Your Graduate Deserves the Gift of Travel

This year’s graduating students have gone through challenges generations of students before them didn’t have to deal with. It’s not just getting the grades, passing the tests and writing the papers. It’s navigating the ins and outs of remote learning, trying to learn in-person safely and negotiating a hybrid version of both. It’s been tough, and those diplomas and degrees are especially hard-earned.

The best gift you can give them is the opportunity to get away from all that stress and get out into the world. Travel was already the perfect mind-expanding experience for young graduates preparing to take on the world. Now it’s the thing that can get them out and about after a long period of isolation and lack of socialization. You’ve probably been telling them all their lives to get off their screens and go outside. Now’s your chance to help them have some in-person experiences instead of virtual ones.

As Robin Williams’ character said in “Good Will Hunting,” “Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations. Him and the pope. Sexual orientation. The whole works, right? I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.” Experience is the greatest teacher in life. So give the graduate in your life the Gift of Travel.

Our Travel Dreaming gift boxes are a way to give the Gift of Travel with a customized gift certificate for future travel and any materials on specific destinations and experiences you would like to add. As a special thank you, we will also include some of our curated travel items so you and your loved ones can experience your next getaway to its fullest potential.

Giving the Gift of Travel options:

1) Personalized Travel Planning – $250*

This option allows you to purchase four hours of personalized travel planning services, including the following:

  • 15-Minute initial trip consultation

  • Use of the Wanderlist interest & destination platform

  • Suggested destinations

  • Research of destinations

  • Flight suggestions and planning

  • Accommodation recommendations

  • Transport logistics: planes, trains, car, ferry, subway, etc.

  • Suggested tours

  • Suggested activities

  • Trip insurance recommendations

  • Travel health review

  • Currency and banking preparations

  • Cell phone recommendations when traveling internationally

  • Packing lists and tips to prepare

  • Passport & Visa information

  • Trip financing and payment recommendations

  • Personalized travel planning certificate

* Note that this option includes travel planning for up to four hours, which is the average time needed for planning a trip. For itineraries that require more extensive travel planning, such as multi-city itineraries, recipients can upgrade the package at the time of planning. This upgrade will always be discussed in advance of travel planning.

2) Personalized travel planning with travel certificate add-ons

Personalized travel planning with a travel gift certificate – $250 plus the value of the travel certificate with a value of your choice, which can be used toward any type of travel.

Personalized travel planning with a specific trip or group departure – $250 plus the cost of the trip booked.

Custom Gift of Travel gift boxes

Once you have selected which option best suits your needs we will begin putting together a personalized gift box that includes a customized gift certificate for future travel as well as any other type of materials on trip specific destinations and experiences you would like to add. As a special thank you we will also include some of our own curated travel items to help you and your loved ones experience your next getaway to its fullest potential.

Have some additional questions, or ready to give the Gift of Travel? Contact Stefany Di Manno Ceccato, Co-Founder/Dream Travel Designer at DMC Travel Tailor and she can get started planning the perfect option for you.

Find your zen again

There will be a lot of freeing feelings in the upcoming months. There will be the feeling that comes with being vaccinated. There will be the feeling that comes as restaurants open for indoor dining at full capacity, the feeling of gathering in a crowd to watch a game, a show or just to be among people again. There will be the feeling of international borders across the world reopening.

There will also be lingering psychological effects from the pandemic. Our minds will still have to process what we’ve been through. Some will have survivor’s guilt, some will feel uncomfortable being in crowds after getting used to isolation and associating it with safety. We’ll need to take a deep breath and come to peace with what we’ve experienced. A wellness getaway can help you find your zen again.

It’s up to you how immersive your wellness journey is. It could be as simple as a spa treatment as part of your vacation, either at your hotel or on a cruise. Relieving built-up tension in your muscles and getting a dose of aromatherapy can be totally refreshing. You can spend the rest of your time exploring your destination, seeing the sights and reveling in the return to livelihood.

On the other end of the spectrum, you might make wellness the focal point of your vacation.There is an array of wellness resorts to visit that get you to unplug completely. You turn in your phone at check-in, there’s no wifi in your room and your time is filled with living in the present moment. At Miraval resorts, “Miraval Mode” comes with a bed for your smartphone to take a break and devices are allowed only in a few designated areas. Doomscrolling is absolutely not allowed. You’d be amazed at how much your perspective can change when you let really focus on what you can control and allow yourself to unwind.

Perhaps you’ve picked up some dietary habits over the last year that you’ll like to reverse. All-inclusive fitness and dietary retreats like St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday or the Chenot program at L’Albereta in Italy’s lake country can help you detox and get back on the right track, establishing health habits and letting you enjoy beautiful surroundings while you do it.

A lot of us didn’t get enough sleep to begin with, and thepandemic has only exacerbated that problem. Nidra yoga programs like the one at Sanctuary on CamelbackMountain and detox treatments can help ease mind and body.

A focus on rest and refreshment and a journey into the self can prepare you to move forward as a parent, partner and person. Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others, and spread that kindness through a world that is hopeful but still hurting.

