Destination Wedding Scams

Long Layovers at Airports

by JuJuB


Have a few hours to spare before your next flight leaves? Looking for something to do? Perhaps you need to relax a bit. At the San Francisco Airport, a long layover means time to stretch your joints and muscles, so check out their yoga room. It’s a space that they say is devoted to relaxation, self-reflection and, of course, practicing yoga. There is no charge to use the facility. Chicago O’Hare Airport, Chicago Midway Airport, and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport all have yoga rooms as well.

Just recently, DFW Airport announced that it’s producing its own instruction video for its newest yoga studio to add to the complimentary practice mats, exercise balls and stretch bands they have for travelers. Now you don’t need to know yoga because they will loop a series of 20-minute-long video yoga classes offering instructions for beginners and advanced yoga students simultaneously.

At the Albuquerque International, travelers can spend time away from the hustle and bustle in the Sunport Meditation Room. In the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport also has a meditation center.

See a movie because films run all day and night at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and The Portland International Airport just added short films, produced by local filmmakers that are intended to introduce travelers to things going on in and around Oregon and show off local Portland hot spots. Portland’s Airport is teaming up with the PDX Theater in Portland to create a series of films intended to reach this captive audience.  Miami International Airport has a pop-up theater which shows old classics and features silent films and Changi Airport has 24-hour movies.

First and Business Class passengers of Etihad Airways can enjoy a spa treatment at Six Senses Spa Abu Dhabi Airport in Abu Dhabi Terminals 1 and 3. Guests traveling in Etihad Premium cabins can enjoy 15 and 25-minute tension-releasing massages focusing on areas of concern, body treatments and balancing facials to bring the glow back into the skin.

Treatment reservations can only be made and paid for on the day of travel at the spa reception. First Class passengers and Platinum Card holders can avail a complimentary 15-minute spa or express treatment at Style & Shave by Etihad in Abu Dhab.

Want to get your nails done? JFK features the very first Clubhouse Spa, with New York hairstylist Bumble & Bumble and a unique spa collaboration with skincare specialists. The spa is closed for morning flights.

Elite Travel Management Group, Inc



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Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation that was created over 600 million years ago, and is located in the southern part of the Northern Territory in Australia’s Red Centre.
Ayers Rock, which is located at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, is an iconic landmark in Australia that some travelers just want to climb and stand on top of (it’s heavily encouraged that you do not do this due to the danger involved), while others want to witness the changes in color as the sunsets strike the rock. The Rock is owned by the Anangu aboriginal people. At the Park, you can take a free guided walk and visit the cultural center where you will learn more about this Anangu culture and see Anangu art. 

The Aboriginal landowners of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, are Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people who speak their own language. You may see the locals in your travels.

According to the Australia Parks Department, Ayers Rock is higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Chrysler Building in New York. Walking around it can take approximately 3.5 hours, but it can be done.

Even if you just want to get some great photos of Ayers Rock, you should plan on spending at least a day of your Australian trip here. There are other features to see too, which could add to your trip for a few days. Close by the Rock is the Kata Tjuta, formerly called “the Olgas”, and the second major feature of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

In 1950 Ayers Rock, today known as Uluru, was declared a national park. The park has special sunset viewing areas for both the Uluru and the Kata Tjuta.

If you love watching birds, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has been home to 178 species of bird in the park. This has included such rare species as the scarlet-chested parrot and the grey honeyeater. You can also look for many examples of historic Aboriginal rock art around Uluru and you can see it along the Mala Walk and Kuniya Walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole.

Elite Travel Group

For more amazing facts about the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Aboriginals, visit

Cycling Across Country

by JuJuB

Many people have dreams of touring across the country on a bike, but aren’t sure where or how to start. Maybe they don’t know what kind of bike to get, or what kind of route they should plan. Here are some helpful tips to help you get started on your cycling tour across the country.

