There are many reasons to travel:
1. It's good for you. Many studies show that workers are more productive in their jobs if they regularly use their vacation days. You come back refreshed and ready to tackle the next big task. Many thousands of vacation days go unused by Americans each year. Try to use yours this year and come back refreshed too.
2. It's good for your kids. A recent study by the Student and Youth Travel Association has shown that kids do better in school if they travel often. It resets their brains, just like ours, and opens their minds to other people and cultures, not to mention all the cool things they can see and experience while traveling.
3. There are so many unique and rare things that are disappearing or we are losing. The Maldives are sinking, the Easter Island statues are eroding away and even age old landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral can be lost in an instant. Travel and see these things that are priceless and special. Some day they might not, or will not be here.
4. Travel is a memory maker. Even when things go wrong on a trip-- cancelled flights, sickness or mishaps of other kinds- they build memories to look back on and share. The hard times and the fun times can be things that we laugh about later on and are things that only the people on the trip share. Like a good inside joke.
So travel together, make memories, come back refreshed. It is time well spent!
Several things I always remember when I book a stateroom on a cruise ship for a customer:
What is important to you in stateroom size and window options. Interior cabins are usually smaller in size but have no window. If you like to sleep in it is a great option. Oceanview cabins have a large window so you can see the waves from your window. Balcony cabins have an outdoor space that you can enjoy if you love a brisk sea breeze. Interior cabins are the cheapest and balconies are more expensive.
Make sure you look at the deck plans of the ship. When you find a stateroom you think you want look at the decks above and below you to make sure you aren't over the night club which would make for late night noise that could keep you awake.
If you are prone to motion sickness, pick a cabin that is low in the ship and towards the middle. These staterooms tend to feel the pitching of the ship less than cabins at the front and back and top of the ship.
My husband and I took a cruise this January to celebrate an upcoming wedding anniversary. He had been itching to see the Panama Canal after reading the book "Pathway to the Seas" by David McCollough.
We decided on Holland America for our cruise line and set off on our adventure.
We visited several ports of call before Panama and enjoyed them all. The day of the canal was so exciting for both of us, but especially my hubby. We crossed through the three locks on the Atlantic side and then anchored in Gatun Lake. Here we tendered off the ship and started a shore excursion which took us by train-- the Panama Canal Railroad-- the full length of the canal to the Pacific side. Here we visited the Miraflores locks and the Panama Canal Museum. It was full of exhibits and artifacts that told us about the building of the canal. It was very interesting and enlightening. We then took our tour bus back to the Atlantic side to meet up with our ship again.
We had a wonderful time on our trip. We were pampered by the ship's crew, fed wonderful food and visited destinations we had never thought of visiting before.
I highly recommend this cruise for a winter get-away and especially if you are a canal fan!
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