LOOK: Belgium's New Passports Feature the Smurfs and Tintin

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/23/2022, 3:15 PM

Belgium's new passport design, which debuted earlier this month, pays tribute to the country's rich history of comic strips. The 34-page travel document features illustrations of beloved Belgian cartoon characters such as the Smurfs (or, if you prefer, "Les Schtroumpfs") and Tintin, as well as figures less known internationally, including Lucky Luke, Marsupillami, and Blake & Mortimer. (Blak...

These New Global Tours Are Fully Accessible for Wheelchair Users and Other Travelers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/21/2022, 5:30 PM

The mission of the online platform Wheel the World is to make travel more accessible for seniors and people with disabilities. At the site, users can find and book things to do, places to stay, and trips that are guaranteed to be accessible for people who use wheelchairs and have other challenges. The online marketplace already has listings for more than 80 destinations around the world, calling ...

WATCH: A Dozen Years at Yosemite Captured in Stunning Time-Lapse Video

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/18/2022, 4:00 PM

Mid-February is "firefall" season at California's Yosemite National Park. On evenings when conditions are just right in Yosemite Valley, the setting sun hits El Capitan's Horsetail Fall (pictured above) at an angle that makes the thin cascade look like an orange lava flow on the granite monolith's eastern side. The dates to spot the phenomenon in 2022 are February 10 through 28, according to the ...

Why Alaska Airlines' New Subscription Service May Not Save You Money

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/17/2022, 2:45 PM

Like much of the traveling world, I'm a big fan of Alaska Airlines. The mid-sized carrier consistently ranks in the top five or in the number-one spot for customer satisfaction and on-time arrivals and departures. It's doing a lot right. So I was excited when the airline announced that it will start a new subscription service for frequent travelers starting at just $49 per month. Problem is, the...

Low-Cost Canadian Carrier Swoop Adds Service to 5 More U.S. Airports

By Frommer's Staff

Posted on 02/15/2022, 9:30 AM

Update, June 12, 2023: Swoop will cease operations and integrate into WestJet's fleet as of October 28, 2023. OK, budgeteers, time to open up the calculator app. Another à la carte airline is expanding its footprint in the United States—and that means you'll need to add up a bunch of extra fees to figure out the true cost of your ticket. Play it the right way, though, and you could save money. Th...

Koalas Are Now Endangered. Where You Can Still See Them—and How to Help

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/14/2022, 5:30 PM

Koalas, an iconic Australian species right up there with kangaroos and Hemsworths, are in danger of going extinct, according to Australia's government. On Friday, Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley officially designated koalas as endangered in their natural habitat in the country's eastern regions of New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory. Previously, the animals...

A Wonderful Reason to Vacation at Dollywood This Year

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/14/2022, 12:30 PM

Country music icon Dolly Parton has a long history of good works, not the least of which was donating $1 million to help speed the research and development of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine. The latest angelic act associated with the singer's name? Starting February 24, Dollywood will pay for employees at Dollywood can have their college tuition funded by their employer. The company that operates th...

In Honor of Valentine's Day: Jump on Amtrak's BOGO Spring-and-Summer Sale

By Frommer's Staff

Posted on 02/11/2022, 4:45 PM

What's sweeter than chocolate but more appreciated than thorny roses? Taking your sweetheart on a trip, of course. The United States' national railroad is trying to make that type of Valentine's Day gift more affordable with its current buy-one-get-one-free sale. The discount is pegged to Valentine's Day, but you get two extra days to get your gift in: Travel must be booked by the end of Februar...

Once-Private California Wilderness Newly Open to Hikers and Skiers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/10/2022, 1:00 PM

A rugged expanse of California wilderness north of Lake Tahoe has opened to the public for the first time in nearly a century. Previously private property, the wild terrain near Donner Summit high in the northern Sierra Nevada range encompasses an alpine lake, a 1,000-foot-high cliff, and forests of red fir and Jeffrey pine. In 2020, several preservation groups—the Truckee Donner Land Trust, th...

Which World Cities Have the Latest Closing Times? Someone Did the Research for Night Owls

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/10/2022, 12:00 AM

My mother spent most of her life in the Australian time zone—from her apartment in New York City. She usually rose an hour or two before the sun set and only hit the sack while most of her neighbors were breakfasting. When I was in high school, no matter how late I got home, she would be up and waiting, which may be why I never got into any real trouble in my teen years. (That was both a curse and...

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