Dogs, forks, New York and cruises—great travel reads to delight and inspire

Lysa Allman-Badwin | 12/26/2013, 11:30 a.m.
Although the weather has finally turned cold, and you may not be out and about as much, you can still ...
These worthy reads will help satisfy your armchairs wanderlust and maybe inspire you to plan your own unique travel adventures. Photo by Lysa Allman-Badwin

But the story extends much further than simply walking every block of each borough. It’s a story of Helmreich’s encounters with hundreds of New Yorkers from every walk of life and from every part of the globe, including Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. His observations—all touching on various aspects of the multifarious lives of the estimated 8.3 million people wgi live, work, survive and thrive in the world’s greatest metropolitan city—are poignant and insightful, heartfelt and charming.

Cruisin’ on a Sunday (and Monday, Tuesday …) afternoon

If you’re gonna have an addiction, make it a good one. And that’s just what author Gary Bembridge—an avid cruise fan and self-confessed ship geek—does in his new book, “The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook.”

As with air travel, safaris, zip-lining and other types of travel adventures, there are always pervasive myths and objections out there regarding any form of travel. According to Bembridge, he himself fell prey to the myths and objections of cruising until 10 years ago, when he reluctantly went on a ship-bound business conference that led him to discover his love for being at sea. Since then, he has been hooked.

“Cruising as a vacation choice is now my preferred way of exploring the world. It has taken me to places I would never have gone to otherwise and revealed experiences and sights I would have missed if I had stuck to doing land-based vacations only,” he said. “I’m now hoping to calm people’s fears and inspire them to jump aboard!”

In the book, Bembridge addresses numerous cruise-related topics, including the reality behind cruising myths; how to chose the right type of cruise, cruise line and cabin; which type of cruising is suited to different types of travelers; and in which cases cruising is better than land-based vacations, just to name a few. He also says his handbook is great for regular cruise fans who desire to learn more about the ins and outs of the cruise industry.

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including serving as the cultural travel writer for, and as a senior travel writer for, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at