The Travel Factory Blog

Travel Tips, Stories, Deals and Info...

The Travel Factory employs 4 full time agents with 100 years total experience in the travel industry. Our agents specialize in cruise, tour and resort vacations as well as corporate incentive and school groups. Our mission is to provide the best, most courteous, most detailed, most informative service. Our slogan, "Building vacations to your specifications" says it all.

Do You Have A Real ID???

airport-690556_1920 A person will have to present a Real ID to board an airplane.

Do You Have A Real ID???

Congress passed the “Real ID Act” into law in 2005 following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission on setting minimum national security standards for state drivers' licenses and ID cards. The enforcement of those requirements has been repeatedly delayed. Real ID's require state applicants to submit paperwork to prove who they are and their established residence in the U.S. Some states have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

If you live here in Texas and have had your drivers' license renewed in the past few years, you have had to also have a social security card, birth certificate, or some other “paperwork” proving your residence in the United States before you could get your license renewed. Once renewed, your drivers' license will have a white star in a gold circle in the upper right hand corner of the license that proves you have a “Real ID”.

Some states have applied for and been granted extensions, however, there are going to be no more extensions because the law goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020.

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The Travel Factory Gang

jerusalem-3934346_1280 The Holy Land - March 2021

Don't ask me when, it's been too long to remember when or why, but I decided, for lack of another name, (you might say I am creatively challenged), to refer to the groups that my wife and I host as “The Travel Factory Gang”. Some tour operators and cruise lines have a little hesitation and suspicion when I announce the name of our group, so most of the time I have to explain the nature of the group.

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The Ideal Way To Visit The Hawaiian Islands

The Ideal Way To Visit The Hawaiian Islands The Ideal Way To Visit The Hawaiian Islands

We get questions all the time from folks who want to take a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands, and because we've been there, done that, my response has always been, “take a cruise of the Islands on Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America”. Why would I say that?

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Reviewing The Airline Industry At Summer's End

Reviewing The Airline Industry At Summers End Reviewing The Airline Industry At Summers End

With the grounding of the Boeing's 737 Max planes last February, and the anticipated weather interruptions, the airline industry has had a frustrating summer trying to keep juggling those balls (planes) up in the air to keep those passengers reasonably satisfied. It was estimated that there were 41 million fewer seats on airplanes available this summer as a result of the disruptions.

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A Little More Cruising!!!!

Symphony-Of-The-Seas-The-Travel-Factory Symphony Of The Seas

It really is hard to get enough of the cruising experience......laid back, have folks take care of your every need, enjoy real good food.....and plenty of it if you wish, quality entertainment every night that you've already paid for, enrichment programs covering various subjects, interesting active or inactive excursions in every port, or just enjoying the pleasure and time to read a good book, not to mention the opportunity to visit places you've always read about or heard of. Cruising is all that....and more!!

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Don't Be Left Behind.......Call Today!!!!

River-Cruises-with-The-Travel-Factory River Cruises with The Travel Factory

The Travel Factory has a great itinerary scheduled on a Viking River Cruise to Paris and the Heart of Normandy, departing on October 31-November 7, 2019. Reservations were secured for this group trip back on May 3, 2018. By mid-November, 2018, that departure was already sold out!!!

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Alaska Again!!!......For Number 25!!!

Visit-Alaska-Again-with-The-Travel-Factory Visit Alaska Again with The Travel Factory

We've just returned with The Travel Factory Gang group on our 25th time to Alaska....and it was as great as ever!!

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Traveling Solo

Travelling-Solo-with-The-Travel-Factory Traveling Solo with the Travel Factory

Recently there has been a noticeable hue and cry in the travel trades regarding traveling alone. No doubt the media reports of the negative activities in the Dominican Republic and resorts in other Caribbean islands has stirred the conversation.

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Las Vegas......Continued

Las Vegas Night Life with The Travel Factory Las Vegas Night Life with The Travel Factory

Last week we talked a little about the sports environment that was being relied on to help with the entertainment package available in Las Vegas. Trust me, that's just one piece of the entertainment opportunities that visitors can enjoy.

