International Travel – Independently or with a Group

International travel is a great way to open your mind and learn about other cultures and the history of the region you are visiting. Traveling internationally can be a bit overwhelming. In addition to being disoriented upon landing at an international airport and making your way through customs, there can be jet lag, language barriers, transportation challenges and currency confusion. 

You can travel internationally on your own or with friends, family or your significant other. Independent travel allows you to really explore a region and truly immerse yourself in the culture. You can decide which hotel you want to stay at, which attractions to visit and where to dine. You are completely in charge of your travel experience. 

If independent travel is not your style, group travel is a great option. Group travel is desirable for many people because the logistical details are handled by the tour director traveling with you, who is familiar with the region. Plus, you have travel companions that add to the ambiance of the tour.  


Traveling with Home Federal’s Jubilee Travel Club provides an opportunity to travel with people from the Rochester area who share interests and backgrounds. Jean Jech, Jubilee’s tour director, says, “My goal is to make every trip worry free…It’s the little things that can make a trip so much better such as having transportation in place upon arrival and room keys ready at the hotels. I’m also there to handle the larger needs as well.”

Jubilee will be offering two international trips in 2017: Romantic Danube River Cruise and Pristine Panama. Regarding the Danube River Cruise, Ms. Jech shares, “We’ve chosen the Viking Cruise Line as our ‘home away from home’ and will be enjoying three of the most beautiful cities in Europe: Prague, and Vienna as well as quaint towns throughout Germany and Austria.  We love Prague so much that we’ve included a full day there before our cruise begins.” 

“With our Pristine Panama program, we’re offering a fantastic trip filled with truly unique adventures. We’ll be staying at a beautiful inclusive resort located deep in the Panamanian rain forest.  In addition to a partial canal transit, we’ll spend our days on tram rides through the rain forest, in small boats viewing monkeys leaping through the trees and taking dug-put canoes to visit the Embera Indians.”

Full details of Jubilee’s 2017 Romantic Danube River Cruise and Pristine Panama tours are available by contacting Jubilee’s Director, Jean Jech at 507.535.1231 or  


According to AAA Field Manager, Peggy Nixa, “The Auto Club Group has seen a large increase in river cruise bookings that sail along the Danube and Rhine Rivers in Europe. Many of our repeat cruisers love this travel option, since it allows them to see villages and cities up close and personal!”

Nixa adds, “An alternative destination to European travel is a vacation in Canada, which offers a ‘French flair’ along the  East Coast and spectacular scenery of the lakes and mountains in the West. The favorable exchange rate is another plus!”

According to Nixa, “Escorted tour groups are also very popular, since they provide the peace of mind of having a AAA
host and/or local guide who is familiar with the destination, and helps to ensure a flawless experience. Women, especially, enjoy guided tours, since they provide a detailed history of destinations.” For more information about AAA travel, call
507-289-1851 #5, or visit


Whether you choose to travel independently or with a group, choose a destination, book your vacation and start dreaming. You’ll never regret that you took an amazing trip and experienced things you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you sidelined. Get out there and see the world…on your terms.

Cindy Mennega, owner of Straight-Talk Wireless, is a health coach and freelance writer based in Rochester.