Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Texas Ya'll!

whatever you love, it lives in texas

I am all about Texas right now!  The Lonestar state is a FANTASTIC choice for your summer vacation because whatever you love, it lives in Texas!  

Its funny how synchronistic the universe is, one of my friends mentioned visiting Texas this summer, and then Texas starting appearing all around me.  A sign from the universe that I need to plan a trip maybe???

Since I have never been to the state before I thought I would share my research with my fellow readers.  I started out by Googling the most popular attractions in the state, and then searched to see if any of them were in the cities I wanted to see.  But then I realized that the state is broken into seven regions and it made me think, "how am I going to visit all of these in one trip and which region do I want to visit???"
The seven regions are:
Panhandle Plains
Prairie and Lakes
Hill Country 
Piney Woods
Gulf Coast
South Texas Plains
Big Bend Country 
Whatever you love, it lives in Texas
Houston is located in the Gulf Coast region, Austin is in Hill Country, Dallas sits in the Prairie and Lakes region, and San Antonio is found in the South Texas Plains.  
The Panhandle plains have something for everyone!  Hike through the different canyons, drive along Route 66 through Amarillo, or shop at the more than 30 vintage antique stores along the way.  
Piney Woods will delight any golfer out there, and if you play golf more than likely you have heard of this region.  
Big Bend region is what I am all about!  Saddle up, and head out for a once in a lifetime horse back ride and then finish up your day at the McDonald Observatory to stare at the stars.  Whatever you love, it lives in Texas! 
Hill Country is home to the city of Austin which has quickly become a known name among millennials.  So known, that you are bound to find a new favorite restaurant, shop, and/or bar that is trendy, urban, and hip.  If you rather skip the city life or just dabble in it then check out these 16 amazing outdoor activities in Hill Country! 
Prairie Lakes the shopping possibilities are endless in Dallas, which is proud to be the home of the original Neiman Marcus store and enough other upscale and hometown shops to have you browsing from dawn till dusk and beyond. The new Perot Museum of Nature and Science makes a fun day trip for everybody—kids and parents alike.
Gulf Coast region....I feel that it needs no explanation.  Just imagine beautiful coast line sprinkled with palm trees, amazing seafood, and a perfect ocean breeze.  I would park my butt right on the beach and not leave! Not only that, but Houston is just a short drive away so when beach life gets to slow for you just head to the major metropolis for a dose of city life.  
South Texas Plains just needs one word....San Antonio.  This is a must see for me because I have always wanted to experience true tex-mex culture, basically I want to eat some delicious food and shop.  Also, this is where you will find the Alamo which represents true American history that would be great for the kiddos to see first hand.  

Most vacations are focused around one thing - a beach, a big canyon, a few skyscrappers - you get the idea.  But when you visit San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, you'll find a little bit of everything: roller coasters, 300 year old missions, lavish resorts, scenic wineries, and the largest outlet mall in the nation, not to mention a whole lot of things ordinary vacations wish they had. source 
In order to see everything in a one week vacation I recommend flying into Austin because it is centrally located to all the regions, renting a car, then working my way left after hanging in Austin a couple of days.  To end your trip, fly out of San Antonio because it is in the South Texas Region - meaning there is no need to back track to Austin because there are major airports in the majority of the regions.  
My road trip would look something like this:
Hill Country > Big Bend Country > Panhandle Plains > Prairie Lakes > Gulf Coast > South Texas
To help you plain your vacation contact a travel consultant with United Military Travel.  They can go over with you how to fly in and out of different airports, work with car rental agencies, and even book all your hotels for you along you chosen route!  Don't let the fear of planning your vacation stop you from actually vacationing, United Military Travel can help!  Apply here for you easy travel loan and head to Texas.......or anywhere else in the world!
Whatever you love, it lives in Texas

#travelnowpaylater #militarytravelloans #texas #unitedmilitarytravel 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Plan your travels through Instagram and Pinterest!

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Social media and travel have become synonymous with each other these days.  Sure, some people still like to buy a Lonely Planet book, but for the most part, travelers are turing to the internet to plan their vacations and get inspiration.  

My two favorite social media travel planning tools are Pinterest and Instagram, both provide excellent visual inspirations, specific details of the location, and are mobile friendly.  They also are user friendly for all age groups, so even if you are not "high tech" as my dad says, you can navigate destinations easily by simply using their search bars.  Each day when I post to our United Military Travel Instagram and Pinterest accounts, I find myself getting lost in all the photos from around the world...wanderlusting if you will.  If you are se arching for exotic destinations that are far from mainstream travel, you will find them too.  

Both are loaded with personal photos from people who travel the world for a living and seasonal travelers looking to inspire others to do the same.  

What I love about Instagram is that you can search photos four different ways: top tags, people, tags, and places.  

