What's Wrong With Their Home?

That's the question people might ask if they took a look at our travel schedule in 2017! Luckily, we love our home...but we also like to explore the world.  We especially love to explore it with people we love and meet new friends all over the globe. Travel is all about connecting with people all over the world, and we feel very fortunate to have met and traveled with so many incredible people. We are grateful to all the people who followed our adventures and those who shared their corner of the world with us! We especially want to thank the folks who shared THEIR trips with us in our GoSeeIt People interviews. (You can find the interviews here)  We love hearing about your travels too! THANK YOU! We hope you have many safe travels in 2018 and wish the very best in the coming year!

Over the last year here are some of the places we've been able to explore.  Click on any link to see more photos in our posts and learn more about each destination! (Next week, we will share where we are headed next!)

What A Year! 

Shanghai, China

 A trip to visit our daughter in NYC took us to some of the less visited places in NYC...Flatbush, Harlem, DUMBO. See our trip report here! And about the more popular places in  NYC here  and  here .

A trip to visit our daughter in NYC took us to some of the less visited places in NYC...Flatbush, Harlem, DUMBO. See our trip report here! And about the more popular places in NYC here and here.

 Exploring Venice from the water

Exploring Venice from the water

 This small country offers environment from coastal to alpine, as is seen here at Lake Bled, as well as one of the prettiest little European capitals, Ljubljana. 

This small country offers environment from coastal to alpine, as is seen here at Lake Bled, as well as one of the prettiest little European capitals, Ljubljana. 

 Gentlemen outside a cafe in Cavtat

Gentlemen outside a cafe in Cavtat

 The gorges leading to the port of Kotor in Montenegro. 

The gorges leading to the port of Kotor in Montenegro. 

 Candles outside of the St Spyridon's Orthodox Church in Corfu, Greece

Candles outside of the St Spyridon's Orthodox Church in Corfu, Greece

 A Maltese balcony on Republic Street flies the EU and Matlese flags. 

A Maltese balcony on Republic Street flies the EU and Matlese flags. 

An incredible day hike up Mt Etna with 3 mountaineers, wine and homemamde parmigiana!

 A local character in Nocello greets visitors who hike The Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast

A local character in Nocello greets visitors who hike The Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast

Rome

Bernini Old Boat Fountain at the Spanish Steps in Rome

Montreal

Montreal put on a warm welcome before the Christmas holidays. 

What's Your Travel Style and What Kind of Trip to Take

Like this Dahl’s sheep in Denali National Park, my adventurous brother likes to hit the trail with his “kids”, and on and off the mountain, he will do all the leg work himself!

Over the last two years, I've talked with a lot people about planning travel, and almost every person tells me that planning travel can be a bit overwhelming because there is just SO MUCH information out there!!  I've noticed that people have distinct styles of how to research (and how much they want to research) and how they book a trip that works for them and their style.  These different styles are exhibited by some of my friends and family...my apologies for calling them out, but I have such admiration for all my friends and how they get out there to GoSeeIt!  So I've named the styles after them! See which style you are, and then see my suggestions for what kind of trip and the best way to book a trip based on that style!

 Like this Dahl sheep in Denali National Park, my adventurous brothers likes to hit the trail wit his "kids", and on and off the mountain, he will do all the leg work himself!

Like this Dahl sheep in Denali National Park, my adventurous brothers likes to hit the trail wit his "kids", and on and off the mountain, he will do all the leg work himself!

Bill

Are You a Bill?: My brother Bill will climb Mt Washington- solo.  He will travel to Belize and stay in a shack on the beach to find the best dive spot. He travels on a tight budget and doesn't see the need to pay for guides, fancy hotel rooms, or escorting when you can do it yourself!

What and How To Book: Anywhere you want! Nothing is off limits when nothing is out of your comfort zone.  Some good resources for independent travelers are Lonely Planet or Rick Steeves guide books. I like Airtreks site for point to point air routing for "round the world" type trips, and Hipmunk for comparing airfares, comfort levels and routes. Check out Independent Traveler and Trip Advisor for researching destinations and rock bottom deals. 

 

Dennis

 Local markets, like this one in Ecuador appeal to "foodies" who like to shop and cook locally!

Local markets, like this one in Ecuador appeal to "foodies" who like to shop and cook locally!

Are You A Dennis?: Our friend Dennis is a proud  "Foodie".  He likes to scour the markets and check out the local food scene.  He will spend a lot of time researching, and he enjoys spending part of his vacations in a home or apartment with a real kitchen so he can source local ingredients and relax while making meals for his family.  He's been known to bring along cooking equipment on his trips!  

