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Category Archives: Travel Tips

6 All-Inclusive Sustainable Resorts in Mexico

Mexico has always been one of the most popular vacation destinations. Not only for the beautiful beaches and Mexican hospitality but also because it is easy to get to from the United States.

Last week I showed you some of the most popular eco-friendly resorts in the world. But not everyone can easily get to Costa Rica or Antigua. Our friends at The Compass have put together 6 of the most popular, eco-friendly, and sustainable All-Inclusive Resorts.

The first resort on the list is one of my own personal favorites – El Dorado Royale, by Karisma. Karisma Resorts are known for their gourmet food experiences, and much of the food for all of the Karisma Resorts is grown right on El Dorado Royale’s grounds at their greenhouse farm. You can ask to take a tour of the greenhouses, so if you are a true foodie and care about the environment, El Dorado Royale is the perfect All-Inclusive vacation for you!

Check out the Compass’s full article to learn about 6 of the most impressive, eco-friendly resorts in Mexico.

7 Eco-Friendly Resorts Around the World

Some call it sustainable travel. Others call it eco-travel or responsible travel.

This type of travel supports the management of resources to fulfill economic, social, and aesthetic needs while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.

Read more in this article from our friends at The Compass about this super hot travel niche and 7 of the world’s most eco-friendly resorts.

TSA Pre Check: You Can Leave Your Shoes On

Do you want to make your travel experience easier? Apply for TSA Pre Check!

I’ve had TSA Pre Check for years, and I can’t imagine flying without it. It eliminates the stress I used to feel going through airport security. And I’ll do anything not to have to take my shoes off in public!

Our friends at The Compass share some TSA Pre Check Basics to help get you on your way to never having to take off your shoes again!

TSA Pre Check Basics

TSA Pre Check is a program that gives travelers leaving from the U.S. access to an expedited security screening program at the airport. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent U.S. residents can apply for the program and undergo a screening process to become a “trusted traveler.”

Perks of TSA Pre Check

Anything to make your airport experience better is worth it, right? And probably one of the least enjoyable parts of air travel is the security process. TSA Pre Check pretty much eliminates that less-than-desirable part by giving trusted travelers these perks:

  1. Expedited security screening – There’s a shorter line for TSA Pre Check members. The average wait time is less than 5 minutes!
  2. Less to do to prep for security – You don’t need to take off your shoes, belts, or light jackets, and you can leave your laptop and liquids in your bag.
  3. Share it with the fam – A parent or guardian with TSA Pre Check can bring family members ages 12 and under along with them in the expedited lanes.

The Pre Check Process

It’s really not that bad – just three steps.

  1. Travelers can apply online on TSA’s Universal Enroll Pre Check page. The application has four sections, and it’s mostly basic information to help TSA verify your identity and citizenship.
  2. Next is to schedule the in-person appointment for a background check and fingerprinting within 45 days of completing the online application. The appointment can be made online or by walking into a TSA application center. This TSA web page lets you enter a zip code, city, or airport code to help you find the most convenient one for you.
  3. And then, at the appointment, which TSA says only takes 10 minutes, applicants must bring the required documents and provide their fingerprints. There are some options to determine what type of documents are acceptable, but TSA has a helpful web page to help sort it all out. It can be as simple as just a valid driver’s license and passport if the names on both documents match – that’s it. Then the applicant pays a non-refundable fee of $85 that’s valid for five years. That’s $17 a year – less than a tank of gas nowadays!

After an applicant is approved as a trusted traveler with TSA, they’ll get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in the mail within two to three weeks. You can enter your KTNs for each traveler when booking your flights. So make sure to give your Travel Advisor your KTN!

Top Tips for Single-Parent Travel

Are you a single parent? If you are, we know that this past year has been incredibly challenging, not only dealing with what single parents usually do daily but all the pandemic restrictions, schooling issues, and more! You need a break! You and your children.

Our friends at The Compass have put together a great article on helpful tips for single parents wanting to travel. It has some very insightful information that will help you have a carefree and enjoyable vacation. Your travel advisor can work for you, which will lift a huge burden off your shoulders, so this is a vacation for you too!

Click Here to read about Top Tips for Single Parent travelers.

On-Location with 8 Movies Filmed in the Caribbean

  

Lights! Camera! Action! And the Black Pearl is sailing across the sea filled with Pirates aplenty.  Captain Jack Sparrow and his misadventures and the scenery set the mood for the makings of a tale to come to life.

