Austin’s cool vibe draws winter tourists

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on January 06, 2023

Austin has an artsy, funky vibe — a personality that spawned the local slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” In the 1960s, this Texas city was a hippie mecca, and in the 1970s, home to country greats like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World” for its jazz, country, bluegrass, hip-hop and blues scenes, music seems to emanate from every... READ MORE

A cultural adventure: Ireland hillwalking

By Ashley Stimpson
Posted on December 15, 2022

To the American eye, hillwalking and hiking have a lot in common. Both involve lacing up a pair of boots and heading somewhere on foot. But in Ireland, hillwalking is more than an aerobic activity; it’s a cultural tradition. Hillwalking may involve few trails and no particular destination. The focus is on wandering — and wonder. That said, there are plenty of hillwalks where the... READ MORE

Some interesting travel developments

By Ed Perkins
Posted on December 09, 2022

Over the weeks, I receive or see releases, promotions and news items that don’t warrant individual treatment in a column but might still be of use or interest to you. FTC hearing on junk fees Last month, the Federal Trade Commission posted a docket open for consumer comments on a possible ruling against “junk fees.” And even in the first days, it’s clear that the fees... READ MORE

Visiting Switzerland via Grand Train Tour

By Don Mankin
Posted on December 07, 2022

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.” On the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, it’s both. This past October, my wife and I had the opportunity to enjoy both the ride and the country on a train tour through Switzerland. Our trip started in Lugano, where I was attending the Adventure Travel World Summit — the first in-person summit since ... READ MORE

Travel around Europe is back to normal

By Ed Perkins
Posted on November 29, 2022

If you’re considering a trip to Europe, you’ll find almost everything about as you remembered it pre-Covid. You may have seen those blurbs touting Europe’s “bargain prices” due to the lowest values of the euro, franc and pound against the dollar in at least a decade. The ugly truth is that good exchange rates are nice, but inflation has more than compensated. Europe is... READ MORE

Take a day trip to Winchester, Virginia

By Victor Block
Posted on November 17, 2022

My drive from Washington, D.C., to Winchester, Virginia, took only about two hours. But when I arrived there, I felt as if I had traveled back centuries in time. When I approached the minuscule city (population about 28,000), after crossing the Shenandoah River, there was little hint of the treasure trove of history that lay ahead. I passed through a phalanx of familiar chain stores... READ MORE

Mellow out in Santa Barbara and environs

By Don Mankin
Posted on November 08, 2022

If you asked Americans where they would live if money were no object, Santa Barbara would be near the top of the list. With a mild Mediterranean climate, wide beaches and excellent wineries just over the mountains, this coastal California city has been called the American Riviera. But visitors don’t have to spend a bundle to enjoy the region’s many charms. In August my wife,... READ MORE

Fall travel: Deals are nearly nonexistent

By Ed Perkins
Posted on November 04, 2022

As suppressed demand surges, fall travel this year is likely to near, or even exceed, pre-pandemic levels. One of the results of high demand is that deals will be harder than ever to find. I’ll do the best I can to point out some of your best bets, but don’t expect to find any “secret” miracle pricing tools. No matter where or how you travel, your trip will be constrained by... READ MORE

Finding companions for older travelers

By Jim Miller
Posted on October 25, 2022

Dear Savvy Senior, My son is getting married in the fall and would love for my parents to attend. But they’re both in their 80s with health issues, so they’ll need help getting there. Can you direct me to any travel escort services that can help us? —Looking for Assistance Dear Looking, Traveling today can be challenging under the best circumstances, but for seniors with... READ MORE

Cultural treats in small-town Andalucia

By Rick Steves
Posted on October 21, 2022

The American image of Spain is Andalucia: the home of bullfights, flamenco, gazpacho and pristine whitewashed hill towns. This southern part of the country feels more quintessentially Spanish than perhaps anywhere else. When visiting this area, I always make a point to venture into what’s called the Route of the White Hill Towns (Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos), a charm bracelet of cute... READ MORE