Resolve to Travel in 2015

Resolve to Travel in 2015

According to a 2014 study written by the University of Scranton, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75 percent of Americans keep their New Year’s resolution for a week. That percentage significantly decreases with time, with only 46 percent keeping their resolution after six months. If you’ve put traveling on your New Year’s resolution list, here’s how to make your resolution a reality...

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Along the Coast of Southern California

Along the Coast of Southern California

Traveling along the coast of southern California is a beautiful adventure. For a sunny and beach-filled journey, rent a car and hop onto Interstate Route 5 that stretches through the middle of California. This 796-mile road, running from Mexico to the Oregon border, is a convenient way to travel the California coast, land in some picturesque beach towns and get some fantastic seafood. 

Centrally located between Los Angeles and San Diego is the popular beach town of Oceanside. Sparkling beaches and dramatic sunsets are a mainstay here. After you’ve combed for shells (shelling, as the locals call it), take a walk on...

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What To See, Eat, and Do in New Orleans

What To See, Eat, and Do in New Orleans

New Orleans was established in 1718 by the French. It became part of the Spanish empire before returning to French control in 1801. Three years later, Napoleon’s sale of New Orleans made it officially part of the United States. While New Orleans’ beginnings were decidedly European, the city became its own melting pot, combining an intriguing mix of culture and cuisine. 

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A Wet and Wild Trip Through the Everglades

A Wet and Wild Trip Through the Everglades

The Everglades is the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United States. With over 1.5 million acres of sawgrass marshes, mangrove forests, and many species of endangered and exotic wildlife, this territory is undoubtedly an exotic part of the world. So when you are ready to jump into our nation’s version of a rainforest, here’s what you need to bring...

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The Best Shopping Places in America

The Best Shopping Places in America

According to the 2014 US News and World Report list of Best Shopping Destinations, New York City is at the top of the list. The 8-city list also includes Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Boston, Houston, and is rounded out by Honolulu. The missing element to that list is its fourth best attraction - Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Mall of America. With nearly 500 stores, a plethora of restaurants and an indoor theme park, the Mall of America is for the die-hard shopper. They hold about 400 events every year, where you might have a book signed or hobnob with a celebrity. 

What do you look for in a shopping experience? A big mall where you can get lost for hours? Finding an off-the-beaten-path boutique? Here are a few shopping tips for your next vacation:

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Off the Beaten Path: Costa Rica

Off the Beaten Path: Costa Rica

Costa Rica, known for it's vast rainforest and beautiful beaches, has lots to offer whether you're looking for a relaxing beach trip or an adventurous hike in the jungle. With the largest area of protected land in the world, Costa Rica boasts more species of trees than anywhere else and a huge diversity of animals. While Spanish is the primary language in this southern region of Central America, most all areas of Costa Rica are also English speaking or at least accustomed enough to travelers to make communication easy in some way. If you'd rather explore the jungle of Costa Rica and get a taste of local life than spend your week at an all inclusive beach resort, here are some must-see adventures you can experience in just one week. Make sure you rent a 4x4 that can handle some of the rougher roads in Monteverde and take advantage of promotions that offer you a GPS with your rental. 

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Top 5 Travel Apps: Don't Leave Home Without Them

Top 5 Travel Apps: Don't Leave Home Without Them

In the age of the competing iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, lines that extend for blocks for new phone releases, and text language that's getting increasingly more difficult to decipher, you may as well take advantage of the technology. The phones we rarely leave home without hold lots of travel tools that can make your trip go more smoothly. Here are the top 5 travel apps we recommend...

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The Guide to Booking Spring Break

The Guide to Booking Spring Break

The next big travel holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas, but looking ahead to Spring Break will guarantee you better prices than if you begin booking after the holidays. As the masses are gearing up for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and thinking about Christmas wish lists, you'll be saving yourself money by exploring your options now. 

1. Begin by considering your travel mates.

If you're traveling with family, you'll want to consider different hotel accommodations than if you were traveling with your best buds. Pla

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Repositioning Cruises Explained and Demystified

Repositioning Cruises Explained and Demystified

You’ve heard of cruises. Perhaps you’ve taken a cruise with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, or one of the other well-known cruise lines. Maybe your friends have come back raving about the unforgettable week they spent island hopping in luxury by cruise ship. It’s possible that you’re an expert on the 3-4 day or week long cruise scene, but what is this repositioning cruise that seems to be popping up everywhere? We’ll tell you what all the fuss is about...

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Top 5 Reasons to Book a Cruise for Your Next Trip

Top 5 Reasons to Book a Cruise for Your Next Trip

The stress of planning a vacation can sometimes overshadow all the fun and relaxation you and your family hope to get from a week out of the office and away from home. Using a travel agent can drastically reduce the amount of planning you have to do, and can help you avoid complications while you travel; but cruises have proved to be a winning solution for families, couples, and adventurous travelers everywhere. See why it is your friends come back raving about the great time they had cruising the ocean and visiting exotic locations.

