IMMERSION TRAVEL

Immersion travel is an opportunity for you to experience a destination and a culture as a local. You can get closer to the reality of their lives and their nature. You can experience the lifestyle, the language, the food, the fellowship and more of a culture. You can do this through helping on a farm, at a market, sharing a meal, attending school, volunteering in other areas of need. There are many ways and many opportunities to do this sort of immersion travel. You can make it as much or as little of your vacation as you wish. You can spend days, or an afternoon immersed in the culture of the destination you are visiting.

There are many ways to explore with immersion travel and while one way is the newly popular AirBnB allowing you to stay in someone’s home and while AirBnb may seem like a cool and trendy thing to do, there may be some caution to heed when doing this because of the lack of governing on this it could lead to unsafe and unpleasant travels. There are many other ways to take part in immersion travel safely and pleasantly.  Many travel professionals have contacts with companies that are licensed and insured and still provide authentic immersion experiences. 

Experiences like traveling to a local school and reading books to the children in the classes in Jamaica, visiting with a local family and making homemade pasta in there quaint Tuscan home then enjoying the finished product with them for dinner or enjoy a private spiritual moment with a Thai mon in Thailand.

There are many more immersion experiences available and what makes them so special is that they are unique and custom designed. What could be more romantic on a honeymoon or anniversary celebration than to spend a day or two immersed in a new culture, taking a private dancing lesson and then doing the salsa with locals til the wee hours of the night?

What will you immerse yourself in for 2019?
For an immersion style honeymoon, anniversary celebration or couple getaway be sure and contact me, your trusted travel professional to plan the details to make sure you get the right amount of immersion and a big dash of romance!Shannon 225-303-2240
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The BAE-Cation

Have you heard of the latest vacation craze?

It’s called a Bae-cation. What is a Bae-cation?

Let me tell you.

First, let’s start by defining Bae. Bae is an acronym for “before anyone else”. Bae meme’s have taken over social media. Bae is in dictionary.com as a word. According to dictionary.com Bae is a noun, verb, adjective and more. Read here to find out more about Baeing, being a Bae, looking Bae and all about Bae.

Now let’s get back to the Bae-cation. This is more than a vacation. This is more than a getaway. This is a trip that solely dedicated to Bae. Where is that Bae has always wanted to go? What is that Bae loves to do? Bae does none of the thinking or planning. Bae just shows up on the Bae-cation and enjoys being celebrated, doted on and wowed by the little details that have gone into the Bae-cation.

     Details like

  • his favorite cigar waiting in the hotel room
  • her favorite songs on a playlist playing from airport to the resort, making the hour drive go by faster
  • his tee times set up and golf club rentals all ready
  • her day at the spa is all arranged, and you are waiting for her with a private candlelight dinner on the beach that night
  • his favorite game is set up on a big screen while he chills with his favorite bourbon while chilling in a hot tub
  • her day at the beach ends with a surprise shopping spree at the resort jewelry boutique

There are many many more details that are involved in a bae-cation. There are so many ways to make trips a surprise. There are details and added extras that can be done to make the bae-cation a trip to remember for both Bae’s. 

Is your Bae worthy? Do you want to do something that is over the top, that you can’t wait to share on social media to show off Bae and their deservedness? 

Bae-cations are best done when you have the assistance of a travel professional that will get to know you and Bae. They will ask the right questions, do the research and make the magic happen that will make you the REAL BAE!

R & R & R

Rest and Relax and Romance

This is what getting away for the honeymoon, the destination wedding or the romantic vacation with your spouse or significant other.  While those are 3 simple words, rest, relax and romance…it is not so easy to detach from reality for everyone.  This is something I recommend we do as couples on a regular basis if possible.  This is taking date night up a notch and the reasons why are:

  • 1. Rest– Most of us works full-time jobs and then some right?  Spending 40 hours a week at work or more.  After work, we have house duties to tend to, kids.  What about Weekends… what are yours filled with?  Errands, volunteering, extracurricular activities, kids?  We are always on the go.  Our bodies need to rest.  While we do get a good night’s sleep usually when we go to bed we still have work or kids on our minds and when we wake up …work or kids…..

While on vacation you are disconnected from your normal routine.  You can rest.  You don’t have to worry about tomorrow’s staff meeting or calling clients back.  You can go to bed and not worry about what is on tomorrow’s agenda.  This helps us to get an even better nights rest.

