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.

Hotel Rooms, how to tell if they are clean

What is REALLY in your hotel room? 

5 Places You NEED to be Checking


Recently I have been traveling a lot which means I have been staying in a lot of hotel rooms.  Some of the hotels received not so good reviews, so I was cautious as to what to expect in staying there.  For one of the hotels, the reviews consistently said that it wasn’t the cleanest.  I understand everyone has different perspectives as what is clean, but I always like to be prepared.  After seeing several shows on what actually gets cleaned in hotels, I have started a cleaning and checking routine when I walk into any hotel room.    Here is what I do:

      1.  Check the bed/mattress for bed bugs.  I look for reddish coloration, tiny black marks, and yellowish small dots around the edges where the mattress is sewn.  You can also move the mattress back from the wall to see if anything starts to move up the wall.  Needless to say, if I see any of this, I immediately ask for another room.

     2.  Check the sheets.  If there are hairs, discoloration, or any visible stains this to me is a clear indication that the sheets have not been changed since the last person occupied that room.  It has been known for years that the top spread does not get changed between guests, but the sheets must be changed for me to stay in that room.

    3.  Check bathroom.  There are several things in the bathroom that need to checked. 

        a. The shower/bathtub needs to be looked at closely.  Is there hair in the drain still?  Is there mold anywhere including on the shower curtain?  Are the last person’s shower items still there?

        b. I also lift the toilet set to see if there are any stains under the seat and also to see if the toilet bowl has been cleaned.  There are many times I have walked into someone else’s “stuff” still in the toilet. 

        c. I check the towels to see if they are damp.  They may not have been used by the last person, but were in there when they showered and got ready. 

        d. Is the sink area clean?  Is there a new soap dish or is it a re-usable one?  I also bring my own toiletries so I don’t have to worry about the ones they provide, but you should check them to see if they have been used by someone else. 

    4. Make sure the locks on the doors work.  This sounds simple but I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a hotel room and the dead bolt to the door doesn’t work, or the lock on the patio door doesn’t work.  I don’t take those things lightly, as anyone can easily get into my room when I am not there or when I am sleeping. 

    5. Clean all touchable items in the room.  Once most of my checks have passed and I have decided it is a good room to stay in, I get out my antibacterial wipes or a nice cleaning wipe and start to wipe down all things that people touch.  The remote control, the phone, any light switches, all door handles, mini-refrigerators, coffee-makers, etc.  I try to wipe down as many things as I can especially when the kids are in the room because they tend to touch everything!

    6.  Check under the bed!  Some beds you can’t check under, but the ones that you can you will find the most interesting things people leave behind.  I check under the bed because I want to make sure there are no cleaning products stored under there or anything like old food.  This can turn into a bad situation when you have kids who like to play on the floor. 

These are a just a few things that I do to make sure that I have a pleasant stay at any hotels, and to make sure that my family and I are safe. 

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!


Photos by Mary Yohannan

I use a Travel Agent for the same reasons you do…

I use a Travel Agent for the same reasons you do…

I have not always been a travel agent.  Before I was a travel agent, I used a travel agent to book my vacations.  I needed help, support, and understanding of the “W’s.”  Where, What, and WOW.  I always wanted to make the most of my time while I was on the vacation, but for me the problem was that I didn’t have the time to do all the research.    

I always knew where I wanted to go whether it was a region, country, or city, but I didn’t know the logistics of the best routes to get there, where to stay, what to see, and what was one thing that was going to WOW me while I was there.  Now, when I say WOW me I don’t mean that I needed my adrenaline at the highest level.  I just wanted one thing while on the vacation that for me to look at it, taste it, or feel it and I would say WOW.  Something that would leave such an impression on me that every time I would think about it I would experience that same feeling over and over again.  Even with all the guide books that I purchased, there was always one suggestion from our travel agent that gave us the WOW. 

Today, I will still use a travel agent to book a vacation for me if it is a place that I have never been to and want to make sure I get the full experience.  How do I find a good travel agent?  If I don’t personally know someone who I met at a professional development conference, then I go online.  A survey done in 2016 found that of those asked how they found a good travel agent, 47% of the people said online and 31% said through word of mouth.  So how did they find a good travel agent online?  There are many websites where you can put in your zip code and find travel agents in your area and who specialize in the area where you want to take your vacation.  You may still get a long list of agents to weed through, but the best way to determine who is the best to work with is by their reviews.    

