My personal experience visiting Japan

Recently one of our Boscov’s Travel Advisors took a trip to Japan. Read her incredible experience below.

Chrysanthemum Flower

While most travelers think of visiting Japan in the Spring during the Sakura or Cherry Tree Festival, I visited in Fall which is a wonderful time to visit Japan. The weather is still on the warm side and the attractions are not nearly as crowded. Similar to Fall in our New England states, the Fall foliage in Japan is brilliant and breathtaking, especially if you travel into the countryside. Fall also brings the annual traditional Chrysanthemum Festival, known as Choyo, where the flower is celebrated throughout the country with large displays of magnificent blooms. In Japan, there are unlimited experiences and sites to see. Below is just a glimpse of what I experienced and saw on my trip.

Mt. Fuji

While in Japan I visited Mt. Fuji which can be reached by bullet train from Tokyo. Don’t assume that you will be able to get a great, clear picture of the mountain as it is most usually obscured by clouds. You are able to climb the mountain and hike many of it’s trails.  The train transportation system is very good throughout Japan and is easy to use.

In the main cities, you will find that English is widely spoken and understood. Japanese people are extremely friendly and are happy to help tourists who are in need of assistance.

Nagoya Castle

The history of Japan is fascinating and worth learning about. This is a picture of Nagoya Castle which was built in the 1600s at the beginning of the Edo Shogunate after the battle of Sekigahara and now houses a museum and palace that are open to the public. There are a number of Castles like this one throughout the country that you can visit.

The Village of Shirakawa-go

The village of Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Toyama Prefecture where it is like stepping back in time. These original, specifically designed houses have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. The steeply pitched roofs are in response to the amount of snow that the area receives. The community was largely cut off from general access due to the surrounding rugged terrain.  The inhabitants made their livelihoods by cultivating mulberry trees and raising silk worms to produce the silk used to make beautiful kimonos and other silk goods. Some of these buildings are as old as 300 years.

Sensoii Temple, Tokyo

Throughout Japan you will see many Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines that are as beautiful as they are interesting. Visiting these shrines and temples are a great way to spend the day and connect with the beliefs of the Japanese.

There are so many wonderful things to see and do in Japan and Fall is a perfect time to visit. This is just a sample of what is available and I can’t wait to go back to experience more of this beautiful country. I recommend visiting Japan to everyone at least once. With our wealth of knowledge, your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor can help you plan your next vacation to Japan too! Contact us today!

My personal experience at RIU Dunamar Costa Mujeres, Mexico

Recently one of our Boscov’s Travel Advisors took a trip to Costa Mujeres, Mexico. Read her incredible experience below.

We travel to Mexico two times a year and stay at different resorts each time. We enjoy the beautiful sand, drinks, and food – it’s a great place to go! In the past some of our favorite hotels that we have stayed at are RIU Palace Costa Mujeres, Hard Rock Riveria Maya, Sun Palace and Blue Bay Esmeralda. This April 2022 we stayed at the RIU Dunamar, Costa Mujeres, and all-inclusive beachfront and kid friendly resort. We loved it!

This resort is across the bay on the mainland, just north of Cancun. The beauty is its location. This area feels calm and secluded, but is just thirty minutes away from Cancun’s bustling restaurants and nightlife. Isla Mujeres is visible from the resorts in this area.

Some of the best parts of our trips to Mexico is the all-inclusive amenities! RIU Dunamar offers four specialty dinner restaurants, a lunchtime poolside barbecue grill, six bars, including a 24-hour bar with snacks, and two swim-up bars.  I would highly recommend this resort to families because of the Splash Water Park, RIU Land Kids’ Club and poolside activities during the day which are geared towards families.

When staying in Mexico there is a lot you can do with many excursion options to choose from if you want to stray away from your resort. Every time we take our vacation, we take a day trip from our resort to explore the area. On this trip we took a three-hour snorkeling excursion that picked us up at our resort to visit a coral reef, the MUSA statues which are made of material for coral to grow on, a shipwreck and underwater cenotes. The entirety of the excursion was beautiful, fun and educational. Afterward, we visited El Meco which is a small archaeological Mayan Ruins site, which was stunning.

