Variety news

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It’s Friday, and I have several other things I need to try to get done today. So I want to go on and get this done. Somehow everything seems to be more difficult today.

 

I think I am going to do an overview of several stories today. Cunard’s Queen Victoria is about to be remodeled, starting in January of 2015. Nine single staterooms are going to be built, using part of the ship’s casino. They are going to be putting new carpet throughout the ship, and replacing tvs with flatscreens. Several new shops are going to be opened up, including at least one jewelry shop. The ship is going to have to cancel two of her sailings.

 

Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean are offering up to $1500 in credits for couples who either want to get married at the resorts or spend their honeymoon there. Sandals does weddings for couples, and that’s where $500 of your credits may come from. Couples may also purchase an “ultimate romance package” which include champagne, one couples’ spa treatment, and a dinner at the resort among other amenities.

 

RIU Hotels and Resorts has announced that they will have another hotel opening this October on the Island of Aruba. This hotel is exclusively for adults, and will feature concierge service, and free wi-fi throughout the hotel.

 

I think I am going to stop here. Let me know if you are interested in any trips. I would be more than happy to help you.

 

Quantum of The Seas

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Travel agents who run their own businesses need to keep up with a lot of different things. We need to know about the different destinations that are available, there is a steep learning curve on that. I confess I do not know nearly everything out there. If I could travel by myself I would be out there exploring destinations as much as I could. Some of these places sound absolutely amazing. Travel agents also need to know about disasters and how to help their clients when they have any kind of travel emergency.. And as a home based travel agent, I also have to know how to run and promote my business. After a year of doing this, I feel like I still have so much to learn in all of these areas.

 

Today let’s look at Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Sea.. The first thing that is mentioned in this article is that this ship has a huge theater. During the day, the screen is a huge wall of windows, which seems like it would be impressive in and of itself. But at night, this becomes a three-story theater. And this isn’t like your normal theaters where everyone is quiet. It is described as a theater\club.

 

If you decide to take a cruise on the Quantum, you are going to get a wristband which allows you to open up your room as well as make any purchases. A SeaPass card is an alternative if you don’t like wristbands. Or you can always get one of each and decide what you can take to the different activities that you’ll be doing onboard.

 

The ship has a bar where robots are actually going to mix drinks for you. You will be ordering your drinks on a tablet. That sounds interesting, although kind of “space-age” like to me.

 

I would love to hear from you if you are interested in booking a trip.

Ideas for the drive

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Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, do you have any travel plans? And since we’re talking about holidays, the big holiday season will be upon us in about three months. I would love to start planning your Thanksgiving or Christmas getaways. Just let me know where you want to go.. But anyway, back to Labor Day, Mom and I are going to go babysit my nieces for a few days, so that’s our plan. I don’t think it is going to effect my work much though.

 

With Mom and I going by ourselves, we’re probably going to listen to stories most of the way which is what I enjoy most when I’m taking a roadtrip… But how do you keep your children entertained when you are in your car for hours on end? I’m the oldest of eight, and we did our fair share of traveling when I was younger and everyone was home. I remember having the baby, or maybe one more than one baby, crying for what felt like a long time.

 

Again, this post is inspired by a newsstory.. And the first thing the article suggests is satellite radio. Satellite radio has all kinds of children’s stations.. And everyone knows that children love to play with our phones, or ipads. The car is one of the best places to let the children play with those. Or does your car have a dvd player? A movie is a great way to make the hours fly by.

 

But what if you don’t have any of those things? Look up a project for the kids to do in the car… Or here are some even more old-fashioned ideas for roadtrips. Play games where you have to just talk to each other. Or tell your kids stories of what you did growing up.

 

Can you think of other ideas? I would love to hear them.

 

 

Shameless plug

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I know that this is something I’ve written about before, and likely this topic is something I will cover again sometime in the future. But this topic is vital to my business. I’m going to be talking about why people should book their trips through a travel agent. The first thing I would like to point out is that I have my website at http://www.familytripsinc.com, and booking your hotels and car rentals through my site would allow me to make a commission off whatever you need. And I would appreciate your business in that. If you find cheaper rates, I would welcome an e-mail letting me know, and I can try to figure something out.

