Sending thoughts and prayers to the people in the beautiful Bahama Islands, and all those in the path of Hurricane Dorian along the eastern US coast.
I do hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! But like many others, I have also been keeping tabs on the storm path of Hurricane Dorian and thinking of all those affected. Knowing so many people that live in Florida, as well as colleagues in the Bahamas, it's sad to see so much devastation brought on by such a vicious storm.

Even though we did not have any clients or travelers in the storm path, we have many Travel Advisor colleagues that were assisting their own clients over the weekend to either rebook or reroute their vacation plans due to the storm.

So, this brings up our feature article topic for this week - Travel Protection!

Did you know that 'hurricane season' lasts from April until November.....

But historically speaking, the worst storms typically occur from late August through mid-October.  Some of the most destructive storms that have hit the Caribbean and the US in the last 20 years, including Ivan, Katrina, Ike, Irma, Matthew, Maria, and now Dorian, have occurred in late August and September.

So what does that mean? You never know what could come up that may interrupt your travel plans. So the best way to protect your travel investment is by purchasing a Travel Protection (insurance) plan.

Although the majority of our clients do opt for some form of travel insurance, I have had a few opt out of purchasing a plan because they think everything will be fine and there's no need to add that extra expense. And many times they are fine and all goes well. We thankfully have not had to process too many travel insurance claims which is great. But just like car or medical insurance, it's a safeguard in the event that something does go awry and you need assistance. And if you are traveling, or about to travel, and have an issue that comes up, that is where a Travel Protection plan can help you.

Most travel protection plans do include several benefits including protection for lost or damaged baggage, flight delays or cancellations, emergency medical coverage for something major (broken ankle and needing to fly home from Rome) or relatively minor (like when I needed to get stitches because I was injured in a volleyball game while in Jamaica). Travel Protection can also cover you for illness  or injury of covered travelers or immediate family not traveling, car accident on the way to the airport, job loss, and if you have a 'Cancel for any reason' plan, you are  covered for any reason, including bad weather.

I know it can definitely be a little confusing sometimes when thinking of the different options. Some people even think that they have travel insurance included with certain credit cards. That may be true to a point, but it's very important to double-check and make sure exactly what that coverage includes. Many times it's very limited, and typically will not include coverage for any travel outside of the United States.

Because we feel so strongly about having travel protection for your vacation, we do include a quote for coverage in all of the travel and vacations that we book. We can always remove it if you opt to not purchase the coverage. But more often than not, most of our clients do realize that it is a good investment. You are protecting your vacation dollars in the event something happens before or during your trip, and it's typically a small investment for that peace of mind. And if you travel frequently, we can even offer a yearly plan if that works out better.

We use excellent and vetted providers that offer the best coverage for any issue that could arise. If you have any questions about travel protection, please feel free to reach out and ask!

Do you have a story where having travel protection really benefited you, or maybe a scenario where having travel protection would have helped? Feel free to write back and let me know! 

Top Five Unique Experiences to do in Lima, Peru

If you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, you will most likely fly into the country’s largest city, and also the capital city, Lima, Peru. With its bustling city life, rich culture and eye-catching architecture, there’s so much to see and do that it could take several vacations to the land just to truly encounter it all. The entertainment found within the city’s borders surely is a treat to all tourists. 

Since there’s no shortage of things to do in Lima, we’ve narrowed it down to our Top Five Unique Experiences that all tourists should try during their visit to Peru.

1. Street Food Carts
Like so many other cities around the world, one of the Lima’s most sought-after features is its abundance of street food vendors. The inexpensive street food options are endless and an absolute delight to the palette. The street carts found in Lima are primarily owned by famous chefs and hold a high standard on the quality of the food they decide to offer.

2. Primitive Architecture
Large colonial structures with meticulously detailed features are all over the City of Lima. The vibrant golds and rich colors are certain to catch your attention as you walk through the streets and head downtown.

3. Try Pisco
Native to Peru, Pisco is a light brandy that is created by the winemakers of the nation. The foamy sour drink infused with bitters is one of the most favored by connoisseurs from all over the world. If Pisco is a little too bitter for your palette have it mixed with ginger ale, splashes of lime juice and topped with a cherry. This tasty alternative is called the Chilcano.

