Monday, May 18, 2020

Travel Stories That Will Make You Smile

The travel industry has always been in the business of making people happy, and that's exactly what we want to do right now. Whether you're down because you couldn't take your birthday trip or you're worried that summer vacation may not be as you hoped, these travel stories of the past will bring a smile to your face and remind you that it's the small things and the people that make travel great.

Granny Gets Best 94th Birthday

In December 2019, Granny Miep turned 92, and in honor of her birthday, her grandson gave her a phenomenal gift: a chance to see her favorite plane, the Emirates A380, up close and personal. With the help of the Amsterdam Airport Schipol, Granny Miep was able to walk right up to the plane and see its beautiful details. Granny Miep's awe and wonder will have you smiling for days. Amsterdam Airport Schipol filmed the whole thing so you can watch her joy on Youtube.

Guy AirDrops Pics of His Dog on DC Metro

AirDrops by strangers on subways reek of a creepy ending, but not this one. The DC Metro has one selfless hero and his name is James Guess. He brightens the days of subway riders on the DC Metro by AirDropping pictures of his adorable adopted dog, Henry. Though you might not receive pictures of Henry while riding the DC Metro anytime soon, you can always follow the puppy's Instagram account.

One Man Inspired Virgin Atlantic to Upgrade 'Seasoned' Travelers

At the end of 2019, a passenger on a Virgin Atlantic flight named Jack gave his business class seat on a flight from New York to London to an 88-year-old woman named Violet in economy. The flight attendant on Jack's flight said, "No fuss, no attention, literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart, no one asked him to.”

The story of Jack and Violet inspired Virgin Atlantic to offer free upgrades to the "most seasoned person" on board all of their flights through January 1, 2020. Talk about inspiring more acts of kindness.

Bill Murray Crashes Guy's Bachelor Party in Charleston

In 2014, 20 guys from Boston College went to Charleston, South Carolina, to celebrate E.J. Rumpke's bachelor party. While at a steakhouse, someone from Rumpke's bachelor party spotted famed actor Bill Murray. They asked Murray to say hello to the bachelor party but he turned down the offer.

A little while later, Murray unexpectedly showed up to the bachelor party's dining room area to offer some advice to the groom. Our favorite bit is when Murray said, "Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport."

Mom, I’m Fine

Moms worry when their kids travel, but Jonathan QuiƱonez made sure to reassure his mom of his safety in a funny way. QuiƱonez began posting photos on his Instagram of himself traveling to places around the world and holding a sign that read, “Mom, I’m Fine.” He posed with the sign while riding ATVs in Saudia Arabia, celebrating Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, and hot air ballooning in Turkey.

Globetrotting Couple Splices Pictures When They're Apart

If you've ever stumbled across the Instagram account called "halfhalftravel," you may be confused why the couple's pictures appear spliced. Becca Siegel and Dan Gold met in 2015, but soon after, Gold received an opportunity to work remotely with his job at the time and travel the world a group of remote professionals for one entire year. Unable to be together on their travels, the couple posed strategically so they could splice their images together from different parts of the world in an effort to feel closer to one another. The result is quite beautiful.

Hotel Clerk's Kindness Pays Off in Huge Way

In the 1880s, a Philadelphia hotel clerk named George C. Boldt offered an elderly couple his own room after the couple walked into the hotel on a rainy evening when the property was fully booked. The couple accepted the clerk's offer, and the next morning, the elderly man told the clerk he should run the best hotel in the U.S. and "Maybe someday I’ll build one for you."

A few years later, Boldt received a letter and a ticket to NYC from the elderly man. Upon arriving in the Big Apple, Boldt met up with the man in front of a luxury hotel. The elderly man told Boldt he'd built him that hotel he promised, and he wanted Boldt to manage it. The hotel? The original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The elderly man was William Waldorf Astor. Boldt accepted his offer becoming the first manager of the property.

Aviation-Loving Couple Gets Married Halfway Between Their Home Countries

David, from Australia, and Kathy, from New Zealand, met online in 2011 playing the computer game "Airport City." Their first time meeting was two years later at the Sydney Airport. When the couple decided to get married, it only made sense for them to tie the knot between their two countries 37,000 feet in the air on Jetstar Airways Flight 201 on November 2019.

"Our love of aviation is what brought us together," Cathy said in a statement to the media. “It was the most amazing experience and something we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

Boy Who Used Savings to Help Hurricane Evacuees Gets Disney Trip

Six-year-old Jermaine Bell of Jacksonville had been saving up money for a year to take a trip to Disney World when Hurricane Dorian hit the U.S. and The Bahamas in 2019. Without hesitation, Bell used his savings to buy hundreds of hot dogs, chips, and bottled water to hand out to hurricane evacuees for free near his grandmother's home.

Thousands of people shared Bell's selfless act of kindness, and soon after, Disney found out. Mickey Mouse and friends surprised Bell at his 7th birthday and announced that Disney would be sending the family on a VIP vacation to Disney World.

