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Thursday Flakes: Tourist Tax, Hidden Fees and Short-Term Rental Markets

Lots of good stuff to talk about in this week’s Travel Flakes.

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Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty Images

I hosted my first trivia night on Tuesday and the crowd response was pretty good. Since Saturday is Independence Day in Mexico, all my questions were related to Mexico. As a result, it was a bit of a struggle for non-Mexicans in attendance but the Mexicans participating found it challenging, which is what I was going for this trivia. Next week the trivia will be easier and am looking forward to this becoming a regular thing for me in Guadalajara. Now it’s time to go out, enjoy the rest of the week and celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day.

Do you enjoy going to trivia nights? Will you do any fall foliage peeping in September or October? Do you prefer staying in hotels or AirBnbs? Would you pay a tourist tax to explore a city for a day? What is your favorite dessert pie? Do you believe in aliens? Feel free to answer one or all of these questions in the comments below.

Anyways onto Flakes...


Five Steps to Salvage Nebraska’s Football Season | Football | Corn Nation

At this point, I’m not even really looking for wins. I would be happier to just see improvements in play, development of players and the coaches showing the ability to make the tough decisions when they’re needed — even if that means admitting they were wrong. So, here are five things that Matt Rhule and this Husker staff should do if they want to make this a positive season they can build on.

White Discusses Defensive Improvements Ahead of Northern Illinois | Football |

“I think the key with anything on defense is to make sure that it is set in the simplest version so that the young men can absorb it and then they can execute it on the grass,” he said. “That’s the word that’s been used this week. You have to focus more on the execution part and make sure that they truly understand why.”

Takeaways Are Next Step For ‘Totally Different’ Nebraska Defense After Quick Start | Football | Omaha World-Herald

“It can always get better — we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” White said. “But it is a good feeling when the guys do it and then they gain validation that, ‘Hey, I can do this routinely.’ That’s kind of cool.”

Jordy Bahl, Nebraska Softball Kick Off Fall Camp: ‘How Good Can This Team Be? | Softball | Lincoln Journal Star

“It has to start every day with really a sense of urgency, and beginning with the end in mind,” Revelle said. “How good can this team be? I don’t know, and I think both Jordy and Brooke said we’re gonna work to get better every day. We can feel that we have talent. We can feel that we have depth, and now it’s our job as coaches and as players to just be committed to really doing the work that’s required to be as good as we can be.”

Nebraska Hosts Wisconsin to Open Big Ten Play | Soccer |

The Nebraska soccer team (6-1-1) opens Big Ten play this weekend when it hosts Wisconsin (5-1-2) on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:05 p.m. (CT). The game will feature Pups at the Pitch, and fans can purchase tickets to the game by calling 1-800-8 BIG RED or by visiting The game against the Badgers will be streamed on Big Ten Plus (subscription required) and broadcast on KRNU.

Vavrova Honored as Big Ten Golfer of the Week | Women’s Golf |

One day after completing a collegiate career-best 205 (-11) at the Sam Golden Invitational, Nebraska’s Michaela Vavrova was honored as the Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Week when the conference announced its weekly award winner on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Vavrova, a senior from Bojnice, Slovakia, smashed her previous career-best tournament total by 11 strokes with her performance on the par-72, 6,413-yard layout at the Oakmont Country Club in Corinth, Texas (Sept. 11-12).


Venice to Trial Tourist Tax for Day-Trippers in 2024 | Travel | Travel Pulse

In an ongoing effort to combat overcrowding during the city’s peak visitor days, officials will charge a €5 or $5.35 tax to day-trippers visiting Venice’s Old City starting in the spring of 2024. Overnight travelers with hotel stays, commuters and those with properties in Venice will be exempt.

How Short-Term Rental Markets Fared During Summer Season | Travel | Travel Pulse

According to short-term rental data specialist Key Data, RevPAR in the U.S. fell 14.1 percent to $115, a 16.8 percent drop when adjusted for inflation. Average daily rate (ADR) dropped 8.1 percent year-over-year, dropping from $328 to $302 (a real-terms fall of 11 percent.)

The Airlines Charging the Most Hidden Fees | Travel | Travel Pulse

With a flight cost of just $21.89 and total hidden costs of $161.13, Spirit’s hidden fees make its base fare more expensive by a whopping 736 percent. Trailing Spirit are Mexican low-cost airline Volaris (626.2 percent), Gulf carrier Etihad Airways (400.8 percent), ultra-low-cost Frontier Airlines (375.88 percent) and Irish budget carrier Ryanair (344.1 percent).

How to Find Cheap Flights | Travel | Lonely Planet

If you can, start your hunt for the best airfare well before the date you want to fly. That will help you recognize and respond when fares dip or begin to rise. For international trips, that means starting to monitor fares up to 6 to 7 months in advance and purchasing 3 to 5 months in advance, says Haley Berg, Lead Economist at booking site Hopper. For most US domestic trips, start searching fares 3 to 4 months before you plan to take a trip, says Berg, and purchase 1 to 2 months before takeoff.

Best Places to See Fall Colors in the United States | Travel | Lonely Planet

You can drive beneath the amber canopies of New England, watch fiery maples take over the vistas of the northern Midwest, or marvel at the golden aspens as they contrast against the rocky peaks of the west.

Could Ultra-Cheap Flights in Europe Be a Thing of the Past? | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

France’s transport minister, Clément Beaune, said in late August that he plans to propose a ban on ultra-cheap flights across Europe in an attempt to lessen the impact of commercial aviation on the environment. “Plane tickets at 10 euros, at a time of ecological transition, this is no longer possible,” Beaune said, according to French newspaper Le Figaro. “This does not reflect the price for the planet.”

Can a Mark of Authenticity Help to Protect Indigenous Cultures in Tourism? | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

The Sámi, the Indigenous people of northern Europe, have a complicated relationship with tourism. Growing numbers of visitors to their homeland, Sápmi (which stretches across Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, and includes popular destinations like Lapland) bring economic potential, but often the Sámi themselves only feel tourism’s negative impact.

United Is Opening Its Largest Lounge in the World at This U.S. Airport | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

Travelers with access to United’s airport lounges will have a whole new experience the next time they go through Denver International Airport (DEN). The airline is expanding its lounge space at the Mile High City lounge hub by more than 100,000 square feet — the size of two football fields — among other infrastructure improvements set to be complete by 2025.

José Andrés: The Man Who Created An Army of Culinary First Responders | Travel | BBC

Before chef José Andrés became famous for World Central Kitchen, he had already scaled the heights of his profession. His new cookbook celebrates the group’s humanitarian impact.

Sebastian Kneipp: The Wellness Guru That Few Know | Travel | BBC

Most people outside of Germany will not have heard of Sebastian Kneipp. But this 19th-Century priest-turned-wellness-guru is the godfather of some of today’s hottest wellness trends.

How Can England Reclaim Its Moors? | Travel | BBC

Although wild camping has long been legal in Scotland, 92% of England’s countryside remains off-limits. Now Dartmoor National Park is at the center of a battle to reclaim the outdoors.

Last But Not Least