Staying Healthy When You Travel
With all of the news coverage lately about the coronavirus and how quickly it is spreading around the world, it seems appropriate to talk about specific things you can do to protect your health while you are traveling. Admittedly, this becomes much more difficult when you are traveling in an airplane with close proximity to so many people. But there are some steps you can take.
The advice that we’ve heard since we were in kindergarten is still the best: wash your hands! Washing your hands is still the very best way to protect yourself. A corollary to this advice is to avoid touching your face. A primary way that we get sick is when viruses and bacteria get on our hands and then we touch our faces. If you can keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face, you will avoid the main ways that travelers get sick from respiratory viruses such as coronavirus or influenza.
Similarly, if you can disinfect surfaces, you can also eliminate some of the opportunities for getting sick. Use alcohol-based wipes to wipe down surfaces that are often cleaned less frequently, such as tray tables and arm rests on planes, or remote controls and light switches in hotel rooms.
If a vaccine is available, such as for flu, get the vaccine. It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself.
If you’re traveling on a plane, opt for window seats. The World Health Organization has done some studies on the best place to sit on a plane if someone is ill, and the window seats are the least likely seats for occupants to become infected. The truth is that contagious people generally only spread germs in a small radius, so the less contact you have with people, the lower your likelihood of being infected. Sitting in an aisle seat puts you in closer proximity to others as they move up and down aisles, putting you at slightly greater risk. Also, studies show that people in window seats tend to get up less and move around—probably because it is harder to do that from a window seat. Either way, less interaction with others increases the chances that you won’t get sick from traveling on a plane.
While this is primarily about how to keep yourself healthy, you should also think about others. If you are coughing or sneezing, make sure you cover your nose and mouth so that you don’t potentially infect anyone else. If you aren’t feeling well, stay home or stay in your hotel room.
Have fun traveling and remember some of these common sense ways to help you stay healthy while you travel.
I’m going to take a short break from the blog for a couple of weeks. Even travel agents need some vacation time! I’ll see you right back here in 3 weeks.
Plan Your 2020 Cruise
It’s cruise planning season! Right now you can score some of the very best deals that cruise lines offer all year long. Generally speaking, this is the time when cruise lines are trying to fill their cabins. There are all kinds of great deals out there to entice you to book now, including lots of perks and freebies, as well as fantastic fares.
Here are a few samples of some of the best cruise deals that I found:
* Cunard: Shipboard credit up to $300 plus reduced deposit
* Regent Seven Seas: Shipboard credit of up to $1,000 on select voyages
* Seabourn: Stateroom upgrades, shipboard credit, and air credit on select voyages; free Zodiac® shore excursions on Alaska voyages
* Princess: $50-85 onboard credit. Free drinks, wi-fi, and gratuities on select European sailings.
* Windstar: Choose from up to $1,000 shipboard credit, up to $300 air credit, or free wi-fi
* Avalon Waterways: Free pre-paid gratuities
* Crystal River Cruises: 2-for-1 fares plus additional savings on select voyages
And don’t forget the sale fares to go along with these specials. If you want to cruise in 2020, now is the time to book. Give us a call at 434-296-0171, and we’ll help you find the perfect cruise at the very best price.
Reasons to Use a Travel Advisor
Last month, I wrote a blog entry about why you should use a travel advisor to help you plan your 2020 travels. This week, I’m included some more reasons why planning travel with a Globe Travel advisor is better than doing it on your own.
1. We have connections. We are travel professionals and we have connections. We are in a position to be your advocate if something goes wrong on your trip. We have access to tools and resources that you can’t find online. Yes, we know the best floor in the hotel, the best cabin on a cruise ship, and the dining options in the area. We might be able to get you access to the always-booked hotel or a specialty tour you can’t book yourself.
2. We give you added value. Sometimes we can save you money. Even if we can’t get your vacation for less money, we can often add in more value for the price you pay. For example, maybe we can get you some extra onboard credit, or a bottle of champagne in your room, or complimentary airport transfers. Those extra perks and amenities mean added value for you.
3. We care about you. We are a relationship-based business. We want to be your travel advisor not just for this trip, but for all of your trips. We listen to you and we learn your likes and dislikes. In fact, we hope that you trust us so much that you refer your friends to us too! A search engine or a random representative in a call center is not going to interact with you again, nor care about you the way that we will.
What are you waiting for? Give our professional staff a call today, and let us start turning your vacation dreams into reality. We look forward to working with you in 2020!
