Time for a Proper Visit | Travel | Travel + Leisure

This week, the dilemma spilled over into an online discourse on Reddit where hundreds of travelers weighed in on which cities require the most amount of days to visit, and which can be skipped over.

Paris is Going to Be More Expensive for Travelers in 2024 | Travel | Travel + Leisure

Visiting Paris is about to get a bit more expensive as the city raised taxes on hotels and other accommodations at the beginning of the year. The largest increase is for travelers staying in “palaces.” Those tourists will have to pay a nightly tax of €14.95 ($16.38), a 199 percent increase compared to the 2023 rate of €5 ($5.48). Travelers in 5-star accommodations will have to pay a nightly rate of €10.73 ($11.75), a 186 percent increase compared to the 2023 rate of €3.75 ($4.11).

Turkey Drops Visa Requirements for USA Travelers | Travel | Travel + Leisure

American tourists traveling to Turkey will no longer need a visa, making it easier to visit. The new visa rules, which apply to both American and Canadian travelers, went into effect at the beginning of the month, tourism officials shared with Travel + Leisure. Previously, travelers needed to apply for an e-visa in advance of visiting to the tune of $51.50.

The Safest Airlines to Fly in 2024 | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

To help ease the minds of anxious flyers everywhere, aviation site Airline Ratings publishes an annual ranking of the safest airlines in the world. The site’s aviation experts compare the safety credentials of nearly 400 airlines, examining 11 criteria, including serious safety incidents, recent fatal accidents, audits from aviation governing bodies, fleet age, and expert pilot training to calculate the top safest carriers.

20 Most Punctual Airports in the World | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

Each year, air travel data firm Cirium compiles a list of the most on-time airports in the world based on flight departure data. These 20 global hubs have the lowest rates of flight delays, which makes for a smoother travel experience. If one of these hubs is in the vicinity of an upcoming trip of yours, it could be worth opt for one of them to avoid the headache of delays in another.

24 Trips to Take You on a Journey of Self-Discovery in 2024 | Travel | Lonely Planet

As 2024 kicks off, it’s time to plan some of the most mind-blowing adventures the world has to offer – using the opportunity to uncover new parts of yourself along the way. Whatever trip you take, keep in mind two essential tips: slow down, and leave your comfort zone. Then you can expect some truly meaningful memories as you set out to travel with purpose.

10 of the Best Road Trips in the USA | Travel | Lonely Planet

Get up close and personal with the country’s most striking landscapes – dense eastern forests, windswept plains, red rock canyons, dramatic Pacific coastlines – and make pit stops at some of its most famous cities all in one go.

World’s 10 Best Places to Take a Cold Plunge | Travel | Lonely Planet

Avid followers of the Wim Hof Method can espouse the benefits of cold water therapy – mindfulness, mental strength, alertness, exhilaration, stress relief – but taking a cold plunge doesn’t have to be a challenge. Conscious breathing can aid focus as you gaze across arresting views of nature whilst taking an ice bath and some of the world’s best bodies of water will activate those feel-good chemicals in your brain.

Valencia’s Secret History: Executions and Bullfights in Plaza del Mercado | Travel | Lonely Planet

Lined by elegant houses with jaunty balconies, it’s filled with a jumble of visitors taking selfies and grandmothers nipping through with shopping trollies. They’re all en route to Mercado Central, a grand market and one of the city’s most-loved tourist attractions. Plaza del Mercado looks like a joyful place – and it is – but the square’s pretty facade belies a grisly history.

The Train Maya: Mexico’s Ambitious New Tourism Megaproject | Travel | BBC

It’s been dubbed “the greatest construction project in the world”, and will usher in a new way for travelers to experience Mexico’s ancient Maya sites. So why is it so controversial?

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway: The World’s Highest Train Line | Travel | BBC

Dubbed a “miracle” of engineering, the so-called Sky Train climbs to an elevation of 5,702m at the “roof of the world”.

Gardi Sugdub: The Americas’ Disappearing Island | Travel | BBC

For more than 100 years, the Indigenous Guna people have lived on a tiny Caribbean island. Now, they’re poised to become some of the Americas’ first climate change refugees.

The Secret Meaning Behind the World Tree Hugging Championships | Travel | BBC

In Finland’s Halipuu Forest, a family has developed a novel way to save their fragile forest: by inviting guests in to hug the trees.

Last But Not Least