As countries globally begin their vaccine drives, travel restrictions are slowly being lifted for travel by air-- but that is not the case for cruise ships.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced it will make face masks mandatory on all forms of transportation within the United States, including aboard cruise ships and inside cruise terminals across the country.
While our primary concern is ensuring the safety and well-being of all our travelers, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t itching to get back out on the high seas.
When will the Great Cruise Shutdown end? That’s the question cruise fans in North America have been asking for months as they await the day when they can get back to vacation on the high seas. American Cruises are proposing an early 2021 re-opening. And we should be expecting most brands to be sailing again by this or next year as we can see in this article.
New guidance from the CDC on rules and regulations for US cruising are right around the corner and may be announced any day now. Nonetheless, we can for sure expect new restrictions to be implemented.
As of Tuesday, February 2 2021, the Indiana-based river line American Queen Steamboat Company and sister brand Victory Cruise Lines became the first North American cruise brands to announce that passengers will need to show proof of being vaccinated for COVID‑19 before stepping on a vessel once cruising resumes.
Until the vaccine becomes available, the lines will implement a wide range of previously announced anti-COVID-19 health measures that include pre-cruise testing of all passengers and crew for the illness and a mask mandate onboard-- and we can currently expect that these restrictions will not be lifted and replaced by the vaccine.
But no worries! The health and safety of the cruisers is always in all cruise lines main priority. The lines have expressed that passengers who are unable to receive a full two-shot dose of currently available COVID-19 vaccines in time for an upcoming cruise will be able to rebook at no cost!
Whether you have to decide on what cruise line will be the most beneficial for you and your family, or you need more insight and planning tips for the new cruise regulations, we’re here to help! Give us a call today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’!
We may have tendencies of forgetting things as time passes, but we can assure you one thing you will never forget is your first backpacking experience. Packing your life and soul into a backpack and delving into the unknown for days, weeks or months is an indescribable experience.
We’re more than happy to share with you a list of five great destinations perfect for backpacking the globe for the first time!
Thailand is one of the best spots to go for first-timers as it is budget friendly, and full of adventure! Thailand is one of the most popular backpacker routes so you will be in the perfect location to meet backpackers alike.
Thailand is full of path adventure as well as some of the most famous beach destinations. Whether you are there for the world-class beaches in the south or for the mountain villages in the north, Thailand will not disappoint!
Vietnam is an amazing place for first-time backpackers who really want to dive deep into culture and nature while staying on a tight budget.
Though Vietnam may feel outside of your comfort zone, the truth is that there’s already an established tourist trail that hits all the main sites in Vietnam.
The main sites on Vietnam’s tourist trail include places like Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and the Mekong Delta-- and because Vietnam is still an emerging destination for travelers, the types of people you meet there will always be intrepid and interesting.
Peru is most famous for being home to the historic hilltop city of Machu Picchu, an impressive complex of temples and supporting infrastructure located on a remote and beautiful hill in the Andes.
In Peru you’ll be able to get by with just a few Spanish words, as the local population in popular tourist areas will usually be familiar with communicating with visitors!
Among the historic sites in India are the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the historic forts, including the spectacular Amber Fort which is in Jaipur.
With such a massive population, it can for sure get overwhelming to adventure through India, therefore we absolutely recommend being prepared. Nonetheless India’s variety of cultures and foods will for sure be a beautiful experience to enjoy on your own.
In Puerto Rico you will find unforgettable things to do during your solo trip! There is plenty on the island to enjoy solo, from visiting El Morro at the Viejo San Juan to hiking through El Yunque National Forest.
Puerto Rico is a beautiful caribbean island with crystal clear waters, and amazing food. A walk by “La Placita” will leave you amazed-- and hopefully with new local friends.
Wherever your heart guides you, we are sure it will be the right journey for you to embark on your first solo trip. Send us a message today to learn more about all of these amazing places and Let’s Get Busy Livin!
