Cancun has plenty of romantic resorts for couples. Finding one that’s good for families is a little tougher. And finding one that’s perfect for both adults and kids—with plenty of activities for both, which can be enjoyed together or separately—would be nearly impossible if not for Crown Paradise Club Cancun.
Las Vegas is fun, exciting, and one of the most popular tourist spots in the USA—but it’s also a town that can empty your wallet faster than a skilled dealer shuffles a new deck of cards. The lights may be dazzling, the rattle of chips hypnotic, but all that sensory overload comes at a price. Fortunately, though, Las Vegas does have a soft spot for its guests. Many of the hotels and malls offer totally free shows and attractions, which can really come in handy when the slot machines have just eaten your last quarter.
Start spreading the news; New York may be one of the hottest tourist spots in the United States, but it’s also one of the most expensive. For example, you can search high and low but you’ll never see the words “affordable” and “hotel” side-by-side there. A drink in a trendy bar can cost double or triple what you’re used to paying. And a full evening’s entertainment—dinner for two, a Broadway show, and any cab rides or extras—can easily set you back $300 or more. The bottom line? When you visit the Big Apple, make sure to bring a big wallet.
The good news, though, is that buried beneath all that glitter are dozens of free entertainment opportunities. They may not be well-advertised but they do exist, and taking advantage of one or two each day can give your tired, aching credit cards a well-deserved rest.
Amazing architecture, a unique setting, and close ties to famous figures from the past are only a few reasons why so many people seek out historic hotels whenever they travel. Forget the beige carpet and mass-produced art on the walls—these buildings have as much personality and character as the guests who have filled their rooms for decades or more.
They say Christopher Columbus was lured to Jamaica in 1494 by rumors of gold, and that the famous explorer was disappointed not to find any. Today’s visitors would argue that Columbus, dubbed “Jamaica’s first tourist” by the locals, simply arrived 500 years too early. A modern treasure map of Jamaica, with its wealth of natural attractions and amazing new resorts, would be covered with Xs from coast to coast, with each one marking something bright and shiny to discover.
Sometimes location really is everything. But if you don’t have to sacrifice quality or comfort to enjoy that perfect location, you might just feel like you’ve landed in heaven—and in Athens, home of the ancient gods and goddesses, that feeling couldn’t be more appropriate.
Guests of the AVA Hotel & Suites couldn’t ask for a better spot to lay their heads each night. Situated on the edge of the trendy Plaka district, the AVA is within easy walking distance of many of the city’s best attractions.
When I think of Europe, Prague is the first city that pops into my mind. Cities like Paris and Rome may have more glamour—and more tourists—but the Czech Republic’s capital truly captures the spirit of the entire European continent. Its cobblestone alleys, ornate buildings, and stalwart castles create a fairy tale atmosphere where the spirit of Old Europe still lives and breathes, beckoning visitors to take a journey into the past.
“Don’t forget the map” was a good piece of travel advice back in the old days. But in 2012, you better change that to “Don’t forget the app.” Travel-related apps now make it much easier—and more enjoyable—to wander the globe. Here are three of the newest and best.
TriPnMeet - There’s nothing worse than finding out that you and a friend were in the same place at the same time but didn’t connect because you weren’t aware of each other’s vacation plans. The new Facebook app TriPnMeeT is a free and simple way to find out where your friends and family are now, and where they’ll be later. Just add your own itinerary to see both current locations and future travel dates for others on your list. You can also meet new friends by messaging other app users in the same vicinity. A handy map-based interface and communication tools make it easy to coordinate your rendezvous. FIND OUT MORE
HipGeo - Keeping a travel diary has never been easier with HipGeo, a mobile app that converts your photos, videos, blog posts, and other media into a real-time digital journal. A bevy of built-in functions organizes all the data for you, so all you have to worry about is seeing the sights and having fun. Friends and family can virtually tag along with you on your trip, and you’ll also have a handy digital scrapbook to help you relive your adventures once you’re back at home. FIND OUT MORE
CityHook - Ever landed at an airport for the first time and had no idea which was the fastest or cheapest way to get to the city center? Or ever been stuck with a long layover but you weren’t sure if you had time to go into town for a little sightseeing? The new mobile app CityHook gives you all the info you need to plan that journey from the airport, including prices, travel times, and drop locations for a variety of different transportation methods. Only European airports are covered at the moment, but the company plans to branch out to other locations in the near future. FIND OUT MORE
Bulgaria's capital city is fun, fascinating, and affordable, with plenty for travelers to see and do. From Roman ruins to rocking nightclubs, Sofia has it all—with the exception of massive crowds. Come visit now, before the tourism industry finds out about it. READ MORE
Who says all you can do in the wintertime is stay inside, light a fire, and curl up with a good book? Not when you've got snowy mountains to ski down and lovely Alpine villages to explore. Here are eight destinations that really heat up when the weather turns cold. READ MORE
What do you get when you combine cutting edge style and modern technology with vintage elegance? The QT Sydney, Australia's hottest new hotel, which just opens its doors today. Busting with personality, the hotel mixes a funky, eclectic decorating scheme with carefully restored bits of art deco and baroque architecture. State of the art amenities like digital artwork on the walls and a Concierge app for your smart device makes the QT Sydney the most happening hotel in town. TAKE ME THERE
Purses, shoes, jewelry, artwork, designer clothes, leather goods—whatever you're looking for, you can find it in Italy. But quality and prices range from both ends of the spectrum, so put on your thinking cap and do a little research before you max out your credit card in all those wonderful shops and boutiques. READ MORE
Winter sports enthusiasts know that “mountain luxury” has a feel all its own. It means stone fireplaces and beds with big, soft blankets. Heavy wooden furniture and rustic accents. Sipping wine in a hot tub while you admire the snow-covered hills in the moonlight.
