Author Archives: nomadatheart85

Niagara Falls 

It’s that time again, our yearly trip to the falls. Today’s forcast is rain. Being at the falls you can’t tell the difference between rain and the spray from the falls anyway.

  • Funny story now that it’s over, the prior day we were going to the Casino on the NY side but thanks to google and their so called improvements it took us to The Peace Brige not Rainbow and I did a U turn since only half of us had passports on us. Bad part is we still have to clear US customs even though we didn’t leave the US. Did I mention one of us had no ID at all, we were sure it was not going to turn out well. So here we sit in a line waiting for doom. Just as it’s our turn at the booth we discover online passports saved from previous cruises. The agent asked how we were I think my face told more than I knew. I replied terrible and he said I can see that. We explained our dilemma and gave him the IDs we had, a few minutes later we were on our way.
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Summer Vacation

What is your idea of summer vacation? A  road trip ? most summer vacations start out as a trip across the state or maybe all the way across the U. S. It takes weeks of planning from picking a route to selecting a place to stay and packing. Spending quality time in the confined space of a car definitely has its disadvantages. That said, in years to come those will be the memories you cherish.

 

Do your homework, once you pick a destination, find out the days that are less busy since often the accommodations are less expensive. Don’t think saving a few dollars by booking non-refundable is a good idea, it’s not. Book early at a refundable rate, if a sale comes along that leaves you the option of getting a lower rate. Packing snacks for the road is a good way to avoid extra stops. Find a local Walmart at your destination and pick up your other goods when you arrive. You know there is one on nearly every corner, it will save you room and the chance of food spoiling.

 

If you are on a budget but want to still enjoy eating out to try the local cuisine, lunch is usually the best option for a lower cost and the same meal. Eat late so you can just fix snacks for your evening meal.  Many places include breakfast with your stay, if breakfast is not included, cereal either hot or cold is a simple thing to fix. Carry  a few plastic bowls or cups and spoons, milk is available everywhere.  History is everywhere and most of it free to see or maybe a small donation. Google the local chamber of commerce and send them an email for suggestions .

 

“It’s all about the Journey”

This has been my #Tagline since the beginning of my Blogging. Where ever we go it seems either something crazy happens or we share our travels with special people. Over the years we had a flight that was nearly cancelled due to serious mechanical issues. The flight with the mechanical issues was taking us to Seattle for a Cruise where our ship also was having mechanical issues. To continue the saga our return flight home we nearly missed because the bus driver got lost. We have been on several honor flights and flew with a famous Hockey Team. Since many of our trips take us to popular destinations of the rich and famous , the opportunity to see a celebrity always exists. Occasionally what starts out as a problem turns into a great adventure to never forget. That is the fuel that feeds the thirst for travel and need to seek out the unknown. Does all of this sounds good to you , it’s time to plan you adventure. If International travel is not for you, there are plenty of spectacular things to see and do in the United States.

Just Because 

Today’s discussion is about Blog writing. I enjoy writing about travel and even more about the journey. Unfortunately I need to write immediately as an idea or story pops in my head. Ever since starting my travel agency I have spent more of my travel time focused on business. One of my other hang-ups is feeling as though I am writing too much. I don’t want my readers to lose interest, so I post photos and facts but no stories. I have been reading the blogs of a few aquaintances’ lately and decided to try and go back to my original style. I enjoy reading all the good and bad experiences; that is the real adventure. Here’s to turning over a new leaf. 

St. Thomas

Today we visit St. Thomas which is part of the British Virgin Islands and the home Blackbeard’s Castle. Many famous people have homes in the out lying Mountain areas of Bordeaux . Snorkeling and diving are among the many watersports popular on the Islands.


The climate year round is betweeen 73 and 89 degrees farenheit. April through August are more popular for Scuba as the waters usually are clearer then. Sugar Cane was a profitable export in the 18th century , over 25 sugar producing factories existed.

