Planning your next family vacation or trip


In the first six months of 2021, consumers have lost over $375,000 to travel scams across North America – and over $190,000 of losses have occurred in the past two months, according to reports generated by BBB Scam Tracker

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in the United States, the 16-week period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend has historically been one of the busiest for traveling domestically, with 657 million long-distance trips made during this time in 2001. While still less than its pre-pandemic levels, air travel has seen a marked increase in recent months, with approximately 465,000 domestic flights recorded in March 2021 – a significant difference from the May 2020 all-time monthly low of approximately 180,000 flights.

When planning an event or looking for a good deal for a family vacation or getaway, BBB encourages people to plan ahead to save money, avoid scams, and travel safely. 

Scammers will often target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices. One place to begin an online search is BBB.org for finding reputable travel agencies, agents and websites.

BBB adds the following tips to help ensure an enjoyable vacation:

  • Plan ahead. Allow plenty of time to research hotels, flights, and the area where you will be staying. Typically, the earlier reservations are made, the better the deals and the lower the risk of the destination being booked solid. Making reservations in advance also locks in rates and prevents higher prices later during prime spring break, peak summer, or holiday travel seasons.
  • Avoid broad internet searches. Entering phrases like ‘best deals’ into whichever search engine used can sometimes bring up-websites that look official, but are designed solely to rip people off.
  • Be alert for travel scams. Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a ‘free trip’ or websites offering prices that appear too good to be true. It’s easy to extend questionable offers like these, but the vast majority of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo – and out money. Learn more about travel scams here.
  • Do your homework. Ask family and friends to recommend a travel agent or travel website and visit BBB.org for free Business Profiles. Research the business and read customer reviews about any rentals under consideration. 
  • Get trip details in writing. Before making a final payment, get all the details of the trip in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels. Also, review and keep a copy of the airline’s and hotel’s cancellation and refund policies, as well as the cancellation policies of the travel agency or booking site used.
  • Consider travel insuranceTravel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage based on what type of plan purchased. Ask a lot of questions, and always read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s not.
  • Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if something should go wrong with the travel reservation.
  • Planning to travel internationally? Check to see if there are any advisories affecting Canada and the U.S. Travel Association for any issues that may impact the trip.

No matter when or where you are traveling, take extra precautions:

  • Wait to post on social media. It’s fun to post adventures with friends and family, but wait until getting back from the trip. Photos and social media posts of the family having a great time also lets thieves know the house is empty.
  • Check your home insurance. If your home will be unattended while away, make sure you know your responsibilities under your home insurance policy. Some policies do not cover damage if nobody checks on your home for a certain amount of time.
  • Share a copy of the itinerary with a family member or close friend. Include the contact information of someone joining you on your trip.
  • Take a map. People rely heavily on smartphones and GPS. Consider having an atlas or hard copy map just in case of technical difficulties.
  • Check the weather conditions where you will be traveling and pack appropriate supplies and clothing.
  • Avoid traveling alone. Use the buddy system and stick with the group.
  • Use a hotel safe to store extra cash and keep any valuables under lock and key.

Learn more about travel insurance.

Find advice in locating a travel agent.





Source link

4 Ways Costco Travel Can Save You Money on Your Next Vacation




Source link

2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



Source link

2022 vacation ideas


(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



Source link

2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



Source link

For a Greek Islands Vacation Without the Crowds, Head to Paxos


An odyssey around the Greek Islands during a pandemic was never going to be a breeze, but the lush Ionian archipelago seemed like the ideal antidote to months of cabin fever in a cluttered Athens apartment. I reckoned that if Odysseus could pull it off in a man-powered galley, fending off sirens, six-headed monsters, and a one-eyed giant, I could handle the slings and arrows of unpredictable travel requirements and capricious ferry schedules.

So I set a course for Paxos, a green speck just off the southern tip of Corfu, and intended to journey slowly south, alighting on the smallest, sleepiest Ionian islands, until I reached Odysseus’s homeland of Ithaca. I didn’t have a dozen ships and 600 men, but I did have a straw hat and a weather app.

