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Christmas Gift Ideas

Have you ever thought of gifting a travel experience for Christmas? I mean really. What do you get that person that has everything? What do you get that person who goes out and buys whatever it is they need or want for a particular project? What do you get that person whom when you ask them for ideas on what to get for Christmas – they shrug their shoulders and say “whatever you want to get me”?

Well, travel is an excellent gift. We christmas gift imagescan put together a weekend getaway for a couple or a family. How about an all-inclusive stay at a resort in Mexico? You could even get them a cruise to the Caribbean, Alaska and even Europe or Asia. There are also cruise ships that sail up and down the Mississippi River and stop in some very cool cities along the way like Minneapolis or New Orleans. The possibilities are endless.

Even better, organize a group trip for the family and invite brothers, sisters, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Can you imagine the look on their face when you present them with a certificate or flyer that talks about a group of you traveling together as a family or friends? Give us a call at 618-687-2100. We can work with you to make this the most memorable Christmas ever.

 

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Bungalows Over the Water

SRC OTWVB TRADEI’ve wanted to stay in a bungalow or hut over the water ever since I found out they existed. It’s been a few years. But, for the longest time, the only ones around were in the South Pacific which is pretty pricey given the airfare and took a full day maybe even 2 to get there because of the flight schedules.

Not any more! Meet the bungalows over the water at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica. On top of them being on the water, you have a butler. How cool is that? You could literally stay in the bungalow and not leave the entire week except to dive into the ocean and then back up to eat or snack.

The Great House (main part of the resort on land) boasts a British influence with manicured gardens, afternoon tea and a game of croquet. Then, offshore, you have these Oriental style huts over the water. This collection has it’s own Thai restaurant to complete your transition from Britain to Bali. Add to this, 8 restaurants to chose from for dining, 5 bars, unlimited scuba diving (if you’re certified), FREE wifi, FREE wedding (for stays of 3 nights or more) and so much more. Give me a call and book your vacation to paradise today!

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Black Friday Travel Deals

Funjet VacationsKeep in mind that Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. aren’t the only ones with Black Friday Deals coming up. For example, Funjet Vacations is starting their deals right now and is going through Nov 29. This is for travel between now and April 30, 2019. You can save from $200 – 600 on your booking to select hotels and depending on the number of nights you stay. They have a great group of hotels with non-stop flights from St. Louis to Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cabo San Lucas. You can click on the logo to be taken directly to Funjet and book it yourself or give us a call. We’d love to help you plan your 2019 Spring Getaway.

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Autism Certified Resorts

Beaches Family Resorts by SandalsIf you’re a parent, you know how difficult it can be at times to travel to new places with children. But, imagine how much more difficult it is with an autistic child. Their needs and in some cases disabilities can make traveling quite an ordeal.

Beaches Resorts by Sandals is tackling this predicament head on. They are the only Autism Certified set of Family Resorts in the Caribbean. Their staff has been Autism trained to help families with these needs. Beaches Buddies are always close by looking out for the kids and helping them and the parents when needed. They proudly sponsor Sesame Street and feature “Amazing Art with Julia”. They have art projects for the children conducted by this sweet and curious 4 year old Sesame Street character with autism. Sometimes, just being with others (either parents or children) who know and understand what you’re going through can often make the trip worth while.

These resorts include so many amazing and fun things to do with your kids whether on land or in the water. And, with the aide of a staff trained to help immerse your child with autism into these new experiences, you can’t go wrong. They have two resorts in Jamaica (Negril and Ocho Rios) and one in Turks & Caicos. Call us to make the arrangements. We would love to see you and your family enjoy the beach with an Autism Certified staff.

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Fearful Flyer Part 2

Well, we went on our trek to the Pacific Northwest with my 9-year-old son who was not happy we were flying. I made sure we brought lots of activity books and notebooks, coloring stuff, a Game Boy and tablet to keep him busy while we waited to board and while on board the flight. I think this probably helped the most. I asked him to draw several things for me – something he loves to do. He sat in between mom and dad (where he feels safe) an did just fine. We followed all the advice I had researched including not drinking a lot of caffeinated products. Upon arrival at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport after an almost 4-hour flight, he says, “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” Thank God and the pilots we didn’t have too much turbulence. On the return, the take-offs and landings still made him cringe but they still kind of make me nervous too. His one piece of advice, “Don’t be afraid to try it.” So, for all you fearful flyers out there – give it a chance. You might just like flying.

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The Attractions of a River Nile Cruise

I have personally done this trip and it was well worth the time and money. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The history and scenery is just amazing.

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5 Common Trip-Planning Mistakes

Because there are so many variables involved—from the plane tickets and hotel reservations to meals and entertainment—self-planned journeys often go off track or way over budget. As someone who plans trips for a living, professional travel advisors like us have seen our share of mistakes made by even the most experienced travelers. Here are five you should definitely avoid:

Sticking to Set Dates – Airlines and hotels know when people travel most, so they typically raise their prices accordingly. You can save hundreds of dollars by being flexible with your travel dates.

Ignoring the Fine Print – The internet is filled with incredible travel deals that seem too good to be true. Before hitting that “Buy Now” button, take a moment to question how this company can possibly afford to sell their product for such a low price. The answer is usually in the fine print, where that low price comes with a slew of restrictions that will definitely damper your vacation.

Forgetting to Breathe – Many travelers return from a vacation exhausted due to over-planning. To see all of the must-see sights at their destination, they race across town from dawn to dusk, never stopping to soak it all in. It’s okay to miss a few sights, as long as you take the time to enjoy the ones you do see. Travel agents always suggest spending more days at your destination, or to arrive at the embarkation port a day or two early, to give you that added time to breathe.

Stuffing the Bags – Some globetrotters cram all of their items into one carry-on bag, thinking it saves time and reduces baggage fees. However, after a week away—a week spent shopping—those travelers suddenly have no place to pack their newly-purchased items, so they have to buy another bag or suitcase. Moral of the story: always pack with room to spare. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you return home with more items than you left with.

Picking the Wrong Season – Every destination has a perfect time of the year to visit and not to visit. Under the “not to visit” times are those seasons that are too hot, too cold, too crowded or too expensive. Make sure you know before you go…or simply ask us.

This excerpt is taken from our Travel Tips Quarterly Newsletter.

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