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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:

~COMING SOON~

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 and are inclusive of all taxes and gratuities.

ROOM CATEGORY4 – NIGHT 5 – NIGHT 6 – NIGHT
CASITAS ROYALE
CASITA SUITE (D)$900/pp$1,110/pp$1,330/pp
SWIM UP SUITE (D)$1,021/pp$1,265/pp$1,529/pp
PRIVATE POOL SUITE (D)$1,161/pp$1,440/pp$1,719/pp
CASITA (Single)$1,085$1,345$1,605
SWIM UP (Single)$1,237$1,535$1,833
PRIVATE (Single)$1,413$1,755$2,097
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 double occupancy and are inclusive of all taxes and gratuities. Families traveling with children 17 and under will require specialized rates.

GENERATIONS4-NIGHT5 – NIGHT6 – NIGHT
OCEANFRONT ONE BEDROOM$915/pp$1,135/pp$1,355/pp
OCEANFRONT ONE BEDROOM S/U SUITE$995/pp$1,235/pp$1,475/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 31st 2022 )
Final payment is due on MAY 31st 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 of $100 as soon as possible. Please remember that you can make payments 24/7 here. I accept all credit and debit cards on this website and payments via Cash App by sending to $MsBrie2U. Please include your full name and “Sunset Beynum” on all Cash App Payments.

With that being said, I will say thank you and welcome you to BrieskiTravel, 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 
BrieskiTravel LLC

Direct: (202) 258-5268

 cell: (202) 350-1337

Email: BrieskiTravel@gmail.com

Website: www.cruisewithbrieski.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!

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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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IYKYK!!! 10 Life Lessons Travel Teaches You

Whether you’re heading out to explore the back roads locally or you break out your passport and Global Entry to immerse yourself in a new culture, entirely different from your own, travel is an education like no other.

The lessons we take from the places we go are as unique as our personalities, of course.

But there are a few failsafes most travelers can relate to once they’ve gotten out there and down to the business of communing with — and fully enjoying — the world.

A locals’ knowledge is worth more than any online review.

You can read online reviews about a place — where to find the best food/drink, the must-hit nightlife — before you get there.

But the knowledge you acquire from simply asking locals to share their favorite beach or their favorite place to have a drink at sunset is worth its weight in gold.

From taxi drivers to the pharmacist and that random person feeding pigeons in the park, don’t be shy — ask away. You might be surprised by how happy people will be to know you’ve come to them for advice on their town instead of the Internet.

Appreciate the simplest pleasures.

Breakfast at Chateau Elan in GA

Notice the little things.

There are little travel luxuries we treat ourselves to out there in the world more often than back at home — and they hardly have to cost a fortune.

Consider the fresh fruit you enjoy at breakfast — whether sipping juice at a street-side stall on Marrakech’s main square or for breakfast at your favorite Mexican hotel. Now ask yourself, why do you never have fruit this sweet and juicy back home?

Bite slowly and enjoy — it’s simple pleasures like this one that sets traveling apart from the mundane. Friends and I marveled at how sweet the mango and melons were while in Cabo recently. Sweet and juicy as fresh cut sugar cane. It was AH-mazing!!!

Your intuition works well abroad.

You know that little voice in the back of your head? Your intuition directs you to walk in one direction instead of another or decide that tomorrow’s the day to swim in the ocean.

Well, intuition works as well when you’re traveling as it does at home, especially when traveling in a foreign country. You may find yourself the subject of friendly hospitality — even being invited to a family dinner or event.

If the invitation feels genuine to you, trust your gut. It most likely is. And moments like those are where true travel magic is made.

Experiences are worth so much more than things.

It’s a cliche that’s spot on when it comes to travel. Sure, you could spend a fortune on a new gadget for your house that induces envy anytime a friend wants to come by for a visit.

Or you could pocket at least half that cash and take a dream trip someplace like Zanzibar or Thailand instead. You’ll return with a new layer of knowledge to add to your life experience, memories about how the world and other cultures work — something you’d never get back home while explaining how to use your new toy to your green-eyed buddy.

