Nancy Novogrod Nancy Novogrod
| Credit: Nancy Novogrod

Let me tell you about what I do on the side—that is, in addition to my job, my family, and a handful of other pursuits, which include reading novels, Pilates training, and keeping up with art.

I’m a travel adviser, sought after by close friends and passing acquaintances alike (these last, for some reason, always seem to make the most potentially time-consuming requests). If you find your fingers itching to give me a call, here’s a word of advice—do, please, check out first. It’s where you’ll almost certainly find the information you seek. is indeed the ultimate destination for the ambitious stories—whether narratives or travel guides—that are featured each month in Travel + Leisure; much of this material also appears in our international editions in Australia, China, Mexico, Turkey, South Asia, and, launching this month, Southeast Asia (there’s more to come shortly). But first and foremost, the goal of every article our editors, writers, and photographers undertake is to inform and inspire the magazine’s readers with words and images aimed at easing their way out into the world.

This month, as always, the T+L team has worked hard on a variety of fronts: for those in search of a laid-back island getaway, you’ll find guides to 10 of our favorite places in the region in "The Ultimate Caribbean." We also present the T+L Special 2008 Preview: Cruising, which is packed with advice on how to choose a cruise, the latest itineraries, and new ships—including a look at the Queen Victoria. We extend our service-oriented coverage to two in-demand American cities: Miami and Las Vegas. For those who are Miami-bound for the Art Basel Miami Beach fair or simply for fun in the sun, we introduce a brand-new genre, the T+L Smart City Guide, to get you started, and we offer a local’s perspective on the fast-paced swirl of Sin City with "The Veteran’s Guide to Vegas." But don’t think for a minute we are all business in this issue: our writers meander through London and the Cotswolds for the holidays ("A Christmas Story," and journey far beneath the surface in modern Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital that bears enduring scars from the Pol Pot years ("Phnom Penh Now,"). No matter whether you are planning a trip on a slow boat to China or a blitz through Los Angeles, Travel + Leisure is committed to doing the advance work for you.

When executed with skill and wit, good service journalism is much more than meets the eye. Both generous and smart, at best, it achieves a certain talisman-like power that, with all its opinions, street addresses, and URL’s, I believe serves as an invocation to the gods of having a good time, who will make sure that you do just that.