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Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Press coverage’

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Myanmar through the eyes of a Friendly Planet traveler

EXPERIENCE MYANMAR: A trip to Myanmar opens eyes and changes perceptions

A trip to Myanmar, also known as Burma, introduces visitors to an ancient culture barely touched by modern life, where spirituality, gentle people, and unmatched tropical beauty abound. Opened to tourists just a few years ago after a series of dramatic government changes, those who have been fortunate enough to visit have fallen in love with this exotic country, and count themselves blessed to have seen it before modernity changes it forever.

Traveler Ann Young recently visited Myanmar on a Friendly Planet Travel tour and recounted her experience in an article on JournalStandard.com. Ann marveled at the country’s spectacular Buddhist temples, watched the sunset on the world’s longest teak bridge, and most notably, took part in helping feed 250 rural schoolchildren a lunch of chicken, mango salad, hard boiled eggs, and corn soup with rice.

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Why you have to see these faces of Cuba

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.

Media spotlight: Friendly Planet’s people-to-people license renewal for travel to Cuba

Announcing our people-to-people license renewal to travel to Cuba has been incredibly exciting for all of us at Friendly Planet. We’re passionate about showing travelers everything this historical and cultural country has to offer, and I’ve been doing my best to spread the word about people-to-people travel to Cuba through the media. Here are some recent news stories that have featured us, in case you haven’t seen them yet.

Cuba ‘people to people’ trips back on track for Americans.” USA Today’s Laura Bly was one of the first to report that the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) approved license renewals for people-to-people programs to Cuba, and ours was one of them. For more background on the license renewals across the industry, be sure to read her full article.

Cuba culture trips back on as licenses are renewed.” Christine Armario of the Associated Press tapped me for information about the changes we made in our Cuba programs to make sure they complied with requirements. I also forecast my hope for continued travel to Cuba in the coming years. Click the link above to read her story in full.

Cuba Radio Interview.” I spoke with the KPAM Portland Travel Show about the people-to-people program that facilitates travel to Cuba, and how Americans act as personal ambassadors on these tours. Listen to my interview for all the details.

I hope you find this information useful in learning more about American travel to Cuba. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions about traveling to Cuba through people-to-people licenses in the comments section.

Are you an Olympic junkie? You can still see the games in person!

GAME ON: You can still catch a flight to the Olympics!

The Olympic Games are currently in the forefront of people’s minds across the globe, including the team here at Friendly Planet. If you’ve always wanted to see the Olympics in person, it’s not too late to make the trip to London! In my latest contribution to Huffington Post, I noted that there are still flights and hotels available for travelers dying to see the Olympic Games, and at good prices too if you can believe it.

I also recently gave some tips to help maneuver airline mayhem en route to London, though they’re really applicable for any trip.

To read more on why the time is now to travel to the summer Olympic games, check out my post.

Any last-minute travelers out there planning a trip to the Olympics? Tell us your story below!

The best place to visit with your tax refund? Cuba!

With the deadline for tax filing just around the corner, a majority of Americans have already submitted their paperwork and are awaiting their refund check. If you are one of these people, then you’re probably already thinking about how to spend this year’s refund. What would I recommend you do with it? Travel, of course!

The choices of destinations are endless, so it might seem difficult to narrow them down. Luckily, ABC News compiled the “5 Places to Spend Your 2012 Tax Refund” which offers some guidance.

One of the five choices listed is our Colors of Cuba tour. I couldn’t agree more that now is the time to explore Cuba‘s beauty and vibrancy, as it’s the first time travelers have been able to visit in over 50 years.

It’s definitely worth the trip!

COLORS OF CUBA: Now’s the time to make your visit!  
Thanks for including us in your story, ABC News!

How to be smart with your money in Europe

The economy might be tough, but those travelers who do their research will still find plenty of affordable ways to take that well-deserved vacation. In fact, Europe, where the euro has lost ground to the dollar recently, has become a favored destination for bargain-hungry travelers.

The new, more affordable Europe caught the attention of Quentin Fottrell of SmartMoney, and he included a few of my tips in his article “Euro Woes a Boon for Travelers?” Hop over to read some ideas I shared on the smartest ways to travel and shop in Europe.

Thanks for featuring my advice, Quentin!

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. 

The Chicago Tribune highlights great travel deal in ‘A Taste of Turkey’

I’m always happy to offer travelers fantastic tours at great prices, and I know that our Taste of Turkey tour accomplishes both goals. So I was delighted that Mary Forgione, a contributor to the Chicago Tribune‘s Taking Off blog, noted the same thing.

She wrote a great piece featuring our tour that takes travelers through the wonders and history of Turkey.

I also covered Turkey in a new blog series called Getaway Dossier, where I’ve posted some important and interesting facts that travelers will want to have about the destination before they venture abroad.

I hope you’ll check out the Turkey Getaway Dossier and then hop over to see all that Mary said about our Taste of Turkey tour. Thanks for the coverage, Mary!

Dubai: The desert destination dripping with decadence

When it comes to picking a destination, most travelers craving luxury don’t consider a city in the middle of the desert as their first choice — but they should!

That’s because Dubai, a city located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the most opulent destinations in the world.

Dubai has it all — shopping, dining, and some of the world’s most breathtaking sights. This includes The World, a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of the land masses of Earth, and Burj Al Arab, where you’ll find the world’s most expensive hotel room.

When JustLuxe asked me to write about the things that make Dubai a place that no self-respecting traveler with a developed wanderlust should miss, I was happy to oblige. A true mirage in the desert, the city is dotted with lush, green golf courses; fabulous restaurants and hotels; and high-end stores packed with designer wares, top-end electronics, and VIP treatment available around every corner. 
I talk about all these things and much more in my full article, “Dubai: The Ultimate VIP Experience.” If you’ve never been to Dubai, I hope my stamp of approval will convince you to give it a try. Thanks JustLuxe for running the piece!

‘Is backpacking in Egypt safe?’ Friendly Planet says yes!

I was thrilled to announce Friendly Planet’s return to Egypt a few weeks ago. Friendly Planet has been monitoring the situation in Egypt since the revolution in January 2011. After almost 30 years of sending tourists there, we have great contacts on the ground that send us information every day. That’s how we knew it was time for us to resume tours there.

It seems that other seasoned travelers feel the same way. That’s why Greg Melville asked, “Is backpacking in Egypt safe?” in Outside Magazine‘s online travel column, “Adventure Adviser.” I agree, along with other travel experts, that it’s safe to return to this historic country, where authorities have taken every possible precaution to keep travelers safe.

Pop on over to see what I had to say to Greg, and get some special insight about travel to Egypt right now! Thanks, Greg, for including my thoughts in your piece!

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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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