Monday, February 28, 2011

Travel Warning

U.S. Warns Against All Travel to Libya, Closes Embassy

February 27, 2011 8:37 PM
The United States on Feb. 25 warned U.S. citizens against travel to Libya and recommended that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately. The U.S. advised the government of Libya that it has suspended all embassy operations effective Feb. 25, 2011, given ongoing violence and a deteriorating security situation. All official U.S. embassy personnel and their family members have departed. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated Feb. 24, 2011.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Now it's time to pack!

Now that so many of you have booked your spring break and summer vacations, here are some great tips for getting everything to fit!

Travel Packing Solutions
With most airlines charging for luggage, many travelers are struggling for ways to get creative in their packing. If your plans are a weekend get-away, a carry-on is great. But if you are planning a 1 week, 2 week or even more extensive vacation, you must pay the price. When you are looking at the cost of an airline ticket, know the “cheap-o” online price may come with $100+ in baggage fees. Make sure you check all those details before you purchase. In this article, I hope to give you even a few tips in packing that may be new to you so that the next time you travel, you will know you have done the best you can to lesson those extra costs.
For the Men:
When it comes to a wardrobe, men are lucky----they can get away with a basic “uniform”, built around a few button-down shirts, jeans or khakis, and a sweater or blazer. It’s important to pack neutral colors that can mix and match. Here are some packing suggestions:
  1. Wrinkle-free fabrics-many companies offer these.
  2. Blazer-a sports jacket in a dark color works in nearly every situation.
  3. Pullover Sweater-pair it with a collared shirt and tie at night and a t-shirt by day.
  4. 2-3 pair of pants-jeans, khakis’ and black slacks-launder as you go.
  5. Shoes: look for comfortable walking shoes that are sharp enough to wear at night.

For the Ladies:
For most women, traveling light is a challenge. (Seriously ladies, just how many pair of shoes can you wear in one week?) A general rule to follow: every piece must be able to multitask. Limit your color palette, opting for solids or simple prints, and choose items that can be layered and look for wrinkle-free fabrics. Hoping these tips will never have you checking a 2nd bag again:
  1. The Basic Dress: 1 solid colored dress that can transition from day to night and coordinate with others items in your wardrobe is the key.
  2. 2-3 pair of pants: jeans to dress up or down and black pants are a must. Maybe 1 skirt.
  3. T-shirts: bring a few. They are great basics which can be accessorized to wear alone or layered under almost anything. 1 white, 1 black and get creative with others.
  4. Tops: a nice blouse or 2 will look chic alone or under a cardigan.
  5. Shoes: limit yourself to 3 pairs: flats, sensible heels and athletic shoes.

How to Pack in 5 Easy Steps:
  1. Distribute weight intelligently: put heavier items on the bottom on the suitcase. This includes shoes (in plastic bags), rolled jeans and blazers/sweaters/jackets.
  2. Use bags to organize: Ziplocs are great for small accessories and toiletries. Placing undergarments in a lingerie bag will protect them from damages.
  3. Roll your casual clothes: the will minimize creasing and maximize space. Works best for light-weight pieces-shirts, khakis, cottons, etc. Use them to fill in spaces.
  4. Fold sweaters/bulky items: these can be folded and placed in compression sacks, which can be purchased at most discount stores. Takes out all of the air for compact packing.
  5. Delicate Items: Use tissue paper or dry cleaner bags to separate them.

Remember, just about anywhere you are, you can do laundry, and the cost is far less than an extra $100+ per bag round-trip. Bring a laundry sack, or an extra-large Ziploc bag and stuff it with a few dryer sheets to keep everything smelling fresh. Lastly, if you decide you have forgotten something, do not fret. You are on vacation-buy yourself a little something special.

Debby Stevens

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vacation Time is Upon Us!

10 Great Summer Family Vacation Ideas

Summer Vacation? But, it’s only February. The old adage, “the early bird gets the worm” holds true when scheduling a summer vacation. Best pricing, best space availability, and best flight times are available now. In waiting, you jeopardize any of those factors not being the best. To help you get in summer vacation planning mode and be the hero to your family here are just a very few ideas based on popularity:
  1. Beaches Resort, Turks and Caicos: a resort designed with kids in mind in what many consider the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. 45,000 sq. ft. waterpark offering a zero entry kiddie pool to surfing simulator, Sesame Street for the tots, hangout area for teens, and 12 mile beach for all to enjoy.
  2. Mexico: bargain hunters will find the BEST service and BEST values anywhere in one of the all-inclusive resorts, which may be found in quite a few hot spots in this lovely country. All-Inclusive means you pay 100% upfront so you know what you are spending for your overall vacation and don’t have to shell out cash at every turn.
  3. Atlantis Resort, The Bahamas: consider this Schlitterbahn x 10 with a wide range of varied accommodation options. Dolphins, the largest waterpark in the Caribbean, organized kids’ activities, and family bonding abound.
  4. U.S.A.: No Passport/No Problem. Just a few options are: Walt Disneyworld, Universal Studios, or other amusement parks. Alaska, National Parks, Historical Adventures, mountains, oceans, lakes, and other endless possibilities.
  5. Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica: if planning a large family gathering, this resort can accommodate. From standard rooms to 7-bedroom villas, choices of meal plans, and lush tropical surroundings -- this makes for a great family fit.
  6. Cruise Vacation: some like to do nothing, others prefer to stay busy. A cruise works for toddlers to senior citizens and everyone in between. Whether in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, or nearly anywhere else you can imagine, some R&R at sea and adventure at ports makes a nice mix.
  7. Europe: memory maker family vacation for sure. Ideas are: river cruise down the Rhine, Danube, or another; sail the Mediterranean to hit Greek Islands or Holy Land; or just immerse yourself in one country of your choice. You can’t go wrong.
  8. Club Med Resorts: with over 40 years of experience, Club Med has kids programs where kids refuse to leave at the end of a stay. Florida, Dominican Republic, and Mexico offer locations for these all-inclusive unique resorts.
  9. Hawaii: paradise destination that gets no complaints upon return. Select one island, or hop around between a few and explore with a car, while staying at a hotel or condo. A great island-hopping option is to sail the islands so you only unpack once.
  10. Caribbean-Aruba, USVI, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, Bermuda and on and on and on. Each island has beauty and special treasures to explore and enjoy. All will have kid friendly accommodations.
This list is just meant to be an idea starter. When is the perfect time to plan a summer vacation? Right after you finish reading this article! 3D Cruise and Travel would love to help plan the perfect fit for you. Google is great, but we care about your experience. The countdown to the departure day will be very exciting.
Debby Stevens

Monday, February 21, 2011


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