Although I am usually very tired after traveling, I always try to find the little things about my trip that brought me joy.
Maybe it was finding the perfect Christmas ornament for my tree or getting that perfect shot of the sunset with my phone. I always come back with one memorable experience.
This article focuses on finding and boosting the joy of travel.
Ever feel yourself stuck in a vacationing rut? Maybe you try out different places, but they all kind of seem the same. Maybe you find the planning exhausting. Maybe you stress out over small things so that your energy gets sapped. Maybe you cram too many things into too little time, and you come back more tired than when you left. Maybe you bring work with you, even when you say you’re not going to, so that you wind up giving away precious vacationing hours to your job.
I’m going to be bold and say: This is not what a vacation should feel like.
Here are 5 secrets to becoming a Zen master of vacationing. Trust me — you’ll never regret taking these on.
1) Move a little bit every day you’re on holiday, especially if your job is the kind that has you sitting at a desk all day long. This isn’t about working out; it’s just about doing what your body and brain want you to do, which is move around a little. Lounging is great — there should definitely be time for lounging — but only lounging for days on end has an ironic de-energizing effect on the body. (It’s part of why desk work can be insanely exhausting, even though you technically didn’t do anything physical all day long.) Whatever your level of mobility or fitness, pick something to do every day that gives you a burst of activity: walking, swimming in the ocean, a bike ride, playing with your kids, morning yoga or stretching. If you have some physical limitations, plan ahead and find walker- or wheelchair-friendly spaces to explore, even if it’s just for 20 minutes each day. Your body and your brain will thank you. Activity actually helps boost your body’s ability to fully relax and soak up the restorative purpose of vacationing.
2) Get present to real, peaceful, natural beauty. You might not be the camping type. Or the sporty type. Or the outdoorsy type. That’s 100% okay! You don’t have to hike the Grand Canyon to sit in total awe of it. Even the biggest, loudest city has peaceful places to just be in the presence of natural beauty. If the weather’s nice and you have the option, sit outside for your meal or pack a picnic. Just soak in your surroundings and the view; pay attention to light, sounds, sensations, and smells. Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser and business author, wrote in the Harvard Business Review about a CEO friend of his who swore by intentional time in nature to up his business game: “Before retiring from the CEO role, John would try to take these breaks just before his global partners’ meetings because he found that his ideas, initiatives, and even speeches would become much more focused, rich, clear and powerful as a result—even though he didn’t spend any time actively working on them!” We can’t underestimate the power that being in nature has for bringing out the best in our thinking and seeing.
3) Cultivate your appetite for “different.” This one can be challenging — but it pays huge dividends when it comes to creating vacations that are full, satisfying, and memorable. This is less about booking some extreme trip and more about being willing to approach every trip as a learning experience, to being open to the possibility that every vacation can actually make you a better person. Seek out conversations with interesting strangers. Learn some phrases in a new language and practice them and see what happens. Try new foods. Take in a performance that features local music or dance. Take the risk of not knowing and being willing to ask. As Fernández-Aráoz observes, “The world’s most productive people are deeply curious and collaborative and constantly seek out new acquaintances and allies — even when they’re on vacation.”
4) Put your money into experiences, not things. Again, this one can be challenging. We’re taught in our culture that having more stuff will make us happier, even though research has proven this over and over again to not be true. Vacations in and of themselves are experiences — so that’s one step in the best direction — and getting a few small things to remember your trip is certainly not a bad thing. But keep an eye out for ways to maximize your experience of each moment within your holiday. When the moment comes to decide if you want to blow a ton of cash at the duty free shop or a souvenir shop — ask yourself what kinds of experiences you could buy that will be with you forever and that will continue to bring you happiness long after they’re over.
5) Treat your vacation like a vocation. Notice there’s only one letter that separates the time you spend relaxing, re-energizing, and reconnecting and the thing you were born to do. The word “vacation” comes from the Latin vacare, which means “freedom from obligation and duty, release, to be free and at leisure.” The word “vocation” comes from the Latin vocare, which means “to call” — as in, your personal calling, your purpose, the things that bring you deep joy and bring out the best in you and everyone around you. Think of the joyful energy you would put into your calling — the intention, the planning, the attention to detail, the gratitude. Consider the other word we frequently use for vacation — “holiday” — and note that it means “holy day.” It’s okay to approach your upcoming trip as something that can hold a bit of magic, because it just might. As Fernández-Aráoz writes, your vacation can be the thing that actually brings you back better than you were before — better for yourself, your family and friends, your work, your life.
