Capturing Those Vacation Moments: Smartphone Photography

Why the Best Camera for Your Vacation Might Not Be A Camera

 Most people want to take at least a few photos on their vacation, but not everyone wants the fuss of packing and keeping track of an extra piece of electronic equipment.

Have you considered leaving your digital camera at home and simply using the built-in camera on your smart phone?

Here are a few reasons why using your phone might be the best thing that ever happened to your vacation photos.

It’s always with you. Always. When you travel, your smart phone is likely already serving several purposes beyond just being a calling device. It’s a watch. A GPS. A weather-checker. An email and social media connector. A music library. It’s unlikely you go many places without it, and it’s second nature to just have it on hand. (If you’re like many people, the challenge of owning one of these devices is actually limitinghow much time you spend on it.) How many times have you gone somewhere and accidentally left the camera in the hotel room or in the car? Using your phone can help ensure that you’ll have a great camera handy when those moments-to-remember come up.

It takes surprisingly high-quality photos. Lots of people are shocked by this. Most phones now have an 8 megapixel (or higher) camera. That’s high-resolution enough to get a clear 20” x 24” print!

No messing around with memory cards or uploads to your computer. You always have the option, of course, to upload your photos at any time to your computer.  But with your smart phone, you can also instantly upload images to Facebook, send them in an instant message, email them to yourself or others, or back them up on the Cloud. No cords or plugins required.

Interesting apps galore can make your images look pro in no time. Free apps like Instagram and cheap apps like Hipstamatic($1.99) are used by millions of hobby and professional photographers every day. You can crop, add frames, apply filters, and share your photos right from the app itself, plus edited photos are automatically added to your phone’s photo library. There are hundredsof photo editing applications available. You never know: you might be inspired to get more into photography through your mobile device than through an actual camera!

A cool photo finish. In addition to being able to send any photo in your phone’s photo library to any camera shop or retailer (like Target or Walgreens) to be developed in regular 4×6 prints, Instagram’s unique square format makes for beautiful, artistic prints, too. Check out MixTiles— a free app that allows you to select and order three professionally-printed images from your Instagram library that are mounted on lightweight 8” x 8” backer board for easy hanging — all for just $49. Each additional tile after that is just $9.

A 21st-Century take on the “wish you were here” postcard. You can send personalized postcards to friends and family in less than 30 seconds – without stamps or trying to find a post office. Postagram is a free app that lets you upload vacation images from Instagram, Facebook, or your phone’s photo library and then add a short personal note. You enter the recipient’s address, and voila! — Postagram prints your photo and message on high-quality glossy paper and mails it directly for you. It is a fast, convenient, and personal way to keep in touch with those you love while you’re away.

Gone are the days of grainy, tiny images on small screens. Today, even those who consider themselves photo enthusiasts love the convenience and creative challenge of using their phones to capture their most treasured photographic moments. With all that your smart phone can do, maybe this is the year to take your vacation photography to new heights!

If you have your phone ready, I’m ready to help you find the perfect place to start taking pictures! You can contact me today to help you start planning your summer getaway – just  click here!

Untitled drawing-12

 

Disney Announces 2020 – Return to Greece & Dubrovnik & New Ports of Call

It is official, after a five-year hiatus  Disney Cruise Line will be returning to Greece the summer of 2020.  Disney will be heading back to Greece with three new Mediterranean voyages, departing out of Rome.  Guests will have the opportunity to choose a 9-night or 12-night adventure aboard the Disney Magic, where guests can marvel at the beautiful landscapes and archeological wonders of destinations like Piraeus, the gateway to Athens; Katakolon, near ancient Olympia; and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete.  These amazing itineraries also include other incredible destinations in the Mediterranean region such as Messina (Sicily), where guests can visit landmarks such as Mount Etna, the highest most active volcano in Europe, or Piazza del Duomo, the city’s historic center.  The “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik, Croatia is also an option on the 9-night sailing.

There are also additional new ports of call in Europe include Gdynia, Poland; Nordfjordeid, Norway; Plymouth, England; and Zeebrugge, Belgium. This new collection of destinations is part of the Disney Magic’s grand tour of Europe in the summer of 2020, which begins with sailings through the Mediterranean and Greek Isles before heading to northern Europe in late summer for cruises to the Baltic, the British Isles and Norwegian fjords.

Alaskan Adventures
In 2020, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. These seven-night itineraries depart from Vancouver, Canada, with visits to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Dawes Glacier.

