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Heading to The James Chicago for Spring Break

The James Chicago

Chicago in the spring offers an extensive list of free activities and events for adults and families with kids of all ages.From the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center to Millennium Park, adventure awaits! Conveniently located downtown, steps from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, The James Chicago features an array of room types and packages for the leisure adult or family traveler.

Family Spring Break, Here We Come!
Keeping kids entertained throughout a spring break sojourn isn’t a challenge with the lil’ james program. The kid-friendly program offers special services to families including a welcome amenity, a design your own yoyo or postcard kit, from product partner Seedling, and information on an array of nearby activities and events.

Families traveling to Chicago can book the lil’ james family adventurer package, curated for parents interested in the city’s top cultural attractions. The package includes tickets to the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, milk and cookie turndown service and full access to the lil’ james family amenity program available via the concierge desk.

Time to Relax
The Spa by ASHA is offering two special spa treatments for kids to be pampered, just like the adults! We covered these a few months back, and we’re still fans!

Pure-Fume Aroma – Kids can go on a sensory journey experience by building their own customized Pure-Fume Aroma
Banana Split Facial –Cleanse with the essence of refreshing strawberry, mask in soothing banana, exfoliate with a chocolate scrub and massage with moisturizing vanilla.

Make your Spring Break reservations here!

photo credit: Aurimas via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photos via The James

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/03 at 08:30 AM
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Voluntourism Adds Excitement to Vacationing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Traveling to Costa Rica is always an enriching experience thanks to the destination’s wealth of natural and cultural resources. But if you’re looking to give a little back while you travel, voluntourism is the way! Voluntourism is travel that includes volunteer activities for nonprofit organizations. Traveling is always a rewarding experience, but the rewards are even greater when you make a positive impact on the environment, wildlife and local communities.

Association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas of Costa Rica
Considering that Costa Rica is known for its eco-friendly policies, it’s no surprise that many volunteer opportunities focus on the environment. Volunteers can aid in the sustainable management of wildlife, forest resources and other protected areas with the Association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas of Costa Rica. The organizations plays a key role in Costa Rica’s conservation, investigation and education efforts.

Costa Rica

Costas Verdes
Also noteworthy is Costas Verdes, a non-profit organization devoted to protecting the coastal region. Volunteers can help out with the planting of thousands of trees in deforested areas in the Ostional and Playa Hermosa National Wildlife Refuges or at Costas Verdes’s nursery where more than 2,000 trees ready for planting.

Costa Rica

Tirimbina Rainforest Center
For those interested in the educational value of voluntourism, several interesting opportunities are available from the Tirimbina Rainforest Center. The volunteer program at the Tirimbina Rainforest Center provides a unique experience for participants in the development of their scientific knowledge of the tropical forest, as they collect data for the center’s long-term research projects and learn about the ecosystem. Volunteers develop skills in collecting and analyzing data, writing reports and can also participate in various activities including tours and educational programs.

Costa Rica

World Wildlife Fund
Abundant wildlife is found throughout Costa Rica, and voluntourism makes it easy for travelers to help protect the nation’s diverse fauna. Among the organizations that excel in this type of voluntourism is the renowned World Wildlife Fund that works both at sea and on land with fishermen, tour operators, governments, industries, farmers and urban groups—as well as local and national authorities—to protect the Western Hemisphere’s largest reef. With the organization’s sea turtle conservation project in Junquillal, volunteers can help these magnificent creatures while receiving technical training and enjoying an unforgettable experience in the field. The minimum stay for this project is 15 days, although visitors are able to commit for up to a month in this worthwhile program.

Corcovado Foundation
Situated in Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific region, the Corcovado Foundation plays a leading role in strengthening protected areas, promoting environmental education, adopting responsible travel and encouraging community participation in the sustainable use of natural resources in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica. Their program for the conservation of sea turtles runs from July to mid-December in the Osa peninsula. Volunteers participate in various conservation activities as members of the research team. Activities include night patrols, relocating nests in the nursery, recording scientific data, tagging turtles, monitoring the nursery, construction, exhuming nests and releasing hatchlings.

