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France May Be Effectively Closed to Visitors Until Late July

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2020, 12:00 PM

In the stretch of just a few weeks, the world's top spring and summer events—including Burning Man, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, South by Southwest, and Edinburgh's performing arts festivals—have all gone virtual, been postponed, or gotten canceled entirely (at least for 2020). Now it looks like we Americans may have to kiss most of summer in France goodbye, too. On Friday, ...

Ireland Lays Out a Five-Pronged Phase-In Period for Reopening

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2020, 7:00 AM

What is Ireland without its pubs? Irish citizens, emerging from a very strict lockdown, will soon find that out. In the five-step reopening plan, announced late Friday, Irish Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that pubs would be among the businesses opening in the final phase, scheduled now for August 10. Tourists could return slightly sooner, with hotels and museums set to reop...

United Airlines Slashes Compensation Consumers Fought for in 2017

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/01/2020, 3:00 PM

Two weeks ago, the airlines gratefully arranged to accept a boatload of our tax dollars. And what have those companies done last week and this week? They enacted rule changes so they can extract even more money from us in the sneakiest ways possible. American Airlines already chose this difficult moment to hike luggage fees, and many other airlines are trying to make customers accept vouc...

Airfares Could Spike in the Near Future. Buy Now!

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/29/2020, 12:00 AM

I've spent much of my career trying to predict where airfares are going. Like a fortune-teller consulting tea leaves, I've used the same tools over and over in that effort. For predicting fares, it has come down to fuel prices and demand. When fuel prices are low, airfares are likely to follow—though high demand can inch prices up. But in the last two weeks—and for the first time in history—...

How the Major Theme Parks Might Reopen

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2020, 9:00 PM

On Monday, the respected site Theme Park Insider published a story that reportedly came from an inside tip. The site claims that Walt Disney World in Orlando is considering reopening just one of its four theme parks first in order to test new sanitary and safety procedures before rolling them out to the rest.  It's just a proposal, Theme Park Insider stressed, but it shows that Disney execut...

Sicily Creates Fund to Pay 50% of Vacationers' Costs

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/27/2020, 12:00 PM

Sicily is giving vacationers an offer they can't refuse. The government of this storied Italian island has put aside €500 million (about $595 million) to pay for 50% of the cost of airfare for anyone who comes in the months that tourism returns. The fund will also pay for one out of every three hotel nights for visitors. Eventually there should be a form on the Sicily tourism website to regi...

Immunity Passports for Travelers: Quick Solution or False Hope?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/27/2020, 12:00 AM

Every day, it seems, we’re learning more and more about Covid-19. Over the last few weeks—and they feel like years, don’t they?—we’ve learned that loss of taste and smell might be harbingers of the disease, that a spike in serious strokes may be related to the virus, and that it may have hit American shores far, far earlier than anyone realized. But the biggest lesson for those of us in the ...

Saving California's Restaurants Means Saving Its Tourism Industry

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/27/2020, 12:00 AM

Food is central to travel. Each year I write a roundup of travel trends for Frommer's, and every time, culinary vacations play a huge role. Over the last decade, tours devoted to cooking, eating, and food production have exploded in number to keep up with demand. We've also seen more and more upscale restaurants on cruise ships and in hotels, new apps and websites allowing users to eat with ...

Do Airlines Have to Refund You for a Canceled Flight?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/22/2020, 6:00 PM

If I cancel a flight because I no longer wish to travel during the outbreak, don't airlines have to refund me for the ticket? I'm getting this question a lot on Twitter and on the Frommer Travel Show on the radio (click here for the podcast version), so for the benefit of all, let me lay out the answer for you. No. Refunds depend on how the flight was canceled. In the situation posed in t...

It’s the Pits! The Cancellation of the National Cherry Festival Is Personally Saddening

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/22/2020, 9:00 AM

About four years ago I learned that I was a failure.  At cherry spitting, that is. No matter how much I tried—and I lined up four times to show off my non-skills to a judge—I couldn’t propel the pit more than about two and a half feet. A 10-year-old behind me couldn’t contain his giggles when my spit sprayed much farther than the pit, which dropped right on my sandals.  Who cares? I tried an...

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