Why Visit Riviera Maya, Mexico?

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Let me start of by saying, I simply love Mexico! Mexico is a vibrant, beautiful country filled with friendly people, rich in culture and has a dynamic energy that makes you have a real zest for life. Riviera Maya is a beautiful destination south of Cancun. It has some of Mexico’s best beaches and plenty of options for eco-tourism and reserves and adventure parks.  When visiting Riviera Maya, you can view phenomenal architecture, and taste delicious food. I mean who doesn’t love Mexican food right? And of course, there’s Tequila and Mezcal! You really can’t go wrong with either of these.  Did you know that Riviera Maya is one of the best destinations for diving and snorkeling?  The Caribbean waters make it great to see and enjoy the tropical fish, coral reefs and you can even swim with the whale sharks.

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If you are looking for a great vacation destination, Riviera Maya should be at the top of the list. There are some fantastic resort options you can enjoy during your stay. If you are considering an all-inclusive vacation option where you never have to leave the resort, Riviera Maya has many options that can appeal to almost everyone! For those interested in a family vacation there are some great family resort options for families, adult only, groups or romantic getaway you can choose from so many resorts. There are also options for those who are very interested in eco-tourism as well as resorts and eco parks that support the Go Green initiatives to support wildlife and nature conversation. Riviera Maya really does have everything to fit your vacation needs.

Generations resort

A helpful tidbit is to try to learn a few helpful phrases in Spanish. Many people speak some English in the resort, but learning a few words such as Gracias, which means Thank You, Hola, which means Hello and Da Nada which means Your Welcome, can help break the ice during your time in Mexico.  Whether visitors want to visit the Mayan ruins, experience the true beauties of nature, water parks or the bustling nightclubs of Riviera Maya has so many great options for visitors to experience that can help you enjoy your Mexican getaway.

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By Michelle Scott from Indulgence Travel

 

 

Romance in Los Cabos

Whether you’re going for your honeymoon, anniversary, or to pop the question, if you love the beach and sun, Los Cabos is a great place for lovers.
Los Cabos
There are numerous “adult only” resorts in Los Cabos that offer romantic dinners on the beach, tequila tasting, dancing under the stars, seaside swimming pools, beautiful beaches and stunning views of either the sunrise or sunset.

While at your resort, don’t pass on a spa day!  Get pampered together with a couple’s massage followed by time in your private jacuzzi tub filled by your butler. Have room service deliver an incredible dinner for two with champagne.  Or…dress and meet on the beach for a private, romantic candlelit dinner prepared just for the two of you.

Cabo

For the more adventurous….

Whale watching is an amazing experience. Humpback whales come each year for feeding and to give birth (December-April). Take a ride out into the ocean on a catamaran and view these amazing creatures in their natural habitat up close and personal.

Los Cabos

 

Explore the county by horseback or even better yet, camel back.  You’ll have the opportunity to see gorgeous, untouched beaches, 20-foot cacti and desert flowers in the back drop.  Along the way, be sure to look towards the ocean for the humpbacks that swim close to shore for your delight.  Riding gives you the freedom and delight to see things you’d never view from a car or bus window.

Los Cabos

 

Hit the town, either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose Del Cabo, for an afternoon of window shopping or looking for those special souvenirs.  Stroll hand and hand and view the products of local artists.  There are many little restaurants and bistros along the way to stop for a taco and a bottle of local beer, or get adventurous and try a mango margarita, the spicy salt on the rim is what makes it extra tasty.

Cabo San Lucas

The best time of year for warm weather to visit Los Cabos is May to mid-July (after the spring breakers) and mid-October-December.  August and September can be rainy.  January-early March expect cooler weather, especially in the evenings.
These are just a few of the many things you can see and do in Los Cabos, we love sharing this beautiful destination with you as one of many options for a romantic getaway.

Care Travel

For more information on planning your romantic getaway or honeymoon contact: Laura at romanticescapesbylaura.com

Maldives: Escape to Paradise

The Maldives is a small tropical Asian country that is comprised of 26 natural atolls in the Indian Ocean and is located just south of India and Sri Lanka.
These atolls are made up of more than a thousand coral islands.

Are you looking for that escape to paradise for your honeymoon or “just because” romantic getaway? The Maldives has beaches that have been untouched and would be a getaway beach destination unlike any other.
Can you imagine these soft, white-sand beaches and the beautiful crystal-clear blue waters, and being on an island alone with your partner?

The Maldives provides a romantic honeymoon destination for couples on their honeymoon, or on a “just because” romantic getaway to celebrate one another.

Enjoying time together, without the hustle and bustle of distracting tourists, taking in and enjoying the real natural beauty. There are many things to do and explore in the Maldives; from exciting water sports activities to couple’s massages at an exotic spa, to the fascinating explorations of underwater life.

Aside from just laying back and enjoying this paradise full of peace and tranquility, there are many things you can do in the Maldives.

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* The Maldives has an abundance of beautiful coral reefs and marine life. Take time to enjoy a diving or snorkeling adventure and snorkel alongside whale sharks, sea turtles, and manta rays, all while taking in the beauty of the reefs and other marine life.

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*Go on a dolphin-watching excursion. The dolphins in the Maldives can be active and playful; a fun show to watch

maldives

* The Maldives is excellent for stand-up paddle boarding. The waters are shallow and calm, perfect for paddle boarding!

 

 

Balinese massage

*Treat yourself to a Balinese massage at your resort’s spa. Enjoy the peace and tranquility in paradise!

maldives restaurant

*Experience an Underwater Spa or Restaurant.

