Technology, Bonding, and Vacations

I heard a statistic the other day that got me thinking about the influence of Facebook, Twitter, and the overwhelming constant “newsfeed” that bombards our everyday life with many times negative opinions and frustrating events around the world.   Do we really check our Smart Phones every 6 minutes?  We are connected all day long from the time we wake up until the time we close our eyes at night.

Of course, not everything about social media is negative.  It is amazing how we can keep in touch with our loved ones, stay updated with photos of friends and family across the country, and easily market ourselves and our business in this fast paced world.   I have kept up to date on my client’s vacation status through social media and email, which is another positive, as it is fun to see if they are having a good time or if there is an issue that I need to address right away.   It just reminds me how important it is to also have that “quality” time with our spouses, children, and other family members.  Sometimes the only way to achieve this is through a family or couples vacation, and truly escape from reality for a little while.   The memories created are life-long!

There are so many times I have clients wanting to take a vacation but feel they are too busy or it may be a challenge to find a replacement for work.   Taking a vacation is not being selfish!  We all need a little time for ourselves.  We need this time to get to know our kids and renew the relationships that are so important to us.  Many don’t realize this until they return from their trip, thanking me for helping coordinate schedules and itineraries, along with finding a destination that works to make it happen.  Even if it isn’t a “trip of a lifetime”, it can seem like one just having a weekend getaway.   Being in this business has been incredibly rewarding as I see with my own eyes how families and couples grow closer through the art of travel.

As I sit here typing this piece, I find the need to check my email as I hear the notifications come through.   Thank you, Smart Phone!

I just want to end with that I realize we all have different circumstances in our lives that may keep us from spending the time with our family that we desire, or in this economy we may not have the finances to take a big vacation, but getaways big or small –I would love to help find some balance and the challenge to see if we can make something work.   One of my favorite past times is looking through family photos with my kids from holidays, vacations, or videos doing silly things that document these fun times.  So with that said, make sure you bring at least one form of technology on your trip…. A camera!



It’s been one of those days… I need a vacation!

I need a vacation after today and it’s only 3pm.  It’s just one of those days where nothing seems to be going right.   I must have slept wrong because I can barely turn my neck and my back is incredibly sore.  So whether I’m lying down, sitting up, or driving, I am in pain.  Right now I sit in my office in peace, and I’m going to enjoy it as long as possible.  I thought it might make me feel better to write about it.  So today I will write from a different perspective.   I am dreaming about how a vacation would rejuvenate me.  It may be just what I need, as I’m sure you hard working parents can relate.

I’ll start from the beginning.  I have three kids.  They are beautiful, healthy, rambunctious, funny, competitive, smart, and very interesting boys.  The list goes on… I am one proud single parent – but I do admit there have been times when I may pretend they aren’t mine when out in public.  (It’s hard to do that with my youngest though, as we share the same reddish hair color).  Today was one of them.  I will write about today since it’s fresh in my mind, although today is nothing compared to some days, but I had far less patience today.

Our morning consisted of wrestling/arguing siblings, spilled milk, and construction noises.   It seems the construction on the street will never end.  For a week now we haven’t been able to drive or park anywhere on our cul-de-sac or driveway, or the street over, and it’s getting old.   My mailbox isn’t even within walking distance.  (ok- I could walk it, but it’s quite a ways) A simple errand that would normally be very quick turns into a work out with my little ducklings (kids) lined up behind me in single file, reminding them not to walk through dog poop, stay away from the big trucks, and not to fall into the holes along the curb that have been dug up, as we make our way to the vehicle.  As we’re a few houses away walking to the car I try to recall where we ended up parking last night.  The days are running together this week.  This last week of summer is flying by.  As soon as I figure that out, I remember that I forgot the envelopes inside the house that I had to mail, my sunglasses, and my coupon for school shoes.  It’s crucial that I don’t forget anything as now we all have to walk back through the construction zone to the house to retrieve these items.  So off we go, my little ducklings in tow, back to the house to get these things as it will save a trip later.    How would I have done this if they were still newborn, 1 and 2?  I couldn’t have.  So thankfully they all have strong legs and can walk all by themselves!  As we buckle our seat belts one of them makes a comment on how something stinks.  Great!  One did step in some fresh doggie doo-doo.

We begin our outing with a lunch date.  We meet a friend and her boys so we can quickly catch up with some conversation and grab a bite with the kids while we’re at it.   The kids barely touched their food, and we didn’t get much talking in as the kids were begging for quarters the whole time to stick into those annoying machines that you can sometimes claim a prize in that will most likely break before getting home.  ( Eventually the trinkets will end up in between the car seat somewhere and be forgotten about until I climb back there to inspect).  Hopefully I get around to that soon so that I can reminisce about this wonderful day!  Before leaving I remind the boys to go to the bathroom so that I can run a few errands. (The whole purpose of the leaving the house.)  We just had to quickly stop by a store to pick up office supplies, run by the post office, and pick out a pair of shoes for one of the kids.

