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Kerri Westenberg

Travel editor | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-4282
Kerri Westenberg is the Travel editor. She writes stories about destinations and consumer travel issues. She has globe-trotted for National Geographic and other magazines and now zips around the region, on the lookout for travel news you can use.
Recent content from Kerri Westenberg
Travel Desk: Reach out to experts to find a Minnesota resort quickly

Travel Desk: Reach out to experts to find a Minnesota resort quickly

What can you do if you haven’t booked a vacation, but you suddenly feel the itch to relax lakeside? Call in the experts for help — the people who run the local convention and visitor bureaus across the state.

Travel Desk: Delta Skymiles account must carry your official name, or else

When I entered my SkyMiles number in order to get the mileage credit for the flight, red type popped up.
Travel Desk: Money matters for vacationers in Greece

Travel Desk: Money matters for vacationers in Greece

What can travelers to the financially squeezed Greece expect? Business owners who will be happy to see euros. And great prices as the dollar strengthens and hotels in there look for customers.
Minnesota makes a great place for a road trip

Minnesota makes a great place for a road trip

Minnesota ranks third, after only Oregon and Nevada, when it comes to offering frugal-minded road travelers “the most fun for the least cost.”
Travel Desk: Airline tickets under consumer protections when airline stops flying

Travel Desk: Airline tickets under consumer protections when airline stops flying

These are cloudy days at Mendota Heights-based Sun Country Airlines. In continuing negotiations between the airline and its pilots, pay raises remain an issue. Pilots…
Travel Desk: From overhead bins come headaches

Travel Desk: From overhead bins come headaches

When it comes to choosing a seat on an airplane, are some better than others for boarding relatively early and securing overhead space for bags?

Travel Desk: New Explore Minnesota ad features gay couple, welcomes all

In a new Explore Minnesota television ad, scenes flash by in quick succession: horseback riding on the prairie, zip-lining, cycling in Lanesboro, rock climbing in…

Tips for making the most of your Minnesota resort vacation

The best summer vacations are carefree and easy — and go off without a hitch. So before you head out, we offer a few guideposts…
Number of visitors to Duluth's Glensheen Mansion grows

Number of visitors to Duluth's Glensheen Mansion grows

The number of visitors to Glensheen had been declining for years, but those numbers are turning around thanks to new additions and features.
Travel Desk: Readers recommend Charleston, S.C., other weekend getaways

Travel Desk: Readers recommend Charleston, S.C., other weekend getaways

Last week, I asked for help generating ideas for a women-only weekend away. Denver, New York City, Albuquerque and others came up. But one city dominated: Charleston, S.C.

Travel desk: Tips for women's weekend trips bolstered by your own ideas

“I wanted to see if you had any destination recommendations for a girl’s trip … outside of Minnesota,” the e-mail from a reader said. I’ve…
Midwest Traveler: Gushing over waterfalls and history in Grand Portage, Minn.

Midwest Traveler: Gushing over waterfalls and history in Grand Portage, Minn.

All along Minnesota’s North Shore each spring, snowmelt from the Sawtooth Mountains swells rivers and turns waterfalls into powerful spectacles. Grand Portage’s falls are among the best.
Travel Desk: Road atlases give directions and perspective

Travel Desk: Road atlases give directions and perspective

On a recent road trip, I longed for my dog-eared road atlas, with maps that trace small county roads, call out each tiny town with its own dot, reveal each stream and lake.
Travel Desk: More points for travel if I ditch my Delta-branded AmEx

Travel Desk: More points for travel if I ditch my Delta-branded AmEx

“If it’s Delta miles you want, there are other cards that will earn Delta miles faster,” read the e-mail from awards expert Gary Leff, who writes the View From the Wing blog.

Travel Desk: Best Minnesota parks for hooking up an RV

Which state parks offer a good place to hook up a roving kitchen-bedroom-living room behemoth?
State of Wonders: Beauty is in the details

State of Wonders: Beauty is in the details

Amid fall’s flamboyant colors, subtle scenes hold their own stunning beauty.
State of Wonders: Summer's prairie song plays beautifully

State of Wonders: Summer's prairie song plays beautifully

Beauty and history shine bright under the monumental summer sky in the southwest corner of Minnesota
State of Wonders: Exploring winter in the Arrowhead

State of Wonders: Exploring winter in the Arrowhead

Minnesota is blessed with immense natural beauty and dramatic seasonal shifts. With the “State of Wonders” series, we showcase that range of scenery.
State of Wonders: A wild world blooms in northwestern Minnesota

State of Wonders: A wild world blooms in northwestern Minnesota

Life rebounds with fanfare as winter melts away in Minnesota’s northwest reaches.

From the Travel Desk: How to file a complaint about an airline

My recent flights between Minneapolis and Los Angeles were seamless, even during a busy spring break week. The flight to LAX arrived so early that…

From the Travel Desk: High cost of flying stand-by

When we book flights — usually months ahead of our travels — plans are often still unfolding. That was the case for a reader who…
Review: 'I Refuse,' by Per Petterson

Review: 'I Refuse,' by Per Petterson

FICTION: A chance meeting between two old friends spurs memories and affects them both in surprising ways.
From the Travel Desk: Paying extra for comfort in the air

From the Travel Desk: Paying extra for comfort in the air

According to a new survey released last month by the American Travel Association, we are both annoyed at having to pay extra fees, and willing to pay them — if we can see clear benefits.

