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Archive: Christina Talcott

Bird Strikes, Cell Phones on Planes, Refunds and More

Here are some of the latest flying-related stories, big and small: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Avian Radar! The Seattle-Tacoma Airport is the first airport in the world to install avian radar. The goal is to detect bird movements to avoid avian collisions like the kind that caused...

By Christina Talcott | February 19, 2009; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Forbes Magazine Names America's Most Miserable Cities

Every year, Forbes Magazine crunches numbers and comes up with what it deems the "most miserable" cities in the U.S. This year's list holds a few surprises. But first, here's an explanation of the method: We compiled our rankings by looking at the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the...

By Christina Talcott | February 12, 2009; 03:46 PM ET | Comments (1)

Severe Weather Shuts Down British Airports

While President Obama scoffed at Washington area schools closing because of snow last week, nearly all of Great Britain took a snow day on Monday after the biggest snowstorm in decades. Men create a giant snowball in Kensington Gardens in London. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) Even London's famed Underground had problems...

By Christina Talcott | February 2, 2009; 04:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

Latest Lists: Beer Bars, Best Beds ... and Bedbugs

Right in the middle of our wintry weather come those things that warm the hearts of travelers -- "Best of" lists! For beer lovers, Draft magazine's Best Beer Bars in America list features more than 200 bars across the U.S. Tripadvisor has a two-fer, both its Travelers' Choice 2009 awards,...

By Christina Talcott | January 30, 2009; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

It Came From the Chat: Honeymoons

On yesterday's Travel Chat, we had many more questions than usual about honeymoon destinations, from Aruba to Spain. Here are some tips readers doled out to the soon-to-be-wed: Silver Spring MD: For the potential honeymoon in Aruba -- the Renaissance hotel has a private beach that is fabulous. A small...

By Christina Talcott | January 27, 2009; 09:22 AM ET | Comments (4)

Obama's Welcome Party, Travelers' Nightmares

Well, we just barely made it through the inauguration, with the biggest crowds the city may have ever seen, especially on the Mall. The Post has been aggressively pursuing the story of the thousands of ticketholders who were denied access to the Mall, as well as what went wrong at...

By Christina Talcott | January 22, 2009; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

Inaugural Prep, Again

Allow me to indulge in just alittle more Inauguration talk. With houseguests coming, I've got groceries to buy, floors to mop and sofabeds to make, not to mention coordinating plans for Tuesday morning. Braving the cold and crowds to be on the Mall for the swearing-in may seem like lunacy,...

By Christina Talcott | January 15, 2009; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

Where to Find Answers to Your Inauguration-Day Questions

With Washington, D.C., bracing for record crowds and chilly temperatures next Tuesday, some people might still be hammering out their Inauguration Day plans: Where to witness the swearing-in on the Mall, get a spot along the parade route or get to one of the numerous balls or other celebrations around...

By Christina Talcott | January 12, 2009; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (2)

Thursday News Round-Up

Two major stories about discrimination on airlines: You probably heard about the nine Muslim passengers who were pulled off their AirTran flight from DCA to Orlando, subsequently denied re-boarding, then offered an apology by AirTran on New Year's Day. And how about the $240,000 T-shirt? Jet Blue settled with Iraqi-born...

By Christina Talcott | January 8, 2009; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (6)

What's in a Name?

Welcome back! I hope you had a nice Christmas, Hanukkah and/or start to Kwanzaa last week, and all your holiday travels went smoothly. Yesterday I read with great interest this story in the Outlook section by Juan Fernando Gómez. Gomez is a Colombian-born international development consultant who keeps getting stopped...

By Christina Talcott | December 29, 2008; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (3)

Mapping New Ground

Now that portable GPS systems and Google Earth have ramped up the average citizen's interaction with maps, we've now got new and different kinds of maps popping up all over. Before you ponder a new route to Grandma's this holiday season, take a gander at these newcomers: * Panamaps are...

