Totem Travel (425) 821-4100   (800) 321-7907

Non stop flights from Seattle to Cancun Mexico now available!


Nonstop flight

Great news for sun seekers in the Seattle area who would love to vacation on the Caribbean side of Mexico but want to get there fast and minimize the hassle factor associated with travel.  Alaska Airlines has started flying to Cancun again and starting in early November, offers a nonstop flight from Seattle to Cancun. Woohoo! The nonstop flights will operate daily during the peak travel season November through April and they are pricing out very competitively with connecting flights offered by other airlines.

The white sand beaches and warm turquoise water in Cancun and Riviera Maya are some of the best anywhere and unlike Hawaii there are many wonderful all inclusive vacations in Mexico.  Some favorite resorts for an adult only getaway or tropical honeymoon include Secrets and Excellence while the Iberostar and Dreams Resorts are some of our top choices for a family vacation with entertainment and activities appropriate for kids and adults plus organized kids clubs to give Mom and Dad a break. There are many more excellent choices including the all inclusive Palace Resorts but each property has its own personality  so the art is in matching your style to the perfect destination.

That’s where I come in ’cause I’m Totem Travel’s Mexico specialist and visit all the resorts regularly. So let me know what’s important to you and I’ll make sure you return home talking about the best vacation you ever had! Mexico is still one of the better vacation values for families or young honeymooners on a tight budget and the new nonstop flights from Seattle to Cancun make it easy to access this fabulous destination!   Give us a call or send me an email and we can advise you on which destination in Mexico and which resort best fits your ideal vacation.  Pretty soon you’ll be pulling out your sunglasses, working on a winter tan and practicing important phrases like “hola” and  “uno mas por favor.

How to choose the best Sandals Resort for your honeymoon


 

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There are many wonderful destinations throughout the world but if an adult only all-inclusive vacation is on your honeymoon list, your best choice may be a Sandals Resort. No kids are allowed at Sandals, everything is included from meals to drinks to scuba diving and golf, and romance abounds with beachfront locations, king beds in every room, gourmet dining, private pools, butler service and luxurious spas. So how do you choose the best Sandals Resort for you?  Let’s start with location – Sandals has 14 all-inclusive resorts on 7 sun drenched Caribbean islands including St Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, Exuma and the Bahamas. So your choice of destination should consider travel time, airfare, weather and what you’d like to see and do while on your romantic adult only vacation.

The shortest flights and lowest fares are usually to Jamaica or Nassau, but St Lucia also has excellent air service from many U.S. cities and if travel time isn’t a major concern, a relatively undiscovered island like Grenada is an exotic destination that should be at the top of most honeymoon wish lists.

Weather is a very important consideration and while all Caribbean islands enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures year round the Bahamas can be too cool for a bathing suit in December and more vulnerable to hurricanes in the fall. Jamaica is in the 80’s and 90’s year round as are the islands of St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbados and the southern Caribbean islands are also less affected by tropical storms and hurricanes.

The beach is #1 for a lot of couples all inclusive vacations and details matter! Every Sandals Resort is beachfront but if you want to swim in the ocean a calm, shallow entry may be desirable unless of course you wish to body surf and waves are what you’re after! If you’d like to walk or jog on the beach size matters and and if you are worried about too much sun the availability of shade is important. Which Sandals Resort has the best beach will depend on you but two of my favorites would be Emerald Bay and Whitehouse.

Pools are important too and some resorts have much larger and more glamorous settings with fountains, huge swim up pool bars, jacuzzis, even fire pits designed into the pool area. Sandals Grande Antigua, Grande St Lucian and Grenada are a few with stunning pool areas.

Activities will be a deciding factor for many couples choosing an adult only all inclusive vacation and Sandals includes more water and land sports than other resorts like Secrets, Excellence and Couples Resorts. But even within the Sandals group there are important differences so it’s time to be specific.

Snorkeling, daily snorkel trips and scuba diving is included at every Sandals Resort but the colors are simply more vibrant in the turquoise Bahamian waters and healthy reefs off St Lucia and Grenada.You can climb a waterfall, swim with dolphins or go ziplining in Jamaica. Casinos and big name entertainers are in Nassau and golf is free in Exuma, St Lucia and Jamaica. Hiking is best on St Lucia and Grenada and Antigua offers the opportunity to swim with the rays or party with locals while watching the sunset at Shirley Heights. Waterskiing and tubing is offered at Sandals Negril, Sandals Whitehouse, Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Grande St Lucian.