The Mayan Ruins have eighteen structures located off the beaten path to the North of Cancun en route to Costa Mujeres near the Puerto Juarez ferry dock. It has the tallest pyramid on the Northeast Yucatan Peninsula. From the top of the Castillo Ruins one can see the Caribbean Sea, all of Cancun’s lagoons, and Isla Mujeres. I highly recommend visiting some of the Mayan Ruins on a vacation to Mexico.

Obviously, we love vacationing in Mexico and I highly recommend going at least once. Cancun, Rivera Maya and Costa Mujeres are all great vacation spots for singles, couples and families. Since I have a wide range of knowledge on the area, and with all the lodging options and areas to stay in, it is important that I qualify my clients to fit them with the right resort for what they expect on their vacations. Your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor is ready to help you find the perfect fit for your next vacation in Mexico and beyond. Contact us today!

 

My personal experience at the Virginia International Tattoo

Recently one of our Boscov’s Travel Advisors took a trip to Virginia International Tattoo and its surrounding areas. Read her incredible experience below.

“I recently had the pleasure of attending the Virginia International Tattoo.  To the surprise of many, it has nothing to do with skin tattoos, but is a military exhibition that is the signature event of the Virginia Arts Festival.  This was an especially great experience because it was the 25th Anniversary “Silver Jubilee.”  This performance showcased 25 years of presenting the world’s most patriotic Tattoo, with an all-star lineup up of performers including: Military Bands, Massed Pipes and Drums, Elegant Highland Dancers, Precision Drill Teams, and Stunning International Performers.

The Tattoo was very entertaining and commanded audience participation throughout the show.  Most amazing was the Star Spangled Banner, which brought everyone to their feet; service songs from all branches of the military that asked people to stand when your family’s service song was sung; and a grand finale of hundreds of pipers, military musicians, and singers joining together to perform Amazing Grace.  This event occurs annually in Norfolk, VA.

While there, I took the opportunity to visit various other points of interest including:  Virginia Beach; King Neptune, a colossal 34 feet high bronze statue that rises from the depth of the Atlantic Ocean at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue overlooking Neptune Park; Virginia Military Aviation Museum; Norfolk Botanical Gardens; Navy Cruises “Victory Rover” sightseeing cruise; Nauticus, The National Maritime Center; General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, and the Chrysler Museum.

If you’re looking for a fun, educational, vacation, definitely consider booking tickets for next year’s Virginia International Tattoo and plan several days before and/or after to explore the rest that Norfolk and Virginia Beach have to offer.”

Contact your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor today to book a trip to next year’s Virginia International Tattoo.

Premier World Discovery 2022 Tours

From the breathtaking scenery, rich cultural history and wide-open spaces, the western United States and Canada is a must for your future travels. Do you want to check off some of these awesome places from your bucket list? Well now you can! We’ve partnered with Premier World Discovery and hand-picked 8 exciting tours for 2022. Premier World Discovery is one of our premier travel partners for guided tours with excellent feedback from clients who have traveled with them in the past. We are confident you will be in great hands if you choose to embark on one of these incredible journeys.

These trips are a great value and include roundtrip airfare from Philadelphia International Airport, first-class hotel accommodations, deluxe motorcoach transportation, the services of an experienced tour director and local guides, selected meal packages, entrance to included parks and sites, and more. Now for what you’ve been waiting for – the trips and highlights!

The Magnolia Trail & the Heart of Texas, April 23 – 27, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Dallas City Tour
– Tour of AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys
– Historic JFK Sites & Locations
– Magnolia Markets at the Silos
– Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District & Cattle Drive Viewing
– & more!

Utah’s Mighty National Parks, May 1 – 7, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Canyonlands National Park
– Arches National Park
– Grand Junction Colorado
– Scenic Byway 128
– Colorado River Cruise
– & more!

Idaho Adventure, June 15 – 21, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Ketchum & Sun Valley
– Sawtooth Mountains
– Salmon River Jetboat
– Silver Mine Tour
– Rider Ranch Cookout
– & more!

