Friday, December 28, 2007

Birthday Celebrations from Around the World

In 2008 celebrate your birthday the way your ancestors did!

Lithuania - In Lithunia, a garland is hung around the entire door of the home of the birthday person. The birthday person sits in a decorated chair and family members lift them up to three times.

Norway - Norwegian children dance in front of their class with a friend while the rest of the students sing a happy birthday song. Norway's national flag is also displayed outside the home of a birthday person. On the birthdays of important people, the streets in Norway are decorated with flags.

Russia - Instead of a birthday cake, many Russian child receive a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust. Children are given gifts by their teachers. Children usually play a game that features a clothesline and each guest gets to cut down a prize to take home. They have a birthday party either on their birthday or or on the weekend.

Australia - The Australian children have a special dish on their birthdays called "Fairy Bread". This is a is buttered bread covered with tiny, sprinkles known as "hundreds and thousands". In Australia too the handing over of the is symbolical of coming off age. This happens when someone turns twenty-one.

Muslim Communities - In Muslim cultures people thank Allah following the birth of a child by distributing gifts among the poor. When the child is about a week old, he is tonsured and his family donates an amount of silver, often equal too, or even more than the weight of the child's hair. Family and friends get together over a grand feast.

Argentina - Argentinian children receives a pull on the earlobe for each year of their birthday. When girls turn 15 they have a huge party and dance the waltz with their father and other boys.

Equador - In Equador when a girl turns 15, there is a great celebration, She wears a pink dress and her father puts on the birthday girl's first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her. 14 maids and 14 boys also dance the waltz.

Peru - In Peru, guests at a birthday party receives two kinds of favors which are called "recordatorio". This means souvenir. While the first favor is a goody box or a bag, the second is a pin made in honor of the event. At these parties children almost always receive fancy paper hats.

Fun Birthday Facts

In England, when you reach 80, 90 or 100 years of age, you receive a telegram from the Queen.

The French and Italian celebrate Name Days more so than birthdays.

In Korea, the two most important birthdays are the 100th day and the 60th year.

In the Islamic world, green is a good color to use for wrapping.

A Golden Birthday happens only once in a person's lifetime. It happens when the person's age and the date of the day they were born is the same.

More people celebrate their birthdays in August than in any other month. The two other months in which birthday rates are high is July and September.

The world's largest birthday cake was created in 1989 it weighed 128,238 pounds, 8 oz. and used 16,209 pounds of icing.

The most common birth date is October 5 and the least common is May 22 in U.S.A.

The Sultan of Brunei hosted the world's most expensive Birthday Party to celebrate his 50th Birthday on 13 July, 1996. The cost was a whopping US $27.2 million. Three concerts featuring Michael Jackson costs US $16 million of the total amounts.

Paul McCartney's Birth Certificate was auctioned in March 1997, for US $84,146. It is believed to be the world's most expensive Birth Certificate.

William Shakespeare's died on his 52nd birthday: 23 April 1616.

The first balloons are believed to have been children's toys, made from animal bladders and/or intestines, often filled with water. The Aztecs used to blow air into the bowels of sacrificed cats and twisted them into animal shapes and presented these to the gods as a sacrifice. Toy balloons were introduced by pioneer rubber manufacturer Thomas Hancock.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Secrets of Travel Agents

We all have our preconceived notions about travel, whether it be about booking online or that the airlines really are trying to lose our luggage. After working at a travel agency I would like to share with you the number one thing I have learned about travel......


Book early. Simple, huh?

If you wait until the the week or the month before you want to take your trip you will end up spending about two times the amount you would have spent if you had planned two or three months in advance.

Airlines are scaling back the number of flights from airports all across the world; therefore, flights fill up faster, making rates go up. Supply and demand will affect all last minute travelers. The same thing goes for hotels and car rentals. When supply runs low, fleets diminish, and rooms book up, the remaining open reservations become quite valuable and will cost you more.

Even if you don't think anyone else in the world would be headed to Fargo in January, there could be a conference, assembly, or other large event that you are unaware of.

The bottom line:
plan early - have your travel agent constantly watching prices - save money

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gift Wrap Valentine’s Day with Travel

Gift Wrap Valentine’s Day with Travel

If you’ve ever had the unenviable experience where Valentine’s Day wasn’t as sweet as you hoped – or worse – was a letdown for your partner, you probably learned a very important lesson: Plan early! So, consider this a friendly nudge to kick-start your planning and hopefully outdo yourself (or redeem yourself) with a romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day.
Because Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, you have an excellent opportunity to make it a long, romantic weekend. Your travel expert can help you navigate through the hundreds of special packages offered by hotels and resorts that include such romantic touches like spa services, a special dinner menu and reservations, in-room breakfast, chocolates, limousine pickup from the airport or flowers in your room. Maybe a quaint bed and breakfast is more appealing; they can help with that, too.