Boutique Island Getaway: GoldenEye in Jamaica

Hi,

Hope you are well.

Looking for privacy in a natural setting?

How about a villa stay on a 52-acre seafront estate with your own pool, beach, and staff in Jamaica where over 14 James Bond films were written by former owner and world-renowned author Ian Fleming? This 49-room Virtuoso exclusive property, GoldenEye is a great escape from the cold, noise and distractions in a unique and spectacular setting. Your choice of villas on Low Cay Beach and or Lagoon Cottages with direct lagoon access, relaxing in the spa, or sipping a cocktail on the rooftop bar, weekly BBQ’s and cocktail party fun await you.

Your Virtuoso amenities when booking with me here are:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (Only applicable in the Beach Hut category)
  • Full breakfast daily
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort/ Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Book 5-nights or more and also receive $100 per day, welcome cocktail and Blackwell rum (combinable with Virtuoso amenities) with their License to Chill promotion if booked by December 14th, 2021 for stays from now until December 19th, 2021 (black-out dates apply).

Here is a link to their safety measures:

https://www.goldeneye.com/covid-19-protocols/

Any questions contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com. Photo credits go to GoldenEye and Island Outpost.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

Should I Stay or Should I Go

With more than a million vaccinations per day and the number steadily rising but COVID-19 still very much a part of our lives, travelers are wondering, “Should I stay or should I go?” It’s not a decision we can make for you, but we are certainly here to answer whatever questions you have in planning your vacation. Ultimately, it comes down to your comfort level.

As for where you can go right now, we are on top of that ever-changing list. The major changes lately include the closure of French overseas departments such as French Polynesia, St. Barth’s and the French half of St. Martin. It’s also possible to visit the UK and Ireland without the long quarantines that had been part of their protocols since last spring. You do still have to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival and isolate for at least five days then have another negative test to explore either country, but that’s shorter than 14 days. Children 6 and under for Ireland and 10 and under for the UK are exempt from testing. Botswana has joined the list of safari destinations open, requiring a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure.

Those who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the CDC’s quarantine protocols. They do, however, still have to present a negative test taken within 72 hours of your return flight or present proof from a medical professional that you have tested positive within the previous three months.

If you do want to travel in 2021, we are here to take the stress off your plate and ensure you meet all testing requirements and timelines. We also recommend that even if you think you might want to travel this year, you should get something booked. Cancelation policies are flexible and space is filling up fast, so it’s better to have a reservation you can reschedule if necessary rather than want to go and have no space. Airlines that previously had rigid rules and hefty fees associated with changing flights have become much more flexible, so there is a lot less financial risk in booking dates you might have to change later.

Even for 2022 and 2023, if you’re planning to travel during peak demand times such as spring break and over the holidays, it’s a good idea to get the space while you can. Things like 2023 world cruises are selling out in a matter of hours, so you can believe your favorite resort is going to fill up over the festive season.

Though Canada’s regulations might prevent foreign-flagged large ships from cruising in Alaska this season, there are potential solutions to that problem in the works. There are also U.S.-flagged small ships that can still bring all the wonders of Alaska without needing to stop in Canada, plus land-based options.

We’re also here to make sure if you do plan a trip, your investment is protected. There are major health and financial considerations, and we want to keep you informed every step of the way. Medevac services such as MedJet can get you transported back home in case of a medical emergency, and Covac offers coverage for getting you back home if you have a positive PCR test abroad and can’t board a commercial flight. Travelex now treats a positive test like any other illness, meaning you can be covered if you can’t go on your trip or can’t return home in the originally planned time frame. Travelex also has coverage available for those with work-related disruptions such as being laid off or being called back to work during a previously approved vacation time.

Things are still changing rapidly, and we hope to be able to soon travel the world freely. Even then, destinations might require proof of vaccination, and we’ll be on top of making sure our travelers have what they need then too. Whenever you feel up to traveling, reach out to Stephany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Daniele and Stefany

Destination Spotlight: Jamaica

There are few places in the world where you’ll spot friendlier faces than Jamaica. “There’s nothing better than a Jamaican,” says Karen Bull of Island Luxe, Places of Personality, which represents resorts across the Caribbean and Bermuda. “They’re the warmest, most beautiful people.” Bull, a native Bermudian and the “Queen of the Caribbean,” knows of what she speaks. “Its authenticity, its rawness, it’s the real deal,” Bull says of Jamaica. “A lot of islands have come into tourism of late. Jamaica was born into this.”

These decades of experience have helped Jamaica reopen its tourism industry and give a warm welcome during the pandemic. The island devised a system of “resilient corridors,” allowing visitors access to most of the tourism attractions while keeping the population outside the tourism corridor separated from potential outbreaks. Most of the tourism infrastructure is along the island’s north coast. Serviced by Montego Bay airport, the corridor allows visitors to enjoy the best of what Jamaica has to offer while trying to keep those wonderful welcoming people safe. There are five Virtuoso-preferred resorts in the tourism corridor, all open and employing COVID-19 safety protocols.