Every Sandals Resort includes complimentary watersports such as sailing, kayaking, standup paddleboards, snorkeling and scuba but conditions vary so ask a Sandals Specialist for more detail. Fitness centers and land sports like tennis and volleyball are also included at every resort but in Jamaica you’ll find Sandals’ only rock climbing wall and squash courts.

Once you’ve chosen a destination it’s time to think about which Sandals Resort is best for you. Are you looking for a casual beach atmosphere with open air dining or a more formal setting under crystal chandeliers? Are you a pool person, beach person or want a bit of both? Do you prefer small intimate resorts or would you enjoy resort hopping with dining, drinking and playing privileges at several locations?

Last but not least, every Sandals Resort has about a million (slight exaggeration) room categories with prices starting under $2.5K for a one week all inclusive vacation for two to more than $10K for a once in a lifetime honeymoon in a fabulous suite with private pool and butler. But whether you choose a garden view room or beachfront villa, every Sandals guest will enjoy a couples only getaway with king beds, fine dining, name brand liquors, activities, entertainment and tips included.

For more help choosing the best Sandals Resort you can email linda@totemtravel.com or call Linda, Sandi or Patty at (800) 321-7907.  We’ve been to all of the resorts and whether you work with a Sandals Specialist or book online you’ll pay exactly the same price and the lowest is always guaranteed!

P.S. Look for more on Sandals newest resort, Sandals Barbados.

How can I find a two bedroom condo in Hawaii?


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Many families vacationing in Hawaii enjoy having apartment style accommodations instead of a hotel room. They like the idea of having the option to prepare some of their meals, having privacy with separate bedrooms, and a more “home away from home” feel. Condominiums which offer this type of accommodation are abundant in Maui, Kauai and on the Big Island of Hawaii but the choices for condominiums in Honolulu are more limited. There are however some quality options.

There are several items to consider before selecting the perfect fit for your family. As the Hawaii Specialist at Totem Travel, I have been helping families choose the appropriate accommodations for more than 18 years, so I would like to talk about how to narrow down your options. One of the best ways to do this is to compile a wish list. Depending upon the age of your children, giving them some input can be helpful, and half the fun of planning.

  • Beach—must be on the beach
  • Pool—must have a swimming pool
  • A two bedroom is essential
  • Washer and Dryer
  • A car
  • Free parking
  • No Resort Fees
  • Staying within budget

Once you have everything on paper, the fun stuff begins: sorting the “must haves” from the “would be nice to have” amenities. Compromise is the name of the game. What is most important for your family, might not be that important for others. Such as a washer and dryer in the unit. If you have 2 children under 5 years old, I would think that would not be a place to compromise, but if you have teens, a coin operated laundry within the complex would be just fine. Two bedrooms is another area for negotiation. Again, if you have small children, and they go to bed early, you would probably enjoy the option of them having their own room. With older kids, and teens, they are just as happy having a sofa bed, and/or roll-a-way, in the living room.

While having a car on the other islands is essential, Honolulu has very good public transportation, as well as having most restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Many of my clients rent a car for just a couple of days of their vacation so that they can explore, but can avoid 7 nights of parking fees. Parking in Honolulu can be very expensive, in the $25-$35 per night range. So having FREE parking is a huge plus, and while it’s out there, it’s difficult to find. Unfortunately, most properties in Hawaii have Resort Fees. These fees are charged by the individual property and are not payable in advance. Resort Fees will be added to your bill upon check-out. The fees to cover several amenities, though, so they are not just an arbitrary fee added to your bill. Amenities covered by the resort fee can include: WiFi, local phone calls, coffee & tea service, daily newspaper, in room safe, and some even include parking. These fees are mandatory, so even if you use none of the covered amenities, you will still be charged. The good news, Resort Fees are generally less at condo properties than full service hotels and resorts.

Staying within your budget is probably one of the most important items on your wish list, and it is very important to let me know what that predetermined amount is. When I ask this question, I am not trying to be nosy, I am trying to narrow down and offer you the best choices for your family. As I said, I have been doing this for a long time, so I have a good feel for what will work best for your family. Having as much information as you can give me: the “wish list”, activities that are important, and ages of your children are all key in helping me assist you in planning a vacation that you and your children will remember for a long time. If a Hawaiian vacation is in your future plans, please contact me to help you plan a seamless family experience. sandi@totemtravel.com.

