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The Best Fine Dining at Caribbean All-Inclusives!!!

While all-inclusive resorts are known for offering exceptional value, they tend to get a bad rap when it comes to their culinary options. This is mainly due to the fact that most all-inclusive resorts have at least one buffet, and because some of the value resort brands are known for skimping on food quality to save some cash.

Yet, this isn’t the case with every all-inclusive property at all, and many resorts and hotel brands are known for offering fine dining options and gourmet culinary experiences. Food and drink are often the highlight of—if not the reason for—many getaways. You do typically have to pay more for an all-inclusive stay that includes fine dining, but the cost can be well worth it if you’re a foodie who wants to enjoy upscale meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients by expertly-trained chefs.

Which Caribbean all-inclusive resorts are known for their culinary prowess? There are actually quite a few, with some of the top including Sandals resorts, Karisma properties, and TRS adults-only all-inclusive resorts. 

Looking to plan your journey around the most exquisite examples of fine dining? Look no further. We’ve found some of the BEST fine-dining experiences and listed them for you below.

Located in the most exclusive part of Punta Cana, the DR’s TRS Cap Cana offers numerous fine dining experiences. Options include their Izakaya restaurant, which features the unique textures & flavors of Japanese street food in a relaxed & calm atmosphere. Meanwhile, the resort’s beachfront restaurant Helios serves fresh seafood & sushi, delicious sandwiches & refreshing cocktails.

St. Maarten’s Sonesta Ocean Point Resort makes it possible to enjoy an adults-only, all-inclusive vacation experience with breathtaking views over Maho Bay. While exemplary foods are offered throughout the property, the cliffside & oceanfront Azul Restaurant serves authentic specialties by Executive Chef Francisco Almonte. Every meal is carefully created using seasonal ingredients & fresh vegetables — enhanced by the restaurant’s international wine list. 

At the prestigious Colony Club by Elegant Hotels, guests can try something new at the island’s first-of-its-kind Rum Vault. This vault features 150 rums from all over the world, & guests can enjoy personalized rum tastings, sweet rum-and-chocolate pairings & an intimate rum-paired multi-course dinner created by Chef Wayne Maynard. 

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is located in the lush jungles of Belize, & guests can book an array of all-inclusive vacation packages that pair stays with other properties in The Belize Collection. This hotel features stunning views in a natural setting, along with fine dining options at The Grove House, which was named Restaurant of the Year in 2018 & 2019 by the Belize Tourism Board. 

Consider booking a trip to the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall on the laid-back island of Jamaica if you’re looking for a fun, adults-only vacation experience. Guests who visit this all-inclusive paradise can enjoy seven different restaurants & bars where they can try French-style cuisine and Jamaican beachfront dining with local specialties like curry seafood & marinated shrimp salad.

Antigua’s Curtain Bluff is an iconic all-inclusive five-star sanctuary that boasts unbelievable ocean views and renowned fine dining options. Guests return to this Antigua landmark again and again to dine at The Sea Grape, an open-air eatery that features inventive Italian and Antiguan takes on dishes like yellowtail tuna carpaccio and beetroot gnocchi. Another fan favorite is their Tamarind Restaurant, which focuses on offering a rotating five-course menu with salads, seafood and outstanding meat courses every evening.

Serenity at Coconut Bay is a couples-only all-inclusive resort that is known for its high-end dining options. Guests can visit The Greathouse, the resort’s fine dining restaurant, to experience cuisine built around Saint Lucia’s fresh, farm-to-table ingredients as well as delicious vegan selections. Menu highlights include sesame ginger tuna, rack of lamb, coconut cream pie and vegan beef shepherds’ pie, just to name a few.

Romantic couples seeking great food in an adults-only setting should check out Le Blanc Cancun Spa Resort. Not only do you get 24-hour room service, but you can choose from six different restaurants serving everything from Italian fare to Asian fusion. Several on-site bars also offer unique cocktails made with premium ingredients and liquor.

Sandals Royal Bahamian is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Nassau, Bahamas, but it’s also popular with picky eaters. There are 10 different gourmet restaurants at this resort, and cuisine on offer ranges from French to fresh Italian and seafood. Guests here can also enjoy premium liquors, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. 

Iberostar Selection Cancun Coral Level is an adults-only “resort w/in a resort” that is known for its excellent customer service & surprisingly refined dining options. Cuisine on offer includes Japanese hibachi, Mexican food, Italian fare & a high-end steakhouse. A renowned American bistro even serves Kentucky fried chicken, New Orleans salmon & BBQ ribs for a taste from home.

Sandals Resorts are known for offering fine dining options to their adults-only guests, & the Sandals Royal Barbados property is no exception. Food-lovers who choose this oceanfront all-inclusive resort can select from 20 different dining options including Caribbean fare, regional Italian, Indian, a French-style patisserie, sushi & a NY-style steakhouse. Five-star premium spirits are available 24 hours a day.

Travelers heading to the “Spice Island” of Grenada will love the dining options at Spice Island Beach Resort, a black-owned luxury resort w/ a spectacular location on Grand Anse Beach. The all-inclusive hotel boasts several award-winning restaurants that serve food for a range of tastes, from its Caribbean-meets-Creole eatery to its “Sea and Surf” oceanfront bar & grill. Note the ONLY AAA five diamond award. 

TRS Coral, is an adults-only all-inclusive resort that sits directly on the beach of Costa Mujeres in the Mexican Caribbean. The property offers 4 int’l a-la-carte restaurants & an Ibiza-style beach club. Dining options include Argentinian eatery El Gaucho, which serves up traditional Argentinian barbecue, chorizos, empanadas, milanesas, fine wines & desserts, & La Bohème, which specializes in classic recipes like steak tartare, French onion soup, foie gras & crepes.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of the most elegant all-inclusive resorts in all of México, but it’s also a hot spot for foodies. Guests who visit find the most varied & fresh food & beverage program in the region w/ 15 different dining options to choose from. Culinary options include Mexican fine dining, gourmet French, upscale Asian, Northern Italian, & guests can enjoy premium liquor brands & custom cocktails across the entire venue.

Recently opened in late 2021, is one of the newest all-inclusive boutique resorts in the country of México. Guests here can dine at several high-end eateries run by celebrity chefs, including their Mexican restaurants, Tuch De Luna, Centril, and Lumbre. ESTERO, which features cuisine from Mexico and Peru, has a stellar menu, whose restaurant Central in Peru was named among the “Greatest Restaurant in Latin America 2013-2021” in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. 

Garza Blanca Cancun is one of the newest all-inclusive luxury resorts in all of México, & it’s already known for its high-end dining options. Like other Garza Blanca properties in Puerto Vallarta & Los Cabos, this beachfront resort has several gourmet restaurants with chef-prepared steaks and seafood & premium spirits. Guests staying here also have access to six additional restaurants at its sister resort, Villa del Palmar Cancun.

Negril’s Azul Beach Resort is a Karisma property, so resort guests get the benefit of this hotel brand’s “gourmet-inclusive” offerings. This particular all-inclusive luxury resort boasts six upscale eateries that serve everything from Caribbean cuisines to Italian and Thai cuisine, as well as premium cocktails and wines at seven different bars.

As a luxury all-inclusive resort that’s only for adults, UNICO Riviera Maya offers an array of cuisine options featuring locally-sourced ingredients and a diverse mix of international flavors. Fine dining selections include a Mediterranean restaurant, a high-end Mexican eatery and an Asian restaurant with Japanese cuisine-teppanyaki, yakitori and sushi.

Recently opened in November of 2021, Margarita Island Reserve Cap Cana offers deluxe cuisine in the most laid back atmosphere you could ever hope for. All kinds of fresh foods are on offer, ranging from beach burgers and fries to upgraded seafood and steaks. This Karisma property, which also boasts a gourmet-inclusive experience, even has its own brewery and gastropub.

What great Caribbean fine-dining experience do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

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TRAVEL NEWS YOU CAN USE …

Flying with cannabis can create a sticky situation.

As those with an affinity for marijuana – or pop culture aficionados – can tell you, April 20, or 4/20, might as well be a national holiday.  That’s the day cannabis lovers celebrate the legendary weed. Legend has it that the most plausible historical origin of 4/20 came from the 1970s, when a group of California teenage buddies met each day at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana, with the ritual soon spreading from there and the time stamp simply evolving to 4/20.

Of course, what was taboo 50 years ago is more accepted today. Medical marijuana dispensaries are nationwide, and most states have relaxed their laws on how much recreational marijuana a person can have.

But can you fly with it? (And by fly we mean literally, on an airplane, not metaphorically.) 

The short answer is, no. And, at the same time, sort of.

According to the TSA, “Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities.”

There’s your hard no. Marijuana is still illegal to fly with.

However…

“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.  Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”

There’s your ‘sort of.’

It’s a risk you, as a passenger, will have to take. The TSA takes jurisdiction over airline policy when it comes to marijuana and will refer you to the proper authorities if they find it.

If they find it being the key phrase.

For instance, when New York last year legalized the recreational possession of up to three ounces of cannabis, TSA officers aren’t looking for marijuana, but have a legal duty to report it if they find more than three ounces of the stuff.

New Yorkers 21 years old and older can possess, obtain and transport up to three ounces of cannabis. Therefore, PAPD does not issue tickets, seize or arrest for this amount at New York airports.”

Another point to consider is where you are traveling to as a final destination. While society might be more accepting of limited marijuana use, only 18 states – less than half – have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

So while you might think you’ve dodged a bullet by getting your stash past the TSA checkpoint, you still might have to deal with state laws depending on where you arrive.

What travel experiences have you had with cannabis? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter or Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

#flyinghigh #tsa

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TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP!!

FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE TIPS TO START YOUR STRESS-FREE TRAVEL PLANNING

Daydreaming about a post-pandemic trip is an exhilarating cure for stir-craziness. I explained to someone just last week … “Looking forward to something absolutely helps me stay sane.”

Simply making travel plans, even far in advance, can brighten your mood. Most people find that anticipating an experience such as a vacation is far more pleasurable — as well as “more exciting and less tinged with impatience or anxiety” — than awaiting the arrival of material goods. 

But with the future still so uncertain, building flexibility into your trip is key. Follow these tips as you start to dream and plan.

1. Take advantage of flexible booking policies. 

Hotels, airlines and tour companies are making it easier to cancel trips within weeks or even days of your departure date. When a country reopens for North American travelers, those who purchased a voucher are guaranteed a spot on the company’s first tour to that location.

