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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ball park fare

Ball park food has changed from peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks to a multitude of specialized offerings at the old ball yard.

The Travel Prof has been visiting various venues conducting research on the local specialties. Garlic fries at AT & T Park in San Francisco & Dodger Dogs in LA are some of my summer finds. And the tailgate parties at the Milwaukee Brewers games rival any in the NFL!

The next journey is off to some Prospect League parks in Chillicothe, Athens & beyond.

Speaking of foods what are some of the favorite food finds have you discovered in American ball parks ranging from the little leagues to the majors?

Email with your favorite food finds.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is a cruise vacation a good value?

A reader emailed asking “Is a cruise was a good vacation value?”

My answer is YES!

A cruise offers one of the best travel values for your money. Your fare includes all meals, your cabin, onboard daytime activities, nighttime parties and entertainment. So for once, you'll know what your vacation will end up costing you before you go.

You can find a cruise vacation for just about every budget.

Your only extra expenses will be soft drinks and alcoholic beverage, gratuities, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.

Do me a favor and compare everything that is included on a cruise to a comparable land based vacation. Be sure to factor in all the expenses-food, beverages, entertainment, etc. I’m sure when you see the actual costs of that beach getaway versus a vacation at sea you’ll agree on the value of a cruise.

You'll be amazed at the value…Bon Voyage!

Continue to email me your travel questions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cruisers Want Diversity of Activities & Choice

According to the Cruise Line International Association cruise passengers identify cuisine, entertainment, spa/wellness and shore excursions as the items that matter most when selecting a cruise ship and itinerary. The more diverse the offerings the better!

For shore excursions, sun and sand remain the most popular but interest in city tours, history, and culture and adventure excursions is growing.

Travelers value additional choices in alternative-style shipboard restaurants, the spa and wellness area, workout facilities and adults-only facilities.

Entertainment wise cruisers prefer Broadway-style shows, Las Vegas style revues and famous name acts.

The cruise lines have received these messages loud and clear. Their new build ships address these features plus we’re seeing many upgrades to older vessels.

When considering a vacation at sea and you’re unsure about the cruise lines, ships and destinations I suggest you contact a cruise savvy travel agent. These travel agents function as multi-line cruise consultants and can advise on the difference between the lines.

If you contact a cruise line directly you’re only going to receive information about that specific firm.

Option 1 is to contact and work with one travel agent. Option two is to contact all the various cruise lines working with many facts and figures.

You make the call(s) or click(s).

Bon Voyage!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I’ve started taking notes on some the questions and comments that I’ve heard asked on cruise ships. I don’t want to call them stupid questions but I’ll let you be the judge.

Here are a few from my most recent voyage on NCL’s Pride of America 7 day Hawaii cruise.

BTW this is the relaxed way to see the islands. I’ve done the 13 day/12 night 4 islands by air & car tour tour but I loved the cruise otion. It’s the civilized way to travel. Unpack once & watch the islands sail by. No airport hassles, rental cars, hotel check ins & more.

Back to the questions:

• What time is the Midnight Buffet?
• Do these steps go up or down?
• How can I tell which pictures are ours?
• Does the ship generate its own electricity?
• Does the crew sleep on board?
• What interesting ones can you share?

Happy travels! Be kind to your travel agent & get out of town!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy birthday Disneyland!

The magic known as Disneyland, Walt Disney's metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opened on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion

Disneyland is an interesting amusement park nestled within a city setting and a must visit for all of you everything Disney folks!

Be sure to add this to your SoCal itinerary!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Travel Insurance-to buy or not to buy

A reader asks: “Why should we consider buying travel insurance? It’s pretty expensive!”

If you can afford to lose the money you’ve paid for your travel arrangement then yes you do not need to buy insurance. Otherwise read on.

Travel insurance offers travelers coverage for unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness—or in rare cases, even an act of terrorism or the financial default of a travel supplier.

If an illness, accident, or other covered unforeseen circumstance forces a traveler to cancel or interrupt their travel plans, they face two potentially major financial losses—money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments and medical expenses that in many instances may not be covered by health insurance.

There are hundreds of circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling.

To demonstrate the importance of purchasing travel insurance, and emergency travel services, here are 10 common examples of what could go wrong.

• You have to cancel your trip due to an unexpected event such as bad weather, an illness in the family, involuntary job loss or the financial default of your airline, cruise line or tour operator.

• You have to return home early due to an unexpected emergency such as an illness or death in the family.

• Your luggage is lost or delayed, forcing you to purchase necessary essentials, or prescription medications.

• Your sporting, camping or adventure equipment is damaged or stolen.

• You become ill or injured and learn that your health care plan doesn’t cover you outside the U.S.

• You need an emergency medical evacuation due to an accident or sudden illness.

• You run into flight delays and miss a portion of your trip or cruise.

