Category Archives: General Travel

Amtrak Fall destinations: Something to be-leaf in

Amtrak’;s summer repairs at Penn Station are officially complete. Here, track workers complete repairs to one of the main tracks, as a train emerges from the Hudson River tunnel.

Wow, what a summer! Understatement, right? The temporary cancellations didn’t cause that much of a disruption. According to most riders, the summer went rather smoothly. With the summer repairs at New York Penn  Station over, it’s time to focus on the good times that lay ahead. With shiny new rails in place, Amtrak’s trains will continue to roll. It’s time to celebrate this memorable feat with great travel ideas. With more than twenty-one routes in forty-three states, there’s no better time to make ‘tracks’ this fall. Further, it’s the right time to show some appreciation for Amtrak’s dedication to keeping passengers safe on the rails. Here are the five top Fall destinations to consider:

5)New Orleans: From July 10th to September 1st, Amtrak’s Crescent (New York-New Orleans) was temporarily operating between Washington, DC and New Orleans. With the Crescent returning to its normal schedule on September 2nd, it’s time for Amtrak travelers to celebrate Mardi Gras year-round all over again. Passengers can feel the Cajun beat from New York to New Orleans without disruption. Football fans can catch the Saints at the Superdome. In New Orleans, it’s party time all the time. The craw fish, alligator meat, and the great deep south flavors await. Passengers can grab their ticket and beads! On the Crescent, the Cajun beat is non-stop. Of all Fall destinations, New Orleans is truly a city to “Fall” for.

P-40 locomotive #701 leads an Empire Service train home from Niagara Falls.

4) Niagara Falls: Of all Amtrak Fall destinations, Niagara Falls is among the most family-oriented and above all, the most romantic. Amtrak travelers can escape the hustle and bustle of the New York metropolitan area for one of the most picturesque places on earth. From the “Maid of The Mist”, to strolling across the Rainbow Bridge, to experiencing the Niagara Falls Canada Whirlpool Aero Car, Amtrak presents Fall travelers with a ticket for the journey of a lifetime. The journey from New York City to Niagara Falls is a journey not to be missed. From departing cavernous Penn Station, to gliding along the city’s west side, to cruising beneath Riverside Park through the Overbuild Tunnel, and speeding along the mighty Hudson River, who would not want to pass up a train ride, a train ride to write home about? Niagara Falls is without-a-doubt, a must-do for all Amtrak Fall travelers. Travelers should forget about  their barrels and let Amtrak take them to the edge of the excitement and experience the power of the falls.

Twilight Shoreliner train #67 arrives at historic Williamsburg Station.

3) Williamsburg, VA: Do you hear the hoofs of Clydesdales? During the Fall. there is no better place to visit than the great state of Virginia. Williamsburg is one of the most romantic and the most charming towns in Virginia. Is is one of the great Fall destinations which speaks to the hearts of all train travelers.

Williamsburg is the home of Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens-Europe. Busch Gardens-Europe is home to the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales. There, visitors can see them up close. At Colonial Williamsburg, visitors can experience colonial life in the most authentic of surroundings. It is where history comes alive. At both of these quintessential points of interest, the Fall atmosphere can’t be more intimate. In Williamsburg, there are tons of hotels within minutes of the Amtrak’s Williamsburg station. Who said Virginia was for lovers? Virginia is for Amtrak travelers, too.

2) Boston: Boston, the City of Kind Hearts, is the one destination that was never affected by the summer cancellations. Of all Fall destinations, Boston speaks to the “heaht” of every Amtrak traveler. That says a lot for city known as Beantown. Visitors should be wary of the Boston accent. It is so thick, one can cut it with a “fawk”.

Completed in 1898, Boston’s South Station is the oldest terminal on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

When Fall arrives, Boston’s sports atmosphere is in full swing. The New England Patriots will be defending their historic Super Bowl championship. The Red Sox will be going for their sixth World Series title. With so such energy in the air, Boston is the perfect Fall destination. Passengers will step off their train at historic South Station. From there, they can visit the Seaport  District, enjoy a bowl of fresh clam chowder, and mingle with the friendly city locals. Music lovers can head to Symphony Hall to tune in to the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. Rock music fans can pay a visit to 1325 Commonwealth Avenue, the former residence of Aerosmith.

Once the World Series is over, the seasons will change again. It will be game-on for Boston’s two other beloved teams, the Bruins and the Celtics. The Celtics will be in pursuit of their eighteenth NBA championship. The Boston Bruins will be pursuing their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history. In Boston, Amtrak travelers aren’t just part of history. They are part of the revolution.

1) Washington, DC: Our nation’s capital was significantly affected by the summer cancellations. As of September 2nd, the trains will be running on a normal daily schedule. New York-Washington service will be fully restored. There is no better city to experience Fall colors than in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC is the gem of all Fall destinations. Passengers will exit their train at the glorious Union Station. It’s not just a train station, it’s a feast for the eyes. At Union Station, passengers can hop aboard the Metro subway to visit the National Mall and the Smithsonian museums. The Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial are just a short walking distance away.

Built in 1907, Washington, DC’s Union Station was constructed to be both a railroad terminal and a monument in one.

