It’s Fall, Y’all!
Kids are back in school, the air is getting cool at night, and you see pumpkin spice food everywhere. That means one thing: it is fall! I’ve always thought of fall as a glorious break between the busy-ness of summer and the stress of the holidays. It is one of my favorite times of the year.
A few travelers know the pleasures of fall travel. But for many travelers, fall is more often the time for planning trips rather than doing the traveling. Do any of these sound like you:
* You’d like to take the family on a trip over the kids’ spring break because, by then, you will ALL have cabin fever and be ready for a break from winter.
* Your spouse is celebrating a milestone birthday next year and you need a big idea.
* You do a lot of hosting over the holidays. By the time the new year rolls around, you will be ready for a quiet, relaxing getaway where you can do absolutely nothing.
* The grandkids are at the perfect age for travel (not so young that they won’t remember and not so old that they would rather spend time at home with friends) and you always thought you would round up the entire family for a great vacation full of family fun and priceless memories.
* Your favorite sports team or performer is going to be in a city you’ve always wanted to visit.
If any of these sound like you, then you need to be planning a trip!
Any time you need to plan around a popular travel season (holidays, school breaks, etc.), or if you are trying to work with lots of peoples’ schedules, or if you want to make sure you have the very best experience and get all of the reservations you want…you need to plan well in advance. Fall is the season to do that planning for any of your 2020 vacations.
Give us a call with your vacation ideas, and we can help you make them happen! Where are you dreaming of going in 2020?
Traveling with Children with Autism
A vacation is a great opportunity for family bonding. Think of all the new and unique shared experiences, the broadened horizons, and the laughter and smiles. But vacations can also bring a change in routine, crowds, and a feeling of being overwhelmed, especially for children on the autism spectrum. This can make vacations less relaxing and more stressful for the entire family.
Fortunately, there are a number of vacation destinations that understand the unique challenges of parenting children with autism and aim to make vacations a special and enjoyable experience. While each resort or vacation destination offers something unique, many of them have specially-trained staff to ensure that children with autism receive special service. Many also cater to children with sensory and dietary needs. Broadly, here are our recommendations for vacation considerations when you are traveling with a child on the autism spectrum:
* There are some resorts that really work hard to create an inclusive environment for children of all abilities. Specially-trained staff, adaptive activities, and special amenities like fidget toys are a few of the ways that these resorts cater to all. We especially love Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. These resorts, along with others, have gone through autism certification and really excel at creating a special vacation experience for children with autism. Beaches partners with Sesame Street and gives all children an opportunity to meet Sesame Street characters, including Julia, a 4-year-old girl with autism.
* National parks and other locations that feature nature tend to be quieter and less stressful for children on the autism spectrum.
* Theme parks provide an array of activities, so that you’re sure to find activities that are good for everyone in the family. Many theme parks provide training to their staff, offer support for children with sensory issues, and can accommodate dietary restrictions.
* Large-ship ocean cruises tend to be the most family-friendly and usually offer kids’ programming suitable for a variety of needs. Staff tend to be aware and understanding of children on the autism spectrum, dietary needs are easily accommodated, and there are sensory-appropriate places available for families.
If your family has a unique vacation need, give us a call. We’ll be happy to recommend some specific locations and trip ideas that will be inclusive of everyone and help you create fantastic memories.
Park and Fly
One of the services that we often offer our clients is a park & fly hotel. This is especially helpful for clients who are leaving from an airport that is a couple hours’ drive or more from home. There’s no need to get up in the middle of the night to drive to the airport for an early morning flight. That sounds like an awful start to your vacation!
Instead, consider a night in a hotel before an early morning flight. The best part about this arrangement is that your parking is included. Yes, that’s right…you get a night in a comfy bed, parking for the duration of your stay, and shuttle service to and from the airport. This also works well for those times when your flight arrives late at night and you want a good night’s sleep before driving home.
