Volunteering Can Earn You a Free Night at a Hawaiian Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/23/2020, 7:00 PM

Many eco- and culturally conscious Hawaiians are hoping that the state's post-pandemic travel industry will be more sustainable than the way things were before. (Frommer's reported on those efforts back in May.) Now that Hawaii has, as of last month, resumed allowing in tourists from other states without quarantine (provided those visitors have negative Covid-19 test results), a new initiative ...

TikTokker's Carry-On "Hack" Gets Him Banned from Spirit Airlines

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/20/2020, 10:00 PM

Spirit Airlines has reportedly banned a TikTok user from flights for two years because of a carry-on luggage tip the man posted. In an 18-second clip titled "Spirit carry on hack" that was uploaded to the video-sharing platform in September, user @RobKAllDay demonstrated for his nearly 185,000 followers how to use editing software to alter a Spirit boarding pass on a smartphone so that the carr...

SoCal's Six Dazzling Holiday Drive-Throughs, from Stranger Things to Elf on the Shelf

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/19/2020, 8:00 PM

The notion that Southern Californians spend all their time in their cars is a tired cliché—but in 2020, it feels freshly apt. As one of the few options for getting out of the house while staying safely sealed off from others, vehicular entertainment has boomed during the pandemic, from a renaissance in drive-in movies and shows to the creation of drive-through haunted attractions during the Hal...

Canada's Famed Rocky Mountaineer Train Expands to the American West

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/19/2020, 3:00 PM

Lovers of great rail journeys will tell you: The Rocky Mountaineer, a privately owned luxury train that threads through the Canadian Rockies in the summer with special bubble-top viewing carriages, is one of the best on the planet. The train's bucket list–worthy excursions to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper usually sell out many months in advance. All told, some 2.2 million riders have explored ...

Meow! It's Japan's New Covid-Fighting Kitty Cat Mascot

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/18/2020, 8:00 PM

Japan is putting the cat in catastrophe with its new pandemic mascot, a coronavirus-combatting kitty named Koronon.  On most days, the mascot can be spotted in busy parts of Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, passing out free masks to pedestrians and spreading good cheer instead of pathogens.  The pink costumed critter wears a mask and plastic shield over her Hello Kitty–ish face, and a b...

Open a New Window: See Video Views from Homes Around the World

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/18/2020, 10:00 AM

It may not be the most dramatic part of a trip, but there is one moment when it really hits me that I’ve left my normal life behind. After the whirlwind of flying or driving to my destination, I get settled in my hotel or vacation home, take a breath, and look out the window. And with that glance, I feel it: My reality has shifted. That intake of breath, that realization, that first look, ha...

Princess Diana Hotel Package Obsessively Retraces Her Stay in Chicago

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/16/2020, 8:00 PM

Just in time for the release of The Crown's fourth season on Netflix, the Drake hotel in Chicago has put together a royal package that takes our still-burning cultural obsession with Princess Diana to verging-on-pathological extremes.  The hotel's "Crowning a Lady" offer commemorates the three-day period in June 1996 when the Princess of Wales stayed in the Presidential Suite at the Magnificent...

Lego's Epic Colosseum Set Is Company’s Largest Ever

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/13/2020, 9:00 PM

The biggest Lego set ever created goes on sale on Black Friday. The Danish toy company's plastic-brick replica of Rome's Colosseum contains an anxiety-sparking 9,036 pieces. Can you imagine how many there'd be if the ancient amphitheater hadn't lost sections over the centuries due to earthquakes and stone pilferers? Lego's Colosseum surpasses the previous record holder for size, the currentl...

Royal Caribbean Calls for Volunteers for Test Sailings

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/13/2020, 2:00 PM

As Frommer's reported a few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control has stipulated some changes for the giant cruise lines. If they want to start regular U.S. sailings again, they must comply with the CDC mandate to conduct non-revenue voyages in order to test their new anti-coronavirus protocols and systems. Royal Caribbean is the first line to open a waiting list for volunteers. The new pr...

Move Over, Monkey Christ: The Potato Head of Palencia Is Spain’s Newest Botched Restoration

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/12/2020, 8:00 PM

The restoration of another artwork in Spain has gone hilariously awry.  As you'll see in the before-and-after photo above, the sculpture of a smiling woman on the facade of a bank in the northern city of Palencia has been given a thorough make-under, leaving a misshapen monstrosity that's been nicknamed the Potato Head of Palencia.   According to the Associated Press, it's not clear when—or ...

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