When it comes to taking a cruise on the river or ocean, it’s pretty tough to go wrong. Both offer incredible views, luxurious amenities, and the opportunity to explore interesting ports. Living in New York City, we have two ports that will conveniently take you on a number of ocean cruising experiences. However ocean cruises are worldwide so it is an opportunity to explore the world from a large boat.
The majority of river cruises are located in Europe although you will find specialty river cruising in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Each one comes with its own unique perks, and depending on your specific needs for your next trip, you might find that one is a slightly better fit than the other. So what are the major differences?
One big difference can be summed up in one word: intimacy. River cruises tend to be much smaller (190 max vs. up to 6,200 on the largest ocean cruises), and as a result, you’re much more likely to be interacting with other passengers and crew members.
That smaller scale translates to all areas of the river cruise. You dine on a regular schedule at tables with other passengers (wine is included in the price of the cruise). Instead of 50 different things to do on board, amenities tend to be more modest with river cruises — think libraries, a workout room, cultural programs, and free Wifi vs. ten kids’ playrooms, glitzy Broadway shows, and a skydiving simulator. There tend to be fewer kids on river cruises, making them popular for couples seeking quiet and relaxed time together.
You stop almost every day at a new port with river cruises, often for walking tours through quaint towns with little tourist traffic, and you’re always in view of land.
With ocean cruises, you can go days without seeing land, and ports of call and excursions tend to be more exotic and high-adventure.
Because of their larger size, ocean cruises offer plenty of options for many ages, from young kids to octogenarians, and they are often more able to accommodate a wide variety of special health needs. For this reason, they tend to make the best option for multi-generational family gatherings that include young children. For the traveler who is into high-octane adventure, ocean cruises provide a wide variety of activities on board, as well as exotic and more daring day excursions.
River cruises do tend to be more expensive per person — but that price also includes more things. Ocean cruises have a lower sticker price per person, but you are often charged extra for alcohol and other amenities.
When you’re getting ready to plan your next on-the-water trip, here are a few questions to consider:
1) How many people are traveling? What are their ages?
2) What time of the year do you want to travel?
3) Do you need the amenities of a mega ship — spas, gyms, a dozen restaurants, and many activities? Or are you looking for something calmer, more intimate and easy-paced?
4) Are you seeking authentic inter-cultural experiences? Or do you prefer more familiar settings?
As always, we are here and would love to discuss your next cruise. We can look at all the moving parts of your upcoming trip — what you need, what you want, what your dream is — and together we can come up with a cruise you and your loved ones will remember fondly for the rest of your life. Contact us today.
Spring break means different things to different people. For some its a time to get away for school and let loose. For travelers with children its a great time to escape the sometimes terrible weather and have some fun with the kiddies. For travelers without children usually we don't get spring breaks anymore but after bad winter weather taking the opportunity for an escape is usually needed.
For a new or returning college student, spring break is typically the first travel opportunity without parental chaperones. This is your time to kick back and have fun with your friends and meet new friends in a relaxed environment. There are hotel resorts that cater specifically to groups of college students traveling for spring break while other hotel resorts are not as friendly towards college spring breakers.
Here is my top pick for college spring breakers (17-22 year old travel groups):
Grand Oasis Cancun: This is the ultimate spring break hotel located in a prime location on the hotel zone. Frequently featured on shows such as MTV Spring Break, staying at this resort will put you right in the middle of the action. While not super luxurious, the hotel will provide travelers with a comfortable place to rest their heads for a few hours in between parties. Only a short walk or taxi/bus ride to other parties in the Hotel Zone, this hotel is perfect for being at the center of the party action.
With the kids out of school for the week, a great way to entertain them is to take them away. When traveling with family members of different ages you have to balance the needs of each family member and also ensure that everyone is sufficiently entertained. Also as a family you probably want to stay away from the wildness of the certain spring break destinations such as Cancun which attracts a large amount of partying college spring breakers.
My top pick for a family-centric spring break getaway is......
