5 Tips To Planning Your Dream Destination Wedding

I worked with Carla & Andrew, who live in Vancouver, British Columbia, plan their wedding here in Hamilton, Ontario. They wanted to get married at the same church in Dundas that Andrew’s parents were married in…(I know – cute). Carla’s vision for their wedding was, “A romantic walk-in-woods on a fall day,” to replicate how Andrew proposed to Carla. They knew what they wanted but the hard part was planning a wedding from a distance. Trying to find a venue and reliable vendors… it’s a lot of Googling and going with your gut. Here are some of my tips for planning a wedding from a distance (aka destination wedding).Have you and your fiance decided that you want to get married at a destination that’s not where you are currently living? Perhaps you want to get married in your home town or at your favourite tourist spot or maybe even a wedding abroad like the Caribbean or Europe. Now planning a wedding from a distance or a destination wedding is not easy and can be full of headaches. Many couples find it more stressful than the average at home wedding, because there’s a lot more of your time spent researching venues and vendors, communicating with them via e-mail, skype and telephone and stress from hoping you’ve hired reliable people to be a part of your wedding.Steph’s Bridal Advice For Planning A Wedding From A Distance:One option is to find vendors at home and pay for them to travel to your destination.
If you’re going with vendors at your destination make sure you do thorough research… check their portfolio (is it there work?), check references, if you can meet with them in person perfect… if you can’t make sure you chat with them over the phone or Skype… feel for the right ‘vibe’.
Consider hiring a wedding planner who is an expert in planning weddings either at home or at your destination to take some of the pressure off the two of you.
Schedule regular meetings to talk about your wedding plans with your vendors and stay connected through Facebook and Twitter.
It’s a really good idea to block out a week or two of time to go to the destination where you’re getting married and spend a few days making appointments with your venue and vendors to go over details and put your mind at ease.

Tips for Safe Travel With Kids

Kids like to travel to new places with their parents. It gives them opportunity to bond with their parents and have memorable experience. Travelling educates the kids about new places and people. Children learn to adjust and enjoy the new atmosphere and appreciate the uniqueness of the new place.However, the success of a tour depends on lots of factors. Without proper planning and knowledge, it can prove to be a big disappointment. Therefore, parents should consider following pointers before travelling with kids.• The parents should choose the destination keeping the expectations of their kids in mind. While some kids may prefer beaches, others may like to visit places filled with kids’ specific entertainment zone. Older kids and teenagers may cherish adventure trips. Therefore, the choice of kids is very important.• Equally important is the budget of the parents. The parents should carve out the amount they are ready to spend on the whole trip. Accordingly, they should take the decision of the destination.• Make sure the weather and temperature of the destination are suitable. Pleasant climatic conditions heighten the level of enjoyment of a trip.• Appropriate preparations for the place are must to avoid chaos and confusion. Like, pack enough of woolens and jackets for cold place. In case of rains, parents must keep umbrellas, rain coats and gum boots for the travel.• It is wise to carry extra pair of clothes for infants and small children. In addition, carry an extra packet of diapers and other essentials for babies.• Consult the family physician for the need of additional vaccination to children in case of foreign travel. Also, carry some basic medication and first aid kit to cope with emergencies.• Keep in mind the age of kids and the budget of the travel before finalizing the mode of transport. Carry necessary documents like driving license, passport, visa, identification proof, tickets, etc before kicking off the journey.• The best way to enjoy a destination is to gather information about it beforehand. Enquire about the must-see places and special attractions of the destination to get the most out of the trip.• Advance bookings of air tickets and hotels will save the precious money as well as time of parents.• Be alert and cautious when travelling in a new city or country and take care of kids and belongings.Therefore, forward planning is the key to successful trip. With these essential tips for safe travel, the parents will definitely have a great time with their kids.

Travel Insurance – 5 Tips to Avoid Hefty Bills Abroad

Travellers are more aware nowadays than ever before of the importance of taking out travel insurance before a trip. Most travels are likely to go smoothly, but why take a chance and risk ruining that much-needed holiday.A variety of travel mishaps and problems have dominated the news in the past few years and the importance of having travel insurance, as well as understanding your rights, has never been more in people’s minds. Here are a few tips to consider before planning your next trip:Tip No. 1 – Check that your travel insurance policy covers all your planned activitiesNot all activities are covered under all policies, so this is important. If you are on a package holiday and choose to engage in activities outside those included you may find they are not covered unless you have taken out separate travel insurance. However, beware of travel insurance that seems very cheap or is offered as an incentive as the levels of cover may have been reduced – or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) increased. Your travel insurance policy should include a list of covered activities, such as elephant rides, scuba diving, bungee jumps, etc. Never assume that everything is automatically covered!Tip No. 2 – Check that your policy includes adequate medical cover, liability and legal expensesIf you pick up a nasty stomach bug it could potentially put you in hospital. If you trip and break a leg, or sustain a serious injury it could result in very high medical bills for hospital treatment. If you cause injury to another person you could be liable and incur legal costs. If an injury results in medical repatriation to bring you home by air ambulance the need for additional seats on the plane, and/or medical escort, could set you back many thousands of pounds. Your consulate or the airline does not cover these costs. Someone has to pay and – without insurance – that someone is you, or your unsuspecting family or loved ones.As well as adequate travel and medical insurance, always check that your policy includes cover for air ambulance and medical repatriation. This is vital.Air ambulance fees to bring you back to the UK from your holiday destination could potentially cost thousands of pounds alone, and up to a staggering £50,000 from the USA! If it is necessary to fly you home on a stretcher with a medical escort the fees from even closer holiday destinations could be almost as financially devastating.Tip No. 3 – Obtain a European Health Insurance CardIf you live in a EU country and are travelling within the European Union apply for the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and carry it with you. Depending on the country, it entitles you to free or reduced-cost emergency treatment on the same basis as a national of that country, in a state-run facility (not private). The EHIC should not be used instead of travel insurance, but will save you a lot of expense and inconvenience if you should sustain an injury or become sick while travelling. It is important to realise that the EHIC does not cover anything much other than emergency medical care. It does not cover repatriation to the UK or air ambulance costs. You will need travel insurance to cover an array of travel problems, such as non-urgent medical care, ongoing treatment, lost luggage, missed flights, scheduled airline failure, etc.Tip No. 4 – Do Your Homework!Research has shown that few people actually take the time to research the local laws and customs of their destination country before they set off. Awareness of potential pitfalls could save a lot of expense and grief. For example, do you know your destination country’s rules for a single adult travelling with a child? Do you know which over-the-counter medicines you can and cannot legally take into the country? Do you know the basic rules of the road before driving in another country? The purchase of a good travel guidebook, or time spent reviewing travel advice provided online, such as on the Foreign Office website could help you avoid becoming the victim of a scam, or being arrested or fined for violating a local law that you were not aware of.Tip No.5 – Make a note of Consulate/Embassy and Emergency NumbersBefore you travel, why not programme emergency numbers into your mobile phone and also keep a note of them with your travel documents. Having the number for the local emergency services programmed into your mobile phone could save time in the event of a robbery or accident – and even save lives. Consider registering with the Foreign Office ‘Locate’ service (or your own government’s equivalent) to better enable the authorities to assist you if an emergency should arise. Their assistance in contacting friends and relatives would be a very welcome lifeline if needed and save you time, frustration, and expense.It is time to be an educated traveller, as well as a savvy one. Why not pass these tips along to your family and friends. Remind them to take out travel insurance and do all they can to protect themselves and avoid unnecessary and hefty bills on their travels.