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.

 

Flight Booking – When is the Best Time?

Best Times to Plan Flights - save money and time!
Best Times to Plan Flights – save money and time!

For most individuals, booking a flight is done without much thought for when the best time might be from a financial perspective.  We usually fly according to preference to our schedules, what works for our jobs or vacation days. However, if you are traveling on a limited budget, your preferences may be unable to dictate when you travel. Instead, you may need to find the best deals on airfare. So, when is it the cheapest to to get better flight rates?

The first and most obvious to all is of course – in the off-season.  If you are traveling to a popular vacation destination, such as Orlando, Florida or Denver, expect to pay more during peak tourists months.  In the case of Colorado, for instance, during the winter months.   Ski enthusiasts flock to Colorado to enjoy some of the best skiing in the United States.  Airlines know this, so they charge high fares for flights to this highly-sought-after destination. On the other hand, Colorado isn’t so popular in the summertime, for obvious reasons.   It is harder to fill flights to Denver, so the airlines offer deals and discounts. If you can, without ruining your trip, take advantage by booking your flight in the off-season.  Of course if you like to ski, there are few options.  

The point is that booking trips in non peak, or less-than-peak seasons could help you save on your flights.  Moreover, since it is the off-season, you could also receive a discount on your car rental and hotel too.  If possible, always bundle, it gives you better deals.  Where ever you are flying, check when peak season is for that area.  Never assume you know when peak season occurs at your target destination, you can be pleasantly surprised that just switching your schedule by a few days or a week, could save you quite a bit.  

Another good time to to book your flight with an eye to saving money, is in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Usually, airlines have early morning flights departing at five or six in the morning.  Rarely are these flights booked solid.  After all, who wants to get up that early to start a long day’s journey? If you want to save money, you should become a morning person.  Remember, airlines offer discounts to fill flights. You are more likely to get a discount on a 6 am flight than you are a 9 am flight. Afternoon flights are also a wise choice. Vacationers usually want to fly in the morning or at night. Some feel they waste a vacation day by departing in the afternoon, so these flights are usually less full too, meaning discounts.

Avoid booking flights during the holidays. One of the most expensive times to travel by air is during the holiday seasons like Christmas and Thanksgiving. We want to spend time with our family, especially long-distance family members. Unfortunately, airlines know this and they try increase their prices for flights.  Since it is hard to avoid those times, try to book your flights for those times early in the year.  Early flight booking is sometimes rewarded.  It won’t alleviate the busyness of the airports at the time of flight, but that’s another issue.

When flying during the holiday seasons, you may save money, don’t fly a day or two before a holiday, like Christmas. These are peak travel dates; they are when those passengers who have limited vacation time or are procrastinators are trying to get home for the holidays. By flight several or more day away from the actual holiday, your flight will still be expensive, but you may save $50 or more by spending an extra three days with your family.

The best days of the week to book flights are Wednesdays and Saturdays. Mondays and Fridays are the most expensive flight days.  Logic dictates that people traveling for weekend getaways usually fly on Fridays.  People traveling for business tend to fly on Mondays. These days are the airlines two most profitable flying days, so avoid them. By flying on Saturday, you miss most of the weekend warriors; remember they flew on Friday.

The bottom line, flexibility is your friend.  Booking as early as you can is important as well.  We can’t always book flights when we can save money, but for those times that we can control, making a few simple changes to your schedule, bundling travel products and leaving early or late, can leave you with a little more cash to spend when you arrive at your destinations.  

As always, feel free to contact your travel agent for any assistance with travel. You are going to pay commission to someone, (even Travelocity and Expedia) make sure it is someone you can call when you have a problem.  

Is Your Travel Agent Afraid of Travelocity and Orbitz?

When You Invest in a Vacation, Make Sure a Travel Agent Has Your Back!
When You Invest in a Vacation, Make Sure a Travel Agent Has Your Back!

