Home & Leisure

Still struggling to get your airfare refunded? Here are steps you should take

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Garth Follett of Novato, California, planned to travel to the Philippines in March. When he bought his ticket in January, the novel coronavirus was lurking but not yet menacing every country in the world.

What happened to Follett - and, more specifically, Follett's money - has happened to thousands of others as airlines struggle to stay afloat ...Read more

Marjie Lambert/Miami Herald/TNS

Florida-to-Bahamas cruise line now aims for November return to sailing

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which sails out of the Port of Palm Beach on two-night cruises to the Bahamas, has announced its intentions to begin operations on one of its two ships beginning Nov. 4.

The line has been among the first to attempt to begin sailing again several times since the cruise industry shut down in March ...Read more

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Family travel five: Beauty blooms in these gardens

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Awash in color, scent and texture, gardens are a welcome gift from the natural world. Here are five places where beauty is blooming:


1. Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Families are encouraged to explore the more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows and fountains as well as a 4.5-acre conservatory that comprise ...Read more

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National Rum Day: Sebastian couple travels the world for the love of rum

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ORLANDO, Fla. - How did a pair of hockey fans from Maryland come to own one of the largest private collections of rum in Florida? It started with a single, cheap bottle. "It's called Sunset Very Strong Rum," said Joe Horstkamp, "but the locals just call it 'strong rum.'"

Horstkamp and his wife, Myssi Davis, were on their honeymoon to the ...Read more

Family travel five: Books that will inspire future trips

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A good book can transport us to magical places during a time when far-flung exploration may not be possible.

Here are five ideas from the literary world that may inspire your own adventures.


1. A.A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh," Winnipeg, Manitoba

A century ago, a Canadian soldier launched a literary legacy when he adopted a black bear cub ...Read more

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Younger generations invest in trip insurance

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Younger generations are buying trip insurance in greater numbers these days.

Prior to the pandemic, 11 percent of travelers age 21 and under were insuring their travels, but now, that is up to about 25 percent, according to research from Squaremouth.

This goes for millennials and Gen-X, too. Before the coronavirus outbreak, most insured trips ...Read more

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Months later, angry consumers still waiting for refunds from canceled cruises

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down cruising, customers are still complaining that they still haven't received refunds for prepaid fares and fees.

The first time Ken Knox called MSC Cruises' Fort Lauderdale headquarters to ask when his family would get refunds for the cruise that was canceled on April 29, he ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

I first flew in the 1950s. Was it riskier then or now?

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There has always been a degree of danger involved in flying, no more so than when I was a tyke flying with my parents (Mother hated flying, Father loved going places). In 1955 when I first flew ("In diapers!" Mother would later lament, her flight that much more pleasant), there was a far greater chance you could die or be maimed in a plane crash...Read more


Hard choices in the tourism-reliant Caribbean

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It's been a tough time for Caribbean destinations that reopened their borders to international visitors, as government and tourism officials have struggled to contend with the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19.

Late last week the U.S. Virgin Islands reversed an earlier reopening of its borders to leisure travelers as the territory ...Read more

Alcatraz Island reopens Monday

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Alcatraz Island reopens Monday, ending about five months of pandemic-caused closure for one of the most popular National Park Service sites in California.

In a statement Thursday, an NPS spokesman said Alcatraz cruises -- the main source of visitor access to the island -- will resume with reduced capacity to allow social distancing. The boats ...Read more

It's time to rethink theme parks. Creative ways to reopen while social distancing

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LOS ANGELES -- Knott's Berry Farm recently felt more like a national park than a theme park. Reopening for a Knott's-designed food event dubbed Taste of Calico, the Southern California park's famed ghost town was clear for roaming on an early Friday afternoon. And though there was an air of trepidation among the guests seeking boysenberry-fueled...Read more

Despite the pandemic, the show goes on in Medora, N.D.

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On some nights in the North Dakota Badlands, there are forces more threatening than the coronavirus.

Fifteen minutes before the cast of the "Medora Musical" was expected to launch into its opening number on a July night, an executive who had clearly drawn the short straw shuffled onto the outdoor stage to announce that impending lightning was ...Read more

Hawaii considers 'resort bubbles' for visitor quarantines

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Three Hawaiian Islands are considering creating "resort bubbles" so that visitors can quarantine with a vacationlike experience at hotel properties.

Officials on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island are thinking about allowing tourists to stay at properties on the islands with the ability to at least go outside for fresh air. The idea would be to geo...Read more

Motels are having a moment. It's a coronavirus thing

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After many years of being looked down on, motels are getting new respect in the era of social distancing.

Guests at open-corridor inns may come and go without passing through crowded lobbies, packed elevators or enclosed hallways where viruses may linger.

"In outdoor corridors, people feel safe," said Mike Riverside of the Asian American Hotel...Read more

Universal Studios cancels 2020 Halloween Horror Nights amid COVID-19 fears

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LOS ANGELES -- COVID-19 has scared away Halloween Horror Nights.

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort announced Friday that the popular fall fright fest has been canceled this year amid the ongoing public health crisis. The California theme park has been closed to the public since March, while the Florida location reopened ...Read more

Louisville tourism adds initiatives to improve racial imbalances

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The Louisville Tourism marketing agency has announced several new initiatives to assess and improve racial and minority imbalances.

The new and improved initiatives will build on Louisville Tourism's existing strategy of curating the city's cultural assets and add innovative programming that utilizes local attraction partners highlighting ...Read more

This small business bet on locals with cabin fever to survive COVID-19. It's working

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MIAMI -- When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, vacation van rental company Ondevan saw its clientele evaporate overnight.

Used to fielding bookings from mostly international customers, Ondevan owners Omar Bendezu, 34, and Haley Kirk, 28, of Hallendale Beach had to pivot to focus on South Floridians in mid-March, hoping they might want a #VanLife ...Read more

The rich are flying again — in the comfort of their private jets

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The pandemic has sent demand for commercial airline flights into a tailspin, but business is soaring for the private jet companies that fly corporate bigwigs and deep-pocketed travelers looking to wing away to an exclusive getaway.

The trend demonstrates once again that the outbreak of COVID-19 is having vastly different effects on Americans ...Read more

The rich are flying again — from the comfort of their private jets

Travel / Travel News /

The pandemic has sent demand for commercial airline flights into a tailspin, but business is soaring for the private jet companies that fly corporate bigwigs and deep-pocketed travelers looking to wing away to an exclusive getaway.

The trend demonstrates once again that the outbreak of COVID-19 is having vastly different effects on Americans ...Read more

National parks: Aggressive bees close Joshua Tree campground

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Rangers at California's Joshua Tree National Park have shut down the popular Jumbo Rocks Campground "due to aggressive honey bee activity."

"There were a couple of vehicles with a lot of bees in them. And campsites. Visitors were very uncomfortable," said Joshua Tree Superintendent David Smith. He said no stings were reported, the bees are "...Read more