If your goal is to thoroughly captivate and delight, make it a long European weekend. Take off Wednesday, arrive on Valentine’s Day and away you go for a little amour in Paris, amore in Italy, or amor in Spain. These countries are known for indulging the senses in everything from food to romance, and you can bet your partner will be captivated the moment you land. Of course, you’ll want to be sure the trip is tailored for love, and your travel expert can guide you with restaurant recommendations, enriching activities and sites, or a perfect romantic spot to just share some heart-melting alone time. Since prices to overseas destinations are considerably lower in February, a European romantic getaway is even more affordable and, let’s be honest, will gain you considerable points with your mate.

For those with an affinity for the open road, do it in style with an upscale auto rental. Imagine the exhilarating fun the two of you can have riding in the comfort of a sleek cruiser, a high-performance speedster or, for the eco-conscious, a fuel-friendly hybrid (a fantastic option for a long trek). Many car rentals now offer a GPS system ensuring that you never get lost. Accommodations can be arranged by your travel expert wherever you intend to slow down for the evening. Now is your chance to shine this Valentine’s Day; contact your local travel agent and get a head-start on your romantic getaway.

Adventure to a New You

For all of you that are reading this out of Fargo, North Dakota....

Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit and Lady Wellness are partnering to promote "Adventure to a New You"

Sign up at Lady Wellness with no fee from now until January 31st. Their fitness experts will help you set a realistic weight loss goal to be achieved by March 31st.

Once you have met your goal you are eligible for special pricing from Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit when you book a vacation to celebrate your achievement!

By meeting your goal you will also receive health, wellness, and beauty supplies from Maps, Maps, Maps, Mad Hatters Salon, Swanson Health Products, Arbonne International, LexLi, and Tupperware.

Good luck!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

  • You are looking to ride a tiger over a bridge in India

No matter how zany or unique your request, your travel agent will make it happen just how you imagined it would.

  • You love to live on the wild-side, they love to keep you protected

No matter if you are mountain climbing, on a safari through the jungle, or sitting on the beach, your travel agent will make sure you have the proper travel insurance to cover any dilemmas you may face.

  • They get around

Most of the travel agents recommending hotels and resorts to you have been there and experienced what your destination has to offer. Most travel agencies only recommend quality resorts.

  • They have friends

Travel agencies have connections with companies all over the world. They have negotiated rates, along with personal contacts, to make your trip the best trip.

  • They do the work

All you have to do is put in one call or email. Your agent spends time researching, contacting, negotiating, and planning your dream vacation.

  • You can’t get rid of them

Before, during and after your trip your agent is working with you to make everything goes smoothly

  • They keep you out of the curtained-off security room

Travel agents have up to date information on all travel rules and regulations so you can avoid a “more detailed” search from security

  • They care about you

Whether you need a ride to the airport, or a shoulder to cry on, your travel agent will help you out.

  • They know the value of a dollar

Your travel agent knows you work hard for your money so he/she will find the best deals for you each and every time, without charging you an arm and a leg to do it.

  • They never sleep

Travel specialists are waiting to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever you need them, they will be there. If a disaster were to occur, your agent will be on the phone working to get your home quickly and safely.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Internet Flys High

Business travelers can spend a majority of their time thousands of feet above the ground, flying hours to get to a meeting or a conference. Laptops and wireless Internet have made it possible for these travelers to get some work done while waiting for their flights, but what about while they are in-flight?

Airlines are now addressing that question by offering, or by planning to offer, in-flight Internet and instant messaging.

JetBlue is one airline that now offers free email and instant messaging services on one of its aircrafts. American Airlines, Virgin, and Alaska Airlines also will be bringing the Internet to the sky in 2008.

What about those traveling without their laptop? For those travelers, Virgin America plans on linking technology to its seat-back entertainment system. This system would offer the ability to send and receive messages during flight, but not make phone calls.

"All of these new capabilities on flights will make business travel easier and much more productive. Within the next 10 years I believe Internet capabilities will be built into most aircraft. Technology is getting more and more advanced and the airlines will not want to be left behind," said Sabrina Whiting, director of sales and marketing at Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Passport Needed to Enter Canada Effective Jan 31, 2008

Effective Jan. 31, 2008
New Requirements for Entry at Land and Sea Ports from Canada

Effective Jan. 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens (19 and older) will be required to present proof of citizenship, such as 1) a passport or 2) a birth certificate or naturalization certificate supported by a government issued photo ID, when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry from Canada. Children ages 18 and under are only required to present proof of citizenship (without ID), such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or passport. If a birth certificate is presented, it must be a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. A photocopy of a birth certificate will only be accepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) if the original has been sent to the Department of State in support of a passport application. In such case, the traveler must obtain and provide proof of passport application.

These changes are significant as compared to the current and long-standing policy that allows CBP officers to accept oral declarations of citizenship from U.S. and Canadian citizens seeking entry into the United States through a land or sea border. Effective Jan. 31, 2008, oral declarations will not be accepted.

All travelers by air should be reminded to bring a passport. The passport requirement for air travelers entering the U.S. from Canada has been on the books since Jan. 8, 2007.

