Greeting from Hill Travel Centre in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee,
Yes, we are finally here and after six weeks we are slowly, but surely, settling into Middle Tennessee life (approx. 20-25 miles east of Nashville). We are in a Del Webb 55+ Community at Lake Providence; And we are taking care of business as well. While our telephone number (above) has changed, our email addresses remain the same:
As does our website: www.hilltravelcentre.com.
So, the travel business is definitely not booming as most people would realize; However, we have been booking things for late 2021 and through 2022. If you have any questions and/or need a quote on anything, feel free to call or email us and we will respond accordingly. Ann & I have a group sailing from Cape liberty (Bayonne, NJ) on August 01, and making port calls in Halifax, Canada, Greenland, two in Iceland, one on the Shetland Islands in Northern Scotland before disembarking in Southampton (London) on 15 August. If Celebrity is sailing, we plan to lead the group: If not, we will reschedule it for 2022.
While it has been a very chaotic year with most travel operators not knowing what to do, most have come through with many, many environmental and technological upgrades that will not only be a big improvement; But it will make it possible for many people to travel with much more confidence and lack of fear. In addition, when you receive your "Jabs" (What the English call shots) be they Pfizer, Moderna, J & J, Novovax, or Astra-Zeneca peace of mind cannot be far away......Ann and I have had both shots.
While there are thousands of possibilities for travel around the world, some may prefer to stay in the USA and travel. If that is your idea, we can assist with everything from organized group tours, etc; OR with individual itineraries that we can put together for your consideration. If you are just looking to fly somewhere, you will note that airlines have really stepped up to the plate by developing pre-boarding tests; And onboard newly installed electronic filtration systems to compliment the use of much more outside air on all newly constructed aircraft. Cruise ships have also increased their anti-Covid air and medical systems; And hotels, motorcoach operators, etc., have also spent a great deal of money to create safe travel options.
Baltimore will soon welcome a new cruise ship to replace the beloved Grandeur of the Seas: The Enchantment of the Seas. RCCL offers a wide variety of itineraries including Canada, New England, Bermuda, and into the Caribbean with three different itineraries (East, West, and Southern Caribbean). If you want a slightly different embarkation point, try Cape Liberty (NJ), or Boston: All of these departure points are easy to reach and you do not have to include airfare. If smaller ships are your forte, try the following: American Cruise Line (summer itineraries on the East Coast including the Chesapeake Bay, New England, The Mississippi River; And the West Coast).......Victory Cruise Line offers neat Great Lake itineraries............Princess, Holland America, and RCCL offer neat 7nt Alaska (Inside Passage) cruises that sail from and back to Seattle. Currently, the USA and Canada are in negotiations regarding the reinstatement of sailings using Canadian ports.
In addition, you can sail from NYC, Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami-and Tampa, Florida (as well as Galveston, TX, Los Angeles, and San Diago)into the Caribbean, Hawaii, The Panama Canal; And even some Trans Atlantic and Pacific itineraries. So, if you want to See The USA (more of it), try one of the above cruises AND/OR take a number of amazing motor coach Tours by Globus, Trafalgar, Mayflower, Rocky Mountaineer, and others. All of these operators follow strict Covid protocols. Ship and/or motor coach tours not your thing? Well, AMTRAK offers a number of USA rail tours as does VIA Rail (Canada); And these are a great way to really see this amazing country (as well as Canada). Ann & I can also suggest that you look at regional tour operators who do Day Trips all over the place. For many years we have set-up, escorted, and hosted over 37,000 guests on the motor coach tours throught-out Maryland's Eastern Shore and several sites in Harford County as well as nearby Delaware. Don't worry, these tours will still go on with DJ Fasick (operator of Chesapeake City Watertours) as our heir apparent.
Please stay safe and if you have any travel questions; Are seeking information; Or just want to talk to us, let us hear from you by telephone,
email, website, our outside sales people (contacts listed on our website), or by cell (443-553-5223-Ann.......443-553-8029....Wayne)...........We would love to hear from you.
Ann & Wayne
Greeting from Hill Travel Centre,
Yes, it is a time for great uncertainty; Yes, it is a frustrating time; Yes, we have been through bad times before and have always fought our way through: So shall we this as well.
I am sitting here on hold (for a long time now) trying to cancel, change, etc. a client booking. I am also sitting here thinking of all of the travel that we have done since 1969 (when Cancun wasn't even there!) and we flew into Merida for an amazing Mayan week. I look at 1970 when we took 45 people to Portugal, Spain and Italy for two weeks at a cost of $450.00 pp. (air and land)! I also look at the tours to Scandinavia, Central Europe, The UK, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Canada, the Azores, Costa Rica, Cayman and more. I also think of all of the cruises that we have taken around this beautiful world; and the many visits to the Caribbean...Especially SANDALS and BEACHES!
