We know that the current state of the world has been hard on a lot of people. For some of us, it's prevented us from seeing loved ones, or even interrupted a trip we were looking forward to for a long time. We're all getting a little anxious to do some traveling, but want to balance our wanderlust with staying safe; that's why we came up with some ways to get out and enjoy locations close to home while we all wait for travel to open more widely.
Park Day-Use AreasTake advantage of large park day-use areas, especially those near bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and beaches. They offer a variety of options for activities while enjoying the warmer late summer and early autumn months. Before going, verify that the location is open to the public. Be sure to pack the essentials: towel, sun protection, food, water, masks, and sanitizer along with the fun stuff: floaties, paddle boards, books, cards, etc. Preparing well beforehand can help limit contact by minimizing the need to go to a store or other unnecessary stops.
CampingMaybe you want to get away longer than the day. Camping is an excellent option for this! Like going to a river or lake, camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get out of the house while still being able to stay distant from others. Again, you'll want to double-check availability before heading out for your getaway.
Backyard OasisCamping is a great place to start if you're trying to travel and stay distanced, but camping isn't for everyone! For those with yards, consider investing in it as your getaway and turning it into your oasis. To some, it might be grabbing a blow-up pool and mimicking what you would do at a resort. Dip your feet into the pool, drink in one hand, and favorite book in the other and relax! To others, an oasis might mean setting up a backyard game, while listening to music and BBQing with your family. Whatever your oasis looks like, recreate it in your backyard and see what you come up with!
More IdeasBe a tourist in your own town. Here's a website that will tell you what places are unique to your city and state: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/. It's interesting to view how many places you may or may not have visited that are special to your city. And who knows, maybe after visiting some new spots, you might find a new favorite!
Similarly, you can view the website Rails to Trails to view hiking trails that were once railroad tracks: https://www.railstotrails.org. This website will help navigate where you can find trails close to you. This is a great way to get outdoors and potentially explore new parts of town that you never go to, or if you're headed to a different city, you can find trails in that area that you can adventure on!
But what about the kids? Even though all these activities can be done with kids, there are a wide range of virtual summer camps happening this summer. Here's one website that can help find the perfect summer camp for your kids: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a32611709/virtual-summer-camp-ideas/. Or, do a quick Google search to find one that might be more specific to your child's interests.
Plan a Future TripIt’s more important now than ever to give yourself something to look forward to; this limitation on travel won't last forever! Contact us to help you plan that special trip for the future to give you a light at the end of the tunnel.
When thinking of tropical locations or relaxation vacations, most people talk about warm sun beating down on their skin, clear, blue ocean waters, and white sand between their toes. Sounds nice, right?
But what about pink sand between your toes? Yes, there are places that actually have pink sand, and they’re beautiful! Pink sand gets its color from broken coral pieces, calcium carbonate materials from marine creatures, as well as seashells. Sometimes, the sand has the slightest highlight of pink, but the shoreline and the water’s edge is where the pink will be most vivid.
There are quite a few areas with pink sand beaches, but here are some that stand out to us!
1. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
This beautiful beach is located on Bermuda’s South Shore and is a great place to visit if you’re looking for some relaxation.
This beach is also family friendly, with many activities such as snorkeling, boogie boarding, and paddle boarding. Because this beach is shaped like a horseshoe (hence the name), its sheltered from larger waves.
Bars near the beach make it easy to grab some burgers and fish sandwiches, ice cream, and Bermuda’s national drink, the Rum Swizzle.
2. Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas
This beach is located on a small island of the Bahamas (it’s so small you can travel the Harbour Island by foot!). Not only is the beach here stunning, there are soo many great activities to take part of.
One of the coolest activities you can do at Pink Sands Beach is to take a boat tour to go swim with pigs! Yes, pigs! You’ll boat over to a smaller island where you can swim alongside these porkers and even feed them. From there you’ll head over to another island where you can partake in a Bahamian food tasting!
If you’re not into swimming with pigs, that’s okay, you can always just set up a towel on the beach and enjoy the views and play in the crystal clear, blue waters!
3. Pink Beach of Barbuda, Caribbean Sea
This island is found in the northeastern Caribbean and consists of small village communities and is known for its natural beaches.
What’s cool about this island is that one side of Barbuda is touched by the Atlantic Ocean, with its dark blue color and beaches filled with driftwood, while the other side of the island is touched by the Caribbean sea, which is where you can find the pink sand beaches and bright blue waters.
