Categories
Destinations

The Safest Travel Destinations as Pandemic Slows

Gratefully, the pandemic is slowing as vacation time is here. But this doesn’t change the fact that we still need to be safe when traveling. Below are the safest travel destinations right now.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that cabin fever is not real. Because, at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, many of us are feeling it. In fact, you have likely spent more time at home these last several weeks than you have in quite a long time – and the traveler in you is likely itching to get out and experience something new. Simply having a break in the monotony would be welcomed, right?

Well, the virus has pretty much taken the world by storm, but traveling smart can still lead you to some amazing destinations. So get up off that couch, get out of those old pajamas, pack your bags, and wake yourself up with an unexpected adventure.

Where Will You Go?

As the pandemic slows, here are some of the safest travel destinations.

1. Canada

Whether Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec or a smaller, quaint destination, Canada can be your home away from home for a while. Visiting Canada means you won’t have to travel too far to gain some incredible experiences.

For instance, in Quebec, you may be taken back with the cobblestone streets and the 17th-century architecture at every turn. Or, in Montreal, you can feel like you are in Europe with its heavy French influence. You will find lots of fun things to do with great jazz clubs, nightlife, and more.

Or, to continue practicing your social distancing, take to Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland. You can relax with a kayak, go for a hike, or just sit by the ocean and watch for whales.

2. Australia

There are so many places to visit and things to do in Australia. Of course, we have to keep in mind that, like the U.S., Australia is just opening back up from the pandemic.

Opting for Aussie destinations that can bring relaxation and comfort as well as avoiding crowds may give you an awesome holiday. So, where does one find this in Australia? In Daylesford, Victoria. This is where you will find a large collection of mineral springs, spas, lakes, and more. Plus, it is only a little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne in case you crave a more busy hotspot.

If you want to head into the infamous Australian Outback, you will find it to be another great adventure destination. Camp in the bush, go hiking and immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture. You will feel so far away from everything, yet so full of joy.

3. Argentina

Head south and have some excitement in Argentina. If you are looking for a vibrant city life, tango lessons, and some delicious dining, then Buenos Aires is your spot. This city is colorful and lively with rich culture. Though, if distance and relaxation are what you are craving, there are many other places to seek refuge in this country. For instance –

  • Experience the Iguazú falls if you head to the Litoral.
  • Quebrada de Humahuaca is where you will find colorful rocks lining a gorge, as well as breathtaking valley views.
  • Small ranch towns and lots of meadows with cattle for the landscape for an area called the Pampas. You can feel like you are a bit off-grid here, spending your days hiking, horseback riding, and the like.
  • Why not visit wineries that produce some of the best wines in the world? Visit the Cuyo in western Argentina.

4. Iceland

Visiting Iceland is usually one of those destinations that are on a bucket list, but rarely get checked off. Now, as the world comes out of the pandemic slump, it is the perfect time to visit Iceland. Think about it – what better time to soak in a naturally heated, geothermal pool before taking in the magnificent show put on by the Northern Lights?

Of course, there are several regions that make up Iceland, each offering you something different – and delightful. From waterfalls and farmlands to quaint seaside villages. Find what calls you to Iceland.

5. Costa Rica

Finally, one of the most inviting places on the map after the COVID-19 pandemic wraps up is Costa Rica. This Central American country is a bright getaway after a dark period. You may sum it up as the perfect place for a beach getaway, but you’d only be partially right. There is so much more to this country. And, so much adventure to be had.

  • Not only does Costa Rica give you a prime spot to enjoy the Caribbean Sea, but it also offers a front porch spot to the Pacific Ocean as well.
  • You can have adventures here – waterfalls, jungles, volcanoes, rainforests, cloud forests, large rivers, and more.
  • See wildlife as you’ve never experienced.
  • Go snorkeling, ziplining, hiking, and cycling. Or, relax on the beach, visit a spa, and indulge in local cuisine.

6. The Bahamas

Looking for an island escape? You will find it when you visit the Bahamas. Beautiful white sandy beaches and bright blue waters invite you in and make you not want to leave. And maybe the sunshine and saltwater can be just the right recipe for relief.

The Bahamas allows you an opportunity to experience adventures in snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, boating, gambling, shopping, dining, and more. Watch the locals dive for conch shells or shop the infamous straw markets for handmade and artisan goods.

