Some lesser known places you might want to visit this summer

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Summer is going to be here before you know it. Do you know what you are going to do for summer vacation. [I know spring break comes first, if you want help planning a trip, please let me know. I would love to help.] If You have kids complaining that you always do the same thing year after year, maybe you should take a closer look at some of the places we are going to look at today.

  • Ever been to Rockford, Illinois? This place has some nice museums. They also have many nice restaurants for you to eat in and shops for you to explore.
  • Is your family into water sports? You might want to vacation on Lake Michigan on Mackinac island. They have a beautiful older hotel where you might want to stay. You will be able to enjoy a lot of different kinds water sports, horseback riding, as well as some festivals you might want to take part  [I thought the picture was so pretty, I put it in at the top.]
  • I’m guessing most everyone has heard of Fort Lauderdale, but have you heard of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea which is also in Florida? This is a pretty quiet place. You will find inexpensive accommodations here, and most of the hotels are within walking distance of Anglin’s Square where you will find a lot of nice restaurants and shops.
  • Ocean City, Maryland is a pretty well known, fairly typical beach town with many things for families to do and a lot of nightlife. However, if you’re looking for a quieter beach experience, you might want to try the surrounding Worcester County which has some beautiful beaches of it’s own.

I would love to know your thoughts on any of this. Please let me know.

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Giving tips on cruises

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We haven’t talked much about cruises lately, so let’s talk about how you should tips on cruises today.

When you go to a sit down restaurant, you are expected to tip if the person does even a halfway decent job. It is similarly expected when you go to a nicer hotel, tip the bellboy when he helps carry your bags. On cruises, it used to be that you would put money in envelopes for the people who cleaned your rooms or waited on you for your meals. Now it is pretty common for cruiselines to go on and give you an upcharge each day for your tips. We are going to talk more about the “forced tip charge” a little later. Luxury lines are actually adding the gratuities into your actual fare. If you are displeased with the service, you are going to be able to get your gratuity money back, but the article I’m reading says that that rarely happens. They say that the more common thing is that you want to pay your servers even more because they do so well.

Okay, let’s face it, it is rather nice to have everything paid for by the time you step on the ship. That is why a lot of people are going for the more all inclusive cruises. People don’t like to be nickeled and dimed every time they turn around. At the same time, should tips be mandatory? Shouldn’t you reward only the most exceptional service?

This is a debate that is going around in the travel industry. I would love to know your thoughts on this topic.

More places to consider for next Christmas

I have several things I want to get to today. We are going to a Christmas party tonight, and by then I want to be finished with computer stuff for a couple of days. I am going to put up my Christmas letter soon. o let’s get started.

  • Do you want to go somewhere your children will love? Try Tuscany, Italy. They’ll have a Santa village featuring a castle. They have some really nice places to stay. And it’s Italy, so children and adults alike should enjoy the food.
  • I love Christmas and all the celebrations, but I’m not a big fan of snow. It is beautiful for sure, but I don’t like being cold. If you feel the same way, you might want to try the beautiful island of Malta. Here you will have the opportunity to celebrate the deeper meaning of Christmas. There will be a lot of midnight masses you can choose from. There will also be caroling to take part in.
  • I am going to get a little sentimental for a minute. My grandparents lived in Virginia, and we used to go every Christmas. Going to the Greenbrier was something I’ve heard a lot about, I think some of my family may have gone some years to play in the snow. I always stayed with my Grandma. Anyway, the Greenbrier is a really nice place in west Virginia, and they do a lot for the holidays.

I am going to put up my Christmas letter soon. And after that I’m not sure when I might be on again. I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Christmas.

Where to spend Christmas 2018

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The most wonderful time of the year is once again upon us. My plan is to work some tomorrow, and then from there it is going to get a little spotty from there. I’m not going to work Christmas Day for sure, and don’t really know about the rest of the week. The whole month of January is kind of up in the air because we have coming in at different times and things like that.

A lot of you are already starting your Christmas vacation as I write this. But I wanted to do something festive anyway. So let’s look at some places you might want to go next year.

  • I don’t know about you, but our family loves Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, it isn’t really the Christmas season until we’ve watched that movie. [And the only real movie is the one with George C Scott in it.] Why not try to go to London next Christmas? A lot of hotels are going to provide you with some nice meals on Christmas Day as well as New Year’s. You are going to love their Christmas markets. And I’m sure there are some nice plays and musical productions that will take place around this festive time of year.
  •  Are you tired of not having a white Christmas? You should try to go to Finland next year. Everything is bound to be covered with snow there. There is a city there that will make you think you’ve somehow arrived in the North Pole itself. You will definitely see some reindeer, and there will also be elves. Who knows? You might also see a big man with a big beard in a red suit, though they do say he’s kind of busy this time of year.
  • Is The Nutcracker a tradition in your home? You might want to consider St Petersburg next Christmas. There is nothing more traditional than going to a ballet in Russia. Again, you are sure to see snow here.

Let’s get back to this tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.

The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun

Sometimes you just want to vacation somewhere where nothing will be required of you. You don’t want to have to do any kind of cooking, cleaning or anything else. If that sounds like your type of vacation, you might want to check out The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun. Let’s look at some of what they have to offer.

