Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Imagine the Possibilities of a Destination Wedding


If you have recently become engaged, congratulations! Finding that special someone is like finding the other half of yourself, and warrants a unique and special way to celebrate your love. If you have ever dreamed of a destination wedding, your dream can be a reality.

Whether you want to exchange vows on the shores of an island paradise, or be surrounded by the romance of Europe, or get married at sea on a ship; whatever your dream wedding may be, your special day will be that much more stunning and memorable at a unique location. With a destination wedding, not only do you get to enjoy a special wedding ceremony and celebration, but you get to experience a once in a lifetime journey as well.

Imagine, a traditional Balinese dance to welcome your guests at your villa resort in Bali.

Imagine meeting your bride or groom along the sweeping expanse of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Imagine, walking down a soft, sandy, Hawaiian beach for your aisle, with a conch shell announcing your arrival.

Imagine, feeling a gentle breeze off the Adriatic Sea, as you exchange vows in Croatia.


Imagine, the lush tranquility of a private lagoon in the Cook Islands when you first kiss as a married couple.

Imagine, your wedding receiving line outside a castle in Scotland while bagpipes are playing.


Imagine, toasting a glass of wine with your new spouse in a villa surrounded by the splendor of Tuscany, Italy.

Imagine a conga line poolside and beach side at a Caribbean resort, with all your friends and family.

Imagine, taking flight in a hot-air balloon in South Africa, straight off to your honeymoon safari.

Imagine, disembarking off a yacht in the Maldives or Bora Bora, onto your own secluded over-the-water villa.

These ideas, and many more, can be brought to life with a destination wedding. There is no limit to what you and your bride or groom can plan, there is just your imagination.


When it comes to planning, a destination wedding can actually be easier than you may think. There are resorts known around the world which cater to weddings and honeymoons. Their services make planning a wedding and reception easy with a variety of package options. Everything is prepared and ready for your arrival, so all you have to do, is get married and have a great time.

Beyond resorts, there are as many wedding options and services in any given destination, as there are flowers in your bouquet. This can also quickly overwhelm any bride or groom. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by working with a travel professional who can put their expertise about destinations along with their knowledge of reliable, local contacts, to work for you. Think of your travel professional as your Destination Wedding planner, and imagine the possibilities.

There is a wide, world of options out there for planning the perfect, romantic destination wedding and/or honeymoon escape for you and your bride or groom. The agents of C.P. Trips are here to help you plan a vacation full of trans-formative 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!

  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nature’s Wonders, Travel to Inspire

We take vacations, and journey to new destinations for many reasons. No matter why, the core of how travel can transform us for the better, comes down to experiencing unique and special moments. With these moments, we create memories, expand our horizons, and connect with the incredible world, which is simply waiting for us to explore it more. When we visit a place, near or far, sometimes Mother Nature gives us a gift, a unique encounter if you will, such as witnessing the Aurora Borealis in Alaska or Norway, watching a lion pride on a hunt in Africa, or sailing with Dolphins along the bow of a ship in the Pacific. These are Nature’s Wonders, and anyone whom has ever had a first-hand encounter these stunning experiences, will understand just how profound and awe-inspiring these adventures can be.

There are more intimate experiences to be had as well, my daughter, Lana, for example was standing at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland soon after we arrived there for trip around the island. The wind was strong, the view spectacular. A most unexpected thing occurred. As she was removing the lens cap off her camera (this was before the age of digital), she heard a CLINK, something had hit the lens. She took her hand away, only to see a small flake of stone, about the size of a quarter, had LANDED IN HER HAND. As Lana puts it, “Ireland literally gave me a gift, it was as though She was saying Welcome Home.” (We have Irish in our blood so this trip was already special to begin with.) You can’t replicate this experience, nor will it ever be forgotten.

While I can’t arrange for Mother Nature to give you such a gift, I can help you enjoy a natural adventure, and be a part of, or witness to some of nature’s most intriguing and exciting events and phenomenon. To help inspire the dreamer in you, here are some examples of Nature’s Experiences.

