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This Las Vegas Casino Is Going Entirely Smoke-Free

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/16/2020, 11:00 AM

The Las Vegas Strip is getting its first entirely smoke-free casino resort.  MGM Resorts announced this week that the complex housing the Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas hotels will reopen on September 30, following their temporary closure in the spring due to the pandemic.  Among the changes guests can expect: a full ban on smoking.  In a statement, the company cited "recurring guest demand...

Most Ikon Pass Skiers Won't Need Advance Reservations This Winter

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/15/2020, 9:00 AM

Most skiers who buy the Ikon Pass for the 2020–21 season won't need advance reservations to hit the slopes, according to Alterra Mountain Company, which operates the pass.  It's a different story at the nearly three dozen mountains covered by the Epic Pass from Alterra competitor Vail Resorts. Vail announced in late August that in order to control crowds in the era of Covid-19, all visitors wil...

New Website Helps You Plan Wildlife Spotting on African Safaris

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/14/2020, 10:00 AM

Safari-goers who have their hearts set on glimpsing certain animals in Africa have a helpful new online resource.  Tour operator Expert Africa has launched a data-rich website showing your chances of spotting 26 different species in 12 African countries.  Under the site's wildlife tab, click the link for the animal you're interested in, and you'll be taken to a page displaying camps and lodg...

Farewell to New York City's Iconic Century 21 Department Store Chain

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/11/2020, 2:00 PM

According to a study by the U.S. Travel Association, shopping was a top reason why people took 1.9 billion trips in the United States in 2019—second only to visiting relatives. As the author of Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City, I'd say that more people come to New York to shop than to visit Dad or Aunt Sue. And a lot of folks come just to make a pilgrimage to Century 21. Now the departme...

Now You Can Dine on a Sandbar in the Florida Keys During Sunset

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/10/2020, 3:00 PM

For anybody in search of a dining venue with guaranteed social distancing, a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico seems like a safe bet.  A luxury resort in the Florida Keys has set up a romantic table for two in that very setting.  The new "Dinner on the Sandbar" experience at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa on secluded Little Torch Key—located about 30 miles east of Key West on the Overseas H...

Same Time, Next Year—for 20 Years: Win a Free Annual Mexican Vacation

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2020, 1:00 PM

How do you like the idea of a free luxury vacation on Mexico's Caribbean coast for your first post-pandemic getaway? How about repeating the experience every year for the next two decades of post-pandemic getaways? That dream scenario will become reality for the winners of a contest organized by hotel developers and tourism boards in Mexican Caribbean destinations including Cancún, Cozumel, Tul...

Game of Thrones Studio Tour Gets the Go-Ahead in Northern Ireland

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2020, 9:00 AM

Magical realms are good for tourism here in the real world, from the scenic New Zealand spots that stood in for Middle-earth in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies to the representations of Harry Potter's Wizarding World created for Universal theme parks and preserved at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour outside London. In Northern Ireland, where much of HBO's Game of Thrones was shot, pre-pand...

Welcome to Covid Island! Only Tourists Who've Been Infected Are Allowed

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/04/2020, 11:00 AM

A popular Brazilian island is reopening to tourists even though Covid-19 continues to spread.  The only catch is you have to have caught it. The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 218 miles off the northeast coast of Brazil, is already one of the most cherished island destinations in South America. Frommer's calls this UNESCO World Heritage Site "a diver's paradise" and named it one of Braz...

Class Up Your New England Road Trip with Picnics at Gilded Age Estates

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/04/2020, 9:00 AM

A recently introduced offering in elegant Newport, Rhode Island, gives visitors the chance to practice social distancing, Vanderbilt style.  The new "Stroll the Gardens and Grounds" package from the Preservation Society of Newport County grants outdoor access to two of Newport's Gilded Age mansions—the Elms and the Vanderbilts' Breakers—as well as the kid-friendly Green Animals Topiary Garden (...

Are TSA Screenings About to Become Self-Serve?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/03/2020, 12:00 PM

Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released information about a pilot program the agency has been testing at Washington, D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to allow passengers to self-screen for at least part of the security process. New machines will take a snapshot of each passenger, and then match that photo with the one on the traveler's ...

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