All posts by Scott Jones

Improving your Cruise with Best Excursions

By | Adventure, Alaska Cruise, Cruise | No Comments

Adding Shore Excursions Is EZ and Better with Help!

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Sure, you can book your shore excursions on the cruise ship – it seems like the safest way to go, but is it the best way to go?

When EZTravelPad cruises we book our excursions sometimes with the cruise line and more often with 3rd party vendors – why? – for a better experience!

Choosing the right shore excursions on your cruise vacation is an important part of the overall planning so get the help you deserve

Often the cruise line excursions are packed with dozens and dozens of people while the 3rd party excursion might be a much smaller group – like this glacier trek we did in Alaska – just 2 guides and 10 guests, the experience was unforgettable!

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Same with our whale watching excursion in Alaska – very intimate.

We have had the same sorts of experiences in Caribbean, for example at a place such as Stingray City in the Cayman Islands, when the cruise ships excursions had 50-60 people splashing around in the water with the stingrays, our smaller group of about 14 was much, much better and actually cost less!

Time to get started on your own shore excursions, or know someone planning a cruise this year? Share this link with them or use it yourself to  shop quickly and conveniently from home for the best shore excursions available…

Remember – even if you have booked your cruise on your own EZTravelPad is still available to help make the experience as great as it can be! Get with “Your friends….in the travel business” today, you’ll be glad you did

EZTravelPad is a travel agency helping all sots of people enjoy all sorts of vacations, and saving them money all along the way!

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4 Days in Paris…So Many Possibilities!

By | Europe, Romance | No Comments

Is a Visit to Paris on YOUR Bucket List?

There are few people for which a visit ti Paris is not near the top of their travel wish list.Why? There are as many reasons as there are visitors, but some of the top reasons millions visit the City of Lights are to experience the:

  • History
  • Culture
  • Culinary Experiences
  • Shopping
  • Architecture
  • Wine

It doesn’t have to cost arm and a leg to go either…Imagine a package for a 4 day/3 night getaway including round trip transfers from the airport to your centrally located hotel  such as Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur priced from just $771 per person –

Arrive on Day 1 early in the day to wander, shop, sip and stroll the gorgeous streets of Paris

Day 2 includes a terrific array of organized sightseeing including

Morning guided sightseeing at NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, the Latin Quarter, Les Invalides, the Opéra, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe. Drive by the Seine River with its beautiful bridges, and stop to take photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower from one of the best panoramic viewing points. Also enter the world’s most visited museum, THE LOUVRE with its modern glass pyramid, to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures (Louvre replaced with Seine cruise on Tuesdays)

Day 3 is completely free to enjoy the city at you own pace or add on one of the several options shown below-

Dinner and Cabaret Show at the Famous Lido
Price Range: $$$$

Enjoy dinner and the new cabaret show at the Famous Lido, located on the famous Champs-Elysees. Its revues have added sparkle to the City of Light since 1946. The Lido boasts a panoramic theater without columns, to ensure perfect visibility for the entire audience.

An Evening at the Moulin Rouge
Price Range: $$$$

Enjoy an exciting evening at the world-renowned Parisian cabaret, Moulin Rouge!

 

Seine River Cruise
Price Range: $$$

There’s no better way to see the City of Light. Enjoy a cruise on the River Seine followed by a guided discovery tour to admire monuments of Paris, including the Concorde, Opera, Madeleine, and Champs Elysees.

 

Private Guided Tour
Price Range: $$$$

This private tour with a professional, certified local guide is the ideal way to discover the City of Light. Make the most of your Paris experience at your pace and in your style – after all, it is your trip!

 

Eiffel Tower Dinner and Seine Cruise
Price Range: $$$$

Combine Parisian legends in this unforgettable evening.

 

Claude Monet’s Giverny & Museum of Impressionism
Price Range: $$$

Drive along the Seine Valley to the home of Claude Monet, leader of the Impressionist movement. Visit the house, the former studio, and stroll through the garden, a famous source of inspiration for many celebrated artists. Also visit the beautiful new Musée des Impressionistes nearby.

 

Disneyland® Paris (1 day ticket, 2 parks)
Price Range: $$$$

The happiest place on earth has a European address. Come and live the magic at Disneyland ® Paris with this 1-day entrance to Disneyland ®Parks.

 

Mont St. Michel Including Lunch
Price Range: $$$$

Enjoy the landscapes of the Normandy region on a full-day guided excursion to the 11th-century Mont Saint Michel Abbey, a famous pilgrimage center in the Middle Ages. Enjoy also a lunch at a local restaurant that faces the island and spend some time to stroll around the village.