Tropical Travel to the Caribbean and Bahamas
In addition to seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a variety of itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas throughout the summer of 2020. These include five- and nine-night Caribbean sailings, along with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, two of which feature two stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

The Disney Dream will provide even more opportunities for guests to visit Castaway Cay in the summer of 2020 with three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises, including a series of cruises with two calls on the private island paradise.

Guided Experiences with Adventures by Disney
In summer 2020, Disney Cruise Line guests can enrich their cruise vacation with a variety of add-on packages from Adventures by Disney. Highlights include brand-new ways to experience the Caribbean, a return to Alaska and popular packages in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

When To Book Summer 2020 Itineraries
Platinum, Gold or Silver Castaway Club members, can take advantage of the opportunity to book summer 2020 itineraries before they go on sale to the general public on March 7, 2019. Book either online or by phone during the designated booking window.

  • March 4, 2019: Platinum Members
  • March 5, 2019: Platinum and Gold Members
  • March 6, 2019: Platinum, Gold and Silver Members
  • March 7, 2019: all Guests

How to Book

 

Travel by Rail

Travel by rail is definitely trending for 2019.  One of our Virtuoso Travel Partners, Ker & Downey has named train travel in Europe as one of the top trends for 2019.  According to the World Rail Market Study, conducted by Roland Berger and commissioned by UNIFE (organization that represents the European rail industry) the rail supply market has grown by 1.2% between the years of 2013-2017.  The study also predicts a steady growth for rail products over the next six years.

There are many advantages to traveling by rail in Europe.  Check out a few below:

  • You are able to enjoy the flexibility of moving around the train, comfortable seating,
  • You are able to explore multiple destinations on just about any budget,
  • You are able to save time traveling, when you factor in the time you spend at the airport (checking-in, security, boarding).
  • Train schedules tend to be more frequent, allowing more flexibility.
  • Train stations are centrally located within cities, meaning only a quick taxi, Uber or walk to your hotel.
  • Traveling by train can mean not needing a vehicle and the potential hassles of driving in a foreign location.  No need for International Driver License.
  • Traveling via train discourages over-packing.
  • The scenery is sometimes breathtaking.  You are able to see parts of the country that you would have not seen had you flown.
  • Your travel advisor has access to the experts to plan your itinerary.

Let’s get your adventure by train itinerary started today.

 

Flexibility: Be prepared to bend a little.

When we embark on a for pleasure trip, we are often excited, filled with anticipation about the adventure we are about to begin, or the people we are about to see. Whether you are traveling to a place you have never been, or in my case, traveling home to see my family for a special occasion, the feeling of excitement is overflowing and we are generally in a super fantastic mood.  That is, until something out of our control goes wrong and our exciting adventure turns into a little bit of a nightmare.

When we travel there are a number of hiccups that can occur and we need to not only anticipate them but also be prepared for them.  A few hiccups that can come your way are lost baggage, missing flight, weather delays, mechanical delays, or not having the correct travel documentation.  Most of these issues are completely out of our control and some are out of the control of everyone, including the airline.  One of my most recent adventures traveling home to Toronto for my sister-laws bachelorette party was one of those trips where things didn’t go as planned.

After booking my trip, I made sure to assign my seats (aisle of course) for my entire trip immediately, check-in when it was time, arrive at the airport in the necessary time to clear TSA to be at the gate with my carry-on (really the only way to travel) ready for boarding and double checked my connection.
All went smoothly, until it didn’t.  I am one of those travelers that likes to follow the flight path of the airplane when available on the backseat entertainment screen.  Maybe it is because I am an ex-flight attendant and know things can change in the air, or possibly because I am that person that even when traveling to work I like to use my GPS device to see what time I am arriving.  Either way, I was tracking our trip from Daytona to Atlanta and about two-thirds into our trip I noticed that we  did a little bit of a circle and our arrival time had changed.  This peaked my curiosity as I knew I didn’t have much room for error in catching my connection.  We soon received word from the flight deck that there was some inclement weather in Atlanta and landing was not an option.  In addition, we were going to need to land at an alternative airport to refuel and hopefully get back in the air to make our way back to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  Looking at the time I knew that there was no way that I was going to make my connection.  This was not my first rodeo so I knew that waiting until I arrived in Atlanta to figure out my next course of action was a bad idea.  Utilizing WiFi I determined that there was no other options to Toronto that evening but that their was an early morning flight on another airline that would ensure that I not miss the reason I was traveling home. As soon as we touched down at the alternative airport I was on the phone with Delta making arrangements to get on that early morning flight.  I was so quick that at first the agent I was on the phone with couldn’t see that my plane was going to miss my connection.  I also informed her very politely that although we were unable to land as scheduled, due to weather, we actually diverted to refuel because we were unable  to wait in the air until the airport was cleared for arrivals.  After waiting on hold for an extended period of time and the agent finally receiving word that my flight was not going to arrive as scheduled I barely was able to secure my spot on that early morning flight before having to turn off my phone for take off.

