Category Archives: Travel Journal

How Much Do You Want to Tip?

For a simple calculation that can be performed on a four-function calculator with buttons to spare, determining the right tip seems mystify a large portion of the traveling public.   Searching Apple’s App Store for “tip calculator” returns almost 600 apps for the iPhone.  The Hospitality Management Schools’ web site just published a comprehensive tipping […]

American Airlines Reaches Out to Apologize… Again and Again

American Airlines has been a bit more forward over the past month in letting me know they care about me.  A phone conversation, replies to my Tweets – I haven’t had this level of attention from AA in the prior 27 years and 2.4 million miles that I’ve flown them.  However, I’m not sure this […]

Best Hotel Amenity? Free Breakfast

Recent surveys by TripAdvisor and report that the most popular hotel amenity is free WiFi. If they both didn’t misplace a decimal point, then they surveyed the wrong travelers.  Experienced travelers know that the most important amenity is the free hotel breakfast. Now I’m not denying that the growth of mobile devices — smartphones, […]

Table for One: Eating Alone on the Road

Dinner time on my last visit to Philadelphia  and I was sitting at the bar of Tinto, a Spanish restaurant in Philadelphia. My dinner was a couple of plates of tapas — one of grilled octopus, another of sautéed wild mushrooms and caramelized shallots. I put in the order for mushrooms and shallots immediately after the […]

What’s in My Bag: Traveling Light But Prepared

One of my annual New Year’s travel resolutions is to “unpack and repack my briefcase.” Some people re-do their closets; I do my briefcase.  I’m always amazed at the stuff that accumulates over the year. Why did I think I needed a half-dozen pens, two sets of earphones, $5 of loose change in three different […]

Winter Travel Tips — Things to Remember When The Snow Starts Flying

Last week’s winter storms in the Northeast and the South resulted in 70 percent of the US being covered in snow — shutting down airports across the region, canceling thousands of flights and trains.  So it seems like a good time to recap some of the travel tips we’ve covered in past episodes of TravelCommons. […]

New Year’s Travel Resolutions

I’ve never been a big New Year’s Resolution guy.  Mine seem to have a 3-week half-life — they don’t even last to February.  However, in the spirit of “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” (a quote which has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Albert […]

“Now That I Have My Visa, Where in the US Should I Go?”

As the US dollar continues to swoon, non-US friends, colleagues, and podcast listeners are doing the math and thinking it might just be worth getting fingerprinted and photographed by US Customs in exchange for a cheap holiday. The question I’ve been asked over the past 3 months is “Where should I go?” Not an easy […]

Up in the Air — Captures Life in the “Travel Bubble”

Last Friday night, my wife and I found the one theater in Chicago showing Up in the Air (it’s in very limited release until Christmas).  Ever since the preview trailers hit the Web, people have been asking me — “Is this what your life is like?” Watching the opening sequence — a montage of Ryan […]

Skipping the Rental Car

Last week, I had to get from downtown Washington DC to a Northern Virginia suburb for a client dinner. I looked at the Metro map, rang up some car services, but finally gritted my teeth and rented a car.  That’s pretty much my attitude toward car rentals these days — the choice of last resort. […]