4. Explore Boho Barranco
As the country’s trendiest and most artistic region, Boho Barranco attracts many sightseers. Sitting atop a ravine, the views from the district seem to go on forever as you wind through the streets to find all the sweet little art galleries, museums and boutiques buy souvenirs from. Many of the galleries showcase the making of their art forms and let their guests reach into their own artistic side by getting hands on.

5. Cruise Along the Coastline
Along the coastline, you will find an assortment of entertaining activities as you cruise alongside the water’s edge taking in all of its beauty. Enjoy ongoing views from a cliff’s edge at El Malecon de Miraflores, take pictures with your loved one at the sculpture of two lovers, or head to the beach for some fun in the Pacific Ocean.

Many times travelers only plan to spend a night or two in Lima as they are anxious and excited to get going on their adventures beyond the city. However, I think it is a good idea if you are able to spend a few nights in Lima. This allows you to not only adjust to any jet lag or exhaustion from traveling, but you will have a more enriching experience overall by immersing yourself fully in all that Lima has to offer.

Is Peru, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley on your bucket list? Or what about an add-on adventure to an eco-friendly lodge in the jungle near the Amazon in Peru? If an off-the-beaten path, out of the guidebook type of vacation interests you, I would love to help you with planning your next travel experience! Please reach out to or and we can schedule your complimentary planning call.

What makes the 'Perfect' Hotel stay?

Travel Weekly recently surveyed travelers (a combination of business and leisure) to see which hotel amenities are the most important to them when choosing a property. I agree with most of these, but think that in-room coffee/tea service should be ranked right up there near the top. Nothing irritates me more than checking into a hotel room and finding NO coffee maker….what is up with that??? Anyway, see if your own personal “needs” are met with these hotel amenities: 
1. Complimentary Breakfast – I guess everyone enjoys being able to grab a quick breakfast in the lobby and enjoy it with 50 of your new best friends (many of whom are still in their PJs). I tend to agree, especially when the coffee is hot and fresh and they have the required waffle maker! In most of Europe, breakfast is included in the room rate, and can range from basic rolls & coffee to a huge spread. 
2. Good Shower Pressure – Yep…high on my list too. I have very weak shower pressure at home and always look forward to having it better when I travel. It can be a real treat! 
3. Internet/Free Wifi – It always blows me away that so many US hotels charge upwards of $12.95 per day for WiFi access! All over Europe, even the smallest mom & pop hotels (some of my favorites!) include free WiFi. I think this is worth a revolution…who’s with me?
4. Plenty of free parking – OK, I get it that some City-Center hotels simply don’t have the space for parking and need to charge…And I am certainly willing to tip a valet well for good service…but it sure is nice to have the option to self-park your car for a reasonable fee, if not complimentary.

5. 24-hour Front Desk services – You never know what you might need, so it's nice to have someone available 24/7….I’m usually safely stashed in my room before too late, but I can see how it could be annoying for a tired business traveler to pull into a hotel after a long drive and have no one there to check them in.

6. Non-Smoking facility – I know most hotels and restaurants these days are non-smoking, and I do love having a totally non-smoking hotel at my disposal. Hawaii has a law forbidding smoking inside any hotels (with a few resorts that grandfathered in some smoking areas to cater to Asian tourists) and if it is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!
7. Swimming Pool – And a major *Bonus* if there is a hot tub as well! I don't always use the pool, but it's so nice if there is one in the hotel (or outside). Especially with kids, it's a great way for the kids to completely get out any last pent-up energy if they were in the car all day, and then everyone sleeps better that night!
8. Bar with Happy Hour – UH, YEAH! I love to get my glass of wine in the evening…. And if there's a Manager's Happy Hour, that is a nice perk. Hotels with a Club Level are great for this too, as they usually have snacks throughout the day, and special drinks and services in the evening.
9. Air Conditioning with in-room thermostats – Absolutely! I like to sleep in a cool room with lots of blankets. Adjusting the thermostat should be a God-given right in any hotel room.
10. Coffee and Tea setup in Lobby – Sure, that’s nice, but it is even more important to have the in-room coffee pots as I stated already. I’ve noticed that more and more resorts are forgoing their coffee service and putting a Starbucks in the lobby so you can have the privilege of paying for your morning caffeine – and having to get dressed before you can enjoy your first cup. No thank you! 
Did I leave out any of YOUR favorite hotel amenities? What makes you crazy if you find it missing from your room? We’d love to know, so please hit REPLY and give us your feedback or send us an email! 

