Mom/daughter getaways

I am sorry about Saturday, we’re having internet problems at home. That kind of figures, I have several things I’m trying to do. I will figure this out, but let’s get down to business.

We talk about getting away by ourselves. We talk about getting away with our girlfriends. We talk about going on trips with our husbands.. But there is something kind of special about doing a mother/daughter trip. Let’s look at some things you should think about if you want to do a mother\daughter trip.

  • First, pick a spot that ill be special to both of you. [If this is something you and your sister are doing, pick somewhere special for everyone going.] Think about things you will like to do together, and decide on a place everyone will look forward to and enjoy.
  • This is not a time where you have to make a plan and stay with it no matter what. Be open to do whatever. And always be opened to compromise. It’s fun to do spur of the moment things, especially when you’re on vacation.
  • This is a time to know each other as adults. Have those conversations you’ve never had. Ask the questions you were afraid to growing up.

I hope to get back to this tomorrow, but we’ll have to see what happens.


Think you can’t afford a travel agent?


When you go to a doctor, you don’t get out of there without paying a fee? [Okay, maybe that’s not the best example, because there is insurance to consider.] But what do you do if you need a plumber or electrician? You’ll pay them, right? A lot of people consider working with a travel agent something they simply can not afford. Today we are going to look at some reasons why that might not necessarily be true.

First of all, many of us do not charge a fee for our services. You may be asking how we can do that and still make a living. I’ll explain. When you book any type of hotel, car rental, cruise, theme park, etc. all type of businesses will pay us travel agents a commission any time we book with them. That is why often we won’t charge you a dime to work with you. If you are charged a fee to work with a travel agent, the fee is likely going to be applied to your balance when you do book your trip.

We also keep informed of travel deal . We will work with you to make sure you get the best deals around. In the age of the internet, a lot of ttravel agents work from home, often working through a host agency which is great for you because the travel agents work together and bounce ideas off each other.

I would love to know your thoughts about any of this, or any questions you might have. I would love you to know just how much I can help you.


Saving money on travel in 2018

Our world is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to technology. We live in the age of on demand tv and smart phones, where even small children know how to work these phones. Whether you love it or hate it, online shopping is becoming more and more a thing that’s here to stay.. So in this new world of ours, how do we save money on travel. Let’s look at some ways today.

  • E newsletters are becoming more and more popular. Do a search for travel newsletters. When you find some that you like, sign up for them. You will likely hear about deals this way.
  • Have you signed up for AAA? Do you know that they want not only good for roadside assistance, but can also score you some great deals on discounted air and hotels. Joining AARP can also get you some discounts.
  • And who doesn’t love Google Alerts? You will be able to choose how often you receive the assists so you won’t get a ton of e-mail. To save on travel, you will want to search things like “flash flight sale”, “flight deals”, or “hotel deals”.
  • Are you on Twitter? Following your favorite travel companies will get you some deals as well.

Shore excursions

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People make all kinds of resolutions at the beginning of the new year. Some people make resolutions about work. Other people make resolutions about spending more time with their family. Others determine to see more of the world. If taking your first cruise is on your bucket list for this year, but you don’t know much about cruising yet, you might want to read on.

First, you may be asking what a shore excursion is. To put it simply, excursions are when you get off your cruise ship to take the tours. Some cruises give you your excursions at no extra charge, other cruises charge for anything extra that you do. Generally, that depends on how much you spend on the cruise in the first place, but there are exceptions to this.

On a typical shore excursion, you will be taken to your destination shortly after you finish breakfast. You will usually be part of a guided tour which will allow you to see a lot more of the city than if you struck out on your own.

A lot of cruises these days have themes. And some excursions will have themes as well.. If you are on a culinary cruise, one of your excursions might be a day with a chef. You might also want to do a more customized excursion if you have been to your particular destination on previous trips.

I would love to know your thoughts or any questions you might have..

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.

Taking a break as a mother

Being a mother is a wonderful thing. A lot of young girls  know they want to be mothers when they grow up from when they are young. And most women can’t resist babies. But like every other occupation, sometimes we need to step back from the day to day of our lives and just enjoy being ourselves. Maybe we feel the need on reconnect with our spouse, or maybe it’s times to really plan that trip we’re always about with our girlfriends but never seem to take.

Having children makes them our top priority. As infants, they come completely dependent on us. We have to do everything for them, even if it’s in the middle of the night, and we’re completely worn out. And then comes the stage where they are constantly following you, and you can’t get a moment’s rest, no matter how much yo may need it.

First, let’s look at at some ways you can tell you need to take a break.

  • Babies need their diapers changed, that is just part of life. When you feel personally offended every time one of your little people need to be changed, it is probably time for a break.
  • When the only thing you really want is some time to yourself, it may be time to consider planning one of these. You may be one of the most people persons, but when all you do each day is to pray for naptime or bedtime, it’s unwise to go on like this for too long.
  • Or maybe you’re rushing through all the stuff you know you need to do each day. You aren’t happy with anything you’re doing, but you can’t seem to make yourself do anything the right way.

This is an important topic, and we are going to talk about this again tomorrow. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

I decided at the last minute to go on and take Christmas week off. I was tired of working and was ready for a break. I ended up doing a lot of reading and spending some extra time with family.. And now I’m ready to settle into work again.

Yesterday my family started discussing places that they would like to visit. If travel  is on your 2018 bucket list, and international travel is something you have not done, or have not done in would be to a while, here are some things you might want to think about.

  • First, do you have your passport? And if you do, how long do you have before it will expire? Most everyone is going to want you to have a good six months between the time you travel and the expiration date.
  • Security lines are just part of our lives now. Arrive early for your flight. If you are planning on doing a lot of traveling, you might want to apply for a Global Entry. Do your pre flight check in online.
  • You will want to be sure to know about the currency the country you are visiting uses. You will also want to figure whether it is best to exchange money when you arrive or before you get there.
  • Do you know the language of the place where you are going? If you don’t, your simplest solution  download a version of Google Translator. Be safe and download the offline version.

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 future of hotels

This is a time look back on the past year, but it’s also a time to look to the future. In that vein, let’s take a look at what the future might look like for hotels.

  • People seem to be pretty uncomfortable with the idea of turn down. Generations tend to go back and forth on how much they value their privacy. And these days it looks like most people see this service as kind of weird.
  • But as most anyone can imagine, technology is extremely popular. Some hotels are experimenting with showers that remember your preferred water temperature, digital art that can be replaced with your personal pictures, and mirrors that can play yoga videos. We may see these changes as early as 2018. Front desks might be a thing of the past too. Hardly anyone pays for a hotel with cash anymore. Personally I would still like to see a friendly face at the hotel. But some hotels will be trying to figure this out shortly as well.
  • Hotels are also taking note of the emphasis on wellness. They are going to be offering a lot of fitness classes.

I would love to know some of your ideas for the future of hotels. Please let me know.