If you’re looking for ways to maximize your traveling experiences, but you’re not quite sure how to get there, I’d love to help! If planning stresses you out, I can be your best ally. I love this work and can help connect you with the places and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. Let’s talk today — you can reach me by clicking here.
Travel agents are used to making a home anywhere. We often hop from resort to resort or different towns all in the quest to give you our personal opinions on why different destinations, hotels, or resorts may (or may not) be perfect for you.
Speaking for myself , I don’t only want to know about how many restaurants around but I like to get to know the destination. I want to know the language, I want to know the hidden spots to get the best local cuisine, I want to walk the landscapes, eat the food, learn the transportation systems. I really want to know the location.
I want to give you a little insight about the little known, under the radar Caribbean destinations just waiting to be explored. Check them out.
The sister island of more known St. Kitts, Nevis is a small island located southeast of Puerto Rico. Nevis is a great spot for travelers looking for an authentic island experience. There are no fast food restaurants and it is not an overly tourist area.
Nevis is a great spot for history buffs because it is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton and also known for having one of the few Jewish settlements in the Caribbean.
Although Nevis is a small island, it still has all the amenities you need for accommodations from five star hotels to more modest hotels.
Are you looking for an adventure? Dominica is a mountainous island in the Caribbean waiting for you to dive, hike, and be one with nature. Nicknamed the Natural Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica more than lives up to its name with many adventures for those wishing to explore an unspoiled habitat.
When visiting Dominica we recommend going for a hike at the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have access to the Emerald Pool and Waterfalls, the Middleham Falls, the jungle, and a lake. After a day of physical activity relax with a mud bath.
I have spoken about Guadeloupe before as one of my top five romantic island getaways. The Guadeloupe Islands has a French Caribbean atmosphere. It is a French territory conveniently located in the Caribbean, you will be diving into a island comfortably fused with classic French sensibilities with Caribbean attitude located less than 5 hours during peak season from JFK.
Besides being a great romantic getaway this is also a great choice for adventure seekers with lots of unspoiled jungle to explore, for foodies just imagine a creole of French, African, and Caribbean cuisine (so yummy), and for those that just want to get away from it all there are islands just waiting to be your sole domain for the day.
Are you looking for a perfect vacation that has all the thrill of a popular tourist destination, but that feels like a secret hideaway just for you? If that’s what you’re craving, I can help you get there! Together we can discover a place that you’ll want to return to again and again. Just click here to get in touch with me today.
When it comes to taking a cruise on the river or ocean, it’s pretty tough to go wrong. Both offer incredible views, luxurious amenities, and the opportunity to explore interesting ports. Living in New York City, we have two ports that will conveniently take you on a number of ocean cruising experiences. However ocean cruises are worldwide so it is an opportunity to explore the world from a large boat.
The majority of river cruises are located in Europe although you will find specialty river cruising in Africa, Asia, and South America.
Each one comes with its own unique perks, and depending on your specific needs for your next trip, you might find that one is a slightly better fit than the other. So what are the major differences?
One big difference can be summed up in one word: intimacy. River cruises tend to be much smaller (190 max vs. up to 6,200 on the largest ocean cruises), and as a result, you’re much more likely to be interacting with other passengers and crew members.
That smaller scale translates to all areas of the river cruise. You dine on a regular schedule at tables with other passengers (wine is included in the price of the cruise). Instead of 50 different things to do on board, amenities tend to be more modest with river cruises — think libraries, a workout room, cultural programs, and free Wifi vs. ten kids’ playrooms, glitzy Broadway shows, and a skydiving simulator. There tend to be fewer kids on river cruises, making them popular for couples seeking quiet and relaxed time together.
You stop almost every day at a new port with river cruises, often for walking tours through quaint towns with little tourist traffic, and you’re always in view of land.
