Travel News for Week of February 17

By | Blog

Hotel resort fees have continued to spread and increase in amount. What started in Las Vegas and Hawaii has spread rapidly. You may see a hotel rate of $35 in Vegas but by the time you add a $40 nightly resort fee and taxes, the price may not seem as attractive. Great Britain just ruled that the price of an advertised hotel room must include all pricing including taxes and resort fees. It would be nice to see that happen in the US.

Rental car companies have long demanded a credit card for payment. They have either not allowed debit cards or if they have, they’ve put a hefty hold on the account. That is changing as more people are using debit cards instead of credit cards. Thrifty and Dollar are accepting debit cards now while at the same time reducing the age to rent a car to 20. Both companies are owned by Hertz.

Smarter Travel had an interesting article this week about whether washing hands or using hand sanitizer on a plane is more effective. Some airlines do not use potable water in their restrooms. You may see a little sign telling you not to drink the water. Janilyn Hutchings, a Certified Professional in Food Safety states: “In general, washing your hands in non-potable water isn’t very effective in cleaning your hands. When clean water is available always wash your hands with soap and water-it is more effective in killing germs than hand sanitizer. However, if you know for a fact that clean water is unavailable, using a hand sanitizer many be your best option.

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395  

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We are ready for deposit.   I only have 20 spots for this cruise.   Call now!

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff. The trip ends in Calgary but there is an opportunity to take a 2 day extension back to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer. Should be ready to deposit by the end of this week.

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

Travel News for Week of February 10

By | Blog

Delta will expand their pre-select meal to first class travelers on domestic routes and some routes to Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. If you are flying first class and have an email on file with Delta you’ll get notice 3 days in advance to choose your meals. For those of us back in coach-no change.

If you are one of those people that use online booking sites for hotels, be careful. Many of them have admitted using some deceptive practices to get consumers to book certain properties. They may tell you that they are almost sold out or that they only have one room left at a certain price to get you to book quickly. Many times they do not tell you that there are resort fees or that the price does not include taxes. Several of the leading online companies are now pledging to stop that. We’ll see. Just remember that if a deal is too good to be true, you may want to be rethink it. Of course, I think the best thing to do is use a reputable travel agent.

I have had a lot of people ask me where to exchange cash in preparation for an international trip. If you go through any airport, either here in the US or overseas, you will see exchange companies. Frankly, those are not the best places to get cash. I always tell people to get a little starter money before going overseas. You really don’t want to carry a great deal of money with you though. When you need cash, use an ATM. They are plentiful. I recommend using one attached to a bank, when the bank is open, so that if the machine eats your card, you can walk into the bank, and have them open the machine to retrieve your card. By the way, we all know that you should keep copies of your passports with you, but have you ever thought of taking a picture of the back of your credit card so that if you lose it, you have the 800 number to call the company? It will save you some stress.

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395  

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We are ready for deposit.   I only have 20 spots for this cruise.   Call now!

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.

August 15-23 Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff. The trip ends in Calgary but there is an opportunity to take a 2 day extension back to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer. More info shortly.

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

Travel News for Week of February 3

By | Blog

Disney just announced that Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea will return in 2020. The cruise line announced that certain 5 and 7 day cruises on the Disney Magic and the Disney Fantasy to the Bahamas and the Caribbean will feature unique characters, live shows, and action packed entertainment. Book early if interested.

Disney World has announced that it is now taking reservations for its newest resort, the Riviera. This deluxe resort, part of Disney’s Vacation Club, will open in December and will include studios, one bedroom, two bedroom, and grand villas that will sleep twelve people.

One of the unintended consequences to the recent government shutdown has been the damage inflicted on our national parks, some of which will take generations to repair. One of the worst examples is in Joshua Tree National Park. People took off road vehicles and carved trails into the desert landscape. The amazing Joshua trees which are estimated to have a 150 year lifespan, were damaged or chopped down. Parks across the country are still assessing and recovering from the shutdown, but with another shutdown looming, there is cause to be worried about more long term damage.

The major airlines are stepping up their game by offering free live TV. Delta and American has offered some live TV for a few years. American is going to offer free Apple music. United just announce that they are going to offer live TV in their Boeing 737 aircraft. Maybe more entertainment will help us forget that we are crammed in like sardines.

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395  

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We are ready for deposit.   I only have 20 spots for this cruise.   Call now!

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.

August Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff. The trip ends in Calgary but there is an opportunity to take a 2 day extension back to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer. More info shortly.

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

Travel News for Week of January 27

By | Blog

Princess Cruises just announced that they are expanding their Ocean Medallion technology to 3 more ships: Royal, Crown, and Sky Princess starting February 17. This is a wearable technology that holds guests’ information so that the crew can identify them. The technology opens cabin doors, allows guests to make payments, embark, and disembark. It is a quarter size medallion that can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or kept in a pocket.

