The-Horseshoe-Farm

Summer Camp Fun for Adults

Posted By : travelisswell/ 186 0

Kids shouldn’t be the only ones getting all the summer camp fun this summer. The Horse Shoe Farm, near Asheville, North Carolina has launched a summer camp package just for adults. The Escapes Package is ideal for those parents dropping off the little ones at one of the nearby sleep away camps this summer, or for those couple who just need a few days to let loose.

Onsite everything is taken care of from indulgent spa treatments to evening bonfires and s’mores, yoga classes, healthy menu options, and wellness offerings. The package helps parents take a break from adulting while they relax on the 85-acre riverfront estate in the highland sf the Blue Ridge Mountains. The property also features eight deluxe homes and cottages, a spa, a meditative labyrinth, river sports, farm animals, stables, fishing, biking trails, a game room, and more. Guests can also head out to explore the nearby Downtown Hendersonville or Asheville.

The Escape Package starts at $1,250 pp or $1,950 per couple for a 2-night stay including two massage or body treatments at The Stable Spa, complimentary continental breakfast, one catered lunch, two morning yoga classes, nightly farm bonfire and s’mores, a welcome beverage, gift and VIP check-in, plus complimentary parking and WiFi. The horse Shoe Farm can also customize retreats for groups, weddings, and special occasions.

The-Horseshoe-FarmFor more information, visit thehorseshoefarm.com.

Courtesy of Michelle Marie Arean

Chicago

25 Of The World’s Most Disability-Friendly Cities

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Cities for All
Thes 25 towns are generally considered the most disability-friendly cities in the world. The list was compiled based on research from such respected disability publications as 101 Mobility, New Mobility, Access2Mobility and more.

Washington, D.C.
Surprised? Don’t be. With all of the amazing monuments and attractions, D.C. has done an outstanding job over the years of creating wide sidewalks and pathways for wheelchair users. Not to mention that the Metro is generally considered one of the best transit systems for the handicapped.

Berlin, Germany
Just know this – in 2013, Berlin won the European Union City Access Award for its efforts to create one of the most accessible cities in all of Europe.

Seattle, Washington
The home of the Space Needle has been widely praised for its implementation of a universal city design, allowing for more disability friendly restaurants, public spaces, transportation and more.

Milan, Italy
Like Berlin, Milan is a winner of the European Union Access City Awards, in 2016, for turning this classic city from virtually inaccessible to one of the best on the continent for the handicapped.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
The tremendous weather is an obvious advantage, but the city also has a bus system that is entirely accessible as well as a complementary Sun Van Paratransit Service.

Oslo, Norway
Not only is the transportation system handicapped-accessible, but numerous ferry options that explore the country’s fjords are also wheelchair-friendly.

Reno, Nevada
The Biggest Little City In The World is more than just a gaming destination. Reno has been noted for its plethora of accessible housing, rehabilitation centers and a strong public transportation system – with discounts for the disabled – that also includes a door-to-door paratransit service.

Vienna, Austria
As Billy Joel once sang, Vienna waits for you. This is another of the most accessible cities in the world, with drop-curbs, a handicapped-friendly public transportation system, and an added emphasis of making sure the historical sites are also accessible.

Portland, Oregon
The city has drawn kudos for addressing shortcomings with some of its most popular attractions, particularly trails and parks that can be difficult for manual wheelchair users. A task force has been assembled to assess the city for ADA compliance.

Dublin, Ireland
In addition to the many accessible areas of this great city, as well as its plethora of accessible hotel rooms, there’s this – the Guinness Brewery tour is handicapped accessible.

Chicago, Illinois
One of the best cities in the world known for its tight-knit disabled community, highlighted by the annual Disability Pride Parade. Taking it a step further, the city has commissioned the University of Illinois to identify the accessibility of buildings, facilities, sidewalks and stores to make its renowned shopping and attractions even more disabled-friendly.