 

Guided Visit of the D-Day Landing Beaches
Price Range: $$$$

This full-day minibus excursion includes Pointe du Hoc, the American Cemetery, and Omaha Beach. After an included lunch, see the ruins of Arromanches artificial harbor. The sense of history and importance of these sites is inescapable.

 

The Palace of Versailles
Price Range: $$$

Admire the historic Versailles, the beautiful, restored palace of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

 

Claude Monet’s Giverny & Palace of Versailles
Price Range: $$$$

Travel to Claude Monets Giverny with a guided visit of the wonderful gardens. Later admire the lavish 17th century Palace of Versailles.

 

1 Day Trip to Provins, Medieval city
Price Range: $$

With 58 historic monuments, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to be seen to be believed. Preserved as a striking medieval city, the city of Provins has preserved its striking medieval appearance.

 

Loire Valley and Lunch
Price Range: $$$$

Visit 11th-century Amboise Castle, the manor house of Clos Lucé where Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked from 1515 until his death in 1519, and Chenonceau Castle, built over the River Cher.

 

Discovery of Champagne
Price Range: $$$$

Cheers! Enjoy a full-day excursion by minibus to the Champagne region. See the vineyards of the Champagne region as you travel along the country roads.

 

Guided Visit of the Somme Battlefields
Price Range: $$$$

Learn the history and discover the area which was home to some of the most terrible battles of the Great War – the Battle of the Somme.

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4 Days & 3 Nights not long enough to experience all you would like to?

No problem – stretch it to 7 days for only about $417 more per person!

Of course pricing is only a snapshot in time, varies based on specific dates of travel (this example is based on early December – excellent for some unique Christmas gifts this year!), specific hotel chosen, and does not include flights but there are some terrific deals floating around so why wait?

Go visit Paris now because…..YOU deserve it don’t you?

See much more about the why the Monograms experience is a terrific way to visit Paris and many other destinations worldwide at this link (watch the video to REALLY understand!)

Doing things yourself is so much easier when you reap the benefits of working through the travel pros at EZTravelPad (don’t go it alone…get the help you deserve!)

EZTravelPad is a travel agency helping people experience better vacations while getting the best overall value possible!

Friends Party at Private Villa – Chic Mansion

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Dining, Luxury, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seriously- how cool would it be to share this amazing mansion with 5 other couples?

This is an 11,500 square-foot luxury house with six stunning guestrooms each with dedicated en suites. As a part of one of the hippest adults-only all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.

The villa offers guests six suite-style bedrooms which mean that you and eleven friends can enjoy the house’s private amenities and the resort’s Diamond Club™ privileges together.

Your stay in the Mansion include luxurious round-trip airport transfers, butler service, private pool cabana with attendant and even a complimentary spa treatment for each guest. The villa has its own private pool, hot tub, patio, sound system and games room with a pool table.

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It’s gorgeous, it’s spacious, and it’s perfect for a private party such as a couples retreat or even to celebrate a Bachelor/Bachelorette party

Check out the Private pool complete with hot tub!!

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Game room is complete with bar, pool table and stripper pole (not pictured)

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Amazing living space with huge screen and more…..

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and when the smallest and least amazing bedroom looks like this….

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oh wait….you also get a private dinner with private chef!

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But remember – this is not just a stand-alone mansion, it’s also located on the same property as one of the coolest 5 Star Adults-Only All-Inclusive resorts in the Caribbean

Dine around outside the mansion at restaurants (included!) featuring cuisine such as

  • Italian
  • Ceviche
  • Steak House
  • Middle Eastern
  • International
  • Pub Grill

…and more

With nightly entertainment, a terrific beach, several bars and even a mermaid pool this is something to experience and share with your friends

All this and you can get in for under $1500 per person for 5 nights!!

So what are you waiting for…get your friends together for the ultimate couples retreat!

Contact “Your friends….in the travel business? at EZTravelPad for more info

 

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Caribbean Night & Honeymoon Planning

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance | No Comments

Sandals Resorts are Caribbean’s Best for Romance

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Beaches Resorts are Caribbean’s Best for Families

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“Your friends….in the travel business at EZTravelPad are presenting a Virtual Sandals Caribbean Night event- Wednesday May 10 at 8pm EST – Here’s the link to sign up now or read on for more info

If you have previously experienced the Sandals or Beaches brands of all-inclusive resorts then you no doubt want to experience them again.

