Because You Follow


Besides itinerary planning, there are a few other reasons why I started this travel website and blog.  One of the main reasons why I continue to share from week to week is because YOU follow.  Last week I reached 1000+ followers and I want to thank all of you for that.  When I achieved the millennial status, it gave me fresh wind beneath my wings.  This milestone is significant and exciting to me.  It’s exhilarating to know that everyone of you are interested in reading what I have to say.  Of course, I do not take it lightly, and am truly humbled by the fact that my community is growing.  Like brushing my teeth, combing my hair and dressing for work, I take pride in what I want to share with you, am careful to be positive and encouraging (at least I hope I am), and being honest and genuine in sharing my views.  You are the reason for my continued presence online and I hope to always deliver on promises, experiences, thoughts, tips and relevant travel related information.

Community Peeps and readers, you have stuck with me, offered your comments, clicked liked, shared on your social media pages and followed.  You didn’t have to do any of this, and so, your interaction with me via this portal is greatly appreciated.  Obviously, I cannot thank you enough, and it is at times such as these when words fail me.  Suffice it then to know that it is all because of you why this website and blog continues to exists.  I hope that you will always enjoy reading, be impressed to like, boldly comment on subject matter, and willingly share on your social media pages too.

I am grateful and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Travel Itineraries Celebrates 1st Year


1st Blog AnniversaryIt is amazing how time flies when you are having fun.  A year ago, this month, Travel Itineraries (TI) was created.   Made to talk about travel-related matters with a special emphasis on itinerary planning, TI took shape.  What started out as a fledgling website, supported by thoughtful planning re: leisure travel, budget information, and how-to methods to get the most bang for your buck in your travel experience, TI has morphed into a productive website where clients trust their bespoke itineraries will meet their specific needs.

In addition to the website’s pages, blogging too has become a fun byproduct and my creative favorite action, only if to share experiences, opinions, advice or industry information, and generally to express my point of view.  TI’s presence has gained a following who help to make the website a viable entity.  Without you, it would be less engaging.

Throughout the year of ups and downs, of navigating a steep learning curve on website creation and management, and of making decisions that one way or the other affected the advancement of the site, have brought me to terms on how to best manage the blog-website that works for my community peeps and me.

Here are some things I have learned in the past 12 months of online activity:

  • Write what inspires me.  To thine own-self be true.
  • The only person affected by a missed deadline is me.  Likes and comments will come anyway.
  • Publish once a week but reserve the right to occasionally increase postings if there is pressing information to share.
  • Do not overwhelm my followers with too many postings.
  • Knowledge is power, share it.
  • Own the website, don’t let the website own me.
  • “Like” the work of my competitors, it does not detract from my business’s vision.
  • A positive write-up goes a long way and is better than a negative comment.
  • Be empathetic and generous with my “likes” and “comments.”
  • Fun and enjoyment must be active ingredients in bringing each post to you.

Folks, it has been a wonderful year operating in blogosphere.  Thank you for your interest, and direct support in the forms of your likes, comments and follow.  Everyone is appreciated.  While there is every intention of growing the business and taking the blog-website to the next level, still it would be wonderful to hear directly from you whether a second year is justified and how TI can do it better.

Please express your comments and recommendations for TI in the box below.  As usual, I encourage you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support, and share on your social media sites.  It has been great.  Happy first anniversary Travel Itineraries.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

Bimshire for Spring


I like spring.  It is not my favorite season, summer is.  Nonetheless, I like springtime if only for the simple reason that after being cooped up indoors for most of winter I can now spring into action and enjoy more of the outdoors.  I can shed the heavy dull colors of winter for something lighter, brighter and cheerier.  The last vestiges of winter linger in the chilly air and the occasional snow flurry, but old man winter must eventually give in to higher temperatures as the mercury rises and as the sun’s rays get stronger every day.

Spring_Frosythia2

Spring – Forsythia (Traveltinerary)

I need sunshine.  It is a part of my DNA.  I love temperatures in the high 70s and 80s.  Whenever I see the blooming forsythia plant it tells me that spring is here and warmer weather too.  The yellow petals seem to appear overnight.  Whenever I feel down and out, the perennial’s rich vibrant color helps to cheer me up the same way the sun’s rays does in its mellow yellow radiance.  The first sightings of the bush against the sparsely foliage landscape, bright and bold, is like the sun shining through patches of cloudy skies.  Aah, I know.  A pampered vacation in the tropics is what I really need to scatter remnant winter blues.  This spiel about sunshine and individual care, segues succinctly to a destination where customer care is second nature.

Recently, Barbados, my homeland, was awarded the distinction of being the number one destination for tourist gratification.  A survey of 70,000 travelers rated the tiny island paradise best in customer service in the world.  Headlines like “Barbados Tops Charts with “Rihanna Effect,” Plans Bigger 2018”“Barbados Named World’s Top Travel Spot for Customer Satisfaction”, and “The Most Satisfying destination in the World” speaks of what draws these tourists to the shores of ‘Bimshire’ repeatedly.  While celebrity attractions and exquisite establishments may have bearings in contributing to such a prestigious honor, I believe it is more than just branding and smart marketing strategies.  It is its people.