Upon arrival in Atlanta, I was not in a mad dash like the other passengers trying to reschedule their next flights if they were continuing on.  Arriving at the time we did, I suspect that the majority of those connecting missed their connections.  Once I deplaned and in the terminal I checked my email for the confirmation of my morning flight and I scoped out where I was going to hang for the night.  I had been informed that most of the airport hotels were full and leaving the airport for only a few hours to have to return seemed silly.  It wasn’t the first time I had been stranded in an airport, nor would it be my last.  I was super glad that everything I needed was in my carry-on.  I was able to wash my face, brush my teeth, pull out a sweater to keep me warm and utilize my iPad/iPhone charger.  I made friends with a fellow female traveller purchasing a bottle of water and we found a place that the two of us could get a few winks but feel safe.  Surprising enough, the airport is super loud even when there are next to no travelers in the terminal.  Between the cleaning crew, retail & restaurant restocking there wasn’t much sleeping going on.

Before the sun came up I was able to head to the gate of my departure.  After waiting for the gate agent to arrive, I was informed that although I had a confirmation on the flight, the initial airline that I was suppose to travel, had not released me to the new airline.  They informed me that I needed to get in contact with them to do so or I would miss this flight.  In an attempt to ensure I was not going to miss this flight I immediately headed to the nearest customer service area and phoned customer service at the same time, covering all basis.  I was able to get someone on the phone first and my issue was rectified.  Now I just needed to make it back to the gate and hope their were still seats available.  The universe aligned and I made it on the plane to Toronto.  I was the last to board, and was assigned a middle seat but I made it.  Thankfully my trip back to Daytona was hassle free.

Bonus:  After take-off from Atlanta to Toronto, my seat mates asked if I would sit in the aisle seat so they could sit next to each other.

Whether you are a seasoned flyer, or taking your first trip it is important that you understand that things may happen.  Getting angry with the airline employees for something they had no control over, isn’t going to get you any sooner to your destination.  But being prepared and bending a little in a situation that you cannot change, may make a horrible situation a little more bearable.

Why do you need me as your travel advisor?

You can absolutely research and book your next adventure on your own, but why would you, when you have me to assist you?  As a Virtuoso travel advisor, I have the ability to find you the best adventure utilizing my knowledge, my teams experience, and global connections to put together a trip that will be second to none.   With a portfolio of over 2,000 top hotels, cruise partners, tour operators and more, Virtuoso represents the upper echelon of our industry.

Knowledge & Experience

Just as you might use an interior designer, financial planner or personal trainer, it makes perfect sense to use a travel advisor when booking your vacation.  Not only have I traveled extensively but actively research and educate myself on the industry, trends, destinations, products and more.  I also have an incredible partner in Virtuoso that offers that best training in our industry.  I am constantly scouting out the best hotels, tours, restaurants and more for my clients.  I am able to see the nuances in every trip.  From the big-picture aspects (where to go – and when) to the details that matter (rooms with the best views, or best gelato in Florence) Why not use my knowledge and experience and save some time.  Using me doesn’t mean you don’t get to do some research, it just streamlines it for you.  Your time is a super valuable, let me give you some time to spend on other things.

Personal Attention To Your Needs

As your advisor I understand what is most important to you and design an itinerary based on what is key to you and your traveling companions.  You may want to see the Vatican on a private tour, celebrate an anniversary in a special way, experience a wellness vacation to recalibrate or let your kids experience seeing lions & giraffes in the wild.  As an advisor, I can make plenty of suggestions that will work best for you. I may also help you think creatively about a destination that you have not thought about, or give you ideas on new ways to experience places that you have already visited but want to return.

