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Yosemite National Park Expands

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/12/2016, 4:00 AM

Ackerson Meadow (photo: yosemiteconservancy/Instagram) California's Yosemite National Park grew by 400 acres last week—the park's largest expansion in 70 years.  Thanks to a donation of land from private owners, Yosemite now includes Ackerson Meadow, a green expanse surrounded by pine trees and inhabited by wildlife including the endangered great grey owl.  Donors Robin and Na...

Disney World Now Finger-Scanning Preschoolers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2016, 4:00 AM

As of last month, Disney World now requires kids ages 3 to 9 to have their fingerprints scanned before entering any of the Orlando resort's four theme parks. Guests older than that have been getting their digits scanned for some time, but now the Mouse wants to take a look at even the jelly-smeared fingers of the preschool set. Disney says the move is designed to prevent stolen and reu...

Air China Removes In-Flight Magazine with Article Deemed Racist

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2016, 4:00 AM

State-owned Chinese carrier Air China says it has removed from its planes copies of its in-flight magazine that contained an article many have found racist. In a guide to London, the September issue of Wings of China offered this piece of advice (in English) to out-of-town visitors: "London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly p...

Airbnb Releases Updated Nondiscrimination Policy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2016, 4:00 AM

Responding to allegations of racial discrimination on the part of some of its hosts, vacation-rental company Airbnb released an updated antidiscrimination policy on Thursday. According to the guidelines, hosts are barred from declining stay requests or listing preferences based on race, ethnicity, origin, gender, sexual orientation, and disability; violators risk being suspended or removed...

Stop Trying to Help Baby Seals in Cornwall

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/08/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr) If you happen to be in Cornwall on the southwestern tip of England and you see an adorable newborn seal resting on the beach, do the world (and especially the seal) a favor and LEAVE IT ALONE.  Authorities in the area have had to issue a similar warning because baby seals kept getting herded into the water by well-meaning but wrong-headed tourist...

"Game of Thrones" to Film in Northern Spain

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/08/2016, 4:00 AM

A beach near Barrika in Spain's Basque Country (photo: Jesús Ignacio Bravo Soler/Wikimedia Commons) On the one hand, we have a hard time understanding why people would base their travel plans on what they see on Game of Thrones, given that life in Westeros seems pretty horrific all around. On the other hand, some of the landscapes that appear in the HBO fantasy epic are so stunnin...

Where Travelers Concerned About Safety Are Going (It's Not France)

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/08/2016, 4:00 AM

Following the terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, and Nice that have taken place since November, we've heard a lot about how safety concerns are having a negative impact on tourism in those places.  The downturn has been especially pronounced in France, one of the world's top travel destinations. One recent report found, for example, that a million fewer people visited Paris from ...

Video Appears to Show Vandals Destroying Beloved Oregon Rock Formation

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/07/2016, 4:00 AM

From the this-is-why-we-can't-have-nice-things department: Video has surfaced that appears to show vandals in coastal Oregon destroying an iconic rock formation by pushing it over. Located in Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, the 7- by 10-foot pedestal, commonly known as "the duckbill," was originally thought to have toppled due to erosion and weather. But then a guy named David Kal...

London Double-Decker Bus Converted Into Hotel Room

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/07/2016, 4:00 AM

The South Causey Inn's double-decker bus room (photo: katyjourno/Instagram) Let's say you want to sleep inside an iconic symbol of London.  The royal residences are likely out of the question, until you can get Prince Harry to return your calls. And there's probably a night watchman at the British Museum to expel you if you linger past closing.  A better alternative: spend the...

Zika Update: U.S. Issues Singapore Travel Advisory

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/07/2016, 4:00 AM

Though the largest outbreaks of Zika have been in Latin American and Caribbean countries, there have also been cases of the virus, which can be transmitted by mosquitos, reported in parts of Southeast Asia. Until recently, however, those have been isolated instances. That changed last week, when confirmed cases of Zika in the city-state of Singapore rose to 82. In response, the Centers...

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