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Meet Hilton's New Affordable Hotel Brand

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/25/2016, 6:45 PM

Hilton has launched yet another hotel brand—the 12th in its current portfolio— by announcing that it intends to push this one to being its largest in terms of nationwide room count. Tru by Hilton is targeted to open hundreds of properties in the coming years, and with that trajectory will soon overtake Hilton's Hampton brand. In fact, although you haven't stayed in a single Tru yet, there ...

The True Numbers on Cruise Ship Outbreaks

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/18/2016, 7:45 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States has put out some sobering new numbers on cruise ship norovirus outbreaks.  It looked at all data between 2008 and 2014. And contrary to what the panic drummed up by your local news station, outbreaks are down. "During the study period, the rates of acute gastroenteritis per 100,000 travel days decreased among passenge...

Las Vegas Drives Away From Free Parking

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/16/2016, 5:30 PM

Time was when the casinos of Las Vegas were so eager to get customers in front of their one-armed bandits, they comped most everything, from drinks to parking. But as the city moves from "sin" to "singing" (it has become a huge concert and dance club destination, with revenues from those and the city's restaurants far out"stripping" the revenue from gambling), the powers-that-be have decided t...

Apple Vacations Expands Westward

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/13/2016, 4:45 PM

Apple Vacations, a giant vacation outfit beloved by deal-seekers but unknown to many, is making a big move into California by adding charter-flight vacations to three major airports in the Bay Area and Orange County: San Francisco (SFO), Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), and Orange County's John Wayne Airport (SNA). All the new gateways will sells vacations to Los Cabos, and SFO and...

$99 Fares from California to Europe? Wow!

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/13/2016, 2:30 PM

To promote the inauguration of new service from San Francisco and Los Angeles and Europe (via Iceland), WOW Airlines is throwing a quick but impressive sale. The planes won't depart until the summer but if you book now, and are able to game the system (more on that below), you may be able to snag $99 dollar flights, each way, to Reykjavik, Iceland and $199 flights to London and other cities th...

Watch: Hotel Guest Films Skin-Crawling Bedbug Infestation

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/04/2016, 5:45 PM

Social media has clouded our heads with a lot of useless, anxiety-inducing information, but for the traveler, it has its uses. This week, a budget traveler in New York City decided to warn the world about that city's Astor on the Park hotel, taking out his mobile phone and recording what he says is a bedbug infestation. Insect infestations are not the norm in hotels, and they can happe...

Hilton's New Mandatory $50 Cancellation Fee

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/28/2015, 5:45 PM

The giant Hilton hotel brand is piloting a new way to make life miserable for travelers: It has started charging $50 for cancellations, no matter when they're made.  Under the new rules, once customers have made a reservation, it will cost $50 to get out of it, even if the change is requested weeks before the date.  Previously, most hotels allowed cancellations up until the posted dead...

In the Caribbean Hotel Rates Plummet in the Three Weeks Immediately after New Year's Day

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 12/20/2015, 10:15 AM

That's true of both the pricier islands and the ones with budget accommodations. Some ideas for a last-minute trip....

Two New Passport Rules Elicit Anger

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/15/2015, 6:30 PM

The U.S. State Department has changed the rules for passports in two ways. First, as of January 1, 2016, it will no longer allow you to add pages to your passport if you fill up the ones you have with visas and entry stamps. Previously, you could get extra pages sent to you or have them sewn into your passport at consulates and embassies. If you're a regular visitor to the many countries t...

Coming Soon: Planes with Skylights?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/10/2015, 6:30 PM

In the never-ending quest to figure out new enticements to squeeze cash out of passengers, airline operators in a corner: There's not much space to add more stuff. According to The Telegraph, an aviation inventor has come up with a new twist. It's a bubble-shaped skylight that passengers can pop their heads into, giving them a 360-degree view of the sky as they fly through it. As envis...

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