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Top Rated Places to Stay in Mexico

Planning your next vacation? Thinking about going to Mexico? If you love top-rated villas, exquisite beaches, water-based sports and Mexican cuisine, then planning a trip to Mexico should definitely be on your list of top vacation spots!

Top Rated Mexico Resorts

The following list contains the top-rated places to stay when vacationing in Mexico.

  1. The Resort at Pedregal – Cabo San Lucas. Located near the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, this top-rated resort is carved into a cliffside, making it quite unique. The fact that this resort is well-known for its ability to provide its guests with the most relaxing seaside experiences makes this vacation destination one that is full of luxury. Personnel concierge services are available when choosing this five-diamond service resort, as well as access to a number of other modern amenities like private plunge pools, rain forest showers and spa treatments.

Fine dining is available in the cliffside restaurant, offering guests the freshest seafood and the most authentic Mexican meals.

  1. Rosewood Mayakoba – Playa del Carmen. This top-rated Riviera resort offers guests the best of two worlds – the beach and the jungle – as luxurious white sand beaches are surrounded by a plush green forest. Travelers who enjoy privacy when vacationing will enjoy this Mexican resort as the suites offer private outdoor decks as well as personal butler services. This culture-rich area of Mexico allows guests to see the ruins of the Mayan civilization, and partake in fun water-based sports, i.e. snorkeling, kayaking.

A variety of fine dining restaurants are available for meals, where every dining experience is special.

  1. Capella Ixtapa. This Pacific Coast resort offers guests a blend of traditional and modern amenities. Privacy is key here as guests get their own private plunge pool, along with open terraces that provide plenty of room for entertaining. Freshwater pool swimming is also available, along with pampering massages and lots of fun water sports. The best meals can be enjoyed at one of the 2 outdoor restaurants, of which both offer fresh fish options from that day’s local catch.

Set on top of a cliff, this resort allows for beautiful blue ocean water views from any location.

  1. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort – San José del Cabo. Also known as the ‘window to paradise’, this Mexican oceanfront resort offers all guests both a unique and luxurious vacation experience. The oceanfront villas are truly exceptional as they were made using the expertise only a skilled hand-carver can offer, with each boasting its own exceptional handcrafted qualities. Fine dining lets guests choose from a number of sophisticated and innovative dishes that celebrate the Mexican cuisine that so many people enjoy.

Pampering and luxury are the main focus at this Mexican beachfront resort.

Travel Specialist Group

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Why Honeymoon in Ireland

When it comes to choosing your honeymoon destination there are so many options it’s mind-boggling, but if you want a destination that’s romantic and makes a couple feel special, book your trip to Ireland.

No, you shouldn’t enjoy your first days as a married couple in Ireland simply because some celebrities did it. It was big news when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West took off to Ireland after they exchanged their vows. Victoria and David Beckham also celebrated their wedding in Ireland.

So what’s the draw to this amazing country? To begin with, let’s talk castles. There are more than 30,000 of them, from the 400-acre Dromoland to The Waterford Castle which sits is on a private 310-acre island on the River Suir. If you’ve ever dreamed of castles and living happily ever after, Ireland has your romantic storyline. Dromoland’s fortress, which is built entirely of dark blue limestone offers the couples a relaxing massage and a romantic boat ride.

If it’s a beautiful view that you and your honey want, then make sure you visit the 394-foot Cliffs of Moher that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. What a selfie that will be! Maybe a horse-drawn carriage ride is what you consider romantic and you’ll find one at the Killarney National Park. Another beautiful view can be found at The Mussenden Temple, built in 1785, which sits on top of a 120-ft cliff top above the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the most photographed scene in Ireland. Another selfie!

Beautiful Irish Ballads are performed in the Ashford Castle’s Dungeon Bar, which was once owned by the Guinness Family. Speaking of Guinness – and when you’re talking Ireland you must – toast your brand new life together at the Guinness Storehouse.

Of course, a honeymoon to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Blarney Castle and sharing an upside down kiss on the Blarney Stone.

If you’re more of an active couple, Ireland won’t disappoint. You can mountain bike at Ballyhoura, the largest trail network in Ireland, go cycling or kayaking in Kilkenny, take a cliff walk at the Greystones, hike at Wicklow Mountains or go spelunking at Aillwee Caves.

A honeymoon in Ireland is filled with something for everyone and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re interested in making Ireland your honeymoon destination, contact your travel agent.

Travel Specialist Group

How to Plan an Italy Vacation with Kids

A few months ago, we covered the best way to see Italy in 10 days. Of course, this doesn’t take into account if you’re traveling with children. They bring an entirely new set of challenges to your vacation. Here are some tips to help you navigate Italy with your youngsters because it really is a kid-friendly destination:

Choose kid-friendly sights to see: You might want to see the vineyards of Tuscany, but your kids won’t. Instead, make sure that they have things to do that they are interested in. The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest aquarium in Italy at 33,000-square-feet and a kid fave and so is the Bergamo outdoor zoo in Lombardy. Of course, you can pretty much make any site interesting to see if you tell kids about it on their level. Even historic sites like the Coliseum can hold their attention when you tell them that gladiator battles used to be held there.

