Zig when others zag

When planning a trip for this summer, it's helpful to know where demand remains high. "Destination resort areas are up 40% over 2019," says Jamie Lane, vice president of research at AirDNA, a vacation rental data platform. That goes for Mexico and rural U.S. destinations, especially those close to national parks. Lane suggests targeting destinations that rely heavily on foreign visitors and have been slower to recover tourists. "Places like Croatia, Italy and Greece ... are down anywhere from 40 to 60% in demand." Flight bookings to Europe dropped after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to data from Hopper, and could remain sluggish through the summer. "A last-minute booking in Croatia? You're going to find a great deal," Lane says.

Nerd Wallet

Refunds unmasked

A federal judge struck down the federal mask requirement for planes and public transit on April 18. But can you get refunded if you're not comfortable flying amid unmasked people? It depends. If you are flying Delta, you can plead your case. "We hear situations out on a case-by-case basis and make a determination," a spokesperson for Delta said. Otherwise, your best bet may be getting a credit or rebooking the flight for some distant date; most airlines no longer charge change fees on all but basic economy flights. Southwest offers a voucher or a refund, depending on the type of ticket.

New York Times

Surfin' safari

Surfers are hoping one of the next spots where they can catch a wave is in the desert. At least four large surf lagoons are proposed for the region around Palm Springs. But some environmentalists and residents say that isn't water-wise in one of the driest spots in California during one of its driest periods in recent memory. They contend water in the massive surf pools will evaporate quickly in the desert heat, while proponents argue the waves will boost tourism, ramp up recreation and use less water than golf courses. "Is that their best use of the limited water resources in these climate-driven drought times, is golf courses and surf spots?" said Conner Everts of the Southern California Watershed Alliance. "It's like a fantasy. It's like Dubai."

Associated Press

Oahu limits rentals

Honolulu's City Council recently passed new legislation that extends the minimum duration for guest stays in short-term rentals on Oahu to three months, from the current period of 30 days. With few exceptions, the new rules will also restrict the operation of short-term rentals to the island's resort-zoned areas in Koolina, Kuilima, Makaha and parts of Waikiki. The only exceptions might be for apartments close to resort areas, or for B&Bs where a host resides on the property long-term. Locals remain divided over the value of allowing short-term rentals, according to the Associated Press.