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Disney World in Orlando Rolls Out Its Own User-Generated Reviews: A Good Idea?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2013, 2:15 AM

Walt Disney World in Orlando has just turned on its new beta site, Reviews.DisneyWorld.Disney.Go.Com, where the vacation giant is soliciting user-generated reviews from customers. Right now, most of the reviews are glowing, which in Disney's Cyber World means a rating of — you guessed it — five Mouse Heads. "For a moment, you feel as if you are in Italy," gushes one review of an Italian re...

Good Luck Chuck! Senator Schumer of New York Takes The Airlines To Task For Change Fees

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/21/2013, 12:30 PM

In 2012, the major American airlines made $2.6 billion in change fees. And that's quite enough, says Senator Chuck Schumer of New York State. On Sunday, the Senator called out Delta Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines for their recent change fee hikes. "With the growth of other fees, flying has already become prohibitively expensive for many, and the airlines, a...

How, When, and Why, I Learned Not to Rely on "User-Generated Content" in Publishing My Travel Guides

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:15 PM

     The letter seemed to be legitimate.  It was hand-written with great sincerity by a reader of "Europe on $5 a Day" who was eager to pass on a secret of smart travel to his fellow Americans.  It told about a nightclub in Paris with a spectacular stage show and a sky-high admission charge for persons seated at tables.       But, he wrote, if you stood at the bar and simply ordered a chea...

The Airlines Sometimes Profit when the TSA Does its Job Inefficiently

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:00 PM

On Saturday morning at JFK, the line for passengers to have their I.D.s inspected by the Transportation Security Administration was extraordinarily long, and the lines to go through the actual checkpoints were just as awful. The person checking passengers' tickets at the entrance to the whole mess did not work for the TSA, and he heard person after person exclaim that they were unlikely to mak...

Go to Canada for $40? Kangaride.com Uses the Web to Make Ride Shares Safer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/17/2013, 10:30 PM

With summer travel inflating the price of transit, it's worth looking into alternatives. A Canadian website called Kangaride matchmakes passengers and drivers with affordable ride shares in both Canada and the United States. Anyone who has extra space in their car and a road trip on their calendar can pick up some extra cash by picking up an extra passenger. Drivers set the prices, which a...

Eureka! We Found Summer Savings of up to 30 Percent at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/17/2013, 2:30 PM

Disney tends to restrict its best sales to customers who are already on its mailing list, but this summer, we found two big discounts that are available to the general public right now. For Disneyland in California, our friends at MouseSavers.com have the rundown on three discount codes which can be used through the Orbitz.com booking site. The best discount is for 15%, and it's good for s...

It's Only by a Yen or Two, But the Trend Seems Clear: Japan's Currency and Costs are Getting Cheaper by the Day

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2013, 1:30 PM

       No sooner did the Yen decline to a rate of 100 to the U.S. dollar, than within a short while it fell to 101.  And yesterday it dropped to 102 plus a fraction.  With a rate of 103 and 104 to the dollar appearing inevitable, the fall in value of the Japanese currency seems destined not only to aid Japan's export of electronics and cars, but to give a dramatic boost to its incoming tou...

Carry Less, Board First: American Airlines Revises Its Highly Debatable Boarding Policies Again

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2013, 2:15 AM

  Again from Pauline Frommer: Boarding a plane nowadays is like being caught in a Saturday Night Live skit. You patiently wait, as the "platinum" and the "double platinum" and the "elite this and that" passengers board, listening to announcement after announcement, swearing inwardly that there can't be another class before yours...and then there is. Well, it's about to get even mor...

Israel Unveils a Sweeping 18% Tourist Tax. Will the Additional Costs Deter Visitors?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 7:15 PM

Israel is already the 8th most expensive country on the planet to visit, according to the World Economic Forum. But a new 18% tax on car rentals, hotel rooms, private guide services and guided tours could well bump the country up the list a place or three. The tax will take effect on June 1. Government officials have said it will go toward's lowering the country's deficit. Some 3.5 mil...

Cheaper Vacation Rentals and New Tours Are Being Offered in Europe as the Ongoing Recession There Forces Locals To Get Creative to Earn a Living

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 6:45 PM

Would you be interested in a guided tour that focussed on the excesses of Spain's construction bubble? Apparently the idea is not as nutty as it sounds. According to NBC News, the relatively new "Ruta del Despilfarro" or "route of wastefulness" tour in Valencia, offered by 5 out-of-work college professors and journalists in Valencia, has been a bona fide hit, with over 1000 visitors paying...

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