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Affiliate Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products recommended and reviewed by the companies who produce them and our affiliates. All of the products are tested thoroughly and high grades are received only by the best ones. We are independent bloggers and the recommendations and reviews are based on our own opinions.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Your 2019 Healthy and Meaningful Holiday Gift Guide for the Adventurer, Globetrotter, Traveler and Beyond

Share is an important word for traveling and we see it more and more every year! Our favorite gifts will help capture those memories, inspire future adventures, and make life on the road healthier and more meaningful.




The purpose of our blog is to share with you everything we have learned to make Meaningful and Healthy Travel happen! We only recommend products that we use or would buy for friends! Please CLICK THE PHOTOS BELOW TO LEARN MORE, BUY or SHARE this post to support our blog and keep it going! THANK YOU!


Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

1.  OOLER by Chili Technologies - This is our number one recommended product because it has been a "sleep changer" for us!





Give the gift of sleep!!!! Our number one recommended product of 2019.  We first encountered Chili Technologies at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in 2019!  In a matter of no time we became customers ourselves and can't say enough how much the OOLER has contributed to our well-being and healthy travel!  Interrupted sleep is when our sleep is studded with prolonged periods of waking up throughout the night, usually at least four times over the course of eight hours. This condition can be caused by a sudden shift in routine (for example, a new baby in the house), travel, unexpected noises (such as a party at your neighbor’s house or a partner’s snoring), bathroom trips, menopause or other health issues or racing thoughts.  Temperature affects your baseline sleep quality and regulating temperature can help you phase shift your sleep for travel and help prevent jet lag.  See our full review of OOLER by clicking here! Use our coupon codes to take 25% off!


2.  ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life



The traveling nomad struggles with opportunities to exercise and eat right. Help them out with understanding the right practices! Because most nutrition products and training plans are designed for men, it’s no wonder that so many female athletes struggle to reach their full potential. ROAR is a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women. Because women’s physiology changes over time, entire chapters are devoted to staying strong and active through pregnancy and menopause.

3.  Our Favorite Smart Watch for the Active Traveler just got better with a New Display!



The Garmin Venu has an enormous number of features, a long-lasting battery and an attractive build. It's expensive, but for serious outdoor travel enthusiasts it's hard to beat.  The GPS features of this watch are unrivaled and work all over the world.  This is a high-performance timepiece that meets big challenges and fits smaller wrists. This new Venu model comes in four finishes and holds about 500 songs.  The new AMOLED vibrant display is perfect for aging eyes and rivals the Apple Watch display! Anyone would love to receive this special gift!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Day with Madeira Taxi Tours by Diogo is the Perfect Way to Get to Know a Spectacular Island


Luxury Travel Docs gives 5 stars to Madeira taxi tours by Diogo who offers a guided tour by a local host in Madeira, Portugal with food and wine tastings and Breathtaking views. 

LTD took a shore excursion sightseeing tour paired with first-class treatment, a local experience and incredible views.  It was a day we won’t forget. 




1. Booking


We recommend going directly to Diogo to see what experiences are offered. Other alternatives are to book on TripAdvisor.  Plans change and Diogo offers the same cancellation policy as TripAdvisor at their website but since there are multiple options of how to book, do what is most comfortable for you.  Find a direct link to Diogo's Facebook page at the end of this post!


2. Communication 


Within an hour after we booked our excursion on TripAdvisor, Diogo communicated with us letting us know he would meet us at the port of Funchal where our cruise ship would be docking.  We confirmed with him 24 hours before as he has a 24 hour cancellation time.  He was pleasant and gave us clear instructions of where to meeting him.

RxTIP:  Use T-Mobile for international travel because it provides unlimited data and text in many countries.  We were concerned that coverage would not be great on an island like Madeira, but coverage was awesome!

3. Meeting

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Paolo Scheffer of Lisbon Explorer Private Tours Provides One of the Best Tours We Have Ever Experienced

Lisbon Explorer Private Tours provides experiences for the Culturally Curious! Perfect for travelers, foodies and art lovers who want more than a mass tourism experience.  We are proud to award Paolo Scheffer the 2019 HEAT Award!  The HEAT award is given to those individuals or companies that demonstrate excellence in Healthy Excursions And Travel!


Using vibrant and knowledgeable scholars to share insider places for food, history and culture in Portugal Lisbon Explorer Private Tours gave one of the best tours we have ever experienced.





1. Booking


We were part of a small group tour arranged by a friend of ours.  Booking was done through the Lisbon Explorer website via email.  Our group specifically requested Paolo, who they had used before and fortunately he was available!  Communication was prompt and thorough.  About a 15% deposit was required prior to the tour with the balance and entry fees required in cash on the day of the tour.  This is a fair deposit amount and overall - though we won't repeat the charge here because fees can vary based on number of persons and type of tour - the fee was very reasonable.  Find a link at the end of this post to see our tour and start an inquiry to book!