Private island adult only paradise – Matangi Resort in Fiji


I’ve said it before and will say it again, I am truly spoiled, but on a recent vacation in Fiji, Matangi Private Island Resort set a new high bar for barefoot luxury and pampered guest service. It may have been the ultra private treehouse with outdoor jacuzzi and rock shower, super comfy canopied bed, and stunning oceanview. Perhaps it was the soothing Fijian foot massage with coconut scrub and fragrant oils I received a few minutes after arrival. Or starting each day with a hand crafted latte with secret message in the foam, freshly baked muffins and amazing papaya and pineapple.

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It could easily have been the ever attentive but always discreet Sireli, Matangi Island Resort concierge, who ensured I was able to snorkel, hike, kayak, scuba dive, learn about coconuts, enjoy Horseshoe Bay and Buoma Waterfalls, nap on a swinging bed inches from the sea, and get back to the oceanfront spa for a bone melting Fijian massage. All without detracting from the sense of timelessness, serenity and leisurely island life.

It is possible that the excellent New Zealand wines added to my pleasure and most certainly the treat of three beautifully prepared and presented multi course meals all included at no extra charge. The seafood is fresh from the sea, fruits and vegetables are grown on the island and even the ice cream is homemade. Mmmmmm…. all served in a supremely elegant but barefoot casual, open air setting with gleaming hard wood floors, balmy island breezes and flickering candlelight. Did I mention all day cookies and coffee? But I digress…

Matangi Private Island Resort is a very special place for many reasons but it is not for everyone. You are miles and miles and miles from home. There are no roads on the island and no cars of any kind. There is no town nor stores. There are no televisions in the bures. There is no late night entertainment beyond some Fijian music, cocktails or kava, conversation with another guest. All you have is PRIVATE TIME WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER or travel companion and an awesome Fijian staff whose goal in life is to pamper you in every possible way. This is what makes Matangi Private Island Resort one of the best choices anywhere for a romantic honeymoon or special anniversary.   I’ve been to almost all the islands and resorts in the South Pacific and have traveled all over the world. Trust me, this place is exceptional and if you experience Matangi’s magic you’ll know what I mean!

(425) 821-4100 or linda@totemtravel.com

$1000 off at Sandals newest resort in Barbados


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Sandals Resorts International will be opening their newest Sandals “Couples Only” All Inclusive property on the island of Barbados sometime early in 2015.  On the heels of opening the stunning Sandals La Source, the grand opening of Sandals Barbados has everyone anxiously awaiting its debut. Now is the time to get some great deals on their newest resort.  Space is already filling up, but as of late summer, there is still availability in February 2015.

To kick things off, Sandals is offering a $1000 Air Credit on early bookings at Sandals Barbados.  In order to qualify for the $1000 Air Credit, you need to book at least 7 nights and your travel dates must be 2/14/15 or later.  This means you can stay 7 nights for as little as $3732 during high season!  For travel dates 2/17 onward, Sandals is also offering for a limited time, the $305 Island Routes Tour credit.  Sandals is also offering a generous $500 Air Credit for 3-6 night reservations, so if you don’t have a full week to travel, you can still take advantage of a nice discount. These deals can change at any time so call or email us now!

Some highlights to look forward to at Sandals Barbados are more luxury suites including club and butler level rooms that open up to a meandering crystal lagoon pool, as well as beachfront club and butler suites with tranquility soaking tubs.  Sandals Barbados looks to be following in the footsteps of Sandals La Source Grenada as far as the look and feel of the accommodations.  Add to the list more quality dining choices including gluten free and other dietary needs, grand swimming pools with swim up bars, and all your water sports activities included, put Sandals Barbados on your list of possibilities.

Other great deals and specials out for late summer/fall are more air credits for all the properties, including up to a $755 Air Credit for both their resorts in the Bahamas (Emerald Bay and Royal Bahamian), as well as Sandals La Source in Grenada.  The $305 Island Routes Credit is a fantastic promo for couples looking to explore the island and resort surroundings.   In addition to seeing and vacationing at all the various Sandals Resorts, we have taken many of the tours and can recommend activities to spend your Island Routes credit on.

