Italy is full of amazing places that you won’t see if you stick to the main parts of the country like Venice, Milan or Florence. If you limit yourself to popular cities and major train routes, you miss out on some of Italy’s best bits.
We recommend driving through the hilly northern regions like Valdobbiadene and Parma and stopping in all the little towns along the way. This road trip is especially dreamy for fans of food; many towns specialize in making one specific thing and making it incredibly well. You’ll stop at Point A for the best balsamic vinegar, Point B for the best Parmigiano Reggiano, and onward still for the best prosecco.
Italy is pretty cheap too; you’d be hard-pressed to find a more delightful and delicious time without spending significantly more money. Whether you’re travelling Europe for the first time or you’re a returning visitor looking for a more intimate trip than say, Venice (no disrespect, it’s just super crowded there), here are five Italian towns you’ll be glad you took the time to see.
Noceto is the place where you’ll learn what parmesan cheese is supposed to taste like. In much the same way that Prosecco Superiore DOCG can only be produced along Prosecco Road, the real parmesan cheese — Parmigiano-Reggiano — is only produced under specific conditions in a specific slice of northern Italy. The real thing is… transcendent. So delicious (and, more to the point, valuable) that people keep stealing it.
Here, look for caseficios — cheese factories — like Casearia Corradi in Noceto, a few miles outside the city of Parma. While you’re there, stay at Ciaolatte farmhouse — a B&B that produces cheeses farm-to-table. The province of Parma is also where you should try some prosciutto di Parma, which tastes extra-delicious partly because the pigs are fed whey leftover from the cheese-making process.
Two hours north of Venice is a wine-producing region known especially for prosecco. In fact, the route between Valdobbiadene and the nearby Conegliano is sometimes called “Prosecco Road,” because of all the tasting rooms and vineyards along the way (you’d better draw lots for designated driver). Nothing is mass-produced here — it’s all family-run and small-scale. The thing you’re after is called Prosecco Superiore DOCG — the only downside of this heavenly tipple is that for the rest of your life, no prosecco will match it. Take your time working your way through different varietals at different tastings rooms. Stop at the centuries-old Gregoletto, and don’t miss the Vecchie Viti at Ruggieri. Find the stuff that insists you buy a few extra bottles to take home.
And all this, in a landscape of rustic stone homes folded into the sides of lush green mountains, with vineyards rolling away in every direction. You might find yourself staying for a while. Perhaps you should move.
About an hour’s drive from Venice, this town in the province of Belluno was a Winter Olympics site half a century ago. Today, Cortina d’Ampezzo (as with all double-Zs, you pronounce the first one as a ‘T,’ like “pizza”) is known first and foremost as a ski resort but is a stunner all year-round. Nestled in a valley alongside the Boite river, in the shadow of the Dolomites, this is a town for outdoorsy folks craving that good mountain air; mountain biking, rock-climbing, and hiking outside ski season.
It’s not short of culture, either. There’s a modern art museum, a palaeontology museum, and a biannual “Mountain of Books” festival drawn from the town’s rich literary history. German, Austrian, and Hungarian influences are heavy here, so try some hearty, meat-laden gulasch süppe, along with pretty much any sort of dumpling you come across. If you have the coin, the circular (and Michelin-starred) Il Gazebo offers panoramic views of the mountains.
Mountains and vineyards and lakes are all very charming, but any itinerary is improved by an ocean breeze. Portofino, a coastal town on the Italian Riviera, is pastel-colored like the better-known Amalfi Coast, and also full of excellent shopping and seafood. It’s not exactly undiscovered though, so go in spring or fall to avoid the crowds.
About an hour-and-a-half drive south from Genoa, this is the absolute perfect town to post up at a waterside trattoria and spend the day people-watching while you graze on a succession of wines and meats and cheeses. Climb the steps to the Fort of Saint George for an unparalleled view of the harbour and surrounding villas. Take a dip in the Paraggi Bay. Set aside a day to wander the footpaths of the Parco Regionale di Portofino (there is an app for this) and cap off your trip with dinner at the acclaimed Chuflay Restaurant (you’ll need a reservation).
Okay, Modena is not really a small town, but your northern Italy food itinerary would be incomplete without the city’s balsamic. Modena is not just famous for its signature balsamic vinegar; it has several other claims to fame, including being the birthplace of tortellini and Enzo Ferrari. However, the Ferrari Museum is not a necessary place to include in your itinerary unless you’re very into cars, and that tortellini is whatever unless you’ve never eaten any other shape of pasta. Your time is better spent sampling vinegar so sweet and flavorful you could put it on ice cream.
