How to Pack Like a Pro- By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Always pack Flip-Flops!
They’re cheap, lightweight and keep your feet sanitary. Who wants to be walking on bare floors in a hotel room or shower floor that’s not sanitary. That’s just gross. Wear them down to the pool, the hot tub or simply around your hotel room.
Don’t forget the Lotion!
Flying, traveling and moving means your skin can become dry. Imagine the cabin pressure in a flight and the changing climates. They can do a real number on your skin. Always carry your lotion so you can lather up all over.
Your Luggage Must Haves-
That oh so Slinky Little black dress! Who knows when you’ll have that last minute chance for a spontaneous night on the town. Having your black dress handy with some slinky black shoes (lightweight) means you’ll ALWAYS be prepared for whatever (or whomever) comes your way!
Bright Colors Win-
Purchase brightly colored chargers for your devices. They make finding them easier! While you’re at it, have various interchangeable plugs, so you’ll always be able to charge up your devices wherever you find yourself.
Pack Outfits Together-
Pack your outfits (complete with shoes on the bottom of the bag) all rolled up, so that your clothes stay neat and never get wrinkled. Also, another great idea, plan your wardrobe around one or two of your favorite colors. Then pack similar colors together, so you only need to pack two pairs of shoes max. It’s always a good idea to use shoe bags, plastic bags, or your shower cap turned inside out, so your shoes keep the dirt off your clothes in your bag.
Layer or Repeat Outfits-
Pack one simple outfit you can layer, and wear it more than once. Obviously you’ll want clean undies and socks, but consider wearing an outfit twice (if your tempted to over-pack like I do).
Keep Essentials in Your Carry-On-
Always, always, always pack your overnight personal items into your bag you carry on. What would happen if your bag was lost, sometimes it happens and you may need your pj’s and medicines, etc. Don’t pack these essential items in your checked bag.
Purchase Unique Luggage-
Avoid the always present (on every...single...flight...) black luggage. It’s soo very hard to find this in the baggage claim area, with the other 200+ people on your flight. Consider a brightly colored bag, and even colorful ribbon on the handle, in order to separate your bag from the rest of the pack!
Many of us in our small group will soon be traveling through the stunning, gorgeous, golden landscape of Tuscany, dotted with impeccably beautiful olive and fig trees. We will visit a typical Tuscan village in the rolling hills of the countryside and perhaps enjoy a glass of luscious, local Italian Wine. We will stroll through the iconic cobblestoned streets, where locals will greet us with a warm smile.
Doesn't this sound like a dream come true?
With ONLY 2 spaces left, hurry!
Details can be found on our Website.
I know, I said it before, but to me it bears repeating! I only have a little over a year left with my teenage son, Austin, so I want to maximize the amount of quality time we get to spend with each other. One way this Mom can capture his undivided attention, is to plan fun trips together where we get to see new countries, within Budget, having a BLAST!
Our next trip happens to be Spring Break 2019, taking a cruise together! We are flying out of Raleigh to Miami, stay in a hotel, then board the amazing Allure of the Seas, out of the Stunning Miami port, for an exotic 7 night trip to Puerto Rico, Labadee (Royal Caribbean's Private Island) and then on to very beautiful St. Maarten!
Neither of us have ever been on any of the Largest Ships at sea (Aside from Carnival's Vista last Christmas Break) so we are both super excited to see what this LARGE City at Sea has in store for us.
Some of our options we cannot wait to experience are: Aquatheater, Zip Lining across the highest ship decks, Ice Skating at Sea, Flow Rider Surfing at Sea, Dancing, Exciting Broadway Type Shows, Tons of Awesome Restaurants, Comedy Night, and soooo much more! With a little over 3 months away, we're already counting down til our Vacation at Sea.
Does this sound like fun and you'd like to JOIN US? This is our Special Group Cruise we've organized for our very own Friends and Family! Check it Out!
