It takes a lot of work to plan a family trip. Picking specific destinations, finding lodging, securing transportation, booking flights, scheduling visits with friends or family — all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine, especially if you have younger kids, can take hours and hours.
In the press and hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation. Continue reading →
Travel insurance is purchased to reduce the risks associated with travel. There is confusion, and even skepticism, surrounding travel insurance. Here are some answers to some common travel insurance questions.
What is travel insurance?
Travel Insurance is a contract between a travel insurance provider and a traveler who has financial interest in lessening risks associated with travel. A premium is paid in exchange for coverage for things like unexpected medical costs, flight delays, cancellations, evacuations, and emergency assistance. Depending on which plan you choose, coverage will vary. Continue reading →
Seminars at sea and meetings at sea are a great way to change up the norm about training. Wouldn’t your employees want a mini-vacation, possibly with their families, while they work?
Incentive programs have been proven to increase sales, boost productivity, retain employees, hold on to top talent, promote teamwork, and decrease employee turnover. The International Society for Performance Improvement has found that incentive programs often increase the individual performance by 22% and team performance by 44%. Corroborating this success, the Incentive Marketing Association’s Recognition Council found that companies using travel as an incentive had employees that outperformed companies that did not by 30%-40%. Continue reading →
I have lived in Florida since 1986 and in May, 2017 I finally visited the well-known, fantastic, historic Ringling Circus and Art Museum—twice. Once was a “walk-through” for an upcoming bus trip I was conducting later in May. I walked around the grounds, through the Original Museum and the Tibbals …Continue reading →
Passports are changing. With international travel on an upswing among cruisers, getting a passport is on the to-do list for a lot of travelers. Lately, there have been a lot of changes and things you need to be aware of when getting ready to apply (or renew) your passport. Here, we’ve gathered six of them so the process is as smooth as possible for you. Continue reading →
There are various ways for a travel professional to become certified. The three main sources are: Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), The Travel Institute and through the various supplier sites. While there are other methods of training for a travel professional, CLIA and The Travel Institute are the two main ones recognized throughout the industry. Continue reading →
Confused? Confused about travel? There is so much information available on the internet right now regarding travel. There are online travel sites for cruises, hotels, air, trains and any other type of travel. But what is the correct product for you? Is the location of the hotel where you want …Continue reading →
Most people who love to travel get a kick out of new and novel experiences. It’s part of travel’s endless appeal, after all. Around any corner can be some unexpected, fun, informative surprise. Seasoned travelers are often trying to think of new places to check out, trying to find “the next” best beach, mountain, urban, or rural destination.
Consider Different Hotel Options
One thing that travelers sometimes overlook are the options for novel, quirky accommodations on their trips. They might spend months planning transportation, sightseeing, or food — but the default lodging is often a typical hotel. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course. If you’re up for a new level of adventure, check out these outside-the-box accommodation ideas from around the world.
Live Out a Childhood Fantasy.
Remember watching Swiss Family Robinson as a kid and thinking that looked like the most amazing adventure ever? Treehouses are not just for kids! From the jungles of the Amazon to towering tamarind trees facing the South China Sea, there are plenty of treehouse lodgings that look like something pulled straight from a childhood reverie. You can look at gorgeous photos and start filling your head with high-up dreams here.
An Ice Hotel.
The cold and snow are definitely not for everyone. If you’re strictly a warm-weather kind of traveler, this might not sound appealing. But if you are at all fascinated by Northern cultures and the mysteries of a winter wonderland, this might be just the thing to pass a freezing weekend while waiting for Spring to arrive. Many of these hotels are extremely well-appointed, with luxurious design, high-end restaurants and bars, spas, private igloo-suites, and even wedding chapels located right in the structures themselves. Take a look at this list to start thinking about your next frosty foray.
The Ultimate in Recycling.
Taking the idea of overnight accommodations well beyond just the remodeling of historic buildings, people all over the world have found unexpected objects, forms of transportation, and natural spaces and have transformed them into comfy, beautiful places to spend the night. Train cars, airplane hangars, caves, lighthouses, windmills, boats — basically, the only limit is the imagination.
Camping for People Who Don’t Like Camping.
Want the best of camping — fresh air, breathtaking views, cozy fires, wildlife watching — without the crick in your neck or the twigs in your morning coffee? You could try “glamorous camping,” otherwise known as glamping. Spend the night in wall-tents, yurts, teepees, or island huts that feature nothing but the most luxurious amenities.
If you’re ready to take on a vacation and rest your head in a space that’s definitely outside the typical hotel room, check out http://www.quirkyaccom.com. From huts, castles, and boutique hotels to a re-creation of a Hobbit’s Shire in rural Montana, this site allows you to search for lodging ideas from all over the world that will really send you on a trip.
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River cruising is on a lot of people’s bucket list. On July 5, 2017 take a cruise on the Romantic Rhine and Mosel River Cruise on the MS Emerald Sky. You get 2 nights in Lucerne, 2 for 1 airfare, 11 days and 23 meals with this river cruise. Visit Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Airport transfers on tour dates when the air is provided by Mayflower Tours is included.
The MS Emerald Sky is a newly built, exclusively chartered river ship. Unpack once in your tastefully furnished river view stateroom with a window for panoramic viewing. Excursions are accompanied by local English-speaking guides in Lucerne, Strasbourg, Cochem and Cologne. Listen to narration through the UNESCO World Heritage Region of the Rhine River Valley including the legendary Lorelei Rock. Explore the beautiful Reichsburg Castle on an included excursion. In Amsterdam listen to an included narrated canal cruise.
