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Announcements

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Puerto Rico Hotel Update

According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), 75 percent of Puerto Rico’s hotels, or 113 out of 149, are open and operating. They include the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, Hotel El Convento, Wyndham Rio Mar, La Concha Renaissance, Olive Boutique Hotel, and the San Juan Marriott Resort. El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, plans to open April 1, 2018. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will reopen October 1, 2018. The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel and Hotel St. Regis at Bahia Beach Resort also plan to reopen on October 1st. W Retreat & Spa Vieques will reopen Dec. 31, 2018. Cruise ships running in and out of San Juan are now 90% operational and expect to be 100% operational by Christmas. Puerto Rico desperately needs your business and there are good deals on hotel rates and cruises to get you back down there. Contact ActiveTravels and we’ll fill you in. 

 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/05/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Caribbean Update, Kauai Resorts, and Maine’s Cliff House in October ActiveTravels Newsletter

In the October ActiveTravels Newsletter, we discuss the Caribbean locales that weren’t affected by the hurricanes, pick our favorite hotels in Kauai, talk about how Amazon can help you in a pinch, and introduce you to one of the finest new resorts in Maine, the Cliff House. Please have a look! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/27/17 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Zealand Top Choice for North American Adventure Travelers

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) just completed a study with Outside Magazine on how adventure travel trends have changed in the last decade. The top 5 desired destinations for the intrepid today are New Zealand, Australia, South America, South Pacific, and Western Europe. North America and the Middle East, both in the top 5 in 2006, slipped down to number 7 and 16, respectively. Hiking, backpacking, and sea kayaking were the top activities in 2016, replacing more hardcore sports a decade ago like rock climbing. I was surprised that biking and mountain biking weren’t taken into consideration. I would think that the popularity of both sports would be near the top today, judging from the increasing number of our clients who want to join a biking trip. The multisport trip, where you sample a different activity every day, also remains strong, especially with families. But I didn’t see it mentioned in this report. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/25/17 at 05:59 AM
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cruise Lines Help with Evacuations and Aid to Puerto Rico

Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, many residents are in critical need of supplies. Food, water, and medicine are dwindling and the island is expected to be without power for several months. The international airport in San Juan continues to operate on limited emergency power with fewer than ten commercial flights to the US each day. Instead, Puerto Rico is relying on cruise ships to bring resources to the devastated island. Royal Caribbean Cruises cancelled its Adventure of the Seas cruise to utilize the ship for evacuation and humanitarian efforts. The ship arrived in San Juan yesterday, before heading to St. Thomas and St. Croix to aid in the evacuation and donate critical supplies to each destination. Adventure of the Seas will bring evacuees to Fort Lauderdale before returning to San Juan on October 6. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, also has been helping with the aid effort. Carnival ships are currently traveling to destinations in the Caribbean that have been impacted by both Hurricane Irma and Maria. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/28/17 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Excited to Announce the Launch of Yogaway Retreats

It all started as the best things in life often do….pure serendipity. I was sitting in our yard near the water, in Quincy, MA, in the summer of 2011. My neighbor Barbara kayaked as close as she could to my chair and said, “I’ve been thinking about you. You’d really like yoga. I go to Healing Tree, and you should too.” I said, “Well, I’ve actually thought about that over time, maybe with your urging, I’ll go.” I had been a dancer as a kid, and fluid movement that’s about grace, flexibility, and strength has always appealed to me. I had long ago given up dance, and yearned for something to fill the void. Barbara had an answer! I walked into Healing Tree, and my yoga habit began. But a very special person – other than Barbara – made it truly possible. Checka Antifonario was one of my first yoga teachers, and I lucked out. Checka is amazing. She made my 50th birthday ultra-memorable (we together organized a weekend yoga retreat in Western MA for ~15 of my nearest and dearest friends, including Lisa and Steve). And, can I say, Checka’s yoga retreats also rock. I’ve been on several of them. 
 
That’s why I’m so excited to announce Checka’s latest venture, Yogaway Retreats. Going on a yoga retreat with the right leader is a wonderful way to travel. It isn’t “all yoga all the time.” It’s exploring an area, hiking, swimming, eating, drinking, talking, and bonding with new people, sometimes over s’mores around a campfire. Checka has upcoming retreats this October in Vermont (I’ve been to that location with her, it’s superb), the Azores late next September (been there, with Checka, absolutely fantastic!), and more including Aspen, Martinique, and Alaska. I love Checka’s picks for lodging and for adventures outside of yoga time, her wonderful personality, and her excellent yoga classes. ActiveTravels would be more than happy to arrange a trip with Checka for you. 
 
Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches 
(Amy in the air, Checka on the mat) 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/28/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Switzerland, Caribbean Resort Openings, and the Adirondacks in August ActiveTravels Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter, we discuss our family trip to Switzerland in July, list a round-up of new and intriguing Caribbean resorts set to open this winter, introduce you to a fantastic way to create lasting souvenirs on your next trip with Flytographer, and happily write about one of our favorite places on the planet, the Adirondacks. We’re actually headed to Lake George next week after first visiting Ithaca and the Berkshires. I’ll be back on August 28th with new content. Thanks as always for checking in and keep active! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/18/17 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

California, Costa Rica, and Toronto In June/July ActiveTravels Newsletter

Northeasterners who are considering hitting the Caribbean over February or March 2018 school break can now book flights on JetBlue through May 1, 2018. This is the time to make your plans before the airfare jumps. In our June/July ActiveTravels newsletter, we also break down our favorite locales in California, an increasingly popular year-round destination, select our top picks for lodging in Costa Rica, and devote our Quick Escape column to Toronto, where our colleague Amy Perry Basseches lives and can give you the inside scoop. 

We’re off to Switzerland with the family tomorrow to visit Zurich, Montreux, Bern, Lucerne, and go on a 6-day hiking and biking adventure with Backroads in the Swiss Alps. We’ll be back on August 1st to tell you all about our experiences. Enjoy the rest of July!
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/18/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, June 02, 2017

Best Coastal Towns, My Latest Story for Yankee Magazine

Depending on your passion, be it art, adventure, dining on fresh seafood, or simply catching rays on your own spit of sand, I guarantee there’s a locale on the New England Coast that caters to your interest. Not surprisingly, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island figure prominently in this round-up of Best Coastal Towns, along with the top two picks from my Top 25 Beach Towns cover story, Ogunquit and Provincetown. A bit off the radar are the towns of Madison, Connecticut, and Brewster, Massachusetts. Have a look and tell me if you agree.

 
Please tune in next week when AT travel consultant, Amy Perry Basseches, describes her recent trip to Sequoia, Yosemite, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle. Have a great weekend! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/02/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Greece, Mountain Resorts, and Traveling Luggage Free in May ActiveTravels Newsletter

This month marks the 5th anniversary of ActiveTravels. As I write this, we are busy planning trips for clients to all corners of the globe, including the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, Patagonia, Botswana, India, and Bali. Not to mention last-minute summer travels all over Europe, including Spain, Italy, France, Greece, the UK, Austria, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Then there are all the national park trips and New England fall foliage trips to design. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be this busy. In fact, most family and friends thought we were crazy opening up a travel agency in this age of do-it-yourself bookings. But it’s wonderful to see that people still value expertise and customer service. We can’t thank you enough! 

Our May newsletter features insights from our trip to Greece last month with Heritage Travels. We also select our favorite mountain resorts in North America, serene getaways for active families, and a way to travel luggage free. Please have a look. 
 
Our family is off to University of Maryland to celebrate the graduation of our niece, Ami. During her 4 years in college, she did internships with senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Ed Markey, and congresswoman Niki Tsongas; helmed Terps for Hillary in the last presidential election; and now works passionately to get women elected in the 2018 mid-term elections at EMILY’s List. As you can see, we’re all very proud of her and can’t wait to celebrate! I’ll be back next Thursday. In the meantime, enjoy the warm weather and keep active! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/18/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Australia, Maui, and St. Barts Featured in the April ActiveTravels Newsletter

April is always one of the busiest months of the year for us as members book upcoming summer and winter travel. We try to get back to all requests as quick as possible but we appreciate your patience. We’ve also been traveling quite a bit to see firsthand the destinations, resorts, and tour operators we like to recommend. Lisa just returned from Queensland and Melbourne, Australia, which she reports on in our main feature in the April newsletter. On our last trip to Australia, we were stuck inside a small hotel in Cairns for 3 days as a cyclone barreled down the coastline. So, of course, the worst cyclone to hit Australia in 6 years happened in Queensland while Lisa was there again. Fortunately, the eye of the storm was an 8-hour drive to the south so it didn’t alter her itinerary. We also leave today for a weeklong trip to another popular destination, Greece, with a highly reputable tour operator from New York, Heritage Tours. We’ll describe our findings in the May newsletter.
 
In our Travel Tip column this month, we want to remind members to please think of us for all your travels, including cruises and guided trips with the likes of Backroads, Abercrombie & Kent, and Lindblad. We’re a full-service Virtuoso-aligned travel agency that can often get amenities like shore excursions and spa treatments thrown in at no additional cost. Also in this issue, we list our favorite properties in Maui, discuss deals in St. Barts in the shoulder season, and talk about the art scene in Houston for our Quick Escape column. 
 
Be on the lookout for a hotel giveaway in next month’s issue. May marks the 5th anniversary of ActiveTravels so we thought a free hotel giveaway was a good way to start the celebration. Thanks to all of you for helping to make ActiveTravels a success! 
 
See you again on May 1st when we return from our trip to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. Happy Travels!
 
Steve and Lisa 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/20/17 at 06:00 AM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

ActiveTravels.com is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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