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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!

What is Must Love Travel Chat?

Here at Must Love Travel, we’ve spent the last year creating a weekly video series called Must Love Travel Chat, focused on one simple theme — what’s going on in the World of Travel!

We started by talking about the current state of travel, certain destinations and countries that are welcoming back travelers, and some of our favorite resort brands. As Universal Orlando and the Walt Disney World Resort reopened, we had many chats with Travel Advisors who had recently returned from their own vacations and were excited to share their experience.

While we will continue to do all of this, we have also added some exciting talks with representatives from some of our favorite Suppliers, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival. We’ve covered private island tours and focused on new ship features and destinations.

We’ve also done a lot of crossover with Rick Howard from the popular Travel With Rick vlog! And there’s a lot more of that to come, so stay tuned!

Check out our newest episode for more information.

Hawaii with the Littles: You’ll Never Hear ‘I’m Bored’ on These Island Adventures

As far as families vacationing in paradise, the United States has an abundance of great locations. Still, none can offer such a wide variety of activities, natural wonders, culture, and cuisine as the Hawaiian Islands.

You won’t want to skimp on this vacation! Excursions to historic Pearl Harbor, lava, sealife, island hopping, and so much more!

You are in store for a real family bucket list adventure. No need for theme parks here!

Click here to find out more about traveling to Paradise with Little Ones! Complements of our friends at The Compass.

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!

A Closer Look at Sandals Regency La Toc

We are fans of Sandals resorts for so many reasons.  Luxury included is just one of them.  Recently the Chairman and Founder of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon “Butch” Stewart sadly passed away but leaves a legacy of excellence for all to enjoy.  Butch once said that they look for their properties by selecting the most beautiful beach and locations in the Caribbean.  And this is certainly true!  

St. Lucia will soon open its fourth Sandals property which will make it even more difficult to decide which one to visit.  Well, maybe you will just have to visit all four!  One of our clients’ favorite St. Lucia Sandals is Regency La Toc.  Click here to find out more about this quaint Sandals property.

Walt Disney World for Adults

There are lots of ways to make a Disney World vacation extra special for an ‘Adult Only’ vacation. Of course, feel free to ride all the rides, meet every character, and act like a kid yourself. That’s one of the reasons we all love Disney World; however, if you want some extra special “Adult” experiences, here are a few.

Stay at a Deluxe Resort

The following resorts have extraordinarily beautiful grounds, lovely restaurants, and tons of charm. All of these Resorts are in the Deluxe Resort category, with the addition of two Moderate Resorts. Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter, which offers some pretty unbeatable charm of its own in the Moderate Resort category. And with the addition of the Gran Destino Tower, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort also made the list.

Most Adult-Friendly Disney Resorts:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Deluxe )
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (Deluxe)
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Deluxe)
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Deluxe)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Deluxe)
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter (Moderate)
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Gran Destino Tower (Moderate)

Eat & Drink in Epcot’s World Showcase

Walking…no, strolling around the World Showcase lagoon in Epcot is incredibly romantic. You are taking a quick jaunt to 11 different countries, tasting incredible small bites and drinking plenty of beer, wine, and cocktails. Take in some of the country’s shows and enjoy some upscale shopping. For an extra treat, have dinner at one of the more Adult restaurants.

Most Adult-Friendly restaurants in the Epcot’s World Showcase:

Le Cellier (Canada)
Bistro de Paris (France)
Monsieur Paul (France)
Spice Road Table (Morocco)
Tokyo Dining (Japan)
Rose & Crown – outdoor patio (United Kingdom)

Monorail Crawl

There are about a million ways to do this. Here is just one…

Monorail Crawl:

Start at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Trader Sams for drinks & small bites
Monorail to Grand Floridian, enjoy a drink at the Enchanted Rose lounge / stroll through the grounds with a glass of wine
Monorail to Contemporary – California Grill for drinks, desserts, and fireworks view
Bonus: Boat to Wilderness Lodge – Geyser Point for drinks & small bites, beautiful lake view

Evening at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Simply walking along the Boardwalk at night is amazing and you’ll feel transported back to the turn of the century when life was Grand. Have dinner at the Flying Fish, followed by drinks at Jellyrolls to watch the Dueling Pianos. Jellyrolls is one of the only “21+” venues at Disney World, and it’s so much fun!

