The Places We Go
A Blog for Travelers
Walt Disney Imagineers worked hand in hand with locals to create Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. Aulani is a Hawaiʻi Resort that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history and traditions. From contemporary Hawaiian art and design to a myriad of recreational activities, entertainment, excursions and more, Aulani immerses Guests in the legends of the islands so you can experience the true enchantment of Hawaiʻi.
Disney is known the world over for its first-rate dedication to impeccable service and for providing the ultimate level of personal attention during your stays at their resorts and theme parks. Aulani is no different. It is Hawaii with the magic and service expected of Disney and has all the unparralleled amenities that are expected from Disney including:
With so many all-inclusive vacation elements available to Guests at Aulani, it's easy to enjoy days of family fun from the comfort of your Resort—and with no additional charges for most activities. Make a splash in the Waikolohe Valley. Meet the popular Disney Characters, inclusive Experiences offer fun for everyone. Aulani also offers championship golf and spa treatments for an additional fee.
Aulani is Conveniently located on Oʽahu, just 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and a short drive from the lively Waikiki Beach.
A Vacation Specialist at Luxury Travel & Vacations can assist you with your Aulani Vacation Today. Please Visit www.lt-vacations.com and fill out the comment form for a free quote!
Aulani it's Disney for Hawaii.
Location: Situated along the southwest coast of South America, Chile has a n area of 756, 950 Square miles. It is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, North by Peru and NE by Bolivia and East by Argentina.
Best Time to Visit: November to May, unless you are coming to ski, in which case the best conditions are July - September.
Entry Documents Needed: Valid Passport, Chile also charges a reciprocity fee of $140 USD which is paid upon arrival in USD or Credit Card. This fee is valid for the life of the passport.
Currency: Chilean Peso
Must try Local Food: Shellfish is unbeatable, razor clams, mussels, oysters and King Crab are the most popular.
Best Buys: Local handmade crafts, lapis jewelry, and the silver work from the Mapuche indigenous people.
Things to see and do: Chile is a very popular destination for both summer and winter activities. Hikers and skiers alike find an abundance of activities. There are several museums, including the Chilean museum of Pre-Colombian Art, housed in the Royal Customs house. A visit through Chile's wine country has also been a very popular multiday excursion to stay on vineyards and taste the the famous fruits of the vine!
Hotel Suggestions: Popular hotels are small and include the Lastarria Boutique hotel, whose 14 rooms occupy a 1920's residence, as well as the 87 room Noi Vitacura.
Location: In the heart of central american with Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the west and south.
Best Time to Visit: The dry high season is from late November to April
Entry Documents Needed: Valid Passport
Currency: Beilzean Dollar
Must try Local Food: Conch Fritters and Goss Chocolate
Best Buys: Local Artisan paintings and hand made jewelry
Things to see and do: Belieze is very well known for its diving, as it has the second largest barrier reef in the world. There are also Myan Ceremonial sites, and many museums.
Hotel Suggestions: Popular hotels include the Raddison fort George and the Great House.
Location: This Dutch Antilles Island is south of the hurricane belt, so there is little rain.
Best time to visit: Since the island is located below the hurricane belt you can visit anytime and expect fabulous weather
Entry Documents Needed: Valid Passport
Currency: US Dollar
Must try local food: Pan-fried shrimp with curry coconut sauce
Best Buys: Handcrafted glass Jewelry
Things to see and do: Bonaire is to diving as Colorado is to skiing, so if you are a diver this island should definitely be on your bucket list. The Bonaire National Marine Park protects virtually all the Bonaire Coast line and waters - so the visibility is excellent and underwater photographs come out beautifully.
Hotels and Resorts: Captain Don's Habitat and Eden Beach Resort are great for divers, and if you have members of the family that don't dive, Harbour Village is excellent.
Location: Outer islands of the Bahamas, 35 miles southeast of New Providence.
