Newsletter for April 2019

April 6, 2019 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment

Greetings!

Even though some states are still experiencing the weather of winter, believe me, spring is in the air in other states. This is evident with the pollen causing health problems, so hang in there! The owners of Nomadic Star Travel recently completed an action-packed, fun-filled cruise on the Smooth Jazz Cruise that is produced by Entertainment Cruise Productions. Some of our repeat clients from Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Virginia joined us, and the new clients from Virginia and Maryland had their first “taste” of the Smooth Jazz Cruise.  Most of the guests rebooked prior to disembarking the ship, and we are grateful they were happy and appreciate their business.

After disembarking the ship from the Smooth Jazz Cruise, the owners hired a taxi from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and got onboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas for seven days! This ship is amazing.

If you are interested in experiencing a ship that something for EVERYONE, please contact us. Royal Caribbean has excellent specials this entire month … don’t be left behind … contact us today!

Nomadic Star Travel, LLC is a full-service travel agency dedicated to giving the client personal attention to each and every travel request. We are happy to provide one quote free, so sharing your budget and all required details are important, as we do not want to offer travel that is not within your budget. We accept all major credit/debit cards and personal checks as long as checks are made payable to the agency and arrive seven (7) days prior to payment date.

We offer travel by land (bus/rail), air and sea. We offer travel to individuals and groups, and have convenient payment plans to fit most budgets. Travel advisors stay abreast of the latest travel trends by attending conferences and seminars. Nomadic Star Travel owners will be attending the Travel Leaders Network Edge Conference in June 2019, and promise to share the details in the July 2019 Newsletter.

Hours of operation for Nomadic Star Travel, LLC:

  • Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
  • Friday: 9am-4pm
  • Closed Saturday, Sunday, and ALL major holidays

There is one caveat to our hours of operation. When we have students traveling abroad, we can always be contacted by telephone or email by the institution’s staff.We recommend the use of a travel advisor for your travels as opposed to booking your travel online, and you can count on Nomadic Star Travel, LLC to make your travel less stressful.

Thinking about a cruise?

When approached by some one who think they want to take a cruise, we ask the following questions first: (1) Do you have a date in mind? (2) Have you cruised before? (3) Do you have a cruise line or ship in mind?

US Citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe in 2021 … this is NOT a Visa Program!

US citizens visiting parts of Europe will need authorization from the European Union come 2021.The EUannounced last year it was creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travellers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area.”

The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland. Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without any sort of travel authorization. ETIAS will change that.

Visa-free travelers, including US citizens, will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area. They can complete an application and pay a service fee of 7 euros (about $8) online. The authorization is valid for three years.

“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the European Commission said in a statement.

The United States has a similar system called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA. The United States will not be the only country affected by the changes. From 2021, citizens from 60 countries will be required to apply for the ETIAS before entering the Schengen Area. Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel and Mauritius are among those countries.

Reasons to Visit Washington, DC in April

  • The REACH: The Kennedy Center Expansion – A $175-million, Steve

Holl designed extension of this world-famous site adds not just rehearsal and performance space, but also an amazing new venue for weddings and meetings.

Premium wedding spaces include the Skylight Pavilion, which can hold up to about 400 guests, overlooking the Potomac. The official opening, in September, will offer two weeks of special programming and open houses expected to attract thousands of music and art lovers.

  • Amazing new properties and hot new neighborhoods.  The most exciting is the K Street Downtown Corridor, around Franklin Square, four blocks that are now home to a row of lawyers and lobbyists and the new headquarters of “The Washington Post.” In April, it will add the luxury, 360-room Conrad Washington, D.C., with a Bryan and Michael Voltaggio restaurant; a rooftop bar; and two pillar-free ballrooms in 32,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Down the block is the Eaton Hotel, an upstart wellness brand; a new Marriott Moxy; the beautifully renovated, Art Deco-style Hamilton Hotel; and a new European-inspired Riggs Hotel.
  • The new International Spy Museum – In addition to just the fun of it, the new home of the enlarged and greatly expanded Spy Museum adds a theater and a rooftop event space with sweeping views of the city and the Washington Monument. The top two floors are rentable space, and the rooftop can be left open to the sky or covered in case of inclement weather. The museum has “a shocking amount of weddings” on the books for this year.
  • Enchant Christmas – What do you do with a baseball stadium in the middle of winter? Turn it into a Winter Wonderland, of course. A light maze, a Christmas market, 100-foot-tall Christmas trees, and, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, will transform Nationals Stadium into the North Pole for 35 nights this winter. Guests can ice skate in the infield or party in the private suites; prices start at about $20 per person.
  • The Cherry Blossoms – The Cherry Blossom Season will began this year on March 31, and the trees will be at their finest on April 3-6. Many hotels will offer cherry-themed specials. Kimpton Hotels has a pink-doored Cherry Blossom Suite with live blossoms in the room and a Cherry Blossom Package that includes a map of the best viewing spots.

