Monthly Archives: July 2012
I believe there should be one place for everyone who has travel related questions to write in and receive all the information they need..
Free, honest advice .. From someone who actually travels ..
Where is that wonderful place?? HERE
please ask cobblestones and Heels all your travel related questions. You can also choose to have your Q & A’s public or private :-).. So when you have a question .. I have an answer..
Cobblestones and Heels…
So – your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, summer fling, etc. want to go on a “romantic getaway”…or even just a mini vaca..
At first, this suggestion sounds GREAT!! A Vacation together!! Ya HOO!!!(Especially to new relationships). You all have this fantasy about what you think it should be like. But the reality is,. Depending on the dynamics of the couple, it really could go one way or another… You all pretty much know what I am talking about.
The good ones are harmonious and problem free. You both want to do the same activities, see the same sights, have the same sleeping and eating schedule, and neither of you freak out on public transportation..
Then, some couple trips can go south really fast….. The stress of travel can take its toll on the majority of us, and if proper measures are not taken ahead of time.. your vacation could become a week of fighting or even a breakup.
Based on personal experience, and the experience of my traveling clients –
Here are my tips and best advice on traveling with your loved one…
first, there is always one of you that actually enjoys traveling planning, and is good at it. I suggest that both of you make a decision together on where and when to go away, but then agree on letting the “travel planner” handle a lot of the major details.
Once you have made the flight reservations, gotten the train tickets, booked the hotel accommodations, rental car arrangements, etc (print and have two copies of all itineraries). Both of you should be aware of your travel arrangements. Then make a FLEXABLE daily plan for activities. Decide ahead of time on a few things you would both enjoy doing together. That way, you don’t have the stress of ‘on the spot’ decision making of- who wants to do what.. Trust me, this little detail can set a bad tone for your entire trip..
Third, If it is a new relationship, spend some time talking with each other about your own personal interests, travel habits, favorite dining choices, etc.- all the little things that the other person may not know- And should find out ahead of time!
If you have been together “forever”, then discuss your last vacation a little. What came up that caused issues so history won’t repeat itself! Also discuss if you want some alone time. Ie spa days, golfing, shopping, etc something that the other person may NOT be in to. Agree to set this time aside so the vacation can be mutually enjoyable.
Forth, take all the preparations for general “stress free traveling”, that I have mentioned in previous blogs. If you haven’t read them before, now is the time!!
Fifth, and one of my personal favorites, don’t discuss any heavy topics on your vacation. This time should be for total peace and tranquility. Leave “reality” behind for a few days. .
And finally, remember that is the vacation is for both of you. It should be a mutually relaxing, enjoyable time where one person does not feel like they are on the other person’s vacation!!
Cobblestones and Heels
While I have temporarily “grounded” myself, I have been working more publically planning VIP travel and film production travel. What does that mean exactly? It means I have imprisoned myself in a stuffy office environment. Just kidding… Sort of.
Although it can be stressful at times and a lot of pressure, It is actually a lot of fun, and personally satisfying helping people plan their dream vacations, or assisting feature film production with all the travel prep they need to shoot all over the world.
In regards to personal travel, I believe the best travel agents/ coordinators, are the ones that have traveled a great deal themselves. The ones that can speak from personal experience when recommending a hotel in in a remote place like Thailand, or a safari trip to Africa. They can give the best advice on which airlines to choose for specific routes, service, and accommodations on board.
When my clients contact me and ask me things like: “I am looking for a luxurious romantic getaway, can you give me suggestions?” I LOVE it. It gives me a chance to mentally re-live some of the wonderful places I have been, and help someone acquire that same experience. I can make it as easy and stress-free as possible for them ( in this crazy post 911 world of travel).
So what exactly do I do for them? Pretty much everything. I give destination ideas and suggestions. I search the best airline rates or find the perfect private jet. Locate the hotel / villa/ bungalow, etc.- that will best fit their travel needs. Book car services and car rentals. Even catering, restaurant reservations, and arrange entertainment all over the world.
Film production travel is a little different and a little more stressful- there are budgets, deadlines, and constant changes to deal with. However, the really cool part is that after a feature is wrapped, I know that I was partly responsible for its filming success and the transportation of major cast and crew- sometimes 500 people at a time!