 

Another thing you should know is that I have insider information in the travel industry. I get a lot of travel deals in my inbox each day. I try to pass those on to you through Facebook and Twitter. If you see any of those that you are interested in, please let me know. I’d be more than happy to help you with any of these trips.

 

Something you should remember is that as a travel agent I am hopefully going to be more and more trips. And hotels and other travel venues are going to see my name on e-mails over and over again. Maybe a hotel is going through a rough patch for whatever reason, and you don’t get the service you deserve. Getting an e-mail from you might get you somewhere or it might not. You may or may not be back, but you’re only one family, and unless you want to take a lot of time, you aren’t going to do that business a lot of harm. On the other hand, as a travel agent, I am going to be booking a lot of travel over the years. I really want my clients to have the best experience possible. I am going to remember when my clients have a good experience and when they do not. If my clients aren’t happy with their trip, I am going to need to let the  responsible party know that. And not only do I have the potential to bring a hotel a lot of business myself, I also talk to other travel agents on a regular basis.

 

So let me know if you are interested in working on any trips with me. I’ll be more than happy to help

London theater

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It’s Monday, and I’m kind of having trouble getting my mind back on work. I have several different things going on with friends. But I am determined to get some things done today.

 

I have several things I try to do each day that I work. Writing this blog is pretty much a must. Working through e-mail is another thing I do every day unless something unusual happens. And the third thing I try to do is to keep up with travel news. That is going to be more important as I hopefully get more and more clients to work with. It is important to keep current with news when you’re making travel recommendations and things like that.

 

Reading the news is my inspiration for today’s post… London is getting ready to open its fall season for their plays. London is known for its plays, maybe in part because one of the greatest playwrights of all times [meaning Shakespeare] lived there. This is one place which people spend more money on plays than they do watching movies at the theater. There are more than two hundred play theaters in the great city.

 

I read in another story that London is one of the more expensive cities in Europe, but you can pay less for your plays here than you would in New York [I’m assuming that they’re talking about Broadway here]. And people come from all over the world to see these plays.

 

I am going to stop here. I would love to hear from anyone interested in taking a trip. I am ready to start working on another trip.

Resorts and the disabled

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I’m so glad today is Friday. There is no question that I love working on my business, and really hope to do well at it.. But I’m ready for some downtime.

 

Today, let’s talk some about resorts and the disabled.. Whether you are the disabled person yourself, or someone in your family is disabled, you will be the one who best knows what works and what doesn’t work for the disabled person. Resorts are great places to vacation because you are going to have your lodging, your meals, and your entertainment all right there. Resorts usually have several nice pools you can choose from, as well as children’s programs for when you would rather not have your children around. But are you are going to have more questions about the resort than the average person. What exactly are the rooms like? Will getting a wheelchair in and out be a problem? Am I going to have enough room to keep the things I need to keep my child calm? Is there a way to keep what other guests hear from our rooms to a minimum? Are we going to have good options in the restaurants for the person with dietary restrictions? And are the restaurants going to be family friendly? Do you take special needs children in your programs, and how does all that work? Has any of your staff been specifically train to work with the disabled?

 

These are some of the things you’ll need to consider when going to a resort with a person with a disability. Or you could e-mail me, and I’ll ask a lot of questions about your family and help you get the info you need.. I would be more than happy to work with you.

Best vacation spots for disabled kids #3

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I have a dear friend I am going to get to hang out with tonight. So I need to get to some work stuff before work starts.

 

Once again, we are going to be discussing some great destinations for the disabled. Did you know that there are chairs which will allow disabled people to ski? There is a place in Colorado that makes it easy for anyone who wants to to ski. This resort is called Mount Tremblant and offers a wide variety of activities, no matter who you are. They have everything from ice skating to dog sledding and ice fishing. A lot of their ski instructors have been trained to work with the disabled. All of the rooms are spacious, and will accommodate wheelchairs. And all the restaurants at this resort are accommodating as well. This is not the only resort in Colorado who has accessible skiing. But Tremblant looks like it is dedicated to being the most accommodating… Personally, I don’t think chair skiing is something I want to try. I’m kind of getting less and less adventurous as the years go by.