Island life can bring refreshment and rejuvenation. After weeks and weeks of being stuck indoors – escape to the islands.

Travel Safely

Wherever you choose to go, be sure to check with the CDC and the WHO first to ensure that it is safe to do so. You may also want to do extra research to find some helpful tips to travel safe out there.

Then, as an extra precaution, consider traveling via a private jet to reduce exposure to others in close quarters. Of course, you will also find an array of even more benefits that come with choosing private travel, such as luxury accommodations, flexibility, more widespread availability of destinations.

Final Thought

If you are ready to get out of the house and discover someplace new, then this is your time to shine. Just… be smart, be safe, and be socially distant. Happy travels!

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Travel Tips

7 Travel Etiquette Tips to Make Your Trip Easier

Travel etiquette tips are essential guidelines for navigating diverse cultural landscapes and ensuring respectful interactions while traveling. Researching local customs, norms, and behaviors before your trip helps foster understanding and promotes positive experiences. By respecting cultural differences, travelers can enhance their journey and build meaningful connections worldwide.

Traveling to places with different cultures is an amazing experience, but it’s important to know basic travel etiquette to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Traveling is always fun – especially when you get to explore new places. But, it is very important to remember that the way things are done in the United States is not necessarily how they are done in other countries. In fact, sometimes actions or statements that are appropriate in the U.S. may be highly offensive somewhere else.  

Why is Travel Etiquette Important?

Don’t take chances. Any time you decide to travel abroad, do so responsibly. And that includes taking the time to do a little research and learn about your destination before you get on that private jet charter to head out on vacation. Not sure what to research? Here are a few travel etiquette tips that can make your next trip go smoothly.  

1. You are a Guest

As easy as it is to want to forget that you aren’t a guest as you travel to distant lands, it is important that you make a point to remember that you are. You do not live here. Let’s repeat – you do not live here. So, don’t get comfortable enough to treat it as you would if it were home. Respect everything about the area – including the locals. Be nice and remember that, although you are on vacation, those who call this place home have their normal daily lives and responsibilities to tend to. Don’t get in their way and they will see to it that you enjoy your time, too.  

2. Learn the Laws (and Rules) – And Follow Them

Regardless of what you think, you are not invincible. Laws and rules are put in place for reasons. And, some of these reasons could be serious. So, when you are traveling and you come across signs or postings advising you to do or not do something, adhere to them. Take time to learn an overview of the local laws, too, so that you are able to keep yourself – and others – out of harm’s way. Remember, breaking a law in another country does not always lead to an easy outcome. Something that comes with a minor consequence in the U.S. could be greatly punished elsewhere. Therefore, it is best to know before you go.  

3. Do Your Best to Learn Some of the Local Lingo

You don’t have to know any of the languages that stem from your destination but doing so gives you a bit of an advantage. Taking the time to learn simple things, such as hello and goodbye, as well as thank you and please, are important. And it shows a level of respect. In addition, wherever you are traveling, it is proper travel etiquette to know how to greet someone.

  • Is it proper to nod?
  • Shake hands?
  • How about kissing on each cheek?

In some countries, certain greetings are inappropriate. In others, they are acceptable. Learning about the local language, lingo, and personal interaction can help you out greatly when it comes to communicating abroad.    

4. Research Dining Etiquette

Have you ever eaten food from another country? There is a good chance that when you do, the food will not taste as you anticipate. Why? Because it is authentic. So, whether you have had this type of food before or this is your first chance at indulging yourself in the local culture, be respectful. Don’t complain about the taste of the food – or do something as vulgar as spitting it out or making a scene if you don’t like it. In addition, learning about appropriate dining procedures is also important. Taking the time to learn about this before going can save you some frustration – and maybe even some embarrassment. For example, when it comes to tipping, some countries tend to expect it. However, others find the practice a bit offensive. This is definitely one of those things you need to discover before you head out.  

5. Wear Appropriate Dress

Just as there are certain customs in the United States (think no shoes, no shirt, no service) there are certain ways of dressing – and not dressing – in other countries. Learning this before you even leave home not only shows your travel etiquette, but can save you a lot of frustration while packing. For example, some countries frown upon women showing too much skin. And, while you may not agree, it is a matter of respect to dress more modest than, perhaps, you normally would. Or, you may come across certain places that prefer you not to wear shoes. Be respectful and take them off.  