Travel Leaders has a really good site where you can find travel agents in your area and the agents will list their specialties including European vacations, Australia, etc.  It will also show you if they have any reviews.  The reviews are posted by actual clients of those agents who have used them to plan their vacations.  Another good place to look for honest reviews from clients is on a travel agency’s Facebook page.  These reviews are posted by actual clients as you can see their avatars next to their reviews. 

When I am reading reviews, there are a few key things that I look for.  Do the reviews talk about making the planning stage easy or effortless.  Do the reviews say that the person will work with them again.  Do the reviews explain what the travel agent did for them.  Do the reviews include any WOW’s that occurred while they were on the vacation. 

As I always say, if you find a good travel agent DON’T let them go!

P.S. I would love for you to check out my reviews from all of my amazing clients…CLICK HERE

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!


All inclusive resort, what does it mean?

What does it REALLY mean to an “all-inclusive” resort?

You found an amazing deal on a travel website for an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, so you decide to go for it.  You get to the resort and it is as beautiful as the pictures.  After settling
into the room you decide to head down to the pool for a nice refreshing cocktail.  You order your favorite drink over the rocks and the bartender asks you if you want to charge it to the room.  With a confused look on your face, you say you have the all-inclusive package, but the bartender tells you that it doesn’t include top shelf liquor.   With the drink in your hand, you agree to charge it to the room.

You start to wonder what you booked with this deal vacation you are on.  Is it just the top shelf alcohol that is not included?  What other items, activities, food, drinks, etc will you have to pay for?  Often when someone books an all-inclusive resort, they truly believe that they are paying for everything upfront including premium alcohol, food, activities, transfers, and resort sharing to name a few. Unfortunately, the term all-inclusive can sometimes mean more exclusive.  All of this is usually explained in the fine print when booking the vacation, but when you think you are getting an amazing deal who reads the fine print!  I know I don’t. 

The truth is, if you want an all-inclusive resort then you really do want to pay for everything upfront.  You have set your budget, and you want the food, drinks, transfers, activities, and resort sharing to all be included in that cost.  You don’t want to have to pull out your credit card for any extras.  But how do you know that everything is TRULY included in the pricing?  Besides reading the fine print, look for key words when a resort is advertising.  Sometimes you will read alcohol is included but that doesn’t mean premium alcohol.  When it comes to food, the advertisement may say that the resort is a la carte, but if you wanted to eat at one of the specialty dining restaurants at the resort it may not be included in the all-inclusive pricing.  Many resorts boast about their onsite activities including water activities, but have you ever noticed that they do no specifically say “motorized” water activities or games such as bingo.  Be cautious when the wording says “some” activities “may be included.”  Many times when you book your vacation you forget that you will need transportation to and from the resort.  Transfers can be very expensive once you get to the destination, so getting them included in the package pricing upfront will help save you money. 

Trying to find the best all-inclusive resort for your next family vacation, one where you won’t have to pay more out of pocket when you get there, can become overwhelming and exhausting.  The good news is I am going to give you 4 nuggets of advice to help you make it easier:

1.      Give up on the deal.  The saying “you get what you pay for” is always TRUE and when it comes to all-inclusive resorts it holds VERY TRUE!

2.      Sit down and figure out a budget like you would for any other vacation.  When you have a budget to work with you will find many more resorts that are going to fit your needs, without having to get out the credit card on vacation.

3.      Look for key words on the resort’s website that would indicate what is NOT included in the all-inclusive pricing.  These words include: some, limited, a la carte, minimal fee, varying, typically

4.      Call a travel agent.  Why make it harder on yourself than you have to.  Pick the destination and then let a good travel agent do the research on which resorts will fit your needs. 

Don’t forget to tell your travel agent at Life is Better Traveling to give you a quote for travel protection when planning your next vacation. 


P.S. Call me this year to plan your AMAZING All-Inclusive vacation.  I guarantee we will plan the perfect vacation for you!    

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!

Are the Disney Dining Plans Worth Your Money?

