Thursday, October 30, 2014

KELOWNA, BC: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre

For our first visit to Canada’s famed Okanagan Valley, we chose to stay at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre in Kelowna, a decision that proved an excellent choice indeed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VANCOUVER, BC: The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

My first Fairmont experience was in 1973 when I stayed at the historic Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was then part of the Fairmont family, and I have visited several Fairmont properties in Canada and the U.S. in the years since. It was therefore with great expectations and anticipation that I booked a room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for part of our recent trip through British Columbia.

Monday, October 27, 2014

VICTORIA, BC: The Magnolia Hotel & Spa Revisited

Revisiting the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC after a two-year absence I was pleased to see what had changed, but more pleased to see that many things were still the same.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Surfing the shoulder seasons

With Labor Day behind us and the holidays still a couple of months away, the “shoulder season” can be a great time to travel.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

San Antonio named top Texas destination

The readers of Texas Highways magazine have voted, and San Antonio is their favorite destination in the Lone Star State.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Air fares decline; CPI nearly flat in September

Airline fares declined slightly in September, helping offset higher prices for food, shelter and medical care, and contributing to a nearly flat Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Oct. 22.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Embassy Suites Las Vegas Convention Center unveils honeymoon suite

The Embassy Suites Convention Center hotel in Las Vegas has unveiled its honeymoon suite and is making it available to non-honeymooners.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The basics of blogging

This post is a bit of a departure from this blog’s usual focus on upmarket travel. Instead, I’d like to share some tips on blogging in general.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book holiday travel by Halloween for best deals

For the best prices and the best chance of getting the flights and rooms you want, you’d best make your holiday travel plans before Halloween.

Holland America offers cruise deals

Holland America Line is offering a number of special promotions for the 2015 and 2016 sailing seasons.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's leaf-peeping time in the East

Experts are predicting that leaf-peeping season in the East could come a bit early, making the next week prime time to view fall color in one area of the mid-Atlantic.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting the most out of social media

I tend bar a few nights a week at The Greek House in Burien, Washington, a friend's restaurant that celebrates its first anniversary this weekend. At least once a night, we welcome new guests who say, "We found you on Yelp!" or another social media site.

For us, that's great, of course. But using social media effectively means more than seeing how many stars a business has received or reading the last two or three reviews. Using social media effectively takes work.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sailing the seven seas in style

Among the items on our travel “to-do” list is to cruise more often. However, the industry trend toward larger and larger ships is exactly the opposite of what appeals to my wife and me, so it was with great interest that I read the email from Group IST (International Specialty Travel) announcing the launch of Arcadia Small Ship Cruises.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Travel goodies to go

No matter how much you enjoy traveling, there’s no denying it can be stressful. Why add to that stress by trying to make do without things you’re used to using every day? With the panoply of travel gadgets and goodies on the market today, travelers today can keep using their favorite items from home while they’re on the road, for practical reasons as well as personal preference.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

U.S. to add temperature screenings at five airports to combat Ebola

Security checks at five U.S. airports will include temperature screenings of passengers arriving from West Africa as early as this weekend in an effort to combat the Ebola outbreak.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches contest to 'test drive' a 737

Alaska Airlines is celebrating its latest order of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft by launching a contest to ‘test-drive' a 737.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Los Cabos on the rebound from Hurricane Odile

Despite the impact of Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm that make landfall in Los Cabos on Sept. 14, the destination is reportedly bouncing back quickly.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rosewood Beijing to open in mid-October

As an unabashed fan of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, B.C., I was pleased to learn that  Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® will open its first hotel in China in mid-October when it opens the doors of the 5-Star Rosewood Beijing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

'Lifehack' airport security lines? Not just yet

A new app designed to tell travelers which airport security checkpoints have the shortest lines has a long way to go before it’s ready to take the active runway.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tips for smoother air travel

A recently published book written by travel industry veteran Steffan Ileman contains a number of tips that can help make your next airplane trip smoother and more hassle-free.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two airlines launch short-term sales

Alaska Airlines and Frontier both announced sales on Sept. 30 targeting very different markets for very different reasons.

Traveling abroad? Leave your smartphone at home

When traveling overseas with a cell phone or smartphone, the concern most often cited is potentially high international roaming fees. But one industry expert says a far greater concern ought to be the phone’s physical and cybersecurity, and he is urging travelers to leave their smartphones at home.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tips for tipping while traveling

Most of us understand that, in North America, we tip people who provide us with a service, whether that is the waitperson or bartender at our favorite restaurant; our barber or hair stylist; the taxi or car service driver. But when we’re traveling, the range of possibilities can change in ways we might not have even considered.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Air traffic control center fire causes major flight disruptions nationwide

An arson fire at an air traffic control center in metropolitan Chicago has caused major headaches for fliers traveling to or through Chicago and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to travelers nationwide.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A crab dinner? In San Francisco? Who'd have thought...

With the start of Dungeness crab season only about a month away, restaurants in San Francisco are gearing up and getting the word out about the best places to tuck into this delectable delicacy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

23 interesting (and potentially useful) travel facts

One of the great things about the Internet is that is can easily connect people whose interests are similar. In that vein, I received an e-mail from Ramon van Meer who runs LetsFlyCheaper.com, luxury travel consultants with offices in San Ramon, California and Gordon, New South Wales, Australia. Ramon wanted to share his video of "23 Interesting and Potentially Useful Travel Facts" with readers of TheTravelPro.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are airline seats really that tight?