Please note that travelers holding NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST cards will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel. Eventually, at an unspecified date in mid-2008, the Department of State will require passports, or soon-to-be announced passport alternatives, from ALL travelers at ALL points, including air, land and sea, within the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the effective date, the State Department intends to make available a Passport Card, which is specifically designed for land and sea travel from neighboring countries. The primary advantages of the Passport Card are that it will be less expensive and smaller than a traditional passport.

In addition, several states including Washington, Vermont and New York are creating an Enhanced Drivers License that will, according to the CBP, also fulfill the proof-of-citizenship requirement at land and sea borders. Further details of these alternative products are unknown.

Since passports are the gold standard for entering and exiting the country from all foreign destinations, ALL travelers, including those traveling by land or sea in the Western Hemisphere, should be encouraged to obtain, and travel with, a passport.

The current turnaround time for a passport is four to six weeks. For information on obtaining a U.S. Passport visit or call 877-487-2778.

Specific documentation requirements for land, sea and air travel may be found at

To learn more about NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST, visit

Monday, December 10, 2007

Long flights Cause Health Concerns

According to the World Health Organization, flights that are four hours or longer can cause health problems in a small percentage of travelers. One of the more severe health problems a traveler may experience are blood clots that can form because of cramped conditions and lack of movement.

The risk of blood clots to any individual traveler is extremely low but there are ways to avoid even the possibility of any health problems.

By making sure to walk a few times during the flight and by doing small stretching exercises passengers can reduce the risk of blood clots. Passengers can also make it a point to move all parts of their bodies during flight, which will help reduce the likelihood of being sore upon arrival.
Other suggestions to stay healthy during long flights include staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, and taking vitamins. Bringing pillows, water bottles, and eye-masks are also recommended for a relaxing, healthy flight.

Friday, December 7, 2007


It is not hard to discover why Hawaii often makes it onto the top ten list for vacation destinations.
Hawaii's chain of islands features beautiful beaches, clear ocean views, stunning volcanoes, a remarkable atmosphere, and a one-of-a-kind experience that you will cherish forever.

I have talked to quite a few people who have visited the Hawaiian islands and not one of them was disappointed. Many even said it was the best trip they have ever taken.
The Hawaiian islands are comprised of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii's Big Island. Each island is unique and offers its own individual experience.
Here is some information about the islands directly from Hawaii's Convention and Visitors Bureau:
The oldest and northernmost island in the Island chain is graced with dramatic, natural beauty. Outdoor adventures and romantic escapades flourish on Kauai.
Explore the golden sand beaches of the Coconut Coast.
See the massive Waimea Canyon, "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific."
Take a boat ride to marvel at the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast.

Home to the state capitol and the majority of Hawaii's population, Oahu is a vibrant mix of natural and cultural wonders with the modern arts, entertainment, and amenities of the 21st century.
See pro surfers charge the big winter waves of the famous North Shore.
Learn about American history at the memorials and museums in Pearl Harbor.
Soak up the sun and learn to surf yourself on legendary Waikiki Beach.
With almost half of its population being of native Hawaiian ancestry, Molokai is an island that has preserved its connection to the past and its love for the outdoors.
Step back to a simpler time in the sleepy town of Kaunakakaki.
View the verdant flora in Halawa Valley.
Learn about the works of Father Damien at Kalaupapa Settlement.

Without a single traffic light, Lanai is a true island getaway for luxury, romance, and privacy away from crowds.
Play golf at Lanai's two prestigious courses.
See the rock formations at Keahiakawelo, "The Garden of the Gods."
Off-road amongst the pine trees along Munro Trail.
The second largest island is home to what some believe are the best beaches in the world, as well as Humpback whales who migrate off Maui's shores every winter.
Wake up early to catch the sunrise atop Haleakala Crater.
Stroll through historic Lahaina, and learn about Maui's whaling past.
Drive the long and winding road to Hana for spectacular scenery.

Bigger than all of the other islands combined, the island of Hawaii, or Hawaii's Big Island, is vast enough to hold 11 of the world’s 13 climactic zones—from sandy beaches to snowcapped mountains.
See the waterfalls and seascapes off the Hamakua Coast.
Snorkel, scuba, or fish off the Kohala Coast.
View Kilauea, the world's most active volcano in Volcano's National Park.
Activities that are popular in Hawaii include:
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Parasailing
  • Cliff Diving
  • Site seeing
  • Hiking
  • Shopping
  • Beaches
  • Luaus
  • Swimming with the dolphins

And the list goes on and on!

Everyone should visit this dream destination at least once in their life. Here are some tips for when you take your trip to Hawaii:
Packing For Hawaii

The weather in Hawaii varies depending on your location. For example, many of the national parks, such as Haleakala National Park and Volcanoes National Park, are located at high altitudes. The temperature will be slightly cooler there compared to when you are on the beach or in town.

The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85º F. (29.4 C) while the average daytime winter temperature is 78º (25.6º C). Temperatures at night are approximately 10º F. lower. Because of this temperature difference, plan on packing something a bit warmer to wear during the evenings.

