Family Volunteer Vacation in Costa Rica

Different people want different travel experiences, of course; the diversity of options is part of what makes vacation time so universally appealing. Using a holiday to get out of one's comfort zone can also help to both appreciate our lives and the lives of others in the world as well. This is why, last Christmas, my family packed up our bags and we spent our Christmas holiday outside of their comfort zone, doing service work in Costa Rica....more

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Happy New Year, fellow fans of Blogher! I don't know where you are going to be tonight, but if you have plans to be in New York City, here are some tips to watch the ball drop in Times Square (hint: it's a sardine can) and other annual New Year's Eve events in NYC. If, however, you're like me, you aren't going to be anywhere near New York City for New Year's....more

The Twilight Tour in Forks and La Push, Washington

I recently went on a group tour of the Olympic National Park in Washington, and while I was expecting magnificent waterfalls, lonely sweeps of beaches, moss-covered trees and general gloriousness, what I wasn't expecting was the steadily increasing popularity of Forks among family travelers. It's all because of the Twilight books and movies, of course; Stephanie Meyers set her vampire romance series in and around Forks, and now teenage girls are begging to visit. ...more

A Travel Blogger Speculates on Hawaii-Themed Searches During This Recession

I'm slowly building up a reservoir of Hawaii-related articles, and they do pretty well over at each of their respective sites (Suite101, TheVacationGals, and Uptake). Because it's a big deal for a lot of people to actually up and take a vacation in Hawaii, I'm thinking the relatively high PVs means one of two things: Either luxury travel is buffered somewhat from the worldwide economic downturn, or else there are a lot of aspirational searchers out there. Possibly a little of both. ...more

 As an addendum, it seems like there are some amazing travel deals and hotel packages ...more

Missing NYC at Christmastime

I used to live in New York City. My children were born there, and we moved to the West Coast when they were 3 and a half, and 16 months old. They don't remember it much, except for our annual summer visit and occasional mid-year jaunts. But I sure see it on TV all the time ,what with the national nightly news being broadcast from there (on the major non-cable networks), the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I do not, I repeat ...more

They do a pretty decent facsimile of glitz here in my Goretex town, but I really loved going ...more

My Favorite Romantic Getaway in the USA

Have any of you been to Napa Valley for vacation? Safe to say it's my favorite travel destination in California for a long romantic weekend. We can't all afford to take a couple weeks off and fly to Tuscany, of course - but the sea breeze, the rolling hills, and the miles upon miles of vineyards make Napa Valley a reasonable substitute. Sure, there's no medieval or ...more

I Love Vancouver

I love Vancouver. And apparently, I'm not the only one - not by a long shot. The Economic Intelligence Unit rated Vancouver, British Columbia as the most livable city in the world. Because some of the factors that figure into livability are quality and availability of good and services, low crime, and access to arts and culture, Vancouver is also a top vacation city. Sure, it's cloudier and rainier than some may like, but hey - nowhere's perfect, right? ...more

Can a Tropical Vacation Fan Warm Up to a Ski Trip?

Some people have a hard time understanding why anyone would choose a ski vacation over a tropical one - and by "some people," I mean, "me." Preference for poolside mixed drinks aside, the cold weather, extreme physical exertion, cold weather, lack of snorkeling opportunities, and cold weather all seem like remarkable vacation turn-offs. ...more

Is This Environmental Protection, or Environmental Extremism?

What can I say? When I travel, I like to go in comfort and style. I don't really camp, much, and I like modern-day amenities. But (like most people) I'd hate to be part of the problem. Luxury travel, for me, also involves some ecological responsibility. It's practically impossible to be a world traveler (one with limited vacation days, that is) without flying. ...more

Sustainable Vacations

When someone says, "I like to travel," it can mean many things. There's cruises, historic tours, adventure travel, luxury travel, ecotourism and more. Like it or not, all leave their mark on the environment. ...more