Want to know one women’s secret to shattering the world’s travel record?

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Hey, haven’t you often wondered how you could travel the world and how much time it would cost or could you even afford to do so? I couldn’t even imagine the cost of such traveling and I’m a travel professional. Now, you know I am joking but of course I could figure it out. But really can you imagine!

Not only being able to leave for extended time frames but who would look after your home, plants, etc.  All this comes to mind for me.  With that being said, I came across an amazing article from Travel Pulse, that talks about one women’s journey traveling across the world. Seeing 196 nations in 18 months and 26 days. All I can say is wow.  This must have been an extraordinary task to take on with all the flights and logistics to sort out.

Maybe this will help you to plan your around the world journey and tackle some of your Bucket list items. This could be the inspiration you need to give you some perspective of what it takes to travel like this. Check out the whole article here

Have you considered maybe traveling as a group or simply backpacking alone.  Either way you can’t go wrong when you are doing what you love to do.  I know tons of young students that take off a year of school to see the world and all it has to offer.  Most, will call this enjoying life to the fullest because you are waking up to a different destination about every month of so.   What do you say to that? Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? What may you consider to be the ultimate travel around the world scenario for you.

It could be simple as volunteering on a mission for children in another country or as simple as doing the Semester At Sea program that some of the cruise lines offer. Just a few options for you to consider.  

Looking forward to seeing some of the comments or posting I see regarding this women’s amazing journey and how she captured all the wonderful things she encountered or experience during her travels. I can’t imagine how magnificent she felt being able to enjoy time spent with locals, eat with them and to learn all about their culture.  This would truly be amazing for everyone to enjoy. But back to reality, you have to curve out the vision for yourself if you wanted to do this bad enough.

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HOW TO TRAVEL LIKE A ROCKSTAR!

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Travel is fun and exciting. It offers you the chance to escape the stress of life. Why not book a plane and fly off to some far off destination where there’s nothing but fun. Life is an adventure on its own, and there’s no better way to get the most of it than traveling. One of the best things to do at the airport is people watching as you stand a chance of seeing lots of people from different spheres of life such as business travelers, backpackers, luxury travelers, couples, parents struggling with their kids and above all Rock Stars. Rock Stars are always seen on their leather jackets, scarfs and aviator shades with nothing to worry about. These group of persons have visited many top destinations in the world and they pack light. Have you been looking for the best ways to travel like a rock star? There are plenty of ways through which you can travel like a rock star and escape from your normal life for little while. Here are some fun tips on how to travel like a rock star.

  1. The first thing to think about before going on a trip is knowing what your priorities are. You should know the experiences you crave for? Is it exploring the beaches, shopping, or food? Staying in a swanky place? Or meeting people from different background and culture. Once you figured out what exactly your priorities are for this particular trip, then you should know that it will most definitely take a large part of your Rock Star equity.
  2. The next step is deciding where to go. You need to do plenty of research to know where to find the best restaurant, hotels and bars. If you are planning to travel to France for shopping, you can decide to visit some of the hottest shopping centers such as Isabel Marrant, and Hermes in Paris. For the fact that you are in this hot boutiques, makes you feel like a Rock Star. Remember traveling is all about experience and it is not possible to have it all. All you need do is set aside a small budget to buy anything regardless of how small it is such as scarf or a souvenir and you’re good to go.
  3. Do not forget to wear a pair of aviator glasses, scarf, leather jacket with denim and iPhone with good head phones for great rock and roll music. All these accessories are a must have to make you feel like a rock star

5 TIPS TO CREATING PERFECT GROUP VACATION

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If you have a core group of friends or family members that you spend quality time with, then planning a group vacation will further build the bond and love you share with your loved ones. All you need to do is plan properly and encourage constant communication between parties. With these in place, then you can create one of the most memorable group vacation of all time and your friendship will grow stronger after the vacation is over. Here are some of the best tips to create a flawless group vacation.

