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Announcements

Friday, September 27, 2013

September Newsletter Now Available at ActiveTravels.com

Calling all tortoise lovers, especially those of you who love mega-sized tortoises in the 100 year-old range! In our September newsletter, we describe our recent trip to the Galapagos, where we encounter many of these big boys. We also divulge our favorite all-inclusive resorts in America, including another summer outing to Vermont’s Basin Harbor Club; a new B&B in Provincetown, Salt House Inn, ideally suited for a quick getaway in September and October; and the outfitter, Tropic, that we used for our Ecuador trip to the Galapagos and the Amazon and who we highly recommend. 

 
All of our newsletters will soon be itemized, so you can quickly find a story on South Africa, Turkey, Nova Scotia, Oregon, and hundreds of other locales if you’re thinking of planning a trip there. That service will only be available to members who join ActiveTravels.com. Other benefits of our yearly membership include easy access to a travel writer who’s been to more than 80 countries and can answer all questions saving you hours of research on the web, a full-service travel agency that can book all vacations and can usually get VIP service and complimentary upgrades and meals through our connections, and most importantly, someone to call when something goes wrong, which is inevitable. Good luck calling customer service at Orbitz, Expedia, or Travelocity when your flight is canceled or your luggage goes missing. We’re here to help make your vacation memorable! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/27/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inaugural Crossroads International Celtic Festival to Be Held in Western Maine

Just in case you need another excuse to visit the glorious mountains and large lakes of western Maine, the region is holding its first Crossroads International Celtic Festival September 11-15. More than 100 entertainers including musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers from all over the Celtic world will descend on the region for a series of performances. The unique choice of venues include Stratton Brook, the newest hut in the Maine Huts and Trails system, and Church of the Good Shepherd in one of my favorite towns in the state, Rangeley. One performance that should not be missed is the “Fiddles on the Frontier” show Thursday, September 12th at 7 pm at the Eustis Community Building in Stratton. The list of impressive fiddlers includes Cape Breton’s Dwayne Cote and Rachel Davis. Better be ready to dance! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/27/13 at 10:00 AM
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Time for a Much Needed Break

Just returned from the Mount Auburn Hospital Travel Clinic to get necessary shots and a malaria pill prescription for an upcoming family trip to the Ecuadorean Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. Before we leave next Sunday, I have two stories to write, itineraries to design for clientele traveling to Scandinavia, Costa Rica, Iceland, and the UK, and two days of R&R with high school buddies at a lake in upstate New York. So I’m taking a break from blogging. I’ll be back the week of August 4th with 5 highlights from our trip to Ecuador. Enjoy the summer!

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/15/13 at 03:00 PM
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Friday, July 12, 2013

July Newsletter Now Available at ActiveTravels.com

The Oregon road trip my brother Jim and I just returned from is the feature story in the July 2013 newsletter at ActiveTravels.com. We also discuss why Montreal is an ideal quick escape in summer, the rise of upscale properties in Puerto Rico, and a reputable outfitter Lisa uses for trips to Peru. I also bring up the fact that now is the best time to book your flight to the Caribbean or Mexico next winter, especially over the busy school breaks, because nonstop flights sell out quickly. As always, if you have any questions regarding the world of travel, we’re here to help. Enjoy the weekend and stay active!

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/12/13 at 10:00 AM
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Monday, July 08, 2013

A Moronic Move in Maine

In 1995, I was hired to write a book called Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England. My task was to partake in as many outdoor adventures as possible both summer and winter and write about that experience. Seemed pretty simple for the five southernmost states in New England. Then there was Maine. Just the thought of traversing close to 3500 miles of coastline had me second-guessing my decision. An even more absurd task was trying to find the hidden gems in Maine’s vast interior. I needed help, so I contacted Nancy Marshall Communications, the public relations firm that was hired by the State of Maine’s Office of Tourism to work with media.
 
Much to my delight, I would quickly learn that few people know Maine better than Nancy Marshall and none are as impassioned about its travel opportunities. Nancy divulged everything, from the French chef working the stoves at Chesuncook Lake House to a Registered Maine Guide who would bring guests at the Rangeley Inn on a 5 am paddle to view moose to the small B&B in Georgetown that specialized in sea kayaking.
 
Since that fateful day, I would work with Nancy and her amazing team of Charlene Williams and Kevin Gove on more than 100 stories on Maine for The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, Outside Magazine, Sierra and many other publications. Just this past year, I would snowmobile and see the Northern Lights in Aroostook County, sail Linekin Bay, and visit the Cushing house that inspired Andrew Wyeth’s famous “Christina’s World.” All of those story ideas came from the people at Nancy Marshall Communications.
 
