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.

TSA Wants To Speed Things Up. . . And So Do We!!

TSA Wants To Speed Things Up TSA Wants To Speed Things Up

Remember back in the 70’s and 80’s and even before, when you wanted to fly somewhere, you just paid for your ticket, went to the airport, checked in at the counter, went to the gate and left when the plane did.

Now, the security lines are horrendous in most airports and a 30-45 minutes wait is customary, then you have to almost undress, get randomly checked and patted, and finally get to your gate all out of sorts.

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Are Cruise Vacations Surviving?

Are Cruises Surviving? Are Cruises Surviving?

For the past year or so, understandably there has been much in the public media regarding the negative plight of some of the cruise lines. . .and it seems almost no one has been exempt.  The recent report by Carnival Cruise Lines on their second-quarter financial results indicate that they are having difficulties in filling their ships.  Their bookings are behind last year and what bookings they have are at lower prices.

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Why Alaska??

Alaska - The Land Of The Midnight Sun Why Alaska??

We have just returned from our 19th year of escorting a group to Alaska, “The Last Frontier”, and from personal testimony, and among the 38 who went with us, it was a very successful adventure experience.

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Traveling By Air This Summer

tips-for-travel-the-travel-factory Traveling By Air This Summer

If you are traveling by air this summer, you need to be aware that the airlines are flying at full capacity on almost every flight, so it is imperative that you arrive at the gate early.  When that plane gets full, they are taking off because it helps their on-time performance.

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A Big "Shout Out" For The Professional Travel Agent

A Big "Shout Out" For The Professional Travel Agent

Our task on this show is to give you some travel tips and information on the current travel scene, but probably not often enough I don’t give out the very best tip in my quiver, which is if you want to travel, contact an experienced travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Was Absolutely Great Family Fun!!!

Royal Caribbean Cruise Was Absolutely Great Family Fun!!!

Our family just returned from one of the most memorable and fantastic family vacations you could ever have. . . .especially if your wife, children, and grandchildren are happy!!

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Buffet Of Travel Tips

Travel Tips from The Travel Factory

Since the title of this 3-5 minute interlude of travel talk with you each Thursday at 8:30AM is Thursday Morning Travel Tips From Russell Berry At The Travel Factory, I thought I’d give you a buckshot of tips today.

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Serious World Wide Bucket List for Favorite Travel Destination

Serious World Wide Bucket List for Favorite Travel Destination Serious World Wide Bucket List for Favorite Travel Destination

Recently the website, Travel Advisor, released the results of a poll from their subscribers that asked for their favorite destinations around the world.  I’m not certain how many folks responded, but the results were very interesting, and challenging to those who like to travel.  Twenty-five cities were cited, but I’ll just hit on the top 15.

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Airline Fees Frenzy is Still Alive. . And Well!!

Airline Fees - The Travel Factory Airline Fees Frenzy is Still Alive. . And Well!!

My goodness, it seems every time we take a breath, another airline finds some other way to make a buck off of their guests.  Even though you might have purchased your tickets several months ago, just keep your wallet out when you arrive at the airport. . .you’re not through paying!!

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River Cruising Morphs Into Ocean Cruising

River Cruising Morphs Into Ocean Cruising

The most successful river cruise company ever, Viking River Cruise, made the announcement last week that they were planning to get into ocean cruising in 2015.. . .but it will be different, very different.  This was reported by travel writer Tom Stieghorst.

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"Inside Skinny" On airlines, Cruise Lines, And Tour Operators

The Inside Skinny - The Travel Factory The Inside Skinny on Airlines and Cruiselines

In a news story from the Seattle Times, they note that the airlines started charging for checked luggage in 2008 and fees have climbed steadily since.  In fact the report came out yesterday that the U.S. airlines collected more than $6 billion in baggage and reservation change fees from passengers last year. 

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Do You Have Any Free Trips Today??

Travel Tips with The Travel Factory

If I have that question once a day, I would be willing to say it averages 3-4 a day.  Everybody wants a free trip!!!  That’s what makes the traveling public so gullible to some shady travel deals.  The information I’ll talk about today comes directly from the Aviation Consumer Protection Page.

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Family Vacations In Mexico

Visit Cancun on a Family Vacation in Mexico Visit Cancun on a Family Vacation in Mexico

We’ve been talking the past two weeks about all-inclusive vacations, and I thought I’d expand a little bit on that topic.  With a little help from one of the major hotel and resort companies, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, here’s some of the reasons to consider an all-inclusive family trip to Mexico.

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Solving Vacation Confusison..Part 2

Solving Vacation Confusion - Part-II - With The Travel Factory

Last week we talked about the fact that many folks are frustrated about where to go for their family vacation with the understandable concern that everyone would be happy, wherever it was.  And we mentioned that we use the services of a very reliable tour operator, Funjet Vacations, to help us make those “happy and memorable plans, and have done so over 25 years.

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Solving Vacation Confusion!!!

Solving Vacation Confusion with The Travel Factory

When helping clients plan their vacations they are often frustrated because they just don’t know where to go where the whole family will be happy.  A good travel agent will start the interview and try to find out what they like to do, what they have done in the past that was fun.  Do they like to eat?  Do they like beach stuff?  Do they want a lot of activities, if so, what kind of activities?  Do they want to drive or fly? How long do they want to be gone?  Do they want a land based vacation or would they consider a cruise?  What kind of budget are they working with?  All important variables to consider!!!

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Honeymoons, Anniversaries. . .Anyone??

Honeymoon Anniversaries Anyone? Honeymoon Anniversaries Anyone?

One of the real pleasures we receive as travel agents is to help couples plan their honeymoon or anniversary getaway.  Any time of the year is the time to make those plans, but here in the Spring, there is certainly a lot more opportunities for those activities.

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What Do You Think About Carnival?

What Do You Think About Carnival Cruise Line? What Do You Think About Carnival Cruise Line?

As many of you know, yesterday was the annual Abilene Expo down at the Civic Center where around 175-200 business in town set up booths to introduce their products and services as well as network with other business in our city regarding keeping our economy in the Big Country vibrant and alive.

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Making Vacation Memories!

Making Memory Vacations - The Travel Factory Making Memory Vacations with The Travel Factory

The U. S. Travel Association recently released a new survey targeting information on family vacations.  This survey found that adults say their most vivid childhood recollections are of family vacations.  Children surveyed also say they enjoy vacation time with parents and grandparents.  This poll surveyed more than 2500 adults and 1100 youth, and some who were as young as 5 years old. 

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Are The Rivers Getting Too Crowded?

Are River Cruises Getting To Crowded?

I talked a little bit at the end of January about river cruising, especially in Europe.  We promoted a river cruise on the Rhine for this year in November, and it sold out by August of last year; furthermore, to take advantage of the great rate, it was fully paid, cruise and air by middle December.  

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Hee Hee Hee.. .Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately?!!!

Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately? Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately?

I am out and about in the community in a lot of social, business, and church settings, and for the past two weeks, since the Carnival Triumph unfortunate situation, there is always someone wanting to know how my cruise business is doing. . .asking that question with a sly smile on their face.  I know they’re thinking that cruise sales are in the tank. . .but in reality, they are not!!  Thank goodness!!

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