If you’re anything like me, you’ve been deeply saddened by the fact that you haven't traveled in nearly a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Birthday celebrations have been canceled. Family reunions have gone virtual. And those sweet romantic getaways have all but been obliterated.
As you may be anxiously awaiting a more stable travel experience, there are still some ways you can enjoy the world with your significant other. The secret is bringing travel to you in the comfort of your own home.
The number one reason travel is so important for our mental health is that it gives us an escape from our day-to-day lives. We can completely disconnect and unwind while recharging our batteries and immersing ourselves into a new culture.
If you have vacation days to burn, but don't feel safe going anywhere yet, it's still important to take time off work for your sanity (and for your partner or families). So, what better timing than to discuss some ideas for Valentine's Day! You can plan something special for this coming lovers weekend. However, if it's too soon for you to prepare... you can start planning something special for you and your sweetie to enjoy some time off work together in the near future.
Here are three fun ways to enjoy a staycation that can help you feel as though you and your partner are on vacation. Create some travel memories from home until you can experience the real thing!
If you are anything like me, your travel bug is getting anxious to explore again! It's been great to see many destinations starting to re-open and accepting tourists again these past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more this summer.
As I have started planning new vacations again, there is one thing I noticed trending in regards to the immediate future of vacation planning... You must plan in advance and prepare more than you normally would. Let me take you on a quick imaginative journey of one of these exclusive experiences you must pre-plan, even earlier than before, to guarantee your spot!
Imagine breathtaking views that are still largely untouched by commercialism and not overrun with tourists. Picture mountain views, canyons carved by rushing waters, and stunning landscapes. Now imagine being able to view it all from a world-class train that puts you up close with nature while transporting you in luxury. You can enjoy all this and more with one of the many Rocky Mountaineer luxury train tours.
While this year is a no go for this adventure - there are already limited options for the 2021 season as everyone had to reschedule from their cancelled 2020 trip. They have a short season any how (from late April to October), so you should jump on pre-planning now or you may be stuck with waiting until 2022!
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I know that there are so many of us who won’t be able to celebrate our mother’s, mother figures, and the outstanding father’s who’ve played both Mom and Dad to us, in quite the same way this year.
With travel restrictions slowly lifting however, we can give the Gift of Reconnection in the form of a future travel certificate – and start thinking about the kind of travel that we can safely embark on as we enter our new normal way of life.
For those of us wanting to get back into the world and see new places or different scenery, but who are still wary of jumping right back into the fray of extensive multi-destination trips or mega-resorts, there are a number of smaller boutique and secluded style options available that are ideal to start. Let's explore a few of those today...
If you are anything like me, the winter gets you thinking about getting the heck out of here and finding a nice beach to thaw out on!!
I was recently accepted as 1 of 15 travel agents nationwide to go to Fiji next month and it can't get here fast enough! I will tour multiple islands and a vast array of resorts on a whirlwind visit in Fiji, but I'm excited for paradise and look forward to sharing my experiences with you!
As you start planning your upcoming beach getaway, I have some insight regarding how to select your room category that you may find beneficial...
I just returned from Mexico doing resort site inspections at 12 different luxury resorts around the Riviera Maya and Cancun area - hopefully you saw some of those online at facebook or instagram. If you didn't, go check them out, as I saw some amazing resorts and now have an even longer bucketlist of more resorts I'm dying to stay at! :)
There is a new all-inclusive resort with a twist to the inclusive concept which opened last year, and I had the pleasure of staying there for the first 3 nights of my trip. I just wanted to share my remarkable experience with you about my new love...
UNICO 20°87° isn’t just a destination, it’s a journey! From locally-inspired gourmet dishes to exhilarating tours of ancient ruins, you will find more than your typical all-inclusive resort, you will enjoy the rich, warm culture of Modern Mexico!
This adults-only resort was everything I dreamed it would be and more! If you prefer unstructured schedules, natural elegant decor, quality food, premium drinks, fun, yet laid-back energy and romance - this resort might be for you!