As I sit here pondering another amazing cruise quote for a new client, I was contemplating the wonderful options out of the Charleston, SC Cruise Port, for the next several months!! Since it's practically a hop, skip and a jump from NC, VA and GA, it makes it super convenient for any of us Southerners to leave out of this port, and definitely more cost effective for us local folks.
For My Family: We usually head down the night before, then rent a nice hotel room in the area to take advantage of the hotel's Special "Park and Cruise Package." Why pay for expensive parking at the port when you can get to Charleston, SC the night before, and take a wonderful stroll downtown to the historic areas and relax in your hotel room (without having to worry about making it to the ship in time). With the price of cruise port parking, it's well worth it to pay a tad bit more, to have a decent hotel room the night before (to ensure you get there on time for your cruise) and then snag a Cab, Shuttle or Uber to the port. Once your done with your cruise, you simply head back to your hotel (via a local Cab, Shuttle or Uber) to grab your vehicle and then head home. How easy can this be?
So...lets get back to my review of Carnival Ecstasy vs Carnival Sunshine.
Here's my Personal Input:
Out of the two ships (I have had the wonderful opportunity to sail on both of these) my personal opinion would be to ABSOLUTELY Sail on Carnival Sunshine!! It has an absolutely beautiful, relaxing waterfall cascading down into a Small Pool in the Quiet, Adult Only SERENITY AREA (this was where I spent the majority of my days relaxing and soaking up the sunshine and cool vibes). The ship is much newer (I hear Ecstasy is the oldest in the fleet, so unfortunately, its quite dated) and has wonderful amenities as well! In my humble opinion, it's worth paying a tad bit more to be on the Carnival Sunshine. I thoroughly enjoyed the Red Frog Pub Bar...where Every Evening I enjoyed the special beer brew on tap, for a fraction of the cost of those expensive Fruity Beverages! The bartenders got to know us, as we returned each day for a cold, frosty drink in a beer mug. We even enjoyed the frog balls....which were actually very lightly battered and deep fried chick peas (for free).
If I had to choose between both cruise ships, my choice would be Carnival Sunshine, all the way. But hey....as long as you're sailing on a cruise ship out to sea (to the destination of YOUR Choice) it's worth it's weight in gold.
Let’s face it, life with a teenager is not always easy. It’s not always fun, and it always keeps you on your toes. I wouldn't trade our memories for anything, even those some moments have been much harder than others.
As I sit and ponder this limited time left with my teenage son, I can’t help but wonder how many more days we’ll get to spend together. It will be limited, and the time will come when he decides to spread his wings and fly the nest.
So this summer I asked him what type of vacation he’d like to plan for next year, and he quickly responded- a cruise! Last year we were blessed to be able to enjoy a cruise on the Carnival Vista, their most latest and greatest cruise. We had a blast as we checked out amazing Cozumel and the always beautiful Jamaica. This time around he wanted to go back to his favorite cruise line, Royal Caribbean.
So, this mom has the two of us booked on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, where during Spring Break of 2019 we’ll be headed to Puerto Rico and St. Maarten (both first time locations for him). Yes, while it may be a bit slightly higher priced cruise than we normally take (for our budget) this ship has ALL of the most wonderful things as Sea such as: kids and teen youth clubs, ice skating, an aqua show, many pools, surfing at sea, Starbucks, rock climbing walls, zip line, seven unique neighborhoods, nonstop activities, fabulous food and amazing entertainment.
I splurged and booked us onboard the amazing ship! We even have a special group cruise with rooms set aside for our family, friends and clients at very special pricing, along with some surprise perks. Want to join us? CLICK HERE
This Mom has been saving and budgeting for this cruise for months! I'll be glad when I've got it paid off and we can get on the ship and simply enjoy our time together and (this mom) can also spend some much needed time relaxing.
Escape Destinations Travel has become one of the first agencies to introduce a unique and exciting Vacation Layaway Program. We know families are always looking for the best way to save money. Vacations and time together definitely deserve a place in your family's budget, which is why we offer our affordable, free, no interest Layaway Plans for your Vacation. In addition to saving you the most on your vacation package(s), you can hold your vacation and guarantee the lowest price for just $200 down!
