The daily Post

Memorable Costa Rica Adventure

 

Our agent, Delia Kolb, had the opportunity to travel with Memorable Costa Rica and experience all that Costa Rica has to offer. Costa Rica is a nature lover’s dream filled with adventure, animals, and lush greenery. We recommend this destination for the adventurous or for someone who is looking for complete relaxation with natural wildlife. Costa Rica is known for its coffee, cattle, dairy, seafood and amazing fruity and natural juices. At every resort Delia stayed at, they were met with cool towels and great drinks that were made with natural fruit juices straight from the island.

  

Her trip started off in San Jose, where they headed off to have a comfortable stay at Grano de Oro Hotel, a small boutique hotel. They headed off to La Paz Waterfall and Gardens, which is part of a sanctuary for Costa Rica animals not fit for the wild. The whole group got a big dose of wildlife at the Gardens. That afternoon Delia had the opportunity to visit the Real Intercontinental Hotel for her last night stay in San Jose. The Real Intercontinental was Delia’s favorite hotel in the area.

Delia’s favorite resort in Costa Rica was the Tabacon Springs Resort in Mt. Arenal. The resort has lots of beautiful woodwork and is great for families with the activity center on the river with lots of water activities, tubing, rafting, hikes, horseback riding, and a small animal sanctuary. One of the biggest highlights of the resort is the acres and acres of extremely lush tropical gardens and natural spring waterfalls, pools and jacuzzis.  The rooms were huge and the balconies have rockings chairs and hammocks all with gorgeous views of the volcano.  The activities and wildlife in Mt. Arenal are endless! Delia had the opportunity to repel down a 120 ft waterfall with her fellow resort guests! While she says it was beautiful it is not for the faint of heart.

  

Rio Perdido was the next stop for Delia, which is just North of Palo Verde National Park. This resort offers complete relaxation in the middle of the jungle! You are guaranteed to see monkeys and many types of beautiful birds, along with many cool and warm pools along with natural springs and mud baths are what really draws everyone to this resort. The approach to the property is a little rustic with the last two miles of the journey being on a gravel road. Rio Perdido translates to “lost river”. Winding trails lead down to the river and several thermal pools.

The 5 Star Andaz Peninsula Papagallo resort located in Guanacaste beach. This resort is made up of amazing rooms and suites with showers that open straight to your balcony with ocean views. The spa sits on a black sand beach with many lush gardens to shade you from the heat of the sun. A high-end resort wonderful for honeymooners!

 

You can always count on Travel Machine to have the best first-hand knowledge about a destination because we get to experience it first for you! Make sure you contact Delia Kolb for more information about Costa Rica and for any of your vacation needs! delia@travelmachine.net

 

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Your Next Great Adventure

CJ & Debbie Ray are hitting the high seas, this time on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas©! No matter how you like to cruise, you’ve never done it like this before. The revolutionary Anthem of the Seas© fits the bill without running it up. Feel the rush of skydiving without even leaving the ship. Unleash your foodie frenzy at an array of world-class dining options. Go roller skating, bumper car tailgating, and trapeze training. Most importantly enjoy breathtaking island sights from the best seat in any house. All while traveling with the best group from Acadiana! Take a look below at all this ship has to offer!

If you are looking to have a blast on your cruise, have a wide variety of choices for dining, bars and mind-blowing entertainment then this is the ship for you! Contact our office TODAY to save your spot on the CJ & Debbie Ray Sail Away 2019! We have limited availability and we don’t want you to miss out on this amazing vacation!

Contact our office TODAY (337) 981-7870 / info@travelmachine.net

        

Ultimate VIP Christmas Lighting of Graceland with CJ

There’s nothing like Elvis Presley’s Graceland at Christmas! Join CJ from KTDY & Travel Machine on another adventure to Graceland this November! This trip is going to be jam-packed with excitement and exclusives that you can only get by booking through Travel Machine!

