Kalin’s Chronicles: Doing time at the airport

oraoxygenFor those of us who reside in the United States, there’s always the dreaded winter season when it comes to flying. You never know when a snow or ice storm will leave you stranded for hours, or even days at the airport. And after jumping through hoops to get onto another flight, all you can do is sit and wait. Or is it?

Instead of stewing and stressing about the situation, I suggest spending your time in a better way – by taking advantage of the airport’s amenities. Today’s airports have more than your typical fast food and magazine shops. They’re becoming mini shopping and entertainment centers. According to the Bureau of Transportation, non-flight spending reached more than $7 billion in 2008. And one of the best new places to spend money is at the airport spa.

U.S. airports offer full spa services including massages, manicures, facials, and even oxygen therapy. A Message Inc. offers 10 to 90-minute massages at Denver International Airport. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport visit The Massage Bar which offers chair and foot massages, along with 10-minute heat therapy where a warm flaxseed wrap is placed on the neck and shoulders along with a soothing eye pillow. The Message Bar is also located at Nashville International, Pittsburg International, and Washington-Dulles International airports. (photo: Oraoxygen Detroit)

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WAF’s Five for Friday: The “More Best of the Web” Edition

Paris StayFive fabulous websites I think you’ll love…

1. Whether you’re a travel buff or just want to make your 40th birthday getaway the trip of a lifetime, Stay.com can help.  Simply type in your destination and Stay shows you city highlights, hotel deals, restaurants, night life and much more. Add anything you’re interested in and Stay creates a personalized, printable travel guide. (Photo: Stay.com’s feature Bar De L’Entracte – Paris)

2. Wakerupper works with any phone in the U.S. or Canada and does just what it sounds like it does. Use Wakerupper to remind yourself of important events, birthdays and appointments or call your kids to get on them about their chores. My favorite use for Wakerupper – schedule a call to get out of a bad date! Type in your message and an automated voice calls and delivers it at the time you’ve scheduled.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Your 2011 Travel Wish List

italian-villasHappy New Year, Women at 40! It’s that time again to reflect on the past year and recharge for the new one. 2010 was a challenging year, so I didn’t get to travel as much as I would have liked. However, I always make a “travel wish list” at the beginning of each year. It feels great to be able to check a city or country off of the list. What’s on your travel wish list?

The same country that was on the top of my list last year, is on the top of this year’s list – Australia! I’ve been wanting to visit this country for a while because once I make it there I will have traveled to all seven continents! Right now I’ll have to live through my friend’s photos from her trip to Australia with Oprah! I was so happy for her, and wished I could have been a stowaway. Other destinations on my list include: Honolulu, Paris, Bahia, Hong Kong, and a return to Cape Town. No matter how much I travel, there are always so many more places to see. (Photo: Gorgeous seaside villa and one of the places on our senior editor’s wish list)

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Kalin’s Chronicles: The Gift of Travel

Starbucks ready brewAs the holidays approach, you’re probably still rushing around trying to buy gifts for family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Well if any of your receivers are travelers, I’ve got some suggestions for great travel gifts — all under $50.

If you want to give the gift of travel visit www.cheaptickets.com and check out their “Cheap of the Week” destinations, like the Sarah Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for only $25 per night (must travel during specific dates). And for comfort on the plane, give Brookstone’s Travel Flight Kit with a soft, inflatable pillow and eye mask for $30. Or give TravelSmith’s Nylon Pre-board Organizer for quick access to passport, boarding pass, etc. for $16.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Journey to the Bottom of the World

antarticaYou’re going where?  Why?  That’s how my friends responded when I told them I was going to Antarctica.  Little did they know that the coldest place on earth is becoming one of the hottest travel destinations with more than 25,000 visitors a year.  Antarctica is also one of the most difficult places on earth to reach – so travelers must visit during the southern hemisphere’s summer – the winter months for the U.S. – when the ice melts enough to allow access to the continent’s outer banks. So December is a great time to cruise to Antarctica!

I made the journey years ago. My cruise to the “bottom of the world” began with an 11-hour flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a night on the town and an excellent steak dinner (Argentina is known for its beef), I was up early the next morning for a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Ushuaia, Argentina—the southern-most country in the world. This seaport and ski town is partly surrounded by the beautiful Andes Mountains. One of the jumping-off points for a cruise to the “bottom of the world” is Ushuaia, Argentina. I took the Clipper Adventurer, with about 100 other passengers.   The cruise line has been cruising to Antarctica since 1998. (Photo: Kalin with a few of Antarctica’s most famous inhabitants)

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