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We’ve made it through summer, and now it is time to start planning the next family reunion, but wait!  I have an idea!

Since you’ve done the same location every year for the past 20 years, and it is getting tired, what if you traveled to a destination where dreams come true?

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You’ve played the same game of badminton and cornhole with Uncle Fred for 18 of those years.

It’s time to breathe some life into this party!  Rollercoasters!  Haunted Mansions!

You’ve eaten the same macaroni salad from Aunt Marilyn for 19 of those years, and you’ve laughed at the same stories for all 20 years, trying your hardest to sound genuinely entertained.

How about genuine laughter brought on by our favorite Monsters, Mike and Sully, or the crazy antics of a Mouse and his friends?

UGH!  Just the thought of coordinating your entire family, including cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents from every corner of the United States is overwhelming…nah, we’ll stick with the same old routine…

But what if you have help planning it, so that the grandparents who don’t move as quickly as the grandchildren can have fun also?  Your single brother and his girlfriend who want to peruse the World Showcase at EPCOT can enjoy their time while the nieces and nephews play in the Dinosaur Graveyard at Animal Kingdom.  Everyone gets to enjoy their vacation!

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AND you don’t have to plan it alone!  

Your Favorite Travel Planners at Favorite Place Travel will create a package for your family so each family unit can customize their Disney vacation exactly how they want, while providing opportunities for the entire family to gather and share stories and memories from their Disney adventures.

You can take a group tour behind the scenes at one of the theme parks or have a private character meal just for your family.  Your group may be eligible for group discounts on park tickets and lodging.

All you have to do is provide basic information to your Favorite Place Travel Planner, and the planning begins…no headaches, no stress!

Give us a call to start planning the most memorable family reunion to the Happiest Place on Earth!

To book your trip or for more information, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Susan at 708.479.4693 or Stacey at 404.409.4174.

Favorite Place Travel

There are two Disney World promotions available right now for the Fall and Winter months allowing you a great opportunity to experience all that Disney World has to offer without spending all that your wallet has to offer!

True statement!

Fall/Winter Room Offer

You can save up to 30% at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels!  For stays most nights September 29-November 22, 2013 and November 30-December 23, 2013.

You must book by September 15, 2013 for travel September 29-November 9, 2013

For travel November 10-22, 2013 and November 30-December 23, 2013, book by by November 3, 2013.

**Terms and conditions apply.  Contact Favorite Place Travel for full details.**

 

WDW Sidewalk Art

Free Dining Plan Offer

Book by September 25, 2013  to get a FREE Disney Dining Plan when you purchase a non-discounted 6-night, 7-day Disney room and ticket package at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotels.  Or purchase a 6-night, 7-day Disney room and ticket package at a Disney Value Resort and receive a FREE Quick-Service Dining Plan.

Offer valid for arrivals most nights September 29-October 2, October 18-November 2, November 11-23 and December 12-22, 2013.

**Terms and conditions apply.  Contact Favorite Place Travel for full details.**

To book your trip or for more information, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Susan at 708.479.4693 or Stacey at 404.409.4174.

Favorite Place Travel

Up until a few years ago, the thought of spending a week on a beach had no appeal to me.  I am a lake girl-I like to swim, boat, waterski, kayak, and float- none of which I could do (or felt comfortable doing) in the ocean.  As a result, being at the beach to me meant sitting on the sand getting bored after about 30 minutes.  All that changed 2 years ago with a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  My husband and I picked the Outer Banks for our first beach vacation in years because we wanted a location that wasn’t too commercial.  My previous beach vacations had been to beach towns with too many condo buildings, not enough character.

The Outer Banks has both character and history. The first British colony was there, along with Sir Walter Raleigh. So were the pirates, including Blackbeard who terrorized ships up and down the coast. Civil War battles were fought and the Wright brothers flew there. There are also the wild horses that roam the northern towns and the lighthouses, including the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the tallest in the US. In other words, there was plenty to do and see outside of sitting on the beach.obx wild horses

That’s not to say that the beach isn’t worth the trip alone. I had been to the Outer Banks as a child, but the only thing I remembered were the Coquina shells-colorful little clams which wash ashore and then quickly burrow down into the sand. This memory was a powerful one though, as I envisioned our kids having just as much fun as I remembered scooping up the clams and feeling them burrowing down in their hands or watching them burrow down into their buckets. I was not disappointed on our trip to Coquina Beach.

