Thoughts on Ukraine

By | Adventure, Uncategorized | No Comments

This is a copy and paste from an email received from one of out travel partners, G Adventures

In case you are unfamiliar, G Adventures is one of the leading tour operators offering meaningful travel to destinations across the globe. They have a terrific reputation for delivering safe experiences and if you have an adventurous spirit you should consider the types of expereinces that they offer, and we can help advise on.

That said, I received an email from them today on the tragic situation unfolding in Ukraine. Clearly there has been much thought and consideration involved in the following statement that I wanted to share –

A statement from the founder of G Adventures

High five!


There are none so blind
as those who do not see

I never thought I would use the word ‘war’ in my lifetime — especially war within Europe — as I would have hoped we had learned from our collective experience. The past two years we have been living through a global pandemic that has caused physical separation for millions around the world. For the first time in our lifetime, we faced a common enemy, which gave us the opportunity to bring humanity together in a shared mission to eradicate the virus. We should have emerged shoulder to shoulder, more unified, compassionate and empathetic than ever before. And yet, here we are, on the precipice of a more dangerous chapter of our civilized history, driven purely by the need to divide.

For our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, the nightmare is already very real. It is unthinkable that we are faced with a scenario where a sovereign European nation has been invaded, unprovoked and without justified cause. I stand with Ukraine. I stand for freedom and democracy. We are living in dangerous times, where people are divided and looking for division and this just shows us we still have a long way to go. We owe it to future generations to do whatever we can to bridge these divides.
As a company, G Adventures has cancelled all tours in Russia and travellers booked on forward departures will be refunded. We will no longer accept Russian nationals residing inside Russia on our trips, nor will we take bookings from Russian agencies. Unfortunately, these sanctions and forced global isolation will impact everyday people who may not agree with — and who may even be brave enough to protest — their country’s politics. However, these sanctions are essential in order to apply pressure on the entire country and to invoke change. There are many fine people in Russia who are now forced to become part of the solution. At this advanced stage where war has already commenced, there are only three options: deposed leadership, a complete regime change, or retreat from actions already taken. All of these come back to an internal solution created by global pressure and unfortunately good people become an important part of the story.
I have always said travel can be the fastest path to peace, so it breaks my heart that it has come to this. If you are reading this and have the privilege to do so, please continue to be the shining light and get back out there and travel. It’s only by connecting with other cultures that we can foster connection and understanding between different countries and communities. This cultural exchange is the backbone of what I built this company on 32 years ago and it must continue.
Our travellers and team members continue to show extraordinary resilience in our commitment to delivering these life-changing experiences, even when faced with the most challenging of situations. Thank you to everyone who has stood by us and who continues to be passionate about changing the world through travel.
Travel is the most powerful way we can open our hearts, minds, and eyes to the beauty of the world, especially in the darkest of times.
Let us continue to stand together, for peace.
G Adventures.
Bruce Poon Tip
Founder, G Adventures


In an uncertain and complicated world, EZTravelPad is now, and will remain a resource for you future travel needs.



2021 Photo Contest – and The Winner is…..

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 Tnanks to all who participated in the 2020/2021 EZTravelPad Annual Photo Contest

This year, due to the disruption of travel in 2020, we rolled 2 years together and we thank everyone for their participation. We had some super-fun entries, each and every one being EZTravelPad clients enjoying their vacation booked through one of the team here at EZTravelPad

As always, it was not an easy decision, but the overall winner goes to Kristen and Greg enjoying a stroll on the beach at Great Exuma, Bahamas. See for yourself how this images captures the simple joy of enjoying a world-class destination – together!

 See several of the runners-up below-

Starbucks cards are going out to all who particpated, and an Amazon Gift Card is going out to Kristen & Greg, who were picked as the overall winners!

Thanks again & keep trusting “Your friends….in the travel business” for all of your vacation planning needs!

Oh….and fall started today, go outside, see what we’re in store for then come back inside to book a trip to somewhere warm & awesome!

Best Wishes for a happy close to 2021,

Scott Jones



Covid Test Option with 24 Hour Turnaround

By | Travel Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Looking for a solution for getting your Covid test quickly?

With international travel returning and the demand very high, more and more people are needing a Covid test which can come back quickly and reliably. Some international destinations are requiring proof of a negative Covid test in as short as 48 hours. So where do you turn?

If you are in the Indianapolis, IN or Arlington, VA area then there is an option to go to for fast results. If you are not located nearby then they have a remote option that can still offer 24 hours turnaround time!

GenePace is offering EZTravelPad clients a discount on their services – see below for details direct from GenePace

GenePace conducts COVID-19 travel testing resulting RT-PCR tests within 24 hours. If you are in the Indianapolis (IN) or Arlington (VA) area and book through one of our four locations, you will receive a 10% discounted rate when using the “EZTravel” promo code when prompted.  If you are needing our At-Home testing option, please email to get scheduled and mention “EZTravel.”  With our At-Home test, we will utilize FedEx Express Priority Overnight for shipping to ensure quick turnaround time.  GenePace wants to make sure your travel is as easy as possible when it comes to current testing regulations. Should you need a phone number it is (463)999-0558. We look forward to serving your testing needs!