6. Watch What You Say

You may think you know what it is like to live in a particular location. Maybe you have over-done your research. Maybe your Great Grandpa used to reside here and told you stories. Or, maybe you just watch a lot of CNN. Whatever your excuse, it is important to remember that just because you know a few things about a destination, it does not mean that you know what it is like to live there. The point? Don’t try talking – or debating – with locals about things you don’t truly understand. Whether it is political, religious, lifestyle, or otherwise, just keep your opinions to yourself. You may find yourself in a bit of hot water if you don’t.  

7. Show Care for the Places You Travel

This is the most important travel etiquette tip of all. When you are traveling to a new destination, show care and be respectful. Treat locals well and understand that you are a guest here. Abide by the rules, follow the laws, and don’t litter. Care for the places you visit so that they can continue to be visited by many tourists for years to come. This is especially the case when visiting areas that are highly-trafficked, but sensitive, such as some of the natural areas and natural wonders of the world. In short? Be the good human that you are no matter where you are.

Final Thought

If you have any questions regarding traveling tips or private jet charters, contact us here at The Early Air Way, based in Van Nuys. And don’t forget to explore our jet hedging program and empty leg specials!


Common Questions About Traveling Manners

What is Travel Etiquette?

Travel etiquette are guidelines to abide by when traveling to new places that may have different cultures, views, and common behaviors. It’s important to research these before traveling.

What are Common Etiquette Tips for Any Destination?

The following tips should be considered, regardless of where you travel: remember you are a guest, learn the major laws (and abide by them), try learning local lingo, research dining etiquette, wear appropriate dress, watch what you say, and be respectful.

What is the Most Important Tip When Traveling?

The most important tip when traveling is to respect where you are going. Know what is considered rude or unacceptable, and treat locals and the environment well. In short, be a good human.

 

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Destinations

Top 10 Unique Things to do in NYC

New York City. Those three words conjure up a multitude of images from the balloons of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Twin Towers falling. Good or bad, New York City is a must see and should exist on every traveler’s bucket list. Not only is it beautiful, but there an infinite amount of unique things to do in NYC.

Although perhaps not quite the center of the universe locals think it is, New York City is nonetheless one of the world centers of commerce, finances, and culture. The iconic sites are world-renowned and you would be hard pressed to find too many people who haven’t seen an image of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, or Broadway.

Unless a traveler has unlimited time, the big question becomes “what are the most unique things to do in NYC in a short amount of time?” Everyone is aware of the usual suspects so here is our list of the most fun, unique things to do in NYC. We break down our favorite spots in each of the five boroughs that make up this amazing city.

The Bronx

Home to the Yankees, the Bronx Zoo, and Little Italy, The Bronx could take up an entire holiday all on its own. One more unique spot to visit is North Brother Island. This fascinating bit of history is home to the former Riverside Hospital. This was built to house citizens with contagious diseases. It was also home of the infamous “Typhoid Mary” the local cook who refused to believe her diagnosis and ultimately infected dozens of families before her forced quarantine.

Another unique spot in this borough is the largest park in New York City. No, in case you’re wondering, Central Park, is not the city’s largest park. In fact, three Central Parks could fit inside Pelham Bay Parks 2772 acres of primeval forest land, dirt paths, and natural streams. After eating your way through the many ethnic restaurants, catching a game, and enjoying some hip-hop, a bit of solitude in the city may be just the thing you need most.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn is home to some to some of the most unique things to do in NYC, and has something for everyone. Check out cutting edge music, root for your favorite team, or simply stroll the Brooklyn Bridge. But for a unique experience step through the hidden bookcase turned doorway into the magical cellar speakeasy Le Boudoir. Modeled after Marie Antoinette’s plush private rooms, Le Boudoir’s historically accurate interior and period cocktails will make you feel like such royalty you might want to book a private jet charter home.

Indulge your secret superhero by heading over to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store. Superheroes and villains alike will find everything necessary for the tricks of their trade including mind-readers, particle guns, and bottled black holes. For even more fun, head behind the false bookcase into a secret lair that hosts an after school student writing center. Fun for the entire family.

Manhattan

Say the words New York City and most people envision the sights of Manhattan encompassing Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and Broadway. However, Manhattan offers much more in the form of quaint neighborhoods, quiet parks, and excellent cafes. You know to see the Guggenheim and MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art), but have you checked out the Whitney Museum? Devoted solely to the art of the United States, this museum holds arguably the leading collection of twentieth-century American Art in the world, the works moved into the new location in 2015.

