Happy New Year

Have you made travel a part of your New Year’s resolution? Every year when the thermometer drops, and the holiday buzz begins to fade, I find myself leafing through travel guides and maps, looking at a few more travel magazines in waiting rooms, or checking travel sites more often than I normally do, beginning to think of new journeys to plan. If your travel itinerary remains open, you may find no better time of year than right now to begin to chart your course.

So what are some of the trends to expect in the coming year? Traveler and writer Wendy Perrin shares a few travel predictions in posts at The Daily Beast and Conde Nast Traveler. One trend Perrin believes will come to pass is that travelers will finally begin to get a break on domestic fares. Citing a report from American Express, Perrin believes that tighter corporate travel budgets and fare wars will be enough to bring down prices. However, she cites the merger of American Airlines and US Airways as a recent development that could damper price discounts. Other data suggest that record numbers continue to travel; with such demand I’ll believe the discounts when I see them.

Another trend Perrin believes will impact travel is that more people will travel just to eat, whether it is to sample a region’s cuisine, or even a specific restaurant. With recent laws taking effect in Washington and Colorado in the New Year, I predict they may see a bump in tourism for an entirely different reason.

A couple of regional news items recently came across my desk already in this young year:

  • The Saint Paul Hotel

    The Saint Paul Hotel, managed by Morrissey Hospitality Companies has just been named to Travel + Leisure Magazines 2014 500 World’s Best Hotels list. It is the only hotel in Minnesota recognized on the 2014 list. The greeting from a doorman, a delightful lack of pretense, and impeccable service were among the amenities of note by the travel magazine, including an insider tip that points out that a full-time seamstress will fix a loose button or hem a new pair of pants for dinner. Congratulations on the recognition.

  • On Saturday, January 11, The Bakken Museum will celebrate Earl Bakken’s 90th birthday during the Free Second Saturday. For those readers unfamiliar with The Bakken Museum, it is among the most unique family museums in our region. Dedicated to inspiring a passion for science in visitors of all ages, The Bakken explores the history and nature of electricity and magnetism in a beautiful mansion on Lake Calhoun. To celebrate Earl’s love of tinkering, The Bakken has partnered with Hennepin County to hold a Fix-It Clinic between noon and 4 p.m. on January 11. Brink in your mobile device, household appliance, and other electronics and you will receive free expert assistance from volunteers on how to disassemble, diagnose, and fix your item. Other unique artifacts will also been on display. Happy Birthday Earl.

Happy New Year!