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

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/14/2021, 11:00 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 ...

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

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/13/2021, 4:00 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 cheape...

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

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/12/2021, 11:00 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 s...

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

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/10/2021, 6:00 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 trav...

Club Med's Current Sale Nearly Halves Vacation Costs

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/08/2021, 9:00 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...

Australia Will Stay Closed to Travel Until 2022

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2021, 11:00 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 th...

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

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/05/2021, 9:00 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 ...

Follow These Tips to Cut Down on Long Wait Times with Airline Phone Reps

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2021, 12:00 PM

Travel is returning, but the road back to normal will be a bumpy one. I have already told you about rental car shortages and airlines canceling flights that don't sell enough tickets.  Now another big issue is confronting travelers: the epic wait time before you can speak to an airline representative on the phone. One friend of mine had to wait 4 hours and 18 minutes to talk with a Delta ...

Why Uber May Be the Best Way to Rent Cars This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/03/2021, 1:00 PM

Last week Uber announced it was expanding its reach in yet another industry. The tech giant, known for its ride-hailing and delivery services, has partnered with the major rental car companies to allow users to rent cars directly from the Uber app. Much attention has already been focused on the new rental feature's ease of use, and yes, it's nicely designed. Potential renters can quickly see wh...

Masks Will Be Required on Planes, Trains, and Buses Into September

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/03/2021, 8:00 AM

Masks aren't going away anytime soon, at least not on public transportation in the United States. The Transportation Security Administration has extended its mask mandate through September 13. The rule, which was put into place on Pres. Joe Biden's first day in office, had been set to expire May 11. Passengers in the U.S. must continue to mask up at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on ...

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