About Amanda Hand

I fell in love with travel, so I decided to work in the travel industry. You can catch me on the road, in the mountains, and sometimes in the office at TravelSafe. Wherever I am and wherever I'm going, I'll be sure to give you the goods.

Hawaii – Multigenerational Travel Hot Spot

The poles are in and multigenerational travel is here to stay. The trend is growing, and that means more and more families will be looking into ways to include multiple generations in their travel arrangements. A popular destination that is gaining more attention for multigenerational travel is Hawaii. The islands offer a great deal of variety in activities, lodging arrangements and choices for for. Even though the price for larger groups is much higher when compared to smaller groups, families are not waning in their decisions to make Hawaii a top pick for multigenerational travel. So let’s take a look at why Hawaii is said to have it all.

It’s Islands 

Hawaii has six islands, all similar but unique in their own ways. This almost guarantees your multigenerational island experience is a positive one. When planning your trip, everyone can provide a list of activities that are most important to them and what kind of look and feel they want to their vacation. You can come to a group decision of which island fits your multigenerational travel theme the most and, since island hopping is possible, no one has to miss out.

It’s Different Lodging Options

Some family members may enjoy villas while others prefer hotels. Both have their advantages. Villas allow for a more intimate feel while hotels may provide more security. After selecting which island (or islands) you will be staying on, you can begin to dive into what sleeping arrangements are going to work best for the group. The most important thing here, is there are so many options in Hawaii that you will be guaranteed comfort for the entire group.

Its Luaus

Hawaii is known for its scenery and festive luaus. The different luaus will give your family entertainment, leaving no room for boring dinner conversation. Everyone will have something to smile about as the dancers shimmy back and forth. If the mainstream Luaus aren’t for you, try checking out the fundraisers or smaller Luaus on the smaller Islands. It will give you a more authentic feel and you’ll really get a peek into the culture.

The Activities

There is an endless smorgasbord of activities on the islands. There are activities for every kind of traveler and to prove that point even further, we are going to have to break this down into categories.

For the Adventurer

Some people crave adventure. These are the ones who understand how large the world is and whose hearts jump at the thought of a new discovery. Hawaii has activities just for them, especially on the island of Kauai. If you have an adventurer in your multigenerational travel group, they will be sure to be happy with Hawaii as their choice. They can kayak through the Wailua River one day and zipline above Kauai’s beautifully decorated valleys the next. The adventurer will love all Hawaii has to offer and even better, have a great memories of their family vacation.

For the Historian

This kind of traveler loves to take their time learning about the destinations they explore. They understand the age of the earth and appreciate the heart and soul of every culture. The historian will have so much to learn during their stay on Hawaii as it is the only state that was once its own country. There is so much beautiful history to see on every island, the historian will not only stay busy but also very pleased.

For the Health Foodie

Not only is multigenerational travel a trend that may be sticking to our culture heavily, we also have health food working its way into many lifestyles across America. While this is not a bad thing, it can add stress to travel for the family especially if there are food allergies involved. But fear not multigenerational travelers! Hawaii has the options you need. Not only does Hawaii have a Whole Foods Market where health food is plentiful, Hawaii has a very strong farm to table food culture. The health foodie is sure to have enough options so they won’t have to go hungry, or even worse, unhealthy!

For the Beach Bum  

Hawaii, where surfing was born and the sand is plentiful. For those who love to park their bums on the beach from morning to late afternoon, Hawaii will offer up the perfect resting spot with a change in scenery. The beach bum can surf, snorkel, or simply rest in the sand for the day. Whatever their heart desires as they relax on your family’s vacation. You won’t have to worry about taking away from their experience, Hawaii’s beaches will offer up the perfect landing pad for their mellow soul.

And last but not least…

The Wellness Traveler

This traveler will have it all. The option for beautiful, luxury spas like the Mauna Lani Spa, the wellness traveler will leave their family vacation stress free. Relaxation is important to the wellness travel, and their mindfulness of their health and body will help them deal with the stressful moments that can go along with multigenerational travel. There are so many opportunities for the wellness traveler to catch up on rest, exercise and eat well, they may end up being the most versatile traveler in the group.

