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"Holiday travel up to pre-COVID -19 levels," shout some headlines, and at Las Vegas and many other visitor meccas, that claim seems to be true. But even if the numbers look to be near-pre-COVID levels, travel is not. You'll encounter COVID artifacts everywhere. Be ready.

You've probably read and heard enough about airline meltdowns, cancellations, crowded airports, and four-hour security lines to consider Amtrak for your holiday trip. But is Amtrak even feasible? The answer depends mainly on where you live and where you want to go, along with some cost considerations.

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“I’m a big believer in going to a region you like and getting lost on purpose,” Rachael Ray said from her home in Tuscany, Italy. “My mom used to do that with me when I was a kid. We’d drive to Vermont and we’d go left instead of right or down a different street or into a different place. You don’t have to go far, but I completely love the idea of getting lost a little bit. I’m an off-the-beaten-path kind of person and I like places that have reinvented themselves.” Currently in her 16th season of the syndicated “Rachael Ray Show,” she also is the author of the upcoming cookbook, “This Must Be the Place: Dispatches & Food from the Home Front,” which will be out on October 26. Ray, who also has a home in New York, shares her travels with fans on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RachaelRay), Twitter (https://twitter.com/rachaelray) and TikTok (https://www.tiktok.com/@rachaelray?).

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In Detroit, canvassers from the health department are going door to door to let people know where they can get a free COVID-19 vaccine.

Amtrak already has a list of projects to fund if it gets the billions it expects from a big infrastructure bill. And some of its proposals can be put into effect rapidly, which is a big change from many other infrastructure proposals. Typically, even "shovel ready" projects need years to show results, but some of Amtrak's ideas are "service ready." Basically, infrastructure required for many Amtrak needs is already in place: Amtrak just adds trains to existing operational rail systems. So Amtrak can quickly add as many routes as it is able to equip and staff within a short time.

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In an era when most Americans have become truck drivers, the Genesis is a reassuring nod to tradition — a full-size luxury sedan that’s comfortable, quiet, capable and possessing a unique air equal to its station. It’s the type of car that American automakers once built but no longer do. Thankfully, Genesis does, even if Detroit won’t. $72,950

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Motor vehicle theft rate: 1,080 per 100k peopleAverage annual motor vehicle thefts: 7,165Overall property theft rate: 4,416 per 100k peopleViolent crime rate: 2,025 per 100k people

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