What and How To Book: Look for destinations with a great food scene, and consider spending part of the time in a rental home or apartment.  Consider taking mass market mid size or luxury cruises that offer cooking classes and are well known for their food. Some to try: Celebrity Cruises, River Cruise lines offer beer, wine or food specialty departures, and Air BNB, Homeaway or VRBO for villa rentals in France or Italy where the food scene is renowned (or anywhere else in the world!)

 

 

Judy

 Visiting major tourist attractions can be more fun when someone else does the leg work, but you can still tour independently!

Visiting major tourist attractions can be more fun when someone else does the leg work, but you can still tour independently!

Are you A Judy: Judy enjoys active adult adventures, she travels with her husband and likes to explore the culture of a place, but doesn't love bus tours or group tours. She enjoys traveling independently, but doesn't want the expense of a private guide.  

What and How To Book: For a recent trip she planned to Italy, I suggested she try one of the companies that offers booking services to arrange hotel, tickets and tours, and in country transportation, but the touring is all done independently, with a concierge or pre-arranged itinerary. I suggested Judy try Monograms a division of Globus brands. She promises to give me a full report on how that works out after her trip! A good travel agent can also do a similar itinerary, and make all the arrangements, but allow you to travel independently. Be sure to look for a specialist in the destination, who has been there, and works planning trips in that area frequently! 

 

 

Marrianne

 Thrilling family adventures, with all the details arranged, are what Marianne's family is looking for! (photo Courtesy of Marianne)

Thrilling family adventures, with all the details arranged, are what Marianne's family is looking for! (photo Courtesy of Marianne)

Are You A Marianne?: Marianne likes to plan trips for her immediate family that are active, but like most families they are busy!!  She doesn't mind spending some time researching the right trip for her family, but she wants all the details handled for her, so she can relax and enjoy her family! Her family wants incredible experiences and destinations, where they can have active adventures together. They don't want to spend a lot of time planning what to pack and traveling to get places, so a comprehensive itinerary and packing list for their destination is a big help. 

What and How To Book: Look for full service luxury tours, where the itinerary is curated for your family.  Lots of pre trip information is provided and all the highlights are covered in the destination, along with special one of a kind access, and superior guiding throughout.  Busy families need short trips that fit their vacation periods and are willing to pay expenses like internal airfares to expedite travel in a short time. Some we've tried or friends have had great experiences with: Adventures By Disney (for younger families or multi generational) Tauck Tours, Natural Habitat (Natural history and wildlife focused) and Backroads (Active adventures)

 

 

Beverly

 A comfy coach where someone else does the driving, a guide to handle all the logistics and interpret what you'll see...whether on a mass market cruise, river cruise or escorted land tour. Lots of retirees enjoy camaraderie, budget options and carefree travel with group tours.

A comfy coach where someone else does the driving, a guide to handle all the logistics and interpret what you'll see...whether on a mass market cruise, river cruise or escorted land tour. Lots of retirees enjoy camaraderie, budget options and carefree travel with group tours.

Are you a Beverly?: My Aunt Beverly likes the social aspects of group tours with other retired travelers. She enjoys having all the logistics taken care of on her trips, and she likes to stick to her budget. 

What and How To Book: Beverly enjoys mass market cruises, such as Holland America and fully escorted coach or river cruises with companies like Grand Circle, Viking or Cosmos. These tours cater to retired travelers with budgets that pack a lot of value into longer trips

Don

 Travel companies that arrange for travelers to use local transportation options like this public ferry option to Drake Bay, Costa Rica (versus a private charter flight) make small group guided touring more affordable, and works well for retirees who have lots of time!

Travel companies that arrange for travelers to use local transportation options like this public ferry option to Drake Bay, Costa Rica (versus a private charter flight) make small group guided touring more affordable, and works well for retirees who have lots of time!

 

Are you a Don?: Our neighbor Don is retired and travels for weeks at a time.  He wants culturally authentic, small group travel with all the details managed, but lots of time for independent exploration.  He likes connecting with a small group and expert guides, but he wants to stick to a good budget by using local transportation and staying in comfy, but not fancy places. 

What and How To Book: Don and his wife have taken dozens of Overseas Adventures Trips (OAT), a division of Grand Circle.  These trips usually run 3 weeks or longer and are geared for active retirees. Fully guided with accommodations and some meals included, the total prices can be steep, but broken down by cost per day, they are a very reasonable way to travel if you have the time and want a very authentic experience with the safety of a guide and small group.

 

 

Lisa

 Small group, expertly guided adventures like this trip to the Galapagos appeal to the solo traveler where they will be integrated and included in all the activities and meals.

