The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Student air travel specials

Staying on an educational theme college students can get crazy low prices on airfare from Lufthansa Airlines. Winter break backpacking trip across Europe is still possible. Fly to London, Paris, Amsterdam or one of several other popular cities from just $159 each way.

For information and reservations contact your travel agent or visit

Check out the other carriers as they frequently match specials offered by their competitors.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Field trip grants

Education just doesn’t occur in the classroom. On location experiential learning adds the “WOW” to learning and can really increase the comprehension of the topic and/or subject matter.

For years I’ve worked with professional educators to develop content rich value added educational field excursions. Funding for student travel has always been an issue and I’d like to inform the educational community of a grant program offered by Target department stores.

Learn more at

Educators go to Target’s field trip link and apply. Parents encourage your school leaders to apply for these field trip grants today!

Be kind to your students and take them out of town on an educational field trip.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Portsmouth's Ohio Irish pub & other touring thoughts

It was a festive Thursday evening at Portsmouth Ohio’s Port City Pub & Grill. Live Irish music, plenty of good food and smooth pints of Guinness made for a great night.

This Irish pub is a must visit for everyone looking to experience a wee bit of the “Emerald Island” in the USA.

Better yet make a day of it by visiting Portsmouth’s 2200 feet of flood wall murals, shopping for antiques and treasures in the Boneyfiddle district and touring the 1810 House.

This home is a historic old farm homestead that clearly represents the courage of pioneers who cleared, settled and cultivated the wild forest near the mighty Ohio River.

For more information contact the
Portsmouth-Scioto Convention and Visitors Bureau at 740.353.1116

Friday, September 25, 2009

World's Largest Cruise Night

October is National Cruise Vacation Month, and October 14, 2009 is the fifth-annual World’s

Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) – an event that will educate travelers on the pleasures of cruising.

The Travel Professor will have a special web site for this event. Be sure to visit

Happy travels!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preventing motion discomfort

From my inbox:

Hey Travel Prof we got a great deal on a family cruise vacation but are afraid that our children might get sea sick. What are your thoughts?”

A good rule of thumb is if you can ride in the backseat of a car over the river and through the woods & hills of our region without any motion illness issues then you will probably not have a motion discomfort experience a sea.

Cruise ships today are huge vessels that are to design to minimize the rock and roll effect of the waves. Most of the cruising is in the relative calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea.

I won’t deny that you will experience a little motion of the ocean but it’s not like you are in small pleasure craft in a river or on a lake.

However if you’re still concerned there are over the counter drugs available, even for kids, for treating motion sickness. Here are a few simple rules to use.

Rule “1 is that most if not all of these meds must be taken before the trip starts.

Rule 1A is that there are also some non medical based treatments called “motion sickness wristbands”. These bands use acupressure technology to eliminate the feelings of nausea associated with motion sickness. This technology is based on the fact that if the right degree of pressure is applied to the right points of the body the transmission of nausea is blocked before it can be registered by the brain – thus eliminating the feelings of nausea before they start.

Rule 2 is to consult your doctor before giving your kids any new medications.

Rule 3 is if you or your children experience any motion discomfort at sea head immediately to the ship’s medical facility. They can administer (for a nominal fee) a shot that should relieve the symptoms.

Rule 4 is to have a great time and enjoy the family vacation!

Got travel questions? Email

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Equinox

Summer is officially over as today is the Autumnal Equinox. The days will be growing shorter marking the start of fall followed by winter.

The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the 'Harvest Moon,' since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them."

The month of September also marks the 'Wine Moon,' the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested from the arbors, pressed and put away to become wine. September is also wine fest time as many vintners share last year’s harvest.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Save the date-Thurday Sept 24th

Irish brewer Guinness hosts “Arthur’s Day” a 250th anniversary celebration on September 24th 2009. The celebrations begin in Dublin Ireland at 17:59 local Dublin time with a global toast to Arthur Guinness to mark 250 years since the signing of the 9,000 year lease on the St. James’s Gate brewery and kick off the beginning of the Arthur’s Day global events. If my calculations are correct that’s 12.59pm local Eastern Daylight time.

The St. Jame's Gateway brewery is a favorite of many touirsts and the panoramic view of dublin from their roof top pub siteis is splendid!

Pop into a local pub on Thursday and join in the global toast. Cheers!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall colors in New England

Northern New England's fall foliage is expected to be spectacular this year, unlike tourism revenues, which likely will remain muted as the economy slowly recovers.

Abundant rain during the summer should boost the vibrancy of the red, orange and gold foliage that attracts millions of visitors to
New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont each fall. Visit each state's home page for a link to a foliage tracker.

Tourism officials are not expecting an enormous amount of inbound visitors so many fall special packages and discounts are being offered in the region.

This is an excellent time for that great American road trip!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Caribbean cruising from Charleston SC

Starting May 18, 2010, with the deployment of the 2,056 passenger ship the Fantasy,
Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce the first year-round cruise sailing from historic downtown Charleston, S.C.!

Most area residents can drive to the Grand Strand and “the Beach” without directions and Charleston is just a little further down the road. This new drivable cruise option means you can visit one of your favorite cities in the summer and the cold winter months and then sail to warmer and more exotic climates!

For itineraries and rates contact your favorite travel agent or

Happy travels!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Today is Constitution Day. It commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.

To honor this occasion Ohio University Southern-Ironton invites the public to a panel discussion entitled Constitution Day 2009 today Thursday September 17th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Bowman Auditorium in the Collins Building.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Mayflower Day

This day celebrates the date the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England to America. On September 16, 1620, 102 men, women, and children set sail from Plymouth, England. Their destination was the New World, where they could have religious freedom, and continue using their native language, culture, and customs.

