Why are there no🌴 all-inclusives in the US?

With the winter months just around the corner, we have been getting a lot of requests for getaways to the Caribbean and Mexico. The birthplace of the “all-inclusive” resort. Ahhhh, the place where you can eat and drink as much as you want, and be as lazy as you want with no judgment except your inner self.  ​​​

So why are there no all-inclusives in the United States? The initial purpose of the all-inclusive was to get people to destinations that may not have been safe to go to but had beautiful beaches. Why let a beautiful beach go to waste? So countries such as Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic built beautiful resort​​s that provided everything you need so you wouldn’t have to off property, even private transfers to and from the airport. Initially, a lot of these resorts had armed guards to keep you safe. 

Over the years, however, many of these countries have become safer. People have started to venture off property to do various excursions such as seeing waterfalls, cooking with the locals, and even Travelanthropy (travel + philanthropy). These resorts have brought many jobs to the various communities within these countries. However, many of these communities are still financially hurting. There are many things you can do to help the community if you’re interested. You can bring stuff for the local schools, take some food to shelters, or help paint some local community buildings where many people gather. The help is much appreciated. If you are looking for more information on helping out on your next trip, let me know as I can help set it up for you.    

So back to the original question “why aren’t there all-inclusives in the United States?” We get asked this question all the time. The US is fairly safe to venture out and go to a local restaurant or do some sightseeing. If hotels start to become all-inclusive, then the local community starts to suffer. No one is going to restaurants, no one is shopping, and no one is enjoying excursions. If you are traveling within the US and are looking for a food plan, then ask your travel agent if the hotel or resort provides a food plan such as breakfast, or a combination of breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Food allows more flexible to eat at local restaurants.


Remember, Life is Better Traveling is always here to help you. We are a female owned, small business and every booking helps a local family. We thank you for your support and thinking of all of our agents during this time.  


Do not ever lose your luggage again!

lostluggage

Have you ever had lost luggage?  I have been getting phone calls from our clients who are traveling to Europe this fall about the news of lost luggage.  The news is showing pictures of a sea of “lost” luggage at various airports.  Some news outlets such as the New York post are even saying that there are baggage system malfunctions which is causing severe delays.  So what is really happening, and are bags “lost.” Not really. 

Something really cool about the tag that they put on your checked bag is that they have RFID embedded in the tag. So when your luggage arrives at any airport, it is scanned and the system knows where to send it. I read an article several years ago (2003) stating that a Las Vegas airport was the first to try out this system of adding RFID to their luggage tags. They could track luggage with 99.8% accuracy which lead to a significant decrease in lost luggage. After this was a success, many airports started using the same system.

So if there is a system that can pinpoint where your luggage is at all times, how does it get lost? Well, human error. I think we all know about that so enough said. Another way is if the system goes downs as it did in Heathrow a few months ago. This leads to more humans sorting luggage than a system that is 99.8% accurate. In April 2022 more wheelchairs were mishandled than pieces of luggage, double the amount. So if you have someone with you who has a wheelchair, they are more likely to lose that than your luggage.  

Is your luggage really lost? The good news is that your luggage doesn’t really get lost. There are many factors that take place: delays, connections, and cancellations. If your flight is delayed and you are running through the airport like the family in Home Alone, you might make the flight but your luggage might not. That is ok, it will be on the next flight to you. If you are delayed coming back into the country and you opt not to pick up your checked luggage because you want to make your connection, again, your luggage isn’t lost but will have to go through a few more checks before it gets to you.  

So what can you do to not lose your luggage? I have been reading a lot about people putting Apple Airtags into their luggage. This is a great way to keep track of where your luggage is located at all times and helps the airlines as well. There are also several tags to use in case you don’t have an apple device that you can purchase off of Amazon that help you find your luggage. Either of these will help give you peace of mind, but just remember that nothing is ever guaranteed!


Thinking of planning a vacation for Spring or Summer 2023? Let one of our award-winning travel agents help you plan that customized vacation today!

Simply fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.


Flight delays are causing MAJOR issues all around the world!

I have been traveling so much the past three weeks that many nights I wake up not knowing where I am..LOL. I am so glad to be back to traveling. My family and I spent two weeks in Paris and London. Since restrictions were still in place to come back into the US, there weren’t too many tourists which we enjoyed. Not too many people sipping champagne with me on top of the Eiffel Tower.  

I do plan all of my own travel planning which most people seemed surprised I do. Since I do plan hundreds of trips a year, why would I want to plan my own? 

