Travel tips from Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Wendy Perrin.
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April 01, 2008

Vote For Your Favorite Travel Blog!

That's me, blogging from baggage claim at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. At right are my bags, at left my kids.

by Wendy Perrin

Where he gets the time, I don't know, but Mark Ashley over at Upgrade: Travel Better is running the Travvies again this year. Nominations for these awards, which honor the best in travel blogging, are now being accepted. You have until the end of this week to nominate up to 3 blogs in each of 8 different categories. Every blog that's nominated, even if only once, will be in contention -- which is great because this frees everyone up to nominate some of the underdogs and lesser-knowns that may have little chance of winning but deserve props.

In the category of Best Single-Author Blog, for instance, instead of nominating great but already wildly popular blogs such as Cheapest Destinations or View From The Wing, I nominated Rick Seaney, Don George, and Musings of the Global Traveller.  Their blogs may not be the coolest thing out there, but I trust their advice. Trusting the writer is what dictated my choices for Best Informative/Practical Travel Blog too: Seat 2B from Joe Brancatelli, Flight Bliss from Matthew Bennett, and -- because of the blood, sweat, and tears I've poured into it, not to mention the huge amounts of my own money I've spent, and freebies I've turned away, so I can report to you free of conflicts of interest -- The Perrin Post.

For Best Big Media Blog (isn't that an oxymoron?), I nominated three from USA Today: Gene Sloan's The Cruise Log, Ben Mutzabaugh's Today In The Sky, and Kitty Bean Yancey's Hotel Hotsheet. Gene's the one I'm in awe of: How he manages to balance his full-time print-journalism job, travel schedule, and three kids is beyond me. Every minute I spend blogging is a minute I'm not spending with my two sons who already don't see me enough because of my full-time print-journalism job and travel schedule (which is why I'm blogging less often and have given up hope of winning the Big Media slot.)

It ain't easy blogging with six- and four-year-old sons in tow.

As for the overall award for Best Travel Blog, I nominated Seat 2B (which technically may not even be a blog, but who cares? Joe Brancatelli's the best), The Gate (because any tool that points you quickly and easily to the best wisdom in FlyerTalk is doing the world an important service), and Girl Solo In Arabia (because what Carolyn McIntyre has accomplished is nothing short of amazing).

So who will YOU be nominating?  Even if you don't care to vote, it's interesting to check out the lists of nominations and introduce yourself to all the travel blogs you never knew existed.

June 17, 2007

My Favorite Posts Of The Past Week

by Wendy Perrin

Until this morning I had totally neglected all my RSS feeds (cyberspeak for the blogs I subscribe to) for the past week or so. (As I'm sure you've noticed, these days my magazine workload leaves me barely any time to write my own blog, much less read other people's.)  Then, this morning, I shoved my husband and sons off to their annual week of lakeside dirt-camping -- a treat which, this year, I slyly managed to extricate myself from, pleading a WHERE'S WENDY? contest -- and I finally had a few hours to catch up with what's happening in the blogosphere.  Of course, catching up with my reading meant totally neglecting the September-issue Perrin Report that I was supposed to spend today writing.  Before retreating back into my cave to write it, I might as well put all that blog reading to good use and share with you my five favorite posts of the past week or so:

1. Five Things to Pack For Travel (via Lifehack)
What I love best are the comments from readers with their suggestions for must-have travel items.  In fact, there are two I'm planning to get myself: the portable power strip and the Travel Smart plug adapter that works in every country. I added my two cents and posted comment #45.

2. Strange But True Airport News (via Towers and Tarmacs)
I can relate to this one.  The next time you read about two overly curious, helicopter-obsessed little boys sneaking off at an airport, it'll probably be my three- and five-year-old sons.

3. 30 Surefire Ways To Stretch Your Travel Dollar (via TheEcuaTraveler)
Some are obvious, and some I wouldn't recommend, but a few are inspired. #1 is my fave.

4. What's the Top Tourist Attraction in America? (via Arthur Frommer's blog)
Talk about inspired. If this isn't smart advice, I don't know what is.  I added my two cents there too.

5. The Malta chill-factor (via Killing Batteries)
Leif Petterson just cracks me up, no matter where he's writing about.


May 15, 2007

Flights with Dogs

Sadly, you'll need a chartered plane to give your dog this level of comfort. If Spot has to settle for coach, check out the great tips at PetFlight
Photo: Roman Fleysher at PetFlight

By Tara Kyle

Question from Conde Nast Traveler reader Nina A. in Manhattan:

"I need to fly with my dog to Milan this summer. Can you tell me which airlines allow pets in the passenger cabins or point me toward a comprehensive source of info?"

I'm afraid your dog may have to fly in cargo.  American, Continental, and Delta -- all of which serve Milan and have pet-friendly policies on domestic flights -- do not allow dogs as carry-ons on transatlantic flights. Furthermore, pets brought into the European Union require a Veterinary Certificate.

A good source of info is  PetFlight's index, but be careful: The Pet Incidents section could leave you a little paranoid.  DogFriendly -- which has loads of advice about hotels, dining, beaches and hiking -- offers a basic guide to pet-friendly airlines.

Continue reading "Flights with Dogs" »

May 01, 2007

Interactive Vienna, Antwerp, Zurich and Amsterdam

The welcome screen at Cool Capitals, which lets you digitally explore European cities.

By Tara Kyle

I just discovered Cool Capitals, a trip-planning site with interactive guides to Amsterdam, Antwerp, Vienna, and Zurich (thanks to Gadling for the Cool Capitals tip). Once you select a destination from the departures board, Cool Capitals lets you explore options in areas such as art, shopping, architecture, and nightlife. There are tips in each section, and you can add sights and events to your "travel bucket" -- a planning resource for the next time your feet actually hit the pavement abroad.

Cool Capitals' design is maybe a little too snazzy for its own good -- I got a bit confused navigating back and forth between sections. And I'm assuming that the animated pedestrians, buses, and cars moving in circles within the maps are meant to convey the bustle of each city, but I couldn't shake a weird sensation that ants were crawling around my screen.

Continue reading "Interactive Vienna, Antwerp, Zurich and Amsterdam" »

April 10, 2007

Travel At The Click Of A Mouse

Lonely Planet TV Google map
Video locator feature at Lonely Planet TV
Picture: Lonely Planet TV

By Tara Kyle

Sit at your desk, lean back, and watch a shaky hand-held camera guide you through clubbing in Berlin, parking a car in Delhi, watching the waves crest in Kuwait City, or stalking a sheep desperate for a back rub in County Kerry. 

Such travel voyeurism is possible with Lonely's Planet travel video channel launch this week.  You can watch clips from Lonely Planet staffers, as well as independent travelers, and post your own by subscribing - for free - and then uploading as much as 5.00 GBs of your own travel videos. Cool bonus feature: After uploading your video, Virtual Tourism points out, Lonely Planet TV will help you show it to friends on a Google Map.