Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Returning to the 2010 Costa Rica Adventure!

After what feels like far too long of a break, let's continue on with our long ago Costa Rica family adventure!  So...back where we left off!  We were staying at the Peace Lodge and our next stop was the Butterfly House.  This is one amazing place!  If you've never been to any type of butterfly breeding house, you must visit one!  

The Butterfly House has more than 25 different species, and let me tell you, they are everywhere!  During this particular visit, Megan was a magnet for them!  At times she must have had five or six landing on her at one time!  They would just land on her shoulders, her fingers, her arms and just hang out!

They say there are over 4,000 butterflies flying about at any given time.  I believe it!  We had them landing all over us!  They sure weren't shy!   They're such delicate little beings!

Perhaps even more amazing than these beautiful butterflies flitting all around, is the hatching process.  To see how each different species forms, and how each has its own unique chrysalis and larvae stage was quite fascinating.  We actually got to see some of the butterflies emerging right then and there!

I thought these were the most beautiful color!  It's amazing that a butterfly is transforming inside there!

 This one just recently emerged and is hanging on to the shell where it came out!

A new addition to this area is an enclosure with two sloths.  They have got to be the cutest things ever!  It's quite interesting to get so close to them!  Of course, I don't have a picture of them...who knows why??

We spent quite a long time here, just watching the butterflies.  It was quite relaxing.  I'm guessing this is all part of where the name "The Peace Lodge" comes from!  For me anyway, every time I've been here - everything about this property evokes a sense of peace!  It's hard to believe we haven't even had lunch yet!  What a morning it's been!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getaways Done Your Way! What is that???

It's been a LONG winter here!  Well, I suppose it's been a long winter pretty much everywhere hasn't it?  Too many snow days, too many days that were gray....and just too much cold!  One positive that has come out of those long, cold, days is that I had some time to put together a plan to combine some of my absolute favorite hobbies into a new venture!  A long time friend of mine sparked something in me to take my passion for travel and turn it into more than just a hobby, so I have spent most of the past several months learning everything I could about how to become a professional travel specialist - otherwise known as a travel agent!

This past month I have become affiliated with a nationally recognized agency as an Independent Contractor and launched my own agency, Getaways Done Your Way!  I've participated in countless hours of training in many areas of the business and will continue to pursue training in various specialties.    

I'd love for you to stop by my Getaways Done Your Way Facebook Page and be sure to LIKE it - you'll get updates on travel deals, fun travel facts and just some wonderful travel pictures and quotes.  If you love travel as much as I do, it's going to be a great LIKE!  

If you're wondering - why should "I" consult a travel specialist, or a travel agent?  With the internet there are so many things you can now do yourself online right?  Well, the fastest way isn't necessarily the best way...I think we've all found that out at one point in time!  Here are five common myths you may not know about travel specialists:

1) No one uses Travel Consultants anymore.  

Although it's not at it's peak, the travel industry is experiencing a sharp upswing.  Travel agents sell over half of plane tickets, vacation packages, and cruises.  Consultants who specialize in a particular destination are in especially high demand.  You can see the statistics here.

2) You don't need to use a Travel Consultant, just book online.

If you're just booking a quick flight, sure booking online is fine - that's an easy one.  But for an important occasion, say a honeymoon, a cruise or a land based family vacation.  Or a complex trip with several legs, or an overseas vacation to unfamiliar lands  - using a consultant means ease of planning, peace of mind and assurance that your money is well spent.  When you look online you will find hundreds of options.  Your travel consultant knows how to narrow those options down for you and can advice you of the best choices to customize your vacation to best meet your specific needs.  Thus helping you to make the best choice to make the most of your time and money.

3)  It's too expensive to use a Travel Consultant.

Actually most travel consultants make their money through commissions and service fees, and surprisingly the amount is nominal.  If you have a complex trip, your consultant may charge you a planning fee for their time as any other service professional would.  Many times however, booking through a travel consultant will save you much more than the cost of any fees.  Also the expertise of your consultant can save you from making costly mistakes, such as a poor hotel or sub par services.  

4) Travel consultants can cut you a rock bottom deal.

While travel consultants sometimes do have access to great rates and deals not always available to the public, don't automatically expect the deal of a lifetime.  However, we are well versed on where to find the best prices, what things should cost on average, as well as money saving tips and tricks particular to your destination.  All of this should save you money and provide you with the best value for your vacation.  Also, we may often have leverage to get you into a seemingly filled hotel, overbooked flight, or find that out of the way restaurant!

5)  All travel consultants are the same.

All consultants are different, some specialize in a particular location, different types of trips, or even different types of clients.  All bring personal experiences to their specialization.

So, whether it's a family vacation, a honeymoon, a destination wedding, a group touring together, or a couples get away, a travel consultant can plan and book your vacation with our unique input.  We can even add travel add on's you may not have thought of - theater tickets, day trips, cooking classes, train tickets!  You name it - 

And perhaps another reason to use this travel've hopefully read my travel adventures here on my blog.  Hopefully you have gotten a feel for my LOVE of travel.  I can't wait to share that with others so you all can experience those types of trips as well!