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The Joy of Travel is an Oklahoma-based Travel Agency

We have fun, experienced agents who live and breathe to plan great trips for you at unbeatable prices.


Wine Appreciation Destinations are Huge

Wine Appreciation Destinations are Huge

Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Everyone I know seems to be having a love affair with wine, and not just what it’s their glass.  They are also intrigued by the history, the culture, the romance.   If you ever dreamed of visiting some of the premier wine regions of Europe here are some great guidelines.

My first experience with awe-inspiring vineyards was in the Tuscany region of Italy.   Tuscany is easy to access; it’s just a short drive north of Rome.  You can opt to stay in a villa and explore the area independently with your own car, or you can experience the area on an escorted tour for a few days before going on to the next regions.  Either way, if Tuscany isn’t on your bucket list you should add it today.

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New Zealand Is On Sale

New Zealand Is on Sale

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Have you heard about a magical place comprised of two main islands and several smaller islands that are culturally and linguistically part of Polynesia? 

The land area totals 103,738 square miles (a bit larger than the United Kingdom).  The climate compares closely to that of Italy.  Due to its long isolation from the rest of the world it has extraordinary flora and fauna

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Cruise to Belize: Untouched Natural Beauty

Belize: Untouched Natural Beauty

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Who wants to swim in crystalline waters bordered by miles of white unspoiled beaches backed by tropical rain forests?  With English as the official language, a land mass only slightly larger than Massachusetts, and a population of 250,000, Belize is rich in natural wonders and a perfect escape from the crowds.

A combination of natural factors—climate, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere (185 miles long), numerous islands, excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, jungle wildlife, and Mayan ruins—make Belize a travelers paradise. 

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Jamaica: Paradise on Earth

Jamaica: Paradise on Earth

Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

We’ve all heard “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, but don’t you prefer “What happens in Jamaica never happened at all?”

Christopher Columbus stumbled upon Jamaica in 1494 landing in Dry Harbour (now appropriately called Discovery Bay) and claimed the island for Spain.  The island was a Spanish colony (called Santiago) for the next 146 years.

In 1655 English Admiral Penn (the father of William Penn of Pennsylvania) and General Robert Venables seized the island.  For the next 200 years the British West Indies Crown Colony of Jamaica was one of the world’s leading sugar exporting nations and produced over 77,000 tons of sugar annually.  This feat could not have been accomplished without the massive importation of black African slaves. 

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Normandy Travel

Normandy

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

In the grainy old film clip a reporter was asking a fresh faced young soldier what he was thinking about just before he jumped from the aircraft during the Normandy invasion.  He replied as I expected, “I was praying”.   It was the words of his prayer that were unexpected. 

What would you pray?  I know I would be begging God to spare my life, to send me home safe and sound, to spare the lives of my fellow soldiers.

This young man, who should have been in his freshman year at college, told the reporter he prayed “God, give me courage”.  Over and over again he sent up the request for courage.

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The Riches of Spain

The Riches of Spain

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Which country has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world?

Where can you view an underground basilica larger than St. Peters in Rome? 

Have you seen the 2000 year old Roman Aqueduct that was bringing water into town until the late 1900’s?

The country of Spain proudly boasts all of the above, along with a rich culture and fascinating history.

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Experiential Travel, Swimming with Whales

Experiential Travel

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

The phrase “Experiential Travel” is the hottest buzz word around the travel industry and it can be used to describe an immense variety of travel itineraries. 

93% of the American people say they travel to experience new places they’ve only read about, new cultures, food and more.  In fact the vast majority of phone calls we get here at the agency are from people wanting to try something “new”.

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Faith Based Travel, Patmos

Faith Based Travel

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Our mission here at The Joy of Travel is to inform and inspire our customers to participate in “experiential” travel, travel that is fun and culturally broadening.

One of the most popular experiential travel products we offer is called Faith Based travel.  Faith Based travel introduces you to the people and places that have literally sculpted what and who you are today.

There is something very powerful about walking in the footsteps of our revered religious heroes, or standing on the spot where stories in the Scriptures took place.

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London Is a Great First Choice, Changing of the Gaurds

London Is a Great First Choice

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

London is a fabulous “first time” trip to Europe for an American.  There’s no language barrier, and other than the fact they drive on the wrong side of the road, you’ll get along splendidly.

