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Why Hawaii is the Perfect Destination! – Travel Video!

 

Our Travel Planner Annette Colburn recently visited Hawaii! I sat down with her recently via a video chat to talk all things Hawaii! Annette shared with me that the islands of Hawaii are one of her absolute favorite destinations! Through our conversation, she shared with me a few of the reasons why Hawaii is her happy place as well as why Hawaii is a perfect destination for truly everyone!

 

 

Annette shared that Hawaii is ideal for couples, families, kids, truly everyone! Everyone can find something that they enjoy! She detailed that Hawaii is filled with romance making it a great spot for couples! From renewing your vows, to your honeymoon or even a romantic getaway, Hawaii can provide the most amazing backdrop for you and your partner! Families can enjoy some relaxing time on the beach or choose to take some incredible once in a lifetime excursions to experience everything the islands have to offer!

 

 

I asked Annette what her favorite excursion was and she said she loved snorkeling and whale watching! She showed me the incredible photo she captured of a whale jumping out of the water and it is so breathtaking! Annette shared with me that she loves wildlife so seeing these beautiful creatures was a real stand out moment!

You can hear more in our new YouTube video!

 

I personally have always wanted to travel to Hawaii and now that I have heard Annette’s stories I am even more excited to one day get to experience this beautiful state!

I would like to thank our wonderful Must Love Travel Planner Annette Colburn for sharing her incredible Hawaii experiences with me! Contact our Must Love Travel team today to plan your next vacation to Hawaii or to wherever your dream destination is! We are excited to make your travel dreams a reality!

Celebrity Infinity Stateroom Tour! – Cruise Ship Cabin Tour Video!

 

Back in November our Must Love Travel Group set sail on the beautiful Celebrity Infinity for a wonderful cruise filled with continued education, new experiences and great fellowship with our amazing team! We loved getting to stay aboard the Celebrity Infinity! I had so much fun exploring every part of this gorgeous ship! The ship’s décor and style is timeless and elegant yet full of contemporary flare! Many parts of the ships featured unique pieces of modern art.

 

 

This elegant yet modern décor could also be found inside the staterooms. These cabins had a very clean and feel with light wood tones and pops of red. I stayed in a verandah cabin which featured a massive balcony! I loved having a verandah room and being able to start each morning by stepping right outside to see what beautiful destination we were waking up in that day!

You can check out our full Celebrity Infinity Stateroom tour in our New YouTube Video:

 

Your Must Love Travel Planner can answer all your questions about cruising and help you find the perfect cabin type to best fit exactly what you are looking for! Contact our knowledgable team today to plan your next adventure!

7 Things I Learned on My First Cruise!

Hi Everyone!

 
I am excited to share with you a great video from our Social Media Director, Megan. She joined us a few years ago and has traveled many places, but had not sailed on a cruise until our annual agent event this past fall.  She was like a kid in a candy shop. Questions galore!  It was so exciting as we all helped her prepare and enjoy her first venture on the high seas! Questions like, do I purchase the drink package or not?  How do I pay for things? What is one of the most helpful things you need on a cruise?  Can I use my cell phone?

These are great questions and ones we often hear from first-time cruises and sometimes even from people who have cruised before, but maybe have not experienced the newest technology on the larger ships.

 

Cruising is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to travel and with a few insights from our very own first-time cruiser you might be calling us very soon to book your first cruise!

7 Things I Learned on My First Cruise! – Tips for First-Time Cruisers

 

This past November I embarked on a brand-new travel adventure, MY VERY FIRST CRUISE! Our 2018 Must Love Travel Agency Event took us aboard the beautiful Celebrity Infinity. This trip was my very first cruise that I had ever been on and it was such an amazing experience! I learned so much about so many new and exciting places that I had never been to before such as the Florida Keys and the Bahamas!  I got to enjoy fellowship and education time with my wonderful colleagues! I also came away from the trip with an in-depth knowledge of cruising!

