Celebrations International Travel Blog

Archive for the ‘Thoughts on Travel’ Category

This article in The Washington Post was brought to my attention this morning:

Travelers Turn Back to Travel Agents

Taj Mahal    Normally I don’t read articles like this in detail, but what got my attention was that it recounts the experience of a traveler who asked his travel agent to book a 10-day trip to India on short notice.  When we first opened Celebrations International Travel in 2005, we booked itineraries like this every day.  The reason was that we worked with adoption travel at that time, and most of our clients departed within 7-10 days of purchasing their arrangements.  With that being said, we had several clients who left within 48 – 72 hours of completing their arrangements.  No, that is not a misprint!

We know and understand that as travelers, you always have a choice as to how, where, and with whom you book your travel arrangements.  I’ll be the first to admit there are great travel deals to be found online, and travelers can indeed book on their own.  However, there really is no substitute for the expertise that a good travel agent brings to the table.

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I came across this interesting article and thought I’d share it.  I’ll be the first to admit that unless I’m on the go and pressed for time, I prefer to seek out better food options when I’m traveling. 

To this list I’d like to add a personal favorite:  Changi International Airport in Singapore.  Their food court boasts numerous options including local specialties, all at reasonable prices for an airport.  The noodle house offers fresh Chinese hand-pulled noodles of all different varieties….a very welcome choice for a “fried-and-dipped”-weary world traveler!

Eat Up:  10 Airport Dining Experiences That Make Flying Taste Better

I saw this story on Yahoo news this morning, and it intrigued me:


I’ve heard of a few “message in a bottle” stories, but this one is particularly unique in that the originator (in Germany) and finder (in Russia) have actually contacted each other thanks to modern technology, and they plan to correspond and hopefully meet in person some day.  This proves not only what a small world we live in, but how chance can give anyone the opportunity to reach out to someone else, no matter where they are.  I don’t know if people still have pen pals, but maybe these two guys will make great ones!

My family, like many others, writes a holiday letter updating friends and family on the year’s events.  You would think that in a whole year’s time, I’d at least have something to write about.  This time last year, I found myself literally staring blankly at the Christmas-themed stationery I had created on my computer. 

I didn’t know what to say because I couldn’t think of anything noteworthy enough to be included in our holiday letter.  So I wrote a traditional, hum-drum holiday letter: 

– Everyone’s doing well.

– The kids are getting older and doing well in school.

– We look forward to next year.

Suffice it to say that that letter could have been written by anyone, and that the update was nothing short of generic.  Well, I’m happy to say that experience won’t repeat itself this year!

Our agency’s tagline is “Celebrating Life Through Travel”.  In the new year, don’t just go through the motions.  Celebrate life!  You don’t have to travel far to celebrate the good things in life.  We believe it’s more about the experiences you have and the memories you create with your loved ones. 

Wherever life’s travels take you, experience every day and every destination in ways that you enjoy and that are meaningful to you.  Then you’ll be sure to have something interesting and memorable to write about in your holiday letter!

We wish you safe and happy travels this holiday season and throughout the year.

Celebrations International Travel

In honor of Halloween weekend, here are some thoughts on a few of the creepiest places in the world, at least in my book!

Accommodations: The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast wins hands-down in this category!  I can’t even stand to watch it being featured on TV, let alone visit or spend the night there!

Sightseeing: Westminster Abbey is at the top of my list.  It is a beautiful place, but definitely has some creepy elements.  When I was 18, we were standing over the tomb of Queen Elizabeth I and Bloody Mary listening to the tour conductor’s commentary.  As I was staring at the intricately-carved, life-sized stone replicas of these two figures that adorn their tomb, my mother whispered “Would you dare spend the night here alone?”  Yikes!

Sterling Castle in Scotland is another of my top picks for creepy places.  Given Scotland’s history, it’s easy to see why the monarchs would have wanted to protect themselves, but this takes the cake.  Sterling Castle itself is a white-grey fortress-type building that seems to blend perfectly into its misty gray surroundings.  It sits atop a rocky mountain that is so steep that an angry king or queen could very likely have forced someone to the edge of the cliff and caused them to fall to their death!

The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History has an exhibit of First Ladies’ Inaugural Gowns.  That exhibit gives me the creeps because most of the gowns are displayed on life-like mannequins made to look like the First Ladies, and the eerie blue lights in the darkened room only add to the spookiness.  I used to visit often, and I couldn’t stand the fact that the layout of the museum was such that I had to walk through that room every time.  I have to wonder if Abigail Adams is upset that her gown hangs on a headless body form!

Happy Halloween!



I came across this blog post, entitled “The Most Embarrassing Travel Gear”.  I agree that most of these quirky things serve a practical purpose.  However, a few funny thoughts came to mind as I was reading:

– The Tugo: I don’t know if I’d rather put up with my bottle of water potentially falling out while I’m running through the airport dodging those beeping porters’ go-karts, or if I’d rather wear the weight on a strap around my neck.  Neither appeals to me.

– PlaneSheets: Kudos to the inventor for thinking of the germophobics of the world, but I wonder how easy it is to actually get this thing on the seat properly, given the space constraints of regular coach seats and the limited time you usually have before the flight attendants start asking everyone to take their seats.  This reminds me of how I once struggled to put a $200 cover on my sofa…..took forever and ended up not fitting right, even though the dimensions should have been perfect!

– Snazzy Napper: Sure hope the nose holes are intended to keep travelers alive!!

– SkyRest: Looks like it could be comfortable, but in this age of “carry on everything you can,” I think travelers would really have to love it to bother lugging this big thing onboard!

– XShot: I like this idea a lot, but I agree that I won’t be sticking my nice digital camera up in the air like that.  Can you imagine using this gadget above the trough at the salmon hatchery in Juneau?  The fish won’t have any use for your gift of a camera!


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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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