Travel News

"Every U.S. National Park Ranked," Blog, September 2021 -- While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this web site has ranked the national parks, in a subjective guide. If you know what to expect, you really can't go wrong with any of them.

" “Dr. Beach” Names Hawaii’s Hapuna Beach State Park America’s Best Beach," ," -- Dr. Beach, press release, June 2021 -- Hapuna Beach State Park is number one in the 31st annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University.  As “Dr. Beach” (, Leatherman has selected the annual Top 10 Beaches since 1991. Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and management. Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety.

"Stop putting your phone, wallet, and keys into the bins at airports," Business Insider, March 11, 2020 -- Here's what the TSA is now telling passengers to do when traveling during the coronavirus outbreak, including what you do with your valuables at the checkpoints, to stay healthy.

"American Airlines' New Routes Will Finally Make It Easier to Visit the National Parks on Your Bucket List," Travel & Leisure, August 30, 2019 -- Airfares have always been high to National Park gateway towns.  American Airlines is adding new service which should make them more accessible in 2020.

"Trouble lurks for women traveling alone. Here’s how to sidestep danger," The Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2019 -- This article details how women solo travelers can stay safe on the road, where you stay and how you get around in your destination.

"AAA member discount for Amtrak travel is ending," February 13, 2018 -- Note to Amtrak fans, after February 17, the 10% AAA discount on most trains will be discontinued. If you book now, you can still get the savings for travel in the next 11 months. In addition, Amtrak has already changed the ages for senior travel from 62 to 65, and dropped the discount down from 15% to 10%, dropped the student discount, changed the full refund window from 48 hours to 8 days, and now requires one adult to travel with each child to receive the 50% off discount, down from two children per adult.

"National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days for 2018" -- December 17, 2017 -- Our National Parks are already one of the country's best travel bargains.  On four days a year, admission fees are waived for these treasures of the great outdoors.
"The 24 Best Beaches in America, Ranked,"  Business Insider, June 29, 2016 -- From Maine to Florida, and Hawaii to Maryland, the best beaches are ranked for your Summer fun.

"Florida beach named the best beach in the U.S." Orlando Sentinel, February 17, 2016 -- Clearwater Beach was ranked number one by the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards, one of six top rated beaches in the Sunshine State.

"The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit In 2013," Smithsonian Magazine, April 2013 -- If you treasure finding the little places that have charm and character, and don't mind going a little off the beaten path to discover them, then this article is for you.   

"9 Most Colorful Beaches in the World," Budget Travel, February 1, 2013 -- If you're tired of the same beige beaches and you're looking for a new hue, be it black, green, red or pink, this article will help guide you to your next memorable beach getaway.   
"Five Ways To Stay Healthy While You Travel Abroad," CNN, September 13, 2012 -- This helpful article reminds travelers to be prepared, get insurance, pack well, and don't wait if you find yourself in a medical situation overseas. 
"How To Safely Use Free Wireless Internet at Hotels," USA Today -- Travelers need to be very careful when logging into hotel WiFi networks, since hackers have set up networks with typos and similar sounding names to the hotel, in order to steal passwords and data. Some examples that have been found include Shearaton, Wyndhem, Westen, Starwod Hotels, Hillton, Marriot and Hyattt. If in doubt, call the front desk to verify the exact name of the hotel's network. 
"Travel Deals With A Catch,"  The Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2012 -- The "Tip of the Week" column in the newspaper warns consumers about buying deals blind, and the risks of finding out about package inclusions after you've paid in full.
"Best Credit Cards for Travel Deals,"  San Francisco Chronicle, July 24, 2012 -- This article explores the different credit cards that offer points or credits for travel spending, including air, hotel, car rental, gas purchases and restaurant visits.  Special promotions are offered frequently, so travelers will need to visit supplier web sites for updates. 
"Insider Travel Tips from Campaign Reporters,"  The New York Times, January 1, 2012 -- The political campaign season always means that reporters will be moving all over the country, chasing down stories and racking up frequent flier miles.  This article shares some of their tips on bags, packing, reward programs, airport navigation and other hints for surviving as road warriors.
"The Five Best Travel Apps For iPhone,"  Independent Online Travel, South Africa, October 11, 2011 -- As a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, IOL Travel has posted its list of the five best travel apps for the iPhone.  IOL Travel is part of Independent News & Media (INM), which also produces 30 national and regional newspapers throughout South Africa.
"More Than 3 Million Vacations Interrupted by Flu in the Family Last Season, Walgreens Flu Impact Report Suggests,"  Biloxi Gulfport (MS) Sun Hearld, October 11, 2011 -- The typical flu season always coincides with the busiest travel period of the year, and last season that spelled trouble for more than 3 million U.S. vacationers whose trips were interrupted by flu-related illness, the Walgreens Flu Impact Report suggests.  Colder weather leads to more time spent in close proximity with those who may be contagious.  The study recommends getting a flu shot in October, to ensure the winter holiday season will be an enjoyable one.     
"Traveling To Europe This Summer?  Five Things You Need To Know," Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2011 -- This article offers travel tips on places to save money, take high speed trains, use Euros and download apps.
"Amazing Fees Airlines Are Slapping On," CBS News, March 10, 2011 -- CBS News travel Editor Peter Greenberg discusses recent fare hikes and an array of fees, and how to try to mitigate them.  Fuel surcharges, baggage fees, seat preference add ons, and ticket change fees are explored as airlines scurry to cover their costs.

