Awesome Deal on a Small Group Travel Adventure! Come With!

Snow and a “wintry mix” were predicted for our area starting around 4 PM today. The snow part doesn’t scare folks around here that much, it’s the phrase “wintry mix” that sends everyone into a panic.

I really didn’t want to do it, but I knew I had to make a trip to the grocery store. I never like shopping for groceries, snow or no snow, so shopping when the store is packed is something I avoid like the plague. I was kicking myself for not going last night until the cashier told me it was just as bad yesterday as it was today.

The shelves were empty in places, I bought the last bag of potatoes and it was ripped open with a few potatoes rolling around nearby. I stuffed the escapees back into the torn bag and placed it into my cart, counting myself lucky to have found them at all. I ended up getting everything I needed, although not always the brand or kind I wanted. Let’s just say I’ll be getting a chance to try unsalted butter real soon. lol

I think I’m going to order one of these shirts from HERE and wear it every time one of these crazy winter storms hits Georgia. It really depicts what snow and ice means when you live in the south. lol

 

I have no idea how it looks outside right now. Whatever happened today started right when it was beginning to get dark and I know it involved a lot of ice because I could hear it clinking into the windows all evening. My poor magnolia, hope it doesn’t lose its top for the third time. That’s happened twice before during ice storms over the last 25 years, but it always manages to grow a new one.

Time for a Trip

It’s time for a trip! A little over a year ago, I set a goal to travel more. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution or anything like that, just a realization that I was not getting any younger and if I was going to see more of this wonderful planet, I needed to get going. I had never traveled outside the United States, so it was definitely time to do something about that.

In the last year and  a half, I’ve made up for lost time, visiting Kenya, Italy, Key West, Cozumel, Holland and Belgium. (See posts about those trips here: Travel). I’d love to take two trips a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. I may not always be able to do that, but that’s what I would like to do.

Since I’ve made travel and having more adventures a priority, I’ve been regularly stalking the travel sites looking for the best deals for the many places on my bucket list. One of those places popped up recently for a price I couldn’t pass up.

When I visited Italy back in October 2015, I traveled with a company called Grand Circle Travel. GCT has been around for a long time and has a great reputation. They have a sister site called, Overseas Adventure Travel. I’ve been itching to take a trip with OAT because they go to more of the “off the beaten path” places AND they limit their group size to no more than 10-16 travelers. I’ve been really hoping to go on a small group tour, so I was thrilled to find one going to one of my bucket list destinations.

So, where am I headed? This song is a big, big clue! 🙂 I’ve always loved this song and I think it’s partially responsible for my desire to travel to the place it mentions. lol

(Pssst: If you’re interested in what prompted Graham Nash to write the song below, check out this interesting article: The Story Behind The Song.)

 

Did you listen to the song? If so, you know I’m headed to Morocco. My trip is scheduled for March and I’ll be visiting Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Middle Atlas Mountains, Erfoud, Rissani, Sahara Desert, Khamlia, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh, ending back in Casablanca. The trip will take place over a period of 16 days.

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morocco

I think the part I’m most looking forward to is our time in the Sahara Desert. We’ll be hiking the dunes, riding camels and camping out in tents for two nights under the stars. I hear it can get chilly at night in the desert and sand storms sometimes pop up. So this should be quite the adventure!

Photo Credit: http://foundtheworld.com/sahara-desert/

Something tells me I probably won’t have a Wi-fi connection in the Sahara, but I hope to write some posts during other parts of the trip when I’m staying in larger cities. I’ll be shooting video and taking photos to share this experience with you as much as possible. I’ll also be sharing pictures daily on Instagram as I’ve done during my previous trips, so if you’re interested in seeing  photos in real time, be sure to follow on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch on Instagram.

Photo Credit: http://foundtheworld.com/sahara-desert/

If you’ve always wanted to see Morocco or experience riding a camel in the Sahara Desert, this trip is a pretty amazing deal. It’s around $3,400 for 16 days, including international airfare! Depending on what time of year you go, it can be a little more or less! My trip came out to around $3,100, including airfare. Not bad for 16 days!

Update: Just noticed this on the OAT website.

There are no Visas or vaccines required and there’s no single supplement fee with OAT trips, unless it’s a cruise. I think they may charge a small single supplement on their cruises, but not sure about that. I definitely didn’t have to pay one for this trip.