Today the Plimoth Plantation interprets the early days of the Pilgrims in New England. Plymouth is a short drive from Boston Mass.

It is road trip time to check out the fall colors in coastal New England.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ph. D. in F.U.N.

I’ve enrolled in a doctorlal Ph.D. in F.U.N. program offered by Carnival Cruise University @ Coral Gables. Anyone else want to jump on board and make this a group earning sessions? Classes’ sessions are scheduled on-line but labs meet @ BW3 (Monday) and the Endzone (Wednesday) for cheap wings, ABs and plenty of conversation.

When I add these credentials to my BS, MS, CTC, DS, MCC & yada yada yada degrees and certifications then I can really tell people where to go!

Got travel questions? Email

Happy travels!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall foliage color updates

The cooler autumn evenings signal the start of the fall foliage season. Here are some links to fall color reports in West Virginia and Ohio. Kentucky has yet to post any 2009 information but when it’s available I’ll share it.

Traveling outside the tri-state check out the regional fall color report

Sunday, September 13, 2009

College football game generates tourism dollars in Lawrence County OH

I spent a very pleasant early autumn Saturday afternoon over at the South Point OH high school football stadium watching Lawrence County OH unofficial college football team the Knights of Kentucky Christian University lose to Bethany College. There was a nice crowd on hand and they spent freely at the concession stand that appeared to be operated by South Point boosters.

On the marquee outside of the Country Heath Inn there was a warm welcome to the Bethany College football team and fans. They must have spent Friday night here and occupied 20 plus rooms.

When you factor in meals for the athletes, staff and their fans you have a nice chunk of cash spent in Lawrence County this weekend.

Inbound tourism can and does generate revenue in the community. The challenge is to create events and opportunity to draw people in.

Happy travels!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Disney Cruise Line Sets Sail for Alaska

It's a Disney Cruise Line® first! The Disney Wonder® Cruise Ship is sailing to Alaska for a four-month season of 7-night cruises in 2011. Departing out of Vancouver, B.C., the ship will call on popular ports such as Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

This will be an exciting combination of the Disney magic with Mother Nature's spectacular scenery.

Book your passage early as the Disney ships tend to fill up early.

Happy travels!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kona Coffee Lovers

The 19th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will take place in Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island, November 6th - 15th, 2009. The first coffee was planted in Kona by missionary Samuel Ruggles in 1828 or 1829. These first Arabica trees were taken from cuttings planted on Oahu a few years earlier. Coffee and Kona was a perfect match - Kona with its rich volcanic soil, hard-working family farmers, and perfect climatic conditions. Click here for more information and an overview of events during Hawaii’s oldest food festival.

There are still plenty of package deals available to the islands of Aloha! Contact a Hawaii travel specialist or your travel professional today.

Round the world airfares

The Travel Prof received an email from Sue in Wheelersburg asking “What is a round the world airfare (RTW) and are they still available? Where do we buy them at ”

The basic idea of an RTW ticket is to travel around the world at a set fare, regardless of the number of stops or mileage, within ticket limits. Starting from the United States, you either head to Europe, then Asia, maybe the South Pacific and home, or you do it in the opposite direction. You can also add South Africa and South America. In any case, you have to cross both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, each just once.

Round the World Airfare (RTW) are programs offered by airlines and travel professionals allowing travelers to circle the globe for much less money than buying a series of one way tickets. Many times an Around the World ticket, especially in Business and First Class may cost less, than a round trip ticket to the more remote regions of the world.

Email and I'll share a list of my RTW contacts.

Happy travels!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Your favorite cruise destinations

A recent survey found that the most popular cruise destination was the Caribbean, with Alaska being the second most popular destination. Coming in a distant third was Europe, Mexico, Hawaii and the Mediterranean.

Yes I agree with these results but I am also encouraging travelers to take a seriously look at the other cruise products. Cruises are a fairly inclusive travel product with many of your major costs prepaid-transportation, accommodation, meals, entertainment, transportation & so forth. For more expensive destinations like Europe and Hawaii a cruise vacation is frequently your best value.

Conduct a side by side cost analysis of a land tour versus a cruise tour. Be sure to identify and list all of your expenses as this is the only way to make an accurate comparison. If you do this cost analysis properly then I believe you’ll see the value of vacationing at sea.

Got travel? Email

Happy travels! Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New fees for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has been aggressively marketing itself as the “no fee” airline. Now they joined the rank of the other carriers that are charging for services/feature that used to be free.

Southwest does not pre assign seats instead it offers seat selection on a first come first boarded priority. Now to get yourself to the head of that airport line they are charging $10.00 each way. Baggage fees shouldn’t be too far away.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Extra fees: that what's bugging me about travel suppliers

Someone recently asked me “What is your biggest complaint about travel suppliers today?”

My beef is all the extra fees that are tacked on to the base fare. Extra fees for paper tickets, online tickets, seat assignments, popular seats, snacks and beverages, checked baggage, etc. have been added to your airline ticket.

Cruise lines roll out items port charges, non commissionable fees, charges for special dining rooms, marking up wine and liquor prices to obscene levels, and inflated prices on merchandise, shore excursions, and anything else you're likely to buy through the cruise line.

In addition to local taxes rental cars have bloated your final costs with fess such as a customer facility charge, concession fee, leased vehicle surcharge, gross receipts tax, leased vehicle gross receipt tax and so on.

All of these extras add up and greatly increases your final costs. When I do the math I sharply disagree with the cruise line marketing rep that says we’re selling cruises today at 1989 prices.

Please email and share some of your complaints and/or issues with travel suppliers.