We’ll start close to home, right in Portland, Oregon. Animal lovers, birdwatchers, families, anyone who wants to see a Wonder in the sky, plan a stay in Portland during September, and spend an evening at Chapman Elementary School in NW Portland. Here you will see part of an annual migration of thousands of Vaux’s Swifts. Since the 1980’s the Swift Watch has seen anywhere between 4,000 and 15,000 birds swarming at dusk. Together they rush out from the Chapman Elementary School chimney. Some years have recorded as many as 35,000 at this one nesting site. CLICK HERE to watch a great video of the swifts from a couple years ago


If you have not seen a bio-luminescent beach or ocean before, this is a must do adventure.
Plankton (and sometimes bacteria) blooms throughout the world’s oceans sometimes include glowing swarms of these microscopic creatures, which make the water and beaches aglow. You can experience this spectacular phenomenon at a variety of places such as Puerto Rico, California or the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean. CLICK HERE to watch a video of bio-luminescent waters from a beach in the Maldives.


Travel to Bolivia for a one of a kind experience, where you can discover Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest, most expansive, purest slat flat. This high elevation salt flat is so vast and bright, that during the wet season, from January through March, the vista is turned into a panoramic reflection of the sky, often called “God’s Mirror. This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey, which can be made easy and comfortable with a Soft & High Adventure vacation plan, a great way to travel to remote locations and still enjoy some ‘creature comforts’, and more important, a top-quality guide to get you there. CLICK HERE to watch a video of the awe-inspiring reflections witnessed at Salar de Uyuni.

Check back soon for more inspiring encounters you can experience with Nature’s 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!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chase Away Winter Blues with Inspirations in Paradise

Winter has really dug in deep this year. Here in the Portland-Metro area, we are just now coming out of a big freeze, which left many of us bundled up at home for far too many days. If you are ready to chase away winter blues and step out into warm sunshine, a tropical vacation is just the ticket. Check out the following photos of paradise from around the world. May they inspire your next getaway.

Caribbean Luxury
Phuket, Thailand
Belize, Central America

Mexican Resort

French Polynesia

Beach to No Where in Particular

Hawaiian Beach

Caribbean Water
Bora Bora, South Pacific

Tropical Resort
Laos, Southeast Asia
Bird of Paradise Flower
Princess Cay- Caribbean Cruise Island
Jungle Paradise, Cavernous Water
Serenity of the Maldives Islands
Sailing to the Middle of Nowhere
Veracruz, Mexico
How Many Miles from Winter Can We Go?
Luxury in the Maldives
Loving the Crystal Clear Reef
Are You Ready?
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! 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Explore an Enchanted Land- New Mexico


When we travel, we are seeking to experience something new, something different. There are many ways to describe the affect travel can have on a person. Travel transforms, it creates life long memories, which make your life richer than was before. Travel transcends, it creates opportunities for different cultures and people to meet, gather and share. Travel expands, horizons, viewpoints, and mindsets. You needn’t journey to the far ends of the earth to experience travel which will change your life for the better. Unique destinations worth exploring range all across North America too. One place brings together a variety of cultures, history and natural beauty like no other, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico has a long and varied history, with strong cultural traditions from Native American, Spanish and Mexican communities, which are still thriving in amazing ways. The drier, mild climate of the region makes this an ideal location for anyone seeking the sun’s warmth during the winter. Many big festivals and events occur beginning in the fall, on into the cooler months as well. Deep canyons and high mountains traversed by rivers provide excellent river rafting escapes and recreational adventures throughout the spring and summer.

The major cities of the state, Albuquerque and Santa Fe are world-renown for their heritage museums and art galleries, award winning restaurants and golf clubs, and rejuvenating spa resorts. But if you want to experience the real New Mexico, the enchanted land which residents and visitors alike have come to love, you need to step off the paved road as you travel.

