Defined as a landmark or area with a natural or cultural heritage considered to be of outstanding value to humanity, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure that we can all cherish and enjoy. Whether it is the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk in The Netherlands, the timeless landscapes of Austria's Wachau Valley or Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, you can explore many of these unique places on a wonderful river or luxury ocean cruise.
Gaudi's spectacular La Sagrada Família is considered a symbol of Barcelona by many, and is one of Gaudí's groundbreaking buildings that has shaped the identity of the city. In France, on the other hand, Notre Dame Cathedral now being restored after a devastating fire in 2019, the is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.
In the scenic Dutch countryside, the picturesque windmills of Kinderdijk date back to the 18th century and form part of an important water management network. These UNESCO-listed windmills are still in operation today, and you can discover their fascinating history
What's on your bucket list?!
This region at the top of the world is where raw tundra and remote, beautiful landscapes take on a new meaning.
Driven by weather, wildlife and whim, Arctic cruises are the true definition of transformative travel. From close encounters with diverse wildlife to un-rivalled expedition knowledge, there is no doubt about it: Arctic cruises are amazing.
Small ship expedition cruises offer comfort, unrivalled expedition knowledge and some of the most spectacular landscapes you’re ever likely to see. That could mean scanning the horizon for Polar Bears, taking a Zodiac cruise to access an Inuit community or learning how to take the perfect iceberg photo. With a luxury expedition cruise, you will kayak the glacial Arctic seas by day and dine in superlative luxury by night. Extensive coverage of the region offers a variety of itineraries and lengths; meaning there is very little of the region not covered by one itinerary or another.
Since pioneering luxury expedition voyages, small ship cruise line, such as Silversea have been perfecting the expedition experience. Intimate ice-class ships small enough to go where others can’t, offer spacious suites and public spaces to make your expedition personal. Whether trekking across tundra, gliding over icy waters, encountering rare wildlife or immersed in local culture, you’ll know it’s a journey of a lifetime when you visit the Arctic.
Get your binoculars ready, if you want to explore the awe-inspiring Arctic with incomparable expertise, venturing deeper into this remote region to reveal its fragile beauty. From Svalbard and Iceland to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, you will embark on a life-changing expedition in the Far North!
If you take your traveling seriously and are looking for a trip to the Arctic, contact Chris Rakes. Chris is a small ship and all inclusive luxury specialist who can be reached at 919.589.2437 or email@example.com
EMBRACE EVERY MOMENT WITH EVERY LUXURY INCLUDED
Go aboard and immediately embrace the freedom and relaxation that comes with the finest luxury cruises. Sprawling suites, multiple dining options and spacious social areas mean there are no crowds and no waiting. Then ashore, immerse yourself in every destination with included excursions, knowledgeable tour guides and cultural experiences.
A private butler makes all the difference! It’s a perk that you can add on to a luxe stay at Sandals Resorts or Luxury Cruise, that simply must be indulged in!! I've never had a client be sorry they booked a butler.
Picture this…you arrive and are greeted with a signature cocktail and refreshing scented hand towel. Once escorted to your incredible suite, here’s what you can expect over the course of your stay:
-Private check in within the serenity of your suite with a full briefing of the property.
-Luggage is handled and/or unpacked to your preference.
-Cell phone is provided for immediate reach and direct access to your butler 24/7.
-Arrangement of dinner reservations, excursions, spa treatments and property activities, at your fingertips and as you desire.
-Lunch and drinks served at beach and pool.
-Consistent assurance that your suite is in perfect condition throughout the stay with any special requests or amenities requested.
-Chaise lounges reserved at the beach and/or pool in your favorite spot; along with a stocked cooler for the day.
-Arrangement of romantic en-suite dining with fully customized menu.
-Private escort to dinner within hotel or onboard to a beautifully decorated table.
A butler vacation is a fun and special treat that will live on as a wonderful memory, forever. It is decadent touch that is worth the splurge, on those special milestone trips! To repeat, never has any client, including myself regretted booking a butler suite.
Chris Rakes is an All Inclusive Luxury Expert who is both personally and professionally experienced with butler service vacations. She's a big fan and has tips for enhancing the experience, even further. Contact Chris to assist you in planning the ultimate vacation. She is always happy and excited to help you experience the best time possible, on your well earned trip!
