How Travel Gives New Meaning to My Life

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson, travel writer If I think about the most life-affirming, mind-broadening experiences I’ve had, so many of them involve traveling. High on that list is the transformative experience of accompanying my sister, Diane, to St. James, Jamaica, …

It’s Back — the Pack, That Is, as a Trend This Fall

Backpacks seem to grow on students, but I didn’t buy my first one until I was 28. I made up for the delay by splurging on the then-überhip black nylon version from Prada, which became a cult accessory of sorts  and put the company on the global fashion map. Now the backpack as fashion accessory is back in a big way. And why shouldn’t it be? As fashion and beauty editor Jacqui Stafford put it, “They are ideal to carry everything you need, but conveniently …

Tips for Smooth Trips

Just like anything else, traveling takes practice, patience and hard work. What do I do to make my trips as stress-free as possible? Here are a few of my battle-tested tips for a smooth journey. Have a plan Your plan is your best friend. Involve everyone participating during the planning stage so all will feel invested in the vacation. Try creating a planning folder (digital or real) and put everything in it. At AARP’s The Travel Experience (travel.aarp.org),  you can …

Luxury Travel: To Spree or Not to Spree

Sometimes we want to indulge on a special vacation. We read “Zen-like ambience.” How peaceful. “Oasis.” Ah, yes. “Holistic therapy for body, mind and spirit.” How rejuvenating. But how do those eat-your-heart-out amenities really stack up? Couples massage? A butler-drawn bubble bath strewed with rose petals? An elegant seaside dinner served at a table right in the sand? Some luxuries are sure to please, and others … not so much. As a travel-show host I’ve been treated to just about every form of …

How to Survive Economy Class

Flying economy class? I’m sure you’re anticipating the worst – and no, you’re not just getting grumpier as you get older! The seats are smaller than they used to be. Forget about pillows and blankets. Food? Maybe a little bag of peanuts with a tenacious seal. (How’d my seatmate get that thing open? Should I ask him to open mine?) Still, if you plan ahead, it’s not too much hassle to bring along some of the creature comforts we used …