EZTravelPad’s 2019 Photo Contest in on – Now!

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Be a Winner in 2019!

It’s time for our 6th Annual EZTravelPad Photo Contest and you can win one of several prizes to be given away!

 

Based on participation we will be giving away some Starbucks gift cards and other swag for runners up, but the best 2 photos overall (see rules below) will win one of 2 Grand Prizes….each is a $50 Amazon Gift Card

 

We are looking for photos of your – 

 

  • Honeymoon
  • Destination Wedding (or a Destination Wedding that you attended)
  • Family Vacation
  • Friends Getaway
or any other great EZTravelPad vacation experience-
The rules are simple – and there are 2 Ways to Enter & Win- (and yes, 2 Grand Prize Winners)

 

Speed matters-

Method #1- 
Open to EZTravelPad clients traveling during the period from August 17, 2018 to September 14, 2019

Simply email your favorite photo(s) of your EZTravelPad trip with the subject “Photo Contest 2019
Quality matters- Make sure they are good ones – interesting – something you are proud of. We don’t need 50, just a couple of the best will do – photos with YOU, not just scenery or landscapes (although if you have a simply amazing photo of an iconic destination it will be considered this year)

Cut-off for submission is September 14th, 2019 so just a few weeks to get in on the action. Beginning on September 15th the EZTravelPad team will review submissions and pick the 10 best to submit to our professional photographer team for final decision on the 1st Grand Prize Winner

NOTE- By sending in your photos you agree that it is ok for EZTravelPad to use your photo(s) on our website and/or post to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and also use your first names (no last names will be used)
Email photos to [email protected] with the following info

  • Who is pictured in the photo (main characters at least)
  • Where photo was taken
  • What sort of fun was taking place at the time

 

Method #2 –Open to ALL clients who have ever traveled with EZTravelPad, but the photo needs to have been taken during an EZTravelpad booked trip

Simply…

  • “Like” EZTravelPad on Facebook (if you haven’t already you should) and then
  • Post your photo(s) to the EZTravelPad timeline and then
  • Tell all of your friends to “Like” the page and “Like” YOUR photo(s) (plus write a brief comment about what they like about the photo(s))….)
Most “Likes” by September 30, 2018 wins the 2nd Grand Prize
Simple as that, we look forward to seeing your submissions-

 

Thanks in advance and
Best of Luck!!

Northern Lights by Train through Russia incl Moscow & St Petersburg

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Enjoy an Unforgettable Adventure through Russia

Of course you think of EZTravelPad when you think of All-inclusive vacations to the Caribbean – and cruises to just about anywhere, but remember that we help with all sorts of adventures from a few days at Disney/Universal in Orlando to a full-blown luxury Safari in Africa to biking across Portugal and so much more…here’s an amazing option that you might not even know existed

Imagine embarking on a 10 day tour through the most iconic parts parts of Russia including encountering reindeer nomads, husky dog sleds, and viewing of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – and that’s not to mention spending a couple nights in Moscow and a couple of nights in St Petersburg + a couple of nights on a train

Tour includes all meals and tours

Sound interesting? Check out the video…

For more info, or to brainstorm your next big vacation you can trust “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad to be there for you every step of the way – from conception to your safe return home – always with best service and best price!

[email protected]

Shop for Travel Insurance

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Travel Insurance Coverage – Quick and EZ

A Credible Travel Protection Policy  Can Be Invaluable in an Emergency

Travel protection can provide coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Medical and Dental, Baggage, Baggage Delay, Travel Delay and much more. Plus, we offer 24-hour Traveler Assistance Service to help you with emergency situations that arise during your trip.

Many travel arrangements are non-refundable, and the best airline and cruise deals usually provide few options if you must cancel your trip. Often, your personal medical insurance provides little or no coverage when traveling abroad. And, how many times has your flight been cancelled or delayed?

EZTravelPad Offers TripAssure – a Trip Mate Brand

Why take a chance?

