No Passport? No Problem! A Tropical Vacation without a Passport is Possible!

photo 4When Beautiful Bride asks me to write an article for their publication, I tend to focus on some of my honeymoon hotspots such as Mexico, Jamaica, Europe, Hawaii, etc.  This time, they asked if I could focus on a new destination that didn’t require a passport.  The US Virgin Islands is the perfect fit!  Here is the article I wrote for the Winter/Spring 2015 issue.  Enjoy :) and be sure to let me know how I can help you with your next vacation! Here is the link :) Pages from BB Winter Spring 2014-15

Categories: caribbean, cruise, Family vacation, honeymoon, MoBay, romantic, travel, vacation | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Supporting the Fight Against MS!

As you may know, my younger sister Jessica fights a daily battle against Multiple Scerlosis (MS).  On the outside, you would never know the struggles she faces each day – she endures the pain and challenges with both courage and strength. 

Each year, she forms a team, The LeClaire Lions, to raise money for the MS Society. This year, My Traveling Panda is a proud sponsor of the team shirts! My adorable nephew Benjamin models the 2015 shirts :)

If you would like to learn more about MS, or to make a donation, here is the team link. 

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/GAAWalkEvents?px=10455323&pg=personal&fr_id=25189





Categories: Family vacation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Athens, Greece: Worth a Visit!

I wasn’t sure to expect upon visiting Athens. I’ve had friends who visited here with mixed reviews and many of my clients who want to visit Greece say they don’t really consider Athens as a priority. So I wanted to answer the question I get asked by my clients, “is it worth a visit?”

I arrived Athens after I’d been to Santorini and Mykonos, which are absolute gems of the Greek Isles. I’m very pleased that I spent a few days discovering this Ancient city so I can share with my clients what they can expect WHEN they decide to visit, because YES, it’s worth it!

I took an Athens free guided walking tour, I visited the Parthenon, did some shopping and of course ate delicious Greek food!

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Categories: Athens, Family vacation, Greece, honeymoon, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swiss National Day

This summer I took a guided tour through the Italian Lakes which also stopped in Lugano, Switzerland.

The day we there was Swiss National Day. It was also a cold rainy summer day. So, what does one do on a national holiday where all the stores and restaurants are closed and the weather is not very corporative? Get creative!

here’s a photographic journal of what I did that day.

Took part in a parade

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Went paddle boating on the lake

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Enjoyed a McCafe Espresso, with a view

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Listened to traditional music

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Admired the view

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Categories: Best travel agent, travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Jamaica: One Love Honeymoon Destination

My friend Heather, who is a small business owner and personal organizer (Simply Organized) inspired me to start writing more blogs. So here I am, finally posting my article published in the Fall/Winter 2014 Beautiful Bride magazine. As the article states (and as you may note from some of my earlier posts), I spent a couple of weeks in Jamaica this summer. While there I visited 15 resorts! I really like seeing and experiencing the resorts where I send my clients. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and wisdom with my brides, grooms, families, etc.

Here is a nice write-up recapping some of my insight from my summer.

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Categories: Beaches, caribbean, honeymoon, Jamaica, MoBay, Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho rios, romantic, travel, Uncategorized, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Support MS & look cute during your next vacation!

Want to look stylish on your next vacation and support a good cause at the same time? My nieces and nephew are making these adorable handmade bracelets to raise money to Fight MS. My sister bravely battles MS each and every day if her life. Her amazing kids do their best to raise money in support if the cause!

The bracelets are $10. Here is the link. Please message me with any questions. THANK YOU!

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/GAAWalkEvents?px=10455323&pg=personal&fr_id=25189

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Couples Choice Award for 2015!

A Big thank you to all of my happy clients who have taken the time to not only submit such glowing reviews, but who have given me the opportunity to help them with their travels in 2014! THANK YOU!!!

