East-West Global Traveler
Browsing Archive

December, 2016

Should you Use a Travel Professional?

By December 5, 2016 For Your Journey, Hacks, Travel
bnk2aep_li4-khurt-williams

 

What a Travel Professional Can Provide You

Expert Guidance

With years of industry experience, a travel professional has both the knowledge and firsthand experience to help you decide which destination or resort is best for you. A travel professional can provide you with a wide variety of travel options from a number of different travel suppliers to countless popular destinations. Plus, travel professional has all the travel information you need – from the best attractions to see, the most exciting activities to do, and the most affordable way to get there…they’ve got it covered!

Value

It’s understandable that you may feel limited by your vacation budget. That’s why a travel professional is dedicated to helping you receive the best possible value. Best of all, you’ll receive all of the professional guidance at no extra cost!

Personalized Service

As your personal travel professional, they can devote time and effort to making sure you’re happy with your travel options. If you need any assistance, a travel professional is just a phone call or e-mail away, so you’ll receive the immediate attention you not only need, but also deserve.

Customer Advocate

In the rare case that something on your trip doesn’t go as planned, a travel professional will be there to resolve the problem, so you can relax and enjoy.

Time Savings

A travel professional know exactly where to go to get the information that you need and can find your travel options within seconds. Planning a vacation with a travel professional will save you both time and money because with some effort and organization, and handle all your travel arrangements.

Unbiased Information

You can be assured that a travel professional will do their best to make your travel experience as wonderful as possible. When you book travel through a travel professional, they work for you – not the travel supplier, so their main concern is always you and your unique needs.

Prior to booking online, you may want to contact a travel professional to utilize their professional advice and firsthand experience with many of the most popular destinations, resorts and cruise lines. A travel professional is dedicated to offering you the best prices and advice, while maintaining an emphasis on customer service, so don’t hesitate to contact a travel professional so they can start planning your next travel adventure!

bnk2aep_li4-khurt-williams

You Might Also Like

Guess where your closest Cruise Port is Located!

By December 4, 2016 Cities, Destinations, For Your Journey
cruise-2016_8080a

Need to know which cruise port is closest to your home or desired destination? There are U.S. cruise ports in a variety of locations on each coast, so you’re sure to find one that’s convenient for you.
Need more information on the port? Click on the port location to visit the cruise port’s website.

Which port is your favorite?

You Might Also Like

Is Travel Insurance a Gimmick?

By December 3, 2016 For Your Journey, Products, Travel
burned-bus

After reviewing what travel insurance can provide, there’s really no better way to protect your vacation investment than by purchasing travel insurance. With the possibility of cancellations, flight delays, lost luggage or passports, medical emergencies and any other unexpected incident, travel insurance can provide the reassurance and peace of mind that you need.

The leading travel insurance suppliers can offer you numerous benefits that can help your vacation experience stay positive, even if something unexpected occurs. Remember, without the purchase of travel insurance, you could lose up to the full cost of your trip!

Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die. Each traveler’s potential loss varies, depending on how much of your trip is prepaid, the refund-ability of the air ticket you purchased, your state of health, the value of your luggage, where you’re traveling, the financial health of your tour company and airline, and what coverage you already have (through your medical insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and/or credit card).

For some travelers, insurance is a good deal; for others, it’s not. What are the chances you’ll need it? How willing are you to take risks? How much is peace of mind worth to you? Take these considerations into account, understand your options, and make an informed decision for your trip. There’s really no better way to protect your vacation investment than by purchasing travel insurance. We highly advise all travelers to consider purchasing travel insurance. Below are three of the best travel insurance companies in the business:

Best Travel Insurance Providers:

Allianz

Allianz Travel Insurance – With offices in 34 countries, Allianz Global Assistance USA insures 16 million customers annually, providing travel insurance coverage for pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses, reimbursements for covered trip cancellations and unexpected travel delay expenses, as well as emergency medical and dental treatment, emergency medical transportation, baggage delay, baggage loss and more.
travelsafe

TraveSafe Insurance – Since 1971, TravelSafe has been an industry leader in travel insurance products through innovation, experience and excellent customer service. They market and administer the most comprehensive policies available in the industry and are leading the way in developing new solutions for the insurance needs of individuals and families throughout the United States and Canada. Whether you are traveling close to home or around the world, TravelSafe will provide the security and peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip!

 

TravelInsuredInternational_logo

Travel Insured – Founded in 1994, Travel Insured International is one of the leading travel insurance providers, offering the highest quality worldwide travel insurance protection for over 20 years. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the company offers an array of travel insurance protection benefits including Emergency Assistance and Evacuation, Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Protection, Medical Insurance, Baggage Insurance, Airline Ticket Protection, and more.

Travel Insured maintains relationships with specialty travel providers and tour operators, as well as provides 24/7 insurance assistance that allows you to travel relaxed, travel secure, and travel insured.

Travel Insurance can be secured for each trip, or with a cost effective Annual Protection Plan. Your Travel Professional can give you the best option.

