Travel News for Week of December 9

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

If you are planning an international trip, the first step is to pull out your passport and make sure it has not expired.   Your passport should remain valid for at least 6 months after your return date.  Also, make a copy of your picture page and either keep it with you (in a different place than you keep your passport) or scan it into your computer and email it to yourself.

Make sure you understand your overseas medical coverage.   You may or may not be covered overseas.    If you are not, that is another reason to purchase travel insurance.   Good travel insurance will run 9-10% of the cost of your trip depending on your age.   While it sounds expensive, it can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

Check your credit cards and use the one that doesn’t include international fees.   Fees of 3-4% will add up if you use it very often overseas.

If you are planning on driving overseas, get an International Driving Permit.   These permits translate your license into the local language. Those are available at AAA and you don’t have to  be a AAA member to get one.

If you don’t have TSA precheck or Global Entry, get it.    Global Entry, once approved, is good for 5 years and includes TSA precheck.   While it may not save your time in other countries, it will save you time here when departing or returning home.

The above suggestions came from an article in Smarter Travel, a good source for travel related tips.

2019 is looking like a very strong travel year.   Many of our tours are already full.  If you are interested in any of them, get yourself on a wait list now.   We still have room for our amazing Iceland tour.  Call if you are interested.

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We are ready for deposit.   I only have 20 spots for this cruise.   Call now!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for Week of December 2

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

If you are fascinated by blue holes, you may want to tune in to the Discovery Channel tonight as Sir Richard Branson, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, talks about his journey in a submarine to the bottom of the Great Blue Hole, the largest sinkhole in the world.    He is hoping to generate awareness around ocean conservation.     The Great Blue Hole is located off the coast of Belize and is large enough to swallow two Boeing 747’s with room to spare.

Richard Branson will soon have a cruise line joining his portfolio of Virgin products.   The first of 4 ships will arrive in Miami in 2020 and a new terminal is being built for the Virgin ships.

Huffington Post had an interesting article today about the difference between nonstop and direct flights. Most people use those terms interchangeably, but they are different.  Nonstop flights do not make any stops between its origin and its destination.   A direct flight has one flight number but may make one or more planned stops on the way to its destination.   Direct flights stop at intermediate points to let passengers on or off or for refueling.    A good tip that your flight is not nonstop is if a flight that  normally takes three hours but is listed for much longer, it is probably not nonstop.

A little trivia today:  Florida set a record for visitors this year.   Through the first 9 months 30.7 million people made their way to the Sunshine State.

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We will be ready for deposit next month.  Call for more information!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for Week of November 25

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

Norwegian-based Hurtigruten Cruise Line announced that it would become the first cruise operator in the world to power their vessels using liquified biogas, a fossil-free, renewable fuel produced from dead fish and other organic waste.  Norway and Northern Europe have large fishery and forestry sectors which produce a steady volume of organic waste required to make the fuel.

Smarter Travel had an interesting article this week about flying during the winter months.  Here are a few of their tips:

  • Fly nonstop whenever possible.
  • If you must have a connection, watch your connection times.   In addition to inclement weather, northern airports must often de-ice, many times causing late departures.
  • Check the weather in your connection city.
  • Book that connection through a southern city if possible.
  • Choose a morning flight as it leaves you with more options if you are delayed or cancelled.

Many people love to purchase items in the airport duty free shop.    Keep in mind that prices there are not always the lowest.  Many times you can get the same thing at home for less money.   If you are tempted, pull out your phone and check the prices in your hometown before purchasing.

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We will be ready for deposit next month.  Call for more information!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for Week of November 18

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

One of the worst things about travel is experiencing lost or damaged luggage.   The airlines have really been doing a much better job of tracking bags but that is not much consolation if you are the one standing at the carousel without a bag.   If that happens, do not leave the airport without making a report.  Those little receipts that airlines routinely stick on the back side of your boarding pass or hand to you when you check your luggage are really important.  They can be scanned and will tell the airline where your luggage is and when it might arrive.  Give the agent a detailed description of your luggage.   Hopefully, you attached a luggage tag with at least your phone number on it.   Make sure you get the number of the lost luggage department as well as a reference or claim number before leaving.   Ask the airline if you will be reimbursed.   That most likely will not happen if you are at the end of your trip.  If you are traveling,  most airlines will give some compensation depending on how long your luggage is absent. Also if you have travel insurance, there should be a lost luggage benefit.

