Disney – The New Normal

The newly painted Castle at Magic Kingdom

There is no better way to get information than through first-hand experience. That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you! My July 2020 trip to Walt Disney World in Florida was just weeks after the re-opening. My trip allowed me to experience their “new normal” in all 4 theme parks. Let me start off by saying Disney has done – and will keep doing – a fantastic job to keep everyone safe and feeling secure. Not ONE time did I ever feel uncomfortable or feel I made the wrong decision by going. Below are my tips and opinions on visiting the most magical place on earth in what can only be called the most unusual travel time in the world. First off, the question everyone dying to hear the answer:

Is the heat unbearable with a mask on!?

I’m not going to lie… it was HOT and something I had to get used to. The first day was definitely the slowest and hardest day for us (I went with a group of my closest girlfriends), which we planned on purpose because we knew we would need a lot of breaks. It was an adjustment wearing our mask non-stop in very hot temperatures (the hottest day reached 102 degrees). The saving grace for the day was an hour break at a relaxation station with plenty of water. My suggestion for getting used to wearing a mask all day while in the parks, would be to begin at home. Wear masks even when outside if you haven’t been. Then, pick a park for your first day that you think you can accomplish everything you set out to do in a shorter amount of time. We chose Epcot. This way you will become familiar with wearing a mask while still feeling like you didn’t miss anything. It does take time to get used to the mask, but don’t be discouraged – by day 4, I felt like a pro wearing the mask in the heat!

Tip: Bring a cooling mask and make sure it is cool on your neck or head all day. Also, if you stick your damp mask in a bag and place in resort fridge the night before, it seemed to stay cooler longer.
Animal Kingdom Crowd level
How were the crowds?

The crowd level was so low that it helped with waiting times for each ride and allowed for easy social distancing. If you have experienced Disney parks before, even on low-traffic times, the parks seemed empty comparatively speaking.  The only time I felt I saw a true crowd was right when the parks were opening, as people were lined up for temperature checks… 6-feet apart of course! Once inside, the crowds dispersed and went in any number of directions.

How were the ride/attraction lines?

A true misconception people have from looking at pictures is the lines. For example, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (one of the newest rides) was one of the longest lines I have seen in a while, even pre-pandemic. A cast member recommended we wait it out since in reality, the line seemed longer than it actually was due to 6-feet social distancing. We were so glad we did because at most it took us 20 minutes to get through the line (we rode it twice since it was so empty).

Tip: If you are a true Disney fanatic like I am, I truly feel like this is the best time to go. Less time waiting in lines (if there even WAS a wait, it was approximately 10 to 20 minutes per ride/attraction) freed up time to see and experience a lot more of each park.
Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars Land
How were the Disney Cast Members?

The cast members were nothing short of amazing! They all did a great job making sure everyone was 6-feet apart at all times, that masks were always worn PROPERLY while still managing to bring smiles and true Disney magic to guests’ faces! If someone had their mask under their nose a Disney Cast Member would kindly remind them about the proper way to wear the mask while in Disney. I even overheard someone speaking to a little girl, saying “you’ll need to pull your mask over your nose Princess” and the little girl giggled and did as she was asked.

We know how clean Walt Disney World is on any given day, but what additional cleaning procedures were done?

Because I always viewed Disney as being so clean to begin with, having additional cleaning protocols in place seemed like it would be hard to accomplish. But, as expected, Disney delivered. They would stop the rides for cleaning procedures for guest safety and you would always see cast members out and about cleaning and sanitizing. Additionally, there are sanitation stations in place at almost every corner. I brought so much hand sanitizer with me, but barely used it because of all of the automatic dispensers Disney had in place ALL over the parks and resorts.

New way to see the characters and music in Animal Kingdom!
Did they truly try to make it as close to a contact-less vacation as possible?

We went directly to our room and checked in virtually. At entrances, there was some contact with cast members, but it was done safely and securely. We scanned our own Magic Bands for contact-less entry into the parks. We paid everything virtually through the My Disney Experience app. The menus at the restaurants were either digital or able to be thrown away after each use. The quick-service restaurants all were mobile-order enabled. They wouldn’t let you inside the restaurant until your food was prepared and ready. Once the app told you it was ready, you were allowed in to pick up your food and take a seat. Of course, all dining seating was properly spaced 6-feet away from everyone else.

How was the park-to-resort and resort-to-park transportation?