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Fly Me To The Moon!!!....Or How About...Las Vegas!!!

Fly-Me-To-The-Moon-OR-Las-Vegas---The-Travel-Factory Fly Me To The Moon or Las Vegas

It's been quite a while since I've talked about one of the best vacation spots in the United States...Las Vegas. It's been a hot ticket item for many years and it's going to get hotter in more ways than one!!

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Travel Agency Issues....That Impacts Clients

Airline-Travel-with-The-Travel-Factory Airline Travel and Bookings

Someone ask me the other day it we were still selling airline tickets. I answered, yes we certainly are. However since about 2000, we have been charging a service fee, but the airlines are doing the same thing. Of course the airlines discontinued paying commissions to us for serving their (our) clients for over the past twenty years. They're so kind!!!

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Travel Hodge-Poge (with a little editorial comment!)

Travel-Hodge-Podge-with-The-Travel-Factory Travel Hodge Podge with The Travel Factory

#1 For years when one purchased an airline ticket that entitled them to a seat assignment; they could check a bag without cost, and you were allowed a carry-on bag as long as it fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat.

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Travel Advisors Work Is Never Done!!!

Travel-Advisors-Work-Is-Never-Done---The-Travel-Factory Travel Advisors Work is Never Done

Some of you have heard me say, quite often, that we are available to help with your travel needs. Our aim is good, honest, travel advice and planning, as......in other sign-off comments.....we exist to serve!!!

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Travel To Cuba In The News

US-Government-Places-Travel-Restrictions-To-Cuba---The-Travel-Factory US Government Places Travel Restrictions-To Cuba

The Trump Administration announced yesterday that they were placing new restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. The restrictions will no longer allow the group educational and cultural trips known as “people to people” travel to the island. It will also impact the cruise lines traveling to that country.

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Secret Health Remedy......A Cruise Vacation!!!

Secret-Health-Remedy---A-Cruise-Vacation---The-Travel-Factory Secret Health Remedy......A Cruise Vacation!!!

It took several years in the travel business before I could convince my wife to go on a cruise with me, but finally, after the introduction of the “transderm patch”, she relented, and we took our first cruise out of New York to Bermuda for 7 days. That was back in 1985, and we have never looked back after discovering our favorite type of vacation.

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Consider Cruising On A Brand New Princess

Consider-Cruising-On-A-Brand-New-Princess---The-Travel-Factory Consider Cruising On A Brand New Princess

A couple of weeks ago I announced our intention for The Travel Factory Gang to take a river cruise on the Elbe River, an itinerary that starts in Prague and ends in Berlin. That ship's capacity is only 98 persons.

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Carnival Cruise Line Troubles

Carnival-Cruise-Line-Troubles---The-Travel-Factory Carnival Cruise Line Troubles

The past two Thursdays I've been visiting with you about the airlines and their problems. So as not to play favorites, I thought I'd visit with you this week about a cruise line...the largest in the world!!

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Airline Troubles

Airline Toubles - The Travel Factory Airline Toubles - The Travel Factory

Staying on the theme started on last week's blog, we'll visit today about the serious situation some of the airlines are experiencing......all because of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX. One writer said because of that situation, especially considering the upcoming busiest time of the year, that the airlines are looking at “scarce planes and booming demand”.

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Traveling By Air

Airline Travel with The Travel Factory Airline Travel with The Travel Factory

I have the hardest time defending the airlines........of course my main reason is that for the past twenty-plus years, they have not paid the travel agents who sell their product one red cent!!! We still provide that service, and for the longest time, we continued to provide that service without charge. Currently when we do sell an airline ticket, depending on whether it is a domestic or international ticket, we charge a very minimum service charge. But...most of the airlines do the same thing, charge a service charge to sell their own product.

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When Booking Travel, It's Never Too Early

When its Booking Travel, It's Never Too Early When its Booking Travel, It's Never Too Early

I use that headline to make the point that when planning a vacation, wanting it to be the best for the least amount of money, the best tip I can give is to start making those plans early for the best rates.

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