A New Normal What’s Next?

collect moments

As many of you, I have been trying to find good use of my time while sitting in my house and trying to adjust my priorities. A couple of things that I have realized are; how I will never take for granted a power of a hug, the ability to gather with friends and family, and the many little things the we do without even thinking, like going to a restaurant for dinner or worshiping together.  A few things that haven’t changed are my ability to love, dream, to hope in the future, to see the goodness in mankind and to understand the strength of my faith.

I don’t think normal will ever be the same and maybe it shouldn’t be. Our new normal is going to be more selective on what is really important. We may think our ability to provide an income through our jobs and careers as more of a benefit rather than a burden.  Our teachers, the medical professionals, the truck driver and the grocery workers all those essential workers that where always just there, will no longer be invisible but be appreciated.  Our family and friends that we were kept apart from will now be valued as a priority in our life.

Travel that we took for granted will now be seen as treasured.  The ability to hop on a plane or cruise ship, to experience new cultures and new destinations will mean so much more.  Our safety will become paramount and for the near future we may want more private journeys and to avoid the masses and find more unique destinations.  Our budget for travel, because of the economy restart, may become tighter for a while so we may have to plan more in advance.  My passion for travel has not died and I am finding that my clients are feeling the same.  Since being isolated they have the itch to follow their wanderlust.  I pray that travel will resume in the fall as well as looking forward too many new adventures in 2021.

Let’s all look towards the future, look to new ways to enjoy this beautiful world while keeping ourselves and our families safe.  I am hear for questions, suggests and to help you through the challenging next chapter of life after Covid 19.

No one knows what lies ahead so let’s travel the path of uncertainty together.

Group travel can be exciting and fun but can also cause stress and anxiety.  Group Cruise part 2

Group travel can be exciting and fun but can also cause stress and anxiety.  That is why I suggest a cruise or one of my small group vendors.  These types of options allow you to have that personal experience along the memories made by being together with friend, or family.

On this cruise, there were lots of expectations.  It was our first time aboard the Freedom of the Sea ship, there were plenty of activities to explore and many exciting excursions in some amazing destinations.

Our ship was beautiful, filled with plenty of things to do and places to eat. We didn’t get to them all. We relaxed along side of the great pool and watched all the entertainment on the pool deck, there were dance contests, exercise classes, and fun games. A perfect place to get involved or just people watch. There was a plenty for the sports enthusiast, a putt put course, jogging track, ping pong tables, ice skating, basketball court, gym, great pools, hot tubs and a water slide and arcade, something for everyone.  Having this many choice of activities is a nice thing for a group as you can all do your own activity.  There were some great classes offered from cooking to wellness in the amazing spa. We enjoyed the live nightly entertainment, a Broadway style show of Saturday night Fever, an Ice-skating show, piano bar, Movies at night on the deck, casino, and the club after hours where we danced the night away to a great DJ.

One thing that really worked well as a group is, one of friends gave us a magnetic dry erase board to put on the outside of our door, so instead of waiting on everyone, we could leave notes, saying we went to lunch or were out by the pool, or went to the club. This really worked well. A great tip for traveling as a group.  Being in a group whether it is 8 or 80 can cause anxiety because there are so many opinions and you can spend a lot of time trying to organize everyone.  This little magnetic board really eliminated that.  We all met for dinner in the evening and I must say food on the Royal Caribbean ship was exceptional.

A lot of people don’t understand why you are charged for tips either in advance or on your ship board account, but after receiving the great service I can see why. Everyone on board whether is be your cabin person, the reception/information desk attendant, the bartenders, or the wait staff, everyone gives 100%.  Now you can leave that little bit extra if you think someone went over and above.  So, it is wise if you have a favorite, to get their name, so that you can leave them an envelope when you depart.

There are also plenty of things to do in each port, whether you want to something exciting and adventurous, relax in town or on the beach or shop in the numerous little shops.  Each cruise line has their own excursions. A lot of passengers take these excursions while other, like us, utilized one of my vendors the run smaller more intimate excursions.  We Zip-lined and cave tubed in Belize, we took an underwater glass bottom boat and visited a jade museum in Roatan and road an ATV in Cozumel.  All without the crowds and big bus excursions.  Our private drivers were informative and even stopped for us if something along the way caught our eye.  All while guaranteeing, we get back to the ship on time. A great tip if you want to avoid the crowds.

Having all these choices made it easy for a group to do there own thing in port, regroup back on ship and share our experiences over a great drink, and if you didn’t want to leave the ship you could do that to and experience the ship with very few people on board.   Like I have said numerous times, something for everyone.

I hope this blog post helps you start thinking about getting your own group together, whether it be a couple of friends, a family reunion, some old classmates, a social group or a work or church group.  Traveling as a group can create some wonderful memories, that will last a lifetime.  My next blog will give you insight and some tips to a small group trip to Italy.  Remember travelling opens the heart and mind to new experiences in a big world that is there for you to explore.

Cruising together, makes wonderful memories. Some tips and expert advice for cruising as a group.

