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3 Packing Tips When Visiting France

“Bonjour, Monsieur! Bonsoir, Mademoiselle!” Brushing up on your French, eh? Yeah, we can relate. Back during our first visits to France, you could always find a small, French-learning book or two in our bags or pockets.

Because we’re a travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina means that we pretty much know everything about travel and knowing what will make your trip to France a whole lot more fun is part of that.

This blog is going to talk about PACKING.

 

  • Tip No. 1: Pack a Light Load

We know, we know. It’s tempting to stuff your bag full of stuff you think you might need but, in the end, all the weight and excess items just make the bags heavy and a terrible discomfort to lug around.

And because France is a haven for stairs and walkways, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Pack smart, okay?

 

  • Tip No. 2: Pack for Unpredictable Weather

Yeah, mother nature is to blame for this one. The weather in France can be quite unpredictable.

You could wake up, look at the sky and breathe in the fresh air blowing under a bright sun. Go to sleep and booming rain clouds could be what wake you up the next day.

Despite all this, we still advise you to go over weather prediction reports just to have an idea of what the sky might be like.

More importantly, though, pack clothes and items that cater to this odd weather and the season you plan to visit France in.

An umbrella is always necessary, of course. But if you plan to visit during summer, pack some light and breathable clothes. For spring, light sweaters are a smart choice. Leather works great in Autumn.

 

  • Tip No. 3: The Perfect Bag

This one is up to you but there are two contenders: a backpack or rolling suitcase. The former makes it easier to move around and take your possessions up flights of stairs, but the latter permits you to arrange your clothes neatly without risk of them being squeezed-a backpack doesn’t give you this luxury.

So, it ultimately comes down to what you want: a bag you can easily carry around or a bag that keeps your clothes in the best possible condition, among other things. Make a choice based on the activities you plan to engage in while in France.

 

Well, that’s the last of our packing for your trip to France tips for today. If you’re ready to start talking about your vacation to France, please give us a call.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, SC, we’re here to plan it all for you so that all you have to do is pack.

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3 Iconic Must Eats While in Italy

Would you believe it if we told you Italy has a treasure trove of foods as iconic as the pizza which is so synonymous with it? Matter of fact, pizza isn’t even close to being tastiest of the lot. We should know because we’ve tried them all.

Lifetime Travel may be based in Greenville, SC, but we’ve set our feet in every corner of the globe.  We take the experience and knowledge we’ve gathered in our travels and share it with you, and this is what we have to say: honestly, it matters little how many times you’ve traveled to Italy because as long as you’re yet to have a bite of its edible wonders, you haven’t really been to Italy.

Today, you find out about some amazing and iconic Italian grub you may have been missing out on. Be warned though: you’re liable to get hungry while reading this.

 

  • Pizza

Of course, this is going to be at the top of the list. It might very well be Italy’s mascot now. What makes pizza so great is because it’s cheap and easy to make, but it’s still oh-so-satisfying.

In Italy, you have two main types of awaiting your eager teeth: The Roman-style and Neopolitan-style pizza. The former is thick and fluffy (just the way we like ‘em) and the latter is lighter but larger. You can’t go wrong with ether choice though.

 

  • Pasta

Yes, pasta is the second-runner up, but putting in first place won’t be amiss. The biggest advantage it has over pizza is variety. Different places in Italy serve different types of pasta, so there’s something new to try wherever you take a trip to.

For instance, Rome is famous for the alla carbonara, made with Pecorino cheese, black pepper, eggs, and guanciale. We don’t even know what some of those ingredients are but does it really matter? Nope. That pasta is heaven on the tongue, and that’s all that matters.

 

  • Fiorentina Steak

What’s a food list without some good ol’ juicy steak? Tuscany has maintained exclusive bragging rights as the only place in Italy to serve the best Florentina Steak.

This is not just your average steak, no. Also known as the bistecca fiorentina, the massive slab of T-bone steak is sourced, prepared and cooked in the most specific of ways, so you know much care and attention was invested in making it as scrumptious as possible.

