11 Tips for Holiday Travel

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!

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!

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.

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.

Real ID: What You Need To Know.

UPDATE: Due to recent events, the government announced a new deadline of October 1, 2021 to obtain your Real ID. We have updated the blog below and will add additional information as it becomes available. 

Real ID… Real Pain. How to Navigate the Real ID Laws Going into Effect October 2021.

You’ve probably heard the rumblings about the Real ID for a few years and how it could affect your future travel. With the confusion around the requirements, deadlines and processes, we’re here to help you navigate the options and ensure you are able to travel in 2021 and beyond.

Here’s the scoop – as of October 1, 2021:

  • To fly domestically, everyone 18 years or older will need a valid US passport OR a Real ID license
  • To fly internationally, you will still need a valid US passport

 

So, what is the Real ID and how do you know if you have it?
According to Homeland Security, the REAL ID Act set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses for people 18+ years old and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.

So do you have a Real ID?
If you’re a resident of PA or NJ and you have not renewed your driver’s license in the past few months, you most likely do NOT have the Real ID. The Real ID has a five-pointed star in the upper right hand corner of the license.

Is there an alternative that can I present to airport security to fly domestically if I do not have a Real ID by October 1, 2021?
You can use a valid U.S. passport or passport card, a U.S. Military ID, a DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST).

Where can you get the Real ID?
The DMV can help you obtain a Real ID. Pennsylvania takes on average 15 business days or 3 weeks to process a Real ID. To be safe, it’s recommended you apply for your Real ID as soon as possible to avoid congestion closer to the October 1 deadline. The interim or temporary state-issued driver’s licenses are not currently an acceptable form of ID, so it’s best to start the process sooner than later.

How does Real ID affect children?
TSA does not require children under the age of 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact your airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18. The companion adult will be required to have the proper identification.

To learn more about the Real ID, visit DHS.gov/real-id or TSA.gov/real-id or speak with one of our Travel Specialists.

Encore! For The Norwegian Encore

The following post is written by Amanda from the Boscov’s Travel Marketing Department. Amanda recently experienced the inaugural “docked cruise” of the brand new Norwegian Encore. The newest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, she can accommodate 4,000 guests.

For my first time on a ship, this beauty surely did not disappoint! I am not by any means a “cruiser”. In fact, I have never been on a ship in my life. After this inaugural though, I cannot wait to plan a cruise next year for myself! I think I really have been missing out on this on my entire life…

A few of my fellow Travel Specialists are avid cruises and made the experience smooth sailing for me, giving me great tips and tricks… Thanks Boscov’s Travel! Our Travel Specialists really know their stuff. With all the laughs and tears (from laughing so hard) we had while knowing that this was our mini-vacation, I know anyone will be able to go on this beautiful ship and make great memories – just like I did!

Some of Boscov’s Travel Specialists enjoying the ship!
Some of Boscov’s Travel Specialists enjoying the ship!

A little more about the ship… from the classy atrium to the bake shop, to the race track all the way to the mojito bar, this ship had something to offer for everyone. In addition to touring the ship and experiencing the entertainment, we had a chance to hear from Norwegian’s CEO. He shared his plans for the future and how the company is focused on the environment and issues surrounding cruising! HOW COOL!

One special perk of being invited to the inaugural is the ability to tour the entire ship to better inform each and every client. We were lucky enough to be able to tour The Haven which is their luxurious accommodations, and let me tell you they really are! With their own entrance onto the ship, their own private pool, and their own concierge, The Haven is most definitely worth the extra cost.

The Haven private pool

We were also able to experience the cuisine. The Encore has so many dining options so there is something for everyone! I am a very picky eater and I did not go hungry. The restaurants on this ship were absolutely amazing! I was fortunate enough to be able to experience various complimentary restaurants and one specialty dining restaurant. My favorite – the complimentary Manhattan Room (available on several Norwegian ships) – featured my favorite meal onboard, surf and turf. I must say, it might have been one of the best steaks I have ever had.

We also dined at additional specialty restaurants including Los Lobos,  contemporary Mexican restaurant with a modern twist. Everything our table ordered was spectacular and the views were even better. We sat adjacent to the floor to ceiling glass paneled windows and were treated to spectacular views. Paired with a delicious dinner and table-side guacamole, it is safe to say that this is a great specialty dining choice.

Food on the Norwegian Ecnore
Specialty dining, Los Cabos Salad!
Caesar Salad from complimentary dining restaurant, The Manhattan Room
Surf and Turf from complimentary dining restaurant, The Manhattan Room

I know I keep saying this, but this ship has so much to offer! Shows, the casino, comedy clubs, dance clubs, trivia, the spa, virtual games, an arcade, casino, laser tag and go cart racing you will never go bored on this ship. I was able to experience a variety of entertainment on board. First stop, the shows. Choir of Man and Kinky Boots are performed nightly in the theater and WOW let me tell you, everyone raved about these shows, especially Choir of Man. In fact, it’s the highest rated entertainment on all of Norwegian’s ships! And it’s all included – these guys perform at venues around the globe and tickets are in excess of $140/each (and worth it). Luckily, it will be complimentary for you onboard… just be sure to reserve your seats as soon as you can.

I was able to experience the Galaxy Pavillion – the virtual game room onboard –  which was nothing less than amazing! In one scenario you lay down and it feels like you are soaring through the most scenic places. I also tried a game called descendants which sadly I think I might have had the worst record on the ship but man was that game fun! Shout out to our Travel Specialist Tammy from Camp Hill who rocked it, as the worker reminded me (haha).

