Rundown for the week of September 26, 1998
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,
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
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...
Q & A II -- General Questions
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!
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
Travel insurance: is it worth it?
There are two kinds
- Trip cancellation insurance
- 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
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
- 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
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
"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
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.