Barcelona’s architecture, history, sports

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on March 05, 2020

Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s renowned architect, once observed, “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature.” Straight lines are few in Gaudí’s hometown of Barcelona, a Mediterranean city of 5 million in northeast Spain, sprawled between the mountains and the sea. A winding, narrow street connects with yet another winding street, which spills onto a bustling plaza... READ MORE

Spring break: Dates to mark and avoid

By Ed Perkins
Posted on March 03, 2020

Spring break, generally before and after Easter Sunday, is observed by a large majority of U.S. schools and colleges. Families with young children head for theme parks and other such attractions, while teens and college-age kids head off in bunches to a beach destination or cruise. If you have one or more student-age kids in your family, you’re probably already aware of the dates for... READ MORE

Ways to neutralize your carbon footprint

By Miriam Cross
Posted on February 24, 2020

On the list of activities that boost our “carbon footprint” — that is, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our actions, from using air-conditioning to eating meat — air travel is near the top. Short of refusing to fly — as Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist, did when she traveled from England to New York in a carbon-neutral sailboat — you can pay a third party... READ MORE

Defending yourself against travel scams

By Rick Steves
Posted on February 14, 2020

Europe is a surprisingly creative place when it comes to travel scams. Many of the most successful gambits require a naively trusting tourist, but seasoned travelers can be taken in, too. We should all be wary of the numerous subtle scams — a cabbie pads your fare, a hotel business center computer records your password, or a waiter offers a special with a “special” increased... READ MORE

New York City’s bohemian Hotel Chelsea

By Katherine Roth
Posted on February 12, 2020

When Colin Miller and Ray Mock set out to document the remaining inhabitants of Hotel Chelsea, the bohemian haven where Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, William S. Burroughs and others once lived and worked, they imagined it as a sort of requiem. After all, much of the 12-story Gilded Age building, once New York City’s tallest, has been gutted and is being converted into... READ MORE

WWII history via biking in the Netherlands

By Don Mankin
Posted on February 10, 2020

Bucolic. Picturesque. Charming. Clichés, perhaps, but in my 50 years of world travel, I’ve visited few places where those words are more appropriate. The Netherlands is one. Last summer, I pedaled for several days through the beautiful countryside in southeastern Netherlands, near the border with Germany. It’s hard to believe that such a peaceful place was the site of some of the... READ MORE

What to expect in this year’s travel sphere

By Ed Perkins
Posted on February 07, 2020

In terms of what’s ahead for travelers in 2020, I see very little change. But 2019 was not a bad year for travelers, so we’ll be lucky if 2020 isn’t any worse. Here are my fearless predictions: 1. The 737 saga ends. All indications are that the beleaguered 737MAX will be back in the air by sometime this summer. And airlines will get them into service quickly: Boeing has around... READ MORE

If you need a Real ID, visit your DMV soon

By Rivan V. Stinson
Posted on February 06, 2020

If you’ve been to the airport recently, you may have noticed signs asking, “Does your ID have a star?” If it doesn’t, you may want to schedule a visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Beginning in October 2020, many travelers will need what’s known as a Real ID-compliant license to fly domestically. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress passed... READ MORE

Preserving local black history

By Glenda C Booth
Posted on February 05, 2020

The little half-acre cemetery with 75 graves, in the shadow of a five-story office building with shiny turquoise windows, is barely visible to drivers whizzing by on Fairfax County’s six-lane Beulah Street. Cement tombstones with hand-lettered inscriptions have been worn down by time. On one, the name “Moses Harris” is barely legible. Another, bearing a cross, notes the passing of... READ MORE

Insuring your trip and your health, too

By Rachel L. Sheedy
Posted on January 21, 2020

Packing your bags for a trip? Don’t forget travel insurance. It can protect you if unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel or interrupt a trip — or if you get sick while on the road. Retiree John Murtagh said health coverage was a key reason he purchased travel insurance last year. He knew Medicare wouldn’t provide coverage outside the U.S. So, before embarking on a two-week... READ MORE