Beth Rankin, Trip Planner

It may be hard to believe, but my love for maps and trip planning probably started at age 3, when the family took its first week-long trip. We explored the United States camping in tents and in our small van camper from the time I was 3 until 17.  As an adult, I have planned family travel to areas throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.  My adult children still want to come with us, because our trips are fun and include something specifically planned for each member of the group.  And perhaps the fact that we’re footing the bill has something to do with it. 

Graham Rankin, Restaurant and Winery Reviewer

The love of food well prepared has brought Graham to interesting local restaurants few travelers find. In addition, a special hobby of his is to find good quality local wineries.  He considers himself a reverse wine snob—-he prefers to visit wineries that are not known or mass marketed.


Dan Garmat, Outdoor Enthusiast

Dan knows how to enjoy the outdoors, whether it is sea kayaking, or hiking and staying at a remote cabin. He does not consider himself an avid sportsman, just a normal young adult with energy to use to enjoy these activities.

Nick and Lisa Johnson, Afar Explorers

Nick and Lisa are currently in the midst of an extended exporation of New Zealand and Australia. Past travels have included areas of Europe, China, South America and Central America.  They know how to get off the beaten track and can offer insight into how you can find afforable ways to enjoy activities that enhance your trip, including hiking/trekking and agri-tourism.

Sam Smith, Teenage Extraordinaire

Willing to one degree or another to participate on family vacations, Sam has learned that the best way to get what he wants is to be involved in the planning process. His viewpoint can help your own kids find a voice. He is also an avid runner and his experiences getting a daily run in an unknown location has gotten him to see things we haven’t seen, even though we were on the same trip!

Lonny Smith, Mountain Man

From the Appalachian Trail to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, Lonny has climbed and hiked throughout the United States.  His experience with backpacking can help you identify achievable trails and peaks for your enjoyment, whatever your experience and stamina.


41 Responses to About

  1. Let me be the first to suggest Beth and her entire family are very knowledgable travelers. We have only made one short trip with them, but it was loads of fun. If you need expert trip planning that gives you the most bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong here! Milt and Deborah

  2. Thanks Milt and Deb. When I was little and sitting in the back seat of the 1955 Chevy station wagon as my dad drove us across the US, I would ask for the map. That was the start of trying to pick which roads to take to get from “here to there”. In my adult years I have heard many comments from “I hate to travel” to “Your family always takes such interesting trips” and those two issues finally made me realize that there is a way to help people who have never had a decent vacation….if only they realize they have a choice!

  3. Milt Hankins says:

    Much the same experienc in Amsterdam, but considerably briefer. We decided to forego our dayroom at Schipohl for a quick trip to Amsterdam. The only real thing we knew about was the Anne Frank House. We set out to find it and did. Incredible experience!

  4. The short glimpse I had of the Netherlands makes it retain a high spot on my list of places to go see…I would love to take a canal cruise or even a bike trip..surely I can handle the landscape there!

  5. Thanks for the “like” on my Wednesday Wildflowers post today; I will read along and keep your services in mind when we decide to plan a couple of our “dream” trips.

  6. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the blog. I try to present a wide spectrum of concepts related to travelling to show how customized a trip plan can be.

  7. Congrats, Beth and Graham. You have just been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award. To accept, read my post on sheilatphotography.wordpress.com

  8. Hi There- Thank you for the like on my blog. I’m looking forward to following along to learn more about travel:)

  9. Welcome to the family! I post about many different topics, almost all related to aspects of travel and how you can make your trips more customized for your enjoyment. And of course, offer my services as a trip planner if you are not inclined to spend all that time planning it yourself.

  10. I really like the concept of this blog. You have given me some ideas for my own, fuelforyourpassion. After all, pursuing your passion is a kind of trip, right?
    Thanks for liking my post.

    Give by grace, create community, proclaim good news.

  11. Darn right!! Be passionate about something and it will keep you busy and awaken the passion in others.

  12. embamford says:

    Thanks for the “like” on my post about moving to Scotland. I must admit to being very envious of your plans to move to Oregon; it was my favourite of the Western states when travelling through the US a few years ago! Good luck!

  13. I think any adventure like yours is amazing!

  14. I did write a post, on my blog, making reference to your site. I am sorry that I did it without asking you first. You can read it here, http://wp.me/p2aAlI-1o
    Please, let me know if I should make any changes to it.
    Give by grace, create community, proclaim good news.

  15. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post “Work & Fun On A Saturday!

  16. Come back and visit any time!

  17. I like to visit other blogs and see what people are saying….sort of like a whole group of us meeting over the back yard fence to chat.

  18. Thanks for the visit to GlobalStudentGuide! I really enjoyed your post on 40 places to visit in 2012:)

  19. Well, all I did was share what the travel editors at the New York Times felt were “the” places to go this year. Any place that speaks to you is where you should plan to visit….and design your trip to include things you love. For example, if you like music, go enjoy some local acts. Or cooking, catch some local cooking classes.