Proper Plan
One of the things to do when putting together a group vacation is proper planning. Bring all parties together and discuss on extensively on the parameters of the trip including where, when and how to go, things to do, what to pack, type of trip (hiking, beach or skiing) and much more. The next thing is appointing one or two persons, either by voting or volunteer, who will be in charge of the trip. The individual will be saddled with the responsibility of providing detailed information on the latest developments such as hotels, flight or restaurant reservations to the other group members.

Destination
Another great factor to consider when putting together a group vacation is choosing a perfect destination. Opt for a destination that everyone would really love to explore. This can be easily done by coming up with an idea you feel everyone would enjoy and take a vote.

Create a unique Facebook page
Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone with a Facebook profile. One of the easiest ways of communication to other group members and have them actively involved in the group is creating a Facebook page. This page also offers great opportunity for participants to upload and share photos related to the trip.

Budget
The next step is coming up with a budget and even create an account where participants can deposit money. This will make plans for the trip go smooth and easy. With this, you can easily make reservations for hotels and restaurants without having financial issues.

Put things in perspective
When planning a group vacation, it is important that you engage in activities that will involve every member- rather than focusing on individual activity. Make sure the aim of the trip is accomplished which is to spend quality time with each other and get to know more about yourselves. On the other hand, you don’t have to be too rigid. You can decide to give some few hours of freedom for participants to explore the area on their own and at their own pace.

BEST GROUP VACATION DESTINATIONS IN THE U.S.

Group Activities

One of the most incredible things to do in order to ease off the stress of life is taking a group vacation with family and friends. A perfect group vacation can be at a beach resort, a theme park, or a national park. However, there are plenty of great destinations in the U.S. today but which is perfect for a group vacation? Here is a list of places to consider visiting when planning a group vacation.

Ohio

Ohio is an incredible destination that draws thousands of travelers annually and it has something on offer for everyone. Located in Allegheny Plateaus region in Ohio is Hocking Hills, one of the most impressive natural formations in the world. Renowned for its high cliffs, stuning waterfall, deep gorges and rock shelters, this beautiful destination is a place not to miss out on visiting when planning a family vacation. There are plenty of places to visit here such as Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, Lake Logan State Park, Hocking Hills State Park and much more. Ohio also boasts several lovely activities for people of all ages including fishing, boating, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding and much more.

Telluride, Colorado

Considered one of the best destinations to enjoy plenty of activities, fine dining experience and a memorable group vacation, Telluride is famous for its natural beauty and hospitality. Here you will find plenty of world class hotels offering great comfort and hospitality to guest. Take a trip to the Alta Lakes and enjoy scenic views. One of the great spots worth exploring is the Telluride Town Park State Park where you can enjoy loads of fun filled activities and also meet friendly locals.

The Resort at Pelican Hill, California

The Resort at Pelican Hill is one of the most serene places to stay that features lots of spacious rooms for the gang. Renowned for its magnificent settings, the resort boasts beautiful golf courses and a world class on site restaurant serving great tasting dishes. Here you will enjoy plenty of group fun. Some of the places to explore include hiking the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve and relaxing at the Crystal Cove State Park. One of the reasons why the resort at Pelican Hill is considered a great destination for group vacation is because of the vast activities it has to offer such as fishing, scuba diving, boating, surfing as well as whale watching. There’s never a dull moment here.

Create your own SCANDAL! The Hottest Hotels in Washington DC – Part 1

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ABC’s Scandal has been rocking the television airwaves since 2012. Because of the sexiness Kerry Washington emits as Olivia Pope and because everyone loves a, well, scandal, in politics, it’s no surprise that more and more people are wanting to visit Washington D.C. to enjoy their own scandalous adventure. If you are one of the many people looking to hangout where the politicians play, below is part 1 of 2 of the hottest hotels you can stay in while you are in Wahsington D.C. These hotels are so steamy we had to break this post into two!