Speaking of Fall destinations, visitors can head to Six  Flags America in nearby Largo, MD. Six Flags hosts its annual Fright Fest, blending the “spirit” of Halloween into its theme parks. Amtrak will have passengers “screaming” down the rails to be a part of an engaging Fall experience.

Washington, DC is not just a city of museums and monuments. It’s a city for all seasons. Come Fall, it is game-on for the NFL’s Redskins, the NHL’s Capitals, and NBA’s Wizards. It’s easy to understand why Washington, DC is a destination of ‘monumental’ proportions.

Fall is the right time to ride the rails. With the hot and humid summer coming to an end, the train schedule is returning to normal. It’s time to return to the pastime all travelers enjoy. Fall time is train time. Amtrak’s great Fall destinations are calling to avid train travelers.

Fall time means train time. Here, a Amtrak’s Fall Foliage Express crosses the 115 year-old Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River near Marysville, PA.

Fall destinations are the reason why the train is the way to go. The Crescent will be returning to full service from New York to New Orleans. The Empire Route will be returning to a normal schedule out of Penn Station. Last, but not least, Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains will be once again thundering up and down the tracks between New York and Washington, DC. Fall foliage cannot be experienced better than through the windows of a train. On any of Amtrak’s east coast routes, Fall scenery is always a feast for the eyes. In an old Amtrak commercial one can remember the jingle, “There’s something about a train that’s magic.”. That’s Fall!

 

“Boston: History beyond freedom’s trail” is complete!

There are than a dozen U.S. cities well rooted in history. There are cities well known for sailing, contemporary architecture, cultural diversity, and their sports traditions. We must not forget that there are cities well known for their distinctive accents. The one city that captures the traveler’s imagination in all of these categories is Boston. Boston was one of a handful of cities that shaped our country’s history. We can be sure of that. Boston is known for much more than massacres, tea parties, and witchcraft trials. This new lecture, set to debut in August 2017, will take would-be travelers “beyond freedom’s trail”.

Costing the city a record 14.6 billion dollars. the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (a.k.a The Big Big), was the most expensive engineering project in United States history.

When traveling to Boston, it’s easy to take the train or simply drive. Boston is also a popular port-of-call for cruise ships during the Summer and Fall months. Boston is a city home to thousands upon thousands of commuters. By bus, trolley, train, or subway, Bostonians use them all. The one event in Boston’s history, which Bostonians are happy for its completion, is the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. Bostonians referred to it as “The Big Dig”.

“The Big Dig” was the most complex and most costly engineering project in United States history. “The Big Dig” began in the year 1982. The plan was to alleviate the traffic headaches caused by the elevated highways knifing through the city’s central area. “The Big Dig” included tunnels under Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor leading into South Station. Also included was the construction of the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River. Lastly, “The Big Dig” dictated the relocation of commuter trolley lines. “The Big Dig” cost a record-shattering 14.6 billion dollars. For the worst part, “The Big Dig” caused Bostonians and commuters alike, hours of construction traffic. “The Big Dig” was complete by late 2006. It’ is a pleasure to see Bostonians sleeping easy these days.

Built in 1928, the legendary Boston Garden was the home of the Celtics and Bruins.

Boston is well-known for its sports history. New York is referred to as the mecca of the sports world. Boston’s sports history is rooted much deeper than New York. Two of the most iconic sports facilities in Boston’s history are Boston Garden and Fenway Park. The Boston Celtics started playing at Boston Garden in 1957, and won 16 NBA championships during the Garden’s era. The Boston Garden, completed in 1928, had a few home disadvantages. The Boston Bruins’ hockey rink was undersized as opposed to the standard dimensions. The Boston Garden was also built without air conditioning, making every basketball and hockey match-up an uphill challenge. Boston Garden closed its doors for the final time in the Spring of 1995, making way for a new era in Celtics and Bruins history. The TD Garden (f.k.a Fleet Center), became the new home. Boston Garden was demolished in the Spring of 1998.

Fenway Park has been historic home of the Boston Red Sox since April 1912.

Fenway Park was built in April 1912. Home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park was the site of only one World Series Championship celebration. It was the 2013 World Series Championship over the St. Louis Cardinals. It was once the home of the New England Patriots. When Fenway Park was completed, the stadium never made headlines as opposed to an ocean liner that sank that same month.

Boston’s historic South Station is Amtrak’s terminal, home to more than 40 trains arriving and departing on a daily basis.

Boston still has the most intriguing transportation system. Aside from having the oldest subway system in the United States (the T), Boston’s two railroad stations have their own stories to tell. Boston’s South Station is the most breathtaking. North Station was torn down in 1927, to make room for Boston Garden. South Station is Amtrak’s terminal, and serves the MBTA. In its hay day, South Station was the busiest railroad station in the country, handling up to three hundred trains a day. Today it is still busy, handling Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains, Acela Express, and the Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston-Chicago). Circa 1940, the station had a shed, covering the station platforms. The shed was later destroyed by fire. The whole terminal was feared to be completely demolished. The famous front facade of South Station was saved. South Station today serves as Boston’s railroad gateway. Today, South Station is a historic city landmark.

Held every April, the Boston Marathon welcomes runners from all over the world.

