Posts Tagged 'travel'

The Death of the Dollar in T+L

   

When the economy’s demise has people choosing between food, gas, or medication, spending on travel is almost unthinkable. So what should travel glossies do to keep from closing up shop? Travel + Leisure’s October issue is hopeful. Coverlines say it all: “25 Emerging Destinations Where the Dollar Still Goes Far.”

 T+L editors took a break from the usual $400 a night hotels and scoured the globe for cheaper retreats. The focus on Mexico, Asia, and—surprisingly—the Mediterranean, plays up the exotic, omits the humdrum, and even manages to squeeze Europe into the picture.  

A little troubling and almost too sneaky was the way the story was cut up. The destinations occupied 10 and a half pages in all, interrupted by huge features on Los Angeles and New Delhi (and a half-page ad on Shanghai). Now I don’t know if this was a cheap trick to make readers think L.A. and India wLLere part of the list, or if it was just poor pagination, but it was quite unsettling (or brilliant, for the advertising executive). Surely those pages could have been put somewhere—anywhere—else!

The feature opens with Mazatlan, Mexico, a not-so-forgotten town on the Pacific Coast “experiencing a renaissance.” Writer Jeff Spurrier plays diplomat and mentions two hotels at opposite ends of the spectrum; a traditional one that goes for $78 a night and a boutique hotel that costs $185. Not bad for a tourist-y spot. At least he gives you options. 

Among the more costly escapes on the list are Marquesas, Brazil, and Cyprus. The Hanakee Pearl Lodge in Marquesas—the only hotel in the island, they say—charges $267 a night. A night in Sao Miguel Dos Milagres, Brazil, can amount to $327 at Pousado de Toque. The Thalassa Boutique Hotel in Cyprus has doubles from $453. Apparently, my dollar doesn’t go too far in these places.

Still, the feature makes up for a few off-the-radar prices with more affordable stops in Europe and Africa. Gozo, Malta, has doubles from $44, while a night in a boutique hotel in Larache, Morocco, starts at $78.

 

Pranburi Coast, a three-hour drive south of Bangkok, is a nice break from the spotlighted beaches of Thailand. Forget Hua Hin or Phuket (the latter made famous and just a tad exploited by the Leonardo DiCaprio flick The Beach). Boutique hotels cost $117 – $135 for doubles but seaside meals (think stalls of yummy street food) can go as low as $5. Mind you, that’s lunch for two.

On a side note, what is up with all the boutique hotels in this piece? There are bound to be even c even heaper alternatives for lodging.

This doesn’t quite have me reaching for my passport, but it’s comforting to know the people at T+L are not totally oblivious to these trying times.

– Kris Alcantara

 

Crossing boarders: Adirondack Life goes global

Settle into your Adirondack chair and relax. Put your feet up and open the newest copy of Adirondack Life magazine – but be prepared to travel much further than the Adirondack region.
Adirondack Life editors Annie Stoltie and Mary Thill have created a way for readers of the September/October issue to explore more than the typical outdoor treks. From articles involving fictional Russian writers to a factual Iranian artist, this magazine offers readers a chance to see the global implications of life in the Adirondacks.
The diversity among readers itself can be seen in the section “Box 410.” Readers write in sharing comments and offering clarification—hailing from Adirondack backyards (Saranac Lake) to more exotic destinations (Portland, Ore.; Irmo, S.C.; and Oslo, Norway). It’s evident that readership extends far beyond the title’s namesake.
The magazine editors, in turn, are shifting the Adirondack focus to a global market. How exactly is the Adirondack region important on a larger scale?
The first short article in the magazine alludes to the larger picture. While the gist of the article is a tribute to a local philanthropist, it also touches on the local man’s part in ending World War II.
The global references continue in a feature about an Adirondack town where tuberculosis patients once gathered to recover. While the narrative is fictional, the true events that are the basis for the book were all too common in the early 20th century. The feature focuses on fictional patients at the sanatorium, most of whom are immigrants, and the European lives they left behind.
The magazine editors continue to expand geographical boundaries in the second feature story. This piece focuses on the simple life of an Adirondack native whose art had wide appeal outside the isolated mountain area. The article mentions that people came from far and wide—from Long Island (a feat in those days) and even bordering states to view her intricate bird wood carvings.
Finally, the global appreciation for the Adirondacks is revealed in the last feature article. A successful artist in New York City describes the vital role the Adirondacks play in her life and work. She often travels to India (her native country) but her heart lies in the Adirondacks, a place that she says makes her truly happy.
Is this new global angle to Adirondack Life worth the effort? Certainly it allows a larger demographic to relate to the stories, even if they’ve never visited the Adirondacks. And with the leaf-peeping season underway, more would-be tourists are likely to pick up the magazine at this time of the year.
Despite the greater global focus of the latest issue, the vast majority of the magazine still exudes the cardinal Adirondack essence (in the laid back approach; the simple, smooth writing styles; and the quintessential mountain photographs) and these qualities are still at the heart of each of the stories. Readers will still be excited to search the front of the book for the latest Adirondack recipe. They will still expectantly flip to the last page to see if “Our Town” is their town.
Adirondack Life may have adopted a global angle, but it hasn’t lost its roots.
–Megan Preston