The Jefferson: The Jefferson has been catering since to Washington’s most elite visitors since the ‘90s, supplying a taste of European luxury in the center of the United States capital. The Beaux Arts age rules supreme here, with sculptures and 20th century paintings lining the checkered floors. The Jefferson’s tasteful accommodations are furnished with custom made duvets, plush bathrobes, slick flat-screen TVs and a complimentary Wifi. For a bit more space, upgrade to a suite, that will come equipped with a Nespresso coffee maker and, in a few suites, private balconies overlooking the Washington Monument. Luxury never gets any better with The Jefferson.

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington DC: The very first ‘hot’ thing about this Ritz-Carlton is its Georgetown location. The second is its décor; Red brick walls adorn both the exterior and the interior of the property, while the cool tones located throughout the hotel are reminiscent of the nearby waterfront. In addition, its trendy lodgings are appointed with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton linens, luxurious feather beds, DVD home theater systems and high speed Wifi accessibility. Escape to the luxurious Boutique Spa to indulge in a rejuvenating massage Nonetheless, what actually sets the Ritz apart, aside from its top notch comforts – is its refined, comfortable ambiance. Guests cannot stop raving about the modern, airy layout of the Lobby Lounge, which features an inviting wood burning hearth.

The Hay-Adams: Situated at the border of Lafayette Square, Hay-Adams boasts a magnificent vantage point of the National Mall as well as the White House. Here, head to toe magnificent decor welcomes the guests; while guest rooms feature neutral tones with elegant bedspreads, the reception is decked out in rich wooden paneling and marble floors. Lodgings additionally house luxurious Asprey London bathroom products, 37-inch flat-screen TVs and Bose music systems. The Lafayette – the elegant dining room of the resort – garners high praise from delicious culinary offerings and striking views of the White House. More still, if you’re a history buff, then Hay-Adams gets even ‘hotter’, as it’s names after the previous tenants of the site; journalist Henry Adams and Secretary of State John Hay.

Come back soon for part 2 of our Scandal-worthy hottest hotels of Washington D.C.

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Tips for Traveling During the Holidays

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One of the most hectic times of the year to travel is during the holidays. But, this year, you can rest easy because we’ve got several tips you can use that will make traveling just a little less stressful.

 

  1. Book your travel as far in advance as possible. If you are waiting until the last minute you could be risking the loss of the cheapest and most convenient accommodations.
  2. Arrive everywhere early. Arrive at the airport, train station, bus station, cruise ship, etc… at least two to three hours before your departure.
  3. Three words- early check in!
  4. Bring snacks if you’re flying- No, you can’t bring drinks from home, but yes, you can bring snacks on board. Some trains, buses and cruise ships also allow snacks, but check their policies ahead of time. Why bring snacks? Nothing is more stressful than trying to travel while hungry!
  5. If traveling with children, bring entertainment! Whether this means tablets loaded with games, activity books or a portable DVD player- an entertained child is a quiet child. Oh, and do everyone a favor and make sure you bring headphones too so you won’t be that family that is making too much noise.
  6. Don’t carry too much cash or valuables, and certainly don’t put either on display. This can make you an easy target for thieves and getting robbed is highly stressful!
  7. Bring all medications you may need for your trip along with information on local pharmacies should you need additional meds while traveling.
  8. Make extra copies of travel documents including passports, transportation tickets, directions to the hotel, etc…
  9. Write down credit card numbers and emergency phone numbers on a piece of paper that you keep with your valuables.
  10. Try not to wait until last minute to pack either. This almost guarantees you will forget something.
  11. Keep an eye on weather reports for delays and canceled travel itineraries.
  12. Avoid traveling on major holidays. If you are hoping to get somewhere in time for a special occasion, book your arrival time prior to the big day.

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What are your best travel tips to avoid stress during the holidays? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

Great Wine Destinations Around The World

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Europe is the biggest producer of wine, making it one of the finest wine destinations on the planet. In fact, European wine production accounts for more than two thirds of all of the wine production in the world today. However, just because they produce the most, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other great places to consider. Below is a list of 5 great wine destinations all across the globe.

