THE EDUCATED TRAVELER: Foreign Travel Advice From An Expert

By: Sandra B. Wilkins, M.A
Senior Agent,

“I don’t know where the shame of being a tourist comes from.  I’ve heard many friends in full touristic swing say that they don’t want to mix with tourists, not realizing that even though they don’t mix with them, they are just as much tourists as the others.  When I visit a place and haven’t enough time to get to know it more than superficially, I unashamedly assume my role as tourist.  I like to join those lightning tours in which the guides explain everything you see out of the window—‘On your right and left, ladies and gentlemen…’  one of the reasons being that then I know once and for all everything I needn’t bother to see when I go out later to explore the place on my own.”

—Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I confess my pet peeve when traveling out of the United States is hearing many times over “well, they don’t do it like this at home!”  Certainly not, my dear sir from Des Moines, if you want life the same as it is at home, by all means stay there, and stop wearing those dumb Bermuda shorts with tacky black knee socks and brown sandals.  In fact, go home, you’re spoiling my enjoyment of the delicious differentness of it all.

Foreign travel, while often taxing and frequently difficult, has brought me the most wonderful pleasures.  It has expanded my sensibility, made me humble, reduced my self-centeredness, and taught me I always have a lot to learn.  What can be more civilized than cooking like the French, savoring theatre like the English, emulating the manners of the Spanish, admiring art and architecture  like the Italians, taking great joy in small things like the Mexicans, meditating like Tibetans, and generally acquiring beautiful new layers of sensibility with each new culture we experience?  To my thinking, nothing is more rewarding.

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Get Ready for Floriade 2012!

There are events that occur annually that you might really enjoy every now and then and there are events that occur every couple of years that you may make a point to attend.  Then, there are certain events that happen every, say, 10 years that are just simply amazing. The Floriade is exactly that.  This international celebration of horticulture and nature is an amazing experience that happens once every decade.  I guarantee you will want to be in Venlo from April 5th to October 7th.

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The Annual World’s Largest Cruise Sale is Back!

It’s that time of the year again!  What was formerly known as the “World’s Largest Cruise Night” has been expanded to National Cruise Vacation Week’s World’s Largest Cruise Sale. During the week of October 17th – 23rd, you can expect cruise sales from all of the major cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess, and more! Deals included (but not limited to) Reduced Rate on  Sailings, Up to $500 On-Board Credits, Coupon Booklets, and Added Amenities! Click here to see all of this year’s cruise deals!

For some, this event can be perfect for planning early birthday or early Christmas gifts! For all, this is certainly the time to finally book that vacation you have been planning for so long! For those who are not familiar with the event, both members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and travel agent partners come together each year and hold the single largest cruise promotion of the year.  To give you an idea of just how big this event is, in 2010 CLIA reported over 50,000 consumers attended WLCN events held by 1,432 agencies.

Throughout the year you can find cruise specials and deals if you are diligent enough and have the patience.  For this event however, you can be sure that almost all cruise lines will be having special sales!  The best part is you now have a whole week to decide on your perfect cruise! 

With this event growing larger each year, you can be assured that there will be no shortage of savings and special promotions.  And as always, is here to bring these savings directly to you! Plus, as an added bonus, we’re giving away a $100 Dining Dough Gift Card* for every booking!

Visit our website for more information and see the great deals for this year’s World’s Largest Cruise Sale!

*Dining Dough Offer Rules And Restrictions:

Offer excludes all Carnival Cruises. Offer applies to all new cruise and river cruise bookings made in the week of October 17th – 23rd only. Please call for additional details. Additional restrictions may apply.