One thing I never got up to see due to the weather was the Encore Speedway. My colleagues who had a chance to ride it and said it was epic! This speedway hangs 13 feet over the side of the ship. Then once you’re done racing you can head next door to the laser tag on the same deck! How cool that you can have these experiences on a cruise.

My two favorite parts of the ship? The Waterfront and the Observatory Lounge for their views. Let me tell you these pictures do not do it justice. Floor to ceiling windows in the lounge, you will never have a bad view from wherever you sit. Hang by the comfy chairs and enjoy the scenery because that lounge is spectacular. When you’re done there head outside to the Waterfront for the most comfy chairs and views. They also have built in heaters in the ceiling for when it gets chilly. On a chilly Tuesday afternoon in New York, I felt warm with the help of the heaters.

This ship has so much to offer – I could go on for days, but I won’t. You should just go experience it yourself so you truly understand. I promise you, it will not disappoint. Scroll down for more photos from the ship!

 

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 

Holiday Travel: Where to go for the Holiday Season

The following post is written by Amanda from the Boscov’s Travel marketing department.
Before you know it, the holidays will be here (I know some of my colleagues have started decorating for Christmas already!). If you are like me and like to plan ahead to avoid the rush, stress and are not quite your house can fit one.more.toy., consider giving the gift of travel. Besides, statistics show 53.1% of people report receiving unwanted gifts during Christmas. Give your family, friend or loved one a dream vacation, tour, cruise because we can guarantee that gift will not end up in the trash (like the 4% that are immediately thrown there!). Below are tips and recommendations on where to go on 1) an extended vacation 2) a weekend getaway as well as 3) day trips to experience this holiday season.
Extended vacation

WALT DISNEY WORLD
Most people typically associate the most magical place on earth with summer vacations, but visiting the magic during the holiday season can be the best time to go. The Christmas lights, decorations, shows, weather, WAIT times… yes you heard me right – there are typically less crowds! Just travel before December 23rd as this starts the peak week for Disney crowds and lasts until New Years. My family typically travels to Disney the second week of December and it’s about 70-75 degrees during the day and high 60’s in the evening. It’s so perfect considering Pennsylvania is about 30 degrees at that time.
Let us help you plan your Disney holiday. We still have 2019 packages available through our exclusive non-stop flights from select local airports. Call or visit your local Boscov’s Travel to plan your magical vacation!

CRUISING
If you’ve ever been on a cruise during a holiday, you know the staff goes all out! Whether it be Halloween or Christmas, on cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line or Disney Cruise Line, you’ll be charmed by the activities and creativity of the crew. Plus you can even take cruises into the New Year… talk about the ultimate party at sea. Bonus perk: no time spent laboring over the holiday meal.





Weekend getaway
HERSHEY, PA
Yes, this sounds bizarre but this recommendation is for the people who want that theme park experience, but might be on a budget, have time constraints or you’re looking for something a little closer to home. Hershey is a great destination for winter activities. No, you won’t get that warm weather, but you will get great park deals as well as fewer crowds. Hershey Park remains open during this time with select rides available to ride and entrance is historically anywhere from $20-23. Santa visits and brings his reindeer in for the season for you to visit and feed. How cool is that? Hershey is also known for their Christmas light displays where you experience the dancing lights in the comfort of your warm car. Turn on their radio station and travel through Hershey’s very own Candy Cane Lane! It’s super cute for the young ones and well worth it.
NEW YORK CITY, NY
What a place to visit during the holidays! The city is just gorgeous once the holiday hits the town. The Rockettes, Christmas Village, The Nutcracker, Christmas markets, Rockefeller Center, and beyond… New York really shows up for the holiday. You know when you see movies of people ice skating in NYC? You can do that too! Just visit Bryant Park Winter Village. This 17,000 square foot ice skating rink features lots of activities nearby with vendors and businesses in the area. Be sure to check out Santaland at Macy’s, the New York tradition since 1902.
Day Trips
PEDDLER’S VILLAGE IN DOYLESTOWN, PA
Peddler’s Village is a cute town-like setting with quaint shops and fine dining. They feature grand illumination lighting with one million lights and an annual Gingerbread House competition and display. This place feels like a fairytale when you visit it at Christmas time. With over 60 specialty shops, from bakeries, restaurants, clothing, jewelry stores, unique food stores, this is a day trip I would tell everyone to visit at least once.
PHILADELPHIA, PA
Ohh Philadelphia. Macy parade? Check! City Hall festivities, ice skating, Philly’s own nutcracker, and Love Park village make this a Christmas-y day trip. Holiday pop-ups during the holidays are a draw for the City of Brotherly Love. If you decide to spend a weekend, I would head over to the Macy’s Christmas Light show on the first night. Every two hours there is a free performance and it is AMAZING! Macy’s has the whole second floor transformed into a village so you can relax and enjoy (and stay warm). Once you hit the city for a day two make sure to head over to City Hall. This is where the Deck the Hall Light show plays and you can skate on the ice rink. Then head over to Philadelphia Christmas Village in Love Park. With 80 wooden booths of merchants of all different varieties, there is something for everyone in this village. End your night over at the Comcast Center where you will see a super high-res LED holiday show.
Ready to start planning? Contact your Boscov’s Travel Specialist to get away for the holidays.
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