The last decade was an eye-opener when it came to the real problem that plastic is having on our environment. We saw countries and citizens around the world taking action to cut down on plastic use.
But what about when you travel? Trial size toiletries, plastic cups at hotels, ziplock bags for TSA screening – the list goes on and on. Some countries (and even some local US states) have banned the use of plastics, so be sure to check your destination before getting on that jet plane.
So what can we as travelers do to minimize our impact on the beautiful destinations we visit and reduce plastic waste?
- Top 5 Ways You Can Help When Vacationing -
Luckily – it’s actually pretty easy! When the whole world jumps on board with solutions, we can implement small changes to reduce our plastic waste AND end up saving money and the planet in the long run!
These are only a few of the ways that you can help minimize your use of plastic when traveling and keep these wonderful destinations beautiful for years to come – as well as, save some money to put towards your next trip!
If you’re interested in finding out about other ways that you can contribute to being an eco-conscious traveler or need help finding the next perfect destination for your next adventure - just Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195 today!
Well, this newsletter was supposed to be about my recent trip to a bucket list dream of mine – specifically Exuma, in the Bahamas.
If you don’t know about the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas, give me a call and I can fill you in! It’s been a personal dream of mine to swim with the pigs in the crystal-clear waters, and this year I finally booked the trip!
As the departure date got closer, I got more and more excited – I was packed and ready to go a week before we had to leave, the house was clean, and I was tying up loose ends at work – next stop, Bahamas!
Until three days before I had to leave...
- Vitamin Sea is not an effective treatment for pneumonia -
It started with a scratchy throat and sniffle here and there, but by the next day I knew I had to go to the doctor before it got worse. I was determined to fight what I thought was just a cold before my trip, but little did I know I would be diagnosed with pneumonia. I still had a couple of days before we left though, so I took my antibiotics, went home to rest and planned to use my sheer strength of will to kick the pneumonia in two days. I got this!
Unfortunately, I was wrong, and the worst was yet to come, which is why instead of sharing my experiences and pictures from Exuma with you, I’m telling you about how life just happens sometimes - whether we think it will or not.
As upset as I was about having to cancel my trip, it would have been a million times worse if I hadn’t bought travel insurance. Luckily, I was able to get fully reimbursed for the vacation and I decided to put that money towards a different bucket list item of mine – an African Safari! (You’ll have to wait until March to hear more about that though!!) I will get another chance to get to Exuma and will try again when the timing is right.
I know it’s tempting to “wing it” when it comes to travel insurance, but the amount of things that can go wrong when you’re leaving your home are significant, and many of the instances that can occur are completely out of your control - which is what insurance is all about - unexpected situations.
Additionally, there seems to be a misconception that travel insurance is solely for if you need to cancel your trip, or that's it's a gimmick for the suppliers to make more money, but that is not the case at all.
Let's take a look at the 4 major protections that travel insurance offers:
As you can see, travel insurance can be beneficial for a number of reasons and simply put, should just be built into the cost of anyone’s getaway. You wouldn’t drive without car insurance or leave your prized possessions un-insured, so give yourself and the trip investment the same kind of protection.
No one ever intends or wants to cancel a fun and exciting trip - especially when traveling for a special celebration! I never thought I'd cancel my bucketlist trip, but coming down with pneumonia sure created a new plan for me :)
With a great travel agent and travel insurance, you’re setting yourself up for vacation success while minimizing stress! Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195 today if you’d like to see if you’re eligible to add insurance to your already booked trip OR if you’d like to chat about creating a new vacation experience!
I can't believe this year is almost over! I'm squeezing in one last trip for the year, and heading to Exuma with the hubby tomorrow. I can't wait to share my adventure around this charming Bahamas island - be sure to follow my Facebook or Instagram pages to learn about all the fascinating experiences you can enjoy on this beautiful island.
If you are struggling with those harder to buy for people on your holiday list - I have the perfect alternative you might consider as a gift this year that they will remember for a lifetime.
Travel Is Way Better Than Stuff!
