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The 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show: Videos to come

We just announced the winner of our Exotic Ecuador tour from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, but we have a lot more coverage for you that we’ll be posting on our blog.

Our blogging team captured a lot of video footage, which we’ll be rolling out over the coming days and weeks. Here’s a preview into what we’ll be posting. You can bookmark our Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show tag to see what’s coming next.

My presentation on the “Top 10 Affordable Destinations of 2012.” We recorded my presentation on Sunday, so if you missed it, you might want to watch and see what my #1 was. It’s one of my favorite destinations from this year.

My joint interview with Chris Elliott. I sat down with Chris Elliot, renowned consumer advocate for travelers. It’s our shared passion for making sure the consumer gets the best deal possible that makes me feel like Chris and I are kindred spirits. We chatted about getting great travel deals, the importance of traveler’s insurance, and our #1 travel tip.

Our Grannies on Safari interview. Our blogger Caitlin caught up with the Grannies on Safari at the show, and they were a riot. Regina and Pat told how they started their television show, and revealed what their next destinations will be.

Putting attendees to the test about their Philadelphia knowledge. Our blogging team quizzed attendees with some Philadelphia trivia, since the show was in the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. We asked attendees how many travelers visit Philadelphia each year, what’s the most-visited tourist attraction, and then stumped them with pictures of famous faces and places from the city. I even took a stab at answering the questions myself.

We also have some giveaways coming your way from some of the show’s headliners. Friendly Planet Travel had a wonderful time at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show for the second year in a row. Keep your eyes here for videos, giveaways, and more that are on the way.

The winner of our Exotic Ecuador tour at the 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show

I had a great time at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show this past weekend. One of the most exciting parts of the show was giving away our Exotic Ecuador tour to one of the attendees.

Hundreds of people put their names into our giant globe at the booth. Now that I’m back at my desk, it’s time for the big reveal. We’ve randomly selected one attendee. Drum roll please. And the winner is … Philip Justice from Philadelphia.

Look out for an email from me soon with all the details on how to claim your prize, when to plan your trip, my advice for what to pack, and more. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Thanks to all attendees for entering!

A trip to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show could win you a trip to Ecador

You might have thought we were putting all our metaphorical eggs in one basket when we announced that we’re giving away six Friendly Planet Travel tours to our Facebook fans, but we have something up our sleeves for Philadelphia locals too.

If you go to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show at The Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend, you have the chance to win a trip for two on Friendly Planet Travel’s Exotic Ecuador tour, a $3,000 value.

Friendly Planet Travel will be exhibiting at booth #416, where you can enter to win our trip to Ecuador. The Friendly Planet Travel team and I will be at the booth answering questions, offering travel tips and advice, and distributing information too, so there will be a lot going on. All you have to do is stop by for your chance to win! This is the second year in a row we’re giving away a trip to travel show attendees. Last year, we gave a trip to China to Larry and Wendy Kleeman. See their reactions!

I’m also honored to be presenting at the show again this year. I’ll be discussing the “Top 10 Affordable Destinations of 2012” on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 12 p.m. I’ll share the must-visit destinations for 2012 that promise to inspire even savvy travelers, without breaking the bank. And I’m proud to be the only local tour operator licensed to offer legal educational tour programs to Cuba, so I’ll delve into how to visit Cuba legally and at an affordable price.

All this, and entrance to the show only costs $10 ($8 if you pre-register)! I’m looking forward to sharing my advice and talking to travelers in person, so I hope I’ll see you there!

Around the horn with the latest savings on Friendly Planet tours

Our new tours are continuing to catch travel editor’s interest. Here are some of the savings they’ve been highlighting lately. If you’re interested in more information about any of these deals, you know where to reach me.

Budget Travel highlights the $300 dollar savings on our Exotic Ecaudor tour.

Frommer’s advises quick booking for our Exotic Borneo & Bangkok tour and features the $300 savings.

If you want to save $600, look for our Taste of Turkey tour near Thanksgiving, according to Valarie D’Elia of Travel with Val
Phil Marty from the Chicago Tribune travel section found our Sensational South America tour to be an “interesting travel deal” with a savings of $300.
Ellen Creager of the Detroit Free Press made Sensational South America her “Deal of the Week.”
Thanks to all these editors for featuring Friendly Planet tours. 

What’s hot in September at Friendly Planet Travel

The unofficial end to summer is upon us, but we’re not about to close our doors early for the long Labor Day weekend at Friendly Planet Travel. We have several hot deals going on that I wanted to highlight for you. Right now we’re running a promotion where you get up to $70 off the departure dates below with a special coupon code by Sept. 6.

If you didn’t receive this promo in your e-mail then you’re not signed up for our Hot Deals newsletter. So sign up for it now to make sure you always get the discounted offers as soon as they come out. In the meantime, here are the deals that are burning up the last days of summer.

$50 off 15-day Best of India and Nepal, Nov. 22: Find out why India and Nepal continue to top the must-see lists of world travelers on this tour of Delhi, Kathmandu, Varanasi, Agra, and Jaipur now for $2,949 with coupon code IBI0910 (a $2,999 value).

$50 off 8-day Exotic Ecuador, Dec. 6: Discover the remarkable collection of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife on this tour of Quito, Otavalo, Banos, Cotopaxi, and the Amazon Rainforest now for $1,249 with coupon code ISE0910 (a $1,299 value).

$70 off 10-day Taste of China, Dec. 28: Tour impressive modern achievements within an ancient and incredibly rich culture in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai now for $1,529 with coupon code ITC0910 ($1,599 value).