Consider buying a touring bike. While they can be pricier than standard bikes, there are benefits to buying a bicycle specifically geared towards touring, especially if you think you might do more than one tour in your life. They’re generally more durable, can handle tougher terrain, and can support more loadings than most other bikes. You don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line touring bike for your trip, and there are some pretty inexpensive ones out there if you look for deals. If you don’t want to buy an entirely new bike, you can still upgrade your current bike to have the tools you’ll need, such as methods of carrying your luggage or better tires.

Start exercising. You might cycle a lot, but it’s likely that your body isn’t used to taking 6- to 8-hour bike rides every day, so it’s important to start exercising and conditioning your body. Depending on the type of tour you’re choosing, your workout routine could change. For more casual tours, you can probably get away with easier workouts, while tougher workouts could require more rigorous training. If you’re unsure what type of workout to do, ask an expert at your local gym.

In a tour or by yourself? A big part of prepping for your cross country journey is deciding if you want to go in an organized tour or make your own route by yourself. There are certain benefits to both, but it depends on your personal preference. If you’re not confident enough to go solo, a group is a good starting option. For example, America by Bicycle is one tour company with different routes for all skill levels. Trek Travel is another organization that offers individual, family tours and pro cycling tours.

Planning your route. If you choose to go by yourself instead of in a group, planning out your route will be the most important part of your trip. If you’re not sure where to start, considering choosing some tourist attractions or other such places that you’ve always wanted to see and mark them on a map. From there, you can start to connect the roads between them and plan your stops along the way, whether they be at hotels or camp grounds. It’s important to have a detailed plan before you leave, a map in case you get lost (and you’re not in a Wi-Fi area) and adequate supplies.

Don’t overpack. Like most other vacations, packing can be quite the hassle when it comes to biking across country. Taking a minimalistic view on packing can help lessen your load and make traveling easier. Two things you can easily pack less of is food and clothes. Pack outfits that can be used in multiple ways and also help to save space. .


Craft Beer Tours

by JuJuB

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Beer lovers, take notice. There are an endless amount of Craft Beer Tours that you can take for your next vacation. Here is just a sample of where you can enjoy a day of sightseeing and beer tasting.

Durham, North Carolina. Beltline Brew Tours has various tours throughout North Carolina. The one in Durham starts with Bull City Burger and Brewery, then Ponysaurus Brewing Company, and then the unique highlight; Fullsteam Brewery, known for their unusual variety of flavors, including brews made with sweet potatoes, rhubarb, and hickory-smoked malt. Better still, dogs are welcomed and encouraged to visit the brewery. The tour ends back with more sampling at Bull City.

Cooperstown, New York. When you hear about “Cooperstown”, the first thing you probably think is baseball. But the town has much more to offer than that. For example, Ommegang Brewery has tours that go through six different local breweries, where you can see demonstrations, tour specialty shops, and of course, taste some beer. Ommegang also hosts many concerts throughout the summer, and they have a special, limited-edition ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired beer line.

Hood River, Oregon. Oregon has a plethora of different breweries to check out. If you’re looking for one with a tour that’s free, allows children with a parent or guardian, and is shorter than most other tours (about 30 minutes), than Full Sail Brewery is the tour for you. From the pub, you can view Mount Hood and the Columbian River Gorge, filled with sailboarders and kiteboarders. Nothing can beat a beer with a view.

Pottsville, Pennsylvania. If you’re looking for a tour with some history behind it, than look no further than the small-town feel that D.G. Yuengling & Sons Brewery provides. It started in 1831, and is the oldest working brewery in America. On the tour, you can learn how the brewery survived the Prohibition and look at the fermentation caves originally used to keep the beer cool. It’s a great look back in time.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Do you want to make a day trip out of your tour? Then come on down to Dogfish Head’s Brewings and Eats. Founded by Sam Calagione of Brew Masters, the location hosts two different types of tours, one of them free. Once you’ve finished your tour, you can check out some of the musicians above the pub, get some food, or see the sights at Rehoboth Beach. There’s enough to do there to more than satisfy your day trip needs.


