Hot ticket turnaround

I usually talk about tickets in terms of airfare. But today, let’s stick closer to home and talk about those tickets for performances.  Broadway, arenas, that kind of ticket. The ones, when you actually snag them, feel like you’ve snagged some holy grail  (“Hamilton”? Foo Fighters? Chris Rock?).

Those same tickets can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Maybe you bought them for yourself. Maybe you bought, or received them, as a gift. Maybe right now, you’re entering the date on your calendar. You’re excited, looking forward to it.  Maybe, though, you’ve already found yourself facing down that big-ticket quandary, as you realize other commitments clash with the date of your show: ‘I can’t go. ticketforweb2Now what do I do?’

Tickets usually come with the caveat,  “All sales final. No refunds, exchanges or returns.”

For the most part, take those words very seriously.

But after being in a few ticket jams, I can tell you, it ain’t necessarily so.

We’re all human: ticket buyers and sometimes even ticket sellers. And so there are some get-out-of-ticket hell-almost-free policies and options.

Here are a few examples: Continue reading “Hot ticket turnaround”

2017’s best — and worst — new luxe hotels


Everybody loves a good list, and when it comes to travel, the best ones — the ones I respect, anyway — are those assembled by experts who have the background to be truly discerning. 

Enter  LTI-Luxury Travel Intelligence’s Best (and Worst) New Luxury Hotels list. The annual compilation is the result of a dozen experts covering the globe to research the most anticipated luxury properties opening each year. LTI is a global members-only organization providing the latest intel for “high net worth”  travelers — covering not only hotels but restaurants, spas and nightlife.  They don’t sell travel or carry advertising.

I’m sharing their list not just because it’s a peek into accommodations many of us couldn’t afford to actually sleep in, but it’s also kind of fun to read about the one that blew it, luxury-wise. A reminder that price is not always commensurate with quality.

This year, LTI experts visited  74 new hotels; 14 merited inclusion on the Best list, while two were bad enough to make it to The Worst.

Here are their picks, in the (slightly condensed) words of Michael Crompton, LTI cofounder.

Continue reading “2017’s best — and worst — new luxe hotels”

Guilt goes postal

Help! Stop! No more! Please!

I know it’s the holiday season and that’s the reason I keep getting all these “gifts” in the mail. But I don’t want them. Not only don’t I want them, but they make me feel bad.


I got a dime from the March of Dimes, a stamp from Wounded Warriors, and  personalized return address labels from a wide variety of charitable organizations.

The letters — and the gifts — are unopened. And stacking up.

The higher the stack gets, the more guilt-ridden I get. In a perfect world, I would open these letters, enjoy the gifts, send back a donation. Not opening them means the organization wasted its money — which tacitly is my fault.

These are all worthy causes — I cry when I see their commercials on TV.  And just seeing the letter from the Wounded Warrior project got me upset all over again. But I can only afford so much a year, or a season. I donate to lots of causes, and give extra during the holidays. But I simply can’t give to every one — even if they send me a stamp, a dime, a label.

I am unable to throw these letters out, though.  That seems truly heartless.  Do I send them back — does “return to sender” work?  Maybe for the dimes and stamps, but what will they do with all those custom-printed return address labels?

Does anyone have any constructive suggestions for this problem? I can’t stand feeling like Scrooge — especially during the holidays.Dimes