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If luxury travel were a classic ballet, we'd be your choreographer.

Stay informed and be inspired via our most recent travel blog posts.  Court Travel is a local Charlotte, NC business but its travel agents have traveled the world and become wise through having done it the right way and the wrong way themselves.   Here is a quick list of excellent documents we created regarding the most commonly asked travel questions.  Also, here is a helpful list of resources for international travel.

Travel Agent Insight & Blog

  • Safe Travel with Children

    Vacation is normally a time when you want to relax the rules and take it easy. But you can’t afford to let your guard slip too much if you’re traveling with children. Putting children into an unfamiliar situation, away from home, greatly increases the chances for accidental injuries. And, unfortunately, precautions also need to be tightened to protect your children from the dangers of today’s society. Here are some recommendations to help you avoid potential trouble and protect your children without making a vacation unbearable for either you or them. Whether you children are just starting to walk or already in their teens, a little preparation can help your whole family travel smarter and safer.

    Out & About
    Take a photo of your child each morning in the outfit they’re wearing. This way, if you get separated you have a photo for reference (or in case law enforcement needs to become involved).

    Make sure your child’s name, your name and contact information is somewhere on your child’s person. Remember if you get separated, your child may panic and not be able to tell a stranger their name, or they may just be simply too young to know this information. Ways of doing this are:

      Put a business card in their pocket.
      Engrave a leather strap or keychain or clip-on lanyard with his name and your phone number. You can clip it to a belt buckle and tuck it into their pocket.
      These temporary tattoos are waterproof and last for several days!

    Aboard Cruise Ships
    Dangers can lurk even aboard a cruise ship.  Large ships are now almost floating cities with up to 4000 passengers. Most cruise lines will require an adult in each cabin to chaperone children at the time of booking.  Request cabins that are adjacent or directly across the hall from your cabin.  Many ship pools do not have lifeguards – be vigilant with your children around the pool and around water slides Avoid allowing you children to run freely in the hallways after dinner.  Ship deck layouts can be confusing—even for adults. Make sure you children know how to get to the main reception desk in the event they get lost or confused on how to get back to your cabin.

    Before Leaving Home
    Warn your children about strangers and let them know it is okay to yell as loud as they can anytime they feel threatened.  Ask a neighbor to act as home base contact.  Make sure the children know their name and phone number to give authorities if you are separated.

    In the Car
    Many car rental companies will require an approved child restraint seat which is rented or provided by the renter for all children under the age of 12.  Older children must sit in the back seat if possible. If your car is equipped with childproof safety door locks, use them.

    At the Hotel
    Request connecting rooms or adjacent rooms at the time of booking. Reconfirm this at the desk when you check-in. Consider having one parent sleep in each room if the children are under the age of 12.  As soon as you arrive, scan the room from a child’s eye view.  Look for dangers, such as blind cords, unprotected windows, glass tables, loose screws and electrical items.  Show the children how to dial the hotel operator in an emergency.  Set up a procedure for answering a knock on the door.  A family code word is safer than “mommy or daddy”.

  • Traveling with your smart phone

    We get asked every day – “Will my phone work?” Now we don’t have all of the answers, but we have some guidance to get you on the path right for your needs.

    With a bit of careful pre-trip planning you can stay connected while abroad. Everyone likes to stay connected, to check with your office, to stay in contact with your family, or post your travels to Facebook and other sites. Smart phones and cell phones are changing and upgrading their features every day.  Traveling in the USA generally requires no changes to your current plan, but once you head out internationally, it's typically a different and sometimes expensive story and no one likes to get an unexpected high bill at the end of their holiday.

    AT&T and T-Mobile have the broadest and most flexible international plans, Verizon and Sprint work great in the US, but can offer limited options abroad, so it's best to start with a few questions with your carrier to avoid miscommunications.  Plan to pay them a face to face visit at a retail location if you do not feel comfortable with finding the answers over the internet or by phone.

    What do you want to be able to do?

    Make Phone Calls
    Most of the time your current plan will let you call from the US to other countries.  Advise them that you want to be able to call back to the US and other Countries while you are abroad. Make sure you understand what you will also need to dial in front of the country code as well (ie, +01704-372-4231), such as the + symbol.  Keep in mind that when you make or receive phone calls while away, you are using another countries local carrier and these calls can cost from .50 to $2.50 per minute and are not part of your normal plan.

    Consider texting as an inexpensive alternative to emails and phone calls to stay in touch.  It’s fast and available wherever you have cell service and photos can be attached to help you share the moment with others back home. Just mention to your provider that you would like to text "while out of the country" as this feature is not generally part of the standard texting plans in the US.

    Use Apps and other Smart Phone Features
    Phones can do some pretty amazing things these days, from making simple calls to giving you the current weather report or surfing the web for a local address.  But, once you are abroad, some of these features and apps may not work as you planned.  Apps that rely on the Internet to provide you with content, can use more megabites than you realize and once again, the allowance you have here in the US won't apply so limits and overages need your attention as well.  So it's best to spend some quality time with your phone to test out some of their features without internet or cell service

    Give your Phone a “Test Run”
    First, switch your phone to Airplane Mode.  When airplane mode is on, a small plane appears in the status bar at the top of the screen, and emits no Wi-Fi, cellular (4G or 3G models), or Bluetooth signals. You won’t be able to use apps or features that depend on these connections. This disconnects your phone from Wi-Fi and cellular access.  Now, try each one of your apps. You might be surprised to find that many will not work.  It's best to know this now, than discover later that a favorite app might not be available that you intended to rely on.  This will also give you a chance to see if the app has an offline version available for download or if another app might be better.  Switch your phone back to the normal settings for full access.

    Next, turn off "Data Roaming" and try your apps again. Turning off Data Roaming avoids accessing the web via the celluar network.  Foreign carrier charges may arise when using a network provided by a different carrier and will prevent the phone from using the cellular network for downloads and updates.  Some apps are sneaky and will update with out you even knowing it!  This is the setting you should consider using while abroad.  Online access to your apps will now rely solely when you are in Wi-Fi range Fast food restaurant often have free Wi-Fi and are a mecca for surfing.

Days at Sea
Nancy hits the "road" in Iceland
Jerusalem - overlooking the Mount of Olives
Betty in Nazareth
Nancy in Venice Summer 2010
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