In the evening why not take in the cities best view. And no, we don’t mean from the top of the Empire State Building. For a unique take on the city head to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center for iconic views over the city that includes the Empire State Building from an unusual perspective.

Queens

The borough of Queens is all about adventurous art, international cuisine, and world-class sports. This is the place to watch the Mets and the US Open, eat amazing food from around the world, and take in the stunning display of flora and fauna the Botanical Gardens. However, Queens also has some amazing unique things to do in NYC, too. To get a glimpse into the hidden past of NYC, check out Fort Totten. Hidden under the legend on the subway map is the location to this abandoned Civil War Fort. Built in 1862, the Fort was built to protect the city from Confederate Ships but fell into disuse in the mid-1970’s. Since then this city park allows free entry to explore this remarkable collection of buildings from a past era.

For the culinary adventurer head to the nondescript Golden Shopping Mall, an impressively unimpressive strip mall. The mall does offer clothing stores and the like but the real treasure lies in the cramped, windowless basement space. Here you can find a huge variety of some of the most diverse, and authentic, Chinese food outside of China. If you are looking for a typical American-Chinese stay away, but those in search of the real deal will have their taste buds thank them.

Staten Island

Staten Island is best known for its famous ferry, as well as its renowned museums, historic landmarks, and the maritime heritage of Snug Harbor. This rich maritime tradition has included tugboats for over a century and the Witte Marine Equipment Company has become known as the Tugboat Graveyard. At one point there were over 200 rusting models slowly aging here but now a smaller number stand alone as a testament to ages past.

For our final pick is to wander to Nonnas of the World restaurant. This amazing restaurant features the new menu every night cooked by real life grandmas. Two nonnas work each night creating interesting menus from around the world for a delicious experience not to be missed.

New York City is a fascinating place, not just for the skyscrapers and world-renowned landmarks, but as much for the diversity of people and cuisines and cultures that truly make it the melting pot of the world. With this list, you’ll be able to experience the most unique things to do in NYC.

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Destinations

5 Summer Vacation Destinations To Beat The Heat

Summer is upon us and parts of the country are already baking under the summer sun. As temperatures and humidity rise, so do tempers, and if you fear the idea of roasting through a vacation while merely wishing for winter, have no fear.

There are a wide variety summer vacation destinations, near and far, to soothe the nerves and allow for the type of summer holiday you have been dreaming up. Here are five of our favorite summer vacation destinations to get out and about without breaking a sweat. All that is left is to book your private jet to whisk you to paradise.

South of the Equator

Remember, summer in the United States is winter south of the Equator. By heading to the southern hemisphere you will find comfortable temperatures and lots of availability. For the wine lover, our choice would be the unique wine valley at Garzon, Uruguay. More rustic and less crowded than neighboring Mendoza, Garzon still offers hot-air balloon rides, olive groves, traditional barbecues, and, of course, wine.

Perhaps a safari is on the agenda. South Africa beckons with its own extraordinary wine combined with dramatic beaches, the stunning views of Cape Town, and wildlife all around. In addition to the expected wildlife of an African safari, you will also find you can cave dive with Great White Sharks or admire the adorable penguins found at the Cape of Good Hope.

These summer vacation destinations give you the perfect summer holiday while allowing you to remain cool.

Head north

True explorers seeking cool summer vacation destinations should head to Greenland.  This ice-covered island located between the Arctic and North Atlantic has summer temperatures ranging between 41- 45 degrees. There is a marvelous seven-day walking tour that explores secluded mountains, a variety of glaciers, and rivers in the east of the country with helicopter rides between each location. The more sedentary can still experience the majesty of it all by staying at an igloo hotel on the edge of a fjord.

Closer to home, check out the stunning wilderness of Alaska at Wrangell St. Elias National Park. This 24-million acre park is the largest internationally protected wilderness area, and Mount St. Elias is the continent’s second highest mountain peak. Summer isn’t long this far north but the mountains are covered in snow all year long and sea kayaking through pristine Icy Bay is an unforgettable experience. Nearby Masapina Glacier is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. The perfect holiday if you want to remember how small you are compared to the majesty of nature.

