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Pay-As-You-Use Budget Hotels: Growing Worldwide, But Still Foreign to Americans

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/13/2013, 6:00 PM

Tune Hotel Asoke, Bangkok A few years ago in Europe, a new breed of budget hotel began to emerge, epitomized by Lindemann's hotels in Berlin. Although it was a generally affordable property, it was also what is often called a "design hotel," meaning its decor and style were crafted by architects and designers to capitalize on a younger, trendier clientele than at the conservative corp...

Valet Padding: Another Trick Hotels Use to Suck More Cash Out of You

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/13/2013, 4:30 PM

Fairmont Newport Beach: One of many hotels with mandatory valet Pretty much everyone thinks resort fees are slimy. Yet the consumer uprising against them has merely simmered for years. It hasn't really boiled over to the point where hotels across the board are embarrassed to charge them.  Add to the "resort fee" a rising trend among hotels: the forced valet parking. Even at hotels...

It's a Match...Again! US Airways and American Airlines Receive Permission to Merge from the Department of Justice

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/12/2013, 10:45 PM

First there was the marriage of Delta and Northwest. Next, Continental united with, well, United. And then Southwest got hitched to AirTran. The first of these mergers was in 2009 and according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the cost of a flight has risen 15% in that time (the cost of holiday travel is a whopping 10% higher this year than last). Its only going to get wors...

Take a Vacation From Driving! A Pedestrian-Centric Website Lists Which US, Canadian and Australian Cities Are Most Walkable and Bikable

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/08/2013, 8:00 PM

Though its rankings are geared towards residents--and would-be residents--of various cities around the globe, the website WalkScore's 2014 lists are invaluable tools for tourists, as well. I think that most would agree that vacations are more, well, vacation-like when one doesn't have to deal with the hassles of traffic and/or renting a car. So without further ado, here are Walkscore'...

A New Website Sells Off Non-Refundable Hotel Reservations at Deep Discounts

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/05/2013, 7:30 PM

Often, if you want the cheapest hotel room price, you have to consent to a non-refundable rate, and that makes it impossible to change plans without eating the cost. But a newly launched website, Roomer (found at RoomerTravel.com), was designed with one purpose in mind: It gets travelers out of non-refundable reservations. It functions as an intermediary between people who are stuck with h...

White House Tours Are On Again....For Now. Why You'll Want to Book Sooner Rather Than Later

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/05/2013, 4:00 PM

Though it hasn't been publicly announced, word has leaked out--as tends to happen in Washington, DC--that the White House is now holding tours again. The website has been updated to reflect the change, which apparently does not have to do with any decision President Obama made. The tours were originally shuttered because the Secret Service simply didn't have the funding, thanks to the seq...

Sunday Only: Two-For-The-Price-Of-One Airline Seats from Virgin America (Newark Departures Only)

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/03/2013, 4:30 PM

Tricky Virgin Atlantic! It has waited for the weekend to float one of the best deals it has offerred this year, a two-for-the-price-of-one offer from Newark to a whole slew of gateways. And at first glance it looks like the starting prices aren't any higher than their usual start rates, making this a true deal. Travel is from November 15-February 28 with some blackout dates. To get the dea...

To Save the Expense of a Ground-Floor, Central City Office, More and More Travel Agents Are Simply Working From Their Homes

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/01/2013, 8:45 PM

      What happened to all those travel agencies that used to operate from behind plate glass windows in ground-floor locations on street corners in your community?       It may come as a surprise to learn that they haven’t disappeared.  Many of them are still operating--and arranging trips for many of your neighbors--but they’re performing from the dining room--or t...

Though Harry Potter Has Garnered All the Raves, The True Hit Attraction of Orlando's Theme Parks is Disney's Soarin'

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/01/2013, 4:00 PM

     In the bitter competition between theme parks in Orlando, Florida, the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure has recently scored a public relations victory.  Journalist after journalist has weighed in with the conclusion that Universal's Harry Potter is currently the outstanding attraction in America's theme park capital.      I went to the Harry Potter exhib...

Soon You Can Use Electronic Devices During Most of the Flight, the FAA Declares

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/31/2013, 3:00 PM

The FAA has decided it's safe to operate most electronics for the duration of a commercial flight. In a press release issued on Halloween, it said that although mobile phone use will still be banned, it will advise airlines that it's safe to allow other items. The exact wording of the announcement puts it like this: "Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the...

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