This upscale resort is set on a natural eco-reserve along a beautiful white sand beach with dreamy views of the Caribbean Sea. Upon arrival, you are instantly embraced with the most enchanting aroma in the lobby. As you check-in, you are asked to personalize the scent of your own room, then your personal host ("butler") will escort you to your room and provide a personal tour. Here, you won't find entertainment staff asking you every hour to join them for archery, salsa classes, etc... Instead, you will enjoy pop-up activities, music and scheduled classes that you can leisurely join if interested or just relax and not be bothered.
The true luxury of this boutique resort begins with unlimited inclusions, such as unlimited golf, scuba diving experiences, spa treatments, local tours and beauty salon & barber services... that's right ladies, I said UNLIMITED SPA TREATMENTS!! Here you can find a variety of select tours and spa/salon services that are included with your stay! You just pay a 20% service fee for each service used (plus gratuity).
For example, if want to do the Xtreme Mayan Jungle Tour - which combines ziplining, rappelling into a freshwater underground river, and swimming through a series of underground caverns - you would normally pay $99 per person for this tour, but at UNICO 20°87° you only pay $19.80 for this incredible experience!
During my stay, I was fortunate to enjoy two spa treatments. The first one was their signature massage with FOUR hands, where I had two massage therapists working at the same time, melting my stresses away! OMG! This was incredible!! It felt like a synchronized dance with hands from head to toe. Each moment I continued to fade deeper into a blissful state with a permanent smile on my face. An experience I will dream about until I return and enjoy my next one :)
My other spa treatment was a relaxing Shaman Body Wrap with a gentle exfoliation treatment and cocoa wrap. This was my first body wrap experience and it was like three mini massages as each layer was applied. My skin was so hydrated and smooth after PLUS I smelled like chocolate :) There are a variety of spa treatment options that are included under the unlimited inclusion program, but they also have many others for an additional cost.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE...
Other included experiences worth mentioning are their redefined cultural tours. They created a few one-of-a-kind excursions (only available through this resort), which include unique and memorable adventures that will make your vacation truly one to flaunt! Their included tours range from a Wine Sunset Sailing, Snorkeling, Zip-Lining, Mayan Ruins, and so much more! You just pay the 20% service fee of the cost as I mentioned earlier. I had the pleasure to join their Sunset Sail with Vino tour... We had a lovely catamaran with around 30 guests from the resort and sailed down the coast enjoying wine, drinks and music before docking at a shallow lagoon for a perfect sunset photo opportunity, where we listened to music, and snacked on cheese and fruits before returning to the resort.
This resort is also located on the beach where many sea turtles come to lay their eggs. I was fortunate to be there during this season and stayed up late to tag along with the Turtle Conservation Team and was lucky enough to witness three different turtles nesting and watch them return to the sea. It was a remarkable experience to be a part of!
Also worth mentioning is their stunning wedding creations at this resort. If you are looking to elevate your destination wedding or vow renewal and offer a truly one-of-a-kind experience filled with personalized touches, locally-sourced dishes and artisanal cocktails PLUS a dreamy backdrop of the turquoise sea - look no further! They have gorgeous wedding options to make the ultimate event. This upscale resort will impress your guests and your wedding will be one that no one will ever forget!
There is SO much more to discuss about this resort and the one-of-a-kind experiences it offers, but I'm getting a little carried away already, so don't want to overload you at once! Let's schedule a time to chat about your next vacation and see if this resort might fit your expectations and desires! Call us today (913) 244-9195.
Can you believe this year is almost over?! Where did the time go! With the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy for romance to take a back seat. Deadlines, rushing to work, the kids extracurricular activities, etc...they all seem to take precedence over our love lives, don’t they?
We are quickly approaching the holiday season too, which only continues to take priority in life. If this sounds familiar, perhaps you and your honey should take a moment to breathe and consider a romantic getaway to ignite a spark.