ChrisRakes@totalexperiencetravel.com / 919.589.2437
Riviera Nayarit is a destination rich in culture, nature, gastronomy and places you really must visit at least once. Check out these can’t-miss places that will make you fall in love with Mexico.
Sayulita. If you haven’t visited Sayulita yet, you hopefully at least have it on your radar. This is the most picturesque of the Riviera Nayarit’s 23 micro-destinations, with local art and decorations on every corner. You can stop in for souvenirs, a surfing class and the iconic Instagram photo on the street with the colorful papel picado or cut-paper flags.!
Isla Isabel National Park. This natural oasis on Isabel Island is ideal for connecting with nature: You can only get here with a guided tour from San Blas and you have to spend the night, since the tide prevents a round trip in one day. Here you’ll see plenty of fauna including the whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, frigates, seagulls and blue-footed boobies. PS: This adventure is only for nature-lovers!
Saltwater Pool. A day spent splashing around in the water is awesome, but doing it in a saltwater pool is twice as nice. Located across from the Palladium Resort in Punta de Mita, this is a big must. This saltwater pool depends on the tide, so it’s only possible to swim in it when the waves literally fill it up.
Cerro del Mono (Monkey Mountain). The best place to view the sunset! Great for people who love to hike. There are two routes: one for intermediate hikers and another for more experienced ones. Once you reach the top, you’ll be treated to the most jaw-dropping view of the Riviera Nayarit. If you’d rather hike in the morning, the view is just as lovely.
Isla del Coral (Coral Island). Paradise doesn’t get any better than this! Just 10 minutes by boat from lovely Rincón de Guayabitos puts you in the Riviera Nayarit’s gorgeous natural aquarium: Isla del Coral, or Coral Island. This place will knock your socks off with its crystal-clear water just made for snorkeling, swimming or paddle boarding. Highly recommended!
Chris Rakes is an All Inclusive Luxury Expert and Mexico Destination Specialist available and happy to help you research, plan and go on that dream vacation!
Traveling abroad? Thanks to a new mobile app, you can now skip the paperwork at 27 U.S. airports and four cruise ports. Authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Mobile Passport Control app expedites entry by allowing U.S. citizens and Canadians who hold valid passports to proceed directly to a border patrol agent. The free app is available for both Android and iPhone users. Learn more at www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/mobile-passport-control.
Not as quick as global entry, but not as expensive either! And, no more wasting paper.
Spyware, malware, ransomware, data breaches and identity theft — cyberattacks are on the rise, and they’re only becoming more sophisticated. Every email, every public Wi-Fi network, every free charging station is a potentially catastrophic encounter, and business travelers are particularly vulnerable.
With such potentially devastating consequences, how do you protect yourself? Staying up-to-date with cybersecurity best practices is essential. Here are our top tips for keeping your data safe while traveling.
The REAL ID deadline is looming and most Americans aren’t prepared. Here’s what you need to know: as of October 1, 2020, if your driver’s license or government-issued ID isn’t REAL ID-compliant, TSA cannot accept it as official identification. Of course, passports will always be considered an acceptable form of ID, and domestic travelers under the age of 18 aren’t required to present identification, but for those of us who are used to flying with just a driver’s license, as of October, those licenses must be REAL ID-compliant.
How do you know if your license is REAL ID-compliant? REAL ID cards have a special marking in the top right corner. The symbol varies by state, but most are a star. If your ID doesn’t have one of these markings, it will not be accepted as proof of identity by TSA.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to apply. Millions of Americans still don’t have theirs, which means as the deadline approaches, wait times will soar. Requirements vary by state, but all involve an in-person visit to a DMV as well as the presentation of documents such as birth certificate, proof of address and social security card. For more information, visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.
With our current virus pandemic, I’m sure many of you have questions about your upcoming travel. As a friendly reminder, I am a travel consultant. I am by no means an expert on the current virus or its consequential restrictions. I work in the best interest of my clients acting as a liaison between client and travel suppliers and vendors. I do not dictate terms.
