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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in family travel
1318

Have you ever searched the internet with the phrase ‘ How to talk to a human?’ It’s a frustrating place to be when searching for easy answers and solutions! At least in the Travel industry, help is at hand, actually it’s never been far away because sitting in the therapists chair is a trusted Travel Agent, just for you, to talk about you, to listen to you, to ask you relevant questions and open up the world of ‘me time’.

At Travel Essence they understand that your decisions involve hard earned cash, that your time is limited to certain dates, that you need financial protection, reassurance and peace of mind. They can tick off your requirements on their clipboard and you know that they have absolutely taken it onboard.

The travel agent therapist seems to know the right questions without throwing you in the wrong direction. They keep you on the tab you have opened rather than opening up several more tabs whilst still looking for the same information.

They don’t make you feel inadequate infact they spin their globe on their table and teach you so much: about climate, time differences, rainfall in the high season, vaccinations, visa requirements, luggage allowances, airport transfers, and dietary requests.

Travel agents are the holy grail which indecisive travellers pursue, as they are well travelled themselves, and their knowledge is simply fabulous. They skilfully hone down your list of options, they offer you the world at your fingertips. They know immediately about new flight routes which are coming up offering the latest direct flights without stop overs. They know about all inclusive rates so you that can happily enjoy a plethora of twilight cocktails; they offer excursions organised by trusty operators; and of course rooms with a sea view; or interconnecting doors.

Happily on their desk they have space for your dreaded admin that is hidden behind your dream destination. They can easily make room for your pile of holiday paperwork and the time-consuming small print within your booking conditions and of course they are used to navigating the potential pitfalls. Nothing is too much trouble. At Travel Essence it’s a first class service. They are there to help.

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Twenty years ago there was such a rush for everyone to do things themselves online and for direct, easy return flights the individual nowadays has the ease of managing their own booking, within a few clicks a flight can be confirmed. Interestingly though there is a new type of person seeking travel therapy especially for the itinery based destinations, the long haul holidays and twin centred trips. Thought provoking holidays need the human touch.

The highest age group seeking travel agent advice according to the “2017 Portrait of American Travellers” by MMGY Global, are the Millennials. 33% say that they intend to use the services of a travel agent over the next 2 years – that’s twice as many as GenX (17%) and Baby Boomers (18%).

Even though they have increased use and familiarity with communications, media and digital technologies, 44% of Millennials say that using a travel agent “is worth it”, that the idea of a personal shopper for holidays is definitely time and money saving but mostly, even they, actually want to talk to a human.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tagged in: family travel travel
1258

Families are enjoying a surge of active holiday options available to them. Memories to share, experiences to encounter together and a global world with easy direct flights.

The appeal of the active holiday is that new adventures can be experienced by each family member for the first time, it's less of the adult having knowingly been there before and more of the total thrill for all members of the family.

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 Costa Rica is a perfect family destination for the sharing of amazing experiences. Forget the classroom, the   books, and the You Tube clips, as it is all there to be seen, just by catching a direct flight. Easy really.

 Rainforests and volcanoes in the same day? Just amazing. Craters, geysers, vertiginous landscapes. Children   can delight in howler monkeys flying above the huge verdant tree canopies above their heads. This isn't Harry   Potter, this is for real.

 Leaves and foliage bigger than your youngest. The green smells and the crunch of the forest floor and the         steamy freshness that can't be experienced unless you are there, in a real life geography lesson which is not boring but so very very cool.

Dads need a break from work, to get out of their daily routine and commuter led environment so a zip-wire ride across a jungle is ideal, or a sky walk across ravines of giant trees, they can be just like Ant and Dec but without the clipboard and film crew. Its the feeling of being high above such nature, such beauty, such a natural experience, a far cry from Go Ape.

Mums are easier to please, swims under gushing waterfalls, therapeutic sulphur springs, luxury eco lodges, and if missing the daily Costa coffee take-out is a worry, then here is the real life Costa Rica plantation tour, smell it and breathe it...easily pleased! and after that caffeine hit then why not get to grips with the nearby white water rafting.

Going on holiday must of course include the seaside and Costa Rica doesn't disappoint. Travel Essence recommends a number of handpicked hotels and lodges on both of Costa Rica's coasts all with pristine beaches and endless opportunities for safari, wildlife spotting boat trips, dolphin swimming, kayaking, and visiting turtle nesting beaches.

For young explorers there are photo opportunities to impress friends back home. Imagine the social media posts of sloths, turtles, crocodiles, iguanas, butterflies, frogs, dolphins, humming birds, tropical kingbirds, boat-filled flycatchers, toucans and white crowned parrots. The colours and sensations are way beyond a colouring book or Disney animation.

It is just beautiful and at its best from between December and May. Ideal for a getaway Christmas break or a colourful Easter break. There are direct flights 3 times a week from Gatwick with a flying time of 11 1/2 hours.

Experiencing the world with active family memories and moments is the way to go, shoulder to shoulder, gasp with gasp, thrill by thrill. Costa Rica has it all.

