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Archive for January, 2012

Making a very friendly return to Japan

Japan has been one of our favorite destinations for a long time. But we were forced to cancel all departures in March 2011 when one of the most devastating earthquakes ever recorded rocked the east coast of Japan. So in 2011, Friendly Planet Travel didn’t send a single traveler to this fascinating country.

But we’re excited to announce today that Friendly Planet Travel is once again resuming tours to Japan with a brand new series of departures on our Japan Panorama tour. We know it’s our time to return to Japan because you have been calling and writing to ask us when our departures would start. And for our part, we could not be happier to resume our tours. We know what a beautiful destination Japan is and how much it is appreciated by everyone who visits.

And on a personal note, tourism to Japan has truly suffered from the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunamis that followed. We can’t wait for our friends in the Japanese tourism industry to begin to feel the recovery by seeing the smiling and friendly faces of our travelers arriving to tour the country.

A recent survey conducted by the Japanese government found that 82 percent of Japanese people feel favorably towards the United States and its people. Visitors who go to Japan will sense the warmth and friendship as soon as they arrive in the country, along with it’s gorgeous scenery. Japan has dramatic scenery and ancient monuments juxtaposed with modern, sleek skyscrapers; sophisticated nightlife; and bustling cities.

Even more significant, its citizens are truly an example to the world of stoicism at its finest. When you see how the Japanese people have come together as a nation to help each other recover from devastation and loss, you will be touched and impressed. So there’s no better time than now to see what this beautiful country and its citizens are all about.

Check out our Japan Panorama tour to get all the details about where we’ll be going, what we’ll be seeing, and the fun things we have in store for travelers. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or speak to a member of our reservations team at 800-555-5765.

Proof that it’s never too late to travel

Age isn’t anything but a number. That could be the motto of Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson, two friends who travel the world together and film it for their PBS television series “Grannies on Safari.” They’ve combined their love of people, art, and travel to make this Emmy® award winning TV series, sponsored by AARP.

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.

For more from Regina and Pat, check out some of the articles they’ve contributed to Huffington Post, their AARP blog, and their show website for the latest information on where they’re going next. Thanks so much for your time ladies!

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.

Friday’s Friendly Funny

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at blog.friendlyplanet.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://blog.friendlyplanet.com.

Friday’s Friendly Funny

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at blog.friendlyplanet.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://blog.friendlyplanet.com.

Friday’s Friendly Funny

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at blog.friendlyplanet.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://blog.friendlyplanet.com.

11 best Friday’s Friendly Funnies of 2011

A lot of terrific things have happened at Friendly Planet Travel within the past year. I shared “Seven Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend” at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show in January; we’ve expanded our tour offerings, which now include destinations like Namibia and Madagascar; and we added a build-your-own-cruise booking engine to our website.

Through it all, we’ve been showcasing the hilarity of the travel industry with Friday’s Friendly Funny every week. So we’re looking back on the year’s best cartoons to see why some aspects of travel simply make us laugh out loud.

We saw that some take getting that coveted poolside seat a little too seriously.

We were privy to the lengths that some people will go to for fashion.

It can be hard to make your suitcase distinguishable, as we learned here.

Technology has made it easier then ever to be connected all the time. Even though we know that to enjoy a destination, you have to disconnect, some travelers haven’t learned their lesson.

On Feb. 25, it became obvious that overpacking for trip can be a heavy burden to bear.

It became obvious that it’s important to enjoy your surroundings and not your phone when traveling, for the sake of you and those around you.

Tipping well is not something to be skimped on during your travels, as noted on May 6.

The Friendly Funny from June 10 made us think about how perfect some destinations truly are — it does feel like you’re in heaven!

A travel industry pun always makes me laugh, and I got a good chuckle out of this play on words.

Although I wouldn’t recommend swimming in the Venetian Lagoon, we saw that it’s to each his own when it comes to what they want to do on vacation.

And we learned those hotel room appliances can be downright confusing.

I hope you enjoyed the Friday’s Friendly Funnies from 2011 and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2012. What was your favorite Friday’s Friendly Funny this year?

Friday’s Friendly Funny

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at blog.friendlyplanet.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://blog.friendlyplanet.com.

Stories, laughs, and more at the Friendly Planet Travel Book Club

The first meeting of the Friendly Planet Travel Book Club is in the books, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it went. Despite the dreary weather, travelers gathered at the Jenkintown Library in Jenkintown, Pa., to discuss our first book choice, “Radio Shangri-La” by Lisa Napoli. The team was excited to hear everyone’s reactions, and pleasantly surprised to have some well-traveled guests in our midst.

Shelly and Harriet, two attendees, contributed a wealth of knowledge about travel that I think rivals mine! Each woman loves to travel and has been all over the U.S. and the world. Shelly has been to Bhutan, so she was able to share her experiences and relate them to Lisa’s. But the conversation didn’t stop with Bhutan. The group branched off, talking about other countries and how their people relate to the Bhutanese.

The group discussed Bhutanese traditions, the country’s changing culture, how technology is influencing Bhutan, and much more. We had our camera at the ready to capture the goings-on and interesting conversations. Press play to hear it all.

What a great kick-off to our Friendly Planet Travel Book Club! We’ll be meeting again soon and we want to know: What travel book we should read next? Leave your ideas here or on our Facebook page.