By Christina Talcott | December 18, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

Monday News Roundup

In the news this afternoon: New WiFi service on planes: USA Today reported this morning that Delta is rolling out its new on-board Internet service on Washington-New York and New York-Boston flights. For the next two weeks, the service (called GoGo) will be free. Eventually, the airline plans to offer...

By Christina Talcott | December 15, 2008; 01:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Celebrate These 2009 Anniversaries

Today I came across a list on SmarterTravel.com of the big anniversaries in 2009. Among them are the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's ascension to the throne and Baltimore's celebration of Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. The one that really stuck out for me, though, is this one: Nov. 9-10...

By Christina Talcott | December 12, 2008; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (1)

Women, Men and Study Abroad

There's an online battle being waged these days, thanks to a study by the Institute of International Education showing that almost twice as many female college students study abroad than their male counterparts. As with any gender-based debate, the "why" is provoking some strong opinions. Last week, Aaron Hotfelder at...

By Christina Talcott | December 9, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (5)

Red Lights Go Out in Amsterdam

I just read a story on Tripso about the mayor of Amsterdam cracking down on sex shops, brothels and pot-peddling coffee shops. (Newsweek reported on it back in February, and the BBC published an update on Saturday.) Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen and Deputy Mayor Lodewijk Asscherr are leading the charge,...

By Christina Talcott | December 8, 2008; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (2)

Foiling Fees

Did you see the Onion's story about the American Airline's newest fees? Does it make you feel better about getting charged for phone reservations? Also in the news, last Sunday's The Ethicist column had a question about avoiding an unbelievably high name-change fee. It made me wonder: Has anyone out...

By Christina Talcott | December 4, 2008; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (3)

Bangkok Airport Update

The situation in Thailand has taken a turn for the worse: Yesterday, protesters stormed Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, shutting down the international hub that opened in 2006. Airport officials canceled flights as a result of the protest by members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who oppose Prime Minister Somchai...

By Christina Talcott | November 26, 2008; 01:04 PM ET | Comments (3)

Thanksgiving, Inauguration and You

Here are a few items I've come across this morning: * Southwest is adding new flights for Inauguration weekend. Guess your sister didn't need to buy her tickets the minute CNN called Virginia on Nov. 4 after all. * In other Inauguration news, the L.A. Times cautions travelers to buy...

By Christina Talcott | November 25, 2008; 02:15 PM ET | Comments (1)

AirTran Joins the Bag Fee Movement

Say it ain't so! Low-cost airline AirTran has joined the legacy carriers in charging for the first checked bag. Starting Dec. 5, the first checked bag will cost $15 to check; the second one will remain $25. I'm saddened by the news, because I really like no-frills AirTran. It's partly...

By Christina Talcott | November 13, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (4)

It Came From the Chat: Some Scent-sational Stories

In yesterday's chat, I asked readers to share their stories of smells that reminded them of places they'd visited, and the stories rolled in. Here are three I didn't get a chance to post: Gee Street: My favorite scent-place association: Stayed in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii last...

By Christina Talcott | November 11, 2008; 08:09 AM ET | Comments (2)

Inauguration 2009 Planning

If you live in the DC area, you may already be planning to host friends and family who're planning to come to town for Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20. While we can't help you tell your brother that your apartment's too small to accommodate him and his wife, kids...

By Christina Talcott | November 6, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (7)

What's on Travel Bloggers' Minds?

Here's what travelers have been blogging about this week... when they weren't blogging about the election: Virgin Atlantic fired flight attendants who'd posted not-so-genteel opinions about passengers on their Facebook pages. World explorer Steve Fossett's bones are positively identified at a crash site in the California Sierra Nevada mountains, where...

By Christina Talcott | November 4, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (3)

It Came From the Chat: Election Day Travel Tales

Happy Election Day, everyone! Did you get a chance to vote yet? Is anyone else glad that this campaign is finally ending? In our regular online chat yesterday, host Scott Vogel wrote, "Tell us about a time when you witnessed the electoral process in another country." We got tons of...

