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June 2023 Airfare secrets

  • Airfare secrets
  • May 2023

    It’s important to buy travel insurance, but even more important to buy it within 7 days of making a deposit on a tour. Travel insurance covers cancellation fees, of course, but also covers you for baggage loss, delay of flights, returning home due to the needs of a loved one, medical and other expenses. Medical evacuation insurance is one of the most important elements – being able to fly home when you are too sick to be treated locally. Purchase it with your deposit, and you’ll also be covered for pre-existing conditions. $1000 worth of coverage costs just $70. Always ask us for travel insurance when you book a trip.


    May 2023

    Travel Friends Near & Far 40+
    I returned last week from a trip to Scotland.  I have been many times before, but I was pleased to see some sites I had not seen before. I started my trip in Aberdeen, in the northeast of Scotland. I traveled throughout Scotland, visiting a farm, a wonderful country house hotel, and even had a whisky and food pairing dinner to close out the trip.

    With Scotland on my mind, I have planned a week long trip to Scotland May 10, 2024. We’ll have a guided tour from Glasgow to Edinburgh, staying at 4 star hotels, including one of my favorites – the Atholl Palace in Pitlochry, a baronial mansion with panoramic views of the countryside. We’ll see many fairytale castles - including one with the only private army in Europe, enjoy a scenic cruise on Loch Lomond and watch a farmer and his sheepdog round up his flock. Whisky, music and more. Join us!

    December 2021

    I have wanted to sail on the 6 star Crystal Cruise line for years, but the $8000+ price tag was just too rich for my budget. I was so excited when I saw the wonderful prices for Crystal Cruises this year- well under $2000 all in for a solo verandah cabin. I just had to go, and I am so glad that I did!

    When considering that capacity for the Crystal Symphony is 800 guests, and there were only 250 or so onboard this cruise, I was even happier. However, there was still a full crew, experienced in ultra-luxury service and eager to have guests back. Yes, Crystal has always been known for excellent service but given the capacity controls, consider that lofty service level amplified even further.

    The experience on Crystal is the personification of elegance. Everything is just so well done.

    The food on cruise ships is usually very good, and on ultra-luxury ships, often even better so. The supply chain issues that have impacted many businesses in the U.S. seemed not to have affected the excellent food on Crystal. There were 3 specialty restaurants to choose from - Italian, a Japanese sushi one, and a Chinese restaurant, too. A Brazilian steakhouse was another choice. Even the food in the main restaurant was good.

    We sailed from New York to the Bahamas, and the scenery was spectacular on all fronts. But guests do need to pack their flexibility. Some shore excursions were cancelled due to lack of participation, but there was always an alternate plan. I spent my days off the ship at the beautiful beaches in Exuma, Bimini and San Salvador, but others were able to kayak and do more active excursions.

    The onboard entertainment is fantastic, and that is the opinion of a very jaded New Yorker. We learned that all the entertainers have been preparing for at least two months for their shows onboard. So, they've had lots of time to practice on the ship. Let’s just say “it shows.” Attending the ship’s singing and dancing shows on the cruise, we were wowed by the talents of all.

    The people you travel with DO make a difference, and the company could not have been better. We were a small group of 7. We had many meals together, but had plenty of time apart as well. It’s always nice to see a friendly face in the crowd, especially when you are traveling in a cabin to yourself. We enjoyed afternoon tea, danced at a “white party”, modeled in a jewelry fashion show and so much more. I had an unusual seaweed wrap treatment in the spa. After being painted in seaweed, wrapped like an ear of corn in tin foil, I was submerged in a warm waterbed tub, followed by a soothing massage. Spa appointments were no problem at all. We laughed a lot, gushed over the George Clooney look-alike cruise director, and enjoyed the elegant surroundings, and top-of-the-line drinks.

    I am planning to travel on the same ship in the Caribbean next month. The price is great, and I know the product is superb. If you sail with us this winter, you will get the best service aboard that you’ve ever had. 

    Bottom line? It's a no brainer, but from my standpoint, there may be no time better to cruise.



