Posts Tagged ‘Videos’

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Travel trivia at The New York Times Travel Show

We’ve been sharing videos from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show where travelers give you their own advice on traveling. But when we hopped on the train bound for The New York Times Travel Show, we decided to bag the advice questions and shake things up.

Instead of getting travelers’ advice, we wanted to quiz travelers on their knowledge of the globe they love to trek. Here is our Friendly Planet Travel trivia quiz where Melissa, one of our bloggers, tried to stump travelers.

Play along with the video to see how many questions you get right. And no cheating! When you’re finished watching it, let me know how you did in a comment on this post. Good luck! And thanks again to all the travelers at The New York Times Travel Show who participated.

How to compare travel offers to find the best value

A few weeks ago I posted the video of my first presentation from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show called “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” On day two of the show, I got to take the stage again to tell travelers “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value.”

If you didn’t make it to the show, hit play to find out how to compare different packages and uncover hidden fees to slim down the cost of your vacation without slimming down your experience. And if you have any questions after watching it, leave them in a comment and I’ll answer them.

Ambushed for travel advice: Part two

When I showed you the first video in a new series where we asked travelers at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show for travel advice, I told you that more video was on its way. It’s here! On day two of the show we ambushed a whole new set of travelers with new questions.

We asked travelers if they thought the TSA is making air travel safer, if airlines are ripping passengers off with their extra fees, the most adventurous thing they’ve ever eaten while traveling, and more.

And when you hit play, make sure you try to answer our final travel trivia question. Were you able to get it right? Let me know in a comment. Thanks to everyone who participated! Stay tuned, we take our ambush to The New York Times Travel Show next.

Seven exotic locations for the price of a Vegas weekend

When I was at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I got the opportunity to present attendees with “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” The response I got was overwhelming. The room filled up to standing room only for the entire 30 minutes! I felt like I was on American Idol.

When I got another opportunity to present at The New York Times Travel Show the following month, I knew I had to share these locations with this new crowd. Unfortunately, I only had 15 minutes to speak, so I trimmed the presentation down to five exotic locations.

After both presentations, travelers flooded Friendly Planet Travel’s booth with questions about these destinations, and I answered every single one. It seemed this topic struck a chord with travelers. Good thing we got it all on camera. 🙂

In case you missed it, here is my presentation at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show on “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend.” Hit play, and if you have any questions, leave them in a comment on this post and I will respond.

Coming up is the video of my second presentation from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show on “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value.” Stay tuned for the footage.

We meet Budget Travel’s Kate Appleton in the Big Apple

If there’s an extraordinary travel destination at an ordinary price, Kate Appleton knows about it. She has to. That’s because it’s her job as Senior Editor of Budget Travel. She’s been telling travelers how to “budget wisely to travel widely” since the website launched in 2005.

So I was thrilled when Kate was able to swing by Friendly Planet Travel’s booth at the recent New York Times Travel Show. While she was there, we cornered her for a quick one-on-one interview with Friendly Planet Travel’s blogger, Melissa.

Kate told Melissa about how she got her start in travel journalism, her thoughts on whether you should choose the better deal over the better value when booking a trip, the state of airport security, her favorite exotic destination, and much more. Watch the interview to get all of Kate’s travel know-how and advice.

Kate, it was wonderful to meet you! Thanks again for stopping by our booth.

Ambushed for travel advice: The series

I’ve been in the travel business for over 30 years, and have been to many exotic locations. You’d think that I’d know every trick of the trade, but every year I learn something new. And my travelers are my greatest source of learning!

So when we were planning Friendly Planet Travel’s appearance at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and get travelers to give you their own travel advice. That’s exactly what we did.

We ambushed travelers to ask them about hot topics that are shaking up the travel industry, their top travel tips, and a trick question or two. We got so much great feedback from travelers that we couldn’t fit it all into a single video. We decided to bring you their interviews and their tips in a series of several short clips. Here’s the first video. And stay tuned, more terrific video is coming soon!

Patricia Schultz shows us ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ in 8 minutes

You might have read “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz. If you haven’t or if you’re not familiar with the book, it was a milestone in travel journalism when it was released in 2003 and it established Patricia as one of the foremost travel writers.

Patricia has also written for Frommer’s, Condé Nast Traveler, and Harper’s Bazaar, just to name a few. She was also the executive producer of the Travel Channel’s reality show, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

When I learned that Patricia was speaking at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I enlisted Melissa, a Friendly Planet Travel blogger, to do everything in her power to get an interview with her.

Fortunately we were able to get a few minutes with Patricia after she finished signing copies of her book, including one for Melissa and one we’ll be giving away on the blog. But I’ll save the details of the giveaway for another post.

Melissa found out why Patricia decided to document 1,000 places instead of 500, who the one person was who disliked the title of her book (hint: his last name rhymes with hommer), what her most terrible trip was, why Bhutan is one of her favorite places to visit, her advice on how to turn an ordinary trip into an extraordinary one, and much more.