Simply, I want to experience my client’s experience. I use the same suppliers I book for you, and I go out with the same guides. I had an amazing experience with many of the tours I booked for us, but even I had some hiccups. To me they seemed little, but I did notice that it worried some of my family. This had me thinking, if you don’t know what to do, what do you do? 

If you read the news, I am sure you have read about all these flight delays and cancellations. There are actually dozens more delays and cancellations than are actually reported. Our clients have been experiencing them a lot including myself when I was coming back from London. A delay or cancellation is never fun, especially when you are on the plane and the pilot tells you the flight has been canceled, now get off. Yes, this happened to our clients.  

What have we told our clients to do when this has happened? It is quite simple. Be one of the first people to talk to the gate agent. Yes, that person who was tapping away on the computer for an hour before your flight and helps you scan your ticket, get to them first! The gate agent has a lot of power, and they are your fastest way to getting a new flight if yours was canceled. Ask for a same-day flight, or what can get you there the most direct and fastest.  

Now say you are delayed. Yeah, that means there is still hope that your flight is going! We don’t love delays but we like them better than a cancellation. Again, Go to the airline gate agent and talk with them about other options for connections. Most importantly, be patient and keep an eye on the flight times after your check-in, especially while you are at the gate. If you know you are going to miss your connection, head to that gate agent.  

This will all get sorted out but I personally don’t see it happening this summer or fall, so if you are traveling during this time, keep this email handy.  


Interested in planning your next vacation with one of our award-winning travel agents?  Simply fill out the form below and we will get back to shortly!


Quick Travel Tid-bits from our other articles...

Curious about the best airport lounges? Want to get in? Tips on how to get you in!....

Did you know that there are places in the airport you can go to escape the manic nature of the terminal? They’re called airport lounges. Airport lounges are some of the best places to spend time before your flight as they are their own getaway. They often offer free food and drinks, spacious seating, free Wi-Fi, and even some provide amenities like showers and nap pods. If you are in a larger airport some lounges offer spas, barbershops and workout equipment.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Why are passports taking so long?

It all boils down to health being tantamount. The offices were closed during COVID and are still not operating at 100%. This led to a backlog in requests. Labor in every field has been impacted from the pandemic, and the Department of State is no exception. There’s only so much each person can do, which leads to a ripple effect of consequential delays.

I need to renew or get my passport, NOW!!

RAVE REVIEWS

Real stories on how Life is Better Traveling travel advisors aided their clients during the outbreak and disruption of COVID-19.

"I wanted to also say what a pleasure it’s been planning our trip with you. We really think your ideas would have made our trip to Italy a trip of a lifetime. We are looking forward to re-booking this vacation when the virus situation is no longer an issue. I also can’t thank you enough for all your help. Reg and I are so looking forward to calling you with new dates someday hopefully soon."

Regis Family
Philadelphia, PA

 “Mary is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! She was extremely knowledgeable about each of the cities we went to and different excursions we were able to try. She gave us wonderful recommendations of what to do and what is not worth the time and/or money. She was very organized and sent us a binder of our itinerary as well as all of the vouchers we would need for our trip. She set up personal transfers from the airports/train stations/hotels/etc. which was wonderful! We did not have to worry about what time we needed to leave or how we were going to get there. This allowed us to enjoy our trip and not stress about the details. I would recommend Mary to anyone looking for an amazing and stress-free trip! She thinks of every little thing and is there to guide you every step of the way! I will definitely be using her anytime we need a vacation and recommending her to all of our friends and family!!

Stephanie
Ohio


LIBTGreecemktgphoto

We have changed the Greece dates to 2023.  We had so many people interested in traveling with us, but still wanted to wait another year.  We want everyone to feel comfortable, so we have decided to move the dates to 2023.    

YES, sign me up to come with you!

The Best Airport Lounges and Tips On How To Get You Inside

I am writing this post from Europe! We spent the last week in Paris, and it is more beautiful in person than any pictures I have ever seen. The smell of fresh baked goods every morning is worth getting up early. I am officially addicted to Chouquettes (sugar puffs).

We are enjoying being part of the Queen’s Jubilee, her platinum Jubilee. We didn’t realize that we were going to be here on the exact dates, but have decided that this once-in-a-lifetime experience is amazing.

In my next post, I will let you know about all the amazing tours and must-do’s on your next trip to Paris and London.


