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Ellis Island's Haunting Hospital Ward Now Open

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/14/2014, 2:45 PM

After years of begging from Americana buffs and urban explorers, the spooky and historically crucial Hospital Complex of New York harbor's Ellis Island is now open for guided tours after years of decay and abandonment. Most people identify Ellis Island with its regal Main Building, through which some 12 million immigrants passed in the six decades it served as New York City's principa...

London Now Charges £10 to Attend New Year's

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/09/2014, 4:00 PM

New Year's Eve on Lambeth Bridge, London Want to go to London to hear Big Ben bong in the new year and watch the fireworks? Pony up! Last month, London mayor Boris Johnson surprised the city by announcing that from now on, if participants want to get near the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament for the momentous hour, they must pay £10 (US $16.25) for a ticket. He gave Lon...

Eiffel Tower in Paris Unveils New Glass Floor

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/06/2014, 2:00 PM

Paris' Eiffel Tower unveiled its new $37.5 million renovation today, which rehabilitated its somewhat ignored first level by adding shops, places to eat, and a museum that tells the story of the icon. But the most buzzworthy addition appears to be a new glass floor that allows visitors to stand on clear panels 187 feet above the ground below.  After it was opened in 1889, Parisians hat...

How Much Does an Orlando Vacation Cost? A New Tool Does the Math

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/02/2014, 12:00 PM

One of the most common questions for me as the author of Frommer's Orlando is, "How much does a vacation there cost?"   Well, a new online tool helps you figure out how much an Orlando theme park vacation will hit you for.   It's clean and easy to use. Want to go to Walt Disney World for three days with the Park Hopper option? Check the boxes. Want to follow that with two...

Hotel Tonight is No Longer Just for Hotels Tonight

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/29/2014, 4:45 PM

The handy and ever-growing booking app Hotel Tonight has officially made its name only somewhat true. From now on, you can book a discounted last-minute hotel room for tonight or you can book a room for anytime in the next seven days. What has always made Hotel Tonight a little different is it hasn't simply yanked prices from a common database the way so many hotel booking apps do. It nego...

Not Using Your Vacation Costs America Dearly

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/26/2014, 2:45 PM

Ten points for the always excellent CBS News Sunday Morning for recently airing this pithy commentary by its contributor Faith Salie.  Salie calculates how much the American economy loses when people don't use up their vacation days—and what it costs if we don't give workers time off to begin with. Some Americans believe that the fact our workers don't receive much vacation time (compa...

Not Using Your Vacation Costs America Dearly

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/26/2014, 2:45 PM

Ten points for the always excellent CBS News Sunday Morning for recently airing this pithy commentary by its contributor Faith Salie.  Salie calculates how much the American economy loses when people don't use up their vacation days—and what it costs if we don't give workers time off to begin with. Some Americans believe that the fact our workers don't receive much vacation time (compa...

Icelandair Makes Viral Video to Remind You About Free Stopovers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/26/2014, 2:30 PM

Budget travelers have long known about Icelandair's competitive deals on airfare to Europe, but the general public could use the good news. If you're willing to make a pit stop in Reykjavik before carrying on across the ocean, you can usually score some terrific deals on transatlantic airfare.  The comparatively lower airfare is only half the benefit, though. Ordinarily, a layover can be a...

Spirit Airlines Gouges for Checked Bags This December

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/22/2014, 2:30 PM

You call this Christmas spirit, Spirit? The much-reviled airline will renew its nasty regulation this December when it charges passengers even more to check a bag—just because it's Christmas Between December 18 and January 5, the airline hikes the price by $2. Now casual passengers pay between $32 (booked online) to $102 (if they wait until they get to the gate). Not because fuel costs...

Taiwan Impressions, Final Day: Innovation, Malls and Glove Puppets

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/08/2014, 2:00 AM

Last full day in Taiwan 1) Went to the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, the museum where the government showcases the most innovative Taiwanese inventions of the last year. Saw an air filter that sweeps viruses out of the air (supposedly), a contact lens that retains twice as much moisture (need that!), a track suit made of coffee grounds that also traps body odor and, most impressively, a sel...

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