Ciao Bella! Honeymoons & Romantic Holidays in Italy!

Thinking or a honeymoon or a romantic getaway to Italy? Here are some highlights from Melissa at My Traveling Panda. Whether you visit this amazing country by land or sea, this article talks about some must visit destinations.

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This is Melissa’s most recent article, which can be found in the Winter 2013 issue of Beautiful Bride magazine. You can find your copy at bridal shops and news stands in Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Southern California. Here is the link for the PDF of the story! Honeymoons in Italy


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Glamping- Enjoy the great outdoors in STYLE

Hello Friends-

Have you ever consider Glamping? If I go camping, I think I would much prefer glamping to traditional camping. Which destination in my latest article, published in the Fall 2013 issue of Beautiful Bride Magazine, most appeals to you? Here is the full article Glamping Honeymoons & Vacations

You can find this magazine in bridal shops and venues as well as newsstands in many US cities including Las Vegas, San Diego, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Orlando.

Fall 2013 Cover

Fall 2013 Cover

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Honeymoons for Brides from Every Region of the USA

Good afternoon and Happy Spring!

I have been a very busy travel agent, booking loads of honeymoons for happy brides and grooms. I am very honored to be a part of such an important vacation for all these wonderful couples. With that, I want to thank Jessie, the Editor-in-Chief at Beautiful Bride for giving me the opportunity to write another honeymoon article. It was great fun to write about honeymoon destinations that are inspired by the cities where the magazine is published (Las Vegas, San Diego, Central Valley, Cincinnati, Orlando and my town of Atlanta).

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Look for it at your favorite bridal boutique, on newsstands at Albertsons, Vons, Smiths, Target, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Borders, CVS, or Walgreens, or click here to read it now :)HoneymoonDestnations

Happy Travels!

My Traveling Panda

The Beautiful Bride, Summer 2013 covers

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Getting to La Romana Just Got Easier

The opening of a new road may not be the most exciting announcement in the world of travel; however, in this instance it is very good news! The 90 minute drive from the Punta Cana airport to the La Romana area is now cut in half! Dreams La Romana


I had the great pleasure (or displeasure) of traveling via motor coach from Punta Cana to La Romana, before the new road opened. I think everyone on the bus was feeling the effects of the bumpy, winding roads. Needless to say, no one was excited to get back on the bus to head back to Punta Cana; we knew we had to endure the car-sickness inducing roads. But, no more! The new highway with smooth roadways in now open and, the commute is cut in half to just 40 minutes!

This is wonderful, as now more people can enjoy the wonderful area of La Romana and glorious resorts,; such as Dreams La Romana, which is one of my favorites for family vacations and destination weddings.

Bon Voyage!


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My Traveling Panda wins 2013 Bride’s Choice Award from WeddingWire.

brideschoice 2013 Atlanta, GA, January 23, 2013 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Melissa Dutton and My Traveling Panda have been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 for Travel and Honeymoon Planning in Atlanta and Northeast Georgia. This is the second year in a row My Traveling Panda has won this prestigious award.

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. My Traveling Panda’s selection as a Bride’s Choice Award 2013 winner was selected based on the positive experiences expressed by past clients on WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over one million reviews. While many industry awards are given by the host organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with My Traveling Panda.

The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on professional achievements from the previous year. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients. As a Bride’s Choice Awards winner, My Traveling Panda is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
“Each year, WeddingWire looks forward to celebrating the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Now in its fifth year, the Bride’s Choice Awards® program continues to recognize the elite wedding professionals who exemplify a commitment to quality, service and professionalism. These businesses were chosen by our bridal community for their responsiveness and dedication to their clients over the past year. We are honored to recognize My Traveling Panda for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”

My Traveling Panda is thrilled to be one of the top Honeymoon Travel Agencies in Atlanta and Northeast Georgia in the WeddingWire Network of sites, which include leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding,, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® for 2013.
For more information about My Traveling Panda please visit To learn more about the Bride’s Choice Awards®, please visit

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire®, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on, and other leading sites, including, and

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The Silent Alarm

It was bound to happen sooner or later; waking up on the morning of a flight to realize I may miss that flight. I travel frequently- whether to a conference or trade show, travel agent familiarization trip, or a vacation. My most recent travels had me attending a conference in Ohio. As is customary at such an event, I turned my cell phone to silent. After all, I did not want to be the one everyone stared out when one of our fabulous speakers, such as Laura Bush or Lopez Lomong told their story before an audience of 1200 people.

On the last night of the conference, I attended the closing reception, headed back to my hotel room, checked email, packed my suitcase, set my alarm and climbed into bed. My flight was at 9:45 AM, I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, as I planned to catch a taxi at 7:30 in the morning to allow myself plenty of time to arrive to the airport.

Well, God had other plans. I woke up, not to the sound of my alarm, but you know how sometimes when you are asleep and you are having a dream, and somehow your dream reaches to your subconscious and tells you to wake up. That is what happened. I woke from my dream and looked at the clock, it was 8 AM; my flight was in one hour and forty-five minutes! I looked at my phone and the alarm was going off, but there was no sound. That is when I realized, I forgot to turn the ringer back on!

I have never gotten dressed so fast in all my life. I called the front desk to hail me a cab, climbed in the elevator and hopped in the cab. I told him my story and I think he made it to the airport in record time. I was never so thankful to be at a smaller airport in all my life. No line to get my boarding pass and no line for security- divine intervention perhaps?