Where in the World Wednesday - Italy in Antigua?

Our group at scenic overlook during jeep tour.
I recently visited the island of Antigua on a Travel Agent FAM trip, and was able to visit a number of beautiful resorts and boutique properties. It was a wonderful work trip sponsored by the Antigua Tourism Authority, and I could definitely go on and on about how beautiful the island is, with a relaxed vibe and friendly people. We had 3 full days of hotel visits and site inspections, and still didn't get to see all the amazing resorts and styles of accommodations! We even did an island jeep tour, visited one of the amazing 365 beaches, and enjoyed an evening sunset BBQ. It was exhausting but SO. MUCH. FUN! (I love my job!)

So I'd like to tell you about a property that really stood out to me, and I absolutely loved! It got me to thinking about how popular Italy is as a bucket list destination for many of my clients. But I bet you didn't know you can also get the feel of Sardinia or the Amalfi Coast just 4 short hours away from Atlanta, at the beautiful Ocean Point Resort and Spa in Antigua.

Upon first walking in to the quaint and adorable reception lounge area, I had a true sense of being in Italy. There is a complete Mediterranean feel to everything about the property, beautifully decorated yet very relaxed and comfortable.

Just a side note: The resort is even owned by an Italian couple, and it was so fun during our tour listening to the romantic Italian accent of our handsome tourguide ;-) What can I say?! :o

The hotel has been refurbished and fully redone to resemble a true Mediterranean ocean front villa. So quaint and cute! And the views at the property are incredible. This resort sits at the north point of the island of Antigua, and only a short 7 minute transfer to/ from the airport, so it's in an excellent location. It's also right on the beach, whereas some other properties in Antigua are on the mountain so you must take a short transfer if you want to go to the beach. But not at Ocean Point Resort where you can sink your toes in the sand and swim in the calm relaxing ocean waters right off the property.

Another aspect I really loved about this property, and is very important to many clients, is the FOOD! Although we didn't actually eat a full meal there, we were treated to some amazing traditional Italian bites and snacks from the master chef at the property. Seriously, what a treat!! The chef is from Sardinia, runs an impeccable kitchen (we saw for ourselves), and sources many local foods from Italy to be shipped to the resort. So you can even have true, authentic Italian food and wines at this resort. The atmosphere and the food had me daydreaming that I was actually in Italy (and on vacation! Oh, I wish)....

Almost all the rooms at Ocean Point Resort have a beautiful ocean view with small balcony to sit and have morning coffee or tea. The rooms are nicely decorated, but not ostentatious, and seem very comfortable with all the necessary amenities you could ever need. Besides, Antigua is definitely the type of island that you can really truly enjoy and feel safe getting out and about. And Ocean Point Resort is one of those places where you want to be out enjoying all that the resort, and the surrounding area, has to offer. One cool thing that they will do for guests staying at the resort is prepare a To Go lunch in a cooler box that you can take with you to enjoy while you're out for the day. There is a small island that you can take a boat over to, and enjoy some peace and tranquility, go into St John's to do some shopping, or head to one of other amazing 365 beaches on the island. Getting out of the room and exploring the island is really highly advised so that you can truly experience the destination. So even though the resort itself has an Italian feel, you still get the easy-going, relaxed vibe and Caribbean flavor of the islands!

And one of my favorite parts of our tour at Ocean Point Resort and Spa was meeting the new resident, who is probably much bigger now, sweet little Mia. Puppy kisses... Amore!