Travel is so memorable and gives pleasure that simply can’t be created from commercial goods. The truth is most people don’t remember gifts that were given to them for any given occasion, regardless of how much money you spent on it. But, ask them about trips they've been on, and they will likely be able to tell you with unbelievable accuracy the details of that trip!
Stuff comes and goes, but memories are there forever. Traveling provides us stories to tell, and inspires new dreams within us. Travel helps us to share experiences in a way objects cannot.
Travel Yields Deeper Bonds!
Consider for a moment what happens when you give the gift of an object. You hand it to the recipient. They may or may not light up with joy in the moment, but then it’s over. You have nothing further to discuss other than a comment if they wear it or use it from time to time.
Now consider what happens when you go on a trip... You can plan it together. You can visit the various sites together. You share the views, the culture, the food, etc... You’re experiencing the trip together. Then, when you get back you have memories to call upon together. It’s not a one-sided experience anymore. It’s something you can truly bond over for a lifetime.
As we travel and interact with new things, we are mentally stimulated. We ask more questions. We feel more engaged. We feel present in the moment, and more excited to be with those we’re experiencing the trip with.
Now, I know what you may be thinking - what if you give the gift of travel to someone, and you’re not going on the trip with them? You’ll still enjoy many benefits that you wouldn’t get to have with gifts of objects. For example:
Would you like help creating the perfect travel gift? Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195 today and see how we can help plan the ultimate, treasured gift of all time! We even offer gift certificates!
I just returned from a personal vacation with my husband in Mexico. During our trip, we overheard some couples discussing what they should be tipping at dinner. This is a common question that many travelers have, so thought it would be a good topic to chat about today. I will cover when, how, and how much to tip for your next resort vacation.
Note: the information in this post is based on current trends and practices. For superior service, you might consider increasing the gratuity based on your experience. This is also based on US Dollars, so for those countries that may not prefer US currency, just calculate the exchange rate in relation to the local currency.
First and foremost is the importance of bringing more small bills with you on the trip. This will allow you the freedom to adjust the gratuity when needed. If you’re paying by credit card for a service such as a massage, you can usually add the tip to your bill. However, it's nicer to provide cash directly to your service provider.
When and How Much to Tip at Most Resorts:
Some all-inclusive resorts include the gratuity as part of your package cost or resort fee. You will want to check with your travel agent to confirm if this is the case and if extra tipping may be appropriate. In most cases, an extra tip would be most appreciated and welcomed. However, there are some resorts that truly will not allow you to tip their staff anything extra no matter how much you feel they deserve it. In all cases, you will always still tip for spa and salon services, as well as, shuttles to and from the airport, as those services do not fall under the "tipping included" pricing.
If you want to learn more about our travel app or discuss your next trip, Book your consultation or call today (913) 244-9195.
Working in the travel industry, I’m always amazed by the gizmos and gadgets travelers carry with them to enhance their travel experiences. I thought it would be fun to share with you 8 cool tech-savvy travel gadgets I’ve seen or enjoy myself (even though they might not be new to you). Check them out below, and you might just be inspired as to what to give the traveler in your life for a birthday, holiday, or some other special occasion!
Destinations HD has a cool travel gadget too! We offer a Mobile Travel App that is customized just for you! This is where you will find all your travel details, confirmations, requirements, contact info, travel tips/advice, recommendations, & so much more. Everything you need to know about your trip is just a click away on your smartphone to view at any time, any where. Plus, there is even a chat feature to reach Destinations HD during your trip if you don't have cell coverage. We are always here for you during your travels and want you to have the best time, so you are never alone!
If you want to learn more about our travel app or discuss your next trip, Book your consultation or call today (913) 244-9195.
I just returned from Los Cabos, Mexico after attending a luxury travel conference. Afterwards, I also took the time to tour 12 resorts while I was there. If you haven't been to Cabo in the last few years - it's time to return! You won't recognize it with all the growth between the new resorts and infrastructure. Some major resort players in the luxury market that just opened within the last year are the Montage, Nobu and Viceroy just to name a few.
