4 Benefits of Travel

4 Benefits of Travel

4 Reasons Why You Should Travel

There are many excuses why you may not travel. It could be work commitments, financial pressure, or a fear of new and different experiences. This, my friends, is what I call the excuse bug. Despite the fact that these very excuses were most likely used by the baby boomers themselves, it is now one of their biggest regrets. From a survey of 2,000 baby boomers, “one in five boomers [said] that one of their biggest regrets is not traveling enough….” Among other major regrets one might have at the end of his or her life, not traveling enough is a regret that can easily be remedied. Here are four reasons why you should travel and avoid the regret altogether:

1. A Boost of Happiness: We can all get caught up in crossing items off our checklist, and that may leave little room for fun and relaxation. Vacation is a time where you finally get the chance to relax, enjoy family time, and do what you WANT to do, not what you NEED to do.

2. Stress Reducer: While not all vacations are stress free, travel can be a source of liberation if it is well-planned. Having a travel agent work the schedule and details of your trip gives you a greater chance of a stress free vacation. Then, for at least a little while, you can forget all about the stresses and problems that are happening at home. Taking a break from the “have to do’s” will help us gain a better perspective of what we can accomplish. Not only will we be able to perform better, but we can handle future stress with greater capability.

3. Increase in Energy: Think of your body as a vehicle that needs fuel. Once it runs out, you need to fill it up. While your body needs food and water to keep it fueled, positive travel gives you the strength to tackle the tasks of adulthood.

4. Enhance Meaning in your life: Travel is educational. It is also life impacting and eye opening. We come to see purpose and meaning by immersing ourselves with other cultures, gaining gratitude for our own homes. New experiences give us new ideas, altering our perspective on not only how we see the world, but how we see ourselves and those around us. There is also ample opportunity to create new friendships and strengthen relationships already formed.

Life will always be busy, so get rid of the excuse bug and get out there! Give yourself the boost of happiness, the stress reducer, the increase in energy, and the enhanced meaning in your life that you deserve.

How has travel benefited you?

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Why Today We Are In the Golden Age of Flying

Many harken back to the period of about 1945 to 1975 as the “Golden Age of Flying.” I say, “au contraire” – today (right now) things are much better for fliers. Here are ten reasons why:

1. It’s way faster. In the 1940s, an average intercontinental flight had at least a 12 layovers in airpots that offered little more than a snack bar. Now, you can fly from Los Angeles all the way to Sydney, Australia non stop.

2. You won’t smell like an ashtray when you land. Airplane cabins used to be smokier than the air in a casino until lighting up on planes was finally banned in 1980.

3. Flying is actually cheaper. According to the Department of Transportation airfares are about as low as they’ve ever been (excluding 2009) when adjusted for inflation. Airlines for America reports the inflation-adjusted fares fell from about $442 in 1979 (which is when airlines deregulated) to about $275 in 2014 — a nearly 38% drop.

4. You can find airfares on your own. It takes less than a minute to check the costs of dozens of airlines for any given city pair and dates. You can go to kayak.com on your computer and check every airline but Southwest. So, by checking two websites (southwest.com and kayak.com) you’ll find the cost for every airline in the world. Imagine trying to book a flight even just 20 years ago when there was no internet — you had to call the airline or physically visit its office. And comparison shopping could only be done by a travel agent, who would have to look through each airline’s printed schedule. A travel agent is still your best bet for complicated international travel.

5. Today’s airports are far more enjoyable places to spend layovers. Many airports now have shopping malls. Or, with your computer you can visit facebook, play games or watch movies.

6. You can travel in comfortable clothes. Many people lament the loss of being required to dress up (like you were going to church) but I, for one, can’t imagine wearing a suit and tie on a transcontinental flight. If you aren’t old enough to remember, there was a time when you had to fly in formal attire, but you can now wear pretty much whatever you want on a plane.

7. You are far less likely to lose your luggage. Thanks to improved technology, the number of mishandled bags fell 61%, from 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers in 2014 according to the International Air Transport Association. That’s less than a 1% chance you’ll lose your bag. But if you’re paranoid, there are now plenty of gadgets that will help you track your luggage in case the airline does screw up.

8. Luggage has gotten smarter. One of those gadgets helping protect your bag is, your bag itself. There’s been a rise in the production of smart luggage. You can now get a bag that weighs itself, tracks itself and will even charge your cell phone.

