Discover this incredibly beautiful and diverse country.
Discover this incredibly beautiful and diverse country. Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split and Zadar are among the fabulous cities reflecting its rich culture with many UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will be transported back in time when strolling through winding stone-paved streets and squares. Enjoy one or more of the 8 national parks. Forests rich in vegetation, cascading lakes and beautiful travertine waterfalls create a masterpiece of nature. Also visit the fabulous Croatian Islands caressed by the sun, gentle breezes and aromas of pine and lavender filling the air. Enjoy the fabulous beaches with their crystal clear blue sea should not be missed!
The Splendors of Croatia: Croatia Escapade
12 Day Tour Dubrovnik, Mostar, Plitvice, Sibenik, Split, Trogir, Zadar, and Zagreb
• Two nights in Zagreb, three nights in Zadar, two nights in Split and three nights in Dubrovnik at a selected first class hotels • Four private 3 hour walking tours in Zagreb (funicular), Zadar, Split (Diocletian’s Palace) & Dubrovnik (Rector’s Palace a Franciscan Monastery) including entrance fees • All inclusive 7 day manual car rental with pick up/drop off at hotel • Hotel stays include daily breakfast, service fees and taxes • Schedule small group tour to the Plitvice Lakes National Park • Private transfers Zagreb Airport/Hotel & Dubrovnik Hotel/Airport
11 Day Land Tour starting at $995 per person, double occupany
Brac, Hvar, & Korcula: Croatia Island Hopping
11 Day Tour Brac, Croatia, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korčula, and Split
• One night in Split, two nights in Brac, two nights in Hvar, two nights in Korcula and two nights in Dubrovnik at a selected first class hotels • Ferry transportation Split/Brac/Hvar/ Korčula/Dubrovnik • Private transfers Split Airport/Hotel, Split Hotel/Pier, Brac Pier/Hotel, Brac Hotel/Pier, Korčula Pier/Hotel, Korčula Hotel/ Pier, Dubrovnik Pier/Hotel, Dubrovnik Hotel/Airport • Private 3 hour walking tour of Split (Diocletian’s Palace) & Dubrovnik (Rector’s Palace & Franciscan Monastery) including entrance fees • Hotel stays include daily breakfast, service fees and taxes
10 Day Tour starting at $1130 per person, double occupancy
The Splendors of Croatia: Enchanting Croatia
10 Day Tour Croatia, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, and Ston
• Three nights in Split, three nights in Hvar and two nights in Dubrovnik at a selected hotels • Ferry transportation Split/Hvar/Dubrovnik • Two private 3 hour walking tour of Split (Diocletian’s Palace) & Dubrovnik (Rector’s Palace & Franciscan Monastery) including entrance fees • Hotel stays include daily breakfast, service fees and taxes • Private transfers Split Airport/Hotel, Split Hotel/Pier, Dubrovnik Hotel/Airport
10 Day Tour starting at $995 per person, double occupancy
Croatia Food Tasting
8 Day Tour Croatia, Dubrovnik, Konavle, Metkovic, Split, Ston, and Trogir
The food specialties of the Slavonian area abound with hot spices, home grown ingredients and meat. The famous paprika flavored sausage, kulen, is usually served with cottage or dried cheese followed by goulash meat stew or freshwater river fish paprikash. Along the Adriatic coast small wine growing and olive oil estates can be found almost everywhere. Authentic stone villages and olive mills scattered all over the Istrian Peninsula will transport you to the past. One of the most recognizable culinary treasures of this area is the world known Istrian white truffle. The Dalmatian cuisine closely related with the Adriatic sea and consists a great variety of sea food dishes such as fish stewed brodettos or risottos. Fresh Adriatic fish is usually grilled with local olive oil and served with boiled vegetables which make this cuisine one of the healthiest in the world. A must-try is also Dalmatian and Istrian dried ham.
