Posts Tagged With: my traveling panda

Honeymooning in Mexican Paradise

I can’t believe I have not published this yet- I guess I’m a bit of a blog slacker…!

This article is from the Fall/Winter issue of Beautiful Bride; it features one of the most popular destinations for my honeymooners, destination weddings and family vacations- MEXICO!

Over the summer I had the good fortune of spending nearly two weeks in the Riviera Maya region (I know, tough job, but someone has to do it!). I truly love this region of Mexico.  The resorts are top notch, the food is to die for and the people are so friendly.

I am based in the ATL, so many of my clients are based in the Southeast.  Traveling to Mexico is not only a short and easy flight, it is also an affordable getaway. This article features some of my favorite resorts and activities in this region of Mexico.

Thank you for reading and HAPPY TRAVELS!

Bride Fall pages 74-75

 

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Categories: Beaches, Best travel agent, caribbean, Family vacation, honeymoon, Mexico, romantic, travel, Uncategorized, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reason #1 to Use a Travel Agent Save Time & Stress!

Reason #1 to use a Travel Agent Save Time & Stress!

Sometimes I get questions from people I meet expressing curiosity about why people use a travel agent. Well, I have a perfect example of something that just happened to explain one reason. 

I have honeymoon clients getting married on Friday. Yesterday we received notification that the flights changed dramatically- as in multiple connections and  they would arrive to their destination a day late!

Since we are so close to their departure date the number of available flights from their departure city to their destination were slim to none. I was on the phone literally the entire day with the airline, the tour operator, and my resort contacts to figure out the best options to get them to their destination as planned. 

Imagine if your wedding or your big departure date was only days away and you had to spend one whole day stressing about a change in your itinerary and how to resolve it. This is where my role as Travel Agent comes into play. I use my experience and contacts within the industry to find the best solution for my clients so they don’t waste time, don’t have additional stress and can enjoy their celebration.
Keep Calm and use a Travel Agent! #callatravelagent

  

Categories: Best travel agent, honeymoon, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Greg Norman Course in Exuma

So, are you or your partner an avid golfer? Even if you’re not a golfer do you enjoy scenic views?

Imagine this – you travel to paradise with some of your closest friends, the guys go off golfing in the morning while the ladies go to the spa. You love to golf too? Then enjoy a foursome on a gorgeous Greg Norman course with views on the back nine that are second to none.  Then, after your complimentary round of golf, enjoy afternoon cocktails with a few of the sea! 

I can make this happen! Contact me at Melissa@MyTravelingPanda.com I can help you book your (golf) trip to paradise!

  
  
  
  

Categories: Bahamas, Best travel agent, caribbean, Exumas, Golf, honeymoon, romantic, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Caribbean is Calling

In just a few short days I embark upon a two week journey to the Caribbean… I know tough work, but somebody has to do it!

My travel starts in the outer islands of the Bahamas at Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas. 

From there I’ll travel to Turks and Caicos where I’ll spend a few days at my friend’s seaside villa. 

Finally, I’ll spend just over a week in Mexico. For part of my trip I’ll join a group of travel agents where we will tour and visit several resorts in Riviera Maya and Cancun. Finally, end my trip with a few days and Playa Mujeres. 

I love my job as a travel agent and I am beyond excited to lay my eyes on these glorious locations and share my knowledge and experience with you. 

Happy Travels! 

Contact me for complimentary travel planning 🙂

 Melissa@mytravelingpanda.com 

Categories: Beaches, caribbean, Exumas, Family vacation, honeymoon, romantic, travel, Turks and Caicos, 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

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

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

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

Beaches Ocho Rios

I’ve stayed at several Sandals Resorts, but never their family-friendly counterpart, Beaches.

I have to say, the service had been stupendous and I’ve only been here a few hours. Before I even left the airport, I was given VIP treatment. A rep from the Jamaican Tourist Board met me at the airport terminal and escorted be through customs and baggage claim before taking me to the Beaches welcome lounge. Once there, I was informed I would have a private transfer, in a luxury car, courtesy of Island Routes. This was amazing- cold drinks, snacks, and a friendly driver.

About two hours later, I arrived to the resort and was promptly greeted by a friendly bellhop, with a scented cold cloth and tropical beverage. I was then walked to the VIP check-in and I was told I have been put into a Concierge room- yay!! Upon my arrival, the front desk staff was nothing but friendly and helpful, m as was the management.

I am staying in the Greek Village at Beaches Ocho Rios. My room is equipped with a minibar, a private patio with lounge chairs, and a view of the Sea.

The staff has been very friendly and accommodating. In fact, the bartender at the Beach Bar, where I watched the end of a World Cup match, even created a special pineapple Mojito for me.

I am looking forward to a relaxing evening and seafood at the Neptunes restaurant. 20140618-172457-62697147.jpg

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Categories: Beaches, caribbean, Family vacation, honeymoon, Jamaica, Ocho rios, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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