Travel Rules

Snippets from the RoadThings You Should Know



I promised a follow-up and I do try to keep my word! My last post covered a WSJ column on the bane of most if not all travelers: resort fees. The post concluded with a promise to write about how the hotels view the subject.

Forthwith, a direct quote from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, where this subject is a “Policy Issue.” Here you go:

The hotel industry prides itself on offering an array of amenities and services to ensure guests have what they want and need from their travel experience. Transparency and guest satisfaction are at the core of the industry’s business model. Making sure guests have all the necessary information prior to booking their reservations is paramount.

The hotel industry provides guests full disclosure for resort and amenities fees charged up front. In fact, they were created in an effort to provide consumers with the best value by grouping amenity fees into one cost. If consumers were charged individual fees for all amenities, the cost would likely be prohibitive. This practice aligns with guidance introduced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2012.

Indeed, these fees are not common practice in the hotel industry. Declining over the past decade, approximately only six percent of hotels currently charge resort fees – and these are the properties that have far more available amenities than other lodging facilities.

So, does your expierence align with the above? If “only six percent of hotels currently charge resorts fees”  then I must be staying ONLY at those! Seems pretty universal to have that darn charge on my bill.  Thoughts?

Did anyone happen to see the recent Washington Post column illustrating different types of travelers? It was sent to me and I think much of it is spot on. A few favorites (but not necessarily favorite types) included here, with illustrations reprinted from the Washington Post:

You know these types — it’s all about posing for social media posts.  How about taking in some exquisite scenery by looking away from your phone? Or not risking your life for that one photo?!

As tempting as it might be to help yourself to goodies from the housekeeping cart, don’t. Staff is accountable for the content! It’s not a “free for all” .. 

The self-appointed expert on the hotel, local restaurants, sights to see, etc. He’s probably been there two days.  Heed his advice with caution. 

The one holding up the line in an attempt to get all things for free — upgrade, view, later than usual check-out, etc.  We’ve all encountered these folks! 

Finally, my personal favorite!  Those folks who worked damn hard and are now reaping the rewards.  God bless — enjoy every minute!

Snippets from the Road


hotel fees

It’s everyone’s favorite subject; right? I’ve written about it before. But it’s a topic that never seems to go away.

As recently covered in the Wall Street Journal, people dispute those charges either on their own or even via advocacy groups. My contention has always been just bundle all costs into the nightly rate. No one likes to be “nickel and dimed” to death, so just show me the total I will be charged in advance. That would enable people to make a fair comparison to other hotel rates up front.

My favorite takeaway from Dawn Gilbertson‘s aforementioned column is about John Morris, a triple amputee who cannot use the bulk of amenities included in typical resort fees. Why would any desk clerk not be astute enough to recognize that fact immediately upon his arrival? Logic suggests the charges be deleted. To his immense credit, he turned his misfortune into a good thing with his website, Wheelchair Travel.

Have you ever noticed how many places in Europe are very challenging to navigate — even for us ambulatory folks? Santorini in the photo below comes to mind (those steps nearly killed the hubby and me). It strikes me that wheelchair-bound individuals are particularly disadvantaged there. I’ve seen many a person in a chair lifted by fellow travelers in order to achieve the same experiences we have. So I highly recommend Mr. Morris’s site not only for astute travel tips but for incredible inspiration.

How do the hotels and other types of lodging view this subject?  Stay tuned for my next post.

Snippets from the RoadThings You Should Know



It only took me 10 years, but I am happy to report that my agency Travel with Teri B and I are now fully recognized by IATA.  What is that exactly?  Well, it the official trade association for air travel. It is also the professional designation for travel agencies and their agents.  So why now?

I liken it to getting a degree.  While many people have successful careers without one (present company is a good example), I simply analyzed that it was time to boost my travel knowledge by having access to more information. “Knowledge is power” as it is said.  And few things are more complex than navigating air travel these days.  So the more information at my disposal, the better to benefit clients!

This was no walk in the park — a ton of paperwork, forms, E&O insurance; fees (lots), etc.  But when that “Congratulations” notice arrived, it really was thrilling.

I look forward to sharing my travel stories, planning and booking travel itineraries for others, and drilling deeper into this great passion.  So, how may I be of assistance?

Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal Jan 24, 2023






Snippets from the RoadThings You Should Know


sticker shock

Shout it from the rooftops: Travel is back! This is great news. And it’s hardly a surprise if you’ve been reading about it, know people who are taking or took trips, or gone yourself. I lost track of how many people I know who went to Europe this summer and/or fall. Or might be there or elsewhere now.

