The Right Luggage for Your Family Vacation

Choosing the Right Luggage for Where Every You Go!

Almost all travelers have a nightmare luggage story. You spent a lot of money on a fancy brand-name bag thinking you were choosing the right luggage and it broke on the first leg of the trip. Or you skimped on the spending and got exactly what you paid for. Or the bag that you thought would be comfortable and versatile turned out to be neither as you dragged it over the cobblestones of Florence or humped it on aching shoulders through the crowded, narrow streets of Kathmandu.

Choosing the wrong luggage can waste precious travel time and energy and can cause a lot of aches and pains. Choosing the right luggage will free you up to enjoy your trip without any unnecessary aggravation. To help you pick the best possible bag for your next adventure — here are five simple questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which type of bag is best for you.

What are the Airline Restrictions for Choosing the Right Luggage?

Some countries have their own rules for choosing the right luggage and often have more restrictive guidelines that are more stringently enforced. Smaller airlines in Europe, for example, require smaller and lighter bags than in the US. Make sure you know what the requirements will be so you don’t get stuck having to pay hefty fines or finding new luggage at the last minute. I am always happy to answer your questions regarding airline baggage restrictions and will advise you on the requirements of all the airlines you will be flying with.

Am I an over-packer or a shopper?

Choosing the right luggage is even more important if you know that you tend to bring more than you need and buy when you get there, opt for an expandable bag as your carry-on, and slip in an empty, durable nylon bag to bring back new things with you. (Note: be prepared to pay any additional fees that might apply for additional bags, or if your bag becomes too large/heavy as a result of over-packing!)

How much attention do I want my luggage to get?

Yes, sometimes it’s tempting to get the stand-out, fashion-forward luggage set in fuchsia — but if you’re heading to a destination that’s known for theft, sometimes choosing the right luggage means you pick a suitcase that blends in with the crowd. There are always things you can do to help with identification — a colorful ribbon, a sticker, a unique tag — but if you don’t want your luggage to be a target for opportunistic thieves, just opt to keep it simple.

How much transferring will I be doing on this trip?

Are you heading to one main location that will be your “home base” of travel operations? Or will you be constantly on the move from city to city, hopping trains, getting taxis, taking buses? Will someone be available to help you lift your bags if you need assistance (partner, children, tour assistant), or will you be the one fully responsible for handling your luggage at all times? The more you’ll be moving and hefting, the more you should aim for simple, lightweight, durable, and versatile. Pack only the essentials, and look for bags that offer more than one transport method — for example, a carry-on with hidden pull-out straps and can be transformed into a comfy backpack for hands-free movement.

Does my luggage match the type and terrain of the trip I’m taking?

Wheeled suitcases are great — if you have lots of flat floors and smooth sidewalks along which to roll them. But after two days of lugging a heavy suitcase through bumpy streets, broken sidewalks, dirt paths, or up endless flights of stairs in old, gorgeous elevator-less buildings, you’ll be praying to the luggage gods for a simple backpack with padded shoulder straps.

The last thing you want to be focused on while you’re on the trip of a lifetime is some annoying, avoidable luggage irritation. With a little investigating and preparation before you pack up and head out, you can make sure your luggage fits seamlessly into your travel plans.

Ready to plan your dream vacation? Want an experienced Travel Advisor to advise you about the best luggage for your upcoming trip? I’ve got the knowledge and passion for great travel to help make this a year to remember. You can set up a consultation with me now by clicking here.  You can also call me at 214-264-7146. 

Considering a Disney vacation?  As a Family Vacation Specialist I am an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and have my own web site that features all the latest Disney Deals.  Visit Your Mouse Expert and see the latest Walt Disney World Offer, Disney Cruise Line information and learn where in the world Disney can take you with Adventures by Disney. 

Travel Insurance – Hope You Never Need It!

 Fundamentally I really hate buying insurance.  It goes against my nature to assume the worst, however, insurance does have a valuable place.  When it comes to travel insurance, just ask someone who has had to use it to estimate it’s value.  You might be surprised.   We all know about what we consider essential insurance, health, home, auto, boat, the list goes on.   Most of us don’t think twice about purchasing these types of insurance.

