COSTA RICA: LA PURA VIDA

A Beachgoer’s Paradise!

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I am absolutely in love with this country. It’s by far my favorite place to escape to. It’s relaxed, laid back, easy going vibe is so addicting, that I could seriously drop my entire life, buy a tiny hotel or bar and just become a full time Tican in their Pura Vida! The beauty here is staggering and the sluggish pace is extremely seductive. What’s not to love about this place? It’s the greenest country in the world, a peaceful democracy, overwhelming natural beauty, with untouched beaches, amazing prime waves to surf, pure organic foods, untouched nature, rain forests galore, active volcanos, a tropical climate year round, endless national parks and waterfalls to explore, unbelievable culture, some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and the best coffee next to Cuba.

So, what’s on tap? The question is what isn’t? Active travelers can surf, hike, snorkel and sport wildlife for starters. The incredibly varied topography means you can cruise the cloud forest one day, visit an active volcano the next, and finish by relaxing on a hot sandy beach. Adrenaline junkies this is your haven! You can zip-line through canopy lines hundreds of meters long and ride the rough surf of the Pacific. Choice and variety name the game. It’s truly a peaceful oasis in a tumultuous region, this tiny nation draws 1.5 million visitors every year. So if you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. So this makes for amazing surf!

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Point and beach breaks, lefts and rights, reefs and river mouths, warm water and year-round waves make Costa Rica a favorite surfing destination. For the most part, the Pacific coast has bigger swells and better waves during the latter part of the rainy season, but the Caribbean cooks from November to May. Basically, there is a wave somewhere waiting to be surfed at any time of the year. Remember that the best Pacific swells are during the rainy season – perfect for surfers on a budget. For the uninitiated, lessons are available at almost all of the major surfing destinations – especially popular towns include Jacó, Dominical and Tamarindo on the Pacific coast. For our money, the best value schools and lessons in the country are in Dominical. Surfing definitely has a steep learning curve, and can be potentially dangerous if the currents are strong. With that said, the sport is accessible to children and novices, though it’s always best to inquire locally about conditions before you paddle out. Having trouble standing up? Here is a tip: long boards readily maintain their stability, even in heavy crashing surf.

Here’s a list of the best surf breaks: Playa Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Playa Hermosa, Playa Avellanas & Negra, Playa Samara, Pavones, Dominical, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.

Here are some of the best beaches: Tamarindo, Playa de Coco, Guanacaste beach break, Playa Conchal, Mal Pais & Santa Teresa, Jaco, Nosara Area, and Playa Hermosa.

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Here are some of their national parks: Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal, Guanacaste National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Diria National Park, Palo Verde National Park

Here are some places you must see: Rio Celeste Water fall and river, La Fortuna Waterfall, El Chorro Waterfall, La Paz Waterfall, Arenal Volcano,  Tabacon Hot Spings, Cloud Forests Manuel Antonio & Monteverde, Tortuguero National Park

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Some Things to do: Surf, Paddle Board, Golf, Yoga, Day Spas, Deep Sea Fishing, Snorkeling, Diving, Waterfall Rappelling, White Water Rafting, Hiking, Zip-Lining, ATV-ing, , take an Adventure tour or a Nature, Marine, Educational, Cultural Tour….for more information contact us at: info@lovetravelevents.com

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Some Random things to know while you are in Costa Rica:

-Water is safe to drink, but use your own judgement

-Be a little concerned about Dengue Fever! But don’t go Bonkers! Just make sure you have repellent on at all times. Read here about Dengue Fever!

-The sun is nasty here. You can burn in less then 30 minutes. I’d suggest 50 or 100 SPF. Ladies you’ll still tan you just won’t look like a costa rican lobster

-Costa Rica drivers are crazy!

-NO price on it? Don’t buy it!

-Be very Carefull with petty thefts. Don’t leave valuables visable. Don’t leave car doors or hotel rooms unlocked.

-Driving distances are long, so bring some cd’s. Not all car rentals have USB plug-ins

-Exchange US$ for some colones and avoid using your credit card so much. Not all places will accept US$ or Credit cards. Ask before you buy.

-You need a passport, so don’t forget it!

-Distances here are weird. People look at a map and say things like, “We can drive that in an hour, honey!”. No… you can’t. There are mountains, traffic, accidents, bad roads, cows, donkeys, monkeys,… and of course, as there are no street signs nor addresses, you will likely get lost.  If you can possibly be delayed, you will be. The general rule I use is that I will average 20-30 MPH (30 KPH – 45 KPH) for travel around the country. So for example, if you see a place that is 100 KM away (about 66 miles), plan on two hours to three + hours to get there.

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Based on my experience 10 days in Costa Rica for your first time is a good amount of time to see a little of everything this country has to offer. Now, of course there are many ways to visit this country to fit within anyones budget. You can back pack from San Jose to Guanacaste and back, visiting low budget hotels and hostels. You can fly straight into Liberia, rent a car and stay in a villa with some friends to split costs. You can rent a villa all to yourselves with a private cook and all! You can splurge and stay at the amazing Four Seasons for a week or you can rent a car and hit economical hotels along the way. There’s something for everyone in Costa Rica. The possibilities are truly endless. Contact me to plan the perfect vacation for you, based on how you want to experience this unforgettable and addicting country!

