Thursday, July 30, 2015

What should I pack for an Alaskan vacation?

with Jen Maki from Divine Destinations

Think layers:  The best defense against unpredictable Alaskan weather is layers. Layers are more comfy and versatile verses wearing a parka on the 8 am tour and wrangling the parka in your arms at noon. Smart Wool, Gore-tex and microfiber fabrics are among the top rated layering pieces.    

Backpack: Ditch the purse sport a backpack. You will need a place to stow your layers as the temperatures climb or plummet depending on your location and time of day. In your pack you should also bring necessities like a camera, binoculars, and bottled water.

Comfy shoes: It goes without saying Alaska is one of the largest states and if you’re going to explore it is best done in comfy shoes. Supportive flat or low profile shoes are the best. Across between a hiker and loafer are the most versatile.

One formal outfit:  If you're on a 7 night Alaskan cruise you can expect 2 nights to be formal nights. If you chose to participate you will be expected to dress up. For men that means a minimum of a sport coat and button down shirt. And for women a cocktail dress is perfect.

Umbrella/Poncho:  Not necessary but recommended. Why? Murphys Law. I’ve seen $3 umbrellas suddenly switch to $20 umbrellas the minute a rain cloud threatened our daily activities. If you have your backpack it is not a hassle to add an umbrella. This isn’t something I commonly do therefore I have a colorful collection of over priced umbrellas from around the world. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Early: The Insider's Guide to Getting the Best Value Out Of Your Vacation Dollars

Best Selection: Just like when shopping for groceries, it’s best to do it early in the morning AND early in the week for best selection.  By waiting until the produce has been on the market for the entire week, you will have less to choose from since all the smart shoppers were there days ago.   Don’t want to choose between bruised peaches or really bruised peaches?   There is something to be said about the fact the Early Bird Gets the Worm.

Best Prices: You will already be getting the best prices simply by hiring a travel agent, that’s a no brainer.  However, did you know the best prices are released about 11 months in advance and commonly referred to as Early Booking Savings rates?  Whether it’s a cruise or a resort, the best prices are generally released first.  As the inventory goes down, the prices go up: Simply put, it’s the law of Supply & Demand.

Less Stressful: Have you ever had to try and find a gift last minute?  How about stocking stuffers during the 11th hour?  It’s very stressful and many times we feel like we've had to “settle”.  Never settle on your vacation!  Enlist the experts to research and recommend the perfect getaway for you by drawing on their experience and firsthand knowledge.  Not sure if passports are needed?  Do they speak English where you are going?  What about currency or customs?  Don’t sweat it!  If you've hired a professional, it’s all covered and you will be traveling stress free with all the details handled.

Price Protection: Ever bought something to find it went on sale after the fact?  FRUSTRATING!  What isn't frustrating is knowing that if you have purchased your dream vacation package and then it goes on sale afterwards, you will be refunded the difference before the final payment has been made.  After the final payment it’s not likely to go down, however, if you have purchased travel insurance, chances are the difference will still be covered.  

Peace of Mind: Always include travel insurance in your package!  Why?  It covers you for the unexpected!  Insert any of these words after UNEXPECTED:
Pregnancy , death in the family, accident on the way to the airport, weather delays, lost luggage, stolen passports, trip to the ER in the DR.  These are all real examples of some perils my clients have encountered this past year and all reasons for you to have travel insurance.  In my opinion, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind!

Ready to plan your next Divine Destination? Click here to get started!  You can be confident in knowing when you enlist the help of an expert at Divine Destinations, your vacation will be designed with thoughtfulness, hassle free and unexpected delights throughout.  What are you waiting for?