ProfNet Experts Available on Travel Tips, Oscars Boycott, HPV Vaccine, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers, Media Industry Blog Posts

Feb 26, 2016, 12:20 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it's easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:


  • Oscars Boycott: How Boycotts/Protests Sway Public Opinion and Cause Change
  • HPV Vaccine Safe and Effective
  • Increased Private Jet Bookings a Reflection of Larger U.S. Economy
  • How to Pick the Right Nanny for Your Family

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Travel Tips (23 experts)


  • Foreign Editor – Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • Radio and Digital Producer – Colorado Public Radio (CO)
  • News Reporter – Butler Eagle (PA)


  • Expert Spotlight: John Sweeney, author of "The Innovative Mindset"
  • Virtual Reality and 360-Degree Video Taking News to a New Level
  • Scriptwriting 101: Tips to Get Started on Writing for Video


Oscars Boycott: How Boycotts/Protests Sway Public Opinion and Cause Change
Nancy Wang Yuen
Professor of Sociology
Biola University
"Boycotts bring attention to injustice. Even if an Oscars boycott does not take down the show, it can sway public opinion over time. The high profiles of Spike Lee (who just won an honorary Oscar) and Jada Pinkett Smith have brought greater attention than just #OscarsSoWhite trending on social media. In fact, their boycott announcements elicited a statement by the Academy that it will do better in terms of diversity. Without boycotts and protests, business will function as usual in Hollywood."
Yuen is the author of "Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism," set to release this fall. She is a scholar of race and ethnicity in film, television, and new media. She earned her bachelor's degree in English (creative writing) and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. An associate professor of sociology at Biola University, Yuen enjoys helping her students view media through a critical lens. She teaches classes on qualitative research methods, race/gender in popular culture, Asian American studies, and visual sociology. She is also a documentary producer of "Mass Confucian: Language Learning or Communist Propaganda?" which screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and "Lost in Silence: Toraichi Kono," a documentary on Charlie Chaplin's Japanese-American valet.
Contact: Jenna Loumagne,

HPV Vaccine Safe and Effective
Stephen B. Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center; H. Leslie Hoffman and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research at Keck Medicine
University of Southern California
Vaccinating young women for HPV is remarkably effective. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that incidence of human of human papillomavirus (HPV) in teenage girls appears to be dropping dramatically since the vaccine's introduction in 2006 ( Says Dr. Gruber: "Those of us on the front lines of cancer research and patient care are responsible for educating the public about how they can decrease their risk of developing the disease. The HPV vaccination is a safe, effective way to prevent cancers that occur in both men and women. Because the recommended age for this vaccine is between 11-12 years old, parents should speak to their child's pediatrician about taking this important health precaution."
Dr. Gruber is in the forefront of efforts to boost historically low vaccination rates. In January, he signed a joint statement on behalf of USC Norris with 68 of the nation's top cancer centers urging parents and physicians to get young people vaccinated for HPV. These institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and called upon the nations' physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer. Dr. Gruber's research focuses on the causes of cancer, clinical cancer genetics and translational research in cancer prevention. He can speak to current cancer trends and means of prevention. He is a board certified medical oncologist, cancer geneticist and epidemiologist whose research focuses on genetic and environmental contributions to cancer. His particular research interests include the genetic epidemiology of cancer, with emphasis on colorectal cancer; the molecular pathogenesis of cancer, integrated with genetic epidemiology; methods in genetic and molecular epidemiology; and clinical cancer genetics and translational research in cancer prevention. The goal of his research is to find new ways to prevent cancer and to improve treatment and care for cancer patients. He has received a variety of honors and awards and is the author of 158 peer-reviewed publications, many in very high-quality journals, attesting to his standing in the field of cancer genetics, particularly as it relates to colorectal cancer. In addition to serving on editorial boards for several professional journals, Dr. Gruber is active in national organizations. Since 2005, he has been chair of the Colorectal Family Registries Advisory Panel for the National Cancer Institute and for the past three years chaired the Cancer Genetics Education Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Contact: Mary Dacuma,

