2012 in Review: Travel Lessons Learned

by Chris on December 26, 2012

2012 in retrospect: Travel lessons learned after 132 (!!!) nights on the road.
Bear cubs in British Columbia

The week between Christmas and New Year’s always feels like one of reflection. It’s when I think about what went right and wrong during the year, and try to figure out what’s on tap for the future.While I’m not a huge resolution person – I’ve found that as soon as you write a plan, life has […]


My 2012 Travel Resolutions

by Chris on January 3, 2012

Lessons learned: My travel resolutions for 2012, based on things I didn’t do the year before.
Resolutions 2011

Rigid New Year’s resolutions have a limited place in travel, where patience, understanding and flexibility are the building blocks to a successful trip. Most of the meltdowns I observed on the road in 2011 came when people refused to accept that plans had changed or didn’t do enough research about where they were going. That […]


Looking for the perfect box of chocolates? Sweets expert Kerrin Rousset of Sweet Zurich gives her tips on what to look for when buying chocolate.
Whimsical box of decorated chocolates, Switzerland

It’s the time of the year where I start ordering gift baskets or a box of chocolates for certain far-flung relatives. Before my trip to Switzerland earlier this fall, I would have flipped through a Harry & David catalog, ordering whatever bonbons looked the tastiest. Now, though, my chocolate knowledge has been raised, thanks to […]


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 […]


Some hotel options in Quebec City’s Upper Town for a reader planning a trip to Carnaval de Quebec. Plus info on this year’s Hotel de Glace – the ice hotel.
Bonhomme, Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec

Q: I was so impressed with Quebec City, I plan to go there again next February during the Winter carnival. I have already made flight reservations but I am still looking to book a hotel inside the Old Quebec. Chateau Frontenac is one possibility but I do see some negative reviews. I would like …


Looking for advice on maintaining a long distance marriage? Ten tips from someone who has been there, done that.
long distance relationship

When I return to Seattle today after a quick trip to the East Coast, my husband and cats will be coming with me – for good. That may not sound like a big deal. But when you’ve spent the last five months in a cross-country marriage, it’s huge. Situations like ours are more common than […]


Sick on the road – How do you cope?

by Chris on October 15, 2010

Cough. Sneeze. Sniffle. Repeat. When you get a cold on the road, how does a traveler cope?

Cough. Sneeze. Sniffle. Repeat. That’s been my routine the past few days, as I struggle to tour Berlin through a nasty cold that I picked up at the SATW conference in Saxony (too many handshakes and late nights). I hate getting sick on the road, and I feel like Typhoid Mary. My husband squirts Purell […]


Weekend guests? Here’s 8 tips on entertaining out of town guests without losing your mind.
Fremont troll, Seattle

When I moved to Seattle this summer, I put out an all-points bulletin to my friends and family, encouraging them to visit before the weather turned ugly. Several took me up on the offer, so August and September have been more about entertaining house guests than hitting the road. The deluge has stemmed a bit, so […]


8 tips for getting a table at a 3-star Michelin restaurant

A lot of hungry people read and commented on my recent 3-star Parisian dining experiences at Le Meurice and Guy Savoy. In case you’re ready to shell out the dough yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience,  I asked Michelin for a few tips on how to score a hard-to-get reservation at a top restaurant. Here’s what they […]


Finding 4 star hotel deals on Hotwire

by Chris on February 18, 2010

Tips for using Hotwire to nab four-star hotel deals
Save up to 50% at Luxury Link!

One of my most-used travel booking sites,, has released a new monthly list showing that it’s still quite easy to nab a four-star hotel room for under $100.Among the cities with the biggest discounts: Tampa, where rates have fallen 16% from last year; Austin and San Diego, where the average price of  a 3.5 star hotel […]

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