ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Rundown for the week of September 26, 1998

Travel Update
For information about the nation's changing leaves situation, call the Forest Service at 800-354-4595.

We all hold secrets when we travel...
The French book Rudy mentions is Secrets de Voyage (Secrets of Travel) by Jean Didier-Urbain. (It's only available in France, in French.)

Sherlock Holmes
Can you solve this: Who's the most famous fictional detective in history with unparalleled powers of observation and deduction? The answer is elementary -- Sherlock Holmes, of course. We seem to love him as much now as fans and would-be sleuths did a century ago, when he first prowled the streets of London solving mystery after mystery. The Savvy Traveler's own super sleuth Martin Stott donned his deerstalker hat and set off to follow the trail of the great detective.

Q & A I -- Your Guide to Fall
Rudy talks to listeners about where to best appreciate this season. Listeners share tips on seeing the changing leaves and natural beauty from Vermont to Alaska, from Missouri to Minnesota.

Inside the Sky Interview with William Langewiesche
This year marks the end of the first century of flight. For most of us, flying's become a mundane activity. We get on a plane, buckle our seat belts, and try to speed the passage of time by sleeping, reading or working -- oblivious to the fact that we're soaring above the earth, as if we've forgotten how extraordinary the experience of flying really is. But author William Langewiesche sees it differently. A pilot himself, he writes passionately about the act of flying in his book Inside the Sky: A meditation on flight, a collection of essays that strives to prove that "flight's greatest gift is to let us look around."

Inside the Sky is available from Pantheon Books/Random House for $24.

About that suggestion to fly with private pilots...
A couple weeks ago we heard your tips on beating the holiday crowds. One caller suggested heading to a small, local airport and finding a private pilot to take you up for a spin, in exchange for gas money. But since then, we've heard from Tom, a pilot from Tennessee, who says "Not so fast..." It turns out you can't just pay for gas or buy somebody lunch in exchange for flying you around; there are FAA regulations and liability issues to contend with. In effect, you've hired them, and the definition of "payment" includes giving a gift, buying lunch, or chipping in for gas. Make sure your pilot has a commercial license when you fly!

Q & A II -- General Questions
Rudy takes listeners' general questions about travel and mentions:

Relaxing on the shores of the Gulf:
  • Sanibel Island/Fort Meyers, Florida
  • Sanibel Harbor Resort and Spa (on its own peninsula) 800-767-7777
  • Virtual tour of the area's attractions

Travel insurance: is it worth it?
There are two kinds

  1. Trip cancellation insurance
  2. Medical evacuation insurance

Weigh the costs of airline tickets v. the cost, but if it's a small fee and you risk only $100 or so, it may be worth it to have that security. Some companies to call:

  • Carefree 800-323-3149
  • Travel Guard 800-826-1300
  • Worldwide Assist 800-821-2828

Driving north:
The most direct route through Alaska is the Dalton Highway, but in the far north the roads become desolate and turn to gravel. Dead Horse is as far as you can go as an individual traveler, but a few tour companies take you farther, even by icebreaker boat:

  • Trans Arctic Circle Tours 907-479-5451
  • Arctic Odyssey 206-325-1977 (can help with going north through eastern Canada as well)

Deal of the Week: Tokyo on sale from Northwest
After its three-week shutdown, Northwest is offering double miles on every coach seat and triple miles if you go business or first class, but the biggest savings is on flights to Tokyo:

  • Fly between Los Angeles and Tokyo for as low as $496 round trip if you fly on a weekday. Weekends are about $50 more.
  • Leave from San Diego or San Francisco and the price is as low as $549 weekdays.
  • From anywhere else in the United States: only $603.

You have to be a member of Northwest's Worldperks (anyone can join), buy your ticket by October 3, and finish traveling by December 17. If you go before the end of October, you'll receive double Worldperks miles.

The Ashland, Oregon travel agency with these steals is called Adventure Health Travel. Their toll free number is 800-443-9216.

Hiking the Sierra Nevada
We're heading out on a journey that promises to be filled alternately with hardship and with wonder. When the English poet William Wordsworth wrote about walking in the mountains for pleasure he was considered quite eccentric. To educated people in the 18th century, mountains were frightening places where the untamed forces of nature were at work. And at one point, stage coach drivers in the Swiss Alps would go so far as to draw the curtains so passengers wouldn't have to actually see the peaks. Even today the remoteness, danger, and difficulty of many mountain ranges keep people away. But The Savvy Traveler's Robin White has a different view. Every year he goes hiking with friends in the alpine meadows and passes of California's Sierra Nevadas. This year, he takes us along on his journey. Todd Melby talks about the time he traveled from Minnesota to North Dakota by bus. The trip with his children was one of his most memorable.

Next Week on The Savvy Traveler
We'll have to learn a few new survival skills as we explore an alternate mode of transportation. Ever considered travel by llama?

"A lot of times children start out quite nervous, and by the time they're done they have plans on how they can fit the llama in their garage at home or in their bedroom."

We're hopping on a llama and trekking through the wilds of Vermont. And we take a journey to a country that's fighting hard to rise above the ruins...

"Everywhere in Lebanon, you can have long sad story, bad remembrance because of the war."

An unlikely vacation in Lebanon, a look at small town life in Colorado, and your calls about the celebrities you've spotted on the road...in next week's edition of The Savvy Traveler. I hope you'll join us.

For tapes of the show...
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.

American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy