Travel tips from Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Wendy Perrin.
Freebies forbidden here! You can trust me because I accept no discounts or payments from any travel company. Learn more.
Questions: Ask Wendy
Twitter: wendyperrin
Boarding Area
BootsnAll Today
Ciao Bambino
The Cranky Flier
The Cruise Log
The Daily Traveler
Delicious Baby
Don's Place
Ed Perkins (Smarter Travel)
Family TravelLogue
The Gate
Going Places
Peter Greenberg
High Anxiety
Hotel Hotsheet
Itineraries on
Joe Sent Me
Johnny Jet
Killing Batteries
Lonely Planet Travel Blog
The Middle Seat
Middle Seat Terminal
Nerd's Eye View
One Mile at a Time
Rick Seaney
Rick Steves
ShipCritic Blog
Soul Travelers 3
Today in the Sky
Travel Deals
Travel Savvy Mom
Upgrade: Travel Better
Viator Travel Blog
View From the Wing
November 11, 2009

Are You on Twitter Yet? (It's Where the Travel Tipsters Are)


"Don't roll your eyes like an old person," wrote New York Post travel editor David Landsel in yesterday's paper. "Twitter isn't just teenage girls and empty-headed, feelings-sharing celebs; it's also the latest-slash-greatest advance in how travel information gets dished out. It's interactive, you can connect quickly with reporters, with industry types, with the hotels you love to love and the airlines you love to hate." 

I couldn't have put it better myself. And in his article "Follow me to travel know-how: 10 Twitter feeds that'll get you up to speed," David lists ten of the best travel tipsters to follow. Yours truly is there (phew!), as are several who are on my personal Twitter A-List as well: travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of Forrester Research; Carolyn Spencer Brown and her staff at Cruise Critic; flight attendant Heather Poole, who writes Gadling's Galley Gossip column; and airfare deals expert George Hobica of Airfare Watchdog.

Seeking more great twitterers to follow? See my Perrin Report column on "How to Tweet Your Way to Amazing Travel Deals" from last month's issue of Condé Nast Traveler.
October 01, 2009

Get Free Nights, Upgrades, Meals, Massages and More at Marriott Resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico


The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, which Conde Nast Traveler readers rate so highly it's on our Gold List, is one of nine Marriotts offering giveaways on Twitter every day this month.

by Wendy Perrin

Usually the Halloween mood doesn't strike me till the end of October, but this year it's already struck, thanks to Marriott Resorts' over-the-top "Trick or Tweet" promotion.  Like most innovative, fun, money-saving hotel promotions these days, it's happening on Twitter. 

Every day throughout October, a group of nine Marriott resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico will post a twitter message (or "tweet") announcing a different giveaway at one of the resorts. The giveaways will range from a free night's stay to $100 in meal credits to room upgrades to spa treatments to rounds of golf.  Follow Marriott Resorts on Twitter and you can collect all 27 giveaways, in the form of vouchers that you download and then redeem at the specified resort any time through December 20, 2010.

If you'd like to know who else to follow on Twitter, I listed 21 essential twitterers to follow -- for travel deals, perks, and advice you'll find either only on Twitter or on Twitter first -- in my Perrin Report column in Conde Nast Traveler's October issue (on newsstands now).

September 21, 2009

Tune In Today and Learn How You Can Help Save the World When You Travel

Mandy Moore will speak today at Conde Nast Traveler magazine's third annual World Savers Congress. So will Ken Burns, Wyclef Jean, Edward Norton, and other celebs who are helping to save the planet.

by Wendy Perrin

Want to learn what it takes to be a responsible traveler? Find out which travel companies are the most responsible--meaning, which are greenest and do the most good when it comes to helping the local communities in which they operate?  Eavesdrop on conversations among the most forward-thinking travel industry C.E.O.s who have gathered to share their hard-earned wisdom regarding how to operate sustainably?  Suggest ideas of your own for how travelers and travel companies can make a difference?

Then tune in to today's World Savers Congress at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, starting at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. I told you all about it a few days ago, and here's the program of scheduled presentations and panels.

You'll find live coverage of the event on this brand-new blog, where we'll be posting reports and insights from the Congress throughout the day, as well as Twitter updates from Congress attendees. We hope you enjoy following along!

September 16, 2009

21 Twitterers to Follow For Amazing Travel Deals and Help Snagging Them

Wendy_at_SEA-TAC That's me twittering from SEA-TAC last month. My typical airport juggle involves an iPhone in one hand, a child in the other.

by Wendy Perrin

You may know Twitter only as the butt of late-night comedians' jokes, and if you haven't spent much time on Twitter, it's easy to dismiss it as a silly social-networking fad for narcissists telling one another what they ate for lunch. But I've been on Twitter for more than a year now, and I'm here to tell you that the perks you can glean from it are no joke. Ignore it and you'll miss out on significant travel benefits, including deals you can't find elsewhere.