We finally arrive the store to get the supplies.  One child already has to go to the bathroom.  (the one that pretended to go while he had the chance at the restaurant  because I know I watched him walk into the restroom)  This happens to be a store that doesn’t have a restroom for customers.  And by now they all have go.  I insist they have to hold it until the next stop, but the commotion is loud so an employee brings them back to the bathroom.   Women aren’t allowed in the Men’s room, so I wait and pray that they aren’t getting into mischief as that seems to be the way today is going.  I hear lots of noise going on, as two of them race out of the restroom, laughing and chasing each other down the aisles.  The oldest one is being good because he wants to go get new shoes after this.  I can feel the stares of people wondering why I am letting them act this way.  Well, I am not “letting” them act this way.  I know how this will end.  I can quickly grab what I need and ask the boys to help me carry items or find items as a distraction (didn’t work), leave without getting anything (almost did, but I needed to get a couple things right now and didn’t want to come back later as the parking situation isn’t the best as I explained), bribe (cannot reward bad behavior so I didn’t go there and knew that would backfire), or act like it isn’t a big deal, stay calm, and let them know the punishment when we get into the car.  We made it to the cash register as two of the kids are pretending to fly through the glass windows up front, making crash landings and all kinds of sound effects, yelling for their older brother to join in.  I paid for the items, got to the car (they are running behind me), as I announced we’re going home!  I couldn’t take them into the post office today.  I couldn’t take them into a shoe store.  My head is pounding, the kids are giggling because they thought that adventure at the office store was just so funny, and now they are complaining that they are hungry.  Huh.  We just ate.  I had warned them they had to finish their food.  That was their lunch and we aren’t having a second lunch or a snack immediately following.

I announced that we were heading home.  My child that was actually behaving is disappointed because he was suffering for his brothers’ actions and not getting his new shoes today.  I feel bad when all of the kids have to be punished because one or two of them isn’t listening, but in the end I think it evens out.  They take turns with behavior issues, but what is a mom to do?  Just then I receive a phone call from a friend asking if my oldest wants to come over to play.  Perfect timing!  I can drop him off as a reward since he has been good, and bring the other two home to do nothing fun.  I will have to delay the post office trip which will end up being 4 days since it’s a holiday weekend, and venture out to the shoe store over the weekend.   I think I will have someone watch the other two while we do this.

I love those little boys.  They are growing up so fast.  I feel very blessed!  Sometimes a vacation is just what families or parents need.  Something to look forward to…  Where should I go?

Stay tuned for future blog posts to include:

  • The bonding benefits from family vacations
  • The importance of couples getaways
  • Technology free vacations
  • Multi-generational family reunions
  • Destination Wedding checklists
  • Unique honeymoon ideas
  • My traveling experiences

Vacation Planning… Help!

Planning your annual vacation should be a fun activity but all too often turns into a rushed, stressed, last minute task.  Narrowing down your options for your upcoming vacation can be overwhelming.  Matching up schedules, best pricing, the most bang for your buck, along with a resort that will meet your activity level can be a challenge – which I will accept!  When you contact a travel professional (yes –me, this is what I do!) they know the questions to ask to be able to provide options in your budget range, meet the qualifications that you have in mind , and make suggestions and recommendations for things that you did not even think of.  If what you desire is not possible, a good agent will let you know that and provide alternatives.   Whether you know where you want to go or have no idea at all, here are some of the qualifying questions that I may ask to help you coordinate your vacation:

  • How long do you want to be gone?
  • Do you have dates in mind, and are they flexible?
  • How many people are traveling?  Any children?  If so, what are their ages?
  • Where have you traveled in the past?
  • What is your favorite vacation/destination so far?
  • Do you have an approximate budget for this trip?
  • Are you thinking 3/4/5 star accommodations?

Answering the above questions will be a great start to customizing your vacation and providing initial options.

Where’s your paradise?


Katie Rahr



When is the best time to book a trip?

“When is the best time to book my trip?”

This is one of the most common questions I hear from clients.  I sure wish that I had the perfect answer.  I always say if you know you are going for sure, you have your dates in mind, and airfare rates are out, usually early is best!   I am happy to check the air rates and hotel packages (sometimes package pricing isn’t out right away so you do have to wait for certain destinations) for anyone, and being I have done this for so long, can usually tell when I spot a good deal right away, or an average price.  If something is way over-priced, I can usually tell – and in that case recommend to hold off a bit.  If you book early, you will reduce your stress and save yourself time and frustration watching the airfare and hotel rates go up and down.  The air goes up, the hotel goes down.   The air goes down, the hotel goes up.  It usually evens out in the end.   Of course if everyone is going to the same place at the same time, there are definite times when “my general rules” don’t apply at all.  You are also guaranteed the space.  I have seen it many times when people have waited too long as the selected flights or hotel is no longer available.   It’s all a guessing game, but after doing this every day sometimes my guesses are accurate!  I enjoy the challenge.