But on a ski vacation, you also need the basics: a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a handy locker for all your sports equipment. You also need easy access to the slopes and the local stores. Lucky for you, Woodrun Place covers all your needs—from posh to practical—with a few extras thrown in for good measure.
If you find yourself with a long layover or a short vacation, you'll still have time for a taste of Dublin's unique flavor. One of Europe's most compact capitals has plenty to see and do, from castles and cathedrals to the birthplace of Guinness, Ireland's signature drink. And after an evening in one of the city's famous pubs, Irish eyes won't be the only things that are smiling. READ MORE
If you love the beach scene in Europe but you're craving something new and exciting, head to the Bulgarian town of Nessebar. One of Europe's oldest cities is also one of its most exciting beach resort towns, with plenty of great restaurants and hotels. And when you need a break from the sun and sand, you can browse Byzantine ruins, wander ancient cobblestone streets, and explore some of southern Europe's most fascinating architecture. READ MORE
I expected everything on Crete to have a rough and rustic feel. After all, this Greek island was home to one of Europe’s earliest civilizations and has history that goes back thousands of years. It’s the mythical land of King Minos and the minotaur, a place whose name conjures images of crumbling stone walls.
So imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Lato Boutique Hotel in the city’s capital of Heraklion. This small, stylish hotel single-handedly smashed every preconception I had about lodging on Crete.
Home to a fascinating mix of desert and tropical landscapes, Aruba is an island unlike any other. Its beaches are exquisite, but you'd be cheating yourself if you missed out on everything else Aruba has to offer. Five quick tips will help you make the most of your time in this unique paradise. READ MORE
Ireland is better know for its pubs than its restaurants, but The Greenhouse - one of Dublin's newest eateries - might help change that. Their selection of gourmet food is to die for, and each dish is presented with so much style and flair that the plates look like canvases for modern art masterpieces. Aptly located off the fashionable St. Stephen's Green, The Greenhouse brings a welcome burst of cosmopolitan indulgence to Dublin's restaurant scene. TAKE ME THERE
In tourism terms, Montenegro has always been like a rough diamond. The tiny European country has beautiful scenery and plenty of charm, but its travel amenities have struggled to pull themselves out of the Soviet-era quagmire. But with the arrival of new properties such as the luxurious Porto Montenegro resort village, that diamond might be getting the polishing it so richly deserves. TAKE ME THERE
From October 5-7, Las Vegas will host its 3rd annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend. Celebrity chefs, wine experts, and other superstars of the culinary world will host events spread out over five of the town's most prestigious properties - Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and the Mirage. Sample tantalizing food and drinks while soaking in all the glitz and glamor that makes Vegas so unique. TAKE ME THERE
Fall is the perfect time to visit Venice; airfares have dropped, the summer crowds have thinned down, and temperatures are more tolerable. But before you tour Italy's most romantic city, read these tips for getting the best bargain on your gondola ride. After all, you want to end your boat trip with a full heart, not an empty wallet. READ MORE
There's never been a better time to visit England's capital. All the renovations that were made and new attractions that were added before the 2012 Summer Olympics still have the city looking bright and new, but now the crowds are gone and bargains are plentiful. Expect to save as much as 50% on hotels, reataurants, and entertainment. TAKE ME THERE
The newest member of the Disney World hotel family, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, is now open for business. Family suites are already available, and standard rooms will be open in mid-September. The rooms are decorated in themes inspired by four Disney favorites (The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Little Mermaid), and the resort grounds contain multiple pools and playgrounds based on the characters from those films. The resort is adjacent to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. TAKE ME THERE
The Hard Rock hotel chain brings its signature brand of head-banging fun to Mexico this month with two new properties in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. Expect all the usual perks of an all-inclusive tropical resort including amazing pools, in-room Jacuzzis, and a nice selection of restaurants and bars. The grand opening parties promise plenty of great music along with the Hard Rock Guitar Smash, an opening-day tradition. TAKE ME THERE