9. You don’t even need to check a bag. Lot’s of people now fly with only a carry-on. And, you can also just wear a jacket that is a bag. Travel jackets have in excess of 30 pockets. The only problem is finding the right pocket where you’ve put something. Or use an app, like DUFL, that will deliver your pressed clothes to your hotel before you even arrive.

10. There are lots of ways to entertain yourself on a plane. Fliers in the 1950s were stuck with almost no way to keep busy. Not long ago airlines showed only one movie. Now, if you’re flying international, you have dozens to choose from. And, yes, there’s Wi-Fi. Nearly all airlines now provide some form of in-flight internet. Some airlines are even starting to provide fliers with free Wi-Fi.

Added bonuses you can get: Boarding passes sent to your phone, luggage tags you can print at home and security lines bypasses by signing up for memberships with Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck.

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Cruising Concerns

In spite of the rapid growth in the popularity of going on a cruise, many have concerns about taking such a vacation.  And I want to address and perhaps allay any such worries.

First – Fear of getting seasick.  This is hardly ever a problem on a river cruise, but even on an ocean cruise, and only with a small percentage of people, one that can be solved by visiting your doctor before you leave on vacation.  He or she can give you a prescription for Scopolamine Transdermal Patch.  Before you set sail, you simply apply this little patch to your neck, behind your ear, and it will be very effective if you have difficulty in stormy seas.

Second – Bad weather, and usually in the Caribbean.  “What if there’s a hurricane?”  The interesting thing about hurricanes is that they are almost always confined to a specific local area.  A couple of hundred miles away and the sun is shining and people are basking by the pool.  The general direction a hurricane is going is always forecast, and the cruise lines have hundreds of employees working on alternate destinations with alternate shore excursions.  Ships never sail into a hurricane.

Third – Engine failure on the ship.  That’s a problem that seldom finds a place to happen.  Such a situation has occured only a few times in the last 25 years, and, at most, has inconvenienced passengers for a few days.  Let’s face it, inconveniences can happen anywhere for lots of different reasons.  I personally have had all of my engine problems with our various automobiles on driving trips.

Fouth – The captain runs the ship aground.  Well, the village idiot who performed that exercise a few years back is now in prison where he belongs.  In reality, vastly more people have had serious injuries and fatalities, again, while driving the family car on vacation.

Fifth – Mass sickness aboard the cruise ship.  Again, this has happened at conventions, hotels, schools, workplaces, anywhere people congregate; however, the cruising industry has employed far more precautions than any of thesoe other places.

Sixth – Nothing to do on a ship other than play shuffleboard or gamble in the casino.  The fact is this:  cruise ships have become destinations unto themselves.  Instead of just shipboard pools and whirlpool tubs, many ocean liners have water parks.  Some have climbing walls, simulated surfing, ziplines, bowling alleys, and more.  They have running tracks and workout facilities.  There are daily seminars, classes, movies, lectures, etc.  They all have a variety of spa treatments available.  And, of course, when in port, you’ll find scores of shore excursions for sightseeing, shopping, snorkeling and all kinds of other activities that are available.

The neat thing about all of this is that your only planning will involve choosing what to do.

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Is Mexico Safe for Travel?

It is an almost daily occurrence in our travel agency to get asked how safe is it to travel to Mexico? The answer is it is safe! If you are traveling to a few of the border towns such as Juarez and Nogales just across the U.S. border there are concerns. We do not recommend vacations to Juarez or Nogales or other border towns in northern Mexico. How about Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and other Mexico resort areas?

I was in Cancun a while ago with a large group. It was the second large group I had had there in just a few weeks.   One evening I tuned in a US cable network that had sensational stories about how unsafe Mexico was. They even brought in an “expert” and asked him if Cancun was safe and he said resoundingly and immediately IT WAS NOT! I wondered if they had ever been to Cancun – in fact to any place in Mexico. I have traveled to Cancun many times without the slightest hint of any safety concern. Major tourist areas such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are as safe as most cities in the U.S. I would take my children, parents, friends and anyone else I know to these areas.

Mexico City has received some publicity because there was an incident about two years ago. Interesting to note that the FBI homicide rate for Washington D.C. is four times more deadly than Mexico City. Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate averages 24 per 100,000 vs. only 9 per 100,000 in Mexico City. How do you suppose the U.S. State Department would feel if the Mexican government posted travel warnings for the U.S. capital?

How safe would you feel in Maine? Maine has the lowest violent crime rate in the U.S. at 2 per 100,000. The violent crime rate in the Yucatan (the area in which Cancun other resort areas is located) is exactly the same as Maine.

So why does Mexico seem unsafe? The answer is sensational stories get headlines. There have been some tragic and violent acts in the areas near the U.S. Mexico border and they have garnered the headlines. Do you know how far Cancun is from Juarez?   3,385 miles! Violence does not spill over to cities that far away. Los Angeles to New York is less than that at 2,700 miles. Would you cancel a trip Disneyland if there were a high rate of homicides in New York City?

Want more information?  Go to: howsafeismexico.com for more information.

Of course we advise prudence and wisdom to any destination you travel to. No one can guarantee your safety to any destination. However if you are considering a trip to Mexico (and with trips to Cancun from Salt Lake City starting at $885 including round trip airfare, transfers, 5 nights hotel, all meals, beverages and taxes you should consider it!) do not let undue concerns about violence in Mexico deter you.

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Mexico Means The Best Travel Values on the Planet

Fantastic fun in the sun at bargain prices is yours in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas.  The super low cost of a vacation in one of these spots has been driven by unwarranted publicity about safety south of the border.  Columbus Travel has super all-inclusive packages they’ve put together with “vacation bundlers.”

All-inclusive means round trip air from Salt Lake City, transfers to and from your hotel, all meals, all drinks, even gratuities.  Everything!

Safety is the prime concern in all of these venues.  First, these locations are all hundreds of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border (where almost all of the safety concerns exist). Second, as one writer put it after being asked if he thought it was safe to go to Mexico:  “Do you think its safe to go to Texas?”  He was addressing the fact that there has been violence on both sides of the border.  But I would ask:  “Do you think it’s safe to go to Disneyland?”  After all, there has been plenty of violence in Los Angeles.  In fact, far more than anywhere near Yucatan, which is where you’ll find Cancun.  Or, I might ask:  “Do you think it’s safe to go to a Utah Jazz game, or to the Gateway Center in Salt Lake City?”  Aren’t they both just a couple of streets away from Pioneer Park, where we hear about lots of shady stuff going on?  Third, the people in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos are doing everything possible to make sure visitors are safe – tourism is their reason for being in business.

Cancun offers the greatest beaches in the world, and you’ll find them surrounding the hotels, restaurants and shops – wall-to-wall – in the city, as well as at the secluded resorts amidst the jungles adjacent to the Caribbean Sea along the Mayan Riviera.  Cancun has become a world-class destination with soft, white sand beaches and warm turquoise-blue water.  Nearby, you can visit Mayan ruins, eco-parks and every imaginable fun venue.  Enjoy swimming and snorkeling with Stingrays, fun on the water (in boats, jet skis, scuba diving or snorkeling, deep sea fishing charters, party boats or dinner cruises).  Go golfing, on walking tours, or even to bullfight.  And, of course, you can shop ‘til you drop for Mexican handicrafts, designer clothes and fine jewelry.  Plus, Cancun offers many family oriented resorts with lots of children’s programs for all ages, as well as adults only (no one under 18) resorts.

Puerto Vallarta was selected by Conde Nast Traveler readers as the eighth best destination in the world.  It has maintained a unique Old Mexico charm despite its popularity as a vacation destination, especially for Hollywood’s elite.  With cobblestone streets, stunning beaches, plentiful marine life, lush Sierra Madre Mountains, exceptional restaurants, golf courses and vibrant culture, it is in a tropical paradise which faces the Pacific Ocean.  You can hike or mountain bike in the hills, explore the jungle and hidden trails on horseback, take a jeep safari, soar above it all in a multicolored hot air balloon, take an exciting zip line canopy adventure through its rich jungle, snorkel, scuba dive, charter a yacht or sailboat, or take a cruise on a party boat.  Vallarta Adventures offers an all-day tour that includes a speedboat ride, a 4X4 off-road expedition up into the Sierra Madres, a mule ride up a mountain, then a thrilling trip through a series of zip-lines, rappels down waterfalls, traverses on jungle bridges and finally a splash through streams and natural river pools.