Every November, all eyes are on New York City for the New York City Marathon. Every April, the Boston Athletics Association hosts the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon begins in Boston suburb of Ashland, MA. The route cuts eastward through the suburbs of Natick, Wellesley, Brookline, Newton, and concluding in downtown Boston on Boylston Street. Ever since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the race’s popularity has grown tremendously. No city’s marathon has welcomed more runners than Boston. The Boston Marathon has welcomed runners from all over the world, including those with disabilities. With regards to sports, Boston is among the candidate cities for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

A treat for all travelers alike, Boston is at the very “heaht” of New England.

Boston is more than just a popular city for travelers from all around the world. It is a city that is constantly evolving. Boston is the city that welcomes ideas, traditions, cultures, and leaders from all over the world. Ever since the Boston Marathon bombing, Boston has been a city for the strong and courageous. Ultimately, Boston is a city that stands at the heart or “haht” of New England. Boston is where our country’s history “stahted” and it is where history “chahges” on.

Two Brothers Travel: A travel agency with a golden touch

Meet the agents: David and Stephen Kriso. Photo taken aboard the Oasis of The Seas.

Meet the agents: David and Stephen Kriso. Photo taken aboard the Oasis of The Seas.

Since childhood, traveling has been a long-time passion of my brother’s and mine. In February 2009, I joined the New York area shore staff (Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services). Working in the cruising industry has been a true delight. Assisting families and couples with their cruising concerns couldn’t be more rewarding. In August 2011, I entered the world of travel writing. My very first piece was on Amtrak and its Student Advantage program. I have had the pleasure of writing for a handful of publications, including my college alma mater’s magazine, “Report From Newport”.

In January 2015, I decided to bring my travel writing out into the limelight. I became a travel lecturer. My topics have captured the imagination of library patrons all throughout northern New Jersey. My topics have included cruising, Amtrak travel, Disney World, the New Jersey Shore, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each and every one of them have been an overwhelming success.

All aboard! David and Stephen enjoy one of Amtrak's Amfleet II coaches at National Train Day in Washington, DC.

All aboard! David and Stephen enjoy one of Amtrak’s Amfleet II coaches at National Train Day in Washington, DC.

This February 2017, my brother Stephen and I are embarking on a new venture together. We are launching our very own home-based travel agency. The business will be named Two Brothers Travel. Two Brothers Travel is an affiliate of Montrose Travel, based in the Los Angeles area. Montrose Travel was our choice of company for three reasons. The first reason is that we won’t be under the pressure of generating the numbers which many other travel businesses demand. Secondly, Montrose Travel provides exemplary ideas and guidance for all travelers alike. Lastly, Montrose Travel provides travel resources for all occasions. Whether assisting families, couples, or groups, Montrose Travel provides the proper travel resources for occasions of that caliber.

What types of travel will we be specializing in? Our three specialties will be families (i.e. Disney), romantic getaways (i.e. couples and honeymoons), and a wide variety of group occasions. Having been well-versed in cruising, Amtrak, and Disney, we are looking forward to leading the way to enjoyable and pleasurable vacation experiences. Cruising will be our ultimate specialty. The cruising industry tends to families, couples, and groups at high volumes. We have worked with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Cunard. We also have had the privilege of working with the Disney Magic.

David Kriso in front of Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

David Kriso in front of Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Stephen and I have shared a long history with cruising and Disney. I have enjoyed traveling on Amtrak since age four. I was a Walt Disney World cast member in 1999-2000, during the Millennium Celebration. In 2014, I was recognized by Amtrak for an article I had written about Washington, DC’s Union Station. That same year, Stephen joined Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services. Stephen is well-versed in business and marketing. He is involved in both the Hasbrouck Heights and Mahwah chambers of commerce. He has helped many northern New Jerseyans with their business aspirations. One can easily imagine the great travel experiences they will have booking with us. After booking with us, families, couples, and groups will most definitely turn to Two Brothers Travel as their go-to travel professionals.

Many travel agencies assist their clients only a fraction of the way. At Two Brothers Travel, Stephen and I intend to be at the clients’ service every step of the way. From the time of booking to the day of travel, we will assist clients on any concerns and issues that may arise. We believe that no clients should ever be left out in the cold. Families, couples, and groups will be undoubtedly satisfied. We will assist them the whole way, every trip, every time.

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David and Stephen Kriso standing along side the Disney Dream in Nassau, Bahamas.

Two Brothers Travel is expected to be in full operation by February 18th, 2017. Two Brothers Travel will not be a run-of-the-mill travel agency. From start to finish, Two Brothers Travel will be a part of every family, couple, and group’s vacation experience. It takes great desire, dedication, and experience for a travel agency to be successful. Stephen and I bring plentiful experience and talent to the table to make this travel agency thrive. Families, couples, and groups will have bounteous travel experiences to cherish. We truly look forward to serving families, couples, and groups of all types. Our experience will be their testimonial. Their memories will be our legacy.

We invite prospective clients to visit our web site at www.twobrotherstravelnj.com.

“Hawaii: Forever erupting with history & culture” taking shape

The Big Island is home to many of Hawaii's famous volcanoes. Mauna Loa is located mid-island.

The Big Island is home to many of Hawaii’s famous volcanoes. Mauna Loa is located mid-island.

