TO LISTEN TO CURRENT OR PAST SHOWS, CHECK OUT THE LET'S TALK TRAVEL PODCAST PAGE! CLICK HERE
Check out Sandy's ongoing Patriot-News special travel features. Go to www.PennLive.com/travel - look for "Fenton's Favorites."
ALL SHOWS ARE SATURDAY 3PM-4PM
SATURDAY, MAY 25TH, 3PM-4PM - "The All-Inclusive Regent Seven Seas Cruise Experience" Having recently returned from extensive Bahamas/Caribbean cruises, travel events and site inspections - I learned that the best value for upcoming summer and fall vacations may be the excellent discounts, particularly in the luxury travel brands. One of the best is the all-inclusive luxury cruise market and one of my favorites, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, continues to offer exceptional values on many worldwide sailings. Regent Seven Seas is an award-winning , all-suite , all-inclusive cruise line with three luxurious mid-sized ships (Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator), carrying 490 or 700 pampered guests, to some of the most glamorous and off-the-beaten-path places on the planet. Some of Regent's all-inclusive experiences include roundtrip air, unlimited shore excursions, pre-paid gratuities, specialty restaurants, unlimited beverages plus open bars, lounges and in-suite mini-bar replenished daily…and so much more. Kate Otto, Regent Seven Seas sales director, will be my in-studio guest next Saturday at 3 p.m. on "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" on WHP-AM580. Before you settle for the "same old - same old" vacation, be sure to tune in and learn why a Regent Seven Seas cruise may be a perfect fit for you.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1ST, 3PM-4PM - "HOW TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING" Not much is worse than you or a family member getting sick while on vacation. What do you do - especially if you are in a foreign country or an exotic destination and the nearest medical facility is hours away? Can you prepare in advance? You bet you can. Since the early days of "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" one of the most popular shows continue to be the "How to Stay Healthy While Traveling" interview segments with Dr. John Goldman, medical director for Pinnacle Health Infectious Diseases and Travel Clinic. And to add some "reality show drama" - I was recently diagnosed with lyme disease (via a blood test) and had been referred to Dr. Goldman, who just so happens to be my in-studio guest at 3p.m. next Saturday on "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" on WHP-AM580. Lyme disease, especially during summer vacation months, is one of the most frequent travel medicine inquiries we receive. At this point in time Dr. Goldman has recommended I continue my antibiotic treatment and wants additional testing for other causes. In addition to a feature on lyme disease, Dr. Goldman will answer many listener questions - including what to pack in a traveler's first aid kit ; new virus threats ; food poisoning ; heat stroke and immunizations needed for exotic destinations. Prevention is key. When traveling, always wash your hands thoroughly and frequently to prevent the spread of illness. And remember, if your travels take you to a Third Word country : If you can't cook it, boil it or peel it , then forget it.
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TO LISTEN TO FUTURE SHOWS, CHECK OUT THE LET'S TALK TRAVEL PODCAST PAGE! CLICK HERE
It's official, Americans choose travel as the ultimate life goal. According to a recent (Oct.-Nov.2011) Wakefield Research poll, if Americans could only accomplish one goal in their lifetime, 72% would choose a travel goal.
And why not?
Studies have shown that despite the economic turndown, Americans are still unwilling to totally give up their vacations. We want to give (and receive) lifelong cherished memories and exciting new experiences with the people who matter most to us.
Many families are searching for ways to buy holiday gifts that won't sit around and collect dust.
And no mater what our income level is, we all want a good value for our hard earned travel dollar.
Unfortunately, we are being bombarded with 24/7 vacation sales , travel bargains and last minute deals - it's overwhelming and mind boggling for all of us, including myself.
So, I decided to put together a few of my favorite gift of travel ideas for this season and having personally experienced each of them, I am very comfortable recommending the following properties to you.
*For busy couples needing a break (close to home) -
How about the gift of total relaxation with a luxurious spa getaway, a romance package or the popular "Chocolate Covered February" offerings at the beautiful and historic Hotel Hershey. The kick-off weekend begins with the very fun Chocolate-Covered dinner on February 3rd. (splurge on the cottages) www.hotelhershey.com. Or how about a "Two Nights Stay Dinner" package at Lancaster County's Inn at Leola Village, complete with breakfast and dinner at the on-site Osteria Avanti restaurant with wine. www.theinnatleolavillage.com.
And if you can't get away for an overnight, we're fortunate to have the Hilton's Golden Sheaf and Bricco in our own backyard for upscale dining. (although discounted overnight packages are available at the Hilton Harrisburg) www.hiltonharrisburgdining.com.