Fortunately, the best of what Jamaica has to offer is outside. There are waterfalls and beaches, river rafting and hiking in the lush mountains and valleys. There are underwater adventures and ATV safaris. You can start your day with some of the smoothest coffee in the world, grown right there in the Blue Mountains, and end it with a rum cocktail and sunset on the beach. Any day with bookends like that sounds great, but the island and its people will make sure what comes in between is great too.

COVID entry protocol

All residents of the USA, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico or Panama who are 12 years of age or over, are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result before travel to Jamaica. The test must be authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or meet the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), and must be performed by a College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) registered or ISO 15189 certified laboratory. The date of the sample collection must be less than 10 days before the date of travel. The negative test result must be presented to the airline representative in order to complete the check in for a flight.

Accepted Test Types

  • A Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)

  • A Nucleic Acid Amplification test (NAA)

  • An RNA or molecular test

  • An Antigen test

Note:

  • Only results from oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal samples will be accepted for PCR tests

  • Only results from nasopharyngeal samples will be accepted for Antigen tests

  • Antibody tests will NOT be accepted

  • Results from home-based test kits will NOT be accepted

All persons travelling to Jamaica require a Travel Authorization document. A Travel Authorization is NOT required to book your flight. It is however a requirement for check-in and boarding and the airlines will not allow passengers to board without it. In order to obtain a Travel Authorization document, persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica (nationals as well as non-nationals resident by virtue of marriage, work permit, etc.) should apply at https://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm/immigration.html and non-residents at https://www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization.

Non-resident applications may be submitted anytime within the five (5) day period before the intended date of travel

Where to stay

Tryall Club

Your most memorable moments at The Tryall Club just may be on the golf course, accompanied by one of the resort’s renowned and entertaining caddies. The Ralph Plummer-designed championship golf course is one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated. In this exclusive club atmosphere, you’ll stay in a spacious, privately owned villa, with its own inviting swimming pool and expertly trained staff. After your very first stay, you’ll want to return again and again and make this your home away from home. Here, your every wish and whim is attended to by your villa’s extraordinary staff of chefs, butlers, and maids.

Jamaica Inn

For more than 60 years, Jamaica Inn has been ranked among the Caribbean’s top destination hotels, especially as an ideal location for honeymooners. You’ll realize why as soon as you arrive at this intimate enclave of just 55 suites, all of which overlook the beach or the sea. Each suite boasts a private balcony or spacious veranda, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and cool ocean breezes wafting through louvered shutters. When you aren’t enjoying what many consider to be Jamaica’s finest beach, take time to indulge at the Ocean Spa, which is set atop coral cliffs and offers treatments inspired by the island’s native plants.

Half Moon

Half Moon, the Caribbean’s most iconic destination, is set on 400 acres of manicured grounds with two miles of private beachfront. Half Moon offers three distinctive Resort Experiences; Eclipse, Founders Cove & Rose Hall Villas. Guests enjoy extensive offerings, including the largest spa oasis in the Caribbean, an 18-hole championship golf course, the Sugar Mill (designated Jamaica’s best restaurant), an equestrian center, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, and water sports. Your little ones will have lots to enjoy at the Anancy Children’s Village and at Half Moon’s restaurants, with specially curated children’s menus.

Round Hill Hotel & Villas

At the elegantly understated Round Hill Hotel and Villas, mornings begin with breakfast and Blue Mountain coffee in bed, delivered by your cottage housekeeper. The lazy hours ahead may include a massage at the oceanfront spa, learning to windsurf in the resort’s protected waters, or strolling through the 110 acres of lush tropical gardens. Later, dine on local cuisine by the award-winning chef in the restaurant and dance under the stars to live music. Choose from 36 oceanfront rooms that overlook the sea or the infinity-edge swimming pool, a magnificent villa suite, or one of the 26 private villas.

GoldenEye

Once the Jamaican home of renowned author Ian Fleming, GoldenEye was made into a hotel in 2011 by Chris Blackwell. The 52-acre seafront estate is home to secret coves, lagoons, and private beaches. Stay in the villa where 14 James Bond novels were written – or in the 1- and 2-bedroom Beach and Lagoon Villas, Lagoon Cottages, or Beach Huts. Dining and activities include The Gazebo and Bizot Bar restaurants, the Shabeen rooftop bar, the Bamboo Bar & Grill, weekly barbecues and cocktail parties, a spa with yoga and meditation, three pools, paddleboarding, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours, turtle hatching, tree planting, and tennis.

Asheville: Mountains, Waterfalls and Good Food

Looking for a weekend getaway? If so, Asheville is a great spot for it.

Daniele and I spent a couple of nights in Asheville in October. We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch and a beautiful view at Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn, lovely dinners at Bouchon downtown and Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian, explored a couple of beautiful waterfalls-Looking Glass and High Falls, admired the leaves changing color on a scenic drive and had a relaxing stroll through Biltmore Village. See if you can spot the rainbow in the video! If you are feeling festive, a stay at the Biltmore Estate will check that box during the holiday season.

For any questions and or to start planning your Asheville trip, contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany