10-day tour of Kyoto, Takayama, Tokyo, and more.
From bustling cities to quiet mountain villages, experience the distinct flavor of Japan during this amazing vacation.
Discover Japan’s culture as you try on a traditional kimono, partake in a tea ceremony, taste sake, attempt calligraphy, learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used on kimonos, take part in a gold leaf class, browse a farmers market, and participate in a Japanese cooking class.
Beyond the fascinating structures and shrines, you’ll also have a chance to visit one of Japan’s greatest gardens—Kenroku-en.
According to the ancient Chinese book of gardens, gardens should have six different sublime qualities, but it is rare to find all six qualities in a garden.
Dating from the 1670s, Kenroku-en does, in fact, combine the six attributes of a perfect garden—spaciousness & seclusion, artifice & antiquity, and water-courses & panoramas.
At the end of your journey you’re sure to have lots of stories and photos to share with loved ones back home!
Departures April through October 2015 at $3929 per person, tour only.
I just got off the phone with Wilma from Fredericksburg, Ohio and she wanted to know how to be the best prepared for using her money in Europe.
During a trip abroad, I recommend the use of an ATM Bank Card for obtaining foreign currency while in Europe as this typically offers the best exchange rate and they will shoot out the cash in the local currency! ATMs are found in abundance in Europe as they are in the States and many ATM cards can be used as debit cards to make purchases, but don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be traveling in Europe. They may need to set you up with a different pin number that will work with the machines in Europe. It is always a good idea to carry a bit of cash on your person as many places will not accept credit cards for small purchase or on-the-go lunches. As a general rule, you should really only keep enough cash on you for about 2 or 3 days so that you don’t have a large amount that could get lost or stolen during your journey, plus you don’t want to have a lot of money to exchange back to US dollars at the end of your trip.
I also suggested that she bring at least two working credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard because they are typically accepted everywhere. Again, I reminded her to contact her charge card company to notify them that she is traveling to prevent them from suspecting fraudulent activity and freezing the account. American Express and Discover should NOT be the only credit card option because they are not widely accepted.
When notifying your banks regarding your travel plans, also check if there are daily limits with withdrawal amounts or number of transactions.
As a precaution, she made copies of her credit & debit cards to keep in her suitcase, with the emergency numbers for the banks so that she can contact them in the case of an emergency. Great idea Wilma!
Since traveler checks, personal checks and American Express & Discover Cards are not good options for your travels, Wilma was glad that she called BEFORE the trip to make sure that she was prepared ahead of time. This alleviated any money-related stresses from her tour, and allowed her to enjoy the great sights & scenery without worry.
I hope Wilma’s questions will also help with your future travels!
Your Travel Agent
As I promised, my next conversation with Delores is chronicled below. We were now discussing her suitcase and how she should pack.
“The first step,” I advised “is to make sure that your suitcase size fits within the requirements of the tour company and airlines. In most cases, the Tour Company has more stringent rules about size because there is less room on the motor coach than there is on the airplane. The standard weight is 50 lbs. for a checked piece of baggage, and 15 lbs. for a carry-on. Even though they say 50 pounds, really you should only pack it to about 40 so that you have enough room after your purchases and mementos so that you don’t exceed the limit on your way home.” Delores checked her suitcase measurements and her baggage fit within them if she didn’t use the ‘expand’ feature on the suitcase. I told that would be fine, but be sure not to ‘expand’ it later on the tour because if everyone did that, there wouldn’t be enough room on the bus for everyone’s luggage by the end of the tour!
“As for your carry-on bag, you really need to know what the bus requirements are. The airlines usually will allow you to take another small suitcase to but in the overhead bins. This is not the case with the European buses. Usually your carry-on bag is supposed to sit underneath the seat in front of you because the motor coaches don’t have overhead compartments.” I told Delores that she shouldn’t push the dimensions for this piece either, because it would just mean that she would have to carry it on her lap throughout the whole tour or be required to ship it home.
In the end, she used her regular ‘un-expanded’ suitcase for her checked bag, and she purchased a small flexible duffle bag/backpack for her carry-on. Since she followed the outlines by the Tour Company, she didn’t worry about her luggage at all once she started the tour because part of the benefit of an escorted tour, is baggage handling. Her preparation ahead of time, allowed her to enjoy the tour to the fullest extent!
Your Travel Agent
Delores Jones was packing for her European trip and became distraught over what to bring for her 15 day tour.
She called me, and we calmly discussed the best clothing options for her to bring.
“When planning your wardrobe, always keep comfort in mind.” I told her. “Choose basic colors that mix and match easily, and a raincoat or light jacket is important for any season. There is no need to dress up, however if you would like to bring one fancier outfit for an evening meal, you may do so, but it is certainly not necessary.” Since she was traveling in mid-September, I told her to be sure to pack clothes that she can layer for colder weather or evenings, and wear separately for warmer weather during the midday.
After our discussion, she felt much better about what to bring for her trip.
In my next chronicle article, I will discuss my very next phone call with Delores regarding her suitcase and how exactly to pack the clothes that she did decide to bring.
