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Trip Interruption Insurance..most important!

 

You’re sitting in the travel agency and you plan this amazing trip, costing you a lot of money (or not) and your travel agent wants more money from you by asking “Do you want Travel Insurance”?  At this point most people say they have it on their credit card or through work.  BUt be warned, the credit cards may not offer what you need.  Most don’t carry cancellation and most importantly TRIP INTERRUPTION insurance.

After taking some extensive training on insurance, and recently on Trip cancellation and interruption I felt I had to share the Trip Interruption benefits with you.

Did you know:

  • trip cancellation only covers you BEFORE you leave on your vacation
  • trip interruption coverage kicks in the minute you open your door to head to the airport.
  • trip interruption covers what might stop you from going on your trip, getting to your destination, while at destination and on the way home
  • Before you get to the flight – things like missing your flight because of a flat tire, traffic, being held up in security or customs, flight cancellation, flight delay and the list goes on
  • When you get to destination – emergency at home and you have to leave, business conference is cancelled when you get there and that’s why you went, you or your travel companions passport or travel visa is stolen and you have to wait at destination until documents can be replaced, a death in the family, and the list goes on
  • on your way home – flight delay due to weather or mechanical issue or just because, etc.

What if you’re on a trip and you fall and break your leg?  Health insurance kicks in for the medical issue, but you miss the rest of your tour.  Trip interruption will pay for the remaining part of the tour and a flight.

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Trip interruption is there for you when the unthinkable happens.  Coverage kicks in as soon as something happens that interrupts your vacation.  You may not think this coverage is used very often, but realistically it’s used more than cancellation insurance.

All travel insurance is a necessity.  Most people are very aware they require health insurance because of the expense in another country to be in a hospital, but Cancellation and Trip interruption cover your investment in your trip.  Think about it before you go

spa

What is a Wellness Vacation

WELLNESS VACATION..WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Wellness Vacations come in many forms. It just depends on what you as an individual are looking for.  Some people may look at a Spa with several Spa Treatments and time at the beach as a wellness vacation.  others might want to incorporate yoga, spa and exercise programs.  Its definitely an individual preference.

There are many companies selling Wellness Vacations, so I did some checking into what they are saying are “Must Haves” for a wellness vacation.

Massages:  32 % of people polled in a survey said that Massages were their number one must have. In fact they wanted SEVERAL massages.  And I have to agree, there is nothing better than a good massage.

Culinary – 28% of people surveyed  said that a Must Have was great cuisine. They wanted healthy food, vegan food, nutrition advice, cooking classes and fine dining. And again I have to agree, I love my food!

Physical Activities: 24% of the people surveyed wanted exercise classes, walks, water activities, hiking, access to a physical trainer and yoga.

Nature:  23% wanted a beautiful location, fresh air, great views, beach, warm weather and hot springs.
Rest and Relaxation:  18% responded that they want downtime. They want to decompress and de-stree with total time out.

Peace and Quiet:  12% required a relaxed atmosphere, serenity, peaceful enviroment and quiet time away from everything.

So, whats on your “Must Have” list if you were going on a Wellness Vacation?  I know myself I would pretty much go with exactly what is listed and mostly in that order.  I would only add one thing, and that would be my best girlfriends to have some laughter as well!

From a really great website www.traveltowellness.com I have included this article.

TIPS ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT SPA
OR WELLNESS VACATION

When you’re looking to find a spa, finding the right spa really depends on what YOU are looking for and what YOU will feel comfortable and happy with.
Ask yourself these questions:

What is my most important objective in planning a spa or wellness holiday?
a) pampering b)bonding c)stress management d) kick start a healthier lifestyle
What kind of accommodations am I looking for?
a) an intimate country inn b) a city hotel c) a family resort d) a luxury golf resort

• What kind of food do I want?
a) international gourmet b) basic and nutritious c) lighter spa cuisine d) vegetarian

In addition to spa treatments what do I want to do during the day?
a) lounge by the pool b) physical and recreational activities c) take part in educational programs d) shopping or sightseeing

• How do I want to spend the evenings?
a) read and relax b) take part in educational workshops c) enjoy live in-house entertainment d) take in local theatre/nightclubs
• If I’m travelling with a partner, a family member, friends, what are their main interests?
a) relaxation and renewal b) recreational facilities and physical activities c) off-site shopping or sightseeing d) socializing and nightlife
• How much do I want to spend?
Budget will determine how far you travel from home, how long you stay and the type of accommodations you choose. Remember even if you can’t afford to stay at a resort spa, you can stay at a nearby hotel that is less expensive, then book spa facilities as a day guest.