Go higher

When seeking cool temperatures, head for elevation. Even in the worst heat of summer by going higher you will find the chill you’re looking for. For a taste of Latin culture head to Mexico City. This mile-high city is beautiful and endlessly intriguing. Explore one of the best archaeological museums in the world, admire the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, eat yourself silly at the dozens of spectacular markets, and enjoy this bustling, cosmopolitan city.

Breckenridge, Colorado is an outdoor paradise for summer vacation destinations. Best known as a winter playground, Breckenridge is also fantastic in summer. The hills are alive with wildflowers and activities abound. Hiking, camping, and mountain biking will get you up into the hills. You can also participate in horseback riding, white-water rafting, or golfing before ending the day at the spa.

Surprising cities

If you are looking for a combination of culture, beauty, water sports, and amazing food head to Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada’s beautiful west coast city offers heavy cultural influences from a number of countries such as India, Japan, and China making for some of the best culinary gems you will find anywhere. The city’s numerous districts feature excellent shopping and nightlife and the year-round market on Granville Island thrills on several fronts. Out of town test your bravery by crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge swaying 230 feet above the Capilano River.

Mark Twain is oft quoted as saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco”. Although it seems the famous author never actually uttered these words, the fact is summer in this spectacular city can prove to be moody, foggy, and chilly. Perfect for those wishing to escape the heat. The sightseeing opportunities are nearly limitless. Visitors can tour famous Alcatraz Island, stroll the wharf, eat their weight in goodies at Chinatown or Little Italy, and buy the best sourdough bread in the world, all surrounded by one gorgeous cityscape after another.

Hit the trail

Hitting the trails on an epic hike is one of the best ways to get in some great exercise all while avoiding the heat of summer. The Swiss Alps offer several famous multi-day treks. One of the most popular is the Haute Route between Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. All you need is a day pack as you sleep in century-old inns, visit small villages en-route, and camp near lakes all while surrounded by some of the best scenery in the world.

Here in the United State exists another stunning display of nature at the Grand Teton National Park. This 6 day backcountry trail is for hearty backpackers but brings you along the interior of the Teton range passing alpine lakes and jagged summits. Summer is wildflower season so you can admire their colorful beauty. Enjoy mingling with elk, moose, bison, pronghorn sheep and mule deer that frequent the area. One precaution, this is also bear country so take the necessary precautions. It is well worth the effort after looking down on the sweeping views of Jackson Hole from above.

No matter which adventure you choose, know that keeping cool this summer is easier than ever. With so many options to pick from you can head off on one of the summer vacation destinations of your dreams while keeping your cool.

Forget sunburns, scorching temperatures, and harried beach scenes. By hitting elevation, heading to the southern hemisphere, or checking out cities that specialize in cool, you can appreciate sightseeing without sweltering.

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Destinations

Top 7 Travel Destination Options of 2017

2017 will certainly go down as being a year focused on off the beaten path destinations, new experiences, and great food. In addition, with a shrinking connectivity index and more transportation options than ever, the world is an ever smaller place. Traveling far and wide to fully encompass the scope of this diverse planet is a must.

The travelers of today are more travel savvy, have done more research, and may be harder to please than those of the past. No longer are the majority of people willing to simply be catered to with “continental” type activities and hotels that could be located anywhere.

2017 brings diversity. The aging baby boomers are looking to check a few items off their bucket list, while Millennials are looking for the ultimate adventure that far outweighs experience over purchases. More and more families are traveling the world, offering children a truly global education.

Here are some of great travel destination options to suit modern day explorers of all ages.

 

1. Colombia

One of the most stunning countries on the planet, Colombia has won a hard-fought victory over the woes of the past. Decades of war and violence meant that once only journalists and hard core travelers enjoyed the privilege of her stamp in their passport. No more. Sustained stability has brought in an influx of travelers from around the world eager to enjoy the friendly hospitality, rich cultural cities such as Cartagena, and lush countryside teeming with pre-Incan tombs. There has never been a better time to visit this highly sought-after travel destination.

 

2. Canada

Yes, Canada. While not often considered particularly exotic, Canada has much to offer as a travel destination. The second largest country in the world, Canada serves up everything from turquoise mountain lakes to arctic tundra. With a truly foreign influence from the French in Quebec to the large Asian population in Vancouver, this country is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in style this year. The weak dollar makes it a great bargain so perhaps taking the short flight on a private jet may even be in order! Get set to enjoy exciting fusion food and surprisingly underrated wine.

