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Introducing "Fatpacking" A New Type of Vacation Combining Weight Loss with Serious Hiking

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/02/2013, 12:45 AM

Who doesn’t want to lose weight and be more fit? It’s the most common New Year’s resolution, and though many of us will have abandoned those champagne-fueled vows by now, that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth making. Or keeping. But sometimes one needs a bit of a kick start to actually adopt a healthy lifestyle. Enter the “Fatpacking” trip, known also by its more polite name “Fitpacking...

The Dog Ate My Vacation: Why Pets and Travel May Not Mix

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/27/2013, 11:30 PM

Pets may enhance our daily lives but they ruin our vacations. That’s the surprising conclusion reached by a recent poll conducted for obvious reasons (see below) by the website DogVacay.com with the help of Harris Interactive. The polling company talked to some 2341 adults and came up with some very telling findings. Firstly: we’re insanely neurotic about our pets. Apparently, 72% of p...

The How-To's Of Getting Better Rest on the Road

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/25/2013, 2:15 AM

Is it a vacation if you can’t sleep? That’s the question many travelers confront when they head off for much needed rest and relaxation, only to find themselves becoming more exhausted from lack of sleep. Jetlag is sometimes the culprit, but many find that simply being in a strange place disrupts their zz’s, even when they haven’t shifted time zones. What can one do? Here’s the advice of two n...

Keep That Kindle On! The FAA Likely Will Relax Rules for On-Board Electronics

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/21/2013, 2:45 PM

It's not a done deal. But both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reporting that a group working for the FAA on a study of airline safety issues is currently drafting a document that will allow the use of most electronics during take off and landing. I say "most" because that most controversial of devices, the ubiquitous cellphone, was not part of the study, so rules wont chang...

Miles and Money Now Needed to Reach "Elite" Status on United Airlines

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/21/2013, 12:45 PM

Delta did it first, back in January, when it sent a note to its loyalty program members stating that now it would not just award "Silver" status based on the amount of miles flown, travelers would also have to reach a minimum spending level (of $2,500 during the calendar year) to achieve that status. Take a read of Delta's announcement. Well, guess what? As is wont to happen in this copy-c...

The RIGHT Way to Do Denali National Park (Get OFF The Darn Bus!)

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/21/2013, 12:30 PM

In 1917, when Denali National Park in Alaska was created, just 7 hardy souls managed to make the grueling, long, roadless trek to see the wonders of the new park. Today, thanks to a highway and popular railroad, Denali is deluged with some 400,000 visitors each year, the majority in the months of June, July and August. But I would be surprised if more than 3 visitors, or even 3 park ra...

The Elimination of Room Service, Top Sheets, and More: Worrisome Changes Coming to a Hotel Near You

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/20/2013, 12:30 PM

Those over the age of 45 will remember when flying was a glamorous, or at least an amenity-laden activity. Attractive flight attendants would flit up and down the aisles, delivering meals, snacks, pillows and blankets, with nary a thought of charging the passenger extra for these, well, extras. Those days are long gone, of course, and thanks to recent developments in the hotel industry it ...

Getting Crafty in North Carolina: Meet the John C. Campbell Folk School

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/18/2013, 11:00 PM

The day began with Whisky for Breakfast. Which made sense, since we were in North Carolina. But this wasn’t a meeting of the “Moonshine Society.” Instead, a fiddler and a banjo player were jumpstarting the morning with a before-breakfast concert-- which included that classic Appalachian jig—at the famed John C. Campbell Folkschool (www.folkschool.org), of Brasstown. Later in the day, I stu...

Drop That Knock-Off Purse! People Who Buy Counterfeit Goods in New York City May Now Face Stiff Fines

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/17/2013, 2:00 AM

Just yesterday I was walking through New York's Chinatown, on my way to review a dim sum joint for my new guidebook, when a short woman slung with several purses sidles up to me. "Want to buy?" she asked in a low voice. "This real thing. Louis Vuitton. Chanel. Prada. We got it all." I said 'no thanks', and kept on walking. But I noticed that she did manage to nab a tourist near me, and soo...

My Knee-Jerk (Ouch!) Reaction to American Airlines' Plans to Add Even More Seats to Its Planes

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/14/2013, 2:30 AM

My knees are aching just writing this. And my laptop's cover is quivering in fear. But here goes: In a regulatory filing yesterday, AMR Corp disclosed its plans to add more seats to some of its planes, according to the Associated Press. An airline spokesperson said the seats would be added on 737's and MD-80 jets, but declined to say just what the new configurations would be like. But...

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