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As we leave 2020 behind, there are many reasons to be optimistic and, dare I say it, start thinking about travel. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it must be that time is precious. If you love to travel, you’ll be keen to make up for what you have missed. Indeed, there’s a growing trend towards the bucket list travel destinations for 2021 to shake off the shackles of travel restrictions. Need some inspiration? Here are five destinations for an exceptional vacation this year.
If you feel like getting away from it all, you can’t get much further away than Tahiti. Officially known as French Polynesia this group of islands offers the quintessential island getaway. The beaches are idyllic, and you could spend your time relaxing and drinking in the view. If you love marine life, there are whales and dolphins. Snorkelers and scuba divers will be rewarded with some of the ocean’s richest waters. For dryland exploration, there are many trails to explore by foot or horseback. For pure island escapism, you can’t get much better. For a Virtual Tour of Tahiti click HERE
South Africa is a country of contrasts. Game parks and animal sanctuaries offer wildlife lovers a lot to explore. The county’s tumultuous struggles can be explored at Robben Island and District Six. Table Mountain is the backdrop for Cape Town, and whether you stand on top or admire it from afar, you can’t deny it makes Cape Town one of the most memorable cities you’ll visit. The country’s coastline offers some dramatic scenery; the 12 Apostles are part of the Table Mountain range and the views are incredible. Further to the east, The Garden Route is a 200km stretch of coastline that begs to be driven. Winelands, whales, penguins, fresh oysters, indigenous forest, lakes, beaches, wildlife and so much more await you. For a Virtual Tour of South Africa Click Here
To make you feel like a true castaway, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on a sun-drenched island that you can walk around in minutes. The Maldives is made up of over 1000 tiny islands and the holiday islands are mostly home to just one resort. With just a handful of rooms, the islands are never crowded and the resorts’ reputations for luxurious excellence are renowned. Water bungalows stretch out into the ocean's allowing you to swim from your balcony and the marine life is second to none. If you like swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, relaxing by the ocean, superb service, excellent food, and stunning weather, then there is no better place to go. For a Virtual Tour of the Maldives Click Here
Thailand’s cultural locations are show-stopping. Bangkok’s Royal Palace and it’s many wats and buddhas speak to a unique history. Its Center is also packed with shopping malls; whether you want clothes, electronics or Thai silk or gems, it’s available. Traditional floating markets and frenetic night markets are as much an experience as a shopping opportunity. You can explore the city by tuk-tuk (a sometimes hair-raising 3 wheeled vehicle) or river or take one of the cities many cycling tours exploring hidden Bangkok or street food. For a Virtual Tour of Thailand Click Here
A few days in Bangkok is often enough. Combine Bangkok with a trip north for a more laid-back rural life experience and ancient capitals and cooler climes. Then, you can choose one of Thailand’s palm-fringed islands or beaches to relax. Enjoy fresh coconuts, sparkling waters and an island pace of life to refresh you before you head home.
The frozen beauty of the most southern point of the globe is breath-taking. Expeditions and adventure cruises get you in amongst it. When you make land, you can wander through flocks of penguins and snoozing seals and hike to lookout points on immense glaciers. Nimble zodiac trips will offer a different perspective of glaciers and icebergs and get you closer to seals and whales. Some cruises offer the opportunity to kayak or paddleboard too.
Remember, whatever is on your bucket list, it’s worth contacting a travel agent to help you make your selection. We can help you select the best choice for you. For more information, check out our Antarctica and other travel Guides Here.
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People are always talking about taking their “dream vacation” — but largely what people mean when they say this is that every detail of the trip was planned flawlessly, everything went according to plan, and the service and food were stellar.
But what if the key to having the best vacations of your life has as much to do with how you approach traveling as it does with where you go and the number of stars on your hotel?
Here are 5 Traveler’s Resolutions you can make right now to make this the best year of travel yet:
A common thread among these resolutions is the ability to let go of anxiety, relax and enjoy yourself. Hiring a Travel Professional is one of the best ways to avoid the most stressful parts of travel altogether. I can do all the planning, handle all the details, and you get to enjoy. I will also be on call for you while you are on your trip to handle any complications or emergencies that may come up.
