We’ve all said it at least once in our lives: “I need a long vacation!” Well, while long vacations such as luxury cruises or a week in the mountains are certainly wonderful, it could be that you just need more vacations. We’re not talking about taking four or five weeks off from work every year, either. Just a day or two away from your normal routine several times a year could be better for you than one long trip in a blue moon.
Stress Happens All Year
You fight against stress almost every day. Some days can be worse than others, but you’ve come to know at least some amount of stress as a constant daily companion. It stands to reason, then, that taking more frequent breaks would do more to help you combat that constant stress than trying to fit a year or more worth of decompression into one extended break.
Besides that, planning for one big vacation often brings its own unique stress with it. Packing, organizing, planning, and traveling, combined with upsets in sleep cycles and eating schedules can take a lot out of you when it’s for extended periods. That doesn’t mean you should swear off that luxury cruise or never call your travel agent again, but it is important to be aware of the stress so you can balance it and still enjoy your time away.
Frequent Vacations are Manageable
Your travel agent can help you discover numerous ways to enjoy just a day or two of free time and come back feeling refreshed. With these mini vacations, you don’t face unmanageable expenses, you probably won’t spend too much time traveling, and you don’t have to pack up the entire house to be sure you have everything you need. You get a break, have some fun, and come back feeling like you actually had a break rather than like you just came off of a second job. Give it a try!
At Brentwood Travel in St. Louis, we can help you plan any type of trip from a weekend getaway to your dream honeymoon trip. Call (314) 439-5700 to ask about our cruise deals, all inclusive vacations, or how to plan a custom trip special just for you!
In Defense of All-Inclusive Resorts
This morning, a few of our consultants saw a story on The Today Show where Jeff Rossen tried to prove that all-inclusive resorts are not really a good value. His producer paid an all-inclusive rate, while he paid as we went. In the end, she paid more with her flat rate than he did for the exact same vacation experience.
The original story can be seen here: http://www.today.com/money/all-inclusive-rate-really-best-vacation-bargain-t82896
Our consultants were not pleased with this story. In general, they felt that Rossen was misrepresenting the value of an all-inclusive resort, and viewers are not getting the whole story.
Here is what a few of our all-inclusive specialists had to say on the subject:
Stephanie Turner, CTC, President & CEO:
There are definitely some valid points in this story, but it doesn’t really explain the real value of an all-inclusive. For someone who is really going to enjoy the experience to the fullest, they will get the most bang for their buck when they choose an all-inclusive. It is worth it for my family because the kids can try new things and we don’t have to worry about wasting money when they don’t like something.
If someone comes to us and says that they really aren’t big drinkers, and maybe they aren’t going to eat three big meals a day, we will certainly steer them away from an all-inclusive because it is not going to be a good value for them. However, for someone who will really take advantage of all the food, drinks, activities, etc., it will be a fabulous deal.
Stacey Acree, Vice President:
The biggest flaw in this story is that at a normal all-inclusive resort, a single buying an all-inclusive package means paying a single cost for a room that is meant for two people. Resorts expect two people in a room, so having a single in a double room is really not that much cheaper.
This resort is unique in that it is not an all-inclusive resort, but a regular resort with an optional all-inclusive upgrade. If it was a comparison of two couples at a true all-inclusive resort, one paying a flat rate and one paying as they go, there would be no competition. The pay-as-you-go couple would be paying double the price, while the other couple would be paying only a bit more than what she paid for one person.
For example, let’s look at the Iberostar La Romana. Included in your price are unlimited meals, snacks, premium domestic and international beverages, entertainment, live shows and non-motorized water sports. The following price comparisons are for three nights next month:
Single Occupancy Rate: $564.90
Double Occupancy Rate: $907.20
With the double rate, each person is only paying $453.60 total, saving over $100.
If you have an individual using an all-inclusive it will cost more, because while the hotel could have two paying customers in that room, they instead will only have one. As a result, a single occupancy at an all-inclusive is more expensive on a per-person basis to make up for the difference. This applies to cruise lines as well who charge a higher rate for single occupancy in a cabin.
Cathy Robinson, CTC, Group Travel Coordinator:
The most important thing to remember about an all-inclusive vacation is the value - what all you are getting for your money. Most of the time, your flat rate includes your transfers to and from the airport, all your resort gratuities (no need to tip waitstaff, maids, bartenders, etc.), minibar and sometimes room service, most activities, specialty restaurants as well as buffets, and more.
People love this type of vacation because it is so easy to plan and budget. You have your entire trip paid in full before you step on the plane, and there will be no surprises on your bill when you check out.
I have clients who have gone to both all-inclusive and pay-as-you-go resorts, and most of the time they will prefer an all-inclusive experience.
