Summer Vacation Essentials

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Summer will be here before you know it. People will be commencing on their long awaited summer escapes as the last weeks of school finally wrap up. June to August now becomes one of the heaviest times for travel whether by plane, boat or car as everyone looks to soak up some sun and just RELAX!  Whether you are going to the beach, away for weekend of camping or jumping on a plane for an island or even European destination, I’d like to share with you some things that are must have in your bag while away.

Here are my top 5 recommended items.

  • Wear skin care protection- Don’t ever leave home without it.  Apply it daily. No matter the season or destination we want to protect our skin from damage due to weather elements, particularly the sun.  My personal favorite brand is Australian Gold, but grew up as a Coppertone baby.  No matter the brand pick the right SPF for your skin type. This also included keep a lip balm handy.
  • Carry a hat-Again along the lines of skin protection a hat provides shade for your face, keeps you from squinting, and can keep your head cool and protected.  I always have a baseball cap in my beach bag.  It’s great for when I want to read or keep the hair out of my face on a windy day.
  • Carry a water bottle-I don’t go anywhere without my refillable water bottle. I keep it in the car, at my desk, and take it to the pool or beach.  It is so easy to get dehydrated when we are traveling especially since we often don’t take time to stop or we may be lifting glasses of our favorite cocktail. Water is essential and staying hydrated will keep you feeling well and your skin nourished too.
  • Keep a snack in your bag-I am big on healthy eating and keeping my body fueled, so to avoid sugar drops or crashes. Not to mention overeating later because I’ve starved myself.  I like to keep simple easy to carry snacks in my bag like small granola bars, nuts, pieces of fruit, and cheeses (depending if I can keep it cool). I try to avoid chips and salty snacks if possible because they can cause swelling when traveling by air or being in the sun.
  • A book or journal-Now that I am off on my journey what better item to have for the ride or flight then a book to pass the time. Or a journal to write down those thoughts that have been lost in the commotion of daily life.  It is a perfect way to relax both while getting to where you are going to passing the time once you are there.I have more items I like, but the above can be found at any given point when you open up my beach bag or carry-on.  It’s my can’t leave home without them list.   It’s my standard travel operation kit always ready and waiting to go my next adventure. And remember those adventures can happen as close as your own backyard. Enjoy and have a fun safe summer or any time of year vacation wherever you land.

Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslSummer Vacation Essentials
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5 Reasons Why Couples Should Travel Together

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When you think travel, you think dreamy destinations, romantic hideaways, untold adventures, and a world waiting out there to be discovered. What better way to discover that hidden world with all its magic then to travel together with your significant other. Whether you are dating, engaged, or married you should be traveling together.  Traveling together is not only fun and a great time to try new things, but travel provides some great building blocks for couples. It is said the “couple who travels together stays together.” Here is what travel can do for you.

Strengthen your bond.  Traveling together gives you time to strengthen the relationship as you face challenges.  An opportunity to build and grow the trust in the relationship.  A time where there are no outside forces of daily life to pull you away from concentrating on each other.

Discover more about each other. Now is a perfect time to see one another’s true colors. How they react to changes and how they handle stress. Are they able to let loose and enjoy or are they fit to be tied? Learn something maybe you didn’t know as far as a like or dislike or even a future dream.

Learn to compromise.  As you are discovering each other’s styles, likes, dislikes, you will learn to compromise. Quite often in a couple one is the dare devil and one is not. You may have different visions of what relaxing means. Through travel you will learn to sort through the differences and select destinations and activities that appeal to both of you.

Make memories.  Travel will create stories and make you story tellers.  You will have moments to share deep into your relationship.  “Remember when we….”  And be sure to capture those personal photos and pictures to go along with the many adventures.

Rekindle the romance. Traveling together is definitely an opportunity to keep the sparks alive. We all need and I think even more so when we are in relationship that time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle to become human again. Whether you go near or far time spent away as a couple for a weekend, week, month allows you time to reconnect and remember why you first came together.

