travel advisor

Why Everyone Should Use a Travel Advisor in 2019

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As 2019 rapidly approach, we think travelers should never travel without an Advisor behind them heading into the New Year. With that  said, we’d like to list the top 10 reasons for relying on a travel advisor:

1. Storms and natural disasters are making travel more difficult.
2018 year has been a particularly tough one for travel, with natural disasters and system failures overwhelming some suppliers. But travel advisors have the access and the knowledge to help speed your re-accommodation, and act as your advocate when there are problems. When you book with an advisor you can reach out to an actual person with whom you have built a trust relationship. Travel advisors can help change travel dates due to weather, or change the destination completely. They can hold cruise and air options for you and confirm your hotel before booking a non-refundable reservation. And in these weather-affected times, no client wants to sit on hold with the airlines or a tour operator for hours—so let a travel advisor do the work for you.

2. Life is busier and more demanding than ever, and vacation time is more valuable.
There is no do-over for a vacation gone wrong. Travel advisors can help you achieve the vacation you desire because they listen, suggest, adjust, understand and become a friend… not just a search engine or an anonymous voice. “They do the work, you pack and go!”

3. Travel Advisors add a human element.
A travel advisor ensures that you are a person, not a number. They are invested in their clients’ happiness and satisfaction and want to make sure each and every trip is packed full of positive lifelong memories. They are with you before, during and after your trip—kind of like “for better or for worse.” Travel advisors answer their phones and respond to their email no matter where you are on the planet.

4. Trips are more complicated than ever, as the number of multi-generational vacations and destination weddings continues to grow.
Multi-generational vacations are still very much in demand. Baby Boomers are taking their children and grand children on high-end vacations. Because planning travel with a multitude of people is a challenge, a travel advisor is a perfect choice to be the “middleman” and provide assistance to plan a perfect family vacation.

5. The world is constantly changing, and travel advisors are on the ground experiencing it.
Has the Caribbean recovered from the latest hurricane? Can Americans travel to Cuba these days? Has the smoke cleared in Napa? Travel advisors don’t just sell a destination—they discover, research and experience the places they offer over and over, sharing the actual and current status quo with their customers. Just like in everyday life, it takes a village to understand the dynamics of every destination. Why do it alone if you don’t have to?

6. They save you so much time and stress.
Sure, reading about places to go is fun and enticing—but planning a trip is stressful. There is so much data available online, in magazines and books, and even on TV. Travel advisors travel for work, looking at everything from the size of the rooms at hotels and cruise ships to the dining options that are available, onsite and nearby. And if they haven’t personally been where you want to go, a colleague has or their preferred tour operators have. They know the hidden gems in a given destination because they’ve either seen it, or because they listened to the previous client who came home and raved about something they found by chance. They also tend to specialize in destinations or niches like LGBT or Special Needs travel. Every time they travel they are focusing on these details—so customers can just dream about their destination and not have to worry.

7. They often save you money—and if not, they deliver more value.
Even if your travel advisor charges a fee, the value you receive will be bigger than what you paid. Some clients assume that using a travel advisor would cost extra when in fact using an advisor can save you money and get you extras and insider access.

8. They can reassure anxious travelers because they know where you should go and where you shouldn’t.
During the past several months, we have seen several hurricanes, 3 earthquakes, 5 strikes against travel suppliers, 2 mass-shootings, 4 airline accidents and bankruptcies, major wildfires, 2 volcano eruptions, flight cancellations, 1 visa suspension (Turkey) and several State Department travel warning.  Anyone care to navigate that on their own? People are nervous, anxious and unsure. Travel advisors feel a huge responsibility to explain, re-assure and assist their clients in making the best possible choices. And now, with all the devastation and destruction from Mother Nature, they can be instrumental in helping to decipher what destinations are accessible.

9. They offer unique services for discerning clients.
Travel advisors are there to help each and every clients regardless of budget. In addition, travel advisors are fully capable of providing special services and requests for discerning clientele.

