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Japanese Airline Installing Hands-Free Lavatory Doors

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/14/2021, 8:30 PM

Touching an airplane bathroom's door has always been scary, whether there's a global pandemic raging or not.  A clever solution has been devised in Japan, and, frankly, we'd like to know what took so long.  All Nippon Airways (ANA), the country's largest carrier, has partnered with aviation manufacturer Jamco to come up with hands-free lavatory doors for airplanes.  A handle and sliding l...

New Flights—and Cheaper Airfares—from the U.S. to Italy Coming This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/13/2021, 4:00 PM

In April 2013, the way Americans planned Italian vacations underwent a seismic shift. That was when the Emirates airline announced plans to start flying from New York City to Milan. That might sound like a small development, but the downward pressure the carrier put on what had been a very closed market meant that, for the first time, transatlantic U.S.–Italy airfares to Milan were often cheape...

After Pandemic-Era Reprieve, Parking Fees Coming Back to Las Vegas Strip

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/12/2021, 5:15 PM

Some travel policies adopted during the pandemic look like they're here to stay (goodbye, airline change fees!). Others proved to be fleeting (goodbye, empty middle seats on airplanes!). It turns out free parking at Las Vegas casinos belongs to the latter category.  MGM Resorts will bring back paid parking at its dozen properties (including MGM Grand, pictured above, as well as the Bellagio,...

Rome Is Adding a New Stage Inside the Colosseum for Gladiator's-Eye Views

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/12/2021, 11:00 AM

It's hard to imagine Italy getting any more magnifico than it already is for visitors. But the nation has been impressively proactive about improving access to its ancient wonders during the pandemic—moves that will make visiting the Boot even more fascinating in the near future. In Rome, the tomb of the first emperor has opened to the public and the site of Julius Caesar's assassination will s...

Club Med's Current Sale Nearly Halves Vacation Costs

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/08/2021, 9:00 AM

Activities for the kids, booze and beach for the adults, plus endless meals and snacks, all at one prepaid price—these are the reasons many families choose all-inclusive resort vacations. They're just so easy. And Club Med, a pioneer of this type of travel, is making pandemic-era vacations even easier by offering testing onsite plus a travel insurance policy with "coverage for emergency medical...

Follow These Tips to Cut Down on Long Wait Times with Airline Phone Reps

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2021, 12:00 PM

Travel is returning, but the road back to normal will be a bumpy one. I have already told you about rental car shortages and airlines canceling flights that don't sell enough tickets.  Now another big issue is confronting travelers: the epic wait time before you can speak to an airline representative on the phone. One friend of mine had to wait 4 hours and 18 minutes to talk with a Delta ...

Why Uber May Be the Best Way to Rent Cars This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/03/2021, 1:00 PM

Last week Uber announced it was expanding its reach in yet another industry. The tech giant, known for its ride-hailing and delivery services, has partnered with the major rental car companies to allow users to rent cars directly from the Uber app. Much attention has already been focused on the new rental feature's ease of use, and yes, it's nicely designed. Potential renters can quickly see wh...

The Best Time to See the Great Smoky Mountains’ Magical Firefly Spectacle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/03/2021, 8:00 AM

For a roughly two-week period each spring, fireflies put on a magical light show at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.  After dark, lightning bugs in the species Photinus carolinus miraculously synchronize their twinklers and fill the woods near the Elkmont Campground with tightly choreographed flashing patterns of bioluminescence. The insects remain in unison for several hour...

New Photo Book Captures the World's Beautiful Beaches from Above

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/30/2021, 10:00 PM

Showing off views ordinarily reserved for seagulls and parasailers, the aptly titled new book Bliss: Beaches (Cameron + Company) features aerial images of gorgeous shorelines around the world. According to the publishers, the tome takes readers on a visual journey "from the coastlines of California, Hawaii, Florida, and Mexico to the idyllic shores of French Polynesia, Andalusia, the Amalfi Coa...

Another U.S. Airline to Charge for Checking Your Oversize Carry-On at the Gate

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/30/2021, 11:00 AM

There's a moment in most movie westerns when the hero walks into town and everybody on the street slowly turns to give him a beady stare. I had that experience when I flew Ryanair in Europe in 2011. My daughter and I walked into the boarding area for our flight, and pretty soon I could feel the eyes of every other passenger in the vicinity. They weren't worried because a new sheriff had come...

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