Christina Valhouli

Northern NJ, NJ USA

Professional Experience

I write about travel, beauty and lifestyle topics including real estate/design. My design-led travel column, TRAVEL CV, appears in Aspire Metro magazine and I have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Robb Report,, Self magazine,, Aspire Metro, Fodor's, the Huffington Post, The New York Post and Q, the blog of Equinox gyms. My passion for travel inspired me to launch my own blog, which was named a top travel site twice by The Times of London. I have been to over 30 countries, including China, India, New Zealand, the Seychelles, Scotland, Italy and many more. Topics covered include using Facebook to break bad news, to the growth of midweek weddings and chia seeds cropping up in beauty products. I have held staff positions at Town & Country, and George magazine.


6 Years
18 Years
18 Years


18 Years
Home & Garden
18 Years
11 Years


Magazine - Large Consumer/National magazines
18 Years
Book Publishing Consumer
7 Years
Online/new media
18 Years

Total Media Industry Experience

18 Years

Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)

Fodor\'s (10+), Four Seasons magazine (10+), The New York Post (10+), The New York Times (6-10), The Wall Street Journal Europe Style Journal (3-5), (3-5), New York magazine (3-5), New York Observer (3-5), (3-5), The Knot (1-2), The Nest (1-2), Town & Country (1-2), The (1-2)

Other Work History

While at Boston University, I interned for the Boston bureau of The New York Times as well as the Press Association in London. In 2001, I wrote and produced a documentary about plus-sized models, called Curve, which featured Emme and Kathy Najimy.

Foreign Language Skills

Conversational French and Greek

Computer Skills

Word, Excel, CMS, InDesign, Photoshop, Social media (Twitter, Facebook)

Work Permits & Visas

Dual US/EU passport


Available on request


My blog,, was named one of the Top Travel Sites of 2007 and 2009 by The Times of London. In Oct. 2001, Glamour magazine named me a "Wow Woman" for producing a documentary about plus-sized models, which appeared in several film festivals and had coverage in People magazine and The New York Times Sunday Styles. My 1999 story "Faster Pussycat, Wax! Wax!" was named one of the top 50 stories of the year by Salon. In 1997 I received an Overseas Press Club Award.



