Looking for something besides yet another trip to the beach for your next vacation? From cooking lessons in the hills of Tuscany to snorkeling the waters off Belize, these trips should be on everyone’s list. [Read more...]
To find some of the most out-of-this-world destinations for jet-setters in 2013, CNN.com asked Robb Report editorial director Bruce Wallin for ideas. So keep this list handy in case of a fat financial windfall:
Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania
Located on a private 350,000-acre game reserve, the Singita Grumeti Reserves has only four small lodges on the property. The four-bedroom Serengeti House, which is listed on its blog, quietly opened to guests in December and includes its own chef, guides, tennis court and pool. Serengeti House rates start at $8,500 a night for up to four guests during high season with additional charges for five to eight guests. [Read more...]
Scuba divers have a vested interest in protecting the coral reefs and ocean habitats they explore. After all, seeing cool fish and colourful coral is the main reason divers descend below the surface. Here are a few ways you can give back to the sea while still witnessing all it has to offer. [Read more...]
Thinking about hitting the road on your next vacation? We spanned the globe and found five destinations that are a delight to drive, from shiny European superhighways to some of the finest roads in the Americas. So, whichever direction you’re headed in, buckle up and have a safe trip.
An ideal choice for first-time driving outside the U.S., our neighbor to the north drives on the same side of the road as we do and road signage is in English in 12 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. The exception to this is the staunchly French-speaking province of Quebec, where other than some bilingual signs in Montreal, road signs are exclusively in French. Just remember that road signs are in kilometers, not miles.
The French Riviera, that picture-perfect stretch of beach-hugging Mediterranean coastline, looks just like a fabled playground of the rich-and-famous would if an artist drew it. From the Italianate pastel charms of Menton and Nice to the sexy, sybaritic lure of Cannes and St-Tropez, the sun-splashed South of France has it all. Here are 5 ways to savor it, no matter when you go. [Read more...]
Soaking up sun and sand on the beach, sipping something fruity poolside–vacation is supposed to be relaxing, right? Unfortunately, for many of us trying to get away from it all, vacations can easily become just another source of stress. If you’re feeling frantic about an upcoming trip, melt away anxiety with the expert tips below.
1. Plan ahead. “This will ensure everyone’s expectations are met and there are no surprises while on your trip,” says SmarTravel CEO David Wise. He warns that tension can result when one person is really looking forward to the nightlife and another only budgeted enough to stay in the hotel or at the beach. To avoid such a scenario, it’s a good idea to discuss expectations before you go. [Read more...]
Trips are frequently ruined by nagging friends, complaining companions and even buzz-kill family members. Picking the right friends to travel with can be as important as choosing the destination itself. To avoid a meltdown, consider the following advice:
Choose travel partners carefully
It’s critical to choose your company wisely, according to David and Carol Porter, who run Roaming Boomers – an online guide for traveling baby boomers. “If you have friends who are a challenge to be around for a few hours at dinner, then it is likely that it would be very difficult to deal with their drama for a prolonged period of time,” the Porters explain. [Read more...]
Do you crave the seclusion of your own private island, but hate being tied down in one place? If so, an Austrian firm has developed the solution to your troubles — a man-made floating “island”, complete with two small diesel engines for whenever you fancy a change of scenery.
The oval-shaped “Orsos Island” has been designed to combine the mobility of a yacht with the comfort of a house. It offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and 1,000 square meters — nearly four tennis courts — worth of luxury living space. Although it doesn’t come with an actual tennis court, those longing for some sub-aquatic snooker will be relieved to learn that there is a large games room in the island’s “hull.” The underwater karaoke suite, meanwhile, is ideal for those who’s singing voice is best kept a safe distance from civilization. The island also comes complete with all the usual ocean-bound comforts of the mega-rich: Jacuzzi, barbeque, sun loungers, minibar, stately dining room and, of course, aquarium. [Read more...]
Beer drinkers shouldn’t limit craft beer to part of their vacation. There are 2,000 craft breweries in the United States, according to the Brewers Association craft beer interest group. The following 5 destinations are by no means a definitive list, but they’re some great spots for getting started. Let your palate guide you and let someone else do the driving.