 

 

 

 

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2417

Vietnam has surged in popularity since it opened it’s doors to tourism at the start of the 1990’s and having just returned from my own family vacation, it’s easy to see why this relatively small country has been named by many travel experts among the top 20 destinations to visit in 2017.

 Now, certainly is a great time to explore and experience this wonderful country, as it embraces a period of peace, innovation, creativity and success.

The natural wonders are in abundance, from the misty green mountains of Sapa to the mysterious wetlands of the Mekong Delta. The cities by contrast are absurdly in-your-face, driven by the buzz of a million motorbikes and the palpable thrust of energy and commerce. It was the Vietnamese people however, that totally captivated me; their optimism, warmth and communitarianism was an absolute delight to witness and truly contagious

The best way to experience Vietnam is on a multi centre tour and at Travel Essence they have the experience and relationships with specialist operators to enable them to tailor itineraries to best meet your requirements, that take account of travel dates, duration available and the highlights you wish to include.

 

Vietnam’s touring highlights with the inclusion of some memorable, authentic experiences:

 

A RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE

From the French colonial rule through to the problematic war of the sixties, Vietnam is a country that has undergone extensive change. Come here to see the underground tunnels of the Viet Cong and explore the cultural sites that make up this beautiful country, from the citadel of Hue to the historic streets of Hoi An, both designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

CITIES

There’s a frenetic energy that pulses through Vietnam’s two major cities. Whether it’s Ho Chi Minh’s vibrant metropolitan allure or the colonial charm of Hanoi, you’ll feel compelled to hit the streets and discover these great cities for yourself.

 

MEKONG DELTA

A watery landscape of stilted villages and floating markets fringed by paddy fields and fish farms. A cycling tour or a cruise along the waterways will offer you a fascinating insight into local rural life and is also possible as a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City.

 

HALONG BAY

A UNESCO world Heritage Site, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most iconic landscapes; lime karsts seemingly rise out of the emerald ocean from nowhere. An overnight cruise is the best way to experience this atmospheric place and catch a glimpse of the life of traditional families and their floating homes.

 

CUISINE

A Foodie’s heaven !! The Vietnamese cuisine offers some of the most delicate, carefully balanced food in the world and is an essential part of the Vietnamese culture. Most cities have their own specialities, which is why there are said to be nearly 500 traditional Vietnamese dishes! Throughout this country you’ll feast on regional dishes that combine staple ingredients like lime, chilli and the abundant rice noodle. For budding Master chef's, why not join a days cooking course in a local cafe or enrol in a week long professional culinary programme, that includes shopping daily for local produce. Be inspired, there’s definitely something for everyone.

 

BEACHES

After touring through Vietnam enjoy well deserved rest and relaxation at one of the country’s beach resorts. With over 3,400 kilometres of coastline, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to tropical beaches and island destinations.

 

WHEN TO GO

Although Vietnam is not a large country, it is long and thin, so its climates are mixed due to differences in latitude from north to south. Therefore, the ideal times of travel vary throughout the country but generally speaking the best time to visit Central Vietnam is during our summer months, whereas for North and South Vietnam the more favourable weather conditions are from December – March.

 

WHERE TO STAY

A couple of my favourites:


The
Intercontinental Danang

The Four Seasons Nam Hai

 

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1696

When the summer is here and the sun is shining, the temptation to get out and about feels stronger than ever. So many places to explore!

When you have a tight schedule and timetable to work with, driving can feel like a real chore - it really is a case of getting from A to B swiftly and safely, and with the kids in the back of the car you can feel like you're chasing around like a taxi driver. But when you have a day to play with, no reason to rush or need to watch the clock, driving is a real pleasure. 

We're lucky to live in a beautiful county, with plenty to see and do close by. If you have a free day on your hands there's so much within driveable distance - here are some suggestions. Before you set off, check you have everything you need in place. If you're hiring a car for a journey, borrowing a friends' car or sharing driving duties, make sure you've got short term car insurance. You'll also need plenty of drinks and snacks, and stuff to keep the kids entertained! 

The Surrey Hills
Right on our doorstep, the Surrey Hills is an area of outstanding beauty and superb countryside. You can either drive there and then spend a wonderful day walking, hiking and cycling, or take in the most picturesque of drives through the gorgeous villages en route - the views are stunning.
 

South Downs National Park

The South Downs are 20-30 miles away from Surrey so this is definitely more of a day trip than an afternoon out, but the longer drive is worth it. There is plenty to do here, including visits to Lewes and Eastbourne, and camping at Blackberry Wood. In fact, it might be a good idea for a weekend away!

Chichester
A few years back, the Sunday Times nominated the 30-mile drive from Godalming - itself a lovely place to visit - to Chichester as one of its top UK driving roads. So, if your trip is as much as about the drive as the destination at the end of it, this could be for you.

Windsor
Just over half an hour or away from Surrey is the beautiful city of Windsor - second home of the Royal Family. A fairly effortless drive takes you to a place of numerous attractions, including Windsor Castle and Royal Windsor Racecourse. Meanwhile, if you're travelling with kids, head straight to Legoland for an awesome day out.

What are your favourite driving days out in and around Surrey?

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