 If you are not familiar with tags aka hash tags, they are how you categorize your photos to make them easily searchable to other users.  For instance, if your photo is of a cruise ship in the Caribbean, you would add #cruiseship #caribbean making your photo show up in the search results of those two tags. Use tags to your advantage when planning your travel. 
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See here how I added the tags that specifically describe the photo? That is how you can search my photo and also make your photos easily searchable to other users. 
 Top tags are all the tags you have used in your photos which allows you to find others who have been the same places as you or have similar interests.  
When you search via people you can find photos that your friends have shared, then you can follow them for their posts to show up in your daily feed. 
 If you search by tag that means simply you search whatever you are interested in and if someone added a tag of that in their photo it will show up.  Instagram also lists how many posts are under each tag, making it super easy for you to choose which tag to follow....a great time saver! 
Or simply search by places.  I feel that you get the same results by searching via tags and places so try it out by playing around with all the places you want to visit.  
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This is a screen shot of how you can search via Instagram via tags
New user hint: you HAVE to set up your Instagram account via smart phone.  Once that is done, then you can access it from your computer.  
Now that you can learned how to navigate Instagram, start searching for the destinations you wish to visit and take notes on your favorite hotels, beaches, restaurants, and adventures! 

Pinterest is fantastic because it lets you create boards of all your favorites, meaning when you find something you like you put it in its own special places, and it stay put making it easy for you to plan your travel.  Instagram does not let you do that.  Pinterest also lets you share your travels by letting you create boards for you to pin your personal photos in...what I would call a virtual photo album.  Another difference between Instagram and Pinterest is that Pinterest provides a lot of "how to" and "top reason" guides on destinations rather than just photos.  It lets you learn and dive deeper into the destinations, kinda like an online guide book with hundreds of authors!  
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This is United Military Travel's page showing the different boards we created. Inside each board are specific pins that coordinate with the name of the board. This makes it easy to add new pins of relevance and also to find your favorites again.
The way I like to plan my vacations through Pinterest is by creating a board entitled "2015 Vacation Ideas" then adding pins categorized by destinations, hotels, rare travel ideas, etc.  Or you could break each board into specific details such as the actual destination, hotel, and travel guides.  However you plan your travel, you will get fantastic ideas and inspiration from Pinterest!  

United Military Travel
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Travel Loans to Barbados

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Located just outside of the Caribbean's hurricane belt, this 21 mile long, Lesser Antilles island is a fantastic choice for your summer vacation.  Spend a day on a white sandy beach, try some flying fish or snorkel from your SUP board. Enjoy a rum punch...or several while you trade your hectic life for slow island life!  

The Bajan people really have mastered the art of living, so let them teach you how to truly live.

Best time to visit Barbados

The best time to visit Barbados is July to November.  Temperatures stay between the mid 70s and mid 80s year-round, so there's really very little reason to travel during the peak season from December to April.  You will save money and enjoy less crowded beaches!  
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Easy Access

New Delta Non-Stop Service

Barbados and Delta Airlines announces a new nonstop service this winter. Travelers from the Eastern and Central regions of the U.S. now have a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island, with nonstop flights beginning on December 4, 2014, twice weekly between Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown and both New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where connections to cities across the United States are available. Flights will operate twice weekly Thursdays and Saturdays from both gateways. source 
United Military Travel can find you the best deal on airfare AND book your car rental and hotel all in one phone call.  We make booking your vacation almost easier than being on vacation!  
Barbados is a win, win for everyone - a quick flight, a perfect climate, delicious rum, white sandy beaches, accommodation diversity, and warm turquoise water that will soothe your soul! 
Call 866-582-9579 to speak to a travel consultant about a travel loan to Barbados.

Accommodation Options 

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Check out homeway.com for all home stays!
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Despite the size of the island you have a plethora of choices between hotels, resorts, villas, home stays, apartments.  
Whether you are looking for an elegant, internationally acclaimed hotel, a small B&B, an exclusive luxury resort, a private villa, or a whole house you are bound to find something to suit your taste and wallet.  
Search all accommodation styles and prices here


The US Dollar is accepted everywhere on the island and typically runs around $1USD for $1.98BDS.  So no need to worry about converting your dollars, shopping and dining in Barbados is more convenient than you think! 

So what are you waiting for???  Barbados or bust!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Redbull Global Rallycross at MCAS New River air station

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Sunday July 5, 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross will be putting on their very first event at a military installation; New River air station in Jacksonville, North Carolina will host the free event that is open to the public, just in time for a fun filled July 4th weekend!