Did you know that there are places in the airport you can go to escape the manic nature of the terminal?  They’re called airport lounges. Airport lounges are some of the best places to spend time before your flight as they are their own getaway. They often offer free food and drinks, spacious seating, free Wi-Fi, and even some provide amenities like showers and nap pods.  If you are in a larger airport some lounges offer spas, barbershops and workout equipment.   

Accessing these lounges can be easy too!  Most people think these lounges are strictly for frequent flyers or business people, but surprisingly they are not.  Even if you only travel a couple of times a year, you can gain access to lounges all across the globe without paying a fortune.  Let’s talk about how.  

Credit cards with VIP perks – That good old credit card that you put all your vacations on might be the one that helps you get into some airport lounges.  There are a number of credit cards that offer lounge access as a perk for having their card. The Platinum Card® from American Express, Capital One Venture X, and Chase Sapphire Reserve are a few of these credit cards.           

AMEX Card members are allowed access to any of American Express’s own network of 24 Centurion Lounges around the world. With the backing of AMEX, Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest and most desirable airport lounges in the United States.  They are known for their cozy environments, well-organized menus, and amenities for business travelers.

Membership service – If you don’t think you’ll get enough use out of a credit card to justify their annual fee, you can consider purchasing a lounge membership all on its own. Priority Pass is a network of lounges across the world that allows travelers to purchase a membership.

There are three levels of Priority Pass membership and they vary in price depending on​​ how much many times you plan to use it:

  1. Standard — $99 per year, which allows you to access lounges for $32 per visit. You can also pay $32 for each guest traveling with you to enter the lounge.
  2. Standard Plus — $299 per year, which grants you 10 free visits each year and then costs $32 for each visit thereafter. Additionally, each guest costs $32, even for the first 10 visits.
  3. Prestige — $429 per year, which grants you unlimited free visits each year. Each guest will cost $32.

Priority Pass Standard is a good option if you travel a few times a year and are looking for a way to avoid gate seating.  If you are a business traveler, the Prestige plan would be a good option for you as you will receive unlimited free visits.  If you are in between Standard and Prestige, then a credit card might be a better option to get into lounges. 

Upgrade to Business or First Class – One way to guarantee getting into a private lounge area is by flying in business or first-class.  The big three airlines, Delta, American and United, have dedicated lounge spaces where business and first-class flyers can relax. Just make sure that when you book your ticket, the ticket will grant you lounge access.

Flying domestically either in business or first-class, typically won’t get you access to an airline’s lounge. However, there are some exceptions.  These exceptions are when your on a transcontinental flight.  You still have to be traveling internationally eventually to get lounge access.  

Airline elite status – Yes, having elite status with any airlines offers up more perks.  Most people see the perk of priority boarding but getting into airport lounges is another perk. Some airlines will allow you airport lounge access if you are in their highest tier of status even with an economy ticket.  So start flying more often.  

Purchasing one-time access – Ok, so I have said there are a couple of easy ways to get into various airport lounges, but why not just purchase it outright!  Get yourself a day pass or one-time-use pass. By buying your way into a lounge, you’re guaranteed access without having to worry about any extras. This is great if you only travel once or twice a year and want lounge access.

There is even a service you can use to help you find and purchase day passes. LoungeBuddy is a great way to help you preview which lounges in any given airport around the world offer travelers the ability to purchase one-time access. You found a lounge that looks appealing, go ahead and purchase your one-time access directly through LoungeBuddy’s app.  

Members of the Military – This is a great program for those who are looking to get home for a few days but just relax at the airport.  If you are a member of the military, make sure to look into which lounges are available to you for little to no cost.  


Quick Travel Tidbits

5 Apps that every traveler needs….

As a travel professional, I always want to book your dream vacations. While I manage all of your travel plans to a T, not all experiences are always plannable. Luckily, there are some great travel apps to help with just about any aspect of your trips. Here is the our list of apps we use at Life is Better Traveling.  

 CLICK HERE to find out what these apps are.

Why are passports taking so long? 
It all boils down to health being tantamount. The offices were closed during COVID and are still not operating at 100%. This led to a backlog in requests. Labor in every field has been impacted from the pandemic, and the Department of State is no exception. There’s only so much each person can do, which leads to a ripple effect of consequential delays.

 I need to renew or get my passport, NOW!!


Rave Reviews

Real stories on how Life is Better Traveling travel advisors aided their clients during the outbreak and disruption of COVID-19.