DAY 1- November 14th 

    

We are starting the trip with a bright and early departure from Lafayette by Luxury Motor Coach and make our way to Memphis, Tennessee! The first stop on our tour will be to visit Elvis’ childhood home in Tupelo, Mississippi. After our visit, we will hop back on the motorcoach and finish the journey to Memphis. Once the group arrives we will check into our home for the next couple of days, The Guest House at Graceland.

DAY 2- November 15th 

A day packed full of touring & Elvis! From VIP tours of Graceland with a personal guide to touring Elvis’ private custom jets! You will also visit Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex. Christmas was one of Elvis’ favorite times of the year and now you can experience the magic of the holiday season with the annual Graceland Lighting Ceremony starting at 6:00 PM. Dinner will be provided at Vernon’s Smokehouse this evening.

   

DAY 3- November 16th 

Starting our day off with a visit to the Peabody Hotel to view The Peabody Memphis Ducks! That afternoon we will see Rock N’ Roll at its best with a tour of Sun Studio. Get your taste buds ready because we are finishing up the afternoon at Old Dominick Distillery for a tasting & tour. The evening will continue with a bar crawl down Beal Street!

     

DAY 4- November 17

We say our goodbyes to Elvis and depart Memphis mid-morning to head home back to Lafayette. Make sure you contact our office TODAY for more information on this amazing opportunity!

  

Contact Cat Terrebonne

cat@travelmachine.net – (337) 981-7870

 

#TravelTuesday- Consultant Spotlight- Tricia R.

It’s #TravelTuesday! Today’s travel consultant feature is Tricia Romero!

How long have you worked in the travel industry?

  • 6 years

What do you do when you’re not traveling?

  • My 2 children keep me busy. I also work with my husband, Dr. Jeremy Romero who is a chiropractor. We have our own business in Abbeville.

What’s your favorite destination?

  • Santorini, Greece

What’s on your travel bucket list?

  • Australia & Croatia

Travel related specialties?

  • Disney, Hawaii, and the Caribbean

What is the most interesting trip you’ve planned for a client?

  • A trip to Europe (they started in Rome, Vatican City, then did a 9-night cruise in the Mediterranean) Ephesus in Turkey was on that itinerary, which is where Mary lived for a short time. They also visited the first Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece. They were able to visit 4 countries in 2 weeks.

A memory that stands out to from booking travel? 

  • When Hurricane Maria hit the islands and I had a group of clients that were headed to St. Thomas that I was able to help them get refunded for their bookings.

You can contact Tricia for your next vacation!!  (337)-517-3873  – tricia@travelmachine.net

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#TravelTuesday- Consultant Spotlight- Delia K.

It’s #TravelTuesday! Today’s travel consultant feature is Delia Kolb!

Over the years Delia has had the opportunity to travel to many different destinations on educational trips. She is here to help you complete your bucket list and save you money!

How long have you worked in the travel industry?

  • 28 years

What do you do when you’re not traveling?

  • When I am not in the office or on an educational trip I love to spend my free time fishing with my family and going for bike rides.

What’s your favorite destination?

  • The Canadian Rocky Mountains

What’s on your travel bucket list?

  • Fall Foliage along the East Coast, Alaska, Greece

Travel related specialties?

  • All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico for families and at adults-only properties

What’s the most interesting trip you’ve planned for a client?

  • I booked my client’s bucket list dream vacation to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Pichu.

A memory that stands out from booking travel?

  • A honeymoon couple had an airline schedule change and did not have anyone to drive them to the airport for their flight so I took our company jeep and drove them at 3:00 AM an hour away and dropped them at the airport after their wedding. Going that extra mile to make sure that my clients had a wonderful honeymoon!

 

You can contact Delia for your next vacation! (337) 524-1971 – delia@travelmachine.net

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(Delia & her husband in Antigua)

#TravelTuesday- Consultant Spotlight – Ginger L.

It’s #TravelTuesday! Today’s travel consultant feature is Ginger Latiolais!

Ginger is a retired school teacher with a passion for travel and a great love of Louisiana. You can join Ginger on one of her many day trips across Louisiana, or one of her overnight or short destination trips by land, rail, or air to amazing locations throughout North America!

How long have you worked in the travel industry? 

