Everyone you tell about an impromptu trip will be skeptical (there will be many strained smiles and versions of “oh… wow!”), but those vacation days will prove that you could co-exist without self-destructing or flaming out the relationship. Rather than cracking the relatively new foundation, a whirlwind trip will solidify your feelings—though, there will be a few pitfalls that could wreak havoc, so below are a few tips on how to avoid them!
Travel during off-season
A truth of any relationship that's only a few months old: You guys aren't great communicators yet. That's not your fault; nobody’s assembled the full run-down of sensitivities, language tics, and off-limit topics after only a handful of weekends hanging out together at fourth date-caliber bars. You don't even have their birthday memorized yet! The mind-meld takes time! save your summer in Rome until after you've had a few more reps, when you're both more accustomed to how you respond to pressure.
Consider booking two different flights back.
You’ll take a bit of solace in knowing that if things went real bad overseas, at the very least you aren’t going to have to spend nine hours sitting next to each other in Basic Economy. That would give you way too much time to stew over the various reasons in which You Are Not Right For Each Other. Instead, have an ejector seat handy. This shouldn't be taken as a toxic prenup agreement, either. You're allowed to harbor a few doubts when you're only ankles-deep in a relationship; that makes you a (somewhat) responsible new couple!
Pack a guidebook.
You're best off letting some other authority—like a guidebook, or an audio guide, or even a tour group—take the wheel, so you two can just enjoy each other. Walking around with Fodors Paris 2020 on your waist isn't the biggest fit in the world, but trust me, transforming into 50-something sundowners as soon as the plane lands is a seamless way to get comfortable. Embrace your inner lameness. It'll allow you to envision what traveling with the person will be like a decade from now.
Feel free to get a little blissful.
You're far from home throwing caution to the wind with a new partner. This sort of stunt requires a good amount of Garden State-style yuppie idealism, and while nobody should spoil themselves with humblebrags about how #adventurous they are, I do think everyone on a potentially irresponsible vacation is allowed some leeway to marvel at how their impulsiveness is, for once, a force for good in their lives. Some of the best memories I had from the trip were our dizziness, "I can't believe we actually did this!"
If you’re still unsure, hang on to when you feel the time is right! We’re filled with help and advice for you and your new couple, give us a call or email us today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’!
When you think of tropical cruises, you likely imagine lazy days of sunbathing under Caribbean palm trees with a fruity drink in your hand. But did you know that parts of Asia, Australia and the Middle East are considered tropical, too?
Despite their vast differences, tropical regions do have commonalities. They're warm, particularly in the summer months, and humidity levels are usually high. Many are home to rainforests and a variety of flora and fauna that thrives in such environments. Volcanoes can be found in many of these destinations, as well, and exotic fruits and seafood are often plentiful.
If you've been to the Caribbean before and want to try something new without totally sacrificing time at the beach, here’s a list of some of our favorite tropical cruises!
The Caribbean is the quintessential region for beach bums, but there's so much more to it than clear, blue water and soft sand. From conch fritters and waterfall hikes to straw markets and high-end shops dripping with diamonds, there's a lot to experience. The Caribbean is broken into three regions -- eastern, southern and western. Although they lie outside of the tropic zone, ports in Bermuda and the Bahamas are often found on Caribbean sailings, too.
Panama Canal and Central America
Named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Panama Canal is a feat of engineering so impressive that a cruise through it is well worth the price. There are different types of sailings, including full transits and partial transits, but they all visit culture-rich destinations in countries like Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and, of course, Panama.
Cuba's allure lies in the nostalgic, vintage vibe that has resulted from decades of government restriction. With a handful of cruise lines visiting, Cuba has long been a popular destination for travelers outside the U.S. Low crime rates and a slower pace make this a great destination for leisurely exploration. While you're there, try volunteering or chatting with locals about their way of life.
With some of the industry's newest and largest ships positioning themselves in China, Asia cruising is heating up. However, it's Southeast Asia -- Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia -- that you'll want to visit for an experience that's truly tropical. You can reach these destinations on oceangoing cruises and river sailings.
Middle East cruises offer a convenient way to see a less-traveled part of the world -- one that boasts ideal sunbathing weather and pristine beaches. In addition to fun in the sun, you'll find impressive skyscrapers, markets that will make shopaholics salivate and chic areas that scream of wealth and decadence. These voyages feature ports like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Muscat and Aqaba, among others (although, technically, all but Muscat fall just outside of the tropics).
Due to a combination of Arab Spring, attacks on tourists and pirates in the Gulf of Aden, Africa cruises have declined in popularity in recent years. Most of the African continent lies within the tropical zone. But, with the exception of the Seychelles, most African cruise ports -- Cape Town, Durban, Maputo, Port Elizabeth -- lie just outside of the tropics. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco calls are also common on these itineraries, with the ports of Cairo (Port Said), Alexandria, Tunis and Tangier also falling just beyond the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Sailings there offer everything from the pyramids and camel rides to cultural experiences.
These sailings, calling on Polynesian islands in the Pacific, are almost purely tropical, and they provide access to some of the world's friendliest cultures. Learn ancient dances, try local foods and bask in the sun while you do it. Stops on South Pacific itineraries might include Pago Pago, Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea, Raiatea, Rangiroa, Noumea, Port Vila, Suva and many more.