The answers to your questions will help you determine your needs and objectives, and help you find a spa that’s right for you. Do keep in mind, however, that due to the continuing popularity of spas and wellness programs, facilities can book up quickly, so reserve treatments at the same time as you make a hotel booking. Other questions to keep in mind:

What is there to do other than spa?
• Is the restaurant licensed? Or, is it BYOB and if yes, is there a corkage fee for opening wine with dinner?
• What else should I bring?
• Do the rooms have TVs and telephones?
• What about Internet access?
• What else is there to do in the immediate area?
• How far is the inn/resort/hotel from the nearest town/city/airport?.

So keep all this in mind when dreaming of a Wellness Vacation!  Now…Relax!

The travellers

Travel to make those memories happen!

I’m writing this blog today to remind people that you need to make memories…create them as much as you can, because pictures are great, but they don’t even begin to tell the story that a memory will…

Recently my husband Lorne, my son Josh, and myself took my parents to Toronto.  To give you a little history, my dad has MS and has had it for 10 years.  He’s fortunate that it’s not very progressive and he isn’t in any pain.  They used to love to travel and now they feel it’s too hard because he can’t get around very well.  He’s either in a wheelchair or using a walker.

Now my son used to plan baseball, right through College.  His grandma and grandpa were at every game they could possible get to and loved every minute of it.  And now that my dad is basically in a wheelchair he sits in front of the TV all day during baseball season and watches the ball games…its his life.

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Josh (my son) has been asking his grandpa to let him take him to a live game in Toronto to watch his favorite team, the Toronto Blue Jays.  He always said No because it would be to hard for him to get around.  I’m a travel agent and have endless suppliers that I can work with to make sure the trip is seamless for him to go, but he kept saying No.  UNTIL this last month… I decided to lay it on the line (and give him a guilt trip about his grandson wanting to take him), and he finally said YES!!  We were in shock, but by the next day I had booked the Flights, front row with wheel chair assistance, the hotel connected to the Blue Jays Stadium, and Handicap transfer from the airport.  We took his wheelchair and walker and also arranged for a wheelchair for my mom so that she wouldn’t have to walk that much.  And Blue Jays tickets on the first level.

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Shopping for gear to wear to the game!

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Home run by favorite player – Baptista

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Waiting for the game to start

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Happy to be at a live game! Favorite Players – Buerhle, Price and Donaldson

It went so amazing.  The 2 extras for my dad was that they were playing the New York Yankees (his least favorite team) and we got a picture of him and my son with Russell Martin’s dad (the catcher on the team).

Another dream..touching the Stanley cup!

Another dream..touching the Stanley cup!

So my advice out to everyone is DO IT!  Travel somewhere..do something to make memories with family and friends.  obstacles can be overcome if you truly want them to.  This trip will be forever in our memories..seeing my dad and mom enjoy themselves so much! Thanks to WestJet for their amazing help with the flights, Dignity Transportation Company, Toronto Blue Jays staff, the Renaissance Toronto Downtown.

And 3 days after we returned he said that he wanted to look into doing an Alaskan Cruise!  Something they both have wanted to do all their lives!

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Traveling..where to go next

P1060622A traditional night in the desert having Dinner

Last year my husband Lorne and I were fortunate to travel extensively. We started January off with Dubai..what an amazing country and it really surprised me how safe I really felt there.  We checked out all the “must see and do’s” with my favorite being the Burj al Arab Hotel. This sail ship shaped Hotel is stunning inside and out.burj

Following Dubai we also visited Fiji. This was my second time in Fiji, but Lorne’s first.  The people in Fiji are amazing. Most exciting experience there was the Zip Lining.  The climb to the top almost did me in, but it was worth it to see the view and experience flying through the trees!

New Zealand, was my next get away with my daughter.  We went on a 9 day Familiarization trip with one of our suppliers, and I absolutely loved it.  I’m definitely going back to New Zealand and more specifically Queenstown!  Queenstown reminds me of Banff, a small mountain town in my home province of Alberta.  Lots to see and do and walking the Boardwalk area was so beautiful!

We then had a few months getting back to normal, and camping.  One of our passions!  Getting away from phones, TV, social media is a great down time activity for us! 