  1. Napa Valley, California

For an amazing grape getaway, visit the California wine country, Napa Valley. Filled with comfortable caverns, picturesque wineries and more than 50 kinds of grapes, this picturesque getaway, which is only 66 miles north of San Francisco, remain a great wine destination. California wineries have since grown to the degree of their European predecessors.

  1. Barossa Valley in Australia

Barossa has been a large player on record for Australian wine regions. This area is famous for its tasteful and elegant Shiraz wines; Mataro and Grenache grapes also find themselves on the vines of this great region. The Mediterranean mixture of cool, moist winters, and dry and hot summers contribute to the rich and full-bodied wines of this region. Make it a point to visit!

  1. Germany’s Baden Baden

Baden, the warmest and sunniest area in Germany, offers wines to suit a wide range of tastes. The mix of Swiss and French flavors creates a number of intriguing wines. From the spectacular landscape of the wineries here as well as the distinguished cuisine of the area, the eclectic nature of the food and drink will have you planning a trip back before you have even finished your first trip.

  1. Mendoza, Argentina

Found 700 miles west of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mendoza, is immediately identifiable by the dramatic peaks that rise over 20,000 feet in altitude, carpeted by tens of thousands of vineyard acres. The region has always been known for its asado, the Argentine barbecued meat, but over the last 15 years, this desert has cultivated the best of wonderful grapes and wine. Mendoza’s substantial grapes like Cab Sauv, Bonarda, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlots constitute the red wines, while the white ones are made from Torrontes, Sauv Blancs as well as aromatic Chardonnay.

  1. Tuscany, Italy

Chianti is the initial word that comes to mind -pleasing red wine that match so flawlessly with pastas and meats. Amid the gradually sloping hills of Tuscany, full of medieval houses and fortresses, are acres of grape vines with wineries open for tastings and tours. This really, is Old World wine culture at its finest; wine-maker’s wines are kept in very long, vaulted cellar basements carved out of the stone. Even if you cross-off a few other great wine destinations, never cross Tuscany off!

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Those are just five of our favorite wine hot spots, but where is your favorite destination for the drink of the gods?

Romantic Destinations Worldwide

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Whether you are planning an exciting couple’s escapade or a honeymoon, there are many romantic destinations worldwide to suit your taste. If you and your lover are seeking somewhere with that perfect ambiance for your next vacation, read on because we found some of the most romantic destinations in the world:

 

    • Venice – A ride in the gondola truly symbolizes the magic and romance of this city. Ride down the canals with your lover and enjoy the sites of Venice. Dine in stylish Italian restaurants by the canals and get lost in old brick passages while you stumble upon Italian squares and churches. Venice is definitely the place that can make you fall in love again.
    • Seychelles – These Indian Ocean islands located off the coast of Africa were home for some of the most amazing people in the world. It’s extraordinary, out of the way location makes it an incredible place to spend time with your loved one. There are many spas, golf courses, tropical drinks, and fishing trips ready to make your romantic trip unforgettable. Honeymoon here and you may never want to leave.
    • Maldives – These 23 small coral islands are barely above ocean water and the reefs in the area are teeming with life. And yet, even though they bustle with ocean life, they are quiet and secluded.
    • Tuscany – Villas, vineyards, and historic Italian towns, this entire place billows with a sense of adventure and love. Stay in cozy villas, eat the finest food, and bike through the amazing vineyards to drink the top class wine.
    • Bruges – This medieval city in Brussels may not jump to the front of your mind as a romantic destination, but the setting of the place will take you back to a simpler time that feels just right to reconnect with that special someone. The town has certainly protected its history to our benefit allowing visitors to walk through the ancient city lanes hand in hand and relax at sweet cafes filled to the brim with charm and love. A step back in time- perhaps this is the way every romantic getaway should feel.

