December 2011

Becoming A Travel Writer

There are countless books out there on travel. They cover everything from how to travel, where to travel, what to do when you get there and the best places to eat. Have you ever wondered how these people get the opportunity to write these books?

It sounds like a sweet deal doesn't it. Someone pays you to visit these exotic locales, try their food and write up a book about your experiences. As much as this sounds like a dream come true, it isn't as easy as it might seem.

Many travel books, magazines and web sites are looking for people who have already been there. If they are writing a book or want a story about Disneyworld restaurants, they want someone that has been there, do some research and write something up. These places don't want to pay a contract writer to visit these places.

All-American Car-i-oke

All year long people take car trips, and while a good road trip is an awesome adventure when you're in college, it can be hours of grueling punishment when you're traveling with a carload of bored, frustrated children. Even short rides can stretch a parent's patience tissue paper thin when the kids are in a mood.

Giving them something to do is a parent's best friend, but after awhile even their favorite video game can grow tiresome. That's when folks need to dig deep and find something “different” that will keep them engaged and change the overall mood in your vehicle. Nothing can revitalize a trip like a good sing-a-long. Yeah. I went there.

Singing, and music in general, has a mood lifting effect for everyone involved, and sharing in a ridiculous, spontaneous sing-a-long can get everyone back on track, and what better place than in the car? Nobody else will hear you belting out “Danny Boy” with your offspring, so you can make it as soulful or wacky as you want.

DogFriendly.com's United States and Canada Dog Travel Guide

written by Len and Tara Kain

If you're a dog lover, one of the things that may hold you back from traveling is what to do with your precious pooch. Sure, there are vets and boarding facilities that will care for your beloved pup while you're away, but some folks would rather take Fido along. After all, he is a member of the family.

If you'd like to take a dog-friendly vacation, that doesn't mean you have to compromise the quality of your trip. Bringing a canine companion doesn't have to mean you need to travel by car or stay in cut-rate motels. There are tens of thousands of locations that will welcome you and your adoring fur baby.

Finding lodging, airlines, transportation and hot tourist spots that will work with you and your dog can be a bit difficult if you don't have the right resources. You can save yourself hours of online research and phone calls with DogFriendly.com's United States and Canada Dog Travel Guide, written by Len and Tara Kain.

Where To Go When

When my wife and I were planning our first trip together, we went to a travel agent. Neither of us had ever been anywhere without someone else making the arrangements, so we didn't want to make any mistakes.

The first lesson we learned was that all travel agents are not the same. Some are more honest than others. The second lesson we learned was to always come right out and ask if the time we want to go to a given destination coincides with say...a hurricane season.

Abroad: A Travel Organizer and Journal

My wife and I have big dreams of traveling with your children, and now that they’re finally getting old enough to enjoy seeing the world, our excitement is in overdrive. As a writer, I look forward to chronicling our journeys together, so for my birthday, my wife picked up a cool journal for us to start laying our plans in black and white.

The book she bought me was Julianne Balmain’s Abroad: A Travel Organizer and Journal. In the past, any journaling I’d done had been typed into a computer program, which makes this gift extra special. There are pages for everything from daydreaming about what where you want to go all the way through the actual vacation experience. It’s nice to have a book that I can someday share with the children when we’re reminiscing about our travels together.