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Affiliate Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products recommended and reviewed by the companies who produce them and our affiliates. All of the products are tested thoroughly and high grades are received only by the best ones. We are independent bloggers and the recommendations and reviews are based on our own opinions.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Healthy and Meaningful Travel is Special!

LTD reminds you that healthy and meaningful travel is rewarding to you and others!


LTD is at the Golden Gate Frogman Swim 2018 and our TEAM GRATITUDE is swimming in honor of Matt Axelson who was immortalized in the movie Lone Survivor.



The Navy SEAL Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and its families.  It is recognized by Charity Navigator as a 4-star charity since 2011 and is in the top 0.7% of all charities in the U.S.

Find out more at:  https://www.navysealfoundation.org

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

LuxuryTravelDocs' Five-Part Series about the Benefits of Traveling with your Children! Part I: Happiness

Sometimes the prospect of traveling with our children can be worrisome. 


All of us have heard the phrase, "You don't take vacations with kids, you take trips." When traveling with children, rest and relaxation may be in short supply during your travels and even before you leave, an immense amount of time may be devoted to packing and planning. All of your family's routines will change including your children's and yours. These concerns are valid, but maybe traveling with our children can be more important for you children than you realize.  LTD presents a 5-part series on the benefits of traveling with our children and some of the science behind why you should make traveling with your children a priority.  Here are the five things that your child may gain from family travel that we will highlight for you:

  1. happiness
  2. brain development
  3. education
  4. health
  5. time


First, LTD wants to address something that we have asked you many times in this blog:  "Would you rather have stuff or experiences?"  Some may answer, material goods because those last long after the experience.  But is that really true?  In fact, the excitement over material goods fades over time and become part of our new normal.  However, experiences become part of our identity and that is the case for children as well.  Taking a vacation or simply having an meaningful experience with our children can lead to life shaping happiness and improve our social interactions.


Part I:  Happiness


According to experts, family vacations are the gift that keeps on giving.



Thinking about buying your child a new toy for his/her birthday?  You have saved your money to buy this, but then you think twice...suddenly you realize we are inundated with advertising about what we need. Maybe you should change your thinking!  There is science to show that your children will likely realize increased happiness from experiences.



Credit Pexels

Play a game indoor or outdoor while you are away!




Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University has made four studies on the subject  of happiness over decades and came to the conclusion that happiness is derived from experiences, not things.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

A 2012 study by Gilovich described how people tend to have more regrets over inaction for experiences than for possessions.  He says, "Our memories are what make us who we are. If we make purchases that contribute to our sense of self—that is, if we pursue experiences over material goods—there are likely to be more memories, more of us, to cherish and embrace."


One study conducted by Gilovich even showed that if people have an experience they say negatively impacted their happiness, once they have the chance to talk about it, their assessment of that experience goes up. Gilovich attributes this to the fact that something that might have been stressful or scary in the past can become a funny story to tell at a party or be looked back on as an invaluable character-building experience.

Vacations with your children are a good choice when you think of the benefits, however, frequent vacations may not be possible with every family because of work, finances, etc.  But “On the other hand, family holidays are definitely valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterwards in their memory. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense,” says British Psychologist Oliver James.  He believes that children remember and value much of what occurs in their first 5 years of life, and unfortunately many parents do not wish to travel with children this young because quite honestly, it is hard!

Next time you contemplate buying your child a new toy rather than taking them on a travel or staycation adventure, or decide that taking a family vacation with your young ones will be too much work, think of the science behind brain development and how a vacation can make them happier, form lifetime memories and smarter.

Next time:  Family vacations can make our children smarter too!  Not just because of the education that can be provided on an adventure, but because vacations can enhance brain development!


Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional.  The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review of Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan Italy. Let Your Accommodations Be Part of the Travel Experience!

LTD's Review of Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan Italy.  


When you think of a five star property, what comes to mind?  Comfort? Pampering?  Food? Luxurious rooms?  Fine dining? Spa? Views?  The Hotel Principe di Savoia has all of this and more. 


Hotel Principe di Savoia, or simply referred to as "The Principe", is a five-star hotel in Milan. The hotel has long become one of Milan's Landmarks. Founded by the name of "Principe e Savoia" in 1927, a time when Milan had already established its position as financial center of the country, it soon became a home for businessmen. Over time, celebrities and royalty chose The Principe for their Italian stays: Edward VIII, Aristotle Onassis, Evita Peron, Maria Callas; and more recently, Madonna, David Beckham and George Clooney, just to name a few.  


