Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda

Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda is managing producer of Travelchannel.com. A Washingtonian, Floridian and wannabe Charlestonian, Rani’s passion for writing, travel, photography and food brought her to Africa, Singapore and Italy. Not even close to scratching her Bucket List, Rani looks forward to her next adventure: traveling with her husband and 2 small children. Follow Rani on Twitter @IAmCraftWeb.

Posts by Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda

Day 1 of our Travel Channel Star casting call at the Tastemade Studios is complete. We had a great turnout Wednesday. Contestants local to Los Angeles and from as far as Canada came to tell us why they were the next Marianela Pereyra or Kinga Philipps.

Today is Day 2, and your last chance to audition in person runs from 5 to 9 p.m. (line starts at 3 p.m.) at the Tastemade Studios in Santa Monica, CA. However, we are also accepting online submissions at travelchannelstar.com until April 15.

See our favorite pictures from Wednesday’s casting call.

Travel Channel Star casting call attendees line up at the Tastemade Studios.

Travel Channel Star casting call attendees line up at the Tastemade Studios.

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Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio

Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio in Jerusalem’s Old City, at the hand of Christ.

We’re 1 month away from the premiere of our new series Breaking Borders an episode in Jerusalem (“Mother of All Conflicts“). Travel Channel executive producer Brian Leonard traveled to Jerusalem with the Breaking Borders crew and its co-hosts, journalist Mariana van Zeller and chef Michael Voltaggio. It was Brian’s first time in Jerusalem, so we thought it would be the perfect time to have him give us his insights on everything Israel: the people, the food, the historical significance and more.

What were your expectations?
I could not wait to land in Israel and get to Jerusalem, even though most of what you see on the news seems like “unrest,” i.e., clashes between soldiers and the Palestinian youth, tear gas, riot helmets and flak vests. My family definitely had some concerns about safety, but that, for me, was easily overshadowed by what I was about to experience. For the record, I never felt threatened or unsafe, even when we were in the middle of some Jewish tourists being “escorted” through the Old Market in Hebron in the West Bank. There was some pushing and shoving and yelling, but it was fairly under control.

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Travel Channel films with Nina Agdal in Islamorada, FL

Travel Channel films with Nina Agdal in Islamorada, FL

We know that a majority of the country is bundled up, trying to stay warm and dreaming about their next trip to the beach or some island paradise. Since we can’t physically take you far and away, join Travel Channel tonight through Wednesday for an on-screen tour of some of the hottest and sexiest beaches in the world during our annual Beach Week!

Travel Channel’s Beach Week officially kicks off tonight, at 7|6c and 8|7c, with the all-new 101 Sand n’ Surf Hotspots. From Matira Beach in Bora Bora to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, we’re counting down to the No. 1 beach in the world! READ MORE

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friday night in Knoxville, TN, at the Peter Kern Library (aka “the Speakeasy”) inside the Oliver Hotel, Jack Maxwell, host of the new hit show Booze Traveler, rubbed shoulders with local TV news personalities, print media and travel bloggers to raise a cocktail in honor of Friends of the Smokies. The organization will officially kick off its 2015 Evergreen Ball on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville. Our very own Jack will be the celebrity bartender!

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Ghost Adventures crew at John Bell

Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley return tonight on Travel Channel for an unprecedented investigation at Bell Witch Cave. Ghost Adventures was the very first paranormal TV show to film on the Bell property.

If you’re into haunted travel, then this is an episode for you. Situated in the backwoods of Adams, TN, is Bell Witch Cave and cabin, the former home of John Bell, who was mysteriously murdered by what many believe is an evil spirit that stills resides on the property today. Zak and his team are off to investigate what lies beneath the grounds in the Bell Witch Cave and see if they can communicate with this dark entity to find the truth behind John Bell’s murder.

In anticipation of tonight’s premiere, I asked Zak and Aaron a few questions about the Bell Witch Cave. Here’s what they had to say.

