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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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!
As we begin to see light at the end of this pandemic tunnel we have all been in, we thought it would be fun to share some our Boscov’s Travel Advisors’ favorite destinations. We hope some of these spots and best things to see and do will give you ideas for your first “out of the pandemic” vacation plans.
Danube River Cruise
Of all the places in the world, actually 2 of our advisors – Amy Bressler of our Camp Hill office and Kelly Burton from the Neshaminy office – selected an AmaWaterways river cruise from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. Amy loved how up close and personal you stayed when cruising the river, and Kelly enjoyed the varied shore excursion options at each port town. From biking along the river, hiking up to a medieval castle or sampling wines at local vineyards, it was a beautiful trip. While they did not travel together, they both have a common favorite part – touring Salzburg, Austria! As fans of “Sound of Music”, seeing many of the filming sights was a bucket-list experience.
Exotic Tanzania Tour
Sue Blum of our Reading-East office has logged 16 trips to the African continent, so her choice is no surprise. After befriending and entrusting one of her guides from earlier trips, he hosted her in a very remote, authentic safari camp in southern Tanzania. She experienced hippos, crocodiles, zebras, antelopes, right by the camp that was set up amongst huge palm trees on a ridge overlooking the savannah. While remote, accommodations had every luxury in mind – private tents with mesh screening, comfortable bedding, canvas washstand areas, bucket showers and beautiful lantern-lit paths to the common dining area for cold beverages and gourmet foods. Time out in the savannah got her up close to lions and ostrich families, and experiencing the Great Migration of the Wildebeest herds. Truly a sight to see.
If you like sand and sun, then Erica Putt of our Lancaster office recommends a Bermuda cruise. The cruise is so relaxing, and once in port, there are so many activities for every interest. She mostly enjoys getting a transportation pass and exploring the island. Immersing yourself in the culture through history and cuisine is wonderful, and the locals are so friendly and happy to have you visit their beautiful island.
Banff National Park – Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada
When you’re headed into the Canadian Rockies, be sure to visit Banff National Park and treat yourself to a stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. According to Michelle Tymon in our Easton office, the sunrise canoe excursion on Lake Louise is well worth the early hour. And she is NOT a morning person! The colors are spectacular, and the rhythmic sound of the paddle cutting through the water make you instantly relax and immerse yourself in the awesome and majestic views. Once you’ve worked up an appetite paddling, you can enjoy an amazing breakfast at the Fairview Bar & Restaurant. The service and hospitality at the Fairmont Lake Louise will not disappoint.
Newport, Rhode Island
Not every getaway needs to be far away. Just ask Larissa Hayward of our Easton office. She fell in love with Newport, Rhode Island, with its lovely beaches, stunning architecture and great shopping and dining. If you love historical architecture, be sure to tour some of the “summer cottages” aka mansions like the Breakers and the Marble House. Her favorite was the Doris Duke Rough Point Mansion, which showcased the dedicated patron of the arts love for the finer things. Rough Point is filled with a truly unique collection of artwork and fine décor. You can get great views of these cottages from a leisurely stroll along the Cliff Walk too.
The French Riviera
Paula Heyman of our Moorestown, NJ office likes to say in one place, but still get to experience a number of different areas, and that’s just what she found in the French Riviera. There are so many places close by. She chose Monaco as home base for a single unpacking, but got to see some amazing nearby destinations like Nice, Menton, Eze, La Turbie and St. Tropez in France, as well as San Remo, Italy. It’s just a perfect spot for sight-seeing and as the playground for some of the rich-and-famous, has great people-watching.
Don’t let this fun-in-the-sun destination fool you. Randy Laub of our Lebanon office says that while Aruba is known for great resorts, superb beaches, friendly people and excellent food and night life, you need to get off the beaten path. Try exploring the battered coast in a Jeep, following the trails made after years of Jeep exploration. But don’t go rogue off the trails…the cliffs can get you! This truly is “One Happy Island!”
Tracee Eroh of our Selinsgrove office suggests a visit to Switzerland to experience a whole other part of our world. The scenery is gorgeous. One of the best ways to see and do the area is to rent motorized bicycles and ride through the countryside visiting quaint little towns, seeing breathtaking waterfalls. Stop off in Gruyere, home of some of the best cheeses named after this town. More of a traditional swiss cheese fan? Then Emmental is the one for you. Enjoy some of the best cheese fondue you can imagine. Around here cheese is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be sure to do some shopping for some traditional swiss finds like cuckoo clocks, watches and knives.