Sturdy shoes are recommended for exploring the islands, along with bugspray and sunscreen.

Staying Safe in Hawaii

As with any popular tourist destination, remember not to leave your luggage unattended or store anything very valuable in the hotel safe, and do not carry large amounts of cash with you, as this may put you at risk of being targeted by pickpocketers.

Enjoy Your Stay

A trip to Hawaii is guaranteed to be a memorable one. The sights are amazing and the atmosphere is something that will be remembered for a long time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Romance In Gulf Shores, Alabama

Romance In Gulf Shores, Alabama

by Terry Wedding
Whether you are a newly-wed, celebrating an anniversary or just plain madly in love, there is no better place for romance than the beach. And the most romantic stretch of beach in the country by far is the sugar-sand coastline of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The warm, white sand is soft and inviting ' perfect for lounging ' and the myriad of romantic activities and boundless beautiful panoramas are ideal for romantic interludes and creating treasured memories that will warm your hearts for years to come. No matter what your budget, the duration of your stay or your intentions, don't miss the opportunity to rekindle the spark ' or a light a new one ' in Gulf Shores, Alabama.If you really want to "wow" her, try taking her on a soaring adventure into the skies. Nothing could be more beautiful or awe-inspiring than watching the Gulf Shores, Alabama coastline stretch out beneath you while a powerful helicopter pulls the two of you into the air. Book a special sunrise or sunset tour for added panoramic splendor. And if you're planning to pop "the questions," it makes the perfect backdrop. (we promise, the pilot won't look!)

If your loved one likes dolphins and other marine life, the two of you should be sure to check out the dolphin cruises and dolphin experiences offered in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Whether you would rather watch these delightful sea creatures frolic from a distance or actually interact with them in their native environment, Gulf Shores, Alabama has the opportunity for you. Watch her steal a kiss from Flipper, and then steal one (from her, of course!) for yourself. If you enjoy deep sea fishing, there are also combination packages available so that one of you can sun and sightsee while the other reels in a tasty dinner.Finally, top off your day with a hearty meal at one of Gulf Shores, Alabama's highly-rated restaurants. Whether it's down-home cooking, fine cuisine or award-winning seafood, Gulf Shores, Alabama dining is some of the best in the country. A little-known musical community also flourishes in the area, and live musical accompaniment is not uncommon at dinner.

Reserve an ocean-front table, then settle in to watch the sun set and listen to the waves lap on the shore. No matter what your plans are for after dinner, a sun-and-starlit evening is definitely the way to kick them off in the right mood.

Call Travel Travel at 701-492-5000 for more information or to book your getaway today!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hawaii - Romance in the Islands of Aloha

Hawaii - Romance in the Islands of Aloha

As one of the oldest languages, Hawaiian is a beautiful, flowing collection of words and phrases that captures the natural beauty of the islands with melody, hidden meanings and wonderful mysteries. A special language is needed to describe Hawaii, for Webster’s words cannot adequately portray the palm trees on the coast of Oahu backlit and ablaze by the setting sun, let alone the endless black sand beaches of Kalapana, the dominant rainforests across the Big Island or the cascading waterfalls that prance over Molokai’s volcanic rocks.

Yet the Hawaiian language contains no word for romance. While some say Eskimos have over 20 words for snow, Hawaiians should have over a hundred words for romance considering the islands’ idyllic surroundings, luxurious hotels, celebrated restaurants and relaxing spas. Even without the definitive word, Hawaii stands alone as the tropical beacon of romance, dedicated to the secrets and songs that stir the heart.

Romance and paradise go hand-in-hand for couples in Hawaii, defined by moonlit walks on the beach where only palm trees hear your whispers, clear ocean views from the balcony of your suite and leisurely horseback rides in the surf. The Islands of Aloha add a special backdrop that is simply unavailable anywhere else.

Small wonder that Hawaii is the number one dream destination for honeymoons in the world. It comes down to timing, for any time of the year is perfect for a romantic visit according to knowledgeable travel agents. Well versed in the ways of aloha, travel agents combine experience in finding the best air and hotel rates with extensive knowledge of the islands to give you peace of mind long before you set foot in paradise.

Peace of mind is important to newlyweds, for some weddings can be as stressful as they are joyous. Nothing relieves wedding stress more than the melodious rush of the warm Pacific waters surging around your ankles as your feet delightfully sink into the moist white sand.

Nothing is more relaxing than lying in an over-sized hammock steps away from your bungalow, waiting for the sun to slide below a crisp horizon. Hawaii is as therapeutic as it is romantic.
Which of Hawaii’s islands is the most romantic? Luckily this is not a choice with dire consequences, for each island provides a unique and irresistible charm along with the tropical elegance to create the perfect romantic setting.

The tumultuously beautiful power of creation itself is highly visible on Hawaii's Big Island, twice the size of the other islands combined and growing larger every day as its active volcano, Kilauea, sends new land into the ocean. This primordial landscape gushes with waterfalls and lush rainforests that conceal secret paths to unspoiled beaches.