 

maldives

* The Maldives has more to offer than the sand, sun, and sea. You can also visit their capital city, Male’. Here, you can visit the Sultan’s Palace, the fish market, experience their culture & heritage, and authentic restaurants. You can also go island hopping and experience how Maldivians live.

romance in maldives

*Most of all, enjoy the privacy, isolation, and relaxation of your escape to paradise with your partner!

 

Let’s not forget about choosing that perfect resort for your stay in the Maldives. There are many top luxurious resorts to choose from.

Here are a few you may enjoy:
The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is situated on the exotic island of Emboodhu Finolhu. This resort offers beautiful ocean-view villas, and overwater suites. Take a 15-minute speedboat ride from the airport to this idyllic resort surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is a beautiful escape for a romantic getaway or honeymoon.

maldives resort

If you love diving, Fushifaru Maldives is an ideal resort for your trip, located in Lhaviyani Atoll.
Fushifaru is a relatively new resort which opened in 2017. This resort also offers beautiful
beach-view and water villas. Expect to enjoy excellent facilities and excellent customer service.

maldives
Are looking for that most intimate and secluded island? The Outrigger Konotta Maldives
Resort, located within the crystal waters of the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, offers you the ultimate in
privacy. This resort offers you the perfect place to unwind and enjoy your partner. Indulge in an
intimate and luxurious holiday in an overwater villa or beach villa, while also enjoying top-notch
spa services and beautiful, high-quality infinity pools.

maldives resorts

The Maldives offers you an ultimate escape with your loved one. Plan your romantic getaway or
honeymoon to the ultimate paradise destination, the Maldives.

For more information on planning your honeymoon or romantic getaway in the Maldives,
Contact: Cami Collison at Shore Travel.

Unsure of your destination for your getaway, click on the link below to take our fun quiz and
find your perfect destination based on your travel preferences.

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Antigua

Antigua- Looking for the perfect beach?  Then I’m sure you can find it on one of Antigua’s 365 white sand beaches.  A beach for every day of the year! This is a water-lovers paradise where you can go kayaking, yachting, swimming with the stingrays, and snorkel the amazing reefs in crystal clear blue waters.  If you are looking for calmer waters, then the west side or Caribbean side is where you want to stay. The ocean side is perfect for the surfers.

With amazing picturesque beach views, Antigua offers breathtaking accommodations. Romance is almost inevitable in this tropical paradise . With romantic backdrops, each resort offers an abundance of amenities.

Jumby Island Resort offers the ultimate in privacy where you will ferry over to their private island.  Bikes are personalized and available to get around on the island. They even have their own small farm with chickens for fresh eggs in the morning.  Can you imagine a place where there’s no need for a key and everyone knows your name? That’s how private it is.

Antigua island

Photo credit: Life Enhancing Travel

If you time your stay right, you can also catch the Hawksbill Sea Turtles hatching.  Their nesting season runs from approximately June through October. In some areas you will notice red street lights along the road by the beach at night.  This is so the bright lights won’t attract the turtles to the road, believing it’s the bright light of the sea.

island of Antigua

Photo Credit: Life Enhancing Travel

One of the resorts that offer an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the sea turtles is Hermitage Bay, a stunning, tropical hideaway.  Imagine your destination wedding with this beautiful intimate setting.

Then, enjoy your honeymoon from one of the 25 intimate cottages nestled into the hillside at Hermitage Bay.

Antigua

Photo Credit: Life Enhancing Travel

If you are looking for a little history you will find Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site here.  It is the only remaining example of a Georgian fort commissioned by the British in 1755. Overlooking the dockyard is Shirley Heights, where you will find the best views and sunsets.  On sunday nights, be prepared to party. There is food and drinks with local entertainers and bands as you watch the beautiful awe-inspiring sunset.

Antigua island

Photo Credit: Life Enhancing Travel

Marriage Requirements

There is no waiting period or residency requirements to get a marriage license.  You can’t get any easier than that!

Climate- Antigua and Barbuda are sunny and warm year round with cool trade winds. The average temperature ranges from the mid-seventies Fahrenheit in the winter to mid-eighties Fahrenheit in the summer.

Language- English

Population- Almost 90,000 residents on Antigua

Entry Requirements- Visitors from the U.S. need a valid passport (valid for six months after travel dates) and a roundtrip or onward ticket. Some non-U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents traveling from the U.S. require a visa, which can be applied for on arrival at the airport.

Currency- The unit of currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD$). The exchange rate is approximately US$1 equals EC$2.70. However, U.S. dollars are widely accepted on the island, as are traveler’s checks and major credit cards. ATMs are available.

Tipping- 10-15 percent depending on the service. Some restaurants and hotels will automatically add a 10 percent gratuity, so be sure to check the bill.

Time- Antigua is on Atlantic Standard Time year-round. During the fall and winter, noon in New York is 1 p.m. on the island. During daylight saving time in the U.S., the hour is the same on the Eastern Seaboard as it is on the island.

Antigua offers incredible views, understated luxury and pampering.  You can’t beat a better place to plan your next romantic vacation and I know you are going to love it!

See you on the next adventure!

-Tammey

 

P.S.  If Antigua looks like your dream destination and you want to make this trip a reality, contact Tammey Perkins, tammey@LifeEnhancingTravel.com , with Life Enhancing Travel

 

P.P.S.  You can follow my journeys on Instagram @enhancingtravel




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Romantic Cruise Weddingmoon

Have you ever thought of “tying the knot” or renewing your vows at sea?  Sailing away into the sunset on your romantic honeymoon?  Well the cruise lines offer that and so much more.  Cruise lines now are the floating resorts of the seas stopping at different port around the world for you to venture out and explore shop, eat or just stay on the ship and relax and enjoy.
Many of the cruise lines offer a variety of wedding packages to assist you with a wedding ceremony on the ship in one of the many beautiful venues or shore side at one of the destination ports along the ships itinerary.
Family and friends can join you for just the ceremony or the full cruise.
See how beautiful and wonderful your wedding day can be.

cruise weddings

There are several cruise lines that offer different wedding packages to fit your dreams.
These are a few of the cruise lines that offer wedding packages:

Princess
Carnival
Norwegian
Royal Caribbean
Disney Cruise Line
Celebrity
Cunard
Holland America
MSC Cruise Line

cruise ships
After the wedding you can go start your honeymoon in one of the beautiful staterooms on the ship.

