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Travel Advice

Friday, October 25, 2019

Peru, Caribbean Retreats, and Grand Velas in October ActiveTravels Newsletter

My recent travels to Peru was all the inspriation I needed to pen this month’s main feature in the ActiveTravels Newsletter. We've also listed some of our all-time favorite places to go with the family when the temperatures drop to help you start planning now for colder times ahead. Lastly, we talk about the recent renovations at Samoset Rockland, Maine, and a great promotion from Grand Velas resort properties in Mexico. Please have a look! 
 
Have a fantastic weekend and stay active! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/25/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Last Chance to Read the September ActiveTravels Newsletter

It might be the second day of October, but I was gone so much in September that I never had the chance to discuss the September newsletter of ActiveTravels. In this issue, we divulge 5 Tried and True Winter Escapes for our clients, including Morocco and the Ocean Club in the Turks and Caicos. Other topics include a Quick Escape to Reykjavik and the need for a REAL ID on all domestic flights starting October 1, 2020. Our October issue of the ActiveTravels newsletter will be coming out on October 10th and will include my recent trip to Peru. Stay tuned! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/02/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, July 26, 2019

Multi-Generational Family Retreats Featured in July/August ActiveTravels Newsletter

The kids are stand-up paddle boarding near the middle of the lake. Lisa is sea kayaking with her siblings and their spouses closer to the shoreline. Steady wind blowing through my hair, I’m at the tiller of an 18-foot sailboat accompanied by my mother-in-law, Fran. I grew up sailing on the large lake to the south, Lake George, where there's far more boat traffic and large passenger steamboats like The Mohican, which I always seemed to be on a direct line to hit. But here on the southern tier of mighty Lake Champlain, there is little traffic on this July weekday and I don’t feel a worry in the world. Vermont’s Basin Harbor Club is one of a handful of resorts that we like to send clients in summer who are looking for a large family get-together. One that’s suitable for all ages, from toddlers to octogenarians. Please see the latest ActiveTravels newsletter to find other recommended resorts. We also discuss the Canary Islands, a popular getaway for the Brits, but not yet on the American radar. 

 
Lisa and I will be traveling to three outstanding lodges in northern Ontario next week with our ActiveTravels colleague, Amy, and her husband, Josh. We’ll be back on August 7th. In the meantime, enjoy the summer weather and stay active! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/26/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Use the ActiveTravels Blog as a Resource for Your Travels

It’s been a decade since I began blogging at ActiveTravels. In 2008, I lost more than half my editors as magazines closed down and newspapers cut back severely on their travel pages. But a writer needs to write. Instead of begging for crumbs from editors, I started posting blogs the next year and haven’t stopped since. A decade of content is a lot of material to play with and I always steer clients toward the blog when researching an upcoming trip. Simply type in “Vermont” in the advanced search column to the right of the blog and then type in “Vermont” a second time in Search by Keyword, and you’ll have 155 blog entries on Vermont to choose from. That should keep you busy. Interested in going on a safari? I’ve written 68 blogs that relate to safaris. How about heading to my beloved Nova Scotia on a last-minute summer driving trip? You’ll find 40 entries on Nova Scotia. If you have trouble accessing the content, please let me know and I’ll help you find it. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/25/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, June 21, 2019

Savoring the Great Outdoors in the June ActiveTravels Newsletter

It’s the beginning of the big family travel season. If you want to keep your kids happy with as much activity as possible, in some of the most spectacular settings in the world, then try one of the tried and true trips in the latest ActiveTravels newsletter. They all received rave reviews from members or from our own firsthand experience. Also in this month’s issue, we offer you a Quick Escape to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a wonderful deal in Napa Valley. Please check it out! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/21/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Still Possible to Visit Cuba

While cruise ships can no longer visit Cuba and the People to People Educational travel category is being eliminated, we still have clients traveling to Cuba over the next year. Our friend Megumi, who runs the tour operator HabanaLive in Cuba, tells us that clients can either join a People to People trip that has been grandfathered in (they have grandfathered FIT bookings available on multiple dates throughout fall/winter/spring) or travel under a different approved travel category. They have fantastic programing options under the Support for the Cuban People, Professional Research & Meetings, and Religious travel categories. So if you want to visit Cuba, ActiveTravels will get you there! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/20/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 24, 2019

