Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Travel Tip: Find the Line to Avoid Food Poisoning

One thing that holds people back when traveling is a fear of food poisoning. Anthony Bourdain offers the best advice on this subject: Find the Line.

If a vendor or restaurant has a long line, you can reasonably assume the food is turning over quickly so it is fresh. A local business won't have a long line if it is regularly poisoning people.

Once you find the right restaurant, order what everyone else seems to be ordering. Don't order fish at a place known for beef.

Many people label a reaction to the local water "food poisoning". 

If you are concerned about getting sick from the water, stick to cooked foods and bottled beverages. You can also build up your stomach by taking probiotics or eating yogurt with live cultures for at least 2 weeks before departure.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Disney News:Goodbye to Osborne Light, New Wilderness and Culinary Tours

This season is the last year for the Osborne Family Spectacular of Dancing Lights as that area will be transformed into the new Toy Story and Star Wars lands. I will dearly miss those lights as they always put me in the holiday spirit.
To celebrate the last year, Disney is offering two special events: Merry and Bright Dessert Party and a dinner reception. The dessert party includes holiday-themed desserts.  The dinner reception features a selection of small bites, including beef, shrimp, and turkey, as well as wine, beer, and specialty beverages. Reservations for both the Merry & Bright Dessert Party and Dinner Reception will be available beginning Sept. 16, 2015.

In happier news, Disney announced two new tours:
Photo Courtesy of Disney Destinations 

Walt's Wilderness  - You board a boat at the Contemporary to explore Bay Lake including a beach breakfast. Then you take a horse drawn carriage and short hike to a site in the wilderness to practice your archery. You end at the horse stables.

Photo courtesy of Disney Destinations

Go behind the scenes in the Contemporary's kitchens for a culinary cooking class. Join Disney World chefs and prepare a meal together.

Photo courtesy of Disney Destinations 

Ferrytale Wishes - a fireworks dessert cruise. Over the last couple years, Disney has started offering dessert parties in the Magic Kingdom in special viewing areas to watch the fireworks. Now they are taking that party to water. You board an hour before the fireworks and then enjoy a variety of desserts, a fruit and cheese display and ice cream novelties. Guests will also receive a souvenir acrylic palette plate and glow glass once onboard.

For more information about using my FREE vacation planning services to plan you Disney vacation, email

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Girls' and Guys' Getaways Ideas

I love planning girls' and guys' getaways! 

Here's some great ideas for your next fun trip with friends. 

Chic Royalton in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic offers a "Just a Little Bit Naughty Girls Getaway Package" you can add on to your stay at the great resort. This package includes a pole dancing class and a martini tasting.  The "It's a Guy's' World" package includes VIP treatment at a sports bar, a surf lesson, golf and a discount on ziplining.  

The resort also offers a mansion you can rent out for your group. It's an 11,500 square-foot private home with 6 luxurious guestrooms with private bathrooms, a private pool and Jacuzzi, BBQ, pool table, comfortable lounge with a fully-stocked premium bar, 24-hour butler service, a private pool cabana with VIP attendant, and an exclusive dining experience with a personal chef at the Mansion. 

Acoya Hotel Suites and Villas in Willemstaed, Curacao offers a No Boys Allowed Island Getaway. You'll get a 2 bedrooms suite for four plus extras like a massage, wine tasting, and lunch. This resort is a great option for a group that loves the pool as the resort is not located on a beach. 

Spring Training in Arizona or Florida - For those guys and ladies who love baseball - a trip to Florida or Arizona in March for MLB Spring Training over a long weekend is a great option. In Florida, you can combine a beach vacation with baseball. Arizona offers great hiking and landscapes. 

Other Girls'  or Guys' Trips I've planned:
Long weekend at Dreams Puerto Adventuras in Cancun, Mexico 
3 Night Bahamas Cruise and a 4 Night Mexico Cruise 
Las Vegas Weekend 

Coordinating group travel is one of my specialties. I can help you create consensus and then I'm available to answer everyone's questions so all you have to do is send out the email or schedule a conference call. Contact me

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ideas for Traveling Solo

Traveling Solo is an amazing way to explore the world. Today's solo travelers has several options for creating a fantastic vacation: 

1. A Custom itinerary - I work with clients to develop a great custom itinerary that combines solo travel with opportunities for interaction through cooking classes, dance classes, and tours. 

2. Group Tours - Tour groups like Never Travel Solo and Monograms offer roommate matching or reasonable single occupancy upgrades so you can see the world with fellow solo travelers. 

3. Singles Cruises - Now it may sound like a dating game, but the singles cruises that target an older demographic are a good mix of people who looking for love and people looking for friendship. 

Cruise lines also sometimes reduce the single supplement price on select sailings. Newer ships are coming out with studio cabins especially for the solo traveler. Don't let traveling solo hold you back from seeing the world. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to Reserve a Fast Pass+ at Walt Disney World

One of the changes in recent years at Disney World is the Fast Pass+ system. In this video - I take you step by step through the process of reserving a FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. 

If you have questions or want my expert help planning your Disney vacation - please email me at

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: Niagara Falls

Kim was looking for a long weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. We found a great package at the Marriott Falls view. Here's what Kim said when she returned: 

Thank you for all of your help in putting together this trip and answering ALL of my questions.  

The hotel was beautiful.  It had a great view and the staff was very helpful.   They had a tour desk in the lobby that made planning that much easier.   
At the Falls the behind the falls tour was incredible;  I wasn't sure if it would be worth it but it was I think maybe even better than the Hornblower boat tour! 

The weather was great for most of the trip but the day it rained we were able to book a wine tour with Magnificent Tours.  The tour guide, Sean, was wonderful, easy going and informative.  And the group of people we were with made the tour even more memorable.

On the way back Monday we stopped on the American side of the falls and wandered for a while before heading to the airport.   The rental car folks were very accommodating and made sure the shuttle got us to the flight with plenty of time.   Unfortunately, they flight Monday night was cancelled. I am VERY glad I signed up for the United Text alerts as that is how I initially found out about the cancellation.   United rebooked us for a flight early on Tuesday and were able to put us up in a local hotel for the evening.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Dreams VillaMagna Vallarta

Laura and her family were looking for a fun place to get away in Mexico. We settled on Dreams VillaMagna Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico because its kids' program, great price point, and beautiful campus. Here's what Laura said when she returned: 

Okay, Angie, all I have to say is BEST TRIP EVER!!!!!!!  Thanks so much!  The plane and transfers were great and we could not have asked for a better resort.  The people were amazing and made you feel welcome, special and at home.  I thought we were getting a tropical room but they ended up giving us partial ocean.  We had a jacuzzi on the balcony that we put cold water in and used a couple of times.  The pools are magnificent--especially the infinity one!  Julia (the 3 year old)  preferred the "Big Girl Standing Julia Pool"  for reasons you might guess.  The entertainment was unbelievable as well.  Likewise, the food was healthy and fabulous!  I would recommend this to anyone.  It was a fabulous value for the money! The only complaint was the sun.  Probably a bad time of the year to choose to go, but that is nobody's fault!  I am going to attach some pix for you.

Explorer's club was wonderful.  We only used it for a couple of hours, but the kids had fun.  They printed a schedule of activities each day which also included the kids club activities.  The kids chose to do a spa hour and pinata breaking.

Fernando, one of the bell boys pictured below did a great Donald Duck imitation for the girls--almost daily.  Other activity directors helped us learn jewelry, making crafts, etc.

We took a side trip to Las Caletas and swam with the seals, held monkeys, snorkeled, etc.  Great place.