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Travel tips from Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Wendy Perrin.
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September 08, 2011

10 Vacation Rules to Save Your Life

Mightybell_10_Vacation_Rules_to_Save_Your_Life

Today marks the launch of a new site called Mightybell that offers step-by-step advice for how to accomplish all manner of things--from losing weight to reducing your carbon footprint to traveling better. What's cool is that anyone can create a Mightybell "Experience," including you.

Perhaps you have a step-by-step plan you'd like to share for how to spend the perfect 3 days museum-hopping in Paris. Or how to pack everything you need for a trip in just one carry-on. Or how to rent an apartment in Shanghai. Just plug your steps into Mightybell, invite friends to join you, and pretty soon you may find a small army of "Fellow Travelers" (that's the Mightybell lingo) journeying together through your Experience, sharing their stories.

The Experience I've created? "10 Vacation Rules to Save Your Life." Click here to join and you'll find 10 steps to making your next vacation more reinvigorating and memorable than your last. Bon voyage!

November 24, 2010

Gogobot's Private Beta Is Officially Closed, But Here's How You Can Get In

On Monday I told you about Gogobot, the new site that melds travel planning with social networking and that All Things Digital called "Facebook for trips, but with really good images." Apparently many of you tried to sign up for the private beta, found it officially closed, and got shunted to the wait list.

Not to worry: Gogobot has now created a custom invitation exclusively for Perrin Post readers.  The first 500 people who click to gbot.me/perrinpost can now sign up and join me on Gogobot. See you there! 

And a personal thank-you to Gogobot member Dana Harrison, whom I do not know but who has helped me enormously with her in-depth answer to my query about my family ski trip to Vermont!

November 22, 2010

Planning a Trip? Gogobot Can Create an Instant Custom "Guidebook" Based on Your Friends' Recommendations

Gogobot

When planning a trip, do you ever seek advice from your Facebook friends who've been there? If so, you should know about Gogobot, a new website, still in private beta, unveiled at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit last week. 

Say you're headed to Paris and want to know where to stay, where to eat, and what sights and activities not to miss. If you post your question on Gogobot and connect your Gogobot and Facebook accounts, then your question will post to Facebook too. Gogobot will take the unorganized pile of comments that come in from your Facebook friends and, in only a few seconds and with zero effort on your part, transform it into a neatly categorized list of recommended hotels, restaurants, museums, tours, and more, complete with photos, addresses, phone numbers, opening hours, pricing, maps, and useful links. "It's like having a custom guidebook curated by your friends and people you know" says Gogobot founder and CEO Travis Katz.

"Essentially, it feels like Facebook for trips, but with really good images," proclaimed Kara Swisher of All Things Digital last week. Gogobot is certainly

Continue reading "Planning a Trip? Gogobot Can Create an Instant Custom "Guidebook" Based on Your Friends' Recommendations" »

September 30, 2009

A New Site For Exclusive Travel Deals

Bauer_Hotel_Venice_Italy

Rooms at Venice's Bauer Hotel, which Conde Nast Traveler readers have voted one of their favorite properties in the world, can be booked on Jetsetter.com for $250 to $300 per night, vs. the rack rate of $384 to $589 per night.

by Wendy Perrin

For years our only online options for booking top-rated hotels and resorts at steep discounts were pretty much limited to Luxury Link and Tablet Hotels. That's why I'm happy to see Jetsetter land on the scene. Jetsetter is a flash-sale site that negotiates with noteworthy hotels, cruise lines, and other luxe travel suppliers to offer slashed rates unavailable to the general public. It just launched in beta a few hours ago and, I must say, it's refreshing to see a travel booking site that not only caters to sophisticated travelers--a group that has been grossly underserved in the online travel space--but is also, thanks to its large photos and uncluttered layout, actually appealing to look at.

Like its parent company Gilt Groupe, Jetsetter is a members-only site. You need to be invited to join. Lucky for you, I've finagled just such an invite, specifically for Perrin Post readers: Click on this custom link to register, and every night at 8 p.m. you'll receive an e-mail announcing the latest sale. Each sale should include no more than a handful of select travel experiences -- hotels, resorts, yachts, luxe cruises and tours -- that will be available at a significant discount for either a two-day window or until dates are sold out.

Continue reading "A New Site For Exclusive Travel Deals" »

April 10, 2009

Anybody Used Zicasso.com?

by Wendy Perrin

I'm hoping somebody can help me answer this question from reader Dina:

"What is your opinion of Zicasso? I was thinking of using this site to help me plan my trip next year to Paris and Italy. Would you recommend it?"

My understanding of how Zicasso works is that travelers looking for customized itineraries fill out a lengthy list of parameters (destination, dates, favorite activites, etc.) and Zicasso's global network of tour operators and travel agents respond with up to three trip options. You peruse the itineraries and book the one that's right for you.

