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Travel Blog

movies | Petra Jordan| Ingenious Travel

Posted in Theme Vacations, Unique Getaways, on 27 March 2020, by , 0 Comments

Since we are staying home, and most schools are closed as well, I thought it might be a help to recommend some of my favorite travel-themed movies that you can easily find on the many streaming services that are out there. What better way to spend a couple of hours with your family than watching together, dreaming together, and getting inspiration for your next trip?

  1.  Eat, Pray, Love (2010) – A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself” in Italy, India & Bali.
  2. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Based on the book by Frances Mayes, the film is about a recently divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will lead to a change in her life. The beauty of Cortona and the Italian people are featured.
  3. Letters to Juliet (2010)traveling to Verona Italy with her busy fiancé, a young American journalist gets involved in an adventure based on a love letter a tourist left at the monument to Romeo & Juliet’s unrequited love.
  4. Mamma Mia (2008) & Mamma Mia: Here we go again (2018) – based on the wildly successful Broadway musical with a score from ABBA, this story tracks the lovely story of Donna and her daughter Sophie as they both grow and learn from the past.
  5. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)  – Just for giggles, follow the Griswold family through their comedic adventures in France, Italy & Germany because we all need a laugh right now!
  6. Out of Africa (1985)  – Meryl Streep and Robert Redford star in this tragic love story about a married baroness who falls for a big-game hunter, based on the autobiographical novel by Isak Dinesen. Filmed on location in the U.K. and Kenya, including the Shaba National Game Reserve.
  7. Roman Holiday (1953)  – A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and royal obligations to explore Rome on her own. She meets an American newsman who, seeking an exclusive story, pretends ignorance of her true dientity. But his plan fails as they fall in love.
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Ha'Penny Bridge | Dublin| Ireland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Ireland, Europe, on 6 March 2020, by , 0 Comments

Think you’ll find leprechauns in Ireland? Think again. Despite what the world may think, Ireland doesn’t have any little green men, nor does it have a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Whether it’s your first or tenth time to Ireland, avoid these common misconceptions!

1. The Irish drink all the time

Contrary to popular belief, the Irish are not drunk all the time. It’s true: you can’t visit Ireland without throwing back a few pints at a pub, but there’s no evidence to show that the Irish drink any more than their UK or European counterparts. In fact, Ireland comes in at seventh for how much beer they drink per capita, behind countries like Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.

2. They created the term “luck of the Irish”

This well-known term isn’t actually Irish. The term was actually invented during the gold rush of the late 19th century in the United States, where many Irish immigrants went to become miners. Many of the most successful miners happened to be Irish, therefore leading to the phrase.

Leprechaun | Ireland | Ingenious Travel

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Muckross House and Gardens | Ireland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Groups, Ireland, on 21 February 2020, by , 0 Comments

We’ve received over a dozen requests for Ireland over the last few weeks, along with a number of general questions. Here are the answers to the top 13 commonly asked questions we’ve received.

How is the weather?

Get the rundown on Ireland’s climate and seasons here.

How populated is Ireland?

Ireland’s population as of 2016 is estimated to be about 4.7 million – about the same number of people who live in the state of Louisiana.

When should I travel?

Whenever you can! The busy season is June-August, when Ireland is crowded with tourists. Those who can travel in the “shoulder months” of April/May and September/October will be rewarded with less hustle and bustle and pleasent weather. But anytime of yeat there are wonderful places to visit and things to do and see in the Emerald Isle.

Is Northern Ireland a part of Ireland?

No. In 1922, after violent uprisings, the Irish Free State was created within the British Empire. In 1948, most of Ireland became an independent country, while six mainly Protestant counties in the northeast remained a British territory.

Should I drive?

You’ll certainly have the most freedom with your own car. However, keep in mind the driver’s seat is on the opposite side. If you plan on staying in Dublin, we do not recommend driving as the city is quite small and very walkable. If you’re not keen on driving, traveling by rail will allow you to take in the lush green landscapes from the train window as you speed between chaarming cities and unmissable natural attractions. Operated by Irish Rail, most trains operate to and from Dublin with frequent rail service to most parts of Ireland.

