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 …