- Remember when you used that obscure website to book your hotel, and when you got there you spent your beach vacation overlooking a parking lot?
- How many hours were you on hold with the airline when your flight was canceled because of a snowstorm?
- Did you really mean to spend your honeymoon at that resort where the one tiny swimming pool was filled all day long with a dozen screaming children?
- Who knew that when you booked that villa in Tuscany, it would be a small room with a kitchenette and no air conditioning? Funny, it looked much better on your computer screen.
- No one explained to you that in July, it's winter time in Rio, and so you showed up there with nothing but five Hawaiian shirts and three pairs of swimming trunks.
- How about the time you really needed a restful vacation, and you ended up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and someone threw up on your shoes?
- Yes, I guess that hotel must have used a telephoto lens when they took a picture of those guest rooms that you saw on their website.
- I suppose contacting the Attorney General to resolve the fact that the Internet site has billed your credit card three times instead of once is the only route to take at this point.
- It was definitely odd that there were no cab-drivers at the airport at 3 o'clock I the morning when you finally landed in Costa Rica, but booking a transfer to your very remote hotel would have been a good thing to remember when you purchased your airline ticket and hotel online.
- You've Googled “Mexico vacation,” and come up with 17.8 million responses. Need a little help editing those choices?
If you are overwhelmed by large cruise ships, try a smaller river cruise. River cruising can provide the perfect introduction to cruising.
Enjoy a river cruise in Europe, the US, or far-flung locations — in comfort, without being overwhelmed by thousands of fellow passengers. You don't need to fear seasickness and travelers are often just steps from the shores of iconic destinations.
Some people don’t belong on a large cruise ship. The industry is seeing a lot more people trying river cruises. They range from baby boomers to those between 35 and 65. On average, guests are active people who enjoy regular exercise, are health conscious, and have a keen interest in a variety of locally sourced foods and wine.
Just as in ocean liners, there are a variety of types of river cruises. They range from the luxurious to the nuts and bolts.
You have to find the right fit for you.
Avalon Waterways brand as an example of a customizable experience that caters to new cruise clients. Avalon Choice presents 3 types of options: Classic, Discovery and Active options both onboard and onshore. Classic features all the major highlights; Discovery provides an interactive, deeper dive; and Active is for the most adventurous passengers. An active excursion might be a visit to a vast network of caves below Budapest, Hungary, where you can gazed upon dramatic rock formations before discovering the city’s Hospital in the Rock. The former infirmary is now a museum highlighting the wartime treatments that were provided in the underground shelter. It’s the kind of unique, immersive activity that, until now, hasn’t really been typical of most cruise experiences.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, meanwhile, provides a luxury experience with a focus on food and wine. It also features wellness offerings, active excursions and family programming. At the same time, its subsidiary, U River Cruises (formerly U by Uniworld), proves there’s still room to innovate.
U offers longer stays in port, so guests can explore cities by night as well as by day; more high-adventure excursions; and more social opportunities to engage with other guests, such as communal dining tables and onboard parties.
Crystal River Cruises also offers so many things that the best land-based boutique hotels offer, but with unrivaled space and personalized service. They have five dining choices, including on-demand in-suite dining, means you no longer have to share a dining time with 190 fellow guests.
Ultimately, river cruising offers a broader variety of products for clients.
You need to select the right one for you. Consider your activity level, budget, and excursions. There is a river cruise out there for you.
For help finding the best cruise for you, visit https://www.petersontravelpros.com.. We will find the right fit for you. Judy Peterson
If you spend enough time traveling, you may start to wonder about making your trip to the airport more comfortable.
Travelers start getting anxious even thinking about their trip. This can be even worse than the actual anxiety experienced throughout air travel.
I also want to let you know that the airport planning team is also thinking about helping you destress. They want happy customers that don't get freaked out if their plane is late.
Airports have done the following to make it more comfortable and less stressful for you.