Travel insurance may be viewed as optional, because most of us feel that once we have decided to go on vacation, we are going. But as with everything “life happens” and “life can sometimes get in the way of our best laid plans.  And when that happens travel insurance is not such a bad idea.  As an Inteletravel affiliated agent I work with Travel Insured, a company that has been a leading travel insurer for over twenty years.  

Here’s 6 Practical Reasons to Purchase a Travel Protection Plan from Travel Insured to keep the vaca-vibes flowing:

1) Trip Interruption:

Vacations can get interrupted for many reason, and most are unforeseen.  Family emergency at home, someone in your party is ill or injured, genuine work emergency, all out of your control.   All those unused vacation arrangements and added transportation costs can add up. 

2) Trip Delay:

It’s certainly not uncommon to experience delays, especially in the airport. That feeling of being stranded in the airport with imminent dollar signs adding up as you make arrangements to wait out the delay can truly be a vacation downer.  The airlines are often not all that generous with vouchers for unexpected overnight stays and food costs. Travel insurance can cover reasonable replacement hotel and meal costs when you’re delayed! 

3) Baggage Delay:

A good travel insurance plan can reimburse you for necessary clothing and personal items should your baggage go around the world without you.  Always check to see what is covered buy but if you are coming to the beaches of Hawaii from Chicago, and all you have are your winter parka and sweaters and jeans, it might be nice to be able to buy some shorts and swim suits until you see your luggage again.  

4) Baggage Lost, Stolen, or Damaged:

Or even worse: your baggage is lost, stolen, or damaged. Gone permanently: forever and always! Now what do you do? Travel Insured plans offer options to insure that all the money you spent on your vacation, is not lost because you spent all your time worrying about replacing your stuff.  

5) Noninsurance Assistance Benefits (provided by OnCall International):

Many plans offer coverage for an array of noninsurance assistance services that help ensure your trip is as bump-free as possible. From ID/credit recovery assistance to concierge service to prescription drug and eyeglass replacement – Travel Insured plans help you plan for the worst and hope for the best.

6) Travel Medical Evacuation Plans

Disney Cruise Ship
Travel Insurance will make your cruise worry free!

Most of us never think we will be sick on vacation.  But the more I have traveled and planned travel for others, the more I recommend a policy that includes a medical options, especially on cruises or on vacations that take you out of the the United States or Canada.  Medical costs to evacuate alone, can be staggering, but aside from that, getting the help you need without worrying about the cost is worth the small price of your travel insurance.  

There is a lot of value in travel insurance and I offer it to every one I work with, but it is optional.  For more in depth information about travel insurance, contact me at sharon@sharonschierling.com Visit our website, or ask about it when I plan your next vacation.  Visit my travel web site at sharon.schierling.inteletravel.com and craft your next memory.  

Disney’s Early Morning Magic Package

Christmas Tree

Disney’s Early Morning Magic at the Magic Kingdom® is a blast, with a delicious breakfast and limited-entry early-access rides on Fantasyland favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. And starting on Dec. 2, 2018, Early Morning Magic will be bigger and better than ever!  This special opening is similar to other ticketed events like Disney’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween event where guest who purchase the package have exclusive access to some of the most popular attractions in the park.  If guests are traveling at a particularly busy time of year, this type of package can allow guests to pack in more magic with fewer crowds.   

The number of attractions available to experience with Disney’s Early Morning Magic will double, with returning favorites Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, as well as attractions new to the event – Princess Fairytale Hall, “it’s a small world”, Mad Tea Party, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

As mentioned Disney’s Early Morning Magic morning also includes scrumptious breakfast at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café that comes with cheese and cured meats, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, pancakes and more. Breakfast runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and exclusive event-only access to the attractions lasts from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.

This newly expanded Early Morning Magic will take place select Tuesdays and Sundays and will cost $79 for adults and $69 for children (regular theme park admission is also required). Admission will be limited, so be sure to book your reservation as soon as possible!

If your family is considering a December vacation at The Magic Kingdom, I suggest booking now and including this package in your plans.  For assistance in booking and planning your Magical vacation call Your Mouse Expert at 214-264-7146 or email sharon@sharonschierling.com.

 

Credit – Information taken from Disney Travel Agent Website

Travel Agent – How Much Will They Cost?

Cruise sights made possible by your Inteletravel Travel Agent!
Cruise sights made possible by your Inteletravel Travel Agent!

