Travel News for Week of February 16

By February 16, 2020 Blog

Hi Everyone,

With all the talk in the news this week revolves around viruses,  it might be time to take a look at some easy things you can do to keep yourself healthy while traveling.   Smarter Travel has some ways to help you do just that.

  • Drink only bottled water that you open yourself.  Some places refill their bottles.  You want to make sure they are sealed.  When ordering drinks, don’t forget that ice cubes are typically made from tap water.    Even though tap water may be fine for those who live in a particular location, it may not be fine if you are not used to it.  You can usually ignore this in the US or Canada.
  • If you eat food rinsed or washed in tap water, you may also be at risk.
  • Stay out of the airplane setback pocket.  They are notoriously filthy.   It isn’t a bad idea to wipe down your tray table (babies get their diapers changed on these), armrests, and belt buckles.
  • We, personally, never drink from the glasses sitting on the bathroom sink in hotels .
  • Hydrate while flying.   Alcohol doesn’t really count as hydration.    The best thing to do is bring your own water onboard.
  • Part of learning about a new culture is trying their food but be careful about switching up your diet too drastically.   It’s better to start gradually by trying a few new things but bombarding your system with all new food is probably not a great idea.
  • East at places that are busy.  Going into a deserted restaurant is not a good idea.  It may be a sign that the food has been sitting around a while.   Go where the people are.
  • If you have a concern about the food, eat only what has been boiled or peeled.
  • Get your rest.   When we were a lot younger, we could stay up late and get up early, but along with hydration,getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do to prevent illness.
  • Make sure you bring your medications and sun screen along.
  • Studies have shown that hand washing is the best preventative.  If you cannot wash your hands, make sure you have had sanitizer with you.

In other news, it’s going to be a little more expensive to go visit the Mouse.  Disney just raised their ticket prices  at both Disney World and Disneyland for the second time in eight months.

One of the questions that is asked almost every week is, “Do I need a passport to take a cruise”?   The simple answer is no, if the ship is departing and returning to the same port.   Having said that, it is not a good idea to sail with just your government documents.  Should you become ill or injured while in a foreign country it will be very difficult to get back into the States without your passport.   If the ship would need to return to a different port, you would also be in trouble without a passport.   My advice is always: get the passport.


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.  A few seats remain.

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

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!