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...

Year in Review: 2021’s Top Travel Stories, According to Frommer’s Readers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/28/2021, 6:00 AM

In 2021, as in 2020, the seemingly never-ending Covid-19 pandemic dominated every aspect of public life, from the economy to the arts. Here at Frommer’s, we covered all the travel-related angles of the ongoing crisis, including reopening borders, reclosing borders, vaccine requirements, mask mandates, the tricky timing of predeparture tests, and whether you should get your proof-of-vaccination QR...

Cruise Ships Aren't Covid Jails Anymore—But They Are Being Refused By Some Ports

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/27/2021, 2:45 PM

When Covid-19 was first going global, its early appearance on cruise ships caught scientists and epidemiologists flat-footed. In the spring of 2020, we still weren't precisely sure how the disease spread, and governments had not yet established protocols for dealing with infected visitors. What followed was a public relations meltdown for the cruise industry, as passengers and crew alike were tra...

Sharp Price Increase for U.S. Passports Announced

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/21/2021, 7:00 PM

Looks like inflation is also hitting government fees. This week, the U.S. State Department announced that the cost of a passport will go up by 13%. Beginning December 27, a new passport book that previously cost $145 for adults over the age of 16 will jump $20 in price to $165. The cost is also increasing for children under 16, going from $115 to $135.Passport renewal rates rise from $110 to $130...

Disney's New Star Wars Hotel Slammed As "a Galactic Failure"

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/13/2021, 2:00 PM

For years, Americans have watched the price of a Disney vacation climb upward, and yet the parks remained packed. When it came to Disney charging luxury rates, it seemed the sky was the limit. Now we know the limit was actually outer space. Disney's upcoming Star Wars–themed Galactic Starcruiser hotel, for which two-night stays for a family of four start at $6,000, is facing backlash of the First...

New York City Clamps Down on Illegal Airbnb Rentals

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/09/2021, 5:00 PM

The New York City Council approved a bill today requiring hosts using Airbnb and similar online platforms to register with the city before renting out their homes for less than 30 days. The measure, which is modeled after regulations in other communities such as Boston and Santa Monica, California, is being put in place to give some teeth to an already existing law in New York that bars most renta...

The Glitchy Genie+/ Lightning Lane System Arrives at Disneyland

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/08/2021, 4:45 PM

In October, Florida's Walt Disney World rolled out its paid version of the formerly free FastPass system, now called Lightning Lane. The Disney company had delayed expanding the new fee system to California's Disneyland resort—but as of Wednesday, December 8, the Genie is out of the bottle. Genie+ and Lightning Lane have arrived in California. Vacationers at Disneyland's two theme parks will now ...

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