I am so excited to be able to tell you that my new book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is now available on Amazon.com!

Writing this book has been a labor of absolute love, and now I get to share it with you!

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

 

I had a little marketing Q&A recently and thought some of the transcript would give you a really good idea of what’s in the book and why you should buy it! Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is exclusively available at Amazon.com

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

Why Did You Write This Book?

Everywhere I go people tell me they would love to go to Italy but don’t know where to start with planning a trip. Where to go, how long to stay in each place, where to stay, how to get around.

They frequently tell me they don’t want to be on a big bus tour or want more time than 5 hours in a city while on a cruise. Others will tell me they are booked on a cruise but don’t know how best to spend their time in a given city when their time is so brief.

Others tell me they would love to go to Italy but could never afford it. They are blown away when I show them how they can do it for less than they spend on a vacation here in the USA.

I travel to Italy several times per year, so it made sense to write a book explaining how to put a fabulous trip together, and how to do it on a budget.

What Makes It Different From Other Travel Books?

Whenever I buy travel guide books they tell me about things to do in a given town or city, but they don’t tell me how to put a trip together.

They all speak in a very corporate voice that is completely impersonal, and they don’t really care if you love a place or not.

I thought about all the things I would want to know if I was traveling to a country I hadn’t been to before, all the questions I would be asking, and tried to write a book that answers these questions.

In Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy it is me speaking to you. I really do care that you have an amazing time while you are in Italy. I want to help you to plan and then have the absolute trip of a lifetime. I want to take away all the things you might find stressful and set you up to have a vacation the is both fun and fabulous. Most of all I want you to come away from it in love with Italy, like I am!

So What’s In The Book?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is broken up into three sections.

Section One

The first goes into depth helping you to plan your trip so everything flows seamlessly. We look at different accommodation options, how to choose where to stay, how to move around the country, how to make sure you’re not missing anything. There are several elements in this section that will really Wow you. The feedback so far has been very consistent with people saying “I would never have thought of that!!!”

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

Section Two

Section two deals with everything you need to know about planning your flights, getting the killer deals, getting upgraded (my specialty!). I go into depth on things you may not otherwise have thought about, from what to wear on a long-haul flight, to what you must have in your carry-on bag (you might be surprised), to avoiding, minimizing, or if the worst happens dealing with jetlag. You will not only save a ton of money with this section, but also arrive in Italy feeling fresh and fabulous and ready to take on the world.

Section Three

The third section is help for you on the ground. You will learn how to choose a restaurant, which foods and wines to order by region. Although Chianti is fabulous you’re not going to order it in Venice and you wouldn’t order it in Positano. I have a cheat sheet guide in the book for quick reference on which wines you order where. The same with foods, Italian cuisine is entirely regional, so there is a chapter telling you specialty foods to order everywhere you go.

There is also help for you when things go wrong, what to do if you get sick, translations for common ailments that you can either day or point to when you are getting help.

I have a step by step guide to using the train system, which can be quite a handful if you don’t know what to do. A photographer I work with told me about trying to get from Verona to Florence by train, and how incredibly stressful it was for her because she didn’t know what anything meant, or how the system worked, and she couldn’t even see the word Florence anywhere! It’s Firenze over there. There are so many things that can make it really stressful, but if you have my little step by step guide with you it’s a breeze.

Section three also teaches you how to order coffee in Italy, things you need to know about beaches and shopping and getting your sales tax back – there is so much in there, it is endlessly helpful even to people who have traveled to Italy before!

What Else?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is peppered with anecdotes and stories from my own travels in Italy. I wanted to be able to back up things that I tell you with stories that put them into perspective. Partly to highlight how when things don’t go as planned there is normally an outcome that is far more fun anyway, so don’t sweat it. Partly to have the reader keep their eyes and ears open for fabulous experiences that are waiting to jump out at them, and partly to have them watch out for the telepass lane at the highway toll booths. You have to read the book to get that one…

What Do You Want Readers To Take Away From This Book?