Michelle Busse, Travel Consultant:
All-inclusive resorts have to come up with their pricing based on what they think the average person will eat and drink. If you are not one to eat and drink until you can’t move, then you might not technically get your money’s worth. If the woman in the report had truly eaten, drank, and done everything she wanted, she would have gotten more value for the same price.
If you choose to go on a pay-as-you-go vacation, you will be more likely to make more modest choices with your dining and pay more attention to the price tag, and at these resorts, the modest choices are still going to be very expensive.
I’ve had clients who have had the option of paying as they went, or paying a hefty upcharge to make their trip all-inclusive, and they will often pay the extra upfront. People don’t want to have to keep reaching in their pockets for their wallets or scour the menu prices everywhere they go. It makes your vacation so much more relaxing if you don’t have to worry about money for the length of your stay.
For guests who book a Big Five Tours and Expeditions journey to any of their destinations by June 30, 2016, Big Five will adopt an orphaned elephant or rhino for one year in your name from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya.
Their Orphans’ Project has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.
For more information about Big Five Tours and Expeditions, or the Adopt an Orphaned Elephant or Rhino program, call Brentwood Travel at (314) 439-5700.
The Sydney Opera House is a celebrated work of architectural genius. It was inaugurated in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, and visitors have long marveled at the interlocking shell structures that comprise its vast exterior. These magnificent structures rise above a series of stepped terraces.
Visitors can stroll along the terraces before enjoying a performance at one of the Opera House’s two performance halls. The Opera House also offers a breathtaking view of the Sydney Harbor. If you visit the Opera House, take advantage of the guided tours; you’ll learn about its architect, John Ultzon, and the 3,000 events that take place there every year.
Its first performance was a production of War and Peace by the Australian Opera. Since then, the famed Sydney Opera House has come to symbolize Sydney and Australia itself. In 2005, the structure was included on the National Heritage List.
Visit the Sydney Opera House on your honeymoon or family vacation. Talk to a travel agent today about booking a trip or a luxury cruise to Australia. Call Brentwood Travel of St. Louis at (314) 439-5700 for more information.
Nothing is more exciting than visiting a tropical location! That is why the Caribbean is such a popular destination for travelers of all ages. Brentwood Travel makes it easy to find the right vacation destination in the Caribbean at the right price. Read about some of the Caribbean’s hidden gems before contacting one of our travel agents to start planning:
Experience natural beauty at its finest by planning a trip to Carriacou, which is the largest island in the Grenadines. This breathtaking island is home to amazing beaches and plenty of inviting water that is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. When you are ready to relax after a day in the water, you can check out Carriacou’s wide variety of restaurants, cafés, bars, and other great attractions.
Iles des Saintes
These gorgeous islands are located near Guadeloupe and provide an amazing atmosphere for a truly relaxing getaway. Here you will find islands such as Terre-de-Haut and Marie-Galante. Terre-de-Haut is home to a variety of exciting features, including stunning beaches, museums, bars, cafés, and water activities. Marie-Galante offers an inside perspective into the sugar-cane production in the Caribbean as well as a variety of great eateries that appeal to both locals and visitors.
Do you love seeing wildlife in exotic locations? If so, plan your visit to Anegada! This Caribbean island is home to many different types of wildlife, including iguanas and flamingos. You can also go diving to see the more than 300 wrecks found in the waters of this secret and stunning island.
Make sure you plan a wonderful vacation with help from the travel agents here at Brentwood Travel. Visit us online or give us a call at (314) 439-5700 to learn about the advantages of working with our professionals and to start planning your next trip.
If you have diabetes and are planning a trip in St. Louis, you should prepare before you leave so you have all of the supplies you need to maintain your blood sugar while you are gone. Spend some time figuring out how much medicine you need and bring a little extra as a buffer.
You should also pack your medication in different bags just in case you lose some of your luggage. Get a document from your doctor to prove that you have the right to travel with your medication. Get more great tips about traveling with diabetes in this video.
Come to Brentwood Travel to work with one of the top travel agencies in the St. Louis area. Our travel agents will work with you to plan a trip that meets all of your unique needs. To learn more about our travel services, call (314) 439-5700.
The best way to ensure that your upcoming luxury cruise is all that you want it to be is to ask plenty of questions when consulting with your travel agent. From what to wear to what types of excursions to plan, there are a number of important topics that you should cover before departing on your journey. Here are some questions to ask when planning a cruise:
What Does the Price Include?
One of the most attractive aspects of a cruise vacation is that it is essentially an all-inclusive trip. Your cabin, meals, entrance to onboard clubs, and use of facilities are all included in the basic price of your cruise; however, additional fees can arise during your travels. Alcoholic drinks, sodas, professional photographs, souvenirs, and excursions are all available for separate fees.
Which Cabin Is Best for Me?
Although you will be spending a significant amount of time outside your cabin, you still need to make sure that the room you choose will accommodate your party comfortably. Your travel agent will have a detailed layout of most major cruise ships, which you can use to understand where certain cabins are located. Keep in mind that larger rooms in better locations will typically cost you more.
