Highlights of my experience on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island

Hi,

Hope you are having a good week.

Are you looking for some fun-in-the-sun time on a private island that also has a flock of flamingos, lemurs, giant tortoises, turtles, birds and iguanas around? On Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island all the Balinese-inspired houses boast a beautiful view and if you are looking for a well-known tennis and or kitesurfing expert for lessons, this is your spot.

Here is a video of the highlights of my stay and a look at a few of the gorgeous homes on the island. It is a great place for singles, couples and or families to come together for a celebration trip!

 

If you don’t want the island for exclusive use, you can book a room during one of their Celebration Weeks.

I wrote a blog post of my experience on Necker and Moskito Islands; you can read it here: https://dmctraveltailor.com/my-experience-at-sir-richard-bransons-necker-and-moskito-private-islands/

For any questions on Necker Island, please contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

It’s not just for billionaires. Here’s how to book your space flight.

The era of space tourism is upon us. Richard Branson made his much-anticipated journey to an altitude of 50 miles on Virgin Galactic. There may be academic debate about whether it actually counts as space, but it was high enough to earn astronaut wings from the FAA. Go high enough to experience zero gravity and see the curve of that big blue marble we call home and you’ll know a feeling unparalleled by any other experience.

Branson made the voyage just days ahead of Jeff Bezos, who will take a Blue Origin space flight this week. But that feeling of sheer awe and wonder is not limited to billionaire entrepreneurs. That feeling can be yours, and we can help make it happen. As one of the few agencies approved by Virgin Galactic, we can arrange your booking on a space flight.

Imagine strapping in as you get set to climb to the upper bounds of Earth’s atmosphere. Picture floating weightless as you peer down at the planet, taking in a view only a fraction of humanity has ever witnessed. “I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, and honestly nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space,” Branson said after landing.

It’s a dream many of us have had almost all our lives. With commercial service slated to begin in early 2022, you can make it a reality. There are about 600 future astronauts who have already booked their tickets, so you’ll want to secure your place in line. Just as we make dreams come true by planning the best trips on Earth, we can plan your literally out-of-this-world journey as well.

Destination Spotlight: Ireland

Irish eyes will be smiling for us once more when the Emerald Isle reopens to tourism from outside the E.U. on July 19. It’s just in time to savor the last couple months of the glorious Irish summer and early autumn. With average high temperatures in the 60s, it’s a beautiful place to escape the heat. The island shimmers with greenery throughout the long summer days, making an indelible impression on travelers’ memories. Dublin is a great place to start to learn about the country’s history and culture before you set out into the countryside. As the Irish will tell you, if you’ve only seen Dublin, you haven’t seen Ireland. A great way to do so is by car, starting in the east with Dublin and ending in Shannon in the west (or vice versa), preclearing U.S. customs on your way out.

Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the capital to see where the country’s patron saint baptized converts to Christianity and admire the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Get some fresh air in the urban oases of Phoenix Park and St. Stephen’s Green or walk in the footsteps of great writers such as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, or their characters, such as James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, who mused that a “good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub.” While a computer programmer has figured out that such a thing can be done, there’s no reason not to stop in for a pint at the Guinness Brewery or Temple Bar area.

Proceeding clockwise around the island from Dublin, you’ll encounter Kilkenny and Waterford. Kilkenny is home to an 800-year-old Norman castle and eye-catching architecture from several periods, including the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian eras. It’s also known for its modern cultural aesthetic, with art galleries, design workshops and theaters making it a popular destination. Waterford retains well-preserved sections of city walls and towers. The Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre allows tour guests to see master craftspeople shape the world-famous crystal into intricate designs. On your way west, stop at the Rock of Cashel, a group of buildings at the ancient seat of the kings of Munster.

The Republic of Ireland’s second-largest city, Cork has a much more intimate feel than the much-larger Dublin and is a great place for a walking tour. One of County Cork’s best walks is the distillery trail at the Jameson Heritage Centre, where you can learn all about the famous whiskey and sample a dram or two. In the southwest corner of the island lie the 110 miles of the Ring of Kerry, a 110-mile loop beginning in Killarney that takes you through charming villages, past castles and into ancient wilderness. Less crowded and no less beautiful is the Dingle Peninsula, a natural gem rich in archaeological sites.

