A teenager on board a cruise recently from Northern Germany heading to a Northern European Country on the ship with his parents. When the family arrived home, his parents soon discovered a Whopping $14,000 outstanding charge from their German cell phone company. Apparently the child was viewing videos (movies) while on board and was using the ship's wifi that was normally used for the crew only. Little did they know that they were being charged ridiculous fees to do so. While the German cell phone company has agreed to reduce their bill to a mere $6,000....I'd say a hard lesson was learned! When you're on holiday with children (or perhaps even yourself) make sure you know AHEAD OF TIME, how much the wifi costs on board, and if it's worth using it.
Consider Free Wifi spots offered at different ports (such as internet café hotspots, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc). The locals can direct you to the closest one to the port you're in, and you can get online there, if need be, at no additional cost.
My thoughts....leave the phone at home or place your cell phone on "Airport Mode" while on vacation. After all....You're on Vacation! Right?
What do you think? Comment Below!
How Travel Makes You a Better Person
By Guest Blog Post Writer- Wendy Dessler of www.blogfrog.com
is about more than taking the best photos or visiting the top sights. Even if
you start a journey without expecting to change much, you’re sure to come back
a better person. Travel makes you more open to new experiences, people, and
cultures. You might be surprised just how much you learn about yourself when
you’re no longer a part of your daily life back home! Are you ready to dive
deep into how travel makes you a better person? Let’s start exploring the many
Try New Things-
Travel makes you want to try new things. By opening your horizons to new sights, sounds, and ideas, you’ll discover the things you might have been afraid of in the past aren’t that scary. Maybe you’ve always been afraid of trying spicy food or you were afraid of heights. When you’re in a new location, you’re so busy pushing your boundaries all the time that you don’t realize how little fear you have of those things from back home! Suddenly, you discover spicy food is actually your new favorite or you conquer your fear of heights! Whether you’re trying bulk Lindt Lindor truffles or Thai street food, there’s something to be said for trying new things.
The thrill of trying new things doesn’t end when the journey is over. You’ll find yourself longing to do more, more, more even after you return home. Like said before, suddenly those things that scared you aren’t a big deal. Maybe you’ll finally ask for that raise you’ve been hoping for in your job or you book another trip somewhere new! After traveling, new things become a welcome way of life!
Meet New People-
Meeting new people is a reality of traveling abroad. You’ll learn that people are generally nice, and that the world might not be such a bad place after all. When you’re at home, it’s easy to feel safe in your current bubble of friends. Traveling forces you outside that bubble. You’re left wondering about new people and new cultures.
You might find life-long friends, traveling companions, or even romance! You might find that special someone along the way, and there’s no telling what such a passion might lead to! You might hear wedding bells and need an Azazie wedding dress by the time you get back! There’s no telling who you might meet when you let your walls down and truly free yourself to meet new people of all different backgrounds. Plus, who doesn’t love a destination wedding?
When you travel, you can’t plan for everything. The best part about travel is learning to overcome these obstacles. You’re going to get lost. You’re going to be frustrated. You’ll learn that this is okay. It’s okay to wander off the beaten path and explore an unexpected area of a new city. You’ll learn that the confidence you were looking for was right there inside you all along! When you get home, this confidence will stay with you. It’ll be there when you go to a new job interview or when you get stranded by your broken car on the side of the road. You’ll know you’re ready for anything!
After the Trip-
Any traveler knows that the journey doesn’t end when you get home. You probably won’t even notice the changes immediately. You’ll be so happy to be back with your familiar friends, family, and even your bed. You’ll soon notice a longing to keep exploring more and seeing more. You’ll want to keep trying new things. That’s how travel makes you a better person! It will keep making you a better person because real travelers know the journey never ends, it’s always waiting for the next big thing!
Alright, so what happens if the price of your cruise drops after you booked it and you’ve already placed your deposit down on your vacation? Typically the cruise lines allow you to get the lower price as long as you haven’t made your final payment yet. However, those special “one day sales” are normally only for new bookings only.