Dinner & Drinks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a popular Disney resort for adults and also home to a wonderful, upscale restaurant, Jiko. With an award-winning South African wine list and master chef, this is an incredibly romantic venue. Arrive early for a drink at Victoria Falls, the lounge overlooking Boma. Ask the bartender if they know how to make a “Victoria Falls Mist”. This drink hasn’t been on the menu for almost 20 years; however, a few of the bartenders still know how to make it. You’re welcome!

Evening at Disney Springs

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t know where to go, you could end up feeling like you’re at a mall on a Saturday night *cough – Marketplace – cough*. Start in The Landing – you’ve got lots of lakefront venues to enjoy drinks and small bites. Some favorites are Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (go all the way through to the outdoor bar in the back), The Boathouse, The Edison, and Wine Bar George. Head over to the West Side for shopping and shenanigans.

Spotlight On: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class Ships

This weeks Must Love Travel Chat video feature’s Joanne from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We had so much fun talking about Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships.

Oasis Class ships feature 7 distinct neighborhoods:

  • Central Park
  • Boardwalk
  • Royal Promenade
  • Pool and Sports Zone
  • Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
  • Entertainment Place
  • Youth Zone

We spent a good amount of time discussing each one. Stay tuned for upcoming episodes to dive deeper into the Royal Suite Class (including the Royal Genie!) and Onboard Entertainment.

And if you missed it, make sure you check out our episode featuring Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay!

I hope you’ll take a look at this week’s episode and subscribe to our Youtube Channel!

Negative COVID-19 Test Now Required to Enter St. Lucia

International travel advisories are constantly changing, but more importantly, the travel restrictions are constantly changing.

I will be heading to St. Lucia in a few weeks (get ready for some great info on Sandals Resorts!), and I’ve had to learn all about the requirements to get into St. Lucia, as well as the requirements to get home. I also needed to fully understand how the timing of my COVID-19 test while in St. Lucia is critical.

Luckily, I’m staying at a Sandals Resort, and they handle all of this at the resort, so you don’t need to leave to get a COVID-19 test.

Check out this great article from our friends at The Compass, including direct links to the official resources. If you have additional questions, reach out to your Travel Advisor!

Don’t have one yet? Comment on this post, and we’ll get you connected!

Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s Private Island in the Bahamas

The return of cruising is right around the corner. It’s so close I can almost feel it! But it’s important to remember that once cruising resumes, it will look a little different for a while.

Cruise Lines that own private islands have a huge advantage. The cruise line is able to manage and control the destination, making it a safe stop for guests.

On this week’s Must Love Travel Chat video series, our awesome Carnival representative gave us a virtual tour of Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island in the Bahamas. The island is beautiful, and just wait until you see how blue the water is!

4 Romantic Maui Resorts

Hawaii is often considered one of the romantic vacation destinations on earth. Popular with honeymooners, or couples looking to celebrate a special occasion, Hawaii always comes out on top.

Out of all of the Hawaiian islands, a popular choice for romance is the island of Maui.

Check out four of the most romantic resorts on Maui, with an article shared by our friends at Vax Vacations. And if Hawaii sounds like a place you’d like to experience, be sure to reach out to your Must Love Travel Planner!

A Closer Look at Sandals Barbados

Sandals Barbados is situated on the pristine white sands of Maxwell Beach, where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic. It is ideally located at the bottom of the famed St. Lawrence Gap – known for its lively restaurants, lively nightlife, and good shopping.

Let’s take a closer look at Sandals Barbados!

Sandals Barbados invites you to surrender to the calypso rhythms of paradise.

Sandals Barbados provides an idyllic refuge for you to recharge and reconnect with the one you love.

With more inclusions than anywhere else in Barbados, your worry-free holiday begins the moment you land on the island.

Spend your days with white sand between your toes. Learn how to kayak in azure blue waters. Get lost in the tropical gardens. Indulge in an invigorating or romantic massage for two.

Enjoy the freshest seafood and best rum punch this side of heaven.

