A Battle Royal is Raging Between Airlines Flying to Hawaii, Writes Arthur Frommer

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2019, 3:00 AM

The fight is on. The battle rages.     In March and April just past, Southwest Airlines began flying from San Jose and Oakland, California, to Honolulu and Maui. It will soon add daily flights to Hawaii from Sacramento and San Diego.   And because these routes are among the chief money-raisers for the long established Hawaiian Airlines, the terms of each airline’s fares and policies ar...

Museums Across the USA Will Be Free on Sept. 21—Here's How to Get Your Tickets

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/16/2019, 12:00 AM

A big reason why Washington, D.C., is one of the world's best cities for museum-going is that the Smithsonian Institution's attractions—including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History (pictured), the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and many more—charge no admission to see their impressive collections. On Saturday, September 21, museums ...

Yelp Listings Are Replacing Restaurants' Real Phone Numbers with Fee-Charging Numbers

By Jason Cochran

Businesses' real phone numbers are being swapped with ones run by the app's partners, so be careful if you use Yelp to research dining options and call for reservations.

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You Can Now Rent Hertz Cars in Europe with a Debit Card—but Should You?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/08/2019, 11:45 AM

Rental car company Hertz and the two brands under its corporate umbrella—Dollar and Thrifty—have begun accepting debit cards as a payment option for car rentals in Europe.  Previously, a credit card was required, but that is no longer the case at Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty locations in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia, mainland Spain, and ...

How to Figure Out the Name of That Anonymous Hotwire Hotel

By Jason Cochran

No need to agonize over clues like Sherlock Holmes to deduce the name of a mystery hotel in Hotwire's Hot Rates. These elementary tricks are all you need.

Sightseeing with New York City's Empire State Building in the distance

New York City Sightseeing Passes: A Buyer's Guide for Every Type of Traveler

By Zac Thompson

We’ve analyzed New York City's top tourist passes to help you figure out which—if any—is right for you. You might just discover that the only NYC pass you need is a MetroCard for riding the subway. 

Find the Name of That Secret Priceline Hotel with This Canny Tool

By Jason Cochran

Priceline hides the identities of its best hotel deals, but there's a browser extension that pinpoints the property you're bidding on before you buy.

High Boarding Group Number? Don't Panic—The Airlines Are Messing with You

By Jason Cochran

Are you in Group 7 again? No need to fret. The airlines are trying to stress you out so you'll pay more.

An App That (Almost) Guarantees the Lowest Hotel Rates

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/31/2019, 7:00 AM

It’s said there are no guarantees in life. But does that apply to travel? For hotels, a relatively new app may offer the closest thing to a guaranteed low price that I’ve seen. It’s called Pruvo, and it promises that if you tell it your hotel price, you won’t be undercut.   Here’s how it works. The consumer goes hotel shopping, using any online travel agency they like—Booking.com, Expedi...

Arthur Frommer: Seaweed is Invading the Mexican Caribbean, But There's a Bright Side

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/30/2019, 7:00 AM

Among the current important news of travel is a sudden and mysterious drop in tourist traffic to the so-called “Mexican Caribbean” (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Tulum, the Mayan Riviera), an area which usually accounts for half of all tourism to Mexico.     After several speculative guesses as to what is happening, scientists and Mexican officials have agreed that the cause is “sa...

Florida Finally Gives Tourists a Way to Avoid Rental Car Rip-Offs on Cashless Roads

By Jason Cochran

After years of paying extortionate fees from rental car companies to use cashless toll booths, tourists finally have a solution—if they know about it.

L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art Getting Rid of Admission Fees

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/22/2019, 8:45 PM

Pretty soon, it won't cost you a penny to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.  The institution announced it is reducing its $15 general admission fee to $0, a move made possible by a $10 million donation from the president of MOCA's board of trustees, Carolyn Clark Powers. You'll still have to pay for special exhibits, however.  Speaking to the New York Times, museum dire...

Stay for Free Around the World, Just for Playing with Animals: The Petsitting Sites

By Katie Lockhart

These websites can help hook you up with a free place to stay in exchange for taking care of pets. But which one is the best one for you?

