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Taking a Trip With Your Girlfriends Is Good For Your Health, According to Science

Taking a Trip With Your Girlfriends Is Good For Your Health, According to Science

Clear your schedule and pack your bags, because you are going on a girls’ trip!!! Even if your boss balks, or your family whines, or your dog gives you sad little puppy eyes, tell them that you’re doing it for your health, and it won’t even be a lie. Science says an occasional mini getaway with your friends is good for you.

While we all love our families, it has been proven that friendship can extend life expectancy, lower chances of heart disease, and even help us better tolerate pain. Really! Psychologists were able to link the size of someone’s social network based on how much pain they were able to tolerate. Friendships also make us feel good. In 2016, researchers found evidence that spending time out with friends can increase production of oxytocin, the feel good cuddle hormone that our bodies make when we’re happy. Studies have shown that oxytocin can make people more trusting, more generous, and friendlier, all the things you look for in friends.

Having friends is scientifically good for your health, but it can be hard to maintain those friendships. People move, jobs change, kids grow up, and maintaining friendships can be difficult and the annual Christmas letter or occasional Facebook update doesn’t always do it.

So clear your schedule and start planning your girls getaway—for your health!!

 

Do you need a Getaway With The Girls???  Well, we have the answer for you!!  Join us on our annual TrasformaDiva Girls Getaway, October 24-28, 2019.  Check out our website for full details and to register.  $100

 

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel, Girls Getaway

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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Jamaica – A Foodies Delight!!

Not just another beautiful Caribbean Island, Jamaica has become a Foodies Delight!!

Now everyone knows that one of my FAVORITE places in the world to visit time and time is again.  I’ve bragged about the wonderful people, the beautiful beaches and have gone on and on about one of my favorite foods in Jamaica, Jerk Chicken.  Well…. with an array of new Farm-to-Table restaurants, celebrity chefs, and th freshly formed Jamaican Gastronomy Network, the island has become a Foodie’s Delight!!  Are you ready to dig in??  Let’s go!!

The rebirth of Jamaican food culture has occurred over the last five years and has risen to an organized prominence with the formation of the Jamaican Gastronomy Network in September of 2016.    The Gastronomy  Network links together a network consisting of  chefs, local members of the media, business executives, ,and academics who are charged with boosting the profile of Jamaican cuisine domestically and abroad.

Of course, delicious and flavorful Jamaican food is typically seen as jerk chicken,  beef patties, and Jamaican Escovitch Red Snapper topped with spicy Scotch bonnets.  Now… quite sensibility that this isn’t quite fine dining; however, at a time where veganism and all natural ingredients are trending, Jamaica has leaned into its Rasta roots that promotes clean eating and embraced the country’s natural influences of Chinese, Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Spanish, and British food. That range within the country’s culinary offerings based on its history creates a built-in fusion both in the food and tourism industry which have been identified as a strength which should be emphasize. And, the results have manifested into a fancy haute cuisine.

There is definitely a major Jamaican gastronomy movement going on, with more farm-to-table experiences, new themed restaurants, an explosion of local talent making cuisine their career, the formation of culinary trails, an increased number of food festivals, and a deepening of food offerings. The Gastronomy Network is creating a consumer-facing brand called “Taste Jamaica” that includes a website and sleek app to chronicle various available gastronomic experiences on the island and help people make dining and tourism decisions.

If you are a foodie, GET OFF THE RESORT PROPERTY and check out the CULINARY TRAILS, FESTIVALS, AND BEYOND!!  In addition to some of the long-existing tours, like the Appleton Rum Tour and Craighton Coffee Plantation Tour, Jamaica is doubling down on its food offerings with organized festivals. Among some of the most popular events that showcase the island’s wealth of culinary options are The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival (March), Jamaica Rum Festival (March), the Little Ochie Seafood Festival (July), the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival (October), and Restaurant Week (November).

The recently launched Blue Mountain Culinary Trail puts emphasis on Jamaica’s organic food offerings in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. It includes visits to Holywell Recreational Park within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Old Tavern Coffee Estate, Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages, and Mavis Bank Coffee Factory.

