The Traveler's Journal  
Travel Articles by David Bear
Versions of these articles and columns have appeared in newspapers around the county. Please enjoy them for your own use, but if you want to reproduce or publish them in any form, please let us know first by emailing us

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Fall is as good as it gets in Pennsylvania


As soaring gas prices have most people reconsidering the economics of long trips this fall, Pennsylvanians naturally are exploring destinations closer to home. With that in mind, the state tourism office wants you to know that "Fall Is Bigger Here."
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US Airways may get last laugh over skeptics


Despite of a host of obstacles, US Airways seems to be on the verge of confounding doomsday skeptics and finding a way to keep on flying.
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Some thoughts to work on this Labor Day


Most readers are aware tomorrow is Labor Day, but how many realize today was once observed as Labor Sunday, dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement?
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Rome wasn't seen in a day


While it's a fact I have set foot on every continent except Australia, the majority of these vast expanses are still marked Terra Incognita on my internal globe. Indeed, the list of places I hope to see someday is very long and includes many commonly visited destinations.
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Will fewer screeners mean more delays?


Three years ago, when Congress created the TSA to guard the gateways to the nation's airports, it mandated that the total number of screeners nationally could not exceed 45,000 full-time equivalencies,
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Motor City makeover


There are many similarities between Detroit and Pittsburgh. Both cities are undergoing a transition or Renaissance. Both have been industrial and commercial powerhouses, legacies that, as time has passed, have left them with something of a handicap.

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Romancing the stones


I admit to many quirks in my nature, but one of the quirkiest is evidenced in the wooden tray on my dresser lined with a collection of small rocks, stones, pebbles, and various other bits of mineral mass that now number 37.
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How much does that free ticket cost?


The allure of a free airline trip can be significant, especially for people who don't carry credit card balances from month to month.
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Getting away with girlfriends


The definition of a Girlfriend Getaway can be as simple as everyone agreeing to convene at a beach-side condo or cottage, big-city hotel, spa resort or cruise ship.

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New Stonewall Resort offers luxury in W.Va. state park setting


West Virginia has nine state parks with lodging facilities worthy of your attention, but perhaps the most interesting and pioneering is the new Stonewall Resort in Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park.
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Pennsylvania looks at lodges


Pennsylvania has 117 state parks, but other than basic cabins in several of them, none can accommodate overnight visitors who don't bring their own tent or RV.

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When plans often go awry, stay cool


As any traveler knows, any trip can be an adventure, and even a few minutes' delay can make a dramatic difference.
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Doing the Kaibab Shuffle: A 25-mile rim-to-rim hike reveals many Grand Canyon wonders


Looking up from nearly a mile deep inside the Grand Canyon, I saw only one twinkle in the otherwise total blackness.

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Pricey N.Y. flights pose many questions


The so-called "Saturday stay-over" is more habit than horror for airline passengers eager for the discounted fares that accompany weekend or longer travel plans. Not many complain about an extra night in a distant or exotic locale when it saves hundreds on airline tickets.
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Airlines make a tidy sum by not flying passengers


Although they won't refund money, most airlines these days permit passengers to re-apply the value of most nonrefundable tickets to a future flight if the original reservation is canceled or changed before the departure date.
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Nonstop flights are clearly better


It will come as no surprise that I place a high premium on nonstop flights. The advantages are obvious. Not only is the straight line still the shortest distance between any two points, but traveling nonstop between them always takes much less time.
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Tulip time in the state of Washington rivals Holland's


Multicolored ribbons of tulips unfurling as far as the eye can see, acres of blue irises, yellow daffodils and purple lilies all blossoming in the spring sunshine -- these are sights a traveler might expect to find amid the fabulous flower fields of Holland. But the state of Washington?
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Where are all the bargains when we need them?


Using the Internet to reserve airline seats and other elements of travel is easier than ever.

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An assessment of risk evaluation


The weeks of chaos in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami dramatically underscored the importance of travelers to be able to obtain fast, accurate, reliable, real-time information about distant corners of the world.
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Reflections on the trip that got away


Sure I'll tune in this evening as two teams the Steelers soundly thumped this season square off in Jacksonville's All-Tel Stadium to determine the NFL Championship.

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Two small resorts in Belize deliver more than they promise


Last November, Sari, my wife, and I had been looking for someplace to celebrate our anniversary and to use up some of our US Airways Dividend Miles.
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Jacksonville braces for hordes at Super Bowl


With our Terrible Towels aflutter and our fingers crossed pending the outcome of today's AFC Championship game, we are providing an overview of Jacksonville, Fla., for those who might be contemplating a trip there in the next two weeks. Just in case. After all, there won't be much time to plan.
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Welcome to the Southwest experience


Last week's news that Southwest Airlines will land in Pittsburgh International in May, with as many as 14 daily flights, is great news for area travelers. In addition to providing more travel options, Southwest's discount policies have fueled the kind of competition that brought about lower fares in market after market.
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A reflection: looking forward, looking back


Headlines over the past 12 months have not been positive for travel.
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A fool and his keys are soon parted


Sometimes in an instant of inattention, everything can change.
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