The best time to plan your vacation

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I have to admit every time I see those statistics of people not using their vacation it just makes me cringe.  I actually feel the chalk board nails grinding across the board and I quiver as that feeling creeps up my spine.  I want to run out the door as if it might be catching and scream in horror.  What if I too am infected and I also waste my coveted golden vacation days.  The thought itself is enough to send me into an all out search for my next travel adventure or faith journey.

As I person who travels but also plans travel I often get the question when is the best time to plan my vacation?   My answer today!  Why?  Because why not?  If you don’t start  now when?   Will you too leave your vacation hours sitting there unused and hold on!  Stop the presses!  Or, Gasp! you may lose or for that matter waste them if you have not used them.  I cringe at the thought.

 

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So the reality is if you want to take a vacation and you want to go somewhere it takes planning.  You just have to get out there and do it.  There is no time that is better than today for making those plans.  Why?  The reason is if you want to go somewhere that takes just a little planning.  Lets just say Europe as in example.  Do you need visas?   Where do you want to go?  How long can you stay?  How are you going to get there and get around?   Lots of planning but that should never stop you even if it’s seems overwhelming.  The earlier the better I say.  Also get the help of a travel planner early on they can save you a ton of time and headache and also some cash.

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It’s to your advantage say to book a cruise or a tour in advance and one of the reasons why is PAYMENTS for those who can’t spend the total right off the back and maybe don’t want to pay interest if you charged it.   For instance, most cruise lines allow you to book a year or more in advance and your small deposit holds your room until final payment date usually a few months out.  So that gives you plenty of time during the year to put money towards your vacation.  I can hear the words now, I don’t want to cruise or what if I can’t go at the time I think.    Cruise lines are incredible at that and most of them are flexible.  Even when you book a year out with them and a couple of months before something happens and you can’t go.  No worries as long as you are within 60 days out or so just move your cruise out to a more suitable time.   Especially if you purchase insurance than you really have flexibility.   The whole idea of a time share is so that you GO on vacation.  I say skip the time share and plan your vacation.   That simple..

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For those not wanting a cruise a land based vacation at an all-inclusive resort can pretty much be done the same way.  Decide where you want to go.   You place a deposit which is usually more than the cruise deposit but still not the total price of the package.   Then you can pay it as the months go by. You can also wait until final payment usually 60 days out or so and pay it off then also.  Then as the months go by you dream.    This gives you ample time to enjoy the vacation before the vacation as you dream and do some research on your choice.    Many companies that a travel agent can find you will even let you move it to a different date if you need to.

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So again why are you waiting?   Why aren’t you traveling?  Really there are no excuses you have the time, you can spread your financial obligation out with no interest for up to sometimes over a year.  There are many who get a tax refund and it’s gone on nothing a vacation will give you a lifetime of memories worth much more than a new TV.   You have vacation it has been proven to help people deal better, handle stress easier, and relax more.   So if the beach, ocean, mountains, or some far away country beckons get on it.  Time and VACATION are a wasting.

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Why Rome is truly the Eternal City

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Rome The Eternal City

 

Rome is truly an eternal city.   There is really not a way to truly understand this though,  It takes a journey and it takes you to actually step foot there before you really understand why.  This history of the city is truly amazing from the Roman Coliseum to the Forum your are presented with centuries of people who have stood before you.   You awe at the magnitude of architecture and art representing centuries upon centuries of souls.

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Every step you take you are presented with the old and the new.   You can look back and see the old and  yet is a bustling city.   From the sights and sounds to the museums and churches it is all evident as you move through its streets.   There is so much to see and for an American tourist just visiting and so little time. 

My journey is a little different than most of the group I am with as it is part of a pilgrimage.   I bring not only my tourist side but some of my  hopes and dreams but also some of my loss and failures.   I am bringing it all with me because it is who I am.  It has made me who I am this woman of travel.

So one of my first stops in a life long dream is the Sistine Chapel.  When you step into the Sistine Chapel, you are presented a kaleidoscope of color with a palate and hues that entice the imagination.   You recognize it immediately.  As you have seen Michelangelo’s masterpiece throughout your life in various paintings, pictures, and movies.   I am here I am standing just below it, I am in Italy, and I am at the Sistine Chapel.  To my dismay there are no pictures are taken here.   So you have to capture it in your mind.  In this way it remains yours forever, however, not in a tangible way but in a somewhat ethereal way.

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There was so much after the Sistine Chapel it boggles my mind.  You could spend a lifetime here and not scratch the surface I feel.  Yet, I go on and my journey continues….   As you walk towards the Roman Coliseum you can almost hear the chanting of the crowd as the finest gladiators in the world prepare for their next battle.   You are amazed that this incredible structure is still standing being construction of it started in the year 70-72 under the rule of Vespasian.  How many have come here before and after?

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As you move through time and walk through history you come to the Roman Forum a gathering place that has been hosting people since 500 BC.   People met there to do business buying and selling were popular as was gathering to learn of the news or perhaps go to school.  You walk on the stones that were placed there by the Romans and if you are quiet you can still hear the bustle of the market place and the whispers of the newest gossip.  I wondered what were the smells here?

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This history of Rome would not be complete without visits to the first churches of Rome where the early Christians for Rome gathered and celebrated.   It is an amazing walk as you discover and delight at the stunning adornment of the various places of worship within the city.  Nothing is more spectacular than the “Pieta” now housed in the Vatican Museum.  Any journey I make to the various churches is always bittersweet for me.  I enjoy the beauty but I am sadden when I stop a moment and light my candles.   This time was no different.

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My favorite part of the travels I make a lot of time is the food.  Oh and the wine of course.   Here is no different.  So for the culinary aspects of Rome as a foodie I tell you that you will not be disappointed.   Rome is known for its internationally mouthwatering cuisine.  Classic pasta dishes like Carbonara originated here, Trattorias are on every corner and wine is always flowing.  My favorite kind of place.

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Yet the Eternal City would not be complete without the people who visit and the contrast of time is never more apparent than in Vatican Square.  it’s as if time has stood still but is still also fluid and moving.  It is where the old order meets the new.

 

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You can walk down cobblestone streets and stop in one of the many churches for prayer or perhaps shop at one of the outdoor market places, take a journey into the past and the future.  Rome is truly an eternal city a place of culture, culinary delights, history, faith, and beautiful people.  I have just touched the surface of what Rome is about.  It is the Eternal City and it waits for you too to discover it’s treasures.

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Go on discover your next destination it just might be Rome.  You will not be disappointed  

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