Aussie Aussie Aussie

After more than two years of waiting, it’s exciting for Australia to be back open and receiving travelers.

One great way to see Australia is with a circumventing cruise. As a our guest writer, Amy Mutscher, said “[o]n a cruise around Australia, you can cover miles of territory and only unpack once.”

On a circumventing cruise you can see places like:

Northeast and the Great Barrier Reef which is home to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park, the Gold Coast, and Byron Bay. Mutscher suggests travelers “[b]ring binoculars to watch the sea from your ship’s deck keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales, especially in summer when dwarf minke whales arrive from Antarctica to give birth.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef

Southeast and the Capitol Cities like Sydney’s Opera House, Bondi beach, and the nearby Blue Mountains or Melbourne’s European charm and tons of tasting options for foodies to enjoy.

Visit Sydney on an epic Australian cruise

South Australia full of wine and wildlife. Travelers can explore Kangaroo Island, one Australia’s top wildlife viewing locations. Mutscher suggests travelers “[b]ook a 4-wheel drive tour into rugged bushland to spot koalas perched high in the treetops and see one of the country’s most celebrated animals, the kangaroo.” In Seal Bay Conservation Park, travelers can see Australia’s endangered sea lions and in North Terrace, travelers and immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture.

Get up close and personal on Kangaroo Island

For those with extended travel time, Holland America Line can take you from San Diego around Australia with stops in Hawaii and French Polynesia. True luxury awaits you on the 69 day epic voyage.

Noordam in Sydney

Ready to make your travel plans to or around Australia? Contact KaliKosmos Travel and let us work for you.

The Hair Goes There: Seeking the Northern Lights

Last month my family and I went in search of those elusive beauties- the Northern Lights.

The best places for viewing the lights, scientifically called the Aurora Borealis, are, as explains, “near the magnetic poles. These include areas of northern Greenland, the Scandinavian coast, Siberia (brrr!), and Alaska in the north.”

We chose the viewing site of Fairbanks, Alaska, which allowed for our Northern Lights hunt to be a two-for-one as we checked off our 49th state road tripping as a family.

We’d explore the Fairbanks area during the day, having fun riding on dog sleds (and watching dog sled races), driving the treacherous Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle, snowmobiling, and museum hoping. Then, at night, we’d bundle up in our super warm clothes and head out to sites like Murphy Dome and Clearly Summit.

We assumed we’d be able to see The Lights on our own- expecting to see them dance brightly across the sky like we’d seen it pictures. We assumed this kind of hunt was a no-guides-required experience.

We were wrong.

On one night we saw people get out of their cars, hold up their phones, and take pictures. We joked about how they were going to go home and photoshop in what, obviously, wasn’t there. And then we drove back to our accommodations to try and get some sleep, disappointed with our lack of a catch.

It wasn’t until we decided to use a professional guide, that we learned a valuable piece of information– the Northern Lights are more visible when viewed through a phone or camera than they are with the human eye.

Oh. My. Word. Those people weren’t pretending! They were seeing something we couldn’t!

On our last night, with the help of a professional, we finally saw them in all their glory!

If you’re interested in viewing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, the season runs from August 21-April 21 and our tour providers – those who know the ticks and can help your hunt be successful too – already have their 2022-2023 season available for reservations.

Ready to make your Northern Lights plans? Contact us today!

Sun, Surf, and the Unexpected of Los Cabos

From sun to surf to the unexpected, Los Cabos offers endless possibilities for travelers looking for anything from a relaxing get-away to an off-the-beat-path adventure.

Each of our clients who spend time in Cabo come back with their favorite way to have spent their time away.

For me, the San Jose del Cabo Thursday night art walk is a top option to meet locals and view amazing art, and, in my opinion, the farm-to-table dining experience offered at Flora Farms is not to be missed!

Guest writer, Dayna Engberg, offers three of her favorite Cabo spots she believes everyone should hear about: Santiago, Miraflores, and Cabo Pulmo.


When visiting Santiago, traveler can find “verdant botanical gardens to natural hot springs … scenic hiking trails leading to secluded waterfalls and … a hidden gem and literal oasis for outdoor adventure.” 


