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...

Huge Numbers of U.S. Hotels Could Soon Go Belly-Up

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/19/2020, 9:00 AM

Before the pandemic, the hotel and lodging industry employed, both directly and indirectly, 8.3 million Americans, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). That's 1 out of every 25 U.S. citizens. An AHLA spokesperson told me that approximately half those workers are now unemployed—a jobless rate higher than in any other industry, including construction, education, health car...

Great Art in the Great Outdoors: The USA's Finest Sculpture Parks

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/17/2020, 10:00 AM

You don't have to crowd inside museums to enjoy culture. Get your art fix outdoors at these spectacular sculpture gardens across the United States.


For Better Social Distancing, Amtrak Now Shows How Many Seats Have Been Sold

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/13/2020, 10:00 AM

It's a start. Amtrak's booking engine ( now lists the percentage of seats that have been sold for each departure. That means that before purchasing a ticket in coach class, customers can suss out just how easy—or difficult—it will be to practice social distancing aboard any given train. An example: In the screen shot above, which lists journeys from St. Louis to Chicago, two of the dep...

Sign Up for Free Lessons in Outdoor Skills from L.L.Bean

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/13/2020, 3:00 AM

Preppy outdoorsy clothing emporium L.L.Bean will hold free "Outdoor Discovery Programs" from August 14 through 30. The classes are being held in a number of East Coast locations such as Albany, New York; New Rochelle, New York; Gibsonia, Pennsylvania; Downingtown, Pennsylvania; Dedham, MA; and Freeport, Maine. Elk Grove Village, IL is also getting some of the free classes. Activities to be taught ...

Sausage Party! Which U.S. Region Serves the Best Hot Dog Variety?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/12/2020, 5:15 AM

Welcome to the Wieners Circle! We'll teach you America's regional hot dog varieties—and tell you where to eat the best specimens....

What Are Your Chances of Catching Coronavirus on Planes? MIT Study Has Answers

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/10/2020, 5:00 AM

Not long ago, a dear friend reached out to me for advice. His aunt was dying of cancer, and his mother wanted to fly across country to be at the deathbed. My friend was trying to dissuade his mother from going, as he was terrified at the prospect of her flying. She's in her seventies, and he felt the risk was too great. A study newly released by the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts ...

U.S. State Dept. Lifts Warning Against International Travel: So What?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/06/2020, 8:00 AM

Let us flag this moment. Today, the U.S. State Department announced that, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, it was lifting its blanket travel warning against all international travel. Just read what the government's press release said: "With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previ...

Schmoozing United Airlines Gate Agents for Upgrades Is a Complete Waste of Time Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/05/2020, 7:00 AM

Remember when travel articles weren't all about airborne pathogens and instead were full of advice like "dress nicely if you want to be upgraded to first class" or "bring a small gift to get the gate agents on your side"? Sigh. Those were the days! But flattery and bribery are not coming back, at least on United Airlines. An internal memo leaked to the blog Live And Let's Fly informed United emp...

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