If all else fails, just call a friend while you are waiting. Catch up on old times and relax.
Check out https://www.petersontravelpros.com for more travel tips
Saving for a vacation starts with your mindset. You may think it is too expensive to go on a vacation or to go on a certain type of vacation. But if you have the right mind set, you can save. I've got a few steps to help you. Everything you have in your life is a result of your belief in yourself and your belief that it’s possible. We've been so conditioned throughout our lives to doubt ourselves. It takes a little discipline, but you can do it.
Here are the four most important steps to learning how to do many things
If you want to go on a luxury trip, it may take a while to save up. However, have a don't overspend mindset and you will save more than you think you can.
Here are some examples.
If you need help planning a vacation, check out https://www.PetersonTravelPros.com
Be careful when you are offered an upgrade to your cruise cabin. It may be a great offer, but there are some things you need to take into consideration.
1. You're choosy about cabin location. Usually you cannot choose the location of your upgrade room or suite. If you prefer to stay midship on a lower deck to ease seasickness, have purposefully booked rooms near or connecting to travel companions or are picky about decks because you want to minimize noise, you should stick with the cabin you booked and not risk an upgrade.
2. You need an accessible cabin. Cruise ships have limited wheelchair friendly cabinsand very few accessible suites. You can't guarantee that an upgrade would be available in another accessible room, so if you need this type of cabin, book the one you want and say no to potential upgrades.
3. You'll lose your perks. This advice is specific to travelers who spot a price drop on their booked sailing and want to take advantage of the reduced fares to upgrade to a better cabin. Cruise lines will generally let you do this, but they'll consider it a rebooking -- meaning you will lose any promotional offers attached to your original booking and be subject to whatever the current promotion is. For example, if you booked an outside cabin at a certain rate that included a free beverage package and prepaid gratuities, but now see an offer for a balcony cabin at the same price, but the only advertised perk is $50 onboard credit, you can take the upgrade but will forfeit the better freebies of the original promotion.
4. It costs too much. When a cruise line offers you an upsell, be sure to compare the new cruise fare (your original plus the upsell price) with the advertised fare for the upgraded cabin. You might find that the upgrade is not that good of a deal, or it will break your vacation budget. Just say no if what you'd pay in total for the better room is not a price you would've considered when you first booked your cruise vacation.
5. It's not enough of an upgrade. An upgrade isn't always as dramatic as an inside cabin to a suite. You might get moved from a balcony cabin to a different balcony cabin that has a better location (according to the cruise line -- but not always to you). It's up to you if this kind of move is worth it. We've also heard of upgrades from balcony cabins to Concierge-level veranda staterooms (typically identical rooms with perks of questionable value). This type of upgrade might be fine if it's free and you get the extra amenities, but isn't always worth paying for.
When to Say Yes to a Cruise Cabin Upgrade
1. The upgrade is free or reduced-price. If you're not picky about location but would enjoy the extra space of higher-category cabin, say yes to that upgrade if it's free or at a reduced price that is still well within your travel budget. You can easily check fares online to see what the new room would cost if you booked it directly and can compare with the upsell offer to assess the value of the offer.
2. You'll move up to the next cabin type. More space is almost always worth any minor trade-offs (like being far from the elevator or subject to more noise from surrounding decks). If you can move from an inside to an outside or from a balcony to a suite, for free or for cheap, we say go for it.
3. You will definitely utilize the extra space. Are you trying to squeeze four people into an inside cabin, or are traveling with lots of family who plan on hanging out in your room? Have you always wanted a huge suite so you can throw a cocktail party for the friends you made on the Cruise Critic boards? Definitely take that upgrade if your cruise will be enhanced by having the extra space for a higher-category room.
4. You will get extra perks. As we said above, you have to read the fine print about which perks you will or won't get when you upgrade to a spa- or concierge-level cabin or suite. However, if your upgrade does come with perks (for example, VIP treatment or exclusive access to restaurants and lounges), those extra amenities can add even more value than just the bigger cabin alone.
