Tag Archives: active travel

Benefits of Using a Travel Agent

13 Aug
Active Travel

Our office at 5064 Cemetery Rd. Hilliard OH 43026

We get asked a lot about the benefits of using a travel agent. It’s not a new question. Even USA Today writes articles about “What are the Benefits of Using a Travel Agent?” The American Society of Travel Agents reports travel agents sell 85% of all cruises and 70% of all packages and tours, as of 2008. Agents are still in demand, and offer plenty of benefits when you’re booking your vacation.

Well, here it from our lips: There are lots of benefits of using a travel agent! 

  • Expertise: When was the last time you performed surgery on yourself? Never. You leave that to the experts. You often spend as much money on your vacation as medical procedures, so trust experts with your planning. Want to go on a Sandals vacation, but don’t know which one you should go to? That’s where we can help. What kind of vacation do you want? What do you want to do? Based on talking with you, we can recommend the resort with the best beaches, restaurants, or water activities. Having been to the resorts, ourselves, we can give you personal insight that the resort website cannot. We can also tell you what to pack, what to see, what not to do, and how to breeze through the airports. We are travel experts.
  • Experience: We’ve been open since 1989. Our travel agents have been travelling their whole lives and have a combine 70 years of experience in the travel industry. Our agents travel once every month. When you travel for a living, you become an expert. We can share our expertise with you. 
  • Upgrades: Travel agents can call the hotels, airlines, resorts, wholesalers, cruise, etc and get you exclusive upgrades. We’ve helped our clients get massages, champagne, breakfast in bed, rose petals on their beds, and free meals just by calling and asking for upgrades. 
    Sandals Hummer

    Look for our Sandals Hummer parked outside our office

  • Special prices: While Expedia, Travolicity or Orbitz may claim they have the lowest prices, we can often match their prices. We use expert wholesalers who can give us the lowest price for your travel. 
  • Saves time and money: Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it searching and searching for the best hotel and flight deals. We can easily search for the best travel options to meet your needs. Travel agents know about the latest promotions and deals (such as combining flight and hotel deals) that would be hard to find elsewhere. 
  • Travel Assistance: You’re flight is delayed. There’s a hurricane. You get sick. Now what? A travel agent can help you through this and any tricky situation. If you booked your travel through an agent, you can call him to get assistance with re- booking your travel arrangements. When you book through an online travel site, you might not be able to get that level of personalized attention, or you could have trouble finding someone who can help you get where you need to be.

A common myth is that travel agents only care about the commission and will recommend and send you to the resort where they get the commission. This is far from the truth. We want you to go where you’ll be happiest. 


Remember the Love Boat?

12 Aug

Did you used to watch the TV show “The Love Boat” ? Well, The Love Boat, has been sold for scrap metal.

scrap metal

The Love Boat, has lost it’s love and was sold for scrap metal

One of the most famous cruise ships of the modern era, the former Pacific Princess, is heading to the scrapyard.

The 40-year-old vessel, recognizable to millions of Americans as the “Love Boat” of 1970s television, has been sold to a Turkish demolition company for just over 2.5 million Euro. That’s about $3.3 million at current exchange rates.

The 19, 903-ton, 600 -passenger ship, tiny by today’s standards, has been at a dock in Genoa, Italy for more than a year. The vessel last sailed for Spanish-based Quail Cruises after changing hands a couple times since sailing for Princess Cruises from 1975 until 2002.

But have no fear, there are plenty of other fun cruise ships that are still sailing. Why they may not have the same history or cultural significance as The Love Boat, they are just as fun. We recommend sailing with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Packing Tips from Active Travel

2 Aug

In response to this NBC news article, “Faced with hefty fees, traveler abandons bags, creates airport headache“, I was invited on air this morning at 610 WTVN to speak about some travelling  and packing tips. I thought I would share with you some of the best packing tips I’ve learned over my years of travel.

First off, did you know that in 2012, U.S. airlines earned over $3.5 billion in baggage fees? Wow! If you pack and travel smart, you can avoid giving the airlines more money than they already have.

Expect fairly standard baggage limitations, no matter where you travel. Most airlines will charge for overweight baggage and for more bags than is allowed.

Tip: If possible, take only carry-on baggage. This is great if you’re travelling away for just a weekend or a short trip.

weigh your bag

Use this handy device to make sure your bag is under 50 lbs before you leave.

Want to know ahead of time if your bag weighs more than 50 lbs? You can purchase a digital weighing device, such as a luggage scale. This one pictured on the right costs just $20 and is easily available on Amazon. Or, if you want to save some bucks you can just put your bag on your bathroom scale and weigh it that way.

Pack light. Pack smart. Many of us have a tendency to over pack. Avoid taking more than you needespecially when laundry will be available or friends and relatives will be happy to lend you additional clothes or gadgets. Unless it’s something you can’t live without or you can’t buy when you’re there, don’t bring it. 

If you love something, let it go. Rely on your wits, charm and ability to ask to borrow something. You can live without it!

Rather than buying lots of trinkets to take home, take lots of pictures. These will serve as much better reminders of your experience and don’t take up space in your luggage.

Substitute, Substitute, Substitute. For example, take a smaller Ipod instead of a big one, take an E-reader instead of several books, take an outfit that looks great both day and night.

Cheap luggage. If you’re going to check a bag, buy a cheap bag because often bags get beaten up when they are tossed onto the plane and then on the conveyor belt. Plus, expensive luggage tends to be heavier than cheaper bags.

Carry on. Squishy carry on bags and backpacks are great because they can be shoved under the seat in front of you. If you can, store non essential items in the overhead compartment once you are on the plane.

Turn on the charm. Want a window seat? More leg room? A little compliment and charm will go along way to the counter agent when you check in to your flight. Being extra kind to the agent (who works long hours and deals every day with angry customers) could help you out a lot.

Wear your boots. Be sure to wear your heaviest clothes onto the flight. Think jeans, boots, jacket,belt, etc. This will save room in your luggage

Exemptions. There are some carry-on exemptions that won’t attract fees. These include a child’s safety seat, a baby’s diaper bag, baby’s food bag, strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. Check with your airline in advance.

Where you stay matters. Recently, some hotel chains have introduced an incentive that they will reimburse your baggage fees for staying with them. Consider taking advantage of this offer if your trip requires an overnight stay or longer.

What you should pack:

  • Mini toiletries (TSA only allows liquids in 3oz or less containers)
  • Ziploc plastic baggies (if something gets wet, these are great)
  • Multi-function clothes (think dark colors, day and night and comfy)
  • laundry detergent (so you can do your laundry there)
  • Duffle bag (pack this so that if you come back with a lot of souvenirs, you can use this bag rather than paying overweight bag charges)
  • Vacuum seal bags (These are miracle workers if you’re short on space)
  • Camera (capture your own memories rather than buying the gift store’s memories)
  • Luggage tags (make sure there is a tag on each of your bags so you can identify it easily)

Have fun travelling the world!

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