The trip costs includes international airfare, all transfers and land transportation, including off-road vehicles and camels. 🙂 All gratuities for the local guides, the drivers, the camp staff and luggage porters are included, as well. Of course, you can book your own airfare to save even more if you have points, etc… but so far I’ve let GCT/OAT handle the airfare so I don’t have to worry about transfers getting to the hotel and back to the airport at the end of the trip.

The cost of the trip also includes 34 meals: breakfast every day, 9 lunches and 11 dinners, including 2 home-hosted meals. This is a guided trip so all the tours are included, too. They always include time for exploring on your own, as well.

Save an Additional $100 On Your Trip with Overseas Adventure Travel or Grand Circle Travel

Both Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel offer a discount off your trip if you say you were referred by someone. So feel free to give them my customer number, 2634289, and they’ll give you $100 off any trip you book. They’ll also give me $100 off any trip I schedule in the future, so thanks in advance for giving my referral number if you decide to schedule a trip. By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post, that’s a discount GCT and OAT offers to anyone who books a trip when referred by a previous traveler.

Where Else Does OAT Go?

If you’re not interested is traveling to Morocco, OAT goes almost everywhere, including Asia, Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East and the South Pacific. They are always adding new adventures and I think they’ve just added one to Cuba.

I’ve never taken a small group tour, so I’m super excited about this trip. Usually small group tours are so much more expensive than the prices I’ve seen on trips at OAT, so I may be taking more trips with them in the future.

You can read more about the trip I’m taking and see available travel dates, the itinerary and reviews here: Morocco Sahara Odyssey.

See Overseas Adventure Travel’s Last Minute Travel Deals here: Travel Deals.

See Grand Circle Travel’s last minute travel deals here: Travel Deals.

 

High on my bucket list is a trip to Machu Picchu & the Galapagos. OAT has a trip there and one of these days I hope to take it. You have to dream it before it can happen, right? Where’s your dream destination? Where do you want to travel next?

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu




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Comments

  1. Sheila Sexton says:

    This is going to be a very exciting trip. We are going to Jordan in two weeks and then on to Morocco. Have never been to either one before. I’ll look forward to seeing your pics when you get back. March will be a great time to go as well, probably a little warmer in the evenings which is nice. Camping in the desert will be fun, we have a two night camp in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Looking forward to it. Like you we are doing our travelling before we get too old. Have a terrific time, Sheila

    • That sounds like a wonderful trip, Sheila! Let me know how you like it when you get back. Yes! So important to go now while you can really enjoy! Let’s make a pact to stay healthy so we can travel for a very long time! 🙂

    • Sheila Sexton says:

      Hi Susan, I will let you know about the trip when we get back and yes, staying healthy is important to keep enjoying life. One commentor mentioned you will hate it or love it, I think probably because the locals are quite aggressive about trying to sell you things, that can quickly become quite annoying, we found this in Egypt , but learned to look past this and just enjoyed the beautiful country. I’ll stay away from the camel dinner lol.

  2. HI Susan! There was a straw purse on right that has disappeared…the ads are sometimes a real problem getting the blog to stabilize…flipped it and lost the purse…straw worth blue fasten strap…looks like Talbots…. The trio looks great…am looking at Galopogos and Machu Picchu….did the latter but nit former with General Tours and it was an agent free trip…Teresa Weber was their hotel inspector and did we see Peru! Wow…if you get a chance divulge the purse…lol

    • I love straw purses! I’ve been eyeing one at Draper James for over a year now, almost bought it when it was 20% off. lol
      Thanks, Nancy! I definitely want to go there! It looks so exotic. I’ve heard the trek to the top is pretty tiring but worth it when you get there!

  3. Congratulations on your next trip!!! You will LOVE Morocco, especially camping out in the desert. Happy New Year!

  4. Susan,

    You are going to have a wonderful time!! Several years ago, I rode a camel in Tunisia – it’s a unique adventure 🙂
    Keep us posted as you prepare for this exciting trip!

  5. Fabulous! So happy for you! It’s going to be an awesome trip. I can’t wait to hear all about it. As-salamu alaykum! Peace be with you.

  6. Happy to hear that you are continuing to work through your Bucket List and travelling the world. If you don’t mind though, may I privately send you a link re travel to Morocco? I have never been there myself, however the writer shares her experience which in return includes many good tips. Looking forward to your posts. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Hopefully you didn’t get too much freezing rain as between it and snow, we have been bombarded with it for the past few weeks and even for us Canucks it is a headache. All said; may be heading to Costa Rica at the end of March in order to thaw out so that will be something to look forward to.

