Sara Gilliam

Sara is a Senior Producer for Travel Channel.com. She has eaten her way through Thailand, sailed around the coast of Greece -- and thought she died and went to heaven in Paris (not literally). In addition to travel, she loves smart design, clever headlines and all things pop culture.

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  • Menorca, Spain.
  • Paros, Greece
  • Las Lajas Sanctuary,

Posts by Sara Gilliam

This Week in Travel

Photography by Elena Elisseevas

In this week’s travel roundup, we’ve kindly bookmarked everything  you need to know before your next long-haul flight, from keeping your favorite nervous flyer calm at 40,000 to winning the airline-seat wars to avoiding getting “hangry” and other potential pitfalls of traveling as a couple.

Stuck in a middle seat on your 12-hour flight and desperate to switch? No room left in your overhead compartment? The New York Times has the latest in the “rough-and-tumble” turf wars going on in today’s overcrowded cabins.

Nervous flyers, rejoice. Travel and Leisure reports that British Airways is introducing mindfulness videos and therapeutic playlists to keep you calm from takeoff to descent.

You, battling over the arm rest, throwing passive-aggressive ‘bows at the offending passenger, would you kill for just an extra half inch of seat room right now? Next time fly Southwest, according to Skift.

Whether you’re one of those crazy travelers who look forward to them (who us?) or you merely tolerate them, JohnnyJet shares his top 15 tips for surviving your next long-haul flight.

We’ve always said travel is akin to living with someone, there’s no hiding one’s true colors. Zozi has 10 tips for traveling as a couple and returning home as one, too.

Springtime is here and so is the 2015 Kia Sedona. With first-class second row seating, advanced technology, and a stylish exterior, the Sedona is ready for the road ahead.

Antelope Valley Freeway
Don’t wait until summer to hit the road or you’ll miss seeing the hills literally come alive with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers on America’s 10 best spring drives.

Antelope Valley Freeway (California)
From LA, head north along Route 14 and you’ll find a stunning field of bright poppies throughout the Mojave Desert region in March second only to a scene from The Wizard of Oz.

Route: 70 miles

Pacific Coast Highway (California)
As you snake along Route 1’s craggy coastline you’ll be treated to amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, whale sightings and unrivaled sunsets, the most beautiful stretch the roughly 30 miles from Carmel to Big Sur.

Route: 121 miles

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East Hampton

This week in travel is full of some of our favorite distinctive (and notably all-female) points of view — sorry, we’re not sorry, guys.

While we’re still waiting for the spring weather to arrive, we’re already dreaming about summer. Cue Katie Lee’s guide to summer living in the Hamptons on the Coveteur.

Fathom reveals how to turn your next long-haul flight into a personal spa. You might as well do something productive besides sleep (that won’t annoy your neighbor) next time you’re held captive for 13 hours.

Actress Meghan Markle traveled to Malta for a photo shoot and ended up rediscovering her great-grandmother’s roots. Check out her inspiring 3-day itinerary over on the Tig.

Early adopter? Experience the Everygirl’s off-the-beaten-path travel destinations, before, you know, everyone else does.

Last but not least, Refinery29 tackles the obsession that’s on every traveler’s mind and reveals 10 ways to eat like a local.

Coachella

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again, when the flower-crowned and (flash) tattooed set heads into the desert to party like it’s 1999 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Here are our do’s and don’ts for #winning at the annual music and arts festival.

Do: Have a Game Plan
Make an epic playlist and listen to all of the acts beforehand. Have your absolute must-sees mapped out, as well as backups in case the lineup changes (it will). Download the Coachella app or print out the set list — going old-school means you don’t have to worry about a dead iPhone (more on that later).

Sure, there will be plenty of time for surprise guests and happy discoveries, but you don’t want to sacrifice a prime position for your favorite act of the weekend in the name of spontaneity.

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Don’t: Leave Home Without Your Wristband
Consider it your golden ticket — seriously, you can’t go anywhere without it.

Do: Arrive Early
If you’re psyched for a band, you can bet a whole lot of other people are, too. Good rules of thumb: Leave for the fairgrounds several hours before your desired first set (traffic, as they say, can be a b*tch), and for big acts, get in place near the stage at least 30-40 minutes before the set starts.

Don’t: Be left wondering, ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’
Drop a pin where you parked or use an app such as ParkMe to help you navigate back to the car later. At night, all parking lots look the same. Those wishing to camp together should make sure to pull over to a nearby gas station or other meeting place and caravan in together.

Bonus points for bringing an extra set of keys (you never know when they might come in handy), a mini-flashlight and SNACKS.