By Christina Talcott | November 4, 2008; 07:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

United's New Door-to-Door Baggage Program

Yesterday, United announced that it's starting a new door-to-door bag delivery service for flights within the continental U.S. Here's how it'll work: You can either drop your bags at the nearest FedEx, or the Door-to-Door Baggage service will pick them up at your home and office. They'll get shipped overnight...

By Christina Talcott | October 30, 2008; 07:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Great Places in America: 2008

Earlier this month, the American Planning Association named its picks for Great American Places. There are three categories, Neighborhoods, Streets and Public Places, and while some of them are obvious (New York's Central Park as a great public place), some are intriguing and can serve as a guide to travelers...

By Christina Talcott | October 29, 2008; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (6)

Are Restrictions on Liquids Coming to an End?

Tired of the 3-1-1 rule? Frustrated by paper boarding passes? Relief may be around the corner. The Transportation Security Administration announced in its blog on Friday its plans to ultimately do away with the restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage. With new X-ray machines, it hopes to eliminate the size...

By Christina Talcott | October 28, 2008; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (3)

How to Avoid Run-ins With Deer

AAA Mid-Atlantic recently released a statement about the dangers of hitting deer on the highway during the animal's mating season. I'll admit, the e-mail caught my eye with its subject line: "A Deer and Present Danger.". The numbers of deer-on-highway kills have been decreasing since they peaked at 2,129 in...

By Christina Talcott | October 23, 2008; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (6)

News Round-Up: Baggage Restrictions, Air Travel With Kids and More

What's going on in travel news this week? Here's an abbreviated list of some hot (and/or funny, helpful, etc.) stories: * Starting Nov. 1, Continental's making it harder to over-pack your carry-on with new size restrictions. Like most airlines these days, Continental's mandating that carry-on bags' dimensions measure no more...

By Christina Talcott | October 21, 2008; 01:50 PM ET | Comments (2)

AirTran's On-Board Upgrades

More from the Department of In-Flight Sales: We all know that feeling: You board a plane, juggling your carry-ons, and feel twinges of jealousy walking past the business class seats to your tiny seat in coach. If you've ever thought, "If only I could sit there," AirTran is now selling...

By Christina Talcott | October 21, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

Savings for Students

College students seem to develop a knack for the cheap and the free, but if you or yours hasn't yet discovered STA Travel and Student Universe, go there before booking that trip home for the holidays. Both companies have been around for a while, starting out as bricks-and-mortar travel agencies,...

By Christina Talcott | October 16, 2008; 09:54 AM ET | Comments (1)

Car Rental Fiasco: Epilogue

Last week I shared my experience with a Hotwire car rental booking gone wrong, and I'm happy to report that I received an e-mail from Hotwire a few days ago saying I would get a full refund for the mysteriously canceled reservation. Still no word on what happened to the...

By Christina Talcott | October 14, 2008; 01:11 PM ET | Comments (8)

Travel Tools: New Fee Chart on Southwest.com

By now, everyone knows about the airlines' new fees for checked baggage, snacks and drinks, all of which used to be complimentary. We've run a number of stories about those extra charges, and now Southwest Airlines has posted a helpful chart listing all its competitors' fees. The chart was created...

By Christina Talcott | October 8, 2008; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (4)

It Came From the Chat: Random Acts of Kindness

During yesterday's chat, I asked people to send in their stories of above-and-beyond customer service, and the chat was quickly flooded with tales of compassionate airline gate agents, sympathetic locals and other do-gooders who turned lemons into lemonade for stuck-in-a-bind travelers. Here are some I didn't get a chance to...