Thank you so much for your time Patricia! You can watch the interview below. But stay tuned to the blog. I’ll be telling you in another post how you can win copies of Patricia’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

Part seven of our first-hand look at the Athens and 3-Day Greek Isles Cruise

When I left you last, I was about to go to the most famous (and some say the most beautiful) Greek Isle: Santorini. To pick up where I left off …

The Aquamarine set a course northward from Heraklion, Crete toward our next destination. And just a few hours later the ship was in the caldera (like cauldron). It’s the large, central lagoon from which Santorini’s 900-foot cliffs rise. The land mass is what remains of a volcanic eruption. Its crescent moon shape wraps around a large basin where the island literally collapsed in on itself.

It’s a stunning view from the caldera, looking up at the white-washed towns built into the cliffside. This is where our group had a decision to make. How would we get to the top? There were three options.

1. Take a bus to Oia (pronounced ee-a), the town with white buildings and blue domes where many well-known photographs of Santorini are taken.

2. Walk up a steep, winding path to Thira.

3. Ride a donkey up the cliff.

Obviously, I went with option three. It was a crazy experience that I won’t attempt to describe. Watch the video instead!

After saying goodbye to our donkeys, we spent some time exploring Thira, which is packed with little shops and was bustling with tourists. As it got later in the day, we looked for a place where we’d have a perfect view of the famous Santorini sunset.

The spot we chose was the deck of a cliffside cafe. We ordered our five thousandth Greek salad, a few cappuccinos, and the photo shoot began. It really was the most incredible sunset I’ve ever seen. Here are some of the shots I took.

When it was all over, we rode a gondola down the cliff to the water …

… and embarqued on the Aquamarine one last time. In the morning, we’d be back in Athens for the remaining days of our trip.

Random Acts of Culture strikes Philadelphia Macy’s

Every once in a while it’s nice to shake things up. So instead of writing about travel today, I’m going to share with you a surprise concert that took place at the Macy’s department store in Philadelphia.

On Oct. 30, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture at the store.

Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ — the world’s largest pipe organ — the OCP chorus and singers from the community posed as shoppers all over the store. At the strike of noon they burst into a pop-up rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah.” What a treat the rest of Macy’s shoppers got!

When I saw this video it brought back wonderful memories of walking under the big eagle in the department store (it was called Wanamaker’s then) with my mother on Wednesday evenings. That was the day we would take the trolley car to “town” and go shopping.

There was a Barton’s candy counter inside one of the entrances to the store, where my mother would buy almond kisses that we would eat with delight. We would always eat the whole bag before we reached home.

My dad, a Holocaust survivor who was frugal due to the incredible deprivation he endured, didn’t think spending so much money on premium candy was for us. So we ate the evidence before he could find out!

Anyone visiting Philadelphia will want to pass under the eagle in Macy’s. It’s as much a part of the history of our lovely city as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross’s House. But I don’t want to promise any concerts, so listen to this incredible clip.

Part six of our inside look at the Athens and 3-Day Greek Isles Cruise

I closed my previous post in this series talking about my 8 a.m. wine tasting appointment. And I wasn’t kidding! We woke up early to disembark at Heraklion, Crete. Crete is the largest of the Greek Isles, and has a culture and dialect that has remained separate from that of mainland Greece. Heraklion is the largest city on Crete and is also the capital.

Right after stepping on land, our group boarded buses that would take us on a half-day shore excursion, appropriately named, A Taste of Crete. The drive itself was breathtaking. We followed a winding, two-lane highway through the countryside that came right up against olive groves and vineyards that seemed to go on forever.

We arrived at a modern winery about 30 minutes from Heraklion where we watched a film about how local wines, olive oil, and raki (a strong alcohol made from the pulp, skins, and seeds of grapes) are made; and how important these goods are to the culture and traditions of Crete. We had a chance to try each of the wines made there, and many people bought bottles to bring home with them.

Then we were back on the road. On route to our next destination we stopped along the side of the road at a spot where you can take beautiful pictures of the landscape and one of the oldest farmhouses in Crete, dating to the Minoan period 16th century B.C.

We arrived in Archanes a short while after. This settlement sits on the site of an ancient Minoan settlement that spread over the same area. It is a beautiful, quaint town who’s economy is based largely on grape and olive processing and marketing.

Our group entered a local tavern where we got to try a number of Cretan foods: olives, cheeses, breads, desserts, and yes, even raki. So now it was about 10 a.m. and we’d already sampled six kinds of wine and one of the strongest drinks you can get in Crete. This made the next part much easier: dancing with traditional Cretan dancers! I shot a quick video of the four dancers who showed off their moves. You won’t see this in the video, but every single person in the room was up dancing in a circle led by the pros. 🙂

After a morning spent eating and drinking, we headed back to Heraklion and boarded the Aquamarine once again, setting course for our last, and probably most anticipated stop: the beautiful Santorini!

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