Pauline Frommer: Thanks to 2020, Airbnb Isn't Always the Cheapest Option Anymore

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/21/2020, 3:00 PM

The conventional wisdom used to be you’d save money by renting an Airbnb rather than booking a hotel room. That now needs to be revised in yet another reversal brought by the pandemic. A new study from Wanderu, a website usually devoted to comparing bus and train ticket prices, found that in most of North America, average Airbnb nightly rates are now higher than average hotel prices. Sometimes t...

Is This The Strongest Proof Yet Flying Is Safe? See These New Military-Grade Tests

By Jason Cochran

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

If you ran an airline in 2020, how would you prove to the public that flying in your planes is safe? It's a tricky proposition in an age of document dumps, disinformation, and fake news. To reassure consumers, the airlines need to show that they're safe to use, but any study they produce on their own could be dismissed as self-serving, questionable, or overly anecdotal. So here's what United Airl...

Stay at the Luxury Hotel Where 'The Great British Baking Show' Was Shot

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/14/2020, 6:00 PM

What 2020 championship season successfully navigated the Covid Era by requiring participants to live and compete in a rigorously maintained social bubble? If you said the National Basketball Association, your answer is only half-baked. Yes, the NBA hunkered down in an isolated community at Walt Disney World in Florida. ABC's But the contestants on the U.K.'s The Great British Bake Off, known in N...

Oh, Great. Now That Icelandic Volcano Looks Like It Could Erupt Again

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/12/2020, 6:00 PM

If you're old enough, you might remember that time in 2010 when a volcano shut down Europe. In March of that year, Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano (pictured above) erupted and spewed so much ash that planes couldn't safely fly. As the plume drifted southeast and spread, the continent's aircraft were effectively shut down for a week until the microscopic flecks of ash gradually dispersed. More t...

Panama Is Reopening for Quarantine-Free Visits, So Is This the Winter to Finally Go?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/10/2020, 7:00 AM

As Frommer's Panama author Nicholas Gill writes, "Panama is home to a staggering array of natural landscapes, each beautiful in its own way." That includes lovely beaches, perfect spots for snorkeling and scuba diving, mile after mile of pristine rainforest, rugged mountains laced with top whitewater rivers, state-of-the-art golf courses, mangrove swamps, coffee plantations, dozing volcanoes, coas...

The QE2 Returns to Service as a Hotel While the Queen Mary's Prospects Sink

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/09/2020, 6:00 AM

In a recent YouTube video about why and how ships get scrapped, maritime historian Chris Frame slipped in a striking fact. Comparing the remnants of Ancient Egypt with the golden age of ocean travel, he said, "There are more pyramids you can visit today than there are original, preserved ocean liners." When it comes to preserving its heritage, the cruise industry is adrift. That's understandable....

The Department of Transportation Says It's Not There to Ensure Passenger Safety

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/07/2020, 6:00 AM

In late July, members of 33 transportation unions—flight attendants, pilots, TSA inspectors, ferry workers, bus drivers, and others—filed an official petition with the Department of Transportation begging for a federal mask mandate on all commercial transportation. Such a move clearly would have made sense. Trains, planes, and buses cross state lines, so the only way to have consistent measures fo...

Rare Good News: Venice's Long-Awaited Flood Protection System Works!

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/05/2020, 6:00 AM

Venice's answer to Watergate had involved actual water and actual gates. The city's MOSE Project (the name is an acronym of the Italian initials for "Experimental Electromechanical Module") is a system of mobile gates designed to protect the Venetian Lagoon from flooding. But the project had devolved into a major political scandal. Nine years late, €4 billion over budget, and with countless corru...

Luxury Rock Star Tour Buses Become A Travel Option in This Pandemic

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/02/2020, 8:00 PM

There’s a certain flavor of fear that comes from trying to do something potentially dangerous that you are in no way competent to do. I experienced that intense mix of panic and embarrassment while trying to park a Class A motor home for the first time. Eventually, my husband had to slide into the sweat-soaked driver’s seat and finish the job. Piloting the mammoth vehicle was just one of many of t...

JetBlue Can Now Hook Up All Its Passengers with Saliva-Based Virus Tests

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/01/2020, 6:00 AM

United, American, and Hawaiian airlines are gradually introducing Covid-19 tests for passengers who are headed to Hawaii, a state that now demands negative results. But JetBlue is going much further—it's helping all its customers secure prompt viral test results. You don't have to be holding a ticket for any specific destination. The airline has announced a partnership with Vault Health. Using a ...

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