I am often confronted by people who think that there is a huge fee associated with working with a travel agent, and so they are afraid to talk to me.  Even people who know you well are afraid to call you.  They simply can’t afford to pay someone to plan their vacation.

I will get phone calls from folks looking for information that a travel agent provides but will just ask a few random questions and then get off the phone quickly in case I charge by the minute.  These folks need help but have no idea what it will cost them.  The whole subject is a minefield because no one really knows exactly how travel agents get paid.  So it is not surprising that when you are first contemplating booking your next vacation with a travel agent, you’ll likely wonder how expensive they’ll be.

 

After all, you’re already spending X amount on your trip, and —can you splurge on a travel agent, too?

While some other travel agents charge their clients fees, InteleTravel Travel Agents don’t.  That’s right, we do not add more to your trip just for their help.  

This means that a portion of what you pay to that hotel or airline goes directly to your travel agent, with no additional cost to you.  You would pay the same amount for your trip whether you use an Inteletravel agent, or not but have the benefit of help with planning the perfect trip.  

So, you can either spend money and tons of time, booking your own trip and waste a lot of your precious time mapping out your itinerary—or you can pay the same amount of money while having a personalized travel agent helping to build the perfect vacation for you.  

That’s a no-brainer, right!  So if you are looking for help planning your next vacation, contact me at sharon@sharonschierling.com or 214-264-7146

 

 

 

Planning a Disney Vacation? Avoid these Disney World Vacation Mistakes!

Planning a Disney Vacation?  Avoid these Disney World Vacation Mistakes!
Planning a Disney Vacation? Avoid these Disney World Vacation Mistakes!

Planning a Disney vacation is exciting and fun but to make sure you truly enjoy your trip, avoid these Disney World vacation mistakes. 

Consider Timing to Avoid a Disney World Vacation Mistake

There was a time when you could pretty much plan a Disney trip whenever it suited your schedule.  Nowadays planning a Disney vacation is serious business.  If you don’t like crowds you may want to choose a time like January or February, however, if you are planning a Disney vacation around a season like Halloween or Christmas be prepared for crowds.  When it is crowded you get fewer rides done and stand in long lines.  Consider your timing. 

Consider the weather to Avoid a Disney World Vacation Mistake

The weather is something that of course no one can control, however in Florida it can make or break your Disney vacation planning.  I tell all my clients to start following Orlando weather 2 to 3 weeks before their vacation and they will get a good idea of what to pack.  Also, do a little research on the seasonal weather in Florida.  It can be hot almost anytime in Florida, but it is cooler in some seasons so just learn a little about the area before planning.  

Avoid the Planning Mistake of not Planning for Meals

Many people who plan a Disney vacation make the mistake of thinking they will just eat on the go.  Disney has so many cool options for eating and even offers plans for dining to make life easy for planning.  If you have not been to Disney World in a while make sure you check out the many nice restaurants and quick service venues.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  

Avoid the Disney Vacation Planning Mistake of the Wrong Footwear

Walking in Walt Disney World or any of the Disney parks really will put miles on your shoes.   All of the parks are meant to be enjoyed on foot, and if you make the mistake of wearing inappropriate footwear you can ruin your entire vacation.  

Avoid the Disney Vacation Planning Mistake of Staying at a Non-Disney Resort

We all try to save as much as possible with planning any vacation.  However, you will get the most bang for your buck at a Disney Resort.  Disney rewards guests for staying at their resorts with extra hours in the parks, free resort parking and free transportation to and from the parks.  In my opinion, the best perk is the extra hours in the park either at the beginning or the end of the day.    Disney has a resort for every pocketbook and it is a good idea to check out your options.  You spend a lot on your vacation, make the most of every moment.

When You are Planning a Disney Vacation Get the Right Ticket Package

Be sure to check everywhere possible to determine what tickets are available. Disney is doing an amazing job of putting together travel packages that allow families to get exactly what they want.  Make sure you purchase tickets for the days you need them.  Many people forget that is they fly in late in the day, there is no need to buy a ticket for that day.  The same applies to the day you leave.  If you leave first thing in the morning, no need to buy a ticket for that day.  

