Archives for category: Women Business Owner

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

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!

Royal Caribbean 3-DAY WOW SALE

Monday, June 10th through Wednesday, June 12th

Book any sailing between September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014 to receive up to $200 Onboard Credit and 50% Reduced Deposit!

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

Our family suffered a few blows in the last year losing several loved ones over a short time period. This circumstance made us particularly sensitive to the fact that none of us are going to be around forever. With this in mind, my mom and I decided that there was no time like the present for her first trip to Europe, with me as her personal travel guide. I picked Paris as the destination. To me, there is no more quintessentially European city. Since I was leading the way, it didn’t hurt that I’d been to Paris several times in the past and could speak passable tourist-French.

In the past, my trips to Paris had been with my husband or friends. These past trips were busy, if not frenetic, seeing as many of the sites as possible in the short time we had. I loved the city; the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. I took pride in the fact that we would take the Metro everywhere.

Paris Metro 2013 124

This trip was different. Mom is beyond the point in her life where she wanted to be dragged through Paris checking off the site on a list and moving on to the next. She wanted to “experience” Paris. This experience did not include her trudging up and down the Metro steps, especially given the less than cooperative Paris weather, which was cold and rainy during our late May visit. (I believe her exact words were “the Metro is hideous” after a particularly harrowing trip up and down several flights of stairs and jumping over a small lake at the bottom of the St. Michel stop’s steps.) The question then became, what now? Taxis were prohibitively expensive to rely on for the entire trip; walking long distances was out of the question this trip with mom’s new hip; and city buses required a lot of transfers that, quite frankly, I didn’t feel like navigating. As we came up from the tunnel to the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysee, there it was- big, red, double-decked and, most importantly, dry and warm.

Karmic message received: the hop on, hop off two day bus pass was purchased and off we went. To my surprise, I was a convert. We took the Les Cars Rouge tour, which is included as part of a Paris Museum Pass. (If you don’t have the Paris Pass, buy your tickets online for a discount.) There are also several other similar tours. These busses circle the city stopping at the Eiffel Tower (both on the Seine and the Champs de Mars end), the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, Grand Palais, Trocadero (for an awesome view of the Eiffel Tower) and the Opera. It offered a respite from the rainy weather, and was incredibly convenient to our apartment, just a block from Notre Dame. Did I mention that the Opera stop is also across the street from the unbelievable three-building Galleries Lafayette department store? The downside definitely was that it was by no means a fast way to traverse the city as it often was stuck in traffic, and the prerecorded tourcommentary wasn’t all that informative. But it was warm and dry and a good way to see the “highlights” if you were not in a hurry to get anywhere, and offered an alternative to the Metro if youwant to see the city while travelling from place to place. (As a side note, my kids thought the earbuds provided for the tour narration were a cool “souvenir” from mom’s and grandma’s trip. Who would have thought!?)

What was becoming of me? A bus tour? What next, a guided tour? Paying double for my drink by sitting at a café?  Quelle horreur! Stay turned to http://www.favoriteplacetravel.com for part 2 of our Paris adventure to find out. (Spoiler alert: We did both, and loved it!)

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

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

Radio photo 2

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

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

“You’re nuts!”
“That’s crazy!”
“No, you’re not!”
These were many of the reactions we got when we told people that we were going to Europe and taking our 20 month old daughter. (And those were just the reactions from my mother.) My friends who also had small children thought we were crazy for other reasons, most specifically taking a 20 month old on an eight hour oversees flight to Paris and then a 5 hour connection to Sicily. I must admit I had my own doubts. Our daughter wasn’t yet potty-trained so we had diapers to deal with. Would we be able to find everything we needed for her? How would she do on this flight? Would she sleep? Would we sleep? What would she eat? Despite these doubts, the pros outweighed the cons-the biggest pro being she still flew for free. So we bit the bullet, booked our tickets and never looked back. With hindsight being 20/20, it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard, and we never regretted the trip for a minute.

Having been to Europe a few times already, my husband and I had seen the sights of Paris, but we’d never seen them through the eyes of a toddler. Yes, we’d seen Notre Dame, but we never chased the pigeons in front of Notre Dame while flinging a stuffed dog that traveled with us, and on every trip before and since. Never before had I noticed how kid-friendly Paris was- parks everywhere, Merry-Go-Rounds, puppet shows and sailing boats abound. And the people were fantastic-forget the stereotypes of rude, reserved Parisians. Give them a toddler with curly red hair and they were baby-talking, cheek-squeezing mush balls. Free sweets, “cuts” in line, and smiles were everywhere (and anyone who’s ever been to Paris knows how stingy Parisians are with smiles.) Sleep was sparing, but that was nothing new from being at home so why not not sleep in Paris?

Samantha on carousel in Paris

After gaining our sea legs in Paris, we moved on to visit relatives in Sicily. The Italians, as expected, love kids. Squeals of “bella bambina”, “bellisima”, and more free sweets marked our way through Taoromina, Caltigirone, Palermo, Agrigento and Siracusa. Did we see every tourist site on our list? No, but did we have the ultimate ice breaker to meet and interact with Sicilians? Absolutely. In our prior trips, we never felt like we really interacted with the locals. Now, we had no choice- we needed diapers, wipes, and snacks, just like every other parent out there. Thankfully, the locals were more than happy to help.

I’d be lying to say it was easy, but we had the trip of our lives and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. As for our daughter, no, she can’t remember the trip, but whenever I see her looking at the photos, or asking to go back so “she can remember this time”, I just smile.

For resources on taking your kids to Europe, check out the websites below, then call Favorite Place Travel and let us make it a reality for your family.
http://en.parisinfo.com/
http://parisvisitorsbureau.com/
http://www.travelwithyourkids.com/
http://sicilytravel.info/

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