Royal Caribbean Cruise: With dozens of destinations available ranging from 3 night to 12 night itineraries, you will find a ship that fits all your needs. For the adults there are nightly shows, casinos, and spas to keep you entertained while the kids will have access to various activities from video arcades, rock climbing, and the ever popular Flow Rider. For the ultimate experience, check out the itineraries on the Oasis and Quantum class ships for a floating city experience. Perfect Day at Coco Cay will be an experience best enjoyed by all members of the family and is truly a highlight of all itineraries stopping at RCCL's private oasis in the Bahamas.
Adults without kids:
If you are one of the lucky adults that have a spring break you will also be looking for a destination to getaway. Depending on your day job you may not want to be surrounded by kids while on vacation but at the same time you may not want to be around partying college students. Maybe you are looking for a relaxing getaway with some sun, sand, food, and adventure. I recommend staying away from the typical college spring break getaways such as Cancun, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica.
My top pick for an adults only getaway is.......
Hotel Riu Palace Antillas: Located on the picturesque shores of Palm Beach in Aruba. This adults only all inclusive is just want you need to get away from it all. Riu properties have a strict spring break policy so you are very unlikely to run into spring break groups and as an adults only property you will not run into any children unless you venture over to the family friendly sister property Riu Palace Aruba. Located very conveniently from the major airports on the Eastern seaboard you will find all you need while in Aruba. Explore the island on ATVs, snorkel in the bathwater warm beaches, or stretch out on your slice of beach and relax. At night explore the world famous food scene of Aruba or stay on property and experience the cuisine on property.
Your spring break plans can be put together with you having to break a sweat. All you need to do is contact the top travel agency in New York - Million Miles Travel Agency.
I am always looking for more ways to be happy. Sometimes it is by eating my favorite foods, listening to my favorite music, or.......... traveling?
We know that travel comes with a host of great benefits: you get to spend time with people you love (or be away from the people you love lol); you get to see new things and try new things; you get to relax away from the pressures of work and everyday life; you get the thrill of realizing dreams you may have had for years and years.
As it turns out, travel is the best way to spend your money. Of all the things you can buy, the experience of traveling gives you, by far, the most bang for your buck. All these great elements of travel have been proven to make people happier.
And even more than that, every part of the travel experience — before, during, and after — is more satisfying, more enjoyable, and has longer-lasting positive effects than buying stuff.
In 2003, Thomas Gilovich published his landmark study called “To Do or To Have? That Is the Question” – a study that, more than a decade on, continues to influence social psychology and the study of what brings us true contentment.
Gilovich looked at how economic choices affect well-being and analyzed the differences between experiential and material purchases on human happiness. His unexpected discovery has changed the way we look at our buying habits: Across the board, doing things makes people way happier than having things.
The reason for this is that we get to live and re-live the joy of experiences. Buying an expensive TV or even a new car gives a momentary spike in good feelings that lasts for a few days. But when you take an amazing trip, you get the memories and the good time together — and every time you think of that trip, or you see something that reminds you of it, or you look at the picture on your desktop, your brain registers those joyful times and releases mood-enhancing chemicals that make you feel like you’re re-living the happiness of the experience itself. It stays with you, and you get to access it whenever you want.
It’s not like we need another reason to start planning that dream trip — but another study out that Gilovich co-authored has found that even the anticipation of experiences outdoes the lead-up to material purchases. People waiting in line to get tickets to an event are happier and more excited than those who are waiting in line to buy something.
So, even something as boring as waiting in line is more fun when it’s connected to your travel experience. But it makes sense when you think of it, doesn’t it? You’re waiting to, say, get your passport photo taken, and associated with that time are thoughts of where you’re going to go, what you’re going to see, and all the adventure that awaits. When you’re planning that trip with your agent, you get to make progress, take steps towards realizing your dream, and each step is actually a part of the adventure itself.
As travelers, we know the many positive benefits of getting out and seeing the world. And now we can feel even better knowing that those benefits continue to improve our lives, long after the trip is over.
Are you convinced? Ready to start taking the steps towards your next travel adventure? To contact me click here now!