Bridgetown, Barbados
Normally, wheelchairs and beaches don’t mix. But this Caribbean paradise recently instituted its ‘Fully Accessible Barbados’ program, with a goal of making sure its tourist attractions are for all – and hotels followed suit by making their accommodations fully accessible, including beach wheelchairs that allow customers to enjoy the ocean.

Denver, Colorado
Arguably the best handicapped-accessible transportation system in the country, with its priority seating on the Metro and a paratransit system that offers rides seven days a week, 23 hours a day.

Sydney, Australia
High on the list of any handicapped person with a travel bug should be Sydney, one of the most accessible cities in the world. Many restaurants and stores have flat entries and even such iconic sites as the Sydney Opera House not only are accessible, but have special tours for the handicapped.

San Francisco, California
Another place that’s a bit of a surprise, especially given the city’s hilly reputation. But aside from the famed cable cars, which are not handicapped accessible, the city’s main hubs of transportation – BART, Caltrain and MUNI – most certainly are. And all the major attractions, including Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf, are as well.

Frankfurt, Germany
Better known for being a financial hub and not generally considered a huge tourist draw among German cities, Frankfurt nonetheless has an impressive ‘Museum Row’ on the banks of the Main River, all of which are handicapped accessible.

Las Vegas, Nevada
One thing you can count on in Sin City – arguably the world’s best collection of handicapped-accessible hotel rooms, featuring transfer showers, built-in seats in the tubs, and wide swaths of room to maneuver.

Jerusalem, Israel
Don’t necessarily be put off by the fact that this is one of the oldest cities in the world, with miles and miles of cobblestone streets. Its holiest sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Wailing Wall, are handicapped accessible.

Orlando, Florida
Now this is no surprise at all. With Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, this is one of the most handicapped-friendly cities in the world.

Warsaw and Krakow, Poland
It’s hard to talk about one without the other. Only two hours apart, the two cities are connected by an accessible train ride. Warsaw, especially, has many hotels with accessible rooms and roll-in showers, and even its historical areas have undergone improvements to be wheelchair-friendly.

Berkeley, California
It’s not a stretch to imagine that such a great college town would be part of this list. The city does a tremendous job, not only with transportation services but also offers emergency help for fixing wheelchairs.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Pedestrian-only tourist areas, dropped curbs, wheelchair ramps, accessible museums and attractions …. What’s not to like about this capital city?

Baltimore, Maryland
From its bus system to its attractions, Baltimore is one of the more disability friendly cities in the U.S. The National Aquarium is widely acclaimed as one of best venues for those in a wheelchair.

Scottsdale, Arizona
The city has taken progressive steps to develop its own code of practice for everything from tourist attractions to buildings and sidewalks.

travel-planning

10 Travel Tips for the 2018 Holiday Season

Posted By : travelisswell/ 193 0

Have a Holly Jolly travel season

No matter how hard we try, each and every year brings out the Scrooges of holiday travel. Use these tips to shed the ghosts of Christmas pass and enjoy a merry holiday season—for everyone.

Plan, Plan, Plan…
The less you normally travel, the more time and effort you need to put into planning your trip. No, I’m not talking about jampacking your itinerary so you have no time to relax. Instead, make sure you’re dotting all your I’s and crossing all your T’s.

 

…But Relax
Once you’ve planned, though? R-E-L-A-X! Anxious travelers are stressed travelers, and stressed travel is going to be hectic no matter how much you’ve planned.

Avoid Peak Travel Times
Pro-Tip: If your holiday plans are flexible at all, consider taking a little extra time off to avoid the days when everyone is traveling. A big bonus is if you can actually travel on Christmas where many airports will be open but very slow.

How are you getting to the airport?
Is your flight booked? It better be. What about your shuttle to the airport? Or, are you parking at the airport? If so, you need to make those plans—like, yesterday. Ask friends for rides, book a hotel close to the airport…whatever. Just don’t leave your initial travel moments unplanned until the last moment.

