Staff Directory 10646201

Kerri Westenberg

Travel editor | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-4282
As a travel writer and editor, Kerri Westenberg focuses on destinations and consumer travel issues. She has worked at Bon Appetit, Cooking Light and National Geographic and has written for those magazines and others, including National Geographic Traveler and Real Simple.
Recent content from Kerri Westenberg
State of skiing: 7 ski resorts to hit in Minnesota

State of skiing: 7 ski resorts to hit in Minnesota

Where to ski in Minnesota this season, from vertical drops to Nordic trails.
Can I travel to Barcelona? What to do when heading to an overseas hotbed of protests

Can I travel to Barcelona? What to do when heading to an overseas hotbed of protests

Several weeks ago, I heard from a reader who had purchased tickets for a late-March trip to Barcelona. Since political tensions there are running high…
For top tourist tips, skip the concierge and cozy up to the bar

For top tourist tips, skip the concierge and cozy up to the bar

I was starving.I'd been in Mexico for two hours, shuttling from the airport to my resort, and in the process, I'd skipped lunch. I was…
Changes to airport security procedures

Changes to airport security procedures

Many years ago, I traveled to Israel. Along with the tour of Jerusalem, one of the world's most beautiful cities, and dinner at a seaside…
JetBlue coming to MSP: 6 things you need to know to get on board

JetBlue coming to MSP: 6 things you need to know to get on board

The budget airline will begin operating three daily nonstop flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Boston in May. What's the big deal? We'll tell you.
Minnesotans' travel questions answered

Minnesotans' travel questions answered

As Travel editor, I get lots of questions from readers. My upcoming trip to Napa just took a different direction. If you have airline…
Claim denied: a post-hurricane travel insurance tale of woe

Claim denied: a post-hurricane travel insurance tale of woe

It was set. The reader would travel with family to St. John over Christmas. Then hurricanes Irma and Maria happened.
Mother Nature wreaks havoc on our favorite vacation spots

Mother Nature wreaks havoc on our favorite vacation spots

Between wildfires and hurricanes, the past few weeks have changed the landscape at some of America's most beloved destinations.
Get ready for Minnesota's brilliant autumn show

Get ready for Minnesota's brilliant autumn show

Rain fell on my summer vacation, but I don’t mind. This fall, I’ll see the payoff. When leaves are healthy, fortified with ample rainfall, they…
Minnesota's best fall drive? Great River Road might be it.

Minnesota's best fall drive? Great River Road might be it.

When it comes to the Great River Road, it’s hard to know what exactly the “great” in the name describes. There is, of course, the…
Hike, bike and glide your way to autumn colors

Hike, bike and glide your way to autumn colors

Hike, ride and glide your way to Minnesota's best autumn shows.
Going to Cancun? Check new State Dept. warning about violent crime

Going to Cancun? Check new State Dept. warning about violent crime

On Tuesday, the State Department updated its travel warning about Mexico, and Minnesotans planning a trip there should take note.
NAACP warns about travel to Missouri

NAACP warns about travel to Missouri

As Travel editor, I often suggest that readers check the State Department website before traveling to a foreign country, in case a warning or alert…
Sun Country offers round-trip flight to Nebraska for rare solar eclipse viewing

Sun Country offers round-trip flight to Nebraska for rare solar eclipse viewing

The Twin Cities-based airline announced a special package for people to see the rare occurrence — and be home in time for dinner.
Minnesotans find getaways to relish summer

Minnesotans find getaways to relish summer

August is the best month to relish a Minnesota summer — in part because you can already sense it fading away.
Resort travelers warned of 'tainted' Mexican alcohol after Wisconsin woman's death

Resort travelers warned of 'tainted' Mexican alcohol after Wisconsin woman's death

The State Department has a new warning for travelers headed to Mexico: Beware of the alcohol there.
TSA pat-downs get even more invasive

TSA pat-downs get even more invasive

In March, the Transportation Security Administration instituted a new pat-down procedure for airport security, and it is more thorough — and more invasive — than…

Minnesota ticks can carry several diseases, not just Lyme's

Heading Up North soon? You will not be alone. Wood ticks thrive there — and they are growing more worrisome. Powassan, babesiosis, human anaplasmosis: These…
The best fireworks in the nation, in Washington, D.C.