“Friend to all, satellite of none.” – Sir Errol Walton Barrow

Over the years, many slogans and advertisements have gone into wooing visitors to Barbados.  However, in my opinion, if I had to speak for every Barbadian, it would be to say, “Bajans embody tourism as part of their culture.”  Years ago, one of the many successful slogans – “Tourism is our business” served a dual purpose: 1. attracting vacationers; 2. teaching nationals the art of keen customer service skills.  That slogan resonated with every Bajan across all walks of life back then.  To me, it is one of the most impactful slogans to have served the country’s tourist industry.

Growing up as a kid on the rock, I recall we were taught to be proud ambassadors, and how to handle foreigners to our island.  Exceptional service was made the number one priority which now pays sweet returns.  We knew we had no major economic wealth or competitive edge in the natural resources department.  All we have are our people.

“We loyal sons and daughters all

Do hereby make it known

These fields and hills beyond recall

Are now our very own

We write our names on history’s page

With expectations great

Strict guardians of our heritage

Firm craftsmen of our fate”

– Irvine Burgie (Chorus to Barbados National Anthem)

Today, I am excited at seeing forsythias which tells me warmer days are ahead.  I get even more excited recommending destinations where, besides the sand, sea and sun, apropos customer service gives holidaymakers the pleasure they seek and an enjoyable breather from a long harsh winter.  Is Barbados on your bucket list?  If not, it would be worth your while to add it now.  If international travel is not possible currently, contemplate road-tripping to where heats are already above 60 degrees.  If that is still not a possibility, don’t despair, you will not have too long to wait for higher temps and to enjoy all that is in your own backyard.  Wherever you choose to travel, be sure to enjoy springtime before it becomes a thing of the past.

Blog community, do your travel plans include a warm destination?  I can help you plan a bespoke itinerary for the tropics.  Select follow, click like and comment in the box below.  It means so much to me to read your thoughts and suggestions.  You may also follow me on Twitter @traveltinerary, LinkedIn, Google+, or share my post on any of your social media platforms.  It’s been real the whole time 😊.  Thanks for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

Two Thousand Thanks


When I launched Travel Itineraries blog-website eight months ago, I had no idea, experience, or understanding of what it would take to maintain it.  It is like a child that needs constant attention, love and care.  Good thing I know the adage that says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”  That’s where my followers come in.  Their interest, attention, comments and likes have engendered the growth of the site into the viable entity it is today.

200 followers are not a large number, the actual number as of today is 226, but it is not a meager stat by any means.  In fact, my 200+ followers are the bedrock of the site and just the community I need to ensure that TI‘s growth continues progressively.  They are the crucial link to the site’s existence.  They are the ones who got in on the ground level and are helping to shape the dynamics of what TI is all about and the contributions she makes.  So, followers, this is all about you.

 

TI Award

Travel Itineraries landed on the world’s stage with a bang in July 2017.  She received 177 views in one day mainly from USA, Canada and Barbados.  Friends oohed, ahhed and said how beautiful she was.  Some sent messages to their social media communities echoing her existence.  Over time, she has gained global interest and to date 83 countries are included in her fan base.  She has grown to a level where she receives adoring fans on a weekly basis.  Every newborn needs support.  Lots of it.  My brainchild is no different.  She demands attention and constant care, which at times can be all-consuming, but those are just aspects of her nature.  Despite her demanding attributes and challenges, she also brings incredible joy and happiness to my daily life.

I want to thank my community peeps from the depths of my heart for their support, comments and likes from inception to now. WordPress Happy Engineers for their patience and wealth of knowledge.  Family and friends who continue to encourage and care for TI by occasionally checking in on her and giving their suggestions for her progress.

Two thousand thanks are more apropos of my heartfelt appreciation for the time you take to read the blogs, peruse the website pages, purchase a travel itinerary, view videos and photo gallery and the like.  Your time and interest in Travel Itineraries’ growth, content and contribution are valuable to me.

As always, fellow bloggers on the WordPress, LinkedIn, Google+ platforms, please drop a note in the comment box, follow or like to let me know your solidarity.  I look forward to hearing from you.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

 

 

 

Stats a Big Deal


I reached 100+ followers!  Stats a big deal.

Talking about my accomplishments is something I have never felt comfortable doing, even when I had to recite all that I did or did not achieve for my annual job review.  On one hand I understand the premise being, there is no one more capable of highlighting my successes better than me.  Also on the other hand, to talk of how well one may have done is a lot like blowing one’s own trumpet.  Is this a dilemma or what?  Look, there are no plans afoot to solve this conundrum.  The two main reasons for posting my stats are to encourage first-time bloggers to keep going, and to give thanks to my followers for their endorsement.

