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Alaska's Bearcam Is Back

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/08/2016, 12:30 AM

For the fourth summer in a row, Explore.org's highly popular and completely riveting Bearcam is up and running again. If you haven't had the pleasure, that's a live feed from several HD cameras set up around Katmai National Park in Alaska, where hundreds of bears gather this time of year to catch salmon swimming upstream. Among the things you might see: showdowns for the best fishing spots at B...

Study: Taking Photos Enhances Experiences

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/08/2016, 12:00 AM

When you're at a museum or landmark where your fellow travelers are snapping photos incessantly, do you ever think those shutterbugs are missing out because they're experiencing the Louvre or Grand Canyon through a small screen instead of at first hand? Turns out science sides with the selfie snappers. A recent study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pdf) found in an exp...

Eight Airlines Granted Tentative Approval for Flights to Havana

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 11:30 PM

Seems like there's a fresh piece of Cuba-related travel news every day. The latest: eight US airlines have received tentative approval from the Department of Transportation to operate direct flights to Havana. The flights could start taking off as early as September—when they do, they'll be the first commercial US flights to Cuba's capital city in more than 50 years. Here are the winning airli...

Airbnb Already Established—and Booming—in Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 1:00 PM

As American hotel companies make their first forays into the Cuban market after a nearly 60-year absence, they're finding that Airbnb is already firmly established on the island. It's usually the other way around—with hotels entrenched and the home-sharing site as the upstart. But ever since President Obama began easing travel restrictions to Cuba in December 2014, hotels have had to deal with...

Turkey's Tourism Woes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 12:30 PM

The number of American travelers visiting Turkey dropped by more than 20% in the first five months of 2016 compared to last year, following terrorist attacks in Ankara last fall and Istanbul in January. And those figures don't even cover the period after the latest attack, which took place on June 28 at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and killed more than 40 people. The country's hotels have reported...

Bill to Tighten Airport Security and Speed Up Lines Gets the Go-Ahead

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 12:00 PM

A bipartisan aviation bill designed to heighten airport security measures while shortening security lines was approved by the transportation committees in both houses of Congress on Wednesday. The bill would also require airlines to give you a refund for fees for checked bags when luggage is lost or delayed 12 hours or more on domestic flights or 15 hours or more on international flights. ...

In China You Can Use Uber to Get a Hot Air Balloon

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:45 PM

Uber China is introducing a new service called Uber+Travel that will let you use the car-hailing app to request rides on boats as well as hot air balloons. The company has tried out offering non-wheeled modes of transportation before (through partnerships), including ferry rides in Istanbul and helicopter charters in New York City. But hot air balloons are certainly the most unique conveyances...

Dollywood Adds Calming Room for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:30 PM

Theme parks—which are basically shrines to sensory overload—can be overwhelming for kids with autism spectrum disorders. All those noises, lights, and crowds can be downright debilitating if you're especially sensitive to them. For those young park-goers, Dolly Parton's Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has introduced a special "calming room" where kids with autism spectrum disorders can ch...

Why You Should Stay Away from Cleveland and Philly This Month

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:00 PM

Cleveland and Philadelphia are both historic and inviting all-American cities—and you should avoid them like the plague this month. Unless, of course, you plan on attending, reporting on, or protesting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 21, or the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. Both cities are expecting an influx of about 50,000 ...

'70s Teen Heartthrob No Longer a Cruise Director

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 1:15 PM

Back in December, we told you that Eight Is Enough and Charles in Charge star Willie Aames was working as a cruise-ship director on the upscale Viking Star. The 1970s teen heartthrob had been in the cruise-directing line—in charge of a ship's activities, entertainment, that sort of thing—since 2010, having previously worked with Regent Seven Seas.  Well, it turns out Aames is calling it qu...

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