Let me take all the stress out of organizing and leave all the pleasure to you. Book a Complimentary Exotic Travel Planning Session
Journalists are used to making a home anywhere. They often stay for days, weeks, or months in a place to report on a specific event. They stay in hotels and homes. They get to know language and locals. They walk the landscapes, eat the food, learn the transportation systems.
But what are the places that have so utterly captured them that they return, again and again, even when there’s no story going to print? Here are a few,
highlighted in a recent Guardian article.
If you’re the adventurous trekking type, consider the lesser-known but breathtaking mountains of the Jalori Pass in India You can book a fully-accompanied mountain treks — complete with air mattresses and ponies that carry all your gear — and costs include equipment, food, lodges, and expert guides. Take in the mountain vistas, forests, high meadow lakes, and centuries-old temples where pilgrims pray. It is a place, as journalist Emma Graham-Harrison says, that is “surprising, always beautiful, and entirely special.” In the vast landscape, taking it all in, passing few people along the way, she said she and her fellow travelers “were happy to be out of contact and suspended in time.”
The Seychelles are probably the most widely known African islands for romantic beach vacation. But like a sweet little secret in the Atlantic, the tiny twin-island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe sits peacefully tucked in the Gulf of Guinea. Known for its cocoa production, this place also attracts outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the pristine bays and beaches, the heart-stopping beauty, the amazing cuisine, and the unique populations of rare birds and butterflies.
Very sparsely populated, the islands still boast a number of luxury hotels. With the interesting mix of African and Portuguese histories (the islands were formerly a Portuguese colony, and they are dotted with many now-defunct cocoa plantations), there’s an ease to the pace of life, and a fantastic, rich culture to enjoy. As a honeymoon destination, it rivals many of the more well-known islands — and it has the added advantage of not being overcrowded. As one traveler put it: “Between lunches of grilled red snapper on the jetty, I passed my days snorkeling amid shoals of tigery-looking fish, kayaking to distant beaches and falling asleep to the ebb of the tide on my own private beach. I was in danger of setting up shop here...”
Now that Cuba is on more people’s travel radars, it’s a great time to explore this lush, extraordinary place. Playa Bacunayagua, Cuba, is an absolutely charming location which sits quietly along the northern coast of Cuba. From any larger hotel in Havana, it’s easy to hire a guided car to take you to Bacunayagua. Along the way, you can stop by any number of roadside piña colada stands and enjoy a leisurely cocktail made from palm-fresh coconuts, cream, and pineapple.
On the way to the playa, you’ll cross the tallest bridge in Cuba — the Puente de Bacunayagua — which at over 1,000 feet long and over 300 feet above sea level, is rightly considered a marvel of civil engineering. The coastline, once a well-known pick-up point for boats smuggling Cubans to Florida, now holds plenty of undisturbed beaches that look out onto pristine, azure waters. It’s a perfect day trip and a wonderful way to see all that Cuba has to offer.
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.
Schedule an exotic travel planning session.
When it comes time to buy a travel-loving friend a gift, it’s easy to feel stuck on what to get. Journals are great — but not all travelers are journalers, and those that are often have at least a few blank ones on hand. Here are unique takes on classic ideas for the various kinds of travelers in your life.
For the foodie: send delicious global flavors right to their doorstep. Try The World with top chefs from Argentina to Morocco and assembles gorgeous boxes filled with curated delicacies from each country. Delivered every month, each box contains descriptions for how to use the tasty and exotic flavors in your own recipes.
For the well-accessorized: customize a favorite map to make cufflinks bracelet, or pendant. Have a special place you want to commemorate? Maybe the place of a first date, or a favorite childhood destination? This can be a beautiful and deeply personal way to show your traveler that you know what matters to them most.
For the crafty commemorator: check out this simple, beautiful way to re-trace steps and wonderful memories with a map and thread. The maps can be titled, as well. Imagine a wall decorated with these minimalist representations of adventures!
For the traveler who has everything and wants to give back: Why not make a donation to a favorite cause in your traveler’s name? You can choose organizations that support environmental stewardship, advocate for people in crisis, promote education, or help bring beauty.