I was even told that over the last years their climate has been changing a bit too, making it greener than I remembered. Between the stunning mountain scapes with both tropical and desert landscaping as well as, the beautiful ocean views where you can watch whales breach the waters from the shoreline during this magical season - it's a true oasis you must see for yourself! Another unique feature about Cabo is if you stay in the right location, you can see both the sunrise and sunset each day! I was able to also enjoy the moon rise at the same time the sun was setting and it was a spectacular vision that no words can describe.
Toward the end of my adventure though, I was feeling a little sluggish and started getting that "sick" feeling in my throat. As soon as the plane took off to return home, my nose started running as fast as the plane was going and it hasn't stopped since. I'm writing this with a full blown cold and head about to pop, so don't judge me on the grammar errors :) I felt this was a good topic to discuss this week and wanted to provide some of my recommendations on staying healthy when traveling. Even though it can sometimes be inevitable, especially for me this time, as I was "too busy" to follow my own rules.
For many travelers, health is the last thing on your mind when traveling. However, it's important to consider how your actions while traveling can affect you upon returning home. The last thing you, or your boss for that matter wants, is for you to return and request sick days after your vacation. Here are some of my tips for staying healthy when traveling...
Have an Emergen-C plan!
First line of defense. There is a simple, non-expensive solution I like to use while traveling. It's important to start an immune system booster, such as Emergen-C or other like product, before you travel and continue until returning home. This should assist in keeping you healthy and happy for the duration of your trip.
Watch What You Eat.
I know, I know! You are on vacation. I am not saying don't indulge, but I am saying don't over indulge. Sure, have some carbs. And of course, have that second glass of wine. Just be mindful of the fact that if you go too overboard with the indulgence, you could pay the price that day, the next day, or worse – the entire trip. There are few things as depressing as having a hangover while you're away, and missing out on the fun is definitely one.
Plus, when you are used to eating and drinking a certain way, your body can react negatively to overdoing it with the heavier and more sugary food and drinks you have. It might not be food poisoning; it could just be your body rejecting the junk it's not used to. SIDE NOTE: Pineapple is a natural diuretic, so enjoy those Piña colada's in moderation.
Move Your Body.
When you're traveling, it's important to get in a little exercise. The good news is, you will probably be walking a lot more than you would at home. However, if you have been too sedentary for a while, like an overseas flight for 8 hours, you need to get the blood flowing as soon as possible. Some experts even suggest taking a walk on the plane if you will be flying for more than a few hours. Better yet, schedule a foot and leg massage the first day to get your circulation moving.
Get Some Sleep – Seven to Eight Hours Minimum.
Do yourself a favor and don't stay up late and get up early everyday of your trip. Yes, there may be a lot you want to see and do on vacation, but not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc on your immune system. Sleep recharges your batteries, allows healthy cell regeneration, and lets you to be more present during your waking hours.
Drink More Water.
Water is the best thing you can be drinking when traveling (and when you're at home of course). It flushes toxins, re-hydrates your body, aids in digestion, boosts your mood, and keeps you more awake than coffee – trust me, water is awesome! Drink plenty of it. If you will be walking a lot, or will be in warmer climates, you'll need to drink more to stay hydrated as well. De-hydration is the number one cause of jetlag, and water is the best way to flight back on long flights.
Don't forget to bring hand sanitizer and wipes with you. I like to wipe down my seat area on the plane - you never know what happened there before you (I have seen some very unpleasant things). I also keep my hand sanitizer close after touching all the germy luggage, doors, bathroom stalls, etc... and don't forget to wipe down the hotel room remote and handles as well.
This is far from an exhaustive list of ways to stay healthy while traveling. Hopefully it got you thinking about some ways you can help yourself too. May your vacations be long, your transits hassle free, and your bodies be healthy!
When you are ready to plan your next vacation, just Book your consultation. Destinations HD can help you design the perfect trip for your needs!
Between all the summer activities, getting ready for the upcoming school year, and the insane holiday season just around the corner, thinking about planning your next vacation may feel a bit overwhelming right now. However, if you plan to travel this winter or upcoming Spring Break, it's important to get reservations made as soon as possible before prices continue to increase and availability becomes more scarce.