By Christina Talcott | October 7, 2008; 06:50 AM ET | Comments (3)

Monday Rave: Rental Car Save

There was some kind of computer glitch, I suppose, that cancelled my last-minute car rental at Logan Airport in Boston. I certainly didn't call to cancel the car I would need to get to Cape Cod for my friends' wedding. If you were reading last week, you'd know that rental...

By Christina Talcott | October 6, 2008; 09:53 AM ET | Comments (4)

Forbes Rates the Airlines

On Wednesday, Forbes.com published the results of a study it conducted to determine which American airlines are the most reliable -- and unreliable. Ten major airlines were judged in six categories based on five years' worth of stats provided by the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation....

By Christina Talcott | October 2, 2008; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (9)

New Car-Sharing Options

Enterprise and U-Haul have recently launched car-sharing programs -- rent a car by the hour, gas and insurance included. Our fair city has hosted car-sharing programs -- first Flexcar and Zipcar, then just Zipcar -- for years, but Enterprise and U-Haul are joining the party now too. Let's look at...

By Christina Talcott | October 1, 2008; 07:39 AM ET | Comments (3)

A Prius, a Keying and the Cape

Last Thursday night, my beau and I went to Cape Cod for my good friends' wedding. We flew into Boston on AirTran - only a few minutes delayed! - and made our way to Hertz to pick up the car I'd rented through Hotwire. Unfortunately, the agents at the counter...

By Christina Talcott | September 29, 2008; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (10)

What Not to Pack

If you think you've heard it all, wait till you hear what someone packed while traveling through a New York airport: Yesterday morning, JetBlue had to evacuate a terminal at JFK because officials found suspicious items in someone's checked luggage. What were they? According to Reuters, they were "a couple...

By Christina Talcott | September 23, 2008; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (2)

Travel Insurance, Wall Street and You

Are you wondering if that travel insurance you bought from Travel Guard is still good now that its parent company, American International Group (A.I.G.), needed to be rescued from bankruptcy by the government this week? Fear not. You're still covered, according to the company. When asked about the recent turn...

By Christina Talcott | September 19, 2008; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

Spirit Airlines Uses Ads to Cut Fares

Why didn't someone think of this earlier? Spirit Airlines will be the first airline to sell advertising space inside its planes, the company announced yesterday. Michael Pewther, Sales Director of the program dubbed Mile High Media, is quoted as saying that inviting companies to use cabin space to advertise will...

By Christina Talcott | September 18, 2008; 01:39 PM ET | Comments (4)

Airplane Safety and the FAA

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration released a study of airplane safety that cited eleven airlines -- including Southwest -- with flying old planes that the FAA deemed unsafe. Facing a fine of more than $10 million, Southwest may have to pay up for flying planes without checking for fuselage...

By Christina Talcott | September 17, 2008; 01:19 PM ET | Comments (5)

Destination Weddings and You

Been invited to a destination wedding? After sending in your response card, ponying up for the airfare and hotel, picking out your outfit and selecting a gift, all you have to do is show up, right? Well, as frequently as weddings and travel go together these days, taking a...

By Christina Talcott | September 10, 2008; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (22)

United's Food Service Changes . . . Again

United Airlines has just announced that it's dropping its experiment to charge customers for food on transatlantic flights. The airline was planning to stop serving free food on flights from Dulles to Europe beginning Oct. 1, testing out customers' reactions before it started charging for meals on all transatlantic flights....

By Christina Talcott | September 3, 2008; 07:28 AM ET | Comments (12)

Labor Day Travel Tips

If you're planning to travel in or out of Washington's National Airport (DCA) this coming long weekend, take heed: There will be major disruptions in Metro service between Braddock Road and the National Airport station, from 9 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Tuesday. Getting to National from any point on...

By Christina Talcott | August 27, 2008; 07:57 AM ET | Comments (4)

Real Deals on Rental Cars

While searching for a rental car for an upcoming trip to New England, I was disappointed to see daily rates of more than $40 for every car rental agency at the Manchester, NH, airport. I realize some towns are just more expensive car rental-wise, and renting at the airport is...