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Categories: Best travel agent, caribbean, cruise, disney, Family vacation, honeymoon, italy, Jamaica, MoBay, Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho rios, romantic, travel, vacation | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Riding the Roads of Jamaica

I have many clients who stress concern about the road conditions in Jamaica.

I just returned from a two week trip to Jamaica and I rode nearly every road from Montego Bay to go Ocho Rios, back to Montego Bay, onto Negril and then back to Montego Bay again. I found the roads to be well-paved and much of the scenery to be very pleasant as you can see in the pictures below.

You pass many scenic vistas, pass by local Schools and churches, as well as small Parrish centres.

Many resorts include complimentary transportation and often the driver will stop midway to your destination so you can grab a cold beer and try some local jerk chicken. Or if you prefer to be a VIP, you can get a private transfer in a luxury sedan equipped with cold beverages and snacks. I had the privilege of enjoying this on my arrival into Jamaica on the drive from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios.

If you are staying in Whitehouse, the roads are a bit precarious, but the drivers are very skilled and knowledgeable.

Overall I believe the roads in Jamaica are very well suited for tourists and the shuttle and private drivers are very skilled at getting you to your destination.

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Categories: Beaches, caribbean, Family vacation, honeymoon, Jamaica, Ocho rios, travel, vacation | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Trip Insurance- Get It!!

Clients often ask, “should I get travel insurance?” My advice, “yes!!!”

You never know what can happen when you are on vacation. It may not be hurricane season, or your credit card may cover lost luggage, but crazy things or accidents may happen.

I was once on vacation in St Lucia. It was hurricane season and a hurricane had just passed through St Lucia,but it not effect the island. It did however impact Miami. Many people who fly in and out of St Lucia have layovers in Miami. The storm was severe enough to close the Miami airport, thus, impacting travel plans as passengers were delayed in leaving St Lucia or arriving to St Lucia. The travel insurance helped to pay for accommodations that where not a part of the initial trip.

A trip to a public hospital in a foreign country or shelling out huge amounts of money because a storm alters your trip is not something I recommend for my clients. However, getting trip insurance is something I do suggest- to protect you from unforeseen circumstances when you travel.

Categories: caribbean, Family vacation, honeymoon, Jamaica, romantic, travel, Trip insurance, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Couples Resorts in Ocho Rios

Today I toured the two Couples Resorts in Ocho Rios, Couples Tower Isle and Couples San Souci.

These resorts are very different, but equally beautiful.

I was warmly greeted at San Souci. The lobby is bright and cheerful with lush tropical views to the sea below. The resort is built into a cliff, so if you choose this resort, be prepared to walk up and down lots of steps. The resort is already lovely, but they are undergoing some renovations and will be updating their rooms. These changes will certainly add to the charm and ambiance. There is an entire section of the property with a beach, pool, bar, etc for nude sunbathing as well.

If you prefer to sunbathe in your swimsuit, the main beach is very private. In fact, you feel like you are on your own little corner of paradise or your own deserted island. I was also surprised by the size if the resort (as in the number of a acres on which it sits). I was also surprised by the lily pond. There were countless turtles and it seemed like a tranquil alternative to the beach. The lush tropic landscaping and scenery reminded of Hawaii.

Tower Isle is just five minutes down the road. I was immediately struck by the incredible breeze and marvelous vistas you encounter as soon as you enter the open-air lobby. The resort was the place to be in the 1950s and it still maintains that vintage charm.

There are two pools, the more active pool and the quieter pool (which feature the iconic diving platform waterfall). There is a nice stretch of beach with many water sports. If you choose to partake in au natural sunbathing, there is a small boat that will transport you to the island, just across the cove.

I really liked the outdoor dining here as well- great way to enjoy tasty cuisine and beautiful scenery.

I will also add that in addition to abundant activities, scuba, Dunn’s River Falls excursion and more, these Couples Resorts have really high quality food and drinks even the cheeses and fruits were superior to many other all-inclusives. Truly stupendous!

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Categories: Beaches, caribbean, honeymoon, Jamaica, Ocho rios, romantic, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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