“I wanted to also say what a pleasure it’s been planning our trip with you. We really think your ideas would have made our trip to Italy a trip of a lifetime. We are looking forward to re-booking this vacation when the virus situation is no longer an issue. I also can’t thank you enough for all your help. Reg and I are so looking forward to calling you with new dates someday hopefully soon.”

Regis Family
Philadelphia, PA

Mary is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! She was extremely knowledgeable about each of the cities we went to and different excursions we were able to try. She gave us wonderful recommendations of what to do and what is not worth the time and/or money. She was very organized and sent us a binder of our itinerary as well as all of the vouchers we would need for our trip. She set up personal transfers from the airports/train stations/hotels/etc. which was wonderful! We did not have to worry about what time we needed to leave or how we were going to get there. This allowed us to enjoy our trip and not stress about the details. I would recommend Mary to anyone looking for an amazing and stress-free trip! She thinks of every little thing and is there to guide you every step of the way! I will definitely be using her anytime we need a vacation and recommending her to all of our friends and family!!

Stephanie
Ohio 


LIBT Greece! 2023

We have changed the Greece dates to 2023.  We had so many people interested in traveling with us, but still wanted to wait another year.  We want everyone to feel comfortable, so we have decided to move the dates to 2023.    

YES, sign me up to come with you!


5 Apps Every Traveler Needs to have a Great Next Vacation

As a travel professional, I always want to book your dream vacations. While I manage all of your travel plans to a T, not all experiences are always plannable. Luckily, there are some great travel apps to help with just about any aspect of your trips. Here is the our list of apps we use at Life is Better Traveling.  

An App for: Speaking the Language

When traveling to foreign countries, be sure you are prepared with an app that helps you speak the common language. Google Translate is a lifesaver for any mono-linguist traveler. Translate from 103 different languages just by typing or drawing the word or phrase. Use your phone’s camera to hold up to street signs or even restaurant menus for instant translations. The best part is that the app works without using a wireless connection so you can explore data-free. Navigate with confidence and even learn a thing or two about the native tongue.

An App for: Maps & Directions

Don’t leave home without a solid navigation app for exploring. Apps like Maps.Me or City Mapper offer downloadable maps with turn-by-turn navigation, traffic updates and can even pinpoint local hotspots to check out. Explore points of interest from restaurants to tourist attractions, all with step-by-step directions. Even create driving, walking and cycle routes to save extra time, or just to take in the scenery.

An App for: Packing

Ensure you never forget a thing for their next trip. With apps like PackPoint, you can type in the destination and select the activities planned to create a customized packing list for the trip. It will even check the weather to make sure you are packing all the essentials. Share the list with your fellow travelers so nothing is ever left behind.

An App for: Chatting

Make sure always stay in touch with friends and family. WhatsApp provides free voice calls and messaging when they are connected to Wi-Fi. The group chat feature also allows you to share messages, photos and videos to share their experiences.

An App for: Time Zones

Never lose track of time again. With an app like Circa, travelling to multiple locations across different time zones has never been easier; find the best times for connecting flights and send invitations to other travelers in different time zones to meet up. Now you will never miss a beat no matter how far apart you are.

Recommending helpful apps shows that at Life is Better Traveling we go above and beyond, and care about every aspect of our client’s trip. Contact one of our agents to get started planning your next trip today. 


Thinking of planning a 2022 vacation but not sure where to start? Fill out the form below and one of our award-winning travel agents will get back with you shortly.

Prost! 5 European Cities for Festive Drinking

🍻 Prost! 5 European Cities for Festive Drinking

With international dance floors, sunny open-air plazas and cozy little pubs, Europe is the place to be for booze, wine and beer. While many countries and cities host a good party, few can compare to the unique imbibing experiences to be had in these five destinations.

Munich, Germany

We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, the 16-day blowout celebrating the Royal Wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildurghausen. While the wedding may have taken place over 200 years ago, Germans still like to have a good time and continue to celebrate this tradition each year with beer, brats and fun near the end of September.

Not attending the festival? No worries, Munich is a great place to imbibe all year long with fabulous beer gardens like Augustiner-Keller, Hofbräuhaus München and Chineischer Turn, a park with a seemingly out of place Chinese Tower. One great way to see these stops is on a city bike tour, many of which visit the English Garden, home to Chineischer Turn, for a stein or two before calling it a day. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Famous for their beer, the people of the Czech Republic proudly tout the title of “number one beer-drinking country in the world”. According to U.S. News, Czechs drink an average of 241 beers per person each year so it’s no surprise that this destination is a great place to kick back and relax with your favorite drink. Beer is available at all hours of the day throughout the city, including breakfast cafes that serve Budweiser, Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen alongside your pastries and tea.

