Home & Leisure



Do I have to pay this Days Inn cleaning fee?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I stayed at Days Inn in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently. It was not a pleasant experience. The motel was dirty and stinky. I had to get my room key reset every day or else it wouldn't work, which was inconvenient. Their staff also was not very friendly, and the morning I checked out they were not at the front desk to help me but were outside ...Read more

The new ride at Universal Studios Hollywood will make a dog out of you

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- It will be a dog's life for riders of Universal Studios Hollywood's newest ride.

The next ride to open at the movie-themed amusement park this spring will feature characters and scenes from the animated film franchise "The Secret Life of Pets." The park is boasting that the new attraction will rely on a "series of technological ...Read more

About 430,000 more of you visited Yosemite in 2019. Here are the best times to go

Travel / Travel News /

Attendance at Yosemite National Park increased by 10.2% in 2019, newly released numbers show, and rangers are huddling with experts to devise ways to better manage traffic.

The National Park Service's latest "monthly use report" shows 4.59 million visitors last year, up from 4.16 million the year before.

The figure didn't top the park's ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Seeing San Antonio like local families

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Who knew? Water once covered much of Texas -- 110 million years ago. Imagine dinosaurs walking along the beach when the Gulf of Mexico covered San Antonio.

What do giant dinosaur footprints tell us about their behavior way back then?

Find out at the state-of-the-art Naylor ...Read more

Is the Dominican Republic safe to visit right now?

Travel / Travel News /

In 2019, British outlet Daily Express published a piece about the Dominican Republic, with a headline that reads "Crimewave Grips Holiday Hotspot." The article details an advisory from the U.K. Foreign Office, focusing on a spate of violent car robberies near the Las Americas airport in Santa Domingo. But if you read the report that ...Read more

Around the World: How to Feast in Hong Kong

Travel / Around the World /

HONG KONG – For savvy travelers, Hong Kong is gourmet heaven, a place where you’ll never have to hanker long for a top quality repast. Restaurants abound, and they serve an awesome variety of Chinese regional cuisines and a smorgasbord of other traditional and innovative cooking styles.

Even for tourists with strict ...Read more

What's new in Ireland for 2020

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Ireland is more than an "Emerald Isle." It's an isle filled with cultural and historic wonders...and lately with lots of tourists, too. And at many of its top sights, reservations are now either required or highly recommended.

In Dublin, it's more important than ever to buy advance tickets for the most popular sights. These include Kilmainham ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Luka Jones

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Best known for his work on the Hulu series "Shrill," Luka Jones is an avid traveler whose preferred mode of transportation is the train. But the actor says he hasn't been blessed with the ability to pick up other languages. "I wish I did," says Jones, 44, who resides in Los Angeles. "Spanish would be my first choice. When I was younger, I spent ...Read more

Is there an exception if she missed her luggage claim deadline?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

After Delta Air Lines damages Mardella Carlson's bag, she files a claim. But the airline rejects it on a technicality: She missed her luggage claim deadline. Can Delta make an exception?

Q: I recently flew from Iowa City, Iowa, to Providence, Rhode Island, on Delta Air Lines. While we were on a stopover in Detroit, the luggage handlers ...Read more

Taking the Kids: When rain upends your plans on a cruise ship

Travel / Taking The Kids /

The Chuangs planned on exploring Puerta Vallarta with their 6-year-old twins, strolling the famous Malecon along the ocean, seeing baby sea turtles released, enjoying a local meal while their ship, Holland America's MS Oosterdam was...Read more

What's new in Great Britain for 2020

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Britain, while engulfed in Brexit politics, is constantly investing in first-class projects to share its heritage -- and, in so many ways, Britain's heritage is linked to our heritage. While many travelers are understandably curious about how Brexit is affecting tourists, from my experience it isn't. The only impact I've found is that the ...Read more

In wake of Kincade fire, Sonoma wine country lifestyle is very much intact

Travel / Travel News /

The late fall day is cool and foggy with light rain falling, weather seemingly more suited for San Francisco than the usually sunny Healdsburg, in good traffic maybe an hour's drive north of the Bay Area.

On a guided tour of Jordan Vineyard and Winery, in the Alexander Valley of California's Sonoma County, a cloak of ghostly mist shrouding a ...Read more

My train turned into a bus -- can this Thello problem be fixed?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: We reserved a two-person compartment on the Thello night train from Paris to Venice last summer. A mudslide on the tracks led to the cancellation of our train. Thello substituted bus service from Paris to Milan, and then Trenitalia train service from Milan to Venice. Thello was disorganized and didn't always communicate with us.

We paid for ...Read more

Around the World: Keeping Fit at 30,000 Feet!

Travel / Around the World /

Before all New Year’s resolve fades away, make a pact with yourself to be a healthier traveler during 2020. Adopt an inflight routine that will minimize the discomfort and adverse physical effects of flying.

Whether you take to the skies to get to a much anticipated vacation destination or flight is a required and routine ...Read more

How to see Yosemite's 'firefall.' Waterfall glows for a limited time in February

Travel / Travel News /

A thin ephemeral waterfall in Yosemite National Park that's barely noticed by many visitors to the popular Yosemite Valley becomes the California park's star attraction each February.

Horsetail Fall over the eastern edge of El Capitan can glow golden or orange at sunset from mid- to late-February when its water is flowing and skies are clear.

...Read more

The Ben hotel plans on being the latest hip hotspot in West Palm Beach

Travel / Travel News /

Pretty soon West Palm Beachers might ask you, "Have you been to the Ben?"

That's because a cool new Florida hotel -- the Ben West Palm -- is coming to the hot downtown area with an opening slated for Feb. 13.

The boutique hotel sits on Flagler Banyan Square, where City Hall used to be. The location gives the Ben bragging rights as downtown ...Read more

The best two-week itinerary for Sri Lanka

Travel / Travel News /

Once a well-kept secret, Sri Lanka has gained popularity for its beautiful beaches, incredible hillsides with tea plantations, and elaborate Buddhist temples. Although the country is small, it packs a punch with lots to see and do - so much in fact that we recommend at least two weeks to experience the culture, cuisine, landscape, and history on...Read more

What's new in Rome and Naples for 2020

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Rome is nicknamed "The Eternal City" and nowadays it could also be referring to the lines you'll wait in. The city (along with Naples) is better organized than ever for the huge crowds that descend on it each year -- but only for those who equip themselves with good information and use it. These tips may be wonky, but for smart travelers in 2020...Read more

Contemplating the growth of spiritual tourism at a peaceful, if sometimes odd, Santa Fe resort

Travel / Travel News /

Before flying to my Santa Fe, N.M., resort, I received a list of at least 20 activities available during my stay. Yoga Nidra. Zen Qi Flow. Sound Healing Journey. Meditation in Motion. Temazcal Sweat Lodge. Petroglyph Art Hike. Awakening the Elements Within. Chicken Chats.

I circled the boxes for hiking, chi gong, visual arts -- and put a ...Read more

Who should pay for this error?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I recently tried to book a hotel in Amsterdam, but ended up with two rooms because of a error.

When I was booking the first room, I got an error message that the room wasn't available and the booking didn't go through. Although offered another room type, the alternative didn't accommodate all of us.

I checked my ...Read more