The deposit could be made via PayPal which is one of our preferences.

RxTIP:  We prefer to use a credit card with PayPal payments and not link a bank account to our PayPal for added purchase protection and security.

2. Communication


Communication was prompt, easy to understand in English and thorough.  Descriptions of our meeting place and options for transfer to the location with a map from the cruise terminal were sent to us before the tour.  Lisbon Explorer even included a photo of the meeting place with an arrow indicating where our guide would meet us!



3. Meeting


Lisbon Explorer gave the option of a van transport for all of us to the meeting place for 45 euros total each way from and to the cruise terminal.  It was easy to walk back to the ship after the tour but this would be a good option for getting to the meeting place which was all uphill.  If you are fit, walking is an option - just allow about an hour.  We opted for taxis which was not as easy at the cruise terminal as it may seem.  There was no taxi stand, only taxis wishing to sell tours. So we had to flag down taxis and the drive there was slow in traffic.  The meeting place was Quiosque Principe Real and we were about 20 minutes late, but not to worry, our guide waited!


4. Guide


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Have a Monumental Luxury Experience at the Monument Hotel in the Heart of Barcelona, Spain

The incredibly renovated 1896 building maintains the impressive character and pre-modernist style of its original incarnation, Enric Batlló House. Beautiful brickwork, ceramic accents and wrought iron decorate the facade, catching the eyes of passersby.


Set in a 19th-century mansion just off the Passeig de Gràcia, the Monument Hotel is a chic hotel in a fashionable location.


Have a Monumental Luxury Experience at the Monument Hotel in the Heart of Barcelona, Spain

1. Location


Located in the heart of Barcelona, on the fashionable Paseo de Gracia, within 5 minutes’ walk from both Gaudi’s masterpieces Casa Battló and La Pedrera.  Monument Hotel is a 10-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas; regular trains to Barcelona El Prat Airport leave from Paseo de Gracia Train Station, located 1,000 feet away.  Amazing attractions are close by and an easy walk for active travelers like us, including Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Palau de la Música and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

Have a Monumental Luxury Experience at the Monument Hotel in the Heart of Barcelona, Spain



Sea Saffron Provides an Incredible Tour Experience Ending with an Unforgettable View, Wine and Tapas in Valencia Spain


Luxury Travel Docs gives 5 stars to Sea Saffron who offers guided tours by local hosts in Valencia, Spain with Food and wine tastings and Breathtaking views. 


LTD took a shore excursion sightseeing tour paired with first-class treatment, tapas, wine tasting and incredible views. It was an experience we won’t forget. 



1. Booking


We recommend going directly to the Sea Saffron website to see what experiences are offered. Other alternatives are to book on TripAdvisor or Viator. Plans change and Sea Saffron offers the same cancellation policy as TripAdvisor at their website but since there are multiple options of how to book, do what is most comfortable for you.  Find a direct link to Sea Saffron at the end of this post!


2. Communication 


Our cruise ship changed times of docking before we embarked and Nick, our guide from Sea Saffron notified us of the new time to meet via text even before we were aware of the change! The fact that they were very informed of our circumstances was extremely reassuring to us! We preferred to change our communication to WhatsApp and Nick was prompt and thorough when answering our questions and providing instructions for meeting.

RxTIP:  Use T-Mobile for international travel because it provides unlimited data and text in many countries.


3. Meeting


Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Château des Grotteaux is a Perfect Base to Explore the Main Parts and Attractions of the Loire Valley

Have the experience of a lifetime when visiting the Loire Valley by staying at an exceptional bed and breakfast, Chateau des Grotteaux, the smallest but most gracious of the great chateaux located in Huisseau-sur-Cosson, France.  


The Grotteaux is located in the middle of Loire valley with most famous tourist attractions within a one hour drive. By itself, it is a beautiful chateau in its own huge park, with rich history and renovated to the highest possible standards. In the main building there are five private rooms, each with its own character, gorgeous living areas, and at the entrance to the grounds is the La Commanderie, a separate apartment if you desire more privacy. 


The Château de Grotteaux is a Perfect Base to Explore the Main Parts and Attractions of the Loire Valley

1. Location


Abutting the large forest of Chambord, stay only 5 miles from the chateau favored by the Kings of France since Francois Premier (Francois I) in 1500. Many chateau are within 1 hour drives, enabling you to see different types of chateau on your vacation to the Loire valley. Let's face it, castle after castle can get pretty boring and as Rick Steves suggests, make each chateau visit a unique one.



Not only is the Grotteaux in wonderful proximity to such an itinerary but is also in a very safe and peaceful area for you to enjoy the French countryside and all it has to offer. Check out our itinerary by clicking here.

