How to Check TSA Wait Times Online

By Zac Thompson

Several apps promise to tell you airport security times—but are they reliable? Results vary.

What to Do About TSA Delays Caused by Government Shutdown

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/14/2019, 12:00 PM

The U.S. government's partial shutdown, now in its fourth smash week, has started to have a negative impact on airport security lines.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners aren't being paid during this month-long-and-counting lapse in federal productivity and rationality. On Friday, those workers missed their first paychecks since the shutdown began on December 22. As an a...

U.S. Tourism to Canada Again Embroiled in Controversy

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 12/10/2018, 12:00 AM

Through all the decades of travel from the U.S. to Canada, our northern neighbor has occasionally presented us with touristic issues and arguments. Some 60 years ago, Canadian travel agents were accused of attracting prolonged visits by young American men as a means of their avoiding service in Vietnam. But now the entire Canadian nation is attracting modern-day American tourists for another reas...

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa Is Leaning Less

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/29/2018, 12:00 AM

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is standing a little straighter these days.  Engineers say that the tilt of the Italian icon has reduced by about 4cm (1.6 in.), according to news reports. More significantly, the international group that monitors the tower has deemed it stable, safe, and unlikely to topple over.  For these developments we can thank a restoration process begun in the 1990s, when safety...

Arthur Frommer: The Safest Destinations Are Named. Guess Who's Not a Leader?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/27/2018, 2:00 AM

A well-respected international consumer organization has picked the safest countries in which to travel, and the United States is nowhere among the leaders. Which are the world’s safest countries in which to travel? In these days of terror and climate change, that question is posed by a great many would-be tourists. An international organization recently researched that question, and to no o...

Smoke on a Carnival Cruise and You Could Get Kicked Off the Ship

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/27/2018, 12:00 AM

Carnival Cruise Line is getting stricter with passengers who light up at sea.  The company has updated its tobacco and marijuana smoking policy to include the possibility of removal from the ship for guests caught smoking in staterooms, suites, or on cabin balconies.  Any other passengers staying in the offender's room will have to leave, too, and nobody will get refunds for unused cruise fare. ...

Arthur Frommer: Long Live the FAA, Protector of Our Lives in the Air!

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/20/2018, 12:00 AM

Although a great many business interests are constantly opposed to being regulated by the federal government, almost no one objects to a similar supervision of the airline industry. We all risk our lives when we fly, and to a lesser extent we rely on government for our transportation comfort. Just recently, Congress reauthorized actions by the Federal Aviation Administration, and gave additiona...

New Rules in Rome Target Rowdy, Boozy Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/19/2018, 5:30 PM

Italy has just about had it with your nonsense. Straining under the burden of accommodating endless hordes of tourists and their accompanying noise, litter, rowdiness, and traffic gridlock, the country's most popular cities are rolling out strict behavioral regulations—with hefty fines—aimed at keeping visitors under control. Florence recently banned eating in the streets. Venice has outlawed ev...

The Frommer's Gift Guide for 2018-19

The Frommer's Travel Gift Guide

By Frommer's Staff

Great gifts for the traveler, ranging from affordable to splurges.

American Airlines Will Allow Early Boarding for Flyers with Nut Allergies

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/08/2018, 12:00 AM

As if determined to undo their decades of peanut pushing, U.S. airlines continue to make concessions to passengers with nut allergies.  Hardly any carriers serve those snacks on flights anymore—not even Southwest Airlines, which had once made its peanuts a core part of the company's brand identity. Now, American Airlines is going a step further for allergy sufferers.  Starting December 12, they'...

Arthur Frommer: Canada Legalized Marijuana, But Visitors Should Know the Rules

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/05/2018, 12:00 AM

The recent decision by all of Canada to legalize the sale or use of marijuana was hailed by U.S. users and advocates of that drug. On careful study of Canada’s action, those cheerleaders may be less enthusiastic about what has happened. Although Canada acted as a single nation in legalizing the substance, it has permitted individual provinces of Canada to enact specific rules governing its sale a...

How to Sleep on a Long Plane Flight: Here Are 24 Tips You Should Try

By Jason Cochran

Over the years, I have developed some tricks for sleeping on airplanes—long flights, short flights, or any trip on which you need to get some shuteye.

Arthur Frommer: Prosecution of Fake TripAdvisor Reviewer Raises Questions

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/18/2018, 1:00 PM

The defendant, in a recent criminal prosecution brought in Italy, was a man who operated a company manufacturing fake hotel reviews. Presumably hiring excellent writers, he apparently sent hundreds of fake recommendations to TripAdvisor.com, claiming that particular hotels (at which the writers had never stayed) were outstanding in their service and facilities. For this work, the defendant was app...

