Schmoozing United Airlines Gate Agents for Upgrades Is a Complete Waste of Time Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/05/2020, 11:00 AM

Remember when travel articles weren't all about airborne pathogens and instead were full of advice like "dress nicely if you want to be upgraded to first class" or "bring a small gift to get the gate agents on your side"? Sigh. Those were the days! But flattery and bribery are not coming back, at least on United Airlines. An internal memo leaked to the blog Live And Let's Fly informed Uni...

A Former Drive-In Theater in the Utah Desert Is Now a Glamping Retreat

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/05/2020, 9:00 AM

Camping and drive-in movie theaters are two forms of good old-fashioned fun that have grown hugely popular again this summer, as we're all on the lookout for socially distanced recreation options.  A new retreat in southern Utah manages to combine both resurgent trends.  Set amid dusty scrubland and mighty rock formations near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Yonder Escalante has...

Yo, Semites! Funding Boost to U.S. National Parks Signed Into Law

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/04/2020, 10:00 AM

How about some good news for a change? Bipartisan legislation to devote almost $3 billion each year to conservation efforts and the upkeep of U.S. national parks has passed into law. The Great American Outdoors Act, which Frommer's has been championing for a while now, requires full, permanent, and mandatory funding to the tune of $900 million annually for the 1964 Land and Water Conservatio...

Is Brazil Nuts? Amid a Covid-19 Surge, It Reopens Tourism

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/03/2020, 4:00 PM

In a move that feels downright Floridian, the government of Brazil reopened the borders to international tourists on the same day the country reported single-day records for coronavirus deaths and infections.  According to figures compiled by the New York Times, there have been more than 2.7 million confirmed cases of the virus in Brazil and more than 94,000 deaths—only the United States has be...

We’re All Invited to a Nationwide Campout

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/31/2020, 10:00 AM

Outdoor clothing company Eddie Bauer is promoting its 100th birthday with an event that fits perfectly with the retailer's brand and with our current need for safe, socially distanced pastimes.  For Sleep Under the Stars Night on Saturday, August 8, the company is encouraging everybody to spend a night outside, whether that means camping in the backcountry, pitching a tent in the backyard, or s...

Bums Rush: Which Museum Has the Best Butt?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/30/2020, 10:00 AM

By our count, there has been precisely one upside to museums having to close their doors due to the worldwide health crisis: The forced downtime freed up bored staffers to participate in Yorkshire Museum's weekly #CuratorBattle on Twitter.  In the spring, the small archaeological museum in York, England, began posting social media challenges each Friday, inviting other institutions across the g...

Your Chance to Tell the CDC What Cruise Ships Should Do to Fight Covid-19

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/28/2020, 3:00 PM

In the wake of Covid-19, what would make you feel safe enough to take a cruise? Capacity limits on ships? Short itineraries? A reliable plan for dealing with outbreaks? Stockpiles of hand sanitizer to rival in size the very sea you're sailing on?  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants to hear your ideas.  Shortly after extending the ban on cruising in U.S. waters th...

Hawaii's Resorts May Allow Visitors to Vacation While Quarantining

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/28/2020, 9:00 AM

Hawaii has been ahead of the curve on coronavirus matters. It was one of the first U.S. states to institute a quarantine, and it's the state that has been most proactive about enforcing it—some 200 scofflaws have been arrested so far. Now the state may be experimenting with a new and highly logical form of a travel "bubble." The idea was discussed at the Hawaii County Council meeting, where ...

Tourist Overload: Venice Limits Gondola Capacity Due to Heavier Visitors

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/27/2020, 3:00 PM

The number of passengers allowed at one time aboard the iconic gondolas of Venice is being reduced from six people to five.  It sounds like a social distancing thing, but, in fact, it's an overweight-tourists thing.  Heavy loads result in gondolas taking on water, Andrea Balbi of the city's Gondola Association told CNN, and that makes it difficult for gondoliers to steer the vessels through ...

Puerto Rico to Tourists: Stay Home!

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/23/2020, 2:00 PM

Because Puerto Rico is part of the United States, flights to the island from the mainland were never completely halted this spring due to the pandemic. But in March, Puerto Rico's government imposed a strict lockdown—involving a two-week quarantine for new arrivals, a nightly curfew for everybody, and the closure of all tourist attractions and nonessential businesses—ensuring that if you did go...

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