Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Worst Airline

Do you often think that the worst airline is whichever airline you happen to be using?
Well, you may be right, especially if you're traveling on Delta. The Airline Quality Rating Report gives Delta the worst score of all major U.S. carriers. Read about it here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hotel Deals Around the World

If you're planning to travel outside the U.S. anytime soon, you ought to see if Epoque Hotels is offering deals at your destination. Great prices are available at hotels in London (that's the houses of Parliament at left, as seen from the the giant ferris wheel the London Eye), Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Vienna, Bogota, Athens, Lisbon, Venice, Paris and more. There's even Design Suites in Salta, the center of a wine district in Argentina. Like Epoque's other hotels, it's small and features avant-garde design.
Click here for more information, or call 866-376-7831.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Best" vacations

A popular question: What has been your best vacation?
That can be a tough question for anyone. How can you choose between Yosemite and Yellowstone? Or between Italy and France? Block Island and Martha's Vineyard? Every destination is unique in some way, and every vacation has its own dynamics.
Nonetheless, I think my wife, my kids and I all agree that our best family vacation -- and probably the best overall, for that matter -- was a Christmas trip to Ecuador that included a week cruising and exploring the amazing Galapagos Islands. (The photo is of Pinnacle Rock at Ilsa Bartolome.) The column on the right-hand side discusses both the Galapagos and a hacienda in the Andes of Ecuador.
No. 2 on our list is probably Yellowstone, also a family trip. We planned the trip too late to stay in any of the park lodges, so we stayed at four different places outside the park: West Yellowstone; Chico Hot Springs in Montana; Cody, Wyo.; and Jackson, Wyo., which is just south of Grand Tetons National Park, which in turn is south of Yellowstone. We went rafting on fast-moving rocky rivers. We went to a rodeo in Cody. In Yellowstone, we swam in a geothermal-heated river, we saw loads of bison and moose, and we also saw loads of geysers.

What about you? What's your "best" trip?
What's the best place to take kids?
What's the best couples destination?
You can post your comments here or send me an email. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.