Several communities around the state offer a truly rare and unique opportunity to experience a piece of “living history”. While the Spanish brought their Roman Catholic influences to the region, one aspect has shifted to become an ongoing, annual practice embraced by Native American Tribes. PuebloFeast Days celebrate native ancestral traditions. Originally established to commemorate and honor Catholic Saints, in New Mexico, feast days are occasions for tribes to come together as a community, connecting with their culture, religion and ancestral languages. These tribes have managed to hold onto their traditions, and they are open to sharing them with visitors, a life-changing event to be sure.

These feast days occur throughout the year and are open to the public. Each one includes ceremonial dances, songs and storytelling, alongside traditional foods. Many family Pueblos are opened to welcome visitors and share in their celebrations. There are special etiquette guidelines to follow, showing proper respect for these amazing people who continue to strive to keep their culture alive. VisitAlbuquerque offers a detailed resource to educate visitors prior to attending.

Another amazing cultural experience not to be missed in New Mexico is Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.  This is another Roman Catholic carryover from Spanish influences, in part. You may know how significant this festival is in Mexico, where communities everywhere gather at family gravesites to feast with their deceased loved ones. In New Mexico its import is just as big. There are towns and cities across the state which celebrate this annual remembrance of ancestors, an integral aspect to many cultures worldwide.

You will find parades, carnival festivities, community and family altars, dances and more. The
official date of Dia de los Muertos is November 2nd, a date which can be traced back to the Catholic Church of the 11th Century. The traditions of honoring the dead in the Americas however, are much older. Many aspects of these celebrations date back to the Aztecs. Over time the influence of the Catholic Church increased across Mexico and the South West, leading to what is now a three-day celebration of ancestors and loved ones, beginning with All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en) on October 31st and ending with Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd.

New Mexico is not called “The Enchanted Land” without reason. Serenity is easily achieved when you explore the natural side of this state. Filled with breathtaking wonders, if you enjoy outdoor recreation, soft or high adventure, or are just seeking a new way to connect with Mother Nature, a trip to New Mexico is a must. Red River in Taos County offers an excellent getaway to the mountains where you can explore rugged vistas in an off-road jeep, camera and sunscreen are advised. The La Luz Trail takes hikers from base to peak at the north end of the Sandias Mountains. It is said to be an athlete’s paradise for training; the ever-changing scenery and panoramic views will awe and inspire.

For a unique stay in the wilds of New Mexico, with the comforts of home, check out the KokopelliCave Bed & Breakfast. Yes, it really is in a cave, on a cliff-side, where nature is right out your window, and the past comes alive in a grotto of stone thought to be 70 million years old. Another special place in New Mexico is best seen by moonlight. Hike or bike under the bright full moon as you explore the White Sands National Monument on a special Park RangerProgram tour. The stunning white gypsum sand dunes will glow under the light of the full moon, offering an ideal time to view the wildlife of the region in a exceptional way, a memorable experience to be sure.

Anyone who loves a photographic spectacle, or festive atmosphere, should plan to attend the Albuquerque InternationalBalloon Fiesta. Each year in early October hundreds of hot air balloons fill the expansive sky with thousands of spectators experiencing a site not to be missed. The best time to witness this festival of balloons is at dawn. For 8 days, each rising of the sun sees a mass ascension of colorful hot air balloons as they lift off.

This has become one of the most exciting aviation festivals in the world. It is the very location which has allowed for this festival to literally take off. Balloon Fiesta Park has what is known locally as the Albuquerque Box. This is where October weather patterns coupled with the geography of the park,
provides an ideal place for hot air ballooners to navigate their inflatable rides.


There are many ways to experience the Balloon Fiesta. C.P. Trips is excited to offer a special Classy Ladies (& Couples Too!) journey incorporating the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Not only will we be exhilarated by the experience of this visual wonder, we will also enjoy culinary delights Santa Fe style, be immersed in the cultural heritage and art of the region, and connect with our past on the Turquoise Trail, Route 66 and the Santa Fe Trail.