Transportation was definitely different, but still very efficient for transporting large numbers of guests. The buses were more spread out timing wise, but seemed to have back-up buses in case one was full. It seemed as though they added more buses to each resort to accommodate the limited capacities for proper social distancing. There was one minor hiccup we had in traveling from our resort directly to another resort for a dining reservation, but was resolved timely by a cast member who went above and beyond to get us back to our resort.

Overall, the magic is still there!

I was thrilled with my experience at all the Disney parks and resorts we visited. I hope my experience helps you to understand what a visit to the NEW Disney experience is all about. When you’re ready to get back to the Magic of Disney, we have many options to chose, from individual packages to bundled charter trips. Contact your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor to start planning your next Disney vacation. You’ll be glad you did!

All-Inclusive Resorts Make Vacations Easy

All-inclusive resort with pool and beach
When you consider your next vacation, don’t forget about all-inclusive resorts. No matter how you say it – the works, the whole nine, the full monty, the whole shebang – that’s what you’ll get with an all-inclusive resort. Ask anyone who’s been to one and they can’t stop raving about it.
Here are a few reasons we can’t get enough of an all-inclusive vacation.

Leave the wallet at home (well, OK maybe not literally)

It’s rare to go on a vacation knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend. When you book an all-inclusive Apple Vacation with Boscov’s Travel, everything’s included so you know you’re within budget from the moment you leave.
Family of four on pool floats in the middle of a pool

Everything but the kitchen sink (yup, yet another way to say you want it all)

It’s in the name. All included means just that – from the flights and transfers to the resort, hotel accommodations to the daily entertainment, all meals and open bar, and any number of activities, it’s all one price. What could be simpler?
Pool side restaurant and grill

So many choices

With so many options including destinations, price points, and activities, it’s important to think about ways to narrow down your selection. Our suggestion is to start with your traveling party. Are you taking the family, is it a girls or guys getaway, or are you looking for a couples-only resort? Are you looking for fun around every corner with endless activities, or are you looking to relax and escape to a retreat? The following guide can help you zoom in on what will work best.
– If you’re looking for family-friendly resorts: Sunscape ($), Now ($), Dreams ($$)
– If you’re looking for adults and couples only + parties around every corner: Riu Palace ($$), Breathless ($$)
– If you’re looking for couples only + relaxation: Secrets ($$), Zoetry ($$$)
Couple relaxing pool side being served cocktails

Optional adventures abound!

Want to see more than just the resort? Sign up for optional excursions before you go with your Boscov’s Travel Advisor or at the resort with a dedicated AMResort representative. Here are just a few things to see and do in some of our favorite destinations:
Cancun, Mexico:
– Submarine ride to see one of the longest reefs in the world
– Swim with dolphins and meet a manatee
– Take a private fishing charter and cheers with included beer
– Explore Tulum’s ancient Mayan temples
– Zipline through the jungle
– Enjoy a leisurely afternoon on a catamaran
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic:
– Take to the high seas on a real life pirate ship and enjoy a show with your favorite scalawags
– Savor the scenery on a dinner cruise
– Learn about the culture on a heritage trip to an artisan village, cigar rolling factory and more
– Dance the night away in a cave converted to a discotheque
– Ride a horse through the countryside
– Take a trip to a private snorkeling and swimming spot
Montego Bay, Jamaica:
– Wade in the luminous lagoon, one of the most famous glowing lagoons
– Take an ATV adventure through the jungle
– Tee off at an 18-hole championship course
– Horseback ride in the water
– Ride down the shore on a river tube ride
– Bathe in a beautiful waterfall
Couple on bright colored hobie cat

What to bring?

– Sunscreen! The Caribbean is full of sunny days so be sure to pack a (Banana) boat-load! Of course if you do forget the lotion, you can always purchase at the resort gift shop…but expect to pay a premium.
– Your favorite sun hat (did we mention the sun?!)
– A copy of your booking – this will help ease the check-in process
– Break out your brightest, loudest, most fun beach towel! The resort will always have towels for you to use but if you want to find your chair easily, it’s best to mark with the your towel
– Dollar bills. Though you don’t need to, you may want to tip your favorite bartender or the helpful service staff. Perhaps you’ll want to enjoy a massage at the spa or go on an excursion, so having a few extra dollars isn’t a bad idea. Of course, none of these are required.
– Some dress-to-impress attire. Most resorts have specialty dining restaurants where you can enjoy French, Italian or Thai cuisine. Often resorts require nicer attire when dining at these special restaurants. If you prefer to stay casual, you can always hit the buffet or beach-side grills.
So who’s ready to go? You can learn more about all-inclusive vacation options on our website, and when you’re ready to travel, contact your local Boscov’s Travel office and make an appointment to talk to one of our all-inclusive specialists. Let us help make your dream vacation a reality.