  20. Hi Beth,
    Thanks for the “like” on thatlou,com. Next time you guys are in Paris, do look me up — I’d be happy to send you on a treasure hunt at the Louvre!
    As for your endeavours — what heaven! The only thing more satisfying than being on an excellent adventure is planning it!
    Kind regards,
    Daisy de Plume

  21. I appreciate the offer!!! To explore the Louvre with someone who knows what they are seeing would be the best way to experience it! a bientot!

  22. Pit says:

    Thanks for visiting and liking my “Texas Expat’s Blog”, a visit which made me aware of yours. I’ll have to come back frequently to explore yours as I like it a lot and as it will give me ideas for travelling. Just now I’m planning a car-and-bicycle tour to explore some rail trails in the midwest and the south east of the US, and for later this year, my wife and I would like to go back to the Big Bend Country, where we spent out honeymoon 3 years ago. And there are so many places in the US we’d love to see, if we had the opprtunity. Other than vacationing here in the US, we love Europe, too, and especially my native country, Germany. We spent a wonderful 5 weeks travelling England and germany last year, and I’m still putting up pictures of our narrowboat trip in England on http://pitsbilderbuch.wordpress.com/.
    Best regards,

  23. You’re right! So much to see. I can;t understand people who go to the same place year after year, but if that quiets their soul, ok for them. I want to check yout your narrowboat trip blog….exploring canals and rivers in a number of countires is one of my goals.

  24. Pit says:

    Re going to the same place (year after year): “We keep telling ourselves, wherever we are on vacation, “We need to come back here to see more.” But then other places come up we haven’t been to before. We do need more time! 😉
    As to exploring England via canals and rivers: I can only recommend that tour we did, which I call “The Heart of England Ring”. It gives you a wonderful impression of what England today is, from rural scenery and small-town Britain to the big city of Birmingham with its nice sides and its run-down industrial areas, too. As to my blog about that trip: I’d really appreciate if you’d come by some time. Unfortunately, though. most of the descriptions are in German. And also, it has quite a lot of pictures [163 about last year’s vacation in England, and I’m not nearly half way through the 2 1/2 weeks].

  25. wheniwasalad says:

    What a fascinating blog and I have barely scratched the surface yet, thank you so much for stopping by brickwork post, will be doing more in the future. Your visit has led me to this treasure trove of a blog as I love reading about travel in general.

  26. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The whole point behind the blog is to show how customized any trip can be planned. It just takes time and some people don’t have that or the inclination but wish they had better vacations. I can do that for them.

  27. Gunta says:

    Hello There! I have been enjoying your blog and find it interesting, I think others would too. So I am tagging you. If you care to participate; this is the link

  28. Thanks so much…..I am telling my sister the same thing…. Age 62, “suggested” by the place where she worked for years that it was time to go….she did but with her tail between her legs so to speak. I suggested she forget about continuing her career but instead start something she LOVES!

  29. Thanks Gunta! I will have a cup of coffee and get started!

  30. Thanks for liking my post. I like what I see here on your blog. I have to agree with you on Dubai! Never on my top list. I have traveled a lot previously but these days I’m happy exploring New England. Great to see your ideas on here. They are apply to wherever you may travel.

  31. Thanks for liking my post on Polish language at UCONN. Your blog is interesting. Lots of good ideas and practical advice that can apply wherever you happen to go. I agree with you on Dubai! I have traveled quite a bit previously but now am enjoying the wonders of New England. Probably my favorite place on earth!

  32. It amuses me that my post on Dubai is the one that is looked at the most on my blog. I think a lot of people are not “educated” travelers…they go to places because they have heard it is a “place to go” and do not think if it is something that fits their interest or ethics.

  33. Ruth Schapira says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog and the ‘Like’. II found the information on Hotel Sylar in Syracuse fascinating and never would have known about it had I not stopped by!

  34. I had chosen the hotel because of its proximity to the campus, as we were touring, but was amazed and super excited at how green they were!!

  35. Gunta says:

    Congratulations, I’ve nominated you for a blogging award. If you choose to accept, here’s the link to what it’s all about: http://wp.me/pXX8J-1c8.

    Absolutely no hard feelings if you choose to skip the acceptance… I just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog.

  36. gee, I was being nice skipping you the last round LOL I’ll get to this one too, thanks!

  37. Gunta says:

    Totally NO arm twisting involved. Take it or leave it. I honestly just consider it a way to spread the word about my favorite blogs. My feelings will NOT be hurt if you choose to ignore. Really!

  38. I understand LOL and you are right, it is a marvelous way to share some of the fun reading we get to enjoy.

  39. Hi,
    I couldn’t find a contact area so I’m using this comments area to contact you instead 🙂 I’m planning on blogging about the usability of kiosks (specifically DC vs NYC) and was wondering if you’d give me permission to use your photo of the NY subway kiosk. (Full frame, frontal shot). I’d credit you below the photo with a link to a web page of your choice. Let me know what you think.


  40. enjoy using whatever you’d like

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