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Reviews Help Determine the Most Popular Destinations

Just out from Trip Advisor, the top 25 destinations to visit both domestically and globally for the past year have been chosen.  Their choices are based on quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions.  So…if you’re favorite city is not listed you need to get busy and go on Trip Advisor and review!

“These world-class destinations chosen by our community are rich in history, culture and beauty and offer endless sights to explore,” Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for Trip Advisor, said in a written statement.

Here at Holiday Travel, we encourage our clients to give us reviews when they return from their travels. Unfortunately (which doesn’t happen very often!) most reviews that are passed on are negative. While it is important to consider things that are wrong or not quite up to snuff, it’s also important to pass on good observations. Did you find a neat restaurant or hole-in-the-wall café in a big city or on a road trip? Was there a really comfortable, cozy, and surprise accommodation on your travels?  And, believe it or not, right here in your home town there are great restaurants, excellent services in hotels and interesting things to do that, if you don’t send in a review, no one knows. If you’re a business owner in the hospitality industry you should toot your own horn and encourage your customers to do likewise. Give them a card that tells them how!

So, here is the current list.  Agree or not…it shows that some of these places are surprises. So what’s the surprise? Why did they get ranked so high? Perhaps there are neat things to see and do in just about any place in the world […]

Start Your Cruise off Right, On Day One

Whether you are an expert cruiser or a rookie, these tips can help you make the most of your journey at sea.
On day 1:

Tour the ship! Get to know your way around and check out areas that may be inaccessible to you later in the trip, such as the spa, salon and kids clubs. You might even get a spa teaser!
Get to know your dining options and plan ahead if there are specialty restaurants you want to try before the most popular eating times fill up.
Speaking of restaurants and the spa, sometimes there are great specials available on that first evening at sea. Go ahead and get your massage early so you start off your trip relaxed!
If you have kids, sign them up right away for the on-board activities and let them get to know the staff and play area while you are present. Then, they should be less hesitant when you check them at another time.
Attend a shore excursions presentation if you have not already predetermined where you want to go. The most popular tours fill up fast.
Decide on day 1 if you want to purchase a soda package or alcoholic beverage package to get the most for your money. But keep in mind if you don’t normally drink heavily, this may not be a good deal for you. Also, days at port take away from your drinking hours and you may find that the packages are not worth the price you have to pay.
Go to the dining room that you are assigned to on the first night. That way, if you have table mates, you can get the introductions done on the same day as the rest of your table. Also, if […]

New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn

New Braunfels, TX–worth a visit!! These past two summers, my daughter and I have made the trek southwest to New Braunfels. Last summer in 2013, it was with my friend, Lisa, and her son, Anthony, visiting from Denver and this summer, 2014, was with my new husband and my two bonus kids, Joe and Gracie.  I had so much fun there last year that I insisted on this being our family vacation for the summer, knowing they would have as much fun as we did!   We of course planned our trip around visiting Schlitterbahn waterpark on both trips. With Lisa, we started our trip by floating the Comal River. It is a kid-friendly scene, only a two hour float, but not recommended unless your kids are already strong swimmers. We opted to rent tubes (or “toobs” as they like to call them) and have a bus drop us off and pick us up when we were finished. This was convenient since our kids were only six years old and not highly capable of carrying their tubes on their own. (more…)

10 Coolest McDonald’s in the World…

In my travels I have seen…and eaten at many, many McDonald’s and in some way it is comforting to know that, no matter where you go, there is always a taste of home. BUT…not all McDonald’s are the same. Here’s a list from USA Today of the 10 “coolest” McDonald’s. You may find yourself in the neighborhood of some of them in your travels and want to check it out for yourself! If so, let us know what you think. (more…)

Make a Splash at SeaWorld for Family Fun

Perfectly planned vacations are hard to come by, but when it comes to finding a great getaway for kids, it is hard to beat SeaWorld in San Antonio.

My daughter, MacKenzie, and I have a tradition of going to SeaWorld every year. For her first birthday, we went to SeaWorld in San Diego while on a trip to visit my sister and her husband while they were living there. I never imagined a child only 365 days old would be so responsive to the animals and shows. She loved it! When we moved to Texas the following year, we went to SeaWorld San Antonio the summer after her second birthday, and it was a hit again. So each summer we brave the heat to make the trek to San Antonio and Sea World is our first priority. (more…)

St. Lucia

Can it get any better than this? Had breakfast on our balcony at Sandals Grande, St. Lucia. Contact me if you want more details of my trip! Click here to view my photo album. My husband and I traveled to St. Lucia in May for 6 nights, 7 days and had a wonderful time.  If you are looking for a great destination that offers relaxing beautiful beaches, lush green landscapes, adventurous tours, golf, and wonderful local people, then St. Lucia is the place for you.

We stayed at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian with an oceanfront room.  We had room service several mornings out on our balcony with a wonderful view of the ocean.  We also took the time to visit the other two Sandals resorts using the complimentary shuttle provided for Sandals’ guests.  If you stay at any of the Sandals resorts in St. Lucia you have a variety of 18 restaurants between the 3 resorts to eat at, as well use of their facilities (beaches, pools, golf, etc.).  My husband loves to golf so we took advantage of the complimentary golf and played twice.  He brought his own golf clubs, but it is easy to rent the clubs when you arrive. (more…)