Monthly Archives: December 2015

What Travel and Tourism Will Be Like in 2050

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What WILL Travel and Tourism Be in 2050?

I just read an interesting article by Bruce Hodge of Goway Travel about some predictions for what travel and tourism will be like 35 years from now- quite different, no doubt. Think back 40 years ago- no Disney World….Cruise ships were rare, and strictly for the well-heeled – as was going on Safari. Flying overseas was also for the wealthy. All-inclusive resorts were very, very rare. Touring meant spending endless hours on buses with rigid schedules and limited photo opps. Sailing to Antarctica was strictly for the most adventurous scientist – now it is widely available for the leisure traveler!

So what predictions were made? here are a few beauties which may, or may not become a reality

  • High-Tech Ceramic Fuselage on planes could make plane transparent for better passenger viewing
  • Space Tourism offering both orbital and sub-orbital flights
  • High Speed Rail (I think this guy isn’t from the U.S.) becomes mainstream
  • Airship Hotels will become the new cruise ship offering flights low and slow with breathtaking views
  • Space Hotels (ok, thinking probably not the Super 8 chain)
  • Beaches and Resorts you know today may need to relocate to higher ground due to rising sea levels
  • China will be #1 destination & there will be more Chinese tourists worldwide than any other nationality
  • Book Years in Advance for Top Tourism Sites and Monuments (due to increased population growth – very likely)
  • Wilderness and Wildlife areas of today largely gone – several huge managed areas available to get back to nature
  • Small Ship and Boutique Cruises to Exotic locations much more common
  • Virtual Tourism has arrived and you can simulate most any experience

Do I believe that all of these predictions will materialize? Probably not, but many most likely will due to factors such as global climate change and global population growth. Many are inevitable, and as the global economy expands, once poor and remote countries will no longer remain so. Spreading Democracy will mean fewer wars and fewer countries that are inaccessible. Could you have imagined vacationing in Russia or China or Vietnam in 1970? Oh, you will be vacationing in Cuba and Iraq in 2050 – most likely LONG before that!

What does this mean to you? Hang on for the ride! If you want to see The Great Migration in East Africa

or experience certain glaciers you better plan to go soon because 40 years from now they may be a fading memory…

Oh, and the last prediction was for travel agents. They WILL still be around, but may be referred to as “Lifestyle Managers” – I like that…. see you in 2050, when EZTravelpad will still be “Your friends….in the travel business”

Honeymoon in St Lucia – Anyone?

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A Honeymoon or Destination Wedding at Sandals in St Lucia is Top Pick

A St Lucia Honeymoon, particularly at an all inclusive resort such as one of the 3 Sandals resorts located on the north end of St Lucia is one of the most sought after and romantic destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

Honeymoon in st lucia 1
Maybe it’s Oprah’s endorsement or maybe it is just the rare beauty this tropical paradise provides, it could even be that the last episode of The Bachelor was shot there last season, in any case it is real. It is beautiful, it is romantic, and it is in demand. Whether you choose Sandals Grande St Lucian (pictured above), Sandals Regency La Toc, or Sandals Halcyon Beach, you simply can’t go wrong.

If lounging in a tropical paradise – sharing a couples massage on the beach – dining in an over the water seafood restaurant – driving thru a volcano – scuba diving wrecks and reefs – golfing in a tropical paradise – if any of these things sound like what you want your honeymoon experience to include, then perhaps a Sandals luxury included vacation to St Lucia is your ideal Honeymoon spot.

 

But Sandals is not the only option – there is also The Pitons

So what about these Pitons you keep hearing about? What about the 3 walled suites? Just imagine waking to this in your Honeymoon suite….

honeymoon in st lucia 2

Sure, this is Brad and Angelina stuff, right? Well, it’s not inexpensive. This Jade Mountain suite might run $10,000+ per week- if you can get in (better book it very, very far in advance), but there are other options that afford the same sort of view and the same concept of 1 wall being omitted so that you have an unbelievable view of one of the top 5 places in the world to visit.

