Here’s A Practical Example of How our FREE Program Works:
A Fantastic Cruise Vacation for 4 people @ $500 a piece, planning to set sail August 2016 on a 6 night Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise. Vacation Total: $2,000.
¨ You pay the Cruise Line’s Required Deposit Per Person (varies based on each individual cruise line or the travel package selected).
¨ We’ll use $200 per person required. The deposit is due at booking, so $200X4= $800 down payment/deposit. The remaining balance: $1,200 is due 90 days before sailing.
¨ The $1,200 remaining balance can be paid as often as you like. (When we plan our own vacations, I decide what’s feasible for our family’s budget). As you can see, at $133 per month, this family of 4 can be “CRUISIN’” in less than a year, at paying only $133 per month.
¨ You can pay this weekly, bi-weekly, once a month, whatever works best for you.
¨ For only $500 each, you’re getting a great room, all food & snacks, fabulous entertainment while on board, the opportunity to visit new cultures, new countries, meet wonderful new friends & the chance to create lasting memories as a family!
OCEAN BLUE & SAND RESORT REVIEW- By Guest Blogger & Client Olivia H. Autryville- N.C.
"We enjoyed our June 2015 trip to Ocean Blue & Sand. The rooms were large, the grounds were immaculate, and the food was decent. We did not mind the walk from restaurants to beach...we actually liked having some space to spread out. The stay was not without a few issues: there was quite a bit of seaweed on the beach, we had problems getting towels two days, and there were long waits at the restaurants. Overall, the majority of the staff was friendly (even if English was limited). We did not have any problems with being hassled for the timeshare and vendors left us alone with a simple "no." The pools were relaxing...one is quieter than the other. There were activities for those who enjoy them (though most were only in Spanish). Elvin in the main buffet was WONDERFUL. He greeted us every morning and made sure we were satisfied with our stay. He was the bright spot of our day!! Thanks Elvin!!"
Why I Love To Travel! By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Do you love to travel? Me too! Since many of us are self-described travel nuts I thought it would be interesting to explore some reason why we love to travel.
What Is It About Travel That People Love?
For some, travel’s a dream that comes true once a year for the annual vacation. Often people yearn of a fabulous travel adventure like a few weeks in Africa or perhaps even selling everything you own and backpacking in Europe for a year!
For some, travel is a sweet plan for retirement on a boat, an RV, with only your backpack or perhaps even by train. I haven’t quite decided yet which one might be my favorite and I might even have to run with all of those travel plans in my golden years...but I have a while until I get there!
For me travel has been an all-consuming passion, it was my first love. My whole life’s been geared towards travel. I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student so I could learn a foreign language and travel (of course). Once I returned home after that year, and graduated high school, I would work for a few months and save up, then head to Europe to see the sites for a month or so and lives with my sister! It’s been a grand journey with so many incredible memories (imagine being there when the Berlin Wall fell and getting to graffiti the wall and take a few pieces home with me) and I cannot wait to see where else I can visit for the first time. Personally, I set traveling as my goal for working so hard. Planning my next trip is like practically being there, I love the thrill of the hunt, researching and planning a wonderfully exciting vacation for myself (and now others as well)!
So…Why Do People Travel?
1. To challenge yourself-
Visiting a 3rd world country can have you count your blessings in life! While E. Germany (before the wall fell) wasn’t exactly the worst, going for about a week without a shower, was “roughing it” in my book. Then sharing a very “humble broth/soup” served to me and my fellow exchange student friends from our hosts with pride, truly impacted my life. Even the toilet paper was “recycled” seemed rough and felt like sand paper! Not much running water and sharing a toilet with 8 other students proved to be a challenge.
2. To enjoy new experiences-
Just recently I made a fabulous return trip to Germany. I was able to see Heidelberg (my favorite city in Germany) brush up on my linguistic skills and even check out Oktoberfest in Munchen, which was quite an experience in and of itself! Talk about a dream coming true for me! This was something way outside of Sampson County, NC and so took me out of my comfort zone!