The best fireworks in the nation, in Washington, D.C.

Night had fallen, and I lay on a blanket looking skyward. My head seemed to swirl; my brain could barely absorb the scene. The ground…
Looking for a summer retreat? Here are 13 great Minnesota getaways

Looking for a summer retreat? Here are 13 great Minnesota getaways

Here are 13 places in Minnesota to lounge by the lake, one for each week of summer.
Why Minnesota's woods are good for you

Why Minnesota's woods are good for you

Do you need a reason to head Up North, to be among all those healthful birds, trees and lakes?
Prepare for a new season of flight delays: summer

Prepare for a new season of flight delays: summer

June, when congestion and thunderstorms converge, is the worst month for flight delays, not winter months.
Why you see more animals at the airport

Why you see more animals at the airport

In 2003, the Department of Transportation expanded the definition of service animal to include not just guide dogs, but also animals that lend emotional support.
A must-see spot in Paris: Picpus Cemetery

A must-see spot in Paris: Picpus Cemetery

Picpus Cemetery has a thrilling history, and not just because the Marquis de La Fayette was laid to rest there.
Looking for lowest airfares? Here are some strategies from our travel expert

Looking for lowest airfares? Here are some strategies from our travel expert

Which is the best online travel site to use for buying airline tickets? The answer, well, there is no simple answer. It may be best to use many.
Something gone wrong with your PreCheck? Here's why

Something gone wrong with your PreCheck? Here's why

Readers occasionally complain that although their application for TSA PreCheck was approved — and they paid the $85 application fee — they do not get a pass to the fast lane.
Are you leaving money in Europe?

Are you leaving money in Europe?

I travel, I shop, I buy. Then I come home and brace for the credit card bill.
Know your rights as a passenger — and brace for overbooked summer flights

Know your rights as a passenger — and brace for overbooked summer flights

What you need to know about getting bumped off a flight.
Why third-party hotel bookings can be bad

Why third-party hotel bookings can be bad

Not all hotel bookings are created equal, as reader Jim Walsh discovered during a trip to Georgia.
Currency or credit cards for cash: What's best when traveling overseas?

Currency or credit cards for cash: What's best when traveling overseas?

I use Visa and American Express credit cards and a bank debit card. Which of these would make the best source of euros at cash machines during a trip to Italy?
Why planes can take turbulence (maybe better than you can)

Why planes can take turbulence (maybe better than you can)

An airplane's wings are meant to give — a little or a lot, depending on the conditions in the air.
Great spring break spots, a car ride away

Great spring break spots, a car ride away

Where should you go for spring break if you don't want to hop on a plane? Buckle your seat belt and get ready for takeoff…
Delta's boarding music almost rocks

Delta's boarding music almost rocks

A twangy rendition of Prince’s iconic “Purple Rain” hit my ears. I was sitting in my seat at the start of a Delta flight from…
How and why hotels are getting hipper

How and why hotels are getting hipper

I once wandered into Aloft Minneapolis during a lunch-hour walk. When I saw the living room-like lobby, I wished that I were from out of town.
Romantic dinner, with a lake view

Romantic dinner, with a lake view

I polled well-traveled foodies at Star Tribune to come up the most romantic restaurants worth a short drive.
Zika has infected 64 Minnesotans so far

Zika has infected 64 Minnesotans so far

Hitting a Cancun beach, but forgoing day trips that would pass through a jungle. Heading to Hawaii instead of Puerto Rico. Wearing DEET, the heavy-duty…
Voice your opinion: Should phone calls be allowed on flights?

Voice your opinion: Should phone calls be allowed on flights?