Want to liven things up and have a less boring relationship then make time for travel as a couple.  Not only does it do all the things above, but it is safer, can be less money than single travel, creates quality time, and is double the fun!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa Rossmeissl5 Reasons Why Couples Should Travel Together
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Be Prepared and Speed Up Your Airport Travel

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Like being prepared for our dogs when they are ready to birth, being prepared for travel is a very important thing.  This past month has been a prime example of what weather can do during winter. Conditions can change extremely quick and are not always in our control.  What also isn’t in our control is when the government strikes or remains in a partial strike. The government has more impact on the smooth departure for your vacations than you may have realized.  Due to the most recent striking, some of the TSA check points at major airports were affected due to limited staffing.  The TSA is the Transportation Security Administration set up by the government as a response to the 911 attacks and is the authority over the security over the traveling public in the United States.
Here are a couple things you can get to help speed things up if you’re an avid traveler during times of striking.  You can apply for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry.  TSA Pre-Check is a US Government program that allows travelers that are deemed low risk to pass through an expedited security screening at certain US airports.  It cost about $85 to get this and takes about 4 weeks to have it processed.  Global Entry is a US customs and boarder protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved low risk travelers upon arrival in the US.  With Global Entry you will receive a known traveler number and a card. The cost is $100 and is good for 5 years.  The length of time to get your approval depends on the application being approved, followed by an in person interview with the nearest TSA office to you.   Global entry is good for International and Domestic travel whereas the TSA Pre-check is for United States only.  You can go to the following website and apply for either if you meet the pre-qualifications.
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/card
If you are someone who does travel, I would highly recommend you invest in the global entry card as the government is continues to be as unpredictable as the weather and your travel may be delayed due to it.   With having either of these it just allows your time at the airport to be quicker and smoother with less hassle through the security check points.

Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardBe Prepared and Speed Up Your Airport Travel
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Global Entry-Make Going Through the Airport a Breeze

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Funny as it is may seem, I was a bit slow in getting my act together. Despite my heavy international travel I had avoided getting this convenient approval.  I often have been questioned by the passport control workers as to why I didn’t have it, especially given the number of stamps in my passport. However, I was challenged in November by a group of my fellow Travel Agency owners to complete it by December. Here is what you need to know.

What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a program used by the United States Customs and Borders Protection service that allows approved individuals  considered to be low risk expedited clearance through customs when arriving in the United States.

Besides the advantage of clearing the lines in customs, global entry also comes with TSA Pre-check making your domestic security experience faster and less invasive.  It does require registering your known traveler number when booking your flights or attaching to your frequent flyer accounts. Full information and direction on how to do this are given to you during your interview.

How do I Get Global Entry?
The process of getting your approval is quite simple, but times do vary on it’s completion process. The cost is nominal considering your number is good for 5 years before you need to do renewal. You begin by going to www.globalentry.gov. You will be asked to set up an account. Once you have the account you can proceed or log back in when time allows. Once in your account you will have to fill out a questionnaire verifying your identity information and pay the $100 fee.

After you’ve completed the application it will go into review. The time it takes for the review to be completed and get your approval for interview will vary depending how busy the offices are and the verification of your information.  You can use your log-in to periodically check for your approval as you will not receive anything by email alerting you to the approval.

Once you’ve received initial approval you will then select your global entry center and schedule your interview. Availability of appointments and the speed at which you will be able to get in will depend on your specific center.  You will report to you interview center on the date and time you selected and wait in a waiting area until and agent calls you for your interview.  The agent during the interview will again verify the information you entered on your application, take a photo and get your finger prints, but overall all time for interview is relatively short, approximately 15 minutes.

Now that you’ve had your interview you are approved. Your agent will give you information on activating your card, getting your TSA Pre-check and other general information for use when arriving and updating should any information change.  It takes about 2-3 weeks to receive your actual card.

Tips on getting your Global Entry
-Make sure you have good internet connection and allow about 30 minutes to complete your application online.
-Remember to log back in periodically for your approval so you can set up your interview.
-Arrive 15 minutes early for the appointment as to not have to reschedule.
-Turn off your phone before going in for interview.
-For Newark, New Jersey the interview center is in baggage claim B in the back. Park in short term parking B.
-Make sure to bring your approval letter, passport and driver’s id.
-Once you receive your card remember to go back online to activate it and sigh up for your TSA Pre-check.

Now you are ready to breeze through the airport the next time you fly.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslGlobal Entry-Make Going Through the Airport a Breeze
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Don’t Skip the Insurance

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Speaking of Mother Nature. This past month we have seen exactly what Mother Nature can do and how unpredictable and destructive weather can be.  We had major areas of the South and the Caribbean devastated by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Isaac. I found myself asking my clients more then ever, “do you want travel insurance”?  Are you someone who declines travel insurance?

Let me tell you why you should not decline the insurance.  For the small amount of extra money, it will cost to add insurance to coverage to your trip, you will find it is well worth its weight in gold.  We use and recommend at Boomerang Escapes, Travel Guard Insurance. My recommendation is the Travel Gold with the cancel for any reason add on. We find it to be the best comprehensive coverage for our clients and ourselves. If you add the policy on at the time of your down payment for the trip or within 14 days of said deposit, it also has a pre-existing clause.  I and the staff at the agency are not travel insurance agents, so I will not go into major details on coverages. However, I send you a quote directly from their website that provides you all the coverage details and I do give you the 800 number they provide, so you can speak with an insurance expert on the coverage specifics. They have a 24/7 line during travel as well, so no worries if the unexpected happens.