Stateroom bed

Or enjoy a dip in the pool, feast in the dining rooms, enjoy a show, go to the spa and get couples massage, shopping, hang out in the bar/lounge, participate in the many activities on the ship, or just honeymoon in your stateroom.

cruise dining

One of the many dining venues on the ship

 

 

cruise pool

There is always time to take a dip into the pool.

spa cruise

It is time to enjoy a couple’s massage.

sunsets at sea

 Just think you could have your Wedding/Honeymoon anywhere around the world with family and friends or just you two sailing into the sunset.

Written by Sandra Scott of JFM Travel
For more information on creating your Destination Wedding/Honeymoon or any Specialmoon,
contact Sandra Scott at Sandra@jfmtravel.com
Don’t know where to go on your next getaway?

Find your Destination match here

fiji

 

Lanai

Lanai – The smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, Lanai offers big enticements to its visitors. Only nine miles from Maui yet a world away, this island can feel like two places. The first is found in luxurious resorts where visitors can indulge in world-class amenities and championship-level golf. The other is found bouncing along the island of Lanai rugged back roads in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to explore off-the-beaten-path treasures. You’re sure to find serenity, adventure and privacy on Lanai.
Lanai

Perfect Weather: Tropical averaging 75-85* degrees

Main City: Lanai

Time Zone: Lanai Standard Time 5 hours behind US East Coast & 3 hours behind Pacific time – they do not observe daylight savings time.

Language: English/Hawaiian

Top Highlights:

*Hiking Lanai – Miles of breathtaking, uncrowded trails make this island paradise a hiker’s dream, from easy cliffside walks to intense hikes through other worldly rock gardens.

*Hulopoe Beach Park is a sweeping crescent-shaped beach located on the southern coast in Hulopoe Bay, fronting the Four Seasons Resort in Lanai. Most accessible on the island for great surfing.

*Polihua Beach –Take a 4-wheel drive adventure about an hour northwest of Lanai City to find two miles of pristine and  blissfully empty coast perfect for sunbathing or beachcombing.

*Snorkeling- Strap on your mask and explore Hulopoe Bay’s crystal-clear tidepools, or book a trip to the Cathedrals to scuba dive in amazing underwater lava tubes.

*Whale watching- Each year, scores of majestic kohola (humpback whales) travel to Hawaii to breed, calve and nurse their young in the winter and spring, before returning to Alaska for the summer.

Experience Lanai, contact Virtual Honeymoon to find a Lanai Specialist today!

Molokai Island

Molokai Island – Hawaii’s fifth largest island, Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point and is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef. Molokai remains true to its island roots, with a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry who continue to preserve their rural lifestyle thanks to their love of the land. forest to the black sand beaches, this island is a natural wonder of unrivaled expression in the powers of nature at work!
Molokai island

Perfect Weather: Tropical averaging 75-85* degrees

Main City: Lanai

Time Zone: Molokai Standard Time 5 hours behind US East Coast & 3 hours behind Pacific time – they do not observe daylight savings time.

Language: English/Hawaiian

Highlights

*Kalaupapa National Historical Park–  Take a quite ride on a Historic site accessible by scenic mule ride on the northern tip of Molokai
*Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove- Historic coconut grove in Kaunakakai across from Church Row across from Church Row, visit Coconut Grove, an ancient Hawaiian coconut grove planted in the 1860s
*Halawa Valley- Historic Hawaiian valley with towering waterfalls on Molokai’s East End, Hike into the East End’s classic cathedral valley to see the Hawaii of long ago.
*Papohaku Beach Park- At three miles long and 100 yards wide, this is one of the largest white-sand beaches in all of Hawaii.
*Kaunakakai– Take a sport-fishing charter, for some once in a life time fishing experience.
*Kalohi – During winter months, whale watch in the Kalohi Channel.

 

Experience Molokai island, contact Virtual Honeymoon to find a Molokai Specialist today!

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island – ‘Big Island’ the youngest and the largest of all the islands and it’s still growing! The home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes and tallest sea mountain. From the green rainforest to the black sand beaches, this island is a natural wonder of unrivaled expression in the powers of nature at work!
Hawaii island

Perfect Weather: Tropical averaging 75-85* degrees

Main City: Hilo

Time Zone: Hawaii Island Standard Time 5 hours behind US East Coast & 3 hours behind Pacific time – they do not observe daylight savings time.

Language: English/Hawaiian

Highlights:

  • Hawaii Volcano National Park- Home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
  • Kailua Village- Lively, historic gathering place in the heart of quaint town of Kona, with shops, eateries, pubs.
  • Hilo- Home to dramatic waterfalls, fertile rainforests and blooming gardens; the geographic flipside of the volcanic kohala coast.
  • Holualoa- This is a great place to taste the rich flavors of 100% pure Kona coffee, a rare commodity exclusively grown in north and south Kona
  • Kahua Ranch- Located in town of Waimea, in Cowboy country where stop signs read ‘Whoa’ instead of ‘Stop’ a working ranch to explore the scenic landscapes by horseback or ATV.
  • Volcano Winery- Since 1986, this beautiful winery utilizes local fruits, macadamia nuts & tea to blend with traditional wine grapes that transforms their wines to perfection, stop and taste before visiting the Volcano!
  • Beautiful Beaches- Kohala Coast known as South Kohala is nestled amongst the jet-black and rust-red lava rock fields amongst the breathtaking black sand beaches. Hapuna Beach is Hawaii’s white sand beach and been rated on numerous international top ten lists and offers good conditions for swimming, bodyboarding, sunbathing and snorkeling.

