This year, we've seen a lot of requests and comments about traveling solo. There are so many reasons through our traveling "lives" that we'd choose to travel alone.
For some, it's celebrating a special occasion, even when friends can't join you. For others, it's traveling to a destination that the rest of the family has no interest in. Perhaps you don't have many friends with the same flexibility with time or finances. There are dozens of reasons you might decide to "going it alone" and travel solo.
There are many choices when you're planning a solo trip...even though it gets a bad rap as being too expensive. It's true, there are times when a solo traveler must choose to pay a little extra to have a room or a stateroom to themselves. But, there are just as many choices now that don't involve exorbitant expenses.
Cruising has opened up solo staterooms, in every spectrum of the industry. From river cruises and small adventure cruises to luxury Cunard, you'll find plenty of choices. Norwegian Cruise Lines debuted their solo staterooms and were received so well that others, like Royal Caribbean jumped onboard the trend. (pun intended!)
Did you know that all-inclusive resorts like Beaches offer solo traveler specials? How about escorted tour groups?
Tis the season for sales to bombard your inbox. While they can be overwhelming to the point of hitting the delete button each time you, I challenge you to look at them differently.
Most of us feel that the holiday season is the time to enjoy family traditions, decorate and gather around family and friends, celebrating the beauty of the holidays!
Though many people travel at this time of year, most don't go much further than their family hometown.
Family traditions and gathering together is a treasured part of my life...but, what if you took your family traditions on the road? Invite family and friends to join you on a special holiday trip. You'll create amazing memories together and explore the way the world celebrates in their own way. Instead of all the "wrappings" of the season, you'll bring home unbelievable shared experiences!
Resorts and cruise ships decorate and offer special gifts during the season, as well as creating holiday food favorites from many different regions.
Would you consider a holiday trip as your new family tradition?
App based check-ins, chipped wristbands and luggage tracking are just a few of the innovations launched with Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class ships. Dubbed "Smartships",Royal Caribbean is changing the way we interact with our vacations.
If all works correctly, you'll be able to come aboard this ship minus long lines during the check-in process and track your luggage through to delivery in your stateroom. (what I wouldn't have given for THAT app a couple of years ago. My luggage sailed with me, but not WITH me!)
How would you like to have at your fingertips...what excursions are available, pre-book your dinner times at specialty restaurants and find out what entertainment is scheduled and when? It's all available now on the Royal Caribbean smartships, changing the way you cruise forever.
by...Guest Blogger Joy
If you have a teen in your family, you know how difficult it can be to engage them during the family vacation. If the vacation doesn’t include something to do with an electronic device, many teens just don’t see the point. That said teenagers are enthusiastic travelers. We just have to encourage that enthusiasm!
A friend of mine recently went on a Western Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her new blended family of 5 teens ages 13 to 19. In order to keep the teens from mutiny with no reception for phones or tablets ,she and her new spouse allowed them to “quickly check your email.” Note that my friend didn’t check to see if smartphones would be active before the trip and she didn't know about the Wi-Fi fees. She was dismayed that everything with the teens was a tug of war, even a meal, on the whole cruise, especially since drinking bottled water, soda and specialty coffees were not free. It seemed that nothing the cruise line provided was good enough for the teens. When they went to settle their bill she and her hubby almost passed out.
An “it’s okay to check your email, oh go ahead and have a soda” cost them several thousand dollars as the teens, all 5, had checked their emails and social media several times and drank an inordinate amount of caffeinated liquids. At that moment she regretted the trip! And … nevertheless they are grounded through college! She hadn’t used a travel agent who would have consulted with she and her family and found the ship with the most epic teen program.
Here's our TOP 12 Ways to Vacation with a Teen
Before you leave:
Whew! Website creation is exhausting...
Just when we think we have the kinks on this new site worked out...bam, we find some more. Change can be uncomfortable and exciting, and this site is no different. We switched to a new web platform and the team helping us put it together has done a great job.
But, there are always bumps in the road to change, and our clients have been fabulous in giving us feedback. Keep those helpful hints and notes coming. It helps us craft the most convenient and informative site available.
We're looking forward to having useful forms and tools, all in one place...to make it easier to work with us!
Please welcome our new guest Blog Writer Joy Cruz, currently residing in Cleveland, TN. Here's a little behind the scenes about Joy...
Joy loved to read as a child and developed her wanderlust from the stories she read. Having the adventure of being a young single mom didn’t leave her much time to travel, but she always continued to explore other cultures through her reading.
Once her enterprising duckling flew the coop, Joy forged an exciting new path for herself earning her much desired college education!
During her fun times in college she was able to stoke those travel yearnings by spending an entire semester traveling in Europe. She might have been a mom, but she could back pack with the best of them.
Joy has had the chance to cruise, explore Oahu and much of the USA. She has recently retired from a career in university administration. She looks forward to spending more time traveling, guest hosting some travel jobs with that kid of hers (it’s Christine, if you hadn’t guessed), puttering in the garden with her dog Graci Blu, volunteering and crafting with friends.
We hope that you’ll enjoy reading Joy’s continued blog posts as our guest contributor. Leave some comments for her and let her know what you think. She’d love to hear from you!
Do you know who your travel planning partner is affiliated with?
More importantly, do you know what the partnerships mean?
We are members of national travel industry trade associations because we believe in the integrity, standards and ideals of these organizations. Our agency strives to maintain these standards with our clients and our vendors.
Our clients can count on quick responses from us, transparency in our documentation, with all payments/documents noted directly from suppliers, as well as from us and regular communication and statements. All vendor terms and conditions are clearly defined for you. All options are explained to our clients as fully as possible.
Simply put, your vacation investment is as important to us as it is to you.
Our integrity and reputation is one of our greatest assets and we'll continue to invest in maintaining it! Each year, we will renew our membership in these trade organizations. We will continue to train, network and participate in our industry organizations. It is our ongoing commitment to our clients that we are, and will be worthy of their trust!
Please click on each of these logos to view these trade organizations and see their mission, ethics and great travel info.
Just when winter hits us hard, vacation prices heat up...
Wave Season is the cruising industry terminology long since used for the time of year when holidays have ended and sales traditionally slowed down. The cruise industry needed a boost to fill those empty staterooms, get folks thinking about summer season and boost the new year of sales. It also happened to coincide (by chance?), with tax season.
Land vacation providers happily got into the sales fray and a frenzy of winter season sales have become a late winter tradition. With the economy still lumbering along, I'm always curious to see just how creative companies will become with their sales.
Two of my favorites lately are Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises...Royal Caribbean is offering an amazing Kids Sail Free and Celebrity's Pick Your Perk.
USA Today.com article posted today offers up a painful look at what we've been preaching for a while...air travel fees pack a real punch.
I've always tried to list as thoroughly as possible, a full breakdown of fees my clients would incur when they travel. Airlines make that harder and harder these days, passing more and more costs of travel to the consumer.
We're being charged for "premium" seats (no, we're not talking about Business Class here), expedited boarding, extra miles, drinks, snacks, first bags, second bags and bags of large or overweight sizes. Some airlines are even charging for that overhead bin!
While you can still find a value here and there, where our clients are really getting hit hard are change/cancellation fees and those overweight charges. As USA Today.com notes, up into the hundreds.
The airlines claim that they wouldn't be able to survive without charging you all these fees, including fees to speak to them on the phone and fees to use your frequent flier award miles. We're not sure customer service is getting any better, and see the worst offenders in fees getting the worst complaints in service.
Take a look at the article for yourself and let me know what you think...link here