CoopeSilencio
Travelers who want to experience and volunteer in local communities might want to consider vacationing at a co-op such as CoopeSilencio. Volunteers will be housed with one of the families in the village and will be based at the animal rescue center. There is also the option to volunteer at the dairy farm or teach English to students and adults at the local school. The volunteer program at El Silencio accommodates anyone age 16 and older with any background or abilities.

Have you participated in voluntourism? Are you planning to? Share your story in the comments below!

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/27 at 08:30 AM
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Traveling with Bound Round

Bound Round

Part of the fun of traveling is the planning! This week, we discovered a great new tool for getting kids involved with the fun. Australian-based app and website Bound Round is the world’s only travel platform designed by kids, for kids. The app is a travel guide, game, journal, postcard and photo album all rolled into one. Kids explore what they’re interested in and discover on their own the best things to do in the best locations! They can either help plan out where to go and what to do before your vacation using the website or, if you’re already headed somewhere specific, they can plan activities on-the-go using the iPad app. And, don’t worry! There’s nothing to buy in the app, no connections to other social media and a parent-gate locks down photo sharing if you prefer.

Bound Round

Kids Sharing with Kids
We usually think of peer-to-peer networking as something adults do, but kids are the original networkers! Bound Round lets kids share destination and activity videos and make recommendations for what to do in new places. The app lets kids shares what they experience from their perspective. No more trying to guess if the kids will enjoy an activity. With Bound Round, activities are kid-tested and approved! And if you live in Australia or New Zealand, you can even sign up to become a Bound Round reporter. They’re currently accepting applications for kids ages 9 to 12.

Bound Round

Right now the app features more than 1,000 kid-friendly attractions throughout the world—with more coming every day. Bound Round even won the 2014 Innovation in Travel Awards Winner at Eye for Travel’s Travel Distribution Summit Asia in Singapore last year, so we expect the site will continue to add new features and great content for kids in the future!

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/24 at 08:30 AM
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What We Love in the 2015 Oscar Swag Bag!

Oscars 2015 Swag Bag

The Oscars 2015 is this Sunday, and we’ll be watching! (And wishing we were there!) One of the tidbits we look forward to hearing about every year is the extravagant swag bags given to the host and losing nominees in the best director and four top acting categories. The goodie bags this year include 80 items valued at just over $167,000!

Oscars 2015 Swag Bag

Take-home items include organic maple syrup from Rouge Maple, herbal tea-based lollipops from Dosha Pops, and a few naughty ones as well.

Oscars 2015 Swag Bag

Travel Crazy
There are tons of travel items this year ranging from an $11,500 Italian luxury hotel package that includes 3-night stays at Villa Armena in Tuscany, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como and the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria to a $1,548 VIP tour of a private sea salt preserve in the South of France from La Baleine Natural Mediterranean Sea Salts. Nominees are also gifted with a luxury train ride through the Canadian Rockies from Rocky Mountaineer worth more than $14,500 and a $12,500 glamping trip from TerraVelo Tours that includes surfing, horseback riding and hot air balloon rides.

Oscars 2015 Swag Bag

Things We Love
On top of the great travel opportunities, we love the custom silver necklace inscribed with the latitude and longitude coordinates of the Dolby Theater from Lat & Lo. Do you have a specific location you want to remember? Lat&Lo specializes in creating beautiful jewelry inscribed with the latitude and longitude of your favorite place! We’re also really excited about the NapAnywhere—a reimagined travel pillow for people who are tired of u-shaped neck pillows that don’t offer the support.


photos via Dosha Pops; TerraVelo Tours; NapAnywhere

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/20 at 08:30 AM
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The Best of Instagram: Luxury Hotels

For those of us who love to travel, Instagram is a big part of chronicling our adventures. And when we’re not out there racking up the frequent flyer miles, relaxing on an exotic beach or experiencing a new culture, we’re planning where we want to go next courtesy of some pretty awesome Instagram feeds from hotels across the world. We’ve picked four of the best hotel Instagrams you should be following!

