Our Top Tips for Surviving Holiday Air Travel this Year

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/13/2017, 2:45 PM

The airlines are expecting 51 million passengers to fly in United States in the final two weeks of December, a figure that’s up 3% from last year’s record number. Break it down and that means some 80,000 more passengers a day than fly during an average day during the rest of the year. If you will be among the masses, you'll want to carefully strategize. Here are our suggestions:   Check in 2...

American State Department Simplifies Travel Warnings

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/11/2017, 2:15 PM

Following a long internal review, the United States Department of State is making its travel warnings clearer. Starting in January, its notices on safety situations will be boiled down to one of four categories. Level 1: Exercise normal precautions Level 2: Exercise increased caution Level 3: Reconsider travel Level 4: Do not travel Since the State Department's travel warnings are ...

Paid Reservations Now Required to Visit California's Muir Woods

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/30/2017, 12:00 AM

From Dubrovnik to Machu Picchu, popular tourist destinations around the world are devising new sign-up strategies to combat overcrowding caused by hordes of temporary visitors. The latest spot to add to the list, as Frommer's reported would happen back in 2015: Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California, north of San Francisco.  Starting on January 16, 2018, each visitor who arrives...

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Brazil Just Got a Whole Lot Easier to Visit

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/27/2017, 12:00 AM

Hallelujah! Brazil's arms are finally opening wide to tourists. For years, if you wanted to visit the riches of this South American country, you soon found out how difficult it was. You'd have to make an appointment with the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate, and that could take more than a month. On the big day, you'd travel there and proffer your passport along with photo, an application, a...

The Trump Slump Claims Another Victim: Students Coming to Study at U.S. Colleges

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/17/2017, 9:00 PM

In earlier blogs, I discussed the recent sharp decline in foreign tourism coming to vacation in the United States—far more than a few million fewer visitors compared to previous periods. To those figures, in statistics released just days ago, we now need to figure in a drop of several hundreds of thousands of fewer foreign students coming to the United States to study in our places of learning. ...

Blaming Trump, Another Airline Calls It Quits in Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/17/2017, 8:30 PM

Alaska Airlines will discontinue its service to Cuba on January 22, 2018, the carrier has announced. The reason: the Trump Administration's new rules that make it too difficult for Americans to visit the island. The tighter restrictions do away with the Obama-era "people-to-people" travel exemption. That means that Americans who want to visit Cuba must now do so with authorized tours and cruises ...

U.S. Government Makes It Harder for Americans to Visit Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/08/2017, 9:30 PM

Travel to Cuba gets tougher for Americans this week. New rules released by the Trump Administration ban most independent travel to the island, requiring visitors from the U.S. to rely on authorized "people-to-people" tour companies instead. That's a return to the way things were before President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015. In June of this year, his successor an...

More Complex Screening Begins for U.S. Passengers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/25/2017, 12:00 AM

You might remember that last spring, several international airlines, mostly from predominantly Muslim countries, were banned from allowing laptops in passenger cabins. That, and the uneven application of the policy across airlines, caused a diplomatic furor, and some carriers even curtailed service to the United States. In response, the U.S. government reversed the requirement but dictated new secu...

Turkey Suspends Visas for Americans

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/10/2017, 4:00 PM

A diplomatic spat between the United States and Turkey has spun out of control and resulted in the suspension of tourist visas in both directions.  Tensions have been growing between the two countries for the past several years. Among other issues, Turkey has accused the United States of harboring a cleric that it claims helped orchestrate a failed coup, and the United States is angry that Turk...

Now Is the Best Time to Apply for or Renew a U.S. Passport, Says State Department

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2017, 9:00 PM

If you need to apply for or renew a U.S. passport, the best time to do so is right now, according to the U.S. State Department. Processing times are shortest between September and December, the agency says, and longest (up to six weeks) from January to the high season of summer travel. Even if your passport isn't set to expire before the end of the year, you might still need to renew—many countri...

2018 Inca Trail Permits Will Sell Out Early Because of New Rules

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/19/2017, 9:30 PM

If you were thinking of making 2018 the year you finally realize your dream trip of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you'll need to start planning right now. Normally, Peru's limited allotment of permits for the trail goes on sale early in the calendar year—and they usually sell out quickly—but for 2018 trips, they will go on sale October 1, 2017. That means you'll need to start planning fo...

The Undeniable Drop in Incoming Foreign Tourists Will Gravely Affect Our Economy

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2017, 6:00 PM

Disturbing reports from a number of reliable sources have shown, beyond doubt, that the number of incoming foreign tourists to the United States has fallen dramatically in the past several months.   Those reports are not simply from private sources, but also from federal government agencies that would be the last to challenge the Administration’s claims of a healthy economy. The fall-off in forei...

Bringing Plastic Bags to Kenya Could Land You in Prison

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/04/2017, 12:00 AM

While some world cities have been dabbling in the reduction of plastic bags by charging customers if they want one or switching to paper, Kenya has just instituted the harshest plastic bag ban in the world. Now, importing plastic bags to Kenya could result in fines of up to $31,000 or even prison time. Plastic bags, which take as long as 1,000 years to break down, make their way into oceans, wher...

In Spite of the President's Confusing Cuba Policy, Three Major Cruise Lines Persevere in Offering Brief and Superficial Visits

By Arthur Frommer

Despite the President’s murky efforts to limit the right of Americans to travel to Cuba, the cruise industry's brightest leaders lay future plans to bring even more vacationers there.

Americans May Soon Need Visas to Travel to Europe

By Pauline Frommer

A tit-for-tat spat could have significant consequences for travelers.

The Travel Press is Reporting the 'Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in Tourism to the United States

By Arthur Frommer

Experts across the travel industry are warning that masses of tourists are being scared away from visiting the United States, and the loss of tourism jobs could be devastating.

Will He or Won't He? Trump Has Not Withdrawn His Threat to Forbid Travel to Cuba

By Arthur Frommer

American cruise lines are preparing to enter the Cuban market with force, but will politics quash the budding potential for new jobs, new revenue, and new explorations?