How Does it Work?
Learning a New Language Travel Tip-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
If you're trying to learn a new language, then download the amazing FREE Duolingo App. We've been using it to learn German for the past few months and it's been really great! We Just Love It!!!
There are lots of different, unique games to play, many fun ways to memorize words and phrases and the app tracks your progress and even grades you as you go. You can move further along if your skills are successful. It also has a fun robot chat room where you can chat with the app to practice your writing, as well as speak and listen functionality that ensures your language pronunciation is up to par.
Give it a try, we think you'll enjoy it!
Pack some wet-wipes with you on your next trip. No, they’re not just for little children or parents.
Whether you're hiking, taking a long flight, or simply going out for the day, we suggest you have a small pack of wet-wipes (the travel size ones are perfect) with you, when on the road.
Often times, there won't be a shower available when hiking, or visiting the desert and these little wipe/cloths are the perfect substitution for a quick freshening up (getting the dust & sweat off of you is a must!). When no water is around, these little gems will save you!
Another time wet-wipes can come in handy is when you can't wash your hands, or when you need to sanitize an eating surface (like those little plane tray tables that can be gross!). Or, you can even wipe down a nasty toilet seat with the wipe. YUCK!
How to Budget for Your Dream Honeymoon!
By Jenifer Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Did you know that the average Honeymoon is 7 nights in duration and will cost over $5,000+! Your budget may be higher (or lower) than many others. Setting your budget up (ahead of time) will help you in the decision-making process, as you will be able to discover what may be dreams and what’s more realistic.
We have a detailed spreadsheet where you can add up these costs (actually it auto calculates it all for you) based upon what you add into the budgeting sheet. Request our Free Honeymoon Budget Planning Form today!
*Our Secret Honeymoon Tip:
Did you know you can use a free honeymoon registry (such as HoneyFund) where your friends and family can actually contribute towards your dream honeymoon as a wedding gift? More details can be found on our website.
Here’s a few Budgetary Questions You may want to Consider when Planning Your Honeymoon Vacation:
Think of your “must have” items needed for your Dream Honeymoon, and then consider prioritizing from there. Don’t forget the romance, fun (and budget) at the same time. You want to have the Honeymoon of your dreams, but don’t want to spend the next year after that, eating Ramen Noodles and Boiled Hot Dogs every night for dinner!
Our quick travel tip is to not “over-plan” Your Vacation.
If you’re anything like me (I’m definitely a "type A" person) who likes to plan everything down to the last detail- this may be hard to do. Planning all the details may seem like the logical way to go about your travel prep, but trust us, over-planning can ruin a trip, and make it seem more regimented than it needs to be. Learn from me and- RELAX….
We recently experienced the downsides of this, when trying to "be prepared" every single day of our 9 night small group tour to Germany with plenty of activities to keep us busy. Then came the last day, and we thought we were boarding a flight home from Germany. Well.....both our flights were cancelled and we were “stuck” in Germany for an extra day. So, whatever would we do with zero “plans” in one of my most favorite countries? Well…. we were spontaneous!! We quickly settled into our hotel rooms. My sister and I hopped on a bus to the train station, then took the local commuter's train to drop us off in the middle of downtown Frankfurt, so we could explore on our own. Help from a friendly, local German man, sent us on our way to get off at the best spot to experience downtown Frankfurt.
BONUS: we ended up at a small, wonderful wine festival that we weren’t aware of, and it was absolutely fabulous!! We ended up enjoying Gluhwein (hot spiced wine), yummy food, great music, neat little shops, incredibly amazing architecture and lots of fun German locals.
Planning is always good, but remember to leave some room for changes and especially times of spontaneity. We'll always cherish our extra day in Germany for years to come.
Interested in an amazing small group tour to Germany with us, then CONTACT US now to get a trip of a lifetime planned to Germany in the near future!
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