Fliers, let your voice be heard — in Washington, D.C., not necessarily aboard an airplane. The Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on whether…
Viewfinders event: Best Star Tribune reader photos

Viewfinders event: Best Star Tribune reader photos

Minnesotans travel the globe, and they've got the photographs to prove it.
An Airbnb search — and a lesson learned

An Airbnb search — and a lesson learned

It is way past my bedtime and I can't pull myself from the computer screen. I keep going deeper into the rabbit hole of Airbnb, contemplating apartments in Rome.
The travel writer's mission: We travel with you in mind and skip freebies

The travel writer's mission: We travel with you in mind and skip freebies

My colleagues and I travel for work. Not a bad gig. But we never take it for granted — or forget that at its core, our job is to travel for our readers.
Reason to fly in 2017: Airfares keep falling

Reason to fly in 2017: Airfares keep falling

With every new year comes a heap of predictions about travel. The most exciting among them for 2017? Airfares so low that it'll be a breeze to keep our travel resolution — or to make one now.
Top 6 places in the region to visit in 2017

Top 6 places in the region to visit in 2017

A burgeoning folk school, a newly acquired iconic painting, a green hostel overlooking Lake Superior: These are great reasons to go exploring. In fact, this…
Getting a behind-the-scenes look at a TSA airport checkpoint

Getting a behind-the-scenes look at a TSA airport checkpoint

If there's one thing that MSP TSA agent Marcelino Puente, a 13-year veteran, wants the flying public to know, it's this: Be prepared.
New United Airlines overhead-bin ban riles fliers

New United Airlines overhead-bin ban riles fliers

United Airlines is riling the flying public by decreeing that those who purchase seats at the lowest fares cannot use overhead bins to stow their…
How to prepare for TSA security

How to prepare for TSA security

If you want to get through security without slowing down the line, read on. With any luck — and the proper preparation — your checkpoint experience won't dampen holiday spirits.
Know when to hit the road to avoid gridlock this Thanksgiving

Know when to hit the road to avoid gridlock this Thanksgiving

The economy is up and gas prices are down. That's reason to be grateful — until you hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Passport is valid, but Europe won't let you in? Here's why

Passport is valid, but Europe won't let you in? Here's why

I am planning a family trip to Italy for spring break in March 2017. My daughter's passport is good through August. That'll work, right?
PlansMatter, a Minneapolis start-up, curates awesome vacation rentals

PlansMatter, a Minneapolis start-up, curates awesome vacation rentals

Connie Lindor and Scott Muellner, the duo behind the much-missed Redlurered design shop in Minneapolis, founded PlansMatter as a way to connect consumers with architecturally significant vacation rental properties.
You can be kept out of Canada for this?

You can be kept out of Canada for this?

Anyone traveling to Canada should know that your past can follow you to the border — and keep you from crossing it.
Animal cruelty no longer flies at TripAdvisor

Animal cruelty no longer flies at TripAdvisor

The giant travel website and its booking site, Viator, has already stopped selling tickets to attractions that feature wild animals held in captivity.
Glensheen's own Night at the Museum, with food trucks

Glensheen's own Night at the Museum, with food trucks

Forget old and stuffy. The latest innovative offering at Glensheen is its own version of Night at the Museum — with drinks and food trucks.
Is this the year of affordable holiday flights?

Is this the year of affordable holiday flights?

