Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The BillBoard Latin Music Awards - San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the premier locations that Chicks That Trip specializes in, so with that being said, it's not surprising one of the chicks - That Chick Dawni, is on her way to attend the BillBoard Latin Music Awards being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel.

I'm certain that she will be back with many tales from this experience, and I can't wait to hear them; after all, isn't that what Lobby Bar Confessions are all about?
Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Iceland Volcano...

The Iceland Volcano eruption put it bluntly, not only a natural disaster, but a collossal detriment to the travel industry as a whole. With that being said, there is nothing that anyone could have ever done to know this would transpire; and while it is an awful event, it gives pause to the fact that clearly, as much as we WANT to be in control - we are not. This has proven that no matter how great technology is, there are some things that just can not be predicted or known until they actually happen. I'm not saying that our scientific world is bad, or that they don't know what they are doing, but the reality is that none of us know what can happen at any minute/hour/day/week/month, etc. We are all at the mercy of something greater than ourselves; regardless if we believe in religion or other forces of the universe, we are never in control - contrary to what we may think or feel.

As a side note, I think the whole Eastern European front is getting battered as a whole - the flight crash in Poland, the bombings in Moscow, and lest not forget the horrible adoption fiascos that have transpired over the past month - these are all isolated incidents that all seemed to happen within a short span of time, in relatively the same region. It makes me go, "hmmmm."

I wish I had some witty reparté about these situations, but I don't. They are sad realities of life, but with all of that being said - I will still continue to travel. I did after 9-11, and I continue to do so today, even though our air transit leaves much to be desired.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Part 6 of Series: 101 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Part 6 of Series: 101 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

A few years ago when I was studying to get my M.B.A. in Global Management, I was very intrigued by expats (expatriates are individuals who work in another country other than their home country; typically it’s referred to Americans who live and work abroad). I thought it must be the coolest thing in the world to work for a company and be able to work abroad in another country.

While that is partially correct, there are issues that expats must deal with that turn this enviable position into one that is chock full of its own landmines that must be navigated and taken into consideration when traveling and living abroad for any length of time. I liken it to the honeymoon phase of a relationship. It’s all roses and tulips at the beginning because each person is on their best behavior; however, when the thin veneer of that honeymoon phase goes away, you are left with the vestiges of a “real “ relationship, and as we all know, that’s not always a pretty picture.

When considering any travel abroad – even to lovely locales like Paris, London and Prague, there are significant cultural differences that the American traveler should be aware of prior to departure. We’ve all heard the tales of the “Ugly American” or we’ve witnessed these people, or in some cases, we were the “Ugly American.” It’s essential to do some preliminary research prior to traveling to another country, even if it’s visiting our Canadian neighbors to the North of us.

Working with a travel professional can help you prepare for your international trip by ensuring you know the important aspects of visiting that country, like, whether or not you will go to jail if you throw gum on the sidewalk. Also, you can strategize on polite comebacks as to why you can’t eat the mystery meat that is so popular in that country.

  • What to Eat - Where are all the top chefs at your destination? Travel specialists give great advice on the best restaurants to hit on your trip and not to be missed restaurants.

  • What Not to Eat - Leaving your home country and not familiar with the new language?
    Travel agents can help give you some forewarnings so you don’t accidently order the local delicacy (which may or not be specially prepared bugs) without meaning to.

  • Local Traditions - Travel specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before entering their homes.

  • Local Laws - Many countries have laws that are very different from your own, especially when traveling abroad. Travel agents can help give you a quick rundown of what you need to be aware of before you go.

  • Busiest Travel Times to Avoid - If you want a quiet trip, travel experts know what dates you should avoid and can help you plan your trip accordingly.

*Source: American Society of Travel Agents