travel (58)

By Connie Portis Nationwide —   What better time than now to say “this year, I am going to put myself at the top of the list and travel with Sisters & Friends on a relaxing and fun vacation.” During the annual Martha’s Vineyard Getaway women from ar10744109898?profile=originalound the country make that decision – from California to Michigan to Florida and many states in between women travel to reconnect, relax and recharge in a wonderful, inviting ‘no drama’ setting.

In 2015 over 100 women ended the week with new connections, an appreciation for gathering with like-minded African American women from different backgrounds, and a check off their bucket list to visit Martha’s Vineyard. There are two separate weeks to select from this year, September 11-18 or 18-24.

There are many details to enhance a girlfriends’ getaway. It is best not to leave anything to chance so you can be ready for the surprises you will have to handle. Here are three tips to assist with planning a wonderful event.

  1. Define the Getaway purpose.  Getaways can range from all fun, health and fitness, personal and professional development, spiritual retreat and many more. It is important for marketing to have a focus that will energize the planner and prospective guests. Will you reach out to the public? Is it for a select group, a family, club or organization? Before you put the word out know your purpose so when sharing, others it will be clear if they are included in the invitation to join in.
  2. Decide the best way to achieve the purpose. If it’s a no agenda gathering where lazy days, at will meals and venturing out is left up to each person; research the destination and provide information on activities one can do alone. If your getaway is activity driven, offer a written schedule of workshops, tours, and other group activities. Sisters & Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard offers a non-binding agenda of activities in additional to support for do nothing guests who want to sit, relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  3. Make a detailed plan. A getaway is an event and proper planning important. In your marketing material, identify your target audience, show photos and suggest who might be interested. If planning activities set perimeters, secure speakers and space well in advance. Take note of Sisters & Friends Getaway form for more information before sending out specific information. It helps to know who is requesting getaway details.

Make your event special! Sisters and Fiends Getaway includes early morning spiritual dips in the ocean, workshops, sightseeing tours, nights laughing, playing games, solving the world’s problems, and enjoying meals and beverages. Visit for more information.


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Sisterfriends returning from a walk around the neighborhood during Sisters & Friends Getaway to Martha's Vineyard.

There is no better month for a relaxing girlfriends getaway than September. It's back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-reality drudgery. Most of us have busy months from the beginning of the year with hectic schedules, bad weather that seems to never end, a great summer of graduations, weddings, showers, reunions and other family and friends events. That’s all good! But, September is the perfect time to focus on you. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Starts the end of the summer with a vacation!
  2. Rates are less costly
  3. Popular spots are free from most tourists
  4. Less worry about ‘missing’ activities at home
  5. Things have settled and you can relax

Sisters and Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard is perfect for relaxing and for a September jumpstart to the rest of the year. The unique location makes it a popular rejuvenating spot because it is secluded and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Rich with African American history, Adam Clayton Powell and Dorothy West once owned homes there. Writer Jill Nelson, broadcaster Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Spike Lee own homes on MV and the Obamas visit there in August. Oak Bluffs, the Sisters and Friends "neighborhood" destination is one of the island's principal points of arrival and is noted for its "gingerbread cottages" and other well-preserved mid to late-nineteenth-century buildings. Women gather from around the country, most meeting for the first time are at ease not having to dress to impress, wear many hats or be on when they want to be off!  Sisters and Friends enjoy exploring the island, planned and impromptu workshops, clean air and vintage houses where sitting on the porch after a swim, line-dancing, or sampling another ice cream parlor is a perfect interlude during a Sisters & Friends day. Best thing is women come alone or with friends and leave with new life-long connections.

It is not too late to register and join women from around the country on a September Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard. Visit

Connie Portis is the host of the annual Sisters & Friends Getaway to Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard. To attend this year or for more information, contact her at or 412-400-8809.

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 Please stay connected so we can prosper together.
 At your service,  Rickey  623-453-6364

 JMCC community

Update on My Fun Life, mobile app company featuring travel app.

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10744097073?profile=originalPlanning group respites are becoming more common place as women seek ways to broaden their networks, re-connect with friends and experience different environments on their “bucket lists.” Many women love the outdoors, exploring new places, have talents they want to share and want to get away to relax. They are willing to put aside their usual vacation habits and go on a girls' getaway with friends and strangers. With times so tough and many women want to save and forgo vacations, a girlfriends retreat is a perfect way to experience a wonderful place and join with other women while not spending a lot of money.