Instagram Hotel

From gorgeous food to gorgeous views, the Four Seasons Los Angeles does Instagram LA-style! You get a good sense of the hotel and the glamour you’ll experience in Los Angeles just from clicking through their Instagram. The Four Seasons is located in Beverly Hills, has guest rooms ranging from Studio Suites to Presidential and tons of family-friendly services! Childproofed rooms are available along with child-sized bathrobes, baby bath amenities and complimentary coloring books and crayons. Check out their Have Family Will Travel blog for more! Pets are welcome too!

Instagram Hotel

With design as their ethos rather than rulebook, Thompson Hotels are perfectly suited to providing a visual feast for their Instagram followers. They concentrate on incorporating the local culture from food to architecture and encourage guests to act as residents of that culture even if your stay is short. You’ll get the scoop on the best local restaurants, events and shopping straight from the neighbors themselves!

Instagram Hotel

The Grand Hotel Central, in the heart of Barcelona, is the perfect location for Instagramming beautiful city shots. Relax in the rooftop infinity pool while drinking in views of the Gothic district with its spectacular Cathedral or the ancient city walls and “el Born.” The hotel has the amenities and luxuries of a five-star hotel combined with a sense of style and elegance. Definitely take advantage of their spa services with a private massage room and a private thermal suite with both dry and steam saunas! Want to hear as well as see? Check out their blog and share their passion for local music!

Instagram Hotel

The 1888Hotel (the name is a nod to the year the Kodak camera was released) has actually rebranded themselves as the “Instagram Hotel.” Instagram photos are streamed on two screens in the lobby, and a “selfie space” allows guests to get in on the fun!  Meticulously restored & thoughtfully designed, 1888’s collection of rooms boast 10-foot high ceilings, exposed brick walls, original Ironbark beams, huge sound-proofed period windows, recycled timber work stations, bespoke furniture, artwork by Australian artists, complimentary WiFi, in-room iPads, Smart TVs with media hubs, custom-made bedding with luxury MicroCloud bed toppers and bathrooms featuring walk-in rain showers. Ready to pack your bags yet? Part of the 8Hotels family, these boutique hotels are mostly located throughout Australia. Intimate and friendly—this is the perfect place for snuggling in or getting comfortable at the end of a long day sight-seeing.

What are some of your favorite hotels that you follow on Instagram?

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/17 at 08:30 AM
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Rent a Celebrity Home!

The rise of home-sharing sites has piqued the interest of almost everyone—including authors, actors and professional athletes! With multiple houses—usually in the best areas of the country—some have even jumped on the peer-to-peer vacation rental site bandwagon by opening their second and third homes to vacationers.

Looking for a beach and mountain view at the same location? Only in Southern California! This Malibu home has been owned by a series of celebrities from Denzel Washington to Jan-Michael Vincent and has been renovated as “South of France meets grand old Malibu” style. The eight-acre property has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 180º views of both the ocean and mountains. Between the main house, guest house, detached gym, large oceanfront patio and jacuzzi overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you won’t want to leave!

If New England is more your style, rent Olympic and World Championship skier Bode Miller’s four-bedroom, three-bath custom estate in Carroll, NH. Perfectly suited to a skiing vacation, the warm, rustic feel of the property welcomes guests with stone fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, cozy furnishings and gorgeous views!

How about a southern beach getaway? Rent Paula Deen’s beach retreat for just $295 a night! This three-bedroom, 2.5 bath beach house is located on Tybee Island, 20 miles from Savannah and just four blocks from the beach. When you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with a special gift of Paula Deen’s products, a personalized cookbook and VIP reservations at The Lady and Sons restaurant. The kitchen is available and stocked with her cookbooks, so you can try your hand at some Paula Deen cooking! You’ll even be greeted by a cardboard cutout of Paula, so you feel like she’s right there with you.