With Labor Day approaching and back-to-school shopping complete, the realization that summer is over may be heavily weighing on you. Although autumn is a beautiful time of year marked by crisp temperatures and nature’s beauty, we sometimes cannot help feeling down by the end of summer. Those feelings can be easily erased by booking a vacation for fall.
Autumn is an ideal time to travel, as it is marked by comfortable temperatures, less crowded tourist attractions and more moderate travel costs. Throughout the world, different countries have the most to offer at the most fair price when the calendar turns to September. Our New York travel agents have compiled a list of some of the best travel destinations for fall 2019 to help you decide on your upcoming travel plans.
Bavaria, Germany. Germany, home to the Oktoberfest, is an incredibly popular fall travel destination. In Bavaria, located in southern Germany, a visitor can enjoy Oktoberfest, numerous wine festivals and romantic outings, including hiking in the Alps, horse drawn carriage rides and over two dozen historic castles. In addition, the backdrop of snow dusted, forest lined mountains is an autumn scene from a movie.
Beijing, China. Beijing is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China year round, as it is home to the Great Wall of China. Outside of its vast historical intrigue, this monument is the perfect location for autumn sightseeing. Although the hike may be grueling, the view from the top is breathtaking in fall with the orange, red, green and blue sights of forests and mountains in the distance.
Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is an ideal international travel destination for autumn. With temperatures lingering around 70 degrees, exploring Budapest’s vast history and destinations will be as comfortable as it is exciting. For natives, autumn is marked by annual food and drink festivals and football (soccer) season. It is also the perfect time to explore Budapest’s winding streets and the nearby, renowned wine region. Budapest is also known for its lively music scene, where you can be sure to see both local talent and the world’s most popular musicians.
Nara, Japan. Nara is home to a vast deer population; according to legend, a god arrived in Nara on a white deer. Spotted deer, regarded as a heavenly animal, have roamed the town since. Against the backdrop of colorful fall foliage, watching the deer frolic is especially enjoyable; you can even feed them with food purchased from street vendors. Nara is also home to popular tourist spots including Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces, museums and gardens.
Patagonia. September in Patagonia marks the beginning of their spring and hiking season. In October, you will see flowers blooming and birds chirping, a happy change to New York’s impending winter, with average temperatures around sixty degrees. These comfortably cool temperatures yield the perfect weather for Patagonia’s countless outdoor adventures, from hiking to sailing.
Piedmont, Italy. Other than its historic landmarks, Italy is most often travelled to for its food and wine, which reaches its peak season in October. Autumn is fall harvest time for Italy’s vast vineyards and is also the time of year in which food festivals celebrating favorites such as chocolate and truffles take place. In Piedmont, a traveler can enjoy unlimited delicious meals and bottles of renowned wine while taking in the autumn sights of the Alps along hundreds of trails.
Puigcerda, Spain. A small village full of unique shops and restaurants, Puigcerda is the capital of the Cerdana region of Spain. One can take in the sights and smells of autumn by walking through the quaint village and the surrounding hiking trails. Puigcerda Lake and Schierbeck Park are two of the best places to capture fall.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. September is the perfect month to visit Rio de Janeiro; autumn temperatures range from mid-70s to mid-80s, so if prolonging summer is on the wish list, this could be the perfect travel destination. The crowds are smaller this time of year, providing ample space to relax on Rio’s pristine beaches. Because Carnival is not during the fall months, travel costs are a fraction of the price.
Every year, summer must come to an end. But that does not mean that the fun associated with summer must end as well. By booking a fall vacation - whether to a warm destination where summer can be prolonged or a destination that fully embraces all that autumn has to offer - you can continue to have fun and explore new worldwide destinations.
Million Miles Travel Agency’s premier travel agents in New York are just a call away, eager to get you on board a plane to your new destination; contact us today to book your fall 2019 vacation.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. Even as a veteran travel agent and a licensed travel insurance broker in New York State, I am frequently speaking with my travel insurance suppliers to make sure my clients receive as much coverage as possible.
While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, to get started let's break down the types of travel insurance coverages available.