Have you ever wondered where they are creating all these beautiful films? You might be surprised that it isn’t too far from home, and you also can visit some of these locations hidden in the Caribbean. The Compass has the full scoop! Click here to find out more about some of your favorite movies and where they were filmed.

7 U.S Cities That are Perfect for Family Travel

Have you been racking your brain trying to decide on great places to visit? With the pandemic starting to ease and vaccines being distributed, families are ready to travel but want to go somewhere perhaps a little closer to home. 

In this week’s article feature from The Compass, we share one from last May when people were just starting to think about venturing out. Even though some of these cities have changed a lot, they still feature some iconic hot spots that everyone in the family can enjoy.  

Legoland in New York was supposed to open last year but will now be opening this year! Orlando has been open since last July, and the Magic is everywhere! Click here to check out more great cities and see what they have to offer!

Flying Southwest Airlines December 2020

When I first booked Southwest Airlines for a recent trip, I felt confident. Throughout the Covid crisis, Southwest has been rated as one of the top airlines handling the pandemic.

When Southwest recently announced that they would no longer be keeping middle seats empty, I was pretty bummed. But, Southwest flies direct from my city to Orlando, and I’ve always been a fan of the airline’s no-change fee policy, so we kept our flights and crossed our fingers.

Now that I’ve flown Southwest, I can happily report that the airline is still doing an amazing job, and my experience was wonderful. I would give the overall experience a 9/10, only because they are not keeping middle seats open.

The boarding process was very organized. Instead of lining up in the typical groups of A1-A60, then the B’s and C’s, they called each group by 10 passengers at a time. This allowed for much easier boarding, as you don’t have a huge line pushing behind you. They don’t call the next group until the prior group is settled on the plane.

The plane is cleaned and sterilized between each flight, and it was spotless! I’ve never seen a plane so clean before.

We lucked out with the middle seat issue I was concerned about. Both of our flights had few enough passengers that we were able to sit in our own row.

Masks are required the entire time you are on the flight. We chose to wear N95 masks, and I noticed many passengers wearing N95 masks and face shields. In fact, I did not see anyone try to remove their masks. All of the passengers on both flights were very polite.

Being on a shorter flight, there was no beverage or food service. Halfway through the flight, they did come down the aisle offering ice water or small snack packs. That was it. You were allowed to bring on your own food and drinks, but you cannot drink alcohol that you bring on yourself.

The deplaning process was pretty typical, but I did notice fewer passengers stood up immediately to try to grab their luggage. Passengers would wait until it was less crowded.

Overall, it was a great experience. I would fly Southwest again.

Hey It’s Good to Be Back Home Again!

My wife Leslie and I recently had the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, a place that we’ve visited often and that really does feel like “home” to us.

I must say though, in our new world of Covid-19, social distancing and face masks, home felt a little different. Different, but good. Good to be back, great to feel comfortable there.

There were lots of friendly cast members reminding guests to wear their face coverings properly at all times unless stopped to eat or drink.

There were signs to help us remember to keep our distance from other parties.

There were signs to help with keeping our distance on Disney transportation.

Who doesn’t love riding the monorail!

There were signs and extra measures to help us make our dining selections along with small plates to place our masks while we had lunch a the Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

And if you’ve had enough of signs and masks, there are places you can find to just be alone, or with your favorite travel companion and enjoy just being back home and back in the magic.

That’s all for this time, next time I’ll tell you a little more about our stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Travel Safe, Enjoy the Magic!

Travel News: Airlines Remove Change Fees

One of the biggest announcements in the travel industry over the last week has been the four largest airlines removing change fees. This is in addition to many other regional airlines that have already reduced or removed change fees over the past several months.

For years, the only airline known for never charging change fees was Southwest Airlines.

Recently, due to the Covid crisis, JetBlue announced they would remove change fees through February 28, 2021.

But the four largest airlines were still not willing to waive their change fees – until now!

On August 30, United Airlines announced that they are eliminating change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, effectively immediately. In addition, travelers will not be limited in the number of times they change their flights.

Delta is also ditching change fees. On August 31, on the heels of United’s elimination of change fees, Delta announced that they too would be making travel with them more flexible and allowing travelers to change and cancel their travel plans with no extra fees.

American Airlines also announced on August 31 that they are making it more flexible to travel with them by dropping change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying, effective immediately.