If you are planning a Honeymoon or thinking of a Destination Wedding in the Caribbean then Sandals is a “must see” option – and this Sandals & Beaches Virtual Caribbean Night event is perfect for conveniently learning what you need to know PLUS getting the Best Deal + $250 Bonus Spa Credit & maybe even more…read on!.

If you are overdue for some reconnecting time alone with your spouse – but without the kids – then Sandals is a prefect choice!

If you are more interested in an excellent option WITH the kids (and maybe the grandparents as well) then Beaches is the kids’ top pick (and parents love it too)!

No matter what you have in mind, if you are thinking luxury all-inclusive beach resort in the English speaking Caribbean then Sandals and Beaches are top choices on islands including-

  • Jamaica
  • St Lucia
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Antigua
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Grenada

Learn what you need to know by attending this webinar style event from the comfort of your own home or office

Ask questions of the pros, listen to other couples’ questions, understand what separates one destination from the next, and how each Sandals or Beaches resort has it’s own look, feel & vibe uniquely different from every other one….and best of all score a bonus spa credit of $250 for attending (and making a qualified reservation) on top of the best Sandals-direct pricing available, and possibly even grabbing a bonus on top of that!

Use this link to register now – do it today while space is available – we won’t be doing another event like this for a few more months and with Sandals Resorts booking early is your best bet!

If you have questions please get in touch with Scott at EZTravelPad (your host for this event)

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Cruise to Cuba – FINALLY it’s a great DEAL!

By | Adventure, Caribbean, Cruise | No Comments

Ready to Cruise to Cuba?

– A night in Havana along with a day at Great Stirrup Cay in Bahamas is a great combo!

NCL Breakaway at Great Stirrup Cay

NCL Breakaway at Great Stirrup Cay

 

Be among the first to see Cuba as it is, before tourism changes it forever

Norwegian is cruising to Cuba starting May 2017 – here are some details

Starting in May, 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering 4 Day cruises to Havana, Cuba (with an overnight stay) and their own private island, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas starting at just $529 per person (before taxes, fees and port expenses):
Interior- $529
Oceanview- $629
Balcony- $929
Suites- $1839 (book soon because suites are selling fast!)
Guests are currently receiving an all-inclusive, unlimited beverage package as well as onboard credits!
Entertainment for the whole family including the Guppies Program for infants 6 months to 2 years; Splash Academy (ages 3-12); The Zone (ages 13-17); a children’s pool and family pool; video arcade; nighttime entertainment; Active options such as a basketball/volleyball court, golf driving net, jogging/walking track, fitness center; Relaxing options for adults such as the Mandara Spa and 5 hot tubs; Not to mention onboard shopping, an internet cafe, the Mark Twain Library and of course the Sky Club Casino!
Don’t miss out on unforgettable excursions in Havana including tours to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (world-class art collection) and many other historic tours; Rum, Cigars and Art Tours; Dining at family-owned restaurants for authentic Cuban fare; Music and Dancing shows; and of course shopping!
Tours in Great Stirrup Cay offering many water activities such as Wave Runners, snorkeling opportunities to see a vast variety of fish, stingrays and more, Dolphin encounters and the beautiful white sand beaches!
Treat yourself to one (or all!) of 3 specialty restaurants including Cagney’s Steakhouse, Italian cuisine at Il Adagio or French cuisine at Le Bistro.

 

Get with “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad TODAY – don’t miss the boat on this great opportunity!!

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Alaska Cruise – a bucket list adventure!

By | Adventure, Alaska, Alaska Cruise, Cruise | No Comments

Cruising in Alaska Is Beyond Breathtaking – It’s Life Changing

The natural beauty seems endless with the air so clean and the nature so close

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Recently some of the team here at EZTravelPad were able to both accomplish a bucket list trip and at the same time celebrate a very important birthday – a terrific celebration that was simply unforgettable. We cruised out of Vancouver on Celebrity Infinity doing a 7 night inside passage voyage to Alaska with stops at

  • Icy Strait Point (terrific whale watching!)
  • Juneau (more adventures than you can accomplish if you had a whole week)
  • Hubbard Glacier (awesome scenery)
  • Ketchikan (terrific shopping and history)

If you have cruised Alaska before then you know what I mean when I say…WOW!

