Winter Carnival!

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It’s winter, it’s cold, maybe it’s snowing and cabin fever may be setting in. Get out and enjoy a Winter Carnival! It’s time to get out of the house and break out of the winter blues. Downhill sledding, dancing or enjoy some unique art displays. Celebrate anywhere in the world. From Louisiana to Brazil or Colorado to France.

There is a Festival in FRANCE Called Fête du Citron, or the “Lemon Festival.” It is opposite of what you might envision a winter carnival being all about snow and ice. It is about bright fragrant citrus! It’s held along the Mediterranean coast in the French Riviera. This celebration of the delicious fruits of winter features parades, incredible castles and sculptures made of thousands of oranges and lemons, and ornate light displays at night.

Take a look at the other festivals available this Winter season.

  • Mardi Gras in Louisiana, USA– February 28, 2017
  • Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil– February 24 – March 1, 2017
  • International Snow Sculpture Championships in Colorado, USA– January 24 – February 5, 2017
  • Carnaval de Québec in Quebec City, Canada– January 27 – February 12, 2017
  • Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Pingxi, Taiwan– February 11, 2017

Hello!

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Traveling abroad is a fantastic way to learn about a different culture, the local cuisine and maybe even chatting with the locals. Most places we choose to visit probably speak English, since it is the most widely spoken language of the world. But wouldn’t it be exciting to learn how to speak the language of the country that you are visiting?! With that being said, it could be a bit intimidating. But have no worries as there are many translation apps that you can download to your smart phone. This is a day and age of portable technology that will fit in our pockets; we think that you should put it to good use and broaden your horizons. A few language translation apps that you can use are: Google Translate, iHandy or iTranslate.

Imagine how impressive you will sound when can order your favorite food and drink and maybe even speak a bit about the weather in the native language. Maybe you’d like to have a conversation about the local night life or talk about where you’re from. Whatever is your fancy, you can start with the basics such as how to say “Hello”! Let us get you started with the following ways to say “Hello” in 15 different languages.

1. BONJOUR -French
2. HOLA -Spanish
3. GUTEN TAG -German
4. CIAO – Italian
5. OLA -Portuguese
6. NAMASTE -Hindi
7. ZDRAS-TVUY-TE -Russian
8. NI-HAU -Mandarin (Chinese)
9. AHN-YOUNG-HA-SE-YO – Korean
10. MARHABA -Arabic
11. SALAAM -Persian
12. WITAJ -Polish
13. KONNICHIWA – Japanese
14. JAMBO -Swahili
15. HALO -Bahasa Indonesia

Destination Weddings are more popular than ever!

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Wedded bliss before you even tie the knot?! You can have that feeling with a destination wedding! Imagine yourself getting married on a beach with the warmth of the sun on your face, crashing waves in the background and the sand between your toes. If that sounds like a dream come true, then a Destination Wedding may be just what you are looking for!

Enjoy the stress free planning with the use of an onsite wedding coordinator, photographer and a minister. Have a fabulous dinner and delicious cake for all of your guests or if you decide it will only be the two of you, it can all be arranged the way you’ve always dreamed! It will all be taken care of with some direction from you and leave the rest up to the professionals. Destination weddings are all inclusive packages that are definitely cost effective. The cost is usually somewhere around a few thousand dollars, depending how elaborate your taste is. Compared to your average state side wedding, which can cost up to $30,000, a destination wedding is easy on the budget.

If you are still debating on where to have your wedding, some of the most popular places are Cancun/ Riviera Maya, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. The reason that these are so popular is that they are easy to get to and there are non-stop flights available. We consider these locations to be budget friendly. But always do your research and always consider what the best option would be for you and your guests.  A Destination Wedding can be an awesome celebration all wrapped into one; wedding, vacation and a honeymoon!

You can choose a simple but elegant or an elaborate and ornate wedding. The beauty is in your eyes.  Contact Carol’s Travel Service today to meet with one of our destination wedding specialists and start making your dreams come true.

Holiday Travel Tips

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The holidays are approaching and it’s no secret that traveling during these peak times can be overwhelming. So here are a few tips to make your travels a little bit easier for you and your family.