Disney easily comes up in conversations with random people I meet, but when they find out I am a travel consultant they always ask20160515_191819 me if the Disney Dining Plan is worth the money.  I have read so many different opinions on various Disney blogs, Facebook pages, and travel agent outlets about people’s views on this subject matter.  It seems like people are split, some love it and some say it is a waste of money.  Well, we recently went to Disney and I decided to add the Disney Dining Plan to our package so I could see if it is worth it. 

Before I go into if is it worth or not, I must explain that there are several dining plans available through Disney.  Because of the variety, I am wondering if those who feel that the Dining Plan is not worth the money may have been talked into the wrong Dining Plan for their family, see chart below for quick reference.  Why so many options?  It is easy to understand, there are many cultures and different types of families that go to Disney so they are really catering to everyone.  One family may say that a particular plan has too many meals for their family while another may say this is the perfect amount for us.  I will tell you, that no matter which plan you choose for your family, it will be perfect. 

For my family we choose the Disney Dining Plan which includes 1 quick service, 1 table service, and, new for 2017, 2 snacks per person per night of stay and 1 resort refillable mug.  The refillable mug can be used at your resort.  You cannot use this mug in the parks to get refills, but I will tell you that we did take our mugs along with us to the parks and asked for ice water, which is free.  We then transferred our ice water into the mugs.  With each table service meal, we were able to choose one entrée from the menu, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage.  When you choose an entrée you are not limited to a select menu specifically for those on the dining plan.  You receive the same menu that everyone receives and get to choose any of the entrées including steak or salmon.  Dessert at Disney is fantastic!  It is gourmet and no matter what you choose it will not disappoint. 

However, having dessert every day could be a lot for some people, as it was for me.  There is a little known fact that isn’t shared by the wait staff, but some restaurants now allow you to substitute your dessert for an appetizer.  You have to ask your server when you sit down if this is one of the participating restaurants and which appetizers are included, but you may have an option of a salad instead of the that rich chocolate cake. 

Quick service meals are just like the combo meals that you get at any of your local fast food places, and snacks include a variety of foods including popcorn, cookies, cupcakes, a banana, or the famous Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. 

When you purchase a dining plan that has several table services with it, you must make your reservations in advance.  You can start to make your dining reservations up to 180 days prior to your arrival date for the entire length of your day, but not to exceed 10 days of stay.  What this really means is on the 179th day you can call to make your reservations.  I would recommend calling to make your reservations.  It is much faster and you will also be able to make any additional reservations such as Pirate’s League or any tours, all with one phone call.  If you don’t make a reservation in advance, you could be told that the restaurant is full for the day or you may have a two-hour wait.  A two-hour wait with hungry children is not fun for anyone!

So are you ready to find out if the dining plan is worth the money?  For a family of four going to Disney for seven nights, who elect the Disney Dining plan, it is a little over $1000.  (Now that is just for the Dining plan, not including park tickets or resort stay.)  For four people on this seven day Disney vacation, it comes to between $33 to $40 per person per day.   One character meal is around this same cost, so if you do one character meal you have paid for your entire day right there!  Even if you are doing non character meals, your meal cost with entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage can easily reach the $40 to $50 range per person.  When you look at the numbers you really see that you are paying for table service but getting a quick service meal and snack for free.  I, personally, find that the dining plan is worth the money and saves me time when we are there.  My meals are planned out, they are paid for, and everyone is happy because the food is so good. 

Now, one thing you must know is that tip/gratuity is not included.  The suggested tip is based on your total meal cost prior to deducting your plan.  It is up to you, how much you want to tip unless you are a party of six or more than 18% is automatically added to your bill.  When you receive your bill it will tell you how many of that service you have left.  So if you had six table services to start and just finished eating, then your bill will show that you have five remaining.  You can always get your entire amount of allotted meals from the concierge or guest services area at your hotel.  It is important to note that meals do not roll over after your stay.  If you don’t use them up you will lose them so I highly recommend planning out your meals for each day you are at Disney.  Also, the meals are to be used at your discretion.  If you want two table service meals on one day and two quick service meals another day, it is up to you how you use them, but again, use them up!


P.S. Call me this year to plan your AMAZING Disney vacation.  I always recommend to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation 8 to 12 months in advance so we can start planning everything out for you.     

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Let’s talk about what you get with Travel Protection, because you may be missing out!