Take in the natural beauty, relax and interact with locals. Barbuda isn’t known for its tourism, so you won’t see organized events and activities that you would in larger resort towns, nor will you find tourist attractions or nightlife on this island. Instead, expect blissful peace.
4. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece
This is an island that is located on the southwest coast of Crete, Greece. It’s more of a sandbar, meaning it can be submerged under the water at certain times. If you’re hanging out in Crete, you can wade out to the island, but don’t expect to see any beach chairs there, though! If you’re up for this adventure you’ll be rewarded with sightings of rare plants and sea creatures, such as the loggerhead sea turtles. Take note – if you’re caught removing any plants or animals, you could be given a big fine!
Most of the time, you’ll see the stunning pink sand on the island and when the sand is pink, it is very pink. However, there can be times where you don’t see the pink sand: this is due to wind conditions, the season, and even the tide motions. But even if you don’t see the sand in its pink beauty, you’ll always be able to feel the softness of the sand on this island. It’s been described as “soft as dust.” The waters surrounding are warm and calm, so it’s a great spot to bring young ones to play.
This island can get busy, so if you’re looking for more of a relaxed environment, it’s recommended to go during the late spring and early summer.
5. Boca Prins, Aruba
Located on the Northeast coast of Aruba, Boca Prins is known for its luxurious waters and gentle trade winds that make this beach feel like it was taken straight out of our dreams. Being much more secluded than some of the other beaches, this makes the perfect romantic getaway when you're trying to surprise that special someone.
Best of all, Aruba is on the green list of locations for travel from New York state and makes a wonderful escape from the stress of this past year.
And as always, you can talk to us about planning anything from a romantic getaway to a fresh adventure with old friends. Give us a call or send us an email today and let’s Get Busy Livin’!
Skiing is an exhilarating activity that allows us to enjoy some incredible views while getting a workout in at the same time, what more could we ask for? No matter where you are in the world, if there’s a mountain with snow, you should consider testing out the slopes because you might learn and see more than you were expecting! Here's four ski destinations to make sure you check out while traveling.
Les Deux Alpes, France
Les Deux Alpes is in the southeastern part of France in Venosc, home to the largest skiable glacier in all of Europe and its France’s second oldest ski resort. Because this resort is on a glacier, skiing can take place year-round.
Les Deux Alpes offers about 137 miles of skiable runs and over 7,000 feet of vertical drop! This is an excellent location no matter your level of experience and is also a choice option for families. Whether your kids are just learning to ski or have no interest in skiing at all, they’ll easily find entertainment while you get your fair share of runs in. Just drop them off in ski lessons or take them to a childcare center on the mountain!
Beyond skiing, there’s so much entertainment to partake in at the resort including, spas, fitness centers, a bowling alley, a museum, a library, restaurants, bars and even clubs! You can go swimming or head to the ice rink to go ice skating, or, if you’re looking for more adventure, you can check out different views of the mountain by going paragliding or snowshoeing.
With a variety of different activities, this is an excellent resort to check out if you’re in the southeastern part of France with your family, friends, or loved ones!
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Located in the Dolomites in Northern Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a ski resort that fits the needs for all levels of skiers with over 74 miles of ski runs to play on. Cortina d’Ampezzo also has several other activities you can partake in if you want a break from skiing. Why not brush up on some local history and dive into the Great War in the Dolomites? You can choose to go on a guided tour, where you’ll find people dressed up in vintage uniforms from the war reenacting tales from the past, or, you can head over to the Lagazuoi 5 Torri, the tourist information center, where you can view remnants of the war, such as, the war tunnels and trenches.
If history isn’t your thing but you still want to explore the Dolomites, you can opt in for snowshoeing to indulge in breath-taking views. Or maybe you just want to enjoy your time and relax by heading to one of the spas on the mountain. With multiple places to choose from, you can take in the views while hanging out in hot bath barrels with a nice warm beverage of your choice!
Zermatt is known as “The Matterhorn Ski Paradise.” It’s Switzerland’s highest ski resort with an altitude of over 12,000 feet. With 223 miles of runs to choose from, it’s the perfect mountain for any level of experience. If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, you can take lessons, or you can head straight for the slopes. For the more advanced, try testing out your skill at the Snow Park, where you’ll find rails, jibs, tables, boxes, and more!
Want a break from skiing, but still looking for entertainment? At Zermatt, you can go ice-skating or sledding. You can check out the mountain by hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, or you can go on a guided husky sleigh ride! Another way people enjoy the mountain is by viewing it from above by paragliding or in a helicopter ride.