Northern Australia lies within tropical borders. Although many Australia and South Pacific itineraries overlap, some cruise lines offer voyages that sail around the Australian coast, including ports like Darwin, Cairns, The Kimberley and The Whitsundays, as well as Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, the last five of which fall outside the tropic designation. Once the site of a penal colony, Australia is famous for its laid-back vibe, its penchant for all things beachy and boozy and its disdain for tipping.
We are filled with cruise recommendations! Give us a call or email today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’!
Paris is known for many things, like the Eiffel Tower, romance, and cafes. But it’s also known for its food. Here are a few bites you shouldn’t pass up on your trip to Paris.
Macarons (also called French macaroons, not to be confused with coconut macaroons) are a convection created with meringue cookies that sandwich a flavored filling. These cookie sandwiches showed up in Paris in the 1830s from Parisian confectioners and were made popular by Laduree, a famous French bakery. It wasn’t long until the macaron became famous world-wide. It even has its very own day to celebrate! But even though these tasty treats are accessible just about everywhere these days, there’s something about trying them in the country they originated.
These are a staple in Paris. They are convenient, easy to eat on the go, and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, including on their own or as part of a sandwich. The croissant became popular in France because of Marie Antoinette. The story is that she wanted the baker to replicate her favorite bakery treat from her hometown in Austria. Over time, this treat became lighter and fluffier into what we know as the croissant now.
Some say that you know if a croissant is good if you don’t need to do anything to it. However, French people like to indulge at their weekend brunch and add jam or chocolate to their croissants.
Another staple in Paris is the baguette. In the 1920s, laws were in place that prohibited bakers from starting to bake until after 4:00 in the morning. These laws prevented them from having fresh bread in the mornings. The bakers had to be creative to find ways to have bread freshly baked for the mornings and wound up changing the bread’s shape into the baguette we know today. This allowed the bread to bake faster and made it possible for the dough to receive the maximum amount of exposed heat, which gives it that thick crust.
The baguette has been an iconic symbol of France ever since. Like the croissant, it’s a great grab-and-go snack and versatile in the ways you can enjoy it. One way people will enjoy a baguette is to cut it in half with butter and jam. It also pairs wonderfully with chocolat chaud, which is similar to a hot chocolate.
This is a unique one, but the butter in Paris is a must-try, specifically the Le Beurre Bordier. Here is how this butter is different from the rest:
They only use milk from local farmers who demonstrate the best farming practices. They also take their time when making the butter. Bordier wait 72 hours to use the milk once they get it from the cows, where milk used to make a typical brick of butter is only left to sit for 6 hours. This extra time allows the cream to develop its flavor. They even knead the butter at a much slower speed.
It’s also unique because the butter is slightly different based on what season it is. The cows’ diet vastly alters how the butter comes out. When the cows graze on fresh grass in the summer, the butter is much more yellow, smoother, and tastes more savory. In the winter, the butter tends to be lighter in color due to the grass. It’s also more brittle and tastes sweeter.
They also only make the butter on-demand, so you know you’ll be getting the freshest butter!
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup is a comforting soup that has become widely popular. There are no definitive stories on the origin of the French Onion Soup, but many that in the 1800s, low-income workers would use the leftover onions that they were selling to make soup to keep them warm. The soup started as just the broth, which uses caramelized onions and beef broth.
In the 1900s, people started seeing this dish in restaurants. The recipe had expanded with the addition of baked bread with a layer of cheese crumbled on top. They then bake the soup until the cheese layer gets crispy and golden brown.
When the soup started being served in restaurants, it became more acceptable amongst all the people to enjoy, not just the working and low-income families, and it's now a staple in French cuisine!
These were only a few must-try dishes to try in Paris, but it's safe to say that there are many more to discover! Give us a call or email us today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’!
From Blue Crush to The Endless Summer, many of us have only experienced surfing through movies, often leaving us wishing we could be surfing somewhere ourselves. Do you know some of the most popular spots in the world for surfers to flock to?
If you were wanting to see where the heart of surfing began and to see what Hawaii has to offer, check out Kauai during the summer months. However, if you're more experienced, visit the South Shore from November to February where you can see ocean swells that are as large as 30 – 40 feet.
Maybe you want to stay on the mainland and see the sunny state of California; don’t worry, there are plenty of places to surf here!
Puerto Escondido, México
When you think of France, do you immediately think of Paris and the Eiffel tower? Did you know that there are places in France recognized for their beaches and surf spots? Fun fact: Biarritz was the birthplace of surfing in Europe and the surf is so good, many well–known surfers visit just to surf there.
Biarritz, France is located in the southwest Aquitaine region where you will find some of the most iconic beaches: La Côte des Basques and Grand Plage.
Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
A town known for how welcoming they are to their guests from all around the world, people love the balance of the small–town feel yet a big city for bringing people together. Jeffrey’s Bay, also known as J–Bay, has multiple beaches that have great surfing conditions for all levels of experience, especially during the months of March through October.
This is a unique place to visit especially if you’re an experienced surfer. This popular location can get a bit crowded, so it tends to be more competitive.
No matter if you are a surfer or not, if you want to learn, or are just fascinated by the sport, you can find some neat surf spots while traveling that are worth checking out, and we are filled with suggestions for you! Give us a call or email us today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’!