As a break from grading and packet reviewing, I am going to write a blog that will be posted in two different blog sites, but both sites are important. First, there is my long standing blog here, and then there is a blog that is available on the http://galtintravel.com site. What is Galtin Travel you ask? Well let me tell you. It is an online travel company that my Dominican family and I have opened. Yes, you have read that correctly. It is an online travel company? Why online because it is much easier to put together and it does exactly what we want it to do without all the overhead of a brick and mortar place. So . . . why might you want to work with our little company? Let me offer some ideas and insights. First, if you are getting to this blog post by my Facebook site, you have access to my photos and there are numerous photos of my trips to Puerto Plata over the past three years, and they will offer you some idea of just how outstanding the resort there is. Second, you have access to the web site now if you use the URL I have offered above. Third, even if you are not ready to go now, but are interested in a long weekend or a week before the end of the year, if you book the accommodation in April, we are offering a 20% discount on that accommodation. That is a phenomenal offer. We are offering you an accommodation at a price that is much less than if you went there and tried to book it yourself. How and why? Well because we own property there, we have options you do not have, and the why is because we want to provide an opportunity for others to experience the fun and relaxation we experienced there.
Why the Dominican Republic? First, it is not that difficult to find your way there. There are direct flights from JFK, Newark or Philadelphia to Puerto Plata, and also to Punta Cana. The length of the flight is slightly over three hours depending on from where you fly. The costs if you plan ahead are quite reasonable. I have found flights as low as 375.00 round trip from the aforementioned airports. Certainly the longer you wait to book and peak season can be more expensive, but planning ahead is always good. In addition, as far as accommodations at our little place, we have no blackout dates (with the exception of the Christmas/New Year holiday) and as long as things are available we can create a get-away for a couple or an entire party. We have from a one-bedroom studio, as you will see if you go to the website, to a 7 bedroom villa for 14, which will have you believing you have walked into a fairytale. That is how I felt my first time there and I was not even at the member level I am now. What is nice about this change is we can offer many of those same accoutrements for those of you who might book with us. Again, all of that is explained on the web site. The people of the Dominican Republic are happy people and the people at the resort carry that degree of happiness to an entirely different level. They will greet you with their indefatigable smiles asking sincerely, ¿cómo está? And if you do not answer “bien” or “muy bien.” They will want to know why and what they can do to make your day more pleasant. If you want a relaxing dinner in a luxurious setting, we have just the place for you (in fact there are a number of places). If you want to experience cultural dancing and amazing evening entertainment, we have just the place for you. When I went the first time, I remember titling one of my blogs “From Michael Jackson to Chocolate.” The Michael Jackson revue was unlike anything I had every experienced and earlier that day I actually went to a spa and sat by a fountain and sipped cucumber water and got wrapped in chocolate, which I learned is really good for your skin. I must say, it did not hurt my feeling to smell the wafting of chocolate as I walked around later that day.
Some of you might ask why the shameless self-promotion? Well, certainly it is hoping to make our little company successful and that is, in part, a financial thing, but that is not the main impetus. It is to share something I believe will make a difference in people’s lives. Experiencing another culture and finding the time to relax are central to being healthy. What I have learned through my travels, be it with my students, on my own, or with others, each trip changes me. I learn about other people, but I have also learned about myself. Sometimes, it is about language, and learning or trying to communicate in another language is both a bit frightening and amazingly gratifying. Experiencing that communicative process makes a difference in both people’s lives, and even if your attempt is less than perfect, it matters. Second, learning about their food is always a wonderful experience. Dominican food is wonderful. It is flavorful, and it is generally very healthy. The pineapple, the mangos, the coconuts, the plantains, and many of the meats are phenomenal. The grounds of the resort are unparalleled and with your VIP status for the stay, you will be able to experience care that is beyond your wildest dreams. This is not something I think, it is what I have experienced in my trips there. The sights and the sounds of the ocean beaches, the pools (and your own private pool if you have a villa) are spectacular. If you can get a group of 6 or more, the villa is certainly the way to go. There is more about that on the web site, but you are always welcome to contact me and ask questions. I have visited Puerto Plata three times, and because of getting to know some of the workers and other Dominican people, I had the opportunity to visit some of the little towns outside the resort. There is a wonderful restaurant called El Cocinero in the neighboring little village called Maimon. The food is wonderful. It is a seafood restaurant that has freshly caught fish available daily. The family who operates this restaurant are hard working and hospitable and they are delighted to have you in their little establishment. Best of all, the cost of the food is beyond affordable, and when you return (because you will) they will remember you. Do you need to know Spanish? No, but learning a little is always helpful, and it is fun.
Why do you go on vacation? Often it is to get away or just have a change of scenery, but what if you could go where every little thing is taken care of and your all-inclusive fee means exactly what it says, “It takes care of EVERYTHING?” This is what we are offering you, and if you book it before the end of the April, the accommodation fees are discounted. Why not have an international experience that is not that far away? Why not actually experience a beach paradise that you thought was only available for people with more money in their accounts? Why not plan a trip that will have you wondering if somehow “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” found their way into your existence? That is what I felt after my first visit. It was not like anything I had ever done. I have spoken to some of you about this, but now I am putting it all out there. Those of you who know me know that I am more about giving than taking. This is really about offering you something that creates an experience that will be a life-long memory. This is about sharing with others what I was fortunate enough to experience myself. I should note that I did go to another resort in the DR the second time there. Somehow, I was fortunate enough to run into someone who was from the resort I went to the first time and we ended up back at the LVHC. I have not looked back and I am glad I didn’t. I want to offer the same thing to you. Please come see what you are missing. If you only have time for a long weekend, that is fine. I promise you that if you go once, you will want to go again. If you want to have a family reunion or a larger party, we can work on that with you too. We are certainly focusing on the smaller things at the moment, but that is because we want to make your trip as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Please check out our website again: http://galtintravel.com. From there you can look at our Facebook page, please look at and like our page. There is also an Instagram page that we would like you to tag and help us get your experiences out there.
Again, if you have more questions, please let me know. I hope you might find your way to book a vacation with us. Thank you as always for reading.
Michael (the travel agent and co-owner of a company)