A good travel insurance plan can be your best resource in a pinch.

Just click here to start shopping – it’s quick and EZ

Dominican Republic – Is It Safe?

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Dominican Republic in the News Recently

There certainly has been more than a little news about the tourism industry and the safety concerns in the Dominican Republic lately –

  • Is it safe?
  • Should I go?
  • Should I cancel?

Well, I’ll take a crack at each of these questions – here goes

Is it safe to go to The Dominican Republic now?

Of course not, but neither is it safe to go to Mexico, or Europe, or for that matter, it’s not safe to go to many places in The good ole USA if you go to the wrong neighborhoods, hang out with the wrong crowd, get caught up in a situation that you knew you should not have in the first place, go to school, church, work, etc (lots of mass shootings you know). Best bet is to stay home…ground floor (stairs are dangerous).

Of course I am joking – kind of.

NO WHERE IS SAFE!! (at least that’s what the media might like for you to believe…after all, your clicks = profits for media!)

Statistically speaking you are extremely safe flying to a resort destination, finding your pre-arranged transfers at the airport, and hanging out at the resort beaches and pools all week – even if you add in a couple of organized adventures off resort! Keep in mind that you tend to get what you pay for – higher priced resorts tend to deliver more dependable quality of food so you are less likely to find food related issues at the nicer more brand-name resorts as opposed to the lower priced options – and trust me on this, the real danger is having an intestinal issue for a few days, that is not uncommon at all.

Should I go to the Dominican Republic?

That one is purely a matter of taste. If you want to go to a pristine beach at a comfortable resort hotel where you can eat, drink, dance and enjoy all sorts of entertainment options for 1 low price – then maybe so, Dominican Republic has a great array of all-inclusive beach resorts to choose from (best to get with a travel adviser who knows a thing or 2) and these resorts typically price very, very competitively. If you are looking for the kind of place where you can rent a car, drive around on your own in a beautiful tropical setting, get into adventures on your own, find the little “hidden gems” off the radar, etc then the DR is probably not for you – consider Hawaii.

If you have a level of comfort in other countries having experienced & enjoyed other places such as  Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cozumel, St Lucia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Costa Rica, etc then Dominican Republic might be a great option – if you were previously in any of the places I just mentioned and did not feel safe, then the DR might not be for you.

Should I Cancel?

That’s totally your call, it’s all about level of comfort and level of apprehension. Looking at the stories in the news media lately there are more questions that answers.

It sounds like David Ortiz might have been a victim of mistaken identity in a “hit” gone bad – tragic, but unless you are from the DR I would not suggest being out at a late night club in the capital of Santo Domingo. Bad things do happen to unsuspecting tourists all the time – in every country (including in the US).

The stories of people dying suddenly after having drank from the mini-bars, those are just baffling. I can’t imagine what the common thread could be that would have people dying quite infrequently (last I heard was 8 reports in the past year) at various hotels, different brands, and different places hundreds of miles apart. Toxicology reports will hopefully solve the mystery. If you were smart and purchased the travel protection offered when you booked your vacation then you may be able to cancel (for any reason) and get your money back so if you do want to cancel then check with your travel adviser for the best options. Don’t go if you don’t feel comfortable – your time is valuable and you should enjoy it the most!

To wrap it up, do I feel uncomfortable in the DR, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Maya? Heck no, those places are awesome for the value that they provide and I send lots of vacationers to those places all the time – almost everyone loves them! But it’s YOUR vacation – and if you feel more comfortable in a more expensive destination (Hawaii, Bahamas, Aruba, Turks & Caicos, Bermuda, Bora Bora, Cote d’Azur, etc then we sure do help with all those sorts of trips as well. Beef up the budget and go enjoy yourself where you are comfortable – but either way…GO ENJOY YOURSELF

For more info this is a link to a NY Times article from a few days ago

at EZTravelPad we like to think of ourselves as “Your friends….in the travel business” and as your friend i would never suggest going somewhere that I felt was unsafe…. reach out anytime at this link

Great deal for Christmas Vacation 2019!

