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After a year like 2020, it’s hard to predict what the future of travel will look like. While travel this year will probably not look like what we saw pre-Covid, Americans are still traveling. With a pent-up demand for travel and the vaccine rolling out, it appears that the confidence to travel is increasing daily. So far this year I’m seeing a few travel trends worth noting…

Domestic Travel is on the Rise

Booking.com’s Future of Travel report for 2021 says “local travel remains easier, safer and – happily – often more sustainable.” Their ”Familiarists not Tourists” prediction shows 47% of travelers are planning domestic trips over the next 7-12 months. My most requested destinations this year have been – Florida, Arizona, National Parks, and Hawaii.

Disney is a still a top choice! Disney World is has been open since the summer and even though the parks have limited capacity, abbreviated hours and have put a hold on parades and fireworks, It is considered relatively safe to visit. Add to that it is easy to reach by either car or quick, direct flights, you can see why it is a pick for so many families.

Beach Vacations are also a popular choice because it is an easy way to maintain social distancing and find peace of mind when visiting these destinations surrounded by nothing but the sea.

Short term planning

Normally at this time I would be booking Summer and Fall vacations, but the requests currently coming across my desk are for April – June. With so much uncertainty, travelers are feeling more comfortable booking vacations a few weeks out instead of months.

In addition, with so many still working from home, and kids still doing remote learning, there seems to much less concern about working around school breaks. As long as there is a good internet connection, and enough time in the day to get the job done, it doesn’t seem to matter right now when families travel.

Bucket List Trips


For those who are planning a little farther out, there seems to be little holding back on the types of trips they are taking. Having realized that access to travel cannot be taking for granted, many are looking to book bigger trips as soon as possible. 

Travelers are looking for more unique experiences and upgraded amenities in order to stay in a ‘bubble’. I’m seeing more and more requests first class seats on flights, private transfers and suites with more room and bigger balconies to spend more time in their room.

Flexible Cancellation Policies

Before the pandemic, you would need to buy a fully flexible airfare to have the ability to change your dates, which would have been far more expensive than a standard ticket. Furthermore, cancelling your vacation last minute would be out of the question without losing a good chunk of your money.

Now many suppliers have realized that the only way to provide travelers with the confidence to book is by giving them the flexibility to change their hotel or flight booking at no extra cost. Airlines such as United, American Airlines and Delta have scrapped change fees for man flights. Hotels and suppliers are also allowing travelers to change destinations or dates without fees.  

Working with a Travel Advisor is a MUST!

Anyone who didn’t have one in 2020 probably regretted it. If you have had to change a trip on your own, you probably understand why it’s helpful to have a travel agent in your corner.

Travelers today need help navigating the new normal in order for their trips to be a success. With a considerable amount of uncertainty and quarantine, testing and entry requirements changing daily, travel agents have become an invaluable and irreplaceable source of information.

Even those who have booked their own travel for years, are turning to Travel Advisors for their experience and expertise.  

What are you most looking forward to in the world of travel in 2021? Tell us in the comments below.

To book your next vacation, contact us today to start planning!

A couple of years ago I watched the movie Where’d you go Bernadette? and immediately became obsessed with the idea of going to Antarctica. I later found out that the scenes that are supposed to be in Antarctica were actually filmed in Greenland, but that hasn’t waivered my need to visit Antarctica!

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am the least outdoorsy person you will ever meet, so I know me wanting to go on thiss trip is going to be a surprise to many.

But look at this…

Iceberg, Lindblad Cove, Antarctica aboard National Geographic Explorer. January 2011

I want to go there and see this…

An explosion of gentoo penguins alongside makes this kayaking experience doubly extraordinary.

Antarctica is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. It is said that a voyage to Antarctica is one of the most exhilarating adventures the planet offers, and one of the most life-enhancing travel decisions any traveler can make.

There are a number of cruise lines that venture down to Antarctica. One that I have my eye on is with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.

Lars-Eric Lindblad, considered by many to be the “father of ecotourism,” founded Lindblad Travel in 1958. In 1966, he brought the first group of “citizen explorers” to Antarctica. Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic have joined forces to further inspire the world through expedition travel.

Together they are good stewards to the earth and encourage greater awareness and understanding of issues impacting the regions where they travel.

National Geographic Orion, Lemaire Channel, Antarctica

The 148-guest National Geographic Explorer and 126-guest National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution are purpose-built Antarctic expedition ships designed to safely explore Antarctica—the most remote, wild place on the planet. They are fully stabilized, ice-class vessels with ice-strengthened hulls strong enough to push through the Antarctic ice. Their construction and the caliber of their Icemaster Captains and veteran expedition teams are your assurances of safety.

