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.

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Wild Wednesday for Celebrity Silhouette

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
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7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette

Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, FloridaSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Jan 06, 2013
Through: Jan 13, 2013
Book By: Dec 26 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Silhouette
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3095233
from  $499.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Wednesday, Dec 26,
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 4:30 PM
2 At Sea
3 San Juan, Puerto Rico 3:00 PM 10:00 PM
4 Philipsburg, St. Maarten 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
5 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 At Sea
8 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information
Once Celebrity SilhouetteSM joins our fleet in 2011, you’ll have another outstanding option for cruising Europe and the Caribbean. She’ll have all the best-loved Solstice® Class features – and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity’s iconic Lawn Club give you more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new Lawn Club Grill. Unwind in your own cabana-styled haven, The Alcoves. Inside, go on a culinary adventure in QsineSM where you order food and wine from an iPad® menu. Excitement brews with up to 50 international craft beers in the enhanced Michael’s Club. And enjoy sweeping veranda views in 85% of staterooms. We’ve created an extraordinary vacation experience. Again.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Jan 06, 2013 – Jan 13, 2013 $499.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Jan 06, 2013 – Jan 13, 2013 $549.00 I – Cat. Z View Details
Jan 20, 2013 – Jan 27, 2013 $699.00 Category Balcony sta… View Details
Jan 20, 2013 – Jan 27, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Feb 03, 2013 – Feb 10, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Feb 17, 2013 – Feb 24, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 03, 2013 – Mar 10, 2013 $749.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 17, 2013 – Mar 24, 2013 $749.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Mar 31, 2013 – Apr 07, 2013 $799.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday on the Summit

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com

 

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7 Night S Caribbean – Holiday Cruise on Celebrity Summit

Roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto RicoSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Dec 22, 2012
Through: Dec 29, 2012
Book By: Nov 6 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Summit
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3045991
from  $949.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Balcony stateroom
Contact Agent!
View other cabin categories
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 11/06/2012
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 San Juan, Puerto Rico 8:30 PM
2 St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 8:00 AM 5:30 PM
3 Basseterre, St. Kitts 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
4 Roseau, Dominica 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
5 St. Georges, Grenada 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
8 San Juan, Puerto Rico 6:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information

Celebrity Summit® will soon sail with a new sense of style and excitement. The third member of MillenniumClass to be “Solsticized,” she’ll undergo a dazzling revitalization in January. She’ll be upgraded with AquaClass® accommodations including the Mediterranean-themed Blu specialty restaurant. She’ll get the hip Celebrity iLoungeSM where you can participate in the iLearn enrichment series or pick up the latest high-tech gadget from the first Apple Reseller at Sea. And get ready to have a unique, memorable dinner at the cutting edge QsineSM restaurant, with a menu and wine list housed in an iPad®. Finish with a chilled Lychee Martini at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar. Plus more staterooms, more verandas, an expanded art collection, and completely new décor throughout. There’s going to be a new way to make your next vacation truly different and better than any you’ve experienced before.

 

WOW Sale

Brought to you by:
Andrea Savitch
For more information, please click the Contact Agent button or email us:
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
3-Day WOW sale includes cuisetours and sailings on our entire fleet!
Sailing Date: Jan 01, 2013
Through: Dec 31, 2013
Book By: Oct 17 2012 10:59PM
Line: Royal Caribbean International
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 3024939
Contact Agent!
Up to $200 ONBOARD CREDIT and 50% REDUCED DEPOSIT!
Overview Cruise Line
More Information

3-Day WOW sale includes cuisetours and sailings on our entire fleet!

Booking Window: 10/15/12 – 10/17/12

On October 15, 16, and 17, 2012  book your next cruise on any sailing departing on or after January 1, 2013 and receive up to $200 ONBOARD CREDIT and 50% REDUCED DEPOSIT!

  • 3 to 5-Night Cruise: $50 USD ONBOARD CREDIT per stateroom & $50 USD/CAD per person reduced deposit.
  • 6 to 9-Night Cruise: $100 USD ONBOARD CREDIT per stateroom & $125 USD/CAD per person reduced deposit.
  • 10+ Night Cruise: $200 USD ONBOARD CREDIT per stateroom & $225 USD/CAD per person reduced deposit.

