Westjet‘s COVID-19 Insurance Coverage: Let’s break it down

Westjet‘s COVID-19 Insurance Coverage: Let’s break it down

While we think it’s great that the airlines are now including insurance to protect you, if you should become affected with COVID-19 either whilst travelling on their aircraft, or in destination once off your WestJet flight, please note that the coverage has its LIMITS. Within the limits is where many problems lay when it comes to Insurance products!

What’s covered*

  • New round-trip bookings including WestJet Vacations packages (excluding U.S.) will be eligible for coverage up to 21 days. (Hidden meaning: travelling for a month? You should buy additional insurance that covers your full travel period)
  • New one-way bookings will be eligible for coverage for up to seven days (Hidden meaning: We have many clients that book a one-way ticket for travel to Europe or South America, for extended stays or even longstay holidays. Beware that coverage only runs 7 days and obtain adequate insurance to cover your precise travel dates, destination and needs).
  • Emergency medical and hospital costs for outbound travellers if diagnosed with COVID-19 while outside of Canada (excluding U.S.) for up to a maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person. (Hidden meaning: if you’re in ICU in an International hospital, a $100,000 coverage cap can be tight financially, not as tight as medical costs in the USA definitely, but beware that $100,000 can be limiting. We’ve had an experience of a client who incurred a serious infection, which caused brain swelling and client had to be put into an induced coma for 2 weeks while he recuperated. His hospital bill, in Canada, came to well over $250,000! Ensure you have adequate coverage limits, even if you have to buy additional insurance than that which is offered by WestJet).
  • Emergency medical and hospital costs for inbound travellers visiting Canada diagnosed with COVID-19 while in Canada up to the maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person. (Hidden meaning: As above)
  • Quarantine accommodation costs when the traveller tests positive for COVID-19 on the trip up to $150 CAD per insured person, per day to a maximum of 14 days for inbound and outbound reservations. (Hidden meaning: what kind of room can you find in Dublin, or Rome, or Paris in July for $150CAD/night – judge accordingly, and know that this nightly cap will leave you with limited choices)
  • Ambulance transportation and air evacuation costs related to COVID-19, up to the maximum limit of $100,000 CAD per insured person for inbound and outbound guests. (Hidden meaning: MEDIVAC and similar costs one-way to get you back to your home hospital can be extremely expensive; this $100,000 would certainly help ‘towards’ the MEDIVAC costs, but probably won’t cover the full bill, which can run into the multi-000’s range, so again, be aware of cap limits, and the need for additional insurance).
  • COVID-19 repatriation costs in case of death of up to $5,000 CAD per insured person for inbound and outbound guests.(Hidden meaning: If you die overseas, and your family cremates you overseas, $5000 should cover getting you home. If your will dictates that your body be repatriated, the costs can easily run over $5000, so be prepared for this cap limitation.)
  • One-way economy airfare for the return of one travelling companion and dependent children when air evacuated back home for treatment. (Hidden meaning: None really, but make sure everyone has the same return to home insurance coverage. If you are with numerous family members, ensure everyone has similar ticket coverage).
  • COVID-19 related insurance coverage will apply to any eligible itinerary that includes at least one flight operated by WestJet (code 838). You will qualify for coverage regardless of whether your first flight was operated by WestJet or by one of WestJet’s code share partners so long as your booking was ticketed on WestJet and includes a flight operated by WestJet. (Hidden meaning: None. Ensure at least one leg of your ticket is flown by WestJet or its code share partners – which it always will be, if you book a WestJet ticket, even if it’s flown aboard WestJet, or Delta, or Air France or any of Westjet’s code share partners: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/airline-partners (If you are uncertain if you’re actually booking a WestJet flight or not, please feel free to contact us.)
  • If you purchased your ticket on a WestJet-operated flight from another airline, even if that airline is a code-share partner airline of WestJet, you will not be eligible for coverage.