2. Consider waiting to book a cruise — or make sure it’s easy to change your departure date. 

The cruise industry suffered a blow last spring following reports of passengers stranded on ships rampant with COVID-19 cases, and the industry remains mired in uncertainty. The CDC has lifted its Testing Requirements but is now requiring cruise lines to demonstrate that certain procedures and facilities are in place (testing capacity and quarantine areas, for instance) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on their ships. If you choose to take advantage of lenient cancellation or change policies (not to mention specials, such as the recent 2-for-1 fares on Oceania Cruises). Read the fine print: If you cancel, you may not receive your deposit back — it will instead be applied to a future cruise (as with Holland America).

3. Follow destination-specific advisories and regional COVID policies. 

The U.S. Department of State and the CDC each maintain travel warnings for different areas of the world. The CDC provides risk ratings by country, from zero to level 3, and is now advising against all unessential travel. The State Department has travel advisory levels from 1 (exercise normal precautions) through 4 (do not travel), and is currently asking people to “reconsider travel” in most areas. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t book travel to places with current warnings, but check in frequently as your trip approaches and prepare a backup plan. Also check your destination’s restrictions; many areas, including in the U.S., are requiring or asking visitors to quarantine or show proof of a negative COVID test.

4. Consider travel insurance. 

Before COVID, most travel insurance policies didn’t cover pandemics, but that’s no longer true. You can compare policies, receive quotes and read customer reviews at sites such as InsureMyTrip.comSquareMouth.com and TravelInsurance.com. New policies that cover pandemic-related cancellations tend to be pricey. You’re likely to spend far less if you forgo the insurance and simply book with providers that allow you to cancel without penalty. But there are other factors to consider. 

5. Consult a travel adviser. 

Consulting a pro who understands everything from travel insurance to confusing entry requirements may reduce the odds of disaster. Keeping up on various COVID-19 entry requirements, hotel modifications and cleanliness policies is how I’ve been spending a majority of my time, Things can change fast!

6. Don’t toss your mask. 

With vaccinations continuing, mitigation strategies (mask wearing, social distancing) could be needed for another year to prevent outbreaks. We’ll still have to consider wearing a mask on the plane, in airports, any of those places where people can get together. The same strategies — washing your hands, don’t touch your face, keeping physical distance — are going to be important.

7. Prepare for high demand. 

People are sick of staying home, so the pent-up demand for travel is HUGE. Many travelers who canceled plans for 2020 have simply rebooked those same trips for 2021 or 2022. With countries such as Kenya and Namibia once again welcoming Americans, multiple safari companies report that they are nearly or completely booked for 2022.  Without a doubt, people are looking at bucket list destinations. We’ve all been through this collective carpe diem moment, so a lot of people are really ready to travel. 

What travel destination do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

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TRAVEL NEWS YOU CAN USE …

HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FALL’S LOWER AIRFARES!

LOOKING FOR FALL DEALS … CHECK OUT OUR TIPS BELOW

As of Tuesday, September 6, summer is officially over.

OK, well, not by official recognition – the calendar says it’s still summer until later this month – but certainly by travel standards. The Labor Day Weekend holiday has concluded, vacations are over, and children are back in school.

But autumn is still a great time for a trip if you can get away as airfares are expected to drop by as much as 40 percent until mid-November and the onset of the winter holidays. The question is, how do you take advantage of those fares?

Here are four tips to make the fall a terrific time to travel.

A LONG WEEKEND – heres a great logistical point in that a trip that would take around 10 hours to drive is generally accessible by air with a two-hour flight. With fares falling, it’s a great opportunity to extend your summer fun before the cold weather and holiday rush sets in.

TAKE THAT OVERSEAS TRIP – Flying to Europe or any other international destination means paying a premium price at most times during the year. Not in the fall, however. Not only will you see reduced pricing in airline costs during this time, you will also find less expensive accommodations.

 In addition to flights, you might also find cheaper rates on hotels since fewer people tend to travel during September and October.

CHANGE YOUR EXISTING FLIGHT – It happens all the time. You book a flight and the price changes to less than what you paid. Check with your airline because many carriers have removed cancellation and change fees. If you see a big difference between what you paid and what the same flight is right now, call your airline directly. If the cheaper flight is with a different airline, check the current airline’s cancellation policy before booking the new flight.

BOOK NOW – It’s like clockwork in the airline industry. Airfares rise right before significant travel periods including summer and, especially, the much shorter winter season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. So, book now for a fall getaway. Right now is the best time to travel if you are looking to save some money.  

However, buying a ticket three to five months before your trip is the best timeframe for lowest costs as well. So even if you are looking to travel over the holidays, right now may be your best bet for the cheapest flight.

What travel destination do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

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TRAVEL NEWS YOU CAN USE …

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINE FOR TRAVELERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH INTERNATIONAL LAWS AS IT MAY PERTAIN TO YOUR MEDICATION?

As travelers head back to the airports, rail stations and cruise ships for international travel, many likely will forget to pack their over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Many more will forget to check the international rules and regulations for common medicines easily obtained in their home country – but possibly not allowed overseas.

Trip-takers consistently list “forgetting to pack prescription and over-the-counter medicine” as one of the top 10 travel mistakes, according to the Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey. Nearly one-out-of-ten travelers have forgotten to pack prescription medicines before a trip despite being one of the most important items needed on a trip.

Travelers should carry remedies for ailments like colds, pain, swelling, diarrhea, constipation, cuts and dehydration. Simple illnesses that can be treated with over-the-counter medicine at home can ruin a trip or become more severe and require in-hospital care if you’re not prepared to treat uncomplicated maladies while traveling. Remembering to pack your medicine is important when you take a trip. Equally essential is checking to see whether your medicines, prescribed or over-the-counter, are regulated in the countries you plan to visit.

Many countries require medicines to be transported in original packaging. Prescription and over-the-counter medications without packaging run a greater risk of being confiscated. The U.S. Department of State suggests checking with the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting or transiting to make sure your medications are permitted.

For example, the active ingredient in Benadryl, diphenhydramine, is banned in Zambia in over-the-counter products. In Japan, it is allowed only if the amount in a tablet or injection is limited. However, a typical 25-milligram tablet of Tylenol PM in the U.S. exceeds the 10-milligram maximum amount in a tablet you can bring into Japan. Some countries restrict the overall total amount of an active ingredient an individual traveler can legally import, which may impact longer stays, according to a report in The New York Times.

Over-the-counter medicine for traveler’s diarrhea is regulated, too. Pepto-Bismol is not sold in France due to a health scare in the 1970s. Imodium is only sold in France with a prescription.

If you think you might need these products on your vacation, bring some with you from the U.S. The documentation you carry should also indicate the generic and chemical names of the active ingredients. Product brand names do not determine permissibility, rather it’s the ingredients list.

Travelers should check their destination rules on over-the-counter medicine, such as cough syrups and some allergy medication because some require a prescription, are strictly regulated, or banned overseas.

Common Examples of Banned or Regulated Medicines Overseas

– Decongestants: Over-the-counter decongestant medication containing pseudoephedrine – found in Sudafed and Vicks – is banned in Japan.

– Anxiety Medications: Prescription medicines for anxiety or pain — such as ConZip, Ultram, Diastat AcuDial, Diazepam Intensol, Diastat and Valium — contain Tramadol or Diazepam, which are commonly prescribed medicines in the U.S. but are strictly regulated in Greece and U.A.E. Anti-anxiety pills require a license in Singapore. Failing to comply with destination requirements for bringing these prescribed medicines into the country may result in arrest, a fine or imprisonment.

– Sleep Aids and Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter sleep aids, over-the-counter pain relievers and strong painkillers all require a license in Singapore. In Indonesia, many prescription medicines such as codeine and sleeping pills are illegal. Nigeria and Saudi Arabia both prohibit Ambien, Intermezzo and other sleeping medications that contain zolpidem. In Singapore, you’ll need a license to legally bring Ambien into the country, according to Reader’s Digest.

– Cough and Cold Medicines: In Qatar, over-the-counter allergy medicines such as cold and cough remedies are controlled substances and must be accompanied by a prescription. Prescription codeine for cough control is illegal in Indonesia.

– Attention Deficit Medicines: If you rely on medications for attention deficit disorder, like Adderall and Ritalin – then you’ll have to leave Saudi Arabia and Japan off your list of destinations. Both countries have a zero-tolerance policy for methamphetamines and amphetamines — the active ingredients in many ADD/ADHD drugs —even if you have your prescription or a note from your doctor, according to a report in Reader’s Digest. In Indonesia, many prescription treatments for ADHD are illegal.

It’s a lot to remember, and the information is always changing. When you are traveling in a strange location and need over-the-counter or prescription medicine it’s important to have immediate access to a trustworthy resource that can help you. It saves time, prevents mistakes and alleviates worries.

Care to share your personal travel experience? What travel experience do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

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TRAVEL NEWS YOU CAN USE!

DRINKABLE WATER FOR TOURISTS BY COUNTRY!

IF UNSURE, ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION AND DRINK BOTTLED WATER.

You’re a true traveler if you are familiar with the phrase Montezuma’s Revenge, a euphemism used to warn tourists of the possible – how shall we put this? – digestive side effects of drinking tap water or eating certain foods in some countries.

Gamble with your hydration no more.

To find out which countries have drinkable tap water for tourists, The Family Vacation Guide looked at CDC data to reveal which tourist destinations are given the green light on their tap water for tourists to drink.

The emphasis is on tourists. The Family Vacation Guide noted that it’s important to remember that neither the safe or unsafe list means that water in a country is unsafe or polluted for locals. It is just advice or recommendations that tourists’ bodies will not be adapted to the water in the area and should stick to bottled water.

There were 193 countries included in the data. Surprisingly, only 53 countries were deemed to have safe tap water to drink. Places on the list include the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Canada, Chile, Singapore, and many more.

courtesy of the Family Vacation

By comparison, there were 160 countries where it is not safe to drink the water as a tourist. Some of the most surprising locations include The Bahamas, China, The Canary Islands and The Maldives.

courtesy of the Family Vacation

Have a travel experience to share? What travel experience do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc.

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR FLIGHT GETS CANCELLED?!

There were over 8,300 cancellations worldwide Memorial Weekend 2022.

Our holiday travels usually keep us out of the may lay but I wanted to be a team player and finish tasks by weeks end. With travel picking up, two years post COVID, Memorial Weekend 2022 was bound to be eventful. We were met in long term parking with massive lines just to catch the airport shuttle to the terminal. Clue #1. 