Travel Scams

Travel Scams

by JuJuB

elite travel

Traveling is exciting, but unfortunately travelers are also prey for scammers who will do what they can to cause a distraction and take your money and belongings. There are so many travel scams it’s hard to keep track of them all, but here are a few common ones and some tips on how to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim:

You’ve won a trip! Before you have even gone anywhere, you’re already being scammed by online sites that claim you won an all-expenses paid trip to Belize. The problem? They want your credit card and driver’s license information to hold your prize. Then you find out that before you can get the information there are fees you need to pay.

Tip: First, do not give out any personal information. Ask questions! Consumer Fraud Reporting says to find out exactly what the prize does and does not cover and contact these businesses to verify. If the person on the phone cannot give out information, it’s probably too good to be true.

Fake phone call: You checked in and you’re all snug in your hotel bed when the phone rings. It’s the front desk telling you that there’s a problem with your credit card. You stumble out of bed and read your number again, then return to slumber. The problem? It wasn’t the front desk calling and you’ve just given your credit card information to a scammer.

Tip: If you get a call like this, tell them you’ll bring it down to the front desk (you can also call the front desk to verify). Most likely, if it’s a scam, the caller will hang up.

Skimmed. Forget about criminals watching you at the ATM to get your pin number. It’s gotten much easier now with “skimmers” that capture your data when they get close to you. A New York Times article reported a sixfold increase in the number of machines in the United States compromised by criminals in 2015, compared with 2014.

Tip: Take a good look at the ATM machine before you put your card in. If anything seems out of place, don’t use it.

Distraction: You’re taking pictures on your trip when little kids come up to you and wave papers in your face or someone bumps into you and spills something and holds your arm while they clean it up. Scammers will do what it takes to distract you so they can take your belongings and your money.

Tip: Be alert at all times. When you’re traveling, this is the best tip to avoid any scam that might happen to you.


Google As a Travel Agent?

by JuJuB

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Recently, on CNN Money there was an article announcing that Google has launched a new feature; ‘Destinations on Google’, which is a travel search engine. You simply type ‘vacation’ or ‘destination’ after a state, country, or continent on Google on our phone, to which they respond by giving you summarized options of hotel prices and flight costs. You can then have them customize your search results according to specifications you may have, so this feature is about to take the market by storm.

Is this good news or bad news for the travel industry? In truth, I will always stand by the fact that working with travel agents and real people is the better way to book your travel. This is not just because I am a travel agent either. This is because if I was booking a trip I would want a real person on the other end of the transaction working on my behalf so that my plans go off without a hitch. But, in the interest of playing devil’s advocate, let’s take an honest look at the pros and cons of using this new Google service.

1. Efficient – Who would not like the idea of booking travel at any place, time, or location? Although, if we’re being honest here- good travel agents are available to you any time, day or night.
2. Flexible – You can keep changing up the details of your travels as many times as you would like before you book. Again, agents will work with you here too and probably be able to offer you suggestions that a bot wouldn’t have thought of. But, I digress….
3. Fast – You get an instant response about a variety of locations.
4. Cheap – You might get cheaper accommodations and transportation. MAYBE!

1. Isolation – In the event that things go wrong as they sometimes do, you are left stranded and without anyone who can advise you on what to do next.
2. Logistical Failures – If the internet connection ceases while you are trying to pay for your trip you might be left in limbo.
3. Data Safety – As with all online transactions, you risk losing some vital information or having it intercepted.
4. No Follow-Up – A robot doesn’t care if you arrived at your destination on time and/or if you had a good trip.
5. No personal connection – Goes with the no follow-up con, but wouldn’t you rather work with a small business than a big corporation that honestly doesn’t care about you?

Hopefully, you have seen why you should keep working with real people and caring agents instead of yet another online travel agent wannabe.


elite travel & Uber

In a digital age it seems everyone is looking for the fastest way to get from point A to point B. With the ability to pull up a map of anywhere in the world with nothing but your smart phone, it’s not surprising that apps and businesses have come together to create taxi like services to get you anywhere you want to go on the map. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows that one such app that has been created to offer taxi like services to anyone with a smart phone is Uber. But, should you use Uber? What are the pros and cons of it?