Make it a learning experience: Kids want fun, but you can make Italy a learning experience too. There are guide books specifically meant for kids to discover the area. Let them go through the books and pick and choose things they may want to see or do.

Get used to late meals: Kids have a tendency to eat early, but that’s not how they do it in Italy. Lunch is a typical time that it’s served in America, approximately 12:30 to 1:30, but be prepared that dinner time can be around 8 p.m. to as late as 9:30 p.m. In Sicily, it can go even later, so be prepared to keep your young ones fed between meals.

Speaking of meals, kids love pizza so make sure you take them behind the scenes of a real pizzeria. They may even be able to make their own pie!

Build in time outs: Not for being bad. Running from one site to another may sound like the perfect plan to jam in everything you can do in Italy, but you’ll end up with one overtired child if you do. Plan your Italy itinerary differently. Plan on seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa one day and the Coliseum the next. Once you’re done sightseeing, plan in some down time like a gondola boat ride or a nice quiet meal. Seeing everything in one shot sounds great, but the kids won’t remember jam-packed itineraries. Instead, they’ll remember feeling exhausted and on a whirlwind. Pick and choose. It will capture the vacation in a much better way.

Travel Specialist Group

The Best of Ireland

One of the most popular sayings in Ireland is, ‘May the road rise up to meet you.’ If you have decided to travel to the country known for its music, landscapes, castles and craft beer, here are a few things you should do:

Visit a castle: There are more than 30,000 castles and castle ruins of all shapes and sizes to see, including Dromoland, which sits on 400 acres and was for the Kings of Thomond or Waterford Castle, which is located on a private 310-acre island on the River Suir. You can enjoy a meal in the Castle’s Munster Room and visit the Fitzgerald Bar which houses the finest Irish whiskey collection. Stop at the Ballynahinch Castle, which overlooks the famous Ballynahinch River or the Cabra Castle Hotel, which dates back to 1760 and has 80 bedrooms, impressive hallways and stairwells.

Throw one back: When in Ireland, do as the Irish do and drink the ale. You can also tour Metalman Brewing, and Blacks of Kinsale or, if you prefer a little Irish whiskey, visit the Irish Whiskey Museum, an interactive, modern experience. You can sample Irish whiskey, Irish Coffee or whiskey cocktails.

Explore the countryside: Get on the bike and explore that gorgeous Ireland mountainside at Ballyhoura or go cliff walking at the Greystones. If you’re a hiker, check out Wicklow Mountains or the remote and rugged Cliffs of Moher. Spelunkers can also explore Aillwee Caves and see the frozen waterfalls. You definitely don’t want to miss Killarney National Park near the town of Killarney, County Kerry. It was the first national park in Ireland, and is home to another popular castle, Lakeside Ross Castle, which dates back to the 15th century as well as Torc Waterfall, a 20m-high waterfall which cascades down a series of rock steps. If you’re so inclined, check out Newgrange, an Irish passage tomb that dates to c.3,200BC or the beautiful National Botanical Gardens. There’s free entry to the gardens.

Share some smooches: Bring your lovebird to the famous Blarney Castle and share an upside down kiss on the Blarney Stone. You can also visit the beautiful Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, a medieval paradise created in 1191.

If you’re interested in a trip to Ireland, contact your travel agent to put together the perfect itinerary for you.

Travel Specialist Group

Top Benefits of Using a Travel Agent

travelspecialistgroupWhen it comes to planning your trips, the most important question you need to ask yourself is — should you book it yourself or use a travel agent?

Just like you leave medical advice up to the doctor and the legal advice up to the lawyers, you should leave the travel planning to a professional as well. Here are the top benefits of using a travel agent to plan your next trip.

Saving money. It’s hard to navigate through the pricing options for planes, hotels, and other accommodations on your own. The websites are often tricky, making you think you’re getting a better deal than you really are. Travel agents are great with working around these tricks and finding you the best available deals for your budget.

Troubleshooting and safety. For first time travelers, it can be nerve-wracking to think of everything that could go wrong on your vacation or trip. Travel agents are there to help. From telling you what to pack before you leave to getting you on a new flight if yours is suddenly canceled, they can ensure your travels go without a hitch.

First-hand experiences. Often times, the travel agent you’re working with has already been to the destination you’re headed to. This is convenient because they can answer any questions you may have in a more detailed explanation than a quick Google search could offer. They can also give you tips on how to navigate wherever you’re headed to.

Deciding where to go. The most important question of all; where do I want to go? For some, that’s a difficult question to answer. With such a wide range of possibilities, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact destination. Travel agents can help you work with your travel needs and preferences to help you decide the best destination for your wallet and your personality.

Getting the newest deals. Much like how they can save you money for plane fare and hotel rooms, travel agents often have insider access and connections with various companies. This means getting the earliest updates on new deals and openings within the industry, giving you access you wouldn’t have on your own.

A travel agent can help you with your trip from the time you come up with an idea to the time you get home and want to share your photos with everyone.