A top-notch food experience can add something unique to a traveler’s experience on an island like Jamaica by helping you move beyond the generic experience into something deeper.  Sun, sand, and sea will always be a draw , as that is what draws us to the Caribbean, but you still have to eat!!  Having a great meal outside of the all-inclusive resort and participating in a local food festival, experiencing a farm-to-table or attending a cooking class all provide options to engage in a more authentic way.

Is your mouth watering??  Are you ready to see what Jamaica has to offer us foodies??? I sure am!!

 

Remember, Trasformativa is your Jamaica Travel Specialist!!

 

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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Los Cabos – The Ultimate Winter Getaway

Why Los Cabos Is the Ultimate Winter Getaway

So every year at this time my husband and I jet off to some beautiful beach destination, and this year we’ve again chosen INCREDIBLE Los Cabos Mexico, located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Sur.  We have had a busy start to the year, and it’s only going to get busier, so we need this vacation

The well-known Mexican escape has it all: new hotels, an exciting locavore food scene, and plenty of adventures on the water..

Located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Sur, Los Cabos has long been a popular beach getaway, with most visitors flocking to either Cabo San Lucas, the southernmost destination known for its high-energy party vibe and beautiful beaches, or the more laid-back San José del Cabo, whose charming historic center is about 30 minutes north. But thanks to a spate of new high-end hotels, many located along the coastal corridor that runs between the two popular cities, and a crop of elegant farm-to-table restaurants, Los Cabos is shrugging off its spring-break image and becoming a MUST DO destination.

STAY – Numerous new luxury resorts and hotels give you plenty of options for your Cabo getaway.  While there, I’ll be visiting several of these new resorts that have now opened, since my last trip there 2 yrs ago.  Watch our Facebook Page for new pictures and videos, and check out our photo albums with pictures of our last trip.

EAT – Throughout Los Cabos, the food scene is also having a moment, one that celebrates local ingredients above all else.  We ate our way through Cabo on our last visit, eating amazing seafood at Office at the Beach, where you are literally eating on the beach under a big tent watching all the activity on the water in the Marina district.  We celebrated our anniversary at Sunset Mona Lisa for cliff side dining while watching an amazing sunset.  And of course, no visit to Cabo is complete without sipping margaritas at Cabo Wabo.

And, we are such huge foodies, that no trip anywhere in the world is complete unless we visit a local grocery store.  Cabo has the MEGA which is an amazing place for foodies.  Visit there on Saturday mornings and someone will be making fresh tortillas that are still warm in the package.  And their mole bar….. oh…. don’t get me started…. a half dozen or more varieties to choose form.  And did I mention the bakery???? To die for.  Okay, I need to stop…. I’m drooling already.

DO – As tempted as you may be to just linger by the pool or on the beach, there are plenty of ways to get out on the water, and some of the most iconic activities are available in and around Cabo San Lucas. From December to April, you can witness humpback and gray whales during their annual migration; and these boats bring visitors closer than your average boat.  We normally can see the whales in the distance from our balcony; however, on this trip, we’re going to get up close and personal with them.  Watch for Facebook live posts and videos from that adventure.  Other adventures such as snorkeling, world champion fishing, parasailing, food & wine tours, cooking classes, art experiences, camel rides (YES… camel rides), The choices are endless in this diverse destination.

No matter what you are into, there is something for everybody in Cabo.

This year, Cabo won several awards at the annual Travvy Awards, which is the Oscars of the travel industry.  Winners are chosen based on a rigorous judging process that ensures the best and brightest in the travel industry are acknowledged for their achievements.

We are happy to announce that Los Cabos has been recognized with 5 awards due to the state-of-the-art infrastructure, world- class accommodations, top-tier architecture and lavish culinary scene.

BEST LUXURY DESTINATION – MEXICO
BEST CULINARY DESTINATION – MEXICO
BEST SPA & WELLNESS AND BEST HONEY MOON HOTEL/RESORT – MEXICO
WINNER: LE BLANC SPA RESORT LOS CABOS (which I will be touring)
BEST DESTINATION WEDDING HOTEL/RESORT – MEXICO
WINNER: GRAND FIESTA AMERICANA LOS CABOS ALL INCLUSIVE GOLF & SPA

So, join us next week for your virtual trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; I’m sure it will make you want to book your trip right away!!

