With My Dog as My Co-Pilot

When I decided to quit my job and make my first cross-country trip, I could picture it perfectly: a mix of taking in beautiful mountain and water scenery, visiting monuments and museums, consuming unhealthy and fresh food alike, hiking through our national parks and walking through new cities. Transportation would be in my four-door sedan and accommodations in rented homes and motels. And right there, riding shotgun beside me, would be Reuban, my chocolate lab. This was so easy for …

America’s Best Idea — for Free

Guest blog post from Lynn Addison “National parks are the best idea we ever had,” said Wallace Stegner, American historian, novelist and environmentalist. It’s time to tap in: National Public Lands Day is on Sept. 27. That means free admission to any national park in the U.S. Have you been looking forward to a fall drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia or craving a sunset in the Everglades? This could be the day for it. Here are some Instagram shots taken by park lovers …

Fights on Flights

Blanche DuBois may have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but it’s not an option on most airplanes these days. Manners at 30,000 feet are deteriorating, and strangers are starting mid-flight dustups over each others’ seats. You say you paid for a seat that reclines so why can’t you use what you paid for? Well, because it’s not that simple anymore. First of all, it’s not your imagination: The airlines have shrunk the seat you’re sitting in as well …

Tips for International Travel

Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I’m planning a trip abroad. Phoning home. How I am going to communicate? I mainly use Skype. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make international calls. There are similar applications for phones, including Viber and WhatsApp, that allow you to text, call and send photos and …

Road Trips the Right Way

I love road trips. I’ve been crazy about them ever since the days when my parents loaded my two sisters and me into the Pontiac station wagon and went off to visit relatives or take a family vacation. On Sundays we would go for long family drives, and I always secretly wished my dad would aim the car toward the unknown and we’d be off on an unexpected adventure. Flying will never hold the anticipation and joy the highway does …

Cruise Tips: Keys to Smooth Sailing

I have 10 cruises under my belt – enough so that I’ve developed a protocol that helps me start enjoying myself as soon as I’m on board. Here’s what I do. I always bring a carry-on. That huge bag I packed might not be delivered to my room for hours (and I know it’ll have to be ready to go again the night before the cruise ends). In a carry-on, I’ll have the things I want to use immediately: swimsuit, …