So, what’s a person to do once they’ve booked? Here’s our 5 quick tips to help you get the best priced cruise!
Always be sure to check the weather and the local average climates before planning to visit a new country. Some countries get multiple hurricanes and dangerous typhoons at certain times of the year.
Plan your trip when it will not be the worst weather season. You can check websites like Storm Carib (for the Caribbean) and HolidayWeather.com (for the rest of the world) to get fairly accurate weather related info.
The last thing you want to do is land in a tropical paradise when a destructive beast like Hurricane Matthew is heading your way!
Live Like a Local In Tuscany, Italy-
Tuscany is absolutely one of Italy’s best-loved and most beautiful regions. Looking for real Tuscany wine tours? Visit the quaint countryside! It’s dotted with quiet, delightful villages, ancient medieval castles and graced with a combination of shining sun, plump vineyards, olive groves, and signature cypress trees. Tuscany’s rich artistic heritage includes exquisite art and magnificent architecture, a glorious history, excellent wines and OM Gosh....that delicious food. This would be a special way to travel with your friends and stay at an elegant Tuscan Villa Hotel built at the end of 14th century and located in the heart of a Tuscan town – yet, still very near to beautiful Florence. We'll explore many magnificent gardens, tour a local winery, and of course, indulge in the most amazingly delicious local dishes and delectable wines from the ancient wine cellars of the Tuscany area.
This amazing, small group tour is taking place in the fall of 2019. More details can be found here! Join us for the most incredible, intimate, in depth and fully immersed trip to Italy you'll ever find!! For more details and to reserve your space (limited to less than 20 travelers) call Escape Destinations Travel at 910.379.4033 Today!
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta.
Traveling for me, really puts life into perspective. It allows me to realize there's far bigger things going on, than my own small problems. So what if my wifi is slow or if my favorite restaurant is closed. Traveling allows you to see that the world is not always about you. It allows me to see how other people live and what they have to deal with on a daily basis.
Traveling has humbled me in so many ways and has truly broadened my perspective. Traveling to places like Eastern Germany (before the wall came down) and other impoverished areas has given me a sense of gratefulness for the modern day comforts that I'm able to enjoy, like a daily shower, for instance. When I was there, they were only able to bathe once a week.
When I was a child, I used to read books all the time. I would read page after page, then obsess and dream over faraway lands that I would visit one day. Only when I started traveling did I realize what the travel quote “it’s better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times” took on a much deeper meaning to me. I try my hardest to describe places and destinations in my personal journal and here on my travel blog. However, there are just some things, locations and experiences that are too beautiful to put down in words. They must be experienced first hand.
To me, one of the most beautiful things about travel is the fact that every day can be very different. There are no routines, no set rules and no expectations. You can do what you want, whenever you want, with no set schedule.
So….why do you travel? Go ahead and comment below, I'd love to hear your reasons!
“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”
Cinque Terre's Alluring Charm-
Cinque Terre is a gorgeous tiny village. The colorful collection of houses appear to be barely hanging on to rocky slopes rising from the sea against a backdrop of emerald-green lush hillsides. You will feel as if you have stumbled upon a quiet, secret coastal hideaway. It appears to be located far from the bustle of the modern world, where life along the Ligurian Sea ambles along much as it did a century ago. It’s as if time stood still in this beautiful village.
This incredible stretch of the Italian Riviera is among the most rugged, rocky shores in the world. Nevertheless, the quaint terraced hamlets emerged along the coast, which is only accessible by boat, train or foot. Very much isolated from the larger world all around it, their culture, architecture, and serene, peaceful atmosphere is unmatched anywhere else.
The unforgiving terrain has prevented any construction of roads. So we can thank geography for preserving this breathtaking place.
The result is a travel experience that's like none other. Imagine the lure of the steep, narrow building threading their way past beautiful, multi-colored fishermen’s houses, the tranquil boat-filled marinas, the astounding seascape, and an old-world charm that you simply cannot put into words. Imagine the clean fresh air and hushed, car-free lanes that will allow you to appreciate Cinque Terre in a soothing, unrushed fashion.
