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Following Earthquakes, Is Italy Travel Still Safe?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/04/2016, 4:00 AM

The 6.6-magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy on Sunday—the country's largest since 1980—was only the latest in a series of tremors that have shaken Italy since summer.  Just days before the quake in Norcia destroyed historic buildings, left thousands of people homeless, and injured more than a dozen (though no deaths were reported), there were back-to-back earthquakes in Macerata, e...

Hyatt Revamps Loyalty Program, Rewarding Spending Instead of Stays

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/04/2016, 4:00 AM

Hyatt Hotels Corporation plans to revamp its loyalty program next year.  On March 1, the Hyatt Gold Passport will be replaced by the World of Hyatt program, which will have three tiers of membership instead of the Gold Passport's two.  But the main difference has to do with how loyalty points will be rewarded. Rather than basing status on the number of stays, World of Hyatt members wil...

Psssst! Because of Exaggerated Fears, Paris Is Today More Accessible to the Foreign Tourist Than Ever Before

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/04/2016, 12:00 AM

The case for Paris—whether you've visited a hundred times or never before...

Jane Goodall-Approved Wildlife Tours Announced

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/03/2016, 4:00 AM

For travelers who want close encounters with wildlife but also want to respect animals' freedom, G Adventures has introduced the Jane Goodall Collection of vacations.   It's a selection of 20 critter-centric tours endorsed by the renowned primatologist. Options include safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, river cruises in the Amazon, island hopping in the Galápagos, kayaking in Costa Rica, and c...

New England Ski Resorts Improving Snowmaking Capacity After Disappointing 2015-16 Season

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/03/2016, 4:00 AM

The winter of 2015-16 was the warmest on record for many parts of New England, according to the National Weather Service. For the region's ski resorts, that meant a marked lack of natural snowfall. Vermont's Killington Mountain Resort, for instance, only got 81 inches all season (way down from an average of 250 inches), while Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Massachusetts received a pitifu...

Study: Tarmac-Delay Rule Has Not Led to More Canceled Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/03/2016, 4:00 AM

It's been six years now since the Department of Transportation introduced a rule that penalizes airlines with hefty fines every time they leave passengers sitting on the tarmac for more than three hours before departure or after landing on domestic flights. At the time of the rule's 2010 implementation, airline executives warned that it would result in an increase in canceled flights, as c...

The Only Cruise Ship That Welcomes Dogs and Cats

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2016, 12:15 PM

Reflecting the growing trend of traveling with pets, there are tons of dog- and cat-friendly hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. But when it comes to taking your fur ball on a cruise, you have exactly one option: Cunard's freshly renovated Queen Mary 2, the only passenger vessel at sea that allows dogs and cats (other than service animals, of course). Even then, they're only allowe...

Iraq Museum Opens in Former Saddam Hussein Palace

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2016, 11:45 AM

For the first time in decades, a new museum has opened in war-torn Iraq. Its location: a palace that once belonged to Saddam Hussein.  The former dictator had nearly 100 over-the-top residences scattered throughout the country. This one, the Lakeside Palace, stands in Basra in the south of the country.  The building is now the home of the Basra Museum, a facility dedicated to preservin...

No More Glasses in Passport Photos

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2016, 11:00 AM

As of yesterday, November 1, the State Department will no longer accept passport photos of applicants wearing glasses. You'll have to take them off for your pic, even if you wear them in everyday life. Evidently, specs tend to obscure your face, even as they make the world clearer for the wearer.   In 2015 more than 200,000 passports were delayed because of low-quality photos, and the ...

The Airbnb of Cannabis Tourism

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/01/2016, 4:00 AM

The growing field of cannabis tourism now has its answer to Airbnb.  It's called Bud and Breakfast, and it lets users search a worldwide network of pot-friendly hostels, private homes, and hotels.  The Colorado-based startup currently has about 100,000 registered users and more than 500 listings in about a dozen countries. There are options for everything from dorm rooms to luxurious e...

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