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.

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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

Visiting Grand Rapids: Beer, Art, Beer, Repeat

Tell people you’re visiting Grand Rapids and you’re likely to get a confused look. This city of 200,000, located in Western Michigan, is still an under the radar travel destination, but it won’t be for long. It’s easy to navigate, features a premier art destination, and has a lively craft beer scene. It’s easy to sample during a quick weekend getaway, but, once you get a taste, you’ll want to return for a second helping.

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The dominant sculpture in the garden is American Horse by Nina Akamu. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

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Simple Moves to Make Travel Easier

Cullen Family Carousel Detroit RiverfrontI really shouldn’t be permitted to travel, based on the number of really stupid things I’ve done on the road. On past trips, I have shown up at the wrong hotel and tried to check in for a flight that wasn’t mine. I have gotten on trains heading away from my destination rather than towards it. And when it comes to driving and one-way streets…let’s just say, I can U-turn VERY quickly.

But recently, two things went right. Very right. And they shouldn’t have, considering it was the weekend of the lunar eclipse. Continue reading

Shoulder Season: The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Sports Fans

Michigan Wolverines

On every sports fan’s bucket list? Attending a major college football game.

Shoulder season. The time of year when it’s okay to wear a wool dress and thong sandals to work.
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6 Tips to Make Your Weekend Trip a Breeze

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That’s your plane taking off. But you’re still in the parking lot. Ugh. (Photo: Shutterstock)

I have a series of upcoming quick weekend trips with flights out on Friday nights and dreaded early Monday morning returns. These are the jaunts that try one’s soul. I decided to try break some of my usual travel habits to make these weekend getaways easier and less stressful. Continue reading