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces the Newly Refurbished Spirit

After two decades taking cruisers to dream destinations around the world, the Norwegian Spirit has been completely re-imagined for a whole new look and is set to take you to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Originally built in 1998, The Norwegian Spirit is 880 feet of amazing – brand new from bow to stern. Serving 2,000 passengers, the ship offers modern staterooms, updated bars and lounge areas, and dining experiences elevated and ready to entice all your senses

Specialty restaurants include Onda by Scarpetta, the Italian cuisine known for their famous spaghetti tomato and basil, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro French restaurant and Teppanyaki Japanese. A 24-hour eatery, grill, buffets, a main dining room, and so much more are complimentary to all guests.

When you’re done spending the day exploring the tastes of the ship, it’s time to head to one of 10 bars and lounges. With this many options there is truly a place everyone can go to unwind from the day.

New-to-cruising clients always question if there is enough to do while onboard, especially smaller, more intimate ships like the Spirit. With complimentary entertainment for all onboard you will always have something to do! Head to the Stardust Theatre to see renowned Broadway and Vegas style shows. If that is not your thing, you can spend time on the basketball court to shoot some hoops, or head to the conference room to do some work. Practice your golf skills at the golf driving net, or test you luck at the brand new casino. Keep up with your exercise routine at the fitness center or running track. Or simply indulge in a refreshing swim at the pool, soak in the hot tubs, or relax and pamper yourself at the lavish Mandara Spa or salon. No matter what you do, you can’t go wrong sailing on the Norwegian Spirit. And this summer and fall, she’s sailing the beautiful Greek isles.

One of the top reasons to cruise is to maximize your time.  With the unique itineraries available, you are able to see multiple locations all within a weeks’ time. You get to explore difference cuisines, different cultures, and different countries, which is just one of the reasons why we love the Norwegian Spirit and her new itineraries in the Greek Isles. Starting in Athens, Greece you will discover the city that was once the epicenter of athletics, culture, and philosophy in the ancient world. The ship then heads to Rhodes, Greece where will you spend the day exploring. From there you head to Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey where you will spend time at each location exploring the lands. Visit a temple considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world or wander around and create your own plan. From there you will head to Mykonos, Greece. Here, you will get to see and take pictures of the iconic whitewashed houses and blue roofs that you think of when you think of the Greek Isles, along with the beautiful blue ocean in the scenic background! End the 7-day cruise in Santorini, Greece to explore the rich culture and picturesque sun-drenched beaches, tour historic ruins and learn about the Greek gods. This is truly a trip of a lifetime.

Start planning your trip now! Find current Norwegian Cruise Line deals and specials at boscovstravel.com/Norwegian or talk to your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor.

Get away from it all with Royal Caribbean at the Perfect Day at CocoCay

Looking to plan a fun-in-the-sun vacation with something for everyone can be a challenge – someone wants to relax on the beach, someone else wants the thrills of a water park, and someone else wants to cruise around and check out exciting new ports. Royal Caribbean could be the answer you’re looking for. CocoCay, the new vibrant and picturesque Royal Caribbean private island located in the Bahamas, adds in the beach and fun to an already exciting cruise itinerary.

So what is CocoCay?

CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island opened in 2019 designed with something for everyone. With their slogan “Perfect Day at CocoCay” it seems to be one of the best places to go, right? With 13 water slides, a 1,600 foot long zip-line, a tethered helium balloon ride, a swim up bar, private floating cabanas, and snorkeling, there is so much to choose from! A piece of paradise, this is the perfect place to relax, recharge, or thrill.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the best things this private island in the Bahamas has to offer

DareDevil’s Peak – The tallest water slide in North America sits at approximately 135 feet high! This slide calls to anyone not afraid of heights that wants to be a dare devil and get the thrill of a lifetime! This comes with the charge of water park admission.