Scenes from Greece, including a green doorway, and villa interior with red and black accents

From left: A street scene in the village of Loggos, on Paxos; a double-height living space at Paxos PTR. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Things did not get off to an auspicious start. The 90-minute crossing from Corfu to Paxos on a stuffy hydrofoil was not quite the pleasure trip that the ferry company, Joy Cruises, had promised. Coming out of the terminal with my travel companion, the Swedish photographer Loulou d’Aki, I perked up when I saw our rental car: a convertible Suzuki Jimny that looked game for adventure. But no sooner had we roared out of the pint-size port of Gaios than an ominous cloud of steam hissed from the hood, and the car wheezed to a halt.

Faye Lychnou came to our rescue. Practical, forthright, and filled to the brim with entertaining anecdotes, Lychnou is a cofounder of Friends of Paxos, a cultural organization that hosts festivals and waymarks centuries-old walking trails. In high season, she also moonlights as the local concierge for the Thinking Traveller, a rental agency that specializes in fabulously discreet villas in lesser-known parts of Greece, Italy, Corsica, and Mallorca.

A small Greek street lined with cafe tables

Street seating at Café Kalimera, in Gaios. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Lychnou bundled us into her car, dispensing bon mots as we drove past olive groves punctuated with the stacked bell towers of sepia-tinted churches. “See those handsome guys smoking in the shade?” she asked. “That’s the fire brigade.” She gestured toward a constellation of houses twinkling in the soft September light. “This is Manesatika. Like most villages, it’s named after the person who built the first house around here—Manesis—centuries ago.”

The road tapered from single-lane tarmac to dirt track until eventually Lychnou pulled into a muddy driveway. We had arrived at Aperghis, a trio of stone houses with a small pool surrounded by olive trees. A weathered table and bamboo love seat were angled in a corner of the terrace for sea- and stargazing. Although newly built by British architect Dominic Skinner, who has quietly cornered much of the luxury property market on Paxos and Corfu, the houses fade into the landscape. There are tree-trunk stools, rattan chairs, and stepping-stones for tiptoeing barefoot from hammock to outdoor shower to yellow-and-white-striped lounger. Bedrooms are cool and calm, with gray tongue-and-groove ceilings, painted white floorboards, and French windows that face west, so the whole room is dipped in gold at dusk.

What struck me most, after months of listening to rolling news, fighting street cats, and the white noise of distant traffic and cooped-up angst, was the silence. Pure, deep silence—until you really start to listen and discover that the landscape is humming with wildlife: throbbing bees, elusive songbirds, rustling hedgehogs, and the usual Greek chorus of cicadas. There are snakes, too, Lychnou warned as we set off to explore our surroundings on foot.

Two kids standing by a Greek harbour, with a man anchoring his boat

The Loggos harbor. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

For centuries, pale local stone has been used to build homes, wells, windmills, cisterns, barns, bell towers, watchtowers, and the terraces that protect the precious olive trees covering the island. There are an estimated 300,000 olive trees on Paxos—roughly 120 for every resident—and each one is numbered and initialed, a tradition that dates back to the Venetian occupation (which lasted four centuries, until Napoleon muscled in on the Ionian archipelago in 1797). The Venetians paid the locals for every olive tree they planted, and the resulting groves yielded countless blessings: cooking oil, lamp oil, soap, firewood, a dowry for a daughter.

Many Paxiots don’t bother pruning or prodding their olive trees. In November, they simply unfurl the nets rolled neatly into the crooked trunks and tangled roots of these great beasts and wait for the fruit to fall. Olives are periodically gathered up and pressed: a slow process that lasts until early spring, when the first tourists typically trickle back. This approach to harvesting pretty much sums up the island way of life—slow down, relax, let nature take its course.