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Are Other Subway Systems Better Than New York Subways?

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When you think of the public transportation system in New York you likely think of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, better known as the Subway. How does the New York Subway system compare to some of the others around the world? Since there are several transportation systems worldwide, for today’s purposes we will focus on the most popular ones in the world including those in Chicago, Los Angeles, London (aka London Tube), Tokyo, Paris and Mexico City.*

In terms of cost, London’s single cost rides have the highest fares with New York coming in as the second highest fare. The cheapest fares are in Mexico City. New York wins the race in terms of the number of lines running at any given time with 24 whereas the least number of lines running are in Los Angeles with just 6 lines. London has 11, Paris 16, and Tokyo has 13. Not surprisingly New York also wins in the number of stations with 468. Paris has the second highest number of stations at 384.

Interestingly enough, although New York has the highest number of lines and stations, they are not the most frequently used subway system. The winner there is Tokyo with approximately 3.1 billion riders per year compared with New York’s 1.65 billion. London has 1.2 billion annually and the lowest number of riders is in Los Angeles at 113 million.

London’s Tube is said to be cleaner and has a better design than New York’s according to Business Insider. However, what New York lacks in cleanliness and design they make up for with more room for more passengers as “the tube’s compact design makes it hard to squeeze onto some trains during rush hour.”

Still, regardless of looks and features, many tourists visiting other cities find themselves longing for their own system back home. Perhaps this is because there is “no place like home,” or maybe it’s just a simple matter of once you get used to one line’s schedule and policies you simply don’t want to learn how to use someone else’s.

Now, we want to hear from you. Have you been on the various Subway systems of the world? What was your favorite one to ride on? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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*Source for stats in post

Fifty Shades of Travel

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The movie and the book that caused many couples worldwide to consider trying out some new things in the bedroom may very well seem like yesterday’s news, but the movement for naughty and experimental play is still thriving as those who continue to get their hands on the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy can’t seem to shake Christian and Anastasia’s erotic tale from their minds. If you are like those looking for some sexy and kinky destinations to play out your fantasies here are three hotels you might want to consider for your next lusty, or should I say lover’s getaway:

The Don Q Inn– Located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, this boutique hotel has rooms themed to cater to your wildest fantasies including the cave room complete with prehistoric setting, Caesar’s Court rooms 1 and 2 with Ancient Roman décor and Roman columns, Jungle Safari with a thatched jungle hut over the bed and the Northern Lights room with a full-size igloo built around the bed. Of course, the room that those seeking S&M and/or bondage might enjoy is the Mid-Evil room complete with a heart-shaped bed donned in shackles!

Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts – Located in the heart of the Poconos in Lakeville, Pennsylvania you can enjoy baths in a heart-shaped jacuzzi tub or a champagne glass tub. Drinking bubbles while you bathe in bubbles. Semi-romatic and semi-naughty, no? When you head to Cove Haven there is definitely love to be made!

Propeller Island City Lodge – To visit this hotel you will need your passport as it’s located in Berlin, Germany. Propeller Island City Lodge has often been reported as one of the most unusual hotels in the world, but it also has some rooms that scream kink. For example, their “Two Lions” room. This room features two cages in the middle of the room hoisted in the air on stilts and for the truly voyeuristic there is even a window you can open up for your own personal peep show.

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We’ve not even scratched the surface of the number of places you can tap into your inner most fantasies while on vacation. Want to know about more sexy and kinky hotels for your fifty shades of travel getaway? Give Cater 2U Travels a call today!

Is it Safe to Travel to Greece Yet? An Economic Update

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Because it feels like a world away, it’s easy to forget that Greece has been in a significant amount of economic turmoil over the last several years. This turmoil came to a head earlier this year when the country had no choice but to seek a bailout. Still, for most of the major tourist hot spots, tourism is still moving along with business as usual. There were moments of panic where demand for travel fell, but nonetheless Greece has remained a top destination for honeymoons, destination weddings, family escapes and more.