Wave pool – Even in the middle of the Caribbean, you can safely enjoy the waves in the largest wave pool in the Caribbean at CocoCay Thrill water park. There is an admission to the park but the admission has a lot to offer in this water park.

Up, Up, and Away – Taller than the Statue of Liberty, this tethered helium balloon flies small groups 450 feet above the island where you can have breathtaking views of the whole island for a charge.

Splash Summit – Boasting over 1,600 feet of water slides, here you can find multi-rider slides, slides like The Slingshot, and The Twister. Although there is a fee for this activity, it is a great place for your group.

Captain Jack’s – A full-service restaurant with a full bar and live music. This is the only restaurant on the island that comes with a price but well worth it!

Oasis Lagoon – The largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas, this is a complimentary lagoon to everyone at the island.

Chill Island – If you want complete chill, this is where you want to be. A place where you sit back and enjoy the beach laced in beautiful white sand and blue water, take in the sun and just relax! It’s the perfect spot to set up a “home base” for those that want to take off to the thrills for a bit.

Splash Away Bay – Described as the perfect place for kids, this has fountains and buckets for kids to enjoy – complimentary of course.

Skipper Grill – Satisfy your building appetite with complimentary sandwiches, salads, tacos, guacamole, BBQ chicken and so much more!

South Beach – If you’re in the mood for physical activity, this is the area to go. Located on the South Beach part of the island, grab a partner and enjoy volleyball, paddle boarding and basketball.

Chill Grill – A complimentary grill with some fresh bites like tacos and BBQ chicken on the go, Chill Grill is known for its laid back vibes. With a beer station where you can grab a drink yourself (additional cost), this is the place to make a pit stop!

This gives you an overview of the endless possibilities at the Perfect Day at CocoCay! Check out this video and we think you’ll be hooked. Talk to a Boscov’s Travel Advisor to see how you can experience your Perfect Day at CocoCay in the future. We cannot wait to hear about it!

Multi-Generational Family Vacations

We want to offer up some inspirational options for when the time comes that we can all ‘B’ Together again.

Multi-generational family vacations can produce happiness long after your vacation is over. You’ll create and cherish memories for a lifetime, which will become stories for generations to come. These popular vacations not only will bring a family closer together, but it is also one of the top vacation plans we are asked about. Whether you come from a huge family or a smaller but tight knit family, multi-generation vacations can be some of the best vacations of your life! Here, we suggest some destinations that will fulfill everyone’s interests.

Walt Disney World

Being huge Walt Disney World fans, this is one of our favorite multi-generational vacations. The cast and crew at Disney really do bring the magic when it comes to vacations, for both kids and adults alike. They help everyone and anyone when it comes to situations and experiences. From going with grandparents, to aunts, uncles, and cousins, you really have so much to do here! The food, the atmosphere, the memories! Once Disney opens again, this….is the place to be for some true magic for the young and the young-at-heart.

A Beach in the States (Florida or California)

This suggestion is nice if you want something relaxing but maybe you do not have a lot of vacation time from work — or a passport. The beaches in Florida and California are beautiful, so you can’t go wrong here! What’s nice about this vacation option is when seeking accommodations, you can get your own space as individual family units and everyone can meet up during the day. Mealtime can also be fun, with each family unit taking turns hosting dinners for everyone. This option is such a fun vacation, and for some, only a short drive or plane ride away.

Mexico and the Caribbean

Looking for something more tropical and exotic? Our recommendation would be to stay at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or an island in the Caribbean once these areas open up again. The benefit of an all-inclusive resort is that they are budget friendly since you pay for everything ahead of time. There are any number of locations for any budget and you won’t have to argue about whose turn it is to pay for dinner, drinks or experiences! This option is also great for families who want full-on relaxation 24/7. Sit by the beach, eat, and drink whatever and whenever you want and everyone can make their own schedules. You cannot really go wrong here.

Europe

If members of your family are full of adventure and are seeking that once-in-a-lifetime vacation, Europe is top of the list. While this trip will require a lot of planning once Europe destinations are active again, our Travel Advisors can help you plan every detail. Maybe you want to head back to your family roots and learn more about your family heritage.

Ocean Cruises

Similar to an all-inclusive, cruising offers just a little more movement when it comes to relaxing.  While operations are paused right now, cruises offer options to have exciting excursions added-on at each destination you visit making it more of an “adventure” vacation. This vacation option might be the easiest one for families of all different age groups when it comes to “things to do”. The kids will never go bored with all the planned activities on board while the adults enjoy wine tasting, adult-only areas of the ship, casinos, entertainment shows, and much more! Plus, it could be a great compromise if some in your family want an all-inclusive experience and others want to cruise, this option can give you both.

