Travel Trends & Tips

Packing Light For Business Travel

For many companies businesses travel, is a necessary part of doing business. And when packing light for your trip you have to consider clothes, a carry on bag, and what you need to bring. Here’s a little help to get organized.

business travel packing light

It also costs money when employees are on the road – from transportation, hotels, and meals. And for airline travelers especially, those costs have been climbing recently in the form of new fees.

Paying a fee to check a bag on an airplane was once unheard of, but it’s become the norm for domestic flights in the United States. Now, some airlines are proposing to charge passengers to check a bag on certain transatlantic flights.

Some airlines even restrict the use of overhead bin space for passengers who purchase bare-bones fares.

carry on economy class travel

While those changes may not yet affect travelers who fly regular economy or business class, it’s another reminder that business passengers can save some money by packing light and efficiently as possible when they’re on the go.

To save their company some money, not checking luggage is one tried and true tip that many business travelers follow. You won’t have to worry about whether or not your bag makes it to your destination and you’ll save time by avoiding the check-in line and baggage claim — important considerations if you’re on a tight schedule.

Picking a Business Travel Carry on

Just make sure you choose a durable carry-on that you can easily maneuver around the airport, as well as a laptop bag that slips easily over the handle of your luggage.

And, of course, check the carry on regulations of the airlines that you fly to ensure the bag meets their size restrictions.

Saving Space

Reducing the amount of paper you bring with you can save valuable luggage space. Most of the time, you can access everything you need on your laptop.

But if there are specially prepared documents that you have to bring with you, consider shipping them ahead to your destination. The cost of shipping might be cheaper than paying a baggage fee.

A Plan for Packing Light

Look at what you brought on your last business trip versus what you really used when you were on the road, and leave the non-essential items at home. This is especially important when it comes to packing light and you want to fit everything in a carry-on.

Consider fewer outfits – a couple of suits for men, and two blazers that can be worn with a matching pair of pants or a skirt for women. Just switching a tie or blouse can make a difference on a business trip. Also, pick colors that are easy to mix and match a number of different ways.

To save space when it comes to personal-care items, don’t pack the ones that you know will be in your hotel room, like shampoo and a hairdryer.

If you pack an extra pair of shoes, fill them with items like socks, underwear or toiletries.

For help planning a business travel trip, contact your travel agent.

Travel Terms & Phrases

You’re planning a summer wedding and poring over all the options for destinations, transportation, and accommodations, but some of the terms and phrases baffle you. Travel jargon can be a little intimidating.

While your travel agent can help you decipher the language, here are some of the more common terms.

All-inclusive

Whether you’re at a resort or on a cruise, all-inclusive usually means lodging, three meals a day and some beverages. After that, policies vary.

Hotel lobby at Palace resort in Mexico

Some resorts may charge extra for premium alcoholic beverages and use of the golf course and spa. While cruise lines may include some beverages and most entertainment, travelers can expect to pay for specialty restaurants, a drinks package for alcoholic beverages and shore excursions.

Adjoining & Connecting Rooms

If you’re traveling with the family and want a separate room for the kids, be aware that these mean two different things.

Adjoining rooms are next to each other but aren’t connected by a door. If you want to be able to check on the kids easily, make sure you tell your travel agent that you want connecting rooms.

Baggage Allowance

Individual airlines set requirements for the number, size and weight of checked luggage and carry-on bags. Carry-ons are typically limited by size, while most airlines charge extra for any checked bag weighing more than 50 pounds.

But the requirements vary per airline as well as whether you’re seated in Economy Class or Business or First Class.

Beachfront & Beach View

When choosing a hotel, it’s important to find out where you’ll be in relation to the water.

Beach front

A beachfront room usually means that you’re directly facing the water. With beach view, you may be able to see some water from your room, but you’ll have a walk to the beach once you head outside.

Continental vs Complimentary Breakfast

When you see that your hotel offers a continental breakfast, it will likely be something light, like bread, rolls, pastry, tea, coffee, and milk or fruit juice.

Don’t expect a hot meal with all the trimmings. Most of the time a continental breakfast is included with your stay, but not always, whereas a complimentary breakfast is always included and may offer “full breakfast” options, such as scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, hot oatmeal, and meat.

Direct & Nonstop Flights

A direct flight goes between two airports but may stop along the way to pick up additional passengers, although you won’t have to get off the plane. A nonstop flight will go directly to your destination.

Atlanta Airport Delta Welcome

Economy class: Nowadays, some airlines have a basic and premium economy. The lowest-priced economy fare can mean having to wait until check-in to get your seat assignment and no access to overhead bin space. Premium economy usually offers more legroom and an advance seat assignment.

Ecotourism

This is an opportunity to become immersed in the natural environment of the destination, by staying at resorts that support conservation efforts and offer guests a chance to get up close to wildlife, while having low-impact on the natural areas.

