PEI March Break; March 17th – 24th

March Break Picture 2March Break Picture 1

We’ve secured a great rate for the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana, DR.

Direct from Halifax with Air Transat.

Must be booked by November 25th, with final payment due on or before January 20th, 2014.

$1491 per adult (includes tax)
$1150 for child 4-12 (includes tax)
$874 for child 2-3 (includes tax)

$25 Professional Fee Per Adult is also charged.

Call me for complete details! Space will move quickly.

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Bahamas ? Yes Please.

Escape to the turquoise waters and white sands of Grand Bahama Island – direct from Halifax with Sunwing!

Sunwing is offering 2 all inclusive resorts – call me for more details – or to book! Or, you can book online at http://www.thetravelstore.ca (same price as other supplier websites) but please tell me once you’ve booked so that I can get credit for your booking – therefore being your point of contact before, during or after your vacation!

Prices are going to vary depending on your departure date.

Thank you for your support.

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach 3.5*
This Sunwing Smile resort is an ideal spot to spend your family vacation in the sun. Enjoy delicious cuisine from around the world, charming rooms with plenty of space, Wi-Fi, as well as fun-filled activities and entertainment. Take a windsurfing class, keep active at the gym, or enjoy sun-kissed hours by the pool.

Beachfront, 274 rooms, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, kids club

viva bahama

Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort 4.5*
At memories get treated to a variety of first-class amenities, gourmet dining, unlimited beverages, and non-stop activities. Grab a tasty cocktail at the bar, learn new skills with a cooking class, or try your luck at the on-site casino.

Beachfront, 504 rooms, 2 pools, 6 restaurants, 6 bars, kids club

memories bahama

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I can’t count, but I can escort a group!

Hola!

Last week I escorted my first group to the Dominican Republic. It was something I started working on just 6 months after I started with The Travel Store. It was a challenge for me. Could I actually pull this off?

In the beginning I was hoping for 10 passengers – because that’s the minimum number of people you can have for a group South. When I got 10 (which happened very quickly) I was pleased.. yeah me….but then the little voice says ‘can you do better? Challenge accepted.

The group began to grow and grow – possibly like a bad weed – but that was yet to be foreseen. I knew a lot of the people booking, but there were many I didn’t know either. Let’s face it – nobody wants to travel with Bah Humbugs! It’s an anxious thought.

We met at the airport where I had secured us a private reception. Might as well start drinking right away, loosen everybody up :) A little Wine has never hurt anyone. The flight was good – uneventful, but I always love flying for Leisure travel. Everyone claps and cheers when the plane graces the arrival runaway. Yeah, Thank you sweet Pilot for a job well done.

We had a private transfer to & from the airport. Those of you who know me (and the rest of you will now learn) that numbers have never been my strong point. I’d rather write (or sing, dance, floss). Once we got on the private coach, I start my head count. I’m short a passenger. I start to panic…how is this going to look? It would sound something like this: Umm, yes…Travis? (he’s our Operations Manager) we’ve landed safely and have been in the beautiful DR for about 10 minutes now…however, it appears that I may have lost a member of our group’. This would not be cool.

I start to sweat (it’s really warm, and I’m panicky. You would sweat too). I recount. I get off the Coach – look around. Has anyone left to buy beer and not returned? (Yes, it was only 10 minutes and people were buying beer for the 30 minute transfer! This was going to be an okay group after all). Just as long as I didn’t lose somebody before we made it to the resort. I take a deep breath. Climb back onto the Coach and say ‘ We have 28 in our group, and I’ve only counted 27…does anyone know who we are missing’? Silence. Then from the back of the Coach….Joanie – did you count yourself?
Oops!
Nope.
Didn’t count myself.
I then passed the torch of ‘head counter’ to someone else. Maybe I had to much Wine at the Airport reception?

The rest of the week was perfect. Hot days, warm nights. Pools, beaches, laughs, drinks & good food. We had sing songs that ran late into the night. Well, that’s a lie….we had sing songs that lasted until the morning. Friendships were formed. Friendships were solidified. We had no complainers. No bad weeds, no Bah Humbugs. Just a group of people with the same expectations. Sun, Sand, Siesta 2013.

I’m already working’ on our group for 2014.  You coming?  Maybe you can be my ‘head counter’.

 

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Travel with me….

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Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Protection?

 Sunglasses. Sunscreen. Protection? Are you ready for your trip?

 Please take a minute to consider your travel protection needs when you are booking your next trip. RBC is ‘The Choice of Canada’s Travel Professionals’ due to the extensive amount of coverage for Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Flight/Travel Accident & Lost Bags.

 

Here are just a few everyday examples of ‘sad stories’ where protection from RBC has you covered.

 

 

  1. There is a bad storm and our return flight arrived to late to make our connection. We had to stay overnight and we incurred changed fees on our ticket the next day. Can we get our money back?

 

  1. I am going to Brazil to visit a friend; I must apply for my visa after I purchase my non-refundable ticket. What if the visa is rejected?

 

  1. My tour company has just changed my tour to a week later. I can’t go now because I can’t get that week off work. I can get my money back from the tour company, but what about the air portion I booked?

 

  1. I’m scheduled to leave on my trip the day after tomorrow and my business was just robbed and vandalized. Can I cancel my trip and get my money back?

 

  1. The government of the country I am booked to travel to, have just added a new immunization requirement. I have found out that I can’t take this immunization due to a medical conflict. Can I cancel and claim?

 

  1. While in Hawaii I was notified that my father was involved in a bad car accident. I need to get to Toronto as fast as I can. Will I be covered?

 

  1. I am an ambulance driver and I had my vacation canceled due to a major forest fire in my area. Can I get my money back?

