TRAVEL CONTENT, CONCEPTS & CONSULTING BY MARK CHESNUT

As you might guess, I'm passionate about travel. I'm also passionate about providing travelers and travel advisors with news and travel tips to help them make informed decisions. And I'm passionate about helping travel industry clients engage with customers and build business.

Scroll down to see my latest reports from various media outlets (my work has appeared in American Way, Fodor's, Forbes Travel Guide, HuffPo, the Miami Herald and Travel Weekly, to name a few). I also do public speaking and work with travel industry clients to create compelling content.

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Luxury Travel Experiences in Mexico During COVID-19

Evolving traveler preferences, as well as pandemic realities, have pushed the definition of luxury travel in new directions. Perhaps one of the best places to explore what upscale globetrotters are looking for today is Mexico, one of the few destinations that’s stayed open to tourism from the U.S. “Besides your typical COVID-19 hygiene questions, clients are asking if certain activities are open, if spas are operating and whether restaurants are open,” said Jesse Cisneros, an advisor with Ovati

VIDEO: Cool Things to do in Puebla, Mexico

Located just 2 hours from Mexico City, the city of Puebla is the birthplace of many things uniquely Mexican — including mole poblano, talavera pottery and Cinco de Mayo festivities, to name a few. The city’s historic center, which dates to 1531, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s an awful lot to see and do in Puebla. So I’ve created a Puebla travel video (in my usual unfiltered style) to show you some of my favorite things about this fascinating city. I

A Travel Guide To Mexico City for First Timers

As the largest city in North America and one of the largest in the world, Mexico City may be a bit daunting to first-time visitors. There’s enough to see and do in Mexico’s capital to fill various visits, after all. So where to start? To keep from being overwhelmed by the options, it’s a good idea to break down the attractions and activities into categories. Note: Most attractions and businesses in Mexico City were operating at reduced capacity and limited hours as of press time, in accordance

How Travel Agencies Are Rethinking Fee Structures

When it comes to charging service fees, there has never been a one-size-fits-all approach that works for every travel agency. But now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made many advisors rethink their strategy — and more fees appear to be in the future for many of them. A recent survey of independent travel advisors affiliated with host agency Travel Experts, for example, showed that more agencies are adding new fees to their business model. "More advisors are changing their fee structure to an annua

2021 Travel Restrictions: What It’s Like Traveling Around Mexico Right Now

More people are vaccinated. More businesses are open and welcoming visitors. But what’s it really like to travel in Mexico today? During my most recent trip, I visited multiple cities in three Mexican states, took various types of transportation and inspected accommodations both high-end and budget-friendly. I came back with a comprehensive overview of what travelers can expect throughout Mexico at this phase of the pandemic.

All the Latest Los Cabos Travel Updates

As the number of international visitors to Mexico continues to grow, the Los Cabos Tourism Board has created A Safer Way to Get Away, an initiative that uses the hashtag #LosCabosWithCare to highlight its health-minded efforts. Following recommendations from Intertek Cristal’s Protek Destination Assurance program, the tourism board has created guidelines and certifications for partners in the region. In fact, Los Cabos has become the first destination to achieve “Verified” status from Sharecare

Airbnb Review: What $29 a Night Gets You in Xalapa, Veracruz

Airbnb Review: What $29 a Night Gets You in Xalapa, Veracruz You get a lot more for your money when you visit smaller interior cities in Mexico. This is an example. During my recent visit to the state of Veracruz, we stayed at an Airbnb home in Xalapa, the state capital. It’s a lesser-known destination for most international travelers and isn’t on the Mexico vacation wish list for most, either, but it’s well worth a visit for several reasons. In this Airbnb review, we give a video tour of what

The Psychological Effects of Traveling While Vaccinated

After months of feeling powerless against the COVID-19 pandemic, the promise of vaccination seemed like a shining beacon of hope. If we could all get that shot, life would be back to normal, and those of us who work in the travel industry — as well as those who simply miss traveling — would be back to the good old days of carefree globetrotting. Over the past couple of months, I’ve had visions of dancing down the airport concourse, jetting to previously off-limits overseas destinations and, most

Here Are Mexico's Hottest New Hotels for 2021 and Beyond

Even the COVID-19 pandemic can’t hold back new hotel development in Mexico. According to hotel industry website Hospitality Net, Mexico is currently the top country for hotel construction in Latin America, with Mexico City, Cancun and Guadalajara among the cities with the most rooms in the pipeline — though travelers will find new accommodation options in all the major tourism destinations. Here are some of the top developments for 2021 and beyond.

