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How using a Travel Pro can pay off

In the sometimes complicated world of travel, using a travel professional to decide your vacation options can pay dividends.

Here are five ideas to consider:

  1. So Many Options, So Little Time – Planning a great vacation often takes time, knowledge, patience and perseverance, a combination of resources often in short supply. This is where a Travel Agent can become a valuable member of your team. The pros can get to know your travel criteria, discuss budgets and offer suggestions for trips you’ve had on the drawing board as well as options you might not have known existed. Then, they’ll use their experience and skills to make even the most complicated itinerary your reality.
  2. How It Works – Individuals and Families benefit from top agents’ access to upgrades, value-added options and other perks they can pass on to their clients. For many busy Individuals, Parents or Grandparents, handing off the job of trip planning to a professional is key to avoiding procrastination and getting a vacation on the calendar, And should your trip take a surprising turn, a good agent will have your back to help with canceled flights, unexpected health challenges or your need for a last-minute shift in the itinerary.
  3. Choose A Specialist – If you are eager to take a cruise, visit a Disney resort or explore a specific country or region, using an agent with that specialty can pay big dividends. Those pros can sort through the long list of cruise lines for the brand that best matches your travel dreams. They’ll know how to book the best cabins, sort through meal and activity options and provide insight into how each member of the family might make the most of the sailing. Theme park pros know the best weeks to visit, have tips for avoiding long lines and which lodging options will work well for your crew. Eager to explore Italy? Find an agent who can steer you toward your desired accommodations and prepare a specific itinerary that will appeal to every age group.
  4. Travel Is Educational – A good agent can help incorporate travel into your educational plan. Are you interested in boosting your child’s school curriculum by adding literary or historical sites to your travel itineraries? Do you want more art, music and theater in the mix? A good Travel Agent can help create a week, month or summer plan that marries your family’s educational goals with your love of travel.
  5. Time Well Spent – Family, Group or Individual travel time is a precious resource. Whether you’re traveling for a milestone birthday, anniversary celebration, family/school reunion or any special itinerary, you no doubt hope to return with precious memories rather than tales of a trip gone wrong. A Travel Agent’s professional guidance, grounded in research, expertise and insider knowledge, can provide the edge you need to avoid snags and to experience a relaxing and stress-free holiday

If you’re ready to take that much-needed and well-deserved vacation, Bargain Travel is here to help you.

Please contact us on our toll-free number at 1-800-820-4567 or by completing our Cruise Request Form or Land Vacation Request Form and one of our experts will help you make your dream vacation a reality.

6 Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid

You might expect loud noises, close quarters and crazy maneuvers in the dance club onboard your cruise ship; but not in your cabin. Even if you don’t plan to spend much time there, it should be a restful and private place so you can maintain that much-needed vacation stamina. To help you do so, here’s a compiled list of cabins you’ll want to avoid booking if closet-like dimensions or scraping chair sounds overhead aren’t appealing to you.

  1. Cabins Seriously Lacking in Square Footage – The average master bedroom in an American household runs about 200 square feet. “Inside” doesn’t mean one size fits all, so carefully read cabin dimensions before selecting. Also, check whether a balcony is included in the total square footage of the room — the added outdoor space might be nice but not if it’s being factored into an already teeny-tiny cabin.
  2. Cabins With Obstructed Views – An obstructed-view cabin category might cost less, but the quality of the vista varies from room to room. One view might be only partially obstructed, leaving most of the window occupied by sunsets over waves, while others artfully frame a length of lifeboats.
  3. Noisy Cabins – One common rookie cruiser mistake is not checking the deck plans before booking a cabin.  Anything near a dance club, sports venue, lido deck or all-night eatery could mean throbbing bass, bouncing basketballs and the sweet sound of deck chairs scraping at 3 a.m. It’s widely agreed that the best passenger deck to choose is one sandwiched between other passenger decks — you might run into noisy neighbors, but it’s unlikely they’ll have access to pots, pans or an industrial sound system. Another potential peeve is the dinging of elevators, if you’re close enough to that area to hear them. And don’t forget the cruise ship engine. While humming noises put some to sleep, the loud buzz of machinery might drive you batty. Passengers on the lowest deck are most likely to hear engine or even anchor sounds.
  4. Cabins With No Privacy – A view is always preferable to no view, but be wary: Cabins that open onto a promenade deck offer little privacy, even with curtains closed.
  5. Cabins Prone To Motion – If you know you have a history of motion sickness or even if you’re not sure, err on the side of booking a more stable cabin. By “stable,” we mean mid-ship, closer to the interior and on a lower deck, where rocking motion is less likely to be felt. A balcony room might seem enticing for the fresh air, but a location on the outer edges of the ship could make it more susceptible to movement. That said, visual contact with the horizon line is said to aid in reducing nausea as you bob up and down.
  6. Guarantee Cabins – Not saying that guarantee cabins aren’t worth the gamble for an upgrade, but if you want assurance that you won’t be in a pitching, noisy cabin, these cabins aren’t the way to go. A guarantee cabin isn’t actually a type of cabin but, rather, a method of booking a cabin. You pick a minimum cabin level you’d be comfortable in, and the cruise line assigns you a cabin close to booking dates based on availability. The potential for an upgrade is appealing, and if you’re cruising on a budget and don’t have a particular issue with any of the cabin dilemmas listed above, then it could be worth your while to see what a guarantee might deliver. But your guarantee also could place you squarely above the anchor, next to a crew entrance or below the theater. With guarantee cabins, you lose your ability to complain about what you end up with.