By Christina Talcott | August 13, 2008; 07:22 AM ET | Comments (12)

Monday Rave: Real Smart

It's a cruel irony: People with clutter problems love buying magazines about how to control clutter, thereby creating more clutter. That's why I like Real Simple Magazine's Web site and its hordes of useful -- and paperless -- tips on organizing. Imagine my glee, then, when I discovered they have...

By Christina Talcott | July 28, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

Airlines Try to Lighten Their Loads

Everyone's trying to lose weight these days, it seems. For some, it's all about bathing suit season. For others, it's done in the name of fuel economy. While drivers are trading in SUVs for compact gas-sippers, airlines are doing what they can to shed some pounds. No, not by imposing...

By Christina Talcott | July 24, 2008; 11:55 AM ET | Comments (12)

Cheers to the Museum of the American Cocktail

If you think Washington's hot, try New Orleans in July. When the Museum of the American Cocktail reopened its doors on Monday in that city, the temperature hit 96 degrees -- plus humidity. It may seem fitting that a town legendary for its raucous Mardi Gras celebration would house a...

By Christina Talcott | July 23, 2008; 06:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Snakes in a Hotel Room

Carol's recent blog about the low numbers of visitors to the United States suggested some reasons why foreigners are staying away, but she neglected to mention one possibility: deadly snakes in our hotels. As an animal lover, I'm saddened by the wanton disregard for these creatures, but I also cringe...

By Christina Talcott | July 16, 2008; 07:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Let's Talk Turkey: Is It Safe?

Yesterday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was tragic and scary, and immediately people started wondering: Is Turkey safe for travelers? The State Department posted a response on its Web site's page about visiting Turkey, and the advice offered is inconclusive at best: Essentially, travelers are warned to maintain...

By Christina Talcott | July 10, 2008; 03:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

Kids and Video Games: A Luddite Responds

Today I got an e-mail about a new survey of parents and kids that reveals that 96 percent of kids ages 8 to 14 will bring some form of video game with them on vacation, and that one third of parents surveyed worry that their child will be bored if...

By Christina Talcott | July 9, 2008; 07:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Taste of Chicago: A Report

This past weekend I was in one of my favorite places on Earth, Chicago. And I swear I didn't time it this way, but I was there for one of the city's biggest events, Taste of Chicago, going on through July 6. If you've ever been to a Taste around...

By Christina Talcott | July 1, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

Net Gains? American Adding Internet, for a Price

Starting today, some American Airlines passengers can test out the airline's new internet service on flights from New York to L.A. The broadband service, provided by Aircell, will offer free access to AA.com and a few other sites. American says it plans to install Aircell in 15 of its Boeing...

By Christina Talcott | June 25, 2008; 06:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

Park Watch: What's Up in Shenadoah?

After a weekend at Shenandoah National Park, I'm happy to report mountain laurels (click for photo) blooming all through the woods, there are bear cubs (click for photo) and fawns (click for photo) aplenty and Washington's closest mountain-retreat national park seems to be primed for another summer. There are more...

By Christina Talcott | June 19, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Waldo on the Road: Hide and Seek

A familiar face showed up at work recently: The bespectacled, pompom hat-wearing, walking stick-carrying, red and white striped shirt-sporting Waldo, of Martin Handford "Where's Waldo?" series (called "Where's Willy?" in Britain, where it debuted in 1987). True, I had not been looking for Waldo for quite some time, but in...

By Christina Talcott | June 17, 2008; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Heathrow Layovers: The Experts Weigh In

The kind folks at the British Travel office recently read our Monday chat and offered some tips on Heathrow layovers, which we talked about a lot during the course of our one-hour gabfest. Here's what they said about arriving at Heathrow: "While the fantastic Heathrow Express is your fastest option...