 

 

 

Prior to this first cruise I was filled with so much excitement as well as so many questions. I didn’t know what to expect with this new mode of travel and was so curious as to how it all worked. Like with everything in life, we learn through first-hand experience! Through my experience onboard the Celebrity Infinity I came away with having all of my cruising questions answered!  Today I am excited to share with you 7 of the things I learned during my first cruise! I hope that this information and tips help you know what to expect whether you are about to embark on your first cruise or your 100th cruise!

 

  1. Get a Drink Package

Many cruise lines offer a drink package. We all had the option to add one of these drink plans on before our sailing. I opted not to get a drink package, I enjoy indulging in a drink or two but that’s about my limit. For me personally I didn’t feel that I would get my money’s worth out of having a beverage package. I was planning to just pay for any drinks I wanted outright throughout the cruise. When the day came to set sail, I was checking in at the terminal and received such a kind upgrade! The Celebrity crew member at check in saw on my license that I had recently celebrated my 21st birthday and gave me the drink package complimentary. What an amazing start to my first ever cruise! Here was where I had my first learning experience. I feel that I definitely made the most out of having a beverage package. What I was unaware of was the fact that even drinks such as iced tea, coffee, sodas and other fountain drinks are all additional charges. Having a drink package allowed me to get these beverages as well as enjoy some alcoholic beverages. In the end when you crunch the numbers having a drink package definitely will save you money in the long run. It is important to know that every cruise line is different in terms of what beverages are included free and what drinks are an up-charge. Different cruise lines offer different types of drink packages and many cruise lines even have different tiers of beverage plans. The best way to know which plan is best for you is to talk to your Must Love Travel Planner! Our team has already done the research and can offer you the best advice to save you money and maximize your vacation experience.

 

  1. Bring a Lanyard

On a cruise, you will be given your stateroom card, this card does so much more than just open your cabin door. This card is also your form of onboard payment, your ID, and it is loaded up with any credits you may have such as a beverage package. You find yourself using this little card all the time. With that in mind it is a good idea to have a lanyard with a clear pouch to house this card in. This eliminates the need to carry your wallet or bag with you throughout the ship. I saw many people on the ship who had cruise lanyards. I instantly made note that I needed to get one after seeing how useful this item was! The onboard gift shops will sell lanyards; however they are going to up-charge you quite a lot on the ship! I saw lanyards in the gift shop for around $20. That is why my best tip is to plan ahead and purchase your lanyards before you set sail. You can find generic lanyards and even some very cute and stylish lanyards on sites such as Amazon for right around $5. Trust me, this item will be super convenient!

 

  1. Optimize Device Charging

Staterooms on a Cruise Ship can be much smaller compared to a standard hotel room. This is just something to be aware of when planning. With proper planning, you will be able to maximize your space to the fullest! Something I encountered was the fact that our stateroom had just one outlet with 2 plugs. Only 2 devices could be plugged in and charging at one time. Once again this was just how it was on our particular ship. Many newer ships come equipped with more outlets and plugs. However, just because you are limited on outlets doesn’t mean you can’t still charge all your devices and gadgets, bring a charger block or a power strip. Devices such as these will allow you to plug multiple device into just one outlet. Another tip I can give is to bring a European adaptor if you have one. Our Stateroom also had a European outlet with two European plugs. This is common on Cruise Ships because they sail all over the world and have passengers from all around the world! Had I brought along a European adapter I could have gained a whole other outlet to use!

 

  1. Cell Phone Use Onboard

One of the things I was most curious about prior to my first cruise was how cell phones worked at sea! I ended up being able to use my phone during the entire duration of the cruise with these tips. I put my phone in airplane mode to make sure I would not get roaming charges. Be aware of the fact that your phone may still work out at sea but you might get hit with extremely high roaming charges. I recommend talking to your cell phone service carrier prior to your sailing to know your range. Even in airplane mode I was able to still call and text with people back on land because I enabled wifi calls and texts. This is a feature that most smart phones have that you can use wifi to call, text and even facetime! I purchased the ships wifi package in order to do this and found that the onboard wifi was very strong and I always got a great connection. If you are wanting to use your phone in port in a different country I would also recommend talking to your service provider before your sailing telling them where you are traveling so you can find out if you can get service. My cell phone company offers a great program where I can pay for an international plan per day. I was able to utilize this during our day in port in Nassau Bahamas.

