A Woman Walked into a Spa and…

Looking for the punchline? So was I. A prior trip to a Munich sauna involved lots of naked Germans. I was neither relaxed nor renewed. So I approached my visit to a Canadian spa with caution.

Spa Eastman visit included the offer to jump in a frozen lake after a sauna Continue reading

Nun for a Weekend: Quebec City’s Le Monastere des Augustines

Looking for a hotel in Quebec City for a weekend getaway? Traditional options abound but if you want a unique experience, consider a stay at Le Monastere des Augustines, a renovated historical monastery with a wellness mission. I embraced its quiet elegance, artfully designed to soothe the mind and ignite the soul.


The renovation of Le Monastere thoughtfully combined the old with the new. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

Fear of the Unknown

I didn’t know what to expect when I checked into a monastery for a weekend getaway in Quebec City. Would a gaggle of nuns circle me in the lobby and start singing, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Cathy?” as in the Sound of Music. Or, worse, would I be stripped naked and escorted to my room in a shameful walk of atonement like Cersei in Game of Thrones? Continue reading

Cough! Sniffle! Sneeze! How to Stay Healthy on the Road.

how to stay healthy while travelingHow can you stay healthy while traveling? You might think it’s impossible if you read the news. This time last year the headlines were screaming “Ebola!” An epidemic was ravaging West Africa, infected patients were appearing in U.S. hospitals, and lawmakers considered implementing travel bans.

The outbreak that killed thousands is now contained, according to recent reports from the World Health Organisation, but epidemics like this make travelers consider staying home because, in the skies and on the road, you’re destined to come in contact with stuff that will make you sick.

By taking the right precautions, you can stay healthy and happy on your next vacation. Here’s how a number of road warriors stay healthy while traveling. Continue reading

Why I Travel Like A Psycho


Photo credit: Luxury Travel Magazine

Wooooooh! Woooooooh! The trend train is leaving the station and I’m going to miss it – again. I’ve lost track of all the ones that have passed me by; fedoras, “Breaking Bad”, and kimchi come to mind. Continue reading

10 Ways To Make Every Day A Vacation Day

Used all of your vacation days by April 1? Forgot to chip in on the weekend beach house rental? Avoiding the lunchroom because you don’t want to hear who’s going where next week? Don’t despair. Here are 10 ways to put a little getaway into every day.

1. Pack a beach towel in your briefcase. Take a 15-minute break from your desk and sit outside in the sun. If anyone asks, explain that your doctor recommended it as therapy for your low Vitamin D levels. If they continue to pry, gently remind them of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

2. Take an outdoor shower. Nothing feels better than showering under an open sky. If you don’t have one, a garden hose will do. Grab a bar of soap (Try “Sea Vegetable” from LUSH – smells like lime and seaweed.), lather up and let the sun dry you off. Then, take a bow for the neighbors.

IMG_2817 Continue reading