Travel Photos to Get You Through the Week

It’s Monday and time to get back to the grind! To help you get through the week, we’ve compiled gorgeous travel photos. Go ahead, day dream – your secret is safe with us.

Stuck between a golf course and beach in Rosslare, Ireland. What a great problem to have, right?

As if the cliffs of Cinque Terre, Italy aren’t beautiful enough, a rainbow is added to make this view nothing short of amazing.

A gondola ride down the canals of Venice, anyone?

Haystack Rock provides a great view off the coast of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

We want to see your amazing travel photos! Share them with us on Facebook, Tweet us or send them on Pinterest. We can’t wait to see your photos!

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Tips to Travel Green

Are you planning an eco-friendly trip? Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint while you explore the world? Here are tips to help you do that while enjoying your vacation:

Turn it off!  If you will be gone for more than a few days, turn off your air conditioner and outdoor water supply. This can prevent possible flooding and unnecessary electricity usage.

Grab a bike or take a hike. While you’re on vacation, consider taking Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking or taking public transit. Another plus? These transportation options will be cheaper than taking a taxi or renting a car.

Recycle. Ask your hotel about their recycling policy. If the hotel recycles, make sure to sort your trash accordingly. If you typically use plastic water bottles, consider taking a reusable bottle with you on vacation to use as you travel.

Reuse your towels. Hotel hospitality is a great perk when traveling, but if you can reuse your towels or linens for a couple of days, it will save a lot of water and energy by saving on washing and drying time.

Tell us – what do you do to stay green while traveling? Leave a tip with your comment below. We can’t wait to hear your tips!

 

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5 Reasons to Take a Cruise

1. Travel to multiple destinations | A big advantage to cruising is being able to see multiple destinations in one trip. For example, if you take a Caribbean cruise, you could visit Antigua, Belize, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico all in one cruise. 

2. No planning required | When you take a cruise, your destinations are already picked for you! Make sure to use a travel agent, too, so you get the best deal and have all the important inside information.

3. All-you-can-eat food | Buffet, anyone? Most cruises have food available at all hours of the day and it is included in your ticket price.

4. Variety of activities | Whether you’re looking for your next adventure, interested in exploring the port city, or you just want to relax on the beach, cruise lines offer excursions that can meet traveler’s needs.

5. Easy to find a cruise that fits your budget | With cruises lasting from 3 days to 2 weeks, cruises that offer luxury at every corner to cruises that are more budget-friendly, you can find a cruise that fits your budget.

If you decide to take a cruise for your next vacation and you have questions about protecting your financial investment, we’re here to help. Did you knowtravel insurance can provide coverage if you are delayed, your luggage is lost or you fall ill while on vacation? Call us at 888-885-7233, reach out to us on Facebook or Tweet us. We can’t wait to hear about your upcoming cruise!

 

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Best Honeymoon Destinations

Planning your honeymoon can be just as stressful as planning your wedding. You have to decide if you and your partner want to relax on the beach, explore a new city or both. Do you want to go abroad or vacation in the States? How many days will you travel? Answering these questions will help you and yours plan the perfect honeymoon. We’ve got the top destinations for your honeymoon. Help contribute your vote for the best honeymoon spot by leaving a comment below, writing on our Facebook timeline or tweeting us.

 

Maui is one of the top honeymoon destinations because the wide range of activities available. Whether you’re interested in relaxing at a world-class spa, dining at great restaurants, hiking or spending your days at the beach, Maui offers it all.

Florence is an amazing city for a European honeymoon. You can see some of the world’s finest architecture and art after enjoying unbeatable pasta and gelato. Don’t forget to stop by the Galleria dell’ Accademia, too.

San Diego offers beaches and a city to explore. With warm weather and endless outdoor activities, San Diego is the perfect place for you and yours to escape for a week.

New York City is the perfect honeymoon destination for a couple who enjoy fast-paced vacations.The city that never sleeps always something going on. If you’re interested in seeing a captivating play, indulging in great food and drinks or enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city, while being able to escape to Central Park, New York City is the perfect choice for you.

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Take Better Photos on Vacation

We all want a perfect photo to remember our vacation. Follow these tips for taking a great travel photo and make your memories last a lifetime.