For help booking a cruise, visit www.petersontravelpros.com
Hotels used to be the most popular place to stay on a vacation, but that all changed with Arthur Frommer.
I got the travel bug early on. I graduated from college and started my career. I was a teacher and had summers off. Four of us decided to back pack around Europe. Oh how exciting. We got our passports, Eurail passes, a sturdy backpack, and a copy of Frommer's Europe on $5 a Day. The last edition of this book was in 2007 with the title Europe in $95 a Day. That book was our guide. As we entered a city, one person figured out our transportation, another found lodging, and a couple more found out what sites we'd see. It seemed a very efficient way to travel. Frommer had all the names and numbers of people to call about lodging in his book. We didn't always get a place on the first try, but we usually scored on the second call.
We started out in London and backpacked through Amsterdam, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. I loved the guest house stays. We stayed in a beautiful house with the Alps in our backyard. We were lucky to have a full bath and shower at this residence. All the stays included a hearty breakfast.
As we made our way through Europe we saw the most iconic sites as well as the small parks with the orchestras playing and the small puppet opera in Heidelberg. It was a dream come true.
This has all evolved into AIRbnb now. We have on line resources that help us plan our trips for a portion of the cost of hotels. Sometimes a room is for rent and sometimes it is the entire house. Most of the stays are very positive. However, you must be careful. Read the reviews and make sure you have the address and the correct way to check in. Most caretakers do not live on site and there are special instructions on how to get the key.
Other places you can book a residence are
Vacation Rentals by Owner, https://www.vrbo.com/
Home to Go https://www.hometogo.com/
Home Away https://www.homeaway.com/
Vacation Rentals https://www.vacationrentals.com/
Holiday Homes https://www.vacationrentals.com/
We can help plan your vacation. Did you know that the average person spends 10 hours planning a vacation. We can help you save time, relax, and enjoy time with your family. Find us at https://www.PetersonTravelPros.com
If you want it visit a piece of Old South Carolina go to Edisto Island not far from Charleston. Rich in small-time flavor this quaint old-fashioned vacation town with its lovely beaches, great fishing, and lush natural preserve Edisto is a haven for artists and writers who find inspiration from the unspoiled environment. I love the pelicans flying in formation and the bikes that you get with a rental. Visit the beach, watch the sunsets, golf, or have a picnic on the beach. It's great for individuals and families.
5 Things I love about Edisto Island:
1. It is quiet.
2. When you rent a timeshare, two bikes come with the unit.
3. Pelicans fly in formation.
4. It is close to Botany Bay. It is a wildlife preserve and full of great shots for photography.
5. It is great for shelling.
For more information, click on https://www.petersontravelpros.com and fill out the contact form.
Airline loyalty is hard to come by.
Most travelers choose credit cards based upon the number of free miles they get when they apply for the card. Keep in mind that there are several crucial things you need to consider. Some of them include the number of miles you earn per dollar spent, interest rates, and what airlines you use the most. You may also get other perks with your card including free memberships to AARP, discounted Global Entry, and free entrance into the airline lounge. Also some credit cards offer travel insurance or insurance on products you purchase. If those things are important to you, make sure you read all the details.
Roughly 7% of flights are paid for with points or miles, according to PWC. So there’s obviously value in committing to a carrier. You just have to find the right one.
To help you earn more free flights and other assorted perks, WalletHub compared the 10 largest domestic airlines’ loyalty rewards programs across 23 key metrics, ranging from the value of a rewards point or mile to blackout-date policies.
Here are the best frequent flyer programs:
Key Points to Remember When Selecting a Program
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways are the only two major airlines whose miles do not expire because of inactivity.
8 of the 10 largest airlines do not have blackout dates for tickets purchased with miles.
5 of 10 major U.S. airlines will retroactively credit loyalty program members with miles for a flight up to 12 months after the fact.