For those of you who like to do your own arrangements online, Alliantz has a web based insurance tool that is very useful. You can View Alliantz here:

What has your experience been with travel insurance?

 

 

You Might Also Like

Housekeeping between Travels…

By December 3, 2016 For Your Journey
cropped-EWGT-APP-ICON.jpg

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I really desire for this blog to be useful for others to read, and to help inspire them to travel. That’s not going to happen if  people aren’t reading it, seeing all the nice photos, and making comments about their own experiences.

To help make that happen, I’ve done a little housekeeping. I’ve added my various social media links on the sidebar, and at the foot of the blog. I have also shared the blog at BlogLovin’.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

And then to validate the RSS Feeds for accuracy…
valid-rss-rogers[Valid RSS]
Have other ideas – leave them in the comments below!

 

 

You Might Also Like

Do you really need a Passport?

By December 2, 2016 For Your Journey, Products, Travel
passport

Knowing which documents you need when traveling internationally is essential to having a stress-free vacation. Prepare yourself by learning about the latest travel requirements and important information you need to know before traveling.

 

What documents are required when traveling internationally?

You are required to have a U.S. Passport Book when traveling by air to any international location.

If you are traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean Region (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos), you are required to have a U.S. Passport Book or Card.

Please note: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Additionally, if a problem arises on your cruise, or you are injured, and must be flown back to the US for treatment, a passport is essential, and not having one can delay the process. I suggest you have one whenever leaving the US.

You can no longer get additional pages to add to your passport. Since a passport lasts 10 years, if you plan on traveling abroad at least twice a year, I would opt for the larger 52 page passport. This should be ample for most casual travelers.

What is a U.S. Passport Card?

The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air. I recommend just getting a full passport, or opting to have both.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Processing times can vary depending on workload and occasional unforeseen circumstances. During busier times, such as the summer travel season, customers are encouraged to expedite their applications if traveling in less than 10 weeks.

If you need to expedite a passport, I strongly suggest using a service that can make sure all the requisite items are completed, and can push your application through. My preferred service is aptly named Rush My Passport

How long is a passport valid and when should I renew my passport?

  • If you were over age 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.
  • If you were age 15 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.

The Issue Date of your passport can be found on the data page of your Passport Book or on the front of your Passport Card. If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. If you passport has already expired, you may still be able to renew your passport by mail.

How do I purchase or renew my passport?

Detailed information about passports and international travel requirements, along with instructions for applying for a passport can be found at travel.state.gov.

*For more information about passport requirements, please contact the U.S. Department of State. 

Visas

Do I need a visa if I am a U.S. citizen?

U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad they may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. When planning travel abroad, learn about visa requirements by country by visiting the U.S. Department of State’s Country Specific Travel Information.

*Find out more about both the immigrant and non-immigrant visa process at the State Department’s visa main page. U.S. Passports and International Travel.

passport

You Might Also Like

Escape to Telluride

By December 1, 2016 Adventure Travel, Cities, Destinations, Family Travel, Travel
Telluride, CO

I’m looking forward to traveling to Telluride again this winter. I have visited at least twice a year over the last 4 years. It truly is an excellent place to escape, lose yourself, or to rediscover. With plenty to attract just about any traveler, perhaps I can entice you to add Telluride to your travel plans this coming year.

Telluride is nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado. Some of its appeal is that it is effectively a remote destination, with no freeways within 200 miles, and surrounded by mountain passes, limiting the masses of people descending on this town the way they do on other towns like Jackson Hole WY, Aspen CO, and Durango CO. While state highways come through the area from Moab, UT, Cortez, Co and Grand Junction, CO, its a long, albeit breathtaking drive.

Telluride also operates the highest commercial airport in North America, yet all flights in are private or charter, and many get diverted to Montrose, CO anyway, which is serviced by United and American Airlines.  Flights to Montrose cost about $650 roundtrip from most points in the West and Midwest. Still, you’ll need to shuttle the 65 miles to Telluride at an additional cost.

To get a glimpse of what travel to Telluride may be like from Phoenix, AZ, through Cortez, CO, over Lizardhead Pass, view this video:

However challenging it may seem to get to Telluride, once you are there. its hard to leave. There is so much to do, see, and experience, that its easy to spend a week every year for many years just doing new and different things offered over the four seasons.

Now that I’ve pointed out the only downside I can think of visiting Telluride, its time to tell you all about the great things that Telluride has to offer.

Telluride Village

Originally started in 1880 as a mining camp named Columbia, the US Postal Service disallowed u

sing a name for a town post office that was already taken, so the alternate –  Telluride – was chosen. There are theories as to what that actually means, but I’ll let you take that up with the locals – its more fun that way! Telluride mining expanded throughout the valley. An investor working with Westinghouse brought alternating power from a dam powerplant up to the mines and then to Telluride, cementing the town’s place in history as the first in the nation with alternating current.

Telluride, CO

Telluride, CO

This was a boon not only for mining, but for the mining barracks, saloons, and the seedy red light district. Telluride was an interesting, lively place in those days. That boon began to end when the silver crash of 1893 dropped prices, making mining a unprofitable business. Those that stayed ended up leaving at the onset of World War I, seeking better jobs, or entering the war. Telluride, like most other mining towns of the same era, became a ghost town.

