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Cuba_Domenic Scaturchio

You’ve probably been thinking about Cuba for a while. The music, architecture, food, and history make it unique. There is also something particularly alluring about a tiny nation largely cut off from the rest of the world. The United States resumed commercial flights to Cuba this summer with regular service for several airlines beginning in late November. The normalizing of relationships between Cuba and the US over the last few years resulted in the first regular US commercial flights to Cuba since 1961. Here are the reasons you should (or shouldn’t) fly, cruise, or sail a yacht to Cuba this winter.

Why Go to Cuba

1. Because You Can

For most Americans, this will be the first winter travel to Cuba is legally possible. After years of only learning about Cuba in movies or history books, now is a chance to witness it for yourself. That could be reason enough to make the trip. A trip to typical winter holiday locations might not give you much to post about other than the sun and sand. Cuba offers experiences that are distinctly different. You’ll probably also be the first person on your block to visit so you’ll have great stories to share.

2. You Need to Catch It Before It’s Gone

Sure, Cuba will still be there in a few years – and so will new resorts, more tourists, and what will probably be a more “Americanized” experience. With the renewal of diplomatic relations with the US, investors and developers are already making plans for development in Cuba. That could be a positive feature for travelers who prefer a luxurious all-inclusive resort-type experience. For those of us who want to capture a more authentic view of Cuba – peeling paint and all – this winter is your chance.

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Do you remember the movie Hook? It’s one of my childhood favorites. Who doesn’t want to visit their grandmother in her perfect cosy snow-covered Kensington home for Christmas? Especially when that grandmother is friends with a fairy who takes you back to a magical land where you were once a champion for orphaned boys. I always dreamt that somehow I too would take that fairy dust flight over London’s snow-covered magical streets, and over the Big Ben until I finally was on my way to Never Land.

London is a wonderful place to book a cosy luxury vacation rental for Christmas, but you might find the streets a little more crowded than in the movie as you fly in to Heathrow or Gatwick. Christmas shopping is huge in London, and the famous attractions draw millions of people. Still, there’s a lot left to explore off the beaten track if you want to find it. Here are some of my recommendations to help you beat the shopping rush and find a little hidden magic.

The V&A

During Victoria’s reign, a number of magnificent monuments were built in her husband’s name. All of them are seriously worth a visit; The Albert Memorial, The Royal Albert Hall, and the famous Victoria and Albert Museum. From the moment you enter the V&A, the giant glass Chihuly chandelier lets you know you’ve come to a special place. The V&A’s permanent collection is spectacular and a visit the museum restaurant is unparalleled; you sit under magnificent Victorian painted ceilings!

The inner courtyard is a beautiful and relaxing place to stop for afternoon tea, and once you feel revived you’ll want to see the magnificent Cast Courts: two giant rooms filled to the brim with some of the world’s most famous marvels including a life sized cast of Trajan’s Column. It’s like they transported this giant treasure from the Roman Empire, broke it in two and filled a room with it. It’s quite a site to behold!

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12reasonstotravelTravel, whether abroad or somewhere in the United States, for a weekend or a semester, has a plethora of benefits. It does a person good to get away, relax, and unwind. It gives couples time to reunite with each other and for families, opportunities to build memories that will last a lifetime. You can go to the beach, to the mountains, to a bed and breakfast, go abroad to visit The Blarney Stone in Ireland or The Eiffel Tower in France. Before you head out research travel coupon codes to help stay within your travel budget. Read on for 12 reasons to pack your bag and travel.

  1. Practice your conversational skills in your native or foreign language with the locals and tourists. Communicate and socialize while eating out, shopping, checking in to your hotel, renting a car and taking a tour.
  2. There are so many opportunities to meet new people. Consider booking a pre-arranged tour through a travel agency or tour guide.
  3. Food. Try something you’ve never had before. Maybe even never heard of before! Find out the hometown fare in your destination and indulge.
  4. Here’s your chance to try something new: scuba diving, parasailing, zip lining, wind surfing. hiking, downhill skiing and more.
  5. Consider a cruise. While on the cruise you can relax around on the pool or on the deck, sleep late, take day trips at different ports, dine with the captain, enjoy the night light, and so much more.
  6. Be spontaneous. Take a road trip, stopping when you want at the different roadside attractions on a scenic route. Leave the time table at home.
  7. Gather your girlfriends and take a weekend shopping trip to a new city or state.
  8. Traveling can make home seem all that much sweeter when you come back. Especially when you come home rejuvenated and relaxed.
  9. Traveling teaches you history, sociology, and geography hands-on when you visit the museums, art galleries, historical sites.
  10. Experience different cultures in a different state or another country. For example, in New Orleans you have the French and Creole cultures to experience with food and music native to their culture or abroad.
  11. Endless choices as you have forty-nine states and one hundred ninety-five countries that you can visit so you will never run out of somewhere to travel for culture, adventure, or just relaxation
  12. Imagine the great adventures and stories you will have to share with your friends and family when you get home.



When you think of a Mexico vacation hotspot, top choices that come to mind may include Cancun and Cozumel in the south on the Yucatan Peninsula and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas several hundred miles south of the American border along the Pacific Ocean. However, there is no need for you to venture far into the heart of Mexico to find a dynamic and memorable vacation spot – Rocky Point, Mexico is practically an American neighbor while offering all you can ask for in a vacation destination.

Rocky Point, a modern oasis

Also known as Puerto Penasco, Rocky Point is a fishing town in Northern Mexico that is easily accessible from the U.S. and offers tranquil beaches, top-rate dining, and adventure outings – visitors can stay as active or relaxed as they like. This area, only 66 miles from the U.S. border, was built to attract visitors and has something for just about anyone.

Located next to the Sonoran Desert (Desierto Sonorense), the area was not much more than a spot on a map until the 1920s when it gained some traffic during Prohibition but it then experienced a lull until the early 1990s. In the past three decades, development has boomed with businesses and attractions, vacation rentals and resorts, designed to please the modern traveler flocking to the area.

No shortage of activities to fill the day in Rocky Point

With its proximity to the American border and array of beach-lovers activities, Rocky Point has become the beach retreat Arizona and other southern American desert locales wish they had.

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Island of Capri

I still remember how it felt when we were speeding across the sea in our gommone,  the island of Capri off in the distance, starting off shrouded and gray before finally coming clearly into view. I’ll never forget the surreal feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach. It was as if I had been transported in a movie and we were pirates on a getaway boat to store our treasure and hideout on the island. It was at this moment that I knew it was going to be a great day, and in fact, it became one of the best days of my life.

It all started when I learned my lesson after my experience in Sicily. I knew I wanted to rent a boat to sail around the Island of Capri, and I knew I had to book in advance. So, after scouring the internet, I finally decided on You Know Boat for a private gommone with a capitano to drive us around. The total cost per person was around 70 euros, but it was worth every penny.

The boat company sent a private car to pick us up near our AirBnb and take us to the marina. When we arrived, we were introduced to our skipper: a young, good-looking Italian, who was deemed “lucky” from the other skippers to be able to accompany us. Oh, the Italian charm.

The boat was small, but perfect for the three of us. It was stocked with water, soda, prosecco, champagne, and wine. Perfect.

Finally, we set sail, leaving the coast of Sorrento behind and heading out onto the open sea, excitement electrifying us. 

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