I have had people who have had to change their plans at the last minute and those who have opt’d to purchase the insurance have been very happy to have that peace of mind.  Should something happen the claims process is quite simple, and we are here to help you through it as well as the trained staff at Travel Guard. Travel Guard is not the only travel insurance provider available, along with their competitors, almost all the suppliers offer a version of insurance, but I have found in my experience that the coverage that is offered through the suppliers is no where as comprehensive as the coverage through Travel Guard.  With travel insurance you have peace of mind 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  You have worked hard to earn the time and save the money for you vacation, don’t let the unexpected ruin it.


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardDon’t Skip the Insurance
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Return to Your Happy Place

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Hi there. Yes, I am the girl you love to hate.  The girl who wakes up with a smile. The girl who wakes up on the right side of the bed. The girl whose energy levels are so high each day  that you want to stomp on her because you have yet to have your morning coffee.  ( and trust me you don’t want to see me on caffeine) Yes, I am the girl who sees the world through rose colored glasses and drinks from the glass that is half-full. I am the girl who has been recently given the nick name “Positive Polly.” How did I achieve such a great attitude and outlook on life? How do I manage to get through all the daily crap?

First, let me begin by letting you in on a little secret. I am not always happy. WHAT??? Yes, I am not always happy! The reality is there are times when life sucks.  I have down moments and down days. Bad shit, happens to me just like everyone else.  The difference my friends is that I’ve groomed myself with daily practices and strategies not to stay in that state of doom and gloom, poor me, low energy, or whatever you want to call it.

You may recognize the title of this article, as it is also the tag line to my travel company.  The tag line truly embraces what  we all need to do. It is what I do almost daily and definitely throughout the year. And you have to make these things a practice.  For me, getting to my happy place encompasses 4 key components….THRIVE, REVIVE, INDULGE, ESCAPE.

Here are my definitions.
Thrive-
To thrive is to reach and maintain a level of health and well-being that provides you longevity in life.  No longer are the days of matching up to an image society has created. Today, it is about reaching your best and feeling your best, so you can continue to do the things you love.

Revive-
To revive is to take time to fuel your soul and mind.  Feed your spirit whether you have a regular religious practice or just take time for yourself.  It is about reaching deep within, connecting with your inner being. This can be achieved through practices of church, meditation, yoga, personal development through reading, and/or journaling.  The point is to find what helps you most to restore your inner peace.

Indulge-
To indulge is to try new things, taste what the world has to offer, and to treat yourself.  Stop saying no to yourself and start saying yes.  I believe all aspects of life should operate on an 80/20 rule.  20 percent of the time you give in. Have the piece of cake, buy the new outfit, enjoy the seaweed wrap.  To indulge is to let yourself have the things you think you shouldn’t.

Escape-
To escape is more then merely traveling. To escape is to let go of you daily routines and disconnect from your devices. You can escape alone or with others, but you must escape.  Escaping can be as simple as a walk or as elaborate as a trip around the world.  By escaping we can easily bring the other 3 components into action… thrive, revive, indulge.

When you learn to balance your life by setting aside time for these 4 realms, you return to your happy place.

Here is how I incorporate theses into a daily action.
I have a “me” routine.  The “me” routine incorporates the thrive and revive.  Being the morning person that I am, my “me” routine begins my days.  For revive, I journal and meditate daily.  Or sometimes swap this out with prayer.  Walks and yoga are other key components in my revive arsenal.

For thrive, I do a daily workout.  My workouts vary from cardio, weights, Pilates, yoga and more.  Often I do the workout in the comfort of my home, but keep a gym membership as well to change it up.

For indulge, I reward myself each day. Sometimes it may be a food item or sometimes I treat myself to. One of the ways I encourage myself to get my to do’s done is by telling myself when the list is done I can have ____.  Why did I have so much pool time this year????

Which brings me to escape. The pool was one of my escapes.  Another is a walk and just getting  back in tune with nature. It could be finding time to disappear in a good book too.  When you make time or take time to step away from the grind you will find the picture gets clearer and the energy or creativity you need to get through the project comes back. Of course on a larger scale, taking that weekend getaway and making time for your vacation aka ESCAPE you will be able to begin that journey back to your happy place.

As the song says, “Changes in latitudes Changes in Attitudes” ~ Jimmy Buffet

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslReturn to Your Happy Place
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