cigar

Cigars over the pond

“Smoking cigars is like falling in love. First, you are attracted by its shape; you stay for its flavour, and you must always remember never, never to let the flame go out!” -Winston Churchill

 

If there is an iconic cigar aficionado, Winston Churchill fits the bill and with Churchill we must think London.

 

While London like so many other big cities has tightened the rules on smoking in general, there are still places to enjoy a good cigar. Click here for the rules

 

Private establishments are permitted to have smoking areas. Many are high end but there are also a few that are part of ‘pubs’.

 

Forbes has put together a nice list of high end smoking lounges and Foursqaure has lots of input from cigar smokers.

If you want some place elegant try, The Garden Room at the Lanesborough and for your pub experience, Boisdale of Belgravia will probably fill the bill.

 

 

 

Tip: When packing your bags put cigar cutters and punches in your checked bags, there is a good chance they would get confiscated during a security check.

 

Would you like to smoke a Cuban cigar in Cuba?

Unique Travel Events is offering a unique trip to Cuba, that will include a trip to a tobacco farm. Click here for more info.

Call 703-986-0934 or email asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

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Cigars & Travel

cigar

 

 

 

 

 

A wisely chosen cigar to me, is like a weapon against certain of life’s torments, in some mysterious way, a little blue smoke chases them away.” -Zino Davidoff

Cigar smokers often struggle with travel. While we don’t need to light up, finding a comfortable relaxing spot to enjoy a good cigar can be a challenge.

As a travel agent and cigar smoker I have done my share of cruising and touring.

My top picks for cruise lines for cigar smokers are Cunard and Silversea.

Besides being a great ship, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has a large, comfortable and well serviced cigar lounge. The ventilation/filtration system is so good, my husband, who does not smoke, barely noticed any odor. The QM2 is one of the best ways to do a transatlantic cruise.

Silversea is an elegant, family owned cruise line, offering a classy lounge and Davidoff cigars, among others. As the owner of the line is a cigar smoker, you know you will be treated well. Silversea has some unique expedition cruises that blend luxury and adventure.

Tip: When traveling bring your own stock of cigars. Buying at a hotel or on a ship may be convenient but the choices are often limited and the prices tend to be high.

Unique Travel Events is offering a unique trip to Cuba, that will include a trip to a tobacco farm. Click here for more info.

Contact Andrea- 703-986-0934

asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

 

Chocolate, Art and History in Italy

Italy has more than pizza and the artistry found in Rome. In April we will explore Umbria and its tasty and beautiful offerings.

Perugia is a main stop on this trip.

Old Perugia

Let us know if you’d like to join us in this beautiful adventure, Country Roads of Tuscany and Umbria.

Owner, Unique Travel Events

Owner, Unique Travel Events

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www.uniquetravelevents.com  Call 703-986-0934  Email- asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Unique Honeymoon Destinations

Scoot up the coast of California and escape the crowds. The 90 mile stretch of coast from San Simeon to Carmel offers beautiful scenery, history and unique beaches that invite the adventurous. Pfeiffer beach is one of those beaches.

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If you are looking for a special honeymoon spot or just a unique place to vacation call us to put together the trip that is as special as you.

Andrea Savitch 703-986-0934  Email- asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

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Owner, Unique Travel Events

Owner, Unique Travel Events

Thinking about Italy

Next April is the trip to Italy, so I am learning and came across this wonderful blog, Manger and my mouth started to water. Really looking forward to indulging in the tastes of Umbria.

Thoughts on the Disparaged Tourists

We see these folks in every city, cameras around their necks, fanny packs protruding from waists, groups huddled around a cell phone trying to make sense of a Google map or simply pointing and staring at street signs hoping to figure out if downtown is left or right.

Though experienced travelers scoff and the media teases, I for one say ‘hooray’. Even though I am a travel professional, I have been that person and sometimes still am in a new city.

But these are the folks willing to shed the confines of comfort and the streets they know for places unseen, people whose language is a mystery and try foods they would never find at the local diner.

Traveling should be part and parcel of life. Everyone needs to start somewhere. So applaud those willing to take that first big step, become one of them, for they will grow and change and probably make the world a little better for sharing a few kind words with a stranger.

Where to go on the Spectacular Vacation- Part I

Where to go on that spectacular vacation

So often I am asked, ‘where should I go on vacation?’

Unless we’ve been bff’s for years the standard answer is I don’t know, but let’s figure it out.

The world is a big place with thousands of opportunities exploring, learning, relaxing and just plain fun. But for each of us, fun has a different meaning.

So I will try over the next few months to help you explore your options, continent by continent, country by country, even cities.

Let’s start with something familiar, North America. You may think that North America is the USA and Canada, maybe Mexico in there as well, but try again. There are about 23 countries in North America besides some additional lands owned by European nations.