There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
1) Trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
2) Medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
3) Evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
4) Baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
5) Flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
Travel expert Rick Steves explains the way they generally work is like this:
“The various types are generally sold in some combination — rather than buying only baggage, medical, or cancellation insurance, you’ll usually purchase a package that includes most or all of them. If you want just one type of coverage in particular — such as medical — ask for that (though it might come with a little cancellation or baggage insurance, too). ‘Comprehensive insurance’ covers all of the above, plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight, or if your tour company changes your itinerary.”
HERE ARE SOME TIPS WHEN PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE
Your Health Insurance Will Probably Not Cover You On Your Vacation
Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip. You need to check the ins and outs of your particular health insurance policy. It may cover you while you travel, but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels — which is what most cruise ships are. Check with your provider, ask your travel agent for suggestions, and of course direct any insurance-related questions to the provider. As Steves puts it, “Before purchasing a policy, ask your insurer to explain exactly what’s covered before and after you get to the hospital.”
The Best Practice Is To Purchase A Third Party insurance
Avoid purchasing travel insurance from the company that’s also hosting your trip. The reason for this? If that company goes out of business, chances are, so does their insurance. There are major travel insurance companies that will provide all the insurance your need.
What Is The Best Travel Insurance Coverage?
Some companies offer comprehensive coverage that can serve as your primary coverage while you’re traveling. What does this mean, and how can it benefit you? It means that the insurance company will pay first, regardless of what other insurance you have. They don’t even inquire about additional insurance, saving you tons of paperwork and out-of-pocket expenses. TravelGuard and Travelex are two such companies that provide these policies as an option.
Do You Really Need Travel Insurance?
Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance. If you just bought a $79 ticket for a quick weekend in Chicago — is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. If, however, you’re headed out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you’ve been saving for for months.
Confused about travel insurance? At Million Miles Travel Agency has a New York State licensed travel insurance broker that can guide you through the process of purchasing the travel insurance product that works best for you and your travel needs.
Contact us today.
People travel all over the world for a variety of reasons: some are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, while some are looking for a little rest and relaxation; some desire heat, while some desire the slopes; some want to discover their roots, while others want to learn a new culture.
However, a common denominator in most individuals when planning a vacation is booking a location with delicious food. After all, nearly all of us have an inner foodie somewhere within us. It is no secret that I like to experience what a culture has to offer by eating and drinking. Usually when someone asks me about a trip I took I usually start by talking about the food I eat and what I drank.
Culinary vacations are becoming more popular than ever; traditionally, this is no surprise. It has always been said that the heart of a home is the kitchen. Those ideals do not vanish when we travel, as food is an essential part of any community. Instead, often the most memorable moments of a vacation revolve around food and the people with whom you share the food.
The beauty of a culinary vacation is that you can be exposed to foods, food combinations and spices that you never knew existed. However, when you return home, a faint smell will transport you back to that experience. Below is a list of some of the best travel destinations in the world for our inner foodie.
Just north of the border lies Montreal, the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. Montreal is a cultural melting pot, which is obvious in the food. Montreal’s culinary scene reflects influences from French, Carribean and American culture, making for a fun and delicious foodie adventure. While in Montreal, try classics such as poutine, fries with cheese and gravy; pea soup; smoked meats; and of course, a dessert made with delicious maple syrup.
Meanwhile south of the border to Mexico City is where you want to go if authentic tacos, burritos and guacamole would win over your heart. Mexico City offers a unique combination of great restaurants (that also serve great tequila), street food and fun, informative cooking courses.
Outside of Napa Valley or Tuscany, Mendoza, Argentina is commonly thought of as one of the best wine-producing cities in the world. However, Mendoza also offers a delectable food scene and a world of adventure. “Bodegas,” or wineries, often offer the best of all three: world-renowned wine, delicious food and unique events. Its rich culinary tradition includes Argentinian delicacies such as Choripan, a chorizo sandwich; Empanadas, meat and vegetable pastries; and Locro, a stew made with meat and vegetables.