10. Like any professional advisor, they know more than you do.
Should you book that Rhine River cruise heading north or heading south? Travel advisors know which hotel rooms have the best view room; they know you should renew your passport six months before it expires; they know you should bring your own road maps in Europe because rental car companies don’t provide them. They can recommend a private guide instead of a ship excursion, an interesting destination along the way, a chance to get off the beaten track and see something uniquely important to you.

Regardless of the circumstances, travel advisors are always there for you!

This article is made possible by Cheryl Rosen.

beijing-china

Beijing China Visa-Free Policy

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144-hour visa-free transit policy

Did you know that you can stop over in Beijing, China for up to 144 hours without a Visa? China’s new Visa-free transit policy has been implemented by Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. The policy applies to citizens from 53 countries who hold valid international travel documents, and a passenger ticket for connecting travel to a third country (region) with confirmed seats and a departure time within 144 hours.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about this policy:

How is the duration of the 144 hour visa-free transit policy calculated?

The duration of stay as referred to in the 144-hour visa-free transit policy will begin from 00:00 o’clock the following day, after entry in any port at Beijing Capital International Airport; Beijing West Railway Station; Tianjin Binhai International Airport; Tianjin International Cruise Home Port; Hebei Shijiazhuang International Airport or Qinhuangdao Harbor.

In accordance with the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, from 00:00 o’clock the following day after entry in Beijing, he/she will be allowed to stay for six days in Beijing, Tianjin or Hebei without an entry visa.

If citizens from any of the 53 designated countries eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit policy do not hold a valid connecting travel ticket to a third country; can he/she apply for 144-hour visa-free transit?

According to the regulations pertaining to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, any applicant must hold a valid connecting passenger ticket for travel, with confirmed seats, and a departure time within 144 hours of arrival in Beijing, or he/ she must possess relevant supporting documents. The applicant must have these documentations before applying for the 144-hour visa-free transit.

If citizens from any of the 53 designated countries arrive in Beijing with a valid ticket for travel to their country of origin, with a confirmed seat and with a departure time within 144 hours of entry to Beijing, would he/she be eligible for the 144 hour visa-free transit policy?

The policy applies for 144-hour visa-free transit rather than visa-free entry. Therefore, the applicant should transit to a third country or region to be eligible for this policy. Travelers returning to their country of origin would not be eligible for this policy.

What kind of punishment will be imposed on those who have successfully applied for the 144-hour visa-free transit but have stayed in China for more than 144 hours when they depart from Beijing Capital International Airport?

According to the relevant regulations of the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, individuals who do not hold a valid Chinese passport and are suspected of illegal residence in China will be warned. In case of gross violation, the offender will be fined RMB500 per day for illegal residence, not exceeding RMB10,000 in total, or he/she will be detained for 5-10 days. Anyone who violates the relevant laws and regulations for the 144 hour visa-free transit policy may not be accepted for future applications for visa-free transit.

Who can I contact with inquiries regarding the 144-hour visa-free transit policy?

For questions relating to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, including handling of entry and departure procedures, please call the 24-hour hotline 56095400 or log on to the official website of the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection for help (www.bjbj.gov). Ask our professional staf for more details.

world-travel-market

Travel is SWELL Staff to Attend the World Travel Market in London

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The Staff at Travel is SWELL is excited about participating in the World Travel Market in London. With our participation, it is our goal to help raise awareness of Autism in Travel – one of the most undeserved markets in the travel industry. In addition, Travel is SWELL staff will meet with hundreds of vendors to include hotels, attractions, wellness travel providers and destination management companies to forge new relationships and to build new custom itineraries for Autism and Wellness travel.

The World Travel Market London is the leading global event for the travel industry to meet other industry professionals and conduct business deals.  It is the perfect venue to create personal and business opportunities in addition to learning more about new products and service offerings.