Eastern Mediterranean Cruise
If you know Dori, you know she’s always up for an adventure! Her cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean had her trekking to semi-active volcanos, riding a pirate ship around the island, swimming in hot springs, riding mules to the top of Santorini and taking the tram back down, walking through the streets surrounded by white-washed buildings with beautiful blue doors and roofs. The smells of sambuca and olive oil overtake your senses – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. On the other side of the island, she visited Vlichada Beach which is a bit pebbly so bring along some water shoes. Amazing that 15,500 people live on this volcanic caldera. It’s a trip of a lifetime!
Susie Roth is one of our remote advisors, and recommends a trip to Hawaii to explore all the natural wonders of this island chain. While it seems like an exotic foreign destination, it’s still part of the U.S., making travel easy and safe. There is so much to see and do from adventurous outdoor and nature activities to relaxing resorts with some of the world’s best beaches. Every island is unique and offers something for everyone. You can’t beat the scenery, weather, culture and friendly people. Larissa of Easton also loved Maui, and recommends a road trip to Hana to hike to a waterfall, a drive out to see Kahakuloa Head in western Maui, as well as a bike ride down from Haleakala Crater, with spectacular views of the islands and Pacific Ocean from this highest point in Maui.
These are just some of the great places you can explore when you are ready to travel again. Our travel advisors have many miles and trips under their belts, and are happy to “talk travel” and inspire your next getaway. Meet our Advisors to learn more about their travel experiences.
We may not be able to travel as we wish right now, but we can imagine…with FOOD! Have fun savoring some of these amazing eats around the world. We chose some fan favorite vacation spots and offered up some of the unique and adventurous dishes not to miss the next time you travel there. Some you may have heard of, but some may be new to you. Bon Appetit!
Italy – What is better than Italian food? Even better, Italian DESSERT! Italy is known to have great unique desserts that stay true to their cuisine. For example, Tiramisu. It’s sweet and has coffee, cocoa and mascarpone in it because, well, Italy…and they can never not have their coffee and sweet desserts.
France – This may sound like a turn off to some but we promise you it’s a hit! L’Escargot, which are snails. Yes, you read that right. In this delicacy, snails are bathed in butter and cooked with some garlic and parsley. You’ve got to try it.
New Orleans – Of course we always have to pick a place right here in America. Get yourself a Poor Boy when in New Orleans. The Poor Boy or Po’boy is a traditional sandwich which consists usually of fried seafood (shrimp, crawfish, fish, soft shell crab, or oysters) or roast beef. It is served on French bread that has a crisp crust and fluffy center, then topped with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup, and for real Cajun flavor, hot sauce! Who’s ready to take a trip to New Orleans soon?
Spain – If you really enjoy seafood and meats, this dish is for you. Paella, a traditional dish containing chicken, pork, shellfish, fish, eel, squid, peppers, beans, peas and so much more – this dish is a fan favorite. With lots of spice and lots of color this beautiful dish is well known and a must-try when in Spain.
Africa – Bunny Chow – Don’t worry, it’s not what it sounds like! Bunny chow is a half loaf of bread hollowed out completely and stuffed with spicy curry. You can add whatever meat you like or even make it vegetarian if you choose by adding lentils and beans, and you’re good to go! Don’t let the name get to you, it’s worth a try.
Japan – Okonomiyaki, found through most of Japan, is a simple but unique combination you may not ever have considered. This great-tasting dish mixes batter and cabbage together, is flipped in a pan like a pancake, and topped with any number of savory toppings. Its name means “cook to one’s liking” so top it as you wish! In Japan, it’s typically meat, seafood, and cheese.
Some of dishes above are quite adventurous, so if you like to keep things simple, we haven’t left you out. Here are some basic, simple dishes at each destination. There’s always something for everyone!
Italy – Gelato is such a simple and lovable dessert. It is pretty much like ice cream but denser and way smoother than ice cream. It is delicious. And really, who can say no?
France – Baguettes. Need we say more. Its CARBS! We can thank France for the best loaf of bread to ever exist. A long, thin, loaf known for crispy crust and chewy inside. Usually right in France at a bakery you can get these fresh and warm. Whose mouth is already watering from the thought of this?
New Orleans – A popular soup and the official state cuisine is Gumbo, a thick soup that consists of a lot of flavored stock, shellfish or meats, sausage, peppers, celery, and onions. They even have veggie versions if you so choose. Best part is you can make this as spicy as you like. Even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy this yummy goodness, so we say head right to the pelican state to try it!