With so many vacation options available, we hope this helps you determine the best destination or type of vacation that works best for your multi-generational family when the time is right. If you need help planning or have any questions, our expert Travel Advisors are available to assist plan your perfect family getaway.

The Value of a Boscov’s Travel Advisor

We are here for you - the world awaits

Would you buy or sell a house on your own? How about attempt significant car repairs on your own? Let’s face it; there are just some things that require expert assistance. Travel is one of them.

On average, it takes 4 weeks to plan and coordinate a 1-week vacation. That’s a lot of time you could be saving working with a travel expert. If you’ve ever made travel plans on your own, you can relate. And if you had travel plans arranged during this time of shutdowns and pauses in operations, you know exactly how challenging travel planning can be. That’s why having an expert on your side is vital.

At Boscov’s Travel, we may have been remote, but we never shut down. We were here, every day, working hard to ensure our clients had the best possible support for their travel arrangements. We worked with our travel partners on all the cancellations and policy changes. We were on the phones, holding hours if need be, and emailing our partners to ensure we got things taken care of for our clients. It was this offering of expert support and guidance during a time of uncertainty that allowed our clients to feel secure.

When the world seemed to come to a screeching halt, we couldn’t just run and hide. We had work to do. We got you home if you were out traveling. We helped you re-book. We guided you through the process to ensure you got the best possible refunds or credits. We explained all the legal-eze of new policies that travel operators were instituting. In short – we provided personalized, professional support during a time when those without an experienced advisor were faced with less than adequate service.

Future travel will come back. We are all looking forward to it. But make sure you don’t go at it alone.

Expert, tenured travel advisors are going to be your new best friend.

• We have years of experience planning and procuring travel
• We have strong relationships with our travel partners and as your advocate, we pass on the deals and ideas for travel that the average traveler may not find online alone
• We can advise and assist you 24/7 when things may not go off as planned
• We are your single point of contact for your whole trip – airlines, accommodations, excursions or trip add-ons – we do the leg-work so you don’t have to
• We get to know you, your needs, desires and preferences, and arrange accordingly for the best travel experience

All this support is provided at no additional cost* to you. When you book a trip with Boscov’s Travel, we get paid directly from the hotels, cruise lines and resorts where you stay.

Don’t just take our word for it – hear it directly from our clients. We have testimonials and reviews that will show you exactly why your next trip should be planned with one of our professional travel advisors.

 

*Nominal cost for air-only bookings, minor exceptions apply.

The Beauty of Travel in America

Vast in land, natural treasures and diverse cultures, the United States offers endless opportunities for new experiences right in our own backyard.

Hawaii

Say Aloha to average year-round temperatures between 78-85 degrees! A Hawaiian vacation allows you to surf the big Kahuna, hike on a volcano, and dance the night away at a luau.

What’s your travel style:

• Relaxing vacation for the entire family: Aulani. Disney’s Hawaiian resort offers 4-star luxury accommodations on Oahu

• Island hopping: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America cruise. The only cruise line offering 7-nights sailing roundtrip in Hawaii, discover the best of the islands with optional excursions to curate your adventure

Beautiful Hawaiian landscape

 

Alaska

The final frontier awaits. Have you ever heard anyone say they’ve been to Alaska and didn’t want to go back? Alaska is one of the most sought-after bucket list destinations and it’s easy to see why. There is so much to see and do, it will most likely take more than one trip.

What’s your travel style:

• 7-days or less vacation time: cruising. Maximize your time so you can see and experience as much as you can. Spend time discovering Mendenhall Glacier in the capital Juneau, watching whales in Glacier Bay, and time in charming coastal towns on a cruise. Read about Lori’s recent Alaska cruise adventure here.

• 8+ days: cruise + land tour. Cruising the coast of Alaska only allows you to see 3% of her beauty. If you have the time, extend and enhance your trip with a land tour. Most itineraries include time in beautiful Denali. See the tallest mountain in North America (from base to peak, taller than Everest), spot the “top 5” most common animals including the caribou, bear, Dahl sheep, moose and wolves, and take what we think is one of the most scenic train rides in the world.

