Saving on travel

Unless something happens that I do not know about, I will not be online the rest of the week.

We seem to be getting out of this recession of ours, but who isn’t interested in saving money? I mean, everyone has bills to pay, things they’re saving money for, and things like that. And besides, who wants to spend more money than they have to.

  • I feel like I’ve said this on this blog a couple of times lately, but traveling during the off season is going to save you a lot of money. Hotels, and other travel vendors, enjoy making money when things get slow just like anyone else. Not only are you likely to get good deals, you will also probably get better service than when everyone is rushing around because the hotel is full.
  • A lot of cities have free events. It could be a movie under the stars. Or it might be a free tasting party. You will be able to find about the free events online. And this is usually a great way to meet the locals.
  • When you can, it is better to book the different components of your trip together. I mean, book your air, your hotel, and your car rental all together. A lot of these travel websites like Expedia and Priceline make that easy.
  • And remember that you can travel other ways than by car or by air. Trains and buses can also take people from here to there. And these are often less expensive.

More on cruises

Let’s get back to our discussion about cruises.

  • On cruises, the first thing you are going to have to pay is your deposit, and that is usually due soon after you make your reservations. If you book through me, I can help you keep up with when your payments are due. If you do not keep up with your payments, you might get kicked off your cruise. Sometimes you will have to pay your full fare before you board. Other times you will not. I can help you figure that out too. If you pay before your cruise, the only thing you’ll have to worry about after your cruise is what you will spend on the ship itself.
  • Now there are several types of people who may qualify for a discount on a cruise. Among them are firefighters, military personnel [and that includes former military], and educators. You might want to let me know what you and your spouse do up front so I can let you know about any discounts.

Now let’s look at some other ways you can save.

  • Booking early is probably going to be your best bet.. This is going to be the way you are going to get exactly what you want. You might also be able to save thousand on your cruise this way.
  • Some cruises are also going to offer last minute deals. This is getting rare because most cruises sell out. Some cruiselines have decided that it is unfair to discount because of when you book.
  • If you are able to vacation at odd times, do that. Most cruises offer discounts during the off season.
  • Cruiselines are like most other businesses, they love repeat customers. A lot of the cruiselines have loyalty programs where you can get discounts and other goodies.
  • Travel agents can also get you good deals if you want to do a pre or post packages. We can combine air, hotel, car packages. Please let me know if you are interested.

About cruises


I have lots I want to do. I’ll be honest, being sick has made me fall behind on even the basic things I do each day. We will see how much I can do today. I’m not looking forward to not having internet at the end of the week, but we will see how everything goes. Today let’s look at cruises.

If this is your first cruise, you are likely going to have a lot of questions. Your first step is going to be deciding on a cruise and booking it. I would love to help you figure all this out. Please e-mail me at so that we can get started. I can help walk you through all the questions you might

  1. How would you go about booking a cruise? First, you can do it yourself, but I wouldn’t really recommend it, especially if this is your very first cruise. Cruises tend to have a lot of hidden fees you might not count on. Booking yourself also means you might book a cruise thinking that it will be one thing, and then it turns out to be something completely different.
  2. As a travel agent, I can help guide you through questions to help figure out what you want. I will also be able to tell you how much you will be charged. Cruise companies pay me to book cruises. I do not charge you anything over and above that. I can help you do all the necessary research.
  • Okay, so what does a cruise fare cover? That varies considerably. You will always get your room on the ship, and of course, the right to be on the ship. Most ships are going to give you your meals as part of your fare. Drinks are something you may be charged more for. You may be charged to go to the specialty restaurants. Entertainment is usually free once you are on board.. The best rule of thumb is, the more you pay up front, the less you’ll pay on board.

Random news

It’s been a crazy week, and I think I am going to be off some later next week. We will see how everything works out. Today let’s have a little fun.

  • Outside of Paris, there is this cottage that is made out of chocolate. They have books made out of chocolate, as well as a dresser, a clock, a fireplace [wonder how that works] are also all made of chocolate. You can not eat anything or mess anything up. Not certain what the point of this place is. Sorry.
  • California has passed a law that restaurants can not give you straws unless you ask for them. Straws can be dangerous for children, I understand that. Straws can be dangerous for animals too.

We’ll get back to more normal stuff Monday.

More winter destinations

Sorry this is fast.

  • We are going to start with Charleston, South Carolina. This place has some beautiful historic homes. They also have a lights festival from November until the beginning of the year. I also hear they have some fantastic restaurants.
  • Do you like the king, and here I’m talking about Elvis, you might be interested in visiting Graceland which is in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is known for having great barbecue and live music. And most places do not shut down for the holidays.
  • Washington D.C. is a great place to visit any time of the year. But winter is great because there are fewer crowds. You are going to find a lot of very nice museums. You can also tour places like the White House and the Capitol building.

Winter destinations #3

We are going to get back to our discussion on winter destinations.