If you’re a fan of old Hollywood, check out this four-bedroom, three-bath home in Los Angeles. Originally owned by Orson Welles, the list of subsequent owners is just as impressive. Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and David Bowie have all called this wonderful property home. The current owner has kept the Hollywood style while updating to the latest in luxury and technology. The property features a huge pool with jacuzzi, waterfall and sauna. And you’ll definitely want to spend some time on the deck enjoying the beautiful nighttime views of Hollywood and Los Angeles.

From Homeaway to AirBnB to Elite Luxury Homes, celebrities are taking advantage of this fun new market! With a little research, you can find and rent any kind of vacation home that suits you and your family!

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/13 at 08:30 AM
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Valentine’s Day Perfection at Guerlain Spa!

Guerlain Spa

Poshbrood friend and guest poster Kate Rockland stopped by the Waldorf Astoria New York to visit their amazing Guerlain Spa.

She went for the “Love the One You’re With” package, but ended up choosing their “When You’re Expecting” maternity package and, of course, loved it!

You can find Kate’s entire review on this relaxing experience in Poshbrood Destinations!

photo credit: Waldorf Astoria New York

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/10 at 08:30 AM
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Spring Travel Deals are Here!

Spring Break is almost here, and Posh has all the travels deals you need! From the warm sands of Bangkok to the celebrity experience in NYC, we’ve got you covered!

Spring Break

South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL
Get your fourth night free at South Seas Island Resort! Located directly on the tranquil Gulf of Mexico waters in Southwest Florida, spring travelers can escape to South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island to receive their fourth night free with the resort’s new “Spring Getaway” package. When booking the package, guests receive their fourth night free when staying consecutive nights at regular rates. Also included in the package is the resort’s coupon booklet with over $250 in savings at resort outlets such as on cabana rentals, rounds of seaside golf, water sports, island cruises, spa services, dining, shopping and more. As a 330-acre resort village and wildlife sanctuary, South Seas boasts boundless opportunity for adventure and relaxation from guided kayak tours, interactive children’s programs, new painting classes and photography tours, to daily tennis clinics, bicycle rentals and relaxing spa services. The “Spring Getaway” package is available for travel from April 5 through June 30, 2015 so book soon!

Spring Break

Hilton Hotels, Puerto Rico
$100 Resort Credit and Daily Breakfast! With stunning picturesque beaches, breathtaking views and natural surroundings, El San Juan Resort & Casino and The Condado Plaza Hilton are the ideal spots to unwind this spring with their vacation escape packages. Breakfast is included! Guests who book a stay now through April 5th, 2015, for travel through April 30th, 2015, enjoy a $100 resort credit per stay to be applied toward anything from resort dining outlets to exciting beach excursions.

Spring Break

Mexico’s Velas Resorts, Vallarta-Nayarit and Riviera Maya, Mexico
All-Inclusive Family Vacation Package! Fronting the glorious beaches along Mexico’s stunning coastlines, the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit in Mexico are ideal for a fun-filled family vacation this spring. With unparalleled all-inclusive family vacation packages, families enjoy beach adventures from swimming with dolphins to complimentary tickets to local area attractions. At the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit, children are never bored as they take scuba diving lessons, go kite flying or attend eco-friendly shows. They cover all age groups, too! The resort hosts a teen’s lounge, dedicated Baby Concierge and kids’ spa treatments. At Puerto Vallarta’s Velas Vallarta, the extensive Kids’ Club program now features a newly designed brightly painted area with cozy spots for reading and games, and scheduled activities such as crafting with beads, sand castle making and Mexican bingo. Each evening brings quality entertainment with special shows including a Mexican folkloric night with live music and native arts and crafts. Check out their live webcam here!