Here is a list of some of our favorite places to stay: 

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica Coming November 1st 2014

JW Marriott Playa Avellanas en Guanacaste

Barcelo Langosta Beach Tamarindo

Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort

Villa rentals in Tamarindo (Contact me)

Villa rentals in Playa de Coco (Contact me)

Villa rentals in Playa Hermosa (Contact me)

Villa Caletas Boutique Hotel in Puntarenas

Four Season Resort Costa Rica Papagayo

Los Suenos Marriott Herradura

Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens in La Fortuna

Nayara Springs Costa Rica

The Springs Resort and Spa La Fortuna

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort La Fortuna

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Where to eat? Everywhere!! Eat at the sodas – “Sodas” are small family run restaurants which specialize in inexpensive local meals, usually costing around $2 USD including a drink. These hole-in-the-wall restaurants offer the best value in the country. All of the hotels I mentioned have outstanding food! For Local Hot Spots Contact me! STAY AWAY FROM ROADSIDE TOURIST TRAPS!

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For local recommendations in the cities I mentioned and to BOOK your next trip to COSTA RICA contact Love. Travel. Events. at: info@lovetravelevnts.com

TRAVEL TUESDAY: ROMANCE FOR THOUGHT

What is Romance Travel?

Romance, by dictionary definition, means “the colorful world, life, or conditions relating to” or “a romantic spirit, sentiment, emotion or desire.” Clearly, this isn’t just a vacatation – it’s an experience. Hopefully one you will cherish forever.

Romance travel can be defined in many ways – honeymoons, babymoons, familymoons, destination weddings, vow renewals, anniversary trips, engagement getaways, couples-only vacations – the names and the options go on. Basically, any couple who wants to get away to a gorgeous destination and invest time in each other equates to romance travel. It’s up to your Romance Travel Specialist to make your dreams come true!

ABOUT DESTINATION WEDDINGS

One of the hottest new trends for brides and grooms is getting married in beautiful, exotic locations. And did you know that destination weddings can be more affordable than a traditional wedding! On average, a destination wedding is $13,000 less expensive than a traditional wedding. And since destination weddings can be as elaborate or simple as you’d like, you don’t have to sacrifice anything if you choose this option. In fact, you’ll probably be able to take advantage of the special perks that come with having your wedding away from home.

Save by Having your wedding and Honeymoon all in one

Many all-inclusive resorts offer a wedding ceremony as a basic add-on to any stay. Some will even throw in a free wedding if you book a higher room category or stay there a certain number of nights. This saves you a lot of money–all you need are two round-trip air tickets and weren’t you going to purchase them anyway?

A vacation for those attending

Getting married away from home doesn’t mean you can’t be surrounded by the ones you love the most. Destination weddings allow for your guests to get away to gorgeous locations and enjoy a little time off. Rest assured that a Romance Vacation Specialist will handle all guests’ travel arrangements and questions, create affordable payment plans, and arrange for multiple guests to fly together. Not to mention, a lot of resorts and cruise ships offer nice discounts if your group fills up enough of their rooms/cabins!

Relax on your big day

Most resorts or cruise lines offer a basic wedding package that includes a wedding planner on-site, the set up and décor of the ceremony location, an officiant with witnesses (if needed), a reception location, cake, photography and videography options. Many resorts also offer ways to customize their packages to suit every bride and groom’s desire. In addition, they offer personalized touches to make their packages unique, like color palettes and favor options. All this is prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your big day!

Everything you need to know about Destination Weddings and More!

The number one resource to have when planning your destination wedding is a travel expert who can help you have a relaxing wedding day without all the stress! They know the ins and outs of the business and can connect you with the best rates, offer advice, and make sure everything is handled.

A Romance Vacation Specialist has experience booking all types of destination weddings from intimate beachside ceremonies to elaborate gatherings in exotic locations. Take a look at some of the questions that we see most often from brides and grooms-to-be CLICK HERE. Don’t see a question that you’re wondering about? Skip the Internet search and go straight to the source that knows it all…your Romance Travel Specialist!

Contact: Sullyann@LoveShackVacations.com or call (888) 805-8108 ext 4120.

 

ALL ABOUT HONEYMOONS

Let’s face it. Planning a honeymoon on your own can be overwhelming and stressful. How do you know where to go, what you can afford and what best suits your style and interests? With an abundance of resorts, cities, villas, spas and unique one-of-a-kind locations across the world, it can be a little bit overwhelming to even begin this process. Even the most basic honeymoon can take considerable planning and research, and when planning your wedding, the thought of planning another event can be daunting. With the help of you personal Romance Travel Specialist, you don’t have to leave this once-in-a-lifetime trip to chance.

We will help you design your dream holiday so you can relax, eat, love, play and celebrate each other in an unforgettable setting. Whether it’s Hawaii, St. Barth’s, Mexico, Spain or Italy … or wherever you’ve always dreamt of going. So, don’t trust just anyone with your honeymoon plans. We have the credibility, experience and expertise to create a lasting & flawless honeymoon experience. We’re committed to providing you with helpful, free information to ensure all your honeymoon travel needs are met.

It is important to remember that like your wedding; honeymoons take a number of months to plan and book, so it is always important to start early. Love. travel. Events. will work with you to create a personalized, one of a kind honeymoon. Where all you have to do is pack, get to the airport on time and the rest is on us.