Exclusive Inclusions: Sample of VIP Perks* at one of our Preferred Resorts:

      • Free wedding website & honeymoon registry
      • Daily buffet breakfast for 2
      • Luau for 2
      • Sunset cruise

Experience Hawaii island, contact Virtual Honeymoon to find a Hawaii Specialist today!

Maui Island

Maui Island-  The magic isle and second largest hawaiian island, but with low population, making it very desirable with its diversity and attractions, there something for everyone here! From its heavenly beaches to its scenic wonders its no wonder why Maui has been voted best island several years now!

Maui

Perfect Weather: Average yearly temperature is a tropical 75-85*degrees

Main City: Wailuku

Time Zone: Maui Island Standard Time 5 hours behind US East Coast & 3 hours behind Pacific time -they do not observe daylight savings time

Language: English~Hawaiian

Highlights:

  • Road to Hana- leads you through tropical rainforest, with dramatic scenery of flowing waterfalls and plunging pools, experience old hawaii first hand.
  • Haleakala National Park- Maui’s highest peaks 10,023 feet above sea level, morning sunrises are unforgettable
  • Lahaina- Hot spot on the west, historic whalers village with shops, restaurants & marina, catch some great tours leaving from here.
  • Molokini- A small island a few miles off of Maui’s southwestern coast, great for snorkelers and divers.
  • Wailea- South shore of Maui, known for its world class golf courses and crescent-shaped beaches.
  • Beautiful beaches- Kaanapali Beach on the west is Maui’s famous beach known for its powder white soft sand, and Makena Beach on the south is known as Maui’s ‘big’ beach, the largest beach on Maui.

Exclusive Inclusions: Sample of VIP Perks* at one of our Preferred Resorts:

  • Free wedding website & honeymoon registry
  • Luau for 2
  • One sunset dinner cruise for 2
  • Daily breakfast for 2
  • VIP cocktail reception
  • Room upgrade & late check out (based on availability)

Experience Maui island, contact Virtual Honeymoon to find a Maui Specialist today!

 

Oahu Island

Oahu Island-  The ‘Heart’ of Hawaii with its timeless beauty blended with todays modern luxuries. The third largest Hawaiian island is home to a diverse population and the contrast between the ancient and the modern that makes discovering historic Oahu so enjoyable

.Oahu island

Perfect Weather: Average yearly temperature is a tropical 75-85*degrees

Main City: Honolulu

Time Zone: Oahu Island Standard Time 5 hours behind US East Coast & 3 hours behind Pacific time – they do not observe daylight savings time

Language: English~Hawaiian

Highlights:

  • Pearl Harbour- National Historical Landmark features five historic sites memorializing the December 7, 1941 attack.
  • Diamond Head- Formed more than 100,000 years ago, a popular hiking spot with panoramic views of Waikiki and Oahu’s south shore.
  • North Shore- During the winter months, this legendary surf mecca attracts the best surfers in the world.
  • Polynesian Cultural Center- A ‘must see’ hawaiian attraction, interact with the people from the South Pacific Islands, experience a canoe pageant and authentic Luau.
  • International Market Place- Famous shopping features over 130 carts, shops and artisan stands in an open-air setting under the banyan trees in the heart of Waikiki.
  • Beautiful Beaches- World famous Waikiki was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as ‘spouting waters’, it is the best area for learning to surf.
  • Turtle Bay- Protected from large waves and surf, this beach, located on Oahu’s northeastern tip, great place to snorkle.

Exclusive Inclusions: Sample of VIP Perks* at one of our Preferred Resorts:

    • Free wedding website & honeymoon registry
    • $50 Aloha Credit toward food & activities
    • Chilled bottle of Champagne & Chocolate Strawberries
    • Room upgrade & late check out (based on availability)

Experience Oahu island, contact Virtual Honeymoon to find a Oahu Specialist today!

Fiji – A destination that touches your soul

Fiji is consistently listed as one of the Happiest Destinations in the world. After spending time in the Islands of Fiji, it became very apparent to me how true this is Full transparency here.

As a travel professional, I have a tendency to “compare”destinations with similarities. Having traveled all over Mexico, the Caribbean and the Islands of Tahiti, I thought for sure Fiji would be another tropical, beach destination on the list. I was very wrong! What I found within Fiji  was nothing short of incredible.

It took me a bit to realize why, but I finally put my finger on it. Fiji, the people, the beauty and the pureness, it connects you at the heart and truly touches your soul. Needless to say, it cannot, and should not, be compared it to any other experience.

