Virtual Travel Tips

For many jewelers, January is the start of a new year of traveling-to trade shows, gem centers, and craft fairs. To avoid problems later, travel “virtually” now. A number of new books and Web sites for business travelers can help you plan your trip-from finding discount fares to getting good opera tickets-all without leaving your office.

Read all about it. In his book, The Penny Pincher’s Passport to Luxury Travel, (Travelers’ Tales Guides, $12.95, paper, 250 pages) travel expert Joel Widzer tells how to “experience the world of luxury travel at a fraction of the usual cost.” Widzer’s book includes advice on how to get upgraded to first class even when paying discount for airfares, and how to get a top-of-the-line hotel room at a rock-bottom price.

International Herald Tribune business travel columnist Roger Collis brings 16 years of travel experience to The Survivor’s Guide to Business Travel ($19.95 at most bookstores). The book focuses on preparation, traveling, and arriving. Tips include how much time to leave for crucial plane connections (“always twice as much as normal”), what to do during a long flight in economy class, and what businesswomen should do with carry-on bags in a public area (“Always put your foot through the strap. Don’t leave it loose.”).

Another handy reference is “Passport to Business Travel,” by travel writer Jerry Camarillo Dunn Jr. Advice includes “10 Internet Stops for Business Travelers,” getting e-mail while traveling, security on the road, and cultural etiquette (e.g., never take two helpings of cheese in France or use a “thumbs down” gesture in Mexico). The booklet is free from Magellan’s Travel Supplies at (800) 962-4943, e-mail: passport@magellans.com. The booklet can be viewed online at www.magellans.com.

Personal Business is a new department spotlighting the personal side of business life, including topics such as fitness, health, travel, and leisure. To suggest a topic, please e-mail wshuster@cahners.com or write to Personal Business, JCK Magazine , Valley Forge Park Place, 1018 W. 9th Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406.