1. Pay attention to the light. According to most photographers, the light is best when the sun is low in the sky. This means try to capture your photos in the first hour or so after the sun rises and the last hour or so before it sets. If you can’t take your photos during that time, don’t worry, you can still get a great photo. Just make sure the light is not directly behind your subject.

2. Communicate. If you’re taking a picture of a person you don’t know, ask for their permission first – especially if you’re in a foreign country. It can also help to get a sense of the person and capture their spirit in your photo.

3. Take in your scenery. Before you start snapping away, take a step back and get a sense for the scenery around you. It will help you get a sense of your surroundings and find the best shot.

4. Go for bright colors. Our eyes are naturally drawn to bright colors, so if the sky is especially bright or the grass is greener than usual, make sure to include that in your photo.

5. Angle the camera down. When taking a picture of people, it’s important that it’s a flattering picture. This especially rings true for selfies. Hold your phone at a 45 degree angle and snap away!

With these tips, you’ll be taking photos like a pro in no time! We want to see your favorite travel photo! Post it on our Facebook page or tweet it. We can’t wait to see your vacation photos!

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8 Amazing Travel Photos

It’s Wednesday, and that means we’re all halfway to Friday! To get you through the week and provide some inspiration for your next vacation, we’ve got some travel photos that are sure to help.

1. Queenstown, New Zealand2. Northern Lights in Alaska
3. St. Petersburg, Russia

4. Essaouira, Morocco

5. Oia village, Greece

6. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

7. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

8. South Africa

Now that you’ve been inspired, it’s time to book your next vacation! Don’t forget to include travel insurance.

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Valentine’s Day Getaways

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Upgrade from the typical box of chocolates and red roses to a romantic getaway for you and your loved one.

Whether you enjoy getting lost in a big city or the great outdoors, there’s a place for you and yours to escape for the weekend. Sweep your loved one off their feet with a surprise vacation to one of these domestic destinations:

1. Napa Valley, California

Wine aficionados and beginners alike will appreciate California’s wine country. With picturesque views, relaxing resorts and delicious wines, Valentine’s Day travelers will not be disappointed. Stay at Bardesseno for a truly luxurious getaway.

2. New York City, New York

A trip to the Big Apple can be exciting for Valentine’s Day. You and yours can ice skate at Rockefeller Center, take a carriage ride through Central Park or visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the holiday.

3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is a favorite romantic weekend destination for Easterners. They flock to the city outside of Boston for its laid-back atmosphere and fresh seafood. Find out what the East Coast is buzzing about by making a weekend trip to Cape Cod.

4. Sedona, Arizona

If you travel just north of Phoenix, you’ll see the Red Rocks of Sedona. The city is home to some world-class resorts such as L’Auberge and Amara. This location is perfect if you want to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of your loved one.

5. Chicago, Illinois

This Midwest city offers great food and exciting activities. During the week of February 11, the city will celebrate Chicago Theatre Week. More than 100 productions featuring the city’s greatest talent will be showed at participating theaters. This year, area hotels will be offering a Chicago Theatre Week package that includes a hotel room and pair of tickets to a production.

Tell us – which of these sound like the perfect getaway for you and your loved one? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing about your travel plans!

And don’t forget … to make sure your vacation is stress-free, add travel insurance to your plans. The travel insurance will protect you against illness, flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage and much more.

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8 Travel Trends Predicted for 2014

2014 is here! Although the countdown to midnight is behind us, we’re counting down the top 8 travel trends for the new year.

1. Domestic flight prices will drop (insert cheering here!). According to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2014, “North American airfares are expected to decline in 2014 as a result of heightened competition from low cost carriers, challenging unemployment levels and corporate travel policies becoming more stringent in regard to business class travel.” Stable oil prices will also help keep costs down. Don’t hold your breath though. The pending consolidation of major U.S. airlines may offset these declines.

2. Brazil’s World Cup will cause a buzz with travelers. According to Brazil’s tourist board, the country is expecting approximately 10 million visitors for the World Cup – more than twice their normal amount of visitors. Why will this sporting event draw so many visitors? Soccer is growing in popularity in the United States and this World Cup will be the first global soccer championship held in South America in almost 40 years.

