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THE DASH

Insight, wisdom, lessons learned and everything in between to help you find the information you need for smoother transition between diplomatic assignments.

Magical Vacations

It's Guest Blog Time!


Growing up the extent of a family vacation consisted of a painfully long road trip in the middle of the night from Baltimore to Connecticut. Crammed in the back seat, fighting for my right to have elbow room as we inched along I-95 North only to wear clothes we didn't like, and practice our best manners in front of our extended family was what some people referred to as Thanksgiving. The chilly air in my face with rain drops trickling in so my sister could manage her stress of the drive with a Marlboro Red is a memory I won't soon forget. The clinking of the quarters as the they spin into the toll collection basket on the Garden State Parkway was a welcomed break from the endless bickering with my Brother. And while we always loathed the driving up and back, some of my fondest childhood memories are from those Thanksgiving trips -- spending time with family we didn't get to see often. It was special.


When we were planning our home leave between two tours we knew we wanted to take our kids on an extra special trip. One that was for them but that we could enjoy as a family. We decided on Disney World because we both had fond memories of going there and flights would be easy. As with many things in the Foreign Service our trip was based on the timing of many logistical components. We settled on the week before Thanksgiving and as luck would have it, it was the quietest week of the year. It was a magical vacation on home leave for all of us. My kids absolutely loved each day and as parents we felt the burden of constant decision making float away.


We encourage our readers and clients to embrace the gifts of time that you are given during home leave and R&R. Make the absolute most of these "mandatory vacations" because you will not look back and wished you had worked one more day. We invited Alicia Nauman of Curated Travel Collection to share what she loves about Disney as a vacation destination.  


Guest Blog by Alicia Nauman


Three Reasons Why Disney Is The Perfect R&R Idea


Before R&R, home leave, or PCS travel, you often have a never ending to-do list that probably makes your head spin! You’ve seen the photos that your friends or family have posted of their kids at Disney and you want that for your kids too. But adding a family vacation that includes research, setting alarms for dining reservations, and understanding terms that may as well be a foreign language to that to-do list sounds daunting. Maybe you should just rent a house at the beach where you don’t have to plan anything or stay with the grandparents again. But what if I told you that a Disney vacation is actually the perfect R&R idea? And I can help make it happen!


1. Convenience


No car? No problem! There are multiple options to get you from the airport to your Disney hotel. And from there, Disney will take care of all of the transportation to get you to the parks and Disney Springs. No U.S. cell service? There is complimentary wifi all over Disney property. Use a MagicBand to charge all of your purchases right to your room. No need to worry about carrying American dollars. Disney will accept packages on your behalf and hold them until your arrival. Get digital access to all of your photos taken at Walt Disney World with their Memory Maker product. Download, share on social media, or make prints. Leave the fancy camera at home!


2. Extended Family


Disney is a great vacation destination for extended families. Meet the cousins or the grandparents or even some friends from previous posts and make memories. There are large villas if you all want to stay together or multiple standard rooms if you need some space. Or consider setting sail on a Disney Cruise! There are activities for every single member of the family. Everyone gets to have the vacation that they want and you can come together to eat dinner as a family each night. Your Disney Cruise Line wait staff will even cut up your kids’ food for you. Yes, even mom gets a vacation! Coming from a post in Asia? Meet your family halfway in Hawaii for some rest and relaxation at Disney’s Aulani.


3. Stress Free


If you have looked into planning a Disney vacation in the last few years, you are probably thinking, "Stress free? You have got to be kidding." Planning a Disney trip has gotten incredibly complicated and overwhelming with timelines to stay on top of, acronyms you don’t understand, and words like Lightning Lane, Genie+, Rope Drop, etc. Gone are the days where you can just show up without a plan. However, my entire job is to take the stress away from you and help you plan the most magical vacation. My clients show up to Disney with the reservations they need (and want), tons of tips to make the most of their trip, guides for each park, and a plan to avoid long lines and have more fun. The only thing you need to worry about is packing...although I even send tips for that too!


Are you ready to check “Plan that Disney vacation” off of your to-do list? Let’s create some memories for your family that your kids will go back to post talking about by scheduling a call  or requesting a quote today.

 

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Alicia's Bio


Alicia Nauman has been a travel advisor with Curated Travel Collection (formerly Ears of Experience) since 2016 and has planned trips for hundreds of Foreign Service families since then. Prior to Curated, she was an Elementary and Special Education Teacher turned Stay at Home Mom and spent many years traveling the

world as a military family. Multiple R&R trips included a trip to Disney! Her daughter's first Disney trip was in the womb and she has since been to almost every Disney Destination around the world! She is now an Orlando local and Annual Passholder and loves living in the middle of the magic!





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