Below are some simple tips for taking the stress out of travel...
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.
Let's discuss how to avoid this...
Plan your travel early. Time goes by so fast these days, and in a blink of an eye you only have a couple months left to figure out your travel plans. By then, the best accommodations are full, the good flight schedules are sold out or no longer have seats together, and prices tend to be higher.
I see this too often and many people end up no longer traveling because the price has increased so much more since I quoted them months prior. There is a common misconception that waiting until the last minute offers the best deals. This use to be true many years ago, but hasn't been the case for a long time. Don't forgo your vacation because you waited too long to book. Everyone needs a break and you will find the best deals by making your arrangements well in advance.
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.
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. Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195.
As the new domestic air travel regulations get closer for many of us (some states already have this requirement), I want to take the time to discuss what the REAL ID Act is and make sure you know that it will soon be required for ALL domestic flights.
Believe it or not, your state issued driver’s license will no longer be enough to get you on an airplane. With the implementation of the REAL ID Act, you will need an additional mark on your identification to fly anywhere - even within the United States.
So, what is the REAL ID Act, and how soon do you need to worry about it? I’ll answer these questions and more below:
What is REAL ID?
Per the Department of Homeland Security Website, the REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 by Congress to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.”
It is effectively an upgrade to your driver’s license or state-issued identification card. The idea behind this act is to make it more difficult for terrorists and other criminals to gain access to federal agencies and facilities, or a commercial aircraft.
“Starting October 1, 2020, every state and territory resident will need to present a REAL ID compliant license/ID, or another acceptable form of identification, for accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding commercial aircraft's. This is what is call ‘card-based’ enforcement.
The card itself, must be REAL ID compliant unless the resident is using an alternative acceptable document such as a passport. The Act does not require individuals to present identification where it is not currently required to access a Federal facility (such as to enter the public areas of the Smithsonian) nor does it prohibit an agency from accepting other forms of identity documents other than documents from non-compliant states (such as a U.S. passport or passport card).”
You May Already Have a REAL ID Driver’s License/ ID Card
Some states have already begun implementing the REAL ID Act. You can tell if your license or identification card is REAL ID compliant by finding a gold or black star in the top right corner of it. However, not all facilities have added these stars to their driver’s licenses - even those that are supposed to have already added this security measure. To make things even more confusing, some states have been granted permission to use a symbol different from a gold or black star. Check with your state to find out what their symbol is, and whether or not your driver’s license/state-issued identification is compliant.
Without a REAL ID compliant identification card, flying may be difficult soon
When October 1, 2020 arrives, if your license or identification card does not have the compliant marking, you will not be unable to board a plane, enter federal areas, and/or be unable to gain access to military bases.
Want to learn more about the REAL ID Act? These links may help you out:
-- REAL ID Act general information
-- FAQs about The REAL ID Act
-- TSA List of Acceptable Documents
Before the summer gets away from you, don't forget to get your winter vacations planned NOW before rates get even higher and space sells out! Just give us a call to start discussing your vacation plans. Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195.
It's always a good time to revisit some safety tips for keeping your home safe while you are off enjoying your trips! When you are traveling it's a good idea to take the necessary precautions to ensure your property and possessions are protected when you are away.
Here are just of few of those precautions you can take...
Hire a House Sitter
The presence of a house sitter can deter potential robbers because most robberies tend to occur when homes are vacant for more than a couple of days. If you don't hire a house sitter, at least have a neighbor keep an eye on the home. Have them collect mail and newspapers as well so that it's not abundantly obvious no one is home.
Leave the Place Organized and Lawn Manicured
If an intruder peeks in your window you don't want them to see your luggage that you didn't use stacked and the mess strewn about from where you packed in a hurry. This could allow them to speculate you're away. Cut your lawn right before you leave and if you will be gone a while, consider hiring someone to cut it while you're out.