What about Gifts?!
I’m not saying you should pack your bag today. (If that’s your style, more power to you). What you should pack, however, is your unwrapped presents. Make sure you have room, and make sure they’re all able to get through the airport. If not, ship ahead. Or, be extra savvy and online shop with free shipping to your location.

Double Check TSA/Airline Rules
Haven’t traveled in a while? Don’t assume airlines or the TSA have the same rules they did last year.

Gas up/Charge Up
The last thing you want is a snafu en route. Gas up your car, charge your devices, check your air pressure levels, do it all. Murphy’s law says the worst that can happen is probably gonna happen when you’re at your most stressed. Don’t give it a chance.

Use a Travel Agent
Want to eliminate (almost) all of the stress of planning holiday travel? Use a travel agent. They can’t take care of the crazy extended family you’re going to see, but everything else? They got it.

Carry On Wisely
If the worst is going to happen with wintry travel woes, you’ll want to make sure you have things like medicine, batteries, a change of clothes, toiletries, etc in your carry on rather than packed away if you’re stuck at the airport.

Take Advantage of the Holiday
You know what? See your relatives in the summer! Find a spot that’s usually packed when you want to travel there and book your holiday travel. You’ll have more fun and exhale on a holiday like you haven’t since you were a kid. Thank me later.

Courtesy of Michael Schottey.

travel advisor

Why Everyone Should Use a Travel Advisor in 2019

Posted By : travelisswell/ 217 0

As 2019 rapidly approach, we think travelers should never travel without an Advisor behind them heading into the New Year. With that  said, we’d like to list the top 10 reasons for relying on a travel advisor:

1. Storms and natural disasters are making travel more difficult.
2018 year has been a particularly tough one for travel, with natural disasters and system failures overwhelming some suppliers. But travel advisors have the access and the knowledge to help speed your re-accommodation, and act as your advocate when there are problems. When you book with an advisor you can reach out to an actual person with whom you have built a trust relationship. Travel advisors can help change travel dates due to weather, or change the destination completely. They can hold cruise and air options for you and confirm your hotel before booking a non-refundable reservation. And in these weather-affected times, no client wants to sit on hold with the airlines or a tour operator for hours—so let a travel advisor do the work for you.

2. Life is busier and more demanding than ever, and vacation time is more valuable.
There is no do-over for a vacation gone wrong. Travel advisors can help you achieve the vacation you desire because they listen, suggest, adjust, understand and become a friend… not just a search engine or an anonymous voice. “They do the work, you pack and go!”

3. Travel Advisors add a human element.
A travel advisor ensures that you are a person, not a number. They are invested in their clients’ happiness and satisfaction and want to make sure each and every trip is packed full of positive lifelong memories. They are with you before, during and after your trip—kind of like “for better or for worse.” Travel advisors answer their phones and respond to their email no matter where you are on the planet.

4. Trips are more complicated than ever, as the number of multi-generational vacations and destination weddings continues to grow.
Multi-generational vacations are still very much in demand. Baby Boomers are taking their children and grand children on high-end vacations. Because planning travel with a multitude of people is a challenge, a travel advisor is a perfect choice to be the “middleman” and provide assistance to plan a perfect family vacation.

5. The world is constantly changing, and travel advisors are on the ground experiencing it.
Has the Caribbean recovered from the latest hurricane? Can Americans travel to Cuba these days? Has the smoke cleared in Napa? Travel advisors don’t just sell a destination—they discover, research and experience the places they offer over and over, sharing the actual and current status quo with their customers. Just like in everyday life, it takes a village to understand the dynamics of every destination. Why do it alone if you don’t have to?