World Travel Market runs from 5 to 7 November 2018 in EXCEL Convention Center in London near the Canary Wharf. Travel is SWELL’s staff will also have the opportunity to ride the infamous Double-Decker buses or travel the city via the “Underground”, visit Big Ben, West Minister Abbey, the London Eye and many other attractions. Follow us on Face Book to learn more about Travel is SWELL’s adventures in London.

 

London-england

Romance

Romantic Getaways

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LONG LIVE ROMANTIC GETAWAYS!

Romance is alive and a priority for travelers today! More than half of respondents in a recent survey cited the primary reason for embarking on a couples getaway is simply because they are in love.

Popular Types of Getaways

Anniversary Celebration

Anniversaries are special. The date of your marriage is an occasion worth celebrating, and going away together seems only natural.

Vow Renewals

Renewing wedding vows on a breathtaking beach is a wonderful way to celebrate time as a couple.

A Romantic Weekend

One of the best ways to just relax and re-connect with your loved one. Maybe Valentine’s day weekend!

Adventure in an exotic location

For many couples, exotic romantic vacations are the best way to celebrate their love and relationship.

Romance by Travel is SWELL

You’ll find all these and much more right here in our website. Explore Now!

New Orleans Vacation

Hilton Announces ‘Navigate New Orleans’ Experience

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With influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, as well as the city’s own indigenous people, there are few places in the world like New Orleans.

The southern city is overflowing with culture, history and adventures for everyone from the foodie to the nature lover.

And this year, the 300-year-old city is celebrating its tricentennial with special events all year long, so it should come as no surprise that The New York Times has named New Orleans one of the top places to visit in 2018.

With that in mind, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside has just announced a new Navigate NOLA package to help visitors explore all that the city has to offer.

The package includes exclusive offerings and authentic experiences around New Orleans, serving as something of a private concierge to the city’s best attractions all summer long.

Highlights of the new Hilton package include:

  • A coupon book worth more than $200 filled with exclusive Hilton discounts at the city’s top attractions including Bayou swamp tours, Jazz cruises aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, kayaking on Bayou St. John, live music at the House of Blues and behind-the-scenes tours of Mardi Gras World.
  • $30 on-property credit for each night to use on self-parking, cocktails, massages, breakfast and more
  • Rates starting at $142 per night

Amenities at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside include a 100,000 square-foot health club, salon, business center, riverfront location and indoor connection to an outlet mall.

Among the events taking place in New Orleans during the remainder of the summer is a running of the bulls race on July 13; Tales of the Cocktail in the French Quarter from July 17 through July 22 and the Satchmo Summerfest music festival from August 3 through August 5, also in the French Quarter.  Explore New Orleans today!

Courtesy of Mia Taylor

Anantara Quy Nhon Hillside Pool Villa

Anantara Quy Nhon Villas to Open in November in Vietnam

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Adding a third property to its portfolio of luxury resorts in Vietnam, Anantara Hotels and Resorts has announced its newest villa retreat is scheduled to open in late November. Located in a secluded bay in south central Vietnam, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas will comprise 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas set among nearly 18 acres of tropical gardens.

Anantara Quy Nhon is designed to blend into the environment. Locally sourced materials, traditional craftsmanship and regional influences are also incorporated into its contemporary design. For instance: The villas will have sleek timber and granite sundecks, minimalist plunge pools and extended low-overhang roofs.

Tip:

Each villa will come with dedicated butler services and a range of customizable luxury amenities, such as preferred room scent (ranging from lemongrass to green tea), Anantara’s signature soap collection and in-villa wine cellar.

The dining outlets at Anantara Quy Nhon will offer local seafood and regional flavors. At Sea Fire Salt, the all-day dining restaurant, “Salt and Wine Gurus” elevate the dining experience with expert advice and guided tastings. At the ocean-facing swim-up bar, guests can enjoy premium cocktails, Vietnamese craft beers and Cuban cigars. In-villa dining can include gourmet breakfast in bed, fully catered poolside barbecues and a luxury Vietnamese street food concept. Anantara’s Dining by Design offers “Castaway” island picnics and fishing trawler expeditions.