Do a vinegar tasting. They work in the same way as wine tastings. Vinegar here is aged 12 years, or 25 years, or up from there if you’re looking to drop some coin. Yes, you get bread with your balsamic.
When it comes to compiling our annual year-end list of the places we’re most excited about in the coming months, narrowing down the field is easier said than done. We pore over press releases, tourism statistics, and our community top picks, restaurant debuts, and new flight routes. We consider the anecdotal evidence: Where are our friends and families going? What destinations are we seeing on Instagram? Which places seem to be part of today’s travel zeitgeist?
This year’s list spans the globe, from exciting southern hemisphere cities like Santiago, and Brisbane, to harder-to-reach regions like Langkawi, and the Danish Riviera. And, of course, there are the destinations that we haven’t heard much about, but certainly will soon — places like India’s remote Andaman Islands, or the art and history-filled emirate of Sharjah, in the U.A.E., or the under-the-radar wine scene in Etyek, Hungary.
After all, isn’t dreaming about places totally new to us — and seeing old favourites in a new light — why we travel in the first place?
Here are the 10 best places to travel in 2019!
For anyone who’s ever fantasized about running away to a remote island, the Andaman Islands are the stuff of dreams. A chain of more than 300 islands (some sources cite as many as 572) strung between India and Thailand, they seem almost too perfect to be real, with unspoiled beaches, clear water, coconut trees, and tropical mangroves. Many of the archipelago’s islands are uninhabited or off-limits in order to protect the tribes who live there. But one, Havelock Island, became more accessible this March when Taj Exotica Resort & Spa — the Andamans’ first five-star resort — opened on Radhanagar Beach. Spread out over 30 acres, the property comprises 75 luxurious villas inspired by the huts of the indigenous Jarawa tribe, three restaurants serving local specialties and global cuisine, and the tranquil Jiva spa. It joins Havelock’s other main draw, the charming boutique hotel Jalakara, which opened in late 2015 with just three rooms, three suites, and a private villa on an old banana and betel nut plantation. Days here are spent swimming and diving amid the coral, kayaking in the mangroves, hiking in the forest, and relaxing on the beach. For now, the Andamans remain far less developed than the Maldives, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Go before that changes.
In 2019, the park dedicated to America’s most famous geologic marvel will celebrate its 100-year anniversary with a series of talks, concerts, and special exhibitions throughout the year. And while you can certainly have an awe-inspiring experience without venturing far from the designated lookout points, new tours make 2019 the ideal time to explore the Canyon’s less-travelled corners. Operator Austin Adventures has added more dates for its family-friendly Grand Canyon tour, as well as a brand-new itinerary that includes Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, while Tauck’s 8-day Sacred Lands: National Parks of the Southwest itinerary, created with help from documentarian Ken Burns, includes lunch on the canyon’s rim and two nights in an oft-overlooked section of the park. If you’d prefer a DIY adventure, plan a trip between May and October and head to the North Rim: less than 10 percent of the canyon’s 6.2 million annual visitors see this side of the park. With wild places both at home and abroad increasingly under threat, bearing witness to these natural wonders feels more urgent than ever.
Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands, is poised to make Malaysia the next beach lover’s paradise. While much of the eponymous main island still feels vast and ageless — water buffalo graze in rice paddies, and street vendors sell flaky roti canai and curry for pennies — world-class resorts have arrived. The island’s only overwater spa is at the oceanfront Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, where the 90 rooms and 29 villas are styled after a traditional village. The Datai Langkawi, situated on a peaceful half-moon cove, has undergone a $60 million, yearlong renovation that breathed new life into its guest rooms and villas. A canopy walk was built almost 50 feet in the air, to let guests better appreciate the surrounding rainforest. Thanks to a 2018 renovation, capacity at Langkawi International Airport has tripled, making the island more accessible than ever.
Teasingly nicknamed Brisvegas for its sleepy mien, Brisbane has long been regarded as an outsize country town, a cultural vacuum overshadowed by Sydney and Melbourne. But that’s changing. The shift began with the mid-2018 opening of the W Brisbane, the first luxury property to launch in the central business district in two decades. Now, the city is unveiling the $140 million Howard Smith Wharves development, which brings a hotel and restaurants to an abandoned dockyard under the Story Bridge. But even before the project is complete, this city, which hugs the Brisbane River, has plenty to offer. There are fine arts institutions like the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, or QAGOMA, where the vast Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is on view through April. The Fortitude Valley neighbourhood continues to evolve, with the recent opening of the contemporary, white-brick Calile Hotel and the relaunch of the Emporium Hotel as the whimsical Ovolo the Valley following a $39 million upgrade. One thing remains unchanged: the Brisbane River is still the heart of it all, both a thoroughfare and a destination unto itself. The CityHopper ferry is a tranquil vantage point from which to see Brisbane’s parks, the cliffs of Kangaroo Point, and the ever-evolving skyline of this underrated city.