Hawaii just has it all. Every age and every kind of traveler will have all of the options they need when visiting the beautiful state. To please the whole group is to make memories of a lifetime.

You can read about the right time to buy travel protection here. 

 

Protecting Multigenerational Travel

Multigenerational travel is all the rage and there is proof to show it. In Forbes article The Hottest Trends In Boomer Travel, there is a strong highlight on the financial investment multigenerational travelers are making.

According to top travel companies, multigenerational family travel accounts for more than 10 percent of their entire business. Dan Austin, director of Austin-Lehman Adventures, says they’ve seen a tenfold increase in custom trips in recent years. “Groups range in size from as few as four to as many as 24 family members,” he says.

In 2013, the average US traveler spending roughly $1,145 (according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker). This means average families are spending anywhere from $4,580 to $27,480. Now, most families do not have bottomless bank accounts, and I know that investment is one worth protecting.

Choosing travel protection for your multigenerational travel group does not have to be a stressful experience. There are key things you should be looking for when purchasing travel protection. You do not want to get denied a claim because there was not a clear understanding of the products and plans available to you.

Often times, when travelers get an online quote for products, they bypass the heavy reading in hopes of saving themselves some time. This action can really cost you. One thing that our customer service department always stresses to travelers is to make sure they are reading their state specific certificate (it’s the paperwork that tells you every individual thing you are covered for). Boring, but necessary.

If you do not understand something in the certificate, give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can even tweet @TravelSafeIns if you can’t or just don’t like making the phone call. It is better to reach out and clear the air than to assume you are receiving a benefit.

Something to always consider when you are booking your trip, and debating your travel insurance, is the 21 day window. When you  make your initial trip deposit (an initial trip deposit meaning the day you put money down and choose a set date for travel plans), you are eligible to receive a wider range in coverage if you purchase travel insurance within 21 days.

With multigenerational travel, it usually means a group is traveling with grandparents. While every traveler could potentially have a change in their health, those is older generations are more prone to sudden changes in health and medications. After 21 days of the initial trip deposit, travelers are no longer eligible for this benefit and that can be a real doozie. If Grandma gets ill 18 days before vacation, the doctor puts her on medication, she gets to her destination and realizes the medication is making her ill, her travel protection may not be able to cover that pre-existing condition. So, travelers should play it safe on that one and pay attention to the 21 day window.

Another benefit travelers are only eligible for 21 days within initial trip deposit is Cancel For Any Reason. Yes, you can only purchase Cancel For Any Reason if you purchase your travel protection 21 days from your initial trip deposit.

If you are purchasing Cancel for Any Reason, make sure you cover the entire cost of your trip. You only qualify for Cancel For Any Reason is only granted when you protect your entire travel investment.

Check into the kinds of activities you are going to be partaking in. While some travel protection may cover ziplining, it probably isn’t going to cover sky diving. Sorry grandma!

So don’t just do multigenerational travel, do multigenerational travel protection as well. Wow, what a tongue twister. Get a quick quote for travel protection here and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @TravelSafeIns.

Click here to learn how to do multigenerational travel like a boss and don’t forget to check out apps for hurricane season, especially if you’re traveling to the Caribbean this summer.

 

Wellness Travel’s Trendy Gold Facial

With wellness travel(include hyperlink to wellness travel blog post) on the rise, it is no surprise that spas would be looking for unique ways to impress travelers and stand out from the herd. While spas are known to appeal to those with a taste for luxury, they are also known to target travelers who may be willing to spend more of their hard earned dollars treating themselves while vacationing. The new 24-carat gold facials, also known as the Cleopatra Facial, may seem as though it is taking the experience to the next level but may also be a flash in the pan. Travelers should not steer away from wellness travel, but try to spend wisely on types of wellness they are willing to incorporate into their overall lifestyle.

Hotels like the 5-Star Raffles Dubai Hotel & Spa along with the Copperwynd Resort and Club (located in Fountain Hills, Arizona) are adopting the 24-carat gold facial. Lizzie Porter gives you her full take on what it was like getting this luxurious facial at the Raffles Dubai (you can read her take on the Cleopatra Facial here).