ABOUT COUPLES GETAWAYS

Already have an idea of where you’d like to go? We’ll work with your unique budget and help you get there. Not sure if you’d like to go somewhere you’ve already been as a couple or somewhere new? Ask us for advice and we’ll share our suggestions. We can even arrange travel for guests or your whole family if you would like them to come along too.

Fun Group Getaways

If you’re interested in traveling with a group of other couples you know, LoveShack Vacations can make it happen. Adult-only resorts offer you and the couples you are traveling with the opportunity to escape to child-free environments full of luxury and privacy not often found at family-friendly resorts. Most of these resorts have special amenities like room service around the clock, upscale dining, and even private butler service!

ROMANCE TRAVEL REGISTRIES…IT’S NOT JUST FOR HONEYMOONS!!!

We always recommend that couples use a registry when booking their honeymoons to help them get special extras that they may have thought were out of their reach/budget. Well, the same applies to couples who are celebrating a big anniversary or vow renewal. Many times family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors like to celebrate those special occasions but aren’t sure what to give as a gift. What can you get a couple that has already been married and living together for 5, 10, 25, or even 50 years?!? Romance travel registries are the newest and best way to get something you really want and they can help you save a lot on your romantic vacation. Love. Travel. Events. will even help you set up an online registry for free!

To begin planning your next unforgettable vacation contact Love. Travel. Events. who’s now selling “Romance Travel” with LoveShack Vacations!!

Contact: Sullyann@LoveShackVacations.com or call (888) 805-8108 ext 4120.

10 REASONS TRAVEL AGENTS ARE BETTER THAN THE INTERNET

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider using a travel agent these days instead of spending your valuable time researching endless ideas….

 

1. They know whether you’re actually getting a good deal.
Since 90 percent of the airline tickets you buy are for a domestic flights, your knowledge of the relative value of a flight to London is, how shall we say, limited. A travel agent, however, books these on a regular basis and will know immediately if the $600 whatever website told you is a “smoldering price” or it’s actually reasonable.

 

2. Travel agents know where to go in a city, or know someone who does.
It helps to have a reputable resource available who knows the best restaurants, dive bars, or sports arenas without having to sift through a thousand ridiculous reviews about how the waitress didn’t bring you the right drink. Since they book trips all the time, TA’s know this stuff like the back of their hands. And if they don’t, they’re one call away from getting you an answer.

 

3. They’ve got your back when it comes to flight delays/cancellations.
Try calling a website when your flight gets cancelled and the line to rebook stretches through the terminal. Even if you get through to the airline directly, they still don’t have a clue who you are. Call your travel agent, though, and they’ll get you squared away on another flight while you get squared away at the airport bar.

 

4. They can actually get you seats together, on the same flight, for the same price.
Rather than spend a week on a group text trying to coordinate your Summer vacay away with the family, only to book your flights separately online and find you’re all sitting next to different people (and paid different fares), a travel agent can get your entire group the same ticket price, with seats together, on the same flight.

 

5. They can get you VIP status without being a VIP.
Restaurant supposedly booked for months? Yeah, that’s no issue for a travel agent. Need a table at the hottest club in Las Vegas? They’ve got more promoters on speed dial than a South Beach swimsuit model. Thanks to the relationships they maintain across the tourism industry, they can also score you tickets to special tours, private tastings, and other events the Internet doesn’t even know about. Or, if it does, has hidden so deep it’ll take you hours to find out about them.

 

6. And speaking of hours on the Internet, TAs do all the research for you (Period).

 

7. They get better prices, first
That $49 one-way flight your email update indicated was a “fresh new deal” was actually available to your travel agent last week, because they have better relationships with airlines and wholesalers. Which also means their prices are… ready for this… usually better than online. Especially for complicated or premium fares.

 

8. They have Southwest’s prices too.
Fun as it is planning your flight, calculating baggage, seat selection, and water fees, then repeating the whole process on Southwest.com to seeing if it’s cheaper, a travel agent can do the comparison shopping for you. And he or she can do it with any other airline that doesn’t play the online search engine game.

 

9. No-hassle 24-hour changes
“Non-refundable” on your online reservation — be it a flight, hotel reservation, Duck Tour, whatever — usually means you have 24 hours to make changes without penalty. Most people don’t realize this. Yes, even a “non-refundable” airline ticket can be changed. The only catch, you have to actually call and deal directly with the airline. Or, instead of spending hours on hold listening to “all agents are currently busy”, you can let your travel agent happily fix the ticket. Your call.

 

10. They’ve been there, they’ve experienced it, they know what will be the best for you!

 

TRAVEL TIPS: TWELEVE

You can never have too many tips! Here are some genius ideas to consider during your travels…

1. Keep loose chargers and cables organized with a glasses case.

 

2. Traveling to a tropical destination? Place a dryer sheet at the bottom of your suitcase to keep you clothes smelling fresh.

3. You can always use a pill container to keep your jewelry organized and untangled if you can’t find a good jewelry holder in time for your trip.

 

4. Put smartphones in airplane mode to save battery and charge faster.

5. If you choose your seats near the wings of the plane you’ll experience less turbulence. They tend to have the least amount of bounce when flying, because it has more structural support.

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6. Cram the most into your carry on, buy buying some vacuum sealed bags. they can save some ridiculous amount of space.