*Exclusions apply. Not available for travel to, from or through the United States, or for travel including cruises. For full details on coverage, inclusions and exclusions please view or download the Certificate of Insurance and the Summary of Coverage


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South Beach, Miami – What a Strip!

South Beach, Miami – What a Strip!

Before a recent cruise aboard MSC Seaside, we had the opportunity to spend some time along Ocean Drive, South Miami Beach. What a great place to spend a couple of days, prior to embarking on a cruise or even as a destination itself.

Ocean Drive is a well known for its promenade and street famous for its neon-lighted, Art Deco hotels, as well as so many great restaurants & bars to choose from. One of the most famous hotels along this strip is the Colony Hotel erected in 1939, which has been featured in many movies. Currently it offers travellers a great stay as a boutique accommodation, directly fronting onto Miami Beach.


 

The different colors of each of the buildings, and the palm trees along the promenade at night are a true spectacle and light show.

 

If you like running, jogging, bicycling, or just strolling, there is a decorative concrete promenade which boasts scenic views of the Gulf on one side and the colourful buildings of Ocean Drive on the other.


 

Ocean Drive is also where the famous Casa Casuarina, former home of Gianni Versace, is located. After the icon’s infamous death circumstances, the property was turned into a lovely boutique hotel, and is one of the most photographed houses in Miami. (This pic taken by Vadelmavene)

 

This famous street is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, for its development of Art Deco houses and buildings which dominate the street.

 

And the food offered up on South Beach! So much to choose from, but one of our faves was the Front Porch Cafe, a very laid-back ambiance which serves all day breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner, not to mention Happy Hour $3 beers! One of the most famous restaurants on this strip is Mango’s Tropical Café, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant that also has live performances by dancers and singers.

Seafood bars, and crab shacks abound, in every nook and cranny, so you’ll not be searching too long for fresh seafood places in South Beach Miami.

 

If you’re heading to Miami for a cruise and want some suggestions for places to stay, or if you’d like to visit Miami please feel free to give us a call and we can arrange your cruise and/or Miami vacation for you. We’re looking forward to the day we can go back to Miami for a few days after covid gets sorted out!!

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Images of Greece

Images of Greece

We are Greece Specialists and have travelled to the Greek Islands many times. Here are just a few of our lovely images of Greece and Santorini Island. Please feel free to contact us to plan your trip to Greece!

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48 Hours In: Tel Aviv. Travel – The Independent

48 Hours in Tel Aviv, Israel

We spent an incredible 7 days in Israel and it was a great amount of time to see all the highlights. Please feel free to Contact Us if you’d like assistance planning your Israel trip with World Travel Warehouse.

Tel Aviv's port of Jaffa

Why go now

Blessed with beautiful weather throughout spring and summer, the White City is the perfect destination for a lively weekend away. It’s a party town, with restaurants, bars and clubs galore, and beautiful beaches for a restorative chill-out the morning after.

Get your bearings

On the glistening coastline of the eastern Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is located in the centre of Israel. To the south, the ancient port of Jaffa (1) has historic buildings and an alfresco restaurant-bar scene. In the centre, Carmel Market (2) is the beating heart of the city. The bustling Allenby Street (3) and Rothschild Boulevard (4) are near the market, while Dizengoff Street (4) carves up the city centre.

The weekend in Tel Aviv is Friday and Saturday. Saturday – the Sabbath – is a holy day, and shops and markets are all closed. Restaurants and bars start to open in the afternoon, so it’s worth planning your trip around these two days to get the most out of the city.

Tel Aviv has two tourist offices (tel-aviv.gov.il): the Boardwalk Booking Centre (5) at 46 Herbert Samual St and Jaffa (6) at 2 Marzuk and Azar Street, near the clock tower (both open 9.30am-6.30pm Sunday to Thursday, 9am-4pm Friday, closed Saturday).

