Travel Blog

Luxury | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Europe, Food, Golf, Luxury, New Zealand, River Cruising, Tours, Travel, Wine, on 23 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Here at Ingenious Travel, we’ve always defined our “niche” as luxury travel, but I’ve found that this means different things to different people.

There are some people to whom “luxury” means gilded walls, gold chandeliers, velvet covered furniture… and of course a hefty price tag. That’s not how we define luxury, and it’s not what most of our luxury travelers are looking for when it comes to their vacation.

We tend to focus more on exceptional, authentic experiences, a high level of service and hospitality, and a focus on comfort and convenience. Each client’s experience is customized and personalized to their wants, needs, and expectations. Moreover, we don’t focus solely on price because “more expensive” doesn’t always mean “better.” We look at the value rather than the price when evaluating travel experiences.

While it’s true that most of our clients book exclusive cabins and high-end suites, that isn’t the case for every vacationer. We also have clients who are less selective when it comes to accommodations and choose to focus instead on activities, experiences, and dining options for their vacation.

Continue Reading...
Travel Insurance | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Cruises, Europe, New Zealand, Travel, on 8 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Think about the last time you rented a car.

Did you take the optional insurance?

Do you see that insurance as a good investment or a waste of money? It seems like a good percentage of travelers say no to this optional upgrade for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are that they believe themselves to be a “good driver” and that they have car insurance at home that will cover them in a rental car… or that the credit card they used to pay for the rental offers additional coverage as well.

I don’t have strong opinions on rental car insurance, but when it comes to travel insurance, I’m always ready to hop up on my soapbox and let my clients know what I think!

I, like any travel professional worth their salt, recommend travel insurance to each and every one of my clients. Unfortunately, most travelers don’t understand what the policy covers and when they really should be spending the extra money to purchase travel insurance.

“We know we aren’t going to cancel so we don’t need cancellation insurance.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a client speak those words, I’d be jet setting the world and probably writing this from a luxury villa on the beach in the Bora Bora!

Let me be clear, travel insurance is so much more than cancellation insurance! In fact, as a travel professional, it’s my opinion that the “cancellation” part of your policy is one of the least important things to consider!

While there are simple cancellation insurance policies available, true travel insurance covers so many things that you probably aren’t even thinking of when you book your vacation. Things like travel delays, lost luggage, lost or stolen valuables, medical emergencies (for a member of your travel party or a loved one at home), dental emergencies, evacuations, lost travel documents, and more.

“We have health insurance coverage so we’ll be fine.”

That’s another comment I hear often, and while that may be true if you are traveling within the US, more than likely it isn’t going to help for international travel.

It is highly unlikely that your regular health insurance will cover anything at all if you are outside of the US. (Your passport even states taht Medicare will not cover you outside of the United States.) Check your policy carefully before you decide to rely on it for international travel. Even if it provides some coverage, you will probably be required to pay for any treatment or medication out of pocket and then file for reimbursement when you return. A good travel insurance policy will usually allow the doctor or hospital to bill them directly up to your coverage limitations.

There are certain situations where I believe travel insurance should be considered a must. I feel so strongly about this that I ask my clients in these situations to sign a waiver if they choose to decline to purchase a travel insurance policy.

  • International travel – A medical or dental emergency abroad can be financially devastating. Many hospitals will collect your passport at admission and will not return it until your bill has been paid. Do you have the financial resources to handle a medical emergency should one arise?
  • Cruises – While there is a doctor on board every cruise ship, the ship’s infirmary can only handle simple things. Should you have a medical emergency, you would need to be evacuated off of the ship by helicopter. Onboard a cruise ship, a medical emergency can be something as simple as a broken ankle. The cost of evacuation from the ship is typically in the tens of thousands of dollars… and it won’t be covered by your health insurance even if you are evacuated to a US port. (See article: Couple says cruise ship abandoned them in Mexico during medial emergency)
  • You, a travel companion or someone at home has a chronic medical condition – Travel insurance will cover cancellation for illness or injury of a member of your travel party or a family member at home. The decision to stay home and lose potentially thousands of dollars in nonrefundable fees can make an already stressful situation even worse. Better to be able to get those fees reimbursed and plan your travel for a better time. (NOTE: make sure to check your travel insurance policy for any pre-existing condition terms. There are policies available that waive these clauses if purchased within a specified time frame after booking).