 

My family have a house near this place, and I think that’s where we are going for Christmas this year.. The place that is called good for the disabled is Dollywood which is near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is an amusement park, but is much calmer than a lot of other parks like this. I have never been to the park itself, those places have lost their appeal to me. But I know the area also has a lot of shopping, and some great restaurants. It is also a beautiful place to go hiking and things like that because it is in the beautiful mountains.

 

I would love to know your thoughts on this, any questions you might have..

Best vacation spots for the disabled #2

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I am someone who likes getting up fairly early and getting the things I need to do done as quickly as I can. But because of my disability, I have to wait on Mom to get me up. Today, early didn’t happen, but anyway.. I’m trying to figure out the best order to do things. This comes first, and then I’m thinking about doing school, and saving my forum “work” for last, since that is what I enjoy most.

 

Anyway, let’s get back to discussing the best places to take disabled kids on vacation. Splore, Utah has a resort type place that allows disabled kids to go four-wheel riding, horseback riding, mountain biking, and even has scenic flights you can take. Cow Boy fare is what is usually served, but the chefs there welcome you making special requests.. If I could travel by myself, I would love to get to this place, even from the short description I’m reading online.

 

You may be wondering if there is any way you and your family can take a cruise. Actually, there is. Royal Caribbean is starting to do more and more for the disabled community, especially those with Autism. They offer special programs for the disabled, and are more than happy to cater to those with special dietary needs. Royal Caribbean has made sure that at least part of the crew has been certified, so you can even feel safe leaving your child in the programs and having fun yourself.

 

I think I am going to stop here and get on to some other things. I think I am going to look up that resort. What about you?

Best vacation spots for the disabled #1

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I’m o do a lot of different things in the business, and with my life too… Okay, we’ve said that the United States as a whole has worked hard to make traveling, and a lot of other things, easier for the disabled. And that’s a good thing, because more and more of us are experiencing disabilities, either ourselves or a family member.. But today, let’s get into some specifics of actual vacation spots that work well when you have a disabled child.

 

Starting out, Disney is one place that does cater to those who have food allergies, which does not surprise me having worked with Disney before. Disney goes out of their way to meet guests’ hopes and dreams. Each resort has its own head chef who will know which restaurants are safe for any given allergy or dietary need your family may have. All you need to do is to call ahead and get a list of safe restaurants. Or if you book through me, I will be able to do that for you.

 

In Santa Cruz, California, they have a nonprofit organization called “Shared Adventures” that has all kinds of programs for the disabled, both for children and adults. Santa Cruz is a beautiful place to explore with lots of nice beaches. In July, this organization has a day at the beach for the disabled. They have swimming, canoeing, kayaking and even scuba diving.

 

On the other side of the country, there is a place in Kent, Connecticut. Families can stay together in cabin. This place sounds like a family camp and might be your best bet if your child has sensory issues.

 

Please let me know if your family would be interested in anything like this. I would be more than happy to help you plan any of these trips.

Suggestions on trips for families with a special needs child

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It’s Monday morning, and I’m glad to already up and at work. I have several things I would really like to accomplish this week. I’m still looking for a forum where I can meet some more people to work with. I have kind of joined a free travel agent school that I am going to try to take full advantage of. I guess those are my two main goals, besides doing this, for the week.

 

Let’s go back to looking at some great destinations for the disabled… Planning the perfect trip for everyone in any family is always a chore. A lot of siblings, no matter whether you have two children or six, most of the time your kids are going to be very different in what they like to do on vacations. Some like to just read, others want to be going places all the time. But when you have a disabled child, you have to make sure that their needs are met adequately as well. Don’t ignore the needs of your other children, but you will need to make sure that the accommodations work for your child with special needs. If you have kids with special dietary needs, you are going to need to take that into consideration as well. Try to do some special meals for them as well. You can call ahead and see which restaurants will ensure that your child’s needs will be met. Try to balance the special needs child’s needs with your other children’s [duh, aren’t you always doing that?] If you are planning a pretty active vacation, but your special needs child needs more downtime, consider taking a grandparent or other good adult friend so your special needs child doesn’t feel stuck with someone.

 

My hope is to get into a lot more specifics tomorrow and the rest of the week. I would love to know your thoughts, or any questions you may have about any of this.