Opening Dates for Orlando's Big Summer 2024 Attractions—and Should You Care?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/15/2024, 10:30 AM

This year, it's as if the USA's most popular tourist destination is holding its breath. Most summers, Orlando's theme parks construct a new blockbuster ride or two to attract families anew. But 2024 is different. A year from now, Orlando will open its first new theme park in 26 years, Universal Epic Universe. Construction crews are already testing rides at what is shaping up to be the most elabora...

Biden Creates His First National Park Unit: Amache in Colorado

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/08/2024, 8:00 AM

Update: Amache officially became a Natonal Historic Site on February 15, 2024. Here is its official National Park unit page.Last Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the paperwork that created his first contribution to the National Park Service: the former Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado, about a three-hour drive from Colorado Springs. It was another American president, Franklin Delano Roo...

Sad News for Reckless Idiots: Hawaii’s “Stairway to Heaven” To Be Demolished

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/23/2024, 7:30 AM

Hawaii's visually striking yet very illegal-to-climb Haiku Stairs will finally be taken down, following years of futile efforts by local officials to persuade tourists to leave the rickety landmark alone. Built by the U.S. military during World War II to reach a communications facility, the 3,922 steel steps cover a treacherous, mountaintop stretch of green and mist in the Koolau Range on the isl...

Why Cape Cod Summer Rentals Could Be Cheaper This Year

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/18/2024, 7:30 AM

During the Covid-19 pandemic, while you were optimistically purchasing (and not using) resistance bands for your (unused) home gym (i.e., closet), rich people were apparently buying second homes on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. A subsequent dip in the supply of available properties sent summer rates for short-term vacation rentals soaring in the popular seaside destination. From a pre-pandemic July ...

“Risk of Outbreaks High”: Tourists Warned of Deadly Disease Spread by Mosquitoes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/12/2024, 8:00 AM

So far this year, several countries in South America—including tourism heavy hitters like Colombia and Peru—have reported cases of yellow fever, a potentially deadly virus that's spread by mosquitoes. Parts of Africa and the Caribbean have also been affected. The situation prompted the British government's Department of Health to issue an updated advisory last week on its TravelHealthPro website ...

Over 50 and Traveling Solo? Road Scholar Now Has All-Inclusive Trips Just for You

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/08/2024, 8:00 AM

For decades, Road Scholar has been formulating high-quality guided tours of the world's most popular destinations, but through a senior lens. Its all-inclusive group tours, which take as many as 100,000 people a year on vacation, are intentionally geared to the interests and demands of travelers over a certain age. In the past, the minimum target age for customers was 60, but now, it's just 50 year...

Times Square's Ball Drop Building Reinventing Itself as a Year-Round NYC Attraction

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/03/2024, 6:00 PM

It was the building that gave Manhattan's Times Square its name when The New York Times opened it in 1905 as one of the most celebrated early skyscrapers in a celebrated city.But after standing mostly empty for the better part of a century, the structure now known as One Times Square, which overlooks the length of Times Square and is best known as the site of the annual New Year's Eve "Ball Drop," ...

Fee for Global Entry to Rise on October 1, 2024—Apply Now for the Older Rate

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/02/2024, 3:30 PM

Global Entry is a special system that allows U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to skip the long processing lines and security checks at international entry points to the United States. Applicants are pre-screened and, if determined to be low-risk, given an identification number that allows them to use special kiosks upon returning to the U.S., bypassing the miserable queues of incoming t...

When Will Barcelona's Sagrada Família Be Finished? We Finally Have an Answer (Kind Of)

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/27/2024, 8:30 PM

And you thought your contractor was taking forever. La Sagrada Família, the eye-catching basilica designed by Antoni Gaudí, has been under construction in Barcelona, Spain, since 1882. Wars, funding problems, Franco's multidecade dictatorship, the loss of the original blueprints, and other crises have delayed the completion of the church time and again. Progress was especially poky during the u...

U.S. Passport Wait Times Are Back Under Control. How Long Will It Take Now?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/27/2024, 4:45 PM

A year ago, as the U.S. government continued to climb out of the bureaucratic hole that Covid-19 and staffing woes had dug, the wait time for a new passport was as long as 13 weeks. During some periods in late 2022 and early 2023, the State Department received some 500,000 applications a week, the highest rate ever seen. That meant that in 2023, a passport that was applied for in late March might n...

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