3. To find yourself-
Where do you go to find yourself when you may be a bit off track or need some inspiration? I tend to take a trip, immerse myself in the local dress, culture and simply spend some quiet time chilling and reflecting. It’s a worthwhile event and one I encourage you to take whenever possible.
4. To learn a new language-
It took me nearly 6 months, immersed in Germany, in a high school classroom where virtually no English was spoken, in order to slowly to pick up the language. Not to mention my Host Mom and Dad spoke zero English so this made for some very challenging conversations! I love speaking in a foreign language (or at least my humble attempt) when I travel, it gives you a whole new outlook on life…and really helps you feel like you’re able to “fit in”.
5. To experience new cultures-
Our family shares a love of travel and we now try to take a trip to a new country every year together as a family. Last year we visited Jamaica and the Grand Cayman Islands. We discovered that once you leave the Jamaican port, it can get a bit dangerous. We saw that the locals live in extreme poverty and oppression and that we have much to be thankful for! I’m pretty sure we were all thankful to arrive at the resort behind a very large gated compound. We all enjoyed seeing a different culture. In about a month, my daughter and I plan to see Mexico, to add this location to our bucket list of places seen! Some of her friends have never even left our county. We consider it a true blessing to be able to enjoy so many new and exciting places!
6. To have fun-
Travel is so much fun and lots of people travel with the sole purpose of the enjoyment! Life is too short….I lost a dear family member recently and it was such a tragic loss. They were so young and it came so unexpectedly. Life is to be cherished, we’re not promised another day, so I believe it’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest, so take a trip, relax and have a great time!
7. To see new things-
I’ve seen the Berlin Wall after it was opened up in 1989. I just saw the phenomenal Zugspitze last month, skiing in the Alps, we’ve enjoyed an exotic beach in Labadee, Haiti, snorkeling with the stingrays in The Caymans and Zip-lining in St. Martin. I don’t think I could ever tire of visiting wonderful new places, enjoying the local food and immersing myself in the local, enchanting and exciting culture!
8. To eat new food-
I like to try new stuff! How about you? Have you ever tried conch? When in Rome has always been my motto. When in a new country, venture out, go ahead and try something new...I doubt you will be disappointed.
Why not take a trip this year, to explore a new place, to find yourself, and try a new culture? You’ll enjoy some sweet memories with your friends and family that will stay with you for a lifetime!
6 Travel Money Pits to Avoid! Written by Jen Campbell
It’s fun to splurge from time to time, especially when you’re on wonderful vacation. However, the following “extras” are actually money sinkers that may not be worth it in the end.
1. Save Your Money- Don’t get Charged for Excess Baggage-
Most of the time, you won’t wear everything that you pack anyway. When you’re preparing to leave for sweet vacation, you may think that you need 4 outfits for every day. In truth, though, most of your clothing will go un-worn and you’ll pay high fees for extra luggage. If you can wash your clothing at your hotel, this will help you pack less. You can also pay for clothes to be laundered if necessary and even get them back the same day.
2. Don’t get into any Un-marked Cabs-
Never, ever get into an un-marked cab. On top of being a rip-off, they’re also not safe. Un-marked cabs are infamous for charging extra high rates, taking longer-than-necessary routes, and giving you the wrong change back. Try to travel in pairs and please avoid going alone in a cab ride, if possible.
3. Avoid Tourist Dining Areas-
When traveling, try to eat like a local instead of like a tourist. Tourist-heavy areas come with sometimes super high prices. Talk to the locals to find out where the best restaurants and eateries are that offer a bit of a local flair (in a safe area).
4. Avoid those Airline Clubs-
The idea of an airport’s airline club can often be a lot nicer than the actual club itself. Members-only airline clubs are often just as loud and crowded as the rest of the airport. Unless you’ve had a great experience in the past and travel all the time, these clubs don’t offer a great return on your investment.