We trust you’ll find the entire experience simply amazing during our Italy Tour that will be an unforgettable small group adventure. Join us!
The Cure for Jet Lag-
Here’s an easy, surefire tip to cure jet lag. Say goodbye to those wasted 3 days of feeling like crap when arriving in a new time zone. All you need to do is book your flight for one that arrives late at night whenever possible (so like 9:00pm or later).
No matter what time you happened to book your flight, when you get off a long flight, you're going to feel absolutely drained, even if you’ve had a decent nap on the flight. If you arrive early in the morning, you'll have to force yourself to stay awake all day.
Arriving late means that you can collect your bags, get to your hotel and get to bed right away. Any time we've arrived late, we've had ZERO jet lag. Give it a try and then let us know how you feel!
Feel free to Comment Below:
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TRAVEL?
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
So what inspires you to travel? Is it the thrill of going someplace new and exciting? Is it the unknown that makes you want to check out a new place? For me, it’s the idea of seeing new cultures, vising new lands, being exposed to new surroundings, great and varied people, and simply being out of my comfort zone. I love being able to “unplug” leave the social media and gadgets behind, and be lost in a new country. See how the other side lives, open up my mind to new ideas and new adventures!
Whatever it is for you, I encourage you to get out there and make new memories in a foreign land, you won’t be disappointed you did!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” – Mark Twain
30 Items People Forget on Their Cruise-
1. Highlighter & Pen-
We always like to plan ahead what we want to do on the ship the next day. This is a quick and easy way to ensure that you have your tentative schedule for the next day ready and that it’s easy to see on the schedule since you’ve highlighted it.
If you’re traveling with kids who may be used to sleeping with a nightlight, or an adult that likes to be able to see where they’re going when they get up in an interior cabin to hit the restroom in the middle of the night, this small nightlight can be a very crucial item you definitely don’t want to forget.
3. Power strip-
Every seasoned cruiser knows that there is usually a huge lack of available outlets in the stateroom. Last cruise we counted exactly 2 outlets in the entire room. So, consider bringing a small power strip for extras. They even have some with a USB plug on it.
4. Towel clips-
Who wants their towel flying away? Not me! We love the BOCA Clips and use them each cruise to hold our towels firm on the lounge chairs. We don’t want a large gust of wind to whisk our towels out to sea.
5. Bug spray-
This is especially important for any tropical ports you may be visiting, because there’s bound to be a lot of little insects begging for a piece of you. With all the latest insects causing problems, it’s always best to be safe.
Whether you claim you “never burn!” or you’re trying desperately to come back home from vacation with a sunny glow, bring the sunscreen. In the tropics, the sun tends to be much hotter and stronger, even those who easily tan can burn quickly. You don’t want to burn in the beginning of your vacation and be miserable your entire trip because you forgot to slather on!
7. Small fan-
Many, many people need a fan blowing to sleep soundly and help out with the white noise. If you’re one of these people, or you tend to get hot during the night, bring a small compact one on board.
8. Seasickness patch, pills or bracelet-
There are many forms of seasickness relief available. We swear by the patches you place behind your ear, and are prescribed by your Dr. Some people use ginger, others purchase Dramamine, and then there’s the SeaBand bracelet that others use. It’s always good to have some form of seasickness help that works best for you, in case the rocking of the ship ends up getting to you and making you nauseas.
9. $1/$5 Dollar bills for tipping-
Often the porters at the port would like a tip for taking your bags at the curb for you. The shuttle driver to the port is also hoping for a tip for loading/unloading your luggage. Make sure you’re prepared.
10. Water shoes for various excursions/a rocky beach-
Depending on the ports you visit and excursions you plan, you may want to bring some water shoes. No one wants to walk on rough, rocky beaches and be uncomfortable the rest of your day.
