Planning a graduation trip this Summer? Heck, just looking for somewhere to escape to? Booking a vacation is exciting, of course, but it can also be stressful when it comes to choosing the right place to visit. To help you narrow down the oh-so-big world we live in, we've rounded up incredible places for fun-seeking spirits. All are beachside destinations that promise loads of excitement, so you can get your play — and your tan — on.
Been on a flight recently? Chances are, a few passengers didn't turn off their portable electronic devices — maybe you were one of them. Now, we have numbers regarding the rule breaking, thanks to new survey findings released last week. Two industry groups polled passengers and reported that 30 (yes, 30!) percent had left a device on during takeoff or landing.
When it comes to actually shutting off electronics, more than 20 percent said they just switch to airplane mode instead of shutting down completely. The gadget that's left on most often? No surprise: it's the cell phone.
While there's no official proof that these devices affect a plane's radio and electronic systems, the policy remains in place.
We want to know: what's your power-down policy?
When you've finally gotten to the honeymoon portion of wedded bliss, the stress of making it to "I do" is well worth it. But packing can be a whole other project. Passport? Check. Lingerie? Check. But what about all those other beauty necessities you might need to feel as beautiful and sexy as you should on your honeymoon? We've rounded up everything you need to stay gorgeous, no matter your destination — plus, some things you can leave at home to lighten up your suitcase.
Not everyone has an unlimited supply of money to pour into their vacation fund. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing places to see that don't cost an arm and a leg. Our friends at DailyWorth know all the best spots!
Got a travel itch but trying to stick to your budget? As it turns out, there’s often an amazing (and cheaper!) alternative to the pricey destination you’ve been dreaming about. For a little inspiration, we turned to Jeralyn Gerba, cofounder and editorial director of the travel website Fathom, who offered up some innovative and inexpensive travel ideas. Read on for some smart swaps that will satisfy your wanderlust but set you back way less, along with her expert tips on where to stay, eat, drink, and shop in each locale.
Seeking Tahitian surf and seclusion? Try Nicaragua.
According to WaterWays Surf Adventures, Nicaragua is one of Surfline’s “Best Bets” for surf travel from anywhere in the US. Gerba agrees: “Flights are cheap from the states, the rural coasts feel just as secluded as the South Seas, and there's consistent beach bum migration because of the great Pacific surf breaks — always a good sign.” There’s much more than surfing here, too. In addition to the dramatic Pacific coastline, Nicaragua offers up tranquil Caribbean beaches, freshwater lakes, verdant hills, and even volcanoes.
Where to stay: La Bahia Beach Hotel is a stylish, laid-back surf lodge that has a pool, a restaurant serving fresh seafood, an open-air lounge, and four breezy cabanas with king-size beds, alfresco showers, and unobstructed views of the ocean. The low-season (May 16 to Oct. 31) rate is $150 per night; the high-season (Nov. 1 to May 15) rate is $180.
Eat like you're in Paris in . . . Montreal.
There's Old World charm, beguiling accents, and plenty of gourmet items you'll wish you could smuggle through customs (foie gras! confit de canard!). Check out the city’s oldest quarter, Vieux-Montréal, for the most European experience. It’s full of cobble-stoned streets, museums, and restaurants. Don’t miss the revitalized canal district, which you can explore by boat, on foot, or with rented bicycles. Burn off those gourmet calories by strolling through Parc du Mont-Royal, situated on the hill that gave the metropolis its name.
Where to shop: The Jean Talon Market is an open-air market where the surrounding food shops are a gourmet paradise, showcasing a vast array of locally raised meats, farm-fresh produce, artisanal chocolates, and Québécois cheeses, wines, and ciders. Have lunch here or just enjoy the plentiful food samples at the market while mingling with Montrealers.
If you're like me, luggage space is at a premium when you travel; after all, you need an outfit for every possible situation! But lack of space in your suitcase for a pair of running shoes isn't a good excuse to skip on a workout while you travel. Whether you've forgotten to pack your gear or don't have any space to add your fitness travel essentials, here are three workouts you can do using only what you've got in your hotel room!