Telluride and Mountain Village were then connected with the first year round gondola of its type, to serve the needs of the communities. The resort and communities continue the innovation in recreation and leisure opportunities.

Mountain Village

Mountain Village

Mountain Village

Located in the core of the ski resort, on the high plateau over 1000 feet above Telluride, is a newer community with plenty of real estate for rent, condos to purchase, and multi-million dollar homes to impress the most discriminating wealthy buyer. The village was built with the resort guest in mind, with plenty of lodging next to trail offering ski-up access, plenty of short run lifts, and shops that provide the necessities of the resident/guest.

 

Both communities have interesting shops, world class dining, excellent recreation offerings, and awe inspiring views.

Festivals & Celebrations

A large draw to Telluride are the plethora of special events. Probably half of them were created with no other interest than a local citizen’s passion for a topic, and wanted to put on something special around that theme, for the weekend, and the event took a life of its own over time. Other events were created specifically for the sake of tourism. Either way, There is probably a handful of events that would interest you. Here is a list that occur annually:

Art Walk – Weekly, first Thursday of the month

Fire Festival – A flame induced celebration, inspired by Burning Man – Mid January

Comedy Festival – World Class comedians, and local hacks share the laughs – Mid February

Gay Ski Week – Fun on the slopes and at parties for the LGBTQ community – Last week of February

Tribute Fest – Tribute bands and events paying homage to rock bands of yester-year – Mid March

Literary Arts Fest – Poetry to books, and even a Hike to Reading event – Mid May

Mountainfilm  – Celebrating Outdoor recreation and activism through film – End of May

Balloon Festival – Hot air balloons, rides, glows and more – First week of June

Wild West Fest – The West comes alive, along with 500 visiting inner-city youth – Early June

WOW – Work Out Weekend, Health and fitness festival – Early June

Bluegrass Festival – Simply one of the finest Bluegrass Music events in the US – Mid June

Wine Festival – Tastings, and pairings – Mid June

Plein Air Festival – Artists come to paint outdoors – Late June

Rundola – Mountain run of 1800 feet of elevation gain. – July 4

Fireman’s Celebration – Fun activities and celebratory events – July 4

The Ride Festival – Music fest in the town park – Mid July

Art & Architecture Festival – Featuring unique downtown properties and exhibits – Mid July

Yoga Festival – All things yoga at this festival – Mid July

Jazz Festival – Historic Greats and up-and-coming artists  – Early August

Chamber Music Festival – Classical Chamber Music performed in the valley – Mid August

Mushroom Festival – Anything and Everything Fungal! – Mid August

Telluride Film Festival – A Prestigious Film festival featuring world class filmmakers – Late August

Blues & Brews Festival – Food, Blues Music, and microbrew to compliment – Mid September

Festival of Cars & Color – A Fall foliage car show of Classic autos – Mid September

Horror Festival – A 3 day horror film festival featuring 18 films and 20 shorts – Mid October

 

Adventure

If you are coming to experience a festival, or just to visit, there is plenty to draw you away, into the outdoors. Frankly, this is the bet reason to visit Telluride – anything else is ancillary.

Winter

With some of the best terrain in the United States, it would be easy to write about each activity. But here is a list of all you can do in the winter:

Lift Served Alpine Skiing, Heli-skiing, Backcountry trail served skiing, Telemark Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Sleigh rides, Snowmobiling, Hot Spring Stays, Ice Climbing, Sledding, Snowshoeing, Dog Sledding, Horseback riding, Fly fishing, Fat Tire Bicycling.Telluride Resort

Summer

Biking, Hiking, Mountain biking, 4×4 trails drives, Ghost Towns, ATV & Motorcycle routes, Court sports galore, Disc Golfing, Fly Fishing, Golf, Horseback riding, Hot Air Ballooning, Camping, Paragliding, Landscape Photography Tour, Mountain running, Skate parks, Paddleboarding, Swimming, spas, Whitewater Rafting.

 

Neither list is fully inclusive, and I intentionally left out shopping, movies and other more mundane activities you can do anywhere.

Trip Planning

The best way to get here is to plan your trip with a Travel Professional. Explain all that you want to do, the time you want to visit, and approximate budget. The only mistake you can make is not having a budget big enough to cover all the exciting things you want to do. Your travel professional will work magic for you in narrowing down options, costs, and can offer alternate solutions or options for your trip.

Secondly you can get on with a group excursion that will be traveling to Telluride. If Skiing is your interest, you can save a lot of money by going with an established tour group. The best person to handle this is Mike Clark of Arizona Fun and Leisure. a 4 day ski trip, with transportation from Phoenix, AZ, lodging and lift tickets can run just under $300! Its a seriously great value, and Mike has been doing this for over 30 years! You can learn more about his Telluride Ski Trips here.

Oh – and if you are interested in meeting me in Telluride, Let me know in the comments, and I’ll share when I’ll be there.

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like