Travel Tips Around The World

Jun 23 2016

Get in the FLOW with Adventure Flow Tours

Category: Destinations | Favorites | On The Scene | Recreationbhicks @ 07:15

Juneau is a popular stop on almost every Alaskan cruise, with shopping, sight-seeing, and whale watching being just SOME of the amazing options to choose from while in port. This blogger, though, set his sights on something a little more... ADVENTUROUS!

Adventure Flow offers outdoor small group tours that focus on providing the optimal Alaskan experience. The most attractive feature of Adventure Flow is the promise that their passionate guides will take you a step away from the crowds—most guided hikes in the area are highly populated, but Adventure Flow takes your small group on an intimate hike together. With walking, hiking, and smartphone photography tours they have something for everyone to enjoy the Southeast Alaska splendor. Adventure Flow tours place you in the moment and maximize your experience, giving you a unique opportunity not offered by any other tour operator. 

Here I am, preparing to embark on a Smart Phone Photography Tour. I was very excited to get started! The description of the tour promised that More...

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Jun 20 2016

Exploring the Animal Orphanage at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Category: Destinations | Hotels | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 07:24

When I checked into the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Kenya, I knew I was someplace special. This gorgeous, sweeping resort is a haven perched on the equator, abutting Mount Kenya National Park. Its lush grounds and range of amenities create a welcome respite after a long journey to eastern Africa, but the resort boasts something truly unique: an on-site animal orphanage staffed by enthusiastic volunteers.

The animal orphanage is a retreat-within-a-retreat, housing dozens of different animals—many indigenous to Kenya, as well as a few species that were given to the country of Kenya and its high-ranking officials as gifts. So in addition to monkeys, bongos, ostriches and cheetahs, you'll also see a More...

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Jun 16 2016

Juneau Tours: Whale watching at its finest

Category: Cruises | Destinations | On The Scenebhicks @ 05:28

When adventuring in Juneau, Alaska, whale watching seems to be a standard "go-to" activity for most tourists. Many companies offer tours, and at first glance it may be hard to decide with whom to embark. Luckily, this blogger has well informed local friends, so I chose Juneau Tours- a well established and locally respected brand. Booking this excursion was simple and fast, and the cost is very consistent with the quality of the tour.

I sailed with my good friend Patrick, we arrived early and were able to chat for a moment with Emily and Jon, the deckhands. Both of these employees were highly motivated to be there, and seemed to genuinely enjoy leading the trips out to see the humpback whales. More...


Jun 15 2016

A Tour of Halong Bay with Indochina Junk

This post comes from two of our hotel correspondents, Meghan Mirchich and Daniel Doyon, who are spending a year traveling the world. Check out their adventures at

Junk boats with sails

Indochina Junk is a luxury cruise line operating a variety of traditional junk boats in the scenic waters of Halong Bay. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site in northeast Vietnam. Tourists come from around the world to see Halong’s unique emerald waters punctuated by limestone towers covered in rain forests. Given its popularity, More...

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Jan 8 2016

Alfajiri Villas Preview: Paradise on Kenya's wild coast

Category: Favorites | Hotels | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 11:14

On a recent trip to Kenya, I stayed in paradise: A private villa with an infinity pool on a white-sand beach. Included in my stay were upscale home-cooked meals, stellar service, wine and massages. I was in plumeria-laden heaven. 

I have been lucky to explore many exceptional hotels, but sometimes I come across properties with something really special. Alfajiri Villas has that special something, and I think it can be attributed to the exquisite taste, standards and attention to detail shown by its owners and managers, Fabrizio and Marica Molinaro.

Located in the beach town of Diani, Kenya, down an unmarked driveway, Alfajiri Villas is popular with in-the-know travelers and celebrities (Rowan Atkinson was one of its first guests). This place is an absolute gem. When I spoke with Fabrizio during my stay, he said that his philosophy is that the villas should feel like home.

Fabrizio coordinates More...