Spain – Gazpacho, a pretty basic soup made of blended vegetables, oil, garlic and herbs, but what makes it unique? It’s traditionally served cold. This is an authentic Spanish dish that even the not-so-adventurous eaters will enjoy.
African – Couscous is considered a healthy side dish found in northern African cuisines. It’s very similar to rice in consistency, made of small steamed balls of crushed semolina and served with stews. Definitely a fan favorite if you’re looking for a healthy simple side dish.
Japan – Ever heard of Udon? They are thick, firm and chewy noodles usually served in a simple broth. Sounds like a great quick meal or starter.
Note: This is just a quick snapshot – our opinion only. There are so many exciting tastes to explore. Be sure to take some time on your next adventure and savor something local. Expand your palette as you explore the world. Be sure to ask your Boscov’s Travel Advisor what their favorites are when planning your next journey. Salute!
The holidays are just around the corner. We understand the various travel restrictions and guidelines, but if you are planning to travel, whether by plane, train or automobile 😊 we want to be sure you stay safe. The best way to travel safely is to prepare.
Tip 1: WASH YOUR HANDS!!
This sounds like an easy one yet it is one of the most effective defenses against germs. And it’s important whether you are traveling or staying home with family. If you cannot wash, use hand sanitizer. If you decide to travel by plane, TSA is now allowing each person to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer. These will need to be scanned separately at the airport since it exceeds the normal 3 ounce liquid limits, so be sure to add in extra time into your security if you plan on bringing it along (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).
Tip 2: Wear a mask – the proper way
We may not like them, but masks are now a staple checklist item whenever you leave the house – keys, wallet, mask. They protect you and those around you. Whether you are staying home or traveling this holiday season, let’s be extra cautious and make sure that mask is worn properly, covering your nose and mouth completely.
Tip 3: Practice social distancing
Another easy one ! Try to remember even though airports, Amtrak and transportation services are doing a great job at keeping people physically distanced, with limited seating, floor markers and reduced capacities, it can’t hurt to do your part. Remember to keep your distance and if you feel people are to close…just do your part and find ways to move yourself apart.
Tip 4: Put your things into a carry-on bag
Odd right, but the less you have to pull out of your pockets and toss into a bin is less things you and others will need to touch. This is a tip from TSA that we really like! Put everything in your carry-on bag (that is allowed) and send it through. That way, no one is touching your things and there is less exposure for your personal items.
Tip 5: Be Kind
This is not a tip as much as a friendly reminder. Travel is stressful enough. Travel during the holidays can double that even without the added stress of a pandemic. Everything is getting cleaned much more and companies are doing a great job at keeping the areas clean and safe for you. Remember to be kind and friendly and thank them for all they are doing to keep you as safe as possible! This one can also extend beyond travel. If staying home and managing your usual shopping, kindness goes a long way.
Tip 6: Use your phone as a boarding pass for contactless access
This might be one you already do, but if not it’s very easy. If you decide to travel this holiday season, be sure to download the app of your airline, and set up your profile. Your boarding pass will be digitally secure and ready to use. Simply scan your pass when needed and no one but you will be touching your boarding pass, making it contactless.
Tip 7: Is your destination within driving distance?
If flying is still not something you are 100% comfortable with, consider driving. That is the best way to stay within a controlled and personal space, and allows for much less contact with other people. Adding extra time for your travel may be just the thing to give you peace of mind.
Tip 8: If you drive, remember GLOVES!
When you stop for gas or at a rest area for a potty break, remember those gloves. They ensure you to have less physical contact especially if you dispose of them right away.
Tip 9: Amtrak
Amtrak is another mode of transportation who has established guidelines and restrictions to make train travel safe. They have done a great job of social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and make things contactless wherever possible.
Tip 10: Expect Delays
It’s the holidays and nothing has changed about that! Snow will be among us and weather conditions will be happening. Except delays and be prepared to be pretty flexible this year. Remember, this is where Tip 5 comes in – Be Kind.
Tip 11: Check State and Country Travel Guidelines
Last but certainly not least, we are recommending if you decide to travel to check your state’s travel policies as well as the policies of the state or country you are visiting. They are changing constantly so make sure to stay up to date with the most accurate information. Your travel advisor can assist you with this detail.
We at Boscov’s Travel wish you and your family and friends a wonderful, stress-free holiday season this year. Take Care, Be Safe, You Got This!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some pro-tips on how to make the most of your National Park adventures:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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: $$
• Scenic – luxurious 5-star accommodations mean everything’s included for an amazing and memorable cruise. Total ships in the fleet: 15. Cost: $$$
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.