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As you can imagine, there was much deliberation over our inaugural list of Travel’s Best Wonders of the World. Given all of the man-made and natural wonders found on this Earth, how could we possibly narrow it down to just 7? In the end, our experts settled on a well-rounded list encompassing sacred temples and colorful phenomena that can be seen from space.

Lalibela's rock-hewn churches
So what just missed the cut?
READ MORE

This Week in Travel
From Greece to Japan, far-flung locales were top of mind in this week in travel.

Believing Athens is misunderstood and worthy of more than a 24-hour stint, Borders of Adventure put together her ultimate guide to the emerging European hotspot.

Into Mind has a brilliant 3-step formula for building a versatile travel wardrobe for any trip. H/T Condé Nast Traveler.

Always dreamed of traveling the world for a living? 14 travel bloggers share their secrets over on The Wander Orange.

If you have yet to see Between the Peaks, an award-winning travel documentary, Xpat Matt has a fascinating interview with its adventure filmmaker Jonathan Ronzio.

Likening visiting Japan to visiting another planet, Alicia Explores reveals 60 things that surprised her about the island nation.

 

Vintage Hotel Pool

Courtesy of Hilton Worldwide | Megan dreams of lounging poolside like these bathing beauties, but is that in the cards for her as the series finale nears?

By now, Mad Men fans are painfully aware that the end is near — or, rather, that the AMC series’ final episodes will start to air Sunday. Never has life “up in the air” looked more glamorous — Don, in a pressed suit, was accustomed to complimentary cocktails, cigarette smoke and sexy seatmates aboard his frequent TWA flights.

In 7 seasons, the homes, the bars and the hotel rooms all oozed a midcentury style that we’ve resurrected in our own homes and hotel rooms. And when they traveled, boy, was it beautiful. Don and Betty’s Roman holiday, Megan and Don’s honeymoon in Honolulu, even Don’s sojourn to Palm Springs with some mysterious strangers — it’s hard to tell where we’ll end up in the second half of Season 7.

Whether you plan to settle in for Sunday’s premiere at home with a martini (or 3), or you would rather toast the end of an era as Don would have, with an Old Fashioned at a hotel bar (maybe the Waldorf Astoria in New York, where episodes of the show have been shot), there’s still time to Travel Like Mad Men to some of the show’s iconic filming locations.

This Week in Travel

Whether we were testing ourselves with airport codes or inspecting lava flows, here are the links that got our attention this week.

As the trend goes, Air France has released the most French airline safety video ever via Travel and Leisure.

Skift shares the new airline seat design that could make flying coach feel like first class.

ABQ. AKL. AMS. Ever wonder what those 3-letter airport codes stand for? Fast Company explains.

Study up, then test your knowledge with Afar’s international airport code quiz.

Lastly, local filmmaker Lance Page’s new short, Kilauea: The Fire Within, shows a spectacular close-up of the most active volcano on Earth. Scope it out below:

Jeff Young

Photo courtesy of Jeff Young

Jeff Young is a television host, travel expert and model who has lived and worked in cities around the world, including Paris, Hong Kong and Cape Town, South Africa, to name just a few. Ahead of the “maker” movement, he explored the local, independent and creative cultures that make neighborhoods pop on his web series In the Cut. Most recently, his Journey Through Turkey series followed him as he discovered the country’s storied history, stunning landscapes and exceptional cuisine firsthand.

We first met the California native back at last year’s Travel & Adventure Show in Long Beach, CA, so when Travel Channel headed to Santa Monica to look for the next Travel Channel Star, we caught up with him to find out who’s inspiring him (from the hipsters of Portland, OR, to the Turkish people’s Anatolian ancestors), the best way to see a city and where he’s headed next.

Where’s “home”?

Venice Beach, CA.

How many countries, cities or continents have you visited?

I’ve been to 6 of the 7 continents. More than looking at the numbers, I’m fortunate to come from a modeling background, so I had a chance to live in all kinds of wonderful cities for work. Through this experience, I learned the inner workings of cities, what daily life is like, the good and the bad in cities including New York; Paris; Istanbul, Turkey; Cape Town, South Africa; Sydney; and Hong Kong.

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The Trip: 2014

The time has come. Seriously, there are just hours left to enter for your chance to win The Trip 2015! That’s right, people: You have only until midnight Tuesday before the sweepstakes closes. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to win the ultimate trip for 2 to the Hawaiian Islands, so enter now. We’ll reveal the lucky winner in early April.

But wait! We give away a trip every single month, too! So if you’re still feeling lucky, enter our March sweepstakes, a $10,000 trip to Austin.

Finally, we want to hear from you. While The Trip 2015 may be wrapping up, we’re already planning to make next year’s trip even bigger and better. Now it’s your turn to weigh in on where we should send our Travel Channel hosts for The Trip 2016!

 

Enter for a chance to win The Trip 2015!

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