Citing “needing some downtime”, “looking forward…need stress relief”, “wanting to be with positive people” are some of the reasons why guests say they are on the Sisters and Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard. They are waiting to exhale on this relaxing and rejuvenating week-long vacation. Taking place September 8-15 or September 15-22 women are connecting with friends from around the country.

Host of Sisters and Friends Getaway Connie Portis shares four suggestions essential to include in the overall planning, once the destination is secured. Make coordinating a retreat as exciting and relaxing for the host as it is for the guests:

Envision what a retreat means to you -Think about your ideal retreat and make a list of what makes it ideal to you.

Dissect the list -Identify the elements you think others would also enjoy are doable and affordable

Start from the last day of the retreat and back into a schedule. -Work your activities backwards to determine how much time you will need to execute the event and be sure to include everything else in your life in that schedule

Arrive in advance leave a little later -Give yourself onsite lead time to prepare space and take post-time to reflect and relax

Make your event special. On Sisters and Fiends Getaway, the nights in the house laughing, playing games, solving the world’s problems, and enjoying good meals and beverages are stress relieving and fun. The best features include making cross-country connections, its affordable, choose what to do and when to do it, no drama, peaceful.

If you are waiting to exhale in an inviting environment, join Sisters and Friends Getaway. Space is available for September 15-22. Visit for more information or call (412) 400-8809.

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10744094461?profile=originalCan you imagine a place where there is no smog, no 18 wheelers pushing you to go faster, no temptation to visit a fast food franchise (because there are none), and a place where you can dress down all the time. Imagine being in the company of adults who seem like folks you've known all your life...women who have inspiring stories and even better advice! How about being in a place where your meals are delicious and prepared for you every day, a place where you can walk along the ocean or sit on the porch and relax all day for an affordable price for an entire week? You can experience all this. Join Sisters & Friends Getaway to Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard.


Why Martha’s Vineyard?

Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect place for this gathering. First, it is quiet and serene and being there makes one slow down. Second people are intrigued by the Island and never dreamed they could one a day visit. The Island is rich with African and Native American history. And, because many high-profile people have homes or visit there, Ms. Portis wants others to experience this slice of ‘the good life’ and know that it is within their reach.


What is the agenda?

Some activities include line dancing, card games, book discussion, morning ocean swim, shopping but mostly Sisters & Friends Getaway is a trip where guests make their own respite agenda. That is why the vacation begins the Sunday after Labor Day when the pace is slow and the tourist crowd is reduced and the island quiet and serene. The nights in the houses are spent laughing, playing games, joining in inspiring discussions and enjoying fabulous meals (including vegetarian).


What are the Accommodations?

We stay in vintage Vineyard homes within walking distance of each other in the historic Oak Bluffs neighborhood. Each person shares a twin room with a sister or friend or alone in a queen bedroom. Houses accommodate 8-14 women and there are multiple facilities in each house. Check out the FAQ’s at

How much does it cost?

With times so tough and many wanting to save and forgo vacation this is the perfect opportunity to get away, experience a wonderful place and join with other women while not spending a lot of money. Since meals and board are included in the cost, many find this the perfect group to go to Martha’s Vineyard with. How to obtain pricing information is on the website


Who are the women that attend?

While many do not know each other, sisterfriends come from varying backgrounds, stages and ages in life and share one common bond and that is to experience a peaceful, relaxing vacation. In year's past, women come from Washington, Nevada, California, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and many states in between. Women who join sisters & Friends Getaway are adventurous and looking for calm no stress vacation. Some are starting new careers, launching a businesses, or winding down from work and others are retired after exciting and rewarding careers. Other come with a sister or friend others come alone. Many get their network of friends from around the country to meet them on this trip. Cities represented for this year’s trip include women from Rockford, Ill, Portland, Oregon, Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding cities, Woodstock, MD, Lauderhill, FL, Atlanta and Smyrna, Georgia.