From the Travel Desk: Strong dollar boon to U.S. travelers

Say hello to cheap hotel rooms, reduced entry fees to museums and discounted dinners in Europe and elsewhere outside the country — all courtesy of the U.S. economy and its strong dollar.

From the Travel Desk: Trade group predicts more air passengers

Airlines for America, a trade group of U.S. airlines, released its 2015 spring forecast late last week. Its prediction: The number of passengers expected to…
Midwest Traveler: 3 Minnesota state parks now offer yurts for rent

Midwest Traveler: 3 Minnesota state parks now offer yurts for rent

Visitors to Minnesota state parks can sleep in teepees or one-room camper cabins, both designed to provide shelter without the need to pitch a tent.…
Sharing your world: Best reader travel photos of 2014

Sharing your world: Best reader travel photos of 2014

Travel, and the world is at your fingertips. So are scenes encountered along the way; all it takes is a click of a GoPro, a smartphone or a camera, and a vacation is ready to share. Fortunately, many of our readers did just that.
From the Travel Desk: Easing up on Cuba travel ban

From the Travel Desk: Easing up on Cuba travel ban

People who have longed to visit Cuba were thrilled Wednesday, when President Obama announced he was taking steps to normalize relations with the country. But how much and how quickly changes to travel will occur remain murky.
Outside magazine names Duluth 'Best Town Ever'

Outside magazine names Duluth 'Best Town Ever'

Duluth had better prepare itself for in influx of visitors and residents. The September issue of Outside magazine, which hits newsstands next week, names the city as the winner of its “Best Town Ever” contest, decided by reader voting.

From the Travel Desk: To help rhinos, take a great trip

Dave Ramberg of Maple Grove hopes you go on safari in Kenya. Not just because locals are kind. “We felt welcomed, even appreciated. We never…
From the Travel Desk: Joys and surprises of spring

From the Travel Desk: Joys and surprises of spring

Wherever I traveled for today’s feature story, I saw people planting gardens, picnicking, angling for fish hungry after months under ice. They probably didn’t mind if spring bounds right into summer.
How to land a great last-minute summer getaway

How to land a great last-minute summer getaway

In this state with more than 10,000 lakes, anybody can find a piece of summer paradise — even people whose planning tends toward procrastination or its upbeat version, spontaneity.
From the Travel Desk: Don't lose your PTO

From the Travel Desk: Don't lose your PTO

For years, I deluded myself into believing that I was an indispensable cog in the wheel. I worked long hours, as if quantity as much…
Top spots to relax at MSP

Top spots to relax at MSP

Does flying stress you out? Next time you’re at MSP, relax with a free hand massage or take a stroll on the walking trail.
It's high season for northern lights, so look heavenward

It's high season for northern lights, so look heavenward

Aurora borealis can erupt in stunning displays or prove elusive, though it helps to know when to head north of town and gaze at the night sky.
Scavenger hunt shows off Minnesota in winter

Scavenger hunt shows off Minnesota in winter

Participate in a scavenger hunt called “Checkpoint MN,” featuring 10 locations marked by signs around the state, and you could receive prizes from snow bikes to getaway packages.
From the Travel desk: Most areas of Mexico remain safe

From the Travel desk: Most areas of Mexico remain safe

When traveling to Mexico, a country still struggling to contain violence by drug cartels, there are precautions you can take to ensure your well-being beyond…
How to find a winter getaway

How to find a winter getaway

Want to know where to go to escape cold weather? Let tried-and-true pros be your guide.
Sun Country stops booking cruise vacations

Sun Country stops booking cruise vacations

Sun Country Vacations will stop offering cruise vacations next month, focusing instead on air plus hotel and resort vacations.
When and where to find fall colors at their peak

When and where to find fall colors at their peak

From a leaf-peeping forecast to ways to enjoy a warm autumn day, here’s a look at the most colorful time of the year.
Working to keep students safe overseas

Working to keep students safe overseas

Sheryl Hill -- founder of ClearCause Foundation, a nonprofit that educates youth about staying safe overseas and advocates for oversight of study-abroad programs -- shares her insights.
Tahiti is terrific, and so are these nearer gems

Tahiti is terrific, and so are these nearer gems

It’s so far away and so expensive to reach, a reader lamented about Tahiti as she and her fiancé began researching honeymoons. With no direct…

From the Travel desk

Fliers, be warned. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has suggested that flights could be delayed by as much as 90 minutes if the Federal Aviation Administration…
How to find Sanibel's Roseate Spoonbill

How to find Sanibel's Roseate Spoonbill

“Very nice and entertaining article,” Nadav Cassuto said about last week’s top Travel story, the tale of a woman’s futile search for the stunning, pink-plumed Roseate Spoonbill in Florida. “But if you visit in migration times, you can even increase your chances to see the [bird].”