To find out more about this exciting, hosted itinerary, or any of the exciting experience to be found in New Mexico, contact me, Cindy Passannante, at cptrips@aol.com or by phone, 503-658-5646. Details including air fare, package rates, and excursion options will soon be posted on our Classy Ladies (& Couples Too!) web page as well. No matter how or when you are ready to experience the Enchanted Land of New Mexico, 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. Call or email us today!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holidays around the World

What better time to learn about different destinations, than during the holiday season? All over the world people take some time as winter begins and the year ends, to celebrate love, life, peace and joy. Some festivities are spiritual and sacred, while others are simply about community connections and family. A sense of liveliness and fun can also be experienced when celebrating the spirit of the season. May You and your family have a blessed and bright holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Hanukkah Sameach, Habari Gani, Happy Dhanu Sankranti, and a Merry Winter Solstice to all!

One of my personal favorite destinations for the holidays is the Bavarian region of eastern Europe. Here you will find the Holiday Christmas markets of yester-year. Much of what the Victorian era brought us in the way of Christmas traditions comes from this part of Europe, where Prince Albert was from. You can find old-fashioned, hand crafted toys, decorations and gifts at world famous markets in Germany and Austria. River Cruise up the Danube to visit all the world's greatest Christkindlesmarkts with Collette Tours, perfect for anyone who wants to step back in time for the holidays.

Across the globe, the winter holidays are centered around the Winter Solstice. Long
celebrated by various people from different countries world wide, the winter solstice is an important time of year for many cultures. Celebrating the power of yin-yang energy within the cosmos, which ebbs and flows, and balances throughout the year at the solstices and equinoxes, the Dongzhi Festival is a popular holiday celebration you can find in many countries around East Asia, including China and Taiwan. One popular tradition is time spent with family making sweet treats of tangyuan rice balls or dumplings together. 

There are also Winter Solstice celebrations and observances at some unique sites. Stonehenge brings people by the thousands to witness the rising of the winter solstice sun. A little lesser known, but just a dramatic is a local celebration in Lokken, Denmark. A celebration is held at Solhvervssøjlen a piece of modern art which marks where the sun sets over the North Sea at the winter and summer Solstice. 

If you are thinking a holiday season spent in warmer weather is not a bad idea after all, south of the border, Mexico has an amazing 9 day celebration, Las Posadas, this festive celebrations takes Christmas Caroling to a whole new level, with community processionals lead by candle light, and ending with a family fun, feasting and of course pinatas. If you want to get into the heat of one of the world's largest, and best New Year's Eve parties, plan a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here the fireworks will astound and the dancing in the street will seem to never end. Wear white to Copacabana Beach, for good luck in the coming year. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the new year begins at the height of summer, add in incredible Brazilian festivities, food and culture, and you are sure to chase away any winter blues. One of our preferred travel vendors, Avanti Destinations has incredible vacation packages and deals centered around Rio for New Year's, this is one experience which is sure to transform you.


Whether you stay close to home or travel the globe for the holiday season, there is always something exciting to do and new to discover each year. Travel makes a wonderful gift, helping you and your loved ones create life long memories together. The agents of C.P. Trips are ready to help you plan your next holiday adventure, where ever you want to go, within your budget and with all ages in mind. Call us at 503-658-5646 or email cptrips@aol.com to book your next holiday.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tipping Your Servers- Cruise Style

Many people love to travel the world by cruise. From small luxury yachts to large mega boats which are destinations in themselves, a cruise is a great way to unpack once and visit many destinations with unique experiences available. If you are new to cruising or it has been a while since your last one, there are aspects about life on a cruise ship which can be confusing. One such daunting subject is tipping protocol. America is a land of hard workers, whom we as a society, reward through monetary tips for good services rendered.  Below is a summary of what you can expect when it comes to tipping while on a cruise vacation.

While many amenities on cruise ships are included in the cost of your stateroom, there are often specific restaurants, excursions or services which cost extra. Most cruise companies offer an on-board account to cover these incidental purchases. You add funds from your personal banking account, and then sign off on charges to your stateroom throughout your cruise. These accounts are a hassle free way to cover these charges. Shipboard accounts often include an automatic charge to cover a "tip fund" for the cruise personnel who see to your customer service needs and requests. Typically this includes restaurant workers, cabin stewards and other personnel who serve passengers. The tips are split among these personnel as a group, with around $10-$15 per day, per passenger being the standard charge. Some cruise lines allow for guests to adjust this amount based on their experience with the service received.

