Stories

5 Reasons This is the Year to Give the Gift of Travel

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5 Reasons This is the Year to Give the Gift of Travel

The gift-giving season is close at hand, and this year, more than ever before, travel may be the very best present you can place for someone under the tree. Lynn Elmhirst, producer and host of BestTrip TV, explains:Experiences vs. ThingsStudy after study shows it, and we know it instinctively ourselves. Our best memories, the best of times, are about experiences, especially shared experiences with loved ones. Not stuff.How many presents do you yourself remember? Compared to the smile that appears on your face when you think of your favorite travel moments.Humans are hardwired to cherish the things that travel is all about: new experiences, once-in-a-lifetime moments, meeting new people who are passionate about sharing their culture, talents, and life experiences... more


Malama Hawaii Program: Giving Back on a Trip to Paradise

Story About Hawaii
Malama Hawaii Program: Giving Back on a Trip to Paradise

The Hawaiian Islands may draw you to their other-worldly tropical beauty, South-Pacific culture and warm welcome, legendary beaches and seaside lifestyle. But the most memorable trip to Hawaii may be the one that gives back. The Malama Hawaii Program connects visitors to activities that make a difference to the islands’ land, ocean, wildlife, forests, fishponds, and communities. Malama means 'give back' and it puts you in a position to become part of Hawaii, leave it an even better place… and have vacation memories of a lifetime.It’s about building real relationships between people and place, and enriching your life as well as the destination you visit.The Malama Hawaii Program has brought together a number of hotels and resorts, tour companies, and... more


Seeing is Believing: Health Protocols are No Barrier to Enjoying a European River Cruise

Story About Eu
Seeing is Believing: Health Protocols are No Barrier to Enjoying a European River Cruise

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video is running commentary. That's why we wanted to share with you exactly what the health protocols on board an Avalon Waterways river cruise in France are in the Fall of 2021. We know some people have already begun traveling again - but others are still hesitant. Maybe you wonder if new health protocols take away from your river cruise experience. Or you wonder if it's safe enough. Lynn Elmhirst of BestTrip TV decided to find an answer to that question. She sailed in October, 2021, on an Avalon Waterways river cruise through the south of France to see exactly what protocols were in place, and how it felt to be... more


Vienna's New Rooftop Bars

Story About Vienna
Vienna's New Rooftop Bars

Austria’s capital city is famous as a cradle of classical music and high culture, for its skyline shaped by Hapsburg palaces, the Opera House and city symbol Giant Ferris Wheel, for tastes and experiences like chocolate/apricot Sacher Torte and coffee house culture, and even the renowned, high-performing and high-stepping, gleaming white Lipizzaner horses. You may have been to Vienna before, but no matter how many times you’ve been to a city, seeing it from above gives you a whole new perspective. That’s why the string of new rooftop bars in the city on the Danube river – with stunning design and inspiring food and beverage experiences - is so exciting for those of us planning Danube river cruises or guided trips to... more


This Entire Caribbean Island is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Story About Martinique
This Entire Caribbean Island is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

This small French Caribbean island is known as the Isle of Flowers, the Rum Capital of the World, and now, its land mass, along with the marine zone around it, has become an over 12-million acre globally-recognized eco reserve.Martinique has been inducted into UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program, so now over 5% of the Earth’s landmass is recognized for conservation of biodiversity, environmental education research, and sustainable development. The organization describes Martinique as “the 12th biosphere reserve along the volcanic arc of the Caribbean, one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots. Its richness is unique, as it includes many endemic species living in rare and endangered habitats.”It adds how remarkable the French Caribbean island’s geology is, featuring the 4,583-foot Mount... more


The One-of-a-Kind Festival that Lights Up Montreal This Fall

Story About Montreal
The One-of-a-Kind Festival that Lights Up Montreal This Fall

Montreal is a year-round global capital of celebration. The world’s second-largest French-speaking city (after only Paris) is famous for its cosmopolitan flair, cuisine, fashion, as a UNESCO City of Design, the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil - and a full calendar of top-shelf festivals that wrap the city in energy anytime you visit. A famously active winter city, Montreal’s star shines even when the temperatures fall, with a mid-winter ‘Nuit Blanche’, ‘Igloofest’ and active celebrations of the city, like giant outdoor skating rinks.Summer is high festival season, with marquee events like the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix race which is the most watched F1 race in the world, the world’s largest comedy festival, rock and electronic music fests, the Montreal... more


This Old Ship is the Caribbean's Great New Dive Destination

Story About Belize
This Old Ship is the Caribbean's Great New Dive Destination

Sunken wrecks aren’t just fascinating destinations for underwater exploration or fantasies of pirate ‘days of yore’. Properly and carefully submerged, wrecks enhance natural reef ecosystems and provide new homes for marine plants and creatures. A new submerged ship is about to become a prime diving attraction in the 2nd-largest barrier reef in the world. It will also contribute to sustainability in a number of ways.“The Wit Concrete” ship is a 375-foot long, 58-foot wide, and 38-foot deep ship originally built during WW2, one of the largest concrete ships built during wartime. Over its hard-working life, the ship had different tasks, beginning as a floating transfer station for supplies along the U.S. Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard during the war, up to its... more


5 Top Places to Nama-'Stay' During National Yoga Month

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5 Top Places to Nama-'Stay' During National Yoga Month

For many of us, September feels more like the ‘New Year’ than when the calendar says it’s January. Time to exhale, regroup, and reset yourself on a fulfilling course for the future, one that includes meeting life and wellness goals.Maybe that’s why September is National Yoga Month.The ideal time to practice – or at least plan for - two intersecting life goals: more yoga and more travel.Here are 5 inspired places to practice yoga on an enriching journey.  Flamingo Yoga at Baha Mar, The BahamasLocated on the pristine white sands of Cable Beach in Nassau, Baha Mar is a tropical island dreamscape, no matter which of its three beachfront resorts best suits your luxury travel style. Whether you choose to stay in... more


