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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Destination Weddings defined

The definition of a Destination Wedding is very simple. It is a religious or civil ceremony that officially celebrates the beginning of a marriage. This takes place in a location in which the bride and groom have traveled to get there, limited only by their budget imagination and local license requirements.

Today many destination weddings occur in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean or aboard cruise ships. Other couples travel to places like the Great Smoky Mountains or Las Vegas. Destinations are almost unlimited.

A major advantage of this type of wedding is that the bride and groom can travel to their dream destination to start their married life. Many times the destination as serves as their honeymoon.

I’ll continue to point out the advantages and disadvantages of a destination wedding.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It is all in the name

Sandals Resorts based in the Caribbean recently added Martha Stewart branded “bridal packages” to their destination wedding offerings. I heard that within 15 minutes of deploying the brand they booked over $10,000.00 worth of Martha weddings.

That’s some big business. And destination weddings are becoming more popular. I’ll share the pros and cons of these events in later posts.

Happy travels!

Transatlantic cruise values

Not too long ago a ship was the only mode of transportation between Europe and the Americas. For decades a transatlantic cruise was a luxurious pretext for amusement, joy, rest and passion… today a transatlantic cruise remains an outstanding, relaxing elegant holiday and exceptional value.

Costa, Royal Caribbean, Holland American and other major cruise lines are offering westbound departures in November and December. Each cruise liner will offer a different itinerary specially crafted for its unique routes featuring attractive and historic ports of call and days at seas.

I’ve seen some incredible special fares for this transatlantic cruise season so contact your travel agent today. Don’t have an agent the email and I’ll assist in selecting your dream cruise.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy birthday to Internet

Yes the Net was born on Oct 29 1969 when two colleges linked computers & sent the 1st electronic message.

Where would we be without all this instant communication & information?

Got travel questions? Email

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Extended stay hotels

A student stuck her head into my office the other day and asked “We want to go on vacation but there are 4 of us (husband, wife & 2 small children) and a regular hotel room is too small. Due to the ages of our kids two rooms isn’t a good idea plus that is more expensive. Do you have suggestions?”

I replied that an extended stay hotel might work. In addition to a sleeping area they generally have a work area plus a semi furnished kitchen. Rates can be very reasonable especially when staying a week or longer.

Some chains to check out are
Intown Suites, Extended Stay America and Value Place hotels. There are other brands so be sure to research the rates at all properties. Better yet call your travel agent and let them shop for you.

Be kind to your travel agent & get out of town!

Plan well in advance and try to avoid holidays and peak travel periods. If you must travel during these times then expect to pay a room surcharge or higher rate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To the Traveling Public

You may not have read recent articles in the press about how useful a good travel agent can be. The Los Angeles Times just published a column, noting that “Travel consultants are like having a knowledgeable friend along…these travel guns aim to make sure you have a deeper, richer experience tailored to your tastes and interests…. Many specialists use their depth and breadth of knowledge and create a detailed itinerary for you that becomes a playbook for your vacation.”

The New York Times recently published an article citing how some consumers have gotten burned using online travel agencies and are now turning to real, live agents who can help them save time and money when booking a trip. ( posted a follow-up story on how online travel sites are flooded with overwhelming options, all claiming the best deals. “Extra fees nestled into the fine print amid blaring advertisements. Pounding 16 digits into the telephone after you've booked the wrong flight before finally getting a human voice.” (

These three articles indicate that the time is right to return to the practice of using a travel agent.

I specialize in vacations to Europe, warm weather beaches, cruises, historic/cultural venues and group educational experiences. Some of my professional credentials include a Certified Travel Consultant (CTC) designation, Certified Cruise Consultant, Destination Specialists (DS) North America, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii along with plenty of individual country specialist and destination certifications.

Let me assist you in crafting your next vacation and I promise to use all of my knowledge, skill, industry contacts and contracts to make it your most special trip ever. Feel free to email or call 740.550.9540.

Not interested in one of my specialty destinations? There are many other area agents that specialize in Asia, South America, Gatlinburg, the Beach or Branson Mo. For example Crystal Bays at Ironton AAA is a Disney World encyclopedia. What she does for a Disney traveler is incredible. For business travel needs contact the agents at Travel World. Next week I’ll share some thoughts on locating the perfect agent for your travel needs.

Get in touch with any professional travel agent and allow them to plan your dream getaway and cut through the travel red tape.

Conducting your travel business with a live local agent just makes too much sense. You’re dealing with a neighbor and keeping money in the community. Don’t leave your precious vacation or business time to fate. Get the services of an expert, as you would with an attorney or accountant.

Be kind to your travel agent and get out of town!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hotel stay, park & fly

To JP: Here is an explanation about why your recent hotel stay was more expensive than the room rate you confirmed on-line.

Many airport area hotels offer a package that includes your pre departure hotel room plus parking. The number of free parking days varies by property. Be sure to inquire about how free days are included in your room rate and what any additional days of parking would cost.

The stay, park & fly rate is generally not listed on the Internet so I suggest that you contact the hotel directly to obtain the correct price. I recently priced a hotel stay at $55.00 but this did not include free parking. I had to upgrade to a $79.00 rate which did include free parking and airport shuttle.

I believe that this is what you experienced.

To help prevent rate check in shock conduct your pre-arrival research and arrived as an informed traveler. Better yet contact a travel agent.