I haven't used Zicasso, though, nor have I heard feedback from any Conde Nast Traveler readers who have, so I can't tell you how well it works. What I can tell you is that, after 20 years of interviewing thousands of tour operators and travel agents for projects for Conde Nast Traveler, the best I've found for France and Italy are on my annually updated list of the world's top travel specialists. You can read reviews of these travel planners, from Conde Nast Traveler readers who've booked trips through them, here.

Meanwhile, does anyone have feedback about Zicasso to share with Dina? I'd love to hear. Thanks!

April 07, 2009

Going to Vegas? Check This Out

Vegas Nighttime in Sin City.

by Wendy Perrin

Thanks to an oversupply of hotel rooms and an undersupply of business travelers, Las Vegas is one of the biggest travel bargains out there right now. Fortunately, a new blog called VegasChatter, sister site to Jaunted and HotelChatter, has arrived on the scene to keep us in the know about all things Vegas. 

I'm not telling you this because VegasChatter is owned by Conde Nast Traveler's parent company. (Well, maybe that's one reason.) I'm telling you this because, if I were Vegas-bound, I'd want to know such insider tips as where to find free Wi-Fi, how to book a luxe Grand Canyon helicopter tour, and how to watch the high rollers without actually rolling yourself. Yet another travel blog to add to your RSS feed!

February 04, 2009

On the Road, with Twitter Your Only Guide

Benji_lanyado_in_paris
The Guardian's Benji Lanyado TwitterTripping through Paris.

by Wendy Perrin

Check out what's unfolding over at the online water cooler known as Twitter: U.K. Guardian travel writer Benji Lanyado is in Paris with no advance plans, basing all his travel decisions--where to stay, what to see, where to eat--on tips sent to him, in real time, by the people following him on Twitter. Yes, folks, it's the latest, greatest, most cutting-edge form of travel: the TwiTrip. Click here to follow Benji's progress and here to read the Paris recs he's been receiving.

Twitter is not just changing people's trips. It's changing people's lives. But I don't need to tell you what a big deal Twitter is because people like The New York Times' Clive Thompson and MSNBC's Chris Elliott already have. And I don't need to tell you who the travel twitterati are -- the people you should be following on Twitter if you want to know what's going on in the world of travel -- because several lists have already been published, including this one and this one.

So instead I'm going to list some of the non-travel-world people who make Twitter such a fascinating destination. Following their Twitter updates ("tweets") allows me to see inside the brains of some of today's most influential thinkers and find out what's going on in the world almost before it happens. Here are just a few of the "tweeple" every smart twitterer should know about:

Continue reading "On the Road, with Twitter Your Only Guide" »

November 06, 2008

Whaddya Know

by Wendy Perrin

Here's something pretty cool: The Telegraph in London named The Perrin Post one of "the world's best travel blogs." (I'm hoping it had nothing to do with yesterday's photo.)

November 03, 2008

Take the Geo Challenge

by Wendy Perrin

Note to any of you who are on Facebook: There's a fun new game I discovered this weekend called Geo Challenge that tests your knowledge of world geography--specifically, countries, cities, and flags. Check it out. (But if you get addicted don't blame me.)

September 15, 2008

Story of My Life (in a Nutshell)

Wendyintuscany
That's me and the kids in Tuscany during the grape harvest 3 years ago.

by Wendy Perrin

If you'd like to know my answers to the following questions . . .

1. How did you get your start as a travel writer?

2. How did you start blogging?

3. Have you had mentors, and how did they help you?

4. Is there one article or accomplishment you are most proud of?

5. Why do you think there are so few women in visible positions in this industry?

6. Do you think that being one of the few prominent women travel writers gives you a different perspective?

7. How did having kids change your career path? Were there things you gave up, or did you change your focus?

8. How do you balance the need to be on the road with the need to spend time with your family?

9. What is your favorite travel memory with your kids?

10. What do you hope that your children learn from their travel experiences?

. . . then click over to Delicious Baby, the great blog written by longtime Conde Nast Traveler subscriber Debbie Dubrow, who has published an interview with yours truly.

August 25, 2008

We Want Your Opinion!

Cnt_sept2008cover_2 by Wendy Perrin

Big news: Conde Nast Traveler's Web site, CNTraveler.com, will be spinning off from the Concierge.com mother ship next year and voyaging into cyberspace on its own.  We're building our brand-new site from scratch--which has us all very excited--and I've been in a lot of discussions lately about what the new CNTraveler.com should be and what features it should have. Of course, we'd love to hear from YOU as well.

Are you interested in having input into the new CNTraveler.com? Just click here if you have thoughts to share about what would be most useful for our community of travelers. Of course, if you'd prefer to post a comment below sharing suggestions for the new site, that works too. Thanks for your help, everyone!

August 11, 2008

The Best of My Weekend Reading

by Wendy Perrin

Thank God for the Olympics. With my husband and sons glued to the TV for much of this past weekend, at long last I got a chance to make the tiniest of inroads into catch up on my travel-blog reading.  Of the insights and opinions I stumbled upon, here are my faves:

Price of Oil Falls, so how about a Flight Surcharge Refund? asks Darren Cronian of TravelRants. With fuel surcharges adding $300 or $400 to air fares overseas, that's a great question.

