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Hotels Suspended Amenities But Are Keeping Resort Fee Cash. The Scam Must End

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/21/2020, 4:00 PM

At this point, everyone knows that the travel industry has been forced to curtail its usual offerings. To satisfy social distancing and tight sanitary protocols, hotels have suspended access to everything from fitness centers to complimentary shuttles. Why, pray tell, are hotels still charging high resort fees? Those pernicious charges are among the scammiest scams that ever scammed the t...

Colleges and Universities Are Canceling Spring Break in 2021

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/21/2020, 3:00 PM

No need to practice your keg stand or to save up for a bikini smaller than the dollar bills you'll use to buy it. Some six months in advance, universities are announcing that because of the pandemic, they will drop the usual spring break from their schedules in 2021.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, Purdue University, Baylor University, Carnegie Mellon Univer...

Headlines Shout of Covid-19 Exposure on Flights, but Look Deeper—It's Worse

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/21/2020, 2:00 PM

You might have seen a few headlines this week casting doubt on whether flying is safe. Here's one from the New York Post, dated September 21: "Woman spread coronavirus to 15 people on international flight." Terrifying, right? The outbreak was traced to a flight from Vietnam to London. Our containment measures aren't working! But read past the headline.  The incident happened March 1, w...

Hawaii Is Reopening! Starting Oct. 15, State Will Admit Tourists with Recent Virus Tests

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/17/2020, 2:00 PM

Perhaps no American state's economy has been devastated by Covid-19 worse than Hawaii's. The state's isolation determines so much about its health. Nearly all tourists arrive to the islands by air. Unlike places in the contiguous U.S., Hawaii can't easily transfer patients to neighboring states if the hospitals fill up. That why Hawaii was so aggressive about dealing with Covid-19 in March, clo...

Morocco Reopens to Tourists—But Maybe That's Not Such a Good Idea

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/16/2020, 11:00 AM

On September 6, Morocco's national air carrier, Royal Air Maroc, tweeted that "nationals of visa-exempt countries with an invitation from a Moroccan company or a confirmed hotel reservation can now have access to our flights to Morocco." The United States is one of about 60 of those "visa-exempt" countries. As long as that hotel reservation is accompanied by a Covid-19 test no older than 48 ...

The Feds Want to Raise the Global Entry Fee, So You'd Better Apply Soon

By Frommer's Staff

Posted on 09/15/2020, 10:00 AM

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has signaled an intention to raise rates for its Global Entry program. In a "notice of proposed rulemaking," which will be open for comment until early November, CBP called for a "harmonization" of fees across Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry. But in the final analysis, the agency actually wants to hike fees. Global Entry, which allows for...

Is Now the Right Time to Buy Holiday Airfare? The Answer is a Qualified Yes

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2020, 9:00 AM

If this were a normal year, I’d be penning a post right now about getting ready to scoop up holiday airfares at the end of September or early October. Traditionally, that's the sweet spot for getting the best deals on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's flights. But nothing is normal about 2020, and the airlines have been doing something unheard of for September: announcing holiday sales. ...

Beloved Tour Operator TrekAmerica Calls It Quits

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/08/2020, 11:00 AM

It’s no secret that travel businesses are in trouble right now. Airlines are planning huge layoffs for the fall and a large percentage of hotels will likely never reopen.  Now a major tour operator is throwing in the towel.  On September 7, TrekAmerica posted a farewell notice on its website. "We’re incredibly sad to say that due to ongoing uncertainties from COVID, TrekAmerica won’t be c...

Try These Two Maps to Track Covid-19 Restrictions State-By-State in the USA

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/04/2020, 11:45 AM

Each American state has its own approach to viral prevention, which makes traveling in the USA tricky. Many issues can complicate even a 20-minute, cross-border drive, including varying quarantines, mask requirements, and different testing expectations. A Pennsylvania resident going across the border to visit her aunt in Maryland, for example, would be required by law to have taken a Covid-19 t...

Maybe It's Time to Say It: Flights and Theme Parks Aren't Making Us Sick

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/31/2020, 1:00 PM

One of the most difficult aspects of managing this pandemic has been altering our own perceptions and fears as more information becomes available. The slow dawning of enlightenment reminds me of the way that the AIDS plague unfolded. During the early years of that crisis, as scientists raced to figure out how the disease was spread, the public fell into repeated panics. People thought you could...

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