  • Since February 2013

What do you do when you’re not traveling?

  • I work on marketing, planning, and pricing my trips. I do site visits for projected trips and attend travel conferences. I also volunteer every Monday morning at the Lafayette Visitor’s Center when I’m not on the road.

What’s your favorite destination?

  • My favorite destination that I do annually is New York City. I am working on doing a similar trip to San Franciso.

What’s on your travel bucket list?

  • Three states that I have never visited: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. That will complete all 50 states for me.

Travel related specialties?

  • Group travel by motorcoach, rail, and air

What’s the most interesting trip you’ve planned for a client?

  • I normally plan for groups, but was able to plan a trip for a Travel Machine client in 2016 where we traveled by rail to Arizona, then drove her family by 15 passenger van through the national parks of Arizona and Utah.

 

You can check out all of Ginger’s current trips on her Website or follow her on Facebook!

(337) 962-5709 / ginger@travelmachine.net

 

Why Smart Consumers Use a Travel Consultant

When it comes to planning a vacation, you need to answer the age-old question- do it all yourself or use a travel consultant? You could argue that doing it yourself would save money and time, but will it? Before you book that next trip, look at these real reasons why you should let us do the work for you!

Convenience: Your time is valuable and that means you shouldn’t have to spend it searching for the right vacation. Travel consultants offer the convenience of having all of the pieces pulled together for you. That includes your flight, accommodations, transportation to and from the airport, excursions, and everything in between! Most importantly, we take the guesswork out of all of these selections. We also have your back! If your flight is canceled or you didn’t get the room category you booked, you can count on your travel consultant to be there to get it corrected for you.

Personal Experience: Self-directed internet searches can come up with overwhelming amounts of information. Working with a consultant can offer insight and information accumulated over years of research and personal experience.

Saving Time & Money: You might be hesitant to work with a travel consultant because you think it costs too much money. The cost is the same whether you book it yourself online or we do the work for you. We also offer price matching. You can send us anything you find online and we can find that same exact thing and maybe a few added perks!

Connections: Travel Consultants have the best firsthand experience on the greatest resorts in the Caribbean for a honeymoon or any of your favorite destinations. We also have a contact at the resort property or hotel where we can notify them about any special requests, dietary needs, and room preferences. We want our clients to feel special when they travel, and we will do our best to help you get that early check-in, or upgrade when possible.

(Travel Experts Maegan & Kim on the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas)

Personalization: You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Anyone can post anything they want and sometimes that good deal just might be too good to be true. When we are designing trips, we incorporate all personal experiences and relationships with the destinations. We highlight your unique likes and desires so you can get the vacation that you always dreamed of.

(Travel Expert Sue on the inaugural sailing of the Norwegian Bliss)

Keep Up to Date: Travel Consultants have access to a variety of tools that the average consumer doesn’t know about.  As time flies by, travel companies are offering more and more brands than ever before. It is our job to decipher the subtle differences and choose the right one to fit your requirements.

 

There is a lot of added value that consumers don’t even know about. When you work with a travel consultant, we take care of everything; from the moment you set foot in the destination to the moment you touch the group back home.  We find so much joy in creating tailor-made travel experiences for our clients. So here is a little reminder — remember us the next time you are ready to travel AND remember that travel makes an excellent gift!! (337) 981-7870 – info@travelmachine.net

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A Weekend Aboard Norwegian Bliss

If you are following our social media pages (which you should be!) you will have seen that Travel Machine had the opportunity to be on the inaugural sailing of the Norwegian Bliss out of Miami, Florida at the beginning of May. The Bliss is one of the most highly-anticipated ships to date for Norwegian Cruises. It holds the largest competitive race track at sea, open-air laser tag course, Aqua Racer waterslides, exclusive specialty dining & bar concepts, as well as Broadway-caliber entertainment, luxurious accommodations in the Haven, and so much more. A special feature is the quarter-mile wraparound oceanfront promenade that allows you to connect with the ocean while experiencing some of the ships signature venues.