It was a one hour drive from where we picked up our rental car in Tours.  This was an easy high speed train ride from Paris CDG.  To get to the quaint town of Amboise, which was our farthest chateau and town to visit to 45 minutes by our rental car.  Renting a car was easy on Costco.com, even for renting in France and the price was very reasonable.  We recommend renting small vehicle because the country roads are very narrow and parking spaces even narrower.  Parking at the Grotteaux was easy and free on the grounds inside the entry gates.

The Grotteaux has house bicycles which would be easy to use to get to nearby towns, groceries or even activities at Chambord park or chateau.

Because we felt so safe in the area, with wonderful hospitality from locals, we ventured to a local chocolate festival one afternoon. We were the only foreigners at the event but felt such a warm welcome that we felt like locals!

2. Check-in

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Two Old Friends Visit France and This is our Itinerary for 6 days in Loire Valley

When you visit the Loire Valley, it's not hard to see why, once upon a time, French royalty decided to live here instead of in Paris.  The rolling countryside and fertile farmland — ideal for making cheeses, and growing grapes for Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé — provides a perfect backdrop for castles, quaint villages and friendly locals. 


Two Old Friends Visit France and This is our Itinerary for 6 days in Loire Valley

Along the Loire River Valley, the beautiful French countryside is studded with châteaux. Home-basing near Chambord at an amazing Airbnb, we visited five unique castles: elegant Chenonceau, massive Chambord, stately Cheverny, historic Chaumont and the beautiful Château Royal d'Amboise. Along the way, we toured Leonardo’s home, fed hunting dogs, enjoyed the local cuisine, and watched the red deer stags before heading back toward Paris to visit Versailles and stay at a luxury hotel. This was an easy itinerary for two high-school girlfriends to tackle in 7 days with plenty of rest time worked in.  

Note: This itinerary requires a car rental which we rented via Costcotravel.com at Alamo.  

Day 1 Travel Day -- Paris CDG to Tours, France and onto Huisseau-sur-Cosson


Two Old Friends Visit France and This is our Itinerary for 6 days in Loire Valley


This we left as a travel day and get settled at our Airbnb and thankfully we planned it that way because the day consisted of many delays.



To get from Paris to the Loire Valley can take a few hours. See our review of Flagship Business class JFK to CDG and what we learned about ourselves in a Paris Train Station for specific tips.  We picked up our car in Tours, France at the St-Pierre-des-Corps train station at Alamo.  We opted for a manual transmission and we recommend as small a car as will hold your luggage and passengers, because roads in the French countryside are narrow and parking spaces are small!



We checked into our Airbnb at the Chateaux des Grotteaux, our base of operations for the next 5 days and went to the grocery store for necessities and to learn the immediate surrounding area.


Review of American Airlines 777-200 07/16 revision Flagship Business Class New York JFK to CDG Paris

Not all American Airlines premium cabins experiences are created equally.  If you’re looking for a top-notch seat, you’ll want to stick to business and first class on American Airlines Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft.  


Here we review the 777-200 Flagship Business Seat from JFK to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), also known as Roissy Airport.  Always remember that American Airlines is known for their expensive Europe business class product.  However, booking a separate ticket out of JFK is frequently your best option for a reasonable price.  To accomplish booking an international trip with separate tickets smoothly, we recommend taking a carry on only. Your Flagship Business experience starts at the airport...


1. Flagship Lounge


The 6 hour layover (because of limited number of flights from hub in Charlotte? Really?) went by quickly. Look at our review of the Flagship lounge here. You are only eligible to enter the Flagship lounge if you are flying international business or first class. The only restricted part of the flagship lounge is the dining area where only first class passengers on a three class service plane.



2. Boarding


Efficient and plane was actually fully boarded long before doors closing. Flight attendant greeted me immediately by name and offered sparkling wine or other refreshment. I asked for an additional pillow which I was assured several times was being looked for but never provided.

Things We Learned about Ourselves in A Paris Train Station

Sometimes the convenience of what some perceive as luxury is the pleasure that makes a journey healthy and meaningful.


Recently we were inspired by our love of history, wine architecture and the countryside to plan an adventure to the Loire Valley. We belong to many online collaborative travel groups, some of which reinforce several things that may influence your preferred travel modes: carbon footprint, convenience, luxury, time, or cost just to name a few.



There are limited ways to get to and through the Loire Valley. Renting a car is an easy method to get around but the thought of renting a car at CDG gives one palpitations. However renting a car in the Loire valley isn't very difficult. We chose to rent in Tours. As suggested by our Airbnb host, there is a high speed train from CDG to Tours (and back). FYI the train station at CDG is easy and of course the regional train stations such as St Pierre des Corps are simple to use.