Next, my Ladies Travel Group headed to New Orleans!  This group is so much fun.  We have travelled 2 times to New York, and once to San Francisco, and we always have a great deal of fun, and the group just keeps growing!  New Orleans is a great place to celebrate music in the streets, friendly people and shopping!lori 

My final trip of the year was Peru, with one of my suppliers.  I have to be honest and say that I haven’t ever had any inclination to go to Peru. Sure I had heard of Machu Picchu, and how wonderful it is to climb it, but I always thought that was out of my reach anyway, so why go to Peru!  Let me tell you…Peru is amazing, so much to see and experience and I did climb to the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu!  What an exhilarating experience! The other amazing part was visiting a local village and having lunch with a family and giving gifts to the village children!                        And of course now I want to go back!!laurie539

Now the only problem with doing that much traveling in one year, is that the next year is going to be boring!  I sat down with my old passport (the old one expired this spring) and looked at all the amazing places I have had stamped in it…And now I have to start over!  Going to be fun trying to top that passport as I had stamps from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, New Zealand, Fiji, Bahamas, Turk n Caicos, Cuba, Mexico, Dubai, Peru, and so many places in the United States.

Hmmm…where to next!

 

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Destination Weddings can happen anywhere!

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Destination Weddings are my passion…

Planning a Destination Wedding can be a stressful event, although there are a lot of elements you don’t have to worry about compared to the home town wedding!  I have done several Destination Weddings and for sure each one is different.  Chad and Lindsay’s wedding was in beautiful Los Cabos at the Dreams Resort.

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They had approximately 130 people attend their wedding…so needless to say it required a lot of planning! Thankfully we had a great Wedding Co-ordinator on site and Lindsay was easy to work with.

Taylor and Faron, go married in Las Vegas…with Elvis marrying them!

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Jay and Amy also got married in Las Vegas.wed8And one of the more unique weddings we have helped plan was Shaun and Julie’s at the Demolition Derby here in Vulcan, Alberta.  This was my son’s wedding, and yes it was a local wedding, but we want to show you that you can do just about anything for a destination wedding!  He’s participated in Demolition Derby’s for many years and Julie loves them as well…so why not do a Demolition wedding with all his friends participating!  And yes he even had a wedding car in the Demolition Derby!

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We have done Destination weddings at countless Destinations…and each one is unique and fun in their own way.

I would love to know where you’re planning to get married at and how Unique is your wedding going to be!

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Air Travel Myths…True or False

I came across an article on the Consumer Traveler magazine and had to share some of it with you. 

There are so much news out there telling us what we have to be careful with in terms of germs etc.  Its hard to keep track of it all!  All I know if that we were a lot healthier 30 years ago than we are now!  And a lot of the issues with traveling are germ issues.  So here is some of the Air Travel Myths and whats true and whats false.

Is the recirculated air in airplane cabins full of germs? FALSE!  That air is circulated through Hospital quality filers getting rid of 95% of the bad stuff.

Seat pockets and tray tables are cleaned regularly?  FALSE  They clean out the trash from the seat pockets and floor whenever possible, but it’s not done thoroughly. Be aware that a lot of disgusting things are put in those seat pockets (nail clippings, soiled diapers, dirty Kleenex etc), so don’t put any of your belongings in there. And clean the Table Tray with a disinfecting cloth. Apparently 60 per cent of the airlines tested positive for the MRSA superbug!    Oh, and those blankets that you get on long haul flights..they don’t get cleaned every time. They simply fold them up and put them back in bags!

Will any kind of Hole in the aircraft eventually tear the plane apart? FALSE  Example: a six-foot hole opened in the roof of an airplane while at 34,400 feet.  Decompression was rapid, but the plane made an emergency landing and no one was sucked out of the plane.

Wearing a seat belt on the plane hurts your chances of surviving a plane crash?  FALSE  It’s true it may slow you down a bit if you are trying to escape the crashed plane, but it does stop you from being sent spiralling through the plane before it crashes!

So there are some things to think about!  Now don’t you feel so much better about getting on a plane!  Have a fantastic week!

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Travel Insurance..the ongoing Dilemma

In my 20+ years of experience being a Travel Agent I am still baffled as to why people feel they don`t need Travel Insurance.  Come on people…not everyone is rich enough to pay a huge medical bill if while on holidays something happens.  And just because you are healthy doesn`t mean you might not get hit by a car, or fall down at a resort and break your leg!travel3

So I shake my head and start the process of telling them how very important it is to at least buy Health Insurance.  Cancellation is a whole other process to convince people to get.travel2

There are 3 plans that you can look at buying when purchasing Insurance for travel.  The Deluxe Plan, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption and Health insurance.