Day one

Take a hike

Start your day with spectacular views of Tel Aviv and the ancient port of Jaffa from Ha Pisga Garden (7) to the south of the city. Walk across the park to Olei Zion Street (8) and continue on to Jaffa Flea Market (9) (open 9am-6pm Sunday to Friday, closed Saturday; Friday is the main market day). From rugs to jewellery, pick up a bargain, then fuel up with a creamy malabi (similar to a rice pudding) from Ha Malabia (10) (00972 77 432 6051, hamalabiya.co.il) at 65 Ami’ad St in the centre of the market.

Walk north on Yerushalaim Avenue (11) until you hit the beach and continue along the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Promenade (12). Turn right onto Yosef Levi Street (13) and walk onto Ha Carmel – Carmel Market (2). This bustling market (open 8am until late Sunday to Thursday, 8am-4pm Friday, closed Saturday) is a great spot to amble through. Stay refreshed with a pale ale from the Beer Bazaar (14) (beerbazaar.co.il) at 1 Rambam St (open 11am-12am Sunday to Thursday, 11am-4pm Friday, closed Saturday).

Carmel Market is the beating heart of Tel Aviv (Getty Images)

For a more detailed walking tour, try Delicious Israel (deliciousisrael.com). The Eat Tel Aviv tour costs $100 (£72) per person and starts at 10am, lasting four hours. This includes all your food and drink along the way.

Lunch on the run

Started by two brothers in 1937, the fabulous local haunt of Shlomo and Doron (15) (00972 54-667-5505, facebook.com/shlomodoronhumus) serves several different types of hummus, including meshulash (made with three kinds of hummus), ful, which is made from fava beans, and, my favourite, shakshuka hummus. All three are served with fluffy pitta breads, zhug (a spicy Yemeni dipping sauce) and raw onion. Open 7.30am-3pm Sunday to Friday, closed Saturday.

Window shopping

From designer denim to stylish streetwear, shop till you drop on Dizengoff Street (4) in the North of the city. Check out Badim TLV (16) (badimtlv.com) for contemporary women’s wear and cool home accessories (open 9.30am-8pm Sunday to Thursday, 9.30am-4pm Friday, closed Saturday) and pick up a pair of slick shades from Elison Eye Boutique (17) (facebook.com/Elison-Eye-Boutique) open 10am-7pm Sunday to Thursday, 10am-3pm Friday, and closed Saturday.

Grab some hummus for a light lunch (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An aperitif

Tel Aviv is an outdoor city, so soak up the brilliant balmy weather with a drink at Port Said (18) (00972 3 620 7436, facebook.com/theportsaid). This tiny restaurant/bar is packed from the moment it opens until the last man is standing in the early hours of the morning. Open 12pm-3am Saturday to Thursday, closed Friday.

Carry on the party vibes late into the night at Sputnik (19) (00972 52 642 6532). Imbibe in style with a cool crowd on the terrace, and then head inside to their banging industrial bar and dance until the sun comes up (open 7pm-7am Saturday to Thursday, 9pm-9am Friday).

Dine with the locals

In a huge square around The Great Synagogue (20), Santa Katarina (21) (00972 58 782 0292, facebook.com/santakatarina2) is a modern Israeli restaurant with creative cocktails and a daily changing menu of delicious shared plates. Take a seat at the bar – the best seat in the house – and feast on tuna ceviche with mountains of herbs, tzatziki and chilli; spiced beef tartare kofta; and crisp asparagus spears on creamy labna. Open 12.30-4pm and 6pm-12am Sunday to Thursday, 12.30-5pm and 7pm-12am Friday, and 7pm-12am Saturday.

Day two

Out to Brunch

Take a seat outside Ha Basta (22) (00972 3516 9234, facebook.com/Habasta), a lovely little restaurant where you can enjoy a farm to fork Israeli brunch. Plates of labna, roasted aubergine and cured beef are served with spinach and Tulum cheese baked eggs. Brunch served on Saturdays only, 11am to 5pm.

