Congratulations to Victoria Azarenka for winning the 2012 Australian Open women’s singles championship. Her team- Meilen, Sam, Jean Pierre – do a great job! What a wonderful performance. Vika is #1 in the WTA world rankings.
In the past, adventurous travelers craving Cuba have secretely booked their own vacations routing themselves through Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada. However, the land of Hemingway, mojitos, Ricky Ricardo, and 1950′s vintage automobiles will now be accesible to more Americans.
Last month, President Obama issued an executive order that broadens legal purposes for traveling to Cuba to include religious groups, students seeking higher education and journalists. In addition, US citizens can now send up to $500 per quarter for non-family members living in Cuba, as long as those remittances are not directed toward senior Cuban government officials or senior members of the Cuban Communist Party. Getting to Cuba might be easier in the future too! The U.S. international airports that provide services to licensed charters that fly to/from Cuba have been included in the decreased regulations.
For the past fifty years, only US citizens with close relatives in Cuba or those in possession of very resticted licenses were able to travel to the Caribbean island nation due to the United States embargo against Cuba (a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960).
Times are a-changing…Cuban culture, beaches and crystal blue water are closer than you think!
With the holidays quickly approaching, many will travel long distances to spend time with their families. New parents will be worried about taking their new bundles of joy on planes and road trips, but don’t despair.. I’ve got some helpful tips for you.
First and foremost, don’t procrastinate or you’ll end up running to the drugstore at the 11th hour. Keep a running list of things to take, or put items out on a table or dresser as you think of them. Preparation is key.
Some of the “must take” carry-on items include an infant car seat, collapsible light weight stroller, baby carrier (such as an Ergo or wrap), a blanket, plastic bags for soiled items, diaper changing pad, enough diapers/wipes while you travel, 3 oz size of anti-bacterial gel and first aid kit.
Added bonus-If you are traveling with a baby, you are allowed to travel with enough formula, breast milk, or juice in your carry-on needed to reach your destination. In addition, you are allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, or processed baby food in your carry-on baggage and aboard your plane.
Make sure to use a diaper bag with a waterproof lining and a shoulder strap. Leaky diapers and baby spit-up at 30,000 feet is not fun, so tuck an extra outfit or two for your baby – and an extra shirt for you – into your carry-on bag.
Bring a new toy, book or game to entertain your baby or be prepared to make puppets out of the airsickness bags. Remember that take off and landings will increase the pressure in her ears, but nursing or sucking a bottle can help alleviate the discomfort. If you have flight connections, explore the terminals with your baby and tire them out. A sleeping baby on a plane is a happy parent and time for you to decompress.
Most importantly, relax, remember to breathe and enjoy the journey as best as you can, it won’t last forever and most people are tolerant of a crying baby…that’s what headphones are for, right?
What does a bride n groom really need? I recall planning my wedding gift registry and running around stores like Target with an inventory scanning gun cluelessly zapping items that we couldn’t live without. On other days, I’d browse the internet and choose items off websites that I thought were cool and something newly married couples should have.
Now that I’m married and have chipped most of the dishware we’ve received and baby bottles have conquered the martini set’s territory, I wish I had known about honeymoon registries.
A honeymoon registry is just like it sounds-a website where guests can contribute funds towards a couple’s honeymoon. The happy couple get to choose gifts like airfare, a romantic dinner, spa or diving and post these wishes on their customized registry site. What a splendid idea to create a customized registry for your honeymoon that allows your wedding guests to buy you gift experiences! Components of that magical honeymoon you and your fiancé dream about can now be a reality. Guests appreciate it too! A registry allows couples to break their honeymoon down into gift components of various prices so that guests can find a gift item that fits their budget. No more toasters and long return lines!
With a Santa Barbara Travel registry, your family and friends will have access to your honeymoon wish list to help you finance this unforgettable trip. Whether it’s a couple’s massage for two or monetary funds to offset your airfare, your every wish and desire can be added to your custom registry. When the time comes to liquidate your honeymoon registry, you can cash in or opt for the added features that were gifted to you. Call SAnta Barbara Travel and lets get started planning your memorable honeymoon trip today…805-966-3116
Everyone knows why they love to go on vacation. It’s a great chance to relax and have fun. But those aren’t the only reasons you should take a vacation. In fact, there are two other reasons that are not so obvious: it’s both healthy and it can help with your career performance.
You may think vacationing is great just because it provides an escape from the stressful world of work. But believe it or not, this escape from stress does more good than you may think. For example, did you know that an annual vacation can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by 50%? Or that blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine (a hormone linked to stress) all decline on holidays of only one or two days? Leisure travel has been found to contribute to overall well-being by helping people maintain both their physical and mental help.
Now I know what you’re thinking: yes, vacationing may be healthy, but it’s hard to drop what you’re doing and leave work for a few days or weeks. Well next time your boss gives you a hard time about vacations, all you need to do is point out that vacations help with your productivity. Stress-related absences, due to overworking and the resulting burnout, cost employers a staggering $150 billion per year. The good news is that this burnout can be easily decreased or avoided. A study at Tel Aviv University found that burnout decreases significantly during two-week vacations. Additionally, travelers experience a 24% increase in performance on vigilance tests after returning from vacations. Those who are 45 or over show an even higher increase of 50%! And if your boss still doesn’t see the light about vacations, you can always mention that three out of four executives belief that vacations are necessary to prevent job burnout or that vacations can improve personal job performance.
