When the leaves change color and it starts to get chilly, those of us in the romance travel and wedding planning industry can almost feel the anticipation in the air! Approximately 40% of marriage proposals will happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, with the most popular days being Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day. December is particularly popular for those “surprise” engagement getaways that we are often asked to help plan during the winter holiday season, when family and friends gather for those special celebrations.
However, unless the couple has a favorite place they both love, choosing a wedding destination and venue can be a daunting task as there is so much to consider! How do you choose a venue if one loves the beach and the other is more of a city person? Same with choosing activities. What about the legalities of the country where you will get married or the vendors you would need? Do you buy your wedding attire where you are getting married, or take it with you? How many guests should you invite, and should you remain in the same area for the honeymoon! So many details to think about and that is what your travel advisor will help you with. Once you have decided on a venue, there are amazing professional planners on site who will give you great advise and support you throughout your event and stay. As far as destinations are concerned, these three popped up most often when I did research in my singles groups and FYI, these destinations are LGBTQ friendly.
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.
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.
In the last post I wrote that having a backyard wedding could be one way to save quite a bit of money but received a few comments that the idea of a having a wedding in someone’s backyard didn’t actually conjure up exciting images so I decided to do a blog post showing just how magical a backyard wedding can be.
Now that you and your fiancé have decided on your vision and the most important aspects of the wedding, the next step is the budget. A realistic budget that will allow you to choose most of the must-haves for your special day. In order to do this well you should know approximately what things cost in your area. You don’t want to spend time creating a budget only to discover that flowers cost twice as much as you had hoped to spend, so do the research. When you have info on most of the costs, you can look at the available funds and figure out what kind of wedding you are going to have. If needed and possible, ask your parents if they are willing to help in some way – whether by paying for some aspect of the wedding or just adding funds to the budget. Have a discussion with them and share your wish-list so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!) With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute. If you want their help financially you’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allowing them to state what they’re comfortable with. Show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process, rather than just telling them what your dream wedding is going to cost or trying to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. Never compare what they are contributing to what the in-laws are! If you initially told your parents that you are paying for the wedding yourself but after a period of time expenses have piled up and you now need help, just be direct and ask whether the offer of financial assistance is still on the table. Just FYI – couples typically spend between $20,000 and $33,000 but, it is possible to spend less than $10,000 and still have a fabulous wedding.