Lock Away your Valuable Items
Money and high-cost items like jewelry, computers, television sets, digital cameras etc, are the main targets for criminals. Even if you don't clean your place completely before you leave, at least be sure that these items are not visible. In fact, consider locking your valuables in a safe and placing it in a concealed location to make your valuables difficult to find. This way, if someone does break in they will be less likely to get your good stuff. And, if you do have a safe, take the keys to it with you on your vacation.
Don't use Social Media to Announce Your Departure
Announcing your departure publicly on social media is a great way to tell would-be burglars that you're space will be empty. As tempting as it may be, don't do it! If you simply must state you're leaving for a trip, at least tag a relative/friend/neighbor with a “Thanks for house sitting post!” even if it's not true. Just remember, when you post that you will be away, the news could be seen by the wrong people that are not so trustworthy.
Consider Threats Such as Fire/ Natural Disasters as Well.
Although it's unlikely anything horrible will happen while you are away, it's not a bad idea to unplug all electrical appliances before you leave and even kick a few breakers to prevent the chance of electrical sparks that could start a fire. You can also shut off your water to prevent frozen and bursting pipes (seasonal). While you're at it, make sure your home owner's/ renter's insurance premiums are up to date. This way if something were to happen while you're away, you won't have to worry about whether or not there was a lapse in service.
All of this may seem like overkill, but like all things, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Haven't planned your summer getaway, but ready to get away?! Give us a call to discuss your plans! Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195. I'll help you design the perfect vacation for your needs!
As I plan my clients resort vacations, a common question I receive is about the experiences one can enjoy in destination. While one of the most appealing things about all-inclusive resorts is that they allow you to visit coveted destinations for one lumped together price. However, where these resorts sometimes fall short, is in giving you cultural experiences of the destination you’re visiting. The good news is, that staying at an all-inclusive resort doesn’t mean you have to stick to the resort life.
Here’s how you can enjoy cultural experiences while still enjoying the sheltered luxury of an all-inclusive resort:
Go on an excursion outside of the resort walls.
That’s it folks. That’s the big secret. You simply have to leave the resort to experience the culture outside of it.
So, if the answer is so simple, why is it that so many people don’t leave the resort to get this cultural experience? Unfortunately, the number one reason is because of the fact they don’t want to add to their travel budget. They feel guilty leaving since they paid to stay, eat, and play at the resort, and it becomes harder to justify paying more money to visit beyond the walls of the all-inclusive destination.
If you go into your all-inclusive experience knowing this up front however, it may be easier for you to shell out a little extra cash to see the local area you’re in. Trust me, if you want the cultural experiences of the destination, it’s worth spending a little more to go do just that!
Do your research ahead of time.
Going beyond the walls of the all-inclusive resort you’re staying at should not be done without researching it in advance. Unfortunately, it’s no secret that tourists can easily get scammed in foreign countries. That’s why you must do your due diligence in looking things up before you get to the destination.
At a minimum, it may be a good idea to simply work with the resort you’re staying at to plan your excursions. Though they may charge a premium, they will often include transportation to and from the resort to wherever you would like to visit, which could help keep you safe while exploring.
For example, if you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico, you could do a day trip to go ziplining or snorkeling. Another idea might be to visit the Mayan ruins near Cancun with an afternoon of shopping in town.
Of course, the excursions available that are near your all-inclusive resort will vary by location, but I’ve seen them include everything from cooking classes, wine tastings, a walking tour of local markets, snorkeling shipwrecks, whale watching, and more.
Just keep in mind an excursion outside may mean you have to drive for a bit as most resorts are built away from the local areas for a secluded feel. You'll want to add the transportation fees into your budget and also allot enough time for the experience as a result.
PRO TIP: It's best to know a few experiences on your "wish list" BEFORE booking your resort. This way you can narrow your resort search to those areas closer the experiences you want to see/do.
Need help deciding on an excursion that gives you an authentic cultural experience outside of your all-inclusive resort? Give Destinations HD a call or Book your consultation - (913) 244-9195. I'll help you design the perfect vacation for your needs!
Destinations HD is a different, better kind of travel agency that offers a one-of-a-kind travel planning service!