Alaska Airlines also joined the no-change-fee club. The airline announced on September 1 that they were eliminating change fees permanently on all domestic and international tickets.

This is all very good news for travelers! As a reminder, every airline has certain rules and policies around the change fees, so make sure you check with each airline for all of the fine print.

Book Future Travel with Peace of Mind

The Travel Industry is slowly starting to reopen. Many Caribbean islands are welcoming back travelers, airlines are starting to offer more flights, and domestic travel is at an all-time high!

Now is a great time to book future travel, as many cruise lines, all-inclusive resorts, and tour operators are offering amazing deals for travel in 2021, all with very flexible change and cancellation policies.

Take a look at how some of our favorite suppliers are protecting your future travel plans to offer complete peace of mind when booking your next vacation. Contact your Must Love Travel Planner for complete booking details.

Cruising

All of the major cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival, Viking, AmaWaterways, and more…) have announced Flexible Booking and Cancellation Policies. This allows you to book your future cruise now, with the ability to move your sail date, sometimes as close as 15 days prior to sailing.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Many of our favorite All-Inclusive Resort brands have announced flexible “Peace of Mind” policies, along with detailed Cleaning Standards for current and future vacation dates.​ ​Some of our favorite brands are Karisma Resorts, who will allow you to change travel dates or cancel up to 48 hours before arrival (*new bookings). and AMResorts, who have implemented an impressive CleanComplete Verification 360-Degree Safety & Hygiene Protocols, elevating their standards of quality and cleanliness. 

Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World Resort has offered incredibly flexible change and cancellation policies to existing reservations. For existing and new bookings, you have until 7 days prior to arrival to change your dates without penalty.

When the Theme Parks and Resorts reopened in July, Disney implemented a thorough checklist of new policies and procedures to keep guests safe. As the Resorts and Theme Parks have now been open for a few months, it’s clear Disney has been doing a great job of keeping their guests safe and happy, and with plenty of Disney Magic.

Adventures by Disney – Italy

Do you have Bucket List travel dreams? I sure do – and I was able to check a big one off my list after experiencing Italy with Adventures by Disney.

Any time you travel outside of the country, it can be a bit intimidating. Disney takes that fear away, as they meet you right outside of Customs at the airport. They even had my luggage ready for me!

We were whisked away to our 5-star hotel, The Gran Melia in Rome, where we met our 2 Adventure Guides. Every Adventures by Disney Tour includes 2 Adventures Guides – a local expert, and an American guide. Together they make the entire experience seamless.

Our tour started right away, with special backstage passes at the Coliseum. We were allowed onto the actual stage where the gladiators fought. It was incredible!

All along the way, you are given backstage, front-of-the-line, VIP passes everywhere you go. The highlight of Rome for me was getting a special after-hours, private tour of the Vatican Museum, which concluded with a private tour of the Sistine Chapel. And Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone, but they even let us take pictures (normally this is forbidden!).

After Rome, we took off for Tuscany, which is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. Don’t get freaked out by being on a bus – it is an AWESOME bus, and the Guides do a great job of keeping everyone entertained on the longer stretches. Although, there are hardly any long rides. Everything is always broken up with more Adventures. For example, on our drive to Tuscany, we stopped for lunch at the medieval town of Orvietto and had a beautiful lunch on the top of the countryside.

Checking in to our Tuscan Hotel was a dream. They had a private courtyard waiting for us, with delicious food and prosecco. We all nibbled on cheese and enjoyed our wine while our Adventure Guides got us checked in to the hotel.

The highlight of my entire Tuscan Adventure was the day spent at Sara’s Farm. We received a special tour, met some of Sara’s lovely family members, enjoyed a private pasta-making class with Sara, and wined and dined outdoors while enjoying a delicious lunch and wine tasting, all while overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany. It was just delightful!

Venice began with a Gondola ride, which was made even more special with the addition of a singer and accordion player, who were right in my Gondola. It was so beautiful!

If you want to feel completely immersed in the culture, and experience everything like a VIP rock star – Adventures by Disney is the best!

Domestic Travel: Flying American Airlines

The Travel Industry is currently in an extremely fluid state, where the rules change often, sometimes overnight. In an attempt to stay on top of it all, we’re going to take a closer look at current policies and keep you posted as guidelines and travel restrictions continue to evolve.

