Recently, many people in my life expressed their excitement for the arrival of October. After all, it means cooler weather’s here (finally), football’s in full swing, and Halloween’s right around the corner. Oh, and pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks!

Personally, my excitement comes from knowing I’ll soon be traveling again. Over the last few days, I visited family and friends back in Maine - where I grew up, and where my Dad still lives. Then, as the Christmas holidays approach, I’ll also be planning trips to visit my sister in Utah, and my Mom in Washington. In other words: I know I have a lot of traveling to look forward to!

After 20 years of flying and driving from L.A. for all these family visits, I like to think of myself as a bit of an “expert” in the travel department. And I’m fortunate to work for a show that’s provided many great travel tips for me to follow. For example: One of my favorites for saving money on airfare is to choose alternate airports. When I fly back East, I’m lucky to have lots of choices – because I can choose to fly from LAX, Burbank, or Ontario. And then land in Boston; Manchester, New Hampshire; or even Portland, Maine. Every time I plan a trip, I check rates to ALL those destinations, and I usually find some good deals.

A more important travel tip is one I learned from a recent San Francisco State University study. They found that to have the most memorable trips, you should only spend money on EXPERIENCES, not THINGS. It’s why I never pack a giant suitcase when I travel - because I don’t expect to be buying tons of knick-knacks and memorabilia. Instead, I save up for at least one experience that I know my family and I can talk about for years to come.

In the past, that meant bringing my newlywed sister and brother-in-law to a U2 concert. Another time, it meant driving into Idaho to watch relatives compete in an Iron Man competition. For this week’s trip, my Dad and I attended our first New England Patriots game together! I loved the drive home after the game, talking about the experience we got to have. It made the trip worth every penny.

Happy travels!