Summer Vacation in the National Parks? You Need Reservations for Some of Them Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/22/2022, 6:00 AM

In case you haven't heard, the U.S. national park system had record visitation numbers in 2021, with the crown jewel parks stretched to the breaking point. Arches National Park had to temporarily close its entry gates 120 times in 2021. Yellowstone National Park attracted 4.4 million visitors—a full million more than it got in 2020. And rangers at Grand Canyon National Park performed more rescues...

WHO Revises Guidance: "Lift or Ease International Traffic Bans"

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/20/2022, 4:00 PM

The World Health Organization has a new message for governments around the world: We can't stop Omicron anymore. The horse has left the barn, so why close the gate behind it? Those aren't the exact words the United Nations health agency used, of course. But it was the essential message of the esteemed group's new position on international Covid-19 safety regulations. According to the WHO's just-...

Airfare Is Set to Rise, So When Is the Best Time to Buy Plane Tickets Now?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/19/2022, 4:00 PM

According to experts at the price-tracking app Hopper, domestic airfares will tick up 7% every month between now and June. That's a head-turning rate. It's normal for airfares to increase between the nadir of the low travel season (January) and the high season of summer, but in the past, the jump has only been 2% per month. But airfares were so low during the doldrums of 2020 and 2021 that they ha...

Florida Gov. DeSantis Voided a Vote in Key West, but Cruises Are Respecting It Anyway

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/17/2022, 4:00 PM

On Election Day in November 2020, the people of Key West, Florida, a remote but heavily touristed island in the Gulf of Mexico that's barely 7 square miles in size, went to the polls and demonstrated the kind of self-governance that the United States is all about. By a sweeping majority of over 60% of votes cast, residents decided to restrict the number of cruise passengers allowed in the historic...

How to Book a Flight That Won't Get Canceled

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/12/2022, 9:00 AM

The answer to the headline is easy: Use the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus as your travel agent. The truth is there's always the chance that a flight will be canceled. We're seeing extreme weather patterns in this era of climate change, and the airline industry has a propensity for staffing shortages. But it's also true that if you are strategic about your initial flight purchase, you can decrease yo...

Across the United States This Week, Lost Luggage Is Piling Up at Airports

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/07/2022, 3:00 PM

First, the major carriers had trouble coughing up refunds for cancellations. Then dimwitted and unruly passengers began giving commercial flights a rougher reputation than MMA championship fights. And for the past seven months, the big airlines have staggered from computer meltdowns to employee battles to staffing shortages. Over the holiday period, 1 in 13 U.S. flights was canceled. Limping alon...

Veterans and Gold Star Families Now Get Free Entry to U.S. National Parks

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/06/2022, 3:15 PM

Sometimes Democrats and Republicans can agree. In November 2020, the Trump administration announced that entry to the U.S. national parks would be free for veterans and Gold Star Families (relatives of service members killed on active duty) for an unspecified period. Then on December 27, 2021, President Biden made that waiver permanent under the Alexander Lofgren Veterans in the Park Act, which w...

Slip Slidin’ Away: Venice’s Too-Slick Glass Bridge Getting a Stone Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/04/2022, 6:30 PM

We're not structural engineers or anything, but putting an arched footbridge made out of a notoriously slippery substance in the middle of a famously soggy city seems like a surefire way to create, at best, a very expensive Slip 'N Slide and, at worst, a very expensive lawsuit machine. Nevertheless, acclaimed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava did indeed design a glass walkway to cross the Gran...

A Shortage of Covid-19 Tests in Europe and the U.S.A. Is Disrupting International Travel

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/04/2022, 3:30 PM

Melissa Fike's December trip to Ireland, her first, was one of the best vacations she'd ever had—until its last 24 hours. Over the course of two weeks, she and her boyfriend saw the highlights of the spectacular area known as the Wild Atlantic Way, spent a cozy Christmas with his family in County Clare, and fell in love with the Emerald Isle. But midway though her final day in the country, her go...

In a Growing Number of U.S. Cities, Vaccination Required for Indoor Dining

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/28/2021, 1:30 PM

As Omicron surges, vaccination mandates are rapidly expanding in many more indoor dining and entertainment venues across America. Nationwide, government vaccine policies are being echoed by individual business owners who have decided to require proof of vaccine—and even proof of a booster shot—before serving customers. While requiring proof of vaccination is common in Europe, the practice is less...

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