Best Packing Stuff

First -Here is a check-list you can use for packing.

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/planning/vacation-packing-checklist-00000000000225/index.html

Stay organized and look chic too!  This company has reasonably priced, hand crafted leather travel accessories that can be personalized.  Travel wallets, passport holders, and travel jewelry cases are just some of the items.

http://www.leatherology.com/SearchByCategory.aspx?CategoryCode=Leather_Travel_Accessories

Stay organized when you pack and unpack these eBags packing cubes.  They are lightweight and you can take them straight from your suitcase right into a drawer.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/packing-cubes-3pc-set/13032?productid=10150076

Keep you jewelry orderly while you travel.  This jewelry holder has 8 pockets around the sides and a large area in the center for more storage.  It keeps necklaces, bracelets & earrings separated.

http://www.ebags.com/product/baggallini/jewelry-pouchbagg-rip-stop-nylon/18643?productid=66029

Worried that you are over-packing? Or think you might be bringing a lot of swag home?  A luggage scale will probably pay for itself in what you will save   in    baggage fees.

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Travel-Luggage-Portable-Weight/dp/B004A6HVB6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350409129&sr=8- 1&keywords=travel+digital+scale

Don’t forget a power adapter!  This adapter is trim and light.  Unlike other adapters you don’t have to carry around other plug extensions (one for each plug  type). It has a switch on either side and a UK, Europe, Asia, or US plug will surface.

http://www.amazon.com/All-One-Travel-Power-Adapter/dp/B000YN01X4/ref=pd_sim_misc_7

Carry-on size rolling bags  are the best travel item invented.  A good one has a design that makes it roomy for a week’s worth of clothing while keeping it just small enough to fit in the plane’s overhead locker.  You can painlessly wheel your paraphernalia around without getting sweaty. The downside is that this type of luggage with wheels can cost $40–50 extra and weigh several pounds more. They can be awkward on rough or uneven surfaces as well as crowded sidewalks, subways, trails or stairs but they’re wonderful inairports. An option is a hybrid bag, which has both wheels and backpack straps.

Check out these bags from Samsonite

http://shop.samsonite.com/Carry-On/b/2235716011

Do you demand only the best?  Louis Vuitton luggage will show the world your good taste.

http://www.louisvuitton.com/front/#/eng_US/Collections/Women/Travel

Would you rather part with your money than lug your bags around?  There are services that ship your bags to your destination.

http://www.luggageforward.com/index.jsp?mkt=gad003030010&mki=gad003030010&src=gad0002&_kk=luggage%2520shipping&_kt=59771b7a-9e10-4ba5-8ee2-eea43c98cd12&gclid=CNXxqoGShrMCFdKd4AodR1YATg

OR

http://www.luggagefree.com/?utm_expid=331841-1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seatguru.com%2Farticles%2Fluggage_shipping_services.php

Now that you have resources for packing you need to book your trip with Wislar Travel.  Figuring out what to pack can be difficult but planning your family vacation can be REALLY time consuming and confusing. Wislar Travel is your personal Travel Agent and available to help you sort out all of your family travel plans.  We are located in Princeton, New Jersey but work with customers all over the globe.

 

 

Contact Wislar Travel:

info@wislartravel.com

 

 

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Why a Travel Agent


Some people are too busy to plan for themselves, or they dislike the time and effort it takes.  When you sort through the myriad of choices online, it’s hard to be assured that you’ve found the best deal.  How much is your time worth?

In most cases Wislar Travel can meet or beat any rates that are found online so why wouldn’t you check in before booking?

Many wholesalers who only do business with Travel Agents will meet any price available on the internet to consumers and offer extras to make the choice a no-brainer!

 Travel Agents have Special Access

Travel Agents have the associations built to offer access or to secure extras that do-it-yourself planners couldn’t find on their own, like freebie upgrades or breakfasts, spa credits and special tours.  That’s a draw, surely. Even if you could find some of these special experiences or extra amenities on your own, agents can save hours of research.

