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Travel News Vacation Travel

“Summer loving had me a blast” … Disney Vacations from Andavo Travel

I think we’ve all heard that song at some point, and what a perfect reminder that summer is just around the corner!

Do you have your summer vacation plans set yet? Does your list of potential ideas include the words “Disney” or “beach”? Last summer my family did “Disney” and “Beach” in July and it was a blast for everyone, young to old.

Andavo Travel, the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel, has been recognized as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for the breadth of knowledge and value we bring to you, the customer, when it comes to Disney vacation options. In fact, with this recognition, our team was awarded a limited-edition commemorative gicle’e painting, created by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Character Artist, Joe Kaminski.

Planning a Disney Vacation with Andavo Travel

“Time” is something we’re all lacking, so spend the time you do have getting ready for all of the fun you’ll have and allow our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners to take care of all the trip research for you.

Here it the information you should have ready when you call:

1) Which Disney destination you want to visit:

  • Walt Disney World in Florida
  • Disneyland in California
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Adventures by Disney
  • Aulani Resort, Hawai’i
  • Beyond Walt Disney

2) The dates you’d like to go (And are your dates flexible?)

3) How many in your party and their ages

4) The type of transportation you plan to use to get to your destination, i.e. Do you need flights?

5) Any special needs or services required

6) Plans to purchase travel insurance, for the various potential emergencies or unexpected situations prior to, and during, your vacation. It’s definitely worth the cost in the end.

Christopherson Business Travel takes care of your entire managed travel program. Now let Andavo Travel take care of your vacation plans. Contact Andavo Travel via AndavoTravel.com.

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Travel News Travel Technology Vacation Travel

Christopherson Business Travel…. on the move!

Since we are celebrating our country’s history let’s take a look at some of our own….
Christopherson Business Travel…. on the move!
Sales results 2002 – $79.9 million.  Sales were over $200 million in 2009.
Voice mail implemented April 2003 – The vote is in 75% of our clients surveyed said they would like us to have voice mail and 85% of the employees agreed!
Christopherson billboard advertising campaign 2004 –Remember those great blue billboards with those clever sayings?  “We draw the line at packing your bags”, “Hear that? It’s your bottom line saying “Thank You”, and “Travel Agency for Capitalists and their tightwad CFO’s” to name a few. 
Denver travel agency purchased 2005 – Travel Connections  was purchased which added 14 new team members and $15 million in new travel bookings.
AirPortal® trademark approved 2006– Great news!  The name AirPortal® is exclusively ours.  AirPortal was the beginning of many great things to come from our incredible technology team.
Christopherson selected as #1 in the “Readers’ Choice Awards” survey by Connect Magazine 2007 – The survey was taken among high-income readers in business decision-maker positions.
Christopherson Business Travel and Denver based Andavo Travel Announce Merger 2008 –
The combined operations formed one of the largest travel management firms in the United States and the largest national BCD Travel affiliate.

Christopherson Wins the Alfred P. Sloan Award 2009 – What a great place to work!
And now for some frivolous but ‘thought you might like to know’ facts….
A LONG TIME AGO: Nov 21, 1783 – Who thought then, at the early start of aviation history what air travel would mean. The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter- than-air flight on November 21, 1783, in a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers.
WHAT’S A “QANTAS?” You probably recognize the name of this Australian national airline… but what’s it mean? It’s an acronym for: Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service.
ANY QUESTIONS? As printed on an American Airlines package of peanuts: “Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.”
NO TIME TO NAP: The shortest scheduled airline flight is from the Scottish island of Westray to its neighbor island, Papa Westray. Flight time: 2 minutes!
THINK YOU LIKE TRAVELING? The world’s first travel agency was founded by Englishman Thomas Cook in 1850. Not only did he introduce the concept of the hotel reservation, Cook also personally organized and led the first round-the-world tour, lasting 222 days and covering over 40225 kilometers!
HA! HA! HA!  A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool on the aviation frequencies. So, this was his first time approaching a field during the nighttime.  Instead of making any official requests to the tower, he said: “Guess who?”
The controller switched the field lights off and replied: “Guess where!”
And last but certainly not least…
WHAT?!  Hijacking of airplanes was outlawed in 1961.