This is paradise Sandals Barbados-style, where every enchanting day and magical night encourages you to live life well.

Meet Kirsten from Carnival Cruise Lines!

Say hello to Kirsten from Carnival Cruise Lines! I had the pleasure of chatting with Kirsten and she gave some great information on Carnival, as well as updates from the cruise industry.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some really cool tours of Carnival’s Private Islands and Cruise Resorts, as well as Ship Tours of some of their newest and coolest ships, including the brand new Mardi Gras!

5 Caribbean Flowers That Brighten Any Room

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines 

The islands of the Caribbean brim with natural beauty, from crystal blue waters and pristine beaches to striking flora and fauna. With bright colors to match the vibrant culture and art, local flowers across the region often represent deeper meanings and messages. And as you’re thinking about how you’re going to show your love and appreciation to friends and family this year, consider some of the Caribbean beauties you may be able to find nearby.

With such unique flower species down in the Caribbean that have gained popularity around the world, there’s a variety to choose from that are sure to stand out. From the bright cattleya orchid to the famous dahlia, you can’t go wrong.

We picked some of the most stunning blooms you may want to look for at your local shop, many of which you can spot while on a Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean.

Plumeria, Barbados

One of the many vibrant blooms you’ll find in Barbados is the plumeria. Native to Central America, this flower can now be found in tropical climates—like in the southern Caribbean—during their bloom from spring to early fall. You may recognize the plumeria from your last Hawaiian luau—they are probably most famous for their use in making Hawaiian leis.

However, when you visit our new homeport of Barbados, you’ll find them scattered across the island—they love the heat. The plumeria’s fragrance is strongest at night since it uses its smell to attract moths for pollination. Don’t worry, they smell great during the day too, so a gift of plumerias will still fill a home with a sweet fragrance.

Rose, St. Lucia

The rose is one of St. Lucia’s national flowers, having won the national flower competition back in 1985. Long before it reportedly bloomed in the western part of the world, the rose is said to have first sprouted in Asia nearly 35 million years ago. It was 5,000 years ago when people first began cultivating the flower in their own gardens in China, and they have since become a staple we all see in poetry, religion, art, music, perfume and décor.

Greek and Roman mythology turned the rose into a symbol of love after Aphrodite, the goddess of love, cried over the death of her romantic partner Adonis. The rose comes in shades of red, pink, white, yellow, purple and even orange, each one holding a different meaning. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an arrangement without at least one rose.

Hibiscus, The Bahamas

You’ll spot hibiscus growing all over—quite possibly even during your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Found to thrive in warmer climates, this flower features five large, oval-shaped petals with light green leaves that can often appear in many other colors, like red, yellow, white, pink and purple, which hold different meanings similar to the rose. For example, purple symbolizes freedom.

In the Victorian Era, the hibiscus often served as a symbol of delicate beauty. Representing so many sweet and even powerful messages, the bloom makes a beautiful choice to show someone you care.

Dahlia, Mexico

Mexico’s national flower is both practical and impressive. Native to Central America, the Aztecs referred to the perennial plant as acocoxóchitl or “flower of hollow stems,” which they used to transport water. It certainly didn’t take long for the Spanish to notice the dahlia with its large and colorful two-toned blooms and great height—they can range from 1 to 5 feet tall.

The New World beauty was brought back to Madrid and quickly gained popularity from there. Today, the vibrant flower represents elegance, creativity and dignity.

Cattleya orchid, Costa Rica

This orchid variety grows throughout Central and South America and is abundant in Costa Rica—which you will now be able to visit from our new homeport of Barbados. You may recognize it from the corsage you wore to your high school prom, but they’re also common in bouquets and planted in pots since they can grow up to 2 feet tall.

These blooms are slow growers, taking four to seven years to mature from a seed. And since they’re slow to grow, they’re also (extremely) slow to wither—with regular maintenance and good care, a planted orchid can live up to 100 years. If you really want to show your “undying” appreciation, maybe forgo the more traditional flower arrangement and take a chance on the potted cattleya orchid.

Though brightening up your home and others’ with these blooms is a great temporary fix, we can’t wait to brighten up your days on a Caribbean cruise.

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