After flying for 13+ years I was not sure if I would be able to make the transition to a day job, but as long as travel is still involved, iam happy. My wings have not been permanently clipped, I WILL be flying again- while in cooperating all my new found knowledge !
Changes and growth mold us as human beings. I believe that if you don’t take risks and try new things, you may be missing out on opportunities that can” take you” to new places ( even if you never leave the ground)…
Cobblestones and Heels
Vacationing when you are “a single”?
On all my work travels, I am pretty much alone, side from a couple of pilots (that may or may not be social).
On the road I eat alone, sight- see alone, exercise alone, etc.
There have been some places in the world I was thrilled to be alone, while others, well, it was downright depressing.
While traveling, I would always think to myself, if I was single or just and wanted to vacation by myself where would I want to go? Where would i suggest to other “single vacationers”?
First, just for fun, I want to share some of my unfavorable places/experiences I have had while on the road “alone”.
Let’s start with ummmm.. Juno, Alaska! .. I was held captive by my hotel room for a whole week due to the rain and the fact that there is absolutely nothing to do there. Ok, in all fairness to Juno, its a beautiful place. And if you have nice weather, you can hike, see the glaciers, walk around the small quaint town, and eat some good salmon. But, in a cold rain, and during the winter, you have little options!! My hotel was also limited with entertainment, so i watched a lot of shows about fishing- which i have no interest in. My hotel gym had one treadmill, and some sand weights. I was happy that i was not Alaska is not international and at least i had my phone to catch up on a lot of phone calls!!
Then there is Boulder, CO. Again, this is a beautiful place, but if its summer, and you are alone, you may start to create invisible friends. The week I spent there was pretty tough. Had it been winter, I would have spent my days on the slopes, but It was the summer.., and everything was so spread out, I really had no idea where to go to even be social. I spent a lot of time in a local book store, and working out in my hotel gym. I did hike ounce, but I was told there may be mountain lions and I should not go alone.. Yea, that is probably good advice for those people like me that do not carry hunting rifles.
There are also places in Asia I did not enjoy being alone. I.e. Macao, Hong Kong. Very little English speaking people, and in order to really get around and see stuff, you need to understand the maps and directions.. I found those areas almost uncomfortable to be in for a long time. In general, places that are non-English speaking are kind of tough and it wears on you after a few days. France and Italy are easier for me because I am more familiar with the language and the amazing food makes up for conversation.
The Best places to be alone on vacation? Let’s start with – Hawaii (because all you really need to keep yourself busy is a beautiful beach, fruity cocktails, and a few decent restaurants). In Hawaii you can hike, enjoy the amazing volcanos, and it’s a pretty safe place to sight -see on your own. Since the weather is pretty much nice all the time, you never really feel stuck anywhere. If it rains, you have lots of entertainment on the
Islands that can keep you busy for days, not to mention all the great spas!
The Caribbean is a great place to be alone. Most of the Islands are pretty much all tourists, except for Anguilla, so there is lots of shopping, places to eat, scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. not to mentionthe beautiful beaches ,and again, restorative spas!
Do i need to mention NYC?? Now this is definitely a city in which you will never feel alone. I would suggest the fall season! Central park is a beautiful rainbow of colors from the foliage! The shopping is amazing uptown and downtown! You also have The Metropolitan, Broadway shows, The Garden! So many places that can entertain you for days. The best thing about NY?? It truly never sleeps. Restaurants seem to never close, and you can get delivery of just about anything 24/7.
My favorite place to roam around alone? Definitely Paris. The food is amazing, The museums and galleries are plentiful, and the men.. So charming and helpful 🙂 And if you are looking to meet someone, the “damsel in distress” (or lost), works like a charm!
Now, since I can speak French, I am also comfortable with the language difference but I believe that since there are so many Americans and other tourists there, it is a pretty easy place to handle even if the only words you know are “bonjour”, or “Merci”!
Traveling alone can be an amazing experience. It builds character, expands your mind, and gives you time to really learning about yourself.
As always, feel free to write me for any additional travel tips or questions you may have!
Cobblestones and Heels