I Like to Travel Because

I was bit by the travel bug at Maple Heights High School, in Maple Heights, Ohio (southeast of Cleveland). I was enrolled in the Junior Business Career Cluster Course, known to us students as BLOCK. Why? Because the accounting, administrative assistant, and word processing (it was the late 1980s) programs were in a section of the school that looked like a block.

I enrolled in accounting for two reasons:

  • My dad told me to follow a ‘secure’ career path.
  • I was (still am) good with numbers.

Like most high schools, we had competitions. And this was not limited to sports. Those of us in BLOCK had our own local, state and national comps for accounting, administrative assisting, and word processing.

Long story short, I placed fourth in the local competition and it made it to the state competition in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. I admit that I liked the idea of being away from dad, mom and sister. This was my opportunity to not only be with my friends, but to meet other kids from around the U.S.

I had a great time, even though I didn’t place high enough for nationals. I had know idea that my trip to Seven Springs would impact me in more ways than one. I only wish that I would have pushed myself more in school so that I could have applied to colleges in Columbus, Cincinnati, or even out-of-state.

Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20. But one thing that’s still constant in my life is my love of traveling.

Here are the top reasons why I like to travel. [Read more…]

10 Postcard Notes to Send to Family and Friends

Did you know that sending travel postcards has become a lost art? Well, I’m here to bring it back. People love to receive things in the mail. I mean. Who wouldn’t want to receive an unexpected handwritten note in the mail?

It’s great that you buy your family and friends souvenirs from wherever you’ve traveled. But giving them something more personal, something that may put a smile on their face is so much better. And the fact that you took the time to write and send a postcard may impress them.

Read on to learn the 10 postcard notes you can send to family and friends.

10 Postcard Notes to Send to Family and Friends

Here are 10 postcard notes that you can send to family and friends. They’ll laugh. They’ll cry. They’ll want travel with you because they don’t want to miss out on the fun. [Read more…]

Why Are Over the Water Suites Popular?

Whether you’re a celebrity or not, over the water suites [or bungalows] are popular with travelers; many resort chains are building them.

For example, El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort by Karisma, was set to offer 60 over the water suites in 2016. Roughly $7 million was budgeted for the project.

Sandals announced that over the water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean would be ready for sale for arrivals beginning November 15, 2016. The peaceful setting will feature floating water hammocks, glass floors, and more. The Tahiti-style private villas will deliver an immersive journey above the Caribbean’s finest turquoise waters with vibrant marine life.

You’ll feel like royalty because each villa receives its own personal butler. They’ve been trained in accordance to the Guild of Professional Butlers; the same organization that provides butlers to nobility and celebrities.

Doesn’t this sound exciting?

Keep reading to learn the top reasons why over the water suites are more popular now than ever. You’ll want to book your stay as soon as possible. [Read more…]

Are You Afraid to Travel with Your Cats?

Travel with your cats. You may think that this is crazy advice. But I’m here to tell you that you can take your feline friends with you on vacation.

In September 2007, I moved to Chandler, Arizona. I missed having a pet and my friends told me to get a cat because they’re easy to care for and would be better suited for apartment living when compared to a dog.

In August 2008, I went to the PetSmart in Chandler, Arizona and noticed that they had adoptable animals from a local rescue, Mixed Up Mutts and Shepherds Too. I was confused because the adoptable animals were cats and one kitten, Benny (he’s the black and white cat in the picture) — there were no dogs.

Long story short, I adopted Benny and then in early 2009, I adopted CeCe (she’s the tabby cat in the picture) from the Arizona Humane Society.

For Christmas 2009, I decided to fly back to Ohio to see my family. I had a feeling that CeCe would not enjoy air travel (she was still getting used to me) and decided to hire a pet sitter to watch her and flew back with Benny.

Benny was the perfect airline traveler. He slept during our flight and my fellow travelers commented on how they didn’t even know that my carry-on, which was actually a pet travel carrier, contained a cat. I didn’t think air travel with cats was a big deal, and it wasn’t. See that. You can travel with cats on an airplane!

