Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

In order to plan a great travel experience, it is necessary to plan ahead as much as possible. I enjoy reading articles that will assist me in enjoying my next adventure with as few mishaps as I need to encounter. I like to see what advice fellow travelers have, research out locations, price different activities and plan my trip out as much as possible.

Last summer, I had a great time in New York and I plan on going again sometime this fall. Despite what some people might think, it’s possible to have a great time on a decent budget in the city that never sleeps. There’s also a wealth of information out there, numbers, websites, and tips for the weary New York traveler that I thought I would share:

Having your Hotel’s Local Phone Number- I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve gotten into a cab, given the address to my hotel only to sit there while he or she circles the same few blocks trying to “find” my hotel. It’s so helpful to have your hotel’s number on hand for this reason and so many others. If your flight is delayed and you want to let them know you’ll be arriving late, you’ll be able to easily let them know so they don’t give away your room. If you’re heading back to your hotel after a late night out and can’t remember the exact address, a quick phone call will make it easy to get home safely.

Airline Phone Number- Whether you need to change your ticket or want to see if your flight has been cancelled or delayed due to bad weather, calling the airline directly is your best bet.

Dial 311-New York City has a fantastic free information service: 311. Government information and non-emergency assistance is a quick phone call away and all calls are answered by a live person, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Translation services into over 170 languages are available via 311. For calls made from outside of New York City’s five boroughs, you can access the same free information (with 24 hour live operators) by calling (212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675).

NYC Car Service Phone Number- Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to hail a taxi, so having a car service number can be a tremendous help. When you’re stuck with lots of bags from a serious shopping trip, out in the boroughs looking for a ride back to Manhattan or trying to get to the airport, a quick call to a car service can get you a ride to your destination with little hassle.

NYC & Company Visitor Information Phone Number- If you’ve got a tourism related question, call 212-484-1222 to speak to a Visitor Information Counselor Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They can help you with questions about attractions, tours or anything else related to New York City tourism.

Phone Numbers for Restaurants Where You Want to Eat- Even if you already have reservations, it’s a good idea to call and confirm them the day before. If you don’t reservations, it can be a good idea to call to see if they have suggestions about good times to get a table or if they have any same-day reservations available.

Travel Agent’s Phone Number-It’s not surprising that even the best laid plans can sometimes run into a snag. Having the phone number for your travel agent will make it easier to rectify any problems you might run into, whether it’s delayed flights, an overbooked hotel or a rained-out tour, your travel agent will be able to fix things more easily the sooner you let him/her know you’ve run into a problem.

Tour Operator Phone Numbers- If you’ve pre-booked tours or events on your own, it’s a great idea to store these numbers in your phone as well. It’s easier to let someone know you’re lost or running late if you can call them directly.

Traveler’s Aid Phone Number- Should you need travel assistance and don’t have somewhere else to turn, give Traveler’s Aid’s JFK agency a call at 718-656-4870. If you lose your ticket, find yourself at the wrong airport or run into another travel snafu, Traveler’s Aid may be able to offer you assistance.

New York Area Consulate Emergency Phone Number- For international travelers, it can be helpful to have the number of the nearest consulate available. Should you lose your passport, run into legal problems or need other assistance, the Consulate office of your home country can often provide help.

Securing Discount Broadway Tickets- Broadway discount tickets purchased at a TKTS Booth are typically 25-50% off full-price, meaning you’ll pay about $50-$75 per ticket. Standing Room Only and Rush Broadway discount tickets will cost approximately $25. Broadway discount tickets purchased through Broadway discount ticket newsletters and websites are typically 25-50% off full-price, meaning you’ll pay about $50-$75 per ticket.

Your best to get these tickets is to sign up for on discount Broadway ticket newsletters and websites — these sites offer discounts on advance sales for many Broadway shows. You should also check the websites for Broadway shows that you’re interested in seeing — they often have email newsletters and special offers available.

Where can I get same-day Broadway discount tickets- There are two TKTS Booths in Manhattan offering discount Broadway tickets. Standing Room Only (SRO) and Rush Tickets are available the same day of a performance, typically for around $25 at the box office.

What Broadway discount tickets are available for students-Many Rush Tickets are available only for students with ID. What Broadway discount tickets are available for Seniors? Some Rush Tickets are available to seniors as well as students with ID.

Broadway Discount Ticket Sources
TKTS Booth Discount Tickets
Online Broadway Discount Tickets
Standing Room Only and Rush Discount Tickets

Wishing you a fantabulous travel experience!!

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others
stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we
are never the same.”



Read Full Post »

Now, I am not a kill joy, but my grandchildren understand only Disney World. Don’t get me wrong I like Minnie, Mickey and my favorite Donald Duck! I am sure it has to be his sexy quack that really turns me on! Excuse me I regress to my childhood remembering my Donald Duck lunch box.

Well, I foolishly tried to explain there were other sites there as well. My little darlings would have none of that. The only redeeming part of Florida is Disney World. But, for the rest of us, here are some great sites to see in Florida once you’ve expended all your energy for Flash Mountain.

Best Miami Attractions for Kids

Biscayne National Park

Courtesy of: QT Luong

Courtesy of: QT Luong

While enjoying the natural parks in Miami, don’t forget about the one located under water! Kids of swimming age will find a bounty of treasures in this 181,500-acre wonderland, located just off the Miami coast. You can explore the vibrant coral reefs in a myriad of ways, including glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, fishing, and more. There is more fun to be had on land, on hiking trails or while camping on Elliot Key, or the more rustic Boca Chita Key. Visit the Convoy Point / Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Homestead to start your adventure.