From the Travel Desk: Where to seat unaccompanied kids on a plane?

A 20-year-old Minnesota man had settled into his transcontinental KLM flight, occasionally entertaining the two unaccompanied children seated beside him, when he was asked to…

A TSA-proof gift guide

These holiday classics should glide through airport security as easily as Santa's sleigh on freshly fallen snow.

Ship-shape tips from a local cruiser

When Barry Vaudrin goes on a cruise, he packs the usual smart casual wardrobe, swimsuit and vacation excitement. He also carries a few extras: a…
Queen returns to the river

Queen returns to the river

The American Queen steamboat is back on the mighty Mississippi, offering cruises and a dose of nostalgia.
FICTION: "It's Fine By Me," by Per Petterson.

FICTION: "It's Fine By Me," by Per Petterson.

Life through the eyes of a young Norwegian boy, after his mother leaves his father and moves to Oslo.

From the Travel Desk: Where to go next?

As the Travel editor, I sometimes get to play travel agent (sort of), when readers ask me where they should go next. I relish answering…
Bluff Country hues

Bluff Country hues

A trip to Winona last autumn turned up touches of color in the treetops and beyond.
New state park in the making

New state park in the making

Pristine land on the southeastern shore of Lake Vermilion, near Ely, takes shape as Minnesota's newest state park.
Pipestone: Tradition, beauty in rare rock

Pipestone: Tradition, beauty in rare rock

On the outskirts of the humble county seat of Pipestone, in the southwest corner of Minnesota, lies an unusual plot of land called the Pipestone National Monument.

A visit to Duluth could benefit the city -- and you

Remember two weeks ago when thermometer readings hit triple digits in the Twin Cities? A breeze off Lake Superior kept Duluth in the 80s those…
Resorts: Greetings from the lake

Resorts: Greetings from the lake

Looking for a classic Minnesota getaway, a piece of Up North paradise? Let our readers guide you to the most beloved resorts in the state.
Cruising in wake of disaster

Cruising in wake of disaster

Cruise lines are reviewing safety practices after the deadly Costa Concordia accident off the Italian coast, while vacationers ponder whether to stay ashore.

Airlines may not always fly where you want to go

"Why does Delta Air Lines hate Palm Springs?" a reader recently asked. He also posed a less facetious question: How do airlines determine where to…
Atlantis: Plunging into paradise

Atlantis: Plunging into paradise

At Atlantis Paradise Island, an impressive resort in the Bahamas, beware of a deluge of expenses amid a watery world of fun.
No mere babes in the woods

No mere babes in the woods

A Minnesota couple took their 1-year-old daughter on a six-month hike across the American West, and they want you to know that you can do it, too.
Going the distance for family time

Going the distance for family time

Rachel Liechty was pregnant when she and husband, David, had an inspired idea for binding the family together after the birth: They would hike the…
Souvenirs that make us smile

Souvenirs that make us smile

A Minnesota man who has long tracked silly signs from around the world turns his attention to souvenirs .
Grand place on the North Shore

Grand place on the North Shore

Sandwiched between the magnificence of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains, Grand Marais is one of the best bases for exploring the North Shore.

When you hit the road, do superstitions tag along?

"I'm talking to an inanimate object, I know," a colleague confided when he told me about a little routine he carries out before he enters…

Orlando, Cancun among our favorites

Minnesotans can't get enough of Mickey and Mexico, according to a Travel Leaders survey released late last week. The national travel company, with headquarters in…
Minnesota's best fall show in years

Minnesota's best fall show in years

Dazzling hues will soon crown trees throughout the state, thanks to ample rain during the growing season.
Shady Oak Beach: Making a splash

Shady Oak Beach: Making a splash

Plenty of diversions fill the grounds of this Minnetonka beach and its park. But none is as enticing as the diving dock, dominated by teens and tweens.
Our national forests hold treasures

Our national forests hold treasures

Celebrate a centennial at two gems of the system in northern Minnesota: Chippewa and Superior National Forests.

Travel warnings might surprise you

Check out U.S. State Department travel advisories before heading beyond our borders.
Gotta get out of this place?

Gotta get out of this place?

There's help for Minnesotans who need a quick escape from the cold.

Online hunts for cheap flights just got trickier

How to easily compare fares? Go to an aggregator site or a local travel agent.
Second-hand holiday cheer

Second-hand holiday cheer

Festive clothes don't have to cost a bundle. You'd be surprised.
A haven for traditional northern crafts

A haven for traditional northern crafts

The spirit of the north infuses every subject offered at this gem of a folk school in Grand Marais.

Reports guide fliers to healthful food

MSP fares well in study on airport fare; United Airlines' menu ranks as healthiest.

Higher fares predicted for coming holidays

Book now and be flexible with dates to find the best fares for Thanksgiving and Christmas flights.
Lend a hand with tips for thrift-store shopping

Lend a hand with tips for thrift-store shopping

With new season upon us, she needs help on where to shop.
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