• Three nights in Dubrovnik, two nights in Split, one night in Ston, one night in Korcula at a selected first class hotels • 7 dinners and 6 lunches without drinks • 3 wine tastings • Private transfers and ferry • Hotel stays include daily breakfast, service Fees and taxes
8 Day Tour starting at $1890 per person, double occupancy
Croatia Wine Tasting
8 Day Tour Croatia, Dubrovnik, Opatija, Split, Ston, Trogir, and Zadar
What makes Croatia interesting for wine lovers is the wide variety of wine categories and grape types grown throughout centuries in limited space. Croatia is divided into two main wine making regions: the continental and coastal region. The delightful continental region with its unspoiled countryside covered with fruitful plains and forests in Slavonia and the amazing green hills in Zagorje and Međimurje are the main providers of white wine varieties. The Adriatic area is known for producing the Bordeaux reds like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but also by the deep and intense colored Teran, considered the indigenous wine of Istria, together with white Malvazija. The outstanding scenery of the Dalmatian coast and its undisturbed Mediterranean vegetation is home to a stunning pallet of indigenous grape types. Tasting one of the most regarded Croatian red wines such as Postup and Dingač will take you to a fulfilling journey your senses will never forget!
• One night accommodation in Zagreb, Two nights accommodation in Opatija, two nights accommodation in Split, two nights accommodation in Dubrovnik • 7 dinners and 6 lunches without drinks • 3 wine tastings • Private transfers • Hotel stays include daily breakfast, service Fees and taxes
8 Day Tour starting at $2160 per person, double occupancy
If you are planning to attend Universal Studios, you’ve probably seen some of the pricing, and likely taken a deep breath. I can imagine its more than you first expected! Wouldn’t you like to save money on your trip? Wondering what is the most effective way to save money at Universal Studios?
The Most clever, and effective way to save money going to Universal Studios, is to attend as a GROUP! Seriously, its that easy, and the group does not have to be a large group either! In fact, the larger the group, the better the pricing for park tickets, but group pricing can begin with less than 20 people! With day tickets exceeding $100, group ticketing gets the price under that threshold.
But the savings are not just for group day tickets! In fact, if you have interest in staying for multiple days, you can really save a tremendous amount of money with a group package at Universal Studios Orlando. Here is what to expect in savings exclusively for groups:
Savings on Park Tickets
Early Park Entry Passes
Special discounts on select merchandise
Free Discount Savings Booklet worth over $150 in savings
Group Leader complimentary meals and services
Reduced hotel costs
How to Qualify as a Group
By now, you may be thinking – gee that’s nice, but its only my family, how is that going to help?
This is how easy it is to get group discounts – get a few families together, and commit to travel at the same time, and stay in the same hotel. 10 paid hotel rooms will qualify for the exceptional rates available. That’s 10 couples, and maybe less if large families are booking 2 adjoining rooms.
A family of 4, could have the families of their children’s friends invited. Now you have 3 rooms booked. They all ask grandparents to come, and you have 9 rooms done. If every family just invited one more family or person, that would be 13 rooms, and the family organizing the trip get extra perks to offset their trip, such as free meals for one adult, and the room for free!
Or perhaps you belong to a youth sports program, club, or church group. Just about any group can qualify.
Next is to contact your Travel Professional, and work with them in arranging your group with Universal Studios. They’ll know the ins and outs of the many benefits to groups at the park, and advantages to the many options that are available. They will know of blackout dates, and when group travel is not the best savings available.
They can also offer additional options and tours to experience while in the Orlando area.
Tips for Extra Savings
One more way to save, is by booking your air travel or ground transportation as a group. It can be done on your own, but the easiest way is to work with your travel professional. It usually doesn’t cost you anything if this person is booking your entire package, so you not only save money by group booking, but you’ll save lots of time and frustration too!
Traveling by motorcoach is an excellent way to save money on ground transportation. and can cost less than traveling by auto if the group is 15 or more passengers. And you’ll enjoy less hassle, have better comfort, and how cool is it to not stop every time a little one needs a potty break?! (Motorcoaches have on-board lavatories)
If you decide that you want to book your own ground travel, contact ANGL. Tell them Shawn at East-West Global Traveler sent you, and they will take good care of your needs.
If you book this winter, but wait to go to Universal Studios until after June 2017, your group ticket package will include Volcano Bay – Universal’s newest theme park, That’s 3 parks for the same price as 2! Just more more way to save!
If you travel at all, you appreciate the value of good travel brochures that inspire, and educate you about great destinations .
