Halloween or All Hallow's Eve -- tradition tells us -- is the one day of the year when spirits are free to walk abroad and revisit their earthly homes. But in one western New York village the dearly departed are at large all year long. Lily Dale is the nation's oldest center of spiritualism, the belief that the dead and living can communicate using psychics as conduits. Thousands of tourists visit Lily Dale each year to try to reach old friends and family members on the other side. We dispatched the Savvy Traveler's Tom Verde to investigate this hotbed of psychic activity.
BY CAR: Lily Dale, located in southwestern New York State, is one hour south of Buffalo, three hours south of Toronto, three hours north of Pittsburgh and three hours east of Cleveland. From Interstate 90 (the New York Thruway) take exit 59 to NY Route 60 south, drive 8 miles and turn right onto Dale Drive (Lily Dale sign at turn), in the Village of Cassadaga. Proceed one mile to Lily Dale entrance gate. There is a $6 entrance fee during the summer. Call the Lily Dale Assembly for more info on places to stay and scheduling time with psychics in town, at 716-595-8721.
BY TRAIN: An extremely pleasant way to get to upstate New York, especially during peak leaf season in the fall, is by Amtrak from New York's Penn Station. The route follows the Hudson River and makes for some nice, relaxed sight-seeing. Round trip fares to Buffalo (the nearest train stop to Lily Dale) cost around $120. Rent a car from the nearby Buffalo Airport to get to Lily Dale. Call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245.
BY PLANE: Several major carriers fly into the newly-renovated Buffalo International Airport, as well as the nearby Jamestown Airport.
For web info on Lily Dale, including lodging, how to hook up with psychics
(Mediums), and other info on the village, visit: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/1591/lilydale.shtml
Q&A I -- Travel Fears
Rudy talks with listeners about their travel fears.
Fear of Flying
As we just heard, fear of flying is high on the list of travel worries. As a matter of fact, according to a Boeing study one out of three Americans is afraid to fly -- not the least of which is the Savvy Traveler's own Michelle Kholos. Well, we couldn't have that, so we enrolled Michelle in a course designed to help her get over her fear and now we're putting her on a plane to see if it worked. We join Michelle in a boarding area at Los Angeles International Airport.
Some programs to help with fear of flying:
SOAR (Seminars on Aeroanxiety Relief) http://www.thebook.com/fearfly/ or call 1-800-Fear-Fly
Pegasus Fear of Flying Foundation http://www.pegasus-fear-fly.com/index.shtml or call 1-800-FEAR-NOT
Institute for Psychology of Air Travel http://www.ads-online.com/INSPSYAIR/ or call 617-437-1811
Best Dressed -- 250 Years of Style
The buzz in Philadelphia this weekend is about costumes but not of the Halloween variety -- people are heading out to see the high fashion featured in a new exhibit called Best Dressed. Before we take a peek though.... last week we told you how Philly is now billing itself as the city that loves you back -- not the more familiar city of brotherly love which our report said was derived from the Latin word Philadelphia. Well, it's not Latin as several erudite listeners pointed out. It's Greek to them and Greek to us. Now back to fashion. The newest exhibit at Philadelphia's Museum of Art is Best Dressed -- 250 Years of Style. And as Peter Clowney of station WHYY tells us, famous designers are already sweeping through the galleries.
To learn more about the exhibit and tour packages, call 1-888-847-4883.
Deal of the Week
I've tipped you off to some incredible airfare bargains the last couple of weeks, but the hits just keep on comin'. First of all, most domestic airlines have some incredible Thanksgiving weekend fares, so don't NOT go somewhere over the holiday weekend because you don't think you can afford it.
But it's Europe that really went on sale this week. Sabena, the Belgian-based airline, is touting a Thanksgiving weekend in Brussels from New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago or Atlanta including two nights at a Hilton for just $599. But get this: that covers airfare and hotel for TWO people!
Now here's a fun one: A good time to find deals is when an airline starts up in a new market. Spanair -- that's SPAN, not SPAM -- begins North American service to Madrid from Washington, D.C. on November 20th. Be one of the first 266 passengers to show up at Dulles airport on the 20th wearing a costume appropriate to Spain, and your trip is FREE. Come as a matador, flamenco dancer, or even a bull, and Spanair comps you to Madrid. And back. Even if you have to pay, the introductory fare is between two hundred ninety-nine and three hundred ninety nine dollars through the end of March.
Europe for lots less--that's my Deal of the Week
Q&A II -- General Questions
Recommended book for women traveling alone:
Gutsy Women, Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road by Mary Beth Bond, published by Traveler's Tales.
Trekking in the Himalayas:
Geographic Expeditions (415)922-0448
Bhutan Travel (800)950-9908
Hostelling International-American Youth Hostels: (202)783-6161
Council Travel: (212)661-1414
An audio tour of Transylvania sent to us by Drew Leifheit. When Drew isn't trekking around Transylvania, he lives and works as a journalist in Rockland, Illinois.
Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We'll walk the streets of Moscow -- an old city becoming new and in some ways less unique;
For years people have traveled the world through the radio waves of the BBC. Now this broadcast legend invites the world to come to London for what it calls the BBC Experience. We'll do just that and hear about your travels with children in next week's journey with The Savvy Traveler.
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. As Rudy says, it's a steal.