BWI was overrun with Memorial weekend traffic. By 4 am Saturday, checking in already seemed overwhelming. Lines like you would not imagine snaked from check-in kiosks to airline counter baggage drop off. If you flew out this past weekend and did not give yourself ample time you may have set yourself up for a very discouraging start to your summer vacation. 

Coming back from Aruba on Wednesday was less eventful. We had our check-in docs uploaded and we’re able to download our boarding passes which many travelers admitted to experiencing issues with. We were able to skip the extensive check-in line and proceed directly to our gate and US Customs. 

Our connection in Charlotte was where we started our adventure. The gate change was the initial red flag, followed by the hour delayed boarding call. Our plane was right there, loading luggage when American Airlines announced that their First Officer was delayed. We boarded to only deplane an hour later  because he was ‘no longer’ available. I was on my AA chat doing God’s work instantaneously. 

It would be 2 hours before we were issued our hotel, travel and food vouchers. Here’s what I know to be true in regards to travel mishaps and flight cancellations. Flight disruptions can be caused by any number of factors including inclement weather, heavy air traffic, security issues and in our case, labor shortages.

Take a deep breath and follow these steps to reschedule your flight or get a refund.

#1. Maintain a positive attitude

Travel disruptions can ruin anyone’s otherwise sunny disposition. But it behooves you to be polite and respectful to those trying to assist you, whether in person, on the phone or over social media.  They will do more for you with a simple sign of appreciation. They want to help you but trust me, they will shut down if you are demanding, aggressive or nasty towards them. 

Doing these simple things  will increase your chances of being accommodated and may even lead to an upgrade on your next flight. If agents have an airplane leaving with an empty seat during IROPS (irregular operations), they will do everything they can to put you on that plane and reduce the number of stranded passengers later in the day. 

 2. Get in line to speak with an agent

In the event of a delay, the best thing to do is everything. Be proactive, get in line to talk with an agent; while waiting, pick up your phone, call your travel agent, or your travel insurance provider if you have those resources. If not, try to rebook yourself through the airline’s app, by phone or by using your Twitter or Facebook account to contact the airline’s customer service team.

Typically, if your flight is canceled the majority of airlines will rebook you on the next flight available to your destination at no additional cost. However, depending on why your flight is canceled, finding seats on a new flight may be difficult and your arrival time may be delayed significantly. 

As a traveler, you’ll need to decide if the timing will work for your plans, or if you’ll need to request a refund for future travel.

While you’re waiting to speak with someone, also research your airline’s partner carriers, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Take American Airlines [which is what we recently were cancelled on]. If you are traveling to Europe and there’s a problem on one of their flights, you can request they put you on British Airways.

#3 Passenger rights for domestic flights

In the event of a cancellation, the DOT states airlines are required to provide a refund for unused transportation. In the event there are flight delays, options depend on the reason for the flight disruption. If the delay is caused by a mechanical issue, check your airline’s contract of carriage, the legal agreement between you and the airline, for details on your rights.

If the delay or cancellation of a domestic flight is caused by an Act of God (typically defined as an uncontrollable natural event such a tornado or flood), there are no federal regulations that require an airline to accommodate you. However, many airlines will still do their best to help you. 

There are passenger rights for international flights. Robust regulations protect travelers who are flying to Europe on a European Union carrier or out of the EU. Disruptions caused by extraordinary circumstances out of the airlines’ control are not covered, such as weather conditions or political unrest. 

However, a European law known as EC 261 requires that airlines reimburse passengers between 250 to 600 euros depending on how long the flight has been delayed and the expected distance of the flight. The law also ensures passengers are compensated if they’re denied boarding. Additionally, passengers will be reimbursed for cancellations that occur within 14 days of their scheduled departure that cause them to get to their final destination two-plus hours after their original arrival time.

Services like AirHelp make it easy for travelers to file complex compensation claims and follow up with legal action. As payment, the company takes a percentage of the compensation recovered as their fee.

#4 Get an airfare refund when it’s your best option 

The DOT says if a flight is canceled for any reason and the traveler chooses not to be rebooked on that airline, regardless of whether or not you booked a refundable ticket, the passenger is entitled to a full refund. You may even be entitled to a refund for a flight delay, depending on the circumstances. Accept a refund and rebook when it works for you. To decrease the chance of paying more for your rebooked flight, reschedule your trip during an off-peak travel time when seats are readily available. Or, choose a competitive route with similar airfares.

#5 Review your airline’s cancellation policy

Depending on your airline, flight cancellation policies vary. Use the links below to find more information on the cancellation policies and passenger rights details for each of the top U.S.-based airlines.

Since there is a more robust Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights currently under consideration by Congress, stay up to date on passenger rights by visiting the DOT’s online Fly Rights guide.

#6 Take advantage of the airport’s offerings

Major airports have invested heavily in lounge areas, dining options (including craft breweries and wineries), shopping, spas, play areas for kids, art exhibits and more. At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, achey travelers can even get a chiropractic adjustment at The Chiroport. You might as well make good use of these amenities while you’re stuck at the airport.

#7 Strategically Apply for Compensation From the Airlines

In the U.S., one of the few events that triggers airline compensation is involuntary denied boarding (or “bumping” a passenger from an oversold flight). Compensation ranges from meal vouchers to flight coupons valued at up to $1,550. (Exact values vary depending on how long after your original arrival time it’ll take an airline to get you to your destination. Find more information on the DOT website.) But remember, there are many loopholes.

Before accepting a voucher or another non-cash offer, understand its face value and the terms and conditions for use, especially during international travels. Ask what caused your flight delay or cancellation, keep a written log of events and save boarding passes, travel itineraries, receipts and any other documentation to file a claim.

#8. How to avoid flight cancellations and delays

 – Fly in the morning

Historically, fewer flight cancellations occur between 6 a.m. and noon.

 – Avoid weekend travel

Fly on off-peak days like Tuesday or Wednesday. You’ll often find cheaper flights on these days, too.

  • Opt for longer layovers

If you need to take more than one flight to reach your destination, book a flight with a longer layover to provide enough time to make your connecting flight. Keep in mind, at some airports you may need go through security or customs. 

For longer journeys, you can reduce the risk of missing connecting flights by planning a city stopover. For example, Icelandair offers Iceland stopovers for no additional airfare.

  • Consider a credit card with travel perks

Premium credit cards often provide complimentary travel perks, such as access to an airport lounge with food, drinks and Wi-Fi access for staying productive and/or keeping antsy kids happy during delays. Some credit cards also offer concierge service to help rebook flights or built-in trip insurance to cover unforeseen expenses.

The Platinum Card from American Express offers travel insurance that reimburses some nonrefundable expenses like hotel accommodations, meals and other essentials as long as the trip was purchased using that card. 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card has similar protections. Always check the credit card contract’s fine print for details on the card’s coverage terms and conditions.

  • Talk to a travel advisor

In the event of a flight delay or cancellation, travel advisors have a number of tools to assist.

If we anticipate flight delays due to weather, for example, travel advisors receive advance waivers so they can select alternative flights before they sell out.

If you didn’t purchase flights through a travel advisor, Cranky Concierge’s Urgent Assistance plan – which costs $100 per one-way journey – helps travelers recover from flight changes within 24 hours of departure and assists with compensation claims.

 – Sign up for flight notifications

Late flight departures can have ripple effects on connecting flights or cruise ship embarkations, so sign up for airline alerts when you purchase a ticket. 

The DOT requires that airlines notify passengers of any schedule changes, such as those being made as a result of COVID-19 concerns, on their websites and telephone reservation systems within seven days of departure. For the latest flight information and delays, visit your airline’s website.

  • On your departure date, check your flight status before heading to the airport. 

You can check for flight cancellations and delays online using the airline’s app or a third-party app like FlightAware Flight Tracker (which also offers a website) or TripIt Pro. The latter of these two stores your travel itinerary for added convenience. Delays of 30 minutes or longer will show on the airport’s flight status displays, but these apps often send real-time alerts sooner and help keep you informed wherever you are at the airport. When coping with a flight disruption, timing is everything.

  • Consider travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must for travelers who want to protect their investment. Depending on the length of your delay and your coverage, travel insurance may reimburse you for lost prepaid expenses, as well as costs you incur because of the delay, including meals, accommodations, communication and transportation. 

Covered reasons include a travel carrier delay and loss or theft of travel documents, among other scenarios. Coverage varies with delays due to COVID-19, so it is important to check with your provider.

  • Avoid checking luggage

Travelers who only travel with a carry on and/or personal item (such as a backpack or purse) will have the most flexibility in rebooking. Some carriers will try to move checked luggage to a later flight for you and will make every effort to keep you and your belongings together. However, when airlines don’t have interline agreements with other carriers, you’ll have to allow enough time to retrieve and recheck your own luggage.

Since arriving home, I’ve submitted our claim to AirHelp (www.airhelp.com) for our cancelled flight. They do charge what I consider to be a nominal fee ($25) if they settle and win my claim. There is no charge if we are not awarded anything. I think it’s worth the fee since they’re doing the legwork. Anyway … we’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Until next time … Safe Travels!

He’s such a rockstar kid!!! I don’t even know if he understood we were not going home that night.
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Adventure Awaits this Summer in St. Martin

This special is available for 4 or 5 nights, May 26 – 30/31, 2022

Enjoy 4-5 romantic nights on the French side of St. Martin

This modern designed St. Martin Resort & Spa takes its inspiration from the island’s radiant surroundings, steeped in Caribbean European and French roots. Located on the French side of this island known for its outdoor markets and French and Indian Cuisine. This setting makes this luxurious and romantic hideaway central to all of the cultural vibrance of St. Martin.

The 258 suites feature spacious accommodations with ocean, marina and mountain views and include swim out options. Immersed in cultural flavors, guests will experience the stylish, vibrant locale with the extensive inclusions of UnlimitedLuxury® and enjoy in the privileges of four gourmet restaurants, a café, snack bar and five bars and lounges serving limitless top-shelf spirits. 

Guests can spend their days basking in the sun alongside the beach, infinity pool or the oceanfront whirlpool. Evenings will be filled with gourmet dining, curated cocktails and world-class nightly entertainment. Plus, guests have access to daily activities, a world-class spa by Pevonia®, and nearby golf courses.

The rich culture of St. Martin meets Unlimited-Luxury® for the first time ever at this St. Martin Resort & Spa. All beaches in St. Martin are public and topless optional. Secure this romantic destination for $475/pp.  Payment plans available.

