Having a reliable internet connection while on the road is important to any traveler, especially for journalists. While many tech pundits claim that free WiFi is available all over Europe, we had just the opposite experience during our recent cruise down the Rhine river and subsequent week-long trip through Switzerland and Italy.

That is why, this time around, we decided to give VisionGlobal WiFi, an international, pocket-sized portable WiFi hotspot that works without SIM cards or cables, a try.


It became our best friend as we traveled from Amsterdam to Basel on our cruise. While we did have complimentary WiFi on board, it was often inaccessible as the ship meandered through gorges and remote areas down the river.  Thank you, VisionGlobal WiFi, for giving us access during all those dead spots we encountered!

The device also became our salvation while we traveled by train through the formidable mountains of Switzerland, which otherwise often blocked out any cell phone reception.  But we happily were able to access Google, as well as our social media accounts, thanks to this amazing device.

VisionGlobal WiFi offers a variety of plans to service your needs, depending on your length of stay and internet plan. Feel free to call them at 1-424-219-9224 for live help in designing the best plan for your travel itinerary.

As working journalists, it was such a pleasure to be able to effortlessly access the internet to download maps, research visitor information, keep up with email, and post our travels on social media in any situation. Whether we were on a bus, train, or walking along Europe’s city streets, we certainly appreciated our effortless internet access along the way!


I’m always on the lookout for lightweight shoes I can pack in my carry on, which is the only way we travel. The Boulder-based Lems shoe company knows exactly what I mean. Their minimalist footwear mimics the natural shape of the human foot and is designed using the bare minimum, which makes for the perfect shoe to stuff into your luggage.

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I trekked through Europe with Primal 2, a fantastically comfortable hiking shoe which, despite its light weight, stood up to all the rigors of travel….from walking over endless cobblestone streets in Italy to hiking the trails of the Swiss and Bavarian Alps. It’s made of microfiber and air mesh and features a full length rubber outsole. Another great feature for weary feet is its innovative design, which naturally spreads the toes to avoid many common foot ailments.

Another great feature, which I learned when I accidently slipped into the Rhine River as we were hiking along the shore, is that these shoes dry super-fast!

Oh, and did I mention they are vegan-friendly? So if you’re ready to hit the trails or the city sidewalks in comfort and style, these shoes are, indeed, a perfect fit!


Disclaimer:  Please note that the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own and will not receive any future compensation based on sales arising from my recommendations. My goal is to share my favorite travel tips with my followers, in an effort to improve the travel experience for us all.



As Father’s Day approaches each year, many of you will again be at a loss to come up with that perfect gift for your special Dad. If your father loves to travel, you’re in luck, as there is always something he can use to make his travels more comfortable and efficient.

Since our father travels all year round, it didn’t take too much thought to come up with some travel-related products to make his life on the road easier.

This is not your Dad’s Old “Leisure Suit” —Hip combines with comfort for a great style

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It’s always a challenge to find a comfortable travel garment that will take you from a long flight to your destination--and make you look stylish each step of the way.  The venerable San Francisco-based Mission Workshop has specialized in a wide variety of travel gear, clothing, and other products for more than 20 years.

They just introduced the Blackwell High Performance Track Jacket & Pant which features a unique vapor management system that doesn’t have the “clingy” feel of traditional moisture wicking garments. While ideal for runners, it is also perfect for the frequent traveler, as it has a high degree of tailoring and design that will provide comfort and style in every airline class, from coach to business to first.

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Its 4-way stretch makes it a perfect travel outfit where comfort is concerned, and the state-of-the-art vapor management never washes out. Both the jacket and pants have several zippered pockets, so you’ll always have a secure spot for your passport and valuables. Dad especially loved the comfortable elastic waistband with drawstring on the pants, especially after enjoying a bountiful meal or two on his travels.

Oh, and did I mention it is wrinkle-resistant and doesn’t mind being repeatedly stuffed in a bag or back pack?

Pops never looked so good on the road!

In Vino Veritas

Dad’s parents came from Sicily, so we never go wrong giving our Papa Italian wines. He especially loves Prosecco, known in Italy as “The Welcome Wine” and we found just the right wines for him, the Mionetto bubblies, which include Prestige Brut , Prestige Rosé Extra Dry ,and Luxury Cartizze DOCG which we will open on Father’s Day in a few weeks. Salute!