6. They save you so much time and stress.
Sure, reading about places to go is fun and enticing—but planning a trip is stressful. There is so much data available online, in magazines and books, and even on TV. Travel advisors travel for work, looking at everything from the size of the rooms at hotels and cruise ships to the dining options that are available, onsite and nearby. And if they haven’t personally been where you want to go, a colleague has or their preferred tour operators have. They know the hidden gems in a given destination because they’ve either seen it, or because they listened to the previous client who came home and raved about something they found by chance. They also tend to specialize in destinations or niches like LGBT or Special Needs travel. Every time they travel they are focusing on these details—so customers can just dream about their destination and not have to worry.

7. They often save you money—and if not, they deliver more value.
Even if your travel advisor charges a fee, the value you receive will be bigger than what you paid. Some clients assume that using a travel advisor would cost extra when in fact using an advisor can save you money and get you extras and insider access.

8. They can reassure anxious travelers because they know where you should go and where you shouldn’t.
During the past several months, we have seen several hurricanes, 3 earthquakes, 5 strikes against travel suppliers, 2 mass-shootings, 4 airline accidents and bankruptcies, major wildfires, 2 volcano eruptions, flight cancellations, 1 visa suspension (Turkey) and several State Department travel warning.  Anyone care to navigate that on their own? People are nervous, anxious and unsure. Travel advisors feel a huge responsibility to explain, re-assure and assist their clients in making the best possible choices. And now, with all the devastation and destruction from Mother Nature, they can be instrumental in helping to decipher what destinations are accessible.

9. They offer unique services for discerning clients.
Travel advisors are there to help each and every clients regardless of budget. In addition, travel advisors are fully capable of providing special services and requests for discerning clientele.

10. Like any professional advisor, they know more than you do.
Should you book that Rhine River cruise heading north or heading south? Travel advisors know which hotel rooms have the best view room; they know you should renew your passport six months before it expires; they know you should bring your own road maps in Europe because rental car companies don’t provide them. They can recommend a private guide instead of a ship excursion, an interesting destination along the way, a chance to get off the beaten track and see something uniquely important to you.

Regardless of the circumstances, travel advisors are always there for you!

This article is made possible by Cheryl Rosen.

beijing-china

Beijing China Visa-Free Policy

Posted By : travelisswell/ 215 0

144-hour visa-free transit policy

Did you know that you can stop over in Beijing, China for up to 144 hours without a Visa? China’s new Visa-free transit policy has been implemented by Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. The policy applies to citizens from 53 countries who hold valid international travel documents, and a passenger ticket for connecting travel to a third country (region) with confirmed seats and a departure time within 144 hours.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about this policy:

How is the duration of the 144 hour visa-free transit policy calculated?

The duration of stay as referred to in the 144-hour visa-free transit policy will begin from 00:00 o’clock the following day, after entry in any port at Beijing Capital International Airport; Beijing West Railway Station; Tianjin Binhai International Airport; Tianjin International Cruise Home Port; Hebei Shijiazhuang International Airport or Qinhuangdao Harbor.

In accordance with the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, from 00:00 o’clock the following day after entry in Beijing, he/she will be allowed to stay for six days in Beijing, Tianjin or Hebei without an entry visa.

If citizens from any of the 53 designated countries eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit policy do not hold a valid connecting travel ticket to a third country; can he/she apply for 144-hour visa-free transit?

According to the regulations pertaining to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, any applicant must hold a valid connecting passenger ticket for travel, with confirmed seats, and a departure time within 144 hours of arrival in Beijing, or he/ she must possess relevant supporting documents. The applicant must have these documentations before applying for the 144-hour visa-free transit.

If citizens from any of the 53 designated countries arrive in Beijing with a valid ticket for travel to their country of origin, with a confirmed seat and with a departure time within 144 hours of entry to Beijing, would he/she be eligible for the 144 hour visa-free transit policy?

The policy applies for 144-hour visa-free transit rather than visa-free entry. Therefore, the applicant should transit to a third country or region to be eligible for this policy. Travelers returning to their country of origin would not be eligible for this policy.