 

7. When reserving airline seats for 2 people, get the aisle and window. If no one takes the middle seat you get a full row, and if someone does, just ask them to switch so you sit next to your travel partner.

8. Pack your suit coats inside out to keep them clean and avoid creasing.

 

9. Wait to buy airline tickets until 3pm on Tuesdays. Typically this is when the big airlines reduce their fares in order to compete with the discount airlines like Southwest and JetBlue. If you’re looking to save some money, this is where a travel agent comes in hand and they can cross check all the agent booking portals and get you the best price. Prices not seen on Expedia or websites like Orbitz.

10. Prevent messy spills in your luggage and unscrew your 3oz bottle lids and place a simple patch of saran wrap on the top and screw them back on.

 

11. Best time to use the plane bathrooms are right after the plane has leveled off and 15-20minutes before landing.

12. Forgot your cell phone charger? Double check with your hotels front desk as tons of travelers leave theirs behind and they tend to have a box full of them.

 

To plan your next vacation and be able to put these tips into use contact me at Sully@lovetravelevents.com

I hope these help you during your next trip!

DESTINATION WEDNESDAY’S

Wine down this Wednesday with a glass of wine and enjoy these fantastic destinations to keep in mind for that special day- whether it be a wedding in your near future, first honeymoon, a birthday coming up soon, an anniversary, your incentive trip, that business retreat or you just need to personally getaway! These locations are bound to make you want to start planning that unforgettable experience.

AMResorts are truly the Masters of Vacation Innovation right now! I’m absolutely in love with their concepts and resorts. I will soon be a Master Agent and can’t wait to offer my clients the best that they have to offer. AMResorts is a collection of luxury resort destinations, each with it’s own unique personality. Every one of their resorts features sun-soaked beaches, elegant accommodations, a world-class spa, gourmet dining, unlimited premium drinks, and tons of other pampering amenities to choose from. With 6 brands and 34 resorts it will be hard to cover each and every single one today, but rest assure that I will be covering them throughout the year and will keep you updated when I personally visit them soon!

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I’ve been on this zen kick and one of the AMResorts brands that I want to talk about is seriously fantastic for the person, couple, or business that wants to get away from it all and zen out for a few days. Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts have discovered the perfect balance between holistic wellness and unrivaled luxury in blissful ocean front settings.

At a Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts you will Immerse yourself in The Art of Life® at one of their unique boutique havens. Unrivaled luxury and holistic wellness combine with Endless Privileges® to offer a blissful experience that exceeds all expectations. Each resort features Lavish Accommodations, Gourmet Dining, Unlimited Top Shelf Spirits, no check-in or check-out times; 24-hour private, in-suite dining; maid service three times daily; a welcome bottle of rum or tequila (#whatthewhat); and so much more. It’s All for you, it’s all included and it’s only at Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts!

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Courtesy of AmResorts

Endless Privileges® Defined:

-Gourmet à la carte dining options with an assortment of organic food and beverage selections

-No reservations required

-Bottle of sparkling wine and fresh fruit daily

-Limitless international and domestic top-shelf spirits

-Graciously appointed and luxuriously equipped suites

-Complimentary in-suite mini-bar refreshed twice daily

-24-hour concierge services

-24-hour private in-suite dining

-Maid service three times daily

-Complimentary, unlimited worldwide calling

-Luxurious Bvlgari® bath amenities

-Welcome bottle of tequila or rum

-Complimentary 24-hour laundry service

-Daily afternoon tea time with live plant infusions

-Complimentary 20-minute wellness or fitness consultation

 

 

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Courtesy of AmResorts

Need help Planning that perfect Destination Wedding here? Contact me to get your plan under way. Begin your new life together or renew your love at Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts. You can choose from a collection of romantic wedding, anniversary and honeymoon packages. We will work together with you and the resort to make sure your perfect plan is effortless flawless!

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Courtesy of AmResorts

Are you kidding me? We should all be jumping on a flight to Mexico or the Dominican ASAP! 

Explore each of their Unique Resorts:

Mexico:

ZOËTRY CASA DEL MAR LOS CABOS

ZOËTRY PARAISO DE LA BONITA RIVIERA MAYA

ZOËTRY VILLA ROLANDI ISLA MUJERES CANCUN

Dominican Republic:

ZOËTRY AGUA PUNTA CANA

Oh! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! They offer a package program option called Simple Pleasures that you can add to your stay.

CURATE YOUR OWN SIMPLE PLEASURES

At Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts

Choose your very own Simple Pleasures from a collection of unique packages and extras, each designed to provide the ultimate Art of Life® experience you won’t find anywhere but on a Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts getaway.

Click here to view the Package details!

I never knew wellness could be this good! If this is what treating my body better is like than bring on that bottle of tequila Zoëtry!!!

Contact me Sully@lovetravelevents.com

to start planning your next experience at one of the AMResorts!!

THINK: DIGITAL DETOX

Would you ever try a digital detox?

We’re living in a world where Americans prefer to text rather than talk, where going a day with out a phone would seem like eternity, where even on vacation we rarely take a break from our gadgets. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us desperately need a little time to unplug and recharge. The question is are we willing to really do that while on vacation? I’ve never attempted it, but the idea has really caught my attention! It makes total sense that in order to truly reboot and gain perspective and be able to stay healthy and happy, it’s extremely important to unplug.

