Sunday, 29 March 2015

Travel Tip of the Week - Know When to Ask for Help


 
For those of us that are internet savvy, possess solid research abilities and have the confidence to coordinate our own travel plans online options are plentiful, competitors provide us with choices and we are comfortable learning as we go. However, the reality is that travel companies have existed long before the internet was a household word and their skill, knowledge and industry connections are invaluable. Recently a family member had the dilemma of how to best travel from Canada to the US and with the options of coach, personal vehicle or airplane travel it was easy to become overwhelmed with the choices. Mobility issues, a sense of anxiousness about the unknown and the need to successfully navigate a very large airport during a short layover resulted in  the thought of flying becoming daunting. Having driven this route before there was a sense of comfort with independent travel yet with 15 hours alone on the highway and at rest stops safety issues arose. Travelling by coach would take the longest yet more hassle free and there would be many other passengers to assist if needed.
This is a great case for a travel agent due to their expertise with all forms of travel, all ages groups, knowledge of airport services for persons with physical limitations and an understanding of the stress associated with planning a vacation. Ask around in your community to see who friends and family members have used in the past. There is a mentality about travel that everything is online and if you just spend the time you can do it yourself. Travel professionals are called experts for very good reason and should always be a resource to consider when planning for your next destination. If your travel planning is becoming overshadowed by stress or anxiety it is time to ask for help.
 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Travel Tip of the Week - Embrace the Child Within


Lotto MAX' has a tag line "The World is Your Playground" and to passionate travellers this could not be further from the truth. While it references the freedom associated with winning the lottery it also mirrors the psychological effect that embracing the world's treasures hold for us. With so much history, natural beautiful, rich culture, architecture and diversity every corner of the world has a wealth of experiences to offer.
From the excitement of looking for online deals or meeting with a travel agent to researching attractions, tours, historical landmarks, seasonal events, planning your agenda and packing your suitcase there is a child like anticipation associated with each trip.



The excitement of the unknown, opportunities to meet new people, experience different cultures, engage in exciting activities and visit places that have only dreamed  of create a virtual prelude to anticipated future events.
Wrapping up loose ends the last day of work before the vacation, the trip to airport, dropping off the check in baggage, boarding the plane / train /ferry, or packing a vehicle for a road trip trigger endorphins as we begin to relax, put our cares behind us and strap our adventure cap on tightly.
And when that final destination has been reached the excitement, the expectations, the ambience and the romance of it all can become so overwhelming that sometimes we have to pinch our self to be sure it is real. Whether it is the beckoning of turquoise waters viewed out the plane window  approaching a tropical destination, the urban sex appeal of visiting a new city or the ambience of a European community we open up our mind and heart to the experience with the same unbridled passion children are famous for. As day to day experiences create emotional moments that take our heart hostage creating permanent imprints on our soul we reflect on our trip not so much with where we have been but with how we felt, who we met, what we have learned and how this experience has enriched our own existence.






Travel Tip of the Week - Embrace the Child Within



Lotto MAX' has a tag line "The World is Your Playground" and to passionate travellers this could not be further from the truth. While it references the freedom associated with winning the lottery it also mirrors the psychological effect that embracing the world's treasures hold for us. With so much history, natural beautiful, rich culture, architecture and diversity every corner of the world has a wealth of experiences to offer.
From the excitement of looking for online deals or meeting with a travel agent to researching attractions, tours, historical landmarks, seasonal events, planning your agenda and packing your suitcase there is a child like anticipation associated with each trip.