Important points about the TGV train


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Review of the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace at Versailles Near Paris France

With history, comfort, luxury, service and fine dining, the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace is "better than Paris" and provides a peaceful oasis to get away from the crowds of Versailles.


1. Location

For visiting the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, there can't be a better location. Of course getting to Versailles is not simple (especially from the Loire Valley) bit for comfort, ease, security and peace of mind, we recommend car service or taxi. The main ticket entrance is located about a 10 minute walk over cobble stoned street or you can enter via the Trianon entrance to the Versailles gardens literally right outside the entrance to the hotel. Either way, to enter the palace itself, a 10 minute walk is required. If you plan to visit just the gardens, the hotel is perfect. You should be able to walk around some gardens without an entry ticket but we didn't look at the limits of how much area you would be able to explore.




Monday, October 14, 2019

You Can Fight Insomnia, Hot Flashes and Jet Lag like a Pro with OOLER from Chili Technology! We are both Customers and Advocates!

Many of us assume that if we spend eight hours in bed, we are meeting our daily needs for rest and rejuvenation. What we fail to take into account, is that the number of times we wake up throughout the night, or the minutes we spend tossing and turning under the covers, can seriously cut down on both the quantity and quality of our sleep. 


You Can Fight Insomnia, Hot Flashes and Jet Lag like a Pro with OOLER from Chili Technology!  We are both Customers and Advocates!

SAVE BIG!  Look for important coupon codes below!!!!


Are you already suffering from interrupted sleep???


Interrupted sleep is when our sleep is studded with prolonged periods of waking up throughout the night, usually at least four times over the course of eight hours. This condition can be caused by a sudden shift in routine (for example, a new baby in the house), travel, unexpected noises (such as a party at your neighbor’s house or a partner’s snoring), bathroom trips, menopause or other health issues or racing thoughts.

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.


Experiencing interrupted sleep can have negative consequences on our overall health. During the night, your body progresses through different stages of sleep. If one stage is interrupted, your body has to reset and start going through the stages again, meaning you may never get to the deep, restorative sleep that occurs during later stages.

Even just one night of interrupted sleep can negatively affect your mood and cause you to experience a decline in attention span. Interrupted sleep can slow your reaction speed and make it harder to learn or remember things. It can also lead to a buildup of amyloid proteins in the body, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

You may wonder what does all of this have to do with travel?


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Indulge Yourself in Desert Luxury at the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage Hotel and Spa near Coachella and Palm Springs California

With Service second to none this the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage is the ultimate in luxury and relaxation and you may discover that you don't want to leave!


Located on a 650 foot bluff overlooking legendary Palm Springs and the picturesque Coachella Valley, the hotel is built with elements of of wood, fire and stone to reflect the natural elements of surrounding mountains and valleys all the while paying homage to the celebrities from old Hollywood.



1. Location


This location is outstanding to visit as your destination because the palm springs airport is serviced by multiple major airlines. If you are traveling to las Angeles, San Diego or elsewhere in Southern California, it is a short drive over some beautiful landscapes. For example from San Diego we crossed the San Bernardino mountains which were spectacular. Other destinations nearby include Coachella families for its festival, and Joshua tree national park, a destination for campers, hikers, photographers, star gazers and climbers. There are plenty of other activities nearby with frequent concerts, live stage productions, festivals, opera, symphony and museums. Nearby is Southern California’s ultimate tennis center, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home to the BNP Paribas Open, one of the premier  professional tournaments in the world, which takes place annually in March.


2. Check-in


We were greeted with superb service at the valet. Immediately the level of service is clear as staff stumble over themselves to assist. We were greeted as gold Bonvoy members and as having booked with American Express fine hotels & resorts. Champagne was offered immediately and we received a very thorough orientation to the resort including our included benefits, upgrades and amenities. This is one of the most thorough welcomes we have ever received.


Friday, October 11, 2019

PLEASE SHARE to Remember The Day that Made America Stronger with 9/11 Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik

We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001, the Pearl Harbor of the Modern Generation.  


Driving and walking around the 9/11 memorial with former NYPD Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, we knew we would hear a genuine perspective by someone who would not retreat into clichés. Nearly 20 years later, Kerik's emotions are very much on the surface, as they remain for many Americans.


Remembering The Day that Made America Stronger with 9/11 Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik


On the clear, sunny morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes, and in a coordinated attack that transformed the planes into weapons, intentionally flew two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Learning of the other hijackings through telephone calls, passengers and crew on the fourth plane, now headed toward the nation’s capital, tried to breach the cockpit to thwart another horrific attack. In response, the hijacker pilot crashed the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 innocent people were killed that day, the single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest, single loss of rescue personnel in American history. Over 400 first responders perished while performing their sworn duty: firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and other rescue workers.

