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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

US Hotel Rates Expected to Rise

TripAdvisor, in its latest Trip Advisor Industry Index, found that U.S. hoteliers expect pricier rates for the fall travel season. Nearly half (47 percent) expect rates to go up higher this year compared to the same time last year, while only 16 percent expect comparatively lower rates

I just experienced the first round of rate hikes as nightly prices on a couple of motor coach groups increased by 15%.

Fortunately I had already made the bookings so the old rate was locked in!

Make you hotel reservations before this increase! Make any reservations before they increase.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Elvis Themed Riverboat Cruise

Here’s a chance to walk in Elvis' Steps during a New Orleans to Memphis 10-day holiday cruise tour. Join other Elvis fans us on a November 24 –December 3 2012 music lover’s dream cruise as the American Queen steamboat glides from New Orleans to Memphis, home of the king's castle, Graceland.

Acclaimed musicians and singers will come aboard to thrill you with their tributes to Elvis and his classic hits. Guest speakers will regale you with stories of what it was like working with the king. Upon your arrival in Memphis, you will be treated to a tour of Graceland and a special ceremony that will light up the exterior grounds for the holiday season, Elvis’ favorite time of year, followed by an exclusive party for American Queen guests. This is a river cruise no Elvis fan should miss!

Cabins are going fast! Call your cruise travel consultant today!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy Birthday NASA!

On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space

Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of the Johnson Space Center, shares the thrill and wonder of space exploration with visitors from around the corner and around the world.
It is a great attraction and well worth the visit if you’re in the Houston area. On my visit I lucked out and observed mission control working with a shuttle in orbit.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Airline baggage claim question

A 1st time air traveler emailed asking “I’ve been told that there some nice shops at our arriving airport. Do we have time to shop or should we immediately head to the baggage area?" 

It varies airport to airport, domestic or international arrivals but my advice is to make a beeline for the luggage carousel. Don’t waste time visiting the bathroom or browsing the stores. Instead, go straight to the baggage claim to make sure you are the first to your baggage. The baggage area at many airports is unsecure and certain types have been known to frequent this area and help themselves to your bags!  

Is there any other advice that seasoned travelers would like to share?  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

US travel recovery looks steady despite global weakness

Strong demand from business and leisure travelers will help U.S. hotels and airlines produce solid revenue and profit in the second and third quarters. But aside from that bright spot, Europe's economic woes and possible slowing growth in China and India could make for a murkier travel outlook. Those factors, combined with investor nervousness over the result of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, are spurring worries that business and leisure consumers could curb their travel a bit farther down the road.

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First time traveler advice

A reader and first time flyer asked about the baggage reclaim process. 

My advice: Make a beeline for the luggage carousel. 

Don’t waste time visiting the bathroom or shopping for magazines. Instead, go straight to the luggage carousel to make sure you are the first to your baggage.

What travel can you share with rookie travelers?