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The Travel Column 2002-7-11

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We are pleased to bring you The Travel Column, written fortnightly for "The Trinidad Guardian"

Vacation Planning Made Easy!

This week I challenged my neighbour to plan his next family vacation without at least once asking me for my opinion or advice. You see, heís one of these advocates for planning his travel over the internet, and thinks itís as easy as 1,2,3. "Alright, so letís see, how hard could this be?", he says. "Iíll just surf the Ďnet, and within a couple minutes I will have arranged the vacation of my dreams!" Sounds simple enough, but some three hours later he has narrowed his choice down to about four different Caribbean islands, with two hotel options per island, and he still hasnít discussed any with his wife. Plus, his kids really only want to go to Disney World Ö again. OK, so he didnít actually come knocking on my door for help, but his wife did!

Use a Travel Agency:

One of the best ways to begin planning a successful trip is by working with a travel agent. A travel agent is a trained, skilled professional who helps individuals, groups and organizations plan and execute their travel. A great travel agent will gather as much client information as possible, and then, based on knowledge, personal experience and current trends, recommend the best option for you. Your needs may be as simple as only a reservation and a ticket. Or may be as complex as planning a complete package; including recommending destinations, comparing hotels, arranging for you to be met at the airport on arrival, assisting in preparation of visas and other travel documents, and so much more.

When you book with a reliable travel agency, you have the confidence and peace of mind of an efficiently planned trip with all reservations fully confirmed and complete with all the documents you will need. In fact, with all the information on discounts, special offers and seasonal bargains available in the industry, only an informed travel agent is capable of helping you find the best deals for your money and travel needs.

Be Sure to Plan Ahead:

To get the best fares and avoid expensive surprises, outline trip ideas and a budget with your agent well in advance, and purchase tour packages and tickets early to avoid unexpected fare increases. Re-confirm your airline reservations a few days ahead of each international flight to keep up to date on any schedule changes. Leave copies of your itineraries at home and at the office so that your colleagues and loved-ones can easily make contact with you in case of any emergency.

Having touted that itís best to plan in advance, come to think of it, we are well into July and schoolís already out, and you may have found that you havenít yet had a minute to plan your summer escape. Here are some quick and easy choices for that last-minute decision:

Family Vacations:

St. Lucia. Easily accessible via non-stop/direct flights on BWIA, LIAT or Caribbean Star, more and more visitors are drawn to this lush, tropical paradise. Its pristine beaches are sprinkled with top-notch resorts, small hideaways and friendly villages. You can refresh yourself at Club St. Lucia, a fun and lively all-inclusive resort. With rooms overlooking rolling hills or the sea, the garden paths lead to beaches, pools, restaurants, bars and countless activities for the kids and adults alike. Good value for money, this resort is perfect for active families, but is also great for couples.

Disney Cruise. Your vacation dreams can set sail on a magical voyage that only Disney could create. Enjoy legendary Disney service and entertainment, incomparable dining, exciting ports of call, and day after day of wonder-filled adventure. On a Disney Cruise, specially designed areas and activities let adults, families, teens, and children play together and separately, creating magical memories that last you a lifetime. Follow-up with a two or three-night package to Disney World to really spoil the kids!

Trips for Two:

Jamaica. With daily direct flights on BWIA, the tropical paradise of Jamaica offers breathtaking beauty, superb beaches, and a wide range of accommodations from all-inclusive resorts to family-run inns. If youíre looking for some time away from it all with that special someone, Jamaica offers so many excellent choices. Possibly the most well-known of all is Sandals Resorts, created exclusively for couples in love, with a choice of six luxurious resorts in Jamaica alone. Each Sandals property features a wide choice of gourmet dining experiences, with free-flowing premium spirits. Plus, you need never concern yourself about tipping, reaching for a check, or reaching for anything for that matter, because everything you could possibly want is right there. Itís possible that Sandals is the world's most romantic dream for two.

Curacao. Just a "hop" away on Dutch Caribbean Airlines, this island offers pristine beaches, marvelous hotels, glittering nightlife, international cuisine and fantastic duty-free shopping. The newest Super-Clubs Breezes Resort comes to life on the island with it's own private white sandy beach and crystal clear waters. Here you'll enjoy wonderful accommodations, all imaginable water sports, premium brand drinks and a variety of dining options. Of course, like all Breezes Resorts, everything is included in the price and tipping is simply not allowed!


Why not try a "singles cruise" on board one of Carnivalís luxury cruise ships? On every singles cruise, you will enjoy endless day-and-night activities, including a singles cocktail party, the welcome aboard party, the Captain's cocktail party and gala dinner, nightly entertainment, even theme parties. Broadway-style shows, dancing, the opportunity to join in beach parties and barbecues, plus you will be treated to the most extravagant meals, lavish buffets, 24-hour complimentary room service.... all included in just one price!

Whether youíre planning a romantic weekend getaway, your next family adventure or even a sporting vacation, remember to get the best value for money, begin your journey with your friendly travel agent!

Melanie Waddell, Director
July 11, 2002


Previous Travel Columns

bulletThe Travel Column 2002-6-27

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