When Do I Schedule Shore Excursions?
No matter where in the world your chosen cruise is headed, you can be sure that the journey will include plenty of fun stops along the way. To make the most of these shore excursions, research them with help from your travel agent. Typically, you can check out the various options online and book accordingly. Excursions fill up quickly, so making reservations ahead of your departure is recommended.
Other topics that you may want to discuss with your travel agent here at Brentwood Travel in St. Louis include appropriate clothing, airfare to and from the departure port, and travel insurance. Call us at (314) 439-5700 to set up a consultation with us. We have over five decades of experience helping customers plan the perfect cruise.
Panama: Beyond the Canal
Are you looking for the perfect destination for this year’s summer vacation? Panama offers a variety of attractions and activities, making it a great choice for vacationers of all ages! Meet with a travel agent to see if Panama is the right vacation choice for you. Prepare for your trip by reading this guide about what to do in Panama besides visit the Canal:
Visit Casco Viejo
If you are in Panama, you should check out the beautiful Spanish colonial sector known as Casco Viejo. Built in 1671, this part of Panama City offers many wonderful attractions and stunning hotels for visitors to enjoy during their stay. Take advantage of the area’s amazing eateries by visiting places such as La Rana Dorada, Casa Sucre Coffeehouse, Tantalo Kitchen, or El Baron Rojo. After refueling with a delicious meal, take a tour of the area to see the Flat Arch, the Panama Canal Museum, and the Plaza de Francia.
Check Out the Amador Causeway
Take a trip to the four small islands located near the entrance of the Panama Canal to experience beauty and wonder. The Amador Causeway offers a wide variety of activities for visitors such as bicycle paths, jogging paths, and hiking trails. Get the very best views of the ocean by visiting Amador Causeway’s many great restaurants and cafés. Make sure to visit the souvenir shops to pick up gifts for your loved ones back home!
Explore the Nightlife
Let loose after a day of sightseeing by enjoying Panama’s amazing nightlife. Start by choosing a great restaurant for a meal and drinks. Next, head out to explore the assortment of bars, nightclubs, and casinos that are popular among both locals and visitors!
If you are ready to learn more about Panama, contact Brentwood Travel today! Check us out online or call us at (314) 439-5700 for more information about our travel company or to see if we can help you choose the right vacation destination for your next trip.
If your ideal Saturday afternoon consists of a beachfront massage, followed by hours of sunbathing, kayaking in the ocean, or hiking around volcanoes, then you’re going to love what’s waiting for you in Hawaii. Whether you choose to start on the big island and hop your way around the state or to focus your time on a few specific locales, your St. Louis travel agent can help you plan the perfect itinerary. Here are a few tips for picking what to see and where to go in the Hawaiian Islands.
For more tips on where to go and what to do in Hawaii, come speak with the experts at Brentwood Travel. No matter what your idea of the perfect getaway is, we can help you plan it from beginning to end. Call us today at (314) 439-5700 to learn more.
Internet-based travel aids have made it easy for do-it-yourselfers to plan vacations online without the personalized assistance that a travel agency can provide. Having used various online-based travel sites for the booking of flights, cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and other vacation packages, many of these DIY'ers return to their former travel agents or seek out new ones as they become aware of the advantages of arranging travel with the help of a travel agent:
Most travel agents will let you be as involved in the trip planning process as you would like to be. If you are busy and do not like to do much travel planning on your own, you can simply give a travel agent a few basic details about the trip that you would like to take and he or she can create an itinerary that you can tweak until you find it appealing. When you use an online booking service, you will likely have to conduct countless searches for each leg of your journey and you may find it difficult to get in touch with someone to answer your questions.
When you book a vacation online, you are more or less on your own in terms of researching your options, as well as your destination and the activities you plan to partake in while you are there. When you use a travel agent, you can benefit from his or her extensive trip-planning experience and knowledge of the region in which you will vacation.
Booking a vacation with a travel agent is like visiting a one-stop shop for all of the desires and needs you have for a week, month, or however long your vacation is. An agent can book point-to-point transportation for every leg of your trip, lodging, recreational and sightseeing activities, and possibly even your meals.
It is clear that a travel agent can save you the time and energy that DIYers invest in tweaking searches and comparing itineraries and prices when booking online. But did you know that booking with a travel agent can actually save you money? Even though travel agents require a commission in order to earn a living, their expansive travel networks enable them to find unbeatable deals for their clients.
The next time you are looking to book a trip, remember that the hassles associated with online booking are entirely avoidable. To work with the travel industry’s finest in St. Louis, call Brentwood Travel at (314) 439-5700.
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
In the 64 years since Brentwood Travel was founded in 1957, we've grown into the largest, full-service travel agency in the Greater St. Louis area. No matter what your travel needs may be, our consultants will be able to assist you.