Travel Blog

  • Jump start your wellness resolutions in Myrtle Beach

    12/26/2019 11:29:05 AM Link |  | Add comment

    Beach, Myrtle Beach, Resort, South Carolina

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    (BPT) - If your thoughts are turning to healthy resolutions for the New Year, why not give yourself a head start by planning a trip that will help you relax, recharge and refocus on your top wellness goals?

    Fortunately, there’s a location that can provide everything you need for focusing on your health — from opportunities to be more fit and active to places to relax and unwind: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Great deals on lodging and activities throughout the Myrtle Beach area will inspire you to kick-off your wellness program right away.

    Here are just a few ways you can make the most of Myrtle Beach while getting your resolutions off to a great start.

    Stay active

    What's better than a great workout in the great outdoors? You can stroll along the shoreline, bike the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, hike a trail at Myrtle Beach State Park or take an outdoor yoga class. You can also enjoy some of the world’s most challenging and beautiful golf courses, like the Dunes Golf and Beach Club.

    Want to be on the water? Enjoy a two-hour kayak tour at Black River Outdoors throughout Myrtle Beach's waterways to feel close to nature while staying active. You could enjoy fishing off the 2nd Avenue Pier, or experience a thrill by renting a jet ski from Action Water Sportz.

    Relax and unwind

    One of the many reasons Myrtle Beach is ideal for a wellness retreat is that the destination offers a getaway that is tranquil, peaceful and serene.

    If your wellness resolution is to unwind more in 2020, look no further than Myrtle Beach as your go-to destination for relaxation. Sink into a Himalayan Salt Stone massage at the Cinzia Spa, where hand-carved warm salt stones gently soothe away the accumulation of stress and tension, while bringing the body and spirit into balance. Or you can plan an entire day of spa treatments at Awakening Spa, including facials, wraps and aromatherapy, on your own or with a partner or friend.

    You can just relax and soak up the sun on one of many beautiful beaches, or while enjoying a sailboat charter or riverboat tour of the Intracoastal waterway.

    Your idea of relaxation might include bathing in beauty. If so, spend a day at Brookgreen Gardens to enjoy both the natural outdoor beauty as well as the world-class sculptures. The area is home to dozens of art galleries for your perusal, as well as The Burroughs and Chapin Art Museum, which features southern artists in a wide range of different media. For those who find creative pursuits relaxing, the museum offers art classes.

    Eat healthy

    While eating healthy on vacation can be challenging at times, the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina makes it simple with an abundance of fresh, ocean-to-table seafood offerings. Head to Myrtle Beach's own Hook & Barrel restaurant to enjoy a fresh take on dining with distinctive seafood dishes and local produce in its ethereal, eco-friendly environment. You can't get any fresher than the wide selection of seafood at Wicked Tuna in Murrells Inlet, or try the inventive new take on elevated Southern fare at the Rivertown Bistro in Conway.

    As you head into the New Year, commit to your resolutions to be a better and healthier you in 2020. Destinations like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina make it easy to stick to your wellness resolutions while on vacation, providing plenty of water sports activities along 60 miles of pristine coastline, with plenty of places to walk, bike and relax, plus endless, fresh seafood offerings available. There's no reason sticking to your resolutions can't be both fun and good for you!

    For more information about all the ways you can enjoy your resolutions, call Travel by Ginny at 321-632-5610 or go to Travel by Ginny.


  • Christmas in Rome – Buon Natale!

    12/23/2019 11:41:11 AM Link |  | Add comment

    Christmas, family, group, Holiday, Italy, Rome, shopping, tour, vacation

    Have you had the wonderful experience of staying in an authentic monastery, convent & Diocesan accommodation?  We can book your dream vacation to Italy, contact us today.

    Experience the wonder of the Eternal City during the holiday period

    Rome is famous for being one of the most lively and exciting in places in Europe, and Christmas time is no exception as the city celebrates the holidays in spectacular fashion.

    Buildings, houses and attractions are all adorned with lovely Christmas decorations, street markets come alive by day and night and beautiful Christmas trees stand tall all over the city.

