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Hello Friends: October 2016 Newsletter

Hello Friends: October 2016 Newsletter

by Chakel Palmer It has been awhile since the last newsletter. Dreams have been dreamt, adventures have been had, and I’m sure some humdrum has happened as well. Of course, as with all good friendships, all we can say is how joyous it is to meet again. We know life gets busy and quite like a whirlwind sometimes, so we’re happy to bring you that moment of vacation with beautiful pictures and reminders to live a little. Today, we’re taking you on a cruise. Just imagine, you wake up in your cozy cabin and look out to see the beautiful ocean with an island in the distance. You get up and enjoy a delicious breakfast as the scenery slowly passes you by. The day is yours and the air carries you away to a simpler time. No deadlines. No running from one activity to the next. You stand on the deck and embrace the simple beauty of sunshine and fluffy clouds or of the incredible and vast starry night sky. Beautiful ports, old friends and new, good food, and an elegant vessel are all part of your incredible day. And when you close your eyes to sleep, it might seem that the day was just a dream, but this is your life, your newest adventure, and we can’t wait to take you there! Ready to go somewhere yet? I know we are. In fact, we’ve planned an adventure for us to experience together in February 2018 (So we have plenty of time to save)! We’re sailing the Grenadine Islands, and we’d love for you to join us. Reserve your spot with your fully refundable* $400pp deposit! Plus, each person who books will also receive $100 onboard credit. Yay! You can find more information below and email or call with any questions. (*Full refund is offered up to 160 days before the...

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Cruising the World

Cruising the World

Happy New Year! Where has the time gone? Puppies seem to have taken over my life for a while there, but now things are a little quieter. Skyler and Tess are now living the good life, so I found a good travel joke about dogs and a picture of the two happy doggies to start things off.  Joke of the Month A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote: “I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?”  An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, “I’ve been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I’ve never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I’ve never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too.” And Now About Cruising… In light of the Costa Concordia disaster, I felt it would be good to have this newsletter focus on Cruising. This was a very tragic event and extraordinarily rare. Cruising is considered the safest form of commercial travel: Last year over 19 million passengers worldwide enjoyed traveling on cruises without incident! Oh the places you can go!  I have personally been on several cruises, from large ships to sail ships and even Riverboat cruising (or should I say meandering).  I’ve been on ships that carry 4000 passengers and ships that carry 50-100 passengers.  What I love most about cruising is the places you can see during your travels and only unpacking once! I have sailed in Alaska, Fiji, Tahiti, and been to Italy, Croatia, Greece, Belize, Honduras, Mexico and many Caribbean Islands. It’s an absolutely amazing way to see cities, towns, beaches etc.  Cruises have different styles and can be laid back or a ‘dress to the hilt’ style cruise.  When we went on a Riverboat in the Netherlands beginning in Amsterdam, we were able to see several historical sites along the way and enjoy the slow pace of the river and the castles and villages that speckled the land along the rivers.   Styles of Cruising: There are so many styles of cruising: Expedition cruises, Family, Gourmet, River, Singles, World, Group, Theme, Senior, Holiday, Gay, Luxury and others. Most people have no idea...

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Costa Rica!

Costa Rica!

COSTA RICA! September and October have proved to be quite busy! Tess had 8 healthy pups this month, but I am also very excited about this months newsletter! Costa Rica is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. I love sending clients to Costa Rica, because they always come back with wonderful stories. When I went to CR, it was not as a ‘vacation’ destination. I had the opportunity to go with a group of teens from our church on a missions trip several years ago. We got to visit the back country! At times we were on roads to nowhere it seemed like, and then we’d come to these tiny villages and meet the most awesome people! Our team hiked into the mountains to visit a village of Bribri Indians. When we arrived they looked at us quite inquisitively because as we hiked up the mountain it was very muddy in spots and we showed up looking like a bunch of dirty and tired people! They loved getting the toys and clothing that we brought to them though! Costa Rica is such a diverse climate, with rain forests, cloud forests, beaches etc. If you want a great way to get a wonderful overview of Costa Rica, I love this tour operator: http://www.caravan.com/tour/costa-rica. Not a perfect fit? Don’t worry, there is an abundance of tours or Independent travel I can build just for you! Guanacaste is one of the favorite areas for many of my clients. It has several all-inclusive properties situated on the beach. For those that are more adventuresome, we put together a variety of places within Costa Rica. Arenal, La Fortuna, Guanacaste, Quepos, Jaco, Corcovado National Park…the possibilities are endless… Intrested in knowing more? Check out what makes Costa Rica Unique: http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/en_cr_facts.asp Pura Vida! Kina Palmer     Kina@travelhound.us     (303)902-8567   Costa Rica Facts Capital City: San José Population: Over 4 million people Climate: Tropical. Summer is lush, Winter is dry. Warm weather prevails throughout the year Size: 50 miles long, 150 miles wide (51,000 sq. km) Language: The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. Native languages include Bribrí and as well as others spoken by thousands of Costa Ricans. English is the first foreign language and the second most taught language in Costa Rica, followed by French, German, Italian and Chinese. Currency: The colon Entry Requirements: Passport and return tickets are required to enter Costa Rica Taxes: a 13% tax and 10% service charge are added to checks in restaurants. Travelers may leave extra tip for good service. There is an airport departure tax of approximately $26.00.   Tortuguero A unique place to go if you like reptiles such as turtles and more…. Tortuguero which means ‘Region of Turtles’...

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Meet Chakel!

Meet Chakel!

