Each week, Frommer's brings you two fresh podcasts stuffed with travel tips, news, and inspiration. Recordings are made from our weekly call-in show on WABC-770AM in New York and our nationally syndicated radio program.
Last week, the Trump Administration surprised Americans—and the travel industry—by banning all educational and cultural tours, known as "people-to-people" trips, as well as all cruises to Cuba.
All of a sudden, 800,000 Americans who had cruise reservations to the island discovered that they no longer had vacation plans.
On our first podcast, hosts Pauline Frommer and Jason Cochran voice their concerns about the ban, in particular the government's failure to warn those in the travel industry in advance so that they could develop contingency procedures. Numerous cruise ships were en route to Cuba when the announcement was made, requiring captains to change course quickly.
“What are our rights as U.S. citizens?” Pauline asks. “Do we have a right to travel where we want to?”
Callers share varied opinions about the implications of the ban. What, for instance, will be the economic—not to mention psychological—effects on the Cuban people?
On our other weekly show, Pauline is joined by her father, company founder Arthur Frommer, to discuss the Airlines Reporting Corporation’s annual Travel Pricing Outlook. The study examines patterns in flight bookings and costs over the previous year, revealing valuable insights on how to save money when you're booking travel.
For example, did you know that you could save 25% if you fly to and from your destination on weekdays, so long as your trip includes an overnight stay on Saturday? Or that flights are consistently cheaper on Thursdays and Fridays? The report even shows that direct flights are not necessarily more expensive than those with layovers.
Later, Pauline and Arthur speak with Karen King, a representative of the U.S. State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services. King clarifies requirements for passport renewals and describes the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that provides U.S. citizens traveling abroad with the latest security updates from the nearest embassy or consulate.