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Record Number of July 4th Travelers Expected

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/28/2016, 2:45 AM

A record 43 million Americans are expected to travel during Independence Day weekend (Thursday, June 30-Monday, July 4). And according to AAA, a whopping 84% of them will be traveling by car. You can credit low gas prices and a pretty strong domestic economy—two good things you might find yourself cursing as you try to navigate the nation's clogged highways. All told, the number of travelers is...

Uber to Downplay Surge Pricing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/28/2016, 2:30 AM

If you use Uber to get around when you're on vacation (or when you're home), you'll soon see a change in the ride-sharing service's most hated feature. That would be surge pricing, of course, which activates when demand for rides increases—on New Year's Eve, say, or during rush hour. Request an Uber during surge-pricing periods and you could pay up to six times the regular fare. Uber isn't...

"Poshtels" Come to the USA

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/27/2016, 12:45 PM

A new breed of posh hostels—or "poshtels"—have begun appearing in the United States after gaining popularity in Europe. Far from the old image of hostels as rundown, cramped, and uncomfortable, poshtels from brands such as Freehand and Generator feel more like boutique hotels at super-cheap prices. Rates for shared rooms can be as low as $25 a night, with many properties offering private rooms ...

Beware of Fake Monks in NYC

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/27/2016, 12:30 PM

There's something you should be on your guard about if you're visiting New York City this summer: fake monks. According to the city's Buddhist leaders, men in orange robes claiming to be Buddhist monks are approaching tourists at popular attractions like the High Line elevated park and Times Square. Handing out shiny medallions and offering greetings of peace, the men ask for donations to help ...

Brexit and American Travel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/27/2016, 12:15 PM

What does Britain's vote to leave the European Union mean for American travelers? Cheaper prices throughout Britain (at least for now). Amid the uncertainty following the vote, the British pound has taken a dive, resulting in the lowest exchange rate against the dollar in about 30 years. As Frommer's editorial director Pauline Frommer puts it, "That will mean that our dollars will go further f...

Scotland Gets Tourism Boost from TV Show

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/23/2016, 11:15 PM

Tourism in Scotland has grown for the fourth year in a row, and experts think the Starz TV drama Outlander—based on Diana Gabaldon's series of novels about a 20th-century British woman who travels in time to the 18th-century Scottish Highlands—has something to do with the increase. The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions credits the lush period romance for boosting interest in sites suc...

Walking-on-Water Artwork Hugely Popular in Italy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/23/2016, 10:45 PM

The latest large-scale installation by conceptual artist Christo is a 2-mile long walkway covered in saffron-colored fabric and connecting two islands in Northern Italy's Lake Iseo to each other and the mainland. Called "The Floating Piers," it's designed to make you feel like you're walking on water. Attracted by this prospect as well as the fact that the temporary installation is free to the...

Disney Opens Frozen Ride at Epcot

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/23/2016, 10:15 PM

Do you want to build a snowman? You might want to hug one after standing in the hot Florida sun to get into Walt Disney World's new Frozen ride, which opened this week in Epcot and became an immediate hit. Based on the 2013 animated film, the ride features the sort of sophisticated animatronics, high-tech audiovisual effects, and gentle thrills familiar from Disney kiddie rides featuring belov...

Zika's Effect on Caribbean Travel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/23/2016, 12:00 PM

In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned pregnant women to avoid traveling to certain Latin American and Caribbean countries affected by an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which can cause fetal brain damage and other problems. In April, the warning expanded to include 20 more Caribbean locales. Have concerns over the virus slowed down the Caribbean's busiest...

Universal Releases Water Park Details

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2016, 11:15 PM

Universal Orlando has released some details about its new water park, Volcano Bay, which the company promises will be up and running by June 1, 2017. The park will feature 18 attractions, including a wave pool with sandy beaches, a winding river with special light and water effects, a raft ride with saucer-shaped curves, and a centerpiece faux volcano featuring a slide with a 70-degree, 125-fo...

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