Travel Agents can build on your research

Travelers know much more what they want than ever before.  Most business that Travel Agents book is in collaboration with the clients who have sometimes visited as many as 10

websites to do their own research.  Working together, the consumer and the agent can make sure the itinerary is exactly what the consumer is looking for at the best available price without leaving any extras on the table.

Travel Agents can help with challenging or isolated locations and itineraries

The more difficult the situation, the more useful an agent can be.  Agents can help with a number of things, such as add-on trips, transportation details, guides or interpreters, and show tickets as well as dining reservations, spa appointments, and tee times.

Travel Agents have Expertise

Travel agents know the ins and outs of different destinations, hotel and resort properties, and other travel products.  The industry offers agents an enormous amount of training and resources on every travel product and destination.  Every day there are webinars available as well as numerous conferences and other live educational opportunities. Individual consumers of travel simply do not have the access to the amount of information that agents do.

Travel Agents know how to work with a budget

Agents have money-saving tips and ideas that you won’t learn online. When you have a specific budget to work with, an agent can help you design a vacation within those parameters. There are many costs involved in traveling that the average consumer may not be aware of and an agent can help a traveler maneuver through. Taxes, resort fees, mandatory gratuities, charges for extra people or roll-away can often surprise travelers.

Agent’s fees are usually not paid by the traveler

Using a travel agent usually costs the same than booking a trip on your own. Travel agents are typically paid on commission by hotel groups, tour operators, cruise lines and other travel suppliers for selling their products, which means there’s often little added cost for the consumer to book a trip.  Conversely, an agent can often secure extras such as a free breakfast, room upgrade or credit

Travel Agents have connections

Because Agents spend their time researching and booking vacations and working with diverse travel suppliers, they have the resources to find the best bargains. They provide one-stop access for travel, accommodations, rental cars, transfers and activities.

Travel Agents offer flexibility

If you book on the internet and there’s a problem, it may be challenging to get someone to assist. Canceling or altering a component of your travel itinerary may be difficult or expensive if you booked a trip on your own.  An agent may be able to use their relationship with contacts to change plans at a reduced fee or at no cost.

Contact Wislar Travel:

info@wislartravel.com

meg@wislartravel.com

Wislar Travel specializes in luxury family travel and is ready to assist you with all of your travel plans.  We get the best rates on hotels, cruises, rental car, tours, transfers and vacation packages.  We can make reservations for dining, spa treatments, and golf.  You also get the peace of mind knowing you have a travel agent to call in case anything goes wrong.

Meg Wislar
609-902-8611
www.wislartravel.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wislar-Travel-Counselors/123386251101015
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/wislartravel/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/WislarTravel
The Internet is for Looking but Wislar Travel is for Booking

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Are All Cruise Ships Comparable

Not at all!  Cruise ships range form barges and riverboats, or intimate, small and yacht-like to gigantic vessels akin to high rise enormous resorts.  You can cruise with as few as a dozen other passengers to more than 5000 guests.  The atmospheres range from barefoot casual, to country club polish, to classic and contemporary and more.

Vessels offer a dizzying array of onboard activities suitable for all temperaments and interests.  Some ships excel at providing a raucous, party environment while others exude culture, sophistication and serenity.

 

No matter what you desire for your vacation there is sure to be a cruise ships to match!

 

CONTACT WISLAR TRAVEL FOR INFORMATION ON PLANNING YOUR CRUISE VACATION!

MEG@WISLARTRAVEL.COM

WWW.WISLARTRAVEL.COM

609-902-8611

Wislar Travel would love to help your family plan their ultimate family vacation.

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How to Tour London

Recently my sixteen year old daughter and I went to London for a couple of days.  Since she had not yet visited London I wanted to fit in as many sights as possible in the short time we had available.

