206 Tours - What is a Relic Blog
Many Pilgrimage visit important Shrines that house Sacred Catholic Relics. Understanding the way relics are classified in the Catholic Church is important to fully appreciate these amazing pieces of our shared history and why they are so strongly venerated.
A Relic, in religious terms, usually refers to the physical remains or personal effects of a Saint or Holy person that have been saved and preserved in an official reliquary, also known as a Shrine.  The Catholic Church recognizes three classes of relics.

1. First-Class Relics

The most sacred class, a first-class relic refers to an item that is directly associated with the life of Jesus Christ. However, physical remains of a Saint’s body are also classified as first-class relics. In many cases, this type of first-class relic is entombed in an altar stone.
An example of a famous first-class relic can be found in Bethlehem in the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square. It is in the Grotto of the Nativity that you can see a relic of the original Manger at the place of Jesus’ birth – now marked by a star in the floor.

206 tours - relics blog - church of the nativity

Another example of a first-class relic is the incorrupt body of St. John Vianney, the patron Saint of Parish Priests, who’s remains are entombed above the main altar in the Basilica in Ars-sur-Formans in France. 

206 Tours - St. John Vianney - Relics Blog

206 Tours - St. John Vianney - Relics Blog

You can visit Ars on our Great Shrines of France Tour.

2. Second-Class Relics

A second-class relic is typically a personal belonging of a Saint or Holy person. In many cases, this is a piece of clothing or an object used by the Saint. The Latin term, “Ex indumentis”, meaning “from the clothing”, is often used when referring to a second-class Holy relic.
A famous example of a second-class relic is the chain that attached the Apostle Paul to the Roman solider while imprisoned in Rome, which is housed in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. 

206 Tours - Relics Blog

206 Tours - Relics Blog

3. Third-Class Relics 

An object that has been touched to a first-class relic is classified as a third-class relic. Many Catholics will bring a Crucifix or Rosary to a shrine and touch it to the venerated relic, thereby making it a third-class relic. However, unlike first and second-class relics, third class relics will not be formally recognized with official documentation.

Traveler’s Tip: Third-Class Relics Make Great Gifts!

When traveling in the Holy Land, you can visit all of the sites, and in the order of the Gospel. You will have the opportunity to enter the Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, touch the Rock of Agony in the Church of All Nations, touch the star in the Grotto of the Church of the Nativity .. and many more. Bring extra Rosaries with you – and have them in hand when you touch each spot. This way, you can gift friends and family members with Third Class Relics when you return home!

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206 Tours Blog - 5 Free Smartphone Apps for a Seamless Airport Experience
Many people look forward to travel for months, but dread the airport experience of long lines, confusing information, and large airports that may be hard to navigate. Here are five (5) Apps that are FREE, available in the App Store on your Phone, and can help make your airport experience as quick and seamless as possible.

1. MyTSA App

MyTSA App - 206 Tours BlogThe MyTSA App was developed by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). This App provides you with the most up to date travel guidelines to ensure your security experience at the airport goes as smoothly as possible.  You can access the App’s searchable database to clarify what items you can or cannot pack into checked or carry-on bags, as well as use the chat feature for immediate assistance. It will also save you time by informing you of how busy the airport is estimated to be on a specific time and date – based on historical data. Not to mention, it will also update you on any delay information due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, which can help to determine how early you should arrive at the airport prior to a scheduled flight.
To download, click here.

2. Mobile Passport App – Customs and Immigration

Mobile Passport App - 206 Tours BlogThe Mobile Passport App is available for use at 25 US Airports so far (a full list can be found here on link below). This App has been endorsed by the Department of Transportation, and can help to prevent long wait times that can accompany the customs line upon return as it allows you to fill out the custom form online – rather than on the traditional paper form. Simply download the app, set up your profile using the information listed on your passport, and use the app each time you are at your port of entry and receive your receipt.
To download, click here.