A client of ours had declined travel insurance then broke his leg shortly after making final payment. He decided to go on his river cruise. The ship’s crew had to help him on and off the ship because he was in a full let cast. One crew member asked him why he hadn’t cancelled. His answer, I didn’t buy travel inurance and would have had to forfeit the money I paid, so here I am. 

Travel is an investment. You’ve likely saved for your vacation for quite some time. Be sure you are making a smart decision in how you want to protect that investment! Take the time to review and discuss your travel insurance needs before each trip. What are your thoughts on travel insurance? Please comment below.

Continue Reading...
Collect Experiences | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, All-Inclusive, Baby Boomers, Europe, Family Travel, Golf, Groups, Luxury, River Cruising, Unique Getaways, on 22 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

As a travel professional, I value great experiences. The moments spent in awe of a beautiful view, a priceless piece of art or the wonder and pure joy on the face of a child as they experience something new and exciting are worth far more than the price of admission.

We all have a limited amount of time and money, and we are often faced with the dilemma of what is the best way to spend – or to invest – both of those resources.

We can choose from an endless assortment of high-tech gadgets, sparkly things, and material luxuries that will impress our friends and family… for a short time at least. Children (and some adults) have lists of the gaming systems, toys, and fashion labels they want for their next birthday or holiday gift.

But once we’ve bought the latest smart phone or the expensive shoes, how long do they last? How long will they continue to bring joy? And how likely are they to be truly treasured by those around us after we are gone?

Continue Reading...
Group Trip | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Groups, Tours, Travel, on 16 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

Recently on the blog, we talked about taking the stress out of hosting a group trip. One of the more stressful pieces of a group trip, is deciding where to go. In this post, we’ll dive a little deeper into how to make that decision.

It’s hard enough choosing where to go on a vacation with your significant other, or just with your family. Throw an entire group into the mix, and suddenly you might have a plethora of conflicting opinions with everyone wanting to go somewhere different. How can you narrow the list, and choose a place that will make everyone, or at least the majority, happy?

The first step is to figure out a budget for everyone who is attending. Someone in the group should act as team leader and create an anonymous survey that allows everyone to write in their ideal budget for the vacation.

Why anonymous? Some people get uncomfortable talking about their true desires, and their budgets. You’re more likely to get honest answers if everything is anonymous.

Continue Reading...
Incredible hotels | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Hotel, Travel, Unique Getaways, on 25 January 2019, by , 0 Comments

Travel is meant to transport you — to other places, obviously, but also sometimes to other times, other worlds, other possibilities. These four utterly incredible hotels are full of the magic, mystery, and wonder that travel embodies. These are places you might never want to leave!

The Taj Palace Resort, Lake Pichola, Rajasthan, India is for the person who’s ever wondered what it was like to see the world in the Golden Age of travel. This is the place (or palace) to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be royalty. Built in the middle of a lake, this huge marble resort features opulent 1930s rooms with intricately carved archways and rooms draped in sumptuous fabrics. You can dine al fresco with a view of the surrounding mountains and the warm lights of the shoreline, and then hop on a traditional sunset boat ride with your own personal oarsman.

Continue Reading...
Travel Profile | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Theme Vacations, Tours, Travel, Unique Getaways, Weekend Getaway, on 5 January 2019, by , 0 Comments

There are, of course, thousands of possible trips out there. There are plenty of great trips to choose from — and then there are trips that are great for you. Being honest about what you want and need and getting to know your own personal travel profile can save you from the but-it-looked-great-on-paper trip disappointment.

