Travel is back: Here’s how to make your next getaway a breeze

Travel is back: Here’s how to make your next getaway a breeze

Want to extend that carefree summer feeling but worried about the current travel landscape?

 

The travel industry has seen a booking boom this year, with demand quickly outpacing inventory. It’s no secret that these days even a quick getaway requires a fair bit of planning and a lot of patience. The good news? You can travel and have a great time doing it—here are some tips and tricks to help you make your next getaway a breeze.

 

Check your passport before you book

 

You’ve likely heard on the news that there are significant delays with passport processing. Even I’ve been affected by this, so I know how stressful it can be!

When planning a trip—before you even start looking at destinations, you should check your passport’s expiry date. This will not only relieve anxiety leading up to your getaway, but you can rest knowing your passport is in a safe place and you’re not searching for it the night before you depart for paradise.

Travel tip: You should always ensure that your passport expires long after your planned return date—ideally, no shorter than six months of your planned travel.

 

Pack light like a pro with a carry-on

 

Save on checked baggage fees, skip the baggage carousel line and no stress about lost luggage!

I’ve challenged myself to pack only carry-on for all trips since travel picked up again. Packing light will save you time in the airport (just think—no baggage drop-off or pick-up!) and give you peace of mind, knowing you have everything physically with you.

Travel tip: Wear your bulkiest clothing on the flight (running shoes, a light sweater, etc.) and pack a solid-coloured clothing capsule to make the most of your wardrobe in destination.

 

Use an airport fast-track service

 

Save time and feel like a VIP with airport fast-track services. For example, if you’re heading to Jamaica, consider a service like Club Mobay. With their arrival and departure service bundle at a price point of about $100 per person, you can be personally escorted through private lines at security and customs and end up in an exclusive lounge sipping on a rum punch before you know it.

I’ll be honest—before using Club Mobay, I wasn’t sold on it…and then I tried it. I loved bypassing the massive line at immigration upon arrival, and I appreciated being able to make the most of every moment before returning to Canada in their all-inclusive departure lounge, complete with Red Stripe and beef patties.

Travel tip: Book this service early—it often sells out months in advance.

 

Pre-arrange private transportation from the airport

 

Another great way to save some time and get to your destination faster? Booking private transportation to and from your accommodations. While many travel operators will include transfers as part of your package, the thought of being crammed on a bus full of people is not always appealing. By booking a private transfer, you can say buh-bye! to waiting around and get to your resort faster—and often beat the rush at the check-in desk.

Travel tip: The best way to find reputable private transportation is through referrals—ask family, friends or a travel advisor.

 

Use tech to your advantage

 

While it’s great to disconnect from our smartphones, they provide some valuable tools while travelling. Aside from staying connected to our family and friends back home, it’s helpful to store boarding passes in our Apple Wallets or check-in online via the resort app we just downloaded.

You don’t have to let technology interrupt your need for downtime—use it to make the most of your plans.

Travel tip: Before you leave for your vacation, download your airline and resort app and, of course, the ArriveCAN app.

 

Give yourself extra time—and patience

 

There’s no doubt that we see more delays and cancellations than ever. That’s why planning and building buffer time into your schedule is essential.

For example—when clients are heading out on a cruise, I always advise them to fly out earlier than needed—an extra day or two can be a trip-saver when it comes to flight delays. And, if you’re relying on connecting flights, schedule longer transition times—a couple of hours at least.

Travel tip: Where possible, you should book the first scheduled flight in the morning.

 

Protect your trip

 

Travel is an investment. It’s always wise to purchase trip insurance if you have a lot of money invested in your getaway.

In addition to trip cancellation and interruption, most travel insurance plans include coverage for trip delay, missed connection, lost or delayed baggage, medical expenses, and more. Not only that, but 24-hour assistance services can be included to help the traveller with emergency medical assistance, lost baggage tracking, emergency cash transfer, emergency or last-minute travel arrangements, and assistance with replacing lost travel documents.

Travel tip: If you’re a frequent traveller, consider multi-trip insurance plans for the best value.

 

Now…go plan that getaway

 

Travel is still very much a go—with the proper planning, you can enjoy your getaway (and start planning your next one!). Connect with Pink Palm Travel for a free consultation about your next trip.

Bon voyage!

Why book with a travel advisor?

Why book with a travel advisor?

Why book with a travel advisor?

1. Convenient one-stop shopping

So much goes into the perfect vacation – accommodations, transportation, transfers, excursions and tours. A travel advisor will handle all of these for you, and more.