New Ships Put the ‘Luxe’ in Luxury Expedition Cruising to the Remote Oceans of the World

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New Ships Put the ‘Luxe’ in Luxury Expedition Cruising to the Remote Oceans of the World

It’s one of the biggest trends in cruising. Not getting bigger, but getting out there. In style.Expedition cruises used to be only for the most intrepid travelers. You would join a working research vessel on its voyage to a very distant destination, tolerating the discomfort for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of getting up close and personal with the unique and fascinating natural wonders and wildlife of a maritime region you’d never otherwise encounter. The good news is that you no longer have to sacrifice comfort for the privilege of immersion into a magical and otherwise unreachable marine frontier.Luxury expedition cruising is coming of age. Smaller vessels, able to reach hidden places even where there are no ports, staffed by scientific experts and guides, equipped... more


Miami Heats Up This Summer with Three Hotel Openings

Story About Miami Beach
Miami Heats Up This Summer with Three Hotel Openings

Miami has always been one of the hottest destinations on the continent, with art, design and architecture creds, a blistering beach/ party scene, vibrant cultural scene that reflects the city’s status as a Latin American hub, and a celebrity/ jet set appeal that never seems to die down. This summer, the city’s getting even hotter, with three hotel openings set to hit the reset button on restarting travel to Miami. They’re must-stay, must-taste experiences that tap into the essence of Miami’s iconic South Beach.  The Goodtime Hotel With a name like that – and star power like Pharrell Williams’ of the song ‘Happy’ fame – behind it, this hotel promises escapist, playful atmosphere – and it delivers. With 100,000 square feet of... more


Two New Luxury Brands for the Secluded Turks & Caicos Islands

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Two New Luxury Brands for the Secluded Turks & Caicos Islands

They are among the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. The forty islands and cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are favored by travelers in the know for their pristine waters, picture-perfect white sand beaches and conch and lobster fisheries that make local dining such a joy.TCI’s archipelago is strung out along the sea at the tail-end of The Bahamas and before you get to the Dominican Republic.Bookended by two popular and busy beach destinations, this British Overseas Territory stands out for its quiet seclusion. Only about 30,000 people live on TCI - mainly on Providenciales in the Caicos islands. In fact, fewer than a dozen of the islands are inhabited at all. But possibly because of its primary... more


Cruising From the US is Back!

Story About North America
Cruising From the US is Back!

It’s official. Cruising has returned to ports in the U.S. While many cruise lines have already started sailing with North American guests from offshore ports in the Caribbean and Europe, there’s been no cruising from ports we can drive to.Until now. Between the end of June and the holiday weekend, three ships have set sail from three different American homeports. And now the seal is broken, cruises from homeports from coast to coast to coast are scheduled to set sail in a flood that’s restarting a favorite style of travel at last. Celebrity Edge: Port Everglades, Fort LauderdaleFirst out of the gate: the Celebrity Edge, which, on the last weekend in June became the first large ship to sail with... more


Celebrate This Island’s Sweet Harvest at its Annual Summer Mango Festival

Story About St Kitts and Nevis
Celebrate This Island’s Sweet Harvest at its Annual Summer Mango Festival

On some islands, they like to tell you how many beaches they have, or days of sunshine. On Nevis, it’s how many different varieties of mangoes they have.The answer? Officially, nearly four dozen – and unofficially, it’s estimated nearly 200 different varieties of mangoes grow on this tiny Caribbean island.Nevis makes up the other part of the twin-island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis. Tucked away between Antigua and the British Virgin Islands, Nevis is off the beaten track in the Caribbean sense – which makes it a treasure for travellers looking for a secluded, charming island paradise. Dominated by the cloud-topped Mount Nevis, whose verdant sides slope down before becoming sandy beaches at the water’s edge, Nevis is beloved by... more


Celebrating World Cocktail Day with a Travel-Inspired Cocktail... or Two

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Celebrating World Cocktail Day with a Travel-Inspired Cocktail... or Two

What’s not to love about May 13th? World Cocktail day has two of my favorite words: world, and cocktail.For those of us who love to travel… and love to get into the ‘spirit’ of the moment with a locally-sourced beverage, cocktail recipes can be some of our most cherished travel souvenirs.And drinks at a smart bar can be among our most cherished travel memories. Here are just a couple of mine:The Original Daiquiri at the House of Bacardi, Puerto Rico Rum, lime and sugar are timeless ingredients in the Caribbean. The origins of this classic cocktail go back to an engineer in early 20th-century Cuba who developed its refreshing taste, and the Bacardi family's business sense in creating the world’s most... more


Spring Gardens, Tropical-Style in Costa Rica

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Spring Gardens, Tropical-Style in Costa Rica

'Spring flowers’ takes on new meaning in the tropics.With Costa Rica’s epic biodiversity and commitment to conservation, lush, green landscapes are a given any time you visit. But some of the Central American country’s botanical gems are best discovered not in the wilderness, but in gardens crafted by human hands.Here are five gardens to add ‘color’ to your trip to Costa Rica. Botanical Orchid GardenNorth America has 200 varieties of orchids. Luscious Costa Rica? 1300.The “Guaria Morada” orchid is even the country’s national flower. Its name has a picturesque meaning: “purple country girl,” for its delicate petals with vivid hues. Unlike most greenhouse orchids we buy at home, it’s even scented. Local Tican tradition says the Guaria Morada brings good fortune. Only... more


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