It’s in the early season (Oct.-Nov.) when the Captain can adroitly “park” National Geographic Explorer, allowing guests to disembark directly on the ice.

Every expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader and a team of eight naturalists, many of them polar veterans, of a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, polar history, and more. Other members of the 15-person team include an undersea specialist, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, a video chronicler and a wellness specialist. Together, they provide you with a greater understanding and appreciation for this exceptional place.  

Hikers, Neko Harbor, Antarctica

Who’s ready for this amazing adventure?

My Bucket List

Amawaterways Christmas Market River Cruises

Play, stay and enjoy more magic with this special offer at Walt Disney World Resort—where magical moments are waiting for you.

Receive 2 extra days added to your ticket when you buy a 4-night/3-day room-and-ticket package at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for arrivals most nights from now through September 25, 2021.

Want to stay longer? Check about packages for other lengths of stay—and get 2 extra days added to your ticket.

Enjoy added peace of mind when booking! You can modify or cancel your reservation with extra flexibility through April 30, 2021. See Important Details.

The number of rooms are limited. 5-day theme park tickets included in this package are valid for admission beginning on date of check-in and must be used within 8 days. Visit disneydestinationstickets.com/usage for more details.

Ready to start planning your next Disney World vacation? Let’s chat!

Delta Vacations is once again allowing Delta Skymiles members to redeem their miles for Delta Gift Cards that can then be applied Delta Vacations package that includes airfare.

What’s the benefit of redeeming your SkyMiles for gift cards and using them to book a Delta Vacations package? When you use this feature and book with Wishes and Waves Travel, you will accrue flown miles and bonuses, that you will not receive by booking using your miles alone.

To purchase a Delta Gift Card with miles:

  • Log into your SkyMiles Member account
  • Visit the mileage redemption for Delta Gift Cards page where you can select the desired gift card amount and quantity
  • Only one SkyMiles Member account can be used for payment per gift card. If you wish to use miles from separate accounts, each account
  • There is a limit of five gift cards that can be used per booking. See full terms and conditions.
  • Call or email me with your Delta Gift Card number and I can apply it to your booking.

Contact me today to start planning your next getaway!

Get ready for sun-soaked adventures to captivating southern Caribbean isles onboard Grandeur of the Seas®, sailing from the newest Royal Caribbean® home port — beautiful Bridgetown, Barbados.

With its idyllic pink-sand beaches, warm clear seas and gentle tropical breezes, and emerald hills and valleys, Barbados is an unforgettable destination in its own right. But there’s so much more to this tropical Caribbean paradise. From botanical gardens to caves, a visit to Barbados will be unforgettable. As the birthplace of rum, a stop at one of their distilleries for a tasting is a must. Historical Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where your clients can enjoy the charm of the city as well as the famous Bajan cuisine.

There are three different itineraries, including two separate 7-night sailings and a 14-night sailing with stops in St. Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and more. The 14-night itinerary visits the ABCs with an overnight in Aruba and includes destinations like Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia and Colon, Panama. By departing from Barbados, Royal Caribbean can reach more of the less explored ports and offer more back-to-back port days versus days at sea.

The adventure begins in Barbados, Winter 2021. As your personal travel advisor, I’m here to ensure your journey is hassle-free and expertly planned!

Disney’s Blizzard Beach will be reopening on March 7, 2021 and you will soon be able to once again leisurely float across Cross Country Creek and speed down Summit Plummet! First opened to the public on April 1, 1995, this spring will kick off Blizzard Beach’s 25th season.

When Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park reopens, it will operate in alignment with the health and safety protocols implemented throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including reduced capacity, temperature screenings, physical distancing markings and face coverings. You can find the most updated information on the dedicated Know Before You Go section of the microsite.

Fun facts about Disney’s Blizzard Beach:

  • Summit Plummet is a 120-foot-tall waterslide with a near-vertical drop is one of the fastest waterslides in the world! Guests accelerate up to 65 mph on the slide, making it one of the fastest attractions at Walt Disney World. 
  • At 3,000 feet, Cross Country Creek ranks among the longest lazy rivers in the country. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete one journey around the waterway – depending, of course, on how lazy you want to be!
  • One of the world’s longest family whitewater raft ride is none other than Teamboat Springs at Blizzard Beach. Along the winding rapids of Teamboat Springs, you will encounter remnants of the fabled snowstorm in the form of snowshoes, snow shovels, melting icicles and a snow mobile!

Tickets to Blizzard Beach are now available. Contact me today to plan your next trip!

