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Easytravel101

To me, an ideal Christmas gift for a traveler (1) focuses on travel and (2) is an extravagance that the traveler would enjoy but is not apt to arrange for him/herself. Giving something the traveler has already asked for is easy: If your traveler already has a destination and dates firmed up, you could easily arrange dinner at a top restaurant, attraction tickets, and such.

Maybe it’s your family tradition to return to the same holiday lights display every year — often the weekend after Thanksgiving when everyone is desperate to get out of the house and whining about eating more leftovers. Maybe you seek out a new one where you are visiting friends and relatives.

Unless you live on a different planet, you will have noted that "Black Friday" sales — once limited to the actual Friday after Thanksgiving — now start only a few days after Halloween and last until the year-end holiday travel hype starts. Although the original Black Friday promotions concentrated on electronic gear for a single day, they now apply to just about everything, including travel. My email inbox is full of messages from hotels, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators, local visitor promotion outfits, and their agents — far too many even to summarize here.

Jake Horowitz’s latest role is as a carnival worker in the film “Bones and All.” While he won’t divulge too much about the character he plays, the actor gave us some insight when asked if he would readily travel with the carny. “He’s a thrill seeker – that friend who would encourage you to hop the fence into the abandoned building (and) to say yes to the stranger’s party invite,” the Manhattan resident said. “He’s a bit of a wild card and trouble maker. So, depending on your taste, he’d either be an excellent or horrifying travel mate. You might not make it back but, if you did, you’d have some stories to tell...”

“I absolutely love Christmas,” said Denise Boutte. “So the joy I get from filming a holiday movie is next level! ‘Christmas with My Ex’ was so fun to shoot. (There was one particular) poignant and heartfelt moment — truly intense yet vulnerable. My character, Alicia, confronts her unappreciative husband for taking her for granted and failing her on many levels. She uncharacteristically erupts and demands the respect she's deserved all along as not only his wife, but also the mother to their unborn child.” Based out of Los Angeles, the actress may also be seen on the daytime drama “The Young and the Restless.”

Are you ready to travel again? I don’t mean for Thanksgiving or the holidays, I mean for planning next year’s adventures and getaways. You can save significant bucks and book a memorable family trip by planning for Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Travel Monday (Nov. 28).

Elly Griffiths’ latest novel, “Bleeding Heart Yard” (Mariner Books, $27.99), is a page-turning whodunnit that revolves around a group of friends who committed murder two decades ago. Fast-forward to their class reunion, where a prominent politician may have died of an overdose … or was killed. The British author said that living on the south coast of England is the perfect place for a crime writer such as herself. “Brighton has the reputation for being a little bit wicked. The writer Keith Waterhouse said it has the air of a town that is helping the police with their inquiries.”

There’s a spot in Paris where I like to share my macarons. Pulling the ribbon on the tiny box — gilded with tradition and a flair for good living — and sharing them here is the perfect start for a double date with my favorite travel partner and my favorite city.

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