Coquina Beach is beautiful and undeveloped.  A part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it is part of a 70-mile stretch of protected shoreline stretching from Ocracoke Island on the south to Bodie Island on the north.  This large public beach is undeveloped and was crowd free, even during Fourth of July week.  Just off the shore were dolphins and pelicans.  On the beach were not only the coquina shells, but also ghost crabs and even snakes (ok, only one but that was enough for me!). These critters alone were plenty of entertainment for the kids.

Jockey Ridge State Park , home of the nation’s highest natural sand dunes, was the sight of the Wright Brothers’ test flights. Now it’s a great hike for a beautiful view from the ocean to the sound and a fantastic place to fly kites. The kids loved running along the dunes with their kites and watching the kite surfers out on the sound.

As a lover of lighthouses, the Outer Banks provides four lighthouses spread along its shores for visitors.  All four are climbable for visitors and a hike to the top of one of the three climbable lighthouses along the Outer Banks also provides incredible views.  Currituck lighthouse , is also closely located to the famous Banker horses which roam free on the northern end of the island. To experience these horses in their habitats, Wild Horse Adventures, in Corolla, was fantastic. Our guide took us through the horse’s territory where these horses unbelievably roam free next to houses and their inhabitants. The area is also accessible for free to anyone with a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Don’t get me wrong-the beaches of the Outer Banks are great as well. Most locations have plenty of public access and are rarely crowded. The lack of condo buildings and high rise hotels help prevent the wall to wall people present at many other beaches we’ve visited.

This year’s trip was our second in as many years, and there are still things on our list to see and do.  Another trip will be in our future- let Favorite Place Travel help you and your family experience the Outer Banks as well.

Sam OBX

To book your trip or for more information, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Susan at 708.479.4693 or Stacey at 404.409.4174.

Favorite Place Travel

Want to go on a Disney Cruise?  Now’s the time!  

Catch a Southwest flight to Houston and you’ll be there in no time!

This fall, Disney Cruise Line® will say farewell to its homeport in Galveston, Texas. You can still get onboard and take advantage of a great lead rate—plus, receive an onboard credit and half-off deposit.

Lead rates for a 7-night Bahamian or Western Caribbean cruise start at $699 for an Inside stateroom, $749 for Oceanview stateroom and $899 for Verandah stateroom (per person, based on double occupancy).

Book a Disney Wonder® sailing and receive a $100 onboard credit with an Inside stateroom, a $150 onboard credit for Oceanview stateroom, or a $200 onboard credit for a Verandah stateroom—and receive half-off deposit if booked through
July 31, 2013.

Travel Window:
Valid on most 7-night sailings from Sept. 28 – Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 – Dec. 7, 2013

To book your trip or for more information, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel

Paris, Part Duex

Learning to slow down and “roll with it”

Those who know me understand I am, well, a bit “Type A” to put it mildly. Relaxing stresses me out. This character trait is what drew me to European travel in the first place: new places to go; things to experience! Forget the beach, I want action! My past trips have been planned to the day, spreadsheets and all. (Due credit to Uncle Don here – he was the king of the vacation spreadsheet.) This trip was no different. That is until the weather and my travelling companion Mom chimed in.

The thought of springtime in Paris was wonderful. Visions of the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens in full bloom danced in my head. We envisioned a day trip to Giverny with Monet’s gardens awash in sunshine. Tickets were booked and the weather was checked – cold and rainy. What?! That was clearly NOT on the spreadsheet! Gardens in grey skies and pouring rain were not nearly as alluring. Nonetheless, the rain did not deter us from seeing Notre Dame and wandering through the Ile de la Cité on our first afternoon. But when we walked by the café across the street from Notre Dame, instead of walking right by, we went in and sat down. Yes, it pained me to pay double to have our drink at a table instead of at the bar standing up but, hey, the view was great. Not only that, but it wasn’t just tourists in there. It turns out Parisians like a view with their coffee, too. Sure enough, after 15 minutes, I was antsy and ready to move on to the next destination, but then my mom gave me the “I’m not leaving yet, so you’d better just calm down” look. And so we sat, just enjoying Paris, watching it bustle for nearly an hour. It was lovely.

