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...

United Airlines to Drop Change Fees Permanently on Many Types of Flights

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/31/2020, 6:00 AM

Not long ago, Frommer's listed the things we don't miss about pre-pandemic travel. Paying big fees for making changes to airline tickets ranked right up there with buffets and dirty amusement park rides. We hoped that all of the temporary changes making those things disappear would be made permanent. Looks like United Airlines is making some of our wishes come true—with caveats. On Sunday, the...

Dominican Republic's New Plan for Bringing Back Tourism: Fewer Tests, Longer Stays

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/28/2020, 11:00 AM

The tourism industry of the Dominican Republic has faced a downturn for far longer than most any other destination. The D.R.'s problems started long before Covid-19. In spring of 2019, the media declared a spate of deaths there "mysterious," severely reducing the flow of vacation travel to the country for the rest of the year. The FBI looked into the issue and announced in October that American ci...

Wolverines Return to Mount Rainier After More Than A Century

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/27/2020, 12:00 PM

Last week the National Park Service made a surprising announcement: A wolverine mother with two kits (offspring) had been spotted several times in Washington State's Mount Rainier National Park. The species hadn’t been seen there in over 100 years. Wolverines are not only rare in the Pacific Northwest, but also uncommon everywhere in the United States, with only 300 to 1,000 specimens thought to b...

Win a Weekend Vacation in an RV, Plus $1,000 and Expenses

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/26/2020, 9:00 AM

It's a sign of the times that a Wi-Fi delivery company is looking for an "anti-influencer" for a short term travel job. Web provider announced that it will pay one lucky soul $1,000 to take an RV trip over a long weekend. The company will also pay for the RV rental, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and up to $1,000 worth of food (that's a lot of granola!). What does the traveler have to do...

Costa Rica Says It Will Only Accept American Visitors from Certain States

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2020, 5:00 AM

The rest of the world is well aware of the growing disparity in infection rates between states within the USA. This week, Costa Rica acted, proving it has been studying the situation in the U.S. closely. The Central American nation announced on August 19 that it will reopen its borders to U.S. travelers on September 1—but only to those living in a few states of the American Northeast, a region c...

A Weather Expert Predicts New England's Fall Foliage Peaks for 2020

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/20/2020, 8:00 AM

In Homer's Iliad, Thetis, the mother of Achilles, foretold two diametrically opposed fates for her son. He could either die young but achieve great glory in the process or live a long but obscure life. The folks at have put forth two similar predictions for leaf-peeping season this year. I'm only sorta kidding. Jim Salge, who has spent years forecasting foliage for Yankee Magazine...

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