The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cruising during hurricane season

Have you ever wondered why Caribbean cruise rates are so low in August and September?

The current answer is growing Hurricane Earl. He has already has forced a half dozen cruise ships carrying more than 20,000 vacationers to switch course as it barrels toward some of the Caribbeans most popular islands and more itinerary changes could be coming.

Don't be alarmed the cruise ships and their passengers are safe as they can sail away from harms way. But many of the itineraries will have to be changed based on how & where the hurricanes tracks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall is in the air!

Starting this week there has been a nip in the evening air and when I go out to get the paper in the morning. The mums are ready to burst forth in brilliant displays of color and some leaves are starting to turn.

Happily this mean that means fall, my favorite time of year, will be here in just a few weeks.
For me fall means football, fall foliage, festivals and more football! You can’t beat the smells and sounds of fall on a Friday night football game. The freshly cut grass, hot popcorn and the marching band! It doesn’t get much better! Well maybe tailgating before a Saturday afternoon college game closely compares.

I try to package a weekend family football getaway with multiple events. By combining a festival, historic tour, art show and ball game you satisfy varied interests. Gosh how could I forget to add in a round of golf or two?

There are plenty of activities and events within an easy day’s drive that allow you to craft a little mini vacation. I apply the same approach in the winter months but the hotel must have an indoor pool1

For example head over to Parkersburg WVA on September 18th to catch the Harvest Moon Arts & Crafts Festival and tour Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. That evening head across the might Ohio River and attend a Division 3 Ohio Athletic Conference football game between Muskingum University and Marietta College. If you have never been to a D3 game you are in for a treat. These are non scholarship players that are playing for the love of the game.

To get your planning started check with the state’s tourism office then work down to the areas Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and/or Chamber of Commerce’s tourism office for a schedule of events and activities.

Happy travels!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Disney 2011 College Intern program

The 2011 Walt Disney World College program is currently looking for students to participate in the intern program for 2011.

Their E-Presentation is available online 24/7 to students who are not able to attend a live presentation on campus due to distance, scheduling conflict, or who wish to start the application process immediately.

The updated E-Presentation is available for viewing now by visiting and clicking on "Walt Disney World".
Specific requirements for program admission do apply.

Interested students can contact me at 740.533.4559 or with any questions.

Thought for the day

The thought for the day is provided by English lawyer and philosopher Francis Bacon, Sr. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”

Get out and travel with your family especially the young ones so can grow together and learn from each other! It is amazing how a 9 year old sees the world!

Just a simple visit to a local museum or attraction can be a journey of discovery. We have plenty over the back fence. To name a few local venue experience Huntington’s Heritage Village, the Art Museum or the Radio Museum. Even a high school football is a growth opportunity.

Need travel ideas? Contact

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Giving Back

“The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”…Albert Einstein Swiss American physicist.

Get involved in your community and give something back. The Ironton Kiwanis Club is always looking for new members that desire to get involved in community service! There are plenty of great organizations doing wonderful things! Just get active and do it!

On many of the OU Southern educational journeys that I designed and lead students and community members performed many duties. They ranged from painting fences and historic buildings in Gettysburg to planting trees in the West Woods at Antietam. Everyone involved was pleased and satisfied with these efforts.

On a national note Tourism Cares is an organization dedicating to restoring the past and preserving the future. Make plans to join them on one of their projects. Who knows you may see the Travel Professor there!

I always appreciate your questions or comments. Email

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Choose to Cruise!

According to research compiled by the Compete Firm the number of U.S. consumers interested in cruises grew 2% in June compared to May & increased 10% from the same period in 2009.

Cabins are filling up but there still are some bargains to be found.

Statistics are reveal that less than 15 % of US consumers have cruised but over 80% have indicated that they’d love to cruise! What’s holding you back? Click
here to discover more about vacations at sea!

Be kind to your
travel agent and get out of town!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Magellan sets sail to circumnavigate the globe

On August 10 1519, five ships under the command of Ferdinand Magellan left Seville seeking a passage through South America to reach India. Spain had ceded the eastern passage around Africa to Portugal, so an eastern passage was critical to the nation.

On December 6, Magellan's fleet sighted South America. Avoiding Brazil, which was Portuguese territory, Magellan and his crew continued south. On October 21, 1520, they reached the Estrecho de Todos los Santos, ("All Saints' Channel"), now named the Strait of Magellan. On November 28th, Magellan entered the waters they named Mar Pacifico (Pacific Ocean) because of its calm.

Magellan would not complete the journey. He was killed in the Philippines during a battle with natives. The expedition returned to Spain, the first to circumnavigate the globe

If you’ve got the time and money why not follow in Magellan’s footsteps and embark on a world cruise ? Only this time it will be a luxury sailing.

Happy 50th birthday for America's 1st underwater park

Plans are underway for a milestone birthday celebration as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America's first underwater preserve, turns 50 years old. The historic event is set for Dec. 1 through Dec. 11, 2010, offering an ideal occasion for divers, snorkelers and other visitors to discover or rediscover the Key Largo park.

The park was dedicated Dec. 10, 1960, capping efforts by the late Miami Herald editor John Pennekamp to create the Florida Keys jewel that lies just 90 minutes' drive from Miami. Today, the park named for Pennekamp draws more than one million visitors annually to explore its nature trails and beaches and observe the abundant underwater wildlife that inhabits its 70 nautical miles.

If you haven’t been to the Conch Republic then you’ve missed an interesting slice of Americana. Fly into Miami or Ft Lauderdale; rent a convertible and head south to the Keys!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mississippi River cruising to return in 2011!

