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river cruises

4 Basic Mistakes Made When Planning a Honeymoon

Planning a honeymoon is supposed to be an exciting time in your life, but with so much going on around you, it’s easy to make some basic mistakes. Here are four of them that you should be careful of when planning:

Bad timing: You want a quiet time on the beach with your honey now that the festivities are over, but unfortunately you’ve planned your honeymoon smack in the middle of spring break season. Maybe your hotel is hosting a children’s dance show and the pool is busy with youngsters. Timing is everything and knowing the right and the wrong time to travel is important when planning a honeymoon. Don’t think it matters? Try planning a honeymoon right in the middle of hurricane season.

Leaving the next day: Traditionally, the wedding is held, the rice is thrown and the happy couple leaves the next day for the perfect honeymoon. It doesn’t have to be that way. You’re probably exhausted from all the planning and the partying and might even be a little cranky. If you plan your honeymoon for a few days later or even a week later, you’ll have some time to relax, pack accordingly and get ready for some fun. It’s okay to break from tradition. This is your honeymoon and you don’t want to be so tired that you won’t enjoy it.

Doing too much: Trying to jam too much into a short honeymoon can leave you even more exhausted when you get home. Instead, try to pick a few things you know you want to see or do while you’re on your trip and balance it with some much deserve rest and relaxation. If you really like the destination, you can always make a return trip for your first anniversary.

Splurging: Spending a lot of money on your honeymoon sounds logical, because after all your honeymoon is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So many couples will often blow their budgets on the trip for that very reason. Not the best thing to do. If your finances will take a hit, or if you’ll put a dent into your budget that doesn’t leave you room for other things you want to do as a couple or plans you have, then consider a smaller version of your honeymoon. If you’ve always dreamed of a two-week honeymoon to Fiji, then consider one-week instead and save the rest of the money for other day-to-day expenses if you need them.

Travel Specialist Group

European River Cruises

River cruising is a popular alternative to the large, sometimes overwhelming experience of an ocean cruise. Ocean liners can hold thousands while river cruises are smaller, and more intimate, carrying fewer passengers and offering more opportunities for interacting with your fellow shipmates. River cruises are typically attractive to an older audience without children and offer up more opportunities for interacting with your fellow shipmates. Here are some river cruises available in Europe that you might want to consider while planning your travels:

Rhine River: Europe’s longest river is a natural for a river cruise candidate. Starting from humble beginnings as a trickle of melting snow in the Swiss Alps, the river slowly grew until it reached a length that passed six countries – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. While traveling the river, look for the statue of Lorelei, a mythical mermaid whose songs are believed to lure men to their deaths.

Seine River: Looking to soak in some French culture? Then you should look for Seine River cruises. You’ll start your tour off in Rouen and head to a fishing village named Honfleur which has been painted by iconic artists like Monet. While the routes vary, a river tour of Seine is guaranteed to stop in the iconic city of Paris for a guided tour to see the sights. There are also stops at various D-Day landing beaches to add to the culture and history of the tour.

Danube River: For a wide variety of European experiences, consider a trip around the Danube River. Areas explored in this river tour typically includes Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, Bratislava and Budapest, while others settled primarily in Hungary and Passau. Activities are varied and exciting, including wine-tasting, touring castles, and walking through monastery libraries. And, of course, there’s always the nighttime entertainment when you’re off the boat.

Rhone/Soane: This river tour is for the wine fans out there. Typically traveling through Burgundy, these river tours guide you through medieval cities and wine capitals like Beaune. After touring the vineyards (with tastings!), guests also get the chance to ancient amphitheaters and maybe even visit the town of Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh famously worked.

Ask your travel agent to help you organize your first river cruise.

Travel Specialist Group

Best Group Travel Destinations

There’s nothing like enjoying a vacation with a bunch of your closest friends, or another family, or a few other couples. With a group, you are not only sharing some memories with your besties, but you’re also sharing some travel benefits as well, including:

  • Saving money: The more people you bring, the more of a discount you can get at various resorts. You can also reduce the cost of tour tickets, accommodations, and even food.
  • Safety: There’s safety in numbers and traveling with others will provide you with some extra protection. There is always someone who can watch your items while you jump in the beach or keep an eye on the kids, while the adults enjoy an off-island excursion.
  • Reducing stress: Going on a trip takes a lot of planning and doing, so the more people who are going, the more the responsibilities can be divvied up. One person can handle the itinerary, while another one books the airfare, etc.

Where are some great travel destinations for groups? Well, to be honest, any place can be a great group travel destination, but there are some that are just primed and ready for you and your closest buddies.

Las Vegas, Nevada: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, true, but what happens here is perfect for you and your friends. The energy in the city is crazy and there are plenty of affordable hotel accommodations where you can divide the cost with your friends. Go to the casinos, see a show or explore hit the nightlife at Fremont Street in downtown Vegas. Your money can go far here, unless you plunk it all down on a pair of aces.

Punta Cana: Part of the Dominican Republic, is a great place for the spring break crowd. Take your friends and go fishing, partying, swimming with sharks, and so much more.

Orlando: The best part about Orlando, Florida is that there is something for everyone, from the wee little ones to the families and for the couples and the singles. There’s everything from amusement parks, clubs, restaurants, and City Walk and Orlando knows how to treat its groups.

Miami: Close by to Orlando is one of the best destinations for groups, and that’s Miami. Like Orlando, there’s so much to do and see, including wine and art festivals, beaches to relax on, and a great nightlife scene.

Before you go anywhere, tell your travel agent that you’re traveling in a group and you’re looking for group discounts.

Travel Specialist Group

Steps to a Better River Cruise

River cruising is fast becoming a popular way of cruising, but it’s still pretty new to many travelers who are used to vacationing on bigger ocean liners. So if you’ve finally booked your river cruise, how can you make it the best trip ever?

Location, location, location: When it comes to locations, even though Europe is the leading choice for river cruises, there are also cruising options in Asia, Africa and India as well as in the United States. Fearful about taking a cruise overseas? There are river cruises in the United States. The American Queen rides down the lower and upper Mississippi rivers.

Plan ahead: Your vacation should start with some research. The more you know about river cruises, the better. You’ll know when you find a sale and what activities are available.

Pick the right cruise: Which one is best for you depends on a variety of factors, including budget as well as your personality. You can take a regular river cruise or choose one with a theme on the American Queen Steamboat that focus on music, history, politics, wine and liquors and even Mark Twain.

Say hi: River ships carry fewer passengers and are typically on a smaller boat, compared to luxury cruise liners. Less people mean more of a chance of meeting others who you can enjoy the ride with. Whether you share a dinner, drinks on the deck or an off-the-boat excursion, it all starts with saying hi to your neighbors.

Get off the boat: Yes, you’re on a riverboat excursion, but you’ll really enjoy getting off the boat to explore the towns. You can explore local museums and churches, take culinary classes or enjoy any other activity.

Buy a guidebook: Learn about the places you are visiting and what you can expect at each port. Then, let the guides teach you even more.

Use a travel agent: This is especially important if you are a first-time river boater. A professional travel agent can help you to find the right cruise in your budget, set up your activities and make sure you have all of your tickets and transfers. A travel agent can also help you to book your plane reservations and anything else you might need.

Travel Specialist Group