Travel Itinerary blog and website was created for the sole purpose to offer travel assistance in itinerary planning, talk of travel experiences, spur travel interest with informative tips, and relay timely travel news.  In 2017 TI started and 21 posts later the website has achieved, wait for it (drum roll please), the following:

WP Awards2WP Awards3WP Awards4

Views  =  2,517 (highest views in one day = 177)

Visitors  =  867

Countries that visited website  =  64

Most likes  =  275 (most recorded in one day = 13)

Comments  =  84

These statistics are small potatoes when compared to other blog sites and given the fact that I do not use FB or tweet, tweet for added leverage.  To beginner bloggers who will read this post, here are a few tips for you.  If blogging is your passion as this is mine, then keep on writing.  Check your stats daily because the data gives you a benchmark to improve on.  Stats are important and give you some validation.  They tell you who your audience is, what peaks their interest and where they come from.  All in all, remember even though you want to increase your numbers it is not a race.  Greatness takes time.  If you build it they will come and the sky is the limit are clichés that express perfectly what I truly believe in order to raise the bar.

I thank God for all the progress made on this site.  All I can say to my followers, friends, well-wishers and supporters who encourage me – my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.  Without your interest I would still be at square one.  You have been great.

Now you know what to do.  Comment in the box below, click follow, like, thumbs up or send me an email.  I look forward to hearing from you.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

 

 

 

 

First Blog Award


Hooray, hooray, hooray!  I received a nomination for my first blog award.

Since entering blogosphere, I realized blog awards are quite common and are given by other bloggers who enjoy reading your blog and are willing to recommend it to their blog community and viewership.  This indeed is an awesome validation.  Ospreyshire nominated me for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award and I cannot be more humble and thankful for the honor.

Naturally, I should explain how the award nomination process works.  Here are the rules:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
2) Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
3) Share 7 things about yourself
4) Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
5) Include this set of rules
6) Inform your nominees

Let’s get started on the things I want you to know about me.

I love to travel.  Exploring foreign lands, sampling exotic foods, meeting interesting and indigenous people, and experiencing different cultures are some of the reasons travel is important to me.  There are many facets to making the travel experience perfect.  The biggest reasons most people cite for not traveling are affordability and time.  Well, I have found ways to make travel affordable, not only for me, but for others too.  Timing is totally up to the traveler.  My goal is to seek out and enjoy the beauty that still exists and share my experiences as well as my expertise with others, after all, the world is my oyster.

Planner and Organizer.  These are two of the most important tools I use in prepping for a travel itinerary.  I love to research destinations, read current news of the travel industry, follow travel forums, listen to the opinions of work colleagues, friends and family members who travel often.  The process of gathering information relative to the travel industry is never-ending but interesting, nevertheless.  Social events, parties, weddings, cruises, you name it and I have a plan for it.  Local events that I have planned and organized include: community health fairs, women’s ministries retreats, weddings, tea parties, showers (baby and wedding), Thanksgiving community dinners and church outings just to name a few.

Wild Flower by Skylark is my favorite song.  I am probably dating myself here but if you hear or know this song you will know why I like it and you might like it too.

Hiking or going for an early morning walk is therapeutic for me, if not only for the exercise, it is one of the ways I relax.  Whenever I go for long walks I am more impressed with the discoveries I find in nature.  Even listening to the thump of my own heartbeat during a strenuous climb can be exhilarating.  As I hike trails or walk the streets of my community, the further I go the more I use the alone time to meditate and pray.  Typically, on these kinds of walks I can get much inspiration for my blog.

I tell stories via my scrapbook hobby.  This is a great way to recount my travel adventures.  A picture does tell a thousand words and says it best of all.

Reading has always been a love of mine from a child.  Pouring over books, magazines, and anything I could put my hands on to read.  The best and only book that I never tire of reading is the Bible – the Holy Word of God.  It holds wisdom and instructions concerning practical, right living.  It forms part of my daily devotion.  It is the source of strength, inspiration, wisdom and the joy of my life.

I used to be a closet Trekkie.  Yes, I loved the TV series – Star Trek.  Actually, I find sci-fi films fascinating.  Don’t ask me why.  Maybe they appeal to my wanderlust nature to explore the unknown and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Nuff said.

There are many sites I find interesting along with travel.  However, rule number four limits me from listing all of them.  Therefore, here are my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award:

Alaska Or Bust

Natalie Wera

Creativity Boost

Curlygirlabroad

Travel is Rewarding

Annie Johnson

A Beautiful Distance

Absoluteari

Java and Junkett

Notes by Laura

Living and Writing in Mexico

lifeisacelebration

There is no pressure to take part in this nomination, but I sincerely hope that all my nominees do.  Recommending blogs I follow and/or like certainly have been my favorite to-do on the list of award rules mentioned above.  Let me know in the comment section below your thoughts on blog awards and what they mean to you.

Don’t forget to select follow, like, thumbs-up or comment whenever you can.  Many thanks to my followers, viewership and overall supporters for reading this post.

More times.

Itinerary Planner