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Looking for a DEAL for a Great Beach Resort during the Christmas Holiday?

 

 

 

If you want to make your 2019 Christmas Vacation unforgettable this year – and you are interested in a great beach resort….

If you are ok leaving from O’Hare in Chicago….(for best pricing)

and

If you have some flexibility “just in case” (see more on that below) then the value is outstanding!

Check out what the view from the beach will look like….

 

..and the spa!

.

 

Why “just in case”?

Well, it’s slated to open in early December 2019 but sometimes delays happen….and if so then you could potentially be redirected to another great resort in the area instead (but there’s more to explain and it’s not bad news…) .

It’s kind of a secret…and there’s a lot more to explain, but if something like $1990 per person incl flights for a week at a fantastic 5 Star All-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya during the holidays sounds appealing then let me know asap at this link with possible dates of travel and I can elaborate on details!

Of course anytime you want to talk about other vacations ideas you can always trust “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad for the best advice – and best price!

Great deal on Paris to Zurich River Cruise + $499 for flights this Summer/Fall

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You’re Considering a European River Cruise Aren’t You?

It’s ok – a European River Cruise is an amazing experience that, having experienced, I can attest – it’s unforgettable!

There are many choices (there are many rivers in Europe) but here is one that caught my attention – starting off in Paris, visiting 4 countries with 10 included tours and much more included (like food, beverages, etc)

Check out this brief video for a quick overview of a few of the highlights

But there’s much more to learn-

For Expert Help and the advice you need turn to

“Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Virgin Goes For Resort Feel On the Sea

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Think Adults-Only Resort + Cruise to Havana (and more)

Virgin Cruise Ships will debut as Virgin Voyages set sail in 2020

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Empire + Cruise + Adults-Only

One of the most exciting developments in leisure travel in recent years is the unveiling of the new Virgin Voyages brand which will set sail in the summer of 2020 with 4 Night Sailings & 5 Night Sailings to Bahamas + Havana  or Bahamas + Mexico or Bahamas + Dominican Republic (plus more to come)

What’s exciting about it?

Well, to name just a few things, the vibe, the commitment to “Green”, the inventive cuisine, the 1st Tattoo parlor at sea – and much more

The overall feel is proclaimed ‘Rebellious Luxe”

Make no mistake- it’s gonna be a party – and it’s virtually all-inclusive (except for alcoholic beverages) so bring your game and your dark sunglasses to hide the dark circles because you are over-nighting in Havana and that can make it a LATE night! (other itineraries do exist if Cuba isn’t your top pick)

 Want to see what it looks like on board?

Been On A Cruise Before? – This One Is Different…Here’s How

No Gratuities – They Are Included!

No Buffets – 20+ Innovative Dining Options!!

No Disconnecting – Free WIFI – They WANT you on Social Media!

Group Fitness Classes Included so Get Your Spin On for Free!

Lots of other ways that extra charges are NOT the style on this ship…its cruising the way it should be – care free and inclusive!

But there’s much more to learn-

For Expert Help and the advice you need turn to

“Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Another Year, Another Great Opportunity and Recognition

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It is with great pride that I announce –

 

As a recognized leader in the romance vacation market, I’ve been asked to be a part of the exclusive 2019 Romance Travel Forum!

I was personally chosen out of hundreds of travel sellers from across the US and Canada to be among this select group of top professionals!

With my destination wedding and honeymoon clients in mind, I’ll be experiencing first-hand all that Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit has to offer, including attractions and visits to the most sought-after hotel properties!

Plus, I’ll have the chance to meet with top providers on a global level representing the most romantic destinations, hotels, packaged vacations and so much more! Just 1 more reason why EZTravelPad should be your pick to help make your romantic vacation dreams a reality!

