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Archive for January, 2012

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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!

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.
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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.

Would you “Like” to win 1 of 6 exotic giveaways?

It really is as easy as Liking Friendly Planet Travel on our Facebook page to have a chance to win one of six all expenses paid getaway giveaways. All you have to is go to the Facebook page, Like us, and fill out the entry form.

We asked our fans where our first sweepstakes destination should be. And we were excited to see the tour our travelers most chose was Best of South Africa, a trip valued at $8,500.

Want some help improving your odds of winning one of these trips? Just invite a friend to enter the contest. For every friend you invite who enters, your name will added to the pool again, increasing your chances of winning! The contest will run from Jan. 3, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2012, and we’ll announce the winner on Facebook and right here on the blog on or around Feb. 1.

If you win the first trip, here’s what will await you in South Africa. Johannesburg and Cape Town have become destinations for style, night life, and gorgeous scenery; while the sweeping savannas are home to Africa’s big five game: lions, African elephants, cape buffaloes, leopards, and black rhinoceroses.

The prize includes round-trip flights from JFK via South African Airways, including fuel surcharges; ground transportation and transfers within South Africa; 10 nights in superior, first-class hotels; and 10 American-style breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners. The tour will also include professional, English-speaking tour directors; a comprehensive touring program; and a special opportunity to spend time with the elephants at Elephant Whispers.

For all the details on where you’ll go and what you’ll see in South Africa, be sure to click over and read the detailed itinerary. Travelers will have the chance to experience a real safari and meet the locals of South Africa, along with much more.

Good luck to all who enter! And if you don’t win, don’t be discouraged! This is truly the trip of a lifetime, so you can still go on our Best of South Africa tour at an incredible rate. Check out our website, reach out to me, or contact our reservations team at 1-800-555-5765 with questions or comments about a trip to South Africa.

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