Personal Safety – This is seen as one of the biggest advantages of using Uber while traveling. However, because the vetting process is not as strict as a taxi company would require, pretty much anyone can become an Uber driver. Sure, the company claims that they conduct investigations which date back to as far as 7 years, but can you really be sure that you’re safe with an Uber driver? Maybe. I suppose if an Uber driver showed up that you were too afraid to ride with you could request a different driver, but depending on your situation this might not be feasible. The good news is that the app’s ETA feature sends a notification to family and friends if your trip takes longer than expected.

User friendliness – Uber has been called a very easy-to-use app. For instance, it allows you to select the level of service, compare fares for different service levels and also request an estimated fare before booking. You can also see how many Uber cars are locally available and how long it will take them to arrive.

Instant receipt processing – This feature is very convenient to people who want to keep records. Uber application emails you a receipt within minutes after reaching your destination. The receipt contains the car’s driver and plate number hence if you have left something behind, you can easily retrieve it.

Lower fares – Usually, Uber fares are lower than black cars and taxis. However, prices might hike during emergencies or peak hours. The app alerts you when fares go way above the normal range.

Other downsides of Uber

  • The service doesn’t allow you to split fare with someone who doesn’t have an Uber account.
  • Uber transportation don’t operate at all airports because they lack airport licensing. This makes it hard to rely on Uber for pick-ups upon arrival at airports.
  • In most cases, drivers don’t reside in areas in which they operate. Hence, they might be unfamiliar with roads and major attractions. They rely on GPS navigation system and unfortunately GPS systems are not perfect. This means if the driver can’t find you to pick you up you could have trouble catching your ride, and you’ll need to do your own research ahead of time to ensure you are getting to the right places while traveling.

Bottom Line: Like everything there are pros and cons to using Uber. As time goes on the company may address hiccups and problems, but whether or not Uber is safe to travel with remains to be seen. Some consider it the best choice for personal safety, but others consider it to a risky ride.

What do you think? Have you ridden with Uber? Would you do it again? Why or why not?


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Though not every form of transport is completely safe, flying at high altitudes and speeds inside a sealed space spanning multiple time zones could cause a number of issues that make the journey somewhat inconvenient. Let’s take a look at some of the major issues the body really goes through when you are flying.


The human body is most comfortable when the air supply comprises a minimum of 40 percent humidity. Within an airplane, the humidity level drops down to 20 percent. This may lead to serious dehydration issues. This dehydration can also lead to a dry or sore nose as well as throat issues and dry eyes. People wearing contact lenses may face serious problems from the lack of moisture making infections possible so it’s best to wear glasses, especially during long flights.


Though the cabin is pressurized, it’s still not normal enough to ensure rich oxygen supply to the blood. The lack of sufficient oxygen in blood is called hypoxia. As a result, some people can become dizzy or feel faint.


Claustrophobia is a large problem faced by more travelers than you might expect. Limited legroom, long durations of immobility and the feeling of being trapped can be terribly uncomfortable to passengers prone to claustrophobia.


Deep vein thrombosis or DVT occurs when blood in the lower portion of the leg moves sluggishly and ultimately clots, leading to swelling and pain (short term effect). Prolonged clots may even lead to death, if the clots extend to the lungs or heart- although on a flight with no previous medical conditions this is highly unlikely..

Asthma Attacks

As the aircraft elevates, decompression could cause the lungs’ gaseous matter to expand that escapes naturally. However, in a few cases passengers may experience asthma like symptoms. Those passengers who have been diagnosed with asthma could have an attack and should bring their inhaler with them.