Tel Aviv enjoys an enviable coastal position (Getty/iStockphoto)

Walk in the park

Why walk in the park when you can hit the beach? Saturdays in Tel Aviv are all about heading to the coast; make like the locals and head to Mezitim beach (23) in the north of the city. From here you can stroll down the boardwalk, past the beautiful Hilton Beach (24) – the city’s famous gay beach – where you can hire paddle boards from the Sea Centre Club (25) (levyam.co.il) and then carry onto Gordon Beach (26). Try your hand at a game of matkot (paddleball). When you are all whacked out, grab a cold beer from one of the many beach bars.

Cultural afternoon

Continue walking along the blissful beaches all the way to Jaffa, where you’ll find the Ilana Goor museum (27) (00972 3683 7676, ilanagoormuseum.org). Located in an 18th century building, this beautiful museum boasts over 500 works from Israeli and international artists, including Diego Giacometti, Henry Moore, Joseph Albers, Uri Lifshitz, Yigal Tumarkin, Pesi Girsch and Yaakov Dorchin. Open 10am-4pm Sunday to Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday; entry costs 30NIS (£6.40).

Icing on the cake

A trip to Jerusalem is a must if you can squeeze it in. This spectacular city is electric. The old town is packed with beautiful buildings, winding alleyways and historic monuments. The big three – The Wailing Wall, Temple Mount and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre – are all within walking distance of each other, and each is incredible in its own way. Dress modestly, covering legs and arms to ensure entry.

Tel Aviv is well-placed for a day trip to Jerusalem (Getty/iStockphoto)

Take the tram from Damascus Gate to Mahane Yehuda Market. This hipster hangout is lined with cool coffee shops, sizzling street food and vibrant stalls selling everything from fruit and veg to fresh fish and sticky sweet rugelach pastries.

Travel essentials

Getting there

British Airways (britishairways.com) offers two to three flights a day from London Heathrow to Ben Gurion Airport (28), from £300 return.

Explore the ancient port of Jaffa to the south (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

From Ben Gurion Aiport, take the train from Terminal 3 to Tel Aviv town centre. There are two stations, Hashalom (29) in the South and Tel Aviv Salvador Centre (30) in the North. The journey time is around 15 to 20 minutes and costs 13.5NIS (£2.90) one way. It’s easy to get a cab to your hotel from the station; Uber works brilliantly.

Staying there

With 12 elegant rooms, the best breakfast in the city and a killer concierge who can get you into any party in town, Hotel Montefiore (31) (hotelmontefiore.co.il) is the most beautiful boutique hotel in the city. Doubles from £330, B&B.

Overlooking Carmel Market, the newly opened Poli House (32) (thepolihouse.com) has a stunning rooftop pool with Balearic beats and boozy slushies to get you in the mood. Doubles from $270 (£209), B&B.

Hotels in Tel Aviv are on the expensive side, so for the best budget finds try using Airbnb (airbnb.co.uk). It has private studio accommodation for two, starting from $55-60 (£43-47), room only.

Article by: John Gregory-Smith, The Independent

Wednesday 5 July 2017 10:30

Article Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/48-hours-in/tel-aviv-city-guide-israel-what-to-do-weekend-break-48-hours-best-hotels-bars-restaurants-a7824386.html
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Greek Island Hopping

Greek Island Hopping

 

As Greece Vacation specialists, we’ve done Greek Island hopping itineraries in many different ways, from all-inclusive cruises between the islands, to ferries and multi-day island stays in numerous islands.

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Each of the different Greek Island Hopping types of itineraries offers a different pace, and a different value for each traveler. We work with you to determine which type of pace works best for you, and then we work out a price point that works for your budget.

Santorini is definitely a high point in every travel itinerary we’ve ever worked on for Greece, and it’s aesthetically one of the most scenic Greek Islands in our opinion. There is something lovely to capture your heart and eye around every single turn, and lots of amazing tavernas, bars, and restaurants for every budget. Definitely our love affair with Greece has never waned, and it’s never lost on us how very fortunate we have been to visit Greece and Santorini so many times.

