Toolie Travel Blog

A million-mile flyer talks about the life of a business traveler.

Business Travel News Comes to

It's been far too long since I last posted here -- I've been really busy on other fronts. But summer is here, and I'll be getting back on the road soon. I am really looking forward to that prospect.

In this month's newsletter (due out in a few days), I wrote about using RSS Feeds to stay current with business travel news, and I'm going to have my blog do the same. I'll be sifting through BUSINESS travel news stories for you, to make sure you get what's really applicable, not just a bunch of leisure travel content. I'll also include travel alerts from the US State Department that mention passport issues, and other items of interest.

Each blog post that contains travel news will have this preamble:

"For your convenience, here is news that is pertinent to business travelers."

...followed by a separator line and the news story or stories.

Fares Are Low, but Airlines Are Trying to End That
For weeks, airline executives have been gingerly asserting that revenue seems to have stabilized after the deep plunge in the first five months of the year. But they say they see no clear sign yet that things are improving.

 Clicking the links will take you to the original news site.

I'm excited about providing this service to you, and I'll be adding new business travel news sources as appropriate. Speaking of RSS feeds, NOW would be a really good time to subscribe to my blog feed. Just click on the "Entries RSS" link at left to add the feed to your favorite news reader.


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The Global Community

Most of my business travel writing is pretty practical; I don't "wax eloquent" very often, but on this most historic day, I must share a few words with you.

I've been privileged to travel to 32 countries so far, and I think the thing that startles me most about interacting with people from other cultures is how closely they watch the USA. Never was this more evident than tonight when the new president-elect was named. That news was front page on nearly every newspaper across the globe. Here are headlines just from Europe:

London - Times:
Paris - Le Monde:
Deutche - Die Welt:
Italian - Il Sole 24 Ore:

We learned so dramatically in September how intertwined we are as a global community, and the days following have been dark and uncertain. The restoration of hope and re-establishment of business success will be a person-to-person effort. Business travelers are de facto ambassadors of this effort -- the front-line troops, if you will, building relationships face-to-face across town and across the globe in the everyday activities of commerce.

I, for one, choose to take the optimistic view, to draw inspiration from the example of our "most unlikely candidate" turned "president-elect." Fellow travelers, I invite you to recognize and participate in the opportunity to rebuild our global economic community; to endure the airport delays, marginal food, and tired feet, knowing that what you do every day contributes to a greater whole. We have challenging days ahead, but we also have each other.

Be kind. Share a smile. Have a good trip, and come home safely.


Recent Comments
Guest — Mike Black
Great perspective.
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 7:07 PM
Guest — Wicklow Jane
There is good quality writing on here, which is not something I can say about all websites. Thanks alot.
Thursday, 07 May 2009 11:11 PM
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Photography and the Business Traveler

As you can see, my blog has some new clothes! I found a Wordpress Theme I liked and I tweaked it over the last few days to match my business colors. The photographs in the header and footer are some that I've taken on my travels.

It's truly a joy to be a travel writer and photographer. In fact, when I'm on an open-top, double-decker tour bus shooting photos of landmarks and architecture, I'm almost giddy. I waited a long time to own a professional camera, and because it shoots 8 frames a second, if I can get something into the viewfinder, it's mine!

Business travelers rarely have time or make time to get out and see the city they're visiting (which is the point of my previous blog post and video), yet most can spare 2 hours to go to dinner. As silly as it may feel to ride around on one of those tour busses, they turn out to be one of the most efficient ways to get a feel for the place. Most of those hop-on, hop-off busses last about 2 hours, and will return you to the point of origin. Even if you don't get off the bus, you can at least get a look around and snap some photos to bring home.

Next time you're headed to a new city, tuck that small point-and-shoot camera you own into your pocket, jump on the tour bus, and "take your best shot!" It's fun and relaxing.
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Capturing the Local Business Culture on Video

I have been trying to figure out how to communicate an important concept in my monthly newsletter, and I realized that "showing's better than telling" so I let my Flip Video camera do the 

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My monthly business travel newsletter covers travel techniques, technology for travel, and intelligent thinking about cross-cultural issues like this one. Wanna subscribe? Visit to sign up.


Recent comment in this post
Guest — Tim
Great video! I think incorporating video within blogs and websites are pretty neat. I came across a website today at: http://www.... Read More
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 4:04 PM
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1 Comment

Email, Windows Mobile, and the iPhone

McAlister Talks About His iPhone [audio:]

In my monthly business travel newsletter for August 2008, I completed the second of a 2-part series on using your PDA to read and handle email on the road. The podcast above is an interview with computer-savvy artist McAlister Merchant, an award-winning industrial designer and long-time Macintosh user who recently acquired one of the new iPhone 3Gs. We talked about his strategies for retrieving email on the road whether you're a high-mileage traveler or not. McAlister also gave his impressions of the iPhone both as a user and as a designer.

If you're a Windows user and you're curious about the iPhone, you'll especially appreciate McAlister's description of the user experience. I had about 30 minutes to test my email connections with McAlister's phone while doing research for my newsletter, but McAlister gives a much more thorough description of how the device works, how sturdy it is, and what it's like to work without a stylus, an idea that is foreign to most Windows PDA users.
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