This All-Inclusive Vacation package includes :

  • Roundtrip Airfare w/ transfers!
  • In room champagne breakfast! 
  • 25% discount on Spa Services!
  • Onsite Covid Testing Available – Free, when you upgrade to a Club level room!
  • Receive $200 in Resort Coupons!

UNLIMITED-LUXURY® INCLUSIONS
• Limitless access to gourmet à la carte dining options without reservations required
• Unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits
• Unlimited natural fruit juices and soft drinks
• 24-hour room and concierge services
• Pool and beach wait service
• Daily refreshed mini-bar with soft drinks, juice, bottled water and beer
• Daily maid service
• Endless daytime activities and live nightly entertainment
• Theme parties, oceanfront bars and entertainment venues
• No wristbands required
• All taxes and gratuities included

ed2e16bd-fecd-4065-b30b-e712a77de06d

Adventure Awaits this Summer in St. Martin May 26-30, 2022

Book this romantic, all-inclusive vacation package for 4 or 5 nights. Includes roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, all gratuities, taxes and travel insurance.

$475.00

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LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL ADVENTURE IN 2022?

ADD COSTA RICA TO YOUR BUCKET LIST!!!

There isn’t a bad view from any angle.

Costa Rica is a place where visitors can enjoy stunning tropical beaches, grand adventures, the wonders of nature and scintillating culture — all of the necessary components that make up an amazing getaway. With that said, it’s no wonder that thousands of travelers are declaring Costa Rica as their top vacation spot.

Want to get in on the action? Read on to discover everything that you need to know about this lush paradise.

Home to Life’s Essentials

Costa Rica is home to what we like to call the four pillars — adventure, culture, wellness and sustainability. Each of these categories represents a key element of what sets this exciting Central American country apart from other popular destinations across the globe.

Grand Rising Indeed!!!

Adventure

A land of volcanoes, rainforests and cloud forests, roaring waterfalls and mighty rivers, Costa Rica’s abundant natural setting can make it difficult to decide between the variety of adventurous activities that await. Rafting, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, recreational fishing and surfing — which will you choose?

Culture

Costa Rica is the country of Pura Vida — a friendly, multicultural and multilingual people descended from the cultural fusion of immigrants, including Africans, Chinese, Jews, Lebanese, Italians, and the indigenous peoples of the Bribrí, Cabécar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngäbe, Huetar and Chorotega groups.

As such, the country is something of a melting pot, with the cultural influence of each group felt throughout the region. For example, Costa Rican cuisine features a plethora of flavors and experiences. What’s more, the area’s unique culture is further felt through the magic of regional arts and dance that visitors can experience at one of the many theaters, cinemas, museums and storefronts.

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

Wellness

Specializing in wellness tourism, Costa Rica is an ideal place for travelers to improve their mental and physical well-being, adopt healthy habits and activities and liberate their souls. When you rest in paradise, you can expect to return a new person, free from the stressors of the daily grind.

Wellness activities designed to put you in touch with nature include trekking (low-difficulty walks), forest baths where you can breathe in the fresh air, Earthing (barefoot walks on the earth and sand) and “splunch”, a combination of spa and lunch. What’s more, you can also experience innovative relaxation techniques in-destination such as body wraps, hydrotherapy and hot springs.

Interestingly, there might be something more to the relaxing nature of the Pura Vida lifestyle. In fact, in 2004 a study from the University of Costa Rica found that mortality among Costa Ricans 90 years of age is 10% lower in the Nicoya Peninsula, south of Guanacaste.

Sustainability

Thanks to its extraordinary biodiversity, nature is always on display in this sunny oasis. That being said, it’s more important now than ever to travel responsibly, that’s why Costa Rica is dedicated to not only providing beautiful natural experiences for tourists, but also to educating visitors on the importance of protecting the region’s natural resources.

Although Costa Rica is a small territory, it makes up about 5% of the earth’s biodiversity. Fortunately, this natural treasure is protected by the National System of Conservation Areas, preserving a total of 25% of the national territory.

Visitors can enjoy the country’s majestic volcanoes, Pacific and Caribbean beaches tropical dry, wet, and rain forests, as well as exhilarating jungle landscapes, all without traveling long distances.

The views are breathtaking.

You deserve to see more of the world and I can help! Book here.

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HOW I PRE-PLAN TRIPS!

I wanted to create something for people that didn’t want to feel alone. These are pre-planned trips that are booked separately. I don’t know how many people are coming, because people are joining everyday.  You must be 21+! Men AND women may join unless specified that it is a girl’s trip. If this is a kid-friendly location, … bring them too.

THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL TRIP!! You are not obligated to be with anyone, come with anyone or join in anything you aren’t feeling. So, if you’re coming by yourself, that is great! If you decide to bring a friend (or your kid) … that’s cool too. Now, you just have the comfort of knowing that, you are not alone! There just so happen to be other people there as well! If that sounds up your alley … I’M JUST MAKING IT EASIER FOR YOU!!

… it’s calling yours too!!!
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BUCKET LIST TRIP TO DUBAI PART #4

OCTOBER 5- 13, 2022

SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

8 DAYS AND 7 NIGHTS IN EXCITING DUBAI!! ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL ON BEACH

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN TRAVEL PACKAGE:

  • Hotel Riu Dubai All Inclusive Hotel on Beach
  • Resort Opened in December 2020 – Brand New
  • 24-Hour All You Can Eat and Drink at Resort
  • Free WiFi & 3 Pools and Splash Park On Site
  • All Rooms Ocean View with Balcony or Terrace
  • Activity #1 – Group Meet & Greet Happy Hour
  • Activity #2 – Dubai City & Burj Khalifa Tour
  • Activity #3 – Abu Dhabi Mosque & City Tour
  • Activity #4 – Desert Safari with Sunset Dinner
  • 3 Free Days to Shop and Go Sightseeing
  • Nightly Club & Lounge Options for Group
  • English Speaking Guides with Transportation
  • NON-STOP Airfare out of Dulles International*
  • Roundtrip Transportation to Hotel and Airport*
  • All Taxes, Resort Fees, Tips Included
BEACH FRONT RIU DUBAI

7 NIGHT HOTEL, AIR & ACTIVITY PACKAGE
(Travel Dates Wednesday Oct 5th – Oct 13th)
1 To A Room Packages is $2,849 per person
2 To A Room Packages is $2,499 per person
3 To A Room Packages is $2,399 per person

7 NIGHT HOTEL & ACTIVITY PACKAGE
(FLIGHT IS NOT INCLUDED)
1 To A Room Packages is $1,849 per person
2 To A Room Packages is $1,499 per person
3 To A Room Packages is $1,399 per person

CAMEL WALK EXCURSION

Payment Schedule

$200pp DEPOSIT Due ASAP
Final payment due August 1, 2022

Easy Monthly Payment Plan

To Book Your Package visit
www.vp-productions.com
for full package details and to make Convenient Credit or Check Card Payments or Zelle or Mail Payment.
CASH APP @ $VPProductions

On Registration Form
USE PROMO CODE
BRIESKI

BRIE KAREEM * Phone (202) 258-5268
BRIESKITRAVEL@GMAIL.COM

www.vp-productions.com
On Registration Form Use Promo Code
BRIESKI

BECAUSE I DO!!!

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SUNSET BEYNUM WEDDING

JULIETTE AND JAY

CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO CELEBRATE THEIR UNION

DATE: 

JULY 23, 2022

DESTINATION: 

EL DORADO CASITAS ROYALE SPA RESORT by KARISMA in RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO

TRAVEL INFO AND WEBSITE

INVITATIONS TO FOLLOW

WELCOME TO EL DORADO CASITAS ROYALE …

Riviera Maya’s romantic, adults-only, all-inclusive escape that features swim-up suites, an indulgent spa, exceptional guest service, and Karisma’s signature Gourmet Inclusive® dine and drink options across 13 restaurants and 18 bars.

Rates below are based on double occupancy, include roundtrip flights, travel protection, transfers to & from the resort and are inclusive of all taxes and gratuities.

ROOM CATEGORY4 – NIGHT 5 – NIGHT 6 – NIGHT
CASITAS ROYALE
CASITA SUITE (D)$1,886/pp$2,132/pp$2,234/pp
CASITA (Single)$2,132$2,253$2,502
SUNSET BEYNUM WEDDING GROUP RATES

Next door to El Dorado Casitas Royale is Generations Resort, where Butler service and Oceanfront views are available from every suite. Here, maximum occupancy is 3 adults + 2 children OR 2 adults + 1 child and 1 teen. Perfect for families!

Every aspect of Generations Resort is ingeniously designed to provide excitement for every single guest, from the youngest member of the group to the oldest. Kids will fall in love with all the fun activities scheduled in the supervised Eco Kids Club, while adults will find their piece of heaven with kayak tours, cooking classes, dance lessons, wine tastings and a variety of outdoor sports. Grab a mask and snorkel through the Caribbean reefs just beyond the shoreline, opt for a serene yoga class on the white Riviera Maya sands or … simply lay out poolside while your pool butler pleases your every whim.

Rates below are based on a family of four (two adults and two children under 12), include roundtrip flights, travel protection, transfers to & from the resort and are inclusive of all taxes and gratuities. Families traveling with children 17 and under will require specialized rates. Please contact me directly

GENERATIONS4-NIGHT5 – NIGHT6 – NIGHT
OCEANFRONT ONE BEDROOM$1,528/pp$1,344/pp$1,595/pp
SUNSET BEYNUM GROUP RATES

**PASSPORT REQUIRED TO TRAVEL**
Requests for passport information will start around the end of April 2022, if not already received. For those without a passport or if it expires within 6 months of the trip YOU WILL NEED TO GET A PASSPORT.  Please secure a passport if you don’t have one or your current passport expires before Jan 01, 2022. 

You can request an appointment at your local post office here.

Starting the month of April you will receive an email to provide your passport information for all travelers in your party. This information will be required for those traveling on the arranged group flight that will have available by January 1, 2022.  Once you receive the email just provide the information.  

And finally …

**MAKING PAYMENTS**

(FINAL PAYMENT DUE MAY 10th 2022 )
Final payment is due on MAY 10th 2022. As of today that seems far away but it will be here before you know it. It is REQUIRED that you make some form of payment every 30 days so if you haven’t made a deposit then you need to make a payment as soon as possible.