Glide it: SLT Yoga trainer and Under Armour model Natalie Uhling loves using hand towels or washcloths in place of gliders (one for each foot) to do this effective move almost anywhere when she doesn't have that much time to exercise. "On any slick surface, do sets of 20 knee into your tricep [to work] your obliques and your glutes," she recommends. If your hotel room is carpeted, use the floor in the bathroom or room foyer to do this move.
Video workout: If you have a laptop, follow along to our workouts that use props you already have in your room. Try this hotel room video workout, or grab those towels again and do this total-body towel workout from Madonna's trainer.
Pilates: A mat workout like Pilates helps you tone your entire body in a small space. Natalie recommends doing sets of the Pilates classic move Hundreds whenever you get a chance; you can do these anywhere on your hotel room floor.
Summer travel is around the corner. Are you planning to drown yourself in love, wine, and delicious California cuisine in wine country? Looking to escape to New York to find the beauty in the urban jungle and each other? Maybe you're setting out to sea or have designs for the ultimate romantic getaway to Paris. No matter where you are headed, you'll want to keep fighting at bay. To see four common travel pitfalls that every couple faces and solutions to help you avoid them, just keep reading.
It always seems like a great idea to purchase souvenirs on your trip . . . until you're home and realize the mementos are just clutter.
If you're the sentimental traveler, you may be trying to find a way to keep your trip memories alive in your home. It takes some work to turn travel knickknacks into art, but we've found a couple of organization ideas any globe-trotter would be inspired by.
Studying a foreign language could make you smarter. According to a study from the University of Chicago, people make more rational decisions when thinking in a foreign language, because it forces us to use the more analytical side of our brains.
If you're looking to learn a language, you could certainly do worse than Spanish. It's the third most-spoken language in the world, and Hispanics make up more than 16 percent of the US population. So, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, here are five tools I've found super helpful in my quest to learn Spanish as an adult.
- App: Larousse Spanish-English Dictionary ($4.99) The free Spanish-English dictionary apps I tried left a lot to be desired, and this $5 app is well worth the price. It quickly translates almost any word from my phone, and it also has tons of verb conjugations — a must have for beginners! Plus I can do my homework on the go.
- Podcast: Discover Spanish (free) This series of 10-minute Spanish lessons is great for travelers, because it teaches commonly used phrases while also explaining a bit of the grammar, so you're more likely to remember. It's also a great supplement to in-person Spanish lessons. After a while, I found the hilarious music and overly enthusiastic host "Johnny Spanish" quite endearing.
Editor's note: The following guest post was written by Andy Murdock, the US digital editor for Lonely Planet.
As much as you'll miss your roomies and classmates, the next best thing to chucking your graduation cap into the air is hitting the road and watching your alma mater shrink to a blip in your rearview mirror. For at least a brief moment in time, there's nowhere you have to be, nobody telling you where to go or what to do. The only boss of you is, well, you.
With a few good friends or flying solo, the postgraduation Summer road trip requires distance, new vistas, and time — time for the experiences you set out to find, and more importantly the transformative ones you'll never see coming.
So if it's all up to you, why do what everyone else is doing? Here are a few creative ideas to get you started planning your trip:
Get Your Cross-Country Kicks Out of the Way
If you strategically went to college far away, then a slow, meandering trip back home across the country is in order . . . with the emphasis on slow and meandering. While all of the east-west interstates have their moments, they're about speed over scenery, local culture or adventure. The best of the US for the savvy traveler is on the back roads and the lesser-known north-south highways.
A road trip is a journey, not a destination. Instead of stringing together cities in a cross-country itinerary, plan your trip around the interesting roads themselves, and use the interstates to connect them as necessary. Some roads to aim for: Skyline Drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great River Road along the Mississippi, US Route 89 (a road-tripper's dream that connects more national parks than any other road in the US), US Route 395 along the eastern Sierra Nevada, or the famously scenic Pacific Coast Highway.
The scenic Pacific Coast Highway
It's time for some wild revelry with your gal pals! The bachelorette party is one of the many fun traditions that the bride-to-be generally partakes in. It's always a bundle of fun to get together with some of your girlfriends and spend some quality time.
Although we offered you great budget tips for a local bachelorette party, I know some of you are itching to travel. Heather Dickson, Associate Publisher of Lonely Planet, weighs in on the hottest vacay spots that will give you a bang for your bachelorette bucks.