Call (1-800-321-7907) or email us linda@totemtravel.com and we can tell you when to travel to take advantage of the best promos.  Happy Travels!  Linda, Patty & Sandi

Cruise Free on Royal Caribbean this fall!!


Oasis resize Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has terrific promo for the fall of 2014. The savings is unbelievable! Book 4 people in a cabin, and the 3rd and 4th go free! Free is good…very good!! If there’s just the 2 of you, no worries. RCCL has a great special for you, too. The second person in the cabin goes for ½ price….Sailing dates available through this promo run from October 15, 2015-through May, 31, 2016. As an example:

  • 3rd & 4th Free Promo: Freedom of the Seas, November 9th , Balcony cabin for 4 people: $3470 including all port charges and taxes! That’s for 4 people, not per person! Without the promo, this fare would be $4465! That’s a thousand bucks, folks!!
  • 2nd Guest ½ price: Freedom of the Seas, November 9th , Balcony cabin for 2 people: $2485 including all port charges and taxes. That’s for 2 people, not per person! Without the promo: Balcony cabin for 2 people: $3285

This particular sailing is a Western Caribbean itinerary, with ports of call in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Similar savings are available on all Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ships, except Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. There are several different itineraries, including Europe and Hawaii! The savings is available in most cruise cabin categories, too! This is the perfect time to get those BFFs together, or even a bachelor or bachelorette party! A family reunion or even a class reunion! How about a wedding at sea? Royal Caribbean has many beautiful wedding options, and how romantic…getting married at sea! And bring the whole wedding party with you on the honeymoon! A cruise to New England and Canada for the fall colors? So many choices… If you have been waiting until rates went down….now’s the time….bookings must be made by September 15th. Don’t miss out! Please contact sandi@totemtravel.com to get the ball rolling…or should I say get the ship sailing? 425-821-4100

Is Excellence Riviera Cancun “Adult Only” All Inclusive A Good Choice For A Honeymoon?


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With all the great choices for an all inclusive honeymoon or special anniversary trip in Mexico and the Caribbean, I always get asked which one is the best. If Excellence Riviera Maya has caught your eye and you are wondering if it is a good choice for you, I might be able to help you decide.

If you are looking for a medium to large size “adult only” all inclusive property, Excellence Riviera Cancun has approximately 348 suites (they will be adding more two story terrace suites and junior suites in the near future) and the property has a nice variety of room options from their standard junior suites, to swim up suites and the very popular two story terrace suites. All the rooms are nice and feature a whirlpool bath which seems to be on most couple’s wishlist.

If you are looking for a centrally located resort in Riviera Maya, Excellence Riviera Maya is smack in between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, so you are simply approximately 25 minutes from each of these areas. Set on a nice long beach, you can cab to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen quite easily, yet you get the atmosphere like you are far away from the buzz of the city or town.

If you like nice pools, Excellence Riviera Maya has 6 meandering pools that run throughout the property. Another key feature that appeals to many couples travelling to Mexico, authenticity! Excellence has a modern look that is blended with real Mayan charm. From the Palapa style restaurant that anchors the main pool to a charming Mexican courtyard, you definitely know you are in Mexico.

If you want plenty of dining options, Excellence has 8 international dining choices on site, including an Indian restaurant which is growing in popularity. If you are into spas, Excellence has one of the nicest spas in Riviera Maya. On my recent visit, I was again blown away by the 25 foot entry way arches/doorways that lead you into the sanctuary of the spa.

Finally, if you are looking at staying under or at $3k (LAND ONLY, including transfers) for 7 nights and two adults, then you can do this at Excellence Riviera Maya. Depending on which city you are flying from, you can usually do the entire trip for around $4k. And Excellence is an all inclusive property, so all your meals and drinks (including alcohol) are included.