That's from my Perrin Report column in Conde Nast Traveler's October issue that's about to hit the newsstands.  The column, on "How To Tweet Your Way To Amazing Travel Deals," is accompanied by a list of "21 Twitterers to Follow" and why.

If you've avoided Twitter up till now but are now inspired to give it a whirl, check out "100 Amazingly Insightful People You Can Learn From on Twitter," as well as a more extensive list of travel tweeters to follow in "What You're Missing If You're Not on Twitter." 

As for me, I've now got two Twitter pages: I cover travel deals and advice at @perrinpost and my personal travels and musings at @wendyperrin

Got a travel information source you think should be added to these lists?  Please let me know by clicking on "Comments" below and sharing the company's or person's name and Twitter page URL, so that everybody else can click on it and check it out. Thanks!

September 14, 2009

How Can YOU Help Save the World When You Travel?


In this video address at our World Savers Congress last year, actor/activist Matt Damon told travel industry leaders just how much power they hold to improve our planet. 

by Wendy Perrin

Conde_Nast_Traveler_World_Savers_Congress Not sure how you can help save the world when you travel? Then tune in to Conde Nast Traveler's 3rd annual World Savers Congress a week from today. Leaders of the travel industry will convene in New York City, at the Morgan Library & Museum, to discuss how we all can limit environmental impact and improve the health, education, and economic well-being of the communities worldwide in which we leave our footprints.

We'll be honoring the 2009 World Savers award winners and hearing from speakers and panelists including Ken Burns, filmmaker and director of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a six-part documentary airing on PBS this fall; Wyclef Jean, musican and philanthropist, on how tourism can help Haiti; Mandy Moore, actor and ambassador for Five & Alive, on the Conde Nast Traveler Five & Alive Fund, administered in partnership with Population Services International; Nicholas Kristof, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, who will moderate a panel on "The Economics of Doing Good"; and Abby Joseph Cohen, president of Goldman Sachs' Global Markets Institute.

Wendy_Perrin_Adam_Stewart Me, I'll be moderating a panel called "The Committed Consumer: Engaging Your Guests Now."  We'll focus on how companies that are committed to sustainable travel can best articulate their message to travelers. The panelists? Carmen Baker, VP for Responsible Business, Carlson Hotels; Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman Public Relations; Niki Leondakis, COO, Kimpton Hotels; Gregg Michel, President, Crystal Cruises; and Bruce Poon Tip, CEO, Gap Adventures. (As you can tell from the photo above, I had fun moderating last year's consumer panel. That's Adam Stewart, CEO, Sandals Resorts and the Sandals Foundation, at right.) Anything you want me to ask the panelists? Just click on "Comments" below and let me know your questions.

Queen_Rania_Ashley_Judd For scenes from last year's World Savers Congress (where we heard from Queen Rania of Jordan and actor/activitist Ashley Judd, pictured at right) as well as a wrap-up of the remarks and highlights, see our 2008 World Savers Congress page.

Can't join us at the Morgan Library? Then join us on Twitter. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, next Monday, September 21, you can follow live coverage of the World Savers Congress both on Twitter and on a brand-new Conde Nast Traveler blog. I'll be back later this week to tell you how and where.

Speaking of blogging . . . we've got a limited number of seats left at the Congress for NYC-based travel bloggers.  Interested?  If so, please email Megan Montenaro at

September 09, 2009

The Art of the Airport Layover

Click the map above to see a full size version

by Wendy Perrin

When we at Conde Nast Traveler force a blogger to fly tens of thousands of miles within the space of one month -- remember last year's Airport Layover Contest? -- our goal is to get him out of the airport as much as possible during the down time between flights.  Not so over at The stunt-loving sadists at Wired's Autopia blog won't let their guinea pig -- nicknamed "Terminal Man" -- leave the airport even once!

Remember those $599 JetBlue unlimited travel passes that were on sale last month? Our friends at Autopia bought one for 28-year-old blogger Brendan Ross, a.k.a. Terminal Man. He now gets to fly every day for the next month, endure as many as 68 flights in total, and never leave the airport unless it's on a plane. This is one journey I can't wait to follow. Brendan will soon begin blogging about his adventures, and he's already tweeting up a storm on Twitter

Autopia has invited readers to suggest where Brendan should fly and what he should do during his layovers, so if you've got recommendations, share them here. (We've provided a handy-dandy JetBlue route map to help you out.)

