This week’s guest is Mary Jo Manzaranes from TBEX.
You have probably met them.
They get back from a semester of study abroad or their 2-week vacation in Europe and all they can talk about is where they’ve just been.
Talking about it isn’t so bad, but they somehow manage to drop the fact that they’ve just been abroad into every single conversation.
..and it isn’t just the fact that they constantly mention it, but they also have to repeatedly mention how great it was.
You: This is a good hamburger.
Them: I guess. It isn’t as good as the hamburgers they have in Paris. Those are the best in the world!
You: *Roll your eyes*
They suffer from PTDS (Pretentious Travel Douchebag Syndrome). They just got back and they feel the need tell everyone they meet how much better things are “over there” and somehow bring every conversation around to talking about their recent trip.
Continue reading “Help Eliminate Pretentious Travel Douchebag Syndrome”
The only way we can travel as often as we do is to be very frugal in our travels. We shop for the best deals, travel in the offseason and try to stretch our travel dollars through pre-planning and careful spending.
I recently tweeted that I was sitting down to do the math on whether it was worth the $80.00 annual fee this year. “What’s the question? It’s $80 and you’ll use it!” I heard back from the Twitter-verse.
Sure, I’ll use it. But the only national park within a comfortable day’s driving distance is Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. And it doesn’t have an entrance fee. I wish we lived in a place like Arizona or Utah where there were opportunities to visit national parks without two flights and a rental car – but I don’t. I live in Texas where you can drive for 13 hours and still be in Texas. Our two national parks are waaaay over in West Texas in that little empty western tip of the state, and I’ve never been to either one of them.
So the question isn’t “will I use it,” the question is “is it worth it?” The fees for National Park entry are pretty reasonable and 265 sites are free entry. Even when we have to pay our children enter for free. Then there are National Park free days like National Park week in April where all entry is free.
If we didn’t visit enough parks with high enough entry fees, it wouldn’t be worth the annual pass. We’d save money just paying as we went. I had to do what I like to call probable future math to figure it out. The first part was easy since we have a February trip to Arizona planned.
- Saguaro NP : $10/car
- Petrified Forest NP : $10/car
- Sedona – Not a National Park, but you can use your America the Beautiful pass in lieu of a Red Rock Pass : $5
- Grand Canyon NP : $25/car
- Wuptaki NM : $10 for 2 adults
So, our trip to Arizona would cost $60 in entrance and use fees without the pass. I was surprised it was so much for the Grand Canyon but I guess if you could charge a premium anywhere, it would be there.
Our tentative plans for the rest of the year include the possibilities of :
- Denali NP : $20 for 2 adults
- Guadalupe ($10 for 2 adults), Big Bend ($20/car), and Carlsbad Caverns ($12 for 2 adults) roadtrip
- Acadia NP: $20/car
If we do even one of our tentative national park travel plans, we’ll come out even or ahead. I took the gamble that we’d make it somewhere this year, and paid for the pass online.
Our math will be different every year based on our travel plans. Unless we plan an epic adventure in Utah, Alaska or some other place with a concentration of National Parks, it will probably not be worth it to us to buy the pass in 2013. To find out more about the annual pass, click here.
What about you? Have you bought the National Park Annual Pass?
No matter how long I travel or how many places I visit, there are certain questions that I will never be able to answer. One of them is what you need to know to travel as a women. I’ve talked to many female travelers over the last several years and without question they have to deal with things I never have to consider. Thankfully, I also know many inspiring women who have spent years traveling around the world. One of them is my friend Marybeth Bond. She is an accomplished author who has been traveling her whole life and has dedicated herself to inspiring and helping women to travel.
I’m asked Marybeth to share some of the lessons she’s learned from her lifetime of travel. Here’s Marybeth….
Ask yourself: what’s a Gutsy Woman? To me, gutsy means courageous and women today are bold, brave and empowered. In terms of travel, our habits have changed too. After all, women make 80 percent of all travel decisions, and we’re on the go. We are getting off the beaten track and trekking the globe, on our own, alone and with other women. Our issues on the road are often different than a man’s experience.
Over the past thirty years I have hiked, cycled, combed, dived and kayaked my way through more than ninety countries. I traveled alone around the world for two years at the age of twenty-nine, wandered the globe with daughters and girlfriends.
Continue reading “Gutsy Women – A Traveler’s Life Lessons”
As you have probably noticed, I have a fetish for visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Having visited 190 at the time of writing, I often am asked if I plan on visiting all of them.
The answer is “no” and I’m not even sure it is possible. As of 2013 there are 962 UNESCO World Heritage sites and about 1-2 dozen are added every year. It would be difficult to keep up with the new entries on the list, let alone making a dent in the 900+ already listed.
The most I know of that any one person has visited is Bill Altaffer who has been traveling for over 60 years and claims to have visited visited 808. Iain Jackson of Scottland has visited 691 world heritage sites. He has been visiting them since the 1980’s and claims that his unvisited list is now larger than it was in the 80’s just because they keep making so many.
Many World Heritage Sites are easy to visit (Statue of Liberty, Paris, Rome, Westminster Abbey). However, some are extremely difficult to visit and require a determined effort to get there. There are several sites I’ve attempted to reach but failed (I’m looking at you Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn in Oman).
It would probably take a lifetime of travel and millions of dollars to seriously attempt to visit every single one on Earth.
Even if you had the time and money, however, you’d still probably fail in your quest because some UNESCO sites are almost impossible to reach.
Continue reading “The 12 Most Difficult To Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites”
As amazing as the landscape and wildlife of Haida Gwaii are, the artwork created by the talented Haida artists is just as impressive. For decades the Haida art was suppressed by the Canadian government. In the 1960’s however, the government loosened controls on Haida culture and the result of the Haida Renaissance. Artists such as Bill Reid became world renowned and his work can be seen today at the Vancouver Airport and on the Canadian $20 bill.
Today Haida artists have continued their work promoting Haida culture around the world. While in Haida Gwaii I had the pleasure of meeting Haida artist Christian White, whose work is featured in this photo essay. As one of the top Haida artists in the world, his work can command into the 6-figures.
I found Haida artwork to be one of the most beautiful and compelling creations I’ve seen in North America. During my travels I seldom buy artwork, but I would seriously consider adding a Haida piece to my home (if I had one).
Continue reading “Photo Essay : The Art of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia”
I wish I was a foodie in the same way that I wish I could play piano or speak Italian, but I am not.
I believe I could exist quite happily like Robocop on nothing more than a rudimentary baby food like paste to keep my organic systems functioning, provided that the paste was nacho cheese or ranch flavored.
That is why you don’t see many posts about food on my blog. I eat lots of local foods, but I don’t get into the how and why of the ingredients and production.
Thankfully I have my own personal foodie: Jodi Ettenberg. I’ve met Jodi on three different continents. She’s true, unabashed food lover and I have personally let Jodi handle my food decisions many times.
Continue reading “The Food Travelers Handbook”
Before I begin, I should make it abundantly clear that my travel plans are always in flux. Sometimes opportunities come up at a moment’s notice. My travels for the 2nd half of 2012 ended up being totally different from what I expected they would be in June.
That being said, my travel plans for at least the first half of the year are starting to shape up. Here is the rough outline of what I’m planning for 2013:
Most of you might not be aware that I am a regular guest on a radio program. I am the global traveling correspondent for OnTravel, the daily travel show on AFR. I call in every two weeks or so and chat with the hosts, Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, from wherever I might be in the world. This episode I called in from Las Vegas and talked about the conference I am attending, travel technology, how I found my hotel and my upcoming trip to Costa Rica.