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Huge, high-rise hotels have their benefits, but sometimes you just want an escape from the crowds, and a more intimate experience. Mexico’s Pacific Coast has a number of small, secluded boutique resorts where you can limit your exposure to others without limiting your choices of things to do. For your next trip, here are a few places to check out:
The Bahamas is often synonymous with Nassau’s bustling casinos and the sprawling Atlantis resort – a great vacation for those looking for a mix of partying, gambling, and sun. However, if you’re opting for a crowd-free beach retreat and outdoor activities, look 55 miles east of Florida to Grand Bahama Island. I discovered this tranquil paradise first-hand on a recent trip courtesy of the Grand Lucayan Resort. Here are seven ways for you to do the same.
Best-known as a home to college kids, surfers, and hippies, the California town of Santa Cruz has a few less stereotypical, newsworthy attractions to boast of this year. Best of all, most of these are cheap (or even free) and you’ll spend less than $25 on gas to make a round-trip from San Francisco. Here’s what to do on a day trip. Read more
You put in an order weeks ago to make sure mom gets flowers on Mother’s Day. We even did a roundup of great travel deals, so you can whisk her away on vacation. But what about Dad? The latter holiday, which falls on June 15, tends to get lost in the shuffle between graduation season and the beginning of summer. This year, take advantage of off-season travel deals to take Dad on a trip he’ll never forget. From a beachside resort in the Caribbean, to a golf-themed southern getaway, here are five affordable itineraries you can book right now:
If there’s one thing the Caribbean has plenty of, it’s beaches. And when you consider that every beach has a multitude of enticing bars all clamoring for your attention, choosing the best one can become a nearly impossible task. Everyone you meet will wax on about their favorite drinking spot, but there are a few standouts that demand a secure place on every Caribbean traveler’s to-do list. These five are legendary. Bottoms up!
When booking a cruise, the options can seem infinite and overwhelming. And choosing the right ship, itinerary, and cabin type is just the beginning. From there, you’ll want to know when the cheapest cruises are, when you should travel, and, the age-old traveler’s dilemma: what to pack. Browse our stories below for answers to all the above, and more. Who knows, you may be inspired to set sail sooner than you think!
With its small land mass and relatively easy public transportation system, Israel lends itself to quick, mad-dash side-trips for those intent on seeing as much of the country as possible in a short amount of time. Of course, you could easily spend weeks leisurely making your way up and down the Mediterranean coast, stopping in at desert-surrounded kibbutz-style hotels and remote mountain towns along the way. Or book a vacation package, like the one featured in our Top 25 this week, which takes you all over the country. But for those who find themselves in Tel Aviv, here are three easy day trips reachable in 45 minutes, 1 hour, or 1.5 hours from the bustling capital:
For photos of Hilton Head, and the Endless Summer villa (pictured, and mentioned below), visit our slideshow.
When you ask the locals about things to do in Hilton Head, the South Carolina island community that’s overhung with Spanish moss and filled with quiet gated communities, you’ll get an honest answer: not much. And that’s what’s good about it. While other beach destinations boast of their noisy nightlife, amusement parks, and crowded boardwalks, Hilton Head offers a different kind of vacation. That is – a purely relaxing one. Visitors wile away the summer months golfing, soaking up the sun, biking on tree-shaded paths, and enjoying the island’s casual restaurants.
Jamaican charm hits you the minute you land in Montego Bay and, if you’re staying at the oceanfront Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort on the island’s North Coast, the all-inclusive ambiance kicks in, too, the minute you arrive following a 45-minute ride from the airport. The best part? This 4-star resort is offering some solid deals that will let you visit for less this year.
Spring breakers have been invading South Padre, a small island along the Texas gulf coast, with their beer-guzzling antics for years. But families, too, make good use of the island’s beaches and the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Really, though, most vacationers in the laid-back resort town are just looking for some R&R and an icy margarita. In our mini-guide below, we’ll help you avoid the spring break din (think 50,000-watt sound systems) in favor of a quieter, crowd-free slice of island life. Read more
Whether it’s a packed cruise ship unloading throngs of boisterous passengers, or a mob of thirty college students tearing through town, an excess of tourists can make a destination go from in-demand to insufferable, just like that. Consider avoiding these played-out locales and shift your attention to nearby spots that are lesser-known, and more worthy of the term “vacation.”
Traveling to the Maldives from the U.S. is a serious endeavor, no matter how you plan it. The entire trip takes about two days each way, and it’s certainly not a budget vacation. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from a trip to Hadahaa, a tiny island in the southern Maldives that requires a 55-minute flight from the nation’s capital of Male, followed by a 35-minute speedboat ride from the isle of Kooddoo. It’s a lot of effort, but this is the ultimate destination for peace and serenity.
All-inclusive resorts are great at keeping their guests busy. Included yoga classes and dance lessons are a fun way to spend a less-than-sunny day, and free-to-use kayaks and snorkeling gear can get you away from the pool and into the ocean. But many resorts also offer additional activities and day-trips that aren’t covered by the basic all-inclusive rate. (Usually the division between included and not lies with the type of activity. If the activity is “non-motorized,” it’s probably included. If it requires a ride off the property or a heavy piece of equipment, it probably requires an additional fee.) The good news? In many cases, that additional fee is worth it.
The eight itineraries listed below will give you a sense of what’s available, and how much these day-trips cost. And keep in mind that these are just examples to show you the breadth of resort offerings. There are many other resorts that offer similar excursions.
With its white sand and turquoise sea, you would be forgiven for thinking that the above photograph was taken on a Caribbean island. In fact, this is Luskentyre Beach on the Scottish island of Isle of Harris, one of 16 beautiful islands in the United Kingdom collected in our slideshow. Read more
Home to more than 35 alluring beaches, pristine diving and snorkeling sites, and with a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, Curaçao is one of the most captivating islands of the Caribbean. And, given that the island is situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt and temperatures hover in the mid-80s all year, almost any time is a good time to visit. Read more
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