Travel Tips Quarterly – March 2016

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Travel Tips Quarterly
One Visit the World's Greatest Wildlife Destinations
One How to Become a Better Smartphone Photographer
One Airline Tips from the Pros
One Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Disney World
Know Before You Go – Rules for Bringing Items into the U.S.
Weather Info for Your Destination
Airline Passengers' Rights
State Department Travel Page
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Center
Airport Status and Delays Info
Center for Disease Control Travel

Trusted Tips from Your Travel Advisor
LG Retreats and Travel

Being your travel advisor is more than offering you enchanting vacations to the far reaches of the globe. It also involves offering you personal support and helpful advice to enhance all your travel experiences, whether near or far.

The Travel Tips below are chock-full of important information that will help you travel the world safely and efficiently. Our agency simply wants you to have the best experiences possible, wherever you travel.

Happy travels!
LG Retreats and Travel

Visit the World's Greatest Wildlife Destinations

Nothing compares to the once-in-a-lifetime moments you get to experience on a safari, wildlife cruise or National Park Hike. These moments, like watching a leopard stalk prey in Botswana or photographing a gaggle of penguins swimming in Antarctica, used to be nearly impossible (and expensive), since the areas were widely unchartered and remote. However, now, with more cruises and tours exploring these hidden wonders worldwide, there’s more chances than ever to watch wildlife dwell in their natural habitats. For the best viewing, visit one of these breathtaking destinations.

  • Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
    Located on the rugged shores of Hudson Bay in Northern Manitoba, Churchill is one of the few human settlements in the world that is also home to polar bears. Since they spend most of their summer hunting for food, the best time to view them is during the fall. The optimal way to experience the beauty of these bears is with a custom tundra buggy, which offers once in a lifetime chances to get up close and personal, while still remaining safe.
  • Chobe National Park, Botswana, Africa
    Chobe National Park in Botswana offers truly unspoilt views of Africa’s famed wildlife. On a game drive here, you won’t be met with other jeeps, but instead with views of warthogs, bushbucks, monkeys, lions, leopards and hyenas. A cruise along the breathtaking Chobe river offers a chance to see the marine mammals, like hippos and crocodiles.
  • Antarctica Peninsula
    Although it may be void of any human life, Antarctica is home to one of the largest populations of penguins, with over 40 million spread across the continent. Once unchartered, Antarctica is growing in popularity, and more cruise lines are adding the snow-capped glacial peaks and emperor penguin colonies to their itineraries.
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
    This tiny archipelago off the coast of Ecuador has been an iconic destination for wildlife viewing for over 200 years. Thanks to more cruise lines charting the South American Coast, it’s much easier for anyone to view its many inhabitants, like the island iguanas, Blue-footed Boobies, giant green sea turtles, sea lions and more.
  • Great Barrier Reef, Australia
    Stretching over 1,616 miles off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, comprised of 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands and thousands of species of marine creatures, is one of the world’s greatest wonders. See the sharks, turtles, fishes and vibrant coral up close with a snorkel or dive.
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States
    Aside from spewing geysers, gradient canyons and rushing waterfalls, Wyoming’s crowned jewel is also home to some of the country’s most spectacular wildlife. From black bears to bald eagles to bison and coyotes, this area is rich with a vast array of animals.

How to Become a Better Smartphone Photographer

Want to increase those likes, shares and comments on your vacation photos this year? Instead of packing an expensive camera, grab your smartphone and follow these easy tips and tricks from the pros.

  • Brighter is better
    Natural light is your friend. To get a great photo, put yourself in a position to get the best shot. If you’re indoors, set up your shot next to a large window. However, if you’re outside in the mid afternoon, direct sunlight can be too harsh on your subject. Look for creative ways to shade your subject to keep your photo balanced. You can also aim to shoot outside during the fabled “golden hour”- during sunrise and sunset.
  • Avoid too much zoom
    Extreme zooming on any subject can create an unwanted grain to any photo. If you need to zoom, wait until you already have the image you want and then zoom and crop in the editing phase.
  • Focus is key
    Your camera’s autofocus could be doing your photos more harm than good. Luckily, most smart phones allow you to pinpoint your photo’s focus directly from your palm. Set up your shot, and then touch and hold the main focal point on your screen until you see the yellow Auto Exposure/Auto Focus Lock appear. Take your photo as normal, and the final image should clearly highlight your subject.
  • Polish polish polish
    Once you’ve selected your favorites, it’s time to make them shine. There are dozens of options and free apps for your phone that will give your photos a professional edge, here are a few.