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Whitewashed Rooftops of Santorini

 

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Unique Boutiques of Oia, Santorini

 

Mykonos is so quaint, and staying over on lovely Platos Gialos, is definitely worth your time.

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Beaches of Platys Gialos, Mykonos Greece

 

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Windmills of Old Town, Mykonos, Greece

 

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your travel plans for Greece. We are specialists in Greece Destination Weddings, Family Travel to Greece, Greece Island Hopping, and any specialty travel to Greece that you may require assistance with, we can help you map out the steps.

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Finest Playa Mujeres

Finest Playa Mujeres – Everything a Family Could Ask For

Junior suites with private pools, waterslides, ice cream bars, children’s pool with slides and a playground to kids’ clubs for different ages, a game room, kids’ theater, daycare center, mini-disco, and kids’ spa areas.

At Finest Playa Mujeres, luxury and enjoyment for the whole family is the theme that is well carried through all the resort’s facilities.

Aqua Bar (swim-up bar that caters to families) – on the opposite side is adults-only bar

The kids’ club was a truly impressive area, with different levels of programming for various age groups. So many kids were taking part in different activities, and the kids’ facilities were so entertaining, I could see why this area would easily be a favorite spot for any child/teen (I kind of wanted to get on the water slides myself!)

During our inspection, the kids’ club staff dramatically appeared aboard a pirate ship and rushed ashore in a play attack on the beach, giving everyone an idea of the types of children-play-interaction they include at the kid’s activities. (We liked that the kid’s clubs differentiated by age groups: (Mini Club for kids 0-6 – for kids under 2 parents are required to attend children under 2 years in the water), Maxi Club for 7-11, and Teen Club for 12-16 years). Each area offers specialized programs and indoor areas that cater to each age range. There are also two pools just for kids – a paddling pool for the infants and a pool with water slides and play structures for older kids as below).

 

 

The zipline and climbing wall at the children’s/teen’s play area are truly great, and there are video games to and supervised snorkeling near the beach. There’s also a great kids plaza, the mini spa was a treat for those Mom’s and Dad’s that like their kinds to have a bit of pampering too! Finally a mini theatre with dedicated family fun movies to round out the array of family-centric activities.

 

 

The Finest Club Family Suite accommodates a family of five comfortably, with a king bed for the parents and two singles for the kids in their own separate bedroom. Think of these accommodations as more like your own private apartment than a hotel room. The rooms follow a clean, IKEA-like simplicity, with well-appointed bathrooms, and double vanities.

At Finest Playa Mujeres, the family vacations focus on Quality Time for the family as a whole, while also allowing for parents to have some downtime, if they choose.

While guests don’t usually spend a great deal of their vacation in their suites, the rooms were definitely of a size that a family of up to 5 persons, definitely wouldn’t feel cramped. Finest Playa Mujeres junior suites are a minimum 800 sq. ft., and family suites feature a separate bedroom with two beds, giving everyone enough space.

There are rooms with private pools for just your family, and others with swim-up area from the main pool, and a hammock to lounge in. Both were sumptuous and relaxing.

Private plunge pool rooms at Finest Playa Mujeres

 

Swim-up rooms at Finest Playa Mujeres

 

For parents, alone time constitutes the myriad of options for adults while the kids are having a ball. That could be relaxing by the pool or beach bar – with waiter service included – or taking advantage of a wide variety of watersport options. It could be enjoying a premium brand cocktail, or being pampered with a luxurious spa treatment.

 

Spa Treatments and Day Spa Services offered by the “One Spa” by Finest Playa Mujeres range from simple mani/pedi treatments to full day passes to the full hydrotherapy area where you’ll immerse yourself in tranquility and renewal through a guided experience that harnesses the healing powers of water.