If your luggage appears but is seriously damaged, report it immediately.  Depending on the damage, the airline may just give you a new suitcase on the spot.   Others may require you to get the suitcase repaired and send them the bill.

Two airports, Seattle and Pittsburgh, have a new program that allows non travelers past security.  This allows people to eat at restaurants, shop, or say goodbye to family and friends at the gate.    These programs are new and will be evaluated.    People wishing to do this must sign up online and go through security just as if they were traveling.   It is not expected to lengthen security lines as only so many people will be allowed to do this each day.

Black Friday is upon us.  Many of the cruise lines and tour operators are having special Black Friday sales.  This is a great time to book that next adventure.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lynn

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We will be ready for deposit next month.  Call for more information!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for Week of November 11

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

The TSA is expecting another record Thanksgiving holiday season this year with more than 25 million passengers expected to travel between November 16-26.  The busiest travel days will be the Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday.   Travel Market Report has published some of TSA tips to help you get through security faster.

  • When approaching security have your ID and documents ready.   Be prepared to place your electronics larger than a cell phone in a separate bin.   Better yet, get TSA Precheck so you don’t have to take off our shoes or remove electronics from your bag.   Try not to wear excess jewelry, large hair accessories, large scarves, or large belts.   Put those items in our carry on before you get to security.
  • Use the Ask TSA app.  If you have questions about what you can take this is a great place for information.
  • Pack Smart.  Large liquids, creams, gels, and aerosols should be put in your checked luggage.   If you have a liquid that is medically necessary, alert the TSA agent before starting through security.    Powder has become a suspicious item.  Put it in your checked luggage.
  • Remember to take everything with you when you leave security.   Your loose change, keys, cellphones, or jackets that you put through separately are easy to forget.

These are all good tips for any time you travel but it is especially important at high traffic times.

Southwest Airlines is going to pilot a new process to get people on and off planes more efficiently.   The carrier is going to open doors on either end of the plane to allow people on and off either the front or the rear of the plane.  This is being piloted at 4 airports in California and will then evaluate.

Disney After Hours events have been such a huge hit that more events are set for the Magic Kingdom and for the first time, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will join the fun.   Disney After Hours allows people to experience the parks for three hours after regular park hours which means little to no wait for attractions, experiences, or character greetings.  Ice cream, popcorn, and select beverages are also included in the after hours admission which is priced separately from daytime park admissions.

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We will be ready for deposit next month.  Call for more information!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn

 

Travel News for Week of November 4

By | Blog

Hi Everyone,

Marriott and union workers still have not reached an agreement in labor negotiations and workers continue their strike in eight cities across the US.   Strikers in Maui and Oahu joined bellhops, cooks, and other service providers who walked off the job last month at Marriott properties in Detroit, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and Boston. Not all hotels are affected, but if you have reservations in any of these places you may want to check to see what services will be affected.

Next time you fly, bring the antibacterial wipes.   A recent Canadian study indicated that the germiest places on an airplane were the seatback pocket and the headrest!  The study also found that  bathroom handles, tray tables and seat belts are breeding grounds for infection-causing contaminants.  I’ve always been horrified by the number of people who go to the airplane restroom barefoot, or allow their children to do so.

When you leave your house do you find yourself wondering if you’ve turned off the stove or the coffeepot or any other heat producing item?   Simple solution: grab your phone and take a picture of your stove dials, coffeepot, or anything else you may obsess about.  Can’t remember whether you’ve put the garage door down or turned on the alarm?   Take a pic.   They are easily deleted later.

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.  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.  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.   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 31, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  We will be ready for deposit next month.  Call for more information!

June 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.

September 2020  Discover Poland

October 2020  Autumn Colors

November 2020   Panama Canal Cruise

Have a great week!

Lynn