    Christmas Markets

    Monastery Stays Italy Christmas Accommodation in Rome
    Christmas Markets in Piazza Navona, Rome [Credit]

    The most famous Christmas market is set up in Piazza Navona from the 8th of December until the 6th of January. The Epiphany is celebrated throughout Italy and especially in Rome, where it has come to represent a day almost as important as Christmas Day itself.

    This lovely Christmas market is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike in December, with a range of food stalls (selling such treats as doughnuts and peanut brittle), local handcrafts and toys for sale.

    There is also a life-size presepe on display in the square, which is a beautifully presented, traditional Italian nativity scene. There are many presepi on display throughout Rome during Christmas.

    To stay close to the fantastic atmosphere of these markets, we can book your accommodations around Piazza Navona.

    A different experience, but equally suggestive, is that of the Piazza Vittorio market, just beside Termini railway station. This area is the multiethnic hub of the city, and it hosts all year long a bustling and vibrant street market for ethnic food, crafts and fair trade products. Christmas time brings new elements to this well-known market, in which the local traditions merge with multicultural influences, contributing to the creation of a unique atmosphere.

    Nativity Scene Exhibitions

    Monastery Stays Italy Christmas Accommodation in Rome
    Christmas Markets in Piazza Navona, Rome [Credit]

    The Nativity scene exhibitions are amongst the most characteristic events of the Christmas season in Rome – they attract a large number of visitors, not only tourists but also the Romans themselves.

    The most famous Nativity scenes can be found in all major churches such as Saint Peter ‘s and Santa Maria Maggiore. The Nativity scene set up in Santa Maria Maggiore is believed to be the oldest (XIII century).

    Other cribs are set up in nearly every church and in many public places such as Piazza Navona, the Campidoglio City Hall and the Spanish Steps.

    These works are handmade by famous artists from all over the country, including Naples, Sicily and the Trentino region in northern Italy, where this tradition is particularly strong.

    Less famous but no less important are the nativity scenes set up at Christmas time (from the first week of December until the 6th of January) in Via Giulia. Via Giulia is a long street running parallel to the river Tiber in the historical centre of Rome, designed by Pope Julius II in the XVI century.

    The right side of the street is characterised by a number of historical buildings and antique shops, which display a collection of nativity scenes in their windows.

    Religious Events

    Monastery Stays Italy Christmas Accommodation in Rome
    The Nativity scene in St Peters Square, Rome [Credit]

    The midnight Mass represents the essence of the religious celebrations of Christmas.

    Contrary to what many people believe, the Midnight Mass at Saint Peter ‘s Basilica is not open to the public: in order to attend this celebration an invitation or a special ticket issued by a diocese is required.

    An equally suggestive and unique atmosphere, however, can be experienced attending midnight Mass in other churches in the capital, not only in the big Basilicas, but also in local churches, open all night long and prepared to welcome visitors from all over the world. Another equally important event – free and open to the public – is the papal blessing that takes place at midday on Christmas Day in Saint Peter’s Square.

    Each year, thousands of tourists, locals and pilgrims gather in the Square from the early hours of the morning, waiting to attend the blessing and the seasonal greetings addressed to the City of Rome and to the entire world.

    Rome Gospel Festival

    Gospel music has not been mainstream in Italian culture until a few years ago, but things have changed significantly since the Rome Gospel Festival was introduced in 1995. The Festival is held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica – Rome ‘s biggest public music complex.

    Every year it brings an international selection of well-known artists to Rome. This event includes a series of concerts that combine the experience of this fascinating musical genre with the unique context of Rome at Christmas time.

    What to do on Christmas Day

    Monastery Stays Italy Christmas Accommodation in Rome

    As a tourist, Christmas Day in Rome can be very different to a normal day spent exploring the city. There are significantly fewer people on the street on Christmas Day in certain parts of the city.

    You will find the biggest crowd on Christmas Day in St. Peter’s Square, gathered to hear the Pope deliver his annual Christmas address from his balcony at midday.