We head to the Popular island of St. John also known as the ” Emerald of The Carribean” and after a mile long hike end up at the Seventh Most Beautiful Beach in the World (according to National Geographic Magazine) ” Honey Moon Beach”


Rockefellar Plantation on Caneel Bay, now has a resort here but the grounds and Sugar Mill ruins are still part of the historical preservation.    

Grand Turk 

The largest of 40 small islands that makes up Turks and Caicos with an average temperature between 80 and 84 degrees.

In several locations you can see clear across the island to the other side. This fairly flat island is less than 7 square miles.

The first documented discovery was in 1512 by Ponce de Leon although many believe, Christopher Columbus landed here in 1492.

A monument in his honor has been erected in Cockburn Town. 
Features JAGS McCartney International Airport near John Glen Drive. Astronaut John Glen’s space ship splashed down in the atlantic ocean in 1962 just of the coast of Grand Turk and a replica is placed here, just a few months later Scott Carpenter also splashed down. 

Over 150 years ago The Grand Turk Lighthouse was brought over from the UK to cut down on shipwrecks on the reefs.


Donkeys and even a few horses run wild here and are protected. You can see these are accustomed to daily visits from the Calypso Tram.

Tourism is the main business , the locals are friendly and appreciative of the people.


It’s For Sale with an Ocean View. 


Snorkeling & Diving are plentiful.

National Women’s Day 

Is there a National Men’s Day ? If not we better invent one. We are after all, superior so planning ahead is just common sense. 

Women have eyes 👀 in the back of their head. 

Women can watch television and multi task. 

Women can have babies, I imagine we may soon be sharing that with men soon enough , then there will be complaining.

Ok my stereotyping is over, all in good fun. Really you know we’re awesome.

Women have a super day

We are not extinct 

5 Times Travel Agents Saved the DayPublished February 9, 2017 by Emily Peters under MTravel Blog

By Emily Peters Contributing Writer

Montrose Travel ( my wonderful host company)

These days, more people are becoming aware of the value of the modern travel professional. Once thought to be relics of the past, travel agents have proven again and again that their skills extend beyond travel planning.
As part of the travel tribe, it’s always good to be reminded of why your services as a travel consultant are worth their weight in gold. Here are 5 times travel agents came to the rescue for their clients.
1. SoCal Gas Leak

In October 2015, a massive, months-long gas leak in Porter Ranch (an LA neighborhood) displaced thousands of people from their homes. Rather than being left to fend for themselves, it was the work of several dedicated travel professionals that secured hotel housing for the 8,000 families in need of temporary shelter. Montrose Travel played a significant role in the relocation efforts, and was recognized with ASTA’s (American Society of Travel Agents) Extra Mile Award in 2016.
2. Blizzard woes

Inclement weather in the US has left thousands stranded in airports and train stations. Travelers who book through online travel agencies or even direct with the airlines frequently find themselves at the mercy of bare-minimum customer service. However, those who booked with travel professionals during January 2014 fared much better. After snow storms downed or delayed over 12,000 flights, their travel agents were available 24/7 to rebook flights and secure hotels so their clients could sleep in a comfy hotel bed instead of an airport chair.
3. Costa Concordia disaster

When Costa Concordia-survivor Albert Beach escaped the tragic cruising accident in January 2012, he found himself stranded in Italy, unsure of how to get back to the US. Rather than working with the airlines, he contacted his travel agent Jackie for help. “She had two to four hours from the time she was notified that we would like to get out of Rome, and she had us out,” said Beach, who had been a loyal client for 20 years. He was safely home in New Mexico within 48 hours.
4. Client loyalty

Booking through a travel professional means built-in support, but sometimes travelers choose to buy elsewhere. For Terry Regan of Berkeley’s Northside Travel, his loyalty remained with his client when a longtime customer recently grew ill during a tour she didn’t book with Regan. Instead of declining to help, Regan cancelled the tour, booked her an immediate flight home, and worked directly with the tour operator to make sure her insurance would cover the ordeal.
5. Hurricane harbor

Hurricane Irene was no match for agent Rick Ardis of Ardis Travel’s foresight. When he booked two clients on a trip to Punta Cana, he urged them to purchase travel insurance. Sure enough, Irene bombarded the island twice, prompting Ardis to secure his clients an upgraded room to wait out the storm, re-route their flight out of the hurricane’s path and book a car so they could drive the rest of the way home. “Because they listened to my advice and bought insurance, they were reimbursed for everything, even the cost of the gas to drive home,” said Ardis. “They were very grateful, and they are still my clients.” 
From illness to accidents to inclement weather, travel professionals are always there to save the day. Be proud of your involvement in this great industry and never hesitate to go the extra mile for your client in their time of need!

