Monthly Archives: February 2015

Yonderbound: A Novel Travel Booking and Planning Tool

Yonderbound copyRecently, I joined a partnership with Yonderbound, a third-party hotel booking site, as a team member with their bloggers program. It’s novel in that goes beyond listing users’ opinions by letting them create their own mini-review site.

Let’s face it: Booking sites can get tedious — and really time-consuming — when you’re scrolling through post after post. Opinion after opinion. Yonderbound’s approach can be described as Pinterest meets Trover. Here’s how it works. After setting up an account, users create a Yonderbox in which they could share their travel stories by inserting information on the hotels they’ve stayed at. It’s like putting together a little scrapbook of your trip or a file for saving places to stay for your next one!

It’s pretty easy. On Yonderbox’s home page, you can search for specific hotels or type in a general request like hotels in Japan. Each result comes up with pricing, a map of the hotel, available amenities, and a description about the property. Trip Advisor is incorporated in

Barcelona copy

Overall, I like Yonderbox’s simplicity with design. It’s very clean and it gives you what you often look for first: location and features. I made my first Yonderbox about Barcelona, featuring two hotels I stayed at in 2009: Regencia Colon in the city’s Gothic Quarter and Hotel America in the Eixample District.

You can also follow other travelers and travel bloggers on Yonderbound and check out their Yonderboxes.

As part of my agreement with Yonderbound, my followers receive a $10 Welcome Credit when they sign up on Use this link to claim your credit. And if you want to follow me, this is my profile page here.

Disclosure: I am in a partnership with Yonderbound and I do receive compensation for my work with this company.

Intrepid Travel’s $1 Deposit Promotion

Intrepid - $1 ChallengeRecently I got a press pitch from reps for Intrepid Travel and thought it would be good for sharing. Now until February 28, 2015, Intrepid is holding a $1 deposit promotion to inspire people to consider booking a spot on certain adventure tour packages. The company caters mostly to independent travelers with different itineraries and excursions.

Intrepid’s promotion is being marketed as giving an opportunity for travelers to take on a new personal challenge for 2015: doing things outside of your comfort zone. And it’s for remote places that probably are on an adventurer’s Bucket List (or must-do list if you hate that term). According to their website, a sheer buck holds a spot on new bookings for select tours. They are for Polar Trips, Gorilla Treks, Inca Trail trips, and Peru trips operated by a local partner company called Dragoman.

I followed up with Intrepid’s PR reps to see if the promotion had any other limitations or requirements. Nope, I was told. The response: Normal booking conditions still apply.  Those booking a trip will pay the $1 deposit and have the option to (1) pay the trip cost in full or (2) pay later, with final payment due 56 days prior to travel.

Editor’s Note: I was neither paid nor solicited by Intrepid Travel to write this post.

Why You Should (or Maybe Shouldn’t) Date a Traveler


Photo by JD via Flickr

Recently a number of stories based on the topic of why you should date a girl who travels have been floating around the web. These pro-dating pieces are on mark but to be fair there can also be counter arguments.

Trust me: I’m all for being with someone who is all about seeing the world. I would want that for the guy I’m with and I automatically expect the same thinking from him about me. Yet the reality is that the people we’re dating might have a hard time with our long-term traveling. Or trying to be a good sport about it.

These realizations should be kept in mind too. Heck, even the best travel writers can relate to the delicate balance between maintaining relationships while being on the road.


So here are some factors to keep in mind about why you should–or maybe shouldn’t–date a traveler:

  • We need – or feel the need – to keep going. Whether for business or for pursuit, travelers are always in motion: making sudden or long-term plans. If we see a mistake airfare sale or a travel opportunity such as conference or event that’s too good to pass up, we don’t. And like with just about any evolving career, if you work in the travel sector in some way, shape or form you have to stay current on what’s happening. And life is short, so we don’t want to dwell on “what ifs.”
  • We could be a part from you for a while. This is a biggie. From a week or two to even a month, or in between weeks, we might be heading out. Or we might be back home for a few days and then be taking off again. With professional travel writing, our assignments with publications or business agreements with companies require us to get the job done. We don’t mean to sound, well, mean but we have to shuffle off. However, we also know when it’s necessary to stay or come home (much desired rest, catching up on routines and projects or when our loved ones need us).
  • Technology can keep us connected. Just because we can’t be there with you in person doesn’t mean we can’t talk to you. As long as there is a good Wi-Fi signal, the beauty of Skype and FaceChat enable us to have conversations wherever we are. Even IMing through Facebook or Google Chat works fine. If we’re posting pictures, it’s for social media reasons along with a bit of excitement in being there.
  • Please don’t get jealous. Yes, we know it sucks to hear when we’re off to a wow destination like Italy or Australia or any place that you’ve always wanted to go (but can’t or haven’t just yet). Note that in many cases our travels involve a lot of planning (research and financial) and preparing (looking at resources, weather or even availability) on our part. My story: An ex of mine assumed I hit up my folks for the cash I would need to go to London. Nope! I did a lot of budgeting, saving, watching flight/hotel prices, and taking on odd jobs for getting extra cash. With press trips, it’s work. Fun, but still work.
  • Maybe you come join us. Depending upon our arrangements, it might be possible for you to come along on our ventures. But remember, if it’s a business arrangement we there to work. Especially with press trips, daily itineraries are made with set times for outings, departures, and arrivals. It’s not likely or even a good idea for us to blow off our work (don’t even suggest it). If all else fails, perhaps we can meet up when we get back or post-press trip in our destination. Or if timing and location are in both our favors, perhaps you can come meet us.

Be assured that we still go places together, unless you don’t like to travel.

On Location Tours Unveils Romantic Movie Moments Tour

cafe-lalo-webresIf you’re a big fan of romantic movies or you really “heart” NYC like I do, here’s some news that might make you swoon. Since the Big Apple has provided the scenery for many memorable tearjerkers and rom-coms, On Location Tours has launched its “Romantic Movie Moments Tour” that takes you en route to famous Manhattan sites featured on the big screen.

Led by a local actor, this tour goes to sites such as the bookstore where Billy Crystal spots Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”; the venue where Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw almost marries Chris Noth’s Mr. Big in the film series of “Sex and the City”; and the cafe where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale share a frozen hot chocolate in “Serenity.”

Without giving too many scenes away, other film spots featured include ones in “Sweet Home Alabama,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

The tour departs Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout February at 3 p.m.