View of a rocky coastline in the Greek Islands, taken from the water

The famously turquoise waters of Paxos, as seen on a boat tour. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Besides, there’s less incentive to work the land when selling it can be much more lucrative. Though the global price of olive oil has slumped, property values on Paxos and nearby Antipaxos have gone through the roof. This relatively remote island, measuring a mere eight miles from end to end, is now one of the most expensive slivers of real estate in Greece. (Gone are the days when you could buy a plot for around $100, as the actor Peter Bull did in 1964. “Buy cauliflower, string, Scotch tape, and a bit of land on Paxos,” he scribbled on his shopping list.)

But there are no ritzy boutiques or champagne bars, no fancy resorts, and scarcely any hotels. That is precisely the appeal for the European aristocrats and upper-crust Brits who are stealthily building palatial pads camouflaged by the hills, hovering on the edges of plunging cliffs, or poised on pristine coves with private moorings and speedboats for exploring the turquoise coastline.

A woman sitting on a concrete stub by the water on the Greek island of Paxos

Soaking in the sun on the quay near Mongonissi Beach. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Loulou and I soon realized that a car may be useful on Paxos, but a boat is indispensable. Super-yachts, sailboats, and inflatables crowd the marinas and fleck the horizon. You don’t need a skipper’s license to rent a little motorboat in any of the three harbor towns: Gaios, Lakka, and Loggos. The eastern coastline, which faces the brooding mountains of mainland Greece, is pocked with pebbled beaches like Levrechio (where we just missed Bono at the superb seaside taverna Bouloukos), Marmari (where we snoozed under sighing olive trees), Monodendri (too many rosé-swilling Brits), and Kipiadi (where spherical white stones shuffle hypnotically against the shore). The translucence and buoyancy of the sea is so incredible you want to shout for joy as you dive in. Swimming or snorkeling through every gradient of blue is like diving into a different dimension—flying, rather than floating.

A pinch church in a Greek town square

The Church of the Ascension, in the main square of Gaios. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

The western coast of Paxos is all ragged cliffs and echoing sea caves, thousands of years compressed into swirling strata of sandwiched rock. These landscapes make you feel very small—especially as you gingerly spread your sarong beneath the great white flank of cliff that looms above Erimitis Beach. At sunset, the chalky rock face above glows pink and orange. Most people go for a late-afternoon swim, then clamber up the scraggly footpath for sundowners at the touristy but photogenic Erimitis bar and restaurant. Instead, Loulou and I went for a dip at first light and had the whole dazzling bay to ourselves, apart from two sturdy older women in headscarves, chatting as they picked grapes on terraced vineyards suspended between sea and sky.

In his 1978 book, The Greek Islands, Lawrence Durrell dispatched Paxos and its vine-covered offshoot Antipaxos—”two islands of little note”—in a single cursory paragraph: “The little, flat-roofed villages have water trouble; they live on cisterns and try to hoard winter rain. But the summers are fierce. There are good little harbors for small-boat owners.”

View of the ocean from a restaurant terrace in the Greek Islands

Ocean views from the terrace of the restaurant Bella Vista, on Antipaxos. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Loggos, the smallest of the three harbors, was my favorite. An irresistible Greek cliché mirrored in the glassy sea, the flagstone-clad waterfront was lined with pleasure boats, tavernas, and flip-flop shops. At the far end, we found three neat little bars in a row, with quayside tables for people-watching or sea-sprayed terraces for boat-watching. Giddy on cocktails, we strolled over to Vassilis, a taverna that once fed workers from the now-derelict soap factory and today caters to high-rolling regulars like the billionaire owner of Chelsea F.C., Roman Abramovich. You can almost dip your toes in the sea from your marble-topped table, as long as the local bus doesn’t come hurtling along the narrow strip between you and the water.

While we dined on spicy gazpacho, a whole bream harpooned that morning, and a lemony knot of wilted greens, we were entertained by three men in a boat—pink-shirted, rosy-cheeked tourists in a dinghy, to be precise, who almost capsized several times as they drunkenly struggled to untie the mooring rope. Across the bay, their girlfriends hollered encouragement. Soon after the wobbly dinghy finally drifted into the inky night, a fluorescent blue beam scanned the restaurant tables like a searchlight. A cabin cruiser with three churning engines loomed into view, and after much maneuvering a group of Bulgarians stepped ashore. We watched the deckhand struggle to pull away, oblivious to the fact that he had forgotten to untie the mooring rope. “Money can’t buy you everything,” said the guy at the next table, smiling wryly.