The Berkshires in Massachusetts are home to a handful of luxurious resorts, but if you're looking for a low-key getaway offering winter sports along with a full-service spa, head to the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club in Lenox, a member of Historic Hotels of America.
If you've heard of Lexington and Concord, it means you were paying attention in history or English class. These adjacent Massachusetts towns, just on the outskirts of Boston, are known as the birthplace of the American Revolution but they're hardly stuck in the past.
As the mother of two boys, it was only fitting to plan a trip to the City of Brotherly Love. Although enthusiastic renditions of "Yo, Adrian" would elicit blank stares ('Rocky who?'), Philadelphia is ideal for a weekend getaway.
Charleston is known for its cobblestoned streets, gas lamps, and plantation homes, not to mention its ridiculously friendly locals, who are proud of their city and want to show it off. But this gracious port city isn't stuck in the past.
Unless you're a Fulham Football fan or happen to watch the "Made in Chelsea" reality show, chances are you probably haven't heard of these London neighborhoods. But soccer balls and socialites aside, there is plenty to see and do in these adjacent London boroughs.
Although Washington, D.C., might have made Thanksgiving official, someone had to get the ball rolling, and that would be Plymouth's Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag, thank you very much.
As much as we love new, hip boutique hotels, there's something to be said for the grandes dames of the world: Raffles Singapore, The Plaza in New York, or the Ritz Paris.
There's never been a better time to check into a boutique hotel. After decades of copycat experience, it's safe to say the lodging industry is ushering in a new era of boutique hotels that go beyond colorful wallpaper and living room lobbies.
Maybe you're fan of Jurassic World or happen to have a household of dinosaur-obsessed children who can talk endlessly about the difference between Apatosaurus and Deinonychus. Well you're in luck, because the US has some of the best dinosaur related spots in the world.
While nobody enjoys hanging around an airport for hours thanks to delays or long layovers, it's safe to say that once you're past security, the experience has greatly improved in recent years. Airports have spent millions revamping their terminals.
Pack the hiking boots (or flippers!) and head to one of these agritourism hot spots.
Lexington, Massachusetts, is known as the birthplace of the American Revolution. Today the Boston suburb features historical sites, biotech companies and Nobel Prize-winning scientists and for the first time has a stylish place to stay.
If you're looking for a vacation spot that combines hiking, biking and fishing with castles, stately homes and a microbrewery - as well as the buried heart of an old king - look no further than the Scottish Borders.
It's not hard to see why most visitors fall in love with Edinburgh: its medieval castle, cobblestoned streets, and stone buildings provide no shortage of Old World charm. Luckily you don't need weeks to explore this compact city.
Think of a Midwestern city that offers stylish accommodation, excellent food, and culture and Chicago probably comes to mind first. But if you’re looking for all of those elements at wallet-friendly prices, consider Detroit
When most people think about eating in Charleston, they think of the stick-to-your-ribs-stuff: the fried pickles, the fried green tomatoes and the fried oysters. While many restaurants still serve up such heart-attack-inducing food, Charleston's dining scene has been undergoing a renaissance.
A day at the spa is already a wonderfully indulgent experience, but spending that time in a room with a great view takes it to another level.
I used to be a chronic overpacker, but now that I'm juggling two kids and working as a travel writer, I have learned how to streamline my packing. Here are 10 tips I've found that make family travel easier.
If you happen to have children under the age of 12, we bet you know a thing or two about dinosaur obsession. So while you've probably taken the kids to see fossils in a museum, there are plenty of other ways to explore the world of dinosaurs.
The latest project from Firmdale hotels is Ham Yard, which opened June 1. The Kemps managed to snap up a ¾-acre plot of land in the heart of London, just steps away from Piccadilly Circus. Their idea was to create a hotel with an "urban village" feel.
One of the joys of eating in the Caribbean is that great meals can be found everywhere, from luxury hotels to roadside barbecues and brightly painted seaside shacks. The island of Antigua is no exception.
In the golden age of Hollywood, Palm Springs was the weekend destination of choice for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, the Gabor sisters, and Cary Grant. Palm Springs has been upping its cool factor thanks to an influx of boutique hotels (hello, Ace Hotel) and music festivals including Coachella and Joshua Tree. Beyond the festivals, this desert retreat makes an ideal weekend escape, especially for architecture buffs who come to appreciate the area's stunning examples of midcentury modern architecture.
This once-neglected area along the banks of the River Clyde is now home to a vibrant mix of restaurants, pop-up bars, and art venues.
The pain of skiing in Spain is greatly reduced by a honey-drizzled apres-ski massage in the Pyrenees.
Although Clearwater is consistently rated one of the best beaches in the U.S., there’s much more to do in this seaside town than sunbathe. Stroll down Mandalay Avenue, the main thoroughfare, where you’ll find a mix of upscale restaurants, like Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber, souvenir shops and boutiques, and kitschy attractions — like the life-size statue of Hulk Hogan, a local resident and shop owner.
Although Clearwater is consistently rated one of the best beaches in the U.S., there’s much more to do in this seaside town than sunbathe. Stroll down Mandalay Avenue, the main thoroughfare, where you’ll find a mix of upscale restaurants, like Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber, souvenir shops and boutiques, and kitschy attractions — like the life-size statue of Hulk Hogan, a local resident and shop owner.
Yes, you can go skiing in Spain, and one of the best places to schuss down the slopes is in the upscale ski resort of Baqueira-Beret, tucked in the Aran Valley of the Spanish Pyrenees. It's the biggest resort in the area, and where the Spanish royal family goes skiing each year (they own a chalet in
If your goal is to relax and recharge, these spots offer a wide array of indulgent treatments to make that stress disappear.
London's culinary scene has never been hotter. In this food-obsessed city, the hard part isn't finding a great place to eat but narrowing down your choices.
The Berkshires in western Massachusetts have long been a favorite summer playground, and for good reason: The area is home to Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow dance festival and top-notch dining, theater, and museums. But few people think about visiting in the winter - which is a shame.
Escape the winter blues at one of these seven new warm-weather destinations.
The Garden State offers up attractions like underground mine tours, quaint river and beach towns, and an aviation museum.
For a taste of France without leaving New England, head to the new Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Although Plymouth is best known as the site of the first Thanksgiving, visitors won't find Pilgrims or austerity here.
Visitors to Scotland's new Cromlix Hotel may notice something familiar about the property's tennis courts. The 34-acre retreat, which the professional tennis player Andy Murray restored and opened as a hotel in April, received special permission from Wimbledon to use its signature purple.
Every December, Miami steps into the international spotlight as its plays host to one of the world's biggest art shows, Art Basel Miami. While South Beach may have a reputation for excess, there is also a cleaner, greener way of life to which many of the city's best bodies can be attributed.
The White Hart has been a Salisbury, Connecticut landmark for more than 200 years and has gone through many incarnations and owners. The recently re-opened after a renovation and Malcolm Gladwell is one owner.
Whether you're a fitness fanatic, or simply want to start a new, healthier lifestyle, pack your sneakers and head to one of these 10 upscale boot camp-style vacations in 2015.
If you're looking for a quick getaway that combines gourmet food, art galleries and bars in a peaceful setting, take Metro-North to Norwalk, Connecticut.This coastal town along the Long Island Sound is just one hour away and has been undergoing a design renaissance.
Antigua may have gained independence from the U.K. in 1981, but this Caribbean gem still has a British vibe. Cricket is practically the national religion and reminders of England are everywhere on display, from Georgian naval docks to Shell's Double Decker Fish & Chips.
Unlike their predecessors, the newest producers aren't aiming for mass production. Instead, they're focusing on small-batch products created with premium ingredients that are often organic and locally sourced.
Think about the world's most epic hiking destinations and remote regions-the Alps, Patagonia-likely come to mind. Yet plenty of dynamic international cities, including London, Vancouver and Rio de Janeiro also offer world-class trekking, often in the vicinity of treasured landmarks and skyscrapers.
Then you're stuck at an airport for hours, it can be hard to resist the call of a cocktail or trans fat-laden treat. A better way to kill time? These health-promoting amenities, which are popping up in top terminals around the world.
There's something wonderfully comforting about an old-school ski resort. They're not hip, they're not cool, and that is precisely the point.
I contributed approximately 30 European itineraries to Destinations covered include Greece, Turkey, Ireland, UK and Italy. Please note that writers were not given bylines.
While the temperature is dropping in Toronto, the city's bar scene is just heating up. Long known for its craft beer scene, Toronto is increasingly morphing into a destination for innovative cocktails, served up in decadent and dive-y settings alike.
I updated the shopping section of the 2010 Fodor's Guide to London. Neighborhoods covered included Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Covent Garden.
I contributed the shopping chapter to the Fodor's New York City 2012 & 2013 guidebook. Neighborhoods covered include Soho, Midtown East and the Meatpacking District.
This Vermont town has long been a favorite ski destination in the Northeast, but its appeal lies beyond just the slopes. The village is postcard perfect, thanks to its church steeples and covered bridges, set against the backdrop of the Green Mountains. But there is plenty to do even for non-skiers,
At far too many ski areas across North America, the slopeside food options are dismal, consisting of little more than hamburgers, pizza, and wings eaten off plastic trays. In fact, some of the world's best ski areas are known as much for their food as for their slopes.