I really want people to see that a trip to Italy can be incredibly affordable and you don’t have to be wealthy do it.

When my son was 12 I really wanted to take him on a beach vacation. My one stipulation was that I wanted to be able to sit on my balcony and have a view of the ocean, and be able to hear the waves as I fell asleep at night. I tried to find us a place at the beach in San Diego but everything was so completely out of our price range, so we went to Sicily instead!

I want readers to take that trip to Italy, to see some of the big tourist attractions, but also to get off the beaten path and see more of the truly amazing places where the tour buses and cruise ships don’t go.

Where Can We Buy Your Book?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is sold exclusively on Amazon.com. You can get your copy here

It is available in digital form on Kindle or if you don’t have a Kindle (I don’t) you can download it onto the Kindle App.

There will be a paperback version available in the next couple of weeks too.

Free Resources

I am building up a free resources library for my blog readers and my book readers. For now I have my pre-travel checklists available for you to download. These are the checklists I personally use when I travel, and also that my Glam Italia Tour travelers use. Get Your Checklists Here

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If you have been following this blog for a while, chances are you have heard me speaking about my Glam Italia Tours, and quite possibly don’t know what they are. I don’t have a website for the Glam Tours at the moment, mostly because I have been so busy writing my new book, Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy. Who knew how much work was involved with writing and publishing a book?? Not me!

Also, I only take a few tours each year, and they are always sold out, so I didn’t really feel any great sense of urgency.

I will be putting up a website at some point, but for now this post will tell you about the Glam Italia Tours, where we go, what we do, and what makes them soooo special!

What Is A Glam Italia Tour?

Glam Italia Tours are boutique, a la carte private tours of Italy for small groups of women. The average tour group is between 3 and 6 women. The idea is to keep it small and flexible so that I can craft the trip of a lifetime for each person on the tour.

Glam Italia Tour Venice

Glam Italia Tour in Venice, 2018

The smaller group size means we are able to spend as little or as much time as we want in any given place. We can keep exploring little Tuscan villages if we feel like it, we can have 3 hour lunches with a view over the vineyards, or grab sandwiches and run to the Prada outlet – everything happens at our own pace instead of having to adhere to some big tour company’s schedule.

Glam Italia Tour Positano

Glam Italia Tour in Positano, 2017

BUY MY NEW BOOK GLAM ITALIA! HOW TO TRAVEL ITALY HERE

Why Glam Italia Tours?

If you don’t want to be on a big bus tour with 40 other people, and want more than the 5 hours in town that you get with the typical cruise, but the thought of doing it alone feels a bit overwhelming then a Glam Tour might be perfect for you.

Glam Italia Tour Volterra

Glam Italia Tour in Volterra 2016

On the Glam Italia Tours we mix seeing the big tourist attractions such as the Vatican and the Colosseum, with exploring fabulous places that are a little bit off the beaten track where no tour buses go.

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

Glam Italia Tour in San Gimignano, 2016

My travelers get the chance to meet and mingle with local Italians, shop in village markets, enjoy drinking coffees or prosecco (depending on the time of day) in centuries old piazzas, and dine in real Italian restaurants – the ones the locals eat at, far from the tourist crowds!

Glam Italia Tour Volterra

Glam Italia Tour Volterra, 2018

Even when we are in major tourist cities such as Venice, Florence and Rome, we are far from the crowds, seeing amazing things the masses don’t know about, and having an entirely different type of travel experience.

It’s wonderful!

Glam Italia Tour Ortigia

Glam Italia Tour in Ortigia, Sicily, 2014

 

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN FLORENCE

Who Can Go On A Glam Italia Tour?

Glam Italia Tours are for women aged 35 and older. Sorry guys – this is all about female energy and we only do female-centric things.

Glam Italia Tour Matera

Glam Italia Tour in Matera, 2016

Where Do The Glam Tours Go?