You have been saving up your money for a few years to take your dream vacation.  You are at the airport and the gate attendant announces the flight will be delayed due to mechanical issues.  This delay causes you to miss your connecting flight to your final destination.  Many hours later you get to your destination, and you slipped on a wet spot in the lobby landing flat on your back.  You feel a pinch, and have trouble standing up straight and walking.  At this point you wonder if the universe is telling you that you shouldn’t have taken this vacation, then you remember, YOU HAVE TRAVEL PROTECTION!  You can use your travel protection to cover all of these weird occurrences. 

Facts show that 17% of those who traveled had their travel impacted by medical problems, natural disasters like a hurricane, or mechanical/carrier caused issued which delayed their trip for more than 3 hours.  When you have purchased travel insurance, also called travel protection, there are three main services that you are getting:

1.      Medical Coverage 

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicad, do not cover a person outside the borders of the United States.  Your credit card may have some medical coverage, but you may have had to purchase your trip with that card, and even then, the coverage amount is minimal.  Hospitals outside of the United States will require a person to make full payment before they are allowed to leave the hospital, no matter how much the charges may be.  This could lead to a financial hardship on the whole family.  With Travel Insurance, you have several tiers of medical coverage and it can either act as your primary medical insurance or secondary medical insurance. 

2.      Travel Arrangements 

There are many things that can happen including trip cancellation, trip delay, and trip interruption.  Life happens and sometimes things happen right before a trip that forces you to cancel but the supplier might have 100% non-refundable cancellation policy.  But your travel insurance doesn’t and you can recoup the cost of that trip not taken.  Did you know that when you have trip interruptions you can be reimbursed for meals, lost luggage, and missed connections?

3.      Concierge services

Most people don’t realize that travel insurance companies offer this service.  Want to go golfing?  Call the travel insurance company and they will set up a tee time for you.  Did you forget to send flowers to your mother for her birthday before you left to go on vacation, call the travel insurance company and they will send flowers, balloons, or a cake.  There are so many possibilities to use this service and it is all part of the plan you purchase. 

Travel Protection is for everyone who is going to take a vacation or even a small trip.  If your credit card offers travel protection, you really need to make sure you check what is covered, how much is covered, and if you need to have purchased your vacation with that card to get the coverage.  Since becoming a travel consultant, I have been purchasing travel protection for myself and my family even when we take small trips here in the United States.  Why do I do this?  I know that it is there if I need to use it, I know how much I am covered for, and if I need any reservations somewhere I can call the concierge services to do it for me.  Oh, and it also gives me peace of mind.

 Stayed tuned for next week’s newsletter about knowing what you get when to purchase travel protection.  Also, if you know someone who is about to take a vacation and haven’t purchased travel protection, please forward this email onto them and tell them to sign-up for my HIGH CONTENT newsletters about travel BELOW….

The Top 3 motivators for purchasing Travel Protection, which one do you say?

 In my last newsletter I discussed the importance of making sure to give your friends, family, or neighbors a printed copy of your itinerary in case something were to go wrong on your vacation.  It is great that they have this, but what do YOU have to protect yourself and your family when something goes wrong?  Who are YOU supposed to call when you have to go to the local hospital or medical express station?  Who do YOU call when you missed your connecting flight which also caused you to miss boarding your cruise? 

Your travel agent should be there to help with you some of those concerns, but we don’t always know the nearest hospital or medical facility that will ensure your best well-being.  When you have travel protection, the travel protection company is who you call!

Before 2001 only 10% of leisure travelers purchased travel protection.  Since 2001, each year the amount of leisure travelers who have purchased travel protection has exponential grown.  At Life is Better Traveling, 95% of our clients who book their vacation with us also purchase travel protection.  Why do they book travel protection?  There are three main reasons why someone purchases travel protection:

1)     I want to cover my hard-earned money because the trip was expensive and/or I had to pre-pay a large amount.

2)     My medical coverage does not exist outside of the United States and I want to make sure that I am covered.

3)     I am nervous about unforeseen events occurring and I know that travel protection will give me the peace of mind I need. 

I bring up three good points that most people will ask or say to themselves right before or right after they have purchased their vacation.  I am sure even you have asked yourself one or more of these three things.  With so many online travel agencies, airlines, and other suppliers making it so easy for you to purchase travel protection for your vacation purchase.  They tell you all the reasons you should purchase it and it sounds so appealing to purchase it, but do you know what you are ACTUALLY getting when you press the shiny “Purchase Travel Protection” button?

