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5 Reasons Why Group Travel is the Way to Go!

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Here are the 5 Reasons Why Group Travel is the Way to Go!

When you hear the words “group travel”  do you automatically think back to your school camp days? Is your initial response, “no thank you”?

Well, it’s time to change that mindset because organized trips are one of the best ways to travel! First things first, let’s deal with the most obvious question – what do we mean by group travel?

When we talk about group travel, we are referring to inclusive tour packages that have been compiled for savvy travelers who like to take advantage of trips that are prearranged, prepaid and include everything from a knowledgeable guide and transportation to accommodation, certain meals and admission fees to attractions along the way.

big group

 

What are the advantages of group travel?

Here are some of the biggest benefits of group trips:

All of the details are sorted out for you!

Whether you are traveling alone, or simply prefer the convenience of not having to spend a lot of time online deciding where to stay and which route to take, group travel tours can be a complete lifesaver.

There will be free time to do your own thing

Just because you’re setting off on an adventure with a group of other people, it doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip 24/7. Your itinerary more than likely include free time for you to explore on your own. Also, once you’re on your vacation and you decide you don’t want to participate in an activity on your itinerary, you can opt out.  Just keep in mind that what’s on your itinerary is what you’ve paid for and no refunds will be offered.

Luggage cart

There is safety in numbers

Traveling alone can be a little daunting. There are many people who are enticed by economical last-minute solo vacations, but don’t really feel safe going on vacation alone – especially abroad.  In a group setting, you are of course traveling with other likeminded individuals.

It’s so much more affordable!

Group travel companies have a lot of clout with accommodation and activity providers because they bring plenty of people their way. As such, they are able to negotiate great discount rates that you’d never be able to get by yourself. The same goes for restaurants, tourist attractions and more.

It’s a great way to meet people

So, while the notion of getting on a coach with a group of strangers to go on an adventure can seem a little strange, it’s actually a great way to meet new people you would not necessarily encounter throughout the course of your everyday life.  Keep in mind that you all have one beautiful thing in common…..you want to travel!

And who knows? The greatest benefit is that you might just go home with a bunch of new buddies from all over the world!

Global people
group travel around the world

If you are interested in group travel, Passport and Wine Bottles LLC specializes in just that!  We host group trips as well as help you plan a group vacation for your family, friends or associates.  Contact us today to discuss your options.

Have you participated in group travel?  Where did you go?  Let me know in the comments.

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To Rack or Not To Rack….Your Wine

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*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that are at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full disclaimer here 

So you’ve purchased a whole case of wine!  Now what?  How are you supposed to store this wine?  Keep it in the box? Shove the bottles in a kitchen cabinet? Put it in the fridge?? Well what about a wine rack?

For wine to mature properly, we know you need to have the right humidity, temperature, light condition, and movement.  Whenever you are storing wine for any length of time, you’ll need to ensure that the wine is in a safe place.  Even though there are a few ways that you can store wine, none are safer or smarter than using a wine rack.

When you choose your wine rack, always remember to choose one that will store your wine appropriately.  There are a several styles to choose from, including those that stack, wall mounts, and side mounts.  Pay attention to size as well, as the sizes range from storing a few bottles to storing hundreds.  There are a lot of varieties and designs to select from, all of which depend on your needs, your space and your personal style.

Among the best types of wine racks are the horizontal racks.  Contrary to what many may think, vertical racks aren’t a good choice for storing your wine.  Wine that is stored on vertical racks are stored vertically or standing straight up, which means that the cork will dry out and eventually start to shrink, bringing air into the wine and ruining it.  On the other hand, vertical racks can come in handy when storing wine for short periods of time, or wine that is best consumed immediately.

Tilted Wine Rack
Tilted Wine Rack

Tilted racks are another type of rack you should avoid using, as they can dry out the corks or deposit the sediments too close to the cork.  For your wine storing needs, you should always go with a horizontal rack.  Horizontal racks will keep the cork moist and keep unwanted air from making contact with the wine.  The sediment will fall towards the side of the bottle, preventing spillage when you pop the cork.  Horizontal racks are also very affordable, and you can always add more racks to the design with little to no problem.

