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Wanna Go to Sicily? The Italian Island Will Help Pay for Your Vacation

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/28/2021, 9:00 AM

In April 2020, I told you about a plan Sicily hatched to restart its tourism industry. The government announced it had set aside millions of euros to pay 50% of visitors' airfares and give travelers who booked two nights of hotel accommodations a third night for free. A different bill promised free entry to museums and historic sites around the island when tourism returned. Problem was, there was ...

Thanks to Plummeting Hotel Costs, This Could be New York's Most Affordable Summer in Years

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/27/2021, 1:00 PM

Hotel rates and Broadway show tickets have long been the two most expensive parts of most visitors' trips to New York City. But on Wednesday, May 19, some of those expenses were chipped away. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that his city will waive the usual 5.875% hotel room tax for the months of June, July, and August. That will save travelers roughly $6 for every $100 they spend at hotels. As ...

Travel Prices Will Rise Sharply in the Coming Weeks, Warns a New Report

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2021, 8:00 PM

I've always said that one of my main jobs as a travel writer is to make really stupid mistakes so I can warn my readers about what not to do. Glory be, I made one such mistake in early April—and it turned out to be a bigger error than I knew at the time. On April 1, I researched a round-trip flight from New York City to Michigan, went to the airline website to buy, and then missed the final step: ...

Masks Are Coming Off but Not on Public Transportation—with One Exception

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/14/2021, 7:00 AM

Science has spoken! Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Covid-19 vaccines have been so effective that fully vaccinated Americans can return to unmasked life, both indoors and out. "Today, CDC is updating our guidance for fully vaccinated people," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 briefing. "Anyone who is fully vaccinated can...

New Flights—and Cheaper Airfares—from the U.S. to Italy Coming This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/13/2021, 12:00 PM

In April 2013, the way Americans planned Italian vacations underwent a seismic shift. That was when the Emirates airline announced plans to start flying from New York City to Milan. That might sound like a small development, but the downward pressure the carrier put on what had been a very closed market meant that, for the first time, transatlantic U.S.–Italy airfares to Milan were often cheaper t...

Rome Is Adding a New Stage Inside the Colosseum for Gladiator's-Eye Views

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/12/2021, 7:00 AM

It's hard to imagine Italy getting any more magnifico than it already is for visitors. But the nation has been impressively proactive about improving access to its ancient wonders during the pandemic—moves that will make visiting the Boot even more fascinating in the near future. In Rome, the tomb of the first emperor has opened to the public and the site of Julius Caesar's assassination will soon...

With the Return of Travel Comes the Return of Robocall Travel Scams

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/10/2021, 2:00 PM

If the pandemic had one silver lining, it was that, from March through August, the number of robocalls of all sorts dropped precipitously. Like everyone else, the employees of the call centers where many phone scams originate were unable to go into work, which meant blessed peace for the rest of us—for a while. But as you've likely noticed, the annoying spam calls are back—and many are travel sc...

Club Med's Current Sale Nearly Halves Vacation Costs

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/08/2021, 5:00 AM

Activities for the kids, booze and beach for the adults, plus endless meals and snacks, all at one prepaid price—these are the reasons many families choose all-inclusive resort vacations. They're just so easy. And Club Med, a pioneer of this type of travel, is making pandemic-era vacations even easier by offering testing onsite plus a travel insurance policy with "coverage for emergency medical ex...

Australia Will Stay Closed to Travel Until 2022

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2021, 7:00 AM

In a surprise move, Australia Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian today that the country would likely not reopen its borders until well into 2022. The previous target date for reopening had been June 17. Birmingham cited the emergence of dangerous new variants in India and elsewhere, plus delays in vaccine rollouts, as some of the reasons for keeping Australia closed longer than ...

Will a Gasoline Shortage Kill Summer Road Trips? Advice From An Expert

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/05/2021, 5:00 AM

Toilet paper shortages? That's so 2020. This year, sources have been warning about an issue that chills the blood quickly: not enough fuel at gas stations. "It's been a bit of a perfect storm," Jeanette McGee, spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA) told me. "When the pandemic hit, demand [for gasoline] fell drastically. So there were less deliveries, and a number of drivers too...

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