Children’s Spa services at Finest Playa Mujeres

 

Section of the Hydrotherapy Spa at One Spa – Finest Playa Mujeres

 

Finest Playa Mujeres offers together-time options like family-friendly spa treatments, live entertainment and group classes as varied as cooking and introductory scuba. There are lovely palapa sun loungers and beds (thatched palm-covered, airy structures as below) for couples or families to enjoy and wile away the day.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Finest Resort and would highly recommend this property to any family looking for a laid-back, upscale stay.

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All Inclusive Vacations – The Stress Vacuum

All Inclusive Vacations – The Stress Vacuum

These days, everyone seems to be overworked. No matter how much work we do, there seems to be no end to the onslaught of tasks filling our days. People call our offices pleading, “get me out of here, I need to de-stress! So, it o it comes as no surprise that many people continue to appreciate the totally uncomplicated nature of the All Inclusive Vacation package. Choose your resort, pay your fee, get on the plane and head off for a week or two of blissfully stress-free (usually) vacation time. We all deserve it!

We like to refer to All Inclusive Vacations as the Perfect ‘Stress Vacuum!’ (Can I copyright that?)

The biggest decisions to be made once at the All Inclusive Resorts are:
– what time should we eat
– which restaurant should we choose each day/night
– should we take excursions off resort to see some of the local culture, and history?!
Ok, ok! These are not really the most stressful decisions any of us has had to make in life!

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Gran Bahia Principe – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

As world travelers, we fully realize that there are travel styles and trips that fit every traveller’s different needs at different times. Families with small children require family-oriented properties or a vacation pace that allows the child to wander, at their own pace. Naturally family-oriented travel caters to a very different clientele than adult’s only resorts, or adventure travel vacations.

The same goes for the All Inclusive Resort vacation – it fills a specific need. Sometimes we want a very relaxed pace, and truly zen-like vacation, while other times we crave full in-depth immersion into every aspect of a new and unique destination’s culture.

You can wake up at 6am and run the beach or get your daily workout in, before you commence a day of reading on the beach, or wake up at 11am and JUST nip to the restaurant in time for a late breakfast.

Or you can sleep in. Ahhhh sleeping in! Almost every mother’s dream vacation!!
Ahhh the restorative properties of a proper amount of sleep.

That’s the beauty of the All Inclusive Vacations – your time is truly your own! For the duration of your stay, you’re not waking up early to scrape ice off the wind-shield (yes, we do love Canada, and its cold weather), nor are you having to allow your car extra time to heat up before driving to work.

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Grand Caribe Real, Cancun, Mexico

An important and noticeable change that’s evident from the original pre-packaged, one size fits all All-Inclusive packages, is that there are now many different types of All Inclusive Resorts to choose from.

Resort properties now offer top-notch, ‘gourmet-inclusive’ ultra-luxury properties which run well over $1000/night, to multi-generational family resorts, where both the elderly members of your extended family, as well as toddler’s and young teens alike, can each find something to do that is interesting. As well, there will always be your more basic “sun and beach and meals” type all-inclusive quick & easy resorts, which tend to run anywhere from $700-900/7 nights (budget) to $1500-$2000/7 nights (moderate to up-scale resorts).

There remains something for everyone’s budget within the realm of All Inclusive vacation packages. And the ultra-all-inclusive luxury resorts are truly some of the best properties I’ve seen and experienced in my life in terms of stellar properties, amenities, stylishness, amazing food choices and services.

Mayan Riviera, Mexico

So…isn’t it time to start planning YOUR Stress Vacuum vacation?

We’ve been to many resorts and destinations in the Caribbean, and the around the world (did you know there are All-Inclusive resorts in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and more?!) We can give you some great recommendations!

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“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”
The Principles of Warren Buffett

I WANT YOUR BEST DEAL! BEST PRICE!

In this industry, many people contact travel companies, travel agents, and professionals for price quotes, after finding a number in the phone book, or online, and after seeing some “DEAL” that seems too good to be true!

