Need a Cheap Hotel? This Year, Hostels Have More Private Rooms Than Usual

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/21/2023, 7:45 AM

Hostels, as every nomadic youth knows, are the tentpoles of budget travel, and Covid-19 failed to take them down. The coronavirus did, however, shake up how hostels apportion space—and that could be a secret to finding extra savings for travel this spring and summer. In 2020, when all of us were social distancing, so were hostel guests. The category of cheap lodging has always depended on multibe...

Passport Wait Times Have Skyrocketed for Expedited Renewals and Applications

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/17/2023, 5:30 PM

Which is more fun: root canals or getting a passport application expedited? The answer, for now at least, is the root canal. Thanks to a confluence of problems from understaffing to a surge in travel after the Covid lockdowns, many people trying to get a new passport quickly are being told they might have to fly cross country to get their required in-person passport appointment. That is if they ...

Can a Hotel Front Desk or Cruise Hold Onto Your Passport?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/14/2023, 5:45 PM

The answer, in many places, is yes. Sometimes hotels may legally demand that you hand over your passport when you check in. "In some countries, hotels may be required under local law to retain copies of guests' passport information," a U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed with me. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take additional steps to protect your documents. The details of how yo...

If You Have Old Traveler's Checks Lying Around, Here's Why You Should Cash Them ASAP

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/07/2023, 6:15 PM

For a long time, the standard advice about traveler's checks has been conditional: You can still buy them, but be prepared for them to be refused at many places. Traveler's checks hail from an era before ATMs, credit cards, prepaid debit cards, and digital wallets, when travelers had to bring large sums of money with them to pay for their adventures. The traveler's check enabled people to remain w...

Is the U.S. Government’s New Dashboard on Airline Family Seating Actually Useful?

By Sean Cudahy

Posted on 03/07/2023, 9:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Transportation has rolled out an update to its airline customer service dashboard, adding a new section focused on which airlines do and don’t guarantee the right of families to sit together without paying extra fees. It’s the latest chapter in a mounting pressure campaign by the Biden administration over what it deems “junk fees” and restrictive policies by airlines (and o...

As United Makes Family Seating Easier, What Are Other Airlines Doing?

By Sean Cudahy

Posted on 02/21/2023, 5:15 PM

Amid 2023’s busiest travel weekend so far, United Airlines announced it’s making changes to its policies and computer systems to make it easier for families to sit together. The changes will start rolling out right away for those booking a ticket with a child age 12 or younger, with full implementation expected by early March. As part of the upgrades, the Chicago-based carrier plans to debut a ne...

Peru’s Machu Picchu Reopens to Tourists—but Is It Safe to Go There?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/17/2023, 8:00 AM

Machu Picchu, the world-renowned Inca citadel in the Andes of southern Peru, reopened to tourists this week after a nearly monthlong closure due to antigovernment protests. Peruvian news agency Andina reports that the decision to resume operations at the site came as a result of agreements made by municipal authorities, social organizations, and the tourism industry to "ensure [the] safety of the...

Las Vegas Casinos Accused of Fixing Prices in 90% of Rooms on the Strip

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/31/2023, 7:30 AM

Here's a budding lawsuit worth keeping your eye on.Casino operators that account for about 90% of the rooms on the Las Vegas Strip—Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Treasure Island, and Wynn Resorts—have been hit by a class action lawsuit that alleges those companies collectively used third-party booking software to artificially set room prices higher.The complaint, filed last week ...

Airline Passenger Bumping Is Back. Do You Know Your Rights?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/26/2023, 7:00 AM

Lately, it seems like everything that could go wrong in air travel has done just that, from entire airlines going on the fritz to technical glitches temporarily grounding flights across the U.S. and Canada. Meanwhile, travel's ongoing recovery from Covid shutdowns has been accompanied by chronic understaffing and economic woes that have contributed to spikes in flight delays, cancellations, lost l...

New Data: When to Book Flights and Hotel Stays to Save on Travel in 2023

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/25/2023, 7:00 AM

With travel costs up across the board, it's more important than ever to find savings wherever you can. According to the travel booking app Hopper, one way to cut vacation costs significantly is by mastering the art of timing flights and hotel stays. Or maybe it's less an art than a science? In a new report, Hopper's researchers have crunched 8 years' worth of travel data and approximately three...

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