Vacations, How Important Are they?

July 23rd, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Packing Tips, Value of Using a Travel Professional, Value of Vacations

Intriguing Travels

Sunset at the Lake

Sunset at the Lake

Hello Everyone!

I am feeling refreshed and ready to go.  We recently returned from two get-a-ways.  One was our annual trip to Connecticut to be on the lake with family and friends.  The other was a weekend away with friends.  This inspired me to write about the importance of vacationing.  It goes way beyond getting away.

There are actually benefits from our vacation  that linger with us long after we return. Taking a vacation with our adult children is cherished time.  It is ironic that children typically spend their high school years trying to get away from their parents.  Slowly through college and beyond, they come back.

A lake house vacation is completely different than going to a resort, eating out every night and being pampered by the staff.  At a lake house, you most likely are the staff.   This is where managing expectations comes into play.

We are converting our children from the notion that they are “guests” to the fact that we are all on vacation and everyone’s participation goes a long way!

Gratefully, Tina

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You would think, with all of the technological advances we have made since the Industrial Revolution, that workers in the United States would have more free time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Seemingly, this is not the case.  Stress levels seem to be at an all time high! Chronic Stress is dangerous to our health & well being.  Chronic Stress:

  • impacts our ability to have restful sleep
  • lowers our immunity
  • causes irritability, makes us down right cranky
  • negatively impact our health
  • interferes with our decision making skills

When we are well-rested and in a healthy frame of mind, we are much better able to handle what life throws our way.  Americans are under nourished when it comes to taking vacation time.  We are the only industrialized nation that does not have a formal paid vacation policy.  In an article written in 2007, the Center for Policy and Economic Research dubbed the US the “No Vacation Nation.” While we have literally no policy regarding paid vacation time, other developed countries are swimming in paid vacation time.

  • Finland – 30 days off, with 14 paid Holidays
  • 34+ Paid Vacation Days –  Spain, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, UK, Portugal, France, Sweden, Brazil

IMG_8078There is something in our culture that prevents many of us from even taking the limited time off that we are allowed.  We feel guilty or feel that we can be replaced.  The jury is out regarding the root cause of this mind set.  However, many experts agree that taking time away from the office in the form of a Vacation has many benefits:

  • Improved Relationships
  • Increased Productivity after returning
  • Improved overall quality of Life
  • Better able to manage stress
  • Balance to Health & Lifestyle

The key to maximizing or taking advantage of your time off is two-fold.  Plan ahead and know what you want to get out of your vacation.  The idea is to eliminate or mitigate the stress in your life, not to add to it.  One person’s ideal trip may be fishing at a lake 5 hours away.  Others long for a trip to Europe with all of the site seeing that they can take advantage of.  Some thrive on a ship with 3000 other passengers while others are perfectly content on a small ship that accommodates only 220 passengers.  Many families long for the welcoming beaches and unlimited food & drink of an all-inclusive resort.

Whatever vacation allows you to relax and enjoy your family or significant other is the right one; as long as you are on the same page with fellow travelers of course 🙂  Issue yourself a mandate to enjoy life outside of work or the household duties.  A well-planned vacation will reward you exponentially.  It is the gift that keeps on giving!

If  you would like help in planning your next vacation experience, please contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080.

Airport Tips

August 6th, 2014 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Packing Tips, Transportation Security Administration TSA, Travel Tips

Intriguing Travels

Bellagio MeHello Everyone,

Last week was a bit hectic as I traveled to Vegas for Destination Wedding “Boot Camp.”  It was one day of meetings and the next of touring properties.  The fun part!

Las Vegas is one of the top Wedding  destinations in the world.  Yes, there is something for everyone.   We focused on the more elegant venues and options although we did visit a new non-for-profit museum recently curated – “The Neon Museum” or Boneyard.  They hold guided tours of these iconic, retired neon signs of Vegas past.  It is becoming a popular site for tourists and locals alike.  What surprised me the most was that the museum has quite a few venues for Wedding Ceremonies and receptions.  That town never ceases to amaze me:)

On the other end of the spectrum, we were the first group of travel professionals to visit the newly remodeled Wedding Salon at the Wynn Las Vegas.  Can I just say that it was stunningly beautiful with neutral, yet alluring color schemes.  I am a fan.

Gratefully,

Tina

It is like a game every time I arrive at the airport.   How fast can I get through the check point!  It has taken me a while to realize that the best time to start that challenge is BEFORE I arrive at the airport.  Actually, a week before.  I thought that I would share a few tips – some that I’ve learned on my own and some that are on the Transportation Security Administration website.  http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/how-get-through-line-faster

Tina's LuggageORGANIZE

*  I always roll my clothing.  Start with heavier items and place them in your suitcase.

*  Shoes can be tucked away on the sides of your suitcase.

*  Smaller electronic items like smartphones and Kindles can stay packed in your carry on.  They don’t need to be taken out to be screened.

* It is recommended that you pack all of your electronics in your carry on bag versus checked-in luggage.

*  Your laptop needs to be viewed separately.  TSA Officers are looking for ones that might have been tampered with and have been trained to do so.

*  Organize your carry on items beforehand so that it is easy and quick for you to separate the electronics and liquids.  You’ll need to pull them out separately to be screened as you go through the airport check point.

PREPARE

*  The following comes directly from the TSA website above:    ” 3-1-1 for carry-ons. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.”

They will consider allowing certain liquids, such as breast milk,  in slightly larger quantities but they must be declared ahead of time.

*  Be prepared to have a gift unwrapped if you are traveling with one.  If you are bringing a gift, consider packing tape and flat sheets of wrapping paper or better yet, a gift bag.  Don’t wrap gifts a head of time.

*  It is also a good idea to check their website for prohibited items.  Most of us know that knives and other sharp objects are not allowed.  Interestingly, disposable razors are allowed on carry on luggage.  Some non-fuel lighters are allowed but others are restricted.

*  Many items are not allowed for you to carry-on but are allowed to be packed in your checked-in luggage.  A few examples would be baseball bats, golf clubs and  Gel-type candles.  The TSA has a downloadable brochure of prohibited items for your review.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

*  Funny how this applies to so many things in life!  To make things easier when traveling, try to keep your pockets empty.  You will be asked to remove their contents to go through screening.

*  As long as you do not have a disability preventing you from doing so, you will need to remove your shoes.  Think about wearing shoes that are easy to slip on and off.  If wearing sandals, you may want to pack a pair of socks so that you are not walking barefoot through the screening process.

*  Remember that certain body piercings may set off the screening  machine.  You may be asked to step aside so the issue can be investigated further, taking up more of your time.

The most frustrating thing is to be pulled out of line for extra screening or to unpack your carry-on because of something YOU have packed that is not allowed.

For the most part, the TSA Officers want us to get through just as quickly as we do.  We make our travel experience and their jobs that much easier if we take a little time ahead of time to educate ourselves to properly plan what we pack.

If you are a frequent traveler, you can sign up to receive email updates from the Transportation Security Administration.

Happy Travels!

If  you are planning a trip, feel free to contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080 for a complimentary consultation!