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Ted Blank

Stillwater, Minnesota Travel Agent
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Ted Blank

Stillwater, Minnesota Travel Agent
A Full-Service Travel Leaders Associate Agency
18 Reviews | 100% Recommended
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Transform Your Next Trip into an Extraordinary One

One of Greece's Beautiful Islands
One of Greece's Beautiful Islands

None of us ever seems to have quite enough time to travel as much as we’d like.  Time always seems to be against us, whether it comes in the form of professional responsibilities or personal or family commitments.  Americans in particular seem particularly prone to this affliction, with study after study showing that the majority of earned vacation days aren’t ever used. 

It’s important, then, to make the most of the vacation time we have available.  Here are five suggestions, from my experience as a travel advisor, that can help you make the most of your time and can transform an ordinary trip into an extraordinary vacation. 

Private Experiences

Authentic local experiences and private guides are expensive, and many travelers will choose instead – for reasons of budget – to explore an area on their own or as part or a larger group.  I will tell you from firsthand experience, and from feedback received from countless clients, that even budget travelers should invest strategically in these experiences.  Whether it’s an afternoon in the Louvre with a retired museum curator, a sunset cruise along the walls of Dubrovnik in Croatia, a market tour with a chef – perhaps followed by a private cooking class, or a wine tasting in the private cellars of a small French chateau, these experiences are the ones that define a vacation.  You and you traveling companions will remember them forever. 

Non-Stop Flights

Yes, connecting flights are often cheaper than non-stop ones, and sometimes they are the only option.  But, it’s important first to reflect on how much time is lost through connections.  Plan for an additional three to four hours in each direction, robbing you of valuable vacation time.  Secondly, connecting flights offer double the opportunities for disruptions, such as flight delays, missed connection, and misdirected baggage.  Finally, connecting flights may result in additional security or customs screening, visas, or reclaiming and rechecking baggage.  If a non-stop flight option exists for your itinerary, it’s well worth the extra cost. 

Pace Yourself

I often find travelers who bite off more than they can chew when they travel.  Three nights here, two nights there, a quick one night stop along the way…it’s easy to fall into the trap of over-scheduling when there is so much to see.  Instead, slow down and remember, it’s a vacation, not a race!  Moving from city to city is time-consuming, stressful, and tiring.  I encourage my clients to consider one or two “home bases” and use day trips to visit the surrounding areas.  Or, for those who do want to see more, I encourage them to consider an ocean or a river cruise, which allows you to visit more places without packing and unpacking all of the time.  Take this advice and you’ll return home both fulfilled and relaxed. 

Airport Transfers

Getting from the airport to your hotel can be one of the more stressful parts of travel.  After a long flight, your first experience of a new destination is often spoiled by the challenge of finding a reliable way to get into town.  Public transportation?  Taxi?  Shuttle?  Add in a language barrier, jetlag, and the fear of being ripped off, and it’s far better to have your airport transfer pre-arranged.  Imagine instead being one of the lucky folks whose name is on a driver’s clipboard, and is whisked away without the typical franticness.  Sure, it costs a bit more, but it’s well worth the investment. 

Use a Professional Travel Advisor

No matter where you’re planning to go, and no matter where you are in the process, a travel advisor can add value and insight, helping you get the most out of your vacation time.  My experience, connections, expertise, and personal service will truly transform your next trip into an extraordinary vacation! 

Contact me to schedule a complimentary introductory conversation, and together we'll plan an extraordinary vacation for you!

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All My Travel Albums

Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo
Croatian Coastal Cruise
The Canals of Amsterdam
Rhine River Cruise
Hotel barge Luciolle on the Canal du Nivernais
Barging in Burgundy
One of the many canals in St. Petersburg.
Two Days in St. Petersburg, Russia
Dining room on a French Canal Barge
An Introduction to French Canal Barge Cruising