Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beaches Turks and Caicos Girlfriend Weekend

Beaches is rolling out the red carpet for you and your girlfriends to go on a 4-night best friends vacation in paradise at very special rates, filled with special activities and special goodies.
Image courtesy of Beaches

So, grab your girlfriends, kick back, relax and enjoy Caribbean-style fun at the Beaches Friends Forever (B.F.F.) Girls Getaway. This would also be a great weekend for mothers and daughters to spend quality time together. 

Enjoy these special perks on one of these great weekends:

Monday, August 26, 2013

What is included at an all-inclusive resort?

All-inclusive resorts offer tremendous value when visiting the Caribbean, but what's included? 

A typical all-inclusive resort will include: 

All meals at the resort's buffet or sit down restaurants - It's important to find out how the sit down restaurants operate. Do you need a reservation? Is there a limit to how many reservations you can make? 

Local beer and hard liquor - If you have a particular brand of beer or liquor you prefer, it's important to ask if it will be available. Many resorts source only local brands. 

Your room, taxes and fees - Depending on the type of room you choose, you may receive additional benefits. For instance, concierge, club or premium rooms could give you access to special restaurants or pools. 

Additional inclusions at some resorts: 
Wine - Not all resorts include wine. If that's important to you, be sure to clarify if it is included in your package. 

Non-motorized water sports - Kayaks, paddle boards, sailboats and snorkeling equipment may be available for use. Some resorts offer unlimited use. Others offer a set usage per day such as one hour free per day.  

Meals and visits to neighboring resorts owned by the same company - Be sure to clarify if your transportation is included or if you'll be expected to pay for a taxi.  Most resorts require reservations and have a limited schedule of when you are welcome at the other property. 

WiFi - Be sure to clarify if it is only available in the lobby or across the property. 

Introduction to Scuba Diving class 

Scuba Diving - Many Couples and Sandals resorts include daily dives for certified divers. 

Catamaran or glass bottom boat trips - Couples resorts offer excursions as part of their all-inclusive rate.

Room Service - Room service may only be available in certain types of rooms or at certain times. 

If you have any questions or want to plan an all-inclusive resort vacation of your own, post below or email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

8.22.13 Deals of the Week

Big Promotions Coming Next Week on Norwegian Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruise Lines so be sure to contact me if you are thinking about cruising on one of those lines. 

For those promotions or to book one of the deals below, contact me at tripswithangie@gmail.com 

Princess Cruise Getaways from $299 per person. 7 night Western Caribbean sailings from $499 per person and 10 day Southern Caribbean sailings from $899 per person.  

Sandals Resorts Back to School Sale – Celebrate the kids return to school by booking a romantic vacation for just the two of you! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

8.19.13 Group Travel: Considerations when renting a house

Every so often I am contacted by a potential client about renting a house for a group vacation.  While I don't facilitate property rentals, I do have some recommendations on what to consider to determine if renting a house is right for your group.

Where will you sleep?
Bed sizes and number - Many house rentals indicate how many people the home will sleep. This number can include sleeper sofas and air mattresses so it is important to find out the bed sizes, the number of beds and if sofas or air mattresses are included in the count.  f you are traveling with a group of 5 couples, rooms with bunk beds may not be the best option.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why should you book your Spring Break Vacation with me?

Here's why Rosa did:

All Rosa wanted for Spring Break was a beach that she and her two girls could enjoy. Her husband enjoys more active pursuits. She contacted me to help her find that balance. We worked to together to evaluate several options that fit her budget. I booked her at the all-inclusive Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They had a fantastic time! They received a $1,500 resort credit that the family used for spa services, a chef’s dinner and a romantic dinner on the beach.