Major City: Georgetown, Great Exuma Island (population is only 1000)
Best Time to Visit: November through May
Documents needed for entry: Valid Passport
Currency: Bahamian Dollar
Must Try local Food: Spicy Bahamian Fish Stew and D'Vanya pepper sauce in hot and hotter
Fun Fact: Christopher Columbus first landed in the out Islands of the Bahamas, whose name derives from baja mar - meaning shallow sea
Hotels in the Exumas: Sandals Emerald bay Exuma, Grand Island Resort and Spa
Location: In the Colorado Rockies, North central Colorado, along 1-70, 3 hours west of Denver and east of Grand Junction.
Size: Vail is one of The Unites States Largest Ski Resorts, with only 5000 permanent residents, and more than 750,000 visitors each year.
Climate: Temperatures average 31 degrees in the winter. The town of Vail receives an average of 200 inches of snowfall per season. In summer, the thermometer can reach the 80s, but more often hovers around the low to mid-70s. Combined with brisk mountain breezes, this makes summers refreshing and cool.
Time Zone: Vail is located in the mountain time zone
Currency: The US Dollar
Transportation: A Greyhound bus station is located in Vail. There is no train service. Eagle County Airport offers daily connections to Denver and, during summer, Dallas-Fort Worth (TX). Connections to other nationwide hubs can be made at either airport.
Drinking Age: The legal age for drinking and gambling is 21
Electricity: Voltage is 110v
To take the shiver out of your saturday, we thought a taste of the Islands might bring some warmth to your day! This recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef Frank (Boeli) Booi, Jr, from Le Petit Cafe at the Playa Linda Beach Resort in Aruba.
Chef Booi has been cooking at Le Petit Café since 1986, honing his cooking skills through his experience and learning from other chefs.
Caribbean Seafood Stew
Serves 10 people
1/2 green pepper
1 tbsp lobster base
12 fish bouillon cubes
12 cups boiling water
16 oz peeled tomatoes
8 cloves garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1. Saute green pepper and onion with lobster base in olive oil.
2. Add shrimp, mussels, scallops, squid and fish
3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Take peeled tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, black pepper, white wine, 12 cubes of fish bouillon and place in 12 cups of boiling water to prepare broth.
5. Combine tomato mixture with fish broth.
6. Simmer for 40-60 Minutes
7. When ready to serve soup, add 3 – 4 drops of Galliano (to add a touch of sweetness).
Location: 19 Miles North of Venezuela
Size: Aruba is 19.6 Miles long and 6miles across for a total of 77 Square miles.
Climate: Temperatures average 82 degrees year round, with an average water temperature of 78 degrees. Trade winds keep the island out of the hurricane belt.
Time Zone: Aruba is located in Atlantic Standard Time Zone. During Daylight Savings time, they are +1 hour from New York City. During the rest of the year it is the same time as New York City.
Language: The official Languages of Aruba are dutch and the local language of Papiamento, although most natives speak no fewer than 4 languages, the two official ones, English and Spanish.
Currency: The Florins is the official currency of the island, however most places i also accept the us dollar, and the US $1 bill is extremely popular for tipping. Tipping is customary on this island, as it is in the United States (+/-18%)
Cellular Phones: Cell phones will work on the island, however roaming charges will apple. Check with your individual service provider for information prior to traveling.
Drinking Age: The legal age for drinking and gambling is 18
Electricity: Voltage is 110v
Religion: The Island is Predominately Catholic
Entry Requirements: A Valid U.S. Passport is required for entry
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: 800 Miles Southeast of Miami, FL on the Island of Hispaniola
Size: The Island of Hispaniola is 48,482 Square Miles, the second largest island in the Caribbean
Climate: Temperatures average 77 degrees, with only a slight difference in temperature from season to season. With "Hot" season averaging 87 degrees.
Language: The official Language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish, however, most people in the tourism and hospitality industry also speak English.