 
Majestic Canadian Rockies, July 10 – 15, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Emerald Lake
– Banff National Park
– Dinner at Chateau Lake Louise
– Moraine Lake & Valley of the Ten Peaks
– Columbia Icefield Ice Explorer Ride
– & more!

Great Trains & Grand Canyons, September 25 – 30, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Two Railroad Journeys: Grand Canyon Railway & Verde Canyon Railroad
– Grand Canyon National Park
– Sedona Trolley Tour
– Chapel of the Holy Cross
– Montezuma Castle
– & more!

Explore Santa Fe & the Land of Enchantment, October 23 – 28, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Albuquerque
– Santa Fe City Tour
-Taos Pueblo
– Madrid
– Loretto Chapel
– & more!

Southern Harmony, November 6 – 11, 2021

Trip Highlights:
– French Quarter Walking Tour
– Mardi Gras World
– New Orleans City Tour
– Steamboat Natchez Cruise
– Gulf Island National Seashore
– & more!

Montreal & Quebec City Christmas Markets, December 8 – 12, 2022

Trip Highlights:
– Montreal Christmas Market
– Montreal City Tour
– Quebec City Christmas Market
– Quebec City Tour
– Quartier Petit Champlain & German
– & more!

Now that you’ve seen the tours and the highlights, the hard part will be picking only one! We have an incredible booking discount where you can save up to $400 with no risk deposit or change fees. So, what are you waiting for? Book today! Don’t forget, book using your Boscov’s Credit Card and receive special financing. Contact your Boscov’s Travel Advisor today to book and check off another destination on your bucket list.

 

Away for the Holidays


The holidays are the busiest and most wonderful time of year. There’s joy in the air, people are thankful, and time is spent with loved ones. Many people travel to see their family or desire to travel for a holiday vacay away during this time of year, but it can sometimes be stressful and even daunting. The days before Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest travel days of the year. But don’t let that stop you- there’s no need to fret! We have a few tips up our sleeves to help you enjoy your holiday away and to keep you in the holiday spirit.

Prepare yourself for peace of mind back at home. – Most of us have seen Home Alone and do not want to live Kevin McCallister’s time at home in real life. Depending on where you live, you may be worried about leaving your home for your holiday travels. Holidays tend to spike in burglaries as a lot of people are away from home for them. Try placing some of your house lights on timers, which will make your house appear as if someone is home. Ask your family or friends to stop by regularly when you’re away to check the mail, water plants, and keep an eye on your home. These two steps will give you peace of mind while you’re on your holiday trip.

Be patient and kind. – Prepare yourself for bumps in the road like crowds and delays. These times can be stressful and it may be hard to keep calm, but there’s plenty of ways help you keep your cool. One way to keep calm is by practicing breathing techniques to help you stay relaxed in crowded situations and during delays. You can also download your favorite shows and movies, take earbuds, snacks, and a magazine or book to help you stay occupied during your wait. Be sure to treat your flight attendant, drivers and fellow passengers with kindness as everyone is under the stress of the holidays.  A smile can go a long way and it will also encourage others to be kind. It is the holidays so spread some cheer!

Ship your gifts. – You’ll want to do your best to avoid lugging more than your necessary suitcase through the airport. Ship your gifts ahead of time so they will be at your destination when you arrive. This relieves you of the unnecessary stress of lugging and worrying about where your gifts are. Take a moment before you leave to do the same with gifts received to make your return trip home easy.

Keep your luggage tagged properly. – You will want to keep your luggage tagged properly in case it gets lost in your travels. Your luggage tag should always have your name, surname, email, and phone number on it. This will ensure that your luggage will be able to make its way back to you just in case.

Check Covid-19 protocols to where you’re traveling and remember your masks. – If there’s one thing we know for sure about Covid-19 travel restrictions it’s they are subject to change. Covid-19 restrictions are staying in place for now and it is important that visitors research every country and state’s guidelines. Your Boscov’s Travel Advisor will know the most up to date and accurate guidelines. It is helpful to check in with the experts before your trip to ensure the best travel experience and least amount of stress. Also, don’t forget your masks and bring extra ones along too. Airports and public transportation methods like rail and motorcoach still require masks to be worn at all times. Depending on your destination you may need your mask, so it’s important to pack extra ones just in case you need it.