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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How to Give a Surprise Vacation Trip For The Holidays

Giving A Surprise Vacation Trip

I really love giving fun or slightly over-the-top gifts from time to time, and this year two of those gifts I am going to give at Christmas are surprise trips!  I’m sure now my friends and family members who are reading this are wondering if they are the recipient of one of those gifts.  Guess they’ll just have to wait and see.  There’s plenty of research out there that an experience, such as travel, is more meaningful and remembered long after the excitement of a material possession wears off. There’s also no question that many of us have more than enough “stuff” in our houses, so giving a great gift without adding to the “stuff pile” is a definite win. Plus, let’s be honest, it’s also super fun to put together a travel surprise that someone might not do for themselves, and then go on the trip with them!

What You Need To Know When Giving A Surprise Vacation Trip

Giving a trip as a surprise can be a bit complicated, so that’s when you call your trusted travel adviser, Trasformativa Travel to help you plan your Surprise Vacation Trip.

1.  Be 100% Certain They Will Love It

I would argue that if you can’t be 100% sure of whether or not recipient of the Surprise Vacation Trip will like the destination and be free to go, that you should probably not book the trip before telling them about it, as it just isn’t worth the risk and stress. You can still surprise them with the idea of the trip, but I would not make the actual bookings (or at least not any non-refundable portions) if you don’t know the recipient and their availability well enough to be pretty certain that they will be both jazzed and available to actually take their Surprise Vacation Trip.

2.  Don’t Put Frequent Flyer Numbers in the Booking

The easiest way to have your secret plan spoiled is to have the trip specifics show up in the recipient’s email or frequent flyer account. This will almost always happen if you put their frequent flyer number in the reservation. This sounds like an easy step to skip, but be aware it can happen without you even intending for it to if you have booked a trip for them before and they are already a traveler in your airline account.

3.  Don’t Use Their Points

This one should be a no brainer, but don’t use someones miles or points to book their surprise trip for various reasons, including they are likely to see the activity in their account or email inbox, same as using frequent flyer miles.

4.  Consider Gift Certificates if You Aren’t 100%

One thing we have done for some extended family members in the past is give gift cards or gift certificates if we know they like to travel, but we aren’t in a position to know exactly when and where they want to head. We have found that this is an especially good gift for grandparents who have grandchildren spread across  the country.

5.  Wrap it Up in a Creative Way

The gift of travel is good enough that it doesn’t have to be dressed up in fancy wrapping paper and bows in order for it to be AWESOME, but if you are like me, it is fun to come up with a unique way for the recipient to find out about the gift. For example, give a trip to Italy in a box of cannolis, or a trip to Jamaica in a box of Jamaican chicken patties, or in our case a ……  Can’t give the surprise away just yet.  You can check our Trasformativa Facebook Page to find out what Suprise Vacation Trip I gave this year.

It isn’t totally necessary, but it sure builds up the fun and excitement for everyone in the room as you will see by our trip reveal to my husband on Christmas morning!

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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HOT Destination for 2019 – ICELAND

Iceland Is Prepping for Its Hottest Tourist Season Yet

Iceland is so hot right now!!  Well….  maybe not literally. The chilly European destination, which is not actually covered in ice, is anticipating its biggest tourist season ever.

This Nordic nation has not always been a hotspot for tourists; however, it wasn’t until an eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 that the world started paying more attention.  Another reason for Iceland’s sudden rise in popularity is  because of the hit series, “Game of Thrones,” which filmed its many northern scenes there.  So combine TV news footage of volcanoes and battles on Game of Throne’s battles waged in Iceland’s stunning scenery, and it was only a matter of time before visitors started flocking.

So is Iceland on your Travel Bucket List for 2019??  It should be!!

Here’s 5 things you can do while visiting Iceland.

Whale Watching Tour – There are many tours available that allow you to see whales as well as puffins. You can engage with Naturalists and experience rare sightings that will leave you in awe. It is best to whale watch in the summer months, preferably April through September. Minke whales are the most common in Iceland.

Blue Lagoon Spa – This mineral-rich attraction is minutes from the Keflavik International airport. There are many spa options available due to the geothermic forces and many natural elements. The lagoon is man-made and renewed every two days with fresh water. You can easily access the site via car or bus.