  • They have a suite that is perfect the family. This suite has a kids’ room next to an adults room. The kids’ room’s fridge comes stocked with candy bars, milkshakes, soda and water.
  • Teens are going to have their own lounge. Teens actually designed this place. They’ll enjoy a lot of cool snacks, including a lot of ice cream. They’ll have the chance to surf the web and play games together.
  • Let’s not forget the adults. They’ll get a king sized bed. Their bedroom will have a private balcony. And they’ll get a very nice bathroom, complete with a double whirlpool tub. They’ll have their own stocked mini bar. You will have a lot of activities to choose from. For starters, do you want to do things as an entire family, or do you want to do things as a couple? A mixture of the two will be perfectly acceptable as well. They’ll have a great pool. They’ll have bowling. They have an excellent spa.

And of course, you’ll have several choices when it comes to restaurants and night clubs. I would love to know your thoughts about any of this.

Celebrating the royal wedding? #2

 

 

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This is where the royal event will take place 

There Yesterday we started talking about a trip Trafalgar is putting together in honor of the royal wedding. To see that post, please go to Celebrate the royal engagement?Today let’s look some more of the details.

  • On day four you are going to have some options. You are welcome to continue exploring London on your own. Your travel guide will be more than happy to give you suggestions depending on your interests. Or take a tour of Oxford. Here you will see Shakespeare’s house as well as touring Christ’s Church College.
  • Day five will give you a more in depth look at Westminster Abbey. This is England’s most famous church building. A lot of her famous people are also buried here.
  • Day six you will get to walk through the market. Here your guide will give you a feel of the day of the English. You will also be learning more about where the food comes from and things like that. In the afternoon you will have your choice of free museums to visit.
  • Day seven is yours to enjoy however you like. Do the last minute shopping. Revisit your favorite spots. That evening you will be taking a cruise to tell your fellow travelers good-bye.. And on day eight you return home filled with wonderful memories.

Celebrate the royal engagement?

I’ve heard that some entrepreneurs take the whole time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day off. And to be honest, I can kind of understand that. I will work tomorrow and then be off the rest of this week just as way of reminder.

Okay, I love British drama. I can’t decide whether I like Pride and Prejudice or Downton Abbey more. And I also really like The Crown, but I’ve never been one to keep current on the royal family. However, when I saw this piece in the travel news about the royal engagement, I was intrigued. Yes Prince Harry is engaged to an American named Meghan Markle. In honor of this, Trafalgar is setting up a royal tour of England. Let’s look at that today and probably tomorrow as well.

  • You will be flying into London your first day. On this day, you will be getting in and settled. And there will be a tea served where you will be getting to know your fellow travelers as well as your tour guide.
  • On the second day you will be free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After which you will be touring places like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. After that you will be free to decide what you want to do the rest of the day. Shop at the famous stores. Explore more on your own. It’s really up to you.
  • Day three you will be exploring Windsor Castle. This is one of the places the queen still comes and works. You will spend the entire day here, but will be free for lunch.

I am going to pick this back up tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts or any questions you might have.

Romance in the Mediterranean

Yesterday  we were talking about how right now might be a great time to visit Europe. Today let’s get a little more specific. Sandals has an amazing resort in Antigua. Let’s look at some of what you will experience there.

When you stay here, you will be surrounded by luxury. They will lots nice suites you will be able to choose from. Each will have a spacious bedroom with a king sized bed and a nice tv. Your living room will have another tv if you can’t decide what to watch. Bathrooms should have a nice tub with separate shower.

When it comes to food, you will be choosing from eleven different restaurants. And in the Mediterranean, I doubt that you will be disappointed in anything that you try… Butler service is available for those that would be interested in that.

I would love to know your thoughts about any of this, or any questions you might have.

Trends in honeymoons #2

What you want to do on your honeymoon mostly depends on who you are as a couple and what you like to do together. Taking a look through these suggestions may give you some ideas if you need them.

  • Some people go all out on their weddings and do not have much to spend on their honeymoons. And instead of foregoing that special trip all together, they decide to go later. They may do something very simple and quiet the first few Rdays of their marriage. And then together they can save for a nicer trip on down the road.
  • Some couples like to just relax together. Others are all about taking adventures together. Adventure travel is a popular thing to be part of. You just need to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do.
  • Do you and and your future spouse just love eating together? Foodie travel is another trend in travel these days. There are cruises dedicated to food and learning more about. On these type trips you will have the opportunity to be part of cooking classes, wine tastings and things like that.
  • The honeymoon may be the one time couples may feel like they can splurge on their vacation. I’ve actually heard of some using “Go Fund Me”, to pay for their trip. So where have you always wanted to go that you never dreamed you’ll be able to? This is the perfect time to splurge on luxury.

I would love to know your thoughts about any of this.

Honeymoon trends

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I have several things I would like to get to today. We’ll see how much I can get done today and tomorrow. Let me do this first so I’ll know that it is done.

As a travel agent, part of my job is to keep up with travel trends. And since my niche is is family travel, and I believe that marriage is the basis for the families, I like looking at honeymoons. Besides I would love to start planning more honeymoons. So today let’s look at some trends in this area.

  • People like the idea of getting back to nature. A lot of people like making sure that they eat what is grown right around them. And some couples have decided to go help out on a farm for their honeymoon. That seems a little weird to me, but whatever the couple wants.
  • Remember that summer you took that road trip adventure? Why not try that with your new spouse? This will give you plenty of time to talk and make plans for your marriage. You will also learn more about each other as  the two of you decide where to stop along the way. Now most couples like to stay in nicer places for their wedding trip, so you might want to plan where you will stop each evening.
  • Some couples want to go on a cruise for their honeymoons. Others do not be on a ship with thousand of other people for this special trip. The  alternative would be to go on a luxury cruise, which usually take less than a hundred passengers. On these you will get an unparalleled level of service.

I think we are going to get back to this tomorrow. Please let me know your thoughts.