All the effort paid off because it’s arguable if you can find a steak that tastes so good anywhere else in Italy. The next time you travel there, make sure you stop by Tuscany. You’ll thank us you did.

This isn’t even barely scratching the surface though. To really appreciate the delicacies Italy prepares, you have to go there and try them all yourself. That beats anything you can ever read. Bon appétit! (we know that’s not Italian but it still fits, so yeah).  If you need help booking that iconic trip to Italy, please give us a call.  We’re a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina and here to make your trip everything you hope it will be.

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What You Should Do If You Leave Something on an Airplane

We meet with hundreds of travelers a year leaving Greenville, South Carolina.  Some common issues that arise are easily fixed when you have the knowledge to do so.  One of those things is what to do if you leave something of value on the airplane.  As your full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we want to help.

Here’s a blog article that will give some practical guidance on what to do if this happens to you:

  • After you leave the airport – Most of the time it’s not until after you leave the airport that you realize that you don’t have your iPhone. Thank goodness that you’re a smart traveler and downloaded a tracking app on it so that you can see it’s still in the pocket of the seat on the airplane.  What should you do?  Call the airline.  They will direct you to their online help desk where you can file a claim and if someone finds it then they’ll get it returned to you.

 

  • Before you leave the airport – If you’re still behind the security gates when you realize that you’ve left it, quickly beeline back to the gate. More than likely the airplane cleaning crew has found it and turned it into the gate attendants.  If you didn’t realize that you left it until you’ve already gone through the security gate then you’ll need to head on over to the carriers baggage department customer service desk and let them know which flight you were on and what seat you were sitting in.  That way they can call up to the gate and have them check for it.

Leaving something on the airplane can be a very stressful situation..especially if it’s something as important as your iPhone.  As your travel agency of choice, we’re here to help.  We want to ensure that you have the best experience possible and whether it’s getting you the customer service phone numbers or calling them ourselves, we’re here for you.

Why not leave your cares and troubles in our hands and let us book your vacation in the first place?  We’re ready to ensure that your trip is as stress free as possible.

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7 Travel Essentials You Should Always Bring With You

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we are constantly giving advice to our clients on what to pack, the best time of year to travel and how to ensure it’s exactly what they want.  Part of that advice is to not leave comfort and convenience behind.  Although picking the perfect destination for your first trip is important, knowing the right items that will give you maximum comfort while gone is as well.

Here is a list of some items that will come in handy while you’re away from home on vacation:

 

  1. Portable Carry-On Suitcase

A carry on suitcase is one of the most important items to take with you. You should pack all of the following items that I’m going to talk about in your carry-on.  That way if your checked bags are delayed or get lost, you have the essentials to get you by until your other bags arrive.

 

  1. Cash

To avoid conversion and ATM charges, it is important to take a certain amount of the currency of the country you are traveling to. Holding cash while traveling is not just important; it is absolutely necessary because when you travel, you are in unfamiliar territory. And holding cash can be a life saver when other payment methods are not available.

 

  1. Medications

It is a good idea to carry legal and prescribed medicine like pain killers, inhalers, multi-vitamins, antibacterial creams, bandages, etc.  Just in case they are not available in the country you intend to visit, you already have them with you.

 

  1. Selected Clothing

Select clothes that can accommodate the weather of the country you’re heading to. Silks, hats and shades are suggested for sunny areas to prevent heat and eye-damaging sun rays while jackets, sweatshirts, socks and gloves are necessary for much cooler places. Corporate clothes should also be packed for formal events and casual clothes for vacations. Towels should also be considered as they are a dependable option for quick clean ups.

 

  1. Power Strip and Electric Chargers

Most of the gadgets we carry are powered by batteries, hence preserving your devices battery during any trip is important. Batteries don’t last forever, of course, which is why chargers are just as important. So, to avoid having devices like cell phones, cameras and laptops run out of battery power, ensure your chargers are also tucked into your carry-on bag.

 

  1. Documentations

For business and formal event trips, documents should be neatly packed and organized. They are to be kept in a safe corner of your traveling bag. We recommend an office file or portfolio for safekeeping.