In Miraflores, Engberg says travelers can “purchase a unique handmade souvenir directly from the artists to bring back home.”

Cabo Pulmo

If the less crowded scene is for you, Engberg recommends Cabo Pulmo as an ideal spot “for diving, snorkeling and kayaking.” In this area travelers can explore “three living reefs and the only hard coral reef in North America”.

Ready to make your Los Cabo reservations? Contact Katie Hartman, KaliKosmos Travel’s Cabo specialist.

Travel is back … but is your passport?

Travel is back! We’re excited to see countries opening and to see protocols for fully vaccinated travelers becoming easier. But, now that global exploration is back on the table, it’s time to make sure the basics are covered.

Check Your Travel Documents

If you’re planning on traveling outside of the United States (including travel to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Mexico), you must have a passport book that expires at least 6 months after your date of return.

For even the most seasoned of travelers, the last 15 months have meant no international travel at all. For many, those passport expiration dates could have gone by unnoticed and now, passport processing times are much longer than normal.

According to a recent New York Times article, “Routine passport service by mail, according to the State Department, can now take up to 18 weeks, compared to six to eight weeks before the pandemic.” And, the article goes on to say, “expedited service, which costs an additional $60 and took anywhere from a few days to three weeks before Covid-19, can now take up to 12 weeks.”


Go. Now. Check your passport. Do you have at least 18 months left before it expires? If you don’t and if you have plans to travel in the next 12 months, begin your renewal process now.

And, if your passport is not valid through February 2022, that last minute, pre-school term, Mexican beach getaway- isn’t happening. Instead, contact your KaliKosmos Travel advisor and let us help you discover some great domestic travel options.

Buy Travel Insurance

Some places require travel insurance but it is still, mainly, up to travelers if they want to protect their investment with the purchase of travel insurance. We love insurance not only because it protects our clients when they have to cancel due to illness, job loss, or death; but we also love it because it helps with the unexpected costs associated with airline issues.

According to Bryan Del Monte, president of the Aviation Agency, “bad weather, a labor shortage and capacity problems” were to blame for the most recent disruptions of flights over the past month.

And, when events like weather cause delays, which snowball into timed-out crew and cancelled flights, and end with a passenger pile up that can take several days to iron out- passengers are often left with the cost of hotel stays and meals.

Flight Delayed

But when you have travel insurance, and you have a written statement from the airline about the issue that occurred, you can file for reimbursement of those unexpected costs.

Insurance pricing is based on several factors and some coverage has limitations based on the date of when you made your first payment towards your travel services. Contact your KaliKosmos Travel advisor for more details.

Arrive Early

There have been moments in the last 15 months when traffic at the airport was basically you and the one other person the next to you. Checking in at the airline desk was quick. TSA lines were short. You could show up without a lot of worry.

This is not then.

Airlines furloughed many check-in agents over the last 15 months and they haven’t all returned to work. There are also fewer TSA workers and more travelers. In some places three hours is now tight for making it through to the gate on time.

Some tips for helping the airport experience run smoother:

  • Plan to arrive at least three hours before your flight
  • Pack in a carry on (if possible) to avoid having to check bags
  • When you do have to check bags, use the skycap service (where available) to reduce the baggage check wait times
  • Use the MyTSA app to find average TSA line wait times
  • Enroll in TSA-Pre to cut down on time in line
MyTSA app
photo source: TSA App

Now is the time to check the basics and now is the time to plan for that next travel experience.

When you’re ready to turn your travel dreams into amazing travel stories, Contact KaliKosmos Travel and let us work for you.

Have Bubble, Will Travel

May 6 is International Bubble Blowing Day. While we’re not sure that is actually a real thing, Travel Bubbles are a huge pandemic trend.

Some countries have created travel bubbles, but traveling within a bubble isn’t only for governments to arrange. You too can form a travel bubble comprised of close friends, extended family, neighbors, or co-workers – anyone you know and trust to follow safety guidelines.

