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Places to Visit in Paris

December 16, 2014

euro tripParis is one of the most famous cities in the world – a destination for lovers, designers, artists, and people who just want to experience a different way of life. Romantic, beautiful, and full of history, it is the perfect place to vacation to get just a little bit of everything. With so much to do, what are the best things to do? Start with this list:

1. The buildings and monuments are gorgeous – the Eiffel Tower is the most famous of monuments, but it is hardly the only one. The Arc de Triomphe, at the end of the Champs Elysees is absolutely stunning and another monument your children and friends back home will recognize. It is actually Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1163, that is the most visited attraction in Paris. No trip would be complete without the Louvre and a glimpse at the Mona Lisa.

Tip: Look at the weather before and during visiting here – plan on seeing some of the indoor sights on days when the weather won’t be as great. It will be fuller those days, but with so much to do outside, it is worth it.

2. Pay attention to the history of the city – as it is very important to the culture. The Musee Carnavalet and the Musee de l’Armee are two very popular places to visits for insight into French–and, more importantly, Parisian–history. Carnavalet has different artifacts from medieval taimes, including furniture and clothing. Musee de l’Armee is all about the military history, perfect for any younger boys who would be interested in that sort of thing. Plus – you’ll get a ticket to see Napoleon’s tomb.

3. Shopping and fashion are the heartbeat of the city – go for the incredible sales, visit the great department stores Lafayette and Printemps, stroll along the Champs Elysees, or visit the annual fashion shows to get your fill of the latest and greatest styles. You can even find some great items at many second-hand shops that specialize in vintage pieces you will never have the chance to get again.

4. Visit the world’s most beautiful gardens – the Luxembourg Gardens is over 60 acres of free space for sunbathing, people watching, and romantic picnics. It also has some great areas for children to play in the water, ride ponies, and go on the merry-go-round. The gardens themselves are gorgeous and very well kept. You can even go inside the museum to see the 19th-century art that they have collected over time.

5. Walk on the morbid side – Pere LaChaise is one of the most famous graveyards in all of the world and is the final resting place to celebrities such as Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. It’s a great place to visit, walk around, looking at the beautiful sculptures, and take a moment for clarity.

No matter what you do, make sure you take a walk around the streets of Paris and just absorb the culture, the people, and the experience. There is no place in the world like it and it is certainly one of the best spots in the world for a vacation.

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Keeping Busy While Stranded at an Airport

December 4, 2014

bad weather travelIf you were anything like me this past Thanksgiving and tried to get away for the holiday, there was a good chance you spent quite a bit of time at the airport due to flight delays and cancellations. When trying to fly out for any trip, there is always the potential of delays due to the weather or other things like mechanical problems with the plane. I remember about 5 years ago I was stuck at the airport in Dallas for 5 hours due to the pilots not being able to find a log book that they needed. If you have ever had to sit through a long delay while waiting for a flight, I’m sure you’ve gone through a lot of different emotions from frustration to maybe even anger. With my experience in delaying with my fair share of flight delays, these are some things that I do that you might consider doing to keep you preoccupied.

Back in the days before the advancements in technology, if you dealt with a flight delay there wasn’t as much for you to do. Now a days with iPads and smartphones, at your finger tips you have access to a bunch of different things from games to books. When traveling most people already pack their tablets and cell phones with them in their carry-ons but it is also important to pack the chargers. If there is the chance of you being stuck at the airport for hours, there is the possibility that your batteries could run out and leave you with nothing to do. Having your charger can help make sure that your devices won’t die on you and you can use it throughout the delay.

With dealing with flight delays, another thing that I try to do is walk around the terminal. There is only so much sitting you can do before you start getting antsy. Walking around is a great way to keep you occupied as well as being able to get some exercise. I know most airport terminals don’t offer much to look at when you’re walking around but the main point of doing this is to move around. When doing this though make sure you listen for any updates on your flight and don’t walk to far from your gate as you need to make sure you are there to board the plane when it is ready.

When it comes to dealing with a flight delay, there really aren’t a lot of options for you to do to get out quicker as it’s out of your hands. The important thing is to take it in stride and not get to stressed over it as it will only make things worse.

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Handling the Stresses of Traveling During the Holidays

November 26, 2014

holiday travelWith Thanksgiving being tomorrow, a lot of travelers have begun packing the airports trying to get to their destinations to spend the holiday. What’s making things difficult for some is all the delays and cancellations that are already happening that will surely make it harder for those trying to get out. I remember a couple of years back when we took a trip to Cancun for the holidays to get out of the freezing cold Winter we were having and how stressful it was. From flights delays to other problems, that was one trip I will always remember. If you’re traveling this holiday season and are looking for some ways you can hopefully make it easier and avoid some of the stress, doing these things can help.

One of the most stressful things that you could possibly deal with is flight delays and cancellations. Just ask the thousands of people that are currently stranded at airports on the East Coast. With flight delays and cancellations, it can throw off your whole trip as you will be getting to your destination later and there’s also being the possibility that you don’t even get to the destination. While you can’t control the weather, one thing you should try to do is check on the status of your flight so you don’t have to be at the airport longer than you have to be. One of the best solutions for this is booking with a travel agent. A travel agent can give you updates on your flights and let you know if there are any delays or cancellations. Travel agents can also see if there is a way to get you on a different flight so you can get to your destination and enjoy it.

