Tropical vacations with kids#1

Last week, we were talking about some cruises you might want to take to get out of this winter weather. But what if you want to bring your children along on your tropical vacation? The idea of a tropical vacation with kids can be tantalizing and yet terrifying all at once. Today let’s start looking at some destinations that will hopefully not leave you hanging.

  • We’ve been talking about Hawaii earlier this week, we are going to start by looking at Kauai. This is an absolutely beautiful island with lots of green rolling hills, and yet you are going to be near the ocean as well, since you are on an island. You and your family will have plenty to do here. There is everything from whale watching to helicopter rides to the beautiful beaches with all the water sports. You and your family will want to stay at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas to ensure a private bedroom away from the kids and a kitchen you can cook in.
  • Does your family just love mountains, volcanoes, wildlife and adventure? Consider booking a trip to Costa Rica. Staying in their capital city of San Jose will also get you close to coffee plantations, beaches and places you can zipline. And your hotel should be the San Jose Costa Rica Marriott for huge rooms and rainforest views.
  • Have you ever wanted to explore French Polynesia? Paul Gauguin Cruises has some of the most intriguing itineraries. Cruising will allow you to get to see several islands on one trip.
  • If you know anyone who has been to the Bahamas, you’ve probably heard of the resort Atlantis. This is a huge, sprawling resort that has sections that are for families, and other sections that are for adults only. Your family could stay on this resort your whole vacation and have a perfect trip.
Advertisements

Funny stories #2

I think we are going to continue our discussion from yesterday. I really enjoyed it, and hope you did as well.

  • One travel agent has been asked if honeymooners will get any special discounts for being virgins on their wedding night. Okay, most resorts, castle hotels and cruises are going to do special things for couples who are on their honeymoon. Sometimes you will have to pay extra for their romance packages. You will just have to check to see what the places you are looking at might have available. Or I could do that for you if I was to book your special trip. But I don’t think anyone is going to ask you those most personal questions.
  • Someone has asked a travel agent to get her and her husband on a cruise. But by the way, the husband wasn’t allowed to leave the United States. Okay, we are not allowed to do anything like that. We need to follow the rules, especially federal regulations.
  • Some of these are truly making me laugh out loud. One person wanted his travel agent to book him a middle seat on the plane because he figured the people around him would help cushion him in the event that a crash was to take place. That might help some in a car accident. But an airplane is a huge craft, and your crash is going to be much more serious. Listen to your airline staff.
  • Someone called their travel agent to get him home three days because the hotel they were staying at didn’t have the right channel that would allow him to watch his football game. I’m sorry, but that just seems a little ridiculous to me.
  • One woman decided to go from her trip to Italy because she couldn’t stand the person she booked her trip with. She spent a thousand dollars and just lost out on the rest of her tour.

Favorite honeymoon destinations

Did you know New Year’s is one of the most popular times to get engaged? If you and your significant other have decided that this is the year that you are going to take the plunge and get married, we are going to take a look at some popular honeymoon destinations you might want to consider for your special trip.

  • Do you and your future husband just love wildlife? You might want to go to Africa and watch the animals in their natural habitat. Not sure you want to spend your honeymoon camping out? They do have some nice resorts in Kenya.
  • Or are you looking for a great spa resort? You may be interested in learning more about healthy eating. You may also want to vineyards to do some wine tastings. You could also want to see the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. If this sounds like your ideal trip, go to California.
  • Especially if you live in the Southeastern United States, you might want to consider going to Florida for your honeymoon. You will find plenty to see and do there. Love amusement parks? This state certainly has its share of those. You are also going to love their beautiful beaches.
  • Thailand is becoming an extremely popular place to go visit. Maybe part of the reason is that everyone loves their food. But honeymooners in particular will love their beaches. You may also enjoy their wide variety of water sports.

Disney offers/Carnival news

I know that most of us are returning to work today. A lot of you may not even want to think about planning another vacation. However, Disney is offering some specials, and when Disney offers specials, you don’t want to mess around and miss out.

The first offer we are going to look at is their free dining which is something they do with some regularity. If I am reading this right, you are not going to be able to mix the offers which is unfortunate. In order to qualify for this deal, you need to be staying at one of Disney’s resorts for at five nights and have park passes with their Park Hopper capability for six days. You can take advantage of this offer between July through September. The article I’m reading says there are a few exceptions, but it doesn’t go into those details.

Or you might to choose to get 30% off when you stay at one of their selected resorts. You will have to stay at least four nights. And it looks like this offer is good for most nights between the end of May through September. You aren’t going to be able to get this discount on their more expensive accommodations.

 

And on another matter entirely, it looks like Carnival is no longer going to offer free room service. The upcharge will be between two to five dollars per item. What get for these charges? The article I’m reading simply says more choices. The cruise company were also going to raise its prices on the drink packages.

I would love to help you book a vacation. please let me know if you are interested.

Money for travel #2

Many people would like to travel more than they have, but they look at their finances, and the money just is not there. Today let’s look at some tips that might just help.

