Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017 Travel Recipe

NOTE:     This blog has no ads and I'm not beholden to hotels, cruise lines, tour companies or airlines, and that's why I can offer my readers the truth about all of the above + offer the many ways to enjoy comfort traveling for less

The idea of a recipe in travel is to put the right ingredients into the mix and come out with a perfect trip.
Yet if a perfect vacation is rare, the achievable blends with the need to get away met with a realistic expectation for a measure of  contentment and pleasure.
First all, know your goals for a 2017 vacation success, put in the right ingredients, and put  the recipe you’ve made into action—are you a "do-it-yourself" or a “leave to the professional”?
Either way, you have to check on all the ingredients.
In 2017, I see the right vacation recipe has a better outcome with certain choice possibilities into the mix for the baking of your vacation.
However, since the most needed ingredient for the best vacation outcome is your destination, consider the state of the world.
When the long term plan is best, consider  Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong, or Taiwan as ingredient positive mainly for the “leave it to the professional” enthusiasts, especially if you chose a reliable U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) member—all tours are bonded and you know your deposits and guarantees are protected.
I left out China because there are frequent infrastructure problems and tour operator reliability depends on the Chinese government’s preferences.
I see the European scene as a short term plan ingredient for the “leave it to the professional” enthusiast, but I strongly recommend using a USTOA member  considering terror related problems are a possibility.
A European bound short term recipe for the “do-it-yourself” enthusiast has risks, and all depends on where you go, plus how direct your flights is—if you think there  could be a problem pay the extra to book a “refundable” hotel choice that allows you to cancel 24 hours before arrival, but be prepared that the airline portion may be a loss when there is a terror related disaster.
I am taking my own advice and have booked my “do-it-yourself” European getaway direct to Naples, Italy with an airport stopover in Rome but I don’t leave the terminal—my flight back is 10 days later with again a stop in Rome, yet I stay in the same terminal to board my direct to USA flight.
One more piece of advice, a must for the “do-it-yourself” enthusiast, book your flight with a reliable wholesaler.  I chose Expedia and the service was excellent, plus I was able to cancel my flight within 24 hours—I should have done the same for my hotel, but because I booked directly with the hotel I chose in Naples, I’m paying a bit more, as well as suffering the consequences if my choice is imperfect.
A reliable hotel/airline wholesaler allows you to complain and explore the possibility of some return, perhaps a credit toward a future travel experience.