7 Reasons Why Travel Agents Are Still Relevant in 2017

“Why would I need a travel agent when I can book everything online?”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that or read that, I could quit selling travel and wander the world full time. With the plethora of online information at your fingertips, it would seem that booking that dream trip to Hawaii or all-inclusive getaway to Mexico is easy as pie. But before you jump on those rock-bottom cheap travel deals, or entrust some random booking engine with your credit card, find out why travel agents are still relevant in 2017.

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Top 10 Spring Vacation Ideas for North Shore Residents

north shore residents

For North Shore residents, spring is taking its sweet time to arrive. Some days, it feels like the sun pinned up a “Gone Fishing” sign and left us for good. We’re nearing mid-May and record-breaking rains, perpetual grayness, coupled with a barrage of bad news coming at us from every direction might mean it’s time to let the boss know you’ll be taking advantage of some of those much-deserved vacation days. If you’ve been dreaming up a spring holiday for some time, and need some travel inspiration, here are 10 destinations options to get you started.

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12 Reasons Why Booking a Villa is Totally Worth It

booking a villa

Booking a villa was not necessarily a well-known accommodation option for families or large groups a decade ago. Once upon a time, sun-seeking group travelers only had the option of spending their hard earned time and money at some gargantuan resort, hoping to enjoy some relaxation and tranquility, only to have to drag themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to snag a few beachfront chairs; Or putting up with rowdy resort guests, enduring cramped quarters and and undesirable room locales. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful resorts out there offering premium experiences for large groups, but maybe it’s time to consider booking an alternative. Here are 12 reasons why booking a villa is totally worth it..

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3 Ways to Avoid Being Bumped From Your Flight

being bumped

There is nothing worse than arriving at your gate, passport in hand, luggage all checked-in, beach bag slung over your shoulder, sun sand and fun mere hours away and then, a few ominous words tear you from your cocktail-infused daydream: “Would Mr. Joe please come to the front desk?” You gather your things and saunter up to the desk, all the while secretly hoping you’re about to get a surprise upgrade to Premium Economy when you’re about to get hit with the “you-thought-you-were-getting -to-Maui-tonight-but-guess-again” schpeel. The airline staff gives you an apologetic look and utters the words: “You’re being bumped.”

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5 Reasons to book a Topdeck Tour

Every travel consultant worth their salt has a portfolio of trusted tour companies to share with their clients. I have a few favourites, depending on the demographic, but for anyone between 18 into their mid thirties, one of my top choices is Topdeck. With more than 40 years of awesome tour experience under their belt, Topdeck has more than earned their stripes on the organized tour landscape. And after personally travelling with them on three separate occasions in Africa, North America and Europe, I have 5 great reasons to get you on a Topdeck tour:

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UnCruise: A New Way to Love Cruising

The objections (and misconceptions) to conventional cruising are endless, and to be honest, as an independent traveler myself, cruising was never been my preferred method of travel. But a recent family cruise around the Hawaiian Islands made me appreciate why travelers love cruising. Dining like royalty, being rocked to sleep every night, exploring a new port every day – It’s exciting. But if you’re like me and love the idea of seeing the world from its oceans and waterways, but doing it with 2500 people makes your wanderlusting heart palpitate, I have a solution; Tap into your inner ‘un-ness’ and set sail on an UnCruise.

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Explore Granville Island with Context Travel

After being out of town on three back-to-back holidays, yesterday I decided to buckle down and do some research for my clients on walking tours in and around my hometown of Vancouver.  Context Travel is a Philadelphia based company I connected with at a travel blogging conference this past spring. I thought their “Made in BC Culinary Stroll” of historic Granville Island would be a perfect introduction to Vancouver’s vibrant culinary scene for my out-of-town clients.

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Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson

mad hatter tea

Blue Caterpillars, caviar scotch eggs and applewood smoked croque-monsieur. Not exactly the traditional fare one expects to find on a table set for English high tea, but find it we did. High Tea is often thought of as a ‘touristy’  London activity, but I assure you, this English ritual is steeped in tradition, and any tradition that includes Devonshire cream, sweets and exotic aromatic teas is not one I want to miss out on. Full disclosure, the main reason I chose the Sanderson was because Claridge’s and the Palm Court at the Ritz were booked up until September. My beau had never experienced a proper high tea, so I was a little disappointed when the preferred venues weren’t available. However, when I heard the Sanderson was celebrating the 150th anniversary of one of my favourite childhood books, I couldn’t wait to tumble down the rabbit hole. Read more