On Maui, the Magic Isle, whales swim close by to admire the heavenly beaches. The best sights on the island, though, are rewarded to those who wake up at 3:30 in the morning to trek up to the top of the Haleakala volcano to catch the sun’s first peek at the new day.

Solitude is easy to come by on Lanai, Hawaii’s most exclusive island. Amazing geographic landmarks astound visitors, such as the Garden of the Gods where boulders are strewn across a crimson landscape as if abandoned by a Herculean child after playtime. The trails of the Kanepu'u Preserve always lead to wonder, while the summit of Lana'ihale, a 3,370-ft-high windswept perch, provides a view of the other islands floating in the distance like passing ships.
The roads on Molokai are few and usually empty, for there is little traffic and no traffic lights on an island where no building stands taller than a coconut tree. Steeped in tradition, its small population prefers to live by raising crops, catching fish and adhering to the old ways, creating an authentic Hawaiian experience far away from commercial luaus and vast resorts.

The heart of Hawaii beats in Oahu, where city and scenery harmoniously unite. Here you can “hang loose” at the world-famous Waikiki Beach, learn to respect the wave on the legendary North Shore and dine at Hawaii’s finest restaurants in historic Honolulu.

The islands are indeed beautiful, but for beautiful memories romance must take center stage. To ensure honeymoon bliss, hotels and resorts offer packages guaranteed to add spark and sizzle to an already perfect vacation.

Packages include amorous highlights such as champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries waiting in the room to ocean view rooms and tickets to a show. The “Passion Package” at the Kohala Coast’s Mauna Lani Bay Hotel offers unlimited golf, a professional massage and dinner for two. While the “Perfect Honeymoon Package” at the Big Island’s Hilton Waikoloa Village provides a daily breakfast, a seaside cabana massage for two, dinner and a sunset catamaran sail.

Romance and beauty in Hawaii—aloha sums it up best, a word that not only means hello and goodbye, but also love. More than a beautiful word, aloha is both prized and practiced, spreading a special warmth throughout these magical islands. It's Hawaii's unique gift to you and the world.
Discover the true meaning of aloha with a loved one the Hawaiian way. Whether it is a honeymoon getaway, an anniversary celebration or a romantic escape, your Hawaiian romance can be designed just for you. Find a travel agent specializing in romantic getaways to handle the travel arrangements, leaving you to discover new ways to say romance.
Say aloha for hello, goodbye and love. Call Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit today and discover the magic and romance of Hawaii.


PGA MasterCard Championship Golf Tournament – January

Annual Hilo Chinese New Year Festival – February

Annual Stampede Rodeo – March

Annual International Festival of the Pacific – May/June

Annual Waiki’I Music Festival – June

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival – November

Peaman’s Post Pig-Out Plunge Biathlon – December

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's a Small World After All

Disney has it right; it is a small world after all. We all get so wrapped up in our daily lives that sometimes we fail to see the grand scheme of things. From Bismarck, North Dakota to South Africa to Antarctica, everyone is connected.

Thousands around the globe affect your daily life. When there is a fire in California, the price for fruit may go up in the Midwest. When problems occur in China, imports could slow down - slowing you down at the local Wal-Mart. When an airport across the country is facing delays and cancellations because of weather, you can bet your flight may not be on time either.
How do you think that you affect others in your daily life? How do you think others affect you?

Monday, November 26, 2007

What do YOU think?

Dear Friends of Travel Travel:

What do you want to learn about traveling? Are there any tips, suggestions, locations, or means of transportation that YOU want to know about? Let me know!

Want to talk about George W. Bush and the pressure he is feeling to do something about airport delays? Lets talk!

Interested in scuba diving but don't know the rules or what you have to do? Just ask!

I'm here so you can stop searching and start getting the answers you have been looking for.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving,
The Travel Travel team

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gas Prices Affect More Than Drivers

Gas Prices Affect More Than Drivers

Fargo, ND – Consumers in the region are feeling the pain of gas prices more places than the pump. As oil prices hover around 100 dollars per barrel, businesses are scrambling to find a way to continue turning a profit.

Airlines, cruise lines and bus services have added fuel surcharges to current and already purchased tickets in order to cover their costs.

These boosts in prices have left many midwestern travelers feeling stranded. “I was interested in taking a cruise next year but the extra costs are making it difficult to afford. I love to travel so I will just have to save more money,” said Moorhead, Minn native Russell Zimara.

Most cruise lines have added a five to 12 dollar a day increase per person.

“Ninety percent of customers have been understanding,” said Lisa Brasgalla, a travel specialist at Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit in Fargo. Brasgalla says the allure of traveling has been enough of an incentive for people to continue to take vacations despite rising costs.

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit. “The higher prices have been making people more hesitant but people will continue to travel just as people will continue to drive. We can’t control gas prices so we just have to find ways to accommodate them,” said Patty Auka, travel specialist at Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit.

Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit has up-to-date information about fuel surcharges and other important travel rules and advisories. Travel Travel ensures each client is knowledgeable in regards to travel updates before he/she travels.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ski Tips

The season is upon us that many have been dreaming about all year. Skis are starting to emerge from closets and garages everywhere and thoughts are filled with visions of white mountains of snow.

Young and old alike will take to the slopes this year to continue the 5,000 year long tradition of skiing that brings millions of people exhilaration and a sense of freedom.

Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit would like to offer beginners, along with experts, the following tips:

The Length of Ski Trips Should Depend on Schedule and Budget

A ski vacation can be enjoyed at any length of stay. Any vacation can be custom designed by a travel specialist to optimize a skier’s interests during their stay.

Packing can be Tough

Packing for a ski trip generally is more of a burden than packing for any other trip. Make sure to make a list of everything you will need. Don’t forget that on ski trips you will need inner and outerwear so you can fully enjoy your experience.

(For more tips on packing check prior entries in this blog.)

Get the Right Gear

Make sure before hitting the slopes that all gear is thoroughly inspected. Properly fitting boots are vital for skiers. Boots should feel snug, but comfortable.

Know Before you Go

Before making reservations at a ski resort evaluate your priorities. Depending on skill level, some resorts may be better than others. Some welcome children, while others are more geared toward adults. Make sure to find the best option.
Eat Right

To get the most out of your ski adventure, make sure to eat a hearty breakfast filled with carbohydrates and protein. These foods will boost energy needed for an active day.

Contact Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit for more great skiing advice and specials on some of the best places for skiing.

SKI Magazine’s Top 10 Ski Resorts for 2007

Deer Valley, UT
Vail, CO
Whistler/ Blackcomb, BC
Aspen, CO
Snowmass, CO
Park City, UT
Brekenridge, CO
Beaver Creek, CO
Steamboat, CO
Sun Valley, ID

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tips for more convenient Holiday Travel

If you are traveling via air this holiday season, there are some things that you can do to make your travels more convenient and less time consuming. Happy Holidays to all!

1. Know before you go.

Familiarize yourself with the 3-1-1 rule.
The 3-1-1 refers to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) guidelines that limit each airline passenger to three ounce bottles or less, one quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag, and one bag placed in the screening bins at security. There are some exceptions, like baby formula, milk and prescription medications. You should make sure to declare those items at the checkpoint.

2. “Simplifly” your overall security experience.

The TSA asks passengers to practice these additional measures to make the airport screening process easier:
· Pack an organized carry-on bag to help security officers see what’s in your bag. Do a layer of clothes, then electronics, more clothes, then toiletries.
· At the checkpoint, have your boarding pass and ID ready for inspection.
· Remove your coat and shoes and place them in a bin.
· Place larger electronics such as laptops and DVD players in a separate bin (iPods and smaller electronics can stay in your carry-on).
· When in doubt, leave it out, or check the TSA’s Web site to see the list of prohibited items:

3. Two key pieces of advice for holiday travelers to remember: Come early and be patient.

Expect crowds. Be patient. By following the above tips, it will help ensure your journey starts off on a positive note. Other holiday travel tips to consider:
· Do not wrap gifts – they are subject to search.
· Most bottles of alcohol cannot be carried on due to the 3-1-1 rule.
· 3-1-1 also applies to holiday items like perfume, after shave, lotions, salad dressing, salsa, creamy dips, jams and jellies.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Belize - What a sight!


Belize has seen its share of visitors throughout history. Pirates, traders, the British, slaves and loggers, at one time or another, have cut a life into the country’s wild jungles and Caribbean coastline. Today, a new visitor fuels the economy for Central America’s newest country: the tourist.

Most start in Belize City, the coastal town and former capital of Belize (the government moved to centralized Belmopan in 1970), which is accessible via cruise ship or by a handful of U.S. and Caribbean-based air carriers. As the cultural and business epicenter of Belize, allow a day or two to explore the city’s winding streets, peruse street vendors and shops, and soak in the varying architectural influences – from small shacks to the sturdy English colonial structures, some of the last remaining vestiges of the British colonization of Belize. That British influence is also why English is the country’s official language.

But tourists rarely visit just for the ambiance and history of Belize City. With the second longest barrier reef in the world, vast expanses of rain forest and mountains, and an abundance of Mayan ruins tucked within the lush surroundings, it’s what lies outside the city that has made tourism Belize’s largest industry.

The barrier reef, running parallel to the coastline for 185 miles, is a diver’s delight with a diverse eco-system of differing coral sizes, shapes, colors and aquatic species, including turtles, manatees and crocodiles. On the surface, the popular cayes (pronounced “Keys”; low-lying islands made up mostly of sand or coral) of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye and their hotels, resorts and restaurants provide a pleasurable diversion from the reef activities.

Moving inland, tropical rainforests, caves and waterfalls make for spectacular adventures and photo ops. Hiding within the lush surroundings throughout the country are Mayan ruins. From Belize City, a favorite Mayan excursion is to the ruins at Altun Ha, a major ceremonial and trading post during the Post Classic and Classic periods and is the most excavated site in Belize.

