We are under way into the new year already, but there is still time to act on your resolutions, or even if you're just looking to improve your 2018.
If you’re like most people, one of your annual desires is to travel more. Let 2018 be the year that you act on this goal! Set the intention to go on new journeys, break out of routines, and finally explore more of all this world has to offer. Learn why it's so important to travel (even if it's just a local trip, away from your daily routine)...
As the Huffington Post reported, traveling can make you happier, give you a boost to your self-confidence, lets you make new friends, and actually helps you appreciate your family and home a lot more.
In our daily lives, we have so many responsibilities. When we’re traveling though, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying every moment. We can press pause, and tune into what we really need and want.
Have you ever noticed how when you’re on vacation, you seem to have extra energy? You wake up early, you eat when you’re hungry, and you do what feels good. It’s because you don’t have anything pressing on your mind. All you are required to do is have fun, see some interesting things, and take it all in on your schedule.
You also get introduced to new cultures and experiences. One of the reasons you get such a boost in self-confidence from traveling is because of those new things. You see that you can handle more than you may have originally thought. You will also witness first hand that no matter where you go in the world, everyone is struggling with something. We’re all just trying to live our best lives and have as much fun as possible along the way. Breaking out of your routine and traveling more can give you so many revelations, understanding and patience!
What is it about travel that makes you appreciate family and home more?! Well, that one’s easy. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say. In some cases you’ll realize how good you have it, and see others spending time with their families which will prompt you to want more intimate time with your own. Think about it - doesn’t your bed feel extra comfortable when you get home from a trip?
There are so many amazing reasons that people should make travel more of a priority in their lives. Are you ready to make it more of a priority for you? You deserve some new journeys, and we can help you have them!
Call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today, and we’ll put you on the path of finally crossing some of those dream destinations off of your bucket list!
As Spring slowly rolls around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your summer and fall vacation plans. In the next few months, vacation planning will spike again. Get ahead of the game before others book and dwindle the availability of the travel dates, flight schedules, or the accommodations you really want. During this time, I get many inquiries about European River Cruise vacations, so I thought it would be a great topic to discuss.
In recent years, travelers have been opting for river cruises over the traditional ocean liners like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. Why? In short, river cruises are more intimate, offer ports of call the ocean liners simply can't pull up to, and they deliver a higher level of customer service that makes you feel like you are on a unique vacation, rather than just one of a massive crowd. Some of the most popular river cruises available, are on the rivers of Europe. Here are a few of them for your travel consideration...
1. Rhine River –
Along the Rhine River are the countries of Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, the Principality of Liechtenstein, and the Netherlands. Many have said that cruising the Rhine River is the best option to see some incredible castles and medieval architecture. Cruises along the Rhine are also perfect for romantics, wine lovers, the curious epicures and nature enthusiasts.
2. Danube River –
The Danube River is the second-longest river in Europe, and it runs through 10 countries including Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria and more. More than a dozen languages are spoken on its banks! Two places not to be missed if you are cruising the Danube are Vienna and Budapest - even more so during Christmas time where you can find their famous Christmas Markets that will transport you into a fairytale Christmas experience. The Danube is also great for visiting several palaces, indulging in a variety of cultures and cuisines, and learning a lot of history.
3. Seine River –
Though this river is mainly a waterway within the north of France, spilling out into the English Channel, it's still a very popular river traveled by river cruise liners. This river is perfect for the cruise goer that wants a Parisian experience, but also wants to see more that France has to offer. You will blend your passion for the good life with culture, art, architecture and timeless landscapes. In addition, you will visit one of the most magnificent monasteries, the unforgettable beaches of Normandy and be inspired by great works of art.
There are additional rivers to cruise in Europe. However, these are the three most popular and in my opinion, the best rivers to begin your journey into River Cruising. We look forward to helping you learn about the vast cruise line options and how they differ in experiences, so together we can plan the perfect vacation to match your expectations and style! To learn more about river cruises available to you, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today.
ow that it's almost February and the busy holidays are well and truly over, I thought we'd talk about how to transition back into the daily work routine.
If you are anything like me, when you get back from vacation, it's hard to get right back into work. You are swamped with projects and e-mails that piled up while you were gone, and all you want to do is get back to the destination you just left.
So, how do you get out of vacation mode after taking a week, two weeks, or even longer off of work?