Outside of Peru, the rest of the world is finally realizing the delicate art involved in Peruvian cooking. For a trip to the source, visit Cusco, Peru, also a common destination for adventure-seekers. Peruvian food is a delicious combination of Spanish and Incan influence, with popular dishes including Solterito, a salad of corn, fava beans and chili pepper; Anticuchos, beef skewers marinated in a chili sauce known as “aji”; and of course, Ceviche.
Known for its “tapas,” or small plates, Spanish cuisine has often been sought after by global travelers. San Sebastián, Spain is arguably the best foodie travel destination in the world. Similar to New York City, San Sebastián has a mix to Michelin Star restaurants (in fact, the most per capita of any city) and bars that serve exquisite food worth the plane ride alone. As an added bonus, San Sebastián is a short driving distance from some of the countries most visited vineyards.
In a continent full of popular food destinations, Copenhagen, Denmark often misses the list of possible foodie destinations. Yet, Copenhagen is home to several restaurants that people travel specifically to dine at. Both Noma, an upscale and modern restaurant, and Relae, a relaxed and organic dining experience, have gained recognition as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World. On top of that, Copenhagen has a vast, internationally-focused food truck scene that is alone worth the travel.
Bangkok, Thailand is the birth-place of a now world-renowned and loved cuisine. And while Thai food is both prevalent and delicious in the United States, the ability to eat authentic Thai dishes from a vendor in a night market is one of the most authentic food experiences in the world. Bangkok offers food tours, cooking classes and Michelin Star restaurants so that a traveler may experience the best Thai food in various settings.
Possibly the largest street food mecca of the world is Manila, Philippines, with an abundance of options that are sure to please every diner. The “king” of Manila street food is Barut, a fertilized duck egg. Barut, while appealing to only the most adventurous foodie, is the iconic delicacy in the country. For less adventurous eaters, however, there is a host of delicious cuisine, including Ihaw-ihaw, or barbequed meat; Turon, banana fried with a lumpia wrapper; and Chicharon, crispy pork rinds.
A popular travel destination for decades, South Africa is home to delicious food and a beautiful wine country. Approximately one hour from the commonly traveled Cape Town, lies the Stellenbosch Wine Region of South Africa. In Stellenbosch, the chefs build delicious dining experiences around the abundance of wine so that the food not only lives up to the wine, but compliments it.
In Melbourne, Australia you can find an abundance of delicious international cuisine throughout the city, but most notably along Flinders Lane. Also home to an over two-week long Food & Wine Festival, global chefs travel to Melbourne every March to show off their talents, unique perspective on food and unforgettable dishes.
A foodie vacation that will create memories that will last a lifetime should be on your list of vacations in the near future.
If you need assistance with the decision on where to travel, or how to book, contact the top travel agency in New York - Million Miles Travel Agency.
A word! I am very excited to have a featured post by Shanta Covington of Shanta Covington Photography and Video who is an amazing photographer and videographer servicing the New York City area. When looking for partners in the romance business, Shanta was the logical choice because our missions are the same which is to provide and capture amazing memories.
So if you are looking for a wedding or engagement photographer in the New York City area give Shanta a call. When you book a photography session with Shanta you will receive $100 off your 5 day or more honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Now without further ado!
Hello Million Miles travel agency followers! I’m Shanta Covington of Shanta Covington Photography and Video.
In addition to booking great travel plans for your honeymoon, one of the services that newly engaged or soon-to-be married couples must have is great photography. Here are my top three reasons why.
1) Leave it to the Pros
While Aunt June or Uncle Joe May have brought the latest and greatest camera, will they have enough time to tear themselves away from the dance floor when their favorite song comes on? Or will they have the knowledge of what different settings are necessary to shoot indoors versus outdoors?
Listen, I get that as you’re thinking of all things wedding, photography is one of many things on your to do list. But I want to implore you that it should be at the top because “getting it right” shouldn’t come at the expense of someone who doesn’t have your special day at the front of their mind. Get yourself a professional photographer who will be focused on you the entire day or session.
