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Why Travel with a Group

Why Travel with a Group

Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Groups offer solutions

Families, clubs, associations, corporations, religious organizations and wedding parties; I imagine in at least one area of your life you’re part of a group.

Groups frequently ask us to plan “together time” for them and I thought you might benefit from knowing what group travel offers and doesn’t offer.

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Luxury vs Budget Friendly

Luxury vs Budget Friendly

Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Here at The Joy of Travel we are consistently asked “what are the main differences between luxury all-inclusive resorts and the more budget friendly all-inclusive resorts”.

I just returned from a very budget friendly resort and can tell you firsthand about the differences.

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Is Mexico Safe?

Is Mexico Safe?

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 1:00:00 pm

I’ve been watching the online firestorm brewing over supposed abuse and criminal behavior in Mexico and felt I needed to present another aspect of the story.

 

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A Night of Fairies and Folklore, Final Days in Ireland

A Night of Fairies and Folklore, Final Days in Ireland

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Our time in Ireland so far had been full of fabulous scenery and lovely people, great pubs and tours, historic castles and barrels of fun.  For our final days in Ireland we returned to Dublin and began with a tour of the Teeling Distillery.

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A River Runs Through It, Day 5 and 6 in Ireland

A River Runs Through It, Day 5 and 6 in Ireland

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

Does any river bring a more beautiful mental image to your mind than the River Shannon in Ireland?

After a hearty Irish breakfast in Killarney we were off to the River Shannon, which we crossed via ferry and continued to the Cliffs of Moher.  The River Shannon estuary is beautiful, lush and full of wildlife.  We spent all of our time on the ferry crossing outside taking photographs.

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The Gift of Gab,  Day 3 and 4 in Ireland

The Gift of Gab, Day 3 and 4 in Ireland

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

It’s funny how you don’t know you didn’t know something until you know something, you know what I mean?

To say I was less than enthusiastic about our tour of the Waterford Crystal factory is an understatement.

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Exploring Southern Ireland, Day 1 and 2

Exploring Southern Ireland, Day 1 and 2

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

If you are an American and want to explore a foreign country that is fabulously gorgeous and where the people love America and Americans there’s no better choice than Ireland.

Ireland is a land of unsurpassed beauty, about that there is no doubt.  What always surprises guests on my escorted tours in Ireland is the adoration of Americans by the Irish. 

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Special Interest Travel, Travel with a Theme

Special Interest Travel, Travel with a Theme

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

Did you know that there are multiple “special interest” cruises and tours you can join to enhance your appreciation for and understanding of things you enjoy?

Let’s take wine for instance.  There are multiple escorted land tours through the heart of wine country in both Europe and the USA.

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Cancun: Are You Open to a New Experience?

Are You Open to a New Experience?

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

Posadas Resorts invited me to bring my top agents to Cancun to experience three of their properties, and I literally could not remember the last time I stayed in the hotel zone of Cancun.  I gladly accepted the invitation.

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More in Florida Than Disney

More in Florida Than Disney

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Walt did a great job, but there’s more.

Walt Disney had a magnificent dream and the fulfillment of that dream in Florida is truly mind boggling.  However there’s more to Florida than Disney and oranges.

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A First Time for Everything, Saone, Beaune and Paris

A First Time for Everything, Saone, Beaune and Paris

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

April 14, 2017 was a gorgeous, sunny day on the Saone River in France.  Doug and I were enjoying our last day onboard the river cruise vessel Poetry II and decided to sit on the sun deck and watch the beautiful countryside go by.  We were sitting in front of the Captain enjoying the views when we began to hear shouting.

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Lyon and Perouges

Lyon and Perouges

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Perched high on a hill about 30 miles from Lyon is the charming hilltop city of Perouges.  Since the beginning it has been a village of craftsmen, never under the control of a Lord.   The simplicity and authenticity of the place are a huge part of the appeal.  There are no relics, no imposing cathedral, no electric lines; just uniform timbered homes and quaint cobbled streets.

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Knights Templar Falsely Accused

Knights Templar Falsely Accused

Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Have you noticed most issues are not how they seem to be on the surface?  Take the end of the Knights Templar for instance.  Their demise had nothing to do with heresy and everything to do with money.

The Knights Templar were one of the most respected orders in medieval times.  In a world where both the crown and the church were corrupt beyond belief, the Knights Templar seem to have actually taken their vows to the people seriously.  They protected the people, provided for them, and in the process managed to create what would become our modern banking system.

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Most Beautiful Plumbing, Pont du Gard

Most Beautiful Plumbing, Pont du Gard

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

No other structure in southern France is as famous as the Roman Aqueduct of the Pont du Gard aka “The World’s Most Beautiful Plumbing System”.  The enormous bridge is part of the Nimes aqueduct, a system of over 31 miles that brought fresh water from a fresh water spring at Uzes to the Roman settlement in Nimes (Nemausus) back in the first century.

The Pont du Gard is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts (160 feet high with three levels of archways) and one of the best preserved.  After the fall of the Roman Empire the bridge served as a toll bridge, which contributed to its’ upkeep and current excellent condition.

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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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