 Typically I am a fan of HoHo (Hop-On Hop-Off) buses as an inexpensive and flexible way to be introduced to a new city.  I purchased HoHo tickets for us upon arriving in London that were good for 2 days.  However, the traffic was so dreadful that the bus spent more time stopped in traffic than in motion getting us from stop to stop.

Plan B would be to take the underground.  Good plan!  The Underground is definitely the correct choice if you need to get somewhere fast. Alas, for touring you would miss many places of interest that are above ground.  Here are some links to maps of public transportation including a bus map showing routes and major tourist attractions:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/1106.aspx

An Oyster Card (transportation pass) is the least expensive way to get round London on the tube and bus system so go ahead and purchase one if you will be using the tube and bus system.

Next plan?  Those two feet you have! London might be the biggest capital in Europe, but scores of its most important tourist attractions are within walking distance of one another. So get on your comfy sneakers or walking shoes and hit the sidewalk.  It’s the only way to get to see London when it is the most crowded.  Start your walking tour at Victoria Station.  Grab a take-away breakfast.  You will have a lot of choices of places to purchase breakfast pastries and coffee.  Move on to Queen Elizabeth’s primary residence which is Buckingham Palace. Perhaps it’s close to 11 AM?  You might get lucky and view The Changing of Guard.   After an essential photo of a Queen’s Guard sentry, walk down The Mall (you will see a wide road lined with trees that connects to Trafalgar Square). When you arrive at the end of The Mall, take a left onto Trafalgar Square and enjoy the fountains,  statues, and all of the activity. The National Gallery, which is nearby, is free and worth a visit.

Stop at one of the many nearby pubs or restaurants for lunch.  When in London it is mandatory to order fish & chips with mushy peas at least once.  We had it nearly every day on our two week trip to the British Isles.

After lunch walk from the square down Whitehall Street. You’ll see the Ministry of Defense Building, Downing Street, and then the Houses of Parliament.

From here you can get a host of views including Big Ben, the gardens, and the river. Next, cross the road to Westminster Abbey, pay the fee and prepare to be awe struck.

Next, cross Westminster Bridge over to the south side of the river toward the London Eye, the Ferris wheel overlooking theThames. Take a spin for a stunning   bird’s-eye view of the city, including landmarks like Big Ben, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, and Tower Bridge. After your 30-minute jaunt on the gigantic Ferris wheel take a walk along the South Bank. Stop in the middle of the bridges to get some great London skyline views.   This area is rich with bookstores, pubs, tea rooms, restaurants and nightclubs so you can spend some time here.  Waterloo Railway Station is nearby to get you back to your hotel.

Other information on do-it-yourself walks:

http://www.londontourist.org/itinerary.html

http://www.freelondonwalks.com/

www.london-footprints.co.uk

A free Central Londonmap:  www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/centlond.pdf

If you would rather have a guided walk there are many suppliers to choose from.

You can take a first rate guided London walk through a number of operators. The walks have themes, and are all over London, throughout the day and night, no matter what the weather or how many people turn up. Here are links to some of the walking tours:

www.walks.com/

http://alternativeldn.co.uk/

http://www.londondetours.com/

http://hairygoat.net/

http://www.bowlofchalk.net/

My last word of advice on touring London is to plan ahead.  I have a patience problem so I truly loathe waiting in long lines.  When London is crowded the queues (lines) to buy tickets and get into some of the attractions can be quite long.  No one wants to waste valuable vacation minutes waiting in line.  A solution is to purchase tickets ahead of time.  Many of the attractions make tickets available online and the cost is usually less too. Your travel agent can help with that!

When you are ready to plan your trip to London you can work with Wislar Travel or your preferred travel agent.  Your agent can work with you to arrange transfers, rental cars, and hotel rooms, as wells as booking tours and making restaurant reservations or spa appointments.