Increased Private Jet Bookings a Reflection of Larger U.S. Economy
Megan Wolf
Vice President of Owner Services
"The private jet industry is an indicator of overall business sentiment. With a mostly stable but slowly growing economy and markets that have shown some fluctuation but remain strong, we are seeing travel grow this year, building on the progress we've enjoyed each year since the financial crisis and recession in 2008."
Based in Cleveland, Wolf can discuss the following topics, and the broader narratives surrounding these topics: 1) year-over-year private jet traffic volumes to major fly-in events (i.e., Super Bowl, Olympics, Masters, NBA Finals, etc.); 2) special accommodations Flexjet makes for owners flying privately on leisure or on business; 3) questions about specific corporate aircraft, or general questions regarding the Flexjet fleet; 4) top five origination cities in the U.S., and top five destinations among Flexjet owners; 5) anticipated popular jet-set vacation destinations for 2016; 6) how increases in private jet bookings reflect the bounceback of the U.S. economy; 7) most popular aircraft among Flexjet owners.
Contact: Nicholas Parmelee,

How to Pick the Right Nanny for Your Family
Florence Ann Romano
The Windy City Nanny
"Having a nanny takes an invaluable amount of trust on behalf of the parents. Parents should expect the nanny to meet their family's needs, whatever those needs might be. Not every position is going to be right for every nanny, and not every nanny is going to be right for the job. It's important to remember that the person you hire is an extension of you. Beyond that, you want the nanny to be similar to you in the areas that are important to you, and/or be able to carry out your expectations as fluidly and successfully as possible. You can certainly expect your nanny to be as candid as possible with you. This is not a typical job interview where so many questions are off limits – you must get to know your nanny and understand their background, experience, personality and values. Your child is going to be influenced by this person, and you need your nanny to be a role model. It's also important for parents to do a background check and ask thorough questions to the references that their nanny-to-be provides. Something important to remember, in terms of expectations, is this: Your nanny doesn't replace your role as a parent. The nanny is there to carry out your values and expectations, care for your child, educate them, keep them safe, love them -- among other things -- but parenting must continue in addition to your nanny's influence on the child/children. You are still the parent. Your nanny doesn't replace the responsibility you have -- the unspoken contract you make -- when you have children."
Romano is a dedicated philanthropist and former nanny who has always had a special place in her heart for children. She worked for over 15 years as a nanny, and shares her experiences in "Nanny and Me" (Mascot Books, May 2015), her beautifully illustrated debut book for children making the transition from being cared for solely by their parents to having a nanny in their home. Born and raised just outside of Chicago, Romano earned a degree in performance theatre at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. She is the owner of Trinity, LLC, a 100% woman-owned company that runs the Original Six Media production company and the online publication She also serves as president and founder of a junior board for young professionals that supports Autism awareness for children and adults.
Contact: Ryan McCormick,

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Travel Tips (23 experts)

With spring and summer travel season coming up, here are experts from the ProfNet network who can share a variety of travel tips with your readers:

General Tips:

Arabella Bowen
Vice President and Editor in Chief
Fodor's Travel
Bowen is a true travel expert with over a million miles under her belt and having visited 65+ countries. She has travel tips on almost everything you can imagine -- how to pack, how to sleep on an airplane, etc. She utilizes her extensive travel knowledge to lead the respected brand's content strategy across all formats, from guidebooks to to mobile apps. As Fodor's spokesperson, Bowen has shared recommendations and travel expertise with various outlets, including TODAY, CBS This Morning, CNN, USA Today, the Associated Press, among others.
A native of Toronto, Bowen began her career as a journalist covering everything from politics to arts and culture for daily and weekly Canadian newspapers. Bowen's travel career began in 1999, after a three-month solo trip through Southeast Asia with nothing more than a guidebook for company inspired her to write travel guides herself when she returned home. She subsequently contributed to several titles for the Rough Guides series, including their inaugural Montreal and Caribbean guides. A world traveler from a very young age, Bowen has visited more than 65 countries, and every continent except Antarctica. Averaging at least a dozen trips a year, Bowen's impressive travel resume spans the globe, providing the first-hand destination expertise that is synonymous with Fodor's Travel.
Contact: Lauren Hanafin,

Carrie Peters
Senior Travel Editor
Peters frequently travels for work and for leisure and is passionate about passing along the "Travel Geek" spirit to her two children. She can share great tips for traveling with kids, packing hacks, how to find the best deal, planning spontaneous getaways, and generally how to get the very most out of travel. She can also share data on how and where people are traveling, unique spring break destinations and more.
Contact: Anita Lavine,

