Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Honeymoon Story

My passion in life is helping couples like yourself dream up magical romance travel with the least amount of stress. Whether that be the perfect honeymoon or that amazing destination wedding on the beach.

So I know what you are thinking – you’re a travel agent, your Honeymoon must have been magical….well, unless you consider stress, hassle, cancellations, wasted time and money to be magical, it was everything BUT! 
When I was engaged and planning my wedding, I wasn’t in the travel business at the time. So I had the mindset that if it was to get done correctly, it had to be by me. And since I ran a tight budget, alas, I must do it myself to save money! Well, knowing what I know now, I can assure you, I spent more on my Honeymoon than was necessary! In fact, I probably could’ve financed half of the anniversary trip too with my snafus and messes I made!

First of all, it was the beginning of the dotcom era. I was led to believe if I waited until the last minute I could score some serious savings on flights! And if I dare brave the auction site of, I could even tell someone I’d never met how much I was willing to pay for tickets to a destination I’d never been to.

Sounds realistic, right?

Well, the problem is, with Priceline, I had to give my credit card number up in advance and if they accepted my bid, then BOOM, I was booked, no refunds.

But what if I could get it cheaper elsewhere?? Hours and hours I spent searching. I think I even got a fake tan from the LED screens from the computer.

Well, as it turns out my offer was accepted just about the time the coast of Puerto Vallarta was being threatened by a huge hurricane! Without travel insurance, I couldn’t cancel or receive a refund; different rules when you gamble online vs working with a local agent. In addition, because we were using a “gift” of my parent’s time share for the week, we really didn’t know where to begin with calling in and changing dates.

Soon enough we realized it didn’t matter, because the resort was hit and suffered major damage – no new guests were being allowed in. A real mess at best. So, with dazzling brand new wedding bands and a twinkle in our eyes, there we were, young, in love and completely wiped out of the chance of a tropical honeymoon, or any means to do it with!

Plan B: So we (re)packed our bags and headed to do the loop of Lake Superior with some cash from our wedding cards (thank God) and a full tank of gas, we headed out in the Jeep for a week of exploring. Can I share a little secret? My idea of camping is sleeping with the windows down…..and here we were heading out during the season’s peak tourist time without any hotel reservations. I felt like Mary & Joseph – no room at the Inn….anywhere. So if you want to know what it feels like to sleep in a Jeep, I can assure you, 1 star at best!

Was this the Honeymoon I dreamed of? Hell no! Is this what I was given considering the dice I had rolled? You betcha! If I can tell you anything here it is – there is something to the saying “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.

There is also something to the saying “Do what you do best and hire the rest”! I know if we would have planned sooner, budgeted, been aware of hurricane season, covered ourselves with travel insurance and certainly would have way better memories of our Honeymoon had we enlisted the help of someone more human other than Frommer or even the gnome from Travelocity.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the wedding planning process and just want someone who can take care all of the details for you without you having to lift a finger? I’d love to help!

Are you concerned that you may not be able to even afford a modest honeymoon around the great lakes? In my next email I will share with you how you can get your Honeymoon for FREE! Be sure to watch for it!

I look forward to helping turn your dream into a reality.

​Your Destination Diva,

P.S.  Don't forget to tune into FOX21 Friday mornings at 7am for the Travel Tips with the Diva!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Simple Ways to Reignite Your Passion

Did you use cliffsnotes in college to earn your PHD? This article can be like your cliffsnotes to a healthy marriage. As they say “Happy wife happy life”.

Write a love note
Open the door
Send text messages
Be supportive
Hire a sitter
Plan a date night
Get her a spa day at her favorite salon
Reminisce about when you first met
Hold hands
Bring her coffee in bed
Make dinner
Surprise her with a weekend away
Wash her car
Pray with her
Say I love you
Renew your vows
Just do something

What are all of these ideas? A tiny list of great ideas to get you started. Each of these if done sincerely and regularly will make her feel cherished, special and shows her you still love her after all these years. It doesn’t have to be big things even a combination of little things can make a big impact in your marriage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

She said YES now what?

Congratulations! You muster up the courage and popped the question! She jumped in your arms and hugged you tight and said yes. Just like in the movies. Now what? You have options when it comes to saying I do. Here are 3 of the most common:

The Traditionalist:  A traditional wedding locally in your church or outside venue fits the bill for many. There may be sentimental reasons or simply the mindset of this is how it’s always been done. Either way a traditional wedding although general the most expensive option will yield the most guests. If it is important to have great grandma all the way to your best friend from kindergarten there this option makes the most sense.

Abroad:  Destination weddings are gaining popularity these days. They cost a fraction of a traditonal are simple and stress free to plan. As an added bonus, you and all of your guests get a vacation too. Some resorts offer free wedding packages and I offer exclusive discounts for friends and family making the trip. As an added bonus unlike a traditional wedding the more that attend can actually prove to be the least expensive option. What do I mean? Imagine getting a bonus check after you return home as our way of saying thank you.

Eloping:  Short on time or even patience for planning anything? Join the 1000’s who run away and elope every year. About 315 marriages are performed daily in Vegas. Whether you want to drive thru, have a Graceland wedding or get married with the mob the options are endless.