Let’s start with some of the reasons why you will fall in love Fiji from the moment you arrive and what makes it the perfect destination for any occasion–wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or bucket list trip.

fiji beach#1–Fiji is authentic. We hear so many say they want an “authentic” experience, yet what they describe as ideal is far from it. The Islands of Fiji are considered to be one of the exotic destinations. Remote,with a simple way of life, yet modern is many ways. With couples seeking more exotic, off- the-beaten-path, authentic destination, Fiji takes you beyond the typical vacation destination, and hits the mark without having to sacrifice on the comforts of home.

fiji pool#2–Diversity of Options. Fiji offers a wide array of resorts in various locations. From large, chain types to very small and intimate. Those for the more minimalist, budget minded to incredible luxury villas. Many resorts offer a great mix of traditional Fijian design while providing modern amenities. The bures (this is what they call their rooms, aka huts on the beach) are very spacious, offering modern updated bathrooms (most with outdoor showers) and a stunning view. Many with a sitting area (inside and out), air conditioning, mini refrigerator, and some with a private plunge pool. None the same, though. All uniquely designed with local touches.

fiji food#3–Activities to satisfy everyone. The activities offered in Fiji are endless. You will find a great diversity to satisfy all types of travelers. From relaxing on the beach, lounging by the pool, snorkeling just off shore, hiking to a waterfall, visiting a local village or school, and SO much more. Soft adventure activities such as kayaking, standup paddle boarding, horseback riding,ziplining… With Fiji being the soft coral capital of the world, scuba diving is very popular and much different than what you will find in the Caribbean and Hawaii. Foodies don’t despair. Your palate is tempted and satisfied as well. Indulge in a fusion of cuisines such as local Fijian, Indian, Polynesian and more.

island of fiji#4–Natural beauty. Breathtaking beauty is everywhere! From the Mamanuca Island group, to the Yasawa Island group, from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu. Some islands are small, some a bit larger, but ALL have their own beautiful setting. Did you know? One of the 1001 Places to See Before You Die is located within Fiji? Horseshoe Bay is an incredible site to see! The coral is magnificent, vibrant and a variety of colors. It seems to jump right out of the water. Speaking of those take- your- breath- away views. The best way to see many of the islands and coral is by air. Helicopter, seaplane or inter-island flight. However, you choose, get up in the air to see the amazing world below.

fiji sunset#5– Remarkable Sunsets. Fiji is blessed with some of the most remarkable sunsets in the world. I mean from every island! The colors light up the sky, like a new painting each evening. After the sun goes down, be sure to do some star gazing. You will see different stars and constellations that we are not able to see from the Northern Hemisphere. The most prominent are the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. Certain times of the year, these can be seen very clearly.

fiji locals#6– The locals. I have saved the best for last. By far, the best part is the Fijians themselves. From the moment you arrive, “Bula” is heard everywhere. It is a greeting, similar to aloha, but has other meanings. The literal meaning is “life” and also implies wishes for happiness and good health. When being greeted, remember they are saying more than just a simple “hello”. Fijians are exceedingly warm and friendly. They love to express their love of life and share it with visitors. They have an infectious joy, enthusiasm, and genuine hospitality about them. It’s easy to join in!

If you are looking for a destination that is “not just a spot on the beach” or “not just another resort with a comfortable room and swim-up bar”, take a look at Fiji. These islands truly touch your heart.
I dare you to visit and leave without tearing up or crying!

Fiji expertWritten by Stephanie Cannon of SC Travel Design

For more information on the Islands of Fiji, contact Stephanie Cannon @hello@sctraveldesign.com

Don’t know where to go on your next bucket list trip?fiji

Island of Maui

The island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a population of just over 117,000. Maui has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the most popular islands to visit, featuring alluring attractions like the massive Haleakala volcano, the bustling whaler village of Lahaina, the magnificent humpback whales, the infamous stretch of road to Hana and its numerous family-friendly resorts and inviting white-sand beaches. Maui is also the largest island within Maui County, which is comprised of three other islands: Lana`i, Kaho`olawe, and Moloka`i.

Maui

Quick Facts:
Climate:
Year-round temperatures range between 70-90° F with 50% humidity, generally cooler in higher elevations

The island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a population of just over 117,000. Maui has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the most popular islands to visit, featuring alluring attractions like the massive Haleakala volcano, the bustling whaler village of Lahaina, the magnificent humpback whales, the infamous stretch of road to Hana and its numerous family-friendly resorts and inviting white-sand beaches. Maui is also the largest island within Maui County, which is comprised of three other islands: Lana`i, Kaho`olawe, and Moloka`i.

Top Maui Island Picks

Road to Hana – A meandering drive on the road to Hana, a classic Hawaiian small town, is full of hairpin turns, one-lane bridges and breathtaking island views.Pools of Oheo – A series of seven beautiful pools fed by waterfalls.Iao Valley State Park – Visit the 1,200-foot Iao Needle or hike in the 4,000-acre valley.

Haleakala National Park – Go on an excursion to the “House of the Sun”, an active but non-erupting volcano.

Molokini – A small island just off the southern coast of Maui creates a paradise for snorkelers and divers looking for beautiful coral and tropical fish.

Whale watching – Calm, clear, shallow waters create the perfect environment to attract whales during the winter season (December – May). Visitors will find a variety of options for whale watching experiences departing from Lahaina which can be followed by a visit to the town’s shops, art galleries and restaurants.

Go to a luau – Rich with Hawaiian history, the shores of Maui are the perfect setting to experience a traditional luau, including a main course cooked in the earth accompanied by live music and a hula dance sharing Hawaii’s stories.

Golfer’s paradise – With 14 courses to choose from and several options falling onto various best course lists, golfers can tee off near ancient lava flows, palms trees or an ocean mist.

Upcountry – Paniolos, also known as Hawaiian cowboys, spent their time in the small Upcountry town of Makawao, where you’ll find famous cream puffs at T. Komoda Store in addition to other boutiques and galleries. While in Upcountry, make a stop at Maui Wine for a tour and tasting – we recommend the pineapple wine.

The day trip to Molokini is a must.  The snorkeling is fabulous!

Home to nearly 250 species of tropical fish, Molokini is one of the top ten dive sites in the world. Snorkeling at Molokini crater is truly a unique oppourtunity as there are only 3 volcanic calderas including Molokini in the entire world.