Here are a few simple things that can help you better understand your unique and personal travel profile:

  1. Make a quick list of the twenty most fun memories you have of trips you’ve taken in your lifetime. Notice if there are any themes. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) each vacation to be a carbon copy of things you’ve already done, you can use those larger themes to guide your planning of future trips. That way, if you decide to step out a little from your comfort zone, you’ll at least have a solid idea of what makes the most meaningful moments for you. Is it time with friends or family? A certain type of weather or geography? Certain activities? Quiet time? When you can build some of these elements into your travel, you’re more likely to come home energized and restored.
Continue Reading...
gifts | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Gift Ideas, Travel, on 15 December 2018, by , 0 Comments

It’s no secret that many people adore traveling. It’s also not surprising that most folks can’t buy expensive trips for friends and family as gifts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get someone who loves to travel the perfect present. In fact, I’ve found 8 gifts for a travel enthusiast that I think you’ll agree are so good, you might just want them for yourself.

1 Scratch-Off Map of the World

You’ve probably seen these on Facebook and Instagram. A scratch-off map of the world is exactly what it sounds like. It’s literally a map of the world that you can hang on the wall that allows you to scratch off the locations you’ve been too. How fun would it be to scratch new locations as you visit them?

Continue Reading...
Group | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, Baby Boomers, Europe, Family Travel, Girlfriend Getaways, Golf, Groups, Theme Vacations, on 30 November 2018, by , 0 Comments

Going on a trip with a group is a wonderful way to travel. You’ll always have someone to explore with, you get to see things as a group you might not get to on your own, it’s safer to travel in numbers, and each person in the group will bring a different perspective to the experience. For these reasons alone, the idea of hosting a group trip often comes up as a good idea for families, friends, and even companies looking to host retreats.

If you decide to do a big trip as a group however, it’s no secret that it can be a little overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re the one putting it together. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step checklist you can use to take the stress out of hosting a group trip:

Step 1- Decide where you want to travel to, and when you want to go.

Your best bet will be to initially come up with three options for the vacation as well as three separate times to go on the vacation. This is one of the perks of being the group organizer. Because you are setting the whole thing in motion, you can pick places you want to go and times that you are available.

Step 2- Consider the people you want on your group trip.

Will this group getaway be for business or pleasure? If it’s pleasure only, will this event limited to friends, family or a combination of the two? Or is this more about inviting people that you have common interests with, such as a networking/hobby/wine club/golf trip?

Continue Reading...
Senior Travel Safety | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Baby Boomers, General Travel Information, Travel Tips, on 2 November 2018, by , 0 Comments

When it comes to going on vacation, the last thing most people want to think about is safety. The simple reason for that, is getting away from it all is supposed to be a carefree and fun experience. Still, the truth is that we must keep safety top of mind because we’re the only ones in charge of making sure we’ll get back home in one piece.

Unfortunately, one group that is often a target for predators and criminals is senior citizens. Because of this sad fact, I thought sharing some travel safety tips for seniors would be a good idea.

How Seniors Can Stay Safe While Traveling

Know before you go

Before booking any trip, learn about the destination you will be traveling to. Most destinations will be just fine, but there are some that could pose a threat to tourists. Your best reference for travel advisories and warnings that you should be aware of is https://travel.state.gov/destination. The website breaks down threats by four levels. These levels are:

Continue Reading...
baby boomer travel | ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, All-Inclusive, Caribbean, Family Travel, General Travel Information, River Cruising, Travel Tips, on 5 October 2018, by , 0 Comments

There’s no better time than the present to start crossing those dream destinations off your list. Whether you’ve traveled to dozens of places and just need another vacation, or have worked and waited your whole life for this – you deserve to see the world if you want to. Baby boomer travel is more than just an internet buzz phrase. It’s the new way of self care, and these days is more important to people nearing or in retirement age than simply sitting around the house in their golden years.

What’s preventing baby boomer travel?

According to Groups Today, the top three barriers to travel include:

  • Cost (43%)
  • Health (34%)
  • And Security Concerns (28%)
Continue Reading...