Before even getting the initial “Hello” out of my mouth, I’ve been interrupted with – “I want your best price!”

Well, do you REALLY want the best price (and often the crappiest run down hotel room and service (or lack of) that exists, or is what you reeeeeeallly want (what you really mean to ask for), GOOD VALUE for your hard-earned money?

Any travel agent can spout off the lowest price on any product offered in the travel industry: flights, cruises, vacation packages, all inclusive resorts, but a true travel professional won’t “automatically” tell you the lowest price — a true travel professional will ask you some questions first regarding your travel plans (in our industry this is called “Qualifying Our Client”).

The reason travel professionals want to qualify you first – if you don’t already know each other, is that what one person considers budget, or moderate or luxury, is often completely different from what the next person considers budget, moderate or luxury.

Something that one person will splurge on, the next person may think — you’re crazy to splurge on that!? So when your travel professional asks you so many questions, no, it’s not because they want to rip you off and get the most money they can from you! (I honestly did think many travel agents were out to sell whatever product makes the most money – before I got into this business). It’s true, there are some shady characters, and that happens in every industry, but I’m here to tell you, anyone that’s been working in this business more than 2-5 years, has seen the light, and stays in it because they TRULY LOVE TRAVEL, and they want you to have the BEST time possible, on whatever budget you can afford.

What we’ve found many travelers don’t realize (when we’re asking about your budget), is that if you spend $35 more (for example) for a certain flight sequence, it will save you 3 hours extra travel/connection time. Or if you spend $75 more for a week, you can upgrade that ratty hotel room and watered down drinks at your all-inclusive, to a nicer, cleaner, more comfortable room where you’ll actually enjoy your stay, and not feel like you’ve wasted $900 bucks, or $1500 bucks, or $5000 bucks – again, everything is relative.

After discussing the options you really want from your vacation, then the travel professional will be able to comfortably recommend to you, “Ok, the best VALUED property, for the money you want to spend will be Hotel X Y Z,” or Resort A, or Flight ABC.
Again, the travel professional on the other end of the phone line or email line can give you the lower priced choices with more connections and layovers AT THE BEST/LOWEST PRICE, but not once since we opened business in 2004, has anyone ever said yes, I’d rather save the $35 and spend longer traveling and/or in airports sitting around, or Yes, I want that lowest category room and save the $75. Not Once!

It’s all about value! You value your time, and you value your hard earned dollar, and we give you and your hard earned money the same respect, but we will ALWAYS recommend the option that provides the greatest ‘value’ and not always the lowest ‘price.‘  When you’re looking for your next vacation ideas, consider what you, personally, value the most, and contact us so we can help you get the BEST VALUE for your money.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island, Chile

For everyone that has been bitten by the travel bug, there are dream destinations, top ‘must-see’ places that we yearn for…one of mine, has always been Easter Island.

One of the most spectacular (if any can be more spectacular than the last) is the Ahu (stone platform upon which some of the heads sit) located at Anakena Beach. Nothing could be help to make more prevalent in your mind your exact  location, as looking up when you swim ashore from the South Pacific Ocean and see this platform of massive carved statues looking out over the beach! Superb!

Anakena Moai, Chile

The beach at Anakena, Easter Island

I was fortunate enough to take the journey to Easter Island in 2013, as part of a 6-week sojourn through South America. Easter Island (Rapa Nui) will enchant anyone interested in its history. Walking amongst the Moai and ahus and motus, in such a rugged setting as this island in the middle of the South Pacific, the fact that Easter Island is “one of the world’s most isolated, yet inhabited islands,” is a great addition to your travel destination accomplishments.

Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki

As I flew from Lima to Easter Island, it wasn’t lost on me that I was heading for one of the more remote islands in the world. As a venture, explorer and traveller, I couldn’t wait to be that far removed from mainland civilization (as Easter Island has a history and group of inhabitants all to itself), and visit this renowned destination finally.