Travel Specialist Group

Make the Trip a Learning Experience for Children

Planning a trip with your children can be a fun and memorable experience, but traveling is also a valuable time to learn about history, and other cultures, languages and destinations. Every time Lisa, a mom of three, plans a trip with her children, she makes sure to include a museum where they can learn about the area. She knows the kids are learning while they travel, but the kids just know it’s fun. Here are five tips to turn your ordinary vacation into an unforgettable learning experience.

Get the kids involved: Before you even leave for vacation, get your kids involved in learning about where you are going. Order brochures online or visit the library and borrow or buy guidebooks on the area. There are also books that are written for children, for example, “Kids’ Travel Guide – Italy & Rome: The fun way to discover Italy & Rome–especially for kids.”

Try a scavenger hunt: You can create your own scavenger hunt for your child to keep them entertained and learning about the cities or use a book such as Mission Rome that guides your child through the local landmarks.

Look for museums and tours: Most local museums offer great interactive experiences for children, but keep in mind you may have to sign up ahead of time. There are also walking and bus tours of the area.

Let them pick an activity: Kids get more excited about learning if they are participating in an activity they want to do. Have them look through the books and on the web for something of interest to them. Set some ground rules ahead of time though. An amusement park is fun, but not educational. A visit to a national park or historic home is perfect.

Download apps: Many sites have apps that you, and your child, can download and read about the landmark or city before you go.

Learn the language: Of course you may not be able to learn an entire language before you go, but teaching your kids some fun words may make the trip more exciting. Let your child pick a word a day that they want to learn.

Buy a journal: Help your child to record their travel experiences by buying a travel journal. There are also apps they can use. Put in pictures, add some description and create a souvenir they will treasure forever.

Travel Specialist Group

Packing Tips for Women

travelspecialistgroupPacking before a trip is always difficult, no matter how big or small the vacation is. Regardless of where you’re headed out to, there are certain things every woman should keep in mind when packing her clothes for a fun getaway.

Pack a scarf: Scarves are an easy accessory to pack and practical. They can warm you up in colder climates or protect you from harsh winds. If needed, they can even serve as a pillow or a wrap for a bundle of items. Plus, they’re easy to fit in a suitcase.

Find convertible pants: There are various styles of pants that can be unzipped into shorts, including cargo pants that come with many pockets. This saves you from having to buy pants and shorts.

Pick comfortable shoes: Wherever you travel, you’ll more than likely be doing a lot of walking. Having comfortable shoes is essential to lessen foot pain and help traverse tough terrain. Athletic shoes are a good option, as they’re designed to cushion the feet. Also consider packing sandals for hotter climates and a pair of dressy flats that fit into the suitcase and can be used with different outfits.

Use multifunctional dresses: Want to dress up a little, it’s nice to not have to pack multiple dresses. Instead, pack a wrap dress or a sarong that can be used in multiple ways. You can convert it from a strapless dress to an off-the-shoulder dress, or even a skirt.

Pack waterproof clothes:  Umbrellas are bulky to pack and consider packing a waterproof jacket, or an emergency poncho; easy to unfold, and they fit right in your pocket.

Dress in layers: To save space in your suitcase and prevent you from lugging a heavy jacket around, dress in layers instead.

Roll, don’t fold. Rolling your clothes is a quick and easy way to maximize space in your suitcase. You can even cushion things like accessories or shoes in between your rolled pants and dresses.

Most importantly, think about how each item in your suitcase can be used more than once to maximize your wardrobe.

Travel Specialist Group

Multigenerational Travel Tips

Multigenerational Travel Tips on how to travel with the entire family ( 5 tips.. for kids and grandparents etc )

There is an increase in multigenerational traveling, especially with grandparents vacationing more often with just the grandkids. However, this kind of travel comes with many challenges, including planning activities so everyone is having a good time and finding some down time in very busy schedule.

Here are a few tips to make your multigenerational trip stress-free and chock full of memories.

Make it a family affair: If the kids and grandkids are old enough, include them in on planning the vacation. Of course, the big decisions and the budget is up to you, but let the kids choose one thing they really want to see. This makes sure that everybody has something to look forward to on the trip. At the same time, remember that not every family member will want to participate in every activity. It’s okay to separate at times so that everyone gets a chance to do what they want to do.

Pick perfect housing: Choose the right accommodations that fit the entire family and provide you with exactly what you need. Perhaps the kids need their own rooms or the grandparents need adjoining accommodations. Do you want a hotel room or a vacation rental? If you’re traveling with infants and toddlers a vacation rental might give you more space and less noise than staying in a hotel room.

Ask for discounts: Many destinations provide discounts for seniors as well as group rates for large families, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Add in breaks: Have fun, but build in some time for relaxation. If the kids are small, make sure not to overload them and keep going for hours at a time. Include nap times to break up the day and make sure they do not get overloaded. At the same time, do not run the grandparents ragged either, especially by making them babysit all day. The adults and the older children can also benefit from quiet time as well. Taking a breather is also an integral part of a successful vacation.

Have a professional plan your vacation: There are a lot of voices and opinions in a multigenerational vacation and a professional can help you narrow down choices and make selections.

Take pictures: Most importantly, when you get to your destination, take pictures and videos of the vacation that you will never forget.

Travel Specialist Group