Spotlight on St. Lucia

August 28th, 2013
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JAP_4306St. Lucia (LOO-shuh), located in the Eastern Caribbean between the islands of French-speaking Martinique and pristine St. Vincent, boasts natural beauty likened to that in the South Pacific.   Its lush, tropical interior, natural harbors, and majestic twin Pitons are mesmerizing, making it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway.


JAP_4345For an island only 27 miles long, St. Lucia appeals to a wide variety of interests for honeymoon couples.  Those looking to experience the local culture can find a Friday night fish-fry in Gros Islet and a Saturday market in Castries, lazy fishing villages, and plantations frozen in time.  With the availability of taxis, charter boats, and guided tours, vacationers can easily explore and get to know the friendly locals.


JAP_4375St. Lucia also offers more adventurous pursuits.  Ferries to the nearby islands of Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, ziplining through the rainforest, deep-sea fishing, ATV excursions, and helicopter tours are sure to get the adrenaline pumping.  There is even a drive-in volcano where visitors can bathe in a therapeutic mud bath said to have anti-aging effects.  A vacation in St. Lucia would be incomplete without taking a sunset cruise near (or hike up) one of the most photographed and romantic sites in the Caribbean, the Pitons.


JAP_4356After a memorable day of exploring, couples can retreat to their unique hotel of choice.  Most accommodations are located on the Western Caribbean side where the surf is calmer and range from boutique properties such as Cap Maison to three all-inclusive, couples-only Sandals resorts.  Guests can also spend their romantic getaway at a luxurious resort such as Jade Mountain or a more rustic chic property such as Ti Kaye Village.  There is a resort to fit just about any taste.


JAP_4460Whether celebrating your honeymoon, anniversary, or much-needed vacation, Going Your Way Travel can create a getaway that is tailored to your personal style and budget with an easy, stress-free process.  And with convenient payment plans available, why wait?  Give me a call today.  I can’t wait to help you plan one of the happiest moments of your life.

 

 

 

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Now that I have experienced firsthand all that Sandals has to offer, I am already planning my next getaway to one of their island destinations.  Sandals Resorts include 13 all-inclusive properties in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Bahamas, each offering a unique, couples-only escape.  This past December, I spent three whirlwind days visiting Sandals Emerald Bay Resort,  Sandals Grande Antigua Resort, and Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort.   From the moment I was greeted with a bubbly glass of champagne or Bahama Mama, I felt pampered in paradise.

 

My first stop was Sandals Emerald Bay in Georgetown, Bahamas.  The staff here includes some of the friendliest people I have ever met.  This is the newest Sandals Resorts, opening in January 2010.  It is just 15 minutes from the airport, but is a secluded retreat on a small, quiet island.  It has a refined atmosphere and offers picturesque views of the Emerald waters over its sprawling green lawns.  It features some of the best beachfront rooms.  You can literally step from your patio into the soft, white sand.  This property also has the largest spa of all Sandals Resorts and is a golfer’s haven, boasting a championship Greg Norman designed course with breathtaking views.  In addition, you’re welcome to dock your yacht at the nearby marina.

 

Before I knew it, I was boarding the plane again and heading for the gorgeous island of Antigua.  Sandals Grande Antigua is just a short drive from the airport.   In no time, I was floating in the moonlit Caribbean with a Mojito in hand.  This property features two distinct resorts in one.  The traditional Caribbean Grove is inviting with lush gardens, intimate pools, and unique Rondoval suites with private courtyards and plunge pools.   The newly constructed Mediterranean Village features a 7-story building with oceanview suites as well as luxurious villas with whirlpool tubs.  With such a diverse landscape, 10 restaurants, 5 pools and whirlpools, and a beautiful beach, you are sure to find just the right spot to suit your mood and never tire of the same view everyday.  What makes this resort even better is that the island of Antigua is one of the safest and cleanest in the Caribbean.