The Sandals experience is All inclusive – the 3 walled view of The Pitons experience is generally not all inclusive, but you can combine the 2 as many people do, you can have it all. You can split your honeymoon into a few days of all inclusive fun in the sun + a few days of total relaxation in the most romantic place in the world, and you can get it done from between $5000-8000 total for a week including air from Chicago this September.

How do you plan such a once in a lifetime experience? How can you make sure that your Honeymoon in St Lucia is all you dreamed it can be? How can you coordinate a Destination Wedding to St Lucia, a place so far from home? One way is the best way, consult with a travel professional that specializes in Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, a travel pro like EZTravelpad

Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa – Bora Bora in French Polynesia – A Review

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Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa in Bora Bora is Phenomenal

 

Welcome….

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The Intercontinental Resort & Thalasso Spa is located on a motu (small islet) just off the main island of Bora Bora in The Society Islands of French Polynesia – or in short- The South Pacific. Actually the name of the spa is The Deep Ocean Spa so check out that link….

As the name implies, this resort is all about the spa. From the moment you step foot into the reception area you immediately notice soothing mood music – relaxing – totally. The decor, layout and furnishings are all designed to be in harmony with the spa nature of the resort….

Initially I wondered, what is a Thalasso spa? As they say everyday is a school day, so if YOU don’t know – here goes….

A Thalasso spa specializes in Thalassotherapy (derived from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ which means ‘sea’). The spa uses the beneficial aspects of the marine environment- the climate, sea water, seaweed and algae, mud and sand—all for therapeutic purposes. This spa even uses the seawater for air conditioning!

Sea water is sucked from a depth of 3500 feet (trust me- it’s cool down there) and circulated amongst the buildings on property for cooling purposes. The water is available from this fountain in the spa and guests are encouraged to take a daily sip – maybe 1/2 oz or less for better health. I did, and it’s not bad…

 

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Like nearly every resort in French Polynesia the bulk of the buildings are bungalows. All guest rooms are in bungalows at this Intercontinental resort, as are the massage therapy rooms which are located in the overwater bungalows pictured below.  Guests can enjoy a soothing massage while relaxing as they watch fish swimming in the reef immediately below the massage tables – Clear viewing windows in the floors allow an up close experience and are a fixture of most overwater bungalows in the area, another part of the experience of French Polynesia…

 

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Had a long flight and feeling like your ankles are swollen from the lack of mobility combined with the warmth and humidity of the climate? This may be just the ticket- a Deep Chiller Walk pool. The pool of cool water is approx 25 feet in length and designed to  allow you to walk back and forth in shallow cool water while being pounded by current…nice!

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Tying the Knot

Considering French Polynesia as a destination for your wedding? There may exist a more romantic view than this, but if there is I am unaware of it. Imagine exchanging your vows in front of a huge plate glass window featuring Mt Otemanu as a backdrop – and standing on a clear floor with the reefs below….. this is the wedding chapel that dreams are made of.

A memory that will never, ever fade

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Yes, I have an inside shot of the view, but trust me- it just doesn’t do it justice. Maybe a more professional photographer can- check this link

 

So yes, the spa is amazing – the wedding chapel is to die for – but what about the accommodations? How are the bungalows? Are they nice? How are the views? See for youself at their website. Suffice to say that the huge picture windows that are located at the foot of the King-sized beds in the bedrooms of the bungalows will afford a view like no other – provided that you know what to ask for…..

 

So is the Intercontinental Resort & Thalasso Spa the top resort in Bora Bora? Probably not for everyone. Some might opt for a larger resort – others may choose somewhere a bit more family friendly….but if you are a spa enthusiast who supports Green initiatives and you want to totally relax during your escape in paradise then this may be the best resort for you in all of French Polynesia…..

Can you book it thru some online “discount” source?

Sure- but why would you when the voice of experience is waiting for you – “Your friends….in the travel business” are here to help – Consider EZTravelpad – your source for unbiased advise and best price.