Once you figure out if there are no delays with your flight or cancellations, the next thing you should do is try to get to the airport a couple of hours before your flight. If you have ever tried to check-in during the holidays, you know that airports are a lot more crowded than usual. With this there will be delays especially with the security check-in. About 5 years ago my family and I were flying out of San Francisco during the holiday season and we stood in line for two hours to get through security. As you can imagine this was a very stressful time as I was worried that we wouldn’t make our flight and it was very frustrating standing in line for so long especially with two kids who wanted to leave. To avoid the stresses of missing your flight, try to get to the airport early so you give yourself time to deal with checking in.

A third tip to help you avoid the stresses of traveling during the holidays is to create a checklist of things you need for your trip so you don’t forget anything. Having a checklist can help making packing a lot easier as you can easily check off things that you need as you add it to your suitcase. For me packing is one of the more difficult things as I not only have to pack for myself but also for my kids. There is nothing worse than getting to the destination you’re visiting and realizing you forgot to pack something you need like any medication and than having to stress out trying to buy it while on your trip.

Traveling during the holidays can be a stressful time but there are certainly things you can do to hopefully make it less stressful for you.

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Top Destinations for Weekend Getaways

November 24, 2014

weekend getawayWhether it being for a girls only getaway or just a quick romantic trip with your significant other, there’s nothing like getting away for a weekend vacation. With the stresses of work and maybe having to take care of the kids, there may be times where you can’t have a full vacation but instead have a quick weekend trip. I know for me and my husband these are trips we love going on. It always us to have private time together but not be gone for too long so we can take care of the kids and other responsibilities. If you would like to take a weekend vacation, these are some destinations you might consider.

If you’re anything like me and want to visit a beach destination for your weekend getaway, some popular spots like Hawaii are not an option as it will take the whole weekend to fly there. Instead I would recommend considering a beach spot that is closer to you so the fly time is shorter. If you live on the west coast, one destination to consider for your trip is the Riviera Maya. The Riviera Maya is right next to another popular vacation spot in Cancun and offers a lot of fun activities you can do for the weekend with everything being close together. If you want to just lay out on a beach and not get bothered, the Riviera Maya has you covered. If you just want to eat and enjoy great dining and party the night away, the Riviera Maya has some of the best restaurants and nightclubs in Mexico.

A second beach destination to consider and one that is better for those living closer to the east coast is Jamaica. If you have never had the chance to visit this tropical island in the Caribbean before, you should consider it for your next weekend trip. One of the great things about visiting here are the resorts that offer all of the amenities you can ask for as well as having staff members that are very helpful. If your budget is small for your weekend vacation, you will also love the fact that most resorts in Jamaica are all inclusive meaning you get your resort stay, meals and more for a discounted price. Last weekend trip I took to Jamaica, I must of gained 5 pounds from all the eating I did. If this happens to you as well on your trip here, just know that there are some great beaches in the area that are perfect for a run to work off some of the extra weight.

A third spot to consider for your getaway is Las Vegas. I’m mean really, is there anything more to say? It’s Vegas baby. Las Vegas is a great spot for a quick trip as there are a lot of flights from different areas and there are a lot of hotels to consider. One of the reasons why you’ll love a weekend Vegas trip is because you have the chance to enjoy everything it has to offer while hopefully not losing too much money gambling. I know for me personally that if I’m in Vegas for more than a couple of days, I bank account begins to dwindle very quickly.

Going on a weekend trip can be a lot of fun. When planning it though make sure you pick the right destination that offers everything you want to do.

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Best Beach Destinations for your Christmas Vacation

November 12, 2014

Christmas VacationWith us being less than a month and a half away from Christmas, if you haven’t planned your Winter vacation you better do it soon as prices are going up and hotels are getting sold out. When it comes to taking a Christmas vacation, some people want to go somewhere like Park City, Utah where it snows so they can have a white Christmas. If you are anything like me, you want to get away from the cold and want to visit some place warm where you can work on your tan. For which beach destination to decide on for your trip, there are a lot of different options to chose from. These are some of my favorite places to consider.

For top beach destinations for any vacation, one spot you have to consider on that list is Hawaii and it is on mine. Hawaii may not be the cheapest place to visit but it probably is one of the most beautiful spots as it is home to so many great beaches. During the Christmas season, airline seats and hotel rooms get booked up pretty quickly so it may be to late to book your trip for this Christmas but it’s not to early for next year. Out of all of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu has to be my favorite one to visit during Christmas time. One activity that I’ve done in the past with my own kids that they loved was going down to City Hall in the capitol of Honolulu. Here you can ride a horseback carriage that takes you around places like Iolani Palace and City Hall that are decorated for Christmas. My favorite piece of decoration has to be of Santa Claus giving the shaka.

Another destination to consider for your beach Christmas vacation is the Riviera Maya. Located in Mexico and right next to Cancun, the Riviera Maya has a little bit of something for everyone. In the Riviera Maya you can find a lot of great beaches to visit where you can spend your days relaxing and taking a dip in the ocean. If you have kids and think the Riviera Maya may not be a good spot for them, you are wrong. There are a lot of fun activities you can do with your kids that include things like snorkeling to going kayaking. If you don’t have kids and are looking for something more romantic, you could consider staying at an adults only resort so you don’t have to worry about kids splashing you when you’re laying out by the pool.

A third destination that you might consider for your Christmas vacation is Punta Cana. Located in the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is a little tropical haven that is not only home to great beaches but also amazing all inclusive resorts. One of the reasons why I love Punta Cana for a Christmas vacation is the fact that it is affordable for families. Like I mentioned, most of the resorts in the area are all inclusive which means you can pay less for your airfare, hotel, food, activities and more as they are all included in your discounted package.

If you’re looking to getaway to a beach destination this Christmas, you better book soon as packages are getting sold out. Also make sure to call us at (800) 510-5642 so we can help book your trip.

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