Traveling solo is the opposite of lonely.

My Cabo crew #GirlGang.

Sharing experiences with new friends is part of travel’s beauty.

There’s much to be said about sharing travels with someone you love. But traveling alone opens you up to conversations and encounters you’d never have while hovering over a candlelit table playing googley-eyes and kissey-face.

Look for restaurants with communal tables or attend local events — perhaps an outdoor party or music festival — to connect with people who enjoy the same things you do. Smile and watch the conversations get sparked.

I met a life-changing group of women this year. Each different in their own right but definitely life of the party-type, that mirror my own passion for life, good food/drinks and travel!! Its been an amazing 2021!!!

If you’re looking to travel … but nervous about ‘solo travel’, check out one of my Pre-Planned Trips. This is a personal trip for people who may not have ‘people’ to travel with but aren’t looking to be obligated to travel with a ‘group’.

Antibacterial wet wipes can save the day.

Hand sanitizer is everywhere these days. But sometimes what you really need is a stash of antibacterial wet wipes to save the day.

Keep a travel-sized pack on the ready close by and you’ll always be able to save someone else’s day on the road, too — whether it’s wiping up a spilled drink on the plane or something worse.

Young kids may not remember their early travels, but travel is still shaping who they are.

He’s always been the life of the party. I wonder where he gets it from. 😛

Travel continues to shape us at every age.

Every experience we have molds us into the people we eventually grow to be.

Even if your kid(s) (or grandkids) don’t remember the red-eye from JFK to Paris, where they stayed up watching the ENTIRE Minion series or the time they rode camels in the Sahara, you can bet every experience they have traveling shapes them into more adaptable and curious human beings than they would have been if you’d just stayed home.

I’m constantly surprised at what our son can recall. His ‘cruise card’ changed colors from blue to red to gold in a matter of years and his passport has been renewed. He may be my favorite travel companion thus far. I enjoy his willingness to go with the flow.

Travel challenges make for the best stories later.

As relaxing as that girl’s trip you spent sipping margaritas in the sun, chances are a vacation with no surprises isn’t one you’ll be CTFU at for days to come.

However, that time you missed your international flight after a drunken night out on the town or the time you had to pay off the Federalies — now those are the stories you’ll remember and be sharing with friends for life.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable until it becomes … comfortable.

Local social norms don’t translate when you travel. State to state or Internationally.

Ideas of dining styles, personal space and gender mixing, for example, can vary vastly between countries and cultures.

What’s the best way to roll with the punches? Get comfortable being uncomfortable and embrace the awkwardness of situations that are outside of your norm. The bonus … It can only make you that much more adaptable and easy to be around once you get back home.

Put down your phone and live your life.

Your phone can wait. No, seriously …

You don’t need to check your social media! You don’t need to take another selfie! You don’t need to answer that WhatsApp!

Let the important things in your life catch up with you. Look at your friend’s face when they’re talking to you. Watch the people around you (watch your surroundings). Feel the warmth of the sun rays on your skin. Notice the sunlight play on the leaves of the trees as they sway in the wind. Hear the roar of the waves as they crash onto the beach. Close your eyes, let your breath catch up with you. Enjoy your travels.

PRE-PLANNED TRIPS 2021-2022

Stay flexible, keep your sense of humor: It is possible to take a dream trip during COVID. This isn’t your run of the mill group trip, this is a pre-planned trip that connects like-minded individuals. Those who are comfortable traveling alone, but may be interested in dinner or excursions with a small group. If your dream trip has been deferred, here are a few options when the time is right already planned out for you!

That beach holiday we all need right about now …

Dream villas and hotels in Cabo San Lucas and Cancun, Mexico, because Mexico never closed its air borders to Americans. Mexico in general has been hot because it’s easy to get to, it is literally hot and they don’t require negative COVID tests before the trip. Mexico has fabulous hotels, amazing service, incredible value and COVID-related safety restrictions are in place in most resorts. You deserve to see more of the world.