 

The materials for wine racks are normally wood or metal.  You can hang them from ceilings, mount them on the wall, or simply place them on the floor.  Metal racks are the strongest, although wood is more flexible.  Wooden racks provide a bit more storage, for the simple fact that you can always add to them.  Wood racks are also visually appealing, durable, and provide plenty of strength.

Here are a few wine racks that look good and will properly provide storage for your wine bottles:

Stackable Wine Rack

Wooden Wine Rack

Wall Mounted Wine Rack

Horizontal Wine Rack

All in all, a wine rack is a fine investment for anyone who appreciates wine.  There are various sizes to choose from, all of which can be very affordable.  The small to medium sizes work best for homes, while the large styles are best for commercial settings.  No matter where you keep your wine – you can count on a wine rack to keep your wine stored for years (or days) to come.  How are you storing your wine stash now?

 

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5 Reasons You Need A Layover On An International Flight

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I know people are hesitant to book flights with long layovers during their travels but sometimes it’s necessary.  My trip to Bali needed a long layover.  It takes over 20 hours to reach Bali from the east coast of the US.  No one should stay on a plane that long.  Here are 5 reasons layovers are needed.

#1 Stretch and Move

You shouldn’t sit for that long.  Airlines already have limited legroom on many flights unless you snag a business or first-class seat.  That isn’t  a possibility for most of us, so we get up intermittently and stretch our legs.  Although that’s better than sitting for extended periods of time, the space is still limited.  If you love a window seat or get stuck in a middle seat  you are less likely to get up and stretch or walk around as often as the aisle sitter.  On a layover, you get the chance to get off the plane stretch and walk around.  The body needs movement and blood flow.  Prolonged sitting will wreak havoc on the human body.

#2 Decompression

The airplane is a compression chamber.  Flying at various high altitudes makes your ears pop and can make your sinus cavity feel congested.  Everything in your body is compressed.  The ear popping alone can cause pain in your ears especially if you’ve recently been sick.  Getting off the plane for a couple of hours gives your body a chance to rest from the pressurized cabin.

#3 Good Food

There are no gourmet chefs aboard flight that I am aware of so the airplane food from a warmer is all that you get.  Having the chance to deplane for a few hours gives you a chance to at least have a fresher meal than airplane cuisine.  And depending on the airport, you may find a very nice gourmet meal at a restaurant.

 

#4 Bathroom Break

Many people have public restroom anxiety and the restroom on a plane can be a source of that anxiety.  It’s a very confined space and typically there’s a line to get into the few lavatories on a plane. Although airport restrooms are still public spaces, there is a little more comfort there than on a plane and there are more restrooms in airports.  There still may be a line but comfort and spaciousness will likely outweigh the fact that you must wait in a line.

#5 Lounge access

Depending on the length of your layover you may benefit from lounge access in the airport.  Some lounges have showers and sleep spaces where you can freshen up and stretch out for a nap.  It’s also a good place to grab something to eat and drink.  Not to mention it’s also a place where you can quickly charge your electronics and jump on the Wi-Fi for some connectivity to the rest of the world.  Lounges are perks that have a fee associated with them or come along with high mileage travelers’ benefits.

We always want to just get to our destinations quickly but sometimes the body and mind need a mini break along the journey to the destination.  Don’t frown up at your flight connections.  Take full advantage and get a quick self-renewal and break from being in the air with a nice layover.

What is your favorite airport to layover during your travels?  Are you intentional with planning layovers?  Comment below.

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5 Things Bali Does Differently Than The USA

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*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that are at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full disclaimer here 

My trip to Bali was super amazing.  It was a place that I’d been yearning to visit for years.  Even after seeing all the Instagram pictures of people visiting Bali and taking the staple photos (you know, the swing with the colorful flowing dresses, and the waterfall cascading pics??) I still wanted to experience it and find my own special take on Bali.

yoga centre ubud
welcome ceremony in yoga centre in ubud

When I travel, I’m always open minded and I always expect things to be done a little differently than I’m accustomed to.  That’s what it feels like out of the comfort zone.  It’s cool to see and know other ways things are done.