"We are excited to have the opportunity to bring this unprecedented event in the world of motorsport to New River air station. Red Bull GRC, our drivers and teams are all looking forward to putting on an incredible display for the troops on Independence Day weekend. We can’t thank MCAS New River enough for helping us make it happen." Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne

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The Red Bull Rallycross cars feature 600-horsepower 2.0 liter engines and are driven by skilled veteran drivers, tackling a challenging mixed surface track loaded with obstacles.
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Any person with a DOD identification card on July 3, are invited to view practice and qualifying runs between 5 and 8 p.m. The track will remain closed on July 4 in recognition of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Independence Day celebration activities. 
Semifinals and main events for both Supercar and Lites are scheduled to take place on July 5 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday’s scheduled event will be free and open to the public. 

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Did you know that United Military Travel not only finances airfare but also hotels, resorts, car rentals, travel accessories, and more???  We can accommodate you with cheap hotel reservations and resort loans! We offer military and government hotel reservation financing for all the major hotel chains and thousands of resorts! 
If you are in need of a hotel or car rental, we can hook you up!  Contact us today at 866-582-9579 or apply for your travel credit here!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Military Travel Loans For An Alaskan Summer Vacation

With Alaska’s extended summer daylight hours...aka summer solstice, visitors to Anchorage can pack in a lot of adventure.  Yesterday was the official mark of summer and Anchorage had 19 hours of sunlight above the horizon, so scratch an early bedtime off your “to-do” list and prepare to wake up early!  Flightsee over vast, snow-covered mountains, reel in fresh Alaska king salmon, hike across a rainforest or get up close to a glacier. Solo or with a guide, there’s plenty to see and do in and around Anchorage.  

No matter how you prefer to see Alaska, cruise ship, remote lodge, or train United Military Travel can book your airfare, accommodations, car rental, and train tickets through a travel now and pay later easy assist loan

The Last Frontier experiences the phenomenon called the Midnight Sun....

But what is the midnight sun???
Alaska receives more sunlight in spring and summer than any other state and many other parts of the world.  In Barrow, the state’s northernmost community, the sun does not set for more than two and a half months—from May 10 until August 2. (The contrast is from November 18 to January 24, when the sun never rises above the horizon!)
The real boundary of the midnight sun is the Arctic Circle, latitude 66 degrees, 33 minutes north. That imaginary line marks the lowest latitude at which the sun remains above the horizon for a full 24 hours during summer solstice (June 20 or 21) and below the horizon for a full 24 hours during winter solstice (December 21 or 22).
At the equator, the sun rises straight up from the horizon and sets straight down to it. In Alaska, the sun travels in a slanting 360 degree circle in the sky, so even if it's below the horizon, it's barely below it for a long period. This means that even though the sun isn't visible, we still receive very bright twilight that can last for hours or until the sun rises again. For example, Fairbanks, which is below the Arctic Circle by almost 200 miles, still receives 24 hours of light for a long period in the summer. Conversely, in winter, the sun may only be above the horizon for a few hours, but there are many more hours of visible light due to the very low arc the sun travels across the horizon.

Nearly one-third of Alaska lies above the Arctic Circle, but Alaskans are fairly informal about claiming they live with the midnight sun. All parts of the state enjoy long daylight hours in summer, even Ketchikan, the state’s southernmost population center, where there are more than 17 hours of daylight on June days.  SOURCE 
With all this sunshine ditch your summer reading and head out into the great wilderness with any of these suggestions!

Geocache Journey

This is the ultimate treasure hunt!  Head out with your family, GPS devices, and coordinates to start your journey through Alaskan moutains, streams, and valleys to find your treasure.  But is the end really the best part, or is the adventure???

Scenic Strides

Hike, walk, run.  No matter your preferences, Anchorage has ranked the highest among all 50 states for the best atmosphere for all three.  Low temperatures and humidity along with impeccable views - exercise has never been more enjoyable! 

Cyclist Welcome

Finding adventure in Anchorage is as easy as riding a bike!  Power up on Powerline Pass, screech down the steep grades of the Chugach Mountains, twist around the spiral bridge of the Ship Creek Trail, pave your way from Bird to Gird, coast along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or take a ride at Eklutna Lake. Serious riders might want to test their quads on the 6.4-mile climb up Arctic Valley Road or the lift-accessed, Alyeska Resort Mountain Bike Park while families with little ones can gear down with a tour around Westchester Lagoon’s paved trail.

Peak Thrills

There are 155 peaks within Chugach’s park boundaries. Some of the more popular ascents include Flattop Mountain, O’Malley Peak, Bird Ridge, Mount Baldy and Rendezvous Peak.

Nature & Children 

Alaska is a fantastic family vacation because connecting with nature keeps young children entertained and inspired, and there are plenty of opportunities in Anchorage to do just that. Check out special programs for tots at the Alaska ZooAlaska Botanical GardenEagle River Nature Center and enjoy some family time in Anchorage.  