With all of these thoughts and memories, we do not intend to stop going and hole-up as hermits. Even at our age we have more of this world to explore; And we think that you should also. No, it would be better to wait a bit; But you can start now to make your bucket list. Perhaps the following will give you some possibilities: -Least expensive cruises: Carnival and RCCL Cruise Lines sailing out of Baltimore (no air involved); And sailing from Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ): RCCL and Celebrity Cruise lines-OR NYC sailing on Norwegian, Carnival, Cunard, Princess Cruise Lines. No air involved
-Best Air Deals: Southwest, and Spirit Airlines to the Caribbean from BWI: And a host of domestic and foreign flights from EWR (Newark NJ) and JFK (NYC).
-Best Railroad experiences in the USA: AMTRAK Vacations, Rocky Mountain Rail tours, VIA Rail Canada; And you can board in Wilmington, Delaware to make all of the connections needed.
-Best Motor Coach Tours available: Delaware Express, Avalon Tours, Elite Coach, Perkioman Tours, Cecil Travellers, and local tour groups. You can google for contacts to these, or call us for more contact information.
-Best local experiences that you can do in the comfort of your own car: Visit the Conowingo Dam (base), and not only watch the many Eagles, Osprey, Cormorants; But view the fish and the dam itself////Drive to Chesapeake City and enjoy a wonderful and relaxing day or half day....Also visit North East, Port Deposit, Havre de Grace, Chestertown, Rock Hall, Easton and Cambridge and a host of lovely and neat little town up and down the DELMARVA Peninsula (Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Tidewater Virginia). You can drive to all of these places and enjoy the history and culture as well as have excellent and reasonably priced Bay Food. So don't stay home all of the time and become board: As noted above, there are a number of things you can do that do not involve large numbers of people.
-So, as you can see, there are things that you can do to get out and about. If you need more suggestions or contacts-Do not hesitate to call and talk to us.
Sincerely, Ann & Wayne Hill
Once upon a time (until the early 1990s) there were some 47,000 travel agencies in the USA. Since WWII these travel agencies first wrote and then printed (issued) approx. 85% of all of the airlines' tickets. That percentage (at least) is also the approx. number of tours, cruises, resort vacations, hotels, rental cars, and travel insurance booked by those same Travel Agents. The Travel Agent was (and still is except for airline tickets) paid a commission for making those bookings, and taking care of the whole process for you (the client). If you book something through a tour operator directly the rate would be the same as your Travel Agent told you, but you would not receive the commission...AND you would not have a local Travel Agent there to work on your behalf.
Unfortunately, everyone didn't live happily ever after: The airlines and online booking sites have slowly but surely eliminated a large number of agents because people have gone to the Internet thinking that the deals were better (in some cases they are); But they also lost their best travel friend and advocate: Their local Travel Agent. Now, if you can find 12, 000 travel agencies you would be lucky. The really sad part in all of this is that the airlines stopped paying Travel Agents commissions thinking that they would make a fortune- not paying those commissions....Look Again: They could not pay employees, and provide benefits for what they were paying the agents to issue those tickets. So, they were forced to sell allotments of ticketing seats to various online booking agencies: i.e., Expedia, Travelosity, Kayak, Priceline.com, etc. at prices that literally change every day!
If you thought that airline ticketing has gone off of the deep end, take a look at hotels, even some cruise lines....and you guessed it: They are also dealing with allotments. That simply means that if you go online to most hotel sites and do not find room...Fear not, you can simply go to one of the above sites like Trip Advisor-etc. And they may have space. This is becoming the norm, and it is quite sad. Not only are you forced to jump around all over the place, not have anyone who will answer a questions for you...............When you do book something and have questions or a problem...Who can you call who will answer? Yes, your local Travel Agent......However, she or he cannot help you because you didn't go to them in the first place, and they cannot touch anything that you have booked.
It is hard to imagine that many people would turn-down the solid advice that a professional Travel Agent would offer (for the most part free). These Travel Agents have spent years acquiring these skills and knowledge, yet many people simply do not take advantage of this. The least you can do is to contact your local Travel Agent and ask them to price something for you and to make suggestions....I suspect that the advise is extremely good and worth consideration.
What can we do for you? One of the best things we have done for our clients is this website. This is an amazing website, not just for unique pricing comparisons but a host of special travel information from around the world. Look at this page and see the words BOOK RACK..click on it and fine over a hundred electronic brochures for you to read and do your research: It , like our agency, is free at no charge to you. I even have school classes use this side based on what it contains. Check it out!
More to come......................Let us know if you need any assistance...Ann & I will be here for you.