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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...

Orlando Goes Over the Top: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Also Break the $90 Barrier with Ticket Prices

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/07/2013, 3:45 PM

We just got a dispatch from Florida, where SeaWorld Orlando confirms it has joined Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando in hiking ticket prices past the $90 mark. SeaWorld Orlando's single-day admission is now $92 adult, $84 children (ages 3 to 9), plus tax. Busch Gardens Tampa has also raised prices, but it still shy of the $90 threshhold: $89 adult, $81 children aged 3 to 9. T...

Wilson Wu Has Done it Again: $999 for a Combination of Beijing and Shanghai, Including Round-Trip Trans-Pacific Airfare

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/07/2013, 3:30 PM

     In a recent discussion, we expressed our surprise at the latest move by Wilson Wu, the wonder-boy of travel to China.  About a week ago, he completely re-did his website (www.chinaspree.com) to announce wide-open flights to Beijing in November through February for only $888, including round-trip air to Beijing from San Francisco, Los Angeles or Houston, and six nights with full breakfast ...

Plan Ahead or Do It On the Spot: The Conundrum of Modern Vacations

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2013, 3:30 PM

United Airlines caused a stir two days ago when it announced that travelers could now “subscribe” to its fees. Pay one lump sum in advance—$349, so that’s one big lump sum actually!—and you’ll be able to carry on your luggage “free” for the next year. Oh, wait, no, that amount was just for one bag checked. If you need to check two bags, the fee goes up to $399.  To guarantee a seat in “economy...

The Re-Appearance of China Spree's $888 One-Weeker to Beijing (Including Round-Trip Airfare!) May Indicate that China Air and China Irself Have Plenty of Unsold Capacity for Autumn and Winter. China, Anyone?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2013, 2:15 PM

     To my utter amazement, China Spree has today replaced its former China specials with an entirely new list of spectacular fall/winter bargains (such as $888 for a week in Beijing, including airfare), all of which are wide open for booking for the coming fall/winter months (they used to be shown as largely sold-out).  If you haven't yet chosen a fall/winter vacation, you might very well rus...

Italian State-Run Museums Now Free to Everyone Under the Age of 18

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2013, 2:00 AM

My thanks to Frommer's author Donald Strachan (who's currently hard at work on a new Frommer's guidebook) for spotting this one. Until now, non-European Union teens and children had to pay entrance fees at state-run museums. That changed on May 28th with a ministerial decree that these museums would now be open to all young people, no matter their nationality. Bravo! Of course, not all...

A Preview of Kennedy Space Center's Awesome $100 Million Home for Space Shuttle Atlantis, Opening June 29

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/04/2013, 1:30 PM

On June 29, the most lavish of America's four final homes for the former space shuttle orbiters will open. The Atlantis will admit visitors on the very grounds where it launched 33 successful missions over its lifetime. I was given a special preview of the 90,000-square-foot Atlantis Orbiter Home — and it's gorgeous. Some aspects of the permanent display are still under wraps, but the core...

A Preview of Kennedy Space Center's Awesome $100 Million Home for Space Shuttle Atlantis, Opening June 29

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/04/2013, 1:30 PM

On June 29, the most lavish of America's four final homes for the former space shuttle orbiters will open. The Atlantis will admit visitors on the very grounds where it launched 33 successful missions over its lifetime. I was given a special preview of the 90,000-square-foot Atlantis Orbiter Home — and it's gorgeous. Some aspects of the permanent display are still under wraps, but the core...

Disney Raises Prices Past the $90 Mark, So Your Summer Vacation to the Mouse Will Cost More Cheddar

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/03/2013, 10:00 PM

The Mouse has roared again. Each year it raises prices on us, and it did it again. A one-day, one-park ticket to its Magic Kingdom park now costs $6 more, or $95, and kids (which in Orlandoland are only children until age 9) cost $89. Interestingly, it is not hiking its other three Florida parks to the same level. They will be $90 adults/$84 kids. Disneyland broke the $90 wall, too. That's...

Would You Believe That Bangkok Has Edged Out London as the World's Most Popular City?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/03/2013, 1:30 AM

     Here's an assertion that will cause most observers (including myself) to rub their eyes in wonder.  According to the prestigious Global Insights Index, Thailand's Bangkok now receives more yearly visitors, more airline passenger arrivals, than London, and thus enjoys the title of "world's most popular city".       At first glance, I for one can't imagine how that can be.  For one thin...

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