 

  1. I had my bag containing my passport stolen from the airport. As a result I couldn’t board my flight and incurred delay expenses. Can I claim these?

 

As an RBC specialist I can book your travel insurance– even if you haven’t booked your vacation plans with me. Frequent travelers should consider an Annual Multi Trip plan. These are cost effective and simpler then calling each time to book. Think: family vacation, business trip, shopping trip into Maine, and out of province business meetings. You’ll be covered for all of them.

 

jpickens@thetravelstore.ca

902/566-1024

 

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Montreal? Oui !!

Sometimes – maybe even most times – the best vacation we can give ourselves is one where we do nothing at all. No plans. No expectations – just the time to BE. 

Less then one year ago our family became a billet family to Yan Pavel Laplante who plays (and plays very well, and I’m not just saying that because he’s ‘my boy’) for the PEI Rocket here in Charlottetown. It didn’t take long before Pavel became an integral part of our family. But not only are we blessed with Pavel, but also in becoming friends with his family. His parents invited our family to spend a week with them at their Summer home - 2 hours South of Montreal. 

It was a vacation filled with  fishing, frog catching, sleeping in, napping, reading, drinking, wine tasting, and eating (Christine is a ‘belle cook’ – did I get that right)? It was a time for floating in the lake, boating, paddle boating, water skiing, tubing, and swimming. Even a little shopping, and a little roller coaster riding (and I lived to tell about it, although at the time I was sure I was dying). It was a time for conversation under the stars. 

It may seem like we were busy –but it was the most relaxing vacation I’ve had in a very long time. 

Life is busy. Period. Time passes quickly. You know it does! We don’t always have time to stop and just BE. It’s important to just BE.  Not just important – but mandatory. It’s good for the Soul.

 

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$20,000USD for broken leg?

taken from Travel Industry Today.com

Cover UP – Canadians need Travel Medical Insurance

05 JUL 2012:  Only about 50 per cent of Canadians know they are mainly responsible for any medical costs when travelling outside the country, according to a BMO insurance survey. That’s a concern because the survey found that six in 10 Canadians don’t regularly buy travel insurance

Canadians don’t seem to understand that their provincial health insurance doesn’t automatically provide coverage for all medical costs even for travel in other provinces and territories.That despite the survey’s finding that 40 per cent of respondents reported that either they or a travel companion have required medical attention while on vacation.“The cost of medical treatment in the US is always shocking,” said Julie Barker-Merz, vice-president and chief operating officer of BMO Insurance.

For example, the cost of treating a broken leg in the US can run up to US$20,000 for Canadians and an air ambulance trip from Florida to Ontario can be up to US$15,000, according to the survey released Thursday.

Medical coverage elsewhere can also be expensive, Barker-Merz said, including up to US$40,000 for decompression treatment in Thailand.

“A lot of Canadians think they’re covered in areas where they’re not, or they think that they’re covered through their credit cards or through their employee benefits” when sometimes they are not, she said.

“So certain things won’t be covered and we will be out of pocket.”

Barker-Merz said when buying travel insurance it’s important to understand what is covered and read the fine print.

“There can’t be anything more frustrating than having coverage for 10 days and on your 12th day something happens and you’re out of pocket and you have to pay for it.”

The survey also found that over the last 12 months that 67% of Canadians surveyed reported travelling either within Canada or to the US and 43% travelled overseas.

“With the value of our dollar we have more people leaving the country and putting themselves at risk,” she said.

The online survey was conducted by market research firm Pollara with 1,000 Canadians over age 18 between June 14 and 18.

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What I learned about the Big Apple

Last week I visited NYC for the first time.

This is what I learned. 

  • NYC really is the city that never sleeps. American Eagle is open till 2am in Times Square!
  • Wear Sneakers! The best way to get up close & personal is by foot.
  • Take Hop On/Hop Off – and ride around and around and get facts from your tour guide!
  • Bike Central Park – it’s the best way to see it all in a quick amount of time.
  • Your choices for eating are endless. Eat outside in Little Italy. The Pasta is amazing!
  • You can get 50% off the best seats for Broadway in Times Square, perfect if you are not fussy about what you want to see.
  • It’s fun to people watch, try to determine who’s a tourist, and who lives there!  It’s not as hard as you think!
  • Be prepared to wait, and wait and wait in line to go up the Empire State building at night, but it’s totally worth the view.
  • You can easily spend a full day in Times Square and NEVER be bored.
  • Get yourself drawn for as little as $5. Some artists do a great job!
  • Talk to the NYPD. They also love when you ask for their picture! :)
  • The Subway was safe, we took it to see the Yankees beat the Mets !
  • Gotham Comedy Club was really fun! Eugene from the Sopranos was in the attendance too.
  • Get tickets in advance if you want to see the 911 Memorials
  • ~~have fun~~ it’s a big city where you are one of many!
 
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Spain Anyone? Escorted Tour!

There’s still some time to join our amazing fully escorted tour to Spain – for this October!  If you’d like more details, please give me a call or email.  I’d be more then happy to forward you the full 9 days/8 night itinerary.  jpickens@thetravelstore.ca 

October is my birthday month?  Can I come with?

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Direct to Puerto Plata, DR

The all inclusive direct from Charlottetown option for the 2012-2013 season has been confirmed for Puerto Plata, DR – where the resort area ‘snuggles against the mountains and warm seas’.

Have you been to Puerto Plata?  If so, would you please leave your comments, suggestions, pictures for me?   Where would you go again, or where would you stay away from?  What advice should I pass along to my clients?

direct message me www.facebook.com/joaniepickens Or email – jpickens@thetravelstore.ca

Thanks!  I appreciateour feedback ;)

 

 

 

 

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