West Fjords – Located in a popular peninsula, the Fjords are breathtaking. You need to plan well and leave time to really explore all this area has to offer. They have great attractions. You can visit a myriad of special sites, such as the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum or the famous Látrabjarg cliff. There is much to experience in this mountainous remote area. You will have options that will keep you interested while on your expedition.

Skogafoss – The perfect place for you to get a shot with a double rainbow, Skogafoss is the most scenic fall in Iceland. With a drop of over 60 meters, the view is spectacular. There is also a legend of gold that lies within the falls. Take your chance and search if you dare…

Silfra – Silfra is an amazing diving spot located in Thingvellir National Park. It is the crevice between the tectonic plates in North America and Eurasian continents. It is the only place in the world where you can dive between two tectonic plates that shift roughly 2 cm every year. The shifting of the earth creates new caverns and tunnels. There is plenty of wildlife to see on your dive/snorkel. The three main dive sites are; Silfra Hall, Silfra Cathedral, and Silfra Lagoon. The maximum depth is about 207 feet. The water is the purest in the world, and you can feel free to take a sip while diving.

Iceland is not about just the Northern Lights, there is so much to discover.  So are you ready to travel like a Viking???

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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9 Things You Should Never Pack in Your Checked Bag

9 Things You Should Never Pack in Your Checked Bag

So….  I had a client who traveled to Europe the beginning of this month and the airline lost her luggage!!!  Not just for a couple of hours or a day, for her whole ten day trip!!!   She still had a fabulous time, but what a nightmare.  Even though I was in contact with the airline baggage department daily, sometimes multiple times, my poor client did not get her bag back until she returned home.  So, now I am in the process of putting in her claims so that she can recoup what she had to spend to replace those items.

With that said, here are 9 tips to follow of What NOT To Pack In Your Carry On Bag.

Jewelry and Valuables

Of course, it’s not probable that your checked bag will be lost by the airline. Opt to take less expensive jewelry, not items that cannot be replaced.  While only only about .012 percent of passengers’ bags are reported damaged, lost, or delayed, you don’t want to happen to fall in that .012 percent.

Most carriers require passengers to submit claims forms when bags are lost. The airline will then tally the depreciated value of the contents of your missing suitcase, and if your claim is accepted, that is, the airlines will pay no more than $3,300 per passenger for bags lost on domestic flights. All in all, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive compensation equal to the full value of your lost possessions.

Identification, Passports, Boarding Passes, and Essential Documents

All necessary documents, whether they’re work or insurance papers or other sensitive information, should be kept with you in your carry-on bag. However, if you must check them, another solution is to back them up. If you plan to put papers of importance in checked luggage, keep copies (either hard photocopies or copies on a flash drive) on your person. And any documents that include sensitive or private information should be kept out of your checked luggage altogether.

Cash and Credit Cards

All checked bags are screened electronically, but select checked bags are opened by TSA agents and screened by hand. When packing a checked bag, be aware that a security agent, a stranger, may be rummaging through your things at some point. There have been reports of TSA workers stealing electronics, money, and other valuables from passenger’s luggage; however, such occurrences are rare. But as a precaution, your cash, checkbook, and credit cards should be kept with you in your carry-on bag.

Laptop and Electronics

Take it from the TSA,  Electronics should be packed in carry-on luggage because they are typically fragile, expensive, and more prone to breaking if transported in checked baggage.

Lighters, Matches, and Flammable Items

The TSA has a handy checklist of prohibited items on its website that you can refer to for prohibited items. Items of note include lighters, matches, and flammable objects, which anyone going on a camping trip (or travelers who smoke) might need to pack.

Lighters without fuel may be packed in checked luggage. However, lighters with fuel may only be packed in checked luggage if they’re in a Department of Transportation-approved case.  Matches are prohibited in checked baggage and flammable items, such as paint or liquid fuel, should be avoided as well.

All of Your Clothes

If your luggage disappears into the mysterious black hole of missing checked bags, you’ll thank me later for suggesting you put a clean pair of underwear and some socks aside in your carry-on bag. An entire outfit is recommended, just enough to get you through a day or two at your destination in case your airline loses your suitcase. Other daily essentials, tooth brush and key toiletries (though liquids must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces), and whatever else you might need if your bag gets lost should be placed in your carry-on as well.