By the end of 2010, Vermont had 21 breweries for more than 625,000 residents — the most breweries per capita of any state in the country. Perhaps the most idyllic and unquestionably vermonty of the bunch is the Bridgewater Corners home of Long Trail Brewing. It lets guests sip its Blackberry Wheat, Double Bag strong ale and Belgian White witbier on a deck outside the brewery and brewpub overlooking the Ottauquechee River just behind the brewery. [Read more...]
1. Don’t play “stump the tour guide” by looking up the sights you’re visiting on your mobile phone and sharing your findings with the group.
“The tour guide knows something interesting,” Matthews said. “They know local pieces of information. They have these local nuggets that now they’d be offended by even sharing because how can they compete with Wikipedia?”
2. If you post to Facebook, Twitter or a blog, make sure the others you’re traveling with know you’re writing or sharing photos about the trip.
Laws vary from state to state, so it’s not only important to know them, it’s equally import to ask permission to photograph people and let them know the images may wind up online.
3. Don’t “tag” people in photos online without prior approval.
Not only will the person you tag see it, but all the people who will visit his or her wall will also see it. Can you image having your work colleagues that you may have Facebook friended see you in your skimpy bikini guzzling back a beer? Also in the same vain, some tweets or photos shouldn’t be posted until you’re home –or not at all.
5. Be careful about posting critical comments online about a destination or trip.
“Posting commentary considered ‘negative’ about an area you’re touring for the first time disappoints and can even offend others who are envious that you’re able to take a vacation,” Matthews said.
6. Unless you’re riding on a bus, train or plane, take off the headphones.
Travel is about the sights, smells and sounds. Not only is wearing headphones rude, it can be dangerous if you can’t hear the noise of an oncoming car or a bus.
7. Get in front of the camera.
“With the help of the Internet and Google images, I can see thousands of pictures of the Eiffel Tower,” Matthews said. “I can see plenty. So when I see another picture of the Eiffel Tower, why aren’t you in front of the Eiffel Tower?”
8. Turn down the screen brightness.
A great traveler’s trick is to use your smartphone or tablet screen as a flashlight. It’s great in a pinch, but watch out, you can get some fellow air travelers very angry if that goes off in a darkened cabin.
Do you follow any of all of these digital etiquettes? Tell us of the times you were offended by “rude” techies!
Source: Fox News Travel
At some point, we’ve all felt holiday brain drain – that feeling that the grey matter isn’t working at full capacity when you return to the office after a break away. Reportedly, going on a vacation – especially to a warm climate – may even lower your IQ.
So it makes sense that there’s a whole new industry looking to reverse that trend, where travellers will have the option of choosing destinations, hotels and holiday packages designed to keep their minds in good health. Forbes magazine reported that brain training will be the next ‘‘trillion-dollar industry”. According to market research firm Sharp Brains, the worldwide brain health and fitness digital software market is already worth $295 million, and is expected to grow between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015.
Just as working out at the hotel gym can boost your overall fitness, certain brain exercises can make you better at solving problems and lead to self improvement. Tapping into some of the world’s most innovative minds while away on holiday or on an executive excursion may not be a bad thing — we might even be prepared to travel for it.
“Hotels and resorts are becoming schools of life,” said Elisabeth Ixmeier, co-founder of Healing Hotels of the World, a group focused on well being and travel. “Properties will soon offer lectures on room TVs, they will have libraries with books about healthy, happy lifestyles and be in this sense, philosophical schools.”
Cruise liners regularly offer activities to stimulate the mind. Celebrity Cruises has teamed up with educational tourism company Smithsonian Journeys to offer talks by marine biologists, naturalists, astronomers or aviation historians, while Silversea Cruises has its own enrichment program with guest speakers including celebrity chefs, bestselling authors and historians.
Packing Plato in with your sunscreen or uploading Nietzsche onto your e-reader may just be the start of things to come. Who knows, you may soon be going on vacation to see Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg speak, or booking a fly and teatime package with the Dalai Lama.
What is your own way of reversing holiday brain drain? Share your suggestions with us!