Lifestyle & Social Trends

Some say that breaking bad news on Facebook helps both sufferers and their friends, while others find it an inappropriate way to reveal events like divorces.
I have been serving pretty much the same dinner all summer long, which tends to be grilled shrimp or chicken, veggie kabobs, and a salad. I was stuck in a dining rut, and to mix things up I decided to try a new meal subscription service called Blue Apron.
While Saturday weddings remain the norm, more couples are considering midweek weddings because of the significant savings associated with them.
When it comes to sentimentality, there are few events in life more steeped in it than the typical wedding. But a growing number of brides who aren't turned off by the gowns of the '60s, '70s and '80s, are wearing a family dress that is more meaningful than one off the rack.
In the past decade, we've seen A-list celebrities lend their names to everything from perfumes and Proactiv acne treatment to Nescafé coffee makers and luxury haircare. But the latest bandwagon is a more surprising one: fitness apparel.
Some people associate leg warmers with 80's-era Jane Fonda and Flashdance, but these chic little sweaters for your legs are having a comeback. We've spotted stylish women wearing them on top of leggings as they make the dash from the car (or subway) to the gym.
Miami-based Giovanni Theodoli Marine Manufacturing (GTMM), owned by yacht-world veteran Giovanni Theodoli, is one of the newest luxury speedboat companies to enter the market.
Everyone knows not to wear white to a wedding so as not to upstage the bride, but what happens if a bride decides to wear pink, yellow or even blue? The answer: added stress for some brides and sartorial confusion for wedding guests.
No time for that two week dream honeymoon? Consider a minimoon, a short wedding trip for those couples who put off a longer excursion because of work, lack of money or because they married in the wrong season.