Some of the Most Beautiful Cities in America … how many have you traveled?

  • Portland, Maine– From streets filled with Victorian-era homes to classic rocky coastlines, the scenery of Portland is truly unparalleled—and you can’t visit without stopping by the Portland Head Light, which affords some of the best ocean views around. The town also entices you to extend your stay with accommodations like the Press Hotel. Some of Portland’s restaurants include Eventide Oyster, Honey Paw, Central Provisions nad Portland Lobster Company.
  • Harpers Ferry, West Virginia has a lot going on, geographically speaking. After all, it’s where West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet, and where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers combine. The scenic junction and surrounding Harpers Ferry National Historical Park make for one very picturesque townscape, especially during those leafy autumn months. The town offers constant historical tours (it was the site of John Brown’s raid) and the occasional ghost tour. You can engage in kayaking, rafting, zip lining, rock climbing and hike on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Asheville, North Carolinais well established as a food destination. You could spend all day exploring the North Carolina Arboretum, the dignified Biltmore Estate, and grand dame Omni Grove Park Inn.
  • Nantucket, Massachusettsknown as a quintessential summer getaway, travelers come to Nantucket every year to walk among the narrow rows of wood-paneled houses and bike out to the lighthouses that ring the island. Although crescent-shaped Nantucket may be small, it has room for terrains ranging from sand dunes to salt marshes to craggy bluffs. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad photograph here. My sister, Carolyn and I, visited Nantucket three years in a row and had wonderful times there. We rented mopeds to get around the island, and loved the cobblestone streets!
  • Lake Placid, New York is a small village in the Adirondacks, is stunning pretty much year round, thanks to its combination of rolling mountains and the clear, spring-fed, 2,173-acre lake. Home to just over 2,500 people, it is a rustic getaway that’s popular with hikers, fishermen, and skiers. (it was home to two Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980).
  • Augustine, Florida – You’ll quickly forget the Florida you think you know when you enter this Spanish-founded seaside city that dates back to 1565. St. Augustine is the oldest permanent European settlement in the continental U.S., home to some of the country’s first Spanish colonial architecture and many historic buildings constructed in the centuries since. St. Augustine also played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and there is a Freedom Trail where you can walk in the footsteps of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Don’t miss the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century fortress complete with drawbridges and daily cannon fire.
  • Big Sur, California – Set atop windswept cliffs hugging the Santa Lucia Mountains to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Big Sur is breathtakingly beautiful. Though the town is sparsely populated, it has two top hotels: the five-star Post Ranch Inn and the four-star Ventana Big Sur. Fans of counterculture literature will also enjoy the fact that Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, and Henry Miller all have ties to Big Sur—and the latter left behind a museum filled with Beat-era books and memorabilia. If your time is short, at the very least, take a drive through the town on Route 1.
  • Annapolis, Maryland – This charming town, with brick-lined streets and structures that date back centuries, was founded in the mid-1600s. Set on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis went on to become a pivotal port for Civil War munitions, then was a fishing city (though, nowadays most of the trawlers have now beenreplaced by pleasure boats). Today, it’s home to the U.S. Naval Academy, and visitors are able to take tours of the vast, Beaux Arts campus, after which a visit to visit O’Learys Seafood Restaurant for crab cakes is essential.
  • Sedona, Arizona is in the shadow of red-rock monoliths and benefits from its striking location. Visitors often beeline for its buttes, canyons, and spires. On clear nights, take in the region’s light-pollution-free sky’s dazzling display of stars.
  • Bozeman, Montana is set in a lovely pastoral region known as “The Valley of the Flowers,” Bozeman is incredibly scenic. It sits at an elevation of 4,820 feet and is surrounded by mountains—the Bridger Mountains to the north-northeast and the Tobacco Root Mountains to the west-southwest—on all sides.
  • Newport, Rhode Island – Newport is practically synonymous with tony New England, where sailboats dot the harbor and the well-heeled explore the cobbled shopping wharves. Every summer, visitors flock to Fort Adams, a lush green expanse at the mouth of the Narragansett Bay, for the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival.
  • Friday Harbor, Washington – This beautiful hamlet sits in the farthest northwest reaches of Washington, with a marina at Roche Harbor that serves as a jumping-off point for cruising around small, uninhabited islands. Friday Harbor was once a major produce provider for the state, but these days, the economy is centered around tourism—sea kayaking and orca whale-watching are the biggest draws. Year-round ferries from Anacortes (on the mainland) make it easy to visit in every season.
  • Santa Barbara, California – This coastal town is a classic Golden State beauty as it offers both incredible south-facing ocean frontage and views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The town also happens to be a surfer’s paradise.
  • Sitka, Alaska is widely considered the most beautiful town in Alaska—mountains known as the “Sisters” serve as a backdrop, and spruce trees grow almost down to the sea. The harborside town is quaint and compact, with the look of a Wild West enclave, complete with flat-fronted wooden buildings that wouldn’t look out of place in a John Wayne film. The natural beauty and remote location of Sitka makes it a beloved destination for hikers, climbers, hunters, and fishermen; head just a few miles out of town and you’ll feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, in the best possible sense.
  • Taos, New Mexico – The lovely high-desert town of Taos has a long and fascinating history. The Taos Pueblo is three miles from the center of the town, has been home to native peoples for nearly a millennium, making the community one of the oldest continually occupied places in the U.S. I is also an UNESCO world Heritage site. Today, the town is known for its culture: Painters, sculptors, and writers began to come here in 1899, and Taos now has a thriving artists’ colony. The town’s natural beauty—with red-rock canyons, clear blue desert skies, and snow-capped mountains on the horizon—is both reflected in and inspires creative people of all palates.
  • Paia, Hawaii is all about indulging your castaway fantasies in this small village on Maui’s North Coast. The town center is sweet, even a little hip: It boasts a too-cool tattoo parlor and boutiques selling stylish, locally made beachwear. However, insiders know that Paia is all about the beach.
  • Telluride, Colorado – Telluride sure seems to be on everyone’s radar these days: Not only was it voted one of the best small cities in the U.S. in last year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, but it was also dubbed the 10th friendliest city in this year’s survey. The funky ski town looks like some sort of movie set, and is filled with travel worthy restaurants and hotels.
  • Traverse City, Michigan – So named for its port at the very south of the Grand Traverse Bay, it is a popular summertime getaway for city-dwellers in the Midwest, though four-season outdoor activities beckon. But just because it’s pretty much the epitome of “Pure Michigan” (the state’s tourism motto) doesn’t mean that Traverse City lacks sophistication.
  • Camden, Maine – This classic New England seaside town is so picture-perfect, it was the primary filming location for the 1957 movie Peyton Place. The motto of Camden has long been “Where the mountains meet the sea,” and indeed, Mount Battie and Bald Mountain rise up above the harbor and the village; a hike to the top of the former will reward you with a stellar view. There are some gems, like boutique hotel Whitehall, a white-clapboard beauty.