Cruise West is re-introducing Mississippi River cruising starting next March. It is renaming the 102-passenger Spirit of Glacier Bay the Spirit of America. Two new itineraries are scheduled on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

The Mississippi River market has remained inactive since Majestic America Line’s 176-passenger Delta Queen, 436-passenger American Queen and 412-passenger Mississippi Queen ceased operations at the end of 2008.

“Many of our loyal customers asked us to bring the Cruise West small-ship experience to the Mississippi and other heartland rivers,” said Dick West, Cruise West’s chairman and managing director. “My family is extremely proud to offer guests the opportunity to sail an American-flagged ship on one of the most iconic American rivers.”

The Spirit of America, which has been operating in Alaska since 2008, is 207 feet long with four decks, including an upper sun deck and three lower decks with 51 cabins. This differs greatly from the three paddle wheelers operated by Majestic, which ranged from 285 to 418 feet.

On the Mississippi River, the ship will sail two seven-night itineraries along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis and along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers from Memphis to Nashville. In 2011, the Spirit of America plans to sail with eight departures.

For more river cruising information and details contact or your favorite travel professional.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Taking Off in travel class

Want a career in travel?

Check out the possibilities with my “Taking Off in Travel” online class. This course provides an overview of the basics of the travel industry and career opportunities available.

Enjoy a fun, realistic presentation of: air travel, car rentals, hotel accommodations, rail travel, tours, and cruises.

Group travel, incentive travel, meetings and conventions, in-bound tourism, international travel and niche travel are also discussed.

There will be opportunities for learning activities as well as exercises and thought-provoking case studies to aid in applying the principles presented.

Got questions? Email

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Avoiding airline baggage fees

Hey Travel Prof: How do I avoid airline baggage fees?

That's simple-take a nakation! That’s as in naked. With no bulky clothes, packing for a naked holiday is simple. Just remember ample supplies of sun block!!

The only other ways that I’ve found are to fly airlines like Southwest that do not have baggage fees. Another is to get an airline affinity credit card. Armed with this card I got one free bag on Continental.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New air travel name requirements starting

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will require full name (as it appears on their government issued ID), date of birth and gender for all passengers traveling on or after November 1, 2010 regardless of when the reservation was booked. Failure to provide this information could result in a reservation being refused by the airline.

Ancient Roman Christian Theologian Saint Augustine quotes “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”. Be kind to your travel agent and get out of town!

Got travel? Email

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Columbus heads to the New World

On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. His great quest for a western route to Asia from Europe had found no support from Portugal or from Italian princes. However, the queen of Spain agreed to fund his mission. He sailed first to the Canary Islands where he provisioned his ships and made repairs. He and his crew then began the five week voyage into the unknown waters of the Atlantic. Land was first sited on October 12, 1492.

Many people believe that he came ashore on a small island in the present-day Bahamas.

Agree or disagree? Email

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ohio wine festival

It is called the Great Lakes Plains (GLP). Prime real estate this is a fertile strip of land that starts at the shoreline and extends inland along the Great Lakes from Wisconsin to Ohio. In northeastern Ohio it stretches about ten miles south from the banks of the Lake Erie then this fertile lowland widens as it rolls west until it is more than fifty miles wide in the Maumee Valley. Similar soil and climate conditions also exist in bordering Pennsylvania and northwestern New York State.

These rolling lowlands in northeast Ohio, northern Pennsylvania and New York offer perfect conditions for the cultivation of a wide range of the Vitis plant Miles of neatly tended rows of grape vines can be seen as your travel the highways and byways of this regional wine country.
Wine is produced throughout much of Ohio but the experts consider that the northeast Ohio vintages are the state’s best. The expert’s point of view attributes the GLP as a major factor. Ohio has frequently been ranked in the top 5 of best domestic wine both by taste and quality. California and New York State lead the field while the Pacific Northwest, Virginia and North Carolina are also producing some outstanding vintages.

Let’s get back to the “Buckeye” state and Vintage Ohio. This is an annual two-day festival that showcases Ohio wine, food, and music. The event held August 6th & 7th at Lake County’s Metroparks' Farmpark just east of Cleveland, features wine samples, Ohio food vendors, craft exhibits and demonstrations, and food samples from area restaurants.

More than 30 Ohio wineries, including Chalet Debonne and Old Mill Winery, are participating in the 2010 event. Wineries will offer samples as well as wine to purchase by the glass, bottle, and case. Last century I had the pleasure of visiting these two venues and it was wonderful.

A dozen plus restaurants from all around the Cleveland metro area are on the schedule for 2010. They will be offering small samples of their fare for sale. In addition, a number of Ohio food manufacturers will have exhibits at the event.

In addition to the wine and food,
Vintage Ohio will feature live entertainment on two stages, wine and craft demonstrations, and dozens of craft exhibitors.

Vintage Ohio is open both days from 1pm to 10pm. Admission is $25 in advance and $27 at the gate for a wine sampler ticket that includes a logo souvenir glass, wine samples, and wine for purchase by the glass. A two-day wine-sampler ticket is also available for $40 and designated driver/non-drinker tickets are $10 (without the wine glass). Children 3-18 are $3 each and children 2 and under are free.

It’s an easy drive interstate highway for the most part. I’d head on I 64 East to I 77 North then I 271 East onto I 90 East. The Farmpark is not too far off of Interstate 90. For lodging and more regional information contact the Lake County Visitors Bureau at 800.368.LAKE or There’s plenty to see and do.

Got travel? Contact or 740.550.9540.