Spring Break

Tower Club at lebua, Bangkok, Thailand
Four-Course Dinner, Suite Upgrade, Daily Breakfast & More! For a distinctive fine dining experience, The Tower Club at lebua, a five-star luxury hotel in the heart of Bangkok, welcomes guests to indulge in a culinary-focused escape with its “Back to Bangkok with Breeze” package. Included in the package, diners indulge in a four-course meal at Breeze, an award-winning restaurant where Chef Sam Pang artfully presents innovative Asian cuisine. Accommodations are upgraded from a one-bedroom City View Suite to a one-bedroom River View Suite providing a spacious balcony with breathtaking panoramic views of Bangkok’s River of Kings. Also included in the package are daily buffet breakfast; access to the Tower Club Lounge which includes continental breakfast, light lunch, afternoon high tea, canapés, drinks and more; a complimentary in-suite mini-bar; complimentary Wi-Fi; one-way airport limousine transfer; and late check-out. Available now through April 30, 2015, make your reservation here!

Spring Break

The London NYC, New York, NY
Free Weekend Parking! Brave the cold and enjoy a winter weekend escape to The London NYC with free parking for the duration of your stay with the luxury hotel’s “Park and Play at The London NYC” promotion. Experience better availability at Broadway’s hottest shows and less-crowded attractions while still enjoying the luxurious accommodations and discerning service that makes The London NYC one of NYC’s most-loved destinations. Elevate your experience with innovative cuisine and cocktails prepared by the culinary team of Gordon Ramsay. Don’t miss out, make your reservation now!

Posted by Elizabeth on 02/06 at 11:39 AM
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Visit Anguilla and Experience Tranquility Wrapped in Blue

Anguilla

After all these snow days (and more to come!), how ready are you and your brood for endless summer with near perfect weather, blue waters and balmy trade winds? I know we are, and it’s time to visit Anguilla and experience “Tranquility Wrapped in Blue.” The Moonsplash Music Festival, Festival del Mar and The Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification offer three additional great reasons to head to the island in the next few months.

Anguilla Moonsplash Festival

The 25th Annual Moonsplash Music Festival will take place March 27-29 under the full moon on gorgeous Rendezvous Bay. Hosted by local musical legend Bankie Banx at The Dune Preserve, it is the longest running independent music festival in the Eastern Caribbean and highlights some of the biggest names in reggae and popular emerging talent.

Anguilla Boatracing

The following weekend, Easter weekend, April 4-5, is the 7th Annual Festival del Mar. An epicurean celebration of all things from the sea, it is hosted in the picturesque fishing village of Island Harbour and features a multiplicity of seaside activities, including fishing competitions, culinary competitions, swimming races, crab races, and of course, Anguilla’s National Sport and beloved pastime, boatracing.

Anguilla Lit Fest

Now is also a great time to plan to be a part of the Caribbean’s smartest festival—the 2015 Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification. Set against the backdrop of Anguilla’s tranquil ambience and stunning beaches, join readers, writers and thinkers for three invigorating days of inspiring workshops, illuminating seminars, dynamic presentations and invaluable networking opportunities with award-winning authors and poets, celebrity writers and noted publishers. The festival takes place May 21-24 on the grounds of the Paradise Cove Resort.

photo credit: ToddonFlickr via Flickr cc by 2.0
photos: ivisitanguilla.com
photo: ivisitanguilla.com
photo: ivisitanguilla.com

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/30 at 08:30 AM
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Do you Love Jazz? Head to Tobago!

Do you love jazz? Great! Music enthusiasts from around the world are invited to the island of Tobago to experience an electrifying fusion of home-grown entertainers and international superstars as the island celebrates its sixth annual Tobago Jazz Experience. Staying true to its promise of offering “much more than music” the cultural and historical practices that define the island of Tobago are incorporated as well. The nine-day festival held April 18-26, 2015 exemplifies Tobago’s vibrant culture and history!