Medications

I’m going with a theme here…. If you can’t live comfortably without it, don’t pack it in your checked bag. You know the old cliche, “better safe than sorry,” should be lingering in the back of your mind when you’re organizing your luggage. Accordingly, prescription drugs are best kept on your person.

Passengers are permitted to bring liquid medications onto planes, even if they exceed the 3.4-ounce limit for carry-on liquids. But you’ll need to officially declare your oversized liquid medications when going through the checkpoint. Tell a security officer stationed at the checkpoint that you’re carrying liquid medications, and hand them over for inspection. It’s also helpful if you have a doctor’s note or a medical ID card, but it’s not required. The TSA also suggests that travelers label medications to facilitate the screening process.

Breakable Items

Don’t blame it all on the baggage handlers. However, I’ve seen how some baggage handles just toss my luggage into the pile.

Fragile items should always be packed in your carry-on bag. If you just have to bring home that wonderful bottle of red wine you picked up in Italy, use a product like the VinniBag, which will protect the contents of your bag in case the bottle breaks.

Food and Drink

According to the TSA, flyers should avoid putting food and beverages in checked bags.  Bottled drinks are likely to explode or crack in transit, thus ruining that cashmere sweater tucked away in your bag. And if your flight is delayed or your luggage gets lost for a while, your packed food might spoil.

As well, If you’re traveling internationally, you may be prohibited from bringing food to your destination. Each country has its own rules about what kinds of foods can be brought across borders. Check the embassey website of the country you’re visiting for more information.

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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10 Travel Tips For A Smoother Vacation

10 Travel Tips for a Smoother Trip

Travel is full of major decisions, like what destination to visit, your budget, and when to stop waiting and finally book your trip. Well, beyond the big picture, it’s the little things that can make a trip easier and less stressful. Just follow these simple 10 tips to smooth the way on your next vacation.

1. Park with your car nose out

If you return to your car to find a dead battery, a broken window due to thievery or any other potential problem, with your car’s nose parked out, you will have easier access to the battery, and/or easier hook-up to a tow truck.

2. Leave time to get to economy lots

Quite often, these lost are found in parking lots that are off-airport  property.
Transport from these lots to the terminals run regularly, but you invariably want to give yourself up to 20 to 30 minutes to ensure a timely arrival to your terminal.

3. Pack essentials in your carry-on
Recent statistics show that, on average, at least one bag on every flight is lost or delayed. If there’s anything in your bag that you can’t live without, pack it in your carry-on. This is especially true of items that are not easily or inexpensively replaced, such as running shoes or a lightweight raincoat.

As well, you’ll get through airport security faster if you pack your carry-on more efficiently.

4. Know your hotel information
If a) your luggage is lost or delayed; b) you miss your connection and will be late checking in; or c) you are going to a destination you’ve never visited before, you will want to have complete contact information for your hotel on your person. Before you leave home, print out the hotel’s name, address and phone number, and program the latter into your cell phone. (Don’t worry though, when you book with Trasformativa, we provide you with a printed copy of all travel documents, as well as electronic version)

5. Exchange your currency in the destination you are visiting
Exchange your US currency at the hotel of your destination rather than at the airport, as their rate is normally better.  However, many destinations in the Caribbean are happy to take US Dollars, so no exchange is necessary.  However, when traveling Europe, you will want to exchange your US Dollars to the local currency.

6. Save your boarding pass
Do you usually toss your boarding pass as soon as you step off the plane?  DON’T!!  Your boarding pass contains encrypted personal information that you would not want someone else to obtain.  This can also serve as proof of travel if your airline fails to give you the proper credit for frequent flier miles,and can also be useful as a receipt for tax purposes, especially if you are self-employed.

7. Know when to use — and when to skip — the skycaps
Skycap upside: You check-in at the curb, lose the bulky luggage and head straight to your gate.

Best to use if you are running late and will otherwise miss your flight; however, if time is tight, there’s no guarantee your bag is going to make it onto the plane.

Skycap downside: They don’t give you a seat assignment, and they cost a few bucks. (Don’t forget to tip!!)