Added Value

As a travel advisor I can secure benefits that are not available to an online travel agency or a direct booking with a cruise line, hotel/resort or tour.  Booking with Wheels Up Adventures allows you to take advantage of preferred rates and exclusive amenities such as room upgrades, early check-in & late check-out, shipboard credits, daily breakfast, specialty dining, pre-paid gratuities, and many more exclusive amenities.

Advocate

Issues are bound to pop up during any trip and I am your personal help line with the backing of the best team and travel consortium in the business, Virtuoso.  Let me take care of things so we can get your trip back on track.

Let me use my passion, knowledge, experience and team to share the world with you.  It would be my pleasure.

 

 

 

Why Traveling Lifts Up Your Spirits

Posted by: Windstar Cruises on October 17, 2018

The more you travel to new destinations in your life, the more you broaden your mind and spiritual horizons. Whether you’re watching the sunset from the cliffs of Dover, taking in the view of the majestic Taj Mahal with your mate, or even lounging on the black-sanded beach of Punaluu in Hawaii, both mind and instinct tell you that travel enlivens your very being.

Truly, it’s critical to get away from your home headquarters, where you’re linked to so many burdensome responsibilities, chores and the chains of a full-time job. You know this. But you need persuasive facts to motivate you to finally break the work bonds and set yourself free and a-roaming’ for a healthy period of time.

Consider the following facts that explain how traveling significantly boosts your mental health — followed by tips on how to get the most out of your vacation:

France

1. You Experience a Mood-Boosting High

A Journal of Travel Research study found that vacationing considerably boosts mood and well-being, making travelers happier and more relaxed. A similar study by American Psychological Association also found that taking a leisure trip dampens the effects of burnout and fortifies the mind and spirit against energy-draining tasks at work once you’re back in the office.

Scientists have also confirmed improved physical effects among recently returned vacationers, such as deeper sleep, less insomnia, and a more relaxed state. Experts recommend taking frequent mini-trips throughout the year to prolong the effects of a restorative vacation.

Tip:Find out the restorative physical effects of a vacation by keeping a Fitbit on your wrist. It measures your sleeping hours and keeps tabs on any sleep interruptions, while monitoring your heart and generating exercise data.

Couple venice

2. Your Relationships Deepen

Researchers further say that travel strengthens the bonds with accompanying friends and family while encouraging new connections among the locals. It often happens that vacationers in new surroundings will gather the gumption to approach, engage, and meet with new people during their travels. At home, the willingness to do this isn’t as likely since people already feel incorporated into their local social community.

Taking such a chance with strangers can lead to fascinating and meaningful experiences that make a vacation more fun and enjoyable. Some vacationers, avid pet lovers to the bone, even take their pets with them to a leisure destination, where their four-legged companions often attract new people for vacationers to chat with and befriend.

Other pet-owning vacationers turn to technology to forge a connection with the locals. Some professional pet sitting services continually send pet owners videos and images of their precious cat or pooch, which give the locals a lot to smile at and coo over.

Trips taken with a romantic partner or family members also deepen the familial bonds. You form a ton of fun memories and adventures with your loved ones during travels — the kind that you will be talking about for years to come.

3. You Become More Grateful

You become a more grateful person when you travel to completely different and new vistas and environments. You lovingly take in all the kind gestures of the locals in making you feel welcome. Plus, if you’re witnessing poverty, you become more grateful of your own station in life and the privileges that come with it. Additionally, because you engage with people from variant linguistic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, you become more compassionate and more tolerant of the diversity of people in general.

The Takeaway

If work had been giving you the blues, the joys of your vacation would perk you up for a long time coming. But in the end, your mindset will importantly determine how much fun you will actually have on your vacation. Exercising mindfulness, living in the present and being open-minded will ground your experiences of new and exciting adventures – both big and small — in your mind during your restorative vacation. The end result? A more relaxed, more mirthful you.

How to Explore

Recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler on the 2016 Gold List of Favorite Cruise Lines and by USA TODAY readers for Best Boutique Cruise Line, Windstar’s fleet of small luxury sailing ships and all-suite power yachts with 148 to 310 guests bring you closer to smaller ports and exclusive local experiences around the world. Visit windstarcruises.com or call 888-460-5098 for more information.

For more travel experiences aboard Windstar Cruises and to learn about our exclusive amenities, please contact Wheels Up Adventures at Request for more information – Wheels Up Adventures.


Written by: Catherine Workman

Catherine Workman believes we should all leave our comfort zones once in awhile. She travels to boost her physical and mental health. Ms. Workman is part of a great team at WellnessVoyager and enjoys sharing her thoughts on travel and wellness.