 

  1. Motion Sickness

As a first-time cruiser, motion sickness was a fear in the back of my mind. I am happy to report I was absolutely fine during our sailing and never felt any motion sickness symptoms. My best advice to you if you are concerned with motion sickness is to just be prepared. I picked up motion sickness pills prior to sailing to keep with me as a precaution. I also bought a product called “Sea Bands.” These are bands that go around your wrist and apply pressure on certain pressure points that are supposed to naturally reduce the feelings of motion sickness. The first night of our sailing we were just getting out to sea and in this area the water was a bit choppier. I was noticing the motion more so choose to put these band on as a precaution. I felt great the entire night so I definitely think this product works wonderfully!

 

  1. Prepare to put Luggage out the Night Before You Disembark

The evening before you disembark you may be instructed to place your luggage outside of your stateroom to be collected by your host. They take your bags away so that the next day they can handle getting the luggage off the ship for you. Every cruise line has different procedures but this is definitely helpful. The morning you depart you don’t have to worry about maneuvering your luggage all around the ship! It is a great system; however, this is just something that you need to be aware of so you can plan ahead. Know that on your final evening of the cruise you will have to gather from your luggage any items that you need for that evening or for the next morning. I just had my backpack with me and I definitely had to do a lot of consolidating and reorganizing to get my essentials to fit in my small carry-on. I made it work but in the future I would definitely plan to bring along a packable tote bag that can be used for this exact purpose. With a packable tote, you can repack just those essentials for that night and the next day and not have to worry about not having enough bag space.

 

  1. Plan with Your Must Love Travel Planner!

My first Cruise experience definitely gave me the cruising bug! I saw that there is so much to do and see during a cruise vacation! You are onboard a floating luxury hotel that is whisking you away to new and exciting destinations! A cruise is multiple vacations inside a vacation! You can make your cruise relaxing, adventurous or a perfect mixture of both! There are so many options to choose from when it comes to activities to experience on the ship, to excursions you can take in port! With this in mind it is important to go into your cruise vacation with a plan and a knowledge of all of your choices so that you can guarantee you won’t miss out on anything that you really want to do. This prior research will allow you to make the most out of your vacation! The best way to do this is by contacting your Must Love Travel Planner! Our team can use their knowledge and experience to give you recommendations and tips that will enable you to get the most from your vacation! Your job is to relax and enjoy while we do the work part for you!

 

Hear more in our new YouTube Video:

 

I hope these 7 things I learned on my first cruise will answer some of your questions about cruising. I highly recommend planning a cruise vacation. I am already counting down the days until I get to set sail again! If you still have questions about a cruise, know that your Must Love Travel Planner will be your advocate and answer any questions you may have! As always, our team at Must Love Travel is happy to help you plan your next vacation! Happy Cruising!

Taking a Trip with Friends

Have you ever traveled with friends or a group of people? Many people enjoy traveling with other families, couples or a group of friends. Our Travel Agency embarked on its annual event this week. A group of over 20 travel professionals set sail on the beautiful Celebrity Infinity out of Fort Lauderdale.

This trip on the Infinity is full of opportunities to learn and fellowship from each other. As travel professionals, we are always looking for opportunities to learn and experience new products. Celebrity Cruises is a great option for many. From couples, families and multigenerational trips this can be a great option.

This is the first time I have sailed with a group of friends other than my family. Traveling with a group of people who have a similar interest is so fun. During the days we typically go our own ways and each evening we gather to share our experiences for the day. Each day provides opportunities to get to know the others on a greater level. A group trip provides for a new or even a renewed friendship with others.

