August 10, 2017

Get the Most from Your Travel Rewards Credit Card


Travel became more attainable for many people with the advent of Travel Reward Credit Cards. There are beneficial ways to use these cards, and detrimental practices best avoided. Understanding exactly how your travel rewards program works with your credit card is the first step in taking advantage of these programs so you can travel more with ease.

The idea behind these cards is simple, as you use the card, you earn points which can be redeemed towards travel expenses such as air fare and hotel accommodations. But with each card there is a specific set of rules and procedures established regarding how, where and when you can redeem your travel reward points. For many, trying to work it all out can quickly overwhelm, leaving would be travelers in the dark, as they give up trying to decipher just how they can use their travel reward points.

U.S, News and World Report (USNWR), one of the leading sources for relevant, reliable news and in-depth consumer research, has recently completed a survey of Travel Reward Credit Card users. The goal was to find out what people know about the cards they carry, how effective they are, and how they are being used when it comes to travel. The results are quite interesting. With more than 50% of the survey respondents saying they carry a regular balance on their cards, there is a high chance that the average consumer is actually losing money with these cards when interest and payments are taken into account.

This is not to say that Travel Reward Credit Cards are not worth it. On the contrary, when you have the right card for your lifestyle and budget, cards with travel reward programs can be an excellent way to get more from your vacations. Many cards include airline mileage points which can get you a cheaper ticket, or even an upgrade from coach to business class. This can make a big difference in how comfortably you can travel, especially on a long, international flight. Another common benefit is cost savings on accommodations, allowing for more excursions and experiences to be enjoyed while traveling.

With the USNWR 2017 Guide to Travel Reward Credit Cards, you can access some insightful information to help you determine which card could be best for you, or how you can use your card to gain more benefits from reward programs. We at C.P. Trips want to encourage travelers to educate themselves so they can make the best-informed decisions about their travel plans, and be happier with the memories they create no matter where or how they choose to travel to.

After reviewing the USNWR guide, you also have an experienced, local resource who can be of further assistance, Cindy Passannante, owner of C.P. Trips. Cindy regularly works with clients whom have Travel Reward Credit Cards. Her experience with the different programs available, alongside the travel industry ‘road map’, place her in a unique position to better assist her clients when it comes to getting the most out of their Travel Reward Credit Cards. There are endless ways to travel and experience the world. Travel reward programs can help turn your travel dreams into something more, and C.P. Trips can help you get there.

The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. 
Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*ǂ. 
Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. 
Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.

*We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference. With the expertise and time we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees as follows:
Research & Planning fee:
$ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning; 
$ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. 
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: 
$30 per person/ticket for US flights, 
$75 per person/ticket for International flights. 
Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: 
lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied 
($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  
Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. 
Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality! 

ǂFee Schedule updated as of August 17, 2017, current format and costs apply; 
any prior fee schedule listed within a previous blog post is out-of-date and invalid.




July 26, 2017

Experience Europe on a River Cruise


River cruises have come a long way over the last several years. If you want to tour Europe in a care-free and relaxing way, a river cruise is an excellent option. The great rivers of Europe are an ideal way to spend time in the “Old World” and experience a vacation worth remembering. With a cruise, you have one place to unpack and many locations to explore. But which river cruise is the right one for you?  The good news is there are a variety of river cruise lines, some which cater to families, active older adults, history and culture buffs, or those seeking the best in luxury cruising.

One of C.P. Trips’ preferred river cruising partners is worth looking into when you are ready to plan a European vacation. Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours offers all-inclusive river cruises with a variety of European itineraries sure to please. Some of Scenic’s luxury based features include butler services for all guests, daily complimentary beverages, casual to fine dining on board the ship, self-guided touring assistance with the Exclusive Scenic Tailormade GPS service, as well as all tipping and gratuities covered. These items and more are covered in the cost of your cruise.

With your booked cruise, you can also enjoy different ways to experience the destinations on your river cruise tour. Examples include Scenic’s e-bikes, a great way to get around when embarking on land, expert local guides, once-in- lifetime experiences offered through the Scenic Enrich program, Scenic Sundowners Cocktail parties, held gorgeous locations along the way and Scenic Freechoice which provides a variety of activities to choose from while on your cruise.

