I spend a lot of my time talking about travel. Over the last few months, the conversations I’ve had about travel have been hopeful and full of dreams for future trips. In fact, one of my favorite questions to ask is, “where in the world would you go?”
Hearing the responses is so fun: Cancun, Italy, Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, Nepal… the list of places sparking our wanderlust goes on and on. Those of us who love the experience of travel often have a list like this in our heads all the time, and it’s only gotten longer as we’ve had more time to dream about destinations over the last few months.
I turned this question around on myself and asked, “where in the world would I like to go?” I asked my partner, and it became a larger question. Where in the world would we like to live? What I find even more interesting than asking “where” is asking “why.” Why do you want to go?
For me the answer to this became yet another question. I was living in one of the most expensive places in the world. If both my partner and I could work from anywhere in the world, why did we remain in Silicon Valley where we grew up? We couldn’t find an answer to this question that satisfied us, so we picked up and left. A month and a half later we sold our house and now we’re living in Puerto Vallarta! We’ll stay here for at least four months. After that, I’ll be asking more questions again. =)
This isn't my first time living abroad. I joined the Peace Corps after college and lived in Europe for two years. It was actually my first time abroad and it was an incredible journey. You can read all about that experience here. Ever since then, I've dreamed of living abroad again.
I’d love to hear your where AND your why for your next trip or long-term stay. Many travel partners I work with are offering special discounts for long-term stays so reach out if you have questions.
When it comes to travel dreams, I want to help you make them a reality.
Complimentary room upgrades, late checkouts and free nights — hotel loyalty programs can have some spectacular perks. Of course, these programs are designed to reward frequent guests — road warriors are often the beneficiaries of executive lounge access and complimentary breakfasts — but what about those of us who spend more nights at home than in a hotel? Don’t dismiss the benefits of these programs just because you’re an occasional traveler.
Rule Number One: Whether you’re staying for two nights or 20, always enroll in your hotel’s loyalty program. Enrollment is free, easy and often comes with its own set of perks, such as complimentary Wi-Fi and late checkout. These alone are worth the effort.
Rule Number Two: Do your research. These days, large hotel chains often incorporate many smaller brands. Marriott, for example, now includes 32 mini-brands, including W Hotels and Ritz-Carlton. Hyatt’s extensive portfolio, meanwhile, includes Andaz and Thompson Hotels, among many others. Knowing which brands share a common loyalty program will enable you to earn points faster.
Rule Number Three: Even if you don’t travel enough to earn elite status, your rewards can still be valuable. Don’t have enough points for a suite upgrade or free night? You can still use them for other things such as dining, movies and lounge access. Many programs also allow you to pool or transfer points to friends or family members, which is an easy way to reap big rewards faster.
There are two questions I keep hearing again and again from my devoted cruise clients:
Unfortunately, no one knows the full answers yet, even the top cruise executives. The members of the Cruise Line International Association have voluntarily suspended U.S. cruise operations until October 31, 2020. A few cruise lines have a small number of sailings for November and December scheduled to depart as of right now.
Whenever cruising officially resumes, your safety will be paramount. Expect some changes to help ensure the health and safety of everyone on board, such as pre-boarding testing, social distancing measures and procedures to handle infected passengers. To develop and implement plans that work for all passengers and crew, cruise lines have been working with the world’s foremost epidemiologists, virologists and public health and risk management experts. In addition, cruise lines are communicating with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which ultimately decides whether ocean-going cruise ships can sail in U.S. waters.
I have some clients who are putting down deposits for cruises in 2021 and 2022; in fact, a number of cruise lines report their bookings for next year are outpacing booking activity at the same time in 2019. Expect availability to be slim for 2021 cruise dates and possibly 2022 as well. I am here to answer any and all questions you may have about 2021 and 2022 itineraries, the numerous special offers that are currently available, travel restrictions and cancellation policies.
If you are ready to travel soon, Mexico and some of the Caribbean islands are welcoming visitors now for land based travel. In fact, as I write this I am in Puerto Vallarta for an extended stay. I'm surprised how similar the policies are here as they were back in San Jose. My colleagues who have traveled to these destinations recently have been beaming about the safety precautions in place at various airports and all-inclusive resorts.
Please contact me for more information and all your questions!
Sharing my travel experiences and insights