• Travel Anne

Ask Anne 10/29/20

More questions from our growing audience of readers! Interestingly enough, more questions are coming in about travel in general. Here's a handful that pretty much represent the general theme. We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we promise to do our best and always be honest!

By: Anne Heintz

Editors Note:

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From Stan in Atlanta, GA: What would you consider a “grand hotel” and how many do you think there are in the USA?

I guess when I think of a Grand Hotel I think of ones that are older, iconic and have a rich history. Off the top of my head I would put the Plaza, Waldorf Astoria and St Regis in New York on the list. Maybe the Willard and Mayflower in DC. The Greenbrier, The Breakers, and Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida. Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Phoenician and Biltmore in Scottsdale. Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, Beverly Hills Hotel, Mark Hopkins and Fairmont in San Francisco.

Would I stay at all of them? Probably not. Some have done a better job of reinventing themselves and continually upgrading, whereas others have not. I also never underestimate the emotional attachment of a certain property for people. If they have fond memories, a good number of things can be overlooked!

From Barb in Bloomfield Hills, MI: What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?

Thanks Barb! Usually finding something whether it be a current art exhibit or small museum that is not on the typical tourists “first visit” list. I also enjoy talking to the locals and getting their advice on restaurants and generally more “off the beaten” activities or sights.

From Maggie in Reston, VA: What’s the difference between travel and vacation?

Great question Maggie! I consider travel to be trains, planes, ships and automobiles. I try to embrace whatever mode it is. Otherwise it is easy to find more to complain about and that is NO fun! Although a client’s “war stories” about what transpired can make for great cocktail party chit chat once things have resolved themselves! After all transportation is part of the adventure!

Vacation is what happens once you get to your destination, unless of course you are on a yacht or five star train such as the Royal Scotsman or Orient Express! People’s idea of a vacation takes on many different definitions. What would be nirvana for some would be pure Hell to others!

From RJ in Washington, DC: Is it hard to get to the Caribbean?

It's certainly possible. My daughter is in Barbados for a month and I'm touring villas in Jamaica this week. That said, these are interesting times right now! Many flights and schedules have been cut back. One reason is Covid but another reason is that it has been the “off” season for the Islands. Once we get into the Christmas/”festive” holiday schedules will pick up. More islands are opening up to the US market. As long as you don’t mind taking a Covid 72 hour PCR test (note some islands will give you an even bigger window for testing) you can experience the crystal blue waters and sandy beach once again!

Natalie wrote about the her experience. Her article will give you a good idea of the process. Click here for a direct link!

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