 

2. Expanded possibilities

Travel advisors can suggest enhancements to your getaway that you haven’t even considered. We’re in the business of creating memorable experiences.

 

3. Save time

Planning a trip is complex and time consuming. Let me handle the calls, research and booking so you don’t have to.

 

4. Less stress

Feeling overwhelmed with options? Worrying about missing an important detail? With a travel advisor at your service, you can rest easy.

 

5. Expertise

Travel advisors constantly attend seminars, get new certifications and travel the world themselves! We are true destination experts.

 

6. Latest info and insider knowledge

Travel advisors are communicating constantly with travel suppliers. We know the latest itineraries, policy changes and more. 

 

7. Help with documents

Visa, passport, what else? A travel advisor knows. I’ll make sure you have all the necessary documents to travel outside the country.

 

8. Comparison shopping

I’m always looking to get my clients the most value for their money. I’ll curate options for you, finding you the best experiences along the way.

 

9. Consumer advocate

If you have an issue during your trip, connect with me. I can act on your behalf to see that proper resolutions are made.

 

10. Customer service

No travel website is going to offer you all of the above, plus that personal touch and peace of mind that comes with working with a travel advisor who has your best interests at heart.

 

Connect with with me today to book a consultation about your next luxury vacation.

 

Jennifer with Sandals brochure
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Travel MVP list: What to wear Caribbean-style

Travel MVP list: What to wear Caribbean-style

COVID has changed the way we travel – there’s no doubt about it. One thing that I found to be a game-changer is packing light and bringing carry-on only. I used to bring the maximum amount of suitcases allowed, but no more!!!

I’m giving you the rundown on the most valuable pieces of clothing you’ll need for your next getaway so you can save precious time and breeze right by that baggage collection carousel.

Oversized button down shirt

Oversized shirt

This versatile, oversized button-down shirt is great to wear as a swimsuit coverup or with denim shorts. This fav from Banana Republic is comfortable and perfect to shade you from the sun.

Basic Black Tank

Black wide strap tank top

Pair this wide-strapped tank with denim shorts or a skirt for a simple, but chic, look.

Classic Crocs Slides in Stucco

Slide shoe

These neutral slides are perfect for wearing on the plane or lounging by the pool.

Floral Black Kimono

Kimono cardigan

Think layers. A black floral kimono dresses up a LBD or a black tank and denim shorts. 

Denim Shorts

Denim shorts

These denim shorts are a must-pack item for your getaway. Whether you’re on resort or touring the island, you can’t go wrong with this staple.

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag in Warm Coral

Fanny pack

The fanny pack is back! This everywhere belt bag can be purchased in numerous colours – pick the one that expresses your personality.


Marieta Push-Up One-piece Swimsuit

Bathing suit

This Victoria’s Secret push-up bra swimsuit makes you feel like an Angel with its tummy ruching and supportive bra insert. Bonus points for the sexy leopard print!

Wedge Espadrille Sandals

Wedge sandals

For the nights out, you’ll want a wedge that goes with everything. Cue these neutral Michael Kors Espadrille sandals – put them on and you’ll have legs for days. 

Little Black Dress

Little black dress

THIS little black dress from Venus is everything. Enough said.


Beach Hat

Beach Hat

Keep your hair and head safe from harmful UV rays with this fun Sun and Sand beach hat.

Well, that’s a wrap! Share in the comments if you have any must-pack items on your list.

6 tips for enjoying WDW with young kids

Heading to Walt Disney World with young children can be both exciting and exhausting. The following tips should help make your trip more enjoyable for not just the kids, but parents too!

Gazing at Cinderella Castle

Gazing at Cinderella Castle

1. Plan to arrive at the parks early and return to your resort around lunch for a nap and swim. If you are up for it, return to one of the parks in the evening.

2. Protect yourself from the hot Florida sun: Bring hats, sunscreen and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Pack a small cooler with water and snacks (you are allowed to bring food and drink into the parks!) to keep your energy levels up.

3. Bring a stroller. Even a five-year-old will be thankful to ride in one–it’s a lot of walking. Make sure you have plenty of storage room for carrying purchases and more. I would suggest bringing a stroller that is comfortable to push, as cheap umbrella strollers can wreak havoc on your back.

4. Make some character dining reservations–an easy, but sometimes expensive, way to meet characters without waiting in line ups. You can make dining reservations online 180 days prior to your trip. For more information on making your reservations, check out this handy article.