Nearly 80 percent of travelers say they take their mobile devices with them and use them frequently on vacation.

Well, in response to the demand for restorative tech-free getaways, more hotels, yoga retreats and travel companies have begun offering digital detox packages to help vacationers restore their sense of calm and balance. Forward thinking destinations and resorts are promoting their lack of technology and connectivity, after a decade spent selling us on the “perks” of in-room WiFi, plasma TV’s, and iPod docking stations.

So, If you’re ready to boldly go where no smartphone has gone, consider escaping the demands and distractions of modern life at one of these digital detox retreats below. Take wellness travel to the next level…

1. Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

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Courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge

On the shores of Lake Placid, surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, the rustic yet luxurious Lake Placid Lodge is the perfect place to escape the distractions of everyday life. With the “Check-In to Check-Out” package, you can check in your devices upon arrival and use the rest of your trip to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, outdoor activities, and the hotel’s many amenities. Private cabins start at $375 per night.

2. Jacada Travel Wellness Getaway, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica

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Head down to tropical Costa Rica to get away from the business of your everyday life and enjoy a little R&R. The retreat takes travelers through the Cloud Forests and then on to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. All-inclusive 10-day packages from $5,957 per person.

3. Via Yoga Retreats, Mexico & Costa Rica

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Courtesy of Via Yoga Retreats

With luxury yoga retreats in Costa Rica, Sayulita, Mexico, and Todos Santos, Mexico through the year, Via Yoga offers the ultimate wellness retreat and digital detox package. Although you don’t have to give up your gadgets, yoga retreat attendees who turn in their iPhones upon arrival receive a 15 percent discount. In addition to beachside yoga, pilates and meditation classes, guests can also enjoy surfing and outdoor activities. Retreat rates start at $2,395 per person.

 

Here are two actual retreats for someone who is looking for an extreme Digital Detox:

4. Camp Grounded, Anderson Valley, California

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This summer camp for adults promises visitors a chance to get back to childhood — with campfire songs instead of YouTube videos and board games instead of Angry Birds, The Digital Detox’s “Camp Grounded” is all about technology-free summer fun. This June, 200 grown-up campers will unplug for four days of outdoor activities and nostalgia in the California redwoods. Four-day stays start at $340 per person.

5. Shambhala Ranch Retreat, Ukiah, California

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Courtesy of Shambhala Ranch Retreat

The Digital Detox (whose company motto is “disconnect to reconnect”) offers regular tech-free getaways to the peaceful Shambhala Ranch Retreat in the Mendocino hills of Northern California. The restorative trip includes yoga, meditation, hiking, art, and organic cuisine — no devices allowed. The intimate retreat is open to a maximum of 14 guests, who stay in luxurious private rooms in the large ranch-style lodge. Four-day stays range from $500-950.

 

If you’re wanting to try this concept, but aren’t 100% ready to take the plunge contact Love. Travel. Events. and we’ll create you your own personalized “Braincation Package

We’ll come up with a happy medium for you in order to help you de-stress and de-tech at a destination of your choice! With plenty of hotels to choose from that offer “tech free zones” and with our ideas to help you digitally unwind while on vacation, you’ll be on your way to pure relaxation in no time. Think of hiding that cell phone in your safe for the weekend, having breakfast in bed, in-room massages, a personal detox survival kit, and activities to keep you from even wanting to look at your phone! 

Get ready to Disconnect to reconnect with Love. Travel. Events.

Email us at: lovetravelevents@gmail.com to get your perfect plan started!

TRAVEL TIP: MEXICO

Twelve Tips when Traveling to Mexico

I absolutely adore Mexico! Over the years I’ve learned some valuable tips to keep in mind when abroad and these are some of the essentials when heading to Mexico…

1. Don’t Drink the Water! Of course this is my number one tip. I’ve seen tons of people get sick from the water in different countries. So, by no means drink the tap water at all! I don’t care if the resort tells you they filter their sink water or that they have filtered ice, don’t drink it unless it’s in a closed bottle water or you see them pour it out of a water gallon. Some resorts filter the water, but don’t filter the ice, so you really want to make sure you ask. Especially, if you’re craving that authentic Mexican Margarita! Before you order that drink, just ASK ASK ASK if that ice is filtered!

2. SPF it up like crazy, because the sun here is absolutely no Joke! I’d say to use SPF 50 as a minimum. Trust me you’ll still tan and you’ll avoid looking like a lobster!

3. Passport Copy it up! always carry a copy of your passport and license. Also, scan it and email it to yourself before you leave home. You never know what can happen.

4. Check the Safe before you put in your personal code, try the safe with the common codes like 0000, 1234, or 1111. You never know if it could be preprogrammed to open with those types of codes.

5. Leave the Valuables at home. You’re on vacation there’s no need to bring all your fine jewelry. Leave it at home and bring tropical jewelry or inexpensive sets.

6. Don’t carry all your cash Just bring what you’ll need for that day and this way you’ll also budget yourself while on the trip. It will also help to avoid ATM transaction fee’s. Speaking of fee’s I’d exchange your cash into pesos directly at the hotel. The rate is usually the same as the airport and it’s more convenient in my opinion. Everyone will accept US dollars here though. You might just get the change back in pesos, but that’s perfect to have for cab rides and tipping.

