It's an exciting time for some but...
The end of the year is almost here, and so many of you are celebrating with families and friends, maybe planning your next winter getaway or are the hunt for the perfect gift to put under your tree... Unfortunately, for the people of Cuba, things are harder than last year around the holidays. Cuba was booming with tourists (mostly from the USA), and small businesses were thriving. Still, they manage to survive and keep moving forward. This year, Cuba reach 4 million tourists, even though the country didn't have enough visitors from the United States. Hopefully next year, you get inspired to go and support all the small business and women entrepreneurs on the island.
I always have mix emotions this time of the year. My grandfather passed away on November 30th of 2000, and I came to this country on December 21st of the same year. It was tough to leave my family behind while grieving the loss of my beloved Abuelo. I was excited at the same time to be reunited with my husband (Fianceé at the time), to be able to travel for the first time ever to an unknown place was very accelerating and scary at the same time. Celebrating Christmas in a whole different way, buying everything that one can possibly need, and of course, a few extra gifts here and there made it very special. The sadness of not being able to share anything of what I was enjoying with my family was very hard. Every year, I want to be home for Christmas, and every year goes by, and it has not happened. It makes me feel better to know that I can send some money to my mom so they can also have a delicious Christmas Eve dinner and a great new year's celebration. Maybe next year will be the year that I will be there for the holidays.
I wish you all have an incredible holiday celebration with your loved ones and a very prosperous 2020, hopefully with more travel on your calendars! ;-)
The year 2019 has been a year of learning and growing as an entrepreneur. Got the Travel Advisor certification for AmaWaterways River Cruises and completed the ASTA Verified Travel Advisor program. I shared the news with you before, but I was excited to receive the certificate of achievement by mail today. You can find me on the ASTA.org website as well as on the ASTA's consumer website TravelSense.org here to help you plan your next destination getaway. You must use a verified travel advisor when planning your vacations, and below, you can read some of the reasons why.
Why You Should Use a Travel Agent, Now More than Ever?
Here is some great insights written by Jessica Montevago for the Travel Market Report
The travel industry is as exciting as ever, and next year will be no different. We’ll see new firsts on ocean cruise lines, the highly anticipated launches of Virgin Voyages and the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and innovations across the hotel sector. With all that’s to come, there are now even greater reasons to always book with a travel professional.
Get V.I.P. treatment at no extra cost.
Most travel advisors are members of a consortium, which negotiates special rates and perks on behalf of their clients, from free cocktails and room upgrades upon arrival, to spa treatments and late checkouts with supplier partners.
Ease the hassle of planning a vacation.
For complex trips, such as cruises where there are multiple room categories, to dozens of restaurants and hundreds of land excursions, travel advisors know what to look for and when. All you have to do is show up and enjoy.
Navigate Mother Nature.
Natural disasters are becoming more intense and frequent. This year saw wildfires in California and Australia, and the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Not only can a travel advisor help you around canceled flights, but it’s their job to know what is open and what isn’t, and they can provide reassurance whether or not it’s okay to travel to a destination.
Protect your bottom dollar.
New research found that nearly one in four people are scammed by third-party booking sites, translating to a loss of more than $5.7 billion. Make sure the money you saved for a special vacation goes into the right hands with a trusted travel advisor (reputable agents often list their accreditations on their website).
Pass along the homework.
A vacation filled with authentic and immersive experiences translates to a lot homework researching and verifying. Let the travel advisor do a deep dive into each destination, instead, as they can pull from their vast personal and product knowledge through fam trips, client feedback, and in-depth education.
Don’t go it alone.
Life is unpredictable. If a personal issue finds you needing to rebook – and fast – there’s no one better to have on your side in a pinch than a travel advisor. They know what phone numbers to call and whom to speak with, so you’re not on the line for an hour waiting for an operator, just to be transferred to a different department. Sometimes, personal relationships with general managers and other suppliers allow them to work around items like a no-refund deposit.
Find the right travel option for you.
From the air to the sea, there are more choices than ever before. As more airlines join the unbundling trend, fare options range from Basic Economy to Economy to Business; and additional services such as baggage checking and seat reservations, creating even more components for travelers to choose from. Booking a cruise is complex, with dozens of cabin categories and multiple rate codes, as well as refundable and non-refundable rates, and guaranteed cabins and cabins with free perks. Advisors are uniquely positioned to tell you which combination is right for you and your wallet.
Get important, up-to-date information.
When there are changes in documents needed to travel, or travel visa requirements, you’ll always be in the know. Take, for example, October 2020’s REAL ID deadline, which most Americans are unprepared for. Travel advisors are keeping them informed and reminding them to complete the necessary steps, so there are no surprises when they go to the airport.
Triple Savings from AmaWaterways
Exclusive Triple Savings When You Book by December 31, 2019! 2-FOR-1 LAND + PREPAID GRATUITIES + COMPLIMENTARY UPGRADESee the landmark sights of Southeast Asia and thoroughly entice all your senses on a Mekong River cruise from AmaWaterways. Feel the rush of excitement as you take a trishaw ride down the charming streets of Vietnam or try your hand at making traditional Vietnamese rice paper. Hear the melodic chanting as you explore ancient temples and are blessed by monks in remote monasteries. Smell the intoxicating scent of spices wafting through floating marketplaces and then taste these exotic new flavors.
These are the enriching moments of travel that let you explore more about the cultures and traditions of exotic lands. A journey through the heartland of Vietnam and Cambodia is truly a trip of a lifetime.
Earn exclusive Triple Savings on select Mekong River cruises listed below when you book by December 31, 2019:
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