Now is a great time to start planning Spring Break since many properties will start to fill up. Email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com to get the planning process started.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

8.14.13 Trips with Angie Deals of the Week

Three of the best ways to get great deals is book early, book late or take advantage of pre-opening sales. Here's some deals of the week: 

Last Minute Deals 
Last minute deal from CHICAGO: Depart August 31st for 7 nights at the all-inclusive Grand Palladium Vallarta for $718.39 per person. A $1,300 savings!

Last Minute Deal from INDIANAPOLIS: 5 nights at Sunscape Sabor Cozumel Resort and Spa including airfare $1,047 per person. Sunday departures. 

Last minute deal from BOSTON: 5 nights at the all inclusive Dreams La Romana Resort and Spa $1,347 per person. Wednesday departures

Monday, August 12, 2013

Traveler Review: New Orleans

Another fantastic review of New Orleans from a Trips with Angie client: 

New Orleans
InterContinental Hotel New Orleans

444 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 496-7621
The hotel was well appointed with all of the usual amenities.  The rooms were mildly dated yet well-kept and most importantly clean (with the exception of a stray ant.)  The balconies for the rooms were spacious and nearly as large as the room itself.  There is minimal privacy on the balcony so do not expect seclusion.  This hotel is in a business area slightly removed from the French Quarter.  It is within walking distance of the quarter and all of New Orleans public transportation including the street cars.  The location allows for a more subdued stay as you are not in the craziness of the Quarter.  The service was excellent and there are several food options such as Luke steps from the hotel. 

Hyatt French Quarter
800 Iberville Street,
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 70112
Were we to travel there again we would consider staying at this hotel.  Walking through the Quarter I was in need of a restroom and stumbled upon this Hyatt.  The staff was outside scrubbing the sidewalks, and was very polite as we entered the building.  The lobby was beautifully done, and the restrooms were modern and clean.  The location puts you nearly on Bourbon St. and were you to not want to venture far, this would be the place to stay. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8.8.13 Deals of the Week

Celebrity Cruise Lines 
Escape to the Caribbean and receive up to $500* to spend on board almost anyway you like—on us. With 6 stunning ships offering more than 85 sailings ranging from 4- to 14- nights from November 2013 through April 2014.
Want an even richer vacation experience? Book a Caribbean vacation that sails over
Christmas or New Years and DOUBLE your onboard credit to as much as $1,000*.

Stateroom CategoryOnboard Credit Amount
Inside & Ocean View$100*
AquaClass® & Concierge Class$300*
Plus, get an additional $50 onboard credit each for 3rd and 4th guests in your stateroom.*
If you’re a Captain’s Club member, you’ll also enjoy 50% reduced deposits.*
But hurry—time is limited to take advantage of this extraordinary offer.
Book your Caribbean escape by August 19, 2013.

Norwegian Cruise Line
The Brand New Norwegian Breakaway
December 1, 2013
7-Day Bahamas & Florida from New York
Trips with Angie Special Amenities: $50 SBC per stateroom & a bottle of wine

Princess Cruise Lines Fall Spectacular 
Save up to 55% plus get up to $100 on board credits 
Balcony Cabins on Caribbean sailings from Houston or Fort Lauderdale as low as $699 per person 

Holland America Explore 4 
- Free beverage package
- Free dinner at a specialty restuarant
- Free or reduced fares for 3rd and 4th guests 
- 50% reduced deposits 
If you are thinking about a cruise on Holland America - now is the time to book! 

International Tours 

$1899*  10 Day Greek Island Hopper with Air
3 nights each in Santorini & Mykonos plus 2 nights in ancient Athens

$1499*  8 Day Tour of Morocco Including Air
Featuring capital city of Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh & Casablanca

$1699*  8 Day Tour of Peru, Machu Picchu Including Air

Urubamba Sacred Valley, Cuzco city tour & capital city of Lima

All Inclusive Resorts

Up to $555 Air Credits at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau Bahamas 

All prices are subject to changes and subject to the terms and conditions of the offers. For the international tours - the airfare is based on flights from a gateway city. 