Offering striking views and excellent hiking, the Cliffs of Moher rise as high as 700 feet above Galway Bay and the North Atlantic. Farther inland, the Burren is an entrancing moonscape of desolate beauty formed of the rocks that give rise to the cliffs. Dozens of large neolithic tombs are scattered throughout the area, dating back thousands of years. Continuing north, you come to the lively city of Galway, a center of traditional Irish language and music. Thanks to its status as a university town, Galway boasts some of Ireland’s best nightlife and serves a centrally located base for venturing on the 1,550-mile Wild Atlantic Way.

A mix of wilderness and quaint villages, the counties of Mayo, Sligo and Donegal are a great way to conclude your Irish odyssey. Attractions include the mountains of Connemara National Park, Achill Island and the 2,500-foot Croagh Patrick, a pilgrimage site dedicated to the patron saint. Towns of note are the carefully designed Westport, William Butler Yeats’ boyhood home of Sligo and historical Ballina, a key site in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

COVID entry protocols

If a passenger has valid proof of vaccination, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary.

If passenger does not have valid proof of vaccination, they will need to:

  • present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country

  • self-quarantine

  • undergo post-arrival testing

Should the U.S. be added to Ireland’s “emergency brake” list, the protocols would apply:

If passenger has valid proof of vaccination, they will need to:

  • produce a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival

  • undergo self-quarantine

  • undergo post-arrival testing – this will be provided through the HSE

If passenger does not have valid proof of vaccination, they will need to:

  • produce evidence of a negative result from a PCR test undertaken no more than 72 hours before arrival

  • undergo mandatory hotel quarantine

  • undergo post-arrival testing

Where to stay

The Merrion Hotel

The Merrion, Dublin’s most stylish five-star hotel, is set in the city center. Housed in four Georgian townhouses and a contemporary Garden Wing, its bedrooms and suites surround two 18th-century-style gardens. Stunningly restored interiors provide the perfect backdrop for one of Ireland’s most impressive private art collections. Choose from three dining options: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (Ireland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant), The Garden Room restaurant, and The Cellar Bar. Art Afternoon Tea service is available in the gracious Georgian drawing rooms. Indulge in a massage or facial in the new Merrion Spa & Health Club.

Mount Juliet Estate

There is a legacy to the Mount Juliet experience that stretches far beyond the luxury of the bedrooms and the decadence of the dining options. Perhaps you feel the urge to thunder through open pastures and traipse across woodland trails on horseback. Maybe you want to feel the tug on your line and the splash from the River Nore as a salmon takes your bait. And have you ever felt the singular rush of an arrow flying forth from your bow or a falcon swooping down to land at your command? We offer a unique range of activities on the estate, unparalleled in the way they combine deep-seated historical traditions with the best modern equipment.

Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls Lodge, in verdant southwest Ireland, is a privately owned country house retreat. Guests are treated to a magnificent natural holiday and are encouraged to explore the surrounding woodlands, Sheen River, and cascading waterfalls while enjoying hiking, biking, horseback riding, salmon fishing, falconry, and kayaking. There are numerous championship and parkland golf courses nearby, some with breathtaking views of the sea. If the spa lifestyle is more your cup of tea, head to the Easanna Wellness & Spa for treatments using Elemis and Voya organic products, or take a dip in the indoor swimming pool.

Ashford Castle

Through the grand stone gates, a royal adventure begins. This remarkable 800-year-old castle, widely recognized as Ireland’s top castle destination and once home to the Guinness family, is exceptional in every sense. Set in 350 acres of woodland on the shores of Lough Corrib in County Mayo, the property has received multiple awards and accolades. Enjoy extraordinary dining experiences and fine Irish cuisine, watch hawks soar at Ireland’s first school of falconry, and restore inner peace at the state-of-the-art spa. Warm smiles from the extraordinary characters of the castle will greet you at every turn.Ireland’s only Forbes Five Star Hotel.

Join us on Zoom this Thursday at 1PM EST with Canyon Ranch and Cokie Berenyi, Mountain Climber of the World’s 7 Summits and A Perfect Day Engineer

Hi,

Hope you are well.

What mountain are you trying to summit? Cokie Berenyi achieved one of her goals and dreams by climbing Mt. Everest. She did it for many reasons, but one honorable one was to raise funds for cancer prevention. She dedicated her Everest climb to benefiting MUSC Hollings Cancer Center’s community outreach programs.