With its beach-meets-jungle coastline, splendid array of biodiversity, and climate as warm as the locals, it’s no wonder Costa Rica’s northwestern corner became an early paragon of ecotourism. That’s a lot of paradise to protect. Now, Guanacaste is ripening into a sanctuary for overtired humans, too. Liberia’s airport is fresh off a multimillion-dollar expansion while the luxury playground at Peninsula Papagayo is in the midst of its own $100-million refresh. Miami-based Gencom is bringing fresh dining concepts, an electric bike-share program, and thoughtful updates to both the Andaz and Four Seasons resorts (the latter’s reimagined spa is a destination in its own right). If the road less paved is more your brand of adventure, a stylish new boutique property, the 45-room Santarena Hotel, will open in February in car-free Las Catalinas, and small surf towns like Nosara and their year-round, world-class swells are as welcoming as ever, whether you’re a beginner or a pro on the board.
The Chilean capital has emerged as a playground for the food-obsessed, as pioneering restaurants like Boragó and Restaurante 040 have been joined by a new wave of boundary-pushing spots. Ambrosía Bistro serves internationally influenced dishes such as kimchi bao and short-rib tortellini. Find delicate plates — like a flower-blanketed nettle meringue in a pool of almond milk — at Sierra Restaurante, and haute cuisine with a sense of humor at De Patio. Even global stars have arrived: chef Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido in Lima, Peru, opened Karai, a Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) restaurant in the W Hotel.
The Danish seaside village of Tisvildeleje has always had a cult following. In ancient times, it was a sacred site dedicated to the god Tyr; its spring drew pilgrims who believed its waters had healing properties. More recently, Tisvildeleje and the surrounding Danish Riviera have attracted urbanites who embrace the area’s rustic, unpretentious charms. The town is little more than a main road, lined with intimate restaurants such as the buzzy new Tisvilde Kro; a bakery, Brød & Vin; and tiny boutiques. The choicest stays are two reimagined 19th-century properties: the boho Tisvildeleje Strandhotel and Helenekilde Badehotel, a grand beach house with Midcentury Modern Danish furnishings and front-row views of the Kattegat Sea.
Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago famous for the fortified wine that bears its name, will celebrate the 600th anniversary of its discovery this year. Its terraced vineyards, atmospheric fishing villages, pretty pebble beaches, and the culturally-rich capital of Funchal have attracted the likes of Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. Today, the “Island of Flowers” is luring a fresh set of adventure seekers with its warm year-round climes, dramatic landscapes (from dizzying peaks and black lava pools to laurel cloud forests) and a 500-mile network of UNESCO-listed levadas, or irrigation channels, that serve as scenic hiking and mountain biking trails. Come spring, a bevy of new and updated hotels will bloom, including Funchal’s new seafront Savoy Palace, featuring gardens, a spa and rooftop pool, and the sleek Les Suites at The Cliff Bay. The charming Pestana Churchill Bay Hotel will open in Câmara de Lobos, and Belmond Reid’s Palace will debut refreshed rooms and a glitzy new bar.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are two of the most dynamic cultural hubs in the Gulf — but this year, it’s worth exploring another part of the country that’s quietly becoming an international arts destination. Sharjah, a small emirate whose urban center is just a 20-minute drive from Dubai, is home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in the U.A.E., plus a number of world-class museums, like the modern Sharjah Art Foundation. 2019 sees the 14th iteration of the Sharjah Biennial, as well as the first-ever Sharjah Architecture Triennial, the only event of its kind in the MENASA region. New hotels give visitors a refreshing alternative to the gilded glamour of the emirate next door. The 53-room Al Bait, in Sharjah’s old town center, was built from four historic residences. The hotel draws on the aesthetics of a traditional Emirati home and offers local culinary specialties like Arabic coffee and booza ice cream. In the Khor Kalba nature reserve, you’ll find the new Kingfisher Lodge desert camp, the first from new hotel group Sharjah Collection — it’s unique in the U.A.E., with direct access to Gulf of Oman beaches and a menu focusing on fresh seafood.