Ear and Stomach Pain

When the plane descends, air contracts inside the ear cavity, forming a marginal vacuum. However, if it finds an escape impossible due to the blocked Eustachian tubes – for instance, due to cold – the ear drum becomes painful. Intestine or stomach gas also expands as the flight ascends causing some people to endure abdominal cramps.

While some people experience these types of issues, most people have no trouble flying. And, flying still remains the preferred way to travel between long distances.

Now, we want to hear from you! Have you experienced one or more of these issues while flying? Tell us about it in the comments below.


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Costa Rica Fishing Trip Recap

by JuJuB

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If you follow Elite Travel’s  CEO Tammy Levent on Facebook, you already know that Tammy and her husband Rob along with several close friends and family went on an exciting Costa Rican fishing trip back in October. For those of you who didn’t know, Tammy wanted to share with you all a quick recap of what the trip entailed. Here’s what she had to say:

We flew in to San Jose and stayed at Arenal Springs Resort and Spa before making our way to the Dreams Las Mareas Resort. Located just 5 miles from the town of La Fortuna, the Arenal Springs Resort and Spa features gorgeous junior suites with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano. The rooms are surrounded by beautiful flowers and exotic gardens, and everywhere you look you can see birds and animals. We spent the day immersed in nature and then spent the evening at the Bali Hot Springs. While we were in the Arenal Springs area we enjoyed a plethora of parrots and monkeys around the huge Arenal Lake, and we even saw sloths! It was just too cool to see these creatures out and about considering back home I would have to go to the zoo to see anything like this!

After our time at Arenal Springs ended we made our way to Dreams Las Mareas in Costa Rica. This stunning all-inclusive resort is located right on the beach and we were able to enjoy fishing, ATV rides, zip lining and a world class spa. This resort is the stuff dreams are made of so it’s fitting that dreams is in their name. The way the staff pays attention to every detail makes you hope your vacation will never end. I love the Dreams properties and each one of them feels like a home away from home.

The Liberia Airport is much closer to the Dreams resort, so when it was time to go home we chose to fly out of the Liberia Airport instead of driving all the way back to the Arenal Springs area. Overall, our entire trip was an absolute blast! To everyone who missed out on this trip, I strongly recommend you join us in Cabo in 2016. We look forward to topping this trip with even more excitement and adventure, so check out the details on the Cabo San Lucas 2016 fishing and adventure trip today! And, if you want to see all the photos from our Costa Rica adventure click HERE



People who have not traveled alone always describe their first solo trip as a spiritual experience. To take in a new environment unfiltered by tastes, preferences and prejudices of a travel companion can be incredibly exciting as it allows you to tap into a level of independence you may not regularly enjoy. However, traveling alone has its cons as well with loneliness and security issues being at the top of the list. Still, solo travel is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetimes.

Why Travel Alone?

Solo travel may be the best in self-indulgence; you can rest whenever you want, come and go as you please, and do whatever you want to do. There won’t be any voting on activities for the day or compromises made such as missing a museum because your partner didn’t want to go. You can shop as long as you want, get all the spa treatments you want and eat dinner where ever you want, provided you have the funding of course.

How To Travel Alone Safely

If security is your concern as a solo traveler, here are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Find out how long it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to your hotel or downtown. Solo travelers are more likely to have taxis try to trick them, so ask the driver how much it will cost before you board a taxi. If it is considerably different from what you know to be true, take a different taxi.
  • Find out if your destination hotels are open late, so you don’t end up unable to check in.
  • Be your best advocate; if you don’t like it, don’t engage in it.
  • Keep to public and open places, especially at night.
  • Walk purposely and with confidence.
  • Avoid showcasing yourself as a tourist. For example, ditch the Disney shirt and don’t walk around with your face in a guidebook.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy jewelry or clothes.
  • Review maps and transport timetables before leaving your rental car /tourist offices/hotel/train.
  • Drop a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend at home, and keep in touch regularly by telephone or email.
  • And finally, if you are traveling abroad, consider joining the free Smart Traveler Enrollment program (STEP), which could help the State Department help you in an emergency.


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