Get Elite Status Perks without Elite Status

Don’t Have Elite Status? Fake It and Get Free Upgrades with These Tips

By Ramsey Qubein

Don't travel enough to have awards status? There are still some strategies you can use to make your next trip more comfortable.

How Families Can Sit Together on Airplanes

By Candyce H. Stapen

Paid seat reservations have turned airline cabins into competitive arenas. If you want to make sure you sit next to your children, you need a survival guide for the battle.

Thanks a Lot, Instagram. Horseshoe Bend Now Has an Entry Fee

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/22/2019, 7:00 PM

Many of the world's most beautiful places have become victims of their own Instagrammability, with hordes of selfie snappers causing congestion, safety concerns, and strains on infrastructure.  As a result, officials at photogenic locales across the globe have introduced measures aimed at thinning crowds—or at least shifting some of the financial burden for upkeep onto tourists. The latest examp...

Arthur Frommer: The British Outlawed Deception by Hotels. Why Won't America?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/15/2019, 9:00 AM

A British organization that regulates hotels—it’s called the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)—has just taken steps to prevent U.K. hotels from using deceptive sales tactics.   Its approach should surely be adopted by our own Federal Trade Commission. The Brits have won adoption of the new anti-deception rules by several gigantic hotel-booking organizations that publish hotel vacancies...

This Spring, It Will Never Be Cheaper to Fly to Hawaii, Says Arthur Frommer

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/10/2019, 9:00 AM

The biggest news in travel is the recent start-up by price-cutting Southwest Airlines of a massive number of flights from the U.S. west coast to the islands of Hawaii.  Travel to those popular resorts will never be the same again. For several decades, the airlines serving Hawaii have zealously maintained the highest possible price level for flights there.   Vacationers paid as much as $60...

Arthur Frommer: Decent People Will Avoid All Contact with Brunei

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/08/2019, 9:00 AM

It is highly unlikely that many of our readers will travel as tourists to the nation of Brunei on the island of Borneo in the South China Sea. The economy and currency of that nation are so strong (based on oil and natural gas reserves) that prices there are forbidding.  Accordingly, Brunei doesn’t react to threats of tourism boycott, and enjoys very little tourism in any event. One recent visi...

Tipping in Costa Rica: A Gratuities Guide for Hotels, Restaurants, and Tours

By Zac Thompson

Some tips on tipping to follow while checking out Costa Rica's cities, beaches, and jungles

When Should You Book Airfare and Hotels? A Huge Study Reveals the Current Answers

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/03/2019, 1:00 PM

The Airlines Reporting Corporation’s annual Travel Pricing Outlook study (conducted in partnership with Expedia) arrived with very little fanfare this year. Which is odd—and not so odd. Odd because it is, by a factor of a gazillion, the largest study of the year, for the size of the numbers being crunched. And not so odd because this 2019 study, the fifth annual one, doesn’t really break much n...

U.S. dollar

Travel Bargain Hunting? Where the Dollar Is Strong Now

By Zac Thompson

There are still places across the globe where American travelers can get plenty of bang for their bucks. Here's where the dollar will stretch the furthest.

Unruly Drinking on This Spanish Island Could Cost You Thousands

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/22/2019, 1:00 AM

Tourists who break public drinking laws on the Spanish island of Majorca—long known for its beaches and raucous party scene—will face fines of up to €3,000 (US$3,400) this summer, as part of a crackdown on boozy misbehavior. Under the new restrictions, law enforcement can fine alcohol-fueled revelers for fighting, breaking stuff, and otherwise “causing a public nuisance," according to The Indepen...

Tipping in Portugal: A Gratuities Guide for Hotels, Restaurants, and Taxis

By Zac Thompson

What to tip waiters, taxi drivers, tour guides, and hotel staff in Lisbon, Porto, and other locations in Portugal

This Airbnb Scam Is Costing People Thousands: How to Protect Yourself

By Jason Cochran

Avoid this vacation rental scam that uses the secure reputation of Airbnb against you. Here's how to make sure you're never a victim.