Henrik Kjellberg
Kjellberg, president of Hotwire, is a 17+-year veteran of the travel industry. Henrik took 40 trips last year, many of them for business and many of them international, so has lots of best practices and tips to share, as well as industry trends and insights.
Contact: Anita Lavine,

Gabe Saglie
Senior Editor
Saglie is a leading expert on travel deals, travel tips and trends. He has appeared on dozens of highly rated national and local news programs, including CNN, NBC's "Today" show, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC News and FOX News, as well as numerous affiliate stations in major markets around the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and many others. He has uncovered hundreds of valuable travel deals and has become an authority on topics such as tips for finding great travel deals, family travel, golf getaways, culinary vacations, cruises, island adventures, gaming vacations and ski getaways. Saglie has an extensive journalistic background. He earned a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC in Southern California, and then worked as a news writer and field producer for KGTV (ABC) in San Diego and as anchor and weathercaster for KEYT (ABC) in Santa Barbara.
TV segments:
Contact: Karyn Ravin,

Mary White
Founder and CEO
"One tip for travelers is to closely examine exactly what the room rate includes. Bed & breakfasts include homemade daily breakfasts in their rate (these meals are often multiple courses), easily reflecting a value of $25/person. Many also include extras like afternoon snacks, a complimentary wine hour, high-speed Internet (this all varies by property) and more, which provides even more value."
Having worked in the bed & breakfast industry for nearly 20 years, White is a trusted advisor to thousands of inns looking for tips on just about every imaginable topic, a major one being value. She combines her years of experience with a cost-conscious traveler mentality, and can speak with authority not just on what travelers should look for, but what innkeepers are doing to provide value for money. She's even authored a book, "Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies," for current/aspiring innkeepers.
A former securities broker, White decided to embark on a new venture -- Internet marketing -- nearly 20 years ago and developed a user-friendly website that places B&Bs and inns on a competitive level with larger hotels and resorts. Today, earns the industry's highest rankings and provides compelling content for guests. White has been named a bed and breakfast industry leader by Innkeeping Quarterly magazine and is the recipient of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International's Award of Merit.
Contact: Robyn Lanci,

Richard Calvert
President & CEO
Celebration Travel Group
Calvert can speak to celebration and group travel, including tips, personalizing trips, excursions and how travelers can save money and time while planning. He can also discuss tourism/travel, destination weddings and honeymoon trends, LGBT travel, emerging destinations, and hotel and resort innovations and offerings. In addition, he is well-versed in the U.S., Canadian and UK markets.
PR Contact: Madison

Amanda Festa
As editor for Cheapflights, Festa authors destination guides, travel tips, quizzes and blog posts on everything from the 11 people you meet at every tourist hotspot to top 10 summer solstice celebrations around the world. Her advice pieces range from an in-depth guide to multigenerational travel to easy DIY travel gifts. She writes frequently on essential travel tips, and can speak on a wide range of topics, including: how to save on flights, how to avoid fees, packing tips for every type of travel, multigenerational travel advice, travel etiquette, traveling with kids and navigating security.
Contact: Ilona Biro,

Vikram Seshadri
Corporate and Luxury Travel Advisor
Protravel International
"Plan ahead, plan smart and always get travel insurance. Those are my three key advice to clients as they look to take their next big memorable trip. 2016 is proving to be a busy travel year, with flight and hotel availability filling up rather quickly already. Despite airlines offering new domestic and international destinations from new cities all over the U.S., airlines are flying fuller planes and people are traveling more. Americans are refocusing their attention locally, as well as to Western Europe and Asia, where the perception of safety and comforts are higher. Add to the fact that the U.S. dollar is strengthening against currencies such as the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen, and you have a travel situation that's more favorable to Americans like never before. It's therefore more important than ever to plan ahead and book travels months and even a year in advance. I provide this advice to all of my clients every time I talk to them so that they're not disappointed with being unable to get into their dream vacation spot down the line."
Seshadri is a 15-year veteran of the travel industry, including five years as a travel advisor. He grew up in Asia and lived in Europe and the East Coast before becoming a die-hard Californian 16 years ago. He has strong relationships with key hotels around the world and knows the airline industry inside out.
Contact: Steve Loucks,