 

  1. Toiletries

For better comfort, a light pack of toiletries should be taken as well. While usual toiletries (such as tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorants, hair combs and brushes) are a no brainer, others such as make-up kits, face wipes, shampoo and body creams should not be overlooked and are just as important.

 

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we’re here to not only prepare you for international and domestic travel but also get you there so that your vacation is fun, relaxing and memorable.  Please give us a call and let’s talk about your upcoming getaways.

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4 Things You Should Do While Visiting Italy

Vacationers head to Italy for a number of reasons. Couples might want to experience firsthand whether it’s true the canals of Venice are as romantic as we have all been led to believe, and history buffs travel there to walk beneath the mighty coliseum.  But what about you? What do you seek to do in Italy?

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we have 4 things we recommend you do while visiting Italy:

 

  • Go on a Tour Around the Coliseum

This is perhaps the most popular attraction in Rome, Italy. Your professional guide will tell you about the history of this massive structure via headsets-in case you’re unable to properly hear amidst all the noise and commotion.

You will learn about the harsh and brutal lives of gladiators (at this point, we’re sure many of you will be imagining what it’s like to be a gladiator swinging a sword as a crowd cheers you on. Too much Hollywood does that to the mind).

This coliseum has the largest amphitheater ever erected by the Roman Empire, and that is definitely not something that should pass you by. The coliseum is an imposing place but that’s a good thing. The overwhelming feeling it exerts on you simply makes the experience even better.

 

  • Sweet Wine Tasting

To many people of the world-us included, fine wine and Italy are synonymous with each other. In Italy, there is a wine estate called Chianti. The place is grand, that much has to be said; but the wine cellars are its main attraction.

Here you will learn about the numerous processes involved in wine production and be fortunate enough to taste some too. The wine tasting will be complemented by samples of salami and cold meat in perfect slices. Reading this is already making your mouth water, isn’t it?

 

  • A Tour of the Vatican Museums

How often does this happen? How often do you get to say you’ve been in one of the holiest sites in the world? Disregard how beautiful the museums are, you also get to see and learn about the lesser-known parts and history of the Vatican City. Here the uncensored history of the place will be revealed to you, highlighting the dirty politics of all these creations of the Renaissance period.

A few of the many galleries you will visit are the Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of the Maps and the Tapestry Gallery. So if learning about history doesn’t catch your fancy, these ancient yet wonderful works of art will.

 

  • Go On a Fun Road Trip Around Amalfi Coast

The best time to begin this trip is in the early hours of the morning, because it’s going to be a long trip-at least 9 hours or so.

Your road trip will have you driving from Sorrento to Positano to Amalfi. In Positano, you will stop for 2 hours. Use that time to explore the town and maybe enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. Acquaint yourself with the locals too, if you can. They are always friendly and willing to talk.

The drive continues to Ravello with an hour-long pit stop before you begin the journey back. Have in mind that throughout this trip, you will see more of a culture you never have before. Believe us when we say it’s far more than your average road trip. This is not something to miss.

If you’re ready to go then give us a call.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina we’re here to get you booked on all of the excursions plus getting you there, booking you an exciting place to stay and any tours that you’re interested in.  Not sure which ones to choose?  We can help you.

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3 Things NOT To Do While Visiting France

Everyone writes about things to do while in France but there are a few things NOT to do as well.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, you may wonder why we’re choosing to talk about France?  Well, France is easily one of the most sought-after nations for going on vacation, and little needs to be said about why this is so. With places like the dizzying Eifel Tower in Paris and the Musée du Louvre where the infamous Mona Lisa is kept on display for the world to see; with wine-tasting going on every day at Bordeaux, you can understand why every vacationer marks France at the top of the list of countries to visit.

The country tops charts and maintains the position every year. We’re serious. France is ranked as the number one most-visited country in the entire world, and with over 82.6 million visitors annually, can you really argue with that ranking? We doubt it.