How to Get a COVID-19 Test in Mexico City — New Requirements for Flying to the USA

How to Get a COVID-19 Test in Mexico City — New Requirements for Flying to the USA If you’re flying into the United States from anywhere else in the world today, you must present negative results from a COVID-19 test before you board the inbound flight. But how and where do you get tested, how much does it cost and how long does it take? I found the answers to these questions during my most recent trip to Mexico. There are, in fact, many ways to get a COVID-19 test in Mexico City. I found two

Is It Safe to Travel by Bus in Mexico During the Pandemic?

Is It Safe to Travel by Bus in Mexico During the Pandemic? Travel is complicated during the pandemic. So it is safe to travel by long-distance bus in Mexico? To find out, I took a multi-destination trip through central Mexico, from Mexico City to Xalapa to Puebla and back to Mexico City. In my unfiltered, unscripted travel video, I show you what to expect while traveling in Mexico by bus, from COVID-19 travel hygiene protocols to on-board amenities. And I share my honest opinion about whether

3 Travel Tips for Staying Safe with Airbnb During the Pandemic

3 Travel Tips for Staying Safe with Airbnb During the Pandemic The pandemic is a tricky time to travel. But there are certain things you can do to stay safe — and save money, too. An important note: I’ve been vaccinated. And an increasing number of people around the world have been, too. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective. So hygiene protocols are still important — as is protecting yourself from losing money in the event of trip cancellations (airlines and other travel companies still mig

Emotional Support Animals Are Banned on U.S. Airlines. What Does That Mean for Travelers Reliant on Service Animals?

No more peacocks. No more pigs. In the past few months, all major U.S. airlines have banned emotional support animals (ESAs) on flights. While that may be welcome news for some passengers and airline personnel, it leaves some travelers searching for alternative means of travel. “The sudden banning of emotional support animals to fly for free may result in some passengers feeling unfairly disadvantaged,” said Shelley Tasker, head of operations at Alternative Airlines, a flight search and booking

Hotel Review: Conrad Punta de Mita in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

You know a hotel is good when you find it difficult to leave your room. That was the enviable dilemma I faced every evening at the Conrad Punta de Mita, which opened in September in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit. The problem was this: Mexico’s Pacific coast has always been famous for its beautiful sunsets. But when you’re enjoying the view from an oceanfront suite with an expansive terrace and private plunge pool, well, let’s just say it was a miracle that I ever made it to dinner. This well-appoin

‎Humans of Travel: Journalist Mark Chesnut on Using Travel as an Escape and Life as a Freelance Writer

As a child, travel journalist Mark Chesnut often dodged discomfort by hopping on the nearest plane, train or bus. Raised by a single mother in New York State and navigating the world as a young gay boy in the 1970s, he is the first to admit that he often turned to travel as both a physical — and figurative — escape. In this podcast, Chesnut recounts how he became who he is today, and discusses the healing power of travel.

Women Are Making a Difference in the Hospitality Industry

Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the contributions, progress and challenges of women around the world. In the hospitality industry, it’s also a time to recognize how female professionals are faring in a field long dominated by men. The good news is that there has been progress. According to the 2020 Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership Report from the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, women have taken more leadership roles. Seven women were promoted to CEO in 2018/2019, a

15 Great Hotel Rooftop Bars in Central and South America

What traveler doesn’t enjoy a great view? It’s no wonder that my continuing series of the best rooftop hotel bars and restaurants in the Americas has attracted so much positive feedback. After covering some of the best in the United States for TravelPulse, I turned my attention to the best hotel rooftop bars in the Caribbean. And now, it’s time for a look further south, to Central and South America. With its massive cities and soaring skyscrapers, it’s no surprise that South America is home to

What to Know About Travel Insurance in 2021

After a year of pandemic-related challenges, travel insurance has become a common topic of conversation in the travel community, as vacationers, business travelers and travel advisors search for the best way to protect their purchases. But what’s next for the industry as we get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel? “In 2020, we protected the client's investment, but in 2021, we aim to protect the client,” said Marisa DeSalvio, founder of DeSalvio Travel, an independent affiliate of Brow

HOTEL VIDEO TOUR: Hyatt Ziva Cancun, An Inside Look

Located in the heart of the Cancun Hotel Zone, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is an excellent choice for families and adults looking for an all-inclusive Mexico beach vacation. This hotel was the first to welcome me as Mexico began implementing pandemic hygiene and safety protocols, and it was a pleasure to see how they combine safety and pampering. Now it’s time to see the video tour. If you’d like to read my full hotel review of this property, feel free to check out my report in TravelAge West, the le
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