  • 2. Relax- or Recharge.  Take the time on this vacation, honeymoon to relax and recharge YOU.  Let your cares and worries go.  Put your phone down.  Especially when going away on your honeymoon or with your significant other…read a magazine or a book.  A real book one with real pages.  Make sure this is not a work-related book …take time to let your mind relax and be more open.  Take naps, take walks, look at nature and your surroundings.  If playing golf, snorkeling, spa, or shopping relax you then do it.  You deserve this.  Your body needs this.  Your brain and your soul need this.  This is what keeps us going and helps us to be better in life.
  • 3. Romance- yes this is the 3rd R!  And probably the most important.  Now I’m not talking sappy romance either.  Just planning this getaway together is romantic.  If it’s a honeymoon or a romantic getaway than make it that.  Be there and in the moment with your special someone. Play in the pools.  Dance, sing, laugh, and flirt!  Have the fun you had when you first started dating!  Hold hands, plan a couples massage.  This the time that you need as a couple.  We get caught up in everyday life at home and while we may take time out for each other and do a date night or something like that a romantic trip will really help strengthen your relationship and help you to get to know each other all over again and the reasons you fell in love in the first place.

Do you want to know some fun things that I recommend every couple should do on a romantic escape?  

Check out my video below with my top 10! 

If you need a honeymoon or a romantic getaway please feel free to contact me, your Romance Travel Expert so I can create a fabulous escape for you.

The Marriage vs The Wedding

There is something about seeing a beautiful girl in a wedding dress. The vision is even more mesmerizing to a young girl. Young girls dream from early ages of the day that she will meet her prince charming, walk down the aisle in a vision of white. She has the wedding planned by the time she is 13. Every wedding she goes to she watches the bride. She pays attention to the dress, the veil, the hair, the make-up, the way she laughs, the way she dances with the groom. It seems to be a fairytale come true.

The moment the ring is on the finger the real planning starts. The bride puts in endless hours of shopping, attending bridal shows, planning, discussing, researching, interviewing, cake sampling, phone calls, pintresting (is that a word?), Facebooking (another new word for the urban dictionary). Some young ladies even start dieting and working out just so everything will be just perfect for the wedding and the reception after. So hours upon hours, day after day, month after month the time is filled with the planning of the wedding. The day arrives, anticipation has built up, energy is building to that moment. The moment when she walks down the aisle and he sees her. They say “I do”.   They kiss. The celebration starts with family and friends for a couple of hours after. Then the wedding is over.

Now what? What happens? According to Bride magazine most engagements and the planning of the wedding last for 18 months. That is a considerable amount of time spent in planning a wedding. What happens AFTER the wedding and the reception is over? What is normal for you and your new husband? You will no longer have to talk about what you should get as a gift for the groomsmen, what will say for your vows, what color with the theme be. Now what?

Will you have a wedding planning hangover? What will you do during the time you spent planning the wedding now that it is all over with?

Remember this is also a time to focus on each other and the upcoming marriage, not the upcoming wedding. The wedding is one day. The marriage is forever, right?

Enjoy the engagement. Here are a 3 tips to help focus on the marriage vs the wedding.

1-     No W word! At least 1 night a week there should be no talk of the wedding. Only speak to each other about the future together. Share your hopes, dreams and visions that you have as a couple.

2-     Keep a gratitude journal.   It can be short and sweet. Daily or weekly. Share daily or weekly what you are most thankful for in each other. Invest in a really nice journal book for each other.  Make a promise to each other to keep it up to date.  Keep the journals separate and private. Share on the night of your wedding or the night you return from your honeymoon. 

3-     Fun. This is something that can get lost in all of the planning. The planning can turn into a job and sometimes jobs are not fun. Be sure and have fun with each other. Enjoy this engagement time, savor it, splendor in it, be present and enjoy every moment that you have with each other. Do not think of things you are doing during the engagement as a task. This is a journey and journeys are meant to be fun.

Enjoy the engagement … its about the Marriage not the Wedding!  

Can you take me to the airport?

Yellow taxi on the road

You’ve packed your sunglasses, bathing suit, favorite magazine, and the book your friend said would blow your mind.  You are ready for a picture-perfect vacation!  But there’s one detail many forget about or wait to plan until the last minute – how will I get to the airport?  

Then you start to call friends and family maybe. Do you really want to inconvenience them, especially if your flight is at 5am and you have to be there 2 hours prior to departure.   

Say you don’t have anyone to drop you off and assume you can park your car at the airport – airports can charge anywhere from $10-$30 a day to park your vehicle and that doesn’t include someone to help you load/unload your baggage, doesn’t guarantee safety of your vehicle and belongings, and can be a hassle when trying to find a spot to park in their garages and then trying to make it to your gate in time.  An advantage however to using your own vehicle and parking is taking into account the distance you may be traveling to and from the airport – for those who don’t live close to their local airport, you would save money by driving yourself and not using a car service as car services generally charge per minute and per mile.