5. High Taxes on Alcohol-
Some countries carry extremely high tax on alcohol, which is a good reason to skip over cocktails when you’re dining out. One drink can cost more than $15 (watch out on the cruise ships for these pricy drinks too)! To keep costs down, try to stick with water (if it’s safe depending upon which country you’re in) or order a virgin drink. I personally suggest a smoothie or fruit juice which will keep you healthy and full of lots of energy while you are traveling and seeing the world!
6. Avoid those Pricy Hotel Rooms in Major Cities-
By staying smack in the center of an exciting, thriving city, you’ll likely pay big bucks for a tiny room. Instead, consider staying a few short blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds or on the outskirt of the city-just make sure the area is safe. Lodging rates will likely go down and the room space will possibly expand.
Spring Break Travel Ideas on a Budget-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Springtime is here, which means spring break is almost here! Many families want their spring break to be a time of bonding and creating unique memories. The problem is that spring break is popular with many, that many destinations are expensive and tend to be overcrowded. Looking late in the game, several of the best deals may be gone. Here’s some ideas for you, if you have not yet decided where to go:
Places with large national parks or well-known government sites such as Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania are all popular. Williamsburg, VA, offers several resort options during March, April, and May.
Spring break is a popular time for cruises, but many may worry that a cruise is too extravagant for their budgets or schedules. Don’t miss such opportunities; many cruise sites will offer discounts or special packages. They are really a vacation bargain as they include your room, food, entertainment and exotic locations, all bundled into one price!
If you’re interested in wonderful exotic locations, a cruise can make your dream trip a reality this spring. Expose your family to the rich history and culture, absolutely stunning views, and delicious food of Europe with destinations including Greece, Italy, Turkey, and the Scandinavian region.
Alaska is another great cruise destination where you can enjoy significant discounts. Both north and southbound cruises are available with varying mixes of awesome activities and time to take in the sights, history, and culture. Many Alaskan cruises include glacier tours and tundra wilderness tours. Discounts can be found through lines including Carnival Cruise and Alaska Cruises.
Winter-lovers can enjoy their spring break at winter resorts in Breckenridge, CO. Take advantage of great spring break weather and enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, and dog-sledding. Or, take a carriage and sleigh rides through Breckenridge year-round, perfect for newlyweds, anniversary celebrations, or unique family outings.
Disney World is a dream destination for kids and the adults. Unfortunately, a normal Disney vacation can cost thousands of dollars, not including the cost of food, drinks, and souvenirs. If you’re planning a spring trip, try to go during the first three weeks of May. If your trip will straddle spring break and a school week, talk to your children’s teachers about taking extra days off. Most teachers will be flexible if your trip includes educational elements, such as time at Epcot Center or a detailed trip journal in which the child answers prompts from the teacher.
Washington, D.C. is a great destination! You and your family can learn about our U.S. history and visit wonderful places like the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Smithsonian, which contains several museums on its campus.
Whatever destination you choose, this spring break is sure to be full of memorable activities! Have fun this Spring and enjoy this great season of the year!!
5 Quick Tips for Your First Cruise-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
There is a lot to like (and discover) about awesome cruise vacations! The ports are exotic, the food is super delicious, the service is excellent and the price is so very right. However, there are a lot of things about cruising that may be new or confusing to first-timers. For them, here is my own personal cruise advice:
1. Enlist a Travel Agent!
Travel agents can offer you a personalized cruise advice and customer service for a competitive price. Those of us who live nowhere near a port must also book flights, hotels and transportation. A travel agent can help you with all of the details of planning a great trip, and may still save you some sweet mula.
We recommend booking your cruise vacation with the family travel experts at Escape Destinations Travel! As a travel agency under a very large company consortium, we’ll get you the absolute best price on your cruise without those horrible extra mark-ups or fees.
2. Research your Port Activities in Advance! Plan ahead to make the most of your limited time in each destination. Head to the internet, your local library or bookstore to read up on your ports of call. Here are the questions you should answer in advance about each port of call:
Cruises are advertised as “all-inclusive” and in many ways, they absolutely are. Your room, food and entertainment are all included in one reasonable price. However, there are onboard amenities that cost extra. Here are some potential expenses that are NOT INCLUDED in the price of your cruise and you’ll want to watch out for.
