When a client asks me to recommend a theme park vacation for tweens and teens, I don’t hesitate to suggest Universal Orlando. This less expensive and less time consuming Disney alternative is perfect for older or more adventurous kids (and adults!). There are thrilling roller coasters with loops, drops and twists, as well as many motion and interactive rides. With a variety of resort alternatives, from value to deluxe, there is a price point for every budget.
Family Time at Beaches
It’s often hard for families with young children to find a place where they can take a vacation that meets the needs of both kids and adults. Luckily, the Sandals resort chain offers a multi-generational option for family with infants to teens with their Beaches resorts. A recent visit to Beaches Ocho Rios with my family showed us just how family-friendly this resort chain actually is.
Because we field a number of questions regarding whether US Citizens can travel to Cuba we thought we’d lend a little clarification.
In 2014, an executive order loosened the restrictions on traveling to Cuba. This order made it legal for Americans to travel to Cuba without having to go on an escorted group tour.
In 2017, the current administration announced they were going to roll back all the regulation changes, but as yet nothing has been put in place and no details have been confirmed.
This means that right now you have a number of options for visiting this culturally intriguing Caribbean island including traveling independently. However, as Cuba has been isolated from much of the world for centuries, its tourist infrastructure is still developing.
Caribbean Islands Open for Business!
The Caribbean is a vast sea filled with more than 7,000 idyllic, sun-drenched islands. While recent hurricanes have damaged a few islands, a full 70 percent of Caribbean destinations were not impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and are open for business as usual. And many that took a glancing blow or sustained minimal damage are open now as well.
Even more remarkable is that over 50% of the tourist accommodations on the most severely affected islands like Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands have reopened and are welcoming visitors.
Whatever activity you wish to pursue in paradise, you’ll have many destinations and many resort options from which to choose. Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitt's, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos represent just a handful of the Islands we illuminate for our customers with authentic itineraries. Contact Enlighten Excursions to plan your Caribbean getaway.
by Stacey Goodale
Let’s face it— when most of us think of a Disney vacation we think long lines, overcrowded and hot parks, screaming kids and character meet and greets with Mickey, Minnie and lots of princesses.
What you probably don’t think of is an after-hours tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, private tour at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for a behind the scenes peek at pandas in their natural habitats, or glamping in style in a luxury tent in Yellowstone.
Yet, these are just a few of the unique offerings that Disney has with their Adventures by Disney Vacations that will keep you away from the long lines and crowded parks and have your kids screaming with excitement instead.
These 5-star vacations provide culturally immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that prove all vacations are not created equal. What makes an Adventures by Disney trip unique is the care and attention that is put into every aspect of your vacation from the moment you start.
Each Adventures by Disney trip includes 2 Adventure Guides, along with local experts, that ensure that you and your family become a part of the story. These guides give you a sense of connection to the people, culture and traditions of your destination. During an Adventures By Disney vacation, you don’t just see the sights, you participate in local traditions and activities. You can greet buddhist monks at a traditional “alms gathering” rite or paint boomerangs with the aboriginal Tjapukai tribe in Australia.
Each trip offers both guided time and time to tour on your own, as well as separate activities for kids and adults. Everything from your hotels and luggage, to your transportation and admissions is taken care of so that you can focus on the experience rather than the travel details. Because these trips carry the weight of the Disney name, you’ll bypass lines, have unique and unexpected experiences and personal attention that other small group tours can’t offer you.
Adventures by Disney has tours within to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America, as well as European River and Ocean cruises. Take an African Safari to see the Big 5, hike to Machu Picchu in Peru, dive into the refreshing waters of the Aegean, or mush your sled across the snow with an Iditarod dog sled tour. With Disney constantly adding destinations, you're sure to find one that is right for you.
Don’t have children? Or just want to get away on your own? Adventures by Disney offers adult-only itineraries to many of their destinations.
Right now Disney is offering a Book Early and Save for 2019 promotion.
Contact Stacey Goodale for more information on how you can book one of these exceptional vacation adventures!
by Stacey Goodale
One of the biggest benefits of using a travel agent is industry-insider knowledge including knowing the real scoop on resorts and hotels in the hottest destinations. Armed with this information, and often first-hand experience at these properties through educational trips, a travel agent is able to make recommendations about which resorts or hotels best fit you and your family.