In Bali, there were 5 things that I noticed were common practice or very different from what takes place in America.

#1 No plastic straws!  Now I know there are subsets of people and organizations in America that are anti-plastic, but it’s a long way from becoming the universal norm.  But in Bali, it’s the norm!  Your fresh coconut will come with a nice long paper straw or even a bamboo straw. The paper straws I had didn’t last long because they can only tolerate so much liquid over a period of time before becoming soft and unraveling but it was no issue to get another.   Wait staff probably wondered why it was taking so long for me to drink my drink and letting the paper straw die.  The bamboo straws were very cool too.  They came in various lengths and widths.  The wider the straws took some getting used to because they were much wider than a typical straw.  I know one of these days non-plastic straws will become the norm for us in the US.  I decided to do my part.  I purchased a couple of reusable stainless-steel straws from and organic store in Semiyak Bali.  They are very similar to these straws on Amazon.

#2 Are there any allergies?  Ok, now this one really blew me away!!  During my pre trip preparation and research I knew that a lot of Balinese restaurants were considerate of customers’ allergies.  Not a lot of restaurants in the US make it a point to inquire about allergies or food preferences.  Usually it’s the customers’ responsibility to ask or inform the wait staff of our allergies but every single restaurant we ate at in Bali we were asked individually after we place our orders or collectively as the wait staff reread our order back to us.  And if we were ordering from the vegan or vegetarian section the wait staff confirmed if it was our preferred diet.

#3 Have some fruit.  Now I don’t know if I can truly compare this phenomenon to what is done in the US because I’ve not put myself in a situation to experience it.  Our tour guides and drivers brought us fruit of the land.  I can understand having cold water along our tourists’ adventures but we were given a couple bags of mangosteen and rambutan and oranges.  It was a welcome gift I believe.  A way to share their native foods with us Americans. Although the mangosteen is a pretty ugly looking fruit the sweet goodness inside will have you eating a whole bag of them.  Such a sweet delight.  And of course, there’s the healing properties of mangosteen.  The list of benefits is quite long.  And the rambutan as they call it, reminded me of lychee.  They aren’t the same but definitely fruit cousins.  I’m not an orange fan so I didn’t try the Balinese oranges.  The mangosteen was the perfect greeting and welcome to Bali treat.

#4 Stop and smell the incense.  Everyday everywhere you will smell incenses in Bali.  It’s part of their daily offering and a part of ceremonial rituals.  In America incense are commonly just used as air fresheners.  I’m not saying that’s the only use but not many Americas are lighting incense daily to offer up thanks or acknowledgement. We simply like how they smell.  Every door or entrance in Bali had an offering which always, it seemed, to have an incense burning.  The various scents all combined make the whole country just smell calm and relaxed – if there’s a smell for that!  I love incenses  and have burned them for a sense of renewal and cleansing.  I was happy to purchase some while in Bali.  I also have some incenses that don’t even need to be burned to give off their relaxing calm scent.

#5 Do you have Wi-Fi?  Ok, so this one isn’t exclusive to Bali, but it is worth mentioning.  In the USA, have you ever tried to use an establishment’s Wi-Fi? The one requiring a password?  Well in my experience either the person I ask doesn’t know the password or there isn’t Wi-Fi for “the public”.  I’ve noticed in many other countries – definitely Europe but also in Indonesia- Bali specifically- it’s advertised that there’s Wi-Fi available.  To walk into a place and have the password given to you with no hesitation or even have the staff put the code in your phone for you was the ultimate in customer service and convenience.  I know we don’t always need to be connected and we should live in the true moment but what if you want to live in the moment with your IG or FB followers via a live broadcast?  Thanks for the access to the Wi-Fi!

Bali was a breath of fresh air and fresh perspective.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience something new and step outside of my comfort zone.

Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot Bali
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