    • VSCO Cam: This app comes with its own filters and allows you to subtly adjust photo elements. For example, if you take a photo that’s too dark, this app can help lighten the photo without retaking it.
    • Snapseed: Auto-correct photos with a tap, or enhance them yourself with this app. This app also offers filters and special effects to polish your photos.
    • Pic Stitch: Make your own tiny collages with this easy-to-use app. It’s as simple as choosing your photos, choosing your layout, and sharing on social media. This is a great way to share several images without overcrowding your followers’ feeds.

    While filters and special effects offer exciting details to your photos, take care not to go overboard. Sometimes less is more.

Airline Tips from the Pros

There’s nothing like a fabulous flight at the right price to kick off your exciting vacation. Here are some tips from our pros to make sure you and your luggage arrive in one piece.

Make the Best Deal
It’s tough to determine the best time to buy your flight, but as long as you purchase more than 30 days in advance, you likely won’t be greatly overpaying for the trip. Economy airlines, while offering bargain fares, charge for many other services, like checking or carrying on bags, assigned seats, snacks, and beverages. Check with us to see what’s included in the ticket price before booking.

Make Sure Your Luggage Arrives with You
While the overall number of lost bags may be decreasing, it still happens from time to time. To up the chances of your baggage arriving as soon as you do, consider investing in a RFID tracker, such as ReboundTag. These small, portable tags (or microchips) can be clipped onto your bag for an added level of security. If lost, the chip will automatically update you with location information by SMS or email.

Avoid Delays
There’s no surefire way to avoid flight delays, but there are some ways to increase your odds of an on-time departure. If you book a flight earlier in the day, there’s a better chance of your flight leaving on time, weather permitting. You can also consult resources like Flightstats.com to help determine which flights are more frequently delayed.

Skip the In-flight Wi-Fi
Pricing can sometimes be complicated with the in-flight Internet and the service is often slow and frequently disrupted. If you have to use it, opt for the cheaper package to cut costs. Important to note, many US airline carriers lose connection as soon as they hit international skies, so keep that in mind before you click buy. If you can, consider enjoying the in-flight entertainment (if offered) or simply disconnect for some moments of peace.

These tips will help you enjoy your next flight without breaking the bank. Happy flying!

Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Disney World

Disney World - it’s the happiest place on earth. With four amusement parks, two water parks, and dozens of themed hotels and resorts, it can be challenging trying to navigate your Disney vacation. To help, here are some planning tips to think about prior to giving us a call to book the trip.

Stay at a Disney Resort
You’ll pay more to stay at a Disney hotel, but you’ll love all the perks. If you’re driving to the park, you’ll enjoy free parking. You’ll also get extra time in the parks, aka “Extra Magic Hours,” which allow you to enjoy a less crowded experience.

You’ll also enjoy special Disney-themed activities that you won’t get just anywhere. Many Disney hotels offer character dining, so you’ll be able to treat your family to dinner with their favorite stars.  The whole family will also flip for themed-hotels, including a Caribbean beach resort and wild animal themed resort. The pools are nothing to scoff at either, from a sandy lagoon to pirate themed splash parks, there’s a little something for everyone.

Purchase a Multi-Day Pass
The cost of single-day Disney Pass is about $100. If you are planning on enjoying the parks for a few days, consider purchasing a multi-day multi-park pass.  The per day cost per ticket decreases the longer the duration of the pass. You could pay as little as $48 per day if you purchase a 7-day pass.

Travel in the Off-Season
During peak season, both Disney hotels and hotels in the vicinity raise their prices. Save on lodging, food and entertainment by visiting Disney in September or January.

Enjoy FREE Attractions
You can take the monorail through some parks for no fee. Or enjoy the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. If you visit at night, you can see the Magic Kingdom’s Electrical Water Pageant Show without entering the park. If you want to experience a little magic for no cost, this could be just the ticket.

Talk to us about all the great options available for your Disney adventure. No matter what you’re seeking, we’ll help you plan the magical escape you and your little ones dream of.

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