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Posted in Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Groups, on 7 August 2020, by , 0 Comments

So you’ve crossed off the last item on your “to-do” list, and you have a few minutes of extra time. Even if you are actively counting down the days to your next dream vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Since instant gratification for wanderlust is so hard to find, allow us to introduce the next best thing: a daydream vacation.

Why not take a “me” moment right now? The beauty of a daydream vacation is you get to go any time, regardless of how many vacation days you have saved. Refresh your coffee, mute your inbox notifications, and pull in a few calming breaths. Ready? Great, because we’re going to the Galapagos Islands!

Galapagos | Pinnacle Rock | Ingenious Travel

Pinnacle Rock

Our journey begins at Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island – the most visited island in the Galapagos. The cone you see is basalt formed from the eruption of an underwater volcano. Let your eyes slip out of focus as you breathe in the salty air and abandon yourself in reverie of the stillness around you.

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Yosemite National Park | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Groups, skiing, on 5 June 2020, by , 0 Comments

With many of us planning to stay closer to home this summer, more and more people are looking at visting national parks, with Yosemite National Park at the top of their list.

Hiking, rock climbing, skiing, biking or plain nature sightseeing – Yosemite National Park is one of the best places in the United States to do all these and more. The natural beauty of the area, with its verdant forests, scenic meadows, gorgeous waterfalls and giant sequoias, qualify the park to be on top of any nature lovers must- visit US sites.

You don’t have to be in top form to fully enjoy the scenic vistas and picturesque views of the park. You can easily reach its attractions in your car or you can hop on the open tour bus for a scenic drive around the area.

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Family Travel | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Travel, Family Travel, Groups, on 10 April 2020, by , 0 Comments

In its current state, the world we live in can feel like a scary place. Every ounce of normalcy in our day-to-day lives has been uprooted, and many of us fear to leave our own homes for essential items, let alone for travel. And while the days of social distancing and extended school closures may not be over yet, there will come a time when things will go back to normal.

There will be many things that we’ll get back in our lives and the ability to move around freely and begin traveling again is certainly one of them. Travel can be a great way to reconnect and bring families back together after weeks of panic and uncertainty.

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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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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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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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Planning a Luxury Safari | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, Africa, Family Travel, Groups, Luxury, on 28 June 2019, by , 0 Comments

An African safari is on the travel bucket list of many of our clients. It’s absolutely a life-changing experience you will never forget.

Planning a luxury safari is one type of vacation where the advice of an expert travel professional is invaluable! From selecting the right location, the right time to see and experience the things you want to see, the perfect accommodations, the proper documentation, and the ideal safari guide, you’ll appreciate having someone “in-the-know” taking care of the details.

Here are some of the top things you should keep in mind when planning a luxury African safari…


Where to go?

Africa is a vast continent with diverse cultural and wildlife experiences. While many people consider a safari to be a “once in a lifetime” trip, the truth is that you can plan multiple safaris without repeating experiences.

Over 50 million tourists visit Africa each year with the majority coming from the US, UK, and France. US visitors tend to favor Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa. The French prefer Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, and Mauritius. British tourists opt for Egypt, Gambia, South Africa, and Mauritius.

Planning a Luxury Safari

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Oktoberfest | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Food, Groups, Theme Vacations, Unique Getaways, Weekend Getaway, on 7 June 2019, by , 0 Comments

Imagine a two to three week festival dedicated to beer and traveling funfair. Not only does it exist, Oktoberfest happens every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany! In fact, this annual festival has been held since the year 1810, and even though several celebrations exist worldwide, the one in Germany was the first, and is still the biggest.

When to Visit Oktoberfest

The best time to visit Oktoberfest is generally in September. Yep, this beer fueled event actually kicks off before October officially arrives. The weekdays of the event are the quietest, and understandably so the weekends are the busiest. For full details of the best days to visit, click here.

Costs

While the grounds of the official Oktoberfest are free to enter, everything inside has a fee. From samples of beer to amusement park rides, luggage storage to special events – Oktoberfest can get expensive fast if you’re not keeping track of your budget. One liter of beer at Oktoberfest was nearly 12 Euro (roughly $13.50 USD) in 2018. Keep your eye out for specials. Also, consider going during the quieter times when vendors offer discounts to keep the beer tap flowing.

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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?

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