CANCUN, MEXICO – OCTOBER 11-15, 2021

The Ultimate Foodie Experience:

This Riviera Maya resort has completely reimagined the all-inclusive luxury travel experience. With stunning properties in the world’s most desirable locations, a no-surprises prix-fixe cost, and a unique World Class Gourmet Inclusive® dining, this property offers an unbeatable package no matter where your adventures take you. The Gourmet Inclusive® experience include delectable dining – with the opportunity to accommodate to your special dietary needs. 

Enjoy wine pairing, tequila tastings, and cuisine that begins with the freshest and finest ingredients that can be procured, literally transporting you on a culinary journey that is the ultimate culmination of art and science.

CANCUN, MEXICO

OCTOBER 11-15, 2021

DEPOSIT DUE ASAP!!!

I know you’re soooooo ready for this!!! Cancun, BAAAABBBBBBBBYYYY!!! And yes, this is for men AND women, so lets party together! Keep in mind, dates are getting close, so prices are going up so sign on now! This trip does include activities such as food tours, a bar crawl, an evening jazz cruise and even a dance class! For the hotel and activities, Double occupancy would be cheaper, obviously. Let’s meet up and meet some awesome like-minded people and PARTY VIVA LA MEXICO style!! AAAyyyeee! Seeing that we are getting close to the date, I have held some rooms with the hotel at a discounted rate. Since flight is included, I’ll need your closest airport code. Deposit is $425. Due ASAP! Balance to be paid by: SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

$475.00

Vol.1

LIBRA BASH

This upscale all-inclusive beachfront resort is a luxurious resort-within-a-resort, offering full access to everything the Grand Oasis Cancun has to offer in addition to all the exclusive privileges of being a Pyramid guest, like premium amenities, exclusive award-winning restaurants and bars, and private beach clubs. Discover the ultimate Vegas-style entertainment in Cancun, including live music, dinner shows, nightclubs, and Cancun’s only full gaming casino at a resort. Located in the center of the hotel zone on the largest white sand beachfront, you’ll never run out of activities. Swim in the quarter-mile freeform pool, chill with cocktails at the beach club, or pamper yourself with an all-natural spa treatment. 

 ⭐️PYRAMID SUITE⭐️


Complimentary on site COVID testing available
Kids Stay & Eat Free!
Oasis Exchange Privileges Program!
All Inclusive Amenities!
Free Perks – private check-in lounge and welcome area, rooms on higher floor for better Oceanview!
Special Reduced Rates!
Honeymoon & Anniversary Amenities 

PLUS … 

$200 Air Credit 

Cancun International Airport: 10 miles

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

RT Airfare

Accommodations (All-Inclusive Resort PLUS Exchange Privileges to TWO additional resorts)

**UPGRADE TO JUNIOR SUITE FOR $133 MORE!!**

Transfer to and from Hotel

All for $916/pp (based on double occupancy)

DEPOSIT: $425 DUE ASAP

TOTAL: $1,832

Travel Now … Pay Later!

Vacations are a time to have fun, sit back, and relax!

After more than a year of sticking close to home, travelers are ready to book their own vacation. In the chance that your desire to travel happens to outpace your finances, a growing number of “travel now, pay later” services are making immediate vacations possible. 

Services such as Klarna and Afterpay give you the flexibility to afford that ultra-luxury hotel or to stay on vacation for a few extra days by staggering payments and slicing them into four rather than requiring one upfront payment.

Here’s how it works: 

You find a trip, flight, or hotel and see the Klarna or Afterpay option, you undergo a 30-second soft credit check, either through the apps or online, to determine the amount you qualify to pay in installments. You make the first payment(usually 25% of the total purchase) and get your trip or flight confirmation immediately. The service then charges the remaining interest-free installments of the total every two weeks directly from your preferred payment method until the total is paid. 

You secure the deal instantly, there’s no impact on your credit score and there are no fees. However, using these services doesn’t help build credit and their charges are initiated automatically, which means that even if your linked bank account gets low or your credit card is near its limit, those charges are still going to happen.