The compact size of the country also makes navigating it a treat. You can easily travel from one region to another on car rentals that won’t empty your pockets, but there are things you should be mindful of.  We’ll give you a few, good tips on what not to do. Take care you don’t do them or your vacation might turn sour.

 

  • Shy Away from Talking About Sensitive Topics

The French aren’t always very forthcoming about their religious beliefs, so you would to do well to avoid such topics. You can express yourself, of course-no one can stop you from doing that. But there’s a fine line between self-expression and insensitivity. Take care not to cross it.

 

  • Cabs Aren’t Always Your Best Option

Cabs may get you where you want to go faster but they do so at great cost (literally). Cabs in France are expensive, so better options are riding a bus or taking the metro. And you have to consider the fact cabs take away all the fun of exploring while you stroll.

Sitting in a cab with all the windows drawn up as the beautiful city passes you by is ill-advised. Take for instance Paris, which spans over 6 miles. Wouldn’t you rather walk these miles with your eyes taking in all the color and wonder the city offers?

 

  • Don’t Be a Loudmouth

This is not something peculiar to France but the people over there do take great offense at bad manners, and talking loudly in public places like restaurants or subways is considered one of the worst.

The French consider this terribly rude, offensive and distracting. Tourists often forget that just because they are on vacation, that doesn’t necessarily mean others are. The people standing beside you could be on their way to work or other more important matters, so try to maintain decorum when you’re in public.

If you’re dancing around in a club at an all-night party, however, you can be as loud as you want. By all means, carry a megaphone and run around blaring through it. No one will object.

 

Now that we’ve got those out of the way, remember that you’re in France to have a great time, not to allow rules to hold you back. It’s important you respect their laws but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your fun. Act on these simple tips and go enjoy the rest of your vacation. The Eifel Tower calls you.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we’re here to answer any travel question that you have while booking your dream trip to anywhere in the world…including France.  Why not schedule a consultation and let’s talk about your next vacation.

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How to Maximize Limited Vacation Time From Work

Making the best use of your vacation days every year can be difficult, especially since you get only a handful of days to spend. Traveling with limited vacation time can still be a delightful experience, and you can make the best out of it by using these tricks:

 

  • Prioritize

If your vacation time is as little as 10 days, does not imply that you have to discard your bucket list. It is possible to travel to Europe, South Africa or even Australia in under 14 days, provided you prioritize your must-do list…and as a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we can book it all of you.

Even though you may not be able to take the long trip through Western Europe using a train, or visit London and Paris in one vacation space, you could still pay a visit to Sydney and use the available time to dive in the reef. All you have to do is make sure you prioritize your destinations and activities according to your wants or needs.  Don’t worry!  We’ll help you.

 

  • Plan in Advance

When you plan, the chances that you will efficiently make use of the time at your disposal are much greater. You might even end up extending the number of days you set out for your vacation. All this comes from learning and execution. When you plan your vacation trip in advance, getting approval from your boss for a time-off is far more likely.

 

  • Don’t Travel Too Far

You do not necessarily have to go across oceans or seas or even millions of miles away from home for you to travel to a fun place. You can also travel and having a great time even if you’re merely miles away from your home.

There is always an interesting location around your area or vicinity that you can drive to. If you have fewer days to spend a vacation on, it is advisable you try your hand at vacationing during the weekends only. Learn about how to enjoy long trips over the weekend.  We have some suggestions.

If you add one PTO (paid-time off) day to your weekend, then you have about three days to travel. It is very possible to experience fun events within that timeframe, as short as it is. Finding out the best spots to drive to shouldn’t prove too difficult too. A simple web search should do it.

 

  • Have Love for Red Eye Flights

When trying to make the best use of the little vacation time that you have, use every minute to the fullest. It’s a simple as that.  You will have to develop a tolerance for overnight flights or even learn to love it.   Even if red eye flights aren’t your idea of a fun time, you could save so a lot of transit time by using overnight flights.

 

  • Extend Your Business Trip

If you job allows you to travel for business, then you should be able to extend your trip by one or two days and even into the weekend. Take advantage of this opportunity and explore wherever it is you will be temporarily staying in.  Life is too short to waste it on work and work alone. So make the most of the time you have.

