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The gem of the Amber Road

Gdansk’s enchanting Old Town, vibrant riverfront, interactive museums, and pristine Baltic beaches have won it kudos as one of Europe’s up-and-coming, family-friendly vacation destinations.

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Richard H. Blake with his wife, Teri Thomas, and their son, Greyson, at Walt Disney World.

THE VIP LOUNGE

A conversation with stage actor Richard H. Blake

We caught up with the veteran Broadway actor — and Providence native — to talk about all things travel.

Infinity Pillow

Which travel pillow is right for you?

There are some really comfortable, versatile, and cleverly designed options, from inflatables to bendables to fiberfill loops.

TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER

I canceled my Expedia hotel room — so where’s my refund?

After Carol McLaughlin cancels her stay at a hotel in Segovia, Spain, she’s sure Expedia will refund her money. But when the hotel claims it never received her cancellation request, who will Expedia believe?

HELP DESK

How to protect your digital photos for years to come

I used the free photo sharing site Flickr for a long time. But then I got an e-mail from Flickr threatening to delete my photos unless I was willing to pony up $50 a year. I wasn’t willing. What to do?

Sap, straight from the tap, is almost entirely water and makes a refreshing drink.

How to make your own maple syrup

With the help of a few neighbors and plenty of reading, here’s what we’ve learned.

The VIP Lounge with WGBH’s Jared Bowen

Bowen hosts the weekly series “Open Studio With Jared Bowen,” which showcases the best that the New England arts scene has to offer.

travel troubleshooter

Charged twice for my Marriott room. How about a refund?

When Marriott charges Elizabeth Maglione’s gift card twice for one night at the Courtyard Marriott Miami Downtown/Brickell, she asks for a refund. The hotel wants to issue a credit. Who’s right?

Shop at the Sadar Bazaar (top right) in Old Delhi with Intrepid Travel or visit the Lusumpuko Women’s Club (above, top left) in Zimbabwe with G Adventures.

Supporting women around the world with tours around the world

Intrepid Travel’s launch of Women’s Expeditions, which started with trips to the Middle East, proved so popular that it grew from four to 36 departures last year.

The Wauwintet, Nantucket Photo credits: Nantucket Island Resorts. Approved by Lauren Wintemberg; Lauren@alicemarshall.com

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Operated as a nonprofit since 2008, Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a mecca for Nordic skiing, with an extensive trail system that covers thousands of kilometers, crossing villages, farms, fields, and forests, thanks to generous landowners.

On a mother-daughter Nordic ski weekend in Vt., exertion and complete satisfaction

At Craftsbury Outdoor Center in the Northeast Kingdom, good conditions and grooming can continue through April, perfect for introducing kids to the joys of cross-country skiing.

Images in the style of airport safety cards show the dos and don’ts of airport etiquette: people in line to speak with a TSA agent, people talking too loudly on cell phones, people crowding a baggage claim gate, people listening to music on headphones, people falling off chairs at the airport bar, kids making a mess in the waiting area, people blocking an escalator, people crowding the gate.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER

Avoid gate lice and wear your headphones: The dos and don’ts of airport etiquette

Helpful hints on how to make everyone’s airport experience less stressful. These tips are common sense, but common sense seems to depart from airports more regularly than Delta shuttles to New York.

Chef Georg Heise at George’s Patisserie in Slane.

In Slane, a not-your-average Irish distillery

Since 2002, high-end premium Irish whiskey grew an eye-popping 805 percent. That’s little surprise considering there are 21 distilleries operating in Ireland today and 26 more in planning or already under construction.

Swaddled in hot sheets during a detoxifying herbal wrap at Gurney’s Seawater Spa in Newport, R.I.

Chilling out at a cozy spa: Where to bliss out, warm up, and get your glow back

New England’s inn-based spas offer a place to escape into a cocoon of cozy, featuring luscious seasonal treatments that will make the long road to summer a bit more comfortable.

Eriks Ziedins catching air at the powder skiing mecca of Alta, Utah.

Hard knocks and soft landings: A college search cushioned by Utah powder

Last year just when colleges notify applicants of admissions decisions, I took my son, his best friend, and his best friend’s dad to a place that always helped me put life in perspective.

Hi Chris. Here is Tim Kelleher for The VIP Lounge. Photo in red car is in Cuba and one with snakes is in Morocco.

The VIP Lounge

The VIP Lounge with yogi Tim Kelleher

We caught up with Kelleher, who takes regular trips to Cuba, where he conducts yoga and cultural retreats, to talk about all things travel.

Guidebook helps make sure Grand Canyon is grand for all

Just in time for the 100th birthday of Grand Canyon National Park, accessible travel expert Candy Harrington has released “Barrier-Free Travel: The Grand Canyon for Wheelers and Slow Walkers.”

Shot from Ciclismo ClassicoÕs 10th Annual Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival (Ciclismo Classico) 17hte

Here, There, and Everywhere

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Travel news you can use.

Travel Troubleshooter

No compensation for a delayed Iberia flight

Iberia Airlines offered Daniel Brennan 250 euros for his delayed flight. But it delayed processing Brennan’s claim for two months. How can he get the airline to pay?

Motorbikes, tuk tuks, and carts are ubiquitous on the streets of India..

The sights, sounds, and faces of India

I have never traveled to a country that so overwhelms the senses. The colors, the noise, the smells.

Reel news: The state’s independent movie houses are not just surviving, but thriving

In the age of the plush multiplex, when the big cinema thunderdomes are doing everything they can to create an “experience” that will shake customers from their streaming devices, smaller theaters are concocting their own methods to lure us out of our cocoons.

