What Are You Waiting For??

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On January 2nd of this year, we lost a very dear friend of 30+ years.  We went to his house for a New Year’s Eve Party, just as we had done alternately for the last 25 years, only to hear from his daughter that her mom was following him in the ambulance on his way to the ER.  They thought he had the flu and just needed fluids.  He had endocarditis, a strep virus that was attacking his heart, producing multiple heart attacks, strokes, and then organ failure.  He was a very young, active 75.  And we are all devastated by his loss.

You’re now asking “WHY is she sharing this sad story with us?”  And my question to you now is “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??”

What is keeping you from taking that bucket-list vacation?  What is holding you back from going somewhere that you’ve always dreamed of?  Is it that you don’t want to plan too far in advance, what if something happens?  That’s what trip insurance is made for!  (It isn’t just for medical reimbursement anymore.)  Is it that your kids are still young and in school?  You only have 18 summers of your life to travel with your kids while they are young (and possibly still want to travel with you!).  That’s not a lot of summers in the grand scheme of things. And with the help and guidance of a professional travel agent, you can plan those trips that will give you and your family the memories of a lifetime, without all the stress and worry.  The Agent takes that worry and stress away from you and will be there through all of it with you, as well as waiting patiently till you get back to regale the beautiful and funny experiences you shared!  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

Are you waiting till you retire and can travel with your spouse or significant other without having to worry about returning to work?   What happens if you retire and like so many other people we hear about, suddenly fall ill and can’t travel?  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

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My point for all of this is that life is way too short to dream about all the places in the world you’ve always wanted to go to and NEVER making those dreams a reality.  If you keep waiting, you may never get there.  And I can assure that there were places our friend would have loved to go to, but kept putting off for various reasons.  Life has a funny way of smacking us in the face with reality, so why not take the plunge and plan that bucket list trip???  Call your travel consultant and let them show you how easy it is!

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???  ENJOY LIFE, MY FRIEND!!  LA DOLCE VITA!!

Packing 101 – Did you forget something?

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Packing for that family holiday trip to Grandma’s or Aunt Josie’s?  Or maybe you’re getting away to an island to escape the holiday rush? Boarding a cruise ship to let all your cares float away? Beginning the year by checking off a country on your bucket list?

No matter where you are heading, you will definitely want to print out the packing list contained in the link below.  It is the ULTIMATE checklist for packing.  Even if you don’t need everything on there, once you’re back from your trip, cross out what you didn’t need or use and keep it for your next packing adventure!  Either way, GET AWAY, and enjoy life!  Happy Holidays to all!

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Do I REALLY NEED Travel Insurance??

We hear it many times when consulting with clients about an important family vacation, a couple’s weekend, a business trip, etc.  “Why spend the extra money?” “What if nothing happens, and I don’t use it?”  But what IF something does happen?  What IS the plan?

From AIG Travel Guard, here are the top 10 reasons why you need travel insurance:

  1. “It’s 10 p.m. and you and your immediate family arrive at the airport for a connecting flight, only to find that your flight has been cancelled. Who can assist you with finding new flights to get everyone home?”
  2. “Your bag was lost with your insulin inside. You need help to locate your bag as soon as possible and have your emergency prescription filled. Who do you call?”
  3. “Your first visit to Europe, and your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn for assistance in obtaining emergency cash, and how will you get your passport replaced?”
  4. “You’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help coordinate a medical evacuation?”
  5. “If your sister-in-law becomes seriously ill and you must cancel your trip, what happens to your non-refundable deposits or pre-payments?”
  6. “You arrive in Jamaica and your luggage doesn’t. If it’s lost, who will help you find it? If it’s delayed who will reimburse you for covered necessities? If it’s stolen, who will reimburse you for its contents?”
  7. “Your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. Who will pay for your non-refundable expenses? Who is able to assist in getting you to your destination?”
  8. “You’re walking down a street in Rio and twist your ankle. Who is able to assist you in finding an English-speaking physician?”
  9. “Three weeks before your scheduled arrival, a terrorist incident occurs in the city to which you are planning to visit. Who will reimburse you if you want to cancel your trip?”
  10. “You are at a beach resort in North Carolina, and you are forced to evacuate due to a hurricane which has made your resort uninhabitable. Who can assist you in being evacuated? Who will reimburse you for your lost vacation investment?”

These questions are answered simply by contacting the 24 hour toll free number for the insurance company to get the help you need as quickly as possible.  And, of course, contact your travel agent so they can assist you as well. They always have shortcuts and tips to help you. Please be sure to discuss the coverages of the policy with the insurance company, because each policy does not automatically include “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage and that is very important.

So, do you REALLY NEED travel insurance??  Absolutely!

 

 

 

 

 

Kangaroos, Koalas or Opera?

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What does Australia mean to you? Kangaroos, koalas, Sydney Opera House? It’s all that and so much more. It’s a vast continent with 24 million people and a truly diverse landscape, with aboriginal history and culture in everything you see and do. Australians are warm, friendly people with a great  sense of humor.  It’s a bucket list item for many people and much easier to get to then you would imagine. The seasons are opposite to the USA,  so Australians are having barbecues on the beach in January. On a first visit the main three are usually a must see-  Sydney, Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (Ayers Rock).  All three are great for families, couples and groups.

A typical itinerary would have 3 or 4 nights in Sydney, 3 nights in Cairns and 2 or 3 at Uluru, with flights in between each city.

In Sydney you can climb or walk the Harbour Bridge, visit the Opera House for a tour or a performance, walk through the Botanical gardens, take ferries across the harbor, watch the surfers at Bondi Beach and even take your own surf lesson. Take a day excursion to the Blue Mountains, go to Hunter Valley for wine tasting and watch movies under the stars.

Queensland is the home of the Great Barrier Reef – a great place to stay is Port Douglas – a charming walkable village full of great restaurants and boutique stores. An inexpensive shuttle runs to all the hotels from the main street, so you  never have to worry about driving. Day trips to the reef go from this point and you can snorkel, scuba, do a semi-submersible or sit and enjoy the view of the spectacular coral.

Another great day out is the Kuranda scenic rail, Skyrail and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Stunning scenery from an original steam train – time in Kuranda to visit Kuranda Koala Gardens (who doesn’t want their picture taken holding a cuddly koala?) and then the return journey is on the Skytrain Gondola across the rainforest. At Tjapukai you can learn about the culture of the Aborigines, try your hand at spear and boomerang throwing – not as easy as it looks, and of course, spend time in the gift shop.

Uluru – previously named  Ayers Rock, is the huge red rock you see in all the pictures of Australia, and is a sacred site to an indigenous Aboriginal tribe. Rising up from the desert floor in the Northern Territory, it is millions of years old, over 2,800 feet high, and is part of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to view this sandstone monolith and nothing can beat a ballooning experience over the area. The field of light experience under the stars, is a wonderful pattern of glass globes lighting up the night sky, and this is currently extended until March 2018.

Australia is almost the same size as the USA so it is worth two or three trips to uncover this vast and diverse country. Each region has its own climate so there is no right or wrong time of year to visit.

I am a Certified Australia Specialist and would be happy to assist you with planning your dream vacation DownUnder.  Please either email me directly at Pauline@skylandworldtravel.com or fill in the comment form below.