Navigate / search

A Travel Blogger’s Goodbye

Talk about travel changing the course of your life. I arrived at Travelocity shortly after college with a narrow view of the world and a slightly bitter attitude because I had to do this thing called work. Little did I know that work would not only broaden my view of the world, but it would also expand my outlook on life, taking me to places near and far and allowing me to explore a deeper side of myself. Ultimately, work lead me to the very place that has completely won over my heart: San Francisco.

So it is with love and gratitude that I find myself saying goodbye to Travelocity. The opportunity to write and talk about travel has been more than just a job; it has been and always will be one of my most treasured experiences.

How do I pare down my toiletries?

Dear Editors,

OK, so I’m fine with packing fewer clothes, making pieces do double-duty, etc. How in the world do I pare down my toiletries? For a short trip, I can skip my shampoo/conditioner, maybe even body lotion. But what about sunscreen, day lotion, night lotion, hair products, etc. I’ve managed to downsize before, but I’ve had to do without certain things I like and usually come home with fried hair and rebellious skin. Any tips, please?


Hi Melissa,

I’ve been hopping on and off of planes on a regular basis for years, and guess what? I still haven’t mastered this one yet! I, too, have products galore and struggle when I’m forced to choose which ones I must leave behind when I travel. Over the years, I’ve managed to develop a few toiletry strategies that I follow…all works in progress. Here they are:

New York Times: ‘Use Travelocity to Hunt for Packages’

I’ve made a career out of telling travelers how to save money. My number one piece of advice: Book your flight and hotel together. I stress this so much it’s borderline annoying, so when a story in the New York Times titled When a Vacation Package Can Save You Money (and When It Can’t) popped up in my Google Reader, I couldn’t click thru to read it fast enough. Mostly because I wanted to know exactly when columnist Michelle Higgins says it can’t save you money.

Turns out even she discovered that, while it pays to be a comparison shopper, “the [online] agencies’ pre-negotiated rates with airlines and hotels allow them to create packages at prices that you’re unlikely to get from hotels and airlines separately,” she writes.

For her article, Michelle tested three sites — Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz — by searching flight + hotel vacation packages for a few different destinations. She not only shopped across all three agencies, but she also shopped the standalone flights and hotels on the supplier websites as well.

In her conclusion, Michelle writes that “Ultimately Travelocity had the best price for two of my searches.” She goes on to give multiple pros and cons for each of the online travel companies she tested before ending with her key piece of advice: use Travelocity to hunt for packages.

9 Cruises for Under $99/Night

The end of wave season is approaching, and cruise lines are filling up their ships for 2011 sailings. While a lot of cruises are reaching capacity, there are many great ships out there that still have room for you and your family. The task of finding the right cruise can be a daunting one, though, so I took the liberty of doing the work for you.

No need to filter through the thousands (literally!) of sailings yourself. Here are nine cheap cruises for less than $99 per night. But, you’ll need to book by March 10 to get the best cruise deal possible – up to 75 percent off to be precise!

Carnival Splendor to the Mexican Riviera – From $50/Night

Take a 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach on the Carnival Splendor, the newest, largest and most innovative ship in the fleet. It has 22 bars and lounges, four pools, a Twister Waterslide and Royal Flush Casino. Launched in 2008, Cruise Critic gives it 4-stars.

Take a Self-Guided Tour of CityCenter’s Fine Art

Editor’s Note: Think you know all there is to know about Las Vegas? Read our Vegas series this week as we celebrate a city that continues to reinvent itself year after year.

After four full days in Las Vegas and an entire day to go, I needed sunlight, fresh air and some down time. (Yes, there is a such thing as down time in Vegas!) Some may choose to hike at Red Rocks, shop ’til they drop or indulge in a spa day, but I found intrigue in CityCenter’s $40 million fine art collection. Unlike your typical art museum, these masterpieces are scattered about the massive CityCenter complex — inside and out; just grab a guide from a concierge’s desk, and start your own tour.

Here are just a few of the pieces that left an impression on me, but the entire collection includes works of 15 internationally renowned artists and is Las Vegas’s first major collection of contemporary art. It’s certainly worth your perusal, and it’s sure to be a side of Vegas that you weren’t ever expecting.

Feature photo of Frank Stella’s Damascus Gate Variation I located in the Vdara lobby.