Remember if the deal is to good to be true, it is.

You get what you pay for.


 

How to Plan a Cruise

A cruise is truly a reasonable way to see the World. You always know where you are sleeping and you will not starve or go thirsty. My first suggestion is to go directly to the Cruise Company Web Site , here you will be able to enter information on where you want to go and find out where the Port is that you need to get to. After you choose your location you will be given only a few options for dates depending on what time of year it is. The farther away the date is, the less expensive the cost will be. Finally call me to get started booking that journey.Our first cruise was to Alaska and when I booked it the beginning of May was the most reasonably priced. I did shop around to other Cruise Lines but for our needs Carnival was the better price and we were able to get a balcony for the cost of an interior cabin at their competition. Some cruise lines are known for hosting mostly older passengers, some younger but there really are only a few companies that own many different brands. Nearly everything is included in your cost (except alcohol) some companies sell add on packages for that also. You will have to pay extra for whatever Excursions you choose. I wanted to have all of our expenses paid so we would not need a lot of cash or extra money so I pre paid for all of our excursions and gratuities (a daily charge per person per room) With Carnival they have a special price (Early Saver Rate) that allows you to make changes to your booking if you need to.  Lower floors can be near engine rooms and upper levels just below a night club so be sure to ask me for help. Check the Cruise Lines web site directly for details on baggage restrictions, port directions and transportation options. Also see if you will need a passport, we were able to just purchase a new passport card it is only good for LAND and SEA travel NO AIR but it is less expensive. Either way you need to start the process months in advance. If you plan your cruise with me I will be sure you have all the necessary details. 

It is a good idea to arrive to the Port’s City a day in advance in case you have flight delays so you will not miss your cruise. When you book your flight to leave be sure it is later afternoon if it is on the day you debark. Even though the ships usually dock very early in the morning there are some times delays getting off the ship and collecting luggage.

  • Get your Passport and start saving your pennies
  • Choose a Destination and Date / do the research and choose a Cruise Line
  • Select a Cabin and read all the FAQ the cruise lines own trip Insurance is usually a good idea to add
  • Select a Hotel and transportation for the Airport and Cruise port
  • Buy Airline tickets or alternate transportation
  • Pick your excursions and check the weather for the time of travel
  • Notify your bank and credit card company of your travel dates
  • Keep a well-organized binder and check prices often if something goes down you can probably get a credit (airlines, hotel or cruise)


    Aruba

    The locals call it The Happy Island , what’s not to be happy about ? The weather is amazing averaging 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it is really a desert there is very little rain, low humidity and it is south of the storm belt making Hurricanes unlikely.

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    The coastline is beautiful with many areas of rough terrain only accessible by Jeep or similar vehicle.

    There are several old shacks from the past where families would come to spend the weekend during festival times to fish and eat and spend time with family.

    Way out in the desert is an old Spanish Gold Mine called “Bushiribana Mine”

    it was made to look more like a fort to desguise it .

    If you are looking for a party there is always the ever popular Banana Bus that is just that a bus ( no windows ) it does a little sight seeing and a whole lot of drinking with music and fun.

    When you run out of steam and need to cool off there are also Thirteen Casinos.

    More to see , a lighthouse, the first church, and an Ostrich Farm and No they are not a native bird.

    Want to visit, get your passport and start packing there are plenty of Hotels if Cruising is not your cup of tea, Taxi’s are easy to come by and the fees are regulated by the Government .

     

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