05/08/2015

Memorial Day Getaways: Top 3 Cities To Visit – Travel Insurance Services

Calling All History Buffs-Top 3 Cities to visit for Memorial Day

There are a number of reasons for a Memorial Day Weekend Getaway. It’s the official start of summer, a day off of work, and most importantly a day to remember our military men and women. If you’re looking to travel over this upcoming long weekend, we have three top spots that are sure to have you enjoying the holiday weekend.

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05/05/2015

Why Should You Visit St. John?

The U.S. Virgin Islands-St. John

Featuring Mattie Little, Travel Insurance Services Marketing Coordinator

St John

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, Mattie Little, Travel Insurance Services Marketing Coordinator, visited the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John. She shares with us not only her experience, but the many things to do and see that the island offers. From breathtaking beaches, to shopping, where to eat and stay, what to do, and the best way to get there, journey with us as Mattie shares the best of the best that St. John has to offer. 

How We Got There

I visited St. John with my entire family during mid-March. This was a fantastic time to visit as it was still cold in Ohio, where I reside, and hot and sunny in St. John. We flew from Columbus, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia on a Friday and spent the evening in Atlanta. We had an early morning flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas on Saturday. This quick pit stop in Atlanta really helped break up the trip so we didn’t have the physical burden of traveling all day long. When traveling to St. John, you must fly into St. Thomas and take a ferry ride over to St. John. We arranged to have a private taxi to transport us to the ferry boat. This was about a 30 minute ride. I highly recommend arranging a private taxi from St. Thomas to the ferry boat station. You eliminate lines and you typically end up with a more pleasant taxi ride versus Mr. Toad’s wild ride (from what we have heard and what my parents have experienced in previous trips!)

Once arriving at the ferry boat station, we boarded a private water taxi which was fantastic. Instead of waiting on many other passengers to board the public ferry boat, we arrived, met our taxi driver, and away we sailed off across the island! If you are a person who gets sea sick, no worries, this is only a 10 minute ferry ride if you choose the option of a private water taxi.

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04/06/2015

Top Spring Travel Destinations

Top Spring Destinations In The U.S.

Many popular destinations see a dip in tourist traffic during the spring months. This means you can enjoy mild temperatures, lower rates, and less crowds during this time. If you can get away during the spring months to visit the beaches that seem crowded and unaffordable during the summer, or the most talked about cities like New Orleans or Las Vegas- do it! You will be paying a fraction of what the crowds will be have to pay in a few months!

Let’s dive in head first and check out our top 7 spring destinations!

Myrtle BeachYou don’t have to wait for summer to head to the beach. Myrtle Beach is the perfect beach vacation and it’s already starting to see continuous sunshine and warm temperatures.  Miles of sand, Ripley’s Aquarium, shopping, irresistible food, boardwalk, and ocean views at every turn, make this destination a top pick for spring and escaping the last few weeks of winter. Other activities that are perfect during spring months in Myrtle Beach include golf, fishing, jet skiing, and even visiting a former rice plantation that sits on 9,100 acres. 

 

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03/31/2015

Top 5 Things To Do In Chicago, IL: Chicago Attractions

Whether you have been to Chicago or not, this city has all the offerings you’d expect for first time visitors or repeat Chicago lovers. From world-class food to vibrant nightlife, education to sports, Chicago has a little something for everyone.

The best time to visit “Chi-Town” are in the months of April and May or September through October when the temperatures are warm and hotel rates are reasonable. Many of Chicago’s top festivals take place during these months as well, like the Barbeque festival. The state’s largest BBQ competition, Red, White, and BBQ has live music, vendors, beer tastings, and of course award-winning barbeque.

With so many attractions to visit and see, we have compiled the top 5 must-see & dos in Chicago.

Millennium Park
Chicago Bean

For first timers, Millennium Park is a must! Even for repeat visitors, Millennium Park offers a gorgeous backdrop for an outdoor stroll. Located on 24.5 acres, the most popular sight to see is the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean.” One of the most unique and interesting sculptures in the world, The Bean invites visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. It’s the perfect place for “selfies.” Millennium Park also offers Lurie Garden, a popular area within Millennium Park. Lurie Garden is an urban oasis that provides serenity within a big city. Dedicated to eco-friendly botanical landscapes, Lurie Garden offers self-guided tours perfect for a quiet, relaxing day still while being within the heart of the city. 

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03/27/2015

Three Vacation Hot Spots The Whole Family Can Enjoy

When you think of vacations your whole family can take part in, where and what do you think of? Mountains? Beaches? Museums? The old west? The East coast? Check out these three hotspots and learn more about why they are the perfect fit for your whole family! 

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03/26/2015

5 Ways To Survive That Dreaded International Flight

 

How to survive an international flight

If you fly often, you know how it is. You’re surrounded by thousands of people trying to get where they need to go in the airport, then you’re stuck with another couple hundred people when you actually get on your plane.

While some of you may find this routine, a lot of us cringe and bite our lip at the thought of being in close proximity to so many strangers on a plane all day or night.