What is the tipping policy?

Tipping is generally 10-15% in restaurants and some hotels, but check your bill as the gratuity (service charge) may already be added. People generally do not tip in pubs, but for higher end bars with waiter service, leave about €1. Taxi drivers or hackney cab drivers, who make the trip for a prearranged sum, don’t expect tips.

What kind of money is used there?

The euro (EUR) is the currency of Ireland, like much of Europe. However, if you’re traveling to Northern Ireland, the currency is the pound sterling (£).

Do I need an adapter?

Yes. Irish electricity is roughly twice the voltage in North America, so you will need to bring suitable transformers and/or adapters.

Is there Internet access?

More and more hotels, cafes, and retailers in Ireland are signing on as Wi-Fi hot spots, meaning you won’t have to stay in your hotel room just to get free Wi-Fi. When in doubt, just ask!

Will my cell phone work?

The short answer is “probably.” Ireland uses the world-standard GSM network, which is used by both AT&T and T-Mobile. When using a cell phone abroad, it’s advisable to turn off your data services function to avoid exorbitant, unexpected fees. If you plan on making calls, consider purchasing an International Plan or using a SIM card to avoid racking up roaming charges once you’ve arrived. You can also use for apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Google Hangout to make calls online (You will need WiFi).

Do I need my passport?

Yes

What if I need medical help?

If you become ill while visiting Ireland, you can visit any one of the walk-in clinics in most major cities. For emergencies, dial 999 or 112, the European standard. And we highly recommend a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage.

Is Ireland safe?

Rest in comfort while staying in Ireland. Anytime you’re abroad, you should be a little weary of those who may wish you ill, but Ireland has a very low crime rate and has been ranked safer than many of the states. Of course, with any city comes the risk of theft, but keeping your wits about you will keep your wallet on you!

Interested in traveling to Ireland but not wanting to go it alone? Join us as we visit the Emerald Isle this September. See the full itinerary here or contact Maria for more information.

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Ireland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Travel, Unique Getaways, on 7 February 2020, by , 0 Comments

For some travelers, the idea of exploring the world alone sounds invigorating. For others, it sounds lonely. But, it doesn’t have to be! If you’re without a match in 2020, this year might just be the perfect time to head to Ireland. Below are some tips for enjoying a visit to the country even if you’re single.

Bring a Family Member

So you don’t have a significant other. That’s okay. Odds are you’ve got someone in your family who would love to get out of dodge with you! What better way to deepen emotional bonds than by doing something relaxing and rejuvenating like visiting the Emerald Isle?

Make it a Girl’s (or Guy’s) Trip

Friends are the family you choose, and going with them can be one of the best ways to have fun on vacation. In fact, this is true even if you are already coupled up! There’s nothing quite like learning about new cultures and traditions with your closest friends by your side. It takes all the pressure off, and allows you to focus on what you really want out of your trip. 

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Travel Professional | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Travel, on 24 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

When I meet new people and tell them that I work as a travel professional, there are often a lot of questions to come up. From asking “do travel agents still exist?” to hearing stories of vacation disasters that were easily preventable, I’ve heard it all.

What I have realized is that there are a lot of misconceptions about working with a travel professional, and I’d like to set the record straight! Here are just a few of the questions, and misconceptions I hear most often…

Do travel agents still exist? Can’t I do it all myself online?

The internet has brought all kinds of fantastic information right to our fingertips, and for the most part, that can be an awesome thing… but sometimes you still need a professional!

It may sound crazy to say, but I feel like the internet is part of the reason why travel professionals are not only still relevant but can make the difference between a plain vanilla vacation and a swoon-worthy dream vacation.

It’s easy to fall into information overwhelm or to discover too late that the information you relied on when planning your trip is hopelessly outdated and just plain wrong. Travel professionals know better!