For the traveler who’s always up for adventure: I’ve written before about how experiences pack the biggest punch, happiness-wise. At Experience Days you can give the gift of a lifelong great memory to someone you care about. Try everything from hang gliding to art lessons throughout the United States. What a great surprise for honeymooners or a friend’s next big adventure!
For the gadget-junkie: this funky, color-coded 4-in-1 adapter (is perfect for the tech-savvy traveling family and will help ensure everything stays running smoothly. For the hardcore gadget-junkie, what about these stylish vests, hoodies, and jackets with interior pockets (for men and women) to hold everything from smartphones to keys to water bottles?
For the photographer: If your friend is never without her smartphone or camera, why not make it easy for her to create beautiful, lasting photo albums, calendars, or prints of her best shots? At Artifact Uprising , she can connect directly with her Instagram account and assemble her most gorgeous memories.
If you need help planning the next adventure to fill an album, stitch on a map, or wear around your neck — contact me today! Let’s get started!. Book a complimentary Exotic Travel Planning Session.
Many of us believe that because we’re going on holiday, we should take a ‘real’ camera but it’s a pre-smartphone mindset that deserves challenging. Sure, if you’re an avid photographer with expensive equipment and a range of lenses, this won’t be the case. But for most of us, we take photos to remember our experiences and share them with friends and family. So here are 5 reasons why your phone might be all you need:
Your camera can’t do any of these things, and with space in your luggage always being a premium it’s hard to justify packing a one-trick-pony camera.
Smartphone photo-specific printers are very affordable and have some fun applications. Better still, they’re small enough to take with you, meaning that you can almost turn your phone into an instant camera. (Remember those?)
Need some inspiration on where to travel, check out our selection of virtual tours. https://www.amazingtravel.com/virtual-tours.html
Ready to start planning your next vacation, book a complimentary exotic travel planning session.
Nobody loves standing in long security lines, and I don’t know one person who is thrilled by the fact that most airline seats only recline about four inches, if you’re lucky.
But I do know people who love to travel, door to door — not just when they arrive at their resort. I know people who almost always have a great flight, no matter what. I’ve talked to people whose trips got rained out, or who missed connecting flights, or who got lost, or who even had passports stolen — and when I ask them how their trip was, they smile and say, “It was great!” and proceed to tell me the full exciting tale.
So what’s their secret? I’ll tell you: they’ve let go of the Perfectionist Mindset and adopted the Adventure Mindset. The difference between these two paradigms changes everything.
The Perfectionist sets unrealistically high expectations for themselves, others, and situations — and when things don’t go well, they often fall into self-blame or blaming others. The Adventurer makes a plan and is prepared, but is willing to roll with what comes along that might not fit with “The Plan.”
The Perfectionist often avoids risk and only goes with the obvious path in an attempt to avoid “failure.” The Adventurer is less concerned with control and more interested in creative approaches and critical thinking when it comes to problem solving.
The Perfectionist focuses on what isn’t working and is often impatient and critical. The Adventurer sees what’s going well and what there is to be grateful for and is quick to offer appreciation, flexibility, and help in tough situations.
As author and coach Naomi Teeter points out, the Adventurer knows how to ask “quality questions” when faced with a challenge, questions like:
If I’m honest with myself, I know that there are times I fall into the Perfectionist Mindset, in travel and in life. But I also know that at any moment, I can choose something different. I can always choose an attitude of adventure. And as a lifelong traveler, that has made all the difference.
If you’re ready to plan your next great adventure, I’d love to help you get there. Schedule you complimentary Exotic Travel Planning Session BOOK MY SESSION
Entering a new chapter in your life with your partner is one of the most beautiful phases of a person’s life. It’s a celebration of you and your beloved along with friends and family. And what’s better than going away to a secluded destination to celebrate this holy matrimony? Luckily, India is home to some of the most beautiful locations you can tie the knot in. Right from expansive beaches and panoramic mountains to majestic palaces, brilliant forts and the most ridiculously extravagant wedding venues.