 

The following day, it was time to head back to the Bahamas.  Sandals Royal Bahamian is located on Cable Beach near Nassau and is one of the most popular Sandals destinations.  It used to be a vacation home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and is considered the most elegant of the Sandals Resorts.  Rolls Royce airport transfer, anyone?   I was especially impressed with the resort’s own offshore island with pool & swim-up bar, Café Goombay, and tranquil beaches.  Meandering along the island’s path past cozy hammocks and chaise lounges, I came upon the Red Lane Spa.  Imagine getting a massage in a private straw hut while listening to ocean waves and breeze in the trees.  Needless to say, I was not ready to come home, but it was a perfect getaway to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

 

For couples looking for the ultimate romantic honeymoon, anniversary vacation, or destination wedding, Sandals Resorts do not disappoint.  As founder Butch Stewart puts it, “If couples don’t arrive in love, they will leave in love.”  Some of Sandals’ “Luxury Included ” benefits include:

*  A hassle free vacation – Everything from your airport transfer to the endless tasty treats and drinks is already included in your package price.  You do not even have to think about tipping, because gratuities are already included.  The only extras you may need to purchase are spa treatments, WiFi access, and excursions.
*  Room options that offer exclusive Concierge or personal Butler service.
*  Unlimited green fees for golf lovers (except Sandals Emerald Bay; mandatory caddy and optional cart fees are additional)
*  Unlimited scuba diving and snorkeling trips.
*  Sandals Grande St. Lucian is the only resort in the Caribbean to be building over-water suites, such as you would find in Tahiti (scheduled to open 2013).  These unique suites include see-through glass floors, over-the-water hammocks, outdoor showers, lights in the surrounding water, and a personal butler.

Call Going Your Way Travel to discover your next dream vacation!

 

 

 

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Creative Romantic Adventure

November 23rd, 2011
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I love to explore. The more remote the location is, the better. That’s why this week I’ve uncovered some unique romantic escapes to create an experience that’s truly memorable for your honeymoon, anniversary, or just for the fun of it!

 

1) Get Off the Beaten Path on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica ~ Here you’ll find Costa Rica untamed. It’s a wonderland of pristine rainforest (one of the tallest in the world), rugged coastlines with some of the best surfing, villages where gold panned from the river is still a common form of payment, and friendly locals willing to show you the best of Osa. It’s home of Corcovado National Park, and you can experience exotic nature from the perch of your balcony in the jungle near Drake Bay.

 

 

 

2) Traverse Coast to Coast in Australia ~ Venture across the Land Down Under from Sydney to Perth aboard the 5-day Indian Pacific rail tour. What better way to explore this geographically diverse continent than from the comfort of your own cabin as you glide across the countryside with the love of your life. What makes this journey even better (if that’s possible), is that most meals are already included, and you can add stopovers at any of the interesting cities you’d like to explore along the way. If time or budget is an issue, then shorter rail tours are also available.

 

 

3) Sleep Underwater in Fiji ~ Tie the knot at Poseidon Resort‘s undersea chapel, and then spend a romantic evening 40 feet under a Fijian lagoon surrounded by luxury and sea life. If you’d rather keep your head above water, choose from 48 overwater bures and beachfront bungalows. With all of your spare time, pamper yourselves with a variety of spa services and gourmet meals or venture out for a submarine excursion or scuba dive.

 

 

 

4) Ride off into the Sunset at a Dude Ranch ~ Head to Big Sky Country for an all-inclusive getaway complete with your own cozy log cabin or luxury tent and unlimited activities, such as horseback riding, fishing, hiking, stargazing, or just relaxing in the great outdoors.

 

 

 

 

5) River Cruise on the Danube ~ If you’ve pictured yourself in Europe on your honeymoon or for a milestone anniversary, then a river cruise is one of the most relaxing ways to take in the beautiful vistas. River cruising is similar to traditional cruises in that you’ll have the opportunity to explore new cities along the way, and you don’t have to worry about budgeting for meals, since they’re already included in your package. You’ll avoid the hassle of traffic jams, as you drift romantically along the Danube, Seine, or Rhone Rivers.

 

 

As you think about your next romantic adventure, be inspired! The world is a playground.

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Spotlight on Hawaii

September 28th, 2011
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The citizens of Hawaii are famous for their hospitality, as they truly enjoy showing off their islands. The crispness of the fresh fragrant air is rejuvenating and is one of first things that visitors notice when they arrive in Hawaii. When it comes to places to get away from it all, the breathtaking beauty of the islands, along with the romantic beaches, warm, tranquil waters, and convenient access from the mainland, makes it easy to understand why no other place on earth can compare to Hawaii.

 

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island is the youngest but largest island and chocked full of many unsurpassed natural wonders including the world’s most active volcanoes and the tallest sea mountain. The climate of the island ranges from flourishing rain forests to volcanic deserts. The majestic snow-capped mountains and gorgeous black sandy beaches are simply spectacular. Without a doubt, the biggest island of Hawaii has a little bit of everything.