Stayed tuned for next week’s newsletter about knowing what you get when you purchase travel protection.  Also, if you know someone who is about to take a vacation and haven’t purchased travel protection, please forward this email onto them and tell them to sign-up for my HIGH CONTENT newsletters about travel at LifeisBetterTraveling.com. 



Be prepared, 17% of American have this happen to them while on vacation

 You don’t want to believe something can go wrong on your vacation, but are your friends, relatives, neighbors prepared if it does?

When your relative, close friend, or neighbor tells you they are going on vacation your instinct is to be excited for them.  They usually give a few details about their upcoming amazing trip including dates, where they are going, and what they will be seeing.  A few months down the road they call you to tell you they are leaving and you wish them safe travels.  As you hang up the phone, you try to remember the details of the trip but come up short in remembering.  You shrug your shoulders and say to yourself you will 100_1068hear all about it when they get back. 

The truth is, are you prepared if something does happen?  Do you have any of the details including airline, hotel, cruise ship, travel insurance?  Are you prepared if they called and told you they needed to you to call the travel insurance company? 

In 2014 a survey was taken showing that one in six Americans or 17% of those who traveled had their travel impacted by medical problems, natural disasters like a hurricane, or mechanical or carrier caused issued which delayed their trip for more than 3 hours.  Let me make the numbers sound larger, if we had a full Southwest flight of 143 people and 17% of them will have some type of travel issue, that means 24 people on this flight.  How about a cruise ship with 3500 people?  Almost 600 of those passengers will have some type of travel issue.  That is a lot of people.  The question is, is your relative one of them?

Even when your relative tells you the details they don’t really tell you the WHOLE DETAILED ITINERARY.  If you don’t have the WHOLE DETAILED ITINERARY and you need to contact them, it can become a guessing game of where in the world are my relatives?  Don’t let this happen to you.  Ask your relative for the detailed itinerary and the information for the travel insurance company in case you would have to call on their behave.  Life is Better Traveling always provides an extra copy of the detailed itinerary to give out to a relative, neighbor or close friend just by simply asking for it.  We will not let your relative know what you paid for the trip, but they are given the details of which cruise ship, airline, hotels, and travel insurance. 

So next time you or your relatives book a vacation, make sure to set aside some time to talk. Talk about the detailed itinerary and explain that you would like them to have this just in case, or why you would like to have it of theirs. No one ever likes to plan for “just in case”, but when you realize how high the number of people impacted is then it just makes sense.  And remember that this extra itinerary is free of charge at Life is Better Traveling and we are always looking out for our travelers. Feel free to pass this email along to the people you think of while reading this!

P.S. I just had all my relatives in Europe the last two weeks and having their information on hand gave me peace of mind. 

Fill out the form below to start planning your next worry-free vacation.

What is the third letter of the alphabet?

Why Your Next Vacation Should Be Customized?

Vacationing the way you too!

  At Life is Better Traveling we always say “Connecting Friends and Family through Customized Vacations.”   But what is a customized vacation?  A customized vacation is a vacation that fits your needs, desires, and overall goal of the vacation.  When you first start to plan a vacation, you get on the internet and start browsing different sites for the destination you want to go to.  All too quickly you are confronted with multiple options and many suppliers who all sell vacation packages to that destination.  It seems like an endless task to continue trying to do more research so you start asking friends.  You hear about amazing stories of their travels and you want to go more than ever.  Reality sets in that you again have to get back on the internet to do the research.  The truth call-center-1026462_1920-smalleris you don’t.

There are many different reasons you want to travel to a particular destination: the food, the sites, the people, etc.  What if you could do and see all the things that you wanted to do and see without having to choose a preset tour?  Well, that is where our travel agency comes in.  We put together customized vacation packages for what you want to do and see.  You contact us with which destination or destinations you want to see and put together a tour package that is only for you.  Do you want to fly to London on business class stay 2 nights then fly to Italy for 5 nights and then onto Portugal for 4 nights?  Guess what, we can do that for you and even recommend sight-seeing tours, provide transfers, rail, accommodations, and travel insurance.  You pick the destinations and we put it together. 

