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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Passenger unhappiness with airlines continue

The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) finds that airline passengers are unhappier than ever with airlines. The airline industry’s ACSI rating was already low, but it has dropped by 1.6 percent to an ACSI score of 65, according to the newly released report.

The problems identified in this survey are poor customer service, higher fuel prices, and fees for baggage and other services.

I don’t have an answer to the fuel situation but regarding the other issues a solid effort by airline management to put the human back into customer relations would be good start.

Travel is a people driven business so there is a large need for positive person to person interaction throughout the entire travel experience.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Extended Stay Hotels

Granted not everyone wants to cook when traveling but extended stay/efficiency apartment style hotels are a great alternative. Many have most of the major amenities plus a full equipped kitchen.

For a family of four $10.00 breakfast, $15.00 lunches & $20.00 plus dinners start to add up quickly.

Visit a local grocery store, buy your favorites, put on your apron & save. If available sign up for one of the frequent shopper discount cards. I'd rather spend my money on an attractions that pop & chips!

I've had a few cook outs on the hotel's grill and served up some mean Mexican in our unit's kitchen.

Happy travels!

Monday, June 6, 2011


67 years ago today on 6 June 1944 the Allied invasion of the European mainland started.
It is the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II

I’ve been fortunate to speak with both Allied & Axis troopers that served, fought and survived the battle of D-Day and the following battle for Europe. One reoccurring comment was that there was real hell to pay on the battlefield on June 6th 1944 and beyond.

My time spent living in Europe allowed me to visit plenty of destinations but these battlefields and cemeteries were moving. I don’t think any dry eyes left the sights mine included.

Stateside the US D-Day/ WW2 National museum and Washington DC’s WW2 Memorial are worth the visits.

on cutting your lodging bills, food and entertainment bills

With rising fuel prices making travel tough by car and by plane, planning a summer vacation seems impossible. The "staycation" is getting old, so here are some tips on how to trim costs. With a little more research, you can still get away with the family this summer. I’ll be posting my vacation planning thoughts over the next week. Feel free to share your tips & secrets!

Here are some suggestions on cutting your lodging bills, food and entertainment bills.
Take advantage of free. Many hotels offer kids stay and eat free programs, which can add up to big savings when it comes to feeding a brood of four. And don't forget to check out awards on credit cards, frequent flyers, and hotel VIP guests programs. Many of us forget that steep discounts are available on hotels and flights and a quick login to review account balances and special offers may save hundreds.

Another summer travel trip is to ask for discount! Hotels are not always at full capacity so it doesn't hurt to contact hotels directly to ask for discounted rates or even to mention lower rates at a nearby hotel. You'd be surprised by the hotel's ability to drop the price. The works really well on the date of your arrival but you’re also waiting until the last minute.

Check multiple websites. To save money, you need to do a little digging. Don't just review one hotel pricing site and trust it to be the lowest deal. If you see a price advertised on one site like, visit the actual hotel website to see if they offer steals, and vice versa. I once saw one website list a hotel's lowest fees at $200 night but when I went to directly to the hotel's site I discovered a special mid-week deal at $100.00 per night.

Stock the mini bar with your own supplies. Many hotels are providing refrigerators or mini bars; if you have an empty fridge, stock it with drinks and snacks purchased at a local market. If you have a fully stocked mini bar ask the hotel to empty it (this reducing the risk of a toddler's candy bar theft) and fill it with your own low-priced snacks.

Bring your own snacks. Don't blow your budget on food while sightseeing or enjoying an amusement park, bring you own snacks. Some amusement parks allow backpacks filled with snacks and drinks, including Disney Theme Parks, which also provides small lockers for a small fee so you can store your pack until you're hungry. Pack your own lunch and save big!

Check for dining discounts at hotels. Some restaurants near hotels offer special discounts to guests. These may be advertised in the in-room hotel guides or at the front desk. Once my key card worked for a 20% discount off food (adult beverages were not included) at a hotel near Cincy's King Island.

Shop Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) websites in the areas you'll be visiting. Many of the CVBs are posting local deals and discounts here. Many larger cities are offering combination discount books that for one price give you admission into its biggest attractions. Not only will you save on admission, you'll skip the ticket lines.

And don't hesitate to contact your local travel professional as they have access to many unpublished specials and deals.

Friday, June 3, 2011

National Quilt Show in columbus O-H-I-O

A while back I wrote about a quilt barn tour and quilters show that was conducted over in Winchester Oh. This article must have placed me into the Quilt crowd main media swarm as the Travel Prof’s hive’s email inbox just buzzed about the upcoming National Quilting Association 42nd annual Quilt Show ( It is being held in Columbus OH June 16th through the 18th.

The quilting bee hotline is once again abuzz about what a great show awaits the quilting colony clones in Columbus OH. Their happy home will be the C-pod of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The event will feature over 400 competition quilts, special exhibits, classes, lectures, an extensive vendor mall, plus plenty of special events.

The special theme exhibit theme this year is “the Log Cabin” and I’m told other special features include the 3rd Annual NQA Sew Batik Challenge Quilts, Sky-lines exhibit and several other Art Quilt exhibits. Additionally there will be a sampling of wonderful NQA Chapter Challenge Quilts.

It looks like a mega line up but I’m not well versed in this area. So quilters please call/email me and provide enlightenment about these quilt specific terms and topics. I am clueless about what some of the terms like the Sew Batik Challenge is referring to.

Then again I understand what a “Q” class seat is but it is meaningless to you the general public. One of the items that I focus on in class is to remove industry jargon and communicate in plain English. Novel concept that I read somewhere that our legislators were adopting.

As you know downtown Columbus is a happening place with and an abundance of wonderful restaurants, shops, the North Market, art galleries and museums so there is much more to see and do than quilts. The Columbus Convention Center