When traveling with a group of friends you can go your own ways each day and come together in the evening. During the evening gatherings, you can share your experiences of the day and enjoy being together. Traveling with a group can be very rewarding.

If you have a group you want to travel with please let your travel professional know. They can help you plan and coordinate the entire trip.

Secrets Akumal

This week I had the privilege along with one of our Platinum agents to represent our company at the Mark Travel 500 Club Platinum and Gold Reward Trip. We are staying at the Secrets Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Akumal is a small beachfront tourist location about 62 miles south of Cancun between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is perfect for snorkeling and swimming with the turtles. In fact, in Mayan, Akumal means, “place of turtles”.

Secrets Resorts and Spa properties are adults only and a perfect escape in unlimited luxury. Secrets Akumal has a beautiful white sand beach and luxury lounge chairs and plenty of sun and shade. The resort hosts three beautiful pools, one on the beach, one in the middle of the resort and my personal favorite a nice quiet pool very Zen-like. Both the beach and pools have wait staff to keep you refreshed and nourished. They have endless daytime activities and fantastic night time entertainment. As you walk around the resort you are surrounded by exotic natural beauty.

The luxury resort accommodations are non-smoking suites, each with a stunning view and some with direct swim-out access. There is a private furnished balcony for those early morning coffee or late night star gazing. There is a whirlpool for two, daily refreshed mini-bar, free wi- fi and international calling to the US and Canada. The Preferred Club Suites offer additional amenities as well such as a preferred club lounge. These are just a few things the suites offer.

There are 6 gourmet a la carte restaurants, buffet and a cafe and grill with no reservations required. Throughout the resort there are 6 bars with wonderful staff to take care of you. Of course you will not want to miss the Secrets Spa by Pevonia. It is 18,000 feet of pure luxury. We took the opportunity to indulge in the hydrotherapy and it was an amazing experience.

The events and wedding team here do a fantastic job! Our first night they hosted a Garden Party that was just amazing. Desserts hanging on tree swings, chandeliers, and entertainment. We also saw a wedding yesterday and they did a fantastic job. They try to only have one wedding a day, which is rare at most all-inclusive resorts. You could tell the bride and her guests were truly pampered.

Secrets Akumal is a perfect choice for a romantic getaway or even a girls spa getaway!

Moments to Take your Breath Away – Colmar Pocket

Everyone once in a while you take a vacation and end up in a destination that just takes your breath away. This is how I felt a few weeks ago at one of the stops on our Viking River cruise on the Rhine river. We had not planned to take the optional excursion for that day, Colmar in World War II Museum and Memorial, but after talking with several of the other guests on the ship we decided it was a must see and I am so glad we made the decision.

Colmar is a fairytale village in Alsace, France near the border with Germany. You may have heard it referred to as Alsace Lorraine as it switches hands between German and France many times during the World Wars I and II. This area is filled with miles of vineyards that we learned at one time became infected with a diseased bug that was native to the region, so they had to replant with new vines and they all came from the Napa Valley in CA, USA! So literally we have our USA roots growing in this area of France!

As soon as we rounded the corner, we were immersed in the historic old town filled with cobblestone streets lined with amazing buildings reminiscent of what you have seen in photographs from the early Renaissance. Timbered houses and the Gothic 13th Century, Eglise Saint-Martin Church which is located on central Place de la Cathedrale transported us into our own fairytale. The flower boxes filled enhanced the charm of the private homes. Since we were visiting the Colmar Pocket Memorial Museum, we walked the cobblestone streets and allowed ourselves to imagine living in this little village filled with rich history and charm.

What was especially moving was listening to the tour guide share the experiences of our American and French soldiers and we drove through the Colmar Pocket to the US War Memorial and French National War Cemetery on Mt. Sigolsheim. She discussed the battle as war raged to free France. Three months of fighting took place as these allied forces pushed the Germans to retreat.