    • Thanks, Brenda! That would be great, I would love to read it! Oooh, Costa Rica is one of the places I would love to go. I know you are tired of the cold. I hope you get to take that trip to CR…that would be such a great experience!

  7. Have fun. I went to The Canary Islands and we had an optional day trip to Marrakech when I was in college. It was so much fun. In Marrakech we toured a king’s palace, a rug market where we were served peppermint tea and our evening meal was some form of camel meat. It was like a huge wad of fat. Yuck. As a college girl I thought all of the food was awful! I still have so many of the souvenirs I brought home.

    • How cool! I may lose weight on this trip because I’m not sure want to heat some of the food. lol I could stand to lose a few lbs so that would be okay. I definitely do not want to eat Camel! That sounds awful! Thanks for the tip on that! lol

  8. Linda Page says:

    OMG, looks like you are in for a real adventure, Indiana Susan!!! You are going to have so much fun. I would think that a small group tour would be wonderful. You will have the chance to really get to know all of your fellow travellers and share the adventure. Can’t wait to see pictures! Be sure to get one of you on a camel. PS – just a reminder that I still need pictures from Africa and Italy. Just FYI!!! lol

    • lol Thanks, Linda! I know, I was thinking, I’ve got to get through all my Africa and Italy pics before I leave for this trip. I’m going to try and not take as many as I did before, just takes too long to go through them all.

  9. Oh! Wow! That sounds like an amazing adventure! I can’t wait to hear all about it…. be safe…have fun!

  10. This sounds amazing–there are so many adventures inside the big travel adventure! Are you still counting the weeks until departure, or are you down to counting the days yet?!

    • It sounds like there are…adventures inside the big adventure. Can’t wait to share it with you, Mia! I just booked it about two weeks ago so haven’t had time to think about it very much, but I know it will get here before I know it.
      XX

  11. Wow, what a wonderful trip coming up for you. Looking forward to your pictures as well. When I travel I also go with a group and a few friends. Please continue to keep us posted on your trip as I enjoy reading your blog.

  12. Hi Susan,
    You will love your trip to Marrakech and do travel to Machu Picchu soon…access will be limited soon.
    And now that you have purchased unsalted butter you will not change back. Chefs all over the world can not be wrong.
    Happy Travels, Gina

    • I hadn’t heard about the limited access to Machu Picchu. Where can I read more about that. Wonder why they are doing that…maybe to better preserve it?
      Oh, thanks for that tip on the butter. I normally do not buy salted foods, avoid as much as possible, but for some reason I’ve always bought butter already salted. I’ll keep an open mind when I try it on bread.

      • Susan, Protecting Machu Picchu has been talked about for some time. The area is very fragile, the walkways are narrow. It is important to stay at the hotel over night. You will have Machu Picchu all to your self the next morning. An unreal and awesome experience. Hope your tour will include staying overnight at the sight. You will probably take the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Have your camera ready. Not just for the scenery but the colorfully dressed children who are incredibly charming.
        The train stops often. If the children offer you wild little orchids take them and give them a few coins. You will be rewarded with the most beguiling smiles.
        After the train a bus will take you to the top. It’s not difficult to walk from there.

  13. Susan, Morocco has been a place I have wanted to travel…this trip sounds fabulous! We have no travel plans for this year which is most unusual, but I am sure we will go somewhere, just thinking where I want to go!

  14. This adventure sounds wonderful! My brother and SIL took the Machu Picchu/Galapagos trip and said they waited a few years too late. The climb to the top of the ruins was too much for my SIL’s knees and my brother was really uncomfortable coming back down. (quite steep). Don’t put that trip off. Go while you can.

    • Thanks, Zenda! I’ll keep it at the top of my bucket list. I’ve heard the climb is pretty arduous. I’m determined to do it. Good thing I’ve got my Peloton bike to get in better shape! lol

  15. I love to travel too Susan….I’ll be following you on Instagram!

  16. Hi Susan,
    My husband and I traveled to Morroco. It seems people either love it or hate it. Unfortunately for me it was not love. I have heard wonderful things about your tour group, OAT, so that could be the game changer. We have the travel bug too and will be heading to New Zealand for an entire month in 3 weeks. DH didn’t want to endure all that air travel and not get to see everything! Looking forward to some amazing treks, a little sailing, and my first encounters with penguins! Snow and ice here in Raleigh will make that New Zealand sun especially welcome. I think every NC adult resident needs to be issued that sweatshirt!

