Travel

Japan during the summer months is hot. Brutally hot. That's one of the reasons we decided to visit Niseko in the  northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. The other reasons? Recreation and food. Many know Niseko for its super powdery snow, a gift from cold fronts from Siberia.  Like Aspen, Vail or Park City, this ski resort is also an excellent summer destination.   During our visit, it was 15 degrees cooler than Tokyo and Kyoto and far less humid. In...

Mother of Dragons has left Meereen for Westeros. Lade Olenna is making alliances in Dorne. Cersei has taken the helm over Kings Landing and suddenly cookie cutter hotels feel tragically bland. Game of Thrones is back (July 16). And, the battle for the Iron Throne has inspired a real world thirst for vacations in crenellated castles with settings befitting a proper film set. That guests can partake in old world ”leisure pursuits” (think deer stalking, clay...

Positano. Vail. St. Tropez. Yellowstone. There’s one big problem with these vacation hot spots. Everyone knows about them. So, don’t be shocked when you turn up at your hard-won summer holiday, sun-screened and ready to de-stress, only to be assaulted by fellow vacationers jostling for your place in the sun. Crowds kill my vacation mellow. I go to great lengths to preserve the fantasy that I’m less tourist than fly on the wall, a traveler...

My children are upset. With a travel alert in effect and episode after episode of terrorist induced violence unfolding in Paris, they feel that my upcoming trip to France is reckless. I get it. I have taught them the motto “safety first”, invited police officers to our home to discuss how to safely navigate public transportation in Chicago. We have an alarm in the apartment to keep the bad guys out. So, why do I...

Countdown to Japan, this year's pick for our annual 3 week family getaway. On the docket: Tokyo, Kyoto, Naoshima, Niseko (Alps) and back to Tokyo for a few final days of eating, karaoke and absorption of a culture I have been intrigued with for well over a decade. I would love to bring half my wardrobe, especially since we are staying at swanky hotels. But, experience dictates what a massive pain it is to lug...

It was such fun to talk family travel on Good Day Los Angeles this morning. The topic? Out- of -the- box summer vacation ideas. Of course beach vacations are fun. Mountains too. But I offered a few with a little more wow factor. ALL AGES GLAMPING NEAR A NATIONAL PARK “Glamping," or, glamorous camping,  has spiked in popularity over the last decade. Under Canvas (close to Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, Moab, Glacier) is about airy wood and...

You’re headed to Paris, gastro capital of the universe. You loved Hemingway’s A  Movable Feast, belong to your local wine society and routinely julienne with visions of Julia Childs hacking legumes flitting through your head. You become anxious. How can you capture the culinary essence of Paris in a few short days? Bon chance! A cross section of excellent walking foodie tours offer burgeoning francophiles the perfect cultural experience. NAME: Context Travel: Baguette to Bistro: Culinary...

Beach getaway. Road trip. Alpine holiday. City vacation. All fun, all kind of predictable. To inject wow factor into your summer vacation, why not tack on something unexpected: a train escapade—wait for it—with a sleeper cabin. You may think of a train as simply a mode of transport. And, dismiss it as less expedient than a plane flight. But to kids, getting from A to B by locomotive fires the imagination on all cylinders. Think about...

I travel to many exotic spots. But, one of my favorite places to visit with my family is Washington DC. The city's image may be massive. But, D.C. is actually quite small which makes it easy to navigate.  On a recent two night jaunt, I invited my niece and nephew for a pre-Labor Day slumber party at the Mandarin Oriental, a hotel perfectly situated near The Mall. In forty-eight hours, we managed to visit the Martin Luther...

Lakefront. Culture. Sports. And a food scene that runs the gamut from hot dogs to haute Michelin starred cuisine. Whatever the season, the Windy City has no shortage of activities. On tap for winter? Ice skating at Millenium Park, trolley tours, museum visits and warming up with hot chocolate or high tea at many of the glamorous boites lining Michigan Avenue. When the sun comes out, visitors can take advantage of the legions of...