It does get frustrating when I lose them, or want to review one while I am abroad, and don’t have access to them.
Ah, but technology can fix this! If you have internet access, I have found an online source for hundreds of up-to-date travel brochures. They update regularly, and I don’t need to re-order or carry around glossy copies. I can download those that I really like, to keep with me on my laptop, or tablet.
And look, you can even sort them by location and other parameters. I’m always discovering something new in these brochures!
You can see the entire selection by clicking the image or get your Brochures Here.
Meticulous care is given to book a flight, selecting the best seats for your interests, and at the gate, you get reassigned. OR WORSE, the flight attendants have reassigned you to another seat while you are waiting in the aisle!
You are probably upset, or at the least, irritated. But wait – you paid for that seat right? You booked it, secured it, have the original tickets, so what is going on? What can you do about it?
Before addressing your options, lets review real scenarios that cause you to get bumped to another seat.
A Federal Air Marshal has been assigned to your flight, and has chosen to be seated in the very seat you purchased. You are going to get reassigned.
A family booked tickets online, but the seats were randomly assigned, and at the gate they presented their concern about having 3 young children scattered around the plane. The gate and flight attendants will group them if at all possible, and if its on your aisle, you are getting reassigned.
A person with disabilities has specific needs, and the seat you booked is one of only 5 on the plane that can accomodate those needs. Even if they booked a different seat, you are getting reassigned
A person with mobility limitations was booked online for a seat near the back of the plane, but for sake of expedient boarding, and safety, that passenger is placed in one of the front rows. If you booked there, you are getting reassigned.
A Customer of Size (some might refer to as obese) booked a ticket, and paid for an adjacent seat, which didn’t correspond with their booked seat. The attendants will vacate the seat next to them, thus, you are getting reassigned.
You board a plane that originated with passengers earlier in the day. Someone was assigned your seat on that flight, and is continuing on to the final destination – but you boarded at the second leg of the flight. The first passenger will be allowed to retain that seat for the duration of the flight, and you will be reassigned.
The flight is full, and was overbooked. You are on the last boarding call. Lucky to even get on the aircraft, to accommodate all of the above scenarios, your were actually reassigned 4 times and didn’t know it. All you know is that the seat you have in your hand is not the seat the flight attendant is giving you.
A different plane then normally assigned to this flight has to be used, due to scheduled maintainence, and its seating configuration is different – including which rows are emergency exit rows. You and many others are getting reassigned.
What do you do?
Frankly you have little option, and almost no legal protection. The airline ticket provides you carriage on the flight, but almost all airlines have fine print in the ticket contract that allows them to make seat changes without your consent, and with no compensation. But here are some things that you should be aware, and can do.
The seat they offer you in the reassignment must be of the same category, or Like for Like. Meaning if you booked Business Class and they move you to Coach, they are obligated to pay the difference. They may attempt to offer a credit or air miles, but must pay in cash if you request it. I would choose cash.
If they move you to a seat within your category, they are not obligated to assure its same – as in, you booked a window seat, but reassigned to a aisle. You have no recourse, and can either accept the reassignment, or leave the flight and forfeit your booking without refund.
If the airline makes a fair re-assignment (under the law), you may not have any official options, but you certainly can tell them that you will comply, but that you do so under protest. Then at the newly assigned seat, ask very politely what accommodations the airline will make for your inconvenience. Flight attendants can make a report to the company about your request, the circumstances behind the changed seating (which you may not be aware) and that you didn’t give them grief, or create a scene, over the change. The better airlines tend to offer extra air miles on their frequent flier programs, a free upgrade, or free drinks on the plane. Remember that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Some airlines make many more seating changes than others, and people who use those carriers often, can find themselves getting moved regularly. As a regular customer, you can write a letter explaining your frustration, documenting the number of flights you have paid on that airline, and how many times you or your party suffered reassigned seating. Money talks, and they don’t want to lose regular customers. You might be amazed how the letter can affect future flights. People who have done just this effort, have had it all end mysteriously! Gate attendants won’t admit it, but somewhere there is a tag or code that tells them to avoid doing this to certain customers.