River Cruising in 2019

River cruising is a hot topic in the travel world, especially with the average age demographic dropping as cruise brands start targeting younger travelers for their voyages around the world. A report was done by Cruise Lines International Association in 2018 that revealed millennials are choosing to river cruise at a higher rate than any other generation. One thing that river cruises have been doing particularly well, especially in the last few years, has been to offer guests more off-the-beaten path experiences, taking them deeper into locations than ever before. They are giving guests the chance to immerse themselves in a culture, giving them more excursions to choose from than just a walking tour of a city (or village) – which, walking tours are fine, but travelers are looking more and more for access these days.

Most Countries Require Tourists Purchase Travel Insurance. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland require travel insurance for visitors, students and expats before they enter their borders. As tourism has grown, so has the hospitalization and medical cost many countries have had to cover for vacationers who required healthcare services while visiting. Additionally, Cuba, Ecuador, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. are requiring the same. On August 28, 2018, Egypt announced its plans to introduce mandatory compulsory insurance; and Thailand is currently undergoing a debate on mandatory travel insurance for visiting tourists. Visitors who cannot provide proof of travel insurance may be required to either purchase a policy onsite or be denied entry into the country, which is one reason Nomadic Star Travel, LLC strongly encourages all to purchase travel, accident, and baggage insurance.

Giving quotes for airfare.