Konstantinos Bastas
Luxury Travel Advisor
Protravel International
"Traveling during peak season at times can be a bit more hectic than other times. My tips: 1) Work with a travel advisor. It is our job to best counsel our clients to make sure that they have all the details taken care of. We have local connections and arrange guides, transfers, and special experiences to make your trip a memorable one!" 2) "Be flexible with travel dates. Everyone wants to go to Europe in July and August, normally when schools are closed -- but consider traveling in June or even September. Flight loads are usually lighter, hotels have greater availability, and destinations are not as full with visitors." 3) "If you are ready to book something, book it! Airlines at times put some great promo fares, especially in business class, that save you thousands of dollars. If you find one of those fares, book it! Don't expect that the fare will be available the next day." 4) "Use private greeters and guides whenever possible. Although there is a cost involved, arrange for greeters to meet you at connecting airports or arrival airports to help you through the process. Greeters usually have carts that whisk you to the front of security lines/passport control, and help you with your luggage. They're very helpful, especially when traveling on long flights, or traveling with kids or pets. It's an extra set of hands that make life a lot easier." 5) "Arrange as much as you can before you leave. Make as many dinner reservations as you can, and make sure you have airport transfers booked." 6) "Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months and you have plenty of pages -- a mistake that so many make: showing up to the airport with not enough validity or empty pages for visas." 7) "Be realistic with airline points. It is very difficult to find low-mileage redemption tickets on popular routes during peak season. At times, the airlines don't even release mileage tickets on these routes. Be realistic and look at alternative options."
Based in New York, Bastas is a Protravel international luxury travel advisor specializing in the art of hospitality. His passion is taking care of every imaginable detail for his clients in a way that feels like pure luxury -- effortlessly and seamlessly. Through his proprietary method, he works directly with his clients in creating personalized travel itineraries that meet and exceed their travel demands. Through his strong global networks, he deals directly with travel operators, hotels, and airlines, ensuring that his clients are treated like VIPs at all touch points of the trip. For those clients seeking private guides and exclusive unique sightseeing opportunities, Bastas works with local on-site providers to customize exclusive opportunities that are closed to the public (private museums, shows, and monuments), day trips to locations known only to the locals, and even restaurant "musts."
Contact: Steve Loucks,


Greg Geronemus
"China and Colombia are two great summer destinations. The warm weather over the summer in China allows you to get out and really enjoy some of the great attractions in the whole world --- Great Wall, Forbidden City, the Bund, and more! While you will pay a bit more over the summer to go to China versus the middle of the winter, you can still go for 10 days, with international airfare, four-star hotels, comprehensive sightseeing, and English-speaking guides for well under $2,000 per person. Colombia is beautiful all year round, and it's a plus to avoid rainy season. Thankfully, the summer is nice and dry in Colombia, allowing travelers to see the diverse country that includes bustling Bogota, the serene Coffee Triangle, and charming Cartagena. Travelers can visit for 11 days, with international airfare, four-star hotels, comprehensive sightseeing, and English-speaking guides for well under $2,000 per person."
SmarTours is a guided tour company based in New York City.
Contact: John Goodman,

Rene Syler
Live Well Network
With an eclectic and successful career in broadcast TV, Syler is host of Sweet Retreats on the Live Well Network, highlighting awesome locations for vacations (oftentimes on a budget). With the spring and summer travel seasons upon us, Syler can talk about how it is a great time to begin looking into vacation rentals for the coming months (the closer we get to Memorial Day Weekend, the lesser selection you have!). She can discuss how they are a wonderful option for a group of friends or family, and how much bang you get for your buck -- they are often cheaper than hotels, especially if you are traveling with a larger group, and provide an astronomical amount of amenities in comparison. Your own private pool? Can't beat it.
Example episode:
Contact: Dina Binney,

Thomas Carr
President and CEO
All Inclusive Outlet
As a top all-inclusive vacation expert, Carr can speak to trends, resort innovation, top areas for inclusive products and emerging destinations. He is also well-versed in tourism trends as it relates to Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and the Caribbean Islands.
Expert Contact:


