Japan's Ultra-Cheap “Bed-in-a-Box” Hotels Have Resurfaced—in London

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/16/2018, 2:30 PM

Many years ago, when Japan was the world’s leading economy and Japanese businessmen were hard-striving cheapskates anxious to squeeze out any savings, several properties in Tokyo created so-called “capsule hotels” charging awesomely low rates.     Instead of placing their clients in normal rooms, they lodged them in coffin-like boxes, three feet wide, four feet tall, and seven feet long, all...

Famous Thai Beach Closing to Tourists This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/14/2018, 10:15 PM

Thailand's Maya Bay is so pretty it played the paradise sought by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the 2000 movie The Beach.  But tourists will have to stream that film—fair warning: it's terrible—to lay eyes on Maya Bay this summer. Authorities are closing the beach to visitors from June to September in an effort to combat environmental damage caused by over-tourism.  The fame that has resulted...

Arthur Frommer: Make Sure To Check Your Passport Dates Before Travel

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/14/2018, 7:00 PM

You are about to leave on an international trip, and you have carefully checked the contents of your suitcase, wallet or purse to make sure that everything—especially your passport—is there. And is the passport still valid? You glance at the page with that information, and seeing that all is well, you leave for the airport.   You have done everything correctly, right? Wrong! Unbeknownst to...

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High-Speed Trains Soon to Zip Between London and Amsterdam

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/13/2018, 8:45 PM

Starting April 4, travelers will have a new, fast, and affordable way to get from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands.  High-speed Eurostar trains will begin whisking passengers from London to Amsterdam in three hours using the underwater Channel Tunnel that already speeds passengers to Paris in a little over two hours.  The twice-daily service will depart London's St. Pancras station at 8:31a...

The South of France Is Getting a New Picasso Museum

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/10/2018, 12:00 AM

A former convent in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence is being transformed into a museum to house a trove of works by Pablo Picasso.  The driving force behind the project is the artist's stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, whose mother, Jacqueline Roque, was the artist's second wife. (As it happens, both Roque and Picasso are buried just outside Aix-en-Provence, at the Château of Vauven...

How Bermuda's Same-Sex Marriage Repeal Affects Cruise Weddings Worldwide

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/08/2018, 12:00 AM

This week, the governor of Bermuda, John Rankin, signed a legislature-approved bill that reinstates the British island territory's ban on same-sex marriage, reversing a decision to legalize those unions made less than a year ago by the Atlantic Ocean archipelago's supreme court.  But the ramifications of the revived marriage ban go way beyond Bermuda.  This is the world's first such instance of ...

Italian Airline Now Offers Free Stopovers in Rome

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/06/2018, 10:45 PM

Rome remains a destination that rarely lacks for tourists. In 2017, more than 14.5 million of them visited the Eternal City—a nickname that might as well refer to the wait times in line for the Vatican during summer. But even more travelers could soon begin queuing up for trips to the Italian capital thanks to a new initiative from state-owned national carrier Alitalia.  From now until the end o...

Get Yours Now! Passport Fees are Going Up

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/06/2018, 10:00 AM

The U.S. State Department has announced that prices for passports will inch up come April. For adults, the cost for a passport book will be $145. The fee for children 16 and younger will be $115. It's an increase of only $10, but that's on top of a fee that already was pretty steep—those who live in the United Kingdom pay roughly 30% less for their passports. Passport cards, which are used for ...

A Luxury Island Retreat Where Only Women Are Welcome

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/02/2018, 3:15 PM

We told you women-only travel was going to be a big deal in 2018. To wit: In September, a private island off the coast of Finland will begin welcoming guests—and dudes need not apply. Christened SuperShe after a networking group designed to empower women, the luxury isle will specialize in wellness offerings such as fitness classes, healthy eating, and artsy activities.  Founder Kristina Roth t...

Plans for Cartoon Network Cruise Being Drawn

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/01/2018, 1:30 PM

The first fully immersive Cartoon Network cruise ship is currently in the works. We'd like to tell you the plans are being cooked up in Dexter's Laboratory, but in fact the project is a joint effort of the Turner company, which owns the animation-dominated cable channel, and the Singapore-based Oceanic Group.  Dubbed the Cartoon Network Wave, the 11-deck, 2,000-passenger ship will have colorful ...

Is It Safe to Vacation in Cape Town Once the Water Runs Out?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/31/2018, 12:00 AM

We have never been here before. A major world city is about to run out of fresh water.   On April 12, the drought-stricken city of Cape Town, on the southwestern tip of Africa, hits Day Zero. That's when the reservoir levels drop too low, taps run dry, and water must be trucked in. How we reached this point is important. While climate change dramatically reduced rainfall in the Mediterranean clim...

Legoland Coming to New York (Assembly Required)

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/30/2018, 2:00 AM

A new Legoland theme park is being built, plastic brick by plastic brick, in the town of Goshen, New York, located about a two-hour drive north of New York City.  Expected to open in 2020, the resort will feature themed lands, rides, and shows inspired by the beloved interlocking toy blocks, the company's boxy, humanoid characters, and the popular series of animated Lego movies. The New York pro...