Please contact me at tripswithangie@gmail.com for more information. 

To get the latest information, great tips, and read client reviews please LIKE my Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why should you book your Disney Vacation with me?

Why should you book Disney with me? Here's why Nic did:

It was time for the first trip to Disney for Nic and her family. She was totally overwhelmed by all the options. She contacted me. Through two phone calls and few emails, I booked her in a great bunk bed room at the Disney Wilderness Lodge, recommended dining reservations and helped to decide which Park ticket to purchase. I am also coordinating her in-laws’ travel so she doesn't have to worry about it.

So if you are overwhelmed thinking about a trip to Disney World or Universal Studios,  or know someone who is, please send me a message. I can help.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Walt Disney World Tips - Getting out of Line

One thing I really focus on when I am guiding families around Walt Disney World is the opportunities to get out of the line. Even with the Fast Pass, the reality of Disney World is that you will spend a lot of time in line. That’s why in tips you’ll see what I call “rest” or “nap” rides. These rides like Ellen’s Energy Adventure in Epcot or Hall of President in Magic Kingdom offer a long, air conditioned respite from standing in line. 

Another way to get out of line is to take advantage of the interactive games that Disney has launched in Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. 

Magic Kingdom 

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – This is a card based game similar to Pokeman or The Gathering. You collect the cards by registering at the Fire Station to the left of the circle when you enter the Magic Kingdom.  You get a key card to activate the game at the locations throughout the Park.  You also get spell cards. These cards give you certain powers and spells to help you fight the villains. You’ll get a map to steer you to the game locations. The game works by watching a vignette on hidden screens located throughout the Park. Then you hold up your cards to defeat the villain. 

Most iterations of the game use 4-5 stations so it takes about 20 – 30 minutes depending on how many other people are playing the same game.  When you finish one iteration, it will send you off to another land to take on another villain. Magic portals are available in Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland/Liberty Square, and Fantasyland. Because this is actually a game, the experiences will vary based on the cards you use and which level of the game you are on. You may not be able to defeat the villain with the cards you have in some instances.   I like the game because the cards make fun souvenirs and the special effects at the portals are very cook. It’s really fun to see a regular store window turn into a magic portal. 

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas – You initiate this game in Adventureland near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It offers five set adventures and works more as a guided story than a game.  Check out this video to find out more:  


Agent P's Adventure - This game combines the very popular characters Phinneas and Ferb with a quest to defeat evil. You sign up at numerous kiosks throughout the World Showcase. You'll be given a cell phone and sent to one of the nations. The phone will give you clues for actions you must complete. Each adventure takes about 30 minutes and is limited to one nation. The phone triggers fun, interactive changes to displays. I don't want to tell you more because it will ruin the fun. It really is fun for all ages.

Animal Kingdom 

Wilderness Explorers - Patterned after the Wilderness Explorers from the movie Up, this interactive adventure focuses on learning more about the animals and cultures featured in the Animal Kingdom. When you sign up, you receive a booklet highlighting 32 different badges. They discourage you from trying to get all the badges in one day. Throughout the Park, stations are marked with a symbol noting which badge you can receive at that station. The Wilderness Explorer guide will teach you a little bit about the animal or culture the badge is highlighting and then give you a small challenge or question to complete. It's a great way to highlight all the animals and add an educational component to a fun day at the Animal Kingdom. 

Right now, Disney has some terrific free dining offers for this fall. Contact me at tripswithangie@gmail.com for more information. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why book with me?

Why would you book a cruise with me? Here's why Tom did: 

Tom had researched a lot of cruise options and knew exactly what one he wanted to book and even which cabin he wanted. Why didn’t he just book online himself? Because of my cruise double check service. Once a week, I double check the cabin prices on your cruise to identify potential savings or upgrade. He was able to upgrade from the 2nd deck to the 10th deck and save $130 per person. Even if you know exactly what you want, book with me so I can offer you this valuable advantage.