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How, When, and Why, I Learned Not to Rely on "User-Generated Content" in Publishing My Travel Guides

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:15 PM

     The letter seemed to be legitimate.  It was hand-written with great sincerity by a reader of "Europe on $5 a Day" who was eager to pass on a secret of smart travel to his fellow Americans.  It told about a nightclub in Paris with a spectacular stage show and a sky-high admission charge for persons seated at tables.       But, he wrote, if you stood at the bar and simply ordered a chea...

The Airlines Sometimes Profit when the TSA Does its Job Inefficiently

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:00 PM

On Saturday morning at JFK, the line for passengers to have their I.D.s inspected by the Transportation Security Administration was extraordinarily long, and the lines to go through the actual checkpoints were just as awful. The person checking passengers' tickets at the entrance to the whole mess did not work for the TSA, and he heard person after person exclaim that they were unlikely to mak...

Go to Canada for $40? Kangaride.com Uses the Web to Make Ride Shares Safer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/17/2013, 10:30 PM

With summer travel inflating the price of transit, it's worth looking into alternatives. A Canadian website called Kangaride matchmakes passengers and drivers with affordable ride shares in both Canada and the United States. Anyone who has extra space in their car and a road trip on their calendar can pick up some extra cash by picking up an extra passenger. Drivers set the prices, which a...

Eureka! We Found Summer Savings of up to 30 Percent at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/17/2013, 2:30 PM

Disney tends to restrict its best sales to customers who are already on its mailing list, but this summer, we found two big discounts that are available to the general public right now. For Disneyland in California, our friends at MouseSavers.com have the rundown on three discount codes which can be used through the Orbitz.com booking site. The best discount is for 15%, and it's good for s...

It's Only by a Yen or Two, But the Trend Seems Clear: Japan's Currency and Costs are Getting Cheaper by the Day

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2013, 1:30 PM

       No sooner did the Yen decline to a rate of 100 to the U.S. dollar, than within a short while it fell to 101.  And yesterday it dropped to 102 plus a fraction.  With a rate of 103 and 104 to the dollar appearing inevitable, the fall in value of the Japanese currency seems destined not only to aid Japan's export of electronics and cars, but to give a dramatic boost to its incoming tou...

Carry Less, Board First: American Airlines Revises Its Highly Debatable Boarding Policies Again

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2013, 2:15 AM

  Again from Pauline Frommer: Boarding a plane nowadays is like being caught in a Saturday Night Live skit. You patiently wait, as the "platinum" and the "double platinum" and the "elite this and that" passengers board, listening to announcement after announcement, swearing inwardly that there can't be another class before yours...and then there is. Well, it's about to get even mor...

Israel Unveils a Sweeping 18% Tourist Tax. Will the Additional Costs Deter Visitors?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 7:15 PM

Israel is already the 8th most expensive country on the planet to visit, according to the World Economic Forum. But a new 18% tax on car rentals, hotel rooms, private guide services and guided tours could well bump the country up the list a place or three. The tax will take effect on June 1. Government officials have said it will go toward's lowering the country's deficit. Some 3.5 mil...

Cheaper Vacation Rentals and New Tours Are Being Offered in Europe as the Ongoing Recession There Forces Locals To Get Creative to Earn a Living

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 6:45 PM

Would you be interested in a guided tour that focussed on the excesses of Spain's construction bubble? Apparently the idea is not as nutty as it sounds. According to NBC News, the relatively new "Ruta del Despilfarro" or "route of wastefulness" tour in Valencia, offered by 5 out-of-work college professors and journalists in Valencia, has been a bona fide hit, with over 1000 visitors paying...

Advice from Pauline Frommer: Don't Get Taken for a Ride in Las Vegas (Let That Cabbie Know That You Know the Score)

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/15/2013, 2:00 PM

  15 to 20 minutes. That's about how long it should take a passenger to get from the Las Vegas Airport to their Strip hotel in Las Vegas, most times of the day. Heck, you can see the Strip right under you as you land in the plane (it's one of the great sights in aviation). The two are not far apart. And yet, according to industry news publication Travel Weekly, some 22.5% of passen...

Addicted to "Downton Abbey"? Dreaming of "High Tea" There? Virgin Vacations Will Sell You a Luxury Package to the Real Thing

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/14/2013, 6:00 PM

  It only took until Season Four. Virgin Vacations has added to its fall lineup a visit to the United Kingdom that includes a trip to the real-life set of the upstairs scenes of PBS's Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle.  The seven-day trip includes round-trip flights, airport transfers, three nights' hotel in London and two in Bracknell, near the house. That's an hour west of London...

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