Unique Trips

 

 Hawaii 

Money

Credit cards are the most widely used form of payment in Hawaii. Debit cards are accepted as well.

 

The easiest way to get cash away from home is by using an ATM. ATMs are common in Hawaii, found in banks, supermarkets, resorts, shopping centers, and the airport.

 

Technology

Most hotels, resorts, restaurants, and businesses offer public wi-fi.


Getting to Hawaii

The Honolulu International Airport is the main airport, and there are also airports on Maui, Kauai, and two airports on the big island of Hawaii. There are also a handful of cruises which sail to Hawaii, and some which depart from Honolulu and sail around the Hawaiian islands.

 

Wellness

There are amazing health and wellness opportunities in the Hawaiian islands. The watersports and land activities provide adventures galore. Spa services are rich and plentiful, both at the resorts and at day spas, and Hawaii offers some specific wellness and yoga retreats. The cuisine is incredible, and caters to dietary restrictions.

Top Tips to do in Hawaii

Whale Watching

The ‘Big Island’ is the most popular destination for whale watching in Hawaii, although all of the islands offer some great whale watching options.  The peak season to catch a glimpse of Humpback whales is from January to March.  You have the option to view via a cruise or private boat tour.

 

Luaus

These traditional ceremonies are a major source of entertainment on all islands within Hawaii.  Take the opportunity to enjoy live dancing, learn about Hawaiian as well as Polynesian culture and enjoy a delectable cuisine. One of the most popular is in connection with the Polynesian Cultural Center on O’ahu.

 

See a Lava Show

Hop aboard a World class catamaran to get up and close to the volcano fingers as they enter the sea.  You will have thoroughly trained staff aboard and safety is paramount.  You can select from a tour in the morning, sunset, day or twilight tour.

Helicopter Tours

There are various tour lines that offer unique aerial journeys that allow you to view the breathtaking Hawaiian scenery.  From volcanoes and waterfalls to hidden valleys and majestic coastlines, a helicopter tour is truly an ideal way to sightsee.

 

SUP (Stand-Up Paddle Boarding)

This activity originated in Hawaii and is a derivative from surfing.  SUP is soothing and allows you to explore the waterways on your own terms.  A great paddle path to take is from the Lanakai Beach to the Mokulua islands.

 

Horseback Riding Tours

Explore the coastline or venture to hidden trails on an exploratory horseback tour.  Most companies offer private as well as group tours.  There are countless ranches and stables that accommodate tourists.  Paniolo Adventures is one of the largest, with an 11,000-acre cattle ranch located in Waimea.

 

Mauna Kea

This dormant volcano is a unique wonder to explore and erupted over 4,000 years ago.  It is open! You can hike the summit but be sure to stop by the VIS (Visitor Information Station) to check for weather and safety tips.

Other recommendations

  • Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch

  • Enjoy Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation

  • Swim with Seals and Turtles at Poipu Beach

  • Walk through a tunnel surrounded by manta rays and sharks

  • Road Trip To The North Shore

  • Trip to Ala Moana shopping centre

Local foods to try

  • Poi : A staple and traditional filler starch dish

  • Laulau : Made with pork wrapped in layers of taro leaves

  • Kalua pig : Pork dish cooked in an underground oven

  • Poke : bite sized hearty fish cubes

  • All-Natural Shave Ice : Hawaii iconic frozen treat

  • Saimin : an iteration of a Chinese egg-noodle soup

  • Taro Ko Farm Chips : uala(sweet potato) and potato chips

 

Souvenirs to buy

  • Hawaiian Shirt

  • Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry

  • Hawaiian Quilting

  • Island Jewelry

  • Koa Wood

  • Lauhala

  • Ukulele

 

I’d love to help you create the perfect Hawaiian vacation!

 

 Iceland 

Money

  • Credit and debit cards are the most common form of payment is Iceland, even for small purchases. Insider tip: there may be a difference between the official exchange rate and the credit card company exchange rate.

  • ATMs are available at banks and shopping centers, plus some hotels.

 

Best time to visit

Summer is the most popular (and comfortable), although you can visit any time of year. The aurora borealis is often visible at night during the winter months.

 

Technology

Cell phones and wi-fi are plentiful in Iceland.

Things to do

  • See the famous Golden Circle - Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss

  • Travel along the South Coast with its beautiful ocean views 

  • View the stunning Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  • Explore Lake Mývatn with its steaming geothermal sites

  • Visit the charming town of Akureyri

  • Hiking

  • Whale and Puffin Watching

  • Snowmobiling

  • Snorkel or Scuba Silfra 

  • White Water Rafting 

  • In Reykjavik visit Perlan, Punk and Whale Watching Museums

 

Wellness

Iceland is equally rugged and tranquil! It is home to geothermal waters and national parks. You can hike, bike, or kayak; you can sample freshly grown produce, locally caught fish, and enjoy some of the world’s cleanest water: glacier-fed and mineral-saturated. Between relaxation and active pursuits, Iceland is the perfect wellness location.