Kauai
It’s no surprise that Kauai is one of Hawaii’s most popular honeymoon destinations.  Peaceful and unspoiled, yet filled with adventure; Kauai is less developed than the other Hawaiian Islands. It is full of natural garden beauty, awe-inspiring waterfalls, scenic back roads, and more than 60 incredible beaches. Kauai offers countless areas for the best snorkeling and water sports. It boasts deep canyons, majestic cliffs and explorative trails that are ideal for hiking, such as the Na Pali Coast. Kauai is definitely the island for those who enjoy the outdoors and are looking forward to a romantic getaway.

Maui

Voted “Best Island” for many years by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Maui is the island for individuals who like to spend their vacation sightseeing. Enjoy the beauty of an awesome sunset while walking on an exquisite beach in Kaanapali or amble along the seaside streets as the sun rises in the city of Lahaina. Maui is filled with plenty to explore outdoors, including art and culture.  It offers its visitors the best of modern luxury with rugged outdoor pursuits.

 

Oahu 
The mother island of Hawaii would without a doubt have to be Oahu. The island presents ageless splendor combined with the extravagances of today’s world and is bustling with activity during daytime hours.  The romantic nightlife of Honolulu is equally exciting. Oahu has something for everyone, plus it is long-known to be a favorite for the surfers of the world.

Lanai

Lanai offers an intimate beach setting with two of the top hotels in the world. Its absence of crowds proposes private and tranquil places to vacation with exclusive and luxurious pampering. This island has tucked away romantic escapes from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It offers the relaxation of high-end spas and has two excellent golf courses that are favored by many of the Hawaiian golfers. The island with the sacred “Sweetheart Rock” – Lanai is Hawaii’s most alluring island for couples looking for VIP treatment.

 

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Destination weddings are a growing trend that give couples the opportunity to exchange vows in their dream location.  Whether you choose to gather at a historic garden inn or travel to an exotic beach in Fiji, a destination wedding offers many benefits to help create the most memorable and joyful experience for everyone. It’s no wonder that destination weddings have grown 400% in popularity over the past ten years.

A destination wedding is more affordable.  A traditional wedding costs an average of $24,000, while you could fly to an all-inclusive resort, have your wedding ceremony, and enjoy a week-long honeymoon for a quarter of the cost.  Payment plans are also available for you and your guests, which is helpful in creating an affordable experience for everyone.

There’s value in group travel.  By booking a destination wedding package, you and your guests will benefit from significant savings and added incentives.   For example, many all-inclusive resorts offer free wedding ceremonies, complimentary upgrades, and extra amenities, such as spa credits, for you and your fiancé.  Not only will you benefit from a more cost-effective wedding and honeymoon, but your guests will enjoy discounted room rates as well that they normally wouldn’t receive on their family vacation.

Turn a road trip into a vacation.  Since more and more couples have friends and family from different parts of the country, you’ll likely have guests traveling from afar to celebrate with you.  Instead of inviting them to your hometown, why not give them the opportunity to venture to your favorite destination for a memorable vacation instead?

Spend more quality time with those you love.  When those nearest and dearest to you attend your wedding, it’s difficult to have enough time to spend with them.  A destination wedding provides you with relaxing days to unwind and enjoy time with those you love.  For those who aren’t able to join you, holding a post-wedding reception in your hometown gives you the chance to catch up with family and friends at a time that’s not quite as hectic as your wedding day.

Simplify.  Planning a destination wedding can be very easy compared to planning a traditional wedding.  Going Your Way Travel works with wedding coordinators on location to take care of every detail for you.  We also serve as your point of contact for vendors and guests, so you’re not overwhelmed with questions.  You won’t have any last minute running around, and you can choose to be as involved or removed as you like.  Planning should begin 10-15 months in advance to ensure the best options and early savings are available.

Express yourself.   Unlike a traditional wedding, a destination wedding helps you let go of the expected norms and be as simple or extravagant as you’d like.  You don’t have to worry about sticking to tradition but can create a wedding that is as unique as you are.  Underwater wedding anyone?

A destination wedding can be customized to fit each guest’s budget.  Your guests can take advantage of this special opportunity to enjoy a long vacation in the most deluxe suite, or they can choose a more cost-efficient package and shorten their stay.  Your destination wedding can be tailored to your guests’ needs and desires as well.

