Leave it to me to start thinking about vacation now that fall is here again, but I do have to think about the holidays and whether we’ll spend them here at home or make the trek to a relative’s house. Because we live so far from family, I’m on the mailing list for a couple sites like Travelzoo, but I honestly have yet to put any of their deal alerts to use. Maybe it’s just because I get too many emails already, so it’s easier to simply ignore them. Generally, we tend to use Expedia to book our flights, rental cars, and hotel, though it’s mainly for convenience. Am I missing out on sites with super travel deals? — Mary T.
Photo: The suitcase sofa!
Last week, I was fortunate enough to score an exclusive (albeit whirlwind) tour of famed Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly‘s Boathouse on Lake Union. Say what you may about his work, but I was blown away by the space — the colors, the glass, and the collections (oh, the collections), as well as the design aesthetic. I’ve got so much to show from such a quick run-through I’ve decided this *has* to be broken up into appropriate parts. We’ll start our journey the way I did: through the hot shop, the studio portion of Chihuly’s live/work space.
Seen above: samples of Chihuly’s forms and his custom molds. Click for more photos of Chihuly’s Hot Shop! (more…)
Know someone with a thing for public radio and travel? I do. That someone is my dad. While he wouldnâ€™t leave home without his trusty new GPS, heâ€™s a map man at heart and in a few weeks, heâ€™ll be embarking on a road trip with his brother to do some hiking in Washington. Fatherâ€™s Day turned up some jazzy new hiking boots, and this NPR Map would be the perfect complement on the man-trip. You know, the koozie to his brew. The Bengay to his fit fifties. For just $7 at Uncommon Goods, heâ€™ll be privy to the locations of more than 600 local public radio stations, and Iâ€™ll rest easy with the knowledge that heâ€™ll never miss â€œA Prairie Home Companionâ€ no matter where he roams. â€“ Sarah C.
image via radio-map.com
It’s safe to say that pretty much any airline you fly these days is going to charge you to check a bag. To avoid as many fees as possible on our last trip, my husband and I combined all our clothes into one large bag. Of course, the next challenge was being able to pack all of it and come in under the weight limit. So I was psyched to find this NPR story that led me to onebag.com, a site for folks who intend to travel light. There’s a handy folding diagram, suggestions for what to pack depending on your destination, and links to online packing lists. (I had some issues trying to make the Universal Packing List work — the interface seems a little outdated — but I loved the simplicity of the Rick Steves packing list.) A final note, though: please don’t try to pack everything you own into a carry-on and assume you’re going to find plenty of storage once you board. Everyone else is trying to skirt the fees the same way. And your fellow passengers (me) will seethe, waiting to board while you attempt to shove your overstuffed bag into the overhead bin. — Mary T.
Recently, I won tickets to a cage fight in St. Louis (seriously), so I packed my bags, hopped on Amtrak, and played house guest at a friendâ€™s place. It’s a little thing, but I usually end up plugging my phone charger into the first available place and letting the cord and phone pool on the floor, hoping it won’t get stepped on or mistaken for a chew toy. No longer, fellow couch surfers! The Mobile Device Charging Holder from Driinn, $10, has quickly gone to the top of my travel essentials list. It’s a simple idea that turns any wall socket into a convenient, mess-free charging station. — Katie D.