A Review of Jamie’s 2023 “Do”s and “Don’t”s
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Welcome Back to our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! After every trip to a new destination, Jamie gives us her perspective as both a traveler, and a travel advisor, through a quick but comprehensive list of what to do or not do at each vacation location!
Jamie travels so much in the pursuit of research in order to always provide the clientele of Love of the Magic Vacations with the most comprehensive and up to date information about destinations around the world! How lucky we are to follow along and learn from her adventures as she always comes back with such specific advice about each location!
Just like we pulled together 2023’s List of Inspiring Itineraries all in one place, here are Jamie’s 2023 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s altogether too, so you can easily bookmark this blog and check Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s list before you travel to see if Jamie has been wherever you’re going, and what advice she has for your destination!
Trip by Trip:
1. Group Cruising
Group Cruising has gotten bigger and better recently, with themed groups for almost anything you can think of, from refined wine-tasting experiences to Taylor Swift Era Tour Cruises! Want to know Jamie’s most important tips for making your Group Cruise the best experience possible? Head over to the blog to find out!
2. Universal Studios Orlando
While we all know Jamie and the entire Love of the Magic Vacations team LOVES us some Disney, we all universally LOVE Universal Studios, too! With TWO Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter, huge, thrilling coasters, Seussland for the kiddos, and incredible nightlife along City Walk, what’s not to love? Check out Jamie’s favorites on the blog!
3. River Cruising
River Cruising has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and is much different than the stereotypes people may have heard about it. The clientele of River Cruises is more diverse than ever, with many ships being family friendly now, and the destinations have expanded to countries (and rivers of course) all over the world. Of course, Jamie has you covered with all the best tips and tricks for the best River Cruise experience!
With all the specific Disney-related tips Jamie has up her sleeve, for Holidays at the Parks, and Group Disney Experiences, we almost didn’t realize that a straightforward “Do”s and “Don’t”s of Disneyland was missing from the collection! So click on the Disneyland Blog for everything you need to know about the Disney Parks in California!
As many of you know, Chicago is a very familiar place for Jamie and her family, and when the opportunity for a Girls’ Weekend in the Windy City presented itself, Jamie jumped at the chance to head back to some former stomping grounds with the girls! Whether you’ve never been to Chicago, or have been there many times before, Jamie’s tips are sure to give you some insight into the best things to do around the city!
6. International Travel
With International Travel back on the rise (and climbing, too), there are tons of helpful tidbits to know to make your trip easier and more enjoyable. And with Jamie being the very experienced International Traveler that she is, her tips and tricks are sure to save you time, money and stress, too! Do yourself a favor and check out this blog before you travel anywhere internationally!
7. Rome, Italy
As one of the most popular European Cruise Port Cities, Jamie has visited Rome quite a few times in the last few years, and knows exactly what to do and see whether you’re spending a week in the famous Italian city, or just a day or two pre- or post-cruise! Head over to the blog for her Must-Dos and Must-Don’ts!
8. European Cruising
Jamie’s Family Summer Vacation of 2023 was an Epic European Cruise on the Celebrity Beyond, which she hails as one of her best vacations ever! There’s a lot more to “Best Vacation Ever” status than just picking a great destination, though, and Jamie’s extensive travels through Europe and on cruises helped her elevate her family’s summer vacation to that sought after Best Ever status. Be sure to check out her advice if you want the same for your family’s next vacation, too!
9. Fort Lauderdale
While many people think of Fort Lauderdale as just a Cruise Port, there is so much more that the city has to offer, whether you’re there to start a cruise, or to spend time in the city itself, since it’s a great destination all on its own! Jamie has visited Fort Lauderdale frequently, both before a cruise, and also as a stand-alone destination, and she knows all the fantastic things Fort Lauderdale has to offer (and also what to avoid, too), so head over to the blog for everything you need to know!
10. Virgin Voyages
If you haven’t noticed, Virgin Voyages has quickly become a Cruise Line that Jamie (and the rest of the LOTMV Team) are OBSESSED with! Between the food, the vibe, the entertainment, the Adults-Only atmosphere, and SO much more that makes VV unique, it’s hard not to become obsessed and keep going back for more! Whether you’ve already become a frequent VV Sailor, or you’ve yet to take your virgin Virgin Voyage, Jamie’s Dos and Don’ts will take your VV Cruise to the next level!
11. Disney Cruise Line
And speaking of Cruise Lines that we absolutely LOVE, Disney Cruise Line is, and will always be, an All Time Favorite. There’s just something about bringing that Disney Magic out onto the open ocean, and sailing along with your favorite characters to destinations far beyond the Parks (where we usually get our necessary dose of Disney Magic) is seriously the stuff dreams are made of! Whatever ship you’re sailing on, to whatever destination, Jamie’s got you covered with her best advice on the blog!
Everyone loves an island getaway, especially one in the Caribbean that’s not too far away, but sometimes with all the islands there, it’s hard to remember what to do, or not do, on each one. But that’s where Jamie’s expert help comes in! Whether you already have your trip booked, or you’re looking into Curacao for your next island adventure, Jamie’s tips and tricks specific to Curacao will be invaluable to you as you prepare for your trip!
13. Santorini, Greece
Magic is a word that we usually reserve for describing Disney, but there are a select few places across the world that are nothing short of Magical, as well, and Santorini happens to be one of them! While it has become an increasingly popular destination, anyone who visits clearly understands the allure because the beauty of Santorini is undeniable. Just make sure to check out Jamie’s top tips before you go, so you know how to avoid the crowds, and maximize your time and experience of this Magical Greek Island.