3. Multi-generational travel will grow. The family groups that started the trend have impressed their remaining kin with their Facebook postings and now everyone wants to join in the party. Watch for family reunions to reach upward toward 100 in the coming year; just be sure you’re booking every member of the clan, grab the whole piece of that pie.

4. Fewer European cruises will be available. According to Fodor’s, European ports will be much sleepier as soon as the summer season of 2014. Carnival, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Regent Seven Seas have either reduced their number of ships or pulled out of Europe all together. Fodor’s sites dwindling passengers rates as the reason cruise lines made the tough decision.

5. Travelers will share even more on social media. While this trend probably doesn’t surprise you, more travelers are turning to sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to not only plan their vacations, but to share their adventures and get tips from other travelers.

6. Free Wi-Fi will be more readily available. In 2013, you saw Wi-Fi offered in several hotels and airplanes. That number will continue to grow this year, with more airports, hotels and airlines offering free Wi-Fi to their customers.

7. Vacation rental homes will compete with traditional hotels. Sites like airbnb and VRBO offer travelers the opportunity to stay in spare rooms, apartments or even rent an entire home. This option can often save you money and offers the comforts of your own home.

8. Airlines in China and Singapore will have the largest price increases. According to Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2014 Travel Price Forecast, Asia Pacific carriers will continue to align with the three global alliances (EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia and SriLankan Airlines) in the new year, causing prices to increase.

It’s your turn to tell us – what are your travel-related predictions for 2014? Leave a comment below, share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing your predictions and seeing if they come true!

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Destinations for Solo Travelers

Ireland: Explore miles of rolling green hills, dramatic coastal cliffs, and mingle with the friendly locals and enjoy a lively pub culture while touring through Dublin and the Irish countryside. Travelers can take it easy while hopping from one pub and bed & breakfast to another, or rent a car and enjoy a tranquil coastal drive. The country’s rich history and rural charm — and of course, beautiful historic castles and churches — will put you in a relaxed frame of mind.

Costa Rica: With some of the highest national rankings for happiness and safety in the world, Costa Rica is the perfect setting for a peaceful getaway that combines adventure travel and relaxation. If you’re looking for relaxation, you’ll have plenty of beaches to choose from – the country has dozens of Pacific beaches.

Stockholm, Sweden: Although Stockholm is definitely on the pricier side, the Swedish capital is one of the best cities in Europe for solo travelers. The city is safe and friendly for travelers who are looking to explore a European city. Also, if you get lost, most Swedes speak English and will be happy to help you find your way.

New Zealand: If you’re looking to really get away, experience a new culture, and tour through some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world, plan a trip trekking across New Zealand. Like the other destinations on this list, New Zealand people are really friendly and willing to help visitors to their country.

Now it’s your turn to tell us. Where would you like to travel solo? No matter where you decide to go, make sure travel insurance is part of your vacation plans. With medical coverage, flight delay coverage, lost luggage coverage and much more, it can make a difference in your vacation.

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How to Avoid Jet Lag While Traveling

Jet lag can put a real damper on your vacation. Well-seasoned travelers swear by a variety of practices to combat this common issue. We asked our travelers for their most effective ways to beat jet lag, and you answered with some great tips (thank you!). Read on to find out the best ways to avoid jet lag and be sure to share your tip in a comment below!

“Adjust your sleep schedule a week before the trip,” Betty B. says. “If it’s possible, try to become acclimated to your new time zone before you arrive, and you’ll be able to start your vacation with a running start!” Betty’s on to something here! Research has shown it takes a day for each time zone traveled for a person’s body clock to catch up to the local time, so if you adjust your sleeping times, it can help shorten the adjustment period.

“If you can’t sleep at night when you arrive, try taking a melatonin supplement,” shares Kathie C. Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or insomnia. However, it’s important to note, that you should consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially ones that affect someone’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery like melatonin.

“Try to schedule your flight to depart late at night,” advises Michael M. “That way, you can sleep overnight on the plane and get moving once you arrive at your destination.” Michael’s theory is proven useful! Not only does being exposed to light help convince your body it’s time to get going, but getting a full-night’s sleep can also help keep grogginess at bay.

Do you have a tip to beat jet lag? Share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear more great tips from our travelers!