Bernard Kerik, now retired from the New York City Police Department, is one of the most decorated police commissioners in NYPD history and was the commissioner during the September 11, 2001 attack.

In this video, Commissioner Kerik remembers that day.




Saturday, October 5, 2019

Review of Carte Hotel: San Diego’s Newest Boutique Hotel

San Diego’s vibrant Little Italy neighborhood is a constantly evolving place that in recent years has seen an endless stream of exciting new restaurant openings, neighborhood improvement projects and the launch of trendy retail and residential spaces.


The latest new name in the thriving neighborhood is Carte Hotel. The 246-room property, a Curio Collection by Hilton, development, is located in a stylish, airy and sunlight-filled 16-story building on the corner of W. Ash and State streets. What does the name mean? Passport and we agree that this is a passport to explore a vibrant and exciting city!

Review of Carte Hotel:  San Diego’s Newest Boutique Hotel

1. Location


The location is outstanding to explore all that downtown San Diego has to offer. A short walk away is the trendy area of Little Italy with farmers markets, restaurants, breweries, wine bars and more. In addition the Embarcadero waterfront is just a few blocks away and many rooms offer views of the waterfront. The Embarcadero is full of opportunities to enjoy the water or take in a museum like the USS Midway, take off on a whale watching tour or just stroll. The amazing Balboa Park with museums and the famous San Diego Zoo is a 2 mile walk or a quick Uber and a great way to spend an afternoon. The gas lamp district famous for its nightlife is about a 1 mile walk or easy Uber ride. Options to getting there are flying to nearby San Diego airport, driving (parking is ?$50 per day and only valet is available) or train because the Santa Fe train station is only a couple of blocks away. A feature of curio hotels is destination Tesla charging and Carte has four Tesla chargers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Visit our new recommended shopping site TRAVELGADGETDEPOT.COM

Welcome to Travel Gadget Depot! It’s no secret we are travel addicts, AND we literally buy almost everything online. People ask us all the time where we bought our travel accessories! SO we thought we’d put together a website of our favorite travel gadgets!




What is a Gadget?????

Always make meaningful and healthy travel happen!!!



Monday, September 23, 2019

Visit a Hidden North Carolina Mountain Destination: The Apple Hill Alpaca Farm in Banner Elk

The name may be misleading, because the Apple Hill Farm has not been an apple farm in many years.  This hidden gem in Banner Elk, North Carolina is a great day to spend with your family learning about many animals and taking in some great views!


Every animal has a specific job, and many have a story as well! In addition to farm animals, Apple Hill Farm is also home to the largest selection of alpaca products in the High Country of North Carolina.



Apple Hill Farm, originally an apple orchard, was created by Lee Rankin after she was inspired by a personal connection with an alpaca at a Kentucky fair.  According to Lee, "That connection awakened my inner questioning of my life as I had known it. All I could express at the time was that whatever was next would involve alpacas."  Now she shares her vision and hopes to inspire others by making the farm open to the public since 2006.


The Emancipation Proclamation Comes Alive at Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Virginia

From slave cabin to the "Wizard of Tuskegee," learn about the incredible life of Booker T. Washington at the place of his birth in Hardy, Virginia.


Booker T. Washington famously said: "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."




LTD recently posted information about our visit to Poplar Forest, the private retreat of Thomas Jefferson.  Poplar Forest was a large tobacco farm near Lynchburg, Virginia.  However, less than 40 miles away and 37 years after Jefferson died, a small slave boy will be freed from another tobacco farm.  That small boy, Booker T. Washington, would go on to become perhaps the most influential black man in America during the late 1800s. He is often remembered today as being subservient, a sellout even, but most agree that he pursued racial equality with discretion.  However, there is more to his legacy, such as his role as a Presidential advisor, or as the first leader of one of the country's best historically black colleges.  To understand the significance of his achievements, it is important that you see the challenges he overcame and that begins at the place of his birth on a small tobacco plantation in modern-day Hardy, Virginia.  

Enjoy our live visit to the Booker T. Washington National Monument and to support our blog PLEASE subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE!  Thank you so much!!



Explore the Most Private Retreat of Thomas Jefferson: Poplar Forest in Bedford, Virginia

Poplar Forest is a unique place to visit in Virginia for fans of Thomas Jefferson, American Architecture or Historic Preservation. The site is a retreat that Thomas Jefferson designed for himself near present-day Lynchburg, Virginia, in the early 1800s as a get-away from his busy life at Monticello. Get an intimate view of the home, its construction, the enslaved community and the man himself which is unlike any visit to Monticello.


Explore the Most Private Retreat of Thomas Jefferson: Poplar Forest in Bedford, Virginia


Ever since George Washington began using Mount Vernon as his escape from official duties, American presidents have enjoyed private retreats.  For Thomas Jefferson, that place was Poplar Forest.


