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

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 

Why Kauai?

By | Adventure, Family Travel, Honeymoons and Weddings, South Pacific | No Comments

Kauai – The Garden Island

Kauai is referred to as the Garden Isle partly because it offers 3 of the 5 tropical botanical gardens in the U.S. and partly because if feels as though the entire island is a huge garden….lush, tropical and gorgeous

True, parts of the island get a tremendous amount of rainfall (the most on earth) – but other parts are much less moist and receive much sunshine as well so choosing the right area to fit your needs is a big part of crafting the best overall experience

Below is a picturesque waterfall experienced on a short hike …

 

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Kauai is a really laid back island – super friendly – a place where all of the locals seem to know each other (because there are only about 65,000 people who reside on the island…)

Cuisine can be anything from basic (food truck) to gourmet with many farm to table dining options available

Nightlife is almost non-existent so this is not a place to go party…it is a place to commune with nature, relax, disconnect…and experience some adventures

Typical resorts such as the St Regis, Marriott, Sheraton & more will pamper you in style… or out of the way resorts such as Waimea Plantation Cottages will take you back to a simpler life with few frills in 100 year old cottages originally used on the plantation and offering unmatched serenity

Landscapes are stunning…from the

Napali Coastline

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to …

The Waimea Canyon

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to the beaches around Princeville

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or even…if you can believe it…a hotel lobby!

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it’s amazing – for such a small island there really are a tremendous amount of experiences, varied landscapes, varied climate zones, etc. On an ATV excursion we went through a mountain tunnel from 1 valley to the next and in just over a minute experienced the largest rainfall differential that exists anywhere on the planet so depending on the specific location that you select your vacation could be in one of the wettest parts of the planet – or in a spot where very little rain falls…

There are numerous experiences to add into a package from the usual and traditional-

  • Luau
  • Hiking
  • Snorkeling
  • ATV Driving
  • Zip-lining

to the unusual…

  • Tubing through an ancient irrigation ditch
  • Exploring Napali coast in a raft
  • Helicopter over the Waimea Canyon

Here is a brief video depicting just a few of the adventures that can be experienced

Sure – you can do things on your own, but why?

EZTravelPad can connect you with some extra perks that you would not otherwise be entitled to, offer some complimentary advice, make your experience much easier and bring the price in at or lower than you can yourself…so reach out to us for much more info when you are ready to start planning your getaway to Kauai

Napa Wine Country – A Memorable Experience

By | Adventure, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance, Uncategorized | No Comments

A Honeymoon, Anniversary or other Romantic Getaway in Napa Valley

 

Is a romantic getaway on your radar this year? Are you planning a Honeymoon? Anniversary celebration? Maybe a fun getaway with some friends? With current events such as the Zika virus, terrorist threats, etc  many are opting to stay in the U.S. this year.

 

Sure, staying in the U.S. might cost a bit more than jetting off to an all-inclusive beach resort in the Caribbean but for many, sacrificing a few extra $$ and forgoing the fruity drinks with umbrellas in them are a trade-off that they are comfortable making if it means they can opt for a fantastic Cabernet in California’s wine country

EZTravelPad has cultivated a great relationship with one of the best options in the region – Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa. Not only can we expertly curate the entire adventure for you, we can leverage our relationships to your benefit and even arrange for some extra inclusions that you would not otherwise be entitled to!

Enjoy spending some quality time in one of the beautiful Bella suites…

Bella Suite The Meritage

Bella Suite The Meritage

 

Experience a morning bike ride through the vineyard….

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A hot air balloon ride followed by a champagne brunch…

 

Hot air ballon over Napa vineyard at daybreak

Spend some time lounging at the pool….

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Treat yourself to some of the nearby local wineries on a tasting tour….

Spend some time before or after in one of America’s great cities….San Francisco and the greater Bay Area

With so much to experience, and the safety and security of the “Good old U S of A” leaving you with little to worry about you will find yourselves having an unforgettable romantic experience.

For more info on this or other great options for your next great vacation experience get in touch with “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad today!

Zika Virus and Alaska….an inevitable link?

By | Alaska Cruise, Caribbean, Romance, Travel Tips | No Comments

What?     Zika Virus in Alaska?

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - Alaska

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center – Alaska

 

Well…..not yet, and entirely improbable because the variety of mosquito that carries the Zika Virus lives in the tropics, so until Alaska becomes a tropical climate (after we are all long gone and forgotten) then I don’t think that will happen.

So why the provocative headline?

Simple…because if and when Zika is confirmed to have been transmitted in the state of Florida (and when could be very soon) then the map of the world where Zika has been confirmed to have been transmitted will also include Alaska because Alaska and Florida are both in the United States – follow the logic?

So where is safe to go? Where isn’t it safe to go?

As of the latest update from Sandals resorts (the Caribbean’s leader in adults-only all-inclusive resort vacations) there have been a total of only 4 reported cases of confirmed Zika transmission within the 8 islands in which Sandals operates (3 in Barbados and 1 in Jamaica – so that means 0 cases throughout the islands of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada)

The Mexico Tourism Board reports 56 of the 65 reported cases to be in the most remote states and 0 reported cases in the very popular tourist areas of either Cancun / Riviera Maya or Los Cabos. Those areas appear to be “guilty by association”. Bear in mind that the resort areas are going above and beyond in controlling mosquito populations as well. See this link for more and see an excerpt below-

“Negrete noted that the Zika maps that have been released by the CDC simply show entire countries where there have been reported Zika cases, rather than pinpointing where Zika has been found within those countries.”

So what is the conclusion? We don’t know…it is too early to know conclusively whether or not there is a definitive link between Zika Virus and Microcephaly (the disease that can cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads and other conditions), and if there is proven to be a link then knowing definitively where it’s safe (and not safe) to live & play can still be a moving target.