Whether you’re traveling for business or exploration, reaching your destination is worth the long, uncomfortable flight. And luckily, there are five ways you can make your entire traveling experience more enjoyable, including the dreaded plane ride:

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03/18/2015

Walkable Cities Make for Happy Lives

 

Walking

Where will you be headed for summer vacation? Maybe your summer will be spent actually moving to another city entirely. Whether you’re planning a trip or getting ready to move to a new home, consider a city that’s pedestrian friendly rather than a commuter’s paradise.

While commuting everywhere is certainly easier and more convenient, it’s not always the best choice if you want to live a vigorous lifestyle.

According to America Walks, the top walkable cities in America are among the most sustainable and prosperous places to live and visit. The residents who live in these cities are also among the healthiest and happiest in the country!

We gave these five cities an A+ for being the most walkable cities in the U.S. Did your home city or vacation spot make the cut?

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03/17/2015

Three Spring Break Hot Spots for Students

Spring Break Hot Spots for Students

Why are these three destinations just right for your Spring Break getaway? Beaches and pools, for starters – but of course, there's so much more. Get the scoop here, plus three more great locations for a week of warm-weather fun. 

 

03/04/2015

Carry-On Essentials

 

Shutterstock_carry on

Your 3 Carry-On Essentials Guide When Flying

If you were on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

Hopefully you won’t ever have to answer this seriously, but the question applies to your carry-on bag, especially if your luggage gets lost. If your carry-on isn’t your sole piece of luggage for your flight, you’ll need to pick what items you want with you on the plane. 

But how do you decide what you should or should not pack in your carry-on? Here’s how you can break up your packing into absolute needs, basic needs, and comforts to help you put together the perfect carry-on.

Absolute Needs:

• Prescription medications and medical supplies for each day you’ll be away from home
• All forms of identification, including money and credit cards
• Jewelry and other fragile belongings
• Electronics

Basic Needs:

• A change of clothing if your luggage is lost
• A travel-sized tube of toothpaste, makeup, and other toiletries
o Make sure your carry-on toiletries are approved within the 3.4 ounce or less, per container policy. To review other items that you can and cannot bring in your carry-on, visit the TSA.gov website for further information.

Comforts:

• Music and books to help you pass the time on the flight
• Your laptop or tablet to watch movies or shows
• Snacks, especially if your flight doesn’t offer full meals
• A sweater or jacket to keep you warm during the flight

By following these packing tips, you’ll be prepared to pack your carry-on bag the next time you travel. Having items like toiletries, a change of clothes, and entertainment will help you have an enjoyable flight and give you the peace of mind you need if your luggage goes missing.

Note: Before you fly, check the airline’s carry-on size restrictions and pack your bag accordingly.

03/03/2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling With Kids

Shutterstock_family at airport

 

Remember the scene in Home Alone when the McCallister family is rushing around frantically to get to the airport on time for their Christmas trip to Paris? The McCallisters make their flight in time, but end up forgetting Kevin, the youngest child in the family, at home.

A worst parents’ nightmare.

Then, in Home Alone 2, Kevin makes it to the airport with his family, but ends up on a different plane as a result of all the chaos.

Another nightmare.

Chances are you won’t leave your child at home or lose him on a different flight, but traveling with your kids can be a challenge. Check out the do’s and don’ts of traveling with your kids that will make the process much easier.

1. Pre-Trip Communication

Don’t: Arrive at the airport with your kids for the first time and expect them to behave. Flying causes anxiety for grown adults, so it’s understandable if your kids are frightened or nervous about getting on a plane.

Do: The night before your trip, walk your kids through what they should expect. From the security process and body machines, to the aircraft and the noises they will hear, taking the time to explain can help alleviate confusion and worry, and make airports a more peaceful place for your child.

2. Booking Your Flight

Don’t: Travel when you know your kids will be the greatest hassle. If you know your kids are energetic during the middle of the day and you’ll have to give them plenty of attention, don’t schedule a long car ride or a flight during that time.

Do: Work your travel plans around your kids’ schedules. If your children still nap, schedule your car ride or flight during the time that your kids are napping. If it’s easier to travel after your kids are down for the night, schedule a red-eye flight.

3. Seat Selection

Don’t: Ignore your ability to pick your family’s seats on a flight. If you know Jack and Sarah don’t get along, don’t sit them next to each other on a long flight.

Do: Use SeatGuru.com to check out the layout of your aircraft. This will give you a better idea of whether or not you want your family to sit in the same row or if there is a way to group people together for a much smoother flight.

4. What To Bring

Don’t: Forget to bring toys. This may be a given, but never travel with your kids without bringing something to keep them entertained. The busier they are during the trip, the less likely they’ll be to get bored and stir up trouble.

Do: Prepare a list of your children’s favorite An assortment of tasty snacks and activities like puzzles, movies, and magnetic travel board games can help pass the travel time for your kids.

Travel is a great way to expose your kids to new places, people, and cultures, so don’t let the stress of traveling with your children prevent you from booking your next trip. If you follow these do’s and don’ts, traveling with your kids can be smooth sailing!