For example, on my last trip to Europe, I flew from BWI on an overnight flight. I parked at a hotel and arranged to stay a night after my trip because I wasn’t landing back in Baltimore until around 5pm. When that time came, I was so grateful to have a bed to fall into. I slept until 4am (my body was still on European time), woke up refreshed, and drove home. Very convenient. And the price is lower than you might think. For only $15 more than it would have cost me to park my car at the airport for the duration of my vacation, I was able to get a hot shower and a good night’s sleep—and best of all, I didn’t have to drive home late at night.
Globe Travel has access to hundreds of hotels near airports and cruise ports that offer these arrangements. Recommendations like this are just one of the many services that our travel advisors provide to our clients. We do more than just book your vacation; we also help to make it as stress-free as possible by considering all aspects of your trip. Give us a call for more ideas about planning the perfect vacation!
The Simple Pleasures of a Barge Vacation
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from your ordinary vacation, I highly recommend barge cruising in Europe. My family had an opportunity a couple of years ago to spend a week on the Saone River in France aboard a barge. The highlights of the trip included enjoying the scenery, the people, and the specialties of the Burgundy region. At first glance, this may not sound exciting, but I found it to be a wonderfully relaxing vacation where I was able to slow down and appreciate some of the simple pleasures that I often overlook in my regular life.
We met our barge in the small French town of Auxonne and traveled up the Saone River to Port sur Saone. All of the towns we stopped in along the way were small. The smallest had just houses and a church. These churches, although in small towns, generally held some wonderful treasures like spectacularly carved marble altars or towering organ pipes. Larger towns also had one or two bakeries, a few other shops, and maybe a town square with a lovely town hall building.
Eglise Notre Dame in Auxonne
There were very few attractions or activities that awaited us in any of these small towns. Some of my favorite activities were strolling the town’s streets, admiring the beautiful flower boxes that homeowners had lovingly tended, taking pictures of the unique tiled roofs that are common in this area of Burgundy, and biking along the river’s towpaths.
Town Hall in Gray
The food was memorable and included items that are not part of my daily diet. In one restaurant, I tried boudin (blood sausage), but I passed up grenouilles (frog’s legs). The area is well known for wine, beef, and a fish stew made with eel and other river fishes. I tried the wine and the steaks, but declined the eel. Without a doubt, my favorite food was at the patisseries. I enjoyed chocolate croissants and lemon tarts, fine chocolates and delicate cream-filled pastries, giant cookies, and even a mouse made of chocolate—complete with chocolate-dipped almond slivers for ears.
The language barrier wasn’t really a barrier. With our rudimentary French skills and lots of hand gestures and smiles, we always found that we were able to communicate with the local people. Although a few spoke English, they overflowed with the kindness and goodwill that is a universal language of its own. We took the time to say “bonjour” to everyone we passed, including fishermen and other boaters on the Saone River. In one town, we greeted a bunch of elementary school children waiting for the bus. Many of them responded with “bonjour,” but the group erupted in giggles when one little girl said “bonsoir,” forgetting the time of day.
Other simple pleasures, that I now look back on as highlights of the trip, included swans who flew so close to our boat that we could hear their giant wings flapping, picking delicious walnuts that had fallen from a tree on the river’s banks, stargazing on a night when there wasn’t a building or artificial light in sight, and fresh croissants for breakfast every morning.
Looking Toward the Lock at Vereux
At the end of our trip, we ate our final breakfast croissants and reluctantly went to the train station for a return to the hustle and bustle of Paris and then back to regular life. When people asked me what I did on vacation, it was hard to come up with anything that sounded exciting. That’s when I realized that doing nothing but slowing down and enjoying the simple pleasures that we stumbled upon made this one of the best vacations ever.
Walkway to our Mooring in Port sur Saone
Details and Recommendations
* Getting there: Your barge will likely leave from a smaller town, so it will require some extra effort to get there. We can help you with all of the transfers you need to go straight to your barge.
* How long: Plan to spend at least a week.
* Don’t miss: Local food. In this region, delicious food is an absolute highlight and part of enjoying the culture of the area.
* Contact: Globe Travel at 434-296-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org to help you plan your relaxing barge cruise.
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