Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Importance Of Having Travel Insurance



When you’re preparing to travel the last thing you want to think about is are crazy unforeseen situations. But there are many that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical services while traveling.

Most people ask if you need to purchase travel insurance simply because they don’t know what it’s for or how it can help them in one of these crazy events. Whether it's your trip, your possessions, your luggage, or your health, the right kind of travel insurance can cover you.  It has become an essential item to pack for smart travelers. And if you don't buy the right kind of travel insurance more than your trip could be ruined.

Bet your wondering what can travel insurance help you with? It can help you with all sorts of things like cancelled flights, lost baggage and your medication is in it and you need to have an emergency prescription filled, your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport, medical evacuation (You are involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available), trip cancellations due to illness or a terror incident that occurs in the city you're planning to visit, your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. You need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination, medical emergencies in foreign countries or a hurricane evacuation at your resort, hotel or cruise. And this is just a few.

There are many different types of travel insurance so make sure that you take into consideration where you're going, what you will be doing, and the places you will be going. Then discuss it with your travel agent so that you can be well advised before you purchase your travel insurance. Remember travel insurance can provide you peace of mind, protection against the unexpected and easing your concerns of losing money.

For more information on travel insurance or any other travel topic please contact me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Alaska? Are You Crazy?



When people are planning their vacations most are booking their dream getaways to an island somewhere with sun and white sand beaches to relax on. Not to many people are thinking of heading to Alaska to get away from it all for their vacation. Alaska gets a bad wrap, it is actually an amazing destination for your next vacation. They have sandy beaches and sunshine too (if you plan right). The scenic views alone are purpose enough to go and spend some time there. You can get out into nature and see what we are missing in all the hussle and  bussle of our day to day lives.

Alaska offers fine dining at places like Crow’s Nest in Anchorage, or Seven Glaciers Restaurant in Anchorage, and as you can imagine there is some spectacular seafood fresh from the area. You can enjoy the animal life on many different tours such as whale watching boat tours for orcas and humpbacks, grizzlies feasting on wild salmon, otters playing in kelp beds or eagles enjoying their freedom soaring high above you.

Nature is the show piece of Alaska. This is one of the BEST places to view the Northern Lights in all their glory and colors. You can take an airplane tour of Alaska and see some of it’s amazing views and scenery. You can even see glaciers melting and crashing into the ocean right before your eyes. If you enjoy camping you can take guided hiking and camping tours as well. This is a place of once in a lifetime opportunities to see and experience things you may never be able to experience again in your life. So remember when booking your next vacation don’t overlook Alaska as a potential to do something awesome!

For more information on Alaska or any other destinations please contact me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wow! Really?

Today the kids went back to school which is the unofficial end to summer and the official start of when Mom’s pick up their school calendars and begin to plan their family vacations during winter and spring breaks.  I know I know, the leaves haven’t even really begun changing colors yet and all the coffee shops haven’t fully embraced the pumpkin-everything season BUT…..those who book their travel early always end up the winners!  One thing that I have been hearing over and over again these past few weeks out of the mouths of the uber organized Mom’s is, “Wow! Really?”  I’ve heard it so much I’ve decided to write a little ditty about it, I mean, if it’s happening so often, chances are you will feel the same once you hear it too!


I know with back to school we have a few more bills this time of the year than others.  New clothes, kicks and of course tech gear can set us back several hundreds, not to mention those sending Jr off to college…#wowsers The idea of dropping another few thousand on a family vacation or even adult escape in the middle of winter (which feels so far away right now, doesn’t it??) can almost seem ludicrous if not downright untimely.  However, as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, the early bird gets the worm, er, epic vacation.  But did you know that when you book your epic vacation with Divine Destinations you don’t have to smoke your credit card with one large payment?  “Wow!  Really?”  That’s right!  Typically, a deposit of about $200 per person is all you need to lock in your package.  From there, you can make payments as you wish as long as the balance is paid off 30 days prior to departure!  “Wow!  Really?” Talk about a throwback to the days of Lay-Away!  And the best part is when you protect your vacation with travel insurance, you can rest assured knowing you got the best price and value - because if the prices drop or you need to cancel, you will be refunded.  Say it with me, “Wow!  Really?


So the moral of this (real life) story is, the earlier you plan the more flexibility you have in paying for it.  As an added bonus, you generally will have paid the best price too which is more value for you - and that means more money for pumpkin spice lattes or new diggs for the upcoming sweater weather!  

Has the back to school rush left you overwhelmed and exhausted?  Need a little help with planning your next vacation?  Our team of Destination Divas have been there done that and are ready to design your very own Divine Destination!  What are you waiting for?  Click here to get started - let us do the work and all you have to do is pack your bags!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Zikaaaaaaa!



Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC has issued an “Alert Level 2” for travelers visiting many popular destinations due to local transmissions of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The CDC issued its alert after the Brazilian health ministry confirmed a link between the disease and a high incidence of birth defects.

“Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon,” according to the CDC.
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika)
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
  • Deaths are rare.
  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of deng and chikungunya, which are diseases caused by other viruses spread by the same type of mosquitoes.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine to treat Zika, but symptoms may be treated with plenty of rest, drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and taking fever reducers.
If you have a trip booked to one of the infected areas, you may be able to switch your destination or receive a refund.  Last week I was able to switch a client in her 2nd trimester to a different destination without any hassles.
There are precautions travelers can take to minimize their risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito.
While there is no vaccine or medication to prevent Zika, the CDC offers some tips on avoiding mosquito bites
    • Use insect repellents containing DEET.  Want a more natural approach? Essential oils including lemongrass and eucalyptus are natural repellants. Personally I’ve found good old fashioned Avon SOS works amazing too.  Apparently the mosquitoes of the Caribbean don’t like it anymore than ours do.  
    • Take garlic pills a week before your trip
    • Don’t eat bananas the week before you leave – mosquitoes love potassium!

Monday, August 1, 2016

A No Vacation Nation



I have traveled the world and want to share my experiences and best practices with you. Today I’d like to ask you a question – are you part of the No Vacation Nation?

Are you one of those workers who limit their happiness and success by assuming that taking vacation time off from work will send a negative message to their manager and maybe even cause you to be passed over for that coveted promotion?  New research says “RELAX”!  Taking that vacation can actually increase the likelihood of getting that raise or promotion.

According to Gary Oster, Managing Director of Project: Time Off, American workers are taking less vacation time than at any point in the last four decades because they think that it will negatively impact their manager’s perception of them.  But the opposite is true:

~ Taking a vacation actually Increases your promotion chances!
    People who take all of their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave paid time-off on the table. 

~ A positive, engaged brain improves important business metrics
   Research shows that when the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31%, sales increase by 37% and creativity and revenues can triple!  To be truly engaged at work, your brain needs periodic breaks to gain fresh perspective and energy.
  
~ Your manager will perceive you as more productive
    According to research done by the US Travel Association, managers associate personal happiness with productivity.  And most managers understand that happy, rested employees are more productive and collaborative.

~You’ve earned it!  Don’t voluntarily take a pay cut!
   If you’re a salaried employee and paid vacation is part of your compensation package, you’re essentially taking a voluntary pay cut when you work instead of taking that earned vacation time.  The work will still be there when you return and you will be in a better state of mind to tackle it.
    
So, start changing the conversation in your own workplace now by sharing this segment.  If you work in an environment that isn’t supportive of taking vacations, approach management and other workers about the benefits of taking that time off...Then, start planning your next vacation!  It's good for you and your career!    And, of course, even less stressful when you use the planning services of a trusted travel professional….I’m Jen Maki reminding you the internet is for looking and your Destination Diva is for booking!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Why Vegas? Why Not?



When you think Vegas what is your first thought? I bet you're thinking gambling and casinos, right! That’s ok that’s what most people think Las Vegas is. A lot of people say “Well I don’t gamble so I have no reason to go there for a vacation”. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Vegas is SO MUCH more than gambling. There are so many unique things to see and visit in Las Vegas that do not pertain to gambling. Las Vegas is home to some of the most AMAZING hotels and shows in the US.

There is literally something for everyone, of all ages in Las Vegas. Here are a few of the amazing things you can do on your vacation:


  1. Visit the sharks at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef,
  2. See the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio,
  3. Take in the glorious water show at the Bellagio Fountains,
  4. See fabulous shows such as Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, Zarkana, that’s just to name a few,
  5. Take a gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel & Shopping while enjoying the sites,
  6. Have dinner at Top of the World (360 degree spinning views of the strip),
  7. Attend a baking class at the amazing Bouchon Bakery,
  8. There are numerous magnificent golf courses to enjoy,
  9. Explore Fremont Street and see all that it has to offer,
  10. If you're feeling extreme there are some great places to test your fears like the Stratosphere rides and coasters, or indoor skydiving,
  11. Would you like an opportunity to drive something you have never driven before? Dig This in Vegas allows you to drive bulldozers and excavators in a huge sand box. Or you could drive an expensive exotic car of your dreams around a track at Exotics Racing.

There is so much more that Las Vegas has to offer that I can not even begin to list here. So when you are looking to plan your next vacation don’t rule out Vegas because it could be the destination of your dreams.

For more on a Las Vegas vacation or any other destination vacations please contact me.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What’s the big deal about a honeymoon?



Just like you wouldn’t skip the wedding cake you shouldn’t skip the tradition of the honeymoon either. Honeymoons teach us the art of being intentional. It’s easy to blow off a honeymoon for hundreds of reasons, but by making sure this happens is telling your spouse they are valuable. It’s also another way to show your commitment to your spouse.

Honeymoons teach you how to have fun together. Laughter is good for the soul. As my late grandma Effie used to say “If you can’t have fun stay home”. Imagine enjoying a new cultural experience together like learning a tribal dance in Bora Bora. By letting your guard down and allowing yourself to get silly together, you are also creating memories that will last a lifetime. You're not a dancing queen? How about the art of glassblowing in Cabo and bringing home your handcrafted treasured souvenir? What a great way to remember your first journey as husband and wife.

How can we afford it? How can you NOT afford it? With unique free resources out there like a honeymoon registry, your friends and family can actually defray the cost of your honeymoon by depositing monetary gifts into your account. As stated before, if you dream of Hawaii but can only afford Mexico, make it the best Mexico experience your budget affords. Hawaii can be your goal for your 10 year anniversary and something you work toward as a couple.