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I’m With the Gnome

Never mind being a bodyguard to Britney Spears or part of the burgeoning Jolie-Pitt clan, if you want a little attention when you’re out and about, try traveling with the Travelocity Roaming Gnome.

On my flight back to San Francisco yesterday, I had a very special companion in my hand luggage–an 18-inch garden gnome in a pointy red hat, who couldn’t have attracted more glances, stares, and chuckles if he’d tried. Normally, in the face of such blatant public scrutiny, I would have run straight to the restroom to check my teeth for spinach or my shoes for errant spools of toilet paper, wondering why everyone from kids in strollers to 89-year-old grandmothers had executed a double take as I passed. But with the Roaming Gnome tucked under my arm I quickly became accustomed to the attention. The little fellow’s a legend after all. He’s used to being recognized.

Spring Break Survival Tips for Non-Students

It’s that time of year when high school and college students are unleashed unto the world without their parents, to revel in freedom and foolishness, and to find within themselves their own limits and boundaries (or lack thereof).

While stations like MTV try to bank on this phenomena by broadcasting beachfront follies (and itsy bitsy bikinis) to the masses, the rest of us vacationers take note to stay as far from these scene-ster destinations as possible. But if you must venture into the heart of spring break territory during these peak partying months, I’ve got five travel tips to help you make it through.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Those who know that I once went bungee jumping off the summit of some sort of manmade pier in Mexico may not believe me when I say that heights give me the chills. (That adventure, btw, was definitely a one time thing!) Needless to say, the idea of walking across a glass bridge towering 4,000 feet above the earth doesn’t appeal to this aversion of mine, but people lined up today to be one of the first to experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk. At a whopping $75 per person, that’s one pricey stroll, but the attraction is expected to lure travelers who visit the Las Vegas area for its unparalleled view of the Canyon.

Seeking R&R? You’re Not Alone!

Peppermint or strawberry scrub? Rosemary or sage and lemon wrap? If you’ve ever indulged in a day at the spa, you know that the menu reads more like the bill of fare at a decadent sweet shop rather than a list of services at a health resort. Even better, these treats are a calorie-free, guilt-free way to give your body a boost.

With more travelers focusing on health and wellness in recent years, Spa Finder surveyed travel agents and discovered that spa vacations are on the rise. Being a traveler who doesn’t exactly like to “rough it” while on vacation, I, too, contribute to the growing numbers.

Need Surgery. Will Travel?

So the doctor says you need a little work done on your…And this procedure, whatever it is your eyes, your hip, your kidney, it requires bed rest and will force you out of commission for a week, maybe more. It turns out that if you leave the country for this procedure you can save your insurance company serious moolah and have excellent service and a pretty view. Though you might suffer alone, perhaps convalescing in the Caribbean or the South of France or even Bangkok or Singapore wouldn’t be so bad? Who knows. And given the luxurious potential of the surroundings, who cares? But speaking of care – the big question is will it be as good as it is here in our home nation? Now we’ve arrived at the heart of the medical tourism.