With ocean cruises, you can go days without seeing land, and ports of call and excursions tend to be more exotic and high-adventure.
Because of their larger size, ocean cruises offer plenty of options for many ages, from young kids to octogenarians, and they are often more able to accommodate a wide variety of special health needs. For this reason, they tend to make the best option for multi-generational family gatherings that include young children. For the traveler who is into high-octane adventure, ocean cruises provide a wide variety of activities on board, as well as exotic and more daring day excursions.
River cruises do tend to be more expensive per person — but that price also includes more things. Ocean cruises have a lower sticker price per person, but you are often charged extra for alcohol and other amenities.
When you’re getting ready to plan your next on-the-water trip, here are a few questions to consider:
1) How many people are traveling? What are their ages?
2) What time of the year do you want to travel?
3) Do you need the amenities of a mega ship — spas, gyms, a dozen restaurants, and many activities? Or are you looking for something calmer, more intimate and easy-paced?
4) Are you seeking authentic inter-cultural experiences? Or do you prefer more familiar settings?
As always, we are here and would love to discuss your next cruise. We can look at all the moving parts of your upcoming trip — what you need, what you want, what your dream is — and together we can come up with a cruise you and your loved ones will remember fondly for the rest of your life. Contact us today.
I had such a great time while in Cartagena, I wanted to give you a sample itinerary for what to do, where to go, and most importantly what to eat while in Cartagena.
Cartagena can be explored over a long weekend but for the full breadth of experience I recommend one week. Here is a sample itinerary for staying in Cartagena, Colombia.
Cartagena is located in Colombia's Caribbean coast and is truly one of Colombia’s most beautiful cities. Colombian tradition is full of bright colors, vibrant music and delectable foods that are rich in culture. There is no surprise that tourists are being rapidly drawn to this lively port city for vacation, as it contains an enticing combination of old-world charm and new-world experiences.
Where to stay. Traditionally, Cartagena was one of the more affordable Caribbean destinations. However, in 2019, it’s tourism industry is booming and prices have definitely increased to reflect the growth in travel into Cartagena. For budget-friendly and less-crowded travel, the best months to travel to Cartagena are November, December, March, July and August.
Where to stay depends on the type of Colombian experience you desire:
For history buffs, stay in or near Cartagena’s Walled City. Casa Pizarro Hotel Boutique is a modern boutique hotel with all of the desired amenities, including a pool, buffet and accommodating staff. It is located in a fun neighborhood and is walking distance from the Walled City.
For a luxurious getaway, stay at Hotel Casa Agustín, a chic 4-star hotel on the beach. Containing only 31 guest rooms and suites, as well as a private beach, spa and onsite restaurant, this 17th century building encompasses both history and luxury.
For a non-stop beach party atmosphere, stay in Bocagrande at Penthouses Palmetto. This high rise building is located directly on the beach, and within walking distance to numerous restaurants and quick driving distances to Cartagena’s most popular sites.
What to do. Cartagena is a large city, both in population and geography, and therefore lends itself to varying lengths of stay, depending on your focus. Whether you plan to stay for a weekend or an entire week (we highly recommend the latter), Cartagena has a host of sights and experiences for everyone.
Wander through the Old Walled City. Downtown Cartagena is contained within 7 miles of stone walls and is highlighted by colorful, historic buildings. Take a stroll through the city, watch the sunset from the walls and stop and experience the nightlife filled with vibrant cocktails and salsa dance.
Shop at Bazurto Market. Bazurto Market has numerous vendors of varying kinds, including local delicious and fresh produce, through narrow alleys and under makeshift roofs.
Relax on the Playa Blanca. Known for its beautiful white sand, Playa Blanca is located on Baru island and is accessible by boat or van. During the busiest season, you will find larger crowds and beach vendors, while the more quiet season serves as a peaceful reprieve from city life.
Be artsy in Getsemani. Getsemani is a growing neighborhood highlighted with talented street art, hipster coffee shops and a ton of history. It is located only 10 minutes outside of the walled city and is marked by the Plaza - where people gather to watch performances and have a drink.
Learn Cartagena history at the Inquisition Museum. The former home to the Spanish Inquisition, this museum highlights the importance of Cartagena’s ports.