After reading these helpful tips and you’re ready to book your next exciting cruise vacation, please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 (toll-free) or complete our online request form and one of our travel experts will be happy to assist you.

The 7 Times You Shouldn’t Tip On A Cruise

Many cruise travelers are confused about when, whom and how much to tip.

Most mainstream lines automatically charge passengers a daily gratuity, yet still expect them to fork over cash for luggage porters, room service deliverers and tour guides.

Here are 7 times for when you should not tip on a cruise.

Do not tip when…

  1. You buy a drink (a 15 to 18 percent gratuity is usually already included in the bill).
  2. You’re sailing in luxury (upscale small-ship lines like Oceania, Seabourn & Silversea, tips are usually neither required or accepted).
  3. You’re dining at a Specialty Restaurant (gratuities are usually always included in the bill).
  4. You’re at the ships’ Spa Facility (an 18 percent gratuity is usually included in the final bill).
  5. The Counselors at the Kids Club (the club fees are usually included, however you can give an additional tip if you are feeling especially grateful to those staff members who went above and beyond your expectations).
  6. The Plumber comes to your cabin to fix your toilet or shower (although it is tempting, onboard ship engineers do not work for tips).
  7. The Ship’s Captain or Cruise Director (they are not required to receive any tips or gratuities).

Follow these simple money-saving tips when on your next cruise.

Speaking of your next cruise, please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 (toll-free) or complete our online request form to book your next unforgettable and much-needed cruise vacation!!

Cruise Ship Attractions That Will Amaze You

As each year progresses, so does the Cruise Line Industry. With each Cruise Line and Ship tying to outdo the other, the competition is endless. It’s more than a cruise, it’s an experience!

Here are some of the incredible attractions that are featured on these awesome cruise ships.

  1. Harmony Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – Full Scale Water Slides & Water Parks
  2. Harmony Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – Rock Climbing Wall
  3. Celebrity Solstice (Celebrity Cruises) – The Lawn Club
  4. Disney Dream (Disney Cruises) – The AquaDuck Water Slide
  5. Carnival Vista (Carnival Cruise Lines) – Their Own Onboard Brewery
  6. Carnival Vista (Carnival Cruise Lines) – IMAX Theater
  7. Carnival Vista (Carnival Cruise Lines) – The Sky Ride
  8. Anthem Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – Flow Rider Surfing Simulator (also featured on their ships Freedom Of the Seas, Oasis Of The Seas & Allure Of the Seas)
  9. Quantum Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – Rip Cord By iFly Sky Diving Simulator
  10. Quantum Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – The North Star Capsule (A viewing capsule that is guided by a robotic arm, providing breathtaking views)
  11. Quantum Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – The First-Ever “Bionic Bar” At Sea (also featured on their ships Anthem Of The Seas & Ovation Of The Seas)
  12. Quantum Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – Bumper Car Track/Attraction
  13. Quantum Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean) – “Virtual” Balcony Staterooms
  14. On Most Royal Caribbean Ships – Digital Touch Screen Way-Finding Signs
  15. Caribbean Princess (Princess Cruises) – “MUTS”, Movies Under The Stars (Outdoor Theater)
  16. Norwegian Pearl (Norwegian Cruise Lines) – Bowling Alley in the Bliss Lounge (also featured on their ship Norwegian Epic)
  17. MSC Divina (MSC Cruises) – F1 Racing Simulator
  18. MSC Divina (MSC Cruises) – 4D Cinema Theater

With all these inviting attractions, it’s time to make your next getaway a cruise vacation!!

Please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or submit your Cruise Quote Request here and our expert staff will guide you to the perfect cruise vacation at a great price!!

25 Coolest Places in the USA to Visit With Kids

With the summer season here before you know it, here are 25 awesome places to visit with your kids…all right here in the beautiful USA!!