7. Call credit card Companies 2 or 3 days before you leave and let them know that you’ll be out of the country and specifically where you’re going to be at. You can also do this online with some credit card companies.

8. Avoid saying your room # around other guest or while out at a restaurant. If they ask for it have it written down on a piece of paper and show them. This really applies to anywhere you’re at. Scam artist are everywhere! I’d avoid discussing your travel plans as well around unknown guest.

9. Lock the Balcony when you leave your room. You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this and then wonder why their 1st or 2nd floor room has been broken into.

10. Don’t hail Cabs on the street always have your hotel call you one or the restaurant you’re at.

11. Ignore Catcalls ladies men will whistle, holler, and try whatever means possible to get your attention. Either to sell you something on the streets, to be dirty little pigs or to scam you some how. Ignore them and keep walking. Don’t laugh or get mad. No reaction is better than any type of reaction.

12. Learn some Spanish because you’re going to certainly need it. Yes, you’re in Mexico and just because you’re in a americanized location doesn’t mean everyone will speak English. I can’t stand seeing ignorant reviews on trip advisor of people saying “I can’t believe they don’t speak english” or “no one spoke english at the hotel” seriously you’re in a different country. Head to France, Italy, Spain or Greece and let me know if they speak English to you? Good luck!

 

I hope these tips help you out next time you’re in the country! If you want to start planning your next trip to Mexico: whether it be Cancun, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta contact me and I’ll get your dream vacation simply planned just to your liking! lovetravelevents@gmail.com

Safe Travels!

THIS SUMMER: CANCUN

Some people may have the misconception that Cancun is just a crazy party town for young college students looking to get bombed and cause trouble. Well, this is surely a place where you can come do that, but it’s also a place to come with your significant other and relax or to bring the family to as well. Cancun is an outstanding place to spend a 4 day weekend or even a week’s long vacation. There’s plenty to do, places to explore and wonderful places to dine at. Like every destination there’s a time and place for every scene. Having done the crazy college weekends before and the tamed adult weeks- I can say that there’s something for everyone here! Magnificent clear turquoise waters, plenty of outdoor activities, water sports, shopping, tequila distilleries and tons of delicious restaurants with unbelievable service! That’s what makes Cancun a perfect destination for all ages!

Cancun can be done inexpensively or a very expensive trip. It’s up to you and your budget. With all-inclusive resorts all up and down the main hotel zone strip you’re sure to find one resort that will suit your financial budget. Cancun is also loaded with timeshare resorts. This would be a great money-saving option as you could book a week with your timeshare points. Save money on food by heading to the local Walmart and OXXO in town and stock up on breakfast, lunch food, and drinks to enjoy at your resort and just leave dinning out for dinners and occasional lunches. It’s your personal preference! I’ve done it both ways and enjoyed them both just as much! I’d say that a timeshare option is more laid back while an all-inclusive resort stay will be a little bit more of a livelier experience.

Another great thing that makes Cancun convenient is getting there can be very inexpensive as you can find non-stop roundtrip fares from FLL, MIA, MCO for only $200. Bundling your airfare, with your resort and transportation shuttles will also help you save lots of money, so always look at all the options before booking. This is where a travel agent will come in handy, so you can have them do the work for you and look at all the possibilities before booking your trip.

Here are some of the places I’ve experienced. I’m going to keep it short and sweet, since there’s so much to do in this town. If you have any questions on specific restaurants, resort details or you’d like to book a trip to this awesome local, please contact me and we’ll create an amazing Itinerary for you!

Great Time Share Options:

The Royal Resorts have plenty of different resorts to choose from in Cancun. The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander are perfect places to choose from.

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All Inclusive Resorts:

The All Inclusive Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun is fantastic!

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Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels

The Palace Resorts are amazing in Cancun and some of the best are Le Blanc Spa and Resort and the Beach & Sun Palace.

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Courtesy of Palace Resorts

Restaurants:

Lorenzillos On the Water

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Puerto Madero

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Thai: My favorite restaurant here. Located at La Isla Mall. You eat on beautiful huts on the water.

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La Destileria

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Lemoncello

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Hacienda Sisal

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Things to do:

Take a ferry to Playa Mujeres and spend the day or spend a night. If you decide to spend the night the Excellence Play Mujeres is a great choice.

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Take a day trip to Chichen Itza and the Cenotes

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Go to the Xcaret water park and experience Underground rivers and caves!

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Make sure to take advantage of your resorts water activities that are usually included

 

Nightlife:

Coco Bongos

Mandala

Carlos n Charlies

Daddy O’s

The City

Palazzo

Whether it be a weekend or a week in Cancun… Contact me and I’ll plan you a perfect getaway!! lovetravelevents@gmail.com

 

Safe Travel my Friends!

BEST OF CHICAGO

With towering skyscrapers overlooking tulips on The Magnificent Mile, Opening Day baseball at Wrigley Field, and a stunning Millennium Park beginning to bloom-springtime in Chicago. The city buzzes with energy and excitement.

