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What’s New at D.C.’s Zoo and 7 Smithsonian Museums, Reopening in May?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/28/2021, 7:00 PM

Next month, members of the public will get their first chance to see the new panda cub at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo in all his adorable, bamboo-nibbling glory. The zoo and seven other Smithsonian museums have set reopening dates in May following months of closure due to the pandemic.  The move could give a much-needed boost to tourism in Washington, D.C., where visitor spending was dow...

Another Mediterranean Destination Says It Will Subsidize Tourist Visits

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2021, 4:00 PM

Last year, the Italian island of Sicily announced that it was creating a fund to pay for half of vacationers' costs. It was a powerfully attractive promise, to be sure, but considering international travel was paralyzed throughout most of 2020, we have yet to meet anyone who was able to avail themselves of the deal.  Now the island nation of Malta, just south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea,...

Pandemic Forces a 19-Month Delay in Real ID Enforcement at Airports

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2021, 1:00 PM

Many notorious fibs have been told to modern travelers: High-speed rail is coming soon. Competition will make airline service better. Mergers will give travelers more choice. But among the most vexing lies, "You will soon need Real ID to fly" is perhaps the most persistent. Developed partly as a response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Real ID Act was passed in 2005, back when Carr...

Why You Shouldn't Freak Out Over the U.S. Adding 116 Countries to the "Do Not Travel" List

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/22/2021, 5:00 PM

Early this week, the U.S. State Department, as it often does, updated its list of travel advisories—and the resulting headlines sparked some consternation. On the surface, headlines like "U.S. State Department says it will boost ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to 80% of the world" might throw your heart into your throat. At first glance, it seems as if the entire planet is shutting back down before ...

What to Expect at the Newly Built Resorts World Las Vegas, Opening in June

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/21/2021, 6:00 PM

The ginormous Resorts World Las Vegas has set an official opening date.  The 3,500-room, $4.3-billion behemoth will begin accepting guests on June 24.  The property is situated within walking distance of the Las Vegas Convention Center toward the northern end of Las Vegas Boulevard, on land formerly occupied by the Stardust. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that bygone resort (loca...

Will TripAdvisor's New Subscription Service Alter Its Hotel Search Results?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/21/2021, 9:00 AM

There’s a term in marketing known as the “Ikea Effect.” It comes from a study that showed that when customers had to invest time and effort into a product—such as building an Ikea bookshelf—they put a greater value on it. You build it, you love it, goes the idea. A corollary effect can be seen on the websites that gather and display user reviews for hotels, restaurants, and other travel product...

The Gentrification of Nature—and What to Do About It

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/19/2021, 7:00 PM

America’s wide-open spaces should be open to all. But more and more, the great outdoors are becoming a playground for the rich.  Mind you, nature has long had a luxury market hawking exorbitant arctic cruises, palatial glamping tents, and mountain bikes priced like they’re midsize sedans.  But with access to overseas adventures still limited due to the pandemic, wealthy Americans have set th...

Hawaii Set to Make Entry Easy for Vaccinated Visitors This Summer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/12/2021, 4:00 PM

As tortured and as controversial as Covid-19 safety measures have been across some parts of the United States, the rules for Hawaii have been even more intense—by necessity.  From the very start of the pandemic, the stakes for Hawaii were higher than for other parts of the U.S. With no ability to transport patients easily across state lines to other hospitals, officials in Hawaii knew that in o...

Yosemite, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks to Require Reservations This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/09/2021, 6:00 PM

Even in the great outdoors, social distancing can be a challenge—especially in peak vacation season. To keep national park visitors safer, rangers at Yosemite National Park (pictured) in California, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Glacier National Park in Montana have all announced that they'll be requiring advance reservations for summer visitors. Each park, though, will handl...

Airlines Bring Back Fees, But Not for Every Passenger

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/07/2021, 5:00 PM

Strange as it may feel to find anything about 2020 that could possibly qualify as the Good Old Days, the global crisis did yield a few positives. When demand for commercial flights plummeted and customers needed to reschedule their plans, all the major carriers obliged—in some cases, after public coercion—by eliminating their change fees so travelers could cancel or delay their flights without ...

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