Sunday, January 25, 2009

Travel is Creeping Up on Me

I know you are wondering why I have not been blogging much lately... and there is a good reason. I have not been traveling. January for me is usually slow and its a good time for me to set goals for the new year ahead and to just prepare for the many months of suitcases to come.

But, I am itchy. If you are a traveler like me, you know what I am talking about. Home is great.. but, I'm getting a twitch and an itch to get the F out of dodge! The funny thing about travel is that it gets into your blood and it becomes an addiction. I mean, I just booked a night at a Candlewood Suite hotel in Denver and I got excited! (Translation... glorified Holiday Inn property that I will review to see if it is better than my beloved Homewood Suites. I'll let you know in my March blog.)

My travel schedule is booking up and I am just about ready to pack my bags and start checking out all that 2009 has to offer us in the travel world. In February, I am heading up to New York for our first Travel Channel Academy in New York in '09! I'm planning a jam packed itinerary so that you can get the word on some of what is new in NY this season. I am also scheduled for a treat at the Oscar Blandi salon.

At the end of February, I am heading to Atlanta to check out the other side of the city. Seriously... I really only know Buckhead... so, this time I am heading over to the "Perimeter" area to see what that is all about. Somehow I think I am going to find even more shopping and cool restaurants. If you have not been to ATL lately, its definitely worth the check out. So, stay tuned for that blog.

Then, in March... I head out to one of my all-time favorite places... Denver, Colorado, where I will be out at the Keystone Resort near Vail for another Travel Channel Academy. That's right people... Learn, Shoot, Earn, SKI! That is bound to be a fun academy class and what a great excuse to get out to Vail! Another jam packed itinerary for that trip... with a bonus, I am taking my husband along for the ride! Think there is anything for a couple to do in Vail... should I add that this is only the 2nd time we have left our 3 year old little girl behind?


Keystone Resort... Here we come!

So, I am going to go ahead and let January end nice and slow and enjoy this last week at home with my family. My daughter just started pre-school this month and I was really happy to be able to drive her to school in the mornings on my way to work. Like a normal person. I know that is not always going to happen... so, I am just enjoying some of the stuff that I know I will miss when the travel starts creeping back in.

What is on your travel schedule? Got any budget travel ideas? Send me some comments and let me know.

Until then... travel on.


Friday, January 2, 2009

All About the Travel in 2009

only on the TRAVEL CHANNEL

I was sitting at New Year Eve dinner the other night with my husband at one of our local Italian restaurants when this blog started to take shape. I could not decide how to start my 2009 without the old standby cliches... out with the old, in with the new stuff. As I was sitting there eating a 5 course meal, my husband and I could not stop complaining. The service was slow... they did take our order fast enough, the first course was too skimpy, the second was fine, the third was undercooked... it went on and on. I was so irritated that I was actually excited about making a nasty blog about the place. So, I came home and started to write and the more I wrote, the more I deleted. Was I really going to write a travel blog about my five course dinner out with my husband that had gone bad? It became apparent to me that the fact that my husband and I could afford a nice dinner after a very fun (and expensive) Christmas vacation in Florida with our family was more of a blog than the little scallop and overly seasoned cabernet reduction.
So, after a year of bad news and non-perfect hotel stays ... I offer you this.. a look ahead to what I think is going to be the major travel trends of '09.
(1) Business Travel will be cut significantly. What does that mean for you? Business travel is where the airlines make their cash. These are the travelers who do not have any flexibility in their travel schedules and they end up paying dearly for that. It could mean that airlines cut flights even more creating less seats per route. Your best bet... book early and search my fave sites to get the best deals.
(2) Vacation Rentals instead of hotels. Watch out Marriott! Local homeowners are coming to the table to pull even more travelers out of your hotels. With business travel cut backs and the growing vacation rental market you may very well see those hotel rates drop to fill their beds.
(3) American's are going to continue to Staycation this year as the economy tightens even more in 2009. We also see a lot more "Family Reunion" type travels coming in 2009 where families vacation together and save on everything from nightly rates, meals and attractions.

As I look ahead to 2009, I see many paths unfolding that will change my future forever. My daughter starts preschool this month... I have a new position at Travel Channel where I have been given the opportunity to work on shaping a new world of online video for the network. I am also responsible for the Travel Channel Academy and all of the graduates who are out there making travel video for us.

Here are a few new pictures from our family trip to Florida. We hit Disney the day after Christmas and WOW that place was packed! I mean wall to wall people. Loads of "family reunion" t-shirts walking around. I feel good about that trend...

Enjoy 2009 and stay with me this year... I'm about to blow out TravelChannel online with some amazing new travel content including a style web series with my close friend, Sammy B's stylist, and total hottie Christina Burns. (Coming in March)

Talking about hotties... be sure to catch all new episodes of Treasure Hunter: Kirsten Gum coming tomorrow night at 9pm on Travel Channel! This season is all about adventure and Kirsten is one adventurous chick. Check it out.

BIG SHOUT OUT to Kirsten Gum and the entire Treasure Hunter crew at Indigo Films who literally risked their lives shooting this show. You are my rock stars!
Travel On,