2) Realize your vision
We live in a very visual world. A professional photographer can help you get that shot in the middle of a busy NYC street where time stands still and you and your partner are the focus. Or the shot in your favorite park or outdoor landscape where it looks like it’s only the two of you highlighted by an area that is meaningful.
Planning, conceptualizing and capturing your vision is what a professional photographer can do for you.
3) Create Memories
This is perhaps my favorite reason because it really is the crux of why I do what I do. Capturing your story, your love and creating memories for you that you can look back on when you’re in your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is what this is all about.
A photo really does convey a thousand things. But the one undeniable things that gets captured is your love for one another that is crystallized in an image forever.
Learn more about Shanta and her services.
Living and working in New York City, I am used to a city with lots of amenities. Going to Dubai however is another experience. There is a level of glamour, opulence, and extravagance that is on another level.
Dubai is known for extravagant shopping, present-day design, and an enthusiastic nightlife scene. Dubai is the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates. This beautiful city is a cosmopolitan oasis of ultramodern architecture and luxury lifestyle. Here are some amazing facts worth knowing about Dubai:
1. The police force in Dubai spends more on every one of their supercars than what it costs to send a child to college in the USA.
Dubai's police force drive vehicles which amaze travelers and show how "advanced" the city is. The Ferrari FF ($500,000), Lamborghini Aventador ($397,000) and an Aston Martin One-77 ($1.79 million). Many of the amazing supercars you see here in the United States were originated in Dubai. Dubai police officers drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and even Aston Martin’s regularly. The Police use supercars so they can catch any criminals in a potential car chase. This allows police to catch and arrest criminal in a more timely manner.
2. Approximately 85 percent of Dubai's population is foreign
Estimations show that around 15 percent of Dubai's populace are Emiratis, while the other 85 percent are expatriates. The greater part of the laborers working in Dubai moved to the United Arab Emirates from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Emirati nationals are far outnumbered by expats in Dubai. The majority of the population is Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Asian and Western.
3. Up to this point, Dubai had no addresses, no postal divisions, no region codes and no postal framework
Because of the rate at which Dubai has been developing, it never built up a standard address framework. Rather than an address line on a mailing mark, citizens could just draw a guide or work out particular guidelines. Dubai is still a growing city that is rapidly changing. This is a nice little fact that most people don’t know about the governmental structure of Dubai.
4. Home to the World's Tallest Building
Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Dubai is known as the city of sky Skypers because there are currently over 400 skyscrapers throughout this growing city. Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world with a height of 828 m (830 m to tip) and 163 floors. Burj Khalifa is also home to the world’s highest restaurant, highest mosque, highest nightclub, and a variety of historical landmarks for tourists to explore!
You’re getting ready for your next trip. The suitcase is open on the bed, and you’re going down the list of everything you’ll need to take with you.
Sandals? Check. Wind breaker? Check. Sunscreen? Check.
Duct tape? Wait….what?
1) You read that correctly. A small roll of duct tape takes up a tiny bit of space, but can save you in tons of different ways. Patch a tear in your shoes, jacket, or trusty bag. Baby proof a hotel room in ten seconds by covering outlets and taping drawers shut. Hem your pants. Use as a bandage in an emergency. The list goes on and on.
Here are four more things that should become part of your regular packing list:
2) External USB battery charger. Nothing is more exasperating or panic-inducing than finding yourself lost and needing to pull up that email with directions, or that map to your hotel, or make a phone call — and having your smartphone conk out on you. Save outlet space in airports, hotels, train stations, and other oft-traveled places. Always have a way to charge up your phone, tablet, or other USB powered electronic device, even if there are no outlets available.
3) The humble safety pin can be an amazing asset. Aside from the usual functions — holding your pants or shirt together, for example, when you lose a button — they also can serve to bundle small items like jewelry or keys, to keep everything organized and in one place. Discretely place a pin on the inside hem of a slip or satin jacket lining to eliminate static cling. Use them to attach easily-lost things like mittens to the zipper or hood of your kids’ jackets.
