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Unrest Makes Puerto Vallarta a No-Go

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/12/2015, 6:00 PM

Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, and Celebrity have all cancelled port visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, following a wave of crime in the tourist city and the surrounding Jalisco state. Gunmen associated with a major drug cartel have been setting fire to vehicles, banks, and gasoline stations in response to crackdowns on them. Cruise lines are replacing their Puerto Vallarta visit...

Navigating "Sale Season" in Paris

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/12/2015, 5:30 PM

Thanks to the strenght of the dollar against the Euro this may be the first time in years that Americans will be able to go to Paris and actually buy something. For the real shoppers out there, those who plan their trips around their potential purchases, timing travels to sales times is key. But Frommer's EasyGuide to Paris 2015 author Margie Rynn is warning that the strategies that have alway...

Royal Caribbean Limits Last-Minute Deals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/21/2015, 12:30 PM

Royal Caribbean has been enjoying a lot of publicity for the christening of its latest megaship, Anthem of the Seas, which is bound for service out of New York Harbor next year, but buried in the breathless coverage was this little tidbit from its Chairman, Richard Fain: The cruise line is stopping last-minute discounts. Why on earth would a cruise company that keeps pumping out brand new ...

When Airbnb Goes Wrong

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/15/2015, 10:45 PM

We love Airbnb. We do. It has the power to transform the way travelers interact with local culture and make expensive destinations affordable. It also strips the power out of the hands of overpriced hotels. We love it. But, yes, sometimes it goes wrong.  For those situations, PBS Digital Studios' Everything But the News created this short, funny spoof video. Because just because it's n...

Airfares to Asia Dropping Below Those to Europe In Many Cases, and From the East Coast, No Less

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/14/2015, 2:30 PM

When is a sale not a sale? When it actually just reflects the going rates, but in a, well, louder fashion. That's seems to be the case with Emirate Airlines current "deal" to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore. It is promising fares of $1599 per couple, for travel in May through November. That rate includes all taxes and fees, is from New York City, and must be booked by midnight ET April...

Elite Flyers Lose Access to TSA Pre

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/07/2015, 5:00 PM

Today, American Airlines sent a warning to its AAdvantage frequent flyer club members: You've been downgraded. Said the airline, "The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is making changes to the TSA Pre? Trusted Traveler Program that will impact which travelers receive expedited screening. If you're not already a member of one of the Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entr...

DogVacay is now CatVacay, Too

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/26/2015, 5:45 PM

There are no figures for this, but I wonder how many people decide they can't travel because they don't want to (or can't afford to) leave their animals behind. Kennels are expensive and, let's face it, the equivalent of Doggy Jail. Many people figure they might as well stay close to home. Two years ago, a company called DogVacay emerged to attend to that issue for dog owners. Some 20,000 ...

CityPASS Adds One City But Drops Another

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/17/2015, 6:00 PM

In our estimation, CityPASS is one of the only multi-attraction tourist passes that's worth its salt. Countless ticket packages marketed to tourists have a very short lifespan—often, only a day or two—so if they're going to get their money's worth, they have to go at a breakneck speed, spending nearly no time in each of the attractions. CityPASS, though, has a 9-day lifespan, which is ampl...

Free National Park Visits for Fourth Graders (And Their Families) For One Full Year

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/02/2015, 7:15 PM

For years, a number of ski resorts have been allowing fourth graders to ski for free. The reasoning behind this move was that age 10 was the perfect age to develop a life long passion. Fourth graders still have the enthusiasm of children (heck, they ARE children) but they now have enough smarts to understand why they're enjoying a new activity so much. I can only assume this is why Preside...

Travelers Carrying AmEx Face Tough Changes

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/26/2015, 8:45 PM

It's been a tumultuous month for American Express, and that turbulence is about to be transferred to travelers who use the credit cards. Many travelers choose the card because of its long history with overseas service and thanks to its allowances for no foreign transactions, but its benefits are about to erode. * Most importantly, the card issuer has summarily raised rates by an average of...

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