 

    

 

 

 

Food & Drink 

With so many options on board to eat and drink it can get overwhelming on what to choose. Luckily, we did a little taste test for you to help better narrow your options. The main dining rooms Savor & Taste are a great way to get a little bit of everything that The Bliss has to offer. The menus are filled with so many fresh seafood options and decadent desserts paired with the best wine choices. The Garden Cafe’, the buffet-style eatery, is a great option to grab a quick lunch when you need a break from the sun. A plethora of different types of cuisine including Asian, Indian, traditional style American & so much more is included for your dining pleasures. One of our days onboard included a seafood buffet which had all of the fresh oysters, crab legs, shrimp and lobster that you could want!

The ship also has many specialty dining options available which are defiantly worth the extra cost. We had the opportunity to dine at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Sea and the Tuscan inspired restaurant La Cucina. They both had amazing food and drink options. La Cucina has the special outdoor seating, which you won’t find on many cruise ships.

Of course, the ship is filled with so many places to grab a drink before dinner and places to wind down or dance the night away. We spent one of our evenings rocking out with Live Beatles music at The Cavern Club. We were bopping along to different eras of Beatles tunes performed by a group of loveable rockers who were the spittin’ image of the Fab Four. Finding live music on the ship won’t be a problem. Some time was also spent at the Maltings Whiskey Bar that has a unique international variety of spirits, you can sip your way around the world without leaving your chair.

   

 

Entertainment

The nightly entertainment onboard does not disappoint! Including the Tony Award-Winning Broadway show Jersey Boys, Happy Hour Prohibition- The Musical and making its world debut ¡HAVANA!. This musical is a celebration of Cuba’s music and culture, journeying back in time to its 1950s heyday. The beautiful colors and costumes along with the catchy music make for a great end to a fun-filled day.  There are also many theme nights available as well and even a silent disco, which you can’t knock till you try it!

With the race track, laser tag & waterslides there really is no shortage of fun that can be had. We also may have tested out the waterslide a few times…. you know…for science purposes.

  

This only scratches the surface of what the Norwegian Bliss really has to offer. If you want more details you can contact our office and we would be happy to help you experience all The Bliss has to offer for your next vacation! (337) 981-7870 – info@travelmachine.net

 

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England & Scotland Adventure

One of our favorite quotes says it best, “You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.” That is how one of our agents felt after her trip to England & Scotland with Contiki.

Contiki promises to deliver 18 to 35-year-olds their bucket list destinations and fulfill their travel dreams. Having experienced Contiki first hand, we can say wholeheartedly that they practice what they preach! Contiki remains cost-focused so they cater more towards the experience of the destination than the level of stars for the hotel. Many of the hotels along this adventure were 3-star properties. While all of them were very clean and comfortable, they are not for someone looking for more luxurious accommodations.  Contiki also assigns a roommate if you are traveling alone and would prefer not to pay a single supplement fee. This goes along with the Contiki philosophy of getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people. When you mention the words “Escorted Tour” most mind’s fill with visions of long lines, big groups, and a flag-waving tour guide at the head of the group. Contiki takes all of the ideas you have about guided tours and turns them inside out. Most days you get free time to wander around the city alone or with your new friends that you’ve made but you do still get the comfort of traveling with a group and having transportation.

For any of Contiki’s trips starting in London, they have a “kick start meeting” held in their Contiki Basement, located at the Royal National Hotel. This meeting is to meet the Contiki Staff, tour guide and driver, your fellow travelers, and give you an overview of what your trip is going to look like.

 

The first night’s adventures included a late-night production of London’s STOMP. It is a lively show filled with talented percussionists creating music from literally anything they can get their hands on! The rest of the evening was left open to go off with fellow travelers and explore London’s exciting nightlife. After breakfast the next morning, the group had free time to explore all of the London sites, including Big Ben, Parliament, the London Bridge, the London Eye and so many more- a whirlwind day of tourist attractions.

