Before we got married, my husband and I talked about taking a honeymoon in Europe. He’d never been overseas and I had only been a couple places in my youth. We found it extremely difficult to manage all of the fine details: booking travel, finding hotels, selecting our to-do list, etc. etc. etc. Eventually we settled on staying domestic and we had a wonderful honeymoon in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the big island of Hawaii. It was nice to simply relax and enjoy that special time after the wedding rather than trying to see everything we could in Europe.
For the next two years, we were constantly reminded that we still had that itch to travel abroad. We saved up money and started planning, and finally, in September, my husband and I embarked on our first international trip together. Because we both have demanding full-time jobs, we decided that we’d rather have a tour company handle our trip. Leave it to the experts, we thought….
So we searched online for the right tour company for us, weighing cost and destinations available along with reviews of past tours, and ultimately settled on Go Ahead Tours. I am so glad we booked with them. They truly did take care of all of the details. Go Ahead Tours offers so many amazing locations, we found it hard to select just one! As we researched a couple of their many tour options, we set aside a few options – Southern Italy, Rome, Oktoberfest in Germany, and eventually landed on a tour of Ireland in late September.
The booking process was very easy. We selected our preferred dates, set our departure airport (BWI), specified how many people and how many beds were required, and finally picked a couple interesting excursions. We were even able to use a discount that saved us $1000! After booking, we were sent several informative emails and mailings, and by August, we felt like we were completely ready to go. They even mailed us a couple of travel bags for us to use on the trip in one package! Our cat, Penny, certainly enjoyed the cardboard box they arrived in:
Throughout the planning process and while we were on tour, Go Ahead Tours really went above and beyond. As I was worrying about what to pack, their customer service department was able to answer dress code questions as well as suggest weather appropriate attire for Ireland in the fall. While we were on the tour, our tour guide was absolutely amazing. She suggested all sorts of small trips to take, sites to see, and places to eat (and drink, it is Ireland after all!) and did a phenomenal job of making us feel 100% welcome in her homeland. Everyone on our tour of 17 was super nice as well, something that really added to the trip as a whole. (Side note: we were considered “the young couple” in our 30s, so most of the other tourists were a bit older – some in their early 70s but all great people and very interesting travel buddies.) We had a good mix of group time and free time, though the excursions did tend to take up some time that would otherwise be considered “free.”
If you are considering taking a trip with a tour group, I really can’t recommend Go Ahead Tours enough. In this post, I’ve included referral links if you are interested in signing up for an account and booking a tour! I’ll get a small thank you commission if you sign up and book with Go Ahead.
If you need a place to go, I definitely recommend Ireland! Here are just a few photos from our trip – almost all taken from my Samsung Galaxy Note5 – one’s from my iPhone 5S:
Happy travels to you! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like any more info in the comments below! If you’ve traveled with Go Ahead Tours, please let me know your impressions of the company as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you had asked me three years ago my impressions of Havertys Furniture, I would have said it was excellent, highly recommended. In my previous life (at my first condo), I purchased a bedroom set, a couch, and two upholstered ottomans and was really pleased with everything. My sister actually has the bedroom set and couch at her apartment outside of Boston, almost ten years after I bought them, and they are still in great condition.
Recently though, we’ve made a few purchases that are less than satisfactory. My husband and I spent months looking for his ideal leather recliner. It had to fit all of his requirements: comfortable, casual, durable, attractive, and within budget. Needless to say, this was difficult to find and we made several trips to a multitude of stores in search of this unicorn recliner. We were so excited when we found it at Havertys – the Payton recliner – and bought it without a second thought. Not one year later, the leather coloring on the back (where his head rests) has worn in a speckled pattern of a strange orangey-yellow color. How is this even possible? Was the leather badly dyed in the first place? If someone can help explain, please do!
Fortunately, we’d bought the extended protection for this particular piece (we are protective of our leather!) so it was replaced recently, but this definitely soured our opinion of the chair and Havertys craftmanship. I will say that the customer service team did a good job of handling the return though the delivery team was over two hours late with NO notice and no apology – grrr…
However, our bad experience with the recliner pales in comparison to that of a trunk/coffee table I’d bought a few months ago. The Scottsdale Cocktail Table was really pretty online and in person. It served a dual purpose – storing items we didn’t use often like extra pillows and throw blankets, and came in a nice brown distressed finish. Imagine our surprise when it was delivered and after opening and closing a few times, the hinges looked like this:
We immediately returned it, and questioned the description from the Havertys website that this was “hardwood” construction. We understood that the oak veneer would be applied, but assumed (wrongly) that the construction would be made of some sort of actual wood, since the website specifies Asian Hardwoods, whatever that is. This was clearly made of MDF – not even plywood! To charge this much money for something that is made from these subpar materials, and to call them “hardwoods” on the website is shady to say the least.
To be fair, I’ve also purchased two items from Havertys that I really like – the Cleo Accent Chest (no longer available) and the Charleston sectional (also no longer available). These two items have held up well and look nice in our new house.
However, after seeing the quality and workmanship of the cocktail table and leather recliner, I can’t in good conscience recommend Havertys anymore. If you do buy from there, be sure to check – and double check – materials and read all reviews before making your purchase!
What are your thoughts of Havertys? Have you had the same problems I have, or have a better experience to share? Let me know in the comments!
It’s one of my favorite times of the year – March Madness! It’s not just about basketball either (PS: Go Terps!) – there is an amazing sale going on right now on 60 pieces of gorgeous Amrita Singh jewelry! To celebrate spring, for the next 48 hours, tons of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings are on sale for just $15 with code MAD15! Here are a few of my favorites:
Check out all of the March Madness sale items here and be sure to use your cash back sites when you shop! Ebates currently offers 5% cash back on all purchases at Amrita Singh… that’s free money, honey!
Let me know if you end up purchasing anything! Enjoy the madness!
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