With the onset of new digital technology, the world has become a smaller place with websites like Travelocity and Orbitz popping up on the Web. These travel web sites have been very successful at facilitating travelers to book their own airline and hotel reservations online.. So with this huge push from the internet to take over the travel industry, one has to ask, “Are travel agents obsolete?”  Your travel agent will be the first to tell you they are just fine.  

If you have browsed some of these travel sites, you have observed that they are amazing in the diversity of travel options that they make available. And it is impossible to deny that many thousands of people have taken advantage of these services.  However, no matter what your reason for traveling, travel agents still have their place.
 
Most travel agents agree that for those who just want to book a hotel and airfare for a couple of nights, using and online service is just fine.  Travel Agents don’t make much on these types of trips and these travel sites free them up to serve customers who really need their expertise in planning vacations, tours and other specialty planning. 
 
There are some very specific services that a living and breathing travel agent can provide that simply cannot be replicated by an automated web site.
 
1.  Business travelers find that the services of a travel agent free them up to focus on their business objects for the trip.  A travel agent will take care of all booking details from air and hotel to rental cars and entertainment for clients.  Your travel agent will, over time, will develop create your travel profile ensuring that each and every time you travel they know where you like to stay and all the details are handled with a simple phone call.
 
2.  Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure your travel agent is invaluable if you encounter problems you have someone you can call.  Travel disasters are never part of the plan but if you have a travel agent who is dedicated to providing you service, he or she can find those alternative routes and resources to do all they can to get you to your destination.
 
3.  You may have travel preferences that you want to achieve with each trip you take. A travel agent has your profile and your travel history so they can do what they can to accommodate your preferences. Perhaps you or someone in your family has special needs such as a diet limitation or a need for accommodation due to a disability, it will be a travel agent that sees to it that your needs are provided for and you are well taken care of on the road.
 
4.   If your travel itinerary involves making connections with complex travel schedules and itinerary challenges that just cannot be described to the generic screens of an online travel service,  you can explain these complications to your travel agent.  
 
5.  When reservations get lost, and they do, when those reservations were booked online, there are few people you can call for help.  The deal for “5 nights in paradise” may or may not be online now and since you did not deal with an agent you may find yourself stranded in paradise.  A travel agent gives you someone to call for help.  
 
While the online travel services do provide a valuable and affordable alternative to the general traveling public, it is easy to notice their limitations if you are trying to book a trip that is tricky or if you have specific needs that the screens do not anticipate. Human travel agents still do have a place in the world of travel and they will help you plan, budget and book the trip that meets your travel needs and purpose

Four Best Places to Travel You’ve Never Heard Of!

Travel to Beautiful Places
Travel to Beautiful Places

For those of us who love to travel, finding the next travel adventure is always fun.  And after while it is easy to think we have seen it all.  And when you think about it, it’s easy to think that after millennia of people traveling, not to mention how quickly the world has shrunk with access to the Internet, that we would have seen it all.  

But here are four beautiful and intriguing highlights from places to travel that might not be as familiar. If you’d like a full list from National Geographic of the best trips for 2018 – some familiar, some not – check it out here 

If you’re craving a break from busy-ness and noise for your next travel destination, Haida Gwaii will give you the silence you’re longing for.  A 180-mile-long archipelago off the coast of British Columbia is the ultimate getaway for nature lovers.   May-September is the summer travel season, with more tourist services available, and a greater chance of seeing spectacular wildlife like the Orca migration.  But if you’re into surfing, try October-May for the best waves.

To get a feel for what life was like for the Vikings, hop a ferry from Denmark or Iceland and check out the Faroe Islands.   Located about 400 miles off the coast of Northern Europe and accessible by flights and ferries year-round, the Faroe Islands are ringed with dramatic green cliffs that plunge into the ocean, sparkling bays, and breathtaking Nordic scenery. In the city of Gjógv, stay in an authentic sod-roofed hotel and take hikes up into the mountains with a spectacular view of the gorge below. Go in July or August for mild temps and long days. 

