Discovering Renewal in Ha Long Bay

Why would you ever want to visit Vietnam? What could you possibly want to see or do there? We fielded some form of this question from everyone approximately our parents’ age or older upon telling them the destination of our next international adventure. The answer went deeper than even we imagined.

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Tahiti's Secret Paradise

Let’s face it, when you think about Tahiti, Bora Bora steals the show, but should it? Like that sibling who simply must be first at everything, Bora Bora earned its allure by being the secluded playground of celebrities, and therefore draws the lustful eyes of tourists dreaming about a glamorous Instagram post laying on its soft sandy beaches. But did you know there’s another Tahitian island that’s equally as beautiful, if not more so? One that’s much easier to get to, and not nearly as expensive?

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GuideAndrew HerrTahitiComment
Know Before You Go - France

France has something for everyone. Ski in the Alps, relax on the Mediterranean, hike the Pyrenees, indulge in world-class food and wine, and of course, there’s Paris. Deciding where to go is the fun part, so we’ll cover the essentials so you can travel like a pro, and relax while you do!

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TipsAndrew HerrFranceComment
An Evening at Sainte-Chapelle

The Louvre has Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower owns the skyline, but where else in Paris, let alone Europe, can you feel as if you’ve been transported inside of a kaleidoscope, bright and brilliant? The answer: Sainte-Chapelle. It’s a must for any Paris itinerary, and with some planning and following a few tips, can be a magical night you’ll never forget.

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5 Reasons Normandy Should Be On Your Bucket List

Fairytale villages dot a countryside filled with cows producing buttery, soft cheese, and farmers perfecting their unique apple brandy. A wealth of bed and breakfasts await, their warm and welcoming hospitality turning up a collective nose at their snobby neighbors in Paris. All of this quaintness and comfort is surrounded by a rich history of some of the most important, and tragic, events the world has ever seen. This is the region of Normandy, a two hour train ride northwest of Paris, and worthy of inclusion on your bucket list. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, carve out a couple of days, at least, for Normandy. There’s so much to learn and explore, so here are a few can’t-miss sights, along with some tips on travel logistics. 

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An Honest Guide to Paris

What hasn’t been written about Paris? It’s stunning, of course it is, but it’s also crowded, hectic, and overwhelming. “But it’s romantic,” you say, to which I reply, “Only if you make it.” With so much to see during what is inevitably too short a timeline, a visit to Paris can quickly turn from a fantasy to a whirlwind of missed expectations. Use the following as your guide, and you’ll give the City of Lights a chance to illuminate your heart, and your travel dreams.

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Tips for Driving in France

Driving in France can be a delight. Cruising down narrow country roads through vineyards or over hills of lavender is a wonderful way to experience the French countryside, and the only real way to see this part of France. Driving through the center of ancient cities, narrow hill towns, or busy Paris, however, is not an enjoyable, or advisable, experience. If your itinerary calls for reaching some out of the way places, go ahead and rent a car, but do your homework before you go. There are some important differences that you should prepare for when driving in France.

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Perfect Provence: Serenity in Southern France

Bunches of lavender hang from the beams, beeswax colored pastel pigments cover the walls, and homemade jams accompany a gluttonous breakfast spread on our patio table as we linger in bed late into the morning. The scents from the surrounding fields of cypress, almond, and olive trees on the warm trade winds blow through the curtains, cleansing our senses with each deep breath, and preparing us to enjoy the finer things that only the French know how to provide. Stress? Gone. Worries? Forgotten. Cares? Just bring another pastry please. The serenity of southern France has won. 

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Ultimate Swiss Chocolate Tour - Gotta Try 'Em All

It is pure magic, either dark or milk magic, depending on your preference, what the Swiss can do with only four ingredients. They have discovered a way to combine cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and milk to produce the finest tasting chocolate treats anywhere in the world. You owe it to yourself to ignore anyone else’s opinion of a favorite and to go ahead and try each one for yourself. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Willy Wonka’s Factory, and you don’t even need a golden ticket.

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Must-See Switzerland Itinerary

You’re convinced, you want to see the Alps, but which Alps should you see? Switzerland is a maze of mountains and valleys, each with their own flavors and experiences to be tried. But with so many options, and often so little time available, how will you choose? To help, we’ve listed our recommendations for the can’t-miss places in Switzerland.

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Switzerland's Best Kept Secret

Travel can take you to places that relax you, places that inspire you, places that provide adventure and wanderlust, places that challenge and stretch you, and places that transport you to another time in history. It is rare, though we search endlessly, to find places where all of these come together. Where you can simply sit down and marvel at your surroundings, for hours, or days, on end, never tiring of where you are, and the majesty all around you. Gimmelwald is one of those places.

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Perfect Day in the Perfect Alpine Town: Gimmelwald

Gimmelwald is Switzerland’s best-kept secret, one that has been wonderfully hidden and faithfully maintained by its forward-thinking people. Beautifully stuck in tradition, and the simple, pure pleasures of life, Gimmelwald is the perfect place to experience the Alps. In all of our travels, it’s the closest we’ve found to everything being exactly as it should be. What follows is our recommendation for how to spend the perfect day in this most perfect alpine hideaway.

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Zermatt: Nonstop Alpine Adventure

It looms over the land, like a great king surveying his kingdom from the top of his keep, casting a great shadow so all will know who rules these lands. The Matterhorn, the icon of the Alps, and the most photographed mountain in the world, is even more imposing in person. It will stagger you with its dramatic, awe-inspiring face, and is worth a trip to Zermatt on its own. But there is so much more to this quintessential ski town sitting at the base of the Matterhorn, with near endless alpine adventures to be had in all directions. And all can be enjoyed in clear view of the ancient mountain peering down at you.

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Portugal: A Vacation from Your European Vacation

Portugal is like a secret club, only admitting those who have traveled across Europe, still enjoy the continent, but want to get away from the hordes of new travelers flocking to its more famous sights. It seems to realize this role, embraces it, and is better for it. From its natural beauty to its cuisine, and rich history to its people spilling over with genuine kindness, it is firmly established in our minds as a destination we will return to, and recommend, for years to come.

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Guide to Sintra: Fairy-Tale Day Trip from Lisbon

Located in the hills just 25 km to the northwest of Lisbon, Sintra has been a forested retreat for generations, complete with beautiful villas, hilltop castles, and over-the-top palaces to gawk at. Even if you only have a short time in Lisbon, visiting Sintra is the perfect destination for a quick day trip. Highlights include the historic National Palace, the hilltop Moorish Castle, with expansive views over all of Sintra, and Pena Palace, occupying the hilltop across from the Moorish Castle, with eye-catching architecture and colors.

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Best Beaches in the Algarve

The western Algarve is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be picky about which beach you choose to stretch out your beach towel upon. We’ll provide the pictures, first hand experience, and the logistical details for the best of the best beaches, so you can focus on what matters: relaxing. 

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