Currency: The Peso is the official currency, however most places in the republic also accept the us dollar, and the US $1 bill is extremely popular for tipping. There is a law on the island that requires visitors to exchange at least $100 USD into pesos. Although the law is rarely enforced, it can be, without notice, therefore it is very important to save your receipts from the currency exchange.
Electricity: Voltage is 110v
Today, there’s much debate over whether or not it’s worth working with a travel agency when planning a trip.
When asked whether or not a client plans to use a travel agent to book their vacation, the answer usually depends on what type of vacation they’re looking to go on. It is more typical for clients to book their once in a lifetime vacations using an agent, then it is for them to book the little weekend getaway.
When chiming in on the debate, there are quite a few myths out there: People just aren't educated about how travel agents operate, and most people believe that the customized service costs more, “I think you’re more apt to find better prices when you don’t use a travel agency,” one client I questioned told me. The Truth couldn't be more contrary. Travel agents are able to find better price structures because they have the ability to search multiple providers, while the average consumer can't look as globally. Agents are also able to get the upgrades that vacationers are looking for, because of their long standing relationships with the vendors.
Another thing to remember is that Agents can almost always price match something that you find online. This gives you the ability to research a vacation yourself, but still have the support and guidance of an Agent.
Still even with that being said, the challenge for agencies in today’s economy, is when consumers are looking for vacations primarily on a price point, how can they be convinced to drop their self proclaimed expert status and use a travel agent?
There are plenty of reasons consumers should use A Travel Agent.
It is easy to plan your vacation on the internet, but do you want to? will you get what you expect, do you have the time to shop around? and most importantly, for the planner, are you getting the lowest price? The Answer to all of those questions is likely no, and here is why:
Agents can find consumers a better deal on their vacation because of their access to vendors and discounted prices offered exclusively through travel agencies. In addition, relationships built with providers over the years give the agents the upper hand when it comes to getting amenities and upgrades, in other words the VIP treatment for their clients.
Working with vendors also lets the travel agent find better values for customers. What makes travel agencies’ services so unique is the customer service that they offer. A Trip tailored to the needs of a client, and based on experience in the location. Most agents take advantage of familiarization tours and specialist classed to become intimate with destinations, this gives Agents the ability to offer insights and advice that a consumer might not find on their own.
For example, lets say you are going to Thailand, if you book the ticket on line, the cheapest available flight lands at midnight local time. having just been there, I can tell you the the latest public transportation from the airport is 11:30pm, you likely wouldn't think to look up the public transportion schedule, or the price of a taxi, and it wouldn't be until you were already in a cab that you would realize you quadrupled the cost of your ticket, by paying for a cab at that time of the night. Advice like that you just don't find on your own.
If all of those reasons were not enough, The one last reason I have to use a Travel Agent is that they take care of you. If you need to change a flight or book a tour, or if you get stuck in an airport over night, a good travel agent will have a 24 hour access number for you to call. They can book you a hotel, change your reservation or hopefully get you on the next flight out a cleveland, all without you dong a thing. Its part of the Agent's Service to you as a customer, and the biggest reason consumers should use an agency to help plan a vacation.
The truth is this is a great selling point for the good and the bad of vacations. When the client does have a problem with their trip, the first person that they blame is often the Travel Agent. While the agency technically sold the package, they are not responsible for the service that you received on the trip. For that reason, Agents are typically the first to jump in and help, not only out of jam on the road, but if something really goes wrong with your trip and you need to make a complaint, the relationships an agent has with a vendor, will better the chances of your end result.
So in the end the answer to the question "should I use a travel agent" is a simple YES, because if you don't like i said you are on your own.
Elissa Fallo, is the President of Luxury Travel and Vacations. A child of a Travel Agent she has traveled extensively from a young age.
She holds countless Specialist Designations and is an expert in the logistics of both planning and taking vacations that will leave lasting memories.
Connect with us on Facebook