Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Cruise, cruise ship, vacation, family vacation

Feelings about COVID-19

April 16, 2020

Well what a whirl wind the last month or so has been as a travel agent. 


We wanted to let you know that we are working  into the the wee hours of the morning to help all our clients who have already been affected by the travel restrictions and anyone who will be affected in the near future. 


We just wanted to let you know what a typical day right now looks like for us. 


Around 630 am the computers are turned on, the radio starts playing the local news and CP24 is on the tv (on mute) to see what new developments have happened since we went to bed the night before. With a pot of coffee ready to go - we log in to our client system and see where we left off.  The first order of business - finding out what is new in the world of travel - which supplier has changed their policies or not, and which clients we have affected.  Starting with the days news, hundred of emails are read until almost 9 am (and 3 huge cups of coffee later).  Now it is time to get to work on sending each of our clients who will be affected an email explaining what options are available to them to switch their dates of travel, or if they protected their vacations with travel cancellation we can go about starting to get them back what we can, depending on the policy and service provider, or move forward with Future Travel Vouchers/credits. 

While the emails are being sent out, I have picked a supplier to call and start with all the clients. 

 Did I mention that we can spend up to 16 hours on the phone a day mostly on hold - someday's we don't actually get to speak to anyone. 

The afternoons and evenings are filled with answering more emails, sending in requests for refunds (all while still on hold) and Future Travel Vouchers, and around 9 pm I log in and have to watch about 4 hours of webinars on new industry information.  It ends up being close to 2 am before I shut down for the night ready to start all over again. 

(and I am trying to navigate this whole online learning with my children as well during the days...  yikes things are getting tough). 

I know things are tough on everyone, but I think some people just don't realize that right now agents are working for free with trip cancellations and everything else involved due to COVID19 and many have had to pay back commission (we haven't had to yet, thankfully).  It is frustrating to say the least - BUT we do it because without YOU are clients, we wouldn't have the amazing adventure of helping you plan some fantastic memorable vacations that will last your family forever. 


Our only hope is that people understand that it is going to take time for the suppliers to catch up with everyone's refunds and Future Travel Vouchers. The Industry has had to lay off so many employees that some areas are working with minimal staff, who are expected to process millions of refunds/Future Travel Vouchers a day because of COVID. Please be patient. 




After 5 weeks of this I can honestly say I hope that the world shuts down and that everyone stays healthy because travel needs to resume. 


Cruise, cruise ship, vacation, family vacation

All Inclusive Resorts VS Cruising 

February 21, 2018

We get a lot of clients looking for the pro's and con's of both the all inclusive vacation and cruises when they are planning a vacation. 

We are going to give you the low down so you can make the best decision for your family. 


ALL INCLUSIVE VACATIONS: 

All-inclusive resorts rates include so much value. Including your flights, transportation to and from the airport in the destination, your resort stay including all meals and beverages (unless other wise stated)on the resort property, day time activities around the resort (usually posted in the main lobby or now on the tv in some resorts) fitness classes, kids programming and non-motorized water sports like snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boards. Some resorts include scuba and snorkeling and access to sister properties and golf (at certain resorts). And I can't forget to mention that some resorts will offer you resort credits when you stay for a certain length of time that can be used to book excursions, purchase experiences at the spa, or use at the gift store and more. 

This is an easy option when you do not want any surprises with the cost and the best option for a relaxing pool/beach vacation. 

Resorts are generally spread out over the property giving you pathways to walk around and explore the resort, and rooms are generally larger than the cabins on a cruise ship. Evening activities are usually some time of show although not as extravagant as a cruise ship shows.

Some resorts even have Kid Free promotions where they are free at the resort (depending on age of course).

A down side to the resorts is that you are limited to the resort area, and only experience one area of an island with the excursions that are available to you based on location.  And if you choose to go and end up with some bad weather you are stuck. 



CRUISES:

Cruising has two advantages over resorts. 

The first is that the ship moves - allowing you in your week long vacation to see multiple destinations (one per day) without   obvious one -- cruise ships move. That means on one week long vacation, you can visit multiple destinations. Ships can also seek out the best weather, which means if you are on a cruise during hurricane season, your ship will alter its route to get out of a storm's way.


The other is that modern-day cruise ships are filled with onboard activities with rope courses/rock climbing walls, splash pads and swimming pools, mini-golf, movie screens and attractions like zip-lines, bumper cars, surfing and skydiving simulators.

Your days on the ship can be filled with wine tastings, dance classes,  trivia games and other activities, not to mention the kid friendly and dedicated spaces for the youngest travelers and teens too. 

Evenings bring Vegas-style shows, Broadway musicals, comedy, magic acts and a variety of live music and dancing. 

Now - don't get tricked into thinking that the cruise fare includes everything - because it does not! Generally speaking your fare will include onboard cabin, meals in a few restaurants, some non alcoholic beverages, pool use and day time activities for kids and all the port fees when you stop at different ports. You will pay extra for soda, alcohol, specialty coffees, meals in specialty restaurants, gratuities and select onboard activities. And that's on top of paying for shore excursions, spa treatments, fitness classes, commemorative photos and souvenirs. (Luxury, expedition and river ships tend to have more fare inclusions… and higher prices.)


Which is best for you and your family? 


Figuring out which option is best for your family depends on your priorities and what you want your vacation to feel like. 

And of course there are ways to keep the costs down in both options - and of course there are more ways to make your stay in both options more luxurious.  

Contact us today and we can help you determine which vacation you are looking for this time. 


How Kealand Travel Became

January 1, 2018

I I love my family, I love to TRAVEL and explore the world and different cultures and cities and I have worked in customer service basically my entire life. It doesn't always include jumping on plane, it could be an afternoon drive to a local provincial park or experiencing a new golf course with my husband. Although to be perfectly honest - I am a beach girl to my core. 


After having my second son in 2014, the thought of going back to work out of the house seemed like an impossible feat for our families schedule. My husband and I talked about it and after a lot of soul searching I choose to use my passion for providing excellent client based experiences with my zest for exploring the world. 


Spending quality time with your loved ones is one of the most precious gift you can give to them, and we here at Kealand Travel want to make sure that we provide you with personalized service that takes the stress out of planning your vacations. 


We want to make sure that your vacation planning is as easy as your vacation, as we will think of everything to make your vacation what you want it to be.


At Kealand Travel you are not going to be just another client - you will become part of our travel community and we will know you by name. 


I can not think of a better gift to give to your family, friends, loved ones, children than to experience the world and all that it has to offer.