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.

Alaska 2020

Denali-National-Park-with-the-Travel-Factory Denali National Park

As many of you know, I've had the privilege of escorting groups to Alaska for the past 25 years....we started out calling our group “The Travel Factory Gang”, and have kept that moniker for all our other groups since.

I did a quick count this week of the number of guests we've had as a part of the Alaska Gangs, and it numbered over a thousand people. Probably 100+ more made reservations but for some reason or another could not make it with our group, but traveled later on their own.

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Family Travels

Family-Travels-with-The-Travel-Factory Family Travels

Some of the best education you and your family can experience is through travel, getting away from your comfort zones and discovering new cultures and lifestyles. One travel contributor to the Dallas Morning News said, and rightly so, “the freedom to travel is something to savor”. That is an attitude or reality that we often forget or just take for granted, but when I see on the news and pictures of folks over in Syria or other parts of Africa in their day to day struggle just to survive, that's when the concept of “freedom to travel” becomes a reality for us in the United States. 

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Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston

Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston

Carnival Cruise Lines recently made the announcement that they were moving the Carnival Radiance to Galveston in May, and that will make the presence for that cruise line largest in the state. In fact, that will give them 4 ships in the Galveston market, and that is as many ships as they have in their Miami home market.

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How Do You Like Those Dratted "Resort Fees"????

How Do You Like Those Dratted Resort Fees? How Do You Like Those Dratted Resort Fees?

One travel writer commented that those mandatory resort fees that have cropped up all over the nation, especially in Las Vegas, New York and other resort communities are a “rip off”.

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Plan A Cruise Month

Plan-a-Cruise-Month-with-The-Travel-Factory Plan A Cruise A Month

The month of October has typically been designated by the Cruise Lines International Association as “Plan A Cruise Month”. My opinion is that anytime is a good time to plan a cruise, but I can certainly understand why October is such a good time to start those plans.

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Travel Insurance

thomas-cook-need-travel-insurance Thomas Cook - Need Travel Insurance?

We had a program on this topic several months ago, last March to be specific, but in light of some recent events in the past week, I thought it would be a good idea to visit that topic again.

A recent study of the U. S. Travel Insurance Association reported that in 2018, Americans spent almost $4 billion on all types of travel protection, and that was an increase of over 40% from 2016. Those policies were purchased through travel insurance providers, through travel agents, as well as on-line suppliers.

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Holiday Travel

Holiday Travel with the The Travel Factory Holiday Travel with the The Travel Factory

It's getting close to holiday time and we always get the question, “When is the best time to travel”, and I usually answer, “Whenever you want to go!!!”. Then their real question comes out, “no, when is the best price or what day is the best day to get the best price”. In this day and time, those are hard questions to answer in precise and definite terms.

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May I Help You?

airbus-159588_1280

The heritage of this agency started back in the late forties when the airline industry was just getting off the ground. Mrs. Ruth Gay who initiated the travel agency business back then was focused primarily on ocean travel, but air travel was beginning to make a little headway.

When I started in the business in 1976, travel agents were appreciated and loved because we were the lifeblood of the airlines business, 'course it was the phone and Official Airline Guide operation back then. To show their appreciation, the airlines paid the travel agencies a commission for selling and servicing their (our) customers.

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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.

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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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