Friendly Planet Blog

Archive for June, 2012

Friday’s Friendly Funny: The real cost of an airplane flight

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What will the Grannies on Safari do in Cuba?

The Grannies on Safari made their travel arrangements, packed their bags, traveled to Cuba, and have just returned home. If you’re not familiar with their story, Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson are two friends who film their travels for their Emmy® award winning TV series, Grannies on Safari, sponsored by AARP. They recently made their first ever trip to Cuba, sponsored by Friendly Planet Travel.

Going to Cuba was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, and I look forward to hearing if Regina and Pat felt the same way about their journey. So, just before they left for Cuba, I asked Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin to jump on the phone and talk to these worldly ladies about their upcoming trip.

Listen in as Caitlin asks the Grannies why they decided to go to Cuba next, what cultural aspects they want to experience, and what they’re most looking forward to doing while visiting. Regina and Pat are so much fun to listen to, so you’ll definitely want to hear what they have to say.


Stay tuned for more updates from the Grannies about their trip to the Cuba with our Grannies on Safari go to Cuba tag and the second half of the conversation to be posted shortly!

Friendly Planet Travel Winner’s Circle: Update on Peru winner

Since there is still some time before I choose the fifth Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes winner, I thought now would be a good time to catch up with one of our past winners to see how her free trip went.

Our Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin first sat down with our second Win the World winner, Lillian Mayes, to interview her right after she won the all-expenses-paid trip to Peru. In this interview, Lillian explained that she was most excited about visiting Machu Picchu.

We thought we’d bring Lillian back to tell us how her trip went and hear how she liked the Inca ruins. You’ll also get the inside scoop about what it’s like to take a Friendly Planet Travel tour. Listen to this podcast below!


Thanks for speaking with us again, Lillian. I’m so happy that you had an amazing time in Peru! I hope to see you again on another Friendly Planet Travel tour.

If you’re on the go, you can also right click on this link, and select “save link as” to download it to your computer and save it to your mobile device. And be sure to scroll down to see some pictures from Lillian’s trip.

Lillian’s tour group
Lillian posing with some Peruvians
Lillian and her husband at Machu Picchu 
Going on a horseback riding adventure
Visiting Lake Titicaca

Get lost in Italy at the next Friendly Planet Travel Book Club

Summer is in full swing and that can only mean one thing … summer reading! I’m happy to announce the third meeting of our Friendly Planet Travel Book Club. This time, we decided to pick a region that exudes summer warmth and beauty, and the obvious choice was Italy!

There are countless books about Italy, but no one writes about this destination better than Frances Mayes, author of worldwide bestseller “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Bella Tuscany.” Frances is the queen of Tuscan writing, and we decided to make her third Italian memoir, “Every Day in Tuscany“, the feature of our third book club.

Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Her newest book offers a deeply personal account of her present-day life in her adopted hill town, sharing the delights and challenges of daily life, the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden, and her favorite recipes. “Every Day in Tuscany” is an inviting and authentic account of the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. It’ll be sure to leave you longing for the Tuscan countryside before you reach the last page!

If you’re interested in learning what it feels like to live under the Tuscan sun, pick up a copy of the book and join our discussion. We’ll explore the wonders of Tuscany on July 31 at the Jenkintown Library from 7-9 pm. Let us know if you can join us by contacting Liz Hutchins at [email protected] or by calling 800-555-5765 Ext. 214. Please RSVP no later than Friday, July 27 so we know how many to expect.

Hope to see you there. Ciao!

Friday’s Friendly Funny: Fire away!

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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Friday’s Friendly Funny: Fitness while traveling

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
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Friday’s Friendly Funny: How NOT to win a free trip

We promise we won’t make you scratch and sniff the screen! Just enter our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a trip for yourself and a friend on our Taste of Ireland and Taj Mahal Express tours. It’s as easy as that –so be sure to enter to get your name in the drawing!

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
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See Ireland for free in our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t pick a favorite destination to visit — every city and country is just as entrancing as the next. But I can safely say that a favorite destination among my travelers for its lush countryside, friendly and wonderful people, and the array of things to do and see, is Ireland.

WIN A FREE TRIP: See the Cliffs of Moher (and more!) on a
free trip to Ireland, courtesy of Friendly Planet Travel

That’s why we chose our A Taste of Ireland tour as the next giveaway in our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes. One lucky traveler and guest will see Ireland for free on a trip that’s worth $3,600! To enter, flip to our Facebook page and fill our the entry form. If you already entered your name in our Turkey drawing, it’s automatically entered for this trip too!

As before, you can earn extra entries into our sweepstakes by spreading the word to your family, friends, coworkers, Facebook friends, and anyone else who would love to win a free trip. For every entry into our sweepstakes from your referrals, you’ll get an extra entry for yourself.

This seven-day tour to Ireland will hit all the major stops — Dublin, Kerry, Killarney, Kilkenny, and Limerick. Travelers will see some of the castles that make Ireland famous, along with old-fashioned houses and sprawling meadows. They’ll see the Cliffs of Moher, the most majestic cliffs in Ireland, and much much more. It’s no surprise that this picturesque island is referred to as the Emerald Isle.

The prize for the winner and a guest includes round-trip airfare, including fuel surcharges and all ground transportation and transfers. It also includes accommodations in superior and deluxe hotels; daily Irish breakfasts and two dinners; a comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees; a professional, English-speaking driver and guide; and more.

There’s so much more to Ireland, so be sure to check out the detailed itinerary of the trip. Our Ireland trip is one of our best-selling tours, and I’m so glad a lucky traveler will get to experience it for free. So remember to enter on Facebook, and help us spread the word by referring your friends for more entries to win. I can’t wait to announce the winner of this one on July 1!

And the winner of our free trip to Turkey is …

TRIUMPHANT TURKEY: Steve Phillips has won
a free trip to Turkey!

You might think that I’ve lost some of my excitement over announcing the winners of our Win the World Facebook sweepstakes. After all, I’ve announced three winners already.

But it hasn’t gotten old yet. I was still as excited as ever to call a Friendly Planet Traveler and let that lucky Facebook fan know they’re going on our Best of Turkey tour — with a friend, for free!

This time around it was Steve Phillips from New York who picked up the phone! Here’s the kicker — Steve is going on a trip to Kenya with us next month, and his family purchased the optional extension to Istanbul!

What a coincidence! He’s going to have an opportunity to enjoy a taste of what lies ahead of him on our Best of Turkey tour. Listen in to hear Steve tell me about his upcoming Friendly Planet Travel trip, his two previous tours with us, and how excited he was to win!


Congratulations Steve! And for the rest of you, there are still more chances to win! Our next big giveaway is to Ireland. One lucky winner and a guest will get to enjoy the lush, green scenery and the friendly, outgoing Irish people that the country is known for. It’s easy to enter — just hit our Facebook page, fill out the entry form, and then refer your friends for more chances to win. Good luck!