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Wayne & Pat Dunlap
Plan Your Escape®
Hello! We are traveling the world visiting 100 countries and 44 U.S. states in our lifetime.

We show people what is worth seeing and unique strategies how to travel for half the cost for all levels of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other unique travel tips. We are proud our popular travel blog has won other awards including: 
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From a former Economics professor with over 120,000 interested social media followers, we want to make your travel dreams a reality by sharing great travel values, powerful tips, unique bargain-finding strategies, interesting tours & designations, and the latest travel trends.

Selected Top 25 Travel Blog
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Please use these posts for easy-to use trip planning ideas and tips, interesting things to do & what is worth seeing, history, and more. Also, for many free useful travel ideas and unique travel bargain-finding strategies, visit our pages: Travel Bargains, Strategies, Tips, & Resources and Great Trip Planning Ideas.

Visited 100 countries Wayne Pat Dunlap travel map
Visited 100 countries
We are experienced
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travelers (100 countries), award-winning travel photojournalists & bloggers, top travel influencers, featured travel speakers at large travel shows, author of 5-star travel book Plan Your Escape®, travel TV hosts (Plan Your Escape® TV) aired on the CW network, radio co-host, and travel columnist for the Huffington PostClick here to learn more about us and our travels.

Pat says: “Choosing to run away with my husband and best friend has been the most rewarding lifestyle change one can make. It's brought us closer together.”



   Honored as Top Travel Blogger
 


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1,100+ Wonderful Cities in the World We Have Visited

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Let's be friends. Please connect with us to receive free easy-to-use travel tips and great cost-saving bargains:
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Dunlaps' 5-Star Groundbreaking and Comprehensive How-to World Travel Book - Ebook for Only $7.96!

Travel for half the cost for all levels of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other unique travel tips for all trips from weekend getaways to longer vacations, trips, or living somewhere for awhile!

From a former Economics professor, experienced traveler (100 countries), award-winning photojournalist/blogger, featured speaker at large travel shows, travel TV host (Plan Your Escape® TV), and  travel columnist for the Huffington Post, turn your travel dreams into reality with this acclaimed, groundbreaking, and inspiring how-to travel book.

Available as paperback or as Ebook for $7.96 on Amazon or $8.35 as B&N Nook Book, you will learn to safely realize and afford your travel dreams with comprehensive planning tools and checklists. You deserve this 5-star rated book! It also makes for a great gift that keeps on giving.

Former Economics professor and experienced world traveler (100 countries) tells 100′s of powerful cost-saving tips revealing proven secrets the travel industry does not want you to know! Learn to get the best deals on airfare, hotels, tours, cruises, tours, car rentals, restaurants, and more.

Experienced and occasional travelers say Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home is an inspiring and comprehensive how-to travel book: “It gets people exploring possibilities they never thought of.” – see Book Reviews and  5-Star Customer Ratings on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble! Give yourself, friends, and family the gift of affordable travel.


Plan Your Escape® shatters common misconceptions about traveling the world or living elsewhere. It shows you how travel can be safer, easier, and more affordable than you think giving you the practical resources, and tips missing in other travel guide books. 

For additional information, click on: Groundbreaking & Comprehensive How- to World Travel Book - "Plan Your Escape®"

Buy this popular book now on Amazon.com (also available as e-book for $7.96), click here: Plan Your Escape®: Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home

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Please enjoy 200+ wonderful places around the world, with award-winning photos, from our BLOG ARCHIVE on the right ---->

Airfare deals - How to Be the One on the Plane Who Paid the Lowest Price

Airfare deals - How to Be the One on the Plane Who Paid the Lowest Price

Note: we are not paid directly by any of these resources and use them to find travel bargains just like you would. 

For good airfare deals,  use Skyscanner.com.

Many of the large online travel booking sites have been bought and owned by the same companies so the prices they yield are almost the same. The Frommers organization did a study of all the major airfare booking websites and Skyscanner consistently reported better airfare deals.

Be flexible – Dates, Times, & Airports - It is amazing that just changing your flight timing a day or so, different hour, or even to a nearby airport will yield great airfare deals. Again, Skyscanner offers a "Whole Month" option where you can see cost of flights on days around the day you are interested in and an "Everywhere" option to evaluate possible savings to nearby airports.


On the average, flying on these days offer the best airfare deals: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.


Again, on the average, these are the best days to purchase for airfare deals: Saturday through Tuesday afternoon. Click here to learn more.