Most people love the idea of warm sands, cool waves and lots of sun, so let’s head to the Caribbean and a lot of those countries.

Below are most of the places you would want to visit. Many are easily accessible by cruise ship.

Until about 2 years ago Cuba was forbidden fruit, but today you may visit. There is a lot of history and great food in Cuba. If you choose this destination, work with a travel agent and reputable tour company. There are still lots of rules and you wouldn’t want to go it alone.

Jamaica is probably one of the most popular places to visit. It is warm year round, has nice beaches and a wide variety of all-inclusive resorts. It’s also a common port for cruise ships.

If you are a nature lover, Costa Rica may be the place for you. There are habitats, a mini version of the Amazon and lovely beaches as well.

Each country has its own unique culture and geography.

The Caribbean offers

  • Guatemala
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Nicaragua:
  • Costa Rica:
  • Panama:
  • Jamaica:
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Bahamas:
  • Belize:
  • Barbados:
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Grenada:
  • Antigua & Barbuda:
  • Dominica:
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis:

 

When you are planning that spectacular Caribbean vacation consider these points:

  • Time of year- The Western Caribbean is warmer than the Eastern Caribbean, so if you are planning on a summer vacation, be prepared for 100º weather in the Western Caribbean.
  • Shopping-Expect to have many shops closed on Sunday so if you are cruising be aware and if you are flying in, consider which days you will be there.
  • Flights- Places like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are relatively easy to get to, although there is a good chance you won’t get a direct flight. The smaller island countries can be trickier for transportation. Check which days the airlines go to the islands or if you have to get a local flight from a larger neighboring island.
  • Money- US dollars are accepted most everywhere, but check ahead just to be sure.
  • PASSPORTS- Yes, you need a passport to visit any of the Caribbean nations. Tip: Although you may be able to use just an ID and birth certificate for the cruise, if something goes wrong and you have to fly back, it will cost time and additional fees to get your passport to board the plane.

As always, plan ahead. Most people are going on vacation during the summer and holiday weeks, so the cruises and resorts book up quickly. Today you are rewarded for that early booking.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Email- asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Andrea

 

 

That Spectacular Vacation- Ready, Set, GO

Your bags are packed, the taxi’s waiting, but are you ready to go?

I’m a believer in checking and re-checking, so here are a few last minute preparation tips.

Day Before Travel

1)If you are flying, print out or download your boarding pass

2) If someone is taking you to the airport, cruiseport or train station verify what time they will arrive to pick you up.

3) Have you let the post office you know you’ll be away? If not, do it now or make sure someone is picking up your mail and newspapers. An overflowing mailbox and a stack of papers  advertise that no one is around.

4) If you are boarding pets, today is a good day to drop them off instead of stressing about it tomorrow when you are ready to leave.

5) Re-check your luggage, make sure everything is in there. Tip: Luggage tags should be on each piece but don’t put your home address or phone, use a business address instead. One less way to invite the ‘wrong’ kind of guest.

6) Let a neighbor you trust know that you will be away for a while.

Here is a link to some advice from the TSA.

Day of Travel

1) Make sure your passport/identification and boarding pass are readily available at the airport, cruiseport, etc.

2) Bring the minimum number of credit cards. Tip: Let your credit card companies know that you are traveling to avoid the ‘frozen account due to security measures’.

3) Check your carry-on for the essentials, medications, electronics, toiletries and one change of clothes. Tip: Carry an empty water bottle that you can fill up after you get through security at the airport.

4) If you are driving to the airport, check the traffic reports. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. Tip: If your boarding pass shows ‘pre-check’ you can save time at the shorter lines where you don’t need to take off shoes and such. TSAPre-check link

5) If you are sailing, have your cruise line luggage tags on the luggage. For most cruise lines your cabin should be available around 1pm. If you arrive early treat yourself to lunch onboard the ship at the buffet.

6) Make sure the appliances in your home are off. Leave a light on somewhere in the house.

7) If you are traveling outside the USA and haven’t gotten any foreign currency, get about $50 worth at the airport.

Now, go and have a great time.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips or more info, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com or send an email to asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Andrea

 

That Spectacular Vacation- The Dreaded Paperwork

That Spectacular Vacation- the Dreaded Documentation

While envisioning all the great things you’ll be doing on your trip the idea of the ‘paperwork’ needed to make it happen makes most of us cringe.

Yet, without the proper documentation the trip may not happen.

Let’s keep it simple.

The Basics

 ID– If you remember nothing else when you leave for your trip, remember your ID.

For domestic travel bring your drivers license or other photo id. Keep it readily available for inspection at the airport.

For foreign travel it can be a little more complicated.

