Tag Archives: Colleen Kelly

EPISODE 40 – Hidden Gems in Party Cities

Special Guest
Tim Hentschel – CEO of Hotel Planner
Deep discounts on hotels!

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Hidden Gems in Party Cities

Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana
Accommodations: JW Marriott New Orleans on Canal St. – Centrally located, safe area.
Brennan’s Restaurant – Opened in 1946. Classic New Orleans. Food is a combination of French and Spanish cuisine. Elegant, old-world dining rooms.
Commander’s Palace – Refined Creole fare & an elegant jazz brunch. Been around since 1880.
St. Louis Cathedral – Church where Harry Connick Jr. got married. Opened in 1794 and is the oldest cathedral in the United States.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium – The largest free-standing American museum dedicated to insects.
When to visit:
Looking to party for Mardis Gras? Arrive the weekend before Fat Tuesday and stay through that day. If visiting for Mardis Gras, be sure to book your hotel a year in advance!
Looking for less crowds? December and January are the least busy and “coldest” months (temps in the 40s – 60s). For less crowds and warm weather – Early March and late April, and between September and November
Cost of flights: As low as $120 from Chicago in off season, like September (sometimes cheaper). Cheapest in July, August, and September.
When to book:
For Mardis Gras, book in Sept. (about 5 months out)
For off season, book 4-6 weeks in advance
Airport to fly into: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, located about 15 miles east of downtown New Orleans.
How to get around: Walk or pedicab, also streetcars.
Any other tips? Best (and safest) place to stay is on Canal Street in the French Quarter. It’s popular place to stay, but while it may be more crowded, it’s easy to access a lot of places from the area without renting a car.

Destination: Las Vegas, Nevada
Accommodations: The Venetian Hotel and Ride a Gondola or Bellagio Hotel. You can even watch the fountain show!
Meal/Restaurant: Firefly and Beer and Tacos
Activities: Red Rock Canyon, take in a show. Lady Gaga has an open run. Janet Jackson too!
When to visit: March to May and Sept to November
When to book: The best time to book flights to Las Vegas is roughly four weeks before departure. You may be able to find flights that are 10% cheaper than average fares or more.
Cost of flights: Currently anywhere from $135 on Spirit nonstop to $330
Airport to fly into: McCarran International Airport
How to get around: Take a taxi or airport shuttle to the Strip or your hotel. Public transportation to the Strip takes about an hour and requires a transfer. A taxi or rental car can get you there in half the time.
Any other tips? Las Vegas is also home to hundreds of conventions each year. Be sure to check which hotels are hosting them ahead of time so you can avoid high room rates.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
$89.95 on www.crosleyradio.com
Vintage-style radio that comes in a variety of colors (we got one red, one black). It also has a CD Player, AM/FM Radio, Dual Alarm Clock, Dynamic Full Range Stereo Speakers and a Headphone Jack.

$79.95 on www.crosleyradio.com
Crosley’s most popular vintage turntable, also available in a variety of colors available (we got sand white). Encased in a portable, suitcase-style shell, plays at 3 speeds, and you can even sync to the Bluetooth connection and stream digital music right through the built-in speakers.

What’s on your phone?
Trail Wallet – Free to download with in-app purchases – iPhone
Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker, where you can organize your expenses by trip or by month, set a daily budget, and easily add expenses. Great for traveling on a budget!

What’s the tip?
7 Ways to Travel Abroad for Free (MyBankTracker.com)
House swap – Many websites where you can swap homes with someone.
Become a WWOOFer – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms gives you the chance to volunteer on a farm in exchange for food, accommodation and learning opportunities.
Exchange and accommodation programs – Sites like GlobalFreeloaders or BeWelcome provide cultural exchange, free accommodation
Apply for scholarships or fellowships – Students or recent college grads
Volunteer or apply for an exchange program – Try Workaway.com
Crowd fund a passion project – Try Indiegogo.com

Episode 33 – Money Saving Travel

Special Guest: Keith King
For money-saving travel tips, check out www.keithkingreport.com/

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Money-Saving Travel

Destination: Chicago, big cities are doable on a budget!
Accommodations: A place like Stay Alfred or AirBnB that allows you to rent a home or apartment are a great way to save money if you’re bringing a family.
Meal/Restaurant: If you do stay in a home or apartment, you’ll have a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. My family and I did this during a stay at Stay Alfred in Chicago.
Free/Low Cost Activity:
Museum Free Days
Parks, art shows, festivals
Beaches for swimming and relaxing
Money-saving tip: If you’re traveling to a big city, don’t stay right downtown. Stay in a hotel in a nearby suburb or neighborhood, where the cost may be lower.

Destination: The Grand Canyon, Arizona or Napa, California
Accommodations: Camping is a great way to save money and experience the Grand Canyon.
Meal/Restaurant: Bring your own lunch or make sandwiches along the way to save money.
If you’re going to Napa, you can also bring your own bottle of wine with you.
Free/Low Cost Activity: State or National Parks for hiking. Exploring the local towns and window shopping.
Money-saving tip: If you’re driving, bring your own snacks and water, so you’re not stopping and spending extra money along the way. You can even brew your own iced coffee and put it in individual bottles so you can enjoy that afternoon pick me up without the Starbucks price tag.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
USB-C Travel Dock from OWC – Available for $28.98 on www.macsales.com
This travel dock that allows you to charge multiple devices at once with ports for USB 3.1 Gen 1 | SD Card | HDMI | Mac | PC. Also supports 4K display resolution – up to 4096 x 2160 at 30Hz and is fully compatible with all Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs & PCs.