We ended our day’s journey at the Audie Murphy Memorial, as we honored one soldier’s heroic stand. We learned that Audie was the most decorated US soldier in WWII history. He was born in Texas in 1925 and is known to have killed 240 German soldiers, and earned 33 awards and medals including three Purple Hearts and one Medal of Honor.

I was especially taken back when I saw our American Flag flying high upon this memorial and the honor that was paid to our American Soldiers.

I hope all of you have a chance to experience those moments that take your breath away even if you happen upon them last minute.

The People of the Destination

Often times, traveling to new destinations create lasting memories for you and those you are with. I can remember my first time outside the United States, going to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I was so excited to be going outside the country I failed to realize it was only 184 miles east of Miami.


Making memories is one of the reasons I got into this business. As I have traveled to new destinations I have realized that not only are memories made, relationships are built with people of that locale. Many times, the people are who make the destination. The beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, the monuments in Washington, D.C. and many theme parks of Orlando are all amazing. Without the people, your experience would be much different.

On a recent trip to Mexico, I was struck by the amazing people. They were all so gracious, loving and welcoming. Returning home I kept thinking about the people an less about the resorts I was there to see. Clearly, they made an impression on me.

As you travel the world I encourage you to get to know the people along the way. You never know when a simple conversation will make a lasting impression. The amazing poet Maya Angelou once said:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Wherever you want to go we can get you there. Along the way do not forget the people. #peoplefirst

Building Relationships

Recently I was reminded of the definition of a relationship; “a connection among people which they do things together in a productive fashion. A strong relationship occurs when the group outperforms what the individuals themselves can do.” I just love this! At Must Love Travel Group, relationships are a part of our company culture. We have built strong relationships with our team, with suppliers and our clients.

Our team works many hours behind the scenes to discuss opportunities for professional development and how they can best serve their clients. We have various learning channels such as webinars conducted by our suppliers, onsite education programs and conferences, weekly calls and interoffice correspondence. It is our goal as a company to be ready to work with our clients to book them in the perfect location. Building relationships within our team indeed makes us stronger as we learn and grow together with each other in mind.

Our management team has spent years building relationships with the suppliers that provide our clients with out of this world vacation experiences. Such partners as Disney Destinations and Universal Orlando have provided us opportunities to send our clients to great immersive family destinations that have created thousands of memories. Other partners such as Karisma Resorts, Sandals and Beaches and other all-inclusive partners, allow us to offer wonderful beach vacations, honeymoons, weddings and more to our clients. And we will not want to forget the cruise lines like Disney Cruise, Princess Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruises, that have taken our clients across the globe in exploration to not only warm destinations but Alaska, Europe, Asia and more!

Our clients, YOU! Nothing can be more fulfilling to us than building relationships with our clients. You may say a relationship with a travel planner? Yes! Our relationship with our clients provides them with unlimited access to the world! We get to know you over the many years of planning your trips that we become not only people who book your trips, but we know and care about your family, watch the kids grow, share the memories of time away from work and your hectic lives. We know what hotels you like, what type of activities the family is looking for, what food you like and don’t like, and the list goes on. Client loyalty is important to us and we work hard to build and maintain those relationships.

I am sure all of you have relationships that you value, such as your hairdresser, realtor, financial advisor, etc. I hope you have one of our travel planners on your list! If you have been reading our blog for some time, and are not connected with one of our travel planners or have never used one, send me a note so we can get you connected! You don’t have to be traveling soon, just get started with the relationship! I can guarantee it will be one you will cherish for many years to come!

River Cruising Down the Rhine River in Germany

Today I am sharing with you as I am sailing down the Rhine River in Germany! We are on the 5th day of our adventure aboard the Viking Ingiv. We have had a fabulous time visiting the Black Forest, Colmar, Heidelberg and today heading toward Kolblenz. This is bar far the most beautiful part of the journey! I often see the debate – do we start in Basel or Amsterdam – I would definitely say Basel. Save the best for the end of the trip!

