Friday, July 29, 2016

Impact Travel- What is it and What Does it Mean to You?
Travel has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days of tourist traps and big sight seeing tours. Travelers are looking to experience a destination, not just visit a place. Through travel, lifetime memories and connections are made. Our global world can become smaller when we can immerse ourselves in a culture or location other than our own.

Travel has the power to transform the soul, and Impact Travel is one way to experience transformation with a purpose. Destination tourism boards, travel companies and tour operators have heard the call of people wanting to get more from their vacations. More and more there are opportunities to get off the beaten path, to enjoy one on one, face to face and in-depth interactions with the people, history and culture of a place.

You can now travel with intention, planning a vacation that goes beyond an excursion at a port of call or taking in the major sights of destination. Impact travel offers you a chance to make a positive difference in your own journey, as well as in the places you go to. Impact travel allows more people to make a difference on a global level which is then experienced and shared on a personal level.

C.P. Trips has recently reserved space on board a Fathom Impact Travel cruise around Cuba. Fathom cruises are designed to give their guests cultural immersion both on board and on shore. With their cruise around Cuba, you can engage in lively exchanges with Cuban artists, musicians, local businesses and families. Your interaction with the people of Cuba will be part of an ongoing exchange of cultural awareness.

Another type of impact travel are volunteer vacations. There are a wide variety of destination itineraries designed to give you a chance to make a direct difference in a short amount of time. Biologists need help releasing animals back to the wild, archaeologists need help digging into our past. From clearing hiking trails across America, to helping restore habitat in Costa Rica or Peru, if you want to help the environment, there is a volunteer vacation for you. These types of journeys also provide opportunities to help those in need, such as helping to dig a well in a village, or trekking in needed medical supplies in the depths of the jungle. The world is a big place with plenty of ways you can make a positive impact when you travel.

We all have charitable organizations we like to support, some of us even volunteer or help out specific groups. Did you know that travel packages make a great charitable auction item? I have worked first hand with several charities in helping plan a vacation as an auction item for a fundraiser.

When it comes making a donation that makes a difference, with a reward that can include a villa vacation in Italy or Bali, these auction items can make a big impact on fundraising. The next time your favorite charity is looking for auction items, perhaps a villa vacation will be just the thing. With my extensive experience in this type of travel planning, I would be happy to help you and your organization create an vacation package for auction.

Travel transforms the soul, now you can hep transform the world through Impact Travel. Call or email C.P. Trips today to begin planning your next vacation: 503-658-5646/ Check out more travel ideas and options at our website:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Vacation Ideas for Kids & Teens

Summer has arrived and with it the ever pressing question- “What are we going to do while school is out?” If you have kids and teenagers in your life you know it can be challenging to plan a vacation for the whole family. Summer is also the time for great vacation deals. Whether you are looking for a last minute vacation in the coming weeks or beginning to plan a big trip for next year, there are some great deals around that also cater to families providing memorable experiences for everyone.

Part of planning a family vacation is the budget. If you are ready to take a family cruise and want to maximize your dollars for activities and excursions, cruise companies such as MSCCruises have several sailings where kids aged 11 and under cruise free. Norwegian Cruise Line also offers free cruising for a 3rd or 4th passenger in a stateroom, making it easier to cruise with the whole family. Both of these cruise lines offer a variety of age appropriate programs and activities sure to keep a smile on everyone. Cruises offer a lot of
activities for every age group, making this option and ideal choice when it comes to multi-generational travel. Most cruise companies have special programs and events just for kids and teens. Princess Cruises offer their Youth Centers and Teen Lounges, and Holland America Line has Club HAL, the Teen Loft and even specialized culinary experiences for kids ages 3-18. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has an award winning Ocean Adventure Youth Program and age appropriate activities on board. Cruise companies understand the value of vacationing with your family, and the benefit of providing activities and experiences geared towards different ages and tastes, making traveling with your kids and teens relaxing and fun.

Many travel and tour companies have realized the value of creating unique experiences when it comes to travel. This includes kids and teens. When you travel with your family you are creating life long memories. For many today this includes personal travel opportunities where the world is brought alive through up-close interactions.