Once you’re done with your adventures on the mountain, you can find entertainment all around. Check out some of the restaurants on the mountain, especially the ones with views of the Matterhorn. You can even visit sheep on the mountain and learn about animals and traditional farming. This is especially great if you have little ones with you! Lastly, the Zermatt hosts musical festivals outdoors. Who doesn’t love listening to live music while hanging out at the mountain!?
And don’t worry, there are plenty of places to stay, whether you want somewhere to stay on the mountain, or nearby.
If you’re looking for some urban flair, you’ll want to check out Kitzbühel, east of Innsbruck. This alpine town not only offers incredible skiing, but events and other outdoor activities. To start, it is known to be Austria’s best ski resort with over 100 miles of marked slopes. Like many resorts, this location is great for all levels of experience. They offer classes for beginners and even for more advanced skiers to help further develop skills.
Other activities you might find yourself interested in trying while at the mountain include snowshoeing and winter hiking. Either option will allow you to see the incredible views of the Tyrlean mountain landscape. There are multiple trails to choose from with guided tours available to view some of the region’s most stunning spots! Cross country skiing is another popular pursuit while you’re at the mountain. With over 40 miles of trails, you can find the best one based on your experience and the style you prefer. And don’t worry, all the routes have a great selection of restaurants and small huts you can take breaks at! Other activities you can find here include swimming, ice skating, tobogganing and spa facilities. This makes it a perfect place to visit to fit everybody's needs.
What makes Kitzbühel an incredible place to travel to, is the diverse culinary experience. Kitzbühel is home to more than 13-award-winning restaurants and with over 60 different mountain “huts” and restaurants throughout the mountain, you’re bound to find a spot that everyone will enjoy. Some of these huts and restaurants are small, romantic, cozy, and some are even hidden!
Kitzbühel also offers a variety of events that make it a truly unique destination. If you’re into the more adventurous events, you’ll want to visit during the Hahnenkamm Races. This is, “the world’s most prestigious ski race,” where some of the best athletes in the world will compete. The most popular event at Hahnenkamm is the Streif downhill race and slalom on the Ganslernhang.
The other popular events that happen at Kitzbühel include Easter and Advent. During Easter, kids can partake in Easter egg dying and making candles and pastries. There’s a large Easter Market, as well as an extensive family program, and the tradition of the unveiling of the giant Easter egg. Then during Advent, the town turns into a Christmas postcard! You’ll find live performances, pony rides, bell chiming, Christmas stories for children, writing workshops, crafts and many more activities.
Whether skiing is a new hobby or something you’ve been doing since you were a kid, spending time at these iconic ski resorts redefines peak experience.
As always, I’m here and would love to discuss your next ski trip or any other adventure you have in mind. We can look at all the moving parts of your upcoming trip — what you need, what you want, what your dream is — and together we can come up with a vacation you and your loved ones will remember fondly for the rest of your life. Call or email us today and we’ll make sure you Get Busy Livin’!
Recently, Governor Cuomo announced a new option for New Yorkers to “test out” of the current mandatory 14-day quarantine. This updates the previously issued October 8, 2020 guidance and allows for significantly more flexibility in our ability to venture out of the state for new adventures!
Previously, upon returning from your vacation or even day trips to any non contiguous states, you would be required to self-isolate for 14-days to prevent any additional transmision of the COVID-19 virus. However, following yesterday’s announcement, any fellow travellers meeting the below criteria will be able to leave their quarantine upon receipt of the second negative test result.
“1. For travelers who traveled outside of New York for more than 24 hours, such travelers must obtain testing within 72 hours prior to arrival in New York, AND
2. Such travelers must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine according to Department of Health guidelines, for a minimum of three days, measured from time of arrival, and on day 4 may seek a diagnostic test to exit quarantine.”
This reduces the total time we would have to set aside for a vacation by 10 days, providing the guidelines are followed. While this may seem insignificant, those 10 days added another obstacle to any travel plans we could put together, turning what would otherwise be a 4 day trip to upwards of 18!
In our opinion, this is a huge step forward for travel becoming more accessible once again and we’re looking forward to being able to plan some new adventures in the near future.
Additional information regarding quarantine guidelines, requirements, and other questions that may arise can be found on the NY State of Health website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
Be sure to keep in mind: these loosened guidelines apply exclusively to states and countries on the quarantine list, open travel is available to many other places from Turks & Caicos to California. You can always check in with us if you're uncertain about a destination, and we'll do everything we can to make sure your dream vacation comes together!
And as always, you can always reach out to us directly regarding any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 and travel, and if you’re looking to take care of that travel bug we would love to help you start planning. Call or email us today to Get Busy Livin’!