    A good place to catch a glimpse of some of the sights of Rome without the usual wave of tourists is around the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. While these attractions are not open on December 25th, you can stroll around the Colosseum, view the Arch of Constantine and walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali, which offers views over a large portion of the Roman Forum for free.

    There are also a number of restaurants open in Rome on Christmas Day, so a traditional Italian Christmas meal will still be available. Traditional Italian fare on Christmas Day involves a lot of red meat, with fish being the main meal on Christmas Eve.

    Contact one of our agents at Travel by Ginny to book your 2020 Italian Christmas Holiday!

    Important Christmas Dates in Rome

    Monastery Stays Italy Christmas Accommodation in Rome
    The Colosseum on a December Night
    • December 8th – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a national holiday across Italy. Be sure to get to the Spanish Steps, where the Pope visits the statue of the Virgin Mary and lays down wreaths and flowers.
    • December 25th – Start off Christmas Day the night before by visiting a church in Rome for midnight mass. A truly unforgettable experience.
    • December 26th – Join the locals on St. Stephen’s Day as they visit presepi, found in most churches throughout Rome.
    • December 31st – There is no better place to bring in the New Year in Rome than at Piazza del Popolo. Crowds of people flock to the square for celebrations and fireworks that light up the night sky.
    • January 6th – The Epiphany is the day which marks the end of the Christmas season and is another public holiday on the Italian calendar.
  • 12/18/2019 12:21:23 PM Link |  | Add comment

    ceremony, church, destination wedding, Sandals Resort, wedding

    A Sandals®Resort is always looking to make things better for you. The Over-the-Water Serenity chapel at Sandals South Coast is now bigger and better. With new features such as a new bell tower, as well as now capable of hosting a capacity of up to 50 guests seated on the interior, you can now say "I Do" in this new and improved Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel. With stunning 360-degree, panoramic water views and a glass floor aisle, this will make your special day a dream come true. 

    Call us to book your destination wedding!

  • We Have The Perfect Gift For You.......A Sandals Resort!

    12/12/2019 12:07:00 PM Link |  | Add comment

    Bahamian, Barbados, Grenada, Halcyon Beach, Negril, resort, Sandals


    Sandals Grenada welcomes you to a new level of contemporary luxury never before seen at an all-inclusive resort. Think pools in the sky, a living room in a swimming pool, and decadently romantic suites that are unmistakably sublime and unforgettably seductive. Think pink, as in the exclusive Pink Gin Beach, Grenada's best. Sandals Grenada defies every convention of traditional design, taking innovation beyond the realm of imagination. Because here, within an exotic island paradise, we have taken the best of everything to create a whole new 5-Star Luxury Included®experience.


    The royal treatment awaits at Sandals Royal Barbados, where you'll experience a number of Sandals firsts, including the first rooftop pool and bar, the first 4-lane bowling alley, and two new restaurant concepts − American Tavern and Chi Asian. Stunning ocean views, Butler Elite Service with complimentary private Rolls Royce airport transfers, and exclusive exchange privileges with adjacent Sandals Barbados define the new 5-Star Luxury Included®experience at Sandals Royal Barbados − the most exclusive all-inclusive. Ever.



    Sandals Negril is set on the longest and best stretch of Jamaica's famed Seven Mile Beach. It's a true beachfront 5-Star Luxury Included®resort − chic and playful with Caribbean architecture and buildings that are never taller than the highest palm. Fine specialty restaurants serve world-class cuisine and lively bars serve unlimited pours of premium liquor. Spend sun-kissed days playing on the beach and splashing in the water, and moonlit nights dancing barefoot in the sand. That's what life is like on one of the world's most celebrated beaches.

    Set along an unspoiled stretch of perfect, white-sand beach.


    Of all the Sandals Resorts, Sandals Halcyon Beach best defines the Caribbean's Caribbean − a peaceful, laid-back retreat tucked into gorgeous gardens along a tranquil turquoise sea. Take a lazy swim in one of our four pools − including the Caribbean's longest pool − and experience an unwavering sense of no worries and no hurries. Alternatively there are seven bars and six restaurants to choose from, including Saint Lucia's most legendary dining experience − Kelly's Dockside Over-the-Water Restaurant − dramatically extending 150 feet out over the water.



