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The Joy of Travel is an Oklahoma-based Travel Agency

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Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Anyone watching the news today notices strife around the globe between civil and religious groups each fighting for power and control.  When you consider the history of Avignon you can simply apply our current political/religious situation back to the 1300’s.

King Francis IV of France was convinced Pope Boniface VIII and Benedict XI were reaching for far too much power in the civil matters of the world.  He felt their realm should be a spiritual one, and intended to keep them in check.

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Where Two Worlds Collide, Arles, France

Where Two Worlds Collide - Arles, France

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I’ve been to several destinations where I felt two or more worlds collided, but few more profoundly than Arles, France.

Let’s begin with the world of the Romans in Arles.  If you want to see Roman ruins, there are few places with more well preserved Roman ruins than Arles.

Rome began its’ conquest of southern France (known then as Gaul) back in 125 BC.  By the time the Goths conquered Arles in 471 AD the Romans had been putting their mark on the region for several hundred years, leaving behind magnificent structures that are still in use today.

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Is European Travel Safe?

Is European Travel Safe?

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I just returned from a 12 day tour of southern France just days prior to their election.   A lot of people expressed interest in joining me but most seemed to have the same worry: “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but I’m not sure it’s safe after seeing the news.”

I was asked “What are the odds of a terrorist attack?  Are there riots everywhere? Is it dangerous?”

Europe is a safe place to visit.  Let me explain why I feel confident about saying that.

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Itís Especially Nice in Nice

Itís Especially Nice in Nice

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I’m off in a couple of weeks for a Rhone River cruise that begins with two days in Nice and ends with two days in Paris.  11 days, amazing discoveries.  I can’t wait.

I’ve never been to Nice, but I’ve heard it’s really nice.  I thought you might be interested in some of the things I’ve learned about the area and am looking forward to experiencing first hand.

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Does and Donts on Flights

Does and Don'ts on Flights

Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

As a person who seems to be in an airport every few weeks, may I offer some observations about travel etiquette, especially air travel?  Know in advance that I’m writing this with humor intended-people can be so funny!

Worst of the worst:

Body Odor.  I will never forget boarding a flight back from Ireland and my friend John H. was seated a couple of rows in front of us.  He asked the flight attendant if he could change seats, and gave us a strange smile when he walked past.

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Are You Looking for a Reason?

Are You Looking for a Reason?

Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Life is very good at giving us reasons to celebrate, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a trip.

Did you know that 87% of people travel to celebrate their wedding anniversary?  What better way to say “I still love you” than to set aside special time for your special someone.  There are some simply divine adult only resorts a short flight away that would be perfect for just the two of you.

 

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Raising Children with Wanderlust Explorers Club

Raising Children with Wanderlust

Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I know this is going to sound crazy to some of you, but I have always budgeted for family vacations and considered it to be an education expense.

I’ve talked to thousands of people about travel over the course of my 13 years as a travel professional (and 30 years traveling the world) and one thing is clear, people who have traveled have a more open-minded, optimistic opinion of our world.

They’ve been places, they’ve experienced other lifestyles and cultures, and they’ve learned that people around the world are basically the same.  We all love our children, we value safety and security.  We laugh, we cry and we are amazed at the great wonders of the world.  We all want the world to be a better place.

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Cruise Considerations: Whatís of Primary Importance?

Cruise Considerations: Whatís of Primary Importance?

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

As a woman who was a single mom with 3 kids to raise for over 12 years I know the importance of a vacation budget.  Let’s talk about factors that are almost as important as budget when you consider a cruise vacation.

To me the most important factor to consider are the ports of call.  I base my decisions on both ocean and river cruising around the ports of call I’ll get to experience. 

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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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Whatís ahead in 2017

Whatís 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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