Set high in a mountain valley in the state of Chiapas, San Cristóbal de las Casas is not the easiest destination to get to — it’s a 90-minute flight from Mexico City followed by an hour-long drive — but the reward is a getaway in one of the country’s most picturesque colonial-era cities. One more reason to visit? Hotel Sombra del Agua, a stylish new property set inside a 1907 hotel (the first in all of Chiapas) and perfectly located just steps from the vibrant main square. The 70 minimalist, neutral-hued rooms were outfitted by buzzy Mexico City-based design firm La Metropolitana, and there’s a peaceful, plant-filled courtyard for sipping your morning coffee before meandering the city’s cobblestoned streets. The surrounding region is known for its rich culture and epic nature — and San Cristóbal is the ideal base from which to explore it all, with easy access to villages known for indigenous crafts like pottery and weaving, the lake-filled Lagunas de Montebello National Park, and the Mayan ruins of Palenque (not to mention countless waterfalls).
Yeah, summer vacations are nice, but have you ever tried packing your bags for a winter getaway?
After the holidays, airfares and hotel prices start to drop dramatically, especially since most of us have used up our vacation days and aren’t planning on travelling too much. But perhaps, if you are one of the lucky people who racked up some extra paid leave, you might be able to swing an incredible trip for not too much cash. If you’re travelling domestically, it’s more possible than you think.
No matter what your temperament, this great, wide country has something for everyone. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can go skiing, lay on the beach, visit a bustling metropolis or sample local food and culture even when it’s below zero back home.
And the best part? It’s not going to strain your wallet. Many places that we’ve collected below are under $500 for round-trip flights, and you can even find even better deals in the New Year.
Check out these incredible destinations below to plan out your next winter vacation. Who knows, these places are so affordable you may not have to wait until next year to go.
Santa Fe hosts a bustling artistic community where tourists can come and absorb the local culture in over 250 art galleries ranging in style and subject from contemporary to traditional Native American art. In fact, the city prides itself on being a go-to destination for people wanting to learn more about Native American culture and history, with its many events, museums and historical sites. It’s also an excellent place to relax at a local spa. Average hotel cost is around $163, according to USA Today.
Food trucks and honky tonks meet east coast hipster culture Texas’ coolest city. Rainey Street, Red River and Sixth Street are all popular places to go to get some local entertainment, and not to mention delicious local food like tacos and authentic Texas queso. Plus, you can find any music under the sun within the city, from country to punk rock. Hotels range between $50 to $300 depending on where you are in the city.
Get everything you want in a Hawaiian vacation, without all the touristy stuff. Located on the Big Island, you can get some quality time on Hawaii’s beautiful beaches, enjoy romps through the rainforest, or go snorkelling with tropical fish without having to compete with tons of other vacationers. Some places even have average prices as low as $79 per night for a 3-star hotel.
According to Smarter Travel, round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at $189, or $312 from New York City area airports. But besides the savings, it’s a skiers paradise. Since Sun Valley, if you can’t tell by the name, has an average of 205 sunny days per year, skiers can hit the slopes nearly any given day without worry. If you love winter and saving money, this might be the best spot for you.
Care to visit the Nation’s Capital when it’s a verifiable winter wonderland? We thought so. Although D.C. averages about 43 degrees in January, don’t let that deter you from feasting your eyes on the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the Smithsonian, and dozens of other museums, galleries and historic sites that everyone simply must-see. Did we mention many of them are free? According to USA Today, the average hotel cost is $115.
Are you thinking of doing some trips and travels on your own? Well, sometimes we do not really have an option, sometimes you want to travel with other people but nobody really wants to travel with you; a more realistic situation is that nobody can afford or take time off work or the schedule just does not work. They just can’t intersect for the trip but you want to go so if you are going for a solo trip just remember there are certain benefits you can enjoy.
NO WAITING AROUND OR BEING THE “HOLD UP”
You are on your own schedule so you don’t have to wait for anybody. You can go wherever you want, you can take whatever detour you want, you can pound slab, you can pound dirt and do whatever you want to do.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR NO ONE BUT YOURSELF
It may sound very daunting. It means if the bike breaks down you have to fix it yourself. You learn what you are capable of and most of the times you are capable of a lot more than you think. It is one hack of self-esteem booster to know that you do not need anybody to be self-sufficient and go where you want to go.
BE AS SOCIAL OR ANTI-SOCIAL AS YOU WANT
You can be as social or anti-social as you want. You are more approachable when you are by yourself. When we travel in groups we tend to only interact with people in our group. You are most likely to run to other solo travellers and these are going to be some of the most interesting people that you will ever meet. Or, on the other hand, you can be as anti-social as you want. You can avoid 90% of human contact when you are travelling by yourself. Sometimes it is really nice to go two or three days without saying more than a couple of words to another person. It is a fantastic way to reconnect with yourself and spend some time alone with your thoughts.
GO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
Enjoy things. Your friend might not agree to go see the old town because they are not as much into history as you are or worse, they agree to go but their bored attitude ruins the experience for you. Do go by yourself and spend as much time as you want at your favorite spot. In the same way, you want to go shopping but your friends do not want to but if you are solo you can go shopping. But remember to keep looking for discount vouchers and coupons, promotional deals and promo codes to enable you to be in your budget.
EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY
Realize you are going from home for a few days or a week. Your life at home will not fall apart without you. You should, of course, make accommodations for any pets, plants and children in your care. But you should not let that keep you from going on the trip of your dreams. If you are going for a few days, life will go on without you and you can deal with anything else when you get back. You can deal with your friends; keep in touch and it will be like you never left when you got back and they are the ones who are going to listen to your stories. Not everyone will understand why you want to travel solo and it is OK. Sometimes it may be scary but do not stress too much about the what ifs, just do some research before about all the good places to stop and everything will be okay in the end.
Travelling solo is the best way to get with the flow and let go a lot of unnecessary stress. Things inevitably go wrong whether you are in a group or not. The difference between having a good trip or a bad one does not depend on it. If things go wrong it depends on how to choose to handle the bumps on the road and trust me these bumps are really easy to handle if you are by yourself.
Frizzy hair from the local water, awful bug bites and even puffy, tired-looking eyes after a long flight… We’ve all been there.
And while we can’t necessarily wave a magic wand to make all of these issues disappear entirely, we can lend you some solid advice for how to avoid and address the beauty problems that arise during your travels.
Here are the products we recommend stocking up on (and so many of them are on sale right now) for each possible skin or hair scenario!
The best way to address the post-plane puffy eye issue is threefold. When you board, remove any makeup, first thing. Sleeping with makeup on or even just sitting with it on during a long flight can irritate your eyes and the delicate skin around them a surprising amount. Once your skin is clear, do an eye mask like the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. Then, right before landing, you could treat yourself to a little facial massage using a roller, like this Jade Roller Beauty Rose Quartz from Cotify to jumpstart your circulation again, and use your index finger to gently dab a little something restorative and hydrating under your eyes, like SkinCeuticals A.G.E Complex or La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes Cream. If you still feel like you need a concealer, try the top-rated Glo Skin Beauty, which features two hydrating, blendable hues.
We could spend days, weeks, years — eons, even — going into all the different kinds of travel-induced acne that can cause a complication mid-trip, but we’ll try and keep it brief. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there is typically a way to combat breakouts even when you’re en route.
The Solution: Serums, especially this iS Clinical Active Serum which multi-tasks its way through a plane ride, smoothing, brightening and fighting off acne before it even appears. Another great option is to keep a zit-zapping roll-on in your bag, like this Better Skin Zit No More roller stick that uses a combination of tea tree oil and salicylic acid to diminish the appearance of blemishes.
There has been a big market for cleansing water in the past couple years, too. Opt for something like this travel-sized micellar cleansing water from Yon-Ka which can be applied gently to the face using a soft washcloth, and doesn’t need to be rinsed off, so it’s ideal for when you’re racing from gate to gate, road-tripping, or stuck on a plane overnight.
And, remember, when it comes to drinking and snacking on a plane, opt for lots and lots of water, or hot water with lemon. Try to keep snacks to whole, healthy, gut-friendly foods that won’t cause flare-ups. What you put in your body will almost always impact your skin.
How is your hair wired to react to a dry environment like an airplane cabin? Why, with oil, of course. When heading to the hotel room for a shower isn’t an option, we’ve got you covered.
Bumble & Bumble makes a powder dry shampoo that comes in a very convenient travel size, lasts a really long time (especially if used sparingly), and soaks up grease, dirt, and moisture around the roots of your hair very effectively, giving it body, too. R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo is another favorite of ours. It’s tiny enough to pop into your clear, TSA-approved bag, and will give you a good boost of volume and freshness. Plus, it smells divine.
To put it plainly: airplane cabin air is not very nice to our skin. Most travelers experience a bit of post-flight dryness, but those of us who are already prone to dry skin can really struggle with keeping skin clear and hydrated away from home.
Serums, serums, serums are the solution. The nice thing about an oil-based serum is the punch that it packs. You barely need any in order to see results. And they often work their magic overnight, or while you’re asleep, so if you’re stepping on a plane and know you’ll be there for the next six to 10 hours, slipping a serum into your carry-on bag might be a real skin-saver. Here are a bunch of our favorites, but some standouts include Sunday Riley Juno Essential Face Oil, Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil, and Bio-oil. If you prefer a cream moisturizer, try S.W. Basics, which is simple, all-natural, and very fast-acting.
Also, never underestimate the power of a good hydrating sheet mask (they’re easy to apply and dispose of during a flight), like the Dr. Jart Dermask Water Jet vital hydra solution, the Patchology FlashMasque, or J.Lo’s favorite, the SK-II facial treatment mask.
