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?

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Responsible Tourism Day is coming up...more information on this to come....

World Responsible Tourism Day is coming up...more information on this to come....

WTM World Responsible Tourism Day supported by the UNWTO on Wednesday 14th November 2007, is the first opportunity for travel and tourism to become one powerful and unifying force. A chance to make a real difference that will keep our beaches clean, preserve our stunning scenery, save wildlife and glory in our historic buildings and precious heritage.
There is a responsibility too to help local people wherever they might be, provide them with shelter, jobs, clean water, food and education. Protect them from exploitation, corruption and deceit.

Making the difference personally and corporately is what WTM's World Responsible Tourism Day (WTM WRTD) is all about.

Keep Your Home Safe While Out Of Town

Keep Your Home Safe While Out Of Town

Fargo, ND - According to the Fargo Police Department nearly 50 garage break-ins have occurred in the past month alone. With the holiday travel season right around the corner even more people will be away from home for extended periods of time, leaving homes and garages vulnerable. Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit would like to encourage residents to keep their homes and garages safe while they are out of town by doing the following:

  • Lock all of your windows and doors in your home, car and garage ------Many break-ins occur because the car or house is unlocked and easily accessible. Making it difficult to enter your home may just be enough to encourage the burglar to move on.
  • Remove all hidden keys outside your home
    You may think your hiding spot is ingenious but criminal minds are clever and, in many cases, the "hidden" key is nothing but easy access.
  • Set lights and a radio or tv on a timer
    Making yourself appear to be home is one of the best ways to ward off intruders.
  • Close your blinds and curtains
  • Remove all valuables from your car and garage, including cameras, ipods, stereos, and tools
  • Contact trusted neighbors and inform them of your trip
  • Contact your local police department and let them know how long you will be gone

    Many local police departments will issue extra patrol of your neighborhood while you are out of town. The Moorhead Police Department even has a request form on their website: http://www.moorheadpolice.com/.

    Failing to secure homes and garages before leaving town will only add stress to what should be a relaxing trip. Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit wants every resident to feel safe and happy during the fall and winter seasons.

Travel Scams are Everywhere

I have never been scammed and hate that people out there are ruining the travel industry by ripping people off. Here are some things to look for when booking your trip:

How to Avoid Travel Scams

If you have been offered a great bargain on a cruise or resort vacation, but you cannot seem to get all the details unless you pay the company first, you may be dealing with a travel scam.


Typically, scam operators won't give you full and complete information in writing until after you've given them a credit card number, certified check or money order. Once you do get further information, there will be restrictions and conditions which may make it more expensive, or even impossible, to take your trip. Click here to see a mock scam site by the Federal Trade Commission.

While getting a refund is sometimes possible, it's better to avoid paying anything in the first place. While there is the remote chance that you might miss a legitimate deal, chances are you will save yourself time and money in the long run.

To help avoid being a victim of a travel scam, the American Society of Travel Agents provides the following suggestions when evaluating travel offers:
» Be extremely skeptical about postcard and phone solicitations which say you've been selected to receive a fabulous vacation;
» You should receive complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total price; cancellation and change penalties, if any; and specific information about all components of the package;
» If you insist on calling a 900 number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks;
» Walk away from high pressure sales presentations which don't allow you time to evaluate the offer, or which require that you disclose your income;
» Be suspicious of companies which require that you wait at least 60 days to take your trip.

If you think you've been scammed, contact your local Better Business Bureau, your local or state Consumer Affairs Office, state attorney general's office, or e-mail ASTA's Consumer Affairs Department at consumeraffairs@astahq.com for information and assistance.


Often you will find advertisements for travel packages to major sporting events, like the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 or the World Series. Many of these offers are legitimate, but there have been instances in the past where consumers have been scammed by unscrupulous vendors who never had tickets to the event.

"Every year, we hear reports of sports fans whose travel plans were ruined by a questionable organization with an offer that sounded too good to be true," said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Hudak, CTC. "A good travel agent knows which questions to ask and what to look for in a legitimate sports travel package. Many people aren't aware, for instance, that under the U.S. government's 'Truth in Ticketing' rules, a tour operator advertising a Super Bowl travel package that includes a flight and game tickets must have the game tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before they can even advertise."

Before you buy a sports travel package, be sure to carefully read the tour brochure and any other solicitation material and pay by credit card, where possible, so you can be protected under federal fair credit practice laws.

Side note: I recently saw that Travel Travel Carlson Wagonlit is currently promoting a Nascar charter flight to Las Vegas from Feb 28 - March 3, 2008. The package includes airfare, turn one tickets or Earnhardt Terrace tickets along with your choice between the Orleans Hotel, Monte Carlo, or Plaza Hotel.

Healthy Travel Ensures a Great Time!

The holidays are quickly approaching (approximately 60 days until Christmas) and according to a recent survey of Carlson Wagonlit Travel agencies across the United States travel to all-inclusive resorts is the most popular type of journey that agencies are booking for the holidays—including Thanksgiving and Christmas through New Year’s. Having the whole family visit any destination was the second most popular choice, followed by cruises, visits to sunny/warm destinations, and traveling to see relatives, respectively.

High travel combined with the winter season can lead to health problems. Therefore a few tips on how to stay healthy:

Don't Take a Vacation From Health

The stress and excitement of travel can make you more likely to get sick, but if you follow a few simple tips, you're more likely to stay healthy throughout your trip - and your trip will definitely be more enjoyable. The good news is that as a teen, your immune system is as strong as an adult's, but lack of sleep and a poor diet can make it easier for you to become sick.

