New Zealand to Start Taxing Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2018, 5:30 AM

The price of a vacation in New Zealand is about to go up.  The country's government has announced plans to charge a new tax on tourists, expected to go into effect in the middle of 2019. International visitors staying less than 12 months will be charged somewhere in the range of NZ$25–35 (US$17–24). Citizens of Australia and most Pacific Island Forum countries will be exempt from the fee.  Acco...

U.S. National Park Fees Leap Higher Overnight

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/01/2018, 1:00 PM

When Americans woke up this morning (June 1), they discovered it would cost them a lot more to enter their national parks. Nearly all the major parks hiked their entry rates by a hefty $5. Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands (pictured), Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion—all of them, and many more, saw their prices jump $5, regardless of whether it's for a vehicl...

All the Las Vegas Hotels' Resort Fees—So You'll Know the True Price of a Night

By Juliana Shallcross

When you book a cheap hotel online for Las Vegas, you're not paying the price you see. Nearly all Sin City hotels also charge a big resort fee—and they can more than double the final price! Here's where the Sin City resort fee shell game stands right now.

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"White-Collar Trickery": Arthur Frommer Blasts Las Vegas for Hidden Fees

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/30/2018, 4:45 PM

By now, most Americans are aware of the “resort fees” that numerous greedy hotels add to their bills, even though the hotel in question is by no means a “resort.”  Most of us simply groan in exasperation at this bit of white-collar trickery—and then we pay the padded bill.   But would you believe that in Las Vegas nowadays, numerous hotels, restaurants and nightspots are now routinely adding...

Avoid Extra Bag Fees with This Fiendishly Clever Packing Hack

By Jason Cochran

You don't have to check a second bag. Here's a smart tip for when you've bought more souvenirs than you can fit in your luggage.

Can't Find a Cheap Hotel in Europe? Try the Ramadan Trick

By Jason Cochran

For travelers who are not observant Muslims, it's a time of year that may yield surprising deals in non-Islamic vacation destinations.

Singapore Changi Airport

The World's Best Airports

Ten incredibly well-designed, well-organized airports that will send you briskly on your way or, when flights are postponed, make delays downright pleasant

Another Airline to Sell Transatlantic Fares from $200: What's the Deal?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/14/2018, 12:00 AM

You've heard of Norwegian, XL, and WOW—three low-cost, Europe-based airlines that have made their fame by selling affordable, no-nonsense transatlantic flights from the United States. In what's undoubtedly good news for people looking for yet another affordable way to get over the ocean, one more European low-cost carrier is joining the fray. It's 15-year-old Primera Air, and as of this month, its...

Free Admission at Wisconsin State Parks on the First Weekend of June

By Zac Thompson

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

Wisconsin is giving locals and visitors alike a good reason to experience the state's considerable outdoor charms on June 2-3.  That weekend, admission will be free at all Wisconsin state parks, encompassing forests, hiking trails, lakes, bluffs, and beaches. You can hit the trails to see picturesque cascades at Copper Falls (pictured above) in the northern part of the state, survey the mighty M...

Longest-Ever Around-the-World Cruise to Set Sail in Summer 2019

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/08/2018, 9:15 PM

If you've seen a map of the world, you've seen the itinerary for the latest offering from Viking Ocean Cruises: a truly epic, ridiculously expensive, globe-girdling voyage that will leave Greenwich, London on August 31, 2019, and return to the city from the other direction eight months later. That's 245 days in total, making this the longest continuous cruise ever undertaken.  By the time the t...

Hugely Popular European Destination Bans Apartment Rentals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2018, 8:00 PM

Between 2015 and 2017, illegal vacation rentals, fueled by services such as Airbnb, shot up 50%. As a consequence, rent for locals skyrocketed 40%. For a small Mediterranean island without suburbs to expand to, what is there to do? If you're governing Majorca, an internationally beloved getaway in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, you impose a life-ruining fine of €400,000 (US $485,000...

40 Tips for a Cheaper Vacation in London

By Jason Cochran

See London on a budget with these priceless tips for saving money. The British pound may be expensive, but don't let that keep you from having a fun and affordable vacation.