What’s on your phone?
Swagbucks – Free, available on iOS or Android
Swagbucks is a free online rewards program where you can do simple things like take a survey, watch a video, or shop through their portal and earn cash or gift cards while doing so.

What’s the tip?
Tips for Traveling on a Budget (from MoneyUnder30.com)
1. Decide what you need—and what you can live without – Prioritize what you want on your vacation.
2. Join a travel rewards program – It’s free to sign up and if you’re new to the program, you may be able to earn tens of thousands in bonus points for opening up a travel rewards credit card.
Travel rewards programs aren’t limited to airlines—hotels have them, too. And you can earn points on a wide variety of purchases through the loyalty program’s partners.
3. Do your research to find the lowest airfare – WhichBudget is a good place to go next. You can search for cheap flights on hundreds of airlines in over 200 countries. Also try to limit your packing to a carry-on bag so you can avoid checked luggage fees. You can do laundry in the middle of your trip if you need to.
4. Find a free place to stay – Plan a trip to a friend’s city and ask to sleep on a couch or spare bed. Another option is CouchSurfing or MindMyHouse for house sitting options.
5. List your space with airbnb – Get extra travel money by renting out your home on AirBnB or a similar site while you’re gone.
6. Curb your dining expenses by cooking at home – Use your kitchen at an AirBnB to save money on eating out.
7. Be flexible with a last-minute deal – If you’re not picky about the timing or destination of your next trip, you can save money with last-minute deals on hotel rooms, vacation packages and airfare. (Hotel Tonight (hotels), Jetsetter (hotels and packages), Hipmunk (flights))

Episode 32 – Destination Weddings

Sisters Colleen Kelly & Catie Keogh talk all things destination wedding including tips, trends, and tailoring with special guest, veteran, mom, and author of Honeymoon in Baghdad, Heidi Radkiewicz.

Colleen & Catie’s Weddings:

Colleen – Salzburg, Austria
Location: Salzburg, Austria
Accommodations: Schönbrunn Palace, Hotel Schloss Mönchstein
Food: Filet mignon
First Dance Song: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Honeymoon: Salzburg, Austria
Wedding Tip: For a destination wedding, hire a coordinator

Catie – The Palmer House – Chicago
Location: The Palmer House
Accommodations: The Palmer House
Food: Steak and chicken
First Dance Song: Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
Honeymoon: 3 days in San Francisco
Wedding Tip: Invest in a good photographer. Nobody remembers the favor you gave, or how many desserts were on the table. Your photos are memories you’ll have for your special day.

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Bliss Ball Bath Bombs from Life Elements – Starting at $14, these bath bombs are perfect for soothing away the stresses before your special day, or even relaxing on your honeymoon! They even offer anti-inflammatory benefits and are cruelty free and organic. https://lifeelements.com/products/bliss-ball-bath-bombs

What’s on your phone?
BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer – $99 on Amazon or $21.99 for a keychain version.
This is a police-grade quality breathalyzer connects with your smartphone to give you an accurate reading of your alcohol level before you drive.

Episode 31 – Live Broadcast at Travel & Adventure Show

Attend Travel & Adventure Show Chicago / January 12 – 13, 2019 to explore destinations from all over the world and enter for your chance to win some amazing giveaways, like an MSC Cruise!

Go to https://travelshows.com/shows/chicago/ for more information.

Use the Promo Code TRIPSIS or go to the link below for $5 off admission! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-chicago-travel-adventure-show-tickets-50284486252?discount=TRIPSIS

Be sure to follow us on social at @TheTripSisters and if you’re visiting the Travel & Adventure Show, share your experiences with us using the hashtags #ChicagoTravelShow and #TripSistersRadio

Trip Sisters Episode 17 (09/22/2018) – Autumn Getaways and Fall Foliage in 2018


This week, travel experts and sisters, Colleen Kelly & Catie Keogh, share their favorite places for fall getaway vacations.  They also talk to “Fall Foliage Expert” Jim Salge and uncover the best places in New England to visit for fall foliage in 2018.  The sisters also share some tips about getting around to autumn festivals and sights by renting a car and taking a hike off the beaten path.  Because color changes don’t follow a calendar, be prepared to travel during the week and have a flexible window so you can be at the right place at the right time to capture the beauty.

Trip Sisters – Episode 12 (08-18-18) – Foodcation

Sisters Colleen Kelly & Catie Keogh talk about their top food related resort getaways and how to expand the palate of your picky eaters. Also in today’s show celebrity restaurateur and chef Jeremy Fall, seen on Food Network, Bravo, CBS and many more joins the show and the Trip Sisters talk tips on researching a destination’s local cuisine and food culture.

Trip Sisters- Episode 11 (8-11-18) -Dallas, TX

Sisters Colleen Kelly and Catie Keogh talk tips and trends on all things travel. This week they talked about their trip to Dallas, Texas. Also they speak with Philip Jones who lets us know the many reasons the Dallas-Fort Worth area is now the Number 1 visitor destination in the state.