Here are 5 destinations that may be exactly what you’re looking for to fall in love with your sweetie all over again:
Most people think of Paris when they think of France. But, there are so many other French destinations that offer all the romance without all the tourist hoopla. Carcassonne is a stunning hilltop town in the south of France. It’s famous for its medieval feel, and one of the most romantic spaces in the city is the Hotel de la Cite. This hotel is a well-preserved medieval castle featuring spiral staircases, stained-glass windows, stone walls and formal gardens. You’ll truly feel like royalty here.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Imagine a lovers escape to the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford. This luxury hotel boasts itself as the perfect destination for a gastronomic weekend or a romantic retreat. This gorgeous manor is one of the United Kingdom’s first, and most intimate hotels. It has just 32 uniquely designed rooms, but it’s a breathtaking place you won’t want to leave for days on end. And, considering the fact they have some of the best food on site that makes even the world’s top chefs blush, you might not need to go off property for anything but sightseeing.
Chania Balos Beach in Crete
Move over Santorini, this might just be the new Greek hot spot for lovers on holiday. Chania Balos Beach in Crete is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece. From the hills above the beach it looks like a lagoon, and its white sand, soft seabed and crystal waters provide some of the most picturesque views imaginable.
Prague, Czech Republic
Though it may surprise you, many folks consider the capital of the Czech Republic to be one of the most romantic places on the planet. By day wander around amazing attractions such as Prague Castle and the St. Nicolas Cathedral. During the evening, you can enjoy a peaceful walk around winding cobblestone avenues lit by subtle road lights, cuddle in a horse-drawn carriage, or take a boat ride at sunset down the Vltava River while soaking in the rich environment.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
As we round out this list of romantic destinations to bring back some spark, we couldn’t leave out the winter wonderland of St. Moritz in Switzerland. Located in the Swiss Alps sits this amazing ski town featuring adrenaline inducing slopes, panoramic views, bobsledding, casinos, nightclubs and more. You’ll quickly see why St. Moritz is called the number one winter playground of international jet setters. Spend the days on powdered mountains, and then spend the nights enjoying delicious cuisine and snuggles by the fire.
To find your perfect destination for romance (or just a winter getaway with friends or family), just give us a call at: (913) 244-9195.
The holiday season is just around the corner, which means it's also it's the proposal season. While you may already be married, you might know someone that is engaged or about to be and may be thinking about a destination wedding. If you do, we have vast experience with helping brides figure out how to start planning and organizing their destination wedding to tropical destinations.
As a past beach bride in Puerto Vallarta, I have some insight to pass along for those that might be asking if a Destination Wedding is right for them.
Traditions are becoming the “old way” of doing things, and these days people are looking for better and more exciting experiences. The same is true for weddings. You’ve likely heard about underwater weddings, or even ones where people sky dive as they say “I do.” Your story as a couple is a unique one, and you deserve a wedding that is just as unique as you. Let’s explore just a few reasons that destination weddings are better than traditional ones...
They’re exciting - What separates a destination wedding from a traditional wedding is the feeling you extract from it. You will enjoy more quality time with loved ones, instead of just one day that is over 6 hours later when everyone goes their separate ways. Plus, every destination wedding can be very different. It’s a breath of fresh air. You can wed atop a mountain, or underneath the sea. You can carry a bouquet made of seashells, or forego one altogether. The possibilities are endless when you don’t have to conform to traditional expectations.
They’re more intimate - Don't expect a wedding crasher at a destination wedding, let alone your Uncle Joe that you can’t even stand seeing at Thanksgiving. You get to be selective with the group that will be there on your day. In fact, you can choose to avoid everyone altogether and make it a completely private event with just you and your spouse to be.
They’re budget-friendly - I mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but it bears repeating. Destination Weddings are typically much less expensive than traditional ones. Because you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a hall, a reception location and all the usual wedding vendors, allowing you to save a lot of dough. Plus, since it will be a significantly smaller group, so you won’t have to fork out as much for the reception dinner either!
They’re convenient - When choosing a resort destination wedding, they usually come complete with a wedding coordinator taking care of the organization. Plus, Destinations HD can help you with many of the details of coordinating the travel plans for your guests, including all requests, allergies, travel questions, transfers, payments, etc... so all you have to do is communicate your dream wedding vision and show up to get hitched. The best part? You can honeymoon in the same spot you get married in. All the traveling is already over, so once you complete the ceremony you can slip 100% into vacation mode (maybe change hotels to an adults-only or more luxury resort for an intimate honeymoon experience). No hassles, and you’re in paradise... Sounds like a win-win to me!