Planning a Disney vacation is lots of fun and it never hurts to get a little help.  As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I help my clients get exactly what they want out of their vacation.  Whether you a first-time visitor to Walt Disney World or an old hand,  I am happy to be as involved as you need and make sure you know all the current options available.  You can also visit YourMouseExpert.com and see the current Disney Deals.  

Working Out on Vacation

Do You Think about Working Out on Vacation?

Many people find working out on vacation the last thing on their mind, but for others, their workout routine is very important.  But whether you’re hauling bags through terminals, sitting for hours and hours on a plane or bus, or sleeping in different (and sometimes uncomfortable) beds — the toll that traveling can take on your body can be significant.  It’s not uncommon for frequent travelers to experience back and joint pain, neck strains, and tension headaches. 

Working out on Vacation
Working Out on Vacation

Some hotels have gym areas, but not all do, and quality and availability of equipment can vary greatly. Add to that the fact that you’re usually away from a kitchen, are probably eating (awesome) calorie-packed foods, and are totally out of any normal routine, and it’s easy to see why so many travelers return from trips feeling a little sore and maybe less than healthy. 

So how do you stay strong and pain-free while away from home?

Since many of us tend to make working out an event. You belong to a gym or studio, you pack your bag, drive there, find your locker, get dressed, go to a class or do your workout. You might shower afterward if you have somewhere to go directly. All of this takes time. Our workouts start to feel like a 2-hour commitment because that’s what we do when we’re at home and have that time.  So when we are on vacation, we want to free ourselves from our commitments and events and working out on vacation seems a little less likely.  

In truth, you can work out your whole body in about 20 minutes, anywhere, with zero exercise equipment. 

All you really need is your own body to provide the resistance and the bag you brought with you. Working out on vacation can become less of an event and more just taking care of your body and having fun.  Here’s a super-simple 2-step hotel room workout developed by fitness expert Steve Kamb that you can take anywhere (even outside!) and even tweak as you progress:

Step 1: Warm up (3-4 minutes). Get your core temperature warmed up, get the blood flowing, and loosen up muscles by doing the following in rapid succession: 

  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 15 body weight squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 lunges (each leg)
  • 10 hip raises
  • 25 more jumping jacks

Step 2: Work the circuit (15 minutes). Now set a timer for 15 minutes. Go through these exercises as many times as you can in succession until the timer goes off, ideally without breaks — although it’s fine to build up to that over time. The most important thing is to keep proper form for each one, even if you can’t do all of them or if you need to take a break.

And…that’s it. 15 minutes, and you’re done. Finish up with a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing, and you’ll be set. Imagine the difference that doing that even just three times a week would make on your trip.  

If that is not enough working out on vacation or you want to get in more cardio, most hotels offer jogging (walking) trails.  If you are a morning person you can get up and go for a run or take a walk after dinner.  

What would it be like to come back from vacation stronger and in better shape than when you left?

Working out on vacation does not have to be just in your room or in the hotel gym.  Lots of people do this routine on the beach at sunset, in beautiful parks, or on the deck of their room. Once it’s just part of your travel routine, you’ll find all kinds of new (and sometimes hilarious) places to take 15 minutes to care for yourself. 

As always, if you need help finding the perfect spot to do incline push-ups — or maybe relax with a book and a drink post-workout — I would be thrilled to help you get there. You can get in touch with me today by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you!

Celebrate July 4th with Disney

Daisy-duck-goofy-in-Epcot-2018
Daisy-duck-goofy-in-Epcot-2018

Celebrate July 4th with Disney!

Independence Day is less than a month away, and the parks at Walt Disney World®Resort will be celebrating our nation’s birthday with some star-spangled salutes to America!  

Walt Disney World loves to have an excuse to celebrate, and what better excuse than July 4th.  July is a hot month in Florida so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water, but you will not be disappointed if you make a Disney park your July 4th destination.  

If you’re visiting during the 4th of July, here are some highlights of the special entertainment planned for that day:

Celebrate July 4th With Disney at:

  • Epcot® –On July 4, your Clients can enjoy special evening concerts of great American songs by Voices of Liberty at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the America Gardens Theatre. During the day, they can also meet Mickey and the gang in patriotic attire outside The American Adventure, and at 9 p.m. that night “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” joins the celebration with the addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale!