Southwest Crew Gives Couple Baby Shower for Adopted Daughter

Dustin and Caren Moore had just picked up their adopted baby daughter in Colorado and were flying home on a Southwest flight to California to start their life as a family. Upon hearing about the couple's bundle of joy, the Southwest crew decided to throw an impromptu baby shower for the family. It started with a plane-wide announcement of a special guest, the Moore's baby daughter, which resulted in cheers and applause. This was followed by flight attendants passing out napkins and pens to passengers who shared encouraging words and new parent advice to the couple.

Some of the kind notes were read over the loudspeaker. They included: “Rub each other’s feet, and rub the baby’s feet" and “Always tell her you love her.”

Dream Vacations - The Operach Team is a travel agency based in Overland Park, Kansas. We take pride in working with clients across the country who love to travel. We build vacation experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.  Our team has specialties across a wide range of vacation options; custom Europe itineraries, Alaska, escorted tours, all-inclusive resorts, Disney, Caribbean, Hawaii, South Pacific, cruise holidays, and river cruises.   

We look forward to making your dream vacations come true!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Colorful Places to Brighten Your Day

Whether vivid flowers are there to make you swoon, brightly hued buildings pop with life, or the region's cuisine presents a feast for your eyes (and belly), destinations offer color in different forms. Taking in the world's spectrum of tones adds some extra oomph to the overall experience of a place. From faded autumn pigments to unexpected color in remote locations, there's always some color to uncover.

    Vernazza, Italy

Here's a collection of vibrant images showcasing destinations that are bright and colorful...because we need it.

Tuscany, Italy

Spring-time poppies in Tuscany deliver a dash of dazzling red.  To view this fetching display of color, head to the Tuscan hills between mid-April and mid-May (depending on the weather that year). The Val d'Orcia region is a solid spot to start your search, and make sure to pay the villages of San Quirico d'Orcia and Castiglione d'Orcia a visit for a quintessential stroll and authentic food and wine.

Portree, Scotland

Despite Scotland's moody skies and finicky weather, there's plenty of color to be had in the seaside village of Portree, perched on the edge of the Isle of Skye. The colorful town buildings skirting the harbor spread as much cheer as the authentic fish and chips from the local take-away shop, Harbour Fish + Chips. Just beware of the sassy seagulls, they are quite hungry and they will steal your food. No matter how cute and colorful the town is, stolen fish and chips are likely to leave you in a bad mood.

Paradise, New Zealand

Yes, it's really called Paradise, and boy is it a slice (of paradise). Spring on the South Island of New Zealand promises fields of these fantastic flowers for 4-5 weeks every year. Lupins in shades of pink, purple, blue and yellow dot the already postcard-perfect landscape. November and December are top months to see this beautiful display courtesy of Mother Nature and visitors should venture to the Mackenzie Basin region of the South Island for the best chance of viewing.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Red looks good on you, Arizona. The wavy walls of this slot canyon near Page, Arizona will have you in awe. It's possible to weave your way through this sandstone geological formation with the help of a Navajo guide. Visitors can book tours to explore either the Upper or Lower Antelope Canyons in order to experience the natural wonder in person. Yeah, you'll want your camera.

Lava Fields, Iceland

Craving some greens? Iceland's Eldhraun lava fields on the southern coast are here for you. The mossy looking landscape doesn't just provide a stark contrast to the temperamental skies, but the area has quite the backstory too. Created from one of the biggest volcano eruptions, Laki, in Iceland's history (late 1700s), the fields can be seen from the Ring Road before the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur when driving east.

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Temple of Literature in Hoi An, Vietnam is home to brightly decorated temple gates, intricate architecture and deep cultural history honoring Vietnam's top scholars. The complex is comprised of several courtyards, the Imperial Academy, landscaped gardens and bell tower, originally built in 1070 to pay homage to Confucius.

Burano, Italy

For smile-inducing vibrance, look no further than Burano, Italy, just a short ferry ride from Venice. This island in the Venetian Lagoon is filled to the brim with colorful houses along the picturesque canals. Lovely restaurants, squares and even a lace museum are highlights of this bright Italian spot.

Nuuk, Greenland

The capital city of Greenland is dotted with crayon-colored houses along the sea on the southwest coast. The city's tagline is "colourful Nuuk" so it must be true...and it is. Despite the visually appealing radiancy, the ancient traditions of Inuit culture mixed with modern influences, as well as the fact that you have a really solid chance of spotting humpback whales from the harbor during the summer months, make Nuuk a vividly rich destination.


Peru is known for its vibrant textiles, tassels and culture. City markets burst with color, weather artisan or culinary goods. Traditional weaving in the Andes mountains using naturally-dyed alpaca wool is an ancient technique that makes for bright items to bring home for souvenirs. Sweaters, scarves and blankets are just some of the beautifully crafted items bursting with color that you can purchase to support the artists creating them.

Dream Vacations - The Operach Team is a travel agency based in Overland Park, Kansas. We take pride in working with clients across the country who love to travel. We build vacation experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.  Our team has specialties across a wide range of vacation options; custom Europe itineraries, Alaska, escorted tours, all-inclusive resorts, Disney, Caribbean, Hawaii, South Pacific, cruise holidays, and river cruises.   

