I’ve flown around the world solo with just a carry-on and laptop; lived my own version of Crocodile Dundee in Australia; gone marlin fishing in Cabo San Lucas, glacier climbing in New Zealand; and tooled around Alaska in a bush plane. I’ve worked as a news writer, copy editor and producer at MSNBC, Travel Channel, TIME, and Australia’s equivalent of the PBS NewsHour; and my travel stuff has appeared in The Huffington Post, the L.A. Times, Dallas Morning News and travelwithval.com.
I can appreciate lusting after the latest grill or bling. But I’m even more wowed about my Vera Bradley suitcase that’s girlie and practical. It looks like a big purse (gets lots of compliments). But it’s roomy enough for long trips, and is a carry-on, to boot.
How can luggage get me so jazzed? Because IMO, travel’s the best learning experience anyone can ever have. Sadly, the world’s much smaller than when I first started (pre-Starbucks, and even Mr. Coffee.) Hence the challenge. To seek out the things that still make places unique. For roughly the same cost as the same old, same old.
To each his or her own, but I’m generally not a theme park person. And I’ve always shunned tours, unless going it alone is too difficult, time-consuming or dangerous. Or the tour really has something worth seeing.
Most important: Third night free is not what Planet Lippstone is all about. Don’t get me wrong: I love bargains as much as anyone else. But the promise of an experience always comes first when plotting a trip. Then I look to see how I can save.
Even though I seek out bargains, I’m not opposed to the occasional splurge.
So let’s talk travel. Or dogs and health (not one and the same, though they can be), my other passions. I’m a research junkie when it comes to health.
Given how much I know in that department — I’m jokingly known as the other Dr. Laura in some circles — you’d think I would have relinquished my title as The Original Junk Food Junkie.
What can I say? It’s my own private Yin and Yang. My body is a vandalized temple. The renovations, I can safely say, will always be ongoing.
Popular culture and life’s quirks also get me going.
What about you? Welcome to Planet Lippstone. Pull up a chair and get comfy.
Disclosure: It’s a common practice in the travel industry for journalists to receive complimentary or reduced rates for lodging and anything travel-related. This is done with the understanding that Planet Lippstone is there to fairly and impartially tell it like it is, no matter what the cost.
Disclaimer: My travel experiences are just that — my experiences. Your mileage and comfort level may vary. In other words, Laura Lippstone, author of planetlippstone.com, is not responsible for your experiences. As with any purchase, it’s up to you to know what you’re getting into every step of the way before booking any travel. It’s your responsibility to know the political and health risks involved, and to obtain all necessary visas and recommended vaccinations.
The following are good places to start your research: www.state.gov, www.tsa.gov, www.dot.gov, www.faa.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.treas.gov/ofac and www.customs.gov. Also contact a local clinic that deals specifically with travel health issues.
If you still have unanswered questions or any doubts about an international destination, contact the consulate, embassy or tourist board for that particular country. A travel agent may also be able to steer you in the right direction.
Finally, whether you’re dealing with a hotel or rental around the corner or around the world, don’t be afraid to be a pest. Your safety and hard-earned dough are at stake.