Dr. Michael Zimring
Director, Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine
Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore
An internist, Zimring is co-author of the book, "Healthy Travel." He is a veteran of numerous print and broadcast interviews in local, national and international news outlets. A graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School, Dr. Zimring joined Mercy Medical Center in 1973 as part of university's residents program. His clinical background includes study in geriatric and emergency medicine. Dr. Zimring has been in private practice since 1976. In 2007, he successfully completed the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)'s Certificate of Knowledge Examination and has been awarded the Certificate in Travel Health.
At Mercy, he oversees The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine, which offers immunizations for travel, pre- and post-travel consultations, treatment for travel-related medical conditions, and even coordination of emergency medical care and evacuations. The center utilizes the resources of Medex Assistance, which ensures the availability of competent health care as promptly as possible in situations where health care may not be available or not be up to U.S. standards. The center also provides medical evaluation and certification for scuba diving and medical preparation for the traveler for: chronic disease management, tropical disease exposure, environmental hazards, traveler's diarrhea, high-altitude adventure, Third World/underdeveloped countries, wilderness experience, and "Economy Class Syndrome" (development of venal thrombosis, i.e., blood clots, typically a problem for travelers forced to sit for long periods during air travel).
Contact: Dan Collins,

Richard Shane, Ph.D.
Sleep Easily
A psychotherapist and sleep expert, Dr. Shane can comment on travel tips as it relates to sleep, fatigue and adjusting to new time zones. He has been a psychotherapist since 1977. He is the behavioral sleep specialist for New West Physicians, Colorado, with 85 physicians serving over 170,000 patients. From 2010 through 2014, he was the behavioral sleep specialist for Lutheran Medical Center Sleep Center in Denver. He is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine and the National Sleep Foundation.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Mary Cochran,


Beth Godlin
Aon Affinity Travel Practice
Godlin is available to discuss: how can travelers make sure they buy the right travel, tour, flight and cruise insurance policy; travel insurance vs. credit card travel coverage; when you should and shouldn't buy travel insurance; the most common trip disruptors; and more. She has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than 25 years. In her current role, she leads a team in the development and delivery of customized travel insurance and protection programs for the world's most renowned travel companies. Beth oversees program consultation, brokerage and administration of online travel agency flight, car rental, cruise and package travel insurance; cruise line and cruise insurance; tour operator guest protection; and travel agency travel protection. Aon Affinity's Travel Practice is an active member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) and United States Travel Insurance Association (UStiA).
Contact: Astrid Greve Spencer,

Jim Krampen
CRO and Co-Founder
Seven Corners
According to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, one in eight U.S. adults had their travel impacted due to natural disasters or world events, yet only 29% of those affected had travel insurance. However, of those who bought a policy, 96% reported that they were satisfied with their purchase. There are multiple types of travel insurance to consider, including: 1) Trip cancellation: In the event a sudden illness or natural disaster, for example, prevents travel, this insurance covers the cost of the trip, in addition to any trip interruptions, delays or missed connections. 2) Travel medical insurance: Protects against financial hardship due to unexpected medical expenses that a customer's standard health insurance may not cover including accidents, sickness and medical evacuation. 3) Baggage protection: Many consumers often travel with valuable equipment, tools and supplies, which are covered under this type of insurance in case of loss, theft or damage.
Krampen believes all travelers should consider travel insurance to cover a variety of aspects of their trip based on price, location, activities and more. With more than 25 years of experience in the travel insurance industry, Krampen is passionate about personalized customer service and high-quality products to serve travelers across the globe. He currently services as a board member and membership chairperson for the UStiA and offers extensive knowledge and expertise in making sure travelers and adventurists are safe and secure as they explore the world.
Contact: Britny Kalule,

Luxury/Upscale Travel:

R.D. Gavel, CTC
Travel Repertoire, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc.
Gavel's experience focuses on luxury travel with specialties in family/multi-generational and solo travel. She has been quoted in several industry publications within the past year, and was the subject of a recent feature article by Laura Del Rosso in Travel Weekly. She is the author of "Key to the Club," a book about Walt Disney World, and has authored hundreds of articles and posts that provide destination- and traveler-specific tips. She is the agency owner and creator of several travel brands: Travel Repertoire (, which focuses on luxury world travel; Whimsical World Travel (, on luxury Disney experiences; Monologue Travel (, on luxury solo travel; and Key to the Club (, about concierge stays at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Contact: Victoria Walden,