I Was there is January and the mother whales were teaching their babies life lessons.  What a treat to see a baby whale learn to dive!  They were breaching, just having a wonderful time. The best part, we sat on the beach to watch them! Take a trip to HaleakalaFor a sunrise view and a bike ride down the volcano.  Or you can do what I did, and to at sunset.  4:00 AM is too early for me.  Beautiful.  If to go up at sunset,  be sure to go to Mama’s fish house.  Exceptional seafood.  The menu will tell you who caught your dinner, and the boat  involved.  On the waterfront.  Pricy, but well worth the trip.Haleakala

The Iao Valley State park is very lush and may be a bit foggy.  There is an entrance fee, but you can drive in a bit for the beautiful views.

You must go to Lahaina, the major tourist area.  The cruise ships stop here.  A lot of restaurants, casual and upscale. I can be very crowded, but there is a local bus that gives free transportation, or your hotel may do it.

If you are a  member of a yacht club, bring your card, and have dinner at the Lahaina Yacht Club.  Over the water, for a wonder sunset!
Any time is good to visit Maui.  It can be windy especially in the winter months.Maui weddings


Your special day deserves a special place and Maui provides an idyllic setting for the wedding of your dreams. Whether you’re planning a casual beach wedding on the shores of West Maui or a lavish ceremony in a five-diamond resort in Wailea, Maui meets every expectation.

You’ll find an impressive list of venues and resources, and expert wedding planners will attend to your every need. Nothing is spared to make sure your special day turns out exactly as you imagined. So let Maui’s specialists take care of the details so you can concentrate on what matters most: each other. Learn more about Maui wedding photographers, planners and venues.

Written by Claudia Augustson of Riviera Vacations

For more information on Maui or any Hawaiian Island getaway, contact Claudia Augustson @ rivieravac@cox.net

Don’t know where to go on your next getaway? Find your Destination match here

VH

 

Romanced by Bora Bora

Labeled as the most romantic place on earth, Bora Bora screams honeymoon and destination wedding. Romance, Romance, Romance which can steer travelers away unless going there for a monumental trip as opposed to going for a summer vacation.  When I went there; I wasn’t going on a honeymoon, having a monumental anniversary or attending a destination wedding and my trip surpassed all of my expectations. Bora Bora beach

If I’m being honest, it brought tears to my eyes, gave me an expressionless face, and left me feeling a way I have never felt before.  So is the label right? Is it a place that really needs that special romantic occasion to truly be enjoyed?
Not so much!!!  Seeing the  Bora Bora waters for the first time brought me to tears and had an effect on me that no other destination ever has and future destinations are going to have to work hard to live up to.

Granted, this was my #1 heaven on earth place to visit.  Was on my bucket list ever since I can remember so you can only imagine my excitement pre-trip; but nothing prepared me for what I would feel when I got there.   Mesmerized, in aw, speechless, and totally in love.  I was romanced by this small island in a way no man has ever romanced me.  I was transported to a place words can’t even describe.  I had finally found my soulmate.  A place that made me feel secure, giddy, and wanting to experience and share more.
In that moment I realized first hand why the tiny island of Bora Bora is known as the island of romance and that realization has nothing to do with a honeymoon, a wedding or even a significant other.  I could spend months alone in Bora Bora and never once be lonely, feel lost, afraid, or unhappy.  This tiny little island pulls you in, wraps you up in it’s beautiful blue waters and whisks you away to places you couldn’t even imagine even existed. (And let me tell you, I have an imagination like no other and even I couldn’t have imagined this!!!), so grab your favorite glass of wine and enjoy the love story That is Bora Bora…………….Tahiti

Yes it is true, couples you have found your ideal destination, but this little island is perfect for the whole family and solomooners alike. The small island of Bora Bora is only 18 miles in circumference, but it’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and waters that don’t discriminate, they love your little coconuts and solos as well as the love birds.
As a solo traveler, allow yourself to embrace mana and be swept away by the luxurious pampering resorts with overwater bungalows and thatched rooves we’ve dreamt of for our ultimate retreats. Spend lazy days sunbathing while watching the sharks and sting rays swim by your bungalow.  Your little coconuts will think they are living in a real life storybook when you let the azul waters wash over them and embrace them in this carefree, picture perfect lifestyle.
The captivating, majestic Mount Otemanu, sharply rising almost 2,400 feet above sea level, lush tropical slopes and valleys, transport you to a paradise that will forever be burnt into your mind allowing you to continue your love affair with Bora Bora long after you are thousands of miles away. bora bora
Your resort will be located either on the southern end of the main island or on its own motu (islet in the lagoon). The water is the key to what will keep you active when you want to venture from your lounge chair or spa treatment. The turquoise lagoon surrounded by picture-perfect white sand beaches is your playground for such unique experiences as shark feeding. You stand in the shallow lagoon far enough away but yet close enough to watch your guides hand-feed the sharks. Explore the lagoon via glass-bottom boat, motorboat or jet ski, or just snorkel from your bungalow or off the beach anywhere on the island. Diving is also huge attraction because Adventure off the coast and to the interior roads on a hike or 4X4 accompanied by a local guide. You’ll be treated to unbelievable overlook views. Be sure to make some time to shop for local and international original art, Tahitian pearls, perfumes and oils, and precious wood handcrafts. Bora Bora
Most meals will be eaten at your resort, where you’ll be treated to world-class dining, complete with some of the best water views you’re ever going to see. Many of the properties also offer after-dinner Polynesian shows, incorporating the cultural flavor into your stay. Cuisine here is as you would expect — lots of local seafood, fruits and vegetables to enjoy.
Don’t forget to have at least one of those over the top experiences like a gourmet picnic on a private beach or a sunset cruise with four-course dinner aboard a private catamaran. We can’t forget the ultimate in room service, breakfast by outrigger canoe brought to your overwater bungalow or villa. The flower-decorated canoe brings with it fresh fruits, pastries and juices by a welcoming resort staff member.

