Wanderlust Blog

Posts Tagged ‘single’

Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it’s chock full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world. Check out the most recent entry (at the top) or search by your preferred criteria. Consider it motivation for your next embarkation.

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Travel Tips for the Single Traveler: Top Travel Scams

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

While you’re often safer overseas than you are in your hometown, a few scams seem to pop up all over the world.  After leading hundreds of group trips for Jewish singles there are so many travel tips I’ve learned, but one mantra holds true no matter where you are;  if it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true…    

*Fake police: Sometimes also the real police, they’ll demand to see your passport and find something wrong with your visa, but then suggest your troubles will all be over if you pay a fine. To them. In cash. Right now. Standing your ground and offering to accompany them to the station will usually see the error ‘excused’.

*Gem or carpet deals: On entry into a store, often prompted by an enthusiastic taxi or rickshaw driver, you will be offered a deal so preposterously lucrative that refusing it seems unthinkable. Think again – those gems are going to be worthless and the carpet you buy may not make it home at all. There are legitimate traders selling both jewels and rugs, and they don’t act like this.

*Airport taxis: Drivers taking you into town might try every trick in the book, from asking you for an inflated fare to driving around the streets to raise the price higher. This is usually harmless, but you should only travel with licensed taxis and, agree on a fee (or meter) before starting out and don’t pay until you get where you want to be.

*Timeshares: You’re approached by an extremely genial young man who offers you a scratchie card, and, lo and behold, you’ve won some sort of prize, which could be anything from a t-shirt and cash to a holiday. What’s the catch? The local insists you must accompany him to a hotel to collect your prize. If you haven’t smelled a rat by now, you need your senses tested.

*‘This is closed’: In some countries everyone from touts to taxi drivers will try to tell you that your chosen hotel, restaurant or shop is closed…but there’s another, even better one you should visit, where they can pick up a commission. This is more annoying than harmful, but always insist on having a look for yourself.

*Motorbike scam:  There are so many things wrong with renting motorbikes in foreign countries(especially in developing countries) that just suffice it to say, don’t do it.  Or at least, be very wary if you do.    

*Would you like some mustard on that scam?:   Someone ‘accidentally’ spills mustard on you. The surprising splat of condiment on you is followed by the swift appearance of a stranger who towels you down. In the confusion, valuables are removed from your person, never to be seen again.

*Forget the Motorbike..Don’t let your hormones take you for a ride:  Notoriously aimed at male travellers, young local girls approach a tourist and, after some idle chit-chat, you agree to accompany them to a local bar/tea shop. Thrilled at the opportunity to hang with a couple of local lasses, you offer to buy them a drink. On receipt of the bill, the girls are gone, and you are left with a bill that can amount to hundreds of dollars.

Summer Time – Amazing Times

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Summertime conjures up an innate desire in all of us to do something different than we do during the three other seasons. Likely this premise dates back to our youth when summer vacation was the end result…the reward…the yearning of every student each and every school year. As adults we never really shed that urge; to “vacate” somewhere during the summer.

For many of our Amazing Journeys friends who live in New York, that means buying into a share at Fire Island for weekends of beach time, party time and time with friends. For teachers, it means that the job breaks for 2 months and its time to get out of dodge (our friend Bob C from Toronto and Maris J from New York–both teachers–actually spend more of their time in foreign countries than at home during their summer breaks. “School’s out, pack my bags and see ya at Labor Day!” are their summer time mottos). For others, its simply that the weather is nice and the desire to get out of the house–way out of the house–is what they’ve been waiting for. The “summer vacation” impression is so deeply rooted in our souls from days gone by in our youth, we almost have no choice but to succumb to that urge and take that break.

Knowing that the summer is an important travel season to so many people, Amazing Journeys plans 2-3 impressive, destination-oriented and very well attended vacations annually at this time. After a very successful and mesmerizing tour of the Canadian Rockies in July, we just returned home from an amazingly fun and memorable tour through England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France. 98 passengers from 20 cities and 6 countries shared some special times throughout the British Isles, partaking in their choice of 24 different private tours throughout the two weeks around the towns and scores of relaxing enjoyable activities aboard our Princess Cruises floating hotel.

The town of Edinburgh, Scotland was a favorite of many as we joined the locals in celebrating the annual Fringe Festival and Royal Military Tattoo performance. With hundreds of festive street entertainers, musical performances, local fare, medieval castles and the absolutely incredible theatrical concert of the Military Tattoo celebrating the Scottish heritage, our time in Edinburgh is a memory never to be forgotten.

A few of the other many highlights throughout our tour of the British Isles included:

 * A tour of the Guinness Storehouse factory in Dublin

 * Entrance into the Eiffel Tower in Paris

 * A visit to the Royal Suites in Buckingham Palace in London (where Kate’s wedding dress was on display),

 * A speed boat ride on Loch Ness (with many claims of seeing glimpses of Nessie),

 * A tour to the Beaches of Normandy and commentary on the incredible story of D-Day,

 * Tours of ancient medieval castles dating back to the 12th century-including the fortress and surrounding land that inspired the film Braveheart and a most meaningful “Political Tour” of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Our two-part journey took us on a guided tour through the Protestant neighborhood with commentary on that point of view, followed by a separate guide leading us through the Catholic neighborhood sharing that viewpoint. Each neighborhood was separated by a wall that, while not monitoring who could cross, was a clear divide between who was welcome where.

Ahh…summer. Its been a great season of travel at Amazing Journeys. And, we’re not done yet. In just over a week we have one last summer getaway with over 40 eager travelers joining us on our 5-night cruise to Bermuda.

Its been a summer of amazingly fun times here at Amazing Journeys, with much more to come. Even though summer is a popular travel season, any season is travel season at Amazing Journeys. Travel in the fall with us to French Polynesia or the Music Cities of the south. Travel in the winter with us on a New Year’s Caribbean cruise or to India. Travel with us in the spring to China or Spain. Or…if you are the quintessential summer traveler, join us in 2012 in Alaska or on a cruise in the Black Sea to Turkey, the Ukraine, Romania and Greece.

Wherever and whenever you want to go, Amazing Journeys will be there for you with a great group of Jewish single travelers, value-added vacation packages, exclusive touring, carefree travel planning and the greatest team of group leaders in the industry.

Make some plans today!

Landmarks of the World

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Are you ready for a trip around the world?  Are you?  Really??

Sadly, the majority of Americans will rarely see any geography beyond their own borders.  The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries published a finding that only about 10% of of US residents have ever traveled to overseas destinations (Canada and Mexico excluded – they’re not overseas. )  Leisure travel is more than a vacation. Its an activity that makes you more worldly, knowledgeable and tolerant of the differences in cultures that make our planet so special.  Its an adventure.  Its a means to experience “Life” with a capital “L” – a chance to break from the routine…the norm…the grind…the familiararity…the common.  Its a purpose, not just an experience.  Humans are born to travel; we’ve been given the mobility and dexterity to do so and as Americans we’ve also been given the “land of opportunity’; a means to earn, spend and have plentiful of what most other nations around the world don’t.

Get Out There, America! Whether you’re single or married…Jewish or Christian….in your 30s or in your 60s; don’t do what the regretful elderly do when they say for decades “I’ll travel when I retire” or “I’ll get there someday”.  Go now, while you’re able-bodied, healthy and capable! You never know when you might not be, and denying yourself the greatest of life’s givings is a regret of unfathomable proportions.  Trust me, the world is an incredible place.  America is wonderful…but the world is, well, an Amazing Journey for all to see.

IF NOT NOW….WHEN?