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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Plan a Dream Vacation or Just Daydream Vacation

We are offering some travel related programs this summer in keeping with the adult summer reading travel theme, “Novel Destinations.” Several of these programs are travel showcases that feature local travel agents who present vacation suggestions for cruises, family travel, adventure travel and romantic getaways.

The very informative Family Travel program was given on July 20 by Kuller Class A Travel in Princeton. They brought plenty of brochures on the tours and destinations they presented. Copies of the brochures are in a file at the Information Desk for browsing.

I case you don’t realize how a travel agent works; it costs you nothing as the traveler to get assistance from an agent. The agents’ fee is paid by the tour company, airline or hotel. If you book through the Internet without the use of a travel agent, the provider gets to keep the fee that they would have had to give to the agent and you are left with no one to contact in case of an emergency or a problem while you are away on your trip. Working through an agent gives you someone who will be on your side should you need to settle a dispute or take care of some special need.

I was very surprised at the wide variety of options there were for family travel and all of them are designed to make the most of your vacation time while saving you the hassle of worrying about all of the details. There are basically two different family vacation formats you can consider – there are packages where the whole family participates in the activities together with other families and packages where there are activities for the kids to do with other kids while the parents have time alone together to do what they want to do. The former are mostly travel to destinations where the family can learn about other cultures and experience new wonders while the later is usually on a cruise or at a resort where fun is the agenda for the kids and relaxation is what the adults are seeking. The first decision you should make is which type of vacation your family is up for at this time- in other words, do you want togetherness experience or is a little distance in order?

The family tours include destinations in China, Europe, North, Central and South America, and Africa. Imagine an African Safari with the family which includes visits to animal conservation laboratories and time with local children and their families; or a castle tour of Germany where you get to stay in an actual castle and the kids can dress up as Princesses or Knights. The tours to Italy include dining experiences including 'a make your own pizza' night and the Amazon tour includes riding a zip line through the canopy of a rain forest. There are all different levels of activity and experiences and several classes of travel which you can select which often determines the size of your group and the variety of excursions, but the thing that is true of all of these kinds of vacations is that all of the reservations, luggage handling, tipping, transportation, etc. is handled by someone else so you can just spend your time enjoying the sights with your family.

The all inclusive aspect to these vacations is true of the cruises and resorts as well, but the emphasis for the kids is not about learning something about the destination and its culture but rather about having fun. Many cruises now specialize in sports including climbing on rock walls, learning to surf in a wave pool, and there is even a ship that has a deck called ‘The Boardwalk’ that includes arcades and a carousel. And the resorts usually take advantage of the proximity of the ocean and offer water sports like wind sailing, parasailing, surfing and snorkeling. The programs for the kids are usually broken into age-appropriate groups with separate activities for the little ones, tweens and teens with separate playrooms, game rooms, recreation areas and even separate dance clubs for teens and tweens for hanging out and dancing in the evenings. One cruise line has developed a child’s playroom in conjunction with Fischer-Price and individual babysitters are often available for hire so that parents can enjoy dinner at one of the upscale restaurants that ships are now providing.

The selections are as varied as your imagination and working with a travel agent, you will be able to make sure that all of your dietary needs (even if your children are picky eaters) are met and all of your physical needs are accommodated particularly if you have anyone traveling with a disability. There is the right vacation solution for everyone just waiting for you to make a reservation. Our next travelogue is tomorrow - Wednesday, August 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the large Meeting Room. This week’s topic is Romantic Getaways – don’t miss it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did not realize the agents did not profit from the customer - I will be more likely to use one now.