 

3. Ethiopia

Now for the truly exotic. Escape to a time from history in Ethiopia. New airline links will make it easier than ever to step back in time to trek the Simien Mountains and view wildlife that exists nowhere else on earth. Walk along precarious footpaths to discover ancient churches built of rock, or boat across serene Lake Tana. This unique country features its own calendar and so you will even get 13 months to experience all of the wonder including rustic landscapes, world-renowned coffee, and spongy injera bread coupled with their fragrant cuisine.

 

4. Cuba

No travel destination list for the year would be complete without including Cuba. Although intrepid travelers have been finding ways to make their way there for years, for the first time in decades US airlines are now making the journey. Many will still find a pre-arranged tour the easiest option, but it is also doable on your own for those a bit more willing to step outside their comfort zone. Be prepared, tourist infrastructure is sadly lacking, but the vibrant culture, Caribbean sunshine, and Latin flavor will erase any feelings of unease. One of the world’s most sheltered but authentic societies, it can take a bit to get in with the locals but it is so very worth the trip.

 

5. South Africa

South Africa needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. South Africa is all about combinations. This amazing country covers the south of the continent with shorelines embracing the Atlantic and Indian oceans meeting at the Cape of Good Hope. The extremely varied terrain and landscape embrace mountains and beaches, arid deserts and marshy estuaries. The Cape Malay cuisine is a unique blend all its own taking into account the curries of the Far East and the influences of the Dutch settlers. And, of course, no information on the country is complete without mentioning the extraordinary wines of Stellenbosch and the extraordinary wildlife at Krueger Park. A truly remarkable place.

 

6. Myanmar

Change has been a long time coming to the country formerly known as Burma. No one is claiming all of the past problems have gone away, but big changes in this super secretive country have brought in the travelers in droves. Challenges still exist. Few ATMS dot the countryside so bring in plenty of new US dollars. The internet is no longer censored, but it is SLOW, so don’t think you’ll be downloading all of your pictures of Yangoon while in country. Hotels are expensive and the trains seriously bumpy but the food is exceptional and as cheap as it comes. Simple is best. Follow the sound of the chanting monks and experience serene bliss.

 

7. Oman

Known as the “Norway of the Middle East”, Oman has long been the jewel of the region. A visit to Oman allows you to experience Arabia without the overwhelming wealth and modern high rises of the new Middle East. The low slung cities, pristine fjords, and stunning coastline retain much of their original charm. The Bedouin influence is still apparent and for those wishing to get a feel for this culture beyond the shopping malls to its historic soul will welcome the warm hospitality. Muscat, the port capital, features the contrast of an enormous mosque bordering the winding, and nearly claustrophobic, corridors of the ancient souk. When you are done with city life, head out into the desert to discover what was considered the lost city of Ubar which has only quite recently been “found”, an archaeology fans highlight.

The world can be a vast space, but modern travel and technology make it ever easier to explore more off the beaten path destinations than ever.

Whether you are a senior, a millennial just beginning to explore the world, or a family looking for a more complete educational experience for the kids, the world has never been more accessible. Make 2017 the year of exploration and experience one (or all!) of these travel destination options for yourself.

 

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Destinations

Affordable Travel Destinations to Fit in Before the New Year

With a new year closing in quickly, many people are anxious to get away from the stress of the season, with the benefit of enjoying one final holiday for the year. The question becomes, where to go? The choices may seem endless, but there are a few tried and true options that all offer up culture and sightseeing on a budget. Now is the time to stop dreaming, and arrange a flight to paradise.

To start, there are a couple of important things to remember. One myth of holiday travel is that prices will not rise in a countries that don’t celebrate Christmas. The world is a small place, and even though the majority of residents of Vietnam, for instance, do not celebrate Christmas, it doesn’t mean that they are ignorant to the rise in tourism around the holidays. Prices rise with demand, not because of the local traditions.

If you have not already booked flights and hotels, do it NOW. Many travelers book months and months in advance for the holidays. While this reduces the overall availability, for late bookers the good news is that there are generally still deals to be had. As hotels consider their remaining availability, it is still possible to find some very good last minute offers.

Before making your getaway booking the big decision is where to go? Below is a list of a few of the top travel destinations to inspire exploration.