Think first about your top priorities. Sometimes just thinking about your priorities, and the consequences of letting them slip is all it takes to get your head back in the game. Consider what dropping the ball will mean for you. If you don't snap back into work mode, will you...
Some people come back from vacation and simply feel like they don't want to be at work. As a result, they start acting like it, and using vocabulary like "overwhelmed" and "stress." These words become self-fulfilling prophecies, and are not going to help you do what you need to get done. Instead, change your vocabulary to words like, “I choose to,” or “I want to” do whatever your tasks are. Even if you're lying to yourself, saying it out loud will trick your brain into being in a more positive state making your tasks ahead easier to undertake.
3. Get organized, and start over:
If the first hour or even the entire first day back to work didn't turn out as productive as you would have liked, get organized and try again. Take out a piece of paper, and write down everything you know you need to do. Then, organize the list of items in the order of importance and try again. Having a starting point is often all one really needs to get things rolling again.
4. Think about your last vacation, and use it as a motivator for the next one!
Now, just because you have to get back into work mode right now, doesn't mean you can't relish in the memories of the vacation you were just on. Give yourself five minutes here and there to zone out, and go back mentally to the destination you left. Then, think about how much fun your next one will be, and use the momentum from that excitement to give you the energy to get your work tasks done. In fact, you should go on a mental vacation a few times a day. Force yourself to do an hour of uninterrupted work, then give yourself five-minute breaks before you start the next task. Before you know it, you'll be laser focused, knocking out your list, and getting ready for another vacation.
We hope this helps you get out of vacation mode and back to work! Then, when you're ready for your next getaway, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195.
We look forward to helping you plan another escape!
I'm in Jamaica right now doing resort site inspections and about to return home tomorrow. I'm realizing I really need to plan an actual vacation for myself :) Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get some inspiration for your upcoming vacation plans - I've seen some amazing resorts this trip!
As I enjoy the 85 degrees on my last day in paradise, not wanting to go home, it inspired me to write about a common question I receive when planning vacations: How many days should you vacation?
Believe it or not, the number of days might be longer than you expect. There's been a considerable amount of argument over the years, but thanks to a scientific study out of Finland, we have a science based answer to this age-old question. Spoiler alert: It's 8-days!
The study, as reported in Inc.com, stated that a Finnish university followed people on vacation throughout the entirety of their getaways. They measured “highs and lows of their happiness and satisfaction as their vacations progressed. The researchers discovered that vacation-related joy didn't climb ever upward as tourists' tans deepened and work receded to a distant memory. In contrast, happiness peaked after eight days away.”
The article went onto say that “The idea that a little more than a week is the perfect vacation length sits well with other seasoned vacationers.”
Consider this – the first day of a vacation never truly feels like an actual vacation. Why? Because it's mostly filled with transportation. This is especially true if you're going overseas where there are not only time-zone changes, but also changes in altitude, multiple hours (if not days) of flying, and potential culture shock on arrival. The last day presents the same challenges – it's at least another full day of travel. So, before you have even actually started your trip, you're deducting two days from your actual time on your vacation.
This is why three and four day vacations may seem like a decent idea in theory for a long weekend or a short getaway, but won't actually provide you with any real time at most destinations. It permits you merely enough time to leave work and come back without really enjoying the place you traveled too. Sadly, this leaves many vacationers feeling duped, or like they didn't get to see enough of or do enough in their dream destination.
Conde Nast Traveler recommends that you add even more time to your vacation days if you will be jumping multiple time zones. How much more time? They recommend an extra day for every time zone you travel through. While this is impractical for most people, it is a good idea to still consider that your body will need time to adjust to a massive time change. It's kind of like how many of us feel off the week after daylight savings time ends or begins – the body has to get used to the change. By the eight-day Finnish study logic, you should still be able to see at least some of the city you're traveling to, and enjoy yourself while you're at it.
Are you ready to plan your eight day (or longer) getaway?! We'd love to help you create the perfect trip, so you can truly rejuvenate and enjoy yourself, just give me a call at (913) 244-9195.
I am usually very prepared for Christmas and have all my shopping done by end of November. However, there is always one or two people that I struggle with finding the perfect gift. My younger brother is normally one of those. He has recently caught the travel bug and always he keeps suggesting we take a trip together instead of gifts.