Tobago Fort King George

Festival-goers will take a musical tour through Speyside, Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara and Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Each community hosts multiple events and performances by both regional and international music icons including headlining Grammy® Award winning artists Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson and Kool and the Gang. Visitors can indulge in the gastronomic experience that is the authentic dirt oven bread indigenous to the village of Castara; take a walk off the beaten path into the Main Ridge Reserve; immerse themselves in cultural treats such as the goat races at the Buccoo Integrated Facility; or take in a history lesson during a tour of Fort King George Heritage Park—all while interacting with a warm and welcoming people notorious for their vintage brand of hospitality.

Tobago Brain Coral

Tobago is a sister island to Trinidad and is known for its secluded beaches, quaint villages, private villas and award-winning eco attractions that include the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere and the world’s largest brain coral. Against a backdrop of world-renowned beaches and history, you’ll have a chance to discover and explore the authentic Caribbean island while enjoying sensational performances. With its cove-filled coastlines, renowned diving sites and great food, you are in for a treat!

photo: Tobago Jazz Experience
photo: Go Trinidad and Tobago
photo credit: Paul Mannix via Flickr cc by 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/27 at 08:30 AM
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Chatham Bars Inn Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for Cape-Bound Canines

Chatham Bars Inn Dogs

Visitors might find some of the newest guests at Cape Cod’s Chatham Bars Inn quite fetching, as the historic resort opens its doors to dogs for the first time. Taking reservations beginning Jan. 28, travelers who arrive with their beloved pup in tow will enjoy a selection of Fido-friendly amenities in their room, plus designated dog-friendly sites throughout the grounds. In season (mid-June through Labor Day), the resort will charge owners an initial fee of $100 plus $40 per additional night; off season the charge will be $40 per night.

Chatham Bars Inn Dog

Rooms with four-legged guests are outfitted with a welcome mat, dog bed, food and water bowls and a “Pet in Residence” sign for the door. In addition, a special welcome package will include a menu of canine cuisine plus information on local dog-friendly beaches, walking trails and local kennels. Leashes, collars and other dog accessories will be available at Chatham Bars Inn’s retail shop, and the property map has been updated with paw prints marking dog-friendly areas on the grounds, including the Cape Rose Cottage, Lilac House, South Lawn and Gazebo. Plastic gloves and bags will be stocked in these areas to simplify waste removal.

Chatham Bars Inn Beach

While the private beach at Chatham Bars Inn will be reserved for guests of the human variety, staff will be happy to point dogs desiring a romp in the sand and surf to a number of nearby beaches where they are welcome off-season (Sept. 15 – April 30). These include Cockle Cove, Forest, Harding, Jackknife Harbor, Oyster Pond, Pleasant Street, Ridgevale, Lighthouse and South (Nauset) Beach. And Cape Cod is replete with dog-friendly hiking and walking trails, from Chatham’s Morris Island Trail and Old Colony Rail Trail to nearby Orleans’ Kent’s Point Conservation Area and Brewster’s Eagle Point.

Chatham Bars Inn

About Chatham Bars Inn
Chatham Bars Inn is one of Cape Cod’s most beloved and storied destinations for family vacations, romantic getaways and corporate retreats. What opened as a luxury hunting lodge for wealthy Bostonians in 1914 is today a full-service resort with 217 individually decorated rooms and suites, endless recreational options, exceptional dining and an exclusive spa.

Chatham Bars Inn Spa Suite

Chatham Bars Inn has undergone a $100-million renovation that has left nothing untouched. The transformation has retained the Inn’s turn-of-the-century charm and breezy, seaside ambience while adding all the comforts and luxuries of modern living. The Inn is located on its own quarter-mile private beach just a short stroll from Chatham, one of the most historic and picturesque villages on the Cape. Chatham Bars Inn is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and recipient of the Forbes Four Star rating.

photos: Chatham Bars Inn
photo credit: Maarten via Flickr cc by 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/23 at 08:30 AM
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Lugabug Makes Traveling with Kids Easy!