Passing by Castles, beautiful homes, WWII train tressels designed to look like castles ( false facade) so that the opposition would not notice where the Germans were hiding. The river is unusually low, however, our Captian grew up on the river and assured us we would maneuver upstream just fine! Now our cruise director is sharing a fairytale of the 7 virgins who remain the rock until a strong handsome man comes to rescue them. The sharing of information is something I have enjoyed so much. The history and stories have made it so interesting.

Sailing on a river cruise is much different than an ocean cruise as you can imagine. The advertising we see on TV doesn’t really do it justice as the intimate nature of the cruise has so many wonderful benefits. First, the size is around 160 guests who very quickly get to know each other and begin sharing this journey together. Sharing in meals, tours and fun times in the lounge! Unlike other cruises that are so large, this cruise experience allows guests to share common areas as see the same guests more often. If you wanted to be alone – I am not sure this is the type of cruise you would like as everyone here at least is sharing with one another.

There are scheduled tours that are included and many that you can choose from also for an additional cost. I have found that the included tours have been just perfect for the region and the guides are very good. We added one additional tour which was the World War II tour in Colmar which was superb! Each evening before dinner we are briefed in the lounge of the next days activities with an explanation, given the menu and activities for the evening. It reminds me of a land tour but with a ship as your accommodation.

Dining has been very nice. There is one seating for dinner and the chef creates a different meal for each night as well as some staples. If you are a very picky eater you may not find it so appealing and have hamburger or steak every day! Two of the ladies at our table are picky eaters but they have managed to stay sufficiently nourished! With one seating each evening, you can sit anywhere, however, you tend to sit with the people you have met and stick with your wait staff. Ours has been excellent! Many have served on the larger ships and really enjoy sailing on the river.

The staterooms are very nice, with a little smaller bathroom, but sufficient enough for what you might need. The beds are very comfortable and I would highly recommend having the verandah as the rooms without are very dark and not as appealing. Having the verandah gives great views from your bed – and sitting outside with a cup of coffee and fresh air is great.

The common areas include the library, sun deck, lounge, dining room, and a few other deck spaces. It never feels crowded which is not what you might expect being on a smaller ship. As I said we are outside now and they have served us hot chocolate ( and you can add some spirits if so inclined), the heaters are on, although it is nearing 70 today, and they provide blankets if needed. The view has been amazing as the cruise director shares the history of each of the castles we pass.

Should you go on a River Cruise? I would say it is a definitely a bucket list item as you approach retirement or are in retirement. The schedule and tours are designed for the active mature adults. Early risers and people that like to head to bed before 11 are best suited for the schedule.

As we rounded our last corner before docking – they played, “ What a Wonderful World”, which was a perfect end to our Rhine Castle briefing!

All In? All Fun? Let’s explore the All -Fun Inclusive resort in Mexico!

 

This week I had to opportunity to participate in a leading travel industry conference – Summit. As you see from this picture, our first two days were filled with countless hours of what the industry calls, “Site Inspections”.

Why do we do this? For you, our clients. We are introduced to the Hotel Managers and many of the staff as we explore the resort, taking pictures, jotting down as much information as we can remember and of course, think of our clients and who might like to visit where. It is all about matching the experience to your desired experience. Sometimes we like to share some out of the box experiences with you too!

One resort really stuck out to me this week — Hotel Xcaret. Recently opening in 2017, this resort experience is one that is most unforgettable. Xcaret has what they call the All-Fun Inclusive program. The ALL-FUN INCLUSIVE® program redefines the traditional all-inclusive plan into a more complete experience. In addition to day and nighttime activities and elegantly crafted cuisine at the resort, you can enjoy full access to Experiencias Xcaret’s nature parks and tours, as well as each of their dining plans.

From the moment we stepped off the bus, it felt like you were just welcomed to a new world! It was inviting, comfortable, relaxing, innovative, beautiful and amazing. This resort is the first of 12 that will become Destination Xcaret. This is a family resort, and have everything a family would need.

Here is a little overview of the resort:

Inspired by Mexican hospitality and the saying “Mi casa es tu casa” (My place is your place), the accommodation experiences are beyond suitable to meet your relaxation needs on your vacation.