  • I am going through an article written by someone else, so I know this first one for today may sound a little strange, trust me, it sounds weird to me as well. But the destination is Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska is cold and dark a lot of the year. And while this is especially true in winter, this is a great time to see Northern Lights. You may also want to see the famous dog sledding race.
  • You may want to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, which doesn’t sound nearly as weird to me. There are a lot of festivals in the San Juan area during the winter months. You will not find a deserted island, but you will find reasonable accommodations and some fantastic weather.
  • Houston, Texas is huge, but then again isn’t everything in Texas? This is an up and coming vacation spot. They have some historic sites. You will also find some interesting museums in this city.
  • Looking for a city that has a lot to do? Try San Diego. They have great beaches. They have a fantastic zoo. There is a lot of great night life. You might also want to get a glimpse of Mexico from here.
  • Want to experience some Southern charm? Go to Savannah, Georgia. You will avoid some of the crowds if you go in the winter. But there will be some nice festivals for you to take part in.

Winter destinations #2


Let’s get back to looking at some more winter destinations you might be interested in trying. Are you thinking about planning a vacation? I would love to help you book it. Please let me know if you are interested. The best way were to reach me is by e-mail, and that is I also have a Facebook group and that is

  • Do you like snow and art? Okay, so that might be a strange combination. But you might want to try Park City, Utah. Here you will find some interesting art galleries. There will be several places to play in the snow, no matter your age or stage. There will also be concerts to enjoy.
  • This might not be such a strange combination, but are you interested in wellness and golf? Or maybe you are interested in wellness and your husband is into golf, although it might be the other way around? Consider going to Scottsdale, Arizona. This place has some excellent resorts you might enjoy.
  • Are you absolutely obsessed with Christmas? Plan a trip to Austn, Texas between December 13th until Christmas Eve. You will love their Christmas Bazaar. You will find lots of live music, several of the city’s bars are involved, and you will always have the chance to shop.
  • You might think of Hawaii as a summer destination, but it isn’t. The islands have beautiful weather all year round. And Mid December is when whale watching season begins.
  • Have you always dreamed of Yellowstone, but aren’t sure when to go? Going in winter is going to cut down on the crowds, except for your fellow outdoor enthusiasts. This is the perfect time to enjoy your favorite outdoor sports at this park.
  • Orlando, Florida is known as the theme park capitol. And although Christmas time might be nearly as bad as summer, other times are going to be slower. Go and check out all those rides.

Winter destinations #1

It has been something of a strange day, but I’m working now, so let me do this before I really start on other projects.

Those of us who are in the south may not believe it, but autumn and winter are truly on their way. Let’s look at some places you might want to go.

  • It is definitely not too early to start planning a trip so that you can experience in New Orleans. I mean, you have to go and experience this at least once in your life. You are going to find that a lot of rooms are already booked, but some will not be.
  • Have you figured out what you are going to be doing for New Year’s this coming year? I hear that Vegas is a great place to ring in the new year. Of course, when isn’t it a great time to party in this city?
  • Of course, the place to be on New Year’s is New York City. Then again, any time during the holidays is a great time to visit the big city. There is so much to do in this place. You have great shopping. You have world-class plays. You also likely have snow.
  • If you like snow, even if it is only to look at, you will want to try to get to Breckenridge, Colorado. This place has something for everyone, whether or not you like playing in the snow. It has some great boutique shopping. And it is home to several nice resorts.
  • Are you more interested in going somewhere warm this winter? Try Miami. For sure you will find a lot of great night life here. There are beautiful beaches you can enjoy any time of the year.

Visiting family #2

Happy Monday everyone. I have several different things going on. But first, I want to make sure this does get done. Today let’s get back to our discussion on how to survive visiting family.

  • First, if you are relatively [ha ha] close by, and have a difficult family situation, consider going for a very limited time. Maybe you could just go for a day. Keeping your visits short will help prevent baggage being brought up. It might be more relaxing for everyone involved.
  • If extremely short visits are not a practical option for you, remind yourself, and maybe more importantly, remind your spouse, that this visit is only temporary. You will return to your own home. You will return to the life that you love.
  • If it is possible, try spending some one on one time with the family member you have most trouble getting along with. Try to do this when no one else is around, so that others are not made uncomfortable. Is there anything you like doing together? Try doing that.
  • If you are the one who has left the family home, and the rest of your family lives right around there, take some time to be with each person individually, not leaving anyone out.
  • Just because you are visiting them does not mean you have to spend every second of every day with them. Take some time to enjoy the are area. Enjoy an old favorite restaurant. Visit your favorite haunts. Do some date nights.
  • They are your family, you know the hot spots. Does your mother think you’re too hard on your children, and your sister think you’re too easy? Try to avoid conflict when you can.

Visiting family #1

Traveling to visit family is one of my favorite things to do. But sometimes it can be stressful too. We may have expectations that the people we’re visiting doesn’t think about, likely they have no idea what we were thinking or feeling. They may also have expectations that aren’t being met. Old hurts may come up.. Anyway, today let’s look at some tips that might help all of us.

  • Staying at your loved one’s house is though a lot of fun a. You won’t have to worry about leaving at a certain time each night because someone in your own family needs to get to bed at a certain time, or won’t get are up in the mornings. You can enjoy helping one another put meals together, and will probably get more of a feel of what their day-to-day life is like. Staying with your parents may haveĀ  a fringe benefit, they may want time to enjoy their grandchildren without you parents, allowing you and your husband to do some date nights while you are visiting.
  • On the flip side, maybe you do want to get your own hotel room or condo. You might be someone that really likes your privacy. Maybe spending too much time together brings back too many memories of the past. Maybe your parents can’t handle guests full time.

We are going to get back to this discussion Monday.