All Glam Italia Tours are a la carte, so they are built around your interests. Normally when it’s someone’s first time in Italy they want to see Florence/Tuscany, Venice, Rome and Amalfi Coast.

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

Glam Italia Tour in San Gimignano, 2017

When they come back for their second and third tours we go to Sicily or Puglia or the Italian Riviera. Italy has so much to offer you can keep going back over and over and not see the same thing twice!

Glam Italia Tour Lecce

Glam Italia Tour in Lecce, Puglia, 2016

Where Do You Stay?

The Glam Italia Tours use vacation rental apartments, villas, castles and  palaces instead of hotels. I have to tell you, you will never forget staying in a centuries old palazzo/apartment/villa – the experience is just magic!

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

Glam Italia Tour in a 13th century palazzo, watching the festival down in the piazza below

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

the festival in the piazza

After a long day of sightseeing and being fabulous it’s nice to be able to lounge around on sofas, or sit out on the balcony with a glass of wine and an amazing view and just relax. In a hotel room you mostly get stuck with sitting on your bed, which is neither glamorous nor relaxing!

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

Glam Italia Tour traveler in San Gimignano, 2016

Another benefit to staying in vacation rentals is that we get the experience of shopping in local markets and supermarkets. This lets us feel as though we are actually living in Italy for a while rather than just visiting.

Eating out 3 times per day can be both exhausting and expensive, and you end up eating more than you want to. Having the opportunity to make the choice to eat in or eat out each day is quite freeing! The way I see it we are all grown ups and if you want to eat in or eat out it is entirely up to you! Typically we do a mixture of the two, with everyone generally opting to do the same thing.

What Makes A Glam Italia Tour Different?

In my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy I talk about how important it is to create incredible experiences, and that is the focus of the Glam Italia Tours. Yes you will see some amazing sights, but more than that you will have endless fabulous experiences.

Glam Italia Tour Capri

Going to the Blue Grotto in Capri, 2017

When we go to Capri we don’t just walk around and look at things, we charter a boat, circumnavigate the island, and go swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The experience is just amazing!

Glam Italia Tour Capri

Glam Italia Tour chartered boat in Capri, 2017

In Tuscany we end our days with a glass of wine and a view of the vineyards, in Rome we take in the sunset from the Janiculum Hill with a view over the city. Every day is filled with incredible experiences that will become lifelong memories.

Glam Italia Tour Capri

Glam Italia Tour in Capri, 2017

We also have incredible flexibility. You don’t have to be back on the bus at 3pm to go to the next attraction. We do everything in our own time. If we are in some little town and you don’t want to leave yet because you want to wander down more little streets and look at more things – no problem! We hang out longer. Alternatively if you have had enough and want to keep moving, we just jump back in the car and head off again.

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN POSITANO

How Long Is A Glam Italia Tour?

Because they are a la carte the Glam Tours can be any length you would like. Most Glam tours run 10-12 days, which seems to be a really good length of time. I definitely do not recommend any fewer than 10 days. If you want to throw in a free day or a beach day on top of the tour itinerary then 12-14 days is a good amount of time.

Glam Italia Tour Wine Tasting

Glam Italia Tour wine tasting in Tuscany, 2017

Are They Expensive?

No, Glam Italia Tours are not expensive. They cost a little more than the mainstream big bus tours but are priced for normal folks. Part of the point of doing this was to open up the opportunity to travel for regular people. For the average person a tour of Italy can seem out of reach, but really it can be quite accessible!

Glam Italia Tour San Gimignano

Glam Italia Tour breakfast in the piazza, 2017

RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN ROME

What’s With The Name?

Why are they called Glam Italia Tours?  When I did my first tour it was for one lady, and she didn’t want to feel like the people stomping on and off the tour buses. She wanted to feel pretty and lovely without having to be dressed to the nines. The whole point of the trip was to have all these amazing experiences and feel a bit glamorous while having them, hence they became known as the Glam Italia Tours!

