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!
Why should you Contact Us for your All Inclusive Vacation?
1. We book amazing All Inclusive Vacation Packages every, single, day.
2. We've been there (to many of the best resorts) ourselves, or...our colleagues have clients who have been there and can offer us unbiased pros and cons of the resort, location, value, etc.
3. We work with ALL major suppliers who offer us special volume pricing.
4. We have a guaranteed price match on nearly all published resorts.
5. We have numerous colleagues in our network (3,000+) and many available additional resources, to answer all your questions before/during and after you book your All Inclusive Vacation with us.
6. We offer special group vacation pricing for your family, friends, reunion, groups and wedding guests.
7. Why risk your trip through a massive vacation search engine with no after-the sale support?
8. Who can you call to assist you once you've bought from a massive search engine? Do you want to be "on-hold" at the airport, when your having issues? We offer one-on-one, personalized support during your entire vacation.
9. We offer our clients wonderful perks, specials, discounts, gifts, VIP service and superior customer service.
10. We have many happy clients, just check out our Reviews Page!
11. Save Time and Research. We do ALL the leg-work for you, at no additional cost, when you book your All Inclusive Vacation package through us.
Give us a call today, OR fill out our Dream Vacation- Planner tool, to book your All Inclusive Vacation of your Dreams! Call Escape Destinations Travel at: 910.379.4033
YOUR ALL INCLUSIVE PLANNING TIMELINE-
Planning an All Inclusive Trip is so Very Exciting and sometimes as exciting planning as the trip itself!! Here’s your Schedule of what you need to do to plan your dream vacation, and when you should do it all. Don’t worry, Escape Destinations Travel is here to assist you every step of the way! Don’t hesitate to call or email us with any questions, that’s what we’re here for.
9-12+ Months Out-
At the end of the day, if you made it to the resort without a major hiccup, then your vacation is off to a really great start!
My best personal advice: don't stress, relax, and enjoy the memories your making and truly enjoy every moment because it all goes by so fast, it's all worth it in the end!
HAVE AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING VACATION!
International Vacation Tips & Tricks!
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Here are some tips, tricks and general guidelines that will help to make your international vacation very enjoyable.
When Planning Your Trip:
* Always use a Travel Consultant! Your travel professional will sort through any of your concerns or questions ahead of time, along the way to your destination, while traveling in the country, or when you’re headed home. Should you have a cancelled or even delayed flight, they are there being just a simple phone call away. Should you hotel have issues, be over-booked (yes sometimes it happens with a few), a medical emergency or other situations that can happen, they’ll be right there to assist you immediately and help you quickly get back on track to your destination!
* Do you have a group tour or cruise you’re trying to get to? Always plan on arriving to your destination in advance. We recommend at least a day before you need to be there. Let’s say you have a dream cruise you’ve saved up for a while for, and you chose to arrive the same day of embarkation. Should you inevitably get delayed due to weather, flight cancellations or a flat tire, you may not be able to board the cruise in time. Or, if your flight was cancelled and you were re-booked, your luggage may have gotten lost in transit. A 24-hour window allows your luggage to catch up with you, or a delay to not de-rail your dream trip. And always consider insurance, trip delay or luggage lost is normally covered by most travel insurance companies.
* Reconfirm all those fine details long before you depart on your vacation. If you are traveling over several time zones or even the International Dateline, remember to verify the arrival date(s) are the correct dates that you will be arriving at your destination. It’s imperative to pay very close attention to any overnight flight schedules regarding connections and arrivals that may interfere with your travel itinerary, group tours, cruises, etc.
* Booking your trip across several airlines can be confusing, is very stressful while traveling, and can even be potentially more expensive to your budgeted vacation dollars. It’s good to hire a travel professional who will be certain to review your itinerary when it’s first issued as well as prior to your date of travel. They can advise you as to whether it's really do-able as far as connection times, baggage handling, and other issues/concerns. The consultant can also serve as your one-call contact, should something unfortunately go wrong.
