ALL POSTS IN [Travel Tips]

Photo Courtesy of Elena Elisseeva/E+/Getty Images

You know the old Johnny Cash tune I’ve Been Everywhere? It’s my anthem. Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Buffalo … yep, seen ’em all.

Traveling for work is a great opportunity for face-to-face meetings that always seem more valuable to me than anything done over the phone. But if I’m being honest, sometimes as I’m striding around the airport with my practical overnight bag and sensible heels, I get gate envy.
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Rainer standing atop the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (Photo Courtesy of Rainer Jenss)

Rainer Jenss has traveled around the world and clocked thousands of miles on his own and with his family. In preparation for the upcoming premiere of the new Travel Channel TV show Big Crazy Family Adventure (Sunday, June 21, at 9 p.m.|8c), we wanted to get another perspective on traveling abroad with children. As the founder and president of the Family Travel Association, Rainer was the perfect person to discuss his life as a world traveler; how travel has become an integral part of his family’s life; and what advice he would offer to families who want to expose their children to the world beyond North America.
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Photo by iStophoto.com/Baona

You did it. All that studying worked, and now, you’ve graduated. The perfect reward? A vacation, of course! There are tons of options, whether you want to turn your brain off and veg out or finally put those geography lessons to good use. See where TravelChannel.com’s editors would go, or consider these 6 options for a post-grad trip. After all, you earned it!

1. If those graduation checks are burning a hole in your pocket …
Then a shopping excursion is for you! For variety, head to the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis, where you can spend your newfound wealth at 520 stores and 50 restaurants. When that gets old, visit the mall’s indoor amusement park, aquarium or Star Trek and CSI exhibits. Or, for a major splurge, go instead to Los Angeles to cruise Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. You may leave with far fewer shopping bags, but you’ll go into the next phase of your life feeling like a star.

Need more ideas? Check out the top 10 US shopping malls and the world’s best shopping cities.

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Chiang/E+/Getty Images

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer. That means warm weather and staying active by walking, jogging, biking and finding other ways to enjoy outdoor activities. If you’re a traveler who enjoys staying fit, then we have a list you should check out before your next trip. A new fitness report has ranked the 50 healthiest and fittest cities in the United States. And you won’t believe which city is No. 1.
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Join the Conversation #TC_Chat

We’re just over a week away from Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial beginning of summer. And there’s no better time than the present to start planning for a fun summer getaway. Join Travel Channel for a live tweet-up on Wednesday, May 20, at 2 p.m. ET. Travel + Leisure, Trip Advisor, Travel Channel host Bert Kreischer and our resident beach expert, Marianela Pereyra, are just a few of the panelists who will join in to offer their summer advice, tips and recommendations.

We’ll tweet about everything, including the best summer drives, underrated destinations, food, beachfront hotels and more. And we want you to chime in, too! Join the conversation by using the hashtag #TC_Chat, and get inspired with unique summer vacation ideas from a variety of travel experts.

PANELISTS
Travel Channel (@travelchannel)
Travel + Leisure (@TravlandLeisure)
Trip Advisor (@TripAdvisor)
Bert Kreischer, Travel Channel Host (@bertkreischer)
Marianela Pereyra, Beach Expert (@MarianelaTV)
Robb Alvey, Amusement-Park Expert (@themeparkreview)
Ryan Van Duzer, Outdoors & Adventure Expert (@duzer)
Lissa Poirot, Family Travel Expert (@lissapoirot)
Kelly Purkey, Solo Traveler/Foodie Expert (@kellypurkey)
Summer Hull, Family Travel Expert (@Mommy_Points)

Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH (Photo Courtesy of Cedar Point)

Before you plan your family trip to an amusement or water park, we thought you’d be interested to see which ones made our list of Travel’s Best Amusement and Water Parks 2015. We recruited 5 advisors — including Travel Channel TV host Bert Kreischer, theme-park reviewer Arthur Levine and family travel expert Erin Gifford — to help us choose the best family-friendly theme parks to visit this summer.

This particular Travel’s Best list is always hard to narrow down to 10, so we decided to share a few parks that didn’t make the cut but still deserve honorable mentions.
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Ernest in Berlin. (Photo Courtesy of Ernest White II)

Oftentimes, we’re inspired by people who are living the dream and making a career out of traveling the world. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several travel journalists, including Ernest White II. After several conversations with him a few years ago, Ernest inspired me to spend 3 weeks in Brazil. Not only that, he also became my personal tour guide in São Paulo, teaching me the city’s history and introducing me to a few locals, which made the trip extra special. And as you will learn, Ernest enjoys traveling, but it’s the cultural experiences that drive his passion to explore the world.

What was the first experience that really sparked your interest in travel?

The summer before my senior year of high school, I went on a foreign exchange trip to Sweden. I haven’t stopped traveling since.
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Spinning prayer wheels in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo Courtesy of Leo Tamburri)

The scale of the devastation from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday is staggering. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that more than 4,600 people have died, 9,000 were injured, and 8 million are struggling to put their lives back together after Mother Nature tore their Himalayan country apart.

While you are tuned to the news, like so many good-hearted people across the world, you are asking, “What can I do to help?”
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We are a vacation-deprived nation. Americans are taking almost a full workweek less of vacation than they did just 15 years ago. It’s time to change. With temperatures rising, spring blooming, and summer around the corner, here’s why you need to plan your next vacation right now. READ MORE

Kathleen Rellihan reaches the summit of Kilimanjaro, moments before sunrise, with a full moon lighting the way. (Credit: Kathleen Rellihan)

The months leading up to my Mount Kilimanjaro climb were filled mostly with making countless trips to REI to stock up on gear and promising others that even their grandma could do it. Yes, before I had even stepped foot onto Africa’s tallest peak, I already was reassuring friends and family, “No, no … anyone can do it. It’s not Everest. There are 80-year-olds who climb it all the time.”

While it’s true that you don’t need to be an Ironman to climb Kilimanjaro, it was obvious that I wasn’t so much reassuring my friends, my family and the guy fitting my hiking boots that I was fully capable of trekking to an altitude of 19,341 feet — I was trying to mask my own doubts. Sure, I had read every Kilimanjaro packing list that I could find and scoured reviews on the best moisture-wicking, wind-resistant, fleece-lined, solar-paneled, this-definitely-will-help-you-not-die gear out there. But in terms of any mental or emotional preparations, the only thought I could allow to enter my mind was: “Just make it to the top. Even if someone has to drag you.”
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