International flights land at Faa’a Airport in Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Flight time is just under eight hours from Los Angeles and about 12 hours from New York’s JFK with a swift 51 minute flight from Papeete to Bora Bora and your life with forever be changed.  Air Tahiti Nui is Tahiti’s national carrier.
The Bora Bora airport is built on a motu; making resort transfers by private motorboats from the airport which sets the tone for your amazing experience that is yet to come causing your little coconuts to ask why all resort transfers can’t be by boat!!!!
Whether you are traveling for romance, celebrating yourself, or introducing your coconuts to a real-life fairy-tale setting, Bora Bora will check all the boxes and when you visit; may your sleep be peaceful and restful, and may you wake by the warmth of the sun refreshed and ready for each new day of possibilities in paradise!!!

**Photo Cred – My Own!!
Miki Taylor of Taylor & Co. Travel
Bora Bora

Paradise is called Jamaica, the island of All Right!

Rising out of the Caribbean Sea is an island full of life, music, and spice, is Jamaica!
Landscape of rich tropical vegetation, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters is a kaleidoscope of amazing color. Its people are every bit as vibrant as the landscape and their music is every bit as calming as the ocean’s waves.
Jamaica is the kind of place you can’t wait to get to and never want to leave. It is truly the quintessential island escape you only thought existed in the movies. Featuring an abundance of the Caribbean’s most spectacular resorts paired with thrilling adventures and laid-back relaxation Jamaica truly has something for everyone. For this reason, Jamaica is an ideal location for honeymooners and for those planning a destination wedding. Secrets St. James
No matter whether it is a romance-filled honeymoon or a fun-filled destination wedding one is seeking, they can expect to find the ideal resort matched perfectly with their personality and desired level of action or relaxation. Each resort is unique in design and individualized for the specific traveler they are attracting. From family friendly to couples only, from quiet and relaxed to energetic and active… on the island of Jamaica variety is the spice of life!
The opportunities for romance are at every turn… from couples’ massages to champagne toasts at sunset. From catamaran cruises to snorkeling tours. From hiking up Dunn’s River Falls to diving into Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon. However you choose to spend your time in Jamaica you can be assured that it will be nothing short of incredible. jamaica
In the event that you’re still just not sure if Jamaica is right for you, allow me the opportunity to paint you a picture… It won’t take you long to realize what your time in Jamaica is going to be like. In fact, you’ll get a pretty good idea as soon as you load into the van taking you from the airport to your resort. With the van bumping and swaying along as your driver cruises up and down the twisty turny 2-lane roads with the Reggae music blasting you’ll start to understand the Jamaicans care free no worries attitude.
Once you arrive at your resort things will start to slow down a little… The stresses of traveling will start to fade away, the tension in your neck and shoulders will start to relax, and you’ll even realize that your body has begun to sway to the sounds of the music. You’ll stop and stare, trying to take it all in as you stand looking out at the gorgeous lagoon style pool with the breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean Sea in the background.

There will be people all around you, the Reggae band will be playing, but the only thing you’ll be able to hear is Bob Marley singing over and over again in your head, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be alright”.

For more information on Jamaica, contact Kevin Lowe of Better Days Travel

If you don’t know where to go on your next getaway, take our fun quiz and find your top destination match

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Virtual Destination Wedding wins Trendsetter of the year award 2018

We are excited to announce Virtual Honeymoon’s sister site, Virtual Destination Wedding won Trendsetter of the year 2018 award for best targeted marketing idea!

2018 trendsetter of year

Virtual Honeymoon won this honor for Trendsetter of year in 2016 for best targeted marketing idea as well!

While Virtual Honeymoon software runs both virtual matching sites, Virtual Destination Wedding goes a step further in not only matching a couples destination but helps plan their wedding, this helps wedding planners and destination wedding specialists work smarter!

Virtual Destination Wedding story-

Virtual Destination Wedding won 2018 trendsetter award

What does Trendsetter awards mean? Each year, the TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards recognize travel agency leaders who make an impact on the industry and the community. Two finalists in each category are invited to and honored at the WAVE Awards as guests of their sponsor.

Entries are reviewed and voted on by the sponsors and editorial staff of TravelAge West. Furthermore, suppliers who sponsor the Trendsetter Awards do so not just for publicity – they support the travel agent community and wish to honor those who are making significant strides in the industry.

See the Trendsetter winners in all categories by checking out the July issue of Travelage West Magazine honoring all the recipients held at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California
A huge thank you goes out to Travelage West for our award and Celebrity Cruise line for honoring us with a Europe Cruise, we are so excited!

Virtual Destination Wedding is honored to work with over 200 Destination Wedding Specialists in US and Canada!
If your a travel agent specializing in romance travel or wedding planner, find out how you can work smarter @
VirtualDestinationWedding.com

“This interactive tool saves time, gets your clients excited and ready to book!”

Destination Wedding Specialists & Wedding Planners can try our demo-site below:

Virtual Destination Wedding- Wedding Planners

Virtual Destination Wedding- Wedding Planners

 

Virtual Honeymoon in TravelWeek news!

Robin Hawkey, owner of Virtual Honeymoon, was recently interviewed by Travel Week about how she came up with the concept for this VR interactive matching tool, and how its solving problems for hundreds of  Travel specialists in the Romance Travel industry, as well as plans for growth.

 the travel industry largest and most trusted media source in Canada!
See below a copy to article.

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company...

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company growth

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

TORONTO — Here’s a common scenario: You ask your wedding clients where they would go on their dream honeymoon, and they respond with a bunch of destinations in quick succession. Bali. Italy. Tahiti. The list goes on and on.

