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Wanna Save That $25 Baggage Charge? Avoid the 3% Foreign Transaction Fee? Get Admission to a Comfy Lounge? Enjoy Priority Boarding? We Know How!

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/20/2013, 1:15 AM

     At the risk of being accused of touting a particular credit card (in which I have no interest whatever), it's important to alert all cost-conscious travelers about the new (and rather innovative) Chase Card for United Airlines passengers.  It costs $0 the first year, $95 the second year (thus $47.50 a year for the first two years), and primariy lets you and your travel companion each chec...

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...

On a Return Flight to the U.S. from an Overseas Trip, It Has Now Become Important to Leave Yourself At Least Four Hours for Making An Onward Connection

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/17/2013, 1:45 AM

     The big news in travel this past week has been the virtual collapse of the customs and immigration function at several of the nation's international airports, including those in Newark, New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles, in particular.  The under-staffing of those facilities has become so evident that waits of two and three hours are sometimes needed to pass through immigration and...

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...

Thinking About a Dude Ranch Vacation This Summer? Tips from an Expert

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/13/2013, 2:45 PM

The horse may just replace the racecar, space ship and James Bond-helmed motorboat as the whiz-bang mode of transportation this summer. I make that prediction after watching the trailers for the new, Johnny Depp-helmed (he’s Tonto) version of The Lone Ranger that will be hitting movie theaters this July and seems destined for blockbuster status. Every single preview features racing stallions, ...

Another Opening, Another Summer Stock Show: The Best Theater This Coming Season in North America

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/13/2013, 2:45 PM

Sure there’s sun and sand. But one of the unsung delights of summer---or should I say one of the most loudly crooned pleasures of the season---is summer stock. There’s something magical about heading out on a warm evening, entering a theater filled with other tanned and relaxed folks, and giving yourself up to a classical musical or play. And nowadays, summers have become a time not just for r...

While You Were Out, Your Hotel Covered Your Bathroom Mirror with an Advertisement: Okay or Not?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/11/2013, 2:45 AM

Tonight, Instagram user @ZachHonig tweeted this image of his hotel room at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. It seems that while he was out, the management let themselves inside and did this: Yes, that's an ad. And yes, it's stuck directly to the mirror in the most private area of this private room: the bathroom. L.A. is currently hosting E3, the E...

Some Rather Spectacular Bargains Have Opened Up in Month-of-July Sailings of the Mediterranean

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/10/2013, 4:15 PM

     In an earlier blog, I predicted that all the big cruiselines sailing in the Mediterranean would slash their prices for departures in July, once we got closer in to the month of July.  That is exactly what has happened.  If you will go to VacationsToGo.com, clicking on the Mediterranean, designating Celebrity Cruises as the line you wish to follow, and 8-to-13-night cruises in July, you wil...

When an Overseas Merchant Offers to Convert Your Credit Card Bill Into U.S. Dollars, Say No

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/09/2013, 9:45 PM

    It's known as "Dynamic Currency Conversion", but it should be called "Dynamic Currency Cheating".  You encounter the shady offer in a Paris restaurant, a London hotel, a Tokyo department store--any number of overseas situations.  You've just made a purchase of a meal, a hotel room, a jacket or a pair of shoes, for which you present your credit card in payment.  And the local sales clerk or...

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