Personal Essay

Of course it's really hard not to look like you're a mom when you are one. Yes, I may be a suburban, station wagon driving mom but I don't want to necessarily look like one.
After scrolling through pages of pirate D.I.Y. on Pinterest, I started to feel inadequate as a mom, and slightly stressed out. Is this what other parents expected me to do? Would they show up assuming I had drawn parchment treasure maps with artfully torn and burned corners?
As I cuddled my baby in the dark, hot, salty tears began streaming down my cheeks. It had all gone a little too well - I was so focused on reaching milestones (I've dropped the 11 a.m. feed! And now the 2 p.m. feed! Only two to go!) that I had forgotten to savor these last few feeds together.


In the depth of winter, we all need a little extra glow. If a quick trip to the Caribbean isn’t an option, these skin brighteners add a dose of radiance by sloughing off dead skin cells and helping to lighten dark spots and tackle hyperpigmentation. Most of them are packed with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and glycolic acid, a natural exfoliant. Here’s a look at some of our favorites:
Hang on to your kale, as farm to table is moving from the dining room into the spa. While many top spas have been offering organic treatments for some time, they're taking it one step further with treatments using fresh herbs and citrus grown on-site.
It's strong, it's musky and almost animalistic in its sensuality. We're not talking about durian, the beloved but smelly southeast Asian fruit but oud - one of the most expensive raw scent ingredients in the world.
Women are turning to beauty supplements from Olay, Avon and Nicholas Perricone, which promise to make hair shinier, skin smoother and erase cellulite. But do they really work?
A recent luxury beauty trend promises that a surprising (and somewhat less decadent) ingredient-bee venom-can moisturize skin and solve a variety of ailments.
"Artisanal" is everywhere and applied to everything from bacon and vodka, to cheese and chocolate. In the beauty world, artisanal equates to handmade or small-batch products, usually crafted from natural ingredients, that tend to be organic and often vegan.
Move over, supermodels. The biggest names in beauty right now aren't models, actress, or makeup artists. Right now the superstars of the beauty world are bloggers-and vloggers-who have made the leap from computer screens to shelves with their own product launches.
While the French have long been the global style leader in the sartorial stakes, for decades beauty innovation was being led by Japanese cosmetics companies. But in the last few years, South Korean beauty brands have been claiming a bigger stake of the American beauty market.
The makers of mineral makeup say the products heal skin, provide natural sunblock, last longer than ordinary makeup and are so safe they can even be used in the sensitive days after plastic surgery. Can mineral makeup really do all that? Some dermatologists are skeptical.
Gone are the days of applying a mud mask, letting it dry and then scrubbing it off with a washcloth. The newest masks are made of cotton fibers or even sea kelp, and come in convenient single-dose packages.
While most people would agree that drinking plenty of water is good for your skin, there seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to water-based beauty products. One camp sings it praises as a must-have skincare ingredient, while others say that omitting water offers plenty of benefits.
When celebrities are asked about their personal grooming habits, they often cite Marvis as their preferred toothpaste. But this beloved Italian brand is facing competition in the luxury mouth-freshening department.
Charcoal, long used as a purifier in air filters and fish tanks, is cropping up in beauty products. Proponents say it helps to naturally draw impurities and excess oil out of the skin, and works as a detoxifier.
Chia seeds have gone from being the basis of Chia Pets to becoming one of the biggest so-called superfoods on the market. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high in antioxidants, protein and fiber. Now they are cropping up in skin care products.
Rejecting the big chain stores in favor of Etsy for natural products that are made at home and that sell for less.
Lemon, mandarin, and coconut are some of our favorite summer scents. If you aren't lucky enough to have lemon trees in your backyard or you're daydreaming of the beach while sitting in your office, one of the best ways to evoke the smells of summer is with a scented candle.
After a particularly grueling session, sometimes you need more than just a hot shower. These restorative products, which can be added to a bath or rubbed on skin, help soothe sore muscles and alleviate aches-without the faintest medicinal scent. Time to trade in the Tiger Balm.