 

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina , we’re here to give you ideas on how to utilize your vacation time the best way.  Whether that’s a quick trip with the family to Florida or 10-14 day all-inclusive getaway to the Caribbean, we’re here to give ideas and book the entire thing for you..your job is just to de-stress and enjoy yourself.  Don’t worry, we’ve got this!

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Practical Steps to Get Over a Fear of Flying

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we book international destination weddings and honeymoons and trips oversees daily.  As you know, the only way to get there from South Carolina is by plane.  One of the most notorious phobias known to man is the fear of flying. Boarding a plane only to see a fellow passenger fretting or panicking isn’t really as rare or strange a sight as you might think.

No few people suffer from this phobia but it’s very possible to beat this fear and sit through your next flight with as much confidence as the pilots flying the plane. Here are a few simple steps you could try. They have been proven to work and we didn’t just choose them randomly:

  • Know Your Triggers: Knowing and acknowledging the source of a problem is the first and most appropriate step to finding a solution to such problem. Most of our emotional actions or reactions are triggered by particular situations or factors. In your efforts to overcome flight fear, it is best to first of all identify the exact reason or reasons why you have such fear. The thing is, these reasons vary with different people.  For some, it might be memories of past experiences; for others, it might be unhealthy body sensations. There are even people who are just simply afraid of something, with no logical reason whatsoever. Nonetheless, it is advisable you try to find out what triggers your fear and whether it is peculiar to you.

 

  • Conquer Those Triggers: Once you have discovered the real reason why fear plagues you, try as much as you can to conquer it. Most times, you can do this by acquiring sufficient knowledge about the issues, disabusing your mind from every wrong information you might have harbored on it and making conscious efforts to rise above the emotions such issues evoke in you. At this stage, you can also seek the help of a professional psychologist to help you defeat these triggers.

 

  • Develop Your Confidence: After you have discovered and conquered the true reasons why you have a phobia for flights, little flickers of confidence begin to set into the mind. Try to fan these flickers to become stronger and more solid. You can do this by getting acquainted with the built-in safety features of planes, taking flying lessons, visiting the cockpit before the plane takes off, etc.

 

  • Get Logical: Fears are on most occasions, illogical. As a matter of fact, it feeds off your sensitivity. So it is a good thing to exercise logic in your fight against fear of flying. For instance, it is better to ascertain the credibility of things you hear about flights and make sure they’re indeed fact before believing them. The same applies to any other disturbing information you hear about flights. This way, you will be able to reach more logical and concise decisions when traveling by air. This is one sure way to boost your confidence when flying.

 

Remember, there is no better way to overcome your fears than to gain exposure into them. This can only be achieved when you repeat the experience time and again, regardless how terrible it could be for you. With these simple steps, we can honestly say you’re already on your way to conquering your fear of flying.

If you’re ready to try out your wings and fly (well, not literally your wings but you get what we mean) lol, and get married in Tahiti or take a river cruise somewhere exotic, then give us a call.  We’re here to answer all of your questions as well as book you the trip of a lifetime.

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4 Things You Should Never Pack in a Suitcase

As a travel agent in Greenville, South Carolina, we plan trips for passengers all over the world.  Whether you’re wanting to go on a fabulous river cruise down the Danube or have your honeymoon in Tahiti, more than likely you’ll need to fly on an airplane to your destination.  Most travelers don’t think that there shampoo may explode under pressure in their suitcase or that they’ll lose a valuable camera if they pack it..but it happens.

Here are 5 things that you should never pack in a checked bag.

 

  • Valuable Items – Never pack anything in your checked bag that has a high monetary or personal value. You should always get insurance on suitcases that you have no choice but to check so that if the items are stolen out of your bag you are covered.  Airline employees get paid minimum wage and if someone is hurting for money they may use the opportunity of a “security check” to open your bag and take your valuables.  Also, don’t pack any documentation that you’ll need once you arrive, like your hotel or car rental information.  Take out laptops, prescription medications and things like your smartphone.  When you return from a trip, don’t pack your pricey souvenirs.  If you can’t take them on the plane with you, consider sending them home via USPS or FedEx.

