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...

This Classic Disney World Attraction Is Now Open for Just 135 Minutes a Day

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/25/2024, 11:15 AM

You probably assume the attractions at Disney parks are always available to visit whenever the parks are open.That is not always the case. Some rides run on a schedule that's significantly shorter than the parks' daily hours of operation. At Disneyland, the blockbuster Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which is probably the most elaborate and most unmissable theme park ride currently in existence...

When This U.S. City Asked for a Living Wage, Lyft and Uber Said They're Leaving Town

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/20/2024, 4:15 PM

The newly installed CEO of Lyft, David Risher, has a contract that enables him to earn as much as $980 million if he can raise the value of the company's stock. Last year, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive, took home $24.3 million, an increase over the year before, according to company filings. Meanwhile, the city council of Minneapolis decided that as of May 1, 2024, all ride-hail driv...

Cheap Cruises in 2024: Fewer Discounts Than Usual, but Here Are 9 Strategies for Deals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/13/2024, 7:30 AM

The cruise industry is reporting record-breaking bookings this year, with many ships sailing at full capacity. Executives at cruise line after cruise line, including the multiple brands of Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Group, have been popping the champagne as they report new daily sales records all season. When cruise lines no longer need to work hard to fill ca...

Waterfall Lovers, This Is Your Year: California's Snows to Bring Gushers Worth Traveling For

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/07/2024, 7:45 AM

Two years ago, California's rivers ran so dry that outdoor tour companies that depend on the state's waterways had to close shop in midsummer. But in 2024, the cyclical weather pattern known as El Niño has unleashed a bounty of precipitation on the Golden State. Storms in early March dumped as much as 10 feet of snow on the Sierra Nevada mountain range, pushing statewide snowpack levels to 104% abo...

Disney World Introduces a Slew of Consumer-Unfriendly Changes

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/01/2024, 3:45 PM

At this point, complaining that Disney World is a money pit is a little like complaining Las Vegas has dice. We know, we know. But as long as vacation sellers come up with new ways for vacationers to roll snake eyes and lose, we'll keep reporting them. Walt Disney World in Orlando, home of the world's most popular theme park (Magic Kingdom) and a lot more, has set its new list of prices and polic...

A Two-Fer Trip to New Zealand and Tahiti, with Hotels, That Costs the Same As Airfare Alone

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/28/2024, 1:30 PM

A good deal saves you money.A really good deal does that, but also solves a problem.I'll put the surprisingly generous deal I found today in the second category. It's for travel from Los Angeles (LAX) or Seattle (SEA) to Auckland, New Zealand, including a 4-night layover in Tahiti. Prices start at $1,496, close to the average cost round-trip airfare between the West Coast of the U.S. and Auckland ...

No, That Norwegian Cruise Line Ship Never Had Cholera Aboard

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/28/2024, 7:30 AM

You might have seen headlines like this earlier in the week about Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn, which reported that some 20 passengers were feeling ill:"Thousands stranded on Norwegian Dawn cruise ship hit by possible cholera outbreak" (CBS News)"Norwegian Dawn: Mauritius says cruise ship can dock after cholera scare" (BBC News)"2,000 cruise passengers rejected from port amid fears of cho...

Why Digging Holes at the Beach Is So Dangerous, Especially for Kids

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/22/2024, 4:30 PM

A 7-year-old girl was killed on a Florida beach this week when the sand hole she and her brother were playing in collapsed on the children, who were vacationing with their parents. According to news reports, the Indiana family was visiting Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, a small beachfront community near Fort Lauderdale, when the 4-to-5-foot-deep hole collapsed on the kids, burying the boy up to his chest...

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