Traveling is fun, whether you’re sure of your destination, or it’s a surprise trip, we are confident you will find harmony, and great cultural experiences that you won’t regret wherever you’re headed… But what if we told you we hold the secret of places you can share this adventure with a loved one?
Here’s a list of some of our favorite places that are just better to visit with a person who you really care about because of their sheer beauty and the typically romantic activities that are on offer:
Château du Rivau:
9 Rue du Château, 37120 Lémeré, France
A genuine medieval castle at the heart of a UNESCO world heritage site, with botanical arts in a 6ha Garden, contemporary sculptures and a peaceful restaurant. This medieval private castle is animated by more than 380 art-objects.The remarkable gardens offer amazing flower collections all around the year, of bulbs, iris, peonies, roses, lavender, dahlias, ornamental grasses and vegetables. Rivau gardens are Conservatory of Fragrant Roses and Conservatory of Vegetables that are used in our restaurant. The castle and gardens are suitable for the whole family, adults will be interested in botanic, history and contemporary art and kids will be transported in a fairytale like environment. It is the perfect place to declare your love with an “I love you”.
Rabot Estate Soufriere Post Office Jalousie, St. Lucia
At Ladera Resort you will be able to create unforgettable moments that will last a lifetime. The adults-only resort is Uniquely located on a lush volcano ridge 1,000 feet above the Caribbean Sea, each luxurious suite boasts its own private heated plunge pool and an “Open Wall” design, without a fourth wall, allowing for breathtaking panoramas of the Majestic Pitons and deep blue Caribbean Sea. Many go to this magical destination to enjoy an escape and enjoy their privacy.
Suswa Mara Triangle, Kenya
This luxury all-inclusive lodge accessible only by plane is 280 km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. This amazing resort you won’t get enough of features sundecks with reserve views, the stylish furnished tents feature free Wi-Fi, butler service, minibars, and tea and coffee making facilities. All have safes, fans and binoculars. Massages are available in-room for that perfect evening with your sweetheart! In addition to meals and drinks, game drives and airfield transfers are included in this memorable trip. There's an infinity pool, a bar, and an outdoor lounge around a fire pit, as well as Hot air balloon rides. There is no further explanation needed now as to why this would be a charming and romantic place to go with a loved one.
Main Street, Oía 847 02, Greece
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands, a dream honeymoon (or proposal!) destination. It is a great place for those who want beauty, romance, and beaches. It’s filled with deep blue water, and admired for its sheer beauty. It is a great place to watch the sunset from a waterfront while enjoying the charms of your companion.
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
There are many destinations that are celebrated for the romance factor and are continually finding their way onto lists for those looking to set the right mood. Italy will for sure, always be one of the cities that allow couples to get closer, without the distraction of everyday life. Le Siren house has breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, and the village of Positano makes this an unforgettable place to spend a holiday filled with charm.
There are places that are considered to be “romantic”, and there are other places that are best to visit with your significant other as they surpass romantic expectations; they’ll become experiences you’ll want to tell only to your best friends!
As always, if you’re ready to hear about more of our favorite places you can have an amazing experience with your loved one, I’m sure we have a few more secrets to share… Give us a call today and Let’s Get Busy’ Livin!
Staycation, Friendcation, Baecation, -- These are some of the many travel buzzwords going around. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of the difference, such as in: backpackers vs. glampackers.
If you’re unsure about which type of traveler you are, whether you love to shop during trips or you’re the type to shy away from the shopping malls, you’ve come to the right place to find out.
Backpacking is more than just carrying a bag of your necessities and setting off into the wild. Backpackers are individuals who follow the low-cost and independent approach to traveling. Their goals are to see the world from different angles and interact with people along the way—these are central to their self-identification while on vacation.
Backpackers welcome and embrace challenges. They want to be out of their comfort zone abroad and seek to understand other cultures and people better by traveling. Are you the type to soak the experience internally? -- Or would you rather enjoy a luxurious stay while searching to get the most value-for-money traveling package?