Your Travel Agent
15-day tour featuring Sydney, Melbourne, Milford, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, and more…
Sail across the Tasman in Luxury on a 12 night cruise which allows you to do as little or as much as you choose as you enjoy the attentive service that is second to none. Finish in style with an extended stay in Auckland – a cosmopolitan city with vibrant sophistication.
Tour pricing starts at $3,668 p.p.d.o. if booked by 9/03/2014.
Rate applies to the following departures: November 3 & 27, 2014 and January 27, 2015
|15-day tour of Paris, Caen, Normandy, Angers, and more…This trip is the perfect way to see the highlights of Paris plus the World War II landing beaches in Normandy, and Brittany, and the Loire Valley in a short amount of time.
In Paris, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an orientation drive through the “City of Light.” Visit magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, and ascend to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower during your guided sightseeing. Travel to Rouen, and walk through this pretty town; hear about Joan of Arc, and admire the cathedral.
Enjoy a cider tasting, before arriving in Caen, where World War II comes alive at the fascinating Memorial Museum for Peace, and the Normandy American Cemetery with its visitor center at Omaha Beach where you can sign your name in the visitor’s book. Also enjoy a guided visit of the famous Abbey of Mont St. Michel, before arriving in the Loire Valley, where a special “châteaux day” has been included: visit the jewel of the French Renaissance, Château Chambord, and Catherine de Medici’s lovely Chenonceau.
Also enjoy a wine tasting at the Père Auguste wine cellar in Civray de Touraine to learn about the local wines. Highlight is a two-night stay in the grounds of famous Château du Breuil. To top it off, you’ll explore Chartres’ Cathedral, and back in Paris, there is time to join an optional excursion to the Louvre Museum.
Tour pricing starts at $2,466
Departures available: April through October, 2015
13-day tour featuring Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Baddeck, Caribou, Charlottetown, Halifax and more…
On this fascinating vacation, get acquainted with the local culture and the seafaring traditions of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Maine. Start your trip in Boston and head north via New Hampshire’s shoreline and along Maine’s rocky coast to Portland. Spend time in Bar Harbor, Maine’s oldest summer resort, and visit Acadia National Park, one of America’s most visited national parks.
Travel into Canada and enjoy a catamaran ferry to Digby, a popular summer resort. Continue to Peggy’s Cove, a charming fishing village with a famous lighthouse perched on a massive granite ledge, and Halifax, where you tour the city with a Local Guide.
Then visit Sherbrook Village, where renovated buildings recall the 1860s. Via the Canso Causeway, cross over to Cape Breton Island. In Baddeck, visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum; enjoy a drive along the Cabot Trail, the area explored by John Cabot in the late-15th century; and see picturesque Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
A ferry whisks you over to Prince Edward Island, where you’ll enjoy a 2-night stay in Charlottetown before traveling through New Brunswick to Saint John. Visit the summer home of FDR and pass quiet fishing villages along the coastline into Maine. Your vacation ends back in Boston.
Tour pricing starts at $3,135 (Tour only) p.p.d.o.
2015 departures available June through September
12-day tour featuring Milan, Verona, Venice, the Tuscany Region, Pisa, Florence, Rome, and more…
So many of the famous sights that you’ve seen in pictures are found in this storied country . . . the Roman Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square, the Duomo in Florence, Pisa’s Leaning Tower, the Canals of Venice, and fashionable Milan. This is the very best Italy has to offer in a 12-day tour.
Tour Price $2,390 p.p.d.o. if booked by 9/03/2014
Rate applies to the following departures: May 5, September 15, & October 6, 2015
|15-day tour featuring Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and more…Going on its 54th year, our signature tour remains as popular as ever. This itinerary offers seven countries, enchanting cities, spectacular scenery, and lots of local flavor. It is an ideal choice for first-time travelers to Europe or anyone desiring a taste of the Old World at a great value…Tour Price $2,590 p.p.d.o. if booked by 09/30/2014.
Featured Departure Dates: All 2015 dates!
I have clients tell me again and again that one of the most rewarding parts of their tours, are the people they meet while traveling. The group dynamics in the tours we offer are remarkable. By the end of a tour, the group participants truly become like a “family”. You will share many wonderful experiences with the folks you travel with and many travelers have made life-long friends with people they have met on the tours.
I have a client, Ruth, who recently returned from her tour. Ruth called and asked me if I could contact the tour operator for her and obtain the contact information of one of her traveling companions, as she had misplaced it. The two women had become close friends on the tour and Ruth was upset at the prospect of not being able to get back in touch with her new friend.
Please keep in mind that, due to privacy concerns, neither Escape World Travel nor the Tour Operators we work with can share any type of personal information regarding our clients. If you do meet people on the tour who you would like to keep in touch with and you most likely will! – remember to get their contact information before you part ways and keep it in a safe place until you return home. When you do arrive home, immediately add the information to your address book or email list.
Fortunately, for Ruth, this story had a happy ending. I contacted the tour operator who in turn contacted the other traveler and the two were finally able to get back in touch, as the other traveler still had Ruth’s information.
Other instances may not turn out so well. You may even want to consider bringing a small address book with you on the tour so you can add your new friend’s information on the spot!
Your Travel Agent