Set on the hillside overlooking the bay, Anantara Spa will have nature-inspired treatment suites with double massage beds and oversized bathtubs (try the coconut milk soak!). Anantara Quy Nhon will also have a range of fitness options. The Masters of Wellness visiting practitioner calendar allows guests to book private sessions with expert holistic therapists.

Binh Dinh province, of which Quy Nhon is the capital city, is well-suited for families, couples and groups of friends. Local cultural attractions include the relics of Champa civilization and centuries-old Buddhist pagodas.

The resort is a 50-minute drive from Quy Nhon Airport (Phu Cat Airport) and only a 20-minute drive from downtown Quy Nhon. Daily flights into Phu Cat Airport are operated from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Chileno Bay Resort Launches New Wellness Initiative

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For your health-conscious clients heading to Los Cabos, the new Baja Balance program at Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auger Resorts Collection will make sure they don’t skip a beat in reaching or maintaining their fitness and wellness goals.

Baja Balance is a resort-wide wellness initiative optimizing health for the mind, body, and spirit through instructor-led weekend retreats and ongoing programming and activities focused on fitness, culinary, and spa experiences.

“Our new Baja Balance program was a natural progression of what the resort has been doing since day one, bringing together Cabo’s natural energy with the active lifestyle that is at the core of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences,” said Eliezer Quinones, general manager of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, in press materials.

Baja Balance introduces a new wave of fitness offerings at Chileno Bay Resort including group workout classes such as TRX, yoga, Zumba, spinning, and a beach boot camp. Healthy culinary options are another key component of Baja Balance, which offers an array of fresh and locally sourced food options that are available at TnT and COMAL, two of the onsite restaurants. The program also offers wellness-focused children’s activities, to allow all members of your client’s family to stay on track during their vacation.  Learn more about Chileno Bay Resort & Residences.

 

 

Article by: Jessica Poitevien

Emerald Waterways Announces First Ocean Cruise

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Emerald Waterways is heading into the world of ocean cruising with the announcement of a brand-new yacht sailing itinerary along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.

Set to launch in 2019, the Islands of Dalmatia cruise will be Emerald Waterways’ first ocean cruise. The itinerary invites guests aboard the 18-cabin MV Adriatic Princess II, a newly commissioned yacht designed to navigate the small ports of the Dalmatian Coast. Highlights of the 8-day itinerary include visits to Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Sibenik, one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic Coast; and Krka National Park, known for its waterfalls and lavender fields.

The Islands of Dalmatia itinerary will sail April through October 2019, and Emerald Waterways is currently accepting pre-bookings with a refundable $250 deposit.

Let Our Group Handle Your Group Travel Needs

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Whether you are planning a corporate meeting or incentive trip, a destination wedding, family reunion, bachelor party or girls’ getaway weekend, our Group Specialists can customize a deluxe itinerary including flights from multiple departure cities, transfers, tours and activities. Add our deluxe hotels and tours to a pre- or post-cruise itinerary in many port cities.

We offer a variety of hotels, condos, all-inclusive resorts, villas and homes at some of the world’s finest destinations. We can also book tours for groups who are doing a pre- or post-cruise in one of our destinations, or in conjunction with one of our specialty products, like Paul Gauguin, Blue Lagoon, and Mooring Yachts in the Caribbean and Mexico, Endless Blue Yachts in the Mediterranean, and Orion Adventures Down Under. The options are endless.

 

Our Group Packages Offers These Important Advantages:

  • Customized group packages that deliver the best values and itineraries designed to meet your exact needs.
  • Expert recommendations for hotels and resorts that cater especially to group travel.
  • Travel insurance for cancellation protection.
  • Customer Service assistance throughout your entire trip.
  • A dedicated team of Group Specialists to ensure a seamless process, from the initial quote through post-trip.
  • Beautiful documents for each party (electronic documents are also available)
  • Rooming lists and accounting spreadsheets

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