Bear in mind that GenePace is not affiliated or associated with EZTravelPad, but they seem to be reliable and know what they are doing so we, at EZTravelPad, feel comfortable passing along their offer as an option to service your needs.

Additionally, there is no requirement that your travel be booked through EZTravelPad in order to take advantage of the discount, but we sure would love the opportunity to help with your next big vacation!

This is just another benefit from “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Anse Chastanet Resort is St Lucia

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One of the most in demand aspirational Honeymoon destinations for US couples is St Lucia

Among the reasons why St Lucia is such an in-demand destination are the myriad boutique resorts that exist in various locations around the island, and one of these most iconic resorts in St Lucia is Anse Chastanet.

The story of the reason for the existence of the resort, that when an architect was hiking in the rainforest he came upon an awe inspiring view of The Pitons which gave him a vision of building a hotel where the rooms were open-air so as to capture an unobstructed view of the World Heritage Site that is beyond majestic.

I could write for hours, but I think that the first paragraph from the home page of the resort’s website paints quite a picture.

“Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy believes passionately in nature. So he created a hotel that makes the foliage and the flowers, the perfumes and the peaks, the sea and the bird song an integral part of your vacation experience. The estate encompasses 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft sand beaches. Not only do you get a World Heritage Site anchored by the twin peaks on land, the resort’s two crystal-clear bays are part of a designated marine reserve protecting miles of colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.”

On a recent trip to St Lucia I had the good fortune of Scuba diving a few times near the resort and can attest that the reef here is stunning.


Certainly this is an amazing room that blends a privileged location with a rustic Caribbean style that feels like it was cut right out of the rainforest – and there are several other room options that fit every style (for example if air conditioning is a requirement). But it’s not all about the rooms – it is also about the 700 acre estate from which many of the ingredients of the meals prepared are raised organically and right on property. It doesn’t get much more farm-to-table than this.


The casual luxury of this resort is undeniable.

When it’s time to start planning your next amazing vacation then turn to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Reach out today

COVID-19 Pandemic…. Good Excuse for a Destination Wedding?

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

Availability to Re-Book Wedding in 2020 is Better at The Beach

One of the less reported but most upsetting aspects of this COVID-19 global pandemic is that so many weddings have been cancelled out of necessity. It’s beyond upsetting to consider how much time and effort so many couples poured into their dream wedding, only to see it undone in no time due to the necessities of social distancing. Just a quick outline reminds us of the work and time invested…..

  • Agreeing on an overall vision
  • Selection of the date
  • Working out the details
  • Contracting vendors
  • Inviting friends & relatives and so much more

And as you know, that’s just the outline of the tip of the iceberg!

If you are one of the very unlucky couples who became the victim of these circumstances then you have probably already begun (or are now considering) the rescheduling process – starting over, nearly from scratch, trying to coordinate schedules with booked-out vendors. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s such a puzzle!

In an additional complication of the calendar – SO MANY people were wanting a 2020 wedding date!

Untold numbers of couples put off what may have been a 2019 wedding in favor of a date ending in 2020. It seemed like a wonderful idea, but then it didn’t.

Since so many couples have booked 2020 weddings, the opportunity to reschedule later in 2020 for those who have had to cancel is greatly diminished, and the backlog for the best vendors is likely to extend deep into 2021 and perhaps beyond.

For some couples, there may exist a solution – and that is a Destination Wedding.

Here are a few reasons why Destination Weddings are so popular-

  1. Destination Weddings are super-easy to plan compared to traditional weddings – most good resorts have excellent weddings departments that specialize in and staff for give couples their “dream day” every day (not just once-a-week or less)
  2. You can combine the wedding and the Honeymoon in an amazing experience at a location in paradise with your loved ones (or just yourselves)
  3. Your wedding (the ceremony part) can be FREE – literally! (and if not entirely free, it can certainly save a ton of $$)
  4. The photo ops are outstanding (and the “trash-the’dress” photo possibilities are SO cool!)
  5. Get married mid-week because, who cares – you’re on vacation!

What Might That Look Like?

Here is a real wedding – at an amazing resort – and it could be a blueprint for your most special day….


A Destination Wedding certainly does not HAVE to be on the beach, but it is a really popular option with unlimited possibilities – just a few of which are…

Switching Gears

Since date availability for the remainder of 2020 is going to be at such a premium, and the backlog for venues (those that survive) will be ridiculous, and the vendor(s) that you fell in love with might not be available when you need them to be, THIS year, more than in the past, might be the year to consider a Destination Wedding as a solution to a problem that you could have never anticipated.

Here’s a possibility if you don’t want to put off the big day for too long (like a year or more) –

  1. Get married in paradise with those willing and able to attend
  2. Enjoy a much needed escape and create a memory to hold forever
  3. Plan a nice after-wedding party with those people not able to attend – and share in the joy that you experienced

It might not be for everyone, but for some couples this may be a really good solution.

This may just be the excuse your needed to have the beach dream wedding you always wanted!

