Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Some of my clients enjoying wine tasting
 

Christine checking out the different kind of cheeses


View from Michaelangelo Square in Florence



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top 3 Reasons to use a Travel Agent by Dreams Resorts & Spas

We get it, the Internet has changed the way we do things. Travelers today have access to all sorts of tools to research and review before choosing a brand or product. However, more information can sometimes mean more problems. Searching for travel options from flights to hotels can not only be time consuming but overwhelming. Have no fear, the travel agent is here to save the day! In recognition of U.S. Travel Agent Awareness Day, Dreams Resorts & Spas has listed our top three reasons why you should use a travel agent to book your next Unlimited Luxury® getaways.
  1. They’re the experts!
No matter how much research is done, it is hard to truly become an expert on your vacation needs. This is where travel agents come in! Agents typically specialize in a few destinations or markets (family friendly, outdoor, business or leisure travel, weddings and honeymoons, cultural) and remain up-to-date on the latest travel trends, new resorts, up and coming destinations, etc. to recommend the ideal place to book your next trip.
  1. Practice makes perfect!
Unfortunately, Mother Nature has never considered our travel plans when she decides to strike.  When winter storms strike during a time of the year when many people are trying to escape the cold, having an experienced travel agent to handle the aftermath is priceless. Travel agents step in to handle all sorts of unexpected situations and know how to best approach airlines and hotel policies to reschedule your entire travel itinerary.
  1. It’s a win-win relationship!
As most relations in life, loyalty has its rewards. Travel agents are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that their (loyal) clients’ vacation will exceed their expectations. As professionals in the tourism industry, they have access to perks and resources that allow them to enhance your stay as a way to say “thank you for your business”.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Pack the Perfect Suitcase from Travel and Leisure By Nikki Ekstein and Yolanda Wikiel

What to Pack

Go light on the clothing. Follow this formula: three tops for every bottom. (Trust us, you can get away with repeating pants or skirts.) As for footwear, limit yourself to sneakers and two pairs of shoes—one casual and one formal.
Choose wrinkle-repellers. Blends containing nylon, Lycra, or polyester can be pulled out of your suitcase relatively unscathed. If you prefer natural fibers, go for wool or stretch cotton. Textured fabrics (ruched jersey, seersucker) and busy prints also help mask fold marks.
Bring a just-in-case kit. Prepare for emergencies (of the wardrobe variety) by bringing Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus ($6.99) and Tide to Go stain remover ($2.99 at Harmon Discount).
Keep tabs on your bag. Use a luggage tracker like LugLoc ($70) to locate your suitcase in the event that it gets lost. Also important: label your bag tag with an e-mail address, rather than a home address, so that you can be more easily contacted in transit.
Prep your carry-on. Layers are essential for chilly airplane cabins. You’ll also want a toothbrush and at least a day’s worth of prescriptions in case your luggage is delayed.
Invest in useful tech gear. The compact Fuse Universal Dual USB adapter has plugs for 150 countries and two built-in USB ports ($16.95). The Mophie Powerstation Plus simultaneously charges multiple gadgets at four times the speed of a standard charger ($80). To make a long flight more bearable, spring for noise-canceling headphones, such as Bose’s QuietComfort 20i earbuds with tangle-free cords ($249.99).

How to Pack

Decide what to roll, and what to fold. If you’re using a duffel, roll everything. Otherwise, reserve that technique for knits (T-shirts, light sweaters) and fold garments that have more structure (blazers and trousers).
Get space-efficient. Packing cubes, like Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cubes (from $15), keep swimsuits, gym clothes, delicates, and dirty laundry separated. Squeeze out all the air for extra compression.
Use trash bags to fight wrinkles. Here’s how: line the bottom of your luggage with a garbage bag; then, after you’ve packed, add another on top. The slippery surface keeps creases from setting.
Arrange contents strategically. Stash footwear and other heavy items near the wheelbase; this prevents the suitcase from tipping over. Then layer in this order: packing cubes, rolled garments, folded clothes, and bulky sweaters or jackets. Leave crushables for last.
Maximize every nook. Snake belts around the bag’s perimeter. Stuff shoes with socks and fill the molded cups of bras with underwear (this prevents the foam from crinkling). Tuck jewelry and ties (rolled inside out) in a side pocket—you can store earrings in pill cases and string delicate necklaces through drinking straws, taping the clasps to each end.

Suitcase Smarts

Pick the bag that’s right for you.
1. Measure your carry-on. Remember these dimensions: 21 by 14 by 9 inches. That size is guaranteed to fit in any overhead bin. We like the hard-sided Quartermaster by Ebby Rane ($825), with built-in carryalls for liquids, tech gear, laundry, and more.
2. Know the full-size-case rules. Four-wheeled hard-sided models are best—they’re least likely to topple. Choose one that has a sturdy handle and butterflies open (for easier packing), like the Herringbone Luxe Hardside Extended Journey Spinner by Hartmann ($399) or the Victorinox Spectra 2.0 ($349.99).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Have you ever thought about going to Athens Greece?



Athens is named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who is celebrated by an ancient temple on the Acropolis, rising proudly above the concrete jungle that is modern Athens. As a city state, Athens reached its heyday in the fifth century BC, with the construction of many of the great classical buildings regarded as icons of Ancient Greece. Democracy was born, drama flourished and Socrates conceived the foundations of Western philosophy.


Today, Athens remains a major European centre of culture, with its stunning classical sites and world-class museums. The Acropolis, crowned by four ancient Greek temples, the best known of which is the majestic Parthenon, has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby, the New Acropolis Museum opened in 2009, bringing 21st-century design into the Greek urban landscape with its high-tech structure and light and airy exhibitions spaces. And then there's the more staid 19th-century neo-classical National Archaeological Museum, displaying the world's finest collection of ancient Greek artefacts.


Modern Greeks, like their forefathers, are insatiable hedonists. The Greek capital has the country's finest restaurants, ranging from traditional tavern-style cooking through to creative Mediterranean cuisine, and the most varied nightlife, ranging from urban-chic cocktail bars to glitzy waterside dance clubs. Thanks to a blissful Mediterranean climate, during the summer, much of this lauded eating, drinking and dancing takes place in the open-air.


Athens' two highest points, the Acropolis and Mount Lycavittos, are visible from most places in the city centre and are essential landmarks for orientation. Below the Acropolis, touristy Plaka merges into grungy Monastiraki, which in turn is linked to Syntagma (home to the Greek Parliament) by the pedestrian-only shopping street of Ermou. West of Monastiraki lies Psirri, known for its bars and tavernas, and further west still the post-industrial nightlife neighbourhood of Gazi. Between the pine-scented slopes of Mount Likavittos and busy Syntagma, you'll find up-market Kolonaki, with its designer stores and foreign embassies, and west of Lykavittos, bordering on Omonia, the bohemian quarter of Exarchia.


Southeast of the city centre, a glorious stretch of coast affords dreamy views over the glistening blue Aegean Sea. Surely few European capitals can claim sandy beaches and clean water for swimming within such easy access. Then there are the fabled Greek islands (the real reason why many visitors come here in the first place), served by regular ferries and catamarans from Athens' port, Piraeus. Athens therefore offers the best of both worlds - a fantastic city break as well as a lazy beach holiday.