A nomadic friend of mine swears Afterpay saved her life on several occasions. She recalls times when she’d decide spontaneously to go somewhere new, but wouldn’t have the ready funds. “Afterpay was like having a virtual father, as it gave me the kick I needed; I had to find a job in my destination very quickly to be able to pay for how I got there,” she told me. Two years ago she used Afterpay to score the $1,400 open-ended flight to Tanzania that led to working with her current tour company.

The idea is catching on fast: Afterpay reported that it’s signed up more than 13 million users in North America as of January 2021. Different retailers have partnerships with different payment systems, so you might need accounts with multiple service providers to build the trip you want. For example, Airbnb offers payment through Zip (formerly Quadpay), while you can pay for trips on Booking.com and Expedia through Klarna. Here are some other things to consider.  

Can you spring for a pricier trip?

While these services can be a great way to avoid credit card debt and the interest that can come with it, financial pros caution against spending more than your budget allows.

Now keep in mind, that just because you have more time to spend your money doesn’t equal you having more money to spend. That pay in four services may ease the psychological impact of a purchase, but that doesn’t mean you’re paying less. Ask yourself, “If I can’t afford it now, how will I afford it within a 6-week time period?”

I’ve assisted clients who are currently planning to take bigger trips, either because they haven’t spent money on travel during the pandemic or they’re rewarding themselves for a difficult 2020. Revenge spending’ is a real thing, and travel appears to be a popular target!

Keep your budget conservative by thinking of Afterpay like borrowing money from a friend. Then you are likely to only borrow what you need, and not more. 

How can you maximize the benefits?

When you happen to chance on a cheap flight to your dream destination or an unheard-of deal on a hotel, services like Klarna and Afterpay can help you book it before it’s gone. Time pressure to lock in a great deal is common with travel. Offers can appear at a moment’s notice and often require you to act quickly. Having quick access to the cash you might not have readily on hand, could better position you to nab that heavily discounted red-eye to Dubai. 

Cindy Maxwell, a fellow travel blogger, used Klarna to book an upcoming trip to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and she’s planning to use it again to pay for a 2022 anniversary trip to Marrakesh. She says that using the service strategically makes it easy to budget for a bigger trip because she’ll buy one element (like a flight) and pay it off before adding the next (like a hotel). “It doesn’t matter if it’s flights, transportation, places to stay or even excursions, you can pay through Klarna,” Maxwell says. “You could book an entire trip abroad.”

EIGHT WAYS TO SAVE A GRIP WHEN TRAVELING THIS SUMMER!

Summertime and vacationing go hand-in-hand, as long as you don’t spend all of your money on the way to your destination. It’s so easy to get carried away with spending in the heat of the moment. But, you can still soak up the summer months, AND keep your pockets in tact. Whether it’s solo, family, or group travel, here are some of my favorite summer travel tips I offer to my clients.

1. Road trip it

When I moved back to the Midwest, I was astonished at the lengths people were willing to drive, opposed to flying. So fascinated in fact, I tried it for myself. Driving from Mid-Missouri to Washington, DC (1,868 miles) … and back takes just about 30 hours. It wasn’t the worst drive ever, but I had the the time to spare and it was an experience. One I don’t ever have to have again. The best way to save money is to drive your own car to your destination.

Somewhere between Missouri and the Nation’s Capitol. He was very easy to travel with by the way.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute

The cost of flying will continue to rise through out the summer, so if you want to book a summer trip, don’t waste time. If you have more flexibility and are comfortable waiting, there’s a chance prices could start going down after Independence Day.

If you book the flight too close to the actual trip date, you could wind up paying more. I find the best time to buy your airline tickets is not too early and not too late. For domestic trips, the cheapest flights are most likely to pop up one to three months in advance of your travel date. If you are traveling internationally, they are mostly likely to occur two to eight months in advance. You can monitor fares by setting up price alerts.