Packing For Your Trip:
* Don’t forget to carry your passport, important medication, emergency contact information (especially your travel professional’s contact info) and other critical information with you at all times. Never pack your important documents and medication in your suitcase that’s checked! Your carry-on, or on your person is the best option.
* When packing your suitcases for your vacation, consider opting for two smaller suitcases over one large suitcase. Many airports abroad are not equipped to easily handle a full cargo of luggage, and may be in a constant state of “catch-up”. Your luggage may not arrive with your flight (as it should) but could even arrive on a later flight, instead. This frequently occurs when you have several connections. When a flight is overweight, the first things to be off loaded are those heaviest bags. If your suitcase is not light, but is an overweight massive bag, it could be one to be off loaded first.
* Pack your itinerary, to include your travel professional’s full contact information and your own contact information while traveling in each piece of luggage you plan to bring on the vacation. This will help the airlines catch up with you and coordinate the delivery of your luggage during your trip, should this need arise.
* Pack everything that’s absolutely necessary into your carry-on. This could include the following: a full change of clothes, toiletries, and medication should your luggage not make it to your destination or be delayed. Pack items not readily available in stores at the destination and that you need. Also, some other items that may be handy: gum, candy, nuts, granola bars, that may help you with your energy in case a store/restaurant is closed whether in transit or when you’ve reached your final destination!
Have a Wonderful Vacation!!
What's essential to you when you travel Internationally? Comment Below.
International Toiletry Essentials to Pack for Your Next Trip-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Packing for your International Trip doesn't mean you have to go all out for your next vacation. With a few ideas, shared below, you'll be well on your way to being completely prepared with all your toiletry items needed.
· Place your travel size toiletries in a hanging toiletry bag or jewelry. Hotels have limited counter space. This can easily be hung over your bathroom door at the hotel.
· Bring any dual voltage, compact folding hair dryers/curling irons/flat-irons (if needed) on your vacation. Dual voltage appliances are practically the norm, now, and can easily be found at many local stores. If you can go without, this would be much better, and lighter!
· Most 3+ rated hotels will have hair dryers. But, what could be better than air drying your hair!
· Even with dual voltage appliances, you'll need an adaptor plug for the sockets. Of course, if not bringing dual-voltage appliances, you'll need to bring an electrical converter, as well, but be aware even the smallest of these can add as much as 5 lbs to your luggage weight.
· Many of the nice hotels abroad will provide at least a small bottle of shampoo, so be prepared. Bring a couple with you, at least, or fill travel bottles with your favorite products.
· Pack a cheap, dozen washcloths or handy facial/makeup wipes. They don't exist abroad (that I could find). Use one a day and simply toss.
· Pack a micro-fiber "turby towel." This is helpful to dry your hair, body, etc. I always carry my "turby towel" with me on my travels as it helps dry my hair quickly.
· Purchase double-purposed type products: shampoo/conditioner-in-one; tinted moisturizer instead of packing foundation + moisturizer.
· Don't forget the travel-sized products come in very handy while traveling overseas.
· Tweezers, nail polish remover pads (definitely not the bottle of liquid); emory boards, toothpicks, dental floss.
· Manicure scissors, small needle and thread kit (with common colors).
· Safety pins, in various assorted sizes.
· Barrettes, bobby pins, ponytail holders, hair clips, stretchy headband (good for cold weather, too).
· Perhaps consider packing a very small roll of duct tape (hey...it may come in handy to mend clothes, bandages, luggage if it's ripped, etc).
And remember, unless you’re planning on camping during the "Wild nights in Munich, during Oktoberfest" about anything you need, can be very easily purchased along the way!
3 Super Quick Tips for Traveling Abroad!
Don't laugh...but these have to do with paying attention to Your Precious Feet!