Enjoy our Live Visit to Poplar Forest and PLEASE support our YouTube Channel by Subscribing HERE



Poplar Forest is one of only two homes Jefferson designed for his personal use. Jefferson inherited the Bedford County plantation in 1773 and work began on the home about 1806. When his presidency ended in 1809, he visited the retreat three or four times a year, often staying for several months at a time during planting seasons.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A New United Airlines Deal Can Save You 10% on Flights — if You're the Right Age

Do you have a college student that will need to fly home over the holidays?  Check out United Airlines discount for the Gen-Z who are members of MileagePlus and use the app!


The airline will extend a 10% savings on tickets purchased on the United mobile app now through December 31.




To qualify:


  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 22
  • You must be enrolled in the loyalty MileagePlus program (free to join) and indicate your full birthdate
  • The discount applies only to yourself (no companions)
  • It must be for economy class on domestic flights within the U.S., and on routes to Canada and Mexico

And to appeal to the Gen-Z crowd, United has pledged to offset carbon emissions with its Eco-Skies program for the first 25,000 flights purchased through the new promotion. United is the sole carrier to commit to reducing our individual greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of a 50% reduction by 2050.

If you know any veterans, they are eligible for 5% discount on United Airlines, by joining the United Veterans Advantage program.

To avoid extra charges for baggage - United charges $30 for the first checked bag, we recommend a carryon only.  Our favorite is the Osprey Porter 46L which can be carried as a backpack or shoulder bag.  The compression straps allow for ease of packing more than you would expect you can!  Click the photo below to learn more at Amazon and support our blog!



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Is it Safer for you to Travel Business Class for Longer Flights? Is Economy Class Syndrome Real?

After years of conflicting and inconclusive findings by leading researchers, the World Health Organization (WHO) and The American College of Chest Physicians have provided guidelines about the health risks of prolonged periods of immobility when traveling.


Fear of "economy class syndrome" is more common than ever as airlines aim to fit more seats on planes at the expense of leg room.  Read on to learn about the definition, who is at risk, symptoms and treatment.




Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.


What is economy class syndrome?


Economy class syndrome is a phrase coined by researchers in 1977: The formation of blood clots in veins deep within the legs -- deep vein thrombosis -- occurring during (or just after) a long airplane flight, especially in economy class where there is the least space allotted per passenger and ones legs tend especially to be immobilized due to lack of leg room.

The economy class syndrome is directly related to immobility for long periods during which blood pools in the legs, raising the risk of clot formation. The tendency to immobility is often compounded by the fasten-seat belt sign, the presence of carts in the aisles, etc.

Other suggested risk factors contributing to the syndrome include lower oxygen pressure and dehydration. Changes in oxygen pressure in the cabin may decrease the oxygen level in the blood, and air in the cabin lacks normal humidity which contributes to dehydration. The serving of coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, all of which are diuretics, further causes passengers to become dehydrated.

The economy class syndrome is not confined to that class on a plane. It is recommended that all persons traveling on flights, irrespective of which class they are in, drink lots of water, move their legs by walking whenever possible and by periodically flexing and extending their ankles, knees, and hips to minimize the risk of economy class syndrome. Deep vein thrombosis is potentially serious and can even have fatal consequences.


What is a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)?


Monday, September 9, 2019

Full of Art and Style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.


Right in the heart of Uptown—the downtown district of Charlotte—sits the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. This luxury hotel in Charlotte overlooks Romare Bearden Park, is mere steps away from from the Panthers Bank of America Stadium, the Hornets Spectrum Center and Knights BB&T Ballpark, and surrounded by fantastic restaurants, museums and theaters.


Kimpton Hotels is one of IHG's lifestyle brands and this newer Charlotte hotel and rooftop bar is sure to please travelers of all styles.   


1. Location


This location is outstanding to attend sporting events in Charlotte being directly adjacent to Bank of America Stadium and the Spectrum Center. Not a sports fan? There are plenty of other activities nearby with frequent concerts, live stage productions, opera, symphony and museums. Charlotte is a great destination for foodies and the uptown area is loaded with options within walking distance or a short Uber. The front auto entrance and valet isn't easy to find so look closely at the corner of W. 3rd Street and S. Church Street on your left when you're heading south on Church Street. The entrance is immediately on your left after you pass 3rd Street.  Be sure to ask about the Kimpton House Car if you need to go somewhere and you don't want to walk, since we found out very quickly that Uber or Lyft drivers have a hard time finding the hotel!

Full of art and style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Full of art and style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.



2. Check-in

We were greeted as members and checked in early without any difficulty from a very accommodating employee who was very helpful to orient us to the hotel, it's amenities and immediate area.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Act fast to Enjoy the Upcoming Disney+ (Disney Plus) Streaming and Download service at $69 per year!