Sometimes the beauty of travel is being completely surprised by how much you love a place you wind up in! Turkey just happened to be one of the stops on Jamie’s Epic Celebrity Beyond European Cruise this summer, and it wound up being one of her favorite days of the whole trip! Whether you stop on a cruise or make Turkey the main destination of your European Trip, you’ll want to check out Jamie’s best advice for Turkey so you love it as much as she did!
Overall Travel “Do”s and “Don’t”s
Although Jamie has traveled to such a variety of places since starting this “Do”s and “Don’ts” Blog Series, from islands in the middle of the ocean to theme parks practically in her own backyard, there are still some Overall Travel “Do”s and “Don’t”s that apply to any trip, all of which will be helpful as you plan for any 2024 Travel!
So Let’s Plan Some Adventures for 2024! But First…
Top Favorites and Jamie’s “Must-Do” Travel Experiences
1. DO Have a Plan
Like most things over the last few years, the Travel World is not the same as it once was. These days, with limited supplies and limited staff, it’s much more difficult to travel with the attitude of seeing where the wind takes you and hoping for the best. Airplane tickets and car rentals are at premium demand and premium prices, so without having a plan, you could possibly wind up stranded somewhere you don’t want to be; museums and cultural institutions almost all require advance tickets or reservations; some theme parks still require reservations months in advance, and even restaurants, sometimes not even just the ones at Disney, if you’re trying to get into anything super high end or Michelin-Starred, also require reservations months in advance. If you really must just go where the wind takes you, be prepared for it to not always take you everywhere you actually want to go…
.2. DO Experience Local Culture
It’s been said before and will be said again and again, because it bears repeating that the very best part of travel is experiencing new things, new cultures, new traditions, new ways of life besides our own. It is the people and their local culture that brings any destination to life. Seeing a world outside of our own everyday life and meeting people whose beliefs and traditions are different from our own are the things that keep our minds and hearts open to diversity. Getting to experience local culture helps us to see beauty in the unfamiliar, instead of fearing it or creating divides because of it. In our often-divided world, travel unites us and brings people together.
And it’s a huge reason why we at Love of the Magic Vacations love and believe in what we do so much, we are so grateful to be able to plan journeys that create lifelong memories for our clients through their travel experiences, and we are also grateful to know we are building bridges throughout the world as well, one client and one trip at a time!
3. DO Pack Your Patience
If we’ve all learned anything about travel over the last few years, it’s that things don’t always go exactly according to schedule anymore (honestly, did they ever, really?). There may be flight delays, there may be longer lines than expected, and there will probably be more crowds with fewer staff to serve the masses, but in the end, you (with the help of your trusted LOTMV Travel Advisor), will get where you need to go.
And instead of looking at the situation from a negative point of view (by thinking about how terrible the crowds and lines and delays may be), take the knowledge that you will need extra patience and put it to good use, because almost everything is easier when you know what to expect going into it. Be prepared with a phone charger if that helps you on long lines, or a book for flight delays, and always try to remember that you get more bees with honey than with vinegar, so choose kindness over chaos. Pack your patience and you’ll arrive to your destination in a much better mood (and likely with lower blood pressure, too).
Top “Must-Don’t”s, or Things Jamie Would Do Differently
1. DON’T Travel Without Insurance
Although travel insurance was once thought of as a rarely needed add-on, it has now become a necessity when traveling. Between viruses and extreme weather and flight cancellations and generally any unforeseeable occurrence, it is way, way safer to protect the investment of your trip with travel insurance than to leave the whole thing up to chance without it. It’s a very simple way to have peace of mind about your trip, and there’s no good reason not to protect your trip with travel insurance.
2. DON’T Just Wing-It Without a Travel Advisor
All of us at Love of the Magic Vacations sincerely love what we do; we love to travel ourselves, and we are passionate about helping other people experience the world in new ways and about creating opportunities that bring families together and make memories that will be passed down for generations. And at the same time, we all still know people who are skeptical about why using a Travel Advisor is necessary.
So just imagine for a moment planning your next trip, and all the questions you have to ask yourself and figure out the answers to:
– What’s the best time of year to visit your chosen destination? Your Travel Advisor already knows.
– What are the best places to stay? Your Travel Advisor will already have a list to choose from.
– How should you structure your trip? Your Travel Advisor is ready with Inspiring Itineraries for any location.
– When is the best time to purchase airfare? Your Travel Advisor knows!
– What are the best tours and how do you get tickets? Your Travel Advisor has all the inside info!
– What/When/Where/Why/How for anything about travel? Your Travel Advisor either knows or knows where and how to find out any information you need!
And besides answering all of your questions, your Travel Advisor takes care of all the details so you don’t have to worry about a thing, in addition to spending hours on the phone fixing any issues that arise so that you don’t have to use your own time doing so. In most other situations, no one questions going to a professional in the field, and views professional knowledge and experience as worth the expense; with Travel Advisors, there is often either no extra expense, or a minimal cost for extra services, and Travel Advisors provide you with professional Travel expertise and services to make your vacations the best travel experiences possible. With everything a Travel Advisor has to offer, there’s no reason NOT to use a Travel Advisor, plus you brighten our days by allowing us to do what we love!
Ready To Plan?
Now that you have the rundown of all of Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s for 2023, plus her Bonus Overall Travel “Do”s and “Don’t”s, are you ready to plan your journeys of 2024? Your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor is waiting to hear from you to get started planning your next adventure!
Don’t Forget: A new list of Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s comes out the Friday after Jamie returns from her latest trip!
And be sure to check out our Inspiring Itineraries as well, featuring a Perfect Plan for your next vacation, and highlighting a new destination each month!
Contact your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor or email hello@LOTMV.com to start planning today!