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Though None of it Made the Headlines, There was News Last Week of Some Importance to Travel

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/26/2013, 6:30 PM

     Last week was a fairly busy time in travel, though none of the developments was well covered in the press.  Here's our attempt to bring you up-to-date.      First, one of the largest of the airfare search engines, Expedia, acquired--for all intents and purposes--that other large search engine called Travelocity.  Though Travelocity will technically remain a separate entity, it will pe...

What’s the Best Vacation For Your “Stage of Life”? How Age Can—and Should—Affect Your Travel Plans

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/25/2013, 2:15 PM

“Man is by nature a social animal”, wrote Aristotle. And though he wasn’t commenting on vacations, his observation certainly applies:  who one travels with can be as important to the success of a trip as where one goes. Certain types of travel, as well as certain destinations, attract wildly different demographics, after all. Head to spring break-central, Panama City, Florida in March or A...

At an Almost Unbelievable Rate of 64 Rupees to the U.S. Dollar, India Has Become the Bargain Destination of the Decade

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2013, 4:15 PM

       India--to begin with--was always an inexpensive place in which to travel, even when a U.S. Dollar bought you only 40 Rupees.  When that currency then weakened to a level of 55 Rupees to the dollar about a year ago, its hotels, restaurants and tours became so cheap as to cause me to write a frenzied blog about the phenomenon, an excitable outpouring of words about the ultra-low cost ...

3 Sneaky Ways To Save Money on Lodgings When You Hit the Road

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2013, 2:00 PM

Sometimes you have to get creative, and perhaps even bend the rules, when looking to save money on travel. That’s particularly the case for lodgings, as hotel rates have increased a good 5% this year over last (and they were creeping upwards already in 2012). Here are some devious strategies you might try. Look for a Newbie: It takes a while for a new hotel to get the word out that it’s op...

Another Cruise Line Extinguishes Smoking on Stateroom Balconies, and Good Riddance

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/15/2013, 5:45 PM

USA Today reports that Disney is the latest cruise line to ban smoking on its stateroom balconies, joining Celebrity, Princess, Oceania, and Crystal. I'm all for the ban. Not because it's not very "Disney" (Walt himself was rarely seen without an unfiltered Lucky Strike in his hand) but because it's dangerous and rude. Every cruise ship's lifeboat drill contains a captain's warning not to ...

The Truth is Out: Airline Mergers Do Indeed Result in Higher Prices

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/14/2013, 3:45 PM

If you weren't sure where to come down on the airline merger debate, a position is becoming clearer. Yesterday the Department of Justice put its own foot down on the union of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The DOJ hasn't blocked an airline merger since 2001, but something broke. It has had enough. This may be why: The AP's Scott Mayerowitz reports that airfares have gone up, even when...

Spots Have Just Opened Up on Pauline Frommer's October Tour to Taiwan

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/12/2013, 9:00 PM

I haven't written much about the tour I'm leading to Taiwan here at Frommers.com because we wanted to travel with a small group (a maximum of 15) and the tour filled up quite quickly, several months ago. But you know what they say about the best laid plans.... I just learned 15 minutes ago that a member of the tour has fallen ill. So he, and the three family members he was supposed to trav...

The Meanest Roads in America: More Public Highways Bleeding Tourists with Cashless Tolls

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/12/2013, 8:15 PM

They're the meanest roads in America. If you haven't taken a road trip vacation in the last few years, you're in for a rude shock. More states are implementing what's called "cashless tolls," which require vehicles to carry transponders that roadside sensors debit with the price of tolls. While cashless tolls have sped up traffic on many commuter routes, some states have unwisely and uncharitably...

Way To Stay Classy, Ryanair! Wait Until You Hear What's In The Airline's Training Manuals

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/11/2013, 4:15 AM

The same airline that once declared it would install pay toilets (that didn't happen), has been instructing its flight attendants to avoid making change for passengers when they buy a snack from the onboard trolley (that did happen). According to the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, Ryanair flight attendants were given a manual on how to boost revenues during flights. In a copy obtained by the ...

Whether to Buy a "Chip-and-Pin" Credit Card for Your Next European Trip, Is an Increasingly-Hard Decision to Make

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/10/2013, 3:45 PM

       A European credit card employing modern "chip and pin" technology, is clearly superior to the old-fashioned "magnetic stripe" credit cards issued to Americans.  But is it worth the time and expense to equip yourself with a "chip and pin" card for your next trip to Europe?      That's a hotly-disputed question.  My own one-time experience in buying a "chip and pin" card was not a...

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