ALL POSTS TAGGED "[Travel Channel]"

Coney Island (Courtesy of Anna Garwood)

By Anna Garwood, Director of Programming & Talent Relations

What brought you to Coney Island?

I’m overseeing a general casting search for Travel Channel to find unique personalities who are passionate about travel and we can potentially develop shows around. After reviewing an initial round of Skype interviews of potential candidates, I narrowed it down to a short list and brought them to Coney Island in New York City to shoot in-field casting reels. Arthur Hsu and Will McKinley from Travel Channel were there as well to help me produce and shoot the reels. READ MORE

Angkor Thom Gate in Cambodia

Angkor Thom Gate in Cambodia

Travel Channel executive producer Daniel A. Schwartz traveled to Cambodia with the Expedition Unknown production crew and host and explorer Josh Gates. It was Daniel’s first time in Cambodia and we thought it was the perfect time to get a “newbies” perspective on the country.

Here’s what Daniel had to say:

What brought you to Cambodia?

I went to Cambodia to film Expedition Unknown, a new Travel Channel show coming in 2015, with host and explorer Josh Gates. We traveled through the country, from the capital Phnom Penh all the way to the northernmost mountain border. Josh was on a mission and we were there to document the adventure. READ MORE

NYT's Frugal Traveler, Seth Kugel in Colombia.

NYT’s Frugal Traveler, Seth Kugel (Photos: Courtesy Seth Kugel)

Because Seth Kugel prefers the unexpected find to online travel reviews, he’s Our Type of Traveler. As The New York TimesFrugal Traveler, Kugel shares his insights on how to enjoy a destination without breaking the bank — or being a slave to endless online travel reviews — in mapping out a travel itinerary.

For Kugel, it’s all about the delight of discovery, something travelers could use more of, he says.

“We’ve eliminated discovery in travel because places are so well-documented,” says Kugel, from his home in Queens, NY. “I’m not an evangelist for being dumb about a place but there’s something to be said for leaving a little room for discovering a place on your own.”

Here’s how Kugel finds the charm of the unexpected, on the cheap. READ MORE

Sun Catcher

“Sun Catcher” by Heather Buttelmann

Well folks, that’s a wrap. As we bring our first photo contest to a close, we’re overwhelmed with the amazing travel photos you’ve shared with us (all 5,582 of them) — so thank you!

Our final grand prize winner goes to “Sun Catcher” by Heather Buttelmann. Congrats on winning a $500 Choice Hotels voucher to use at any location!

Heather says, “My daughter was trying to net fish in a tide pool. She lost her balance on the slippery surface and Voila! I got the shot!”

See the other finalists from this week below, and remember, even though the contest is now closed you can still check out all of the impressive 2013 Photo Contest submissions.

“Tuscan Paradise” by Sybil

“Mingling With the Natives” by Danielle

“The Harbor”

“Beautiful Bryce” by Casper

 

 

Over the last 2 months I’ve managed a couple of fun vacation runs — a variation of a mileage run that involves actually leaving the airport and exploring a city — to Moscow, Paris and Johannesburg. My trip to Moscow was a weeklong vacation, while my runs to Paris and Johannesburg were just extended weekends. A little crazy, I know, but the experiences and sights were well worth the expense and travel time. And besides, or perhaps most importantly, I earned a LOT of miles, ate caviar and saw elephants.

Total Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM): 29,043
Total Redeemable Miles (RDM): 58,086
Flying Time to/from Moscow: 23h 13m
Flying Time to/from Paris and Johannesburg: 37h 40m

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Photography by Arthur Hsu

This year, I’m hoping to earn 150,000 SkyMiles in order to book a round-trip business-class award ticket to Australia — a ticket that would normally cost approximately $16,000 (yes, you read right). I was inspired to book both of my recent “vacation runs” after I saw posts about cheap tickets on FlyerTalk. Another great site to follow is The Flight Deal, which gathers airfare deals that make the most of your miles and money.

When booking mileage runs, be sure to check your fare class.  Some fare classes don’t earn miles or only earn a reduced number of miles. For my trips, I flew Delta T class and KLM/Air France R class, both of which earn full Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). Both trips also had a low cost per mile (CPM), which is important for a great mileage run. Typically, you want the CPM to be under 5 cents per mile.

Moscow Cost per Mile: $0.0347
Johannesburg Cost per Mile: $0.0420

A mileage run is a trip solely for earning EQM, so oftentimes you never even leave the airport. But in this case, I turned them into vacations.

My trip to Moscow was the first time I used Global Entry, a Customs and Border Patrol program that expedites the immigration process when returning to America, which I was approved for the week before leaving for Russia. Thanks to this program, it literally takes less than 1 minute to clear customs. If you don’t have it, I recommend you apply since it also includes TSA Pre-Check, which gets you through security quicker and with fewer hassles.

Overall, Moscow is a beautiful city with many activities, but in my experience, it is also very expensive. I stayed at the Hotel National, where Lenin stayed while the Kremlin was under construction. It’s also a Starwood property, with which I have Gold elite status, and so I earned 8,852 SPG points thanks to my stay.