4) A few strips of chamois (or other absorbent fabric) in different sizes. You can keep them all in a zip-lock bag (along with a couple of other bags for temporarily storing used cloths until you can wash them) — but having different sizes helps for different situations, and it’s best to choose fabrics that are also quick-drying. Small squares for cleaning glasses. A washcloth for bigger spills or for freshening up at a rest stop. Use a bandana-sized piece to tie back your hair or, when dampened, tie around your head on a hot day to keep cool. A long, narrower strip can serve as an emergency belt, hair tie, ace bandage, or even a way to tie a bag closed if a zipper breaks. They even make fantastic travel towels, because they roll up into a compact size, suck up the liquid, and dry completely in no time at all.
5) My contact information. As your travel agent, my job doesn’t end when your trip starts! It’s not common, but sometimes complications arise while you are traveling, and I am always available to you to assist with sticky situations you might find yourself in. (This is, of course, just one of the many perks of working with a travel agent!) Before your trip, you can make a “favorites” list in your phone of all trip-related contact info — my number and email address, hotel, car rental, reservations, etc. — for easy access. That way, I’m always just a call away.
To find out more about the benefits of working with me and to plan your next trip, contact me today to schedule an appointment. Click here now.
One of my bucket list goals is to attend all four of the Tennis Grand Slam events (Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and the US Open). As I write this article, I have only attended one. Not for lack of trying, the Grand Slam events are at a set time of year and I always find myself committed to something else or just plain unable to go.
I am sure that each one of you reading this article has a bucket list country or event that you want to attend but just thinking about the price tag for such a trip can lead you to sadness because usually the price can be prohibitive.
What if I told you that you can have your bucket list trip if you implemented one or more of the travel strategies:
1) Plan (Way) In Advance:
Time is your friend when booking travel. Contrary to popular belief, the best deals come not with last minute deal but with early booking bonuses. Cruise schedules come out two years in advance. Hotel rooms usually become available 1-1.5 years in advance. If planning for a large group you should think to book as soon as the schedule became available. Planning in advance allows you to have the lowest prices and allows for your pick of rooms. For example, I have booked a 7 day/6 night Southern Caribbean cruise for $600 per person when initially booked 1.5 years ago when the schedule initially came out. The same cruise cabin is currently selling for $950-$1000 per person. The price almost doubled!
2) Embrace The Shoulder (Season):
What is the shoulder season you say? To explain what the shoulder season is we first need to define two other terms, the high season and low season. The high season is the most popular time to travel to a destination. The high season is usually when you will have the best weather or when a particular attraction is available. The downside of the high season is that prices are typically high and the crowds are usually huge. The low season is usually the least popular time to travel to a destination. The low season is usually when the weather is not the best or when popular attractions are not available. The shoulder season is the sweet spot between the high and low season. The great thing about the shoulder season is that the weather is still great but the crowds and the prices go down. My favorite time to travel to Europe is during late September/early October. The weather is not as oppressive and I was able to attend all the sights without the hordes of crowds.
3) Think Off Peak:
As most urban and suburban residents know, rush hour is probably one of the worst time to travel. It seems like the entire city is heading to one location and you feel like a sardine trapped in a tin can. However if you are one of the lucky commuters doing a reverse commute, you probably have a stress-free commute with nothing but clear roadways (or empty train cars) to contend with. Think about your travel plans in the same way. If you are an adventurous traveler (and you purchase travel insurance) how about a Caribbean vacation during the summer or Europe during the winter. There are tips to avoid the worst of the weather but think about traveling to a destination during low season you will not only find great deals but less people.
4) Six Is An Important Number When It Comes To Flights:
You don’t want to wait too long to book your flights but conversely you don’t want to book too early. If you are planning a vacation to a destination serviced by low cost airlines like Jetblue or Southwest it is best to wait until you are within six months of your travel time. Low cost airlines usually put out their airline schedules six months in advance so while you can purchase a vacation package earlier if you want to save a bit of money on your flights, hold off on booking the flights until the schedules for the low cost carriers are out.
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Lover of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Always looking for the best places to eat wherever I go.