Ready to Sail Alaska?

Alaska is one of our most requested cruise destinations and with good reason; it has it all. Nature, history, breathtaking scenery, and you can explore by train and aboard a cruise ship!

If you have been dreaming about going to Alaska, now is the time to make those dreams come true! You can sail onboard one of Alaska’s most popular cruise lines and we know which one will fit your travel style! You won’t regret it. We want to tell you of the six most significant reasons you should cruise to The Last Frontier sooner rather than later.

1. You decide which cruise line to take. Sailing in Alaska extends from the middle of May to mid-September. During these months, you won’t likely see a shortage of cruise line options. Choose to go on a luxury or expedition-style cruise or maybe something a little more unique.

2. Alaska is desirable to people of all ages and tends to be high up on many bucket lists. Many families come here each year to enjoy the beauty of the great state and the broad scope of activities and events.

3. The wildlife is absolutely out of this world. When traveling to Alaska by cruise ship, don’t be surprised to spot bear hunting for fish, whales, eagles, and several other beautiful creatures.

4. Dare to go dog sledding? You may have to take a helicopter ride to get into the mountains first. This could be one thrilling adventure. Best of all, you get to hang with sweet huskies all day.

5. Go on a land tour before or after your cruise. Hike through the Denali National Park or the Kenai River Valley.

6. Don’t wait, right now, you can see the nation in all of its iconic glory. From lush forests to enormous glaciers, there is so much to admire and capture those Alaskan travel memories!

Alaska truly is one of the most magical places on Earth, and it’s right here in the United States. If you, like almost everyone else, have “visit Alaska” on your bucket list, what are you waiting for? There’s no better way to visit the state than by ship, so contact us now to start learning of all the cruise line options. Before you know it, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind vacation planned that will undoubtedly bring you memories that last a lifetime. 

Skagway Alaska
Denali National Park and Preserve

Costa Rica is Your Next Adventure

I visited Costa Rica a few months ago and quickly feel in love! This is the perfect destination for our clients because it offers so many unique adventures! Plus, a major bonus is the opportunity of relaxing at some of the best springs and resorts in the world! Pura Vida is a way of life in this friendly destination.

Costa Rican life consists of endless beaches, rainforests, river valleys, and biodiversity all in one place, allowing different types of adventure around every corner. Many airlines offer non-stop routes to this country, making trips easier for people and travel more accessibly.

Forest Ziplining
Whether it’s through the evergreen Monteverde Forest with the Arenal Volcano’s view or through the vibrant jungle canopy, ziplining is very common and one of the most popular tourist activities in the Costa Rican jungle.

Wildlife
Nearly 25% of the country is preserved for national parks and wildlife. It is home to 27 national parks and takes up five percent of the world’s biodiversity. The Los Quetzales National Park allows birdwatchers to get a full aerial view of the various species of birds. Monkeys are very apparent in the jungles as well. The Corcovado National Park is another prominent place to visit for frequent whale-watching and dolphin sightings.

Surfing
Towns such as Samara, Avellanas, and Tamarindo are great places for year-round surfing on these Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The warm water and steady wind combo make Costa Rica a surfing paradise. Many of the beaches offer boards and lessons for beginners.

Volcano Hike
The massive Arenal Volcano is one of the most well-known spots in Costa Rica. The surrounding area around the volcano is often used for kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding. Hot springs and waterfalls are also present, with zip lines and horseback riding available below the volcano summit. Rincon de la Vieja National Park’s centerpiece is another million-year-old volcano that offers views of the Nicoya Peninsula and Lago de Nicaragua.

Jungle Tranquility
The natural hot springs with a green background provide geothermal waters heated by the volcano. The springs have been utilized for therapeutic healing in addition to simply relaxing in the tropics.

Waterfall
La Fortuna waterfall by Arenal is an approximated 20-minute hike presenting a massive waterfall with a jungle backdrop. Another favorite is located in Tenorio Volcano National Park in the Northern Plains, offering bright blue waters. Lesser-known waterfalls include Bajos del Tori in the Alajuela province and Catarata del Toro, which plummets into an extinct volcanic crater with aerial views.