The first thing you should do if you're heading overseas is to find out what kinds of vaccinations you'll need in advance because different countries have different requirements. In the United States, contact your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a list of necessary vaccinations. You'll want to allow plenty of time for this step in case you need to get vaccines that require more than one dose.

Common Travel Troubles

Three of the most common health problems that you may experience when traveling are jet lag, altitude sickness, and diarrhea. When you fly across time zones, the differing amounts of light can change your internal body clock, resulting in a condition known as jet lag. Jet lag may cause some symptoms that are bummers on a fun trip, including upset stomach, insomnia, and tiredness.

There are some things you can do to combat jet lag; for example, if you're traveling from west to east, you should stay out of the sun until the day after your arrival. If you're flying from east to west, go for a brisk walk as soon as possible after you arrive.
Altitude sickness is caused by dry air, a decrease in oxygen, and low barometric pressure when you travel to a higher altitude than you're used to. As a result, you may have problems, such as headaches, dehydration, and shortness of breath. Some people are affected at 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), but others aren't affected until they reach altitudes of 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) or more. Find out what altitude you're traveling to before you go to see if altitude sickness could be a problem.

The best prevention for altitude sickness is to gradually increase your altitude every day to get used to it. If that isn't possible, a drug known as acetazolamide can help relieve and even prevent symptoms of altitude sickness. If you think that you might get altitude sickness, talk with your doctor before you leave home.

The topic of diarrhea may seem gross, but it can be a serious problem. Traveler's diarrhea, known as turista, often occurs when a foreign type of bacteria enters your digestive tract, usually when you eat contaminated food or water. The best way to prevent turista is to be very careful of the food you eat and the water you drink on the road.

Safe Eats and Drinks

So what foods are safe to eat? Any foods that have been boiled are generally safe, as well as fruits and vegetables that have to be peeled before eating. Avoid eating uncooked or undercooked meat or meat that is not cooked just prior to serving.

Stay away from foods that require a lot of handling before serving. Here's an example: Nine friends ate at a restaurant when on a school trip overseas; eight had diarrhea the next day. The one who didn't get sick was the only one who had ordered a dish that didn't need to be touched by human hands right before serving.

One of your favorite foods at home is on the safe list on the road - pizza! Pizza dough, sauce, and cheese are foods that are less likely to spoil than others, and the high heat of a pizza oven tends to kill any harmful bacteria in the food.

You've probably heard that you shouldn't drink the water in some countries overseas, but did you know why? Water supplies in many developing countries are not treated in the same way as water supplies in developed countries; various bacteria, viruses, and parasites are commonly found in the water. Many experts suggest you drink only bottled water when traveling. If you need to use tap water, you should boil it first or purify it with an iodine tablet. Even if you're brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, drinking a small glass of water to wash down pills, or adding ice to your drink, first take precautions to ensure the water is safe.

You Can Take It With You

When you're packing, you'll want to include any medications and other medical supplies you use on a daily basis because they may be hard to find in another country if you run out. Even if you can find them, there's a good chance the formulations will be stronger or weaker than the ones you're used to. These may include any prescriptions you already take, such as inhalers, allergy medication, and insulin, as well as contact lens cleaners and vitamins.

Packing an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen and diarrhea medication is also a good idea. It's a good idea to pack some over-the-counter allergy medication even if you don't take it at home. People sometimes unexpectedly develop allergic reactions to the pollens and other allergens found in a new environment. Those with asthma or other allergies can unexpectedly react to these new substances.

Write It All Down

Even if you watch what you eat and drink and get enough rest while you're traveling, you may still get sick. The good news is that you'll probably be able to find competent medical care. The key is knowing where to go. Most travel guides suggest you go to a hospital where English is spoken or U.S.-trained doctors can be found. For this reason, it's a good idea to always carry a written copy of your medical history with you.

Having such important information available in one place can help health care workers make appropriate decisions, and you won't have to worry about forgetting important information at a time when you're likely to be upset and not thinking clearly.

Before you leave your home sweet home, create a medical history form that includes the following information:

  • your name, address, and home phone number as well as a parent's daytime phone number

  • your blood type, immunizations, your doctor's name, address, and office and emergency phone numbers

  • the name, address, and phone number of your health insurance carrier, including your policy number

  • a list of any ongoing health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS

  • a list of current medications you are taking and pharmacy name and phone number

  • a list of allergies to medications, food, insects, and animals

  • a prescription for glasses or contact lenses

  • the name, address, and phone number of a relative other than your parent

Basic Safety

It's easy to let your guard down when you travel. After all, you're more relaxed and there are so many new sights to focus on. In addition to paying attention to your personal safety (avoiding secluded places and not walking alone after dark), you'll need to reset your thinking when it comes to traffic safety, too. The rules of the road aren't the same overseas as they are at home.

In some countries, people drive on the opposite side of the road and you'll need to be aware of this before you cross the street - look in the opposite direction from the one you're used to. Pedestrians don't always have the right of way overseas, either. Be sure there are no cars coming when you step into the street: If there are, they may not stop for you!

If you practice these healthy hints you can focus on the scenery - not medical emergencies - and return home with nothing more troubling than some tacky souvenirs!