However, if you live within a reasonable distance, here are some car service suggestions that are trustworthy, can be relaxing, take the hustle and hassle out of rushing to an airport, and won’t break your wallet.  All of these services will take you directly to the drop off/pick up terminal areas and will assist in loading and unloading your baggage.  

Uber

This new transportation service is an app based service that allows users to simply put in their location, select from their vehicles available and wait for your ride – the best part, its cashless.  You pay using the app and if you are riding with several others you can split the tab, again cashless, using their app.  Uber services are arranged the day of your flight. Here is the breakdown of the services they provide that you get to choose from*:

  • Black Car – This is Uber’s original service. Choosing Black Car will send a high-end sedan to your location, with seating for up to 4 people.
  • Taxi – This calls a taxi that has an agreement with Uber. These taxis are much like any normal taxi, except that you can pay through the app.
  • UberX – This sends an everyday car to your location with seating for up to four people. This is Uber’s budget option.
  • SUV – This will send an SUV to your location with seating for up to 6 people. This is significantly more expensive than the Black Car service.
  • LUX – This will send a high-end luxury car to your location with seating for up to four people. This is Uber’s most expensive service.

Even better, you can “auto-add” a tip for the driver and pay using the Uber app.  

Limo

If you desire to travel with more class, you can arrange a limo drop off/pick up.  This usually includes a chauffeur that displays your name in the baggage claim area and assists with your baggage.  This transportation service is not app-based and has to be booked 2-3 days (at the latest) before your travel.  Many local limo companies charge $75-$85 per hour not including a base fee for any additional stops and tips**.   There are also disclaimers on many local limo sites that express limos aren’t for those who travel with a lot of baggage, as limos do not have the trunk space like a regular sedan does.  Many limo services offer more than the traditional stretch limo, you can often pick from a variety of vehicles like Excursions, Mini Bus, Loaded SUVs, etc.  The advantage of a limo service over Uber is a personal chauffeur and the guaranteed booking prior to the day of travel.

Local Taxi

In contrast from Uber or Limos, this old-fashioned form of transportation can be arranged the day of or days before travel.  Although taxis may not be the most glamorous form of travel, it will get you from point A to point B but usually requires cash on spot and you are expected to give a tip whether you enjoyed your ride or not.  The average New Orleans cab costs $33 for 1-2 passengers (to the airport with no stops) and $14 per person for 3 or more passengers***.  Unlike limos, taxis do not offer personal chauffeurs and unlike Uber, taxis do not offer your pick of class/vehicle.

Whatever you deem proper and necessary for your travel requirements to and from an airport, know that there are several options available to you! But no matter the form of transportation, remember to always keep check/count of your baggage, carry your own purse/carry on at all times, and be on time to the airport to go through security check(s) and checking into your flight.  

Happy Travels!

10 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Honeymoon

10 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Honeymoon

This could be your first time on a honeymoon or you could be a repeat offender.  These mistakes are easy to avoid when you are planning the honeymoon. Don’t let these common mistakes ruin what is supposed to be a milestone trip for you and your spouse!

1.Too Much To Do- Too Little Time

There is so much to see!  There is so much to do!  You know you want to go to Italy and visit Venice, Rome, Florence, The Amalfi coast, Sicily and Naples and you want to do it all in 7 days.  Or you want to go to a Caribbean island to snorkel, jet ski, zip-line, do a food tour, shop, relax, spend a day at the spa all in 5 days.  Be realistic.  Communicate with each other on just how much time you really have for the honeymoon and what the priorities are.  Remember priority number one is spending time together and enjoying it.  Allow free time and research where you are going, where the cities are located and how much time you need to get from place to place.  

2.Leave the Day After The Wedding

Yes, you are so excited and ready to go on an amazing honeymoon, however, leaving the day after the wedding is not the best thing to do, especially if you have a night time wedding.  Give yourself some time to rest the day after your big day.  Aside from the dancing and celebrating you are going to do this is an emotional day.  You are going to be exhausted.  Being exhausted on your honeymoon does not go over well when you arrive at your honeymoon suite that is all set for romance.  Give yourselves a day to recover, breath and not have to worry about waking up early to catch a flight! Leave the next day. 

3.Going Cheap

There is a time to splurge on vacations and a time to save on vacations.  Honeymoons are a time to splurge!  This is it…this is the start of your happily ever after.  You deserve the honeymoon of your dreams.  If money is an issue consider prioritizing what you are spending on the wedding.  Do you really want to spend money on the guests or on you?  Consider adding a honeymoon fund to your registry to help with expenses.  