Contact your travel agency.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From
Jan 01, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013 Price Info
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Tantalizing Tuesday Wine & Dine

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
8 Night Wine Cruise Cruise on Celebrity Millennium

Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego, CaliforniaSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Sep 14, 2012
Through: Sep 22, 2012
Book By: Aug 14 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 8
Ship: Celebrity Millennium
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 2951038
from  $1,299.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Balcony stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 08/14/2012
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Vancouver, British Columbia 4:30 PM
2 Nanaimo, British Columbia 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
3 Victoria, British Columbia 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
4 At Sea
5 San Francisco, California 11:00 AM
6 San Francisco, California 9:00 PM
7 Monterey, California 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
8 At Sea
9 San Diego, California 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 8

More Information
What do you call a place that offers world-class restaurants, Broadway-style shows, a luxurious spa and amenities that rival the grandest hotel on land? We call her Celebrity Millennium; you’ll call her magnificent. To sail on Celebrity Millennium, the first of our Millennium-class of ships, is an experience that cannot be expressed in words. Stride her decks and see for yourself what those who have experienced her already know: Celebrity Millennium is more than a ship; she is a special memory waiting to be had.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Sep 14, 2012 – Sep 22, 2012 $599.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
Sep 14, 2012 – Sep 22, 2012 $1,299.00 Category Balcony sta… View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

Totem Poles & Massages

Unique Travel Events
703-986-0934
uniquetravelevents@gmail.com
 |   Trip Request/Contact Us  |  Detailed Search  |  FAQ
7 Night Alaska Hubbard Glacier Cruise on Celebrity Century

Roundtrip from Vancouver, British ColumbiaSee More Dates
More offers from this supplier 
Sailing Date: Jul 01, 2012
Through: Jul 08, 2012
Book By: Jun 5 2012 10:59PM
# of Nights: 7
Ship: Celebrity Century
Line: Celebrity Cruises
Terms: Terms & Disclaimers
ID: 2867988
from  $699.00  (USD)
Per Person
Category Inside stateroom
Contact Agent!
Exciting Deal: Can only be booked Tuesday 06/05/2012
Overview Ship Info Deck Plans Cruise Line
Day Port Arrive Depart
1 Vancouver, British Columbia 4:30 PM
2 Inside Passage (Cruising)
3 Icy Strait Point, Alaska 3:00 PM 10:00 PM
4 Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) 10:30 AM 2:30 PM
5 Juneau, Alaska 7:30 AM 8:00 PM
6 Ketchikan, Alaska 2:00 PM 8:00 PM
7 Inside Passage (Cruising)
8 Vancouver, British Columbia 7:00 AM
 Number of Nights: 7

Itinerary Map

(Click to Enlarge)
More Information
Immerse yourself in Celebrity Century’s warm, open spaces and soaring atriums. Indulge yourself in soothing spa services. Enjoy dining in world-class restaurants. And sipping a favorite after-dinner drink as you mingle with new friends. A cruise aboard Celebrity Century® is exactly what you’ve been looking for. You’ll experience the South Pacific the moment you step onboard. Food, drink, activities and entertainment all borrow from Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. New accommodations include 314 private verandas, fourteen additional Sky Suites and 174 new-and utterly modern Concierge Class staterooms complete with fresh-cut flowers, a luxurious pillow menu, and upgraded bathroom amenities, even personalized stationery. Welcome aboard.

(Click on a price for additional details)
Travel Date Range Price From Information
Jun 17, 2012 – Jun 24, 2012 $899.00 Interior – Cat. 12 View Details
Jul 01, 2012 – Jul 08, 2012 $699.00 Category Inside stateroom View Details
Jul 01, 2012 – Jul 08, 2012 $829.00 Inside Stateroom Gua… View Details
Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.

There's an APP for that

We hear this all the time and the travel industry is right onboard with apps.

Google maps and other map services come standard with most smartphones but there is so much more available.

For the cruisers there is Shipmate available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a wonderful tool that allows you to search for cruises, their itineraries and excursions. But keep in mind you have to download an app for each of the cruise lines that use it which include but are not limited to, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Disney and Celebrity. In addition this one is free.

Airlines such as Delta have their own apps for tracking flights even getting your boarding pass on your phone. Ticket & Flight Airlines is a free app that connects to many of the major air carriers like, American Airlines, Jet Blue, United, KLM, Japan, US Airways and more.

Once you arrive at your destination you often are looking for specific places or just things to do. Try Movie Night Out for planning an evening including dinner.

If you are a movie buff or fan of memorable events check out It Happened Here. It’s not a free app but it offers fun spots to visit; the Corleone Mansion from the Godfather, where George Washington took his oath, a scene from Julie and Julia, just a few from the New York version. This app is only available for a few cities and you need to buy each one individually.

Theme parks like Disney, Universal and Hershey have free apps to download making it easier to plan your day.

Whatever city you are traveling in probably offers an app for public transportation and is a good idea to have at your fingertips.

Wherever you are check out museum apps, most are free and can save you time by knowing hours and exhibits.