 

  • Magic Kingdom®Park –At 9:15 p.m. on both July 3 and 4, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” rockets into the air above – and all around – the park. Since this special, fireworks spectacular will be presented two nights in a row, your Clients can start the celebration early. Each evening will also see special DJ parties hosted in Frontierland and Tomorrowland, where Guests can get a great view of the fireworks!

 

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Your Clients can spend the Fourth celebrating one of the greatest icons of American popular culture at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.” This one-of-a-kind show blasts off at 10 p.m. with fireworks, lasers, projection effects and more!

Traveling Alone

Take Precautions when Traveling Alone
Take Precautions when Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can be one of the most exciting and enlightening times of your life. Many people love the idea of solitary travel, getting away on their own to think and relax and traveling alone is becoming very common.  To avoid any unpleasant surprises or incidents while traveling alone there are things you should consider before you embark on your explorations. 

When Traveling Alone Always Keep in Touch with a Close Friend

Even though you are traveling alone, you shouldn’t be the only one who knows about your trip.  Check in regularly, and by regularly, I mean at least daily, with a friend or family member at home who could set the proverbial alarm bell if you fail to call at a certain time.  Always let the designated safety checker know where you are going, and with whom.

If you are being accompanied by a new friend, it is a great idea to include a photo of the individual when you relay your whereabouts to your friend at home. This is where the infamous “group selfie” and social media comes in handy.

Don’t Be Distracted while Traveling Alone

There are many things to look at and lots of details to remember at when you are traveling.  Don’t let the glamour of a new place  or the details of making plans and getting settled make you forget your cautious side, though. Stay focused on where you are going and who is around you.  Make sure you touch base with the “locals” so people see and remember you.  Check with the front desk at the hotel to make sure they see you coming and going.  Make yourself friendly in restaurants so those you meet can remember when and where they last saw you.  

Don’t Become Intoxicated or High

This seems to be a good rule of thumb even when you are alone in familiar surroundings, however when you leave the country this is even more important.   When traveling alone, it is not the right time to get intoxicated or high.  Don’t have more than one or two drinks, and don’t even consider taking any illegal substances. This has led many a solo traveler into a situation where they are taken advantage of, robbed or worse.  Whether you are a man or women, when you are out of control your are a target.  

Plan for Disaster

It seems counter intuitive to plan for disaster, but when you travel alone, you need to always have a “plan B”.  Before you go on your trip, sit down with friends and family and brainstorm the possibility of everything that could go wrong. Think about what you would do if your credit card was stolen, or your passport.  Have a second copy of important documents in a separate place from the originals in case the originals are lost or stolen.  Have a list of emergency numbers, as well as, the phone number for your country’s embassy. Take more money than you think you will need, in case of any emergencies.  It is unlikely any of these things will happen but better safe than sorry.  This particular point actually applies to folks traveling alone or in a group.  Always prepare for things to happen.  

Know Key Phrases in the Local Language

Even if the country you are visiting has many English speakers, it is not likely that absolutely everyone knows English. Always assume that you will need to know at least key words and phrases in the country’s main language. Learn phrases such as, “Where is the nearest telephone”, “I need help” and “Do you speak English?” Because you are traveling alone, it is especially important to be able to communicate with those around you, in order to escape potentially bad situations.

Know Something about  the Culture

Be aware of the customs and culture of the country you are visiting. Every part of the world has different rules about what is acceptable and what is not. Things that you may never question in North America may be considered offensive or even a crime in other countries.

Simple things like chewing gum in public and having certain body parts uncovered can be a big mistake, depending on where you are visiting. If you don’t want to risk offending those who live in the country you are traveling in, or perhaps even be imprisoned… study the culture of the country you are traveling to and do your best to fit in and obey the rules.

When Traveling Alone Definitely Use a Travel Agent

If you are planning to do some traveling alone, it is a good idea to work with a travel agent.  They can be an important ally to help you if something goes wrong along the way.  Let your family know who your agent is so that if they don’t hear from you she can give them info on your itinerary.  Travel agents can also assist with issues in the itinerary and relieve traveling stress.  

Traveling alone is an adventure and a great joy to many individuals. Be prepared, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement without knowing what do to in an emergency situation. Consider the details of your safety so that your travels can more likely be free of any major complications.

Getting the Most out of Every Vacation!

Getting the Most out of Your Vacation
Getting the Most out of Your Vacation

Do you ever come back back from vacation feeling a little let down?  Perhaps your feel like your are not getting the most out of your vacation.

