Help! I Need Travel Ideas for the New Year

The Open Suitcase needs travel ideas for the new year. Where’d you go in 2016? What did you love? Or hate? Leave your suggestions for places to visit, foods to eat, and things to do, or not do, in the comments section for a chance to win some travel inspiration.

quebec-city-street-with-orange-balloons

The calendar flips in a few days and I need travel ideas for the new year. It’s how I survive winter.

I’m inviting you to play a round of show and tell. Continue reading

Bad Case of Wanderlust? Cure it With a Bedroom Makeover.

Got a bad case of wanderlust and no money for a vacation? There’s a super simple cure – give your bedroom a beach villa makeover! Here’s how.

One cure for wanderlust are dreamy beach pictures like this one of Colombier beach.

An aerial view of Colombier beach. Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC

We go to St. Barth every April.

I know what you’re thinking.

“My, aren’t you a fancy Nancy?” Continue reading

We are Here!

Photo:  Random House

Photo: Random House

In the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who!, a pachyderm attempts to rescue a population of microscopic critters living on a dust speck. The outside world cannot hear their individual, tiny voices; but when they collectively shout “We are here!”, they are discovered and saved.

Travel agents these days must feel a bit like the Whos. What do you do when the leader of the free world declares you extinct? In August 2011 at a town hall meeting, President Obama said “… one of the challenges in terms of rebuilding our economy is businesses have gotten so efficient that — when was the last time somebody went to a bank teller instead of using the ATM, or used a travel agent instead of just going online? A lot of jobs that used to be out there requiring people now have become automated.” Continue reading

Say Hello to My Little Friend

To dismantle the contents of your suitcase in the middle of San Juan airport and redistribute your dirty laundry among your carry ons requires a prodigious lack of shame. My husband meekly suggested that I leave behind the wine. “Why don’t I just get rid of THESE!” I hollered, brandishing his size 13 EEE slip-on mocs like a ramper parking an airplane at the gate. It wasn’t my finest moment. I got the checked bag down to 48 pounds but we lumbered through the airport laden with bags heavier than 5-year old twins.

I choose my splurges carefully when traveling. Hire a local guide to show me the sights? Yes. Enjoy an extravagant meal at a legendary restaurant? Yes. Buy a unique piece of art from a local crafter? Yes. Pay overweight baggage fees? Never!

Photo:  Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon

Photo: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon

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Calling All Wannabe Winos

Author’s Note: This post includes a giveaway; details in the final paragraph.

Can you really enjoy something if you’re utterly ignorant about it?

I think you can. I like playoff hockey even though I don’t know what icing is. I often go to museums with only one Intro to Art History class in my arsenal. And I enjoy wine. I know for sure that I prefer red to white and don’t like ones that cause you to smack your tongue against your lips. That’s the extent of my oenology.

pinot noir St. Barts Continue reading