Fly on the actual holiday. – The busiest travel days in the year are the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas and usually the Sunday following the holiday. The best way to travel is by avoiding the most popular days which will reduce crowds and delays.

Travel late or early in the day. – Statistics have shown planes that travel earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. If your flight is cancelled you will have more options of taking a flight later in the day since your flight was originally earlier. If you’re driving, the best time to hit the road is when everyone else is asleep – either early in the morning or late at night. If you are solo driving, you can nap once you arrive at your destination and if you have a travel companion, you can take turns driving.

Arrive early to the airport. – Getting to the airport early is always a good idea and is especially important during the holidays as more people are traveling. This means that lines and wait times could be longer than usual, especially with Covid-19 travel regulations and short-staffed companies.

Always have a backup plan. – Things can change in a second. You should always have a Plan B (and even a Plan C). The preparation and knowledge from a Travel Advisor can help set expectations and curbs stress if something comes up and your travel plans need to be cancelled or rescheduled.

Are you ready for your holiday travels after these tips? We are! With these holiday travel tips you can make the most of your travels and arrive full of holiday cheer. Speak with your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor for more assistance with your holiday travel or book your holiday vacation today. Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Halloween Fans Vacations

Spooky thrills, the hair on your neck standing straight up, screams, and pumpkins – nothing sounds better to a Halloween fan than this. It’s October, are you itching for some Halloween fun? We’ve pulled together some of the best vacation spots for Halloween thrills for all ages. We promise you’ll be shaking in your boots and having the time of your life. Now is the perfect time to start planning a ghoulish getaway for next year.

1 – Savannah, Georgia – Known as the city that’s built on top of her dead as there’s always a cemetery nearby

© Ghost City Tours
Grave Tales Ghost Tour:

• All ages
• 90-minutes
• Walking tour
• Alcohol and pet friendly tour
• History and haunting
• Visit Savannah Haunted Mansions, Historic Homes, Haunted Cemeteries, Burial grounds, Revolutionary War Battlefield, and more
• Visit Johnson Square where you could meet Little Gracie. This spirit plays in the square and is known for grabbing guests’ hands

© Ghost City Tours
Dead of Night Ghost Tour:

• Ages 16 +, most popular adults only tour
• 90-minutes
• Walking tour
• Alcohol and pet friendly tour
• Explore locations where darker hauntings take place like demons, possessions and murders – you’ll always be watched on this tour
• Visit 5-8 locations including: the Foley House Inn and the Sorrel Weed House

© Trolley Tours
Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour:

• Ages 13+
• 1-hour
• Trolley tour
• Haunted sites, eerie legends, and frightening residents
• Visit the Andrew Low House, Perkins & Son’s Ship Chandlery, cemeteries, bloodshed battlegrounds, and more

2 – New Orleans, Louisiana – Known for it’s rich and dark history haunts

© Ghost City Tours
Haunted Pub Crawl:

• Ages 21+
• 2-hours
• Walking tour
• Alcohol friendly – drinks keep flowing
• Visit haunted pubs and restaurants
• Visit the Haunted Bourbon Orleans, the Ghosts of Tujague’s, Pirate’s Alley, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, and more

© Ghost City Tours
The Killers and Thrillers Tour:

• Ages 16+
• 90-minutes
• Walking tour
• Alcohol and pet friendly tour
• If you’re a true crime fan, this one’s for you – you’ll learn about the most notorious and gruesome crimes of the city
• Visit the Pharmacy Museum, Sultan’s Palace, Beauregard-Keyes House and follow an off beaten path for more

© Ghost City Tours
Ghosts of New Orleans Tour:

• All ages
• 90-minutes
• Walking tour
• Alcohol and pet friendly tour
• Visit some of New Orleans most famous haunted locations including: Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, LaLaurie Mansion, the Andrew Jackson hotel, the Haunted Hotel Villa Convento, and more

3 – Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida – Known for its not too spooky magical time


Boo Bash:

• All ages
• 3-hours
• Trick-or-treating throughout the park
• Shorter wait times
• Parades
• Performances
• Characters in Halloween attire
• Special décor, lighting and music
• Ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select beverages included in event cost
• Festive food and beverages including: foolish mortal funnel cake and apple ginger dale frozen drink (allergy-free options available)

4 – Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida & Hollywood, California – the 30th year of the world’s premier Halloween event

© Universal Studios
Halloween Horror Nights

• Ages 13+
• Hours vary between 6:30pm and 2:00am
• Scare zones where you’ll be surrounded by shadows lurking, scares, screams, and thrills
• 13 Haunted Houses including: Beetlejuice, the Haunting of Hill House, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Universal Monsters: the Bride of Frankenstein, Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth, and more
• Jack the Clown will be back lunging from the shadows
• Mazes
• Select rides and attractions
• Live entertainment
• Themed foods and drinks including alcoholic beverages

These thrilling locations and tours make our hairs stand up – we’re excited to go! Are you ready for the biggest spooks and fun of your life? Dare to begin your Halloween vacation now by visiting our start planning page today. Outside of the area? We are happy to assist you online and by phone at 800-755-8020.

 

Best Destinations for SOLO Travelers of All Ages

People say traveling alone can really make a person grow. That all is great and sounds fun, but right away a fear sets in for me because I’m going to be alone! Is it safe to travel alone? Who will I talk to? All these questions run through my head. But so do the thoughts of “I can do whatever I want, when I want!” It gets me thinking what places are great to travel to if you are a solo traveler. This blog maps out what we think are the best places and best types of travel for people when traveling alone.

So, let’s get into what places we think are great destinations for you to travel to if you’re wanting a solo trip.

Iceland – This is on the top of our list and a bucket list destination. Iceland has a very low rate of crime, and is also considered one of the safest places to visit in the world! They have a strong sense of community and really look out for one another, even visitors. With the best scenic views around and voted #1 on the Global Peace Index you will feel confident to travel solo here.

Iceland
Iceland

Portugal – Portugal is another great country to visit, and is becoming a popular travel destination because of its beautiful scenery. We like to call this the hidden gem of Europe because you get the scenic views, the beaches, the historical monuments, and so much more but for some reason, people never make this a first choice to visit which keeps the tourist population low. Portugal is actually ranked as the 3rd safest country in the world. What is better than feeling safe while looking at picturesque views?

Portugal
Portugal

Canada – It’s fairly common to have solo travelers in Canada actually! Easy to navigate and friendly citizens you cannot go wrong in this scenic country. Canadians are known to be extremely nice and amazing people and are always willing to give tips to tourists. If you’re a fan of nature and a fan of solo travel, this is the country for you!

Canada
Canada

Cruising – Cruises are nice in the sense that you can do whatever you’re comfortable with. If you feel most comfortable sitting by the pool, so be it! If you want to hit the casino, go ahead! Also, when you get to ports you can decide to get off and explore or not. Even then, there so many group excursions through the cruise lines, you have the option to stay with people that are part of the cruise. Another great thing about cruises? That all-inclusive price!

Cruising
Cruising

Hawaii – When you think of Hawaii you just think of relaxation and that’s exactly what it is! Big things to do in Hawaii are hiking and snorkeling but we do not suggest doing this alone. Don’t worry though! If Hawaii is on your bucket list, think about joining a group tour, so you are not completely alone.  Another reason this is a great place to travel to? You feel like you left the country but you do not need a passport to visit the beautiful islands of Hawaii! Speaking of islands, when traveling alone everything is up to you! So, here’s a tip — try island hopping to visit different Islands and experience different things. Again, with this safe destination you would be able to achieve this and feel comfortable.

Hawaii
Hawaii

At the end of the day, trust your gut but we think you would enjoy these places solo! Obviously when you travel you want to make sure you are safe because no matter how safe you feel, you should always be aware of your surroundings. You are in unfamiliar territory all by yourself.  Just remember when traveling, you should spend the time and research the area before you go, and keep always in touch with family and friends. Best of all, ENJOY your vacation!

Is it time to plan your SOLO trip? Visit our destinations page to start planning!