Glampackers are the more polished group of travelers. They wouldn’t mind burning some cash for 5-star accommodation or exquisite food. They travel without sacrificing comfort, space, and style.
Backpackers deeply immerse themselves in the local experiences. They often eat local cuisine, have a proper conversation with the locals and learn more about their culture. Whereas Glampackers travel as a career break, a tour, or a meant vocational purpose.
And with the many uses of it-- Let’s not forget the socials! Backpackers will usually allocate a SIM card at their destination to receive important and efficient phone calls or texts only. While Glampackers often have the need to keep up with their instagram profile everyday, hence why they have to pack many outfits to keep the OOTD pictures going.
We hope with these contrasts you’re able to identify, and find a category for yourself that fits all your traveling needs and desires. And if you’re ever in doubt, we can for sure help; give us a call or email us today and Let’s Get Busy Livin’ !
Are you traveling this year? -- As we’ve been sharing this month, as of January 26th, 2021, ALL passengers (2 years and older) ENTERING the U.S. by air will need to:
Present a negative NAAT or Antigen COVID-19 test taken within 3 calendar days of departure, or they must present proof of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days.
If you’re planning to travel international, make sure you start looking into arranging a test before you return. Some resorts are including it as part of your package, and some may help you arrange the testing; but be prepared to make accommodations if you test positive, or travel to a place where you may not be able to receive your results back in just a few days.
If you would like to read more information about these regulations, please enter here.
As always, we hope you’re staying safe during these unprecedented times, and are always well informed before your travel. We’re always here to help you achieve that!
Solo traveling is not as easy as some make it sound, or look. If you find yourself scrolling through your friend’s solo trip pictures and thinking “why would they go alone?” or “How did they get the courage to do that?” I’m here to bring an answer to your questions.
There are many reasons why someone may travel alone- whether it is to see family abroad, they must go on a business trip, or now if now during the COVID era, is their only safe option. But the real question is not why they do it, it’s why YOU should!
Here are five reasons why some may say they have and continue to go alone on trips, and why we definitely think you should go on a solo vacation at least once in your life:
1. You Are Capable
You may hear dozens of excuses from your friends and family you so dearly want going with you-- But deciding to go in your own solitude and experience an amazing destination alone can be empowering. And let’s be honest, most of the time we’re stronger than we think we are!
2. To Challenge Yourself
Going on vacation by yourself will be challenging, but it will also bring you many benefits. Solo traveling will bring balance to your life whether you have someone to travel with or not. It will be more about choosing to experience something alone rather than waiting for your friends to cancel.
3. More “ME” Time
We all have those days when we’re ready to be on our own. We just want to enjoy our solitude and do most of our favorite things without any responsibility for any other routine things in our days. Traveling solo is the perfect solution for this predicament! You will be inspired to enjoy your favorite book, dance freely on the most colorful streets of your destination, write every detail of your encounters in a journal, or even sleep in with the sound of the beach waves. You will for sure, love your own company.
As a solo traveler, you won't have to attend excursions you’re not interested in, you can try any place you want without compromising anyone, or worrying about what they believe will be fun-- You will be full of relief making all of the decisions for the entire trip, and we will for sure be ready to help you make those decisions.
5. To Find Yourself
Traveling on your own can be one of the most thrilling experiences in your life, and you may meet some great people on the way, but every single time you go on a solo trip, you will also meet yourself once again. There are many things we’re often still figuring out about ourselves, such as which foods we like, or why a certain movie makes us upset. Spending time alone experiencing a different culture will set you free without the expectations around you that define you on a daily basis. Once abroad alone, you can be whatever version of yourself you want to be!
Once you start solo trips, you’ll look forward to every trip being a solo one! Many travelers I’ve met over time consider themselves lucky to be able to have such an amazing experience. Consider yourself fortunate as you can also receive all the help you need when making the decision; call or send us an email today and let’s Get Busy Livin’!