It was wonderful to spend some quality time with friends on a  group cruise.  We were able to get 4 couples together that have been friends for 50 years to experience a wonderful vacation, visit some new destinations and celebrate some wonderful life events.  Many people think a group vacation is too much, they love their family and friends but not 24 hrs a day. A cruise allows you to have that freedom of individual time, and group time so you have a balanced vacation.  Our cruise was wonderful, we spent a week on the Liberty of the seas in the Caribbean.  We visited Belize, Rotan and Cozumel, but started the vacation in Galveston the night before the departure.  I always suggest a pre-night hotel at your embarkation port. This allows you a stress-free start to your vacation.  We flew into Houston and had a transfer pick us up, another couple flew in at a different time and a couple of the group drove.  We all met in Galveston a great little city, it has many restaurant choices, 32 miles of beach and some nice resorts, tropical scenery, Victorian architecture, an amusement park on the boardwalk and world-class sport fishing, a great place to start a cruise vacation and little easier to fly to than the East Coast.  Usually your cruise will leave from a destination that has a lot to offer, so adding a night or two here gives you time to experience the city as more than just a shipyard.

We all met at the hotel, had a great dinner to unwind and relax from a day of travel.  Our departure day started with a transfer for those of us that flew in to the port and the group that drove went directly to port.  If you have the luxury to live close to a port city, driving is great way to save a little money, but don’t forget to add in the parking cost to your budget as to avoid any surprises.

Once we got to the port, Royal had a smooth check in process.  The thing to remember here is to make sure you check in online early, the earlier the better.  This way your boarding process is smooth.  When you wait or check in last minute it can cause some delays with your boarding passes, and cruise IDs.  I have been on a couple of cruises and Royal did have a smooth process and got a lot of people through quickly.

Make sure you have your swimming suite and or a change of clothes in your carry-on, as well as any medications you may need.  Your large luggage will be deposited into your room which may not be immediately ready. Being prepared will help you start your relaxation as soon as you board.  We met our friends poolside and started our trip with a toast.  We got to our cabins, all of us picked a superior balcony and had connecting rooms, so our balconies opened to each other and allowed us to have one big place to party.   As the sun began to set and we started to sail away, the excitement started, and we were ready to go.  Watch for my next blog, on activities on board, dining and excursions.

 

Luxury destinations, unique experiences and what to watch for in 2019

We are one week into 2019 and it was nice to look back at our trip to Israel over the holiday season. I hope you enjoyed reading about our holy land adventure, this destination is unique and one I would definitely put on a bucket list. It offers something for everyone and is an affordable luxury destination that provides a wonderful experience for all ages.

As I look back on 2018 it was a year filled with travel to new luxury destinations and new adventures that I look forward to sharing with you in 2019, from zip-lining in Belize and riding ATVs in Cozumel, to experiencing traditional Bavarian food in Germany and getting to know the land of my ancestors in Italy.  I look forward to sharing these incredible adventures with you over the next few months as well as bringing you some luxury travel tips and showing you a few hidden gems.

I use the word luxury as I describe many of my adventures because that is what I am proud to be able to provide to my clients. In 2018 I became a Certified Luxury Travel Specialist, which means I learned how to bring Luxury travel experiences that fulfill your dreams to each of my clients. But when I ask people what luxury travel means to them, I never get the same answer. It can be as simple as upgrading your seat on an airplane to economy premium or staying in a 5-star resort for the 1st time.  To some it means personalized service and private transfers, while to others it may means a small group tour with unique experiences.   It can be first-class seat on a high-speed train to a new destination in Europe or getting a balcony cabin on their first cruise. One thing that reigns true is everyone wants a unique experience that allows them to create remarkable memories that will last a lifetime.  It doesn’t mean you need to spend millions of dollars, (although that would be nice), it does mean that everyone wants good value for their money.  Value doesn’t mean it going to be the cheapest option, it means that they want to get something unique, to feel like they are treated like a VIP and come back being able to say WOW what an amazing trip.  Luxury isn’t only for the rich and famous it can be attainable by everyone.  Setting a goal, planning and letting me use my tools and expertise will ensure that you to can have that luxury experience you have always desired.

In my upcoming blogs I will show you some unique destinations, luxury experiences, and tours that are all available to you.  So keep dreaming, set your goals high and have faith that you will reach your travel dreams and let me and my team at GLK DREAM TRAVEL help you see the world.

New Destinations, New experiences

cert

Although I have been silent for a few months, my enthusiasm to help you find that luxury dream adventure has been growing.   I have been training on new destinations, new resorts and new experiences that are available to you.   I have gained knowledge in Tahiti, Antigua, Barbuda and for your European travel desires, I have taken courses on Southwest Germany, Spain and refreshed my knowledge on Southern France.  I discovered the value of the Palladium Resorts, and  for pure luxury the beautiful 6 star Jumeirah Beacon Resorts.  I also have taken courses on sailing with Windstar and experiencing the rivers of Europe on Viking cruises.

I will resume my blog on our trip around the world, and start blogging on these new destinations, resorts and cruises that I have learned about soon, so stay tuned and each week you will find something new in my world of travel and how luxury travel can be yours.