Are you young at heart, or travel with the young at heart?  Maybe you want lots of video content to keep the kiddos happy on long car trips, or on a plane.  Or maybe you are just a fan of the HUGE catalog of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars or Marvel films.  Then you need to pay attention to the Disney Plus (also styled as Disney+) streaming service:  the big new competitor for traveler subscriptions! 


And not only will it be taking movies off of Netflix in 2020, it is offering deals for those who sign up soon!





Set to launch later this year, Disney+ looks to be one of the best streaming services, at least for families. Its primary weapon is the massive library of Disney films and TV shows, and the studio will be supporting those with new original programming based on its biggest properties, such as Star Wars and Marvel.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Got Wanderlust? Millennial Travel is the New Trend for Luxury Travel. Look Here for the Top 10 Trending Destinations!

Millennial International and Overseas Travel Trends for Vacation and Holidays influence where all of us will be going whether we realize it or not!


The Millennial - The largest generation is the new target for international travel. But what do Millennials want when they travel?



Millennial Jill Stevens says she "wants to see it all!"
(photo courtesy of Jill Stevens)

Adventure Travel is the overwhelming trend in Millennial Travel


Some of us may long for quiet time at a secluded resort with every whim taken care of, but the trends and desires of travelers is changing over time.  Adventure travel, as the name suggests, is not for luxury travelers who would plan only on the beach.  Adventure Tourism is one of the fastest-growing trends in the travel domain.  Defining exactly what it means is a little tricky. While for one group of travelers, adventure could mean leisurely biking and hiking tours, for the other group, it might entail base jumping into an underground cave in Mexico. So the main facets of adventure tourism usually include traveling to a distant location, interacting with different cultures and undertaking a physical activity of some kind.  According to Start The Adventure, adventure travel overwhelmingly appeals to millennials.  Mountain trekking was the number-one trip style sought by millennials, followed by sailing trips, island-hopping, music-related travel and foodie trips.

Completing the list of the top 10 travel choices are sustainable travel, spring-break, hop-on/hop-off tours, wildlife safaris, and active adventures.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Feds Announce New Guidelines for Service and Emotional Support Animals on Planes

With increasing numbers of service or emotional-support animals on flights — dogs, cats and even ducks — have come increasing numbers of problems and complaints.  The rise in emotional support animals has coincided with growing publicity on the mental health benefit of pets.


In one of our most popular posts, LTD discussed well-trained service animal meets a need for those individuals with a disability.




On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final policy statement for service animals, emotional support animals (ESA) and psychiatric service animals (PSA). In this set of guidelines, the DOT is describing what types of policies it will and will not permit:

Expedia’s Let’s Go sale: Save 50% on airfare and find more deals!

Let’s Go! Expedia Celebrates the Dog Days of Summer with Big Travel Savings August 12 - 18


Expedia’s Let’s Go sale: Save 50% on airfare and find more deals!


Expedia.com® celebrates summer with its Let’s Go sale, kicking off on August 12th at 9am PT. The sale will give customers up to 30% off select hotels, plus a chance to save big on flights and packages.

Need a little destination inspiration? Let Expedia’s Dog Days of Summer mascots be your guide – five furry friends representing our top fall destinations: Las Vegas, New York, Honolulu, Orlando and Chicago.

From lakeside retreats to high-end hotels, Expedia sniffs out the best dog-friendly getaways based on its bank of traveler reviews.

Summer is in its final stretch, but that doesn’t mean vacation dreams have to be in the rear-view. Now’s your chance to spend a long Labor Day weekend at a beach resort or make plans to see the leaves change in a new city this fall, with Expedia’s Let’s Go sale. Travelers can save on hotels, packages and airfare and snag coupon codes by heading here between August 12 – 18th. Deals include:


  • Select hotels offering 30% off on stays occurring between August 12 and October 31, 2019, plus save an additional 10% with coupon
  • $100 off $200 airfares (mobile app coupon)
  • $50 off $200 airfares (mobile app + web coupon)
  • 50% off hotel (mobile app coupon)
  • $750 off $1,000 package (mobile app coupon)
  • Coupons available starting August 12 at 9am PT while supplies last.

Click Here to Get More Information from Expedia!

To read on your upcoming adventure, we recommend a hilarious book to inspire your traveling inner self!


Expedia travelers' favorite dog-friendly hotels in the US


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Hazard Ground with Mark Zinno and Matt Pascarella Interviews WWII Frogman Harry Lockhead on Their Podcast

What is Meaningful Travel?



The origins of Navy SEALs actually began with specially organized maritime commando units during World War II, where legacy capabilities were adopted and remain embodied in today’s SEAL Teams.




