Name: Fiona, aka "fiona"
Web Site: http://www.travelmuse.com
Bio: Fiona joined TravelMuse in February, 2008 and heads up marketing. She grew up in Southwest rural Scotland developing a passion for the outdoors and a quest to see the world. She’s set foot on every continent; yet her most memorable trips include trekking in the Himalayas, mountain biking in the cloud forest of Ecuador and going on safari in Mole National Park in Ghana. Fiona has more than 15 years of travel industry experience, most recently with three years at metasearch company SideStep (acquired by Kayak). She enjoys spending time with her family, rowing, skiing and mountain biking.
Posts by fiona:
- Coyote Point Museum, San Mateo, CA: A great place to take the kids to get firsthand experience of California’s diverse natural environment.
- Oz Museum, Wamego, KS: One of the largest collections of Oz memorabilia, with 2,000 artifacts from the past 100 years
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA: The MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works from around the world and across the ages.
- Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, IL: The Adler Planetarium — America’s First Planetarium — allows visitors to journey to the stars, experiment with telescopes and learn about space travel, solar systems and galaxies
- Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, CA: With a collection of over 6,000 original pieces of cartoon art, this museum is the largest in the US dedicated to comic art.
- Create a Trip with at least five (5) saved items to qualify. If you’ve entered our Hawaii contest you’re already eligible for Trip of the Week.
- Tell us more about your Trip–we’d love to hear from you. Send any interesting details you care to share (why you’re taking this trip, who you’re going with, what you’re most excited about seeing/doing) to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your public Trip url (e.g. http://www.travelmuse.com/plan/trip.htm?tripId=19680) .
If you’re wondering what to do this weekend, why not celebrate Museum Day 2010 and plan a trip to a local museum for FREE!
Over 1,200 museums across 50 states are taking part in Smithsonian magazine’s Sixth Annual Museum Day, on September 25, 2010. These institutions will follow the Smithsonian Institution’s free admission policy and open their doors gratis to visitors nationwide.
There are a wide range of museums to choose from. Here are some of our picks:
Check out the map to see what museums in your neighborhood have already signed on and easily print out an admission card, good for two people.
Congratulations to Jose, Coral Gables, Fl., who is the lucky winner of our “Create a Trip on TravelMuse, Win your perfect moment in Hawaii” sweepstakes! We had a great response to the contest with thousands of entries and know that Jose is excited to plan his luxury trip to the tropical island of Oahu.
Thanks to our partners in Hawaii for providing this amazing trip to paradise!
- Roundtrip air travel and ground transportation, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
- 5-night stay at the exquisite Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach resort & Spa, Waikiki, Complete with a Waikiki Starlight Luau.
- Dolphin Swim Adventure Program at Sea Life Park Hawaii,
Sea Life Park offers a variety of marine-life shows, exhibits and educational programs for all ages and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Among its most popular features are the swim-with-dolphin programs. The Park is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Sea Life Park is owned and operated by Parques Reunidos Group. For more information, visit the Park’s Web site at www.sealifeparkhawaii.com.
- Atlantis Submarines sub tour off Waikiki,
Atlantis Submarines has nine locations worldwide including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico and Guam. In Hawaii, Atlantis operates five submarines in Kona, Lahaina, and Waikiki. The company also owns Honolulu-based Atlantis Navatek Cruises, offering sunset dinner cruises aboard the high-tech revolutionary Navatek I, along with seasonal luncheon whale watch cruises from December to April. For more information, visit www.atlantissubmarines.com.
- Premium Battle Station Tour at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor.
Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” that saw the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Walk the decks of America’s last battleship as knowledgeable guides share stories from the Mighty Mo’s astounding career spanning five decades and three wars — from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait — and her transformation into a floating historic attraction and memorial, standing perpetual watch over Pearl Harbor. Call toll-free 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit www.ussmissouri.org.
- Polynesian Cultural Center, “Ha:Breath of Life“ evening show and buffet dinner.
Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures and customs of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Join in an array of interactive activities and shows in eight island villages and exhibits. Watch the Rainbows of Paradise canoe pageant on the lush lagoon winding through the grounds. Enjoy Hawaii’s best Lu‘au experience at its award-winning Ali‘i Lu‘au dinner and show. Experience the spectacular “Ha: Breath of Life,” Hawaii’s newest Polynesian night show featuring a cast of more than 100 performers. Call toll-free 1-800-367-7060 or visit www.polynesia.com.
I asked Carrie a few questions about her upcoming trip:
Why are you taking this trip?
My 19-year-old daughter has been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of getting her driver’s license. This is in no small part because my car is difficult to learn on since it has a standard transmission. When my aunt decided that she wasn’t going to use her car anymore, we jumped on the opportunity to buy it. Not only does her car have an automatic transmission, but it’s only $1,000. The catch? She lives in Chicago and we are in California. With a cry of, “Road trip!” we decided to fly one way to Chicago and then see as many sights as we could, both big and small, as we drove the newly acquired car back to our home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What are you most excited about seeing/doing on your trip?
Although we’ll be going to some big attractions — Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons — I’m most excited about visiting the campy roadside attractions like the SPAM museum (the canned meat, not the electronic junk mail) in Austin, Minn.; the Potato Expo, Blackfoot in Idaho (motto: We give taters to Out-of-Staters); and the almost indescribable Thunder Mountain Park in Imlay, Nev. My daughter has a great sense of humor so I know that these offbeat attractions will be the foundation inside jokes and for stories that we tell and retell.
Any other interesting facts you care to share?