I really loved Antigua... it's safe, it's beautiful, amazing weather, and 365 beaches to explore. It's the perfect destination for a family vacation getaway, destination wedding, Honeymoon, Spa trip... whatever!  It truly is beautiful, and is very safe to be out and explore while enjoying the local culture.

So if you would like more information about Ocean Point Resort and Spa, or are interested in an amazing vacation to Antigua, please contact me! 

And as I mentioned, there are so many hotels and resorts in Antigua, many are smaller, boutique-style that you don't hear a lot about. Whatever you do, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to use a Travel Professional to help you with arranging your vacation, and helping to match your desires with the right destination and hotel. I hate to see people waste their hard-earned vacation dollars on a bad vacation! You get your hair cut from a stylist, have your car oil changed by a mechanic, and you should definitely use a Travel Specialist to book your vacations! 

Call/ text 404-913-1285 or

*All photos are owned by Get Up Go Travel. Please do not use without permission or credit.

Happy New Year! 2016 Bring it on!

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed time with friends and family! For me, I had a great holiday and spent some nice time with family --- Plus, the weather in Atlanta was incredible... although rainy, the temps were in the 70's which I absolutely loved. I had a fun and memorable New Years Eve with friends, rockin' in 2016 listening to a great local band!
(And this guy.... :o)
I'm definitely feeling really excited and looking forward to 2016 being an amazing year!

Speaking of a great year, 2015 was incredible and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to plan some amazing and life-changing trips for our clients. Our business at Get Up Go Travel is continuing to grow, and we are so appreciate of all our clients (who have become friends) for entrusting us with their travel plans and allowing us to help fulfill those travel dreams and bucket list experiences.

We have been very busy behind the scenes getting ready for the new year, and have spent the month of December putting some plans in place. For starters, I'm VERY VERY EXCITED to say that soon we will have a brand-spanky-new website!! Woohoo! This is something that I have been wanting to get done for a very long time, and I'm really excited that it will soon be coming to fruition. I think the website will have a much more clear design, and provide some useful info in an easier to read format. Even though the website is not quite ready yet, it should be done very soon, and I will definitely keep you posted with updates and timing of completion.

We've also been working on designing some new destination itineraries and potential group trips for later in 2016 and 2017, so stay tuned for more news on that. Once I have more details, I will be sharing more information in a future blog post and newsletter.

Another new exciting plan for 2016, I will be starting a weekly Newsletter highlighting destinations, travel info, things to be aware of when traveling, tips and of course pictures.
Look for my first newsletter to come out this Wednesday!
If you would like to sign up for the weekly newsletter, please sign up here --- Sign Me Up!

So I think that's all the main updates for now. Sorry it's been a while since my last post, but am committed to being more regular with posting and sharing some great info with you all.

Have a wonderful week!! Best Wishes for 2016!

Barbados ~ A Beautiful, Tropical Paradise (Vol 1)

There are so many islands in the Caribbean, and some even sound similar... Anguilla, Antigua, St Martin (US), St Maarten (Dutch), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Bonaire, Bahamas.  Unless you are a wiz in geography, it's very easy to get these islands confused and 'The Caribbean' is a big place. Each island can be very different as well, which is why using a Travel Agent to help with your planning needs is really critical! (wink wink)

But regardless, when you think Caribbean, we all pretty much have the same vision ~ A relaxed island setting, tropical weather, beautiful beaches, sunny skies, and amazing sunrises and sunsets.  That was definitely the case when I visited the beautiful island of Barbados recently.

I was fortunate to attend a short trip to Barbados on the inaugural Delta flight to commemorate this new non-stop service from Atlanta to Barbados twice a week. We were only on the island for two nights, but it was jam-packed and busy, and probably one of the best work-related trips I've ever been on.

Upon stepping off the plane after the relaxing 4 hour flight from Atlanta to Barbados, we were greeted by the local Tourism Board members and officials. We shook hands as they all welcomed us to the country. It was a beautiful day, and the sound of Caribbean island music was playing nearby. I couldn't contain my smile and enthusiasm for our visit!