Spain, DayTrip, Montreal, and More in May ActiveTravels Newsletter

We were picked up promptly at 9 am in Granada, Spain, by Damir, a driver and guide for a company we’ve been working with more and more in Europe, Daytrip. We could have rented our own car and made the 3-hour trek from Granada to Seville, but it’s so much more relaxing to have someone else drive, especially when you want to stop and visit another town along the way. Two hours later, after sitting in the back of a comfortable Mercedes sedan and peering out at the rolling hills and mountains of this bucolic region of Spain, we arrived in Ronda. Damir guided us around the town, walking along the edge of the famous gorge, touring the oldest bullring in Spain, the one Hemingway wrote about when he lived here (it’s also the town where Orson Welles retired and died), and the historic Moorish settlement at the bottom of the hill. After a lunch of tapas, we arrived in Seville around 4 pm. It ended up being one of the most relaxing days of our recent Spain trip. Daytrip is now expanding to Asia. It’s a wonderful way to connect the dots between destinations, while stopping at off-the-beaten track locales. 
 
To read more about our trip to Spain, a special deal on Relais and Chateaux properties, and what’s happening in Montreal this summer, please check out the latest ActiveTravels newsletter. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/24/19 at 05:00 AM
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Seven Trips to Try, Quick Escape to Porto in ActiveTravels April Newsletter

Every March or early April, Lisa and I go to an annual 4-day travel conference arranged by our fantastic host agency, Largay Travel, the gateway to all those Virtuoso amenities clients receive including complimentary hotel room upgrades and breakfasts, shipboard credit on cruises, spa treatment freebies, meals, and much more. Largay celebrated 50 years in the industry at the latest bash, so all the finest hoteliers and suppliers came out to introduce themselves in 15-minute meetings throughout the event. In this month’s ActiveTravels newsletter, we present the trips that left us most excited from the event, including seeing the monarch butterfly migration with Natural Habitat Adventures, a South African safari on a budget, and active yoga trips with Backroads. April is also a wonderful time to visit Portugal, especially Porto, with its excellent restaurants and port wine tastings on the banks of the Douro River. Please have a look! 

 
Have a Happy Easter and Happy Passover! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/19/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hong Kong, Bangkok, and French Polynesia in the March ActiveTravels Newsletter

In the March issue of the ActiveTravels newsletter, we discuss our recent travels to Hong Kong and Bangkok. When we weren’t downing copious amounts of dim sum, we were checking out the art scene, the food markets, and the temples where residents were preparing for the Chinese New Year celebrations. We also experienced 5 of the best hotels in the region. We now only bring carry-on luggage because we change hotels every two days to experience as much as possible of what our clients will encounter during their stays. Also in this issue is a deal on cruising French Polynesia and the family friendly delights of a relatively new Montage resort just outside of Savannah, Georgia.

Tonight, we’re heading off to Spain to visit our daughter who is studying in Barcelona. We’re also seeing Granada, Ronda, our nephew in Seville, and Madrid. We’ll be back April 8th with more of the best topical travel content you’ve come to expect from ActiveTravels. Thanks again for your interest. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/19/19 at 05:59 AM
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Friday, March 08, 2019

How Travel Advisors Get Paid

We're a membership-based travel agency. Join ActiveTravels and pay the $60 yearly fee and you'll receive our monthly newsletters, be enrolled for hotel giveaways, and most importantly, have someone to help with planning and be of service if something should go wrong during travels. Once you join, you fill out a travel questionnaire that helps us custom-design your trip based on your likes and dislikes about traveling. We receive our commissions directly from the tour operators, hotels, cruise lines, etc. that we work with around the globe. You don't pay extra. We simply receive our 10 to 15% cut by sending them business. There are exceptions to this rule. First, airlines only pay commissions on business class seats. So we need to charge you $50 for flight for ticketing. Second, we design a slew of independent itineraries all over America, Europe, and beyond. I just finished designing a 4-month trip to South America for a couple who took a year sabbatical. This includes all logistics-planes, trains, buses, hotels, guides, even a cruise to the Galapagos Islands. This takes a lot of time and often includes small inns or boutique hotels that don't pay commission. So we have to charge the client directly depending on the number of days. But a typical weeklong independent itinerary fee costs $500-$700. 

It's been fun talking about my profession this week. Thanks for reading. Next week, Amy will be back to discuss her recent trip to Ecuador. Have a great weekend and keep active! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/08/19 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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