$70 off 8-day Pyramids and Petra, Dec. 4Embark on an inspired exploration of the pyramids of Egypt and the lost city of Petra in Jordan, one of the Seven New Ancient Wonders of the World now for $1,729 with coupon code IPP0910 (a $1,799 value).

$50 off 12-day Amazing Peru, Dec. 1: Get an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of the lost world of the Inca people and more when touring Lima, Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca now for $2,229 with coupon code SAP0910 (a $2,299 value).

I know there’s a lot to choose from here, so pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, find a quiet place to sit, and pick out your next destination. And once you do that, simply enter the coupon code on the first booking screen when booking online or give the code to your agent when you call 1-800-555-5765.

Friendly Planet Travel’s Exotic Ecuador reviewed: How tour guides make the difference

Our most recent Exotic Ecuador tour just returned and I’ve received a lot of e-mails from travelers raving about it. I was thrilled that everyone had a great time, and I can understand why. This tour took travelers through the capital of Ecuador and UNESCO World Heritage Center of Quito, the bustling Otavalo market, the natural springs in Baños, the volcanic peaks of Cotopaxi National Park, the Amazon rainforest, and more.

I thought I would share with you two of the e-mails I received from Friendly Planeteers. Give them a gander. If you’re thinking about traveling to Ecuador, these reviews might help you make up your mind. Plus, departure dates are still available for only $1,199 when you book by Nov. 3.

“What a wonderful experience on this tour! Patricio, our guide was outstanding. His knowledge and love of Ecuador gave us a special insight into the country and its people. Edwin, our driver made the bus go places that looked impossible and did it in a way that we were always at ease. Patricio helped us and others with small things that came up during the trip. Patricio always did more than was expected and was a perfect gentleman. All the places were fantastic, just wish we had more time at each one. We would tour with Friendly Planet again without hesitation.” – Leslie and Dwight Adams, New Brockton, Ala.

“By far this has been the best trip ever!!! Our tour guide Patricio and bus driver Ewin made our stay as pleasant as possible. They were courteous and attentative to everyone’s needs and made us feel safe at all times. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who has never dared to venture to South America – you will not be disappointed.!! The canoe ride up the Amazon river and the scenic panoramic view of the mountains will leave you breathless!!! Pictures to come soon for your enjoyment!!” – Ivonne Davila and Lucia Morales, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tour guide puts Exotic Ecuador a cut above the rest for first-time Friendly Planeteer

I told you about a new Friendly Planet tour almost every week in June. So I thought I would take a break and let one of our customers do the talking.

Dianne Jernigan of Victoria, Texas went on the Exotic Ecuador tour in late May. I won’t step on her toes, I’ll just paste her e-mail below (verbatim) and let Dianne take it from here.

“I wanted to let you know personally how very much I enjoyed my recent tour with Friendly Planet. This is the first time I have toured with Friendly Planet and my first trip to Ecuador. The experience was everything I’d hoped for….and more! Our Tour Guide was outstanding. He was very informative, and we were able to learn much about the history of the country from him. He handled an unexpected change in plans (because of the volcano eruption) flawlessly and very professionally. I would definitely travel with Friendly Planet again….especially if Patricio is the Tour Guide!”

Dianne, I look forward to planning another trip for you soon!

AOL’s Asylum picks Friendly Planet Travel’s Exotic Ecuador as a spring break destination

It’s been gorgeous here the last few days. Spring is right around the corner and I know a lot of people are looking forward to their spring break.

Friendly Planet was just featured in “Asylum’s Picks for Spring Break 2010” on AOL. Our eight-day, $1,199 Exotic Ecuador tour won the distinction of Best Long International Trip. I want to say THANK YOU to the editors for recognizing our tour. And while you’re at Asylum’s site, see who else made the cut.

Customer Testimonial: From Ecuador to China

I know I’ve done my job when I hear from customers who want to return for another tour. Or when travelers keep coming back to experience a new exotic destination. These next two testimonials are from opposite sides of the globe. They loved every part of their trip, and I hope they’ll become Friendly Planet Travel frequent flyers.

You know by now how much I love reading these. So don’t hesitate to let me know how your exotic tour went!

A Taste of China

This was our second tour with Friendly Planet the first being India 3 years ago. We just got back from China and wanted to tell you how amazing the trip was and what a great time we had. Our guide David was fantastic and all the accomodations were perfect. We are so glad that we went and we will do more tours with Friendly Planet in the future. 

-O.R. Nasseri, San Diego, Calif.

Exotic Ecuador

I just returned and wanted to let you know that this trip was absolutely wonderful. It was very well put together; had a great itinerary, involved no surprises; and was a great value. The hotels were outstanding and I truly enjoyed the variety of activities expecially in the Amazon Region. Based upon this great experience I will definately consider Friendly Planet again.

-Theodore Lattanzio, New York, N.Y. 

Friendly Planet Travel noted by National Geographic Traveler

Happy Tax Day, everyone. Chances are, you’re feeling pretty relieved today. Tax season is officially over, and — if you’re lucky — you’ve got a few extra dollars in your bank account right now.

National Geographic Traveler

To celebrate, the National Geographic Traveler put together a number of suggestions for spending your extra dough in some extra cool places. In the piece, they highlighted our Exotic Ecuador tour for only $1,259.
Eight days in Ecuador for only $1,259? That’s something we hope catches every world traveler’s eye, with or without an extra nudge from Uncle Sam.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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