With widespread access to COVID-19 vaccinations and the easing of certain travel restrictions have led to a large surge in travel bookings domestically as well as through out the Caribbean. Coupled with the fact that so many people had to cancel or put off their 2020 travel plans, it is making finding available rooms, flights, and even car rentals almost scarce! With availability rapidly decreasing as well as certain post Covid-19 travel requirements, there has never been a need to use a travel agent as much as there has been in todays world. We have gathered three very important reasons as to why you should stick with a travel professional when looking to book your next getaway, vacation or adventure!
1. FINDING AVAILABILITY
Since so many people are traveling right now, finding availability is becoming harder and harder by the day. As travel professionals, we have access to things like "Bulk" airfare or "Unpublished" air that the public can not see on their own. We also have relationships with suppliers that can put in a "Request" for an unavailable hotel room or help us find something comparable to what our clients are looking for. Right now there is such limited capacity for rental cars that people are renting U-Haul trucks in certain destinations like Hawaii in order to get around the island, as travel professionals, we have other options and contacts to offer so you do not need to make such drastic decisions in order to enjoy your vacation!
2. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
With so many destinations requiring testing as well as travel authorization forms, it can be almost overwhelming to figure out what you actually do need and what you do not need in todays new world. As a travel professional, we are always thoroughly educated on what the processes and requirements are to each destination as well as what you need to know to re-enter back into the United States. This will take away all of the stress and allow you to enjoy preparing for your vacation, after all a vacation is supposed to be exciting!
3. FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE
There has never been a time more than now that you want your travel professional to have a vast amount of first hand experience in the destination you are visiting post pandemic. Many of our agents and the owners of Starstuff Travel have dedicated the last year to traveling numerous times monthly to ensure that we are fully educated on each and every destination, their safety and health precautions, what is open (or still closed) and so on. While many agencies remained closed, we took to the skies and wandered endlessly so we could gain as much knowledge as possible for our clients, ensuring they would have the best experience available to them.
While these are only three important reasons as to why you need a travel professional in 2021, there are many more reasons such as we can save you time, we offer a personalized touch, we monitor your booking for promotions and most of all, our services are free! Last year when the world shut down, travel professionals worked tirelessly to make sure our clients were taken care of. You can rest assured that we have been through some tough times and came out fighting on behalf of our clients. The world of travel advisors has never been stronger, and now is the time to utilize our services!
To book your next vacation, or for more information on our services, please reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today!
It is always best to try to prepare as much as possible when you are going to spend the day at Universal Orlando Resort. Making a mental list of the rides you may want to tackle, packing your backpack the night before, and most importantly always trying to get a good night’s rest is helpful. Being prepared will always help you make the most of your trip! I am here to tell you, as an annual passholder, what "Must Have" essentials I recommend for your bag while visiting!
1. PORTABLE BATTERY CHARGER
I never leave the hotel room without a portable power bank, especially a FuelRod in my backpack. Now a days we are using our cell phones to take pictures and keep up with social media all day so your battery is bound to run low earlier in the day. FuelRods are a reusable, portable charging system that allows you to charge your mobile device on the go, and then recharge or swap for a fresh one. Currently in Universal Orlando, FuelRods are $30 for the initial device (which comes with a cable, connectors, and a carrying case), and $3 for each time you swap out your current rod for a new fully charged one and can be found scattered throughout the park.
2. A PARK MAP
Be sure to grab a park map as soon as you enter the parks. You will also want to download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App, but a paper copy of the park’s map comes in handy as a backup, saves you battery life on your cell phone and also makes for a great free souvenir!
3. SUNTAN LOTION
You’re always going to need suntan lotion when you’re spending the day in the bright Florida sun! Regardless of the season, whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter, you will need protection. Cloudy days can also be misleading, with rays that penetrate through the clouds, so always throw it in your bag!
4. A WATER BOTTLE
At Universal Orlando, there are water fountains scattered all around the parks, so you can conveniently fill up your water bottle whenever it’s running low. We like to bring our Hydro Flask with us and fill it up with ice in the morning. Any quick service kiosk or restaurant will do this for you free of charge. This specific water bottle keeps the ice frozen all day long which is why we love it! We try to keep water with us at all times in the hot Florida heat. This way, we stay dehydrated and it saves us money.
5. A PONCHO OR AN UMBRELLA
Packing either an umbrella or a poncho will save you future hassle when those famous Florida showers pop up out of nowhere. This is definitely a must during summer visits. You can pick up cheap throw away ones at your local dollar store or you can purchase a Universal Orlando one ahead of time at one of their gift shops to keep in your bag. It is so uncomfortable to be stuck in wet clothing all day so preparing ahead of time will keep you happy and dry.
What do you typically pack for your park days? Share with us in the comments below!
For more information on booking your next Universal Orlando Resort vacation, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner, we're free!
It has been a year of many ups and downs, missed celebrations, and holidays put on hold, but today we have something to celebrate thanks to the announcement just in!
Disney After Hours BOO BASH
This Halloween season, a special event is brewing at Magic Kingdom Park. Float on over to Disney After Hours BOO BASH for a special three-hour event that begins when the Park closes! It’s going to be a ghostly good time! With party music, decorations and character cavalcades galore, guests young, old and immortal can dress in costume for the occasion and get their fill of Halloween candy, exclusive culinary offerings, spooktacular entertainment, favorite attractions, and more. Disney After Hours BOO BASH runs select nights August 10th through October 31st.
For more information on how to book this new event and/or your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today, our services are complimentary!