What kind of punishment will be imposed on those who have successfully applied for the 144-hour visa-free transit but have stayed in China for more than 144 hours when they depart from Beijing Capital International Airport?

According to the relevant regulations of the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, individuals who do not hold a valid Chinese passport and are suspected of illegal residence in China will be warned. In case of gross violation, the offender will be fined RMB500 per day for illegal residence, not exceeding RMB10,000 in total, or he/she will be detained for 5-10 days. Anyone who violates the relevant laws and regulations for the 144 hour visa-free transit policy may not be accepted for future applications for visa-free transit.

Who can I contact with inquiries regarding the 144-hour visa-free transit policy?

For questions relating to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, including handling of entry and departure procedures, please call the 24-hour hotline 56095400 or log on to the official website of the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection for help (www.bjbj.gov). Ask our professional staf for more details.

world-travel-market

Travel is SWELL Staff to Attend the World Travel Market in London

Posted By : travelisswell/ 192 0

The Staff at Travel is SWELL is excited about participating in the World Travel Market in London. With our participation, it is our goal to help raise awareness of Autism in Travel – one of the most undeserved markets in the travel industry. In addition, Travel is SWELL staff will meet with hundreds of vendors to include hotels, attractions, wellness travel providers and destination management companies to forge new relationships and to build new custom itineraries for Autism and Wellness travel.

The World Travel Market London is the leading global event for the travel industry to meet other industry professionals and conduct business deals.  It is the perfect venue to create personal and business opportunities in addition to learning more about new products and service offerings.

World Travel Market runs from 5 to 7 November 2018 in EXCEL Convention Center in London near the Canary Wharf. Travel is SWELL’s staff will also have the opportunity to ride the infamous Double-Decker buses or travel the city via the “Underground”, visit Big Ben, West Minister Abbey, the London Eye and many other attractions. Follow us on Face Book to learn more about Travel is SWELL’s adventures in London.

 

London-england

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel

Posted By : travelisswell/ 222 0

There are many unique all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya in Mexico, but non stands out quite like the Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel.

The Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, formerly the Mandarin Oriental until it changed hands to Blue Bay Resorts in 2012, is one worth considering for romantic getaways, small groups or girlfriend getaways.

The Blue Diamond is an adults-only, AAA Four Diamond and part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It features 128 stunning and spacious suites, is all-inclusive, adults-only and offers a la carte luxury food service. The resort is spread out over 36 acres of lush tropical jungle that includes a huge open cenote, enchanting river waterways, and a palm filled white sandy beach. The suites are a perfect mix of limestone, wood and luxury amenities. It is all so well done…I just want to live there!

For large groups, Blue Diamond is available for full take-over. However, it is best suited for incentive groups of 50 to 60 rooms given function space, back-up space and meeting facilities. Blue Diamond is located 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen situated between Secrets Capri and Rosewood Mayakoba and has its own secure entrance off the highway. Rates during winter months starts at $700 per room based on double occupancy, with off-season prices starting around $550 per room based in double occupancy. Please do not hesitate to call us directly at 1-888-963-8986 if you are interested in learning more about this beautiful resort. Alternatively, you can click on the following link to learn more about Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel as well.

 

eco-friendly travel

How to Be Eco-Friendly While Traveling

Posted By : travelisswell/ 590 0

With the tourism industry booming, it’s important we all do our part in keeping our favorite destinations as beautiful as ever.

While many resorts around the globe have become eco-friendly, We would like to give you a few ideas on ways you can all help to preserve our beautiful planet.

That bottle of water waiting for you when you check into your room? DRINK IT. It’s pretty easy to gulp down half and then leave it on the nightstand for housekeeping to take. If this is something you do multiple times a day, combine your water bottles into one throughout the day.

While we may enjoy walking into a freshly cleaned room, cutting down on housekeeping visits helps more than you may realize. The one small thing that can greatly help—hang your towels. Reuse them. With hundreds of resorts globally, just imagine how much water and energy is used from washing alone.