If you have a travel enthusiast in your family, the gift of travel is certainly better than anything you can buy on the shelf. However, how do you determine if this choice is right for your loved one(s) this holiday season? Here are a few simple tips that may help you decide how to go about sending someone a vacation as a present...
I'll keep this short and sweet this week.
Thanksgiving is a time for joy and good cheer. In this season of thanks, I have many things to be grateful for... and one of them YOU! I greatly appreciate your business, interactions, support and referrals.
From my family to yours, we want to wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving!
Your Romance & Luxury Travel Concierge
Can you believe this year is almost over?! Where did the time go! With the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy for romance to take a back seat. Deadlines, rushing to work, the kids extracurricular activities, etc...they all seem to take precedence over our love lives, don’t they?
We are quickly approaching the holiday season too, which only continues to take priority in life. If this sounds familiar, perhaps you and your honey should take a moment to breathe and consider a romantic getaway to ignite a spark.
Here are 5 destinations that may be exactly what you’re looking for to fall in love with your sweetie all over again:
Most people think of Paris when they think of France. But, there are so many other French destinations that offer all the romance without all the tourist hoopla. Carcassonne is a stunning hilltop town in the south of France. It’s famous for its medieval feel, and one of the most romantic spaces in the city is the Hotel de la Cite. This hotel is a well-preserved medieval castle featuring spiral staircases, stained-glass windows, stone walls and formal gardens. You’ll truly feel like royalty here.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Imagine a lovers escape to the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford. This luxury hotel boasts itself as the perfect destination for a gastronomic weekend or a romantic retreat. This gorgeous manor is one of the United Kingdom’s first, and most intimate hotels. It has just 32 uniquely designed rooms, but it’s a breathtaking place you won’t want to leave for days on end. And, considering the fact they have some of the best food on site that makes even the world’s top chefs blush, you might not need to go off property for anything but sightseeing.
Chania Balos Beach in Crete
Move over Santorini, this might just be the new Greek hot spot for lovers on holiday. Chania Balos Beach in Crete is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece. From the hills above the beach it looks like a lagoon, and its white sand, soft seabed and crystal waters provide some of the most picturesque views imaginable.
Prague, Czech Republic
Though it may surprise you, many folks consider the capital of the Czech Republic to be one of the most romantic places on the planet. By day wander around amazing attractions such as Prague Castle and the St. Nicolas Cathedral. During the evening, you can enjoy a peaceful walk around winding cobblestone avenues lit by subtle road lights, cuddle in a horse-drawn carriage, or take a boat ride at sunset down the Vltava River while soaking in the rich environment.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
As we round out this list of romantic destinations to bring back some spark, we couldn’t leave out the winter wonderland of St. Moritz in Switzerland. Located in the Swiss Alps sits this amazing ski town featuring adrenaline inducing slopes, panoramic views, bobsledding, casinos, nightclubs and more. You’ll quickly see why St. Moritz is called the number one winter playground of international jet setters. Spend the days on powdered mountains, and then spend the nights enjoying delicious cuisine and snuggles by the fire.
To find your perfect destination for romance (or just a winter getaway with friends or family), just give us a call at: (913) 244-9195.
As our winter vacation planning is in full swing - one of the top subjects I run into with couples and families alike is WHERE they should vacation. There are so many destinations in the world to choose from and of course we want to see them all.
Thousands of places in the world are practically begging to be visited and explored, so choosing one can be a frustrating task. With this in mind I thought it might be a good idea to provide you with some tips on how you can choose your perfect vacation destination.
Consider your budget.
Though many people don't want to think about money when they're thinking about a vacation, we must be mindful of a travel budget. There's nothing worse than going on a wonderful holiday, only to come back in massive debt, and worrying about how you'll pay it off. Knowing your budget for your next vacation will help rule out many destinations and help narrow your search too!
Think about the time of year that you will go on your vacation.
Just a couple factors to consider when planning when you will go on your trip: weather and the demand for the destination. Will it be hot/cold, rainy/dry? And, when is their tourist busy season? The busier times for destinations are generally going to have more expensive hotels, flights, and tickets to attractions.
As a general rule of thumb, when kids are out of school (holidays, spring break, summer break, etc...), you can assume higher price tags will follow as most families will travel this time frame and the industry knows it. With regard to the weather, the last thing you want is to get to a destination you have dreamed about for ages, only to be stuck inside because it's raining everyday OR it's too cold to play in the ocean.