Small group, expertly guided adventures like this trip to the Galapagos appeal to the solo traveler where they will be integrated and included in all the activities and meals.

Are You A Lisa?: Lisa is a solo traveler, but it never stops her from taking trips, and having made new friends on her many adventures, she sometimes travels with a small group. Lisa likes active adventures with excellent guiding and good cultural experiences.   

What and How To Book: Small group tours are excellent choices since you'll have a dedicated guide who will work to include you in activities and ensure you have dining companions. And like Lisa, eventually, you may meet new best friends to travel with! Lisa has had great luck with Backroads for land adventures. Midsize cruise lines can be good choices because they sometimes have singles meet ups and so many activities that it's easy to get involved as a solo, and offer more opportunities to meet people since there are fewer passengers. Unfortunately, cruises often count on double occupancy in cabins, and can charge singles as much as twice to book the cabin.  Norwegian Cruise Lines is well known for having many singles cabins on board (although it's a larger line, they make more effort to plan single events) River Cruising is another excellent choice for solo travelers. Most river cruise vessels have small single cabins available for a fraction of the cost of the double occupancy cabins, and with a small passenger load of less than 200 people, it's easy mingle and make friends. Solo cabins go quickly, so plan ahead!  

 

 

Randy

 Randy (with his wife above)  is so good at planning fun stuff to do on cruises for his friends, like this private sailing charter in St Thomas, that he and his wife's biennial cruise trip over a dozen friends cruising with them each year!

Randy (with his wife above)  is so good at planning fun stuff to do on cruises for his friends, like this private sailing charter in St Thomas, that he and his wife's biennial cruise trip over a dozen friends cruising with them each year!

Are You A  Randy?: You have a big group to travel with, maybe a big family, or are the trip planner for your company or group, or maybe when you start planning a trip, and all your friends want to go because you are so good at it!  In any case, everyone is counting on YOU to deliver a great trip!!

What and How to Book:  Cruises and all inclusive resorts are popular choices since everyone knows where their meals are coming from, and there is no debating where to eat or trying to accommodate a large group at restaurants.  With a group, you have some leverage, find a specialist travel agent in the destination who will throw in perks and discounts for your group!  You can also contact the groups department of cruise lines or resorts. It's usually best to plan a trip that offers a variety of activities that will appeal to the many different interests of your group or family. Sometimes if your group is big enough, you can score deep discounts or free rooms for your own travel. After all all that hard work herding cats deserves a little pay off for the travel planner! 

Are You a You? 

Whatever your travel style, there is a trip to meet your style, try not to get overwhelmed by the info overload on the web! The trick is finding the right one...that's what we help with...keep reading our blog for inspiration and recommendations of trips and tour companies, and great travel agents that worked for our family and friends. And share with us if you have different travel style and great trips that worked for you!! 

By Kathy Klofft

Photos By: Jeff Klofft (except where noted)

Opinions are independent, no compensation was given for mentions of any products or services

Oops, We Have a Little Emergency

By Kathy Klofft

 Sad face is just for drama, the problem was small...this time! 

Sad face is just for drama, the problem was small...this time! 

Today I made a detour a local urgent care clinic in Florida. It wasn't on my itinerary of bike riding, kayaking, and napping on the beach!  Luckily for me, a small injury or bug bite that became infected was easily and quickly treated with antibiotics, but injuries and emergencies on the road can be scary. About a year ago, I wrote a post about how to avoid medical emergencies and how to prepare for them when they occur. I hope if you have a travel medical emergency, it is small and easily solved, and I hope our tips help you solve it and get back to the fun stuff! 

See our post here; 

 http://www.goseeittravel.com/travel-blog/2015/5/30/expecting-the-best-preparing-for-the-worst

 All fixed up and back to the fun in Florida!  

All fixed up and back to the fun in Florida!  

Looking Ahead 2017

Looking Ahead 2017- Where to next!

by Kathy Klofft Photos by Jeff Klofft

20160909 - Airport Stock - 004.JPG

A new calendar is always full of promise, all those empty blocks or electronic lines to fill...what will end up on each day?  If you are anything like us, at the end of the year, every block on the wall calendar is filled with scrawled events and appointments, or if you scroll backwards, you don't find more than a day or two without an appointment.  I have an idea for a New Years resolution.  Take that new, empty calendar and before you put anything in it, block out some time to take vacation and travel someplace, even if it's only in your own backyard!  Whether it's your dream trip or seeing what makes people come to YOUR neck of the woods, we hope 2017 is filled with wonderful travel adventures!  Please let us know where you are headed in 2017!