In his Seat 2B column on Portfolio.com, Joe Brancatelli writes about the spirit-crushing runaway devaluation of airline miles: "Frequent-flier miles are becoming the Zimbabwean dollars of business travel--increasingly worthless." Alas, he's right on the mark (as always).

I discovered air-fare god Rick Seaney's killer U.S. Domestic Airline Fee Chart, which should be required reading for anyone buying a domestic ticket these days.

And I learned from Jeanne Leblanc's Coach Class that a row of seats broke loose on a United Airlines flight and slid into the passengers in the next row.  Jeanne points out a FlyerTalk thread in which one FT member joked, "Well clearly it's their own fault .. the passengers in that row refused to pay the seat anchoring fee . . they got what they deserved."  I'm still laughing. And crying on the inside.

The one piece of spirit-lifting news? Pam over at Nerd's Eye View has started a Travelbloggers' Forum "in response to the call for a more cohesive community of travelbloggers."  Apparently travel blogging is now important enough to have become one word, so you can bet I'm gonna join.

May 02, 2008

The Friday Five

Delta_cozy_suite
Attention, coach fliers:  Delta's new "Cozy Suite" seats, from Thompson Solutions, are on the way.

by Wendy Perrin

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are five nifty posts that I stumbled upon in the blogosphere this week:

(1) Wired's Autopia blog on The Cozy Suite -- Building a Better Airplane Seat. These seats, to be introduced in 2010 on Delta 767s and 777s, will provide more legroom, a place to rest your head, and two armrests for each passenger. They won't recline but, personally, I consider that a huge plus.  (By the way, it's amazing to me what the airline, cruise, and hotel industries get away with calling a "suite" these days.)

(2) Delicious Baby on Easy Hack for Getting a Refund From Your Credit Card. Attention, digital-camera shutterbugs who traveled abroad between 1996 and 2006: Here's a surprisingly easy and fun way to get money back for the foreign transaction fees you were unfairly charged by your credit card.

(3) HowStuffWorks on What happens to weapons confiscated at the airport? Collecting and reselling the thousands of items confiscated daily turns out to be a profitable business. The article even explains how to "become a millionaire! Sell confiscated weapons on eBay!"

(4) The Juggle, The Wall Street Journal's blog about the choices and tradeoffs people make as they juggle work and family, on Breastfeeding on the Move and Other '"Bad Parent" Shortcuts.  Any mom who's taken a road trip with an infant can relate and will probably find the thread of passionate comments riveting.

(5) Eileen Ogintz's Taking the Kids on How to Find the Perfect Beach Getaway because her post introduced me to a nifty Orbitz tool for finding your ideal beach vacation. Love it!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

April 25, 2008

The Friday Five

Doug_asleep_on_plane_2
My family sometimes has trouble following the "rules of in-flight etiquette."  :)

by Wendy Perrin

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are my five favorite recent posts from around the blogosphere:

1. Lost Weekend on The Unwritten Rules of In-flight Etiquette. I'm still laughing. My favorite: "If I'm in the middle seat, I own both armrests."

2. The Cranky Flier on the Playmobil Security Checkpoint -- a miniature version of those airport X-ray stations we all know and love  --  and the hilarious customer reviews that the toy has elicited on Amazon. e.g., "I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item because the functionality is limited. My 5-year-old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed."  And "There's no brown figure for little Josh to profile, taser, and detain . . . . And shouldn't someone be forcing a mother figure to drink her own breast milk?"

3. Paul Brady on Jaunted's Guide to NYC Shopping For Brits, which recommends stores for the legions of Europeans who are taking advantage of the weak dollar by going on Manhattan shopping sprees. Paul even lists prices in pounds sterling.

4. On a more serious note, Chris Elliott on 6 Secrets Car Rental Companies Don't Want You To Know. Love the fact that it's a former car rental agent who spills the beans. Hate the fact that this scoops my upcoming June Perrin Report which, thanks to print magazine lead times, I wrote back in February yet can't be read till June.  Aaarrgh.

5. Politico on Congress Has History of Travel Woes. We (at least, I) tend to think that people in positions of power don't face the same air travel nightmares that we plebs are forced to suffer, so it's refreshing to read about what various senators et al. have had to contend with.

Happy weekend, everyone!

April 22, 2008

Introducing a New Blog From Conde Nast Traveler

Daily_traveler_logo_5 by Wendy Perrin

Where's Brook?  Where's Guy?  Where's Barbara?  They and the Perrin Post's other sometime contributors have a new home called Daily Traveler. Yes, Conde Nast Traveler has finally launched its editors' blog (it's about f***ing time!) where, hopefully, more and more of the magazine's editors will eventually be posting their news and views as they travel the world. For now you'll find Brook's weekly Responsible Traveler posts there, as well as Guy's and Barbara's airport and airline coverage. As for Stephan, he's currently too busy trying to fix his Porsche, but maybe once he gets the car to start he'll want to come back and contribute. The Perrin Post will return to being written solo, as often as I can swing it.

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