Hike Tayrona National Park. Located along the coast, Tayrona is comprised of pristine beaches and adventurous hikes.
Visit Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena Cathedral and the Clock Tower.
Where to eat. Cartagena is Colombia’s culinary capital, combining top chefs, local flavor and a vibrant atmosphere to create can’t-miss restaurants.
La Cevicheria became famous thanks to the travels of a renowned chef and global traveler, the late Anthony Bourdain. The quality of food at this restaurant is impeccable, with fresh local seafood and regional wines highlighting the menu, and the quantity more than generous. There will be a wait as reservations are not accepted, but it is well worth it.
Maria is a restaurant that highlights traditional Colombian ingredients in a cushion of global cuisine. It is swanky and modern and spans the world in its take on flavor and spice, with its cocktail program as innovative and delicious as its food.
Di Silvio Trattoria is a traditional Italian restaurant with historic charm and live music. Located in the heart of Cartagena’s party town - Getsemani - this beautiful and historic restaurant serves the best pasta and pizzas in the city.
If you are considering a trip to Cartagena and would like the assistance of a premier New York travel agent, contact Million Miles Travel Agency today.
Spring break means different things to different people. For some its a time to get away for school and let loose. For travelers with children its a great time to escape the sometimes terrible weather and have some fun with the kiddies. For travelers without children usually we don't get spring breaks anymore but after bad winter weather taking the opportunity for an escape is usually needed.
For a new or returning college student, spring break is typically the first travel opportunity without parental chaperones. This is your time to kick back and have fun with your friends and meet new friends in a relaxed environment. There are hotel resorts that cater specifically to groups of college students traveling for spring break while other hotel resorts are not as friendly towards college spring breakers.
Here is my top pick for college spring breakers (17-22 year old travel groups):
Grand Oasis Cancun: This is the ultimate spring break hotel located in a prime location on the hotel zone. Frequently featured on shows such as MTV Spring Break, staying at this resort will put you right in the middle of the action. While not super luxurious, the hotel will provide travelers with a comfortable place to rest their heads for a few hours in between parties. Only a short walk or taxi/bus ride to other parties in the Hotel Zone, this hotel is perfect for being at the center of the party action.
With the kids out of school for the week, a great way to entertain them is to take them away. When traveling with family members of different ages you have to balance the needs of each family member and also ensure that everyone is sufficiently entertained. Also as a family you probably want to stay away from the wildness of the certain spring break destinations such as Cancun which attracts a large amount of partying college spring breakers.
My top pick for a family-centric spring break getaway is......
Royal Caribbean Cruise: With dozens of destinations available ranging from 3 night to 12 night itineraries, you will find a ship that fits all your needs. For the adults there are nightly shows, casinos, and spas to keep you entertained while the kids will have access to various activities from video arcades, rock climbing, and the ever popular Flow Rider. For the ultimate experience, check out the itineraries on the Oasis and Quantum class ships for a floating city experience. Perfect Day at Coco Cay will be an experience best enjoyed by all members of the family and is truly a highlight of all itineraries stopping at RCCL's private oasis in the Bahamas.
Adults without kids:
If you are one of the lucky adults that have a spring break you will also be looking for a destination to getaway. Depending on your day job you may not want to be surrounded by kids while on vacation but at the same time you may not want to be around partying college students. Maybe you are looking for a relaxing getaway with some sun, sand, food, and adventure. I recommend staying away from the typical college spring break getaways such as Cancun, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica.
My top pick for an adults only getaway is.......
Hotel Riu Palace Antillas: Located on the picturesque shores of Palm Beach in Aruba. This adults only all inclusive is just want you need to get away from it all. Riu properties have a strict spring break policy so you are very unlikely to run into spring break groups and as an adults only property you will not run into any children unless you venture over to the family friendly sister property Riu Palace Aruba. Located very conveniently from the major airports on the Eastern seaboard you will find all you need while in Aruba. Explore the island on ATVs, snorkel in the bathwater warm beaches, or stretch out on your slice of beach and relax. At night explore the world famous food scene of Aruba or stay on property and experience the cuisine on property.
