Journeys: A World To Discover

Welcome to our online newsletter. This page will highlight stories about places around the world, told through the eyes of our clients, our travel agents, our tour operators and our specialty tour facilitators. We’ll also feature travel tips, book reviews and hot new travel items to make your journeys easier, safer and more fun!  ENJOY!

A Christmas Cruise

By Allie Zlotucha, Compass Travel Agent
In December 2013, I joined an international group of travel agents on a Christmas Cruise hosted by AMA Waterways. We sailed the Danube on a riverboat through the European countries where many of our own holiday traditions originated. If you love the excitement and festivity of the Christmas season, and want a truly memorable trip, consider sailing with us next December.
For a pictorial ride on this amazing cruise, click here.

As part of my job, I have the opportunity to experience extraordinary excursions that I can then share with my clients. That is part of what makes Compass Travel so unique. Our travel experiences help enrich your travel experiences.

For a pictorial story of our week, click here.

Traveling to the Piemonte with Holly and Luigi

A Travelogue by Pam Broadley, Compass Traveler

“Another trip to Italy?” friends and family ask. Since my first year out of college, when I traveled to Italy to track down the museums and works of art memorized for my art history classes, I knew I would return again and again. I’ve long since graduated from back packs, foreign train stations and pensione, those small family rooming houses with dubious plumbing. Instead, I go to Italy with Holly and Luigi knowing that I’ll have a spectacular vacation eating at fabulous restaurants, staying in charming hotels, and having plenty of time and freedom to soak up what I love about this country—the beauty, the flowers, the food, the long lunches with wine and water bottles scattered across the table, the way the architecture and landscape blend in perfect harmony, the people, so generous and welcoming. Dare I say the shopping?  The treasures—how can one country have so many? The expressiveness of this place…

Click here to read the full story.

Explore the Exotic Treasures of Equador and the Galapagos Islands

A Travelogue by Allie Zlotucha, Compass Travel Agent

If it’s local color you want, travel to the Galapagos Islands, where vibrant hues are abundant, even on the feet of the blue-footed boobies or the pumped up red breast of the great frigatebird. Adventures by Disney offers a myriad of new travel options for the explorer in us all. The Equador and Galapagos tour gave me an opportunity to experience this family adventure, so I could give you firsthand advice when planning your own. Click here to read the full story.

Tulip Time Cruise

A Travelogue by Allie Zlotucha, Compass Travel Agent

Last spring, Allie Zlotucha went on a mission: to experience the fabled Amsterdam, a modest fishing village that grew to become a world-renowned trade port. Like the diamonds that draw merchants to its shores from across the globe, this country sparkles with sensuous delight. Compass Travel sent Allie to scout the many wonders of a canal cruise and report back to her clients. Here, she guides you on this tour along the waterways of the country known as the Venice of the North… Click here to read the full story

Armchair Traveler

Can’t leave home right now? That’s okay. You can enjoy the world from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a sweet book to savor:

In Late Winter, We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love

By Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber

For their honeymoon, Vermonters Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber bought one-way tickets to Italy; the only plan they had was to be open to whatever might come their way. In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love captures the memories of their newlywed year spent in search of a creative, soulful adventure. The book is a compendium of recipes and personal stories of how two wide-eyed young lovers became enamored of a land they had no previous connection to but one they embraced with gusto. Their voices intertwine as they take the reader through four seasons of recipes, using only ingredients grown locally. The pages are peppered with descriptions of the Italian countryside, historical anecdotes that lend authenticity, and their self-described naïve accounts of living and learning in a foreign country. This is not a typical cookbook that presents “a laundry list of recipes shorn of any real-life context,” notes Heekin in her prologue. In Late Winter is a sensuous delight, teasing the taste buds while prompting visions of romantic adventures in a Mediterranean paradise. Click here to find out more…

Travel Tips

At Compass Travel, we understand that it’s not so easy to navigate all the necessary regulations imposed on travelers these days. We’re here to offer suggestions and tips to help make your trip a little easier. We invite our clients to submit any travel tips they may have as well.

Eliminating Painful Pressure — If you have to travel when you have sinus issues, try “earPlanes.” They help when the pressure changes, from take off and descent, cause a problem. Ask your pharmacist — they may have to be ordered in advance. They cost about $5, but are worth every penny. They work for kids, too.

Stay Cozy in Flight — Airlines have cut back on amenities including pillows and blankets. Consider packing lightweight travel blankets on long flights. Also, pack simple snacks like almonds and protein bars.

Double Duty Toiletry Bag — Going to the beach? Consider using a six-pack cooler as a toiletry bag. Once you arrive at your destination and unload your toiletries, you can use your ‘toiletry bag’ to keep drinks cold on the beach.

Traveling with Friends — When flying with companions, especially if you have stopovers, think about dividing your clothes between different suitcases. If one person’s luggage doesn’t arrive at the final destination, he or she will have some clothes available.

Liquid Alternatives — Get around the liquid carry-on restrictions with solid shampoo bars and tooth powder (instead of paste). You’ll breeze through airport security with no fuss.

Travel Guidebooks — A good travel guidebook is worth its weight in gold. Rick Steves compares the differences in books and helps you sort it all out