Lizzie Porter with Telegraph Travel gets Gold Facial

Lizzie Porter with Telegraph Travel gets Gold Facial

Lizzy says, “The treatment didn’t quite make an Egyptian queen of me; although it did feel novel, I can think of better ways to spend £335, unless someone suddenly hands me access to a sheika’s bottomless bank account.”

Skin care expert, Renee D’Ariano from reneesspa.com, advises that skin care is much like exercise. Renee says,  “Sure, you will de-stress in the moment, but you will not see the full benefits unless you adopt facials as a regular part of your skin care routine, whether it is once a month or every other. While it is good that you are interested in getting a facial while on vacation, you will get the most value from the skin care techniques when adopting them as a regular part of your wellness routine.”

Renee also says that it is better to do your research and watch where you spend your wellness budget when on vacation. When asked if she thought the 24-carat gold facial could really help with anti-aging she said,  “I don’t know if I would buy into that. I surely wouldn’t spend  $500 on something that may be a trend. It is like the blood facials that were popular a few years ago, yeah, blood facials! They were a big trend and people were spending on these without doing proper research beforehand and now you hardly hear of people doing them. It is because it wasn’t worth the expense and it was fairly gross.

If you are going to try out a spa for the first time, while on vacation, choose something that is going to stimulate your body to generate cell regrowth or hydration. An example would be a microdermabrasion. It is practical, tried and true, and something you can incorporate into your wellness routine once you are home.”

So maybe a 24-carat gold facial sounds like a great way to spend your hard earned dollars while on vacation, but you may want to think about investing in something that will have a much more lasting memory or guaranteed positive effects.

When traveling for wellness, do you fall prey to trendy spa treatments like the 24-carat gold facial? Or are you more likely to spend on treatments you would include in your lifestyle?

Handle Multigenerational Travel Like A Boss

By Rikki’s Refuge

The thought is overwhelming; your parents, in-laws, children, sister, brother, nieces and nephews all want to travel together. Multigenerational travel is an opportunity to take time away from your busy schedules and bond over a truly worthy experience but many people feel overwhelmed at the thought of putting everyone in the same place for an extended period of time. You do not have to feel overwhelmed by multigenerational travel, and if you do, you’re doing it wrong.

Greg Benchwick wroteHow to Survive a Multi-Generational Family Vacation (without losing your mind),” and gives a few really great pointers as to how you can survive, and they mostly come from his own experiences.  As Greg says, “Not all destinations are created equal. For your ragtag crew, you’ll need to ID a destination that meets the needs of the kids, the partner, the dog, the goldfish, your Aunt Couie and the older generation. But don’t be surprised if grandpa really wants to go water skiing while your 25-year-old cousin is more interested in hanging out poolside.”

Flexibility in your travel arrangements and expectations is required with going on a multigenerational travel adventure.You don’t want to be rigid in assuming what everyone is going to want. What each individual is interested in experiencing while traveling may surprise you. Travel brings an opportunity for us to break our daily routine and come out of our shells. Sometimes, for those twenty-somethings  who are always moving, slowing down and allowing our bodies to rest is of great interest; but for those in retirement, who sip their tea slowly and relax daily, they may want to push the envelope and try something quite unexpected and relatively exciting.

Don't be surprised if Grandma wants to do something crazy

Don’t be surprised if Grandma wants to do something crazy

To make sure you’re multigenerational travel getaway is a successful one, it is also important to choose a destination with a lot of really great options. For instance, Hawaii is known to be a beautiful place where you can enjoy the beach by day and luau by night, but there is actually so much to do in Hawaii that it makes a great destination for multigenerational travel.You can go hiking, snorkeling, take a few surf lessons, hit the spas, and take the thrill seekers zip lining. If one person wants to skip all of that and stay by the beach, let them. As long as they are being safe, allowing them to enjoy their vacation – their way, is going to make for a happier group.