Rio Rafting
Named as a Biosphere Reserve, Rio Pacuare offers a white-water Caribbean experience through the safari-like jungle. According to National Geographic, it is one of the top spots for white-water rafting. The highlight of rafting in the Rio Savegre includes coming into contact with the jaguars, tapirs, and birds that pass by the riverside.

Jungle Drives
The 4×4 is recommended for the best driving experience throughout Costa Rica. The off-beaten paths present unique views but require vehicles that can beat their own path. Driving on the beach, however, is not permitted. Another favorite way for locals to get around is via horseback.

Deep Diving
The majority of shore islands on the Pacific coast are the hub spots for scuba and deep diving, offering plenty of sea diversity with various species of sharks, dolphins, and much more. A renowned spot for divers is The Gulf of Papagayo in the Guanacaste province.

Yoga Retreats
Aside from the adventurous and bold activities offered in Costa Rica, yoga retreats are available for leisure in the peaceful surrounding.

Costa Rica Beach
The Springs Resort and Spa

San Juan Mountains Ouray, Colorado

One of my most memorable trips was a mini trip into the San Juan mountains in the breathtaking town of Ouray, Colorado for a long weekend.  We packed the car and hit the road for a 5½ hour trip (which actually took 8 hours because we kept stopping to take pictures). We went southwest of Denver into the heart of the San Juan mountains, which is also known as the “Switzerland of America.”  My first trip there was simply unique, priceless, and memorable.

This little mountain town sits at 7792 feet above sea level, surrounded by alpine mountain landscapes.  I genuinely believe that is why it is named the “Switzerland of America.” There aren’t enough words to describe the beauty of this small mountain town. In just three days, we hiked to 2 different waterfalls: Box Canyon Falls and Cascade Falls, even though there are so many more. Ouray has impressive natural beauty – mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, and hiking trails.  Ouray is famous for its ice climbing in the winter, cross country skiing and so much more.  Downtown Ouray has cute little shops and restaurants with fantastic-tasting foods.  We stayed in a cozy cabin, with a lovely river just outside of it.  Aside from the ocean waves and crashing shorelines in Hawaii, the sound of this beautiful river was one of the most serene and calming sounds I’ve ever heard in my life. On our last day, we drove to another little mountain town – Telluride, CO – which was also gorgeous.  We took pictures of the town, as well as another beautiful site: Bridal Falls. 

This experience was one of the most memorable mini trips of my life because of the breathtaking views and the hiking adventures we experienced.  While this trip wasn’t in a far-away land overseas, I love the fact that this kind of magic is in my gorgeous and breathtaking home state of Colorado.  For me, whether it’s near or far from home, the most priceless part of any travel experience is to be in the moment, soak everything in, and feel nothing but love and appreciation for what our world has to offer.

If Germany is not already on your top destination list than I suggest you add it now!

Germany has so many unique cities that offer many different cultural experiences and is filled with so much history. I will be discussing the two major cities that I personally have been to and have fallen in love with, however, I know there is so much more of Germany that I have not even discovered yet. 

Berlin. I don’t know how to choose a word that is capable of capturing everything Berlin has to offer. It is like being in a big new modern city that is packed full of history from years ago. There is so much to do and see there that you could spend weeks and never get bored. If you are interested in World War II history then this is the place for you. You must walk along what remains of the berlin wall to experience the amazing wall art that has since been added. I highly recommend doing guided tours while in Berlin to ensure the best experience and to learn about all the hidden history in this unique city. 

Munich. If you are looking for that authentic German experience that you see in the movies. Ya know, girls in the. dirndls, men in lederhosen’s, braids, and Bavarian pretzels, and everyone has a beer stein in their hand? This is it! Munich is beautiful and so rich in culture and authenticity. Of course, if you really want to do Munich the right way you will go in October to attend Oktoberfest. This is when the city really comes to life to celebrate! If you wanted to go a bit later in the year you could attend one of their magnificent Christmas markets. 