    • That sounds like an amazing trip, Patricia…getting to spend a whole month there! Are you guys going by yourself or are you doing that with a tour company?
      Yeah, I’ve heard good things about OAT so looking forward to using them for this trip. I really like the idea of going with small groups.
      Can’t wait to hear more about New Zealand! My son studied in Australia and New Zealand for around 3-4 months while he was in college. He spent spring break on Fiji that year. He loved it!

  17. Great! I always love to read about your travels!

    I’ve been to Peru and Machu Picchu. The Andes is beautiful, but because of the altitude I felt sick most of the entire trip. Glad I’ve seen it, because since I read about the Nazca lines as a kid I wanted to go there, but I don’t think I will ever go there again.

    My dream destination is Hawaii. I’ve already been there before, but I so love it, I just want to go there again and see more of the islands. And my all time dream destination is Menorca, one of the Balearic Island in the Mediterranean. I go there every year and will do so for the rest of my life, I guess.

    Have a great time in Morocco!

    • Thanks for that warning/tip about the altitude sickness. I’ll definitely look into more info on that before I go there one day. I don’t want to go through that if I can avoid it. I remember how winded I would get every time we went skiing in Brekenridge, CO when we would go there to ski many years ago. I could walk up 3 steps and be out of breath. lol
      Those lines are fascinating! One of my most favorite listens on Audible is: “Archaeology and Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites” by Dr. Eric H. Cline. It’s part of their “The Great Courses” programs. In that course, he talks all about the Nazca lines and they sound so intriguing.
      I’m going to look up Menorca, it sounds very special! Thanks for telling me about it, Liz!

  18. Iris McCloud says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your trip sounds awesome (literally). Hiking in the desert and riding a camel will be a true adventure.
    The snowy cold Northerners can wear this shirt as well. One of our news programs calls their weather people “severe team **”. Luckily we don’t seem to have a lot of severe weather but just in case we still have our storm team reporting. The stores here will also sell out of milk and bread and toilet paper (??).

    • lol That’s make me feel better to know it’s not just us here in the south. 🙂
      Thanks, Iris! I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

  19. Susan, I admire your adventuresome spirit. Morocco is a wonderful destination. We spent a week in Marrakesh with a few day trips out. I really wanted to take the Sahara trip, ride camels, sleep in the desert, but couldn’t talk my husband into it. I did hire a driver that took me into the mountains one day. He knew I wanted to ride a camel, so he made that happen for me. It’s a story in itself! Fun times when one travels and leaves themselves open for adventure.
    We have traveled with ROW several times. Also small groups and the company focuses on adventure trips. http://www.rowadventures.com
    We spent a week rafting in Idaho and two weeks cruising the Turkish coast. Both very different, but both amazing experiences. The Turkish trip took us to remote ancient ruins to explore by foot. I think you would like this one!

    • Wow, that sounds like so much fun, Sarah! So interesting, too…especially about the ancient ruins! And kudos to you for going out on your own and taking the camel ride…glad you got to experience it! Oh, and thanks for the info about rowadventures…I will check them out.

  20. Susan, you can always find the good in everything, so I have faith you’ll enjoy your trip to Morocco. My husband went before we ever met and there’s no way he’d go again. He said he didn’t feel safe there, and he’s no wussy of a man either. Be sure to follow all the precautions because I sense you may be at least a little bit of a risk-taker. We love you and want you back home so we can keep reading about your adventures.

    • Thanks, Daphne! You are so sweet…appreciate that so much! Don’t worry, I should be safe since I’m traveling in a group. Also, I just got an email today from a reader who is there now in Fez. She was so surprised to open her email and see my post today since she’s there now! 🙂 Anyway, she ended her email saying they have felt “totally safe” so I think everything will be fine. Thanks again Daphne. XXX

  21. Holie Molie…what an exciting case of “wanderlust” you have!! This adventure will be one to write about I’m sure!! Looking forward to reading all the details…please don’t eat the camel… franki

  22. Cyndi Raines says:

    Wow Girl! You are really going all out, aren’t you. Happy for you!! I say if you want it and can afford it, go for it! I would love to do the Sahara part and ride a camel – I think that would be a blast. I rode an elephant once and that was crazy fun and really high up there. Reg. the desert, my dad was stationed in the Sahara during WWII and he said it can be boiling hot in the day and really cold at night, with a sand storm coming up out of nowhere so you are really in for an adventure. He said he got used to eating sand in his scrambled eggs -haha. You remind me of Auntie Mame – do you know that movie? I would want to go “down-under” and see Australia / New Zealand. Also, I think you have a birthday coming up don’t you, or did I miss it? At any rate, Happy (almost or belated) Birthday! 🙂 Looking forward to reading about your trip!!