Do I Need Car Insurance When I Rent a Vehicle? Maybe Not

By Jason Cochran

Should you buy CDW coverage when you rent a car? You may be surprised to learn that you can save the money—because you're already covered.

 

Turkey Is Insanely Cheap for Travelers Right Now

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/20/2018, 12:00 AM

Turkey's ongoing currency crisis, during which the Turkish lira has lost more than 40% of its value, is making a vacation in that country extremely affordable at the moment for travelers from places with stronger economies. As of this writing, one U.S. dollar equals 6.04 lira. According to USA Today, $1 got you 3.54 lira just one year ago. That means that American travelers can get a lot of bang...

Arthur Frommer: Climate Change Is Jeopardizing the Travel Experience

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/17/2018, 6:00 AM

Is climate change for real? And is it having an impact on the recreational travels we undertake? If you would put that question to relatives of mine living in England, they would loudly respond, “Yes!”   They live near an English province where temperatures recently reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 Celsius). While such heat would only slightly affect residents of, say, Phoenix, Arizona,...

U.S. Airports with the Most and Least Secure Wi-Fi

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/20/2018, 11:45 PM

You already know that airport Wi-Fi can be maddeningly slow. Did you know it also could be leaving you vulnerable to hackers? That's the conclusion reached by a new study (which you can download here) from cybersecurity company Coronet. Analyzing data from the devices of more than 250,000 passengers who had traveled through the 45 busiest airports in the United States over a five-month period, re...

Nuts! Southwest Airlines Stops Serving Them on Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/10/2018, 9:30 PM

If you were on Family Feud and Steve Harvey asked you to name a snack served on an airplane, it's a cinch that peanuts would be on the board, probably as the number-one answer.  Which is odd because peanuts aren't served on the planes of major airlines anymore, with only one or two exceptions. Delta is one—though according to Travel Weekly, that airline will "refrain from serving peanuts on a spe...

A Deadly End for the Yellowstone Daredevils

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/09/2018, 12:00 AM

Two years ago, in the spring of 2016, a few young Canadians created an international scandal by treading into forbidden, protected areas of Yellowstone National Park and recording it for their social media followers in the name of living life to the fullest. The men were famous for shooting videos of themselves doing extremely dangerous things in beautiful places. We wrote at the time: "Hundreds...

Arthur Frommer: Quintana Roo, Mexico, is Gaining as a Tourist Destination

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/26/2018, 12:00 AM

While numerous destinations in Mexico are suffering from what some describe as an overly sensitive spate of tourist warnings from our U.S. State Department, one area is obviously resisting that trend.   In 2017, some 22 million tourists visited the state of Quintana Roo, in sharp contrast to some declines in Mexican tourism elsewhere. Quintana Roo is the location for super-popular Cancun, Pl...

How Bad Will Hurricane Season Be This Year?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2018, 12:00 AM

Hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1, but the first named storm of the year has already arrived.  Subtropical depression Alberto made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Memorial Day and continues to bring the threat of heavy rains, wind gusts, and flash flooding as it moves through the Southeast. The Weather Channel predicts the storm could last through late Wednesday, as what rema...

Why Your Phone's GPS May Be Useless on a Foreign Road Trip

By Jason Cochran

You cannot rely on your smartphone for driving directions when you rent a car on a road trip in another country. You should rent a GPS unit. Here's why.

Biased Metrics? Concerns Over Privacy and Race in Airport Face Scans

By Zac Thompson

The Department of Homeland Security plans to scan the face of each passenger leaving the United States, citizens included. Should we be worried—and is the technology fair?

Arthur Frommer: What Would Happen if Mexico Published Warnings About the U.S.?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/08/2018, 9:30 AM

The Secretary of Travel for Mexico, one Enrique de la Madrid, was recently interviewed by the editor of Travel Weekly and expressed considerable upset at the various “advisories” (warnings) published by our U.S. State Department about travel to different parts of Mexico.   Every time, he said, that there is an outbreak of violence in or near a city of Mexico, our U.S. State Department quickl...

TSA to Make You Remove Snacks from Your Carry-On—Except When It Won't

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/29/2018, 3:00 PM

The next time you go through airport security, you could be asked to remove all food from your carry-on luggage, along with all the other stuff that gets removed—your shoes, your laptop, and, should you be selected for an invasive pat-down, your dignity.  Then again, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might let you keep that Snickers bar or bag of Cheetos in your bag as it slides al...