Alaska landscape with moose

 

Grand Canyon

The epitome of the national parks, the Grand Canyon offers some of the most stunning views in the entire U.S. Rich reds, vibrant oranges and beautiful browns sing in contrast to the bright blue sky.

What’s your travel style:

• Family vacation: Globus offers family-friendly itineraries with a guided tour of the Grand Canyon and surrounding Canyon Country. Enjoy some “off the grid” down time and disconnect for an amazing family trip with visits to three national parks, then test your luck in fabulous Las Vegas.

• The epic adventurer: G Adventures will get you moving. For the more adventurous, pack your hiking boots and discover the American canyonlands

Grand Canyon landscape with rainbow

 

Canada & New England

Quaint and iconic, New England shines in the fall. Cruise the coast and see beautiful fall foliage, watch the whales and sail past the lighthouses.

What’s your travel style:

• Luxury: Oceania cruises. Luxurious accommodations, top tier customer service and smaller ships get you closer to the sites

• All-inclusive: Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. With high tech ships, endless activities and options for an all-inclusive cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line allows you to pay one price for your cruise

New England lanscape with lighthouse

Ready to go? Our Travel Specialists are ready to help you plan that next great American Adventure. Find a location near you and stop in.

How to ‘B’ Happy in Times of Need

'B' Happy smiling family at a tropical resort

Did you ever think you would be living through a pandemic like this in your whole life? It typically is something you only read about in textbooks. This time period has caused challenging times for many. People are feeling sad and hopeless, but we don’t have to sit in those feelings. The purpose of the blog is to instill happiness, help people smile, and hopefully share some tips people can find resourceful to get them through.

What will help instill happiness in these times?

Forward thinking – or thinking ahead – is one thing that helps me. It may take time and patience, but in the long run WOW, does it help!  For example, as I sit here and write this blog, I should be less than two weeks away from going to the happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World. A planned girl’s trip to Disney with my best friends, all while getting to see my two sisters and niece who live in Florida, has been put on hold indefinitely. A BUMMER to say in the least.

My favorite saying has always been “Do you look at the glass half full or half empty?” I try to always find the positive in it all, my glass is always half full. Do I always succeed in this mindset? No. But it is part of me to find happiness in everything I do. I’ve recently heard a spin to this timeless moto, you can see the glass as half full or half empty, but does it matter? You have the power to refill it. It’s up to you.

While I write this post, I think about people I know who have been affected by this pandemic in ways some wouldn’t even think about. For example, my older cousin was supposed to be getting married this week, but instead his wedding is pushed back 6 months. It might not sound like a lot or big to you, but to that bride and groom, that’s their whole world.

To all the seniors of college and high school regarding graduation, my heart breaks for you. This is something people dream of and everyone has talked to you about your whole life. Now, it has been taken from you in a blink of an eye. To you, it seems like your whole world is crashing.

So how do we make people smile? I keep remembering sadness is only temporary.

The wedding … is only delayed. The trip … can be rescheduled. Your graduation … will happen, maybe in a different way, but you still will graduate. Having hope in things to come is how you can ‘B’ Happy. I look at all of this and in the moment I’m sad, disappointed and hurt, all sorts of emotions. It is ok to feel these emotions, but try and say to yourself, this is only temporary. I am so lucky that I am able to still go to Disney with my friends, just at a later date. I am so happy I will be able to attend my cousin’s wedding that I have been looking forward to for months. I’m so happy these seniors will still get there diploma and still think back on all the fun memories from their past 4 years. We will get through this, together!

Happy family smiling and looking at a smart phone

Quick tips to help build happiness:

• Virtual happy hour – Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t be social. In this day and age, you have a plethora of resources available to you to stay connected to family and friends. Some of my favorites include texting, talking on the phone, FaceTime, Skype and ZOOM meetings. Let your smile and your happiness be infectious!

• Take up a hobby – Start that book, exercise, and learn a new hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Feeling accomplished goes a long way into making you feel happy.

• Find a resource for daily happiness – I get daily emails called Moments of Happiness from Gretchen Rubin. Each email gives ways or quotes on how to be happy. Click here if you wish to sign up.

• Love to cook or bake? – Take to the kitchen, whip up some yummy goodness and ding-dong-dash your neighbors!

• Plan your week – Every week I pick one thing to do that day that helps me get through the week. For example, Tuesday – walk, Wednesday – take out the trash. Yes, it sounds crazy but it is something I look forward to everyday and it helps me get some much needed fresh air.