While flexibility is important, so is some form of structure. This made sound confusing at first but let me explain. I am not looking for you to have a daily itinerary where you have breakfast 8:00-8:30, followed by the beach from 9:00-1:00 and zip lining from 2:00-3:30. While that may work and be fun for some, others will enjoy having the option to fly by the seat of their pants. If you have younger kids, ask them one day what they would like to do so they feel a sense of pride alongside of their excitement.

Greg also mentions the positive impact family dinners had on the group. The dinners were a great time to talk about the excitement of their day and plan the adventures of the next. So maybe a great idea is to come to an agreement in which dinner is the same time every evening, and everyone goes. This will act as a hub for your day and everyone can decide what groups want to go where to make everyone happy. Don’t stress when is comes to multigenerational travel. After all, the experience is supposed to be just, an experience. Most memories will be happy ones, but for those few tiffs and headbutts, hopefully your group can look back and laugh as you plant your next multigenerational trip.

Learn more about why Hawaii is a great travel destination for multigenerational travel here and don’t forget to look at 2015’s Best Travel Accessories to help you travel efficiently and chic through the season!

 

Find Out How You Can Get to Cuba

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Photo by Magdalena Roeseler

While the U.S. Government is easing up on the restrictions regarding travel to Cuba, there still is a lot you cannot do while legally traveling to the mysterious island.

Travelers interested in working on their tan on the beaches of Cuba need not fly as the U.S. Government states visits to sea and sand resorts are off limits. Although learning about the various kinds of sand on the beaches of Cuba is not allowed, there are still parts of the Cuban culture travelers will not be disappointed in learning about when partaking.

Cuba hosts rum tastings to educate your palate on the various levels of the distilling process. Start with some of the youngest rums and work your way up the ladder to more complex varieties where you can potentially develop true appreciation for distillery art.

Don’t stop there. Be sure to take a class on rolling Cuban cigars. Maybe you can even leave knowing how to roll the complex Culebras which deserves an A in our cigar book. Just remember, you are only allowed to bring back up to $100 worth of those highly sought after Cuban Cigars.

Check Out the 12 Legal Reasons for Traveling to Cuba 

2015’s Best Travel Accessories

Featured

Frequent Flyers and Road-Junkies are always looking for the best travel accessories that help make traveling more convenient. Let’s face it, airports and overly packed cars are not glamorous but traveling efficiently and chic is.  Here is a list of 2015’s Best Travel Accessories.

August Smart Lock

Have you ever left for vacation only to realize you forgot to leave the spare key under the mat? With August Smart Lock (compatible with iPhone and Android devices); you never have to worry about making spare keys again. Through August’s App, you can grant (even revoke) access to those you rely on while away.

A lock that’s as smart as, well, your smart phone.

 

Ostrich Pillow

Napping and traveling go hand and hand. If it were only as easy and relaxing as it should be. With the Ostrich Pillow, you can nap in what would normally be an uncomfortable space with a real sense of privacy. Even better, you won’t wake up with the pesky neck cramp from resting your head on the cabin window inside of the plane!

When traveling, bury your head like an ostrich and snooze on.

Reservoir by Dark Energy

This Utah based company brings a portable charger to the market that is both sleek and compact. Able to charge most phones for up to one week, this accessory is a must have for those travel moments that keep you moving. Never again worry about your phone or tablet dying while taking a photo on your cruise or while touring Europe. For the more rugged travelers, keep your eye out for its sister product The Poseidon (available for pre-order now).

not sure you can beat this type of charge anywhere

Unisex Leather Cabin Bag by Vintage Child

Traveling with style and purpose, the Unisex Leather Cabin Bags by Vintage Child are at the top of the list in their category. This quality bag has enough room for a weekend’s worth of necessities while having the ability to hold it’s integrity and protect your items from the airport bustle. For those who only travel with a carry on, this is a must have.

be chic and efficient with this vintage cabin bag

iPad Air 2 by Apple

With an ultra-thin, lightweight design this is the perfect fit for your carry on items. You can choose up to 128 GB of storage, allowing you take your favorite movies, music, and books along with you on your travels. No more carrying around your chunky laptop, the iPad Air 2 can edit high quality photos and video, manage your business tasks, and keep you connected to the world around you.

no more pulling a bulky laptop out during your plane ride