Fall Road Trips 2013 Advisors

Meet our panel for our Best Fall Foliage Road Trips.

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Meet the panel of advisors behind Travel Best Fall Foliage Road Trips 2013. Our advisors live for the open road — especially one with colorful fall foliage in nearly every direction.

From veteran travel host Samantha Brown to New England fall foliage photographer and sage Jeff “Foliage” Folger, our panelists know the best drives for leaf peeping this fall.
1. Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown has spent more than a decade at Travel Channel -- living in airports, hotels and out of a suitcase, as she visits hundreds of cities around the world. Samantha has enough frequent flyer miles to buy a small island; she also knows that the most important survival phrase in any language is, "May I have a coffee, please!" Samantha has hosted more than 17 shows on Travel Channel; this has kept her on the road more than 230 days out of the year, traveling throughout the world.

Growing up in New Hampshire, Samantha was never much of a jetsetter, but is now a definitive travel expert. After receiving her degree in musical theatre at Syracuse University, she spent 8 years as an actress in New York City before joining Travel Channel. Along the way, Samantha has encountered ancient culture in China, transported her fans to 20 awe-inspiring cities, and explored Europe, traveling to 65 destinations, from majestic, modern capitals to ancient seacoast towns.
2. Bill Kirk
Bill Kirk is CEO, cofounder and board member of Weather Trends International based in Lehigh Valley, PA. Bill has 22 years’ experience in meteorology, with a contagious passion for applying year-ahead weather intelligence to public and private sector organizations in retail, manufacturing, utilities, media, consumer products, finance and the military. Bill has helped WTI win 12 national and international business technology awards, including Red Herring Technology Awards and the American Business Awards; WTI has also ranked No. 5 on Forbes Most Promising Companies List.

Bill served as a captain in the US Air Force and worked with NASA, plus briefed thousands of F-16 fighter missions. Bill graduated from Rutgers University as an Air Force Distinguished Graduate with a B.S. in meteorology. Bill currently sits on the Advisory board of directors for Millersville University’s Business of Science masters program.
3. James Fisher
Born and raised partly in the English countryside and partly on African backroads 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 especially. From watching Hollywood movies in the ’80s to traveling to more than 60 countries, and experiencing American influence around the world close up, James came to the States on a journey to discover what really makes this country tick, beyond the stereotypes. This journey led him to travel the backroads in search of the places and small businesses that really define the local culture of towns and cities nationwide. What he found amazed and inspired him, and led him to create Roadtrippers, 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. Erin Gifford
Erin Gifford is a family travel expert and founder of Kidventurous.com, an award-winning travel resource designed to help moms and dads plan adventures that are both educational and fun. A mother of 4 young children, Erin serves as one of 5 Smart Family Travel experts for Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, dispensing tips and advice to families interested in memorable vacation experiences. Recently, Erin was named to Merck's Active Family Project Play Council, which seeks to empower moms to enjoy healthy and active lifestyles with their families.

Since its launch in 2011, Kidventurous has been named the Best Family Travel Blog by Parents magazine and Luxury Travel Mavens, and was named a finalist in the Top Family Travel Sites category by the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards. Erin's travel writing can be found on TravelChannel.com, Fodors.com, MiniTime, SmarterTravel.com and more.
5. Jeff “Foliage” Folger

Photo by: Caleb Kenna

Caleb Kenna

Jeff "Foliage" Folger has been a New England fall foliage photographer and sage for over a decade. As you can tell from his moniker, Jeff has a passion for fall foliage and loves capturing autumn's seasonal show in photographs. Jeff’s foliage blogging career started several years ago when Yankee magazine asked him to be their first blogger on everything fall foliage.

Now Jeff writes his own blog, Exploring New England’s Fall Foliage, where, in addition to showcasing his fall photography, he shares tips on planning and locating fall foliage, as well as tracking down peak fall foliage days.
6. Kathleen Rellihan
Kathleen Rellihan has worked as an online producer for TravelChannel.com for over 5 years, managing web content for Travel hosts like Samantha Brown to overseeing content areas of the site such as Road Trips and Girl Getaways. A Washington, DC resident, Kathleen’s “travel” job mainly consists of virtual travel from her desk, but it’s far from ordinary -- Kathleen’s favorite day on the job was when 5 tribesman from a remote island in Vanuatu hung out in her cubicle … clad in nothing but a loincloth.

Kathleen embarked on her first road trip cross-country at the age of 9; in the decades since, her love for adventure travel has inspired her to sleep in an ice hotel in Quebec, search for the northern lights in Iceland, learn to surf in Costa Rica and give elephants a bath in Thailand. Kathleen’s next adventure is volunteering as an English teacher in Haiti. And as long as she can control the radio, she’s always ready to hit the open road, especially come fall.

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