The half-scale model whaleship Lagoda at the New Bedford Whaling Museum is a big hit with the young ones, who can climb aboard.

Have toddler, will travel: Here’s where to beat cabin fever with small fry

Consider these fun, out-of-Boston escapes when you and your little folk have gotta get out of the house already.

Travel troubleshooter

Where’s compensation from Iberia for delayed luggage?

Benedict Valenti’s wife’s luggage is lost — and then found — by Iberia Airlines. In the interim, she buys $495 worth of clothing and toiletries. Why is the airline balking at reimbursing her?

Marie Osmond

The VIP Lounge | Marie Osmond

The VIP Lounge with Marie Osmond

The singer, actress, best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, and philanthropist will appear in Medford with her brothers Merrill and Jay, and nephew David.

The view from the top of the 98-foot-high monument at Ecuador’s Middle of the World City.

When visiting the equator, where do you draw the line?

Despite the monument in Ecuador’s Middle of the World City, that is not the actual site of the equator, which modern GPS has pinpointed about 790 feet down the road. (And that spot is in dispute, too.)

“Roma” fans can visit Mexico City and tour the places where Alfonso Cuarón filmed his Academy Award winning picture, including the family house at Tepeji 22, Roma Sur.

Looking at Mexico City through the lens of ‘Roma’

Filmed in black and white, the movie captures the spirit of the past. On a recent visit, I was curious to see this other part of Mexico City, outside of its impressive tourist destinations. Visiting places where the movie was filmed, it was easy to imagine the area as it looked half a century ago.

Emerald Waterways’s “Danube Delights with Mary Berry” tour stopped at various points along the Danube River, including Melk, Austria.

Go Girl

All aboard with a British baking star

Does this sound like a dandy girlfriend’s getaway? For sure.

Electric dreams: Boston to New York in a Tesla, for $99

A local company is offering commuters a new option for traveling from Boston to NYC — a $99 ride in a Tesla.

Boston on the cheap

There are reasonably priced and free attractions throughout Boston, if you know where to look.

If you go . . . Belfast

Several airlines fly nonstop from Boston to Dublin, Ireland. Trains connect the two cities, or rent a car to make the hour-and-a-half drive.

HERE THERE EVERYWHERE

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Longstanding Sawyer’s Market is a popular place for gourmet foods in Belfast.

travel

Belfast is buzzing, leaving The Troubles behind

This once beleaguered, bitter city is young, eager, and energetic — more than 40 percent of the population is under the age of 30 — and fast-becoming a cool destination.

The new Stowe brings some West to the East

It’s quite fitting that the resort three and a half hours from Boston would have some of the flavor of the storied hills of the Intermountain West, like Aspen or Deer Valley.

A skiier who is far more skilled than the author heads into the sunrise at Stowe Mountain Resort.

CHRISTOPHER MUTHER

It’s all downhill from here. What happens when an adult learns to ski

Travel writer Christopher Muther attempts to improve his skiing skills, and quickly learns that the hills are alive with the sound of fear.

Streets are narrow in the historic districts of many cities and towns in Sardinia.

Southern Sardinia is more rugged than the north with few tourists, breathtaking views, and fabulous food

All the people the author meets in southern Sardinia are especially friendly and helpful. They want you to like their region.

Sanibel, a refuge for wildlife and humans

The fact that more than two-thirds of Sanibel is held as a nature conservancy engenders reverence for exotic birds and wildlife, as well. It’s easy to encounter them on Sanibel’s 25 miles of bicycle trails.

At Kells Priory you can explore green fields beside the ruins of a 12th-century monastery.

Ireland with a wee one

The country doesn’t need the Disney touch to feel like a magical playground for your own little leprechauns.

Here, there, and everywhere

Travel news — and gadgets — you can use.

Travel Troubleshooter

Alitalia lost my luggage, and now it won’t pay

When Alitalia loses Jeffrey Reed’s luggage, it promises to pay him $1,579. But four months later, he’s still waiting.

Sabine Maria van Diemen says Hawaii is her favorite place to vacation “because it’s beautiful and warm. And the ocean is blue and gorgeous.”

VIP LOUNGE

In the VIP Lounge with Sabine Maria van Diemen

Van Diemen was asked to be the first female to join the national touring production of the Broadway hit “The Illusionists,” coming to the Emerson Colonial Theatre March 5-10.

Mark Shepard of Boylston and his daughter Mackenzie, 8, fish at Race Point Beach in Provincetown in August 2017.

TRAVEL

2 New England beaches are among the best in America, according to TripAdvisor

It still may be winter, but it’s never too early to plot your beach getaways for summer.

Sarah Beatty Buller. (Michelle Consuegra) 24montgomery

travel

Sudbury woman is at center of restoration and reconciliation in Montgomery, Ala.

Sarah Beatty Buller and her husband bought 13 buildings in Montgomery, part of a major revitalization in a community that resonates with history.

The Subtropical Swimming Paradise at Center Parcs UK in Bedfordshire, England.

Center Parcs UK, where you can park yourself for a few days of fun in England

It’s a collection of five village-style vacation parks, each secluded in woodland and devoid of cars. Bring your bike, or rent one at the cycle shed adjacent to the parking lot. Or walk.

Johnny with his son Justin in Naples.

VIP LOUNGE | Johnny Pizzi

The VIP Lounge with comedian and magician Johnny Pizzi

We caught up with Pizzi to talk about all things travel.

Travel Troubleshooter

Can I get a refund after a Greyhound bus delay?

After Vivian Pisano experienced a 10-hour delay, the motorcoach operator left her waiting for a refund. It’s been weeks since her bus trip to nowhere. Maybe it’s time to call a consumer advocate.