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

This week in travel brings you news you can use — to be happier in the air, on the road and everywhere in between.

Italian leather seats, Mongolian cashmere throws, Bose headphones, Dom Perignon poured freely — such is life aboard the Four Seasons new Boeing 757. CN Traveler has all the details.

Beat jet lag, unwind and soothe post-flight stomach troubles with these yoga poses from yoga rebel Tara Stiles and Birchbox.

Fathom shares 9 photos that will change everything you think about today’s hostels.

Head over to Refinery29 to see which country was declared the happiest, according to the United Nations’ latest World Happiness Report.

Skift wonders: Would 3-D entertainment distract you from some of airlines’ unfriendly cabin conditions?

Travel photo collage

Travel is an intrinsic part of our lives. Factually speaking, it’s a $2.1 trillion business. It’s one of the largest industries and employers in the US. But it’s also much more than that. Here at Travel Channel, we have been debating what travel means to us in honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, being celebrated May 2-10 by the US Travel Association. An annual tradition for more than 30 years, National Travel and Tourism Week is a salute to the tourism industry, with rallies, activities and giveaways, including our $10,000 sweepstakes to Charleston. Here are a few of our wide-ranging responses to this year’s theme:

Travel is an education.

Travel is flying to Europe for a weekend adventure.

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Motorcycle Road Trip Tips

Photo by Caroline Purser / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images

Make sure you’re prepared the next time you hit the open road. Here are 10 tips for staying safe and making the most of your next motorcycle trip.

1. Always wear a helmet — it’s 29% more effective in preventing fatalities in the event of a crash. Just make sure to pick a helmet that’s the right size and fit for you and that meets the minimum safety standards of the Department of Transportation (indicated by a DOT label in the back of the helmet).

2. When it rains, it doesn’t have to pour … down your back. Wrap a small towel around your neck to keep the water from running down. Regardless of the forecast, always carry rain gear with you. READ MORE

Prague
In this week in travel we’re living vicariously with some new faces to our weekly travel blogger roundup.

If your dream trip involves a room with a serious view, see Mrs. O Around the World’s luxe weekend guide to Prague. Plus, check out her tips for capturing the best travel photos.

Uncornered Market’s day trip to Poland was appropriately filled with Tyskie beers and pierogies.

If Cheri Lucas Rowlands‘ photos from a week in Bermuda are any indication, she’s living the dream.

48 Hour Adventure goes beyond the requisite wild outdoor adventures in Reykjavik.

You may think your time spent up in the air is one of life’s necessary evils, but Travel Skills reveals 13 air travel experiences to have before you die.

Neil Brandvold

Photo by Daniel Cima

Freelance photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Neil Brandvold is comfortable on the front lines, most recently covering the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and Sierra Leone. His work, not unlike Travel Channel’s new series Breaking Borders, shines a light on the human toll — and resiliency — at the heart of disaster- and conflict-ridden areas. We caught up with him to find out about the dangers he faces on the job, the places he can’t get enough of, the people he’s met and the privilege of telling their stories.

You’ve covered the Arab Spring in Libya and Egypt and been embedded with M23 rebels in eastern Congo. What type of preparation goes into those trips? How do you stay safe?

The preparation really varies from trip to trip, but safety is always the most important thing to consider. Hostile environment training and battlefield medical training is an absolute necessity before working in war zones — and luckily, groups such as Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues and Pioneer Consulting, among others, are providing really top-notch training to journalists before entering conflict zones.

I spend a lot of time before each trip trying to get a good sense of the dangers on the ground and building up strong networks of trusted local fixers, drivers and translators, who are essential to be able to operate safely.

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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 flier calm at 40,000 feet 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 fliers, 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 armrest, 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 looks 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

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