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Around the World: Virtual Tours of Monumental Historic Buildings

Travel / Around the World /

Even if the corona virus has turned you into a temporary couch potato, there’s no need to completely forego travel. You have some entertaining options. It quite easy to take a virtual tour of a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting – perhaps in preparation for a real visit when the pandemic has passed.

Thanks to ease of access via the ...Read more

Rick Steves column on hold

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the Rick Steves travel column will be on hold until travel outside the U.S. is deemed safe again. The State Department has advised against international travel because of the risk of coronavirus infection and we want to ensure that readers stay safe and follow government warnings. Thank you for ...Read more

After the coronavirus outbreak, Laureen McCluen is trying to get a refund on her Airbnb rental. But the host refuses. Is she out of luck?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

I feel these are extenuating circumstances that warrant a refund. But the host refuses to return our money, and I can't seem to contact Airbnb. I have sent them questions on their website but there's been no reply. I prepaid $8,457 for the rental, so this would be a huge hit for me. Can you help? -- Laureen McCluen, Santa Maria, California

A: I...Read more

Aroung the World: Virtual Travel for Temporary Shut-ins

Travel / Around the World /

With COVID-19 on the move, this is a good time to stay at home and venture into virtual travel.  Travel shows are ample, but the best virtual adventures are via movies that feature wonderful destinations not only as background, but almost as featured characters in the stories.  With genres varied to suit all preferences, here are four of...Read more

Escape to Catalina? No, it's closed up tight

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- If you think Catalina Island -- 22 miles from the mainland, barely 4,000 residents -- might be a good place to ride out the pandemic, think again.

"Catalina Island is closed to visitors," the Catalina Chamber of Commerce website said Friday. "Essential services are open. Hiking trails temporarily closed due to rain."

The island'...Read more

Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- If you were wondering how long the coronavirus outbreak will keep the Disneyland and the Walt Disney World resorts closed, you'll have to keep wondering.

After closing in mid-March with the promise to reopen by the end of the month, Disney announced Friday that both parks would remained closed until further notice.

The Walt ...Read more

Delight in Washington, D.C.'s annual Cherry Blossom Festival from home

Travel / Travel News /

With Washington, D.C.'s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival canceled this year amid escalating COVID-19 "shelter in place" orders around the country, it would be a shame to miss out on the glorious sight of the National Mall bursting into delicate, pastel pink efflorescence just because it's your civic duty to remain at home.

This is why ...Read more

Universal Studios Hollywood extends coronavirus closure until April 19

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- Universal Studios Hollywood and the Universal Orlando Resort will remain closed because of the coronavirus outbreak until April 19, three weeks longer than previously planned.

The parks closed March 14 with the intention to stay closed through the end of March. That announcement came only a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ...Read more

Europe's timeless traditions

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Editor's note: Beginning Sunday, April 5, 2020, the Rick Steves travel column will be on hold until travel outside the U.S. is deemed safe again. The State Department has advised against international travel because of the risk of coronavirus infection and we want to ensure that readers stay safe and follow government warnings....Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Jack Osbourne (yes, Ozzy's son) and Katrina Weidman star in the Travel Channel reality series, "Portals to Hell." As paranormal investigators, the pair search for haunted locations in search of evidence that a spirit world actually exists. Yes, it's entertainment for viewers. But Osbourne and Weidman say the series has helped them answer ...Read more

Travel Troubleshooter: What happened to the Iberostar waterpark?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I booked four rooms for my extended family on a vacation to Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Having been to the adults-only side of the resort before, we chose the suites for its family-friendly reputation -- specifically, because they had a kids waterpark and kids club, which we thought would be the perfect speed...Read more

Many national parks remain open during outbreak

Travel / Travel News /

Many American national parks are remaining open amid the coronavirus outbreak to serve as a refuge for those who feel stuck at home. Though there are many restrictions, national parks can still be enjoyed by those who want to get some fresh air and exercise.

While the buildings of all national parks, including entrance booths, will be closed, ...Read more

The big Hollywood star bus tours have closed, but the smaller ones keep on rolling

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- Three major Hollywood tour companies suspended operations this week as worries mount over coronavirus transmission. But many other tour vans are still cruising the boulevard, seeking and finding customers.

"To tell you the truth, I'm doing better than any other day, because there's nothing else for anyone to do," Shellee-Ann ...Read more

Bristol, England is suddenly sassy

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

It's a familiar story in Europe: A once-important town falls on hard times, only to make a comeback many years later and thrive in modern times. Add Bristol, England, to the list. Like Belfast, Glasgow, and Liverpool, this rusty old port town is emerging with a special creative energy and is well worth visiting.

Known as the birthplace of world...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Sarah Wayne Callies

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Sarah Wayne Callies is known for her roles in the popular series "The Walking Dead" and "Prison Break." The actress returns to episodic television on March 24 with the new NBC series "Council of Dads." Born in Illinois and raised in Hawaii, Callies travels often for her career, as well as for humanitarian work for organizations ...Read more

I deserve a refund since Spirit wouldn't let me board my flight

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: My family and I purchased tickets to fly from Philadelphia to Las Vegas on Spirit Airlines. We got to the airport a little under two hours before departure. A representative told us we were required to check-in 24 hours in advance. Nowhere on my confirmation did it say that I needed to check-in 24 hours in advance.

Spirit denied us boarding ...Read more

The Ahwahnee in Yosemite and the Inn at Death Valley are a splurge. Are they worth it?

Travel / Travel News /

Californians tend to hold these truths as self-evident: Half Dome is made of granite. Yosemite Falls is made of plummeting water. And the Ahwahnee, grande dame of Yosemite National Park since 1927, is the most luxurious and beloved national park lodging we have in the state.

But is it? And is it worth $376 a night?

In the last two years, the ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Traveling through the COVID-19 crisis

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Let's all sing "Happy Birthday" -- twice, in the bathroom.

It turns out that a double rendition of "Happy Birthday," takes about 20 seconds -- the amount of time medical experts suggest we lather our hands with soap to prevent the spread of germs, particularly the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus, which has sickened tens of thousands, upended the ...Read more

In Oaxaca, Mexico, love blooms again and again

Travel / Travel News /

OAXACA, Mexico -- Sometimes we travel with a sense of urgency because over time something inside us has gone dim.

Years ago, that's what drew me to Oaxaca.

I lived alone in Oregon, a misty place where it was so rare to find anyone who looked like me I once chased down a stranger in the grocery store produce section and asked him to lunch ...Read more

Visiting Europe's great libraries

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

For me, libraries are the great equalizer. Whether you're rich or poor, powerful or not, when you walk into a library you realize how small you are compared to the wealth of human activity contained on those shelves. The grand libraries of Europe offer travelers the chance to connect with books and documents that changed the course of history --...Read more