4. What to Wear! The cruise experience is reminiscent of a time and social class where people dressed for dinner and had a regular occasion to wear formal attire. I really like to dress up, but I’m definitely a mom who rarely attends fancy parties at home. Does that mean I had to run out and buy a lot of clothes to go on a cruise? No.
On most major cruise lines, you never need to change out of your shorts and t-shirt, as long as you prefer eating at the buffet. Shorts, t-shirts and swimwear are appropriate in most areas of the ship throughout the day, but they are not allowed in the dining room.
Dinner in the dining room is one of my favorite parts of the cruise, so I pack evening wear. Most evenings, women and girls wear slacks or skirts with dressy tops, or dresses. Sundresses are perfect for evening wear in the dining room. Dressy sandals are OK. Flip-flops are not. Slacks with a polo or button-down shirt, and perhaps a sport jacket are appropriate for men and boys.
I worried about formal night on my first cruise, but it really isn’t a big deal. If you own a tuxedo or formal gown, this is your chance to wear it. If you don’t have one, and don’t want to buy one, don’t sweat it. My husband looks great in his suit and tie on formal night(s) and I wear a dress that looks nice alongside the suit. You will see elegant, sequined and over the top dresses, to fairly casual yet somewhat dressy evening outfits.
Check out our website, where you’ll find wonderful packing lists, to help you decide exactly what to pack and what to leave at home!
5. Don’t Over Pack!
Cruise “staterooms” are very tiny. They are so tiny that you may feel a bit cramped at first! The whole bathroom is not much bigger than a standard bathtub (unless you’re able to get a larger suite). Just think of perhaps an RV sized bathroom and you’re about right. It can be challenging to pack light when you need swimwear, casual wear, evening wear and formal wear for typically a week or less. Here are my tips for cruise packing:
Escape Destinations Travel announces their Nomination and Selection as a Winner of the Carnival Excellence Award for 2014!
Clinton, NC April 8, 2015- Escape Destinations Travel, an independent travel agency based in Salemburg, North Carolina, is pleased to announce their appreciate of receiving the Carnival Excellence Award for 2014. This award is only given to a select group of Top 15 Travel Host Agencies. Escape Destinations Travel Agency was nominated to be a part of this prestigious award for their innovative marketing techniques, brand advocacy and sales success strategies. The Carnival Sales Leadership panel, led by Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Joni Rein reviewed their profile and confirmed their winning host agency award.
"We are so excited to be nominated and chosen as a winner of this amazing award. Carnival is a fabulous cruise line that caters to everyone. Carnival is known for its fabulous destinations and exciting itineraries, along with an always fun atmosphere! It’s very cost effective too. Families can afford to travel with Carnival as it’s an all-inclusive trip that makes vacation planning easy to sell to our clientele. You pay one price and your entire accommodations, food, drinks, and entertainment are included. So, our clients what they are paying and can have their entire trip paid off before they go, so there’s never a surprise at the end of the trip. We also take payments for cruising, so it’s very affordable and is a free service we offer to our clients. We truly love specializing in Carnival Cruise line Vacations!" says Agency Owner/Manager, Jenifer Campbell.
About Escape Destinations Travel:
Escape Destinations Travel specializes in Cruises, Dream Trips, Group Vacation Packages, Honeymoon, Baby-moon, Weekend Trips and All-Inclusive Vacation Packages for both business and leisure travel. The Agency also provides comprehensive and independent travel advice, allowing clients to gain access to the widest range of extensive travel services and products, and the most up-to-date information. Escape Destinations Travel has an office in Salemburg and makes appointments with clients. Their consultants are always available via telephone at 910-379-4033. Escape Destinations Travel… Creating memorable travel experiences to be shared for a lifetime.
For more information, please visit: www.escapedestinationstravel.com
Escape Destinations Travel
Jen Campbell- Owner
Escape Destinations Travel Blog- Exploring our favorite travel places with You!