Your spring break plans can be put together with you having to break a sweat. All you need to do is contact the top travel agency in New York - Million Miles Travel Agency.
Whether you’re planning a proposal or you’re looking to rekindle the spark in a long-term relationship, there’s nothing quite like a beach to bring out the romantic in us.
Here are five places — for all kinds of tastes — where you can sit, sip, swim, hold hands, and just take in the majesty of big water:
For the ultimate tropical fantasy, check out Fiji. With over 300 separate islands — many of them almost completely untouched — this place really has it all. Pamper yourself in a secluded, luxurious resort. Take a walk through one of the world’s largest Asian orchid collections. Visit the shores where Tom Hanks taught himself to fish and create fire in Castaway. Submerge yourself in the breathtaking wonderland of exotic fish, gorgeous coral, and crystal clear waters with a scuba dive for two.
If you’re looking for an extra boost for your proposal, consider that in 2014, the Fiji tourism board reported 600 asks…and 600 yeses. That’s some good mojo!
Looking for the perfect passport free getaway? Look no further than the island of Maui. Part of the Hawaiian archipelago, Maui has attracted honeymooners and romance seekers for years with good reason. Stunning sunsets, breathtaking views, and enough activity to keep you happy Maui is an amazing destination, Take the scenic Road to Hana and play in the various waterfalls and pools dotted throughout the journey.
With new nonstop flights on Hawaiian Airlines from JFK, getting to the Hawaiian Islands just got easier.
For the ultimate in a private-island escape, I have to mention Belize.
Often overlooked in favor of more famous places, Belize is just under 7 hours from JFK with direct flights and a quick 15 minute regional flight or 45 minute water taxi to one of the smaller islands off the coast.
Belize boasts some of the most pristine shoreline in the world. Cayo Espanto, just off the coast of Belize, is a private island resort with several secluded 5-star villas, and was recently named the #1 honeymoon spot in the world. One of the bungalows, set 150 feet out in the water, features glass floors through which you can view the colorful and varied sea life.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore ancient Mayan ruins on the mainland, go diving in the world famous Blue Hole — or you can simply while away the hours overlooking the cerulean waves from your own private deck while the staff sees to your every need.
Looking for Parisian romance without the Parisian price tag? Head to the Caribbean to the Guadeloupe Islands for a French Caribbean atmosphere. A French territory conveniently located in the Caribbean, you will be diving into a island comfortably fused with classic French sensibilities with Caribbean attitude in less than 5 hours during peak season from JFK.
One of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean, you will have your choice of accommodations on six of the inhabited islands ranging from being in the center of all the attractions to becoming one with nature in a jungle hotel.
Looking for another passport free destination, we would be remiss to not include Puerto Rico. As a commonwealth of the United States, US citizens enjoy passport free travel to Puerto Rico and it is less than 5 hours nonstop from JFK.
Our preference would be San Juan which has the perfect blend of nightlife, beach life, and culinary masterpieces. However for more adventure or quiet the areas in Rincon, Vieques, or Humacao are also wonderful places to explore outside San Juan.
If you love the idea of a beach getaway but need help finding just the perfect destination for your vacation-for-two, let’s set up a time to chat! There are a million opportunities to rekindle the flame — and one of them has your name on it. You can contact me today by clicking here.
I can’t wait to talk to you!
I am always looking for more ways to be happy. Sometimes it is by eating my favorite foods, listening to my favorite music, or.......... traveling?
We know that travel comes with a host of great benefits: you get to spend time with people you love (or be away from the people you love lol); you get to see new things and try new things; you get to relax away from the pressures of work and everyday life; you get the thrill of realizing dreams you may have had for years and years.
As it turns out, travel is the best way to spend your money. Of all the things you can buy, the experience of traveling gives you, by far, the most bang for your buck. All these great elements of travel have been proven to make people happier.
And even more than that, every part of the travel experience — before, during, and after — is more satisfying, more enjoyable, and has longer-lasting positive effects than buying stuff.
In 2003, Thomas Gilovich published his landmark study called “To Do or To Have? That Is the Question” – a study that, more than a decade on, continues to influence social psychology and the study of what brings us true contentment.