Examples of cruise companies which include an automatic tip charge to on-board accounts:

Carnival
Celebrity Cruises
Cunard Line
Disney Cruise Line
Fathom Impact Cruises
Holland America Line
MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Windstar Cruises

There are some cruise companies which have kept the "old tradition" of accepting gratuities from passengers in the form of cash tips on the last day of the trip. Some cruise companies also accept credit card payments for these tips as well.  It is up to you as the guest to determine how much you want to tip your servers for each day of your cruise. The typical recommendation for discretionary tipping ranges from $8- $15 per passenger, per day. Whatever you tip, the monies received are divided among the crew as a whole.

Examples of cruise companies which request cash tipping at the end of a cruise :

Ama Waterways
Star Clippers
Viking Cruises
Un-Cruise Adventures

If you are wanting to leave the worry of tipping behind, there are a few cruise lines which offer truly all-inclusive pricing, and yes, this includes tipping. There will be gratuity charge included in the final price of your cruise, this is just one way some luxury cruise lines differentiate themselves. When travelers are seeking true luxury and pampering, there is sure to be a ship with your name on it. Examples include:

Azamara Club Cruises
Emerald Waterways
Seabourn
Scenic Cruises

Of special note to keep in mind, on most cruises, bartenders, wine stewards and spa attendants typically receive tips in the standard fashion, with 15% being the standard for these services. Some
cruise lines will automatically include the gratuity charge on your bill, covering those services not paid for through an on-board account.

When you are ready to plan a cruise, working with a travel professional who understands the fine print and details of cruising, can make a big difference. For a small feel, C.P, Trips is here to help you enjoy the vacation of your dreams. Call or email us today at 503-658-5646 or cptrips@aol.com.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!)- Travel Made Easy

I am excited to announce the re-launch of a travel program dear to my heart. C.P. Trips' Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) is a series of hosted vacations ranging from around the state, to around the world. Classy Ladies Getaways provides a fun way for solo traveling women to join up with others who are ready to explore a destination or enjoy a specific experience.

We say couples too as my husband Tony and I host some of these trips ourselves.
We truly love to travel, and enjoy being able to share our experiences with others. These small-group vacation packages are geared toward independent women who love to travel, or are ready to begin a new adventure, yet friends or partners are always welcome along.  We are working up 2017 and 2018 itineraries over the coming weeks. Check back here often as I post details of what you can expect on the various Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) packages.

You may wonder if one of our getaways will be right for you. Ask yourself a few questions to get an idea. Do you often travel solo but don’t want to go it truly alone? Do you have a group of friends ready to travel somewhere together, but have not decided where? Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or simply have your curiosity peaked, a Classy Ladies Getaway is worth checking out. Let us take care of all the details while you enjoy a vacation like no other. Some itineraries in the works include:

o   Exploring Cuban culture
o   The Yukon by Sea & Land
o   Whale Watching & Gardens in Victoria B.C.
o   Fiesta Siesta & Balloons in Santa Fe
o   New York: Broadway & Fall Foliage
o   Southern Hospitality in Savannah
o   Shakespeare & River Rafting in Ashland
o   San Francisco Long Weekend
o   Cook Island Tropical Retreat
o   Tahitian Paradise Getaway


Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) offers concierge services with your travel plans, to ensure all your needs are met and you have a memorable vacation. Physical Limitations are not a restriction or disability when it comes to travel, and Classy Ladies Getaways are all about helping you have a wonderful and memorable experience. Whether you have dietary needs, or accessibility concerns, or room & board specifics,  I will work directly with you to ensure your travel on  a Classy Ladies Getaway is worry free. I have set up this unique travel program of specific destination itineraries to help make travel easier for you. I am passionate about travel, and my clients too, both of which are the inspiration behind Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!). Call or email C.P. Trips today to learn more: 503-658-5646/ cptrips@aol.com. You can also check out more travel ideas, including Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) itineraries, at our website.