During my trip to London I headed first thing to the Tower of London.  Begun around 1078 by King William I, the Tower was built as a fortress.  It remains remarkably intact and is home to the crown jewels.  Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two wives of King Henry VIII, were beheaded here. 

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Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

When you close your eyes, what do you envision when I say Florence?  The Academy?  David? The Duomo?  Florence is all of these and more. 

Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, (renaissance means rebirth).  There is no other city as famous for art, architecture, music, science and intrigue. 

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Independent, Yet Assisted Travel

Independent, Yet Assisted Travel

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Are you dreaming of a romantic escape, whether for a honeymoon, anniversary, or to reconnect?

There’s a delicate balance between the intimacy of traveling alone and just enough assistance to make the trip hassle free.

Let me give you an example of exactly how this type of travel need can be met.

Let’s imagine a trip to Venice, one of our most popular honeymoon destinations.  First of all there is something to be said for a friendly face waiting for you when you step off of the plane at the Marco Polo airport. 

Your new Italian friend will take you to your hotel via water taxi, pointing out sites and offering interesting tidbits of information along the way.

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Cenote Swimming and More in Mexico

Cenote Swimming and More

Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Are you a little claustrophobic?  Me too.  Yet I have no problem what so ever dropping down into a hole in the ground filled with cold, crystal clear water and swimming like a fish.  Love that cenote experience!

If you don’t have a Mexico “to do” list you need one, and swimming in some of the marvelous cenotes in the Cancun area needs to be at the top of that list.

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to literally thousands of them.  They are limestone sinkholes filled with water.  To the Maya they were sacred sources of desperately needed fresh water, revered and thought of as entrances to the underworld.

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Cozumel

Cozumel

Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

In 1961 Jacque Cousteau visited a subtropical island 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. He dubbed it one of the 5 best dive spots on earth.  Since that time, with the allure of the azure Caribbean waters and the warmth of the Mexican sun, it has become the destination of choice for snorkeling and diving. The “Land of Swallows” in ancient Mayan, the island of Cozumel.

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What’s ahead in 2017

What’s Ahead in 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017 at 1:00:00 pm

The Joy of Travel Team is on the road much of the year, traveling tens of thousands of miles so we can bring to our customers an insider’s perspective and base our recommendations on personal experience.

With 2017 upon us now is a good time to tell you the top choices we have for the upcoming year.

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Group Travel Benefits

Group Travel Benefits

Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

What qualifies as a group?

Do you have any idea how many guests have to be traveling for it to be considered a group trip?

Well, the answer varies depending on the type of travel and the destination.

If you and some friends are going somewhere tropical for a vacation as few as 5 rooms can qualify all of you for a room discount.  Whether it’s Cancun or Hawaii, the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, if you have 5 rooms going to the same place at around the same time it’s going to save you money.

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Understanding Travel Insurance

Understanding Travel Insurance

Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Have you ever wondered whether or not you really need travel insurance?  Here are a few questions that will help you determine not only if you need it but what type you need.

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Adventure Hawaii Style

Adventure Hawaii Style, Where the Action Is

Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

As much as everyone loves a little R&R on the beach, any trip to Hawaii should also include a few wonderful adventures.

A “first” trip to Hawaii is usually to the Island of Oahu.  Oahu has so much to do it literally took me and Doug two full weeks to experience everything on our list.

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10 Trips in 12 Months

10 Trips in 12 Months

Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

I just put my luggage back in the storage building with a huge sigh of relief.  I’ve been out of the country 10 times in the past 12 months and am ready to sit close to my own fireplace for a few weeks.  Hallelujah.

Is that a typical year for me?  Yes it is.  Why?  Because we don’t recommend anywhere to you we haven’t tried first.

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Jack in the Box, Travel Brand Loyalty

Jack in the Box

Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

I love Jack in the Box

That is well known fact.  I love those two for 99 cent tacos that drip grease down your chin and give you absolutely awful heartburn.  Love them.  Love them even more with a big order of fries and a coke on the side.

Does that mean I love everything they offer at Jack in the Box?  Absolutely not.

I bet it’s the same for you. 

So when someone tells me they tried a “Brand Z” resort and have decided they want to stick with “Brand Z” into infinity I know something they do not, they aren’t going to be happy with every resort that “Brand Z” offers.