Safe Travels as Always,
While travel will likely continue to look different in 2021, we are optimistic that we will see a revival of personal travel in the coming months. Are you prepared to plan your trip? Worry not- we’re ready to guide you on your path to re-discover the astonishing travel opportunities that await you.
With a new year, comes new hope. However, we must remain mindful of the risks and do our best to plan and travel safely and responsibly.
As COVID-19 cases skyrocket once again in the winter months, there is a chance your trip will face abnormal pandemic-era screening, as well as the complicated travel experiences of masks, face shields, seat blocking, testing requirements, and different lockdown rules depending on your destination; whether it’s to a different state, or overseas.
This past year, travel peaked during the big holidays: Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, it’s important that we begin to plan our next adventures with safety and flexibility in mind. As a new administration takes power next week, we want to remain mindful of potential changes to travel restrictions, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning the vacations we all deserve after this past year.
While many are receiving the vaccine this year -- we haven’t received any concrete information on how this will affect the ability to travel freely. It is important to keep in mind that many other nations won’t be receiving the vaccine as quickly as others -- Although, that doesn’t mean they won’t be letting you in.
We are confident that with advances in testing and treatment we will see a relaxation in travel restrictions and a return of tourism in late 2021 and with that in mind we’re already planning our first big trip in almost a year! The important piece here is planning. With a well planned vacation, we can take almost all the uncertainty out of the trip, and most importantly ensure that refunds are available if the situation changes down the line. increase in widespread tourism in late 2021, and with a wide range of destinations. For us, the Dominican Republic is the perfect mix of tropical leisure, incredible food, and stunning sights for a socially distanced destination. place.
On the other hand, there are some advantages to responsible travel right now. Big resorts have been losing out on conferences and their loss could be your gain with some of the discounts and package deals we have available.
Finding availability for your dream destinations once things cool down and case numbers decrease will be tricky, there will be a new desire for travel from both new, and long-term travelers. But if you’re ready and comfortable, there are ways to safely travel and do so at lower costs than we’ve ever seen before! The key is planning, and if you want to start planning your next big trip give us a call or send us an email today and let’s Get Busy Livin’!
As of January 12, 2021, the CDC director signed an order that requires ALL Air passengers to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Starting January 26, 2021, all airlines will be required to confirm passenger’s documentation before boarding.
This new CDC requirement, along with recommendations to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for 7 days post-travel, is designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within US communities from travel-related infection, and will for sure put us one step forward to be able to have many more destinations available.
We’ve been cooped up all of 2020, and we’re itching for a new adventure, a new activity, something that will make up for how slow the past year has been. Our solution? Surfing!
Surfing is an incredibly fun, active, and accessible activity that can be enjoyed at all levels of interest. We know, everyone looks at surfing as catching the biggest waves out there, but in reality you can have an absolute blast just catching a few small waves that break much closer to the shore. No need to worry about deep waters unless you’re looking for a serious adventure, and in that case we highly recommend finding a teacher before venturing out by yourself. In either cause, surfing can be an absolute blast whether you’re a beginner or have been paddling out for years.
Check out a few iconic locations we’re scouting for our 2021 vacations!
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 South Shore from November to February where you can see ocean swells that are as large as 30 – 40 feet.
Kalapaki Beach – This beach is great for those who are just learning to surf because of the protective break walls that help create gentle conditions to surf in.
Kahili Beach – If you’re a beginner and are traveling in the summer months, this will be a good beach for you because the waves are consistent and small. In the winter, the waves become longer and more powerful, making this spot more dangerous. Nevertheless, this would be a great spot for intermediate surfers.
Hanalei Bay – Similar to Kahili Beach, Hanalei Bay, located on the North Shore of Kauai is going to be calmer in the summer months and more powerful in the winter. So, if you’re a beginner, try coming to this spot during the summer months.
Kealia Beach – This beach is more open and exposed, so if you’re a beginner this will still be a good spot, you’ll just want to be a little more aware! The surf can get dangerous, so be careful!
