I can't believe it's almost summer - where did this year go to already?! With the upcoming graduations, mother's day, father's day, etc... I thought it would be a great time to think about gifts that will make a lasting impression.
Whether it’s for graduation, an anniversary, or some other occasion, these days "experiences" matter more to gift recipients than things. Sure, you can buy expensive jewelry, ties, or clothes, and your recipients may like it. The trouble is those gifts may sit in the drawer more often than worn. Instead, how about arranging a special vacation to create memories that will last a lifetime? If you can't afford a trip, make it as simple as just getting them a passport and having them think of the endless possibilities they can explore and they can plan something on their own!
Travel Is Better Than Stuff
Travel is memorable and gives pleasure that simply can’t be created from commercial goods. The truth is most people can’t remember gifts that were given to them for any given occasion, regardless of how much money you spent on them. But, ask them about trips they have been on, and they will likely be able to tell you with unbelievable accuracy the details of that trip!
Stuff comes and goes, memories are there forever. Traveling gives 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.
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? Just call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today and see how we can. We even offer travel gift certificates!
I am currently on an adventure in Europe... and I always get so excited to explore foreign lands, as I love learning about other cultures and our history!! It gets me thinking how powerful travel can be when it comes to meeting new people and discovering new experiences.
Does travel create better humans? That's the exact question that a study by Contiki tours recently posed. The company believes that “life's greatest lessons are learned through travel.” Therefore, it's no surprise that this company decided to do this study to prove what they believe. Below you'll find some of the results of their research, and it may just inspire you to take your children on a trip abroad sometime this year!
What Contiki Concluded From Their Study:
People who travel tend to have higher self-esteem, and are more willing to think outside of the box when it comes to how to solve problems. Those who travel also have better satisfaction in their relationships. They’re more likely to seek out new friendships, and tend to donate more time and money to their communities than non-travelers.
Bottom line: Travel helps make for more well-rounded individuals. And, when you start traveling from a young age, you are better able to cement these positive traits within yourself. However, you don’t have to take our word, or Contiki’s word for it. You can test out these positive conclusions for yourself simply by adding more travel to your life.
Call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today. We’ll help you design the perfect trip to expand your mind, and open you up to the positive power of travel!
After all the fun stories of parents enjoying their wine while the kids were out on spring break, it inspired me to discuss wine vacations :) March is almost over and summer vacation planning is now in full swing, so what better vacation to plan than one that involves wine?!
Everyone's heard of Napa Valley, and it's all but become the number one place that people in the United States think of when they think of a Wine Vacation. However, what about places outside the states?! Below you will find some of the must see wine destinations beyond our borders that will have you reaching for a wine glass faster than you can say vino tasting!
1. Bordeaux, France
One of the world’s most respected wine production regions, Bordeaux boasts that it has the most prestigious wine in the world. Is it true? That depends on your palette I suppose, but it's certainly worth visiting to find out. I think you'll find that the tasting rooms are exquisite and elegant. Fitting considering most of them are found in some of the most grand estates the region has to offer.
2. Mendoza, Argentina
Known for its Malbec, Argentina has in recent years worked to establish itself as one of the top wine producing countries in the world. Many of its wineries offer paired dinner tastings, wine flights, and tours. The kicker is that you must have a reservation because these wineries are in high demand. Without a reservation, you'll likely not be able to get in.
Another Argentinian option for wine is Cafayate. Also known for its Malbec, what sets this area apart is the scenery some have called magical, and their local crafts and cuisine.
3. Tuscany, Italy
If Chianti tickles your taste buds, Tuscany is the place to go! Not only will you find stunning medieval castles to visit, you'll also find amazing tours of old wineries that offer a peek into the old ways of making wine, including wine-makers that still crush the grapes with their feet. Do you prefer mineral-rich white wines rather than Chiantis? If so, consider visiting Alto Adige, Italy instead.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
When many people think of a trip to Africa, they think of going on safari, but Cape Town lands are renowned for their moderate climate and fertile soil that enables wine makers to produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Savinon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir the world over.
5. Yarra Valley, Australia
Located just an hour outside of Melbourne, Yarra Valley features many restaurants, craft shops and lots of wineries amid a lush rolling landscape. Though Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir are the stars here, the region is also known for their amazing line of sparkling wines.
While this list is only a taste of the stunning wine destinations in the world, there are dozens more to choose from. When you're ready to start planning your vino fueled getaway, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 to learn more about the wine destination itineraries we could create for your unique desires!
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!
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...
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.