Please remember, I accept all credit and debit cards without additional service fees via:

  • Zelle (sales@livelovetravelagent.com)
  • Cash App ($MsBrie2U)
  • PayPal (msbrie2u@yahoo.com) – send as a ‘friend/family’ OR YOU WILL BE CHARGED AN ADDITIONAL FEE, WHICH WILL MAKE YOUR PAYMENT SHORT OF YOUR INTENTION (ie $100 payment will only be $95)!!

If these methods do not work for you, please contact me directly. Please include your full name and “Sunset Beynum” on all payments.

With that being said, I will say thank you and welcome you to Live Love Travel LLC.  I am thrilled to have you travel to Riviera Maya in July 2022 for the “Sunset Beynum” Wedding.  At any time you have a question about the trip please feel free to email me and I will be more than happy to assist. 

Brie Kareem 
Live Love Travel LLC

Direct: (202) 258-5268

 cell: (202) 350-1337

Email: sales@livelovetravelagent.com

Website: livelovetravelllc.com

FB: www.facebook.com/BrieskiTravel

IG: www.Instagram.com/brieskitravel

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Packing Essentials for your Best Vacation in Aruba!

For many people, the hardest part of traveling (aside from waiting for your vacation to start) is packing. Most airlines have baggage restrictions so you don’t want to over pack; but you also don’t want to find yourself in a jam because you’ve forgotten something you’re going to need. When traveling to Aruba, you don’t have to worry – there are grocery stores with brands you’ll recognize – but things cost a bit more than you’re used to paying back home. Think 3x as much depending on what you need.

Aside from your bathing suit, tank top and sandals, there are going to be a few things, you’ll want to bring from home to get the most out of your time on this beautiful island. Doing so will almost guarantee you ‘Biba Dushi’ (living the sweet life)!

Sunblock

Even as a melanated goddess, I can’t stress this enough. If you’ve been to the island before, you know what I’m talking about; but if you’re an Aruba newbie, there’s a chance that you might be underestimating the sheer strength of the UV rays. I’ve seen my friends go from ‘Marshmallow’ to ‘Milk Chocolate’ in less time than it takes to say, “Sis, did you pack your sunblock?” You can and WILL burn … quickly! Pack your SPF 30 or better. Your shoulders will thank you.

Bug Spray

If you’re going all inclusive or don’t plan on straying very far from your resort, this one won’t apply to you so much (the hotels on the island do an incredible job with pest control) but if you’re going to explore the island you should definitely pack some bug repellant. 

Aruba is known for being an arid island, but it isn’t completely dry. The wetlands known as the Bubali Bird Sanctuary is an amazing spot for nature enthusiasts, bird lovers and photographers alike. You know what they say: with great wetlands comes a great breeding ground for mosquitoes. Be ready so you don’t have to get ready!

An insulated water bottle

Did you know that Aruba’s drinking water is rated one of the best in the world?  There’s no need to spend extra money on single use plastic water bottles when you’re on the island. Just bring your bottle, get some ice, fill your bottle from the tap and viola! You have a refreshing beverage and you’re helping the environment. Bring some powdered mixes from home and you’ll be good to go.

A well fitting hat 

Not to be redundant, but did I mention that it’s very sunny almost all the time?

The peak hours for the sun are between 10am and 4pm but right around noon it feels like it’s 6 feet above your head. During this time you’re at a higher risk for sunburns, squinting, and scalp-burns (YES … scalp burns!!!!). You’ll want a hat at some point. However, it can’t be just any hat – you’ll be needing a wind savvy hat.

You’re going to be tempted to bring your favorite fitted cap but if it’s a little too big, have fun chasing it down the shoreline. Did you buy a cute fedora that doesn’t have a chin strap? Yeah. That thing’s going into the sea and straight to Panama. Everything flies to Panama from Aruba … SMH!

The reason that the sun is so bearable in Aruba is because of the constant trade winds that race by, cooling the skin and stealing our stuff. The wind wants your hat. It also wants your flip-flops, your half drank cocktail (another great reason to bring an insulated bottle) and your beach inflatables. 

Come to think of it, the wind here is like that one friend we have. You know, the one that eats all your food and never returns the stuff they borrow; but you deal with it because they’re so much fun to be around. You’ve been warned: choose your hat wisely.

Over the counter medications

On a personal note, I’m that chick. The one with wet wipes (antibacterial of course) and a tiny first aid kit in my carry all. I also carry a bottle opener (with a knife), tweezers, a lighter and a spare…well, you get the point. I might be considered over prepared in certain circles, but it’s better safe than sorry, right? 

It’s always a good idea to travel with some general medication such as: pain relievers, antacids, antihistamines and possibly dramamine. Of course, all of those products are on the island but they’ll cost much more than you’re used to paying. Not to mention, Murphy’s Law dictates that you’ll probably need the aforementioned medication in the middle of the night when everything’s closed.

If you’re traveling with children (or the accident prone) pack some waterproof band-aides and antibiotic ointment. Oh, and if you wear glasses bring an extra pair – just in case. That goes double for sunglasses. Also, if you wear contacts bring extra lenses and more solution than you think you’ll need. And don’t forget to take some vitamins.

A light jacket for the evenings

This one sounds crazy but sometimes Aruba’s evening air carries a bit of a chill that will come to you as a sharp contrast to the heat of the day. Maybe you’ll be in a restaurant that’s blasting the air conditioner or go to a bar where I believe they set the thermostat somewhere just shy of ‘Arctic chill’ . You might never need it, but if you do you’ll be happy to have it so, bring a jacket – just in case.

Bags

Of course the beach is waiting for you just outside of your hotel, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll want to run up to your room every time you need something. You’re definitely going to want a bag that you can bring to the beach so you can keep all your treasures close at hand and out of the sand. The best type of bag for the beach over here is one that can be completely closed against the wind. Remember when I told you the wind likes to swipe your stuff? Well, sometimes it feels bad about that and tries to make up for it by blowing sand at you (and your drink). Bring a bag that can be shut tight to protect your devices. 

If you plan on enjoying liquid libations and snacks on the beach, consider bringing a soft cooler as your carry all bag. Aruba has also, proudly, joined the list of eco-responsible nations that ban single use plastic bags so you’ll need reusable bags if you plan on doing any grocery shopping on the island.  The turtles will thank you!!!

Water Shoes

Again, this one doesn’t really apply to those staying by the High/Low rise hotels – which are world renowned for their pristine, white sand beaches. However, if you’re staying off the beaten path or plan on exploring the island and/or participating in water activities, do your feet a favor and bring a pair of water shoes.

Some of the beaches further up and down the coast from the high rise hotels are rocky. It’s not a great feeling to step on a sharp-edged, slimy, algae covered rock (unless you’re into that kind of thing). It’s even worse to step on a unsuspecting sea creature – for all parties involved (but mostly you). 

Extra power

One of the minor inconveniences of modern life: while the amount of devices we possess that need charging, has grown exponentially over the past few years – the amount of charging ports we have access to, has not. Throw a portable charger in your bag, you can thank me later. 

Aruba is gorgeous. You’re probably going to go home with at least three times as many pictures and videos as you’d thought you’d take. It might not be a bad idea to pack an extra memory chip and a portable power bank so you always have the means to get that perfect shot. 

Casual Comfortable Clothes and Shoes

You don’t need to dress up on this island! Sun dresses, shorts and casual shirts paired with sneakers or sandals are perfectly acceptable attire almost everywhere on the island. 

Aruba is colored with the most amazing palette. You should see what is worn for carnival! The colors found in nature are echoed all around the island, even the houses and government buildings are painted brightly. 

Use your trip to Aruba as a time to let your color shine. That obnoxiously loud Hawaiian print … bring it!!! Those vivid seersucker prints … pack that!!! Have you ever wondered if you could pull off wearing Majorelle? Now is the time to find out. Bright island white? Absolutely!!!  

Of all the things that you should pack for Aruba, I know there’s one thing I don’t have to remind you to bring: your sense of wonder for the incredible experience that awaits you.

Un bon vuelo!

Featured

All the Reasons You Should Use A Travel Professional—Now More Than Ever!

You may have long looked to a network of trusted travel professionals to take you to the far corners of the earth. The pros who assemble many of the elaborate itineraries that appear on your social media newsfeeds, and since the dawn of the pandemic, their up-to-the-minute insights on shifting safety protocols have made them even more essential. If you don’t rely on them yet, now is the time to start. 

Here, we’ll start to list reasons you need to book a trip with a travel professional this year and share some experiences we have ever put together—not just to show the scope and prowess of our work, but also to remind you of all the adventures ahead after a long year of staying close to home.

1. They make things work, no matter what!

We keep our clients happy by helping them move or defer bookings without incurring cancellation fees while ensuring that our service providers—the camps, lodges, and hotels—don’t lose bookings so that they can keep their heads above water. 

2. You trust someone to safeguard your financial future—why not your travel future?

Our role is becoming similar to a financial planner in that we are part of our client’s team of advisers for their long-term plans. I have personally been referred by many financial planners and wealth advisers who understand the importance of a future travel portfolio or plan in retirement.

3. Because you can’t know everything!

It’s almost impossible to ask all the right questions. My job is to make sure my client understands how things will be different and to help them break through their assumptions about what they’ll encounter so they have the best experience possible. A travel professional will get things done that you don’t even know need to be done.

4. Travel professionals don’t take no for an answer! 

Through sheer tenacity, I was able to get a client refunded over $18,000 from a tour operator who was not giving refunds.

5. They make you a better traveler!

COVID-19 will pass, but now we’re much more mindful of how we interact and travel.  Now, you can use this as an opportunity to use travel for good, rather than be reckless consumers.

6. Travel professionals have the best tools at their disposal!

We know the health and safety protocols for each destination. Our tourism boards and partners have been in constant contact with updates, changes in safety regulations, and reassurance of care for our clients. Because we have ongoing personal relationships with our tourism partners, we can inspire our clients to explore the world again with confidence.

7. Because travel looks entirely different now

I expect there will be a growing interest in vacations that are longer as people want to enjoy slower travel—more time in less places. We’re able to tap our contacts to help parents navigate working and schooling remotely, creating the best experience for everyone involved.

Aren’t you ready to get out and live a little? Ask me how NOW!

FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW.

If you have any personal experiences whether it’s good or bad, let us know.  We would love to feature you on brieskitravel.com or you can reach us via email at: brieskitravel@yahoo.com.