Maybe you try out different places, but they all kind of seem the same.  

Maybe you find the planning exhausting. 

Maybe you stress out over small things so that your energy gets sapped. 

Maybe you cram too many things into too little time, and you come back more tired than when you left. 

Maybe you bring work with you, even when you say you’re not going to, so that you wind up giving away precious vacationing hours to your job. 

I’m going to be bold and say: This is not what a vacation should feel like. 

Here are 5 secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Vacation:

1.  Move a little bit every day you’re on vacation, especially if your job is the kind that has you sitting at a desk all day long.  This will go a long way in helping you get the most out your vacation.  

You certainly won’t be getting the most out of your vacation if you feel sluggish and out of sorts.  This isn’t about working out; it’s just about doing what your body and brain want you to do, which is move around a little. Lounging is great — there should definitely be time for lounging — but only lounging for days on end has an ironic de-energizing effect on the body. (It’s part of why desk work can be insanely exhausting, even though you technically didn’t do anything physical all day long.) Whatever your level of mobility or fitness, pick something to do every day that gives you a burst of activity: walking, swimming in the ocean, a bike ride, playing with your kids, morning yoga or stretching. If you have some physical limitations, plan ahead and find walker- or wheelchair-friendly spaces to explore, even if it’s just for 20 minutes each day. Your body and your brain will thank you. Activity actually helps boost your body’s ability to fully relax and soak up the restorative purpose of vacationing.

2.  To Get the Most out of Your Vacation, Get Immersed in some nature beauty.

You might not be the camping type. Or the sporty type. Or the outdoorsy type. That’s 100% okay! You don’t have to hike the Grand Canyon to sit in total awe of it.  Getting the most out of your vacation through nature and beauty just requires that you seek out some beauty.  Even the biggest, loudest city has peaceful places to just be in the presence of natural beauty.  If the weather’s nice and you have the option, sit outside for your meal or pack a picnic.  Just soak in your surroundings and the view; pay attention to light, sounds, sensations, and smells.  You can certainly get the most out of your vacation by enjoying it with all your senses.  

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser and business author, recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review about a CEO friend of his who swore by intentional time in nature to up his business game: “Before retiring from the CEO role, John would try to take these breaks just before his global partners’ meetings because he found that his ideas, initiatives, and even speeches would become much more focused, rich, clear and powerful as a result—even though he didn’t spend any time actively working on them!” We can’t underestimate the power that being in nature has for bringing out the best in our thinking and seeing.

3.  Cultivate your appetite for “different,” and You Will Surely Get the Most out of Your Vacation.

This one can be challenging — but it pays huge dividends when it comes to creating vacations that are full, satisfying, and memorable. This is less about booking some extreme trip and more about being willing to approach every trip as a learning experience, to being open to the possibility that every vacation can actually make you a better person. Seek out conversations with interesting strangers. Learn some phrases in a new language and practice them and see what happens. Try new foods. Take in a performance that features local music or dance. Take the risk of not knowing and being willing to ask. As Fernández-Aráoz observes, “The world’s most productive people are deeply curious and collaborative and constantly seek out new acquaintances and allies — even when they’re on vacation.”

4.  Put your money into experiences, not things.

Again, this one can be challenging. We’re taught in our culture that having more stuff will make us happier, even though research has proven this over and over again to not be true. Vacations in and of themselves are experiences — so that’s one step in the best direction — and getting a few small things to remember your trip is certainly not a bad thing. But keep an eye out for ways to maximize your experience of each moment within your vacation.  When the moment comes to decide if you want to blow a ton of cash at the duty free shop or a souvenir shop — ask yourself what kinds of experiences you could buy that will be with you forever and that will continue to bring you happiness long after they’re over.

5.  Treat your vacation like a vocation.

Notice there’s only one letter that separates the time you spend relaxing, re-energizing, and reconnecting and the thing you were born to do. The word “vacation” comes from the Latin vacare, which means “freedom from obligation and duty, release, to be free and at leisure.” The word “vocation” comes from the Latin vocare, which means “to call” — as in, your personal calling, your purpose, the things that bring you deep joy and bring out the best in you and everyone around you. Think of the joyful energy you would put into your calling — the intention, the planning, the attention to detail, the gratitude. Consider the other word we frequently use for vacation — “holiday” — and note that it means “holy day.” It’s okay to approach your upcoming trip as something that can hold a bit of magic, because it just might. As Fernández-Aráoz writes, your vacation can be the thing that actually brings you back better than you were before — better for yourself, your family and friends, your work, your life. 