Cabo San Lucas, also known simply as Cabo, is a great spot for tourist and beach-goers world-wide.  It offers desert-like weather, and it’s located at the very tip of the Baja California Peninsula, bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.  Cabo offers great golfing on many championship courses and is known as the marlin capital of the world; and if you enjoy fishing, there are many charter companies that can arrange a fishing charter for you.  Snorkeling and scuba diving are other popular activities in the Cabo area.  Also known as the aquarium of the world, Cabo has one of the world’s largest reefs, and you can see a variety of underwater flora and fauna.

Non-stop flights are available to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo, so you can get to any one of them in less than a half day (Cabo, approximately 3 hours; Puerto Vallarta, 3.5; Cancun, 4.5).

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The fear of flying possessed by many folks wasn’t alleviated by the two mishaps this month: the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco and the failure of landing gear on the Southwest aircraft landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Utah’s leading travel agency, Columbus Travel, has some great reasons for encouraging peace of mind when you are taking a airplane trip.

On her daily television show Whoopi Goldberg expressed what many people feel: “I have no fear of flying, because when I go on a trip, I take my bus.”

Humorous, but an expression of a false notion.

The fact is: Whoopi is far more at risk for injury or death in her bus than she would be in an airplane. The only thing more dangerous than a bus ride would be if she drove her car, or perhaps a motorcycle. The most risky part of an airplane trip is driving to and from the airport. That’s a statistical fact.

But there are many more factors relating to airline travel safety, not the least of which is how much better trained are the pilots and other crew members today than at any previous time. And Pilots tell me they have much more of a team approach. No longer is it a matter of the pilot speaking and the thinking has been done. He’s the captain, not the dictator. Decision making is fed by the cabin and ground crews, dispatchers, meteorologists, as well as others in the cockpit.

Then there are the modern technological factors. Flying an airplane is no longer a matter of just pulling back on “the stick,” it involves operating and overseeing numerous high tech systems. All of which make the journey much safer.

Some people think they might be more safe with one airline company than another, or that a certain type of aircraft promises more safety than another. Such comparisons result in miniscule differences if any.

What about those smaller 50-seat regional jets? Some think a larger aircraft would be better. My response would be “Why?” Does anyone really think bigger means safer? You may find more overhead bin space, but there is nothing factual that would make a large plane more safe. Actually, aren’t larger aircraft more difficult to maneuver than smaller ones?

So, what do we need to do “in the unlikely event that an emergency should occur?” Unfortunately, the lawyers long ago took over – like they have in so much of our lives – the safety instructions given by flight attendants; so, we get legalese in the form of lengthy disclaimers and qualifiers. As a result, almost all of the flying public simply tunes them out.

Here are four really important tips for dealing with airplane emergencies:

First, if the overhead oxygen mask drops in front of you, put yours on first before helping someone else with theirs. If you pass out from lack of oxygen, you won’t really be able to help your children or anyone else. Put yours on immediately, then your help will be more effective.

Second, make sure you know where the exits are. Emergencies usually result in chaos. Know where you need to go in order to get off.

Third, follow the instructions of the cabin crew. The flight attendants have been trained to handle almost any possible occurrences in emergency situations. Do what they tell you to do.

Finally, keep your hands free. Forget your purse, your computer, your briefcase, your pillow, your i-pad, your lunch, your carry-on suitcase in the overhead bin (if it’s still there). You can retrieve those things later. And if you never get them, it’s more important to be alive than to risk life and limb and the lives of others. Yes, if you have nothing in your hands you will actually be safer.

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A Utah travel agency’s must-see islands

When people think of their dream vacation, they usually think of a tropical paradise. With the help of tripadvisor.com this Utah travel agency presents a list of the top 10 must-see islands.

10.   Maui, Hawaii, United States


9.  Anguilla, Caribbean


8. Madagascar


7.  Santorini, Greece


6.  Sri Lanka



5.  Ischia, Italy


4.  Easter Island, Chile



3.  Galapagos Island, Ecuador


2.  Bali, Indonesia


1.  Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand


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A discounted family vacation

When summer hits, many families can not wait to take a vacation. Now that the season is almost over and school is starting soon, it seems like time to take a vacation is running out. However, you still have a couple more weeks to take your family trip. With the help of a writer from Away.com, we give you the top three discounted family vacation options.