Tauk Tours, an award winning luxury tour company, has created TaukBridges, travel with the whole family in mind. They offer a variety of adventurous vacations from African safaris to Costa Rica zip lining and river rafting, and the Galapagos Islands as destinations. Special Tauk Bridges tours even include on-tour film vignettes with BBC Earth natural history experts. If you have a film buff or naturally history scientist in the making, the jungle rafting trip along Costa Rica could be just the ticket with hands on field equipment and experiences.  

If you and your kids love Disney, take your next family vacation a step further with Adventures by Disney. These specially catered travel excursions bring destinations around the world to life like only Disney can. From movie themed trips, such as a Frozen® tour of Norway, to personal Adventure Guides and activities for kids of all ages and adults too, Adventures by Disney brings families together as they travel. 

Both Tauk Bridges and Adventures by Disney have expanded their family vacation offerings to 
include river cruises. Tauk Bridges’ all-inclusive family only river cruises brings families together from around the world, giving kids the chance to make new friends and enjoy age appropriate amenities together. There are shore excursions planned with the family in mind, from bike riding to culinary classes, or exploring the catacomb mazes of medieval Devin Palace on the Rhone River. There is always something to do and exciting places to explore.  

Adventures by Disney has ventured into to River Cruising in partnership with Ama Cruises. With cruises along the Rhine and Danube rivers, these make for a great way to experience northern Europe. Toboggan or zip line your way through the Black Forest on one of their newest river cruises, along the Rhine river. Have chocolate lovers in the family? On the Adventures by Disney Rhine river cruise there is a special stop in Cologne Germany where you can learn to make chocolate from the masters.

Traveling with your family can be a rewarding experience full of great memories and lasting connections. When you are ready to take the kids and teens on an adventure they are sure to remember, contact C.P, Trips and we can help you plan the perfect family vacation. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hello From Hawaii

2016 marks a very special occasion for my family, this past June, my husband Tony and I celebrated 50 years of wedded bliss.  Well, being realistic it is not always so blissful, but we have had a long and strong marriage full of love and laughter, and much of it has been experienced through our travels. To celebrate our 50th anniversary we decided to make a special trip to one of our favorite places in the world, the Big Island of Hawaii. We love to spend as much time on the island as we can, and have been known to spend many a week or long weekend in Kona where there is incredible diving, fishing, lovely museums and unique cultural experiences to be found. 

We were also lucky enough to have several family members join us for part of our time on Hawaii and treasure the time we get to spend with loved ones. We enjoyed some time at the Ocean Rider Seahorse Research Center where conservation of these delicate and endangered species is their top goal. The flowers were fragrant, the wildlife vibrant and the atmosphere relaxing, what more could you want from paradise?  Below are just a few photos from some of our time spent in Hawaii.  If you have not been to the Big Island yet, perhaps its your turn to go.....

One of the many species of Seahorses being cared for at Ocean Rider

These little guys are quite social

To feel the tail of a seahorse around your finger... Priceless

The air was fragrant with Plumeria

Rainbow Eucalyptus found at the World Botanical Garden near Hilo- so lovely

A Hawaii Waterfall

One of our Geko housemates in Hawaii
From left to right, my Granddaughter, my Daughter and Myself

Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer Family Vacation Ideas

May is here, and that mean Memorial Day is just a few weeks away, along with the start of the summer season. Summer is an ideal time for family vacations. With the kids out of school it is easier to spend some time creating new memories together by taking a trip. There are a lot of options to choose from, including some great destinations and travel companies that offer incredible experiences for every age. Whether your vacation includes just you and the kids, or with grandparents as well, you will find some inspirations listed below to get you on your way to planning a summer vacation.

Tauk Bridges Family Adventures

Tauk Tours has been in the business of guided tours for over 80 years, and as a true family company, they understand the benefits of families that travel together. The Tauk Bridges Family adventures is all about bringing families together to experience unique destination and cultural journeys. Working with partners such as BBC Earth, families are transported to a new world, whether it is a river cruise in Europe, an American National Park tour, a rain forest trek in Costa Rica or a once in a lifetime journey to the Galapagos Islands.