Normally, I’d plan a road trip that allowed for more spontaneity — stopping when we were tired and finding cheap motels along the way. But we are working with some firm deadlines. The day before we leave my daughter is taking her last final exam and has to move out of her college dorm. The day after we arrive home, my daughter is flying to Armenia where she will spend six weeks doing a summer program at an archeological dig site. The upside about having this trip very planned is that we will be able to do things that require reservations, such as going white water rafting in the Grand Tetons and taking a Segway Tour in Chicago. The downside is that not only are we spending only one day in places that most people spend a week visiting, but we will be feeling the pressure of racing against the clock since we must make it home in time for her to make her flight the next day!
Wishing you safe and happy travels, Carrie!
We’re giving away a weekly prize to the best Trip created on TravelMuse in “Trip of the Week” for the next 10 weeks, in conjunction with our amazing Create a Trip on TravelMuse, Win Your Perfect Moment in Hawaii contest!
Create Trips for destinations you plan to visit or share your experiences and recommendations on places you’ve already been.
What you Win:
Winners will receive a copy of their choice, of one of the latest Frommer’s Day by Day Guide books to Hawaii, Ireland or Italy each week (value ~$30)!
See our recent review of Frommer’s Day by Day Guides.
How to Enter:
Tip: To create a quality Trip remember to include a description and add more items (don’t forget to try the TravelMuse Bookmarker).
We’ll publish our Trip of the Week pick every Tuesday, and will announce our first winner next week on Tuesday, May 25.
Good luck and happy Trip planning!
The contest runs from May 6, 2010 until July 20, 2010. Qualifying Trips must contain at least five (5) items. The winner will be selected by a judging panel comprised of TravelMuse staff and other employees. Winners must claim their prize within three (3) business days after the date of notification of such prize. A winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three (3) business days will be considered such winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older. Employees, partners and vendors of TravelMuse and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. When applicable, the winner may be required to execute and return within five business days an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner will be selected. All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that TravelMuse reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize.
Also, don’t miss your chance to WIN a FREE, Once-in-a-Lifetime Luxury Trip for 2 to WAIKIKI!
We know that planning a trip can be an overwhelming experience and although the internet is the go-to place for all your information these days, it can be a real challenge to collect and organize your research. The new TravelMuse Planner makes the chaos of travel planning easy and fun by providing a central place to save, organize and share all your research for any destination.
So what have we changed?
• New TravelMuse Bookmarker
• New TravelMuse Planner
• New Destination Guide section
• New Ask Friends on Facebook integration
• New TravelMuse Trip Widget
• New Contest to Win a Trip to a Tropical Paradise!
You might ask what haven’t we changed!
1. New TravelMuse Bookmarker
We believe that the Web is the platform for planning your trip, and although we have great content on TravelMuse, we know from industry research that people search about 22 different sites to gather research. We also know that with the existing Bookmarker, TravelMuse members have already saved over 5,000 different websites to their Trips!
The new Bookmarker now allows you to save pages, photos and text from any website into your personal Trip folder. If you include the address, we’ll plot it on an interactive map. Learn more and watch the demo video.
2. New TravelMuse Planner
You can now view your research on an interactive map, create a schedule and find other popular items based on the research you have saved. This will make planning your trip on TravelMuse more intuitive and rewarding.
You asked for it, we built it. Being able to use maps to plan your trip came out as a top request, so we’ve built out some cool interactive maps to help plan your trips.
• Saved items are plotted on a map.
• The Most popular drop-down menu shows attractions, hotels, restaurants and shopping items saved by other TravelMuse members.
• The More… drop-down menu shows photos, videos and Wikipedia entries from Google.
• The Google search box at the bottom of the map also lets you search for items from Google Local and save these directly to your Trip.
On the “Items” view the research cards are now easier to read and expand to show more detail. We also added:
• Sort by Most Recent, Added By, Category, Location and Schedule
• Click on the icons on the right of the card to edit, schedule or delete.
• Ask Friends on Facebook from an Item view (see below for details on this).
• Click on the destinations to explore destination guides on TravelMuse or the items to see more detail.
Not everyone wants to plan every day of vacation, but some trips call for more organization than others, so we changed the scheduling view to be more calendar based.
• Now on the calendar view you can open items in the right hand Trip list and select the day or date they want to add the item to.
• On the calendar itself you can drag and drop items between days.
3. New Collaborate and Share
You can still invite friends to join you on TravelMuse to help plan your trip. We’ve also further integrated with Facebook to develop the “Ask Friends” feature. Now for every item you can ask for specific advice. Requests are posted to your wall and then the respective comments are incorporated back into your trip.
4. New Destinations
We reorganized the key destination landing pages which you can navigate to from the Destinations header or to a particular destination highlighted in your trip.
It’s now easier to navigate between guides, hotels, attractions, restaurants, shops and Trips. You can explore items on the map and scroll down the page to see popular Trips, Most popular attractions, themes and activities and articles.
5. New TravelMuse Trip Widget
We introduced the TravelMuse Trip Widget so you can share and showcase Trips on your website, blog and across your social networking sites, based on your Member ID or Trip ID. Learn how to create your Trip Widget.
6. New Win a Trip to a Tropical Paradise!
We’re really excited to have partnered with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to give away a fantastic luxury trip for two to the tropical island of Oahu!. Join TravelMuse and create a Trip to any destination for a chance to win this amazing prize. Enter now!
Lastly, stay tuned for details on our “Trip of the Week” giveaway with Frommers.
We hope you enjoy taking the new site for a spin and please give us any feedback—be sure to use the new feedback tab on the right side of the page!
Phew, right time for a beer or two, I think…