Disney is celebrating Mickey and Minnie’s 90th birthday this year with special shows and parades. Disney World introduces a “Move It, Shake It, Mousekedance It Street Party” parade several times a day. Over at EPCOT, Illuminations will end its run by the end of summer. It will be replaced with a new spectacular show by 2020. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open this fall at Hollywood Studios. This summer, Typhoon Lagoon will host a nighttime Beach Party with Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie hosting. The lagoon will be transformed with special lighting effects. If you are looking forward to going to Disney, this might be the year.

Once of the more common questions that I am asked by people taking a cruise is, “Which side of the ship is best”? The cabins are usually just mirror images of each other on opposite sides of the ship. Cruise Critic had a nice article this week about that very thing. If you are taking a one way cruise, it is always nice to have the land side. If you are visiting several ports, take a look at the direction the ship is sailing. It is impossible, however, to always know which way the ship will dock. More importantly, when I book people, I try to avoid having them above or below things like the casino, the buffet, etc. Also, if you are sensitive to tobacco smoke, you may want to find out which side of the ship has the smoking area as that smoke could waft right up to your room. There are a lot of things to think about before you plunk down that deposit.

2019 Tours

April 22-May 5  Lynn and Lidia’s Italy My number 1 guide and good friend will take us on a journey through Italy to some of our favorite places.  We’ll visit Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento,Isle of Capri, Assisi, Venice, Padua, Lake Maggiore, Lucca , Florence, San Gimignano and more.  Waitlist. Call for availability.

June 6-20, 2019 Viking Homelands   This cruise will take place on the Viking Sea. This cruise will visit Sweden, Norway, Denmark, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland,and Berlin.  Waitlist. Call for availability.

August 11-21,  2019  Delightful Danube and Prague   Join us as we spend three wonderful days in the beautiful city of Prague before boarding the S.S. Beatrice in Nuremberg for a seven night cruise down the Danube.    We’ll visit the towns of Regensburg, Passau, Melk, and Vienna before ending our journey in the amazing city of Budapest.   Waitlist. Call for availability.

September 8-16   Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice  We’ll visit Reykjavik,  before traveling the Golden Circle.   We’ll experience the energy at the geothermal fields of Geysir and Strokkur.   We’ll have an opportunity to explore caves or lava fields.  We’ll spend some time with a family that keeps alive a 400 year old fishing tradition.  We’ll stop at the Volcano Visitor Center to learn how families survived during the 2010 explosion.  We’ll take a cruise among the huge icebergs of the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon.  Enjoy the Blue Lagoon or Whale Watching before returning home.  Time to deposit!   See the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/861057

2020

May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau  We will explore a bit of Switzerland and Austria before arriving at Oberammergau for the Passion Play.Some of the highlights of this trip include Lago Maggiore, Island Dinner, Zermatt, Glacier Express Train, St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, St. Peter’s Restaurant, Mozart Dinner Concert, Munich, Oberammergau Passion Play, Linderhof Palace, Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle.   Check out the itinerary:   https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395  

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We are ready for deposit.   I only have 20 spots for this cruise.   Call now!

June 13-21 2020   Colorado Rockies  We’ll fly in and out of the Mile High City of Denver and then travel to Grand Junction.   We’ll visit the Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, National Park, and Mesa Verda National Park. We’ll then travel to Durango and ride the Silverton RailRoad before ending our trip in Colorado Springs.

August Canadian Rockies  We’ll fly into Vancouver and after enjoying the sights of Vancouver and Victoria, we’ll head up to Kamloops and then to Jasper National Park. We’ll see the Athabascan Glacier from our snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff. The trip ends in Calgary but there is an opportunity to take a 2 day extension back to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer. More info shortly.

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

Get Ready to Travel

By | Travel Tips
  • Put a hold on newspaper delivery
  • Ask the post office to hold your mail or arrange for it to be collected by family or friends.
  • Don’t forget to call the kennel for your four-legged friend.
  • Alert your travel agent or airline if you have special dietary requirements.
  • Give a copy of your itinerary to a relative or close friend.
  • Call your credit card company with the dates and places of your travel.
  • Write down the emergency numbers (not the charge card numbers, just the telephone numbers) of your credit card companies in the event a card is lost or stolen.

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Testimonial

Words can’t describe the incredible beauty of the canyons, mountains and other interesting areas we visited on this trip. The trip was well planned and very organized. This was our second trip with Fuller Travel and there were no disappointments on either trip. We look forward to traveling with the Fuller group again.

