Travel

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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?

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Tour | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Family Travel, Gift Ideas, Groups, Tours, Travel, on 7 September 2018, by , 0 Comments

What is the difference between an escorted, hosted and an independent tour? This is a common question in the travel industry, and in this post we’re breaking down what they are, and the advantages of each. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Escorted Tours

An escorted tour is one that is conducted by a tour director. They will take care of everything from beginning to end. For example, your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel for daily activities. You’ll also typically be with a group throughout your tour.

For some escorted tours it’s a one day affair where they will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, take you to see the sites, and then bring you back to your hotel in the evening. Typically there is a strict agenda with meal times, and places to visit set up for you as well.

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Travel with Kids | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Family Travel, Travel, on 13 July 2018, by , 0 Comments

“One day…we’re going to take the kids to Hawaii!”, “We really want to travel over to Europe, but we’re waiting until the kids are older” ; “We really want to go out West and see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, but our summers are just too busy”. Do any of those statements sound familiar to you? The average American family doesn’t think they spend enough time together. Between school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities it’s no surprise that we are all feeling disconnected and burned out. The best way to reconnect with your loved ones is to get away. No distractions and no excuses: just you and your kids (or Grandkids) spending “quality time”, enjoying each other’s company and maybe even experiencing an unfamiliar culture together. “Next Year, maybe” turns into the year after that…and so forth…until you “blink” and are sitting at their high school graduation wondering what the hell happened!

Travel is proven to be a wonderful learning tool for children. Seeing how people live in other countries can open their minds and hearts and expand their imagination exponentially. Here are a few things that travel can provide for your family:

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Cruising | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Cruises, Travel, on 15 June 2018, by , 0 Comments

Want to know the number one mistake travelers make when going on a cruise? That is aside from not hiring a travel agent? It’s over packing! You need less than you think you do while you’re on board. With this in mind below you’ll find things you simply should not pack for your next cruise:

Avoid bringing more outfits than the number of days on the ship. Only bring enough clothes for the duration of the trip. There’s no sense in bringing two weeks worth of clothes if you are going on a week long vacation. Speaking of too many clothes…

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Antarctica | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Travel, on 18 May 2018, by , 0 Comments

When most people think of a vacation, they probably don’t think of Antarctica. The frigid temperatures, the lack of amenities, the frigid temperatures, the somewhat remote access, and did I mention the frigid temperatures?

Still, Antarctica is one of those breathtaking destinations that more and more people are adding to their bucket lists because it’s off the beaten path, and so unique. And, one of the best ways to explore this continent is in luxury, of course. By luxury, I’m talking about none other than a Lindblad Expedition aboard a National Geographic ship.

Cruises Are Booking Now for 2018 and 2019

Lindblad Expeditions are now booking for November and December 2018, as well as January, February, November and December 2019. The itinerary to explore The White Continent is 14 days long, and includes a day in Buenos Aires, Argentina before transferring to Ushuaia, Argentina. In Ushuaia, you’ll embark on either the National Geographic Explorer or the National Geographic Orion heading to Antarctica. From there, you’ll enjoy a full five days exploring Antarctica. With nearly 24 hours of daylight during these cruises, you can expect to have plenty of time and flexibility with your schedule to see all that this stunning location has to offer.

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