7 of the 10 largest U.S. airlines allow rewards program members to earn and redeem miles with partner carriers.
*The following airlines do not have frequent flyer partnerships with other airlines: Southwest, Spirit and Sun Country.
Airline miles cost an average of 61% more than they’re worth when purchased rather than earned.
*Sun Country Airlines does not sell miles.Back to Top
Detailed Scoring for 2019’s Best Frequent Flyer Programs
Keep in mind that if you are not loyal to one airline, you might want to use a non airline affiliated credit card. Cards such as Capital One let you accumulate miles that you can use on many different airlines. The other nice thing about these cards is that you don't have to have the total miles to cover a trip. You can book the trip and then use the credits you have to pay off what ever portion of the trip you like. They are good for any type of travel including tours and cruises.
To help you figure out the best frequent flyer program for you, visit
1FREQUENT FLYER MILES CALCULATOR2MAIN FINDINGS3DETAILED SCORING
4ASK THE EXPERTS5METHODOLOGY Frequent Flyer Miles Calculator
From: Custom Calculator Feb 27, 2019 | Alina Comoreanu,
ost people want to take at least a few photos on their vacation, but not everyone wants the fuss of packing and keeping track of an extra piece of electronic equipment.
Have you considered leaving your digital camera at home and simply using the built-in camera on your smart phone? I took this picture with a Galaxy Note 8 from the top of a mountain.
Here are a few reasons why using your phone might be the best thing that ever happened to your vacation photos.
It’s always with you. Always. When you travel, your smart phone is likely already serving several purposes beyond just being a calling device. It’s a watch. A GPS. A weather-checker. An email and social media connector. A music library. It’s unlikely you go many places without it, and it’s second nature to just have it on hand. (If you’re like many people, the challenge of owning one of these devices is actually limiting how much time you spend on it.) How many times have you gone somewhere and accidentally left the camera in the hotel room or in the car? Using your phone can help ensure that you’ll have a great camera handy when those moments-to-remember come up.
It takes surprisingly high-quality photos. Lots of people are shocked by this. Most phones now have an 8 megapixel (or higher) camera. That’s high-resolution enough to get a clear 20” x 24” print!
No messing around with memory cards or uploads to your computer. You always have the option, of course, to upload your photos at any time to your computer. But with your smart phone, you can also instantly upload images to Facebook, send them in an instant message, email them to yourself or others, or back them up on the Cloud. No cords or plugins required.
Interesting apps galore can make your images look pro in no time. Free apps like Instagram and cheap apps like Hipstamatic ($1.99) are used by millions of hobby and professional photographers every day. You can crop, add frames, apply filters, and share your photos right from the app itself, plus edited photos are automatically added to your phone’s photo library. There are hundreds of photo editing applications available. You never know: you might be inspired to get more into photography through your mobile device than through an actual camera!
A cool photo finish. In addition to being able to send any photo in your phone’s photo library to any camera shop or retailer (like Target or Walgreens) to be developed in regular 4x6 prints, Instagram’s unique square format makes for beautiful, artistic prints, too. Check out MixTiles— a free app that allows you to select and order three professionally-printed images from your Instagram library that are mounted on lightweight 8” x 8” backer board for easy hanging — all for just $49. Each additional tile after that is just $9.
Lenses are available for your Smartphone. They are making more accessories for smart phones. Check out a moment lens on Amazon for my Galaxy Note 8.
A 21st-Century take on the “wish you were here” postcard. You can send personalized postcards to friends and family in less than 30 seconds – without stamps or trying to find a post office. Postagram is a free app that lets you upload vacation images from Instagram, Facebook, or your phone’s photo library and then add a short personal note. You enter the recipient’s address, and voila! — Postagram prints your photo and message on high-quality glossy paper and mails it directly for you. It is a fast, convenient, and personal way to keep in touch with those you love while you’re away.