A hidden travel gem lies in the Western Baltics, which is already a somewhat-unknown region that is brimming with breathtaking scenery and a proud cultural heritage. The Via Dinarica is a year-round adventurer’s wonderland. Love gorgeous summer hikes and biking tours? May-September, this trail stretches through 1,200 miles of varied terrain and eight different countries.  If you’re into skiing and snowshoeing, hit the Via Dinarica from January to mid-March for a pristine wonderland. Stay in remote mountain shelters, or immerse yourself in centuries-old tradition by staying with local host families.  

We see a lot of Japan’s bustling cities, its towering skyscrapers, its industry, its bright lights. But if you’re interested in reclining into the contemplative heart of Japan, seek out Koyasan,  a pristine monastic complex two hours south of Osaka by train and the seat of Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Many temples here offer guest rooms, and you can get a feel for what monastic life is like in the lush, misty mountain interior. Savor the simple flavors of clean Buddhist eating, take in morning rituals, or hike by lantern and moonlight along winding green mountain paths. After the intense and amazing sensory experiences that the large urban areas of Japan provide, Koyasan really is the perfect retreat into silence, simplicity, and mystery. 

One of the many reasons I love what I do as a travel agent is that there is just so much to see, to take in, and to learn. We all have the amazing opportunity to launch out into new places, to find some new adventure that will change us forever — and I love getting to be a part of that process.

If you’re feeling that pull to places that are new to you, contact me today and let’s start planning your next adventure!

Five Things to Love About Cruising

disney cruise ship
Disney Cruise Ship

One of my favorite ways to travel is on a cruise.  Many people love cruising and many more wonder if it is the right mode of vacation for them.  Cruising can take you anywhere you want to go and makes an amazing vacation.  In this article I want to share my favorite reason for taking a cruise.   

A Cruise can Help You Completely Unplug

One of the best things about a cruise it that one can completely unplug if they so choose.  Let’s face it the cost of staying connected in international waters can be high, no matter how deep your employers pockets.  This fact makes it easy for travelers to feel a little less guilty for not checking emails.   Don’t get me wrong, all cruise lines offer communication availability, but when you are in the middle of an ocean it is easier to resist the temptation to check email and twitter.  

There is a Cruise for Every Taste and Every Age

Cruises today are no longer “one size fits all”.  Today there is everything from family and honeymoon cruises to adult only cruises designed for adult fun.  Not to mention there is everything in between.  One can take a cruise to exotic places or take a local river cruise, depending on your taste.   Cruising used to be more for the senior set, but today you only have look around the lido deck to see the diversity of ages and interests.  

There is a Cruise Destination for Every Adventure

Norwegian Cruise
Norwegian Cruise

Today you can go just about anywhere, for any reason, on a cruise.  There are fun-in-the-sun cruises, adventure cruises, photography cruises, eco cruises, senior cruises, river cruises, Alaska cruises and just about anything you can think of cruises.  The point is cruises are no longer limited in scope.

Additionally, there are even no time restraints with a cruise these days.  You can take a short cruise for a few days or do a long repositioning cruise for a couple weeks or more.   

You Can Sleep in the Same Bed Every Night

It is nice to unpack your bag at the beginning of your vacation and not have to pack up every day.  Although you can be in a new port every day, and do a different type of excursion, you can get back on the ship and enjoy a good night’s rest and be ready for your next adventure.  

The Food is Always Amazing

Cruise food
Cruise Food

Although it is not the main reason for cruising, it is wonderful to enjoy so of the worlds best foods on a cruise.  With many of the best chefs in the world working on cruise ships, it is so much fun to see what kinds of epicurean delights are whipped up on ships.  

I know there are lots of jokes about all the weight gained on cruises, but the truth is that the food on cruises these days is healthy and amazing.  Additionally their are gyms and spas to help keep things in check.  No matter where you go or for how long, you will enjoy the food.

If you have been thinking about a cruise, there is a lot to choose from today. Cruising has grown to be an travel specialty all its own and whatever you have in mind, there is likely a cruise to make it happen.  For more information please contact Sharon and together we can figure out the best cruise for you. 

 

Why Hire a Travel Agent?