Traveling is indeed an adventure. The accompanying jet lag shouldn’t be!
While much has been written about how to fight jet lag before, during, and after your flight, all these solutions require some work. Work that you don’t necessarily have to do but instead, you can let someone else do the work for you by booking a natural spa treatment.
Heading to the spa immediately after check-in is not only a luxurious way of easing into a trip, it can help you mitigate the physical effects of switching time zones. Whether you trust ancient principles to move qi around the body or newfangled technology to pump vitamins into your veins, there is a natural spa treatment that will help you learn about a destination while acclimating to its time zone.
Consider one of these natural spa treatments for a jet lag antidote, cultural experience, and relaxing treat all in one.
In New York City, methods for dealing with jet lag have a technological twist. At Clean Market, guests can sit down for a vitamin IV drip to adjust their internal clocks. Those who are going back in time and need energy can schedule a NutriBOOST drip (B-vitamins, taurine, carnitine, IV hydration) and Cryotherapy. Those who need relaxation and sleep ASAP can book an infrared sauna session and NutriCLEANSE (Vitamin C, Magnesium, Glutathione).
SpaHalekulani in Honolulu offers acupuncture “to help to stimulate the body’s ability to heal and help guests experience a more balanced way of being.” The 50-minute treatment can aid in digestion, stress and sleep — all issues that can exacerbate the already bad effects of changing time zones.
The Connaught in London knows that travel takes a toll on the body. The Aman Spa has an entire selection of offerings for those getting off a long flight. Treatments that specifically target jet lag are available for 45-minute or two-and-a-half-hour sessions. Relax through a scrub to shed dead skin cells (which can build up after a long flight) and come back to live with invigorating aromatherapy.
Jumping ahead to Asian time zones can be disorienting — unless you reach back in time and take help from traditional and ancient practices.
Four Seasons Resorts Bali at Sayan suggests a Chakra Ceremony to guests arriving from overseas. Traditionally, the Balinese cleanse the Muladhara (root) chakra twice a month. The hotel recommends this treatment for frequent travelers or people in periods of change. The ceremony “combines a cleansing Balinese kemenyan smoke ceremony, soothing singing bowls and deep slow massage” to promote a sense of stillness and connection to the earth.
At The Mulia Spa at The Mulia, guests can book a crystal healing ritual to align chakras after travel. Crystal quartz is used throughout the experience to “amplify healing and restoration” that is thrown off sync by air travel. The session includes accompaniment by Tibetan Singing Bowls to improve circulation and contrast therapy in steam and ice rooms to wake up the body.
In order to ease into the Japanese time zone, the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo offers two options: The jet-lag reviver for those who land in the day or the sleep enhancer for those who need help settling down at night. The hour-long massages help rebalance internal clocks with aromatherapy and massage techniques to eliminate muscle tension. The spa also offers an Immune Recovery massage with steam inhalation for those who are prone to picking up colds while traveling.
Seychelles is a lush tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean and but mirrors the beauty of the Caribbean. This vacation destination is a distinct jump off from the well-worn backpacker route that runs from New Zealand up to the east coast of Australia into Southeast Asia. It is almost as far away from North America as one can get.
This is not somewhere you’re going to go over a weekend, nor should it be. Seychelles is a trip for when you have at minimum a full week, ideally two. This isn’t just because of distance; it’s because Seychelles is the kind of place your carefully saved vacation days deserve.
It costs nothing to swim in the ocean, and that is at least 70% of what you’re going to want to do because the water is the most absolutely amazing thing you’ll see, anywhere, ever. It starts out as that translucent light green color that coke bottles turn when they’re really old, and then as you move away from the beach gets into all these teal shades we don’t even know how to name.
The other 30% of your modest budget will be food-related, and this is not a place where you have to throw down to get things that taste extraordinary. Getting to Seychelles isn’t cheap or easy, but your higher power will reward you immediately and continuously when you arrive.
When to visit Seychelles, other than right now
Actually, yeah, it’s now. Like, right now. First off, early in 2018, Seychelles became the first nation to broker a deal allowing it to exchange government debt for marine protection over one-third of its waters. It is great news that should be rewarded with tourism. On top of that, British Airways just resumed direct flights to the country after a 14-year hiatus. This is obviously excellent for anyone in a position to fly BA, but it also means that Seychelles, as a vacation destination for the Western world, is about to get more popular.
It’s ideal to make your trip during the off-season, a somewhat meaningless phrase in a place that is very nice year-round. But Seychelles is generally considered at its most nice around April/May and again around October/November; these are also times when you’ll find flight prices nearly half of what they jump to in, say, July/August.