Source: BBC Travel
With the prevalence of technology, it can sometimes be hard to vacation on vacation. Plenty of hooked-up travelers will check work e-mail using the hotel Wi-Fi, or use their Blackberrys on the beach. For some, the only solution is to go truly off the grid. Take a look at our top picks for unplugged getaways, where travelers can hide away to recharge their batteries — no batteries required.
&Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp: Botswana
It doesn’t get much more unplugged than this. This ultra-remote, luxurious safari lodge on an island in Botswana’s Okavango Delta isn’t a hotel, it’s an experience, where everything — including the excellent food and the guided excursions — is included in the price of the stay. Guests can get up close to exotic wildlife on both land and water (think: lions and hippos), and even arriving to the property is an adventure, requiring transport by small plane, safari vehicle, and a boat. The nine safari “tents” are fully screened in and thoroughly high-end, with huge soaking tubs, four-poster beds, lots of wood, and private pools. The only thing not on the menu? Technology.
Jake’s, South Coast: Jamaica
Jake’s 30 colorful, funky cottages in Treasure Beach lack phones, Internet, and TV, and sprawl along a rugged coastline, connected by meandering stone and tile mosaic pathways. A canopy of trees and lanterns arches over the romantic outdoor dining area, bar, and charming saltwater pool. This trendy Island Outpost resort bills itself, accurately, as “the chicest shack in the Caribbean,” and Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make it a particular favorite with loyal guests. For those who need to cheat on their tech-free trip, Wi-Fi is available in the lobby, in the restaurant, and poolside.
Jade Mountain Resort: St. Lucia
Jade Mountain is one of the world’s most romantic – and expensive — hotels, but it’s also one of the best places to unplug. The rooms are called sanctuaries, and rightly so — they are intentionally tech-free, with no TVs, Internet, or radios to disturb the peace. They all have open fourth walls with jaw-dropping views of Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, Jacuzzi tubs, and canopied beds; most have private infinity pools.
Do you have your own favorite off-the-grid getaway? Do tell us about it!
Source: Fox News Travel
How do you make the most of a short break? We consulted travel experts and real travelers to get their tips for making a long weekend holiday just as much fun — and just as satisfying — as a week-long vacation. The surprising thing? Our go-to advice for saving on hotels and airfare when on vacation could actually ruin your short trip.
Mistake #1: Booking a hotel too far from the action
Yes, saving money by staying a bit outside of town is usually smart advice, but on short trips it’s a bad idea. After you do the math, chances are that even paying $50 more per night for a more centrally located hotel can end up being worth it for the time you’ll save.
Mistake #2: Checking a bag
Nothing is worse than arriving in Manchester, New Hampshire, and finding out that your bag is on its way to Manchester, England. It could take four days to get it back-meaning you’ll have it just in time to check it for your flight home. With all the savvy packing tips out there, there’s usually no reason why you should check a suitcase for a short break.
Mistake #3: Trying to make the most of every second
Instead of rushing between Chelsea and Midtown — two neighborhoods in opposite parts of town — to see five different art exhibitions during a short trip to New York City, your time might better be spent really delving into just one or two spots during your stay. And be realistic about what you can actually see in just a couple days.
Mistake #4: Booking a flight with multiple connections
The flights that float to the top when you’re looking for cheap airfare are usually the ones that involve switching planes at an airline’s hub. It’s a fine way to save some dollars — until you find yourself spending extra hours on layovers and facing potential delays. It’s also worth avoiding destinations that require various forms of transportation to reach, such as islands only accessible by an infrequent ferry or resorts that require a private shuttle ride.
Mistake #5: Forgetting to prepare for a new time zone
If it’s already nighttime in your destination when you step on the plane, pass on the in-flight meal and movie and pop in the earplugs for a snooze instead — that way you’ll be waking up with the locals, instead of feeling like it’s time to sleep when you touch down. Plan lots of outdoor activities for your first day in a different time zone, too — the sunlight and fresh air will keep you energized. If there’s no avoiding a snooze, try to limit yourself to a 20-minute power nap.
What are other mistakes that weekend travelers make? Enlighten other travelers by sharing your ideas below!
Source: CNN Go
Image: Viking Travel Service