1. DO NOT SKIMP ON FOOTWEAR! Your feet are so worth it!
Vacations abroad are by their nature, very much walking, climbing and touring vacations. So many times you'll find yourself off the beaten path. The center of many towns are traffic free, so walking is how they are seen. Think of all of the cobblestone streets in Europe!
It's so important to purchase quality, well fitting, supportive and comfortable shoes. Make it a huge priority. Don't go "cheap" on the shoes, invest in something that will reap you healthy benefits. Buy them in advance before you leave for your overseas adventure and walk in them often, before-hand. Blisters or super sore feet can ruin your entire time abroad. You want to make memories, not nurse sore, aching feet.
2. INVEST IN GOOD SOCKS-
Do invest in good socks and good footwear.
Wool or synthetic blends will tend to help to cushion your feet, even when wet and easier to rinse out and wash by hand while abroad. They dry more than twice as fast, because they breathe well and wick moisture. Cotton will soak up sweat and moisture, and this isn't great when walking (especially if you're going long distances).
Such a quick, simple little tip, but worth so much! Trust me please. Your feet will thank you.
3. BRING (2) PAIRS OF COMFORTABLE SHOES-
Pack two pairs of comfortable, well-broken in walking shoes. Each day switch to the other pair if possible. Your feet will thank you. Find some that are versatile and can be worn with anything in your suitcase.
I try to remember to pack a pair of black flats and a pair of flat-soled boots, often, but sometimes even instead, a second pair of slip-ons in place of the boots. In either case, they can both be worn with slacks, jeans, or dresses. You can even switch them back and forth from day to evening-should you have a nice night on the town!
The reason has to do with various pressure points on your feet. No matter how well-fitting a pair of shoes may be to you, your feet tend to rest differently within them. By switching off shoes, you can give those pressure points in your feet a much needed break. This will lessen your chance for blisters or sore spots.
It’s another simple little traveling tip, but worth so much! Trust me. Your precious feet will thank you.
Do YOU have any particular shoe styles, or brands that have worked well for you on your travels, please share below!
Sometimes getting the “cheapest deal” isn’t always the Best Deal! By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
We had an existing client phone us the other day saying their “cheap” All Inclusive Deal wasn’t such a deal after-all. They had decided to go with one of those online discount travel sites, to book their All Inclusive Deal, because it was hundreds cheaper than we could offer, only to find out (they realized a month out from their trip) that it did NOT include their flights nor did it include their transfers. The client was in an absolute panic because all she had now, was a resort (hotel) booked to a beautiful tropical destination, without flights nor a way to get there once they arrived to the airport and also didn't have a way to get back to the airport from the resort, when the trip was over. And they didn't bother to compare our "vacation package" to the online discounted travel one at the time of booking with this competitor! Yikes!!!
With their vacation resort being nearly an hour+ away from the closest airport, the transfers would cost them over $200 each, and then the flights were roughly $600 a piece, round trip. So that “bargain trip” was not such a bargain anymore. She now needed to scramble to find airfare. But, thankfully we were able to recommend a few flights to her and add in the transfers into a sweet little packaged deal. We saved the day and felt like a hero!!
I completely understand getting the best bang for your buck (hey....I've been called frugal by my own family)…but cheapest is not always the best! Our original trip that we quoted the client months prior, actually ended up costing them less with our company, when you added in the all important round-trip airfare and round-trip transfers. It really helps to have the complete picture when you’re comparing prices. It’s important to compare apples-to-apples to get the best price. And...it's super important to have a professional on your side, who can decipher what's really needed for a "complete packaged" vacation.
AND one more thing….did you know we Price Match? Yes, many times should you find a lower price, we can match it for you (as long as it's the same identical trip/room type/flights, etc.)!! So do your homework and understand the price your seeing may not include all the other things that can quickly add up costing you more money in the end.
We think our client learned her lesson and we sincerely hope they will continue to use our business in the future!
Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Yes, I hear it ALL The Time. Just last week I had a travel client call me in a panic because her friend could absolutely not go on the All Inclusive Trip they had planned for NEXT MONTH! YIKES! For only a few extra dollars....get the insurance!
Why, because it can protect you from illness, sudden changes in your plans, an unexpected death in the family and also affects the other people traveling with you. You don't want to end up with the extra cost as the one getting "stuck" on the trip which was one together, but now you have to pay more to travel solo.
So, the story doesn't end yet for my client, she's scrambling to find someone to join her on her trip to Mexico, very much last minute. And the cost to change the flights (think supply and demand means higher price) for the new person will be higher, and the friend who now can't go, she's lost her entire vacation money! To the tune of over $1,800! So the moral of this story....pay a tad bit extra for the peace of mind that comes with having travel insurance. It really IS worth it in the end- I promise!
WHAT IS BETTER ABOUT TRAVELING WITH A GROUP?
With our busy lives and careers, it's hard to have meaningful time with anyone we care about. One of the best parts of booking a group trip is for connecting with your family or friends. There are a million reasons to plan a group trip someplace dreamy!
It's more fun. Isn't that why we go on vacation- to enjoy ourselves? Imagine ... The first day of your group trip, we organize a welcome cocktail party where everyone traveling in your group meets in a designated area for an hour or two to connect, relax, have fun and begin planning all of the fun times they will have!
Can you see yourself having wonderful, exciting days, exploring with your family and friends and then meeting your entire group for dinner each night to share fun conversation and great activities that were enjoyed that day along with a super delicious meal! There’s almost always little bonuses for booking a group, whether it be a free amenities and upgrades only given to a group. Things like welcome baskets of treats, bottles of wine, or even sometimes a complimentary amenity like spa visit, free golf, etc! The group leader can even get a reduced or FREE Room for all the effort and work they spent coordinating the vacation with one of our travel experts.
Whether it's your family or a fitness group, we will help you get those hard to reach people interested in the vacation as a group! We'll provide you with all the resources you'll need to motivate, educate, and excite people to enjoy their group vacation together. As a group leader or group organizer, you may need support in deciding on all of the little things. That is where our experts come in. They can help you select the right departure date, itinerary length, and activities which lead directly to staying within the budget you require for you and your group! Your group agent will help you to identify the needs of your group and will be sure to clearly understand your expectations. We handle all the fine details, so you look like the Rock Star and we're working behind the scenes coordinating dates, collecting the money from each travel participant, etc.
Why vacation with a group? It's a great value. It's time well spent with family and friends. It's an adventure. It's safer in numbers! But- the number one reason we think it's better to travel with a group? It's just more fun!
FRIENDS & FAMILY GROUPS-
Class reunion? Family Reunion? Church Group? Wedding? Club or Hobby? Any reason to bring friends and family together for vacationing is a good one! Let Escape Destinations Travel be your guide to the greatest memories ever! With 8 cabins or more, our Group Travel Experts will lead the way.
COMMON INTEREST GROUPS-
Love to Run? Have fun Scrapbooking? Want to vacation with an Elvis impersonator? Karaoke? You can even bring your Fitness Boot Camp with you on vacation! Let us help you pull everyone together. People you know, people you don't know - let's bring them all together! We can support you and your group that share the same passion! We can arrange your dining times, reserve meeting space, and even orchestrate your special events and meeting space.
CORPORATE & INCENTIVE GROUPS-
Would you like to reward your employees for a job well done? Would you like to celebrate a great fiscal year at work? What about your top sales people? Even a corporate retreat or seminar! Vacationing as a group is an incredible way to provide your best employees with an experience second-to-none without a-la-carte pricing. Pay one bill, one time, for your corporate trip and let Escape Destinations Travel take you there!
Planning a Reunion? You can strengthen your family ties by spending quality time with loved ones, or reconnect with classmates during a vacationing high school or college reunion.
Call us today for further details! 910.379.4033
Escape Destinations Travel Blog- Exploring our favorite travel places with You!