But there is a fun and easy way to whittle down the options so that your clients are left with a destination that best suits their needs and preferences. Virtual Honeymoon is an interactive destination matching tool used by agents with indecisive clients. Using intuitive software and an algorithm to search for and match destinations, the tool matches couples with their top two destinations, allowing them to ‘test drive’ these locales and help agents close the sale.

Robin Hawkey

Robin Hawkey- Owner of Virtual Honeymoon

Started and owned by travel industry veteran Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon kicked off in January 2015 for year-long testing before launching its affiliate program in March 2016. Hawkey says the idea came to her after “years of frustration of working with couples that were all over the map”, which resulted in wasting weeks of valuable time, sometimes only to lose them to the Internet.

“When couples have no idea where to go on their getaway, or say something like ‘We just want to go some place warm and tropical’, that usually leads to seeing every tropical island and comparing them all. We call [these couples] ‘tire-kickers’ or ‘time-wasters’ for using travel agents as a human resource tool,” she tells Travelweek.

How it works is simple: Clients answer a series of fun, interactive questions, the tool then matches them to their top two destinations based on their answers. After clients fill out a contact form, all the questions and answers, including their matches, are emailed directly to the travel agent who will then follow up directly.

The tool costs $24.95/month, or $239.52 per year with a savings of 20%.
You can access the site at virtualhoneymoon.com.

To enhance the experience, Hawkey has added a virtual reality component to the website’s destination pages. She’s teamed up with ExplorVR to allow clients to pre-experience their matched destination. Virtual Honeymoon’s affiliates have already used VR headsets and videos at wedding fairs where clients were able to test-drive their destinations on the spot.

“I think [VR] is so beneficial as most millennials want to be involved in the planning process. VR is the next best thing to being there!” said Hawkey. “I also feel that the agents who don’t get on this VR trend will be left behind – literally!”

Devin Kinasz, President & CEO of ExplorVR, adds: “Virtual Honeymoon is embracing VR technology and partnering with ExplorVR to give their agents access to exciting destination experiences. We are very excited to partner with Virtual Honeymoon because they align with our values of being a forward-thinking company that embraces technology.”

Virtual reality acts as the perfect selling tool in the destination wedding and honeymoon market as it allows clients to “try before they fly”. As Hawkey puts it, all couples want their weddings and honeymoons to go off without a hitch, so the best way to ensure that the destination matches their vision is to virtually travel there ahead of time.

“There is on average over two million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, with couples spending over $72 billion on weddings and $8 billion on honeymoons. The romance niche is such a great niche to get into to build your entire travel business,” said Hawkey. “If an agent does a great job on the wedding or honeymoon, and builds a good relationship with their client, they will do all their travel-related activities such as anniversaries, babymoons, graduations, family trips and more, not to mention the referrals to all their friends getting married. This creates a booming business that will continue to grow and prosper.”

With business booming, Virtual Honeymoon launched its sister site – Virtual Destination Wedding – at the Love Mexico event in Cabo last December. Operating much like Virtual Honeymoon, the new site not only matches clients with their top two destinations but also helps plan the wedding. And like its sister site, it costs $24.95, or $239.52 with a 20% discount.

Looking ahead, Hawkey is preparing to launch the company’s newest addition – Virtual Vacationing – on April 10 at the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas. While its main concept is the same as interactive destination matching, she says the new site does not focus on romance as the other two sites.

“We realize that not all getaways are about romance, sometimes it’s about vacation travel with family and friends and they too can be confused about where to go on their getaway,” she adds. “We are so excited to be at the Forum with our VR partner, ExplorVR. They have really helped our vision of bringing virtual travel to life, allowing clients to virtually experience their destination match before booking and, thus, closing sales!”

“Test drive” one of our demo-sites below and find the best match for your business:

Travel agents specializing in Romance Travel

Virtual Destination Wedding

       Destination Wedding Planners

Virtual Vacations

     Travel agents selling Vacations

St. Martin – St. Maarten Romance

St. Martin-St.Maarten- Although the island is often referred to by one name, it is actually divided between France (St. Martin) and the Netherlands (St. Maarten). Cruise ships dock at the Dutch capital, Philipsburg, which boasts hundreds of duty-free shops, golfing, casinos, and exciting nightlife. In St. Martin you’ll find less-crowded beaches and fabulous restaurants. Marigot and Grand Case are famous for their Creole cuisine.

Beautiful beaches on island of St. Martin

The two sides of the island have some similarities, yet each offers a unique experience for travelers. St. Martin is the place to go for quiet relaxation and seclusion. It offers quaint towns with typical French colonial architecture and nice street-side cafes. Some of the best restaurants can be found on this side of the island, specializing in sophisticated French and Creole cuisine. Head to Sint Maarten for the nightlife and for a more lively scene. Their renowned celebration of Carnival includes parades, music, dancing, and great parties that last all night. Activities abound here, from casinos to malls to dance clubs — something for everyone to guarantee an action-packed, upbeat vacation. Both sides offer unbeatable white-sand beaches, plenty of palm trees and the chance to experience some of the best island time that the Caribbean has to offer.

The two nations have been living peacefully (for the most part) for the past 350 years, cooperating and sharing the island’s generous natural resources, beauty and tourist traffic, yet still allowing their respective national cultures to shine through. Both are great for romantic travel!

Highlights:

  • Bask in the sunshine on St. Martin’s stunning beaches
  • Kayak through the hidden shores of the island for an intimate look at the coastline
  • Snorkel in protected Marine Reserve Le Gallion, where sea life flourishes
  • Charter a boat for the day and explore the island in comfort and style
  • Go horseback riding along the beautiful shores