11. Wrinkle release spray-
For the clothes you packed carefully but somehow didn’t survive the journey onto the ship without wrinkling, purchase and bring along some wrinkle release spray. It’s a quick, easy way to have your clothes looking decent. Remember: Irons aren’t allowed on the ship and even though they have ironing stations on each floor of the cruise ships, you may have to wait in line to use it.
12. A jacket/sweatshirt-
Even on a Caribbean cruise it can get a bit chilly in the evenings! Always a good idea to have it on hand, even if you never use it.
13. Reusable water bottle-
Instead of buying water bottles each day you head into port or for your stateroom, bring a reusable one from home. This way, you’ll always have a container for some thirst-quenching goodness if you happen to pass by a drinking fountain, and can even refill it in your stateroom.
For the occasional cut, scratch, blister or small injury. You can ask the crew for one, but it’s always easier to have these on hand yourself.
If you have your cell phone turned off during your cruise, a watch can be very beneficial. Don’t forget to always have it set on the ship’s time. You don’t want to miss the ship because you didn’t keep track of the ship’s time.
A hat will help protect your neck and face from the sun, you’ll also lighten the load on your eyes if you forget your sunglasses on the ship. Plus, hats can just add so much style to a vacation outfit, especially while at the sea and you end up with tangled beach hair!
17. Conditioner and shaving cream-
Most cruise lines only offer shampoo, bar soap, and body wash in your stateroom bathroom. Be sure to bring your other essentials, like conditioner, shaving cream, any needed makeup remover, and various lotions.
18. Nail Clippers-
You may break a nail and desperately need these. Don’t forget to pack them in your cosmetic bag.
19. Laundry bag-
Instead of throwing all of the dirty clothes in the corner, bring a laundry bag to put them in.
So helpful, especially in the Sunny Caribbean. Be sure to bring some along with UVB protection.
21. Comfy walking shoes-
For long walking tours, shopping along cobblestone streets in Europe, you’ll want comfy shoes made for walking (definitely NOT Flip Flops).
22. Lint roller-
Bring a small, travel-sized lint roller for any lint you need to remove.
23. Over the door storage hanger-
Traveling with more than two people, this is really a must-have. All the little essentials, accessories, travel sized items can go in these pockets and help keep you organized and know where items are in a jiffy. Consider purchasing the see-through one.
You may want to consider bringing an umbrella. Some are small and very compact, and these would be the best for cruise travel.
On nearly every cruise line, your key to your room (and to buy stuff) is a card the crew gives you before you board, or such as with Carnival Cruise Lines, it’s outside your stateroom door when you get on board. Don’t lose it, simply purchase a lanyard. You can even ask the crew members on board to punch a hole in your card if needed.
26. Ziplock bags-
For soiled clothes (think pools or hot tubs the night before debarkation) extra outfits for excursions at port, keeping your cell phone dry –these handy ziplock bags have unlimited uses. Stash a few in your bag just to be prepared.
27. Pain medications-
Whether it’s a killer headache, stomach ache, intense cramps, or sore legs, you may need some pain relief medication. Bring your medicine of choice (and if it’s a prescription make sure you pack it inside the original bottle).
28. Sticky notes-
Sticky notes and magnets kind of go hand-in-hand. Sticky notes are great to have to leave little notes for your cabin-mates or kids mentioning where you’ll be, what time to meet for dinner, etc. Magnets are good for hanging the daily activities newsletter on your wall, as well as anything else you may find important. The cabin walls are predominantly metal, so your stuff can go on the walls easily.
This probably isn’t necessary to mention, but just in case anyone is likely to forget: bring a couple of razors! If your ship sells them, they will be pricy in the gift shop.
30. Disinfecting wipes-
For everything from your TV remote, to your bathroom counter, door handles, tables and more, sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yes stewards do clean the cabins, but it’s hard to know what surfaces they pay extra attention to. If a norovirus recently broke out on board, or you’re over concerned with this, spend a few minutes wiping down surfaces.
What would you suggest packing for a cruise vacation? Share with us in the comments below!
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