LTD likes to “Make Meaningful and Healthy Travel Happen”, but what is meaningful travel?  In this case, “Meaningful” is speaking with Harry Lockhead as we will chronicle some of his amazing life before, during and after WWII. In a series of interviews we spoke with him about being part of the “Greatest Generation” and how he and our country came together to save the world from the global aggression of WWII in both Europe and the Pacific. We had a rare chance to discuss that time, the recovery after WWII and our current state of affairs.  These individuals are “perishable national treasures” and are becoming rarer everyday.



Harry enlisted on March 1st, 1943 in New York and went to Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Michigan.  He boarded the USS Glansar (AK 111) in Pleasanton, California and proceeded to the American Somoan Islands, then the Mariana Islands and then to the Marshall Islands.  En route a concussion split the hull of the ship and a patch was placed until they could reach Pearl Harbor they hoped to have it permanently repaired.  On arrival, all the docks were full with ships under repair so their ship was run aground to prevent it from sinking.

Their crew was then shipped to Seattle, Washington and assigned to put the USS Lenawee (APA 195) into commission and then sailed to San Diego, California where they picked up a company of Marines.  They then sailed to Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands where one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific occurred.  Harry was part of one of the groups that delivered the Marines landing on Tarawa.  He wanted to do more after witnessing this carnage first hand and when the Navy asked for volunteers to become reconnaissance swimmers and Harry volunteered immediately.  They went to Naval Combat Demolition Base in Maui, Hawaii and would become some of the first Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) and what is now the famed “Naked Warriors”.

Recently Harry Lockhead spoke with The Hazard Ground Podcast, hosted by sports talk radio host and Army veteran, Mark Zinno, and produced by Mark’s good friend and fellow Army veteran, Matt Pascarella.  Here's what they had to say about their time with Harry:

"It’s not too often we get the opportunity to speak with veterans of WWII. They’re a special breed, and Harry Lockhead is no exception. Joining the Navy when his country was at war, Lockhead went into the service as a cook. After the battle at Tarawa, the loss of Marines was so great, that the Navy asked for volunteers to learn how to perform reconnaissance and underwater demolition for future beach landings. Harry volunteered, and became one of the Navy’s first Underwater Demolition swimmers, or “Naked Warriors” as they were known. With no instruction manual, Harry and his team of other volunteers had to learn how to clear beach landings in combat, literally by trial and error. Lockhead would eventually become one of the original UDT20 Frogmen, and predecessors of the Navy SEALS. It’s an amazing feat, considering the conditions and timeline these men operated under. Hear a firsthand account of what it was like training and operating as a “Naked Warrior” on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND!"

Click the Photo below to listen at The Hazard Ground! 



Always remember:..




Monday, August 5, 2019

Got Smelly Sweaty Stinky Feet? Causes, Home Remedies and Treatment Before and While You Travel

Do people hold their noses when you kick off your shoes?  Smelly feet aren't fun for anyone, especially on a plane or in a hotel room or car.  Don't worry! There are plenty of solutions to prevent and treat your feet from smelling foul, sweating and getting blisters.


Medically known as bromodosis, stinky feet are a common year-round problem.  The main cause is sweaty feet combined with wearing the same shoes every day.




What Causes Smelly Feet?



Anyone can have sweaty feet, regardless of the temperature or time of year. But teenagers and pregnant women are especially prone because hormonal changes make them sweat more.

Other causes of sweaty feet are:

  • Being on your feet all day
  • Being under a lot of stress
  • Fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
  • A medical condition called hyperhidrosis where you sweat more than usual


According to podiatrists, feet become smelly if sweat soaks into shoes and they don't dry before you wear them again.  Bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores and an odor is released as the sweat decomposes.

Your feet sweat into your shoes all day so they get damp and bacteria start to grow. The bacteria continue to breed once you've taken your shoes off, especially if you put them in a dark closet. Then later, even if you've just bathed, putting your feet into those still damp shoes creates the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive: a warm, dark and moist environment.

Please support our blog by clicking our links!  Proceeds go to the charities we discuss in our posts!

How to Treat Smelly Feet


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review of the Airport Hotel Hilton Boston Logan

After undergoing renovations, the Hilton Boston Logan remains a great option for a brief stay in Boston, early or late flights or even just to explore the East End of the historic New England city.


LTD has stayed at this hotel many times and   We had the opportunity to stay at the Hotel for the inaugural Boston Frogman Swim to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation, which took place at the Piers Park Sailing Center June 2, 2019.  The Frogman Swim Series strives to build national awareness of the Naval Special Warfare community and support the Navy SEAL Foundation whose mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.  The swims present a challenging endeavor to provide a small reminder of the hardships endured by our elite and silent warriors while encouraging others to support and donate to the cause.


Review of the Airport Hotel Hilton Boston Logan

Review of the Airport Hotel Hilton Boston Logan


1. Shuttle to Hotel