People in bubbles

Travel Leaders offers steps for traveling with your bubble:

  • Find your people: Look around and find people you know who share a similar view of health precautions. Brainstorm about anyone from distant family, to girlfriends from college, to coworkers with zoom fatigue.
  • Set the ground rules: Start out by having an open, honest conversation about the expectations for all people in the bubble. It’s important to cover personal preferences like social distancing, use of masks, personal space – hugs or high fives – and understand both how each person is living their lives at home and what they would be comfortable with while traveling in a bubble together. It’s also important to understand if anyone in your bubble has underlying health conditions and how those may impact both their ability to travel and the rest of the group.
  • Agree on a destination or travel style: Think about the way you want to travel with your bubble.  Some destinations focus more on all-inclusive resorts, where you can have a bubble within a bubble knowing that everything you need is self-contained in the resort complex. Other destinations have more traditional hotels, some with multiple restaurants and others which require you to go out for meals and activities. And if you pick a condo or vacation home with a kitchen, think about meal prep and supplies.
  • Pre-test before travel: The group should decide if you’ll quarantine before your departure. It’s also common for each traveler in the bubble to test prior to departure, even when it’s not required for the destination. In most communities, testing is free and results come back in 2-3 days. Pre-testing adds to the confidence that everyone within the bubble is safe.
  • Enjoy your travels together: If everyone in your group has followed pre-travel precautions, you’re relatively safe to socialize within your bubble group. Play games, hang out, eat meals, toss a ball and enjoy conversation and in-person together time! After all the preparation and planning relax and enjoy your vacation.
  • When you return: In addition to sharing memories of time spent together, it’s important that the group maintain contact in the week following travel to share any updates on personal health situations. As an extra measure of caution, many bubbles agree to COVID test 3-5 days after returning from travel to ensure a full end-to-end focus on safety.

Several tour companies have created new programs for bubble travel to help facilitate safe time away with your special people. And with work from anywhere and distance learning, it doesn’t take a special occasion or holiday to spend quality time with people who matter most in your life.

There is no better way to coordinate your bubble buddies than to work with KaliKosmos Travel. From helping pick the right destination and experience to fit your bubble’s travel style to coordinating flights and local transportation, KaliKosmos Travel will work for you and guide you through the changes impacting travel. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the trip!

To plan your bubble vacation, contact us today.

There’s an App for That!

SmartPhones have made many parts of life easier, including travel. Before your next trip, consider taking these apps along with you.

App in The Air

App in the Air

App in the Air includes features such as keeping travel of itineraries, boarding passes, and frequent flyer information, as well as up-to-date weather, alerts about delays, and currency information for major airports around the world.

We like it because it allows you track boarding times, landing times, and current wait times for check-in, security, and customs. A subscription is required.

Downloads available for Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Photo: App in the Air

Bravolol Travel Phrasebook


We’ve been there- in a foreign country, needing to communicate, not knowing how. Now, Bravolol can help!

Download their phrases and words to use off offline and be able to say “Thank you”, “How much?”, “A table for two please”, and many other helpful phrases.

Plus the pronunciation is recorded by native speakers.

Their limited app version is free with in app purchases to download specific languages as needed.

Downloads available for Apple and Google.

Photo: Bravolol



Forward your KaliKosmos Travel itinerary to TripIt’s dedicated email address and they will add it to your trip database. You can then retrieve it on your computer, your phone, and your watch.

Most of their services are free, but there is pro version also available.

Downloads available for Apple and Google.

Photo: TripIt

My TSA App

MyTSA app

With MyTSA airline passengers can access answers to the TSA’s most frequently asked questions, get TSA tips on preparing for security, and access a searchable database of what can and can’t go in both checked and carry-on bags.

With the app you can also see information on delays and weather conditions at airports throughout the US, see historical data on an airport’s security times, and learn how to sign up for TSA Pre.

Downloads available for Apple and Google.

Photo: MyTSA



WhatsApp is a great tool not only for keeping in touch with people back home while traveling but also for staying in touch with all the new friends you make while abroad.

Use this free app over Wifi to receive text message, voice messages, voice calls, and video calls.

No more worrying about the cost to keep in touch!

Downloads available for Apple and Android.

Photo: WhatsApp

What’s your favorite app to have on hand when traveling?