Travel News for Week of June 23

By | Blog

Hi Everyone, I just returned from a great cruise that visited Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Norway.    I normally do a little synopsis of my tours on this blog but a 15 day tour is a bit much so I am included a few pictures for you:

Russia    Soviet era apartments,  a canal next to the Hermitage, The Hermitage Winter Palace, and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

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Tallin, Estonia    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Olaf’s, and good friends taking a little break.

      

Our regular blog will return next week.

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 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

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.  Ready for deposit.

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.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip! September 12-23, 2020  

Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

January 24, 2021   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from  Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco.  We will visit Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal Full Transit;  Fuerte Amador (Panama City); Puntarenas, Costa Rica;  San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragu; and  Cabo San Lucas before disembarking in  San Francisco.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

 

 

 

Travel News for Week of June 16

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

If you think it takes your community a long time to issue building permits, consider this: Barcelona City Hall just issued a work permit for La Sagrada Familia Basilica which has been under construction since 1882.   There are no records showing a building permit requested in 1885 was ever granted or rejected.  The license is valid through 2026 when the builders believe they’ll be able to finish raising the building’s central towers.

I know that I have mentioned this in previous blogs, but please,  if you are going to travel outside the US, check the expiration date of your passport!   Generally, passports must be valid at least 6 months after the return date of your travel.     Don’t be that person who pulls out the passport just before a trip only to find out that it has either expired or is about to expire.    It happens more frequently than you might think.

Many of us who are frequent travelers have been following the saga of the Boeing 737 Max and wondering how the airlines will convince travelers the plane is safe to fly once it returns.   Apparently, American Airlines has come up with a strategy .   American Airlines Group Inc. managers will fly on the aircraft before paying passengers are asked to climb aboard in a move meant to build confidence in the plane’s safety.  Would that be enough to convince you to fly?  

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 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

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.  Ready for deposit.

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.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

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

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

Tentative date: October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

 

 
 

Travel News for Week of June 9

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,    

Cruise Critic had a great article this week reminding people that the laws of other countries are different than ours and even if you inadvertently break one of them, you could be liable for a large fine.   The advice they gave was good not just for cruisers, but for all of us who travel.   Here are a few of the things they covered:

  • Several countries in the Caribbean ban the wearing of camouflage clothing.   This includes Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and others.  It is also banned in some places in Africa and the Middle East.  The reason behind this is that they don’t want people thinking you are with the military or law enforcement.
  • Public displays of affection including United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi); Egypt; India; and Indonesia could land you in trouble as they feel it is a violation of their decency or obscenity codes.   You can be fined, deported, or arrested. 
  • Don’t try eating your gelato on church steps or monuments.  The resulting amount of litter has made city officials so angry in Florence and Rome that they’ve taken to dousing church steps with water to deter tourists from sitting.  In Rome there is no eating on fountains or historic monuments such as the Pantheon or Colosseum, or even the Spanish Steps.   It is sometimes very easy for people to forget these wonderful places are where real people live and work,  and those people must clean up the mess made by careless visitors.
  • Don’t feed the pigeons!   For many years it has been illegal to feed the pigeons in Venice. San Francisco has a similar ordinance.   Although it is not illegal in New York City, if excessive droppings are tied to your activity, you may received a fine.  
  • Don’t wear your pointy heeled shoes in Greece as they are forbidden at ancient monuments and sites in Athens as well as elsewhere.   Those sharp tips dig into the fragile marble.  

All of the above should  be common sense but many times when people are away, they do things they would never think of doing at home.  

This week was a difficult week of the cruise lines.   Our government has basically banned travel to Cuba with some very small exceptions.   The cruise lines have had to cancel and/or reroute almost 800,000 passengers who were already booked.  

Hurricane season has officially begun in the Caribbean.   If you are planning a trip to that region or even some place like Florida, please make sure you either have a refundable rate or invest in travel insurance.   Your insurance must be purchased before a storm is named or you will most likely not be covered!

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 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

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.  Ready for deposit.

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.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

September 12-23, 2020  Discovering Poland     Ready for deposit!  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378 October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

Tentative date: October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for the Week of June 2

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,  

If you travel often, one of the few perks available is the ability to charge your phone in the airport.  Most airlines have charging plugs available to you.  However, this may not be that great an idea any more.    The transportation industry was the second most attacked sector in a recently released study from 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index which shows how cybercriminals are changing their techniques to hack devices.  According to an interview with Forbes, X-Force Vice President, Caleb Barlow tells us that plugging into a public USB port is like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth!  You have no idea where it’s been.  USB connections can be modified by cybercriminals and malware can be downloaded or installed on your phone.  Barlow recommends bringing a portable charger.   It is well worth the money and you can charge your phone anywhere.   If you must use a public outlet to charge your phone, use your own charger and plug into an electrical socket instead of a USB port. – Forbes, 5/30/19

Another thing to remember:   Never trust a tour operator or packager you don’t know and can’t track easily through public records.  We are also seeing fake versions of websites.  You search for a hotel or tour and get through to what looks like a legitimate website from a known company but it is really a copy cat version run by a scammer who paid a lot of money for a good search engine position.   If you purchase something not only do you not have a real reservation but you’ve just lost whatever you paid and they now have your credit card info.   If you look for a place on our website to enter credit card info, you will not find it.   We want people to pick up the phone and talk to us so that you know you have contacted the right person.  -Smarter Travel 

One of the most frequent questions about overseas travel revolves around plugs and adapters.   Here is a great list of countries and the types of adapters you will need for each one: http://worldstandards.eu

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 We have had a couple of cancellations for Oberammergau so if you are interested, don’t delay.   This is a much sought after, once in every 10 year, event.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  A few rooms are still available.

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.  Ready for deposit.

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.    Ready for deposit.  10% early booking discount on this trip!

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

October  6-14, 2020  Autumn Colors   We’ll fly into historic Boston and then head to Lexington and Concord where the “shot heard round the world was fired”.  We’ll head through the Berkshires, stopping at a historic mill and glass blowing facility.   We’ll visit the historic town of Woodstock.Sample some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at their factory before venturing into New Hampshire and and stunning of views of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast.  We’ll visit Acadia National Park and the beautiful town of Bar Harbor. On our way south we’ll journey past lighthouses, fisheries, and seaside dwellings before arriving at Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States.   This is a very popular trip that will fill quickly so deposit asap.

October 16, 2020   Panama Canal Cruise   This is a full transit 15 day cruise from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City); Panama Canal full transit; and Cartagena, Columbia before disembarking in  Ft. Lauderdale.

April 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with sant’ippolito!   Stay tuned for more information. Have a great week! Lynn

May 2021   Budapest to Bucharest River Cruise   Will be ready for deposit late Fall.

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