Theme Parks

Universal Studios and Disney Parks offer one of the best ways to spend a family vacation. With plenty of things to do, there is never a dull moment at these places where happiness rules. No matter the park you are going to, there are always exciting deals and promotions going on to help you save on your travel budget and get more from your vacation. Theme parks are in the business of family vacations, they know there are multiple generations coming to visit, and they provide activities and benefits for everyone.  From special character breakfasts or lunches, to incredible and fast rides, and amazing exhibits, a theme park makes for a great vacation on its own.

Travel Impressions

One of our travel industry partners, Travel Impressions, works with destination hotels, resorts and tours to provide travelers with incredible deals. Their buying power is our buying power and that means incredible deals on exciting places to take a vacation. They have a new program for this year called Steal of a Deal. Each week they share with us, the latest in last minute deals to all inclusive resorts, exciting destination tours and more.  If you are looking for someplace tropical, think about an all inclusive resort, along the Caribbean, in Mexico and Hawaii, an all inclusive resort gives you a home away from home for the entire family.


Taking a cruise offers a lot of different choices for everyone everyday. A cruis gives you one place to unpack and multiple places to visit and explore. Cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line had specially planned kids activities and excursions suitable for every age. With a cruise, a multi generational family vacation becomes the ideal vacation for everyone. Of special note, Royal Caribbean has recently become the first cruise line to be certified as Autism Friendly by the Autism on the Sea Organization. This means if you have a child with autism, the specially designated benefits, such as priory boarding will help ensure everyone can vacation with ease.

MSC Cruises are another great choice, they offer a variety of short cruises all over the Caribbean and Mexico, and kids sail free on board MSC. Right now they have 3 and 4 night cruises in the Bahamas, the Caribbean and along the coast of Mexico.

Disney Adventures is now offering river cruises in Europe with Ama Waterways, where the whole family can experience cultural immersion in Disney fashion, with story tellers, personal guides, culinary and adventure experiences everywhere you turn.

These are just a few ideas for summer family vacation fun. We have more ideas, and are regularly adding to our Vacation Ideas for You and our Cruises pages on our website. When you are ready to begin planning your next vacation, take a look and see what inspires you. For a small fee, we at C.P. Trips are here to help make your travel dreams a reality.  Call us at 503-658-5646 or email at

Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrate Shakespeare in Ashland

April 23rd mark's Shakespeare's birthday. What better way to honor the Bard than to tell you about a great trip I have planned for this summer. Each year I love to take in as many different theater productions as I can. I devote a long weekend spending time at the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. This is a weekend of adventure and fun as those that go caravan down from Portland to the Southern Oregon. This year is extra special as we will have my good friend, News Talk 860's Travel Bug, Terry Travis with us!

Thursday July 28 – Sunday July 31, 2016, meet up with News Talk 860’s Travel Bug, Terry Travis, Cindy Passannante and others to caravan down to Ashland Thursday Morning from the Portland Area. Take in some of the best Shakespeare productions around. The OregonShakespeare Festival has been an annual summer attraction for over 80 years, providing some of the region’s best theater offerings.

Package includes: Three night’s accommodations at the lovely Stratford Inn, Continental Breakfast at the hotel, Saturday Dinner with the group at Amuse restaurant in Ashland, and Tickets for 2 Shakespeare Festival plays of your choice. Return Home Sunday. Package rate: $ 530.00 pp/double. 2-night option also available: Friday- Sunday package rate $435 pp/double occupancy. Single and triple package rates available, but space is limited- Call for details.

With plenty of free time included, you can explore Lithia Park or the North Mountain Park Nature CenterAdd in a third play for the weekend, a round of golf, a massage, or take an historical walking tour of Ashland. Feeling adventurous for this incredible getaway? How about adding in a rafting trip down theRogue River? 

You can also enjoy some of the spirits of Southern Oregon with a wine or beer tasting. Downtown Ashland is the place to find the area’s best local artisans too. Pick up a new piece of art or an amazing antique find at one of the many galleries in town.