4.DIY

You can go online and book plane tickets, hotels, honeymoons and all sorts of travel but why do it yourself when there are professionals that do this for a living and know the rules of the airlines, the lingo of the hotels, they have knowledge of planning travel for clients.  They guide you, consult with you and more importantly they work for you. They will manage your expectations and make sure you get what you expect. They want you to have a wonderful experience.  Do some research but when it comes to booking a trip of this importance, have a professional do it.  Piecing together flights on your own to Greece for your honeymoon that does not have legal connections can lead to unexpected fees, flights being canceled and problems along that way on a DIY honeymoon can easily lead to the first fight as husband and wife.  This is not how you want to start the honeymoon, arguing because you are arguing with the front desk that you did book an ocean view room and the front desk is insisting that your room is an ocean view.  You simply have to go to the balcony on the right-hand side, lean over the rail only 6 inches and you can view the ocean.

5.Protection

Investing money on an amazing honeymoon is worth it once you know you have made the right choice.  Protecting your investment, your time and yourself is the next smart step.   Travel insurance is highly recommended.  Life happens. Flights get delayed or canceled.  Hurricanes come. Family members get sick.  Luggage gets lost.  Accidents happen.  Being in a hospital in a foreign country is not a fun experience.  Travel insurance protects you and has representatives available 24/7 should something happen while you are traveling.   Saying…” we are definitely going on our honeymoon so we don’t need to buy insurance” are famous last words.  BUY THE INSURANCE.

6.Not Going on One

Or you say you will go on one later, and then later becomes, “let’s just go on our one year anniversary”.  Did you know that researchers have a proven statistic that if you do not take a honeymoon the first year of your marriage then you are at a40% HIGHER risk of divorce! 
GO ON THE HONEYMOON

7.Choosing the Wrong Time and The Wrong Place 

Costa Rica is a dream honeymoon location for you and you think it would be great to go in June and forget to check the weather reports only to arrive during their peak rainy season.  Find out the weather, the crowds, the seasons of the destination that you are traveling.  Don’t assume that is the same as it is here in the states.  

8.Doing Nothing When You Are There

Time to make some memories.  Remember that time on we zip lined for the first time in St. Lucia?   Remember that time we rode the elephants in Thailand through the jungle?  Yes, take the time to relax, lounge by the pool, order room service but make time to do something or somethings that you have never done before.  Get the adrenaline going… get excited… have the experiences!

9.Taking Friends Advice

This may seem like something you should do and we do recommend that you get opinions from your friends however often we think because our BFF went to Bora Bora and thought it was utterly amazing and that is what “we must do” is not necessarily true.  Although you and your friends may have similar likes and dislikeBora Bora may not be the right fit for you and your fiancé.  Take time to really think about your likes and dislikes as a couple.  Ask questions to each other about what your expectations are, what have you done before that you love, and why, do your research and communicate with each other. 

10.Last Minute Packing

With all the wedding festivities going on the last thing on your mind will be packing for a trip.  You will have to pack for the wedding, get your dress in order, pack a going away dress possibly.  You may possibly be packing up and moving out of your current home into a new home together.  You may have things in boxes and scattered at places.  Another reason we recommend not leaving the day after the wedding.  The extra day allows you to have time to get your wedding dress put away or in the hands of someone responsible for delivering to the cleaners. Think things through, pack for the honeymoon 2 weeks prior with most your clothes packed.  1 week before rechecking your list, add in toiletries.  Last minute packing is reserved for cosmetics and medications. 

Passport Tips

  1. You will not need your driver’s license as an I.D, unless you plan on driving in the country you are visiting. The passport will serve as your government issued I.D. The passport trumps the driver’s license (except when driving of course). You will only show your passport at check-in and with TSA.
  2. Your passport needs to NOT expire within 6 months of your return date when traveling to certain counties. Visit the official passport website for details. Please have it updated ASAP if it does.
  3. Make sure your passport is not damaged. Water damage, unofficial
    markings, or tears especially on the main page can make your passport invalid.
  4. Make sure the passport is signed by you on the indicated signature line.
  5. Make 2 print copies of the page with your picture. Leave one copy at home with a responsible party. Take one copy with you on the trip. This is for just in case something happens to your hard copy passport. Like if it’s lost or stolen then it will be much easier for you to get a reissue.
  6. Never, ever, leave your passport in the pocket seat of the airplane.
  7. If you lose your passport abroad contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or
    Consulate.
  8. Get all of your passport information at the official U.S government site here.
  9. Keep your passport in a fireproof safe with other valuables and official documents. 
    For more information on travel contact your travel
    expert: Shannon LeBlanc
    http://www.paradisevacationescapes.com