A Taste of Stellenbosch: Exploring South African Wines and Food

Stellenbosch is the dramatically beautiful, wine-producing region in South Africa. No visit to the country is complete without a Stellenbosch wine tasting (or two). Pair the wine with a food tour and learn about South Africa’s favorite foods, like biltong and bobotie.

Driveway flanked by foliage at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, offering South Africa wine tours

What waits at the end of this dramatic driveway? A wine safari at the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase.

Continue reading

5 Tips for Slackers Visiting Pandora at Disney World

If there are no Pandora Fast Passes available for your Disney World vacation, don’t worry. Here’s a strategy for riding BOTH Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage in 2 hours!

“Did you book your FastPass+ yet?” My sister-in-law asked this question every time we talked about our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. “Nope. I’ll get to it,” was my standard reply. When I finally opened the My Disney Experience app (while riding on the Magical Express from the airport to the Animal Kingdom Lodge), there was no availability for any of the popular rides, including Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the new Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

When visiting Pandora without a FastPass, be sure to catch the Tree of Life Awakening in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Watching the Tree of Life is a popular nighttime activity in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

Continue reading

How to Save $27 in 7 Minutes

Baffled by travel reward programs? You’re not alone. If you’re looking for one that’s super easy to use and offers immediate savings, try AutoSlash when booking your next vacation car rental. It checks available offers for you and saves you the hassle of shopping around for the best deal.

Save money on car rentals by using AutoSlash.

I approach every travel rewards program with caution. AutoSlash was very easy to use.

Continue reading

Is There an Easy Way to Save? The DOSH Cash Back App

Do you feel like you’re missing out on saving money because you never have the right coupon or store loyalty card on hand? A world of discounts is available to shoppers but accessing those discounts isn’t easy. Is the new DOSH cash back app the key to saving $$ simply?

Women shopping and smiling thanks to DOSH cash back app.

The DOSH cash back app offers savings without the hassle. Photo: Shutterstock

“Do you have your loyalty card?”

Stacy, one of the owners of my favorite swimwear/lingerie boutique, posed the question, after she’d rung up my substantial purchase. Why do I love Soleil Toile in Westport? Because they carry a marvelous variety of swim separates and bras for women who can’t shop off the rack in department stores. And they take as much time as you need during fitting sessions. For the privilege, I’m willing to pay a premium. Continue reading

Spring Break Planners: Are You an Early Bird or a Late Bloomer?

Robin Williams put it best, as he so often did, “Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party!’” And, spring break vacations are the ultimate kickoff for seasonal fun.

Or so people tell me. Continue reading