TRAVEL NEWS for our TAPinto Reader Families: 

Holmdel, NJ: On Saturday, February 23, from 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. Dearborn Market's indoor garden center was transformed into a festive travel destination for the public to enjoy browsing for their next vacation destination.

The award winning, time-tested Excel Travel - celebrating 25 years of success, featured more than 30 of their favorite vacation vendors, operators and owners of top-notch travel destinations. These experts  provided first-hand information about a wide variety of travel destinations!

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The possibilities were limitless including everything from an exotic safari, a fun-filled, family cruise, a romantic getaway or simply a resort within a day’s drive, it was all on display at the Vacation Expo. As shoppers entered the warm garden center they heard the sounds of Tropical Island Music performed by local artist Mario Marcal.

Excel Travel thought of everything for the traveler's convenience; Green Leaf Pet Resort was on hand to give traveler's information on how to 'give your dog the best vacation while you are on vacation'.... Green Leaf Pet Resort Hotel has 35,000 square feet of tail wagging luxury, a state of the art pet care facility with salt water aquatic pools for your dog, and so much more.  All Occasion Limousine was on hand to plan your car service from your doorstep to the airport, owner operated friendly service and a wide selection of well maintained vehicles including SUV's for comfortable family transports.

The Monmouth County Clerk's office had a friendly staffed booth to guide local residents on passport procedures and forms as well as providing general information from the office of Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, Esq. 

Even your vacation tan solution was on site with Travel Tanz, the first mobile spray tanning company in Monmouth County, Travel Tanz representative Anna commented, "We bring the tan to the convenience of your home with our pop up spray booth and our all natural organic spray tan products, the official airbrush tan of ABC's Dancing with the Stars! We leave you with that natural healthy bronze tan, no orange and no streaks!"

Talk about vacation information! An endless variety of colorful brochures and giveaways were available for the collecting, but even better the experts were on hand to answer questions and book vacations on the spot, saving the customers hundreds of dollars!

If you booked a trip using Excel Travel, you received $100 off (or shipboard credit) and vacation packages or cruise bookings. Attendees at this year’s event were able to explore a trip to Asia on land or by sea, or discover a romantic wedding and honeymoon destination on a Caribbean island, or plan a once-in-a-lifetime African safari, or an action-packed, family ski trip to the Rockies, or an over-the-top luxurious river cruise for two, or simply a girls’ indulgent spa week getaway. The options were limitless!

 “Official tour company representatives were present and provided excellent resources for ensuring memorable journeys,” says travel expert Ted Friedli, owner of Excel Travel, Long Branch, and Founder of Kick Cancer Overboard Foundation providing free cruises to people affected by cancer. “We  personally selected our favorites for this event.”  There were unusual travel vendors like 

No matter what your idea of a dream vacation is, it was easy planning at the Vacation Expo. There was an endless variety of journeys available with the lowest prices possible (even compared to Expedia, Travelocity, etc.)

At Vacation Expo the only limit to your next adventure was your imagination. Here is just a sampling of tour representatives who were present: Beaches and Sandals Resorts - Crystal Cruises – Celtic Tours World Tours – Club Med – Elegant Hotels – Holland America Line -  Kick Cancer Overboard - Jamaica Tourist Board - Viking River Cruises - Micato Safaris - Cayman Islands –- AMA Waterways - Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines – MSC Cruises, and many more.

Don't worry if you missed the expo visit: NJVACATIONEXPO.COM

You can call Excel Travel, at (800) 392-3588 or  (732) 571-1960 or visit: 

For more information on Dearborn Market, visit 


More information from Excel Travel owner Ted Friedli taken from a previous TAPintoRedBank interview: 

With over twenty-five years in the business and a staff of travel counselors whose average experience is twenty-three years,  Friedli kicked off by stating his four reasons (with comments), on why you should use a travel agency for booking your next vacation.

1. Best Price.  In answering the question “I can get better pricing online,” Friedli countered, “Have you ever seen any proof that you can better prices online?  I’ve never been able to find a survey that confirms that you can get lower prices on Expedia, Travelocity or Travel Zoom compared from what you get from a travel agency.  Never.”

2. Expert Advice. Friedli talked about the inside knowledge his travel counselors have, one even having gone to Disneyland 39 times.  “Yes, you can do it online.  When we do it for you, you get free expert advice.  You pay for the services of a travel agency whether you use a travel agency or not.  We’ve had a customer come in with their Expedia print-out for a cruise.  We pointed out that this is a great cruise with a great cabin.  We can get you the same price, but for $50 more, you can get a cabin that’s not above the nightclub so you can actually sleep at night.” 

3. 24/7 Emergency Service. In discussing airline cancellations or delays, “If there is a problem with your flight, we can help bail you out.  We know what airlines can and cannot do.”   If warranted, Excel Travel can get you compensated.

4. Shift the Risk.  “People make mistakes when they book their own vacation.  You’d be surprised how many people book flights to Naples, Florida instead of Naples, Italy.” 

“It’s not about cheaper.  You can always get cheaper, it’s about getting value,” said Friedli. 

Friedli also mentioned that in many countries, passports must be valid for three or six months past the return date of their trip.

Excel Travel knows the tricks of the trade in saving money.  “If you’re traveling for a long weekend getaway, book between Saturday and Tuesday.  If you’re planning a roundtrip, always price two, one-way tickets.  It’s not always less expensive, but always worth a try, especially for international flights.  If you have a family of five, you’ll get the lowest online price for all five tickets.  If you price one ticket at time, savings could be significantly more.”

Ted Friedli gives a lot of himself.  In 2010, Friedli founded Kick Cancer Overboard, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has given away almost 300 free cruises to people whose lives have been affected by cancer.  

To read a heartwarming previous TAPintoRed Bank story on one these cruise giveaways, click HERE.

Do you do your own plumbing, electrical work or taxes? 

More than likely not.  You want to deal with professionals.  You want to deal with Excel Travel.

Remember: The Internet is for looking, Excel Travel is for booking!