New Year Staycation!

Without school age children tied to the academic calendar, we aren't limited to travel during the school vacations, so we sit out the busy holiday travel season, choosing to "staycation" in our "home base" city of Boston. We enjoy some of the same things people travel from all over the globe to see and do, and sleep in our own beds at the end of the day!

It's worth waiting in line with locals shopping for their holiday table to enjoy a Modern's lobster tail or cannoli in Boston's North End. 

Some years exciting things are happening in our own hometown, such as last year's NHL Winter Classic outdoor hockey game.  Most everyone's hometown has something interesting happening over the winter holidays!

Savannah, GA

Early in the new year, I have plans to visit Savannah Georgia with a friend.  More than 20 years ago, my friend Mary and I were tossed together as Girl Scout Leaders to a group of kindergartners. Little did we know then that more than 20 years later we would still be helping with Girl Scouts and still be great friends!  While taking advantage of a Jet Blue airfare sale, Savannah came up on the list of cheap, direct flights, and had the added bonus of being the home of Girl Scout Founder Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace  Our plan is to spend a relaxing weekend at a bed and breakfast in the historic district, dining at some of the fine restaruants, walking around town and making a pilgrimage to Julliette Gordon Low Birthplace as a tribute to our long friendship and volunteer committment to the GSUSA  

Shanghai, China

Business will bring Jeff to Shanghai, and you can bet he will bring his camera!  Look for a photo essay of his time in Shanghai after the New year. 

Southeastern Florida

Kathy will make another trip to see relatives in Southwest.  I usually make an effort to uncover some unique places to share for those who would enjoy spending sometime in this area in the winter.  This year I hope to take in a tour of Jet Blue Stadium, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. 

A sand castle along our favorite beach in SW Florida

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Mexico and Central America

Late winter we will embark on a 7 day cruise aboard Rhapsody of the Seas.  We are looking forward visiting some ports we haven't seen before including Roatan Honduras and Belize City Belize, as well as favorites Cozumel and Costa Maya (Mahahual) Mexico.  We will be live blogging here, on Twitter, FaceBook and as FamilyGoBoston from the ship, as we always do for a large amount of Cruise Critic followers, sharing our port photos and experiences on board!

A Mayan ruin on Cozumel

During our trip to Honduras, we plan to participate in Pack for Purpose, carrying an extra suitcase filled with school supplies for Familias Saludables, a Roatan non profit that provides care for women and children affected by AIDS.  PfP curates lists of needed supplies from NOGO's, connecting generous travelers with a little extra space in their bags with projects in nearly every country and partnering with locals there who ensure items donated are needed and get into the hands of those who need them equitably! We've engaged a private guide, Channin Bodin, who will help us deliver the school supplies, collected from our friends and our local GFWC club members, to the Bananarama Dive and Beachfront Resort which supports the programs and local school and ensures donations are distributed fairly. We learned about this first hand when we were discussing the program with our guide in Antigua and she told us that her own daughter's preschool had benefited from donated items from PfP and support from the local resorts giving programs.  For more information on how to Pack for a Purpose click on the link for PfP and see our post about our experiences in St Lucia in 2015.  

Azamara Quest Cruise Adriatic and Italy

One of our larger trips towards the end of the year, we plan to sail Azamara Quest from Venice to Rome. Those who follow us know we always have a "folder" for planning a trip, chock full of magazine clippings, notes, and itineraries.  This cruise with stays in Venice and Rome, as well as ports of call in Kopor, Slovenia, Hvar and Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Corfu Greece, Valetta Malta and Sicily and the Amalfi Coast of Italy will require a lot travel planning leg work on my part!!  I'm getting some help from Active Travels, a boutique, membership based travel agency, and hope, with their help, to put together a unique and active itinerary for each port of call! We plan to post along the way and share photos and trip reports from all our ports of call!

Our last trip to Croatia was in the town of Vukovar, where the signs of a terrible war are still visible.  We are making good on our promise to the people we met in Vukovar Croatia to visit the beautiful coastline! 

Where Else?? 

Places we don't even know yet!!  Our travel plans often come together at the last minute, and we never know which places we may visit at the spur of the moment or need to visit for business...if you follow us on Twitter, we usually tweet out photos from places where we've traveled. If you are planning to go somewhere interesting, be sure to share it with us via email, Twitter, Face Book or in comments here.  We'd love to hear where you are going and maybe you'd like to be one of our next "Go See It People" interviews!

Opinions and advice presented here is our own based on our experiences and we have not accepted any free travel or financial considerations for our views. All of the products and services mentioned are those that we've used and had good personal experiences.