Mykonos, Greece

Sunny island by day, rockin’ nightlife by dark, Mykonos is world-famous for its round-the-clock fun. Home to 32 bars and 19 clubs, this small island is getting lots of attention thanks to Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, a docuseries exploring Lohan’s life on her resort, Lohan BeachHouse Myknonos. Pierros, one of the world’s most famous gay bars, is another popular stop at this club-hopper’s haven.

Travelers visiting Myknonos will want to be sure to snap a pic next to one of the island’s 16 iconic windmills that were built by the Venetians in the 16th century.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Known for its romantic canals, relaxed atmosphere and infamous Red Light District, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is a top pick for nightlife. Amsterdam’s clubbing scene rivals that of Berlin’s with an endless array of inner-city clubs, some of which have 24-hour licenses, located within repurposed buildings. However, your trip to the Venice of the North doesn’t have to be filled with all-night ragers; Amsterdam also boasts a large selection of laid-back cocktail bars for relaxed and happy sipping.

Stockholm, Sweden

Birthplace and home to legendary DJs Avicii and Steve Angello, Stockholm is one of the greatest party places in Europe. Whether travelers are in search of atmospheric bars, bumpin’ nightclubs or impressive outdoor venues, they’re sure to find something to suit their imbibing needs in this fair city. Stockholm is home to many popular neighborhoods, each with their own niche: The Gamla Stan neighborhood is the perfect place to grab a drink in a cozy pub, Mariatorget is popular for LGBTQ entertainment, the Sodermalm district is known for its budget friendly deals and lastly, Medborgarplatsen is a neighborhood popular with students and heart of the city’s nightlife.

prost 5 european countries for festive drinking

Remember, Life is Better Traveling is always here to help you. We are a female owned, small business and every booking helps a local family. We thank you for your support and thinking of all of our agents during this time.

What is the third letter of the alphabet?

Deicing the Plane… how it works.

We have had a mild winter up until last week when the temperatures plummeted to single digits. Even with this mild winter if you have been flying you will see those trucks out on the runway with the big arms spraying down the airplanes. It reminds me of a car wash but for airplanes. So, what is the purpose of spraying chemicals onto the planes before takeoff?

In the mid 1990’s there were several aircraft incidents where the cause of the crash was due to too much ice build up on the airplane. When this happens, it will disrupt the airflow over the airplane which prevents the airplane from “lifting” off the runway. Since pilots and the crew can’t know how much ice has accumulated on the airplane while standing by or taxing, it had caused major issues. As with everything over the years with the National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB, their investigations help increase the understanding and awareness of how to fix the problem. 

Something so simple as applying chemicals that not only help take off ice buildup on an airplane but will also help delay reformation of ice for a certain amount of time, was brilliant. The term “deicing the plane” was now something airports used every day during the winter seasons. Denver International airport was the first airport to have the “fixed pedestal mounted booms” where they could extend up to 90 feet into the air. However, being fixed they weren’t able to get all parts of the airplane allowing ice to build-up where the spray couldn’t reach. 

Many airports today use a better approach to making sure that all parts of the plane are being “deiced.” Truck-mounted booms allow crew members to get closer to the airplane. They now have figured out how to adjust the fluid mixtures based on the outside temperature to maximize the amount of fluid that the airplane receives. In one of my readings I found out that some airports, like the Pittsburgh International airport, are reclaiming spent deicing fluid. Since 1995 Pittsburgh International Airport has recycled more than 200 million gallons of spend fluid. That’s amazing!

So if you are flying this winter expect that you will wait in line for your plane to be deiced. I can’t say for sure how long you will wait in line, but the deicing process takes on average 12 minutes. It may seem like an inconvenience to sit there while the plane is getting sprayed down but remember, it helps the pilots get you off the ground safely.

Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

Is your family vaccinated for their next vacation?

If you have decided to travel outside of the country there are many things that you need to check-off your list to get done. Get a passport, get a visa, if needed, what do I need to pack, how will I be able to translate the language, what will I eat, and the list goes on. One thing that many people forget to do is check to see what types of vaccinations they may need to enter certain countries. 

The good news is that many European and Caribbean countries do not require a vaccination to enter the country. However, some countries require a long list of vaccinations including some that you may need multiple shots over a period of time, or they recommend that you receive the vaccination a certain number of days prior to departure. 

