News & Features

News Stories by Doug Stallings

Douglas Stallings has been in travel publishing since 1993, and at Fodor's since 2000, where he's primarily responsible for guides covering the Caribbean and Cruising; he's also the series editor for Fodor's In Focus Guides. Doug has also worked for Berlitz and Frommer's. He has appeared on radio stations around the country, national and local television networks including CNNfn, CNBC, Business Week TV, WABC-TV and WCBS-TV (New York, NY), and online news sites such as CNN, CBSMarketwatch, and USAToday.

  • 5 Places to Travel with Your Tax Refund

    Tax refund season is the ideal time to travel, especially if you've received some unexpected cash flow. As luck would have it, most warm-weather destinations are entering their low seasons just as refund payments are arriving in bank accounts. Here are some destinations to consider.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on April 12, 2010 at 4:23:58 PM EDT
  • 9 Tips for Dealing with the Most Stressful Travel Disasters

    It seems nowadays that travel is nothing but stress. As a person who usually travels by choice rather than necessity, I can say that I for one am traveling less. It's such a hassle to buy a ticket, to get through the airport, to get on the plane, and to get through the flight, that I can hardly relax on a short vacation trip. But there are particular situations that will try the patience of the best of us. Here are some simple tips to help you get through those stressful times.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on March 01, 2010 at 11:56:33 AM EST
  • How to Choose the Caribbean Island That's Right for You

    If you know yourself and know what you want, you can find perfection in the Caribbean—but that's often easier said than done. Here's how to choose.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on January 27, 2010 at 4:10:59 PM EST Tagged: Caribbean, Escapes
  • 6 Ways to Save on Your Warm-Weather Winter Vacation

    Everyone knows that you pay a premium to fly to warmer climates when it's cold at home. That's why the winter season is the high season in so many tropical places. But you don't have to spend a fortune to have a successful and fun winter escape. Here are six tips for planning a trip that won't break the bank.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on January 11, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM EST Tagged: Escapes, Florida
  • Cruise Enthusiast's Gift Guide

    If you're still shopping for Christmas, there are some suggestions for what to buy those loved ones who love to cruise. I've tried to give some suggestions at several different price points so you should find a gift suggestion on this rather short list whether you want to save or splurge. And keep in mind that these gifts would be just as useful for a regular traveler as they would be for a constant cruiser.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on December 08, 2009 at 10:49:26 AM EST
  • When Does It Pay to Buy Travel Insurance?

    I have seen travel insurance described as everything from a Ponzi scheme to an essential travel tool. It seems that people who don't like travel insurance are often those who find out that their insurance doesn't cover them for the problem that they face. Conversely, those that swear by the policies are often the ones who have been reimbursed by their insurer. My mother's friend is in the latter camp. She fractured her hip during a bad fall on the last night of her Alaska cruise, and several weeks and 1 operation later she had to be taken back home in a wheelchair. Her travel insurance covered everything all the costs that Medicare didn't, including her first-class plane ticket.... I'm squarely behind the idea of travel insurance. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think on the whole there are many more positive stories than negative ones about how travel insurance has come in to save someone from financial ruin. But for the doubters, especially those who don't regularly buy insurance, here...

    Posted by Doug Stallings on October 20, 2009 at 4:03:08 PM EDT
  • How to Rent a Car Cheaply

    I rented a lot of cars this summer, so this topic has been on my mind for the past few months, and I'd like to share a few of the things I've learned as well as some time-worn tips that should be helpful if you want to your costs down.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on September 16, 2009 at 1:23:12 PM EDT
  • 5 Simple Shortcuts for a Quick Trip Through Airport Security

    I'm usually the first person to complain that airport security is onerous and burdensome. However, it's very rare these days that you have to spend more than 15 or 20 minutes in a security line. Frankly, I have to give the much-hated TSA some credit on that front. The lines do move faster now and are generally better staffed. Most of the delays occur when passengers try to take things through security that are prohibited: box cutters, knives, loaded or unloaded firearms, fake bombs (no, they aren't funny).... Don't get me wrong. I still think security is too nit-picky and is as much concerned with the theater of safety rather than actual safety. For example, nothing rankles me more than having to take off my shoes to get onto a plane, especially when no other country in the world requires it, including France, where the one and only attempted shoe bomber in the world boarded an American Airlines flight for Miami. But that's the rule now, and I know that I just have to live with it. If you haven't...

    Posted by Doug Stallings on August 11, 2009 at 1:26:44 PM EDT
  • New Caribbean Air Route from West Coast

    It's fairly difficult to get to the Caribbean from the west coast on the same day. For those itching to go to Jamaica, there was good news today from USAirways, which is launching a new nonstop route from Phoenix to Montego Bay. The new flight (which is seasonal, operating only from mid-December through mid-April) leaves Phoenix Friday through Monday at 10 AM and arrives in Jamaica at 4:53 PM. The flight from MoBay leaves Thursday through Sunday at 12:25 PM and arrives in Phoenix at 4:09 PM. It might still be possible to connect to a short hop on Air Jamaica if you were going to a different island. This is one of the very few flights to the Caribbean from the west coast (and the only nonstop to Jamaica since Air Jamaica canceled their LAX-MoBay flight).... American still offers twice-weekly service from LAX to San Juan on flights 238/239. The outbound LAX flight is an overnight leaving at 11:10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights, arriving at 9 AM; the return flight leaves San Juan at 10:25 AM...

    Posted by Doug Stallings on August 07, 2009 at 8:00:13 AM EDT Tagged: Caribbean
  • What to Do When You Lose Your Passport, Money, and Credit Cards While Traveling

    It always helps to know where to turn in the event that your trip goes bad, especially when you're abroad and may not know anyone where you are traveling. Luckily, there are some simple things you can remember that can help you turn a travel disaster into something much less terrible.

    Posted by Doug Stallings on July 14, 2009 at 10:13:53 AM EDT