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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
Cities impose limits on short-term home rentals

Cities impose limits on short-term home rentals

Across the country, municipalities are waging battles against home sharing sites such as Airbnb and VRBO.

What travelers need to know about the Zika virus

Will you let a little thing keep you from traveling? Maybe, if that thing is the Zika virus, which measures just 40 billionths of a…
Keep Minnesota nice, and drive a friend to the airport

Keep Minnesota nice, and drive a friend to the airport

What has become of Minnesotans' inclination to drive friends, neighbors and family members to or from the airport?
Travel alerts are part of our world

Travel alerts are part of our world

What to do in the face of yet another terrorist attack on innocent travelers, the most recent near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul? Pack your suitcase.
Grand Marais and Ely are winter wonderlands

Grand Marais and Ely are winter wonderlands

If you are looking for a snowy scene and want to get out on cross-country skis, snowshoes or a dogsled, head north.
5 regional travel spots Minnesotans should try in 2016

5 regional travel spots Minnesotans should try in 2016

Our region is beautiful and diverse, with remote beaches, adventure trails and boutique hotels all within a day's drive. So here is a collection of 2016 destinations made exclusively for Minnesotans. Fill your tank, and head out to explore.

Travel to help you with your New Year's resolution

I strapped on snowshoes, hiked over a frozen lake and stopped to watch a woodpecker hunting for lunch. My own noontime meal had been a…
Classes to improve your travel photography

Classes to improve your travel photography

Want to improve your photo skills? Consider taking a class before your next trip.
Six tips for prepping the car for a long winter drive

Six tips for prepping the car for a long winter drive

Before heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house by car, tend to these road-trip tips, just in case.
From the Travel Desk: A visit to the Escape Lounge

From the Travel Desk: A visit to the Escape Lounge

Escape Lounge, a new spot at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, is designed to keep fliers happy — at least those with extra cash.
Two Minnesotans reflect on trips to City of Light

Two Minnesotans reflect on trips to City of Light

Catherine Reid Day of St. Paul was tucked into a Paris hotel room Nov. 14, trying without success to sleep, when her phone beeped.
From the Travel Desk: November, early Dec. are great times to travel

From the Travel Desk: November, early Dec. are great times to travel

Lower prices and easy-to-get reservations are nice, but the main reason to travel when others stay at home? You can see a place more clearly when it's not overcrowded.
Flying soon? Keep these apps at your fingertips

Flying soon? Keep these apps at your fingertips

This holiday season, I’m carrying a little something extra on the airplane: knowledge at my fingertips. As I pack for my upcoming trip, the Fly…
Puerto Vallarta weathers the big storm

Puerto Vallarta weathers the big storm

"We are seeing new Puerto Vallarta bookings," said Renata Faeth, sales manager at AAA Minneapolis. "We encourage it, with confidence."
At MSP, several ways to send boredom packing

At MSP, several ways to send boredom packing

ere are four things you can do at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to turn a flight delay into an opportunity.
Flight quandary: Agree to middle seat so woman can be next to husband?

Flight quandary: Agree to middle seat so woman can be next to husband?

"Would you change seats so I could sit by my husband?" a woman asked my friend, who had an aisle seat.

From the Travel Desk: More cruise lines head to Asia, offer cheap Wi-Fi

Some people long for the elusive vacation spot that will leave them entirely unplugged: no ringing phones, no pressure to get the perfect shot to…
Why do I love Delta? Let me count the ways

Why do I love Delta? Let me count the ways

The airline we're stuck with (because it dominates our market) is the airline we love to hate. But there must be some reasons to love Delta, right?
Lost luggage declines, but complaints are up

Lost luggage declines, but complaints are up

What problem have airline passengers complained most about this year? Lost luggage, according to Skytrax, an airline and airport user-review website.
Travel Desk: Best hike for fall on the Superior Hiking Trail

Travel Desk: Best hike for fall on the Superior Hiking Trail

As soon as the book "Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail," arrived in the mailbox, I began to dream and plot.
International Owl Center welcomes a true international

International Owl Center welcomes a true international

Uhu, newcomer to the International Owl Center in Houston, Minn., brings an air of worldliness to the place. That's because she is a Eurasian eagle-owl,…
5 favorite fall-color roadtrips in Minnesota to start planning now

5 favorite fall-color roadtrips in Minnesota to start planning now

Five beloved fall drives you'll want to take, plus inns to savor at the road's end.
From the Travel Desk: Passport Day is Sept. 19

From the Travel Desk: Passport Day is Sept. 19

The U.S. State Department is cranking up — and the added energy has little to do with the proposed Iran nuclear deal. September is Passport Awareness Month.

With Airbnb, beware the fine print

Debra Gartner returned to Golden Valley after a family trip to Spain with happy memories — and an annoying problem. For a stop in Seville,…
Travel Desk: New chip credit cards may not work while traveling

Travel Desk: New chip credit cards may not work while traveling

Soon, U.S. overseas travelers' frustrations with credit cards could ease. Visa and MasterCard are switching to a chip-reading system, which is used nearly everywhere else in the world.
Returning to the same old spot, and loving it

Returning to the same old spot, and loving it

You drive up the sunny road and find nothing has changed. You know the best place on the lake for a swim, when to settle on the porch for sunset and where to buy the best burger.

On Broadway, privy lines get bad reviews

Broadway has a privy problem. Lines. LOOONG lines. In one glorious historic theater after another, womenfolk grumbled about, ahem, limited seating.

Travel Desk: Keeping mum about your favorite secret vacation spot

My husband and I have a secret place. It’s east of Tucson, Ariz. That’s all I can say. I may already have said too much.…
Travel Desk: Best ways to use your Delta SkyMiles

Travel Desk: Best ways to use your Delta SkyMiles

Changes are coming again to Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles program. On June 1, 2016, the number of miles needed to book an award flight may go up significantly.
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.
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