I made it to my gate by 8:45 AM, 45 minutes after getting up. I have no idea how I did that because it usually takes me longer than that to get ready for work in the morning. And back home, my gateway airport is ATL. You can have trouble getting from the international terminal to the T gates in 45 minutes at the ATL airport, but I managed to make it from my hotel bed to my gate is less than an hour. I was so thankful and to reward myself, I was able to buy a tasty skinny vanilla latte from the airport Starbucks.

I thought my adventures were over, but there is just one more little detail to add to story. I boarded the plane, took my seat and went to buckle my seatbelt. The only problem was I was missing part of my seatbelt. Now, I am not a million-mile flyer, but I fly a fair bit and this is something that has never happened to me, nor have I seen this happen before. The flight attendant was fumbling about looking for the other end of my seat belt. I was a full flight, so I could not move seats and all the jump seats were full. I was starting to think my morning adventures were all in vain. But finally, they were able to locate the other half of my seatbelt from another plane.

As I write this, my flight has reached cruising altitude and I am on my way home. I have learned two lessons; have faith because even some times going on a business trip can be about the journey, not the destination. And don’t forget to reset the volume on your phone.

Happy Travels!

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Norwegian’s Newest Ship- Breakaway

Norwegian’s Newest Ship- Breakaway

The Rockettes, Broadway Shows, International Cuisine, Lounges, Night Clubs and more…you would think I am talking about The Big Apple, but I am not.  The Norwegian Breakaway will be the newest ship in the Norwegian fleet and much of the decor and entertainment and is centered on NYC.  There is even a Haven of ultra luxury suites with private butlers to offer you a truly spectacular vacation.

Visit this site for photos, the countdown clock and to inquire about sailing on this magnificent ship.

Bon Voyage!

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My Traveling Panda goes “Into the Wild on your Honeymoon”

“…If you and your fiancé are adventure lovers who enjoy escaping to the great outdoors and prefer seeing wildlife rather than living the wild life, an adventure honeymoon may be just what you crave…”

My Traveling Panda’s newest travel article is officially published in the Summer 2012 issues of Las Vegas Bride and Beautiful Bride (published nationally, including the Atlanta and Orlando markets). Which “into the wild” destination is your next “must visit” destination? An African Safari, an Alaskan Cruise, a Belize scuba diving adventure and an exploration of the Galapagos Islands?

For the full article, click here: Into the Wild_MyTravelingPanda

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Champagne Flights from Atlanta, Cincinnati & Nashville to the Caribbean!

Ask Melissa at My Traveling Panda about Champagne Flights to the Caribbean on Sunwing.

End of the school year is upon us and summer holiday time is quickly approaching.  For those of you who live in Atlanta, Cincinnati or Nashville, you are in luck!  What better way to start your vacation than with a Bon Voyage glass of Champagne.

Sunwing Airlines offers non-stop Champagne Service flights from Atlanta, Cincinnati and Nashville to Cancun, Jamaica and Punta Cana and also include fabulous amenities such as a hot meal or snack on-board and up to 44lbs of checked luggage per person!  I am going to experience this airline in June from Atlanta to Cancun, so I will report back on the service firsthand. 

If you would like more details and pricing on Sunwing air for your summer vacation, contact me at

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Looking for Unique, Non-Vegas Activities in Vegas? Here are the Top 6 Ideas from My Traveling Panda

Last week I was in Las Vegas for a conference. Since I used to live in Vegas, I strive to do something new and different each time I visit. I have been to the amazing shows, dined in restaurants on the strip, patronized a few night clubs and gambled in the casinos, but Vegas has so much more to offer than what you can find in the few miles known at “the Strip”. Here is a list of some of what I consider the best unique, non-Vegas things to do in Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon
Who would have guessed that such natural beauty was so close to the glitz and glam of the Strip. Whether you are cycling through or enjoying scenic drive, the vistas and tranquility of Red Rock is a stark contrast to the Strip.

The Neon Museum
Ever wonder what happened to all the neon signs of yesteryear? Many are kept at the Neon Museum. The Neon Boneyard, near downtown Vegas, displays the rich history of days gone by; it is a great tribute to the Vegas of the 1930s-1990s.

Downtown Vegas
Step back in time to see what Vegas used to be…”legendary casinos, free entertainment, old-fashioned gambling hospitality – this is the vintage Vegas of the Fremont Street Experience” (The Vegas Experience).

Thrift Stores
Yes, I visit a thrift store on each visit to Vegas. Savers is one of my favorite shops, but there are others as well. Click on the link and use the zip code 89147 to find various locations. When the glamorous residents of Vegas fill their closets with a new wardrobe, the lucky shoppers of Savers reap the rewards. I have unearthed finds from Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom (with tags still attached), Missoni, Armani, Calvin Klein and more!

Helicopter Tour and picnic in the Grand Canyon
OK, I must admit, this is one activity I have not done yet, but it is on my list of things to do on a future trip to Vegas. The Grand Celebration tour with Papillon sounds fabulous to me and in relation to the cost of an hour helicopter tour in Hawaii, it is very reasonable. Plus, you not only get gorgeous views of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, you get to enjoy a champagne picnic on the canyon floor.

Those of you lucky enough to live on the West Coast may not think a trip to In-N-Out is anything special, but those of us on the East Coast crave their burgers and we have to fly west to quench that hunger! Sure Vegas has gourmet restaurants and world renowned chefs, but nothing beats the classic taste of a simple In-N-Out burger.

What are your favorite “off the beaten path” activities in Las Vegas?

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