Please, unless you are ready to book airfare, do not ask for a quote as the quote given is the airfare in real time. Airlines can and do change the fare within a moment’s notice. If you are price shopping, please contact the airlines directly as we take time to search our database for the airline you request, and it is time-consuming to give you a quote, and you do not book, yet say you will call back.

All-inclusive resorts include airfare, transfers to/from resort, all activities at the resort (food and drink). The airfare must be paid for at time of booking, plus a deposit for the adults land portion.

Plan Ahead – Best Places to Travel in April

Setouchi, Japan. Japan’s southwestern region of Setouchi is anchored by the city of Hiroshima, where the Peace Memorial will reopen this month after an eight-year, $51 million refurbishment, just before the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing next year. Combine a trip to this important site with an exploration of the Seto Inland Sea nearby, where a cluster of islands is transformed beginning this month for the Setouchi Triennale, a contemporary art fest held every three years that brings the work of 150 artists to rural Japan. The Triennale is held in three so-called semesters throughout 2019, the first of which runs from late April.

Cape Town. South Africa’s southernmost city has rebounded from its water shortages last year and that is a good thing, since April is one of the its driest months. For visitors, of course, the lack of rainfall makes this month an ideal time for a visit. In the city, hunker down at the waterfront One&Only Cape Town, a luxe perch in the heart of town, and linger in the astonishing converted grain silos of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, the world’s largest such institution dedicated to arts from the continent and its diaspora. If you’re feeling energetic, sign up for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon on Easter Sunday, whose scenic route is an ideal, if sweaty, way to see the city’s far reaches. For a less strenuous al fresco experience, head inland to the wine country in and around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where fall marks the beginning of the annual harvest.

Coachella Valley.The desert outside Palm Springs hosts three pilgrimage-worthy bashes this month—two for festival fans, and another for the arterati. It’s the 20th anniversary of Coachella, which for two weekends will lure fringed-jacket wearers and those who love them to see headliners like Thank U Next­-er Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino; later in the month, on the same polo fields in the town of Indio, pack a Stetson and some swagger for Stagecoach, when country music’s top talent, including Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, will perform live here.

New Orleans. April marks the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the four-day celebration of the music-soaked history of the Crescent City. As ever, it’s drawn an A-list line-up, including Diana Ross, Jimmy Buffett, plus joint headliners—the generation-spanning pairing of Katy Perry and the Rolling Stones. There are other reasons to head to New Orleans this month, too, not least because it marks your last chance to stroll outdoors before the summer stickiness begins to bite. The five-day Wine & Food Experience is hosted by more than 100 of the city’s fine restaurants, and offers special dinners with pairings for vintages around the world. Look for crawfish on the menu, as the signature dish is finally in season, and boils become ubiquitous at the best restaurants.

New Zealand. The balmy weather this month is a boon for the outdoorsy mecca of the South Island, the spiritual home of adventure sports.

Milan.The design world hijacks Italy’s fashion capital this month, as it descends en masse for the Salone del Mobile Milano (known in English as the Milan Furniture Fair, though insiders in all languages just call it Salone). The 58th edition brings 2,500 exhibitors to the city, showcasing the best in international design.

U.S. Passports Cost Increased. Getting a passport will cost $10 more for all U.S. travelers. The passport execution fee will be $35, which means that adult passport books will now cost $145, up from $135, while child passports (aged 16-years-old and younger) will now cost $115, up from $105. Individuals who apply for a passport renewal by mail will not see a fee increase.

REAL ID.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will enforce the REAL ID in October 2020. All travelers will be required to have the REAL ID to clear airport security. Passports, military IDs and Global Entry cards are perfectly acceptable to clear airport security. Travels under the age of 18 do not require identification, as the ID of the adults with whom they travel will cover them. Getting a Real ID-compliant driver’s license requires showing a birth certificate or passport, so the name on some licenses might change.

Top 10 Cities for 2019

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Shēnzhèn, China
  • Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Miami, Florida, USA
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Seattle, USA
  • Zadar, Croatia
  • Meknès, Morocco

 

Top 10 Countries for 2019 – Other picks for 2019 include Zimbabwe, whose Victoria Falls and Mana Pools national parks are back on the tourist maps after years of being avoided.

  • Sri Lanka
  • Germany
  • Zimbabwe
  • Panama
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Jordan
  • Indonesia
  • Belarus
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Belize

Travel is a huge investment … let us help you!

Nomadic Star Travel, LLC would like to be “Your Passport to Adventure”

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