Hit us up because we’re going to have plenty of guests on our next episode at: BrieskiTRAVEL The Podcast. We are booking in advance so if you’d love to be on with us, we want to hear from you!  Subscribe, follow and share!! Leave reviews!! By all means we appreciate your SUPPORT!! Thank you for following and sharing …  we love you!!  We love travel!!!  We know it’s tough right now, but things are getting better! Travel is coming back!  Thank you for following and have an awesome rest of your week.

Enjoying some much needed fun in the sun!
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Organizing 2021

Every time the calendar flips from one year to the next, every one of us resolve to work out more, lose weight, quit smoking, reduce debt or finally take that the much needed vacation. But have you given much thought to getting your house in order? Are you tired of staring at all of those plastic bins crammed with clothes, that you haven’t worn in 3 years or with toys your kids have outgrown? 

The New Year is the perfect time to stop procrastinating, and start organizing you home, your life and your mind. 

Here are 17 steps to help you get your New Year off to a well organized start. 

1. Start small: Use a printable list for your shopping, organize your closet, then your freezer. Take it one step at a time.

2. Use one calendar for everything. Having everything in one location is the most obvious advantage. Instead of toggling between multiple planners, everything that’s important can be found in one place, shaving off seconds that add up to hours – making your life that much easier. 

3. Establish daily, weekly and monthly routines. Planning for success is important but actually making it happen is where the real work begins. For example, break large goals into sub goals (getting in better shape). From there you can set aside 20-30 minutes a week to create a plan of attack for the up-coming week (think meal prepping). Then schedule your week and days with the tasks you need to accomplish. Breaking these tasks up into daily tasks will not only make your larger goals easier to reach, but also helps you stay on task as you incorporate these things into your daily life.

4. Set MANAGEABLE goals . A daily journal can have a powerful tool for achieving your goals. You can even think of journaling as a self-coaching session. There can be HUGE benefits to journaling.

5. Divide and conquer is the mantra of many organizers. It works by breaking a project down into each goal, then allows you to break it down even further, into smaller parts.

6. Finding a home for everything is decluttering 101. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Here’s a simple solution. Keep like with like! Books belong on a bookshelf, pots and pans belong together, cleaning supplies stay together. I know this seems redundant, but I want to reinforce the point: put things of the same category together.

7. Stamp out piles of mail (😤). This is my downfall. I don’t know why I have the need to horde catalogs, when I don’t need anything, I’m not looking to purchase anything and truthfully don’t have the space for not another “thing”. Make it easier on yourself and keep a trash can close to your mail pile to assist in sorting trash from say bills that are due.

8. Enlist help! Are you the type that prefers to do everything yourself? Do you get overwhelmed because you do too much? I am guilty of NOT asking for help because it seems faster, easier or less complicated if I just do it myself, but I’ve learned (especially more recently) that this isn’t always beneficial. Delegating smaller tasks allows me to focus on more important ones. WIN/WIN!

9. Make a long-term commitment. Organizing doesn’t end after you’ve completed the first steps in cleaning house. You have to regularly pick things up and put them in their designated place. It also helps if you are flexible with your organization plans. As our lives and schedules change, our plans will need to be re-evaluated and changed.

10. Take advantage of technology. The good news is you probably have the technology in your pocket that can help you follow through on your resolution – automation in the form of reminder apps. These free tools can help provide a constant reminder of the work that needs to be done.

11. Track your progress. Mark down each day that you are successful in keeping your resolution. Seeing the chain of success may motivate you to keep it going.

12. Celebrate your success.  Set goals where monthly milestones, if achieved are celebrated with something fun. For me, it’s a steak dinner out with my sister. It keeps me motivated.

13. Keep investing in relationships matter. We live in a time where communication is easy regardless of physical distance. Make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family that are influential in your personal development. Plan deep memorable bonding experiences with the people closest to you. You find the toxic, meaningless relationships fall to the way side on their own.

14. Give yourself some space. Space can come in many forms, physical, emotional or mental. Are you the type, always assisting others and often losing time for yourself? It’s ok to say “NO”! It’s not selfish, it’s you giving yourself some much-needed space. 

15. Take care of yourself. Losing weight, getting more sleep and cutting back on (ahem … alcohol) are all self-care resolutions. Don’t see them as things you’re punishing yourself for but as ways to take better care of you. You come first.

16. Treat your time and energy with respect. Procrastination, excessive social media usage, and other wastes of resources – affect your time and energy. To combat procrastination, my husband reminds me of the “whooshing noise deadlines make as they go by.” A joy he is, my husband.

17. FORGIVE YOURSELF. One of the biggest things getting in the way of accomplishing goals is the “all or nothing” mentality. The all-or-nothing mentality tells you to give up and continue eating haphazardly for the rest of the day, and instead start over again – perfectly – tomorrow. This doesn’t work for the majority of people.

Instead, remember that your journey is a long one, and that conditions do not have to be perfect in order for you to make small progress. Instead, focus on doing the right things more often, and forgive yourself when you slip up. Don’t give up if it’s not perfect – just recognize your mistakes and move past them. That’s where true progress comes from.

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Coping with COVID-19 as a Travel Professional

How are you?  It’s been a week since we’ve hunkered down and began homeschooling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I guess I’m glad that since we’ve been to so few activities in the last week, it’s good measure for us practicing our social distancing.  ** SEND HELP**

There’s been a lot of changes within the travel industry as it relates to the coronavirus.  It’s been changing by the minute, if not by the hour so I thought to start the discussion on a variety of trending topics. Of course, COVID-19 being the topic of the hour.  COVID-19 is the technical term of the coronavirus which is the big search term that everyone is going after.   No, it’s not the Chinese virus despite what some people might say, it is COVID-19.   

The travel industry is taking a major hit with research indicating $800 BILLION dollars lost and 4.6 million tourism related jobs will be lost by this summer alone.   With everything changing as fast as it is, we don’t really know when this will be the over so it could get worse.   A lot of people are projecting that it will get worse before it gets better, but when it does get better, there is research out there that indicates projections are set for a rapid economic growth once it’s all over.  We don’t know when it’s going to end unfortunately.

What’s crazy is, we still have people traveling out there. You know, we (and we’re not promoting anyone go travel right now), are looking to post a story about a traveler’s experience when they were traveling within the next few weeks.   The fact of the matter is, some people are still traveling, fewer people now than the last two weeks but some people are, and I want to know why?  No … I wish I were with them, but I think that it would be an interesting story to tell.  Obviously, our readers would be interested in it as well.  

Do you know anyone choosing to travel right now?  We would love to hear from you!  Hit us up at brieskitravel.com, even if you’re not traveling right now and you’re practicing social distancing and you’re quarantined in your house and you’re just day dreaming about travel and want to get it all out.  We’d love to hear from you, we’re fan-friendly!  Hit us up!!!  Leave us a review!!  We would greatly appreciate that!!! **Can you tell I miss social interaction now?**

The silver lining in all of this is, are the local communities coming together helping the restaurants and small businesses that are really taking hits which is great to see!  Stepping up and helping their local people out, you’ve gotta love to see that!!  Not every place is in such a good position to be able to help. The good thing with this is that everybody is coming together throughout the industry even outside the industry and helping as much as possible.  

It’s also great to see agents out there on their phones, helping their clients, a lot of suppliers scrambling to figure out what to do.  I’m sure it’s tough to get ahold of people but agents are coming to the limelight here, really stepping up and so are the suppliers. 

Speaking of agents, over 6,000 travel organizations recently united in an urgent plea to Congress basically asking for aid and release.  If you’re a travel agent, make sure you’re getting with your local government to make sure that you benefitted.  Everyone needs help in these trying times right now.  ** THAT MEANS YOU TOO**

Now, let’s touch on what a travel agent can do in these times with all the information/rumors swirling around the virus and what travelers should know when booking with an OTA (on-line travel agency), or wherever you’re booking outside of just agents, you may not be as protected as you might be when booking with an agent. 

The one thing we’ve learned from this whole disastrous outbreak has been the undeniable value of working with travel agents and advisors.  What you’re seeing out there on social media, whether it’s one of the OTA’s, Air BnB or even VRBO, people are going with other than using a trusted advisor – there’s three, 4-hour long wait times sometimes, where people are just getting disconnected at the end of that and that’s their only lifeline.  They must call a 1-800 customer support line, to talk to a random person, who doesn’t know anything about them or their booking or what they have going on and this is where working with an advisor that knows you personally, who can adjust things to your needs.

One of the biggest things to take away from this is that travel agents and advisors are trained to handle crisis management which is exactly what all of this is!  It is their job to be able to change and adjust on the fly, making ensure it’s the best bang for your buck and make sure you don’t lose as much money as you might somewhere else.  Even though there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, booking with (whether you have insurance or not) an advisor is way more beneficial in times like these then it is to just ride it out and be uncertain of what might happen. 

When you book a trip with an OTA like an Expedia, Priceline or a bookit.com (which is one of the sites that shut down recently), a typical experience you might have with them is:

  • you call an 800 number,
  • sit on hold for 2, three, maybe 4 hours, (only to possibly get disconnected which a lot of people have been reporting)
  • start the whole process over or … you can get in touch with somebody that you explain your entire process to all over again to every person you talk to, who have ZERO idea what the circumstances are. 

They might be able to give you a voucher for future travel but what do you do?  Then you go through this same process all over again to try and re-book.  They may say something different than the first person, so it turns into this huge kafuffle!

Working with an advisor can cut you out of all those instances that might happen and when it comes down to anything that people categorizes as mass hysteria it will be vital to have somebody there by your side to give you peace of mind, especially when something so unprecedented happens!

If there’s any consolation to this Corona virus outbreak, it will be that more travelers are going to recognize professional travel advisors are worth their weight in gold – especially during a crisis!  You know a year from now you go on your summer vacation, there’s no global pandemic, you break your ankle (not wishing this on anyone) and you need to get home or something and you book through an online thing, it’s going to be a nightmare … on top of your ankle pain!! Remind me to tell you the story of an older gentleman, visiting Phoenix and riding a BIRD scooter after dinner … UNGOOD!!!  Just know that he had to be medevac’d home as he was 6’6 and unable to fly commercially with his left leg extended. **UNGOOD**

You want a travel advisor who is going to be able to help you get home and you don’t want to have to worry, you can focus on your injury or whatever hypothetical situation.  

Suppliers are also working diligently to make sure their agents have the most up-to-date resources, information and everything that they can give to their clients: Delta vacations is getting real time information out to agents, AIC hotel groups – Hard Rock hotels was one of the first resort brand to proactively release a very flexible re-booking program for worried travelers and many key resort partners around the world actually followed AIC’s action plan which is really great to see.  Apple Leisure Group is doing an amazing job implementing self-help technology through VAX, to agents to update their bookings.