 

  • Anything on the TSA Prohibited List – We’ve heard of people going to visit his mother and was going to cut up some firewood for her while there. So, he put his chainsaw in a box, duct taped it well and try to check it as luggage.  An hour later, he got a call from TSA telling him that he needed to come get his chainsaw because it’s a prohibited item on the TSA checked bag list.  Therefore, check the TSA prohibited items list if you’re questioning whether your lithium batteries used in cameras are checkable items…because they’re not.  Other items people don’t think will be on the list are electronic cigarettes and matches.  If you’re questioning an item, here’s a link to check it out on the TSA prohibited items list: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/travel-checklist

 

  • Lose Liquids – So many times a traveler will arrive their destination only to find that there shampoo, lotion and conditioner has spilled all over their clothing.  Now they’re spending the first day of vacation doing laundry in a city that they more than likely don’t know.  This is an easy fix; wrap your liquids in a plastic bag and then wrap the bags with duct tape.  If you leave a little bit of air in the bags then the pressure from the plane and other items that have shifted during the flight won’t squish them and squeeze the liquids out in the first place.

 

  • Don’t Pack All of Your Clothes in Your Checked Bag – What would you do if you got to the airport at your destination only to find that your bag is lost?  No trip to the beach for you if your swimming suit was in your bag.  Or you’re flying to a business meeting and your business suit was in the lost bag?  Its extra frustration that can easily be avoided if you just carry on with you the items that you’ll need the day of travel.

 

If you have any questions as to what you should pack for your trip, please ask us.  And if you’re still looking to book your dream vacation, please schedule an appointment with us and let’s talk.  We’re a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina and have been doing it for a while.  If you have questions about a destination we more than likely have been there and can answer any of your questions as well as book your trip.  We look forward to working with you.

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4 Countries With Great U.S Dollar Exchange Rates

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we’re constantly looking for destinations that will give our clients that best experiences.  One of those experiences may be going to a place where the U.S dollar is strong and exchange rate favorable.

So, in order to get your travel bug a bitin’, we thought to list 4 countries where the U.S dollar will get you quite a bit more than other destinations..if you’re curious about that sort of thing:

 

  • Vietnam – Not only is Vietnam one of the most beautiful destinations you’ll ever see, the 2019 Backpacker Index lists Hanoi and Saigon as the top most affordable cities to travel to in 2019. We have a list of hotels that you may be interested in staying at that will put you right in the middle of things and yet get you a great exchange rate.

 

  • Peru – Peru is known for it’s award winning food, incredible archeological sites and beautiful Machu Picchu, of course.  If you’ve ever wanted to check out Peru, then this is the year to do so.  With a favorable exchange rate, we can book you in some great hotels and tours for less than you’d think.  For example, the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is a great base camp for a trip to Machu Picchu.  Then return for a great on-site spa treatment at the hotel.

 

  • Costa Rica – If white sand beaches and incredibly vibrant rainforests sound like your cup of tea, then a trip to Costa Rica is for you. Not only will you be immersed in beauty, but the exchange rate is predicted to fall 5.2 percent in 2019.  Not bad!  We have some great hotel accommodation recommendations in Costa Rica that will put you right in the center of rainforests teaming with over 100 species of wildlife, including monkeys.  Wouldn’t that be a fun experience for the kids?

 

  • Dominican Republic – This destination has a reputation for 5 star, all-inclusive resorts that are reasonably priced. The Domican Republic is a great family destination because  places like the Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa has things for every age group to enjoy.  Situated on a white sand beach, the blue water and kids clubs doesn’t come at a premier price.  Music to many parents ears when there are a bunch of kids to pay for.

 

 

Regardless of where you want to go, we’re the travel agency that can get you there.  We have several other recommendations and we’re also very good at helping you navigate the resorts, flights and tours available in every country.  Why not schedule a consultation by clicking here and let’s talk about your next adventure?