Gilovich looked at how economic choices affect well-being and analyzed the differences between experiential and material purchases on human happiness. His unexpected discovery has changed the way we look at our buying habits: Across the board, doing things makes people way happier than having things.
The reason for this is that we get to live and re-live the joy of experiences. Buying an expensive TV or even a new car gives a momentary spike in good feelings that lasts for a few days. But when you take an amazing trip, you get the memories and the good time together — and every time you think of that trip, or you see something that reminds you of it, or you look at the picture on your desktop, your brain registers those joyful times and releases mood-enhancing chemicals that make you feel like you’re re-living the happiness of the experience itself. It stays with you, and you get to access it whenever you want.
It’s not like we need another reason to start planning that dream trip — but another study out that Gilovich co-authored has found that even the anticipation of experiences outdoes the lead-up to material purchases. People waiting in line to get tickets to an event are happier and more excited than those who are waiting in line to buy something.
So, even something as boring as waiting in line is more fun when it’s connected to your travel experience. But it makes sense when you think of it, doesn’t it? You’re waiting to, say, get your passport photo taken, and associated with that time are thoughts of where you’re going to go, what you’re going to see, and all the adventure that awaits. When you’re planning that trip with your agent, you get to make progress, take steps towards realizing your dream, and each step is actually a part of the adventure itself.
As travelers, we know the many positive benefits of getting out and seeing the world. And now we can feel even better knowing that those benefits continue to improve our lives, long after the trip is over.
Are you convinced? Ready to start taking the steps towards your next travel adventure? To contact me click here now!
With Labor Day approaching and back-to-school shopping complete, the realization that summer is over may be heavily weighing on you. Although autumn is a beautiful time of year marked by crisp temperatures and nature’s beauty, we sometimes cannot help feeling down by the end of summer. Those feelings can be easily erased by booking a vacation for fall.
Autumn is an ideal time to travel, as it is marked by comfortable temperatures, less crowded tourist attractions and more moderate travel costs. Throughout the world, different countries have the most to offer at the most fair price when the calendar turns to September. Our New York travel agents have compiled a list of some of the best travel destinations for fall 2019 to help you decide on your upcoming travel plans.
Bavaria, Germany. Germany, home to the Oktoberfest, is an incredibly popular fall travel destination. In Bavaria, located in southern Germany, a visitor can enjoy Oktoberfest, numerous wine festivals and romantic outings, including hiking in the Alps, horse drawn carriage rides and over two dozen historic castles. In addition, the backdrop of snow dusted, forest lined mountains is an autumn scene from a movie.
Beijing, China. Beijing is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China year round, as it is home to the Great Wall of China. Outside of its vast historical intrigue, this monument is the perfect location for autumn sightseeing. Although the hike may be grueling, the view from the top is breathtaking in fall with the orange, red, green and blue sights of forests and mountains in the distance.
Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is an ideal international travel destination for autumn. With temperatures lingering around 70 degrees, exploring Budapest’s vast history and destinations will be as comfortable as it is exciting. For natives, autumn is marked by annual food and drink festivals and football (soccer) season. It is also the perfect time to explore Budapest’s winding streets and the nearby, renowned wine region. Budapest is also known for its lively music scene, where you can be sure to see both local talent and the world’s most popular musicians.
Nara, Japan. Nara is home to a vast deer population; according to legend, a god arrived in Nara on a white deer. Spotted deer, regarded as a heavenly animal, have roamed the town since. Against the backdrop of colorful fall foliage, watching the deer frolic is especially enjoyable; you can even feed them with food purchased from street vendors. Nara is also home to popular tourist spots including Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces, museums and gardens.
Patagonia. September in Patagonia marks the beginning of their spring and hiking season. In October, you will see flowers blooming and birds chirping, a happy change to New York’s impending winter, with average temperatures around sixty degrees. These comfortably cool temperatures yield the perfect weather for Patagonia’s countless outdoor adventures, from hiking to sailing.
Piedmont, Italy. Other than its historic landmarks, Italy is most often travelled to for its food and wine, which reaches its peak season in October. Autumn is fall harvest time for Italy’s vast vineyards and is also the time of year in which food festivals celebrating favorites such as chocolate and truffles take place. In Piedmont, a traveler can enjoy unlimited delicious meals and bottles of renowned wine while taking in the autumn sights of the Alps along hundreds of trails.