The All-View Suites at Hotel Xcaret México are wide and luxurious and are distributed throughout five buildings. Each suite features a contemporary design, as well as unique artwork, handmade by Mexican artisans, in addition to exclusive amenities and services.

Start your day with mesmerizing views of the Caribbean Sea, the rivers, or the mystic jungle, an experience that will accompany you during your stay.

The ten restaurants and eight bars at Hotel Xcaret México will take you on a journey through the flavors of the world, where Mexican cuisine of course, declared a World Heritage by UNESCO, is the star.

Enjoy a culinary voyage in cozy and comfortable spaces, with remarkable service. All their menus have been designed with exquisite specialties that will meet your dietary lifestyle.

At their resort, your children will have access to the Xiiquillos Kids Club and the Xiipaal Teens Club.

Enjoy an authentic Mexican atmosphere, inspired by the Mayan culture, in the region where Hotel Xcaret México is proudly located.

Take a refreshing dip into inspiring infinity pools, coves, and beach area. During your stay, you will also have access to tennis and paddleball courts.

We will revisit Hotel Xcaret in future articles. I just was so excited about this resort I wanted to introduce it to you as soon as I could!

Getting Ready for a Week of Learning and Site Inspections ……

Each year we have the opportunity to attend supplier conferences and this year is no exception. As travel professionals, we at Must Love Travel Group place a high value on education and are continually learning and growing in all areas of the travel industry. I think it is one of the fastest changing fields anyone can work in besides technology as there are always new and exciting itineraries, new resorts and technology to explore. Although education is ongoing, gathering with other agents around the world offers great networking and always proves to be a valued time.

This year we are traveling to Riviera Maya, Mexico. One of the travel and tourism the most popular destination for fantastic All Inclusive resorts. We are on the divide and conquer mission as we will have agents spread out on three pre conference familiarization trips to explore over 12 all inclusive resort destinations. Some will be new resorts to our portfolio and others will be old favorites that have been refurbished to meet the needs of travelers today. With the recent merger of Apple vacations with the Mark Travel Corporation we have many new resort locations to share with our clients! Now that is exciting!

Once we are in conference we will be updated with the latest information and be able to hear from the resorts directly on the innovative ways they are servicing their guests; our clients. The relationship that agents have with resorts is important as we seek to maximize our clients vacations, honeymoons or even destination weddings. We have time to speak with resort managers, wedding specialists and excursion companies. They will share the latest updates to their products and future plans for expansions, etc. It is always exciting to see the new unveiling of the future in travel not only to Mexico, but to many of the other destinations such as Jamaica, Punta Cana, Turks and Caicos and many other wonderful islands.

In next week’s Weekender I look forward to share some exciting news with you and show off some of the wonderful resorts in the weeks to come! Stay tuned!!!

Laura

Why Do We Travel?

For me, the love of travel was instilled in around the age of 7 or so. I was very fortunate that my dad took me on many of his business trips each summer. Many of these trips were to conferences or meetings which meant another family member was also in tow.

These destinations often included cities like Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Vancouver and Orlando. Each one of these destinations has unique offerings for all ages. The mountains of Colorado, the Riverwalk in Chicago, monuments in D.C. and amazing theme parks of Orlando. No matter the destination there is something for you to see and make memories while doing so.

Memories are one of the benefits of travel. The first time your child(ren) see the Magic Kingdom, stroll by the Cherry Blossoms in D.C. or realizing there is snow on the tops of mountains in Denver during the summer are all amazing moments that are not easily forgotten. Memories are what take away from each trip.

Some of my favorite memories traveling with my dad include amazing (yet boring) 7-course meal in Orlando at the age of 9, dinner cruise in Vancouver, fresh squeezed (expensive) orange juice in Orlando or watching a Presidential motorcade at the hotel next door in Philadelphia.

What are your favorite memories? Where do you want to go next to make new memories? We can take you there!