10744094474?profile=originalConnie Portis is a publisher,event planner human resource professional and host of events for women. She is in her 29th year of publishing the Greater Pittsburgh Black Business Directory, and previously published a newspaper, Pittsburgh Renaissance News and was a member of NNPA, past president of the Black Pages Association and currently works in Equal Opportunity for a state government agency. Ms. Portis is known throughout the Pittsburgh area for hosting quality and inspiring

 Contact, Connie Portis, (412) 391-8208

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What Is Online Shopping?

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2011 Essence Music Festival Bus Trip

Dallas get ready for the 2011 Essence Music Festival! 3 jam-packed daysand nights of educational seminars, live concerts, parties, deliciousfood, and more in New Orleans. Let us take you there July 1-4, 2011.

Travel package includes roundtrip luxury motorcoach transportation fromDallas to New Orleans. Packages start at just $350 per person! Paymentplans are available.
For more information or to reserve your 2011 Essence Music Festival travel packages, visit
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Small Business Travel Costs

When you own your own business and pay all of the bills, business travel takes on new meaning. Unlike corporate travelers who are backed by expense accounts and expect upgrades and perks, you are clearly fixed on the bottom line.

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to trim travel costs and save money. Here are 10 tips for getting a handle on your travel budget.

Create and distribute a travel policy. A travel policy should provide your employees with clear guidelines about the types and amounts of allowable expenses. Your written travel and expense policy should also include consequences for violating it.

Search the Web for bargains. Popular travel sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity,, Priceline, and Hotwire make it easier for you to find reasonably priced hotels, airline tickets, and rental cars.

Volunteer to get bumped. If your flight is overbooked and the airline asks for volunteers to take a later flight, step forward. Most airlines offer generous travel vouchers that can save you big bucks on your next trip. As a business traveler, you may not have flexible travel plans, but if you do, you could get a free ticket for your time.

Join your preferred airline's frequent-flier program. Free trips, airport club access, and hotel discounts are among the perks you’ll receive for booking flights on the same airline.

Establish a uniform reporting system. Get all of your employees to use standardized forms for reporting expenses. This helps ensure that every report is accurate and can be easily reviewed by you and your accountant.

Meet virtually. Virtual meetings can reduce your travel costs, boost productivity, and even increase morale. Virtual meeting options include videoconferencing, Web conferencing, teleconferencing, and online collaboration.

Negotiate lower travel and lodging prices. In the past, small businesses didn’t have the power to negotiate lower prices. But more and more travel-related businesses have begun offering special discounts to small and medium-sized businesses. 8.

Use a single corporate credit card for all travel and entertainment expenses. This simplifies the bookkeeping process and may even earn you airline miles if you use the right card.

Take advantage of convention discounts. Convention organizers often work with local hotels to offer discounted rates to attendees. If you are traveling to a convention, find out if the meeting planners have secured travel discounts for attendees. Companies with whom you do business may also get a discounted rate at local hotels.

Take advantage of tax deductions. Business travel costs can be deducted as a business expense. If your travel is all business, you can deduct all the travel-related expenses; if your travel is part business and part pleasure, you can deduct the portion that was business-related.

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5 Ways to Make Money While on Vacation

10744043488?profile=originalWouldn’t it be great to turn your fun trips into tax cuts? If you plan to take any trips this summer, here are some ideas that will help you get the most out of your travel budget.

1. Make all your business appointments before you leave for your trip.

Most people believe that they can go on vacation and simply hand out their business cards in order to make the trip deductible. Wrong.

You must have at least one business appointment before you leave in order to establish the "prior set business purpose" required by the IRS.

The first thing that you need to do is set up appointments in the various cities that you will visit before you leave. One way to establish this is to post an ad for distributors in the town’s newspaper. You could then interview those who respond when you get to the business destination.

2. Make It All "Business Travel."

In order to deduct all on-the-road business expenses, you must be traveling on business. By definition, you are on business travel whenever you are sleeping overnight in a strange bed - conducting business, that is!

3. Make sure that you deduct all of your on-the-road -expenses for each day you're away.

For every day you are on business travel, you can deduct 100% of lodging, tips, shoe-shines, laundry and dry cleaning, car rentals, and 50% of your food. According to the IRS, no receipts are required for any travel expense under $75 per expense. The only exception would be for lodging.