By Christina Talcott | June 12, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (6)

It Came From the Chat: Adventures in Eating

This week's chat revealed as lot about our readers' tastes -- literally -- when we asked for stories of the weirdest thing people ever ate on a trip. Less than an hour later, we were knee-deep in kudu jerky and putrid sharks (well, not literally). Here are a few of...

By Christina Talcott | June 3, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

That's the Ticket: Small-Town Drama This Summer

Summer's here, which means lots of things, including the start of the summer theater festival season. Recently I heard from Gary Cole, from the Theater of the American South, about his festival of new plays in Wilson, North Carolina, which ends this coming weekend, June 1. The festival, which takes...

By Christina Talcott | May 28, 2008; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (4)

The Monday Rant: Detaining Foreign Visitors

So now America is trying to keep European tourists out. In a shocking story, the New York Times revealed on Wednesday that an Italian man who frequently came to the States to visit his Alexandria girlfriend was denied entry to the U.S. by a customs official at Dulles airport. Customs...

By Christina Talcott | May 19, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

It Came From the Chat: Summer Savings Tips, Part 2

You know what I love about our Monday chats? Every week, the participants share travel tips and information with each other. There are usually four or more Travel staffers answering questions, and we can usually answer questions authoritatively and at a rapid-fire pace. But sometimes what the chatters themselves advise...

By Christina Talcott | May 13, 2008; 02:13 PM ET | Comments (3)

It Came From the Chat: Summer Savings Tips

Monday's chat with the Travel section Flight Crew (most Mondays at 2 p.m.) was a busy one, with readers weighing in on such varied topics as Hawaiian B&Bs, Charlottesville dining, honeymoon planning and pickpockets in Italy. We asked for ideas about how to save $$ on summer travel, and we...

By Christina Talcott | May 9, 2008; 06:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: The Dulles Rail Extension and You

In an unexpected reverse move, the Feds announced today that they're funding the Dulles rail extension, which we all but left for dead a few months back. Now that things are back on track (so to speak), it's looking up for Dulles, which is considered Washington's international hub (never mind...

By Christina Talcott | April 30, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Monday Rave: Tax Rebates and Travel

Okay, we've heard you. A few folks (very few, in fact) have questioned the need for fostering negativity on Mondays. We say: Why not? But we're going to mix it up a bit from now on. So herewith is our first Monday Rave. And could there be a better thing...

By Christina Talcott | April 28, 2008; 06:16 AM ET | Comments (15)

Site Inspection: Kanye West's Travel Site

A few weeks back, I was tipped me off to an intriguing development: Hip-hop megastar Kanye West has launched his own travel company. When I first checked the Kanye Travel Ventures site, it was bad: With an amateurish design and limited "deals" -- phone cards were sometimes the only options...

By Christina Talcott | April 24, 2008; 07:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Monday Rant: Trashing Tourists

It happens every year here in D.C.: The cherry blossoms pop, the days get warmer, and everywhere you turn, you can't help tripping on... some local griping about the tourists. They stand on the left on the escalators! They stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures! They...

By Christina Talcott | April 21, 2008; 06:40 AM ET | Comments (44)

Your Turn: Cell Phones in the Air?

The EU is finally doing it: It has decided to allow passengers to use cellphones on airplanes. Hmmmmm. The Associated Press reports reports that phone calls will be routed through "an onboard base station -- like a miniature cellphone tower -- linked to a satellite and then to ground networks,"...

By Christina Talcott | April 8, 2008; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (31)

It Came From the Chat: Unnecessary Baggage

You never know what's going to strike a nerve during our weekly chat. On Monday's chat, we asked for stories of completely unnecessary things people had taken with them on trips, and we got some interesting responses -- go ahead, pretend you can't relate. Here are some of our favorites:...

