On a Return Flight to the U.S. from an Overseas Trip, It Has Now Become Important to Leave Yourself At Least Four Hours for Making An Onward Connection

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/16/2013, 9:45 PM

The big news in travel this past week has been the virtual collapse of the customs and immigration function at several of the nation's international airports, including those in Newark, New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles, in particular. The under-staffing of those facilities has become so evident that waits of two and three hours are sometimes needed to pass through immigration and ...

Some Rather Spectacular Bargains Have Opened Up in Month-of-July Sailings of the Mediterranean

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/10/2013, 12:15 PM

In an earlier blog, I predicted that all the big cruiselines sailing in the Mediterranean would slash their prices for departures in July, once we got closer in to the month of July. That is exactly what has happened. If you will go to, clicking on the Mediterranean, designating Celebrity Cruises as the line you wish to follow, and 8-to-13-night cruises in July, you will...

When an Overseas Merchant Offers to Convert Your Credit Card Bill Into U.S. Dollars, Say No

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/09/2013, 5:45 PM

It's known as "Dynamic Currency Conversion", but it should be called "Dynamic Currency Cheating". You encounter the shady offer in a Paris restaurant, a London hotel, a Tokyo department store--any number of overseas situations. You've just made a purchase of a meal, a hotel room, a jacket or a pair of shoes, for which you present your credit card in payment. And the local sales clerk or ...

Wilson Wu Has Done it Again: $999 for a Combination of Beijing and Shanghai, Including Round-Trip Trans-Pacific Airfare

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/07/2013, 11:30 AM

In a recent discussion, we expressed our surprise at the latest move by Wilson Wu, the wonder-boy of travel to China. About a week ago, he completely re-did his website ( to announce wide-open flights to Beijing in November through February for only $888, including round-trip air to Beijing from San Francisco, Los Angeles or Houston, and six nights with full breakfast d...

The Re-Appearance of China Spree's $888 One-Weeker to Beijing (Including Round-Trip Airfare!) May Indicate that China Air and China Irself Have Plenty of Unsold Capacity for Autumn and Winter. China, Anyone?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2013, 10:15 AM

To my utter amazement, China Spree has today replaced its former China specials with an entirely new list of spectacular fall/winter bargains (such as $888 for a week in Beijing, including airfare), all of which are wide open for booking for the coming fall/winter months (they used to be shown as largely sold-out). If you haven't yet chosen a fall/winter vacation, you might very well rush...

Would You Believe That Bangkok Has Edged Out London as the World's Most Popular City?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/02/2013, 9:30 PM

Here's an assertion that will cause most observers (including myself) to rub their eyes in wonder. According to the prestigious Global Insights Index, Thailand's Bangkok now receives more yearly visitors, more airline passenger arrivals, than London, and thus enjoys the title of "world's most popular city". At first glance, I for one can't imagine how that can be. For one thing, ...

It Now Seems More Probable Than Ever That Some of Those "User-Generated" Reviews Were Written by Hotel Executives, Lauding their Own Properties and Condemning Their Competitors

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/29/2013, 11:45 AM

A news item richocheting around the Internet tells of a top p.r. executive of Accor Hotels (world's largest hotel chain) who has admitted to writing 100 fake reviews for submission to TripAdvisor, praising his own hotels and castigating his competitors. The news was revealed by a British p.r. firms called KwikChex, which has set for itself the task of defending hotels and hotel chains aga...

Viking River Cruises Are Moving Into Ocean Cruising--And With a Different Approach That May Cause the Other Lines to Mend Their Ways

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/27/2013, 2:00 PM

In an interview which we conducted yesterday on the Travel Show ( with the marketing vice-president of Viking River Cruises, we learned about plans they have to correct one of the most controversial policies of the longer-established ocean-cruising companies. A great many travel pros were surprised by last week's announcement of Viking River Cruises that it is building a ...

In Sharp Contrast to Other European Travel Products, Mediterranean Cruises Are Slow to Sell This Summer, Opening Up All Sorts of Opportunities for You

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/25/2013, 4:15 PM

"Carnival Cruises is pulling out of the Mediterranean". That was the surprising headline of several days ago, indicating that the world's largest cruise line is facing tough sledding in selling cabins on its cruises of the storied Mediterranean. Though the pull-out willl not occur until the spring and summer of 2014, the fact that Carnival is already acknowledging defeat is a big item of...

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, 10:15 AM

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 cheap d...

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