Why not a preset tour?  I have personally done the preset tours.  I had to have my luggage set outside my hotel room by 4:30am to get on the bus by 6:00am.  I had one hour to tour a city that had so much history I had to pick which single spot I wanted to see because I didn’t have time to see them all.  Did I still enjoy myself?  Yes, I did but I learned from that experience that I wanted a more relaxed vacation and I wanted to see the sites the way I wanted to see them.  I would have loved to have had a private tour guide of the Roman Baths in Bath, England, absolutely.  You better believe that next time I go, I will have a private tour guide!



A customized tour must be more expensive than a preset tour, right?   I am finding that when you customize a tour it is actually less expensive then when you do a preset tour.  I have to preface though, that a customized tour is not an apple to apples comparison to a preset tour.  You are not paying for a motorcoach, driver, and tour guide for an entire vacation.  You are picking accommodations that fit your needs, tours that you want to do, and restaurants that fit your palate.  When we breakdown the pricing, it typically does come in a few hundred dollars less which helps you make the easy decision of buying travel insurance. 

But what if I am a bit nervous about doing my own thing?  That is ok.  Even though we can plan your hotel, rail, flights, car rental, etc on your own terms, we have plenty of sightseeing tours that you can do with a group.  Most of them will be half-day or full day tours, but you will be either with a small group of people to see the sights or a larger group of people, typically no more than 30 people.  This way you can have the best of both worlds!

Do you have a form I need to fill out to put together a customized tour?  No.  You simply call me and we discuss where you want to go and what you want to see.  One of my favorite things to do on the phone with you is to really get a good understanding of why you want to take this trip or vacation.  Everyone has a reason for their trip whether it is a Whiskey tour of Scotland or island hopping on Hawaii.  Whatever your reason is to take the trip, then that is what we want you to be able to do.  The trip or vacation is really what you want to make out of it. 

Now that you have a better understanding of what our travel agency can do for you in putting together a customized vacation, give us a call today and let us help you start connecting friends and family through customized vacations. 


Request a Travel Planning session today for FREE!

What is the third letter of the alphabet?

Packing Efficiently for your Next Vacation

Efficient Packing,
How to maximize your suitcase space!

We are all guilty of over packing, even myself.  I remember my first big trip to Europe I took two huge pieces of luggage and a carry-on just for myself.  I had so many clothes that I didn’t even wear half of them. 

Since then I have cut it down to traveling with a carry-on ONLY!  Many of you know that we travel overseas but how do I do it with just a carry-on?  I am going to give you our secrets for packing even more into your suitcase or carry-on.

Secret #1:  Buy the biggest carry-on allowed by TSA.  If you aren’t sure of the size check out their website.  www.TSA.gov

Secret #2:  Picking out your clothes for vacation is a process.  Lay out the clothes you want to take on your bed so you can start to narrow down which ones you NEED to take.  An extra outfit is good, 5 extra outfits is too much.

Secret #3: Include shoes and jackets in the clothes going into your suitcase.  Shoes take up a lot of room in any suitcase.  I try to wear the bulky shoes on the airplane and pack the light or smaller ones in the suitcase.  I do the same thing for my jackets.  Depending on the size of the jacket, it is not consider a carry-on so I will also wear or carry my larger jacket.

Secret #4:  ROLL YOUR CLOTHES!  You save so much room in your suitcase if you roll the clothes.  Now jeans maybe hard to roll so place them flat on the bottom of the suitcase then place all the other rolled clothes on top.  It is amazing how much more you can pack, but beware that the weight of the suitcase will go up.  Check out the airline’s maximum weight allowance for a carry-on.

Secret #5:  This may be a bit personal, but buy underwear that you can throw away.  Go to Walmart or Target and buy the cheapest underwear that you can wear.  Throw them away after you are done with them.  This gives you more room for souvenirs on the way back and you don’t have to deal with dirty drawers.  


Congratulations to Mary! 

She recently earned the distinguished Certified Travel Associate (CTA) designation from the Travel Institute, the travel industry’s oldest education organization.  She completed a comprehensive exam-based training program that demonstrates extensive industry knowledge and experience, and she must continue to fulfill stringent education credit requirements each year. 

Have a Great Week!

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