Want to learn more about planning the destination wedding of your dreams? We specialize in beach weddings internationally and would be honored to help you plan your special day. Call Destinations HD today to find out more: (913) 244-9195
Can you believe it's already mid-August?! I've seen holiday decorations in stores already - where does the time go?!!
Have you been considering staying in an all-inclusive resort this winter? The reality is, not all all-inclusives are the same, and you need to be mindful of this when choosing one. For some people they think that their best bet is to choose the cheapest one, for others luxury is all the rage, and other still fear that they'll choose a place that doesn't give them everything that they're really looking for on vacation. If you’re looking for help in choosing the perfect all-inclusive resort for you, these considerations may assist you in making your choice...
First, look at the cost for staying there. Yes, you will want to consider the price you're paying. However, don't stop there. Take a look at what that price you're paying gets you. Unfortunately, the world all-inclusive doesn't necessarily mean “all-inclusive.” Some resorts will charge you a low price, and then sneak in a bunch of fees for everything from steak at dinner to using your in-room safe. It's important to look at the fine print of what your all-inclusive resort really includes.
Next, read reviews on each of the resorts that you are considering. It's no secret that in today's internet fueled world, tourists are ready, willing, and able, to tell the truth about the experiences that they're having at destinations worldwide. That gorgeous photo that you saw of that spectacular looking resorts on that private island, could in fact be massively photoshopped and look nothing like the photo in real life. At least real travelers are sharing the photos of what the place was actually like... which could be considered a blessing and a curse :) Just make sure to take in the information with caution, as not everyone has the same level of expectations or tastes, among many other factors accounting for their positive or negative thoughts.
Work with a reputable travel agent that will tell you what you really need to know about the all-inclusive resorts that you're considering. Destinations HD has the 411 on the hottest, most reliable, safest and overall knowledge on quality all-inclusive resorts that provide the best value. We only work with the best in the business, and we pass our personal experience and knowledge of these spectacular destinations onto you.
By not going in with your eyes wide-opened, you could end up with a second-rate vacation. We want to help you avoid that. When you’re ready to book your all-inclusive getaway, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195. We’ll help ensure you get the most bang for your travel buck and have a quality experience!
As you start thinking about the upcoming school year and scheduling all the vaccines and upcoming flu shots to help protect against illness - many don't realize that taking vacation time can also improve your health.
Here's a sobering statistic – more than half of Americans likely didn't take all of their vacation days in 2016 according to CNN. That makes this fact a little more understandable unfortunately – in countless studies it has been found that a majority of Americans say they're stressed at work. We all know that stress can lead to illness and other health issues. Traveling and taking all of our vacation days is critical for reducing stress and maintaining better health overall. Let's explore why travel is good for your health...
The body and mind need a break and travel is the only thing that helps you truly get away. When you get up, go to work, work hard, stay late, barely eat, then come home – you're usually exhausted. And, your day is probably not over yet. Then there's the kids' extracurricular activities, cooking dinner, doing the chores – on and on it goes, leaving you desperate for a break. However, the trouble with simply taking a day off from work, is that most people don't take their vacation days to relax. They fill them up with other responsibilities – doctor's appointments, renewing licenses, stops to the post office, etc…
Traveling allows you the chance to stop worrying about all of that other stuff. Getting away from it all is the only way to, well, get away from it all. When you're in another city, or country you can't do all those errands. You have to focus on the one thing you've been craving all along – relaxation! Relaxing replenishes your batteries inside and out.
You'll give your mood a boost. Travel improves our emotional state too. When our emotions are elevated, our cells regenerate faster, and we become healthier as a result. If the mind and body are in a constant state of fight or flight, it will become fatigued, breaking down our immune systems and our willpower to find the positive side to things. The best part of traveling to take that critical break? There's a residual effect – long after you return, you'll still be feeling happy about your trip. Why? You'll likely have pictures of the escape, and that will transport your mind back to the happy place, and hence your happy state.
