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Flyers Pretend to Eat to Avoid Masking Up, So United Changed the Rules

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/28/2020, 8:00 AM

One thing that has been unmasked in recent months is just how sneaky Americans are willing to be to get around the rules for face coverings. The issue came to the fore in July when staffers at Walt Disney World noticed that some visitors were wandering around maskless for hours, carrying an open beverage so they could say they had an excuse for flouting the policy. To stop that behavior, Disney an...

The World's Largest Chocolate Fountain Debuts in Switzerland

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/25/2020, 8:00 AM

Who says nothing good has happened in 2020? Ok, that would be us—over and over and over. But now we have an exception: Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli, which has been in business since 1845, just opened the Lindt Home of Chocolate, a lollapalooza of a new museum in Zürich. The candy giant poured some US$108 million into the facility, which took more than three years to create. E...

Southwest's Sweet Deal for a Free Companion Ticket Ends Thursday, Sept. 24

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/22/2020, 8:00 AM

This is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it sale. Purchase tickets on Southwest Airlines by the end of the day on Thursday, September 24, for a flight between now and November 15, and you will have the right to bring a companion for free every time you fly between January 6 and February 28, 2021. (Note: the deadline was extended to end of day on Friday, September 25). When the time comes to book your 2021...

Colleges and Universities Are Canceling Spring Break in 2021

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/21/2020, 11:00 AM

No need to practice your keg stand or to save up for a bikini smaller than the dollar bills you'll use to buy it. Some six months in advance, universities are announcing that because of the pandemic, they will drop the usual spring break from their schedules in 2021. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, Purdue University, Baylor University, Carnegie Mellon University,...

Another Job Posting for Beer-Loving Hikers: Visit National Parks for $50k

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/21/2020, 6:00 AM

Looks like Michelob Ultra has decided to outmatch a job posting we saw a while back. In June, the artisanal Devils Backbone Brewing Company offered what sounded like a sweet deal. The brand's new CHO—or "Chief Hiking Officer"—would get to hike the Appalachian Trail, drink a lot of beer, and try to get attention online. For those efforts, the CHO would be paid $20,000 and all expenses. Now Michelo...

Is Now the Right Time to Buy Holiday Airfare? The Answer is a Qualified Yes

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2020, 5:00 AM

If this were a normal year, I’d be penning a post right now about getting ready to scoop up holiday airfares at the end of September or early October. Traditionally, that's the sweet spot for getting the best deals on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's flights. But nothing is normal about 2020, and the airlines have been doing something unheard of for September: announcing holiday sales. "Fl...

Farewell to New York City's Iconic Century 21 Department Store Chain

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/11/2020, 10:00 AM

According to a study by the U.S. Travel Association, shopping was a top reason why people took 1.9 billion trips in the United States in 2019—second only to visiting relatives. As the author of Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City, I'd say that more people come to New York to shop than to visit Dad or Aunt Sue. And a lot of folks come just to make a pilgrimage to Century 21. Now the department st...

Beloved Tour Operator TrekAmerica Calls It Quits

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/08/2020, 7:00 AM

It’s no secret that travel businesses are in trouble right now. Airlines are planning huge layoffs for the fall and a large percentage of hotels will likely never reopen. Now a major tour operator is throwing in the towel. On September 7, TrekAmerica posted a farewell notice on its website. "We’re incredibly sad to say that due to ongoing uncertainties from COVID, TrekAmerica won’t be continui...

Try These Two Maps to Track Covid-19 Restrictions State-By-State in the USA

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/04/2020, 7:45 AM

Each American state has its own approach to viral prevention, which makes traveling in the USA tricky. Many issues can complicate even a 20-minute, cross-border drive, including varying quarantines, mask requirements, and different testing expectations. A Pennsylvania resident going across the border to visit her aunt in Maryland, for example, would be required by law to have taken a Covid-19 test...

Are TSA Screenings About to Become Self-Serve?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/03/2020, 8:00 AM

Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released information about a pilot program the agency has been testing at Washington, D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to allow passengers to self-screen for at least part of the security process. New machines will take a snapshot of each passenger, and then match that photo with the one on the traveler's app...

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