With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I know that there are so many of us who won’t be able to celebrate our mother’s, mother figures, and the outstanding father’s who’ve played both Mom and Dad to us, in quite the same way this year.
With travel restrictions slowly lifting however, we can give the Gift of Reconnection in the form of a future travel certificate – and start thinking about the kind of travel that we can safely embark on as we enter our new normal way of life.
For those of us wanting to get back into the world and see new places or different scenery, but who are still wary of jumping right back into the fray of extensive multi-destination trips or mega-resorts, there are a number of smaller boutique and secluded style options available that are ideal to start. Let's explore a few of those today...
As you can imagine, I’ve been working 'round the clock recently assisting clients with refunds, rescheduling and cancellations of everything from the quick 4-day getaways to Mexico, to rearranging entire wedding groups, as well as, month-long European adventures.
Throughout these last couple of months, as the situation has continued to evolve, I’ve noticed significant differences in vendor/supplier responses and treatment towards their guests, travel partners and staff members.
As a result, it’s made me appreciate the additional levels of security, protection, and options that are available when choosing to work with vendors that are stable enough to provide most (if not all) components for a lengthy multi-destination adventure versus securing each individual travel component with multi-vendors.
As a small business owner, I strongly believe in supporting the local communities and businesses abroad when I travel, but it’s important to understand that when working with a larger vendor, it doesn’t actually mean that you’re choosing “big business” over small and local.
Quality vendors, partner with locals in the community to ensure that they help the local economies and people, in addition to providing travelers with an immersive local experience.
To this end, I want to shine a spotlight on the “tour” experiences offered for multi-destination vacations. There are still a lot of misconceptions about taking tours, and the most common one is that a tour is squeezing onto a bus with a group of strangers and being driven past sights to snap some pictures before quickly moving on to the next place.
While those kinds of tours do exist and can be the right choice for some, there are a multitude of other ways to take advantage of the tour benefits while maintaining the flexibility of independent travel. You want to ensure that your trip is protected and that you work with the suppliers who have your best interest at heart!
As I recently was able to experience an incredible unique Knowing I was able to have this amazing experience, got me thinking about dream destinations and how achievable they are. I’m going to get brutally honest with you, and it might hurt to hear what I have to say. Waiting to take your dream trip, could prevent you from ever being able to take it. If you have ever pondered whether or not your dream destinations are achievable, this is for you...
One of our biggest new trends we've been selling more often these past few years is River Cruising (mostly European River Cruises).
This experience is also one of my personal favorite ways to explore the more remote and charming towns of Europe without having to unpack and figure out how to get around on my own. Sometimes you just need less stress on vacation, and when you still want to see as much as you can - this is a great way to get around and visit multiple countries.
What is better than enjoying a unique and adventurous river cruise one of the many rivers in Europe? Cruising for FREE!! Am I right?! Traveling as a group can be a wonderful thing and an amazing trip. I have five reasons your next river cruise should be done as a group...
Though this may seem like the most Captain Obvious statement we could make, foreign countries are, for lack of a better phrase, foreign. In our daily lives we get very used to things that are familiar to us, and that can cause quite a bit of culture shock for people that have never traveled to other countries (besides the tropical resorts that tend to offer luxuries we recognize).
With that in mind, here are a few things you should keep in mind before traveling to a foreign country so that you have better expectations before you arrive...
It’s almost here!!! If you haven’t heard by now, there is a new non-stop flight from Kansas City to Reykjavik, Iceland - making now the perfect time to explore this beautiful and unique destination!
The Icelandair inaugural flight from Kansas City takes place on May 25, 2018 and will offer three seasonal non-stop flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with easy connections between approximately 20 other European destinations, if you want to continue on within 7 days and see more of Europe. The return flight back to Kansas City will be on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. However, keep in mind that this route ends on September 29, 2018, but it is expected to continue again in 2019. Fingers crossed!
This flight is estimated at about 7 hours (eastbound) and under 8 hours (westbound). Take advantage of this nonstop flight while we have it in Kansas City – and just maybe we can keep it around if Icelandair receives enough activity!! Because of the limited flight schedule, it’s important to book early for this trip if you plan to experience Iceland this year (or next).