Glam Italia Tour Spanish Steps

Glam Italia Tour, sunset on the Spanish Steps, 2017

How Do I Get On A Glam Tour?

If you would like to do a Glam Italia Tour reach out to me via the contact page on this blog.

CHECK OUT MY ITALY TRAVEL TIPS BOARD ON PINTEREST

Did you know that you can be denied a passport, or have your passport revoked if you owe back taxes??

It used to be that each government department stayed in its own lane, but now they are talking to each other, and it can have dire consequences for your travel plans!

This is a law that was passed in December of 2015, but the IRS needed time to get everything together, and now for the past few months the agency has been putting it into action.

 

The FAST Act

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So What Is This Law?

The law is called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act. The FAST Act require the IRS to give the State Department a list of people who owe back taxes. The State Department can then deny, revoke, or limit the ability of these people to use their passports.

Supposedly this is just for people who are “seriously delinquent” with their tax debt. How much qualifies as seriously delinquent? It turns out it’s not that much. If you owe $51,000 or more in back taxes (including penalties and fines!) your name goes on the list.

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More About The FAST Act

There is a section in the FAST Act titled Revocation or Denial Of Passport In Case Of Certain Tax Delinquencies

The specifics of this process are spelled out in a section of the FAST Act titled Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies, which essentially makes using a passport a tool to collect taxes. The law allows the State Department, when notified by the IRS, to revoke, deny or limit passports for anyone the IRS has certified as having seriously delinquent tax debt.

The passport restriction will affect people who owe larger amounts and travel internationally. It will also affect anyone looking to apply for or renew their passports.

How Does It Work?

The IRS will sendthe State Department a Letter 508C, which certifies that you have a seriously delinquent tax debt ($51,000 or more). They will also send a letter to the taxpayer’s last known address. The taxpayer will also be notified about passport restrictions in a separate letter.

RELATED POST: WHY YOU SHOULD RENEW YOUR PASSPORT NOW

Define Seriously Delinquent…

The IRS says any person owing a legally enforceable tax liability of more than $50,000. It may sound like a lot, but it actually includes fines, penalties and interest. Anyone who has been in arrears with their taxes, or knows someone who has, can tell you this adds up quickly!

You must have had a tax lien filed against you and all remedies for lien relief must have lapsed or been denied.

Tax payers have a 90 day process for resolving IRS errors or for getting back in good standing with the IRS.

passport and taxes

My new book is out! Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is now available here at Amazon.com

Should You Be Worried?

*If you have ever had to deal with the IRS making a mistake with your taxes before then you may already know how incredibly time consuming and difficult it can be to get the situation fixed. It happened to me once with a business that had been sold. It was an error made by the IRS and it took months to get fixed. They even threatened to take my home! Luckily I was able to get it remedied before it came to that, but under this new law I would have had my passport revoked, lot my Global Entry status, and had a world of additional headaches to contend with!

*Those of you who are divorced probably already know that legally you are responsible for 50% of every stupid or illegal move your ex spouse made during the time you were married. If your ex ran up tax debt prior to your divorce, you own half of it.

*Those of you who are behind on your taxes – it happens! Plenty of people are. Your best bet to save your passport and your ability to travel internationally is to get on a payment plan with the IRS asap.

RELATED POST: 11 CREDIT CARD TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Not Sure If You’re On The List?

If you think there is a chance that you could be on the list don’t wait until your next international trip to find out. Call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778

Check out the Top Ten reasons why people buy Travel Insurance and see if it is right for you.

Is There Relief?

The IRS will consider the following individuals to be excepted from the State Department’s passport restrictions:

    • Those who’ve entered an installment agreement with the IRS to pay their taxes
    • Those who’ve settled their tax debt through an offer in compromise or a Justice Department agreement
    • Those who appeal a tax levy through an IRS collection due process hearing
    • Those who request innocent spouse relief by filing Form 8857


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