You will not get your seat assignments, can’t make any special requests, get credit for frequent flier miles, and cannot address any problems with the flight such as delays or cancellations.

8. Get your seat assignments ASAP
Every minute you let pass without a seat assignment is another minute that someone else is selecting your coveted aisle or window seat Your best bet is to check in online or choose your seats at the time of ticket purchase.  (When you book with Trasformativa, your seats are assigned at the time of deposit/booking.)

9. Mark your bags with an easily recognizable item
We all buy our bags at the same stores and from the same manufacturers, so that black roller bag of yours is one of many. The result,  an endless stream of nearly identical bags on the baggage carousel. The solution: mark your bags by tying a colorful ribbon (Mine is Purple from the Breathless Resorts), stitching a unique patch or putting a large sticker on your bags will make it easily identifiable.  (When you book with Trasformativa, we give you a pre-travel bag that contains some colorful luggage tags to affix to your bag.)

10. Remember your flight number
This may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing your flight number can make your life easier in small or foreign airports that do not list the full names of destination airports, or list by flight number alone.

I hope these 10 travel tips will make your future travel adventures easier.

Have you booked your summer vacation or fall getaway??  Now’s the time!!

TRAVEL IN COLOR – NOT BLACK AND WHITE

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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Travel, The Ultimate Transformational Experience

Travel, The Ultimate Transformational Experience

In my opinion, Travel is most definitely The Ultimate Transformational Experience you can have.  Traveling to a far away destination, immersing yourself in the culture of that destination changes you; it excites the mind and feeds the soul.  It’s an experience you will come back to time and time again in your mind and just sigh.

Trasformativa is all about the Transformational Experience – That is the translation of our business name (Trasformativa – Italian for Transformative) and the model behind our tag line – Travel In Color – Not Black and White.  We ensure that all our clients with have a truly Transformational Travel Experience.

It’s all about the Cultural Immersion, and that’s what we do.  We make sure you have an authentic experience.

Eat The Food

When I traveled last year I took a day trip to Port Royal in Southeastern Jamaica and dined at Gloria’s Seafood Restaurant, which is infamous in Jamaica for it’s open air dining room overlooking the ocean and amazing fresh Jamaican seafood dishes.  Port Royal was once the largest city in the Caribbean, functioning as the centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea and was destroyed by an earthquake and accompanying tsunami on June 7, 1692, and sunk the majority of the city.  Some of the ruins of the old city are still there which I toured on my visit.

See The Sites

And not just the touristy ones, but off the beaten path) – While in Jamaica, I might set you up with my friend, Neville, who will take you on a locals tour of Montego Bay. Or, if you are in Italy, I’ll set you up with my friends at Parmagolosa to take you on your privately guided culinary tour of Parma where you will go to a working family farm and see how Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is made by hand everyday; and to see my dear friend Allessandra at Medici Ermete Vineyard to taste balsamic vinegar and their beautiful wines.

Talk To The People

There is no better way to immerse yourself into the culture of your destination than talking with the locals.  While on a recent trip to Jamaica, my husband and I took a cooking class to learn how to make authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken.  YUM!!!  After the class we started talking to the chef’s assistant, Bo Bo. When asked if Bo Bo was his real name, he proceeded to tell us that ALL Jamaicans have a nickname, and that most people will call you by your nickname rather than your given name.  So….. when there is an important event like a wedding, and they put the announcement out in the paper or send out invitations for the wedding, they need to include both the person’s nickname and given name, because some people may only know them by their nickname, like Bo Bo.  You would never know this bit of information if you didn’t talk to a local.

So don’t just show up, be present when you travel and immerse yourself in the culture of your destination and you will be glad you did.

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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It’s Never Too Soon To Plan Your Spring & Summer Getaways!!

It’s Never Too Soon To Plan Your Spring & Summer Getaways!!

Quick, look out your window and what do you see? It’s probably dark or gray from clouds and most likely cold. The trees have long since lost their leaves and there might even be snow on the ground depending on how far north you live. Whatever you see, it’s a lot different than the view of the beach, blue skies and ocean or a view of a European Countryside!!  It’s time to plan your spring and summer getaways!!

