Blog Archives

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers
2022 has been a busy year of travel. Whether it was feeling a sense of urgency to see the world again after the lockdown of Covid or simply opportunities that arose, we hit the road – and the skies – with determination this year.

The 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers has been divided into three sections – a general travel section, a foodie travel section, and a technology section.

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Getaway Guide: Exploring Elba, the Island of Napoleon’s Exile 

Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago and the third-largest in Italy (behind Sardinia and Sicily). With its beautiful beaches and clear blue water, it is a popular getaway for beach lovers, especially during the summer months, but Isola d’elba offers much more. From hiking, swimming, and watersports, to history and museums to great food and drink, you can find a great mix of experiences whether you’re looking to explore Elba, relax, or do both. Here’s what you need to know to plan a getaway to Elba. The History of Elba Island Understanding the island’s history is the first step in discovering Elba. Elba was first inhabited by Ligures Ilvates, a tribe that lived on the land that is modern-day Italy. Since the early tribes, Elba has been occupied by the Romans, Germans, Italians, Spain, British, and French. That’s […]

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Best Aperol Spritz: A Complete Guide to the Classic Italian Cocktail (with Recipe)

The history of the renowned Aperol spritz cocktail can be traced back to the mid-1950s, although the hero ingredient was developed some thirty years prior. In this article, you will learn about the history of this refreshing delight, the role it plays in Italian culture, and its ever-increasing popularity around the world. I’ve also got a classic Aperol spritz recipe so you can make it at home, along with a few specialty variations that can be used to change up the classic cocktail and as well as options to make other spritz cocktails. If you’ve never experimented with making Aperol spritz or other forms of spritz cocktails, you will be more than equipped to do so after navigating through this article.  History of Aperol In 1919, two Italian brothers, Luigi and Silvio Barbieri, were on a quest to create a […]

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10 Essentials for Summer Travel

No doubt about it – we are traveling in a post-pandemic world differently than we did before. Some of the changes are small. We’ve needed to replace items, update a few things, and plan for multiple contingencies because things just aren’t going according to plan. The first trip of this year, I did such a poor job of packing, that I had stop by a Target store to buy all sorts of things I missed. It’s gotten better. We’ve made the conscious choice (and budget decision) to fly business class on long-haul international flights. While it’s certainly more comfortable, and I love a comfortable pod and lie-flat seat, there are other practical reasons for the decision. If something is going to go wrong, business class passengers have a priority for checked bags, rebooking in the event of a cancellation or […]

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101 Movies Set in Italy You’ll Love (or Hate)

Even if you can’t travel to Italy right now, you can get your Italian culture fix with these 101 movies set in Italy. This list represents films set in Italy, not necessarily filmed in Italy – we all know that set designers can make a studio backlot look like the meandering streets of Venice or a Tuscany hill town. While most of these movies are in English, no Italy movie list can ignore the many fine sub-titled Italian movies, so I’ve included some of those. I’ve tried to include the memorable, historical, and romantic movies set in Italy, while acknowledging there are a few that are, perhaps, better forgotten. And if you’re planning a first trip to Italy, this is a great list of movies to watch before you go. Any list is subjective. If your favorite movie set in […]

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Alaska Inside Passage Cruise: Onboard Holland America’s Koningsdam

Alaska is one of the most diverse landscapes in the United States. It has expansive mountain ranges, broad diversity of wildlife and marine life, a long-standing cultural heritage, and some of the best seafood around. It is also one of the most remote and elusive states. For many travelers wanting to visit all 50 states, Alaska is the last one to get checked off. Accessing Alaska is not easy, it’s not drivable much of the year from the contiguous US, and some areas have limited access by air. All of this goes into making Alaska a fascinating destination to visit and why an Alaska inside passage cruise is a popular way to see the last frontier. We embarked on a 7-day Inside Passage Alaska cruise with Holland America cruise line on their Koningsdam ship. While I’ve visited Alaska hundreds of […]

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Visiting Museums Around the World: 34 Worth a Visit

Whether I’m traveling or staying close to home, one of my favorite things to do is visit museums. I enjoy museums of all kinds – art, history, archaeology, the quirky and weird – and when visiting a new destination, visiting its museums a quick overview of the country, its culture, and its people. How do you find the right museum to visit, keeping in mind that it is often just a matter of personal taste? The Official Visitors Guide and travel guidebook are great starting points, especially when you’re looking for the major museums in a destination. And while I want to visit those famous museums around the world, once I’ve visited them, I start looking for something different. Sometimes, if you’re the kind of traveler that likes to wander around, and explore the sidestreets and the paths less traveled, […]

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How to Make Limonana, Tasty Mint Lemonade

Jordan has a very hot and dry climate, so a cool and refreshing drink is just what you need after a long day of exploring. One of the most refreshing drinks I found while I was visiting Jordan was mint lemonade, or Limonana, a traditional drink found throughout the Middle East. The name originates from the word “limon” which means lemon in Arabic and Hebrew and “nana” which means mint. Apparently, the drink became more well-known in the 90s after an advertising campaign promoted it in Israel, but it has been a popular sip across the Middle East for far longer. You can find it everywhere in Jordan – in restaurants, bottled in convenience stores, served fresh at juice stands, everywhere. I visited Jordan as part of a paid partnership project with Globus Journeys. Saying yes to the Jordan Escape tour was easy-peasy. […]

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Jordan Travel Tips: 9 Things I Didn’t Know Until I Got There

Before every vacation, I love researching places and learning about all the destinations, their history, and the attractions. I try to find a book or two about or set in the destination (I start this process as soon as the trip is booked so that I have lots of time before I arrive on-site). I start reading guides and blog posts from my cadre of trusted sites. I set up a Pinterest board to keep track of the things I deem important, the photos that capture my attention, and I compile information that would make a data nerd proud. Without proper preparation and some research, you could find yourself in difficult situations or end up missing some hidden gems. So it’s smart to do it. But no matter how much research I do, I love the serendipity that happens while […]

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Visiting Salton Sea: Your Guide to This Must-See California Attraction

The Salton Sea is one of the most environmentally significant places in California. It was once a booming tourist destination and attraction, but turned into an environmental disaster, leaving much of the surrounding towns and settlements abandoned and desolated. But that does not mean to suggest that it’s not worth visiting the Salton Sea. Today, the Salton Sea attracts visitors wanting to experience its volcanic mud hot springs, observe the unique wildlife, and also swing by the famous Slab City, a lawless town that features many art installations. For those undertaking a road trip through California, visiting the Salton Sea is definitely something to add to the itinerary. I had never heard of it, but while visiting Palm Springs, a friend suggested it as a day trip. I thought it was a great little escape into nature, and thought about […]

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