All posts in One-on-One

Shane Hobel: How a Survival Training Getaway Will Change Your Life

We’re continuing our series on personal retreats as a getaway option with purpose.  To many, a typical retreat experience screams yoga, self-help, healthy eating, and spirituality – with mostly females.  Well, we found Shane Hobel, a wilderness survival expert and founder of Mountain Scout Survival School. Shane takes city-slickers out of their comfort zone and teaches them the skills to survive comfortably without the luxuries of our modern world. He’s been featured on Doomsday Preppers, Mansome, WPIX 11, Cablevision, History Channel’s MonsterQuest,The New York Times, The New Yorker, and CNN, as well as prominent regional newspapers and news stations.

WATCH our interview with Shane Hobel, wilderness survival expert

Tell us about Mountain Scout and some survival getaway options for somebody who wants to learn more about surviving outdoors without the modern day conveniences we’re all used to.

Mountain Scout has teaching locations in and around New York City as well in the Hudson Valley. We’re actually the only school that teaches both urban survival, as well as wilderness survival, and we’re the only school allowed to teach in Central Park. We offer the urban programs in NYC, and some of the wilderness and urban programs in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester, and up here in Putnam, as well as Dutchess counties.

The wilderness survival side is about connecting to our ancestors’ skills, and understanding ones relationship out here in the world. On corporate retreats, private groups and getaways, we give students that fun day or team building day. Everyone’s goal of what they want to achieve at the end of the day is different. It really depends on what they’re looking for, but everybody walks away with a bit of that relationship, of knowing what they can do out here in the vast world.

Think of it this way: what would happen if I took away all the things that are a part of your life: your car, your apartment, the refrigerator, the cable TV,  electronic devices, etc. Take away all these things and what do we have left? You soon realize what’s important in the world and in life. It’s shelter, water, fire, food, tracking, awareness, and movement. This just scratches the surface, but it’s a tremendous experience. Continue reading →

Why Palm Beach County, FL needs a cultural concierge

Known the world over for fabulous beaches, exciting nightlife and upscale living, Palm Beach County, FL, also boasts a tremendous array of cultural attractions. ExpertFlyer goes One-on-One with Bama Lutes Deal, the first cultural concierge, to learn about the finer things in Palm Beach County.

WATCH our video interview with Bama Lutes Deal, cultural concierge.

 

Why did Palm Beach County decide to establish a Cultural Concierge?

Palm Beach County is Florida’s Cultural Capital™, with more cultural venues and events per capita than any destination south of Atlanta.  With so many museums, art galleries, performance halls and other cultural venues, visitors to The Palm Beaches have 42,000 cultural offerings to choose from.  With so much for tourists to experience, the Cultural Council decided to bring in a cultural expert who could curate events and help travelers plan the cultural aspects of their visits to The Palm Beaches. The goal is to showcase our vibrant cultural landscape and help travelers fell more like locals, to help them find authentic local experiences that reflect their own tastes and interests. Continue reading →

Revolutionary Putnam County, New York

New York-Tri-state area residents are always on the hunt for a “hop, skip and a jump” getaway. Putnam County, NY, is not only a short hour+ drive from Manhattan, it’s also steeped in revolutionary war history and unusual attractions that one might not anticipate.  We asked Frank Smith, director of Tourism for Putnam County, NY, to join us in a One-on-One interview to talk about some of the fun and historical attractions, including super spots for enjoying the fall foliage season.

WATCH our interview with Putnam County Tourism director, Frank Smith

Q: Putnam has caught the attention of “The Fireball Run,” a nationally streamed, internationally televised, adventure travel series. I understand they are making a pitstop in the county.  Tell us about that?

The Fireball Run is in its 10th season of production, and Putnam County could not be happier that we are a pit stop along the journey. Live filming is set to take place on Route 6N in Mahopac on the afternoon of Friday, September 30th and the morning of Saturday, October 1st, in conjunction with the Italian American Club of Mahopac’s Columbus Day Parade, as well as the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce’ annual Mahopac Street Fair.

Q: What are some of the unique and historical attractions that make Putnam County stand out as a draw for day-trippers?

Although small in geographic area, Putnam is filled with history and culture. There are a few “must-see” destinations in this category.

The Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison is a great example of Federal Style architecture, and home to the famed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

There’s Manitoga, the home and studio of Mid-century designer Russel Wright.

The Chuang Yen Buddhist Monastery, home to the Western Hemisphere’s largest Buddha Statute.

The grave and route of Revolutionary War heroine Sybil Ludington.

The Putnam History Museum is home to a West Point Foundry Built Parrot Gun in their newest exhibit, which is walking distance from the Metro North railroad stop in Cold Spring. Continue reading →

Americans waste 1.8 million years worth of vacation time

When it comes to frequent travel, ExpertFlyer subscribers are among the top tier, whether it’s for business or leisure travel.  In fact, a recent survey of more than 1,500 of our Seat Alerts subscribers indicated that 87% of those polled take a minimum of two vacations each year and 28% said they took four or more vacations per year.  Since vacations are worth their weight in stress relief, increased productivity, exposure to beauty, culture and new people – and more, we thought we’d talk to time-off expert, Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off, to see how the rest of the world is using — or not using — their vacation time.

WATCH: ExpertFlyer’s One-on-One Interview with Katie Denis of Project: Time Off

Katie Denis: Generally, most Americans are not taking all their vacation time. 55% of them left time on the table last year to the tune of 658 million unused days. That’s 1.8 million years if you want to break it down. Continue reading →

Leveraging Loyalty for Travel Perks with Jason Steele of The Points Guy

According to a recent survey of more than 1,200 ExpertFlyer Seat Alerts subscribers, 65% of air travelers were able to redeem awards points towards upgrades and free travel in the past 12 months. That’s a good thing, but the survey also suggests that while the majority of travelers say they have been able to redeem points, 50% also said their ability to cash in declined over the past year. We asked travel reward and credit card expert, Jason Steele, to weigh in on this and more in a One-on-One interview.

“Less than 30 percent of respondents were able to redeem awards at the ‘saver level,’ underscoring the difficulty in redeeming award points at this level. The fact that 65% were able to redeem their miles, but 50 percent said their success rate declined tells me that they are simply using more miles to obtain awards and upgrades while others are holding out for saver-level deals, but can’t find them.”

– Jason Steele, Senior Points and Miles Contributor for The Points Guy, an expert in award travel and credit cards