In Las Vegas, Now You Have to Look Closely at Your Bill for Hidden Fees

By Juliana Shallcross

Seemingly overnight, casino owners have found a new way to hit the jackpot: hidden fees. Sometimes, no one can even tell you what the charges are for.

Priceline Ends "Name Your Own Price" Car Rentals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/03/2018, 12:00 AM

Yet another core offering of Priceline has been carved away. The website, which made itself famous beginning in 1997 as a place where travelers could place low bids for various products without knowing in advance the brand of the seller, has ended its "Name Your Own Price" feature for rental cars.  The website now only offers set prices for its brand-blind rental car inventory. Because of the sit...

U.S. dollar

Travel Bargain Hunting? Go Where the Dollar Is Strong

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.

Arthur Frommer: A Journalist Produces the Definitive Report on Disney Cruises

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/26/2018, 12:15 PM

Most parents are aware of the ever-expanding Disney cruise line, which enables them to join their young children on a sailing designed to fascinate. Disney currently operates four big cruise ships, and two more are reaching completion in European shipyards. Impartial descriptions of those cruises are hard to come by. Persons who write for the newspapers are loathe to criticize the powerful Disn...

Arthur Frommer: Recent Tax Cuts Will Force Reductions in Travel Services

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/23/2018, 5:15 PM

Some commentators have rejoiced over the recent reduction in federal taxes enjoyed by American corporations and the wealthy. Fewer of those pundits have pointed out that those reductions have been achieved in part by reducing our government’s expenditures for programs that improve our quality of life.   The U.S. travel world—and especially our trains and passenger aviation—has suffered in parti...

Arthur Frommer: A Major Softening of Transatlantic Airfares Seems Underway

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/23/2018, 1:45 PM

When my 15-year-old granddaughter was asked where she wanted to spend her springtime school break, she quickly answered “Paris.”   And my daughter and her husband, not wanting to discourage the young one’s travel urge, set about to study the cost of transatlantic airfare. To their surprise, they quickly found a round-trip fare of only $400 between Newark and Paris.  Now it is true that this ...

Disney World Now Charges for Parking at Hotels, Decreasing Their Value

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/14/2018, 4:00 PM

It used to be one of the great courtesies of staying in a Walt Disney World resort hotel: You got free parking, and then you could take Disney transportation for free. It was touted as one of the perks and a big incentive to choose a Disney hotel over a room located outside the resort property's gates. Since Disney hotels are two or three times as much as a room of comparable quality a mile away, ...

Most Visited U.S. National Parks and Monuments in 2017

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/05/2018, 10:45 PM

The National Park Service (NPS) has released its visitor numbers for 2017.  A total of 330,882,751 people spent time at American national parks, monuments, and other sites deemed worthy of federal protection. As the NPS points out, that figure is only a smidge lower than the record-setting 330,971,689 visits the agency logged in 2016—the year of its highly touted 100th birthday. The Blue Ridge ...

American Airlines Adding Basic Economy Fares to Transatlantic Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/02/2018, 12:00 AM

Starting in April, American Airlines is selling bare-bones "basic economy" tickets on some flights to Europe.  The move seems an obvious effort to compete with low-cost transatlantic carriers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle, Iceland-based WOW air, and Level, a recently launched Spanish entrant in the cheap-flights-to-Europe race.  Closer to home, Delta Air Lines has also begun selling no-frills ba...

This New Budget-Priced Transatlantic Airline Is Probably News to You

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/22/2018, 5:45 AM

Most everyone by now has heard of Norwegian Air Shuttle, which flies the Atlantic at rock-bottom prices. Although Norwegian suffered a loss in 2017, it has struck fear into the hearts of the so-called “legacy carriers,” like British Airways, Iberia Airlines, and others. Result: A consortium of established airlines—British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and others—have recently created a brand-new ...

Resort Fees Are a Tax Dodge: Why They're Destructive for Us All

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/21/2018, 12:00 AM

Americans despise resort fees. But in a shockingly short span of time, about a decade, we became blasé about them. Appallingly, the people once reknowned for feisty individualism and a testy spirit of fairness have rolled over like docile lap dogs—we sigh and pay hidden charges as if staying in hotels had always been this way. It wasn't. This is not normal. Can you remember how terrible you felt ...

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...

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 Visa processing National parks and...