Today we’ll take a closer look at what you will experience when flying domestic on American Airlines. Keep in mind, this was one person’s experience on a short 1.5-hour flight. Longer flights may have different procedures in place.

This information was documented on August 7 – 10, 2020.

Airport #1: Reagan National Airport (DCA)

Airport #2: T.F. Green Airport (PVD)

At TSA Security, there were markers on the ground for social distancing in line. Masks are required and worn by all TSA employees. Liquids were allowed to remain in your bags when going through screening. The airports were quiet. Not all of the shops and restaurants were open. (For my New Englanders out there, rest assured that Dunkin Donuts WAS OPEN!)

At the American Airlines gate, social distancing signs were present, but seats were not spaced or blocked off. These flights were not full, so passengers waiting were able to space themselves out. Boarding was slower and in smaller groups.

Hand sanitizer was given to every passenger. There was no food or beverage service onboard. The flights were not full, so once onboard, passengers were able to move their seats to give everyone their own row. This may not be possible on all flights, as many American flights have been full. Masks are required the entire time you are boarding, in-flight, and deplaning.

 

 

 

Travel News: Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel

Royal Caribbean is excited to announce the establishment of Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel — a team of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality, and maritime operations.

This diverse team has been enlisted to develop recommendations and guide the cruise industry forward with unprecedented standards in response to COVID-19. Their combined expertise will help reinforce current safety procedures onboard ships, create new ones, and ensure our vacation experience.

Their collective efforts will be shared across the cruise industry, as well as other industries that may benefit from their findings — because we’re all in this together.

Why We Vacation


Often times, the destination of our vacation is not as important as the travelers we spend it with. Time away from the hustle and bustle is time together with family and friends, allowing us to form deeper connections with people who enrich our lives.

As travel professionals, we love to help families and groups find the ideal setting that lets them connect and see the world in a brand-new way. We surround you with like-minded travelers, helping you form new connections and make new friends, and we introduce you to amazing guides and friendly locals when possible. Travel is all about that human touch, which is why booking travel through a human produces more authentic and life-changing experiences.

That’s why we vacation — Contact our expert advisors today to connect with those who matter most.

Key West Florida Video! Celebrity Infinity Cruise

 

During our agency event aboard the Celebrity Infinity our very first port of call was Key West Florida! For many of our team including myself this was our first time ever in Key West! To say that we enjoyed the town would be an understatement! We absolutely LOVED IT! Many of us all began talking that night once back on the ship about how we want to plan a full Florida Keys vacation to be able to experience even more of what this wonderful and vibrant town has to offer!

 

The vibe in the air is so laid back. The streets of Key west are full of history, story and breathtaking sights! From the colorful pastel buildings to the shadows of the palm trees – everything is so picture perfect!

 

 

 

For a group of us our day began with an Incredible breakfast at Blue Heaven! This eclectic joint is a local favorite and the atmosphere was perfect to get us in that Key West state of mind. After breakfast we set out to start exploring. We first made our way to a Key West icon – the southernmost point! We invented our own pro tip for getting a picture with the southernmost point! There is always a massive line to take a picture with the southernmost point. The line can get well up to over a half an hour wait! We discovered if you sit on the wall in front of the southernmost point and wait until people are in-between going up for a picture, you can snap a perfect selfie with the point in the background!

 

 

 

 

After grabbing out selfies we made our way to Duval Street and took in many of the shops and sights there was to see! We then made our way to schooner wharf where we met up with a large group of our team to enjoy drinks and live entertainment on the marina. I loved the atmosphere here and getting to see the beautiful crystal blue water and gorgeous boats in dock.

 

 

For lunch a group of us went to Conch Republic Seafood Company. I order the Gulf Red Shrimp and and it was absolutely incredible! I had never before had Gulf Red Shrimp. I taste more like lobster meat than it does shrimp. SO GOOD!

 

 

A group of us then set out to continue exploring the town. We enjoyed checkin out more iconic locations such as Sloppy Joe’s Bar and Margaritaville. We also enjoyed doing one of the hop-on-hop-off trolly tours. This was a great way to get around the town and get to see all the locations that we wanted to check out. During your ride on the trolly tour your host also gives you information and facts about the town of Key West. It was a great way to learn about the history of all the sights we were gettin to tour!

 

 

 

You can watch highlights from our Key West day in our new YouTube video:

 

Contact our team at Must Love Travel to plan your next adventure!

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