Mickey Weill
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Protravel International
Weill offers the following spring travel tips for the upscale traveler: 1) "Work with a travel advisor! Advisors have the ability to not only procure the best rates, but the best value with added amenities like room upgrades, food/beverage credits, spa credits, and more." 2) "Utilize airport lounges for comfortable access to Wi-Fi and complimentary pre-flight bites and beverages to connect and refresh. Priority Pass is the largest independent airport lounge access program and offers different membership levels with access to 850 lounges worldwide." 3) "Don't delay! Spring break is a popular time to travel, so make plans in advance to avoid higher costs and fewer available options." 4) "Always buy travel insurance. Life is unexpected, and having the assurance that your plans are protected in case of inclement weather, trip cancellation/interruption, or medical emergencies ensures peace of mind, along with 24/7 assistance." 5) "Travel smart. Pack an extra change of clothes in a carry-on in case of misplaced or delayed luggage (29 million pieces are lost or delayed every year). Also, account for check-in times. Most properties will check baggage and allow guests to still utilize the facilities if arrival is prior to check-in time, so easy access to a swimsuit in carry-on helps too!"
Weill, a 20-year veteran with a reputation for integrity in the travel industry, has served as vice president of sales and marketing of Protravel International since 2005. Operating out of the agency's Beverly Hills office, Weill helps to lead the agency's growth in corporate and leisure travel in the robust West Coast market. He is a popular and respected member of the travel industry, serving on several influential travel advisory boards.
Contact: Steve Loucks,

Multigenerational Travel:

Theresa Jackson
Personal Travel Designer
Enlightened Journeys Travel, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc.
"Multigenerational travel -- whereby the whole family, grandparents to grandchildren, travel together, or the grandparents travel with the grandkids -- can be used to provide terrific educational (but fun) experiences for the grandkids, time for strengthening connections in the family, and/or making memories together. "
Contact: Victoria Walden,


Janine Devine
Director of Leisure
Protravel International
"With the (literally) billions of dollars we Americans spend on our pets, it doesn't come as any surprise that the number of animals being brought along on family vacations is on the rise. There are some hotel brands that are more pet-friendly than others -- some that actually welcome the little critters for a very long time -- but policies and rules can change within a brand, as well as be subject to local regulations. So, the very first thing to do is ask your travel advisor to confirm your hotel's pet policies. Size and weight restrictions, as well as deposits (refundable or not), can vary greatly. And then don't forget to call a few days in advance and confirm your arrival and your four-legged extra 'gear.'"
Devine also offers the following tips for packing for your pets: 1) "Pack a recent statement from a vet visit. In addition to your vet contact information in case of an emergency, these most often include pet's breed, weight and age, and up-to-date information on vaccinations. If something unforeseen occurs and you are in need of a kennel to board your animal in an emergency, this information and your possession of it will make or break you." 2) "Food is an obvious consideration, but don't forget water. Don't rely on local tap water once you arrive. Between the stress of a road trip or flight and disruption of routine, you are asking for tummy troubles. Divert them by feeding your animal his/her regular food (even though I've seen many room-service menus with a page dedicated to tantalizing "furry friends") at regular times and purified water that you should get at a nearby convenience/drugstore. Don't forget dishes for food and water, although many hotels are happy to provide these. Also, don't forget your pet's medication." 3) Crates are required by airlines for pets in cabin and in cargo -- just as car seats are required for children in the U.S. -- and I recommend every traveler to use one when you're driving with your pet. Once you're on the ground, though, the housekeeping staff in hotels will appreciate it very much if you crate your animal when you're away from the room. In some hotels, this is a requirement. For dogs, crate training is essential and should be learned early on (puppyhood is preferable). Dogs are den animals and will find it comforting to be able to retreat to a "den" and feel safe in a new environment. Although some hotel brands or chains even go so far as to provide pet beds, your four-legged girl or guy might eye it suspiciously." 4) "Toiletries": You can never have enough pick-up bags, even if most pet-friendly hotels are happy to provide them. Better safe than very sorry. Additionally, don't forget wipes. They come in convenient packages and are easy to find." 5) "Finally, friends and acquaintances are great resources, particularly if you subscribe to a breed or herding/agility/tracking list or part of an online group. If you're thinking that perhaps bringing furry Fred/Fiona is not as a good an idea as it first sounded and will not add to your relaxing family experience, you may be right. In any case, there are many hotels across the U.S./Canada and elsewhere with a resident "animal" or two on hand in case you need a dog (or cat) fix."
Devine is a 30-year travel industry veteran with particular passion for hotels. With insider knowledge of countless luxury properties around the world, Devine also is an animal lover and pays close attention to pet-friendly hotels and has experience in arranging travel with pets.
Contact: Steve Loucks,