One of my favorite places in Paris is the little park behind Notre Dame. I found myself there one afternoon while Mom was chilling in the apartment. While people-watching with my Coke Lite in hand, I noticed a man with a banjo standing in the little gazebo. Next, up walks a man with a stand-up bass and another carrying a guitar case. Dismissing the trio at first, and with my attention otherwise distracted, I soon hear singing – a full fledged sing-a-long broke out, complete with sheet music for singers. Next thing you know, about 40 people are standing around singing French folk tunes. It was so … Parisian, and something I would have never seen if I had been beholden to my spreadsheet.

france street entertainment

We had planned on taking a day trip to London during this trip. A plan that seemed like a great idea at the time. We booked our Eurostar tickets- only 2 hours on the train, the chance to get a taste of London, why not? Well, as our trip progressed, the weather outlook for London looked progressively worse, ending up at 45 degrees and rain for the day of our visit. At this point, Mom throws down the gauntlet as only Moms are allowed to do: She’s not going to London to freeze and get wet. How can I argue with that? Had she not said that, honestly, we would have been in London, wet and cold, because well, this was The Plan! Instead of rain in London, we enjoyed a bright, sunny day in Versailles, seeing the chateau in all its over-the-top splendor. Good call Mom.

Syl and Sue Paris

The moral of the story is not to go on your trip with no plans, reservations or idea of what you want to see. Instead, it is to have those plans, but let your trip mold those plans. Some of my best memories of this trip are that day in Versailles, the Notre Dame sing-a-long and watching the little boys sailing boats in the Luxembourg Gardens where we took a break one day. Slow down, don’t just take in the sights but really see your destination, you won’t regret it.

P.S. We went back to that café across from Notre Dame again. I highly recommend the Nutella crepe accompanied by a nice glass of rosé from Provence!

Click here to listen to Stacey Gross talk about the definition of a vacation and how to maximize your time and money while escaping from everyday life.  Interview starts at 30:40.

Stacey Gross, Favorite Place Travel (1)

To book your trip, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel

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Click here to listen to Stacey Gross on the Gwinnett Business Radio show on Radio X.  Stacey’s interview begins at 19:15.  Stacey answers your question: “Why should I use a travel agent when I can do it myself?”

This show aired live on March 5th, 2013 at 10am on http://www.businessradiox.com, Gwinnett Business Radio.

To book your trip, contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel

The Free Dining Offer at Disney World is a great opportunity to enjoy a fabulous Disney Vacation for less!

Now through July 31, 2013, buy a non-discounted 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package at select Disney Moderate, Disney Deluxe or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts for arrivals most nights Sept. 2-25, 2013, and get the Disney Dining Plan FREE!*

Or, buy a non-discounted 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package at select Disney Value Resorts for arrivals most nights Sept. 2-25, 2013, and get a FREE Quick-Service Dining Plan.

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Sample Pricing:

Buy this 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package with FREE Disney Dining Plan for $92 per person, per day, for a family of 4, at a Select Disney Moderate Resort in a Standard Room for stays most nights Sept. 2-13, 2013, for a total package price of $2,201. That’s a savings of $919!

Or, buy this 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way room and ticket package with FREE Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan for $75 per person, per day, for a family of 4, at a Select Disney Value Resort in a Standard Room for stays most nights Sept. 2-13, 2013, for a total package price of $1,779. That’s a savings of $635!

Ask about packages in other Resort categories and for other lengths of stay.

*Prices based on 2 Adults, 1 Junior and 1 Child. The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package. Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required.

Offer excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas and is not valid at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard View Room.

Contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel

Today, Disney released their Free Dining Promotion for Disney Visa Cardholders

for

travel between September 2-September 25, 2103.
(Restrictions may apply)

We anticipate this promotion to be available to the general public by the end of the week!  This is a great time to visit Disney World to avoid the crowds!  Give us a call for more information on the promotion and to book your trip!

Disney Dining

Contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel

Did you miss  the Lucrative Ladies radio show last week?  Not to worry!  You can click here to hear the show on Gwinnett Business Radio X!  We hosted four amazing women business owners, and you can listen to how these ladies and their businesses can help you!

Lucrative Ladies - First Show 4-25-13

Contact your travel agent at sgross@favoriteplacetravel.com or sglover@favoriteplacetravel.com or call Stacey at 404.409.4174, or Susan at 708.479.4693.

Favorite Place Travel