Murphy’s Laws – of Flying

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When Flight Goes Wrong Blame Murphy

Who was this Murphy character anyway? Many of his “laws” are just not to my liking!

I received this in my inbox recently and thought I would share – if you fly for fun or business I’m sure you can appreciate….

MURPHY’S TRAVEL LAWS! 

1.    No flight ever leaves on time unless you are running late and need the delay to make the flight.

2.    If you are running late for a flight, it will depart from the farthest gate within the terminal.

3.    If you arrive very early for a flight, it inevitably will be delayed.

4.    Flights never leave from Gate #1 at any terminal in the world.

5.    If you must work on your flight, you will experience turbulence as soon as you touch pen to paper.

6.    If you are assigned a middle seat, you can determine who has the seats on the aisle and the window while you are still in the boarding area. Just look for the two largest passengers.

7.    Only passengers seated in window seats ever have to get up to go to the lavatory.

8.    The crying baby on board your flight is always seated next to you.

9.    The best-looking woman on your flight is never seated next to you.

10.  The less carry-on luggage space available on an aircraft, the more carry-on luggage passengers will bring aboard.

Vahine Private Island in French Polynesia – a Review

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Vahine Private Island Resort is Paradise in French Polynesia

Have you ever dreamed of living on your own private island – away from everything and everybody?

Well you can almost accomplish just that at Vahine Private Island Resort – named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s Top 25 Escapes, and with good reason.

To get there from say…Chicago would go a little like this- Flight to L.A. Change airlines and take Air Tahiti Nui to Papeete, Tahiti. Change airlines again (may require an overnight in Tahiti) to fly to Raiatea to catch a boat transfer to the small island of Vahine -about a 30 minute boat trip from Raiatea past Tahaa to Vahine.

Alternately, you could fly from Tahiti to Bora Bora & catch a private helicopter to Vahine from Bora Bora

 

Vahine 1

arriving by boat you can expect to be greeted by Sophie (or another representative) who may be waiting with a cool fruit cocktail beverage and refreshing towel. I found the entire staff to be completely charming.

As the name suggests, this island is very private. There are a total of 9 guest bungalows so you and your travel partner will comprise more than 10% of the total number of guests on the entire island!

Finding a solitary place to relax is no problem….

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As you can see below, the chef and his staff do not have state-of-the-art culinary equipment to prepare our lunch, but often times excellent and low-tech are a good fit and I can assure you that our dining experience was excellent

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Simple- grilled meats and seafoods, ceviche, fruits – all extremely fresh and prepared to perfection.

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Sometimes the food at a restaurant is excellent, but the ambiance is sub-standard. Not this time…as you can see in the background, this restaurant has a killer view of Taha’a and is completely open air and just steps from the beach

Vahine 5

 

So the place is beautiful, small, private with a top-notch staff and excellent food – but how are the rooms you may ask? Well this should give you a sense……….

Below is a deluxe beach bungalow as viewed from the exterior – charming!

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The deluxe beach bungalow is a bit larger than the standard beach bungalow. In both cases the bungalows are located on the water (as opposed to over the water)

There are 3 standard, 3 deluxe, and 3 over water bungalows, so the choices are not overwhelming….but the authentic Polynesian construction and decor are. Simply Irresistible

Vahine 7

 

The 3 Overwater bungalows located out in the lagoon that separates Vahine from Taha’a actually have a view of the island of Bora Bora in the distance – one of the best views in all of French Polynesia

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So this is supposed to be a review- right?

Ok then, enough with the niceties….

How’s the pool? – There isn’t one

Is the ice machine close to the room?  Nope

Are you close to any “Hot” nightspots?  Absolutely not…..

Is the lounge a good place to go dancing at night?  Not really

Is there a better place to escape from it all for a few days and become one with nature in paradise? Maybe not….

Is there a better place for a Destination Wedding? Well, there certainly aren’t many other places that are this quaint and allow you to rent the entire resort! Even if you are not exchanging your vows on Vahine it would certainly be a wonderful place for part of your Honeymoon….