Hotel National, Moscow

Photography by Arthur Hsu

While in Moscow, I enjoyed the various sites such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral and a day trip outside the city to Troitse-Sergiev Monastery. If you find yourself in Moscow, be sure to explore the metro system — the various stations are truly beautiful, each with a different design. I also enjoyed proper meals, including a 10-course omakase meal at Nobu Moscow. Don’t worry, I also sampled iconic Russian cuisine such as caviar and borscht.

Komsomolskaya Metro Station, Moscow

Photography by Arthur Hsu

My trip to Johannesburg was a much shorter and farther excursion, with a 12-hour layover in Paris and about 37 hours in Johannesburg. With such a short amount of time in Paris, I made my way into the city and used a hop-on/hop-off tour bus to see the major sites before I returned to CDG and grabbed some food and Scotch whisky in the Air France Salon to await my flight to Johannesburg.

Once in Johannesburg, I took the Gautrain, Africa’s first rapid rail system, to the Radisson Blu Gautrain hotel, and shortly after, my guide arrived to take me on a tour of Joburg. I liked the sound of Cashan Private Day Tours, which offered custom city tours, and I was able to book a half-day tour with Penny Cashan. Our first stop — and most surprising and enjoyable element of the tour –  was the Market on Main, which occurs every Sunday at the Arts on Main in the Maboneng Precinct, with great food and various art galleries. I had no idea that Joburg has such a thriving art community.

The next and last day in Joburg, I booked a 1-day safari with Felleng Tours to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. This turned out to be a great experience, since we were able to take the time to find 2 of the Big Five– the white rhino and the African elephant — along with many other amazing animals and sights. Fortunately, the daytime temperatures were low, so the animals weren’t hiding in the shade.

Elephant in Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Photography by Arthur Hsu

Back at O.R. Tambo Airport, I headed to the Air France Salon before deciding to check out other lounges in the airport thanks to my Priority Pass membership, which gives me access to lounges around the world where I do not have elite status. Properly hydrated and nourished, I headed to the gate to catch 2 flights home — just short of 22 hours with a connection in Amsterdam. Now I need to start thinking about my next mileage run.

Watch Mommy Points‘ tips to earn airline elite status.

Grand Canyon Sweepstakes

Today is your last chance to enter our Ultimate Grand Canyon RV Adventure Sweepstakes! While you’re waiting to see if you’re the lucky winner, get inspired by some of our favorite RV bloggers. From wineries to manatees, check out why they chose to ditch their neighborhoods and hit the road.

Planning to taste a few new wines?  Don’t have your trip end at the Napa Valley. These two Geeky Explorers explored not only the sights but also the wineries of Walla Walla.

Get a little taste of the Grand Canyon from Fab Grandma. See firsthand adventures of driving to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, hiking the Cape Final Trail, and seeing a herd of bull bison.

Want to take a trip up North? You won’t be disappointed with the picturesque views that Canada has to offer. But first learn a thing or two about our northern neighbor from Travels With Miranda.

The excursions don’t stop at RVs — Roads Less Traveled gives you the inside scoop on resorts and tips for RV and sailboat vacations.

If you’ve ever dreamed of snorkeling with seals, swimming with manatees, or encountering crocodiles, NeverEndingRvTrip has a few things to add to your bucket list.

You May Also Like:

Discover more about the Grand Canyon adventure.

Awe-inspiring photos of the Grand Canyon.

The best ways to experience Grand Canyon National Park.

 

Tonight on the season finale of Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern travels to the eclectic city of Portland, OR . While in Portland, Andrew visits the not-to-miss bakery of Voodoo Doughnut, along with Olympic Provisions, a quality meats shop that produces 12 kinds of salami!

See all the places that Andrew visits tonight in our Portland Travel Guide. Plus, go behind the scenes for a sneak peek of tonight’s Portland episode in our Portland Pictures slideshow.

Watch a Sneak Peek: Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut

Are there some restaurants and dishes that stick with you, and in a good way? Whether it’s mom’s home cooking, or the fantastic Lobster Mac-N-Cheese at Miami’s Prime One Twelve, some foods never leave you! So we wanted to know: What were Andrew Zimmern’s favorite restaurants and dishes from 2012? He responded with his Top 5 Places I Ate Last Year.

Bon appetit!

 

You’ve seen them on TV. You know them by their quirky antics. (Think: Laurence Martin from Baggage Battles and Aaron Goodwin from Ghost Adventures). But do you ever wonder what their lives are like off-screen, after the film crew has gone home? Now is your chance — and we want to know which Travel Channel’s host’s “day” is your favorite!

Each week we’re launching a new set of polls, and once the polls close Monday, April 8, we’ll tally the top competitors. We’ll then ask — in one final vote — for you to decide which Travel Channel host has the coolest life, as chronicled in “A Day in the Life” — TravelChannel.com’s award-winning Web Series that just snagged a Cablefax Award for “Use of Video/Moving Image.”

Vote today!

Tonight on an all-new Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern travels to the gastronomic city of Chicago. Andrew stops at EL Ideas, an experimental restaurant that offers imaginative foods, plus makes pit stops at Next restaurant, Joong Boo Market, Rare Tea Cellar and Supreme Lobster & Seafood Company.

Get a complete list of Andrew’s pit stops, including his Chicago accommodations, in our Chicago Travel Guide. Plus, go behind the scenes of tonight’s show with our Chicago’s Cutting Edge slideshow.

Watch a sneak peek from tonight’s episode: Chicago’s Supreme Lobster

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