Unique, extravagant, and epic destinations are in.
While trending destinations seem to vary somewhat depending on the publication or who you talk to, one theme stays the same. Travelers are looking for that unique, bucket list, epic destination. “Exotic and unusual” destinations are requested, as well as those that “have it all,” meaning culture, history, fun, nightlife, culinary experience and romantic.
Friend and family reunion trips are increasingly popular and there is also an increase in milestone celebrations with extended family. Guests are booking longer trips than before COVID as well, making up for lost time when they were unable to travel. Many are still wary of destinations that are too crowded and want to book accommodations that give them space from other guests. Searches for “epic” destinations are trending, as travelers are ready to step out of their comfort zone and book those adventures they have been talking about for years.
Summer is indeed in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. Whenever I look for summer entertainment inspiration for the holidays, I keep getting hits with suggestions for 10 or more best things to do this summer. The most popular items on all these lists are of course being on vacation, enjoying warm sunny days, huge bonfires on the beach watching those mesmerizing sunsets, outdoor movies, music festivals and frozen drinks by the pool. The lists go on and on but they left one very important activity out… summer romance!
Summer lovin… July and the promise of endless possibilities.
Miles of stunning beaches uninterrupted by humans, waves crashing on rocks and into tidal pools filled with little critters, misty mountains and mesmerizing sunsets, saved my sanity during the lock down. California certainly has it’s share of stunningly beautiful destinations! Now that travel has resumed and summer is approaching, let me inspire you to book your vacation or adventure to one of these captivating small towns that move at a deliciously slow pace. Then sip and explore your way through the boutique wine region of San Luis Obispo Coast. Fun Fact… San Luis Obispo County is known as SLO County, suggesting that we should “SLO” down and enjoy the 80 plus miles of stunning beaches, beautiful hotels, delicious farm to table food, and world class wine! (Road trip anyone?) Summer is almost here and it is a beautiful time of year in SLO County. Think barn dance, outdoor movies, free concerts and beach bonfires during sunset. Contact me here to book your summer vacay before everywhere is booked up!
COVID & The Lockdown.
When we went on lockdown in 2020, I could feel the beginnings of a panic attack start in my stomach and with every month that went by, it became more and more pronounced.
If an African Safari is not on your bucket list, it should be! Not only are there nine Countries in Africa that have amazing Safari adventures, but within those Countries there are several types of accommodations and adventures to choose from. Each one breathtaking and exciting in it’s own way. Whether you want to participate in a lot of activities or spend your days relaxing on the deck of your lodge and watch the wildlife from your pool, (or both), there is something for everyone. There are lodges where kids of all ages are welcome, others don’t allow kids under 6yo. Some lodges are for adults only and those who specialize in romance travel.
This post, as well as others that I have linked to below, will give you a general outline and information about the destination and what to expect. As you read the articles, consider your vision for the trip you are planning, your priorities, your travel companions and your travel dates and make notes. These will help you with the planning process. This particular article is about safaris in Southern Africa. If you are also considering East Africa, you can take a look at that post HERE and the post with a quick comparison of all areas, is located HERE.
Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, comprises of amongst others, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Each magnificent in its own right and quite different.
This post is about Safari Experiences in East Africa. Find info about Southern African Safaris, sun soaked beaches and Fine Wine Experiences HERE.
If you have not ever been on an African Safari, choosing an area or place to stay is not that easy. There are so many options, each more amazing than the last, which is why working with a safari specialist is very important in that process. East and Southern Africa have very different landscapes, some similar but also very different experiences to offer for the newbie and safari enthusiast, so I suggest making a list of your priorities. What is your goal, and what experiences do you want to have? Are you adventurous or do you want to disconnect, go for a few game drives, and lie by the pool? Do you want to have a luxe experience with brick-and-mortar lodges, swimming pools and hot tubs, or track animals on foot and sleep beneath the stars? Maybe both! Who you travel with, and the purpose of the trip is of course important, as is the size of the group
Some lodges can only accommodate a certain number of guests and some don’t accommodate kids under the age of 6. Your budget and how much time you have, will also be a factor. If you and your partner both love Africa and want to get married there, look for my post on weddings in Africa HERE. It will be a mind blowing experience, and an unforgettable way to start your life together. The bottom line is If you are going all the way to Africa, you should spend at least ten days to two weeks to get the full experience.
There are few experiences as exhilarating and life changing as going on safari to Africa. It is not just a vacation; it is a magical and unforgettable experience. You will take something with you when you leave, and some part of you will stay behind. While interest in Safaris are rapidly increasing in 2022, there is still some hesitancy about being safe “in the wild.” I can assure you, as someone who has spent countless years visiting various spots in Africa; if you follow the suggestions and instructions of a professional guide, you will be totally safe. With regard to COVID-19, each Country has different requirements and thorough planning is imperative, however the lodges are super strict about sanitizing and cleanliness.
I am just going to fall with the door in the house and tell you up front, that unless you are just booking a flight from one city to another in the US, please don’t book any real travel online. Don’t do it! I recently spoke to a few couples who made that mistake, which prompted me to write this blog. Yes, I know some of you have become online travel “experts” and can do it all by yourself, but believe me, if anything goes wrong, as it unfortunately often does, you have to figure out how to fix this it by yourself and often in a Country where you don’t speak the language. I was reading an article in Forbes in which the writer mentioned someone asking her to help with getting their money back from the agency the ticket was purchased through ONLINE, and of course there was no way for her to help. If the person had booked through her, she would have told her to get insurance. There are so many horror stories about travel plans that have gone wrong that I really don’t understand why people still do it to themselves. Not to mention that nowadays, travel is becoming complicated as security to almost all Countries have become really strict and rightly so!
Well it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.
My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively. One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and needless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.
I often get inquiries from my clients to recommend a venue in Israel where they can get married. Many are observant Jews who want to book their wedding close to one of the Jewish Holidays so they can celebrate both during one trip. This requires a venue that is Shabbat “friendly”. Meaning for instance, that there is no key needed to enter the hotel room during Shabbat.