We look forward to making your dream vacations come true!! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

World's Most Romantic Destinations

Santorini, Greece

Watching the sunset over the brilliant blue Aegean Sea from your own private terrace in Santorini? Pure romance. The only thing that could top this postcard-worthy moment? Never having to leave.

Majorca, Spain

Hollywood’s elite have been spotted canoodling on Majorca, the largest of Spain's Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. With its unspoiled golden sand beaches and intimate boutique hotels, it's easy to see why this island inspires romance.

Bruges, Belgium

Legend has it that couples who cross the bridge over the "Lake of Love" in Minnewater Park (on the southern side of Bruges) will be together forever. That bridge is an ideal spot to begin wandering along the medieval port city’s cobblestone streets and crisscrossing canals. Once the province of merchant ships, the postcard-perfect waterways now welcome graceful swans and holidaymakers in small boats. Bruges is gorgeous at any time of year, but it’s especially enchanting when the summertime tourists have departed and the crisp air of fall and winter heightens its fairytale atmosphere.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

This Swiss resort town, famous for its "champagne climate," is ideal for cosmopolitan couples seeking an alpine adventure. Picture a day skiing amongst snow-capped peaks, followed by an equally heart-pounding evening snuggled up on a horse-drawn carriage ride along the frozen lake.

The Maldives

The most romantic archipelago on earth? The Maldives, of course. Pretend like you are in your own private paradise with a stay in one of the overwater bungalows strung along the crystal-clear turquoise sea. Bask on the private white-sand beaches, feeling like you and your S.O. are in a world of your own.

Kauai, Hawaii

Say aloha to romance on Kauai, Hawaii’s least-developed island. Kauai is a favorite for those who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy secluded, natural beaches. Get your heart pumping on a hike through the lush mountains or with a private dip in the waterfalls.

Florence, Italy

Nothing says romance like watching the sunset from Florence’s Piazzale Michelangelo. After a day ogling frescos in the numerous museums in Florence and sipping Chianti in outdoor cafes, you're guaranteed to feel a little amorous here in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Quebec City, Quebec

Dreaming of a cozy winter getaway? If you and your partner aren’t afraid of a little cold then head to Quebec City, a charming French-Canadian city full of snow-covered streets, romantic restaurants and plenty of fireplaces to cuddle up by.

Vienna, Austria

Raise a glass to your special someone in the wine-growing capital of the world, where over 1,700 acres of vineyards and 320 vintners create showstopping sips within the city limits. Its beautiful Baroque buildings also thrum with the classical music that has thrived there for centuries: Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss and Schubert all composed in the Austrian capital. To experience the best of the best, reserve seats at a Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performance, or plan to be in Schlosspark at the beginning of the summer, when its alfresco arrangements attract more than 100,000 music lovers.

Kyoto, Japan

Could you think of a more romantic boat ride than along Kyoto’s cherry blossom-lined Okazaki Canal during spring? The cherry blossoms are very symbolic in Japan — the Japanese believe the short blooming cycle of the blossoms is a metaphor for life, an annual reminder that time is precious. So plan this romantic trip of a lifetime with your partner now.

Paris, France

We’d be remiss if we left Paris off this list. From sidewalk cafes perfect for getting cozy to some of the world’s most passionate art, Paris is synonymous with romance.

Koh Tao, Thailand

This tiny island in Thailand, known for its world-class scuba diving, beckons couples looking for a romantic tropical getaway. Relax on the quiet beaches or learn how to scuba dive as a couple. Then in the evening, watch spectacular sunsets from lantern-lit restaurants that line the beach.

Prague, Czech Republic

Known as the “city of a hundred spires,” the Czech Republic’s capital is pure magic from its dazzling architecture and winding streets to one-of-a-kind gems like its fifteenth-century astronomical clock (be sure to visit the old town square to watch its spellbinding mechanical figures come to life on the hour). Prague is so in love with love that its official tourism site offers a special guide to experiences for couples — and each year on the first of May, locals celebrate romance by gathering to kiss in Petrin Park.


Locals in Bali are well aware of the Indonesian island’s status as one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations, and its spectacular resorts offer intimate accommodations of all kinds: visitors can enjoy otherworldly sunsets from the privacy of luxurious villas, stretch out for massages overlooking the sea and even request rooms in local restaurants that cater to just two guests at a time. The pristine beaches, in turn, are ideal for strolling all year long; unlike other tropical destinations, the weather on Bali’s shores is consistently, perfectly temperate.

Dream Vacations - The Operach Team is a travel agency based in Overland Park, Kansas. We take pride in working with clients across the country who love to travel. We build vacation experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.  Our team has specialties across a wide range of vacation options; custom Europe itineraries, Alaska, escorted tours, all-inclusive resorts, Disney, Caribbean, Hawaii, South Pacific, cruise holidays, and river cruises.   

We look forward to making your dream vacations come true!! 

Content Courtesy of The Travel Channel