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Europe | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, on 10 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Most people are familiar with the standard or “popular” European destinations such as places like London, Paris, Rome, or Barcelona. This post doesn’t include them. We started looking at the European destinations we are being asked for more often, are trending to become more popular, and are standing out from all of the secondary cities.

Bilbao| Ingenious Travel

 

  1. Bilbao, Spain
  • The Guggenheim Museum
  • Capital of Basque country
  • Azkuna Zentora – the cultural center
  • Over 40 Michelin starred restaurants
  • Ideal for: Culture Mavens

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Sound of Music | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Family Travel, Groups, Movies/Television, Theatre, Theme Vacations, on 20 December 2019, by , 0 Comments

In March 2020, Twentieth Century Fox is releasing the 55th anniversary of the classic hit movie, The Sound of Music. For those of you who don’t know, the film is set in Austria, and stars Julie Andrews who plays Maria. It’s based on the true story of the Von Trapp family of singers, and is a heartwarming tale about how music helps heal and bring a family together, even during the most devastating of times. 

In celebration of the movie’s anniversary, we recommend heading to Salzburg to see the sights from the film. Watch or rewatch the movie on your flight over, and then visit all the stunning locations that were used as the filming locations or as inspiration for the scenes in the classic musical. The views you’ll enjoy will make you feel like you’re in the movie. We dare you not to hum or sing the most memorable tunes from the film as you tour the sights. 

Love the Sound of Music as much as we do? Check out the 50th Anniversary Edition here.

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Vienna Beethoven | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Theme Vacations, Europe, Groups, Music, River Cruising, on 6 December 2019, by , 0 Comments

Did you know that Beethoven’s 250th birthday is in 2020? The classical artist spent most of his life in Vienna, and as a result, the capital of Austria has many plans underway to celebrate him. While his birthday is actually in December, and the largest of celebrations will happen then, you can enjoy concerts and festivals in his honor all year long. One of the best ways to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday in Vienna is with a river cruise. 

A River Cruise in 2020 is a Classical Music Lovers Dream

Some of the river cruise lines that sail the Danube and Rhine rivers have created itineraries to commemorate and enjoy the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. One such cruise is the Amadeus cruise line which will host a special Rhine River cruise October 27 through November 3, 2020. Their itinerary features private concerts at stunning landmarks, as well as an exclusive concert onboard the ship.

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Penfold Wine | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Wine, Australia, Tours, on 22 November 2019, by , 0 Comments

South Australia offers some of the best wine tours and tastings, accompanied with beautiful landscapes and delicious foods!  As mentioned in our last article, Welcome to Corroboree West, we were guests of Tourism Australia and, not only did we visit a number of fine vineyards and Cellar doors, we also bottled our own wine with two blending activities. Join me on a visit to a few of them.

National Wine Centre of Australia

National Wine Centre of Australia | Ingenious Travel

 

National Wine Centre of Australia | Ingenious Travel

Housed on the campus of the University of Adelaide you’ll find the National Wine Centre of Australia. Here you can sample 120 different varieties of wine from Enomatic servers. Choose, pour, and taste swine from the best Cellar Doors across Australia

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Corroboree West | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Australia, Groups, Tours, Wine, on 2 November 2019, by , 0 Comments

As you may or may not know, I (Maria) am an Aussie Specialist, and I’m one of three hundred travel agents from North America, Europe, and New Zealand invited by Tourism Australia and Tourism South Australia to attend Corroboree West 2019 – a 10 day conference and familiarization trip where I was able to participate in extraordinary travel experiences and meet with top tour operators from across Australia.

We spent our first full day in Perth visiting the city of Mandurah and participating in Mandurah Cruises Wild Seafood Experience. It’s a 3-hour adventure into the Indian Ocean to pull baited crayfish pots, learn more about Western Australia’s crayfish conservation efforts, and of course, eat the day’s fresh catch! (And yes, you can still participate if you have a seafood/shell fish allergy – just let them know in advance.)

Corroboree West | Ingenious Travel

Perth Western Australia | Ingenious TravelCorroboree West | Ingenious Travel Corroboree West | Ingenious Travel

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