Ideally the Deluxe plan is by far the best.  It covers you for Health, Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Air Accident, and Baggage.  Some insurance companies also cover Cancel for any reason.

The Cancellation/Trip Interruption plan will cover you for cancelling before you go on a trip, and if you are on your trip the trip interruption will cover you should something happen while on holidays and you have expenses like a first class ticket home because you need that, hotel and transportation expenses while down there.  When I am talking to people about the Cancellation I ask them one direct questions.  “Can you afford to lose all the money you put out for this vacation if you have to cancel”  Simple.  It’s a personal opinion on cancellation as a lot of people feel it’s a waste of money.  Well people, it’s a waste of money if you don’t have to cancel!travel1

Health Insurance Plan – This covers health issues while on holidays.  If you get ill while on holidays, it will be covered as long as it’s not a pre-existing condition.  If you are pregnant, and something happens pertaining to your pregnancy, it could be considered a pre-existing condition.  Just one example.

Examples of claims I have had – A young man went to a wedding in the Dominican.  He jumped into a pool and broken his leg VERY bad.  He had always told me he didn’t require travel insurance.  Lucky for him his dad was going on  he same trip and paid for his insurance to make sure he was covered.  Lucky his Dad had some sense.

Another example – a lady went on a cruise to Alaska.  She slipped on the deck and broke her hip.  Luckily she had insurance.

And just a little note regarding drinking alcohol or doing drugs on holidays.  Your travel insurance will NOT cover you if you are drunk or High.  Please remember that!

I will never stop stressing how important Travel Insurance is.  Please keep that in mind when you go to book a Vacation.

Be Safe!

DIY Travel Packing Solutions

When it comes to finding the best of anything, Pinterest is your friend!

I went looking for great ideas to pack necessities for travel in a more compact way.   Anyone that knows me knows that…I ALWAYS have the Heavy sticker put on my bags, on the way TO my destination!  And just a note on that..I don’t expect anyone to carry my luggage.  Even though I would like to be able to travel lighter, I don’t think its possible unless I go down to a size 2 in everything , because then everything is smaller even my 5 pairs of shoes I have to take!

But I do go on short excursions where I could definitely pack lighter and it be realistic.  So here are just a few of my finds on Pinterest to help you pack lighter.

1.  Use empty Chapstick containers to hold emergency cashchapstick

2.  Old Sunglass cases are great to store chargers  Glasses case

3.  A Potholder makes a great Heat safe case for hair tools curl iron

4.  Put toothpaste in a little larger container than the small travel sizetooth passte

5.  Use a contact lenses case for your face creams contact case

6.  Use glad press & seal for individual necklaces glad press

7.  Use a shower cap to cover shoes in your suitcase shoes

8.  Use an empty Tic Tac Case for Bobbi Pins  bobby pins

I am definitely going to use some of these ideas for my travels where I don’t need a lot of creams, etc.  Do you have any great ideas to share with us?

We all want to make those Airline Attendants happy with our luggage!  Have a great Day!!

Are you Single? Check out Single Cruises

Are you a single person looking to meet people and possible, if your lucky, find your Sole Mate?

SinglesCruise is a cruise dedicated to singles looking at meeting other singles. Here’s some of the great benefits to these cruises:

– Every Group is hosted and has a comprehensive schedule of activities and events.
– They offer Roommate matching and guarantee their double occupancy based price even if they can’t find a roommate for you.
– Men/woman ratio is usually 50/50
– Age eligibility is 21 and above and the majority of people are somewhere between 35 – 55 years old. There will be some younger than 35 as well as over 55, but don’t let      those statistics stop you!
– They do offer several unique age specific cruises as well.
– Cocktail parties are included and amount depends on the length of cruise. Example a 7-12 night cruise has 3 cocktail parties.
– There are Theme nights on each sailing. They encourage everyone to dress for the theme but it’s not mandatory. Some of the Theme nights are Mardi Gras, Angels and    Demons, Hawaiian night, Crazy T-Shirt and Black and White Night.

With lots of activities planned for you and the chance to meet other singles in your age group, seems like a great idea to join on of these cruises!
Vulcan Vacations does sell these cruises, so if you are interested please give us a call or e-mail!2013 singles cruise