JAMAICA opened its borders to international travelers on June 15. So why, on June 16th, were there 30 people stranded at the Miami airport, denied boarding onto their ticketed flight to Montego Bay? Because they didn’t know about a newly implemented Travel Authorization form, a medical clearance that must be applied for online prior to travel, that is collected by the airport staff BEFORE passengers may board planes bound for Jamaica.
Why did I start off my article with that discouraging story? Because it’s- a great example of why using a professional travel advisor is MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER, as travel begins to rebound post-COVID-19. If those 30 disappointed passengers who were left behind at the airport had booked through their trusted advisor, they would have been informed of the new requirement, and given the information necessary to apply for and print the new Authorization form well before departure. It’s among the many services we provide!
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. So, here are my top 5 reasons why you need a professional travel advisor as a trusted partner when you are ready to travel:
Did you know that the US Travel Association has designated January 28th as National Plan for Vacation Day? Here's why this is important:
So, what are you waiting for? And why plan with me? Let me tell you...
Rich and I were in Fort Lauderdale last week and we took the Water Taxi around "The Venice of America" - this house is one of many elaborately decorated along the canals.
Happy Thanksgiving! Late November through the New Year's Holiday is one of my favorite times of the year. In my family, the season kicks off with birthdays just before Thanksgiving and eases into end-of-year holidays, many of which center on gatherings of friends and family, celebrations, and traditional holiday dishes. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday shopping season. Merchants have adopted "Black Friday" as an opportunity to offer tempting promotions with a built-in sense of urgency – due either to limited inventory or a small window of time to buy. For many families, the Thanksgiving meal is lunch, to allow shopping fans time to visit retailers starting their "Black Friday" sales Thursday evening.
Black Friday sales are not limited to brick and mortar stores – many e-commerce retailers also offer "Black Friday" sales. Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is one of the busiest days of the year for online purchases. Travel companies have become very active participants in Black Friday promotions – attractive offers are already being previewed.
So while your family and friends are together for Thanksgiving, why not have a conversation about planning a trip? Alternately, have you considered gifting a travel experience? And it goes without saying that it would be my pleasure to be of service to you and your family to plan a trip. Please reach out to me – I would be happy to help you find a "Black Friday" trip to match your travel wish list. For that "Traveler's Guide" - I've listed below a handful of offers hitting my inbox this week.
One of the highlights of our summer was an Alaskan Cruise; here I am on our balcony overlooking Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park
Hello from sunny Leucadia, California! It's been a busy few months, and I've got lots to catch up on - but I would love to hear what you did during your summer! We are just home from a week in Illinois, and head east in a few days for something new to me - a business conference on board a cruise ship!
We have lots to look forward to right on through 2020, including a special trip that I booked in April of 2018 - yes, you read that correctly! Last week we visited a winery in Southern Illinois, and our host advised us to watch their site as they will soon be announcing plans for visiting during the 2024 Solar Eclipse! On that note, the article below discusses the benefits of planning vacations far in advance. Here's to the Future!
(Photo above: You may not know that I'm not the only family member in the travel industry; my son, Ben, is a First Officer with Republic Air!)
I'm writing this as the sun sets on St. Patrick's Day. Having lived in Chicago most of my life, St. Patrick's day in Southern California is comparatively low-key. But if you've harbored a hankering to visit Ireland, this is a great time to plan - one of my partners has a great air-included promotion for trips to Ireland - but this trip must be booked by March 19th. My wish for you is well stated in this Irish Blessing: May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door!
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Something Free in Waikiki? Absolutely!
Aloha - today is a day that has been anticipated by many for a long, long time: Southwest Airlines is now selling flights from the 8 California cities to Hawaii; the new destination has rolled out with remarkable sale fares - and other airlines are matching the special rates. So if you've dreamed of visiting Hawaii (and chances are, you have!) why not contact me now to plan your visit to this American Paradise? As a certified Hawaii Destination Specialist, I would be delighted to help you plan!
With so many free things to do in Waikiki, there is really no reason to fork out a lot of cash on activities. From torch lighting and hula shows to hands-on classes in Hawaiian arts and crafts, this visitor “Mecca” has a lot of offerings to keep you busy – and entertain and educate at the same time!
Here are some of my favorite “free” or inexpensive things to do in Waikiki...
Do travel agents still exist? Because, you know, the Internet! This is the number one question I’m asked when people learn I am a Travel Advisor. Here are five benefits for clients choosing to use a Travel Advisor to help plan their trips:
First, Travel Advisors help clients choose a destination and how best to experience it. I’ve been to many destinations – but if not, I’ve got trusted colleagues who have, as well a host of research resources to draw on for my clients’ behalf. In order to match my clients with a great experience, I take time to get to know them. I hate to see people spend money on an experience they don’t enjoy, or have a subpar vacation, even if it was presented as a steal of a deal.
Second, Travel Advisors save clients time and hassle. The Internet is called the Information Highway for a reason, but it’s a double-edged sword, and it may be difficult to know what's accurate. My knowledge and experience allow me to quickly assess available options. I love sitting on hold (said no one, ever!) – but as their Travel Advisor, my clients can outsource this time consuming and sometimes frustrating task to me.
Leadenhall Market, London - Site of The Leaky Cauldron in the Early Harry Potter Films
I love going to the movies, and with London being a key player in so many of my favorites, I felt like I sort of knew the place when I first visited - and now when I view a film set in London I have a greater appreciation of the places depicted. Movies have such a powerful effect on our imagination, and in fact serve to influence many people by inspiring them to travel to their favorite movie locations.
If you fancy going behind the scenes to see how the Harry Potter films were produced, Warner Brothers offers a studio tour experience just outside of London specifically called "The Making of Harry Potter."
I’ve listed below several movies set in London; if London is on your travel bucket list, be sure to check out these movies to get you and your travel companion in the mood for a visit. Trying to convince a group of friends to go with you? These movies will help!
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What’s your favorite movie set in London? Comment below.
PS - I love Hugh Grant - so Four Weddings and a Funeral, About A Boy, Notting and Love Actually top my list - as well as the Sean Connery-era James Bond movies. And I love the sweet optimism of Bend it Like Beckham!
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