~ Bruce and Sophie, Lansing

Passport

By | Travel Tips
  • Check to make sure your passport is valid for all countries you will visit.
  • Many countries require your passport to be valid during and beyond the length of your stay (usually a minimum of six months), so check your itinerary.
  • It’s a good idea to carry an additional passport photo in case your passport is lost or stolen and you need a replacement while on vacation.
  • Email yourself a copy of the front page of your passport. That page will be a big help if you need to replace a passport.
  • Continue to monitor the ever-changing passport rules.
  • Remember that you are supposed to carry your passport with you at all times. A money belt worn under your clothing is a good place to carry your passport.

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Testimonial

Fuller Travel rocks! Lynn and Skip Fuller are fantastic! My wife and I have traveled with Fuller Travel twice. A tour of Italy in 2010 and an Alaskan land/sea cruise in 2011. Both were “awesome,” thanks to Fuller Travel. We will fondly remember those two trips for the rest of our lives! We highly recommend making your vacation plans with Fuller Travel. We look forward to traveling with them in the future.

~ Ron and Lynn, Holt

Packing Tips

By | Travel Tips

Most people pack too much when traveling. The following may help you when trying to make packing decisions:

  • Lay out all your items before packing so you can reevaluate while looking at everything.
  • Color-coding your clothing will help you mix and match.
  • Pack items such as socks, belts in your shoes to save space.
  • Pack items tightly so they don’t move around and wrinkle.
  • Dry cleaning bags placed between layers of clothing help minimize wrinkling.
  • Rolling rather than folding items helps to save space and minimize wrinkling.
  • Pack toiletries in zip lock bags to avoid spills.
  • Remember that individual containers containing more than 3 oz. of liquid must be checked.
  • Do not pack medication, money, jewelry, or travel documents in your checked luggage.
  • Pack sunscreen and insect repellant. It will be much cheaper to buy that here than at your destination.
  • Take a few zip lock bags for carrying wet items or for keeping things dry.
  • Pack an extra pair of glasses or carry your prescription with you.
  • Make sure your name, address, and telephone number is inside your suitcase. If attaching a luggage tag to the outside, make sure it is a tag with a cover to conceal your personal information.
  • Lock your luggage with TSA approved locks to prevent tampering. It’s important to have the ability to lock your luggage while touring, not just for the flight.
  • If traveling overseas, make sure you know what type of adapter you will need for the electrical outlet.
  • If you have food allergies, carry a card (preferably in the language of the country you are going to visit) to alert restaurant staff.

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Testimonial

Fuller Travel “spoils you”.  To say “you get your money’s worth” is putting it mildly. Fuller’s planning provides one with a trip packed with the perfect mix of adventure, sightseeing, learning (if one is interested) and “surprises” that we never encountered in travels through other agencies.  It is no secret what is at the “top” of most lists, and Fuller knows and “will not rest” until they find the best bathrooms (yes), great hotel rooms, and great meals where one would least expect it….in the “middle of nowhere”. Thank you Fuller Travel!

~ Luisa, Grand Ledge

Passport Requirements

By | Travel Tips

U.S. Citizen Passport Requirement

Air Travel

All U.S. citizens including children must present a passport or other approved travel document when entering the United States by air. U.S. citizens can present a passport, NEXUS card at airports with NEXUS kiosks, U.S. military ID with travel orders, or a U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when on official business.

Land/Sea Travel

Beginning June 1, 2009

  • U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry are required to have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), most commonly a U.S. passport, a passport card, a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, or an enhanced driver’s license. See the more complete information at www.getyouhome.gov.

Advice: Get a passport!!

For additional passport information visit U.S. Department of State.

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In August, we traveled through Fuller Travel Agency to Alaska with a large group of people. Lynn and Skip Fuller were great to travel with!  We never had to worry about any arrangements, they took care of everything, with top notch service. Each day they touched base with us to be sure we were having a great time and to see if there was anything further they could do for us. The entire trip was wonderful, all of their arrangements were fantastic. We highly recommend Fuller Travel Agency and will use them again without a doubt.

~ Cindy and Floyd

Minimize Jet Lag

By | Travel Tips
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar drinks. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Try to sleep if flying overnight instead of staying awake to watch the in-flight movies.
  • Take along a comfortable travel pillow as many airlines are no longer offering pillows to their customers.
  • Regularly stretch and walk around the plane. This is particularly important on longer flights.
  • When you arrive at your destination, try to stay awake until evening. The best way to do that is to stay active.

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Fuller Travel “spoils you”.  To say “you get your money’s worth” is putting it mildly. Fuller’s planning provides one with a trip packed with the perfect mix of adventure, sightseeing, learning (if one is interested) and “surprises” that we never encountered in travels through other agencies.  It is no secret what is at the “top” of most lists, and Fuller knows and “will not rest” until they find the best bathrooms (yes), great hotel rooms, and great meals where one would least expect it….in the “middle of nowhere”. Thank you Fuller Travel!

~ Luisa, Grand Ledge