• You have to evacuate your resort due to an unexpected hurricane or storm.

• You lose your passport, leaving you stranded abroad.

• Your rental car is damaged leaving you responsible for the repair costs.

Common travel problems like flight delays, travel injuries and illnesses, unpredictable weather and lost or stolen luggage are why today’s smart travelers travel with travel insurance.

There are many plans that can provide coverage for many of the things that can go wrong before, during and after your trip.

This is a very personal purchasing decision but it does cover the bulk of your travel investment.

I also recommend 3rd party insurance instead of the insurance coverage offered by the cruise line, tour operator or other supplier.

I suggest that you discuss the pros and cons with your travel agent.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival


Top chefs from around the world and Hawaii will converge on O’ahu to celebrate the Islands’ culinary traditions at the inaugural Hawaii Food and Wine Festival from September 29 to October 1

Set in the lush island paradise of O‘ahu, the first-annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival features a roster of internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers.

This three-day event in Honolulu will showcase dishes using the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry.

Now is the time to reserve your air & hotel inclusive Hawaiian packages


Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's a Fair Night!

I discovered major league ballpark prices yesterday at the Lawrence County Fair. $5.00 & up parking fees and $6.00 for my Italian sausage smothered in grilled onions & peppers! But I practiced spending discipline and this fool and his money were not separated.

It was a warm night humid but I had fun talking with folks about Ohio University. We have a great tuition special called “Make Your Mark”. It is geared for people considering college.

Call the Ironton or Proctorville center today

Go Bobcats!

Bleed Green! That is as in OU green not MU green!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The first 'anti-snoring' hotel rooms are on the way!

According to news from Crowne Plaza hotel chain their “Snore Absorption Rooms" were being tested in London England and should be rolled out shortly.

The technology includes:

•Sound proofing on walls to absorb the loud frequencies, deflect the sound waves and minimise the impact of snoring. The walls use egg box style foam which reduces the noise reverberating in the room

•A specially designed sound absorbing head board that will work together with the sound proof walling to muffle the echo within the room

•An anti-snoring bed wedge which acts as a body pillow, encouraging snoring guests to sleep on their sides or upright. Lying flat on your back makes the base of the tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of the throat which causes snoring

•An anti-snoring pillow which uses rare neodymium magnets to create a natural magnetic field, opening the airways and stiffening the upper palate which vibrates during snoring

•A white noise machine which is proven to help drown out the droning snoring noise and help sleep and relaxation

Sweet dreams!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Aloha from the Disney folks!

The new Aulani Resort which in Hawaiian means “messenger of the chief” will be a blend of cultures from Hawaii and Disney. It’s located in the Ko Olina Resort area (20 miles west of Honolulu Airport and 27 miles west of Waikiki).

It has 4 lagoons & miles of beaches, championship golf, a marina and shopping mall.
The Aulani’s style is based on Hawaiian architecture and features a lobby with tapa prints, murals and Hawaiian art. Over 98 percent of the resort’s art is original Hawaiian!

It’s scheduled to open in late August but you can contact your travel agent today for reservations.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

A $5000.00 windfall

If you just won $5,000.00 how much would spend on:

  • On travel?

  • Paying your bills?

  • Add to your savings?

  • Park in investments?

  • Use on a shopping spree?

  • Blow on every day expenses?

  • Other?

Email me your response & let's see how we compare to the national average.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Teaching Travel

When teaching about destinations I have to cover history, art, culture, religion, food, and beverage-basically the whole 9 yards.

As I am a huge believer in experiential learning I reluctantly have to go to these destinations to acquire the first hand experiences!

The best way to become a destination expert is to travel to that destination. And get the boots, sandals, Nike's, etc on the ground.

Got travel questions? Email

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chocolate Day

Some food historians feel that chocolate was introduced to Europeans on July 7 1550.

European chocolate tours are yummy good!

So enjoy some chocolate today guilt free on “Chocolate Day”!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Air fare wish lsit sites

One of the tools that I use to monitor my air travel wish list is

This site is an airfare comparison, alert and listing site that hunts for exceptionally low airfares. When they find one and determine that a sufficient number of seats are available it is listed on this site.

Unlike or, which is airfare search sites does the searching for you then lists what they’ve found in an easy-to-access format.

They have some other great other features that I’ll point out in future posts.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gone traveling

Yes I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.

But after last weekend's San Francisco trip I've discovered that I don't have any future flight booked.

I've got to get to work on that!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Changing airplanes in Kansas City

I did not fully understand the dread term "terminal illness" until I had to change planes in Kansas City. Unless your departure gate is adjacent to your arrival gate you have to leave a secure area then clear TSA at the next one.

Plus the airport is an old west ghost town. Dead!

Sorry KC I love visiting the "City of Fountains" but if possible I'll will not route myself through KCI again.