Keep reading to learn how you can travel with cats. It’s not as difficult as you may think. [Read more…]

How You Can Eat Healthy While Traveling?

It’s no secret: You want to have fun and kick back and relax on your vacation. You want to let yourself go and indulge in everything you can, including food. Perhaps you want to dive into a chocolate soufflé from a Parisian chef. Or maybe you want to sink your teeth into a mouthwatering Italian meal. Can you taste the homemade pasta and sauce?

Just the thought of eating and drinking everything you want puts a smile on your face. But what will happen if you eat and eat and eat?

You could gain extra weight, say about 20 lbs. that may send your hips, butt and thighs and doctor into a tizzy.

So, isn’t it better to indulge here and there instead of eating everything and anything?

Read on to discover articles that can help you to eat healthy while traveling. You can still enjoy tasty meals and stay on your diet at the same time. Keep the phrase “everything in moderation” in mind before you put a piece of seven-layered chocolate mousse cake into your mouth. [Read more…]

How to Stay Safe While Traveling

This is my post that was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Admit it.

How to stay safe while traveling may be on your mind. Right? With attacks happening at popular destinations, you may be too scared to travel. But don’t allow fear to ground you. Don’t allow others to take away your power.

Traveling the world or even throughout your own country is a great way to enhance your life. You can meet new people. Learn new things and immerse yourself within rich cultural experiences.

Let’s face it; the world is a wonky place right now. People are fed up with their lives and maybe even the politics and policies of other countries. Thus, they act out and wreak havoc wherever they go. It’s sad.

Unfortunately, you have no control over the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions of others. You can only be responsible for you. If you give into others, you’ll only strengthen their control over you. You don’t want that, do you?

I understand that travel may seem scary to you.

When I told my mom and dad that I was solo traveling to the UK, my dad, who served in the U.S. Army, almost had a heart attack. He didn’t want me traveling alone. Why? Because if something happened, he felt that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. After all, he served in the U.S. Army and I didn’t.

While I appreciated my dad’s concern, I knew I would be okay. Why? Because I have street and books smarts.

But my dad traveled with me to the UK. It was the first and only trip we took together. But that’s for another blog post about traveling with family.

Read on to discover how you can stay safe while traveling. You don’t have to remain at home in bed with the covers thrown over you. You can experience safe travels! [Read more…]

10 Reasons Why Women Need to Solo Travel

This is my post that was published on The Huffington Post.

In August 2007, I sent myself to Edinburgh, Scotland as a graduation (I graduated with a Master of Science, Management degree) and birthday gift. This wasn’t my first time to Edinburgh, but it was my first time as a solo traveler. Was I nervous? Yes, I was. And it surprised me.

I stayed in a hostel, and some of my work colleagues teased me about it because of a horror film about a group of people who were terrorized while staying in a hostel. Plus, I don’t think they believed I would travel by myself to another country.

Solo travel is a great way for women to break free of codependency and strengthen communication skills. You have to walk up to people and ask for directions to a museum, restaurant or store. Your family and friends can’t help you navigate to your hotel or the airport. You are responsible for you.

My trip to Edinburgh was fabulous! I met many people from around the world, like China and Australia, and blended in so well that a retail service rep from a fashion store asked me if I wanted to open a credit card. I said, “Thank you, but I’m from The States.”

Below are 10 reasons women need to solo travel. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You can learn about others and yourself at the same time. And you can release any prejudices and preconceived notions you may have about a country and its people. [Read more…]

Welcome to the Blackwell Travel Blog

Now that you’ve found the Blackwell Travel blog, you’re probably wondering what kind of information you can expect to find.

In addition to blogs about specific destinations, I share some of my insider travel secrets with you. Oh, you didn’t know travel agents have them. You bet we do!

You can find information about family travel, group travel, health and wellness travel, adventure travel, cruise vacations, honeymoon vacations, and more

I’ll also sharing my musings on the travel industry. It’s changed throughout the years to keep up with the trends that seem to occur from generation to generation.

You may want to Subscribe to the Blackwell Travel blog so you don’t miss a post.

Travel on!

Amandah Blackwell