Travel Thoughts

 

New York City remains an iconic destination that ends up on most people’s bucket lists. Our staff sound-off on their favorite memories of the Big Apple!   “I’m a big fan of the High Line. The last time I was in New York with my family, we did a couple dozen blocks on a bright…

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In more than a decade of professional travel journalism, I’ve attended dozens if not 100 or more familiarization (FAM) tours of many varieties. In addition to individual FAMs, I’ve joined organized tours with other writers, as well as group leaders, tour operators, travel agents and other industry professionals. And although each tour is different, FAM…

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“Just try it,” said my mom, offering me a taste of her boiled cabbage. “It’s not like it’s going to hurt you to just try it.” I looked at the mushy, green cabbage she was offering and quietly disagreed. It must be admitted that boiled cabbage can look pretty scary no matter how you feel…

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Are there certain amenities that should be included on any group tour that happens anywhere in the world? I spent a lot of time on tours this summer and fall, and noticed some trends and amenities that I really enjoyed — and others that I missed. It made me wonder if it’s time for some…

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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…

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“What is a favorite view you remember from a trip?” People travel far and wide to take in a spectacular view. Our staff let us know some of their favorite panoramas they beheld during their travels.   “The incredible vistas from the top of Grinnell Glacier stay in my mind as some of the most…

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The conference room was almost totally silent as five travel writers and I awaited the arrival of one of the most recognizable people in America. This June, the legendary Dolly Parton agreed to promote her beloved Dollywood theme park with a group interview. It sounded like an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when I first heard about it….

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Reason for optimism

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on March 20, 2014

 
 

If you ask me, tourism is getting better. This summer, I celebrated 10 years of writing about the group tourism industry. My professional introduction to the business started with a five-day tour of Arkansas in 2003, followed shortly thereafter by a lengthy familiarization tour in Australia and New Zealand. I had a blast, to be…

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“One of my favorite hotels sits in the middle of a desert. After seeing nothing but mountains of sand as far as the eye could see, the green oasis surrounding Evason Ma’in Hot Springs in Jordan felt like a mirage. “The hotel lies beneath dramatically cascading hot spring waterfalls, giving the hotel grounds seclusion and…

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Unlikely inspiration

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on January 29, 2014

 
 

I’ve toured hundreds — maybe thousands — of places during my 10-year career in travel journalism. But a short visit to Memphis this spring led to a tour experience like no other I had ever had: a visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I spent two days in Memphis to attend a tourism conference…

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