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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What in the world is seat rotation?

Hey Travel Prof! We were looking at taking an escorted tour of China and the brochure mentioned that there was daily “seat rotation”. What in the world is that?

It is a practice on tours in which passengers are moved from seat to seat so as to give all travelers equal access to the "good seats." You move from front to the middle then to the back of the coach.

Does this make sense?

Email your travel questions to

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Caribbean Island?

Many of you have visited the Caribbean islands on a cruise ship or a land based vacation. In your opinion what's the best overall Caribbean destination?

Email your favorite island to Be sure to tell me why you love it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Iceland named top destination for 2011

USA Today named Iceland as the top travel destination for 2011. Iceland is closer than you think. This mid-Atlantic island is the USA’s closest European neighbor. With a flight time from New York less than five hours, you’re ready for action as soon as you arrive. There’s also plenty of choice for relaxing indulgence and pampering yourself. The chilliest thing about Iceland is its name! In January, the average temperature in the capital Reykjavik is higher than that in New York. And Iceland’s welcome for tourists is always warm. Almost everyone speaks fluent English and Icelanders aren’t really given to formalities.

Contact your
travel professional for the special mid winter package deals!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Travel Trivia

From memory: What is the most northern capital city in Europe?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What extras matters the most in a hotel booking?

Besides free Wi-Fi and a hot breakfast what amenities do you crave most when shopping for a hotel?

A free airport shuttle?
A swimming pool?
Free parking?
Pets welcome?
Swimming pool/hot tub?
Babysitting service?
Gourmet in-room coffee?
Fitness center/Spa?
Kids stay free?
Free enhanced cable/satellite TV?
On site restaurant?

Let me know!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your travel plans

It seems like over the past few years, there have been many roadblocks put in the way of travel and tourism growth. What has most negatively impacted your travel plans?

Has it been?

• Prices
• Increased security procedures
• Changing travel Interests
• Changing demographics
• Employment uncertainity
• Other

Email your comments to

Monday, January 17, 2011

Travel Gift Registry

Do you have a special event coming up?

Do you also have the travel bug but are lacking funds?

Why not create a travel gift registry. Then you can invite friends and family to contribute money into your Travel Bank. These funds can then be used to purchase your airline tickets or vacation package.

Travel-it's the perfect gift for any occasion, including holidays, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and graduations.

Contact the Travel Professor or your favorite travel agent for more details.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nominal fees

I was chatting with a cruise line rep about their “nominal” fees. Her company charged $25.00 for dinner in a premier steakhouse, fine French or Italian restaurant seemed a bit more than nominal to me. A Japanese “fusion” dinner was $15.00 a head.

On board internet was also available again for a nominal fee that calculated out to 48.00 an hour. Again this did not strike me as nominal. This fee amount would cover 2 months of on-line access.
Am I a just a cheapskate? What do you think?

In the same conversation with my cruise rep she continued to stress the all inclusive value of her product. While I’m sold on the value of the cruise product as the way to frequently travel I could not sign off on ‘all inclusive” tag. Add in the costs of soft drinks, adult beverages, daily gratuities and other nominal fees and you have a fairly inclusive package. A Sandals or Super Clubs getaway is all inclusive but then these also cost more.

You need to do the math, compare the destinations and products side by side then make your purchase decision. On some occasions you may want to opt for the cruise products while other times head to the all inclusive resort.

If you’re confused on the pricing points consult with a knowledgeable travel agent who can guide you through the facts and figures.

Happy travels!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Welcome to the Big Apple!

According to published reports The Big Apple is biting back from a recessionary slump, drawing 48.7 million visitors last year after slipping in 2009 for the first time since 2001.

The Travel Professor counted as one of them as I ventured there in Nov for a wonderful experience.

New York City tourism officials announced that 39 million visitors were from the U.S. and 9.7 million were from abroad. Both numbers are records, and help put the city back on track for reaching Mayor Michael Bloomberg's goal of 50 million visitors by 2012.

Tourists came to New York despite a well-publicized spread of bed bugs, weather-related snafus following a Christmas weekend blizzard, and rising tabs for theater tickets, restaurants and hotel rooms. The average rate paid for a hotel room in Manhattan in 2010 was more than $250, the New York Times reported, but the occupancy rate still increased to more than 85 percent, according to figures compiled by Colliers PKF Consulting USA

I paid a lot less more like $100.00 a night! My comfortable lodging was mid town across from Penn Station. Options down here include the Herald Square and Pennsylvania Hotel. There not 5 star deluxe properties rather they’re functional ones that fit the bill and budget.

I rode the train to NYC but that is a whole new tale.

Happy travels!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cruise where the big box boats can't with small ship cruises!

Cruise along the coast of Maine and enjoy smooth water sailing and breathtaking views of Maine’s magnificent coastlines from the comfort of American Cruise Lines’ brand new 100-passenger ships. Indulge in tantalizing feasts prepared by highly skilled chefs including the sweetest, most succulent lobster plucked right from the surrounding waters. Historians and even lobstermen themselves will be invited aboard to share their wealth of knowledge detailing the evolution of the lobster as an American delicacy and how the lobster industry has bolstered Maine’s economy in the past century.

Come join American Cruise Lines® next summer for a very special and unforgettable cruise. Contact me or your favorite travel agent for details.

Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Euro hits Europe

On this day in 1999, for the first time since Charlemagne's reign in the ninth century, Europe is united with a common currency when the "euro" debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth. Closing at a robust 1.17 U.S. dollars on its first day, the euro promised to give the dollar a run for its money in the new global economy.

I was not and still am not a huge fan of this move as it brought parity to the market place. Inexpensive destination like Spain and Italy lost their values as the Euro raised the actual cost of what you where paying locally. The fifty cent glass of wine suddenly became $3.00 one. In some instances prices almost doubled when you compared the old currency to the new Euro.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. As soon as they kick off the college football bowl games I’ll get started on my own!