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A Place for Everything, Where Everything is Safe


If your father is the active type, he will definitely appreciate the gift of Pelican’s new waterproof case designed for protecting personal valuables in any conditions. The Go Case is a watertight storage case for electronics, cell phones, keys, and more. The case is crush proof, dust proof and actually, everything proof.

There are two sizes to select from. The one we bought Dad, as he has a Samsung Note 9, is a G40 model (10.6” X 5.4” by 2.4”).

So if your father likes to engage in water sports of any type, fish, hike, or be the great adventurer, these strong cases will ensure that his items are kept dry and safe even in the most adverse of circumstances.  

Certainly better than another tie for Dad, this protective case keeps on giving wherever his travels take him!

We’re In La Loop

I recently wrote about one of my favorite travel accessories, the La Loop eyeglass holder.

One day I was waxing poetic about it when Dad mentioned that he, too, was always losing his glasses on his many trips, and needed a place to secure his shades instead of in his shirt or waistband. I gave him a pre-Father’s Day present of a La Loop holder for men as he was off on an Amazon cruise. He reported that it was the best gift ever, as he got used to securing his sunglasses on the loop when he didn’t need them.

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I bought him the black sports La Loop and it was the best $25 I ever spent, to be honest—and Dad definitely agrees.


For a travel in"VEST"ment you won't regret, consider a ScotteVest

My fascination with the ScotteVest began after one of those travel horror moments you like to think would never happen to you.

My husband and I were touring Paris in early May, on a national holiday. We boarded a packed bus that brought us to the Louvre, but our “magical” afternoon took a turn for the worst when, in the middle of the square, my husband realized his wallet and passport had been “magically” stolen by quite an accomplished thief during our transit!

We spent the next four hours in a Parisian police station, filing a report which actually yielded us no benefit, even with our trip insurance in place. Much of our trip to Paris was ruined because of this incident, as you can imagine.

Bottom line is, it is YOUR job to protect those precious belongings, so upon our return home, I made it my mission to thoroughly research all the travel vests out there to ensure this would never happen again.

Hands down, the ScotteVest won out over all the competition!

My husband doesn’t like heavy vests (and we often travel in warm climates), so we opted for the featherweight vest for men. Since he waxed poetic about the vest during our recent trip through Switzerland, I am quoting his remarks directly:

"On my recent travel to Switzerland, there’s no doubt the ScotteVest, with its 14 convenient pockets, played a huge role in making my entire travel experience worry-free.

The benefits were instant when we went through security at our home airport in San Diego. The items I normally carried in my trousers and jacket pocket were transferred into assigned pockets in my vest. This included my wallet and passport (which were placed in the RFID pockets for security) and several miscellaneous items such as phone, keys, pens, eyeglasses, and wristwatch.

It is so convenient to have all your items safely nestled in your vest, with no need to use  those TSA item trays and worrying about whether you will walk away and forget them in the stress of the moment.

Everything is packed right there, in the vest. There’s even room for an IPad or tablet. The zippered pockets and special RFID area bring a secure aspect to this vest. Nothing will fall out, plus you will be protected from scammers with the RFID feature.

As a photographer and a writer on the go I had a convenient pocket for my journal and pen and pencils that I use to chronicle my travel adventures. Other items such as camera SD cards and batteries all tuck away in the vest within easy reach when needed.

Tony wore his vest every day during a recent Swiss press trip. It served him well as a photographer's vest when it wasn't protecting his belongings in crowded cities.                                                                                                                       © Joanne DiBona

Tony wore his vest every day during a recent Swiss press trip. It served him well as a photographer's vest when it wasn't protecting his belongings in crowded cities.                                                                                                                       © Joanne DiBona

If you love listening to music on the road, there is a convenient internal route through specially designed channels for headphones/bud wiring. The feature eliminates the clutter of wires often experienced when operating player devices externally.

The vest was extremely comfortable in all weather conditions we encountered. It took me through unseasonable, scorching heat one day as we hiked through the mountains, and protected me from a chilly wind another day, when the zipped front of the vest served as a windbreaker.

The ScotteVest has become my constant traveling companion and there’s no way I would ever leave home without it."



Disclaimer:  Please note that the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own and will not receive any future compensation based on sales arising from my recommendation. My goal is to share my favorite travel tips with my followers, in an effort to improve the travel experience for all.