Moments Last a Lifetime

Last year we launched #MustLoveTravelMoments and since then have celebrated many wonderful travel moments with our clients as well as some personal ones. Memories are comprised of many moments and planning a vacation and taking that vacation can be filled with them. Often our travel planners hear about making memories when they are planning Disney Vacations as those vacations are packed full with character meet and greets, iconic theme park rides, or the magic of walking through the storybook created at each park. A guest at a Disney theme park doesn’t want to miss a thing! Then there are life-changing moments we have shared like Destination Weddings, Honeymoons and Anniversaries that have been set in on a beautiful Caribbean island. These are filled with excitement!

So what is it that creates a moment? Well, it could be different for everyone. I look for the things that would not have otherwise happened had we not been at a particular place at a particular time. My all-time favorite is getting to the Magic Kingdom super early to be in a good position to watch the characters arrive on the train to greet their guests. No, I don’t watch the characters – I watch the guests and their children! My heart melts every time. Another amazing moment for me was in Japan a few years back at the Tokyo train terminal. Among the hustle and bustle, there was this beautiful little girl on her mommy’s back staring up at me with a perfect little one smile! That vision is part of Japan for me. And yet another when traveling to my bucket list destination, Germany. Staying in a castle and toasting at the Hofbrauhaus and even understanding the language ( a tad) that I studied for years in school! A moment in time where the memory has forever been implanted.

We have moments in our everyday lives too that are more precious than we can say, and those need to be captured. We also have to plan to create moments and a great way to do that is to travel. The world is filled with diversity and wonder. Whether traveling domestic or international you will be sure to find moments to capture. Theme park destinations do a great job in setting the stage for moments, but so does our natural wonders like the oceans, mountains, historic locations and more. What about the first time you see a whale emerge from the sea, the red clay from a deep canyon out west, building a sand castle on the white caribbean sand or walk down a street that was once traveled by our founding fathers.

Now is a great time to start planning your 2019 Travel Moments. I would be happy to match you up with the perfect Must Love Travel Planner to begin making your moments! Email me at Laura@mltgrp.com and let me know your favorite travel moment or if you are wanting to start creating your 2019/2020 moments!

#MustLoveTravelMoments #2019MustLoveMoments #MustLoveTravelPlanner

Bermuda

Bermuda is one of the hottest destinations mainlanders are heading to these days. The island has always had its allure, but as the cruise lines have set special itineraries to this beautiful island more and more people are choosing it for their next vacation destination.

Bermuda is 21-square miles filled with natural beauty. The island has 3 regions, Central Bermuda, and the East and West Ends. Starting with the charm of the East End and St. George’s you are transported back in time with history hitting you at every turn. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site There is a lot to do here as you visit Tobacco Bay Beach, Tom Moore’s Jungle and the Crystal Caves of Bermuda. The Crystal Caves are an amazing natural wonder you will not want to miss. Mark Twain visited and wrote this in a letter.

“We visited a wonderful cave …“The most beautiful cave in the world, I suppose. We descended 150 steps and stood in a splendid place 250 feet long & 30 or 40 wide, with a brilliant lake of clear water under our feet and all the roof overhead splendid with shining stalactites, thousands and thousands of them as white as sugar, and thousands and thousands brown and pink and other tints.”

As you might imagine, Central Bermuda or Hamilton is where it is at for glamorous real estate, fantastic shoppes and nightlight. Front street is where you can sit at a local cafe and just soak it all in. For a little more of the natural beauty head to the Botanical Gardens.

If you are arriving by ship, you will arrive on South Shore and near the historical Royal Naval dockyard that anchors the island. Here you will see many wonderful beaches, take a shot of climbing up the historical Gibbs HIll Lighthouse and check out the island views. There is a unique charm located on South Shore as churches are colorful and quaint sightings of a little drawbridge and local dining that is sure to please.

I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Bermuda. There is much more to see and do on this little island that you may want to consider it as one of your next vacation destinations!

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