Walt Disney World Resort has even more reasons to get excited about visiting in May and beyond! Guests will be able to see beloved characters when Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort reintroduces an all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner starring the Fab Five. Over at the Epcot Resort area, Guests will be able to once again enjoy seaside meals when Cape May Cafée at Disney’s Beach Club Resort reopens, and, get their taste buds ready for the re-opening of Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
Chef Mickey’s Dinner
Starting May 16, Chef Mickey’s will offer an all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style dinner that will include “no touch” appearances like snapping a selfie or waving hello as Mickey and some of his favorite pals make surprising appearances in each of the dining rooms. Similar to other character dining locations, Guests will take home a souvenir with character signatures and colorful artwork.
Seeing favorite characters isn’t all Guests can look forward to at Chef Mickey’s! The dinner menu will include items for the whole family, like starters of “Chef Mickey’s Caesar,” citrus-poached shrimp salad, and assorted breads; main courses of gnocchi, roasted garlic potato Gratin, plant-based faro wheat fried rice, prime rib, roasted turkey, and salmon; and an assortment of sweets to top off the meal. Little ones can enjoy mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, turkey corn dog nuggets, and more!
Cape May Cafée
If Guests ever dream of escaping to the beach and enjoying all the delicious food of an oceanside town, they’ll be happy that Cape May Cafée at Disney’s Beach Club Resort reopens on May 18! The New England-style restaurant is a perfect location to refuel before and after a day of adventure at Walt Disney World.
Guests returning to Cape May Cafeé will find old favorites and new changes, along with its signature service and quality. The restaurant will serve breakfast and dinner, but Minnie’s Beach Bash Character Breakfast and the Seafood-and-More Dinner Buffet will not return at reopening.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of treats in store! The all-you-care-to enjoy family-style breakfast menu will feature popular staples like pastries (including the layered crispy, cream-filled “Lobster Tail”), omelets, and Mickey and Minnie waffles. Highlights from dinner will include house-made Parker House rolls and corn bread, a seafood boil with a variety of fresh seafood, The Turf Platter with steak and chicken, and my personal favorite Lobster mac and cheese.
Bookings for Cape May Cafée and dinnertime at Chef Mickey’s open on May 7.
Tusker House Restaurant
The Guest-favorite character dining location at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Tusker House Restaurant, will reopen this summer! During the modified character experience, Guests will enjoy delicious family-style entrees inspired by the flavors of Africa and can snap photos of Donald Duck and friends, dressed in their safari best as they promenade through the restaurant.
Disney looks forward to welcoming guests back to Cape May Cafeé and for dinnertime at Chef Mickey’s later this month. And they can’t wait for Guests to savor the delicious African-inspired fare at Tusker House Restaurant in the coming months. Stay tuned for more scrumptious details and foodie news in the coming weeks!
For more information on how to book your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today, our services are complimentary!
After being able to ride Universal Orlando's newest attraction The Velocicoaster this weekend during an Annual Passholder Preview, it left me thinking how immersive this area of the park really is for those Jurassic Park/World fans. So we spent sometime in this part of Islands of Adventure and came up with five great ways those fans can really live their best Jurassic life!
1. ENJOY THE THEMING
The moment you walk through those iconic "Jurassic Park" gates you are completely immersed in the theming of it all. Surrounded by the jungle, immediately hearing that iconic theme-song, and even witnessing fossil imprints on the ground beneath your feet, you will truly feel you are part of the movie. Make your way through the land all while taking in the sights and sounds of it all.
2. VISIT A RAPTOR
Stop by Raptor Encounter and meet Blue from Jurassic World or their new baby Raptor, Sierra. One of the great perks of visiting this area is that they allow you to safely take off your mask for the photo opportunity as long as you are 6 feet away from the Raptor and it's handler! A little tip for you, make sure to remain calm around Sierra, although she looks cute and harmless, she can really sense your level of fear!
3. PLAY A JURASSIC PARK MIDWAY GAME
Are you competitive? Stop by the carnival type game area in Jurassic Park and test your luck with games such as Dinosaur Dash Up, InGen Egg Nursery, Jurassic Park Animal Control Training Zone with DNA Sequencing and Target Training areas, and Hammond's Hot Shots. Win yourself a cuddly plush creature, toys, and other neat dino-themed prizes to bring back home!
4. HAVE A MEAL
There are a few great Quick Service dining areas that offer a variety of food options. Our personal favorite is Thunder Falls. It is perfect for those of you looking for something a little different than the normal burger and fries. This restaurant offers an array of rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked turkey legs, soups, salads, and more. It is also right next door to the Jurassic Park River Adventure. If you do not want to sit inside, you can grab a seat outdoors and watch guests plummet down the 85 foot drop all while enjoying your meal. You can even sip on a glass of wine or your favorite beer here while taking a break from the park crowds.
5. GATHER YOUR COURAGE AND RIDE THE VELOCICOASTER
I would be lying if I told you this ride did not slightly terrify me. But I made a commitment to ride it in the line of duty and boy, am I glad I did! We will keep the information about the coaster spoiler free since it does not officially open until June 10th, 2021 but we can say this, it is one of the fastest tallest launch coasters we have ever ridden before. The story behind the coaster starts in the queue. Film stars Chris Pratt (Owen Grady), Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Daring) and BD Wong (Dr. Henry Wu) reprise their roles on video screens through out your wait on line. Fans of Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum should also keep their eyes peeled for those neat Easter eggs referencing their characters in the queue as well.
While we only stuck with five reasons to visit the Jurassic Park area in Islands of Adventure surely the list of reasons to visit goes on and on. It is also worth mentioning if you have little fans of the Jurassic brand you can even book a Jurassic World Kids Suite at Loews Royal Pacific. When your kids lay down in bed, they'll feel as if they’ve stepped right into their very own gyrosphere ride, maneuvering through the jungle terrain. This would make your vacation a true Jurassic themed adventure
For more information on how to book your next Universal Orlando Resort vacation, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today, our services are complimentary!