Keeping Your Fitness Resolution While You Travel
Did you make a new year’s resolution to focus on your health this year? Do you have a goal to improve your fitness? Sometimes it can be hard to stay in your fitness routine while you are on vacation. Why don’t you consider a vacation that focuses on your fitness and helps you keep that resolution? In fact, planning a vacation centered around fitness might even be the motivation you need to stick to your routine throughout the year.
What is your fitness resolution? I bet we can help you find a vacation, no matter your fitness level and no matter your preferred activity. Here are just a few examples:
* Improving your yoga practice? There are tons of yoga retreat options all around the world. Picture yourself doing yoga in the shadow of ancient temples in India.
* Prefer your fitness on two wheels? Cycling vacations are very popular, especially in Europe. Imagine cycling past sunflower fields in Tuscany.
* Prefer your own two feet? Hiking and trekking are an excellent way to see some areas of the world. For example, trek through the Himalayas and find hidden villages and monasteries in Bhutan. Planning a vacation around a marathon is also a great way to bring together fitness and travel.
* Fan of winter sports? Hitting the mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports is a great way to stay fit while on vacation.
* Water sports? We have itineraries that include a variety of water sports, like surfing, snorkeling, diving, bodyboarding, and kitesurfing.
* Is Crossfit your thing? Yes, there’s even a cruise for that.
Even if your resolution is simply to be more fit and you haven’t focused in on a specific activity, we can help with that. There are tons of tours for active travelers that include a wide variety of activities, from walking, biking, and canoeing in Africa to white-water rafting, climbing, and kayaking in the Canadian Rockies.
We recognize that a cruise with its endless buffet is not the vacation for everyone. If you’re wondering how you can successfully blend a rejuvenating vacation with your fitness resolution, let us help you keep that healthy commitment and have the time of your life!
Vietnam By Train
Vietnam is a popular bucket list destination for many. And it should be! It’s a beautiful country full of friendly people. One of the best ways to experience Vietnam is by train. It’s a long country, and you may be tempted to fly to see both the northern and southern areas of Vietnam. But a Vietnamese train is a unique culture experience that will give you access to gorgeous scenery, Vietnamese people, and a slice of Vietnamese life.
In the northern part of Vietnam, the key areas to visit are Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and seems to beautifully blend ancient temples with French colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. Its Old Quarter boasts 36 streets that specialized in a single trade or craft. Ha Long Bay is a picturesque area defined by limestone cliffs and rocks in emerald green waters. Take an overnight cruise or a daytime excursion on a traditional Vietnamese boat to explore caves and beaches throughout the bay.
In the southern part of Vietnam, the key areas to visit are Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Although Ho Chi Minh was the name given to the city in 1975, the city center is still referred to by its historical and traditional name, Saigon. In fact, when you take the train to Ho Chi Minh city, Saigon is the name on the train station. On the Mekong River, consider a peaceful cruise for a night or two, and enjoy traveling past scenic rice fields, sugar cane, and lush forests. Along the Mekong, you’ll have opportunity to visit artisans’ workshops and shop for handicrafts.
The train that runs north to south in Vietnam is often referred to as the Reunification Express. Originally built by the French in the 1930s, it was destroyed in the 1950s and then rebuilt in 1976 at the end of the Vietnam War. The view from the train gives you glimpses of both urban and rural Vietnam, including villages and rice fields, lush mountains and quiet beaches. A lovely stop along the South China Sea, about halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, is Hoi An, a city whose old town area is a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port (and a UNESO world heritage site).
Details and Recommendations
Getting There: The train is an excellent way to explore the main sights of the country. An alternative is a river cruise along the Mekong, which offers less time in Vietnam but adds stops in Cambodia.
Staying There: We can put together a package for you that takes advantage of the convenience of trains and gives you maximum time for sightseeing. You will spend the majority of your nights in local hotels, with one or two overnight train rides, depending on where you want to go and how far you want to explore.
Don’t Miss: A unique cultural tradition in Vietnam is a water puppet show. Water puppetry has its roots in shows put on by rice farmers when the fields would flood. Puppets appear to be dancing on water during these spectacular shows.
How Long: 10-14 days is best for a train journey between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. If you want to focus on either the northern area or the southern area, 5-10 days would suffice.
Contact: Call us at 434-296-0171 to discuss a tailored itinerary that showcases the history and culture of Vietnam.
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