If 2018 is the year for you to travel to Europe and you want to experience a river cruise, you are in good company. C.P. Trips will be offering a special Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) vacation onboard a Scenic Luxury Cruise along the rivers of Northern Europe. This specially hosted trip will include a special experience, the vibrant spring tulip fields around Amsterdam. The specifc dates, costs and itinerary details will be available soon. To ensure you get the information as soon as possible, sign up for updates on our Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) update list.

The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.

*We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.

In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

June 28, 2017

Explore Subterranean Destinations for a Different Point of View- Part 2

Man has built incredible monuments across the globe. From modern cities, back to ancient antiquities and before, man has made his mark. Today we travel to grand places such as Stonehenge or Dubai to see the marvels we have created through time. There are also truly stunning and awe-inspiring creations to explore underground; truly unique places worth visiting. Listed below are just a few incredible subterranean destinations built by Man over the centuries; and they are waiting for you to explore yourself.

Edinburgh Vaults- This part of Edinburgh, Scotland's past was only rediscovered about 30 years ago. The vaults consist of 19 chambers within the arches of Edinburgh's South Bridge, now covered by a modern city, step back in time to a not so distant past.


Greenbrier Resort, W.VA- For a look into the not so distant past of the United States, you will want to explore the underground bunker at Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. When the Cold War was at its peak, this super secret sanctuary was built to protect government officials and help keep the country running.

Hallstatt Salzburg Salt Mine- You can experience a truly unique piece of living history in the world's oldest working salt mine. Salt was once considered more valuable than gold. The Hallstatt Salt Mine has been an integral part of this region, from the original Celtic tribes who discovered the salt mountain, to the country of Austria today. And visitors get to ride the great wooden salt slides...

Istanbul Basilica Cistern- This is the largest of hundreds of ancient water cisterns built beneath the ground in Istanbul, Turkey. The sheer size of this huge water storage system is enhanced by the distinctive architecture of the structure itself. 

Orvieto Italy Etruscan Tunnels- Before there was the Roman Empire in Italy, there were the Etruscans. Much of what we think of as Roman today originated with these people, including long historical towns such as Orvieto. The Etruscan Tunnels of Orvieto give us a glimpse to the ancient past in this region, a must for any history or culture buff.

Paris Catacombs- No review of unique underground destinations would be complete without the Paris Catacombs, perhaps the most famous man-made subterranean monument in the world. Miles of tunnels are filled with millions of bones, the remains of Paris's dead from throughout the centuries. An eerie experience, not for the feint of heart, but worth seeing at least once if you can.

PDX (Portland) Shanghai Tunnels- We have our own eerie and storied underground past here in Portland. The Portland Shanghai Tunnels once put this city on the map, as the most likely place a poor sod could end up being shanghaied- or forced into labor on board a ship headed to, you guessed it, Shanghai, China. These tunnels are even said to be haunted.

Reso- Montreal’s Underground City- What do you do when your city has incredibly long and harsh winters? You build underground of course. Many cities have subterranean areas, for transit and shopping. In Montreal there is the Reso, where you will discover an entire city, literally.

Temples of Humankind- There is no stopping the imagination of man. For a truly awe-inspiring experience from within the earth, you will want to journey to the Temples of Humankind, located at the foot of the Italian Alps in the Federation of Damanhur. Considered one of the new Wonders of the Modern World, and begun in the 1970's, here are several amazing and artfully designed subterranean temples, all geared towards supporting a peaceful and enlightened way of living.

Are you ready to explore our underground world? Go ahead, the world is waiting for you.... It's time to experience it.

The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.
*We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.

With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed. Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

June 23, 2017

Explore Subterranean Destinations for a Different Point of View- Part 1

We have been sharing ideas centered around incredible natural wonders. As you travel, these are natural phenomena and places worth the journey to get there. Beneath the surface of our world, there are many unique places where you can discover the magic of Natures’ Experience List within subterranean destinations.  Listed below are just a few of these spectacular natural gems waiting for you, check out the videos for each one, and be inspired for your next adventure.

