The Spectacular Galapagos
When I say “Galapagos Islands,” what comes to mind? Hopefully you’re picturing animals that you’ve probably never seen before: giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, frigates with their red chests, and penguins. Yes, penguins in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! In fact, because the Galapagos Islands cross the equator, some penguins live north of the equator.
A trip that is bound to exceed your expectations, a visit to the Galapagos Islands will give you incredible things to see and do. Created by volcanic eruptions, many of the islands are actually uninhabited, so you get to see landscapes in their most natural state, along with all of the fantastic wildlife that call these islands home. The Galapagos is an excellent family trip, offering activities and excursions for all age groups. The islands are especially popular with snorkelers and divers.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an Ecuadorian National Park, the Galapagos are a true gem, a gem where visitation is carefully controlled by the park to maintain the area’s authenticity. In fact, the only way to go to the islands is to go with a certified naturalist guide, who will share specialized knowledge with you to enhance your park experience, as well as ensure that the park is preserved and cared for.
If you’d like to see more of South America while you’re going to the Galapagos, it is easy to add a few days in Ecuador or to combine it with a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. One fun bit of trivia about Ecuador: the US Dollar is the official currency.
Details and Recommendations
Getting there: The Galapagos are about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, so you need to get there by air. There are daily flights landing in Baltra Island or San Cristobal Island from both Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Staying there: Once you are there, you can choose to be based at a hotel, taking day trips by boat to various islands, or on a boat, where you will generally spend your days on a different island each day and travel between islands at night. I recommend a cruise, because you will spend more time on the islands rather than getting to them, and you’ll be able to visit islands that are farther away.
Don’t miss: Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island to see tortoises and to learn about the unique wildlife and landscapes through educational exhibits and displays
Contact: Globe Travel at 434-296-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org to navigate through the travel regulations involved with going to the Galapagos and to find the best trip for you. Right now, Celebrity is offering some excellent deals on Galapagos cruises, including free airfare and discounts for past guests. Call us for more details.
Using Your Cell Phone Internationally
One of the questions that we get asked a lot is about using cell phones in other countries. Here are some basics to help you stay in touch when you are overseas:
Know your options for getting service.
* Your provider will likely have a couple of international plans that you could sign up for. Generally, you only need to sign up for the duration of your trip; when you get home, you can go back to your regular plan. When you talk to your provider about your options, make sure you understand which international plans work in the countries you will be in, as well as what the plans include. Evaluate whether the plans will meet your needs (for example, plans may include talk and text but not data).
* You may also be able to replace the SIM card in your phone with one from a local company in your destination country. This gives you access to that provider’s service. In addition to buying the SIM card, you will need to buy pre-paid credits with the provider, and then your phone will function like a local phone. This tends to be a better option if you are going to only one destination. This also requires that your phone be unlocked so that you can replace the SIM card. Make sure you understand how to replace the SIM card before you leave if you intend to do this.
No matter how you plan to use your phone internationally, here are a few tips to help make it more affordable. After all, the less you spend on staying connected, the more you can spend on having fun at your destination!
* Take advantage of wi-fi. Free wi-fi is available in many hotels, cafes, museums, airports, and other locations. When you have access to wi-fi, check your email, post on social media, and do all the other things you need an internet connection to do. Just don’t do something like banking, where you really should use a secure network rather than free wi-fi.
* Use apps to make calls. Instead of paying international rates to use your phone for voice service, try making calls via an app (such as Skype, Google Voice, Facebook Messenger) that lets you place calls over wi-fi rather than using voice service from your cell phone provider.
When I travel internationally for vacation, I want to truly unplug. I don’t return phone calls or text messages. When I have access to free wi-fi, I will check email occasionally. I do sign up for an international calling plan with my cell phone provider—just in case there is an emergency and I need to make calls or send text messages. I generally choose the international plan where I pay less to have the plan and then pay more when I use it. This gives me a safety net if I need to use my phone more—but I try very hard to spend less time on my phone and more time on my vacation!
With a little bit of research before you leave, you can find a solution that will best meet your needs while you are traveling, without costing you a small fortune.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that it is time to plan your next cruise because many cruise lines are running great sales. Have I got a deal for you today! On February 14 ONLY, Princess Cruises is doing $1 deposits for most of its cruises that are 6 days or longer. Yes, that’s right…$1 deposit! They have a huge list of more than 1,300 sailings between May 1, 2019 and January 31, 2021. Sail this year or sail next year. $1 is all you need to reserve your cabin. But only on February 14.
Want to see glaciers in Alaska? Kangaroos in Australia? Rainbows in Hawaii?
Want to soak up some sun in the Caribbean? The Greek Isles? The Mexican Riviera?
Want to cross the Panama Canal? The Atlantic Ocean? The International Date Line?
These destinations and more are all available for a $1 deposit. What could be more romantic than surprising your valentine on February 14 with a cruise!
Give us a call now to find your cruise so we have all the information to make the booking on February 14.
Weddings in Paradise
Planning a wedding? Have you thought of a destination wedding? Gorgeous beaches, picture-perfect sunsets, warm breezes. Island resorts are a perfect venue for a destination wedding that gives you the best of both words: friends and family with you as you celebrate your big day AND a chance to do it all in the most romantic setting. In fact, many resorts offer wedding packages that help you minimize the planning work while still personalizing your special day.
The hard part can be coordinating the travel and on-ground logistics. Globe Travel can help with that! We can coordinate air arrangements for you, your wedding party, and your guests, as well as transfers so that everyone gets to the right place at the right time. We will also work with the resort to block rooms for everyone, help with special dining arrangements, and book excursions and activities that allow you and your guests to make the most of the destination and soak up all the local flavor. We usually have access to exclusive amenities and perks, too, to make your wedding even more memorable.
Whether you’re thinking of the Caribbean, Europe, the South Pacific, Hawaii, or aboard a cruise ship, a destination wedding is a great way to combine romance and travel. Let us plan the travel part. You’ve got enough to worry about!
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