For Sun & Sand

Mexico

A long-time favorite, Mexico’s close proximity to the United States, coupled with a festive culture, inexpensive hotels, and amazing food makes for a dream location. Perhaps Puerto Vallarta ranks high on your list. Well known for offering up a near perfect combination of old and new, Puerto Vallarta features hotels to fit any budget, excellent dining with everything from taco stands to high end restaurants, and perfect sunsets every night.

If the Caribbean waters beckon, don’t ignore touristy Cancun. Although built specifically as a tourist destination, this active city sits on some of the prettiest beaches in the world, and package deals abound. It is easy to combine air and lodging in one agreeable price and, carefree, jet off to the land of late nights, Mayan ruins, cenotes, and amazing diving.

Honduras

After a few years off the radar, Honduras is experiencing a resurgence of travelers. Some are drawn to some of the cheapest diving certification in the world, while others simply want to get off the beaten path, and experience a traditional way of life, all surrounded by gorgeous countryside, and Caribbean seas.

For Culture & Cuisine

India

It is hard to beat the extraordinary culture and cuisine of India. The long flight brings it’s just rewards in the form of street life unlike anywhere else in the world. The chaos is part of the charm and sightseeing around Rajasthan is a true step back in time. Indian cuisine, long heralded as some of the best in the world, will delight every taste bud with a depth of flavor rarely experienced. To explore a quieter side, head to trendy Goa, whose famous beach communities have drawn travelers for decades.

Egypt

For thousands of years Egypt has hosted travelers from around the globe. One of the original powerhouse societies, the pyramids and tombs of the country are remarkable, and truly unique. The Nile is the life source of the country, and cruising her waters is an excellent introduction to a country steeped in historical significance. Egyptian cuisine is a delightful blend of Middle Eastern and African influences, and discovering new dishes, such as Ful, will add to the memories.

For Asian Serenity & Style

Vietnam

This stunning country has become a favorite of travelers. Inexpensive and exotic, Vietnam offers that sweet combination of excellent value, amazing scenery, and great food. The French influence is still widely apparent in both cuisine and the beautiful architecture, tailor shops, and overall style. Add in thousands of miles of coastline and about a billion scooters, and sit back to enjoy a fantastic holiday.

Thailand

It is almost impossible to head to Southeast Asia, and NOT go to Thailand. The majority of inexpensive flights arrive in the major hub that is Bangkok and, while some people immediately escape this enormous and chaotic city, if you stick around for a few days it is easy to find charm in the most unexpected places. The Thai people are some of the friendliest on the planet, and the cuisine world class. Combine these pleasures with exotic hill tribes, beautiful textiles, and stunning beaches, and it is easy to understand why this country remains one of the world’s favorite travel destinations.

Bali, Indonesia

Of the 6000 inhabited islands of Indonesia, Bali remains the most popular. While well known for its nightlife in the main city of Kuta, it is easy to escape to the rice paddies and serenity of Ubud, or one of the many beaches circling the island. Indonesia cuisine offers hints of Malay and Indian, and the beauty of the daily offerings and surrounding countryside is outstanding.

Wherever your dream travel destinations are, it is now easier than ever to jet away for a last minute trip. Do a bit of research, consider flight times to each destination in relation to the amount of time your holiday allows, and prepare for a holiday season unlike any you have experienced before.

As more and more people check off items on their bucket list, and begin to value experiences over things, a holiday away seems the perfect solution. What better way to bond with family and friends over the true meaning of the holidays than to forego gifts, and instead give loved ones moments that will become memories for a lifetime? A camel ride to see the pyramids at sunrise, a visit with the Monks of Thailand, a delicious meal served to you at a child sized plastic table and chairs; these are the moments that will fuel your imagination, and feed your soul for years to come.

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Destinations

Extraordinary Places You Have to Travel to!

There are so many amazing places around the world to travel to, it makes it so difficult to prioritize which destinations to visit first. An article on youramazingplaces.com lists 23 extraordinary destinations to visit. The first place that the article lists is Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Blagaj is a gorgeous place with teal water streaming along giant mountains of rock.

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Destinations Travel Tips

Hawaii Travel on a Budget

Your guide to experiencing all that paradise has to offer without breaking the bank.

Hawaii is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, but it can be expensive to visit. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to experience all that Hawaii has to offer on a budget. Here are some of the best ways to save on your next vacation to Hawaii.