If you were among the many who feared traveling to Greece due to its economic conditions that is understandable. In times of uncertainty it’s a scary thing to leave the known safety of home and head into the unknown. However, traveling to Greece is still safe to do as long as you are cautious. Like with any country that is having any troubles the number one way to keep yourself safe is to stay away from that trouble.

For example, let’s say you were planning a visit to a museum and learned that there would be a protest going on at that museum. Odds are you would avoid that museum during the protest simply because of the risk that the protest could turn violent. You don’t abandon all museums completely, just the one where there is the potential for trouble.

It’s the same with Greece- So can you go? Yes! Just avoid the spots where the protests are happening. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places you can still visit and now might just be the best time to go because the Euro is closer in value to the dollar than it has been in a long time and because there is a significant push to get your travel dollars many places are lowering their rates in hopes of increasing bookings. Some restaurateurs are asking customers to pay in cash, but for the most part everything is still working the same way it did before the hammer came down.

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The Wi-Fi Craze and Why Some Hotels Stopped Charging

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If you have done any traveling in 2015 you may or may not have noticed that some hotels have stopped charging for Wi-Fi access. There are still several hotels charging for the use of the internet, so why have some stopped charging while others are still adding a fee for it?

Some hotels have simply added the internet fees into their standard room rates. No one likes to think about being nickel and dimed and adding an internet fee to a bill feels like just that. To offset this concern instead of charging $5-$15 per night for use of the internet it is actually hidden in your hotel fees.

You can trade “loyalty” for free Wi-Fi in some properties. You know those programs that hotels offer where you can get extra perks for frequently staying on their properties? Free internet is one of those perks.

The hotels that are charging you might not have an option about implementing the fee. Condé Nast Traveler did an article on this very subject in summer of 2014 that basically said owners and operators sometimes have a dispute over this issue leaving the operators to merely do as their told by the owners. “Most hotel brands don’t actually own the physical property where the hotel is located. Instead, they sign a management contract with the hotel’s owners, and then run the operations under the brand name. The owner has to commit to some of the hotel brands’ standards and programming (services, amenities, decor, etc.) but free Wi-Fi isn’t always on that list.”

In the most basic terms hotels that are still charging for Wi-Fi are doing so because they can. As long as people continue to pay the fees without bucking too wildly hotels will keep charging for it. The more people complain about it on customer services surveys, however, the more hotels are stepping up and either offering it for free or simply hiding it in their standard fees. In the end, Wi-Fi will never actually be free, but it always feels nice when it at least seems like it is.

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When is the Best Time to Plan Your Travel?

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Ready, set, go! Wouldn’t it be great if traveling for vacations really worked that way? You pick a spot on the map and you just pack and go! Sadly, that privilege seems to only remain with the rich. So, the question is how can the average traveler decide on the best times to plan their trips?

First, you will need to decide on the details of the trip, i.e. the destination, whether you want cold temps or warm temps, when you can get time off from work and your budget. Once you have these ideas in mind the real research begins. The good news is that if you are working with a reputable travel agent you can bring your travel wishes to them and they can give you ideas for your vacation, but ultimately the final decisions will lie with you.

Once you have the logistics figured out of destination, budget, timing etc… it’s time to book the trip. Still, a question of when to book remains. In most cases your best bet is to book as soon as you nail down your trip goals. The sooner the better because you will have the best options on rooms, flights and transportation to name a few.

In the event you are choosing to visit a destination during its busy or peak season booking quickly becomes even more imperative as the cheaper accommodations can sometimes get snapped up so fast you will be left with either the priciest options or none at all. The same thing often goes for holiday traveling- the sooner you book the more options you will have!

With all of that said if you can book six months in advance great, but up to a year is even better! Besides, the sooner you book the sooner you can start making additional arrangements if needed such as canceling your mail, booking a pet sitter, putting in for the vacation time at work- you get the idea.

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