The two best ways to truly explore Iceland are via a bus tour and by cruising around the island. Let someone else handle getting you from place to place and relax while you check out all that this stunning destination has to offer. There are also some highlights on the island which you won’t be able to visit on your own, so only a cruise or escorted tour has access to these locations, which you don’t want to miss while you’re there!
Let’s take a quick look into these options…
Take a Bus Tour Across Iceland:
Tourists looking to see as much of Iceland as possible should consider a bus tour across the country. By doing so you’ll get to learn more about their culture, see more of their beautiful physical features, and take in a significantly higher amount of their breathtaking history.
There are several guided bus tour options to choose from. Once you’ve paid for your ticket, all the destinations on the tour are included. That is unless you take an excursion off the tour path. Some tours begin from a predetermined place, and for others the pickup point is the hotel where you’re staying (depending on availability).
You’ll explore iconic destinations such as the popular Northern Lights, the Golden Circle, the Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Þingvellir National Park. Visitors can also visit the glaciers where there are man-made ice caves.
Cruise the Island of Iceland:
Cruising around Iceland is considered one of the most convenient and enjoyable ways to see the best of the country’s landscape. On your cruise you’ll enjoy witnessing waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and more. Many tourists prefer cruising to bus tours because they feel it is easier to get from destination to destination, and takes less time to see the popular areas. The cruises are relatively affordable too, with the best deals occurring from June to September.
The trip begin from Reykjavik or Akureyri with stops in Siglufjordur, fishing port of Isafjordur and Heimaey Island. All of these destinations are enriched with their own stories to tell. Heimaey Island, for example, was all but destroyed in the lava flow of 1973.
Don't Forget to Visit Puffin Island:
Whether you decide to explore Iceland by land or by sea, be sure to include an excursion to Puffin Island! Puffin Island is better known as Akurey - a small island just near the coast of Reykjavik. Not that we counted, but believe it or not you can find as many as 30,000 Puffin birds nesting here! Tourists frequently flock to the island just to catch a glimpse of the beautiful birds.
The Puffins dig burrows in the island where they nest. The burrows provide safety and warmth which is ideal for their breeding. The females lay a single egg each year, between April and May, and both parents take turns incubating it. They will feed the fledglings for a month or two, and then desert them shortly after they are ready to leave the nest.
Some of the other beautiful birds in Akurey include black guillemots, seagulls, eider ducks, cormorants, kittiwakes, northern fulmars and arctic terns. Note: The island can only be accessed via boat, but there are several tours which can take you to view these magnificent creatures.
Ready to book your getaway to Iceland? Call Destinations HD today! (913) 244-9195
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.
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...
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.
Visiting Europe is no longer a distant dream to most people because the place has opened up to tourists in more ways than one can imagine. When making plans to visit, however, many folks haven't the slightest clue where to begin in terms of designing their itineraries, sites to see, places to eat, etc…
Enter the escorted European Tour! These guided tours are created just for you and your unique needs, and they are designed to handle the logistics and confusion that can often come with planning a vacation. Every possible detail will be taken care of from your attraction reservations to your transportation, even your dinner plans be they exotic or a simple nearby cafe. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the sights and sounds of the vast and beautiful continent while the professionals take care of the complexities...
Believe it or not, escorted tours can save you time and money as well. Rather than risking paying price gouged tourists rates, you will not only find the best deals possible within your budget, but you'll have an advocate on your side that can work with your schedule often securing reservations that might not even be available to the general public. These tour guides are well trained and knowledgeable professionals who are familiar with the history and customs of the land. These professionals will explain the history behind famous tourist spots and even take you to lesser known places where you can enjoy the moment of peace and tranquility. With a guide, you can see Europe through the eyes of a native who knows his way around every town and stories that make this land so great.
Imagine for just a moment having every detail of your journey planned for you: no last-minute mix-ups, no miscommunication, no maps, being safe and secure with a group that does this regularly and having an entire vacation that runs smoothly without any hiccups. Doesn't this sound like a real vacation to you? They do all the work and you are just along for the ride! And, the best part is there are a vast variety of escorted tours available in pretty much every European destination you can think of!
Just some of the escorted tours available include:
Want to learn more about the escorted tours available to you?
Give Destinations HD a call at (913) 244-9195 today! Experiences Await...