Booking ahead can yield good airfare deals – 8 weeks Domestic (average 19% savings) and 24 weeks International (average 27% savings). If you are flexible in your travel plans, waiting to book the last minute can also yield airfare deals if you can risk not finding a flight or possible higher prices.

Basic Fares - This is new in 2016. The major airlines need to compete with the budget airline and are offering low service 'Basic Fares'. They can be good airfare deals but be sure to read the details. Regularly they are non-cancelable with fees such as luggage and possibly other fees. But if that is OK, go for it.

Airfare alerts are a good way to find airfare deals. You can go to the following websites and enter in your flight plans and when good fares come up, they will notify you - Yapta.com, Skyscanner.com.


Airfare deals in Europe: Many booking websites do not include flights from budget airlines. You can use Flycheapo.com when searching flights in Europe to locate the budget airlines that service your needs and then you can go to their websites to book your flights.

For International airfare dealsAirtrek.com books a substantial number of flights and they do deals with airlines for volume deals. We have been using AirTreks for years now. After searching fares and coming up with goods deals, we then called AirTreks and they always had as good or better rates – and AirTreks includes travel insurance from Travelguard.


Click here to see many more free travel tips and bargain-finding strategies to travel for half the normal cost.

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Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga)


Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga) (10/27-11/5/2015)

Wayne Pat Dunlap Sand Island Vana'u Vanau Islands Kingdom of Tonga
Sand Island in Vana'u -
 Kingdom of Tonga
Looking for remote places in the world still ‘untouched’ but with nice tourism comforts? With 176 idyllic islands, the Kingdom of Tonga offers a unique off-the-beaten-path South Pacific experience.

We liked many things about the Kingdom of Tonga. When you arrive in Tonga, you notice everyone is relaxed and it is a real sense of relaxation. Most Tongans speak English making it easier to get to know these friendly people.

Map Kingdom of Tonga Island Groups
Map of Kingdom of Tonga's 
Island Groups
The Kingdom of Tonga has four island groups (see photo). In the south, the main island of Nuku’Alofa in the Tongatapu Island group is where 70% of Tonga’s 103,000 people live. The other main island groups are the Ha’apai group in the center and Vava’u group in the north. Further north you will find Niua Fo’ou and Niuatoputapu, two islands that make up the Niuas island group.

Fafa Resort Kingdom of Tonga Beach Island
Fafa Resort
Kingdom of Tonga
All around the Kingdom of Tonga there are remote beaches and stunning islands with private deserted beaches or beaches full of life. There are also family-friendly beaches with activities for everyone to enjoy. 

Swimming with the Whales Kingdom of Tonga
Swimming with the Whales -
Kingdom of Tonga
Being one of the few places in the world you can swim with whales, Tonga has become popular with its Swim with the Whales tours (see photos). After their long journey north from the icy Antarctica, the southern humpback whales find safe harbor in the calm reef-protected Tonga lagoons where they give birth to their young. 

Swimming with the Whales Kingdom of Tonga
Swimming with the Whales -
Kingdom of Tonga
The whales’ arrival from July to October (some seen in late June and early November) yields high numbers of whales offering plenty of opportunities to see and swim with them. Because a majority of the whales are mothers with calves, tour operators take great care not to overly disturb them.

Ariel Flight Over Vava'u Vavau Islands Kinddom of Tonga
Our Flight Over Vava'u Islands -
Kingdom of Tonga
We choose to visit Tonga’s Vava’u Islands and are glad we did. The Vava’u Islands are considered the adventure hub of the Kingdom of Tonga. It is a tropical paradise of 61 islands with deserted beaches, coral gardens, beautiful lagoons, and lots to do (see photo). The snorkeling is wonderful and there is kayaking, jet kayaking, and kite boarding available. 

Neiafu Harbor Vava'u Vavau Islands Kingdom of Tonga Yachts
Neiafu Harbor - 
Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga has the largest game fishing fleet in the South Pacific and includes blue marlin and other exciting fishing. Yachties take advantage of Vava’u’s worldwide reputation as a sheltered yachting playground. 

Neiafu is the Vava’u Island’s capital and second largest city in the Kingdom of Tonga. It is home of a harbor full of yachts from around the world (see photo) with restaurants, cafes, and bars.

View from Our Room Mandala Resort Kingdom of Tonga Ocean
View from Our Room -
Mandala Resort, Tonga
Staying in Tonga’s Vana’u Islands, we had one of the most exceptional experiences we have had at the one-of-a-kind Mandala Resort on the beautiful Fetoko Island (see photos). We can best describe it as sophisticated remoteness! – a unique South Pacific paradise experience not to be missed.