If you have your own story about suppliers helping you, we would love to hear from you.   If you have any personal experiences whether it’s good or bad, let us know.  We would love to feature you on brieskitravel.com or you can reach us via email at: brieskitravel@yahoo.com

While we’re talking about the different resources that suppliers are giving the agents, a lot of suppliers are also connecting agents to webinars and trainings.  If you find your business slowing down – as an agent myself, I know it can be hectic, answering the phones, serving your clients, but if you have free time because your business is at a momentary stand-still, instead of getting wrapped up in the politics surrounding this, find out what you can do to better your business. Become productive towards your business.  There are a lot of different ways you can do this. It isn’t just limited to the few of things discussed here. 

There are webinars coming from suppliers, there’s also virtual events and exposes which can be attended like you would a physical trade show.  Instead of going to a physical trade show which right now is not a possibility, you can attend one online, with all the same functionality, with great resources.  On top of that, when travel comes back and it’s not a question of “if” travel comes back, but “when” travel comes back, you’re going to want to be on top of the game with anything your clients are requesting. 

People are going to have an itch (I have an itch), they’ve been cooped up in their homes, quarantined across the US. “Stay Home” Orders are in effect in multiple states.  They can’t leave their homes!  I guarantee you, people are going to be itching to go somewhere – whether it’s domestically, internationally, they will want to get out and go somewhere. You should be up to date on as much destination information as possible.

Get specialized from numerous suppliers, whether it’s a hotel brand, the destination or tourism board, cruise line, become a certified specialist in those specific areas and you would have the best knowledge to pass on to your clients going forward.  I don’t have to remind you, that a lot of them are incentivized too.  You can win prizes for taking these courses whether its gift cards, stays, points … the point is to further your education and knowledge of those super, popular places that you will pitch to your clients when they are finally released from their houses.

If there’s one area that you’re like, I should know about it because it’s popular, but I’m not a  specialist in it, this is a time to become one! You’ll get a nice certification that you can hang on your wall and what’s better than if you are on a video chat with a client with a wall full of certifications behind you.  Have your social media bio listed with “I’m a specialist in the Atlantis- Bahamas” or something a little bit more mainstream like Destin, FL. I recently got certified with Carnival Cruise Line (and bought more stock)!  I choose FUN!! 😊

I say all of this to say, it is a really good idea to be as productive business-wise as you can. I know agents may be maxed out, helping their clients and that definitely comes first but instead of melting your mind, watching every single update while you’re quarantined at home – being as productive as possible for the betterment of your business is a really good idea for you and the future of your business and that’s what we’re all trying to save here.

There in just one more piece of advice I would like to share before I sign off here.  I’ve been working from home for about 10 years now.  Some of you are very new to this, some of you aren’t, but if you have a home-based business, set a routine, and try to keep it similar in some respects to what you would do when you were going to the office.  Get outside, go for a walk. I know you might fear everything going on right now but if you can go take a walk (make sure you’re social distancing and everything) get some fresh air because it goes a long way to helping make sure you have a productive day. 

You know the one thing that is killing me is being at home … surrounded by food all the time now.  There’s food, snacks and stuff all over the place.  Before they closed the schools there wasn’t, but since our son is home … SNACKS GALORE!!!!  You don’t want to be stress eating right now because these are unprecedented times with everything that’s going on so try to avoid all the snacks which I’m struggling with. I would recommend maybe do like an afternoon workout routine.  You Tube has a lot of different training videos to get your summer body ready.  When I find a good one, I’ll post it.

WOW!!!!  Maybe I need to be quarantined to more often.  We really appreciate everybody subscribing.  If you found any of this information useful, share it.  We’re always open to feedback from you and we’re looking forward to some very interesting conversations.  Tell your friends, leave and share reviews.  If you have any stories that you’ve been dealing with or personally dealt with as it relates to travel in any realm where you’re a traveler, an agent or if you’ve been working well with one supplier let us know.  Our email again is BrieskiTravel@yahoo.com.  We would love to share any stories that we have from you.  

Hit us up because we’re going to be having plenty of guests in our upcoming podcast.  We are booking in advance so if you’d love to be on with us, we want to hear from you!  Hit us up!! Leave reviews!!  Thank you for following…  we love you!!  We love travel!  We know its tough right now, but things will get better! Travel will bounce back!  Thank you for listening and have an awesome rest of your week.

Peace!

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7 Personal Benefits of Traveling Abroad

“He who does not travel, does not know the value of men.”

Moorish Proverb

“Travel is the ONLY thing you buy that makes you richer!”

– Unknown

Hey! My name is Brie and I’ve been traveling for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to grow up in a household where both of my parents worked for the airline industry – coming from opposite coasts themselves. Visiting either set of grandparents always seemed like the longest of vacations. Summers in California, Christmas in DC. Back then, the jets were HUGE … or I was really small … either way, there was something grand about sitting in the center seat of a Boeing – 747, being handed a hot, lemon-scented hand towel, after eating peanuts AND cookies. By the time I was 12, I was thumbing through the in-flight magazine ‘sky-shopping’ on my own.

That was a life-time ago. Now, there’s nothing satisfying about sitting in a center seat. That is a for sure sign that you have failed somewhere in your adult life. Airlines have become more proficient in providing you with the bare minimum in services lately -but don’t let that deter you from planning your bucket list trip and end up in #wanderlust.

Traveling, especially traveling abroad has some of the most life-changing benefits. Gone are the days where excuses like ‘I don’t have time’ are plausible. Traveling changes you physically, mentally and emotionally. Below are the top seven ways traveling changes you for the better:

It gets you outside of your bubble and into the real world – Traveling forces you to put down what you are doing (work, kids, school) and take a break. You DESERVE time to yourself (YES without the family) to relax, relate and release, however that looks for you. Do it … often!!! Everyone around you will thank you for it.

It challenges you – Traveling challenges you to solve problems; like on the fly. Passport lost … contact the US Embassy or even better, keep Dropbox scanned copies in your email. It may not get you on the next flight, but it’s better than that emotional brain fart most of us get when highly distressed.

It teaches you gratitude – OMG!!! I can’t tell you how disturbed I was to see how people lived in certain parts of the world. Traveling abroad will allow you to meet people who have much less than you, but willing to give what they have. That my friend, is the blessing of hospitality.

It lowers your stress level – according to one study https://www.verywellmind.com/take-vacations-for-stress-relief-overall-health-3145274 ‘a four day weekend had a positive effect on well-being, recovery, strain and perceived stress for as long as 45-day.’ Use those Federal holidays to your advantage.

It causes you to invest in YOURSELF – Traveling abroad will take you out of your comfort zone and you will have to ask someone for directions or to explain the menu to you (improving social and communication skills). Take advantage of the situation and learn phrases that will be of use regularly. “Donde esta el bano?” usually comes after several of “una mas cerveza por favor.” Google Translator is your friend!

It makes you happy – Whoever said money can’t buy happiness did not know where to find RT tickets for two, for $228 (total) on #SpiritAirline the week before Christmas. I am still doing the happy dance. Those flights were priced at $790 elsewhere. I almost considered driving 14-hours to beat that price. Thank goodness for small favors.

But most importantly, you build memories – Seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza, the last of the ancient Seven Wonders for the first time is awe inspiring. I saw them for the first time at the age of 13, but to be able to share that history, and experience with my 6 year old … will be a memory he shares with his children and grandchildren.

FINAL THOUGHTS – WOW!!!! That was a lot for my first blog!!! I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy this was. I hope you found this article helpful and it encourages you to travel more. As you start to see the world, you will start to realize how differently it is portrayed on the boob tube. Before I sign off, I want to leave you with one final thought …

‘There is no foreign land. It is the traveler only who is foreign’

Robert Louis Stevenson

This is the first post on my new blog, stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified of weekly updates.

**NOTE** On occasion, you may come across an article that contains affiliate links to companies such as bluehost and wordpress . I earn a commission for clicks made on their website, at no charge to you.

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Looking for the Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets?

Every traveler has a theory on the best time to book a flight. We’ve heard it all: The lowest fares are on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Eastern. (No, Saturday at 6 a.m. is the best time to buy!) You need to book at least two months before you fly. (No, you should fly at the last minute to score a deal!) But even with all these recommendations, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll find cheap flights.

The notion that there’s a single best day and time to buy tickets to get a good deal is a myth that simply refuses to die. The reason it’s so persistent, is that this concept used to be true decades ago when airline employees would update prices every week, meaning that savvy passengers could snag deals by booking right after those updates. But the fact of the matter is this is just not how things work anymore, and it hasn’t been for a long time. Airfare these days is highly complex, and constantly changing, sometimes by the hour.

Considering that the pandemic has caused shifts in passengers’ buying patterns (flexibility is king) and how airlines have responded (no more cancellation fees), the best time to book a flight formula becomes even trickier.

Luckily, there are still some reliable strategies passengers can use to score the best deals. One rule of thumb: Aim to buy tickets during what’s known in industry terms as the “prime booking window” or “optimal booking window.” This is the sweet spot several weeks—or even months—ahead of departure when deals are most likely to be had, prices aren’t as likely to fluctuate, and passengers have plenty of choice.

When is the best time to book a flight?

According to a recently published report from Google Flights, which analyzed five years’ worth of historical airfare data, prices have been at their lowest between 21 and 60 days out, with 44 days before departure the average low.

The experts at Scott’s Cheap Flights call it the Goldilocks Window: According to their data, it usually falls between one to three months before flying domestically, and two to eight months for international flights. However, if you’re traveling during a peak time like July or Christmas, you’ll want to add a few months to those recommendations.

In addition, there’s even more incentive in the not-yet-back-to-normal travel landscape for early birds to catch the best deals on flights. One big change that’s worth noting is the increased flexibility that lots of airlines are offering in terms of changes or refunds. Increased flexibility means there’s less downside to booking early.

Just don’t wait less than 21 days before your flight, since prices spike the closer the departure date gets. They rise 25 percent two weeks out and another 30 percent in the final week. 

Another key factor is the day you’re flying. Weekdays are the best for departures, whether internationally or domestically. Flying out on a Saturday or Sunday? Expect to pay a premium; same goes if you’re traveling for major holidays.