  • You can start by using your smart phone to its fullest potential. Make it work for you, after all, it is a smart phone, right? There are free travel apps that you can download to check flight stats, real time updates on delays, baggage numbers and more. GateGuru is a free app that gives you security line times, where to get a decent meal, snacks or coffee. You can download boarding passes on your smartphone too, which is something we recommend doing. Another free app is TripIt; it’s a travel organizing app that automatically creates a master itinerary for every trip so you can access all your travel plans, anytime, on any device. It’s always a great idea to fully charge all electronic devices before you head out.
  • You must get to the airport early! Give yourself plenty of time for long lines and any unforeseen problems or delays that could cause you to miss your flight. You can check in online before you get to the airport to avoid lengthy check in lines. It is definitely worth it!
  • If you are traveling around Christmas time that means you might be thinking about bringing a gift. Don’t wrap your gift. Chances are security may have you unwrap the gift to inspect them. A gift bag maybe a better choice instead of wrapping paper.
  • Get assigned seating in advance. If you are traveling with family this will give you a better chance that you will be sitting together.
  • Don’t drive yourself. You don’t want to deal with the added stress of trying to find a parking spot in a very crowded parking lot. Have a friend drive, public transportation or treat yourself and take a limo.
  • Bring snacks or eat before you get to the airport. We like to do both.  We like to pass the time with handful of popcorn or a granola bar.
  • Bring a neck pillow, maybe some earplugs or headphones so you can relax away the stress during the hectic holiday season.

Safe Travels!

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Why TSA lines are so long and what you can do about it!

TSA lines are longer than ever and some passengers are missing their flights due to the long wait times. Some lines are taking up to 3 hours to get through. There will be approximately 740 million passengers traveling this fiscal year, a 15% increase since 2013. Over that same time period, TSA lost more than 4,000 screeners! Therefore, that means longer lines, more delays and more frustration. U.S. airlines are charging more and more to check baggage and as a result passengers are filling up their carry-on bags. Packing them to capacity only makes for additional screening and possible flagging of oversized items. Unfortunately, these are some of the reasons why we have to stand in these long lines. The lines have become so long that some airports are providing entertainment while waiting. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has horses, mini therapy horses. And San Diego International Airport is bringing in the clowns, literally.

As frustrating as these long lines can be, there are some helpful tips that Carol’s Travel would like to share with you to prepare yourself for getting through the TSA lines as quickly as possible.

  • The obvious…arrive early…at least 2-3 hours for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights
  • Register for the TSA PreCheck program as a way to get through the security lines quicker. Registering for Global Entry helps you move through USA immigration much faster.  You can register on the TSA website:  https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
  • ON-LINE Check in, which most major airlines will allow you to do within 24 hours of your flight’s departure time. When you check in online you can also — and should — print your boarding pass, or send a mobile boarding pass to your smart phone. That’s another step done before you even set foot in the airport.
  • Have your boarding pass and ID ready
  • Follow the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids in your carry-on bag. That means each passenger may bring as many 3.4 ounce (or less) bottles of liquids, gels and aerosols that can be packed in one quart-sized, clear plastic zip-top bag — 3 ounces, 1 bag, 1 person. You should follow this TSA link to get these specific requirements and other screening processes. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule or go to https://www.tsa.gov/

Carol has traveled through both Chicago Midway and Chicago O’Hare Airports within the past couple weeks and reported there were extremely long security lines but she flies through with her TSA PreCheck. TSA has added on more personnel in Chicago that we’ve heard is a help…but better be safe than sorry. Arrive early!

Traveling made easy!

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Are you looking for a dream getaway? Or perhaps an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, river cruise in Europe or a family vacation to Disney? Whatever your travel fantasy, let the experienced advisors at Carol’s Travel Service work with you to design a vacation that will exceed your expectations. In the fast paced world we live in today, many people turn to the internet to plan a vacation but there may be a lot of details that one may over look or you may feel overwhelmed with all of the available options. You cannot call the internet for help with that! No more worries. We have years of experience and hold the highest accreditation’s available in the travel industry today, including that of a Certified Travel Counselor and Master Cruise Counselor.  They can plan every detail of your trip so you can travel with confidence and spend your vacation relaxing!

Carol’s Travel will be sharing travel tips with you as well as our personal travel experiences. We will be posting tips on what you may want to pack for a cruise, easier airport travels and many other topics.  Our family of travel advisors will share their favorite destinations, hotels, tour companies and cruise lines with you, as well as their advice on how to make your trip great.

We want to make your travels as easy and as comfortable as possible. Our commitment to quality service and unparalleled product knowledge has made us a trusted name in vacation travel. Let’s travel the world together.