Photo Courtesy of ShermansTravel
Book by August 31.
With limitless expanses of green countryside and dramatic coastlines, Ireland is a stunner. It also happens to have a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for travelers as well as affordable prices — especially compared to other countries in Europe. If you’ve been itching to visit, this package lets you do it for less.
For $1,119 per person, this 10-night itinerary from European Destinations gives you the organization (and easy planning) of a guided vacation, with lots of time for independent exploration. The package includes round-trip air from New York City, 10 nights’ accommodation in places like Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Killarney and Limerick, a 9-day car rental, daily breakfast and all taxes and fees.
Planning a cruise to the Galapagos can be overwhelming simply because there are hundreds of ships and tour companies to choose from. Once you’ve decided when you want to visit the Galapagos Islands, taking a cruise on a small yacht is the best way to see the more remote islands and wildlife.
Don’t let the word “yacht” give you the impression that you’ll spend your days lazing in the sun as you drift among the islands — tours to the Galapagos come with itineraries calling for early-morning wakeup calls, challenging hikes and multiple excursions daily. Translation: You’ll be spending most of your waking hours exploring the islands rather than relaxing on the ship. But you wouldn’t want it any other way when given the chance to visit a destination known for wildlife so epic that it inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
I opted to cruise with Adventure Life because this sustainable travel company is a member of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) and helps fund conservation projects to protect this double World Heritage site. As a guest on the M/Y Galapagos Grand Odyssey, I saw first-hand the benefits of traveling on a smaller luxury ship because it made the expedition experience both more intimate and comfortable. Here are some things I learned from traveling the Galapagos by ship:
The Runaway Bridesmaids surged ahead in the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City.
This month, newly-hired American Airlines flight attendants got the chance to dump freezing water over the head of their CEO minus the risk of being fired: They were taking part in the viral ice bucket challenge to raise funds and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease. The trend of flight attendants having fun for a good cause continues next month as male and female travel workers from many of the major airlines will be running in recycled bridesmaids dresses as part of the Runaway Bridesmaids 1-mile fun run on September 27 to raise awareness and funds to help fight human trafficking.
Delray Beach (Photo Courtesy of Panoramic Images / Getty Images)
Book by September 30.
Looking for a quick, end-of-summer getaway that’s as good for your spirit as it is for your budget? Try Florida’s Palm Beach. The area offers all the trappings of a classic beach getaway — miles of sand, excellent swimming and water sports galore — plus a posh vibe that extends to its restaurants, shops and (of course) its championship golf courses.
Starting at $430 per person, you can book an air-inclusive 3-night vacation package that lets you stay at the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront resort, and includes all taxes and fees. You’ll also receive exclusive discounts to nearby attractions such as the Palm Beach Zoo, Delray Yacht Cruises, MacArthur Beach State Park and more.
Photo Courtesy of ShermansTravel
Book by August 31.
Whether you’re ready to embark on your first cruise, or you’re an old pro at sailing the high season, you can’t go wrong with a weeklong Caribbean cruise. It’s not too long or too short. It offers plenty of variety, both on land and aboard the ship. And, it’s just the right amount of time to get away.
The great news about this particular 7-night Caribbean cruise? It costs $299 per person and it’s on a brand new ship. You’ll sail aboard MSC Cruises’ Divina, which had its maiden voyage in 2012, and offers distinctly European style, just like her namesake, actress Sophia Loren.
Calling all bargain hunters! Clear out your trunk and round up some cash for 127 Corridor, better known as “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” which starts today and continues through Sunday.
This annual “mother of all yard sales” typically begins on the first Thursday of August and includes 4 days of thrifting ‘til your hearts content. It starts in Addison, MI, and stretches for a whopping 690 miles along US Highway 127 to Gadsden, AL. Over the past 26 years, this mammoth yard sale has doubled in size across 6 states, with great finds including antiques, collectibles and furniture.
While hunting for trash-turned-treasures, yard sale-ers can soak up the flavor of each region sampling the local homemade treats and entertainment. When you can’t possibly squeeze anything else in your car, the fun doesn’t have to be over — keep an eye out for quirky roadside attractions along the route.
The month of August calls for savoring the last bit of summer fun, and what better way than with a little rum. In honor of National Rum Month, these 6 rum-infused cocktails will take you on a journey from the bright blue waters of the Caribbean to the plush highlands of Guatemala.
Born in Barbados
Rum was the first alcoholic spirit produced in the New World, in Barbados to be exact. This little Caribbean island is home to Mount Gay Rum Distilleries, which produces the starring ingredient in Elegant Hotels’ signature Rum Punch, which isn’t lacking any punch.
Barcelona (Photo Courtesy of Thinkstock)
Book by August 31.
Barcelona is a traveler’s dream. Teeming with incredible food, unmistakable landmarks and unstoppable nightlife, it’s no wonder that this elegant Spanish city is at the top of many bucket lists.
Whether your first priority is to see the latest addition to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, or to eat your way through La Boqueria market, this city is as varied as it is budget friendly. And if all of that exploring gets exhausting, you can always just lie on the beach.
Machu Picchu (Photo Courtesy of ShermansTravel)
Book by September 4.
Is peering down at the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu on your bucket list? How about a picturesque boat ride on Lake Titicaca or a stroll through the charming city of Cuzco? Check all of this off and more on an 8-night comprehensive tour of Peru while saving $1,000 from similar tours offered.
For $1,999 per person ($182 per day), this package from smarTours includes round-trip airfare on LAN Airlines, 8 nights of accommodations at first class hotels, all domestic flights, ground transportation and transfers, 11 meals (8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners) and sightseeing with an English-speaking tour guide.
Perspectives / Getty Images
The Galapagos Islands are a natural wonder unlike any other place on the planet. The islands are a volcanic archipelago teaming with one-of-a-kind animals and plants, thanks to a very remote location more than 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, and the fact that many species uniquely evolved since it’s difficult to migrate from one island to the next. (Each island has its own distinct landscape—the destination is, after all, the spark that fueled Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution).
Travelers are flocking to the Galapagos Islands largely due to the awe-inspiring animals (think: playful sea lions, century-old giant tortoises, and prehistoric-looking marine iguanas) and easier travel to the remote destination in recent years (there were only a few flights to the islands a week in the 70s, and today there is an average of about six a day). In fact, visitors to the Galapagos surged from only 11,765 in 1975 to a whopping 204,395 in 2013, according to the Galapagos National Park Service.
This tourist boom is impacting the delicate ecosystem by keeping the demand for flights high and causing a bigger carbon impact; requiring more cargo ships to up the odds of oil and other fuel spills—not to mention ocean contamination from boat paint; increasing trash with limited ways to dispose of it; causing degradation to natural environment with more people visiting fragile habitats; draining the already-limited fresh water supply; and increasing the risk of invasive species hitchhiking to the islands on ships and planes carrying tourists. Sadly, the Galapagos Islands were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in danger in 2007.
Even though an influx of travelers is putting this delicate eco-system at risk, there are ways you can use travel to help preserve rather than destroy this double World Heritage site.