Aloha! When pineapples, volcanoes, and hula skirts are mentioned, what comes to mind? Hawaii is the correct answer. With its awe-inspiring scenery, romantic landscapes, and memorable Pacific Ocean sunsets, Hawaii is the one destination everybody dreams about. It is the destination which captures the imagination. Hawaii has eight main islands; Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Niihau, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Molokai, and the Big Island. The Big Island is home to the towns of Kona and Hilo, with volcanic activity covering a vast majority of its breathtaking landscape.

The presentation is written for two audiences; library venues and cruise ships. Library venues are only the tip of the iceberg. The cruise ship audience is the audience which will truly appreciate it. Without any doubt, it will get them prepared for what they are looking forward to. More than ever, it will prepare them for the unexpected. The presentation is written based on ports-of-call. When the ships depart California, they will normally stop at the ports of Hilo (Big Island), Kauai, Honolulu (Oahu), and Lahaina (Maui). On the return, the ships will make a stop in Mexico before returning to their home ports.

Besides iconic volcanoes, the Big Island of Hawaii is home to Rainbow Falls in Hilo.

Besides iconic volcanoes, the Big Island of Hawaii is home to Rainbow Falls in Hilo.

The Big Island, is home to many great places to visit. There are lava fields, the coffee belt, magnificent waterfalls, Parker Ranch, and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. Visitors, first-time or frequent, are always looking for something memorable to do, or an experience to take back home to cherish for all-time sake. The Big Island captures the imagination regardless of the circumstances. The Big Island is the perfect place for the mind to wonder and the spirit to rejuvenate.

 

With its lush rain forests and steep cliffs, Maui welcomes snorkelers from all over the world.

With its lush rain forests and steep cliffs, Maui welcomes snorkelers from all over the world.

Nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kauai takes over the imagination just as quickly as the Big Island. The lush rain forests, the steep cliffs, and the incredible ocean views are unforgettable. Visitors can take helicopter tours of the island. If anyone likes talking to parrots, Kauai is the place. If anyone is looking for the perfect place to let the forces of nature take them by surprise, Kauai is that perfect place. If anyone is looking for the perfect tropical drink by the pool, Kauai is that place. Kauai is the place where visitors can experience it all.

The USS Arizona marks the resting place for 1,102 servicemen who lost their lives aboard her on December 7th, 1941. Behind the memorial is the USS Missouri.

The USS Arizona marks the resting place for 1,102 servicemen who lost their lives aboard her on December 7th, 1941. Behind the memorial is the USS Missouri.

Oahu, the home of Hawaii’s state capital, Honolulu, features a smorgasbord of flavors and memorable experiences. Oahu, in Hawaiian, means “The Gathering Place”. It also marks the place of a pivotal event in our nation’s history. Honolulu is home to Diamond Head, the iconic volcanic mountain peak on Oahu’s southeast shore. Punch Bowl National Cemetery and Pearl Harbor are two places which visitors must not miss. No one goes to Hawaii without paying their respects to the 1,102 servicemen entombed in the USS Arizona. Nearby is the USS Missouri, the battleship on which Japan officially surrendered to the United States. The USS Missouri, nicknamed Big Mo, also fired the first shots of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. No one wanted to get in the way of her powerful 40 inch guns. On the opposite side of Ford Island, is the USS Utah. The morning of December 7th, 1941, the USS Utah was sunk just as the American flag was being raised on her bow.  She still lies capsized, despite efforts to upright her hull. Oahu is well-known for famous Waikiki Beach. In Hawaiian, Waikiki means “spouting fresh water”, dating back to the springs and streams that fed wetlands that once separated Waikiki from areas further inland.

Aside from being one of the world's most beloved nude beaches, Little Beach hosts a drum circle that plays from sunrise to sunset.

Aside from being one of the world’s most beloved nude beaches, Little Beach hosts a drum circle that plays from sunrise to sunset.

Known as the Valley Isle, Maui is a destination which captures the imagination of the young crowd. Maui is home to the quaint town of Lahaina. Lahaina is the town where the cruise ships tie up. Lahaina has a smorgasbord of shops along the shore side, along with eateries featuring various island flavors. Approximately an hour’s drive south of Lahaina is the town of Makena. Makena is home to Makena State Park. At Makena State Park, visitors will discover Big Beach and Little Beach. Little Beach is the most popular. Little Beach is Maui’s nude beach. Visitors from all over visit to experience its tranquil setting and the romantic tone of the waves. Based on visitors’ experiences, there is candidly no better way to experience the Pacific Ocean water than au natural. Since Little Beach is located in a state park, visitors are responsible for their own garbage. Further, there is no alcohol allowed on either Big Beach and Little Beach.

Every Sunday, a drum circle is formed on Little Beach. From sunrise to sunset, visitors and locals dance their lives away on the white sand. Whether dressed or UNDRESSED for the occasion, it is the opportunity and adventure of a lifetime. It is certainly the perfect place to unwind and enjoy good company of fellow beach goers. If anyone wants to experience the Pacific Ocean like never before, Maui is the place. If any visitor wishes to enjoy that peace and quiet from everyday life, Maui is the place. Maui, on the whole, ties all of the fun and fond memories together.

Hawaii is a destination where everyone is welcome. In Hawaii, everyone is referred to as "Ohana", meaning "family".

Hawaii is a destination where everyone is welcome. In Hawaii, everyone is referred to as “Ohana”, meaning “family”.