Fun fact—biodegradable sunscreen is actually a thing. If you’re visiting a Caribbean destination, you know sunscreen is an absolute must. This specific sunscreen has removed the chemicals and oils that are bad for the marine life, which gives our coral reefs and animals the ability to continue to thrive.

While it may sound silly, bring your own cup. If you’re staying 4 days and nights at a resort, one plastic cup for each meal, that’s twelve cups gone to waste—and that’s not counting the numerous cocktail glasses while lounging by the pool.

So many resorts have become eco-friendly over the last few years. With so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find one that fits your every need.

Thank You.

Courtesy of the Mark Travel Group

Romance

Romantic Getaways

Posted By : travelisswell/ 205 0

LONG LIVE ROMANTIC GETAWAYS!

Romance is alive and a priority for travelers today! More than half of respondents in a recent survey cited the primary reason for embarking on a couples getaway is simply because they are in love.

Popular Types of Getaways

Anniversary Celebration

Anniversaries are special. The date of your marriage is an occasion worth celebrating, and going away together seems only natural.

Vow Renewals

Renewing wedding vows on a breathtaking beach is a wonderful way to celebrate time as a couple.

A Romantic Weekend

One of the best ways to just relax and re-connect with your loved one. Maybe Valentine’s day weekend!

Adventure in an exotic location

For many couples, exotic romantic vacations are the best way to celebrate their love and relationship.

Romance by Travel is SWELL

You’ll find all these and much more right here in our website. Explore Now!

Well-Being

Why Meditation Should Be Part of Every Vacation

Posted By : travelisswell/ 175 0

It’s easy to get a little overwhelmed when your surroundings are unfamiliar. Between new cultures, foreign cities and maybe even an unfamiliar language to decipher, no one understands sensory overload quite like the traveler. Luckily, there is a way to slow down when everything is moving so fast, meditation. Below are a few benefits your clients can experience when they include meditation while touring the world.

Reduced Stress when Flying

Airplane cabins are one of stress and anxiety’s natural habitats. Fortunately, some airlines offer in-flight guided meditations for passenger enjoyment right on the back-of-the-seat entertainment console. These meditation sessions are customizable and can be tweaked to help with a variety of travel issues your client might struggle with such as the fear of flying. If your client’s flight doesn’t come equipped with built-in Zen time, have no fear. There are a variety of mobile meditation apps that are only a quick download away in the app store.

Increased Energy

Stamina is important when the agenda is jam-packed with one activity after another. While some people choose to get their energy boost from Starbucks or Red Bull, travelers can also combat fatigue with meditation. Setting aside 5-10 minutes a day in the midst of a rigorous travel schedule can help travelers feel more energized and ready to tackle what the day has in store. Another energy-related bonus of meditation is better sleep. It’s no secret that a solid six to eight hours of sleep can work wonders and great sleep is a powerful benefit of a regular meditation practice.

Enhanced Experiences

Many people discard meditation because they don’t think they have the time, especially while on vacation. But, we’re going to let you in on a little secret; meditation doesn’t have to be its own independent activity. In fact, meditation can be combined with an activity like relaxing on the beach. This is the perfect opportunity to pop in some headphones and run through a quick guided meditation exercise. Or even better, travelers can try to mindfully connect with their surroundings by feeling the sand beneath their feet or by watching the waves crash into shore.

Mindful Eating

Many of us have been there before; you’re on vacation living lavishly and find yourself heading home feeling bloated and slightly guilty. Food is great, but too much of it while on vacation can start to take its toll. That’s where meditation comes in. Research has shown that with time, meditation can rewire parts of the brain associated with self-control. A few sessions of this mindful eating meditation can help your clients focus on making thoughtful food choices.

Courtesy of The Mark Travel Group | Visit Our Wellness Page