If you have yet to experience this most amazing destination then you owe it to yourself to go – and go as soon as you can

One of the most amazing days was spent in Juneau on a 3.5 mile trek to the Mendenhall glacier

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The hike was difficult but worth every scrape and sore muscle . We were able to hike on the glacier (and yes, I did fall through a soft spot but no serious injuries). On the glacier we experienced the ever-changing landscape of ice caves and ice streams on this frozen river of ice which is constantly in motion.

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In Icy Strait Point the whale watching was unreal – we experienced a large pod of humpbacks bubble feeding all around us for over an hour. It is indescribable unless you have experienced it – simply awe inspiring

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Previous to the whale watching adventure was a Bear Viewing excursion (photo at the top) – bears so close that the guides with rifles were on their toes the entire time – in all we spotted 9 brown bears in their natural habitat

In Ketchikan we took a float plane through the Misty Fiords National Monument – there’s nothing quite like landing on the water deep into the Alaska wilderness!

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After the float plane adventure we got in some shopping at the historic area once built to house the first businesses…brothels which serviced the local fishermen 100 years ago….

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It’s about the nature and it’s about the beauty and it’s about the wildlife – the stunning beauty like the Hubbard Glacier pictured below…

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There are many ways to experience the awe inspiring splendor of  the largest state in the US but for most people the preferred method is on a cruise, and if that’s your choice then we strongly urge a balcony cabin – why? See for yourself – there’s nothing quite like sipping a bottle of champagne as you listen to some tunes on your bluetooth speaker watching exhilarating scenery slowly reveal itself

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and like any cruise, it’s also about the ship – and the food – and the fun on-board. Qsine is a fun restaurant that gives you the sense you have passed through the looking glass and arrived to dine with Alice or the Mad Hatter

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Of course the departure port is another big part of the overall cruise experience and I would strongly suggest planning a fewextra days pre or post-cruise to enjoy either Seattle, or North America’s top rated city – Vancouver, BC. We completely fell in love with this amazing and gorgeous city – truly a fantastic place from which to start a great adventure!

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Celebrity Infinity is a terrific choice but depending on the experiences that you want to enjoy and the destinations that are best suited to what you have in mind, either Holland America or Princess are also fantastic choices – that’s where it is helpful to get some guidance from your friends….in the travel business!

EZTravelPad is a travel agency well suited to help with your next vacation – be it to Alaska, Caribbean, Disney, Europe, South Pacific, Latin America…you name it.

Get the help and guidance that you deserve, all with no added fees and best prices guaranteed!

 

 

 

 

For Caribbean’s Best Honeymoon Experience

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance, Uncategorized | No Comments

Learn how we can help you plan the perfect Honeymoon or Destination Wedding at Virtual Sandals Caribbean Night

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Tune in to our live webinar at 8pm EST on Wednesday October 19, 2016 to learn what the Sandals experience is all about during Sandals Virtual Caribbean Night event.

For decades Sandals resorts have been synonymous with romance on some of the Caribbean’s best islands, learn why Sandals luxury included resorts are so often couples’ first choice when thinking about Honeymoons, Destination Weddings & romantic vacation experiences in the Caribbean

EZTravelPad is one of a select group of Certified Sandals Specialist agencies and teams with Sandals Resorts to bring you this unique event and opportunity to learn why Sandals may be your best choice for your next trip to the Caribbean

Learn-

  • What the Sandals experience is all about and why it’s different
  • Which islands Sandals resorts call home
  • What differentiates each resort with varying inclusions and unique personalities
  • How you can earn an additional $250 spa credit (and maybe even another surprise perk!) simply by attending

This 45-60 minute presentation is offered to you free of charge and from the comfort of your own home – register now by using this link

Ask all the questions you like and learn from others – gain vast knowledge – score a great deal!

The EZTravelPad team hopes that you are able to join us in sharing one of the best resort experiences anywhere and why Sandals might be your best option for the most important trip of your life…YOUR Honeymoon or Destination Wedding!!

 

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Breeze through Immigrations next Vacation

By | Blog, Mexico, Travel Tips | No Comments

Don’t Miss Your Place in Line – Get to Immigrations quickly on your next trip

I see it just about every time I arrive in a foreign airport….people completing their immigrations forms that were incompletely filled out when they could have easily done so while on the plane – so to the back of the line they go!

What did they do wrong? Most of the time they simply failed to complete the bottom portion of the form – the part that gets detached by the immigrations officer and given back to them to hold onto until they depart the country

Here’s what the form looks like-

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Notice that there are 2 sections highlighted with the yellow border?

