Airbnb Launches Online Experiences You Pay For

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/10/2020, 10:30 PM

Airbnb has introduced an all-digital version of its Experiences platform for tours and activities.  With the company's new Online Experiences, experts around the world can teach you how to do magic tricks, make the perfect cup of coffee, meditate like a Buddhist monk, and stomp like an Irish step dancer—all without leaving your home, thanks to audio-visual technology connecting the laptops or p...

CDC Extends No-Sail Order for Cruise Ships Using American Ports

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/10/2020, 12:45 PM

Late last night the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended by 100 days its prohibition on cruises using American ports.  The original order was supposed to end in mid-April. The new timetable extends the ban until July 19. That's a blow to the industry—most major cruise lines had hoped to suspend operations only through the end of May.  The order does not affect all cru...

Delta Promises You Won't Have to Take a Middle Seat

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/09/2020, 12:00 AM

Delta Air Lines has announced a new set of measures designed to conform to the world's current standards for social distancing—or at least to nod to them. From April 13 to May 31, the airline will block the middle seat from all reservations in Economy and Premium Economy sections. By default, middle seats will now fly empty. The concession has been made possible by the reduced number of peop...

Government Says Airlines Must Refund Canceled Flights—Eventually

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/06/2020, 6:45 PM

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an "enforcement notice" reminding airlines and the "traveling public" that passengers whose flights are canceled or significantly delayed should receive refunds regardless of the "unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 public health emergency on air travel." The agency reports having received an "increasing number of complaints and inquiries ...

Governor of South Carolina Bans Hotel Guests from NY, CT, and NJ

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/06/2020, 3:30 PM

On Friday, Henry McMaster, the Governor of South Carolina, updated an executive order to include a new prohibition. As of April 3, the state's hotels, motels, campgrounds, and rental properties may no longer house guests from New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey.   In addition to questions of constitutionality, this move raises the question: What will happen to those tri-staters who are stayi...

WATCH: Penguins Run Loose in Chicago Aquarium, Meet Beluga Whales

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/02/2020, 3:15 PM

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago continues to host the world's most adorable quarantine.  While the facility is closed to visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, staffers have been taking resident penguins on "field trips" to various exhibits, allowing the birds to check out the underwater scenery of the Amazon River, the Caribbean Sea, and other parts of the world ordinarily off-limits to fligh...

TSA Says You Can Fly with an Expired Driver's License

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/01/2020, 12:00 AM

In an announcement overlooked by many amid the coronavirus hubbub, the TSA has said that for a limited time passengers may use expired driver's licenses to get through airport security. Licenses can be expired for up to a full year and remain eligible. The agency made the temporary policy change public in a single tweet.  Not many of us are traveling right now, but the allowance will extend for...

Matterhorn and Eiffel Tower Lit with Messages of Hope and Gratitude

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/30/2020, 6:15 PM

Two of Europe's most iconic sights are being illuminated each evening with words and symbols of encouragement amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. In Zermatt, Switzerland, projections designed by artist Gerry Hofstetter will be beamed onto the face of the Matterhorn each day starting at sunset and lasting until 11pm.  Symbols such as hearts and the Swiss flag as well as simple messages like...

Theft of a van Gogh Devastates Two Dutch Museums

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/30/2020, 3:00 PM

March 30, 2020, marks Vincent van Gogh's 167th birthday. Coincidentally, in the early hours of March 30, thieves broke into the Singer Laren Museum in the Amsterdam suburbs to steal one of the Dutch painter's works. The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884; detail pictured above) was on loan from the Groninger Museum in the northern Netherlands. The painting was that museum's only piece b...

Visit Kentucky Horse Farms with New Virtual Tours

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/26/2020, 5:15 PM

The Kentucky Derby, usually held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, has been postponed to September 5 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can keep tabs on the state's equine goings-on in the meantime, thanks to a new slate of virtual tours and social media events organized by the farms, medical clinics, and other businesses that make up Kentucky Horse Country n...

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