Hello Travelers, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Chakel, Kina’s daughter-in-law and her marketing assistant. For the last several months, I’ve had the privilege of editing the newsletter, contributing to the Travelhound Facebook and Twitter pages, and soon I will also be blogging on a regular basis. Now that you know what I do, I’ll tell you a little more about myself! On a probably cold, perhaps not too dreary March afternoon… Just kidding! I won’t bore you with all the details of my life but in short: I’m 23. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 2010 with a Bachelors in Business Administration (My major was Marketing). One week later, I married Kina’s son Otto; and now I’m enjoying the married life with all of it’s adventures. Please feel free to give feedback or suggestions on the Facebook, Twitter, and Blog. I’d love to hear from you! Till Next time… Happy Travels, Chakel Palmer   Top 5 Destinations I’ve Never Been But Want to Visit 1. Europe 2. Australia & New Zealand 3. New York 4. Africa 5. Israel   Top 5 Destinations I’ve Been 1.Colorado – Yes I live here. And I think it will always be my Favorite. When I was at school, I missed the mountains, the good water, the view of the stars, and being able to tell which way is West. 2. Pittsburgh – Four years of college later, and I now appreciate all of the city’s culture. From the delicious food, to the art, to the theater, to the museums and libraries, Pittsburgh is a great place to spend time. Perhaps not in the hot & humid summers though. 3. Costa Rica – It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Costa Rica, but I have many fond memories there. Mostly I remember all the green and bright colors. Definitely a place I plan to visit again when I get the chance. 4. Hawaii – If you’re looking for beauty and some of the nicest people you’ve ever met, Hawaii is definitely for you. A little pricey for my liking but overall, very wonderful place. 5. Detroit/Canada – Growing up, I’ve visited this area many times and it’s a great place. My wonderful granny took us to all the museums, lots of restaurants, old churches, and then over the border to Canada. I’ve visited more times than I can count on my hands and I’ve still never been...

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Tips on Trips

Tips on Trips

  Hard to believe we are heading into our 2nd  week of August already, and I haven’t gotten the Newsletter out! I have actually been in Minnesota with our dog Tess. We are breeding her with an awesome male dog! This has been an ‘adventure’ to say the least! We had to wait until Tess came into heat before we could make the drive to Minnesota, so of course our travels were based on her timing…not ours! The mating was a success after being in Minnesota for a week. Now we wait 28 days to find out if in fact Tess is pregnant. The puppies will be born around October 10th  if she is pregnant, which will begin our next adventure! Chasing little Wirehaired Pointing Griffons around for 2 months!!!! Now, on to better things, and the reason you read this newsletter in the first place….TRAVEL! This month instead of focusing on a destination,  I have decided to title the newsletter TIPS ON TRIPS! So read on, and enjoy…. Who knows, maybe you will even pick up some great pointers for your next vacation! I’d love to hear back from you on your own ‘tips’ too!    10 Things NOT to forget! Here’s our top 10 list of things we remember not to forget. Enjoy and share what you think should never be forgotten! Sunglasses –if you are getting on a plane at 6am, it’s easy to walk out of your house without sunglasses! Passport/Visa’s – also, make a copy of these to put in your luggage, in case your Passport gets lost or stolen Credit card – Call your CC company and let them know the dates and places you will be traveling, so they do not put a lock on your CC while you are traveling! I never take a debit card because if it gets ‘compromised’, your financial institution cannot protect you as well as your credit card company can. Small bills – I typically take $100 – $200 in ones, fives and tens, for tipping etc. Also, I do not carry it on me all together. I put it in different places i.e. purse, pants (front pocket), hotel safe… Medications – very important to NOT pack these in ‘checked’ luggage, in case luggage gets lost. Put them in a quart sized ziplock to show as you go through security. Electronics chargers – Nothing worse than getting to your destination and your phone battery dies, and you have forgotten to bring the charger! Reading materials – Great to have during your flights, and also during those dreaded flight delays! Snacks – Great to have during flights, since the airlines have cut back so much on giving anything FREE to us anymore! You cannot take opened...

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Weddings & Honeymoons

Weddings & Honeymoons

Professionally, I have planned destination weddings for brides and grooms only, and other wedding celebrations that included over 80 guests. The great advantage of a destination wedding is that they can evolve into more than a wedding. They become a vacation for the attendees (typically, attendees pay their own way), and a honeymoon location for the bride and groom. They can also help all involved to avoid the usual hysteria and stress of weddings. When planning, the most important factor for the bride and groom to decide is the destination that best fits their needs. The time of year can play a huge part. For instance, hurricane season is actually mid-June to mid-November. Another vital issue is budget. One of the major benefits of using travel planners is that they assist in navigating through the intricate details and help alleviate many headaches for the bride and groom. Due to the current economy, this year is a great year to travel. Many destinations have been impacted by the economy and thus have sale pricing available. Destination weddings can include various themes, such as cruises. When most people think about a cruise, the Caribbean comes to mind. But there are many wonderful places to experience on a cruise. The Mediterranean and Hawaii are good warm weather cruise locations. However, some people also like Alaska, which has a cooler climate. I have actually attended a wedding in Alaska on a small ship that had approximately 70 passengers. All of the passengers at- tended the wedding, which was held on the bow of the ship with a waterfall as the backdrop. It was breathtaking. My son is getting married this spring. He and his new wife will honeymoon in Hawaii. Their honeymoon will include some time at a hotel on Waikiki, and they intend to take a cruise to the other islands of the chain. My son and his fiancé are both under the age of 25, so renting a car would be expensive (rental agencies charge a premium for drivers under 25). By staying on Oahu they will have public transportation available, or they can walk almost anywhere. When they are on the cruise their transportation needs will be taken care of by the cruise line (except on land, of course). Hawaii is not only a honeymoon destination, it is also a great place to have the actual wedding. The islands are an absolutely beautiful place to have that very special wedding. Each island has beaches, waterfalls and gorgeous re- sorts. Each also has its own distinct personality, and this is one of the things that a travel planner can help with. There are many all-inclusive resorts...

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