So what can you do to be safe? Make your own decisions – read – ask  – think. If you decide that it’s likely safe for you to vacation at an all-inclusive resort that is taking extraordinary precautions to ensure your safety then you’ll most likely be fine….and if you decide that you don’t want to take that risk because you are thinking of becoming pregnant then EZTravelPad can also help you with a cruise in Alaska where you should be perfectly safe (as long as you’re not eaten by a bear)

Here’s a link to MUCH more info from the World Health Organization

For complimentary help with vacation planning and a best price guarantee contact “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Dreaming of….Alaska Cruising

By | Alaska, Alaska Cruise | No Comments

in a little over 5 months EZTravelPad will be cruising to Alaska – will you be joining us?

RCI_Whale Alaska_ISP

Planning for an Alaska Cruise offers many more possibilities for different sorts of adventures than the past several Caribbean cruises that I have experienced so even though I have advised many people on things that they could experience, this time it’s for me…and my wife…and there are so many options that the choices are difficult!

For sure we need to experience a whale watching expedition and since I have heard from many travel agent friends that some of the best whale watching is at Icy Strait Point – and since that just happens to be one of our stops, and since they guarantee that you will see whales at Icy Straight Point, I think this choice is a no-brainer….

 

…of course we can’t pass up the world’s longest zip-line now can we? Fortunately there is a combo tour that allows for both, and includes transportation!

As for Ketchikan and Juneau the choices might be tougher

In Juneau there are tours ranging from a Salmon Bake  – to – Helicopter & Dog Sled Tour – to – Flightseeing over a Glacier – Private Trek & Climb on Mendenhall Glacier – to – Fishing or Floating or Kayaking….not gonna be an easy choice!

It doesn’t get any easier in Ketchikan with options such as Bear viewing, Rainforest Hiking, Flightseeing in a Seaplane, plus more ziplining, whale watching, canoeing, fishing, learning about native culture and so much more….

Stay tuned as we keep planning (and let us know if you want to come along – it’s still not too late!)

Celebrity Infinity departs from Vancouver on Aug 14th for 7 nights cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage

For more info contact scott@eztravelpad.com

 

 

 

Sandals Caribbean Night & YOUR Honeymoon

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

website image for Sandals royal caribbean

For decades Sandals Resorts have been the top choice for Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, and other romantic escapes to the Caribbean.

Why? – The answer is simple…they consistently provide a surprisingly affordable luxury resort experience where food, fun and romance are carefully intertwined to create a memorable vacation experience at some the the Caribbean’s top beaches on the best islands.

Every so often EZTravelPad partners with Sandals Resorts to offer a short presentation describing the Sandals Luxury Included experience-

  • What separates Sandals from competitors
  • Descriptions of the myriad inclusions
  • Where Sandals Resorts are located
  • What the Sandals experience is all about
  • and much more…even the potential for a bonus spa credit of up to $250!!

The next presentation is located in the most convenient place that you can imagine….your living room, or kitchen, or office (that’s right – it’s online!).  It’s a fast paced webinar style presentation lasting about 45 minutes that provides a ton of info, and also gives YOU the opportunity to directly ask one of Sandals top representatives any questions you like – it’s a great opportunity to learn and earn!

The presentation will take place on Wednesday March 16 at 8PM Eastern Time

To register for this event simply click this link

You’ll be glad that you did!

We hope to “see” you there then

Sandals Caribbean Night & your Honeymoon

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

Here’s your chance to learn why Sandals Resorts are the Caribbean’s top choice for Honeymoons and Romance Travel

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For decades Sandals Resorts have been the top choice for Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, and other romantic escapes to the Caribbean.

Why? – The answer is simple…they consistently provide a surprisingly affordable luxury resort experience where food, fun and romance are carefully intertwined to create a memorable vacation experience at some the the Caribbean’s top beaches on the best islands.

Every so often EZTravelPad partners with Sandals Resorts to offer a short presentation describing the Sandals Luxury Included experience-

  • What separates Sandals from competitors
  • Descriptions of the myriad inclusions
  • Where Sandals Resorts are located
  • What the Sandals experience is all about
  • and much more…even the potential for a bonus spa credit of up to $250!!

The next presentation is located in the most convenient place that you can imagine….your living room, or kitchen, or office (that’s right – it’s online!).  It’s a fast paced webinar style presentation lasting about 45 minutes that provides a ton of info, and also gives YOU the opportunity to directly ask one of Sandals top representatives any questions you like – it’s a great opportunity to learn and earn!

The presentation will take place on Wednesday March 16 at 8PM Eastern Time

To register for this event simply click this link

You’ll be glad that you did!

We hope to “see” you there then

Sandals Resorts Zika Virus Update as of Feb 17, 2016

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Planning your Sandals Resort Trip?

Here’s an update on the status of the various islands that Sandals resorts operates on:

  • Jamaica

    • Has had only one confirmed case
    • There was one case that was recorded, but was not confirmed to be locally transmitted. The patient has been cured and there has been no known spread of the virus.
    • That same individual has already recovered and nothing since has been reported. As of February 3, CDC has added Jamaica to the list of Zika affected countries.
  • Saint Lucia

    • No Zika Virus Cases have been reported.
  • Bahamas

    • No Zika Virus Cases have been reported.
  • Barbados

    • As of February 3, there have only been 3 confirmed locally transmitted Zika Virus Cases.
  • Turks & Caicos

    • No Zika Virus Cases have been reported.
  • Antigua

    • No Zika Virus Cases have been reported.
  • Grenada

    • No Zika Virus Cases have been reported.

 

Of course things can change, but as of February 17, 2016 there does not appear to be a tremendous amount of concern for the islands where Sandals exists – but precautionary insect repellent is always advised.