Welcome to the inside of My Brain which is where I keep all of the Travel Tools I have been using as a travel professional over the past 30 years. I have spent the past several years working very closely with my clients and vendors around the globe with the sole objective of developing a new platform to empower travelers to be better informed when making important decisions regarding their travel purchases. 

Advanced technology has ushered in a whole new era of travel planning which has changed the way we obtain information and ultimately make choices. How does one make sense of all this ever-changing data at our fingertips? My philosophy in life is to Keep it Simple and with that in mind, I have organized My Brain for you into two parts - the Left Side and the Right Side. Since the Left Side of the Brain is where logic, order and structure reside, I have dedicated this part of my website to the Brain Navigation Menu. If you ever find yourself lost or in need of some direction, just look to your left. This will enable you to find the information you need. On the Right Side you will find all the creativity, imagination and storytelling which is the perfect place in the brain for this type of activity. With this new platform, I will be able to keep you better informed which is really where my passion lies.

Travel research and planning is all about collaboration and community and I hope that you will share with me and others what has made your travel experience memorable.

TT = Travel Toolbox

No this is not my Audi, Vaio, Polish handgun nor the domain for Trinidad & Tobago, but rather my Travel Toolbox which I personally use on a daily basis. This is where I go to find all my contact information for air, car, and hotel providers. I also have a special section for other special providers that come in very handy when making travel plans. You are more than welcome to borrow anything you find in the toolbox, but as my dad always says even to this very day - Be sure to put it back where you found it so the next person that needs it will know where it is. No worries now, you will always find what you need here and if you don't, just let me know. If it's a tool I do not have, I will consider adding it to the TT so that others can use it too in the future.


The Library
sssssssssshhhhh...quiet please. 
Welcome to the The Travel Library. The best part of membership is that you do not even need a library card to find books, magazines, movies, music, videos and maps for your next trip . I am good friends with the Librarian, so if you have a favorite let me know and we can have it put on the shelves for others to enjoy. If you have your QR code scanner handy, check out one of the funniest library videos you will ever see! What is QR? 

If you don't have a QR scanner just click on the code and you will be directed to YouTube for a preview.


Nothing on TV? Already seen that DVD 5 times?

Whether you are planning a trip or just in the mood for some armchair travel, as a Member you will have front row seats and a season pass to TOKU TALK LIVE .  You will receive invitations to all premiers and special advance screenings and we will ask for your feedback. Tokucasts™ are all about community and we love to collaborate. This special feature will only be available here and you will be the first to learn about new travel opportunities around the globe. Here you will find not only destination specific broadcasts, but helpful HOW TOsegments to get you on your way. 


Need a juggler in Jamaica?

My journey as a travel professional over the past 20 years has given me the opportunity to meet the most talented people on the ground at destinations around the globe. Whether you require a historian, dog walker, hair stylist or local chef, these local experts know who to contact to perform magic in the pursuit of travel excellence. As a Member you can reach out to these same experts through my introduction network.

City Reports
Did you hear about that fabulous restaurant in Paris?

As a member you will also be invited to preview my
 Mini City Reports which will become part of the TOKU™ global network in the future. Here you will find the TOKU 10™   hotels, restaurants and hot spots at each destination using my special TOKULOGIC™. With each Mini City Report you will also find contact information for the best local experts on the ground. Over the years my clients have been some of my best sources of information as they are often the first ones on the front line. I often get emails or text messages while they are checking into a new hotel or dining at a quiet little bistro on the side streets of Paris. Here is a sampling of the cities included:

 Abu Dhabi  New York
 Auckland  Paris
 Beijing  Rio
 Buenos Aires  San Francisco
 Delhi  Sao Paolo
 Dubai  Seoul
 London  Shanghai
 Los Angeles  Sydney
 Moscow  Tokyo
 Mumbai  Vancouver


Convenience Store

Retail Therapy - A Spa for Shoppers

Need a new travel book on Shanghai? Looking for a great pair of slippers while on the road? How about a new piece of luggage? Perhaps you just need some ideas for gifts for the holidays. Whatever you need...visit the Convenience Store for items carefully selected with the traveler in mind. You can find my personal favorites on Aisle 4 near the coffee. Did I hear "Blue Light Special"?

Magellan's Travel Store

America's Leading Source For Travel Supplies (Static) 170x69

Travel Insurance

Do you have protection? I do not like surprises...

I never get caught without adequate protection when planning a major travel investment. Protect yourself and your loved ones with Travel Insurance from Travel Guard.


QR Codes

QR = Quick Response
Linking the real world with the digital world at high speed

If you haven't noticed these black and white 2-dimensional codes yet, they are popping up everywhere. Created in Japan in 1994, a QR Code is a matrix barcode, readable by QR scannersmobile phones with camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. I have been living with QR codes in Japan for years and now they are enabling us to access information in a whole new way. I will be using QR codes to empower you to access the travel information you need now and when on the road. 

 Insider Japan


The Origins of the Japanese Aesthetic

Japan lies at the very core of my existence and as a Member you can join me in my search for the latest stories in Japan. I follow the country in a variety of fields, but what really drives my passion is the amazing power and influence of emerging talent. I invite you to join me in the pursuit of creative genius throughout this great nation.

Beginning in January 2011, Insider Japan will become your destination for the latest information on this amazing country. I will be uploading my personal and professional archives which includes my research, data, writings, artwork, interviews and even my academic papers from U.C. Berkeley and Cornell University. Japan is so much more than Geishas and Fujiyamaand I am excited to be sharing this wealth of information with Members. 

Travel professionals will have access to my extensive library of travel itineraries which have been produced over the past 20 years in Japan. This exclusive Professional  Membership also provides access to my database of hotels and restaurants in Japan.

My goal is to get as many people to Japan as possible given the myths and "barriers" to entry. Yes,  there are language and cultural differences. Yes,  the Japanese yen exchange rate across many currencies is horrendous. BUT, there are amazing values to be found in Japan and if you are prepared for an experience of a lifetime, join me. My greatest joy is when at the end of a travel program I learn that many want to return to Japan again in the future.

Itinerary Maker

Need help deciding where to go next? 

Itinerary Maker is a simple form that you can use to assist in your efforts to create a working itinerary and solicit feedback from Gregory Howell and his team of global destination experts.
Photo Albums

As a Member you can also create Photo Albums which are collections of pictures that you can upload to your profile. You can either create one big album that has all your photos, or create a series of smaller albums - this is handy if you want to show pictures you took from an recent hotel or restaurant visit. The choice is yours. 

You can can also determine how many albums to create and who can see them. Protecting your privacy is of the utmost importance and you monitor the album settings of your account. For example you can make your photo albums visible to Everyone, or change the settings to be more specific and viewer restrictive.

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