Gone are the days of grainy, tiny images on small screens. Today, even those who consider themselves photo enthusiasts love the convenience and creative challenge of using their phones to capture their most treasured photographic moments. With all that your smart phone can do, maybe this is the year to take your vacation photography to new heights!
If you have your phone ready, I’m ready to help you find the perfect place to start taking pictures! You can contact me today to help you start planning your summer getaway – just click here https://www.petersontravelpros.com/
We all want to get the most bang for our buck when planning our vacations, and we all want to find great deals while we’re traveling. It’s wise to keep an eye out for potential savings or good deals on unique items when we’re exploring other states, cultures, and countries.
The problem, of course, is that scammers know we’re looking, and they’re looking for us, hoping that we’ll fall for whatever they’ve cooked up. For a variety of reasons, senior citizens are often the target of these attempted scams, in large part because seniors who are traveling often have the financial resources that criminals are looking to tap into. In addition, seniors are often motivated by a desire to treat family members — especially grandkids! — to fun trips and experiences, which can make them an easier emotional target for scammers offering family vacations to warm locales or family-friendly destinations like Disney World.
Here are five of the most common scams aimed at seniors — and some easy tips to help you or someone you love avoid becoming the next victim.
IN THE MAIL
You come home from running errands and grab the mail. In the stack, you see a postcard or “official” looking envelope declaring that you’ve won a luxurious trip to a fun and exotic location.
Why it’s a scam: Often these scams use vague language by offering free airfare, but give no real, concrete information about the trip — and here’s the catch — or the many, many fees you will be required to pay that can often add up to thousands of dollars. In addition, these “free trip” solicitations are often lead-ins to lengthy sales pushes on time-share investments, which the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also recommends steering clear of.
How to avoid becoming a victim: If something seems too good to be true, it likely is. Jennifer Karchmer, a staff writer for CNNMoney, says, “Before you pay for any travel package, get all the details in writing, including the total cost and refund policy.” If a company isn’t willing to do this, head for the hills and don’t look back.
In this scenario, you receive an intriguing email that invites you to visit a website. On the site page, you’ll be invited to fill out a form in order to be entered for a chance to win a free vacation to a popular destination like Florida, the Caribbean, or Mexico.
Why it’s a scam. Magically, when you fill out the form, you will then receive an email congratulating you on being a winner — and prompting you to call an 800 number, at which point you will be asked to give your credit card number to “hold your spot” and claim your prize. You will likely never hear from this company again after that phone call.
How to avoid becoming a victim: Never, never, never give your credit card information over the phone unless you know the company you are dealing with (like your bank, or a company that you make purchases from often and know their track record).
Over The Phone/Tele Scammers
Your phone rings (usually during dinner) and you are enthusiastically informed that you’ve won a free cruise or trip. Like the promotional postcard or mailer, the language they use will be intriguing but extremely vague — words like luxury, exotic, five-star, once-in-a-lifetime — and the pressure will be strong to make a decision immediately.
Why it’s a scam: Reputable travel agents do not need to use such heavy-handed tactics. They will gladly outline any details you ask for — timing of the trip, any associated fees, allowances, total costs, restrictions, and refund policies. They’ll take the time to walk you through everything. They will not ask for credit card info over the phone on a first call, if ever.
How to avoid becoming a victim: Above all, listen to your gut. If something seems fishy, pay attention to that and confidently say, “No.” Karchmer’s advice: “Request that your phone number be added to their ‘do not call’ list and get off the phone as quickly as possible.”
The Better Business Bureau (which allows you to check the reputation of any real business) offers these five simple Scam Red Flags:
In any of these situations, it is perfectly acceptable for you to flatly refuse and exit the conversation immediately. It’s your money, and your time: you get to choose to spend them wisely. Stick with agents and companies whose reputations you trust, and make the most out of every trip you take!
Set up a travel planning appointment today. calendly.com/judypeterson1travelpros