Happy Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed on Nov. 26th and 27th. You can still reserve online, make a payment, or contact us via our website. We'll reopen on Monday, Nov. 30 to help with your travel plans!
In case you missed it, we just announced our Win Wild South Africa Sweepstakes! We’re looking forward to sending a lucky winner and guest to witness the majestic scenery and cultural richness of South Africa.
Among the greatest joys of visiting a new place is the opportunity to get to know the locals. And after 30-plus years of traveling the world, one constant that I’ve found everywhere is that despite how different we look, live, work and play, people are essentially the same everywhere.
I shared a bit about the people of Cuba through the talented lens of award-winning photographer Jeremy Woodhouse in my latest contribution to The Huffington Post. Jeremy has given us special permission to share some of the faces of Cuba he captured on a recent trip with us, and these photos are absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to click over to see them in full.
If you’ve arranged your international vacation months in advance, it can be difficult to know what to do if an incident, such as a protest, strike, or even riot, occurs in your destination close to your departure date. Should you go and “see what happens,” or should you cancel, despite impending penalties, because you want to err on the side of caution?
As more Americans learn about the opportunity to travel to Cuba legally, we’ve begun fielding questions about what the island is like, what travelers need to do to prepare for a trip there, what is and isn’t allowed in Cuba, and how Americans are perceived after so many years of embargo-fueled shortages of just about everything.
I have written my latest contribution to Huffington Post with those questions in mind. Titled “What to know before you go to Cuba,” the article covers what the people of Cuba are like, what Americans need to do to comply with the People-to-People license, and why, if you truly love to travel, you really should visit Cuba. Visit the site to read my thoughts in full.
Do you have more questions about travel to Cuba? Leave them in a comment and I’ll be happy to answer.
I wrote my latest contribution to Huffington Post, titled “Dispelling Four Misconceptions About Travel to Cuba” to do just that. I cover how Americans can travel legally to Cuba through People-to-People licensing, the cost of a trip to Cuba, the island’s tourism infrastructure, and more. Click over to read what I wrote, and I welcome your thoughts in a comment below.
It’s the time of year to resolve to do things better in the new year. For many of us, this includes eating better, exercising more, and being kinder to one another. And let’s not forget my favorite — sticking with our resolutions beyond the second week of January.
One of the open secrets of the travel industry is what we call “the big upsell.” You are probably familiar with this sales technique, just didn’t know it had a name. The “big upsell” is the term coined for a “bare bones” vacation package that is sold at a dirt-cheap price. Travelers who fall for this trick end up paying extra for everything, like transfers or an upgrade to a decent hotel, and they typically end up paying much more than they originally intended.
The “big upsell” is one of my biggest pet peeves in the travel industry, because it is designed to lure you in for a price you’ll never actually pay. And it’s so unnecessary to market this way. Friendly Planet doesn’t need to resort to tricky pricing, because our deals, while including great hotels, transfers, and much more, are always carefully priced with a focus on huge value for money.
Anyone who takes the time to read our inclusions and make even a superficial comparison with other similar packages can see that they actually provide everything a traveler needs to have an amazing vacation. Our travelers don’t have to worry about paying for extras later, and we take pride in this.
I’ve devoted the past 30 years of my life to giving people a taste of the breathtaking beauty and infinite diversity of this planet. As the president of a travel company, I’ve had the satisfaction of giving thousands of Americans an opportunity to do just that. So it was rather humbling when I learned last week that I’d been completely outdone by two ambitious young men with a crazy idea.
Four years ago, Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman embarked on a fantastically brazen project to create a feature-length film with footage shot in every nation on earth — all captured in a single day. Now absorb that for a moment. This would be the first-ever simultaneous filming event occurring in every country of the world. If it sounds like a project worthy of a filmmaker like James Cameron or Ridley Scott, consider this: Kyle and Brandon, two graduates of The University of Southern California, had no budget and had never made a film before.
And yet, somehow, they pulled it off. Last week, I had the opportunity to watch the result — the 105-minute documentary film “One Day on Earth“ shot entirely on Oct. 10, 2010. It was quite simply one of the most sweeping, stunning, inspiring pieces of cinema I’ve ever witnessed. So how did they do it? Crowdsourcing, of course.
When I heard Pat and Regina were going to be at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I jumped at the chance to have a member of our blogging team, Caitlin, sit down with them for an interview. I’m so glad they did and while we were together, we had them sign a few copies of their new book that we’ll be giving away on the blog. Stay tuned for details about that.
Caitlin asked Regina and Pat about their favorite places to visit, why they chose to feature women’s rights in their show, where we can look forward to seeing them next (which I was excited to hear!), and much more. Hit play below.
Readers, keep your eyes on this space for our upcoming giveaway of two signed copies of Pat and Regina’s book, “The Grannies on Safari: A Travel Journal,” a photo collection of all the places they’ve been.