The Principe is a quiet oasis in the second largest city in Italy.  LTD always recommends a luxury hotel in a large city.  After a long day of touring a relaxing comfortable environment is the best way to recharge.  



RX Tip:


LTD uses American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program frequently.  This is a great way to get a luxury hotel at a great price with extra amenities.  The best prices on FHR are found with early booking.  The reservations can be canceled if you find a better option.  In this case LTD booked the reservation for the principe 6 months before.  The rate was excellent and breakfast daily, room upgrade and $100 food credit were included.


1. Service Service Service


One aspect of this hotel that sets it apart from many five star locations where LTD has stayed is  service that anticipates your needs.  While at most locations, service may be provided, isn’t it nice when an employee has things ready without you having to ask?  That is really something special when you experience it.  Examples: When shown to our room, the clerk asked if he could send a housekeeper to make the bed into a king when he saw we were a couple.  Of course!  A doorman is handing you water on a hot day before you make it to the door. Thank you! A doorman is handing you an umbrella as you exit on a cloudy day.  Thank you!  A sunny day on the roof and an attendant asks if you need an awning lowered.  Certainly!  Even checking out was a pleasure with car service ready to take us to the airport.  LTD prearranged car service via email before arrival.  Our bags were in the car before we completed checking out.  A nice touch is the gift of a tin of mints from the desk attendant.  Perfect for the long international flight


2. Ask for the Mosaic Suite and you will immediately be drawn into looking at the bathroom


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review of Penz Hotel Innsbruck Austria and Restaurant Recommendations Nearby

Review of Penz Hotel Innsbruck Austria and Restaurant Recommendations Nearby


The main reasons LTD chose the Hotel Penz in Innsbruck, Austria was the centralized location near the Old Town, but also because it had Air Conditioning!  It is rare to find a hotel in Europe with air conditioning, but beware of European regulation on power allotments for a/c. Whereas many Americans would probably never consider living or working in buildings without air conditioning, many Europeans think that life without climate control is far superior.  In general, European air conditioning just doesn't chill to the deep-freeze level of most US air conditioners.  This may be due to the functioning of the air conditioner, local or country regulations on electricity usage, seasonal operation of a/c (some hotels don't even have the a/c unit activated until July 1 for example!), just to name a few.  There is no real solution to this problem.  LTD has stayed a many 5-star hotels in Europe and if there is a heat wave, be prepared to have the temperature in the room 75-80 degrees no matter where you set the room temperature.

RxTip: 


If you prefer a cold room to sleep, which LTD highly recommends for jet lag, ask for a fan immediately upon arrival to your hotel.



Needless to say, we arrived in Innsbruck during an early June heat wave, and the a/c did not work to our standards, despite many requests at the front desk.

However, the Hotel Penz has many other features that make it an excellent option for you trip to Innsbruck.  



1. Excellent location which is central in Innsbruck and near everything


This hotel is located near the Old Town of Innsbruck which is a must-see vibrant area of town including many locals and tourists alike.  Most sites in Innsbruck are in walking distance.  Innsbruck is an easy city to navigate walking and for avid walkers, it will not disappoint.  For example you can walk or hike up to beautiful vistas of this city in the valley, or walk to the Olympic ski jump for great exercise.  



2.  Breakfast Buffet is Excellent


Monday, July 2, 2018

Milan Has MUCH More to Offer than Just Fashion and Business

What is the first thing YOU think of when someone says Milan, Italy?

You probably answered FASHION.  That is no surprise because Milan Fashion week is one of the most prestigious, highly attended and influential weeks of the year for the fashion industry to show off its collections in a city that has become the fashion capital of the world.

Maybe you answered BUSINESS.  Milan is also Italy’s main industrial and financial center, where Italy’s Stock Exchange is located. 

But Milan is a city with a rich history of art, architecture and culture.  Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci spent more years of his life in Milan than any other city?  LTD bets you didn't.  During his time in Milan, he produced many masterpieces, including the Vitruvian Man, Last Supper, and Lady with an Ermine just to name a few.  His patron was  Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.


1.  Milan Art Masterpieces