Great travel accessory

Tired of packing cords for your laptop, cell phone, iPod and PDA? Well you can eliminate them all with the Callpod Chargepod. It’s a power hub for which you purchase individual adapter tips. The hub retails for $50, you’ll pay another $10 for each adapter. Free yourself from the tangle.

Innkeeping 101

Always wanted to be an Innkeeper? I know I’ve dreamt of owning and running my own bed & breakfast since my honeymoon stay at The Gage House in Sonoma, CA. Well now you can dip your toes in so to speak. The Anchor Inn on Whidbey Island, Washington gives a course called Innkeeping 101. Over a 2 day stay the innkeepers will give you the skinny on what to expect if you decide to run your own B&B. Best part, you get to stay at in this beautiful historic home and enjoy the island while you learn!

Where shall I go?

With New York City winding down from Fashion Week and Las Vegas getting over last night’s Video Music Awards, I’ll bet you’re looking for a chill place to relax and wind down. Well who better to consult than Dr. Beach? He’s listed his Top 10 beaches in America on his website. Personally I’d take Hamoa Beach, Maui any day. Clear skies, blue water, white sand and palm trees. What could be a better to contemplate on a Monday?

Tips for business travel

I’ve never been a “road warrior” myself, but I’ve worked for many in my professional life. I know from experience that small conveniences yield big rewards. For example, having a thin cashmere shawl for the plane keeps me from freezing when the air vents start cranking on take off.

Alison Deyette over at has a great post for business travelers.

Some favorite tips:

– Ask for a room away from elevators, ice machine or on the front of the hotel (a good night’s sleep is key)

– Pack a blow up neck roll, not the stuffed version (you’ll save precious packing space)

– Keep up your workouts on the road (most hotels will provide you with running routes and some even have exercise equipment and videos to loan out)

– Get out and explore. Most business traveler’s never make it past their hotels. There are great museums, waterfronts, walking trails out there that are much more pleasant than your hotel room. (I always check up to see what’s on in the cities I’m traveling to, it makes me feel like an instant native)

For more great ideas, check out her post here.

The artful hotel

For many years hotels have filled their lobbies and public spaces with fine arts and sculpture. Now modern hoteliers are going further and displaying their “collections”. Some are museum quality.

The Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis displays a multimillion dollar collection of multi-media modern art in their lobby and bar. 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky sponsors exhibitions and also permanent installations throughout its property. For more of an Old World flavor, the elegantly appointed Chateau Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans boasts a wide selection of contemporary and conceptual art. The Bellagio in Las Vegas not only has beautiful timed fountains, it also owns a Gallery of Fine Art which shows traveling exhibitions. Finally out here on the West Coast Hotel Max accentuates each room with original art, and displays photographers (1 per floor) in the corridors on each level.

So the next time you’re looking for a boutique hotel experience, why not stay at an art hotel. You’ll save yourself museum admission and can feel like a collector. If only for a little while.

Where shall I go?

With Labor Day behind us, airlines are ponying up great Fall fares. Most travelers have gotten their wanderlust out of their system over the past weekend. However, if that’s not you it’s time to consider flying someplace warm. Here in San Francisco we’re seeing deals to Hawaii, L.A. and Mexico. Just imagine yourself chilling on a beach for 4 or 5 days. No crowds, great food, the perfect getaway.

Travel tip of the week

When you’re traveling overseas you’re always encouraged to bring extra copies of your passport, driver’s license and plane tickets. This is a great hedge against them getting lost or stolen. It does present a problem though, how do you secure those copies? Hotel safe? Front desk safe? Carry them with you. Well that won’t work either.

Melody Moser over at Journeys Near and Far had a great tip. Before you leave scan your documents and send them to yourself in an e-mail message. That way you don’t have to worry about paper copies and as long as there’s a computer around you’ll have them near at hand. Just be sure you are using a secure internet connection when you’re retrieving them.

Double duty – dryer sheets

Confronted with static cling when you unpack your work clothes? It’s hard these days to get an aerosol past TSA, so Static Guard is out. Try a dryer sheet. They’re small, flat and easily packable. Just rub it on the static-y garment and watch cling disappear. It has the added advantage of making your clothes smell great (just like a sachet). You can even put them in your shoes overnight to freshen them up as well.

Get your kicks on Route 66

Labor Day is traditionally a driving holiday for Americans. Over the long weekend people take to their cars to feel the wind in their hair and get one last glimpse of the great outdoors. Route 66 has long been known as America’s nostalgic highway. It even showed up in the Disney movie Cars last summer. Now Google Maps has made it possible for you not only to chart a road trip on Route 66, but they also share photos and interviews from their own driving adventures.