If you are a customer of size, and travel with a companion, your ticketing can be quite useful. Be sure to book 3 seats, and leave the aisle seat unused. Airlines sometimes make a RESERVED ticket to place on the seat, as a reminder to flight staff that the seat is paid, and serves a specific purpose. This way you and your companion can be seated together.
Don’t sit in the first 3 rows or the last two rows. These are preferred location or Federal Air Marshals, and also the most likely seats to be reassigned for those with mobility concerns or need extra care. The Bulkhead seats are notorious for reassignment. if you have long legs and must sit in seats like bulkhead, go ahead and let the gate attendant know that you are a customer of size, and that you have booked your seat specifically to meet your medical needs.
Take advantage of the services of a travel professional. Explain your concerns about being seated in the correct seat, especially if traveling with a companion. They can make the calls to the right people to help make it improbable that you will get reassigned. I say improbable, as its no guarantee.
Lastly, before heading out on your flight, bring along a few thank you cards, and some nice chocolate. If those who make an effort to accommodate you on the flight, know how much you care about the effort, it goes a long way. A thank you note and some chocolate does wonders. You do it to say thank you, and with no other expectation.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Neither list is fully inclusive, and I intentionally left out shopping, movies and other more mundane activities you can do anywhere.
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.
After installing, using, and deleting dozens of apps, a few have become “Legacy apps” that I’ve come to use while I travel. These aren’t booking apps, or itinerary apps, but apps I use while traveling and facilitating better travel.
I have not listed them in any particular order, but I would recommend that you install all of them, if you are a serious travel.
This app is linked to the incredibly robust map data and satellite imagery with the famous online company – Google. The maps are highly detailed, major map information updates very quickly, and if you have data coverage, it will give you real-time traffic information. Since Google purchased Waze, even waze-user accidents are noted on Google Maps. Couple this with the excellent GPS directions, and transit details, Google Maps can get you anywhere. If you need to see specific details of a location, to check if your RV can fit etc, Streetview images and Satellite images are incredibly helpful. I love to use it with the wifi on a flight to see where we are flying and what is out the window.
So here are the specific reasons this app is outstanding:
Real-time GPS Navigation.
Real-time Traffic – with color coded severity.
Real-time transit details for rail and bus services.
Auto-rerouting in severe traffic.
Easy search features for fuel, shopping and more.
Quick restaurant search, with menus.
Save places for future.
Integrates with your Google Maps online.
Streetview, Interior imagery, Building maps, and Satellite images
Can be used offline!
Have you ever driven to a destination, and find your parking is metered, and you are out of quarters, or it requires you to walk half a block to secure paid parking? There is an app for that! Many municipalities are moving to app integration, where you can pay for parking from your phone. If you see the app symbol on the meter, payment is possible. The app is feature rich. Here is why I like it:
Pay for parking from the app.
Extend time from the app – no more walking back to add more money.
App alerts you when time is about to expire.
Locate available parking.
Locate your car with the app GPS feature.
More than one vehicle can be associated with the app.
I have used it to pay for multiple spaces for an oversize vehicle.
There are times while traveling that people want to know where you are. Perhaps you have a teen driver and want to know where they are, and how fast they are driving. Coordinating the arrival of multiple people? this is the app for you. It does require gps and data. Here why I like it:
Share your location in real-time, on a dynamic map.
You can set the shared location to expire at 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
You can share with anyone – even if they don’t have the app.
Runs in the background – Share and forget about it.
Extend the time shared with a simple click.
Use it to share your location with emergency personnel.
Your location can be shared with anyone that has internet or data service.
This app has been incredibly useful to me both in travel and business applications. The app effectively turns your phone into a walkie talkie. No phone service is needed, as long as you have data, and will work over wifi as well as cell data. Speak to your friends and family from anywhere in the world. Here is why I like it:
Real-time Push to Talk communication.
Missed messages are still available to review.
If recipient loses data, they can still get messages later.
Private or Public group communication via channels up to 1000 people.
You can map the PTT features to specific buttons on your phone.
Works over wifi and 2G, 3G, 4G + connections
Great for use in theme parks, and on cruse ships.
With these 4 apps, you can be the master of logistics for your next big travel, or coordinating the reunion next year. I’m certain that you will find value with all of them, and once installed, they will be excellent resources for your travel.