Lugabug

Like so many of us, Seattle-based Jennie Helman and her husband Jon are always improvising—juggling busy work schedules and parenthood as best they can. Mother-of-three Jennie is also on the road quite a bit—traveling the nation as the tutu wearing, rockin’ bass player for The Not-Its!, Seattle’s renowned kindie rock band. When possible, her family comes along for the fun, and while they love the family time and final destinations—rock star or not—when traveling with kids, the chaos of the actual journey can turn the start of an awesome trip upside-down.

Lugabug

Luckily for the Helman family, dad and father Jon has an inventive side. When he and Jennie finally had enough of navigating their way through airports with three small children and lots of luggage, they came up with a device to make it easier–Lugabug–a child’s travel chair that attaches to a rolling suitcase in seconds without taking up extra space. It’s a hit with their kids—and will be a hit with yours as well!

Lugabug

Now, the dynamic duo is launching this “how did we travel with kids without this” product on Kickstarter.

Lugabug adds an instant element of fun and adventure. Kids love it because they get to ride safely and comfortably without getting tired feet. Adults love it because Lugabug carries your kid for you. You know where they are at all times, and you have a free hand to carry extra bags, a coffee or nothing at all… making all the difference between calm and chaos.

Lugabug

Lugabug is compact and lies flat against your suitcase, so there’s no need to remove it from your luggage when placing in an overhead compartment. Not only is it stylish, Lugabug is versatile and can convert to a bag to carry a Kindle, iPad or magazine, or can be used as a stand-alone chair or sitting pad.

Lugubug makes traveling with kids a breeze!

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/20 at 11:32 AM
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Looking for Unique Accommodations in Africa?

SleepOut.com

Planning a trip to Africa but want to stay somewhere authentic and cool? Try SleepOut.com—Africa’s version of AirBnB. The site, one of CNN’s 15 African technology startups to watch in 2014, helps those who want to explore Africa, but not necessarily the usual tourist destinations, find safe, local accommodations that meet their needs. With 8,000 properties throughout East, North and Southern Africa, you’ll definitely be able to find the perfect spot for your family!

SleepOut.com

The site is super user-friendly. Use the Wish Lists feature to find the locale you’ve been dreaming of, from castles and palaces to enchantingly romantic or family homes. Prices range from a $7 to $10,000 a night. Most of the properties are in Nairobi, Naivasha, Lamu, Maasai Mara, Diani and Zanzibar, but new properties are added every day, especially in Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The Manta Resort

Options include this amazing resort on Pemba Island that features a room with an “ocean view.” If you’ve ever wanted to fall asleep surrounded by fish, this is the room for you because, yes! The room is actually underwater!

The Fort

Thinking more royalty? This castle on Lamu Island might fit the bill! Accommodations include nine bedrooms, ocean views, Wi-Fi and a full staff to handle everything from cooking to arranging day travel.

Chongwe River House

Like luxury but still want something unique? Try this four-bedroom house in Lusaka Zambia that is carved right into the bedrock. The property is fully staffed with a guide, house manager, private chef and support staff. If you’re traveling light, an old school caravan in Avondale Zimbabwe might do the trick. Nostalgic? Try Freddie Mercury’s childhood vacation flat in Zanzibar.

The options are pretty much endless. No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find it on SleepOut.com! 

photos: SleepOut.com

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/16 at 08:30 AM
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Beyonce and Jay-Z visit Phuket

Phuket

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been traveling in style over the holiday season, from Iceland to Thailand and Cambodia! Last week was spent on the beautiful Phuket Island located off the west coast of Kra Isthmus about 500 miles south of Bangkok.

Amanpuri Villa Terrace

On Phuket, they stayed at the Amanpuri Resort in a $25,000 a night villa that previously hosted Prince William. The villas feature six separate bedrooms decorated with Thai furnishings, art and antiques. While staying at the villa, Bey and Jay relaxed at their own a private pool and spent some time building sand castles on the beach with their daughter. The Amanpuri Resort overlooks Pansea Beach and the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket Island.