Puigcerda, Spain. A small village full of unique shops and restaurants, Puigcerda is the capital of the Cerdana region of Spain. One can take in the sights and smells of autumn by walking through the quaint village and the surrounding hiking trails. Puigcerda Lake and Schierbeck Park are two of the best places to capture fall.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. September is the perfect month to visit Rio de Janeiro; autumn temperatures range from mid-70s to mid-80s, so if prolonging summer is on the wish list, this could be the perfect travel destination. The crowds are smaller this time of year, providing ample space to relax on Rio’s pristine beaches. Because Carnival is not during the fall months, travel costs are a fraction of the price.
Every year, summer must come to an end. But that does not mean that the fun associated with summer must end as well. By booking a fall vacation - whether to a warm destination where summer can be prolonged or a destination that fully embraces all that autumn has to offer - you can continue to have fun and explore new worldwide destinations.
Million Miles Travel Agency’s premier travel agents in New York are just a call away, eager to get you on board a plane to your new destination; contact us today to book your fall 2019 vacation.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. Even as a veteran travel agent and a licensed travel insurance broker in New York State, I am frequently speaking with my travel insurance suppliers to make sure my clients receive as much coverage as possible.
While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, to get started let's break down the types of travel insurance coverages available.
There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
1) Trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
2) Medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
3) Evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
4) Baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
5) Flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
Travel expert Rick Steves explains the way they generally work is like this:
“The various types are generally sold in some combination — rather than buying only baggage, medical, or cancellation insurance, you’ll usually purchase a package that includes most or all of them. If you want just one type of coverage in particular — such as medical — ask for that (though it might come with a little cancellation or baggage insurance, too). ‘Comprehensive insurance’ covers all of the above, plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight, or if your tour company changes your itinerary.”
HERE ARE SOME TIPS WHEN PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE
Your Health Insurance Will Probably Not Cover You On Your Vacation
Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip. You need to check the ins and outs of your particular health insurance policy. It may cover you while you travel, but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels — which is what most cruise ships are. Check with your provider, ask your travel agent for suggestions, and of course direct any insurance-related questions to the provider. As Steves puts it, “Before purchasing a policy, ask your insurer to explain exactly what’s covered before and after you get to the hospital.”
The Best Practice Is To Purchase A Third Party insurance
Avoid purchasing travel insurance from the company that’s also hosting your trip. The reason for this? If that company goes out of business, chances are, so does their insurance. There are major travel insurance companies that will provide all the insurance your need.
What Is The Best Travel Insurance Coverage?
Some companies offer comprehensive coverage that can serve as your primary coverage while you’re traveling. What does this mean, and how can it benefit you? It means that the insurance company will pay first, regardless of what other insurance you have. They don’t even inquire about additional insurance, saving you tons of paperwork and out-of-pocket expenses. TravelGuard and Travelex are two such companies that provide these policies as an option.
Do You Really Need Travel Insurance?
Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance. If you just bought a $79 ticket for a quick weekend in Chicago — is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. If, however, you’re headed out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you’ve been saving for for months.
Confused about travel insurance? At Million Miles Travel Agency has a New York State licensed travel insurance broker that can guide you through the process of purchasing the travel insurance product that works best for you and your travel needs.
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People travel all over the world for a variety of reasons: some are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, while some are looking for a little rest and relaxation; some desire heat, while some desire the slopes; some want to discover their roots, while others want to learn a new culture.
However, a common denominator in most individuals when planning a vacation is booking a location with delicious food. After all, nearly all of us have an inner foodie somewhere within us. It is no secret that I like to experience what a culture has to offer by eating and drinking. Usually when someone asks me about a trip I took I usually start by talking about the food I eat and what I drank.
Culinary vacations are becoming more popular than ever; traditionally, this is no surprise. It has always been said that the heart of a home is the kitchen. Those ideals do not vanish when we travel, as food is an essential part of any community. Instead, often the most memorable moments of a vacation revolve around food and the people with whom you share the food.