Now I have learned that after 20 years on the job, as of last week, the Maine Office of Tourism will replace Nancy Marshall Communications with a PR firm from New York. Oh sure, there will continue to be travel stories about Portland, Freeport, Camden, and Bar Harbor, locales New Yorkers know best. For those of you who work in the travel industry in the rest of the state, the Maine government just threw you off the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/08/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Newsletter Now Available at ActiveTravels.com

May marks the first anniversary of ActiveTravels.com, the travel consulting business that my wife and I created. Thanks to all of you, it’s been a great success! Over the course of the first year, we've compiled top-notch contacts around the world. So if you want to go on a weeklong safari in Tanzania, a guided 4-day trek from Mumbai to Agra to Jaipur, a half-day walking tour of the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona, or jaguar viewing in the Brazilian Pantanal, we know who to call. The beauty of this business is that as soon as our clients give us the thumb’s up on a certain outfitter, resort, or day guide, upon return from their trip, we pass this precious information along to everyone.
 
We’ve also been busy this past year building our inventory of Dream Day Itineraries, highly detailed daily trip planners for independent travelers. They include recommended lodging, sights, restaurants, outdoor recreation, and, most importantly, how to get from Point A to Point B. Tried and true itineraries have already been created for Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Costa Rica, London and the UK, Paris, Italy, Barcelona and Madrid, the Canadian Rockies, the Atlantic Maritimes, Yellowstone and the Tetons, Utah's National Parks, Durango and Telluride, Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Parks, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, the Florida Keys, and New England.
 
New this year is we hope to itemize all travel stories from our previous newsletters, so if you're headed to Kenya, you'll find our description of the country without having to peruse every issue. Talking about newsletters, in the May issue we go on a driving trip through Canada’s Atlantic Maritimes, review the hotels we love in the Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica, remember our quick escape to Block Island, announce Abercrombie & Kent's new Connections trips, and comment on how the sequester is going to effect the National Parks this summer. Thanks again for coming along for the ride! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/28/13 at 02:00 PM
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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Follow Cruise Expert Fran Golden On Her New Blog

Working professionally as a travel writer since 1990, I’m fortunate to know the best in the business. If I want to send a client on a European skiing trip with the family, I’m calling Everett Potter for his keen insight. For a golf outing in Scotland, longtime scribe Larry Olmsted is your man. For cruise travel, I’ve always relied on the expertise of Fran Golden. In fact, I’ve quoted her for many of my cruise pieces. Golden has covered the cruise industry for more than 15 years and has personally sailed aboard more than 100 cruise ships. She’s the former travel editor of the Boston Herald and former travel news editor for AOL. Now she’s just been hired by Porthole Cruise Magazine to launch its new blog. If you want to know about the latest cruise ships and their enticing itineraries, it would be worth your while to visit this new blog on a regular basis. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/01/13 at 12:00 PM
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Newsletter Now Available at ActiveTravels.com

Safari in Kenya, 5 recommended hotels in my wife’s hometown of Chicago, a tour operator we love in New Zealand, and a quick getaway to Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just outside of Portland, are the handful of subjects we discuss in our latest newsletter. Have a look! I’m off to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to show my kids the campus where their mom and dad met. Think I’m putting pressure on my son to go to a certain school? I’ll be back on Monday. Enjoy the hyacinths, daffodils, and tulips in bloom and stay active.

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/17/13 at 03:54 PM
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Julius Jermanok Enjoyed The Ride

I was out of the office all last week, dealing with the unexpected death of my 83 year-old father. Jules Jermanok was a brilliant man, graduating at the top of his college class at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point), before having an esteemed career at General Electric. He was my most trusted advisor, teaching me life lessons like “Enjoy the Ride.” Like him at one point of his working life, I was jumping from plateau to plateau, never satisfied with my current success. Highly ambitious, I was missing out on life, taking precious friendships and relationships for granted. So he taught me to chill out and enjoy the ride, to live life in the present. 

He was always open to new experiences, new adventures. Last winter, I had to write a story on the Everglades. My brother came down with me and we sea kayaked through mangroves, biked on abandoned dirt roads, and then partook in an unusual experience called a swamp walk. My father insisted on going, so we bought him Tevas and met our guide, thinking that we’d be wading in ankle-deep water. Wrong! We walked into murky water up to our waist trying to stand on the unsteady ground. The guide told us about all the exquisite orchids that bloomed in the swamp in June. Unfortunately, it was December. The only thing I was looking at was the water behind me, making sure there weren’t any alligators or pythons lurking. At one point, my father turns to me and says, “Is this worth it?”
 
My dad is already sorely missed, leaving a huge void in my life, but I’m thankful to have memories like this one to hold onto. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/15/13 at 12:00 PM
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Spring is Party Time in Nantucket

Nantucket knows how to throw a party, especially when the weather warms up. In late April, yellow is all the rage at the annual Daffodil Festival. Mid-May is time for the Nantucket Wine Festival, featuring Ming Tsai, Jasper White, Gordon Hamersley, and other Boston culinary elite sharing their talents. The Nantucket Film Festival comes to town in late June, usually accompanied by Ben Stiller, his famous parents, and “Fever Pitch” director Peter Farrelly. Buy tickets in advance for Farrelly’s Late Night Storytelling at the Rose & Crown, where directors, screenwriters, and actors share uproarious tales of their lives that often have nothing to do with filmmaking. The year-old Nantucket Hotel, sister property to the Winnetu on Martha’s Vineyard, is only a five-minute walk to Dreamland Theatre and the cobblestone streets of town. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/02/13 at 12:00 PM
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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.

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