Amanpuri Living Sala

The villas have rooftop lounges and media rooms, in addition to living and dining salas—the traditional open-air pavilions used in Thailand for meeting. And there’s no reason to ever leave your villa—unless you want to! A private chef, butler and live-in maid take care of any and every need during your stay. Meals of Thai cuisine are prepared in the villa’s private kitchen.

Phuket FantaSea

If you do choose to explore the island, you’ll want to check out the island’s ultimate cultural theme show, Phuket FantaSea; the Phuket Big Bhudda, one of the island’s most important landmarks; and Old Phuket Town where you can visit the ornate and beautifully preserved provinicial capital.

Looks like Beyoncé and Jay-Z had a great time visiting Phuket on their trip!

photograph: Beyonce Instagram
photograph: Amanpuri Resort
photo credit: Walter Lim via Flickr cc by 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/13 at 08:30 AM
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Considerations for Moving Abroad

Moving Abroad

Whether you are hoping to spend your golden years overseas, have spent a bit of time traveling and have decided you would like to settle down in another country for a bit, or are feeling totally bored with life and are looking to shake things up with some bold moves, moving abroad is not a decision to be made hastily.
While there are many great things about living in a different country, it can also be rife with challenges. Once the newness wears off, frustration can set in big time. When considering whether or not to move abroad, details can easily be romanticized causing people to overlook important considerations. If you are thinking about taking the plunge, here are a few things to consider.

How Different Do You Want It?
One of the reasons we love visiting new and different places is because, well….everything is new and different! If you are considering living abroad, consider how ‘different’ you want things to be. What can and can’t you live without? The idea of lazing away in a hammock in a remote tropical paradise sounds good in theory, but how do you think you would fare after a couple of months? Do you have a particularly strong attachment to Western food or want a nice grocery store stocked with imported goods you simply must have? Do you want the option to go to a mall or catch the latest movies? Are you gung ho to learn a new language or would you want to go to a place where many people may be able to speak at least a basic level of English?

Moving Abroad

Cost of Living
Now that you have an idea of how different or not different you want your new location to be, your next consideration will be cost of living. If you are hoping to go somewhere less expensive, be careful of letting the lure of cheap living be the sole deciding factor. Don’t sacrifice too much just in the name of spending as little dough as possible. How much money do you have to live on? Do you have any active income, and if so, is it steady or irregular? What sort of financial obligations do you have? If you are a US citizen and self-employed, for example, you are expected to pay the government self-employment tax no matter where you reside.

Whether you are looking to rent or buy a residence, take a look at the various websites that advertise properties to get an idea of what things cost. Keep in mind that certain places may not be as cheap as you think—you may dream of getting an apartment in Bangkok for only a few hundred dollars a month, but at that cost, you are either looking at a centrally located ‘apartment’ that is the same size as your bedroom, or something in the far flung outskirts. Speaking of housing, there are many avenues available to receive assistance with relocating abroad. Businesses such as the Mayflower moving company not only provide international moving and storage services, but also offer assistance with finding a home in your new country.

Moving Abroad

Know Ahead of Time the Thrill Will Eventually Wear Off
If you can prepare yourself ahead of time for the inevitable moment where things don’t feel so new and exciting anymore, you will be much better off. This isn’t to say that you will stop being happy in your new home, but simply that at some point, you will start to see things differently. Spending a long time somewhere is very different than passing through on vacation. Things that were interesting may become less so; things that you found so fascinating may become annoying. It’s all par for the course and totally normal. We often resist this phase, and it makes things even more unpleasant. But, if we just accept it for what it is, we are presented with a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the people, culture and ourselves.

Moving abroad is one of the most exciting things you can do, and you won’t regret it for sure. Just educate yourself as much as you can before jumping in, and you’ll be able to make the most of the experience.

photo credit: James Linwood via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: wackystuff via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr cc by 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 01/09 at 08:30 AM
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