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Dec 7 2015

Discovering holiday magic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Category: Destinations | Favorites | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 05:22

At this time of year, it seems that everybody has his/her own traditions that draw on deep connections to family, home and heritage. I love the holidays because of all the traditions that coexist so beautifully. Twinkling lights, food and family seem to come to the forefront. Your warmest holiday memories may tie to a candlelight service at your church, a great meal cooked by your grandmother, or cocktails and sequins with some of your best friends. The holidays always remind me of why I love to travel: Everyone has a unique story.

When I needed a dose of holiday joy this year, I turned to my current hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and it surprised me with its cozy, comforting, delightful magic. From stunning architecture dotted with winter greenery to Christmas carols sung by candlelight, this city is full of experiences that will make you feel right at home, no matter where you're from.

Image provided by Old Salem Museums & Gardens.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens. This Moravian settlement is a must-see any time of year. Restored original structures and guides in traditional dress take you back in time to the 17- and 1800s. At Christmas, however, Old Salem More...

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Sep 2 2015

An autumn road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall is swiftly approaching, and I can think of no better way to experience its crisp air and vibrant foliage than on a leisurely road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway stretches from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, with dozens of jaw-dropping vistas along the way. It's a truly gorgeous stretch of the country, and fall is the perfect time to take it all in.

Fall foliage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Start your trip with a rejuvenating stay at More...

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Aug 27 2015

Do I really need travel insurance?

This post comes from Denise Rogers, travel42 Advisory Board member and owner of Palm Beach Travel Genie. Want to learn more about the top agents on our Advisory Board? Click here.

Travel Insurance. Just the thought of it makes people groan and roll their eyes—travel professionals and clients alike.

Admittedly, it's not a sexy topic, but it is an essential one. After their homes and cars, travel is often the next-largest investment people make. Clients buy insurance on themselves, their homes and cars; they need to insure their vacations, as well.

I don't know how many times I've heard, "I don’t need insurance; I'm going even if I have to go on a stretcher!" Well, that optimism is interesting but just not practical. Or I'll hear, "Nothing is wrong with me. Why should I waste my money on insurance?" I don’t know about yours, but my crystal ball doesn’t predict the future very well. I have seen perfectly healthy people need insurance.

I once had 22 family members booked on a cruise: grandparents, parents and children. They boarded the ship midafternoon. Two hours later, More...

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Jun 22 2015

What to expect flying SAA business class

Category: Destinations | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 11:15

I recently returned from a trip to Durban, South Africa, for the INDABA pan-African trade show. It was a whirlwind—I spent three days in Durban, preceded and followed by two full days of travel on each end of the trip. While four days of airports and airplane seats can seem daunting, I have to tell you that those long spans of travel time were an absolute pleasure. I was fortunate to fly business class on South African Airways to and from Durban, and on my trip I got to experience two different routes, two different planes and three SAA airport lounges. Throughout those long days of travel, SAA was incredibly accommodating and hospitable, with high standards that definitely make an upgrade worth the expense.

Flying SAA from Dulles to Johannesburg. My international flight to South Africa departed from Washington, D.C., and the journey was about 16 hours in length. On this route, we flew in a newer-model plane with massage seats that reclined completely flat (making it easy to combat jet lag ahead of time by getting a great night's sleep in-flight). Entertainment options were wonderful: We had access to a huge variety of new-release movies as well as older classics and international films on personal monitors. Business-class flyers also receive dopp kits with eye masks, earplugs, and lotion and lip balm, which are so welcomed when the air gets dry during the long flight.

The in-flight menus for dinner and breakfast are More...

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May 29 2015

The perks of a long-weekend staycation

Category: General | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 07:59

Generally I don't use trendy mashup words like "staycation," but for this delightful concept, I'll make an exception.

Staycations are the best, and they're the perfect answer to all the reasons why you can't pick up and take a trip to Europe right now: Money, time and logistics are minimal concerns. Although North Carolina is no Tuscany, there are still plenty of ways to have a great time and get away from your daily routine, which is what vacation is all about. 

The N.C. State Farmers Market in Raleigh, NC

Here's why you should consider a staycation this weekend (or any weekend): More...

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