    Europe Here We Come!
    You may have heard the news – Europe is reopening this summer.  Eager travelers finally have something to look forward to.   I can tell you from experience that you should start to plan now, as weary but ready travelers are doing.  The phones in my  office have suddenly sprung to life with plans for this year through 2023!
    Of course, there are concerns about safety and constantly changing regulations, but the key here is – if you are vaccinated and healthy – it’s a go!  We are one step closer to normalcy, thankfully.  It is time for  bucket-list trip planning.
    If ever there was a perfect time for a guided vacation, this is it.  We have planned a series of small group, exciting travel programs in places like Croatia, France, Spain, Italy and Ireland.  There are capacity regulations – we have limited our departures to 18 persons.  If you can’t take your favorite travel advisor along with you, a guided vacation seems like the next-best thing.
    In the past year, nature has had an opportunity to recover and we have lots of outdoor places to explore, like turquoise Plitvice (Plitvicky) Lake in Croatia, or the scenic hills of Killarney in Ireland.  Limited capacity in indoor spaces, small group adventures await.
    Read what we have in store, and call us 516 248 2042 or email


    I am starting a series of learning webinars about different destinations. This month's feature is Scotland.  Beautiful Scotland, home to highland cattle, Outlander, highland games and stunning scenery.

    The awe-inspiring landmarks and coastal seascapes have missed you and have been waiting patiently for your return. Where will you start? Well, join me on Friday, September 25 at 730PM ET My talk will include some photos from my many trips, tips and suggestions. Just email me for password to join.


    My Trip on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

    I have always thought that a trip on a Cunard ship would be like a visit to my Grandmother’s house – with Victorian décor to match.  I had heard stories of elaborately dressed ladies in formal dress, and men in tails with ballroom skills dancing the night away, white glove dinner service, and other extravagances. Not exactly my speed. I could not have been more wrong.

    I had a wonderful time on the Queen Mary 2, which conveniently left close to home.  I sailed on the Fireworks cruise to Boston, Canada and Newport over the 4th of July holiday.

    The QM 2 is a cruiseliner, made for transatlantic voyages, so it is sturdier than your average cruise ship.  There was none of that rocking and rolling you experience, especially as you leave New York harbor.  It was a completely smooth voyage.  The decor is very musch "grand ocean liner" with beautiful wood paneling and giant murals. Even the art gallery had tasteful pieces for sale.

    With about 2,600 passengers on board, it never felt crowded, and there was never a wait for anything.  It was all very relaxed and well organized.  Even the disembarkation processed was civilized.  A usual QM2 voyage would have mainly UK guests, but this cruise had the majority of Americans, with fewer Brits.

    I was recuperating from eye surgery, so what better way to relax than on board a luxurious cruise ship.  There was nothing to do but chill out and enjoy the world class lectures (Jim Kennedy, the former head of NASA was a guest speaker), great food, wonderful weather – and the scenery.  They even have a planetarium on board, and there were two different star shows while we were on board.  Two formal nights, and a roaring 20’s party, where everyone dressed up, were fun.  There were professional dancers on board, of “Dancing with the Stars” quality, who were fun to watch.

    On our week long cruise, we had just three ports to visit.  The first was Halifax, where we rented a car and drove to nearby Lunenberg, a quaint port town with colorful clapboard houses and shops, a whaling museum and enough to entertain us for a few hours.

    On July 4th, we were in Boston, both for daytime activities, and for the fireworks across Boston harbor. Frankly, I was underwhelmed by the fireworks, particularly we were so far away from the action.

    It was foggy when we reached Newport, but we did eventually get into the port, with enough time to explore the waterside shops and restaurants.

    Back on board, we had afternoon tea every day, and unlimited soft-serve ice cream (my favorite). The food, in general was good, a notch above other cruiselines like Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. 

    One nice thing about traveling with a group is that you always have someone to have dinner with, or to do something with, but you can be on your own if you like.  There were just 5 of us in the group this time  – Helen, Avia, Diane, my husband  (in a rare appearance) and myself, so we had a large dinner table with a couple from England.  It made for some interesting conversations – about Meghan and baby Archie, Trump, Brexit and more

    The only drawback to the whole trip was reaching the ship’s departure point in the far end of Brooklyn (Red Hook).  All in all though, I would sail on Cunard  again (and we just might – stay tuned).

    People often ask me how many countries I've been to. Here is my list, and it's growing!

    Where I have been
    American Samoa
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Dominican Republic
    Hong Kong
    Isle of Man
    New Zealand
    Northern Ireland
    Papua New Guinea
    Puerto Rico
    San Marino
    St Kitts
    St. Lucia
    Turks and Caicos
    US Virgin Islands
    Western Samoa

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    This year promise yourself you will bucket list.

    On my list for this year: South Africa, the Maldives, a South America cruise.
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