Crandon Park BeachCrandon
Crandon Beach has been ranked one of the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S. A short stroll along the promenade takes you to the Amusement Center – a hub of activity including a carousel, outdoor roller rink, splash fountain, and playground. The park also features concession stands, picnic areas, various nature trails and tours, and kayaks and cabanas to rent.

Everglades National Park

Courtesy of: Jim Richardson & National Geographic

Courtesy of: Jim Richardson & National Geographic

Make reservations ahead for a two-hour tram tour starting at the Shark Valley Visitor Center. This is the most family-friendly of the visitor centers and the one closest to Miami. You will see plenty of alligators, birds, and other wildlife. The Bobcat Boardwalk is an easy ¼ mile trail that kids will enjoy walking.

Gold Coast Railroad Museumthe-gold-coast-railroad
The museum is home to several historic train cars, including the Ferdinand Magellan, built by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and used by several Presidents after him. Short train rides are offered on several types of trains, depending on the day. There is also an extensive model train exhibit, and a huge toy train set that children can play with.

Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Learn about South Florida and Caribbean history at this lovely museum in Downtown Miami

Miami Children’s Museum
Younger children will marvel at the plethora of interactive exhibits, and be delighted that they can touch and move anything they want.

Wishing you a marvelous travel experience at Disney World and beyond!!

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Read Full Post »

The Ritz Paris

The Ritz Paris

If you’re going to visit the luscious city of Paris and you have the means, why not do it in true style at a Parisian luxury hotel? Paris has some of the world’s finest, most luxurious hotels. This is a city that is well-suited to upscale services.

Four Season George V Luxury Hotel
A stay at the George V (pronounced George Sank) is the ultimate Parisian experience. This luxurious hotel near the Champs Elysees has long been famous for catering to its guests. With private terraces that command all Paris; 17th-century tapestries, lovingly restored; and a spirit that lives on in thoroughly reborn, highly advanced spaces, Four Seasons George V Paris redefines luxury service in the City of Light.

There is something about the Jess Leathan flower arrangements and the world renowned Sodashi Spa that resonate luxury and opulence across the globe. You may also recognize its delicately appointed lobby, which was the setting for a scene in the film, “French Kiss.”

Paris Le-Grand
The Inter-Continental is another of Paris’ best addresses. The hotel, already upper crust, recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that kept it closed for a year and a half. The best part is, with the newly-unveiled hotel, there are some deals that make this upscale hotel within the price range of some commoners, at least for a night. Inside the lavish hotel you will find the legendary Café de la Paix, which is renowned for classic French cuisine and since the hotel is a historic monument in France the whole building is brimming with timeless beauty.

Victoria Palace Hotel
The Victoria Palace in Paris is a delicately-appointed oasis in the city’s hip Montparnasse neighborhood. While it isn’t in the center of Paris, it is close to Luxembourg Gardens and St. Germain de Pres. The hotel has been a landmark on the Left Bank since 1913 and served as Parisian home to such major figures as the Irish writer James Joyce and the Italian painter Giorgio De Chirico. The rooms are rather large, especially for Paris.

The four-star hotel has several nice touches such as the weather report delivered nightly to your room and the welcome package given to all children staying for at least two nights ages 4-12. It’s the little things and the outstanding services that make visitors feel like royalty.

Ritz Paris
Feel like royalty, if for a brief time, with a stay at the infinitely regal Ritz Paris. The rooms and the hotel itself are like a mini visit to Versailles and the food has been legendary in France for decades. The first head chef of the Ritz, Auguste Escoffier, was the creator of Peach Melba and many other dishes that became the epitome of fine French cuisine. The Ritz continues that tradition with the Auguste Escoffier School by creating future generation of five star chefs.

If you truly have the means, splurge for one of the prestige suites like the Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel or Elton John. This is also the ultimate place for families. Children are indulged, with a welcome gift, pint-sized robes and a cuddly toy. Little ones can also take swimming or cooking lessons.

Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome is not just any hotel. It’s a fantastic, artfully decorated, courteously staffed hotel, with a newly renovated, gorgeous site that has been brilliantly constructed out of five different buildings. The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome offers guests every amenity possible. From cocktail courses for the budding hostess to the Universe of Senses stay for any luxury traveler. The neighborhood is first-class, a brisk walk from some of the most chi-chi shops in all of Paris, and so is the staff.

Chateau d’Esclimont
There are few things more indulgent than staying in an actual castle. Live like royalty at magnificent Renaissance château and former home of the La Rochefoucauld family, Château d’Esclimont, just an hour from Paris. The rooms are beautifully decorated, and the 150-acre grounds are ideal for walking. The restaurant has fine, memorable cuisine. It is, however, in an ideal for location for exploring Versailles, Chartres and the lovely, chateau-filled Loire Valley possibly with a hot-air balloon ride or helicopter flight and see the château and surrounding area, in all its magnificence, from the air.

From the towers, belfries and delightful grounds to the pretty bedrooms with fresh flowers, balconies with filigree railings and the calming moat below – everything here has a sense of true romance, and all with typical French flourish.

Have a luxurious travel experience!!

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Read Full Post »

Some of us have a very strong sense of adventure. Some of you have or are willing to stroll on canopy walkways 100 feet above the ground, hook yourself to a zip line and slide from one treetop to the next, or float overhead in a hot air balloon. Some of you with nerves of steel may want to try and go even higher. Why not give yourself an adrenaline high by trying skydiving, parasailing, or pilot a fighter plane ride?

I know that Obama and I are not the adventurous when it comes to skydiving! But do trust me, we are going to visit on of these spots and show it to you. Until then, check out this link for you to get a head start with you and your family for your travel experience.

Have a great travel experience!!

Read Full Post »