So, I have a question. Has anyone noticed how much the cost of hotel rooms has just skyrocketed? I’m not speaking just of the 5-star variety (although those are truly shocking), but in virtually every category. From the November 2022 issue of Travel & Leisure, a smattering (yes, many are luxury brands with prices are included for shock value):

Napa — everyone’s favorite wine country destination: Montage Healdsburg (doubles from $1,100); Four Seasons (doubles from $2,000); Stanly Ranch, an Auberge property ($1,450). But there is the Andaz in downtown Napa (it’s lovely and begins at $340)

Maui – Andaz at Wailea Resort (doubles from $1,179)

Grand Cayman – Ritz-Carlton on magnificent Seven Mile Beach (doubles from $879 — a good $300 increase from when I stayed there).  But there’s also Hampton by Hilton (from $220) on the same stretch of beach

Marrakesh – a very popular destination these days – where the storied La Mamounia seems likes a bargain (from $550) compared to the Mandarin Oriental (from $1,009)

And the granddaddy of them all – the new Aman in New York City, yours beginning at $3,400 per night. Among the primary reasons why I’ve not been to one of their properties.

Next question. Who the hell is paying these prices? And it’s not just the hotels. Anyone flying these days???

I’ve written often about having the benefit of knowing long in advance of my spring travel plans due to the hubby’s work. The annual departure date is right after April 15th. So I can keep watch on airfares and, most importantly, mileage seats. Using miles for “flying over the ocean” in either direction helps significantly lower the overall cost of the trip.

Spring 2023 is mostly done. These days I look for the best flights and then figure the itinerary after.  For our Asia travel, the jumping off point is Tokyo with American’s enhanced relationship with Japan Airlines (a really good one). Business Class seats (one way) are just 60,000 miles. For years it was Cathay (I loved that one), but no more. By comparison, if I were heading east (to Europe and beyond), the starting point is London where the same seat is 166,000 miles.

But it’s not all doom and gloom!  Portugal seems to be on every list, whether it’s best places to retire or a great and affordable travel destination.  Examples:

Near Lisbon, the resort Areias do Seixo starts at $316 or Six Senses Douro Valley, a high-end brand with doubles starting from $460.  That reminds me, it’s time to give Portugal another visit since 1987 was the first one!

And the Spanish island Ibiza has a newly opened Six Senses (starting at $460).

What’s the takeaway?  Well, I wish I had some secret solution. My advice is engage a savvy travel professional (I happen to know someone ..), pay particular attention to loyalty programs, and, finally, decide if seeing this vast world is your priority. I made that happy decision long ago. It always comes through.


Snippets from the RoadThings You Should Know



Have you missed traveling or stayed at home due to all the restrictions imposed (not to mention current “world affairs”)?  Then there’s good news to share. More and more countries are opening their borders without quarantine mandates as conveyed in a recent column on travel site

That’s about the best news we could hope for. This blog does not weigh in on the “politics” of travel (as in “is it ok to go to a country with policies one might find unacceptable?”). Rather the job at hand is to write about my travel plans, where we’ve been, and how to navigate and explore this world of ours with all its complexities.

Now on to the latest. First up on the most recent list (the site also links to an earlier list in February) is Iceland — our jumping off destination for this year’s big trip! Following Iceland we head to the Faroe Islands principally for two reasons: 1) When would we ever get back to see the magnificent scenery? and 2) The islands are en route to Norway, another of our planned destinations.

I’ll pause to give a brief shout out to a travel expert I’ve engaged for Iceland and the Faroes.  And that’s another reason to follow Wendy’s site, which is where I found Chris Gordon of Icepedition.

When contemplating visits to some regions, I have no problem engaging experts.  This is one of those situations.  Chris has mapped out our itinerary and secured many of the bookings for both Iceland and the Faroes.  He covers Greenland as well but advised us there’s not much to see in April.  We worked well as a team and I look forward to sharing the stories very soon!

So what’s the takeaway?   2022 is open for business in the world of travel.  There are tons of places to go, new hotels open, and an industry that is in need of support.  Make plans NOW.


  it’s already tomorrow in Australia.”     ~ Charles M. Schulz

International TravelThings I LoveU.S. Travel


2022 image a

As has become my custom, I end the current year and begin the new year with both a wrap up and a forecast.  Planned travel is something that required fluidity in the last two years, at least if one wants to remain sane.  Practically the only thing for sure is that some aspect of a plan might change.  Following is the 2021 recap, for which travel I am extremely thankful.  Click on each destination heading for the various posts.


International ::




Domestic ::







The big post-tax-season trip starts in Iceland followed by Norway & Sweden (traversing the southern areas by car).  From Stockholm, we fly to St. Petersburg as a visa snafu ejected us from Russia after our 2018 Moscow visit. The Russians are very serious about their visas.  After that, we meet up with our kids to enjoy Florence and Venice (they start in Rome and end in Milan).  This family trip was postponed from 2020; thus, we are very much looking forward!

Other travel (domestic) includes a wedding in Dallas, maybe a trip to New Orleans (site of this year’s Final Four), Lake Tahoe for a postponed concert (Train) and who knows what else.  Wherever we do go, I am forever grateful for readers who travel along.  April 2022 marks ten years of Travel with Teri B visiting 38 countries (out of 76 total), and I have loved every minute.