Friendly Planet Blog

Archive for August, 2009

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Friendly Planet Travel on WNWR’s Dining and Destinations with Barry Reisman

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Barry Reisman of WNWR’s Dining and Destinations on Philadelphia’s AM-1540. On the weekly broadcast, Barry discusses "food, travel, and the good life." And of course, I was more than happy to talk to him about Friendly Planet Travel.

You can hear the full hour-long episode of Dining and Destinations by clicking play below. Barry covers all sorts of fascinating (and mouth-watering) topics, but if you don’t have time to listen to the entire show, and just want to tune in to the "destinations" portion of the program with my interview, scroll to minute 32:00.

I talk all about Friendly Planet Travel, my history in the travel business, the benefits of group travel, and more. We also cover a few of our featured Friendly Planet Tours, including the Taste of Vietnam. So have a listen!

Travel insurance versus travel protection. What should you do?

If you’re considering travel insurance for a trip that you’ve booked (and you should), there are a few key vocabulary words that might seem like common sense, but could snag you up in the end. Particularly, the difference between the words "insurance" and "protection." At first glance, you might not think there’s much difference between the two. But there is, and it’s significant.

To put it simply, travel protection providers offer cheaper policies than travel insurers for coverage that appears to be about the same. The trade-off? Travel protection is not regulated by the state. That means that when it comes down to it, the company you purchased protection from could refuse to pay your claim, and there’s nothing you can do about it.


Concerned about whether your policy is the real deal? The Internet is your best friend, because every state insurance commissioner has a Web site that provides all the information you could need. Travel organizations will also provide information about insurance providers, including ASTA.

If you purchase coverage through the company that booked your trip, find out what due diligence that company has done regarding insurance providers. To be safe, travelers should always buy travel insurance and not the travel protection offered by a supplier.

That’s why we only work with major insurance providers, and are always ready to follow up every claim if needed to be sure the passenger is properly protected. It’s what I sign up for when I travel, so I’m always sure our customers are offered the same services.

Just like all the components of our group tour packages, the insurance rates we offer are low. Most of our passengers pay anywhere from $99 to $129 per person. If you have any other questions about travel insurance, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Be dazzled in Dubai for only $1,499

Not too long ago, it was a quiet oasis in an expanse of desert. But over the last three decades, Dubai has become one of the hottest destinations for travelers. Known for having the biggest, best, and most lavish of everything, this coastal city has made a name for itself as one of the most expensive, over-the-top places in the world to vacation, reserved for an exclusive crowd of savvy, sophisticated travelers with plenty of money to spend. All that is about to change, as travelers get ready to pack their bags and join Friendly Planet Travel on its six-day Dazzling Dubai tour for just $1,499 including airfare.



You won’t find Dubai’s degree of opulence anywhere else in the world. Dubai is the home of The Dynamic Tower, a rotating skyscraper that you’ll swear is a mirage; The World, a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of the land masses of Earth; Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building; and Burj Al Arab, where you’ll find the world’s most expensive hotel room, just to name a few.

For the longest time, Dubai represented an unattainable ideal vacation for most. But we love a challenge, and putting together an affordable package to Dubai was a thrilling goal for us to attain.

Dubai has established itself as the gem of the United Arab Emirates, and this package lets travelers enjoy some of the best Dubai has to offer. Flights are via Emirates Airlines, one of the world’s top five carriers. Hotel accommodations are at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel Dubai, named one of the world’s best by

Travelers experience quintessential Dubai on the included guided city tour: cosmopolitan, pulsing with vibrant nightlife, rich culture, eye-popping architecture, and shopping that ranges from elegant designer malls to street markets filled with spices and gold.

Travelers can spend the remainder of their time in Dubai exploring on their own, or they can take advantage of inexpensive optional tours. Among the most popular are a wild desert safari by 4 x 4 vehicles, ending with a delicious dinner under the stars, complete with belly dancers and a henna tattoo artist. 


Another favorite is a visit to the Mall of the Emirates, where you can ski the world’s only indoor slopes (complete with ski lift). Of course, Dubai’s renowned Burj Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Palm Island, and The World can’t be missed, as well as the trendy Dubai Marina, Internet City, posh Emirates Hills, and the Gold and Diamond Park.

And for travelers with more time, Friendly Planet Travel also offers two extension packages to make the most of your already-included airfare. The Kenya Wildlife Safari extension, at $999, includes a mini-safari and takes vacationers to Nairobi’s Masai Mara National Game Reserve and Kigio Conservancy. The Cairo Flash extension, at $499, offers travelers a tour of Egyptian wonders to the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren, the Sphinx, and more.

And don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about Dazzling Dubai and trip extension options, or if you have any questions about the trip.

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