Travel Agent
Time to Get Away!

In this do-it-yourself world we live in, with everything we could possibly want just a click away, it is seems easy to book your own travel.  With sites like Travelocity and Expedia, it is easier than ever before to take your next vacation.  Let’s face it, most people use these sites because they want to avoid paying a travel agent to plan their trip, thinking they are saving money on commissions.  The sad truth is that the commissions are baked into the prices and you pay commissions to someone, and when you use Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia, you pay it to them, and you do all the work.  If you use a travel agent, the same commission is paid to the travel agent and they do all the work.

So when should you talk to a travel agent?

  • Contact a travel agent when you are planning a vacation that is important.  I recently stood in line behind a couple who booked their vacation through Orbitz and when they arrived at the hotel, there was no booking for them on record.  They were meeting other family members for a major celebration and needed that reservation.  The hotel took no responsibility so they called Orbitz who said they could not find any record of their reservation and could not help them.  Fortunately, after about an hour of tension and emotion the hotel stepped up and found them a room.  If bookings are made through a travel agent, there is someone to call who will help.  Mix ups can happen, but a travel agent has many more resources at their disposal to resolve these types of problems thus eliminating your stress.
  • Contact a travel agent when you are traveling outside your own country.  International Travel is just much more complex and you want to make sure your travel documents are in order.  Even traveling between friendly countries has rules and travel agents can help you wade through everything and keep you on the right track.
  • Contact a travel agent when you plan to travel to Walt Disney World.  One of
    Magic Kingdom

    the reasons I specialize in Disney vacations is because it is not as simple as buying the tickets and getting in line.  The Disney parks are busy and whether it is your first time or your fiftieth, a good plan will help you get the most for your money.

  • Contact a travel agent when you just don’t have the time to plan a vacation.  Travel agents are a huge asset for helping you research prices, locations, comparing resorts and so on. The most savvy travelers know that doing all the travel research can be time consuming and mind numbing.  If you are short on time, a good travel agent will help you wade through options and stay on budget.

Traveling is one of the most exciting and interesting activities.  We all work hard for our time off and getting that vacation right is very important.  Don’t leave it to chance, trust an travel  agent to make your vacation perfect and handle all the details.

Disney News

Disney News at Disney's California Adventures Paradise Pier
Disney News at Disney’s California Adventures Paradise Pier

Disney news abounds everywhere and so I thought I would add some news I get every day.  Here is a little Disney News that might help if you are are planning a Disney vacation in 2018. 

Florida Residents 

Florida residents can save 30% on Walt Disney World theme park admission with the 3-Day and 4-Day Disney Select Tickets.  Florida Resident Disney Select Tickets can be used on nonconsecutive days and give you access to one theme park per day for up to 4 days. Tickets don’t expire until 6 months after their first use which must occur on or before December 31, 2018.  Contact Your Mouse Expert for more details.  

RunDisney

The Annual Walt Disney World Marathon is one of the most popular race events in the U.S. You’ll find that registration often fills up within days of opening.  Although you have missed this year’s event,  tickets for January 2019  go on sale April 17, 2018.  So start training and mark your calendars.   

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras festivities will kick off in less than a month, and the four of the acts that will be playing on the Music Plaza Stage have been revealed.  The Beach Boys will be featured on February 10th followed by Kelsea Ballerini on February 17th, Andy Grammer on February 18th, and Foreigner on March 17th. More information is forthcoming. 

Mardi Gras runs every night from February 3 through April 7, 2018, but the concerts will only occur on select weekend nights and Your Mouse Expert can help you plan a trip to Universal Studios.

Dates to Keep in Mind in 2018

  •  April 13: Pixar Fest Begins at Disneyland Resort
  • Coming this summer to Disney California Adventure Park, Pixar Pier will transform the southern shore of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure park with whimsical neighborhoods filled with characters from some of your favorite Pixar stories.
  • Coming this summer also is Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World
    in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  All the Toy Story characters and friends will welcome guests in the new Toy Story Land.