Whether you’re visiting Chicago for business or pleasure, you can expect to find world-class dining, attractions, entertainment, hotels and accommodations here in the largest and most-visited city in the Midwest. By far one of my favorite city’s in the United States. Chicago has something for everyone. In Chicago, dining is an activity in itself, with over 5,500 restaurants that line the culinary landscape and boast star chefs and endless accolades. Truly, perfect for a foodie at heart! This is the perfect place to spend a weekend away that will be full of culture and fantastic experiences! Here are some places to dine, explore and see while you’re in town…

River North

One of my favorite places to stay at while in Chicago. Centrally located and great walking distance to all that downtown has to offer. A stylish urban neighborhood that borders the Magnificent Mile and is just across the bridge from the Loop. River North is the go-to district for those who appreciate fine art and design and for those who appreciate fine dining and drinks, the momentum behind the latest trendsetting openings continues to build and the late night energy swells.

So, you’re either staying at a Trump, or in the shadows of one! Soaring 92 stories above the Loop and North Michigan Avenue, Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago is a showcase of bold style and engaging design, polished stainless steel and iridescent-tinted glass. It is the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world, and downtown Chicago’s most enviable address. One of ten prestigious hotels in the world to boast Five-Star Forbes Ratings for both it’s hotel and restaurant and the only hotel in the Midwest with this distinction.

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Inside this five-star Chicago hotel, impeccable style and spectacular five-star service defines the experience. Guests will enjoy a higher level of boutique luxury with unrivaled hospitality and detail-oriented amenities. The signature Michelin-rated restaurant, Sixteen, showcases a thoughtful approach to progressive, French-inspired American cuisine, complemented by sweeping lake, river, and city views. For an important occasion, the sophisticated surroundings of the Grand Ballroom or City View Salons will offer the perfect venue to make a lasting impression.

Celebrating? The EVENT SPACE at the Trump is remarkable. The panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city’s skyline displayed through Trump Chicago’s renowned floor to ceiling windows create the perfect backdrop for a wedding reception. However large or small, simple or elaborate a wedding it may be, the spaces at Trump Chicago can be customized and transformed to create the perfect setting for your dream wedding.

Information provided by Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Here is a list of restaurants and bars that I recommend in the area: 

Girl and the Goat

Girl and the Goat has been serving fun foods, craft beers, and making wine in a rustic and bad ass environment since summer 2010. Girl and the Goat sits in the West Loop smack dab in the Randolph Restaurant Corridor, but the location is still gritty enough to appeal to the chef’s integrity. The Goat’s menu is divided into three categories: Vegetable, Fish, and of course Meat–while vegetable, fish, or meat are respectively the main stars of their categories, there are crossovers in each area so you’ll get a little bit of everything. Bread is baked daily, and there are always new creations on the menu.

 

The Purple Pig

Heaven on Seven’s Jimmy Bannos and his son Jimmy Bannos Jr. have teamed up with Scott Harris of the Mia Francesca empire to open The Purple Pig, a Mediterranean-focused spot in River North. Sharable plates are the focus, with pork getting major menu play. Antipasti, house-cured salami and an extensive cheese program round out the sharable offerings, and despite the pork focus, there are lots of seafood highlight, don’t miss the olive-oil-poached tuna too.

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Mastros

Mastro`s collection of sophisticated, classic Steakhouses and Ocean Club Seafood locations are recognized for their combination of world-class service, highly acclaimed cuisine, and live entertainment in an elegant yet energetic atmosphere. A truly unparalleled dining experience.

Mastro’s Steakhouse was a family-owned restaurant, founded in Scottsdale in 1999. In 2007, Mastro’s Restaurants, LLC in Woodland Hills, CA acquired the Scottsdale-based restaurant group. Mastro’s Restaurants is led by a team of highly motivated and detail oriented management who strive for excellence in guest service, finest quality food and distinct ambience, setting Mastro’s apart from other restaurant groups.

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ZED451

ZED451 delivers a personal culinary experience through a perfect blend of fire-grilled fare, an assortment of fresh sides and bountiful salad offerings. Best place for a nice Brunch in town! Chefs bring expertly prepared cuisine directly to your table, allowing you to taste the best of the season in a warm, urbane setting in the heart of Chicago. As guest, they work with you to create the ideal evening, whether you are looking to sample a few favorites or indulge in a full-course dinner. An amazing wine list  & click here for their ridiculous brunch menu.

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Some Chicago Staples!!!

Lou Malnati’s you can’t leave Chicago till you’ve had a deep dish pizza and there is no better place than Lou Malnati’sLou Malnati’s Pizzeria is the home of the best pizza in Chicago. Their signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza is made using a recipe that has been handed down through the generations. Today, Lou Malnati’s is recognized as one of the most iconic and best restaurants in Chicago.

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Portillo’s a Chicago style hot dog! Is another one of those must have’s and Portillo’s is by far the best place in town!

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Uncle Mike’s Filipino Breakfast Have a hangover and need a cure? Head to Uncle Mike’s and stuff your face with their famous filipino breakfast menu served on Fridays-Sundays. Order the Longanisa Breakfast! It’s sure to make you feel at least 70% better.

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Two neat Bars:

The Signature Room at the John Hancock Building is a great place to enjoy the views and their delicious libations. Located atop the John Hancock Center, The Signature Room at the 95th® offers exquisite food, superb service, and a dazzling skyline view. The elegant wood designs and art deco interior create an inviting and intimate atmosphere, while the floor-to-ceiling windows exhibit the stunning Chicago skyline and 360 degree views of the entire city.

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Also, a fantastic place to host an event. In there private dining rooms. Whether you are celebrating a milestone event with your loved ones or entertaining international business executives, their professional event staff will make sure your event is nothing short of sensational!