Hawaii is not just a place for lovers, but a place for the mind and spirit to rejuvenate. From rich traditions, to historic sites, to local flavors, and popular beach destinations, Hawaii has it all. Hawaii is the perfect place for any visitor to enjoy new experiences, try new things, and just be themselves. Above all, Hawaii is the perfect place for what the Hawaiians call Ohana, meaning “family”. “Hawaii: Forever erupting with history and culture” will make its debut in November 2016.

The U.S. Virgin Islands: A presentation dedicated to all Caribbean travelers

A feast for the eyes: Paradise Point is the place for visitors to enjoy the breeze and tropical drink to satisfy the senses.

A feast for the eyes: Paradise Point is the place for visitors to enjoy the breeze and tropical drink to satisfy the senses.

Everyone has their favorite area of the globe to travel to. The summer season is almost over, and fall is soon to begin. Soon after, it’s “Hello winter!” again. When the horrific weather hits home, and everyone begins disliking being locked up indoors, all that comes to mind is that one place they all wish they were. That one place many wish they were is the Caribbean. The Caribbean’s such a vast area of ocean. There is no better part of the Caribbean to explore than the U.S. Virgin Islands. Whether flying or cruising, the U.S. Virgin Islands is where millions of people flock to every fall and winter. If anyone’s started packing their bags, well, they can keep packing. This presentation is going to be a good one.

Peaceful and colorful, St. Croix's north shore is sure to capture the imagination at a moment's notice.

Peaceful and colorful, St. Croix’s north shore is sure to capture the imagination at a moment’s notice.

The U.S. Virgin Islands were settled in the late 1600’s. St. Thomas was settled by the Danish in 1672, and then on St. John in 1694. St. Croix, the largest of the three islands, was purchased from France in 1733. Soon after, the three islands became royal Danish colonies. The United States took control of the three islands on March 31, 1917. In 1927, the United States granted the residents of St. Thomas, St. Croix. and St. John United States citizenship.

Colorful, but tranquil, St. John's Cruz Bay welcomes adventurous travelers from all over the world.

Colorful, but tranquil, St. John’s Cruz Bay welcomes adventurous travelers from all over the world.

 

The U.S. Virgin Islands is the most gorgeous island territory the United States has to offer. There is simply no better place to spend a day off a cruise ship, or a week away from  ordinary life. St. Thomas is known as Rock City, St. Croix is known as Twin City, and St. John is referred to as Love City. Each of the three islands has something unique and special to share with visitors. Whether it is crystal blue waters, snorkeling with tropical fish, duty-free shopping, friendly locals, or those quiet moments on the beach, visitors from all over the world enjoy the endless hours of tranquility. St. Thomas has plenty of shopping in Havensight, downtown Charlotte Amalie, and in nearby Crown Bay. St. Croix features plenty of shopping choices in downtown Christiansted, along with snorkeling at Buck Island National Park. Buck Island was named a national park by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. St. John features plenty of tranquil beaches, along with dozens of shopping opportunities in Cruz Bay. It is easy to see, and clearly proven that the U.S. Virgin Islands have it all.

During any visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the famous Mocojumbi dancers are always putting on their show.

During any visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the famous Mocojumbi dancers are always putting on their show.

The Caribbean is without a doubt a vibrant and exciting region of the world to visit. The U.S. Virgin Islands makes the Caribbean all the more vibrant, far more exciting, and certainly all the more colorful. Who said that “it is better in the Bahamas”? Who said that there are “no problems” in Jamaica?  Who said that Aruba is “one happy island”? There are three islands that are far happier and share three times more energy than any Caribbean destination. The U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John are the Caribbean trio to experience. “The U.S. Virgin Islands: Paradise in three-fold”, will make its debut in late August 2016.

Modobag: A new breed of luggage is ‘on the move’

With the newly invented Modobag, traveling has become stress-free and fun.

With the newly invented Modobag, traveling has become stress-free and fun.

Everyone has heard airport authorities say “Never leave your luggage unattended.” That’s true. Many travelers have asked “Have you ridden on the Airbus A380?”. Now, imagine someone asking the question, “Have you ever ridden that new piece of luggage?”. Someone is sure to respond “Say what?”. It’s true, because the newest and most innovative piece of luggage has ‘arrived’. Introducing the Modobag, the carry-on suitcase which travelers can ride on. The travel world has been changed forever. What makes this new form of luggage the greatest invention since the 3-1-1 rule? There’s plenty to say about it.

The Modobag, for sure, is going to change the travel world for the better. This innovative product was invented by Chicago entrepreneur and avid traveler Kevin O’Donnell. The idea struck him when he was pulling the kids on his suitcase at the airport, and wondered, “Why can’t we ride our luggage and get to where we’re going faster with less stress?”. He teamed up with his motorcyclist friend, Boyd Bruner, to bring to life the vision of making traveling more functional and fun.

There is simply no better invention than the Modobag. From navigating through an airport terminal to getting around a crowded train station, the Modobag makes these challenging matters stress-free. The Modobag can travel up to 6 miles on a single charge, at 8 miles an hour. It is lightweight, and can easily convert from motor to pull-behind use. It comes with dual USB charging ports for your electronics and optional GPRS-GSM tracking.

This ground-breaking invention is without a doubt, the future of travel. So, what else makes Modobag oh so clever?

5) Walk with itThe Modobag is built with a collapsible handlebar for effortless towing.