We took a short shuttle ride, approximately 30 minutes, to our host hotel The Crane Resort. I loved the narrow, bumpy roads weaving through roundabouts and bicycle riders. The island really had such a Caribbean feel, with a little bit of Africa, a little bit of Jamaica mixed in. The vibe was relaxed and island-y. No problem!

I was so amazed when we got to the resort. My reaction was basically 'We get to stay here??'
The resort was surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage, tall tropical palms and plumeria trees flowing in the island breeze, koi ponds, and monkeys jumping through the trees.
A deep breath in, ahhhhhhh.

What an incredible setting. We checked in, while sipping a rum punch (of course, duh) and then taken to our rooms.

I was brought to a 1 Bedroom Ocean Front Penthouse Suite with private rooftop terrace..... :o Seriously? Ok, sounds great to me!  Check it out:

The suite had a full kitchen with fridge, washer/ dryer, Sitting room with flat screen TV, two bathrooms including the luxurious Master bath, full deck with furniture, separate bedroom with four-post bed, and of course the private rooftop deck overlooking the ocean. It was stunning. The decor was neutral but elegant, and very Classic European.

I immediately made myself at home, and headed upstairs to the deck to soak up some much needed Vitamin D.

The weather was perfect. Hot, a little humid, but not too bad. Beautiful puffy clouds, and the sound of the ocean waves crashing nearby. I could only rest for a little bit before needing to get ready for our event that evening, but I wanted to take in as much of the resort (and my room!) as I could.

The Crane Resort is just such a diverse property, with so much history, and yet manages to maintain it's classic charm while still keeping up with modern improvements. The Crane would be perfect for a Destination Wedding, Honeymoon, or even a family trip as the resort does allow kids. They have also just started offering an all-inclusive package, but you can opt for an EP plan too if you prefer. It's great to have options! The service at the resort was great, and everyone I encountered was extremely helpful and friendly.

Here's a picture of the beach at The Crane:

And one of the pools:

I have so much more to share about Barbados and will be adding more in a future post.

So stay tuned!

And if you think you'd like to visit beautiful Barbados, please send us an email or give us a call at 404-913-1285. We'd love to help with your travel plans!

Riviera Maya, Mexico --- A Luxury Destination

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico. This was a Travel Agent training trip, so we visited 10 different resort properties in this area, about 1 hour south of Cancun.

All-Inclusive resorts are becoming very popular and there's a great reason why! All Inclusive means  that basically everything for your vacation is included! --- your room, meals, beer and cocktails (perhaps THE best included feature!), entertainment, room service, gratuities, and some even offer resort credits that can be used for spa, excursions, golf, and much more!

Many of the resorts that cater to families even include baby and kid amenities (child size bathrobes, toys, cribs, high chairs, strollers, kids club programs, and so much more!). There are also resorts that only cater to Adults or Couples and are perfect if you're looking to celebrate a Honeymoon, a special occasion, or any vacation for adults (usually over 18) that prefer to not have the younger ones around while on vacation.

Here are just a few pics from some of the properties that we visited:

Gorgeous rooms and bathrooms with luxury amenities. 

Imagine THIS for your Honeymoon or Anniversary trip!

Swim-up bars are SO perfect when on vacation! And a great place to meet and chat with other travelers too!

Maroma Beach with powder sugar sand. Voted one of Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the world!

Romantic, tropical, and breezy. Ahhhh :-)

Special added amenities can be arranged when booked with us!

Fabulous pools with tons of lounge chairs or palapas.

Features for the kids make them feel special too! And easier packing for parents!

Mexico is a wonderful destination and is also an excellent value for anyone looking for a family or romantic vacation. Cancun is not all about rowdy spring breakers or partying... there are lots of different resorts to suit any desire or preference, and again because it's such a great value, it's the perfect destination to consider. But because there are so many different properties and options, it's very important to use a Travel Professional that can help you discern the differences and choose a resort that offers the type of vacation that you want to have.

Contact Get Up Go Travel if you would like more info on booking your vacation SOON! Winter is coming!

Sending thoughts and prayers to the people in the beautiful Bahama Islands, and all those in the path of Hurricane  Dorian along the east...