If you’re looking for ways to maximize your family traveling experiences, but you’re not quite sure how to get there, I’d love to help! If planning stresses you out, I can be your best ally.  Helping you in getting the most out of your vacation is important to me.   I love this work and can help connect you with the places and experiences that will create family memories to las a lifetime. Let’s talk today — you can reach me by clicking here.  Call today at 401-268-7283!

Eco-Friendly Travel

Eco Friendly Travel in the United States
Eco Friendly Travel in the United States

I have recently been asked about eco-friendly travel.  Millennials in particular are not only interested in active vacations, they are also very interested in eco-friendly vacations.  Because of this, many places are beginning to take steps to attract those who are interested in eco-friendly travel and living.  As a travel agent, I am delighted to say that one does not have to go far to find eco-friendly vacation spots. Some might be right in your own back yard. Here are a few you might want to consider checking out right in the United States.We 

Eco Friendly Alaska

Alaska has so much to offer eco-travelers.  With so much beautiful nature to enjoy, it is really easy to see why it tops our list of recommendations for eco-travel.  From a glimpse of the famous Aurora Borealis to Dawes Glacier at Endicott Arm Fjord, and plenty of wildlife in the national parks of Alaska, whether you are an eco-traveler or not, Alaska is a must see destination.  Whether you fly in to one of the cities or cruise along the coast put this on my “must see” list. 

Eco Friendly Hawaii

Hawaii is my particular favorite place to visit.  Once you see the breathtaking vistas available on all the islands, you will understand why I included it for eco-travel.  Whether you take tour of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or a hike to Diamond Head in Oahu, a walk through Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park on the northwest of Kauai Island or go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu my eco tourist clients will fall in love with Hawaii.  You will get to see tropical forests and barren lands and be at sea level or atop the highest volcano. Additionally, at the right time of they year you can whale watch with abandon.  You can sit on the beach and watch the turtles swimming among the surfers.  Truly a great place to vacation around and in nature.  

Eco Friendly Colorado

Most eco tourists are in love with nature and love to camp and hike and spend time in nature.  What better place to all of the above than The Rocky Mountain National Park.  The Ute Trail is the most popular trail. The Never Summer Mountains, Longs Peak, Milner Pass, and Mesa Verde are some of the most visited destinations. The Garden of the Gods State Park has some amazing rock formations that you are not going to want to miss.  There is so much to offer in Colorado for those who love the outdoors and it is truly in our back yard.

Eco Friendly Arizona

This is home to the Grand Canyon, so how could this not be on an eco-friendly travel destination place in the U.S.?  In addition to the greatest tourist attraction of all, there are also six national forests, four different deserts, and three canyons in Arizona. There is also the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.  

Eco Friendly Montana

Home to Yellowstone National Park, of course Montana is on the list of eco-friendly tourist destinations in the U.S. The park boasts of more than 1500 species of trees and plants, as well as hordes of wildlife like bobcats, cougars, black bears, bison, badgers, lynx, coyotes, elks, and much more. There are also other national parks like the Glacier National Park which you can visit.  With all that Montana has to see and do, it is definitely a state we should not just drive through, but rather stop and enjoy this pristine state. 

Eco Friendly California

Aside from the longest coastline in all of the United States, California has several other attractions which make it a great eco-friendly travel destination. With parks like Yosemite National Park and Emerald Bay, you can see many different animals and great scenery which provides a photographer’s and painter’s paradise.  Emerald Bay is a national landmark.

Eco-friendly travel is not just about the amazing destinations.  What is important to remember that when we visit these pristine areas, that we leave it the way we found it.  Traveling with a mind to preserving what we see around us, makes it eco-travel.  Remember when visiting these amazing nature parks in the United States to be sure to follow all posted rules. You will want to prevent things like forest fires, take your trash away with you, preserve the coral when snorkeling.   In short, leave things as you found them.

There are lots of places to travel to enjoy nature and be sure to contact your travel agent for more information.