Author Archive

Mac Lacy

Tom Hanks’ Next Big Role

Posted by Mac Lacy in Asia, Travel Thoughts on February 02, 2017


Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Jim Thompson. Now that I’ve visited his museum in Bangkok, I’m wondering why Tom Hanks hasn’t played him. The mystery surrounding his life and death is that good. Thompson was a World War II veteran and intelligence officer who was highly trained in jungle survival. He left the…


Mac Lacy

Herding Cats

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on August 16, 2016


What makes a good tour director?  Who are these people who enjoy the challenge of “herding cats” for a week in a foreign country?  While some of us can barely manage the human dynamics of traveling with our spouse, how can others be up for the challenge of handling two dozen strangers who meet each…


Mac Lacy

2016 Travel Planner Trends

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on June 20, 2016


It seems to be a good use of this column once a year to summarize what I learned from the buyer breakout sessions at our annual Select Traveler Conference. At these sessions, I ask group travel planners various questions about their current trips. • On the issue of travel interests in light of international terrorism…



The four of us have agreed: We’re going back to Southeast Asia. It’s a long way from Kentucky to the Mekong, but what’s 24 hours in aisle seats and airports when the other side of the world awaits? Two couples spent two weeks in three countries in January, including a week on the Mekong River…


Mac Lacy

Mars on Earth

Posted by Mac Lacy in Middle East, Travel Thoughts on November 12, 2015


I’m a Matt Damon fan. I’ve seen most of his films and can’t pass up any of his Jason Bourne roles if I run across them at night. Most of you are probably familiar with Matt Damon. I’m also a Wadi Rum fan. I count it as one of the places on Earth to which…


Mac Lacy

A Travel Maverick

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on July 22, 2015


Don’t tell my favorite travel companion, but someday I want to be like Roy Sidlo. My favorite travel companion is my wife, Kim. Roy is a retired cinematographer from Chicago who travels on his own quite a bit. I met him on a Danube River cruise with Mayflower Tours in May. We met early on…


Mac Lacy

An On-The-Road Epiphany

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on November 21, 2014


Returning from Jordan last week on Royal Jordanian Airlines, I enjoyed a cosmic moment in my life. It started uneventfully. In a rush to get on the road to the airport in Amman that morning, I threw my headphones into a small bag I usually take on the plane. But for this trip, I had…



On March 30, for the first time ever, we assembled a group of about 150 travel planners for banks, chambers of commerce and alumni associations for face-to-face conversations at the Select Traveler Conference in Huntsville, Alabama. Our kickoff program at the conference was the popular breakout session where planners sit and share ideas in a…

select traveler

Mac Lacy

Why we all travel

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on February 21, 2013


Most of us who publish this magazine and most of you who read it will travel at the drop of a hat. We live for our next adventure. And if we’re going somewhere we’ve never been before, that’s even better. All of us have friends or family members who couldn’t care less about traveling. Their…

Mac Lacy

Five favorites: Hidden gems

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on October 18, 2012


  Tenakee Springs, Alaska For our recent Group Travel Industry Buyers Guide, I was asked to compile a list of five favorite places I’ve been that could be considered hidden gems.  Here are four in the United States and one in Italy that certainly fit that description for me. Ground Zero, Clarksdale, Mississippi There are…