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Travel Advice

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

ActiveTravels, Home to the New England Dream Day Itinerary

Travel and Leisure just came out with their 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020, and much to our delight, Boston popped up at Number 10 and Maine at Number 29. If you’re thinking of a Boston and New England trip in 2020, we’ll happily design a route and point you in the right direction. Since ActiveTravels made its debut in 2012, we have designed more than 100 itineraries for clients headed to New England from all over America and the world (including New Zealand, the UK, Switzerland, and Israel). We send clients all over the globe, but New England is our area of expertise. I wrote more than 400 travel stories on New England for The Boston Globe and Yankee Magazine, and authored Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England. Depending on your passions, we can customize our Dream Day Itineraries for wildlife lovers (moose, whales, seals, beavers, and loons), active travelers (biking past 5 lighthouses in Portland, hiking to waterfalls in the White Mountains, paddling the Allagash River), foodies (James Beard award winning restaurants and favorite lobster-in-the-rough joints in Boston, Portsmouth, Portland, and the Maine coast), or art lovers (MFA, the Clark, Mass MoCA, the Farnsworth). We’ll divulge all of our secrets, especially the most scenic off-the-beaten-path driving routes. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/17/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, December 13, 2019

5 Wellness Retreats, Vermont’s Woodstock Inn in ActiveTravels December Newsletter

In our November newsletter, we noted that our colleague, Rachel, has now become certified as a Wellness Travel Advisor. She can discuss with expertise a curated list of wellness properties that would be best suited for what you’re yearning for, from yoga to nature to nutrition to health to personal growth. Rachel can not only find the exact lodging that suits your needs, but can get complimentary amenities like room upgrades, free breakfasts, and $100 off spa treatments. In this month’s issue, we feature the resorts she likes best. Also in the December issue is a great package deal at the Woodstock Inn in Vermont and our favorite brews to try in the state, when savoring that apres-ski pint. Please have a look!

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/13/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, November 29, 2019

Give the Gift of Travel on Small Business Saturday

Thanks to your generosity last year, we were able to donate to World Central Kitchen, which has served over 10 million fresh meals to those in need after disasters. This Holiday Season, we are happy to contribute to Action Against Hunger. They work in over 47 countries around the world to help feed millions of people. If you take the time to look at their website, they list all the countries they help, how many people they've reached, and how big their team is in each region. It's amazing to see and we truly want to support their efforts in their fight against hunger. Join ActiveTravels or purchase an annual membership for a friend or family member and $30 from each subscription will go straight to Action Against Hunger. Annual membership to ActiveTravels is $60 per year, less than dinner for two. Consider the happiness it will bring your friends and loved ones for the coming year!

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/29/19 at 07:00 AM
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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Stocking Stuffer No. 2—The Red Bandanna Travel Book, The Medicine of Traveling

I read this slender memoir/self-help travel book on my train ride back from New York to Boston. When I finished, I wish I had taken the book in sections, working on the assignments the author Joanne Socha had created at the end of most chapters. This is a unique book that’s meant to be savored at a slow pace. Socha is a travel advisor that I know through my affiliation with Virtuoso and Largay Travel. She knows firsthand the anxiety most people have before and during a trip. In fact, no one I know is stress-free when it comes to travel. I have bridge phobia and I’m neurotic about getting to the airport early to catch my flight. But that never stopped me nor does it stop Joanne, who follows her dream as she travels the globe, visiting the destinations on her wish list. What I loved about this book is that Socha shares her vulnerability, overcoming adversity, so when she’s finally snorkeling in the Maldives in a sublime blissful state, you realize she earned it. She deserved to be there and so do you. Just remember to do your homework! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/26/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, November 25, 2019

Stocking Stuffer No. 1—100 Things to Do in Boston/Rhode Island Before You Die

One of the earliest blogs I wrote, almost a decade ago, was on how to find the best travel guidebook. One of the points I touched on was who is the author and where does he live? If the guy lives in Texas and writes about South Africa, I’ll put that book down in favor of a local writer in Cape Town who knows his country far better than any foreigner. Which brings me to my first Stocking Stuffer of 2019, 100 Things to Do in Boston Before You Die and 100 Things to Do in Rhode Island Before You Die. Not only do I know the authors of these books, Kim Foley MacKinnon and Bob Curley, respectively, but I have no qualms saying that they are the best qualified people to pen these titles. Both MacKinnon and Curley have written countless articles and books on their hometown destinations, so if anyone would know the hidden nooks and crannies of Boston and the state of Rhode Island, it would be these two. This is one of those rare travel guidebooks that’s best suited for locals to know their city and region better. I can’t wait to dig into Curley’s book to savor sunset on the deck of the Coast Guard House in Narragansett and check out Charlestown’s River and Roots Festival over Labor Day Weekend

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/25/19 at 06:00 AM
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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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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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