The excitement of the unknown, opportunities to meet new people, experience different cultures, engage in exciting activities and visit places that have only dreamed  of create a virtual prelude to anticipated future events.
Wrapping up loose ends the last day of work before the vacation, the trip to airport, dropping off the check in baggage, boarding the plane / train /ferry, or packing a vehicle for a road trip trigger endorphins as we begin to relax, put our cares behind us and strap our adventure cap on tightly.
And when that final destination has been reached the excitement, the expectations, the ambience and the romance of it all can become so overwhelming that sometimes we have to pinch our self to be sure it is real. Whether it is the beckoning of turquoise waters viewed out the plane window  approaching a tropical destination, the urban sex appeal of visiting a new city or the ambience of a European community we open up our mind and heart to the experience with the same unbridled passion children are famous for. As day to day experiences create emotional moments that take our heart hostage creating permanent imprints on our soul we reflect on our trip not so much with where we have been but with how we felt, who we met, what we have learned and how this experience has enriched our own existence.

 



 










Saturday, 14 March 2015

Travel Tip of the Week - Spontaneity is the Spice of Life


Everyone takes a different approach to trip planning - some like to have a solid agenda while others are very comfortable just 'winging it'. We tend to spend more time planning for our vacations now than we did in the past. Perhaps it is because, as we age, we are certain that we will only visit each location once and want to make the most of it, perhaps it is to feel we got the most value for our hard earned money, or perhaps it is harder to let go of routine and predictability than we imagined. Cruise lines and tour companies have solid reputations for taking the guesswork out of travel, dealing with scheduling, highlighting recommended attractions and providing all the necessities. Yet there is nothing as liberating than travelling with no agenda, no idea of where you are going, no time limit and a satisfying sense of freedom.
Years ago we went to San Francisco for the weekend primarily to visit Alcatraz and take in a 49ers game. With no plans on the Saturday we got up early, rented a Mustang convertible and set off exploring. Taking the eight sharp turns down Lombard Street, embracing the enormity of the Golden Gate Bridge, soaking up the sun and California coast, cruising down 17 Mile Dive and un-expectantly arriving at Pebble Beach made for a perfect day. No tourist attractions, no lineups, no entry fees, no clue where the next turn would take us...impulsivity and travel at their absolute finest.


 






 

 

 

 


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Travel Tip of the Week - Know Weather You are Getting a Good Deal


 
A lot of research can go into planning a vacation ranging from scouring the internet for prices, arranging care for pets and children, shopping, packing, changing your currency and finding out what type of activities and attractions you have access to. With so many good deals out there it is easier than ever to plan your own trip. Yet if you are planning your own trip solo and not accessing the expertise of a travel agent it is imperative to find out what kind of weather is predicted for your scheduled visit. Mother Nature can be unpredictable and temperamental at times yet research will clearly outline anticipated climate changes and rainfall predictions for each month. You did not get a great deal if your month long trip to Thailand is booked during monsoon season.
Despite your best efforts weather can change quickly so pack an umbrella or rain poncho so a sudden downpour does not dampen your spirit. I am especially fond of the rain cover sewn into my backpack ensuring that I always have something dry to change into.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Travel Tip of the Week - Terminal Temperament


If I have learned anything travelling it is that life is what you make it. The airport can be viewed as the least favourite part of every trip with hours of idle time, long lineups, security and customs inquisitions, and a sense of impatience while waiting to reach the final destination. When reaching that final boarding area there can be a variety of distractions including stores, restaurants, bars, spas, children's play areas, tablet stations, and exercise options or there can be nothing at all.
Time in an airport can seem to stand still, especially when there are delays or unexpected layovers, so rather than being upset about it try make the best of it. Read a book, play cards, people watch, surf the net, take turns having a snooze or simply chat. When travelling to Europe last year it took us 35 hours from door to door (MUCH longer that anticipated) and, while incredibly frustrated about losing the entire first day of our trip, it was long forgotten as we were captivated with the nighttime presence of Old Town, Dubrovnik. Remember, most of us are travelling to escape the hustle and bustle, daily demands and stress so why not enjoy that down time and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to embrace your next adventure.

 
I was so happy to find stationary bikes in our recent layover in Philadelphia. Cycling in the warm sun and watching the planes come in was a great way to pass the time and minimize muscle cramps. Hats off to airports that have fitness options!