3. GateGuru

GateGuru - 206 Tours BlogThis App will give you real time updates on your departure time, Terminal, and Gate – as well as any changes to your itinerary like Security wait times, Delays, Gate changes, or Layover time adjustments. It will also show you all the amenities, restaurants, and shops in the area so that you don’t have to waste time walking out of your way to find a restaurant, cup of coffee, or neck pillow.
To download, click here.

4. Google Maps

Google Maps - 206 Tours Blog

Google Maps has started to map out the interiors of many large airports which can be helpful if you’ve lost your bearings when looking for your gate or when changing terminals.

To download, click here.

5. Google Translate

Google Translate - 206 Tours Blog

Google Translate is always a good idea to have downloaded when traveling to foreign countries. In many international airports you will find English directions and signs easily, however if you do find yourself in a jam, simply type a bit of foreign text into the app or even take a picture of a sign and the app will provide you with a translation.

To download, click here

For more helpful information regarding airports and international travel, reference our free online Final Instruction Booklets entitled, “Know Before You Go” at  http://www.206tours.com/info/

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7 Ways to Prevent Jet Lag
Rapid travel through multiple time zones can take its toll on your physical and mental well-being. “Jet Lag” is the phrase used to describe the condition when your body’s internal clock is out of sync with the actual time in the region to which you have traveled. It is important to try to adjust your internal body clock to get the most out of your tour. Here are some tips on how to prevent jet lag:

1.            Rise and Shine

On the day of the flight, consider getting out of bed earlier than usual. Waking up earlier, followed by a busy day spent in the airport, will surely help to tire you out so that you can easily fall to sleep on your overnight flight.

2.            Hydrate

It is common to become dehydrated on long flights. Make sure to drink lots of water, before you travel, to compensate for the possibility of dehydration. Keep drinking water during the flight, and after you arrive. Staying hydrated will help you to stay feeling well – dehydration can take a huge toll on the body and make us feel fatigued, dizzy and confused. This can even lead to muscle soreness and headaches.

3.            Eat Well

All of our Pilgrimages (except Mexico) require an overnight flight. In this case, you will likely be served an evening meal during your flight. Try to avoid foods that are very fatty or high in sugar or carbohydrates – these foods can keep you awake or impact the quality of your sleep.

4.            Change your Clocks

After you eat, set your watch ahead to the actual time of your final destination. This way, you are prepared and in sync when you land which will help to combat any grogginess or confusion you may experience.

5.            Catch Some Zzz’s

On your overnight flight, try to get to sleep as soon as you possibly can.

Stick to Your Nighttime Routine

Try to follow some resemblance of your nightly routine – if you watch a TV Show, read a book, take melatonin, or have a cup of tea before bed at home, do that on the plane as well.

Get Comfortable

We all know that airplane seats are not the most comfortable of spaces to sleep, so try to prepare ahead of time by making sure you have everything you need to get as comfortable as you can on your flight so that you can get to sleep quickly. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a travel blanket, neck pillow, eye mask and earplugs or noise cancelling headphones.
This is the most important step! Take advantage of this time to get as much rest as possible so that you can start you trip refreshed and ready!

6.            Stretch

If sleep is evading you, try to stretch as much as you can. Get out of your seat and move about the cabin a bit. Stretching will keep your muscles from cramping or becoming stiff and will increase your circulation and oxygen flow.

7.            Get Moving

When you get to your final destination, do not check in to your hotel for a nap! Get active right away and try to stay awake until 10:00 PM local time so that you adjust to the local time.

Touring often begins on the day that you arrive, so don’t miss some of the experience by sleeping or suffering through exhaustion. Proper preparation, and following these steps, will help you to take advantage of your travel time for rest so that you can make the most of your trip!
For more helpful travel information like this, check out our Final Instruction Booklets (included with your Travel Documents) or the specific Web Link’s to different countries entitled, “Know Before You Go”  http://www.206tours.com/info/

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