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Say Aloha to Hawaii: The Big Island

Say Aloha to Hawaii: The Big Island

So many islands and so little time? Hawaii is a great answer to the often asked question of where to spend your vacation time. In our previous post about Hawaii, we focused on Oahu, a great tourist destination with plenty to do. In this blog, we’ll turn our attention to The Big Island, perfect for adventurous nature-lovers who want to take in the unique beauty of the island. 

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Say Aloha to Hawaii: Oahu

Say Aloha to Hawaii: Oahu

Planning to escape to paradise? Whether you’re looking for a high-life touristy destination, or a low-key location for nature lovers, Hawaii has your answer. In this blog post, we’ll focus on Oahu, the best destination for fun and frivolity with a touristy flare.   

1.     Waikiki – A bustling city full of resorts, Waikiki is home to street vendors, surf lessons galore, and plenty of nightlife. Check out Kalakaua Avenue for great shopping and fine dining.

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Interview with a Travel Pro

Interview with a Travel Pro

We chatted with a flight attendant on a recent cross-country Southwest flight. A retired prison nurse, Catherine will be 75 years young next month. She’s been working with the airline for 12 years.

1.     Favorite travel tip: “For my passengers? I’d tell them to check their bags!” Editor’s Note: on this particular airline, there is no additional charge for two checked bags per ticketed passenger.

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Top 28 Travel Hacks

Top 28 Travel Hacks

Everyone loves a good life hack. Here are a few of our favorites for travel:

Planning your trip:

  1. Take advantage of the lower cost accommodation nights – hotels are often cheaper on Sunday nights
  2. Check out internet deal sites like GrouponAmazon Local, and Living Social for restaurant or activity deals in your destination city
  3. Follow social media pages for museums at your destination to catch free or discounted days
  4. Check out hotel park / sleep / fly packages near your origination airport, take the airport shuttle to catch your flight, and leave your car at the hotel instead of paying for airport parking
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Making Air Travel Easier

Making Air Travel Easier

While the idea of getting to your destination quickly is appealing, air travel has its own set of challenges. Get the hustle without the hassle with these suggestions for handling the most common complaints about air travel.

1.    Cancellations and Delays

Most of us expect a delay when the weather is bad in our departing city; and many of us are travel-savvy enough to understand that our incoming plane may have experienced weather delays elsewhere.  Unfortunately, airlines are actually at fault for many of the longest delays: pilot shortages, inefficiencies at getting the plane ready to depart, and mechanical breakdowns are all too often the cause.

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Before You Leave

Before You Leave

You’ve finally booked that dream vacation overseas… now what? Here are four things to do before your flight:

1.    Get your visas and vaccinations

Some countries require travel visas, specific vaccinations, a number of blank pages in your passport, and passport validity beyond your scheduled stay before you’re allowed to enter the country. It’s important to note that some vaccinations require several doses or should be taken weeks before your trip, so the earlier you begin this step the better. Your travel agent can help make sure you comply with your destination’s entry requirements when you book your travel.

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Four Fun Forays in the Mayan Riviera

Four Fun Forays in the Mayan Riviera

If you’re daydreaming of a south-of-the-border beach break, the Mayan Riviera is just the ticket. With a combination of natural beauty, archeological sites, plenty of shopping, and miles of white sand beaches, the Mayan Riviera has something for everyone. Here are four places to consider for your off-the-resort excursions.

1.    Xel-Ha

Pronounced “Shell-Ha,” this snorkeler’s paradise is the original “lazy river.” Xel-Ha is a large lagoon inhabited by more than 90 marine species including stingrays, tuna, surgeonfish, and puffer fish.  The lagoon depth is appropriate for swimmers of all sizes and abilities. Admission price includes unlimited food and non-alcoholic drink, as well as snorkeling gear, towel and locker use.  Visitors are asked to use only all-natural, chemical free sunblock.  

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Travel on the Cheap

Travel on the Cheap

If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’ve probably spent the past few years living a little more frugally; but living a fiscally responsible lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. Here are four ideas for traveling on the cheap:

      1.             Go Au Natural

As long as fresh air is free, there will always be options for a little R&R with less $USD. National parks offer a variety of options for the adrenaline junkie to the less adventurous, with hiking trails and campsites that range from completely primitive to quite modern. Check with your travel agent (for free!) for great national park ideas.

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Off the Beaten Path in Beijing

Off the Beaten Path in Beijing

If a trip to Beijing is in your future, you’ve no doubt scoured the travel books and internet to map your itinerary. Here are five things to see and do that you might not have otherwise encountered in your planning:

1.  Alpine slide down the Great Wall of China

Of course, no trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall; but to really hit the bucket list bonanza, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is well worth the two hour bus ride. While there may be locations of the wall that are closer to Beijing and more popular, only Mutianyu has the single most remarkable experience ever: a five minute alpine slide to the base of the mountain.  Unless you’re up for the two or three hour hike, ride the cable car to the top...

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