*For crazed wives, stressed moms and girlfriends wanting to rewind -
The highly acclaimed and elegant Bedford Springs resort presents several popular packages including the "Eternal Indulgence Spa" ; "Thanks a Latte" and "Retreat & Relax". Bedford Springs is being recognized as one of the best resorts in the country (love the 1796 dining room and casual Frontier Tavern) and is less than a 2-hour drive from Harrisburg. www.bedfordspringsresort.com.
If it's wellness and over-the-top spa treatments that you want (and your body is craving), the stunning Lodge at Woodloch (considered one of the top 10 spa destinations in the US) offers a "Girlfriends Reconnect" package with three gourmet meals per day, spa allowance, wellness lectures and cooking demonstrations. www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com
*For everyone -
New York City and Washington, DC are drive-to or Amtrak destinations with terrific winter packages for all ages. Typically, these two fabulous cities offer the best bang-for-the-buck on the weekends, are fantastic walking cities and popular for celebrity and VIP sightings.
NYC - The recently renovated Omni Berkshire on Madison Avenue is promoting their "Winter Wonderland" package with s'mores and hot chocolate in the cozy Fireside Restaurant, two tickets to Top of The Rock plus a late check out. www.omniberkshire.com. Another newly renovated NYC hotel is the gigantic Grand Hyatt (next to Grand Central Station) presenting a simple and affordable (as much as NYC can be affordable) "Bed & Breakfast" package and for the little girl in your life that is crazy about "American Girl" dolls, book the popular "American Girl" package including milk & cookies and "American Girl" gift card and amenities. www.hyattnewyork.com.
Wash,DC - The iconic Willard Hotel, two blocks from the White House and National Mall, is as grand as it gets. "Winter Weekend" packages offer daily valet parking and breakfast. If price is not an issue and you still haven't decided on New Years Eve, check out the Willard's New Years Eve getaway with champagne, valet parking and breakfast. Free live music programs in the infamous Willard lobby, 5:30pm-7:30pm, now thru Dec. 23. (Be sure to relax with your favorite cocktail in the clubby Round Robin bar.) www.intercontinental.com.
The luxurious Fairmont Hotel, located in DC's fashionable West End and adjacent to Georgetown, presents a "Holiday Lights and Breakfast Delights" package including cookies and hot chocolate plus daily breakfast. (ask about upgrading to Gold level and if you can afford it, go for it) www.fairmont.com
There are several affordable winter Pocono Mountains ski and sports getaways (www.800poconos.com) and a Fenton family favorite for 22-years is the all-inclusive Skytop Lodge (www.skytop.com) complete with dog-sledding and the new Treetop Adventure Course. Ask about the winter getaways and mid-week special rates.
Of course we can't forget the "Happiest Place on Earth". Yes, that's really how Disney wants to be known. Not sure if I totally agree, but if planned the right way, with a Disney expert, you'll definitely be happier than someone who doesn't have a plan. I think the middle to end of January is a good time to visit Disney. Better pricing, fewer crowds and no lines. AirTran flies from HIA (my favorite airport in the world) two times a day with nonstop flights to Orlando, FL. www.flyhia.com January is also "Disney Month" at AAA, and I recommend planning your Disney vacation with an official AAA Disney expert for the best value. www.aaa.com
All lines are on sale and offering outstanding 2012 promotions and values. If you're ready to "bump it up", your overall best value is on an all-inclusive, ultra luxury cruise ship. Regent Seven Seas , Silversea and Seabourn are currently running some of the best offers I've even seen. If it's a once-in-a-lifetime luxury cruise experience you want, lock it in now. If you wait, you lose.
The premium lines of Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess are also on sale as are the contemporary non-stop action mega ships of Royal Caribbean and NCL. And my new favorite, European River cruising, has specials throughout 2012, check out Viking River Cruises and Uniworld.
I consider cruising the best vacation value and the easiest way for every family member to relax, enjoy and do what they want - when they want. As always, be sure to talk to a trusted travel agent and cruise expert before booking your trip. Ask about all discounts and special promotions and get onboard the right ship at the right price for you and your family.
For excellent stocking stuffers and travel related gifts and gadgets I particularly like Magellans.com and TravelSmith.com. Also, my very favorite guide books are DK Eyewitness Guides and love the "1000 Places to See before You Die" 2012 calendars and book.
Don't wait another year to give your family the best holiday gift ever - the gift of travel.