Lucky for all of you, I have the best Aunt and Cousin in Germany so I can always help you with the best recommendations and success tips for having the best of time in Germany!

Should You Use a Travel Agent For Your Destination Wedding & Honeymoon?

First, let us begin by saying Congratulations on this special time in your life!

We know that this season can be overwhelming, and we are here to help. Fairytales and Sunsets Travel, LLC is here to design your dream vacation from your bachelorette trip, destination wedding, honeymoons, all the way to your re-tie the knot ceremony. We specialize in luxury concierge services and all-inclusive resorts that cater to your every need.

You may be wondering if you really need to take advantage of these amazing services and that is a valid question.

Here is why you should:

We will assist you in your travel itinerary, accommodation, consultation, and be your liaison with the wedding planner! After discussing with you about what matters most for your big day, we help you select the perfect location. We will make sure that all international paperwork is completed properly so that you don’t experience any hiccups during your travels to a foreign country. We always work on our client’s behalf and apply any promotions applicable to your vacation packages.

Working with a travel designer allows you to focus on you! After all, you should be the center of attention on your special day and not worrying about the details; that is what we are here for! We will make sure your destination wedding and honeymoon are full of romance and relaxation.

We can’t wait to help you celebrate this exciting time with your friends and family in some of the most relaxing and luxurious places in the world! Even you if you want to elope, we can help with that too!

Contact us to meet with one of our wedding specialists today!

Quick Service Mobile Ordering from Your My Disney Experience App

Walt Disney World Quick Service dining locations now require mobile ordering on the My Disney Experience app or by using a QR Code.  We wanted to provide you with step by step instructions as well as some useful tips.

First, make sure you have downloaded the My Disney Experience app and set up your account.

Step #1: Open the app, click the (+) at the bottom of the screen and then click “Reserve Dining”

You will want to have your phone setting to allow the app to use your current location. This will populate restaurant options that are close by.


Step #2: Select the restaurant time frame you want to pick up your food.

Step #3: You can click the “View Menu” for options and then order your food.

Step #4: Review your order or modify If you need to make changes.

Step #5: Click the “I’m here, Prepare my Order” so they will begin to prepare your food. Remember, your food is prepared fresh.

You will see this screen next. You should receive a notification on your phone letting you know the order is ready for pickup. However, we have found notifications are not always initiated.

Tip: We recommend you keep the app open so you can see when the order is ready or keep checking the status.

Step #6: Once your order is ready, see the cast member at the front of the food court. There is one entrance in the food court and one exit so you will have to follow the directions of the cast member and the arrows. This is for your safety.

Step #7: Look for the number on the floor that matches your pickup number. You will see a bag with your name and order information on it. Pick up your food and then move to the next counter for drinks (bottled water will be in your bag), napkins, condiments, and silverware.

We hope you found this beneficial and please let us know if you have any questions.

We would be honored to help you plan your next Magical Disney vacation. Email us at travel@fairytalesandsunsets.com for a complimentary quote!

Travel Day or Park Day?

Should we visit a Theme Park on the day we arrive and/or the day we travel home?  It’s a question we are asked quite frequently.  We understand you want to get the most of out of your money and your trip.  So, do you hit the ground running or do you pace yourself?

I have found through both personal experience and listening to my client’s testimonials, unless you are local to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, I would recommend declaring both your first and last days at the destination, a travel day. 

To put it simply, travel days are hard at any age.  In most circumstances, you have an early flight to catch.  Then you have the hustle and bustle of getting through TSA and your flight to your destination.  With family in tow you know that someone is bound to be hungry as well.  What should the plan be when you finally arrive at your resort? 

I find this is the best time to take a rest, then explore your resort and see all they have to offer.  Take a swim in the pool to refresh and rejuvenate the tired eyes, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on site to keep yourself and your family full and happy.  Perhaps enjoy a movie under the stars to unwind and relax from your day of travel if your resort has that feature.

You can also choose to visit Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort or CityWalk at Universal Orlando.  Both of these are shopping/dining districts where you do not need a ticket to visit.  There are many entertainment venues built in as well that you can visit to keep the family happy.