Categories
Vacation Travel

Sweet Vacation “DEALS”

As winter is wrapping up it’s season with snow and rain scattered with a little sunshine here and there, put away your snow shovels, boots, coats and gloves. It is time to break out the swim suits and suntan lotion and pack your bags for some rest and relaxation. There is no better time then now to take advantage of these vacation “Deals”. Here are just a few of those sweet “Deals” available to you!

  • Save up to $200.00 to Maui and Lana’i
  • Save up to $225.00 at the Ka’anapali Beach hotel in Maui
  • Save up to $250.00 to Aruba
  • Save up to $200.00 to Aston Hotels Resorts in Hawaii
  • Free airfare to the Bahamas
  • Save up to $150.00 at RIU Hotels Resorts
  • Save up to $250.00 to London

Of course there are some restrictions to these “Deals”. If you are flexible with your travel dates and looking for a great vacation don’t wait to cash in on these great savings. Call your Christopherson Travel Vacation team today. 801-327-7600

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Vacation Travel

O’ahu Hawaii what to see and do

For many vacationers traveling to Hawaii, O’ahu is a quick stop over for a couple of days before flying on to Maui, Kauai, or Hawaii. The most often requested attraction is Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. While I agree that these two attractions are a must do, there is so much more to see and do while in O’ahu. One could easly spend a week exploring the island and still not see it all. Most all the attractions can be pre arranged by your travel consultant. It is recommended to prebook these activities before you get there so that you will not be disappointed if they are sold out. Rest assured that if you prebook an activity and then find that your plans have changed you can change the time or date without a penalty. Christopherson Travel’s vacation consultants have experienced first hand many of these tours and can assist in finding the right tour for anyone.
Here are just a few examples of the many activities that are available on O’ahu.
Two Good Kayaks: A paddling tour that takes you over the reef-protected waters on Kailua Bay.
Hans Hedemman Surf School: Learn how to surf the waves from a professional surfer during a 2 hour private lesson.
Home of the Brave: A unique military historic tour with access to many points of interest not accessable without special permission from the government.
Island Seaplane Tour: A fun and exciting way to see and experience the beautiful island of O’ahu. It is offered as a 30 minute tour or a full hour tour.
Dolphin Quest Encounter: Swim and play with dolphins in a natural lagoon. Each Dolphin encounter is unique based upon the guests, trainers and dolphins.
The next time you are planning a vacation to Hawaii consider spending a few days on O’ahu and experence the many activities available to you.

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Vacation Travel

O’ahu Insider Tips

Huanama Bay
Hanauma Bay

I just returned from a wonderful experience on O’ahu attending the O’ahu Destination Specialist Program. The program was hosted by the O’ahu Visitors Bureau and All About Hawaii Tours. We have arranged vacations to Hawaii for many of our clients. We love to give them “insider” tips that we learn from the locals to enhance their vacation experence.

Here are just a few “insider” tips I received while visiting O’ahu. “Aloha” When greeting someone with aloha you are offering them the breath of life in the “ha”. It is a very special offering and should not be expressed in a shout or by drawing it out as Alooooohaaaaa. Simply say “aloha”.
There are many historical sites in Honolulu that should not be overlooked. Iolani Palace is a must. It is the only Royal Palace on U.S. soil. Reservations are required. You should arrive early, before 11:00am, to be admitted into the basement of the palace to view the artifacts of King Kamehameha and Queen Iolani. It is easy to get there from Waikiki. Just take the purple city bus.
At King Kamehameha’s statue, just across from Iolani’s Palace, every Friday afternoon from 12:00pm to 1:00pm you will be entertained by Hawaiian music preformed by the oldest civic band in the United States. The band was organized by King Kamehameha to revere the Hawaiian music. The king loved music and parties. It was King Kamehameha that unified the Hawaiian Islands under one rule.

Sea Plane
Seaplane (de plane)

After the concert take a nice walk to China town and enjoy a lunch at one of the many fine dinning restaurants. We enjoyed very delicious pupus (appetizers) at Indigo restaurant located on the edge of China Town.
The highlight of my O’ahu experience was the one hour Island Seaplane tour. It is the only air tour in all of Hawaii recommended by both Frommers’s Travel Guide and the National Geographic Traveler. It was thrilling to fly over the island catching a bird’s eye view of the beautiful island of O’ahu. Some of the best photos I returned home with were taken from the seaplane. Interesting side note. The seaplane is the actual plane that was used in the TV series Fantasy Island. Remember the “de plane, de plane”? For an unforgettable experience you must take the Seaplane Tour of O’ahu.

