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 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!
TSA Pre✓® is an expedited security screening program connecting travelers departing from airports within the United States with smarter security and a better air travel experience.
Passengers considered low-risk who qualify for the program can receive expedited screening either as a member of the program or another specific trusted traveler group.
The following airlines offer TSA Pre✓®:
•Delta Air Lines
Why should you join TSA Pre✓®?
•TSA Pre✓® provides trusted travelers with expedited security screening for a better travel experience.
•Plan your travel with confidence and enjoy a more predictable experience.
•It’s a convenient, more efficient security screening process.
•It’s available at more than 160 airports with 12 participating airlines.
No need to remove:
Apply here: https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/apply
Make sure your name on the application matches your passport.
Nowadays the average person who books a vacation is more informed and empowered to make decisions on their travels than even 3 years ago. That trend should continue due to the wealth of information a keystroke away. Even with the oodles of data, the choices and information can seem overwhelming. How can a seemingly simple task, booking a vacation, be so cumbersome? Who has the time to weed through all of the information available and drill down to the core of the details? Travel agents have the time!
Quite often a travel agent is connected to travel suppliers such as cruise lines and resorts, and can use that connection to get the best possible value for you. In addition, travel suppliers have perks and upgrades that may not be available with the usual web search methods. It’s that connection that suppliers love. Suppliers truly value relationships with agents. Travel agents are the ones that can help fill space for the supplier and at the same time give their clients more than what they would have found for themselves.
If you ask the average person why they have a go-to doctor, or a go-to insurance agency, or a go-to dentist, they’ll give you very good reasons why that’s important to them. Trust, valuable advice, integrity, and more. It’s the ease at which a travel agent can make your life so much easier, that you should flag that person as a ‘favorite’ in your phone, e-mail, Facebook, and all the other ways you save contact information. A click away. A phone call away. A trusted travel agent is standing by to put the time into planning your dream vacation so you can spend that time doing something else that you need to do like play with your kids, take your wife to dinner, plant flowers, watch the game, and more. Happy travels!
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.