Travel Newsstand for Dec. 1-14, 2017
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Introducing BizTraveLife for JoeSentMe Members
Dear JoeSentMe member:
When I launched this Web site in the days after 9/11, I expected it to last a month. Then only until the end of 2001. I'd have laughed (and maybe cried a little) if you told 2001 Joe that this site would still be around in 2017.

For one thing, the name JoeSentMe was a silly joke. It was my knee-jerk reaction to publishers who always wanted me to front travel guides called JoeSentMe. I'd routinely suggest I didn't know enough cities intimately enough for a series of guides. Their response: Oh, we'd hire people to ghostwrite them. They seemed puzzled by the fact that I thought a series of guides called JoeSentMe not written by Joe would be disingenuous at best and a cruel joke on readers at worst.

So the first thing I decided when I concluded that we should create a series of city guides? They sure as hell wouldn't be called JoeSentMe. Hence the name BizTraveLife.com, which, I think, accurately covers how we interact with destinations. We travel there, we do business there and we live parts of our lives there.

Second, as I have long believed about JoeSentMe.com, there's no need to recreate the wheel. I am happy to direct you to whatever site does something well. No need to make believe JoeSentMe is the one and only site in the entire travel world. So our destination pages at BizTraveLife will offer the best of what we have and the best of what else is out there on the Net.

Third, I thought it was wise to start with international hub cities. No matter where else we want to be, we often start with a visit to a hub. So we'll do hub cities first, although our pages will also link you to stories and other material about regions right around the hub. After all, if we go to London, we're within striking distance of Devon and Cornwall. When you say Rome, you could just as easily be visiting Naples or the Amalfi Coast.

Lastly, consider these first five destinations at BizTraveLife to be beta tests. Take a look. See what you think. Tell me what you like, what you don't and, most importantly, what you need that they are not providing. We'll be adding more pages as fast as I can pull them together, but we'll also be updating and remaking the pages as required.

With all that said, here's our first cut. More to come. -- Joe Brancatelli // December 1, 2017

London
Eight of the ten busiest international routes from the United States touch London. Which explains our love/hate--mostly hate--relationship with Heathrow Airport. Plus key links to London life and plenty more.

Dublin
The parent company of British Airways has purchased Aer Lingus with the intent of using Dublin as a reliever airport for London and connections to Europe. Plus links and stories to what's best of the Emerald Isle.

Rome
Rome may not be a major international hub now, but it's where most of us start our love affair with Italy. My 16-part anti-guide series about being in Rome. Plus plenty of stories and links to South Italy, too.

Lisbon
The man who created JetBlue Airways has revived TAP and put Lisbon back on the route map for connections to Europe and onward to Africa. Meanwhile, travelers have also rediscovered Portugal's unique charm.

Cuba
After more than 50 years of cold war, relations defrosted with Cuba and frequent air travel resumed. But visitors didn't materialize nearly as quickly as U.S. carriers hoped and relations are frosty again, too.

This column is Copyright 2017 by Joe Brancatelli. JoeSentMe.com is Copyright 2017 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved. All of the opinions and material in this column are the sole property and responsibility of Joe Brancatelli. This material may not be reproduced in any form without his express written permission.