The beauty of a culinary vacation is that you can be exposed to foods, food combinations and spices that you never knew existed. However, when you return home, a faint smell will transport you back to that experience. Below is a list of some of the best travel destinations in the world for our inner foodie.
Just north of the border lies Montreal, the largest city in Canada’s Quebec province. Montreal is a cultural melting pot, which is obvious in the food. Montreal’s culinary scene reflects influences from French, Carribean and American culture, making for a fun and delicious foodie adventure. While in Montreal, try classics such as poutine, fries with cheese and gravy; pea soup; smoked meats; and of course, a dessert made with delicious maple syrup.
Meanwhile south of the border to Mexico City is where you want to go if authentic tacos, burritos and guacamole would win over your heart. Mexico City offers a unique combination of great restaurants (that also serve great tequila), street food and fun, informative cooking courses.
Outside of Napa Valley or Tuscany, Mendoza, Argentina is commonly thought of as one of the best wine-producing cities in the world. However, Mendoza also offers a delectable food scene and a world of adventure. “Bodegas,” or wineries, often offer the best of all three: world-renowned wine, delicious food and unique events. Its rich culinary tradition includes Argentinian delicacies such as Choripan, a chorizo sandwich; Empanadas, meat and vegetable pastries; and Locro, a stew made with meat and vegetables.
Outside of Peru, the rest of the world is finally realizing the delicate art involved in Peruvian cooking. For a trip to the source, visit Cusco, Peru, also a common destination for adventure-seekers. Peruvian food is a delicious combination of Spanish and Incan influence, with popular dishes including Solterito, a salad of corn, fava beans and chili pepper; Anticuchos, beef skewers marinated in a chili sauce known as “aji”; and of course, Ceviche.
Known for its “tapas,” or small plates, Spanish cuisine has often been sought after by global travelers. San Sebastián, Spain is arguably the best foodie travel destination in the world. Similar to New York City, San Sebastián has a mix to Michelin Star restaurants (in fact, the most per capita of any city) and bars that serve exquisite food worth the plane ride alone. As an added bonus, San Sebastián is a short driving distance from some of the countries most visited vineyards.
In a continent full of popular food destinations, Copenhagen, Denmark often misses the list of possible foodie destinations. Yet, Copenhagen is home to several restaurants that people travel specifically to dine at. Both Noma, an upscale and modern restaurant, and Relae, a relaxed and organic dining experience, have gained recognition as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World. On top of that, Copenhagen has a vast, internationally-focused food truck scene that is alone worth the travel.
Bangkok, Thailand is the birth-place of a now world-renowned and loved cuisine. And while Thai food is both prevalent and delicious in the United States, the ability to eat authentic Thai dishes from a vendor in a night market is one of the most authentic food experiences in the world. Bangkok offers food tours, cooking classes and Michelin Star restaurants so that a traveler may experience the best Thai food in various settings.
Possibly the largest street food mecca of the world is Manila, Philippines, with an abundance of options that are sure to please every diner. The “king” of Manila street food is Barut, a fertilized duck egg. Barut, while appealing to only the most adventurous foodie, is the iconic delicacy in the country. For less adventurous eaters, however, there is a host of delicious cuisine, including Ihaw-ihaw, or barbequed meat; Turon, banana fried with a lumpia wrapper; and Chicharon, crispy pork rinds.
A popular travel destination for decades, South Africa is home to delicious food and a beautiful wine country. Approximately one hour from the commonly traveled Cape Town, lies the Stellenbosch Wine Region of South Africa. In Stellenbosch, the chefs build delicious dining experiences around the abundance of wine so that the food not only lives up to the wine, but compliments it.
In Melbourne, Australia you can find an abundance of delicious international cuisine throughout the city, but most notably along Flinders Lane. Also home to an over two-week long Food & Wine Festival, global chefs travel to Melbourne every March to show off their talents, unique perspective on food and unforgettable dishes.
A foodie vacation that will create memories that will last a lifetime should be on your list of vacations in the near future.
If you need assistance with the decision on where to travel, or how to book, contact the top travel agency in New York - Million Miles Travel Agency.
Lover of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Always looking for the best places to eat wherever I go.