Social Media

Does traveling change your view of the Olympic Games? Yes, I say – and so does social media.
2012 Olympics Rise of Industry

  By the time that the tape-delayed Olympics opening ceremonies hit the the West Coast, it seemed like all the joy would be gone. All day long, I had tried to avoid spoilers, coming from friends around the world. Yet Facebook teased me with snippets that sounded bizarre in status form: Daniel Craig and J.K. […]


Put the Phone Down

by Chris on April 28, 2012

Sometimes you have to put the iPhone away: A few thoughts on my technology addiction.

  With Jazzfest on the immediate horizon, the Thursday night Kermit Ruffins show at Vaughan’s, a shack-style bar in New Orleans’ arty Bywater neighborhood, drew a larger-than-usual crowd. Don and I staked out a place toward the front, near the New Orleans police barricades that keep the enthusiastic fans from crushing Ruffins, a peace-and-dope-loving, trumpet-playing […]


Road-tested: Renting an XCom Global MiFi device, which turns you into your own mobile hotspot.
MiFi personal hotspot mobile device

Keeping up with my constant stream of email and social media while traveling internationally has been the bane of my semi-nomadic lifestyle. As a freelance writer with constant deadlines, I need to be able to answer questions from editors quickly, no matter what the time zone.  I have yet to master the art of the […]


It’s time for Passports with Purpose 2011, the annual travel blogger giveaway. This year, I’m giving away a two-night stay at the Four Seasons Seattle.

It seems that I’ve spent much of my time in Seattle serving as a de facto ambassador for the city to people back East. Yes, it rains – a lot, especially in November. And gray cool days can take place almost any day of the year. But when the sun is out…. ah then, Seattle […]

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Going Pro, at BlogWorld Expo 2011

by Chris on November 2, 2011

All about my upcoming session at BlogWorld Expo in LA. Will I see you there?

I’m attending BlogWorld Expo for the first time this year. I’m a little nervous about it, honestly, and to make matters worse, I’m speaking. At a session called “Going Pro.” Yeah, no pressure or anything. The reality is that I’m not a professional blogger, not really, in the sense that I make the majority of […]


In which I try – and fail – to digital detox for a week.
Alaska, digital detox for a week

 My biggest challenge on my InnerSea Discoveries expedition cruise in Alaska wasn’t the extensive kayaking or glacier hiking or even fishing (which I did for the first time in Wrangell). No, I knew I’d have the most trouble with unplugging, in what was about to become a weeklong digital detox.  The InnerSea Discoveries website makes […]


Tips for finding travel deals on Groupon and other coupon sites.

This post previously appeared on The LivingSocial Escapes ( deal that appeared in my e-mail inbox sounded appealing: A two-night stay for two people at Crystal Lodge in Whistler Village, Vancouver, for $299. The coupon included a three-course dinner and two gondola lift tickets. Then I read the fine print. Turns out that the package went up […]


Tips for getting the most out of travel forums and travel message boards

This post previously appeared on Back in 2007, I planned my three-week honeymoon to Southeast Asia relying solely on information I found on online travel forums. The detailed tips I received from mostly anonymous members proved to be invaluable: Advice on the best rooms at the Bangkok Shangri-La, an outline of customs procedures at the […]

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How to use Twitter for travel planning and deals: Tips for beginners

This post previously appeared on Talk about bargain shopping: Scanning her Twitter stream last fall, Vancouverite Diane Button discovered an promo code tweeted by @YVRdeals that offered $300 off flight and hotel packages to several cities in the United States, including Las Vegas. “I was not planning a trip to Vegas, but the deal was […]


Do you have a Foursquare account? Some tips for using social media geolocating service when you travel
Using Foursquare

This post previously appeared on When foursquare ( — a GPS-based mobile app that pinpoints and shares your location — first hit the social media scene, Marla Cimini wasn’t a fan. “I didn’t want people to know where I was,” said the Philadelphia-area travel writer. Her feelings changed during a recent stay at the Eventi Hotel […]