Kekaha Beach – With the strong currents and rough ocean conditions, this beach might not be the best for beginners. For those who are intermediate to advanced, though, the rougher conditions make this location less crowded.
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!
Huntington Beach – You might know this beach by its nickname: “Surf City USA.” This is a very popular location because of its consistent surf and is also known because it hosts the Annual Vans US Open of Surfing every year.
Surfrider Beach – This popular location is best surfed during the summer months. What’s great about this beach is that it accommodates all surfing levels. If you’re a beginner, you can surf closer to the shore where the waves are gentler; the further out you go, the bigger the surf will get which is best for intermediate to advanced surfers.
San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente – If you’re looking for a beach to spend the day with your family and friends, this is the place to go! With multiple beach areas and parking lots to play games and tailgate, everyone can have fun. If you’re coming to San Onofre to surf, there are two areas you can head to. The first is the Lower Trestles, which is located on the south side. It's known for consistently having the best waves and, because of that, you may spot a pro–surfer hanging out there. Another beach at San Onofre is Old Man’s. This easily accessible location is a great surf spot with gentle waves which is perfect for beginners.
Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Playa Zicatela – This famous surf spot has big, powerful, and bone–breaking tubular waves. If you’re a beginner, you definitely won’t want to practice out here. Only the advanced surfers should be playing here since this surf spot has been known to break surfboards into pieces, and in some cases, caused some deaths. However, because of these tubular waves, Playa Zicatela has been considered one of the most important surf destinations in Mexico and Central America. However, if you are heading to this area and still want to surf as a beginner or an intermediate surfer, head over to La Punta, Carrizalillo, and Playa Marinero for some tamer waves.
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 Cote des Basques and Grand Plage.
La Cote de Basques – This beach is great for beginners, especially from April to October and June and July. If you’re a bit on the intermediate level, you can surf all year, but from May to March and September and November the crowds are quieter and the surf is bigger.
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.
Point and Kitchen Windows – These are two beaches that will be great for beginners. They offer smaller waves that are still powerful enough to give you a longer ride.
Subertubes – This beach is best for intermediate to expert levels, in which you will see 12–foot waves to surf.
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.
Uluwatu – Uluwatu is right under a cliff, which makes for some amazing views and an interesting way to get out to the water. If you are surfing, you have to work your way down to the ocean by climbing down a set of stairs in the Uluwatu cliff, which is essentially a cave. Once you get to the bottom, if the tide is high, you will be welcomed by the ocean within the cave. To get out of the cave into the open cove of the beach, you have to get on your surfboard and paddle out of the cave. When the tide is low and you’ve reached the bottom of the staircase, you’ll be able to just walk out of the cave to the coved beach area where you can start surfing.
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! If you want to start planning your next vacation, call or message us today! We’re always happy to help you Get Busy Livin’!
It’s been a while since we highlighted some of our favorite virtual adventures, and with the time we have on our hands, we wanted to suggest a few new adventures you could start right from the comfort of your couch. We aren’t viewing these as replacements for the real trips and adventures we would have visiting some of these locations, but a way of seeking out new experiences and hopefully giving you a taste of what they could be like. As we find ourselves largely homebound, it is a good time to evaluate the importance of travel to our livelihood. From what it has meant to us in the past, to what it will mean to us as things normalize; what adventures will we seek when we can once again feel the freedom of venturing throughout the world.
Today, we’re using travel to distract us a bit from the day to day routines we are lapsing into in the much smaller world of our homes, and to use the technologies and media to our advantage to visit the world virtually. So for your digital travel adventures over the next few weeks, let us suggest a few of the best virtual experiences we’ve found recently, and hopefully we’ll all be able to see them in person soon!
Safe travels as always,
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 transmission of the COVID-19 virus. However, following yesterday’s announcement, any fellow travelers 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. And keep in mind, this is only for states & countries on the quarantine list. Open travel is available to about a dozen states and just as many destinations in the Caribbean and other warm, tropical locations!
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.
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’!