Perhaps the biggest recurring complaint about air travel in the U.S., is how darned uncomfortable it is to be crammed in like sardines for the length of the flight. That aspect of air travel has lead to several recent confrontations and, with companies like Airbus seeking patents on seating that is even more Spartan, it is likely a continue to be a sore spot for some time to come.

But how tight are those seats, really?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Worthwhile and worth(less) books on travel

Whether working for a major national publication or broadcast network or writing for one’s own blog, journalists receive an almost amazing number of book “pitches.” Some of the publications pitched are worth reading, a few are worth keeping, but many aren’t fit for fireplace fodder.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches daily service between Seattle and Albuquerque

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (NYSE:ALK) has begun daily nonstop service between Seattle (SEA) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (ABQ), making the city the fifth new city to be served from the airline’s Seattle hub since June.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Town in California's wine country stakes claim of pet-friendliness

Sometimes the most interesting coincidences just happen. Within minutes of my recent post discussing “pet-friendly” vs. “pet-tolerant” hotels, I received an e-mail on behalf of the town of Yountville, California, telling me just how darned pet-friendly it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Airline fares plummet in August, now 3 percent below last year

A significant decline in airline fares contributed to a slight decline in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Sept. 17.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Pet friendly' or just 'pet tolerant'?

Is that hotel you're considering really "pet friendly" or does it merely allow pets? There is a difference, and it can be significant.

Monday, September 15, 2014

VANCOUVER, WA: New DoubleTree Hotel

When I pulled up to the DoubleTree Hotel off Mill Plain Blvd., in Vancouver, Washington, my heart sank. Clearly, this had been a lower echelon property that had been rebranded a DoubleTree. What had I signed on for?

Friday, September 12, 2014

McKay Cottage - Bend, Oregon's best breakfasts!

During a recent visit to central Oregon, my wife and I decided to venture out for breakfast rather than take the easy way out and eat at our hotel. Were we ever glad we did!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

You won't believe the airline seats Airbus has designed

Just when you thought it commercial air travel couldn’t get any worse, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has filed a patent application for what could be the world’s least-comfortable airline seats.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BEND, OR: Hilton Garden Inn - A very pleasant surprise

I booked a night at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon for a recent weekend visit when I learned that our first choice hotel was completely booked. As it turns out, we may have found our new favorite hotel in Bend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ryanair to cram more passengers into new 737 Max 200

Low-cost carrier Ryanair, which boasts "Europe's lowest fares," will be cramming more passengers than ever into the new 737 Max 200 aircraft it just ordered from manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA).

Southwest Airlines unveils new livery, logo, and airport experience

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has introduced an update to its iconic brand that includes a new aircraft livery, new logo and airport experience.

PORTLAND, OR: Gustav’s/Der Rheinlander for authentic German food

Craving some good German food since my December 2013 visit to Frankfurt and München was rapidly becoming a distant memory, I decided to introduce my wife to the fare at Gustav’s/Der Rheinlander during a recent visit to Portland, Oregon. We have both already vowed to return!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Report details ancillary revenue's role in keeping airlines profitable

A survey released in July showed that, in 2013, five U.S. airlines took in more than $13bn in so-called “ancillary revenue.” Now, more detail is available about the revenue airlines gain from non-ticket sources.

GRESHAM, OR: Hampton Inn

During a recent trip to see aging friends in central Oregon, we wanted to get just a bit closer than usual before stopping for the night and decided to try the Hampton Inn in Gresham, Oregon, just outside Portland. We were quite pleased with what it provided.

Friday, September 5, 2014

10 tips for women traveling alone

As sexist as it may sound, women traveling alone, whether on business or for pleasure, are at greater risk than men traveling solo.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alaska Airlines fumbles the ball with latest Wilson promotion

A promotion launched by Alaska Airlines on the eve of the opening of the 2014 NFL season misses the mark rather dramatically.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Knee Defender Incident: Airlines should have seen this coming

By now, you’ve probably heard the story about the United Airlines flight that was diverted in mid-route because two passengers got into a squabble over intrusions into personal space. The airlines should have seen this coming.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cathay Pacific to launch first service connecting New England and Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways will begin four-times-weekly non-stop service from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Hong Kong (HKG) in May 2015, connecting New England directly to Hong Kong for the first time.

Alaska Airlines commences nonstop service between Seattle and Baltimore

Alaska Airlines began round-trip service Sept. 2 between Seattle (SEA) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), complementing the carrier’s existing service to Reagan National Airport (DCA) from three West Coast cities.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

United offers smartphone access to Uber, with conditions

Chicago-based United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) is officially embracing the so-called “ridesharing” service Uber, even as some airport officials and others call for sanctions against the company and similar operations.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fly European airlines for greater protection in the event of flight delays

If you’re planning to fly to or within Europe, you will want to know about a European law that provides specific protections for travelers whose flights are delayed or cancelled.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches two-pronged award sale

Alaska Airlines has kicked off a two-pronged fall award sale that will benefit members of its Mileage Plan frequent flier program.