3) Las Vegas, Nevada
When people think of Las Vegas they usually think of it as “the city of sin.” So when it comes to planning family vacations, parents usually push it aside. However, according to Away.com many of the hotels on the strip have pumped millions of dollars into kid friendly activities. For example, Mandalay Bay has the Shark Reef. Here kids can see and learn about ocean life. In addition to the kid activities, here at Columbus travel we can find you great deals on flights into Vegas and help you find the best hotels.

2) Riviera Maya, Mexico
If you want to head out of the country for you family vacation, it can still be discounted- especially if you use us to help you plan. On Away.com it states that flights into the Cancun International Airport are cheaper June through Aug. You can also save money by choosing to stay at all inclusive resort. This helps save on food and entertainment. Activity options in the Riviera include hiking, snorkeling, playing at the beach, exploring ancient ruins and more.

1) Washington D.C
Our nations capitol took the No. 1 spot for discounted family vacations on Away.com, here many of the activities are free – including the 19 Smithsonian museums. Besides the museums your family can see monuments, George Washington’s house and memorials. As far as hotels go, it is usually less expensive to stay outside of the city and use the Metro as transportation. Give us a call and we can find you the best deals.




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Tips on How to Pack for the Next Adventure

Who likes to pack? No one does, that’s who. Packing is hard and frustrating and no one is a fan of it. It is, unfortunately, a necessary evil and in order to go on trips, packing must be done. Our Salt Lake City travel agency can book any trip; however, we can’t do the packing. Here are some tips on how to get through the process of packing and how it can be made easier.

1) Mix and match

If everything in one’s suitcase can be mixed and matched, there is no need to pick out an individual outfit to wear ever day. It is too much stress trying to decide exactly what to wear every single day for a whole week or so when trying to do nothing but relax. Instead, finding clothes that can mix and match with lots of things is the best bet. Our Salt Lake City travel agency will help book that trip of a lifetime.

2) Roll don’t fold

Instead of folding up clothes, try rolling them instead. Rolling up clothes saves so much space in a suitcase and allows more clothes to be packed than anyone would’ve thought. No matter what trip one is interested in, our travel agency in Salt Lake City can help plan it. It also keeps clothes from bunching up in your suitcase when you’re rummaging through it.

3) Everything has a place

In order to keep everything organized, put everything in a specific place and keep it there at all times. Shoes should go at the bottom of a suitcase or on the sides of a duffel bag. Toiletries should go in a place that is within reach and undergarments should be in any side pockets so they don’t get mixed in with bigger things. Start packing for the perfect trip today with the help of our travel agency in Salt Lake City.

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A Word of Caution on DIY Vacations

Everyone wants a discounted vacation these days. People who are “well-off” in this economy are few and far between. But what are some ways to get a discounted vacation? Scouring sites day and night is tiresome and sucks up more time than a lot of people are willing to give. ‘Doing It Yourself’ is a huge trend these days. Pinterest projects and crafts are at a peak. But is that the smartest thing for a vacation?

For a trip home
This is probably the only time a vacation should be or could be done by yourself. It’s easy to travel to a place where you know people and where you can trust the people you’re counting on. Flights are easy to find, borrowing cars are easy when you’re with close friends or family. A perfect discount to a good vacation visit. You’re with locals, or staying at someone’s house so you don’t have to worry about figuring out all the cool little spots in town. And you can have meals at home – Mom’s home cooking, or at the least a friends kitchen to cook meals in. Definitely a factor that makes for a nice, cheap, discounted vacation. Doing it yourself? Cake.


For an international, or otherwise, adventure
If you’re not traveling with a guide, or a friend who’s done it a handful of times before, these are best planned through a travel agency. It’s not smart to go your own way and do it yourself for a “discounted” vacation. Usually, self planned vacations seem like they’re at a discount, but end up causing more harm than good in expenses. The little hole in the wall cheap places are hard to guess, especially in a foreign land. There are tourist traps and vendors waiting to haggle you into oblivion. Best to plan an international adventure with a professional like us. In the end, it will save you money on wasted money on “guesses” of what is good. Not to mention, if you get in a pickle across the pond, it’s not exactly cheap.

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