For any travel outside the USA a passport is required.

  •  If you don’t have a passport it is not difficult to get. There are two requirements, besides filling out the form. Go to state.gov  for the form new or renewal.(If you are not a US citizen contact the country of your citizenship)
  • You must have a birth certificate from a government agency
  • You must provide two passport photos

If you do have a passport, check the following

  •  Expiration date- There are a variety of rules regarding how long your passport must be valid to enter a country, it varies a lot
  1. Visa pages- Make sure there are at least two available for Visas and passport stamps
  •  If your passport is expired or close to expiring get it renewed. If you are traveling in less than 3 months use an expedited service.
  •  Visas- Each country has different requirements. There is a good website visahq which can let you know what you need.

Tip-Many people ask about passports when cruising. As of today (it does change), technically you can use your birth certificate and government id or passport card in lieu of a passport when sailing on a ‘closed loop’ cruise. This means that you leave and return to the same port in the USA. Keep in mind, if you had to fly back from a Caribbean island, you would need your passport, the other forms of ID will not work at the airport.

Boarding Passes- There are a variety of options for boarding passes on the airlines.

  • Print out your boarding pass –Tip-If you are traveling internationally you may not be able to do this if it’s the first time you are flying internationally with the airline
  • Download the boarding pass to your phone
  • Pick it up at the airport at the check in desk

 Cruise Line boarding pass

  •  Print it out at home- You will generally need to do your online check-in to do this
  • Get it at the check in desk

Printing out boarding passes at home saves time.

Tour companies vary and your travel agent should be able to give you the proper documentation.

Train Tickets-

Amtrak- Depending on where and when you travel you may be able to print out your boarding pass at home or at the train station. Note-Many Amtrak stations do not have personnel or machines for printing out your pass

Eurail- These vary depending on where and when. Check with Eurail or your travel agent.

Luggage Tags-Cruise lines will usually allow you to print luggage tags at home or mail them to you. This helps get the luggage to your cabin.

If you’d like an email of today’s tips or more info, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on http://www.uniquetravelevents.com then send me an email to asavitch@uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.

Packing for that spectacular trip

Packing for the spectacular vacation

Obviously if you are spending a week in Paris your suitcase won’t have the same clothes as if you were spending a week on the beach, but there are still some simple guidelines.

First, less is better. Just how many pairs of shoes do you really need? Beyond the fees that airlines are charging, the pain of ‘schlepping’ bags gets old really fast and makes the trip less enjoyable.

Hint: Leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs.

Pack your medications, toiletries, cell phone and one day worth of clothes in your carry-on.

Critical Items

Medications– Keep them in their prescription bottles. Note: Many insurance companies limit how often you can purchase medication so make arrangements with your doctor and the insurance companies to make sure you have enough for your planned travel PLUS a few extra days.

Money- Keep it on you in your front pockets, money belt or small purse that closes and can stay close to you. Hint: Always have some small bills in American dollars and get some foreign currency from your bank before you leave. ATM’s are not on every corner overseas like they are here.

ID– Same as money

The Basics

Clothes- Underwear- bring enough to last through the trip plus one or two extras.

General clothing- Consider what you will be doing, how long you’ll be gone and if you will have access to free or inexpensive laundry facilities.

For casual trips- Plan on wearing outfits at least twice. People touring are far more interested in the sites than what you are wearing. For a week, 4-5 shirts, 3-4 pairs of pants or shorts.

Don’t bring that new dress or expensive suit unless there is a specific event that you know you’ll need to wear it. It takes up space and you’d hate to lose it to that great ‘black hole of lost luggage’.

Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes and one for the beach or an evening out if needed.

Toiletries- Bring your toothbrush and toothpaste. But, unless you really want to use your own soap and shampoo, save space and money by using what is provided by the hotels.

If you do use your own make sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule. Places like Target sell the bottles in a bag which can make your life a lot easier.

Electronics- Its always good to have a cell phone when you travel. Unless you are traveling for business leave the laptop home, its just one more thing to carry and risk losing. Don’t forget your chargers and if you are leaving the USA, make sure you have the proper adapter and or converter as needed.

Some good ideas are

Bring a small first aid/personal items kit- Band-aids, small toothbrush, aspirin,

Bring anti-diarrhea medication, cough drops, sunscreen, antibiotic ointment

Use old luggage

More tips- Packing tips every traveler should know

If you’d like an email of today’s tips, Like my Facebook page, Unique Travel Events or sign up for my free newsletter on www.uniquetravelevents.com

Do you have a great idea for travel preparation? I’d love to share your idea with my readers.

Lots more tips to come on the do’s and don’ts, advice from good sources and more

Remember, travel is medicine for the heart, mind and soul and your travel agent has the cure.