4) Ride on it: Self-explanatory.

3) Easy steering: The Modobag features a telescoping handlebar for easy set-up.

2) All day charge: No traveler will ever be out of power. The Modobag is built with Dual 5V USB ports.

1) True comfort: Travelers can experience a relaxing ride, thanks to the memory foam cushioned seat.

The Modog's battery is powerful enough to charge everyday electronic devices, including iPods and cell phones.

The Modog’s battery is powerful enough to charge everyday electronic devices, including iPods and cell phones.

Travelers have one burning question when they purchase any new piece of luggage. Regardless of size, travelers will often ask “What’s the storage like?”, or “Can I pack my laptop in it?”. The Modobag comes with ample storage room. The Modobag features  easy access pockets for tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices. The ultimate feature is the crush-proof laptop compartment. Travelers can protect their belongings in the 17″ zip-up sleeve. There are indeed plentiful positives about the Modobag. There’s even more said about this great invention.

The Modobag's interior has many great features, including a crush-proof compartment for laptops and tablets.

The Modobag’s interior has many great features, including a crush-proof compartment for laptops and tablets.

Inventor Kevin O’Connell has shared many of his great experiences with Modobag. It is truly going to be the future of travel. He says, “Modobag is one of the most innovative and exciting advancements to hit the travel industry since rolling suitcases were introduced in the 1970’s. I have test driven the Modobag at heavily-trafficked airports, including O’Hare, JFK and LaGuardia. From the first-time traveler to the veteran flight attendant, there is widespread agreement that Modobag will help make travel more functional and fun. Where once travelers had to run through the airport with heavy gear to catch connections they can now get where they need to be on time, on their Modobag.” How much does the Modobag cost? To own this amazing piece of luggage, costs $995.00 plus shipping. It can be purchased online at Indiegogo.com.

Traveling, whether by plane, train, or however on the go, Modobag is a ground-breaking invention. There has never been a greater breakthrough invention than the Modobag. Dragging luggage can be a real hassle. With the Modobag, travelers can say good-bye to fighting airport and train station crowds while trying to pull a carry-on suitcase. The end of that era is imminent. Having a suitcase to sit on and drive, while having ample storage space is a luxury which travelers have been longing for too long. Modobag has made traveling easier, stress-free, convenient, and most of all…FUN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSA Pre-Check: A traveler’s best $85.00 investment

TSA Pre-Check allows travelers to greatly reduce their wait time at U.S. airports.

TSA Pre-Check allows travelers to greatly reduce their wait time at U.S. airports.

Everyone has heard on the news about the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) encountering trouble at U.S. airports. They are warning about longer lines to come in the near future. They said that only nine million travelers have enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program. This is a significant opposite to the twenty-five million they expected to enroll in the program. TSA Pre-Check allows travelers to go through airport security without the inconvenience of waiting in the normal line. Why arrive at the airport two hours prior to a flight? Why should travelers want to risk missing their flight because of long airport security lines? TSA Pre-Check is the way to go. It is the single greatest investment travelers can make. Here’s how, where, and why to enroll.

Flying post-9/11 cannot be any more of a chore. TSA Pre-Check greatly reduces the frustration, the agony, and the growing impatience that a traveler has to face every trip. Whether going or returning, travelers have to take off their shoes, belts, and so forth. Since when were airport security checkpoints becoming clothing optional resorts? It’s absolutely ridiculous for millions of travelers to deal with the inconvenience of juggling their shoes and everything else while the TSA screeners are treating them like criminals. Travelers don’t need to deal with such agony. There are plenty of locations to enroll in the TSA Pre-Check program. It is simple. The process, without a doubt, is not as time-consuming as waiting in the airport security line. It is the best $85.00 investment any traveler can make. Going on a long-awaited vacation or traveling on business should be a pleasant experience, not a stressful one.

Travelers can enroll at a handful of locations. Travelers can visit www.indentogo.com. Identogo has locations in eighteen states, including New York, New Jersey, and District of Columbia, Online, they can look up the list of locations where TSA Pre-Check enrollment is available. Travelers can enroll in Newark, NJ at 532 Raymond Boulevard, There is also an enrollment center in Paramus, NJ at 299 Forest Avenue; 1st Floor; Suite B.

In New York, there is a wide array of TSA Pre-Check enrollment locations. In Manhattan, there are two; 247 W. 35th Street; 2nd Floor; Suite 201, and 1412 Broadway; 17th Floor. In the DC area, locations are at 899 N. Capitol Street NE; First Floor, and in Alexandria, VA at 3139 Duke Street. All other locations can be found at www.indentogo.com.

At any US airport, enrolled travelers easily pass through security without removing their laptops, shoes, and belts.

At any US airport, enrolled travelers easily pass through security without removing their laptops, shoes, and belts.

How does the enrollment process work? It is very easy. First, travelers should make their appointment online. It is most recommended to do so, to avoid long wait times via phone. Next, travelers need to bring their appointment confirmation with them to the enrollment location of their choice. Afterwards, they’ll be called over to an Indentogo worker’s desk. There, travelers’ digital fingerprints will be taken. Their contact information will also be confirmed.  To be granted TSA Pre-Check enrollment, every traveler is subjected to a strict background check. Finally, travelers are asked to answer a few security questions, enter a PIN number, and accept the terms of the program. Payment is accepted on location. Credit cards are accepted. The cost of enrollment is $85.00.

