While I’m all for helping people learn how to maximize their travels through cost-cutting and planning, travel coaching sometimes requires me to help travelers realize that one of the keys to being able to travel more is by choosing the right destination in the first place, because choosing the wrong destination may be paralyzing your travel life. More
Similar to the traveler vs. tourist debate, there seems to be a certain stereotype that I’ve noticed in the travel world that taking tours is too “touristy” of a thing to do and certainly no way to spend a trip if you’re really looking to experience a destination authentically. Personally, I don’t get distracted by this limited way of thinking because I believe that travelers and tourists are one and the same, and I think that either way you explore a destination – independently or with a guide – is great for the simple fact that it’s a blessing to be able to travel in the first place! More
Looking for your next vacation getaway that’s both exotic and affordable? Then head to Costa Rica’s northern neighbor to discover new adventures, a new culture, and 21+ reasons to return again and again. More
A Caribbean vacation is always a good idea. Reread that. But if you’re trying to decide which of the 28 Caribbean countries you should prioritize for your next Caribbean getaway, then look no further than the Dominican Republic, or the DR for short. More
As a native Angeleno, it’s sometimes strange to think of Southern California as a destination. In fact, as a jaded local, it often baffles me that people actually plan vacations and spend their hard-earned dollars to travel to Southern California during their precious time off. But whenever I decide to treat myself to a staycation here in L.A. or take a weekend jaunt around other parts of Southern California, I’m always reminded of all the reasons why Southern California’s so special. As a whole, California is probably the most beautiful slice of the U.S. pie, and with its diverse landscape, exceptional cuisine options, and rich cultural influences, Southern California can truly hold its own. More
Lately, it seems like everyone I know is headed to or has recently returned from Peru. It seems that the trek on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a rite of passage for every seasoned traveler – a sort of pilgrimage that every traveler is expected to make at some point in their travel career. I have yet to make the pilgrimage. More
Escaping to warmer weather is never my priority when planning vacation getaways seeing that L.A. is the land of eternal sunshine (well, almost). But as for the rest of the country…sucks for them! Kidding. Well, not really.
I can only imagine that one of the great things about living in colder climates is that it provides an excuse to plan a beach vacation to warmer climates; that and shopping for winter clothes, of course! If you’ve been suffering from the cold weather blues and are officially ready to defrost, then here are some beach vacation destination suggestions for you.
While its perpetual spring-like weather makes the Bahamas an ideal year-round vacation spot, to avoid peak season costs, plan your trip sometime after late April. While you can blend with other tourists who flock to Freeport and Lucaya or go yachting in The Abacos, you can enjoy the best of city and island life in Nassau, the country’s capital and largest city, conveniently located near Paradise Island. Despite its somewhat urban feel, Nassau still resonates with those seeking island vibes, and the city offers no shortage of beaches including Cable Beach, the popular hotel and casino district. Just ten minutes away from Cable Beach, you’ll find yourself enjoying panoramic views of land and sea with a stay at A Stone’s Throw Away, a charming hilltop B&B where you can soak up the inviting Bahamaian sun.
While Granada isn’t exactly ocean side, you can still get your beach vacation fix on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America and the nineteenth largest lake in the world. Local tour outfitters provide daytime island-hopping excursions to see some of the lake’s 365 isletas up close, jaunts to Masaya Volcano, coffee farm visits on the slopes of the extinct Mombacho volcano, and much more. Or simply relax on the veranda of your balcony room at Hotel Plaza Colón and take in the views of the vibrantly yellow Cathedral of Granada nearby. To cut costs, plan your visit during the low season which begins in May. Nicaragua is what Costa Rica was before it got overrun with tourists – at least that’s what a local guide in Granada told me. Pure, unadulterated, affordable, and full of charm.
Brazil: Costa Verde
The beginning of our springtime in March coincides with Brazil’s fall season – the season when prices start to decline following Carnival. Head to Brazil’s Costa Verde (Green Coast) in the State of Rio de Janeiro for a quiet escape in Paraty. This well preserved former Portuguese colony features a cobblestoned, car-free historic center surrounded by the lush Atlantic Rainforest and the island-dotted Bay of Ilha Grande. Schooners wait at the helm to whisk tourists on an island-hopping cruise of their choice. History buffs, foodies, beach bums, and adventurers all converge in Paraty, and for the latter, adventure outfitter Paraty Explorer offers a variety of action-packed tours with a taste of history, including a half day sea kayaking tour around the bay.
Do any of these destinations look like they’d make for your ideal beach vacation? Please share in the comments.