This Year, You Finally, Really, Truly Need Real ID to Fly

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/01/2021, 3:00 PM

Update, April 27, 2021: Guess what? The government delayed Real ID yet again. Click here to read about the new deadline. We really mean it this time: Real ID becomes mandatory at U.S. airports on October 1, 2021. We know. Americans have heard this warning before. A perennial victim of politics and pandemics since the formulation of the Real ID Act in 2005, the deadline has been announced, dela...

TSA Rolling Out Self-Scan I.D. Checkpoints That Don't Need Boarding Passes

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/29/2021, 4:00 PM

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has converted 100% of its security checkpoints at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to accept self-scanned identification verification. It's the first airport in the United States to switch fully to the new system. No longer do passengers hand their I.D.s to human gatekeepers at LAX. Instead, flyers insert their own documentation into a Cre...

Endless Summer: More Theme Parks Now Staying Open Year-Round

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/27/2021, 7:00 PM

Outside of Florida and Southern California, where the weather allows theme parks to stay open year-round (provided there's no plague on), the standard operating procedure at most parks goes like this: Open in spring, rake in the business during summer vacation, capitalize on childhood's high holy days of Halloween and Christmas with special events in the fourth quarter, and then go into hiberna...

After 40 Years, Pompeii Fully Reopens Its Treasure-Filled Antiquarium

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/27/2021, 6:00 PM

In some ways, the Antiquarium museum at the archeological park of Pompeii has had as troubled a history as the doomed city itself. The facility opened back in 1873 but since then, it had to shutter twice, first because it was bombed during World War II, and again in 1980 because of damage from an earthquake. The museum didn't fully reopen for decades following that catastrophe. But on Januar...

Appalachian Trail: Please "Postpone Hikes Until 2022"

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/27/2021, 10:00 AM

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the group that maintains one of the greatest long-distance footpaths in the United States, is imploring hikers to postpone visits for another year. You'd think that during a pandemic there would be no more ideal vacation than walking some of the 2,190 miles of trails winding from Georgia to Maine—and, indeed, because so many people agree, that's just the probl...

In Canada, Bikes on Ice Skates Are a Thing Now

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/26/2021, 7:00 PM

You've gotta love the stubborn ingenuity of people who live in cold-weather climes. Those hardy souls never let a little thing like frostbite keep them from enjoying their favorite diversions. If, for instance, you're in Calgary, Alberta, and you prefer bicycling to ice skating, you don't have to wait until the city thaws (in Canada, that could be a long wait). Instead, just go to Bowness Pa...

The Most Popular Fast Food and Fashion Chains in Each Country

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/26/2021, 1:00 PM

Our travel may be curtailed right now, but our curiosity about the world is not. Which is why I was pleased to find a collection of maps on the British banking info site showing what excites people of different nationalities when it comes to global brands. The info comes from a study that used Google's Keyword Planner to find the most-searched consumer brands worldwide i...

Which U.S. National Park Is Deadliest? Two Studies Have Different Answers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/25/2021, 8:00 PM

During the pandemic, U.S. national parks have been a haven for cooped-up Americans who are starved for wide open spaces. And while we'd never want to spoil anybody's haven, it's important for visitors to remember that although expanses of wilderness can be majestic, they can also be hazardous, what with all the great heights, extreme temps, churning rivers, wild animals, and other vacation-endi...

No, Princess Cruises Did Not Just Sell the Real Love Boat

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/25/2021, 2:00 PM

Social media feeds have recently been filled with nostalgic goodbyes to an iconic cruise ship. Princess Cruises selling off its ‘Love Boat’, went a typical headline.  To a generation that has so many entertainment sources, it's tough to explain just how huge The Love Boat series was. From 1977 to 1986, when there were just three major networks to choose from on a Saturday night, the show's week...

Southwest Airlines Celebrating Its 50th Birthday with $50 Fares

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 01/25/2021, 1:00 PM

At my 50th birthday party, a friend noted that this would likely be the last big celebration of my life—until my funeral. Yes, that came from a friend. But not all birthday wishes have to be as bleak. So we'll celebrate Southwest Airlines turning the big 5-0, and pay only passing notice to the millions of dollars U.S. airlines are losing each week—the very situation that's likely persuading ...

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