    Sandals Royal Bahamian is the epitome of pure island elegance, the pinnacle of 5-star luxury in a destination known for its jet-set appeal. Timeless British traditions are set amidst Sandals signature innovations to take this resort beyond its heritage as the once private club for 1940's high society such as the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor. Today, the high life continues as guests in top-tier suites arrive at this glamorous resort in a Rolls-Royce. Enjoy our luxurious accommodations, 10 speciality restaurants, and then escape to an exotic offshore island that offers every amenity imaginable.



    As part of the 5-Star Luxury Included®experience, Sandals only serves premium brand liquors—and they're always included and unlimited. Quality and excellence are the hallmarks of Sandals, making us one of the most trusted brands in the world. It's this proven track record and best-in-class approach that has our guests returning time and time again.


    Premium Liquors


  • Pop Up Holiday Traditions New and Old

    12/11/2019 12:20:36 PM Link |  | Add comment

    christmas, holiday, recipes

    From decorating the tree to carving the turkey, there are many time-honored holiday traditions observed by families around the country. However, the holiday season is about more than just celebrating old traditions.

    A perfect opportunity for creating new memories and, in turn, traditions, popcorn can serve as an ideal ingredient to bring family time to life. Whether wrapping the tree with garland made from the light and airy treat, filling clear ornaments with freshly popped kernels or simply popping up a bowl as a nutritious alternative to other holiday noshes, popcorn makes it easy to get hands-on while you deck the halls.

    These seasonal recipes for traditional treats like peppermint bark and popcorn balls plus edible trees and a more elegant take on a simple snack highlight low-fat, non-GMO, gluten-free whole-grain popcorn as the main ingredient. Find more modern takes on traditional holiday recipes at

    White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

    Yield: 1 pound

    • 5          cups popped popcorn
    • 12        ounces white chocolate baking chips
    • 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.
    1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
    2. In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth.
    3. Stir in crushed peppermints.
    4. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir to coat.
    5. Spread onto prepared pan; cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks.

    Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

    Yield: 8 cups

    • 8          cups popped popcorn
    • 1/2       cup milk chocolate chips
    • 1/2       cup white chocolate chips
    • candy sprinkles
    1. Line baking sheet with wax paper. Spread popcorn in thin layer on prepared pan.
    2. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
    3. Place white chocolate chips in separate microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
    4. Sprinkle desired amount of candy sprinkles over warm chocolate-coated popcorn.
    5. Allow chocolate drizzles to set until firm. Break popcorn into pieces.

    Note: Chocolate chips can be replaced with cut up chocolate bars.

    Cranberry Popcorn Balls

    Yield: 18 balls

    • 2          cups sugar
    • 1          cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed
    • 1          tablespoon grated orange peel
    • 1/2       cup cranberry juice
    • 1/2       cup light corn syrup
    • 1          teaspoon vinegar
    • 1/2       teaspoon salt
    • 5          quarts unsalted, popped popcorn
    • butter
    1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cranberry sauce, grated orange peel, cranberry juice, corn syrup, vinegar and salt.
    2. Bring to boil; lower heat and cook until temperature reaches 250 F on candy thermometer.
    3. Slowly pour cranberry mixture onto hot popcorn; mix until well-coated.
    4. Let stand 5 minutes, or until mixture can easily be formed into balls.
    5. Butter hands and form into 3-inch balls.

    Festive Popcorn Trees

    Yield: 10 trees

    • 10        cups air-popped popcorn
    • 1          bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
    • 2          tablespoons butter
    • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
    • nonstick cooking spray
    • green decorating sugar
    • blue decorating sugar
    • 1          tube white frosting
    • small, colorful candies such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees
    1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
    2. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir marshmallows and butter until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
    3. Stir in vanilla extract.
    4. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
    5. Line baking sheet with foil.
    6. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
    7. Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
    8. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
    9. Make nine additional trees.
    10. Using decorating tip, pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.
    11. Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.

    Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.

    Popcorn Board

  • Give the Gift of Travel

    12/9/2019 10:23:19 AM Link |  | Add comment

    gift of travel, JW Marriott Essex House New York, The Phoenician, The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, The St Regis Aspen Resport

    Finding the perfect gift for someone who already has it all may be easier when you stop thinking in terms of “things.” A gift that creates an unforgettable experience, like a trip to a special destination, may be more meaningful than a trinket under the tree.

    Whether you give a travel gift for someone to enjoy on their own or as a present you share together, a gifted trip provides all sorts of advantages, like making lifelong memories, spending time with families and friends, and using your vacation days for pure enjoyment.

    When planning a travel gift, consider popular destinations like these:

    City Life in New York City
    Discover the intersection of rich history and contemporary city living with a visit to the city of all cities. Must-see destinations include Central Park, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Fifth Avenue, all of which can be found near the JW Marriott Essex House New York , a luxury hotel located at one of the world’s most exclusive addresses on Central Park South since 1931.

    Ski Slopes in Aspen, Colorado
    From renowned skiing and snowboarding to picture-perfect dog sledding, a wealth of memorable winter experiences await in Aspen. Visitors can enjoy sporting outdoors or stroll over to historic Aspen where entertainment venues, luxury boutiques and charming restaurants beckon. From its prime location on the base of Aspen Mountain, The St. Regis Aspen Resort is uniquely situated to experience it all with luxury rooms with custom furnishings, a renowned spa and other special amenities, including 24-hour butler service.

    Beautiful Beaches in Key Biscayne, Florida
    The nation’s southernmost barrier island, Key Biscayne offers beautiful beaches, wildlife and tranquil parks. Located close to Miami Beach and downtown, this is the location for those looking for a serene island escape. Families visiting the area can explore the Miami Seaquarium, which features exhibits, shows and a chance to swim with dolphins. Stretching along the beachfront, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami , is the only luxury hotel on the bay.

    Desert Exploration in Scottsdale, Arizona
    In Scottsdale, the Sonoran Desert landscape is punctuated by mountain views, including famed Camelback Mountain. Visitors can enjoy an immersive experience with hiking, biking, horseback riding or taking in a special eco-tour. Others may delight in exploring the Scottsdale Arts District’s galleries, museums and festivals, as well as the diverse, award-winning food scene. After a day of activities, The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale , allows guests to indulge in unparalleled resort amenities, from a three-level pool complex to an enriching spa, athletic club and golf course.

    Arts and Culture in Austin, Texas
    The “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to more than 250 bars, restaurants, theaters and concert venues. At the epicenter of it all, near the Austin Convention Center, the University of Texas campus and the capitol building, you’ll find W Austin , including its unique Living Room, which features four eclectic areas that provide special experiences.

    Contact one of our Travel Representatives for more information about giving the gift of travel this season.


  • Why Solo Travelers Love American Cruise Line Riverboat Cruises

    12/6/2019 12:23:09 PM Link |  | Add comment

    American Song The First of The New Modern Boats

    Newest Travel Trend

    A hot trend in the cruising industry has been the increasing number of solo travelers. Historically, solo travelers have had to pay more for a stateroom in the form of a single supplement.

    To cater to this growing market, American Cruise Lines offers supplement-free, one-person staterooms with private balconies on all of their ships. The new line of modern riverboats, American Song, American Harmony, and American Jazz, features 250 square feet options for solo travelers.

    In addition to spacious, well-equipped staterooms, solo travelers on American Cruise Lines never feel alone. Not only are they in the company of other solo travelers aboard each cruise, they also offer many wonderful opportunities for socializing. Small group size shore excursions, open seating dining at every meal, and nightly cocktail hour are perfect ways to meet fellow guests.

    Award Winning Cruise Line

    American Cruise Lines has been recognized by the industry two years in a row. They were honored for Best for Solo Travelers in the River Cruise category!

    Book Your Cruise

    To book your 2020 riverboat cruise aboard American Cruise Lines, call one of our Cruise Specialists at 1-321-632-5610.

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