Decide if you want new and exciting, or traditional and relaxing.
Determining the type of vacation you want to go on is often even more difficult than deciding on the destination itself. It can be scary to choose a location off the beaten path. However, it is often those very destinations that provide the most exciting vacations. For some travelers though, predictable and reliable are non-negotiables.
You also need to consider if you want activities fueled by adrenaline, or if you want activities that relax and pamper you. Finally, you'll need to consider if sightseeing is important to you, or if entertainment is more what you're looking for. Although these things don't have to be mutually exclusive, in some cases you do have to choose relaxation or excitement, attraction hopping or staying in one spot.
Think about who you are traveling with.
Yes, your travel companions do play an important role in choosing your destination. You might enjoy the cold weather at a ski resort, but maybe your companion prefers a sunbaked beach of an exotic location. Perhaps you love trains, but everyone in your party is terrified of them. It is critical you factor in the needs of everyone, including yourself.
Of course, these considerations are far from an exhaustive list, and we understand that this can be a difficult decision. The good news is, you don't have to navigate the waters of choosing your own destination alone. Call Destinations HD today at (913) 244-9195, and we can help you decide on the perfect vacation for your needs and budget!
Fall is my favorite time of year with October being my most favorite - mostly because Halloween is near (and many of you know how excited I get for this holiday!!) Not only is it getting busy planning for the upcoming holidays (whether you are traveling, hosting or both), but travel planning can become overwhelming as you try to coordinate all the holiday events and kid's schedules, in addition to organizing your holiday or winter vacation(s).
Think about the last time you went on a vacation. Did you really escape? When you returned home were you just as exhausted before you left? If you're like a lot of people, you took off, and got back just as stressed as you were prior to your departure. The number one cause of not full enjoying a vacation? It's a tie between dealing with stressful situations that came up on your trip, and not leaving the stress of life back home at home. With that in mind, here are some simple tips for taking the stress out of travel.
Create a plan to execute, but be okay with ditching the plan. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you on your trip, and then pack. Just this trick alone can save you loads of stress. Rather than worrying if you forgot something, you'll have peace of mind because you took time to think about what you needed instead of going about packing haphazardly.
Make a list of the places you want to see and visit on your trip. This is where being willing to ditch the plan comes in. Too many people create an itinerary, and then feel they have to commit to it causing them to do and see things that didn't keep the fun going. If you get to a museum and suddenly realize they bore you to tears, you don't have to go to any other museums if you don't want to! Consider this your permission slip.
Get everywhere early. Flights, dinner reservations, shows and games – what do they all have in common? They generally have a time attached to them. Give yourself plenty of buffer time to arrive everywhere you need to be. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than missed flights and late arrivals to important events.
Intend to be on vacation. Okay, this one might sound silly, but you need to have the mindset to be on vacation. This means not checking in at work, or working at all while on the vacation. Going into a vacation with the intention of letting everything at home stay at home can work wonders for your stress levels. Your body and mind needs this escape, so allow yourself to actually get away completely!
Go to sleep, and sleep at least 8 hours every night. This tip may shock you, but one of the reasons travelers come home even more exhausted and stressed, is they try to pack too much into their schedule while away, and they barely sleep. Yes, a getaway is exciting, but you'll enjoy it more with a good night's sleep each night.
The final tip is to hire a travel agent. When you work with a travel agent to coordinate and schedule your travel accommodations and transportation, you're allowing them to take some of the work off your plate for you. If anything goes wrong or need changes - you have someone to call that works for you, so you can get back to enjoying your trip.
For your next trip, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195. You don't have to spend countless hours creating your perfect trip – that's our job! Let us handle the heavy lifting for you, so that all you have to do is show up.
I just returned from an amazing Alaska and Vancouver experience and can't wait to upload my photos to our Facebook photo albums to share. If you haven't done this trip yet, call me so we can get you there next season. It was incredible!!
Since we cruised after the kids are back in school, it was more of an adult experience which started a group discussion about traveling with kids; and is an easy leeway to our topic...
The decision of whether or not to bring your children on your next vacation can be a difficult one. How can you decide if it should be an adult only trip, or a family getaway? Although the decision will ultimately be a personal one that is up to you, here are a few things you may want to consider when planning your next trip:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.