So if you answered yes to a medium size resort on a nice beach, central location with several dining and room options, authentic style property under $3k, then I think you would REALLY enjoy Excellence Riviera Cancun. If you like the looks of Excellence Riviera Maya, but want to travel to the Caribbean, they do have a property in the Dominican Republic called Excellence Punta Cana. We travel to a wide variety of “adult only” all inclusive properties throughout Mexico and the Caribbean regularly, so let us serve as your travel counsel when planning your special trip. We do not charge any fees to use our service and we will do our best to find the best fit for your dream vacation. You can reach us at 1-800-321-7907 or on our website at www.totemtravel.com

Review of Sandals La Source Grenada and tips on island sightseeing


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One of the best perks of being a top Sandals agent is being invited to the grand openings when a new resort opens and I just returned from Sandals newest resort in Grenada, Sandals La Source. Here’s a quick review of the resort and some recommendations of what to see and do on the island of Grenada –

• Food and drink – All I can say is wow! I enjoyed some of the best meals I’ve had at any all-inclusive resort. Don’t miss the incredible crab crusted salmon at Le Jardinière; scrumptious shrimp, spinach and puff pastry appetizer or fiery jerk pork with fresh pineapple at Spices; delectable sushi at Soy; crepes with fresh fruit and specialty coffees at Café de Paris; Mediterranean inspired salad and local seafood at Neptunes; or a great steak at Butch’s Chophouse. Every dish I tried at Sandals La Source was excellent and a distinct step up from Sandals’ prior best. The same could be said of drinks and I had a mean martini, nutmeg infused rum punch, well-made black russian and several varieties of wine. All good and of course all included!

• Rooms – There isn’t a bad room in the house although I have clear favorites at every price point. Entry level rooms at Sandals La Source are lovely with comfy king beds, high end bath fixtures and huge walk in rain showers and you can choose a beachfront room quiet enough to be lulled to sleep by waves lapping at the shore or step up the energy and stay near the South Seas pool. Butler suites with private pools are stunning and come in an array of locations from ground level rondovals tucked amidst tropical gardens to the tippy top floor of the Italian Village with stunning ocean views. Waterfall and swim out river suites offer even more unique accommodation choices. Check out the kazillion room choices or ask for help choosing one of the best rooms at Sandals La Source in your price range!

• Beach – With the resort at 100% occupancy I found the beach half empty so there is ample space to spread out and find the perfect chaise lounge in the sun or shade. The sand is soft and white and the water clear and inviting with no seaweed or rocks to interfere with a delightful swim in the ocean. Drink service is available on the beach and there are no vendors hassling guests.

• Pools – There are too many to count! The South Seas signature pool is the largest with a huge swim up pool bar and cabanas dotting the perimeter. The Pink Gin section has a beautiful beachfront pool with sitting area and fire pits integrated into the design for day or nighttime enjoyment. Dozens of butler suites have their own private pool and Jacuzzi and swim up suites have direct access to a beautiful river pool which flows along the ground floor of the Italian Village.

• Watersports – Scuba divers and snorkelers will enjoy a vibrantly alive reef system teeming with brightly colored fish and coral. All dive equipment is free of charge and dive sites on Grenada include an underwater sculpture park, marine reserve and various walls and reefs. Seasoned sailors will find enough breeze on a typical day to challenge their skills and those new to the sport may request a ride with a watersports captain at the helm. Kayaks and trikes are in good supply but were unused during my stay.

• Fitness – There is a brand new fitness center with state of the art equipment, a personal trainer and daily classes including core training, abs blast, yoga, circuit training and aquasize.

• Weddings – Although many will choose a beach wedding with toes in the sand, my favorite spot at Sandals La Source Grenada was a secluded garden bridge amidst tropical foliage and flowers. But whatever setting is chosen Sandals Beautiful Beginnings Wedding package is free and getting married in Grenada is easy.

So where is Grenada and what would you see and do on the island? Grenada is known as the spice island and you’ll find cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, mace, vanilla and other spices growing is casual profusion. If you decide to tour the island stop and see John at the Spice Place for a demonstration of how spices are harvested and processed plus a nice selection of product for purchase. Belmont Estates is another great place to stop where you can learn about cocoa processing and taste the yummy product.

The coastline of Grenada is dotted with 55 beaches including one pink, 9 black sand and 45 white sand beaches. Leatherback turtles lay their eggs April through June on the north end of the island and a few months later baby turtles make their dash to the sea. Grenada’s interior is rainforest and there is dense vegetation, monkeys and numerous waterfalls to enjoy. It takes some hiking to reach 7 Sisters and Mt Carmel but other waterfalls are only steps from the road and easily accessible to all. Other sites include a historic fort, two rum factories and Leaper’s Hill where fleeing Carib’s leapt to their death to escape imprisonment by invadors.