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Vacation Travel

Hawaii – Fall and Winter Deals

Whether a new visitor or returning to your favorite island, Hawaii is always the perfect destination.  Hawaii is great for families, honeymooners, couples, any special occasion, or simply a getaway.  There is no better place to bond than on the islands.
Hawaii offers an island for everyone, relaxation to adventure.  Visit Oahu’s Waikiki beach and Polynesian Cultural Center.  The island of Kauai offers a zip line expedition and Waimea Canyon.  The Big Island’s active volcano Kilauea is a must.  Maui offers whale watching in the winter months and also the cultural “Ulalena” musical.  Depending on your time in Hawaii I suggest a  tour by air, a day enjoyed in the water, and also a cultural event.  Make sure to take the time and enjoy the incredible tropical beauty and Aloha spirit.
Pamper yourself at one of the many Luxurious Spa and Wellness Resorts.  You will find World Class Golf Courses.  Think of Hawaii for your next successful meeting or convention.  Another great way to visit the islands is on a 7 night Hawaii Cruise
Great values being offered to Hawaii.  Airline discounts.  Car upgrades.  Many of the resorts are offering free nights plus breakfast for two, free upgrades, and resort credits.  Please call for information and let us custom your one island or multi island vacation to Hawaii / 801-327-7600

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Why Now Is A Great Time To Travel

I know many people are planning on staying close to home during these tough economic times in order to save money or just because it seems like the right thing to do. Actually this is a very good time to travel for a variety of reasons, ranging from lower costs to smaller crowds to fewer competitors calling on clients. And I’m sure that there are other reasons that I haven’t thought of but apply to many people.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these reasons starting with the last one first.  As many companies opt to cut their travel expenses they are removing the sales call from their sales staff’s bag of tricks.  While it is true that much can be accomplished via the phone, webinars and the like, there is an equally important truth, which is when you actually visit the client face to face it gives you the opportunity to actually meet the client, see what the client needs and wants, as well as create a relationship based in part, on the perception that you consider this client important enough to show up, even when times are tough.  I have heard of a number of companies that have cut their travel by as much as 70%.  This means that a significant portion of their sales force isn’t traveling and as such isn’t competing at the personal level.  Airfares are down, hotel stays are down, even car rental rates are down, so this is a very good time to go.  As an example, the Marriott Marquis at Time Square in NYC, was $450.00 and up per night, this time last year, now the rates start at $254.00 a night.  This time last year, the lowest one way fare from Los Angeles to New York City was $161.00, today you can get it for $109.00.  Those are pretty typical savings that are available right now, which means that it is a much better deal to travel for business right now.

In terms of vacation travel, this year is shaping up to be a great year to go on vacation.  With so many people opting to do staycations, many of the places that are normally packed with tourists during the summer months, such as Disneyland and Disneyworld, Europe, Hawaii and cruises, are looking like they will be relatively uncrowded this summer.  So if you’ve always wanted to visit the Louvre in Paris but the thought of the massive crowds kept you away, this may be the best time to go and not have to be in line for hours.

This coupled with the discounts that are being offered the airlines, hotels, tour companies, cruise lines, etc., it makes this summer look like a terrific bargain.  When you compare prices between last year and this year, the difference is amazing.  Just before the end of March, there were roundtrip airfares between New York City and London, starting at $68.00, plus taxes and surcharges.  Now, they start at about $90.00 roundtrip plus taxes and surcharges and yes, there are very limited number of seats available at these prices and they do require a Saturday night stay and travel must commence no later than May 26th, 2009 and they have a number of other restrictions, such as the tickets must be issued within 72 hours of making the reservation and ticketed no later than 5 days prior to departure, whichever comes first.  However when compared to 2008, where the lowest roundtrip fare was $236.00 roundtrip plus taxes and surcharges, this year’s fare looks awfully enticing.   Then when you look at the difference of the relative strength of the US Dollar vs. the Euro and other European currencies, Europe looks much more affordable.

This clearly is the time to go because who knows when prices will be this low again.  So if you’ve been saying to yourself I want to go on a cruise but I want a really good deal or if you want to go to Disney or Europe or really anywhere, now is the time to go.