Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome Everyone to a Travel & Dining Discussion!

"You're starting a blog?"  I could almost sense the inevitable eye rolls when I first mentioned it to friends.  "Everyone has a blog!  You will give up after a week or two!  What can you add that someone else isn't already covering?"  These were all valid questions and concerns, and they are certainly racing through my mind as I type this.  However, as my girlfriend and most others will tell you, I'm pretty stubborn.  I hate giving up more than anything.  We are going to give this a real, honest shot.

I'm going to start slow with two to three posts a week.  What can I do to fill this space?  Talk about the things I know best: food and travel.  My hobbies.  What I get excited about.  

The girlfriend and I love trying every conceivable new place we can.  If an out-of-town guest arrives, we liked to be armed with about fifteen dining recommendations, so we can choose the right spot for the occasion.  We love getting questions such as, "My parents are coming into town, what's the best place to go?" or "We are looking for a cheap breakfast joint with generous portions, any of those you like?"  My goal will be to write as many reviews as I can, so that you can skim, make suggestions and criticisms, or help write a review of your own.  No more wondering if that glowing review on Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor is real.  This will be real, and I'm not getting paid to do it.  I love trying new food, and I love to travel.

Central Park at Christmas Time (booked with points)
Travel!  Ah, you thought I forgot about that.  The second meaty portion of this blog will be dedicated to my biggest hobby: great vacations that are absolute bargains.  I have traveled to places like Hawaii, Miami Beach, New York at Christmas, and Chicago using points and miles.  I have stayed at hotels that we would NEVER have been able to afford otherwise.  I flew first class when the retail price would have given any budget-concious family sticker shock.  If someone like me can figure out how to "game" the system, then you can to.  I love to give advice on the best ways to accumulate miles/points and USE them for great travel.  My roommate, a former points skeptic, has gone to places like Bora Bora and Aruba, all on miles.  He is now a believer, and hopefully you will be too after reading some of my posts.  

Atop Diamond Head Crater on Oahu (trip booked with points, of course)
It's my goal to write reviews of my travel experiences, both mundane (Trenton, NJ) and exciting (Bali, Indonesia).  Hopefully I can help you book a great trip in the process or even just offer a small tip. That's rewarding in and of itself.

Again, there isn't a concrete end game to this.  Perhaps one day the food reviews will expand to the D.C. area.  Perhaps one day this blog will make money.  Perhaps one day it will be a full-time commitment (not likely), but at the very least it should be something that you will want to read and be a part of.  I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, guest posts, photographs and blunt criticisms....really!  I want this to be good.  I want you to want to read it.

I'm peering over the edge and about to take the leap.  Here goes nothing!

-Charm City Traveler


  1. Seems like an awesome blog idea. Sticker shock pretty much universally prevents me from doing awesome things. Especially airfare - I've just never been able to figure out how to get a deal. Definitely looking forward to some pointers!

    1. Thanks, Doug. I just posted a pretty decent airfare deal. Hopefully there will be more like that in the future. I will also be posted about credit card strategies to maximize point/mile earning potential. Cheers!

  2. As a travel professional, I endorse this message.

    - Kevin Buck, travel professional

  3. The Internet will never be the same. Looking forward to points and travel tips in spite of the Buck endorsement.

    1. Thanks, Hines. Let me know if you want me to touch on any subject in particular.

  4. More Bill Wilkes has to be a good thing!