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Mini-StayCation Anyone?


If you have an open Saturday or any other day really, why not unwind by taking a mini-staycation? Ok, most other people refer to them as day trips, but to me that doesn’t give it the same relaxed feeling.

Today we went to Bastrop, Texas which is only about an hour from home.

Its really interesting to find little bits of information that you had no idea about like:

  • What do you know about the “Baron of Bastrop”?
  • Do you know anything about the El Camino Real de los Tejas?

Yup, neither did I.

It only took a stop at the Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center to learn these and other interesting bits of history that really opened my eyes to the important part that Bastrop holds in the history of Texas.

We even found one of those old fashioned cafes on the city square that is always unique where ever you find them. Just plain, good food.



What Have I Done?????

Well, I have finally gone and done it. I resisted as long as I could, but it was now time to give in, accept it, and just do it!

I have finally booked a cruisetour to Alaska for us.

I had always thought that it was something that I didn’t want to do because I am beach person. I grew up (or maybe aged would be a better description) in Wisconsin and thought I was done with cold weather, snow, ice and all that stuff. However, it seems that Alaska is a bucketlist item for the wife. So, not being a total idiot (in my own evaluation at least), I agreed to go on this trip.

Now, admittedly, I have gotten certified as an “Alaska Wildlife Expert” (AWE) and have done a lot of training on the state so I feel comfortable planning vacations for people to the area.

I am beginning to get excited about the trip for two reasons:

1.  I want to keep the wife happy.

2.  The reason I became a travel agent is because I wanted to share the experiences I had from my travels with people. I have had some very special experiences that still remain with me and I try to provide those types of experiences with others.  It might be a special restaurant, a hidden museum that I found, or some other discovery that really made a trip unforgettable.

Therefore, it was time that I went to Alaska and gained some more personal experiences that I could share.

We will be traveling Northbound from Vancouver to Denali with Royal Caribbean. It’s a 10 day package and I will be journaling along the way, so keep watching this spot for updates.

Also, let me know if there is something you want me to cover for you during the trip.



Better Hurry!!!

Call me quick if you want to go: 512-922-5993. Labdaddy’s Leisure Travels

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Don’t Wait to Travel

You should travel whenever you can, not letting anything put you off. Always include travel into your plans. If you don’t it will never happen and you will be denying your self of the experience. You can always find an excuse for not planning it, just like everything else you deny your self. People make excuses to put off their vacations. Not this year. Maybe when the kids are away. Just waiting for things to ease up at work. There are many more reasons to travel that will enrich your life and add flavor to everything you do. Don’t wait until it’s too late—fill up on those amazing memories now. You won’t regret it.

Start a new Thanksgiving Tradition

I stole this idea from a travel friend named Vicki:

Thanksgiving is all about togetherness, gratitude and making memories. If you’ve ever planned a big family gathering, though, I’m sure you know how stressful it can be. Finding accommodations for everyone, planning the meal and accounting for everyone’s dietary preferences—and then you have to clean up, too! That’s why I always recommend that families try having their next Thanksgiving at sea. You get all the benefits of togetherness and a great dinner, without any of the stress or mess to deal with. Everyone can have their own comfortable accommodations onboard while still spending plenty of time together and making unforgettable memories. Sounds like a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving together, to me.

Survive Thanksgiving Travel (Courtesy of Travelocity)

SOUTHLAKE, TX – The travel experts are helping you survive the busiest travel day of the year with their 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Survival Guide, just released today. Over 24 million people are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving travel period, according to Airlines for America, so knowing how to cope with delays, which travel apps to download and what to expect at the airports can make all the difference.

“Last Thanksgiving significant weather events impacted many travelers and caused delays across the country,” said Courtney Scott, Travelocity’s Senior Editor. “Planning ahead and being prepared can ease the stresses of Thanksgiving travel this year.”

Top 10 Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Planes will fly full this year. Make sure you check-in online 24-hours in advance and check that you’ve got a seat assignment. Download your boarding pass and keep a printed copy in case your phone dies.

Look for “TSA PRE” on your boarding pass to see if you’ve pre-qualified for TSA Pre-Check. Members can avoid removing shoes, belts and laptops from carry-on luggage.

Try to pack in only a carry-on bag to avoid baggage fees, which typically start at $25 and up. If you do have to check a bag, paying online will save you a few bucks per bag. Check your airline’s website for a full list of potential fees – some may charge even for carry-on luggage.

Don’t chance missing your flight. Get to the airport at least two hours in advance of domestic flights and three hours for international flights. Double check your terminal and gate as it sometimes changes.

Make sure you don’t have oversized liquids. The 3-1-1 rule has been in effect for years yet passengers still get items such as cosmetics taken at the checkpoint.

Ship gifts ahead of time. Despite what you may think, shipping gifts ahead of time isn’t that much more expensive, and it’s a lot more convenient. The average baggage fee is about $25 for the first bag and even more for the second. But shipping a large flat-rate box with the USPS is about $16.95 and will arrive within three days.

Bring your own snacks from home to avoid paying for snack packs on board or over-paying at airport grab and go markets.

Before heading to the airport, check your local traffic reports for delays along your route and allow for more commute time if needed.

Pre-pay for parking online to get a discount on long-term parking fees.

Load-up your smart phone with travel apps that can help you re-book on the fly, track flights and get info on the go..

Thanksgiving Travel Apps

“Your smart phone is a huge resource while traveling,” says Scott. “Mobile apps can help with all aspects of travel, from re-booking on the fly to finding a taxi home.”

No longer does a person need to be a seasoned pro to travel like one. A multitude of additional apps are available that can keep passengers in the know about everything from the best airport eats to the best seats on a specific airplane.

How to Deal With Travel Delays

Follow your carrier on Twitter: Airlines are getting better and better at providing real-time travel updates via social media, especially Twitter.

If there is a delay: First, log-on to your carrier’s website and look for a voucher code or flexible travel policy that will allow you to change your flight without penalty. Simultaneously get on the line at the airport to talk to gate or ticket agent and check availability at airport hotels.

Know your passenger rights: Passengers have the right to get on the next available flight on their airline to their destination. That said, in the case of mass disruption, there might not be any available flights.

Never pack anything you can’t live without in checked baggage. If your flight is delayed or cancelled after you’ve checked your bags it could be quite a while before you get them back in your possession. Keep medications and chargers in your carry-on bag.