Our Bungalow Overlooking the Ocean Mandala Resort Vana'u Vanau Kingdom of Tonga
Our Bungalow Overlooking the Ocean -
 Mandala Resort - Vana'u, Tonga
The warm hospitality of Lisa and Ben will overwhelm you making your stay extremely enjoyable including daily gourmet meals. Ben offers several interesting day excursions of the area. Ask for Ben’s favorite – one he did for us of the best features. It was really fun.

Beachfront Beach Mandala Resort Fetoko Island Vana’u Kingdom of Tonga
Mandala Resort
Fetoko Island, Vana’u, Tonga
You will truly be impressed with the very special en suite bungalows that offer privacy overlooking stunning ocean views that you will enjoy for hours (see photo). Spending time in the beautifully designed beachfront with comfortable chairs, lazy hammocks, and elegant dining area is not to be missed (see photo). For the adventurous, Ben and Lisa will also arrange whale watching (and diving with the whales), Scuba diving, day sails, fishing trips, and other activities.

Private Bungalow Fafa Resort Island Kingdom of Tonga Beach Ocean
Private Villa - Fafa Island Resort, 
Kingdom of Tonga
We also stayed at Fafá Island Resort close to Tonga’s capital, Nuku‘alofa, on Tonga’s main island. Its warm turquoise lagoon and beautiful coral reef with tropical fish makes for great snorkeling. Fafá Island Resort has only 13 very private villas built in traditional Tongan style with high ceilings and natural materials (see photo). The bathroom with the shower in a private flower garden is really cool. We enjoyed staying at the Fafa Island Resort because it is upscale eco tourism in a largely unspoiled place with high quality facilities.

Map Flights to Kingdom of Tonga
Map of Flights 
to Kingdom of Tonga
Some Kingdom of Tonga travel tips: Tonga’s main airport, the Fua’amotu International Airport (TBU), is a 45-minute drive from Tonga’s capital, Nukua’lofa, that is located on the southern side of the main island of Nuku’Alofa. If you arrive late afternoon or during the night or leaving early morning, you can stay at the Scenic Hotel Tonga, located near the airport before flying to the other islands or coming or going from the Kingdom of Tonga (even for a few hours between flights).

Children Kingdom of Tonga
Beautiful Children 
of the Kingdom of Tonga
Sundays are sacred to Tongans and most businesses are closed, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. This also includes domestic flights so plan your visit to be somewhere on Sunday with an operating restaurant. Tongans are conservative and dress modestly. Casual wear is acceptable but beachwear should be restricted to the beach. Although appreciated, tipping is not expected in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Wayne Dunlap Fafa Resort Kingdom of Tonga Beach Ocean
Wayne at Fafa Resort
Kingdom of Tonga
When to visit the Kingdom of Tonga: Tonga enjoys a tropical climate that is warm and pleasant all year round with an average annual daytime temperature of 75ºF (24ºC). Summer (December to April) has warmer temperatures with more humidity, never exceeding 95ºF (35ºC) and winter (May to November) are cooler and dryer, never below 64ºF (18ºC). Cyclone season is from early November to late April.

South Pacific Map Oceania
South Pacific Map
Some history of the Kingdom of Tonga: Tonga’s history goes back over 3,000 years with traditions continuing today. South Pacific’s only remaining Kingdom, Tonga has a royal family and nobles, similar to many European monarchies, that dates back over 1,000 years. The Kingdom of Tonga became known as the “Friendly Islands” because of the hospitable reception Captain Cook had on his visit in 1773 – a well-deserved description even today.

Please enjoy 200+ wonderful places around the world, with award-winning photos, from our BLOG ARCHIVE on the right ----> 

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Travel for half the cost for all levels of travel from budget to luxury and 100's of other unique travel tips! From a former Economic professor, experienced traveler (100 countries), award-winning travel photojournalist/blogger, featured speaker at large travel shows, host of the travel TV show Plan Your Escape® TV aired on the CW network, and travel columnist for the Huffington Post, our popular 5-star customer rated groundbreaking and comprehensive how-to world travel book (available as paperback or Ebook for $7.96) Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home reveals secrets how you can travel and see more for half the cost for all trips from weekends getaways to longer vacations and trips, experience more adventure and romance, safely realize your travel dreams with comprehensive tools and checklists, travel the world for less than $100/day for a couple, and much more! – for additional information and sign up for free travel tips and bargains, go to www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com