• Time to binge watch – If there was a show you always wanted to watch, now is the time! With your extended time at home, get cozy on the couch and binge away.

• Spring cleaning – Sounds crazy, but it is spring right now. If you’re like me, I have so much to do around the house. Now is the perfect time to organize your closets, attics and basements. You can donate what you don’t need, but you will probably have to wait for the pandemic to be over since there are no workers managing it. So, just make sure to stick it in a corner somewhere and when the time comes, donate!

If you need more helpful tips, we found this great link for “10 Ways to Make Yourself Happier in 30 Seconds or Less”.

Let’s embrace the new normal, find the positive in each day and ‘B’ Happy together. Remember, being happy and outpouring love could not only help you, but also someone else that might truly need it.

National Park Week Starts April 18: There’s so Much to Discover From Sea to Shining Sea.

Sit back. Relax. And armchair travel with us to some of our nation’s most valuable treasures. We’re sharing our favorite National Parks for you to enjoy all there is to see and do, along with the best time of the year to experience each park.

Grand Canyon

Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, this park is painted with natural radiant golds and deep reds. This park is massive – 277 miles long, 18 miles at the widest point and one mile deep – you can spend days exploring the beauty of the second most visited park in the U.S. National Park System. Read about what you can expect at the Grand Canyon here.

Best time to visit: April, May, September, and October when the crowds are less dense and the temperature ranges from the 60’s to low 80’s.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon, beautiful colors

 

Yosemite

With four million people traveling here every year, the majority of this park’s visitors travel to the Yosemite Valley. Highlights include Glacier Point, Half Dome and El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls all set against sheer granite cliffs. Previously called Ahwahnee, meaning big mouth which describes the valley, the park has been inhabited by Native American tribes since at least 1000 BC.

Best time to visit: if you love snow, you’ll love Yosemite from November through March but be sure to bring your snow chains. High season is summer where you’ll find the most traffic, but some epic views.

Yosemite sheer cliff

 

Great Smoky Mountains Park

This is the most visited national park with more than 10 million visitors a year – or roughly 1 in 300 Americans visiting it each year. From North Carolina into Tennessee, this park offers a myriad of activities from hiking to fishing, horseback riding and more. It gets its name from the near-constant blue mist that always seems to hover around the peaks and valleys.

Best time to visit: October when you can see the changing fall foliage.

Sunset looking over the Great Smoky Mountains

 

Glacier Bay National Park

Located in the heart of southeast Alaska just outside of Juneau, Glacier Bay is a must-see for all who visit Alaska. From the songs of the humpback whale to the barks of the sea lion, the calving of glaciers to the chirps of the birds, this ever changing eco-system features countless voices of nature. Many cruises include a day sailing in Glacier Bay. Learn about the experience here.

Best time to visit: The majority of cruising takes place from April through September.

Glacier Bay, beautiful water and mountains

 

Here are some pro-tips on how to make the most of your National Park adventures:

  1. Get an annual pass. For guests who want to visit multiple parks throughout the year, get an annual pass for $80. In the military? Get a free pass for your service. Have a 4th grader? They may qualify for a free year pass that the entire family can use! Over the age of 62? Get an annual pass for just $20. Or a lifetime pass for $80.
  2. Do your research. Most parks have lodging and camping options within the parks, but last minute reservations are rare. For the best chance to get the dates you want, book 1 year + 1 day in advance when lodging opens up.
  3. Trust a Travel Specialist. We offer custom western U.S. tours and many include entrance to your favorite National Parks. Admission, accommodations, transportation, select meals and more are included when you trust your Travel Specialist to take care of the details. Learn more here.