Our Best Offer Yet – U By Uniworld

IMG_9188.PNG

IT’S BACK.

Why was Uniworld named the “#1 River Cruise Line” in Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards? It might have something to do with our one-of-a-kind floating boutique hotels, such as the newly renovated S.S. Beatrice and award-winning S.S. Joie de Vivre. It could have also been due to our delicious farm-to-table comfort cuisine or choice of carefully curated experiences or outstanding service or all-inclusive amenities.

No matter what the reasons were for receiving such an honor, one thing’s for sure: we want you to come experience an ultra-luxurious Uniworld river cruise for yourself—for less.

SAVE UP TO 30% ON SELECT CRUISES WITH OUR BEST OFFER.*

 

Our Best One Yet Promotional Flyer

*Our Best Offer is valid for new, individual bookings on select 2019 itineraries and departure dates only, made between 11/1/2018 and 12/31/2018. Offer applies to full-fare bookings only. All fares and savings CST #2075415-20 listed are in US Dollars. Fares featured are for cruise or cruise/tour only, per person (unless otherwise noted) based on double occupancy. Rates for single guests are available upon request. Rates and savings
vary by itinerary, departure date and category of accommodations. Offer is not combinable with any other promotional offer. Offer is capacity controlled and may be modified or withdrawn at any time. Other
restrictions may apply. For complete details, general information, and terms and conditions applicable to all Uniworld trips, please visit Uniworld.com.

 

Join Hurtigruten in Iceland & Fly Free

Our 12-day expedition begins and ends in Reykjavík, and circumnavigates the entire country of Iceland in between. Book before November 30, 2018 and you can fly for free!

During May and June of 2019, you’ll have four opportunities to join us as we spend 12 full days exploring this island nation, home to fascinating and dramatic geological features, as well as a tremendous amount of wildlife. You’ll explore some truly astonishing landscapes—spectacular waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and even active volcanoes. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest in Europe. And, if you book your trip before November 30, 2018, you’ll get to fly for free! *contact us for all promotion details.

Sailings:

Travel Dates Product Name Ship
18 May 2019 – 29 May 2019 MS Spitsbergen
29 May 2019 – 09 Jun 2019 MS Spitsbergen
09 Jun 2019 – 20 Jun 2019 MS Spitsbergen
20 Jun 2019 – 01 Jul 2019 MS Spitsbergen

 

Ventures by Seabourn Antarctica

 

Experience a new, fresh look at Ventures by Seabourn’s Antarctica. See penguins, whales and other diverse wildlife, kayak around icebergs and massive glaciers, hike along the majestic continent and see the wonders of Antarctica up close through our optional Ventures program, only on Seabourn.

Request information on this cruise line or any destination at Request for Information Form

The Seabourn Difference
  • Intimate ships with a private club atmosphere
  • Intuitive, personalized service provided by staff passionate about exceeding guests expectations 
  • Curated voyages to all seven continents delivering award-winning experiences
  • All ocean-front suites, luxuriously appointed
  • Complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times
  • Welcome Champagne and complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences 
  • Tipping is neither required, nor expected 
  • Finest resort at sea that is masterfully designed
  • World-class dining, further enhanced through a culinary partnership with Chef Thomas Keller
  • All dining venues are complimentary, dine where, when and with whom you wish
  • Seabourn Conversations, connecting with visionary experts
  • Ventures by Seabourn™, optional shore excursions, enhance and extend your experience in select destinations
  • Select purposeful and sustainable travel experiences in partnership with UNESCO
  • Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, featuring an exclusive mindful living program
  • An evening entertainment experience in collaboration with Sir Tim Rice

Holiday Celebrations – Cunard Cruise Line

Holiday Gifts that celebrate spending time with the ones you love.  Give the gift of time this holiday season.

A Cunard Christmas exudes style and sophistication. So, Christmas Eve could be toasted with a perfectly chilled bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne in the Champagne Bar and Christmas morning celebrated with a relaxed breakfast in bed, in preparation for a lavish festive celebration over dinner. You could close the special day with a show, dancing in the Queens Room or perhaps a cocktail to toast your traveling companions’ good health. No matter where in the world you are celebrating the festive season — Europe and beyond — you will be sure to have a wonderful holiday, surrounded by Cunard Christmas traditions and good cheer.

 

2018_Holiday_Sailings_Flyer_Enabled

Untitled drawing-12