How excited were you to finally get into Bell Witch Cave and cabin?

Zak: We have been trying to get the Bell Witch Cave for years. They always shot us down and said they’d never let any paranormal TV show film there. When we FINALLY got permission to investigate there, it was an absolute HONOR to be chosen. READ MORE

man standing on a rock in a national park

Are you sitting at home, daydreaming about how much you want to be the next Travel Channel Star? If you have questions about the video submission process, voting and how we’re ultimately going to choose a winner, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some frequently asked questions that should provide the answers to those and more!

What are your criteria for finding the next Travel Channel Star?

The next Travel Channel Star should have personality, a unique point of view and a distinct passion and excitement for travel.

How long do I have to submit my video?
Contestants can upload their videos to TravelChannelStar.com now through April 15, 2015. There will also be an open casting call in Los Angeles in February (details to come). See our Travel Channel Star guidelines for more information on what we’re looking for in your video, as well as technical requirements. READ MORE

Travel Channel Star logo with Thank You, New York

The competition to find our next Travel Channel Star is officially underway! On Monday, Nov. 10, passionate travelers from New York, California, Oklahoma, Atlanta and Washington, DC, lined the halls of New York’s Museum of the Moving Image for a chance to tell us why they should be the next Travel Channel star. Contestants were allowed only 2 minutes in front of the camera to make their pleas, and BOY did they make those 2 minutes count — we were even serenaded by 1 enthusiastic participant! READ MORE

Frosty The Snowman ICE! sculpture at Gaylord National Resort

Photo courtesy Gaylord National Resort

It’s beginning to look, and feel, a lot like Christmas. Bundle up this weekend and visit the annual “ICE!” exhibit at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Centers in Maryland, Texas, Florida and Tennessee, which all officially open their doors to the display this weekend.

In a steadily 9-degree room, the “ICE!” exhibit features larger-than-life ice sculptures from the beloved story of Frosty the Snowman (at Gaylord National in Oxon Hill, MD, and Gaylord Texan in Dallas), ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville) or The Nutcracker (at Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, FL). Each display is perfectly crafted from more than 2 million pounds of ice by 30 artisans from Harbin, China, the ice carving capital of the world. Don’t worry about running out to L.L. Bean or the like: Cozy parkas are provided for all attendees — children and adults — so they can fully enjoy the exhibit.

Carving out 2.6 million pounds of ice — the most ever for Gaylord National — is no small feat. During an exclusive tour of its “ICE!” exhibit, public relations manager Rachel Dinbokowitz provided insider details on what visitors can expect this holiday season. READ MORE

microphone on a blue background

Were Jim Carrey and Robin Williams your inspiration growing up? Have you always dreamed about using your voice to entertain people? Then the That’s Voiceover!™ career expo is the place for you. Showcase your talents at the Museum of the Moving Image — in Astoria, NY –– on Monday from 10 am to 10 pm. Participants will have an opportunity to show off their skills in one-on-one Q&As, audience participation and real-world auditions. The ultimate goal is The AUDITION Spotlight, a voiceover competition where one lucky actor will win an opportunity to work with Travel Channel! For more information and to purchase your ticket, visit thatsvoiceover.com. READ MORE

Bert Kreischer

Bert Kreischer, Travel Channel host

Have you dreamed of being the next Sam Brown, Andrew Zimmern, Kinga Philipps or Shane Reynolds, traveling the world and experiencing new places, cultures and people? Well, listen up if you live in New York City or you plan on visiting the Big Apple. Come to the Museum of the Moving Image — located in Astoria, NY– to audition to become the next Travel Channel Star. Auditions are scheduled on Monday, Nov. 10, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

We’re searching for people with adventurous/curious personalities who can share their world experiences from a unique perspective. It goes without saying, but strong candidates should be passionate travelers with a distinct point of view with the ability to transport an audience wherever your travels take you.

When you arrive at the Casting Call, be prepared to share the following: READ MORE

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