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The Vacation Alter-Ego

It’s an amazing thing to witness: many people undergo complete transformations of personality while on vacation. Ordinarily shy people become chatty. Reserved executives find themselves entering themselves into a cruise ship hairiest chest contest. Dieters indulge in chocolate fantasies and couch potatoes find themselves running with glee from attraction to attraction. Everybody, it seems, has a vacation alter-ego.

Photo courtesty of IgoUgo member Sail Army.

Best Road Trip Song Ever

There is almost nothing more American than a good, old-fashioned road trip. Fill up the tank, call up your friends, and take to the great highways. But if you’re anything like me, before you go, you load up your iPod with a road trip mix that is so well-crafted (and let’s face it, borderline genius) that surely your friends will oohh and aahh all the way to Albuquerque. (That never happens, by the way.)

My only problem when creating these mixes is the embarrassment of riches to choose from. Not only do Americans love riding along in their automobiles, but bands love to sing about it too, making the wealth of road trip songs nearly overwhelming.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member kwasiak.

The Annual Nantucket Vacation

If you read Genevieve’s last post (and I hope you did!), you’ll know the difference between those who feel that summer means vacation and those who don’t. Like Ms. Brown, I am of the former category. Whether it is a hardwired impulse or simply a remnant of schooldays when warm weather and responsibility were inversely proportional, I can’t help but get restless when the days are long and the breeze blows balmier. To be honest, I’m on vacation now! This year, as we’ve done for the last 25 Augusts, my family and I put some time aside, drop just about everything, and go to Nantucket. That’s right, I’m on vacation right now. Of course, I have used just about all my vacation days to do it, so don’t be too jealous (though I just came in from the beach).

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member richardhall99.

Traveling With Pets

With almost two-thirds of all Americans living in a household with a pet, it’s no surprise that our furballs are taking to the roads, skies, and seas in increasing numbers. And since Americans are projected to spend over $40 billion on their four-legged friends in 2007, pet travel is going beyond being just a niche industry.

The appeals of traveling with a pet are many. You don’t have to hire a dog-walker or kennel and worry that they’re getting enough exercise and play time. Bring a dog out on the beach, hiking through the woods, or even on an afternoon kayak excursion, and their spirit of adventure is infectious.

Photo of Hector the Dog courtesy of Eric Eisen.

News Flash: Travel Update for Caribbean and Mexico

After pounding several Caribbean islands over the weekend, Hurricane Dean hit Mexico’s Caribbean coast Tuesday as a Category 5 storm, according to USA Today. The hurricane was downgraded to Category 2, but is expected to regain strength as it heads towards central Mexico.

Travelers with plans to visit Mexico, especially the Yucatan Peninsula, should check with their hotel for information on rebooking. Most hotels and tour operators in impacted destinations will waive cancellation fees and allow travelers to rebook for a later date, based on availability. Customers with cruise itineraries that include Mexico ports will experience itinerary changes; check with your cruise line for updates and schedule changes. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Carnival Cruise Lines shifted the itineraries of six ships, while Royal Caribbean International changed at least two.

Island by Island Conditions
On Grand Cayman, Owen Roberts International Airport is open and the visitor restriction has been lifted. Visitors should check with individual properties for inofrmation on hotel opening status.

Jamaica was spared a direct hit by the hurricane and hotel damage was limited. Many hotels, particularly in western Jamaica, are fully operational. Montego Bay Airport is now open and ready to receive flights. Norman Manley Airport in Kingston is expected to open on Tuesday.

On Martinique, Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport is open. All island hotels are open, though some have suffered landscaping damage. No structural damage was reported.

On St. Lucia, both airports are open and hurricane damage was minimal.

On St. Kitts, airline service remains normal and all hotels are open. The island suffered very little impact from the storm.