Many aspects of your health will improve thanks to traveling. Forbes Magazine reported that “Active travel is proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, depression levels and more, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.”
Travel improves the health of your relationships too. As Passport Health says, “It’s common knowledge that travel helps to bring people together by building lifelong memories. Couples are strongly and positively affected by trips taken together. More than 75 percent of adults credit travel with improving their interpersonal relationships. Studies show family travel can also significantly reduce behavioral problems and illness in children.”
Bottom line – Travel improves your mental, physical and emotional health simply by allowing you to take a break from the daily stresses of life. So, what are you waiting for? Isn't it about time you planned a getaway for the sake of your health? We think so! When you do, we hope you'll think of Destinations HD. Call us at (913) 244-9195 today, and let us help you create the vacation of your dreams!
As summer living is in full swing, I am getting a lot of vacation requests - not sure if this is due to kids driving parents crazy now OR it's just the season :) I'm receiving many inquiries for upcoming milestone anniversary and celebrations and the most common destination inquiry for these events is the dreamy islands of Tahiti. I thought I would take this time to discuss other options for Tahiti for those that want to see many islands, but don't necessarily have the time or budget to island hop.
Tahiti is one of those utopia destinations that is incredibly popular, not only because year-round warm weather, but also the gorgeous surroundings, spectacular beaches, and the friendliest people you will ever meet! The average year-round temperature is just 79 degrees. Couple that with the water temperature average of 79 in the winter and 84 in the summer, and you've got practically perfect vacation conditions. You will be embraced by Mana, the life force that connects all things in Tahiti, as soon as you arrive. With 118 islands and atolls spread over five archipelagos, there is something new to experience at every turn. Each island offers a verity of activities and accommodation experiences, so if you're looking to explore the islands, and want to do it in a unique way, you might want to consider a Tahiti cruise!
On a Tahitian cruise, you'll get to see multiple destinations, and you'll travel aboard what is essentially a moving hotel – unpack once and explore the beauty around you! Doesn't that sound just amazing?
Let's take a quick peek at some of the options for cruising Tahiti:
High-End Cruising Aboard a Luxury Liner
There's cruising, and then there is luxury cruising. When you're on a luxury liner you're treated like the VIP that you are. Once you step aboard, all of your meals and lodging are included, and some cruise lines offer extra perks like alcoholic beverages, a personal butler and/or private excursions. Just imagine visiting French Polynesia by day, and being waited on like the rich and fabulous by night!
One thing to note though, on some luxury liners, you will find these are more extended vacations that combine stops at several of the Tahitian islands, but starts or ends in destinations like New Zealand or Australia. If you have the time to spare, these are great cruises to see so much more than just a beach paradise. However, if you don’t have that much time to explore, there are dedicated cruise lines that only focus on the French Polynesia and some offer all-inclusive pricing with meals, drinks and entertainment all included!
Yachting from Island to Island
The difference between a large high-end cruise line and a yacht? The level of intimacy and the number of your fellow boating mates. Some of the larger lines can host as many as 3,000 guests, where as smaller yachts could be limited to 350 people, or even as little as two guests (some with a personal cook).
Smaller cruise boat options like yachts can also get into areas the larger boats can't, and this will give you the opportunity to do things like snorkeling in secluded spots, paddle boarding or kayaking in picturesque settings, or relaxing with little to no noise and slipping completely into vacation mode.
Low Key or Extreme Adventure
Regardless of whether you choose to go with a large liner or a small, intimate cruise, your Tahitian cruise can be what you want it to be. The options are truly limitless. You can choose casual, calm excursions intent on helping you relax. However, if you prefer a more extreme cruise experience, there are excursions such as swimming with sharks and sting rays, or intense rides on a 4X4 amidst sheer cliffs that get you up close to a volcano!
Your Cruise is What You Make It
Believe it or not, we've barely scratched the surface of the options available to you for cruising Tahiti. If you would like to learn more about the perfect cruise that fits your needs, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195. However you choose to island hop, we'll make sure your trip fulfills as many of your vacation dreams as possible. Experiences Await...