She will be hosting A Perfect Day retreat September 23-26 at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona where she will have an Everest discussion and share tips on how you can live your own Perfect Day. Join us for our Zoom with Canyon Ranch and Cokie this Thursday, July 15th at 1PM EST to see what this trip will be about. Cokie will give an exclusive recap on her Everest Summit.

Here is the link to register:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpce-oqDwuH9Z9_65XH7hpbkZTIhuCMMXe

If you can’t make it, register and we will send you a recording.

Click here to see the itinerary:

https://dmctraveltailor.com/live-your-own-perfect-day/

Cokie believes that the tiniest shifts can make a big impact and by one step at a time we can work together to create our own Perfect Day. For any questions on the Canyon Ranch trip, please contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

Moskito Island is the perfect spot for your special occasion

Hi,

Hope you are well.

Are you looking to celebrate a special occasion in an estate on a private island? If so, Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands is an amazing spot for it! I recently returned from an educational trip at Sir Richard Branson’s private islands, Moskito and Necker. Seclusion, turquoise water, magnificent views, delicious food, watersports, wonderful staff, tennis, exclusivity-Moskito Island checks all of these boxes.

Here is a video of the highlights of my stay and a look at a few of the breathtaking estates on the island. Moskito Island is a 10-minute boat ride from Necker Island and close to Virgin Gorda. It is a great place for singles, couples and or families to come together for a celebration trip!

For any questions on Moskito Island, please contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

What travel is like in 2021

Did you know that even if you’re traveling to a European country that doesn’t require fully vaccinated travelers to take a COVID test, if you’re flying through the U.K. en route you do need a test, even if you’re not leaving the airport? It’s an illustration of how challenging and complicated travel is in 2021, and each country having its own health protocols is just the tip of the iceberg.

Some destinations require only a proof of vaccination (or recovery from COVID) to enter. Others, including the U.S. when you return home, require a negative test regardless of vaccination status. Just about all of them require a health declaration you need to fill out online before you leave or on paper to fill out on the plane. While we always recommend you take out travel insurance, it’s especially important in the COVID era, and some countries require it.

At the airport and throughout the flight experience, you’ll notice plenty of changes. First off, lots of flights are being cancelled because of pilot shortages sparked by layoffs and furloughs from 2020. Airports and airline staff are busy. Airline call centers have extremely long wait times even as changes are frequent and questions are plentiful. Food and drink service might be minimal while you’re in the air.

When you land, you’ll notice things aren’t quite what you remember from travel experiences of the past. Ride shares can be tough to get and more expensive than you’d imagine. Rental car companies sold a lot of spare inventory when they had no demand in 2020, so now rental cars are scarce and can be expensive.

When you arrive at your hotel, you might find it understaffed and the people who are working there overwhelmed. A lot of them might be new, so the level of service even at luxury resorts might not be up to your prepandemic expectations. Housekeeping might only be once every two or three days, or perhaps not come at all if your stay is a short one, unless you specifically request it. Staff are adhering to mask protocols, so they might still be wearing masks even if they’re fully vaccinated and if you’re not required to. Some places might ask you to wear a mask even if you are fully vaccinated.

Restaurant reservations can be very tough to come by thanks to limited capacities. When you do get in, you might find menus are still limited because of supply chain complications that are out of the restaurant’s hands. Perhaps not all of the restaurants at your hotel are even open, and the ones that are might have limited hours.

Though there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, there is still a pandemic going on, and it’s affecting different parts of the world differently. We’re so thrilled to be able to return to some of our favorite destinations safely, but it’s important to keep in mind that the experience will be different than before and it won’t be possible to fulfill your every wish. We as travel advisors are here to help you navigate the complexities of travel in 2021, and to help manage your expectations. When you do go out there, please remember that everyone — hotel staff, restaurant staff, tour guides, etc. — is doing their best to make the experience great in a difficult situation. Just like we all have, they’ve had a stressful go of things, and right now it’s overwhelming trying to meet the sudden increase in demand. The world of travel is jump-starting from a down period, trying to 0 to 60 as quickly as possible.

It might take more patience from travelers than it typically does, but remember to be kind and that when you travel, people are welcoming you into their home and if you treat others with respect they will return the favor.