Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
Courtesy of wikimedia.org
I recently spoke to a coworker about a very long flight she was about to take, and how she was going to fill the time. She mentioned that she loves reading humorous books (Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, David Sedaris) and watching in-flight movies. It was clear this followed a regular routine, which got me wondering about the different habits frequent fliers develop.
From working to watching TV on an iPad to chatting up people in nearby seats, there any number of ways a person can bridge the gap between takeoff and landing. And with the overall flight experience quickly nose-diving in quality, it’s increasingly important to gravitate toward the little things that make it at least bearable, if not outright enjoyable.
As for me, here are the things I do on flights with borderline-obsessive regularity:
In the travel and meetings industry, the airport and planes can feel like a necessary evil. Between flight delays and frazzled hordes of people and endless nickel-and-diming, the experience can be draining and maddening, sucking joy out of a travel adventure.
But there’s something else air travel can reveal, and it’s often both surprising and reassuring: that in even the most difficult of circumstances, humanity is possible.
One of my favorite parts of the new year is drafting resolutions. True, research shows that 24% of people fail to achieve their resolutions every year, but I’d like to think they provide at least a modicum of motivation to make positive life changes.
For 2013, I have plenty of the standard resolutions on my list—exercise more, get organized, etc.—but as a frequent traveler, I’ve decided to make a separate list devoted specifically to being on the road. While pounding the pavement for press trips and conferences, I often tell myself to do things differently and smarter—why not make some changes now?
Few cities are as woefully misunderstood as Oakland, Calif.
Does the city have crime? Yes, of course, and in some areas it is a problem. But that’s true of any big city, and with a population of about 396,000, Oakland is a major metropolis, similar in size to New Orleans and Atlanta.
Whatever negative perceptions people have of Oakland are easily, resolutely overshadowed by a rich and distinctive culture, some of the Bay Area’s most laid-back and friendly locals (that’s saying something) and a restaurant scene that, while smaller than its neighboring city, rivals San Francisco in innovation and quality (that’s really saying something).
It’s not too early to plan a winter retreat or incentive program with a little skiing on the side. Try Aspen, Colo., or nearby Snowmass for expert (and beginner) slopes with its 4,406 vertical feet along with 3,132 acres of terrain, 91 trails, 21 chairlifts and an array cruisers, glades, steeps, terrain parks and half-pipes. That’s hard to beat anywhere. Stay and play at The St. Regis Aspen Resort, The Little Nell or Sky Hotel, A Kimpton Hotel for Aspen Mountain lifts not far from the back door.
With the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin a week from today, followed by the Democratic National Convention the following week, the U.S. Travel Association is also preparing to descend on Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., as part of its year-long Vote Travel campaign. Launched in February, Vote Travel has involved a bus tour that crossed 20,000 miles with events in 60 cities. Now the association is launching what it calls Vote Travel 2.0, which will focus on raising awareness of the travel industry among convention delegates. “Our main point in doing all this is to reinforce [that] it is the travel industry that makes conventions possible,” says Blaine Rethmeier, senior vice president of public affairs for U.S. Travel.
So it goes without saying that I’ve been following news about two new sports stadiums in the area—one for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors (go Warriors!) and another for the NFL’s 49ers (go 49ers!)—with keen interest. The venues will be a boon not only for die-hard sports fans, but for meeting planners who can use them for splashy conventions.
Here’s a quick update on both venues, including information on how they can be used by groups:
Here at Smart Meetings, we pride ourselves on being able to provide interesting information about various cities and regions in a way that engages our readers and, if done correctly, makes them want to meet there. But, did you know that we are only the modern version of a travel-writing genre whose roots originated nearly 2,000 years ago, during the splendor of one of the greatest empires in history, the Roman Empire?
A while ago, I drafted my travel bucket list for cities I want to explore in the U.S., with New Orleans nabbing the coveted No. 1 spot. After working on the special international section in our June issue (hitting doorsteps soon!), I got to thinking about my bucket list for international cities.
For a long time, I’ve avoided trying to devise this list because of how ridiculously overwhelming it is. Plus, where I want to go is often impacted by my mood or place in life. When I get an itch for the excitement of a global city, I think of Istanbul, Turkey. When I feel like relaxing and rebooting, I fantasize about Thailand or the Caribbean. When I dream of food and wine gluttony, Italy and Spain come to mind.
This week, the Internet tubes have been full of news about how travelers should prepare for longer lines at airport security checkpoints next year. You see, President Obama’s proposed Transportation Security Administration budget for the 2013 financial year includes a 41% decrease in funding for “checkpoint support.”
There’s just one problem: That budget cut, drastic as it sounds, won’t have any effect on the number of TSA workers checking bags or scanning bodies at the airport. In fact, the TSA expects that wait times for passengers will continue to decrease next year as it expands its PreCheck program, part of an overall effort to make its screening process more focused, smarter and risk-based.