Heading to Easter Island, one of my happiest flight maps ever


Getting There:

Located in the South Pacific, it is about a 5 & 1/2 hour flight Lima or Santiago de Chile, at flight prices varying from $500-$1500/pp depending on dates of travel. Depending on how windy it is, arrivals and departures are well known to be VERY delayed on occasion, so factor that into your travel plans, as there are some occasions where it could take several days to actually arrive, or depart.

Getting Around:
I did find having a vehicle to drive made life very comfortable and one can easily drive all around the island. There are also bus tours that travellers can take as well as 4-5 day tours, for those who wish to have everything taken care of for them.

Places to Stay:
There are many choices, from camping to luxury. We stayed at Cabanas Christophe, a small guest home with different configurations of apartments with studio, 1-bedroom, 2 bedroom and so forth. A basic breakfast was offered daily, as well as free wifi. In each accommodation are a modern TV, a refrigerator, and a sofa.

Cabanas Christophe, Hanga Roa, Easter Island

The owner Christophe helped me arrange a 2-day car rental at a really reasonable rate, which came in very handy when driving around between all the Ahu’s (otherwise we would have had to take a bus tour or hitchhike, or perhaps mountain-bike – which is totally possible around the small island). There is also free public parking just around the corner from the property (a 2 min walk, if that).

In the evenings you can comfortably sit on the outside patios, walk around the area (some lovely seascapes next door to the Cabanas), or Christophe or his wife will run you into town if there are any nightly events happening, or if you want to dine out at one of the local restaurants – (they are very, very helpful and accommodating to all guests). There are lovely waterfront restaurants that are a short walk away from Cabanas Christophe, including Kotaro (1.0 km), Haka Honu Restaurant (1.8 km), and Makona Restaurant (2.0 km).

The island itself boasts almost 900 heads, some standing and some fallen, but each quarry and ahu more interesting and unique than the last.

Renting a car is a must to go around to see all the various archaeological sites at your own pace, and I do recommend this method. The drive is very easy, cars/traffic are not numerous (though tour buses are), and of course you can also rent a taxi cab to take you around to the different spots. Self-drive is always my choice if available.

This is a fantastic source of information on just about everything Easter Island: http://wikitravel.org/en/Easter_Island

If you would like our assistance planning your travels to this beautiful, exotic, and remote location, please feel free to contact us! We love what we do!

Gezi Bosphorus, Istanbul Turkey (Hotel Review)

Hotel Review: Gezi Bosphorus Hotel – Istanbul, Turkey (Taksim)

Bosphorus Bridge from Gezi Bosphorus Hotel

Bosphorus View Deluxe room



I’ve now stayed in about 20 different hotels in Istanbul. 

While I don’t proclaim myself to be an expert (yet) – I’m working on that, and maybe I’ll attain Expert Status before I die. I do, however, think I’m getting a good feel for good and bad hotels in the city, and other locations around Turkey.

So this most recent visit to Istanbul, and I’ve stayed in a lovely new hotel located just off Taksim Square called Gezi Bosphorus Hotel.

I cannot say enough good things about this new boutique hotel. From the moment I arrived at 3am in the morning, to the day I departed and they helped me get my bags in the car, I’ve been astounded by the stellar service and comfort levels I experienced at this property.The view from my Deluxe Bosphorus room – Gezi Bosphorus

My bed was as comfy, no I take that back – it was even MORE comfy than my own bed at home. I could LIVE at Gezi forever I think, and I’ve become painfully particular about hotels over the years, so to say I want to “stay” in ANY hotel, is a BIG statement for me to make.

Bed that feels like heaven

  
Breakfast buffet daily was incredible with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, pure honeycombs (nice touch!) and the finest Turkish coffee.
 

Have more questions about Gezi Bosphorus Hotel or Istanbul Hotels? Feel Free to Contact Us. We specialize in Istanbul and Turkey Travel