So whether it’s for your health or for staying sharp in your career, vacations are definitely beneficial. That’s why the right to an annual vacation of a minimum duration is prescribed by law in 78 countries. Some of those countries are such firm believers in vacations that they actually enforce penalties if vacations are deferred. So don’t break the law, book a getaway with Santa Barbara Travel Bureau today!
Santa Barbara Travel is hosting a family friendly travel show that focuses on vacations the whole family can enjoy. A select group of travel suppliers have been invited to represent their product line due to their amazing family friendly options. Club Med, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Apple Vacations, Pleasant Holidays and Princess Cruises amongst others will be represented at this event.
Anybody with small children (or sitting in front of them on a long flight) knows that it can be stressful, to say the least, to travel with small children. That being said, a resort that offers childcare, separate food that appeals to toddlers, and activities the entire family can enjoy is extremely appealing. Imagine being able to pick up a novel and read more than two sentences …you might even get through a chapter or two!
There will also be a chance to win door prizes, airline tickets and a vacation for a lucky family of four to the Riviera Maya at an all-inclusive resort (air is included). In addition, local balloon designer, Juan Barron will join the event to help entertain the children with his marvelous creations and an authentic taco stand will be selling tasty tacos and delicious Mexican beverages .
Santa Barbara Travel is having this family travel show to educate the community on the different choices and to let them know a family trip doesn’t have to be hell. Memories last a lifetime and a family trip can be a fabulous bonding experience, so come join the fun!
FREE –October 2nd, 11am-2pm at 1485 East Valley Road, Montecito, 805-966-3116
Looking for a hassle free vacation the entire family will enjoy?
Club Med Ixtapa is the perfect mix of relaxation, activities and culture!
All-inclusive Imagine not having to worry about who’s buying the next round, picking up the tab at dinner, tipping, renting sporting equipment, or paying for a yoga class. I found it so liberating to not have to worry about money once I arrived at this paradise. No more beads at Club Med-it’s all included!
The staff was friendly, the accomodations- amazing, the food- incredible, and daily entertainment fun and engaging. Our room was so nice and we loved sitting on our balcony overlooking the beach in the morning and at sunset.
During the day, you could find us hanging out in a private padded cabana on the beach with cold drinks, swinging on a hammock and cooling off in the Pacific. The ocean was clean and a nice warm temperature, the beach spotless, and we felt safe and secure due to the extensive security guards and main gate. I also really enjoyed the yoga on the beach, Zumba dance class, and the numerous pools to swim and splash in.
Kids Club-The award winning kid’s club is included for free for youngsters over 4 years old. For babies and toddlers, you have to pay a fee, but it’s worth the break. “Pyjama party” is offered every night and gives parents a chance to spend an evening alone sans kids. In addition, they had babysitting options, shows and special events for them to get involved in.
The kid’s club program was extensive and we found ourselves in their play pool squirting the water machine guns more than the serene adult pool or active music thumping main pool. They thought of all the details in regards to traveling with children and made our lives easier. The amenities were incredible, and they even had a baby room where you could sterilize bottles, mix formula, find baby food, kid’s snacks, milk, etc.
Speaking of PJ Party…One evening, we started off at Happy Hour sipping mojitos at the bar, enjoyed a romantic dinner at the Mirador restaurant overlooking the beach (even though it poured for a bit), soaked in our big bath tub, and kicked back while watching a flick on the widescreen at the pool. Date night galore!
Paradise-I loved the smell of guava and mango trees, the many iguanas, and the butterflies around the property. Some of my favorite memories were created while swimming with the dolphins at the nearby dolphin excursion My three year old had the opportunity to kiss a dolphin and we now fondly display the 8×10 on our living room wall.
EAT-The main restaurant had an extensive buffet selection of fresh fish, fruits, children-friendly stations, and a huge desert selection. The bread was freshly baked and fabulous. The specialty restaurants had a nice atmosphere and attentive waitstaff, not to mention, awesome seafood.
Fun-The nightly entertainment was professionally put on and even included the children a couple nights. There was never a boring moment with all the available activities- I enjoyed the water sports at the main pool, the trapeze, archery, Zumba fitness/dance classes, and wound down at the late night movies at the pool. I was never bored, nor were my kids (especially the night when they were in the show).
Getting There-As far as getting there, it is an easy 3 hour flight from LAX to ZIH (Zihuatanejo). We flew on Alaska Airlines and were impressed by their great service and how quickly the flight went (even with two children). The airport transfer that Club Med offers is an air-conditioned comfortable bus. I highly recommend it, unless you wish to explore the area on your own and rent a car. My husband’s a surfer, so we hired a taxi to drive him to a surfing spot one day. Although the taxi fare was expensive, he said it was worth it to surf the epic waves.
Cons-The only complaints I had came from my stomach, but that happens when you eat tons of fresh fruit in a foreign country. Also, the mosquitos were hungry, but Club Med sprayed twice a day, so they didn’t chew me up too badly. Humidity and hot weather don’t bother me that much, but some people disliked that as well. I chose to cool off in the pool and stay wet to get over the heat.
All in all, I was extremely pleased with this resort and it exceeded my expectations of Club Med. No wonder it has won so many awards!
When can I go back? Can I go back now? How about now?