Now there is a difference in definition as to what the CDC “requires” for vaccinations and what they “recommend” for vaccinations when traveling to certain countries. When they use the terminology “recommend”, this generally means that they are encouraging people to get the vaccinations in helping prevent them from getting sick for those diseases.  They always recommend no matter where you travel to that you should have at least a flu shot. If they say they “require” that you get these vaccinations, this means that you may be denied entry into the country if you have not had them. Many times, when a vaccination is required it is mandated by the country you are traveling to. When you get there, customs in country will require you to show proof to get out of the airport.

So how do you know what vaccinations you will need to get for the countries you are traveling to? If you are traveling by cruise line, many times the cruise line will send you multiple email reminders as to what vaccines are required. It also should be clearly noted on your cruise line’s invoice/itinerary as to what you need. If you aren’t sure, feel free to ask your travel agent. Many times, we do have knowledge as to what you will need. However, if you have any other questions make sure to check out the CDC’s website and simply put in the country you are traveling to. 

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

As always, our team of agents are here to help with any of your traveling needs.   

Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

UPDATE: Attention PA Residents!

UPDATE: As of September 28, 2018, PA residents will now be able to use their current driver’s license as means of identification to board domestic flights until August 1, 2019.

 

Governor Wolf’s administration released this information…

https://www.governor.pa.gov/department-homeland-security-grants-pennsylvania-real-id-enforcement-extension/

 

As promised, Life is Better Traveling is staying on top of current events so we make sure our clients are always informed.

Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

 

Tips to Traveling Safely

Are you becoming nervous to travel?

 

Here are some tips on how to feel more confident when you travel

 

We recently had a booth at the Wine and Food festival showcasing wine-themed river cruises.  I love talking about Europe, as we have traveled to 19 countries in Europe, and I love talking about river cruising.  I was surprised at how much I ended up talking about the “fear” of travel.  With the recent events in Spain, England, and France, I had a lot of people tell me that they wouldn’t travel over there anytime soon because of “all the things that have happened.”  It is not uncommon for people to feel a bit uneasy at the thought of going to a place where something bad has happened to innocent people.   Eventually, time heals and people start to feel more confident in traveling again, but it does take time. 

 

What if you don’t have time to heal and you are traveling soon after an incident has occurred?  How do you prepare yourself mentally to travel?  Have faith, hope, and believe!  Here are some tips with helping increase your confidence to travel.

 

Tip #1:  Lightening doesn’t strike twice in the same place.  This is also typically true when it comes to attacks.  Once a city or area has been attacked, a large amount of security surrounds that area to make sure it is secure.  It becomes very difficult for anybody to try anything suspicious because everyone is on edge and quickly responds by contacting the appropriate authorities.   This is typically the best time to travel to these places because you have added security, and you get to experience a city or area come together like they have never done before.

 

 

Tip #2:  Set up private tours and transfers.  With a private tour or transfer, you have less people to worry about if something goes wrong.  You have your own personal concierge or chauffeur that can get you away from the area quickly and safely, rather than having to worry about a large group of people all trying to get on a large motorcoach.   Private tours also take you behind the scenes of some places so your guides will know the in’s and out’s of the place. 

 

Tip #3:  Each day make sure you have your smart devices fully charged.  Information is key!  If you are feeling unsafe, then you need to be connected to the world to find out what news outlets or bloggers are saying is going on where you are.  Also make sure you have data and voice plans available for your phone.

 

Tip #4:  Be open minded about changing your travel plans.  If you feel so uneasy or find out information that makes you more concerned about the area you are in, then try to change up your destinations.  Make sure to have your travel consultant’s information on hand and give them call to make a reservation at a hotel in another city or country and arrange a private transfer.  Yes, it is going to cost more money to change your plans, but hopefully you will feel much more relaxed.

 

 

Tip #5:  Be aware of your surroundings.  This sounds like something you know you should be doing but it easy to forget where you when you are walking around an amazing place.  Knowing where you are and making sure you understand where to go in case you have to get somewhere quickly, is key!  Every day, when you plan out where you are going, make sure you know exactly how to get back to your hotel or the US Embassy quickly.  Like James Bond, have an escape route.

 

Traveling is a part of life for everyone.  Whether you go a museum on the weekend or travel abroad to visit 1000 year old sites, it is part of who we are.  The best way to protect ourselves and make ourselves feel more confident about travel is to be prepared.  If you have trip coming up, consider trying out some of these tips to help make you feel more at ease so you enjoy your time traveling.

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