The pool at Aperghis. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Money—lots of money—can buy you a stay at what I’m quite sure is the most sensational estate on the island. Paxos PTR occupies an entire hilltop in Kastanida, high above the northwestern coast, but you’ll never find it unless the owner, Patrizia Peracchio, a petite but formidable Milanese architect, shows you the way in her battered 4 x 4. A concrete track through miles of forest turns into a stone driveway bordered by slender cypress trees. It’s like entering the set of a Luca Guadagnino movie, a heady immersion into a world of effortless chic.

Loulou and I were assigned the three-bedroom guesthouse, a playful mix of red modular sofas, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, bathrooms painted bright yellow and green. Tiny recessed windows ran along the walls of my attic bedroom, with carved wooden flaps to control the light and ventilation.

Anchors on a concrete slab

Anchors on the dock in Loggos. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Peracchio’s pool is positioned so it has clear views from one side of the island to the other: a panorama of hazy hills and open seas, filtered through a thicket of pines that have improbably taken root on the cliffside. I could hear waves smashing against rocks on the shore below as I swam laps in the gloaming. Fat raindrops started falling, a mist rose from the sea, and lightning flashed over the distant shadow of Corfu. Loulou and I retreated to the sunflower-yellow kitchen of the main house, a vast, open-plan space with sliding glass doors, to share marinated anchovies, stuffed peppers, and life stories with Peracchio. With her silver pixie crop, simple white shirtdress, and Greek leather sandals, she looked positively gamine, though I worked out she was in her seventies.

“You look very young,” I remarked.

“Because I am here,” she replied.

Sunset view from the pool deck of a villa in Greece

A classic Greek sunset from the pool terrace at one of architect Patrizia Peracchio’s hilltop rental villas. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

The rain fell all that night, and 24 hours later an unseasonal storm was still raging. All boats were canceled. No sea-taxi skipper was mad enough to brave the weather. With a 48-hour ferry strike expected the next day, there was no way off the island for at least three days. Our Ionian odyssey was in ruins, but there are worse places to be stranded.

British explorer and historian Tim Severin identified Paxos as the Homeric island where Odysseus was bewitched by Circe, the sorceress who turned his sailors into swine and took Odysseus as her lover. Odysseus luxuriated in Circe’s lavish hospitality for a year, until he mustered the will to continue his journey. Surely that’s the best way to be seduced by Paxos—slow down, relax, let nature take its course.

Two scenes from Paxos, Greece, including a group of people having drinks waterside, and the stone walled garden of a rental villa

From left: An aperitif in the village of Loggos; the gardens at Aperghis. | Credit: Loulou d’Aki

Design Your Own Odyssey Around Paxos

Where to Stay

The Thinking Traveller has a handpicked collection of soulful villas on Paxos. Demand ha sbeen high since European travel reopened last summer, but weekly rates are surprisingly affordable and include transfers from Corfu—a swell as a never-too much-trouble concierge service. Aperghis, which sleeps eight, starts at $6,400 per week.

For pull-out-all-the-stops villas equipped with extravagant accessories (speedboats, chefs, yoga instructors), look to Five Star Greece. Patrizia Peracchio’s estate, PaxosPTR, sleeps up to 22 and costs $27,000 per week.

Where to Eat & Drink

Averto: This trendy spot has a lovely backyard enveloped by voluptuous greenery. Go for brunch (the coffee and eggs Benedict are excellent)or a twilit aperitif. Magazia; entrées $12–$21.

Bouloukos: Don’t let the booming Greek ballads put you off—this seaside taverna is a knockout. Order a Jenga tower of battered zucchini shavings dunked in blush-pink taramasalata, unctuous octopus with orzo, and the homemade pistachio gelato. Levrechio; Entrées$ 11–$19.

Bournaos: Stop for a Greek coffee at this old-fashioned kafenio across the roadf rom Averto. Magazia; 30-2662-030239.