Booming Ice Chasm, Canadian Rockies - Located in the Crownest Pass area of Alberta, this underground wonder was only discovered 9 years ago...Best to be fit and not feint of heart to explore this world of ice inside a mountain.



Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico- Perhaps the world's most famous cavern system, this National Park is worth the visit for the wonder and awe which can only be experienced in person.


Devil’s Den, Florida- Scuba Divers looking for a truly unique experience will never forget this hidden treasure in Florida, with water at a balmy 72 degrees, diving here is as relaxing as it is inspiring.



Enchanted Well, Brazil -Located within Chapada Diamantina National Park in Brazil, this underwater cave is every swimmer's delight. The terrain in the park is beautifully rugged, this subterranean swim is the perfect break as part of an eco-tour.



Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky- Here you will find the longest cavern system known in the world. If you have a passion for America's National Parks, this is one which should be on your list of destinations. 


Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Philippines- Located on Palawan Island, this beautiful underground river with waterfalls and yes, plenty of bats, is also a protected UNECSO Site. In 2012 the river was names one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World.


Rio Secreto Mexico- Located in the northeast region of Cancun, this underground river is a treasure of natural crystals, stalactites and stalagmites, visited by the ancient Mayans, and now by eco-tourists today. Go beyond the common in Mexico and experience something truly unique.


Ruby Falls Chattanooga Tennessee- For 85 years, Ruby Falls has been welcoming visitors deep inside Lookout Mountain. Named for the wife of excavator Leo Lambert, this stunning waterfall will take your breath away.



Stockholm Cavern Metro- Our last stop on the first part of our subterranean tour is a unique combination of Nature and Man. The Stockholm Metro system is surrounded by organic architecture, where exposed bedrock forms the cave system which brings passengers to station platforms. The stunning natural beauty of this subway includes art everywhere you look.




Up Next, Watch for Part 2 of our Subterranean Destination explorations, this time within the realm of man-made wonders…..


The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.
*We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.

With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed. Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

 


June 14, 2017

Oregon’s Painted Hills- A Journey Back in Time


Whether you are long time Oregon resident, or are planning a visit to the area, there are many places worth exploring. The Oregon Coast, Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and Crater Lake are all well-known natural wonders which have captured the imagination and hearts of many a traveler. But have you heard of Oregon’sPainted Hills?  These are a spectacular site located within the John Day Fossil Beds Monument National Park in East/Central Oregon.

History comes alive with these colorfully layered mountains of earth. Hues ranging from reds to yellows, golds, blacks and browns fill the expanse of this geological wonder. What’s more these colors are enhanced by shades of green and lovely colorful flowers during the spring. A veritable rainbow is waiting for anyone who passes by.

The Painted Hills were formed over millions of years, including a time when the area was an ancient flood plain. Each color highlights a different geological era of flora and fauna, and the vast number of fossils found here have made this region one of the most acclaimed places for paleontologists to study.

The John Day Fossil Beds Monument Park includes not only the Painted Hills but two other main areas, The Claro Unit and Sheep Rock Unit, both with their own unique landscapes and fossil remains. Any science buff or naturalist is bound to find a treasure trove of exploration here. This part of Oregon is truly one of Nature’s best classrooms when it comes to learning about our ancient past. 

You can also take a step back in time to when the wild west was still being tamed with local museums such as the KamWah Chung State Heritage Site, where you can see first-hand where locals were treated with Chinese medicine and techniques one hundred years ago. The site is located in the town of John Day, not far from the Monument Park and Painted Hills. With the interpretive center and museum, the past influences of the local culture come to life.

One of the best ways to travel to this part of the state is via
the JourneyThrough Time Scenic Byway. Starting in Biggs, just past The Dalles in the Columbia River Gorge, you follow US-97 where you travel along two of Oregon’s biggest rivers, the Deschutes and John Day. From the town of Antelope, the byway heads east on OR-218, taking you to the John Day Fossil Bed Monument Park, and onward to another town steeped with Oregon history, Baker City near the Wallowa Mountains, another of Oregon’s 7 Wonders.