The best islands to visit in Seychelles
Seychelles comprises 115 islands, but we’re going to focus on the three main ones since they’re connected by ferry routes, thus allowing you to visit multiple islands without introducing any complicated getting-around logistics. You are here to relax, after all.
This is the largest island, where the majority of Seychellois live and also where the international airport is located, so unless you have some exciting other forms of transportation in mind this is where you’re going to start and finish. Hike the Copolia Trail (time: about two hours) if you’re outdoorsy, then cool off with a swim at Beau Vallon Beach. If you’re looking to party, Mahe is where you’ll find clubs like Tequila Boom that aren’t a fixture on the smaller, quieter islands.
Praslin is home to Anse Lazio, one of those picturesque beaches in the world. Aside from the color of the sand (extremely white) and the water, both of which are recurring themes throughout the country, a big draw here is that there are zero rocks anywhere on the beach; there’s not even coral, just soft pristine sand that allows wading out into water worry-free. Getting to Anse Lazio can be a bit of a hike/bike ride to get to, and while it’s absolutely worth it if you do make it out there, don’t stress if you don’t; there are a lot of nice beaches.
If you can ride a bike, rent a bike and make that your primary form of transportation around the island. La Digue is a whole is quiet and remote, but you’ll probably still find yourself ducking a few other tourists at Anse Source d’Argent, one of the beaches for which Seychelles is most famous. And guess what! The sand is not blindingly white here too, it’s pink! Though a lot of people visit La Digue just as a day trip from Mahe or Praslin, it’s worth booking a night or two there — that way, in the early mornings before the ferry comes in, you can have Anse Source d’Argent more to yourself.
Dining in Seychelles
Now, here comes the tricky part. Veggies are not actually like the ones you see back home. You’ll find some at restaurants, but on places like La Digue, it’s almost impossible to locate veggies that are still in reasonable shape in a grocery or convenience store; and most of what you will consume is locally grown and sourced from a local market. Topical fruits are abundant and the most popular item for breakfast.
Enjoy trying to figure out how to eat the little halves of passionfruit as gracefully as possible after realizing they are fun to slurp like oysters. Of course, if you’re eating all your meals at restaurants, veggie access is less of an issue.
If you are in the mood for a little frock-up and frivolity why not can pair your dinner with live music at places Boardwalk Bar & Grill on Mahe. And when you want to treat yourself to something a tiny bit more luxurious, watch the sun go down over dinner at PK’s Pasquiere Restaurant and Gastropub. The food is great and the view is sensational!
Seychelles is a terrific tropical destination that is relatively safe, but we recommend using WanderSafe to gather location-based safety tips, real-time safety updates, and where you can share your travel tips with others! Its free to download on Itunes.
Whether you’re flying solo, a party of 2 or traveling with relatives in tow, Thanksgiving is about making memories. We chose 5 unique spots guaranteed to serve up a stress-free experience!
As hosts of the International Sand Art Competition, Casa Marina launched a unique Thanksgiving tradition befitting of the quirky town that Ernest Hemingway once called home. Each year artists from all over the world create breathtaking sculptures right on the sandy shores of the Waldorf Astoria property.
Not only do we like the idea of having someone else doing the cooking, but we also like the thought of spending our holiday in a place known for its peaceful surroundings. La Posada in Santa Fe is steps from the capital city’s Historic Square and is partly housed in a structure dating back to the 1880s. Thanksgiving visitors can expect menu offerings with a southwestern flare.
Those looking to kick it Old School will want to plan a visit to Plymouth, the town that symbolizes America’s national tradition of giving thanks and eating our faces off. Spend your day at Plymouth Plantation with role-playing pilgrims who reenact events from 17th-century life. The plantation is open from March to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving Feast at the Farm is one of the coolest holiday excursions we uncovered. Located on the island of St. Kitts, Belle Mont Farm will host a farm-to-table dinner with over 90 percent of the meal’s ingredients sourced directly from the farm. One- to four-bedroom cottages are available and the experience is all-inclusive.
Want to get as far away from your relatives as possible? We suggest booking Tahiti’s Motu Teta, a private island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on the Rangiroa atoll. Activities include doing absolutely nothing (one of our favorite pastimes) or a more adventurous midnight lobster hunt. But don’t get too attached to Mr. Crusty because your private staff will prepare and serve him as your Thanksgiving meal beachside.
“Work hard, play hard.” This manifesto could not be truer when you are planning to make a trip to the Portuguese capital to attend the Web Summit Lisbon. The event takes place between the 5th and 8th of November. If you’ve never been to Lisbon before, here are a few things you cannot miss.