Public House Gastropub & Dining Hall

Located at the corner of State & Kinzie, beer aficionados pledge their allegiance to Public House, a 10,000 square foot beer-lovers paradise featuring beloved American, smokehouse fare with an upscale twist, unprecedented multimedia capabilities and mouth-watering libations.

 

Things to see and do:

The Loop

As Chicago’s official downtown area, The Loop is one of the most important central business districts on the globe. In addition to its dynamic architecture and buzzing atmosphere, the area has an incredible concentration of cultural institutions, Michelin-rated restaurants and a shopper’s paradise on State Street.

Famous for its striking architecture, the Loop vaunts signature buildings by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Louis Henri Sullivan, as well as Aqua by modern day prodigy Jeanne Gang. The area hangout, Millennium Park, complements its surrounding with stunning architectural marvels of its own. The Park’s crown jewels include a Frank Gehry designed amphitheater and Cloud Gate, a bean-shaped landmark that’s become an iconic symbol of Chicago.

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Millennium Park

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North and Monroe Street to the South.

Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design.

Buckingham Fountain

This popular historic landmark and tourist attraction offers visitors a dazzling music, light and water show, which runs dusk-11pm, spring through the end of fall. The fountain table can also be rented for large special events.

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Navy Pier

Be a kid again at Navy Pier. Nothing quite beats spending time on a boardwalk in the spring & summer, and Navy Pier is the go-to destination in the Windy City to do just that. Be sure to get some cotton candy and ride the ferris wheel for breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline.

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Willis Tower Sky Deck and Ledge

Step outside the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. At 1,353 feet in the air, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck. Offering spectacular views spanning up to four states, a one-stop Chicago experience full of interactive exhibits and…The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower!

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Well, that should be enough to keep you busy during a long weekend in town.

I’d love to help you plan you next weekend getaway to this amazing city, so if you’d like a personalized itinerary made to you specific likings and budget please contact me via email: lovetovetravelevents@gmail.com

Happy & Safe Travels!

TRAVEL TIP: TRAVELING WITH KIDS

Traveling with kids can be a bit overwhelming. Whether they’re your own or someone else’s, factoring a child’s needs into your travels involves a lot more than putting some ear phones on them and changing their pull-ups. Here are some ways to make it more comfortable for you, the children and other passengers…

1. Take your time: whether you’re at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B some extra time will be needed for sure. Toddlers can do some unexpected things, so giving yourselves that extra time will eliminate the pressure that comes with traveling.

2. Organize: your travel bag.There’s nothing like trying to find that crayon, pacifier or juice bottle and having to dig 10 things out before you get to it. Keep everything in it.s place and organize your bag, so it’s easy to get things when in a hurry.

3. Book ahead: when traveling with kids, spontaneity will definitely not pay off. Know where you’re staying and what the room offers. Make sure there’s enough space and pre-order your rollaway beds and cribs if you’ll be using them at the hotel.

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4. Buy the extra seat: when booking your flights. You’ll want the extra space and having the row to yourself and kids will make it a more comfortable experience for yourselves and other passengers.

5. Fly while they nap: If possible try to book your flights around their sleeping schedule. Maybe fly out at night when the airports aren’t as busy, so their tired and want to sleep. Pack an entertainment bag, so when they wake up they have things to play with and color.

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6. Be App-y: I’m usually not a fan of seeing kids glued to an iPad or electronics, but when traveling on a flight or a long road trip, you really have no choice. They love it! Download lots of fun games and movies and they’ll be in app-y heaven.

7. First time traveling with your children? Make a “My First flight” bag for passenger around you just incase. They’ll love the gesture and this will make for a more comfortable experience. Fill the bag with ear plugs, head phones, candy, a small book, eye mask, gum, a pen, crosswords and anything else you can think of. Make it inexpensive and pass them around the rows in front, behind and to your sides. They’ll think it’s super cutes and it will help incase your kids do flip out. There’s nothing quite like hearing a departing passenger utter those tear-jerking words of validation “Wow, your kids were really well-behaved”. And let’s say that they weren’t? Well, you tried and who cares!

8. Avoid Sweets: and pack healthier snacks for them like some cheese cubes, crackers, fruit, and small PB&J’s. Having them on a sugar rush will only lead to a withdrawal and that’s a tantrum you should avoid.

9. Bring Medicine: lets face it, kids tend to get sick a lot and even more while on vacation, so always be prepared with some: Tylenol, sinus meds, antihistamines, pepto-bismal, Benadryl cream for bites, neosporin, and band aids.

10. Antibacterial Wipes: even if your children are out of the nappy stage these will come in handy till they’re at least 30yrs old. Great for washing your hands, toilet seats, wiping down restaurant tables, rental car, train seats, hotel room…etc. You can’t bring to many liquids, so the wipes are the best.

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11. Travel Journal: once they get older this could be something that they’d enjoy to keep track of family trips and write down how much they’re having. It would be something nice to have once they’re a little older to look back at it as a family.

12. Involve older kids: The best way to avoid a sulking, soul- destroyed teenager from thinking life is over for a week while on vacation, is to involve them in the planning process. Ask them for their input on what they’d like to do during the trip. You may be surprised.

I hope these tips help make your next trip with children a smoother one!

Happy & Safe Travels!