With roughly 294,000 residents taking up a land mass about the size of Massachusetts (which by comparison, has over 6.4 million residents), there is plenty of space for visitors to explore Belize’s countryside and coastline without feeling crowded. For more information on Belize and the many educational and ecotourism adventures available, contact your local Carlson Wagonlit Travel expert.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Babymoon becoming ever more popular

The term “babymoon” is relatively new to expecting mothers’ lexicon. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s become a fast-growing trend for pregnant women to get in a little vacation, or “babymoon,” before the baby is born – a much deserved last hurrah before the long days and often sleepless nights of parenting set in.

The trend has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon with small B&Bs and five-star hotels from London to Los Angeles, Dubai to Atlanta, offering packages designed to pamper moms-to-be.

Packages can include special amenities such as a pillow menu, relaxing oils, a subscription to a parenting magazine, sweet treats such as ice cream or cookies, a baby welcome gift, and if the property has its own spa, a prenatal massage and spa treatments to help soothe pregnancy aches and pains. Most packages are designed for two, so there is usually a romantic touch slipped in such as special dining arrangements, flowers and a couples massage or spa treatment.

The upscale W Hotels is one of the larger hoteliers to offer a babymoon package at locations nationwide. Their “Baby Me” package includes many of the amenities mentioned, and also includes a stylish baby bag, a baby onesie, and a photo keepsake (at select locations).

Enjoying a babymoon is the easy part, but for many pregnant women, travel can sometimes be a challenge, so you should carefully consider the transportation means based on your pregnancy stage and health. The fastest, of course, is hopping on a plane, but the comfort factor (not to mention the potential for delays) could be a deterrent unless you’re in first class. You’ll want to check with your travel expert on your preferred airline’s guidelines for pregnant women; some require a doctor’s notice to permit you to fly particularly in later stages of pregnancy. Rail travel is a safe and comfortable alternative, but travel time to your destination can be a bit long. However, you’ll have plenty of leg room, space to get up and stretch, and restrooms and dining cars when the need arises. It’s wise to discuss your travel plans with your doctor before you make any final arrangements.

If you’re an expecting mother, take the first step to a stress-relieving babymoon getaway by calling Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit.

Flying this Holiday Season

Despite high-profile media stories about airlines’ on-time performance over the summer, industry experts are still predicting that Santa will have plenty of company in the skies this holiday season.

On-time performance by the nation’s carriers struggled over the summer with nearly 30% of flights delayed in August. According to federal statistics on the 20 biggest U.S. airlines, service complaints were up as well: 1,717 in July and dipping just 4.8% in August with 1,634 complaints. To compare, there were just 864 service complaints reported in August 2006.

Of course, delays and mishaps will happen, but understanding a little about how the airlines handle certain situations can help ease your travel experience.

It starts at check-in. Airlines can cancel your booking if you don’t arrive at your gate on time, and they are not responsible for delayed luggage if you check-in late. If you are running late, most security checkpoint lines are longest next to airports’ dominant air carrier’s check-in stands; by heading to another checkpoint you’ll often find shorter lines – most gates in an airport are accessible from all security checkpoints, except those with multiple terminals.

If your flight is oversold, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to ask for volunteers to give up their seats in return for compensation. The compensation varies by airline, so talk to the gate agent on what can be expected (negotiating a deal is common). If you’re involuntarily bumped, compensation varies by airline and you’ll receive a pamphlet detailing your rights. Hint: Some airlines bump passengers based on their check-in time so consider checking in online up to 24 hours in advance of the flight. You can do so even if you plan to later check luggage.

Cancellations are another story, since each airline handles these situations differently and compensation is not a DOT requirement, though most airlines do extend some sort of compensation if the cancellation was within their control.

These situations can often leave a traveler feeling helpless, but by booking your travel with a travel expert you’ll have a powerful advocate on your side. While the rest are waiting for answers, a call to your travel expert can help expedite a resolution to your situation by finding another flight option. The other passengers? Well, they’re on their own.

Knowing what could happen and how it could affect you, head to the airport this holiday season with the secure feeling that comes from booking your travel with Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Travel Tips - Packing your Bags

Author: Darlene Berkel

A vacation is supposed to be a way to have fun, not an army training experience where you lug a heavy pack for miles and end up sore and tired.

It can be difficult to decide what, and how, to pack. Hopefully this guide will help you decide what is important and what to leave at home. Planning in advance can help you remember the useful things, and stop the panic that happens when you forget the essentials.

One of the most basic travel packing tips is to make a list. A list makes for an easy way to make sure you remember everything. Make sure to check your items off the list as you pack your bag. Trying to remember everything will just lead to you either forgetting something or packing something twice.

Selecting Luggage

Picking the right suitcase, or suitcases, will make your journey much easier too. If you want to use a carry-on, check with your travel agent to make sure your suitcase is the right size. If your bad turns out to be too big to carry-on you can always check it with the airline.