After hours of the Web Summit is all about networking! Here is a round-up for the best bars and restaurants with a great vibe to drink, eat and enjoy each others company.
Not far from the Tower of Belém, the Champalimaud Centre is a biomedical research facility with a waterfront restaurant referred to as Darwin’s Café. Minimalist in its design and architecture and the dishes are delicious while beautifully presented. Book a table on the terrace and enjoy a glass of wine (or two).
As its name suggests, this place is all about…. wine, wine and more wine. This Chiado bar gets its stocks from the wineries of Jose Maria da Fonseca, a noted Portuguese winemaker. My favorite part about this place is that you can do a tasting before deciding on a full glass of wine to sip on.
November it’s actually a good month for a trip, whether you’re looking for warm weather, taking advantage of cheap shoulder season rates, exploring a new exotic destination, or heading to the southern hemisphere to trade autumn for spring. Or you just might want to begin the holiday season early, get a head start on gift shopping, and jump right into winter’s chilly weather. Travel during November has something for everybody.
Morocco certainly qualifies as an exotic destination, and it could be fun to do some holiday shopping at their world famous markets. If there’s time, Abu Dhabi’s unique surroundings would make a memorable pre-holiday excursion. Or enjoy spring in New Zealand along with their fresh seafood, wines, and beaches. In Buenos Aires, you can watch tango dancers while sipping a glass of Malbec — or get up and dance.
Whether you’re resting up ahead of a busy December or jumping into the holiday buzz that begins in late November, there’s a trip that will make you comfortable and energized. Let some of these ideas get you thinking about a new locale for Thanksgiving or at least a way to face the family dinner relaxed and refreshed after your November getaway.
November is a perfect time to visit Bermuda, with temperatures in the mid-70s and pink sand beaches that are less crowded than in high season. There are many ways to explore the 21-square-mile island, from under the sea where you can snorkel or dive among coral reefs or shipwrecks to the Bermuda Railway Trail, an 18-mile abandoned rail bed that winds through scenic landscapes and shorelines.
It’s spiny lobster season, and local restaurants are serving the tasty seafood in chowder, tacos, sauces, and for purists, the tail meat broiled with butter. Coco Reef Resort is offering a Thanksgiving weekend package that includes daily breakfast, holiday dinner, taxes, and fees, starting at $397 per night. Although it’s near the U. S. — about 650 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras — Bermuda is a British territory, so a valid passport is required.
Capital of the UAR, Abu Dhabi combines ultra-modern structures and attractions with its ancient Arabian culture. This year, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will celebrate the first anniversary of its long-awaited November 2017 opening. Built on a man-made peninsula, its collection ranges from prehistoric to contemporary works, exploring universal human themes. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a spectacular architectural achievement, consists of 82 domes clad in pure white marble.
Ferrari World, a huge indoor theme park, houses rides, driving schools, theaters, and car displays. The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Nov. 23-25) will be held on the Yas Island Marina Circuit. The Taste of Abu Dhabi Food Festival (Nov. 8-10) will feature chef demonstrations, samples from the best local restaurants, music, food, and drink. The weather will be warm, so a day at Yas Beach should be on your itinerary for swimming, lounging, and water sports.
The sizzling summer days are in the past, and it’s time to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities whether they’re hiking, window shopping, al fresco dining, relaxing poolside, or strolling through Palm Springs — an adventure in itself. The Uptown Design District boasts home décor stores, boutiques, retro and resale shops, some specializing in the mid-century modern style that Palm Springs is known for. Further downtown, restaurants, small shops, and designer boutiques invite diners and shoppers.
At the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, admire the appealing outdoor art while you have a quick bite at Juniper Table or head to the roof for dinner at the 4 Saints with its menu of seasonal Mediterranean-style dishes. From the restaurant and rooftop High Bar, you’ll feel as if you can reach out and touch the San Jacinto Mountains.
As chilly temperatures arrive in the northern hemisphere, it’s spring in Buenos Aires, an ideal time to visit. The city’s jacaranda trees are decorating the streets in purple petals, hotel prices are attractive, and the weather is comfortable and dry. A cruise along the Rio de la Plata would be a good place to start, for a relaxing overview of neighborhoods, homes, markets, and the waterfront. On Sundays, get some authentic local flavor at Feria De Mataderos, about an hour from downtown, with gauchos on horses, craft vendors, musicians, tango dancers, and regional foods.
Wine aficionados will enjoy sipping Argentina’s well-respected wines, Malbec, a rich red wine, and Torrontes, an aromatic white. Malbec is a perfect match for Argentina’s beef dishes, and Torrontes would make a delightful partner to Milanesa, whether veal or chicken, pounded thin, breaded, and fried.