If it’s a solution for you, (or you know a friend that it might work for) then contact “Your friends….in the travel business” who just happen to specialize in this type of trip.

When it comes to Destinations Weddings and Honeymoons EZTravelPad is one of the most recognized and respected travel agencies around.

Find out why by contacting us now at this link



Bora Bora & more on a Paul Gauguin Cruise

By | Adventure, Cruise, Honeymoons and Weddings, Romance, South Pacific, Uncategorized | No Comments

A Cruise on MS Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia’s Society Islands is Unforgettable and Completely Unique

Cruising with Paul Gauguin is unique and different in so many ways.

First, there is the size on the ship. With a maximum capacity of 334 passengers and a staff to guest ratio of 1 staff member to every 1.5 guests, the vibe, feel & level of service are a complete departure from what you may have experienced on a larger mass market ship.

The check-in experience was jaw-dropping. Literally, from the time that we arrived at the embarkation pier through the medical screening process** to the greetings, documents, getting a cabin key & making out way to our cabin where our luggage was already in room took approx 22 minutes.  We were enjoying what waited in no time!


Compared to a larger ship this is unheard of and a brilliant way to start the cruise off right.

The same convenience is to be enjoyed on a daily basis in catching the tender from ship to pier at each of the destinations experienced. It just couldn’t be more convenient.

True, you will give up a certain amount of diversity in cuisine and entertainment options vs a much larger ship, but the entertainment staff is engaging and authentic. They amplify the experience of the destination beyond just “putting on a show”. Beyond the entertainment staff known as “Le Gauguines”, the access to and the  ability to interact with the chef & other officers is truly a big plus!

Of particular interest while in Taha’a was the carving of the catch of the day – freshly caught Moon Fish was for dinner a couple hours after this video was shot…

As for the itinerary, it is iconic. Bucket List islands such as Tahiti, Bora Bora & Mo’orea as well as off the radar gems like Huahine and Taha’a were included in our itinerary which was the ever-popular Tahiti & Society islands for 7 Nights, but other itineraries a bit longer or incorporating the Cook Islands or the Tuamotus Islands or even Fiji are options as well.

One of the main reasons to choose MS Paul Gauguin is that it offers unmatched access to these iconic destinations. Other ships simply can’t get close enough, but this ship was built for the destination and even includes a watersports marina on the aft of the ship which allows for Stand-up Paddleboarding or Kayaking directly from the ship – and if you are a SCUBA diver then you’re in luck because not only is the team outstanding but the convenience of taking the zodiac from the marina to a dive site usually not more than a 5-10 minute ride is outstanding (as are the dives, with abundant sharks, sea turtles & of course…more!)


Beach Party on Private Motu off of Taha’a is an unforgettable Day in Paradise!

One of the highlights of the entire cruise is the beach day on the Paul Gauguin private motu (one of several small islands surrounding the main island) just off the coast of the island of Taha’a on the 2nd full day of the cruise. It’s like you and several dozen of your best new friends arrive at a comfortable paradise waiting with abundant beach chairs in the sun or the shade of hundreds of coconut palms. The cookout is terrific with lots of engagement with Les Gauguines including a demonstration on how to process a coconut by hand (there’s much more to it than you might imagine but it’s easier than you might think) and yes, there is a floating bar which could not be more relaxing…

On to Bora…

Then of course there’s THE most iconic island – Bora Bora. No island conjures up visions of an idyllic paradise quite like Bora Bora and there’s good reason why – it is simply one of, if not THE most beautiful island on the planet. If you enjoy dramatic mountain peaks, crystal blue lagoons and epic skyscapes it’s tough to beat. Whether it’s biking around the island, catching the food truck rodeo for dinner, paddle boarding on another small motu with private beach or simply enjoying the views as you sail away at sunset there are few destinations more memorable.

But Wait, There’s More!

A full day at Huahine followed up with a full day at Taha’a are then topped with 2 full days to experience Bora Bora, but there’s still 2 more full days to experience Mo’orea, which most people tend to agree tops even Bora Bora for sheer beauty on the island.  The view from the top of Magic Mountain is surreal – and the satisfaction of knowing that you hiked it from sea level is a reward in itself!

While the exhilaration of the 45-60 minute hike to the top is worthwhile, the entire thing can be avoided and still not miss a thing with an organized small group guided tour on an ATV or open back jeep with 8 passengers. The excursion stops at Magic Mountain as well as a few stops at Opanohu Bay, Cook Bay, a pineapple plantation (cooler than it sounds), a juice distillery for some tastings and the highlight of the day –  Belvedere Lookout- stunning!

One thing that a short blog post like this can do is to open your eyes to this type of bucket list experience, but one thing this blog post cannot do is come even remotely close to capturing the full experience. French Polynesia’s Society Islands feature unmatched beauty for sure, but the warmth and beauty of the crew and the people who call French Polynesia home is something that must just be experienced for yourself.

When it’s time for you to check this off of your Bucket list then reach out to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad.

Email us

We’re here to help – we have experience that a call center cannot match – we know people – and we work to help make your experiences as memorable as they are seamless.

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 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


  • “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!

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