By Christina Talcott | April 2, 2008; 01:01 PM ET | Comments (5)

Insta-CoGo: Clear Security Lanes Debut at DCA

When did being special get ... special-er? First there were HOV lanes on the highway, then came EZPass for tolls. Denver and Salt Lake City airports just got separate security lanes for casual, family and "expert" travelers. And as of today, Reagan National has Clear lanes for registered travelers, courtesy...

By Christina Talcott | March 19, 2008; 02:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Monday Rant: The Conductor, the Train Car and the Cell Phone

About a month ago, my parents were on an overnight Amtrak train from Greenville, S.C., to Washington, D.C. The train left Greenville at 11 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Union Station at 10 a.m. Though they hadn't reserved a sleeper car, when they got on the train, the...

By Christina Talcott | March 10, 2008; 07:02 AM ET | Comments (26)

Travel Health: That Water on the Plane

A few days after I returned from South Africa, I got sick -- really sick. At first I wondered if I was suffering from drinking bad water, from, say, the ice cubes at that cute café in Jo'burg. But that's unlikely: Unlike many African countries, South Africa's drinking water is...

By Christina Talcott | February 20, 2008; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (8)

Travel Health: Dirty Hotel Glasses, Part 2

Fellow blogger John Deiner wrote about a hidden-camera report on dirty hotel drinking glasses a few weeks ago, and most folks were duly repulsed. Now, an even more recent disgusting report has reared its germ-studded head. Earlier this week, ABC's "Good Morning America" aired a report showing just how dirty...

By Christina Talcott | February 14, 2008; 01:53 PM ET | Comments (9)

The Monday Rant: Dulles, Metro . . . and Me

A sampling of this week's sales: United, $213 to San Juan. Jet Blue, $199 to Vegas. Air France, $552 to Madrid. You know what all those fare have in common? They leave from Dulles. And you know what that means? If you're without a car, you'd have to beg a...

By Christina Talcott | January 28, 2008; 07:32 AM ET | Comments (45)

Gimme Bunny

Yesterday I returned from a trip to South Africa, one of the most fascinating, beautiful, exhilarating, heartbreaking places I've ever been. I'm still sorting it all out in my head -- What did I learn there? What were my favorite and least favorite parts? What would I recommend to friends,...

By Christina Talcott | January 17, 2008; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (13)

It's Showtime: In-Flight Movies and Oscar

It's the most wonderful time of the year: awards season. It all starts with the Golden Globes nominations, which were announced last week, and ends with Oscar Sunday. In between -- for me anyway -- is a frenzied schedule of watching as many of the nominated films as is humanly...

By Christina Talcott | December 20, 2007; 07:12 AM ET | Comments (3)

Making a (Packing) List, Checking It Twice

While digging around for the products to include in this year's holiday gift guide, I discovered some great travel-related Web sites. One I stumbled across doesn't sell travel products, but rather sells the notion of traveling light. OneBag.com founder Doug Dyment packs his site (pun intended) with all kinds of...

By Christina Talcott | December 13, 2007; 08:03 AM ET | Comments (2)

What's the 3-1-1?

The cockeyed optimist in me has found something to love about the TSA regulations on liquids in carry-ons. The whole enterprise is a chance to marry my love of traveling with my zeal for repurposing, and it all started with pimples and mouthwash. I'd been traveling a bunch in the...

By Christina Talcott | November 26, 2007; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (6)

Movie See, Movie Do

I'm a recent emigree from the Post's Weekend section, where I spent the last few years writing about movies and the people who make them. And I still have films on the brain. I love watching movies filmed in beautiful or exotic places, with as much attention paid to the...

By Christina Talcott | November 14, 2007; 06:35 AM ET | Comments (6)

Staff Favorites: Chicago

The first time I visited Chicago was in the dead of winter. It was New Year's Eve and I wore a long velvet dress and satin ballet flats and had to walk veeerrrry sloooowwwwly to not fall on the icy sidewalks. My obliging date lifted me over snowbanks, and I...

By Christina Talcott | November 9, 2007; 06:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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