Shoulder season: This is the time period between a peak and off-peak seasons and can be a great time to get discounts on travel.

Depending on your destination, there are shoulder seasons for spring and fall travel, generally mid-April through mid-June and September through October.

Wellness Travel

A growing trend among travelers, wellness retreats promote healthy living through physical and spiritual activities.

qm2 spa pool

Those activities can include spa treatments, meditation and yoga, walking tours, hiking and biking, healthy eating and culinary events, outings and adventures in nature and volunteer opportunities.

Vidanta Resorts in Mexico

We are pleased to offer some new special properties at incredible rates for you to enjoy….the Williamsburg Resort Collection.

These are very special 5 star resorts that offer a beautiful setting, top ammenities, and are available at very, very special rates.

The Grand Mayan Resort
in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Grand Mayan Resort in Puerto Vallarta

Link to the resort

The fantastic resort is available at $499 per week for a party of 2. Included is discounts on golf and deep sea fishing

The Grand Mayan Resort
in Playa de Carmen, Mexico

Link to the resort

This incredible resort is available at $499 per week for a party of 2.

Other Locations In Mexico

  • Nuevo Vallarta
  • Cabo San Lucas
  • Puerto Penasco
  • Mazatlan
  • Acapulco

Prices can change without notice.

Please contact any of our
vacation specialists for information and reservations.

Best International Vacation Trends for 2016

Caribbean Top Vacation Trend for 2016

Americans are setting sail for the Caribbean, according to a new survey of travel experts. Once again, Caribbean cruises comprise the most popular international vacation destination for 2016.

Caribbean

By the pool at the House Resort on Barbados.

In its Travel Trends Survey, Travel Leaders Group polled 1,316 USA based travel agency owners, managers and front-line agents asking them to name the five top international destinations they’re already booking for clients in 2016.

Caribbean cruises came out in first place with 42.9%; followed by Cancun, Mexico, 35.1%; European river cruises, 24.4%; London, 23.5%; and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, 19.8%.

Caribbean Princess

Cruise on the Caribbean Princess.

The demand for Caribbean cruises means that there are always new choices for travelers. In November, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Vista, will set sail from Miami to ports throughout the region, with an onboard brewery and the first IMAX Theater on a cruise ship.

Holland America is launching the Koningsdam this year, which will feature the cruise line’s first staterooms specially designed for families and solo travelers.

As a new entrant into deep sea cruising, Viking Cruises has several new Caribbean itineraries for 2016, including an 11 day trip from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cancun Mexico Tips & Trends

Located near Mexico’s ancient Mayan ruins and with miles of pristine white beaches, Cancun is a perennially popular vacation choice, with numerous options for hotels and resorts for every taste and budget.

For travelers who love to party as well as soak up some sun, there’ll be a new place to stay in 2016. The adults-only Breathless Mayan Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa from AMResorts opens in April, with plenty of ways to kick back and have some fun, including a masquerade party every Saturday.

European River Cruises

With their leisurely pace and fascinating ports of call, river cruises are a great way to experience Europe’s history and culture. Their growing popularity moves them up from fourth place in 2015 to third place this year in the Travel Leaders survey.

River cruising takes travelers through the heart of such major European cities as Budapest, Vienna, Paris, while offering themed cruises on everything from D-Day to Valentine’s Day.

London England Trends & Tips

In 2016, visitors to London can help celebrate the life and legacy of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death. There’ll be performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and London Philharmonic, as well as exhibits and guided tours examining the history of the English-speaking world’s greatest playwright.

London’s new attractions include the Shard, which is the European Union’s tallest building and offers incredible views of the famous Tower Bridge and nearby Tower of London from its rooftop. There’s also the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace and a tunnel slide set to open in the spring in Olympic Park.

Punta Cana

Punta Cana is on the easternmost point of the Dominican Republic, and apart from its beautiful beaches where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it’s known as a haven for some of the region’s top all-inclusive resorts.

Adventure travelers enjoy the area because of the opportunities ranging from kayaking and windsurfing to zip-lining. Plus, Punta Cana’s relative cost and proximity to the southeast United States make it an ideal weekend getaway.

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Best Luxury Vacation Trends for 2016

European river Cruises Best Luxury travel for 2016

As part of its annual Travel Trends Survey, Travel Leaders Group polled 1,316 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and front-line agents about the top trends they’re seeing for 2016, including in the growing area of luxury travel.

river cruise

River Cruising in Europe.

Three Europe destinations were among the top five luxury vacation spots.

European river cruises are at the very top, at 32.5%; followed by Italy, 25.5%; and Mediterranean cruises, 19.4%. Rounding out the top five are Caribbean cruises, 19.2%; and Australia, 11.5%.