 

On the third day, the group loaded up onto the Contiki coach and headed towards Liverpool, home of the Beatles. The day was spent exploring the wonderful city’s downtown shops, waterfront, and even a ride on a Ferris wheel! In the evening, everyone headed down to the Cavern Club where the Beatles first got their start. A night full of singing all of the Beatles greatest hits and plenty drinks to go around. This is definitely a must in this port city for any diehard Beatles fans! No better way than to start the morning by taking a drive through Liverpool and getting a guided Beatles tour of all of their favorite spots and a quick visit to Penny Lane with a photo op in front of the Penny Lane sign!

The group then headed off to York. This historic 13th-century walled city has over 1900+ years of history. The narrow cobblestoned streets are easily walkable and as small as the city is, it has quite a lot to offer. York is home to The Shambles, which takes its name from the Saxon word shamel, meaning “slaughterhouse”. In the 1800s there were 60+ butcher shops along the streets. Thankfully today the butchers are long gone, but the small cobbled lane is lined with 15th century  Tudor buildings, making it the most picturesque streets in Britain. J.K. Rowling even took some inspiration from The Shambles modeling Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley after the streets.

York is also home to the most haunted bar in England, the Golden Fleece! Built in 1503, the building has become so warped and misshapen that when you place your beer on a table, the degree of tilt makes your beer spill out of your glass! Another great activity is just to walk around the medieval walls of the city. It has a truly whimsical and dreamy landscape. Our group happened upon an old brick house where we had afternoon tea. An afternoon spent with specialty tea along with scones, clotted cream, apricot and raspberry jam is never an afternoon wasted!

The next stop was England’s Lake District. The group started the day with a ferry ride around the nearby lake, roaming around boutique shops and restaurants that were spread out around the little town. This area of England is vividly picturesque and perfect for a simple afternoon to wander around and get lost.

The final stop of the adventure was in Edinburg, Scotland. This city dates back to the early 15th century and is the center of education and medicine for Scotland. The ‘Royal Mile” is the center of the city, which runs up to the hilltop-perched Royal Castle.

The best way to see and get a feel for the city is to just walk around and explore. There are so many shops, pubs, and restaurants all over the winding streets and alleyways. There is truly something magical about this city. J.K. Rowling made it even more magical by drawing majority of her inspiration for the Harry Potter series from Edinburgh. She started writing the novels in a little cafe just off the Royal Mile called “Elephant House”. You can even sit at the same table she sat with a great view of Edinburgh.

Something not to miss is Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience. It is home to the largest whiskey collection in the entire world and takes you through all of the regions of Scotland and what makes each bottle of whiskey unique. Meandering through the Royal Castle and learning about centuries of history within its walls is a great way to end a truly magical trip!

This week was truly an amazing adventure and getting to leave with 30 more friends was just icing on the cake! Have you discovered a new favorite city in an unlikely place? Let us know what adventure Travel Machine can plan for you next!

 

Lafayette Passport Fair!

Are you planning on traveling out of the country soon?

The Lafayette Branch of the United States Postal Service will be hosting a Passport Fair at 1005 Moss Street in Lafayette.

The Fair is being held on Saturday, May 12th from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Passports for those ages 16 and older will cost $110 and passports for those under 16 will cost $80. Both parents of children under 16 must be present and have a valid ID.

Other fees include the execution fee which will cost $35 dollars and a photo fee of $15.

To obtain a passport, applicants need to bring the following:

  • Bring proper proof of American citizenship. This can be a certified birth certificate.
  • Bring proof of identity. This can be a valid driver’s license (not temporary or learner’s permit)
  • The passport application requires recent color passport photograph of you ( 2″ x 2″ in size), which the Post Office Passport Office can provide for $15. (Photo services will be available at the fair)
  • To save time, customers may download a passport application at www.travel.state.gov to complete beforehand.
  • All applicants must appear in person (including minors).
  • Minors under the age of 16 must appear with both parents. If one parent is not available, a notarized authorization from the absent parent is required.

Each applicant must bring a clear photocopy of their proof of American citizenship and proof of identity that will be presented at the time of passport acceptance. If the document is two-sided, then a photocopy of the front and back of the document must be provided.

This is a great opportunity to start the process of getting your passport for your next international trip! Feel free to contact our office or visit www.travel.state.gov for more information!