Best Road Trips 2014 Advisors

Meet the panel of advisors behind Travel Best Road Trips 2014. Our advisors live for the open road — especially one with awe-inspiring views in nearly every direction.

From off-road explorer and host Don Wildman to cinematographer and road tripper Allison Otto, our panelists know the most picturesque and adventurous drives across the globe.

1. Don Wildman

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Don Wildman is fast becoming one of the most recognizable faces in documentary television. Whether he's pulling back the curtain on a fascinating unseen view of America or bringing to light the puzzling and intriguing stories behind museum artifacts, Wildman takes viewers on an adventure with the mission to expose the real truth lying beneath the surface.



As host of Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, Wildman journeys across America, going deep into the vaults of the nation's most revered institutions and unearthing wondrous treasures from the past. Wildman also served as host of Travel Channel’s Off Limits, where he crisscrossed the United States, taking viewers behind locked doors to uncover the secrets of the country’s nation’s man-made world.

In Wildman’s new original series on Travel Channel, Monumental Mysteries, he uncovers some of America’s most intriguing events, greatest triumphs, well-known disasters, and even some notorious crimes that are linked to many of the nation’s history-rich monuments. Whether traversing obscure or familiar turf, his journey is full of fun and surprises.

2. Allison Otto

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As an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer, Allison Otto loves spending her life on the open road and seeking compelling places and intriguing stories. Allison has clocked more than 450 road trips throughout the United States and along its back roads. She has also spent 2 years living in a fully restored, 26-foot-long, 1958 Airstream trailer. Her 3 Chihuahua rescue dogs are her favorite road trip companions and often accompany her on her adventures.

Allison has directed, filmed and edited for clients such as Travel Channel (Roadside Attractions), Lonely Planet, Outside television and Outside magazine. In 2013, Allison debuted her first documentary short, Keeper of the Mountains, which screened at more than 25 film festivals internationally and won 11 awards.

Prior to picking up a camera, Allison worked as a sportswriter, covering everything from Major League Baseball to the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley. She graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in sociology.

3. James Fisher

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Born and raised partly in the English countryside and partly on African back roads expeditions with his wonderfully eccentric family, James Fisher has always been on a pathway to a lifetime of travel and adventure.


James has long been fascinated with America. From watching Hollywood movies in the ’80s to traveling to more than 60 countries and experiencing America's influence around the world, James came to the United States on a journey to discover what really makes this country tick, beyond the stereotypes. This journey led him to travel the back roads in search of the places and small businesses that define the local culture of America's towns and cities. What he found amazed and inspired him, and led him to create Roadtrippers.com, the first complete travel platform for road trips and independent travel. In doing so, James has realized his own American dream along the way.

4. Robert Firpo-Cappiello

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Robert Firpo-Cappiello is executive editor at BudgetTravel.com, where he is regularly awed by the array of easy road trips across the United States. In search of the "Great American Drive," he recently toured western Montana's Big Sky Country, the central coast of California, and last winter finally learned to ski in Colorado.

It's no surprise Robert savored the chance to help curate Budget Travel's Ultimate Road Trips App, which features 70-plus American drives through various states, including Alaska and Hawaii. When he's not traveling or planning his next trip, Robert appears regularly as a travel authority on the Weather Channel's Wake Up With Al, PIX 11's Morning News in NYC, and on Rick Crandall's weekly radio show, Boomtown.

5. Kim Mance

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Kim Mance is a travel writer and television personality based in New York. She has written and blogged for Condé Nast Traveler, Marie Claire, WorldHum and Huffington Post, and is editor of Galavanting.

Kim regularly appears as a travel and lifestyle expert on many national and local television outlets like CNN, ABC News, FOX News, NPR, Katie, Anderson Live, the Sundance Channel, and Better TV. One of her essays is included in Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, a collection of humorous travel stories (Solas House, 2012).

6. Kathleen Rellihan

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Kathleen Rellihan has worked as a digital producer for Travel Channel for over 6 years, managing web content for TV hosts like Samantha Brown and overseeing content areas of the website such as Road Trips and Girl Getaways. A Washington, DC resident, Kathleen’s job is an adventure in itself -- her favorite day at work was when 5 tribesman from a remote island in Vanuatu hung out in her cubicle … clad in nothing but loincloths.

Kathleen embarked on her first cross-country road trip at the age of 9; in the decades since, her love for adventure travel has inspired her to dog sled in Quebec, search for the northern lights in Iceland, learn to surf in Costa Rica and give elephants a bath in Thailand. Kathleen’s most memorable road trip was driving across Italy in a tiny Fiat and as long as she can control the music, she’s always ready to hit the open road.

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