Once all of the pertinent information has been obtained, travelers are free to go. Within a week to ten days, travelers will receive a letter in the mail indicating that they’ve been approved. Printed in the letter, is the Known Traveler Number (KTN). It is comprised of letters and numbers. When booking airline reservations, travelers must enter their number so that it will be printed on their tickets. When the TSA screener sees “TSA Pre-Check” printed on the ticket, he/she will direct those passengers to the TSA Pre-Check line. TSA Pre-Check is valid for a period of five years and is allowed for domestic flights only. For travelers wishing to fly internationally, Global Entry costs an extra $15.00.

With TSA Pre-Check printed on the airline ticket, travelers can pass through airport security in an expedited manner.

With TSA Pre-Check printed on their airline tickets, travelers can pass through airport security in an expedited manner.

Flying post-9/11 cannot be more of a chore. Or, does it have to be? Going through security at U.S. airports can be a hassle. Why put up with it? TSA Pre-Check alleviates the frustration. No more having to take off shoes, socks, belts, and removing laptop computers! Whether traveling for pleasure or business, frustration and anguish should never be a part of anyone’s trip. Undoing clothing and opening bags after spending valuable time preparing for a trip is enough to make a traveler’s head spin. Being enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program avoids this nightmare. The TSA Pre-Check program is the best $85.00 investment travelers can make. It is a five-year investment which travelers will be delighted to have. Travelers can easily and conveniently pass through airport security and proceed to their flights without having their nerves rattled. Enrolling in TSA Pre-Check begins at visiting Indentogo.com. It saves time. It saves travelers’ energy. Most-of-all, and at best, it spares travelers’ sanity.

“The New Jersey Shore: A coastline of lifestyle, leisure, and living color” coming together

Separated from the hustle and bustle of Pt. Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, Bay Head's beach is one of the most tranquil beaches in Ocean County.

Separated from the hustle and bustle of Pt. Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, Bay Head’s beach is one of the most tranquil beaches in Ocean County.

I cannot be happier with how my travel presentations have turned out. Whether it was only two, eight, twelve, or even twenty-eight in attendance, it has been a true pleasure sharing my wealth of knowledge with the public. Over the past year, my cruising presentation has made a huge splash. My program on Amtrak travel has opened the public’s eyes considerably. My Disney World presentation is slowly gaining popularity, while my Washington DC program is picking up the pace hence the spring time approaching.

Being a long-time New Jersey resident, I couldn’t help but share my New Jersey side with the public. For fifteen glorious years, my family and I had a shore home in Pt. Pleasant. Our home was located on a lagoon. It was fun enjoying the lagoon and our pool. It was a fun experience having pool parties and sharing our home with our neighbors. Still, I enjoy driving down the Garden  State Parkway to soak up all the fun the shore area has to offer. There is no doubt about it.

Aside from its crowd of high rollers, Atlantic City's boardwalk and beach provides the perfect escape from the ordinary.

Aside from its crowd of high rollers, Atlantic City’s boardwalk and beach provides the perfect escape from the ordinary.

What is this new presentation about? It’s very simple. The presentation will feature highlights of the major New Jersey shore towns, from Long Branch to Cape May. Long Branch is known for its upscale boardwalk area. Asbury Park is home to the Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen began his musical career. Belmar is home to surfing competitions and avid fishermen. Spring Lake is home to upscale living and a tranquil boardwalk area. Manasquan’s downtown area is well-known for its buzzing small businesses. Point Pleasant, Bay Head, and Seaside Heights are for families looking for adventure and good times around the corner. Atlantic City is a destination for people with that little gambler inside. Lastly, Cape May is a southern New Jersey shore town with a Gilded Age flavor on each and every corner. North to south, every town is known for something special.

Sandy Hook's Gunnison Beach is the largest clothing-optional beach in the northeastern United States. It is visited by beach goers as far as the Carolinas.

Sandy Hook’s Gunnison Beach is the largest clothing-optional beach in the northeastern United States. It is visited by beach goers from as far as the Carolinas.

Each and every New Jersey shore town has its very own claim to fame. It’s not just the towns with all the fame and excitement. Sandy Hook, home to the Gateway National Recreation Area, is a place with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it is fishing, singing “America The Beautiful” at The Seagull’s Nest, or just baring it all at Gunnison Beach, it is the area of the New Jersey Shore that welcomes thousands daily. It is a place where beach goers can enjoy New Jersey’s beaches in all fun ways imaginable. Who doesn’t like walking along a long stretch of beach au naturel? Who doesn’t enjoy the ocean and sand in the way mother nature intended? Further, who doesn’t get a chuckle out of the term “sandy bottoms”? Ultimately, who doesn’t like watching the airplanes take off and land at JFK Airport all day long, while striking up a friendly conversation in the birthday suit? Sandy Hook has it all.

What else about this presentation should have the public so excited? The presentation will include tips on packing, proper beach gear, and other accessories which shore goers must keep in mind. Plus, tips on restaurants, transportation, hotels, and entertainment will be shared. All of the key talking points will be featured. No one will ever have to scour through more than a dozen New Jersey shore brochures again.