Gary Lee Kraut
France Revisited
Kraut, a Paris-based expert on travel in France, is able to discuss travel in a period of unease with respect to terrorism, as well as family travel, Jewish travel, and war touring (WWI and WWII). An American journalist, lecturer and editor who has lived in Paris for more than 25 years, Kraut is the editor of the award-winning online travel and culture magazine France Revisited. He has lectured extensively in the United States relative to his expertise in France and has been interviewed in print and on television and radio. In the days following the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, Kraut appeared on NBC-TV and MSNBC in segments concerning the attacks and their effect on tourism.
Contact: Beth Brody,

Elaine Carey
Travel Experts, Inc. Affiliate
Carey offers the following tips to clients: 1) "Carry a copy of your passport page separate from the real thing. I always keep a copy of my client's passport page just in case. I can fax them anywhere in the world if need be." 2) "Don't travel/dress like a tourist. No flashy clothes or jewelry -- leave any jewelry home if you can't live without it in case it gets lost or stolen." 3) "Keep your money well-hidden and not all in one place (and don't carry all of it) -- just take one or two credit cards with you (one each in case the other gets lost or stolen; you will have the other to rely on in case of emergency). I use my credit card for most purchases." 4) "Don't open your wallet where everyone can see what's in it and don't let your credit card out of your sight when paying for something." 5) "Don't hold your passport open for all to see.  Some people will take a quick photo of it with their phone. This works with anything else that will allow someone to know where you're staying and which room." 6) "Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye open for everyone around you. There are people out there that can pick your pocket without you even knowing they're that close to you. Men, keep your wallets in your front pockets. Ladies keep your purse/bag in front of you, never just on one shoulder or on your back (if you have a backpack, always hold onto the straps and keep it securely closed)."Carey is a proud member of Virtuoso, a V.A.S.T. member and a Voyager Club host. Her specialties include, but are not limited to: luxury travel, multi-generational travel, Ireland and the UK, Italy and a lot of the Mediterranean. Cruising is her passion.
Contact: Victoria Walden,


Tim MacDonald
Executive Vice President of Platform & Data Services
Concur Technologies
MacDonald leads Concur's initiatives to foster an ecosystem of TMCs, suppliers, and third-party apps that create value for clients, their employees and the travel suppliers who support them.  MacDonald's travel industry experience prior to Concur includes senior vice president and general manager of Expedia US, chairman and president of luxury travel provider Classic Vacations, and vice president of product management at Hotwire. MacDonald can discuss a number of travel technology topics, namely the best apps to download prior to taking your trip (apps that collate your travel plans, quickly expenses on business trips, help you secure last-minute reservations at popular restaurants). He can also discuss the latest trends at the intersection of travel and technology, as well as share insights from Concur.
LinkedIn profile:
Contact: Caroline McMeekin,


Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Foreign Editor – Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • Radio and Digital Producer – Colorado Public Radio (CO)
  • News Reporter – Butler Eagle (PA)



Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line:

  • EXPERT SPOTLIGHT: JOHN SWEENEY, AUTHOR OF 'THE INNOVATIVE MINDSET.' Each month, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With World Innovation Week coming up soon, this month's spotlight belongs to John Sweeney, author of "The Innovative Mindset" (and the Minnesota Timberwolves' superfan, Jiggly Boy!):
  • VIRTUAL REALITY AND 360-DEGREE VIDEO TAKING NEWS TO A NEW LEVEL. From The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and Associated Press, news organizations are using new technology to tell otherwise traditional stories in dramatically different ways. Earlier this week, "Good Morning America" used 360-degree virtual reality to take its viewers on an African safari -- live on the air. We take a closer look at what this means for the news industry:
  • SCRIPTWRITING 101: TIPS TO GET STARTED ON WRITING FOR VIDEO. A blank page is to a scriptwriter what a blank canvas is to an artist. Like a painter who pulls from his imagination, you might draft a script drawn from what you already have in mind before you ever head out into the field to shoot and grab the elements. The downside to that approach is you run the risk of tunnel vision -- keeping your eyes peeled for only those "scripted scenes" and overlooking more natural, fun moments you never could have anticipated. Whatever your strategy, creativity starts with writing. Here are some tips to get started:


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