All meals are included onboard with a variety of international cuisines. All onboard lunches and dinners are served with complimentary regional wines, beer and soft drinks. Afternoon tea and late evening snack served daily in the lounge, bar and dining room.
Evening events and Local insights are available onboard. Your touring experience with enhanced with the use of audio headsets.
The suites on the Horizon Deck feature a walk-out balcony. The ‘inside balcony’ includes a drop down window featured in the staterooms on the Horizon and Vista Decks.
For pricing and more information, contact us at Cruiser’s Travel.
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As a child growing up I was lucky enough to go to Greece every three years to visit my grandparents and uncle. My grandparents had to return to Greece when I was about five due to my grandmother’s health and my uncle went with them. He eventually married and had children and stayed in Greece. When we went to Greece we would get to stay two to three months at a time. I really loved going there. The people were always friendly and went out of their way to help me even though I didn’t speak Greek very well. Most of our visits were to the beautiful island of Crete. We got to visit Knossos and, of course, the gorgeous beaches. We visited relatives up in the villages in the mountains.
I never really felt left out. The neighbor kids, who were taking English in school, were always happy to practice their English with me, and I got to practice my Greek. It was fun coming back every three years and pretty much just continuing on with those friendships, seeing how all of us changed over the years. As we got older, since some of my friends in Greece were older than me, they got married and had children. I loved being able to practice my Greek and by the time we left during those visits I was pretty much able to hold conversations. Of course, not using it much when I returned to the States, I would forget most of it and have to relearn it when I returned to Greece!
My father is of Greek descent but never learned the language as his mother was English and his father was from Crete. He didn’t go to the Greek Church much and was not in contact with the language much growing up. My mother taught Greek for over 30 years, which is where I learned it, but not speaking it on a regular basis you don’t get very fluent. I understand Greek a lot more than I can speak it, which surprised my mother sometimes when I asked questions about something she discussed with her friends on the QT (or so she thought!) by speaking in Greek .
Greece is still my favorite place to visit as often as I can. I still find the people so friendly and willing to help those who don’t speak Greek. Most of the younger crowd know very good English and a lot of the business owners do too. It is still a very beautiful, culturally rich place to visit. Unfortunately the ability to stay for two to three months is not an option for me any more, but boy would I love to live there for that amount of time if not longer!
A great way to see Greece is to combine a cruise of the beautiful Greek islands and a bus tour of the mainland. You’ll see the picturesque blue roofs of Santorini, the windmills of Mykonos and the butterfly valley of Rhodes.
Then you can take a fantastic escorted tour of the mainland and see the Peloponesian area of Greece, visit the awe-inspiring Corinth Canal and the Parthenon and Acropolis of Athens.
It is a great way to see Greece in 10 or 15 days. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful beaches and museums! There are many archeological sites, lots of museums but most of all beautiful beaches and scenic sites to see and adventures to explore. Greece has many islands, some more tourist-oriented than others. Each has their own history and sites.
Santorini is known for its blue roofs, homes built up the side of a mountain, shopping and its beaches. Some people even think Santorini is the lost island of Atlantis. You can fly to the island but arriving by boat is the best way that provides a spectacular introduction. After the boat sails between Sikinos and Ios, your deck-side perch approaches two close islands with a passage between them. The bigger one on the left is Santorini and the smaller on the right is Thirassia. Passing between them, you see the village of IA adorning Santorini’s northernmost cliff like a white geometric beehive.
Crete, to the Greeks, is the Megalonissi (Great Island), a hub of spectacular ancient art and architecture. Crete is the land of King Minos, a unique world where civilization is counted by the millennium. There are mountains split with deep gorges and honeycombed with caves, rising in sheer walls from the sea. There are snowcapped peaks looming behind sandy shorelines, vineyards and olive groves. There is a beach on Crete with caves know for its hippie residents in the past.
Mykonos was one of the poorest islands in Greece turned into one of the richest with the tourist trade. This island was put firmly on the map by Jackie O in the 1960s and remains the Saint-Tropez of the Greek islands. With its whitewashed streets, Little Venice, the Kato Myli ridge of windmills and Kastro, the town’s medieval quarter. The two-or three-story houses and churches, with their red or blue doors and domes and wooden balconies, have been long celebrated as some of the best examples of classic Cycladic architecture.
The fourth-largest Greek island and, along with Sicily and Cyprus, one of the great islands of the Mediterranean, Rhodes was considered a bridge between Europe and the East. Rhodes town brings together fascinating artifacts, medieval architecture, an active nightlife, and is reputedly the sunniest spot in all Europe. Don’t miss the beautiful “Valley of the Butterflies” at Petaloudes that can be seen best in July and August.
One of the most unspoiled Greek islands, due to the difficulty in getting to it, is Patmos. Rocky and barren, the small island lies beyond the islands of Kalymnos and Leros, northeast of Kos. On a hillside is the Monastery of the Apocalypse, which enshrines the cave where St. John received the Revelation in AD 95. The Monastery of St. John the Theologian sits high on its perch at the top of Chora. It is one of the world’s best preserved fortified medieval monastic complexes, a center of learning since the 11th century and today is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex consists of buildings from a number of periods: in front of the entrance is the 17th-century Chapel of the Holy Apostles, the main Church dates from the 11th century, the time of Christodoulos (whose skull, along with that of Apostle Thomas, is encased in a silver sarcophagus here), and the Chapel of the Virgin is 12th century.
There is lots to do in Greece from relaxing on the beaches, touring the museums and archaeological sites to shopping. Don’t forget cruising the Greek Islands!!!
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