Happy travels!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Air travel updates

If you have not traveled by air recently there are some new changes that you should be aware of. You are now required to provide new personal information required when you book a flight. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced Secure Flight, a federally mandated program designed to help enhance the security of domestic and international commercial air travel through the use of improved watch list matching.
According to this program here is what you’ll need to provide:

• Full name, exactly as it appears on the current (non-expired) government-issued photo ID that your passenger(s) will be traveling with

• Date of birth

• Gender

I also suggest that you provide plenty of telephone & electronic contacts. This boils down to your home, business, cell and destination phone. Also give them the email addresses that you frequently check. Schedules and delays do occur so give your airline partners as many options to contact you as possible.

Happy travels!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wolrld's Largest Cruise Night is today

The World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) is here! Go to for specials prices, discounts and promotions.

You can now follow the Travel Professor on Twitter and Facebook.
• The Twitter link is
• On Facebook go to

Be kind to your travel agent and get out of town!

Bon voyage and happy travels!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World's Largest Cruise Night is coming

Tomorrow Oct 14th is the “World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN)”! To promote the value of vacationing at sea the cruises lines are offering many special fares and promotions.

I’ve partnered with the 24 member lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and can help you with information on cruise vacations, exceptional WLCN offers, discounts and promotions. Be sure to visit me at

Bon Voyage! Happy Travels!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

Columbus Day honors the explorer Christopher Columbus, who first landed in the New World on October 12, 1492. While Columbus's nationality has never been positively identified, many believe he was of Italian descent, and throughout the nineteenth century, Italian-Americans held celebrations in cities across the United States to honor his memory. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 Columbus Day. President Richard Nixon later declared Columbus Day a national holiday to be observed the second Monday of each October.

It is still debated as to whether he first landed on one of the islands of the present day Bahamas or the island of Hispaniola shared by the nations of Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Regardless of the exact location Columbus is still credited as the first European to discover the “New World”. I’m sure that Viking explorer Leif Erickson would debate Columbus and you on this topic.

There are ancient Norse myths and stories that talk about a rich fertile land west of Greenland. It is described as a rich fertile place with an abundance of grape vines.
One such story recalls on his voyage to Greenland how he sailed off-course and arrived in a place he called 'Vinland', because of the abundant grapes growing there, and the general fertility of the land. In another - the Groenlendinga saga - he heard of a land in the west from an Icelandic trader, and went to find it. Reportedly in 1003-1004 AD he landed in modern day Canada.

Although precise identity of Vinland remains uncertain various locations on the North American coast have been identified as possible site. In 1963 archaeologists found ruins of a Viking-type settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, in northern Newfoundland, which correspond to Leif's description of Vinland.

The truth may never been known but this makes for a great story and even a Hollywood movie. Better yet you make the call.

Happy travels!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Advanced travel degree from MLT University

I recently had the opportunity to attend MLT University. My course of study included more than 40 classes taught by destination experts. Each class was packed full with in-depth destination information, sightseeing options and updated property information.

This year’s MLT University line-up of classes included every major leisure travel destination throughout the U.S., including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

My elective classes included learning more about Delta Vacations and Continental Airlines Vacations packages along with Romance Honeymoons and Destination Wedding packages. These two carriers fly to most of the world’s most popular vacation spots and they offer some great prices and value added package getaways.

The resounding theme in all sessions was “now is the time to travel’! There is a world of added value affordably priced tour packages available. Many of the suppliers compared their current rates to price ranges that date back to the 1990s.

The capstone educational event was a tradeshow where I had to meet with over 200 hotel and destination partners and discuss their 2010 vacation offerings.

I’d be glad to share my knowledge about what’s new for 2010 with you so email

Be kind to your travel agent! Get out of town!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

World's Largest Cruise Night (WLCN)

The World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) is being held on October 14th. This exciting event is designed to showcase the incredible choice, diversity and value of cruise vacations. I’ve partnered with the 24 member lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to help provide travelers with information on cruise vacations and special offers and discounts associated with the WLCN.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES Carnival awards “Cash Back” of $70 to $200 per stateroom on bookings of selected 2010 voyages from a variety of North American homeports.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN features discounts of up to $200 off per stateroom, onboard credits of up to $100 per stateroom, reduced deposits or special amenities for bookings on select departures made during October 12-16.

Check out all the specials at

Bon Voyage!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

BS in "FUN" degree conferred.

I have successfully completed the course of study approved by Carnival Cruise Lines “Fun” Team and am therefore awarded the degree in “Bachelors of Fun” with all the rights and awesome privileges thereunto pertaining and am now proclaimed a certified “Carnival Funologist”!

My plans are to continue my higher education at Carnival University with the goals of achieving advanced degrees in Masters of Memories and eventually a Ph.D. of Awesome.

Got travel questions? Email

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pinktober at the Hard Rock Cafe

Join forces with Hard Rock, Melissa Etheridge, the Bangles, and a host of musicians around the world for Pinktober, the campaign for breast cancer awareness. Hard Rock Cafes and Hotels everywhere are hosting Pinktober parties and live music events, raising awareness and money for local, national, and international charities.

Head up to Ohio's North Coast and Cleveland OH to check out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Browsing a museum can work up an appetite so let's venture over to Hard Rock Cafe.

Another road trip option is a journey to Louisville KY. Being a baseball fan I'd check out the Louisville Slugger Museum before traveling to the HRC.

Show your support by attending an event or by purchasing Pinktober gear and apparel.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

National Cruise Vacation Month

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!