Travel News for the Week of January 26

By January 26, 2020 Blog

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever wondered which countries were the safest places to travel?   Wonder no more as Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection annual research study reveals the answers.

Here’s the complete list of the countries that  Berkshire Hathaway’s survey deems  safest for travelers to visit:

1. Australia

2. Sweden

3. New Zealand

4. Italy

5. The Netherlands

6. France

7. Iceland

8. Ireland

9. Greece

10. Japan

Interestingly, we have traveled to 9 of the 10 pf these countries the last few years and are planning return trips to Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland in the next couple of years. (We have not made it to Japan yet.)

I have blogged about this in the past, but in only a few months, everyone will need to have a Real ID in order to board an airplane in this country.   A US Travel Association found that millions of Americans are unprepared for the looming deadline and an estimated 99 million say they don’t have any form of ID that will be accepted come October 1.  An estimated 182 million  (72% of respondents) say they don’t have  Real-ID compliant license or they are confused about the whole concept.  If you have not exchanged your license for one that is Real-ID compliant, I would urge you to do so soon because it is going to be very interesting as we get closer.    If you hold a valid passport, you can use that to fly, but otherwise, you will need a Read-ID.

It looks like the trend of allowing passengers to bring rabbits, turtles,  and birds on planes as emotional support animals could be coming to an end.  The US Dept. of Transportation announced plans this week to tighten the rules around service animals, the biggest change being that only dogs qualify.   The airlines have lobbied for this change in response to people who show up at the airport with pigs, turkeys, snakes and other unusual pets.  The airlines believe thousands of people scam the system each year by claiming they need their pets for emotional support.   That allows them to avoid the airline pet fees.   The ruling does not affect legitimate service animals that perform a task to mitigate a disability.  Last year, more than 80 veterans and disability groups endorsed banning untrained emotional support animals in cabins.  The proposal is currently in the 60 day period that allows the public to respond.  The rules could take effect anytime after that.


May 17-28, 2020   Alpine Explorer and Oberammergau   Taking waitlist requests.

May 30-June 7, 2020    Paris and Normandy River Cruise  Call for availability.

June 16-26  Shrines of Italy   This pilgrimage will visit The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, San Giovanni Rotundo, Tomb of Padre Pio, Abbey of Santissima Trinita, Madonna del Rosario Sanctuary, Vatican City with Papal Audience, Christian Rome City Tour,  St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and St. Peter’s Basilica.   Deposit now.

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 a specially designed snow machine. We’ll visit the spectacular Lake Louise and then on to Banff.  Stunningly beautiful scenery.  Enroll now!

September 12-23, 2020     Discovering Poland     We’ll visit Warsaw, Gdansk, Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow.  Deposit now!   Check out the itinerary at

October 6-14 Autumn Colours  Join us as we fly into Boston and weaver our way through the Freedom Trail with stops in Lexington and Concord.  We’ll travel through the towns of Pittsfield, Quechee and Woodstock on our way to the White Mountains where we’ll stop in Conway and up to  bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.   On our way back to Boston we stop at historic Portsmouth as we work our way down the coast to Boston.   Enroll now!

NEW October 31-November 9, 2020  Sunny Portugal   This is an amazing tour at offseason pricing.   $2999  per person double occupancy includes air from Detroit. Visit Lisbon Cascais, Obidos, Sintra. Enjoy the stunning coast of the Algarve and enjoy Lagos where Moorish and Renaissance influences meet towering cliffs. Explore Faro, the gateway to the Ria Formosa lagoon landscape, and much more.   I only have 20 seats for this tour.

NEW November 14- November 22, 2020 Spotlight on the French Riviera   Enjoy this wonderful tour while staying in the same hotel.   You will be based in the beautiful city of Nice but will have an opportunity to explore a different area each day.  You’ll explore Nice but also Grasse, St. Tropez, Monaco, Monte Carlo Casino, Cannes, Antibes and St. Paul deVence among other areas.   You will be home before Thanksgiving!  Again, this trip is $2999 per person double occupancy including air out of Detroit.  Again, limited amount of seats.


January 24- February 8, 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.  Taking deposits.

April,6-17, 2021    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with Sant’ippolito!   Join us as we fly to the Sicilian Capital of  Palermo.  where we will spend 2 nights exploring the city.  There will be an opportunity to take optional tours to Cefalu, Monte Pellegrino, and the goal market.    We will then travel to Taormina by way of  Agrigento  to visit the Valley of the Temples.   Once in Taormina we will take a walking tour of the Corso Umbreto and on to the Piazza for a panoramic view of the bay.  The next day, explore Taormina at leisure or maybe take an optional trip to Mt. Etna and Savoca, home of the “Godfather”.   We will then cross  the Straits of Messina and on to Calabria.   Here you will have an opportunity to visit the your family villages  located outside Cosenza.    After a stay in Calabria we head to Matera, Alberabello, and San Giovanni Rotundo to see the shrine of Padre Pio, and then make our way to Rome for our departure.  Taking deposits!

Coming soon!  May, 2021  Shades of Ireland

Coming Soon!  August, 2021  Charming French Canada

September 10, 2021 Rhine, Moselle, and Blissful Baden-Baden    Spend 2 nights in the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden and then board your ship for a cruise up the Rhine and Moselle rivers.  We will visit Strasbourg, Speyer, Frankfurt, Rudesheim, Boppard, Cochem Bernkastel and Trier before returning home from  Frankfurt.  Taking deposits now!

Have a great week!