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Family Trips

Happy 2018!

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Destination Weddings, Family Trips, Honeymoons

Well, here it is the end of the month and I’m just now here to say Happy New Year! It’s been a crazy month, but a great month and it is ending on a high note. Before I get in to that, I first want to apologize. Like many others, I’m sure you have noticed my blog posts stopped coming quite some time ago. Without boring you with all of the details, I can assure you that no one was happier to see 2018 come around than me! Of course, taking care of my clients who trust me with their hard earned vacation time and dollars was and will always be a priority. I hope you understand and will enjoy my future posts! My Travel Times posts will focus on helpful hints, tips, and travel information. If you have something you would like me to write about, I’m always open to your ideas. This week, I was once again honored as a Cruise Planners top producing agent for 2017 earning me the 2018 Millionaire Club Status. I can’t thank enough all of those who help me do what I love to do! If it weren’t for my valuable clients trusting me with their vacations and my very patient friends and family putting up with my crazy schedule, I would never earn the accolades… Thank you for letting me be me! Here’s a picture of the balloons Cruise Planners home office sent acknowledging the achievement. One of the first things I want to remind you about in the new year is to check your passport expiration dates! Did you know that many destinations require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months PAST your date of travel? That’s right! I always try to remind you when you book travel to check your passport expiration, but without fail… someone forgets and we run in to a time crunch. In 2007 legislation was passed that extended the need for passports when traveling internationally. They issued 18 million passports in 2007, which means they expired in 2017. Last year was a busy year for renewals and they expect this year to be no different. International travel is also on the rise again so they are expecting higher numbers for first time passport applications as well. If you don’t already have a valid passport in your possession, now is the time to do it! There may also be a need to carry a passport for domestic flights in the US in the not too distant future. There are still 9 states that are not in compliance with the Real ID act, those 9 states have been granted an extension until October 2018 to come in to compliance. If they do not, residents of those 9 states will need passports to board a flight. The original effective date was January 22, 2018, but...

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Confessions of a Serial Overpacker

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Destination Weddings, Family Trips, Honeymoons

Confessions of a Serial Overpacker

Ok, I admit it: I’m a recovering Serial Over-packer. I used to be the lady in baggage claim with the cart loaded with 3, ok 4, huge suitcases for a weekend getaway. On a family vacation to Europe once my husband had to take a separate cab to the hotel from the airport with the luggage because 11, you read that right, 11 suitcases and 4 people didn’t fit in 1 cab, go figure. (Yes, we are still happily married and yes I do know how blessed I am). Fast forward to air travel today, and I have been forced to face my over packing issues. I start out with the best of intentions, I plan my outfits for each day with 1 back up, choosing easy simple items that can interchange and all coordinate with 1 or 2 pairs of shoes. All good so far right?… Then it strikes, that “oh, what if?” thought that sends me running back to the closet for anything, and well everything, I might possibly need. The list is endless of the things I have packed in the off chance it snows in July, rains in the desert or I somehow get to swim in the snow. I don’t know if there is a clinical term for this condition, I could come up with a few, my husband would be more umm, descriptive, we’ll say. Either way, I am conquering the beast a little more with each trip. About now you’re thinking that as a Travel Consultant, I should be an expert on efficient packing, and in a way I am. Do you have any idea how creative you must be to fit a month’s worth of clothes for a 7-day trip into 2 suitcases? It’s an art. I have found that utilizing travel tools helps. Like the travel planner on our website. Now, once I have what I need, I zip up the suitcase and I am done. No exceptions. With baggage fees and weight limits on most airlines, I recommend to my clients to be very conscious of what you need. If you don’t workout every day, leave the workout clothes at home. I walk everyday at home, but it’s more about walking the dog than exercise, so I tend to leave the workout shoes and such at home. Most times I end up not using them when I do pack them. There are many things I can leave behind, especially if the hotel has them available: hairdryer, toiletries and such. As your Travel Consultant, I will check these things for you so you know what goes in the suitcase and what stays home. What should you pack in your carry-on baggage? Please always be sure to pack any medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as all travel documents and identification. If you are taking a cruise and are not...

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Can I Take My Family on a Destination Wedding?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Destination Weddings, Family Trips

Can I Take My Family on a Destination Wedding?

Can I take my family on a destination wedding for me and my future spouse? This is a question for some couples considering a destination wedding. They’re just not sure how the dynamics of it all will work. And now I can honestly say in my opinion it is a wonderful opportunity to create wonderful lasting memories for everyone involved. I spent this past weekend at a family wedding in my home town. My family is scattered all over the country and we rarely are all together so it was a reunion of sorts. Ok, honestly I wasn’t sure how the weekend would be. So many different personalities coming together for a long weekend, it could be wonderful or a really bad episode of reality TV. But as I sit here at the airport waiting to catch my flight home I am smiling at what an extraordinary experience it was and how much I learned about my family and my history. Seeing cousins, aunts and uncles for the first time since I was a child was wonderful. You hear bits and pieces through the years but spending time together and really getting to know one another again as adults was just marvelous. We are all so different and yet that bond was there instantly and it wasn’t long before we were laughing and joking like best friends. I think this is one of the unexpected and perhaps best things about a destination wedding. Yes, there are many great reasons to have a destination wedding but before this weekend I’ve never had the family bonding that occurs in such a clear perspective. Every wedding is full of memories and wonderous times but I think a destination wedding in itself creates that opportunity to really bring a family closer together and forge bonds that won’t slip away so easily or quickly. Over the weekend I heard the story of how my Great Aunt and Uncle met and I wanted to cry. My Great Uncle was stationed in Italy during WWII and was on patrol when a beautiful Italian girl ran across the street clutching a loaf of bread (dinner for the family). My Great Uncle looked at the man standing next to him and said “That’s the most beautiful woman I have every seen. I am going to marry her”. The man looked at him and said “That’s my niece and No your not”. Undeterred my Uncle discovered her name and address and presented himself at the door of her family apartment the next day. My Aunt answered the door and my Uncle said “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I want to spend the rest of my life with you”. She slammed the door in his face. Still undeterred he proceeded to visit her everyday and when she answered the door he would say “You...

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