4. Sandwich weekends between business days.

Interestingly, the IRS notes that if you have a business day on Friday and another one on Monday, you can deduct all on-the-road expenses during the weekend.

5.Make the majority of your trip days business days.

The IRS says that you can deduct transportation expenses if business was the primary purpose of the trip. The majority of the days in the trip must be for business activities. Otherwise, you cannot make any transportation deductions. This is an all-or-nothing proposition.

With proper planning, you can deduct most of your vacations if you combine them with business. That can make your life a lot less taxing!

To learn more about tax strategies for small business owners, sign up for my newsletter at

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Single Moms Do You Travel With Your Kids?Hi there! My name is Dana Williams. I'm a travel agent and single mom of a 12-year old in Dallas, TX. I'm starting a women's travel club that's specifically focused on the needs of single moms.If you are a single mom between the ages of 30-45 with one or more children ages 2-18, I need your help!Please help me by completing this brief survey. Your honest feedback is appreciated.Click here to begin the survey >>>http://mommygetaways.questionpro.comThanks,Dana WilliamsWilliams Travel and Cruises
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Turning Dream Vacations Into Reality

Wanna get away? Then let me help book your group cruise, destination wedding, or family reunion.As a group travel specialist, I work with local clubs, associations, charities, non-profits, sports-oriented groups, churches and other organizations and I can help you with:* Family Reunions* Class Reunions* Sports Teams* Family Vacations* Student Groups* Destination Weddings* Religious Retreats* Group Business Travel* and more!For more information visit or call 1-877-529-9555.Sign up for my TRAVEL DEALS NEWSLETTER to get deep discounts when you book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises, and so much more! Just go to me on twitter @ a Fan on Facebook @
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Rickey Johnson, Juniques Multi Cultural Connections member, is so very pleased to provide thisInterview with Leonard Johnson, Artist Extranoire.Leonard is doing well!!!! I am so honored to share his legacy.Leonard is professionally know as Lejon.He is a true example of Acting on Faith and What it can do.Leonard, demonstrates in the most profound way, that action speaks louder than words.Yes, at 75 years of age walking across the US of A, with no corporate or agency sponsors, speaks volume to acting on your faith.Leonard will be 79 years of age this August 2009. He travels the US of A,still sharing his faith and great company.He is a gentleman you would definitely want to meet andshare your fellowship with.Now I ask you , what is your challenge? What is stopping your Breakthrough????Age, Money, Support, Faith, Opportunity, Education, What????To contact him emailjuniques@yahoo.comTo view his art work visit www.lejonarts.comHave a most productive day,Networkingly yours,Rickey623 455 6364www.jusmcc.comclick arrow button to view video
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Do You Have A Plan B?

