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Looking to expand your travel horizons this summer or fall? We’ve got the deals for you. From Bonaire to Bali to Bulgaria, travel outside the usual domestic or Caribbean destinations and head somewhere truly special this season – and still save in the process. Read more
We’re excited to announce that for the next 100 days or so, we’ll be bringing you some of the most inspired travel ideas! That means you’ll get a sneak peak at some of the coolest places to visit on Earth. Some look real, some not so much, but trust us, they’re all worth a spot on your bucket list. So bookmark our blog and get ready to follow as we embark on an adventure around the world, and back again. Read more
A new year is marching ahead, and along with it, a growing interest in adventure travel. Fire up your wanderlust for 2013 and beyond in these destinations, which are quickly gaining a reputation as hubs for adventure across land, sea, and even air, via two wheels, a paddle, or a pair of hiking boots. Here’s to another year of exploration and adventure, wherever your travels take you.
Namibia: How’s this for a stamp of approval from the adventure travel community: In October 2013, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the authority of the industry, is hosting its annual summit in this spectacular African country. No surprise, as Namibia has been on the rise for a while now, with its jaw-dropping panoramas of the red dunes of Sossuslvlei, safari excursions to catch glimpses of such rare wildlife as the endangered black rhino, and commitment to eco-friendly practices. Read more
Even if the cold doesn’t bother you, the trouble with winter is that nightfall arrives sooner than most of us would like it to. There is however, one good reason to venture out into the frigid winter air during the darkest months of the year: the Northern Lights. Also known as aurora borealis or the “northern dawn,” this electrical phenomena is approaching a peak period that will last until about 2016. In other words, if you haven’t seen this shimmering display before, the odds of catching a glimpse in the next few years are higher than usual. Clear skies on or around the spring equinox (March 20 in 2013) will up your chances even further. And for travelers planning a trip to see the aurora, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks helpfully posts a forecast online. Read more
There are many wonderful things about Europe (e.g., the history, the architecture, the casual acceptance of Nutella as an all-purpose condiment), but one of its greatest attributes is the size of its countries. Unlike the Americas or Africa, Europe’s countries allow for quick and easy boundary crossings over the course of a relatively short trip. Rather than seeing one place on a vacation, you can enjoy a Guinness in Ireland, tapas in Madrid, and boiled foods in London (we kid because we love). Planning your country hopping trip doesn’t have to be full of headaches. First things first, of course, you need to get from place to place. Depending on your planning personality, you have two options when it comes to flying: scheduling a stopover or booking regional flights. There are benefits and downsides to both. Read more
Anticipating the fall season conjures up many thoughts: foliage, football, harvest festivals . . . 4-star hotels? Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind, but for our new weekly roundup of favorite travel deals, we found a number of hot bargains for stays at 4-star properties during September, October, or November.
Not quite ready to embrace sweater weather? Stay at the posh Viceroy Palm Springs for as little as $111 per night on weeknights throughout the fall. That’s $60 less than the lowest rates you’ll find anywhere else, including the biggest online travel agencies (you know who we’re talking about). You’ll feel simultaneously relaxed and so very stylish lying by the minimalist pool with a cocktail in hand, or getting a massage at the indoor-outdoor spa. The hotel is also within walking distance to downtown Palm Springs and some of the area’s best golf courses. Read more
Looking to explore a new country this fall and partake in some adventure? Getaway to Iceland for three nights from October 1-December 15 for only $777 per person. This package costs the same as current rates for round-trip airfare, essentially making the other components of the trip free. Those components include three nights at the 4-star Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, round-trip airfare from Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C., a day long excursion that includes a glacier ice walk, a northern lights hunt, and a lobster soup dinner, and daily admission to the Natura Hotel’s Soley Spa.
You may dismiss Iceland when brainstorming fall and winter vacations due to it’s chilling name. But Iceland is actually quite mild (a modest monthly average temperature of 39°F-45°F in October-December) compared to other Nordic nations like Norway where temperatures can easily dive below freezing at the end of the year. Fall and winter also make for prime viewing of the aurora borealis which is most vivid around the equinoxes (the fall equinox occurs September 22). Read more
In 2010, it was Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull. This year, Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano is the one making headlines, spewing lava up to 100 feet in the air and forcing closures of several main access roads in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park since it erupted on March 5. A flight restriction under 1,500 feet also is in place.
Of course, that hasn’t deterred adventure travelers, who’ve come out in droves to try to catch a glimpse of the action, according to the National Park Service. I’m not going to advise that – as deliciously tempting as watching molten lava flow into the ocean might be. So until Kilauea calms down, here are some other places where you can tour a volcano. (Though geology experts advise that eruptions can happen much faster than previously believed. Consider yourself warned!)
We’re already a month into 2011 (and close to Valentine’s Day), so I’m sure you’ve begun thinking about when you can get away with your sweetheart – for an anniversary or birthday – and where to go. Here’s a roster of my favorite ideas:
January: New Zealand You missed out this year, but that gives you time to save for next year and see one of the world’s most beautiful places. It offers a superb mix of outdoor adventure (from hiking to bungee jumping) and excellent food and wine (amazing lamb and world-class pinot noir). It will be summer, so plan ahead and allot two weeks as the North and South Islands combined are about the size of California.
February: Costa Rica This jungle-meets-beach playground – home to loquacious howler monkeys, luminous blue morpho butterflies, and next Monday’s episode of The Bachelor” – is close enough to enjoy on a five- or six-night getaway. Most flights are into the capital, San Jose, but if you plan to explore the Pacific Coast, you can fly into Liberia. Another option, a seven-night cruise on Windstar (www.windstarcruises.com), which also visits neighboring Nicaragua.
If you’ve always been intrigued by the Northern Lights, the curious phenomenon that turns the sky around the Arctic Circle a splendid panorama of green, red, and yellow hues, start packing the winter gear, because the best time to catch this elusive natural artwork is from October through March.
But, as anyone who’s in search of the lights, also called Aurora Borealis, will tell you, there are no guarantees. You need a cloudless sky, little or no moon, and luck. And because craning your neck in the sub-zero darkness will try the patience of even the most intrepid adventurer, your best bet is to pick a home base destination that has more than the lights to offer.
Here are a few destinations that offer good opportunities for both. And if you’re itching to see the lights but would rather not experience the bone-numbing temperatures of such chilly destinations, mark your calendar for this time in 2011. Every 11 years or so, the lights are spotted much further south than the Arctic Circle. So wherever in the world you happen to be in October through March of 2011, remember to look up, and you just might get lucky.
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