"Traveling Abroad?  How To Exchange Currency," MSNBC/Budget Travel, February 21, 2011 -- This article explores everything from buying money online to waiting until you arrive at the airport, with a handy guide to the seven most common methods for foreign exchange. Each option has its pros and cons, and is rated based on the overall value for your dollar.  
"Traveling Overseas?  Tips For Saving On Phone Service," Philadelphia Inquirer, June 21, 2010 -- This article includes a step-by-step process to see if your current cell phone can be used overseas, and provides a helpful link to the FCC guide of wireless companies and handset makers.
"Weary of online booking, clients return to travel agents," USA TODAY, November 16, 2010 -- A recent study by Forrester Research found that do-it-yourself travel booking is losing its luster, with some vacationers finding the process increasingly complicated and time consuming.  Many clients have found they needed an advocate available to help with things went wrong, or when changes needed to be made. 

"6 Caribbean Islands You Should See Before You Die," New York Times, November 4, 2010 -- This article describes the top "must visit" Caribbean islands every traveler should experience once in their lifetime.
"The Best (and worst) Travel Discount Programs," USA TODAY, July 15, 2010 -- A survey of discount programs revealed that one cannot assume that one club or savings type is the best choice to use all the time, and some offer no savings at all, over some supplier's seasonal promotions.
"Dr. Beach's 2010 America's Best Beaches," web site posting, June 2010 -- Dr. Beach ranks the nation's best beaches in this annual list, which usually includes some hidden gems of surf and sand, and some lesser known regional favorites.
"Glacier National Park faces a future without glaciers," USA TODAY, May 18, 2010 -- While Montana's Glacier National Park just celebrated its 100th birthday, the park faces that possibility that all of their glaciers will have melted by 2020.  Of all the country's parks, this is one to move to the top of the "must see" list.
"Should You Use Your Credit Card Overseas?," April 16, 2010 -- A U.S. News & World Report article revealed that many credit cards were charging a foreign conversion fee for any transaction taking place outside the U.S., regardless of the currency that was used.  Not all credit cards charge the fees, which can be as high as three percent.

"The cost of passports is headed up this spring," -- Augusta, Georgia Chronicle, March 29, 2010 -- The cost of applying for a first time or renewal passport is likely to increase as much as $35 this Spring, as the U.S. Passport Office is looking to cover increased costs.  The fees can increase any time, now that the public comment period has ended. 
"Mixed Outlook for Vacation Prices," -- CNN, March 25, 2010 -- Hotel room rates are expected to drop this year, while air and cruise prices increase slightly, and car rental rates seeing the largest jump, according to Neil Abrams of Abrams Consulting Group, which compiles the Abrams Travel Data Rate Index.
"For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad," -- New York Times, October 6, 2009 -- Americans are finding that their credit and bank cards aren’t as convenient as they once were while traveling overseas.  The problem: American cards lack a special chip, now commonly used in many foreign countries, causing the cards to be rejected by some merchants and kiosks.

"Safety Number One Concern For International Tourists," -- Travel Agent Central, September 29, 2009 -- According to a report by the FIA National Automobile and Touring Clubs, potential travelers care most about their safety when choosing their holiday destination. In the study, individuals consistently selected safety concerns related to crime, natural disasters, health or terrorism, as one of the main things they considered then crossing off a location from their list, scoring it with an importance of 8.5 out of 10 on average.  Following closely behind safety as a reason to rule out a destination was weather, poor accommodations, and lack of natural beauty in the area.  They survey was based on data collected from over 9,000 people in 38 different countries.
"More Fliers Skipping The Cab," -- New York Times, August 11, 2009 -- Many large cities are now offering rapid transit, shuttle services, or other transportation options that may be faster and cheaper than the traditional taxi to the airport choice.
"3 Things Travelers Will Gain In This Recession," -- Houston Chronicle, April 10, 2009 -- The advantages may exceed the losses as free WI-FI, upgraded customer service and unbelievable bargains await travelers this year, as companies refocus on value and service.
"America The Beautiful, The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass -- Senior Pass," -- U.S.Geological Survey web site, updated October 12, 2007, verified April 9, 2009 -- The National Park Service is among the government agencies offering senior citizens, 62 and over, a lifetime pass to all parks and Federal recreational lands for just $10.  The pass covers park admission for the senior, and three other adults traveling in the same vehicle.  This is one of the America's best travel bargains, as park admission ranges from $3-$25 per vehicle, normally for a seven day period. 
"Americans Still Planning Vacations," Pacific Business News, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 6, 2009 -- A recent survey found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are planning to take at least one overnight trip for leisure purposes during the next six months, however, they will be more value conscious, looking at package specials, spending less while in the destination, and may stay fewer nights.
"It's Time To Prepare For New Border Crossing Rules," USA Today, March 25, 2009 -- The documents you'll need for crossing the border, even for Americans returning from Canada and Mexico, will change this summer, but a little planning and preparation will save you a lot of time and trouble.
"Travel Insurance -- Trying To Collect On It Can Be A Real Trip," Chicago Tribune, March 23, 2009 -- Travelers will want to read the fine print carefully before purchasing travel insurance.  It's important to understand what you are getting for your money, what kind of proof you will need to file a claim, and the importance of purchasing the coverage from a third party in case a supplier shuts down or files for bankruptcy.
"Airline Deals Are Soaring," Business Week, March 20, 2009 -- Airlines are at your mercy, and are offering ultra low fares and bonus frequent flier miles.  Their losses can be your gain, you travel further for less, and earn miles for a future free trip at the same time. 
"Traveling to Hawaii on the Cheap," CNN, March 16, 2009 -- One travel expert reports that you will never see fares this low in your lifetime.  Hawaii has been suffering due to the drop in business and incentive travel, the distance and time required for visiting, and the recession.  If you have ever thought of taking a trip to Hawaii, this is a great year to do so, you can see more, and stay for less.
Rob Stern

P.O. Box 80487
Raleigh, NC  27623 USA
"I can often save you money, but I can always save you time."
© 2009-2022, Rob Stern and, All Rights Reserved.


Rob Plans Your Trip