Now picture yourself in the middle of this sunny beach, soaking up some rays, splashing in the surf and snoozing in the sand or leisurely walking through a vineyard in Italy. That relaxing scenario is not as far away as you might think really, just a few months in fact, until the spring and summer seasons, and you can make that daydream into reality by booking your travel reservations now rather than later. Here are the top five reasons you should reserve your spring or summer travel plans today:

Flight & Lodging Availability:

The sooner you book, the more flight and lodging options you have to choose from. Wait too long, and you will be left with the leftovers from the early planners.

Added Incentives:

Hotels, cruises, and airlines want you to commit early, so they sometimes bundle extras on top of their vacation packages. When booking a resort package, you may receive resort or cruise credits to spend on site, category upgrades, free nights, dining credits, or other great offers. It pays to book early.

Low Deposits & Payment Options:

When you book in advance (through your trusted travel agent), you have the option to put down just a small deposit and pay the balance at a later time. This gives you the ability to secure your reservation without paying in full, and then take the time to save for your trip while knowing you have secured the best value for your vacation.

Peace of Mind:

The whole purpose of taking a vacation is to rest your body and unwind your mind after a long, chilly winter, and what better way to relieve the stress than booking early. The pressure to plan your vacation will weigh on you heavily all winter, so why not give yourself one less thing to worry about and book now? The peace of mind will go a long way toward helping you wait for your departure date.

Anticipation:

It gives you something to look forward to during the chilly winter months. Winter can be dreary, and it’s not uncommon to develop some feelings of cabin fever when you’re stuck inside all day. Having a trip set in stone can help provide some motivation when you’re scraping the ice off your car or shivering through your morning commute.

Trasformativa Travel is here to help you start planning your spring and summer getaways.  Don’t delay, because the Early Bird surely gets the worm when booking your vacation early.

 

Remember…. It’s Never Too Soon To Plan Your Spring and Summer Getaways!!

 

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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Five Reasons to Spend Your Tax Refund on Travel

Five Reasons to Spend Your Tax Refund on Travel

It’s that time of year again & I say it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year because you now have that tax return in hand and can now take that AMAZING trip you’ve been dreaming about all year!!

Yeah! Your taxes are done! (Or in my case, they’re almost done!) According to the IRS, the average taxpayer receives a tax refund of $3,000, which is just the right amount of money for an awesome overseas trip, flights included!

You’ve worked hard all year, and probably haven’t used much of your work leave (approximately 41% of American workers do not take planned time off from work), and you’ve got a sweet tax refund coming. Here are 5 reasons why you should spend your tax refund on travel:

You Can Afford It: There are many all-inclusive itineraries (includes airfare, airport/hotel transfers and an all-inclusive resort stay) that you can choose from for as little as $3,000! Thanks to your refund,  you can afford that vacation you have been dreaming about.

More Bang For Your Buck: Flights to Europe from major U.S. cities are WAY down.  This is due to the introduction of several transatlantic low cost carriers reintroducing actual competition into the market. As for many destinations, the U.S. dollar goes a long way. The U.S. dollar is also running strong against the Euro, so it’s a great time to visit Europe.

Experiences, like travel, make you happier than just “stuff.”:  Experiences make you happier than stuff: Studies have shown that the happiness that comes from purchasing stuff like clothes or TVs fades pretty quickly, but travel creates special experience that provides you with lifelong lasting memories. So, take that tax refund and go experience a new destination that you have been dying to explore! Just remember to actually experience the destination directly and immerse yourself in the culture.

Save for that BIG trip: You’ve been fantasizing about going to Australia or Asia, but you really need at least 2 weeks to really enjoy it and experience it the way it is meant to be experienced.  There’s no way you’re sitting in coach, and $3,000 just isn’t going to cut it for that BIG trip. So….Who says you have to spend your tax refund right away?  Why not create a travel savings account and start saving! You can even book your trip now with a small deposit and utilize a payment plan system.

You have a travel agent to help you: If you have no idea where to start in planning your tax refund-fueled escape, or you are overwhelmed by all the options you see on line, no need to worry, Trasformativa Travel is here to help you plan and book your Dream Travel Experience!!  We do all the research, planning and booking and we find you the best value for your budget. Send us a request for a complimentary planning session and we’ll get started right away.

Here’s hoping you get a great big tax refund this year!

Happy traveling!!

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.