 

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Honeymoons 101

August 18th, 2011
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Congratulations on your engagement!  Your honeymoon is an exciting event that marks the beginning of your new life together as one.  To create the most romantic escape that you can remember fondly throughout the years is not a matter of chance, but requires careful planning that may seem overwhelming at first glance.  Going Your Way works with you to simplify your planning process by following the easy steps below.

1)  The Sooner, the Better:  We recommend arranging your honeymoon reservations as soon as possible, so you have the best opportunity to find the perfect destination, property, and room of your choice, in addition to the best price.  Many destinations begin to fill up within 3 to 6 months of your travel dates, so the sooner you begin your travel planning the better.  Going Your Way is available anytime day or night to help you take the first step toward your dream getaway.

2)  Decide on a Budget:  Since honeymoons vary in length and luxury, there is no set cost.  It is important, though, to decide whether quantity or quality is more important to you as a couple for this once-in-a-lifetime getaway.  You could shorten your honeymoon in order to enjoy the luxury suite of your  dreams, or you could choose to spend your time in a less than glamorous hotel, if it means having a longer honeymoon.  Payment plans may be available, and Going Your Way offers a free honeymoon registry that gives your wedding guests the opportunity to contribute to items you would like to enjoy on your honeymoon, such as an upgraded room or spa treatments, which will put your ideal honeymoon more within reach.

3)  Consider Your Tastes:  Think about your travel style, and consider which tastes you and your fiancé share.   Do you like to explore the road less traveled or stick to the main attractions?  Would you rather be pampered in a serene environment or enjoy a plethora of activities, such as hiking and live entertainment?  Do you prefer a beach getaway, a mountain retreat, or a cruise?  By asking an array of questions, Going Your Way will ensure that you arrive at the destination that is best suited to your unique vision for your honeymoon.

4) Choose a Destination.  There is a bevy of romantic destinations from which to choose, from the rolling vineyards of Napa to the exotic villas of Thailand.  Take some  time to decide whether you plan to enjoy your honeymoon domestically or venture overseas.  The time of year you plan to travel is also an important  factor in where you go, since you’d probably like to avoid hurricanes and rainy seasons.  Going Your Way provides information about the locations with the best weather for your honeymoon.  If you choose an international destination, Going Your Way can work with you to make sure you have any necessary visas and provide assistance with obtaining a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months after your return date .

5) Choose Your Property:  No matter how wonderful a destination may seem, where you stay will make all the difference in your experience.   Going Your Way has up to date information about the most recommended and highly reviewed properties and will recommend destinations and resorts that are tailored to your unique combination of interests and personalities .

6) Complete Your Reservations:  With Going Your Way completing your reservations for your honeymoon package, you’ll pay no more than you would booking on your own.  Going Your Way will also reconfirm your reservations for accuracy and negotiate an extra amenity or welcome gift, compliments of our agency.

7)  Reserve Excursions and Activities in Advance:  Going Your Way will work with you to coordinate all the special details that will make your romantic experience even more memorable.  Private airport transfers, spa treatments, dinner reservations, tours, and excursions may be reserved anytime before you depart.  By arranging these extras in advance, you’ll not only have a better opportunity of receiving the day and time of your choice, but you’ll also ensure a honeymoon to remember.

8)  Purchase Travel Insurance:  Going Your Way recommends purchasing travel insurance for your honeymoon package.  Although we don’t want anything to interfere with this special occasion, unexpected events, such as weather and mechanical delays, do occur unfortunately.  To help ease the burden of these unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance is available to cover expenses for luggage delays, illness, delayed flights, as well as other valuable benefits.  Going Your Way is available to recommend policies which fit your travel needs most closely and is more than happy to answer questions and clarify the fine print.

9)  Pack:  Packing for such a unique trip requires a little extra forethought.  Items such as bug spray, sunscreen, and umbrellas may either be expensive or not readily available at your destination, so consider bringing along specialty items such as these.  Also consider variations in day and night temperatures at your destination, as a light jacket may be necessary for cool evenings.  It’s a good idea to bring a copy of your marriage license along to provide proof that you’re on your honeymoon.  Going Your Way is able to help you determine which items should be packed and which ones are better left at home.

10) Relax and Enjoy Your Honeymoon:  After the joy of your wedding day, it is time to settle your mind and think only of the memories to be made on your honeymoon with your loved one as you start your new life together.  Rest assured that Going Your Way is working behind the scenes to make sure that all your requests are fulfilled and that your overall experience is just as you wish.

 

 

 

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