I purchased a ticket to Cabo in March for August … and saved $200. AND … I’m still bothered by the price (after points)!! If you don’t listen to anything I say, listen to this … “PLAN AHEAD!!!! THESE LAST MINUTE FLIGHT PRICES ARE OUTRAGEOUS!!”

3. Be flexible

When planning to travel, people typically choose a destination, then consider the dates to travel, and then look up airfare. Instead, flip that!! Look up cheap flights out of your home airport and choose the destination that most interests you. Then, see what dates work with your schedule. Set the price as the priority rather than the afterthought, that’s how you get cheap flights.

You may also find cheaper airfare at another nearby airport. It may mean a farther drive, but it doesn’t necessarily result in a longer travel time. For instance, that longer drive may result in a flight that doesn’t have as many stops along the way. If you are traveling to a far-flung destination, you can also find less expensive airfares to a major city and then take a local budget airline, ferry or train to your final destination.

We did this for a last minute Christmas trip to DC. I hate driving, but I was able to get roundtrip, direct airfare out of Nashville, TN to DC for $233 for two. The 6 hour drive would still be less that the connecting flight we would have to endure for a fraction of the price.

4. Remember the days

It’s no longer true that there is a best day of the week to book a flight, since new inventory is constantly coming online. There does tend to be cheaper days to actually fly: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Consider that the next time you’re planning to get away.

Don’t forget to set a flight reminder.

5. Think outside the box

Beaches and national parks are extremely popular in the summer. In fact, if you want to visit a national park, make a reservation first. In many parks, reservations are mandatory. To save money, consider a place that is not your normal destination, like the mountains instead of the beach, Lyon instead of Paris, or even Kyoto instead of Tokyo. If it is something everyone wants to do, it is going to be expensive.

6. Don’t forget about Covid testing

You may need a coronavirus test before traveling, so research your destination to make sure you know what is required. Some drugstore chains offer PCR testing at no additional cost if you use insurance, or if you fall under a federal program. You can also get rapid and PCR tests at some airports for a fee. While you often have to pay for the test ahead of travel, many hotels and destinations (especially in the Caribbean) are offering free testing. Some destinations will even pay you for a negative Covid test. For instance, Portugal’s Azores Islands offer a 35 euro voucher to offset the cost of the mandatory Covid test.

7. Hold off until Fall

If you travel during off-peak times, then you can find some great deals. This includes Hurricane Season. If you don’t have school-aged children, or don’t mind them missing a few days of class, then consider waiting to travel until the summer is over. There are amazing deals available, from cruises to all-inclusive resorts. Not to mention a reduction in attendance, think Universal Park Resorts.

The fall is my absolute favorite time to travel. The Caribbean is much more bearable. Prices have generally reduced to half and so has the occupancy. Think peace and quiet.

8. Enlist the help of a travel professional

“Hello! Travel professional here!” Because travel looks entirely different now, people are looking to have a different experience. As travel professionals, we are able to tap into resources that offer substantial savings and a variety of experiences. Remember, you can’t know all the right questions to ask. It’s my my job to help break through assumptions and get things done, that you haven’t considered. My cost to you … NOTHING!

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Summer vacations provide all kinds of opportunities for fun in the sun (or otherwise) and you can never be too prepared when planning your vacation. The most important tip I can recommend is set a budget before you travel. The only thing worse than coming home from vacation with a third-degree sunburn (Thanks Aruba …) is a stack of bills because you over-spent!

Top 10 Reasons to Get a Villa for your Next Vacation

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of villas, but there’s a reason why I love them (no, make that 10 reasons why I love them) and I think they can be better than any other type of group accommodation. So here are my top 10 reasons to stay in a villa (or chateau, or castle… basically anywhere that you can have to yourself).

They’re private!

Who wants to spend their vacation days surrounded by strangers, fighting for sun loungers by the pool or listening to your next door neighbors having a drinking session on their balcony? Vacations are for relaxing with the people you love, and staying in a villa means you have the entire place to yourself – your own kitchen, lounge space, pool, multiple bathrooms… need I go further?

They’re GREAT for social distancing!

