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Travel plans

Depart: Eagle's Trace Destination: Anywhere

Created date

April 26th, 2010

[caption id="attachment_11712" align="alignright" width="280" caption="What s on the Flying Eagles itinerary for 2010? An Alaskan cruise, the Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan (this month!), and a four-night stay in New Orleans."] Ready for a vacation, but overwhelmed by the planning? Sure, the Internet can be a useful tool, but as travel websites and booking engines multiply, it can be hard to know where to look for the best deals and service. And with ever-changing airline policies and trip advisories, planning the perfect getaway can be an elusive task. One of the top travel trends to watch in 2010 is more traveler-centric programs, or those revolving around the entire life cycle of a reservation rather than just the purchase of travel. Trip Coordinator Tina Felps has been using the traveler-centric approach for the past several years with great success, providing services exclusively to residents of Eagle s Trace. Whether I am planning a day trip or a week-long vacation, I make all the arrangements, says Felps. Residents sign up for the trips they want to take, pack their bags, and are ready to go. Felps meets monthly with the resident-led Flying Eagles Travel Club to solicit their ideas for upcoming travel opportunities. I am always open to new suggestions, says Felps. There s something for everyone on the calendar. This month residents will be going to Michigan for the annual Holland Tulip Festival and a stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. 2010 offerings include an Alaskan cruise, a Mediterranean cruise, a four-night stay in New Orleans, and a winter getaway to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, N.Y.

Pack and go

Since moving toEagle s Tracefour years ago, Donna Schlitt has taken advantage of the travel opportunities offered by the community. One of my favorite vacations was a Caribbean cruise, says Schlitt. My sister lives in Florida, and she was able to join me for the trip. In addition to family members and friends of residents, priority list members people who have put down a refundable deposit to save their place in line for the apartment home of their choice are invited to participate. This is such a nice option to have, says Ann Green, a priority list member who currently lives a mile from the community and recently stopped by the travel department for more information. I like to travel with a group, and it s a benefit when you don t have to figure out everything on your own. Transportation, hotels, tickets, and baggage transfers Felps uses her extensive network of travel resources to coordinate it all. My job is to make sure things run smoothly, she says.

Above and beyond

And for the adventurous traveler, Felps keeps a few surprises up her sleeve. Once or twice a year, I advertise a mystery trip, says Felps. I tell residents how much walking is involved and what type of clothes to wear, but otherwise I keep the destination a secret. Last year, a group went on a mystery trip to Newman s Castle in Bellville, Tex. The bus drove around a bend in the road, and there was a castle with a moat and a drawbridge, says mystery tripper Joan Robins. It was amazing. I didn t know anything like that existed in Texas.