Despite the unimaginable images left behind by Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 fire, Seaside Heights still attracts beach goers by the millions.

Despite the unimaginable images left behind by Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 fire, Seaside Heights still attracts beach goers by the millions.

Of all of the travel presentations I have written, I am enjoying putting this one together. This presentation is going to be truly special. Not everyone is aware of the many jewels and perks that the New Jersey shore is famous for. Some have their own favorite town and forget about the rest. This presentation is going to inspire hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, to get out of their homes and venture out to places they have never experienced. This presentation will enable all travelers (including day trippers) to enjoy New Jersey for all the great things her one hundred and forty-one miles of shoreline has in store for them. “The New Jersey Shore: A coastline of lifestyle, leisure, and living color” is set to be completed by late May 2016.  It’s a great presentation everyone will truly appreciate. I can be “shore” of that!

 

“Newport, RI: A city built to entertain, educate, and inspire”, is underway

Ochre Court was built circa 1895 by Ogden Goelet. Today, it serves as the administrative building for Salve Regina University.

Ochre Court was built circa 1895 by Ogden Goelet. Today, it serves as the administrative building for Salve Regina University.

Everyone has their favorite town to visit. Whether it is for a day or a weekend, there’s always something about that town that brings you to your senses. Whether it is for recreation, a little peace of mind, or just that opportunity to get away from the bustle of everyday life, you feel connected to that town in a very special way. My kind of town, which I hold dear to my heart is Newport, RI.

Newport, RI is one of the most charming cities in the northeastern United States. It’s that quaint, historic New England town sitting right by the Atlantic Ocean. There’s simply no better location for such a peaceful town. Newport was founded in the year 1639. During the colonial era, it was the site of ship building and a booming fishing industry, which still exists there today. During the late 1800s, it developed as a summer escape for wealthy families including the Goelets and the Vanderbuilts.

The Breakers is located next door to Salve Regina University. It was built circa 1895 by Cornelius Vanderbuilt.

The Breakers is located next door to Salve Regina University. It was built circa 1895 by Cornelius Vanderbuilt.

In the twentieth century, Newport became an even more prominent town. The US Naval Base opened just north of downtown. In 1947, Robert Goelet, donated his family’s mansion, Ochre Court to the Sisters of Mercy. Salve Regina College was founded. Presently, Salve Regina University is one of my most prominent colleges on the east coast. In 1969, the Newport Bridge (currently named Claiborne Pell Bridge), was built to connect Newport with its across-the-bay neighbor, Jamestown.

Newport, without a doubt, is a town for everyone to experience once or even twice in their lifetime. There are mansions, great restaurants, four and five-star hotels, and a smorgasbord of shops and department stores. In Newport, there is plenty to offer any curious visitor. Newport entertains visitors from all over the world. “Newport, RI: A city to entertain, educate, and inspire” is set to be completed by late May 2016.

Introducing my travel presentation incentive…

Ever since I started doing my travel presentations in January 2015, I couldn’t have been more excited and proud of how far I’ve come. I have written four travel presentations; on cruising, on Amtrak travel, on Walt Disney World, and Washington DC. Currently, I have two new presentations, Newport, RI and the New Jersey shore, to be completed by early May. Libraries and library patrons cannot be more excited about these presentations. Without a doubt, they have opened their eyes considerably.

David Kriso has been writing since 2011. Here he is living it up at the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

David Kriso has been writing since 2011. Here he is living it up at the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The level of interest and the success of my presentations have lead me to an incredible idea.  I was inspired to come up with an incentive for my venues. Whether a new location or past location, it is an incentive which will allow any venue to look forward to something even more. The incentive goes like this. I will be allowing venues to pick any one my travel presentations. The first presentation will cost $200.00. All additional choices will cost just $25.00. The incentive is budget friendly for the venues and a great advantage for patrons, too. If a venue should have any issues, I will work out a cost with them to fit their budget.

Doing these travel presentations has added an exciting realm to my travel writing. With my new presentations on Newport, RI and the New Jersey shore in the production stages, my incentive couldn’t come at a better time. Giving venues the opportunity to have me present more than one program of their choice cannot be more exciting. For the venues, libraries predominantly, their patrons will be more than excited to know that I’ll be back before they know it. Not only is this incentive good for the venues, but it works even more favorably for the patrons. Why not go to my cruising presentation, and then go to my presentation on Washington DC, and possibly a third presentation on Newport, RI? It is all about giving patrons something more to look forward to and something to be curious about. Further, patrons will have an idea of a traveling experience they’ve always thought about.

David, standing along side Amtrak's new workhorse, the ACS-64 electric engine at Washington DC's Union Station. *Photo taken on National Train Day in May 2014.

David, standing along side Amtrak’s new workhorse, the ACS-64 electric engine at Washington DC’s Union Station. *Photo taken on National Train Day in May 2014.

Writing and lecturing about travel has been a rewarding experience for me. I wish the very same for all venues and their patrons. I want them to have fun learning something new, and leave them curious about an upcoming topic. The incentive benefits both the venues and their patrons. As they say, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. This incentive will enable venues to become more familiar with my work. In the long run, it will most definitely inspire patrons to become more knowledgeable about topics they’ve always wanted to learn about.  It goes without saying, that traveling is the single most rewarding investment anyone can make. This incentive will assuredly make that a reality.