Back in July, I had the pleasure of staying at Couples Tower Isle. This beautiful all-inclusive, adults-only, couples hotel is located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This property was built in 1949 and was the first resort built on Jamaica’s undeveloped north coast. In 1978, the founder, Abraham Issa introduced the “all-inclusive, couples-only” concept to Jamaica, and the Tower Isle was renamed, Couples Ocho Rios. The property was again renamed years later as Couples Tower Isle.

While this resort has been renovated, the art deco architecture remains.

The Pool Grill – Open for lunch and dinner as well as late night food service.

I found many things to love about this resort, but the food was definitely a highlight! There were many restaurants to choose from, however with COVID-19, not every restaurant was open every day, so we had to plan our meals out to make sure we hit as many restaurants as we could. Reservations are required for dinner at most restaurants and it was super easy to make them the app for our entire stay.

We ate most of our meals at The Patio which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer both a buffet (currently modified with a server plating the items you select) and an á la carte menu. Our favorite meal was at 8 Rivers. This restaurant has a glamorous 1950s era feel, serving classic food while incorporating local Jamaican and Caribbean ingredients. Reservations are required and a dress code is enforced. Dinner at The Verandah was also a treat! The website describes it as, “For those nights when you crave continental cuisine at its finest.” While it was continental cuisine, the chefs elevated it in both the fusion of flavors and presentation.

One restaurant that we did not get to try was Bayside. I heard incredible things about the casual and candle-lit Asian restaurant situated on the sea.

This resort is very romantic and great for couples celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary. They do offer nightly entertainment with live music and dance shows including resident band and cabaret performances, but the resort gets pretty quiet at night.

While there are garden view rooms, most guest rooms face the Caribbean Sea, many with views of Tower Isle. Tower Isle is a small private island for au naturel sunbathing. The beach here is small but private so you will not encounter vendors trying to sell you anything. During our stay, the water and beach were full of seaweed and there were red flag warnings, so we didn’t spend much time there. Luckily there are two pools, one with a swim-up bar that we enjoyed.

Every room features air conditioning plus a ceiling fan, private balcony or patio furnished with wide cushion seating and an outdoor table, large bathroom with a shower or tub, IPOD/MP3 player, satellite flat-screen TV, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, complimentary minibar that is refreshed daily, and nightly turndown service (the turndown service is currently on hold due to COVID-19). The furniture in the rooms felt a bit dated, but the rooms were clean and comfortable. The bed was so comfortable, we slept like babies.

Being a travel agent, I do have the opportunity to stay at a variety of resorts. Couples Tower Isle is now one of my favorites. The hotel itself felt special with its art deco architecture. The views were incredible and the staff was lovely! This resort felt like home to me. I think it is a great choice for a couple looking for a quiet, relaxing getaway.

To see more of this resort and the other Couples Resorts I visited on this trip, visit my YouTube channel and if you are ready to plan your next vacation, contact me here.

After traveling to Jamaica at the end of July and having such a good experience, I jumped at the chance to go to Cancun last week. Spoiler alert, it was quite a different experience. 

I flew from Grand Rapids to Chicago and on to Cancun. Both of my flights were full, in fact, over-sold. American Airlines was still implementing the same safety protocols — mandatory face masks, no in-flight service, and asking all passengers to remain seated during the duration of the flight. Unlike a few of the other airlines, they are not leaving the middle seat open. 

Other than the flight because being completely packed, it was fine. I wasn’t super comfortable, but I wore my mask and face shield and tried to relax. For this trip I was traveling alone, so I think that made me a bit more on edge. 

While in Jamaica, the resorts where we stayed were around 20% occupancy. There was social distancing and serious safety precautions. For this trip, because it was hosted, I was not able to select the resort for my stay. Our group of travel agents were placed at the RIU Palace Peninsula in the Hotel Zone in Cancun. 

The resort was at 60% capacity which was the government allowance at the time I traveled. This felt like a lot to me. The resort didn’t feel crowded, but felt very full.

RIU Palace Peninsula

During COVID-19, everyones comfort level is different and I understand that. Personally, I traveled within my comfort level and am pointing out the practices and protocols that bother me. In my opinion, The RIU Palace Peninsula did a lot of things “right”…

  • Hand sanitizing upon entry to the hotel.
  • Washing/wiping of your shoes upon entering the hotel. 
  • Thermal temperature taken as you enter. 
  • Social distancing markers at check-in and at the buffets. 
  • Plexiglass barriers are the front desk. 
  • Enforcing masks be worn in the lobby and when you order at bars (with one exception). 
  • Elevators were marked for 4 guests per elevator.