Lodging

Booking a hostel can be a great way to save money on lodging in Hawaii. Hostels are usually much less than a typical hotel. In addition to being friendly on the budget, hostels offer many things that traditional hotels do not, such as tours and other fun events. Many, like the popular Waikiki Beachside Hostel, offer free breakfast and beach access.

Transportation

Transportation is probably one of the biggest expenses when it comes to traveling to Hawaii. Commercial flights are expensive and fees are often added for luggage and other items, which can make a trip to the islands prohibitively expensive, especially for a family. Luckily there are some ways, that many travelers are not aware of, to get to the islands without breaking the bank. Here are a few secrets to help you get to paradise for less.

Getting There

Flying to and from Hawaii is a given, but there are ways to get there inexpensively. Although most people arrive via commercial flights, that may not be the most cost-effective form of transportation. In fact, private jet travel can be cheaper than commercial flights due to last minute discounts on unused inventory. Jet charter companies will often offer unused seats on private flights at a significant discount. How do private jets end up with empty seats? Well, a celebrity or CEO, for instance, might charter a private jet to pick them up after a week-long vacation in Hawaii. Rather than lose money by flying without any passengers to Hawaii to pick up the private passenger, charter companies will offer the “empty leg” flights at a discount to the public. There are a number of advantages to private jet charters, including impeccable service, no long lines and the utmost in comfort and luxury. Private jet flights are great for travel, not only to and from Hawaii but between the islands, as well. This lets you avoid the hassle of inter-island flights on commercial planes, which are often overbooked and crowded.

Travel Around the Islands

Frugal travelers have many options when it comes to getting around the islands. Many resorts offer complimentary shuttles to local beaches and other hotspots. Here are more tips for getting around specific islands.

Oahu

Travelers on O‘ahu can take advantage of Hawaii’s wonderful public bus system, TheBus. TheBus offers over 80 routes all over the island. Riders can book four days of unlimited travel on The Bus for only $35.

Hawaii-The Big Island

The Hele-On bus is The Big Island’s public transportation system. This bus is cheap and will get you all around the island. Exploring the island via the hele-on bus will introduce you to many interesting sights, as well as local residents. This will provide you with an opportunity to experience a unique side of Hawaii.

Maui

Maui also has a great bus system operated by the Maui Department of Transportation. Service is provided to the most popular areas and attractions around the island. Fares are reasonably priced at $2.00 a ticket.

Hawaii, with its beautiful sunsets and gorgeous vistas, is a must-visit destination. As you can see, it is possible to experience the trip of a lifetime to this breathtaking archipelago of islands on a budget.

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Destinations

Travel Out of Your Comfort Zone

From recent surveys done by the Virtuoso luxury travel network, breaking the comfort zone is a top trend for travelers in 2016. Adventure seems to be a top priority as an experience in the travel industry.

Galapagos Small-Group Tour

Take a small sailing ship and about 11 other friends to tour the Galapagos islands. Search out the variety of animals, and the abrupt variety in scenery to break you out of the civilization mindset.

Nomadic Moroccan Family

If your comfort zone is being a home-body, remove the home and join a Moroccan family as they move around the Atlas Mountains.

Antarctica

Antartica can probably be described as uncomfortable. It lacks all the trappings of a corner coffee shop, internet connectivity, farm-fresh foods, and the feeling in your toes. The journey really is the adventure here, with wildlife sightings and exclusivity as one of the few people to see Antarctica.

 

Click here for the full article by Erin Gifford.

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Destinations

Off-beat Luxury Hotels

Luxury has changed in the game of hotels. Modern luxury hotels now sell themselves based on the unique and exclusive experiences they provide.

Ponta Dos Ganchos, Brazil

Ponta Dos Ganchos sits on a private peninsula on the emerald coast of Brazil. It is close enough to large hubs of activity for entertainment, yet remote enough to relax.

La Bastide de Gordes, France

Literally carved into the rock face, La Bastide de Gordes has a magnificent view of the opposing mountains and lavender fields for the perfect French retreat.

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ashford Castle is the oldest castle in Ireland, but also boasts rooms looking over either the river or the lake. The castle offers medieval nobleman activities such as falconry, horseback riding, and hawk flying.

 

Click here for the full article by Matthew Priest.

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