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.

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

Hiring a Professional Photographer for your Vacation or Honeymoon

You have to, have to, have to hire a photographer on your next vacation, honeymoon, or getaway.
I did it for my recent trip to Hawaii because I needed updated professional photographs to use for my new website (coming soon) and marketing materials.



What I got was much more and why I suggest you do the same on your next vacation. I was somewhat excited to do a photo session, especially since I was in Hawaii. I was on a tight schedule so my photographer suggested we do a sunrise session. The session was fun and relaxing. She told me she would have the images to me in 3 weeks. I personally took over 1000 images with my camera and phone of my trip. I’ve organized them and started to use them for some social media posts.

Time has come and gone and I have thought often of my trip to Hawaii. I have thought about the beach, the flowers, the sounds, the smells, the people. I’ve already started mentally planning my trip back, this time with Richard. I’ve thought about the meals, the laughter, the wind, the music, the dancing.

Then I got the email from the photographer (who by the way is amazing and I would love to refer her to you), Elise Sanchez Photography, that my images were ready. I admit I was a little nervous, as I am very critical of myself. I opened the link to her blog and was immediately taken back in time. To see myself in Paradise brings back the feelings, the euphoria and the amazement I was feeling in that moment. This is what great photography does. This is what photography does when you are in the picture and not the one doing the photography. The images stops time. The images bring you back. The images capture the feelings you were feeling in that moment. The images will live on forever.

This is what you can do on your honeymoon, that anniversary trip, that surprise trip, that family getaway. Capture that moment. Let it live forever it will help your memories stay alive!

This is why I suggest, encourage and beg you to hire a professional photographer for your next trip. This is something your travel professional can also help you with.