When selecting a suitcase, look for one that has a sturdy, pull out handle, and wheels that are made of a durable material. Be wary of ones with small handles that are attached directly to the material of the case, as these can often tear or come loose.

If you need to pack expensive evening wear, or garments that wrinkle easily, some people find that putting them in a garment bag first, then loosely laying it in the suitcase without making any hard folds, can help it survive the journey intact. If you have to cram your suitcase full of clothing, then you may have to make use of an iron at the hotel.

Make sure to have your name and address on your luggage in case the airline happens to lose it. Also, tie a ribbon around the handle of your suitcase. This will make the process of picking up your bag at your final destination much simpler. Many suitcases look alike, with your colored ribbon, your suitcase will be easy to distinguish.

Packing Your Suitcase

Many people find that rolling clothing, instead of folding it, can prevent wrinkles, and also makes the clothes take up less space in the suitcase.

If you are going on a long trip, then you may find that it is better to pack a wardrobe based around one or two colors, so that you can mix and match items to make your wardrobe last longer. Colors such as black, navy and khaki make a good base choice as they 'go with everything'.

Make sure that you take your medication, travel documents, and other essential items in your carry-on luggage. You may need a note from your doctor if you wish to bring liquid medication on board.

If you are stuck for ideas on what to pack, there are lots of web sites that offer tips and advice - you can even download pre-done packing lists and just tweak them to your own liking. Let me know if you need one of these lists.

However you do it, just remember that a little preparation before you leave will go a long way towards making your trip more enjoyable.

What do you think is important when it comes to packing?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tourism is going green!

Tourism is “Going Green”

It is getting hot in here and according to experts, it is going to get even hotter. By 2100 the earth’s temperature will rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The numbers may seem small but even the slightest rise will have a tremendous effect on the world.

Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit in Fargo is proudly celebrating World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) on November 14. Tourism is “going green” in order to preserve the world we live in. WRTD is about keeping “our beaches clean, preserving our stunning scenery, saving wildlife and appreciating our historic buildings and precious heritage”.

“There is a lot travelers can do to help preserve our environment,” said travel specialist Katie Rahr. Some of her suggestions for traveling green include the following:
· See the country by train – Train travel harms the environment far less than any other travel
· Take a bicycle tour of an area – Not only will you help your health you will also reduce carbon emissions and have a completely different experience in the area.
· Check your luggage on flights – Checking luggage reduces the waste from thrown away three oz liquid containers that are carried on.
· Give the cleaning crew a break – Don’t have your sheets and towels washed each night of your hotel stay.
· Invest in a Nalgene bottle – Refill one plastic bottle instead of continuously buying and throwing away bottles of water
· Rent a hybrid car

Along with promoting environmental efforts, Travel Travel is encouraging travelers to have a positive impact on the beautiful environments they visit by giving back to the people who live there. Voluntourism involves people from all age groups and all classes traveling globally to give aid to communities and people in need.

Each year Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit assists several clients in traveling to other countries with the specific intent on assisting the people who live there.

If you would like more information on voluntourism or World Responsible Tourism day please call Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit at 701-492-5000 or visit us online at

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No one puts baby in the corner!

You've watched the film about a million times, bought the special edition DVD, danced for hours to the soundtrack, seen the musical and regularly drop "I carried a watermelon" into everyday conversation.

Well why stop there? If you really want to celebrate Dirty Dancing's 20th anniversary in style make like Baby Houseman and take a trip to the real life Kellerman's at Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia, USA. The resort - where everything from the dance classes to the cabin scenes were filmed (head to North Carolina for the famous lake lift) - is hosting a series of Dirty Dancing weekends. This is your chance to shake your maracas like poor old dance instructor Penny and learn the salsa, tango and meringue. Unfortunately Patrick Swayze will not be in attendance. Tour the grounds and try to beat other Dirty Dancing fanatics in a trivia competition and find out why, even twenty years later, no one is putting Baby in the corner.

For more information on flights and special deals please feel free to contact Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit at 1-800-999-3688

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spring Break Advice

If you plan on traveling during the "spring break" time frame this spring I encourage you to book as soon as possible. The following is a poll of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Specialists from across the country:

When should Spring Break travelers book vacations to lock in best value?

36% Right now!
55% They should have done so a month ago or earlier.
6% By end of November.
2% By end of December.
2% By end of January.

total votes: 53

Flights and hotels are filling up fast.
Call 800-999-3688 and talk to a Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit travel agent today!

Travel Poll

When it gets cold outside

Fall is here and winter is quickly approaching. According to Fox News it is supposed to snow tomorrow night. Although winter is one of my favorite seasons, it is this time of the year that always has me longing to take a vacation to somewhere warm. While living in Florida, I realized fall was a great time to head to a warmer climate because the killer heat of the summer was gone, along with many families with children in school.

Below are some pictures from a trip to Fiji. It would be awesome to be there right now! Have you ever been to Fiji? What was your favorite part?