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Life is short. Your bucket list awaits!

There comes a time in people’s lives when they realize they shouldn’t wait to experience all that life has to offer. Quite often when that realization hits, travel to a bucket list destination is planned shortly after. I have been one of those people. I am comfortable in saying that I have been to many of my bucket list locations but I have so many more to go. There is no better time than right now to begin planning your next “Dream Vacation” with JD Travel Group and Dream Vacations. Call 203-286-7311 or click HERE to get started because life goes by way too fast.

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Jeff DeWitt, Owner of JD Travel Group Receives Cruise Industry Accreditation

(June 21, 2018) Jeff DeWitt, Owner of JD Travel Group has been designated as a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Counselor after recently completing the organization’s certification requirements. Jeff DeWitt is now recognized within the industry as a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor.

JD Travel Group is one of more than 20,000 North American travel agency members of CLIA. According to CLIA statistics, the overwhelming majority of travelers – about 70 percent – book their cruise through a travel agency and for good reason – travel agents understand the products they recommend and excel in finding the perfect cruise to match their clients’ needs, lifestyle and budget.

CLIA’s Certified Cruise Counselors are the cruise industry’s premiere travel agents and can arrange all of your vacation needs while providing the greatest service and value for your vacation dollar.

To learn more, and to book your next vacation, please visit http://jdtravelgroup.com

#1 Franchise for veterans

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Dream Vacations is the #1 franchise for veterans for the 4th year in a row. In its seventh year of rankings, the Military Times newspaper’s franchise rankings evaluate company culture, investment quality, overall franchising costs, military discounts and other non-financial supports, including support for franchisees in the National Guard and reserves. Perhaps just as important is what is not factored in: whether companies advertise with the publication or otherwise pay them money. While other military news and rankings outlets have been accused of operating as pay-to-play schemes, Military Times rankings always have been, and remain, independent and objective news/editorial projects.

 

Bring nuts and bolts when you travel!

The nuts and bolts of the travel experience evolve every day. The nuts are the devices to tighten up your travels and have a more efficient experience. The bolts are the devices that fill that gaps in travel time and efficiency.

My nut for the day: travel light. Pack less, bring more money! My bolt for the day, especially for international travelers, is the US Customs and Border Protection mobile passport.

Mobile… as in device. Available through Apple’s App Store and on Google Play, load it on your mobile device and breeze through customs. Endorsed many travel related outlets including Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Travel, and more, this simple 4 step app could be THE bolt you need to fill wasted time in your travel experience. For more information, check out https://mobilepassport.us  Happy and safe travels to all those who like evolved nuts and bolts.

Travel insurance, or not?

Travel insurance is necessary, fact or fiction? Fact. We insure many things in our lives against loss such as cars, boats, homes, health, and more. The same warm fuzzy feeling we get knowing our valuables are protected against loss, should apply to vacations. We save and plan for Dream Vacations as though it were an investment in our mental health and overall happiness. I sincerely and genuinely recommend this same philosophy be applied to a valuable vacation. Anything can happen. Extreme weather, accidents, lost medications, are just some of those things that can happen to disrupt a trip and potentially cost thousands of dollars. Insurance can help alleviate a stressful situation were something to happen. Please consider securing a solid policy the next time you travel. If you book with me, I will be recommending it. Strongly.

What color is your vacation?

Colorful vacation ideas!

I had an opportunity to volunteer at an event called “Color Vibe”. It’s a 5K run/walk. Show up dressed in all white and get blasted with powdered, colored dye along the route as well as pre/post run parties! I was in a behind the scenes role with registering participants and closed out the event with garbage hauling. I met many ‘colorful’ people who all seemed to have a blast. It led me to think about my next vacation and how I would want to spend it. I’ve decided it will be a blue vacation. Blue water, blue hotel, and maybe the blues! Red could be an active trip with hiking, ziplining, etc. White might be a destination wedding or snow! Green? Maybe an eco-friendly trip to the Galapagos! They all sound good. Now to start planning!

Destination: Galapagos

In the short few months on my journey in travel agency ownership, I have been asked about travel t0 the Galapagos Islands — twice! I had a passing knowledge of where the island chain was (off the coast of Ecuador, South America). I also knew that Charles Darwin made some unique natural history discoveries in this place. So what’s the draw? Why do people suddenly want to go there? Why is a major cruise line (Celebrity), investing in two more vessels for island cruises? To start, the Galapagos are a living laboratory for wildlife. Half of all Blue Footed Boobies nest on the islands. Half of what? Right! That’s what I said! Abundant fearless wildlife, visitors can get up close and personal to some of the world’s rarest animals. Four foot long tortoises. The only penguins in North America. The list is endless. What are you waiting for?! The Galapagos Islands awaits your visit! Temperate climate year-round, makes this a great destination to get back to nature and walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin! Happy travels!

What the U.S. State Department travel warning should mean to you

What can you do to swing the balance of safety in your favor?

International travel for some U.S. citizens, especially first-timers, can be a bit intimidating which could lead to letting one’s guard down in a stressful situation. Preparation is key to successful travel in any new location. It’s much like getting on a plane and just giving a quick glance around the cabin to get a sense of how far the exits are… just in case.

Here is an excerpt for the U.S. State Department travel warning to give you context and following that, some tips for your next trip.

Statement regarding U.S. Department of State Worldwide Travel Alert

November 25, 2015 — U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation, be aware of their immediate surroundings, and avoid large crowds or crowded places. State Department representatives indicated that there was no specific threat against U.S. citizens, the alert is guidance for U.S. citizens to be more cognizant of their surroundings due to recent events.

What can you do to swing the balance of safety in your favor? Some simple things to consider:

1) Don’t wear clothing that identifies you as American. Big U.S. flag shirts, etc., will simply make you more of a target. Find out what the locals wear and mirror that as best you can.
2) Make the investment in trip insurance. Best to protect yourself and those travelling with you. Past successful travels is no guarantee of future safety.
3) Enroll in STEP. State Department issued safety and emergency information will be sent to you via email or text.
4) Let your credit card companies know you’ll be traveling. Bring a list of their phone numbers and leave it in your hotel safe.
5) Wear a money belt and only access it in a private space such as a bathroom stall.
6) Know local cultural do’s and dont’s. Did you know you shouldn’t point at someone in Japan with chopsticks!?!
7) And more… Let common sense and situational awareness rule the day for a successful and safe vacation abroad!