5. Bring an autograph book and a pen. For about $10 you can purchase an autograph book for characters to sign. Makes a wonderful and inexpensive souvenir!

6. Use a touring plan. It will help you determine which attractions you should head to first (according to wait times), and will help you save a lot of time. This is key with small children. Check out Touring Plans or Undercover Tourist for more information.

What other tips do you recommend?

 

When you’re not at the parks…

After a long day, or in our case a morning, at the park, it’s great to find a place to unwind. Luckily, there are many options to find an afternoon diversion, likely at your resort.

Poolside fun
Grab a bite to eat and watch your kids splash the day away. Disney is incredible at making everything fun for kids, and even a day away from the parks can be “the best day ever.” Cast members hang out poolside in the afternoons with a whole agenda of fun activities for young ones, including pool scavenger hunts and dance parties. Poolside bars offer interesting menus–I enjoyed a watermelon, feta and arugula salad one afternoon–yum!

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Water works
Rent a boat or catamaran to view the “World” from the water. You may find discounts on rentals if you purchase a Magic Your Way package (accomodations and tickets, with or without a Disney Dining Plan).

Unwind with a Disney flick
By night, catch a movie under the stars–by far one of my favourite ways to unwind after a long day at the parks. You can even view movie schedules of the various resort options online. I have to admit, I had the Grand Floridian’s week-long schedule printed out before we even arrived!

Lagoon with a view
If you happen to be on the Monorail line surrounding the Seven Seas Lagoon, you can catch the nightly Electrical Water Pageant. This quirky diversion is a sight to see, and as of last May, had an interesting soundtrack (think Casio keyboard meets The Little Mermaid).

What’s your favourite way to unwind after a long day at the parks?

Planning Disney dining is an art

One of the most important things to do when planning your trip to WDW…Making your dining reservations. If you are counting on enjoying character dining experiences, or meals at the better on-site restaurants at decent times, you will need to plan your reservations early.

From 180 days in, you can make your reservations online or by telephone (407-WDW-DINE) for most table-service restaurants. Luckily, you can modify and cancel your reservations so that you can create your touring plans, and ensure that your reservations fit in with your overall vacation plan. When planning our first trip back in May, and in a quest to plan a perfect trip, I probably made, edited and cancelled over 30 reservations. We ended up keeping six.

You will only need reservations for table-service restaurants, which offer a more formal dining environment. Quick-service restaurants are available too, and are great alternatives to a sit-down meal when you’re on the go.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Gasparilla Island Grill

We frequented a few quick-service restaurants during our recent stay–Gasparilla Island Grill, at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa; Pecos Bill’s in Magic Kingdom; and the new and elaborate Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom, which operates for lunch as a quick-service establishment (table-service by night–make your reservations early!).

Making your reservations for certain restaurants is more important than others. For example, if the Disney princesses are your kind of thing, you will want to make your Cinderella’s Royal Table reservations as soon as you have your trip confirmed. This is a “premium” character dining experience (at more than $50 per child, and even more for an adult!) that takes place within the magic of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.

Breakfast at Cindy's

Breakfast at Cindy’s

A few other tips–I would suggest making dining reservations early for restaurants located within the parks. An 8 a.m. reservation at Cindy’s means that you will most definitely be able to beat the mad rush of families lined up at the entry turnstiles, waiting for rope drop at 9 a.m.

Another note about reservations–making them online can be a time saver, but can also turn into a source of insomnia for some die-hard planners.

Character dining is great if you are heading to WDW with small children (and even enthusiasts like me!). While it can be expensive, character dining provides you with an opportunity to meet with several Disney characters at one sitting, without waiting in the hot Florida sun to greet them.

Expect to pay $20 to $50 for breakfast, or $30 to $60 for dinner. In my opinion, it was worth it. We especially enjoyed our brunch at 1900 Park Fare (located at the Grand Floridian), which allowed us to “meet” Mary Poppins and Alice (of Wonderland fame) among others.

Mary & Me

Mary & Me

One last tip–making reservations for the night you arrive is not a good idea. I would suggest grabbing a quick bite at a table-service or quick-service restaurant at your resort so that you’re not bound by time and location. This will give you more time to enjoy the parks or the pool on your first day.

There are so many options to choose from when staying on property at WDW. A couple of my favourite restaurants included the Grand Floridian Café, Ohana at the Polynesian Resort, and Via Napoli in Epcot.

I’ll provide full reviews in future blog posts, so stay tuned!