Some basic apps for any traveler should be a currency conversion app, time converter, tip chart. Frommer’s offers a good app with all of these features, but there are many others.

Many of us who travel have smartphones and can really take advantage of free and inexpensive tools that will make the trip more exciting and less stressful.

For the luxury and exotic destination traveler The World of A&K is a good choice learning about your options.

 

 

Unique Travel Events is a full SERVICE travel agency. Contact us for your travel needs whether its across the state or across the sea.

 

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I need a room somewhere

Perhaps the most expensive part of a vacation is lodging, usually, followed by food or vice versa. When people start considering the cost of staying at a hotel and eating out everyday, especially with a family, they quickly dismiss the idea of going away at all.

There are less expensive options. Cruising and all-inclusive resorts can make it easier.

Cruises include just about all the food you can eat (a great deal if traveling with teenagers), transportation to a variety of destinations and lodging. Generally the only extras are soda, alcoholic beverages and gambling. Your luxury cruise lines often include all beverages.

All-inclusive resorts mean just that, everything, including tips are part of your package. As with anything else there are different levels of quality with resorts (and cruises) so you get what you pay for.

There is still another alternative to hotels; houses, apartments and villas. Choosing a house rental when vacationing in Orlando can save you a bundle when traveling with the kids, especially since most of the homes have pools. When you just don’t want to go anywhere for a day, you can stay ‘home’ and not feel crowded and the kids won’t be bored.

Apartments are great for European travel, they give you a real feel for where you are. Reputable companies that manage these properties have managers that know the neighborhoods and can help guide you to the best property.

Villas sound, and usually are luxurious. while some of them can rent for over $50,000 a week there are many that are as low as  $1000 which comes out to less than $150 a day. When you consider that you can often have staff to help with cooking and housekeeping a villa is hard to resist.

Conde Nast has made a list of Affordable Villa Vacations.

Always check with your travel agent, whether its a hotel, cruise, resort, villa, etc. As trained professionals travel agents know what questions to ask and get you what you want vs what someone wants to book.

Feel free to contact us at uniquetravelevents@gmail.com or 703-986-0934 for creating your perfect vacation.

How to Pay for Travel

Probably the biggest concern I hear about travel is how to pay for it.

While we in the USA consider travel and vacations a luxury they are really part of our emotional and mental health. But economics always play a part in everything we do.

Here are a few ideas:

Setup a savings account solely for travel- If you can afford to save $100 a month, in one year, you can save enough for a 7 day cruise for two people.  If its only $50 a month, you can have a long weekend.

Tell friends and family that instead of buying you gifts or gift cards, have them write a check and deposit it in your Travel Saving account.

The Unique Travel Events website offers a really easy way for you, or friends and family to build your travel account with the Honeymoon and Travel Registry account. You can sign up online and add to it any time you or anyone else wants.

If you plan your cruise for a year from today, you have 9-10 months to pay for your trip after a small deposit. This gives you time to put money away and know how much you need, very little guesswork.

We wish you happy travels!

Leis, Surf, Volcanoes and Snow

Hawaii brings visions of a hula dancers, warm sands, luaus and magnificent sunsets.

And all of that is true. But did you know that Hawaii consists of 132 islands, 6 of which are visited by tourists.

Before it was our state it was ruled by kings, the most famous, Kamehameha united the people and brought peace.

Waikiki is the beach we mainlanders usually think of and it is on Oahu, the heart of Hawaii.

The islands of Hawaii are just about the youngest on earth, which explains the volcanoes that are part of a national park on the Big Island.

Whether you are surfing the waves, climbing the mountains, taking in the sweet scent of an orchid or sipping the rich Kona coffee Hawaii is bound to give you the vacation of a lifetime.

Visit Hawaii anytime of year. You can cruise or fly but keep in mind it is 2500 miles from any land mass so leave time for traveling and then soak in the sun.

Fun Fact: It snows every year on Hawaii’s tallest peaks which are up to 13,000 feet high.

Want to sound like an ‘islander’? Ask for Shave Ice, the Hawaiin version of a snow cone.

Whatever your interests, take time to enjoy. If you don’t have time to figure out where to go or what to do call us at 703-350-2999 or email andrea@uniquetravelevents.com  and we will create your unique ‘Getaway’. Visit our website for more info.

Ask yourself this question the next time you are ready to make travel plans whether for work or pleasure, ‘what am I worth’, or perhaps what is my time worth? Would I rather spend it searching the internet for hotels and flights and figuring out how to entertain myself and my family or would I rather let someone else do that for me so I can make money or enjoy time with my loved ones?

Travel agents save you time, and their fees are paid by the hotels, cruise lines and vacation companies. So why waste your time, leave the ‘surfing’ to us.