Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Simple Beautiful Vacation

One of my favorite movies was Jim Carey's The Truman Show.  I thought it was such a cute and touching movie.  The life lived in that movie was very simple, quiet and relaxed.  Something that is on the other end of the spectrum from my current life.  Because that life depicted in The Truman Show was so different from my every day life, I was extremely excited to visit Seaside, FL (not too far from Destin, FL) where the movie was shot.

Normally when I vacation, I am in a popular hotel or resort.  This trip, I decided to try something different and I was pleasantly surprised with white picket fences, a town square, bicycle rentals and ice cream shops.  I not only stepped out of Nashville, TN, but I seemed to have also stepped out the year 2012.

I found myself thinking that I could live in this three-story, five-bedroom home, called See Ya, with an elevator and an incredible view of the ocean, huge gourmet kitchen and several outdoor sitting areas that is perfect for my morning cup of White Chocolate Mocha Espresso from Amavida Coffee.

The house was clean, nicely decorated and perfectly positioned for me to walk every where I needed to go during my stay.  I ate at The Shrimp Shack where they had awesome seafood and they made me feel at home with a picture of the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders on their wall.  Go Titans! 
I shopped at Modica Market where they had everything that you need for your stay in Seaside and not to mention the best desserts!  I dinned at The Great Southern Cafe where they claim to have the best Mojitos ever and I have to agree with them.  But what brought me to my knees with pleasure was their cheesecake with an awesome pecan sauce sitting atop of it.  It was worth the entire trip.                                                              
I travel many places and stay at many hotels all over the world and there are not many places that I am not ready to go home.  Seaside took me to a time where things were simple and beautiful.  From the atmosphere and decor inside the house to the atmosphere and spirit of the town, I took nothing for granted.  Everyone can find peace in this town--from couples, to family reunions, multi-generational groups and business groups, there is something for everyone.

I have a strange love for hotel rooms, but my three-night stay in the See Ya cottage rental definitely changed my mind about hotel stays vs. villa/vacation home rentals.  I am certain that I will be back to visit the simple, beautiful life and can't wait to bring others with me to experience it.

I visited more than one home in Seaside like Beau Soliel, Love Me Tender/True, and many others.  For more information and help selecting the right home, email me for more details on Seaside and other vacations at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ball Out of Control, Around the World, On a Budget!

What if I told you that there is a way to ball out of control, around the world and do it with an affordable pay schedule that fits your budget?  Would you start traveling to the places that are on your wish list? 

If you answered, "Yes!" then pull out your list, pick your first destination and give me a call today! 

What prompted me to tell you how to "ball on a budget" was today, I realized that I only owe $169 more dollars on my 6 Day Western Caribbean Cruise in May 2012.  As I do every payday, I put $50 towards my upcoming cruise--well almost every payday.  That is when I realized that I have been paying on this cruise since last year and now I am down to $169!

Just like many of the big retailers in the world has layaway plans for things you wish to buy, so does the travel industry.  Paying on your vacation like a layaway allows you to travel where you want and pay over time.  For example, if you wanted to take a cruise, a year from now, a small deposit can hold your cruise, today, and the balance can be paid in monthly installments throughout the year, with your balance due by a specified date, provided by the cruise line.  The same system will apply for all-inclusive resorts and many other vacations packages.

My travel agency, Erica James Travel, has provided this option for many of our clients and groups.  Sometimes it is hard to drop large sums of money on a vacation, at one time.  Booking your travel through a travel agent is the best way to finance a vacation and develop a payment plan that fits your budget.  When booking directly, on most travel websites, full payments are required at time of booking.  A travel agent can help you establish and set up payment plans.

Alaska 2011
 I go on several trips a year and my friends often say, "How are you able to travel to so many places every year?"  I have my wish list and I put it in order of importance and then I plan ahead!  I arrange my budget where I can set aside $50 per payday and I apply it to travel.  Once I have decided on a vacation destination, I put a deposit down and I begin my bi-weekly payments until my vacation is paid in full.

And that, my friends, is how I ball out of control, around the world, on a budget!