If, on the other hand, you're someone who prefers to spend layovers escaping the airport, check out the 180-or-so seriously creative layover suggestions, most of them international but many domestic, recommended by Perrin Post readers in our Airport Layover Contest. For easy scanning, we've copied and pasted the layover recommendations into this blog entry, after the jump:

Continue reading "The Art of the Airport Layover" »

April 17, 2009

What You're Missing if You're Not on Twitter

by Wendy Perrin

"Want to know what Travel 3.0 will be like? You're soaking in it," wrote Henry Harteveldt, longtime travel industry analyst for Forrester Research, on the online water cooler known as Twitter. Henry is one of the many travel trend watchers and advice givers whose Twitter updates I love to read. Another strategist I follow is Rick Seaney, CEO of the airfare-monitoring site FareCompare. His Twitter tips notify you of airfare sales a few hours before they hit Orbitz, Expedia, and the like, enabling you to nab a deal before seats run out. I'm also a big fan of The Global Traveller, better known to FlyerTalk addicts as KiwiFlyer, co-author of the FlyerTalk blog The Gate. He practically lives on planes and uses Twitter to offer very useful snippets of practical advice to hundreds of travelers worldwide.

I know of no faster or more effective way than Twitter to have a real-time dialogue with other travelers. Personally, I love it as a communication tool because it enables me to have a conversation with readers that's impossible via email or even this blog. I can answer readers' questions quickly and easily, in a public way, so that all travelers--not just the individual reader, but anyone who's interested--can learn from the conversation, join in, and share tips of their own. This empowers us all.

It's fascinating to watch more and more travel companies adopt Twitter as a customer-service tool, to show they're listening and actually care. Some travelers say they get faster answers from JetBlue via Twitter than from JetBlue agents at the airport. American Airlines' Admirals Club is on Twitter, soliciting customer feedback and occasionally offering free one-day passes or $50 discounts toward Admirals Club membership. Marriott International and Fairmont Hotels answer all manner of questions from travelers and help however they can. Quikbook shares hotel deals before they're announced on its Web site, Farecast's Fareologist points people to the lowest airfares, Expedia helps people brainstorm last-minute vacation ideas, LuxuryLink gives away trips . . . .

Continue reading "What You're Missing if You're Not on Twitter" »

March 24, 2009

My Trip to Austin, Texas: Highlight #3

Clay_shirky_wendy_perrin_sxsw Clay Shirky, the author of Here Comes Everybody, at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, March 16.

by Wendy Perrin

Remember I was saying that the best part of my trip to Austin was the people I got to hang out with?  One of the coolest moments was breakfast with Clay Shirky, the author of my favorite book of 2008, a wake-up call entitled Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. It's a riveting read about how the Internet is changing society. Its relevance to the world of travel?  New technological tools are enabling travelers to share more information with other travelers than ever before, faster than ever before, thus empowering us all (well, those of us who are using the tools).

That's why I'll be talking about Clay's book, as well as two other seminal works I've devoured lately--Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, and What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis--when I head to Washington, D.C., this weekend to speak at the conference of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers.  They've asked me to talk about how I balance my print and online responsibilities, how I use social media in my work, what the future holds for travel journalism. . . .  Piece of cake! (Kidding.)

If you're interested in tuning in to my talk in real time and you're on Twitter (one of those aforementioned technological tools), you'll be able to read what's being said by twitterers at the conference here. Wish me luck!

And, if you have any recommendations for D.C., of course I'd love to hear those too. Just click on "Comments" below, and, if you like, include your URL in the text of your comment so we can all click to learn more about you.

March 20, 2009

My Trip to Austin, Texas: Highlight #1

Wendy_perrin_the_twitchhiker_2 Breakfast with the Twitchhiker at the Four Seasons Austin, March 15, 2009.

by Wendy Perrin

You know how the best part of a trip is often the people you meet? I'm back from Austin, where I didn't get to see as much of the city as I would have liked (I was busy at the Convention Center), but I did get to meet some great people. One of them was the Twitchhiker.

Since March 1, British journalist Paul Smith (a.k.a. the Twitchhiker) has been testing just how far he can travel, relying solely on the goodwill and hospitality of the online community on Twitter, and raising money for charity as he goes. Yes, his journey is dictated by whoever on Twitter steps up to give him a room for the night or a plane ticket or car ride onward. Paul started out in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, swung through various European cities, hopped over the Atlantic Ocean to New York, zigzagged across the U.S. to Los Angeles, and will be flying to New Zealand tomorrow. I was lucky enough to catch up with him in Austin (right after his interview on Good Morning America Weekend) and donate a breakfast to the cause.

Travel companies, don't miss the boat on this one: Help the Twitchhiker in his mission to reach the farthest point on the globe from where he started. He needs to get there by the end of the month. To follow him on Twitter, click here.

Who else did I meet in Austin? Stay tuned ...

February 04, 2009

On the Road, with Twitter Your Only Guide

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" »