Travel agents are thriving. In an age when you have too many options (Which website should you use? Where should you go? Where should you stay? How should you get there? And so on…), a travel agent is your best resource to cut through the noise and help you get what you really want. The problem though is that you may not know what a travel agent even is. Or why you should use one.
It all comes down to the fact that traveling is exciting, but the planning for traveling can be time-consuming, complicated, and sometimes beyond stressful. So, why wouldn’t you phone a friend, aka your travel agent, in order to have the best experience possible?
What is a Travel Agent?
A travel agent, travel professional or travel advisor uses their knowledge, expertise, and resources to craft vacations for their clients, who are travelers just like you. They’re a go-to person when a traveler wants to immerse themselves in unfamiliar places (and familiar ones), connect with the world and do so with offers and pricing that are sometimes only available through travel agents. Travel agents are experts in hospitality around the world, with many focusing on specific niches like destination weddings, group travel and multi-generational/family travel.
Oh, the places your passport can take you. That is, if you keep it safe and protected. It really doesn’t take a lot of work or expense to take a few steps towards passport safety and peace of mind when you travel. Whether you’re on a Holy Land Pilgrimage or traveling elsewhere, here are a few passport safety tips for your next trip abroad.
1. USE A PASSPORT COVER
Not only does a cover keep your passport in good shape, but a passport cover from another country can be used to keep things low key and to keep people guessing. My passport cover is from the Czech Republic.
2. KEEP YOUR PASSPORT IN AN RFID BLOCKING SLEEVE OR COVER
Using an RFID blocking sleeve for our passports is something that we’ve started doing the last few years as hacker technology has improved. Same goes for protecting your debit and credit cards. It’s just better not to take any risks. And, the RFID blocking sleeve also serves the purpose of providing an additional level of physical protection for the passport. It’s inexpensive and easy to buy a set of RFID blocking sleeves for passports and credit cards or to buy a passport cover that already includes RFID blocking technology.
In 2019, Princess® Cruises will celebrate Fifty years of expertise sailing the Alaska region. Princess will offer a variety of cruises from 7 to 12 days long and multiple opportunities to explore the heart of Alaska on land.
Their history of carrying more people to the Great Land than any other cruise line, plus a top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that sails 500 miles further north across the Gulf of Alaska is just one of the reasons why Travel Weekly has named Princess® the #1 Cruise Line in Alaska for the last 13 years. For the ultimate Alaska experience combine a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with stays at the exclusive Princess owned & operated Wilderness Lodges. Venture into the depths of the wilderness, so close to wildlife it will feel as if you belong in their world.
You will experience Alaska’s top two attractions on every Princess Land & Sea tour including pristine Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring towering Margerie Glacier, as well as picturesque six million-acre Denali National Park, home to North America’s tallest peak and teeming with bear, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and wolves. Only Princess® offers Direct-to-the-Wilderness® rail service that takes you from your ship through the heart of Alaska delivering you at doorstep of legendary national parks and stays at Princess® exclusive owned wilderness lodges, the ideal location for exploring the Alaska wilds.
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea offers ports-of-call packed with rich culture and diversity. Within one week's time, it is possible to be in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, or France, Italy and Spain. Since travelers often like to budget a little extra time and take their kids to these destinations, the best time to cruise the Mediterranean can have less to do with the weather than with factors like personal or family schedules. Both the peak season and the low season have pros and cons.
High Season Pros:
Some Americans and Europeans prefer to take Mediterranean cruises during the peak season from May through August. This is when one will be able to find the widest selection of cruise ships and itineraries, and won't have to worry about rain or choppy waves. Since the summer months coincide school vacations, June through August remain the most heavily trafficked months, says travel writer Howard Hillman. Each day, it is possible to expect 11 hours of sunshine and average temperatures of 86 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, with sea breezes making it feel a few degrees cooler. Summer is the perfect time for visiting the beaches of Spain.
High Season Cons:
Cruise Critic warns of "bigger crowds, higher prices and steamy temperatures" from May to August. Ports become congested and tourists are crawling all over the popular attractions. It is possible to see loads of Europeans, particularly in August during their most popular holidays, and it is likely to see many noisy children. Rooms on ships may be scarce if waiting until the last minute, and prices are usually jacked up during peak travel season.
What is the point of a pilgrimage? Where did this idea come from for Catholics? Throughout Scripture, there is considerable evidence which supplies theological significance to the concept. Even today we see many embracing this activity with passion and the commitment of time and resources.
While many would regard a basic definition of pilgrimage as a “journey made on foot or by other means to a site of particular religious significance,” this might be insufficient for two basic reasons that ignore the universal appeal of a pilgrimage or the pilgrim’s motivation.
Humanity inherently has a curiosity and desire to dive into certain questions. The Second Vatican Council’s declaration Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions) acknowledges this natural, basic curiosity of human beings to ask: “What is man? What is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what is sin? Whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? Which is the road to true happiness? What are death, judgment and retribution after death?” (No. 1).
Europe is a long, long way away. It takes the best part of a day to fly to, playing havoc with your body clock. Getting there - and staying there - isn't cheap, either. The exchange rate between the Euro and the Australian dollar is worse than with the greenback and you can have an all-inclusive package holiday to Bali for the cost of a return airfare to the continent. So why do we bother with Europe at all? Well, let us count the ways.
1. The History:
Pondering the wisdom of Socrates and Plato while trekking up the Athens Acropolis. Indulging your inner gladiator at the Roman Colosseum. Getting lost amid the labyrinthine, cobble-stoned Old Town of Prague. Stretching from Lisbon to Istanbul, Europe is crammed with sights and streets that have been shaped by more than 3000 years of human civilization. This is a continent that lets you bed down in fairy-tale castles. Walk hand-in-hand along ancient city walls and aqueducts. Take a pew in a mighty medieval cathedral. Roam the windswept beaches where the world wars played out. Tramp around myth-drenched villages that pre-date the pyramids of Giza. As more than one Australian has been overheard saying, "Wow, you can almost feel the history".
2. The Cities:
London. Paris. Barcelona. Berlin. Europe is home to some of the world's greatest cities. The brilliant thing about them is that they never stand still. New fads and fashions - and a constant influx of immigration - mean these dynamic metropolises are always reinventing themselves. Visitors will naturally make a beeline to the iconic sights - after all, what's Barcelona without Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia or Paris minus the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre? However, inner-city zones that, not so long ago, were derelict industrial wastelands or down-and-out 'hoods are now increasingly appealing to tourists. London's evolving East End, and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (where you'll find the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall) are two examples of hip and happening districts brimming with creativity, while you may be surprised to discover cutting-edge street - or guerrilla - art stenciled across the renaissance city of Florence.
1. Easy Access:
The variety of direct flights to the Caribbean means that getting to the islands is a no muss, no fuss process. Caribbean flight deals and exclusive air charters to Caribbean islands mean that there's no excuse for you to not be enjoying a sugary cocktail in your own Caribbean beachfront villa.
2. Carnival Season:
The Caribbean Carnival Season kicks off in early February, with beach parties, dance parades, endless food and tons of fun. The top Caribbean Carnival islands are: Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, US Virgin Islands, St. Martin and the Cayman Islands.
3. Great Vacation Activities:
Your Caribbean beach vacation is full of a variety of activities. The Caribbean islands are perfect for snorkeling trips, top diving spots, fishing charters, golf vacations and more. Barbados is great for cricket fans and golf vacations alike. Bermuda is top for scuba diving and relaxing, wellness holidays. The Caribbean is also a hot-spot for tennis, horse riding, water sports and yacht vacations.