Airline tickets are like real estate: Buy when the price works for your budget, and don't look back when the market — or the prices — drop.
Resources for finding fall colors

Resources for finding fall colors

I found the perfect trail for fall, even if I hiked it surrounded by green leaves.
These 5 simple tricks can help you deal with flight delays at MSP and beyond

These 5 simple tricks can help you deal with flight delays at MSP and beyond

Remember when bad weather was the usual suspect for flight delays? Not anymore. And unlike weather patterns, computer problems can strike without warning.
Travel Desk: Airfare site mergers mean fewer price deals

Travel Desk: Airfare site mergers mean fewer price deals

You are no doubt familiar with the mad dash from site to site when looking for good airfare. You try Expedia, then Kayak, then Priceline.…
Vacationing while sick? Slow down the pace

Vacationing while sick? Slow down the pace

It was Day Four of a family trip to Madeline Island, and I sat listless in the armless chair beside the doctor's desk, recounting my woes.
Itasca State Park, BWCA, Ely recover from storms

Itasca State Park, BWCA, Ely recover from storms

When storms ripped through northern Minnesota in the early morning hours of July 21, it wreaked havoc in beloved vacation spots. But the area is recovering fast.
Why houseboat? Because the perks outweigh the pains

Why houseboat? Because the perks outweigh the pains

Yes, I would vacation on a houseboat again. And no, it was not as simple as unpacking in a hotel and kicking back.
Rio and Zika: the surprising power of a mosquito

Rio and Zika: the surprising power of a mosquito

The gold medal for scaring away spectators goes to Aedes aegypti, a little bitty mosquito. As the Olympic Games approach — scheduled for Aug. 5-21…
Souvenirs – of many kinds – conjure vacation memories

Souvenirs – of many kinds – conjure vacation memories

My souvenirs lean toward the practical, from a ceramic hurricane lamp purchased in Mexico City to a Gooseberry Falls hoodie I picked up during my most recent trip to the North Shore.
Travel Desk: Lost and found on the North Shore

Travel Desk: Lost and found on the North Shore

This holiday weekend, many of us are driving to a treasured spot in the state. Lucky us. Where there are others, well, Minnesotans, generally speaking, are a pretty pleasant bunch.
When to buy travel insurance

When to buy travel insurance

A reader recently asked if I’ve ever purchased travel insurance, and what kinds of trips warrant the coverage. Actually, I haven’t. Not yet. When I’ve…
Insulating travel can keep you from wider experience

Insulating travel can keep you from wider experience

“Travel with those of like mind, for whom an elegant voyage through America is as treasured a gift for them as it is for you.”…
Travel Desk: Avoid surprise costs of a summer trip

Travel Desk: Avoid surprise costs of a summer trip

Two types of fees can unexpectedly raise the price of your summer getaway. To avoid a bill that, well, exceeds expectations, read the fine print on your selected resort's website and confirmation e-mails.
Travel Desk: Honoring Prince, touring his hotspots

Travel Desk: Honoring Prince, touring his hotspots

With all the attention brought to the Twin Cities area by the star's passing, organizations are highlighting their tours.
Here's what fliers need to know about airport security lines

Here's what fliers need to know about airport security lines

Fliers have endured a frustrating few months with record-long security lines at airports around the country.
Travel Desk: Fed hints of rate hikes could make Europe more affordable

Travel Desk: Fed hints of rate hikes could make Europe more affordable

What does the Federal Reserve have to do with your overseas vacation?
Does traveling in Australia's stifling heat still make an exotic trip feel exotic?

Does traveling in Australia's stifling heat still make an exotic trip feel exotic?

Considerations about climate take a back seat when going on vacation because you can't control the weather, and besides, you can always dress for it, right?
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.
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: 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.
Consumer rights written into bill

Consumer rights written into bill

If things go smoothly in Washington — and why wouldn't they? — fliers could soon see some changes for the better.
Midwest Traveler: On Madeline Island, don't miss La Pointe

Midwest Traveler: On Madeline Island, don't miss La Pointe

The quirky, laid-back town sets the tone for a Madeline Island vacation.
At MSP, another ride option takes off

At MSP, another ride option takes off

Due to a recent change at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, you can turn to Uber, that fleet of free-range individuals offering rides in their personal vehicles.
DNR asks for more money for state parks and trails

DNR asks for more money for state parks and trails

A friend and I tucked into the rustic building at Jay Cooke State Park after a day of hiking. We were drawn by its brown-clapboard,…
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