Here’s a list of fantastic wedding destinations in India that can make your special day nothing short of a magical experience:
Mumbai is a city of infinite possibilities and dreams. It is one of the well connected cities in the country with flights from almost every corner of the world. This makes it extremely convenient for your wedding guests to attend your wedding. And, the city has a cornucopia of wedding venues right from 5 star resorts and hotels to incredible private banquets and lawns that can host your celebrations. This city is a true melting pot of culture and traditions. It is a great location for your wedding as there are a number of pretty banquet halls in Mumbai, as well as, offbeat places nestled in the outskirts.
With its ancient palaces, gorgeous forts and incredible mansions, Jaipur might be an ideal option to host the most regal wedding celebrations at the numerous resorts, and the sprawling lawns in these properties. The couple is bound to feel like royalty, to get married at spectacular venues that double up as picture-perfect backdrops. Adding to the splendour of the ceremonies would be the local mehendi artists, folklore specialists, pagdi walas and more. Jaipur is easily accessible via air, rail or road.
Image Via - Artfoto
Kerala has towns and cities that are nestled in a quaint and picturesque setting that is beyond perfect for the celebration of your union. Whether you decide to get married along the beaches of Kovalam or the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey, you’ll find endless options for resorts and banquet halls that are sure to mesmerize your wedding guests. We recommend you to indulge in Kerala’s rich culture by serving tantalising South Indian fare on banana leaves or get the party going on a traditional houseboat.
When you dream of getting married whilst the ocean wets your feet, Goa inevitably comes to your mind. Goa has something for everybody. Right from a pristine coastline, awe-inspiring sunsets, modern resorts, historical churches and lush forests that can serve as locations for your pre-wedding shoot. Your guests can also revel in Goa’s party frenzy by enjoying the haldi and Mehendi festivities by a swanky pool, or a night of endless cocktails on the beach.
Rishikesh is one of the most holy cities in the country. Isn’t it fitting to begin your marital journey here? It would be gratifying to take your pheras along the river Ganges underneath the starry sky. The soothing sound of the river flowing paired with the chants of mantras and the ominous sounds of bells will quench the spiritual thirst. There are many wedding venues aplenty in Rishikesh for you to choose from.
Asia is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Among the many countries in the region, Malaysia stands out for being a bastion of culture all while providing a tourist-friendly atmosphere. This is why Business Insider's ranking of the most visited countries places Malaysia near the upper half of the list, as the country was visited by more than 13 million people last year alone.
Now that travel to other countries is starting to go back to normal, many of you may be planning your own trips to Malaysia. To help you out with this, we've put together some things that'll make your adventure even more enjoyable.
Avoid the Tap Water
Nothing will ruin your trip faster than getting sick. And while there has been a lot of material talking about the importance of being wary of malaria when traveling to Southeast Asia, you'll have a low chance of actually contracting the disease when visiting Malaysia. However, one thing you have to be wary about is the water.
The tap water in Malaysia isn't the best for drinking, unless it has undergone filtration. Either way, it would be in your best interest to stock up on bottled water. Luckily, bottled water is quite affordable in the country. If you don't want to keep buying water, it would be wise to bring your own container and fill it up from a filtered water source so you can just bring it around with you wherever you go.
Familiarize Yourself with the Transportation System
Once you land, you'll need a way to get around. The common option for tourists is to take the taxis. However, we don't recommend doing this as Malaysia, in particular, is fraught with subpar taxis. In fact, The Coverage details that Malaysian taxi drivers are ranked the worst in the world due to their hostile nature and egregious rates.
While you're there, you may as well travel like the locals. Expat Bets’ guide to Malaysia highlights how the country’s mass transportation system consists of expressways that run along the east and west coasts of the country. So you can basically get to most major destinations via their mass transport system. They also have a reliable railway system that can give you access to the eastern regions of Malaysia.
Lastly, you'll want to be prepared for Malaysia's climate, as packing the wrong clothes could end up making your trip pretty uncomfortable. Keep in mind that Malaysia, like the other countries in South East Asia, has a tropical climate. The climate in Malaysia can get rather warm, but what you'll really want to be wary of is the rain.
It would be best to bring a jacket around, especially if you'll be going there during the rainy season (April to October) to make sure that none of your plans will be hindered by a sudden change in weather.
If you're looking for more travel tips for other countries, check out our guide on what you need to know before going to Australia.
Ready to start planning for your next trip, book a complimentary Exotic Travel Planning Session.
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