Figuring out the best time to book airfare also depends on the season, holiday, and destination. Here, some of the most commonly asked questions about when to buy—and when to fly—to score the cheapest airline tickets.

Which day of the week is cheapest to book flights?

According to many industry insiders, it’s time to retire the misconception that there’s a magical day—like Tuesday—to book cheap tickets. CheapAir.com says that there’s “little to no effect on price” depending on which day you book, and the average low fare varies by a measly $1 depending on the day. According to Google Flights’ data prices are only 1.9 percent cheaper when buying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, versus Saturdays and Sundays.

One notable exception? Travel Deal Tuesday. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be the best days to score big on travel gear, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is the best time to buy flights. According to Hopper, a whopping 43 percent more flight deals appear than usual on “Travel Deal Tuesday,” mostly because travel demand drops after Thanksgiving. It doesn’t mean every Tuesday is the best time to buy flights, but on this specific Tuesday, you’re sure to find a deal or two.

What’s the best time to buy airline tickets by season?

When to book spring flights ~

Because spring breaks vary, airfares don’t skyrocket on specific days like they do for other date-dependent holidays such as Christmas or the Fourth of July. And travelers don’t have to plan too far in advance, either: According to Google Flights, prices for domestic trips beginning in March or April have generally been lowest 23 to 59 days before departure, bottoming out at 38 days beforehand.

When to book summer flights ~

CheapAir.com’s most recent Domestic Annual Airfare Study found that flights are cheapest 42 days out from departure. Considering that domestic and international airfare peak in the summer due to higher seasonal demand, Hopper says the best time to book flights is a minimum (and ideally much longer) of five weeks ahead of departure for summer holidays like Memorial Day and July 4. Many travel experts, however, advise planning even further out and booking summer tickets during winter (and vice versa) to score the best deals.

When to book fall flights ~

Fall’s shoulder season almost universally comes with cheaper flights following the summer high season. But you’ll need to plan ahead: CheapAir.com suggests booking about 77 days beforehand for the best deal. Even more so for Thanksgiving, when prices are trending 25 percent higher than in 2021, according to the company’s 2022 Holiday Cheap Flights Report. But if you’re willing to fly on Turkey Day, or the day after, you can offset those higher prices with savings of $75 and $90, respectively.

When to book winter flights ~

Winter flights need advance planning, too: According to CheapAir.com’s latest data, you’ll need to book 110 days out for the best rates. Hopper’s figures are similar: The platform says the best deals for both domestic and international winter holiday travel appear around 90 to 100 days in advance, with domestic prices tending to spike seven percent two weeks prior to Christmas.

And there’s a bit of good news for last-minute Christmas holiday planners: According to Google Flights data, the lowest average prices for domestic flights have been 22 days before departure. However, the study also notes: “That may be cutting it close. Prices have tended to drop anywhere between 20 and 88 days before departure.”

What’s the best time to buy airline tickets according to destination?

If you’re going to Europe…

Good news, according to CheapAir.com’s latest data: Flights to Europe  $500 less than in 2021, averaging $992. The prime booking window is a wide one, too: between 1 and 6.5 months prior to traveling, with prices bottoming out 79 days beforehand. For even more savings, travel during October and November, which are the cheapest months to travel.

If you’re going to Asia…

Airfare for some international trips, like from the U.S. to Southeast Asia, has been significantly more volatile (and pricey) since the pandemic. According to Hopper’s figures, average airfare to the region is up more than 28 percent from $900/round-trip this time in 2019. You’ll need to plan early for the best deals: Flights are cheapest a whopping 314 days from departure on average, according to CheapAir.com’s most recent data, with a wider range of 2.5 to 6.5 months before departure for the prime booking window.

If you’re going to Africa…

Flights to Africa have come down about $300 since 2021, according to CheapAir.com, but you’ll still have to plan way ahead for your trip (and not just with flights: We suggest engaging a safari travel specialist at least six months in advance). According to CheapAir.com, the best time to book flights is 213 days in advance, with a prime booking window of 2 to 10 months before departure.

When is the best time to buy airline tickets based on departure day?

According to experts, Tuesdays and Wednesdays have the best fares for domestic flights, since there’s less competition between business travelers and other fliers. CheapAir.com’s most recent data found that flying on Wednesday in 2022 saves travelers $57 per ticket versus Sunday, which is the most expensive day to travel. (Tuesday is close behind, with an average savings of $56).

What about last-minute deals?

Despite all the advice about advance planning, sometimes waiting until the last minute can score the best deal—especially as business travel continues to lag in the post-pandemic era. Keyes, of Scott’s Cheap Flights, advises travelers who miss out on booking during the “Goldilocks Window” to keep their eyes open for last-minute deals, which, although not super common, are still out there.

With business travel still down 25 – 30 percent, and even more on some routes, your odds of a cheap or at least decent last-minute flight are quite a bit higher today than in 2019. I certainly wouldn’t recommend putting off booking until the last minute in the hopes of a fare drop, but if you find yourself needing a flight on short notice, your prospects are substantially better today than pre-pandemic.

Want More Great Advice?

We are a travel company, nose deep in travel news and deals. We frequently post them to FaceBook,  Instagram and Twitter. We like to share travel tips on social media, too, so please join us – and happy travels always.

TRAVEL DEAL!!!!

Norse Atlantic Airways’ “Mega Seat Sale” must be booked by Sept. 26.

You Can Fly to Europe for As Low As $115 on This New Airline — but You’ll Have to Book Soon!!!

Brand-new budget airline Norse Atlantic Airways is putting 30,000 seats on sale just in time for fall vacations with flights to Europe starting at just $115.

The airline’s “Mega Seat Sale” must be booked by Sept. 26 for travel before March 25, 2023, according to Norse. Travel dates for the sale vary based on the destination.

Travelers can fly to Europe from the United States starting at just $115, or fly to the U.S. from the United Kingdom from just over $300 roundtrip.

There has never been a better time to book a long weekend city break or to plan the vacation of a lifetime thanks to the Norse Atlantic Airways sale. Passengers can enjoy direct flights onboard state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliners and explore further for less with Norse Atlantic.

Each ticket must be booked at least three days before traveling and blackout dates from Dec. 14 through Jan. 9, 2023, apply. The sale includes all taxes and fees, but the airline charges extra for things like baggage and seating.

Travelers can snag deals between major cities like Oslo and Los Angeles starting at $189 one-way and Oslo and New York starting at just $125 one-way. Or fly between Berlin and New York starting at just $157 one-way and between London and New York starting at just $307 roundtrip.

Norse Atlantic Airways, which was formed in an effort to fill a space left by low cost carriers Norwegian Air and WOW Air, purchased several of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from Norwegian after the carrier announced the end of its transatlantic service. Now, Norse has a fleet of 15 Dreamliners.

Norse first took off from Oslo to New York on June 14, according to the company, followed by flights to Fort Lauderdale. The company offers two cabin choices: economy and premium.

FALL TRAVEL DEALS

The Fall Travel Deals You Won’t Want To Miss

Summer may be winding down but the travel deals are just heating up as the transition to the less frantic shoulder season means that flexible travelers will have even more ways to save and score special benefits and perks this fall. 

Award-winning and trusted suppliers are rolling out the discounts this September along with credits to make booking cheaper and easier. 

Whether you’re eyeing an all-inclusive tropical getaway or looking to set sail on the voyage of a lifetime, now is the time to take advantage of these limited-time offers. Here are some of the best ways to save on your next trip this September. 

DREAMS RIVIERS CANCUN RESORT & SPA

Earn a Free Night at Dreams Riviera Cancun

Guests booking a stay at the AAA Four Diamond Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa this fall can receive a sixth night free. The offer is valid on bookings made through December 22, 2022, for travel taking place through December 22, 2022. Additionally, guests booking a minimum of six nights in a Preferred Club room category at Dreams Riviera Cancun will earn $200 in resort coupons.

AMERICAN QUEEN VOYAGES’ OCEAN NAVIGATO

Save Big With American Queen Voyages

Travelers looking to explore North America can do so while saving up to $2,000 on select sailings throughout 2022, 2023 and 2024 during American Queen Voyages’ Fall Savings Event. Contact your travel advisor, visit AQVoyages.com or call 833-598-0119 for reservations or more information.

VISIT THE ADULTS ONLY CLUB AT MAJESTIC RESORTS IN PUNTA CANA

Majestic Resorts Offers Nearly Half Off

This September, travelers can save up to up to 45 percent when they book a 2023 vacation at one of Majestic Resorts’ five-star all-inclusive properties. The offer is valid for new reservations of a minimum of three nights made through October 31, 2022, for trips taking place from December 24, 2022, to December 23, 2023.

FIESTA AMERICANA WITH LA COLECCION RESORT & SPA

Early Birds Save With La Coleccion Resorts by Fiesta Americana

La Coleccion Resorts by Fiesta Americana is rewarding early birds this autumn with savings of up to 60 percent on fall and winter stays at La Coleccion Resorts. Available now through September 30, 2022, the deal can also unlock Free Airport Transfers and a $50 USD Resort Credit.

VIRGIN VOYAGES’ SCARLET LOADY AT TERMINAL V IN THE PORT OF MIAMI

Set Sail With Virgin Voyages and Receive Extra Perks

Virgin Voyages is offering the Solo Sailor Getaway this fall. Perks include no single supplements, a $100 bar tab bonus and more than $600 in extra value such as tips, Wi-Fi, fitness classes and dining at 20-plus eateries. 

CHOOSE THE BALCONY FOR AN AMAZNG VIEW.

Let Paul Gauguin Cruises Pay for Your Flight

For a limited time this fall, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering travelers $500 air credit per guest on seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages through French Polynesia. Guests can book on select dates now through October 8, 2022, and mention promo code AIR500 at the time of booking.

THE COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS

Score Savings With a Stay at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

There’s a lot to love about The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and this fall guests can save on a memorable stay along The Strip as the resort is offering 25 percent off when travelers book between now and January 25, 2023, for travel dates between September 25, 2022, and January 25, 2023. 

DJ BUZA AT BUD LIGHT BEER GARDEN IN LAS VEGAS

Gameday Like a VIP With MGM Resorts

It wouldn’t be fall without football. Visitors to Las Vegas can look forward to the Las Vegas Football Game Pass available through MGM Resorts. This exclusive gameday package allows guests to secure their resort stay along with seats in the stands and ensure a good time prior to, during and after kickoff with VIP seating, panoramic suites, dining credits, nightclub access and much more.

What travel experience do you have on your bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @livelovetravelllc

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