What to eat

  • Fish and Chips

  • Plokkfishur – potatoes, cod, cheese and (often) bearnaise sauce 

  • Skyr Yogurt

  • Slow Roasted Lamb

  • Icelandic Hot Dogs

  • Rúgbrauð - Dark Rye Bread from a Hot Spring

  • Icelandic Ice cream

 

Insider tips

While Icelandic is the official language, most Icelanders speak English and in areas like Reykjavik they are fluent.

While getting to Iceland can be economical, accommodations, food and drink can be extremely expensive.

 

Because the weather is so changeable in Iceland, pack waterproof clothing and hiking boots. Layers are key!

 

 Italy 

Money

The currency in Italy is the euro, and Italy is in many locations still a cash-based economy. Major credit cards are accepted (Visa and Mastercard more than AmEx). ATMs are available. Insider tip: look for a card that doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawal for the best conversions.

 

Technology

Wi-fi is available in most public spaces in Italy (hotels, businesses), but be aware that the internet speed can be slow. Tip: If wi-fi is a must, you may want to rent or buy a portable wi-fi.

 

When to go

Because of its Mediterranean climate, Italy is a year-round destination. However, if you want to go in the summer, be aware that most Italians take their vacations in August, and many shops and restaurants are closed.

Wellness

With the wonderful combination of outdoor fitness in the Alps, beach and pampering, delightful farm-to-table food offerings, and wellness resorts, Italy is an amazing answer to health and wellness. Italy boasts the largest number of thermal spa centers in the world.

 

Transportation

Italy has a great transportation system, with an extensive rail network. Buses are also available. Of course, taxis and private drivers can be great options. If you’re interested in renting a car, be forewarned that the rates and insurance can be quite pricey.

Souvenirs to buy

  • Dry pasta

  • Italian linens

  • Wine

  • Leather (Florence)

  • Glassware (Murano/Venice)

  • Ceramics (Amalfi Coast)

  • Woodcarving (Dolomites)

  • Puppets (Palermo)

  • Nativity scenes (Naples)

  • Silk (Como)

Top Things to do in Italy

  • Take a gondola along the canals in Venice

  • Climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence

  • Tour the volcanic city of Pompeii

  • Hike through the five cities of Cinque Terre

  • Swim in the Blue Grotto on Capri

  • Take a bike tour through the vineyards of Tuscany

  • Catch an opera performance at Teatro Massimo in Palermo

  • Eat a Neapolitan pizza in Naples

  • Climb Sicily’s Mount Etna (an active volcano)

 

Eating in Italy

  • Meat lovers: Tuscany

  • Pizza & pasta lovers: Naples & Rome

  • Fruit & veggies, seafood & desserts: Sicily

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, tortellini: Emilia Romagna

 

 Riviera Maya, Mexico 

Money

  • The national currency of Mexico is the peso.

  • Larger stores and businesses accept credit cards. Small businesses and locally owned restaurants usually do not accept credit cards.

  • Many businesses take debit cards as well, but you'll usually wind up paying the card issuer a 3% international transaction fee. Some credit cards tack on international surcharges, too.

  • ATMs are the easiest source of cash. And it’s easy to exchange dollars for pesos.

Technology

Most public places have wi-fi.

Transportation

When you book a package to Mexico, I will include a quote with transportation between the airport and your resort. Otherwise, taxis are plentiful, and many excursions have transportation included from your hotel.

Language

Spanish is the native language, English is also widely spoken in the Riviera Maya and Cancun areas.

Wellness

The Riviera Maya is the perfect location for wellness seekers! It’s full of active adventure opportunities, luxury spa treatments, farm-to-table culinary offerings, and state-of-the-art gyms, equipment, and classes.

Souvenirs to buy

  • Handmade Clothing

  • Beaded/Handmade Jewelry

  • Silver Jewelry

  • Handwoven Beach Bags

  • Xtabentun

  • Chocolate

  • Hammocks

Five great things to do in the Riviera Maya

  1.  Walk on the White Sandy Beach

  2.  Check out Cozumel

  3. Try the food

    • Chiles Rellenos

    • Huevos Motulenos

    • Papadzules

    • Pavo Relleno Negro

    • Pibil

    • Poc C huc

    • Queso Relleno

    • Salbutes

    • Sopa de Lima

  4. Visit some ruins – The main ruins in the area are Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza.

  5. Xplor! – If you only do one thing in the Riviera Maya, I always recommend Xplor! It’s like a Mexican version of Disneyland.

 

Creating Your Own Unforgettable Experience

There are plenty of spectacular things to do and see in the Riviera Maya. You can enjoy many incredible experiences from your own resort; that’s the beauty of this area. I can help you find the perfect fit for you!

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