All posts in Hot Topics

Why 2017 needs to be the year you try solo travel

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Young and intrepid or all grown up seeking an adventure that’s all yours?  We interviewed Brenda Mejia, solo travel enthusiast and author of the blog, Traveleira.com, to understand the fears that hold us back from solo travel and the joys of getting past the fear and exploring the world.

WATCH our interview with Brenda Mejia, blogger at Traveleira.com

“I started traveling solo when I was 23. I didn’t have any friends that were into traveling or the destinations I was interested in visiting. So, I just said, you know what, I need to do this. I bought my ticket to Scandinavia and I haven’t stopped traveling solo ever since.” — Brenda Mejia

Now a 27-year-old grad student living in Spain, Brenda says that fear is normal, but you can’t let it be the cause of missing out on all that life and people of other countries and cultures have to offer.  “The biggest fear of first-time solo travelers is, of course, the solo part, and doing everything by oneself.  But, if the biggest fear is being alone, then the biggest surprise that solo travel offers is the number of new and interesting friends you make from all over the world!  When you travel with a group of friends, think about it…you are focused on them: talking to them, eating with them, touring with them.  You don’t make yourself available to other people.  When you travel alone — you are much more approachable and more likely to strike up a conversation with someone new.  That’s an amazing gift!”

As a backup, Brenda uses the coachsurfing.com mobile app to find like-minded travelers at her destination who want to grab a beer or go visit a tourist site or restaurant. “If I want to hit a club or something like that, I use couchsurfing.  They recently launched a new feature called CouchSurfing “Hangouts” where you can find people in your area who want to hangout. It’s great, because the people using the app have the same mindset, which leads to good conversations and a lot of fun. It’s a great tool for people who are traveling solo.”

To learn more about Brenda and her solo travels, visit her site at Traveleira.com.

 

Thanksgiving 2016 adds 1 million more travelers vs. 2015

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015 and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27.

2016-thanksgiving-travel-forecast

According to AAA data, this year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. And despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.

“One million more Americans than last year will carve out time to visit with friends and family this Thanksgiving,” AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney said. “Most will travel on the tried and true holiday road trip, thanks to gas prices that are holding at close to $2 per gallon. Others will fly, take the bus or set off on a cruise to celebrate with their loved ones.”

Many travelers will journey west this Thanksgiving
This year’s top destinations for Thanksgiving include many popular west coast cities, as well as perennial family-friendly favorites. The most popular destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. San Diego, California
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. New York City, New York
  6. New Orleans, Louisiana
  7. Anaheim, California
  8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Seattle, Washington

Read the full story here: http://ht.ly/y9y8306rjow

 

Top Six Sunny Post-Election Retreats

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

On November 9th, Canada’s Immigration Website crashed – seemingly overwhelmed with a spike in searches by Americans reacting to Tuesday’s presidential election.  We talked to editor and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, Kathleen Peddicord, to discuss this topic, as well as her picks for a warmer, sunnier post-election retreat.

WATCH our interview with Kathleen Peddicord, LiveAndInvestOverseas.com

Here are Kathleen’s top six picks: Continue reading →

5 fascinating facts about Tibet

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Contributed by David Castello

tibet

Few countries in the world evoke the mystique of Tibet. Nicknamed the “Roof of the World” (it shares Mount Everest with Nepal), most people simply know it as the former home of the Dalai Lama. For centuries, Tibet heavily restricted outsiders and it wasn’t until 1924 that the first European woman, Belgian–French explorer Alexandra David-Néel, visited the capital, Lhasa. Let’s start with the basics:

1. The Size of Tibet – Many believe that Tibet is a small country like neighboring Nepal or Bhutan. Actually, Tibet is huge. The Traditional Tibet (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo provinces) is 965,000 square miles. This is over four times larger than France and a whopping 25% of the land mass of China, which is a good reason why the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet on October 6, 1950 only ten months after winning the Chinese Civil War and declaring the People’s Republic of China. Since 1965, China recognizes only the much smaller Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) which comprises U-Tsang and the western area of Kham (474,300 sq. mi). This Tibet is autonomous in name only because it is strictly governed by the Chinese Communist Party. Continue reading →

Press life’s reset button with a retreat vacation

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In our never-ending quest to seek out new and unique vacation options, we’re kicking off a series on personal enrichment retreat vacations.  While retreats still seem to attract more women than men, you’d be surprised at the niche options that are out there — from the spiritually oriented to wellness and outdoor adventure. In this first segment, we talked to Cierra King, co-founder of Reset Retreat, based in Austin, TX and Belize, to learn some of the life-changing take-aways that her guests experience.

WATCH our interview with Cierra King, co-founder, Reset Retreat

 

Tell us a little about your company, Reset Retreat and how you got started.

We combine personal growth, yoga, and adventure to help guests deepen their relationship with themselves, reset their patterns, break personal boundaries and find purpose. We create the inspirational space, trusting communities, and strategically planned programming that allows guests to maximize their potential and reset their perspective.

We got started because we needed this experience for ourselves! We needed that place to connect with other like-minded and supportive people to help us better our lives. Serendipitously, I met my partners while on vacation and, without even realizing it, created our own “mini retreat.” We saw the effects it quickly had on our personal lives and career. We knew we had to create this for other women. And so two weeks later, we met again and formed Reset Retreat. Continue reading →