    • That’s so interesting Cyndi! I hope I don’t have to eat my eggs with sand while I’m there. lol I guess it helps with digestion, kinda like fiber. 🙂
      Can you believe I’ve never seen the movie or play. I just searched for some takeouts on You Tube and Auntie Mame is a hoot! I would love to have had an Auntie Mame in my family.
      Yup, the big 60 is coming up next Friday. That’s what I think really inspired this latest trip…wanted to do something fun to remember this year. You have a good memory, my friend! How did you remember that?!

  23. Growing up in Northern Ontario Canada, heavy snow accumulation is something I’m used to and have learned to drive in. However if you are not accustomed and prepared with winter tires and road crews I could see how people would panic! Freezing rain freaks me out! I won’t drive in it. I watched Casablanca over the holidays and thought how wonderful it would be to visit!! Your trip sound amazing! Last night I began researching Scotland and hope to get a group of friends to rent a place! I too want to spice up my travel plans as I can’t do another trip to Disney!!
    Hope your weather improves!
    Rebeca

    • That seems to be what we always get…the freezing rain. It would be much better if it were just snow.
      I need to watch that movie! Thanks for reminding me of it…I’ve never seen it before.
      Scotland and Ireland are both places I want to go some day. Rebeca, I can’t wait to hear how you like it! Would love any recommendations.

  24. Well darn it, this company only serves those 50 and older…I’m just to0 young to go boo!

    • Meresu, any age can go. They may have a minimum age limit, but I’ve seen people on trips with GCT that were in the 30’s.

    • Meresu, I just googled it and noticed on Wikipedia it says that they “specialize in ages” 50 and over…have no idea what that means, though. Then later in the article it says, “younger guests frequently join their trips.” That’s been my experience, really all ages were on the trip I went on with GCT, and those trips aren’t really adventure trips.
      OAT trips are much more active and the places they go are more adventuresome. The only restrictions I’ve read in the materials I’ve received is folks have to be able to walk for several hours and get in and out of vehicles, etc…
      The other day I had read about another travel agency that was getting great reviews for “adventure” type trips. I got all excited until I noticed they had an age restriction of under 35.

  25. Hi SuSan

    Your trip sounds so wonderful! I too would love to travel more, I can hear my dear mom saying “So much to see here in our own country first”. I would love to go to the quaint areas of the New England states, Key West, and then to Belgium hopefully some day !!
    Take Care
    Paula
    IN

  26. bobbi duncan says:

    Susan, how wonderful and exotic–you will have so much fun. I’ve never been, so very anxious to hear all about your newest adventure. Hugs, little world traveler.

  27. Wow, Susan! What a trip you have planned. I’ve traveled a lot but never to Morocco! When I think of Morocco, I think of old Humphrey Bogart movies! So exciting for you! Happy New Yea, my friend.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  28. Hi Susan,

    Sounds like a wonderful trip, can’t wait to see your posts about it! I have a trip planned end of this month to celebrate the big 50….Yikes! Nothing exotic just a week in Disney World but I haven’t been there since my Senior High School Class trip. A lot has changed so can’t wait to check it all out and be a kid again. We are staying at Animal Kingdom lodge in a savannah view room so maybe one of the giraffe’s will stop by for breakfast. 🙂 Oh by the way that sweatshirt is too funny and would apply to where I live in Pennsylvania. As soon as the word snow is mentioned it is a mad rush to the grocery store and sure enough the milk and bread shelves are always empty.

  29. That is SO COOL that you’re travel-bound again!
    My mother did a month-long trip to Spain (including Morocco) a couple of years ago and was totally enthralled! She too participated in a group-thing and got a price of $2,300 for the entire trip! Btw~a Moroccan man offered her 100 camels to marry her! When she cried foul at his not having many teeth–we prodded she could sell a camel and some for him!
    I can’t wait to hear about these next adventures!
    Catherine

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