Vahine 9

This is French Polynesia. This is about sleeping until you wake up (around dawn) then enjoying the day to it’s fullest – snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, paying a board game with your mate – or reading a book in the quiet solitude of the South Pacific

Then of course there are other activities that might cost a few $$ – activities such as

  • Visit to a Pearl Farm or a Vanilla Farm
  • Get a massage
  • Tour neighboring islands
  • Scuba diving
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • and more…

The best way for many to experience French Polynesia is to spend a few days at 2 or 3 different islands. Spend some time on Tahiti and Bora Bora or Moorea – and spend some time at a place that is totally removed from the rest of the world…..

For more info contact someone who has been there and can offer the best advice available – EZTravelpad is here to help every step of the way!

 

 

 

Couples Sans Souci Resort in Jamaica – a Review

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Couples Sans Souci – A Great Jamaican All Adult Resort

Being a travel agency that specializes in Honeymoons, Destination Weddings and romantic escapes of all kinds, one of the most frequent questions we hear at EZTravelpad is “which resort is best?” – talk about an impossible question to answer…it’s like choosing the best flavor of ice cream- so many wonderful flavors I just want to try them all! But alas, we all know we can’t do that.

But I can tell you quickly that one of my favorites in Couples Sans Souci Resort in`Ocho Rios!

Sans Souci 1

Is Couples Sans Souci right for everyone? Heck no!

So how do you know if it’s right for you? Well, one method is to hit their website and read the reviews- look at the photos – view their amenities…

But the best thing is to talk with a travel pro that can help you sort out the best options for you based on your immediate needs and requirements. Things that will impact the decision are

  • Interests
  • Style
  • Budget
  • Time Frame

All the resorts look good on paper and the photos are always awesome, but which is going to be the best fit? Which offers the right mix of fun and romance? Who has the best beach? Best pool? Which is the most romantic? Who has the best spa? If you’ve narrowed it down to the Caribbean, which island might be the best best?

So often the choice gets narrowed down and the island of Jamaica rises to the top, but with so many resorts in Jamaica (I can easily think of well over a dozen all adult resorts, not to mention the dozens that cater to guests of all ages) which is best? Well, that’s where I can help.

If romance, seclusion, space and serenity are the order of the day, the Sans Souci is definitely a top pick.

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Couples Sans Souci is the most intimate of the 4 Couples resorts in Jamaica with only 150 luxurious rooms and suites, and given that the resort is spread out along 35 lush acres fronting the gorgeous Caribbean you can imagine how many opportunities there are for romantic moments of seclusion.

If you are thinking of tying the knot in one of the most romantic spots in the Caribbean, then it’s hard to beat this location…. a gazebo perched over the Caribbean in the midst of gardens. Awesome.

Sans Souci 3

 

If you are looking for excellent yet basic accommodations with calming sea blue color schemes you may have found your spot

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Whether you opt for a Deluxe Ocean Suite or a Penthouse Suite you are going to find a beautiful accommodation, but if you opt for the Hibiscus Cottage you are going to find a romantic cottage nestled behind a hedge of colorful bougainvillea and situated cliff-side overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The Hibiscus Cottage is the ultimate secluded hideaway. This unique accommodation features a private outdoor infinity-edge Jacuzzi, a spacious living room, large master bedroom and bathroom suite with walk-in shower and a Jacuzzi tub for two

If you would like to select a suite with a gorgeous bath of marble featuring a soaker tub with whirlpool jets then maybe this is the pick

sans souci 5

So sure, you are going to find a lovely suite, and the intimate nature of the resort certainly appeals to many couples interested in a romantic getaway, Honeymoon couples, or small groups in for a Destination Wedding – but if you are looking for a party spot this one is not for you-

At EZTravelpad we have the experience and the desire to help you select the best possible resorts to fit your style and make the most of your most important vacation – the NEXT one!

We like to think of ourselves are “Your friends….in the travel business” – get with us and see how we treat our friends – I think you’ll like it.