Grenada is at the southern end of the Caribbean chain and escapes most tropical storms and hurricanes. In fact it was 50 years between major storms until Ivan and Emily packed their one two punch in 2004-5 so hopefully another 50 years will go by before the next storm to worry about! So put Grenada and Sandals La Source on your must do list and call or email linda@totemtravel.com for favorite room categories, help figuring out the somewhat challenging  air situation and more info to make your vacation or honeymoon perfect.

Still not sure how to choose the best all inclusive resort? Call us! We’ve been to all the resorts and will make it easy and fun to plan the perfect honeymoon, destination wedding or all inclusive vacation. Plus we guaranteed the lowest prices, can help with tours and special requests and will make sure you don’t miss any of the amazing specials and deals. That’s what we’re here for!

Attention foodies – top 25 list includes all inclusive resort favorites!


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Here at Totem Travel we get a lot of questions about food, especially the food served at Caribbean island resorts since that is our #1 destination and honeymoon clients mention a great dining experience as often as they mention a fabulous beach or romantic ambiance when we ask for a wish list. So when I spotted this list of the best hotels for food I couldn’t wait to share.

Foodies that question if fine dining can ever be synonymous with all inclusive will be happy to note that three of our favorite all inclusive resorts made the list – adult only Sandals Whitehouse on Jamaica, the unique and romantic Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, and Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Other long time faves include Cap Maison and Ladera in the lovely island of St Lucia and Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

1. Ritz Carlton – Grand Cayman

2. Graycliff – Bahamas

3. Cap Maison – St Lucia

4. Belmond La Samanna – St Martin

5. Sugar Mill – British Virgin Islands

6. CuisinArt – Anguilla

7. Eden Rock – St Barth

8. Cap Est Lagoon – Martinque

9. Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Mexico

10. Four Seasons – Nevis

11. One & Only Ocean Club – Bahamas

12. Young Island – St Vincent

13. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

14. Frangipani Beach Hotel – Anguilla

15. Regent Palms – Turks and Caicos

16. Zoetry Agua – Punta Cana

17. Half Moon – Jamaica

18. Ladera – St Lucia

19. Montpelier – Nevis

20. La Toubana – Guadeloupe

21. Sandals Whitehouse – Jamaica

22. St Regis Bahia – Puerto Rico

23. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club – Nevis

24. Cobblers Cove – Barbados

25. Avial – Curacao

But even the best food is only one feature of a great getaway so we hope you’ll call, email or request a quote from the tropical island experts at Totem Travel and we’ll make sure every aspect of your honeymoon or vacation is the best it can possibly be!

Will my credit card be accepted in Europe, Australia, Fiji…


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Totem Travel specializes in international travel so we get a lot of questions about foreign currency, cash and credit cards while traveling abroad. Here’s my recommendation for all but a handful of destinations including most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands of Fiji and Tahiti, the Caribbean, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica

Travel with $2-300 in cash, an ATM card and two major credit cards. Call the customer service number on the back of each card before you leave to advise that you’ll be out of the country. The bank will note your travel dates and destinations and this will forestall a security hold for “unusual activity”. You should also verify your daily limit for ATM transactions and check on any credit/debit card fees for international purchases.

ATM machines are located in all major airports, near major tourist attractions and throughout the cities and towns just as there are here. Plus most hotels, restaurants and stores accept major credit cards. The ATM is normally the least expensive and most convenient way to get cash and the only trick is to convert your daily limit in U.S. dollars to the local currency then take out that amount. That way you get the bank rate of exchange with the lowest possible fee.

The worst place to get cash is a currency exchange counter! They either charge astronomical fees or have a terrible exchange rate and they are masters at advertising only one aspect of the transaction… We also do not recommend travelers check unless you don’t have credit/debit cards. Travelers checks are not widely accepted and they are a hassle to use.

One more suggestion – if you are buying something expensive (e.g. jewelry, original art) use a credit card and make sure your receipt states specifics for the purchase. Fraud is not a common problem but if your emeralds turn out to be green glass most major credit cards have fraud protection and will reverse the charge if challenged and documented.

I hope you find this information helpful and call or email if you need help planning the perfect vacation in Europe or Australia. My passion is helping clients get the most of every travel experience and I love designing customized itineraries to meet your special wish list whether that is wine tasting in Florence Italy or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef!

Totem Travel 12305 120th Ave NE Kirkland, WA 98034
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