You are busy!  Let Wislar Travel work with you, or do ALL of the planning!

www.wislartravel.com

info@wislartravel.com

 

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The Whole Gang

 

When my Grandmother wanted to see her grandchildren we piled into the station wagon, some of us in the “way back”, unbuckled, of course.   She always had sugar cubes wrapped in paper that she had pilfered from some restaurant.  Those sugar cubes were worth the ride.

Two generations later, sugar cubes and a quick visit don’t cut it. Not simply because kids have more sophisticated tastes, but because grandparents often live far from their offspring and are living longer, more vigorous lives.  They are more apt to have traveled and more than likely are very busy. Grandparents now account for over 30% of all leisure travelers. They not only have the time and the money to travel, they’re also more physically fit and accustomed to travel.

Their children and grandkids are on the go themselves with highly scheduled lives.  Parents are working longer hours and on their smart phone or laptop evenings and on weekends to keep up; they look to vacations as an opportunity for family time. Grandparents see their adult children struggling to meet rising costs in two-income households; some generously offer to take the whole clan on a multigenerational trip.

Now, believe it or not, the baby boomers are as old as their grandmas once were. This explains this latest and largest trend in travel: multigenerational vacations and family reunions.

So how do you go about choosing a vacation for everyone?  Tailor the trip to the littlest and eldest. Does this trip suit the mobility of the grandparents, and the attention span and interests of the grandchildren?  Choose your resort, tour or cruise carefully to be sure they offer something for one and all.

Let everyone in the family help choose activities. When kids — or adults — have a voice and a choice, they feel more invested in the journey and stay more positive.

Have your travel agent check out the kids programs; what age ranges they cater to and what they offer.  Some resorts and upscale ships only offer kids programs when they have a minimum number of participants such as during school holidays and summers.

Check baby supplies such as highchairs, as well as babysitting availability and cost so the parents of the wee ones know what they have to work with.

Be sure to consider privacy.  Will there be enough doors to close, and areas to retreat to, so members of your family won’t intrude on each other when someone needs “space”?

Grandparents sometimes pay part or all of family trips, but make sure everyone knows what aspects of the trip they will be responsible for. Money is the leading source of tension regarding the family vacation.  For this reason trips where the whole shebang (or most everything) is paid for up front alleviates this stress.  The vacations that are usually paid for up front are All Inclusive, Cruises andTours.

There is no need for the whole group needs to be together all the time.  Determine in advance what meals or events are mandatory and let everyone know.  If Uncle George wants to golf, Aunt Kelly needs a massage, and little Charlie wants to play in the pool for hours there is no reason they can’t do what they want but still show up for the obligatory  get togethers.

Today you’ll find multi-generational-oriented tours, lodging, activities, resorts and more.  The trend is especially strong in the upscale travel sector.  Tour operators such as Trafalgar, Globus, and Collette Vacations have more tours for families with children in recent years.  Lindblad, Thomsen Safaris, and Abercrombie & Kent offer trips aimed at family and multigenerational travel.  Grandparents are game for exotic places, as well for active, multisport, experiences such as kayaking, rafting, fishing and hiking.  These companies and others have supplied families with trips to Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Alaska and many more destinations.

Many resorts-and established ones are being renovated to offer family suites with 1-2 (or more) bedrooms or connecting rooms.  The new Disney Resort, Aulani, in Hawaii has designed their hotel with this type of situation in mind.    Cruise Lines have been at the leading edge of this movement.  The latest cruise ships are being designed with spacious cabins that can be arranged to accommodate large family groups. These new ships, such as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, offer more family accommodations and additional connecting rooms as well.  Some suites on the newest Royal Caribbean ships can accommodate up to 14 people!

Multi-generational family vacations are growing for many reasons and there are now a lot of choices.  The most important component however, is for the family to get time together and make memories that will last lifetimes.  Plan your multi-generational vacation early to get exactly what you want.

Meg Wislar
www.wislartravel.com  Call us to plan your family reunion vacation!

 

 

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