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City Stay Supported Packages, Venice

City Stay Supported Packages

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Just give me a week

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere and just spend a week enjoying the surroundings?  Maybe you’ve considered the hills of Tuscany, Madrid, or even New Orleans?

There are some wonderful 5-9 days packages that not only include your accommodations (hotel room) but also include the “must see” attractions for that area, at discounted package pricing.

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Weather Travel Issues, Rain

Weather Travel Issues

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Do your plans include a little rain?

Nothing can impact your vacation itinerary as powerfully as weather conditions.

We’ve had customers who missed their outbound flight in January due to black ice in Tulsa.  We’ve had customers whose return flight couldn’t land at DFW in May due to thunderstorms and they overnighted in Austin.

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Scotland, the Year of History in 2017 Hillside

Scotland, the Year of History in 2017

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Have you ever wondered how you’d look in a kilt?  If the answer is yes there won’t be a better time to find out than in 2017.

Scotland will celebrate the Year of History throughout 2017 in honor of the country’s people, distinct culture, traditions and landscapes.  From a tourist’s perspective, it’s a rich opportunity for us.

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Top-5-Reasons-to-Visit-Cancun

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cancun

Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Allow me to re-introduce you to a destination that’s been attracting millions of American tourists for over forty years.  Cancun, Mexico.

What’s the big deal about Cancun, you ask?  There are several big deals about Cancun, as I was reminded during my wonderful trip there two weeks ago.

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My Little Island Paradise Cozumel

My Little Island Paradise, Cozumel

Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Oh how I love my little island paradise, Cozumel.

I literally can’t remember my first trip to Cozumel, and frankly I can’t remember all of the trips in between that one and my trip there two weeks ago.  I’ve been there so many times I’ve lost count.  What does that tell you?

Jacques Cousteau loved Cozumel, and named it one of the top 5 dive sights in the world.  I have to say I agree-the water clarity and marine life there are among the best in the world.

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See Caribou in Alaska Our Last True Wilderness

Alaska: Our Last True Wilderness

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

I want to see it all, don’t you?  I want to relax and fill my lungs with clean, crisp air while sitting on my balcony observing miles and miles of pristine forests floating silently by.

I want to see whales in their natural habitat, not in some man made contraption.  I want to hear the sound of a glacier calving and smell the smoke from a fire burning in a secluded oceanfront cabin. 

I want to “know” the inside passage.

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Spring Break and Documentation Tips

Spring Break and Documentation Tips

Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Every year it’s always the same. By March we all have cabin fever and want some sun, warm weather and warm water. The problem is, so does everyone else.

If Spring Break travel is on your radar, there are a few things you need to consider.

Spring Break is one of the most expensive times of year to travel, second only to Christmas. Travel is a supply and demand business, Spring Break travel is super high demand.

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National Park Tours

In With the New

Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 12:00:00 am

August is one of the best months in travel for travel agents.  August is when we open our front doors to discover boxes of new brochures full of exciting itineraries and enticing ideas for the upcoming year.

August 25, 2016 is the 100 year anniversary of our National Park system.  Most of the travel suppliers we use have created fantastic opportunities for us to celebrate this outstanding national achievement.

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Excellence Punta Cana beach

The Dominican Republic can be Delightful

Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 8:00:00 am

You know how your kids never think you are cool or interesting?  Well my daughter told me my articles the past two weeks have been like a PowerPoint history lesson (it wasn’t a compliment), so I’m going for something different in this one.

As you may know most of my agents went along with me to the Dominican Republic the last week of July to tour resorts there.  We stayed eight days and saw everything we wanted to see and more.

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travel pricing

Understanding travel pricing

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 10:00:00 am

Have you ever sat on a plane next to someone who paid considerably less (or more) than you did for your ticket? 

What about a trip?  Have you scored a fabulous deal while your friends had to max out their credit cards because they decided to wait a few weeks before committing to go with you?

Travel pricing is a convoluted mess, but I’m feeling brave today and am going to try to explain it.

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Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

USA occupies the Dominican Republic

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 5:00:00 pm

Earlier I told you a few fascinating tidbits I learned about Christopher Columbus and the Dominican Republic.  Our historian Miguel divulged a few other interesting facts during our tour that completely astounded me.  For instance, that the U.S. Military had occupied his country not once, but twice, during the 1900’s.

It all began back in 1911 when a group of rebels attacked President Caceres of the Dominican Republic and killed him.  

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