On behalf of clients traveling in near future, I’m reaching out to suppliers to inquire as to any possibility for an alternate plan and/or to determine how they plan to proceed. From what I’ve seen, each supplier is handling things differently depending on the country/region in which they do business and which client itineraries are affected. The quality suppliers I work with are monitoring things closely - and adjusting as necessary.
I’m recommending all clients watch the following sites and consider the facts in order to make a decision with which they are comfortable. The CDC's website is a great resource with content specific to address question around cancelling or postponing travel. The World Health Organization is also a good resource and has also been issuing daily updates about the spread of coronavirus. The State Department travel.state.gov is another good site for Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security in specific countries. Regardless of where and when you are traveling, I always encourage clients to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
CDC has a 3 level warning system for countries which is frequently updated and considered reliable when contemplating a destination - https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices . Thus far the Caribbean and Mexico are considered safe.
Following are a few other articles you might find helpful.
Remember trip protection is always recommended industry wide and best protection when you need to cancel of your own volition.
Science has shown that one’s environment has a direct impact on well-being, a fact that anyone who’s spent significant time in the mountains or by the sea can attest to. There’s just something about being by the ocean, hearing the crashing waves and feeling the sea breeze against your face; or being in the desert, hearing nothing but the chirp of an odd bird and seeing nothing but an endless landscape of majestic rock that makes you leave all your worries at home and let yourself breathe. The following locations will make even the most stressed-out individuals find their bliss.
A big part of resetting your mind is learning how to slow down, and the laid-back vibe of the Caribbean may be just the place for those needing a break from the fast-paced frenzy of their lives. Once you step off the plane and breathe in the ocean air, look out at the turquoise sea and walk barefoot through the smooth white sand with a cool daiquiri in hand, the bothers of daily life are all but forgotten. Choose from a multitude of swimming pools to wade in or sit under palm trees with a book in hand and ocean in view. Play a few rounds at a pro-level golf course, and wander to a conch shack for fresh delicacies prepared on the spot. And if shopping relieves stress for you, pop into the high-end boutiques for a little retail therapy.
It’s no surprise that some of the wealthiest people in the world, who could live anywhere they want, choose to settle down in towns like Santa Monica, California, or Palm Beach, Florida. These locales provide easy access to major cities in the U.S., so traveling to and from is not an issue. And once you’re there, the towns are bursting with modern luxuries and convenience, while remaining pristine in appearance. Manicured lawns rest in front of mammoth mansions, and five-star resorts with seaside spas and fine cuisine are plentiful. Walk straight from your oceanfront hotel to a secluded beach below for sunrise yoga, experience in-suite spa treatments, indulge in healthy Michelin-star meals and cycle to town on complimentary bicycles at the impressive resorts that make up America’s chic coastal getaways.
The beauty of the desert is endless, creating the perfect setting for days of quiet contemplation. What better way to treat yourself in this day and age of constant noise and endless obligation? In the desert, nobody cares if your inbox is packed with unopened emails. And in the desert, the mountains call for you to climb them, bringing an organic opportunity to focus on physical as well as mental health. Take a hike and feel the full-body relaxation and restful sleep that follows a day of exercise. Soothe your muscles in a private outdoor soaking tub at a desert resort, align your body at a top-ranked spa and dine on fresh seasonal cuisine while sitting on an outdoor dining deck facing the expansive mountains.
Spirituality seekers have been known to visit Hawaii for the healing properties that only a tropical paradise can bring. Whether or not you believe that the islands’ volcanic energies are operating at higher chakra frequencies, it can’t be denied that the unique beauty of its verdant jungles and rolling hills existing in the same space as the bluest ocean waters and clear skies possess a special soul-soothing quality. Make time to try a Lomi Lomi massage, take sail on the waters of the Pacific, enter an infinity pool that looks out on the ocean and commune with nature in a protected wildlife reserve, and you’ll return home invigorated.
All Inclusive vacations enhance your experience further, by allowing you to not have to think about or plan a thing!
Contact ChrisRakes@totalexperiencetravel.com to help you plan your relaxing, invigorating vacation. She is a certified vacation expert and will help you chose the trip best for you. Her personal professional services add value from research through return, at no additional cost.
River Cruise & Luxury All Inclusive Travel Advisor