Global Entry Enrollment Centers Soon to Reopen

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/29/2020, 8:00 AM

Update, July 1: Shortly after announcing that enrollment centers would open on July 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection backtracked and postponed their return until at least August 10. According to the new announcement, "The decision was made in consultation with CBP health and safety experts who are closely monitoring the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in several states." Travelers who had appoi...

Denied Boarding Because of High Temperature? You Can Get a Refund

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/26/2020, 2:00 PM

If a U.S. airline denies you boarding because you failed its temperature check, you can get a full refund for the cost of the flight.  If something like that happens to you, the refund may not actually rank high on your list of problems. But at least you finally know for sure. The major airlines, through their membership in the industry group Airlines for America, have pledged to fully refun...

WATCH: Alaska’s Bear Cams Are Back—Just in Time for Salmon Season

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/26/2020, 2:00 PM

The bear cams at Alaska's Katmai National Park have been switched on again and are streaming live images of the reserve's furry denizens as they fish for salmon in the Brooks River.  Fresh from hibernation, many of the park's more than 2,200 brown bears make their way to the water this time of year, when salmon start heading upstream to spawn—provided they don't wind up as lunch.  The webcam...

The Lodges at Four Hugely Popular US National Parks Are On Sale

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/26/2020, 8:00 AM

Several weeks ago we wrote that we expected to see discounts on stays at the great lodges of our national parks thanks to the lack of international tourists in the United States this summer. That has now come to pass. Xanterra, a firm that manages many of these grand hotels, has put out a sale alert for lodgings at, or near, four of the system's most majestic parks. The links below go to ...

Deal Alert! Amtrak Slashes Fares Deeply for Summer Travel

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/24/2020, 11:00 AM

Though it looks like Amtrak will cut service drastically in October, for now the trains are running as usual—but mostly empty. To better fill them, the railway is throwing a sale, and the price cuts are major. They include: • 25% off Acela rates (which reduces the price for Boston or New York City to Washington, D.C., to $99, among other discounts) • 30% off long-haul routes for travel befor...

HomeAway to Go Away—What That Means for Your Rental

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/24/2020, 8:00 AM

Expedia Group is dropping its HomeAway platform for vacation rentals. Instead, the online travel company is focusing its rental business on the similar Vrbo brand.  Starting next month, those who visit the HomeAway website will be redirected to the Vrbo site, and users of the HomeAway mobile app will receive a notification to download the Vrbo app.  According to a press release, there will n...

Saudi Arabia Blocks International Pilgrims from Mecca

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/23/2020, 7:00 AM

For the first time in modern history, Muslims from around the world will not be allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca this year.  Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that international arrivals will be barred from entering the country during the hajj due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Scheduled to start in late July this year, the annual weeklong period of sacred journeys and rituals is one of...

Las Vegas' New Tool for Checking Workers' Health: One Ring to Monitor Them All

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/22/2020, 4:00 PM

Feeling lucky? Coronavirus cases are spiking in Las Vegas. The titans behind the lucrative casino-hotels there desperately want to avoid re-closing them, so the owners are trying whatever they can to rein in the spread of disease. At Caesars and Paris Las Vegas, they're giving away free credits to customers wearing masks.  But at the Venetian and Palazzo, managers have turned to the Finni...

Meet Nakoda, Banff's Ultra-Rare White Grizzly

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2020, 1:00 PM

A virtually unheard-of white grizzly bear has been spotted several times in the Canadian Rockies in recent weeks.  The ultra-rare animal made its social media debut in late April, when photos began surfacing and the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff shared footage of the bear nosing in the snow for food alongside a brown sibling.       View this post on Instagram I guess ...

Cruise Industry Suspends U.S. Sailings Through Sept. 15

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/19/2020, 3:00 PM

USA Today reports that Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the most important trade group for the cruising industry, has voted to voluntarily extend the pause on U.S. cruise operations until September 15. Previously, the industry was abiding by a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control that was scheduled to expire on July 24. But the CDC hasn't yet issued a new date, so in...

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