Café Kalimera: A prime spot for watching all the comings and goings in the capital, this local hangout has a split personality: alfresco tables under a bower of bougainvillea for breakfast and a lively, dive-bar vibe after hours. Gaios; 30-26620-32318.

Carnayo Gold Lounge Café: Thin-crust pizzas, legit Greek salad, and spine tingling mojitos on a deck floating above a blue lagoon: this is what you came for. Mongonissi; 30-26620-32650; entrées $11–$23.

Le Rocher: Hidden down an alley beside a bakery, this tiny bar has a secret terrace on the water’s edge, just big enough fora handful of tables. Pitch-perfect at dusk as the horizon turns lavender and lilac. Loggos; 30-26620-31115.

Vassilis: Run by the same family since 1957, this quaint looking taverna has evolved into one of Paxos’s most sophisticated dining spots. Sea urchin bruschetta with taramasalata and samphire with black rock salt are served quayside by a polished crew. Loggos; entrées$13–$25.

A version of this story first appeared in the Deember 2021/January 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline I’ll Follow the Sun.





Source link

2022 vacation ideas: Destinations where travelers might find a great deal | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV


Panoramic view of Willemstad, old town of Otrabanda in island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Flight deals to the Caribbean for 2022 are already popping up, said Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With the omicron variant surging, and some countries reimposing restrictions, planning travel for 2022 can feel a bit uncertain. Is it possible to plan ahead for a trip that’s safe, cheap and won’t get canceled?

We turned to Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor of The Points Guy, for tips on where to go.

The safest bet — if there is such a thing — are domestic travel options, especially destinations that center around nature and the outdoors.

“One of the destinations we’re really excited about is Wyoming,” said Lieberman. She said the state made its way onto The Points Guy’s roundup of top travel destinations in 2022 because of its natural beauty in all seasons. Yellowstone National Park is also celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022.

National Parks in general are a great place to look at as travel options. They’ve all stayed open consistently since the first wave of the pandemic passed — though some popular parks like Yosemite and Zion have both implemented different systems to help control crowds. While lodging in and around national parks can be costly if you’re not camping, some may be within driving distance, which can cut down on costs significantly.

Another idea for cheap travel right now comes from the polar opposite side of the spectrum: Head into the big cities.

“For people who are really thinking about where they can get great value, it’s most likely going to be in cities in terms of hotels, because cities are not filling hotels the way they used to,” Lieberman said. She suggested looking at cities that are typically big-business travel destinations, like New York, for cheap hotel rooms.

If you’re hoping to venture abroad, Lieberman recommended looking at places that have stayed consistently open throughout the pandemic to minimize the chance you’ll have to cancel due to a change in travel restrictions.

She said Mexico and different Caribbean islands have had great deals recently, and people should keep an eye out for flash sales to both of those places. This month, Lieberman said she’s spotted flight deals to St. Martin, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“Deals can change and are very short-lived,” she emphasized, so be ready to book if you find a good deal on travel or lodging at one of the places you have your heart set on.

Travel to Europe, especially flights, remains expensive compared to places closer to home. However, there are a few countries that have been vocal about their commitment to staying open, Lieberman said, including popular destinations like Greece and Italy.

The deals aren’t as good as early in the pandemic, Lieberman admitted, when the tourism industry and airlines were slashing prices to try and drum up demand. “It doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal, it just means they might not be as steep as you might have expected,” she said.

One final tip if you’re looking to get away on the cheap: Be mindful of route frequency.

“If you’re traveling on what was a popular business travel route, a lot of airlines have cut back on the frequency so you have more people competing for fewer seats,” she said. Look for destinations that still have lots of incoming flights to avoid overpaying.



Source link

21 Traveling With Kids Hacks For Your Family Vacation


If you’ve traveled with kids or a family recently and have helpful tips, don’t keep them to yourself. Share your best advice in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This article was written to provide travel recommendations or suggestions; however, it’s important to keep in mind your own health, community health, and COVID-19 exposure risk.



Source link