When it comes vacation destinations trends, European river cruises also come out in first place, at 11.2%. But after that, there’s quite a bit of variety, indicating that luxury travelers are interested in a range of experiences. Cuba comes in second, at 8.3%; followed by an African safari, 4.6%; Australia, 3.9%; and Costa Rica, 2.9%.

Mediterranean Cruises

Whether you’re talking about sailing along a European river, through the Mediterranean or in the Caribbean, luxury cruises have some things in common.

Mediterranean cruise

Take an cruise excursion in Venice that includes a Gondola.

The voyages are generally all-inclusive and the ships tend to be smaller, with more spacious accommodations and a greater level of amenities such as gourmet dining, a high staff-to-passenger ratio and unique shore excursions.

For example Crystal Cruises, which will launch the Mozart, an all-suite vessel, on its maiden voyage along the Danube River in July, focuses on longer stays, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in European history and culture.

Italy

For land-based destinations, such as Italy, a luxury vacation offers travelers more opportunities to customize their trip. They can select top-of-the-line hotels and resorts, smaller tours and an itinerary that appeals to their interests.

For some, that could be a specific region such as sun-drenched Tuscany, the gorgeous Amalfi coast or the grand cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. Others may want to focus on a particular topic, such as wine and food or art and history.

Luxury travelers in search of unique experiences, who yearn for a taste of adventure, may want to try one of the survey’s top up-and-coming destinations.

Cuba

A trip to Cuba can be priceless for Americans who want to be among the first to visit the island in the wake of normalized relations. People to people tours allowed under USA law give visitors a level of interaction they wouldn’t get on a typical vacation, with visits to schools, businesses and cultural organizations. An African safari affords an unparalleled chance to see wildlife up close.

Australia

Australia offers the opportunity to explore a vast continent, from bustling cities to the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged Outback. For something truly unique, try the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia where you can enjoy some of the best wines that never make it to the U.S.

Costa Rica

A visit to Costa Rica is a chance to focus on eco-tourism, whether that means exploring the rainforest or a breathtaking view of a volcano, while enjoying one of the Central American country’s many luxury resorts.

For help planning a luxury vacation anywhere in the world, contact your travel agent.

Best Travel Trends for 2016

Disney World Orlando Top Choice

In a result that would make Mickey Mouse proud, Orlando squeaked by Maui to claim the top spot in a survey of U.S. vacation destinations for 2016, according to a national poll of travel experts.

As part of its annual Travel Trends Survey, Travel Leaders Group surveyed 1,316 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and front-line agents about the top destinations they’re already booking for 2016. The agents were asked to name the five top domestic destinations in demand from their clients.

Orlando, which finished second last year, came in first at 35.9 percent, followed very closely by the Hawaiian island of Maui with 35.8 percent. Rounding out the top five are Alaskan cruises, 35.3 percent; New York City, 30.6 percent; and Las Vegas, 28.8 percent.

Visitors to Orlando will find plenty of new attractions in 2016. Disney World Orlando has given its shopping and dining area a makeover and a new name, Disney Springs, inspired by Florida’s historic architecture. Plus, Disney is building several new attractions one based on the hot Star Wars movie franchise, plus an addition to its Animal Kingdom that’s inspired by the film Avatar.

Best Travel Tips & Trends for Hawaii

Maui is Hawaii’s second-largest island and a great option for travelers who want to experience the Aloha State’s stunning scenery and world-famous beaches.

Wailea Golf Course on the Maui.

Wailea Golf Course on the Maui.

Maui offers recreational activities from hiking and horseback riding to windsurfing and snorkeling. January to April is peak time for whale watching. Haleakala National Park is home to the island’s highest peak, rising 10,023 feet above sea level. The summit is an unforgettable vantage point from which to view a sunrise or sunset.

Alaska

In 2016, there’ll be more options for travelers who want to experience Alaska’s breathtaking landscape from a cruise ship.

Alaska

Alaska Cruise

Princess Cruises will have six ships plying the state’s waters, offering a combination of land and sea packages. Holland America Line is planning a new “Base Camp” at the entrance to Denali National Park, an area with shopping, dining and entertainment that will accompany the cruise line’s signature Alaska Land + Sea Journeys.

Best of New York

Two New York City landmarks are turning 125 years old in 2016, making this year a perfect time to visit. The New York Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark, with 250 acres that are home to more than a million living plants. The annual Orchid Show takes place Feb. 27 to April 17. Carnegie Hall is also celebrating its 125th birthday. There’ll be a gala concert May 5, as well as a full slate of performances all year long.

Las Vegas Trends

Las Vegas, a city known for entertainment options, is getting more this year. In April, the 20,000-seat Las Vegas Arena opens with a roster of rock, pop and country music stars performing throughout 2016.

Also in the spring, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is bringing the sports entertainment chain Top golf to the Strip, offering competitive golfing for all ages and abilities, with technology that tracks the accuracy and distance of players’ shots.

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