Paris in the Spring – THIS Spring!

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That’s right – EZTravelPad is going to Paris in April 2019 – Care to join us?

Scott & Michelle are going to Paris, Amsterdam & even a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, Belgium

Highlights include-

  • Non-stop flights Round trip from Indy to Paris
  • Train (round trip) from Paris to Amsterdam
  • 3 Nights hotel in Amsterdam
  • 2 Guided tours while in Amsterdam
  • 5 more nights at city center hotel near Arc de Triumph & Eiffel Tower
  • 6 Tours (both guided and independent) in Paris
  • Day trip to Bruges with  Guided Culinary Tour

All this for just over $1850pp!!

Can’t get away for the whole 10 days but want to join us in Paris for a few days?

No problem, great rates are available!

Want to strip out the tours and just go shopping, or skip Amsterdam & just stay in Paris? – no problem, the itinerary is completely customizable!

See a complete suggested itinerary at this link

Contact us for more info and availability

Help Navigating TSA

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Recently I received an email from one of our travel partners (International Holidays) with some good travel tips that I wanted to share-

In today’s world of strict security mixed with the on the go traveler, navigating airport TSA checkpoints can be a bit cumbersome and test anyone’s patience.

We’ve outlined a few steps you and your clients can use on the go.

  • Make sure you have what you need before you go through any TSA line. You don’t want to find yourself having to circle back for a forgotten necessity. Transversely, don’t bring anything you shouldn’t. Having to forfeit your favorite pair of scissors isn’t a fun way to start a vacation. 
  • Be comfortable, we no longer live in the era of wearing a 3-piece-suit when we travel. Know that you may need to remove your shoes or belt.
  • Make sure those shoes don’t lace up to your knees or require a small fortress to pull them off. Wear comfortable shoes that are easily removed and put back on.
  • Leave the jewelry at home; avoid removing and misplacing your favorite accessories.
  • Pack a snack! Airport food prices can be exorbitant. While there are many liquid restrictions (3.4oz) on what you may bring through the TSA, solid foods are allowed. A long line can be a bit more digestible when accompanied by a delicious and affordable snack. Don’t wait until you’re stuck in line and hear your stomach growling.
  • Airport lines are about as predictable as the weather. You’ll want to arrive early. Check your airport’s website for any recommended arrival times. Any seasoned traveler will tell you, “The TSA does not care if you miss your flight”. Nor will they typically go out of their way to make sure you get to your flight on time. With that fact in mind, don’t take a gamble showing up at the last minute. You could easily find yourself stressed beyond belief.
  • Get a rejuvenated start by electing to kick off your vacation at a comfortable Airport Hotel that includes complimentary shuttle service & free parking (we can help with options)!
  • Be sure to fully charge your mobile devices. Leaving electronics off until necessary will help preserve the battery. Investing in a small battery bank can allow you to re-charge your own device if everyone seems to be hogging charging station ports. Battery banks can come in useful when traveling with children who could use some ever needed entertainment.
  • “Smart luggage” can sometimes be dumb luggage. Beware of battery banks that are built into luggage as these are often unacceptable as carry-ons or checked luggage. You don’t want to find yourself buying alternative luggage at those ever so pricey airport boutiques. 
  • While not currently available due to the government shutdown, Global Entry and TSA Pre-check are both pay for services that allow for expedited airport travel. TSA Pre-check provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports. Global Entry provides the TSA Pre-check benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. TSA Pre-check costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership. Travelers interested in Global Entry must apply through the Trusted Traveler Program website.

These tips can help make airport travel more affordable and enjoyable.

Safe travels!

**Thank to International Holidays for sharing these tips!

FYI – International Holidays is a fantastic partner that we use regularly for pre-flight hotels which include parking your vehicle for up to 2 weeks & comp airport shuttles and they offer these at terrific prices so get with us for options on your next pre-flight hotel stay!