However there were a few things that I felt they did very wrong and these few points bothered me. A LOT.

  • Buffets were still self serve with shared serving utensils (I was told they were changed out every 30 minutes and did see them changed once).
  • Social distancing was almost never followed by guests, especially at the buffet where guests would come right up behind you. In my experience when I hung back, guests would cut right in front of me.
  • Tables were not spaced out and there were no outdoor dining options.

I had quite a few problems with my stay at the RIU Palace Peninsula, as did almost all of the agents that I traveled with, but that’s a story for another day. Don’t ever request to stay there because I won’t send you. It was that bad.

The good news is that I visited 8 other properties in Cancun and saw and learned a ton! There are many resorts where I would feel comfortable staying and booking clients during this time. I think that the biggest takeaway from this trip is that to travel during COVID-19, you need to understand the protocols of each resort and where they fall within your comfort level. This is why traveling during this time is so important for me to do for my clients.

Will this experience deter me from traveling again soon? Absolutely not!!! Having visited two different countries now within the last 90 days, I feel comfortable traveling at this time and hope to get on a plane again soon! 😉

About a month ago, my husband and I visited Jamaica. While some of you may believe it is irresponsible to travel during this time, please remember that this is part of my job. I have many clients traveling over the next few months (quite a few to Jamaica) and part of my job to advise them. There is no better way to let them know what to expect than to experience it myself. That is why when Couples Resorts in Jamaica invited us down to spend five days learning all about their resorts, we jumped at the opportunity.

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that we had second thoughts after confirming that we would join them. It wasn’t being in Jamacia that worried me, but rather the plane ride. Flights were limited and we departed from Chicago O’Hare, connected in Charlotte, and continued on to Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

We had our masks and face shields and hoped for the best. O’Hare Airport was nearly empty, as was our plane to Charlotte. The connecting flight to Montego Bay was about 80% full but no one sat next to us, although we did have people in the rows in front of and behind us.

Overall the flights went really well. Most everyone stayed seated throughout the duration of the flights and practiced social distancing as best they could. There was no beverage service on any of the flights and instead, we were handed a bag upon entering the place with a bottle of water, biscoff cookies, and a hand wipe.

Jamaica has regulations to enter the country including an approved travel authorization, negative COVID-19 test depending on your state of residence, health screening upon arrival, and temperature checks. There are also restrictions on where you can go within the country. We were required to sign a statement agreeing that we would not leave the resort.

Traveling right now is not for everyone. There are lots of rules and if you do not yet feel comfortable doing it there is no rush. But if you are comfortable and willing to follow the strict guidelines you may find yourself in what seems like your very own paradise as crowd levels are very low. I had such a good experience that in a few weeks I’m off again, this time to Cancun!

There may not be a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom this year but that doesn’t mean that Halloween won’t be celebrated! From September 15 to October 31 you are sure to “fall” in love with Magic Kingdom Park all over again. You will be able to soak in the aura of autumn with Main Street, U.S.A. dressed in fall décor, and other seasonal offerings.  

There will be some bewitching surprises this year, including a special Halloween-themed cavalcade with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and pals wearing their favorite Halloween costumes. You may even spot those rascally chipmunks, Chip ‘n’ Dale, in costume over in Frontierland, and look for other Disney character friends dressed up and riding the horse-drawn trolley down Main Street, U.S.A. 

And speaking of costumes, you will want to get yours ready! To bring some Halloween party fun into the park this year, for the first time guests of all ages can wear their funniest, Disney-ist, most creative costumes during Magic Kingdom regular operating hours from September 15 to October 31. As an important reminder, costume masks are not permitted for adults; only children younger than 14 years old are permitted to wear costume masks. In addition, all guests are required to wear approved face coverings during their visit. 

Halloween is one my most favorite times to be in the Magic Kingdom! I LOVE pumpkin-themed wreaths that adorn lampposts up and down Main Street, U.S.A. We also love the specialty themed holiday Disney PhotoPass photo opps! Photographers will be available throughout the park for themed photo opps. But beware – happy haunts may materialize in the pictures! 