Once your trip is over, most everyone in the family is exhausted.  You will have walked what will seem like a million miles.  You may just be looking forward to getting back home and seeing your family pet that you’ve had to leave behind.  Some choose to make this last day a travel day so that they can slowly begin the “back to reality” routine.

However, there are many of you that still want to squeeze in those last-minute items that you either didn’t get to or would like to revisit.  If you decide to make a go of it, please be sure you factor in the following things.  Your transportation to the airport from your resort will pick you up anywhere between 2-3 hours before your flight home.  Also, think of everything after you land at home, grabbing bags, getting home and settled.

In conclusion, you as a family have to decide what is right for you.  Only you know your family and what they can handle.  If you are rockstars and can keep going without skipping a beat – more power to you!  If you’re the average family, like mine, I think leaving your travel days as such are the way to go! 

Christine Ruszkay has over 3 + years specializing in all Disney destinations, Cruises, and Universal Orlando.  Her joy of planning your vacation comes from her passion to help others experience the happiness and excitement while making memories on your AMAZING trip!  Her concierge services offer insider tips and tricks, plus helping you maximize your time with your family to experience what matters most to you!  

Walt Disney World

Ready to Wear a Mask in the Theme Parks?

We recently visited Universal Orlando because we wanted to share our experience with our clientele. It is not my favorite thing to wear; however, I would wear one to visit the theme parks.  Here is what we learned with some tips!

  1. Find a mask that is comfortable to you. You will wear your mask at all times unless you are in your room, dining/eating, drinking, or swimming.
  2. If you plan to wear disposable masks and will be visiting the theme parks multiple days, bring extra. It is hot and the smell is not appealing after a hot day in the parks.
  3. The worst time to be in the parks in a mask is from 1pm to 3pm or whenever it is the hottest time of the day. This is the perfect time for a break!
  4. If a cast member reminds you to wear your mask, please be nice. They are doing their best to ensure the safety guidelines are being followed by all guests. Remember, we are all in this together!
  5. Wear a hat or sunscreen to prevent those crazy mask tan lines.
  6. Keep your face and skin hydrated.
  7. We experienced what I call “phantom mask” at night. You have your mask on all day and feel like your mask is still on, even after you have removed it. This could be irritable for the little ones, so I suggest practicing with them before your trip.
  8. Drink lots of water, staying hydrated is best during the warm summer months in Florida!
  9. Contact us for your next vacation. We are always here working for you!

Tammy Richardson designs vacations for families and couples with a focus on identifying your vacation needs and dreams. At Fairytales and Sunsets Travel, we specialize in the destinations we book and we also research by visiting them.

 Click here to discover your next adventure with us!

Experiencing the World with Your Kids Is So Important

Experiencing the World with Your Kids Is So Important!

Our agency helps families experience the world together. This brings so many benefits for you and your children. We want to share why this is so important for you to use those vacation days and take your family on an annual vacation.

Here are our top five reasons to let us help you plan your next getaway.

  1. It strengthens family bonds. In our world today we are so busy with work, extra-curricular activities, attached to our phones and social media, that we rarely have time for dinner together. Think about it, how much time do we really have with each other at night?
  2. It enriches their minds and helps them experience different cultures and new things. Best of all, this all happens with you and creates a lifetime of memories.
  3. You all unplug and come back recharged. If you’re lucky, your kids may even come back and actually like each other. 
  4. You, yes you, get to let loose and enjoy life! Living in the moment and experiencing captivating moments with your family can bring you to tears. 
  5. Be a part of your kid’s firsts: first time to ride a roller coaster, first time to walk the beach in the Caribbean or Hawaii, and first time using their Passport. 

These are moments your kids will embrace and remember for years to come. It will be memories they will share with their kids. You’ll be ready to experience it all over again with your grandkids and grown children. 

We would love to help you plan your next family vacation or adults only getaway. Let our concierge team help you plan your next vacation because travel moments turn into cherished memories.