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Scam Alert: Passport Processing Swindles Are Booming

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/28/2021, 10:00 AM

We've been warning you about the immense backlog of passport applications facing the U.S. State Department—up to two million people are now reportedly waiting for processing. It currently takes up to four and a half months to obtain a passport. When government fails, grifters run riot.  Americans who are eager to travel abroad are falling prey to a growing army of scammers who promise to exp...

New Covid Testing Kits Can Be Packed and Used to Reenter the U.S.

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/27/2021, 6:00 PM

The United States still requires everyone who enters to produce a negative Covid-19 test result that's no older than 72 hours. The rule applies even if you're vaccinated, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given no indication of removing the requirement anytime soon.   The mandate, in place since January 2021, has thrown a wrinkle into international travel plans, sending...

Wait, a New Ranking Says the Best U.S. Airline Is . . . United?!

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/23/2021, 6:00 PM

Lately, United Airlines has been experiencing something unusual for the Chicago-based company: good publicity. Just this week, United ranked higher than any other U.S. airline on the annual list of the world's top 20 carriers compiled by AirlineRatings.com. Based on an assessment measuring safety, passenger reviews, and tech innovation, Qatar Airways was named the world's best, while last ye...

As Disney World Strips Away Its Perks, What Will Replacing Them Cost You?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/23/2021, 6:00 PM

This week, it was confirmed that Disney Parks will receive a $580 million tax break from the state of Florida to relocate about 2,000 key workers from Southern California, where the brand was born, to the Orlando area. It's hard to overstate the meaning of this shift within the company. It's a fundamental cultural change at Disney. The Imagineers who design the rides and the Disney theme park e...

This Low-Cost French Airline’s Flights to Paris from NYC Are Très Cheap

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/21/2021, 7:00 PM

The Paris-based low-cost airline French Bee, which debuted in 2016, has launched its first route to and from the East Coast of the United States—and the fares are incroyable. (Or, to put it in the King's English, tickets are as cheap as chips.) Operating between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) near New York City and Paris Orly Airport (ORY) just south of the French capital, French Be...

Historic Hudson Valley Brickyard Transformed Into Luxury Resort

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/20/2021, 11:00 AM

Pillow menus, a social hour with wine in the lobby, goldfish in guest rooms—in the last decade or so there's been an arms race among hotels over which can create the most original amenities. Then when a perk catches on, many other competitors copy it and the cycle starts anew.  In the Hudson Valley, I recently encountered a fun and unique addition to this ongoing game of hospitality one-upmansh...

Malta Refuses to Accept American Proof of Vaccination, And America Could Fix That

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/16/2021, 5:00 PM

Update, July 18: It looks like Malta has changed regulations again and now will be allowing Americans to show CDC cards as proof of vaccination—at least for now. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a message sent to us by the government of Malta. Few nations on earth have embodied the bewildering vicissitudes of pandemic-era travel more perfectly than Malta. The little Mediterranean island...

Wanna See the Future of Airport Security? Go to Vegas.

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/14/2021, 4:00 PM

Las Vegas is famous for being a place to try out stuff you don't do elsewhere, whether that means playing blackjack at four in the morning or consuming your weight in jumbo shrimp at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  So maybe it's fitting that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has chosen Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (soon to be renamed for retired Nevada Sen. Harry Rei...

Cruising Is Getting More and More Expensive for Unvaccinated Passengers

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/13/2021, 5:00 PM

Carnival Cruise Line has become the latest major cruise company to announce that passengers who are unvaccinated or do not want to reveal their vaccination status will have to purchase extra insurance and pay for onboard Covid testing when cruising from Florida ports. Voyages from other ports are for vaccinated passengers only. Carnival is allowing unvaccinated passengers from Florida because l...

Passport Processing Is Taking Forever. Here's How to Hurry Things Along.

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/10/2021, 7:00 AM

UPDATE, July 23, 2021: The U.S. State Department has temporarily suspended its online system for booking last-minute appointments for passport centers in order to ensure that the very limited number of appointment times set aside for emergency travel go to those applicants who truly need them. Currently, the only way to schedule a last-minute appointment is by calling the National Passport Informa...

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