A holiday at Walt Disney World wouldn’t be complete without treats! Here is a list of everything the parks have to offer:

Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey Cinnamon Roll (Available at Main Street Bakery) – Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll drizzled with orange and white icing 
  • Cinnamon Donuts (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Served in a Hitchhiking Ghost Novelty container 
  • Hades Nachos (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Black bean nacho chips with “fiery” buffalo chicken, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, and jalapeño 
  • Constance’s For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake (Available at Liberty Square Market) – Citrus cake with raspberry Bavarian cream, whipped cream flowers, and a chocolate axe 
  • Pumpkin Spiced Waffle Sundae (Available at Sleepy Hollow) –Pumpkin spice-flavored waffled topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and sprinkles 
  • Poor Unfortunate Souls Float (Available at Storybook Treats)– Cream cheese soft-serve, black raspberry syrup, and Coke 
  • Pumpkin Spice Milkshake (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, sprinkles, and a Mickey-shaped marshmallow straw
  • Pumpkin Spice Soft-Serve Sundae (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Served as a sundae topped with whipped cream, caramel, and sprinkles
  • Mickey Monster Mash Burger (Available at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café) – Burger with Meunster cheese, potato barrels, bacon, and sriracha aïoli 
  • Headless Horseman Rides Again (Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace) – Strawberry DOLE® Whip with Fanta Strawberry and a Headless Horseman Novelty Straw 
  • Not So Poison Apple Cupcake (Available at Pinocchio Village House) – A spiced apple cupcake with pecan crunch buttercream themed after a poison apple 
  • Orange and Black Sugar Churros (Available at Various Churro Carts and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) 
  • Oogie Boogie Dice Novelty Glow Cubes (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants) 
  • Jack Skellington Sipper (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants and Outdoor Vending Locations) 
  • Oogie Boogie Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts throughout the Magic Kingdom) 
  • Mickey Pumpkin Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts) 
  • Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)

EPCOT

  • Halloween Cupcake (Available on Halloween Day Only at Sunshine Seasons) – Choice of vanilla or chocolate cupcake with buttercream and a Mickey Pumpkin garnish 
  • Nemo & Squirt’s Noggin Concoction (Available on Halloween Day Only at Coral Reef Restaurant) – Chocolate brownie stuffed with a chocolate chip cookie topped with white chocolate-covered pretzels and a Mickey Pumpkin Garnish 
  • Halloween Sugar Cookie (Available on Halloween Day Only at Traveler’s Café and Garden Grill) – Sugar cookie topped with Halloween Sprinkles 
  • Liquid Nitro Cake Pop (Available on Halloween Day Only at Desserts & Champagne Marketplace in World Showplace for EPCOT Taste of International Food & Wine Festival) – Liquid nitro chocolate cake pop with Halloween sprinkles 
  • Oogie Boogie Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available Canada Popcorn Cart and Fife & Drum) 
  • Green Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Eats at EPCOT Experience and Mission Space Popcorn Cart) 
  • Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at all EPCOT Popcorn Locations) 
  • Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Sunshine Seasons and Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue) 

Animal Kingdom

  • Scar Cupcake (Available at Creature Comforts, Flame Tree Barbecue, and Restaurantosaurus) – Red velvet cupcake with toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate marshmallow frosting, chocolate pebbles, white chocolate flames, and an edible icing image  
  • Spooky Apple Punch Specialty Beverage (Non-Alcoholic) (Available at Flame Tree Barbecue and Isle of Java) – Sprite with Monin Apple Syrup poured over ice, garnished with a rocky candy apple straw, a gummy worm, a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube, and a sugar lime rim 
  • Rotten Apple Punch Specialty Beverage (Alcoholic) (Available Flame Tree Barbecue) – Angry Orchard and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky over ice, garnished with a rocky candy apple straw, a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube, and gummy worms 
  • Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Tamu Tamu, Trek Snacks, Restaurantosaurus, TriloBites, and Outdoor Vending Ice Cream Carts)  
  • Purple Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Trek Snacks) 
  • Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at Trek Snacks)

Hollywood Studios

  • Poison Candied Apple (Available at Trolley Car Café) – Apple and caramel mousse covered in red glaze with a crunchy candy base 
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Cannoli (Available at PizzeRizzo) – Pumpkin cheesecake mixed with a hazelnut praline crunch in a cannoli shell 
  • Pumpkin Tiramisu (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café) –Layers of cream mascarpone and spiced pumpkin cake 
  • Box of Bones Chocolate Éclair (Available at Backlot Express)– Chocolate éclair with dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate bones Frozen Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic) (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, and PizzeRizzo) – Served with a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube 
  • Frozen Apple Cider with Crown Royal Regal Apple (Alcoholic) (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, and PizzeRizzo) – Served with a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube 
  • Orange Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Anahiem Produce, Hollywood Popcorn, and Animation Popcorn) 
  • Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, PizzeRizzo, and Anaheim Produce) 

Who is ready to visit the most magical place on earth this Fall? Contact me today to start planning your next Disney World vacation!