When I was a kid, the image that came to mind when I heard “bed and breakfast” was one of an old house filled with antiques, soft four-posted beds, a wandering cat or an old sleepy dog on the property, maybe run by a sweet elderly couple. It felt like being home while on vacation.
While this image certainly has its own kind of rustic charm, it should be said that the bed and breakfast has evolved significantly in the last several decades. In fact, many B&Bs today provide all of the plush luxury of a hotel — plus the added bonus of more privacy, more personal attention, and lovingly made home cooked meals, often in the tradition of the country or region where you’re staying.
In these unique spaces, you don’t just get a plate of pancakes and some coffee in the morning. You can get multi-course meals with complimentary wine service in the evenings, plus easy accommodations for dietary needs. You can find top-of-the-line spas, in-room fireplaces, gorgeous swimming pools, breathtaking views, and peaceful grounds to walk. Just like at a big hotel, you can choose to interact with other guests, or you can opt for private room service. You can be in the heart of a busy city like Amsterdam or Chicago, just steps away from main attractions — or you can rest in total quiet in the green Irish countryside or overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Perhaps best of all, when you stay in a B&B, you are one of a handful of guests staying in a place that is owned and operated by someone who is personally invested in your experience. You’ll feel personally taken care of — which you are. As one happy reviewer put it: “The thing that made our stay was the personal touches. We now have a problem, though – nothing else will compare!”
If you want to jump start your imagination with some unbelievable photos, you can check out this 2016 Traveler’s Choice Awards for B&Bs.
And when you’re ready for your next romantic, cozy getaway, I’d love to help you plan it down to the last perfect detail. I might even be able to find you a place with a friendly old dog if you like. Call or email us today and we’ll get you started.
There are thousands of adventures out there - from conquering mountaintops to sailing the seas. But out of all the great trips to choose from — we all know not every adventure is for everyone. Being honest about what you want and need, and getting to know your own personal travel profile can save you from the but-it-looked-great-on-paper trip disappointment.
Here are a few simple things that can help you better understand your unique and personal travel profile:
When you take a little time to get to know how you travel best, your vacation can be more than just fun; it can actually be fulfilling. You can come home refreshed, energized, and brimming with great new memories.
Are you ready to start planning an incredible experience for yourself or your whole family? Call, message, or email me today and let me help you get there!
Some of us are used to making a home anywhere. We often stay for days, weeks, or months in a place to fully embrace the experience, the culture, and the way of life. Whether we’re staying in hotels, homes, hostels, or tents -- we walk the landscapes, eat the food, learn the transportation systems, and try and genuinely involve ourselves in the lifestyle.
But what are the places that have so utterly captured them that both ourselves and our travelling friends return, again and again? Here are a few of our favorites.
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. Costs even include equipment, food, lodges, and expert guides. Take in the mountain vistas, lush forests, high meadow lakes, and beautiful centuries-old temples.
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 — but with the 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 start planning your exploration of 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, 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, secluded 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 find a destination that you’ll want to return to again and again. Call, message, or email me anytime!
No gym? No problem. Here’s a 20-minute workout you can do anywhere.
Traveling can make it hard to keep up with your exercise routine. Whether you’re hauling bags through terminals, sitting for hours and hours on a plane or bus, or sleeping in different (and sometimes uncomfortable) hotel beds — the toll that traveling can take on your body can be significant. It’s not uncommon for frequent travelers to experience back and joint pain, neck strains, and tension headaches.
Some hotels have gym areas, but not all do, and quality and availability of equipment can vary greatly. Add to that the fact that you’re usually away from a kitchen and probably eating some amazing, yet calorie-heavy foods; it’s easy to see why so many travelers return from trips feeling a little sore and maybe less than healthy.
So how do you stay strong and pain-free while away from home?
The thing is, we tend to make working out an event. If you belong to a gym or studio, you pack your bag, drive there, find your locker, get dressed, go to a class or do your workout. You might shower afterwards if you have somewhere to go directly. All of this takes time. Our workouts start to feel like a 2-hour commitment, because that’s what we do when we’re at home and have that time.
The truth? You can work out your whole body in about 20 minutes, anywhere in the world, with zero exercise equipment.
Best of all, these tips don’t only apply while you’re traveling, this workout is great for anyone with limited time or equipment.
All you really need is your own body to provide the resistance and the bag you brought with you.
Here’s a super-simple 2-step workout developed by fitness expert Steve Kamb that you can take anywhere (even outside!) and even tweak as you progress:
Step 1: Warm up (3-4 minutes). Get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles by doing the following in with minimal breaks between sets.
• 25 jumping jacks
• 15 body weight squats
• 10 push ups
• 10 lunges (each leg)
• 10 hip raises
• 25 more jumping jacks
Step 2: Work the circuit (15 minutes). Now set a timer for 15 minutes. Go through these exercises as many times as you can in succession until the timer goes off, ideally without breaks — although it’s fine to build up to that over time. The most important thing is to keep proper form for each one, even if you can’t do all of them or if you need to take a break.
20 Body Weight Squats: See this guide for proper form
15 Incline Push Ups: See this guide for proper form
10 One-Arm Luggage Rows: See this guide for proper form and use your suitcase, carry on, or backpack as your weight
10 Reverse Crunches: See this guide for proper form
And…that’s it! 20 minutes, and you’re done. Finish up with a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing, and you’ll be set. Imagine the difference that doing that even just three times a week would make on your next vacation
Some travelers take on this challenge for longer trips! Take some time for this routine on the beach at sunset, in beautiful parks, in the hotel gym. Once it’s just part of your travel routine, you’ll find all kinds of new (and sometimes hilarious) places to take 20 minutes to care for yourself.
As always, if you need help finding the perfect spot to do incline push-ups — or maybe relax with a book and a drink post-workout — I would be thrilled to help you get there. You can get in touch with me today by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you!
There’s a reason a lot of people write bucket lists, aside from the obviously morbid reasons, they help us determine our priorities and let us shoot for the sky. Just the act of writing a list of aspirations and dream vacations can help turn daydreams into reality, and while some of the more adventurous and imaginative parts of your list may seem impossible to achieve -- it just takes a little planning.
Right now, we’re all stuck. We’re waiting at home until we can travel again, but that time doesn't need to be wasted. We can turn our focus from the rest of the world inward and truly dive into our daydreams and plan our perfect getaway. This time could actually be a blessing, a period of time we can use to plan those “bucket list” trips we had always dreamed of taking but never had the time or resources to properly plan them. More importantly, many of these dream vacations need to be planned months, or even a year in advance; so for travelling in 2021 you need to be planning in 2020.
Below we’ve picked a few of our favorite major events and destinations for 2021, check out these links and imagine what next year could look like!
World Expo Dubai
And if planning yourself isn’t your thing, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call or shoot us an email anytime for a free consultation and we’ll get you started on planning your dream vacation, no matter how crazy it may be.