Visit Boscov’s Travel located within select Boscov’s including Pennsylvania (Camp Hill, Colonial Park/Harrisburg, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Neshaminy/Bensalem, Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Pottsville, Scranton, Selinsgrove, Wilkes-Barre), New York (Binghamton), New Jersey (Atlantic City and Moorestown), Delaware (Wilmington), and Maryland (Salisbury). View our locations here. If you live a little further away, book over the phone by calling us at 800-755-8020. Learn more at boscovstravel.com

Maximize Your Vacation Time via River Cruising

If you’ve toured Europe, you probably have fond memories of the destination, but care to forget traveling from one town to the next. Days spent on a bus can eat into your precious vacation time, leaving you with less time to enjoy the sites.
The best way to maximize your time and get the most of a destination is via river cruising. River cruising allows you to see the most beautiful parts of the countryside while traveling from place to place. With different river cruise operators offering different perks and pricing options, there’s a river cruise option for every budget and destination.
Destinations: Europe
Germany

Looking to move forward from a complex past, this nation’s beauty is only surpassed by its cultural gems. Several rivers pass through the country and give you incredible views of medieval castles, fertile vineyards, and idyllic landscapes. Rivers include the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, and Main.
Recommended partners: Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, Scenic, Emerald

 

France
Say oui to the destination for art and wine-lovers alike. From Monet’s home and natural inspirations in Giverny, to the wine-making region and the architectural delights of Paris, France has it all. Rivers include the Seine, Moselle, Saone, Rhone, and Rhine.
Recommended partners: Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, Scenic, Emerald

 

Portugal
Portugal has become one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe. The Douro winds past romantic castles, past vineyards known for traditional Port wine and past valleys alive with color.
Recommended partners: AmaWaterways, Scenic, Emerald

 

Destinations: Asia
Russia
Retrace the steps of tsars in the heart of the former Soviet Union. From Moscow to St. Petersburg with traditional Russian towns along the way, a cruise down the Volga will unwrap the mysterious beauty of Russia.
Recommended brand: Scenic

 

Vietnam and Cambodia
The Mekong River opens up to treasures from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City. Traditional Asian marketplaces and rural villages line the river giving you access to the vibrant shores of the river.
Recommended brand: AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways

 

India
The Ganges River brings you closer to the spiritual destinations and traditions of India. From the Taj Mahal to temples in Mayapur, Mother Teresa’s rescue in Calcutta to Dehli, the colors of India shine.
Recommended brand: Avalon Waterways

 

Destinations: Africa
South Africa
A cruise and land tour takes you closer to the beauty of southern Africa. With a variety of tours including time in Cape Town, a safari in Chobe National Park, experiences within Johannesburg, and a journey to Victoria Falls, you will have endless options to explore beyond the Chobe River.
Recommended brand: AmaWaterways

 

Egypt
Cruise the Nile and explore the most sacred destinations of the ancient world. Cruise tours in Egypt can include time in Giza to see the Great Pyramids, temples in Luxor and treasures in the capital city of Cairo.
Recommended brand: Scenic, Emerald, Avalon Waterways. AmaWaterways sailing in 2021.

 

Special Interest Cruises
For the Wine Lover
There’s no better destination for a self-made sommelier than the vineyards of Europe. Experience wine and champagne tastings in historic cellars by winemakers generations in the making. Exclusive wine tours are available on select departure dates.
For the Active Adventurer
Several river cruise lines offer bikes for clients to use and explore all the stops along the way. Whether you want to kayak, hike or bike to see a new destination, options abound on river cruises.
For the Historian
The 20th century was a volatile one for western Europe. From the shores of Normandy to the trials of Nuremburg, the past 100 years are just the beginning of historical wonders that await in Europe.
For the Outlander Fan
Diane Gabaldon, creator of Outlander, brings the characters to life on the river. While visiting popular destinations, hear about her inspiration for the wildly popular series. Exclusively on Avalon Waterways.

What River Cruise is Best for You?

After selecting your destination and travel-type, you’ll be ready to choose the river cruise line that’s best for you.

• AmaWaterways – an annual recipient of the best river cruise line award, AMA represents luxurious accommodations sailing to the most beautiful places on earth. Total ships in the fleet: 23. Cost: $$$

• Avalon Waterways – known for a room with a view, Avalon ships were the first to bring guests closer to the water with open air balconies. Total ships in the fleet: 26. Cost: $$

• Emerald – a newcomer to river cruising, Emerald offers younger ships with a younger average age cruiser. Total ships in the fleet: 8. Cost: $$

• Scenic – luxurious 5-star accommodations mean everything’s included for an amazing and memorable cruise. Total ships in the fleet:  15. Cost: $$$

AmaWaterways
Avalon Waterways
Emerald
Scenic
The beauty of Europe and other spectacular destinations around the world await you when you book one of our amazing river cruise itineraries. Our Travel Specialists can help you choose a destination and sailing that fits your vacation goals. Visit one of our Boscov’s Travel locations today to start planning your trip.