I am in the business of helping others achieve their dreams and do what they desire. But there are so many of us who don't believe that getting what we want is truly possible. We tend to not pursue our dreams out of fear...fear of the unknown, fear of stepping out of our comfort zones. Well these days many people are getting out of their comfort zones and not by choice. Folks are getting laid off everyday and they don't know what to do next. Others are working on a Plan B in case something does happen. Do you have a Plan B?I have a girlfriend who escaped the first wave of layoffs with her company only to get hit in the 2nd wave today. She thought her job was secure, but she's now realizing that no one's job is secure. When a company feels they don't need you, especially in an effort to save money, then you're dispensable. She started working on a Plan B last week not realizing that she would soon be needing another Plan A.I would like to offer you a Plan B! It's an opportunity for you to make some extra money while still working your Plan A. It's also a lot of fun, and gives you plenty of discounts and perks! You can work it spare time, part time, full time or big time! Of course I am talking about my company TraVerus Travel. We are currently having a special where you can earn 75% in Commissions by becoming a Certified Travel Agent for only $199.95. The regular price for this package is $399.95. There is also an opportunity for you to double your commission in your 1st 30 days.As a member of TraVerus you can also take advantage of our Member Trips... you can travel and take up to 6 people with you at the same price.Please watch the following video of our President/CEO, Mr. David Manning as he tells you a little about our company... know this opportunity may not be for everyone. There are probably facets of this business that you're not comfortable with. Just remember you're in business for yourself and you can run it any way that you feel you will be successful. If after watching the short video and you find this is not for you, I would like to ask you to keep me in mind when you're planning your next trip/vacation. Also, please refer your friends/family members to me if they are planning a trip as well or if you know they are looking for a Plan B.
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Hello Members!!If you are some one that love to shop or taken vacations? Well, I got something to tell you!! I got a business that I want to share for all of you. There is a discount and a cashback going for all the shoppers and vacation lovers. I know the economy is not doing too well like it suppose to be. But I belive in God's strenght and blessings there will be a way we all just pulled together and work things out. I know you can not afford trips, vacations, or maybe shopping. But, I would love to help you save your money and get some more of it back. I just want my shopppers and vacations lovers have a bit of freedom to shop and take trips again. I am also one of them. I want to go out have fun shopping and take my son to Walt Disney Land in Orlando, Fl. I know if i want to do all of that. I know have to work hard and make difference for my son and me. If you would give me and business a change, you will see what the diffence and change on how you spend your money on shopping and vacations. When you shop throught my business, you can shop at your favorite store your like. Your will get a discount and cashback on how you spend your money alot cheaper and lot more in your wallet. If you like to know more informations about my business then go to so you can go to sign up and become of "Vacations And Shoppers" member. You get more details and more informations on how you can save your money and get more money in your pockets. You can get your questions answered right away and insured. If your love to shop, vacations on a wonderful island, or trips, then i would to make that happen to you. Anything is possible!! Unless you make it happen for you and your family to enjoy. Be apart of my business.Thank you-Marjorie
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Tampa Bay Blues Festival (Vinoy Waterfron Park)03-20-2009- 03-22-2009 The Tampa Bay Blues Festival has established itself as one of the world's preeminent blues music events, having presented over 195 of the world's greatest blues performers. Past artists include Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, Little Feat, Jonny Lang, Jerry Lee Lewis, Koko Taylor, Jimmy Vaughan, and others. The festival has duly become a destination event, with fans travelling from throughout the United States and Europe to enjoy this magnificent celebration of music.Tampa Bay Florida US--------------------------------------------------------------------------------French Quarter Festival04-17-2009- 04-19-2009 FQFI is a self-sustaining, nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation, inspired and supported by the city administration. All of our festivals are free and open to the public. The three annual festivals include the Satchmo Summerfest, French Quarter Festival and Christmas New Orleans Style. At the French Quarter Festival enjoy 250 hours of entertainment featuring more than 150 musical performances on fifteen stages throughout the French Quarter over a three-day weekend.New Orleans Louisiana USA--------------------------------------------------------------------------------New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival(Various, see website)04-24-2009- 05-03-2009 The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. This year's music lineup includes The Neville Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Sheryl Crow, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Al Green, Diana Krall, Keyshia Cole, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, The Raconteurs, Irma Thomas And Thousands More Scheduled to AppearNOTES: Festival Dates: April 24-26 and April 30-May 3 New Orleans Louisiana USA--------------------------------------------------------------------------------St. Lucia Jazz Festival(Vari)05-01-2009- 05-10-2009 St. Lucia Jazz encompasses multiple shows of acoustical/straight ahead jazz, new age jazz, fusion, rhythm and blues with acts emanating from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. The shows range from formal performances to intimate late night open air venues and late night club venues to open air picnic style events, which allow the St. Lucia Jazz to offer unparalleled variety and ambience.n/a n/a St. Lucia
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Traveling soon?

Hello Family, Friends, and Associates:I hope all is well with you and your family in the new year. God has surely blessed me with a gift this year: my OWN business. I am now a Referring Travel Agent, with my own online travel business. Check out my flyer, and feel free to browse my website. If you find that my rates are comparable to those that you usually book travel with, then why not go with ME? Be sure to tell everyone you know who travels, that they have a friend in the business, and send them to my website, or have them call me @ 973-454-9986 or email me @ Your referral is greatly appreciated. So, how can I help you plan your next vacation?Go to: www.BlackButterflyTravel.netDo not have all your money coming from just one source! Everyone needs a plan B.. Starting earning today... Go to: for the me if makes sense!!!Like to shop instead???? Shop...Save...Reapwww.Love2ShopAndSave.comTo you and your family, Be blessed and have a prosperous New Year!!Takiyah Paige


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