Aquatic Heaven

Finding wilderness by way of water is no problem near Anchorage. Whitewater rafting is rip-roaring fun on the relatively easy-going Matanuska River or the guaranteed-to-get-you-wet Sixmile Creek. If a relaxing float is more your style, enjoy a gentle float on an area lake or kayak across glacier-fed Eklutna Lake.  Make a splash in Anchorage.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Amazing No Passport Needed Honeymoons!

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Are you part of the wedding craze this summer?  I feel like people around me are getting married left and right!  If you are, everyone at United Military Travel wishes you congratulations and a lifetime of happiness!

Just the other day, I was talking with a girl whose wedding is in August, and they still have not planned their honeymoon because they cannot decide on a destination.  Her fiancĂ© will travel the world, but she rather stay domestic because she really doesn't like to be far away from home.  She also argues a larger point - staying domestic is more affordable.  Or they could spend the same, but spend more on accommodations or activities rather the bulk on airfare.  

She makes valid points, so I mentioned to her these destinations that do not require a passport.  My husband and I went through this exact debate when we were planning our honeymoon.  We has to hash out what was the most important to us.  Like was the actual destination the most important, our accommodations, or activities.  Ultimately, we chose the destination and cut back on our accommodations and spa services.  Visiting a new country and being immersed in the culture is of greater value than a posh resort, facials, and a golf course to us.  But, everyone is different!  

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Here are the 10 best honeymoon destinations that do not require a passport! 

1. US Virgin Islands
2. California
3. New Orleans
4. Alaska
5. Hawaii
6. New Orleans
7. Puerto Rico
8. New York
9. Florida
10. Outer Banks

US Virgin Islands

virgin islands

St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, Water Island, and more - thanks to a sale by Denmark in 1916, these Antillean Islands are a United States territory, but their unique Caribbean calypso culture and food will make you and your sweetheart feel like you're worlds away. Hike through rainforests, enjoy world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, explore sugar plantations, and lounge on picturesque beaches for an unforgettably romantic experience.


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You love wine and you love to love, so why not go to Napa and celebrate the two? Relax in the beautiful wine country, explore the vineyards by bicycle, on foot, or with tours, and indulge in top-of-the-line restaurants, spas, and hot springs.  That is romance at its finest!  Or if wine is not your thing, choose from anywhere in Southern California, Big Sur, Yosemite, or Lake Tahoe.  In California, the possibilities are endless! 

New Orleans

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There is just something about old Spanish mossy oak trees, paired with seductive jazz that creates a romantic vide that is undeniable.  If you and your partner love music, food, and culture, the Crescent City would be a fantastic place to celebrate your new life together!  Dine in the French Quarter, clink your celebratory glasses together, and dance the night away in the arms of your newly beloved for a memory that will last a lifetime. 


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Alaska is for the intrepid couple that would love to spend their days whale watching, glacial cruising, fly fishing, dog mushing, or snuggled up in a remote lodge while fresh salmon is being cooked for them. With unlimited adventurous possibilities and a rugged, unspoiled landscape, Alaska is the perfect place for a snuggle-moon or adventure-moon.



Start your new marriage by living the dream for a week.  It's no secret that Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, and with good reason. Boasting beautiful beaches, dramatic volcanoes, and relaxing waterfalls, Hawaii can cater to both husband and wife.  Enjoy healing massages and traditional Hawaiian spa treatments, world-class surfing, snorkeling, diving, and paddle-boarding, and bask in warm, tranquil waters. 

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is known as "La Isla del Encanto," or "The Island of Enchantment." From the vibrant culture of historic San Juan to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the US, there is something for everyone. Beach bums will relish in over 200 miles of beaches, such as El Rincon, where waves break over dramatic cliffs. Bahia Fosforescente will lure honeymooners with its otherworldly glow. And of course, there are a plethora of activities to choose from, from swimming in subterranean rivers to relaxing in top-notch spas. 

New York


Who hasn't dreamed of coming to New York? For thrill-seeking culture vulture couples, Manhattan is undoubtedly the spot to start of your marriage with a jolt of electricity and fun. See the bright neon lights of Broadway, tour the distinct melting pot of neighborhoods, take a romantic boat ride in Central Park, or celebrate with a sunset cocktail looking over the indelible skyline. In the center of the universe, the possibilities for romance, excitement, and fun are unlimited.  



The amazing thing about Florida is the options.  Choose from the dreamy west coast towns of Sanibel, Amelia Island, Marco Island, Naples, or Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, or Miami of the east coast.  And if you want to get really calypso head to the Keys!  

Outer Banks 

Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina made the list because they truly are a relaxing destination located in the middle of one of the most beautiful natural settings in America.  You and your hunny can rent a house, nestle up and only leave when you go to the beach or need to buy more wine.  With sweeping sand dunes, water everywhere you look, and a laid back southern beach vibe you will be sure to fall in love....with the area that it is!  Who knows, you may just decide to relocate as many other vacationers have done.  It is just that great of a place. 

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