Many people make the mistake of completing the top portion, but not the bottom portion and they have to stop to complete before moving on to the immigrations line – dang paperwork!

So while you are on the flight, after the flight attendant has handed you the immigrations form to complete….read the instructions carefully and complete it entirely as instructed – each country’s is a little different, but this example from Mexico is pretty consistent – if you have questions ask your flight attendant or ask your seat neighbor and speed through the line quicker!

Oh – and don’t forget your EZTravelPad pen – you’ll need it because loaners are scarce!!

Just one more piece of advice from “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

EZTravelPad named “Best of Weddings” by The Knot for 3rd year in a row

By | Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance | No Comments

Thanks for the Great Reviews!

EZTravelPad is pleased to announce that once again we have been selected as a ­­winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, the #1 wedding resource.  This is the 3rd year in a row that EZTravelPad been selected for The Knot Best of Weddings.

In 2016, only 2% of the 250,000 local wedding professionals listed on TheKnot.com have received this distinguished accolade. In its tenth annual year, The Knot continues its longstanding tradition of supporting local wedding vendors with The Knot Best of Weddings 2016, an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed almost one million reviews from real couples across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more. These winners represent the best of the best for wedding planning professionals that a bride or groom would want to consider order to inspire, plan and pull off their own unique wedding.

Thanks to each and every couple who took the time to share their personal experiences with others on The Knot – YOU are the best clients a travel agency could ask for.

EZTravelPad is a travel agency based in Indianapolis, IN and specializing in romance travel (Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, Anniversary trips, Proposals in paradise and much more…) in the most romantic destinations on the globe.

To see why others have been so pleased with our services contact us today at www.eztravelpad.com

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The Sandals Vacation Experience – in Video

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance | No Comments

Sandals Luxury Included Vacations – Best in Caribbean?

You Decide…(with some help)

If you have been to a Sandals resort in the Caribbean for your Honeymoon – or anniversary – or wedding – or a friend’s wedding – or a friends getaway – then you know what it’s all about. Fun – Romance – Relaxation – Quality – Dining – Drinking – and doing everything you can fit in within a few short days

If you haven’t then this video does a pretty good job of highlighting what it’s all about

As a Sandals Certified Specialist (Gold Level) for several years now I usually run into the the same few questions people have, which are-

Q1 – Is it right for me?

Q2 – Is it worth the money?

Q3 – What about ____? (Q #3 can be about anything you can imagine)

 

Here are the answers…..

Q1 – it depends on what you are looking for…if you want to take 2 swimming suits and 3 or 4 T-shirts and a pair of flip flops and live on the beach drinking beer for a week then probably not……

BUT if you are interested in

  • Great entertainment
  • Myriad dining options
  • Good quality beverage options (and no, the drinks are not “watered down” although ice does have a tendency to melt quickly under the Caribbean sun)
  • Land sports
  • Water sports
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Making new friends

and more…..in a nice accommodation in paradise then it sure might be – so consult with your travel pro for their advice

 

Q2 – Is it worth it? That’s a tough one…..

  • is a Lexus worth it? (a used Kia is way less money and usually will get you where you are going)
  • is an iPhone worth it? (you can still buy a burner phone with prepaid minutes at Walmart and make phone calls until your minutes run out)
  • is a high end steakhouse worth it? (you can get the same nutritional value for much less at Texas Roadhouse)

So why go with the premier brand?

It looks better….it tastes better… it smells better….if feels better….and most importantly, it makes you feel better about yourself!

So why should you cheap out on your vacation? It’s your TIME we are talking about here – life’s most precious commodity so don’t waste it on a substandard experience

Are there other options? Of course – that’s why you should consult with your travel adviser to see if Sandals is the best fit for YOU

Q3 – What about ___? – ask your travel adviser!! That’s what they are for….

Helping you all the way along (not just with the purchase, most anybody CAN do that on their own) – it’s the advice and the guidance and the expertise and the piece of mind that a travel pro gives you that you cannot get on your own…even if you spend your entire life on Tripadvisor

*Disclaimer* I am biased – I think everyone should use a travel pro to help guide them on life’s most important vacations. You might not need a travel agent to help you book a flight from Houston to Salt Lake City for your cousin’s 21st birthday party….but if you are spending a few thousand or more on a luxury vacation to just about anywhere then a travel pro who can make sure you get the best deal possible, add value along the way – and charge $0 fees is kind of a no-brainer

For help on your next big trip reach out to EZTravelPad – pick your pro at this link