The Caravan to Ashland is a perfect getaway for a weekend of entertainment, excitement and discovery. With News Talk 860’s Travel Bug, Terry Travis and Cindy Passannante of C.P. Trips as your hosts, this trip will be even more spectacular. Space is limited so reserve your seats today. Call 503-658-5646 or email at

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cruising Solo Just Got Easier

Cruising is a great way to take a vacation. There are cruises all around the world fit for any travel budget. Cruise companies offer their own unique style of cruising to appeal to every walk of life. There are specialty cruises with amazing events, and the culinary experiences on board many a ship are spectacular. But there has been one thing that has kept many a solo traveler from enjoying cruising as much as they may like. Until recently it has been standard practice for cruise staterooms to be sold on a double occupancy basis only. This has meant that a solo traveler has had to pay double the rate for a room, yes, that’s right, double the price.

But cruise companies are also hip to new trends and like other industries in travel and tourism, they look for new ways to gain new clients. The latest trend is all about solo travelers. Cruise companies have realized that they can get more solo travelers if they stop making them pay for the extra bed in their stateroom.

More and more cruises are offering solo travelers a solo rate, allowing them easier access to incredible journeys all over the world. Listed below are what some of our Cruise Partners are now offering the solo traveler.

AzamaraClub Cruises has lowered their single occupancy rate to 125% of a double occupancy stateroom. What’s more, the cost includes gratuities for bar, dining and housekeeping staff, saving you even more on your cruise budget.

HollandAmerica Line takes a bit of a different approach to solo travelers. There are several program amenities offered to those cruising on their own, including mixers, parties and cocktail hours for solo travelers, as well as a variety of activities such as their cooking demonstrations, trivia games and wine tastings which any passenger can join. Holland America Line also offers a way for solo
travelers to save money through their SinglePartners Program. You can book a room and get matched with another passenger to share a stateroom. You are guaranteed the lower rate of a double occupancy room even if a match can’t be found.

Norwegian CruiseLine was the first company to include studio cabins, created specifically for the solo traveler. The first were on board their Epic ship, a mega floating entertainment extravaganza. NCL has since added studio cabins to additional ships, and they are all priced without a single supplement fee.

RoyalCaribbean Cruise Line also has studio cabins available with no additional single supplement fee. They offer a variety of staterooms on several of their cruise ships. These include interior staterooms, as well as one with views, and even balcony studios. As a solo traveler on RCCL, you have more options of where you stay on board.

Value River Cruises, is currently offering special deals for solo travelers cruising along the Danube or Rhine rivers in Europe. Typical specials include beverage packages, or on board credit and even discounted shore excursions. Now companies are offering to waive the single supplement fee for solo travelers on select cruises.

With these new options coming more available for the solo traveler, cruising is easier than ever before. For a small fee Cindy Passannante can help you plan your next cruise adventure. Call or email today at 503-658-5646 or

Monday, February 29, 2016

Adventures in Patagonia

It has been a whirlwind of a year with the first couple of months of 2016  having already passed us by. The end of my 2015 included an amazing trip to Patagonia with my husband, Tony. As it has been a few weeks since our last post, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some highlights from our adventures at the edge of the world....
The Welcoming Andes Mountains

The Adventure begins

Last Chilean village before we head to the edge of the world

We follow the Andes South into the wild

Guanaco- cousin to llama and alpaca

The weather changes fast- the fog rolls in

Caracara Falcon- Majestic hunter

On the Water- Next to Huge Glaciers!  Awe-inspiring!

Too big to really express- These Glaciers are enormous & loud!

Patagonia is a land of extremes- including lovely forested creeks

Magellanic Penguins- Parents and their sweet chick!

The expansive view of sky and mountain- incredible!

Ushuaia, Argentina- The Southernmost city in South America & Gateway to Tierra del Fuego

We Made it to the Land of Fire! (Tierra del Feugo)

Antarctica is that way!

We have come as far south as we can in South America-  what a great adventure!

I hope you enjoyed these photos from our travels in South America. We will soon have a new Travel Snapshot album with even more to view. If you are ready to head south, I'd love to share my stories and tips on what to do and where to go! For a small fee I can help you plan a Patagonia Adventure of a lifetime!  Call or email me today: 503-658-5646;