  • Are you looking for some ways to cut your monthly expenses? Try giving up cable for a while. Hate the idea of giving up tv? Subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime. One advantage, besides money, is that you don’t have to sit through all those commercials. You may never go back.
  • There are lots of ways to earn airline miles. You don’t even have to have a credit card if you have discovered that credit cards are a problem for you. There are other programs that will help you earn those precious miles. Find them online.
  • If you are serious about doing some more travel, and know you are doing everything you can to save, you might want to pick up a side hustle. There are a lot of them to be had. Some people drive other people around. Other people shop and run errands for people. Find something that works well for you.
  • How much do you spend on your entertainment? Do you go to the movies? Do you go to concerts? Those things add up faster than you may think. Be careful.
  • Do you have student loans. Those things can be killer. Pay them back as soon you can.

Money for travel

I’m back. I hope everyone had great holidays. I know I did.

If one of your big resolutions is to become much more fiscal responsible, but you also have the desire to travel more, here are some ideas that might help you.

  • Are you carrying around debt? That stress is not good for anyone. And it is especially not good for families. Make a list of all your debts, and start paying them off one by one. It will help if you live simply during this time.
  • Do you have a monthly budget that you live by? Making a plan and sticking it will really help you. It may also open your eyes to some discretionary spending you might want to cut out, at least for a time.
  • Consider opening a travel savings account. Decide on an amount to put into this special savings account.. Think about putting your extra money in there. You will love watching that grow.
  • Eating out is a huge expense for many of us Americans. Learn to cook. You may be surprised how much you actually save.

More on gifts vs. airports

 

The security agents at the airport may seem like the world’s biggest Grinches, but try to remember that they are there to keep everyone safe.

 

  • Do you have someone in your family that just loves collecting those snow globes? If they are traveling home by air after the holidays, you will want to get their something that is no larger than a tennis ball. Anything bigger will be confiscated. Anything taken on an airplane will need to be kept in a quart plastic bag.
  • Those Magic 8-Balls? They’ll never make it through security. So just don’t bother giving anyone that gift.
  • And be sure to put your cigar cutters into your checked bag. These are items that are usually allowed, but agents are given some leeway there. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Okay, this seems a little ridiculous to me, but remember that they are just protecting everyone, kitchen gadgets may also get scrutinized. This is especially true for knives and things that might possibly be used as a weapon. And remember, you may be the most trustworthy person on earth, but you never know who might try to take something from you.
  • And then we have batteries. Are you and yours looking for electronics for Christmas? Then again, who isn’t? The regulations on batteries are ever changing. Just wait to get your batteries until you are safely home.

Advice on what to do about gifts when you fly

Today let’s look at some gifts that you will want to be more careful with if you happen to be flying for your holidays.

  • Um, this should be obvious, but give your security people a break, and do not bring weapons on board. If someone is dying to get their Red Ryder? Buy it when you get to your destination. Or is the gun lover going home with you? Give them an IOU for when you get home.
  • And no, security does not even like the fake guns. They still make them pretty nervous. You’ll avoid a lot of hassle if you do not bring anything like that. You’ll be surprised at what all they might frown upon
  • They don’t like wrapped gifts either. Okay, let’s remember that some people might wrap a bomb in a beautiful package. The security people do have their reasons. The best way to avoid this is to just put everything in gift bags.
  • You will even need to be careful about which foods you bring home. They are going to consider anything spreadable or pourable to be a liquid. And liquids can be used in bomb making.
  • They may have mercy on you if you bring some of Grandma’s baking. But if you love her soups, try to get enough of that while you are visiting. Did someone give you a bottle of fine wine for Christmas? Go on and enjoy that while you are with your family.

More holiday travel tips

Let’s get back to our discussion on holiday travel. I would love to know what you are doing for the special time of year.

  • Are you at all flexible in your holiday plans leaving home the twenty-sixth and returning after the fourth is going to really cut down on traffic, no matter which way you travel. Want to have no one in your way when you travel? Travel on Christmas Day itself.
  • Do you have transportation to and from the airport? Might it be nice to have a hotel because of an extra early flight? These are the things you’ll want to be figuring out now.. Wait, your flight is booked, isn’t it? If it isn’t, I would seriously consider driving.
  • Are you gifts packed? You should not wrap anything until you get where you are going. Nothing will be pretty if you do. Or do you want an excuse to shop with your family?

Where to go for Christmas #3

I have shared some things I like about this time of year. I would love to hear about some of your favorite traditions of the Christmas season.

  • Have you ever dreamed of spending the Christmas holidays in the Swiss Alps? Baur Au Lac Hotel was established near a beautiful lake in the 1800’s. They will have one of the tallest Christmas trees in their area. Stay at this hotel and you will get a taste of Swiss holiday favorites. And you will also get taste of some of their music.
  • Has the climbing bug got into you? You might want to go to Tanzania. There are places that will serve you roasted turkey and other delicious treats. And you can also do as much climbing as you want.
  • Or are you looking for something that is luxurious? If that sounds more like you, you might want to try Hotel Bel-Air which is in Loos Angeles. Pastry chef Tiffany Pascua will be more than happy to give your entire family cooking lessons. You will also be able to enjoy a four course dinner?
  • Has Paris always been on your bucket list? Consider going to Le Royal Monceau where you will be able to revel in all kinds of festivities. They will have igloos that will comfortably house six guests where you will enjoy a tasting experience. You will be eating appetizers and drinking wine.
  • Have you wondering what an Irish Christmas would be like? You might want to go to The Merrion, which is a hotel in Dublin. There will be afternoon tea which will feature several delicacies. There will be tasting menus on Christmas and New Year’s where you can sample Irish fare. Father Christmas will make an appearance on Christmas Eve, followed by an evening of caroling.