Why Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Have Cheap Airfare

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/27/2018, 12:00 AM

It was a blip in the headlines last week, barely noticed amid a circus of political stories: United Airlines stock plunged 6%. At the same time, Delta dropped 5.4% and Southwest went down 4.8%. In fact, all the major airlines dipped. Investors were displeased for some reason. Why? Because United announced that it would be increasing capacity by 4 to 6% over the next three years.  That's righ...

"Three Billboards" Locations Way Outside Missouri

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/26/2018, 12:15 AM

The titular small town in Martin McDonagh's Oscar-nominated dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri does not exist in real life. And we're not sure we'd want to visit if it did, considering the corrupt police force, vengeful townsfolk, and flying Molotov cocktails depicted in the movie. The scenery sure is nice, though. Much of it was filmed not in Missouri but 600 miles or so to th...

Orlando Sanford International Airport's Name Can Confuse Tourists Going to Orlando

By Jason Cochran

Despite its name, this small airport is not even in Orlando—it's in the town of Sanford, population 59,000, and is twice as far from Walt Disney World as Orlando International.

Pop-Up Marriage License Office Opening at Vegas Airport for Valentine's Day

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/22/2018, 4:00 PM

Around 80,000 couples get married in Las Vegas each year, and about 80% of them are tourists. For obvious reasons, the nuptials biz is especially brisk around Valentine's Day, when the Clark County clerk's office tends to issue twice as many marriage licenses as usual. This year, even more lovebirds are expected to tie the knot around the holiday because the Chinese New Year—considered an auspic...

The Travel Services That Close in a U.S. Government Shutdown

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/19/2018, 11:00 AM

As the wheels of Washington threaten to grind to a halt yet again, another United States federal government shutdown is a concern. Travel, by and large, is considered a "non-essential" function—and non-essential functions either dim or go dark. Generally speaking, here's what is not available during a federal government shutdown: Passport services (may be limited) Visa processing N...

Now Flying: A Zip Line Over the Grand Canyon

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/18/2018, 9:00 AM

A brand-new zip line has opened on a spur of the Grand Canyon, sending harnessed thrill seekers flying 1,000 feet over the earth. The Zip Line at Grand Canyon West near Peach Springs, Arizona, actually comprises two zip lines—one that's 1,100 feet long, another that's 2,100 feet long—to churn up adrenaline as passengers hurtle up to 45 miles an hour past Quartermaster Canyon. It's the perfect add...

San Francisco Airport Can Now Send Emergency Texts to Passengers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/18/2018, 8:00 AM

San Francisco International Airport has become the first in the nation to receive approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send emergency text messages directly to any cell phone onsite—devices belonging to passengers included. The warning system will work something like Amber Alert notifications used in response to child abductions: In the event of an emergency, travelers will re...

U.S. Civil Rights Trail Links Dozens of Historic Sites in 14 States

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/16/2018, 11:00 PM

Fourteen states, covering a chunk of the U.S. from Delaware to Kansas, are joining together to promote tourism to more than 100 landmarks crucial to the struggle for civil rights. The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a first-of-its-kind effort by tourism officials to expand smaller state programs, such as the Mississippi Freedom Trail, to cover a multi-state region predominantly in the South, the setti...

U.S. State Department Travel Advisories: Where to Find Them, How to Read Them

By Zac Thompson

In 2018, the U.S. State Department revamped its travel warnings to make them easier to understand. Here's how to find them and how to use them to plan a safe trip overseas.

Tour Operator to Pay Passport Fees for Travelers Age 18–35

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/13/2018, 9:30 AM

More than half of Americans age 18–35 don't have passports, according to Contiki, a tour operator specializing in that very demographic. For a limited time, Contiki is offering some passport-acquiring incentive to first-time international travelers—at least, those who fall within the 18–35 age range. Contiki customers who book one of the company's trips lasting longer than seven days can get the...

Arthur Frommer: For No Real Reason, Feds Attack the Legality of Cannabis Tourism

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 01/12/2018, 1:00 AM

  Because the current U.S. Attorney General is a fierce opponent of marijuana, we can expect a massive legal attack against travel to the states—mainly California and Colorado—that have recently legalized its use. What is startling about this prospect is that the alleged dangers of smoking marijuana have been denied by every respectable study.   The key examination of marijuana was cond...

A Slump in the Number of Foreign Visitors to the United States Continues

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 01/11/2018, 8:15 PM

Commencing with the inauguration of President Trump, tourism officials in several U.S. cities have drawn attention, with alarm, to a reduction in the number of foreign residents visiting their cities. One such official, representing New York, cited a drop of 700,000 foreign tourists no longer coming to the Big Apple. But until now, no such figures have been reported for the United States ...

Now You Can Fly Round-Trip to Europe for €399—with a Catch

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/11/2018, 12:00 AM

First, U.S. domestic airlines introduced Basic Economy fares so their rates would appear more competitive with low-cost carriers in Web searches. Now the transatlantic airlines are stripping down their benefits to compete with low-cost airlines. First it was Icelandair, which came up with Economy Light, which only allows for a single carry-on up to 22 pounds (10kg)—no checked bags permitted. TAP ...