  1. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana & Idaho)
  2. U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)
  3. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  4. One World Trade Center (New York City)
  5. City Museum (St. Louis, Missouri)
  6. Yosemite National Park (California)
  7. Schlitterbahn Waterpark (New Braunfels, Texas)
  8. Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)
  9. Cedar Point – The Roller Coaster Capital of the World (Sandusky, Ohio)
  10. Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
  11. Alcatraz Island (San Francisco, California)
  12. National Air & Space Museum (Washington, DC)
  13. Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, Georgia)
  14. Freedom Trail (Boston, Massachusetts)
  15. Sleeping Bear Dunes (Michigan)
  16. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island, Hawaii)
  17. San Diego Zoo (San Diego, California)
  18. Everglades National Park (South Florida)
  19. Chicago Art Museum (Chicago, Illinois)
  20. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)
  21. Heartland Harvest Garden (Powell Gardens / Kansas City, Missouri)
  22. Dinosaur Valley State Park (Fort Worth, Texas)
  23. NASCAR Hall of Fame (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  24. Denali National Park & Preserve (Alaska)
  25. San Antonio River Walk (San Antonio, Texas)

Please don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your trip. Contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or submit your Land Vacation Request and our expert staff will take care of all your travel needs.

10 Reasons Travelers Still Need a Travel Agent

In the age of technology, booking trips online is an easy choice for travelers. and yet the business of travel agents in the United States soared last year (ASTA reported) that more of half of all agents saw an increase in clients, transactions, and revenue in 2014 over 2013, and their profits are expected to grow 12% in 2015.

Here are 10 reasons that help explain why that is, from a customer’s perspective.

1) Accountability – A travel agent’s job is on the line with every trip. They are a real person clients can speak with to work things out.

2) Knowledge – Travel agents have been doing the job for years and know all the ins and outs.

3) More For Your Money – When booking an expensive trip, a travel agent can ensure that your dollars go a long way.

4) Setting An Itinerary – A travel agent can give a clear-cut schedule & keep records of what will be happening on a day-to-day basis.

5) Budgeting – A travel agent can help map out exactly how much a trip will cost, so there are no surprises.

6) Insurance – Things happen. A travel agent can offer insurance in a number of ways, from guaranteeing that your hotel is safe and the company and the company running the tour excursion won’t rob you, to actually advising on which insurance policies you need, from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. They also insure that you have the correct travel documents, so you don’t end up missing your plane or cruise. And when things do go wrong, travel agents have the resources and the contacts to get you to the head of the line.

7) Resources – At the touch of a travel agents’ fingertips, they have resources a traveler simply does not. Yes, we have the internet, but there is so much still left unknown, especially in places that are undiscovered.

8) Exclusivity – A travel agent knows the new destinations and the new places in them – and often they can get you in. Through their partners, they also often get freebies for their customers ranging from a free drink to an exclusive admission to a hot event.

9) Time Savings – A travel agent will spend time getting to know you and what you’re looking for, and then put together an entire vacation customized for you.

10) Leverage – Travel agents spend years developing long-term relationships and travel companies understand how important their repeat business is. Travel agents have leverage with most hotel companies, resorts and cruise lines, and they are more likely to get what they want than a single consumer.

In short, if you have never visited a travel agent, you are missing out on a chance to save time, hassles and aggravation – and often, money as well.

Please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 and allow our 40+ years of experience guide you to your next hassle-free and relaxing vacation!! You can also submit a land vacation request or a cruise vacation request and we will respond immediately with information on your next getaway!!

The 10 Best Skyscrapers in the World

With New York’s One World Trade Center set to open later this year, attention is focused on skyscrapers. “They are spectacular. They are larger than life. They are charismatic, and you can’t help but notice them,” says Judith Dupre, author of Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings. Her 18-inch-tall skyscraper-shaped book offers a peek at some of the newest buildings near completion. Here she lists ten of her favorite contemporary towers.

  1. One World Trade Center (New York)
  2. Mode Gakuen Tower (Tokyo)
  3. Shanghai Tower (Shanghai)
  4. International Commerce Centre (Hong Kong)
  5. Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago)
  6. Bank Of America Center (Houston)
  7. The Shard (London)
  8. Burj Khalifa (Dubai)
  9. CCTV Headquarters (Beijing)
  10. 1 Bligh (Sydney)

If your desire is to visit and see one of these structural marvels in person, then let us make it a reality! Please call Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or submit a land vacation quote form and let us put together this very memorable & exciting trip for you!!

The 10 Most Anticipated New Theme Park Rides In 2014

With the 2014 Summer season just around the corner, theme parks will be standing tall this season. and not just in the metaphorical sense of proudly displaying their shiny, brand-spanking new rides. We’re talking about literally standing tall with coasters and other crazy contraptions that will reach absurd heights and make even the most steely-nerved daredevils quiver with fear. The most anticipated ride of 2014, however, will take Potterphiles deep underground for a face-to-(noseless) face encounter with “he who must not be named.”

10. New England SkyScreamer at Six Flags New England (Agawam, MA): What makes this ride unique, is that at 400 feet above the ground, it will be the world’s tallest swing ride.

9. Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens (Tampa, FL): Rising 335 feet into the air and freefalling back down at 60mph is intense enough, but the seats on the first-of-its-kind ride will tilt 90 degrees at the top of the tower so that passengers will be facing straight down before they plummet. Yikes!!

8. Zumanjaro: Drop Of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ): This NJ park already has the world’s tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. By piggybacking onto the coaster’s top hat tower, it will also boast the world’s tallest drop ride. Could you handle a 400-foot drop at 90 mph? Double Yikes!!

7. ThunderBolt At Luna Park, Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY): Its name may conjure memories of the classic wooden coaster that once graced Coney Island, but with its novel elevator lift tower and other decidedly modern touches, the new ThunderBolt will make its own waves at the seaside amusement area.

6. FireChaser Express at Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN): It only chugs along at 35 mph, which makes it accessible to all but the wimpiest of visitors. But the coaster, which features two launches — one forwards and one backwards — nonetheless packs a fiery punch and includes a cute theme.

5. Banshee at King’s Island (Mason, OH): With a ride time of 2:40 and the track length of 4124 feet, Banshee is the world’s longest inverted coaster and is getting rave reviews from ride fans.

4. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA): The supremely silly characters from the popular movie bring their supercharged antics to an engaging 4-D ride film. It’s loaded with laughs, and like the movies, includes some surprisingly touching moments as well.

3. Goliath at Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, IL): The anticipation is high for Goliath, which will boast a 180 foot, 85 degree drop and a top speed of 72 mph, which will make it the world’s tallest, fastest and steepest wooden coaster ride.

2. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL): It’s both a mildly thrilling coaster with a unique cradle design that allows the cars to swing back and forth and a compelling “dark ride” that takes guests into the colorful mine to see the Seven Dwarfs at work. The animated characters are particularly stunning in the attraction, which is the capstone of the park’s New Fantasyland expansion.

1. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, FL): Universal is promising a mind-blowing, next-generation ride experience in its second Potter-themed land. The coaster will use immersive 3-D imagery to take visitors to the subterranean netherworld under the Gringotts bank where they will face off against fire-breathing dragons and the villain to end all villains, Lord Voldemort. Getting to the new Dragon Alley land will be nearly as much fun, as the Hogwarts Express will shuttle muggles from the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade on a tricked-out, effects-packed, vintage steam train.

Don’t let this 2014 Summer season slip away without trying at least one of these new theme park rides! Let us make it happen for you! Please call Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or send us a land package request quote form and allow us to book your next fun-filled theme park vacation!!

Unwind in the 10 Best Cruise Ship Spas

Spas on some cruise ships boast the latest and greatest in relaxation and wellness treatments, catering to both newbies and experienced spa fans. There are treatment options for women and men and sometimes even for teens. Prices may be higher onboard than on land, but when else are you going to indulge? Check out these spas to achieve a new level of zen.

  1. Celebrity Cruises – Canyon Ranch SpaClub
  2. Princess Cruises – The Lotus Spa
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line – The Mandara Spa
  4. Disney Cruise Line – Senses Spa & Salon
  5. Cunard Line (Queen Mary 2) – The Canyon Ranch SpaClub
  6. Crystal Cruises – The Crystal Spa
  7. MSC Cruises (MSC Divina) – The Aurea Spa
  8. Seabourn Cruises – The Seabourn Spa
  9. Oceania Cruises – The Canyon Ranch SpaClub
  10. Costa Cruises – The Samsara Spa

Why not indulge yourself and make your next vacation with one of these awesome cruise lines! Contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or submit a cruise quote request form and allow us to make your next cruise getaway one that will be fulfilling and relaxing!

10 All-Inclusive Resorts Worthy of the Name

There are all-inclusive resorts and then there ARE all-inclusive resorts. The difference lies in the details; going above and beyond the standard amenities. These ten hotels are the best of the all-inclusive resorts that offer fun and exciting ways for travelers to indulge. World-class food, beautiful décor and fantastic activities to be had — and everything built into one single price-per-day, making planning out your budget a simple feat. From Cabo to Cancun and back again, these are the ten all-inclusive resorts that are truly worthy of the name.

  1. Zoetry Paraiso de la Riviera Maya (just south of Cancun)
  2. Marival Residence & World Spa, Riviera Nayarit (just outside of Puerto Vallarta)
  3. Half Moon, a Rock Resort (Jamaica)
  4. One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos
  5. Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic
  6. Dreams Tatum Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya (just south of Cancun)
  7. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas
  8. Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas
  9. Parrot Cay & Como Shambhaia Retreat, Turks & Caicos
  10. Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun

If you would like to visit any one of these ten incredible all-inclusive resorts, let us make it happen. Please call Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or send us a land vacation request-a-quote form and allow us make this dream vacation a reality!!

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