I don’t know what the future holds, and we’re hoping 2021 will be the year we can actually hug people again – but at least you know you’re abiding by social distancing rules when you stay in a villa. Again, you’ve got the whole place to yourself, so it’s just you and your group. Most of the time, a villa is in a secluded location, has its own grounds at least – so you know you’re removed from the crowds. You’ll even have your own kitchen (often with top-notch alfresco dining spaces) so you don’t even have to go to out if you don’t want to.

Villas are often either placed in the depths of the countryside just a short distance from a small local town on a golf course or just a few steps from the beach. You’re smack in the middle of a region, and perfectly placed for an authentic vacation, whether that’s skiing down the slopes, hiking up mountains or hitting the local beach party.

They’re the perfect base for a more authentic vacation!

Villas are often either placed in the depths of the countryside just a short distance from a small local town on a golf course or just a few steps from the beach. You’re smack in the middle of a region, and perfectly placed for an authentic vacation, whether that’s skiing down the slopes, hiking up mountains or hitting the local beach party.

It’s a home-away-from-home!

A villa is a home. Your home, for however long you’re there. You can treat it as such (provided at home you’re not a wrecking ball or graffiti artist!), which means that you’ll instantly feel comfortable and at peace. Schedule housekeeping to service you at the most appropriate time, there are no evening curfews to contend with, or loud resort neighbors to keep you up. Just do what you want, when you want.

You may be able to bring your pet along !

Pet-friendly vacations are a growing travel trend, and it’s easy to see why. Why drop Grover off at a sad little kennel when they could be doggy paddling in the pool with you?! More and more properties are allowing people to bring their fur babies with them, because what’s a family vacation without the whole family?

Tierra del Sol – Mesa Vista (Aruba)

They’re cost-effective!

People don’t usually realize this, but villas are actually really cost-effective. They often house a large number of people, meaning you can get the gang together and split the cost – and it’ll often times come up less per night than a hotel. Meaning more money for excursions, shopping and other fun stuff.

You can tailor it to your group!

Villas often have a bunch of added extras you can take advantage of – in fact, I actually have a team of absolute legends dedicated to these extras. Once you contact your concierge team, they can organize everything from private chefs, to a car service, should you choose.  A villa offers the convenience of a hotel in the privacy of your own home (breakfast, maid service etc). Some villas even have their own specific extras – like in-house spa treatments, speedboat trips, casino nights… the list goes on! Or you can say no thank you to all of that, and keep it simple.

They’re safe for families!

When you go on vacation, you want to actually be able to switch off, right? Some villas offer a peace of mind that you can’t get anywhere– you’re often in a rural location, on a private property, away from strangers. Some villas have even gone that step further for families and installed child-safe pools, have private fenced grounds, and can even baby-proof their properties ready for your arrival. Our collection is divided between those ideal for babies, kids, and teens so you can be sure your c crew is safe. 

They’re great for groups and celebrations!

If you want to get away for a birthday or even just fancy event, then where better than a huge villa/chateau/castle?! There are places that literally house over 30 people, so you can celebrate in style. BrieskiTravel has access to villas that are perfect! And since it’s basically your own home for however long you’re there, you can enjoy it without the disapproving looks from strangers or the hotel staff coming to tell you off for being too loud.

They’re more sustainable!

Sustainable travel is a hot topic, and it’s only going to continue to grow. Villas are instantly more sustainable than hotels or resorts as they’re not using half as much energy, and some villas are even putting their own green practices in place. We understand the importance of sustainability, which is why we can shout about those vacation homes that are leading the way in eco-friendly stays, whether that’s through solar power, sustainable produce or even planting their own trees to offset their emissions. 

Well, there you have it! My top 10 reasons to stay in a villa instead of a hotel or resort. Whether you’re a villa vacationing pro or had never considered one … Make 2021 the year of the villa vacation. Email me for assistance at: brieskitravel@gmail.com. LIKE|SHARE|FOLLOW BrieskiTravel for travel inspiration and insight.

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