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Travel News: Snow and Taxes Edition

Rome raises revenue for monuments—plus: cheap tropical escapes

We may not have another Snowmaggedon (yet), but the winter weather conditions currently afflicting the Midwest and Southeast are no joke. Suffering the most is likely Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, where a large number of flights have been canceled due to snow on the runway. If you’re flying anywhere this weekend, it’s a good idea to check your flight status online before leaving for the airport.

Officials in Rome decided this week to implement a new tourist tax on hotels to raise funds for the city’s crumbling monuments. Four- and five-star hotel guests will see an additional three euros (about the cost of a small gelato) added to their nightly tab, with other hotels adding two euros per night. Considering DC’s own budget deficit, it’ll be an interesting development to keep an eye on.

Our absolute favorite travel blogger, Arthur Frommer, wrote about his travel predictions for 2011. Among them: He believes people will eschew hotels in favor of apartment rentals; that Central America will be a trendy destination; and that airfares will go up (that one is kind of a no-brainer). Ours? Sarah and Bristol Palin will start their own cruise, lots of people will come to Washington for cherry-blossom season, and airfares will go up. Okay, so they’re not exactly scientific predictions, but we have faith in them nevertheless.

Two deals worth checking out this week, courtesy of Travelzoo: Multiple airlines, including AirTran, JetBlue, Virgin America, and Delta, are offering cut-price fares for travel from the East Coast. Sample fares include Washington to Dallas for $89 each way and Boston to San Francisco for $102. Click here for more offers. has an amazing deal on a four-night trip to the island of Curaçao, just off the coast of Venezuela. For $429, you get flights and accommodation at one of two four-star resorts: the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort (described as “the most glamorous and prominent hotel on the island” by Frommer’s), or the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, featuring a casino, spa, and infinity pool. Travel is valid from January 12 through April 1 and must be booked before December 21.

Finally, just to completely gross you out in time for holiday flights home, has a list of the six places most likely to harbor germs on an airplane. We may never ask for ice again.

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