Beyond stepping back in time with vistas of the Painted hills and old ghost towns, there are also recreational activities to enjoy in this part of Oregon. One of the most exciting and popular ones being river rafting, a perfect way to stay cool in the heat of summer. There are also thousands of miles of trails for hiking, cycling or horseback riding. Those seeking a winter getaway have plenty of choices, such as skiing and snowmobiling to snow shoeing throughout the region.

There are a variety of local culinary treats to enjoy, from wine and beer to locally grown organic foods and artisan cafes, each small town has its own taste offerings. Located close to the Painted Hills in Mitchell, Oregon, you will find the Historic Oregon Hotel B&B, built originally in the 1800s, another excellent way to take a step back in time. There are also vacation rental properties available around the region.

If you are looking to experience a uniquely getaway, spend some time around one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders, the Painted Hills, you will be glad you did. The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of transformative memories. Enjoy a worry-free journey with the support and care of a local Travel Professional*. Visit our website, cptrips.com to explore the latest in travel ideas, promotions and more. Call us at (503) 658-5646 or email us at cptrips@aol.com today- Keep Calm and Travel On.

 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!

        Photo Attributions:


               1) By Finetooth (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL                                (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
              2) https://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenkerns/14222562599/
              3)By Ian Poellet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia                        Commons
              4)https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmoregon/28142900866
              5)https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsaiproject/8493307191

June 1, 2017

Traveler Advocate Resources

Recent news stories have highlighted travel incidents between travelers, airlines and security authorities. Crimes against travelers have also been on the rise in various destinations. While we always hope for the best when it comes to traveling, it can be helpful to know what your rights and responsibilities are as a traveler, and where you can turn to for help.

Your rights as a traveler will vary depending on how and where you travel. There are different guidelines, rules and resources available which may vary by destination; both within the United States and abroad. Listed below are some key resources to review before you travel, so you can make informed decisions should the need arise.

The U.S. Department of State has information and resource links to HelpAmerican Citizen Victims of Crime, both abroad and across the United States.

Other helpful links from the Department of State include:

EmergencyAssistance resources and information are available. Outside of seeking medical attention, when traveling abroad, if an issue of safety arises, the best place to turn is the nearest Embassy or Consulate.

LegalConsiderations for Americans oversees are reviewed on this page, for both public and private situations which travelers may face.

Alertsand Warnings are issued through the US Dept. of State, before you go, be sure you know.

To understand your rights when flying, check out the FlyRights Guide provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This extensive guide covers everything from airline safety, to overbooking situations, delayed flights and filing a complaint.

The FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 was signed into Law by President Obama. While some consumer protection was more clearly defined, other areas were not, such as overbooked flight situations. Here is an in-depth review of Aviation ConsumerProtections, where they have been and where they stand now.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) organization, which most major cruise companies belong to, has created a CruiseIndustry Passenger Bill of Rights. All member cruise companies agree to adhere to the policies set forth to protect passengers through accountability, consistency and transparency. 


 *We are excited to have the chance to help you with your vacation plans! We understand that you have many options to choose from when it comes to travel. Our standard fee policy is noted below for your reference.
With the time and expertise we give in our researching travel options and destinations for clients and potential customers, along with our continuing education and training, we have non-refundable fees of $ 30.00 for domestic travel research & planning and $ 75.00 for International travel research & planning. This research fee is applied to your vacation package when purchased through C.P. Trips, Inc.
In addition to our research fee, there is an airline ticket/service fee: $30 per person/ticket for US flights, $65 per person/ticket for International flights. Other fees for certain additional requested bookings such as, but not limited to: lodgings, excursion activities, and destination specialty requests will be applied ($15.00 - $45.00) depending on type of booking completed.  
Initial Research/Planning fee due prior to trip planning; all other fees due at time of invoicing. Thank you, we look forward to helping you make your vacation dreams a reality!